Great gifts for teen tech fans this Christmas

26 Nov 2014

Clockwise from top left: PlayStation TV, Parrot MiniDone Rolling Spider, GoPro Hero, Google Chromebook, Smartphone Projector

Teens can be hard to please with presents, but we have a few suggestions ranging in price from €30 to €500 – depending on how generous you’re feeling!

Get online TV with a Chromecast streaming dongle

If your teen is an internet TV addict (sure, who isn’t?), a nifty Google Chromecast is all they need to bring their viewing to the big(ger) screen – and you can pick one up in stores across Ireland from €29 according to

With a Chromecast plugged into the HDMI port of a television set and connected to the home Wi-Fi network, users can ‘cast’ content directly to the big screen from their mobile device, either via compatible apps such as Netflix and YouTube or Google’s Chrome browser.

It’s a great little device that the whole family can enjoy.

Google Chromecast

Google Chromecast

Chromebooks make a great first laptop

Another Chrome-branded product we recommend for teenagers this Christmas is the Chromebook. If your teen is crying out for online independence and a computer of their very own, these low-cost laptops could be the answer you’re looking for.

According to PriceSpy’s listings, you can pick up a Chromebook in Ireland for as much as €184.68, which is a reasonable price to pay for a personal computer.

Googel Chromebook

Google Chromebooks are made by a number of manufacturers, including Samsung, Acer and HP

Chromebooks are built to be internet-connected, with activities conducted through the Chrome web browser and apps from the Chrome Web Store. That’s not to say internet-free activities aren’t available, though, with offline apps such as Gmail and Google Docs bridging any gaps in service. Plus, with two years’ free 100GB Google Drive storage, users’ files remain accessible on any device.

For particularly young kids, Chromebooks can also be set up with supervised user accounts, allowing parents to control what can be accessed online.

PlayStation TV could end the fight for the family television

If you already indulged your teens with a PlayStation 4 last Christmas, you’ll be glad to know that the micro-console that is the PlayStation TV comes in at a more affordable €100.

This is the smallest TV-connected PlayStation platform out there and it allows users to stream their PS4 games via remote play as well as playing PlayStation Vita, PlayStation Portable and PlayStation One titles on any TV in the home.

For families fed up with sacrificing the living room TV for hours of gaming, this could be a godsend.

PlayStation TV

PlayStation TV

Give a GoPro for Christmas movie magic

GoPro cameras are arguably the best little action shooters you can get, but the top-of-the-range Hero4 costs from €332.99 – a price that can deter some. If you have a budding film director in your midst, it may be worth your while exploring the early Hero models to find a more palatable price.

The original GoPro Hero comes with rugged waterproof housing and shoots 1080p video at 30fps and captures photos with its 5MP sensor. It’s still in a tidy package that weighs a little over 100g and, best of all, it costs as low as €125. The perfect starting point for an entry-level action filmmaker.

GoPro Hero

Hero camera, GoPro

Boost smartphone screens with a DIY projector

Sometimes, a high-tech experience can come from low-tech means – just look at Google Cardboard. In the same vein, you can get a smartphone projector for your teen without shelling out for lumens galore.

This simple projector from Animi Causa offers up to eight times magnification of your smartphone screen from a basic DIY cardboard and glass lens kit (you just have to provide your own glue).

DIY smartphone projector

Smartphone projector, US$39.99, Animi Causa

It’s compatible with most smartphones not exceeding 8 x 14.5cm (3.2 x 5.7 inches) and is available for US$39.99 with free shipping worldwide.

Size doesnt matter with the Parrot MiniDrone Rolling Spider

Recreational drones are expected to a be a popular gift this Christmas, and the MiniDrone Rolling Spider from Parrot is just one of the varieties on offer. When connected to a smartphone, this compact-sized quadricopter can manage 360-degree flips at the swipe of a finger and can roll along on its wheels as well as fly. With prices starting from €89.99, what you don’t get is high-quality images from the embedded camera, but you can still get to grips with drone piloting – though be sure to familiarise yourself with the Irish Aviation Authority’s regulations beforehand.

Parrot MiniDrone Rolling Spider

Parrot MiniDrone Rolling Spider

Order Funked Up Fixies online

No, Funked Up Fixies don’t sell technologically enhanced electric bicycles. This Irish start-up’s style is the more old-fashioned fixed-gear two-wheeler that has been popularised by recent ‘hipster’ throwback trends.

Trendy or not, these bikes look great and the reason they get our tech-loving stamp of approval is because they can be ordered online and fully customised from the comforting glow of your computer screen – even down to the colour of the chain.

Funked Up Fixies

Funked Up Fixies offers a range of colours and parts for customisation

The online platform is also offering free delivery across the EU up to 30 November, so best get creating and ordering those bikes sooner rather than later.

The starting price for a Funked Up Fixie is €495, with some features costing more. For example, once you’ve carefully selected your colour scheme, you can add your own graphics for an added fee.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.