The last-minute tech gift guide

20 Dec 2013

Dear, oh dear. Is that really today’s date? We are now entering the final weekend of shopping before Christmas. If you’re a Last-Minute Larry or an Out-of-Time Orla, we have some quick-buy tech gift suggestions for you.

Missed a big one

If it’s a substantial gift you’re looking for before the weekend is out,  let us point you in the direction of some high-end accessories. Unlike the big-ticket devices, these handy helpers are less likely to be sold out everywhere you try and are a great way to add something to an already-loved gadget.

Logitech has a wide range of accessories for Apple’s iPad range available in Harvey Norman stores nationwide. Take, for example, the FabricSkin Keyboard Folio (€149) which features a full-size keyboard built-in to its interior fabric and can double as a stand. Available in a variety of colours, this cover has a water-repellent coating on the front and back and it doesn’t add too much to the tablet and make it clunky.

Logitech FabricSkin Keyboard Folio

Logitech FabricSkin Keyboard Folio for iPad Air

For some smartphone protection, LifeProof cases are available in Carphone Warehouse stores nationwide. These waterproof, dirt-proof, snow-proof and military-grade shock-proof cases feature cost from €70 depending on which phone needs protecting – though they’re only available for recent iPhone and Samsung Galaxy releases.


LifeProof case for the iPhone 4/4S

Moving away from accessories, gift cards are an old reliable for last-minute shoppers – and, these days, they don’t just have to be for high street stores. You can pick up an iTunes gift card by the till in many supermarkets these days, meaning you can tick this gift off your list as you pick up your stuffing and Brussels sprouts.

For gamers, you could buy an Xbox Live or PlayStation Network subscription online, or for telly addicts you can give the gift of Netflix. Netflix offers gift subscriptions for one month up to a full year (€83.88) and will email it to you with a themed, personalised message for you to print and give to your giftee.  

Lumie Starter 30

Another gift you may not have thought of is the Lumie Bodyclock Starter 30 Alarm Clock, which is available from Argos for €84. Slicker than your average alarm clock, Lumie’s range wakes sleepyheads with gradually increasing light to mimic the sunrise. Intended to rouse you more pleasantly than a shrieking alarm, this is a great gadget for anyone who’s not a morning person.

Cheap and cheerful

There are plenty of last-minute gifts out there for less than €50, too. You can pick up Motorola’s 7-inch digital photo frame from Argos for €48 and encourage friends and family to proudly display their photo favourites somewhere other than Facebook. Argo also has this RED5 camera lens flask for €21 – a fun gift for an outdoorsy photographer for whom you can’t afford the real deal.

RED5 camera lens flask

For something a bit nostalgic, Eircom has this Sixty retro telephone for €40. Though it looks like a device from decades past, it has a hands-free receiver and touchscreen navigation, plus a built-in answering machine.

Eircom Sixty

Books and e-books are another reliable crowd-pleaser, and some titles we’d recommend are Hyperbole and a Half by blogging sensation Allie Brosh, Age of Context by the tech-obsessed Robert Scoble and Shel Israel, and An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by astronaut-turned-superstar Chris Hadfield.

books and e-books

Stocking fillers

For a little tech treat, you could fill a family member’s stocking with these Groovez Zip earphones (available from Meteor for €15) for tangle-free tunes, or some Sony Xperia SmartTags or Samsung TecTiles, NFC-enabled tags and stickers that can be set up to perform certain actions on your phone at a single touch.

Sony Xperia SmartTags

Sony Xperia SmartTags

And, as a final flourish, use this meme wrapping paper generator to give you perfect Christmas gift-wrap for the internet-obsessed.

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.