The tech gift guide for whizz kids and digital natives

8 Dec 2013

A recent 50-year analysis from Debenhams saw 1980s favourite the Cabbage Patch Doll named the best-selling toy of all time. How times have changed as those decades slipped past, and this year the retailer’s expected top-selling toy is a tablet.

Kids’ tablets: from tots to teens

Specifically, Debenhams predicts that tablets from the Kurio will be its top buy this Christmas. These multimedia devices built just for kids are sturdy and come with Kurio Genius advanced parental controls and internet filtering, to ensure your child’s safety online. Multiple profiles with varying levels of access can be set up on one device and time limits can be established to keep your kid from spending all day playing Angry Birds.

Starting off small, there’s the Kurio 4S Touch, a pocket-friendly 4-inch device running Android 4.2 with Wi-Fi capability, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage, a micro-SD slot supporting up to 32GB, a 0.3MP front-facing camera and 2.1MP rear camera, plus over 30 preloaded apps including premium content from Disney and Marvel.

Kurio 7S

Kurio 7S

Next in line is the Kurio 7S, a 7-inch tablet which features similar specifications plus 60 pre-loaded apps, front stereo speakers and a silicone bumper for added protection. Then there’s the Kurio 10S, another step up with a 10.1-inch IPS touchscreen, quad-core processor and 2.1MP front and rear cameras.

Kurio tablets are available from a number of retailers nationwide, including Argos, Boots, Littlewoods, Debenhams and Early Learning Centre. Prices vary so shop around to find the best offer. There are also accessories such as different coloured bumpers, a keyboard case and a car mount and charger you can pick up.

RTÉ JuniorPad

RTÉ JuniorPad

Alternatively, you could pick up an RTÉ JuniorPad aimed at kids aged two to seven. This 7-inch Android 4.2 tablet comes pre-loaded with five hours of RTÉjr content and parental controls to keep kids safe. Inside there’s a 1.4GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage and a 0.3MP front-facing camera, all wrapped up in a protective pouch.

Retailing at €150, you could get a tablet fit for teens for even less with the €130 MyTablet from Argos. Another 7-inch Android 4.2 device, this one sports a 1.6GHz dual-core processor, 8GB storage, a 2MP rear camera and 0.3MP facing front.

TabZoo Tiger tablet caseTabZoo Hippo tablet case

TabZoo Tiger and Hippo cases

A nice stocking filler for these tablet-toting teens and tots is the TabZoo universal 7-inch tablet cases, available from Meteor stores for €15. These quirky cases have been designed with younger users in mind and double as a stand to protect and support any 7-inch tablet.

Classic gaming gifts

If you haven’t already picked one up, chances are you won’t be getting your hands on a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One this Christmas, with these next-generation consoles seeing such advanced demand that the supply just couldn’t keep up.

But instead of focusing on the new, why not get nostalgic this Christmas and bond with your kids over games from your childhood. You can pick up a Sega Mega Drive with 60 games for less than €50 from Argos, or search online for an Atari Flashback plug-and-play console for the ultimate throwback Christmas.

Sega Mega Drive

Sega Mega Drive

Unique 3D-printed gifts

For a stand-out gift for a special kid this Christmas, you could have a unique doll built just for them. The Makies MakieLab lets you create a one-of-a-kind doll and have it 3D-printed. The UK-based company is offering free shipping to customers in the EU until 11 December and, you could even let your kid have a go at designing the doll with a Makies Gift Box.

Makies Makie Lab

Designing a 3D-printed doll in the Makies Make Lab

Prices and stock information correct at time of publication

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.