Now that we’re into December it’s officially time to start panicking about that empty space under the Christmas tree. Never fear though! When it comes to tech lovers at least, there’s plenty you can still get hold of, even this close to the big day. So, without further preamble, here are the best tech gifts for Christmas 2018.
1. B&O Beolab 50 Piano Black Speaker, £26,000 (pair)
Bang & Olufson’s flagship speaker is striking no matter what you dress it in, but their latest version in deep piano black takes its impact to the next level. The glossy surface contrasts on one side with the warm wood of oak lamellas on one side, a wall of polished aluminium dots on the other. These dots are laid out in imitation of the drivers beneath the surface that produce B&O’s superb level of audio clarity. In fact, they sound as good as they look, and they look fantastic. Yes they’re on the pricey side for a pair, but they’re part exquisite audio, part sculpture so what do you expect?
2. Leica D-Lux 7, £995
Affordable isn’t really something you’d normally apply to Leica; the German camera maker builds the kind of equipment professional photographers aspire too – with price tags to match. With the new and improved D-Lux 7 however, they’re offering all of that phenomenal performance condensed into an entry-level (for Leica) compact camera. It still has all the functionality of its more expensive siblings – 4K video, Fotos App compatibility and one of the best grips in the business – but acts as a good first step into the world of Leica. Amateur photographers take note.
3. Dyson 360 Eye Robot Vacuum, £799
Nobody actually enjoys cleaning; if the robots are going to take our jobs let’s hope they start there. Well, thanks to Dyson they pretty much have. Dyson know vacuums (everyone needs a hobby) and their answer to automated cleaning, the 360 eye robot vacuum is among the most intelligent on the market.
Not only can it search and destroy the dirt, finding it’s own charger if necessary, but thanks to its cyclonic vacuum can suck up anything bigger than 0.5 microns. That’s half the width of a human hair. Plus, perch a cute animal on top and you have a YouTube sensation on your hands.
4. DJI Inspire 2, £3,038
You’ve dabbled with the cheap drones at the lower end of the market; you’ve tired of the next mid-range rung of the ladder and now you’re after the best of the best. The DJI Inspire 2 is just that. An improvement on its predecessor, it has every feature you could ask for, all packaged in the first step in Skynet’s worldwide takeover. You won’t want to fly it in the heart of a storm of course but failing that the drone can cope with most conditions. The Inspire 2 can also shoot professional video for up to nearly half an hour with intelligent flight modes helping you get the perfect, overly dramatic angle, even if you’re literally flying solo.
5. Garmin Forerunner 935, £439
While we’re not entirely on board with smartwatches as a thing, there’s nothing wrong with a wrist gadget dedicated to running. If you’re serious about fitness you need to know this stuff and, impressive as a Greubel Forsey is, even they can’t monitor your heart rate. The Garmin Forerunner 935 is the best of the best when it comes to keeping active; it can track a whole host of exercises above and beyond running, it’s incredibly light and waterproof. It also lasts 24 hours while working, 2 weeks on standby mode. In short, it’ll last longer than Mo Farah now matter how hard you work it.