There are only just a few days left until Christmas and time is running out to snag the perfect gift for the geek in your life. If you’re still stumped as to what to buy him or her, here are a few suggestions from the htxt.africa team.
Nespresso Inissia Cream
The Nespresso Inissia Cream takes just 25 seconds to heat up and uses 13 pre-loaded Nespresso capsules for convenience and awesome flavour. The Inissia Cream has a dedicated drip grip for milk recipes so you don’t have to spoil the taste of the coffee if you don’t like milk. The Inissia Cream includes a two year warranty so dad will be using it for quite a while.
Price: R1 450 DionWired
TomTom Multisport Sportswatch
There is so much tech crammed into this smartwatch even if your loved one isn’t a fitness fundi they’ll want to become one. The TomTom is water proof up to 50m and because of this can track strokes and swim speed. A built in heart rate monitor, pedometer and alerts make this the coolest smartwatch for fitness-focused friends and family.
R2 999 Cape Union Mart
Oregon SC Bluetooth Thermometer
What do men love more than perfectly done meat? High-tech sensors that communicate with Bluetooth. You basically stick the Oregon in the meat, pop it on the braai and wait until you get a notification that your meat has reached your desired temperature. This handy tool lets you instantaneously check the temperature of your meat, set a target temperature and even vibrate or make a sound to alert you. No more guessing when your meat is done!
GoPro Hero Edition
It’s Christmas, you can spoil your dad a little and besides, this is a great deal. There’s also the underlying benefit of being able to use it when your dad isn’t. Capture video in high definition 1080p at 30 frames per second and 720p at 60 frames per second, and with the included housing bracket the GoPro Hero Edition is waterproof up to 40m. A cutting-edge Burst Photo mode also means your dad can capture those embarrassing photos of you at a rate of five photos every second.
R2 189 from Takealot
JBL Horizon Clock Radio
We like JBL, mostly because the quality of its audio equipment is so good. This clock however, is just plain awesome. It combines an FM radio, Bluetooth, an Aux input for other sources and a dual alarm clock with two JBL 5W speakers inside. It can act as a charging point for your phone and has a backup battery. Its sleek looks mean it won’t take up much room on a side table and can be moved around easily.
R1 599 Incredible Connection
Dremel 4000 Multi-Tool
It’s not strictly tech-related but the Dremel 4000 Multi-tool is a great tool for dads that love tinkering around the house. A high power 175W motor and variable speed control allows the Dremel to spin at speeds from 5000 to 35 000RPM, and in this package you get 45 high quality accessories that attach to the Dremel with its easy to use EZ Twist nose cap, the Dremel 4000 itself and a soft carry bag so none of those attachments go missing.
R1 499 Takealot
DataDot Home Kit
With all the new gifts floating around on 25th December your security-conscious dad is sure to worry about people getting their undeserving paws on them. This DataDot home kit will put his mind at ease, for a bit at least. The DataDot is an almost microscopic serial number you “stamp” on to your belongings (most commonly found on cars) linked to a national database. The point of the DataDot home kit is to put as many DataDots in hard to reach places that criminals can’t access or remove, making the odds that you’ll get your goods back that much better as the SAPS is able to detect DataDots.
TomTom Start 50
We’ve known for years men don’t stop to ask for directions, and with the TomTom Start 50 that trend isn’t going to change anytime soon. The Start 50 GPS has a 5-inch touch screen and includes maps for 10 countries in Southern Africa. To make navigation that much easier old and new street names are spoken to the driver. The inclusion of IQ routes – TomTom’s clever analysis of traffic at peak times that suggests less-congested alternatives – should significantly reduce the amount of time spent in traffic.
R1 607 Takealot
Parrot CK3000 Bluetooth Handsfree Kit
Love being able to contact your loved ones at any time but worry about them using their phones while driving? This awesome Bluetooth hands free kit for the car will help them keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road. The Parrot CK3000 uses Bluetooth to connect to a smartphone and contacts can be dialed through voice activation, and using the car’s speakers and an external microphone you can rest assured that next time you call your dad while he’s driving, he isn’t going to be distracted.
R1 599 Soundmatch
Russell Hobbs RHRS02 Wet & Dry Shaver
Get your dad a reason to bin those old school manual razors and get him this three head, rechargeable electric shaver. As the name suggests this shaver is waterproof so using it with shaving gel can result in a super smooth shave, even in the shower. Charging time is 90 minutes according to Russell Hobbs, and from that you could get up to 50 minutes of use which, at three minutes per shave is an impressive 17 uses between charges. The Rusell Hobbs shaver also features self-sharpening blades and a pop-up trimmer for sideburns and moustaches.
Fotopro Digi-3400 Aluminium Tripod
Photographers who want to take stable, non-shaky pictures shouldn’t go without a tripod. The Fotopro Digi-3400 is light-weight, flexible and is suitable for most compact cameras, video cameras and basic SLRs. It stands at 390mm, and its legs can extend to push it to a height of 1190mm. As it’s rather lightweight, though, it can only carry a maximum weight of 2kg.
GoPro Hero 4 Session
The GoPro brand has over the last couple of years become synonymous with good-quality action cameras. The Hero 4 Session is the latest camera in its extensive range, and it is prefect for those that just want a simple camera to capture all the action. It records video at 1080p60 and can capture still image at 8MP. To capture all the details, it has an ultra-wide angle glass lens with SuperView, and you can control it with the GoPro App or SmartRemote.
R3 690 Takealot.com
Fujifilm Instax Mini 50S Camera
Wouldn’t it be cool if you could print out photos as you go along? Well, you can stop dreaming and make it happen with the Instax Mini 50S Camera. Just like the cameras from way-back, every picture that you take with the Instax Mini 50S will be printed on the spot on 62x46mm photo paper. The camera can focus on objects from 30cm away to infinity, has a self-timer so you can take two pictures at once, and has three shooting modes – Auto, Fill-in Flash, and Landscape.
R1 240 Takealot.com
WD Elements 1TB Portable Drive
If you take a lot of pictures, you are going to need to store it all – and the Elements 1TB Portable Drive is the perfect solution. Making use of USB 3.0 connectivity, you get the fastest possible data transfer speeds available, so you will be able to move pictures from your laptop to your drive in a flash. It weighs only 235 grams and measures 11cm x 8.5cm x 2.1cm.
Romoss Sailing 3 7800mAh Power Bank
One of the biggest problems for people – not just photographers – is running out of battery juice. While the Romoss Sailing 3 Power Bank probably won’t charge your camera’s battery (unless you have a special adapter), it will be able to charge most, if not all, of your smartphones. With a powerful 7800mAh battery, it should be able to charge a standard smartphone battery about three times with some change to spare. What is great about this one, is that it has two USB charge ports, so you can charge two devices at the same time.
If the portable storage mentioned earlier isn’t really your thing, you might want to invest in a large-capacity SD card to keep all your pictures safe. Most cameras today use a standard SD card, but this one comes with an adapter. So there is no need to worry that the MicroSD card won’t fit in your camera. The Class 10 speed card has a 10MB/s minimum data transfer rate, which is pretty quick, which will make the recording of HD videos and pictures so much faster.
Celestron SkyProdigy 130 Reflector Telescope
Have you ever wanted to bring the stars closer to you? Well, now you can with this really awesome telescope from Celestron. It has a 9mm eyepiece, 25mm eyepiece, stainless steel tripod and quick release accessory tray. But the trick to this one is in the name: it features 130mm f/5 Newtonian Reflector, making sure that your view of the moon is crystal clear. You also don’t need to know exactly where the celestial bodies are, as thie one features a little computer that will automatically turn the telescope in the right direction through its computerized Go-To Altazimuth Mount. It might seem a little expensive, but it is well worth the cash. While it is not included, you do get an attachment for cameras so that you can take images of planets.
R11 300 Takealot.com
Canon 700D 18MP Twin Lens Value Bundle
If you have an aspiring photographer in your midst, or just someone who wants to increase their collection of cameras, here is a really sweet deal – good enough for any scenario. Not only do you get the awesome Canon 700D, but you will also get Canon 18-55 DC Lens, Canon 75-300mm DC lens, an 8GB wifi card, and a backpack. In terms of the camera, it has an 18-megapixel Hybrid CMOS AF sensor, Vari-angle Clear View 7.7cm LCD II Touch screen, and can shoot video in full HD.
R6 500 Takealot.com
Lowepro Pro Roller X200 AW Roller Camera Bag
Now that you have all the gear that you need plus a couple of accessories, you are going to need to store it somewhere. Lowepro make some of the best photographic bags in the business, so you can be assured that it is really good quality. This one is big enough to store up to two full size SLR cameras, six to eight lenses (up to 600mm) and a whole bunch of accessories. In addition, there is also space for a laptop, a tripod and it is airline carry-on compatible. Oh, and did we mention that it has little wheels so that you can pull it along?
R5 800 Takealot.com
Pentax UP 8×25 WP Binoculars
While it is not really a necessity to have binoculars as a photographer, it is still pretty cool if you can spot animals in the wild which that you would like to photograph up close – so spotting and tracking them is essential. This compact porro-prism model feature a dual-axis, single-body design with synchronized eyepiece adjustment – which means there is one button to adjust both eyepieces. The binocs are also waterproof, so you can even use them in the rain. In case you were wondering (or don’t understand binocular strengths), this model has an 8x magnification through 25mm objective lens. Its field of view is 108m, and comes in at 10.9 x 6.9 x 11.7cm in measurements.
R1 800 Takealot.com
The original pioneer of integrating real toys into videogames returns, this time with a lot more octane. SuperChargers brings the same Skylanders formula but this time with a slew of fantastical vehicles. The starter pack is the best place to, well, start with the game. The single box comes with a portal, three toys and a game disc. All the kids need too do is crack it open and get playing. When they need something new to get into the game is infinitely expandable with new figures. While they are separate purchases, they’re good enough to be played with as actual toys; the vehicles even have rotating wheels.
R945 (PS4/Xbox One) | R855 (PS3/Xbox360) BT Games
Disney Infinity 3.0
Disney learned from the success of Skylanders and puts its own spin on it with Disney Infinity. Now on the third iteration, the game is better than ever with content from Star Wars, Marvel and the entire catalogue of Disney’s animated worlds. Like the SuperChargers starter kit, this comes with the full compliment of necessary accoutrement, and additional purchases are only needed to expand the game. This starter kit comes with a focus on Star Wars (with the new movie coming out later this year) and we’re sure the mom and dads will want to steal the controller to get in some lightsaber battles.
Check out our full review of the game. Spoiler: it’s brilliant no mater your age.
R860 (PS4/Xbox One) | R765 (PS3/Xbox360) Animeworx
LEGO Star Wars buildable action figures
Star Wars is great. Action figures are great. LEGO is great. So why not all three all at once? LEGO has been in possession of the Star Wars licence for some time now, but we think these buildable action figures really take the cake. The ones currently available are: Jango Fett, Clone Commander Cody, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader and General Grievous. Each figure looks good enough and has sufficient possibility to be a display model, but works equally well as a playable toy. The fact that this is all LEGO means that you could take the venerable Darth Vader and give him brilliant pink armour, if you have the pieces (and gall) to do so.
R272 – R479 Creative Play
The Micro Drone is exactly that – a pint-sized, flyable quadrocopter. At only 34g with four individual motors, it takes to the skies with ease. While we don’t suggest handing this to an extremely young child, the teenagers (and parents) out there will be in aviation heaven. If you opt to get the slightly more expensive version, you will also be able to record your flights, and maybe find the wealth of balls and frisbees nestled on the roof.
R1 200 (Drone only) | R1 400 (Drone + Camera) Micro Drone
Nerf Mega Thunderbow
Taking the existing fun of Nerf guns and adding in the older concept of a bow and arrow, the (silly named) Mega Thunderbow has it all. The bow comes with ten whistling darts and can hold up to five at a time. Nerf says that the darts will go up to 30 metres, but we’re sure some enterprising archers – with the help of a gust of wind – will be able to get it father than that. And, the best part, the kids can pull of the old “apple on the head” trick without any fears.
4M Science Kits
Do your kids want to:
- Dig up a T-rex?
- Make a rocket?
- Create a robot?
- Model a solar system?
Then they can with a 4M science kit. Loot has a few dozen different kits on offer that cover a broad selection of fun and educational topics. While the classic chemistry set isn’t amongst them, there is sufficient variety to find something for any aspiring scientist, engineer or Indiana Jones. htxt.africa takes no responsibility for your child turning into a mad scientist. All damages caused by rogue experiments are not covered. Terms and conditions apply.
R18 – R211 (depending on the kit) Loot
While it was at its height of popularity around the turn of the millennium, Pokémon is still going strong today. The card game has a sizeable player base in South Africa, with organised events and a National competition which sees the winner get an invite to the World Championships which take place in different countries around the world. A theme deck has everything needed to get into the game, as well as instructions to teach the fundamentals. Also included is a code card for Pokémon TCG Online; a free-to-play game which turns the real-world cards into a videogame and allows games to be played over the internet.
R175 for a theme deck: Animeworx
Mindstorms Robotics Kit
The most expensive item on this list, but for good reason. LEGO’s Minstorms is a fully-fledged robotics system that mixes regular LEGO, Technic (LEGO’s more advanced system) and robotics to parts to create an endlessly fun product. In the box there are 600 LEGO pieces which include a central brick which acts as the robots brain, three servo motors, a colour sensor, a remote control, a touch sensor and an infrared sensor. Once built the robot can be programmed to do just about anything, and it can be improved with any existing LEGO you may have around.
One company in Joburg is using LEGO similar to Minstorms to train up the next generation of engineers. We recently visited them and found out what it takes to make one of the most difficult career paths more fun.
R4 564 Creative Play
The future may be digital, but when the power is out or looking at a screen just becomes too much, few things beat a good few rounds of boardgaming. Setller’s of Catan is one of the most popular in the “new generation” of boardgames that is challenging the monopoly of Monopoly and co.. Catan Junior has simplified rules to make it easier on kids and is rated for those as young as six. The core of Catan is still present, though, so if you’re familiar with the game you will be at home here.
Marketed to “get girls building”, GoldieBlox cites that only 14% of engineers worldwide are female. While other such products (like the 4M science kits or Mindstorms) on this list do a similar job, GoldieBlox puts a decidedly feminine twist on affairs in hopes of appealing to girls. The cartoon art style and colourful parts hide lessons in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). We hope toys like GoldieBlox replace some of the home appliances and boring products usually seen in the girls’ toys aisles of the world.
R310 – R392 Loot
[Image – CC by 2.0/Pablo Carrascosa]