Christmas gifts for the gadget fan

Gadgets and gizmos always make great presents for the tech-savvy and tech-curious.
 
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01 .Gadget gift ideas

x-mass-buying-guide-004

For the tech-savvy and the tech-curious gadgets always make fun and exciting Christmas presents. But buying the latest technologies doesn't always mean forking out the highest price, as many of our test results show.

We've put together a selection of some of CHOICE's latest-reviewed gadgets and gizmos, including smartphones, eBook readers, and compact digital cameras. Products have been broken down into these categories:

You can also:

    For more information about Shopping, see Shopping and legal.

    Cameras and camcorders

    Casio_Exilim_EX-H5Compact digital cameras

    The festive season and the summer months are often the most social and active, so there are usually plenty of opportunities to get the camera out and take some happy snaps. Buying a compact digital camera for someone can be a daunting exercise — there are literally hundreds of models on the market and a bewildering array of specifications and features. To make the task easier for you, CHOICE has reviewed 99 models, including the Canon Ixus 1000HS, and the Nikon Coolpix P500. Take a look at our Compact digital cameras review to see which one comes out on top, and also see the CHOICE Digital cameras buying guide to find out which camera will suit your needs best.

    Nikon_D5000_AF-SG_18-55VRDigital SLRs

    DSLRs may be much larger than their compact counterparts but once you've enjoyed their benefitsit's hard to settle for anything less. There are several makes to choose from, with camera and lens kits for well under $1000. We've tested and reviewed popular models such as the Canon EOS 60D, and the Nikon D7000 to find out which cameras are the best. Take a look at our DSLRs review for more information. You might also want to read our article on digital SLR zoom lenses. See also our brand reliability survey 2010 to see how our members rate the reliability of the key brands over time. 

    Camcorders

    panasonic-3d-camcorder2-340x232

    These days you can buy a HD camcorder that will work well in all lighting situations for well under $1000. And if you are looking for a point and shoot that will capture your memories in HD, you can pay as little as $500 for a model that will perform well in most situations. However, some of the top-performing models are priced at well over the $1000 mark. The best camcorders are easy to use, have very good sound and picture quality, and have very good autofocus capabilities. Some models also have wind filters, and remote controls. For more information, take a look at our Camcorders review.

    11-Sony-Bloggie-MHSFS1

    Pocket camcorders

    Pocket camcorders are a good option for anyone who wants to capture good quality HD video and play it on a large screen TV, or share it over the internet, without having to pay $1000 for the privilege. CHOICE tested 15 pocket camcorders (also known as multimedia cameras), including the Sony Bloggie, and the Panasonic HM-TA2, to see which deliver the best combination of video and audio quality, and which are easiest to use. We also compared the video quality of the pocket camcorders on test with a variety of other devices that claim to capture video including Smartphone. For more information take a look at our Pocket camcorders review.


     
     

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    Jonno's comment:

    • Member since: 19 Oct 12
    • 31 Comments
    • 35 Replies
    User Profile

    8 MONTHS AGO | Has anyone found any Australian studies or research done on this topic as yet? I'm very interested in the detailed findings in all related topics such as environmental (landfill, power and water usage) rashes, reactions, total costings.. Etc, Etc...

       

      Like to reply to this comment?

       
       
       
       

       
       

      Natalie's comment:

      • Member since: 29 May 11
      • 1 Comments
      • 0 Replies
      User Profile

      10 MONTHS AGO | Exasperated and exacerbated are two different words with different meanings.

         

        Like to reply to this comment?

         
         
         
         

         
         

        Vanessa Janine's comment:

        • Member since: 03 Mar 10
        • 2 Comments
        • 0 Replies
        User Profile

        1 YEAR AGO | If you choose a good eco disposable, with an eco label that considers cradle to grave impact (such as Bambo Nature or Moltex), you'll find that they stack up very well agains MCNs, and there's no temptation to put them in the dryer during winter!
        The key is to avoid the dreaded Huggies, and to use a good eco disposable in conjunction with cloth nappies, and you'll get both convenience, and a lower eco footprint.

           

          Like to reply to this comment?

           
           
           
           

           
           

          DJB's comment:

          • Member since: 30 Dec 12
          • 5 Comments
          • 2 Replies
          User Profile

          1 YEAR AGO | You have made a fair number of fairly general claims here and provided no evidence to back them up whatsoever.

          I know it is not a review, but "environmentally friendly" and the (implied) claim that they are better on skin are both not proven and do not really stack up on careful examination. A lot of MCN users tend to get a bit evangelical about the topic - for some reason that really passes me by.

          "Environmentally friendly" is a hard thing to measure. A product life cycle can be extremely complex, and requires analysis a lot more detailed than any consumer is able to perform. From what I could see, most MCN vendors put "green" claims on their websites but do not back them up in the least. The UK Environment agency (google "DEFRA report") was equivocal about cloth nappies vs disposables environmentally. US research was more favorable to MCN's, but did not seem to be anywhere near the same quality. Paraphrasing the UK findings- if you dry them naturally and use them for more than one child, yes, MCN's are ahead - but not by as much as you might think. In relation to waste stream impact they are a lot better. If you dry them in a dryer, they are a lot worse environmentally than disposables, taking the overall impact into account. Given the length of time that bamboo liners take to dry on a humid Brisbane day, I found that we were often finishing them off in the dryer.

          Better for skin ? It is all pretty subjective. Nappy rash comes and goes, using cloth or disposable. Nappies overall keep kids hot, and often "MCN" evangelists link to studies showing that boy's testicles are kept too hot - then trumpet how the "natural, cooling" fibres of an MCN avoid this problem. Actually, they don't. The inside of both types get very hot and as far as I can see there is no reliable objective evidence that one is preferable.

          When it comes down to it, the choice will have to be made on personal preference. That will be guided by anecdotal reports such as this one, and websites put together by people trying to sell you something.

          Overall, I don't think this effort was overly helpful nor was any attempt to back up the claims made.

             

            Like to reply to this comment?

             
             
             
             

             
             

            Simon's comment:

            • Member since: 05 Dec 11
            • 1 Comments
            • 0 Replies
            User Profile

            1 YEAR AGO | I recoil in horror at the names given to the variuos nappies now days. For our daughter we used good old toweling nappies and put a chucks wipe as a liner. They worked very well as you could flick the poo out of the chucks wipe over the nieghbors fence and wash them all together.
            The great bonus is when the child is potty trained you have a good collection of the best cleaning cloth known to man. Unfortunately now after so many years getting good quality toweling nappies is difficult.
            Cheers

               

              Like to reply to this comment?

               
               
               
               

               
               

              Megan's comment:

              • Member since: 25 Aug 10
              • 1 Comments
              • 0 Replies
              User Profile

              2 YEARS AGO | I use Bonnibuns (made in Australia) MCNs. I have to say that they leak a LOT more than Huggies and I have to change them every half hour or so as they only seem to hold one "urine incident"! However they are dry to the touch on the side that rests against the skin, I've had no nappy rash problems and they don't seem to get as hot. They wash really well and most stains come out. On the whole I'm happy with them I have just accepted that more frequent clothing changes and a lot of washing is part of the deal. I throw other items in the wash with them (on an extra rinse cycle) so I'm making the most of the extra loads. I do, gowever, cheat and use disposables when we're out and about. They just leak too much.

                 

                Like to reply to this comment?

                 
                 
                 
                 

                 
                 

                Amelia's comment:

                • Member since: 16 May 11
                • 1 Comments
                • 0 Replies
                User Profile

                2 YEARS AGO | My daughter is exclusively in cloth nappies, and I absolutely love them. We use only Itti Bittis, and they are fantastic. She was born at 2.57kg, so was too little at first, but as soon as she hit the 3.5kg, she has been exclusively in cloth. Unfortunately she gets a bit of bottom thrush and the cream that's recommended for this contains a barrier cream, so it can't be used with the cloth nappies. So while this clears up I had to put her in disposables. I have to say though, that I had many many more poo explosions and leakages in the disposables, compared with cloths! If anyone is interested, she wears Itti Bitti Tutto (which last from birth to toilet training) and Itti Bitti D'Lish which are sized. Cloth nappies aren't that much work, they look so amazingly cute, and make me feel good as well :)

                   

                  Like to reply to this comment?

                   
                   
                   
                   

                   
                   

                  Jonno's comment:

                  • Member since: 19 Oct 12
                  • 31 Comments
                  • 35 Replies
                  User Profile

                  8 MONTHS AGO | Has anyone found any Australian studies or research done on this topic as yet? I'm very interested in the detailed findings in all related topics such as environmental (landfill, power and water usage) rashes, reactions, total costings.. Etc, Etc...

                     

                    Like to reply to this comment?

                     
                     
                     
                     

                     
                     

                    Natalie's comment:

                    • Member since: 29 May 11
                    • 1 Comments
                    • 0 Replies
                    User Profile

                    10 MONTHS AGO | Exasperated and exacerbated are two different words with different meanings.

                       

                      Like to reply to this comment?

                       
                       
                       
                       

                       
                       

                      Vanessa Janine's comment:

                      • Member since: 03 Mar 10
                      • 2 Comments
                      • 0 Replies
                      User Profile

                      1 YEAR AGO | If you choose a good eco disposable, with an eco label that considers cradle to grave impact (such as Bambo Nature or Moltex), you'll find that they stack up very well agains MCNs, and there's no temptation to put them in the dryer during winter!
                      The key is to avoid the dreaded Huggies, and to use a good eco disposable in conjunction with cloth nappies, and you'll get both convenience, and a lower eco footprint.

                         

                        Like to reply to this comment?

                         
                         
                         
                         

                         
                         

                        DJB's comment:

                        • Member since: 30 Dec 12
                        • 5 Comments
                        • 2 Replies
                        User Profile

                        1 YEAR AGO | You have made a fair number of fairly general claims here and provided no evidence to back them up whatsoever.

                        I know it is not a review, but "environmentally friendly" and the (implied) claim that they are better on skin are both not proven and do not really stack up on careful examination. A lot of MCN users tend to get a bit evangelical about the topic - for some reason that really passes me by.

                        "Environmentally friendly" is a hard thing to measure. A product life cycle can be extremely complex, and requires analysis a lot more detailed than any consumer is able to perform. From what I could see, most MCN vendors put "green" claims on their websites but do not back them up in the least. The UK Environment agency (google "DEFRA report") was equivocal about cloth nappies vs disposables environmentally. US research was more favorable to MCN's, but did not seem to be anywhere near the same quality. Paraphrasing the UK findings- if you dry them naturally and use them for more than one child, yes, MCN's are ahead - but not by as much as you might think. In relation to waste stream impact they are a lot better. If you dry them in a dryer, they are a lot worse environmentally than disposables, taking the overall impact into account. Given the length of time that bamboo liners take to dry on a humid Brisbane day, I found that we were often finishing them off in the dryer.

                        Better for skin ? It is all pretty subjective. Nappy rash comes and goes, using cloth or disposable. Nappies overall keep kids hot, and often "MCN" evangelists link to studies showing that boy's testicles are kept too hot - then trumpet how the "natural, cooling" fibres of an MCN avoid this problem. Actually, they don't. The inside of both types get very hot and as far as I can see there is no reliable objective evidence that one is preferable.

                        When it comes down to it, the choice will have to be made on personal preference. That will be guided by anecdotal reports such as this one, and websites put together by people trying to sell you something.

                        Overall, I don't think this effort was overly helpful nor was any attempt to back up the claims made.

                           

                          Like to reply to this comment?

                           
                           
                           
                           

                           
                           

                          Simon's comment:

                          • Member since: 05 Dec 11
                          • 1 Comments
                          • 0 Replies
                          User Profile

                          1 YEAR AGO | I recoil in horror at the names given to the variuos nappies now days. For our daughter we used good old toweling nappies and put a chucks wipe as a liner. They worked very well as you could flick the poo out of the chucks wipe over the nieghbors fence and wash them all together.
                          The great bonus is when the child is potty trained you have a good collection of the best cleaning cloth known to man. Unfortunately now after so many years getting good quality toweling nappies is difficult.
                          Cheers

                             

                            Like to reply to this comment?

                             
                             
                             
                             

                             
                             

                            Megan's comment:

                            • Member since: 25 Aug 10
                            • 1 Comments
                            • 0 Replies
                            User Profile

                            2 YEARS AGO | I use Bonnibuns (made in Australia) MCNs. I have to say that they leak a LOT more than Huggies and I have to change them every half hour or so as they only seem to hold one "urine incident"! However they are dry to the touch on the side that rests against the skin, I've had no nappy rash problems and they don't seem to get as hot. They wash really well and most stains come out. On the whole I'm happy with them I have just accepted that more frequent clothing changes and a lot of washing is part of the deal. I throw other items in the wash with them (on an extra rinse cycle) so I'm making the most of the extra loads. I do, gowever, cheat and use disposables when we're out and about. They just leak too much.

                               

                              Like to reply to this comment?

                               
                               
                               
                               

                               
                               

                              Amelia's comment:

                              • Member since: 16 May 11
                              • 1 Comments
                              • 0 Replies
                              User Profile

                              2 YEARS AGO | My daughter is exclusively in cloth nappies, and I absolutely love them. We use only Itti Bittis, and they are fantastic. She was born at 2.57kg, so was too little at first, but as soon as she hit the 3.5kg, she has been exclusively in cloth. Unfortunately she gets a bit of bottom thrush and the cream that's recommended for this contains a barrier cream, so it can't be used with the cloth nappies. So while this clears up I had to put her in disposables. I have to say though, that I had many many more poo explosions and leakages in the disposables, compared with cloths! If anyone is interested, she wears Itti Bitti Tutto (which last from birth to toilet training) and Itti Bitti D'Lish which are sized. Cloth nappies aren't that much work, they look so amazingly cute, and make me feel good as well :)

                                 

                                Like to reply to this comment?

                                 
                                 
                                 
                                 

                                 
                                 

                                Jonno's comment:

                                • Member since: 19 Oct 12
                                • 31 Comments
                                • 35 Replies
                                User Profile

                                8 MONTHS AGO | Has anyone found any Australian studies or research done on this topic as yet? I'm very interested in the detailed findings in all related topics such as environmental (landfill, power and water usage) rashes, reactions, total costings.. Etc, Etc...

                                   

                                  Like to reply to this comment?

                                   
                                   
                                   
                                   

                                   
                                   

                                  Natalie's comment:

                                  • Member since: 29 May 11
                                  • 1 Comments
                                  • 0 Replies
                                  User Profile

                                  10 MONTHS AGO | Exasperated and exacerbated are two different words with different meanings.

                                     

                                    Like to reply to this comment?

                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     

                                     
                                     

                                    Vanessa Janine's comment:

                                    • Member since: 03 Mar 10
                                    • 2 Comments
                                    • 0 Replies
                                    User Profile

                                    1 YEAR AGO | If you choose a good eco disposable, with an eco label that considers cradle to grave impact (such as Bambo Nature or Moltex), you'll find that they stack up very well agains MCNs, and there's no temptation to put them in the dryer during winter!
                                    The key is to avoid the dreaded Huggies, and to use a good eco disposable in conjunction with cloth nappies, and you'll get both convenience, and a lower eco footprint.

                                       

                                      Like to reply to this comment?

                                       
                                       
                                       
                                       

                                       
                                       

                                      DJB's comment:

                                      • Member since: 30 Dec 12
                                      • 5 Comments
                                      • 2 Replies
                                      User Profile

                                      1 YEAR AGO | You have made a fair number of fairly general claims here and provided no evidence to back them up whatsoever.

                                      I know it is not a review, but "environmentally friendly" and the (implied) claim that they are better on skin are both not proven and do not really stack up on careful examination. A lot of MCN users tend to get a bit evangelical about the topic - for some reason that really passes me by.

                                      "Environmentally friendly" is a hard thing to measure. A product life cycle can be extremely complex, and requires analysis a lot more detailed than any consumer is able to perform. From what I could see, most MCN vendors put "green" claims on their websites but do not back them up in the least. The UK Environment agency (google "DEFRA report") was equivocal about cloth nappies vs disposables environmentally. US research was more favorable to MCN's, but did not seem to be anywhere near the same quality. Paraphrasing the UK findings- if you dry them naturally and use them for more than one child, yes, MCN's are ahead - but not by as much as you might think. In relation to waste stream impact they are a lot better. If you dry them in a dryer, they are a lot worse environmentally than disposables, taking the overall impact into account. Given the length of time that bamboo liners take to dry on a humid Brisbane day, I found that we were often finishing them off in the dryer.

                                      Better for skin ? It is all pretty subjective. Nappy rash comes and goes, using cloth or disposable. Nappies overall keep kids hot, and often "MCN" evangelists link to studies showing that boy's testicles are kept too hot - then trumpet how the "natural, cooling" fibres of an MCN avoid this problem. Actually, they don't. The inside of both types get very hot and as far as I can see there is no reliable objective evidence that one is preferable.

                                      When it comes down to it, the choice will have to be made on personal preference. That will be guided by anecdotal reports such as this one, and websites put together by people trying to sell you something.

                                      Overall, I don't think this effort was overly helpful nor was any attempt to back up the claims made.

                                         

                                        Like to reply to this comment?

                                         
                                         
                                         
                                         

                                         
                                         

                                        Simon's comment:

                                        • Member since: 05 Dec 11
                                        • 1 Comments
                                        • 0 Replies
                                        User Profile

                                        1 YEAR AGO | I recoil in horror at the names given to the variuos nappies now days. For our daughter we used good old toweling nappies and put a chucks wipe as a liner. They worked very well as you could flick the poo out of the chucks wipe over the nieghbors fence and wash them all together.
                                        The great bonus is when the child is potty trained you have a good collection of the best cleaning cloth known to man. Unfortunately now after so many years getting good quality toweling nappies is difficult.
                                        Cheers

                                           

                                          Like to reply to this comment?

                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           

                                           
                                           

                                          Megan's comment:

                                          • Member since: 25 Aug 10
                                          • 1 Comments
                                          • 0 Replies
                                          User Profile

                                          2 YEARS AGO | I use Bonnibuns (made in Australia) MCNs. I have to say that they leak a LOT more than Huggies and I have to change them every half hour or so as they only seem to hold one "urine incident"! However they are dry to the touch on the side that rests against the skin, I've had no nappy rash problems and they don't seem to get as hot. They wash really well and most stains come out. On the whole I'm happy with them I have just accepted that more frequent clothing changes and a lot of washing is part of the deal. I throw other items in the wash with them (on an extra rinse cycle) so I'm making the most of the extra loads. I do, gowever, cheat and use disposables when we're out and about. They just leak too much.

                                             

                                            Like to reply to this comment?

                                             
                                             
                                             
                                             

                                             
                                             

                                            Amelia's comment:

                                            • Member since: 16 May 11
                                            • 1 Comments
                                            • 0 Replies
                                            User Profile

                                            2 YEARS AGO | My daughter is exclusively in cloth nappies, and I absolutely love them. We use only Itti Bittis, and they are fantastic. She was born at 2.57kg, so was too little at first, but as soon as she hit the 3.5kg, she has been exclusively in cloth. Unfortunately she gets a bit of bottom thrush and the cream that's recommended for this contains a barrier cream, so it can't be used with the cloth nappies. So while this clears up I had to put her in disposables. I have to say though, that I had many many more poo explosions and leakages in the disposables, compared with cloths! If anyone is interested, she wears Itti Bitti Tutto (which last from birth to toilet training) and Itti Bitti D'Lish which are sized. Cloth nappies aren't that much work, they look so amazingly cute, and make me feel good as well :)

                                               

                                              Like to reply to this comment?

                                               
                                               
                                               
                                               

                                               
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