Here at The Digital Lifestyle.com we have reviewed a lot of devices over the last year and many of them would make great Christmas gifts, so I have put together a range of devices that could make great Christmas presents. I will be highlighting some of the best Windows tablets, Windows laptops and accessories for any the enthusiasts.
In part one I will look six accessories we have reviewed all priced under £100, in part 2 I will look at Windows tablets and in part 3 look at laptops.
D-Link Home Smart Plug £24.99
The D-Link Home Smart Plug is a great little device that enables you to turn any mains powered devices into a smart device that you can control from a phone or tablet. It’s a really simple device, it plugs into a normal main socket and then you plug in any mains powered device into the socket giving you control over it. You can control the plug via the D-Link Smart Home app and via IFTTT. You can setup schedules, it has power monitoring and more. I am using three for my Christmas lights. Here is my video review and you can read my full review here.
Pix-Link N300 WiFi Booster £15.99
If you have a WiFi dead spot in your house you need a WiFi booster. They work by you placing the devices towards the edges of your existing wifi network and it then creates a new network linked to the existing one for you to connect to. The Pix-Link can also be used as an access point so you created a band new network. Here is my video review and the full review can be found here.
Choetech USB C accessories £5.99 & £8.99
When you get a new device which just has USB C on it (like the new MacBooks, Google Pixel, Lumia 950 XL) you are probably going to want USB C cables and adaptors. For example with the adapter plugged in to my Nexus 6P or Lumia 950 XL I could plug in a USB peripherals like a keyboards and mouse and use it with the phone. I tried it with a USB hard drive and I could browse the data stored on the drive. The adaptor is really small and neat just what you need if you have a USB C enabled device like the new Macbook, Google Pixel C or a Dell XPS. Another cable you may need is a USB A to USB C cable. When I tested some of these in the past the transfer speeds varied between cables, just because a cable has a USB-C connector on it doesn’t means its USB 3.0 compatible. Fortunately the cable from Choetech do support USB 3 (unlike their old cable) so you get fast transfer speeds (5 Gbps between devices). You can find my full reviews here.
iClever BoostSound Wireless Speaker £24.99
The speaker is small enough to may it portable (16 x 2.8 x 6.4 cm) but big enough to deliver a decent sound. It has a 1800mAh battery that lasted me for about 10 hours with a 3 hour charging time. It is housed in a very solid feeling aluminum chassis that looks really good. It supports Bluetooth 4 for music playback and for using hands free calling. For controlling playback there is a Play/Pause button, volume control buttons which double up for selecting previous/next tracks. I paired the speaker up with my Nexus 6P and found the sound quality to be very clear with good stereo separation for a small device. I should say that there is also plenty of volume (it has 2 x 5W amps) and can playback really load without any distortion. As well as Bluetooth it also has a 3.5mm audio in jack so you can connect it up to anything with a headphone socket. Here is my video review:
Zagg Flex Arc Bluetooth Headset £69.99
With devices like the iPhone 7 dropping the headphone socket there is a big market for Bluetooth headphones. The Flex Arc are Bluetooth headphones with retractable earbuds connected via a lightweight band. You can use the headset for listening to music and you can use it to take phone calls via your phone. The headset should work with iOS, Android, Windows 10 Mobile and other devices that support Bluetooth. The most important thing is the sound and this is where I was really impressed with the Flex Arc. There is plenty of volume and lots of bass, the sound reproduction is excellent and you can really tell the difference between this and cheap headsets. I found that with the headset on I couldn’t hear anything else going on, they are not noise cancelling headphones but due to the earbud design and volume the sound is really immersive. The headband and earbud design makes it really comfortable, the earbuds are on retractable cords from the band so you can position them however suits you. Here is my video review (full review is here)
Choetech Quick Charge USB/Lightning portable charger £20.99
No matter how much battery technology improves they device never seem to have enough capacity so portable chargers popularly continue to grow The Choetech charger has a 10400 mAh battery pack, dual USB outputs, Lightning and MicroUSB inputs. The charger supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 which means compatible phone will charge 40% faster than standard chargers. Port 1 puts out 5V 1A and port 2 outputs 5V 2.4a / 9V 1.7A / 12V 1.3A. I found it took about 2 hours to charge up an iPhone 5 from flat to full and about 4 hours to charge up an Encore 8 Windows tablet (which will only charge from 2 amp chargers). For a Nexus 6P and a Lumia 950 XL it took about an hour for a full charge. Once changed the devices still had enough power left to charge a phone 3 or 4 times and the tablet twice. Charging the pack back up again from flat seems to take about 6 hours and there is a battery charge indicator on the front showing how much charge is left (using four blue lights). You can read my full review here.