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2015 Holiday gift guide: Top tech for the student in your life

Decking out the dorm room or making studies easier -- there are plenty of fun and functional gifts available for students this Christmas.
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Topic: E-Commerce
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1 of 14 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Parallels virtual desktop

This software might seem like a peculiar gift at first, but the ability to switch between different operating systems is a handy ability for students.

In particular, students with an engineering or design focus may have to use programs only designed for Windows or Mac alone -- and so virtual desktop software can become a gift they didn't know they needed.

Price: Subscription

Via: Parallels

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2 of 14 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Leitz Universal Multicharger

We are all relying on our mobile devices more than ever, and students are no exception to the rule. Tablets, smartphones, e-readers -- the list of devices needing a charge is often endless. A useful gift for the student in your life is a charger which combines all of these elements, such as the Leitz Complete XL Universal Multicharger. The product allows charging of up to four devices at the same time via USB, looks stylish and keeps everything tidy and in one place.

Price: £72.26 ($110)

Via: Amazon

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3 of 14 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Nvidia Shield

Dorm rooms don't always have too much space for leisure and gaming, but the Nvidia Shield Android TV console is a sleek, lightweight console packed with features students will love. Not only can you play games in 4K, but streaming from YouTube, Netflix, Plex and Google Play is quick and possible through very accurate voice control.

Downloading games from GeForce NOW is easy and the inbuilt Google Chromecast allows the streaming of content from PC systems -- controllable via remote or gamepad.

Price: $199.99

Via: Nvidia

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4 of 14 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Wonder Workshop Dash Robot

Coding skills are in hot demand and are likely to remain so in the future.

If you'd like to interest your children in coding while having fun along the way, consider purchasing the Wonder Workshop Dash Robot this Christmas.

Suitable for children 8 and up, Dash is used in tandem with mobile apps that engage children in games and activities while also teaching them the basics of programming. The robot can be programmed for a variety of uses, including running, dancing and responding to voice commands.

Price: $149.99

Via: Amazon

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5 of 14 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Amazon Paperwhite

While I'm often happiest with my nose in a paperback, carrying physical books while on the go is not always convenient.

Since students are reading for a degree, consider purchasing an e-reader such as the Amazon Paperwhite to compile all of the material they need in a light tablet. The Paperwhite has a good battery life, is easy to use and has a good price point to match.

Price: $99.99

Link

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6 of 14 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Netflix subscription

Rather than a physical object, awarding your student a Netflix subscription this year to keep them entertained (once their coursework is complete, of course) is likely to be appreciated.

In the US, subscriptions start from $7.99 a month, and we can look forward to a bunch of new shows appearing soon including Ray, Queen of Earth and the latest Black Mirror sketch.

Price: $7.99/month

Via: Netflix

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7 of 14 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Mous Musicase

A stocking filler for those on the budget which can act as both protection for valuable smartphones and a way to tidy up earphones is the Mous Musicase. Available for just over 20 bucks, the riot shield grade polycarbonate case protects mobile devices and contains a useful compartment which organizes earphone wires and allows them to be pulled out at will.

Price: £14.50+ ($21)

Via: Mous

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8 of 14 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Dell Chromebook

Being a student isn't cheap, but it doesn't mean they can't be equipped with the right tools for study on a low budget. The Dell Chromebook 11 is one budget-friendly option to gift your student with this year: a Chrome OS-based 11.6-inch laptop with 2GB to 4GB RAM, touchscreen capabilities, free cloud-based storage and 16GB storage internally.

It's ideal for using the Internet and basic applications, more than enough for the average student unless they are working on design-heavy degrees.

Price: $269+

Via: Dell

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9 of 14 Apple

MacBook Air

Available in 11-inch and 13-inch models, Apple's MacBook Air laptops are a common sight in lecture halls across the West.

Lightweight and reliable, students won't need anything more to support them throughout university unless they need memory-heavy applications for design or science degrees.

Price: $889+

Via: Apple

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10 of 14 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Wolffe pack

Perhaps your student could do with a new backpack this year? The Wolffe backpack is big enough to stash a laptop, books and essentials, but the innovative design of the pack is the actual selling point.

The straps can be manoeuvred to adjust for comfort, as well as swing the bag around to rest on your chest. When you're on the move and in areas such as the metro, this feature can keep your valuables protected.

Price: £99.95 ($150)

Via: Wolffepack

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11 of 14 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Gameband + Minecraft

There's a reason the game Minecraft is so popular -- it is highly addictive, can be modded up to the hilt and is great to play as a multiplayer system. As a gift for students who are fans of the game, the Gameband + Minecraft wristband is a great option.

The band, available in a range of sizes, connects to PC systems via USB before downloading your world from cloud-based servers, allowing you to play Minecraft on the go, whether it be a Mac, Linux or Windows-based computer.

Price: $49.99

Via: Microsoft Store

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12 of 14 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Playbulb custom lighting

Dorm rooms can be dull, cell-like structures which take more than a few posters and a bunch of books to brighten up.

Connected homes and smart lighting systems have hit the market, but you don't necessarily want to invest in expensive systems while your student is away and living in areas which are not secure. This is where LED-based Playbulb comes in. The range of lighting systems can be used to alter the color of your lights and include motion effects and alarms -- all controlled via smartphone.

Price: Various

Via: Playbulb

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13 of 14 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Tablet mount

A gift for yourself or a gift that your child can still enjoy -- the point is moot when you may be able to eradicate the "Are we there yet?" wails from the back of the car.

A tablet mount, such as the 360 degree adjustable mount offered by Okra, can reduce the headache when shipping your kids out and about town. Perhaps you should treat yourself to it this Christmas.

Price: $10.99

Via: Amazon

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14 of 14 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Hoverboards

They're a hot topic this Christmas season, but if you're looking to buy one as a gift this year, it won't be an easy task.

Also known as hands-free scooters, these products should only be bought from well-known brands such as Razor rather than opting for cheaper knock-offs for safety reasons, and it's worth keeping in mind that they are illegal in parts of the US and the UK as a whole when ridden on public roads.

If you're still opting for one, many stockists are only offering waiting lists, and you should budget at least $500.

Price: $500+

Via: Razor

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