This is a gift guide with a difference. Rather than pick gifts for you and yours, I'm looking at the best of the best when it comes to tech that I've had the pleasure of owning, using, and drooling over this year, from the big stuff like notebooks, tablets, and smartphones, to smaller stuff like storage devices and smart bulbs.
There are also a few toys thrown in, along with a few things you didn't even know you wanted or needed, because I'm a big kid at heart!
Along with each entry I'll give you a link, some idea of pricing, and a little bit about why I like it.
Have I missed out your favorite tech gadget? If I have drop me a note in the comments below to let me know!
Without a doubt this is the best Windows 10 tablet available, and is one of the best ways to get the most out of Microsoft's newest operating system.
Price: From $899
Without a doubt the best notebook I've ever used. Portable thanks to its light weight and long battery life, it is still powerful enough to take on desktop challenges. This is a real workhorse, and I've thrown heavy photo and video editing at it and it has handled it all without breaking a sweat.
And that Retina display. Wow! Once you've used that, there's no going back to a non-Retina display ever again!
Price: From $1,300
The king of tablets (well, unless you want a bigger version, in which case you need the iPad Pro). Not only is the hardware top-notch, but the app and third-party accessory ecosystem that has built up around the iOS platform is second to none.
Price: From $500
This year my favorite smartphone just got faster. Not only is the 5.5-inch display a pleasure to use, but the long battery life means I can do more and spend less time worrying about how fast my battery is draining.
The ability to shoot 4K video is also very nice.
In many ways the iPhone 6s Plus has replaced my tablets as my go-to device.
Price: From $299
For your $50 you get a lot. A 7-inch 1024 x 600 IPS display, a fast quad-core processor, a battery good for some seven hours, and a front- and rear-facing camera. None of these specs are going to blow your hair back, but then go back a few years and you'd have paid big bucks for a tablet with these features.
For the price you can't beat it!
If people put cucumbers on their eyes to relax, then they should put these over their ears! Pure bliss.
These offer a truly awesome sound experience.
It's a drone that carries aloft a camera. What more do you want to know? I can attest from personal experience that this is not only easy to fly, but it is also robust enough to handle those inevitable crashes that you're going to have.
If you're a photographer of videographer, this tool allows you to take some unique shots.
There's a lot of interest around smartwatches as of late, and Apple has finally entered the game with the Apple Watch.
If you have an iPhone and want to look at it less by having notifications and messages sent direct to your wrist, plus the ability to use cool apps, the Apple Watch is the smartwatch for you.
Price: From $349
Forget keys! Using your smartphone is the modern way to unlock your door. This simple kit is easy to install and offers the owner high levels of security to ensure that only you and the people you trust can gain access to your fortress.
Lights that you can control from a smartphone might seem gimmicky, but these are a great way to not only create a mood, but to also help simulate daylight if you're stuck indoors during the dreary winter months.
Price: From $60
Apple charge an arm and a leg for storage, and even if you decided to give your wallet a good workout and spring for the 1TB option it still doesn't feel like enough, especially if you're into photography or video.
Enter the OWC Envoy Pro EX.
Small, thin, light, beautifully designed, and packed with super-fast storage, this external flash drive is ideal for any professional looking to augment the internal storage. And despite being an external drive, the OWC Envoy Pro EX is fast enough to keep up with the most demanding of tasks.
The simplest, fastest and best media-streaming device available. Do I need to say more?
If you want a camera that you can take with you into the outdoors without fear that you're going to break it, and bring back stunning video, then this is the camera for you. Ultra-portable, fit it anywhere, and immensely robust!
I wasn't going to add the Star Wars BB-8 droid by Sphero to the list, but I just can't say "no" to that face.
Yeah, it's expensive, and yeah, it's all part of the marketing hype for "that film" coming out soon, but as smartphone-connected toys go, this is pretty cool.
I'm a Canon shooter myself (for my sins), but Sony have made huge strides into the mirrorless DSLR arena as of late, and this camera is capable of capturing some truly stunning photographs, especially under low-light conditions.
If I were getting into high-end digital photography today, this could very well be the direction I would go in.
Both this and the Xbox One is on the list, so whatever your allegiances there's no need to fight!
You want ports? You got them! The OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock is a single sleek dock is home to a vast array of ports:
Free yourself from the hassles of carrying around long charging cables by popping this tiny key-sized cable on your keyring. Available for microUSB (Android) and Lightning (iOS).
So utterly handy!
Both this and the PlayStation 4 is on the list, so whatever your allegiances there's no need to fight!
Repairing things seems to be a dying art, but I like to keep my gear going for as long as possible, and having the right tools makes the job infinitely easier. This is why I use high-quality tool from the repair experts at iFixit.
A toolkit like this isn't for everyone, but these tools, combined with a little know-how, can quickly pay for themselves.
Video review of this new toolkit can be found here.
If you want pixel-perfect precision in your workflow, forget about the mouse or trackpad and invest in an input tablet. Perfect for all digital artists, whether they are using a notebook or a desktop system!
Have absolute power from your armchair with this all-purpose, programmable remote control. The perfect device for controlling everything around you while you chill!
Instantly expand the storage of any iPhone or iPad with a Lightning connector with this simple flash drive. An affordable way to add more gigabytes for movies and documents.
When it comes to Android handsets, you just can't beat the Nexus line, if for nothing else that you get updates direct from Google.
Keeping your tech gear charged while out and about can be hard, but with this, as long as you can light a fire, you have power for all your USB-chargeable devices.
Keep your notebooks, smartphones and tablets powered up with this handy solar panel and battery pack. Perfect for those who want to be off the grid. Just add sun!
I've carried a Space Pen around with me for years, and they've never let me down. I've never had one leak all over my stuff, they last for ages, and the pen itself is durable and comfortable. It's telling that many of the expensive pen brands have moved to using Space Pen refills over the years.
Price: From $25
See who's at the door before you get up. The perfect high-tech way to keep an eye out for the pizza dude! Also, a great security solution if you're away from home for extended periods.
Wake yourself up naturally with this sunrise simulator. If you don't have a window that allows natural sunlight to pour in, this is a great alternative.
Awesome way to wake up feeling refreshed.
3D printers are now all the rage, and now anyone can join in the fun with their very own, fully-assembled printer. Just don't print anything that might get you on Santa's naughty list!
Price: From $599
The Anker PowerCore 20100 is a beast of a portable power pack. It has enough power to charge an iPhone 6 seven times, a Galaxy S6 five times or an iPad mini twice.
It also features an output of 4.8 amps which provides enough power to simultaneously charge any combination of devices at full speed.
The Withings Aura Smart Sleep System helps to improve your sleep and wake-up experience by using a unique combination of sleep-cycle analysis and environmental sensing, along with an easy-to-use mobile app.
A quad-core iMac crammed into an a 5K display which features 14.7 million pixels -- four times as many as the standard 27-inch iMac. I warn you that looking at this will make your existing display feel old and tired!
Price: From $1,100
FLIR ONE works by detecting heat energy, giving you the ability to see minute temperature variances. Now you can easily detect energy leaks at home, see what's going on outside your house at night, and much more.
Drive safer and smarter with this little dongle that plugs into the car's diagnostic port.
Not only can it help you save on gas, but it can also be used to summon help in the event of an accident.