For those we know well
Under Rs 15,000
We know people are going to go on and on about the smell and feel of paper. While we cannot deny that reading on paper has its own charm, the Kindle’s e-ink screen is a pleasure to read on. As it is not backlit, it will not strain your eyes. You can also connect to the Kindle store over wi-fi and download excerpts of books free of cost before making up your mind to purchase. Of course, you can also carry dozens of books with you wherever you go, or even if you stay at home and read, save on bookshelf space, and indeed bookshelves. One charge will carry you around for almost a month.
Perfect for: The bookworm
Sony PlayStation 2
Yes, we know the PlayStation is not the latest console on the gaming block, and does not handle HD gaming. But it still has a game library that most consoles would give an arm and an eye for. It is slimmer and more portable than ever, and hey, games for it are a whole lot more affordable (three figure levels most of the time) than for the next-gen console crowd. And many popular games, including FIFA and PES, still come out with PS2 versions. If your friend is just starting out in console gaming, this is the device to hand them.
Perfect for: Those who know not much about gaming
Nokia Lumia 710
Don’t feed us that “oh, it will not be able to run Windows Phone 8” logic. For sheer value for money, the Nokia Lumia 710 remains one of the best smartphones in town. You get a very decent 3.7-inch display, a 1 GHz processor, a 5.0-megapixel camera, free navigation and maps and free music downloads from Nokia Music. Top that off with the smooth Windows 7.5 interface with seamless social network connectivity, e-mail and a preinstalled version of MS Office mobile, and you have quite a staggering deal for the price.
Perfect for: Relative smartphone newbies
For friends and Relatives
Rs 15,000 - Rs 25,000
Bose SoundLink Wireless Speaker
When it comes to music, Bose is pretty much in a zone of its own. And so is its SoundLink Wireless Speaker Set. It is compact and light enough to be carried around, connects over Bluetooth to most devices, be they smartphones and media players, and delivers staggering audio quality. No worrying about compatible ports and docks — if it has Bluetooth, this baby will play it, although wire lovers can also connect their devices using the bundled cable. It’s lovely retro ’80s transistor radio looks will turn heads and it also has its own smart cover which can put it on standby and can also act as a stand.
Perfect for: Those who love the sound of music
Apple iPad 2 (16GB, Wi-Fi)
Yes, we know that there is a new iPad (the ‘new’ new iPad or whatever they choose to call it) in town, but for sheer value for money and very good design, it remains hard to better the iPad 2. It was incredibly slim (thinner than most phones we know) and had the same fluid interface made legendary by the iPhone. The new iPad might have a better camera and a faster processor, but this one remains flaunt-worthy and it can handle just about every app that you throw at it. And it still does more than its competition.
Perfect for: Those wanting to join the tablet revolution
Microsoft Xbox 360 4GB + Kinect
The console wars have been waging for a while now, and at the moment, we really think that Microsoft has an edge, thanks to its Kinect motion sensor gaming system. If you are feeling lazy, you can park yourself in front of it and play in couch potato mode using a gamepad. And if you want to stand up and be crazy, go right ahead and turn on the Kinect, which lets you control games by waving your hands and literally shaking a leg. You can play DVDs on it as well.
Perfect for: Those who want to game. And move it!
For Those in our Hearts
Rs 25,000 and above
Samsung Galaxy Note 2
Is it a tablet? Is it a phone? Is it some sort of a digital notepad? We do not want to get into that debate. What we can confidently state is that if you are looking for a really versatile device, then Samsung’s latest phablet covers most bases. It runs on a quad core processor, has the latest version of Android, a brilliant SUPER AMOLED 5.55 inch display which makes viewing videos and sites a delight, comes with an 8.0-megapixel camera, and even packs in a S-pen stylus for those who prefer scribbling with a pen to scrabbling on a keyboard. Oh, and it can be used as a phone too. See? We said it was versatile.
Perfect for: The multitasker with large hands
No, this is not some ancient shooter that we are recommending you snap up for a clicker-happy friend. Beneath those delightfully retro looks (the body even has a leather-ish touch to it and can slip into a trouser pocket easily) the Fujifilm XF-1 packs in some serious shooting power. The 12.0-megapixel sensor and f/1.8 lens let you take some terrific shots even in low light conditions. The optical zoom is a modest 4x but you can control it manually — in fact you even have to twist out the lens to start up the camera. Camera lovers over 40 will scream with delight even before they take a snap. And Mrs Wayne, it also comes in red!
Perfect for: Those who love photography. And have loved it for over a decade.
Apple iPhone 5 (16 GB)
This has got to be a gift for someone you really love. We are not saying that the latest edition of the Godphone, which has landed in India barely a few days ago, is not worth it. The brilliant design (we did not know what a ‘chamfer’ was before it arrived), the very good specs and of course, the app treasure that it unlocks ensure that whoever gets it is going to love it. It’s just that the idea of shelling out Rs 45,500 for a phone still stuns us. But well, you are going to be handing out the recipient the best combination of style and substance that exists in tech today.
Perfect for: The one