Cool technology gifts - for yourself or your loved ones, as the case may be - don't have to be limited to expensive phones or laptops. Sometimes the smallest add-ons can make for the coolest gifts. In case you're looking for ideas on what to buy this festive season for yourself or friends and family, here are ten great tech accessories you should look at bringing into your life.
Our picks for tech accessories sifts through some of our recent purchases, in-house reviews, and peer recommendations. We've tried to keep the selection as varied as possible, with something for all budgets - many of these options are affordable, some are treasured items that will last you a lifetime.
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1) Xiaomi LED USB Light
This affordable gift plugs into any USB slot to make a portable reading light - as lighting accessory, it makes for an apt Diwali gift, and like USB drives, you can't have enough of them. We recommend buying it from the Mi Store, to avoid fakes, and ordering other accessories to save on shipping charges (shipping is free for orders above Rs. 500).
Buy Xiaomi LED USB light at Rs. 199.
2) Google Play Gift Card
A great gift idea for anyone who doesn't have a credit card. For an Android user this is like a full course meal at the Google Play Store, with apps going for as little as Rs. 10. Many apps and games are worth paying for in their own right, it can also help save battery life. These gift cards care widely available in through physical stores in denominations of Rs. 750, 1,000, and Rs. 1,500.
Buy Google Play Gift Cards starting at Rs. 750 and up, with a Rs. 40 delivery charge.
3) Samsung 850 EVO 500GB
If you - or someone you know - has been using a PC with a HDD for a while, then this gift can really make a difference. For a PC owner, a solid state drive, which, in simple terms, is a faster replacement for the hard disk that most computers have, can bring the most discernible leap in speed. This particular SSD model has got 4.5 star reviews across the board, and is available in 120, 250, 500 GB and 1TB variants.
Buy Samsung 850 EVO 500GB at Rs. 15,000.
4) NetGear WNDR3400 N600 Wireless Dual Band Router
Google's OnHub wireless router seems to be the hottest new thing made in this category, but it's only available for pre-order in the US and Canada for now. A new router can still be a great gift. Depending on the size of your house, and your need for speed, you can budget one out. The NetGear WNDR3400 N600 is a great option right now. The only catch is that it doesn't have Gigabit Ethernet support, though most people won't need that yet.
Buy NetGear WNDR3400 at Rs. 2,899.
5) Mi In-Ear Headphones
Everyone could use a spare pair of headphones, especially if they also double up as a cheap hands-free device. Xiaomi's affordable in-ear headphones boasts an aerospace-grade metal diaphragm and a Knowles MEMS microphone for an improved audio quality, low interference and distortion; and it also has kevlar fiber cables, which apparently make it more durable.
Buy Mi In-Ear Headphones at Rs. 299.
6) Amazon Kindle Voyage
If you haven't bought an e-reader yet, maybe it's time you dropped some cash on the Rolls Royce of ebook readers, which comes with a 300PPI display, adaptive light sensor, and PagePress, which lets you turn pages by applying pressure on the bezel. For those who would like to spend less, hang on till there's a discount on the Paperwhite.
Buy Amazon Kindle Voyage at Rs. 16,499
7) Inoho Starter Kit
This wireless switching solution lets you control your home's switches from anywhere in the world, via the Internet, from a web browser. Scheduling features built into the control panel let can let you program all kinds of lifehacks and productivity gains into your day.
Buy Inoho Starter Kit at Rs. 11,999
8) Anker 2nd Gen Astro E4 13000mAh 3A Fast Portable Charger
This power bank has seen rave reviews across the board - its standout feature is that detects your device to deliver its fastest possible charge speed. Weighing 295 grams, it takes around 6.5 hours to charge fully on a 2 amp adapter, and can charge an iPhone 5s almost six times.
Buy Anker 2nd Gen Astro E4 at Rs. 3,540
9) GoPro Hero4 Black
The Hero4 can capture 4K (3840x2160) footage at a decent 30fps, and was rated the best action camera money can buy right now in our review, owing to its great performance and design. It's not for everyone, but if you can afford it, then the GoPro Hero 4 is a great way to treat yourself this Diwali.
Buy GoPro Hero 4 Black at Rs. 41,800.
10) Creative Sound Blaster Roar
This portable wireless speaker packs a punch for its 1.1kg weight. We called it our favourite Creative audio product in a very long time in our review. We loved its sound signature, and the only competitor to it seems to be the Bose SoundLink Mini, which is a lot pricier. It's been succeeded by the Roar 2, which has a smaller and lighter design, but is not available in India yet.
Buy Creative Sound Blaster Roar at Rs. 15,929.