The top gifts and gadgets for Windows users
Christmas is fast approaching and you better get that last minute shopping done fast if you want to avoid disappointment. If you’re still shopping for gifts online, first check out our Christmas shopping tips from last November’s newsletter. We talk about keeping your passwords and data safe, how to keep your browsing history hidden from the rest of the family and lots more.
If you still need some gift ideas, read on!
Premium gifts and gadgets
Perhaps you’re looking to buy a gift for the whole family this year, or there’s someone in your life that is going to be really lucky, or maybe you just won the lotto! Either way, if Santa can fit these gifts down the chimney, there will be some super excited Windows users in your house this year.
LG C9 OLED TVs – LGs C9 range of 4K OLED TV’s aren’t designed specifically as computer monitors, but they just happen to make stunning ones for gamers. Starting at 55 inches, these HDTVs might not be the first choice for a monitor for productivity, but even when used for getting work done they provide excellent results thanks to the displays support for 4:4:4 RGB colour. Nevertheless, we would recommend against this as a display for regular productivity use due to the concerns over OLED image retention and burn in. There’s more information on that here.
For gaming however there’s simply no better TV on the market. Stunning picture quality and ultra low input lag (less than one frame) make for a dazzling experience. With HDMI 2.1 ports, this display even supports advanced gaming technology like variable refresh rates (on certain graphics cards only, check with the manufacturer for compatibility information).
Ideal as a living room TV too, with a range of smart TV features and apps, these sets are super versatile. If you need a TV for a games room/den that can also double as a monitor for homework and web surfing at a pinch, definitely check out the LG C9 range.
Samsung Ultrawide monitor – Samsung’s Ultrawide monitors are perhaps the ultimate monitors for productivity. With a huge area for your desktop, multitasking becomes a breeze. The 100hz refresh rate means an easy on the eye totally flicker free experience too.
With their unusual 32:9 aspect ratio, these monitors are not ideal for viewing traditional content, but they can do so if required. Standard content can be displayed centred on the monitor or even stretched if desired, though this tends to look very strange indeed. The monitor can even display two regular 1080p images side by side at the same time. If you have two PCs or games consoles then they can both be connected to the same monitor to play multiplayer games.
We’ve been lucky enough to have the Samsung KC49RG90 at the TWT HQ for some time now and it’s a fantastic device. We would not go back to our old multi monitor desktop. To get the best out of the display we recommend the DisplayFusion software which allows the huge display to be divided into several “virtual” monitors or areas, making it easier to organise your apps.
The monitor is great for gaming too. It even includes gaming specific features like low input lag and variable refresh rates. There are a surprising number of PC games that can take advantage of this unusual screen. Driving games like Forza Horizon 4 take on a whole new dimension when paired with this display, and first person games like Subnautica look breathtaking. Not every game is compatible, but those that are not can be run in traditional aspect ratio in the centre of the monitor if necessary.
Affordable gifts and gadgets
For those of you not looking to spend quite so much money, these gifts will make a great addition to any Christmas stocking and you won’t be paying for them come next Christmas!
Microsoft game pass – Treat a PC or Xbox gamer friend to a year of Microsoft Game Pass and they will never run out of new games to play. Instead of buying games each month, Games Pass gives the lucky gamer access to a huge catalogue that can be downloaded and sampled at any time. Great if you or the gamer in your life likes to dip in and out of lots of different games. You can buy a whole year of games for under 50 euros if you shop around, CDKeys.com have EU subscriptions for 45.19 at the time of going to press.
Buffalo Ministation Extreme – The gift of a backup might not be the most interesting or exciting present but, just like that pack of socks from your auntie, it will come in useful. If there’s a Windows user in your life that’s still not backing up his or her files, get them into the habit with this excellent external hard drive.
With full disk encryption, your data will be safe from theft should your drive get mislaid. With shock resistance, your data won’t be destroyed if the drive takes a tumble from the desk or a shelf and with USB3 technology you can ensure that you get the very fastest transfer speeds. At under 100 euro for 1TB, this neat little drive won’t break the bank either. Check out Buffalo’s website for the details or search in your favourite search engine for the best deals.
Yubico – YubiKey 5 – Looking for a way to easily beef up your security without learning new passwords? First and foremost, if you don’t have a password manager yet, get one of those! Still don’t think you’re secure, then why not try a YubiKey? The YubiKey adds an extra layer of security to 100s of websites and Windows itself by requiring you to plug in the device (or simply hold it close if your device supports NFC) before you can log onto a website.
Well loved by security professionals all around the world, adding a YubiKey is a great way to make yourself a difficult target for hackers and identity theft. Check them out here.
USB memory stick – In these days of Onedrive and Dropbox, do we need USB sticks any more? Personally, we would say yes. The ability to quickly store, back up and move your files between computers in the house, without worrying about WiFi or the internet can still be very useful. We should also remember that cloud storage can be expensive, especially for larger amounts of data.
The bane of USB sticks is that they are easily lost, so why not slip a new one into someone’s stocking this year? There are hundreds to choose from, so shop around!
Logitech G403 Hero mouse – Need a mouse that’s equally at home in a work or game environment? You simply can’t go wrong with the affordable Logitech G403. With variable speeds, the device will suit new users and Windows veterans equally well. Comfortable to use and without gimmicks, the G403 comes highly recommended. Check it out here.
Amazon basics gaming mouse pad – Speaking of mice, don’t neglect the humble mouse pad! Even modern optical mice work much better on a surface that’s been designed to properly accommodate them. There are all kinds of gimmicky gaming mouse pads, but all you need is something like this basic model from Amazon. Choose whatever size fits your desk.
Hopefully our gift ideas have at least given you some inspiration this year. TWT Newsletter is NOT sponsored by anyone, you can be assured that our recommendations are genuine and not paid for by anyone mentioned above. Have fun this year and we hope your friends and relatives love your gifts!