Buying Gadgets as Christmas Gifts

By: Alicia Taylor

Over 80% percent of households in the UK own a mobile phone, roughly 30% an MP3 player and 20% a DAB ("Digital Audio Broadcast") radio. Many other gadgets are also extremely popular. Their popularity is no longer restricted, as it once was, to men aged between 16 and 34, with many women spending a significant proportion of their income on gadgets of one form or another.

Gifts and Gadgets for Christmas

"Big boys' toys", including GPS ("Global Positioning System"), navigation systems, and speed camera detection systems, for motorists, is one category of gadget that is expanding, in terms of market share and popularity. Mobile phones, VoIP ("Voice over Internet Protocol") phones, portable media players and all the associated accessories, including headsets, and the like, can also be included in the category. Some computing, and networking, products - particularly those operated via the USB ("Universal Serial Bus") port of a computer - also have a definite, practical application.

That is not to say that all gadgets are, necessarily, entirely practical. Some may, indeed, be of limited practical value, but are, instead, appealing because of their quirky nature, as fun and novelty items. Exactly where the line is drawn, between useful and downright silly, is often highly subjective, and a matter of personal taste and preference. If your best friend was to argue, for example, that Sudoko toilet paper and a USB toaster are a necessary part of his, or her, daily routine, who are you to argue?

If you are considering giving a gadget as a Christmas gift, October is the month when, traditionally, products and special offers directed specifically towards the Christmas market start to appear, in the shops, and online. There are so many different gadgets, ranging in price from a few pounds, to hundreds of pounds, to choose from that you will, undoubtedly, find something suitable for any recipient, and any budget.

Gadget Safety

Gadget safety is paramount, especially if you are buying a gadget as a gift for a younger person. Most reputable retailers provide a comprehensive description of a gadget and its intended purpose, along with a recommended age range, and any appropriate warnings. Good quality gadgets will bear the BSI Kitemark, and/or the CE mark from the European Union, as an indication of their safety, and suitability for the purpose for which they are designed.

Conclusion

If you are buying a gadget for someone else, try to make sure that they will derive a good deal of benefit, or pleasure from it. If the recipient is the sort of person who takes delight in anything new and quirky, then almost any gadget (within reason) is likely to provide hours of entertainment. Other, perhaps slightly older, recipients may find that the "novelty" of a novelty item soon wears off, and may be better suited to a gadget of a more practical nature.

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