With one of the biggest Indian festivals — Diwali — nearly here, you are probably looking forward to dressing up, eating lots of sweets, and celebrating with family. But Diwali is also a time of gift-giving, be it purchasing jewelry on the auspicious day of Dhanteras, or exchanging pre-packaged boxes of dry fruits in situations where you do not know someone well enough.
And of course, there is the last hotel: giving money in an envelope or even a gift card to a particular store or website. But if you’re trying to be more considerate this year, and wish to put a smile on the gadget-lover in your household, here are six gift ideas for techies this Diwali:
A wireless charger
Now that Apple has included support for Qi wireless charging in its latest phones, a wireless charging pad makes for a worry-free Diwali gift for the person you know who loves their phone and likes things to be convenient. Of course, “wireless” charging is still a misnomer given that the charging pad still needs to be wired itself, but it’s a phrase we have come to accept as a society.
Samsung’s newest Charging Pad — available only in Black, also in Rs. 2,999 — works with most high-end Android phones (except Google Pixel two, which does not have wireless charging) and all the new iPhone models, including iPhone 8, 8 Plus, along with X. You might also go for the older model — Samsung Wireless Charging Pad EP-PG920I — which prices Rs. 1,800. It doesn’t bill as quickly as the other one, but it’s only marginally slower.
If you know someone who’s eager to make the leap into the Internet of Things, help them convert their location into a smart home with a foundation device that has the widest third-party service, and some smart lights so they don’t need to get up for the switch. Amazon’s Echo assortment of devices are now up for pre-order in India, and you can read our extensive guide to figure out the one that will function best.
For least commitment, pick up the Echo Dot — the least expensive of the lot at Rs. 3,149 (as a portion of pre-order offer) — and Syska Smartlight LED, which will operate with Alexa upon launching, and prices Rs. 1,350 per bulb. The Echo Dot can do much more thanks to Alexa, including play music, set alarms, check calendar, weather and scores, and create shopping lists, purchase food from Zomato, or even call a taxi from Ola.
While the Echo Dot is great for those who have their own audio equipment, the bigger Echo at Rs. 6,999will suit those who prefer convenience over quality, owing to the much better in-built speakers. And if you’re willing to spend more on the lights, the Philips Hue is a great upgrade pick, starting at Rs. 5,995to get a single bulb and the Hue Bridge that connects them together. Additional Hue bulbs price Rs. 1,799for White Ambiance (warm white to trendy day light) and Rs. 3,890 for Colour Ambiance (16 million colours).
A coffee maker
A fantastic coffee maker is the kind of Diwali gift that you won’t have anyone directly ask for, but coffee lovers will appreciate it to no conclusion, given that the absolute convenience of not having to make coffee on your own, and the cost savings of not going to the nearest café every day. The Morphy Richards New Europa can do both espresso and cappuccino, and it can create four cups at once, which is ideal for a home.
It’s got great reviews from many Amazon buyers, and it’s an inexpensive option at Rs. 3,780. If you are willing to spend more and do not mind a bit of wait, the Mr. Coffee 4-Cup Switch Coffee Maker — in $75(approximately Rs. 4,900) — is a favourite on Amazon.com, and ships to India. For all those friends that enjoy a cold brew, you need to consider that the OXO Good Grips Cold Brew, which comes in at Rs. 8,217.
An e-book reader
Amazon’s own line-up of ebook readers — that the Kindle — offers the most extensive library in terms of sheer size, and the best rates you will find anywhere. From the four available models, the Kindle Paperwhite is the best option to go with, and it’s down to Rs. 8,499 as part of Amazon’s Diwali sale. It’s light, small, legible in daylight, along with the e-paper screen does not hurt your eyes over an elongated period unlike phone displays.
The Paperwhite’s display offers 300 dpi pixel density, which means you get crisp text no matter what size text you opt for. The only downside is that no Kindle natively supports the EPUB file format, the open format that is common among publicly available books. Thankfully, a free software for Windows, macOS and Linux known as Calibre converts EPUB files into the format that Kindle uses.
Bose QuietComfort 25
Be it earbuds, over-ear or wireless, Bose now offers the best-in-class noise cancelling. The sound quality isn’t good on either of the three, but they all sound decent and are comfortable. The best one to go for right now is that the Bose QuietComfort 25, which can be down to Rs. 15,119 due to Amazon’s Diwali sale. Be sure that you receive the model which is suitable for your phone: Android or iOS.
The QC25 offer an average of 25 dB drop in noise as per industry testing and user reviews, and may be folded up into a case the size of a publication while not in use. You are going to require a single AAA battery to power the noise-cancellation, and also the QC25 additionally come with an airplane adaptor that gives you a two-prong jack for your in-flight entertainment requirements.
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A robot vacuum
iRobot Roomba + Braava
Due to living in a tropical, dust-filled environment, keeping your home clean in India could be a full-time job, which is the reason why most people prefer to employ someone to do it for us each day. But if you’ve trouble trusting someone with your home while you are gone, or need someone to assist you if the cleaner takes a day away, a robot could be ideal assistance.
IRobot is the only big business to have an official presence in India, and it offers two product categories: a normal vacuum to scoop up dust, hair, and other debris, and a mopping robot which helps wash your floors with a dry- or – damp-mop. The iRobot Roomba 616 is the entry-level option in the prior bracket at Rs. 26,900, with all the iRobot Braava Jet 240 the latter pick in Rs. 19,900.