There's a surprisingly large cross-over between girls and guys that like tech and girls and guys that like cars. And if you like both, you definitely like Christmas presents. Here are some geeky gadgets to put under the tree for your friend's or family member's — or your own — car.
Telstra's latest 4GX wireless hotspot is this small Wi-Fi dongle; it's a chunky USB stick that either plugs into your car's USB socket (if it's a newer vehicle) or cigarette lighter (if it's an older one) — since it comes with a bundled cigarette lighter to USB charger adapter; when you turn your car on, it'll broadcast a Wi-Fi network within your vehicle and connect your phone, tablet or laptop as long as they're in range and as long as you have mobile data on the hotspot. When you're travelling between Wi-Fi at home and Wi-Fi at the office, it's super convenient.
If your car is getting a bit old and tired, one of the best things to do is to treat yourself with some fancy new in-car entertainment tech. And the entertainment tech du jour is Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, both variants of Google and Apple's attempt to mirror your smartphone screen on your car's in-dash display. Pioneer's AVH-X8750BT is just about the best (and best-looking) implementation we've seen, with a 7-inch high-resolution display that can switch between Auto and CarPlay depending on the device you have plugged in, as well as do other things that a head-unit should.
You'll pay around the $849 mark if you buy the Pioneer AVH-X8750BT and shop around, or maybe a little more at a retail reseller like Ryda.
The V6 Absolute is probably Dyson’s most powerful vacuum yet, at least in its weight class. It’s probably the last vacuum you’ll probably ever buy. Technically, it’s called the Dyson V6 Absolute Handstick, but the word Handstick feels made up and stupid, so let’s just all call it a cordless vacuum and move on. One thing that nobody will tell you is how awesome a V6 Absolute actually is for cleaning the inside of your car. No more lugging corded vacuums out to your driveway and struggling to pull messy cables through your car! Trust me, it's worth it purely for the convenience factor alone.
Buying a Dyson V6 is great fun — you can shop around to your heart's content, and you'll almost always find an awesome deal. You'll pay anywhere from around $450 upwards for the basic V6 at stores like The Good Guys, or you can go all out at $799 for the Absolute.
Look, this isn't a present that I'm going to buy for my friend or my family member. I'm not going to buy one for myself. Not because I don't want one, mind, but only because I can't actually afford it. But it's nice to dream, right? Starting at a hair under $125,000 and scaling up to $250,000 for the "Max Performance" spec, the Tesla Model S is an all-electric barnstorming luxury supercar with 500-plus kilometres of range and a Sydney to Melbourne high-speed charging corridor. Yes please.
You can buy a Tesla Model S — are you actually going to buy one? Leave a comment if we've convinced you — on Tesla's website. Christmas shipping might be a bit optimistic, though.
Apple Music is a surprisingly good music streaming service for something so new to Australia; we'd say it's easily the equal of Spotify in the breadth and variety of songs on offer. Plus, it's the only streaming music service with access to Apple's Beats 1 radio station — which is great to leave running when you're in the car. Even better, you can try it out for yourself with a three-month free trial, and make some personalised playlists as part of your Christmas present.
You can buy Apple Music gift cards from Apple's website and the Apple Store — they're black and white, and distinct from the coloured iTunes gift cards — specifically for an Apple Music subscription, in $30, $60 and $100 denominations. You should be able to buy them elsewhere like Coles and Woolworths, too.
In partnership with the Toshiba Radius 12
Questions, comments, tips? You can find me on Twitter at @csimps0n.