Sketch’s Christmas Gift Guide

Christmas picIts that time of year again. Yes the time where socializing with your extended family becomes a ,reluctant, mandatory activity. Where you must endure the horror that is jokes from crackers and where the only things on TV are seasonal films and shows that will be forgotten to the ages of time once the year ends. So dear reader, it is therefore  my job to inform you of some purchase choices for one of the, considered, upsides to all this festive merriment. Take into consideration that most things in the tech market aren’t cheap so for the sake of your bank balance I will aim not to exceed £100 in the process of my recommendations  and of course try to justify the price if it seems somewhat outrageous, although in today’s market we consider most things to be overpriced. Anyway, let us proceed.

1. Func KB-460 Cherry MX RedKB-460

Price £64.98 from eBuyer

Whilst many will opt for any old keyboard, there are various makes and styles to choose from if you are taking your time when it comes to selection. Mechanical keyboards are often considered the best boards out there, thanks to their tactile response and options when it comes to switches, so for this I present Func’s KB-460. Func actually started off in the PC market making mouse pads and have been working their way through peripherals to this point. offering a classic minimalist design the KB-460’s main appeal is in those MX cherry switches. The reds that are installed on this board are set for a 2mm response with 4mm to the bottom and an actuation force of 45g with each key being individually lit by a red LED. I have to point out here that a good mechanical keyboard doesn’t come cheap, the most popular of this type being Corsair’s K70 retails for around £110 which some would say is asking too much, in that regard Func’s offering is actually quite reasonable, it has a solid build and whilst it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of an MMO keyboard it has a few macros and media buttons to cater for those who want them.

For a more in depth look, checkout this video by Tek Syndicate


2. Cyborg R.A.T. 3R.A.T. 3

Price £33.99 Amazon

Buying a mouse is like buying a mattress, if you buy a cheap one you’ll regret it for as long as you own it, so with that said, you want a mouse that is comfortable yet functional. The Cyborg R.A.T. 3 is a personal recommendation from me, I’ve been using one for over 2 years now and I can honestly say I don’t want to replace it. Whilst it may look uncomfortable at a glance, the side wing offers a conformable resting place for your thumb and the customizable buttons are all within easy reach. In terms of technical stats, the mouse has a 3200DPI optical sensor which can be set to 4 custom save states between 400 and 3200DPI that can be altered on the fly via a dedicate switch just behind the scroll wheel. The supplied drivers also allow for the customization of the additional buttons on the mouse. The mouse itself allows for the set up of 3 profiles which again can be toggle via an on board button meaning you don’t have to tab out of a program to adjust your settings. The build quality is solid, the aesthetic is interesting and unique and for the price it makes for a good  gaming mouse for all levels of experience and genre.


3. 120GB 2.5 inch Crucial M500 SSDM500

Price £68.87 Amazon

Arguably the most difficult part of building a PC these days is formatting the hard drive, but as needs must it is a job that must be done, so why not format a drive that is worth the effort. If your looking at building or upgrading a PC you will be advised to look at installing a solid state hard drive and for good reason. Running an SSD as your primary boot drive (having your operating system installed on it) will increase your boot and load times exponentially, the same goes for any programs and applications you opt to save on it. So what are the draw backs you may be wondering? Well as it stands high capacity SSDs are still expensive with some drives reaching upward of £300 for just shy of 1TB of storage, so in that sense, it is more cost effective to buy a smaller SSD for your most used applications and then buying a high capacity mechanical drive for pure storage. As it stands Crucial’s drives offer the most memory per pound spent and whilst they are not the fastest drives out there they are still competitive when compared to an equivalent Samsung 840 Pro drive series drive.


4. Celluon EPIC Virtual KeyboardCelluon

Price £94.99 Amazon

This is one for the tablet owners. I remember something like this appearing on the Gadget Show and thought it was pretty cool. The EPIC projects a laser grid of a keyboard onto any flat surface that can then be used as, well, a keyboard. This is ideal for people who travel and grab attention, whilst I can honestly say I prefer a proper keyboard over touch interfaces this one does have that special something, also part of me wants to see what type of surface you can get away with before it won’t work. The system works like a standard Bluetooth keyboard in terms of connectivity meaning you can use it with your desktop if you feel so inclined to do so. Weighing in at only 59g it won’t be a pain to carry around and as it is essentially a small projector you won’t have the hassle of carrying a keyboard around either. The main failing of this is the price and whilst it is difficult to argue against it, the main thing to consider is how much you value portability and also how much of a statement you want to make when you are typing.


5. NERF N-Strike Elite Centurion Mega BlasterNerf Centurion

Price £48.94 Amazon

In my opinion, no tech gift guide is complete without some form of Nerf gun. So without further ado I present the Elite Centurion, the furthest shooting Nerf gun to date reaching up to 23 meters/ 100 feet thanks to it firing Nerf’s new mega darts, which I can only assume are the Nerf equivalent of anti material rounds. It goes without saying that this probably isn’t for kids, but then most people buy these for themselves to take part in fights that take place in the office and I think it’s safe to say if you bring this in, you may have won.


So there we have it, 5 gift ideas that whilst more expensive, are infinately better then socks. Now with that done it is time to go sit in front of the fireplace with a brandy and a good book and just forget that the inevitable ending of everything continues to slowly encroach upon us as another year passes. Anyway, Merry Christmas.


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