IF YOU DIDN'T manage to scoop up the bargains you were hoping for in the January sales, we have put together a list of the best tech gifts and gadgets to save up your pennies for in 2016.
Whether it's the best laptop, tablet or something different like a connected home gadget or accessory, here's our rundown of the essential pieces of tech available right now.
Best laptop: Dell XPS 15 (2015)
The Dell XPS 15 was unveiled at Computex 2015, its main draw being the edge-to-edge 'Infinity edge' display, which sees a 15.6in screen fitted into the size of a typical 13in notebook, making what Dell claims is the "smallest 15in laptop on the planet".
The screen also has a remarkably dense 3200x1800 resolution and 1000:1 contrast ratio, and is perfect for watching reruns of The Grinch while stuffing your face with Quality Street this holiday season.
We admit that the Dell XPS 15 is not exactly priced in the budget tech gadget category, but it's definitely worth the investment if it's a family machine replacement you're looking for.
The XPS 15 also includes an aluminium and carbon fibre chassis, a 2.3GHz quad-core Intel i7-4712HQ processor, up to 512GB of SSD storage, a 2GB Nvidia GeForce GT 750M graphics card and a gigantic 16GB of RAM. Starting from £1,029, the Dell XPS 15 isn't cheap, but it's a great choice for those in the premium market wanting to make Windows 10 look better and run faster.
Also worth considering: Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro (from £999)
Best premium tablet: iPad Mini 4
The iPad Mini 4 might be a more costly tablet compared with other 7in and 8in models, but we think the high price is totally justified and worth the extra splurge if you're looking for a good, portable tablet.
What's special about the iPad Mini 4 is that it has an M8 coprocessor, which offers advantages around battery life and apps that require movement data. This part of the processor is based on motion, and the M8 reads data from sensors such as accelerometers, gyroscopes and compasses that will tell the tablet if it's moving or not, so you can take advantage of stair counters, for example, or save battery when in standby mode and low-signal areas.
The addition of proper multi-tasking, coupled with a high-quality display, smooth performance and excellent battery life, make this an ideal business companion.
Also worth considering: Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet (£499)
Best Budget Tablet: Amazon Fire Tablet
If a budget slate is what you're looking for this year, it doesn't get any cheaper than Amazon's Fire Tablet.
It might be far from perfect, but for £50 you get a lot. A 7in 1024x600 IPS display, a fast quad-core processor, a battery good for some seven hours, and a front- and rear-facing camera. None of these specs is going to blow your mind, but then go back a few years and you'd have paid big bucks for a tablet with these features. Furthermore, those who are already and absolutely invested in the Amazon ecosystem will find themselves at home in Fire OS.
Good for those needing a tablet for basic needs.
Also worth considering: Asus ZenPad series (from £120)
Best 2-in-1: Surface Pro 4
If you're in the market for a brand new tablet this year, the Surface Pro 4 could be a contender, especially if you need a new laptop too, as it can replace that as well. For most tasks, including basic design work, the Surface Pro 4 will do the job well while providing a level of security, connectivity and visual fidelity that most convertibles, including those made for the enterprise, just can't match.
The price of £859 for the basic model and keyboard means it's not likely to tempt standard iPad or tablet users, but in place of a laptop the cost becomes more palatable. And if you're travelling much this year, you'll be glad to have one of these for the journey back, as you'll be able to catch up on any films you downloaded over the holidays, or finish off any work docs that need handing in when you go back to the office.
Also worth considering: Asus Transformer Book Chi T300 (£699)
Best Bluetooth speaker: Bose Soundlink Mini 2
If you're after a good quality all-round portable speaker to blast out some Cliff Richard, for instance, the Bose Soundlink Mini 2 is perhaps the best of the bunch, offering amazing sound reproduction, heavy bass levels, stylishness and a very high build quality that radiates class.
You'll be surprised at the sound from this small, portable device, and how well put together it feels. The Soundlink Mini 2 doesn't come cheap at just under £170, but it has an additional cradle for easier recharging.
Also worth considering: Logitech UE Boom 2 (£170)
Best weird and wonderful gadget: Bare Conductive Touch Board Starter Kit
If all you've ever wanted is to make a poster play your favourite song, give inanimate objects the ability to speak, or create hidden sensors in your house, the Touch Board Starter Kit is the perfect tech gadget for you.
Each kit contains a Touch Board, Electric Paint and everything you need to start transforming the world around you. There is no need for programming expertise, so anyone can get started and feel like a programmer. The starter kit comes ready to plug and play, so you can create any of its three featured projects from the get-go. There's also a guidebook with step-by-step instructions, and it's packed with ideas for you to build on.
Also worth considering: Elgato Avea Flare connected lamp (£90)
Best Android accessory: Aukey 20000mAh Portable External Battery Charger
This high capacity power bank powered by a 20,000mAh Lithium Polymer battery will provide enough emergency back-up power to charge an iPhone ten times over. It's also nice and slim, and has a torch built in too, making it our favourite power pack this year.
Priced at £16, this power bank is very cheap for the capacity it offers and has two USB ports for different output levels so you can charge two devices at the same time, perfect for those times when your phone dies right when you need it the most.
Also worth considering: Divoom AuraBox LED Bluetooth 4.0 Smart Speaker (£70)
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