An ode to toy for Christmas

CLAIRE ROGERS
Last updated 05:00 24/11/2012

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Stuck for gift ideas this Christmas? Here are a few top tech picks.

FITNESS FREAKS

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch powered by TomTom

This sports watch will help running fans keep track of their time, distance, pace and calories burned as they go. Post-run, they can plug the watch in to see more data - such as the route they took and any elevation on the course. From $199 through electronics stores, including  Noel Leeming and Acquire.co.nz. You can also get a watch with a Nike+ Sensor for shoes to track your steps during indoor exercise - where GPS isn't available. For $219.

CHILD'S PLAY

Tablet computers for kids are picked to be hot sellers this festive season:

LeapPad

A 5-inch touchscreen tablet for kids, with front and back cameras, five educational and fun apps built-in and more available for download. $200 from toy stores and The Warehouse.

Oregon Scientific Meep! tablet

A wi-fi-enabled tablet with a 7-inch touchscreen that comes with more than 50 games apps, ebooks and songs, and you can download many more from the Meep! store online. $269 at Noel Leeming and Harvey Norman.

VTech InnoTab 2

The InnoTab 2 has a rotating camera for snapping self-portraits and shots of others, a microphone and a range of games and learning apps. $220, at The Warehouse and online at toyco.co.nz.

MERRY MISCHIEF

Remote-controlled helicopter with water cannon

Remote-controlled helicopters are already pretty fun, but the inclusion of a water cannon allows for some serious mischief-making. The cannon shoots a stream of water up to one metre long, while the helicopter's three radio channels and built-in gyroscope give you good control and stability while you carry out aerial assaults on unsuspecting bystanders. $62.50 through Jaycar stores or online at Jaycar.co.nz

iPhone/iPad-controlled rover with camera

Sneak up on dad or mum with this camera-equipped rover, which sends a live video stream back to your iPhone or iPad so you can roam even if it's out of sight. Users download the app to their iPhone and iPad and connect to a wi-fi network. The camera takes photos and video and the rover has a range of up to 60 metres.  $159 through Jaycar stores or online at Jaycar.co.nz

CAFFEINE KICK

DeLonghi Nespresso Lattissima Plus

One for the caffeine fiends and recommended by Consumer NZ, this coffee maker uses the Nespresso coffee capsules, and pours ''automatic'' cappucinos and latte macchiatos straight into your cup. It heats up in 40 seconds to deliver a quick coffee fix. From $589 at appliance stores. 

SNAP HAPPY

Samsung Galaxy Camera

A hybrid between a camera and a smartphone, the Galaxy Camera (above) has a 16.3 megapixel sensor,  Android operating system, 4.8-inch touchscreen and 3G and wi-fi connectivity so you can easily share your pics and download from a range of apps through Google Play. Available late this month at selected retailers, for $749.

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Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 instant photo camera

For a bit of retro fun this Christmas, look no further than Fujifilm's instant photo camera. It works just like an old-school Polaroid model - printing credit card-sized snaps in an instant. The Mini 8 comes in pastel pink, yellow and blue as well as black and white. RRP$129, at Noel Leeming, Photo Warehouse and Harvey Norman. 

- The Dominion Post

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