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Christmas Gift Guide 2017

Christmas is here, and most people will be frantically flicking through pages online and off in search of the perfect gifts for their loved ones.

Computing has come to the rescue with a host of excellent, and relatively inexpensive gifts, so leave the socks, festive jumpers and bottles of eggnog unbought, and peruse our rundown of the top tech presents this yule.

nvidia-shield-tv

Nvidia Shield – £143

Don’t be burned by the previous edition of this fantastic little console, the 2017 version hits all the right notes. It now comes with a better controller, a separate remote control, and most importantly, a wealth of great content.

Firstly, the Nvidia Shield is one of the easiest ways we’ve come across of streaming digital content onto your television, including streaming natively from within a supposedly digital set. We tried this on our Samsung ‘Smart’ TV, and found the shield to be a far more capable and reliable way to watch Netflix, Amazon, YouTube and whatever else on the big(ish) screen.

Whereas the Samsung set regularly hangs or stutters (especially with BBC iPlayer, we’ve found), the Shield didn’t once let us down. Add to that the fact that it’s also voice-enabled, and it’s become our go-to device for all the evening’s entertainment.

And that entertainment includes its gaming features. Not only does it include a host of Android apps (though watch out for the basic version’s 16GB of storage which can fill up fast), but there are also a slew of AAA titles from publishers Ubisoft and Square Enix (and a few others).

Subscribe to Nvidia’s Geforce Now service, and many of these titles are free to stream – and the qualilty is surprisingly good. We played Borderlands, and were amazed at its smoothness and fidelity. Even though we still firmly believe that an FPS should never be played using a controller.

All in all, a great device, filling a number of useful niches, and all yours for under £150!


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