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Christmas 2009 buyers' guide: e-book readers and laptop bags

Perfect gifts for your nearest and dearest

NPC Advisor pick out the perfect Christmas gifts for the music-lover, film buff, amateur photographer and gadget fan in your life. Here, we recommend e-book readers and laptop bags.

Christmas 2009 buyers' guide: Digital reading

Another big rivalry in 2009 has been the battle for supremacy in the e-book reader market: the Amazon Kindle has a serious contender in the shape of the Sony Reader.

For our money, the Sony PRS-600 Reader Touch Edition is perhaps a little too clever for its own good, but the PRS-505 model with the same 6in display and a price tag of £179 is an excellent choice. It can store around 160 books or you can use some of its onboard memory for photos and MP3s.

The 290g Amazon Kindle, newly available to UK customers, is a lighter, plastic-encased model with a useful keypad beneath its screen for fast text searches plus a text-to-speech function.

If you’re keen to choose an eco-friendly tech gadget as a gift, the Powertraveller Power Monkey Explorer (£64 inc VAT, powertraveller.com) is a neat option. Consisting of a pair of solar panels in a flip-out plastic shell, the Power Monkey soaks up energy from the sun and then transfers it to the mobile phone, music player or other gadgets you need to charge up.

It works best in warm, sunny climes, of course, but for a friend who travels frequently – or has a constant stream of gadgets on the go – it’s a neat way of ensuring they’ve always got a means of keeping them charged.

Crumpler bags

Laptop bags needn’t be plain black and ultra-practical – they can also be funky and eye-catching. You needn’t transport your portable in a standard laptop bag at all. Backpacks and handbag-style carriers ensure that style has finally caught up with the desirability of the gadgetry it contains.

Chief proponent of the laptop and camera bag design revolution is Crumpler. We’re not sure how it comes up with the crazy names for its bags, but its selection of slim slip covers, neoprene cases and hard shells offer serious protection.

INDEX:

PC Advisor Christmas 2009 technology buyers' guide

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