TechRadar Christmas wishlist 2018: what we want to see under the tree this year

With a little over a week to go until the big day, the TechRadar team is desperately scrabbling to finish their Christmas shopping. We may be sifting through gifts for others, but that little selfish part of us is daydreaming about what we may be unwrapping on December 25.

It's unlikely we'll all see what we've listed here this Christmas, but we thought we'd offer you a sneak peek into the gadgets we're looking forward to testing out or lusting after this Christmas.

Some of the items in this list near on $3000 / £2500, so it's unlikely we're set to see this wrapped up under the Christmas tree unless you're a particularly generous donor. 

None of this stops the TechRadar writers and editors dreaming though, and below you'll find entries specifically from members of our team.

 John McCann: Senior Editor, Phones

What I desperately want for Christmas: PlayStation Classic

The PlayStation Classic may have received some mixed reviews, but for me it’s a solid gold winner. The PlayStation was the first console I owned, having saved up my paper round money for months to finally be able to afford the PSOne. 

Back then I was too young to appreciate GTA, but Cool Boarders 2, Tekken 3, Rayman and Destruction Derby were all fixtures on the family CRT.

The Classic, for me, is a perfect injection of video gaming nostalgia. I’ve already enjoyed button bashing on my SNES Classic Mini, barreling through the Crash Bandicoot remaster and managing swaths of patients in Theme Hospital-homage Two Point Hospital over the past 18 months, so the PlayStation Classic is the clear next step for me ahead of the reboot of Crash Team Racing in June 2019.

So Santa, if you’re reading this, please leave a PlayStation Classic under my tree this Christmas.

Matt Hanson: Computing Editor

 What I desperately want for Christmas: Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ 

Every year I seem to ask for completely over the top, best-of-the-best gear, and this year is going to be no different. The Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ is the peak of gaming monitor technology right now. Not only does it offer 4K resolution, but also HDR and G-Sync as well, which makes games look utterly stunning. This kind of hardware comes at a price – a very high price, at that – but I’ve been so good this year I definitely deserve to unwrap it on Christmas Day.

Of course, to really benefit from 4K, HDR graphics running at 144Hz with G-Sync, I’m probably also going to need a few upgrades for my gaming PC to be able to experience this monitor in all its glory. So, it’d be great if I had an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti (or two) stuffed down my stocking as well. Thanks Santa! 

Vic Hood: Gaming Writer

What I desperately want for Christmas: Baysus Automated Cocktail Maker

I know I should probably be asking Santa for something nerdy or games related, but what I actually want is for a robot to make cocktails for me. 

The Baysys has over 2000 cocktail recipes programmed into it, literally all you need to do is load in the alcohol and pick a cocktail from the app. The Baysus will then make you said cocktail within 30 seconds. By the time you’ve finished your first Pina Colada, another will be on the way - minimal effort and mess (plus I’m awful at making cocktails myself). You can even customize the cocktails to your own liking - maybe an extra shot of rum in that Mojito.

Even Santa can appreciate a cocktail with his final mince pie after a long night delivering presents.

Olivia Tambini: Staff Writer 

What I desperately want for Christmas: Sony Aibo

I’m a big-time dog lover, but living in a tiny flat means my dream of owning five Golden Retrievers isn’t exactly attainable right now. That’s why I’m hoping Santa leaves me a Sony Aibo under the Christmas tree this year.

Aibo is an artificial intelligence-powered robotic puppy, designed to act like an untrained dog. You can teach Aibo commands just like you would a new puppy, using positive reinforcement – and how well it follows your commands depends on how thoroughly you’ve trained it. 

You can still buy the limited ‘First Litter Edition’ Aibo, an all-in-one bundle that includes the robo-pup, a three-year AI Cloud plan, a pink ball, an ‘aibone’, a charging station, and an “individually numbered commemorative dog tag”. 

Yes, Aibo is prohibitively expensive at well over £2000. But just look at its little face! 

Gerald Lynch: Home Technology Editor

What I desperately want for Christmas: Paro

It’s been a rough year, folks. Brexit. Trump. The crushing realization of my own impending march into middle age and eternal bachelorhood. I need a friend that’ll never let me down – and preferably one that isn’t shaped like a bottle.

Enter Paro! Who loves Paro? Me! And who does Paro love? Anyone with the money to buy him!

Paro is described as a “therapeutic robot baby harp seal”, and may be familiar to anyone that’s watched Aziz Ansari’s Netflix exclusive ‘Master of None’, in which it hilariously features.

Designed to have a calming effect on those with dementia, alzheimer's or other cognitive disorders, it’s also pitched as a potential buddy for anyone who just wants no-strings-attached seal-puppy-love on the end of a power cord. Stroke him and he’ll bray, hug him and he’ll purr. Unconditional, mains-powered love for the hermit with $5,000 dollars burning a hole in their pockets.

 Joe Osborne: Senior Editor 

What I desperately want for Christmas: Arcade 1Up Cabinet 

When we bought a house, my wife and I transformed the finished basement into a nerd haven. Today, it’s a fantasy-filled game room replete with a 60-inch 4K TV, mismatched SNES Classic and Nintendo Switch underneath (hey, I’m a Nintendo guy) and a six-stool gaming table for my regular games of Dungeons & Dragons.

But, it’s not yet complete.

That’s where one of these new Arcade 1Up cabinets come in. This startup has issued several unique three-quarter scale arcade cabinets, each filled with a few classic arcade games in specifically designed cabinets. One goes for $299 in the US, with an optional $40 riser attachment available to make for a full-scale cabinet.

The one I’m after is the Rampage cabinet, the only one in the lineup to house three controllers – because, you know, Rampage. (But, really, I’m after whether I’ll be able to get a MAME emulator onto the thing – that would blow it wide open.) 

Kevin Lee: Computing Editor

What I desperately want for Christmas: Nvidia Titan RTX 

Nvidia might market this insane graphics card for deep learning applications and pro-visual users, but I just want to game with it. I mean 24GB of video and 4,608 CUDA cores any PC enthusiast lighting up with glee as it renders modern games without even breaking a sweat. 

Not to mention, you might actually be able to see ray traced lighting as it was meant to be seen thanks to the Nvidia Titan RTX’s 576 Tensor cores and 72 RT cores. 

Henry St Leger: Home Technology Writer 

What I desperately want for Christmas: A lot of Nintendo Switch Pro Controllers 

Playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is all well and good – and it is good – but the single Joy-Cons I'm splitting with my flatmate aren't quite roomy enough for our no-longer-teenage hands. Ness, Pikachu, and the rest of the gang deserve better. And what of the guests? 

No, the only way forward is Nintendo's Switch Pro controller: ergonomic, appropriately-sized, and with all the buttons sitting where they should be for all that dedicated smashing. (Right now that Joy-Con shoulder button might as well not be there.)

At least two, but preferably enough for the eight players you can hypothetically crowd around the console – and which I definitely have enough friends to invite over for. At $70 / £60 a pop, that seems feasible, right?

Phil Hall: Cameras Editor

What I desperately want for Christmas: Nikon Z6

We’d almost given up hope that Canon and Nikon would launch full-frame mirrorless cameras, but things all changed with the arrival of Nikon’s 45.7MP Z7 and 24.5MP Z6 in August, followed shortly after by Canon’s 30.6MP EOS R

All three have impressed, but the Z6 is the standout one for me and for a first generation full-frame mirrorless camera, Nikon’s really knocked it out of the park. Feeling instantly familiar to existing Nikon users, the handling is excellent, with a beautiful electronic viewfinder and large touchscreen. Married to this is a 24.5MP sensor that is capable of delivering stunning images, while the fast 273-point AF system and 12fps burst shooting means the Z6 is now slouch either.

It’s not cheap, so I might have to negotiate and have this as a joint Christmas and birthday present...

 Matt Swider: Senior Mobile & Buying Guides Editor  

What I desperately want for Christmas: DJI Osmo Pocket 

The thought of being able to hold an old-school Hollywood crane in the palm of your hand is what the DJI Osmo Pocket camera gimbal promises. In our testing it delivers, too, with rich 4K video stabilization and easy-to-pull off motion time lapses. 

Transferring the high-quality video is a cinch to your phone thanks to included Lightning and USB-C adapters, and it even comes with a protective case that still fits into your pocket. This is going to make for a great way to shoot silky smooth video during the holidays and CES 2019 – if Santa brings it for me. 

Cat Ellis: Downloads and developing technology editor 

What I desperately want for Christmas: Amazon Kindle Unlimited 

What could be better than curling up on a winter evening with a good book? How about over a million of them?

Amazon Kindle Unlimited is basically a lending library that lets you ‘borrow’ 10 books at a time for a monthly fee of $9.99/£7.99/AU$13.99. I can easily go through a novel a week on my commute to work, which gets pretty pricey if I’m paying full price for ebooks, so it’s a gift that’ll deep giving all year. It’d also mean I could take more of a chance on titles I’d normally skip, because there’d be nothing to lose if they don’t grab me (although Amazon is currently recommending I read The Story of Brexit - I think I’d still give that one a miss).

The only downside is that Kindle Unlimited doesn’t let you pick absolutely anything from Amazon’s virtual shelves, but there’s still a huge selection - and the fact that they’re ebooks means Santa won’t get a spinal injury delivering them all.

James Peckham: Wearables Editor

What I desperately want for Christmas: DJI Mavic Air

I don't need a drone - very few people do - but this is the time of year I really want to blow a lot of money on one. Living in London, it's tough to find a space where it's legal to get a drone up in the air, but it doesn't mean I don't want to travel out of town to play with the DJI Mavic Air.

I particularly want the Flame Red version that you can see above. The fact the DJI Mavic Air can fold up into the size of a carry case means this is a truly portable drone that I would be able to slip into my luggage before travelling outside of London to be able to properly try it out.

A 32MP panoramic camera that's capable of 4K video and a battery that lasts for 21 minutes makes this top of my wishlist this Christmas. Does anyone fancy buying me one?

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