Christmas gift ideas: top Christmas gifts for 2014

Whether the person you are buying for uses their PC for work or for play, you'll find something here that they'll love to receive.

Mad Catz R.A.T. 9 - £87

Mad Catz R.A.T. 9

Mad Catz' R.A.T. mice are excellent for gaming, with pixel precision, comfortably placed controls and a range of customisation options. The top-of-the-range R.A.T. 9 is wireless, and comes with two rechargeable battery packs. The R.A.T. 7 has the same feature set but is USB; and there's also the cheaper R.A.T. 3 or 5 if you don't want to spend quite so much on a mouse.

Edifier E10 Exclaim - £54

Edifier E10 Exclaim

These 2.0 speakers look as good as they sound. The black base at the foot of each speaker contains bass radiators, while the silver columns hold high frequency and mid-range tweeters, so the whole sound spectrum is pretty accurately reproduced even without a true subwoofer.

They would look great on your desk, complimenting any stylish laptop which needs a little boost - but they're also small enough to be easily portable, giving you great sound wherever you go.

Buffalo MiniStation Slim 500GB - £51

Buffalo MiniStation Slim

If you need to back up or transfer very large files or a lot of data, try a portable hard drive. This Buffalo drive is USB 3.0-compatible, and is described as "the world's thinnest storage device." The slimline USB 3.0 port has enabled Buffalo to shave a few millimetres off the enclosure's height, leaving it just 8.8mm thick.

Viewsonic VX2370Smh-LED - £138

Viewsonic VX2370Smh-LED

This budget monitor makes an ideal second screen. It has excellent image quality for the price, a great response time and a very thin bezel that doesn't get in the way. Build quality is equally good, although its speakers leave a lot to be desired. It might not suit design professionals, but it's great for general home use.

Creative ZiiSound D5 - £101

Creative ZiiSound D5

If you don't want your external sound system on your desk with your computer, the ZiiSound D5 is what you need. You can connect it to a computer through Bluetooth, and because it uses the aptX codec (which enables higher-quality sound), your music sounds great, too. It's also supplied with a 30-pin aptX dongle for iPods.

Philips 298P4QJEB UltraWide 21:9 Display - £383

Philips 298P4QJEB UltraWide 21:9 Display

The 21:9 ratio gives you a lot of breadth; you can quite comfortably open two applications and run them side by side on your desktop, without squashing or overlapping. It has four USB 3.0 ports around the back, too, and built-in stereo speakers.

Dane-Elec Superhero USB Sticks - £10

Dane-Elec Superhero USB Sticks

These fully licensed Marvel figurines conceal a retractable USB plug and 4GB or 8GB of flash memory in the base. Look out for Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, Wolverine and more. They may not be practical for popping in your pocket, but they look great when they're plugged in.

Hitachi Touro Desk Pro - £120

Hitachi Touro Desk Pro

If you're looking for a no-frills hard drive that gives good value for money and gets on with the job, the Touro Desk Pro is for you.

Available in 2TB, 3TB and 4TB capacities, it's USB 3.0 compatible and puts in very good speeds. You'll need to reformat it if you want to use it as a boot drive or Time Machine back-up drive.

WD Scorpio Blue - £62

WD Scorpio Blue

Western Digital's Blue family of hard drives are ideal for notebooks and external enclosures, being built to withstand knocks and bumps if they're carried around. They come in capacities of up to 1TB, and are designed to run very quietly indeed.

The one pictured here has had its cover removed to give you an idea of what a hard disk drive looks like inside its shiny exterior.

Kingston DataTraveler GE9 - £6

Kingston DataTraveler GE9

With a Kingston DataTraveler GE9, you can carry your data around in style. Available in 8GB and 16GB capacities, this USB thumb drive is thin, robust and covered with 24-carat gold plating. Created by award-winning industrial designer Arman Emami, it's ideal for transferring large files between computers.

FRITZ!Box 7390 - £207

FRITZ!Box 7390

This German device isn't exactly the cheapest ADSL router you can hook up to the internet, but it's extremely high quality and packed with features. It's Wi-Fi n, and has simultaneous dual-band with advanced traffic shaping to keep your net-surfing smooth. You can even use it as a telephony hub and connect up to six DECT wireless phones.

WD My Net N750 - £43

WD My Net N750

This Western Digital router is an excellent alternative to the one that you get free with your BT Infinity account. It can use the 2.4GHz and 5GHz wavebands simultaneously, it uses exclusive FasTrack technology - which claims to keep streaming video up to speed - and has two useful USB ports for when you want to add peripherals such as printers or hard drives to your network.

Netgear R6300 - £200

Netgear R6300

According to Netgear, the R6300 was the industry's first Wi-Fi ac router. It's backwards-compatible with older a/b/g/n devices, boasts two USB ports for connecting storage drives or printers, and is great for homes with lots of devices. There's a free Mac, iOS and Android app to monitor and manage it, too. Pricey, but as close to futureproof as you'll get.

Huawei E5756 MiFi - price depends on plan

Huawei E5756 MiFi

A wireless module such as this one holds a mobile phone sim and uses this to get your laptop or any other Wi-Fi compatible device onto the internet using mobile data networks like 3G. The one pictured here is for the Three network in the UK, but most mobile and cell phone operators sell them. How much they cost depends on the data tariff you choose and, often, whether you're buying a phone too.

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