iClever IC-BTS02 Bluetooth speaker
The iClever IC-BTS02 is an ultra-portable, high-quality Bluetooth speaker that is small enough to sling into a bag while still delivering an enjoyable listening experience. It fits in the palm of the hand and features punchy sound quality, strong bass output and enough volume for pain-free outdoor listening. This would make a good gift for people who like to play audio through a speaker when out and about but don’t have space to carry anything larger.
Linx 7 tablet computer
The Linx 7 is one of the cheapest 7-inch Windows tablets you can buy but it’s still well-built and is easily powerful enough for browsing the web and other light tasks. It is light on storage and the display could be better but the issues can be overlooked when the price is considered. That price includes a year’s subscription to Office 365 for two devices, making this tablet astoundingly good value.
Game of Thrones: Season One (Steelbook Edition)
If there is anyone left in your life that hasn’t experienced one of the biggest TV shows in the cultural zeitgeist, the first season of Game of Thrones has a new steelbook edition. In addition to the 10 episodes there’s a slew of special features, from how the show created its Dothraki language to how the showrunners translated George R.R. Martin’s hefty books into engaging television. It is compatible for the first time with Dolby Atmos tech to increase your sound experience, and comes with a very cool Stark magnet too. Two gifts in one!
National Treasure by Lindsay Gibb
ECW Press, $12.95
Imagine an entire book dedicated to the divisive and meme-friendly acting career of Nicolas Cage. Welcome to National Treasure by Toronto editor and writer Lindsay Gibb, which breaks down the actor’s eclectic career by diving deep into how Cage approaches various roles, from Ghost Rider to Moonstruck to Raising Arizona. Not only does National Treasure offer a fascinating probe into Cage’s appeal (and his many contradictions) but also in how what we see on the surface of Hollywood reveals a much more nuanced underbelly.
Choetech Circle Qi wireless charger
The Choetech Circle is a comparatively low-cost way to start wirelessly charging your devices. It supports all phones that use the Qi wireless charging standard and is available in black or white. A blue-coloured LED on the base lights up when a device is being charged but automatically dims itself in a darkened room, ensuring you’re not kept awake if you usually charge your phone overnight. People who’ve recently upgraded to a Qi-compatible phone but have yet to ditch the cord are likely to appreciate finding this accessory in their stocking.
Killing and Dying by Adrian Tomine
Drawn & Quarterly, $22.95
For the lover of literature on your list, you won’t find many graphic-novel experiences more intense this year than Adrian Tomine’s latest work. Calling his work this time around more empathetic, Tomine tells six complex stories that touch on a number of human problems — wanting to be acknowledged for art; struggling with career choices; outrunning something that has permanently ruined a life. Each short story mines so much depth that you’ll want to read this a second and third time.
Aerelight A1 desk lamp
This tech gift doesn’t come cheap but it could be ideal for the gadget geek who claims to have everything. Aerelight’s unique desk lamp stiff-arms boring old light bulbs for ultra-thin organic OLED, which can be turned on by touching any part of the unit. Also very cool is a feature allowing you to charge your smartphone by placing it on the desk base, but in our tests we spotted some bugginess. You’ll likely want to gift the A1 to someone with a fine taste in design, since it looks slick with a minimalist approach that takes up very little desk space.
Inateck BH1001 wireless sport headset
The Inateck BH1001 is an attractively-packaged Bluetooth headset with a light and minimalist design incorporating magnetic earbuds for easy carrying. It’s water and sweat resistant and capable of delivering consistently enjoyable audio, making it a great gift for somebody who loves to exercise but is tired of earphone cables getting in the way while running.