Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Holiday gifts

Pickr 2019 Holiday Gift Guide: Inventors

If you know someone who likes to tinker or maybe wants to be the next IT genius, this list can help inventors, both little and big.

Coding is much cooler these days than it used to be, and coders can be inventors with the magic of their code.

But if you don’t know how to code or you’re just starting out, there are gadgets and gizmos that can totally help, be it a type of robot, a small computer, or something else altogether.

Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi 4

Price: $25-$100

One of the easiest ways to get stuck into engineering, tinkering, and coding, the Raspberry Pi is a small and inexpensive computer that can be used for lots of things.

You can build your own gaming console, media player, or make something else, and depending on what you do with it, you can even learn to code.

Raspberry Pi computers have been around for a few years, but they’re just as small as they ever were and more powerful than ever, making it a neat idea for someone keen to learn to build and code.

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Sphero Mini

Price: $69

One of the least expensive ways to get into tinkering and coding, the Sphero Mini offers a starting point for anyone to learn how to code, provided they have a phone or a tablet.

You may not have one of those for your kids yet, but they probably have access to yours, which means you can do it together.

Or you can just use the Sphero Mini as a remote app-controlled ball, because that works, too.

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Kano Disney Frozen 2 Coding Kit

Price: $150

One of the more curious tie-ins with the hit Disney film Frozen 2, this kit teaches kids how to build a motion sensitive gesture tracking board, and then shows them how to code by using Frozen-inspired spells to make the on-screen magic happen.

Apple iPad Mini with Swift Playgrounds

Apple 2019 iPad Mini review

Price: $599

The smallest iPad you can have, the iPad Mini is a tiny tablet packed with power, and plenty of it thanks to the latest update this year.

Together with Apple’s free educational app Swift Playgrounds, anyone can learn to code, and even connect up real robots to the iPad to turn the code into real life.

Read our review…

Sphero RVR

Sphero RVR

Price: $400

While the Sphero Mini is the starting point for coding and tinkering, the Sphero RVR is the advanced level, allowing you to take those coding skills to full-blown engineering, and building up a robot that moves more like a tank.

You can learn to code with this one, too, or you can add more to it, bolting on a Raspberry Pi or Arduino and potentially making the Sphero RVR into something even more amazing. It’s not just coding and engineering, but invention.

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