10 outrageously expensive tech gifts

If your end-of-year bonus has pasted five figures onto your bank balance, splurge on these top-end tech trinkets.

Nothing says "you're special" as much as spending a big wodge of cash on a gift, or at least that's what we tell our other halves when we hand over our Christmas wants list.

Sadly, it never has the desired effect for me, but if you do have five-figure sums to splurge on a present for someone incredibly special this Yuletide, then these money-no-object gift ideas will serve you well.

Hasselblad H4D-200MS

Price: £26,500 from Hasselblad.

H4D-200MS

When men went to the moon in the 1960s and took some snaps to show the relatives, they used Hasselblad cameras. That's just how highly thought-of the Swedish manufacturer's tech was then, and that reputation continues to this day.

The H4D-200MS may be ridiculously expensive, but it's the camera of choice for many professionals, as it has a precision medium-format image sensor that can capture 50 megapixel shots -- that's more detail than you'd get with 35mm film. Professionals also love the True Focus technology that makes it easier get a lock on accurate focusing right across the whole image.

Grado PS1000

Price: £1,700 from Grado Labs.

PS1000

Forget about Beats by Dr Dre, because if you're looking for a pair of seriously high-quality headphones, then Grado is the brand to turn to. The company has been producing lovingly crafted cans for over half a century and the PS1000s are the top of the range models targeted at audio professionals.

Their unique design helps to cut down massively on nasty frequency resonance, reducing distortion in the process, while their larger diaphragm leads to deeper, more satisfying bass response. The result is a natural soundstage that arguably rivals high-end speakers for listening pleasure.

LG 84LM960V

Price: £22,500 from LG.

84LM960V

If a 55-inch TV is made to look like a postage stamp from the far end of your banquet hall dining table, LG has a little something for you. The mammoth 84-inch LG 84LM960V is a beast of a TV that comes with an equally huge price tag. It would be a shame to waste a screen this big on boring old 1080p HD movies, so LG has cranked up this set's resolution all the way to 4K, which is the same resolution as that used to digitally project movies in cinemas.

It also comes with a powerful 2.2 speaker system and naturally includes LG's smart TV service, so you can watch shows on iPlayer and Netflix at cinema size.

Breitling Emergency

Price: £4,000 from Breitling.

Emergency

What do you do if you've ditched in the sea, have no idea where you are and need help to arrive as quickly as possible? If you're a Brietling Emergency owner, you can activate the built-in microtransmitter and help will come running.

It broadcasts a signal on the 121.5MHz aircraft emergency frequency that rescuers can home in on. It will keep broadcasting for a full 48 hours, and over flat terrain or calm seas, the signal has a range of around 160km. It's also a beautifully crafted watch, with a titanium case and a SuperQuartz mechanism.

Bowers & Wilkins 800 Diamond

Price: £18,500 from B&W.

800 Diamond

B&W is the audio equivalent of Jaguar cars -- in fact, Jaguar uses the company's speakers for its in-car audio system. The 800 Diamonds are the best speakers in its range and that's really saying something -- the brand is renowned for producing some of the warmest and most natural-sounding speakers money can buy.

You'll find the 800 Diamonds in world-famous recording studios like Abbey Road and Skywalker Sound. Key to its audio accuracy are its drive units. They're housed in separate, curvaceous enclosures that help to channel air from the speaker in a more natural way to create a purer and more balanced sound.

Sony VPL-VW1000ES

Price: £16,800 from Sony.

VPL-VW1000ES

The best digital cinemas in the world use 4K projectors, which have four times the resolution of most of those intended for home use. A year ago, having a projector with a 4K resolution in your home was a pipe dream, but thanks to Sony's VPL-VW1000ES, it's now a reality -- admittedly, a very expensive one.

Still, the pictures it produces are unbelievably crisp and look stunning projected on a big screen. Naturally, there's not a lot of 4K content around at the moment to actually play on it, so thankfully the projector also does a stellar job of upscaling Blu-ray pictures to 4K.

Jura Impressa J9.3 One Touch TFT

Price: £1,750 from Jura.

Impressa J9.3 One Touch TFT

Swiss manufacturer Jura makes some of the best and most advanced coffee machines in the world. This one is a fully automatic bean-to-cup machine with a one-touch control panel that can produce a full repertoire of drinks, ranging from espresso to latte macchiato. The state-of-the-art foamer creates foam with a beautifully, light and airy texture too.

It's easy to control, thanks to its simple rotary dial that works in combination with the colour LCD display. Mercifully it's also hassle-free to look after, due to its integrated rinse, clean and decalcification modes.

Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay A9

Price: £1,700 from Bang & Olufsen.

BeoPlay A9

It looks like a satellite dish, but the BeoPlay A9 is actually a wireless speaker system that can stream audio from iOS or Android devices over Wi-Fi using DLNA or Apple AirPlay technology. The front of the speaker has a very thin aluminium lining that helps to create tighter, more focused bass, while the stretched speaker grill can be removed and replaced with coloured covers that better match your room's décor.

Don't bother going looking for a volume control on the back because there isn't one. Instead, to control the volume, you just swipe your hand gently along the top and the volume will magically increase.

Archipod

Price: £15,900 from Archipod.

Archipod

If a plain old shed lacks the luxury you've become accustomed to, the Archipod is the garden hideaway you're looking for. It's a beautiful-looking pod made from curved plywood, fitted with fibreglass insulation and covered internally with plaster for a sleek finish. On the exterior, red cedar shingles are used to give a pleasingly organic appearance.

The pod measures 2.9m wide and stands 2.5m tall, giving plenty of space for the semi-circular desk that comes as part of the package. I also love the gull-wing door -- it has gas struts to help it open and close smoothly, like the shed equivalent of a DeLorean.

Segway x2 Turf

Price: £5,530 from Segway.

X2 Turf

If a plain old Segway doesn't cut it for you because you're more interesting in something that could be used to potter around the golf course or take off road, then the x2 Turf is the model to turn to. It's got all the usual features of the standard Segway, including the amazing gyroscopic system that keeps the two-wheeler upright at all times.

It's also been made more rugged for taking those paths less travelled. This means it includes scratch-resistant bumpers, higher ground clearance and low-pressure turf tires that do less damage to the landscape you're travelling over -- important if you don't want to get hounded out of the club for carving up those delicate golf fairways.

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Gadgets
About the author

Niall has been writing about technology for over 10 years, working for the UK's most prestigious newspapers, magazines and websites in the process. What he doesn't know about TVs and laptops isn't worth worrying about. It's a little known fact that if you stacked all the TVs and laptops he has ever reviewed on top of each other, the pile would reach all the way to the moon and back four times.

 

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