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The surprise hit from the House That Mario Built is rolling strong in its second year. Yes, it works as both a TV console and a portable game tablet, but most importantly, it reminds us of how much fun co-op, same-room gaming can be, thanks to four-way games like Mario Kart 8 and Overcooked.
We absolutely recommend making the leap to the superior Xbox One X (which costs just over AU$600) but if you absolutely have to keep it under AU$500, might as well get the Xbox One S, mainly because it's a very nicely made and cheap 4K Blu-ray player.
Apple's home audio device is more speaker than smart, but Siri can definitely tell you the weather or play songs from Apple Music on request. It's easily the best-sounding single smart speaker, and a pair of them can make a great stereo setup for even big rooms.
Look, much like the Xbox One, you're probably better paying a little more and getting the Apple Watch Series 4 (at AU$599) but if you need to keep things under AU$500 you could go a lot worse than getting the Series 3. Outside of its successor, it's still probably the best smart watch on the market.
We all have AirPod thoughts (check our review here) but if you like them you like them, and if you know someone who is extremely into Apple products, AirPods are just the right level of indulgence to make for a perfect gift.