Dark nights, postmen bringing catalogues full of shiny must-have gadgets and a TV onslaught of tinsel and computer games – all signs point to the imminent gold rush known as Christmas. PC Advisor's trusty elves guide you through the high-tech marketing maze. PC Advisor brings you the 50 best products for Christmas: tested, reviewed and rated.

Christmas comes but once a year, but at least four months in every 12 seem to be devoted to it. A cash cow for retailers, Christmas is not only a time for exchanging gifts with family and friends – it's also a time when some of us lose our heads a little and throw caution and common sense to the wind.

Here at PC Advisor, we love a good gimmick or frivolous stocking filler as much as the next gadget fan. We're certainly tempted to snap up a BigTrak programmable tank and relive our childhood.

Were money no issue, we'd be angling for a Parrot AR Drone iPhone-controlled helicopter. And in our dreams, we're relaxing in a concept gaming pod with customised climate control, and booking ourselves a flight on the Virgin Galactic shuttle to the moon (a snip at $200,000).

Sadly, we've had to learn to be realists. We know what it's like to have a limited budget and a long list of loved ones to buy for, so we've been keeping an eye out for goofy gadgets that will cause a titter at the office ‘secret Santa' gift swap. Check our New Products Blog for some frivolous techie gift ideas.

But the high-quality technology products we recommend over the following pages are of the less disposable type. These laptops, cameras, camcorders, satnavs and other tech goodies are included because they've done well in our Test Centre; we've spent hands-on time with them and have been impressed with their design and build. Newer items recommended here may be reviewed in more detail at a later date.

Christmas gift guide index:

PC Advisor's Christmas 2010 gift guide

sponsored by Misco

  1. Christmas 2010 buyers' guide: all-in-one PCs    
  2. Christmas 2010 buyers' guide: laptops
  3. Christmas 2010 buyers' guide: cameras    
  4. Christmas 2010 buyers' guide: satnavs and GPS    
  5. Christmas 2010 buyers' guide: photo printers    
  6. Christmas 2010 buyers' guide: media players    
  7. Christmas 2010 buyers' guide: audio accessories
  8. Christmas 2010 buyers' guide: keyboards & mice
  9. Christmas 2010 buyers' guide: gaming kit