Ink supplies for printers that can be accessed remotely from a mobile device may be needed in the near future if people wish to print documents from tablet PCs.

According to TV presenter and tech journalist Lucy Hedges, these gadgets are set to be the most popular Christmas gift this year, while the latest generation of powerful smartphones – featuring faster processors and more storage space – will also be in demand.

"The iPad is definitely something that will be at the top of a lot of Christmas wish lists this year," Ms Hedges said, adding: "Also, Samsung's Galaxy tablet is hotly tipped to be quite high up on the Christmas list."

She added as graphics quality is improving all the time, these devices are also set to pose a significant threat to handled games consoles such as the Nintendo 3DS.

The fact software for smartphones and tablets is often much cheaper than for dedicated consoles in a major factor in this, the expert said.

Recently, a survey by uSwitch found nearly half of parents say they will struggle to afford the tech items their children want this year.