2010 has been en exciting year for gadgets so I'd like to share with you my favourite 10 devices for 2010. Apple of course has featured heavily in tech news and the launches of the iPhone 4 and iPad had the industry's full attention – so too does Apple feature heavily in my top 10 gadgets, so I apologise in advance if I come across as an Apple fan boi:
Come on – love it or despise it, you can’t deny that it has kicked off the tablet computing niche. Sure, Apple didn’t invent the genre, but they sure as hell showed the computing industry that it could work. How many big electronics companies don’t have a tablet in the works? iPad is about to go through its first Christmas season so there’s no doubt it’s going to be high on many a wish-list.
2. iPhone 4
I love the form factor (that’s big man talk for how it looks). I think it’s the best looking phone on the market and that’s me being objective about it. Also, no one cares about the aerial problem—really, show me someone who cares now that the sensationalism is gone! The user experience is roughly identical to that of the 3GS… which is a good thing; “if it ain’t broke…” It’s not the game changer that iPhone 3G was, but it’s a nice refinement. The Retina Display is stunning.
3. Microsoft Kinect
I’ve only tried it in a shopping centre with a couple stupid kids waving their hands around at the same time. I wanted to let my hands (fists) fly in their direction, but common sense prevailed. Anyhow, it may not be perfect, but it really is a game changer. Its applications may be limited now but this is a clear sign of where the future of computer interfaces is heading—hands-free and ultra intuitive. I look forward to future incarnations of this hardware and software achievement.
4. Jambox by Jawbone
I haven’t seen it, held it or heard it in person. Nor have I seen any other of Jawbone’s Bluetooth product line-up. Regardless, this is a product to watch. The design is right, the size is right and if I’m to believe all of the reviews out there; it packs more punch than its size suggests. Jambox comes in four colours and grill patterns (I want them all) and other than the Jawbone website, is exclusive to the US Apple store. Surprised much?
5. iPod Nano (6th Gen)
Whilst it didn't make waves like iPad or iPhone 4 did, iPod Nano have a nice little refresh this year. No other iPod has had as many form factor changes, although the Shuffle has had a fair few too. Apple seems to be a lot more adventurous with the Nano’s look and functionality than most of its other music players. This new one is no exception! The multi-touch screen is barely smaller than the body itself and it’s square. Available in half a dozen colours and starting under $200 bucks, it’s the right size for me. I’ve got one on order… justifying it by intending it for the gym, but I’m really going to wear it as a watch.
6. HTC Desire HD
HTC is making some really nice phones right now. The Desire HD lives up to its name; it’s totally hot and makes you want it. I find the phone sits nicely in the hand. At 4.3 inches and whilst doesn’t have as high a resolution as the iPhone, the screen still manages to be gorgeous. Careful though, that extra inch makes the phone quite large and heavy. Despite that, if I had to ditch my iPhone, the Desire HD would be my first choice. My favourite feature: it packs surround sound too.
7. Nintendo 3DS
It’s a DS but it has a 3D screen. You don’t need those stupid/expensive 3D glasses either. OK, it’s not out until next February, but it’s still 2010 technology. If five years ago you told me we’d have a handheld, 3D gaming device I’d have… believed you. Well here it is kids. It’ll be packing augmented reality games, 3D movies, Virtual Console (for those retro games) and CrossPass—an always-on networking feature that allows your 3DS to automatically interact with others. Zelda 3D—nerd boner.
8. Yamaha MCR-040
Yamaha’s new MCR-040 is one of the coolest little micro-hifis you can get. It comes in ten colours and plays CDs—woot! It also packs DAB+ radio (digital), an iPod dock, USB key playback and I can confirm it sounds pretty good considering its size—certainly better than most offerings in this class. The price, however, ain’t all that great at $499RRP (compared to similarly sized competitors it’s fairly high), but remember it comes in TEN COLOURS!
9. Lumix DMC-FT2
This is the camera you should take with you if you’re prone to breaking things… or if you’re going camping, hiking and abseiling anywhere that involves water, dirt, extreme cold, animals or bouncers at a club. The DMC-FT2 is water proof to 10m, drop proof to 2m and frost proof to -10º C. To top that off, it features a Leica lens, fairly decent LCD screen, 14Mp sensor and shoots 720p HD video.
Rather than recharge my phone with the flimsy USB cable, I’ve started using my new Powermat. It’s basically a mat, that you plug into the wall, onto which you lie your devices (up to three of them) and voila, it charges. The catch it that you’ve got to attach a receiver to the back side of the device. Not just that, each of your devices will need a specific receiver. Said receiver adds to the bulk of my phone, so it’s a little annoying in that way. That said, I’m loving my Powermat! No more frigging around with fraying iPhone cables.
Words by Monsieur Maori. More at thevine.com.au