In the last quarter of this year, there’s been some great products that have been announced in the technology space.
I decided to hand pick some of the ones that stood out for me, which I think would make really great gifts for the festive season, a birthday, or whatever the reason you think you deserve a little something from someone special.
In no particular order, they are:
1. Lenovo IdeaPad 100S
This particular laptop stood out for me because it’s thin, lightweight and affordable (I always get asked about recommendations for something small/lightweight). With the current economy, most of us are watching our spend, so the R3299 price tag on this device is very attractive; and excellent value for money. It has a 11.6″ display, has a quad-core Intel Atom processor, runs Windows 10, memory is up to 2GB, storage is up to 32GB eMMC, webcam, Dolby Stereo Speakers, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, HDMI out, 2x USB, and a microSD card slot. It weighs only 1kg.
2. Beo Play H3
A Bang & Olufsen store has opened at Melrose Arch, now before you are put off by this exclusive, high-end brand, you should know that they’ve launched a premium range called B&O Play for a more widespread appeal. The range is quite vast as you can see from the products below, all ranging from R1999-R36999
My pick of the lot is the Beo Play H3 earphones. It goes without saying that it’s made from premium materials; has an ergonomic design, which even my ears agree with (I have a big problem with earphones, very rarely do they fit nicely in my ears, which is why I prefer headphones); and great sound quality that doesn’t distort. It comes in both regular and an Active Noise Cancellation version. The ANC one is in gunmetal grey.
Price: R3199 regular; R3799 ANC
Availability: B&O Store Melrose Arch/Sandton City
3. World Panel SunStream
This is one of my favourites because at only R199, you can buy this little solar panel that charges your devices (via USB) in direct sunlight, instantly. Works when the sun is shining, and not on a cloudy/overcast day. I’ve written about it here: https://www.nafisa.co.za/sunstream-electricity-to-your-devices/
4. Nikon P900
One for the serious photographer is the Nikon P900 is a camera, which I’ve been playing with mainly for its incredible 83x optical zoom capabilities! The first time I saw a video of the zoom function on YouTube, I was impressed. Here’s a sample shot:
The Nikon P900 doesn’t need a lengthy write up on why it should be purchased, if you’re a pro photographer and know what 83x optical zoom can do for you, this is the camera to get.
Price: R10 495
Availability: Orms Direct (ETA 15 Dec 2015)
5. Knomo Bathurst 14″
This backpack from Knomo protects laptops up to 14″ in size and has a water resistant exterior. Knomo is synonymous with being stylish and practical (and I’ve personally bought many bags of theirs) and always get complimented on them. As expected, there are ample compartments for all your stuff, with a dedicated one for your device so nothing damages it by accident.
Availability: iStore online and nationwide
6. Google Play Music vouchers
As you may have read it here, Google Play Music launched in South Africa last week. There’s over 35 million songs in the catalogue, the ability to upload your own music to your locker (50 000 songs) and has offline play. A great gift would be Google Play Store vouchers to sign up for a subscription, which is currently R49 a month as an introductory offer, and if you sign up now, this will be your monthly subs. The regular price will kick in next year of R59.
Availability: Full list here: https://play.google.com/intl/en_za/about/giftcards/
7. Logitech Ultimate Ears Roll
The ultimate holiday party gadget is the Ultimate Ears Roll speaker from Logitech. It’s round, has a string attached to hook it anywhere, offers 360 degree sound (high quality) and is waterproof and shock resistant. Yes, you can take it to the pool, beach, anywhere outdoors even in extreme sporting scenarios.
Availability: Incredible Connection
8. Apple TV 2015
As I’d prefer to call it, Apple TV4, the 4th-gen one released this year, 2015, has a revamped interface and brand new remote (glass touch). I absolutely love the new look, feels less cluttered as you can download apps you want to appear on your homescreen, vs. a bunch preloaded, which is time consuming to remove. Siri is smart, ask it to bring up shows with certain actors and it can – mostly, it understands me without saying it more than once. Please note that Siri only works with a US iTunes account (I have a US and SA one; SA being my default). Currently testing it, and it’s going to be difficult going back to my 3rd-gen Apple TV since the update is only on the new device. It also comes in variants with storage space, but unless you buy a lot of content on iTunes, I don’t see the point in going for the 64GB one. I use it mainly for streaming TV like Netflix. It was a schlep inputing text via the remote (like passwords) but the iOS Remote app was updated on 9 Dec to add Apple TV4 support, so yay.
Price: R2499 for 32GB (ouch)
Availability: iStore online or nationwide
Welcome to Wired to the Web. My name is Nafisa Akabor and I’m a technology journalist covering business and consumer tech for the last 13 years. I’m passionate about start-ups, smartphones, mobile payments, travel tech and electric cars. ✉️ firstname.lastname@example.org