The festive season is upon us once more. It’s scary to think how quickly time flies, but one thing time is good at is allowing technology to prosper. Which, in 2012, it indeed has. In this post, I’ll look at five gadgets that are perfect for this holiday season. These cool tech devices come from three of the biggest brands at the moment – Apple, Microsoft and Nintendo.
Arguably the device set to be the star of the holiday season, Apple’s pint-sized tablet is the perfect holiday gift: it offers the pros of the iOS ecosystem in a manageable 7.9′ (diagonal) screen. You can do everything on the mini that is possible on the regular iPad, but it’s obvious from Apple’s marketing that this device is positioned more at content-consumption than creation. The screen is ideal for reading books and magazines, and is just large enough for movies and TV series. Add the 10 hour battery life, and you’ve got a perfect travel companion.
The next generation of gaming consoles is here, according to Nintendo’s bold statement that is the Wii U. Building on the success of its 6-year-old predecessor, the Wii, the Wii U proffers bold ideas like “spectator gaming.” It’s most distinctive feature? The tablet-like touchscreen controller that serves as a second-screen, and can even “download” the current game onto itself, allowing the TV screen to be used for other things, like watching TV. HD finally makes its way to Nintendo consoles, and whilst some might see this as a catch-up attempt by Nintendo, the Wii U seems to be a solid gaming setup for anyone looking to expand upon the immersive nature of the Wii with a new way of interacting with game worlds.
For those not keen on the smaller screen size and non-Retina screen of the iPad mini, the iPad 4 is the next best bet. It is certainly the most powerful iPad yet: it packs a fast A6X processor, the Retina display (first introduced on the iPad 3), and together these make it the perfect performance tablet for the discerning user who wants more from their all-in-one portable device. If you’re willing to pay a little more for an iPad, and can’t do without the Retina screen, this is definitely the Apple for you.
Specifically, the new iPod touch. It’s colourful, for starters: this is the first generation of iPod touches that Apple has added coloured backs to. The screen is slightly bigger: it follows the iPhone 5 but with a 4-inch screen, making it perfect for movie watching on-the-go. And there’s an A5 chip under the hood that’s fortifying iPod’s overall performance. The new nanos are also great; they’re fully touch-screen and indeed look like miniature versions of the iPod touch. And if you’re a “traditionalist” and prefer large storage capacity over a touch screen (like me), then there’s always the iPod classic.
Perhaps the “dark knight” in this list, the Surface is Microsoft’s reply to the iPad. It runs either Windows RT or Windows 8, which, for the business-centric user, is a perfect bet: the new Microsoft Office is completely optimised for this device. In many ways, it’s lauded as a different, perhaps refreshing, take on the tablet computer: the smart cover includes a keyboard, and the newly released Windows 8 offers an intriguing interface. If you’re tired of the “iterative” approach by Android-touting companies like Samsung and iOS devices from Apple, then this tablet might just be your cup of tea.
So, what are your suggestions as devices for this season? Drop a line in the comments and let us know.
I'm a young writer from South Africa, chronicling the changing tides in the ever-flowing river of technology. Focusing mainly on Apple-related technologies, I enjoy sharing my opinion and giving a few tips and tricks here and there on the latest and greatest from 1 Infinite Loop. I'm an avid blogger, and an even more avid reader.