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BW Businessworld

Gizmos To Go For

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Brand new clothes? Check. New accessories to go with the clothes? Check. Party evenings planned for the upcoming festive season? Check. Circa 2011 gadgets? Come now, don't tell me you're still toting that 3-year old phone or a laptop from a couple of years ago? The world has, quite literally, moved on and pretty much every product category has made great strides over the past year. This year, put those hard earned savings to good use and pick up one of these 2011-spec babies – you can't go wrong with these!

Phones: Who'd have thought just a year ago that dual-core, 4-inch-plus screens would become commonplace on smartphones in 2011. And while there have been many contenders this year, the Samsung Galaxy SII comes out on top for its spectacular Super AMOLED Plus screen, oodles of memory and expansion and even the ability to access a regular USB thumb drive with its USB On The Go capabilities. Budget shoppers should take a long hard look at the new Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro and the Motorola FIRE XT – both phones pack in the latest Android 2.3 version for phones and pretty solid internals for the price!

Tablets: Hitherto a category that was off our shopping lists, tablets went supernova this year! Every manufacturer worth its salt raced to launch tablets that would wrest market share away from the iPad. Yet, it should come as no surprise that the iPad 2 is still our pick for THE premium tablet to buy this year. There are, of course, a slew of sub-15K tablets that are taking the low-price route to the consumer's wallet, and while I wouldn't recommend most, the Reliance 3G Tab is one to seriously consider – a capacitive 7-inch screen, Android 2.3 and bundled with excellent 3G data plans, all for a shade under Rs. 13,000!

Netbooks: With the onslaught of tablets, many industry observers all but wrote off the humble netbook. Going by your emails and tweets though, the netbook is very much alive and kicking, and if you're considering one this season, pick up the Asus Eee PC X101.At Rs 12,499, it hits the sweet spot for your wallet and packs in the MeeGo mobile operating system and a 0.69-inch slim profile. Slim, inexpensive and powerful? Getting two out of three spot on isn't half bad, right?

Nikon D5100

Notebooks: Notebooks sales have slumped the world over, except for the slim, svelte and powerful MacBook Air, my pick of the lot for a laptop that more than capably handles your everyday stuff without weighing you down. But if you're disinclined towards a Mac purchase, there's hope…but you will have to wait till Diwali. The first of a new range of ultrabooks – slim and light laptops that don't compromise on performance (a la the Air) – should hit Indian shores by then.

Cameras: Pick one – either one – you simply can't go wrong with either. Both the Nikon D5100 and the Canon EOS 600D pack a mean punch in the specs and performance departments, and deliver excellent image and full HD video quality. Gun to my head, I'd pick the Nikon D5100 for its slightly better low-light performance and image quality, not to mention a larger sensor than the 600D's. If a digital SLR is not for you, pick up the excellent and affordable travel zoom cameras from Canon (SX 230 HS) or Nikon (S9100). Don't be enticed by the booming mirrorless camera segment - I'd wait for the big guns to launch before committing serious cash here.

Gears of War 3

Gaming: Some of the best games in the past couple of years have launched in the past couple of weeks, so it's an excellent time for gamers to go shopping for the latest titles. If you've played through Deus Ex: Human Revolution already, pick up the latest Gears of War 3, possibly the most spectacular conclusion to one of the most memorable and celebrated sagas in video games.

technocool at kanwar dot net
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