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The new iPad, the Samsung Galaxy SIII, the Nokia Pureview 808, the iPhone 5, a dizzying array of Smart TVs and ultrabooks, not to forget the retina MacBook Pros — if you thought the year so far has been a bumper year for gadgetistas, you ain't seen nothing yet! There's just so much good stuff expected in the coming months that it's time we all start saving up! Here's my pick of the hottest stuff due to hit Indian shores soon.
Lumia 920: It's been a long time coming, but with the worldwide launch of Windows Phone 8, the prospect of seeing this gorgeous device is now fast becoming a reality. From its high-quality construction to its dazzling glove-friendly display and innovative camera and wireless charging base, the 920 has checked off the buzz words to make it the most anticipated gadget this season. Moreover, Nokia helps fill in Windows Phone OS gaps with a few missing features; making it arguably the most feature-packed Windows Phone yet. That said, this device has the dual burden of revitalising Nokia and serving as a flagship Windows Phone 8, but if the early hands-on I've had is any indication, Nokia's got a winner on their hands. Just price it right, Nokia?
Nintendo WiiU: The Wii U does much more than take Nintendo's much loved gaming console into the HD age. Its triple-core CPU and graphics processing lands it square in between the current generation consoles and next year's next gen-consoles, but as is classic Nintendo, the focus really is on gameplay and sheer enjoyment. Out of the box, it may not look any different than the existing Wii, even down to the same Wii-style sensor bar that made possible all those hours of motion-based game play. The headline, of course, is the Wii U's tablet-like GamePad, which packs in a 854-by-480-pixel, 6.2-inch touchscreen and physical d-pad, face buttons and left/right thumb-sticks, not to mention motion control sensors, haptic feedback, dual speakers, a microphone, an infrared sensor, near-field communication support, a front-facing camera and a rechargeable battery! In short, this thing is loaded, and is expected to deliver whole new gameplay experiences. Even so, I truly believe the Wii U's real killer app will be Miiverse, the game console's social network.
Apple iPad mini: An oversized iPhone or an undersized iPad? Even before we can truly answer this question, the new iPad mini is flying off the shelves faster than Apple can make them! I mean, you already know how to use an iPad, and this one is just a tad smaller. Smaller doesn't necessarily mean less capable though, in fact, I fully anticipate the smaller size may well increase the utility for many people - it's way more portable than the current generation iPad and slips in easily into a moderate sized jacket pocket. Now, much has been written about the lack of a Retina display on the mini, but in the short time I had with the mini, it's not something you notice at most times, and even when you do, the difference doesn't really hinder the experience that much. Expect an early December release.
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite: Kindle e-readers have had a strong fan following for as long as the device has been around, but the Paperwhite is the first Kindle to solve two of e-ink's biggest problems - poor contrast and lack of backlit displays - while still maintaining the e-reader's biggest strengths - readability and an insanely great battery life at an unbeatable price! Can't wait to get my hands on one of these!
Microsoft Surface: Windows 8 will be upon us, yet I personally am waiting with bated breath for one particular Windows 8 hardware - Microsoft's own Surface tablet. Sporting a 10-inch Gorilla Glass clad display and a full version of the Windows 8 operating system, Surface will come in two variants — an Intel-powered Surface Pro and the Surface RT, which is powered with an ARM chip that runs Windows RT, a version of Windows 8. Having seen Windows 8 on a tablet, I can say this much — if Microsoft manages enough Windows 8 apps on its Store by the time Surface lands, this is one tablet that can take the fight to the iPad.
LG Nexus 4: After HTC and Samsung's Nexus devices, it's LG's turn to produce a device that will be bestowed the hallowed Google Nexus name and run a pure Android experience. It packs in a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, capacious 2 gigabytes of memory, NFC and wireless charging out of the box, and will be the first handset to sport Google's upcoming Android 4.2 version. Think about it — the Nexus series has come a long way, from its humble beginnings as a developer device to test applications on pure Android, to one so packed with features and priced attractively enough for it to be a viable contender to Samsung. Bring it to India soon, LG?
Microsoft Surface Phone: And from the really-likely-but-yet-to-see-the-light-of-day department come a strong rumor — a Microsoft "Surface" branded Windows Phone 8 phone, which is meant to show OEMs the vision of Windows Phone 8 in much the same way as the Surface tablet did, and hopefully, goad them into better products as a result.
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