‘i’ must haves

What dominated the gadget scene in 2010 are those devices that begin with a lower case ‘i’

iPad: Most coveted tablet device

USERS define themselves by the gadgets they possess, and those they covet. What dominated the scene in 2010 are those devices that begin with a lower case ‘i’. At the top of the heap was the iPad, Apple’s Tablet PC which has crossed the 75 lakh mark in sales, and emerged on must-have lists the world over. Only a trickle of the product has, however, streamed into India.

iPhone: Greatness enhanced

Gadget-lovers have a way of getting what they want from wherever it is available. The top gizmos of the year are truly international, designed in some country, built somewhere else, and used by aficionados in India too.

Apple talks about its products as if they are people. Steve Jobs, the CEO, always says iPad can do this, iPhone can do that, without using the article ‘the’ as if they were real people. Now, who doesn’t want people at their beck and call? Intelligent ones at that, with a friendly interface. No wonder, the iPhone too is on every top-10 list, in spite of controversies about the smartphone’s antenna. So is the iPod and Apple’s 11-inch MacBook Air.

Smartphones are among the most desirable items for gadget freaks, and in this category, Samsung Galaxy S is also much celebrated, as is the Nexus One. We expect a lot of movement on this front in the coming months.

Kindle: Book-reading redefined

In 2010, e-books have truly begun revolutionising reading and are fast overtaking printed books in certain forms. Will the trend catch up in India? We will have to just wait and see if it does, but we must acknowledge that e-book readers are here to stay. The iPad is also an e-book reader and so is Nook Color, offered by the largest book retailer in the United States, Barnes and Noble.

Nook: B&Ns comeback kid

Amazon’s Kindle led the pack and still has a tremendous following. The product from Sony too, is widely used. When we have so many choices, it comes down to which features appeal to users. This is also dependent on which e-book services are available to users in India, something that we must keep in mind when we pick up the device which is changing the way gadget lovers are reading their books and magazines. Into this crowded field has jumped in Google Books, without any device, but with more books than others.

Youngsters and the young at heart love gaming, indeed much of their lives revolve around the gaming devices. Here too, it’s a matter of where your loyalties lie.

X Box 360 Arcade: Raw power and more

While practically every gadget offers some gaming facilities, gaming gizmos have a special allure.  Microsoft’s X Box 360 Arcade Kinect,  with its 250GB HD, built-in wi-fi, smaller size, five USB ports, and 45-nanometer chip stole the show.  Nintendo Wii also won much acclaim. Armchair sportsmen had much activity to do in their living rooms!

3D Camcorders? Panasonic has a great offering for normal consumers. A mini-fridge for your desk that uses a USB connection to chill a standard can of Coke, for those who don’t walk down to their refrigerator! What will they think of next?

The New Year will bring up new gizmos. On the horizon are smarter phones, better e-book readers that double up as multi-propose devices, many, many more things to make our life easier and more fun, or at least, that’s what we gizmo-freaks believe.

This article by Roopinder Singh on Technology was published in a special year-end supplement of The Tribune on December 26, 2010

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