Top Ten Tech Gifts
1. Sony Playstation 4
In the battle of the next generation games consoles, Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758) has certainly made the early running, despite the fact that there is a huge gap between the Playstation 4 and Xbox One in terms of sales as of yet. Nevertheless, although the XBox One delivers more of a media center experience, the PS4 is the more powerful machine, and Sony has clearly gone out of its way to appeal to gamers. Microsoft has some catching up to do, both in practical terms and with regard to winning back the hearts and minds of the gaming fraternity.
2. Apple iMac 27 inch version
There will probably be a perennial debate for as long as there are desktop computers regarding whether Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) machines or PC desktops are superior. But it is simply impossible, in my humble opinion, to assert that the Apple iMac isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing desktop computer in the world, and using it is an absolute pleasure. The 27 inch version has features that the budget iMac does not, so it’s the choice for the discerning Mac user.
3. Apple iPhone 5S
The Samsung Galaxy has pushed it very close in sales terms, but the consensus opinion about the iPhone 5S is that it has pushed the smartphone to a new level. Despite not comprising of any absolutely unique features, this iPhone executes all of its functions with style and flair, and the iPhone remains the definitive smartphone.
4. Sony XBR 4K Ultra HD TV
Tired of boring old 1080p? Well, it’s hard to say why you would be, as many broadcasters still don’t actually put programs out in full HD. But Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758) has already released their ultra-HD television, which delivers four times the number of pixels involved in 1080p. If you really want to impress your friends when they come over to watch TV, this is the way to do it.
5. Dell Alienware Custom Gaming PC
If you think console gaming is gimmicky and over-rated, then you’re probably a committed PC gamer. Certainly if you’re willing to shell out the dollars, the PC platform still delivers a superior gaming experience to consoles, and Alienware gaming PCs are among the highest rated and most powerful PCs on the market. Furthermore, they are fully customizable, and come in some pretty cool and striking designs.
For those people who aren’t happy with an all-in-one hi-fi, and are serious about their music, then you really need to shell out on hi-fi separates. While the amp and speakers are obviously very important in your set-up, you won’t get the sound quality that you’re hoping for if you don’t invest in a high-end, quality CD player. There are a lot of competitors for your money, but one of the very best is this Roksan unit, which was acknowledged as the best of the 2013 CD players in the What Hi-Fi Awards. It delivers simply staggering sound quality, and well worth investing in.
7. Sonos Playbar
The next step in creating the perfect sound system in your front room is the speaker system. Traditionally this has been an extremely troublesome issue, particularly with those for tendencies towards tidiness. While wireless speakers have solved this to some extent, my personal opinion is that the soundbar is an even neater way to deliver incredible audio without errant wires all over the place. The Sonos Playbar is probably the most impressive soundbar on the market, and the perfect accompaniment to home cinema setups in particular.
8. Apple iPad Air
Hopefully this list won’t be accused of pro-Apple bias, but the Apple iPad Air has received almost across-the-board rave reviews. There is a reason that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shipped far more tablet devices than any of its competitors, and it is simply that the iPad is a very smart, intuitive and cool device. To stay ahead of the field in such a competitive marketplace is far from easy with so much competition out there, but there is nothing to touch the iPad Air in the tablet market at this point in time.
The next item in your home cinema system would be something to play movies (naturally enough…). It has often been predicted that physical media will be phased out completely eventually, and this may very well be a view with validity. Certainly a service such as Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) offers a lot of the functionality of discs, but until Internet speeds increase considerably, I still believe Blu-ray discs are worth investing in. Thus, this Marantz Blu-ray player is a top of the market device, for those people who don’t want to rely on a Playstation to play media, delivering incredible picture and sound quality that will simply blow you away.
Finally, another route to go down for the home cinema enthusiast is to get hold of a top quality projector. This can set you back a few thousand dollars, but is nevertheless a worthwhile investment if you’re particularly passionate about movies. Arguably the best new projector out there is the Panasonic PT-AT6000E. This device has been particularly lauded for its outstanding image quality, as well as the huge variety of setup options that it offers. Winner of a What Hi-Fi Award for 2013, it is certainly hard to find a better projector currently on the market.