Scandyna Minipod Mk II
£550, Scandyna Speakers
Scandyna's wonderfully shaped Minipods have been gracing us with their Sputnik-style chic since the 90s. This beautiful redesigned model brings with it a new midrange/bass driver, joined by a lovely yellow Kevlar cone. Its unique triple sphered form isn't just for show either – according to Scandyna, every characteristic has a "precise acoustical justification". This minimises cabinet vibration, sound radiation and distortion, to pave the way for the kind of sound reproduction any discerning audiophile would be happy to lend their lugholes to.
Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook
While the world drowns in a sea of tablets, a new breed of slim and speedy laptops pushed by Intel is about to take centre stage, known as Ultrabooks. Much like any exclusive club, only a select few have been invited to the party so far, including the Acer Aspire S3. It’s clearly taken its design cue from the king of slim – the MacBook Air – and while it’s not as classy, you get more bang for your buck thanks to its powerful components, like second-gen Core-i7 processors, a choice of SSD, 4GB of RAM, HDMI-out, two USB ports. Brains as well as brawn. Available as of next month.
It's pretty difficult to spice up an iPod dock these days – there are so many of them. Full points to JVC, then, which has crafted a dock capable of handling two iThings at once. The VJ5 also comes with a USB port, a CD player from which you can rip MP3 files, an AM/FM radio, and a pair of 15W speakers. All that's left to decide is which device you want to play music from.
Sony Tablet S
£400 (16GB Wi-Fi), Sony
Even when Sony's new tablet went by the name S1 and was a mere sketch, we were suitably excited about the prospect of Sony dipping its toe into tablet waters for the very first time. At IFA this year, Sony took the wraps off its Tablet S to reveal a beautiful, if oddly shaped, slice of tech. Seemingly taking its design cue from a folded magazine – for ergonomic comfort, of course – the Tablet S boasts its own music and video service, PlayStation certification to get your game on and thanks to an infrared commander, it doubles up as a universal remote.
All-in-one music systems don't get much better than this. It can handle CDs, iPod docking (but not iPads) internet and FM radio, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi streaming. So far so awesome. Everything is controlled via its user-customisable 7.5in multitouch screen, accompanied by six speakers, including a couple of subwoofers. A remote control is on hand, too, if being lazy is important. Loewe claims it offers "the best sound and design quality worldwide from an all-in-one audio system". We'll be the judges of that when it launches before Christmas for £1,200.
More after the break...
Bentley multimedia add-on
If you've got £220,00 to spend on a Mulsanne Bentley, it's more than likely you can cough up another £100,000 to spend on an extravagantly decadent package that involves twin rear tray-mounted iPad's equipped with Bluetooth keyboards and a 32GB Mac Mini stashed in the boot. Its excessive price tag is further justified with an iPod dock, rear console, refrigerator and a drop-down HD LED screen. That's all accompanied by a custom-built app for full control of reading lights, as well as audio and video sources. Just remember to keep your eyes on the road.
Olympus Pen E-P3
£800 w/14-42mm kit lens, Amazon
Olympus' PEN E-P2 earned a well deserved five-star rating from us and its successor looks set to follow in its footsteps. There's an array of shooting options from intelligent auto to fully manual, alongside ten art filters and 24 scene mode options. And with a brand new OLED touchscreen, 12.3MP sensor and what Olympus claims is the fastest autofocus of any interchangeable-lens compact, the Pen E-P3 is a gorgeous first rate option for photography enthusiasts.
Philips L1 headphones
Philips' Fidelio brand has taken personal audio under its wing with the Fidelio L1 headphones. These semi-backed, on-ear headphones come with 40mm, high-definition neodymium drivers – a signature part of Fidelio products. The band and outer shells are coated in soft leather, but the real luxury is the memory foam cushions designed to mold to your ears in the same way a cosy kingsize memory foam mattress adjusts to your body. They've even been given the official audiophile nod from the Philips Golden Ears panel of audio specialists. We don't know who they are, but suspect they live underground and aren't allowed out very often. Having just been announced at IFA, they're not available right now, but if you can wait till spring, they're yours.
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 10-46
£7,400, Bang and Olufsen
This ticks all the luxurious gadget boxes – it's shiny, expensive and only 500 units have been made, rendering it a limited edition item. Its colour scheme goes by the name Chantrelle and also adorns its easel stand, designed to replicate the impression of a painting leaning against the wall. If you're feeling really flush, you can throw in the £2,600 BeoLab 6002 speakers to complete the whole set-up.
From £850, Apple
When the MacBook Air emerged from that manilla envelope back in 2008, the king of slim was lording it about like it was the best thing since sliced bread, despite being underpowered and having a battery that gave way after a only a couple of hours. Fast forward to 2011 and the MBA has been beefed up with Core i5 and i7 processors, a solid state drive as standard and the very awesome gesture-controlled OS X Lion. Oh, and the backlit keyboard has also made a welcome return.