Asus Eee PC 1005HA Seashell
The life of the eco gadgeteer is often a disappointing one, but Sony’s WE5 range of tellies will bring a grin to the face of any gadget-loving planet-stroker. This 1080p, 40in model has picture quality the equal of any at its price. However, it uses a low-power backlight that saves 50% of the power compared with one of Sony’s normal TVs, and has a Presence Sensor that detects when you leave the room and switches the screen off. Small steps, but as Tesco suggests, every little helps – so much the better if it means not having to drink mud and wear pants made of hemp.
Gadgets often skirt frustratingly close to perfection. They either have the looks, functionality and most of the quality; the functionality and quality and most of the looks; the quality… you get the idea. The UE46B8000 bucks the trend. Just 29mm thick, this LED-backlit TV provides a vast gamut of rich colours and abyssal blacks, while 200Hz processing makes it ideal for watching the footy. Through its Ethernet port you can stream news, YouTube videos and Flickr photos, and it’ll hook up to your computer to borrow media. Bells, whistles, looks and performance: this one’s got the lot.
While bigger, smaller and more unusual cameras grabbed the headlines, the F200EXR got on with the job of taking excellent photos without fuss. This unassuming compact proves there’s life in pocketable cameras yet, sporting the revolutionary 12MP EXR image sensor which allows it to shoot low-light photos better than any other small camera we’ve seen. Real-world, superior photography is what the F200EXR is all about. Its 28mm wide-angle lens makes it as good for embarrassing drunken group shots as its 5x optical zoom does for travel and portraits. Quietly masterful.
Apple iPhone 3G S
Not just the must-have mobile of the year, it’s the must-have fashion accessory – as much of a status symbol as quality shoes, a fast car or a shiny watch. The effect the iPhone has had on the mobile industry is even more profound than the changes the iPod hoisted upon the world of music. It embarrasses alternatives with their relative lack of ingenious, beautiful apps, impossibly slick interfaces and effortless multimedia capabilities. Haters deride the 3MP camera, but do you know why they’re haters? Because they don’t own one. Believe the hype: two years in, the iPhone still rules.
Apple iPod Touch
There’s a reason that iPods are still the default choice when it comes to portable entertainers. Quite simply, they are the best – and the Touch is the best of the best. On its own, it’s an excellent movie player, a great-sounding and intuitive music device and a formidable Wi-Fi internet portal. With iTunes, it’s infinitely more. The App Store empowers the Touch to become a preposterously good portable gamer and productivity tool, and iTunes movie downloads mean you can connect to a hotspot at the airport and download a film for the flight. Alternatives can only look on and gape.
Nintendo Wii Motion Plus + Sports Resort
They say the original is best, and whoever they are, they’re often right. Try as Nintendo might, it simply couldn’t trump Wii Sports (the freebie bundled with every Wii console, making it the best-selling game ever). Until this year, that is. Thanks to the added accuracy afforded by the Motion Plus accessory, Sports Resort takes the fun of Wii Sports and ramps it up several notches. You owe it to yourself to play Frisbee on the beach, beat your foes with a padded stick, and wakeboard around the island. For once, it’s the original but better.
Call of Duty World at War
Purists will disagree, but if we were to recommend one game to a friend, this would be it. The story has all the cohesion of a dropped sandwich, darting around WWII scenarios like a shell-shocked grasshopper, but it’s never less than fun, and frequently it’s thrilling. Initially greeted as the poor relation to forerunner CoD 4: Modern Warfare, World at War won this battle with online play that’s had us prowling its expansive multiplayer maps for months on end.
Over the years, Play.com has evolved from the choice place to buy CDs on the internet to the best place to buy… well, everything. It still supplies bargain-tastic DVDs, games, Blu-ray discs and music, but it also has a magnificent selection of the latest gadgets and toys, all heavily discounted. It’s stuffed with information to ensure you can make informed choices, but if you don’t want to do that, you can blow your hard-earned on a Top Gear: The Stig Projection Alarm Clock.
Apple iPhone 3G S
Who are we kidding? We love the iPhone just as much as you. Yes, HTC’s Hero excited us, but the iPhone just keeps getting better. Like us, you fell for the fruits of the App Store, the v3 software upgrades, the updated 3MP camera and all-new digital compass. The promise of v3.1 and new augmented reality apps means there’s even more good stuff to come. It’s an upgrade of what was already the best gadget in the world. Well done, Stuff readers: a wise choice.