These days, it’s not enough to simply have the computers: one must have the gadgets. They could help productivity, they could play games, they could help the user keep in touch with friends, family and the entire world, but they are the must-have accessories of the digital age. No longer simply optional, gadgets are the exclamation point of technology increasingly taking over our daily lives. Here are 10 such gadgets that would make computer geeks explode and bust out their coupons for Best Buy.
1. Roku Streaming Stick
Streaming media is nothing new – we can all watch our favorite TV shows and movies on the bus to work – but imagine bringing the power of streaming media to a full-size TV screen, using something that looks like a USB flash drive. That’s what the Roku Streaming Stick can do. Thanks to the new HDMI HML standard, newer TV screens can start streaming Roku content from providers such as Netflix and Pandora.
2. Eye-Fi Mobile X2
If the name sounds cool, then what this SD card can do will blow your mind. Capable of connecting directly to iPhone and Android devices over a WiFi network, the Eye-Fi Mobile X2 lets users transfer photos from their DSLR cameras to their phones – and from there, to the Internet at large. No USB cables, no computer required. Just an SD card.
3. Livescribe Echo Smartpen
With everybody having a tablet and a smartphone now, actually writing something down may become a thing of the past. Not if Livescribe have anything to say about it. Combining James Bond-esque gadgetry with good, old-fashioned notetaking, the Livescribe Echo Smartpen creates digital backups of everything it writes, as well as synchronous audio recordings. True to form, the smartpen can send files to Facebook and Google Docs.
4. Jawbone Era
Using your hands to have a telephone conversation is so 20th century. These days, you don’t even need to press a button on your phone to accept an incoming call. Just shake the Jawbone Era headset device on your ear, and the call is connected. It even plays music and has downloadable voices to tell you how much battery life it has left.
5. Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 6000.
Sometimes, the on-screen keyboard on your smartphone or tablet just won’t do the job. In those dire emergencies, the Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 6000, with its OSX, Android, Windows and iOS compatibility, ergonomic design and separate numerical keyboard was named Gizmodo’s best bluetooth keyboard.
6. Topping TP30
With the music, movies and computer games available today, a simple soundcard and headphone combination isn’t enough. The Parts Express Topping TP30 is an audiophile’s dream come true, delivering 15 watts per channel to 4 ohm-rated speakers (10 watts into 8 ohms), and has a 3.5 mm headphone jack on the front panel.
7. Bowers & Wilkins P5 Headphones
You’ll need a good pair of headphones to work with the Topping TP30, and the Bowers & Wilkins P5 fit the bill. Memory foam padding, design that mimics the contours of the position of the ears on a human head, interchangeable cables combine to provide a level of sound quality that Wired.com simply described as “DOPE”.
8. Logitech Performance Mouse MX
If you find yourself behind a desktop computer, the Logitech Performance Mouse MX will be a great companion to the Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 6000. How great? This mouse’s laser tracker is so good, it could work on clear glass. If that doesn’t convince you, maybe the thumb button will.
9. Canon 320 HS
Sometimes you want a little more than your smartphone’s camera without going full DSLR. The Canon 320 HS provides the best alternative between too much and too little, with faster WiFi and better design than its competitors.
10. Alienware M17x
Maybe you can enjoy music and movies on a tablet, but for gaming, there’s no better option than the Alienware M17x. With an AMD Radeon HD 6970M GPU, with 2GB of DDR5 memory, this notebook can wirelessly stream games, movies, and other media to a TV in HD, and, just to rub its awesomeness in, has multi-colored backlighting.