If you thought that 2007 provided a bumper crop of gadgets, then 2008 is likely to be an even bigger year. And we are not even talking of the second iteration of the iPhone. Big gadgets, small gadgets, we have them all here.
DIGITAL AUDIO PLAYER
What is it: iPod Touch 32GB
Why it’s hot: Creative and Sonos have announced that they will launch 32GB flash memory-based digital audio players very soon. However, the smart money is on Steve Jobs (Apple’s CEO) launching a 32GB iPod Touch at MacWorld in January along with iPhone v2. So, what would we buy? Heck, we’ll just stick with the iPod Touch.
How much? Approximately Rs 20,000
What is it: Nokia N82 and Samsung Armani
Why they are hot: This is a bit of a dangerous area, because we have no idea what phones will be capable of doing by end-2008. In the first few months of the year, you will see the introduction of the Nokia N82 with a superfast camera, the beautiful Samsung Armani (with haptic touch screen) and the US introduction of the next iteration of the iPhone and the rebirth of the MotoRIZR.
How much? Nokia N82, Samsung P520 Armani: approximately Rs 30,000 at launch
MOBILE PHONE/IPOD ACCESSORY
What is it: Altec Lansing SoundBlade
Why it’s hot: Altec Lansing makes some of the best small speaker systems and iPod docks— check out the IM7. The SoundBlade is not just an iPod dock but also a Bluetooth-capable speaker system, which doubles up as a portable speakerphone thanks to a small hidden microphone. This system will take some beating.
How much? Approximately Rs 6,000
What is it: Rock Band and Grand Theft Auto IV from Xbox360
Why they are hot: Rock Band is the game to have if you like a bit of old-fashioned or “new old-fashioned” rock music. This even comes with a whole accessories kit, including a drum set, a guitar and a microphone. This is the best way to have fun when you have some buddies over. You don’t need to be a skilled musician or a video-gamer to play this. Otherwise, if you are more of a solo-gamer, give Grand Theft Auto IV (Xbox360, PS2, PS3) a whirl later next year. More mad-cap violence and crazy car chases, the GTA franchise is expected to be one of the most anticipated games of 2008.
How much? Rock Band Rs 8,000 (approximately), GTA IV Rs 2,500LAPTOP
How much? Under Rs 20,000
Mobile phones without at least a 2-megapixel camera, GPRS or Bluetooth
Why they won’t be hot: Let’s be honest, two-megapixels is the basic hygiene factor for phones priced at over Rs 7,500 today. But by the middle of the year, we would expect all “decent” phones to have a minimum of 3.2 megapixels at least.
PS2’s and Xbox
Why they won’t be hot: Listen, the PS2 might be a steal at around Rs 6,000 and you get pirated games, but two years since the transition to nextgeneration consoles started with the Microsoft Xbox 360, the games and the graphics advantages of new consoles are coming through.
Mono Bluetooth headsets
Why they won’t be hot: You want the stereo ones, right? At least, people won’t think you look insane talking to yourself through a small thing in your ear.