Lee Suckling goes tech shopping in Christchurch.
The new 21.5-inch iMac packs the highest performance Apple’s ever offered into a sleek aluminium and glass case. While a key feature is reduced reflection display, the real benefits are in the new iMac’s specs: 8GB of 1600 MHz memory, a 1TB hard drive, third generation quad-core Intel Core i5 processors (upgradeable to Core i7), plus the latest NVIDIA GeForce graphics processors to perform up to 60 per cent faster. Fusion Drive is new, too. It’s a new storage option using both 128GB of flash and a standard hard drive to create a single storage volume. $1999 from Yoobee.
Nothing beats the ability to play HD content from on your TV, but converting files into applicable formats is tiresome. The Philips HD Media Player (model HMP3000/79) takes away that extra step: file conversion is never required to play any video. The player hosts DivX Plus HD, enabling playback of the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC standard, plus features RealMedia Video and Windows Media Video for playback of everything from MPEG to MOV files without the hassle of conversion. Transfer from your computer is quickest over USB transfer to the player. $99 from Dick Smith.
If you’ve upgraded your PC to Windows 8 but don’t have a touch screen monitor, Logitech’s Rechargeable Touchpad T650 unlocks the full range of Windows 8 touch features at your fingertips. Make no mistake: this is no standard trackpad. It’s a super-smooth glass surface with precision censors that glide through up to 13 touch gestures – which built-in trackpads can’t do. The T650 is resistant to fingerprints and scratches so it’s ideal for the whole family, and its rechargeable wireless capability gives you up to one month of battery life. $129.99 from Bond and Bond, Noel Leeming and other shops.
A worthy competitor
Nokia’s 920 has been an electronic ninja on the mobile phone market. It’s not gained prominence over iPhone 5 or Samsung SIII, yet is jammed full of so many innovative features it deserves a mention as a worthy adversary. Here are the key features: a high-sensitivity Gorilla Glass screen that can be used wearing gloves, image stabilised 8.7 megapixel camera, Windows 8 OS, 4G capable, and, the coolest addition, Qi Inductive Charging which wirelessly charges the phone on a magnetic induction transmission pad instead of plugging it in. Maybe it won’t reach pop status, but it’s certainly worth a few more sales. $999 from Telecom.
Built for the outdoors, the Philips Self-Powered Radio is kinetic, so it charges up by movement. And it’s not just a standard AM/FM radio – it includes a siren for attracting attention, removable flashlight, and a built-in micro USB cable for charging any USB device. Environmentally friendly, this radio is a must for all campers and wilderness seekers. $69.95 from Dick Smith.