Microsoft finally worked out how to make a tablet that can replace your laptop. Apple designed the Watch which is a step forward in hardware and will shine when developers create killer apps that demand the Watch be on your wrist. Epson finally changed the way people print with the Eco-Tank printer series. Sony’s Playstation 4 and Roku 3 showed what a device with focus and a specific job to do (Instead of being another device that attempts to do everything). Below is a list of my favourite digital devices from 2015. It was a tough list to make, but these are the devices that impressed the most and are the top 5 must have gadgets for 2015.
Microsoft Surface Pro 4
Microsoft lost their way for a few years, appearing not to know what to do following years of riding on the success of the Windows operating system. Apple and Android have the smartphone market cornered, and Windows 8 designed for tablets and touch screens that no one owned. Microsoft had learned from their adventures into smartphones (With Nokia) and previous Surface tablet models to release the Surface Pro 4.
What was impressive about Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 was the fact there was finally a device that was a tablet that could replace a laptop or a laptop that turned into a tablet (Depending on your perspective). Apple released their iPad Pro this year that does well as combining a laptop and a tablet, but the Surface Pro 4 is Microsoft showing its teeth. The Surface Pro 4 is excellent for business, home or study. Microsoft has released there’s a market that Apple has had to itself for years, the masses of people in creative industries or with creative hobbies.
The Apple Watch is a device that has opinion divided and will make for sure an entry in top 5 must have gadgets for 2015. Yes, it is a new and innovative device that changes the relationship between a person and their smartphone. No, it’s not something that demands everyone to go out and make a purchase. The Apple Watch is a device with a future that is unforeseen yet. What made smartphones the must have device they currently are isn’t the hardware (As much as that helps) but the apps that use the hardware.
The Apple Watch is a piece of digital hardware that can have killer apps created for it, a range of apps that make users want the device. Apple makes digital devices that ask developers and users “What do you want to do with this?” What will be done with the Apple Watch is yet to be seen. The Apple Watch, unlike other Apple devices, was aimed at a wider audience than is usual for Apple. Rather than starting with a low-spec top-end device, Apple creates an affordable (Still expensive compared to Android smartwatches, however) Apple Watch Sport. At the high-end of the range is the Watch Edition that has an 18-Carat gold casing.
Epson eco-tank printer
Home printing isn’t affordable, isn’t easy and is wasteful. The Epson Eco Tank changes the business model of home printing. The Epson Eco Tank is a printer for home or business that has refillable tanks built in. Epson claims that Eco Tank printers have about two years of ink in them, but this would depend on how much you use it. I’m someone who prints a lot (Despite the array of digital devices that can almost replace paper) and wastes a lot of money on ink cartridges. The Epson Eco Tank’s initial cost is higher than many printers, but the overall costs will be a lot less. Plus, you won’t need to be changing ink cartridges regularly.
A better and more effective way to replace is something that users have wanted for a long time. It’s understandable as to why printer manufacturers kept this system going – Selling inexpensive printers with high priced ink forced people to spend money regularly. If you use an ink cartridge a week, you’ll buy one once a week. People noticed that they could get a new printer for less than the cost of the replacement in cartridges, something that made no sense. The Epson Eco tank holds about 20 standard cartridges worth of ink in a tank on the side. The tank has enough ink to print about 11,000 black pages and 8,500 colour pages.
The advantage Sony has over Microsoft with gaming consoles is Microsoft’s attempt to converge their digital devices to work together. Microsoft wants to create an internet of things that connects everything to Windows. Sony, on the other hand, only need to create a gaming and entertainment console. Sony can focus all of the Playstation 4’s power in creating a device that allows developers to create games with vast worlds or stunning graphics and gives players the ability to lose themselves in intense gameplay and beautiful visuals.
Sony has released Remote Play for the PS Vita and Xperia smartphones. Players can connect their PS4 with the PS Vita or Xperia smartphone over WiFi. Some games work better than others, depending on the controls of the game. Remote Play added to the lifespan of the PS Vita. The ability to share gameplay videos and Share Play games (Where a player allows a friend to control the game being played) are neat features that add to the overall experience of the PS4. Sony’s PS4 keeps updating and being improved. Sony is a company that knows how to give players what they want.
A TV is no longer a TV thanks to the internet, streaming services and digital devices like the Roku 3. Not everyone can afford a smart TV or has the need to upgrade to a new set. The Roku 3 can take your television at home and make it a multimedia streaming device. That’s why it makes it’s way into my top 5 must have gagdgets for 2015. It’s rare that a smaller company can take on the heavy weights of digital devices like Apple and Google with success, but that’s what has happened. The Apple TV isn’t a good device. If it were on a sports team, its position would be left right out. Google’s Chromecast is weak as a device. Apple and Google’s attempt at a media streaming device feels like an after thought, almost as if either company cared about the products they were releasing.
The Roku 3 is a device that was made with focus and the user in mind. Rather than attempting to push the user into using certain devices, streaming services or apps, the Roku 3 is customizable. You choose what apps you have, what services you use and what online stores are your preference. The remote of the Roku 3 is something that shows it contains thought and can be used easily. The buttons are well spaced out, labelled well and make sense. As with other media streamers, the remotes of other devices feel like an incomplete after thought. The Roku 3 is the media streaming device that you must have.