It’s tablet war! Can Google’s Nexus 7 or Asus’s Transformer Pad Infinity rival Apple’s iPad? And more consumer technology to goggle at...
Asus Transformer Pad Infinity
The "world's first full-HD Android tablet" and one that smartly continues the tablet/laptop Asus Transformer brand. The Infinity comes with a detachable Mobile Dock cover/keyboard accessory, which boosts battery-life to 14 hours (compared to 9.5 used just as a touchscreen tablet). Inside, there's 1.6GHz quad-core processing, 1,920 x 1,200 full-HD screen and dual cameras with 8MP rear with LED flash and full-HD video capture. The catch? That high-end price puts the Wi-Fi-only Infinity above the cost of even a 3G Retina Display new iPad and a standard keyboard case.
Logitech G600 MMO Gaming Mouse
Bristling with as many buttons as you have fingers and toes, the G600 features 20 ways to click. The idea being that customisable macro-setting software makes it easier to play massively multi-player online games (or, for that matter, do any complex but repetitive task that normally sees you having to shift your mouse hand onto the keyboard at inopportune moments). Three primary buttons are backed with a tilt-click scrollwheel, 12 thumb light-up buttons, a shift button to double up button configurations and 1 millisecond report rate. And there's the ability to shift DPI on the fly for precision targeting or speed of movement.
It's a 12-item multitool with a twist - three of tools turn the Steady into a mini-tripod ideal for snapping pictures from a compact camera or smartphone. Fold out the two legs and use the rest of the body as a tripod and you can screw a compact camera into the standard thread mount (the end result is too small for a dSLR), or lean a smartphone against the rubberised suction cup for steady shots even in the most outdoorsy photographic conditions. On top of that, the Steady features the usual array of pliers, wire cutters, blades, screwdrivers and a bottle opener. It's fairly sturdy too.
Google Nexus 7
The first really serious rival to Apple's iPad? The Google Nexus 7 (made by Asus) manages a double-whammy of power at an amazing price point. The 8GB model costs a mere £159 (16GB £199), but features 7in 1,280 x 800 HD Corning glass touchscreen, 9+ hour battery life and nVidia Tegra 3 quad-core processing. Plus the latest (currently 4.1) Android OS with all of Google's goodies built-in (the tablet is "made for Google Play" multimedia performance). While Android remains sparser in terms of design than iOS, the app count and variety, plus customisability, means this really is the cut-price, mainstream rival to iPad.
Canon EOS M
from £769 (with lens)
Canon's first ever compact system (interchangeable lenses) camera - the EOS M is an attempt to squeeze no-compromise digital SLR quality into a much smaller, simpler space. That means 18MP sensor (that's identical to the one in its 650D), 100-12,800 ISO (extendable to 25,600) and full-HD video. It also means retained Aperture, Shutter and Manual modes, but also lots of automatic modes and no viewfinder (there's a 3in touchscreen instead). And, of course, there's interchangeable lenses and an adaptor to use existing Canon lenses too (although this does add bulk to a camera whose purpose is to remain tiny).
Humax DTR-1000 YouView Smart 500GB
Freeview takes the next step in battling rival PVRs from Sky and Virgin. YouView is a technology created by an alliance of broadcasters to bring video-on-demand services to Freeview PVRs. All of that jargon means now you can not just schedule recordings of TV to the hard drive, but also use "catch-up" services via your broadband connection, including BBC's iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Demand 5, all on the same device. And that's up to full-HD resolution (if the service, channel or programme supports it). Whether the up-front cost remains too high to stop the drift to monthly subscription TV remains to be seen, however.