What would a bunch of geeks want to see during Christmas? World peace, we’d say. No, add to that, justice for all, happiness in unlimited supply.
But more realistically, we’d just like a great tech gadget or two in a dreamy, money-no-object world where we can have any gizmo in the world. So, all we want for Christmas is…
Another iPhone 4!
It’s such a hot commodity here in Hong Kong (even almost 5 months after its official launch) that getting another one as a Christmas present will make the mere mortals, who simply cannot lay their hands on one without signing up for a 2 year telco contract, infinitely envious.
But since I already have one, using a pair of iPhones might seem a tad excessive so I’d probably end up selling off this stocking stuffer at a slightly obscene almost 30% more than the HK$4,988 retail price that the tinted-haired cellphone dealers are generously taking them in at (that’s roughly HK$6400), and ultimately fund the purchase of my real Christmas present, which is a ….
A Panasonic GF2.
Despite all the hype about cellphone cameras improving, they are still far from acceptable to my untrained eye. Hence that leaves my aching shoulders with the DSLR which even with a small lens, feels like a brick and tends to be left at home.
Yeah, there’s all that talk about if you should get a cam with an APS-C vs the smaller Micro 4/3rd sensor, but from the photos I’ve seen from my bro’s GF1, while the Micro 4/3rd sensor is smaller, it’s good enough for me! So now that the GF2 has gotten physically smaller than the GF1, coupling it with a bright pancake lens (ideally the 20mm f1.7, not the 14mm f2.5 that it’s being bundled with) seems like a perfect combination for more weekend snaps. Shoot me one please! – Roland Lim aka limbeer
Sony Vaio Z
The newly-minted Sony VAIO Z Series takes pole position in my Christmas wish list. Its cutting-edge industrial design, coupled with high-end specs, makes it the perfect prize for tech geeks.
It’s not cheap but with specs like an Intel Core i7-640M 2.8GHz processor, 8GB of DDR3 memory, a Blu-ray drive plus four 64GB solid state drives, you will be the envy of the geek fraternity. At 1.4kg, it’s lightweight enough for you to not notice its presence in your backpack. It costs a whopping $5,199, so don’t lose sight of it wherever you go!
Samsung Galaxy Tab
Until Honeycomb-based Android tablets see the light of day, the Samsung Galaxy Tab is the best bet for a 7-inch tablet. Samsung’s much acclaimed number is the current king of the hill in the Android tablet world. Its sharp and bright screen, large-screen customisation and access to the Android Market, stand out from the pack. Apple’s iPad may well be its closest rival, but I’m not going to be lugging around a 10-inch screen. Not in a man purse for sure. -Aaron Tan
My top Christmas tech toy wishlist would be an Android tablet. Why an Android tablet rather than the iPad? Well, even though the iPad has a beautiful form factor, a really clean interface and excellent, excellent app support, I still prefer customizability any day. Chalk this down to the control-freak geek in me who wants to customize my interface screens. And who is used to having a back button!
However, since I already have a HTC Desire Android smartphone and LG netbook, what role would the Android tablet serve? Two words: browsing, and casual games. I’ve stopped lugging my Nintendo DS around, and I can absolutely see an Android tablet replacing that.
Of all the choices we have right now, the Samsung Tab is the best on the market so far for the first generation of Android tablets. It’s a little pricey though – I’m not paying close to S$1K for a tablet (non-contract), plus the Android marketplace still needs a few more months to mature. Thus, a second generation, cheaper Android Tablet would be perfect early next year, but I wouldn’t mind a Samsung Tab this Christmas.
Computer games – more, please!
Moving on to things less greedy and things that I will actually buy this Christmas… computer games, and lots of them! There’s lots and lots of tempting offers at Steam and Impulse for this festive period. For example, the RPG-hit Witcher, which I once owned and loaned out to a friend, is on sale for US$5 today, and I wouldn’t mind buying back the digital copy to keep.
More interesting are the indie game packs, where you can find cutting edge games that you will not find on shelves anywhere. It is this ability to pick and choose, instant downloading, auto-patching, achievements and ability to connect to fellow gamers that I really like.
Disclosure: I used to hate Steam with a passion a few years back when games bundled with steam screwed up during peak traffic (e.g. the launch of Half-Life 2), but these problems have been fixed over the years. And anyway, who can argue with generally lower prices? I have to give it to them – Steam has been making quite a bit of money off me since the holiday period! – Chan Chi-loong
Can’t say I’ve heard a better pre-amplifier than this amazing Lamm Industries unit, which is as hardcore as hi-fi components go. There’s no remote controller, nor are the left and right channels balanced (you make sure you fix that yourself), because of the belief that the design should be simple as possible without interfering with the sound.
This is like the Return of the Jedi, a new Indiana Jones movie (oops, we know what happened with that). Silverstone’s much-heralded TJ11, a full-aluminium followup to its TJ07 PC case that is much-loved by all PC modders and builders, is reaching shops in January 2011 with big promises.
Apparently, it costs a crazy S$888 and there are already pre-orders in Singapore, according to the distributor here. -Alfred Siew