A Techgoondu wishlist for Christmas 2017

December 24th, 2017 | by Alfred Siew
A Techgoondu wishlist for Christmas 2017
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It’s that time of the year again, when we look forward to giving family and friends the best gifts on Christmas.

What would a geek like to find when he unwraps a present? Here’s what the Techgoondu team is wishing for:

LG C7T OLED 4K TV (S$7,288 for 65-inch version)

LG C7 OLED TV. PHOTO: LG website

Since I hooked up my PC to my TV in the living room, I have not looked back. Although my accuracy in playing shooting games suffered as compared to playing on a smaller screen and a wired mouse, the comfort factor is just too good for me to give up.

For the all rounded armchair gamers who play console and PC games, a display that can handle fast graphics and render them beautifully is a must. Today’s games, like Assassin’s Creed Origins and Call of Duty WWII, will push the limits of displays.

And with gaming consoles and PCs bumping up their displays to support 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) and High Dynamic Range (HDR), a gamer will need a TV to match these increased graphical demands. Apart from supporting 4K and HDR, the TV will also need to have low input latency for gaming to keep up with the action.

In terms of good looks and specs, I will put the LGC7T OLED 4K TV on my Christmas wish list. This TV set is super slim, supports Dolby Atmos audio, displays satisfying deep blacks with dynamic HDR as well as a billion colours, and has a low input latency of around 21 ms.

Although this gift is too large to stuff in any sock I have, it can still technically fit under the Christmas tree – the tree will just have to sit on top of it. – Yap Hui Bin

Logitech Craft keyboard (S$329)

Logitech Craft keyboard. PHOTO: Handout

With its latest Craft keyboard, Logitech might just have a game-changer for a PC peripheral that isn’t easy to change things up for. And it’s all thanks to just one new control: a dial.

Logitech calls it the “crown”, and it’s not just a free-spinning dial. It can be pressed like a button, and is also touch sensitive, so it responds when you simply place your hands on it.

This is important, because the crown’s ability to send multiple inputs to your PC opens up new possibilities. You can touch, tap, spin clockwise, spin counter-clockwise, press, double press, press and spin, and presumably any number of combinations of the above.

Best of all, it’s not something that you have to look down at to use (I’m looking at you, MacBook Touch Bar). You can have the dial in one hand and your mouse on the other, and still keep your eyes on the screen as you try to create your next masterpiece.

At S$329, Logitech has made the Craft a tough buy to justify for home users, placing it firmly in the reach of professionals. But hey, I can at least aspire to be a creative professional one day, and hope the keyboard takes me there, right? – Raymond Lau

Devialet Gold Phantom (S$4,490)

Devialet Gold Phantom. PHOTO: Handout

For something different, the Devialet Phantom Bluetooth speaker will be a good replacement for the aging Bose speakers in my living room.

I was in Hong Kong when I chanced upon a Devialet outlet in IFC shopping mall in Central. I stepped in and was immediately enthralled by the speaker’s sound which is powerful and distortion free. It was also very clear, all the highs and lows are distinct.

I like the Phantom’s unusual and distinctive style. The high-end Gold Phantom has 4,500 watts of power, allowing it to create 108dB of sound. But at S$4,490 it is somewhat prohibitive. Devialet has released a new entry-level gadget at S$2,490, which has 1,200 watts of power, belting out 101dB of sound. Still a pretty good speaker at this range.

Somehow I have to subtly let loved ones know the Phantom tops my wish Christmas wish list. – Grace Chng

Microsoft Surface Studio (from US$4,199)

Microsoft Surface Studio. PHOTO: Microsoft website

I have a 32-inch Sharp 4K monitor for my workhorse desktop PC and it gives me a lot of working space, especially when editing images and videos. It’s tough to think what I can replace this monitor with until the Microsoft Surface Studio was introduced earlier this year.

What sets it apart from the run-of-the-mill PC is the Surface Dial that is used with the Surface Pen stylus. The dial can quickly give you the navigational tools or access to the colour palette so you can apply changes more efficiently without the required clicks from the keyboard.

It comes with a 28-inch screen that packs in 13.4 million pixels with the higher resolution density of a typical 4K screen. That is needed when you are working with 4K footage or high-resolution 42-megapixel still photos.

I’d wish for the top-end Surface Studio that comes with an Intel Core i7 chip, 32GB RAM, 128GB solid state drive with a 2TB hard disk and Nvidia GeForce 980M graphics.

Costing US$4,199, this PC certainly doesn’t come cheap. But we can wish for things at Christmas, yes? – Wilson Wong

Gigabyte Aorus GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Waterforce WB Xtreme Edition 11G (S$1,360.90)

Gigabyte’s watercooled version of the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. PHOTO: Gigabyte website

Okay, that’s a mouthful for a product name. But it’s great to see the most powerful PC graphics cards now available with a sleek water block straight out of the box, ready for your custom-built, water-cooled PC.

Gigabyte’s edition of an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is set apart by the full-cover water block that cools down the most important components on the card, not just the chip itself. If bling is your thing, you can also customise the colours that show up on the board.

Most important, of course, is still the performance. A single GeForce GTX 1080 Ti with a good 11GB of memory should get you on the way to 4K gaming, a demanding task for any PC today. And I mean real 4K gaming with all the eye candy turned on, not the less dazzling versions on game consoles.

To be honest, I don’t game as much as I did before – the GeForce GTX 980 in my PC pushes out Chrome, Word and Excel screens more than Call of Duty. But I’m heartened that hardcore performance is driving the adoption of the PCs once again.

In those areas, there’s no other component that pushes the envelop more than the graphics card. A jazzed-up version of the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, like Gigabyte’s one here, is welcome addition to any PC – Alfred Siew

 

 

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