Smartphones and tablet PCs are all the rage, with Microsoft and Google trying to kick Apple from the top spot. The iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3, Google Nexus 7, and Microsoft Surface are racking up millions of sales.
However, if you are looking beyond the smartphone and tablet PC craze there are many gadgets which will make your life easier and make heads turn.
Photography is also moving forward at a rapid rate with mirrorless cameras and smaller, thinner form factors.
Unfortunately not all the best gadgets are available through the standard retail channels in South Africa, but if you are willing to pay a premium you can use online import stores like WantitAll or Have2have.
Here are some of the coolest gadgets available today.
LG 55-inch OLED TV
LG’s 55-inch OLED TV, which was unveiled in January at CES 2012, will be launched in South Africa in the coming months. The TV is virtually bezel-less and sports smart TV capabilities, a new Magic Motion remote control for gesture-based menu navigation, and passive 3D. Pricing has not been confirmed yet, but you can expect to pay somewhere between R50,000 and R100,000 for this TV.
Audi e-bike Wörthersee
Cycling is one of the fastest growing sports in South Africa, but to battle up a hill – even if you are on a carbon fibre mountain bike – is just not fun. Enter Audi’s e-bike Wörthersee.
The Audi e-bike Wörthersee not only looks great, it is an extraordinary piece of engineering. Its ultra-light carbon-fiber frame weighs only 1,600 grams, and excluding the battery, the complete bicycle weighs only 21 kg. In the ‘Pedelec’ mode the rider is assisted by the electric motor, and a top speed of up to 80km/h can be reached.
Unfortunately the Audi e-bike Wörthersee is currently a concept only, which means that you may just have to slog up that hill with a conventional bicycle for a while longer.
iRobot Roomba 790
If you like manual housework and cleaning floors you are reading the wrong website. However, if you are looking for a way to assist with housework without lifting a finger, you are at the right place.
The new iRobot Roomba 790 offers the latest vacuum cleaning robot technology, including a new wireless command center to give you control of the robot. You can schedule when it should clean, and tell it where it should clean. It will even automatically go back to its ‘Home Base’ to dock and recharge between cleanings.
Audeze LCD-3 headphones
Whether you are gaming or just listening to music, you need a pair of great headphones. The Audeze LCD-3 headphones provide the highest level of audio quality through a proprietary thin-film diaphragm that is housed between a push-pull magnetic structure. The LCD3 earcups are made of precision-crafted Zebra Wood (Zebrano).
The World’s Best Audio System 2012
If you are not concerned about disturbing the neighbors, The World’s Best Audio System 2012 (TWBAS 2012) is for you. The TWBAS 2012 system is made up of products from seven manufacturers from five countries: Vitus Audio (Denmark), WideaLab (Korea), Magico (USA), AudioQuest (USA), Silent Running Audio (USA), Esoteric (Japan), and Torus Power (Canada). The retail price of the system approaches $500,000 (R4.4 million).
Hasselblad H4D-60 camera
With mobile phones pushing the limits of small form factor cameras, you will need some extra power for your photos to stand out. The Hasselblad H4D-60 camera sports a 40.2 x 53.7mm, 60Mpixel image sensor and 16-bit color. The H4D-60 is the ultimate photographic tool for the serious commercial photographer demanding unsurpassed results. It will set you back $26,995 (R235,000).
Tesla Model X
Who would not love to own a car built by the guy behind SpaceX? Tesla’s Model X is a blend between an SUV and a minivan, as only an electric car can. It artfully provides unfettered performance and brilliant functionality. According to Tesla the Model X performs in ways never expected from a car of its size. It looks great, saves the environment and has falcon wing doors – what else can you want!
If these gadgets are just not giving you the kick you want, it may be time to consider the Martin Jetpack. The Martin Jetpack, retailing for $100,000 (R874,000), will take you up 8,000 feet and can reach a top speed of just under 100 km/h. With a range of around 50 km it is just the thing to ensure you are not stuck in city traffic on your way to work.