Each one of us made some new tech acquisitions in 2011, even if it was just a gift from Santa. Or daddy. But have you ever asked yourself, what do the people who write about tech buy? And what do they want to buy? Here is a compilation of what some of the Tech2 team as well as the Chip team bought in 2011 as well as what we would like in 2012.
2011: iPad 2. 2012: Senheiser HD700
Rossi Fernandes, Head, Labs of Tech2 wrote that his best tech acquisition of 2011 was the iPad 2. He says that the iPad 2 was in many ways better than the original iPad, it was launched quickly in India and at a very competitive price at Rs. 29,500 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model. He says, “While most products depreciate within months and you have some regrets, the iPad 2 still happens to be one of the most popular tablets around and has depreciated little“. He says the the iPad 2 is devoid of a learning curve and makes for a great ebook and magazine reader.
Moving on to 2012, Rossi says he'd like a Senheiser HD700. The cost factor seems to be a deterrent though. He says, “It's close to $500 cheaper than the HD800, but I'll have a hard time convincing myself since the HD700s are expected to be priced at rough $999 (Rs. 52,000 approx).” He says that the number might seem like a lot of money, but pampering your music listening interest makes sense. Of course, there's always the less expensive alternatives to consider, the Sennheiser HD650, the AKG K702 or the Beyerdynamic DT880 Pro.
2011: Koss PortaPro Headphones. 2012: iPhone 5
Karan Shah, Staff Writer at Tech2 says that his best purchase in 2011 was the Koss PortaPro Headphones. He says the PortaPros come with a limited lifetime warranty and have a good build, something that most headphones lack. “They’re of the folding variety and snugly fit into the tightest of spaces. It’s been almost a year and they’re still going strong, making it one of my sweetest purchases ever.”
What does Karan want from 2012? “I’m looking forward to buy a high end smartphone, something along the likes of the iPhone 5 or the Galaxy S III, but only at the right price.” He says the iPhone has a little more appeal than the cream UI as well as better app support. “But you can always leave it to Google and Samsung to pull up a sweet surprise. So whichever one surprises me most will be my latest purchase.“
2011: HTC Desire Bravo. 2012: Samsung Galaxy Note
Francis D'sa, Assistant, Head Test Center at Chip magazine had two devices in 2011, but one led him to the other. He said he first gifted himself with a Sony Ericsson X10 Mini. His productivity on the device was high and he was overwhelmed with all the functions he could perform on the phone, be it surfing the web, playing games, taking pictures and uploading them to the social networks and more. Frustrated with the small screen, however, he then decided to opt in for the HTC Desire Bravo. “The larger screen was bliss and the amount of hacking I could do with the operating system and hardware is all that I needed to get worse with the addiction. The HTC Desire made me give up my netbook completely this time. Now, I do almost all my PC-related activities on my phone.“
HTC Desire Bravo
2012 has Francis's eyes focused on the Samsung Galaxy Note, primarily as a replacement for his Desire with a bigger screen size, greater processing power and memory. “What I am keeping watch on closely is the present and future Android OS development for the Note. If there is not much I can do on it (in terms of software hacking and similar stuff), I would wait and watch the market for other better Android smartphones to make an appearance.“
2011: Transcend MP330. 2012: Mid-range digital camera
Priyanka Tilve, Senior Features Writer at Chip says that in 2011, she was looking for a handy digital recorder. After doing some research, she purchased the Transcend MP330 4GB digital music player that doubles up as a voice recorder and a flash drive.”My main reason for choosing it over others was its form factor as it's quite handy and looks sober. I had previously used a Transcend recorder and so was sure about its recording and audio capabilities. Having used it over the past few months for recording over the phone as well as live I can say that I am quite satisfied with its sound quality.” She says that the Voice Activity Detection (VAD) feature is very useful as it does not record pauses in speech, resulting in a concise recording. The only downside is the poor quality of the earphones.
What does 2012 bring? Nothing specific yet, just a mid-range digital camera.
2011: iPhone 3GS. 2012: PlayStation Vita
Avinash Bali, Channel Editor, Gaming at Tech2 received an iPhone 3GS in 2011 and he was hooked from the get go. He would invest in the iPhone 4S, this year, but says that his hard earned money would be better spent on his 2012 investment.
So, what will his 2012 investment be? None other than Sony's successor to the PlayStation Portable, the PlayStation Vita. “Normally I wouldn’t be too eager to shell out Rs. 25,000 on a handheld gaming platform but the Vita’s graphical prowess combined with a dual analogue control scheme is proving to be too tough to resist,” he says.
2011: Samsung Galaxy S. 2012: Samsung Galaxy S III
Roydon Cerejo, Senior Reviewer at Tech2 says that his best purchase of 2011 was the Samsung Galaxy S, on which he happened to get a very good deal. By fluke of course. He bought the device second hand and it had minor scuffs here and there, but the screen was in pristine condition. He purchased it for Rs. 14,000 with a box and all accessories. “Now, six months later, I have the latest XXJVU firmware (2.3.6), ext4 lagfix from Chainfire and VooDoo Control Plus running which makes this one of the best phones in the market (other than the Nexus S of course). Samsung might not support ICS officially for the Galaxy S but to be honest, I don’t really care.”
Samsung Galaxy S
The Samsung Galaxy S has impressed him so much that 2012 could hold a successor to the Galaxy s, namely the Galaxy S III. “I’m anxious to see what Samsung does with the Galaxy S III. It should be similar along the lines of the Google Nexus in terms of specifications so I’m just waiting to see what it looks like and hoping Samsung bring back the Wolfson audio chip, else it’s a downgrade for me.“
2011: Samsung Galaxy 3. 2012: Premium Compact Digital Camera
The Samsung Galaxy 3 was Deputy Editor – Technical at Chip, Anand Tuliani's, best device he bought in 2011. This was the year that he moved on from a candy bar phone to an Android phone. He, of course wanted a bit of hands-on with an Android phone, so he opted for an entry level device. “I explored all the features and tried hundreds of apps and games in the first two days itself. Today, with a plethora of third-party ROMS available (including a few based on ICS), I’m still hooked on to the good old Galaxy 3.”
Samsung Galaxy 3
2012 will see an investment in a camera for Anand. A self professed avid photographer, meticulous about the photos he shoots, he currently uses a DSLR camera with a hefty 18-200 mm lens. But he is looking for a more pocketable option with complete manual control and RAW shooting capability for instant shots. “I’ve missed out on many golden moments while taking out my DSLR and getting it ready. So far I’ve shortlisted the Canon PowerShot S100 and the Olympus XZ-1.” Anand will pick the better of the two after testing them thoroughly.
2011: Flip Ultra HD. 2012: Micro 4/3rds camera
In 2011, Padmini Harchandrai, Assistant Producer, Tech2 went on a diving trip and wanted to document her underwater adventures. No camera she had came with an affordable underwater housing, if it even came with underwater housing at all. She decided to go in for a cheaper camera and cheaper housing. “This would also have been my first time diving with a camera and I wanted to make sure I was suited for it. It didn't make sense to spend a lot of money immediately“. She bought the Flip Ultra HD with its corresponding housing Rs.12,250 total. “The Flip Ultra HD does really well in outdoor daylight and pretty well underwater as well. That is, if you're able to keep your hands steady down under. The one aspect that would have made the experience better though is if the Flip Ultra recorded in 1080p instead of 720p“.
Flip Ultra HD
2012 will hold a device with a similar theme. “I thought about upgrading my iPhone 4 to whatever the next iPhone may be, the iPhone 4S.62t, but micro 4/3rds are really exciting to me“. Being a runner and gunner (someone who does a lot of outdoor, documentary style shooting) for the web, a micro 4/3rds camera is the perfect balance between portability and good imaging. “I'm keeping an eye on the Sony NEX-3 but the Olympus PEN cameras also look intriguing at their prices.” After doing some more research, she'll make her kill.
2011: Senheiser HD 202. 2012: Smartphone
Naina Khedekar, Features Writer at Tech2 bought a pair of the Senheiser HD 202 headphones in 2011. She says it really isn't a basic, entry level audio peripheral owing to its decent sound and comfortable fit. It bundles up a 3.5 and 6.3 mm jack, allowing connection to hi-fi systems. “I wished the earcups were foldable for easier portability, nevertheless I don’t regret the buy for around Rs.1,300.“
In 2012, she hopes to upgrade the headphones, but is more eagerly looking forward to buying a smartphone. “Now I am confused whether to opt for a Windows smartphone or continue with the good ol Android.” As newer and better smartphones come out next year, she says she will be able to make up her mind.
2011, 2012, digital camera, Flip Ultra HD, General, HTC Desire, HTC Desire Bravo, iPad, iPad 2, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 5, Koss PortaPro, Micro 4/3rds, Micro four thirds, Olympus PEN, PlayStation Vita, Samsung Galaxy 3, Samsung Galaxy Note, Samsung Galaxy S III, Samsung Galxy S, Senheiser HD 202, Senheiser HD700, Smartphones, Sony NEX-3, Transcend MP330