It’s that time of the year when splurging money becomes a necessity. The glorious festival of lights is upon us, and we all wish we could have everything we want. So this Diwali, our intrepid crew of techies here at tech2.com have made our very own wishlist in the hopes that the gods will shine down on us with gifts this season.
Shayne – Deputy Editor
LG 55LM8600 3D HDTV
Bigger, brighter and smarter too!
To the Diwali gods, if you could get me anything tech this season, I’d like to have the LG 55LM8600. Sure, I might not actually have the space for it at home, but if need be, I’ll break stuff down to put it in. The tiny bezel and sharp features make it a seriously cool product, but more importantly—and this is aside from it being a Smart HDTV—the colours are quite vibrant and Dual Play will make it an excellent option for gaming. Built in Wi-Fi and DLNA support will make it easy for in-home connectivity as well. For a vidiot like me, this TV would be the ‘bomb’… pun intended.
Rossi – Head, Tech2 Labs
We reviewed the Sennheiser HD700 a while back. They were the best headphones I’ve ever used. They’re very lightweight and comfortable to wear. They’re very detailed, have a natural tone and do great things to the music I normally listen to – hard rock and metal. Not that they’re any bad for other genres. The only major downside is, of course, the price. It’s close to Rs. 54,990 in India and I’ll need to buy a hefty headphone DAC-amplifier worth another Rs.15,000-20,000 to make the most of them. If price was not a constraint, I would recommend these to everyone.
Roydon – Senior Reviewer
Epson Moverio BT-100
My own private theatre; now if only I had a portable pop-corn machine…
The idea of being able to watch a movie on an 80-inch screen on the ago and in complete privacy is an extremely appealing concept. And so far, the Epson Moverio is something that comes closest to this … at least as far as I have seen. But I wouldn’t want this exact model that’s currently being sold, since there are quite a few chinks that need to be ironed out; one of the biggest ones being the comfort factor. The Moverio delivers brilliantly on performance though, giving you a sharp picture with excellent colour reproduction. And the fact that it comes bundled with an Android-based media player means you can watch your videos on the move without having to be tethered to a source. I would be really tempted to pick one up in the future once the new models get lighter and more ergonomic to wear. I also wish they would add a way to play files off pen drives or hard drives so that you can watch your entire video collection any time.
Nachiket – Senior Features Writer
Auto-Targeting Sentry Gun
Just when my beloved Tippmann 98 Custom paintball markers threatened to get boring, I found the perfect way to put them to good use. At $649 (approx. Rs. 35,700), the Auto-Targeting Sentry Gun kit may sound expensive, but how can you put a price on such awesomeness? The kit includes a camera, tripod, targeting software and a servo-assisted turret that can pan and tilt to follow trespassers through a preset targeting area. Installing the sentry gun is akin to hiring the perfect watchman—one who won't sleep on the job or flirt with Shantabai. Don’t take my word for it, just check out this sweet demonstration video from the makers.
The kit is easy to assemble, while the programmable targeting system lets you adjust parameters such as targeting priority, kill zone and firing modes once you hook it up to a laptop. All that sounds technical, but at the end of the day, they are all big words describing how to bring a lot of pain to trespassing fools. All you need to do is plonk in an electric airsoft gun, or a paintball marker in my case, and you’re set to enjoy a life free from door-to-door salesmen, baksheesh seekers, and unsolicited visits from unwelcome relatives. Now that I think of it, the Auto-Targeting Sentry Gun has turned out to be more of a necessity than an indulgence this Diwali season.
Naina – Features Writer
Google Nexus 7
If it’s raining gadgets this Diwali season, then I would love the Google Nexus 7 to fall my way. After laying my hands on the Galaxy Nexus, the Nexus 7 definitely tops my wish-list. It first appeared online at a disappointing price (more than twice the price it is available in the U.S.) of Rs. 23,000 and currently, it is being sold for Rs. 19,999 (16GB version), which is still steep. Nevertheless, I think it is the best tablet under 20k. It is highly portable and would easily slip into bags; a handy companion while travelling and a delight for gamers too. Fuelled by a 1.3GHz quad-core Tegra 3 chip, this 7-incher features an IPS display with 1280 x 800 resoluion, 1GB RAM, 12-core Nvidia GeForce GPU and loaded with connectivity features. Needless to say, it is Google-branded and the first tablet to run Android Jelly Bean, so one can expect most future OS updates too.
Aaron – News Correspondent
Having owned or bought literally every iOS device to be launched, the 32GB iPhone 5 would definitely be something I would want this Diwali. For me, the iPhone is more than just a smartphone, it is my access to the outside world and it truly helps me with my work as apps like Pages has assisted me. Apart from this, I have very useful apps that keep me updated throughout the day on everything ranging from tech to bikes. The Newsstand is an app I use a lot, and yes, that little extra bit of space will definitely be useful. I know that an iPad is a better option for reading magazines or books, but then again, it cannot be carried about so easily in a pocket. The 32GB version costs Rs. 53,500 and its not the cheapest, but it is something I will make the utmost use of.
Shunal – News Correspondent
Dual screens with 3D gaming – now that's entertainment in your pocket
While not the newest gadget in recent times by any stretch of the imagination, the 3DS has been on my mind since launch. Besides the steep price, the main reason why I never bought the handheld was Nintendo’s total disregard for the existence of India as a place where people might be interested in playing games. The 3DS is an awesome device not because of the hardware, but because of the strong games library. The handheld gets extremely niche games that this gamer is always looking forward to, but is then disappointed to learn that the games are 3DS-exclusive. Aside from the games library, the touch interface adds a new level of gameplay with wacky mechanics, like stitching up wounds and pretending you’re a surgeon in the Trauma Center series of games. Couple the control scheme with the truly messed up minds of Japanese game developers and hilarity is bound to ensue.
Sharon– Head of Copy Desk
Buying a TV within your budget and foregoing all the other awesome ones that you could have bought if only you had a lot more dosh in your pocket, well just plain sucks. But since this is a wishlist here goes. What I would like is the LG 32LS5700. This Full HD, LED TV has LAN, built-in Wi-Fi, is wireless ready, has DLNA Support, is a Smart TV, is 3 Mode Magic Motion Remote Control Ready, has Intel Wireless Display (Wi-Di), Home Dash Board, Smart Share and Social Center. Add to this a boatload of connectivity ports. Yeah it is that great. At 40k and well out of my budget wishing for it is the next best thing.
Anuradha – Copy Editor
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite has been on my must-buy list since a while now. An avid reader, I found the Paperwhite's features matching to what I was looking for in an e-reader. Unlike other e-readers in the market, the light on the Paperwhite is directed down at the display—so it is a good option for reading on-the-go. Another impressive feature of the Paperwhite is its battery. The device promises 8 weeks of battery life, even with the light on, which is grand considering the hours I spend reading. The Kindle Paperwhite has been listed on Amazon for $139 (roughly Rs 7,600). The Kindle Paperwhite is expected to start shipping by December 17.
Ram – Copy Editor
Gibson Les Paul Standard
I'd die happy with this in my arms
I don’t own the latest gadgets. My only interfaces to the Internet are my work PC and my tiny Xperia mini pro. I don’t have a console, and my computer at home is a tiny netbook that has a malfunctioning keyboard and won’t run anything; not even 720p movies. But I do own two guitars and a bass, which are the only things I love on this planet. And as a guy can never have too many guitars, all I want for this Diwali, and for every Diwali to come, is a Gibson Les Paul Standard. Yeah, it might be a tad too expensive at more than Rs. 2 lakh, but trust me, it’s the best guitar on the planet. Holding one is like holding your first-born child. It’s beautiful, soothing and inspires you to play. It’s been THE choice of the greatest guitarists ever, right from Clapton, Zakk Wilde and Jimmy Page to Slash. What more can I say? I’m not much of a miser to actually save up this kind of money to buy one, so if you happen to be my sister, father, distant relative, or even long-lost twin, don’t hesitate to order one for me. Here’s the link.
Rohini – Copy Editor
Raspberry Pi Model B
RPi, because I have been following its development since the Pi was baking. Because I was too broke to buy it when it was finally available in India. Because like everything libre, it is about community. And simply because it’s been a while since I laid my hands on a computer/ controller I can set up and code. It costs $35, and I have started to hate doing the math for conversion into rupees since the forex rate increased.
Aneez – Copy Editor
HP Spectre XT
The sheer sex appeal is enthralling!
What else but the HP Spectre XT ultrabook! I'm not a techie at heart, but that's not a reason strong enough to convince me to ignore this beauty. It’s been on my wish list ever since I inadvertently stumbled on it in our review lab last week. It's got everything an ultrabook needs – sleek appearance, powerful performance and a pretty impressive battery life. Sadly, it comes with a hefty price tag of Rs. 64,990—and I'm not good at saving money. Fortunately, I’m very good at praying and manipulating the gods. Someone please gift me this dream ultrabook!
Rajesh – Labs Manager
I have always been a fan of the smaller sized tablets and I been using a BlackBerry PlayBook since it was launched. With the iPad mini being unveiled recently, the smallest tablet from the iPad range has caught my eye and is something that is luring me over to the other side. The most appealing thing about this model is that it is extremely slim and light, unlike the plethora of the other smaller tablets available in the market. Another reason why I want this model is that it is compatible with all the apps that are designed for the larger iPads, and this will help me gain access to the over 2,50,000 iPad designed apps—games as well as utilities. Though the iPad mini is not yet officially available in India and costs a whopping 26,990, this is the gift I would like for Diwali.
Jamshed – Deputy Editor, CHIP
Meridian Digital Media System
My entertainment command centre
If price is no object, then I’ll have a Meridian Digital Media System for my home. Known as Sooloos before its acquisition by Meridian, the system can handle all my digital music using a variety of components. I’ll need at least one Control 15, a touch-screen command centre with an award-winning music browsing interface; a Media Drive 600 for its 2TB of storage space (in RAID 0, no less); a few Media Source 600 units for different rooms; and. of course. matching audiophile quality stereo speakers for each zone. The system has its limitations, such as requiring wired Ethernet connections between components and handling only music, but it’s quite simply the best at what it does. Imagine 3,000 CDs worth of lossless music at your fingertips, with one of the world’s most powerful discovery and control interfaces ever designed. The whole bundle will cost well upwards of Rs. 15 lakhs—and that’s without the hard drives or music.
Anand – Deputy Editor – Technical, CHIP
Canon PowerShot G15
Each time Canon launches a PowerShot G series camera, I plan to buy it during Diwali. But I eventually pull out my old faithful Canon EOS 30D and get so used to the shooting comfort and the lenses that I drop the plan. This year, Canon added two G series cameras to its line-up of prosumer compacts – the G15 and the G1X. If someone would have generously sponsored, I would have definitely chosen the G1X. Armed with a sensor that’s as large as the ones DSLRs use, it’s one camera that any photographer would want as a secondary camera. It comes close to a DSLR in terms of performance, and its compact form makes it easy to carry around. The painful part is that it costs a whopping Rs. 47,995! But that doesn’t mean I won’t indulge in anything this Diwali. Priced at Rs 34,995, the PowerShot G15 seems like a more realistic target. It’s not as full-blown as the G1X, but it has a great feature set. What I like the best about this camera is the lens that starts from F1.8 and stays at F2.8 throughout the zoom range, which means excellent low-light performance and superb depth of field control.
Francis D’Sa – Asst Head, Test Center, CHIP
Microsoft Surface Pro
Diwali brings in Joy for everyone. Both gifting and receiving gifts are the highlights of this festival. What I would wish for is the Microsoft surface Pro, the Windows 8 tablet. It's gifted with the performance of a notebook, the ergonomics of a tablet and the connectivity options of a PC. With the Surface Pro, I would be able to carry around my entire work documents and use it as simply as I would on my office or home PC, or even enjoy my usual media files as I would on a tablet or laptop. Though the product is not yet here, I am open to anyone willing to sponsor and pre-book it before the release. Anyone out there who has a good heart and a heavy pocket?
Priyanka Tilve – Senior Features Writer, CHIP
Canon EOS 1100D
To snap those blues away this festive season
I enjoy photography and last year I purchased the 12MP Canon SX220 HS with 14x, 28-392mm optical zoom lens and 1080p HD recording. It’s a great camera with decent specs, perfect for beginners with its auto modes. Additionally, it also provides manual exposure modes that allow you to experiment and have full control. Having experimented with it, I now want to move on to an SLR for better optics and photo quality. This Diwali, I would love to buy the Canon EOS 1100D, the entry level digital SLR. It features 12MP CMOS sensor, 9-point autofocus system, a focal length range of 18-55 mm and aperture range from f/3.5 – 5.5. It will allow me to experiment further and pick-up a few tricks before investing in a high-end SLR, or I can always upgrade the lens on the 1100D, as it is compatible with all EF and EF-S lenses. Priced a little over Rs. 24,000, it’s well within my budget.
Have a very happy and safe Diwali, dear readers. And please do let us know what’s on your wish list this year.
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