• Thursday, October 02, 2014

Thirteen best of 2013

In the year end issue of 'Bytes' we showcase the top 13 techs of this year

Pebble, the smart watch

 

Let me first tell you what pebble isn't! It's not JUST a watch, it's not a phone neither is it a music player.  Then what is it? The lightweight device reads out basic text, lets you skip through music tracks and, of course, displays the time. It's barely the greatest tool of our generation, or even the gadget of the year.  What it is; is just another immensely popular device that you don't need rather you crave. Why is that? Well all the credit goes to the most technologically handicapped people in your lives who have heard it mentioned on tech shows, FM radio stations or from pre-teens magazine's tech pages and bragged about owning one to impress their friends. Having a smartphone alone isn't enough anymore. Or is it?

 

 

 

Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Nikon D800, Pentax K-3 and Nikon D7100: make way for the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, the only DSLR to make our list. It easily lets us create smooth, clean, beautiful and colorful images in any sort of light. It handles much better than cheaper looking Nikon D800 and D800E. The 5D Mark III also has the best LCD ever placed in any DSLR (so far).  Nikons do have LCD too but they are smaller in size, and most importantly, the Nikon's LCD isn't color-accurate. The 5D Mark III LCD is big, clear, bold, bright, sharp, colorful and accurate, and automatically varies its brightness brilliantly for use in any light. Also 5D Mark III's superb performance at stupid-high ISOs like ISO 25,600 allows you to shoot easily in any lights and shades.

 

 

Leap Motion controller

When the Leap Motion controller was unveiled in front of the world, it promised a new-fangled user experience. And, ever since we first see what the Leap Motion controller can do: it enhances (actually gives first hand) the ability to interact with a computer by waving their fingers and fists.  It should be kept in mind that the Leap is unlike the Kinect sensor bar in more than just its size and appearance. Leap works using infrared optics and cameras instead of depth sensors, and does not cover as large an area as Microsoft's gestured controller. It is certainly a thing we thought we could never see (at least in 2013). Well, the wishes of the geek were granted: we've amidst ourselves the future of interactive computing. Does the device really steer us towards a new age of computing? Is it worth Tk. 7000 of your hard-spent (!) cash? Judgment rests on you.

 

 

 

iPad Air

The guys from the 1 Infinite Loop Street finally managed to nail a tablet that sports splendid specs, decent backup power and an upright OS. Behold: iPad Air. Downright from the construction, to the fast 64-bit processor, to the unequivocal improvement in UI; Apple has suited this device to cater your every digital need. But what if you already have an older version of iPad? Do you really need this one too? For those who do a chunk of FaceTime, then after the upgrade you are going to find some real differences. And those who carry theirs around all day, and then yes – you'll really notice the slimmed-down size and weight. In short, it's an almost flawless device.

 

 

 

ASUS RADEON R9 -290X

6 Billion transistors, 438 mm2 Die, 512-bit Memory bus with 4 GB - 5.0 Gbps GDDR5 memory, Ultra HD ready, 5.6 TFLOPS of compute performance. Not bad, right?  These would be the specs of your GFX card if you are one proud owner of Asus RADEON R9 -290X. Gaming at Ultra High Definition (UHD) could not be done any better when this gadget is plugged to your pc.  Will you be able to play the hottest games at that whopping 8.2 Mpixels at a 3840x2160 resolution @ 60 Hz? Hell Yeah! Adequate cooling, intense performance yet quiet are some of the salient features of this card. Adding to it: it comes factory overclocked faster than reference and it is a good chunk cheaper than a GTX 780 Ti. Having that much raw unadulterated horsepower under the hood will bring options to the table. What options? That's a story for another day!

 

 

 

BitFenix Prodigy M mATX Casing

BitFenix might be a relatively new company but they are not to be underestimated. Almost most of the micro ATX products are very impressive.  It has the perfect size for that form factor, and you get access to SLI/Crossfire and a little more clearance around the CPU socket than any gaming mATX casings in the market. If you get baffled airflow layout then trust me, you're not the first person. It isn't as traditional, but the Prodigy M doesn't seem to suffer for it.  With 120mm top fans mounted as intake, and side based 230mm/140mm fans as exhaust are to make sure every electronics of your CPU are running well within thermal limits. It also managed in keeping the humming at very respectable levels. Construction is also sturdy. The side panels are solid, with zero flex.  Every piece fits together nicely. And the design made me say 'An Alien Hardware'.

 

 

 

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Being a phablet (hybrid of phone+tablet), the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is a device that's hard to beat. The screen is gorgeous, the processor is mighty blazing fast and the camera is excellent – especially the UHD video recording. Battery life is more than what you expected & the features offered by the S pen stylus are hard to come by. On that note: the handwriting recognition got better. If you like a big screen, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is worth a look – it's the best phablet yet. In Bangladesh, Samsung designed a super value pack worth BDT 35,000/-, which offered free flip wallet, paid apps subscription, Note 4 upgrade coupon and flexible payment options of equal monthly installments. A win-win deal indeed!

 

 

 

 

Xbox One

In comparison to Play Station 4, our edge goes to Xbox One. It's bold direction for upcoming games and entertainment is well in place. The integration of voice controls and media contents are godsend to everyone, and the ability to run apps while playing games is something we wanted for a long time. Its legitimacy as a gaming console and not just an entertainment hub was realized by the availability of exclusive games at the very first day of its launch. The Xbox One is an impressive matrimony of technological excellence and futuristic vision. The hardware alone raises the bar in terms of what we expect from a living-room machine. The legacy that Microsoft created by after throwing the first Xbox in the market is still on.

 

 

 

Tesla Model S

Tesla's Model S is the first Luxury Electric Sedan to hit the market. It is in fact Elon Musk's (owner of Tesla who is often dubbed as real life 'Tony Stark') dream project. Its structure is primarily made of aluminium based alloy with steel in key areas.  The result is a car weight less than 2 tones.  It has been able to offer a vast range by fitting vast batteries. Overall, it's clear that the Tesla Model S certainly delivers awesome performance, premium looking spacious cabin with an ultramodern touch. Hence it can be declared the best electric/hybrid car that's going to make the planet a better place.

 

 

 

GoPro Hero 3+

GoPro Hero 3+ is the latest addition to the GoPro product line, famed for their high-definition personal cameras, often used in extreme action video photography. They are known for being lightweight, rugged, wearable or mountable almost anywhere. GoPro Hero 3+ much like its predecessors is smaller and lighter. There's also the improved battery. Both of these items can be purchased separately and are worthwhile additions for Hero3 owners. As a versatile action sports camera, the GoPro Hero3+ has some stiff competition, although they are still the best in line that anyone can expect. It comes with ease-of-use and functionality and most importantly, enables you to capture some incredible footage.

 

 

 

Google Glass

Google Glass is probably the most talked device worldwide. And it is very hard to come by. Ignoring the staggering price tag of $1500, you had to pre-register at Google I/O and even then, the headsets have been slow to ship. But good news is the future iteration of the glass will be much advanced and cheaper than now. The potential of this device is phenomenal. The use and purpose needs some refinement and exploration but in time many apps will hit the apps stores. Messaging, searching & enjoying proper virtual hangouts are the things you can currently do with this device.

 

 

 

Acer Aspire S7-392

This is Acer's second attempt after the instant flop S7 first series.  And the second time it worked like a charm. This new laptop now is very thin and light. The built is strong & muscular. It has dual friction hinges and soothing alloy touch.  The benchmark test performance is also great. The S7 is faster, and has the best screen ever on an ultrabook. It can be said that this is certainly the cherry that goes in the top of the Ultrabook Sundae.

 

 

Nexus 5

Nexus 5 needs no introduction. It's the flag bearer of Nexus product line. We in Bytes already did a detailed review on it.  You can find it here: http://tinyurl.com/lzqwhx2. For now, let's just have a glance why you shouldn't get this device:
- You already have a Nexus 5
- You are currently satisfied with your inferior phone
- You prefer iPhones or Windows Phones
- You cannot afford an upgrade
- You don't know what the nice things in life are!

Published: 12:00 am Monday, December 30, 2013

Last modified: 12:23 am Monday, January 27, 2014

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