The Best Technological Gadgets and Gizmos of 2021
April 24th, 2018
Technology is rapidly and constantly improving and evolving. Consumer gadgets get faster, better, brighter, smaller, larger, and more capable with every improvement in software and hardware.
No matter what you’re shopping for, chances are the newest version is the best one yet.
Here are some of the best on the market right now.
Mirror-less technology is here to stay. While certain applications may still call for a traditional mirrored DSLR, optical quality, resolution, speed, and performance of mirror-less cameras rivals DSLRs in every way.
And, these mirror-less cameras offer many additional benefits, including electronic viewfinders which allow you to see the way the picture will turn out before you take it, unlike traditional optical viewfinders which essentially show you what the world looks like instead of how your aperture, shutter speed, and ISO will affect the final product.
As mirror-less sensors and lenses mature, a few brands have taken the technology to the next level.
Sony just released the third generation of the A7 series, known as the A7iii. While the ultra-high-performance version, the A7Riii, is the ultimate realization of full-frame mirror-less camera technology, its (slightly) lower-end stablemate, the A7iii, offers a stunning value and virtually all of the same features at a much lower price.
Sony also continues to push the envelope in the point-and-shoot realm, and with its mirror-less crop sensor RX100, it offers a camera that delivers image quality of last-generation professional cameras in a camera that will fit in a large pocket.
Fuji has also embraced the mirror-less future, and its full line of cameras from the XT-2 and XPro2 to the medium format GFX are bringing retro aesthetics, tactile controls, and stunning color rendering to smaller and joyful camera bodies. Fuji’s ground-up lens system is also maximizing available technology, creating world-class images with small, sharp glass that pairs perfectly with its high-tech, yet familiar, camera bodies.
Google’s Pixel 2 is the second-generation of the tech giant’s first fully in-house smartphone. Offering arguably the best camera on a smartphone and perfect integration with the full Google software suite (and no bloatware!), the software specs are top-notch and the hardware is competitive with every high-end smartphone. If your carrier offers the Pixel 2 and you’re open to something other than the iPhone, the Pixel 2 is the phone to beat.
The Apple iPhone X is the newest, and thus the best, iPhone yet. With a stunning camera, the fastest processing and highest screen resolution yet, and a nifty screen that wraps up around the earpiece, the phone appears to be impossibly made out of almost entirely screen. If you’re an Apple devotee, there’s little anyone can say to change your mind. In that case, the iPhone X is the best option yet from the reliably high-end (and high-priced) Apple.
The Apple Watch continues to lead the smartwatch game, offering seamless integration with iPhones and the type of slick design and interface users have come to expect from Apple. For the user who has bought into the Apple product line, the latest Apple Watch is a truly stunning piece of technology, cramming a higher-resolution screen than early smartphones and full phone augmentation capabilities into the same real estate as a traditional wristwatch.
For the Android user, the upstart Ticwatch E offers traditional aesthetics and fully modern capabilities that pair with virtually every smartphone to offer a stunning combination of fitness and smartphone capabilities to offer a fully-connected wearable experience.
DJI is the name in drones. With its all-new Spark, the drone giant brings specs that a few years ago seemed impossible for any drone in the entry-level market, offering new users the ability to start flying immediately, without even requiring a smartphone or fancy remote control.
For those who simply want to experience the joy of flying and capturing aerial images, there has never been an easier, more capable, or more affordable entry into the drone market than the Spark. With DJI’s know-how, we are witnessing an unthinkably entry-level product with serious flying capabilities. It may not have the range or the professional-grade optics of high-end drones, but the average user gives little up and gets a seriously affordable alternative to DJI’s other products (or competitors’ alternatives).
As with most every tech category, there are the Apple devotees and then there’s everyone else. Laptops are no exception, and while the newest Macbook lineup is undoubtedly the most advanced yet, it is also priced with a serious Apple tax. The competition is stiffer than ever, and many mainstay PC brands are pushing the envelope on hardware specs, software capabilities, and creative packaging.
Microsoft’s Surface laptop is the first full-on laptop offering from software giant Microsoft. Its previous hardware devices were all tablet-PC hybrids with somewhat specific use cases, but the Surface laptop promises to be an elegant solution for those who lean heavily on web browsing and the Microsoft product suite.
Much like Google’s Pixel smartphones and Chrome web-based laptops, the Microsoft Surface laptop integrates neatly with the brand’s software and offers a serious value and performance proposition for the user who knows and needs Microsoft software.
In the flagship category, the Dell XPS laptop lineup offers high-end specs, elegant, durable design, and prices that undercut Apple significantly for comparable processor and screen size.
The days of epic shootouts between Nintendo, XBox, and Playstation may be behind us, but that doesn’t mean the gaming giants have rested on their laurels. As personal tech devices have become more ubiquitous, many gamers have turned to their smartphones or tablets for playing video games, but consoles still offer a more immersive and engaging experience.
Nintendo’s Switch brings the holistic capabilities of today’s technology to the game console world, offering traditional console-controller-TV interface or a more portable controller-tablet hybrid that allows you to take the same living-room games with you on the road. It is also designed with some of the most immersive and comprehensive smart TV integration yet, making it a great single companion to today’s ever-more-affordable and HD TVs.
Virtually every TV on the market in 2018 offers a staggering array of features, from resolution to WiFi connectivity to built in software that integrates neatly with the evolving programming options from Netflix and Apple TV to traditional cable and satellite providers’ new web-based delivery.
TCL may not be a household name, but its televisions offer top-shelf specs at upstart prices. For most people, it offers everything you could ever want out of a TV with none of the inflated pricing typical of the larger brands.
For those who want higher-end aesthetics and the last bit of performance, the Sony X900E offers a design that looks good whether it’s on or off and delivers seriously impressive resolution, though it is only a few points better than the TCL which is half the cost.
We truly are living in a technological wonderland. And while technology might not be all roses (see Facebook and Cambridge Analytica), it certainly offers unique pleasures that weren’t previously available.
No matter what your preference, there truly is something out there for everybody.
So, what are you waiting for? Go get your favorite gadget.