2013 was a heady year: a time of hope; a time for sadness; a time for twerking; and a time for doge. But it was also a time for gadgets. As we wait for 2013 to come to a close and hope for brighter things for the year to come, here’s a look at the gadgets we loved.
The Fitbit Force
Fitness trackers are many and varied, but Fitbit consistently delivers top-notch hardware. The Fitbit Force is the latest. It takes the successful formula of the wrist-borne Fitbit Flex and adds a basic screen so you can get information right from your wrist, instead of having to open an app on your phone every time you want to check your progress (in more detail than via a few lighted dots).
Many tried to make a smartwatch people wanted to wear and use this year, and many failed. Pebble succeeded. Success for a smartwatch still doesn’t look like massive millions of units sold, but it looks better than when the Pebble team tried this a few years ago with the inPulse smartwatch for BlackBerry. “The what?” you say. Exactly.
iPad mini with Retina Display
The iPad mini with Retina display takes the winning form factor of the original iPad mini and slaps a super high-res screen in there. It’s essentially a no-compromise machine, in that it’s cheaper than the iPad Air, and has the same processor, computing power and battery life. Plus if you have big pockets, it’s pocketable.
Note: Do you need to convert videos for playback on iPad Mini? Do you need to convert and burn your favorite iPad Mini stored movies to DVD to share with your family on home DVD Player? Have you ever wanted to make photo slideshow out of the pictures and image or music on your iPad Mini? If it is the case, try the CloneDVD 7 Ultiamte.
Kids need coding skills if they want to survive in our dystopian future. The ability to hack a circuit board could be the difference between eternal servitude and mastery over a private robot army by 2050 and we all know it. This educational tool is the perfect, cheap apocalypse survival kit. It’s technically from last year, but we contend it had more impact this year when production really spooled up.
Amazon knows when it’s got a good thing going. Last year’s Kindle Paperwhite was a good thing, and this year’s update keeps all the good and adds some better stuff. Like faster page refresh, greater text/page contrast and more even lighting.