Testing the latest gadgets (May 2015)

In the past few days I had the opportunity to play with many new gadgets and here are my impressions:

Apple MacBook 2015

I have to say the design of this laptop/netbook is absolutely stunning. Incredibly thin and light, with a screen that is absolutely gorgeous to watch, this device will certainly turn heads when used in public.

But once you go past the wonderful design, the internal performance (CPU, GPU) is nothing to write home about and definitely not suitable for many IT professionals. Also, the single port “to rule them all” approach will annoy many power users and will certainly make you pay a lot more on top of the actual device. However, most users should be fine with it for browsing, word editing, simple spread sheets, music listening and maybe some light photo editing.

Through the new MacBook, Apple has reinvented the netbook, from a cheap, clumsy device into probably one of the best laptops for people who frequently travel or who want a laptop only for casual tasks. The only thing I feel missing is the ability to turn it into a tablet, similar to how the Lenovo Yoga 3 can be converted from laptop to tablet.

Looking at the new MacBook it is clear that it is in direct competition with the MacBook Air. Arguably, in the context of the new iWatch, Apple may be shifting its portfolio and market position, thus I expect the MacBook Air will eventually get dropped altogether. The iPad may also get cannibalised by the new MacBook and if sales continue to drop for Apple tablets, it may be a good strategy to make the next MacBook range convertible and only keep the iPad mini.

Windows Surface Pro 3

This is by far the best Windows tablet/netbook on the market and I would got so far as to say, probably the best tablet/netbook for IT professionals.

The design is nice, although not as outstanding as that of the MacBook. It is also a lot heavier. However, when it comes to performance, it certainly comes on top of anything out there. Also, running a Windows environment opens up the Surface to countless possibilities for those who want to do more than web browsing and watch videos on their tablets.

The Surface Pro may come with a hefty price tag, but IT professional are usually used to paying a lot more when it comes to buying their tools/toys.

The iWatch 2015

Played for a little while with it.

Great design and somewhat useful features. But with just one day battery life, limited usefulness and high price tag, it is clear that this a device is aimed at harnessing the vanity of Apple users rather then bringing anything revolutionary or evolutionary to the IT consumer market.

The iPhone 6

I have to say that ever since the iPhone 4S, Apple has had a hard time convincing tech-savvy geeks like me of its technological superiority. Sure, there were improvements from one model to the next, but in comparison to what Android was doing, the screen was too small, the design seemed too conservative and the price tag was exaggerated for its features. Still, people bought the iPhone out of social inertia and associated product image. Truth is, in the past two years Android flagship devices from Samsung, LG and HTC have been running circles around the iPhone. Not any more! With the iPhone 6, Apple is back on track and can certainly hold its ground against Samsung S6 , S5 , HTC One and the like.

Samsung S6 Edge

This phone is mesmerising to watch and hold. I would even go as far as to say that it is a game changer for all future phones. Even future iPhones will probably have to adapt to this new type of screen technology.

I my view, the Edge is currently the best smartphone on the market.