It’s been an amazing year in the tech world and we have more than a few favourite gadgets and tech items which we’ve spent time with over the last 12-months. There’s even a few free things on the list since there’s not always spare cash to splash around.

Below are are some of favourite things in key categories. Items (if more than one in a category) are not shown in any particular order. Your own personal preferences need to be considered too – for instance if you need to use a keyboard often with a tablet then choose one with a great keyboard option – or one with a microSD slot if you need to quickly upload photos often.

To get a fuller picture search for the episode/s where we discussed the product mentioned. We’ve taken price into consideration too – so some items are not top of the top of the line, but those representing the best overall value. Prices mentioned are ‘recommended retail’ for all except bargains category, but you can expect discounts on some consumer items of the usual Christmas and Boxing Day Sales (make sure you follow us on Twitter and Facebook to hear about the best specials).


Category Bargains:

  1. Portable Speaker: Logitech Multimedia Speaker Z50 – $30
  2. Smartphone: Nokia Lumia 520 – $179
  3. Tablet: HP Slate 7 – $191
  4. Hybrid Tablet/Touchscreen tablet: Asus Transformer Book T100 – $699
  5. Mobile Pre-Paid Plan: Skinny $16 Stretch Combo – $16/30-days
  6. Internet Plan: Orcon 30/10 unlimited internet (UFB or DSL)  – $99
  7. Projector: Epson EH-TW5200 (Full HD) – $1499
  8. Streaming Video: Quickflix $14.99/month (True local option) or Netflix (see our NZ Guide)

Gaming Consoles*

  1. PlayStation 4* – $649
  2. Xbox One* – $749

iOS Devices

  1. iPad Mini with Retina Display – $599+
  2. iPhone 5S – $1049

Android Devices

  1. Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition)
  2. LG G2
  3. Google Nexus 5
  4. HP Slate 7 Extreme

Windows Devices

  1. Nokia Lumia 1020 – $1149
  2. Samsung Ativ S – $499
  3. Microsoft Surface 2 – $649

Waterproof gadgets

  1. Smartphone: Sony Xperia Z1
  2. Tablet: Sony Xperia Tablet Z


  1. MacBook Air (late 2104)

For Work

  1. Lenovo ThinkPad X240 touchscreen
  2. HP EliteBook 840 G1
  3. HP ProLiant Microserver Gen8 (a home or small business server) – $660+

Home Theatre Receiver

  1. Sony STR-DN1040 $1199


  1. Pebble Watch
  2. Fitbit Flex
  3. Galaxy Gear (for the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 owner) – $449


  1. Ultimate Ears Boom (Bluetooth stereo speaker and speakerphone) – $299
  2. Tom Tom Go 500 – $349
  3. Raspberry Pi
  4. Netgear Push2TV PTV3000 (Mirror you smartphone, tablet or laptop screen on your TV or projector) – $100

Free Stuff

  1. Apple iWork
  2. KiwiBank Home Hunter App/Mobile website
  3. Microsoft Windows 8.1 upgrade (from Windows 8)
  4. Apple OS X 10.9 Mavericks
  5. Online resources: NZ Tech Podcast, Geekzone, Digitl,
  6. Cloud Storage: SkyDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, or Mega


* Gaming consoles – we found it impossible to pick a winner between the two hot new consoles on the market. Both have really impressive hardware but currently don’t have a massive selection of games. While the Xbox One has the benefit of an new Full HD Kinect camera that is also incredible for Skype video calling, the PlayStation 4 appears to be selling better and this may lead to a better gaming catalogue and more of your friends using one (which makes playing online more fun).