2021’s Top Gadgets To Look Forward To
Despite the world’s population hardly leaving the house in 2020, technological innovation is still taking place at an impressive rate. You could argue that our retreat to digitally-powered homes has only spurred it on. Already 2021 has started on a promising note for gadgets, with the Apple’s top-end AirPods Max pervading the market and the Samsung S21 series incorporating some nice features. But that’s only the start of it.
While many of this year’s big releases are under wraps – we’ve yet to hear a peep about Apple’s foldable iPhones or what the iPhone 13 might hold – there are some exciting releases on the horizon to covet. Some (like Samsung’s transparent televisions) appear to be further away than we’d like. But to know what to save your pennies for this year, here’s our pick of the products that are almost ready to hit the shelves.
When it comes to tiny tech that helps locate your valuables, Tile and Adero are already proving popular. But iPhone owners are likely to be pulled in by AirTags. They’re bottle cap-sized, battery-powered tiles with Bluetooth connectivity that attach to precious objects like keys, wallets, remote controls or bikes. If something goes missing, you’ll be able to use the ‘Find My’ app to see where it is on a map, or prompt it to chime loudly so you can locate it (there’s even talk of augmented reality to help show you where the item is in a room). For things that are missing outdoors, you’ll be alerted when another iPhone is near it – and the iPhone user will also be alerted so they can contact you about it. There’s no word on when exactly this will be released and how much they’ll cost, so stay poised.
Wireless audio specialists Sonos have held back on releasing headphones throughout its 19-year history, as it kept focused on connected home audio. But rumours are that at long last, we’ll see Sonos headphones on the shelves in the coming months. They’re expected to feature integrated virtual assistants, active noise cancelling, and Bluetooth connectivity – another sign that the company are caving to this addition. Their entrance to the headphone market might be too little too late, or, given that it’s renowned for its excellent quality, it could prove a must-have piece of equipment. Only time will tell.
Just as foldable phones are becoming a thing, LG have already stepped ahead, with the introduction of a rollable phone. It follows the innovation of their rollable television and the LG Wing, the dual swivel-screen phone from their brains of their ‘Explorer Project’ that conjures up new features and functions. The idea is that the LG Rollable will be made of flexible material that curls up or extends out depending on use, which makes it a slick, space-saving phone. Rumours suggest we’ll see it in the early part of the year, but we’ve yet to find out how much it costs – just don’t expect it to be cheap.
Lenovo Thinkbook Plus Gen 2
There are plenty of welcome features in the Lenovo Thinkbook, launched last year. It’s a laptop that also uses the lid as a Kindle-like display to allow you to take notes or read e-books, files or your calendar. In these WFH times when opening the laptop carries a change of mindset, it’s a helpful touch to be able to keep the thing closed, even if we are doing gentle work. Because of this, we’re intrigued about the second generation of Thinkbooks, due out before the end of March. Building on the first gen, it’s reported to feature a bigger 12” e-ink panel that uses multi-touch, with a faster refresh rate and higher resolution, and can be used with their pop-out stylus. It’s expected to sell for $1,549 (£1,130) which isn’t cheap, but it sounds like a useful upgrade for those who’d benefit from an all-in-one laptop and e-reader.
Samsung Solar Cell Remote Control
At last. Solar power capabilities are reliable enough that there’s little reason to continue using AAA batteries that last for ages but always go flat at a crucial time. Thankfully, remote controls are the first home accessory to get a solar powered upgrade. Samsung have announced that for their 2021 TVs, their remote controls will be charged using both indoor and outdoor light, and via a USB port. As well as being more convenient, Samsung have calculated that it will save the waste of 99 million AAA batteries over seven years, making it an eco-conscious step forward.
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