Our annual tech buying guide 2021
If you're looking for some useful gadgets to invest in or gift, there's something for everyone in our annual guide.
Another year has wrapped up.
Another variant is making headlines.
Curfews and restrictions are back. And a strong sense of Deja vu is setting in.
As we head into the new year with caution and some excitement, some of us are investing in fitness equipment, a great gym membership or a new set of wheels.
We suggest you put some technology in your year-end shopping basket.
Here's our annual buying guide with some of the leading products across categories and budgets. There's something for everyone!
THE iPAD MINI IS FOR EVERYONE
It's more compact that its bigger cousin, comes with a fantastic 8.3-inch screen and probably has more bells and whistles than the standard iPad. The tablet starts at Rs 46,900 and comes in pink, starlight, purple, and space grey finishes. Powered by the mighty A15 chipset and iPad OS15, the gadget is ideal for content consumption, multi-tasking and a lot more. You will need to dole out more money for accessories like the Apple Pencil.
THE DYSON AIRWRAP FOR EVERY TWIRL AND CURL
The AirWrap has been a popular hair styling tool for years and continues to be on demand even as we enter a new year. Dyson's superior technology gives you the perfect blowout without putting too much heat on your strands. Gift this to your mum, partner or sister and I guarantee, they will be smiling ear to ear. Be prepared to loosen the purse strings because this one is priced at Rs 42,900.
ALL ABOUT PERSONAL AUDIO
If you're looking for a pair of headphones to drown out the year-end humdrum and just enjoy some "me time", I recommend you gift yourself the Sony WH-1000XM4 which offers improved noise cancellation and crystal-clear audio. The 30-hour battery and superior wireless listening experience also translates to the steep price tag of Rs 22,990.
ALEXA AND SIRI CAN HELP YOU MULTI-TASK
Smart speakers and displays have made their way into our bedrooms and they're not going anywhere. If you're in the Apple ecosystem, I suggest you buy the HomePod Mini which will be a seamless addition to your home. It looks elegant and comes in exciting colours like yellow, orange and blue. At only 3.3-inches tall, it can be parked anywhere and is priced at Rs 9,900.
And if you're an Alexa fan, I suggest you buy the Amazon Echo Show 10, available for around Rs 20,000. The massive screen and speaker will follow your voice all because of its motion sensor. The biggest model in the Echo family can be used to follow recipes, workouts, entertain your child and even enjoy content with the family.
And if you're just looking for a wake-up call in the new year, opt for the Lenovo Smart Clock 2, a great speaker and smart clock for daily use, priced at around Rs 6,500.
2022: ALL ABOUT FITNESS?
For all those who have put their fitness goals on the back burner, don't be hard on yourselves. A new year brings new resolutions and fitness ranks high among them. The FlexBike from Indian start-up Flexnest is a great way to get some cardio in. It is ergonomically designed which makes it easy to fit into a corner and even be moved around owing to the wheels at the bottom. The FlexBike is priced at INR 29,990 and offers you a range of workouts through the Flexnest app.
If you need a smartwatch or fitness tracker to help you meet your goals and get you moving, opt for the Galaxy Watch 4 starting at Rs 24,999 which is the perfect smartwatch for android users. For Apple users, the Apple Watch Series 7 if a favourite though costs much more at nearly Rs 42,000.
A TABLET WHICH CAN BEND TO YOUR LIKING
The Lenovo Yoga Tab 11 makes it to this list for one reason alone and that's design. Its sleek kickstand makes it ideal for content consumption especially during travels. But that's not all, you can also multi-task, check emails and the tab won't disappoint. It can be yours for around Rs 28,000 and given its superior design and multiple uses, it's a great investment.
CLEARING THE AIR
If you still think an air purifier is a luxury, look around you. Air pollution and poor indoor air quality is making headlines and air purifiers have made way into hotels, gyms, spas and office spaces. For your home, I recommend the Dyson Purifier Hot+Cool priced at Rs 47,515. It will help you breathe better, is a great investment for houses where members are prone to seasonal allergies, and also performs the bonus function of acting as a heater for those winter months.
A LITTLE BIT OF NOSTALGIA
Fujifilm's Instax cameras have been a bit hit with millennials and the company recently collaborated with pop icons BTS to launch their new Instax Mini 11 Butter version, a reference to the popular song this year. It comes in a vibrant colour and is a great gift too. It can be yours for around Rs 10,000.
READ MORE IN 2022
My final suggestion is something which will hopefully encourage everyone to read more, especially those digital natives who don't visit bookstores anymore. Priced at nearly Rs 14,000, the new Kindle Paperwhite is faster and smoother than its predecessor and comes pretty close to the feel of a real hardback without the need for great lighting to enjoy your favourite book. With Omicron cases rising, I suggest you curl up with your Kindle and enjoy the thrill of a new novel in bed instead of risking an infection by stepping out.
Here's hoping some of these suggestions make way into your lives and on that note, happy new year!