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It’s our Gear of the Year Awards 2014! Part One

It’s December, which can mean only one thing. It’s time to look back over 2014 and decide kit made the cut for Gear of the Year.

There’s been no shortage of new kit released in 2014, and htxt.africa has seen a steady stream of couriers pass through its magnificent marbled arches with phones, laptops and other bits and pieces over the course of the last 12 months.

But which did we genuinely love? Which is worthy of further attention? Our team of crack review specialists award their favourites the meritorious title of Gear of the Year here.

Adam’s Gear of the Year

TF303_blue_30_optASUS Transformer TF303CL

Price: R5 000

What is it?

ASUS’ latest Transformer tablet uses an Intel Atom processor to turn the Android mobile operating system into something more akin to desktop performance. It’s fast, furious, lightweight and comes with an excellent keyboard dock and a high res screen.

Why it’s ace…

I’d almost abandoned Android for anything more heavyweight than phone calls and emails, but the Transformer TF303cl is now my constant travel companion and is equally at home editing photos and sound as it is as a writing machine. Plus, it has built-in LTE at a ridiculously low cost.


Price: approx R2 000

What is it?

Developed by the Kenyan team behind iHub and Ushahidi, BRCK is a ruggedised modem router that can create a wireless mesh network with internet access anywhere you go.

Why it’s ace…

BRCK is built for Africa, by Africans and is impossible not to love. The chosen tool for adventurers and NGOs alike for taking net access into the most extreme areas.

686862_optVodacom Smart Tab 3G

Price: R999

It’s not the world’s best tablet, but at a silly low price with three months of data included it’s something that truly deserves the title “game changer”.

Charlie’s Gear of the Year

iPhone6_PF_SpGry_iPhon_optiPhone 6

What is it?

The most recent iPhone is a departure for Apple in terms of design. It’s thinner and lighter than the competition and is more delicately crafted with soft, round edges and a big, big screen.

Why it’s ace

Apple’s iPhone 6 is my Gear of the Year for a number of reasons. I have been a loyal Android user for the past four years and decided that it was time for a change. Which meant switching to Apple’s iOS – and so far I have no regrets. Besides the smooth operation of the operating system, the biggest and most exciting feature for me was the newly-implemented TouchID system of fingerprint recognition. I really enjoy the way the smartphone handles operations, its sleek design and as a first time iOS user, it is indeed a breath of fresh mobile air.

console-family_green-lo_optXbox One

Price: R8 000

What is it?

It has almost been nine years since Microsoft launched the Xbox 360, so it was high-time that the company updated its entertainment machine with a gaming console that was truly 21st Century. And while the Xbox One has been slow to come to South Africa, it was worth waiting for.

Why it’s ace…

Having the capacity to produce stunning graphics, the gaming console firmly places it as one of the must-have gadgets of the year. Better graphics, an updated controller and built-in Blu-ray player is only a small amount of the tech included.

_vyrp11_5373K-50_18135_optPentax K-50

Price: R8 000

Pentax might not be the most popular camera brand, but the K-50 does its best to make an impression. It has a 16MP APS-C CMOS sensor, SAFOX IXi+ Auto Focus module and a solid weather-resistant body.

Pantom2-Vision-2013092_optDJI Phantom II

Price: approx. R9 000

Who doesn’t want a drone? The Phantom II is in the top tier when it comes to manned aerial toys and will provide for hours of flying fun.

Come back tomorrow for part 2!

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