Gear of the Year 2015: Laptops and Cameras

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Laptops

Windows 10 bounded onto the scene this July, bringing with it the very best Windows Microsoft has put out since 7, but that wasn’t quite enough to stop our readers from voting a non-Windows laptop as their favourite of the year.

Dell put in a very good showing with its superb Studio XPS 13, and gaming laptops enjoyed a stunning year as they grew in power while somehow managing to remain thin and svelte at the same time. 2015, then, was a fantastic year for laptops, no matter your operating system allegiances.

Readers’ Choice

Apple Macbook Air 13-inch

90mm, f22

The raw appeal of Apple’s Macbook Air laptops continues to show through in our reader poll survey results – an overwhelming majority of you picked the Macbook Air 13 inch as your favourite laptop of 2015, and with good reason. The entry-level model sports a speedy 128GB solid-state hard drive and a very capable Core i5 processor, but that’s just jam to the stunningly-engineered exterior and incredible nine-hour battery life that the Air offers. And then there’s the multi-touch trackpad that lets you interact with OS X with gestures, Thunderbolt 2 ports that let you copy data faster than ever. It’s easy to see why the Macbook Air is so popular, because all of this is sandwiched into a body that’s almost lighter than a tablet from two years ago. Truly a 2015 laptop.

Htxt.africa’s choices

Deon
Gigabyte Aorus X7 Pro V3

SONY DSC

While everyone else seems wowed by sleek looks and great battery life, Deon was far more impressed by Gigabyte’s latest Aorus gaming laptop – a surprisingly thin machine that hides two GTX970M graphics cards that produce desktop-level gaming performance.

Brendyn
Dell Studio XPS 13

Dell Studio XPS 13

Macbooks are all well and good, but for Brendyn nobody came close to Dell’s gorgeous, full-featured and incredibly fast Studio XPS 13 for the best Windows laptop of 2015.

Cameras

It would seem that readers are becoming more discerning in what they want from their cameras, looking at our poll results. DSLRs are replacing the much simpler point-and-shoots as reader favourites thanks to the finer control the offer over each shot than their less-complicated brethren. More features for less money proved popular, as you’ll see, and that’s something we expect will happen eve more in the coming year.

Readers’ Choice

Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Main Image - EOS 7D Mark II small

The remarkable EOS 7D Mark II picked up its fair share of accolades this year, including the Prosumer DSLR Camera of 2015-2016 handed out by the European Imaging and Sound Association, and clearly our readers don’t disagree. The 7D II won over its fan base by offering features usually found in more expensive full-frame models, like a 65-point autofocus system that captures action no matter how fast it’s going and full weatherproofing that keeps its sensitive innards protected in just about any conditions. Speed, durability and superb imagery meant it earned more votes by far than its closest competitor in this year’s poll.

Htxt.africa’s choices

Charlie
Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Htxt Choice 0 EOS 7D Mark II Small

Charlie has always been a fan of Canon’s DSLRs, but the 7D II proved especially worthy of his attention this year with its simple menu system, exceptional build quality and its incredible ease of use. So he was only too happy to see that our readers felt the same way about it.

Lungelo
Samsung NX500

Samsung NX500 small

When Samsung decided to take many of the best features of the excellent NX1 and put them into a smaller and more affordable body, Lungelo was blown away. 4K video recording and a huge 28.8MP sensor top off what is, for her, easily 2015’s best camera.

Deon du Plessis

Deon du Plessis

Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.

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