Gadget of the Year

My pick for gadget of 2009 is a lightweight reading device, containing between 60,000 and 600,000 or more words of text. The catalogue of titles beats every e-reader out there, with an estimated hundred million currently available.

The user interface is genius. Content can be found using an annotated, categorised list that you can navigate to directly, quickly and easily. You can use the built in page bending features to mark content or extend functionality, bookmarking multiple pages, using a simple, free add-on.

Robust engineering means that it’s tough enough to withstand a drop from almost any height – though it isn’t as water resistant as some of its rivals.

Models vary quite widely, with some containing full colour, full screen image capability. The display is clear and easy on the eye, with soft-edged black text appearing against a flawless off-white background. Some are pocket sized – but even the most solidly built examples can be slipped into a bag or rucksack with little trouble. And here’s the killer: there’s no need to charge the device. It’s pretty much guaranteed to last as long as you’ll need it. It’s the ultimate in portable reading technology.

Availability is immediate, with devices shipping through specialist outlets, newsagents, discount shops, supermarkets and, of course, online through Amazon. With an average price of £4.99.

I’m going to switch off my computer, my phone, my Kindle, my Wii and PDA until Boxing Day now – and open a prime example of my gadget pick:

A book.

To be precise, Iain Banks cracking recent novel Transition.

See you after Christmas 😉

 

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