Consumers spoilt for gadget choice

WHEN it comes to gadgets, consumers are spoilt for choice.

The range of smart phones, tablet computers, MP3 players and iPods, digital cameras and televisions are among the high-tech devices changing the way we live and communicate.

Global connectivity solutions company Belkin product marketing manager John Patterson said the mass adoption of smart phones and tablet computers was one of the key trends witnessed over the past few years.

“Consumers are embracing the freedom that these devices offer, with mobile internet usage in Australia almost doubling over the past year,” Mr Patterson said.

Technology guru and QUT lecturer Dr Penny Kyburz said handheld gaming devices, smart phones and computer tablets were the must-have gadgets of the moment and “where the future is at”.

She said one reason these handheld devices were so popular was because they were an all-in-one device that enabled people to communicate, work, play games and access information wherever they went.

“People used to have phones, PDAs and gaming devices,” Dr Kyzburz said.

“These smart phones are the gadget to have now because they do everything.”

Dr Kyzburz said all generations were enjoying this new technology, including families.

“You can do your work and make calls, then hand it to your kids to play with,” Dr Kyburz said.

She said she was a fan of Apple devices, particularly the iPad, iPhone 4 and MacBook Pro.

Dr Kyburz said Apple was a trendsetter and had opened up the market for tablet computers.

“Tablet computers have been around for several years. Only Apple made it widespread,” Dr Kyburz said.

“Everyone will have one (tablet computer) in the next couple of years.”

Apple's launch of its iPhone and iPhone 4 had also made it a leader in smart phone technology but it also opened the market for competitors, Dr Kyburz said.

For those looking to buy one of these must-have gadgets, Dr Kyburz advised shoppers to think about “what you want to use it for and what your priorities are”.

She said Apple products were well-designed and easy to use and nice to look at but were usually more expensive, compared to other devices. They were also a lot more restrictive in terms of what the user was able to run on them.

When it came to smart phones and tablet computers, android alternatives were better-suited to the more “tech savvy” and those who want more flexibility, options, customisation and control over their device, Dr Kyburz said.

She said the Samsung Galaxy S and Samsung Galaxy Tab, contenders of Apple's iPad and iPhone, were worthy android options.

Shoppers looking to buy one of these latest gadgets should do their research first.

“Look around for best prices on the internet. Look at reviews on the product, be aware of what kind of deals you can get.”