GADGETS OF THE YEAR

As the year ends, it’s time to look back on those magical items which made the biggest impact in 2014. As the initial shine fades, which of those sparkling new toys has stood the test of time?

iPhone 6

This was never going to be a niche product but there’s no doubt the new iPhone was, once again, a phenomenon that can’t be ignored. As usual there were doubts about its look, size and purported bendiness, but at year’s end it has maintained its place as market leader.

 

Microsoft Surface Tablet

Microsoft bucked the trend with its Surface gear in 2014 – by making a competitor to the iPad that appears to offer some new capabilities. Branded very much as a workstation, it boasts a keyboard that is actually pleasant to use and, unbelievably, comes with the full Microsoft Office suite. The Surface may well be the first tablet to replace a laptop’s functionality.

 

Chromecast

Google’s media dongle is more powerful than its small size and price point would have you believe, and its streamlined simplicity has made it a hit with millions. One can only hope that future iterations manage to build on the impressive start made by this device straight out of the box.

 

VIP E-Cigarettes

In a year which saw the global demand for electronic cigarettes grow exponentially, it would be remiss not to mention that this new market made huge strides this year, not least VIP E-cigarettes, who managed the feat of getting an advert featuring smoke broadcast on national TV for the first time in half a century. The health benefits of e-cigarettes versus smoking appear now uncontroversial, and the prognosis for the health of the industry seems similarly rosy.

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