It’s fair to say I love technology and I love gadgets, but when it comes to spending money on them, I’m often just a bit too sensible to buy anything really outlandish. This, then, isn’t going to be a best-of list littered with expensive toys, but the instead the tech items I’ve bought this year that have been genuinely useful and worth every penny. Let’s get started.
4. Moto G smartphone. My new phone really has to come in at number 4 on this list, simply because – much as I love it – a smartphone is an indulgence for me, not a necessity. It’s proved itself useful more than once, of course, but I could probably still get by without it. That said, the Moto G is a lovely piece of kit, solid, reliable and powerful enough for my relatively casual use. It’s a real budget buy as smartphones go, but it’s one of the best cheap phones out there.
3. Logitech wired gaming mouse. Perhaps this seems like a bit of a strange inclusion – it’s just a mouse, after all. However, when my previous wireless Logitech mouse started to wear out, I made the switch to a G400s, and I’ve not once regretted it. Whilst wireless mice are, in theory, a great idea, I’ve discovered that this wired version is much more reliable and much less hassle. If you’re going to be using a PC, after all, why use a gadget that requires batteries, which are both going to cost you extra money and be ultimately wasteful?
2. Netgear wireless range extender. Ok, this one isn’t very sexy, but it’s been an invaluable addition to our household. We have a very large house with very thick fire doors and even thicker stone walls, and had a string of complaints from guests about poor wi-fi reception. After taking just a couple of minutes to set up, our Netgear extender essentially provides a second wi-fi network, perfect for guest use upstairs. These things really are a must if you’re struggling with home wi-fi.
1. Hoover hand vacuum. And now we come to the least sexy of all. Yes, it’s a vacuum. Yes, that’s all it is, with no other bells and whistles attached. However, for someone who spends as much time cleaning as I do, this has been the single best piece of tech I’ve bought all year. After looking at far more expensive Dyson models (one of which cost an extra £70 for a plastic extension tube!), we went for a Hoover Jovis, which is both powerful and has a decent battery life (although it has truly terrible reviews online, so we’ll see how long it lasts!). Being able to quickly blast round the house with a hand vacuum before guests arrive saves us a huge amount of time, which is why it’s landed here, in the number 1 slot.
So, there are my alternative ‘buys of the year’. What tech items have you found invaluable in 2014 – and are they ones you didn’t even realise would be so indispensable before you bought them?