Gadget and app reviews from AccountingWEB gadget devotees including executive peripherals editor Nigel Harris, columnist Philip Fisher and editor John Stokdyk.
Christmas Gadget Countdown Day 1: Tablets
Off we go for another year. We have to include them again, and - who knows - the overall winner may well come from this group: I mean, of course, tablets!
I should start by declaring a personal bias as a committed Apple fan, but for my money the iPad still takes some beating, and the 4th generation iPad really is a stunner if you can afford it. Why choose the Apple over the cheaper tablets on the market?
Firstly, it's App Store is so well established (and controlled) that it leaves all the others in its wake. Secondly, Apple devices just work straight out of the box. And you can access online accounting and office files on the iPad, so it makes for a practical mobile computing device, as well as a leisure gadget.
Will the iPad Mini steal the limelight from its big brother this Christmas? Again, the retina display is stunning but for serious reading and video streaming I'd still go for the bigger model. You're never going to do a lot of reading on that screen!
Or maybe you'd prefer anything BUT an Apple. In that case you could try the new Microsoft Surface, if you're really brave. Microsoft doesn't have a great record on the hardware front, so it's not one I'll be rushing to try.
If you really just want an e-book reader then you have to go for the de facto market leader, Amazon's Kindle, now available as the high-resolution, colour Kindle Fire HD.
The tie-in with Amazon's huge online book store and Lovefilm's video library make this hard to beat. However, the battery life is far shorter than the original mono Kindle, which remains the e-book reader of choice for beaches and airport lounges.
Not to be left out, Google has launched its Nexus 7 portable media device, powered by a humungous quad-core processor that clearly aims the device at serious media streaming and cloud applications. Maybe the ideal device for servicing your cloud accounting clients while watching the latest movie?
Tablets and over-sized smartphones have been coming onto the market at quite a rate this year, so there really is something for everyone here. I'm betting on one of these being in the top two or three in this year's festive Countdown - but don't be swayed by me, we want YOUR suggestions - post them below.