Let the Gadget Countdown begin! | AccountingWEB

Let the Gadget Countdown begin!

Christmas is coming, and that can only mean one thing - it's time for 2011's annual gadget countdown, so nominations are now open for your favourite gadget of 2011.

It might be something eminently useful to the busy accountant - or alternatively something to take his or her mind off the job. Looking back over previous years, the winners have tended to reflect the latter category quite often. In character with what we have learned about the accounting profession over the years, Guitar Hero and music-oriented gadgets have been very popular. Mobile gadgets usually come out top, Apple's iPad being the 2010 winner with e-Books like the Kindle coming close behind.

One of my favourites this year was Kevin Salter's portable laptop screen, a neat flat screen that plugs into a USB on your laptop and gives you a desktop-style dual screen experience on the move. Kevin was so impressed with these when he saw them in the States he decided to import them himself to make them available to accounting professionals over here!

But enough of our ideas - what we want is YOUR nominations. Please add them in the Comments below. The community's top ten will be announced just before Christmas.


darren_ryan's picture

iPad 2

darren_ryan | | Permalink

iPad 2

Nigel Hughes's picture

Sonos WiFi HiFi    1 thanks

Nigel Hughes | | Permalink

Sonos WiFi HiFi

John Stokdyk's picture

Tablets, and more tablets...

John Stokdyk | | Permalink

Could it be 2 in a row for the iPad? I'm hoping the Countdown won't be too predictable this year, but an encounter with Garageband on an iPad 2 at the airport duty free shop last week shook my prejudices to the core... this was what technology was designed for: instant musical gratification!

After calmer reflection, and a conversation with Xero's Gary Turner, I realised the those old Casio keyboards could do almost the same thing in the 1980s. While the ability to create arrangements or write tunes on a device without annoying people around you has obvious advantages, the touchscreen Garageband approach may take out a lot of the musical skills people learn as they grapple with physical instruments.

Strategically, I still think the more open Android operating system philosophy may outflank Apple over time,so I've been eyeing up alternative tablets from the likes of Asus, Amazon (Kindle), Samsung and Toshiba. And Stuff magazine surprised a lot of geeks when they chose the Asus Eee Pad Transformer as their gadget of the year.

Dan Martin on BusinessZone.co.uk was waving around a Samsung 7in Galaxy Tab this week, and I have to admit to experiencing some envy. It was still pocket-sized; maybe a little bit big for a phone, but provided enough real estate to get quite a good browsing/game playing experience. But have you seen the prices they want for some of these things?? At around £500 (in the duty free shop) for some of these devices, you're going to need to construct a very convincing business case for the board of Santa Industries plc...

Thanks for the other nominations and I look forward to a cavalcade of gadget envy over the next two weeks.

well it is ipad2 for me...

justsotax | | Permalink

although at quite a price.....it would have been the blackberry playbook....but the screen is too small....i think they missed the point, i suspect most people use the tablets to take notes, catch up on articles, possibly do mini presentations to clients etc etc....(ok and play games)....the playbook is at best a very big phone....at worst tablet with a screen that is too small (remember when everyone craved for the smallest phone imaginable and then realised you couldn't do anything useful on it...because the screen was too small....)

Reasons would help filter the zombies

chatman | | Permalink

Why not make it a rule that people have to give reasons for their nominations? This would help to filter out those who have simply been the victims of effective marketing.

but wouldn't that remove all apple nominations ;-)

justsotax | | Permalink

...yes i have one but for once i decided for style over substance.....

John Stokdyk's picture

Can we have some USB devices too, please?

John Stokdyk | | Permalink

Kevin's portable laptop screen was very impressive - but a bit too sensible and productive for my tastes.

What are the dumbest USB-connected things you've seen this year - oh, and the one's you'd most like to get this Christmas?

Apple and Reasons

chatman | | Permalink

justsotax wrote:

but wouldn't that remove all apple nominations ;-)

...yes i have one but for once i decided for style over substance.....

It would remove 99% of them, but not yours, because you have just given a reason. Some would consider it a very good reason.

afairpo's picture

Bikes & books and things    1 thanks

afairpo | | Permalink

The Christmas gadget wishlist (or, at least, the "please can I have gift certificates from Amazon towards" list) is basically: a cycle trainer (CycleOps Mag Trainer with remote shift). Why? Because cycling on icy roads in the early morning is taking peril a little too far!

The basic Kindle is actually pretty sweet for those wanting to dip into ebooks (sane-ish price, less annoying screen refresh than before) but not wanting to go the full tablet route.  Can I also nominate e-magazines generally? So much easier than the dead tree version to deal with - searchable, can be kept without having to find places for them, etc.

Weirdest USB gadget: the USB ramen noodle cooker (http://akiba-pc.watch.impress.co.jp/hotline/20030607/etc_soumen.html - in Japanese, but the pictures tell you all you need to know).  I would nominate the USB heated gloves (http://www.funusb.com/ixxocart/products/USB_Heated_Gloves-64-7.html) but they look rather practical in my currently freezing office ...

Hosted Accountants Ltd's picture

Gloves for iPhone?    1 thanks

Hosted Accounta... | | Permalink

Hi John

I am considering these http://www.firebox.com/product/2956/Isotoner-SmarTouch-Gloves?via=sfg

so I can actually use my shiny new Iphone4s/device/iPad when out and about in the cold!


Nigel Hughes's picture

Garage band is fun but....    1 thanks

Nigel Hughes | | Permalink


Garage band is a great little toy on the iPad but you quickly find its limitations. Now if only Band in a Box would do an iPad edition!

UP by Jawbone

kat.bond | | Permalink

You may have seen these things on Something for the Weekend, I thought they looked quite nifty:


A wristband and iPhone app which promotes a healthier lifestyle, tracks acttivity, sleep patterns etc.

Not seen a whole load of reviews as of yet but I think the concept is pretty cool.

UP by Jawbone

chatman | | Permalink

Yeah, that looks good. Shame it's only available on the iPhone.

Henry Osadzinski's picture


Henry Osadzinski | | Permalink

I'll second what kat.bond said about the recent lifestyle & health trackers such as the UP and FitBit, which is launching in the UK early next year. Health & fitness is often an overlooked topic across tech and social media networks and these beefed-up pedometers are doing a great job of bringing it forward in everyone's minds by allowing us to view our progress and even information about how well we sleep via a new, intuitive interface.

After a disappointing start to the year, I feel Nokia also deserve some recognition for their push into adopting Windows Phone 7 as their primary mobile OS. The Lumia 800 has proven itself to be a strong competitor to the masses of BlackBerry, Android and iOS devices and it'll hopefully pave the way for a more diverse, feature-rich wave of devices across all platforms in 2012.

nigel's picture

You want USB?

nigel | | Permalink

The get over to www.iwantoneofthose.com . The USB powered cup warmer gets my vote, I'm always drinking tepid cups of coffee in the office. But there's a whole range of useful down to genuinely weird stuff you can plug into a USB port these days!

Top of my Christmas list is not quite a USB gadget - it's an iPad itself with a USB port! Then we might be able to get files directly onto an iPad. I have been able to plug things like a USB microphone into my iPad (for Garageband, of course!) using the Apple camera connection kit. I don't think memory devices work though because the IOS operating system doesn't know what to do with them!

I'd also give Apple a big pat on the back for introducing the Newsstand app in the latest version of IOS for iPhone and iPad. Being able to download the latest edition of Classic Rock magazine onto the iPad has made my day!


I wouldn't buy from iwantoneofthose

chatman | | Permalink

I had a bad experience with iwantoneofthose.com and would never buy anything from them again.

daveforbes's picture

Best Gadget

daveforbes | | Permalink

My vote would be for http://www.irobot.com/uk

We have wooden floors and 2 labradors.

David Forbes

Nigel Hughes's picture

I think this is one for John

Nigel Hughes | | Permalink


You've been sceptical about things Apple and i for some time. if your brush with garageband on an iPad still hasn't convinced you try this:


You also want the grownup garageband - believe me it's amazing

Happy New Year to everyone

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