Gadget Countdown: Gadget of the Year

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Rachael Power
Community Correspondent
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The iPad mini has been voted as AccountingWEB's Gadget of the Year for 2013 in the culmination of our Christmas Gadget Countdown.

Through the holiday shopping season AccountingWEB has been running its traditional parade of consumer electronics and software in the 12-day Christmas Gadget Countdown.

The selection was assembled from suggestions by our various techy editors and contributors, who each nominated a device for the final vote.

Last year, the iPhone 4S took top prize due to its popularity and a unanimous decision among the editorial team. 

Apple won again this year. And like last year it was for a slightly older product - the 7.9in iPad mini, which was launched in November 2012. It's natural that in the fast-moving world of consumer gadgetry that it takes a while for the real winners to emerge. However the iPad mini consolidated its early lead in our poll as more votes came in during the final days before Christmas.

"What I really like about the iPad mini is that it fits in my jacket pocket and gives me a truly portable working tool," said AccountingWEB editor John Stokdyk, who nominated the device. "The variety of available apps, 'don’t worry your pretty little head' operating system and all-round user experience have won me over."

As we discussed elsewhere in the countdown, Apple also faces a real threat from Samsung, which has developed the rival Galaxy 3 Note that brings mobile phone capabilities to its 5.7in "phablet" package. Representing the younger generation, AccountingWEB community correspondent Rachael Power nominated this as her gadget of the year: "I am a little bit in love with it."  

The AccountingWEB editor was initially surprised that the iPad mini was showing up strongly in the community vote and left the voting open over the Christmas period. Yet during that time, its lead grew over items nominated by our contributors including a Sony 4K TV, (Philip Fisher), turbo drone quadrocopter (Robert Lovell) and the X1 espresso machine nominated by our executive peripherals editor, Nigel Harris. This is how the final vote panned out:

AccountingWEB 2013 Gadget Countdown vote


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20th Dec 2013 12:50

Microsoft Surface 2

I'm a huge fan of this much maligned (incorrectly IMO) device. For those of you running your office IT on a hosted desktop, you don't need to install anything more than a browser on your local device (as all programs and files are "in the cloud"), so the cheaper Surface 2 (£299 excl VAT) is perfect as a second device to use when out of the office.

If you're away for an extended period, you can plug in a full-size keyboard, mouse and second monitor (as I did for two weeks in the US earlier this year) and it's (almost) like working in the office at a normal desktop PC.

BTW this was previously known as Surface RT in its 2012 incarnation and re-launched as Surface 2 in its improved 2013 version. It even includes a free copy of MS Office for times when you want to work on a spreadsheet or Word document offline.

EDIT: If I had to vote for one of the gadgets listed above, it would be the iPad Mini. I bought one two weeks ago to replace my 1st gen iPad and it's the perfect size for browsing the web, reading newspapers, and books on the Kindle app. It's also good for taking notes in meetings.

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20th Dec 2013 14:04

Amazon Kindle

I recently acquired a Kindle and it has revolutionized my life (ok - slight exaggeration). For years I've been struggling to read hard copy books in dim light and giving up in most cases. Now, I can read books anywhere in any level of light - it's great !! Of course, I'm now having to re-buy all the books I had previously bought as hard copy ... tant pis !!


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By plummy1
23rd Dec 2013 10:05

Nexus Tablet

Rivals the I-pad Mini but doesn't have the same price tag and can fit in a jacket pocket. You can download apps, books, films etc form Playstore but also download the Kindle App if you want to get stuff from Amazon. If you have an Android phone you'll understand it right out of the box.  Only problem is if you have an eight year old son you'll struggle to prize it from their grip!

Definitely worth looking at unless you can't imagine owning anything which hasn't been made by Apple. 

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By mrme89
23rd Dec 2013 10:48

I have just bought myself the iPad Air to replace my personal laptop. Brilliant gadget. Everything seems to run very smoothly which makes using it enjoyable. What I also like about it is Sky Go - I am able to plug the iPad into my tv and watch Sky in the bedroom without paying for Sky Multiroom.


My grandma has just bought the Kindle Fire HD. This is quite a good tablet. What I liked about it was the picture quality. What I didn't like about it, and I suspect is the same for most Android tablets was the constant advertisements.


Many people like not to like Apple but their tablets are the best on the market. Did I mention the retina display?

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By chatman
30th Dec 2013 09:00

I Despair

It's not surprising that accountants still choose Sage, when their grasp of technology is such that Apple products seem a like a good buy.

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30th Dec 2013 12:47

chatman you been at the sherry again!

actually i tend to agree , am with Charlie on re the Surface am awaiting the next model as i have far to many gadgets , 3 phones in my pocket no wonder i dont answer any calls cant work out which one is ringing

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30th Dec 2013 12:56

Actually, Apple products are a good buy for accountants if you're going to be dealing with client information on them - for one simple reason: their security processes. It's far easier for an Andriod or Windows product to get a virus - according to managing director of digital marketing company Berea Aaron Yates. 

But for pleasure, I do agree with the Surface. My brother got one for Christmas and it's brilliant to use. 

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30th Dec 2013 13:31

not sure i agree with that Rachael

all products are prone to viruses increasingly apple is as well , a good virus software is the answer ESET  etc. not at all sure what you mean by client information either , on the cloud yes bit for desktop product mainly a NO NO, welcome back and Happy New Year 

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30th Dec 2013 16:27

I suppose Apple did drop its virus immunity claim for Macs in 2012 - but they're still far less prone to viruses - as are Linux systems. That number will probably increase though, as you say, due to the devices popularity! 

And there is definitely no alternative to a good anti-virus programme. Happy New Year to you too!

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By chatman
04th Jan 2014 11:56

Don't rely on Apple for your security.
If you are going to be relying on your operating system for your security needs, you shouldn't really be handling other people's data; you need to know how to look after it properly, and Apple won't do it for you. Managed properly, a Windows or Android computer is easily capable of keeping your data secure, and Apple products are not immune from hacks. I know of no reason to suggest that Apple products are good for accountants.

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