Perfectly formed tools of the trade

Feature by Tom Dunmore

Looking for some worthy objects of your recession-busting spending spree? Tom Dunmore, editor-in-chief of Stuff, has ideas...

Looking for some worthy objects of your recession-busting spending spree? Tom Dunmore, editor-in-chief of Stuff, has ideas...

Gadgets Nokia
Nokia N97 £500 SIM-free
Nokia's latest weapon in the smartphone arms race is built to fight a war on two fronts, recapturing ground lost to both iPhone and BlackBerry. The N97 wraps up-to-the-minute specs – including GPS, 32GB of storage and a 5MP camera – in a slim body that features an iPhone-style 3.5in touchscreen and BlackBerry-busting slide-out Qwerty keyboard. But a smartphone is nothing without software – which is why the Nokia has beefed up the N97 with improved push email and tight integration of its new Ovi music-and-games download service.

Gadgets Dell
Dell Adamo from £1,649
Dell's cheap-and-cheerful computers rarely set pulses racing – which is why its new high-end laptop is branded ‘Adamo', with the Dell logo relegated to an afterthought. The Adamo is a high-design masterpiece aimed at the same market as Apple's MacBook Air. And, like the Air, the Adamo's dimensions are more cutting-edge than the specs – its ultra-thin 16mm aluminium casework hides a distinctly average 1.2 GHz or 1.4GHz processor, with a 120GB solid-state hard drive, 13.4in screen and 2GB or 4GB of memory.

Gadgets B&O
B&O Beovision 4-103 £87,500
Wondering how to fill that gaping hole at the end of your palatial Kensington loft? Wonder no more – Danish master of the high-end, Bang & Olufsen, is on hand with 103 inches of recession-busting televisual glory. The Beovision 4-103 is based on Panasonic's 103in plasma display, augmented with a mechanical stand and technology that automatically calibrates the picture for you. But don't go reaching for your platinum card quite yet – this monster screen isn't available until July.

Gadgets Asus
Asus Eee Videophone £220
The videophone has never really made the leap from sci-fi staple to everyday convenience. But online videochat is gaining momentum, and Asus's futuristic terminal aims to reverse Skype videocalling into the realms of the standalone phone console. The battery-powered Eee Videophone connects to Skype by WiFi and allows you to communicate via a 7in screen with a built-in webcam. Before proclaiming the age of the videophone, it's worth remembering that you can buy a fully functional 7in laptop with built-in webcam and Skype for the same price.

Gadgets Sony
Sony HDR-TG7VE £800
If you want to speak geek, now's the time to start dropping ‘geotagging' into your conversation. With GPS receivers in all sorts of gadgetry – such as this stylish hi-def camcorder – it's now possible to add location details to pictures and movies. Which makes it easy to upload them to Google Earth. Sony's titanium-toughened TG7 isn't the cheapest way to make the most of geotagging, but it's undoubtedly the best, thanks to a 10x Carl Zeiss zoom lens that helps capture stunning full HD video and crisp 4MP stills.

Gadgets Apple
Apple ipod Shuffle £60
The iPod is so ubiquitous that Apple's products are in danger of losing some of their cachet. The answer? An inscrutable music player that talks to you. Of course. The Shuffle is barely bigger than a folded stick of chewing gum, but holds 1,000 songs on its 4GB memory. It's also entirely devoid of display or controls. Instead, you have to squeeze a fattened area on the headphone cable to control your music – and holding it to have the Shuffle tell you what's playing in a robotic voice.


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