All the best tools of the trade

Feature by Tom Dunmore

The thinnest LCD TV, the most powerful smartphone: will the superlatives never end? By Tom Dunmore, editor-in-chief of Stuff

The thinnest LCD TV, the most powerful smartphone: will the superlatives never end? By Tom Dunmore, editor-in-chief of Stuff

Gadgets BlackBerry
BlackBerry Pearl PAYG £150
This is the BlackBerry for the rest of us: no contract or IT manager sign-off required. It's the same old BlackBerry Pearl 8120 that's been around for years – with 2MP camera, Qwerty keypad and WiFi but no 3G – but it's available on pay-as-you-go for the first time, courtesy of Orange. You'll have to fork out an extra £5 a month for BlackBerry's brilliant push email service, which sends messages to your pocket like texts, but you'll get unlimited free web access and you're not tied in for a fixed period.

Gadgets Sony
Sony Bravia ZX1 £2,929
Now that pretty much everyone has a massive TV in their lounge, how does the committed gadgeteer stay one step ahead? By going thin. Sony's ZX1 is, at 9.9mm thick, the world's slimmest 40in LCD TV. Despite its diminutive girth, the ZX1 is packed with cutting-edge technology, including Sony's excellent image processing and 1080 wireless, which seamlessly sends HD picture and sound to the screen. Alas, you'll still need a lone power cable snaking up to the sliver of technology, but there's no arguing this is the most desirable TV on the market.

Gadgets Nikon
Nikon Coolpix P90 £380
If you're after a camera that takes professional-quality pictures, but you don't fancy lugging around a bulky digital SLR, Nikon's new flagship ‘bridge' camera could be your point-and-shoot wonder. It has a massive 24x zoom lens, and its 12MP image is backed up with some useful electrickery such as blink and motion detection.

Great results in low light conditions are guaranteed by an ISO rating that goes up to 6400, and you don't even have to worry about pressing the shutter button at exactly the right moment – the P90 will take 15 shots in a second, so you can choose the best one afterwards.

Gadgets Toshiba
Toshiba TG01 £tba
The most powerful smartphone in the world is due in the UK this summer. With a laptop-baiting 1GHz processor, massive 4.1in touchscreen, satnav and both 3.5G and WiFi for super-speedy browsing, the TG01 has it all. Shame, then, that it's encumbered with the labyrinthine Windows Mobile operating system, albeit in a snazzy, bespoke front-end. This could be a serious iPhone rival – unless Apple ups the ante with its next-gen iPhone, also due this summer.

Gadgets HP Touchsmart
HP Touchsmart TX2 £1,000
Tablet PCs never really took off, but HP's TX2 might change that. It is without doubt the most desirable touchscreen laptop on the market – thanks to its finger-friendly, iPhone-style multi-touch. It's not the full Monty – you can't expand windows by putting a finger on each corner and drawing them apart – but you can rotate pictures and zoom into text with figure gestures, and it will become a lot more exciting once Windows 7 arrives. In the meantime, the TX2 is a powerful laptop, with a five-hour battery and nippy 2.2GHz AMD Turion processor.


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