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The hot list – April 2015

Written by Josh Russell on Wednesday, 08 April 2015. Posted in Apps & gadgets, Technology

News that, within 12 months, Apple will be valued at $1tn is likely to raise an eyebrow or two. For a little taste of some of its latest innovations and the rest of the month’s top tech, take a gander at our gadget round-up

The hot list – April 2015

13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display


The furore of criticism facing the announcement of the latest MacBook has rather overshadowed the release of the 2015 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display. Sharing the innovative Force Touch trackpad with the coming MacBook, Apple’s latest laptop allows pressure sensitive input whilst providing haptic feedback to simulate a real click feel. However, it beats its sibling in a couple of respects: it doesn’t copy the MacBook’s much-ridiculed single USB port and packs significantly higher-spec innards, all for the same price. Definitely a case of go Pro or go home.


Samsung Galaxy A5


For a mid-market phone, Samsung’s Galaxy A5 is a solid entry. It’s perhaps not going to win much ground in an out-and-out spec war; phones like the Motorola Moto G nearly rival the A5’s 1.2 GHz quad-core innards and 2GB of RAM for over £100 less than the A5’s £280 ticket price. Where it really comes into its own though is its design – its metal edging, lightweight feel and the fact that it’s thinner even than the iPhone 6 means that it’s a great mobile for those wanting a flagship feel at a more reasonable price.


Pebble Time


We first featured the original Pebble Smartwatch way back in April 2013 and its nice to see that one of the world’s first smartwatches is still going strong, even in the face of competition from the likes of Samsung and Apple. Its latest iterations, the Pebble Time and Pebble Time Steel, come with colour e-ink displays and a timeline feature to easily scroll through previous messages or future engagements. Unsurprisingly it’s proving incredibly successful with Pebble’s legions of fans; by the time it finished its Kickstarter round, it had raised more than $20m, utterly smashing its $500,000 target.


Shwood Canby Select Newspaper


Already one of our favourite frame makers, Shwood has found a way to improve upon its existing range of wooden prescription and sunglass frames. Its Canby Newspaper range uses recycled newspaper that is rolled into four-inch logs and then sawn into plies. On the Canby Select, this is then used to create beautiful frames with a unique grain interspersed with the slight impression of type. Sadly Canby Select frames are strictly limited edition; only 50 are being made so snap up a pair as soon as you can.


HTC Vive SteamVR


It was enough of a shock to audiences at Mobile World Congress to discover that HTC had teamed up with Valve, the game development and digital distribution company, to create Vive, a VR headset. But it seems like each has brought its reputation for quality to the mix. Valve’s extensive experience in the games industry makes it likely the headset will see significant uptake from developers. And with Lighthouse – Vive’s motion tracking technology that allows users to move around the room and physically explore their environments – it actually looks like Vive might topple Occulus Rift from the top spot. 

About the Author

Josh Russell

Josh Russell

Our former editor, Russell was the man in charge of properly apostrophising our publication and ensuring Oxford commas are mercilessly excised. Our former digital doyen, he’s also a Photoshop pro, a dab hand with InDesign and the man to go to if you need a four-hour soliloquy about the UK's best silicon startups.

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