It’s the middle of the year, I happened to be in China and I decided to go through some of the stuff we had in-house and run them through their paces. Sure, I had to rip open a couple of shrink wraps and basically operate some of the otherwise brand new equipment, which of course the boss didn’t like. But I told him to take it off my next paycheck so I’d literally own the stuff and he let me off the hook. In short, I actually spent my own money to come up with this Top 5 List, so you can bet that I’d bet my ass that the products I’m including are definitely worth the money.
And here’s something you should know, as well, of the 5 items I’m putting on the list, only 2 of them are included in the items I purchased. The other 2 are items that they actually use around the office and I was given permission by their respective owners to try them out for the sake of coming up with a more complete overview of the strengths of each product. That should pretty much give you insight into the fact that I didn’t really try out the entire product range, so there may be some better products in the catalog that I wasn’t able to try out. I was able to rip open 10 boxes of electronics before my boss stopped me, that’s a few thousand short of all the devices we offer, but I was able to enlist the help of one of the more senior staff who’s job it is to visit manufacturers to try out their new equipment and see if they are worth adding to our catalog and he provided the insight I needed on the other electronics and helped me narrow down my list.
All-in-all I reviewed some 30 times and whittled the list down to 5. I would have otherwise gone for 10, but since I really wasn’t able to review a majority of the stock, I’ll leave the other 5 to when I’ve had a few more visits to the office by the end of the year maybe. I’ll also cite a few items that were not included on the list, but are still worth mentioning. Most of the 30 items I was able to review were of outstanding quality, however, there were of course items that didn’t tickle my fancy. Here’s the 5 items that really did, and a brief description as to why:
This is one of the gadgets I reviewed that the office actually uses and has been using for about 2 years now. Despite being obsolete on many mainstream online stores, the iCube still scores a spot on my list for being the true king of mini LED projectors. It produces a picture that’s bright enough to be used in a typical office environment without turning off the lights.
It also comes with a few very interesting additional features. Like the fact that it has its own 1GB of internal memory and an external SD card slot that can support up to 4GB of additional memory. That memory can be allocated to storing movies, music, and pictures that the projector itself can play with its full featured MP4 functionality – something you see in several similar projectors, although best implemented here.
4. Beats by Dr. Dre Tour High Resolution In-Ear Headphones
Okay, not the original ones, but a very good copy nonetheless. One of the best copies I’ve actually come across so far. They sound amazingly clear and crisp, and if you haven’t listened to anything through the original earphones for a while, then you’d never be able to tell the difference. I only really noticed the difference when I tried them one after the other. The copied Beats are a bit muffled, but no too much to make the earphones inappreciable.
This is another one of the devices we have at the office. This particular one is a permanent fixture in our rec room. It basically stores a bunch of the company’s advertising videos, as well as movies to watch in our free time and recordings of educational technology shows. It’s something many of the office staff use everyday, and I’ve gotten to use it several times myself when I come over. It’s also something I’ve gotten for myself to use at home.
If you’re looking for an HDD media player, this one should always be the first you should consider. I’ve seen HDD media players start to become more popular in mainstream markets, but none of them have ever come close to the Chinese made products. And of all the Chinese made products, I haven’t come across anything that’s better than this yet.
It would have been a complete entertainment package, had it not been for it’s lack of a DVD or BD player. Other than that, it’s packed with more features than you’d ever wish for in an HDD media player and will totally redefine your view of what an HDD media player should be like.
2. Haipad X9 Tablet PC
A true underdog in its class – not in performance, but in its popularity. This is actually one of the products I had opened up the package of out of sheer curiosity, and I’m glad I opened up the package then and bought it. This is now officially my favorite tablet after the iPad. The main reason I like it is because it runs Windows 7, with its broad selection of software, and runs it very well in that regard. It’s like a cheaper version of the horribly expensive EEE Slate by Asus.
Well, it does differ from the EEE Slate in many regards, but you can almost think of it in that respect. It’s a very capable tablet, that will run many Windows programs without a problem. I was even able to run Photoshop CS2 on it with ease, and although it isn’t equipped with a pressure sensitive stylus like the EEE Slate, it still did a great job of making graphics design using the tablet much easier than any such attempt with a mouse.
I can say that I’m a fan of the iPad, but when the iPad doesn’t cut it and you need the vast array of software options that are available to Windows users, this is the way to go.
And the finally, there is the famous Haipad MID 701. A good example of how a tablet should be done. Of course, Android 2.1 is already quite obsolete, but many MID 701 users have found their own ways of formatting it to run Android 2.2, making the MID 701 a great buy even now that it’s a year old. The sheer flexibility and steadfastness of the platform have insured that it will enjoy continued success – which it has proven successfully.
Personally, I find that the MID 701 will still continue to be used even as it nears the end of its reign as the most popular Android Tablet coming out of China at the moment. It still continues to bring in favorable reviews from buyers this late into it’s life, so I don’t expect it to go out of style too soon.
So there you have it, the Top 5 Must Buy Electronic Items according to none other than me. I believe I gave this initial task of assembling the list a just outcome, and I look forward to creating a more complete list at a later time. In the meantime, here’s a few other products that were worth mentioning:
Rena 3 / N7a Android Tablet - For the successful implementation of a dual core processor alone, it would have deserved a top seating, however, the Rena 3 has already run out of stock – it was snatched up almost as soon as it was put out. I had gotten a chance to see it once before at an expo in Beijing, and it impressed me very much. [Update July 6, 2011: The Rena 3 is now back in stock due to popular demand.]
APad M10 Tablet PC - Just like the Haipad X9 in almost every way except with regards to the touchscreen and a few other functionalities. This tablet leans more toward being a true tablet than a personal computer. It’s additional functions include built-in Bluetooth and optional 3g capabilities – something the Haipad X9 doesn’t share at all.
And that’s it. My Top 5 Must Buy Electronic Items for the midyear. To review the items more closely, and if you would like to purchase any of the items, they are all available from almost any wholesale electronics shop.