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Tempting digital hardware

By Jean-Claude Elias - Feb 28,2020 - Last updated at Feb 28,2020

There are times when you just do not want to worry about lack of privacy on social networks, spam e-mails, fake news, computer virus threats, or not fast enough Internet, but instead prefer to enjoy good, solid, fast, tangible digital hardware. The market has these goodies aplenty. The choice is vast and prices, as usual, range from very affordable to ridiculously high. A selection of the current crop.

To start with the ridiculously expensive, the winner probably would be LG Signature OLED TV screen, model 88Z9P. The price tag on the web is a bold $30,000. The product has it all, from the famous OLED display technology, to the gigantic 88-inches size.

At this price it is not only great looking with a virtually invisible frame, premium stereo sound and USB3.0 inputs, but it is also perfectly Internet-ready and has most of the streaming services built-in, so you do not have to add any external accessory to watch Netflix or listen to Spotify. Still, the real crazy part is elsewhere. The TV screen resolution is an incredible 8K! This is twice the 4K that most sets still do not have. When you think that 8K contents or broadcasts are not available yet, anywhere in the world, you wonder why you should get the device. Perhaps just to make your friends and neighbours jealous.

Back to the more down-to-earth digital equipment, we find Dell’s convertible-hybrid laptop computer XPS 13 2-in-1. Recently laptops that are referred to as being convertible, detachable or hybrid have become the trend. Indeed, being able to use the device as a regular laptop at times, and as a stand-alone tablet at others, provides the ultimate convenience and flexibility for the user. At JD1,000 in Jordan it may not be the cheapest laptop you can buy, but it is not the most expensive either.

In addition to excellent screen display and fast Intel’s 10th generation processor and graphics, the convertible Dell XPS 13 laptop comes with the new WiFi 6 standard. At a speed of 9.6 Gbps (gigabits per second) it is significantly faster than traditional WiFi, and also has more stable connectivity — not a minor point.

Connected video doorbells are other digital devices that make good use of advanced surveillance cameras design and technology, of wireless Internet, and are slowly but surely becoming a common part of households for they significantly help to increase security, and in a rather simple manner, what’s more. The American company aptly named Ring seems to be the leader in this market segment, with affordable models priced at about $200. They are easy to install and are no-brainers when it comes to using them.

Equipped with a camera, the digital doorbell can be accessed from anywhere in the world with your smartphone. You can this way answer someone ringing at your door even while being kilometres away, giving them the impression that you are physically at home, hence the security added value. Video recording is of course integrated in the system. It goes without saying that good Internet connection is recommended for optimum use.

Last but not least comes a nice pair of Bluetooth wireless earphones, made by Samsung: the Galaxy Buds Plus. The market is flooded with such products. This is simply because the demand is high. Everybody wants to talk on the phone with a pair of Bluetooth wireless earphones or to listen to music this way. Samsung’s new earphones may not exactly compete with Apple’s own AirPods Pro, Jabra’s Elite 75 or Amazon’s Echo Buds, but they more than do a good job, and at around a rather humble $130 they remains in the affordable range, given the high quality of sound they offer.

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