10 of the best upcoming gadgets of 2018
WE’RE WELL AND TRULY into the new year now, which means it’s time to look forward to a fresh foray of innovative new gadgets, all with the same goal: to keep us distracted from the fact that there is no meaning to life.
But whatever happens in the year ahead, one thing is for certain, the tech product companies – from the usual big players to fresh startups, and even those that aren’t even at that stage yet – are cooking up cutting-edge innovations to wow us in the coming months as we wait patiently for the next big industry changer to come along.
With that, here are our 10 most anticipated gadgets of the coming year.
Lenovo ThinkPad T series
Chinese laptop giant Lenovo kicked off the year by unveiling a new range of thinner and lighter ThinkPad devices to be released later this year, all powered by 8th Generation Intel Core processors.
The new ThinkPad T Series, however, is perhaps the most noteworthy among the fresh line-up. Marketed as a “corporate workhorse”, this series includes privacy protection features such as an IR camera, fingerprint reader and a ‘ThinkShutter’ webcam cover to protect users from being watched by computer hijackers. However, the big deal with the T Series is that Lenovo claims some of the models’ battery will last over a full day without needing a charge, delivering a whopping 27 hours of juice
In the line-up comprises of the ThinkPad T480, which starts at $989 (£730); the T480s, which starts at $1,269 (£935); and the T580, which starts at $1,079 (£795). All will be available sometime later this month.
Touted as “the world’s most advanced NextGen smart Bluetooth key and lock”, Halberd is a brand new gadget for 2018 which automatically locks your PC every time you walk away. Made by GateKeeper, Halberd is perfect for those who are perhaps less cautious when it comes to privacy and security, and is an ideal desktop companion if you often forget to log out or lock your machine when leaving your workspace temporarily.
Forget timeout policies, have the GateKeeper and Halberd continuously authenticate your presence and remain signed in.
The Halberd has just finished a successful stint on Kickstarter, reaching its goal of $50,100. Expect to see it officially available within the coming months.
LG 8K TV
Just when you thought TVs couldn’t get more ridiculously detailed, LG goes and announces the 88in 8K (YES, EIGHT) OLED panel TV ahead of CES, claiming to have the largest and highest-resolution OLED panel ever.
We don’t know much else about the record-breaking TV just yet, but expect it to be more expensive than a small house. The Korean firm will be unveiling more in the coming days at the CES conference in Las Vegas, but so far we know it will be available this year, if you have a spare couple quid, that is.
Dell XPS 13 2018 edition
Dell kicked off the year by announcing a souped-up version of its XPS 13 laptop, the 2018 edition. Just like the refreshed XPS 13 launched just late last year, the firm’s fresh model packs Intel’s latest 8th-generation Core i5 or i7 processors, which are offered with a choice of 4GB, 8GB or 16GB RAM and up to 1TB of SSD storage.
The device not only boasts a lovely bezel-less display, but according to Dell, users will be able to squeeze a whopping 20-hours of battery life out of it when running in full HD (dropping to 11 hours in 4k Ultra HD mode).
The XPS 13 2018 edition is also said to offer twice the grunt of the 2015 model, thanks to better power management. This is down to the new thermal design of the laptop, which uses Gore thermal insulation for better heat dissipation. There’s also a ‘dynamic power mode’ that intelligently delivers maximum power when needed, while carefully monitoring system temperatures. Dell said the XPS 13 will be available later this month.
[image_library_tag e09b6d95-2a80-4879-97a1-a5828c0dd82a 540×375 border=”0″ alt=”Apple HomePod, top-down view” width=”540″ height=”375″ ]
The Apple HomePod was originally supposed to be with us before Christmas last year, but the Amazon Echo rival supposedly wasn’t quite ready yet. 2018 is the year that those baked well and truly into the iOS ecosystem have been waiting for: an Alexa of the Apple variety.
The HomePod is Apple’s first stab at the Amazon and Google-dominated smart speaker market. Like its competitors, the speaker is controlled by Apple’s AI assistant – Siri – which can do things such as read out the news and send iMessages and also act as a “musicologist” that will help you discover new music.
The device itself measures 7in tall, and Apple has defended its bin-like design by talking up its “seamless 3D mesh fabric” as having acoustic properties. Inside you’ll find Apple’s A8 processor, which the company claims is “the biggest brain inside of a speaker”. This sits alongside a 4in Apple-built subwoofer and a seven tweeter array with precision acoustic horns and directional control.
Expect to see the HomePod in, er, homes sometime “early this year”.
Samsung CJ791 curved QLED monitor
Samsung Electronics expanded the connectivity and performance capabilities of its signature curved display line-up this year with the debut of its CJ791 monitor, claiming it to be the first curved monitor to feature Intel’s Thunderbolt 3 connectivity.
A desktop essential for anyone who needs to multitask to get everything done in time, the 34in CJ791 is designed for business audiences, but entertainment purposes, too, thanks to its 3440×1440 ultra-wide QHD resolution display.
Through a Thunderbolt 3 cable, CJ791 users can link and dock their monitor and laptop without a chaos of cables. The Thunderbolt 3 connection provides processing speed of up to 40Gbps, allowing users to enjoy connectivity across a full ecosystem of docks, displays and peripheral devices including Macs, USB type-C laptops, and other desktop accessories like storage drives or external graphics cards. The Thunderbolt 3 interface also enables the CJ791 to provide up to 85 watts of laptop charging power.
The CJ791 will be available later this month, Samsung said.
PROOF is a wristband wearable with a difference. Not only does it seek to look after your health, but by doing so it might just save your life. The band is touted as revolutionising the way we consume alcohol by tracking our BAC levels and relaying statistics to the accompanying app on iOS or Android.
PROOF has been designed for anybody who drinks alcohol, from casual drinkers to all night partiers, with patent-pending technology to help you safely consume. But the user doesn’t have to go out of their way to check if they’ve had enough before they venture on their journey home. Proof has an automatic tracking feature which senses alcohol through your skin. Then, a smart alert system notifies the wearer when they’ve had one too many through vibration and LED alerts.
PROOF is currently still in development but we should see it commercially available later this year.
MyKronoz ZeTime Hybrid Smartwatch
After raising more than $6m on Kickstarter and Indiegogo last year, MyKronoz – a watchmaking brand aimed at the smart generation – just announced that its ZeTime hybrid smartwatches will be available to buy this early this year with a retail price starting at $199 (£180).
The unique thing about MyKronoz’s smartwatches is that they are the world’s first “hybrid” devices of their kind. That is, thy offer the classic design of a Swiss timepiece with the advanced features of a smartwatch via mechanical hands that tick away over a colour touchscreen.
The ZeTime Petite (39mm) and Regular (44mm) models both feature proprietary ‘Smart Movement’ technology which is said to enable ZeTime’s always-on hands to function for up to 30 days with a single charge.
Samsung’s Galaxy S9 smartphone
No year in tech would be complete without the launch of a Samsung flagship phone now, would it? Nope. Like clockwork, Samsung will unveil its latest S device by Springtime, and already we have a pretty good idea what the handset will look like thanks to those good old online leaks and rumours.
Samsung already unveiled the processor that will be powering it, Exynos 9 Series 9810, giving away some of the features we’re likely to see, such as iPhone X Face ID-style functionality. There’s also a good chance it’ll boast a choice between a 5.8in or 6.2in QHD+ Super AMOLED curved display, Android 8.0 ‘O’ and a display embedded fingerprint scanner
With reports claiming that Samsung will start production of the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus this year, it’s likely that the handsets will debut earlier in the year than the Galaxy S8, and hints that Samsung could be planning a launch at next year’s MWC.
There’s no word yet on pricing for the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. If anything like the S8, expect handsets to fetch around £689 and £779 SIM-free.
Nutale Live GPS tracker
GPS tracking devices aren’t anything new. The likes of TrackR, Tile, etc have been on the market for some good time now. But one thing they are missing is a proper live GPS tracking technology. Annoyingly, you have to enable Bluetooth and ensure its in a range to connect to your device and find your belongings. This isn’t ideal, especially when you’ve lost something outside your house and don’t have the foggiest where it’s got to.
Meet Nutale, a much more intelligent personal GPS tracker. This small and powerful device is different because it gives you actual real-time positioning so you can keep track of your possessions, or even kids and pets – basically anything that moves. You’ll know exactly where they got to and where they are going.
Nutale also lets you set a safety region on your app to enable geo-fence alerts as well as access up to four weeks of historical footprints. It features an emergency SOS button and up to 30 days rechargeable battery life, too. The device isn’t available just yet but expect it to hit online stores in the coming months.