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Best Tech of 2023 – No Phones

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As we enter a new year let’s take a look at the consumer tech that impressed (outside phones) over the previous 12 months. We saw better cameras, laptops, power stations, security cameras, kitchen devices, TVs plus robots for vacuuming, mopping, mowing, pools and windows. So many robots!

Here are just a few standouts I included in Sunday’s New Year’s Eve segment with Tim Gilbert on Sky News Weekend Edition.

BEST CAMERA DEVICE: DJI OSMO POCKET 3

DJI OSMO Pocket 3 is unique

The DJI Osmo Pocket 3 was the most innovative camera of the year. I own the previous versions of this camera and have always enjoyed using them. But this third version is a massive leap forward in handheld gimbal camera technology.

DJI sent through the Creator Combo kit for review and I’ve not put it down since. I’ve actually ordered one.

You can read more about it here.

I’m a Mac user for most of my creative work but I thought I would include a couple of Windows laptops in this list as they dominate the market. So here we go.

BEST LAPTOP (ALL ROUNDER) – LENOVO YOGA BOOK 9i EVO

Lenovo Yoga Book 9i EVO offer dual-screen without the hassle

Now, although this is a 2-in-1 laptop I think it’s cracking laptop, full stop. The Lenovo Yoga Book 9i EVO opens up to reveal two 13.3 inch OLED touchscreens. So it looks awesome when both displays are running.

Running an Intel Core i7 1355U 10 core processor (3.7- 5.0GHz) I found the 9i EVO a joy to operate. Although not a creator’s machine, I was able to use it on planes, hotels and in cars for all of my daily needs. This included video editing with DaVinci Resolve and photo editing with Photoshop.

The execution of the dual display UI is excellent. Using it with the supplied Bluetooth keyboard and pen-enabled a two-screen office display without a large footprint.

You can turn it sideways for two portrait screens (side-by-side) or you can use it like a tablet, fold it over so you have screens front and back or you can combine both screens to have one large display.

The clever use of the on-screen keyboard can really save the day. By tapping 8 fingers at once you’ll bring up the virtual keyboard (three fingers for trackpad) and you’ll be typing away.

Despite the two internal screens the notebook is very slim. I think this is why I love it so much. The whole package fits neatly into a laptop back or sleeve, then expands into massive workstation, anywhere!

I just spotted it here on special.

BEST LAPTOP (FOR CREATORS) – ASUS PROART STUDIOBOOK 16-OLED

ASUS ProArt Studiobook 16 OLED is a creator’s workhorse

I used the ProArt Studiobook 16 OLED for several months and I really loved it. It’s a big unit but when you open it up that 16-inch 3.2K 120 Hz OLED touchscreen hits you between the eyes. It’s just beautiful.

The main task I had for this Windows laptops was video editing using DaVinci Resolve. I was happy to see the laptop cruise through a lot of demanding 4K work. It’s worth noting that in Resolve I use a 1080P timeline before switching to 4K and exporting at the original resolution. The difference between using the NVIDIA® GeForce RTX 4070 graphics and software for encoding was vast. Overall I didn’t notice too much of a difference when editing video and photos when compared to Mac.

With a 13th Gen Intel® Core i9 HX processor, 64GB of memory and 2TB of storage, the ProArt was fast at everything. There was plenty of I/O – thunderbolt, USB-A, SD Card reader, HDMI and more.

The ASUS Dial looks like a bit of gimmick so I didn’t start using it until late in the review. Turns out, it’s actually pretty useful. You can use it like a jog wheel in DaVinci Resolve or flick through tabs in a browser with your left hand. I also started to use it in Photoshop.

It’s on special right now so be quick.

BEST ROBOT VACUUM – DREAMEBOT L20 ULTRA

All the top brands Ecovacs, Roborock and Dreame have smart mopping technology but Dreame stood out in 2023 due to its innovated mopping features.

It has something new. A mop that kicks out to clean against the walls. Not only that – the L20 Ultra can leave the mopping pads behind in the base station to ensure there’s no contact with carpet. Note: It does raise the mops in normal operation – higher than most. It will also clean and dry the mops in the base station. Very cool.

BEST GAMING MONITOR: LG OLED FLEX

Watch the LG OLED Flex in action

The LG OLED Flex 42″ gives you a curved screen, immersive experience and a standard straight viewing experience. The monitor behind me during this segment is a 42″ flex. So it starts out straight then curves with the press of the remote. It can be adjusted up to a 900R curve and gradations in between, along 20 incremental settings.

Normally I have three screens in my studio. Each a different size and type. But with the LG Flex – I can have one large monitor to do the same job.

Up close this looks insane.

The reason for his is immersive gaming. The OLED Flex also features G-SYNC® Compatibility and AMD FreeSync™, enhancing gaming visuals without tearing, stuttering or input lag.

It also supports Dolby Vision gaming at 4K 120Hz7 and includes HDMI 2.1 features as Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM). Whether leaning into work or a game, or watching a movie, users can adjust the height, tilt and even resize the picture on the LG OLED Flex from 42-inches to 32- and 27-inches, for personalised viewing.

BEST PORTABLE MONITOR – ESPRESSO 17 PRO

The espresso 17 Pro is the best portable monitor ever

I’ve been a big fan of espresso Displays but as a professional working in the video world, the previous models did not quite meet my needs in the edit suite. But that’s all changed with the espresso 17 Pro. Now with the specs like 4K, 17.3 inches, 10-bit spectrum (8-bit + FRC), 100% DCI-P3 and 450 nits of brightness. espresso 17 Pro works via a single USB-C connection with thousands of devices. Compatibility options are available for devices that do not support USB-C.

To support the larger espresso 17 Pro there’s a new stand that secures magnetically to the rear of the display. The Stand Pro allows for work at various angles and heights, including portrait and landscape modes. Optimised for drawing and sketching, Stand Pro can be set securely to an 18-degree angle with a purple accented built-in kick-stand.

At the base of the Stand Pro you can add espresso Displays’ first ever battery pack. A 27,000mAh/99wH power bank that’s also airline friendly. Designed to fit flush beneath Stand Pro, it also adds height to 17 Pro display. When used with espressoFlow, users can dynamically switch charging direction between their device and Charge, and monitor battery consumption and diagnostics via an updated power tracking dashboard. 

Jot by espresso makes the most out of the pen. Activated by a pen click or keyboard shortcut, Jot is a utility to capture, cut, save, and drop on-screen content between any app, window, or document. Jot acts like a digital sketch pad that sits over the top of a desktop environment, allowing you to sketch, take notes, and transfer content. Jot will be available to all 17 Pro customers as a free download.

Bring on 2024!

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