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Ten life-changing tech upgrades

This is a dream list, a list to aspire to, a checklist to save up for – a list that will literally change your life. If you’re on the fence about any of these, well, you’re just missing out on the future.

gadgets Updated: Nov 12, 2011 19:44 IST
Rajiv Makhni

Lose ten kg in 10 days; 10 ways to know if your partner is cheating on you; 10 things that prove you’re addicted to porn. Wonderful headers for columns – they’re eye-catching and warrant immediate attention. 10 best, Top 10, 10 myths... it’s called the rule of 10 and is my inspiration for today’s column.

Most of these cost nothing, while a few can severely dent your bank balance. To all those who will fry me for conjuring up this virtual shopping cart, this isn’t about what you can or cannot afford; this isn’t about budgets and their destruction. This is a dream list, a list to aspire to, a checklist to save up for – a list that will literally change your life.

# 1 Digital Wireless Headphones

HeadphonesChuck them! Most of you must be having big, clunky infrared ones that need line of sight to work, lose sound when you turn your head and sound ghastly. Others may be having RF cans that give you more range but also spit, hiss and crackle at you from all angles. This is all old hat. Digital Wireless headphones can give you audiophile sound, rival top of the line wired headphones, do virtual surround sound, use your digital audio output, work 300 feet away and never hiss. Sennheiser RS 180 and RS 220 (pictured right) and Sony MDR-DS6500 are some of the best in the field. Watch a movie late at night without disturbing your spouse (they’re not called marriage-savers for nothing) or stroll in the garden while listening to your entire music collection. Your ears will thank you for it. # 2 Mobile Wireless Sync

iPadIf you own a fairly recent Apple mobile product and haven’t upgraded to iOS 5 then you’re a bit of a dufus. Just one thing (there are 200 but some of them are just plain silly) warrants that upgrade right now: wireless sync. There’s something deeply satisfying in plugging in your iPhone or iPad at night and finding a movie, a book and new music appear magically on your device when you wake up in the morning. Yes, iOS finally breaks from its iTunes USB umbilical cord and does it with a vengeance. Your device and your computer on the same WiFi network will perfectly sync whatever new items have been added to either of them. Wireless sync can be achieved on almost any other mobile OS with some add-ons like SugarSync (automated to the point that as soon as you take a picture on your phone, it’s already on your computer), Live Mesh and Livedrive. Give it a shot – you’ll never believe how you ever lived with the ugliness of cables, setting up devices and manual syncing. # 3 A Big A*S TV

LCDI’m not talking 32, 42, 47 or even 55 inches. I’m talking about 60+ inches of pure visual madness. Yes, they are here, huge beasts, a mad array of pixels and your greatest dream. India was never taken to be a big TV screen market and thus, even when companies had big screen TVs abroad, they wouldn’t bring them here. I’m glad they didn’t. Very large screen TVs suffer from brightness and colour issues as well as uneven backlighting. Current technology has finally made sure that all that is now an old wives’ tale. The latest crop are stunning, vivid, crystal clear and picture perfect. You can even put these in your bedroom as the pixel density is dense enough to give a stunning image at a 10 foot distance. LG’s new 65-inch LED Cinema Display and Samsungs 64-inch plasma lead from the front. Despite what you’ve been told, size matters! Big is good and HUGE is always better :)

# 4 HD on DTH
If you’ve been on the fence on this one, you’re missing out on one of the greatest pleasures in life. The upgrade is cheap and the result is jaw-dropping. Moving from standard definition broadcast to high definition, to use an old cliché, is like acquiring a brand new set of eyes. Watching cricket in its full HD glory, a movie in 1080i resolution, a wildlife documentary where you can see each hair bristle on a red nosed baboon sends a shiver down your spine. If you’ve got an HDTV, you owe yourself HD DTH.

# 5 Go 3G
Ignore the naysayers and forgive the pessimists. Yes, coverage can sometimes be spotty and yes it’s expensive This is all just a smokescreen – you’re just being lazy and depriving yourself of a true game changer. 3G on your mobile is the greatest high-octane boost you can give to almost everything you do. From your apps to opening web pages to sending a large image on email to streaming a song to watching YouTube on the move – 3G changes everything! A video call really does work, TV on demand becomes a reality, using your phone as a 3G hotspot can save you megabucks and save your skin mega-times. I’m surprised to see power users who upgrade their phones every six months proclaim that they don’t really ‘need’ 3G. That’s like saying you don’t really need a billion bucks! You can never have too much money and you can never have a data connection fast enough. Get your mind and your mobile out from the rutty, broken roads of 2G and hit the super speedy F1 tracks of 3G.

That’s five of ten. Next week I’ll complete the overhaul of your life. In the meanwhile why don’t you contemplate the top 10 reasons why somebody would call their article ‘Top 10 Tech Upgrades’ and only give five. Reason one: the editor of Brunch only gives me one measly page.

Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3. Follow Rajiv on Twitter at twitter.com/RajivMakhni

From HT Brunch, November 13

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