It’s that time of year again! - 17 Dec 2013

Christmas is upon us and all of us in the Signature office are thinking about what we’d like to find under our Christmas trees. Here are a few of the most popular items.

The Sonos PLAYBAR…sonos

Retailing at around £599.00 this very stylish sound bar is a coveted piece of kit by our movie and music loving office!

Hidden inside are 9 amplified speakers; 6 mid woofer and 3 tweeters, to give you the best sound possible. Worth noting that additional speakers can be added for that surround sound, home cinema experience. It has numerous ports for all of your gadgets, including Blu-ray players and games consoles so you can enjoy all of them in perfect sound.

A clever little trick is that you can set it to “night mode” which means you can compress the volume so to not disturb your kids, your partner or your neighbours while not losing any of the details. Bonus!

While it may seem expensive, a good sound system can last you years.

The  “Steam Machine”…

Not being fully released until 2014 but there are 300 beta testers getting these around the end of this year. Initial guestimates are suggesting it could be priced around the $500 mark (£304).

Not sure what it is? It’s a gaming pc with streaming capabilities. The designers (Valve Corporation) concept is that this one machine can run all gaming in your home.

Current specs for it are:

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-4770, i5-4570, and i3
  • Graphics card: Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan, GTX 780, GTX 760, and GTX 660
  • Graphics card RAM: 3 GB GDDR5
  • Main RAM: 16 GB DDR3-1600
  • Hard drive: 1 TB storage/8 GB SSD cache hybrid drive

images (1)The PS4…

Every gamers dream gift this year (unless you’re a Xboxer then you wouldn’t really be that interested) Retailing for £349.99 and selling out quickly. (The price for these on the well-known auction site are anything upwards of the RRP.)

The Successor to PS3 is one of the eighth generation of games consoles, and Sony have geared this towards the social aspect of gaming by adding a live share button to the controller. This streams live game play to friends and other devices in your home.

There is the downside that you can’t play games from your previous PS3 BUT Sony acquired Gaikai in 2012 (a cloud based gaming service), which could see cloud-based emulations of your old PS3 games. Its specs are: 500GB hard disk drive, 8GB memory, and Single-chip custom processor to name a few.

MacBook Pro 13” Retina….download (3)

The perfect gift for all of us in our office!

The 2013 version varies in price depending on what memory and extras you choose but the basic model is £1,099.

There are 2 versions available, the 13-inch and the 15-inch screen, its 18mm thick and weighs around 1.5kg. The specs inside for the basic model are: 2.4GHz duel-core processor, 4GB of memory, 128GB of storage, 720p HD camera, WIFI and Bluetooth all wrapped up in a sleek case we would expect from any Apple product.

The battery life will obviously vary depending on what your doing, basically you can expect up to 9 hours when watching films or listening to music but with up to 30 days standby time.

The “up”…

download (2)

There are a few sports fans in our office and this little band is a top tip for anyone who is conscious of their daily exercise and want insights into how to obtain a healthier lifestyle.

RRP is around £90 for the Up24 and £79 for the Up. It comes in different colors to suit you.

The idea is that you wear this every day, all day, even at night. It reads your movements using “precision motion sensors”. At night it can monitor your sleep patterns and by day is can alert you when you’ve been idle for too long (perfect for us office chair racers) with its internal vibrating motor.

The Up24 is the more advanced of the 2 available, it wirelessly connects to your smartphone and updates the downloadable app (iOS only), you can then manually update the app with daily nutritional information and it can provide you with personalized insights so you can achieve your goals. Whether that’s more exercise, healthier eating or just getting more sleep at night.

The Up’s only difference to its bigger brother is that instead of a wireless connection to your phone it needs to be plugged in to upload your data to the app. The battery life for both is pretty good, Up24 is 7 days and the Up is 10 days. Both fully recharge within 80 mins.

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