Top 10 tech toys to blow your tax refund on

Sure, you could invest it, but this is more fun

Sony PlayStation 3

Celebrate not only your tax return, but the end of the high-def disc format war. Blu-ray has emerged victorious, so it's time to splurge on a PlayStation 3.

The PS3 offers all the features of your typical Blu-ray DVD player, as well as access to exclusive PS3 video games. "Resistance: Fall of Man," "Ratchet" and "Clank" are already tearing up the charts, and it's only going to get better. "Metal Gear Solid 4" comes out this year; with over 18 million units sold in the "Metal Gear Solid" series thus far, this conclusion to the series promises to be the biggest blockbuster yet for the PS3.

And when Sony launches its "Home" online service, the inbuilt broadband adaptor and 40GB hard drive will be used to interact with other gamers in a free, Second Life-style fashion.

Though the PlayStation 3 has been slow to catch up to the sales of the Xbox 360 and the Nintendo Wii, its position as the most affordable and versatile Blu-ray player may finally make it a winning proposition.

Sony list price: US$399, or $349 on PriceGrabber.com

Apple MacBook Air

Slim, sexy and surprisingly functional, the MacBook Air is a great traveling computer. Though lacking all the features of a full-fledged MacBook or MacBook Pro, it offers a compact travel form unrivaled in the laptop market.

With no FireWire port, Ethernet port or optical disc drive, the MacBook Air may initially seem a crippled computing choice. But when you're on a plane, on a train or in an automobile, you'll hardly miss what you'd never use anyway.

The MacBook Air weighs in at only 3 pounds and has a maximum thickness of only 0.76 inches, making it an attractive companion to slip into your briefcase, backpack or manila envelope. You'll be ready to pull it out and hop on the local Wi-Fi at a moment's notice.

The MacBook Air isn't meant to be your household's primary computer. But when you're not at home, it can be just what the doctor ordered. You won't regret the US$1,799 you'll spend on the Air.

Apple list price: US$1,799

Mike Elgan writes about technology and global tech culture. Contact Mike at mike.elgan@elgan.com or his blog, The Raw Feed.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mike Elgan

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?