These days, decent tech is no longer a nerd niche but simple necessity. Just take streaming services: not only did they execute Blockbuster in one fell swoop, the likes of Netflix made HD-viewing mandatory (because who doesn’t want to see every Game Of Thrones sex scene up close?).
And that’s just the tip of the techberg. As 2017 kick offs, our thoughts have turned to the essential tools every man can use to upgrade his day-to-day downtime this year.
A Man Cave-Worthy TV
Since the death of Orange Wednesdays, a trip to the cinema is by no means cheap. So, invest all those dud tickets (and then some) into a TV that actually warrants the label ‘experience’ – specifically, the Samsung Smart 4K Ultra HD TV.
This behemoth of a set boasts crystal clear visuals and full smart TV capabilities. While the curved screen doesn’t quite outperform the IMAX, it does hold it’s own.
Samsung UE65KU6000 65” HDR TV, available at AO, priced £1,199.
A Smart Home Hub That’s Actually Smart
A juggernaut TV shouldn’t be condemned to singledom. A choice smart home hub – like the Nvidia Shield – can provide the perfect partner.
The latest offering from the US tech brand is up to three times quicker than its Apple rival and smoothly integrates streaming, gaming and and tons of award-winning apps.
Nvidia Shield Pro, available at Nvidia, priced £279.99.
A Virtual Personal Assistant
Alexa, can you recommend a good virtual personal assistant? Yes, of course, that would be the Amazon Echo.
Not only can the internet giant’s hands-free, voice-controlled device deliver news, sports scores and music streaming, it’s fully compatible with certain smart home systems to control your lighting, heating and even locks. Just don’t let it hear you use the ‘C word’ – Cortana.
Amazon Echo Dot, available at Maplin Electronics, priced £49.99.
A Razor That Won’t Shred Your Face
Razors can be deceiving. For all their aloe gel pads and slick marketing campaigns, there’s an undue number of men that suffer prickly shaving rash on the regular.
Luckily, Braun has introduced the Series 3 – a world-first grooming tool that reduces skin irritation with active cooling technology.
Braun Series 3 CoolTec, available at Braun, priced £199.99.
A Proper Clever Coffee Pot
Smart’s Smarter Coffee Machine does exactly what it says on the tin. The Wi-Fi-enabled gadget offers a Wake Up mode that brews in sync with your morning alarm, while a Remote Grind prepares a cup at the tap of a smartphone.
Better yet, this bean boffin can even keep your preferred glug warm should you be delayed (or hit the snooze button eight times).
Smart’s Smarter Coffee Machine, available at Harrods, priced £179.
A Pair Of Noise-Cancelling Headphones
You may love Zayn’s fledgling solo career but not everyone feels the same way, especially on a packed commuter train.
Swap the leaky buds for a pair of noise-cancelling cans, like Bose’s acclaimed QuietComfort QC35 Headphones. That way, you can enjoy Bluetooth-connected, stadium-quality sound on the way to work, and drown out your colleague’s chatter while you’re there.
Bose QuietComfort QC35 Headphones, available at John Lewis, priced £289.95.
A Decent Camera
Before Instagram and the same tired shot of Times Square, photos served more than just bragging rights. As we hit 2017, the choice of cameras available outflank any smartphone lens (and won’t cost the world either).
Fujifilm’s X70 is light, compact and powerful with convenient Wi-Fi-connectivity and an impressive 16.3-megapixel sensor. Who knows, you might actually end up printing some of them too.
Fujifilm FinePix X70 Digital Camera, available at PC World, priced £499.
A Smartwatch (That Doesn’t Look Like A Smartwatch)
Yes, a smartwatch may be handy, but we don’t want to look like a Silicone Valley intern.
Enter quick-thinking brands like Shenzhen-based Huawei, which have swerved the tech aesthetic without losing any of the usual features – fitness tracker, interactive dial, fully interconnected alerts and more.
Huawei W1 Classic Smartwatch, available at Very, priced £229.
A High-Quality Home Speaker System
Everyone has a speaker these days, we hear you say, so why do we need another one for 2017? Granted Sonos speakers are, well, speakers. However, what makes this bit of kit different from your current gear is that it creates a custom Wi-Fi network in your home.
That means you can add up to 32 additional speakers to play together or work in zones across different rooms. House parties will never be the same.
Sonos Smart Speaker System, available at Sonos, priced from £169 for a Play:1.
A Consumer-Grade 3D Printer
In the future, 3D printers in the office are expected to bring a whole new dimension to the art of copying your behind on the photocopier.
As for what you could do with one at home, aside from printing the odd screw missing from a flat-pack wardrobe, we have no idea. But you may as well get one before all your mates do.
XYZ Printing da Vinci Mini 3D Printer, available at iCubes, priced £214.80.