A guide to the must have gadgets for 2012

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This year looks like being another super-productive one for gadgets with all manner of new gizmos being announced. In fact, some 20,000 new products were unveiled at this years Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, and many of those are just the sort of thing that you’ll want to put on your wishlist for the year ahead. However, with money tight for most of us, which ones should you put top of the ‘priority’ list?

What to buy?

One of the main areas of electronic gadget activity is the tablet, and there are now countless numbers of these mobile devices that come in all shapes and sizes and with many different price tags. Top of the tree has been the Apple iPad and the third incarnation, due very shortly, is set to continue the wave of popularity of these mobile gadgets. Rumours are rife as to what it will feature, but there’s no doubting that the iPad 3 will be a hit, even if we have no idea of the specification as yet.

Elsewhere, lookout for ultrabooks, which are slimline laptops that take the lead from another Apple product, the MacBook Air. CES had lots of these on show and if you’re more of a Windows operating system kinda person then one of these cool new computing devices is well worth investigating. Case in point is something like the Acer Aspire S3, which looks great with its brushed silver finish. There’s an Intel Core i7 processor inside, a 13.3-inch screen and it offers plenty of mobile computing power. However, keep an eye on ultrabooks from Toshiba and the other main manufacturers during the months ahead too.

If you’re a real bookworm then it’s also hard to resist the charms of the Amazon Kindle Fire, which has been a really big hit so far and it’s not surprising why. There’s a neat little 7-inch display, a dual core processor and it comes running Android, which is the operating system of choice for many tablet and smartphone owners these days. Alongside reading books, you can browse the web, play media files and there are gaming possibilities with this quirky gadget too.

Having said that, gamer’s are probably being more diverted towards the new Sony PlayStation Vita, which is likely to be a huge hit this year. There’s a 5-inch OLED screen that promises greater clarity and resolution than that found on many handheld devices, while the additional touch responsive controls mean that the gaming on the go experience just got better than ever. Alongside that is the Nintendo Wii U, which is another tablet style gadget that will also incorporate a great gaming experience.

Get smart

Smartphones also look set to continue their dominance during 2012 too, with numerous new models to investigate, including the delicious new Sony Xperia Ion. This is a dual core-processing powerhouse that has two cameras, a whopping 12-megapixel on the rear and a 1.3-megapixel on the front. There’s HD video, a 4.6-inch display and a rumoured upgrade for the new Google Ice Cream Sandwich OS due in the coming months too.