If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again—tech hardware companies have made a fortune on annual upgrades, and these five products carry on that proud tradition, offering bold, irresistible takes on familiar old standbys.
Microsoft Wedge Touch Mouse (MicrosoftStore.com)
If you’ve worked exclusively on a laptop in recent years, you’re forgiven for thinking the mouse had become an anachronism. Microsoft’s $69.95 Wedge Touch Mouse updates this desktop staple. It’s wireless, portable, tiny, and allows scrolling vertically and horizontally, making it perfect for use with any Windows 8 system, tablets included.
Nokia Lumia 1020 (ATT.com)
Appearing on one side a typical touch-screen smartphone and on the other a compact camera, this is a valuable tool for any business looking to brand itself on social media sites. While smartphones’ cameras have gotten quite good, the Lumia 1020—available for $299.99 with a two-year contract—changes the game by offering insanely high resolution and a 4.5-inch display, all inside a strikingly thin frame.
Microsoft Xbox One (MicrosoftStore.com)
The first gaming generations are all grown up, and Microsoft is updating its console’s image by making it the focus (apart from a television, of course) of the modern living room. Along with connecting to your cable box to become the family entertainment hub, Xbox One ($499.99) combines high-end gaming and a Blu-ray player with a 500 GB storage center for movies, music, games and apps.
Bose SoundLink Mini (Bose.com)
Meet the reigning king of portable Bluetooth speakers, offering full, wireless sound from a tiny source. The SoundLink Mini ($199.95) behaves like a very large speaker system and streams audio directly from your phone or computer. It even remembers devices it streamed from recently, simplifying the Bluetooth pairing process.
My Fax (MyFax.com)
Carrier pigeons, telegrams, dial-up… you’d think fax machines would’ve joined this quaint gallery of ancient technologies by now, but the fax simply refuses to die. Luckily, there is now a cheap, easy way to connect with companies that haven’t discarded these fossils: For $10 a month, MyFax.com gives you the control of an actual fax number, allowing you to send and receive transmissions via an app.