Derrick Ubbink (Posts)
Is it seriously that time of year again already? Seems like only yesterday I was writing up the 2014 Holiday Wish List. Even with time flying 2015 has been one heck of year for tech. Tons of exciting and boundary pushing tech releases, leading to even more gadgets that I must have under the Christmas tree! I’ve gone ahead and narrowed that list down to just my top 5 must have items for this year, enjoy!
Sony VPL-VW500ES 4K Projector (Amazon)
If there is a theme at all to this holiday list of desires it’s higher resolution. Up to this point I’ve been really waiting for 4K to come into it’s own and start to offer more content that is native at that resolution. I’m starting to feel that now is the time to make the move and start upgrading my equipment. The first thing on the list of things to buy has to be Sony’s amazing 4K home theater projector, the VPL-VW500ES. While 4K projectors are not ultra rare, they are still basically ultra expensive and while the VPL-VW500ES isn’t chump change at $7-8000 it’s still relatively on the affordable side for the technology. Supporting up to 60hz speeds at 4K this projector will give you that UHD cinema feel right at home. In addition it also offers upscaling so that all my old 1080p content (really weird thing to be finally typing) will still look good.
LG 65EC9700 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Curved Smart OLED TV (Amazon)
After getting my home theater set up how it needs to be, I can shift my focus to the living room and my 60” 1080p LG. I actually really like my current TV, it has great colors and the blacks are plenty deep. The problem of course is that it’s only 1080p. If I woke up on Christmas morning and found an LG 65EC9700 under (or more likely behind) the tree I would be ecstatic. This 4K OLED beauty is 65 inches of curved visual bliss. Seeing hundreds of the latest and greatest screens this planet has to offer every year at CES I can matter of factly tell you that the curved display is where it is at. Of course any UHD tv is going to have an ultra sharp display, with this OLED you can expect nothing but the deepest blacks and most vivid colors while the curved display covers all your viewing angles with ease. Of course this gorgeous piece of equipment doesn’t come cheap with it’s $4999 price tag.
Sony a7R II Camera (Amazon)
Last year at this time I decided to jump into a subject that had fascinated me for a while which was photography. Rather than pick up a heavy DSLR like most beginners, I opted for Sony’s most popular mirrorless body, the 6000. This basically entry level body has helped me learn a lot about photography without having to lug around a heavy DSLR rig. The downside is that the 6000 doesn’t have a full frame sensor. The 24mp cropped sensor produces some pretty good images, but I feel it’s time to step up my game. This year I would love it if Santa could leave me an 7R II. Molded into a still relatively small package is another mirrorless beast, this time featuring a 42 mega-pixel full frame sensor. Super portable and light the 7R II is perfect for capturing professional grade images without the hassle of a DSLR. In addition to being an awesome body for capturing stills, it also has the ability to record 4K video. And for me one final benefit would be the ability to use all my current Sony E-mount lenses. The 7R II is a bargain at $3199.99.
ASUS ROG PG27AQ Monitor (Amazon)
With such an exceptional camera it would be a shame to run Photoshop on anything less than a 4K monitor. Of course it would be awesome for gaming as well basically eliminating the need for Anti-Aliasing. With that in mind I would like something fast that still has the quality of an IPS panel. Fortunately a lot of work has been done in this area and there are some options. The best fit for me would be Asus’ very own PG27AQ. This 27” IPS panel checks all the boxes with a resolution of 3840×2160 run at 144hz. Additionally this panel has Nvidia’s G-Sync which further smooths your gaming experience by keeping the GPU and Monitor on the same page. While there are certainly other panels with 4K resolution that have better colors and blacks, this is a good compromise between gaming speed and Photoshop perfection. The price for all this pixel goodness: $798.44 from Amazon.
2x EVGA GTX 980 Ti’s (Amazon)
Finally with all those pixels to fill it is probably time to make that long put off GPU upgrade. Unfortunately for myself I fall into the most demanding section of gamers. I like AAA shooters and I love multiplayer. 4K @ 144hz is enough to crush even the most well meaning GPU. If you are trying to be competitive with this setup you are more than likely going to need a couple of the fastest GPUs available running in SLI. Personally there is no choice but to grab a pair of EVGA GTX 980 Tis. Sure I could go for a pair of Titans Xs but I would rather save the $300 per card and purchase some EK full cover waterblocks and back plates for my new 980 Tis. I feel that for the time being the 6gb of ram on the 980 Ti is plenty for 4K gaming and with the waterblocks I can get a decent overclock and keep them cool as well. The EVGA cards can be had for $649.99 a piece from Amazon.