At Creative Boom, we understand that success in graphic design has never been about who has the best equipment.
It's more about having the best ideas, and learning to develop and execute them brilliantly. In that respect, a pencil and paper are normally far more useful than the latest tech.
That said, in an increasingly digital world, designers are having to move with the times, and there's a lot of fun and inspiration to be had from cool gadgets and devices. In this post we look at 10 of the latest and greatest, to boost your productivity and enhance your creativity.
1. Daydream View
While no one’s quite sure where VR is heading, one thing’s for certain: it's going to be an important part of the future of design. Google’s new Daydream headset is a step up from the quite basic Google Cardboard, yet still at a low price. Right now, it only works with the Google Pixel and Pixel XL phones, but the range of compatible devices will expand over the coming months.
Priced at £69 | Find out more
Do you find working in software like Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign overly fiddly? Palette starts from the proposition that using just one mouse to move back and forth, over and over again, is not the ideal way to design. Instead, you can end cursor cramps and eye strain by assigning different buttons, dials and sliders to your favourite design software functions.
Priced from $199.99 | Find out more
3. Polaroid 3D Pen
Having delighted families with its Polaroid Play 3D Pen for kids, Polaroid has now launched a 3D pen with “artists, designers, engineers and other professionals in mind”. The Polaroid Design 3D Pen features a built-in fan to reduce heat and eliminate jamming, auto-feed and auto-eject functions, variable speed, precise temperature setting and an OLED screen. It’s available for pre-order as part of an Indiegogo campaign, shipping in July.
Pre-order for $130 | Find out more
4. SanDisk Wireless Connect Stick 256GB
This wireless flash drive enables lightning-fast storage and transfer of massive files from one iPhone or iPad to another iOS device, Mac, or PC, over a password-protected Wi-Fi network. This clever device has been around a while now, but the latest version now has a huge 256GB capacity.
Priced at £175 | Find out more
5. FLI Charge
Charging multiple devices at once can be a hassle, especially if you’re short of sockets. The FLI Charge is a wireless charging pad for smartphones and other devices that use a USB charging cable. It’s an elegant solution to keep your workspace clutter-free and your devices constantly powered up.
Priced from $149 | Find out more
6. Elgato Thunderbolt 3 Dock
The Elgato Thunderbolt 3 Dock enables you to connect a multitude of devices to your MacBook Pro or Windows laptop at once. Use only one cable to charge your computer, drive dual displays and network at full speed. Due for release on 6 June, this dock features three USB 3.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, two Thunderbolt USB-C ports, 1 DisplayPort (with DisplayPort 1.2 support), a 3.5mm audio jack, and a 3.5mm microphone input jack.
Pre-order for £269.95 | Find out more
7. Olloclip iPhone 7 Core Lens Set
The iPhone 7’s camera is already pretty versatile. But if you want to step it up a notch, then this lens set includes a fisheye lens, a 120 degree wide-angle lens, and a 15x macro lens, to give you a greater range of options when out shooting imagery for use in your design projects.
Priced from £99.99 | Find out more
8. Intuos Pro Paper Edition
Wacom has long been the king of drawing tablets, but it never makes the mistake of resting on its laurels. Its latest tablet not only has improved pressure sensitivity but allows you to draw directly onto paper using a special Finetip Pen, which automagically transfers your artwork to the tablet.
Priced from £379.99 | Find out more
9. Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro
The Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro is a 10.1-inch tablet with a difference: it comes with a built-in, rotatable projector that can cast an image up to 70 inches wide. That’s pretty handy if you’re giving a presentation as part of your work (not to mention watching TV on it at the end of the day).
Priced from £449.99 | Find out more
10. Microsoft Surface Laptop
With its new 13.5in Surface Laptop, Microsoft is directly targeting the MacBook Air with a device that’s cheaper, larger and claims to have better battery life. Plus, it's even taking on Apple aesthetically, with a beautiful design that uses imported Italian fabrics and comes in a choice of four colours: Burgundy, Platinum, Cobalt Blue and Graphite Gold.
Priced from £979.99 | Find out more