gimme

Cool factor 5/5
Usability 4/5
Value for money 3/5

The Xperia Touch from Sony might be named in line with its smartphone range, and be an Android OS-running device, but this gadget is far more left-field than those two attributes would suggest. It’s part of a brand play to broaden the Xperia range to different devices. The Touch is actually a projector that allows you to turn most flat surfaces into interactive displays, and it is a smart speaker with Google Assistant support — akin to Amazon’s Echo and Alexa, for example.

You can also use it as a regular projector for small-distance (or short-throw, as it is called) projection.

So where does this fit into the tech array? It could arguably replace your tablet, projector and smart speaker. You can interact with the Touch using voice, gesture and touch — enabled via infrared and a built-in camera that detects and responds to motion. This means you can watch content, play games, "draw" on surfaces, and interact with Google Assistant.

The Touch has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connection options, as well as micro-HDMI input, and uses USB Type-C for power. It’s relatively small (69x134x143mm) and the exterior is covered in an attractive metal mesh.

But it’s not quite as portable as we’d like, being just a little too big and offering battery life of just an hour. Most significantly, the resolution is 1366x768 pixels, with a projection footprint of up to 80 inches — less than we’d expect for this price. At roughly R23,500, this device will likely find a home with ardent early adopters and technophiles.