/ Technology

What are your favourite technology features?

A collection of gadgets

Every year, new tech products are launched with even more fancy features – like video calling on your TV and GPS tagging on your camera. Yet according to our latest survey, it’s basic features you value most.

More than 14,000 people gave us their views on the technology products they own, including laptops, tablets, TVs, mobile phones, printers, digital cameras and PVRs.

Our full results reveal the most useful, most common and most wished-for features in each of these product areas, to help inspire you with what to look out for next time you go shopping for a gadget. And when it comes to tablets, battery life is key:

With so many voting in favour of the basic features, such as long battery life, I wonder if manufacturers should stop introducing new features that we struggle to find a use for, and instead, stick to improving the tried and tested. Then again, perhaps there is a need for them to keep innovating to stay ahead of the game.  We clearly expect more of our phones than we used to – wi-fi connectivity was voted as a smartphone’s most useful feature:

Most useful mobile phone features

Personally, I think the more features manufacturers cram into products, the better – so long as they don’t force prices to go through the roof. New features will always have an appeal and be useful to someone. On top of that, they often lead to something bigger and better further down the line.

Do you agree with the results from our survey? What features can’t you live without, and what features do you wish you could add to your tech?


Be careful what you wish for. My Nokia mobile phone lasts about a week without a recharge – unless I use the GPS “feature”, in which case the battery is flat in less than 3 hours.

My favourite technology feature is that so many things are wireless/cordless these days.

My pet hate is all the different chargers needed to keep my wireless world working, and the frequency with which they have to be used. I would rather have larger batteries, even if that makes products a bit larger and heavier.

nevil says:
19 March 2013

The list of laptop features in March Which? (page 53) was interesting, but I hoped to find more than the 5 most useful and 5 least useful online. Disappointed to find nothing extra here.

Sat Nav is a terrific feature and very easy to use and so useful Next comes wireless which is so liberating. I can use my laptop anywhere in the home and send a print to my printer in the study. The only limitation is the sub four hours battery life of my laptop. I so hate being marooned by an electrical cord. It is past time that we had laptops with a six hour battery life as a minimum,

I believe that there are plenty of laptops that will run for at least six hours on battery power. My Mac does, which is handy because it is no longer possible to pop in a fresh battery on Apple computers. 🙁

I wish my sat nav would run for longer than three hours on battery power. Even worse, the battery runs down quite quickly when it is switched off. The previous one was the same.

It would be great to be able to print wirelessly from my iPad, as I have done for several years from the laptop, but the wireless printer is not compatible.

There’s a little work to be done before our wireless world meets my needs.

When I was buying my last laptop, I had a specification I wished to achieve, a price not to exceed and I then tried out the laptops meeting that criteria. At the time the battery life of four and a half hours seemed fine. The few at six hours or over, with my desired specification. were either too expensive (over £630) or I did not like the keyboard or in one case the colour. It is because I use this laptop on battery power much more than my previous one that I now want a longer battery life and am considering an iPad or another Tablet. As Tablets are much slimmer than a laptop why is the battery life on most so much better than most laptops. I thought space was a limitation.

My satnav battery also run down very quickly so I keep it plugged in most of the time when in use. Why does the battery run down after it is switched off – unlike many other devices. I keep the plug and lead in the glove compartment so it is always available for my infrequent forays into the unknown.

Tablets and netbooks can have a long battery life because they lack much of the power of a decent laptop.

My TomTom sat nav takes a while to start up, longer to find its satellites and runs its battery down quickly when switched off. In contrast, my iPad 2 is ready for immediate use, downloads new email when closed and still manages a long battery life when on standby. I want to be able to use the sat nav when I away from the car.

The iPad 2 is on my shortlist of Tablets, so I’m pleased to hear what you have to say about it. My only concern is about the storage capacity and most importantly, I have yet to try one out.

As to the sat nav, I think most users have them plugged in so battery life is not that important. Sometimes, I take my TT indoors to programme new destinations with stop off points and the battery life is terrible. Why does the battery run down when it;s switched off – a great mystery to me. I plug it into my laptop for charging and updates – really don’t think any roads are updated. If I planned another purchase, I would check Reevo reviews and ask an owner who uses it away from the car about things like battery charge. What did Which? say about battery life?

Perhaps we should be discussing the problems of sat navs on one of the relevant Conversations. 🙂
You are absolutely right about the value of checking reviews.

If you are planning to buy an iPad or other tablet, I strongly suggest you borrow one or at least test out its capabilities and limitations. If we buy a new desktop computer, we know what to expect but mobile devices are a bit of a compromise.

So easy to go off topic in a discussion, so no more about sat navs. Thank you for the advise about buying a tablet. As I have never used one, I shall certainly have a play before buying.