Christmas shopping: notebooks and headphones

Christmas shopping


The premise is that if you have to buy a notebook for work, it is difficult to compromise because it is the priority tool for many professionals. The one for which it is also worth going over budget to secure a laptop that can maintain high performance over time. For this reason, the following three models share a first-class profile, a necessary basis on which to go on to assess which one to buy by evaluating weight, thickness, design, memory, battery, keyboard and other features in relation to individual needs. 

MacBook Air M1

A guarantee of performance and ease of use, particularly for those who also use iPhones and iPads. Apple launched the models equipped with the M2 processor last summer, which marks an increase in performance while leaving the rest largely unchanged. There are slight variations from the previous model, such as the 13.6” Liquid Retina display instead of 13.3”, the 1080p camera instead of 720p, and 50 grams less on the scale. It is, therefore, worthwhile to go for the MacBook Air with M1 chip, which saves €300 on the list price for a few differences. 

Surface Laptop 4

It is often passed over in silence because it remains a minor segment in the Microsoft galaxy. The Surface has improved over time, and the fourth generation is still a good solution. Responsive, with an Alcantara finish, a great 3:2 display that offers more space when working vertically, and a good mix of lightness and robustness, the Surface Laptop 4 has an above-average battery life and overall remains one of the better Surfaces. You can pick it up for less than €800 in the version with a 13.5-inch screen, AMD processor and 256 GB, while the version with an Intel Core i5 processor and 512 GB requires just over €1,000. 

Asus ZenBook Pro Duo 

From design to performance, we are on another level here. Because Asus has created a dual-screen laptop with two large and entirely usable displays. The 4K Oled panel is flanked by the tiltable ScreenPad Plus touchscreen, which can be used simultaneously on the main screen and supports Stylus Pen, allowing you to increase your productivity. Top specs include an Intel Core i7 chip, GeForce graphics card, 32GB of Ram, 1TB SSD and Wi-Fi 6, so even if it’s not the latest from the Taiwanese company, it remains a unique notebook


If for laptops, the choice is wide, among headphones and headsets, the list is endless, as are the variables to consider to orient oneself on the purchase most in line with one’s tastes and needs. Here we have selected one of the best headphones on the market, original earphones at an affordable price and a headset that is a little dated but unbeatable for what it offers and costs. 

Sony WH-1000XM5

The two strong points of the latest Sony headphones are noise cancelling and the usual excellent quality in sound reproduction. Compared to the past, it offers a wider earcup synonymous with greater comfort, a battery life of over 30 hours with fast charging that for 10 minutes of charging via Usb-C cable ensures 6 hours of listening. Two processors handling eight microphones allow you to isolate yourself or listen to music while remaining in tune with your surroundings, while beamforming makes conversations clearer. They can be found online for just over €300. 

Nothing Ear (1)

Instead of focusing on the heir, Nothing Ear (stick) just launched, we return to the first product signed Nothing, the company founded by Carl Pei after his farewell to OnePlus. A product that stands out for its design makes them recognisable in the midst of a multitude of earphones, with transparency attracting the curiosity of others. They are light, have a good level of noise cancellation, have a battery life between earphones and case that exceeds 20 hours, and perform well during calls. Plus, the price of 99 euros is below the most popular brands, which is all the more reason to try them out. 

JBL Tune 500 

Not everyone can spend hundreds of euros on headphones, so here is an alternative for all budgets. It’s hard to find a better value-for-money model than the JBL Tune 500, equipped with a 32 mm driver that is especially good in the bass and compatible with Apple and Google voice assistants. Lightweight and comfortable thanks to the soft ear cushions and padded headband, they are not state-of-the-art (lacking Bluetooth), but for less than €30, you can’t catch the moon. 

Alessio Caprodossi is a technology, sports, and lifestyle journalist. He navigates between three areas of expertise, telling stories, experiences, and innovations to understand how the world is shifting. You can follow him on Twitter (@alecap23) and Instagram (Alessio Caprodossi) to report projects and initiatives on startups, sustainability, digital nomads, and web3.