By Quinton Lawman, OverDrive’s resident device nerd (he’s also a Product Owner here but that’s beside the point…)

I am a self-proclaimed nerd. Well, more than self-proclaimed, really, as most of my friends and acquaintances would hardily agree with my assessment. One of the ways I revel in my nerdom is to passionately share my obsessions with as many people as I can. That’s one of the cool things about working at OverDrive. I get chances, like this one, to share my love of technology with the world.

Like I do every year, I’ve made a list of, what I find to be, the coolest devices on the market thus far. This year, I’m going to add a little flavor by throwing in a few devices that are just plain noteworthy.

How do I classify an interesting or noteworthy device? Simple: one that is unique, or is gaining a lot of attention.

Today’s post is something of a teaser. Below, you’ll find a lists with my top devices as well as the interesting ones that I’ll be reviewing. Each will have a brief description here, but if you want to learn more, you’ll have to wait until I finish my series of posts.

So, without further ado, here we go:

Top device picks of 2015


BlackBerry Priv: This is both interesting and awesome. The latest BlackBerry is running Android (yes, Android) and rocking a physical keyboard. The software isn’t perfect, but it’s getting steadily better.

Nexus 6P and 5X These are both pretty great phones. The prices (for unlocked devices) are good, and the specs are better. You really can’t go wrong with either.

Apple iPhone 6s Plus: If you’re going iPhone, this is the one I’d get. You get a couple of extra features (like OIS), and a bigger battery, which helps keep you running all day long.


Apple iPad Air 2: I would pick this tablet over the Pro any day of the week. It’s fast, has a great screen, and is ultra portable. Avoid the 16 GB model though–go with the 64 at the very least.

Microsoft Surface 3: I picked the 3 largely due to price. You get great hardware and a full-blown, desktop operating system which means, while it’s not cheap, it makes for great bang for buck.

Nvidia Shield Tablet K1: For me, this was a tough call, as the Asus ZenPad S 8.0 is also pretty nice. The Shield K1 is definitely more powerful, but it doesn’t come with a charger. However, I still think it’s worth using an old charger, or picking up a cheap one online is a worthwhile sacrifice to get the raw power of the Shield K1.

Conveniently_customizableInteresting devices

Microsoft Surface Book: I love this thing. It’s a gorgeous laptop and tablet. If you want something that’s portable, looks real pretty, and has power to spare, than this is the hybrid system for you (if you don’t mind the price).

Apple iPad Pro: It’s a big iPad. It has some extra horsepower, costs more, and is advertised as a laptop replacement (at least, that’s the implication). Did Apple pull that last bit off? I dunno . . . (more to come)

Waterproof eBook readers: This year, you’ve got two big names to choose from. The Kobo Aura H2O has some fresh competition from the NOOK GlowLight Plus. Both are solid readers that you can take to the beach or pool without fear.

So, to wrap up . . .

Things have been shaken up this year! You can do crazy things like listen to Apple Music on an Android-powered BlackBerry, for example. Madness, I tell you!

That being said, the latest versions of Android (6.0, Marshmallow), iOS (9), and Windows (10) all work just like they did last year when it comes to OverDrive services. So, while there is definitely some craziness going on, your eBooks and audiobooks will remain a constant point of reference to guide you through the storm.