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by Alex Palmer | January 13, 2014
Gadget-hungry incentive program participants have no shortage of great-looking new devices. High definition (HD) has gotten higher, screen resolution keeps increasing, and flashy new accessories are transforming familiar products into something new.

“Right now, the biggest thing in electronics is the 4K Ultra High-
Definition TV,” says April Stewart, a buyer for Hinda Incentives. “We have seen really nice initial response from our consumers on TCL’s 4K TV.”

Ultra HD
Just made available in the last couple months, the 50-inch TCL TV offers edge-lit LED HD picture quality and 4K technology. The 3840 x 2160 resolution and advanced 120Hz CMI (Clear Motion Index) refresh rate delivers four times the resolution of standard HD (1080p), resulting in unbelievable clarity and smoothness. At a suggested retail price of $999, it’s also the first 50-inch 4K TV to cost less than a grand -- a relative bargain for incentive redemptions. www.hinda.com

Another hot item at Hinda is the Apple 13-inch MacBook Pro, with retina display and 4 GB of memory. It can fit more than 4 million pixels into its display and offers 2560x1600 resolution, giving the screen the sharpness of a printed page. Its built-in battery provides up to seven hours of power, and it includes a 2.5GHz processor and FaceTime HD camera, while weighing just 4.5 pounds.

When it comes to lightweight electronics, tablets remain popular, and one of the most eye-catching is the new Nook HD tablet. Equipped with a wide array of Android apps, games, movies, and music, the nine-inch full-HD display retails for $299 and is available from Incentive Concepts. It also includes, for the first time, YouTube, Google Maps, and Gmail, and runs on Google Chrome. www.incentiveconcepts.com

For participants who already own a tablet, the next step is to accessorize. Top Brands provides a colorful choice in the Vera Bradley Tutti Frutti tablet sleeve. With an SRP of $38, this sleeve is made of lightweight protective foam and includes an inside pocket where business cards can be stored. “Vera Bradley offers ideal incentives because they are fashionable and functional, organizing and stylish, and appealing to all ages,” says Jody Running, vice president of sales for Top Brands. www.top-brands.com

Another stylish tablet cover option, with an added charity component, comes from The Corporate Marketplace (TCMPi), which now offers a line of Whatever It Takes mobile device covers. Designed by celebrities such as Katy Perry, and costing $34.99 each, these gel shells raise money for the Whatever It Takes campaign, aimed at alleviating childhood poverty. “The charity connection with this brand adds the cachet of not only rewarding your employees but adding charitable donations as part of the program,” says a representative of TCMPi. www.tcmpi.com