Gadgets to keep you safe

October 4, 2015

SWANN OM-DOORST DOORSTOP INTRUDER ALARM If you’re staying home alone and feel nervous about doing so, or arrive at a hotel and are concerned about safety standards, this simple device can help. Pop the doorstop as close as possible to the closed internal door, then, if the worst-case scenario happens and someone tries to force their way into the room, the door will push against the gadget and activate an 110db alarm. It is as simple as that. A good small device that will give you peace of mind. Requires a DC 9 V battery that isn’t included. £3.99

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Long Lasting Gadgets

September 6, 2015

BLACK+DECKER GKC1825L20-GB 25CM 18V CHAINSAW For DIY amateurs, chainsaws can be daunting – they are the go-to tool for horror films after all. However, this model couldn’t be more straightforward. Charge the battery (a full charge takes five hours), then pop the saw together, add some chainsaw oil where directed and you’re ready. It’s comfortable to hold and, whether you’re going through a tree base or pruning a thick bush, it’ll make light work of it. In terms of safety, you have to hold down two buttons at the same time to operate it, so you won’t turn it on by accident. Once you get going you’ll get through your entire to-do list – and perhaps your neighbours’ too as it lasts on average 220 cuts a charge. That’s due to the lithium-ion battery which, in addition to being long-lasting, doesn’t require you to run it flat before you charge it up again. £143


Gadgets to help you relax

August 19, 2015

Awaiting exam results, stressed at work or juggling too many tasks? These are the ultimate gadgets to help you unwind... DREAMATE SLEEPING AID If you find it hard to unwind, and even harder to fall asleep, this wrist accessory will help you visit the land of nod. It gently vibrates on pulse points providing acupressure to nudge you into a deep sleep. Even if you don’t experience those craved-for zzzzz’s straight away, the massaging band also helps to reduce stress, which in turn will help prepare you for a restful slumber. It can be a bit noisy, but the contraption activates for 30 minutes and then automatically turns itself off. £49.95


Tech for left handers

August 9, 2015

If you think left is right, these great gadgets are perfect for you... LEFT-HANDED KEYBOARD Whether you’re a fully-trained touch typist or a keyboard amateur, if you’re left-handed, you’ll like this computer accessory. Unlike “normal” keyboards, you’ll find the numeric section on the left-hand side to make for a more comfortable typing experience. It connects to your computer via USB and comes with eight hot keys, including search, mute, e-mail, volume and sleep. With these added extras, it’s not just a good keyboard for left-handers, but a good keyboard in itself. £39.95


Tech for toddlers

July 18, 2015

Toddler-friendly techy gifts for the wee ones in your life... Vtech My 1st Tablet When you turn the toy on, you're greeted by a friendly bear who welcomes your very own little 'smarty paws' to play. Then it's simply a case of sliding the bar across the four options at the top or choosing one of the other activity buttons on the side. Toddlers will just think they're having a play, but little do they know they're actually learning - everything from the days of the week to answering questions about different animals. The photo fun option is erm, fun: after pressing a letter to take a photo, the letter you choose is 'snapped' (it looks like a camera lens shutting around the letter) and you will be told a word that starts with that letter, for example, the bear informs you 'R is for rose'. A well-priced gadget that will impress parents and children. £19.99


Top travel tech

July 12, 2015

Leave heavy, clunky gadgets at home when you holiday and instead opt for these lightweight gizmos. They make great travel companions... BELKIN TRAVEL POWER PACK 9000 There are plenty of power packs on the market, but this Belkin one has something a lot of the others don’t: two USB ports. So, if you’re heading out for a day’s sightseeing only to find both your phone and tablet are running low on juice, whip this little gizmo out. Small and convenient to pop in your backpack, one port offers up 2.5Amp and the other, 1Amp. While the 9000 does take a while to charge up, it really does hold a lot of power – in fact 9,000mAh of it! That’s plenty to top up your phone several times. £44.99


The best remote controlled boats

July 5, 2015

SILVERLIT REMOTE CONTROLLED HOVER RACER For use on land and water, this hover craft is easy to set up, so you can play with it almost instantly. If using it in the house, the floor surface needs to be as flat as possible – laminate/wood flooring rather than carpet. Out on water, plump for a small pond rather than a lake as the battery power is relatively short. That said, it doesn’t take long to charge and you can do it via the transmitter, so it makes a good accompaniment to a picnic. £24.99


Festival gadgets

June 28, 2015

Whether you’re going to rock out or have fun with the family, it’s officially festival season and these gadgets will make your camping experience even better...  


Father’s Day gadgets

June 14, 2015

It’s Father’s Day on June 21, so get ahead with your gift buying and treat him to one of these great gadgets... SCALEXTRIC C1329 ARC ONE SET No one is too old for a Scalextric. So, whether he missed out on getting one as a child or is simply monopolising his children’s racer set, this could be the ideal gift for those parents who are still very much in touch with their inner child. Unlike the ones from his youth, the C1329 ARC One set will see dad’s smartphone/tablet manage and create races. Simply download the corresponding (and free) app, then using Bluetooth he can choose and monitor his race. If he’s particularly proud of his skills he can even post his race stats on social networking sites and challenge friends to beat his records. A great option if you’re splurging out on his gift. £129.99


The best electric toothbrushes

May 24, 2015

WHITEWASH LABORATORIES SONIC WHITENING TOOTHBRUSH Whitewash isn’t just a clever name, their sonic whitening toothbrush has been designed to keep your teeth sparkling white. It comes with three settings; clean, whiten and massage, and its sonic technology removes surface stains from your tooth, keeping them suitably white (especially when used alongside their Whitewash toothpastes). There’s an auto timer so you can make sure you’re getting your full two minutes of clean time, and it comes with three brush heads. £59.99


The best massage gadgets

May 17, 2015

If you’re feeling the stresses and strains of everyday life, then try out these massaging gadgets FOOT WARMER AND MASSAGER This may not look particularly techie, and it’s probably not the most stylish of foot accessories you’ll own, but what it lacks in the fashion stakes it more than makes up for in comfort. Pop your tired tootsies into the fleece-lined contraption and use the accompanying remote to warm and soothe them. While summer is here, you’ll be making the most of the two massage settings, then when the colder season rolls around, you can throw the two heat settings into the mix. £29.99


Top DIY tech

May 3, 2015

BOSCH PMD 7 DIGITAL DETECTOR Whether you’re putting up pictures, shelves or curtains, if you’re worried about drilling into walls because you’re not sure what sits behind (pipes/electrical wires etc), this tool will help reassure you. In terms of DIY gadgets, you’ll struggle to beat this one for simplicity. Hold the device next to the wall and if it’s safe to drill into the area, a green light will show; if you need to be cautious and drilling isn’t recommended, a yellow light; and if you definitely need to steer clear, it will beep and the light will turn to red. £38.99


Gadgets from royal warrant holders

April 26, 2015

Queen Elizabeth II has just turned 89, while William and Kate will celebrate their fourth wedding anniversary on WednesdayApril 29. So join in the celebrations with these gadgets from royal warrant holders DENON DP200USB USB TURNTABLE It’s not the brand of record player here that comes with the royal warrant, but the retailer; Richer Sounds is a supplier of consumer products to HRH The Prince of Wales. And, with a vinyl revival upon us, Richer Sounds stocks the Denon DP200USB turntable. To listen to your vinyl, simply connect the turntable to your favourite speakers (any that have Aux in will work). It also doubles up as a vinyl-to-MP3 converter. Pop a USB device in, press start then record, and it will convert the tunes into digital files. £169.95


Gadgets for fashionistas

April 19, 2015

While in years gone by, tech products have focussed on function rather than fashion, times are changing and these stylish wearable-tech products could easily be found on a catwalk MISFIT SHINE Activity trackers have, over the last few years, bridged the gap between sports GPS watches and exercise apps. Yet, if you’re not so keen on the usual sports watchstrap, invest in the Misfit Shine and Bloom necklace accessory – the latter making the most of the 90s fashion revival. It takes less than five minutes to set up; you insert the battery into the small disc (the tracker), download the app (iOS or Android) and sync the disc to your phone, then you just stick the tracker into the necklace and off you go – some attractive jewellery and an activity tracker in one. Given it also tracks your sleep we’d suggest transferring it to the magnetic clip/watch strap provided with the Shine when you go to bed. £79.99


The best compact cameras

April 12, 2015

With smartphones boasting high megapixel counts, is there still a place for compact cameras? Yes, if you want a decent zoom and a host of other features that make compacts so versatile CANON POWERSHOT G7X Taking compact cameras away from their point-and-shoot origins and up towards their bigger, sometimes taken more seriously, DSLR brethren is this Canon. Whilst this unit is a tad larger than the others, it packs a real punch in the features and image quality stakes, no doubt leaving some in the class above feeling threatened. £479


Top electric scooters

March 29, 2015

Some days, we just want to get from A to B without breaking a sweat. Add some fun to your commute with one of these rides  


Smart home appliances

March 22, 2015

All controlled via an app on your iOS or Android-powered devices, these gizmos will bring fun and functionality into your home LOGITECH HARMONY ULTIMATE SMART UNIVERSAL REMOTE CONTROL With multiple entertainment devices at home comes one perennial pain – losing any of their remote controllers. This touchscreen device offers access to up to 15 of your devices, controlling them all, whether behind a cupboard door or out on display. Download the Harmony app and select from 50 icons on your smartphone screen to take further control of your gadgetry. £159.95


The best Multi-room speakers

February 15, 2015

Having a Bluetooth speaker here and there is fine, but if you really want to up your home-listening ante, then you need one of these multi room speakers  


Top app toys

February 8, 2015

If you thought apps were just about getting buses or counting calories, you might want to have a little play with these brilliant app toys PARROT JUMPING SUMO This does what it says on the tin: it can leap up to 80cm in the air, using its powerful spring-loaded arm, then always land back on its circular feet. On board is a camera that can stream live footage of your antics back to your smartphone. Built to play hard, the Jumping Sumo is just as at ease in the great outdoors as it is inside. £139.99


Bluetooth gadgets

February 1, 2015

Over two decades, Bluetooth technology has grown into a robust and reliable platform we can’t live without. Here are our favoured devices using it  


Wi-fi boosters

January 18, 2015

There’s an ever increasing number of devices vying for internet connection; so make sure it’s up to the job, with these Wi-Fi boosting gadgets LINKSYS WRT1900AC