A GoPro is pretty much part of the uniform for any thrillseekers out there, but such rad gear doesn’t come cheap. Well, it didn’t until now. GoPro has just announced a budget version of its incredibly popular action cam, which is packed with top end features for under £200. It records HD video, has a two-inch touch display, voice control and is waterproof up to 10m – not a bad haul for that price.
Apple 9.7-inch iPad with Apple Pencil
Yey, a new iPad! Ok, maybe it’s not so new, more of a update of the previous model but with a beefier processor, but the big news is that, like the iPad Pro, it now supports Apple Pencil. You will have to fork out an extra £89 for the luxury, but given the new tablet is geared towards education (Apple are even offering a discount to schools), it should help kids scribble notes (or doodles as most of us did on our schoolbooks), and the updated iOS 11 introduces split screen working, drag and drop as well as improved multitasking.
From £319, apple.com/uk/ipad-9.7
Logitech Crayon and Logitech Rugged Combo 2
Of course, kids being kids rarely appreciate the value of a £319+ tablet, which is why Logitech are quick on the release of the new iPad with the Rugged Combo 2 case.
The detachable keyboard has silent, pry-resistant keys to stop them flinging across the classroom, is spill resistant and has a proprietary connection to stop any budding Steve Jobs using their technical skills to cheat in tests. It also comes with the Logitech Crayon, a (cheaper) alternative to the Apple Pencil.
Logitech Crayon $49.99, Rugged Combo 2 $99.99, logitech.com
JBL LINK 500
It seems if you want to be a player in the smart home speaker game, you need a full suite of banging stereos, mostly fitting in the category of small, medium, and big. It’s time for JBL to complete their collection with the monster LINK 500, the big daddy of the LINK family.
Google Assistant is at your command, and multi-room playback comes via Chromecast, but it’s the two 89mm woofers and 20mm tweeters that pump out 96kHz/24-bit audio that should be music to your ears, especially as it’s about £50 cheaper than its nearest rivals.
Available soon, £349.99, JBL.com
HTC Desire 12 and HTC Desire 12+
If you like your phones big, bold, and on budget the pair new flagship HTC Desire 12s could be right up your street. Like most phones out this year, it has 18:9 wide screens and specs that, albeit not stellar, should keep you plodding along for a while. But they do look pretty lush though, and despite not releasing a price or release date yet, HTC promise it’ll be wallet friendly.
SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC
What’s the point on having the latest high-end gaming rig if you’re going to listen to the sound of fragging through puny headphones. Designed for PC and PS4, the new Hi-Res Audio-certified Arctis Pros come with a digital audio converter that bypasses the onboard soundcard and pumps out deliciously crystal clear 96kHz/24-bit audio.
Internet privacy is a pretty hot topic this month. Although it might not be able to keep your Facebook data safe, the InvizBox Go should be able to keep the rest of your internet browsing secure.
When you hook the portable VPN (virtual private network) to your computer or phone, it acts as a secure gateway between your device and the wider world, protecting your identity, browsing history and encrypts your data. Not only that, it blocks adverts, extends your wi-fi, removes geo-blocking and will even charge your device on the go.
From €199, www.invizbox.com
Aveine rapid aerator
It’s important to let red wine breathe, but the wait between opening and pouring can be frustrating. This rapid aerator, from French company Aveine, will provide up to 24 hours of ‘breathing’ instantly. Plus, if you scan the label on your wine, the accompanying app will tell you its optimum breathing time. Cheers!
$200, aveine.paris (in French)
Samsung make excellent TVs, but somehow they always have a little trick up their sleeve. In their newest 2018 models, not only have they make them smarter (with voice-assisted control), more discreet (with a near-invisible cable) and more colourful ( thanks to the QLED technology), they have also included an ambient mode, which means that when it is switched off it can either blend into your surroundings or provide useful information like weather forecasts or headlines.
You’ll struggle to lose these Soundsport wireless headphones from Bose. As well as a neckband and over-ear loops, the Bluetooth in-ears have Tile’s tracking tech built in, so if you do misplace them, just fire up the Tile app on your phone and it’ll give you their last location.
Available late Spring, £149, bose.co.uk
da Vinci 3D Pen Cool
The da Vinci 3D Pen Cool is the new model of the company’s 3D-printing pen. Now, the resulting models aren’t as hot to the touch. It’s one of several new 3D-printing products from the company: there’s also the tiny Nano printer and, for business users, the $4,000 full-colour 3D/inkjet printer AiO.
Garmin Forerunner 645 Music
Forerunner 645 Music is the latest addition to Garmin’s smartwatch range. It can store up to 500 songs, so runners can listen to music without needing to take their phone out with them. It also does the usual fitness tracking stuff, and there’s Garmin Pay onboard for making contactless payments, too.
Want to jazz up your business presentations? Perhaps it’d be worth investing in Samsung Flip, a 55-inch, 4K electronic whiteboard that connects to digital devices either wirelessly or via USB, then lets up to four users write, scribble or draw over the top. The board can be used in either landscape or portrait.
How fit is your pet? A question we’re sure you’ve asked yourself as your pooch is either scampering off into the distance or your cat is yet again lazily giving you side eye. Well, the iPuppyGO is a fitness tracker for your furry friend, which hooks onto their collar and connects up to your phone, giving you detailed information of their activity (or lack thereof), as well as their sleeping status. There is also a built-in treasure hunting game to incentivise you to get out and walk that dog more (no guarantees it’ll be as effective on cats…).
Uvify Oori microdrone
Is it a wasp? Is it a bird? No, it’s a microdrone! Uvify Oori fits in the palm of your hand, but can roar along at speeds of over 80km/h (50mph). Its front-mounted camera streams first-person footage back to the full colour screen on the bundled handheld controller, or to any compatible pair of video goggles.
This sleek, LED-sporting bike helmet from Coros has bone-conduction speakers, so you can listen to music without headphones blocking out traffic noise. You’ll get eight hours’ playback from a single charge, plus there’s an internal crash sensor.
Razer Nommo Chroma
Razer’s new gaming speakers include two three-inch woven glass fibre drivers and feature its Chroma lighting system. Using the Synapse 3 app, you can sync them with your Philips Hue smart lights for a more immersive gaming experience.
Playtime Engineering Blipblox
It might look like a toy… and it is. But unlike other nursery noise-makers, the Blipblox aims to introduce kids to the joys of sculpting their own synthesised waveforms, while MIDI and audio I/O mean it can slot neatly into a grown-up studio too.
Price TBC, blipblox.com
TaylorMade Spider Interactive Putter
Want to improve your performance on the green? TaylorMade’s new putter has a built-in Blast Motion golf sensor that will track backstroke velocity, impact stroke speed and face rotation, then relay the info to an app so you can monitor your game.
The PhoneCloud PX1
You might have caved under pressure and bought your kid a new phone, but how can you be sure they aren’t seeing anything that would send them straight to the naughty step? ThePhoneCloud is a service that alerts parents whenever any profanity and sexual images come through, and filters it out from innocent eyes. Aimed for children between 8 and 12, the service has just launched a smartphone with ThePhoneCloud baked in from the very beginning, which also lets parents filter apps, block access to certain websites and limit screen time.
£199.99 for the handset + £5 per month for ThePhoneCloud subscription, thephonecloud.com
Sometimes earplugs aren’t enough – if you’ve ever been kept awake at night by the drone of snoring from your other half or the ambient noise of the world going on outside your window, you’ll know what we mean. QuietOn Sleep are noise-cancelling earphones specially designed to help block out the specific frequencies that are common when you sleep, and are small and comfortable enough to not irritate if you’re sleeping on your side.
We have loads more gadget news in the Innovations section of BBC Focus magazine, where we look for even more novel and unusual tech that could change the world we live in – find out what is in the current issue here.
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