Ok, I thought seeing as we are a week from Crimbo, I would hijack the wife’s blog, and put up Hagar’s Top 10 gadgets for 2010. I spend a lot of time traveling and all of the gadgets I have selected are owned by me, and have been extensively tested over months. Some of the gadgets I have had for longer than just 2010, but I rely heavily on most of them when I deploy overseas, or travel on holiday. All of them are designed to make your life easier; all have good quality and high levels of usefulness in common.
A gadget that I said I would never need and just didn’t understand where it fitted into the normal order of gadgets. Funny old thing though, it’s not about needs, it’s about wants and ultimately, I wanted one of these. I managed to blag a cheap one out in the USA, to ease the purchase pain a little, and having now used it for a couple of months, I get it. It just works. The experience of holding and using an iPad is not one I can really describe to you effectively enough to make you want to buy one. All I can say is next time you pass an Apple store, pop in, try one and be prepared to love it! A perfect bit of kit for reading books, magazine and papers, as well as, surfing the web, sending and receiving e-mails and watching movies. Go on….you know you want to…..
If you ever get round to buying an iPad, and don’t want to spring the extra £100 to buy a 3G enabled one, then get one of these little bad boys. £69 gets you a Wi-fi hot spot in your pocket, with 3GB of free data (effectively making the Mifi cost £39, with £30 of data included) which turns a 3G signal into Wi-fi that you can connect with up to 5 devices. Buy it on pay as you go, and then it is contract free plus £10 per GB of data whenever you need it. Is that a hot spot in yer pocket, or are you just pleased to see me?
Linking in with gadgets 1 and 2 on my list, is this peachy little gadget that might just save your ass sometime when your devices run out of power and you need them NOW! The Power Monkey can either be charged by mains electrickery, or via, the solar slave that come with it. It then stores enough ergs to re-charge an iPod, or mobile phone, several times. It also holds its stored charge for a couple of months. It comes with enough connections to cover every gadget I own, and some, and all the plug adaptors you will need to go anywhere in the world and still be able to charge it. An essential bit of gadget kit for those of us who travel loads.
Proper small and light, but produce banging tunes when plugged in to your iPod, or phone, or laptop, or ipad, etc, etc. You can connect more than one together, if you so wish, they have excellent battery life and fit in your pocket (alongside the MiFi and other things!) Cheap, but well made and great sound from a tiny speaker, perfect for traveling light! Buy 2 and go for full stereo….
I like these as they mean I don’t have to wear my iPod in the gym, I can stick it on a shelf in the corner and crack on around the machines as you can control the tracks and volume from the dongle on the end of the headphone cords. Charged by mini USB their battery lasts around 10-12 hours so a long hard gym session! They also double up as a hands free phone headset as there is a built in microphone in the dongle which clips onto your kit wherever you want (I stick mine on my collar or sleeve usually). In sum, light and easy to use, why would you want to be connected to that heavy MP3 player or phone?
Managed to impress the SAS with this bit of kit, now they all have one! Nuff said….
Seriously though, an awesome camping stove, best used for quickly boiling a brew and when used with the French Press attachment you can get a half litre of fresh coffee in 2 minutes on the back of your helicopter. Nice. The stove detaches and becomes a neoprene lined mug with handle, so one less bit of kit to pack. Light, efficient and reliable, an outstanding purchase for any camping trip, det, back of your car, etc, etc. I can’t recommend this enough.
If you like reading books, but hate packing loads of ’em when you go on det, or on holiday, then look no further than this little beauty. Light, small easily packed a great easy to read in any light condition screen, and capable of storing around 3000 books, the Kindle from Amazon. This is another excellent bit of travel kit. I always have to have a book on the go and hate not having one to hand. The Kindle (if you get the 3G model) can download a book in a minute anywhere in the world where there is a 3G signal for free. How cool is that? Coupled with a 30 day battery life and you have a winning combination. I should work for Amazon…….
The perfect det or holiday camera. Light, easy to use, shockproof, dustproof, freezeproof and waterproof to 10 feet – and it takes great pics! I think this little camera is amazing and my luddite wife, who is crap with new gadgets, agrees! It has a mode for everything including 180 degree panoramic shots and also shoots video in HD. All you need in a camera wherever you go in our mad, weather troubled, world.
I like this bit of kit as it is so simple, you stick your iPhone into it, with your biking app set up and off you go. Satnav works equally as well if you are going off road, or on a tricky route, and it cushions those wee jumps, and minor prangs you may find yourself getting into. Easy to detach and install, a perfect mate for your iPhone if you cycle anywhere on your bike.
Ok, I like this bit of kit because the Ogon Wallet is not only a sleek modern looking wallet, but also offers protection for your cards from criminals. The aluminum casing protects your cards from being read by radio-frequency-identification (RFID) technology. A new technology made to speed up transactions, but can also allow potential thieves access to your information.
This is a pretty cool concept from Sweden that allows you to carry the essential in a pocket size: papers, cards, identity card, cash… Maximum protection in a compact aluminum shell, that is tough and light. My one’s black but it comes in about 10 different colours.
Some of its features are:
• Metallic wallet completely replaces the 20th century leather wallet
• Includes seven expandable pockets made of resistant PVC
• Holds up to 15 credit cards or receipts, cash, etc.
• Excellent protection of data chips in the cards from electro-magnetic radiation
• Water-resistant material
• Push-button for easy opening and closing
• Fits perfectly into pockets
Enjoy the reviews. Have a great Christmas and a very Happy New Year!