vol 8, issue 1

Gadgets

16 January 2013
By Simon Munk
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The Hornit

The loudest mass-production bicycle horn in the world at 140 decibels, the same as a jet engine taking off 100ft away

Google Nexus 10

The Nexus 4 is a 2GB RAM, 8MP cameraphone while the Nexus 10 is a 10in tablet with stunning specs

Huawei Ascend P1 LTE

Want to get EE’s 4G service, but no flash phone? The P1 LTE is the best value option

Livescribe Sky

Vital for doodlers and note-takers, Livescribe captures written notes and audio simultaneously

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

E-reader with built-in light for reading in the dark. Features a higher resolution screen and better battery life

Teva Chair 5

A lightweight take on winter boots. The Chair 5 has a waterproof outer and a separate booty can be used as apres-ski slippers

Related stories

Books

Gadgets

Software

The world’s loudest bike horn, modular winter boots and Google’s latest Nexus attack on Apple.

The Hornit

£35

The loudest mass-production bicycle horn in the world. 140 decibels is the same volume as a jet engine taking off 100 feet away. Yet The Hornit is no larger than a standard bike light. The shrill alarm sound is great at waking up dozy drivers, but we wouldn't advise using it on pedestrians.

For those moments when you really need to be noticed on the bicycle - The Hornit is the loudest mass-production bicycle horn in the world. At 140 decibels, if you point The Hornit directly into your ear you could damage your hearing - it's the same volume as a jet engine taking off 100 feet away. Yet The Hornit is no larger than a standard bike light. The shrill alarm sound is great at waking up dozy drivers, but we wouldn't advise using it on pedestrians. Slowing down, tinkle a bell instead - in use, The Hornit is so loud for pedestrians they tend to freeze in their tracks!

www.thehornit.com

Google Nexus 4 and 10

from £239 and £319

Google's Nexus range seems to be all about undercutting rival prices, while overdelivering on spec. Latest up, the Nexus 4 - a quadcore, 2GB RAM, 8MP cameraphone for just over £200 and the Nexus 10 - a 10" tablet with stunning specs for just over £300. It may be outspecced, but Apple remains just ahead on apps range.

Google's Nexus range had already got off to a cracking start with its Nexus 7. Undercutting rival prices, while overdelivering on spec, and showcasing the latest version of Google's fast-improving Android OS, the Nexus 7 is one of the best gadgets of the year. Now it's joined by the Nexus 4 - a high-spec, quadcore, 2GB RAM, 8MP cameraphone with Android 4.2 for from just over £200 and the Nexus 10 - a 10" tablet with stunning specs for just over £300. The 4 is a serious contender for the must-have smartphone right now and once enough Android apps go high-def to suit the tablet, the 10's an iPad beater too. Although Apple remains just ahead on sheer breadth and quality of apps.

www.google.co.uk/nexus

Huawei Ascend P1 LTE

Free from £36 monthly contract

If you're determined to get EE's new 4G service, but so skinted you can't afford a top-notch phone after, the P1 LTE is a great, if anonymous, option. Huawei are a Chinese manufacturer who used to badge for other phone brands, but now go it alone. And the P1 LTE deliver serious value.

If you're going to pay through the nose for EE's new 4G service, then it seems odd to opt for a budget phone. But if you're determined to get 4G, yet then so skint you can't afford a top-notch phone, the P1 LTE is a great, if anonymous, option (other EE phones currently are Apple iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy SIII or Note II LTE, HTC One XL, or Nokia Lumia 920 - all very high-end). Huawei are a Chinese manufacturer who used to badge for other phone brands, but now go it alone. And the P1 LTE is for the money, excellent - 1.5GHz dualcore processor, 8MP camera, 960x540 4.3" screen etc.

www.huaweidevice.co.uk

Livescribe Sky

from £160

One of the most useful gadgets for doodlers, note-takers and interviewers just got better. The Livescribe pen digitally captures written notes and audio. Click on a note and you hear what was being said at the time. And the new Sky smartpens add in wi-fi to stream notes and audio as they happen to Evernote etc.

The original Livescribe smartpen was one of the most useful gadgets for doodlers, note-takers and interviewers ever. The Livescribe pen combines special notepaper, an infrared beam near the pen tip and a built-in microphone. The pen records everything you write and the audio and combines the two together. Click on a note and you can instantly hear what was being said at the time. Both audio and notes are then shareable in a "Pencast" PDF. It's genius - and now it's even better. The new Sky smartpens add in wi-fi to stream notes and audio as they happen to Evernote and/or tablets, smartphones etc.

www.livescribe.com/sky

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

from £109

It already dominates ebooks. So what else could Amazon do to improve the Kindle? The Paperwhite adds a light to the screen, allowing you to read in the dark without a light on. On top of that, there's a higher resolutions screen, better battery life and Amazon's class-leading bookstore.

The Amazon Kindle has already revolutionised reading habits. It's still the go-to for reading long-form fiction digitally - the eInk screen and simple controls, plus cheap price have made it that much easier for book fans to make the transition to ebooks, compared to harder-to-read smartphones and tablets. So what else could Amazon do to improve the Kindle? The Paperwhite adds a soft glowing light to the screen that evenly illuminates the text, allowing you to read in the dark without a light on. On top of that, there's a higher resolutions screen, better battery life and Amazon's bookstore remains the class leader.

www.amazon.co.uk

Teva Chair 5

£110

An unusual, lightweight take on winter boots. The Chair 5 is a waterproof outer with White Spider Rubber sole to increase grip in cold conditions. Inside is a separate Thinsulate LiteLoft booty. Use this on its own as apres-ski slippers, and with it taken out, the outer folds down for luggage.

Built to be an unusual and lightweight (618g) take on winter boots. At initial inspection the Chair 5 appears to be a waterproof outer boot using Teva's T.I.D.E. Hydro coating for the upper and a large rubber area up the foot, with sealed seams. The White Spider Rubber used in the sole is there to increase grip in snowy and icy conditions. But inside is a separate Thinsulate LiteLoft booty. Use this on its own as apres-ski slippers, and with it taken out, the outer boot folds down better into luggage. But the two together keep feet dry and toasty warm.

www.teva.co.uk

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