The latest tech for taller bike riders, faster runners and obsessively clean toilet-washers. And not forgetting Apple's most expensive iPhone and Amazon's cheapest e-reader yet.
Amazon sells more ebooks than print ones these days - and with the cheapest ever Kindle now here, that trend looks set to accelerate if anything. While this cuts price, the 600 x 800 greyscale, e-ink screen remains superbly readable and removing the not-much-missed keyboard means it's smaller than ever, plus battery life is still a month. The downsides? Losing speakers/headphones socket - so no "read aloud" text-to-speech and there's no 3G, just wi-fi. The end result? While the price conversion from the US $79 is shocking, this is still an excellent value, best-in-class and now smaller-in-the-hand ebook reader.
Twyford Moda Rimfree
Rimless toilets are a big thing in schools, hospitals etc. because they cut down on germs and save on washing time. Now, Twyford are bringing out the first rimless toilet for the home - their Moda. Instead of a rim, the water jet at the back of the bowl sluices water around the pan - flushing as well as a traditional toilet. The Moda's based on Twyford's hospital-grade Sola, and as well as more stylish design, features water-saving 4/2.6 litre flush options (Moda's marketing manager calls the rimfree design: "the most significant innovation in the domestic bathroom market since the introduction of the dual press-button flush").
Brompton - not only an iconic folding bike design, but an iconic British engineering company. But while we wait for them to finally, formally unveil their electric folding bike (rumoured to reach us in 2012), here's their first new handlebar style in seven years. The "H" type handlebar is designed for those wanting a more upright seating position, or taller riders. The end result adds a mere 100g or so to weight, but moves grips up 60mm and forward 13mm. Ideal, if you are tall and/or don't want to feel hunched while riding. Price for new built bikes will be same as other handlebar options - and the H will be available as a retrofit too.
Gibson Firebird X
The "world’s most technically advanced self tuning guitar" say Gibson. But perhaps more revolutionary, this limited edition guitar 2.0 features its own "app store". The heart of this is Gibson's "Pure-Analog" engine - that's open to third-party applications that will be able to modify the sound of the guitar. On top of that, there's fourth-generation automatic "robot tuners", Bluetooth wireless pedal compatibility and onboard effects - where you can easily switch between preset modes (including recreations of "the world's best tones"). In other words, if you're rubbish with a guitar after using the Firebird X - it's entirely your own fault.
Garmin Forerunner 910XT
Not so much a watch as a multisport wrist sat-nav. The Forerunner range are primarily aimed at runners (see the Edge range for cyclists), but the 910XT handles triathlon duties by throwing in cycle and, uniquely, swim tracking too. The 910XT's swim features: water resistance to 50m, stroke count and "SWOLF" score (time and strokes per length) among other metrics. As well as the usual GPS location, speed, elevation tracking, the 910XT is both heartrate monitor belt and ANT+ compatible - so you can add extra accessories, such as a crank power monitor. In other words, it's a do-it-all sports-tracking wristwatch, at a price...
Apple iPhone 4S
from £499 SIM-free
It looks set to break gadget launch sales records (it sold 4 million worldwide in its opening weekend), yet commentators initially reacted negatively to the spruced-up fourth generation iPhone. After all, we were expecting an iPhone 5 - and apparently this isn't it. What you get that's new and not in iOS5 on an existing phone is: voice-assistant Siri, improved processing speed with an A5 chip and an 8MP camera. The most important thing to recognise is none of these things warrant an upgrade from an iPhone 4, or recent rival Android or Windows Mobile phone. Particularly as Siri, the one genuinely new feature is fairly hamstrung outside the US - it can't provide information on shops or local information. Despite this, if you're upgrading from a much older phone, the iPhone 4S is definitely the new pick of the smartphone bunch.