Tablets for technophobes, the return of the 1970s ‘music centre’ and wireless dSLR controls - the future of consumer technology is upon us.
The ‘music centre’ is back. The LP-P1000 combines retro 70s/80s styling with a wide range of media playback options. As a piece of technology it makes some sense, but how much you’ll go for it depends on your taste in decor. The LP-P1000 combines a 33/45/78 turntable with CD deck (with support for CD-R/RW and MP3/WMA), AM/FM tuner and Bluetooth wireless to connect to mobile devices. There’s even two auxiliary inputs for other sources. That means you are covered whether you want to listen to vinyl (which is currently making a huge comeback), or stream Spotify via your smartphone, just as long as your lounge is suitably retro.
The C720P is the first touchscreen ‘Chromebook’ laptop with Chrome OS. Given Google’s Android smartphone dominance, it’s perhaps surprising that a touchscreen Chromebook has been so long in coming - but that could also be down to a historic lack of consumer interest in the system that runs as much as it can via the cloud. Either way, adding touchscreen to Chromebook could further boost recent sales successes for the OS. The C720P comes with Intel Celeron 2955U processor, 2GB DDR3 memory and 11.6in 1,366x768 display. Plus a good range of ports, 1.3kg weight and seven-second boot.
£329 (including one year service and support)
The ‘silver surfer’ rises - or, with an ageing population, why hasn’t anyone come up with an idea like this before? Breezie takes a standard Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1in Android tablet and reskins it to make it easier to use - aiming it squarely at the 6.1 million UK adults over 55 who’ve never used the Internet. Users not only get a simplified front-end and key apps, a secure facility lets either Breezie support people or a trusted family member remotely provide support. The tablet is also personalised for users before it’s shipped, and the service is promised to continually evolve - with new curated apps and tweaks based on user analytics.
External smartphone battery packs with style. The Zendure range not only look good, they’re crush-proof and drop-proof, high-capacity and retain 95 per cent of their charge after six months. The smallest model in the range has a capacity of 9,600mAh - that’s enough charge to keep even the most power-hungry smartphone going for a long weekend. On top of that, Zendure claim their packs are more energy efficient than rivals. The range can itself be charged while charging, and can charge two devices at once. A huge Kickstarter success, the Zendure range is now shipping to initial backers and pre-orders.
Osprey Portal series
Backpacks and messenger bags designed for laptops and tablets are nothing new. But the tablet ‘Port’ bags here feature something completely new - a usable touchscreen window in your bag. A TPU film window under the padded main flap means that while the bag is shut, your tablet is protected, but open, you can use it instantly without having to remove it from the bag. For both laptop and tablet bags, Osprey’s outdoor experience and design shines also - with clips, straps and materials carried across from their more rugged ranges, but mixed with more subtle, urban styling.
Wireless control of your dSLR is the aim of the ludicrously-named Weye Feye. The module connects to most Canon and Nikon dSLRs via their USB, with your smartphone or tablet connecting via Wi-Fi to it, then acting as a touchscreen viewfinder and controller of your camera. The Weye Feye signal works at up to 80m with 0.2 seconds latency and as well as triggering shots, the app lets you shift focus and zoom, change set-up (ISO, white balance, aperture etc) and switch between modes, including single photo, burst and video. The result means you can now remotely trigger shots better than ever.