Posted by | August 13, 2021 | Technology

With room for more beer than any road trip really needs, this lightweight, soft-sided and collapsible cooler is primed for a mid-trip dash to the supermarket. As well as keeping up to 70 cans cold for 36 hours, it has a lid with four integrated can or cup holders so it doubles as a table for impromptu picnics.

Chill your drinks without freezing your assets
Ice retention: 36+ hours
Superior insulation for cold beers after your hike (or nap)
Easy carry handles and 4 strategically placed cup holders


Whether you’re car touring or hiking, a hot cuppa is never far away with this smart flask. Allowing you to set your ideal drinking temperature to the precise degree using an app, this 355ml flask maintains that temperature for about two hours.


12 fl. oz (355 ml)


Posted by | August 8, 2021 | Technology

Rooftop Tent
Pitching a tent is easy, but taking it down after the inevitable rain? Urgh. This pop-up rooftop tent for two designed in Sweden takes a few seconds to both pitch and pack-up, with the ladder sliding into place on the roof, too. Best of all, a foam mattress is built in so you’re good to go minutes after arriving at a campsite.

Bosch FreshUp

Posted by | August 8, 2021 | Technology


Harnesses the mystical power of plasma to destroy odours

Every now and then, a product comes along that is so clever, you are blown away. Even if you subsequently realise that it may not be all that useful for most people. The Bosch FreshUp is one such product. The nearest thing we can compare it to is high-tech Febreze, which is a fabric cleaner designed for sofas and curtains but which some people – skanks, let’s call them – use to freshen up their clothes, by masking the smells emanating from them.

Bosch FreshUp removes rather than masks smells, however, and the way it does so is ingenious. This handheld device slightly resembles one of those handheld crumb removers that you occasionally still see used to clean tables in restaurants. When you power it up, it creates plasma. Yes, plasma: the mysterious ‘fourth state’ of matter, after solid, liquid and gas.

Well, it turns out that plasma, as well as helping to give us life, and make TVs in the mid-2000s, is also able to completely dissolve odour molecules. Who knew? So as you run the FreshUp over your clothing, any lingering smells – from smoke to body odour – are removed completely. With lighter fabrics and lesser smells this is generally done with one application.

Things do get trickier with heavy fabrics such as denim, and if you are trying to remove the smell of a bonfire from your best winter coat, you may be there some time. In particular, Bosch says waterproofed garments are harder to treat. It also can’t be used on leather, fur or damp fabrics. In fact, if you try to use it on fabrics that are moist, the FreshUp will detect this, flash purple and refuse to work – clever.

Bosch is at pains to point out that there is no cleaning going on here. FreshUp cannot remove stains or general muck. However, it does remove smells from garments that are clean as far as the naked eye is concerned, so they can be re-worn without social embarrassment.

The most obvious uses are for workwear – especially if you wear dry clean-only suits – and taking on holiday, where cleaning clothes becomes much harder. However, there are other potential uses. We know many people want to use their washing machine less, both for environmental reasons and because every wash moves clothing further away from their original, box-fresh state, and one step nearer to the charity shop or bin.

As a pure piece of technology, FreshUp is quite brilliant, so hopefully it will succeed. It works for 60 minutes on a single charge and recharges in 3 to 4 hours via USB-C.

Google Pixel Buds A-Series

Posted by | July 1, 2021 | Technology

Google Pixel Buds A-Series

Google may be most people’s search engine of choice, but it’s not the first name you think of when it comes to earbuds. However, these earbuds come with Google’s voice-activated assistant – imaginatively called Assistant – letting you perform voice commands such as playing music, making a call and setting alarms. It effectively places a Google Nest smart speaker in your ear.

It’s worth noting that although you can connect these earbuds to any Bluetooth 5.0 (or later) device, you’ll need to connect to a phone or tablet running Android 6.0 (or higher) to use Google Assistant.

The batteries in the buds should last for hve hours of audio playback, with 24 hours of recharging available via the case. If you’re talking on a phone call, these numbers drop to 2 hours 30 minutes and 12 hours respectively. However, a full charge only takes an hour, and even 15 minutes of charging the case provides enough for three hours of audio playback.

All the usual features of Google Assistant are present, but there are some serious benehts to having it in your ear and always available, such as real-time translation courtesy of Google Translate. However, this isn’t Douglas Adams’ Babel fish just yet (sorry fans of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) because it still needs your phone to show translations.

The touch controls are simple and responsive. A single tap on either bud plays or pauses your audio, a double-tap skips forward a track and a triple-tap plays the previous track. Remove either bud from your ear and audio pauses; pop them back in and it resumes. You can use Google Assistant hands-free, though, with the usual “Hey Google” or “OK Google” command. This worked every time we tried it.

Overall sound quality is impressive, particularly with vocals. They lack power in the bass sounds, even with ‘bass boost’ mode turned on, but that’s not unusual for earbuds this cheap. They don’t block or cancel background noise, either, so they’re not great in noisy environments, such as train carriages.


  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • 12mm dynamic speaker driver
  • USB-C charging case
  • 3 sizes of ear tips
  • IPx4
  • Buds: 20.7×29.3×17.5mm
  • Case: 63x25x47mm
  • 5g
  • One-year warranty


Posted by | June 15, 2021 | Technology


The future of television is here. TV manufacturers have tweaked traditional light-emitting diode (LED) TVs to add an organic (carbon-based) layer that produces coloured light. The key to the technology is its carbon-based organic compound layer -traditional LED screens use several layers to make light and colour, but the new OLED screens use only one. They produce images with better colours that change faster than LEDs. OLED TVs have thinner screens, use less energy, and are less polluting than other TVs.


An OLED display has pixels that are able to make a dot of any colour by mixing red, blue, and green light. Each pixel contains three different OLED molecules that make light of one of these three colours. The quality of colour images is improved because the OLEDs make only the exact colours required, and do not filter them from a white light source like other systems.

The screen of this flexible display contains a layer of OLEDs sandwiched between transparent plastic electrodes. It is flexible enough to bend or twist, and could even be rolled up. Flexible screens like this are being used in curved mobile phones and tablets, where the screen wraps around the edge so messages can be displayed along the side of the device. Flexible OLED displays are even lightweight enough to be stitched on to fabric. As well as displays, OLEDs can produce light of a single colour and be a highly versatile form of low-energy lighting that can be used just about anywhere.

LEDs create 16 million colours by mixing red, green, and blue light oduced by three kinds of chemicals.

Curved Screen

This TV produces a high-definition picture from a layer of OLEDs, or organic light-emitting diodes. That layer is 200 times thinner than a strand of hair, making an OLED screen flexible enough to be curved.
Evolve GTR Carbon Electric Longboard

The Evolve GTR Carbon Electric Longboard is up there as one of the coolest things we’ve ever played with. If you’ve ever been on a longboard (or any skateboard for that matter) you’ll know the worst part of the hobby is going uphill. The Evolve solves that with dual 1 500watt electric motors that will have you cruising along at speeds of up to 42km/h. That sounds fast even when you’re not standing on the thing but when you actually get going… it’s exhilarating.

Even more impressive? The distance we got from the Evolve. On a single charge the GTR Carbon has a range of 50km, which is way more than our legs can manage on a nonmotorised longboard. Even better, it’s capable of tackling hills with up to a 30% gradient but we’re fairly confident we managed even steeper hills than that (starting at speed, of course).

While it may seem like it’ll take ages to master, it’s remarkably simple. The handheld controller, which connects to the deck via Bluetooth, features a control scheme that relies on the frontside trigger to accelerate and the topmounted trigger to brake.

The controls are responsive, more so than you’d expect on your first outing, but you’ll get to grips with everything quickly. The width of the deck makes balancing easy, and the leeway given to the trucks makes turning by shifting yourweight comfortable.

Cruising in Style
The Evolve GTR Carbon is beautiful. Like something out of a Batman film, you’ll catch the attention of every passerby. The handmade carbon-fibre deck is slick and easy to clean after a day of off-roading.

Offroad Tendency
The GTR Carbon we were sent came outfitted with off-road wheels, so of course we took it down some gravelly, dirty paths. It handles itself very well, gripping the path and providing just enough wobble to feel exciting.

Level Select
The controller allows users to change between a variety of speed settings: Safe, Eco, Pro, GTR and Custom. We mainly used Pro, because we’re cool.

Waiting Time
The deck does take a rather long time to charge, so plug it in overnight so as to not miss that early morning shred.

Motor : Dual 1500 Watt High Performance Custom Motor
Battery : 14AH Samsung Lithium ion Battery
Recharge : 4 – 5 hours
Range : 50 km
Weight : 9.8 KG

RØDE Wireless GO II

Posted by | June 8, 2021 | Technology

RODE has just given content creators something of a spring treat by introducing a new product into its popular Wireless Go system. The new Wireless Go II includes two transmitter units, enabling videographers to record two separate sound sources to one camera. The value-for-money system costs less than £300 but provides users with broadcast-quality audio in a highlyportable package, and there’s even more to this system than meets the eye.

The transmitter units can be clipped on to a subject and then paired in a matter of seconds, making them the perfect choice for run ’n’ gun-style filmmakers in a hurry, although it’s worth noting that the units can also be connected up to a lav mic.

With the TX units weighing just 30g each and the RX tipping the scales at only 32g, the whole system can genuinely fit in a pocket and will be of particular interest to content creators who are traveling and for whom space is at a premium. The units also include an on-board recording feature that enables videographers to capture over 40 hours of compressed audio and seven hours of uncompressed audio. When the feature is active, recording begins as soon as the transmitters are connected to the receiver, providing a back-up recording and a potentially invaluable safety-net.

Audio levels can be adjusted in three stages at the touch of the button – or more if you enable this feature in the firmware – and, despite the tiny size of the RØDE Wireless GO II units, the in-built battery can potentially last up to seven hours. If power does start to run low, however, then you can charge the units while they’re in use, via the provided USB-C connection.

Along with the RX and TX units, you’ll also find a TRS cable, along with twistand- lock furry windshields, which allow videographers to capture broadcast quality sound out in the open without needing to worry about wind noise.

RØDE has backed up the Wireless GO II system with accessories such as a news reporter-style adapter that turns one of the Wireless GO II transmitters into a wireless handheld mic and the free RØDE Central companion app for Mac and Windows, which enables you to set up your device preferences and export recordings.

Lastly, a recent firmware upgrade has added a new feature that turns the TX unit clipped onto your subject into a tiny field recorder with the ability to record sound without needing to be linked to the RX unit. This will be hugely useful when filming long scenes where your subject could be a vast distance from the camera.

Over the past year, more and more smart products have appeared in the market. The influx of new products has made it easier and cheaper to turn your home into a smart home. Here are some of the items you might want to start converting your house into the house of tomorrow, today!

Smart Lights

One of the easiest smart home devices you can get a hold of and install are smart lights. Depending on the model, they can feature RGB lighting, color temperature adjustments, and of course, wireless power control.

Smart lighting has several benefits. One is the convenience of control and versatility. A single light can be used for different scenarios since they are dimmable and have a changeable color temperature.

Another benefit, some may argue, is energy efficiency. Smart lights are usually LED lights that are more efficient than regularfluorescent and incandescent light fixtures. They also last longer, even with constant use.

Currently, the most common smart lighting are bulbs and LED strips. Smart LED tubes are already available abroad, but I have yet to find one locally available. However, if your house uses a lot of tube lights, well, there is another solution.

Smart Light Switches

If you live in a house populated by tube lights or an old apartment that you can’t remodel, a smart light switch may be the way to go. Smart switches convert your traditional light switches to be controllable through your smartphones or smart hub.

There different types of Smart Light Switches. One is a mere module you connect to your existing switch. There is also a switch that functions as a remote, and that you can actually remove from the base.

Smart switches, like smart lights, have their own benefits. When paired with a smart light, they are energy efficient. By themselves, smart switches provide users added convenience, giving them control via smartphone apps or even voice control through smart hubs.

Smart Appliances

Aside from smart light fixtures and switches, smart appliances are something you have to consider getting once you start converting your home. From smart robot vacuums to smart TVs and even smart air conditioners, there are many smart appliances now available in the market.

Many smart home products have their own integrated app that enables a certain degree of control through the users’ phones. Smart air conditioners and smart fans enable users to remotely control their home temperature whether they’re already in it or still a block away.

Smart robot vacuums can help you clean your house even when you’re out and about. Meanwhile, smart kitchen appliances such as ovens and microwaves notify users when their dishes are ready to eat. Some appliances can actually set the timer themselves with users just inputting the type of dish they placed inside.

What makes a smart appliance a must-have? Convenience and complete integration to the smart home. Smart home users can control almost all their needs right at their fingers tips, thanks to Al and the Internet of Things (AloT) built into most of these smart products

Smart Cameras And Sensors

Other smart products which you can consider are smart cameras and sensors. Smart cameras, especially those built-in to smart doorbells, give homeowners an added sense of security. Most of these smart cameras already have IR Cameras that allow for night/dark video capture and can even notify users when they hear or detect movement.

Smart sensors don’t give such protection; instead, these are built for the most convenience. Setting up smart sensors around the home allows the light to instantly turn on or off and even interact with other smart products such as TVs and speakers to instantly set the mood.

Smart Hubs

Tying your smart home together will be your smart hub. These come in the form of a smart speaker, a tablet hub, and a programmable hub, depending on what type of smart home you’re doing.

The cheapest and undoubtedly the easiest to set up are the smart speakers and tablet hubs since these are based on Google/Amazon home apps. Other programmable hubs can utilize different protocols, such as Zigbee and IFTTT, to create more complex scenarios for your smart home.

Smart hubs will be your best friend for handsfree smart home controls. At the same time, they ensure that your smart devices can communicate with each other, acting as the brains of the whole home. While these are essential in making a smart home easier, you really don’t have to get one at the start, especially the speakers, since they truly shine only when you have completed your smart home set-up.

With these basic devices, you are well on your way to starting your smart home journey.

Best Road Bikes Of 2021

Posted by | May 12, 2021 | Technology

FRAMESET: $1,999
Speed or comfort? How about both? Sure, most road bikes these days are built for at least 28mm tires, but not all those bikes are optimized to be fastest with them. The Strada features a curved seat tube shaped specifically to direct airflow around 28mm to 30mm rubber, meaning there’s no compromise on speed or comfort. Doing away with the front derailleur in this 1x-only frame furthers its aerodynamic chops, while also saving a few grams. Going 1x only isn’t for everyone, but with cassettes reaching 12 speeds, and now 13 with Campagnolo Ekar, it’s a viable option for many.

$3,199 TO $10,549
Ventum started as a triathlon bike brand, reimagining aero designs in a space already accustomed to cutting-edge tech. The brand’s road bike, the NS1, brings some of that aero know-how and packs it into a more familiar UCI-friendly form factor. And while it shares features with many all-around bikes, including tire clearance of up to 30mm, it separates itself with a silicon EPS manufacturing process that makes it light and durable.

FRAMESET: $5,000
Even old-guard Italian brands like Colnago have gotten in on the all-around race bike concept. The V3Rs has already had a successful tenure, riding to the top step of the Tour de France podium last year. The frame hides all cables internally and incorporates truncated aero tubing, for a sleek aero look, while squeezing in 30mm of rubber and weighing in at under 800 grams for some sizes. And thanks to high grade carbon fiber, the bike is also lighter and stiffer than before, delivering a supremely well balanced ride quality.

$8,100 TO $11,912
There’s no better name possible than “zero” for this lightweight climber. That’s because it feels almost weightless in the mountains, packaging together a feathery frame, disc brakes with 28mm clearance, full internal cable routing, and an integrated cockpit in a package that can very easily go south of the UCI weight limit. The fact that it easily has the Italian brand’s highest stiffness-to-weight ratio ever helps with that amazing ride feel, too. And as always for Wilier, it’s available in gorgeous colors.

$2,000 TO $5,800
As a women’s-specific brand, Liv does a lot more than just make frames for smaller riders. The Langma, an all-around race bike, has a female-specific carbon layup adapted for women’s anatomy to better deliver power and compliance. And it makes use of a proven compact geometry, which provides a better fit and handling. With an aerodynamic tubeset in a lightweight package, it’s built for the hills, sprints, and everything in between.

$1,499 TO $7,499
Probably no bike is more aptly named than the Endurace (Endu-race, without an n). While ostensibly an endurance bike, its geometry leans more towards race bike, while aero elements in the tube shapes make it one of the fastest feeling comfort-oriented bikes available. Additional comfort comes courtesy of high volume tires, up to 33mm, and a flexible seat post. Plus, the Endurace delivers the typical direct-to-consumer value of Canyon, providing an Ultegra Di2 build for a price most other brands would be spec’ing Ultegra mechanical.

$2,399 TO $9,999
The Orca has long been the flagship model for Basque company Orbea, and these days it’s a more versatile, wellrounded machine than ever. Ample tire clearance of 32mm to 35mm, depending on the model, coupled with lowered seatstays and an optimized carbon blend with continuous fibers lets the Orca deliver a smooth ride, while making use of truncated airfoil tube shapes that reduce drag by 10 percent. The MyO customization program offers control of everything from frame color to component selection.

$5,200 TO $7,500
The Fenix SLiC is Ridley’s response to the needs of the everyday all-around rider…which for a Belgian company means cobblestones even on coffee rides. Its diamond shape tubing results in reinforced carbon, bolstering impact-resistance and durability over harsh terrain. And even with an endurance-oriented geometry, and comfort-focused features like a curved toptube and thin seatstays, it makes use of every single watt thanks to a wide bottom bracket and substantial downtube.

FRAMESET: $6,500
It’s hard not to be drawn in by a bike that collects grand tour victories like they’re free t-shirts at a conference. The latest model in the storied Dogma F series continues Pinarello’s trademark asymmetric frame design. Only now, this sough-after all-around race bike has room for 28mm tires, plus increased lateral stiffness, and a further 8-watt drag savings. And with 13 frame sizes, there’s a perfect fit for everyone.

$4,600 TO $6,000
The secret sauce behind the Infinito CV’s endurance chops isn’t its longer chainstays or taller head tube, though those certainly help. No, the secret lies beneath the surface, woven into the carbon layup itself. The Bianchi CV vibration canceling system incorporates a viscoelastic material right into the carbon, reducing road vibrations by up to 80 percent. Add in clearance for 32mm tires and a healthy sprinkling of aero details and the result is a bike at home on the cobbles and beyond.

FRAMESET: $5,999
The new Vamoots RCS (Routt County Special) brings allroad riding to the revered titanium frame builder’s catalog. Offering clearance of up to 35mm, the RCS performs at its best with 32mm tires, making it at home on mixed-surface routes. Double-butted tubes, newly designed fast back seatstays, and a 3D-printed dropout design come together to make a well-rounded experience that’s ready for any kind of road riding, especially the unpaved kind.

$2,799 TO $10,999
A comfort-oriented bike need not be a sluggish experience, compromising heavily on speed and handling. The Roadmachine delivers all the styling of a modern road racer — complete internal cable routing, a sleek integrated cockpit and aerodynamic features — and adds in a compliance-oriented carbon layup and room for 33mm tires. It’s not the most race-oriented bike in the BMC line, but for most riders, it delivers the right tradeoff of speed and comfort.

$2,200 TO $12,500
Go big on aero. Go big on climbing. Go big on everything, with the Cannondale SuperSix EVO. By using truncated aero tube shapes and routing all cables internally, the latest SuperSix Evo saves a whopping 30 watts over its predecessor, while remaining light enough for the pros to race it at the UCI weight limit. Max out the clearance with 30mm tires and it’s one of the best combinations of speed, weight, and comfort available.

$8,600 TO $11,300
A perennially great all-around race bike, the TCR Advanced SL gets even better for 2021 with the model’s highest ever stiffness-to-weight ratio. And Giant accomplished that while incorporating new aero tube shapes, making it faster than ever on the flats, while a bumped up tire clearance of 32mm lets it adapt to any course. Factor in Giant’s two-year crash replacement program, and that’s an equation for miles of stress-free training and racing.

$2,400 TO $12,000
Not many machines could plausibly take on the cobbles of the spring classics one weekend and then race a gravel grinder the next. But then again, not many machines are the Domane. This beast brings together vibration-eating IsoSpeed decouplers, proven with wins on the cobbles, and massive clearance of 38c. It sets the standard for versatility in road bikes.

$2,000 TO $4,000
Once a super-aggressive racing machine, these days the Addict has mellowed out a bit, slotting into the Scott line as an endurance-focused ride. With stock 30c Schwalbe ONE tires and a relaxed geometry, it’s built for endless miles in the saddle. And thanks to wide gear ranges across the lineup of models, it’s ready to take on the steepest pitches and endure epic climbing days.

$5,500 TO $14,000
Specialized’s bike of the future looks deceptively simple. At a glance, the Aethos delivers a classic silhouette, but subtle tapering of tube shapes and a complete shakeup of the carbon layup result in a bike with phenomenal power transfer and ride quality, in a frame that weighs a scant 585 grams, painted—and all without sacrificing durability to get there. Plus, it’s built for today’s riders, offering 32mm of clearance.

$5,000 TO $11,000
$5,000 AS SHOWN WITH SHIMANO ULTEGRA Is it a race bike with comfort features or an endurance bike with aero characteristics? Yes. The Caledonia- 5 blends stable handling designed for racing Paris-Roubaix with a whopping 34mm tire clearance and integrated brake and cable lines for clean looks and minimal drag. The bike is also a fit chameleon; two cap options offer low and slammed or tall and comfortable positions without spacers.