Top gadgets 2013: Best gizmos this month [March 2013]

March 28, 2013

Gather round, Dubai. It’s that time of the month again, where we round up the hottest gadgets of the month and wreak havoc on your retirement account.

From the world’s smallest router – and computer – to a wireless charging stand and a 3000$+ wireless audio amplifier, here’s T3’s crave list for the month of March 2013. Enjoy – or weep.

 

tylt charging stand wireless

1. Sexy Wireless Charging Stand: Tylt Vu

No, it’s not a designer shoe horn or a fun slide for mice; it’s the Tylt Vu, and if your smartphone charges wirelessly using the Qi standard, it’s your next must-have accessory. Drop a handset into its 45-degree cradle and microscopic nanobots pass from the 5W charger directly into your battery and restore it to health. Comes in yellow, blue, red or black, for whatever phone side you’re batting for this term.

Price: $75 | Tylt | Out April

 

Asus small router mini

2. World’s Smallest Router: Asus WL-330NUL USB

Proclaimed “the world’s smallest router” and clocking in at roughly the size of a packet of Extra chewing gum, this pocket rocket connects to your laptop via USB and to the web via ethernet and also has N Wi-Fi up to 150Mbps. Thus, ownership means you become a walking wireless access point for all laptops and portable devices in the local area when the crappy B&B your work checked you into for the away-day has ethernet but not Wi-Fi.

Price: $TBC | Asus | Out February

 

BB Dubai Blackberry q10

3. BlackBerry Q10: For All The Touchscreen Haters of the Middle East

Are you a BlackBerry fan but finding that the all-touchscreen Z10 isn’t doing it for you? The Q10 retains the full keyboard that made BlackBerry what it is today – no, not a laughing stock, behave. It’s got a 1.5GHz dualcore CPU, a 3.1-inch touchscreen and the swipe-happy new BB10 OS, with more apps and media stuff, plus 4G and NFC.

Price: £TBC | BlackBerry | Out April

 

 

denon audiophile headphones best

4. Super-Audiophile Earphones: Denon AH-C400

These high-end buds are so acoustically pure it’s claimed in the accompanying literature that the experience is, “Like hearing your favourite song for the first time.” But then how will you know you’re going to like it?! Dual-balanced armature drivers are encased in a die-cast, zinc housing totaling a hefty 9g, while the tangle-resistant, Teflon-coated cable packs in an in-line remote and mic. A free Denon iOS app lets you change and save equaliser settings, so the sound is as individual as your ears, but less mucky and gross.

Price: $350 | Denon | Out now

 

 

­epson 3d projector

5. Great 3D Projector For The Price: Epson EH-TW9100

This projector beams images in 3D at 2,400 Lumens with a contrast ratio to 320,000: 1 (that’s what scientists call “quite bright and rather contrasty”). A bespoke system helps quell judder, with 3D crosstalk also kept in check. Two pairs of active 3D specs are thrown in, so you can show your new-big-TV owning mate exactly how much better your setup is.

Price: $2,600 | Epson | Out now

 

 

second portable screen

6. Portable Battery-Operated Screen: GeChic On-Lap 2501M

Any desk is made instantly more productive with the addition of a second monitor, especially if it’s used for watching the cricket and Vine montages of cats, hats, and cats wearing hats. Thankfully, this 15.6-inch, 720p, battery-powered screen is a scant 14mm deep and can be folded away the second the boss starts walking your way. HDMI, MHL and VGA sort you out, connections-wise.

Price: $240| Minland Tech | Out now

 

 

iphone battery pack

7. iPhone Battery-Booster Case: Mophie Juice Pack Helium

Check your email, take a photo, browse a website, check your email again, send a Tweet, look at Google Maps… annnnd your iPhone’s dead. Yet the first battery-boosting case designed specifically for before-teatime iPhone 5 death alleviates the problem via the gift of 1500mAh power. That’s enough for six hours of talk time, 30 hours of audio, seven hours of video or net surfing via Wi-Fi “en plus”, as the French say. You recharge it via USB, with an LED indicator letting you know when you need to plug in. It offers decent additional protection, too.

Price: $80| Mophie | Out now

 

 

raspberry pi A

8. World’s Cheapest (and Smallest?) Computer: Raspberry Pi Model A

The second coming of Raspberry Pi, the stripped-down, back-to-basics PC, is even more stripped-down and has somehow increased back-to-basics levels. With just one USB port, no ethernet connection and a meagre 256MB of RAM, it’s consequently now cheaper than some mouse mats, despite still being a fully-functional, 700MHz Linux computer. Force your kids to learn to code on it, then watch them coin it in, retire at 50 and sponge on them till you kick the bucket.

Price: $25 | Farnell | Out now

 

 

roksan oxygene amplifier

9. High-End Wireless Amplifier for Your Phone: Roksan Oxygene

The original Oxygene album converted a few analogue synths and about three musical ideas into gazillions of euros for Jean Michel Jarre. Now its amplifier namesake converts compressed audio from your smartphone or tablet into CD-quality sound, via 16 Bluetooth channels and dual 75W outputs. The “Less is More” logo stamped across the top is a touch-sensitive volume control – obvious, really – and there’s a CD player built in, also offering CD-quality sound.

Price: $3,000 | Roksan | Out now

 

 

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10. Wireless Active Speakers: Roth OLi POWA-5

The 80W amp in this active loudspeaker combines with Bluetooth connectivity to create a fearsome addition to your audio arsenal. If your traditionalist roots still won’t acknowledge wireless audio as a “thing”, though, wired connections include twin USB ports, optical digital inputs, a stereo analogue connection and the trusty 3.5mm jack. The one-inch soft dome tweeter is complemented by a five-inch Kevlar woofer and a single cable that connects the active speaker to its passive twin for dual 40W output. Technobabbled out? Luckily, the relevant page on Roth’s website has some more layman’s advice: “Place either side of your TV for really involving audio to your movies.” That’ll do the trick…

Price: $250 | Roth Audio | Out now

by Simon Khoury
Molecular Biologist turned technology journalist, Simon moved from browsing genomes to dissecting gadgets and putting them through T3's battery of tests. He is currently the Editor for T3me.com, and a contributing editor to the Arabic and English editions of T3 Middle East magazine. He takes special interest in high performance computer systems, high-end smartphones, the indie gaming scene, and productivity boosting software. He is also an avid reader, science afficionado and a picky gamer. You can contact him at webeditor(at)t3me.com.