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The latest and greatest: gadget reviews


Technology is a living entity, constantly changing with the times. This month, The Best You brings you some of the latest and greatest gadgets, all designed to make your life easier.


The Samsung Galaxy K Zoom

The camera and smartphone are no longer mere acquaintances – they’re firm friends. Like love and marriage, you can’t get one without the other, but until now, having a device that can text, surf the internet, receive emails, make phone calls, organise your calendar, and take pictures, meant settling for sub-standard photography. Like a compact camera, the Galaxy K Zoom offers 10x optical zoom to get you closer to the action. Since the lens retracts neatly into the body of the smartphone, you don’t sacrifice any convenience or portability. When you want to use it as a phone, it’s slim and sleek like a smartphone should be. Recommended retail price: €519


Humax STA-1200 BSW

This is what’s been missing for so long from slimline TV – and it adds an exciting new dimension to your total enjoyment. The STA-1200 BSW Soundbar is amazingly compact, yet, with its passive subwoofer, it delivers sensational surround sound with explosive bass. Different modes allow you to match the audio to the mood of whatever you’re watching. As well as improving the sound on your TV, the STA-1200 BSW can be connected to music devices and used to enhance the sound. Its black finish and sleek lines add a sophisticated touch to your system. Brilliant to listen to, beautiful to look at. Recommended retail price:  £200


Microsoft Office for iPad

This is a bit of a cheeky entry because it’s about software and not a gadget per say, but it does enhance an existing gadget, so we think it deserves its place on this list. Users can now download Word, Excel and Powerpoint for iPad from the App Store, with the promise of delivering an unbeatable local and cloud productivity experience. Apple does a lot of things well, namely design and usability, but they have failed to create an office software package to rival Microsoft’s. Now you can enjoy the best of both worlds, typing out your blog entries in Microsoft Word and uploading them with Safari. Available for free download in the iTunes store.


Sony MDR-HW700DS

When it comes to anything to do with sound, bigger numbers are usually better.

You may think you are satisfied with your 5.1 or 7.1 sound systems, but that satisfaction might not last long. The latest wireless headphones from Sony offer a 9.1 audio experience – one that comes without a room cluttered with loudspeakers. Sony calls it Virtualphones Technology, which, they say, reproduces the effect of multi-channel speakers. The headphones are designed for absolute aural pleasure and are a must-have for any music aficionado. The only downside to this amazing aural experience is the whopping price tag. Recommended retail price: £450


iRobot Scooba 450

We live in a world with robots, and we make them scrub our floors. While you let that absurdity settle, consider the new iRobot Scooba 450, which, like its carpet cleaning cousin the Roomba, is a pizza-shaped robot that only exists to make your tiled and hardwood floors clean. Just fill the tank, press CLEAN, and the Scooba Three-Cycle Cleaning Process automatically sweeps and pre-soaks, scrubs, then squeegees your floors, tackling stuck-on messes and washing away over 99.3 per cent of bacteria. The Scooba is available from the iRobot website, but you might have to get in line – these babies won’t stay on the shelves for long.Recommended retail price: £599.99


Koubachi Wi-Fi Plant Sensor

Not all of us were born with a green thumb, so we may need a little help from time to time. Enter the Koubachi Wi-Fi Plant Sensor, which has been designed especially for the gardening novices out there. All you have to do is stick it in the soil; it will collect all the data (sunlight, temperature and moisture levels) you need to know what you can plant there. Once you have planted your saplings, you can analyse the data on your PC or with a smartphone app to determine the exact needs of your plant. The Koubachi will stand watch, sending an alert to your phone when your plants need attention. Recommended retail price: £99.95



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