Gadgets & Smart Home Reviews

17

The North Face's brand new Access Pack is all about getting to your gear more efficiently. It trades away two zippers for a quick-release, quick-access clip that opens up the main compartment with a single flick, making it easy to get at your stuff when you need it.

2

It's been about a year since I last jammed my finger putting together IKEA furniture. It was for my brand new apartment, and even though I broke a sweat and a little skin at the top of my hand, I saved a ton of money - that's the benefit of outfitting your home in IKEA housewares. Now, your favourite Swedish furniture brand is selling the same agonizing experience in a bicycle made for everyone.

8

This thing sucks. In a good way. The Samsung VR9300 is the most powerful robot vacuum cleaner that you can buy in Australia, and it's redesigned to be slimmer in profile than its predecessors to better slip underneath your couch and furniture to keep your house clean. Integrated Wi-Fi and a ceiling-mapping camera and onboard sensor suite means it'll guide itself around your property while you're away, and you can remotely control it to give your house a bit of a tszuj while you're out.

5

When the Mavic Pro arrived in our offices, the reaction was unanimous: holy shit, it's small. The folding drone is roughly the size and weight of a hefty Italian sandwich. This compact form factor, I'd come to learn, is a blessing and a curse for the Mavic Pro — emphasis on the blessing.

30

Commuting is bullshit. Trains are bad and buses are worse, and riding a bike is Actual Hard Work. That's why electric bikes are convenient — all the usefulness of a bicycle, with electric power to get you up hills. But that's cold comfort if you don't have anywhere to store your bike when you're in the office. Enter the URB-E, a compact electric scooter that folds up out of the way to hide under a desk, but that can also zip around the city without requiring any human effort.

0

As someone very lazy who likes to drive everywhere whenever possible, but also likes a bit of exercise every now and then, I've always been a bit intrigued by folding bikes — something I can keep in the boot and use whenever I want. I also like smart things — and that's why I think this Red Dot award-winning bike, which has built-in GPS and a digital display built into the handlebars, is a little bit cool. It's also called the Galaxy.

2

The June Oven is a super smart countertop convection oven. There's a camera built in that watches the food cook and can correctly identify what food you put in, helpfully supplying cooking modes; Wi-Fi so you can connect to the app to watch your food cook, adjust temperature, or even take set a reminder to take food out; and carbon fibre heating elements that intelligent heat depending on the food so food always comes out evenly cooked. It's all powered with an Nvidia chip making it the smartest oven you've ever used.

6

It's late, I've just plugged the Google Home voice assistant in, and I've got a fridge full of pumpkin and pie crusts and Thanksgiving is three weeks away. "OK Google, how do I make a pumpkin pie?" Google Home happily answers my question, firing off a summary of the instructions as told to it by AllRecipes.com. If I could whip eggs and beat canned pumpkin in the thirty seconds it took Home to recite the recipe, I'd have had a pie. Instead, I nod, wowed that Home can answer my question with ease, but also a little dissatisfied. It's brilliant — so close to perfection that the minor imperfection nags.