Essential holiday tech
Published 25/07/2015 | 02:30
It used to be a simple matter of packing sun lotion, shorts and enough paperbacks to get you through a week away. But summer holidays today present new and varied tech challenges. How do you keep kids' tablets charged up on long journeys? What's the best gadget to make sure you're keeping fit when abroad? And how can you beat the power socket scarcity in hotel rooms? Adrian Weckler looks at some of the summer's must-have holiday tech gadgets
Sony SRS-X11 portable speaker - €90 from Harvey Norman
Got your summer ghetto blaster ready? If not, Sony’s cute little X11 speaker is a feisty alternative. The small wireless cube booms out surprisingly decent sound within a certain space and can be paired up with a second one to deliver even better stereo sound. It can also be used as a hands-free Bluetooth speaker for phone calls too, including the ability to switch to a call whenever one comes in. It has an extra audio-in jack for anyone whose Bluetooth is on the blink.
GoPro Hero+ LCD - €330 from camera shops
GoPro mini-camcorders have become the standard bearer for surfers, cyclists, hikers and boarders everywhere, as they can be attached to all sorts of sports equipment. The new Hero+ LCD is the
second GoPro to add a touchscreen to the back, making it easy to review your full HD videos. It also comes baked into a waterproof housing unlike the alternate cases that come with more expensive models.
Imation Link Power Drive (16GB) - €90 from Expert
Using your iPhone to take lots of photos and videos on holiday? Most iPhones have no more than 16GB of storage, meaning you'll run out of space quickly. As well as a 3,000mAh backup battery (enough to refuel an iPhone 6), Imation's Link Power Drive also loads in 16GB of additional storage. The idea is to have an all-in-one accessory for power and
extra space when you're on the move. There's also a small flap that lets you prop your iPhone or iPad up for viewing while you charge it.
Withings Activité Pop - €160 from PC World
Unlike most fitness trackers, Withings Activité Pop is a nice-looking, unobtrusive watch. It tracks your steps, calories burned, swimming and sleep cycles. It’s also waterproof to 30m and has a programmable silent vibration alarm. Most of this is controlled using a companion iPhone app.
TP-Link 10,400mAh Power Bank - €40 from Harvey Norman
Conventional backup sources are fine but are usually limited to a single phone charge. Not only does RP-Link’s budget 10,400mAh Power Bank have a generous 10,400mAH battery itself (enough to charge the biggest smartphone three to four times over), but it can charge any two devices at the same time. And it’s relatively small with a price well under €50.
4-Port USB Mains Travel Charger - €30 from Lindy.ie
Travelling to a hotel on holidays? Some of them are mean with power sockets. Budget hotels and hostels are especially poor, with just a single available socket for the whole room. Lindy’s 4-port travel charger is a way of beating the system. It packs four USB-power connectors into a single plug, meaning you can connect several smartphones, tablets or other gadgets at the same time. It also comes with adapters for Europe and the US.
Sony MDR10RBT Wireless headphones - €200 from Argos
This is a really decent pair of Bluetooth headphones for relaxing on a plane, train or poolside deskchair. There’s cushioned leather for comfort on the earcups and on the underside of the headband. It also has audio controls and a microphone to let you make or take phone calls when it’s wirelessly connected to your phone.