Tech a break: Nine must-have gadgets for the festive season
It's that time of the year when we can kick back and indulge our holidaying selves with the best gizmos money can buy
Are we there yet? Have we finally arrived at the part of the year where we can shamelessly enjoy ourselves and ignore cabinet reshuffles, our dwindling bank balances and bosses’ phone calls?
It’s time to make the best of the glorious warm weather and holiday in style. In order to do that best, pack your luggage or boot with the best gadgets money can buy.
1. BOBBY ANTI-THEFT LAPTOP BACKPACK BY XD DESIGN
Sure, we could recommend a power bank, but why not make your bag charge your phone for you?
This gender-neutral and not at all ugly backpack has a pocket for every occasion and is designed to keep your stuff safe as a result of its hidden zipping mechanism.
Having been pickpocketed, I can attest this is a nice feature to have.
2. ULTIMATE EARS WONDERBOOM WATERPROOF, MUDPROOF PORTABLE SPEAKER
Never leave home without it. This nifty little ball of (wicked) sound allows you to bring the party with you everywhere you go – and we mean everywhere. Its robust body can pack a punch in any situation, be it the beach or the bush, and even Durban’s humidity won’t get it down. With one charge you get more than nine hours of play, so the hits can keep coming.
3. NINTENDO SWITCH
There is nothing more family friendly than Mario Kart and nothing more travel-ready than this portable gaming wonder. Nintendo continues to smash it out of the park with their console that can ninja itself into a TV or handheld system, guaranteeing quiet in the back seat for hours on end. Now that the newest (and most awesome) Pokémon games Let’s go Pikachu! and Let’s go Eevee! are out, you are practically sorted for the whole of December. 4. iPAD PRO AND BRYDGE KEYBOARD
Let’s not pretend you are not going to work at least once this holiday. E-mails are going to come a-creeping, despite the general shutdown, but you can leave your ugly, heavy work laptop behind and take the iPad Pro instead. It comes alive when you pair it with a Brydge keyboard, turning it into a versatile mini-laptop (and it’s cheaper than a MacBook). It not only allows for a lot more space in your luggage, due to its compact size and singular USB charging cable, but the battery lasts up to 12 hours. Another plus is the kids can doodle on it when they’re not playing Fortnite or streaming movies in another room.
5. KINDLE OASIS
Holidays are made for reading and preferably with the sea at your feet. We prefer paper books but they are not waterproof, as the Oasis claims to be. The new design of this reader sees the Kindle in better shape – thinner, lighter, more ergonomic – than before. Another plus is that the battery lasts for a week.
6. BOSE SLEEPBUDS
These little guys are designed for one thing – to help you snooze – and what’s more relaxing on holiday than finally getting some well-deserved shut-eye? The buds come with an app that helps lull you to sleep with 10 soothing tracks, in case the soundproofing isn’t enough. There’s an alarm for when you need to rejoin the world.
7. PORTABLE CAR REFRIGERATOR COOLER & WARMER
Keep your cool on the road this festive season with this Portable Car Refrigerator Cooler & Warmer. Not only does it keep your drinks cool and food from spoiling, it can also heat milk and tea – a perfect dual-function travel accessory. Padkos is an important part of any journey, so this one is a no-brainer.
8. BASU PERSONAL ALARM
Keep those thieving vervet monkeys at your luxury lodge at bay this festive season with this mini alarm system. Basu describes it as “small in size but big in sound” and it delivers on that promise. Not only does it clip onto things that contain your precious belongings but it can also be turned into a tripwire, like in the movies. You can get it from Amazon and, now that they have partnered with Aramex, your stuff will actually get delivered (side-eyes the Post Office backlog).
9. FITBIT VERSA
Whether you are trawling the Paris Christmas markets or walking on the beach at Plett, make sure every step counts – or at least is counted. The newest Fitbit watches are easier on the eye, and wallet, than ever before but still packed full of everything you need in a smartwatch. Plus, unlike their ultra-cool second cousin the Apple Watch, they can be paired with any phone. They have a battery that lasts four days.