5 top gadgets for January

Olly Mann

From trading to telly watching, these gadgets mean you’ll start the New Year with a new passion.

Gadgets:
 

MiPosaur

£99.99

MiPosaur

When I was eight, the highlight of my Saturday mornings was Denver: The Last Dinosaur, an animated series depicting a group of tweens hanging out with a corythosaurus who played the guitar.

26 years too late comes the MiPosaur, an interactive robotic dino that not only dances, but also spins, turns, sits and purrs at your command.

Just like a puppy, he’ll chase a ball, come for walkies and scare the hell out of your cat. Unlike a puppy, you can lock him in the cupboard when it’s all getting a bit much.

 

Varidesk Pro Plus 36 

£350

varidesk pro plus 36

I’ll admit it, working from home is quite laid back. But desk-bound days are dangerously sedentary—a situation hardly helped by the fact that the kitchen is mere steps away.

Varidesk is one of those newfangled “standing desks” you’ve heard about; a metal workstation that rests atop your table. Just squeeze its two cantilevers and it rises up to become a standing terminal in three seconds flat.

At first it made me feel like a high-powered New York executive, jogging on a treadmill while bellowing “BUY!’ ‘SELL!” into an 80s mobile phone. But, over time, it’s become second nature to vary my work position.

 

Sky Q

Price TBC

sky q

The arrival of Sky+ in 2002 was a watershed moment, bringing us Brits the chance to record and pause live TV. But in recent years we’ve been spoiled for choice; many of us “cutting the cord” to our satellite or cable service in favour of cheaper online options such as Netflix and (Sky’s own) NowTV.

This 2TB box is Sky’s bid to keep us plugged in. It can simultaneously stream live, recorded or on-demand programmes on up to five TVs or tablets—all while recording four other channels in ultra HD.

Time to adjust our expectations of subscription TV once again.

 

Apps:

 

For Apple: Bux

Free

Brux

If you’re intrigued by the idea of trading shares but haven’t the foggiest idea how to begin, this simple app is a great introduction.

First you learn to play the market for free, divvying up your “funbux” on real companies in a safe fantasyfootball-style environment.

Then, advanced users can upgrade to trade with real cash. Fear not, the app is configured so you can’t lose more than you invest.

 

For Android: Tossup

Free

tossup app

I swear by Doodle—the smart social-planning website that calculates the most convenient date for your group of mates to meet up for dinner.

Microsoft’s Tossup goes one stage further—participants vote on a restaurant, menu, dress code or anything else you’d like to outsource to the hive mind of your friends.

Your enthusiasm for this will, I suspect, depend on your general approach to organisation...