6 Gadgets to switch on when you need to switch off

BY Olly Mann

1st Jan 2015 Technology

6 Gadgets to switch on when you need to switch off

From speedy coffee machines to sophisticated e-readers, tech can help you to switch off and our resident Inspector Gadget, Olly Mann, is here to tell us how. 

Nespresso Prodigio


nespresso prodigio

Current coffee technology isn’t about improving taste so much as refining the speed with which you get a cup into your caffeine-hungry hands. First, we saw supermarkets offer up a torrent of ready-to-drink coffees, then we got apps to tell us which nearby coffee chain has the shortest queue.

Now a gadget from Magimix that is, essentially, the 21st-century teasmade: a Bluetooth-enabled Nespresso machine. So, order your coffee from your bed, or on the bus home, and have it ready when you get to the kitchen. Quick enough for you?!


Kindle Oasis



Considering Amazon flog their Fire tablets for under 50 quid, it’s in some ways surprising that they’ve launched this premium product: a Kindle with a plush leather charging cover, which will set you back over £300 if you want 3G.

A bit steep for a device running old-fashioned, laggy, black-and-white E-ink? Well, yes and no: if you read a lot of books, you’re buying yourself hours of pleasure—the ergonomic redesign has satisfying physical buttons to turn the page and feels more like holding a real paperback, as the weight is distributed towards your hand as you read.

Kindle Paperwhite remains better value, but this is the Rolls-Royce of e-readers.


Onja Stove


onja stove

When hipsters and camping collide, fashion takes a back seat. How can you come across all counter-cultural cool while shlepping a tent, 20 beer cans and an inflatable mattress across a muddy field? 

You can’t (or at least I can’t). But at least your portable stove can look awesome. This two-burner folds down into a “briefcase”, replete with a cream finish and oak trim.

It’s a bit of a mad idea, the kind of thing that will fox the future presenters of The Antiques Roadshow when your grandchildren turn up with one in 2095. But it really is very 'Now'.


Apple app: Ulysses



Attempt to write a novel on most word-processing apps and your phone display becomes so dominated by the touch-screen keyboard and formatting buttons, there’s precious little room for your text.

Ulysses provides clean, white space, yet with professional annotation tools a mere swipe away. Documents sync to iCloud and can be converted to doc, PDF or ebook format.


Android app: The Moron Test


the moron test

Countless games have me frustrated; very few make me laugh out loud. But this app arouses both reactions simultaneously.

Apparently, under pressure, I can’t rank cartoon eyeballs by size. I cannot refrain from tapping big red buttons, even when there’s a clear command at the top of the screen that says, “Do Not Press The Button”.

Am I a moron? Best keep playing to find out…

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