The third and final part, this is for all the little things that I thought were interesting, not necessarily new, or particularly hi-tech, just being interesting will get you into this list.
Tefal were showing off their ActiFry, a product for frying food like chips without the necessity of submerging them in gallons of hot oil. A good idea but does it work? Well I tried some of the chips they were cooking up and I must say I was impressed, sure they were not nearly as good as you would get from your local chip shop (if you have a good one) but they were miles ahead of oven chips and a fair bit better than the French Fries I had with my lunch.
I was all for getting one myself and on returning home had a look on Amazon, this is where I changed my mind. Though a huge number of the reviews were positive, there were an alarming number of reviews saying either it had broken or worse, blown up. Apparently it has been featured on BBC’s watchdog as a number of them have caught fire. I love the idea and do like kitchen gadgets but I will not be getting one until there is a MK2 which corrects the design flaws.
AJ has informed me (Check the comments) that the two faults have been fixed so if you make sure you get one from a new batch and not the faulty ones you should be OK. I am going to have to reconsider my objections, those chips were yummy…
Netbooks have come on in leaps and bounds, I had a go on a Packard Bell Dot S2. This netbook is the same size as my Acer Aspire One but with the latest Atom CPU (rather than the first gen mine has) and a conventional hard disk (rather than my solid state) it was much more responsive than mine is, oh and did I mention it was running Windows 7? It even claims to have a 10 hour battery life, something only achievable on my Aspire One because of the third party battery I bought for it that sticks out the bottom, this one does it as standard! Of course you do have to pay for this and at £299 it is far from the bugget price Netbooks started out at.
The budget netbooks do exist though and Elonex have them from £99 if you are happy with a 7″ screen but after having a go on a couple of their cheaper models it is clear that you get what you pay for. The smaller models come with Windows XP or even CE one of the 7″ models. Rather worryingly the screen would not run at the native resolution on the smallest XP one without being forced in the settings, either the drivers are not up to scratch or the screen isn’t reporting its resolution back to windows correctly which is not good either way. I imagine that if I didn’t know how to get the resolution right (OK so if I had spent some time I would have worked it out) then the vast majority of their potential customers won’t either and will have trouble reading text on the screen as a result of the non native resolution which, as something that is marketed as a web browsing machine, is inexcusable.
Damn, I’m being too cynical again, must make the next bit something good… OK, how about this thing?
So you’re not bothered about 5.1, or just don’t have the room, but you want some good speakers for your telly? You want an upscaling DVD player that also plays from a USB stick iPod or SD card? Well this is all that built into a TV stand, there are two different models and I think one design or the other would look good under most peoples telly. To be fair it will probably be best to wait for copycat systems that could well be far better connection wise but if you must get one now then you need to go here.
RoboSteel were back again this year with their amazing Alien, Predator and Star Wars sculptures. I must say as much as I like those movies I can’t really see me putting a 1.2m metal sculpture of a Predator in my house. Maybe one day…
Something I can see me putting in my house is the Aquavista 500, a wall mounted fish tank, they look incredible, the idea is you can hang it up instead of a picture.
The only worry I would have with it is that a 4″ wide I’m not sure exactly what fish it is really suitable for, they looked fine at the show but even with the fancy filter system I am not sure how well fish would do in this tank. I will ask in the nearby aquatic centre when I get time and update later, I was really interested in the idea until I started researching the fish so I need to get some impartial (so not from Aquavista) advice before I start saving up the £300.
Scan were there showing off their (just released from the look of their website) PCs with SLI GTX480 cards in them, over £2000 for a PC is a lot of money though and I still say if you have £2000 to spend on a PC spend £1000 now and buy another £1000 one when it gets slow. Still, nothing will beat these beasts at the moment (Despite what the PS3 fanboys say).
Well that is it for another year (posts on the gadget show live, not the blog), I’ll have to see about getting a better camera for next time so I can take some better photos and movies…