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Top tech: five of the coolest gadgets this week


By Henry Winchester


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Date Added: 4th April 2014
214_tid_3 panasonic.jpg

Check out our pick of this week's newest tech, including Panasonic's new Toughpad FZ-M1, a durable tablet fit for Photoshopping on the go...


Introduction

Thanks to April Fool's Day putting together this week's Top Tech has been a minefield. Lots of new products are announced, and we find ourselves wondering if they're real or not. Samsung and HTC announced gloves with built in smartphones, Lego unveiled its plans to deliver Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle playsets via live turtle, and Honda invited us to put together our own car.

Fortunately, we use a bit of common sense and this week's list only consists of actual real things you can buy. Among them are Amazon's revolutionary set top box, Sony's awesome headphones, a toughened tablet and speaker, and a clever self-balancing beer-toting robot. Then again, that robot does sound a little suspect...


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1. Amazon Fire TV

214_tid_1 amazon.jpg
© Amazon

Amazon's $99 box promises to bring over 200,000 TV episodes and movies, as well as songs and games to your television. It's billed as the next big thing in any connected home, and it includes some beefy specifications, such as a quad core processor, Dolby surround sound and voice recognition. It's out in the US, but there's no word on a UK release date yet.

2. Sony MDR-HW700DS

214_tid_2 sony.jpg
© Sony

According to Sony these cans are the first in the world to offer 9.1 surround sound, so you can pinpoint shotgun blasts in games and become fully immersed in cinematic worlds. They're wireless, too, so you needn't worry about garroting yourself when a colleague taps you on the shoulder. No word on price, but we guess the pretty sounds will cost a pretty penny.

3. Panasonic Toughpad FZ-M1

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© Panasonic

The most annoying thing about buying a new tablet is that you've got to buy a bunch of cases, screen protectors and special bags to keep it from getting damaged. Panasonic's Toughpad FZ-M1 negates the need to spend a small fortune at Carphone Warehouse because it's as tough as old boots from the word go. The 7-incher even runs Windows 8 for Photoshop malarkeys while you're mountaineering.

4. The BIG Turtle Shell

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© Outdoor Tech Design Lab

We love the stealth-pebble looks of this wireless speaker, which is currently seeking funds via Kickstarter. It's a perfect partner for the Panasonic tablet, too - it'll withstand water, shocks and dust, and it pumps out your tunes at a whopping 110 decibels. A particularly neat feature is that you can charge phones from its capacious battery, and at the time of writing it'll only set you back a $140 (£84) pledge.

5. MiP

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© Firebox

Billed as a robot butler, MiP is a self-balancing robot which can carry a can of drink without falling over. You can either control it with a smartphone app, or use gestures to tell it what to do. It even comes with game modes, including one where you stack objects on its tray and try and keep it upright. You can pre-order it from Firebox for £99.

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