Get clued up on all the latest products, books, gadgets and gizmos with our resident Gadget Inspector. Now more comprehensive and featuring more new products than before!
If you’re planning on investing in a dashcam, you’re going to want something that delivers the best quality footage on the market. Nextbase is unrivalled in this field, since it provides a polarising filter for the lens to reduce sun glare and improve lens visibility at night. The 312GW is the newest model. Compact and lightweight, it has built-in WiFi capabilities, so you can download footage to your smartphone to share it. The 312GW also features a new magnetic mount to make removing and repositioning the camera less fiddly. With precision GPS and a really competitive price point, this offers great value-for-money. It’s on sale now in Halfords, which also provides a fitting service if you want to hardwire the device into the car.
Suitable for Apple iOS and Android
www.vallie.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org 0203 322 7112
Price Free to download (£5 per hour, £25 per day, £15 overnight)
Ever sat in two hours of traffic ten minutes from your meeting point? It’s frustrating, stressful and as common as over-priced coffee shops in Central London. Now available on both Android and Apple iOs, Vallie provides a valet parking service from where ever you specify – the drop off can be different from the pick up too. The drivers need a 20-minute heads up and they’ll come and park your car for you. The service area has been extended to include the West End and City of London. At £5 per hour, £25 per day and £15 overnight, the service has reasonable rates. Drivers are insured against damage to the car and the service is available on Saturdays, too. Check www.vallie.co.uk for more information.
On the move in an unfamiliar town or city? There are two things you need to remember: your way back to the car, and to charge your phone so you can use your map app. The Nonda Zus is a compact device, providing a solution to both of these issues. Plugging into your car’s auxiliary socket, the Zus features two USB ports, from which you can charge tablets, mobiles or even some navigation systems. When the car parks up, the sensor in the device emits a signal and this is then viewable on the companion app on your phone. Though it can be unresponsive in deep basement car parks, it’s rather handy for open air and airport car parks – particularly if you drive a nondescript coloured car.
As the sunnier weather heads to Blighty’s shores, these simple, thoughtful devices are a good way of enjoying the sun, while keeping the car cool. Tailor-made for your car model, Car Shades fit into the shape of your rear windows to provide a blackout filter for harmful UV rays and extreme sunshine, and protect rear passengers. Unlike the ‘sucker pad’ type shades, which only partially block the sunlight, these shades provide full cover in the summer, but can be removed and stored in the cooler, duller months. Car Shades is a British business, founded in 2003, looking to provide a half-way house solution between ‘sucker’ shades and tinted windows. There is currently a 10 per cent discount, too! More information on which models it is available for can be found at www.carshades.co.uk.
If the switch from analogue to digital has aged your car’s audio system considerably, it’s worth considering investing in a DAB (digital audio broadcast) adaptor. Pure’s new Highway 600 is an upgrade from the award-winning 300i. Connecting to your smartphone, it allows you to pick up DAB stations, which play through your existing equipment, stream your personal audio choices – whether music or audio books – and provides a link to your mobile phone’s hands free feature. You can make and take calls with a separate microphone, which clips conveniently to your sun visor, and the device itself can be fixed to the air vents or sit on your dashboard discretely. Keeping you safe and legal while behind the wheel, the Highway 600 also allows you to control Spotify with voice control, and is available to buy at Halfords, as well as other stockists.
Table Top Racing: World Tour is now available for Microsoft Xbox One and PC via Stream, joining gamers on the PS4 platform. This micro-combat racing game has been 18 months in the making. Following the huge success of the mobile version of the game, Table Top Racing: World Tour has been reinvented for other consoles. Featuring slick graphics, themed locations – including a Yo! Sushi restaurant – it will provide hours of entertainment. There’s 24 racetracks in Championship mode, where 12 fully customisable minature cars can battle it out car-to-car, or take on 86 different challenges. Available for up to eight players in online peer-to-peer gaming, drivers can compete to take the chequered flag. Check out www.playrisedigital.co.uk for more information on local stockists.
Swedish manufacturer Thule has released a range of more affordable roof boxes, just in time for the summer holidays. The Ocean Roof Box series starts at £140 and come in a range of shapes and sizes, depending on the car that you own. The boxes are lightweight, with security features at either the rear or to one side. Each box can take a maximum of 50 kilograms of luggage, meaning a clutter free, spacious and more comfortable cabin. The Ocean series come in a stylish gloss black and the boxes attach quickly and easily to standard or channeled roof bars. More information is available online at www.thule.co.uk or by logging onto www.roofbox.co.uk.