2018s Best Gadgets for Gamers

There are far more gadgets now than there was at the beginning of the year, much to many gamers delight.  It can be hard to keep track of all this new technology. PC gamers are generally keeping their software and hardware up to date with the latest versions, but what other gadgets have been introduced in 2018 to make their gaming experience even better?

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950x

This high-end processor will be on the wish list of most gamers. It is known to be the most powerful processor ever made for gamers. It has 16 cores with 32 threads, 40 MB of cache memory with a 4.2GHz superfast clock speed. It also has quad-channel DDR4, which gamers will love.  This is likely to replace Intel processors over the next few years, although great progress is also being made with those as well.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX Graphics Card

This product is about to change gaming. Boosted by the latest NVIDIA Turing GPU and the new and more powerful RTX platform, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics card delivers a performance that is amazing. It combines artificial intelligence with real-time ray tracing and programmable shading. It has been called the king of all graphics cards and is proving to be a gamers dream.

Gunner Sheadog Computer And Gaming Glasses

Playing games for several hours at a time puts a strain on a gamer’s eyes. If the eyes start to become tired and sore, the quality of the gaming experience will diminish.  These gaming glasses are specially designed to reduce the strain and to block out the blue light. As gamers often play for 6 or 7 hours at a time, protection for their eyes is very important.

Razer Mamba Rechargeable Wireless PC Gaming Mouse

A good mouse if vital for gamers, particularly if they are playing action games. This mouse is known to be ones of the best gaming ones available, and gamers can choose to use it wirelessly or wired in. It does support both options. It has mouse sensors of 16000 DPI and also comes with RGB lighting.  It is a very attractive and desirable gadget for most gamers.

Corsair Gaming K95 RGB PLATINUM Mechanical Keyboard

When gamers have tried a mechanical keyboard they do not generally switch back to membrane ones. The keys are more precise, and the Corsair K95 is one of the best on the market. It has Cheery6 MX speed RGB mechanical switches and 6 programmable G keys that will alter the gaming experience. It comes with a brushed aluminium frame, which enhances the better experience it provides for gamers.

More And More New Gadgets

There are many other gadgets available for all types of gaming, whether it is a PC, console or on digital devices. The choice is enormous, and new ones are being unveiled all the time.

These are some of the best gadgets for PC gamers from 2018. There is no doubt that development in technology will continue, and it remains to be seen what new innovations appear in 2019.

Stay Safe Behind The Wheel With These Handy Gadgets

When you are in the driver’s seat, you need to make sure that you and your passengers are as safe as possible at all times. Sure, the best way to ensure this is by driving safely and following all of the various rules of the road. But that will only get you so far. It’s also advisable to invest in some of the top safety gadgets that are currently on the market. These can help to keep you as alert as possible to the environment around you, as well as making you aware of some not-so-obvious risks. Here are some of the best safety gadgets that you might want to consider for your vehicle.

Pixabay

Satnav

Satnav in a car might not seem like a gadget that can keep you safe, but it actually does have that benefit. If you aren’t too sure where you are heading, driving without a satnav can be quite nerve-wracking. Your nerves could easily leave you feeling very anxious. When we feel like this, it can be all too easy to end up making a rash decision when behind the wheel, and these can put us in danger. For instance, you might end up in the wrong lane, and trying to quickly correct that could lead to a collision with another unsuspecting vehicle.

Dash Cam

Have you ever thought about putting a dash cam into your car? Lots of other drivers are, especially employers who need a truck dash cam in each professional vehicle to monitor their fleet and employees’ driving. Your dash cam can monitor a range of data for you, depending on the type you get, but it can also provide evidence in the even that you are involved in a crash. You will be able to replay the footage to see who really was at fault.

Pixabay

Bluetooth Car Kit

We all know that it is incredibly unsafe to use your mobile phone when you are driving. Not only is it unsafe, but it is also highly illegal. Well, there is a way around all this. You just need to install a Bluetooth kit into the car. These kits allow you to connect your phone to your car via the Bluetooth connection. Then you will be able to safely answer your phone completely hands-free. These kits are so popular now that many car manufacturers are adding them to their new cars.

Blind Spot Mirrors

One of the most dangerous things about driving is the blind spot. This is the spot on the road that cannot be seen while looking in the mirrors or straight ahead. If there is a car in your blind spot, you could completely miss it and might drive into it. These days, there is a solution that can completely get rid of this spot – blind spot mirrors! You just attach them onto the wing mirror, and then you can look clearly into your blind spot.

It is highly recommended that you use most of these safety gadgets so that you are never in any danger while driving.

 

The Gadget Man – Episode 118 – Facebook Hacking Scams Explained

Not a day passes without one of our Facebook friends informing us of the hacking attempts, breached accounts or worse. Most of this information is incorrect, but of course, it is good for people to remain vigilant at all times.

I spoke to James Hazell on BBC Radio Suffolk about Facebook ‘hacks’ and explained the reality that most of these are false.

A great place to check for spam and chain letters is Snopes, they are a great resource and of course spending 5 minutes investigating whether something is true or not, stops false information spreading.

Snopes has made a very informative video explaining this and many other scams, you can read about it here

Don’t forget to subscribe to our Podcast!

 

The Gadget Man – Episode 117 – The benefits of Dashcams

Dashcams have officially become commonplace in society. As more and more drivers use our roads, the chances of accidents increase and being able to accurately document such unfortunate incidents has become more important than ever, especially with the rise in fraudulent claims.

I spoke to Mark Murphy on BBC Radio Suffolk about the use of dashcams and also helmet cams for cyclists and my personal recollections of having to use video evidence to report a motorist.

Image Credit: SWNS

 

Gadget Man – Review – Transcend DrivePro 550 – Driver and Passenger Safety, both inside and out

I’ve been doing a lot of driving over the past few weeks and consequently, I’ve had the chance to test a few different gadgets that help to keep us safe and use a variety of different methods to track the driving habits of both ourselves and others. This month’s review is the Transcend DrivePro 550 dashcam, a camera that not only films ahead of your vehicle, but also features a 180° rotatable second camera to capture the interior of a vehicle and provides protection for both driver and passengers.

As with other Transcend cameras, the DrivePro 550 was exceedingly easy to install. The camera comes with a powerful suction mount and a very long Micro USB power cable with built-in 12v plug allowing for permanent installation in most vehicles. A 32gb MicroSD card is also supplied in the packaged, which gives hours of video footage capture.

The front-facing camera features a Sony 1080p image sensor with a wide angle lens recording at 30fps. The second rotatable camera is packed with four infrared LED’s which automatically trigger in low light or night. Both give extremely good results with the second camera recording 720p video. The dashcam recording 2 separate videos concurrently, timestamping them and adding geo-tagging information using both GPS and GLONASS satellite tracking which gives very accurate positioning information.

The front facing camera using special Wide Dynamic Range technology, which equalises both dark and light areas of the video to ensure that bright skies are not blown out and darker parts easy to recognise. The results were excellent!

Aside from simply recording video footage, the DrivePro 550 also features a WiFi mode which allows you to connect to the camera using your smartphone or tablet via Transcends own app. You can then video live footage on a larger screen or access the video files already recorded and transfer them to your device. I noted that I could only display either front or rear facing cameras, not both at the same time using the app. I could, however, see both on the rear built-in 2.4” colour TFT screen.

The camera comes with a built-in battery which ensures continued video recording in event of an accident or in ‘parking mode’. The camera can detect accidents and record the video in ‘emergency mode’, making it much more difficult to delete. Parking mode can be used to detect movement in the field of view of the camera and begin recording whilst you are away from the car.

Other useful settings are ‘lane departure’ warning, forward collision warning (when you get too close to the car in front), a heads-up display for current speed, headlight warning and driver fatigue reminders.

What sets this camera apart from standard dashcams is the interior facing camera, a feature which would appeal to delivery companies, transport providers, taxi and chauffeur companies. It allows for the recording of driver behaviour to ensure appropriate behaviour and both driver and passenger safety, I thought it was a great feature and the addition of infrared cameras makes it superb for night driving.

The camera is priced reasonably at around £140 and can be ordered from Amazon using this link: https://amzn.to/2S829d8

Matt Porter
The Gadget Man

Gadget Man – Episode 116 – Digital Photo Overload

Twenty years ago, we all relied on photographic film when taking pictures of friends, family or interesting places and landmarks. We were always very careful how and when we took these photos as at the time exposures were limited to either 24 or 36, there was also the case of having the photos developed by the nearest lab. The entire process would take from days to weeks depending on whether we were to wait until our return from our holidays.

Oh, how things have changed! We can now snap away with abandon and anything and everything! There is now no limit to how many photos we take, the storage on our cameras or phones allowing for thousands. If we do begin to fill up our devices, we can push these photos to ‘the cloud’ and start again.

In this episode, I speak to BBC Radio Suffolk about how many photos we now store and how we can safely store them away for future generations. I also talk about the possibility of hardware failure which can result in the loss of our memories.

 

Gadget Man – Episode 115 – To Binge or Not to Binge? The Rise and Rise of Streaming TV

With the incredible rise in popularity of on-demand streaming services from Netflix, Amazon Prime, Google Play, NowTV, Rakatun and more, there is now no better time to watch our favourite movies and TV programmes.

We can now consume our TV using a variety of devices - Image Credit: Netflix
We can now consume our TV using a variety of devices – Image Credit: Netflix

We are not just simply watching TV, we are ‘consuming’ it! This fascination and above all, choice of programming has led millions of people to ‘binge’ on entire TV series over short periods. Evenings can now be spent watching multiple episodes of a series, with seemingly limitless content being served up automatically at the end of each episode, with entirely new content provided at the end of series.

The BBC have not ignored this either, they too are releasing entire series on their platform iPlayer whilst broadcasting the series in the standard week on week format on traditional television.

Now we are all comfortable with the digital switch-over, the set-top boxes can now begin serving up content over the internet without us even realising this is happening, the broadcasters have found their pot of gold.

Stranger Things has been a massive success for Netflix - Image Credit: Netflix
Stranger Things has been a massive success for Netflix – Image Credit: Netflix

Personally, I am a massive Breaking Bad fan, now enjoying it’s spin-off prequel Better Call Saul, both available on Netflix, but switching to Amazon Prime for The Grand Tour and watching movies on Google Play, all available using low-cost devices from Amazon, Roku, Apple and many more!

Apple also have been investing heavily in the streaming marketplace - Image credit: Apple Inc
Apple has also been investing heavily in the streaming marketplace with their Apple TV  – Image credit: Apple Inc

We have now turned a corner, once this technology was the go-to place for our kids, now we have embraced it, there is no going back. Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Google and Sky are now the streaming big hitters with astronomically large budgets, high-quality content and the power to break the traditional status quo enjoyed in the UK by the BBC and ITV.

Now WE decide what we watch.

Listen to my interview with Mark Murphy from BBC Radio Suffolk, where I talk enthusiastically about my personal experience of binge-watching streaming TV.

Matt Porter
The Gadget Man

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Gadget Man – Episode 114 – Too Much Smartphone Part II

You might remember a few weeks back, I talked about how smartphones have now officially taken over our lives, squeezing into every social, domestic and work situation.

Today, I spoke to James Hazell on BBC Radio Suffolk about how our very Government is considering investigating how to make the use of a smartphone safer for us all.

China continues to innovate in this area by providing ‘mobile friendly’ footpaths for phone users to protect them from walking into each other or falling into fountains!

A designated 'Cellphone Sidewalk' in Chongqing, China. Photo credit: China Daily/Reuters
A designated ‘Cellphone Sidewalk’ in Chongqing, China.
Photo credit: China Daily/Reuters

While you sit and ponder how we as an advanced civilisation found ourselves in this position? Why not listen into my interview with James.

If you like what you read or listen to, why not ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ this story.

DJI Osmo Mobile 2 – Affordable High End Image Stabilisation on your Smartphone

The Steadicam was launched more than 40 years ago and since then we have become accustomed to seeing smooth video at sporting events and in movies, most famously in the classic horror ‘The Shining’ with Jack Nicholson. This high-end equipment costs many thousands of pounds and thus keeps it well out the reach of hobbyists or home users.

Orwell Bridge Motion Timelapse

Over the past few years, the technology associated with expensive motion picture equipment has found its way into the consumer market, once heavy and cumbersome, the large motors needed to stabilise heavy camera equipment has now been replaced by tiny brushless motors powerful enough to steady our mobile phones.

DJI Osmo Mobile 2
DJI Osmo Mobile 2

As a commercial drone pilot, I have experienced DJI’s camera stabilising technology first hand using their drones which employ identical techniques to keep footage smooth in windy conditions, so I was excited to experience the DJI Osmo Mobile 2 Smartphone Stabiliser.

The Osmo Mobile 2 allows for the capture of extremely smooth footage using an Android or iPhone to capture the video itself. The mobile device is slotted into a rubber padded clamp, balanced manually using the adjuster on the Osmo. This initial adjustment means that the device doesn’t have to work as hard to stabilise the device and thus extends the life of the battery and motors when in use.

Orwell Bridge Motion Timelapse

DJI provides an app for both Android and iPhone to directly control the device via Bluetooth LE 4.0 and also includes a USB socket to allow you to charge your phone. DJI state up to a 15 battery life, so you should be able to comfortably use the device and maintain your phone battery life with plenty to spare.

After installing the device, you switch on the Osmo by long-pressing the button on the handle, the Gimbal springs into life, balances your mobile device and suddenly it appears to float in mid-air, silently holding your phone completely steady!

You can use the DJI GO app to take movies, photographs, panoramas and even Live Stream to Facebook, YouTube an more. The Osmo can be set to smoothly following your hand motion, removing judder whilst filming or can be set to maintain the position of the phone.

DJI Osmo Mobile Stabilised Video

For more advanced uses, there is Timelapse, Hyperlapse and Motion Timelapse. All of these modes produce really impressive results, my favourite was Motion Timelapse which allowed me to take speeded up sunsets and even panoramic shots of large structures, by setting the start, middle and end points of the movie, choosing a lapse time and the number of frames, when you click Go, the camera very slowly pans and produces a smooth and stable sweeping timelapse video, it was very impressive. The standard tripod screw mount at the base of the Osmo allows you to attach it to a tripod, so no tired arms when producing your masterpiece.

At 485g, the Osmo Mobile 2 is very light but feels high quality in the hand, you do also have to take into account the weight of the device you are going to use. The Osmo is comfortable stabilising anything from the size of an iPhone SE to an iPhone 7s, but check your phone is compatible before purchasing, especially with an Android device.

DJI Osmo Mobile 2
DJI Osmo Mobile 2

This is the second iteration of the Osmo Mobile and DJI have successfully brought down the cost of the original model without forsaking built quality and features. If you are a budding ‘vlogger’ or like taking footage of family and friends, this may be the gadget for you. There is even a ‘Selfie Mode’ with and object tracking to keep you all in the picture wherever you might be!

At £129, the DJI Osmo Mobile 2 is good value for money, has great battery life and the features are great too. I loved it!

The Gadget Man

www.thegadgetman.org.uk

Watch DJI’s Bigger Picture Reveal LIVE!!

Thanks for joining us for the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom and Mavic 2 Pro live reveal. Personally, I’m looking forward to trying both of these devices, the Mavic Pro was a game changer, so the improvements announced today and going to give pilots even greater opportunity to produce outstanding footage.

 

 

 

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