Good connections can get you a long way – I’m talking free wedding stationary, a signed Take That album and a hug from my childhood hero, Philip Schofield. Oh, and they can also really help out when it comes to technology.Read more →
I don’t know exactly when it happened. But suddenly, breakfast in the Girl About Tech household has become less about soggy Weetabix and more about baked eggs and chorizo with a glass of green juice. Gone, too, are the days of eating it clandestinely and in a bit of a rush – instead, it’s become something to savour in good company. Who wants to catch up over cocktails after work when we could be chowing down on Huevos Rancheros at The Breakfast Club?Read more →
Like Steps and The Backstreet Boys, black kitchen appliances were a big thing in the ’90s, yet seem to have taken a back seat to stainless steel and white ever since. Well, until now, that is, because in true ‘Big Reunion’ stylee, this darkest of shades is making a comeback.
It’s not hard to see why. Sultry and sophisticated, black won’t show up every fingermark or speck of dirt like white or steel would, and works perfectly with equally on-trend black cabinets like these from Linda Barker at Wren……or this more modern look from B&QRead more →
Yes, whether I’m firing up my old Commodore C64, bleeps and screetches and all, or making a cake with my Mum’s ancient Kenwood Chef, I can’t help but come over all sentimental. They might not be the prettiest gadgets, but they were built to last, and I dread the day the C64 will no longer load up Treasure Island Dizzy or that trusty mixer whisks its last meringue. Hankies will certainly be at the ready.
So when Dualit told me it was launching a campaign to find its oldest working toaster, I was understandably intrigued and wanted to help. So I am putting a shout out to you, dear readers, to see if you have an ancient model on your countertop or at the back of a cupboard that’s still able to toast today?Read more →
The first of the summer’s big UK music festivals kicks off this weekend on the Isle of Wight, and if you’re lucky enough to have tickets, no doubt a tent, sleeping bag, beer and wet wipes have already made it into your rock ‘n’ roll rucksack. But have you considered what tech you’re going to take?
Yes, even if you’re going for the day, I’m pretty sure you won’t want to be left without a flat phone battery – or worse, without a phone. And how are you going to take a photo of the band when you’re stood behind The Tallest Man In The World TM and don’t have a selfie stick?!
With these issues and more in mind, I’ve come up with my list of festival tech essentials. Have fun, kids!Read more →
Yay! The summer holidays are nearly upon us, which means it’s time to find someone to feed the cat and water the plants, or decide whether to trust any older children home alone while you head off for a week or two in the sun.
Aah yes, a week or two on a beach relaxing sounds like bliss… except that if you have left a loved one behind – be it pet or person – it’s hard not to wonder what they are up to. So you might be interested to know that Netgear has come up with an impressive little camera you can use to keep an eye on things back at home.Read more →
Clearly, someone didn’t get the memo that it’s June. I’m planning a birthday barbecue for Boy about Tech this weekend, but despite the positive weather forecast, I’m convinced ‘rain will stop play’ at some point. Perhaps I need to get myself one of these – the Indoor Outdoor BBQ Grill from George Foreman.
Granted, it won’t give you the chargrilled flavour of a real charcoal barbecue, but this electric alternative can be used inside or outside (provided you have somewhere to plug it in). Pop it on the included collapsible stand when you’re cooking alfresco, or place it on a counter or tabletop inside.
Its vast cooking area has space for up to 15 portions of food, and there’s a lid to trap in heat and speed up the cooking process if you’re especially famished, with a temperature gauge that tells you just how hot things are getting.
And of course, it’s got the trademark George Foreman slope, so fat and grease will drain away from the food into a drip tray, making your sausages and burgers that bit healthier.
The Indoor Outdoor grill costs £79.99 and you can buy it from Amazon or Costco.Read more →
About a year ago, I was having a chat with their PR Manager, the fabulous and talented Vicky Hewlett, and casually suggested that I’d love to see a Mini Moderns print on a radio. She then got in touch with Keith Stephenson and Mark Hampshire of MM, and last night, the final product was launched. Talk about made to order!The guys look proud as punch, and well they might.
Adorned in one of Mini Modern’s most iconic prints, Whitby, the radios are a reworking of Pure’s existing, award-winning Pop DAB/FM design and come in two sizes, Midi (above, £89.99) and Maxi (below, £109.99).
There are also five preset buttons that will take you directly to your favourite stations, and if you want to take your radio outside, you can fit either model with standard AA batteries or Pure’s optional ChargePAK D1 rechargeable power pack, £34.99.
I’m seriously considering redecorating my living room to match!Read more →
I don’t think I could ever enjoy ironing, but bless Braun for trying to make the process that little bit less painful. It’s thrown every last bit of technology it could find at its first ever range of steam-generator irons, so we can bust those creases with as little effort as possible.
In case you’re not familiar with them, steam generators have a separate water tank that creates pressurised steam, as used in dry cleaners, to quickly smooth out creases. This powerful steam is so good at flattening fabric that you can typically do the ironing in half the time, since you only need to press one side of a garment – turn it over and you’ll find one or two minor creases left at most.
Also, because the water tank is located in a separate base unit, the iron itself is lighter and much easier to handle – so no more ‘ironer’s elbow’ after a marathon pressing session.
There are three irons in the CareStyle 5 range. Both the top-of-the-range IS5043 (above), £230, and near-identical-bar-a-safety-lock IS5042, £200, both have something called iCare heat variation technology.
This basically means that, like Philips’ PerfectCare system, the irons automatically adjust to the right temperature setting as it comes into contact with different types of fabric so they won’t ever scorch or burn your favourite silk pyjamas or lace top. Nor will you have to keep fiddling with the settings as you move from one garment to the next.
The final iron in the range, the IS5022 (above), £180, may not have the iCare technology, but it boasts most of the other features on board its big brothers. These include a soleplate designed with special rounded and bevelled edges so that it will move as smoothly as possible in any direction, and a large water tank that can hold enough water for a two-hour ironing session yet only take two minutes to heat up.
There’s also a light on each iron that appears when it’s time for descaling, and auto-off that cuts the power if the iron hasn’t been used for 10 minutes.
You’ll be able to buy the irons from Argos and other stores from July.Read more →
Even with smartphone cameras evolving fast, it’s still worth investing in a standalone snapper. I’m a fan of compact system cameras or ‘CSCs’. Like a DSLR camera, they have interchangeable lenses that give you more creative control over your shots, but pack a similarly large sensor into a less bulky body thanks to clever mirrorless technology – this large sensor allows the camera to receive more light, upping the image quality.
Nevertheless, if you’re only used to a point and click camera, you may wonder how you’ll get on with a more advanced model. But the nice people at Olympus realise that, and are now giving anyone the opportunity to test drive one of its cameras… and it won’t cost you a bean!
The optimistically named Test and Wow scheme lets you borrow any OM-D or PEN camera for a three-day period, along with your choice of lens (or lenses), no strings attached. To book your trial, simply visit the Olympus website and select the products you want to try, along with the date you want the loan to start and your preferred pick-up location. Your camera will then be there waiting for you.
Among the cameras you can try is my personal favourite, the beautiful PEN E-PL7, £499. It has a flip-down screen for selfies and – for ultra-professional results – you can use an app to zoom in and out, and adjust key settings like aperture and shutter speed, before taking your shot as a still or video.
If you’d rather stay behind the lens, there’s plenty to enjoy – like the lightweight body, art filters and a Live Guide that lets you preview the effects of changing different settings on the camera screen, helping you to master the art of photography.
There’s also this serious bit of kit, the new OM-D E-M5 Mark II. It’s seriously tough – the all-metal body of the camera is splashproof, dustproof and freezeproof – and it has some amazing image stabilisation technology on board so that you can take great, extremely sharp pictures in low light or of fast-moving children or pets without needing to use a tripod.Read more →