Stories by Zara Baxter

Joy Zip Mini Touch-n-go

The Zip Mini Touch-n-go is a four-station charging hub. It’s about the size of a one centimetre tall drink coaster, but unlike many multi-charging stations, you don’t plug your USB cable into the Zip Mini – instead, you use Zip Tails.

Microsoft Sculpt Comfort Keyboard

Microsoft has a selection of ‘ergonomic keyboards’ and the Sculpt Comfort is much like the Comfort Curve with a split space-bar. Its angled keyboard leaves your hands pointing slightly inwards rather than directly forwards.

Vodafone Pocket WiFi

I must admit that, since we tested the Huawei E5 mobile 3G router two years ago, I’ve been using it every time I travel. I love it.

iPad with Retina Display

The main change for the new iPad with Retina display (4th generation) is a shift from the previous Apple dock connector to the new reversible and easy-to-use Lightning connector. Lightning is also used on the iPhone 5 and iPad mini. Additionally, the newest iPad has the improved A6X processor, and more GPU power than the previous iPad with Retina Display.

Cisco Linksys EA4500

The top-of-the-line Linksys EA4500 continues Cisco’s tradition of delivering highly attractive, yet unobtrusive, routers packed with a tonne of features. It’s about the size and heft of a Kindle, with a silver band down its centre, matte-grey wings and a textured base. The device itself has four Gigabit Ethernet ports and a USB storage port. It’s an n900 router – meaning it’s capable of the fastest wireless-n speeds – and runs both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency wireless bands.

Samsung Notebook Series 9

We liked the look of the original Sandy Bridge-based Samsung Series 9 laptop, so the slimmer, even-more-lightweight Ivy Bridge-powered model had us salivating when we saw it at a preview in Sydney last month. But as always, the question with laptops is: is it as good as it looks?

FitBit Ultra

The FitBit is tiny, and includes a finely tuned 3D accelerometer that can tell how far you’ve moved in any direction. It’s about the size of your index finger to the second knuckle. The surface is black, and the interior comes in either blue or purple. The whole thing slots into a tiny holster that clips neatly around a belt, or onto the bridge of a bra – it’s designed to be worn everywhere. Well, everywhere except the shower – it isn’t water-resistant.

Sony Vaio E14P

Skinning is a popular term for adding a whole new look for software, but its not often that you get an actual skin with your gadget. The Sony Vaio E Series 14P laptop comes with a silicone keyboard skin that goes atop your keyboard, protecting it and changing its colour and feel.

Dell XPS 13

Around six years ago, I remember lusting after a carbon-fibre Sony ultraportable that weighed under a kilogram, was wafer-thin, and cost $5000. Dell’s Ultrabook XPS 13 is a much more affordable $1699, but it has many of the characteristics of that long ago crush of mine.

Sony HD-EG5

We’ve seen a few USB 3.0 gadgets, but the 500GB Sony HD-EG5 is the first truly pocket-sized USB 3.0 external hard drive we’ve tested. Perfect for laptop users, it will suit those buying a new Ultrabook or with a recent USB 3.0-enabled model.