five gadgets and accessories to put under the tree

five gadgets and accessories to put under the tree

Christmas is fast approaching, and for geeks, it is also an opportunity to complete their technological arsenal. Whether as a gift or to please you, we offer a selection of five gadgets that will have their place under the tree.

HUANUO laptop stand – € 42.99

Whether telecommuting or relaxing, laptops are especially handy when it comes to getting away from the office. But using them on your sofa or warm in your bed is often not very practical; this is where the specially designed media, such as the one from HUANUO, come in. This 55x35cm model (mouse pad included) completely abandons the side feet. Instead, we find two comfortable pads, and the height very well calibrated (although this obviously depends on the size and the morphology).

The front-mounted fabric wrist rest helps stabilize any device, even those whose non-slip pads have seen better days. At the back, there are two supports that can easily accommodate a tablet, a smartphone or a few pens. And in between, the generous surface area accommodates any laptop up to 17 ”and a mouse hassle-free.

On our side, we only identified two potential flaws. The first is the weight (a little over 1.5kg) which might put some off. Users who do not wish to put a support on their legs will therefore certainly prefer a lighter or footed model. The other is the lack of active ventilation; it is therefore not really suitable for gaming laptops which tend to heat up a lot, in addition to being very bulky. But despite these two points, it is a very practical and comfortable tray.

Buy the Huano laptop stand

Konyks Priska Max Easy – € 22.90

Are you sometimes surprised by your electricity bill, but you have trouble identifying the culprit? Or maybe you just want to accurately measure the consumption of a brand new home appliance or computer? The ideal in these situations is to use a socket with integrated meter such as the Priska Max Easy from Konys.

Once connected, the accompanying application allows you to study the consumption of a device instantly or over a specific period of time. Nothing very elaborate at this level, and advanced users who want to perform an accurate audit will probably have to turn to more expensive products. It also allows you to define operating time slots. Note also that it is possible to control it via Alexa, Google, or even Siri shortcuts. Best of all, the user can create some automation scenarios themselves. This makes it possible, for example, to cut off the power when the outlet detects prolonged inactivity, or to turn on a fan when the temperature exceeds a certain threshold. At less than 25 €, it is an excellent device that will make your life much easier.

Buy the Konyks Priska Max Easy plug

Shiatsu massage cushion – € 32.99

When you spend long hours sitting in front of a screen, whether at work, for entertainment or both, some muscles and joints can become sore over the hours. To remedy this, the first instinct is obviously to choose a suitable seat, adopt the right posture and do a little exercise from time to time. But sometimes, the usual recommendations are not necessarily sufficient to ensure user comfort throughout the day. As a last resort or simply to treat yourself to a little extra touch of relaxation, it is possible to fall back on massage devices like this Shiatsu cushion.

This is a relatively standard massage pad, with two groups of four rollers that rotate to provide relief to the desired location. These are also slightly heated, which is of no use in summer but comes in handy in the middle of winter. Due to its shape, it is primarily designed to be placed at the level of the neck, but works just as well under the feet when seated or under the legs when lying down. A very appreciable reinforcement to get rid of some stiffness without breaking the bank!

Buy the Shiatsu massage cushion

Logitech K400 Multimedia Keyboard – € 44.90

Since connected TVs have colonized our living rooms, many users are still looking for the ideal solution to control their media center remotely. Universal remotes and some smartphone apps do the trick in the majority of cases, but some users prefer an all-in-one accessory that allows them both to type and easily navigate their video library or catalog. Netflix.

This is the category for multimedia keyboards like the Logitech K400. This is a surprisingly pleasant membrane keyboard compared to other products in this category, which often provide quite a disastrous typing experience. Thanks to its integrated multimedia buttons, touchpad and physical click buttons, it is possible to navigate very intuitively without taking your eyes off the screen, unlike some other devices which are admittedly smaller but with strange shapes. It is also an ideal companion for small devices that are not always easy to access; on our side, it has been with us for some time and always does wonders in tandem with a Raspberry Pi. Add to that a fairly colossal autonomy, and you get a very good auxiliary keyboard whose only flaw is the lack of physical dial.

Buy the Logitech K400 Multimedia Keyboard

Arduino Starter Kit – 80 €

To conclude this list of gadgets, here is a more expensive product, but oh so gratifying: the Arduino Starter Kit. If you or one of your relatives – especially among the youngest – is interested in the different facets of engineering, look no further because it is the ideal gateway to discover these disciplines. This package contains everything you need to carry out fifteen educational and fun projects on the borderline of mechanics, electronics and computers: a synthesizer, a code lock, a motorized reel, a control panel for a spaceship … and even a theremin, this funny instrument that is played by moving the hands in the air!

But if this seems complicated to you, don’t panic: an excellent 170-page manual will guide you through each step while explaining precisely the role of each component and the interest of the different manipulations (however, be sure to order it in French version). ). And this is where the real value of this kit lies. Once the 15 projects are completed, you will have all the basics you need to tackle more ambitious projects and to understand more in-depth explanations. The icing on the cake: this kit is so well designed that it can be followed by an adult, but also by a young person of about twelve years. Or by both at the same time, in which case it turns into a very nice family project.

Certainly, from a strictly quantitative point of view, the price remains quite high compared to the components contained in the box; if you already have the basic skills, this kit will not be of great interest to you. But if you are starting from scratch, this is an ideal starting point to design your own projects in home automation, robotics … or any other discipline in -ics! The Arduino Starter Kit is available on the official Arduino website, at this address.

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