In this monthly column kicking off today, we round up some of the finest gadgets that make the perfect travel accessories.
GoPro Hero 10 Black | Price: Rs 54,500
Our favourite action camera got a long overdue upgrade. The new enhancements make the new GoPro more travel friendly than ever before. First, it’s the camera upgrades. You can now shoot high-res video with up to 5.3L resolution at 60 fps (frames per second), allowing you to maintain serious details even as you zoom in. Lowlight photography has been enhanced with fine details, realistic textures, and fantastic contrast. A new 8x slow-mo mode allows you to shoot at 2.7K. You can pause videos and take 15.8MP still images from 5.3K video that look stunning.
We’re most excited about the new upgrades that make it easier to travel with. It starts with the removable, rechargeable 1720 mAh battery that offers longer shooting periods. The rugged, waterproof design makes it all-terrain proof; all you need for your next snorkelling or rafting session. Framing your shots for selfies or vlogging is easier with a new high-quality front LCD screen. There’s also a new GP2 processor that offers more responsive touch controls and a snappy performance. The improved HyperSmooth 4.0 video stabilisation feature makes it easier for you to shoot action images or videos. The Hero 10 Black comes with Standard, Activity and Cinematic modes.
Sonos Roam | Price: Rs 19,999
Portable Bluetooth speakers often end up being a compromise in terms of sound quality. Emily Lazar, the Grammy award-winning mastering engineer from the Sonos sound board distinguishes the Roam from a megaphone, calling it ‘a finely tuned speaker’. The audio set up includes two Class-H amplifiers, a mid-woofer that maximises low-end output and also delivers faithful playback of mid-range frequencies and a tweeter that creates crisp high frequencies. At just above 400 gm, it’s ultra-portable. You can toss it into your backpack and take high-quality music with you to the pool deck or your hotel room. It’s also shower proof, thanks to its IP67 certification.
At approximately 10 hours, battery life is not exceptional, but the wireless charging feature is a great add-on. The speaker powers up quickly and can be charged wirelessly with compatible Qi chargers. You will need the Sonos companion app to set it up. You can also create a stereo duo with two Roam speakers. The Roam is easily one of the best lightweight Bluetooth speakers out there and delivers a stellar audio output despite its small footprint and portable form.
ASUS ProArt StudioBook 16 OLED (H5600) | Price: Rs 1,69,990 onwards
ASUS made a big impression at CES Las Vegas in January with some innovative gadgets including the Zenbook 17 Fold, a foldable tablet of sorts. The ProArt StudioBook is aimed at content creators and creative pros who need to get their best work done on the move. This notebook leverages powerful AMD Ryzen 5000 series (H5600) and fast NVIDIA GeForce up to RTX 3070 (H5600) graphics. Our favourite feature is the vibrant 16-inch 4K OLED HDR 16:10 display that delivers vivid visuals with a 100 per cent DCI-P3 colour gamut.
This laptop is elegantly designed and ultra-slim — just 19.6 mm. The StudioBook is crafted with an aluminium alloy for enhanced durability and finished with anti-fingerprint coating. The ASUS dial is the defining design element; it’s conveniently placed on the left and under the keyboard. If you’re using Office applications or web browsing, pressing down the dial activates a sort of radial menu that offers screen brightness or audio volume controls that are easy to tweak by rotating the dial. It’s particularly handy for designers who use apps like Adobe Creative suite with controls for brush options and after-effects.
Apple AirPods | Price: Rs 18,500
When Apple first launched the AirPods back in 2016 along with the iPhone 7, it set the stage for a whole new category in consumer audio. AirPods became ubiquitous and sparked a wave of clones. Apple’s much-anticipated design refresh of the AirPods finally happened. The third gen AirPods come with a whole new design; they’re lightweight and contoured, sitting at just the right angle for comfort and to direct audio into the ear. The stem is shorter and features the same intuitive force sensor as AirPods Pro for media control.
The new AirPods are resistant to sweat as well as water, with an IPX4 rating for both the earbuds and the charging case. This means you don’t have to worry about the occasional drizzle during your morning run or when you’re kayaking on your next holiday. It’s not just a cosmetic upgrade. A new custom driver and a high dynamic range amplifier come together to deliver powerful bass with crisp, clean high frequencies. TWS earbuds have become a vital accessory for calls. A redesigned microphone and an acoustic mesh help reduce the sound of wind, so the speaker’s voice comes across distinctly on calls. Battery life is improved too — 30 hours of total listening time (with the case). You’re covered for a short holiday or your next business trip. Apple has also added new computational audio to these AirPods. It brings breakthrough experiences — like Adaptive EQ and spatial audio with dynamic head tracking, that were exclusive features for the AirPods Pro and Max.
Ashwin Rajagopalan is a Chennai-based content architect, writer, speaker and cultural intelligence coach. He writes extensively on travel and culture, food and drink, gadgets and trends.
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