Y Magazine

Oman Tech Reviews: Back to school gadgets

That time of year is looming again. However, these days it’s not just about books and stationery, but technology that works too. Matthew Herbst scours around for some essential gadgets to get you through the new school term.




Super charger


Don’t compromise on style when it comes to your room, and not only is this item stylish, but it also juices up your surrounding technology. So, why not invest in a TaoTronics Desk Lamp with USB Charging, made entirely of metal. The TaoTronics LED Desk Lamp features a USB charging port, six brightness levels and a built-in timer for those late-night study sessions. If your eyes start taking the strain, then adjust it with the five colour temperatures. You can save your preferred settings to suit, whether you’re up all night studying or playing games on your PC. At www.amazon.com from RO25.


Wakey-wakey


Waking up early for school can be such a chore. Why not make it more fun by waking up to your favourite tunes with the Philips Bluetooth alarm clock? This morning rise -and -shine device features a dual-alarm setting, ensuring you’ll never be late for class. It also includes a nifty built-in mic that lets you take hands-free calls, and sports three interchangeable cradles that allow you to charge both Android and iOS devices. Good morning! At www.amazon.com from RO8.


Paper run


We know digital is everything these days, but the Canon TS6020 all-in-one is still up there and cool. It lets you print, copy and scan documents from the same device. Its text output is sharp, and its graphics feature is a pleasing detail. It features an 8cm colour touch screen and uses five inkjet cartridges. You definitely need one of these. At www.amazon.com from RO53.

Editor’s Pick


Just store it


When it comes to value for money and keeping your files safe, the WD My Passport Ultra External Storage Drive is hard to resist. It is highly portable, but comparing it to digital clouds, it’s not the fastest solution. However, it’ll do the trick when you still need access to files if not connected to the web on a regular basis. The USB 3.0 connectivity, and its 256-bit encryption (including the utilities software) are among its key features, making it a sound option for keeping your school work backed up. At amazon.com from RO22.

App of the week


Runtastic RUNTASTY


The Runtastic is already quite well known to keep-fit enthusiasts with the fitness app. In April they launched the recipe and nutrition version Runtasty with more than 40 recipes in its database to keep you super-healthy. Other apps are said to have more than 50,000 recipes, but keeping it at 40 means quicker decisions and less fuss. It also sports filters to hone into specific dietary needs especially if you’re gluten free and aiming for low carb. Check it out at www.itunes.com for free.


Top 3 Spy Games of all time


Even the best FSB or CIA agent would have his work cut out with this lot. Alvin Thomas channels his inner secret agent to give them a go

Pistols? Check. Stun grenades? Check. SC-20K M.A.W.S tactical gun? Check. Now, take all these and dump them in the trash because Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory is not about bullets and blood.

No, really! It’s about sneaking up on your enemy; violently, yet judiciously shime-waza-ing (chokeholding) him (yes, it’s almost always a man) until he spills his guts… and subsequently, vital intel about your enemies before you finally knock him out.

In a time when tactical games excessively rely on guns and grenades, protagonist Sam Fisher teaches us that there’s more to modern warfare than just weapons, and that martial arts and old-school interrogation techniques can go a long, long way. The stealth engine, despite its limitations, is splendid and intuitive. Very rarely do glitches occur.

It’s a genuine shame there hasn’t been a new Splinter Cell game for years now. But Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot did recently say that it will be happening. Fingers crossed.

Yeah, a British game titled in American spelling may not inspire confidence in many. But, trust me when I say this: Dishonored is fan-bleeding-tastic.

Set in late Victorian London and Edinburgh – the game is set in the (fictional) plague-ridden industrial city of Dunwall, and revolves around the murder of the Empress of Isles.

It follows the story of Corvo Attano, bodyguard to the Empress of the Isles, who is framed for her murder and is forced to become an assassin and seeks revenge on those who conspired against him. Dark, eh?

Nevertheless, Corvo doesn’t go on a killing spree like you would imagine. Instead, he performs several activities that are frequently associated with being a spy, such as assassinations, interrogations, and surveillance.

Oh, the story doesn’t end there, either. Find a copy and give it a go. It will be worth every second of your time.

If I could get back the hours I spent playing the Metal Gear Solid 3 game, I would be a year younger. No jokes. This was the game I played growing up, and boy, those days were gold.

In any case, Metal Gear revolves around the CIA agent “Naked Snake”, who is unleashed into a jungle playground with missions to complete. En route, you will stumble upon villains (some of whom you will befriend or make use of), uncover secrets about the Cold War and, of course, infiltrate and neutralise the enemy camp.

Oh, before I forget, you can hide in cardboard boxes and even smoke cigarettes to fool your enemies. As a matter of fact, Snake made smoking look cool (it really isn’t, but…).

Aah! Good times.