Top smart gadgets and tools to invest in this summer – The Independent

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From an intuitive pet tracker to open-ear headphones for music geeks, this is the tech you need this season
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Are you keen to stay fit while on holiday? Or are you more in need of a professional headset to keep you focused on work? Trust in these high-tech products to make your life easier this summer, whether you’re lying by the pool or working long hours at the office.
Looking for a way to charge your speakers and devices simultaneously while on the go? In need of a trusty power source for your motor home’s appliances? What if we told you there was an affordable, eco-friendly power supply that you could power up no matter where you are? Believing that where there’s sunlight, there’s unlimited power supply, BLUETTI is on a mission to help create a sustainable future through budget-saving green energy storage solutions. Built with a next-gen MPPT solar inverter, the company’s AC500 allows a 3,000W maximum solar input.
It can be charged by AC, solar, generator, lead-acid battery, dual or triple charging methods, and welcomes up to six B300s battery packs for a total capacity of 18,432Wh. Creating a solar system with compatible solar panels can bring power independence. Users can control and monitor the power consumption through the BLUETTI app.
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Are you a digital artist looking for a toolkit upgrade? Check out XPPen’s latest product line-up, which includes some ultra-stylish, super-efficient digital drawing tools. Opt for the Artist Pro 14 drawing display series to capture your ideas in greater detail. It features an anti-glare display and a built-in foldable stand, but also comes with the X3 Pro stylus, which is powered by 16K pressure levels.
If you’re after a more traditional drawing experience, choose the Deco Pro drawing tablet series. It offers a paper-like, digital surface by simulating the feeling of pen on paper for natural creation. Available in four sizes, it includes a round-edged wrist rest to combat joint tension and fatigue. Designed for professional artists, the Wireless Shortcut Remote is another must-have. Its keypad uses wireless connection, has four sets of button shortcuts, and offers multiple set-ups for different user preferences.
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Whether your dog roams a little too far while off-lead or your cat roams around at its own leisure, you might want to check in on their whereabouts. The new Pawfit 3 can put your mind at ease. This advanced, waterproof GPS pet location and activity tracker offers live location updates every five seconds, so you know where your pet is, and can find them quickly when they’re out of sight. You can also set personalised fitness goals for them and monitor their activity in the Pawfit app, to help keep them healthy, too.
Use the Safety Zones to set up to 10 virtual fences around your home or any location of your choice and get notified every time your pet crosses a fence line. The tracker features a six-day battery life and a remote voice recall allowing you to record your recall command and play it to your pet via the speaker. You can also ultilise the LED light and alarm sound-tracking feature, which you can activate for 10 minutes at a time to find your pet in the dark. Plus, track up to 20 pets at once, and share the tracker with your family. Pawfit will cost you £54.99, plus a monthly subscription fee varying from £3.59 to £4.79 depending on the length of subscription period.
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Keen to balance sightseeing with some down time back at the hotel? Made for gamers by gamers, the Razer Blade 14 features a slew of AI enhancements, allowing you to delve into the most demanding games. It comes with the latest generation of NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40-Series laptop graphics, delivering 25 per cent more graphics power than its predecessor.
You can enjoy playing at higher frame rates and with greater visual fidelity than ever before while on the move – with a width of just 0.71 inches, this laptop is made to travel. Packing a battery that lasts for up to 11 hours, it provides high frequency speeds for excellent performance, along with an anodised and scratch-resistant finish that protects it against the hazards of travelling. 
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We all want to hold onto cherished moments from our holidays with friends and family, but sometimes a smartphone camera just won’t cut it. MPB allows you to buy, sell and trade in photography and videography equipment, making professional kit more accessible. The company recirculates more than 485,000 items of used kit (including cameras, lenses and accessories) every year via its online platform.
On average, used camera equipment from MPB costs a third less than if purchased in a brand-new condition, giving you the chance to upgrade your kit to a better model for a cheaper price. Find your dream camera, choosing from a range of brands such as Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm, Sony and Panasonic. All items are covered by a free six-month warranty.
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If you find in-ear headphones uncomfortable and are after a quality alternative that doesn’t shut you out of the world, Shokz’s latest high-tech offering may be just what you need. OpenFit breaks free from the constraints of traditional earbuds, looking to elevate your listening experience whether that involves enjoying your favourite album or receiving a work call.
Unlike other headphones that block out ambient sound altogether, OpenFit allows you to hear conversations around you thanks to its open-ear, wireless design. This means you can remain aware of your surroundings, while still making the most of your listening experience. Shokz created the concept of open-ear headphones back in 2011 and has been providing users with a comfortable hearing experience ever since.
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Forget dragging yourself to the gym to stick through yet another painful cardio session. Virtual reality fitness app FitXR makes exercising fun and convenient. The brand offers thousands of immersive VR workouts across five interactive, online studios: Box, HIIT, Dance, Sculpt and Combat. With FitXR, you can exercise for as little as 15 minutes each day in a gamified, virtual environment, anytime, anywhere; one day you’ll be strengthening and toning your muscles, and the next you’ll be dancing in your headset.
FitXR classes are paired with motivational music tracks from the likes of Lady Gaga, Green Day, A-ha and Backstreet Boys, and are all choreographed by certified professional instructors and athletes, such as two-time UK Olympic gold medallist Nicola Adams. FitXR is available on Meta Quest and Pico stores worldwide and offers a free seven-day trial giving you access to all classes (with the monthly subscription after that, costing £9.99).
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Are you planning a long road trip but not sure whether your tyres will make it? Keep them inflated with Ring Automotive’s RTC4000 cordless tyre inflator, which can be charged up for consistent, on-the-go air. Thanks to its compact size and robust design, the RTC4000 can be stored away compactly so you can quickly and effortlessly inflate your car, motorbike or bicycle tyres anywhere. It takes just under six minutes to inflate a 15in tyre from flat, and you can use the backlit digital screen to help you set the tyre pressure.
The digital auto-stop feature will automatically stop inflating the tyre when the desired pressure is reached and, should you have too much air in the tyre, the deflator valve will allow you to return to the required pressure. The in-built LED light is perfect for emergencies and poor lighting conditions. The RTC4000 comes with a three-piece adaptor kit — which includes a Presta valve adaptor — for other pieces of sports equipment and even small inflatables.
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Take your gaming to the next level with the pinnacle of gaming headsets, the Razer blackshark V2 pro. Available in black and white, the headset is designed with comfort in mind, featuring a cushioned headband and earcup, ensuring comfort even during the longest play sessions. It has a long battery life (lasting up to 24 hours on a single charge), so you don’t have to worry about running out of power just as you’re about to face your final boss.
Razer’s proprietary triforce titanium drivers immerse you in the action with a wide soundscape and accurate positional audio helping you track down your foes. When speaking, the Razer hyperclear super wideband microphone gives your teammates crystal-clear voice audio, meaning your shot calls and commands will always be heard. Designed in partnership with some of the world’s top esports professional players, the BlackShark V2 Pro gives you the advantage in all your gaming adventures.
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If you’re struggling to stay focused in your noisy office, there’s a way to block out the hubbub. The award-winning IMPACT 1000 headset series from EPOS, with the EPOS brainadapt technology and active noise cancellation (ANC), helps you focus and communicate clearly on calls in an open-plan office. They offer all-day comfort with a lightweight design, cushioned earcups and headband padding, and super wideband for natural sound.
The charging stand and intuitive on-headset controls make them convenient to use, while the triple Bluetooth connectivity means you can stay connected to three devices at once. The “talk through” feature also allows you to communicate with colleagues without removing the headset, and the 360-degree busy light lets others know you’re on a call.
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Those looking to get some cash for their old tech can easily do so with comparison site Compare and Recycle, which helps consumers to recycle their used phones, tablets, smartwatches and other devices. The comparison site prevents more than 28 tonnes of mobile phones from becoming e-waste every year, and helps hundreds of thousands of people get on average £218 per device. Better still, there’s no need to take a trip to the recycling centre or navigate through the often-confusing rules of recycling.
Consumers can compare prices from more than 30 UK-based recycling companies to trade devices online and offset both the environmental and financial cost of a new gadget. Recycling through Compare and Recycle is a quick and convenient way to get paid for an old phone or tablet and do your bit for the environment.
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