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19 Sep 2014 Last updated
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Gadget guide: May 2013

Up close with the Thrustmater VRX Z-55 racing simulator, hand-crocheted iPhone cable and the Seagate Wireless Plus 1TB hard drive

By Nitin Nair, Editor
Added 16:17 | 7 May 2013
  • Thrustmater VRX Z-55 racing simulator

    Thrustmater VRX Z-55 racing simulator.

    Source: Supplied picture Image 1 of 6
  • iPhone cable

    Eastern Collective hand-crocheted iPhone cable.

    Source: Supplied picture Image 2 of 6
  • 1TB hard drive

    Seagate Wireless Plus 1TB hard drive.

    Source: Supplied picture Image 3 of 6
  • LED monitor

    Acer T2 series touch LED monitor.

    Source: Supplied picture Image 4 of 6
  • Panasonic DMC-GF6

    Panasonic DMC-GF6.

    Source: Supplied picture Image 5 of 6
  • Momentum headphones

    Sennheiser Momentum headphones.

    Source: Supplied picture Image 6 of 6

Race from home

Very soon you’ll be able to enjoy whiteknuckle racing from the corner of your, er, largish living room. The Thrustmater VRX Z-55 racing simulator is a petrolhead’s dream come true. The Z-55 features electromagnetic motion actuators capable of generating up to 2Gs of simulated acceleration, recreates vibrations and features three HD monitors and fivespeaker surround audio.

Made from the same material as any supercar (it also costs nearly as much) – steel, aluminium, plastic and carbon fibre, Alcantara trims – the sim weighs around 100kg. At its heart lies a D-Box motion system compatible with any form of racing game including Formula One, Indy, ALMS, GT, Rally, Nascar, Vintage Racing Series and Exotic Super Cars.

According to founder Robert Stanners, you can hook this up to an Xbox or PS3,
but software for that is only supported in Tactile Vibration feedback. The product is supposed to hit Dubai late this summer. It’s not cheap, but then the simulation experience is as good as it gets. Think of the speeding fines you can avoid. $45,000 (Dh165,000), vrx.ca

The shortlist

Acer ups the style

Is Acer doing for desktops what Kia has done for cars? The Taiwanese brand’s T2 series touch LED monitor has been awarded a prestigious Red Dot product design award. The sleek and minimalist monitor is supported by a silver asymmetric stand and allows users to adjust the angle from a 30- to 80-degree tilt for the most comfortable touch. Middle East launch TBA

Ditch the D-SLR

Panasonic’s DMC-GF6 has a 16MP Live MOS sensor and can shoot at a maximum of ISO 25600 (extended) sensitivity. It can shoot in no time (OK, 0.5 seconds) after start-up and has stuff like Creative Panorama, Self Shot and 19 filters to wean you off iPhonegraphy. Being NFC-enabled, users can connect the camera to smartphone and tablets at one touch, making sharing images much easier. Dh2,199 at leading stores

Back in black

Remember Sennheiser’s Momentum headphones that got much love from us last year? Well, the brand is now back with the same pair in black. Featuring a headband slider of stainless steel with ear pads and a headband worked from soft and supple leather, Momentum Black has contrasting subtle red stitching. And like before the quality of sound is crisp and clear. Dh1,499 at leading stores

Some wire love

If your mobile device can have a sense of individuality thanks to the number of
cases available out there, why should the humble USB cable blend in? We love
the Eastern Collective for bringing some much needed flair to the iPhone cable.
The brand has a cool story too, with roots and foundation in the mountains
of New England and the streets of New York City.

Matt Benedetto began creating one-of-a-kind hand-crocheted goods for the winter-sports industry. Soon demand began to surpass supply and now the brand sells from its online store. They also make these for Android devices and micro-USB cables. From $17 (Dh62) easterncollective.com

Leave no movie behind

It is rather ironic that we review a 1TB wireless external hard drive soon after Apple announced that the iPad would be available with 128GB storage. The Seagate Wireless Plus 1TB hard drive basically lets you travel with all your movies, music and documents for viewing on your iThing or Android device. The device set-up is really simple – transfer stuff to the hard drive via a USB cable and download the Seagate Media app to view these files.

Simple? Not really. On iOS devices .AVI files don’t play, so it is best to convert all your video files to .mp4. Probably both iOS and Seagate are equally to blame for this. However, this a small price to pay considering you can pretty much carry your entire movie collection with you when you travel. And you can connect more than one device to the hard disk, so that’s her needs sorted too. Can’t complain now, can you? Price on request, at leading stores

By Nitin Nair, Editor

By Nitin Nair, Editor