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The best new gadgets, reviewed

The best new gadgets, reviewed

Screen a film on the side of your tent, conquer the steppes and dictate an epic poem celebrating your victory

Screen a film on the side of your tent, conquer the steppes and dictate an epic poem celebrating your victory

Tim Martin | October/November 2018

ViewSonic M1 projector
$337.99
For anyone who harbours fantasies of screening a film in their hotel room, on the bedroom ceiling or the side of a tent, this nifty pocket projector will bring them to life. The size of a fat notebook, it balances delicately on a foldaway stand and, if conditions are dark enough, throws out a striking image. The built-in Harman-Kardon speakers mean you don’t have to lug around any extra sound kit and the battery lasts a good six hours between charges. If you can make your peace with the low resolution and see this as an instant portable solution and a miniature triumph of design, it’s hard to beat.

Six Ages: Ride Like the Wind
iOS, £9.99/$9.99
This absorbing game is the successor to a 20-year-old PC program called King of Dragon Pass, and in the two decades it’s taken to arrive, very little has come close to the intricate weirdness of its hand-painted design. Part civilisation game, part legend and part geography field trip, it tasks the player with guiding the fortunes of an Iron Age tribe. You consult a cabinet of bickering advisers on everything from farming, exploration, diplomacy and war to magic, religious worship and how best to re-enact ancient legends. It’s extraordinarily deep, packed with discoveries, and lit up with a dry intelligence that few other games approach.

Dragon Professional Individual
PC/Mac, £279.99. Dragon Anywhere, iOS/Android, £9.99/month
We’ve all got technological imps-in-bottles that recognise our voices these days, but even Siri and Alexa can struggle with lengthy dictation. The gold standard in this area is the Dragon desktop suites from Nuance, which let PC and Mac users dictate with startling accuracy as it learns and adapts to users’ voices over time. The mobile subscription version has fewer features but still works astonishingly well. A draft of this entire column, in fact, was barked into its digital ear.