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The right tool for the right job
Chosen by David Phelan

Welcome to the Independent’s guide to choosing the right gadgets to enhance your technology. The Independent’s technology writer, David Phelan, takes you through his top ten of the latest in nifty gadgets and hi-tech gizmos that you never knew you needed.

SanDisk Cruzer Titanimum Plus 4GB USB flash drive

1 SanDisk Cruzer Titanium Plus 4GB USB flash drive (£29.99)
Whatever computer you use it’s crucial to back up your data. Not only is the latest USB drive from SanDisk rugged in its metal case, it automatically backs up a copy of the data online. So if you lose it, break it or get it stolen, your vital data is still safe. Password-protected for extra security, too.

2 USB Cell battery

2 USB Cell battery (£10.99 for two)
Always running out of AA batteries just when you need them? This rechargeable battery doesn’t need a charger – just flip up the top to reveal a USB connector. Plug it in to your computer and it’ll quickly recharge, delivering power for almost as long as a regular battery. Neat. USB Cell Battery from

3 Bose Sounddock Portable iPod speaker

3 Bose Sounddock Portable iPod speaker (£279.95)
This portable iPod speaker is not cheap, but the sound quality is impressive and manages strong stereo from one small unit. The carrying handle is built in and there’s a rechargeable battery so it’s completely movable from room to room. Works with other MP3 players too, but looks best with iPods.

4 Logitech Harmony One Remote Control

4 Logitech Harmony One Remote Control (£129)
Now that your living room’s full of home entertainment gadgets, you need one remote to command them all. This colour-screen model replaces up to 15 remotes fits the hand well, is rechargeable and can control devices from 5,000 brands. Just don’t lose it down the back of the sofa or you’re in trouble.

5 Jawbone

5 Jawbone (£69.99)
If you’re driving, you’ll need a headset to make phone calls. This is the best on the market, with noise reduction features designed in conjunction with an American military agency for use in extreme noise situations. Also, it’s a great-looking headset, which makes a change in itself.

6 Kodak ESP 3 All-in-one Printer

6 Kodak ESP 3 All-in-one Printer (price to be announced)
Kodak’s latest printer is the ideal match for digital cameras. Not only is the ink cheap enough to make you print with abandon, there’s even software so you can improve images, removing blemishes with one touch of a button. It’s simple to operate and the results are impressive.

7 Parrot Photo Viewer 7-inch frame

7 Parrot Photo Viewer 7-inch frame (£99.99)
Don’t fancy printing out those photographs? Parrot’s photo frame lets you send images from your mobile phone to the frame by Bluetooth and display them on its 7-inch screen. It displays over 500 images and has an optical sensor that adjusts brightness to suit your room.

8 Sennheiser PXC350 noise-cancelling headphones

8 Sennheiser PXC350 noise-cancelling headphones (£230)
If you’re taking a plane, these headphones are the perfect companion. Clever electronics monitor the sound in the cabin to produce a noise that cancels it out. The result is that you can listen to the in-flight movie with the sound low, and if you unplug the headphones, suddenly the plane’s quiet enough for you to sleep. Impressive.

9 Creative Xmod audio upgrade

9 Creative Xmod audio upgrade (£60)
The Xmod is device the size of a chocolate bar that connects between your computer and its speakers to noticeably improve the sound quality, seeming to add the detail and richness that conversion to MP3 strips out. It’s small and simple to set up and, even if it’s black magic, it works very well.

10 TomTom Go 920 GPS unit

10 TomTom Go 920 GPS unit (£379.99)
However well you know your way about, every driver benefits from satellite navigation. And the best on the market is TomTom with its clear voices from powerful speakers, exceptionally easy-to-read maps and details of motorway safety cameras. It even flashes to tell you you’re going too fast.

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