Is it a plane, is it a bird? No it’s a Sky Car

We’re overrun in our house with remote control cars, so something has to be pretty special to grab out attention.

Enter the Sky Car – is it it a car? Is it a helicopter – well, yes, it’s both!

Sky-Car

This is a neat little piece of kit (it measures just 19x8x9cm) -– get it out of the box and you could be forgiven for thinking that it feels rather flimsy, but take it from me, it has survived being bashed by a broomstick handle (more of which later) so is far stronger than your first impressions may suggest.

The other thing that might be disappointing for anyone who is overrun with battery-run gadgets is that you’ll need six – yes six! – AA batteries to run the remote control – and the cheap ones won’t last long as we discovered.

However, it does work really well – in fact a bit too well. I took the helicopter out into the field behind our house (we’d tried it indoors and nearly decapitated the cats, so outside it was). Unfortunately while I was busy marvelling at how quickly it had shot up high into the sky, I suddenly realised that it was heading over the hedge and into the field behind – sometimes empty, sometimes full of sheep, so I panicked, dropped it down and got it stuck on a 10ft hedge.

After much muttering, poking and prodding, my lovely husband came to the rescue with a broom handle (hence the bashing it got). I nervously picked it up off the ground, expecting bent rotor blades, missing wheels and so on, only to find it in perfect working order (The makers do include spare blades in the box, so they obviously expect some collateral damage).

This is a cool piece of kit – its headlights turn on when you switch on the sky car, and it can be charged using USB – it took about 20 minutes on my laptop.

However, be aware that it takes a bit of practise to perfect your flying skills – and it moves pretty quickly, so you’ll need more space than you might expect from a small device. Driving it in car mode is far easier!

At a smidge under 30 quid, it’s not bad value, but it is definitely more suitable for an older child or adult than younger kids unless they have a good bit of supervision.

Available from Gizoo

Latest Gadgets at the Gadget Show Live 2010

As this year’s Gadget Show Live draws to a close we round up the top tech that caught our eye during our trek across every inch of the NEC, Birmingham.

The foldaway Yikebike caught our eye as it looks to become the latest answer to personal travel solutions. It’s a sleekly styled piece of kit with carbon composite frame and a leather seat and looks to bring back the classic penny-farthing design. Expect to shell out £3,000 for one of Time Magazine’s top inventions of 2009, weighing in at a measly 21lb’s it can clock a top speed of 25kph and will have a range of 9km.

Gadget-Show-Live

One of the best and cheapest things we came across was from Hong-Kong based Sumvision, called the Cyclone Micro. It’s a USB 2.0 1080p up-scaling HDMI media player adapter, which allows you to plug and play with any USB storage device and play your media files directly to TV via HDMI, and at £40 it’s great value.

The most expensive gadget we came across was the Sky Car MK2 from Wiltshire Company Parajet. Half car, half plane, the Sky Car is rear wheel off-road buggy, which can hit 110 mph and o-62 in 4.2 seconds. As well the impressive performance on the road, it can also fly with the attaching of a ram-air wing and is capable of take-off from a field or airstrip in less than 200 metres. It’s £55,320 and is on sale now.

We loved new headphones from US company Monster who in partnership with rap legend Dr Dre are looking to revolutionise headphones. Called Beats by Dre, they have been designed to allow you listen to music the way artists recorded it. The big powerful speakers dwarf the capabilities of in-ear buds and with excellent power, clarity and super-deep bass we were blown away by the sound quality. And with Monster’s powered isolation technology these headphones cut all external noise so all you hear is the music. On sale now they will set you back a premium price of £270.

At this year’s show, watch phone brand Swap unveiled the new Swap Lady and Swap Rebel designs. The former is “gorgeous” bangle-style watch and phone for the ladies and the latter a lightweight colourful version for the hip young lads. The new Lady design and Rebel design join the recently announced sporty, waterproof Active Design. Prices are predicted to be around £300.

And finally in the year 2010, no gadget show would be complete without 3D kit everywhere you look. To this end, Sony showed of its latest 3D gear, as did Panasonic, MSI, Nvidia, and the rest. We really liked Sony’s 3D TV, which looked impressive when hooked up to a 3D PS3, you can expect a software update this summer for your Playstation, but you will need to save £2,000 for their 3D TV which will be on sale later this year.