/>
X

2018 Gift Guide: Weird but really useful gadgets

This is a listing of some of the weird, odd gadgets that I've picked up over the years -- but I have found them to be super useful and use them pretty much daily. They have practically become worth their weight in gold.
DS212 2-channel pocket oscilloscope
1 of 8 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

DS212 2-channel pocket oscilloscope

See it now: DS212 on Amazon

Smaller than an iPhone, the DS212 at first looks like a bit of a toy, but it is in fact a very decent 2-channel oscilloscope that is handy for diagnosing problems with low-voltage electrical gadgets (good up to 40 Volts).

Instructions are a bit scant, so getting to know how to use it can be a bit of an adventure -- Google is your friend -- but once you have the basics down, it is pretty straightforward.

These can be found all over Amazon from a variety of sellers priced at around the $110 mark.

Good bit of kit.

Nitecore VCL10 multifunctional car gadget
2 of 8 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Nitecore VCL10 multifunctional car gadget

See it now: Nitecore VCL10

The Nitecore VCL10 is a multifunctional car gadget, incorporating:

- a 2.4A QC 2.0 and 3.0 compatible USB charger

- stainless steel glass breaker

- emergency and warning light

Designed to slot into the cigarette lighter adapter, the Nitecore VCL10 is extremely compact and easy to keep to hand.

Pitaka MagWallet UE
3 of 8 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Pitaka MagWallet UE

See it now: Pitaka on Amazon

Leather wallets really don't last very long with me, so I was keen to see how the switch to a carbon fiber wallet would work. Quite well, is the answer to that question.

The Pitaka MagWallet UE is rugged and durable, yet smart, and features a built-in anti-RFID and anti-degaussing technology to keep cards safe.

And importantly for a wallet, it's quick and easy to use, and doesn't flap open and dump your stuff everywhere like a traditional wallet.

Lume Cube Air
4 of 8 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Lume Cube Air

See it now: Lume Cube Air

At first I couldn't imagine why I needed a Bluetooth-enabled LED light that I could use via an app as a flash for my smartphone.

Then I tried the Lume Cube Air and realized just how superior it was to the built-in flash on my iPhone, especially for video, but also for photography that needed a little bit more lighting than the flash could handle.

I especially like the fact that the Lume Cube Air is durable and waterproof, and on a full charge it is good for a good 2.5 hours. The daylight LED also offers what feels like super natural lighting, and each Lume Cube Air is kitted out with a tripod attachment and a magnet.

005.jpg
5 of 8 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Swiss-Tech Utili-Key 6-in-1

See it now: Swiss-Tech on Amazon

The Swiss-Tech Utili-Key 6-in-1 is the smallest multitool that I've owned, not much bigger than a key. I have one attached to my car keys, house keys, and I have a couple in the office, and I'm surprised how often I turn to them.

It features:

- Flat screwdriver

- Phillips screwdriver

- Micro-sized screwdriver (perfect for eyeglasses)

- Straight blade knife

- Serrated blade knife

- Bottle opener

OptiVISOR
6 of 8 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

OptiVISOR

See it now: OptiVISOR on Amazon

The Donegan OptiVISOR is a hands-free, headband binocular magnifier that's super useful when your eyes are just not what they used to be. (Well, mine have never been awesome, so I've used one of these for years.)

I like the brand because there are loads of different lenses available, along with loupes and even lights.

USB rechargeable AA/AAA lithium batteries
7 of 8 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

USB rechargeable AA/AAA lithium batteries

See it now:  USB rechargeable batteries on Amazon

The name is pretty self-explanatory, and these USB rechargeable AA and AAA batteries are super-useful in things like computer peripherals or remote controls. Just make sure someone doesn't toss the dead ones in the recycling!

Koogeek rechargeable EMS smart massager
8 of 8 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Koogeek rechargeable EMS smart massager

See it now: Koogeek

I work out quite a bit, and at my age, aches and pains are normal. I find that I get a lot of relief out of using electrical muscle stimulation to relax tired muscles and work out the knots and kinks.

The Koogeek rechargeable EMS smart massager is a wireless electrical muscle stimulator can relax muscles, reduce fatigue, and relieve muscle pain. At first it looks like a toy, but I love how small and compact this gadget is, and that I can recharge it from any microUSB output. And it works very well.

Related Galleries

Chargeasap Flash Pro Plus
Chargeasap Flash Pro Plus in action

Related Galleries

Chargeasap Flash Pro Plus

10 Photos
Galaxy S21 FE 5G, Huawei P50 Pro, Sony Xperia Pro-I, and more: ZDNet's reviews roundup
poco-m4-pro-5g-in-hand.jpg

Related Galleries

Galaxy S21 FE 5G, Huawei P50 Pro, Sony Xperia Pro-I, and more: ZDNet's reviews roundup

11 Photos
LinkOn 130W USB-C car charger
LinkOn 130W

Related Galleries

LinkOn 130W USB-C car charger

4 Photos
Apple 16-inch MacBook Pro, Microsoft Surface Go 3, Huawei MateBook 14s, and more: ZDNet's reviews roundup
linksys-velop-wifi-6-ax4200-card.jpg

Related Galleries

Apple 16-inch MacBook Pro, Microsoft Surface Go 3, Huawei MateBook 14s, and more: ZDNet's reviews roundup

16 Photos
DJI Mavic 3 in flight
Superb aerial camera platform

Related Galleries

DJI Mavic 3 in flight

10 Photos
Satechi Dock5 Multi-Device Charging Station
Satechi Dock5

Related Galleries

Satechi Dock5 Multi-Device Charging Station

6 Photos
Satechi USB-C Hybrid Multiport adaptor
Satechi USB-C Hybrid Multiport adaptor

Related Galleries

Satechi USB-C Hybrid Multiport adaptor

10 Photos