• John Lewis’ limited-edition technology icons

    by  • April 20, 2014 • 0 Comments

    Some people might bake a cake or throw a party with balloons and a magician, but John Lewis have pulled out all the stops to celebrate their 150 years on the high street. Yes, the iconic store is launching a specially commissioned product collection, including a whole raft of electricals. Here are just a few of my favourites!

    HERITAGE PRINT iPAD CASES | JOHN LEWIS | GIRL ABOUT TECH

    What are they? iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPhone 5/5s Heritage Print cases, from £19.95 – available from May
    GAT says:
    These jaunty cases were inspired by an early John Lewis fashion brochure, and feature ladies in 1960s outfits outside the John Lewis Oxford Street store and Peter Jones in Sloane Square. They’re very Girl About Tech, don’t you agree?

    JOHN-AND-LEWIS-VACUUM-CLEANERS-_-JOHN-LEWIS-_-GIRL-ABOUT-TECH

    What are they? John and Lewis 150 HiFlo cylinder vacuum cleaners, £129.95  – available from May
    GAT says:
     Numatic’s iconic “Henry” vacuum cleaner has got two new buddies –  ”John” and “Lewis”. I actually have a “Hetty” at home as I’ve always been impressed by these British-made vacs – they are easy to use, have a powerful motor and come with lots of handy attachments including an upholstery nozzle, crevice tool and a soft dusting brush.

    KENWOOD-PURPLE-KETTLE-AND-KMIX-STAND-MIXER-_-JOHN-LEWIS-_-GIRL-ABOUT-TECH

    What are they? Kenwood kettle, £59.95, and kMix KMX86 stand mixer, £379.95 – available from June/July
    GAT says:
     Kenwood has contributed several new appliances to the celebratory range, including a kMix kettle and toaster in ‘John Lewis purple’, and this stunning striped stand mixer with a five-litre stainless steel bowl, a 500W motor and beater, whisk, dough hook and flexi beater attachments.

    ASTON-DAB-RADIOS-_-JOHN-LEWIS-_-GIRL-ABOUT-TECH

    What are they? Aston DAB Radio in Spearmint, Teal and Magenta, £39.95 – available from April
    GAT says: These retro-inspired radios come in Spearmint, Teal and Magenta.  they’re not as old-fashioned as the look, either, boasting clear-as-a-bell DAB technology and 10 presets.

    SMEG FAB28 FRIDGE | JOHN LEWIS | GIRL ABOUT TECH

    What is it? Smeg FAB28 Retro fridge, £1,499 – available from May
    GAT says: This amazing Cummersdale pattern is one of the store’s signature prints, dating back all the way to 1864. The fridge is rather more modern inside, with an excellent A++ energy rating and a handy ice box.

    Other items in the range will include a Magimix 5200XL food processor in Teal, £369.95, and a Dualit Origins toaster, £199.95, but keep your eyes peeled in store for more limited-edition products.

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    Friday Find: Beko’s CAST designer appliances

    by  • April 18, 2014 • 0 Comments

    CAST-COOKER-HOOD-BY-PATRICIA-URQUIOLA-_-BEKO-_-GIRL-ABOUT-TECH

    What is it? CAST Line cooker hood by Patricia Urquiola, £TBA, Beko
    Why I love it: As Girl About Tech, one of my life’s ambitions is to design my own range of appliances. I’d like to believe I’d think outside the (white) box – you know, create a mind-reading oven that knows what you want for dinner before you do, or a washer dryer that unloads itself, irons your clothes and puts them all away.

    Anyway, while I wait for the offers to roll in (ahem), let’s admire the work of top designer Patricia Urquiola, who has collaborated with Beko to produce her very own range of ovens, hobs and hoods, the lucky lady. Called CAST, the line-up was premiered at EuroCucina in Milan last week. My favourite is the innovative cooker hood, above, which boasts a high extraction rate to shift steam, grease and odours, and a handy shelf.

    Patricia has also come up with some snazzy gas hobs in a selection of different sizes, from individual gas-on-glass rings to three- and five-burner models in stainless steel, plus induction hobs and some exquisite 60cm built-in ovens.

    Prices and availability are yet to be announced but I’ll update this post when I have more details. Want to see more? Of course you do…

    CAST OVEN AND HOB BY PATRICIA URQUIOLA | BEKO | GIRL ABOUT TECH

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    Friday Find: Smeg’s small appliances

    by  • April 11, 2014 • 2 Comments

    RETRO SMALL APPLIANCES | SMEG | GIRL ABOUT TECH

     

    What are they? Two-slice toaster, £79; four-slice toaster, £109; stand mixer, £379; blender, £TBA, kettles, from £79, all Smeg 
    Why I love them: I’m not sure I really need to answer this. It’s a whole gang of small appliances with the same ‘Made in Italy’ retro styling as Smeg’s FAB fridges – what’s not to love? They’ll officially arrive in the UK in May, and will be available in a wide range of colours, including this sultry red, candy pink, powder blue, pastel green, lime green, cream, black and silver. Details of their functions have yet to be released, but I’ll be sure to check them out at their launch at Grand Designs Live.

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    Dunelm Mill launches retro fridge freezers

    by  • April 6, 2014 • 4 Comments

    SPECTRUM RETRO FRIDGE FREEZERS | DUNELM MILL | GIRL ABOUT TECH

     

    Who doesn’t love a retro fridge freezer? The problem is, they can cost quite a bit more than your average white or silver box. But if you head over to Dunelm Mill later this month (or visit their website), you’ll be able to buy your very own nod to nostalgia for as little as £349.

    There are two models to choose from. If you don’t need much freezer space, I’d suggest you choose the top-mount fridge freezer, which costs £349, has an A+ rating and an integrated ice compartment. There’s also a more generously proportioned alternative, priced at £499.99, which is 15m taller and offers extra freezer capacity.

    Both models come in red, cream or black. I’m a fan of the red, but which one would you choose?

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    Friday Find: Nest Learning Thermostat

    by  • April 4, 2014 • 0 Comments

    NEST LEARNING THERMOSTAT | GIRL ABOUT TECH

    What is it? Learning Thermostat, from £179, Nest
    Why I love it: This is the undoubtedly the cleverest thermostat I’ve ever met. Launched this week, it learns the temperatures you like, senses when you’re not at home and turns down the heat, and can be controlled from your mobile or tablet via an Android or iOS app.

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    Friday Find: HTC One M8 smartphone

    by  • March 28, 2014 • 2 Comments

    HTC ONE M8 SMARTPHONE | GIRL ABOUT TECHWhat is it? One (M8) smartphone, around £500 SIM free, HTC
    Why I love it: It’s only March but this is already being labelled ‘smartphone of the year’ by some. Yes, it’s the beautifully designed – not quite so beautifully named – HTC One (M8), successor to last year’s widely praised HTC One.

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    Five fabulous Mother’s Day gifts for under £30

    by  • March 23, 2014 • 1 Comment

    THORNBACK & PEEL IPHONE CASES | GIRL ABOUT TECH

    What is it? Tortoise & Dandelion, Pigeon & Jelly and Rabbit & Cabbage iPhone cases, £19.99, Thornback & Peel
    Why I love it Everyone knows that tortoises love dandelions, rabbits find cabbage irresistible and pigeons are, erm, mad for jelly… anyway, if your mother is a fan of quirky, she’ll love these. There are two different styles, one for iPhone 4/4s and the other for the very latest 5/5s.

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    Friday Find: Nespresso Inissia pod coffee machine

    by  • March 21, 2014 • 1 Comment

    NESPRESSO INISSIA COFFEE MACHINE BY KRUPS | DEBENHAMS | GIRL ABOUT TECH

    What is it? Nespresso Inissia pod coffee machine by Krups, £89, Debenhams
    Why I love it: Like many people, I’ve always wanted a Nespresso machine. Some might be wooed by the teas, hot chocolates and other drinks offered by rival systems (Tassimo, Dolce Gusto), but I only have eyes only for Nespresso’s decadent system of ‘Grand Crus’. These 19 different varieties of coffee pod look an awful lot like posh chocolates, and taste as good if not better… well, as long as you put them in the machine, obvs.

    Thing is, I’ve never had the cashola to splashola on one, but here’s the good news – this week, Nespresso has launched their most affordable machine yet, the Inissia. Priced at under £90, it comes in Black, White (shown), Ruby Red, Vanilla Cream, Orange and Grey. The are also two limited-edition colours, Summer Sun and Blue Sky.

    The Inissia works by forcing steaming water through the vacuum-sealed pods at a high 19-bar pressure. This creates a thick ‘crema’ – the coffee extract that rests on top like the head on a pint of Guinness, and the key to a tasty espresso.

    So if you’re stuck for a belated St Patrick’s Day present, or more likely, a Mother’s Day gift, I’d look no further.

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    Friday Find: Stellé Audio Pillar wireless speaker

    by  • March 14, 2014 • 0 Comments

    Pillar wireless speaker | Stelle Audio Couture | Girl About TechWhat is it? Pillar wireless Bluetooth speaker, £299, Stellé Audio
    Why I love it: While I’m not quite ready to burn my bra, I’ll admit I get great satisfaction from seeing a fabulous piece of tech that’s been designed by a woman, for a woman. Step forward Anna Perelman, who has created the Pillar speaker to be beautiful in its simplicity, and incredibly easy to use.

    There are just four buttons on the top – one you press to pair the speaker to your phone or tablet, one that lets you use it as a speakerphone, and two to tap the volume up and down. Press the pairing button and you’ll be ready to listen in a handful of seconds.

    Be assured this is not a case of style over substance – the Pillar sounds fantastic to my ears, due in no small part to the technical nous of Anne’s hubby Wayne Ludlum. It sends music to every corner of the room, with a 3-inch subwoofer producing bass that’s beefy but not overbearing. Vocals are crystal clear and the treble tingles along nicely.

    The Pillar has a built-in battery that lasts up to 15 hours, and comes in seven finishes. Five are plain – this gloss white is joined by black, bronze, brushed aluminium and pewter – and there are also two metallic geometric designs by New York design house DwellStudio. If you’re anything like me, you’ll want them all!

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    Favourite Things: KitchenAid mixer’s new matt finishes

    by  • March 11, 2014 • 0 Comments

    Thanks to a particularly tedious train journey, I was quite the Grumpasaurus Rex when I arrived at work this morning. Then I opened my inbox and found details of two new KitchenAid Artisan stand mixers. Aah, that’s better…

    ARTISAN STAND MIXER IN CAST-IRON BLACK AND TERRACOTTA | KITCHENAID | GIRL ABOUT TECH

    OK, the design is nothing new (well, if it ain’t broke…), but the Cast Iron Black and Terracotta finishes are. They’re both matt, reflecting the design world’s current preference for understated texture over glossy sheens, and bring the total number of colour choices to a frankly stress-inducing 29.

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    Friday Find: De’Longhi slimline coffee machine

    by  • March 7, 2014 • 1 Comment

    DEDICA SLIMLINE COFFEE MACHINE | DELONGHI | GIRL ABOUT TECH

    What is it? Dedica stainless-steel coffee machine, £199, De’Longhi
    Why I love it: At just 15cm wide, the Dedica has all the features of a traditional bar-pump machine, but without the usual space-hogging issues… meaning it’s the perfect fit for my cramped kitchen. There’s a cup warmer on top, a frothing wand for creamy cappuccinos and lattes, and three backlit buttons to select a long or short espresso, or steam.
    I’d definitely go for the stainless-steel finish above, which looks and feels even more professional in the flesh, but the Dedica also comes in a deep red and classy black, and will be available in June from John Lewis, Argos, Currys, Debenhams and House of Fraser.

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    Celeb About Tech: Sarah Beeny

    by  • February 28, 2014 • 1 Comment

    This week, I’ve been talking tech with property developer, matchmaker and queen of the contingency fund, Sarah Beeny. She’s working with Nectar to find eight frugal families to share their best money-saving tips. They’ll need to blog about how they make their money go further, and the savviest family will win a £10,000 prize package. If you think you’ve got what it takes to win, you can enter here.

    SARAH BEENY | GIRL ABOUT TECH

    Girl About Tech: Can you tell me more about Nectar’s ‘Savvy Family’ campaign?
    Sarah Beeny: It’s a great competition that celebrates and rewards families that act smart when it comes to saving and spending their money. We’re asking them to blog for six weeks, sharing tips on everything from cutting the weekly shopping bill to entertaining the kids for free, and they’ll get the chance to win some amazing prizes. I’m proud to be championing savviness, because I find it so important.

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