Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

December 15, 2017

Jambox speaker by Jawbone.

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Hello holidays!

9 new gifts to give

SLIDESHOW »
2012 gift guide

LITTLE POWERHOUSE
This is the year to eat fresher and healthier and to spend less time in the kitchen doing it. With six blades and a 450-watt motor, the Ninja Master Prep Food & Drink Maker can turn ice cubes into slush and frozen fruit into smoothies in seconds. It also chops, dices and purees while taking up a lot less counter space than a food processor. Both its 1.4-L pitcher and 475-millilitre bowl come with lids and can go straight to the fridge or microwave. Perfect for smoothies, hummus, fresh salsa and guacamole, chicken salad and, er, margaritas. $69.99 at Canadian Tire. [SL]

SNAP IT UP
For every-day photos, smartphones do a decent job, but they don't deal well with landscapes or low lighting. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 has an ultrawide-angle lens that will really do justice to sweeping locations like the Grand Canyon or Hong Kong Harbour. Despite being only 2.8-centimetres thick, its 20x Leica optical zoom gives you tremendous range. At 14.1 megapixels, you'll have professional quality prints up to legal size. There's also map-integratged GPS, so you can geotag your shots, and high-resolution 1080p video capture. It has fast shooting performance, and settings for tricky situations, like handheld low-light shots, as well as popular features like HDR (high-dynamic range). It's a great feature-rich compact for intermediate shooters. $349. futureshop.ca. [SL]

THIS IS NOT A BOX OF TISSUES
It’s a Big Jambox speaker from Jawbone, makers of the Bluetooth earpiece we reviewed in 2008 (doctorsreview.com/gadgets/both-hands-on-the-wheel). Turn your phone, tablet or laptop into a bring-along, wireless, 3D-sound system. It supposedly gives 15 hours of rechargeable battery life, a wireless range of 10 metres and comes with a microphone for better sound on Skype, GoogleTalk and FaceTime. $300 at The Source. jawbone.com. [AS]

LET'S GET DIGITAL
Friend x is always resolving to lose weight. Friend x will do it in 2013. The Fitbit that you’re going to get him will help, after all, as Time put it, the activity tracker “makes getting in shape as addictive as checking Facebook and Twitter.” The new Zip ($60) monitors steps taken, distance travelled and calories burned; the One ($100) is more detail-oriented also tracking stairs climbed and hours slept. Both sync wirelessly and automatically to your Mac or PC via Bluetooth and USB dongle, and to some mobile and tablet devices, too. Plus, you can log weight, workouts and meals on Fitbit’s customizable online dashboard. The Zip comes in blue, magenta, white, charcoal and lime; the One in black and burgundy. fitbit.com. [CC]

SWIPE THIS
We know what you're thinking: gloves as a present? How boring. But not these gloves. Imagine it's blustery cold, you're outside and you need to check a restaurant address on your smartphone. Take your gloves off? Not if you're wearing North Face ETIP Gloves. The coating on the tip of the index and thumb allows you to swipe, slide and tap a touch-sensitive screen with gloves on. $40. Available for men and women in several colours and in padded models for winter sports. thenorthface.com. [SL]

A LIGHT READ
Your partner wants to read (lights on), you want to go to bed (lights off). Kobo has the solution: its new Glo eReader. Almost identical to the Kobo Touch, Wired magazine’s 2012 Editor’s Pick beating out both Amazon and Sony’s eReaders, the Glo features an electronic-ink, glare-free screen that replicates print on paper, but, unlike the Touch, it can be illuminated by pressing a small external button just left of the power switch. Your partner can then adjust the ComfortLight’s brightness by tapping a little sun that appears at the bottom of the screen: we found the max setting too hard on the eyes, minimum not bright enough for reading in the dark, in the middle just right. $130 in black, blue, pink and silver at Best Buy, Future Shop and Indigo. kobo.com. [CC]

ONE FAST JOE
Waking up is hard to do, especially in winter when mornings are cold and beds are snug enough for bugs. Gift the late riser in your lineage with The Scoop by Hamilton Beach and the single-serve coffeemaker will put a spring in his or her AM step. The (almost sexy) stainless-steel maker includes two steel “brew baskets,” which means your sleepyhead won’t have to buy paper filters or plastic pods ever, and he or she can use any ground coffee (set to regular or bold) they like. The height of the drip tray can be adjusted to fit a coffee cup or travel mug and the machine will make a standard cup in 90 seconds tops; we timed it. $70 at Canadian Tire and hamiltonbeach.ca. [CC]

SURGICAL PRECISION OR OCD?
This is for the person who googles how many pinches or smidgens there are in a quarter teaspoon. When it comes to cookery, this person leaves nothing to instinct. Which is why this beechwood 23 x 30 centimetre Obsessive Chef Cutting Board may provide some order in the area of slicing and dicing. You’ll be able to cut food at a precise angle and length and know the exact difference between an allumette, a fine julienne and bâtonnet — not to mention a small, medium and fine dice. $18 on Amazon.com, or find a retailer at fredandfriends.com. [AS]

WII WILL ROCK YOU
If the Nintendo Wii is one of your family’s preferred game consoles, then the Wii U is a natural step up. The tablet-style controller, called the Wii U GamePad, comes in basic (white, $300) with eight gigabytes of storage or deluxe (black, $350) with 32 gigs of storage and features Nintendo Land — a carnival-like set of games. Both let you play with or without the TV on. From now until the end of March, Nintendo plans to release 50 games for the U. But that’s not all: it also comes with the rather ambitious WiiTVii, a free service that’s supposed to work with any TV provider. From the looks of it, the system makes searching movies and shows fun and you can share your favourite bits socially — as you see them. nintendo.com/wiiu. [AS]

This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm rates and details directly with the companies in question.

Comments

Showing 1 comments

  1. On December 3, 2012, Alexandra T. Greenhill said:
    Not sure if "supposedly" really applies in the description of the Jambox - it is simply a life-changing device! And full disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with the company other than being a happy owner of one of their products!

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