Cool Summer Tech – Buyers Guide

Make the sizzling season a breeze with these super-cool slices of hot tech. Witchdoctor makes easy work of it by choosing for you!


Hydrate Thyself: Oh Bubbles!


There’s nothing like a cool refreshing drink on a stinking hot summers day. As tempting as it is to go buy a bottle of Coke from the dairy, there’s a better and healthier option in the form of Oh Bubbles! An Italian and Kiwi design, the Oh Bubbles! machine takes fizzy drinks to the next level. Oh Bubbles!  machines are compact and, dare I say it, even attractive. The wood finished model I tested looked right at home in my kitchen. Oh Bubbles! also has a secret superpower. Where SodaStream machines turn already flavoured drinks into super messy fizz-bombs, with Oh Bubbles! machines you can carbonate anything that’s already flavoured; they’ll add fizz to any cold beverage. Not only did it produce bracing and crisp soda water, but fruit-infused sparkling water and sodas made with homemade real fruit syrups were possible too. Oh Bubbles!  flavour syrups are also made in Italy. Many have real fruit and a fraction of their competition’s sugar (and calories). There’s also a subscription service for Co2 bottles, so cooling fizzy drinks are possible all summer.


Cool Eats: Breville Smart Scoop Ice Cream Machine


Sorbet, ice cream, granita. They’re a cooling slice of heaven on a hot day. Don’t nip down to the dairy. Make your own. They’re so much tastier. Breville’s Smart Scoop Ice Cream Machine can transform fruit, yoghurt, and other goodies into frozen delicacies. These are not just a zillion times more delicious than anything you’d buy, but loads healthier too. Making your own frozen treats isn’t hard either. Because the Breville Smart Scoop has a built-in compressor, it chills as it churns, so you get unprecedented control over your ice cream. Making some ice cream is as simple as putting the mixing bowl inside the machine along with the churning arm and pressing “Pre-Cool.” After about 10 minutes, add the chilled ice cream mixture. And choose from the 12 hardness levels. The Smart Scoop will tell you when everything is ready. Perfect!


From A to B: Ninebot Scooter


Summer need not mean being stuck in hot and stuffy cars or crowded buses and a sweaty exercise in torture. The Segway Ninebot e-scooter is a battery-powered electric scooter that can hit 25kph. It has a 25k range (plenty for commuting into town and back home). Being electric makes it environmentally friendly, and as it folds up, it can be tucked away under a desk at your workplace, so you’ll save a heap of money on parking. What’s not to like?


El Scorchio: Masport RBW Supreme 6 BBQ


Firing up the BBQ to scorch a slice of Bambi or cook some snarlers in bread with a splash of vitamin T sauce is about as kiwi as it gets on a hot summer’s day. Masport’s RBW Supreme 6 BBQ (check out Witchdoctor’s review here) has a whopping 6 burners, all of which makes cooking for a crowd dead easy. It’s made of marine-grade stainless steel and built to last. There’s also a cover included. If that wasn’t enough, Masport bundles a load of other good stuff for which other BBQ makers charge extra. There’s a battery-powered rotisserie, rear burner, smoker, lights and even a USB port (for keeping your phone charged). Last but no means least is the obligatory bottle opener so you can enjoy a coldie (or three).


Sounds: JBL PartyBox 110


As good as a BBQ is, adding oonst is mandatory at our place (as is a visit from noise control and pissed off neighbours). Like the small sibling we reviewed last year (see our review here), JBL’s Party Box 110 pairs the old-school boombox with rock-solid Bluetooth, 160 watts and speakers that’ll have your neighbours rocking as you slave over a hot BBQ. Resembling a commercial PA speaker, it’s built like a brick you-know-what house. It’s IPX4 rated, so using it in Wellington weather (or at the beach) is not a problem. As well as Bluetooth, there’s a USB port. Plugin a USB stick containing music, and you can play/pause/skip your tunes. Accompanying the music are lighting effects (which can be disabled if they’re a distraction). If you find most Bluetooth speakers a bit wussy, relax, the Party Box is anything but. There’s acres of bass and oodles of volume, plus it’ll run for 15 hours via its built-in batteries (or it can be plugged in).

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Pat has been talking about tech on TV, radio and print for over 20 years, having served time as a TV tech guy and currently penning reviews for Witchdoctor. He loves nothing more than rolling his sleeves up and playing with shiny gadgets.

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