Like Penthouse, these gadgets will stand the test of time.
By Crispin Boyer
Complete Guitar Pack
Orange Amplification • $349
If you’re ready to learn to rock, why not jam on gear from the land of Led Zeppelin and the Beatles? This British-built kit includes a guitar, a portable amplifier, and all the roadie accoutrements (padded bag, guitar cable, tuner, and strap). It even comes with a beginner tutorial with ten lessons and backing tracks. The guitar is crafted from glossy maple and rosewood, and features quality pickups and tuner heads good enough for beginners and lapsed guitar gods alike. The Crush PiX 12L amp is just the right size for practice or performances in small venues. It features a three-band equalizer and overdrive that produces a rich sound suitable for a wide range of genres, from acoustic ballads to screaming solos.
Upp hydrogen-fuel cell
Intelligent Energy • $170
It’s not quite as user-friendly as Mr. Fusion from Back to the Future, but this is still the most futuristic battery you can buy. It was designed by a British portable-power specialist, and relies on hydrogen-fuel cartridges (replacements sold separately) to supply a week’s worth of energy to USB-powered devices. It recharges about as quickly as an on-the-grid wall outlet. An Android and iPhone app helps you squeeze every last drop of juice out of a cartridge. (The app also finds nearby stores that sell replacements.)
SwannOne Smart Hub
Swann • Starting at $299
This small Wi-Fi-linked box will be the brain in your smart home’s central nervous system. Once it’s in place, you can add a range of cameras, sensors, and automating gadgets, including a thermostat, smart plugs to control lights and appliances remotely, entry and window monitors, auto-locks, and more. Each addition boosts the senses and IQ of your home, which could evolve to reach a HAL 9000 level of complexity.
Sol Republic • $99
These headphones are built to take a knocking but keep on rocking. The headband is made of a polymer called Flex Tech that retains its head-hugging shape regardless of heavy misuse. The speakers deliver distortion-free sound and deep bass, while the plush ear cups add comfort and sound isolation. A three-button remote and noise-canceling microphone built into the cord make life easier for smartphone users when they need to take a call.
Yota Devices • $400 (estimated)
Like its nifty-but-flawed predecessor, the Russki-made Yota-Phone 2 is literally a two-faced device: The front bears a brilliant five-inch AMOLED display just like a conventional Android phone, while the rear side sports a responsive 4.7-inch E Ink screen that never shuts off. The energy-efficient rear screen mirrors the front for checking emails, stock prices, appointments, or any graphically simple apps, adding days to your battery life. The rear display also makes a perfect mini e-reader, which helps justify the phone’s shocking sticker price.
From the March 2015 issue of Penthouse