These Were November’s Coolest and Weirdest Gadgets

These Were November’s Coolest and Weirdest Gadgets

With the spooky month of October over, and the big release season starting to calm down, things were a bit slower in November – but we still got to see a bunch of really cool gadgets, and it was a review-heavy month.

Moving on from October’s list, Let’s get stuck into the gadgets that defined October, with some of the below points summarising a range of devices.

Nevermind, Apple had some new laptops to release

Image: Asha Barbaschow/Gizmodo Australia

Not done with releasing products for the year, Apple unveiled its new M3-powered MacBooks on Halloween, and we reviewed themtwice (there was also a new iMac). We found that the 14-inch model was a small powerhouse and is deserving of all the hype it gets, while the new iMac was a bit stuck in the past.

Robovac speed round

With Apple out of the way, we also spent a good chunk of November reviewing some new robotic vacuums and lawnmowers, including the Electrolux UltimateHome 300, the Roborock Q Revo, and the Ecovacs Goat G1. All of these sucked (pun – they all did the job really well, the Roborock even mops!). Who doesn’t love a little robot?

The first 2024 Tesla Model 3 in Australia

Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

With Tesla’s Model 3 facelift fast approaching, we got invited to see it a little early, and we were really impressed with the screen in the back, but weren’t too thrilled with the interior RGB lighting. It’ll be interesting to see if Tesla can keep the EV crown, especially with automakers like MG catching up with cheaper cars.

Doom Runs on Earrings Now

Yeah, you read that correctly, somebody ported Doom to a pair of earrings. Streamer and self-taught developer Alina Matson shared a video of Tetris running on a tiny pair of Game Boy-like earrings last week to X (formerly Twitter), with one user replying that they gave it “less than 6 months before someone runs Doom on this.” Clearly, Matson was keen to speedrun the challenge, because the very next day she tweeted the response: “Yes, you can play Doom on my earrings,” alongside a video of the iconic game actually running on the bite-sized ear bling.

Tough love for the HP Spectre Fold

Let’s face it, you’re probably not buying the Spectre Fold – it’s an experimental device first and practical second. This is for someone who has money to burn and wants to show a unique piece of tech to their fellow execs or rich friends. It’s better to think of the Spectre as a stepping stone to what might come next. Hopefully, the next big iteration comes with a price tag we peasants can even hope to afford.

Robo rhino!

If man were meant to move around at high speed, God would have given us wheels. The scourge of the automobile must be stamped out before it consumes us and society entirely. If you need something to help you stamp with more strength and authority, look no further than the Sansei SR-02 quadruped walking robot ride. This little guy will help turn society around. All we need is a weird little rhinoceros mech guy in our lives.

The Roccat Vulcan II keyboard

If you’re the type who prioritises flash over function, definitely go for the Vulcan II. But know that there’s a chance you might regret not prioritising a stable and firm typing experience instead. As I said, the keys do feel a bit slippery, and there’s an undeniable learning curve on this keyboard. The ‘ideal’ feel of a keyboard is a very personal preference, and some might enjoy the overly-smooth experience. Ultimately, it boils down to whether you’re into the textured PBT feel or the smooth ABS one because Roccat does a pretty decent job at all the other areas on the Vulcan II.

Toyota’s hydrogen van

Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

We got to take Toyota’s newest prototype for a spin; a hydrogen-powered van with a different engine style to all of its other hydrogen vehicles, focusing on hydrogen combustion rather than hydrogen-to-electricity conversions. It’s a cool idea, but we’ll have to wait and see if it takes off.

The Dyson Big+Quiet Formaldehyde

Image: Asha Barbaschow/Gizmodo Australia

The Dyson Purifier Big+Quiet Formaldehyde is pretty (subjective), makes my apartment not feel like it has no windows, and gives me peace of mind that I’m not breathing in gas from my stove at all hours of the day. It also drastically removes the smell of cats from my home. The purifier doubles as an aircon unit, really, when in such a small space, and it just makes things feel more fresh. I still don’t have any scientific testing I’ve performed to back any of this, all I know is that Dyson has invested a shitload of time and money into air purification, and the Big+Quiet Formaldehyde is evidence of this.

Finally, a Magic Mouse with a good charging spot

Everybody hates the design of the standard Magic Mouse, Apple’s first-party desktop mouse, with its charging port located on the bottom, rendering it inoperable when it’s recharging. In November, we wrote about an engineer’s attempt to fix this with an ergonomic mouse mod, and we loved it.

The PlayStation Portal, ladies and gentlemen

You have to think of the PlayStation Portal as an extension of the PS5. It’s great if you live somewhere where you have to share a TV, or maybe you want to find a way to play PS5 in other rooms or really need a way to play God of War on the go. Even though the PlayStation Portal is a niche product that only does one thing: stream PS5 games, it does it really well, depending on your wifi connection, of course. Unless you’re an absolute PlayStation die-hard who needs to be able to play their PS5 no matter where they are, the PlayStation Portal is an excellent streaming device for $330; it’s just not very good at anything else and doesn’t have the versatility of other gaming handhelds. It does look great, though.

Samsung brings back the FE

We quite liked Samsung’s new Galaxy S23 FE, the budget-oriented device that’s basically a stripped-back version of the standard S23 revealed in January, so much so that we did an Australian model-specific review later on, just so users know what the difference is between models sold in the U.S.. While we’re at it, we also reviewed Samsung’s new budget-oriented Galaxy Buds FE’s, and thought they were a good device for what you spend.

The Samsung Q-Series Soundbar and Quantum Dot LED TV

One thing became abundantly clear within Asha’s first few days with the Samsung S95C OLED 4K Smart TV – you absolutely get what you pay for. The television is expensive, but models like this aren’t something you buy every year – it will be many years before you need to upgrade. Meanwhile, the Samsung Q-Series Q990C is boomy, bold, and does everything you want a soundbar to do. There’s genuinely not much to say about a soundbar that delivers cinema-quality sound into your ears while you’re sitting on the lounge.


Image: Erin Marquis/Gizmodo Australia

The Honda Motocompacto is a zippy little thing in the straights and, though it steers like an oversized deck of cards, it corners well enough to get its rider through busy city streets. It doesn’t snake between cones easily, but you aren’t doing the Tail of the Dragon with the Motocompacto anyway.

Aussie-made, carbon-neutral headphones

Image: Alice Clarke/Gizmodo Australia

Don’t run out to buy the Our Pure Planet Signature Bluetooth Headphones based on their environmental claims alone. However, if my budget was $250, and you let me (a headphone nerd) into a store to buy a pair of over-ear ANC headphones, these would be my pick. They punch well above their price point, and although they don’t excel at any one feature, they are a true Jack of most trades. I’m really interested to see what Our Pure Planet does next and already look forward to seeing what they do in the future.

More TVs? Don’t mind if I do

Image: Hisense

The Hisense U7KAU is the definition of ‘good, not great’. And if you’re not the sort of person who likes to squeeze every ounce of juice out of every screen they own, that means you’ll like it quite a bit. For the tweakers and the videophiles that absolutely must have the best audio-visual experience every time, you’ll want to step up to the U8KAU in a 65- or 75-inch, the top-end of what Hisense currently has to offer.

Rolls Royce’s new EV comes to Australia

Image: Asha Barbaschow/Gizmodo Australia

According to Rolls-Royce, the Spectre is the world’s first ultra-luxury electric super coupé. We wouldn’t dare argue with them, not that we could, with our jaws on the floor from that $770,000 price tag. It’s a gorgeous car, no doubt, but you could buy at least 10 Model 3s with that money.

Kingston’s new tiny portable SSD

The Kingston XS1000 could be valuable if you need a well-priced portable SSD, with a small form factor and fast speeds. It would be a great storage solution for precious digital photos and games that you don’t want to keep redownloading. I recommend it to space-conscious content creators and to people who would rather rely on offline storage over cloud storage.

Sennheiser’s mid-range headphones

Image: Chris Neill/Gizmodo Australia

Are the Accentum the best-sounding headphones Sennheiser has ever made? No, but these headphones won’t disappoint. If you’re deadset on having the highest quality audio possible and have the cash, I’d say you should still go the premium route and pick up the Momentum 4 headphones. But if you’re working to a set budget, then the Accentum will serve you well. For the price you’re paying, it’s good gear.

The Audi E-Tron GT

Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

It’d be nice if every car on the road looked as good as the Audi E-Tron GT, but alas I’m not sure someone who has just bought a Polestar 2 or a Tesla Model 3 will feel like they’re missing out on anything. If you’re aspirational for a fast, electric sedan with a bit of luxury, believe me when I say you don’t need the Audi E-Tron GT. The Hyundai Ioniq 6 follows similar styling queues and is half the price, and the Polestar 2 feels jubilant enough while, relatively, saving you money. It’s not like EVs are cheap to begin with, but sheesh. The Audi E-Tron GT is the most luxurious car I’ve ever driven… But if it wasn’t my job to drive cars, I don’t think I’d ever have the opportunity to even sit in one.

The most beautiful mini PC ever

Ayaneo showed off a new, Mac-inspired mini PC in November, with the launch of a Kickstarter to fund the project. If it goes into development, it’ll be Ayaneo’s first non-handheld device, and I very much welcome it – it’s so pretty.

Did you think we were done talking about TVs?

Image: Asha Barbaschow/Gizmodo Australia

Hisense has always been known in the Australian market for its position on the quality-to-affordability matrix. While the UXAU TV continues this trend for Hisense, it slips out of reach for a lot of consumers, being priced at $5,000 and $10,000 respectively. It’s a really solid contender for those considering options in this price bracket, and I don’t have a single thing bad to say about the ULED X. Hisense is just no longer a brand you should like of as ‘budget-friendly’. Is the space too crowded with Samsung and LG (some would argue Sony)? Perhaps, but Hisense is still giving it a red hot crack and the UXAU TV is proof of that.

Cadillac is back!

Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

Cadillac, the Holden sister company focused on the luxury market, is finally returning to Australia after being absent for decades – and it’s doing so as an all-electric option, with no plans to release a combustion engine vehicle as of yet. We got to see the company’s first Australia-bound EV in November, the Lyriq, and we’re excited to see how things turn out for the company.

Which tablet? The Wacom One

Image: Alice Clarke/Gizmodo Australia

The Wacom One is for people who either don’t need (or don’t have the budget for) a more pro Wacom tablet. Wacom is THE name in drawing tablets for a reason with reliability that is hard to beat. It’s also rugged and portable. For the specs and the reliability of the brand, $649 is a good price for a good product that does exactly what it says it’ll do.

The Kobold VK7 Cleaning System

Image: Alice Clarke/Gizmodo Australia

The Kobold VK7 Complete Cleaning System is a pretty good machine, that mostly does what it says it will, but there’s nothing here that makes it worth hundreds of dollars more than the current top-rated machines that do basically the same thing.

Logitech asks: Would you like RGB with that?

Image: Alice Clarke/Gizmodo Australia

The Logitech Litra Beam LX is a great keylight. Those who want the RGB features should get this model, if it fits in their budget. But at $269.95, it is quite expensive. If you want basically the same thing for less, just without the RGB features, there’s always last year’s (now discontinued) Logitech Litra Beam, which is exactly that, and can probably be found second-hand somewhere. But, either way, if you’re after a key light, this one is really great.

Speaking of Logitech…

Image: Logitech

This whole suite of pink Logitech X peripherals is expensive, but also absolutely excellent. I do worry about the tiny dongles getting lost. But they all feel great to use and look fantastic. If they sound like what you’re after, and fit in your budget, you should totally go for it.

Why even bother with a small portable monitor?

Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

I recommend Verbatim’s portable monitor if you have a niche use case for it, but I highly doubt this is the kind of thing you’ll be needing when travelling unless you absolutely need it – say if you need to do some video editing in a hotel room, and do it best with multiple screens. If your only use for this screen is that you don’t like how small your laptop screen is, I think you’d find the disadvantages outweigh the advantages – the weight, price, need for a power point, and extra space needed for luggage, unfortunately, don’t really justify the need to include a 14-inch 1080p display. But at the end of the day, it’s reasonable to look at Verbatim’s portable monitor like this: it’s a small monitor that’s easy to move around, without too high a price, perfect for a niche use-case. For most purposes, though, you’re either better off with a normal monitor, or just with your laptop.

Australia’s cheapest AWD EV arrives

The XPower is the performance oriented member of the MG4 family, and it’s meant to appeal to speed lovers. 400km WLTP range really isn’t a lot when you’re trying to run two motors, but in the right conditions, the XPower is an absolute pleasure to drive – and it seriously wants to be driven hard. It’s probably the most fun EV you can buy under $60,000 in Australia, sitting alongside the Cupra Born.

Valve continues to taunt us

Image: Kyle Barr/Gizmodo Australia

While Valve released an updated version of its hugely popular Steam Deck gaming handheld in November, packing an incredible OLED screen, it didn’t announce any plans to come down under. Why do you hate us, Valve?

Image: Gizmodo Australia

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