These Were February’s Coolest and Weirdest Gadgets

These Were February’s Coolest and Weirdest Gadgets

February was a pretty calm month for gadgets, but we still saw our fair share, including the Apple Vision Pro, Kia’s gigantic new EV, and a weird AI from MWC.

Let’s look at our top coolest and weirdest picks for the month of February. You can check out January’s list here.

People get silly with the Apple Vision Pro

Screenshots: Twitter

Released in early February, but not officially in Australia (yet), the Apple Vision Pro remained a consistent joke throughout the month for its lack of purpose and the dumb stuff people were doing while wearing it.

The Kia EV9

Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

We reviewed Kia’s gigantic seven-seater EV9 in February and found it a pleasure to drive, sleep in, and work in. However there’s no mistaking just how big it is. That being said, it drives beautifully and would suit a large family well.

MWC 2024 speed round

Image Gizmodo Australia

Mobile World Congress (MWC) usually brings a wealth of weird and wonderful gadgets, and this year was no exception. This year, highlights included rollable phones, Samsung’s Galaxy Ring, a console you strap to your face, and a whole lot more.

The Bose Ultra Open Earbuds

Photo: Artem Golub / Gizmodo

If you’re looking for a great pair of earbuds that serve clean, powerful audio and don’t need active noise cancelling, the Bose Ultra Open Earbuds are for you. The buds offer slight durability with nearly 30 hours of battery life (with the charging case) and are incredibly comfortable even after hours of wear. And in terms of design, nothing on the market looks anything like the Ultra Open. However, these earbuds might be a bit pricey for many users.

Nvidia’s new local AI chatbot

Image: Gizmodo Australia

Nvidia is the market leader for graphics cards, but increasingly it has become more and more focused on things outside of the gaming and graphics processing space – in particular on AI, as of late. So what does a company that is known for its GPUs (graphics processing units) do when it’s trying to spread the word about its AI capabilities? It gives an AI out as a perk for its graphics card owners named “Chat With RTX”.

The Fitbit Charge 6

Image: Florence Ion/Gizmodo

Take heed that some of Charge 6’s metrics come at a price—including the Daily Readiness score, detailed sleep analysis, and mindfulness help. These features come with Fitbit Premium, which costs $AU13/month. Thankfully, the Health Metrics Trends, which include your body temperature and resting heart rate, are not behind a paywall. If you want to buy the Charge 6 on sale and get access to those bits with the monthly subscription, you still can. iPhone users, the Charge 6 is compatible with iOS 15 and up. However, some features, including smartphone notifications, are limited to Android users.

The Volvo XC40

Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

Volvo’s mid-size electric SUV impressed us in February, given its high costs and fairly uninspiring interior, we couldn’t stop thinking about it compared to Volvo’s younger sibling and spin-off, Polestar, which has a much fresher aesthetic, insider and out. Regardless, we’re very excited to see the Volvo EX30.

The Fujifilm X100VI

Photo: Artem Golub / Gizmodo

Sometimes, or–hell–most of the time, you need something simple to remind you of life’s simple pleasures. The newly-announced X100VI camera from Fujifilm can capture some of those golden moments with an impressive depth of colour. Still, the $2,899 digital camera and the return of the still-popular X100 lineup itself feels like a small treasure that’s both nostalgic and capable of capturing the small moments in full detail. If single-lens, faux physical, and all digital are your preferred ways to shoot, the X100VI has a lot going for it, especially with the new touted 40 MP sensor.


Image: Deutsche Telekom

Emma is very sci-fi, looking a bit like a plasma globe, but unfortunately, it’s an AI-powered assistant. The momentary joy that you’d get from a plasma globe doesn’t exist, and instead, Emma would offer you 3D holograms of things, including video calls to other people (which look like crap, even in a concept video like the one above). It also does all the stuff you can currently ask a chatbot like Gemini or ChatGPT, because it also needs to be an AI.

Lenovo’s Transparent Laptop

Image: Florence Ion/Gizmodo Australia

The ThinkBook transparent display laptop is a proof-of-concept laptop, so while there were ports on the chassis and software installed on the unit, it’s not the end-all, be-all of what Lenovo’s planning with this form factor. What our colleagues in the U.S. saw worked—it ran Windows 11 and even fired off a few AI queries, though it took a few tries to do so successfully. But it still seems so far from what people want to do with a transparent laptop display. The projected keyboard is a huge turn-off.

The ASUS ROG Strix Scar 18

Kotaku Australia’s editor thought the ASUS ROG Strix Scar 18 was an absurd laptop. Silly, but fun to use, and capable of thrashing any game you throw its way. However, as you can expect, it’s loud and expensive.

A cheap folding phone (in Japan)

Image: Gizmodo Australia

The ZTE Libero Flip is a foldable that sells for the equivalent of $650, but the bad news is it’s only in Japan. While it has imited specs, it is much cheaper than pretty much every other foldable phone on the market – especially in Australia.

Nio’s new EV can shake it off

If you’re cold, they’re cold—bring them inside. If you live in the frigid north where snow accumulates in drifts and you are forced to park your car outside, Nio’s new SkyRide active suspension might be just the thing you need. As shown here on the new ET9, Nio’s Tesla Model S and Porsche Taycan competitor, SkyRide can independently actuate each corner to make the car move around in a shaking motion, much like a dog after a bath. It’s just so damn adorable.

The MSI Prestige 16 AI EVO

Image: Kyle Barr/Gizmodo

Reviewer Kyle Barr doesn’t doubt that the new chip architecture of the laptop is doing work to boost overall performance, but in reality, how much does that translate into a better experience for most users? Based on its merits, he recommends the Prestige 16 AI EVO if you need a quality daily driver with an excellent screen. But for all the marketing centred on these laptops’ AI capabilities, he has yet to find the shores of the supposed AI-promised land.

SuperVan conquers the mountain

Image: Ford

I love the Ford SuperVan. It’s one of the goofiest promo vehicles in Ford’s massive automotive history, involving cramming a powerful-as-heck drive system into a flippin’ van, of all things. That body gives Ford a lot of room to play with, and previous incarnations of the famed van have included V8s and experimental engines. And now with the most recent incarnation, 4.2, an electric drive system, which has just beaten the all-time closed-wheel lap record at Australia’s most famous racetrack, Mount Panorama in Bathurst.

The World’s fastest drone

We’ve seen amazing drone footage before. But when you throw in a World Championship-winning Formula 1 driver with a custom, ultra-fast drone, and you have something exceptional. Red Bull, a brand that is always pushing boundaries, has just released amazing footage of Max Verstappen’s new F1 car and it was all filmed by a custom-made drone.

The one petabit disc

Image: Gizmodo

Oh boy, we love a big disc. Researchers from Scientists from the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology just figured out how to fit up to a petabit of data onto an optical disk by storing information in 3D. In other words, that’s 125,000 gigabytes on a single DVD-sized disk, or what experts refer to as a “big boy”.

Design your room with an Ikea app

Image: Ikea

Good news for those who are still obsessed with The Sims and need to refresh their home decor, Ikea Australia has launched its AI-powered, mixed reality experience to help its customers reimagine their living spaces. The service, named Ikea Kreativ lets people scan their living space through the Ikea app, and use its virtual and mixed reality-based app to give them a Sims-esque experience and move furniture around their room, without having to push and shove any real-life furniture around.

The PlayStation Pulse Elite

Image: Kyle Barr/Gizmodo

Most folks who consider the Pulse Elite headset will inevitably be PlayStation 5-centric players who want a headset they know will work with their solo console. Reviewer Kyle Barr wishes he could say this was a good option for those Sony diehard fans, but he can’t bring himself to. If you want a PlayStation-specific headset, you have others like the Sony Inzone line of headsets with a more traditional feel or even the Pulse Explore earbuds. He wanted to love these, but dealt with a pressure between his ears that hasn’t gone away after writing his review.

Image: Gizmodo Australia

That’s all for February, but check out the others:

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