the gadget show
Monday Feb 26 19.15–20.00
Continuing this evening is the sixth series of Five’s consumer technology show, presented by Jason Bradbury, Suzi Perry and Jon Bentley. This week’s episode sees the return of The Gadget Show’s toughest set of tests as two MP3 players are ‘Tested to Destruction’. First up is the iPod. After testing out a selection of iPod cases by making an Apple pie, washing them in the shower, drying them in a spin cycle and driving over them, Suzi chooses the hardiest case on the market. Going up against the iPod-and-case combo is the Monolith –a truly rugged MP3 player. To test them out, Suzi and Jason head to a breakers’ yard in East London.
The first test is impact. Two paintball snipers fire rounds at the MP3 players, which are held by their respective champions. The paintballs leave the rifles at a speed of 204mph, so the gadgets, along with Jason and Suzi, are in for some severe punishment. After impact comes the pressure test. The two MP3 players are embedded in concrete with their headphones exposed. Once the concrete hardens, the players are tested to see if they still work. The next test must be vibration, since the only way to free the gadgets from the concrete is by drilling. And finally, the two gadgets are crushed. Placed in two cars, they are given a severe beating to see which emerges as the toughest MP3 player.
Jon’s subject this week is hi-fis. After much thought, he decided to shun sound booths in favour of testing the systems in a natural setting –a house party. Jon’s three machines –a Denon, a Sony and an Arcam –range in price from £300 to over a grand. But does more cash make the music sound better? As the party goers get into things and their conversation level rises, Jon tests out each machine in turn for their sound quality, ease of use and ability to cope with different formats.
Elsewhere, Jason continues his efforts to build a machine enabling him to write with his mind. He first got the idea in March last year when he visited technology show CEBIT and saw a gadget that used brain impulses to write letters on a screen. It seemed very high-tech but, after some work, Jason realised that he could build one himself.