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Our trip to
The Gadget Show Live @ Christmas

 

Arriving at Excel, London after a good journey was a relief.  Parking was great.  Loads of space and plenty of disabled parking.   Ok the cost of parking was high at 15 and its just an underground car park.  You dont get a valet for that!!!! 

Passing through the main corridor of food outlets I noticed that there is a huge array of choice from subway to noodles. 

The box office outside the hall was busy but the queue didn't last long.

On entering the hall we are bombarded by gadget heaven.   Mainly computer type gadget but the odd other little invention was available too. 

The Microsoft stand are promoting windows 8 very heavily.  Although they were unable to answer a couple of questions we had about the usage of Microsoft Office and the inability to use the tiled screen very easily but I reckon that will come in time.  

Nintendo had a great presence mainly due to today being the launch of the WiiU console.  The first new console for quite a few years.   We met a really friendly guy who showed us how to use the console and play a game.  We could have stayed there for ages.  First we played a Super Mario game and personally I didn't feel that this was really using the wiiU to its best ability due to the screen on the controller just being the same as the main TV.  It was then that our guy told us that we could put the TV onto another channel and the player could carry on playing just with the handheld screen.  The WiiU comes into play best when used on other games that use the controller screen to give you maps or special things to do whilst the game is playing on the main screen.  This looked really interesting. 

The graphics are brilliant and the games look fun to play.  Another amazing feature of the wiiU is the panoramic view ability.  We were shown a clip of a parade and you are able to 360 degree the area - quite impressive.

The WiiU will most certainly have a stake in the console wars.

The product that caught my eye next was the train shaped computer case from Overlocker priced at 199 but wow its certainly eye catching.

Anyone fancy an LG 84" TV Screen - it is pretty awesome - the picture does not do it justice.  The HD picture really is outstanding.  I am personally not usually overly impressed by TV screens but this really did bring the pictures to life.  Plus it is enormous.  Being in the exhibition meant the scale was slightly lost but it was massive.

Chargers are often an issue when travelling so when we saw the MU USB Charger (www.themu.co.uk) we could see the full potential.  It is a flat adapter that you can open up to become the plug.  Just insert your USB lead and plug it in and you are being charged.  It is suitable for anything that uses a USB socket. The MU is very neat.

Parax Paper (www.parax.co.uk) really caught my eye. The paper is  sustainable, environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional pulp paper. Made from 80% Calcium Carbonate CaCO3 and 20% non-toxic HDPE, Parax Paper is a revolutionary invention that is taking over various markets by storm.  This is understandable when you get your hands on it.  It is made from stone yes honestly stone plus a bit of plastic.  No water is used when it is made.  It is actually waterproof.  You can write on it underwater - although having the right pen may be more of the issue -- and yes we have tried this at home!  The strangest yet most amazing structure of this kind of paper is its ability to be tear resistant.  It does tear but with quite a bit of effort.  My family have been playing with it quite a bit.  The paper feels like exceptionally good quality paper too.

One area of the Show that captured my own heart was The Home Computer 1975-   It is a museum of computers and they had bought in some of the samples.   You could even enter a competition using the BBC Basic which was the computer I used to do my O Level on in 1987!!!!   The ZX81 was another and even the delights of early game consoles too.  Moving along were some handheld games such as the SpeaknSpell, Simon and Astrowars.  All bringing back lots of memories. I think this could be a really good day out.  www.computinghistory.org.uk

This neatly leads me on to toys:  As you would expect The Gadget Show Live @Christmas had so much to entertain young to old.  The enclosure for remote controlled aircraft seemed to capture much attention.  Various other RC toys available of varying prices and styles.  A popular creation was the Attacknid - A six legged battling machine that has attachable weapons that fire discs up to 30 feet.  You are able to fight them so having two makes for a better game. www.wowstuff.com

Tablets for kids such as the Kurio which is an Android tablet with a large surround to support those little bumps.  www.inspirationworks.co.uk

The WAE+ stand showed off some great toys such as Moshi Monsters, Hello Kitty, Play-Doh and even classic games such as monopoly.   The Lego Advent Calendars are a delight - lovely calendars with something Lego to open and fit together every day.  They don't only sell toys either which makes this quite an interesting site to look around - www.waeplus.co.uk

A highlight of The Gadget Show Live @Christmas is the Live Super Theatre Show that is put on.  A huge Arena with plenty of seating means if you pay the extra part you can get in to see the show with Presenters from the Channel 5 Gadget Show TV programme.  This was very well put together with fast paced action showing lots of new gadgets and using the 12 days of Christmas to bring out the gadgets with the incentive of winning a massive haul of goodies.  The interaction with the audience was brilliant and the energy was high.  Considering the size of the arena area they certainly ran around a lot. Jason & Polly were the main presenters whilst bringing on various acts to wow the audience.  This was well worth attending as it was sharp and hilarious at the same time.  Special guests kept appearing keeping that extra dazzle and festive feel.

I would say the whole event was put on very well.  A few hiccups when trying to get into the Super Theatre such as one person saying go there and another saying no you need to be up there then going somewhere else and they say no.  Then as going down the escalator to the Theatre the staff were trying to get everyone to walk down the escalator -- not a practise I would actively encourage as that could have caused a very nasty accident.

I still had to chuckle seeing people sat on computer games all around - I suspect they are no different games to those they are playing at home but they have paid for the privilege.

We filled a whole day at The Gadget Show Live @Christmas and still think we could have spent more time looking at different stands more thoroughly.   Its the best exhibition type event we have been to in a very long time.

 

 

By Yolanda Barker 30th November 2012


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