Tech round-up for December 12: iPad Pro perfection, Dyson's approach to hair care, Sennheiser serves best wireless earbuds, Nomad's brilliant base station

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This week, more cool tech to get you through your gift list. The Dyson Supersonic and Airwrap disrupt how hair gets styled, Sennheiser continues delivering the best sound to your ears, and Nomad’s classy base station is made for wireless charging. But first, what makes the new iPad Pro so great is its stylus.

New iPad Pro and Apple Pencil make for perfect pairing

When Apple’s new iPad Pro arrived at my house, it was more than a week before I got to spend any time with it. My first impression when I pulled the 12.9-inch model from the box, though, was that it is thin – the thinnest tablet made by Apple – and light enough to hold comfortably in one hand.

My kids, aged 8 and 11, made it their own for the first dozen days. They’ve got their own iPads, but they were curious about the Apple Pencil magnetically attached to the side of the new tablet. That led them to explore what they could do with the Apple Pencil. I downloaded Linea Sketch onto the device so they could do more drawing.

So it’s my own fault that I ended up hiding the device one morning and telling them that I’d sent it back to Apple. How else was I going to get my own time with it?

I spent a few days using it as a primary device, so I watched video, read some books, and played some games. I used it to FaceTime my mom and brother with Group FaceTime (part of iOS 12.1) and checked social networks and reviewed emails. I also played with some augmented reality (AR) experiences, which are perfect for this device because of its portability.

The new A12X Bionic chip that powers the new iPad Pro wasn’t slowed by anything I did.

As with the iPhone X models, there’s no home button here, which only gives me more opportunity to be amazed by Face ID, the most convenient way to use a mobile device. There’s also a much thinner bezel, which means you’re getting more screen as a result. The Liquid Retina LCD display is bright and responsive, and features Apple’s True Tone colouring.

There’s also no headphone jack, so you’ll need a dongle or Bluetooth headphones. The only port on the iPad is a USB-C, which makes it easier to charge the iPad, and allows you to more simply connect other devices to it.

And while I’m not skillful at drawing, I played with the Apple Pencil for a bit and realized that any real artist who isn’t already experimenting with what they can do on the new iPad Pro needs to give it a try. It’s remarkable what’s possible.

The new Apple Pencil is flat on one side, which not only provides a surface to attach to the side of the tablet but also keeps it from rolling onto the floor. While being able to charge the Pencil by attaching it to the iPad, the other killer feature of the new stylus is the ability to double tap with a fingertip to rapidly switch between things like a pen tip and the eraser.

The iPad Pro has now been sent back to Apple. The kids and I already miss it.

  • iPad Pro 11-inch starts at $999 for Wi-Fi and $1,199 for Wi-Fi and cellular
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch start at $1,249 for Wi-Fi and $1,449 for Wi-Fi and cellular
  • Smart Keyboard Folios are $239 and $269 depending on size
  • Apple Pencil (second generation) is priced at $169

Dyson Supersonic and Airwrap disrupt hair styling

Clever Dyson engineers keep finding ways to leverage their digital motor and fluid dynamic technologies.

The Supersonic dryer ($500) and Airwrap styler ($600) are for sculpting your hair without having to cook it with heat.

The Supersonic can produce heat if you need it, but the power of the Dyson digital motor flows air with such power that it can dry even the thickest of locks.

The Airwrap uses the Coanda effect, which is the same law of physics that gets airplanes off the ground, to pull and curl hair. It’s genius.

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless earbuds deliver top-notch sound

Combining Sennheiser’s quality speaker technology with robust wireless connectivity, the Momentum earbuds ($380) are also comfortable.

Charged with a USB-C cable, they’ll keep you going for about four hours, and the stylish case will give you an extra couple of fill-ups.

The microphone response is excellent, and the sound quality uncompromising.

With these in your ears, you won’t miss that headphone jack at all.

Nomad Base Station Apple Watch Edition

This stylish charging hub ($140) was designed for those wearing an Apple Watch. So while the base will wirelessly charge any Qi-certified smartphone, odds are it’ll be an iPhone nestling into the padded leather surface.

Nomad also sells a more generic base station without the Apple Watch holder. It can charge up to two devices wirelessly on the pad at the same time, outputting up to 20W. It also has two USB ports, one A and one C, to charge up to two additional devices with cables.

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