Homes

NEXT editor Rachael Russell's gadgets that make life easier

Between juggling work and kids, finding time to sort out wires and set up technology is a big ask. NEXT editor Rachael has a way to make it easier.

Every now and then, technology comes along that makes life so much better you can't imagine how you ever lived without it. I'm talking about internet-enabled television. All I can think is, 'What took me so long?'

But I know the answer to that. My weeks are so busy, it's difficult to find time for the supermarket shop, let alone work out what I need in the way of new gadgets. Plus, I'll admit, I'm not tech savvy. Everything moves so quickly these days that I didn't know what I should be looking for. I'd heard of Chromecast and Apple TV, but I didn't know exactly what they did, or what I needed. As for connecting it all to my wifi… where's the password again?

Fortunately, the good people at Noel Leeming have the perfect solution for people like me. Their Tech Solutions service means you get expert advice and support well beyond leaving the store, taking all the stress out of it. The television was delivered and installed on a wall mount, with someone else taking care of the cables and the complications of plugging in the Skybox and the kids' PlayStation console.

The Tech Solutions team connected it to my wifi and Bluetooth speaker and set up the apps I'd need – plus a little demo of what else might come in useful. Then they took away the packaging – and the old TV. Like magic, I had everything working and knew how to make the most of my purchase.

I'll definitely recommend my mum makes use of it for upgrading her mobile – I know she'd love a smartphone, but is put off by the idea of having to set up her contacts and download the apps. She can go in store for a one-on-one information session to help build her confidence with her new phone.

As for me, I've now caught up on the first two seasons of The Crown, and can absolutely see what all the fuss was about. Technology is a wonderful thing, when you know how to use it!

Rachael's wish list

Microsoft Surface Laptop Graphite Gold i7
I wish the Tech Solutions service had been around when I'd bought my laptop, as it would have given me confidence about my security settings and whether I've got the parental controls right. $2384

Ring Video Door Bell (Version 2)
Once upon a time, it was perfectly normal for people to 'pop round', but these days if the doorbell rings you want it to be a) someone you invited, or b) the courier with your new dress. This device lets you find out who's at the door before opening it by viewing them on your mobile device. It's helpful for security if you're not home when the courier drops by – you can give them instructions on where to safely leave that dress. $380

Bose SoundTouch 20 III Wireless Music System
Once I discovered Spotify, the CDs got packed away in a box, probably never to be retrieved, but that means a good-quality Bluetooth speaker is a must in any home. The Bose SoundTouch 20 can be placed in just about any room, so you can take the party with you. $599

Tech support
When I run into problems with technology at work, I can call the help desk. But at home, if you mess it up, you're on your own. Thankfully, with Noel Leeming help is just a phone call/web chat away; their HelpDesk team will remotely support any device you have in your home, seven days a week. 12 Month Unlimited Support – Multiple Devices, $149.