5 of the best in-flight gadgets

‘Tis the season to waltz off on your holibobs, and that often involves a painful air journey surrounded by screaming kids, patronising cabin crew, bar

‘Tis the season to waltz off on your holibobs, and that often involves a painful air journey surrounded by screaming kids, patronising cabin crew, barely edible cuisine and the sort of people that applaud when the plane lands. But fear not, traveller: you can distract yourself from these annoyances and have a pleasant flight through the wonder of tech...

Monster Beats by Dre


Need a little sonic medicine to get you through your journey? Call the doctor – by which we mean West Coast beatmaster and rapper Dr Dre, of course. Beats by Dre headphones aren’t cheap, but they do fill your lugholes with beefy, bass noise with lots of detail and strong imaging. They’re comfy too, and the killer feature for aeroplanes is the highly effective noise cancellation tech, which cuts out cabin noise. Don’t forget to pack some spare batteries, mind – the Beats won’t work at all without power. Read the review here.

Apple iPad

From £430,

Need a little in-flight entertainment? We can’t think of a finer all rounder than Apple’s 9.7-inch tablet. Whether it’s watching a movie or TV show, listening to music, reading an ebook or playing a game, the iPad has you covered with crisp, bright image quality and the finest touch interface on the planet. And the 10-hour battery should see you through all but the most long haul of flights. Read our review.

Foosball HD app

£1.79, iTunes App Store

England may have crashed out of the World Cup with a whimper, but you can pretend to lead them – or at least a plastic, attached-to-rails version of them – to glory with this iPad app, which simulates the thrills and spills of table football, including advanced physics processing. Two players can take part on one iPad, or you can wirelessly link a pair of them for a two versus two match.

Spotify Premium

£10 per month,

You might enjoy Spotify’s free ad-supported service, but the Premium version (available for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, as well as Symbian and Android smartphones) is ideal for holiday use. Firstly, you can save and cache your playlists for offline listening – very handy for music playback on the plane. Secondly, as long as you purchase it at home, Spotify Premium works abroad, even in countries in which Spotify isn’t normally available. Free Spotify will give you two weeks of abroad use before locking, but Premium has no limit, so if your trip is a lengthy one it’s a shoo-in. Read our review here.

Nintendo DSi XL


Do you have big hands? If so the supersized version of the Nintendo DSi is ideal for keeping them busy. Essentially it’s the same as the DS Lite, but with both screens given a 93 percent increase in size. While that’s better for the eyes, it does make everything appear a touch blockier, especially text and the like. Another thing that has been embiggened is the battery life – it can now stretch as long as 13 hours on a single charge, so chances are it’ll keep you occupied for your entire flight. Read our review here.

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