Gadget of the Day – Terratec Cinergy XS TV card

Ahh the halcyon days of portable tellies – tiny Casio screens, dodgy tuning dials and stonking great telescopic aerials that could bring down lo

Ahh the halcyon days of portable tellies – tiny Casio screens, dodgy tuning dials and stonking great telescopic aerials that could bring down low flying aircraft.Strangely they never really caught on in a big way but now there is another option for TV on the go: the laptop USB tuner. This one, fresh in at John Lewis, is particularly pocketable at barely bigger than a memory stick. It's strangely aesthetically pleasing too; at least compared to the black brick designs we’re used to.On board is a Freeview DVB-T tuner and good old analogue for when digital reception dips. Speaking of which, it comes with both a mini portable aerial and an adaptor to plug into the wall for when you're back at base or near a handy hotel room socket.Surprisingly fully featured, it packs Teletext, timeshifting and a DVR limited only by the size of your lappy's hard drive. A full remote (several times larger than the actual device) is also included along with PowerCinema 4.0 for burning recordings to DVD. Oh, and it's Vista certified too.As always with these things, don't expect a startlingly good picture unless you're in an excellent reception area to start with or can plug into the wall. But for bunging in the caravan or turning your laptop into a mini media centre, it'll do nicely.

Essentials

Terratec Cinergy XS TV card Price: £80 (PC), £100 (Mac) On sale: Now Contact: John Lewis Related stories: Haupaugge's TV stick