Your gadgets

Try it out: High-tech toys for big kids

April 10, 2013 at 8:16 AM ET

Video: Tech expert Katie Linendoll brings the TODAY anchors some fun and funky gadgets to test, including an electric skateboard and a foldable bike that you don’t even have to pedal.

Our three-part “Try It Out” series continues today with a focus on big kid toys.

ZBoard
ZBoard / ZBoard

ZBoard Electric skateboard, pre-order at $650, zboardshop.com

Look out, Tony Hawk: ZBoard is here, and it’s creating a big buzz (especially among our crew!). This weight-sensing electric skateboard moves according to how you move. Want to go forward? Touch the front footpad. Want to reverse? Touch the back footpad.

There are two different models available, and the base model has a top speed of 15 mph and can cruise five miles on a full charge. The battery takes about five to six hours to charge, and you can juice it up in any wall outlet. The ZBoard is now available for pre-order for $650.

Image: YikeBike
DTM Photography
When fully charged, a YikeBike can let you cover more than nine miles as you tool around town.

YikeBike, starting at $1,995, yikebike.com

YikeBike may be news to you, but it’s actually been on the scene long enough for Time Magazine to name it among the 50 best inventions of the year in 2009. It’s been improving ever since, and, in fact, holds the Guinness World Record as the lightest, smallest and most compact electric folding bike.

The portable electric bike is an urban commuters’ dream. With a throttle on the right side and regenerative brake on the left, it zips along at speeds of up to 15 mph. It also has LED lights for visibility, anti-skid electric braking for smoother stops and quick acceleration and the power to tackle most hills. Three different models are available, and, bonus: YikeBikes come in multiple color options.

In the newest model, the recently unveiled YikeBike Synergy, a full charge can take as little as 50 minutes and can power the bike for more than nine miles. The manufacturer recommends that users should be no more than 225 pounds and should stand between 5 feet 3 inches and 6 feet 4 inches tall, but I’m 5 feet 1 inch tall and I had no issues riding it. I was comfortable with it in a matter of minutes.

Try it out, try it on: Wearable tech

Image: HEXBUG Spider XL bots
Innovation First International
Eeek, a spider! Or a spider bot, that is. HEXBUG makes robotic toys that are a hit with kids and adults.

HEXBUG Spider XL and Scarab XL, $40, hexbug.com or toysrus.com

If there’s one thing that kids (and many adults!) seem to have in common, it’s this: we all love robots. HEXBUG has added XL bots — specifically, a giant spider and a giant scarab — to its collection. Weighing in at less than a pound, these creepy crawlers offer 360-degree steering and can flip themselves over. They run on AA, AAA and 9V batteries.

Note: We also showcased a Super Tumbler RC stunt car that can be purchased at Toys “R” Us for $29.99.

To check out the products featured in the “Try it out: Try it on” wearable tech segment, click here.

Katie Linendoll is an Emmy Award-winning technology expert contributing to ESPN, ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine. She hosts a tech show on Spike TV and can be seen as a tech expert on TODAY. You can follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

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