Breakdown

A Pending Mission to Mars Gets New Duds

Breakdown: NASA Z-2 Spacesuit

NASA's newest spacesuit, the Z-2, departs from past designs and even used crowd sourcing (for a few minor bits). We break down its features.

Things Look Brighter the Second Time Round

Breakdown: Lytro Illum

Back in 2011, when Lytro introduced the Light Field, critics gasped in amazement at the camera's ability to refocus pictures after the shutter snap... and in horror at the angular, boxy design. Lytro updated and repackaged their technology as the Illum, which represents their first real foray into the consumer market.

Now Hiring: Performance Coach

Breakdown: Wilson Smart Basketball

We break down a basketball designed by Wilson and SportIQ, which knows whether your last shot was a miss or a make and provides an in-app map of your game, showing you exactly what part of your game needs the most work.

The Magic Tree House

Breakdown: Writer’s Shed by Weston, Surman & Deane

To get any work done, it helps to have a quiet, simple study, which is why so many writers seek country solitude. But how do city writers find their zen? For one anonymous author/illustrator, it meant hiring British architecture firm Weston, Surman & Deane, who designed this workspace -- based on their client's love of children's literature and mythology -- in Hackney, London, on a budget of $51,000.

Deer now need fear iPads

Breakdown: TrackingPoint Smart Rifle

TrackingPoint's XactSystem Precision Guided Firearm System -- which comes standard with an Integrated Networked Tracking Scope, Guided Trigger, and Tag Button -- turns any layman into a marksman at up to 3,600 feet, depending on model. Terrifying? Yes -- but also technologically impressive. We break it down.

New Event, New Controversy, New Excitement

Everything You Need to Know About the Olympic Slopestyle Course

Despite being created by a famous course designer, the Olympic Slopestyle course has drawn criticism from many competitors -- and a few have even been injured during practice runs. It's a dubious start for a brand new Olympic event for both skiers and snowboarders. What does the course look like, what's the event all about, and why is there already so much controversy? We break it down.

A New Motus Operandi

Breakdown: 2014 Motus MST/MST-R

It's hard enough to bring a brand new motorcycle to market that can compete with the existing best. Try doing it as a new company, charging up the hill of well-established sport-touring segment dominated by the likes of Triumph, Yamaha and BMW. Then try it as a new American company. Birmingham, Alabama-based Motus Motorcycles is doing just that with their own distinct flavor in the form of the MST ($30,975) and MST-R ($36,975) sport-tourers. We break 'em down.

The Sky's the Limit

Breakdown: London SkyCycle

Last week, London architecture firms proposed a plan to build the SkyCycle, a 137-mile bike superhighway that runs over existing rail lines. We break it down.

The apple doesn't fall far

Breakdown: 2015 Porsche Macan

When the Porsche Cayenne SUV took front and center for the Stuttgart automaker in 2002, Porsche purists had exhaust coming out of their ears. A Porsche SUV? The move, at least to them, was tantamount to putting a plaid shirt, leather suspenders and hiking boots on Gisele Bündchen. But the Cayenne turned into Porsche's biggest seller, providing much-needed funding for more ambitious projects. Porsche's doing it again with the 2015 Porsche Macan ($52,000-$62,000). We break down the small performance cross-over.

PRECISE TO WITHIN A GNAT’S EYEBROW

Breakdown: Bulova Precisionist Chronograph

We know you competitive types. For timing grocery runs down to a thousandth of a second, the Bulova Precisionist Chronograph ($799) is one of the most impressive timepieces out there. More specifically, the Precisionist is one of the most accurate watches that doesn't receive regular timing signals from a remote atomic clock. We break it down.

This one goes to 29

Breakdown: Meridian Signature Reference System

Smart folks in Cambridge, Massachusetts have estimated that the average American will spend a little under five and a half years driving during their lifetime. Meridian Audio and Land Rover have teamed up to make those years a bit more enjoyable. Drop 135,995 of your bucks on the Autobiography edition of the 2014 Range Rover and you’ll get the honor of experiencing the Meridian Signature Reference System: a 1700-watt, 29-speaker goliath of a system. And it's even better than those numbers suggest. We break it down for you.

Lighter, Better, Faster, Stronger

Breakdown: iPad Air and iPad Mini 2

The original iPad's unveiling generated a buzz world-over, and for good reason: it looked like something out of the Jetsons, and brought to life Steve Jobs’ dream of a portable, easy-to-use device that allowed users to connect to the Internet, play games, and consume media. Although some didn't see the value (as Tim Cook gleefully pointed out in yesterday's Apple Keynote), it was undoubtedly a commercial success. Yesterday, we witnessed the newest members of the iPad family: the iPad Air and the iPad Mini. Follow along as we break them down.

(Power) tenting tonight

Breakdown: Eddie Bauer Power Katabatic Tent

When you're hauling loads of climbing gear above twenty thousand feet, shaving weight is of the utmost importance. Multipurpose gear gets loaded up before any creature comforts even cross a serious climber's mind. The designers at Eddie Bauer and Goal Zero had this in mind when they teamed up on the new Power Katabatic Tent. We break it down.

Coming soon to a galaxy near you

Breakdown: Samsung Galaxy Gear

Pebble, Toq, Smartwatch 2, Cupertino Wristbeauty -- how did the explosion of the "smart watch" segment catch us so by surprise? While we were busy reeling, the Samsung Galaxy Gear ($299) for Galaxy Note 3 (and soon, the Galaxy S4 and SIII) has been declared potentially the best option yet. What exactly does that mean? We break it down.

It's all in the wrist

Breakdown: Qualcomm Toq

The Pebble and the Samsung Galaxy Gear, along with the rumored coming of an Apple edition, have brought smartwatches to the forefront of gadget news. Each version so far has its particular pros and cons, but Qualcomm figures they have the market figured out with their newly released Toq. We break it down.

Speciale Edition

Breakdown: Ferrari 458 Speciale

Though we lament the (hopefully temporary) disappearance of the "Scuderia" name from Ferrari's newest street-legal sports car, the Ferrari Speciale doesn't disappoint. In fact, it boasts improved aerodynamics, increased power and decreased weight for blistering acceleration and unparalleled handling. We have all the impressive Italian details in our breakdown.

Advancing the Science of Surf

Breakdown: Oakley Blade

You’d be forgiven for letting your mind wander to barely functional woody wagons and an everyone-wins community when pro surfing comes up in conversation, but you’d be mistaken. Like any other sport, pinnacles of technology are used and abused to eke out any minuscule advantage. Oakley's recently released Blade 4 Board shorts and top claim to be "simply the best board short on the planet". We break down the textile wonders above.

UNDER THE DOME

Breakdown: Ressence Type 3

The Ressence Type 3 ($30,555) is a totally modernistic design, unique in every sense of the word -- something very refreshing in today’s horological world of “my watch has more tourbillons than your watch”. Its interesting take on the regulateur style comes together in a timepiece you need to touch and feel firsthand to truly appreciate. We give you the next best thing in our breakdown above.

Freefall

Breakdown: Zenith Stratos Flyback Striking 10th

Zenith has had its share of ups and downs. After decades of success making watches for everyone including Mahatma Gandhi, the brand may have reached its zenith (sorry) in 1969 with the release of the El Primero chronograph, arguably the world’s first full-rotor self-winding chronograph. The '70s and quartz bottomed out the brand, but it has since recovered. We break down Zenith's Stratos Flyback Striking 10th ($9,500), released in tribute to the Austrian BASE jumper Felix Baumgartner, the man who would jump from a balloon 130,000 feet above the Earth -- with this watch on his wrist.

Quite exciting, this computer magic!

Breakdown: Logic Pro X

While the rest of the world was busy lambasting the newest Ryan Gosling movie, Apple quietly released the long-awaited update to its famed Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), Logic Pro. To many Logic Pro X may seem like a yawn compared to retina displays and tube-shaped towers -- but if you spend most of your day behind a sound board, this is like Kate Upton dancing on the hood of a a Jaguar with that Whitesnake song playing in the background. We break it down.

Seat Pleasant's Finest

Breakdown: Nike KD VI

Kevin Durant had no intention of making a quiet shoe when it came time to design the sixth iteration of his signature Nikes -- but the design goes much deeper than its fluorescent green and yellow skin. The KD VI ($130) radically deviates from the traditional high-topped status quo of modern basketball shoes in its pursuit of lighter weight and increased agility. We were lucky enough to attend its release. We break down this flamboyant court beast.

WELCOME RACE FANS

Breakdown: Tissot T-Race Touch

In this age of touchscreens, electronic this, and digital that, you might be thinking the good old analog timepiece -- you know, actual hour and minute hands pointing to numbers on a dial -- might be in grave danger. This is especially true in racing applications where hundredths of a second are pretty important. As if to reach an accord, the recently released Tissot T-Race Touch ($575) combines the best of the digital and analog worlds. We break it down.

I, Growbot

Breakdown: RoboReel

You know those videos from the 50s promising a future of flying cars and robo-butlers by the year 2010? Well say hello to what we've managed to conjure up in those 60 years: the RoboReel ($649). We break down the "water" iteration of this spherical helper.

Like A Bald Eagle For Your Feet

Breakdown: Red Wing Heritage 875 and 877 Boots

Red Wing's heritage department has just relaunched the company's classic 875 and 877 boots with the same Oro Legacy leather as the 1952 originals, bringing character and patina back to the line. Whether you choose the 875 or 877, you'll get the same Minnesota-made quality that Red Wing has always been known for -- and a boot that will last you through countless adventures. We break down the patriotic stompers.

Back in Black

Breakdown: Mac Pro

In July 2003 picture messaging was a luxury, SARS was a global concern, and Apple had just introduced its futuristic and incredibly powerful Power Mac G5. The drilled-out brushed aluminum tower looked like a prop from The Matrix Revolutions (also debuted in 2003, not worth remembering). Fast-forward to nearly 10 years later, and Apple is finally introducing a form-factor update to its longstanding pro desktop tower. Boy, did they go big.

One for All

Breakdown: Xbox One

Ambiguous branding aside (trade you my Xbox 1 for your Xbox One!), we're predicting the Xbox 360's singular successor to be a hit. The just-unveiled console's first looks are rolling in, and though we haven't gotten our paws on it yet, our Master Chief Covenant-killin' senses are tingling. We break down the 360's successor.

This is not a toy

Breakdown: Breitling Emergency 2

“WARNING: Use Only In Case of Real Emergency.” These words are engraved on the caseback of the new Breitling Emergency 2, and you’d better take heed. Pull out the antenna to impress your buddies at your backyard barbecue and two things will happen: (1) a helicopter will land on your patio, and (2) you'll pay an unpleasant fine for setting off a false search and rescue mission. We break down the watch that will save your life.

(Anti) magnetic

Breakdown: IWC Ingenieur Automatic

IWC's Ingenieur is as steeped in history as any watch. First seen in 1954, and designed as both a general-purpose sport watch and for scientists who worked with strong electromagnetic fields -- hence the name, "engineers" in French -- it reflected a growing trend towards robustness, which was already driving the popularity of the still-nascent diving watch. We break down the reference 3239 Ingenieur Automatic, our favorite of the bunch.

The claws are out

Breakdown: Jaguar XKR-S GT

Car guys dream of acquiring their own personal track monster. Some are bare bones beasts, as comfortable as a ride on the Coney Island Cyclone; others bear witness to modern sport-luxury. The Jaguar XKR-S GT clearly falls into the latter category, and the automotive world is a better place for it. Check out the nifty bits that $174,000 buys the fortunate in our breakdown of this masterful vehicle.

Bold moves from the Blue Oval

Breakdown: Ford Atlas Concept

And you thought trucks were just a waste of space and gas. The urban cowboy in us says otherwise, as does Ford, with their newly announced Ford Atlas Concept, a bold new face in the pickup truck race. Looking like an angry four-wheeled bank vault, the Atlas shows us what the next generation F-150 could...

After 15 years, it's finally time for a wardrobe change

Design Spotlight: NASA Z-1 Spacesuit

The final frontier of space -- and the technology required to get there -- once represented the pinnacle of innovation. Then stagnation (and budget cuts) set in. The core design of the Space Shuttle was developed in the late 70s, several years before the development of Apple's Lisa computer and Microsoft's Windows operating system, and served for three decades before officially retiring in 2011. Similarly, the iconic Spacesuit designed to protect our fragile forms in the endless vacuum hasn't received a major update since 1998, the same year Google was founded, Bill got naughty in the Oval Office and Céline Dion's My Heart Will Go On was making our collective ears bleed. While advancements in the spaceship industry have shifted to the private sector, the space agency has finally shared its own internal plans for the next generation spacesuit, dubbed the NASA Z-1.

King of the Skies

Breaking Down the Boeing 787 Dreamliner

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is both a pilot’s and a passenger’s dream come true. The first truly revolutionary commercial jet has arrived, and the technology within makes other planes look like their place of departure was Kitty Hawk. The Dreamliner doesn’t just look different, it takes all the old ways of thinking and throws them...

Perfecting perfection

Breakdown: 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera

Another Porsche 911? Really? What else can they change with this automotive icon? Prepare yourself. No miniscule aesthetic changes such as little headlight and taillight tweaks. That’s for sure. This new version — known inside Porsche as the 991 — is different beyond expectations. 90% of the new car is reworked. With a stretched wheelbase...

The fabric of active lives

Breakdown: Gore-Tex Active Shell

Outdoor activity is unpleasant when: A). you are wet; B). your pack is too heavy; or C) when you are not wearing and Outdoor Research Axiom Jacket with Gore-Tex Active Shell (which, conveniently, solves all of these problems). Gore-Tex –- a name that needs no introduction — recently unveiled the latest advancement in its long...

Hat evolved

Breakdown: GORUCK GR TAC

We’re long overdue for a breakdown so what better candidate for a part-by-part analysis than the GR TAC ($35) — the new tactical hat from the deft hands of GORUCK. It’s quite possibly the last hat you’ll ever need or want. Hit the jump for our breakdown.

911 Heaven

Breakdown: Singer Porsche 911

Okay, so the iconic Porsche 911’s overall shape hasn’t changed much in the last 40 years, but it has certainly become a more complex design. One thing is for sure, the original shape leaves nothing to be desired. It is, in a word, stunning. Well, very few people have the patience and skill to restore...

One Crack Pack

Breakdown: Lexdray Tokyo Pack

For this week’s Breakdown we highlight another brand you may not yet know but should, Lexdray. How many times have you looked at that tired messenger or daily case and thought: damn, this thing just isn’t cutting it? We blame it on the increasing load of our everyday carry. Regardless of whether your daily commute...

Simply Irresistible

Breakdown: Fuji Finepix X100

Welcome to another Breakdown. Let’s be honest, when was the last time you seriously considered buying a Fuji point & shoot? If you’re an avid GP reader then we’re willing to bet a roll of Kodachrome Velvia it’s probably not the first compact to cross your mind. Nevertheless, this month Fuji will completely change your...