GadgetSpeak Articles

GadgetSpeak has close to 5,000 product reviews and other articles. You can use this page to find others opinions on anything from mobile phones to computers to the latest kitchen appliance

Taking on the role of Microsoft’s flagship smartphone offering is the task currently assigned to the Lumia 930 as it battles for market share against the dominant forces of the iPhone and numerous Android handsets. The Johnny-come-lately will certainly have a fight on its hands and there well could be tears before bedtime or maybe there is room for three heavyweight contenders within this particular market.
The Lumia 930 is available in a choice of colours, some fairly distinctive such as the bright green coat worn by my sample kindly loaned by Vodafone for the purpose of this review.  Other colours, concentrating on the handset’s back cover, include bright orange, gold, black and white.  In each case there is a matte silver band adding a trim to the phone’s appearance. The Lumia 930 has dimensions of 137 x 71 x 9.8mm (H x W x D) and weighs 167g.
840510 epson L555 all in one injet printe

Epson Multi Function 555

I have been using this unit for several months. Mainly because of the claim that the ink tanks should last up to two years. A bold claim but when you examine the minute amount of ink normally supplied in cartridges 70ml is a lot.
First some maths, you could buy a bargain ‘All In One’ for well under £100 the Epson 555 ‘Multi Function’ – including Fax is more than three times that. Normal ink cartridges can contain as little as 3 to 4ml of ink the Epson 555 ink bottles contain 70ml. When the time comes to refill the tanks around £30 should have you full of the four inks again. So a rough – very rough – comparison says 140ml of ink and the Epson 555 around £350.
The next product under review allows you to increase the volume level of your mobile device’s music collection.
The Bass Connect product is a small Bluetooth 3.0 speaker from thumbsUp! (UK).  The speaker has dimensions of 70 x 70 x 30mm (H x W x D) and weighs 191g.  With its size and weight, the device is certainly portable but maybe more suited to a bag than a pocket where it might cause an unsightly bulge when on your travels. Along with a brief instructions document in various European languages, the Bass Connect speaker comes with two leads.
A new game from GSP combines two different genres as a lonely knight builds his own community.
When I first fired up Village Quest, a game that can be downloaded from Avanquest’s GSP site, I though that I would be in for some time management game playing.  But my initial thoughts were slightly wide of the mark.
840508 Motorola Moto 360 Smartwatch

Moto 360 Watch

A slightly oversized watch that appears to have no connections, there is a dock but as the unit just sits in it the charging is wireless and the connection to your Android phone is via Bluetooth. So is this the next must have accessory?
I am extremely happy with my current phone but the Moto 360 works with any phone that can download the Moto software from the Android store. It is 4.7x4.5x1cm and weights 51grams. As is my way I charged the unit in its cradle this took just over an hour until it stated 100% and indeed once I let it fully exhaust the recharge took the same time and also kept the time and all the settings I had changed from the defaults.
While London has its Gherkin, Brussels has its Egg which was the location for the annual IRISLink event where a new portable scanner was launched.
As part of the Canon family, IRIS concentrates its expertise on the development of OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software, scanning devices and related business services.  A recent additional to the company’s various products is IRIScan Pro 3 Wifi which offers to “Scan anywhere, share anytime” This product is based around a portable document scanner.
The ConferenceCam Connect from Logitech is aimed at providing an affordable videoconferencing solution that bridges the gap between the basic Skype on a PC and the larger and more expensive videoconferencing suites and is a portable all-in-one solution that is suitable for meetings of up to 6 or so people.
The battery-powered unit is cylindrical in form: 3 inches in diameter and 12 inches tall and weighs less than 1kg. It incorporates an autofocus Carl Zeiss Tessar lens which provides a 90 degree field of view and has digital pan, mechanical tilt and 4x digital Full HD zoom. Automatic compensation for different ambient lighting conditions ensures that participants can be viewed clearly. As well as HD 1080p video and effective audio it provides multi-device connectivity for group collaboration.
I understand that Epson claim this to be their smallest printer ever. It runs either on a solid internal battery or by mains power. It can receive data via Wi-Fi, eMail or USB. So will this mobile offering be in place in every sales person’s car?
When shut it is 31x15x5cm and weights 1.623 kilos. When ready for use the lid tips back to form the paper input tray and the 15cm depth becomes 25cm, the height with A4 paper in situ is increased from 5 to 29cm. For many reasons you are unlikely to print huge documents as it’s not that fast, the ink cartridges are small and only a few sheets can occupy the input tray at a time.
Have you ever arrived at the airport and started your holiday with a huge excess baggage charge, if so check out the Balanzza mini S sold by Lakeland. The second single purpose item is a USB Power Tap this is distributed by Thumbs Up.
This simple device can save much more than its purchase price the very first item you lift with it as it can save huge excess baggage charges. Don’t worry either as it easily tells you the weight in either lbs or kilos at the press of a button. A simple item consisting of a grip with a display on the top, this is powered by two clock type batteries that are supplied, either side of the oval display is a button.
Having checked out numerous headphones from different companies in the past I was not expecting to be surprised by the appearance of this next set of headphones from Blue Microphones which arrived for review. But surprise was the emotion I felt as I lifted the product from its box. These over-the-ears headphones, with a difference, are the Mo-Fi which come with the name of Blue emblazoned on each ear piece. However it was not the Blue logo that marked these headphones as different.
The Mo-Fi headphones have been designed with the aim of giving the user as much control as possible over how the product sits on the head while encompassing the ears.  Wherever possible, the Mo-Fi headphones have been constructed using multi-jointed elements allowing you to adjust the headphones for a comfortable fit whether you are wearing them on the head, of whatever skull shape, or around the neck.
840417 Huawei B1 TalkBand Bluetooth Headset Activit

Huawei TalkBand B1

The Talkband is a hybrid device incorporating a bluetooth headset and a basic activity monitor. So how good is at these two distinct functions?
This is my first real experience with and so I was quite curious to see what benefits this new category could provide. First of all let me descirbe the device to you. From the image you can see a reasonably marrow strap, one side of which is quite chunky. The chunky side shows a glossy black display which when switched on shows a blue-tinted OLED display.
840193 qvc ntune on ear headphone

Monster N-Tune Headphones

A pair of small on ear headphones from a quality name Monster, these were sent to me to review from the QVC TV channel. So what have these headphones to offer well first of all the price is somewhat less than you might expect.
They are overall quite small headphones, similar to others that seem to be glued to the heads of lots of younger people in trains, tubes and even walking along the street. It seems that earbuds are now out of favour for those wanting better sounds. These are also very flexible or perhaps bendable and twistable are better words. Measuring when the headset is vertical produces 18cm from the base of the earpad to the top of the headband. There is 3cm of expansion/contraction on each side.
The development team of Michal Rawdanowicz, Adrian Kaiser and Erkan Karagocz at rokapublish want to send you on a quest. With this particular outing, you are to embark on the Alchemy Quest which is a game belonging to the popular Match-3 genre.
In this game you take on the role of an alchemist named Calen.  Always willing to experiment, Calen attempts to create a special magic potion just for the heck of it.  Unfortunately matters do not turn out as expected.  There is a loud exploration which manages to cause a great deal of damage to Calen’s home and laboratory.
840243 the internet of thing

An Internet of Things Tutorial

While printed documentation seems to be a thin of the past with today's hardware and software, there are still numerous books relating to computers including this McGraw Hill Education title.
A current hot buzz phrase is that of “The Internet of Things”.  While it might seem like a recent additional to computer vocabulary, this phrase is from the last century.  It was first uttered by Kevin Ashton in 1999 (alright only just in the last century) while he was working for MIT’s Media Centre.
840192 hp envy x360 touch screen noteboo

HP Envy Notebook X360

This is both a notebook and a tablet. It has touch screen ability as well as the latest HP touchpad technology. So is there anything in this unit that is not to like, well it is Windows 8.1 and there are cheaper units out there but nothing really.
The HP Envy Notebook X360 measures 38x25x2.3cm and weights 2.4kg. There is nothing on the back as the screen goes through 180 degrees. The right side has an SD card socket, two USB ports, HDMI port, Ethernet socket, DC input point and a Kensington lock port. The front goes down to only .7cm thick so has nothing, the left side has a +/- rocker for volume, beside this is a 3.5mm headphone socket and another USB port, finally an on/off flush button.
Like my waist band, the amount of storage space I require continues to grow which encouraged me to check out a Buffalo NAS device.
Just how much disk storage space do you actually need?  One possible answer, perhaps with more than a touch of tongue in cheek, might well be the retort of “the same again that I already have please”.  Or to put in another way – we will never have enough storage space to satisfy the needs of our constantly growing amount of personal data.
The AOC M2870VQ is a 28 inch 1920 x 1080 full HD wide screen monitor with the performance and connectivity to meet most office and home needs and, being a “value line” product, it is not priced out of the reach of those who want a very large screen.
It employs an MVA panel, a LED backlight and has brightness and contrast ratio claimed to be 300 cd/m and 3000:1 respectively, a viewing angle of 178 degrees and a 5mS response time. While we can read these figures in the specification all too often they don’t mean much to us as, after all, we are only really concerned with whether it will do what we want. In practice, I found that the image quality of M2870VQ is more than adequate and found no blurring when watching action movies.
840191 roberts stream 107 DAB FM radi

Roberts Stream 107

This is a small unit which Roberts describe as portable and indeed it works in all modes via six ‘AA’ batteries but even when used in DAB or FM mode time between charges is not great, when used in Internet or UPnP mode even less.
The main body is 21x11.5x4cm this does not include the six piece rod aerial that would add 64cm to the middle figure the height when fully deployed but this is not required for Wi-Fi and UPnP use. As a portable the weight is important it is 781grams with the six ‘AA’ batteries inserted in its back (166grams). As a mains unit the story is good the single speaker is the left third of the front.
While a hairdryer is not the most important piece of electrical equipment to me I do not have hair down to my waist and anyone with long hair will certainly place such a thing higher on their must have list than the one compiled by myself.
This Braun hair dryer measures 21cm long by 20cm tall and 8cm wide at the back as little as 4.5cm wide at the front without the supplied diffuser fitted. It weights 780grams. All the controls are on the inside of the handle and are rubberised, nearest the base is the speed control, off, one and two. Either of the speeds are likely to disturb any false hair or wigs. Next a minus button and above that a plus button these are for heat.
Are you worried about what might be going on in your home when you are not there? The Piper can offer to help.
The Piper is a small device designed to provide you with a degree of control over what might be happening within the confines of your home even when you are not there.  Originally developed by Blacksumac Inc but now forming part of the Control Networks portfolio of connected home technology devices, the Piper becomes your eyes and ears during your absences.  Using set rules, the Piper can keep you informed as to event soon after they happen.
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