Small portable USB3 drives are not uncommon, WD have just enhanced their range by including a 3TB version. I will not bore you about my first internal hard drive of just a few MB or the early small MB USB sticks, just be content that 3TB can store a lot of movies and so many images and MP3 files that the numbers are huge.
The new drives are available in 1TB, 2TB and newly 3TB versions. They are all the same size and in my tests did not require external power other than that coming down the provided USB3 lead, they also work correctly on USB2 drives but of course the data transfer rate will be slower. The ITB is 11x8x1cm and weigh 155grams without the USB lead. The 2TB is is 11x8x1.7cm and weigh 237grams, the provided lead is 40cm long and should be long enough to allow the drive to sit flat in most circumstances.
The Philips USB Docking Stand provides a quick and easy means of connecting a laptop to a large external monitor, external peripherals and the network. It will be especially useful to those who use their laptop both at the home and in the office and need a wide range of facilities.
Not the first back massage unit I have reviewed, as – like a lot of people of my age – I have a bad back they are always met with my backs apprehensive approval. This has one advantage over other powered units its small size when rolled up.
While the back is 55x48cm and the connected seat 36x45cm it comfortably rolls up with the power lead and adapter together with the car adapter into a box 45x17x17cm. Previous items I have reviewed have done more than this item, often they have Shiatsu ability built in, however if you just need massage to your back with or without heat then this is priced as a near impulse buy.
Not to be confused with a similarly entitled graphics product from the same company, Xara Photo & Graphics Designer 11 combines elements of creative design and photo editing software within a single package.
With this latest version of the Photo & Graphics Designer, Xara has integrated a number of new and enhanced features, which you might well expect with a new version, but, more surprisingly, has reduced the price being asked for this software by almost 30% and that is for new users. If you are upgrading from the previous version of the product then this software is currently available, as an introductory offer, at less than half price.
When you are out and about with your Tablet or Notebook there are many times when you want Internet access. The vast majority of such devices do not have mobile SIM slots so up until now you have to rely on café and other places open Internet, not any more.
At a recent Christmas In July event by the Dixons Store Group this was the stand out device that I saw on the day and I got the chance to test it. It is an EE device that provides a mobile hot spot for I am told up to ten devices, I tried it with three. The device is 7.5x7.5x1.3cm and weights 92grams with band attached. Three different coloured bands are supplied which could be used to identify the network or just for fashion purposes.
With the tag line of “Liberate your Sound”, the CHANT is a portable Bluetooth audio speaker developed by the House of Marley. This product is available in Mini and BT versions with this review being based on the larger BT model which shares many of its features with its smaller brethren.
The CHANT BT is available in a choice of Black, Navy or Blue Hemp. Unpacking the product reveals the CHANT unit; a recyclable aluminium carabineer clip for attaching the CHANT to a belt or other accessory; one of the shortest standard-to-micro USB leads, measuring just 20cm, I have seen; and a folded sheet of instructions using a font size that immediately had me reaching for my magnifying glass.
Eastville Chronicles: The Drama Queen Murder describes itself as a “whodunit Hidden Object game full of love, passion and intrigue”. Developed by Queen Media and published by TAG, this game is now available as part of the Avanquest GSP catalogue.
As usual with games of this genre, you can set up profiles for individual players containing their own range of settings. Adjustments can be made to the volume levels for music and sound effects. As the sound effects just consist of a couple of noises that occur when you locate one of the hidden objects, you may want to reduce this particular volume level.
There are numerous streaming services available; few however allow you to stream in high quality. Qobuz even have a service that lets you download and keep the music that however is not that cheap. Here is a service that works providing they have the music you want.
Before you commit yourself you can try it out with the normal proviso that you only get 30seconds of a track. The two stream qualities that I had available were MP3 320mbps which is quite good and the excellent FLAC 44.1kbps which is CD quality. However even with the higher quality selected some of the time only the MP3 standard was available, this was often with music that was recorded a number of years ago.
The Ricoh SP 3600DN product is a mono laser printer. This particular unit has been developed to replace the Ricoh SP3500N, SP364510DN and SP4100NL models. As such Ricoh believes this product would be best suited for use in a small office or home office environment where it could service the printing needs of between 2 and 5 users.
Decked out in light and dark shades of computer grey, the SP 3600 has a sturdy appearance which is backed up by the unit’s weight of 14.5kg and dimensions of 370 x 392 x 268mm (W x D x H). The DN part of the product’s model number gives the indication that this device has both Duplex and Network capabilities built into the unit.
The Heston Blumenthal Dual Platform precision kitchen scales from Salter greatly improve the accuracy in weighing of ingredients and so will find favour with anyone who takes their cooking seriously.
They cover a wider weight range than the majority of scales and also enable one to weigh out small quantities accurately -- something that is beyond the ability of the majority of kitchen scales. The scales, which come supplied in a storage case, are solidly built with the metal body matt black and roughly 260 x 165mm in size overall while the two stainless steel platforms, each of which has a red styling line around its edge, are respectively 165 x 145 and 80 x 70mm in size.
Security in one form or another is a big market. Here I am talking about home security in this case an easy to install and setup solution supplied to me with a single camera but the software with it is able to handle many more cameras.
The outside of the box has a simple strap line, “Connect a camera, create an account, see your stuff”. They go on to say “The only cloud camera that stores the last seven days for free, with no subscription’ So lets see how I go in proving the claims made above. The camera itself is 12cm long and with the light shield is round at 7cm. The supplied wall mount fits underneath the rear of the unit and can protrude by up to 5cm.
This item would be for those who go out and about a lot. As soon as a say ‘high quality’ it also means ‘high price’ but the two can go together to produce an excellent well-made product so if you walk a lot then you are made for this item.
This back pack is manufactured to take a notebook first and everything else second. It’s weight when empty is 1565grams. It is 46x30x13cm but the last figure the width does stretch. There is a filled 13cm long handle on the top for comfortable carrying when it’s not in residence on your back. The outside back is packed with an airmesh material that lets your back breathe and so lessens sweat. The top collar is 6cm wide leading down to the straps that are 7.
This mono laser can print, scan and copy. It is a quite small unit so would easily fit into a cupboard or even onto a strong shelf, being black or perhaps more accurately very dark grey it is unlikely to pass the tests imposed by the ‘lounge police’.
The Brother DCP-L2520DW mono laser printer measures 40x35x30cm and just add enough to insert items onto the flatbed so say make the last figure 35cm and that is all the space it requires as paper is delivered once printed within the units confines. The unit weights 9.7kilos. If you use USB the cable is inserted back left and the power lead back right. You may find that you need a USB lead to make the Wi-Fi linking easier as otherwise you have a harder job to make the initial connection.
The Smart Prime 6 is a new member of the Vodafone family of smartphones. In this particular case, the Smart Prime 6 offering is a Vodafone 4G enabled model that is being targeted at the budget market sector with a price point of £80.00 on a PAYG basis.
While budget smartphones can have a tendency to look the part, this is not true of the Vodafone Smart Print 6 model. While the unit’s casing might be constructed of plastic, its overall appearance gives you the impression that you are handling a device that would be acceptable in more exalted company with its smooth lines and round corners. Available in a choice of silver or gun-metal grey (my review sample from Vodafone), the Vodafone Smart Prime 6 has dimensions of 141.
Motorola certainly opened a Pandora style box with the release of its Moto G smartphone. As a result other companies are now developing handsets that combine reasonable specifications with a price point that does not cause you to catch your breath or feel a pinch on your wallet. One such example of this trend is the Idol 3 from Alcatel OneTouch. For those unfamiliar with Alcatel OneTouch, I should explain that the brand is the result of a joint venture between Alcatel Lucent of France and TCL Communication of China.
This handset is available in either 4.7-inch or 5.5-inch screen sizes with this review being based on the latter version. The Idol 3 adopts the standard smartphone look of a slab appearance with the screen dominating the front of the unit. In this case the Idol 3’s body, predominately dark grey in colour with silver faux metal trimming, has dimensions of 152.7 x 75.1 x 7.4mm (H x W x D). The Idol 3’s 5.
Placed on a remote island, your task is to locate various dinosaurs buried beneath the scenery. Are you up to the task?
With all the hype surrounding the latest movie to be released in the Jurassic Park franchise, it does seem appropriate to revisit a game I first encountered nearly ten years ago. Actually I had totally forgotten the game but memories came flooding back when a copy of the game turned up for review and I fired up the software and saw the Enkard logo decorating the screen. This was quickly followed by the title of Jurassic Realm.
The latest offering from Braun to keep your face perfectly smooth, it is both a wet and dry shaver but unlike the last version I reviewed that had rubber sides this has a chrome effect and is therefore easier to drop if wet really means wet, like in the shower or bath.
The Braun Series 9 wet and dry shaver measures 13x5.5x3cm and weights a not insubstantial 220grams. The shaver comes in its own zip up case with a leather look outside and a solid inside. Before I tell you about my shaving with this latest offering from Braun lets mention the extras as without them this could be sold in a much smaller box then the 25x15x15cm offering it comes in.
When thinking about devices for providing navigational aids and other kinds of driving assistance, such as SatNav units, one name that immediately springs to mind is that of TomTom. This is a company that concentrates its expertise on the particular area of SatNav and has developed various ranges of products including the Start brand. One such offering is the TomTom Start 60 product, supplied by QVC for the purpose of this review.
Unpacking the TomTom Start 60 product reveals the SatNav unit, a car lighter adapter plug that links to the supplied standard-to-micro USB lead and a User Manual booklet covering major European languages. As the largest model in the Start range, this product has dimensions of 16.99 x 10.48 x 2.22cm (W x H x D). The SatNav device is predominately black in colour apart from a grey band trimming the front of the unit and a silver TomTom logo.
Earlier this year I found a device that you do not need to wear that analyse your sleep patterns, that device came from Finland. Now a second somewhat similar device and they also come from Finland, my geography is not that great but two companies producing sleep analyst tools from a single European country is surely something a little unusual.
The similarity is that both get data from your body without contact as both have a thin strip of plastic material that sits under your bed sheet or mattress. The way it is transferred to be interpolated is very different, the first used Bluetooth and this current device uses your Wi-Fi. There is something to be said for both, Bluetooth uses power in your SmartPhone while Wi-Fi is sending data via your Wi-Fi router; all in all I find the latter method preferable. The device is circular at 5.
The Microsoft Lumia 640 from Vodafone is a slim 4G 5 inch versatile smartphone which, being Windows Phone based, will also provide the compatibility with Microsoft Office applications that will be a boon to many serious users.
This 5 inch smartphone currently runs on Windows Phone 8.1 so that those using Office 365 Home or Personal will be able to edit Office documents on the phone and work seamlessly between phone and desktop. Now that Microsoft has released Windows 10, before too long there will be the Windows 10 upgrade for the phone which should bring enhanced compatibility. It is roughly 140 x 72mm in size and weighs 147g.