Viewsonic’s full HD webcam LED monitor VG2437SMC has built in microphone, webcam and speakers. This obviates the need for separate camera and speakers and so provides a professional approach to videoconferencing in the office or even in the home.
This 24 inch widescreen monitor is 22 inches wide so doesn’t take up too much desk space. It can be tilted through a range of -5 to +20 degrees and has approximately 5 inch of height adjustment. In addition, it can be rotated from the normal landscape orientation to portrait. This is also very useful for providing access to all the connections which are on the underside of the monitor. There are also the standard 10 x 10cm VESA mounting holes.
Designed like some other units to give you more volume from your mobile phone. This also allows you to plug in an MP3 player or other such device to receive the Thumbs Up treatment to increase the volume level via its speaker.
The TouchMini Boombox measures 6.5x7x5.5cm and weighs 123grams. This is the smallest such unit and using the notch in the top or side it can be a little unstable if you insert a large SmartPhone. The front facing speaker on the unit is 4cm across, when you use the notch be sure to place the speaker on your phone towards the front of the unit.
The Sony Xperia Z3 is a waterproof smartphone. This particular model is available in a choice of white, green, copper or black with my review sample being of the latter colour. I have to thank Vodafone for kindly provided the unit that is the basis of this review.
When taking the handset out of the box, it was immediately obvious that the Xperia Z3 completely dwarfed by current smartphone. I could immediately tell that there would definitely be a problem if I tried to insert this beast into the pocket I usually use for my mobile device. Presumably Sony did not take into consideration the storage of such a device when not in use. With dimensions of 146 x 72 x 7.
Small is perhaps an inadequate word in this case. I have reviewed mini PC’s before but never something smaller than even a small mobile phone and this PC runs Windows 8.1 so can something that slips into a pocket deliver?
It is 10x4x1cm with connections once plugged into an HDMI port on the back or side of your TV. It could also connect into a standalone panel. It weighs only 45grams.
Adding to its range of PowerBank devices, Sandberg has released a model that keeps you informed as to its current available power level.
One consistent bugbear, with regards to the various mobile devices that have been our constant companions for many years, has been the poor return on the power available from the built-in battery feature. The more you use your mobile device(s), the greater the risk you run of encountering a situation where the smartphone or tablet fails to respond when you really need it due to a power deficiency.
A magical kingdom with talkative strange creatures is the setting for this next Hidden Object Adventure game.
Nearwood takes you on a journey to a magical land inhabited by strange creatures that need assistance with the problems they face in their day-to-day lives. Available in Collector’s Edition format from Avanquest’s GSP game catalogue, Nearwood is a Hidden Object Adventure game. As usual with Collector Edition titles, Nearwood comes with a number of bonus items to add to the basic main game.
This is a very nice 27inch flat panel designed to show 2560x1440 resolution using Display Port, it also has Digital, D-Sub and HDMI connections that will show at 1920x1080, but assuming your graphics chip has HDMI 1.4a this unit has a big plus.
The AOC q2778vqe measures 62.5x38x1.5cm, its stand is circular and 22cm across this raises the unit by 8cm from your desk. The viewable screen is 60x34cm which gives the notional imperial (diagonal) measurement of 27inches. Via VGA (D-Sub) or Digital you will get only the standard 1920x1080 resolution, with Display Port its 2560x1440 automatically and if you have a recent notebook you can certainly have it as a second display showing 2560x1440 via HDMI.
As part of its mydlink Home family of products, D-Link has developed a Wi-Fi Motion Sensor. This product has been designed to alert the user to any motion that is detected in the home when they are absent for any reason. When such instances occur they will be notified through standard Push technology.
The Motion Sensor device resembles a slightly larger than normal 3-pin power plug. Sitting on the top of this white unit is a cloudy circular bubble while a pair of LED lights is positioned either side of a WPS button. A mydlink Home logo desecrates the front of this plug-shaped device. Included in the box along with the Motion Sensor are various items of documentation.
The Freecom Mini Tough Drive SSD meets the need for a portable drive that has adequate capacity for most normal needs and is robust enough to withstand any hard knocks of everyday use by those who spend an amount of their time on the move.
The Freecom Mini Tough Drive SSD meets the need for a portable drive that has adequate capacity for most normal needs and is robust enough to withstand any hard knocks of everyday use by those who spend an amount of their time on the move. This USB 3.0 drive is available in two capacities: 128 and 256GB. It is 87 x 53 x 17mm in size and so will fit comfortably into the palm of one’s hand or in one’s pocket or computer bag and, weighing just 70g (2.5oz.), one hardly notices it.
This is a value phone that looks like it should cost more. It has bright easy to read screen apart from when you are in strong sunlight and then those who hanker for a mirror should be accommodated by the ultra-reflective screen.
The Alcatel Pop D5 measures 13x6.5x1cm and weights 150grams. The viewable screen is 9.7x5.6 which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 4½ inches. That is 480x854pixels. The back is a tasteful matt black so why can’t the screen surround be the same at least then it would not show fingermarks. I know non reflective screens cost more so that’s why this has not got one.
A tiny camera in a large box but it is not all packaging as it has numerous ways of connecting it to your body so whatever you do and wherever you go the Actioncam 400 can come to and as there is a wrist (watch type) connection you do not even need to touch the camera to activate it.
The Rollei Actioncam 400 5x5x3.5cm and weighs only 78grams. I will not even attempt to give the weight or dimensions with ‘x’, ‘y’ or ‘z’ attached. The camera itself has three buttons on/off and shoot on the top and Wi-Fi connection on the face.
Of late I do seem to have been on some sort of security based agenda. First it was the Piper which, true to its name, could emit an almost ear-shattering warning. Next in line came the Swann Pan & Tilt camera which offers a range of remote adjustment features but initially seemed reluctant to download a firmware upgrade. Now it is the turn of D-Link’s HD Wi-Fi camera which forms part of the mydlink Home initiative.
Rather simplistic in appearance, this a Wi-Fi camera device for keeping a watch over what is happening in a specific area of your home while you are away, adopts a fairly neutral while colour scheme. The unit’s consists of a small stand on to which you clip the camera module. Overall the appearance is a bit like a temporary miniature roadside traffic signal with dimensions of 120 x 85 x 60mm (H x D x W).
A quality microwave that is available from AO.COM at an amazing price. This is not the latest and greatest that seems to be able to everything but the washing up. However it is a very competent offering at a price only normally found with the entry level models.
In a previous life I was a chef so I know my way round a kitchen and to be honest my own microwave is at least 35years old and normally gets used for defrosting and reheating, it does not even have a revolving turntable. So for three weeks I decided to forsake my over and hob and live using the microwave.
NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices come in populated or unpopulated format. In the case of the former, the NAS manufacturer gets to select the make and type of drive to be used by the product. With an unpopulated NAS, the purchaser can use drives which are already in their possession or buy new units from their favourite drive manufacturer. The ZyXEL NAS box, which is the subject of this next review, is a new 4-Bay Personal Cloud Storage product that falls into the unpopulated category.
Rather undistinguished in appearance, this NAS device is a black box with dimensions of 190 x 225 x 160mm (W x D x H) with a weight of 2000g. This NAS device is powered by FreeScale FS1024 Dual Core 1.2GHz processor with 1GB of DDR2 memory. A removable face plate (it is not hinged so I can hardly call it a door) reveals the four bays which are, not surprisingly, unpopulated at the initial stage. This situation will change as you add drives to the box.
Time to do battle as you take on the challenge of Match-3 fighting game play that pits you against computer controlled opponents.
The Quest of the Sorceress is a Match-3 game with a difference from the usual diet offered by this particular genre. While you need to create groups of three or more tiles of a similar nature, you are not attempting to clear specific areas of the playing grid. Instead you are involved in a fight to the death against a computer controlled opponent.
This nice looking notebook is also powerful and has an Full HD 1080P screen although it is only 15.6inches. The surprising thing is that it looks the right size even though the majority of 15.6inch offering give a much lower resolution.
It is 38.5x26x2 and weights 2.2kilos. Most of the connections are on the right side so if you wanted this could be close to a wall or partition on your left if you wanted. The exception is the Kensington Lock port on the back left and an SD Card port on the front. So you have 3.5mm socket for headphones, three USB3 ports an HDMI port and an Ethernet port finally the DC power input. Often with notebooks speakers are an afterthought not so here as the sound is excellent from its four speakers.
“When the cat is away, so the mice will play” goes the old saying. Although in some instances it might be more appropriate for a slight change so “when you are away, so the cat (or maybe a dog) will play”.
Keeping a check on what is happening in your home while you are absent is becoming a popular topic as can be seen by the appearance of various products designed to provide home security features giving remote viewing capabilities of what is occurring at home. One such offering is the Pan & Tilt camera from Swann which can provide the visual information of what is occurring in its vicinity.
Those of us that have seen the size and weight of a hard disc fall while its capacity has increased have seen the capacity of memory sticks increase in the same way. An 8GB memory stick is almost entry level and larger ones have more capacity than a lot of older even quite recent hard drives.
Time was when to install an operating system on a new hard disc meant having a CD or DVD and doing the installation from that. More recently computer BIOS settings allow you to install from USB stick. The basic installation files of Windows 7 fit easily onto an 8GB memory stick so providing a memory stick is reliable then that’s fine.
At this year's Wearable Technology Show in East London's ExCel Exhibition Centre one ubiquitous topic of conversation was the staying power of today's batteries. Smartphones, ever hungrier for power while dieting down to wafer thinness, exemplify the problem. My own solution is to stick with phones like Samsung's Galaxy Note series that have easily replaceable batteries, but these are becoming rarer as designers seek to outdo each other in the race towards edge-on invisibility.
I wouldn't want to advocate the revival of the Motorola Brick (although I still have fond memories of that first fat phone of mine - a favorite, legend has it, of club bouncers who could use it in an emergency as a weapon, swinging it by its "rubber duck" aerial against the head of any intransigent would-be gatecrasher). But anorexic devices with entombed inaccessible batteries have become a universal challenge. And Apple's iPhones have been long-term offenders in this respect.
This is the latest version of a product from Cyberlink it is called Power2Go and it burns and backs up, yes I know the latter is a bore but if you have not got a current working backup and the worst happens then your digital life ends.
The install takes around five minutes on a reasonably fast machine and you use 1005MB of hard disc space. Three icons are created on your Desktop Power2Go 10, LabelPrint 2.5 and WaveEditor 2. Open Power2Go 10 and you have a front end that is simple and clear. It is split horizontally with tasks in the top half and that tasks options in the lower half. The eight choices are Data Disc, Video Disc, Music Disc, Photo Gallery Disc, Online Media Backup, Copy Disc, Media Converter and Utilities.