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

 
873733 Kingston DataTraveler 64 GB Micro Du

Kingston 64GB MicroDuo 3C

Almost all SmartPhones and other devices that accept a Micro SD Card will now support up to 64GB. Some will support 128GB or even more but 64GB is now a safe size to purchase and that can hold a lot of video or a mountain of music.
For modern SmartPhones that record high quality video you need a card that can accept a lot of video being transferred to it quickly and to do that you have a higher standard. The last thing you want is lots of dropped frames from a possibly irreplaceable video. So for those who have not seen such a device it is 25cm long without sleeve, 1.3cm wide at the USB type ‘A’ end and less than half that at the USB type ‘C’ end and the width is .5cm.
Two items to make or store your coffee – or other hot or cold drink – for hours. First a device to make the coffee called a CoffeeGator, second something to store the made drink in a rather decent flask called a CorkCicle Canteen to carry on your journey.
Like many good ideas this is very simple, a funnel/sieve with a very clever fine mesh and a jug that you put the funnel in. All you now need is some good ground coffee – maybe less easy to find – and a kettle to heat the water you pour over the coffee. Firstly do not try this with a normal mesh strainer – however fine – as it will not work this is totally different to a tea strainer mentioned for those of us old enough to remember times before tea bags.
Offering to keep your data secure is a hardware device from iStorage.
Described as the “most secure hard disk drives ever made”, iStorage has launched its new ultra-secure diskAshur range of devices.  The range consists of diskAshur , diskAshur  SSD, diskAshur PRO , diskAshur PRO SSD and diskAshur DT models. This new range features fast USB 3.1 speeds. PIN authenticated hardware encryption incorporating iStorage’s unique Enhanced Dual Generating Encryption (EDGE™) technology.
873265 Huawei Nexus 6P android smart phon

Huawei Nexus 6P from Vodafone

Because of the relationship Huawei have with Android they always get the newest and latest version of Android, here the current version is 7.1.1 whereas the only other version of ‘Nougat’ I have seen is Version 7 several point releases behind.
The Huawei Nexus 6P measures 16x7.5.8CM and weights 177 grams. The viewable screen is 12.5x7cm which gives the huge notional diagonal imperial measurement of 5.7inches and this has 518 PPI. The processor is an Octa (eight) Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 offering. The speakers are front facing so it has good volume levels. This Huawei offering was also the first to offer Android 6 ‘Marshmallow’, here you are also nagged to upgrade to the latest Beta version 7.1.
As part of its family of All-in-One devices, Epson has developed its Expression Premium XP-640 product. Predominately decked out in lacquered black, this All-in-One device combines the functionality of print, scan and copy with features that include automatic Duplex printing, local and remote output plus Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct and USB connectivity.
Reasonably compact with dimensions of 390 x 341 x 138 mm (W x D x H), the Epson Expression Premium XP-640 will not look out of place in an office or home environment.  The standard box-shape with rounded corners adopts the usual arrangement of an A4 flatbed scanner mounted on top of an inkjet printer.  The top-mounted scanner is of the CIS (Contact Image Sensor) type and has a resolution of 1200 x 2400 dpi (H x V).
After withstanding massive storms, the Elven tribe land on a lost island and start to make their new home.
Developed by FIVE-BN Games, Lost Island – Eternal Storm is a point-and-click adventure title with a strong element of puzzle solving and Hidden Object exploration action.  The game opens with a fairly dramatic, story-setting 3D sequence that can be cut short if you are in a hurry to get to the main action which is set in the location of the Lost Island of the product’s title.
873735 Acer Aspire Switch Alpha 12 QHD IPS Touchscreen Lapto

Acer Switch

Having told you about the Swift and the Spin we come to last new model that was launched last November in Glasgow this is the Switch. While I would describe the Spin as a Notebook/Tablet this unit the Switch is a Tablet/Notebook.
The Acer Aspire Switch Alpha 12 measures 29x20xjust over 1cm. and it weights 1275grams with the supplied keyboard attached and 909 grams without it. The attachment is very magnetic and just presents the two parts close together and they click in place. While the keyboard is solid the Tablet part would need to be propped against something without the stand that flips open from the Tablet you then have a very useable Notebook. The keyboard has 81 keys and the alpha keys are full size, there is .
Even though MAGIX has taken on board the latest version of VEGAS Movie Studio, the company has not neglected its own well-established Movie Edit Pro offering.
The latest version of this 64-bit software comes with MAGIX’s Update Service which gives the user a full year of new free features and updates as they become available immediately via the Internet.  Movie Edit Pro is available in Classic, Plus and Premium versions with pricing being currently set at between £49.99 and £89.99.  I have been looking at the basic Classic version of the software.
873732 Wilko Electric Lawn Mowe

Wilko Lawn Mower

If you have a bowling green or a cricket pitch then this is not for you, if you have a couple of acres of grass to mow this is not for you, however if you have an average size lawn that gets hard treatment then this offering from Wilko could fit the bill.
You will need a small screwdriver to screw the two bottom parts of the handle to the body and also to attach the cable tie area higher up. The semi-circular top of the handle attaches via supplied thumb screw fitments either side of the bottom parts of the handle. The self-tightening wheels and covers have three different heights – make sure all the wheels go into the correct holes – and you are ready to mow.
873837 lidl Silvercrest USB Socket Adapte

USB Socket Adapter from LIDL

Finding useful small items that will appeal to anyone with a phone or other electrical device at home – even for those who do not own a computer – is difficult, finding something that will get used all the time at only £3.99 is almost unique.
Power leads ending in an adapter are around and are very useful. Until now finding a socket adapter is hard, I know of a couple where you actually remove the front plate of a twin socket and then attach, - this works fine if your sockets are a standard shape - and the cheapest I have seen is around £15.
Forget the popcorn and fun rides, a visit to the Carnival of this next title is more concerned with a missing mother.
When a lengthy opening animated sequence involves a mother, named Susan Jones, taking her young daughter into a carnival’s House of Horrors, you should have a good idea that any subsequent events will involve a force of evil and numerous problems.
This is defiantly a curved panel which may seem a strange comment but a lot of earlier screens could almost look flat from not that far away, here this 27 inch offering could never be mistaken for a flat panel however far away you are.
This Philips Curved LCD monitor (model 278E8QJAB) measures 61x36.5x1cm; the stand is an open half-moon 40cm wide and 19cm deep. The stand raises the unit by 11cm from your desk. There is a good amount of back tilt stated at 20 degrees and a little forward tilt stated at 5 degrees; there is no side to side movement. The centre of the screen is 2.5cm further in than the edges. The viewable screen is 60.5x34.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 27inches.
Regular Blood Pressure readings can help provide warnings of possible health issues.
Due to the fact that I have a number of medical conditions, including an irregular heartbeat and level 2 diabetes, my regular visits to my GP’s surgery and/or hospital are generally accompanied by at least one blood pressure test on each occasion.  Often theses tests are followed by advice to drink more liquid to ensure a more positive reading.  I should point out that the liquid to be drunk is that of water and nothing stronger.
While checking your heritage, you discover you are related to Lady Annabel and decide to investigate further.
Ominous Tales: The Forsaken Isle belongs to the popular genre of Hidden Object Adventure games.  As usual with games of this type, you can create profiles for those willing to accept the challenge of visiting an island some 30 miles off the coast of England.  I should point out that the locals call this location “The Forsaken Isle” and believe it to be the home of wolves, ghosts and other strange creatures.
873264 Sennheiser PXC 480 Around Ear Noise Cancelling Headphone

Sennheiser PXC 480

Sennheiser are a premium brand, this is a wired headset that uses an internal battery to help to reduce external sounds. They collapse so are ideal for those who travel and the battery is stated to last up to 50 hours of use between charges.
They are what I would describe as small over ear headphones. Each earpiece is 5cm from front to back. Spread the headset till the earpieces are parallel and there is 15cm between them and 18cm from the base of the headband to the centre of the area between the earpieces, this is with no side expansion, there is 3.5cm of expansion on each side. On my average sized head I used .5cm of expansion on each side. There is a 1.4metre lead that connects your phone or MP3 player. The straight 2.
While no longer the market leader in the field of computer graphics software, CorelDRAW still has a lot to offer the digital designer.
While some products appear briefly, with their 15 minutes in the limelight, others have a long and distinguished existence with numerous versions showing their popular appeal.  The arrival of the latest version of one such product with long lasting appeal, CorelDRAW 2017, got me thinking about when the first version of this graphics product first made an appearance.  Believe it or not, CorelDRAW first arrived as a vector-based illustration package in 1989.
873262 MIO MiVue Drive Satellite Navigation and Dash Cam 55 L

MiVue Drive 55 LM

The Sat Nav makes sure you get to where you want to go and the camera means that the idiots who make you run into the back of them do not end up costing you your hard earned no claims bonus. Putting the two together should mean your peace of mind.
The MiVue Drive 55 LM measures 14x8.5x3.5cm where the last figure to the front of the forward facing camera. The viewable screen is 11x6.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 5 inches. In the box is the Sat Nav/Camera described above plus the windscreen fitting, a 16GB micro SD Card as well as an adapter to make it fit into a standard SD card reader, there is also a 1.25metre mini USB to cigar lighter lead.
873261 Withings Steel HR   Activity Tracking Watc

Withings Steel HR

This is an analogue watch but it also is a full featured health and fitness device that works in conjunctions with your Android or iOS device, so it can truly be called the best of both worlds a timepiece and even possibly a life saver.
Anyone looking at the 36mm round face will see a conventional stylish analogue watch, as the name suggests it is stainless steel and has what looks like a conventional winder on the right side. Look closely at the dial and you will see larger flashes every five seconds round the dial and smaller flashes for the other four. There are two smaller 1.2cm dials top and bottom of the display.
873503 Edifier MP700 RAVE Bluetooth Activ

A Retro Look : Edifier MP700

As part of Edifier’s extensive range of speaker products, the company’s MP700 model features a retro look.
The Edifier MP700 is a portable Bluetooth speaker.  In general appearance the MP700 reminds me of a portable radio I bought myself when I first moved to London from my Northern birthplace.  There was the same rectangular box-shaped base unit with a rigid, swivel handle for easy portability.
873260 Acer Spin 3 SP315 51 Convertible Noteboo

ACER Spin 3 SP315-51

Those of you who read about my trip to Glasgow in November last year would have been waiting for the next part of the Swift/Spin/Switch story the three groups of new notebooks launched there. The Swift arrived swiftly and you can read that part published at the start of January, the Spin has just arrived at the start of March but it does – joy of joys - have Windows Anniversary update (1607) pre-installed.
There are several models in each range and what you get – hard disc, processor and memory etc. - will depend on where you purchase it. The unit I was sent has an Intel i5 quad core Processor, 8GB RAM and a 256GB Drive and as stated it comes with the Windows 10 Anniversary edition (1607) pre-installed. It weighs 2070grams, and it is 38x24.5x2cm the last figure reduces to 1.5cm at the front. This is both a Tablet and a Notebook hence the name ‘Spin’.
No doubt you will have noticed, and perhaps come to regard as a fact of life, that many devices, classified as portable, tend to arrive without any form of covering for protection during transit. Laptops, tablets and smartphones are devices that immediately spring to mind in this respect. Naturally manufacturers will only be too happy to produce accessories that retailers can sell you to protect your new expensive purchase when you embark on your travels.
Recently I have had the opportunity to check out a bag that has been designed to protect a laptop and some other devices.  This is the Radial 15-inch Laptop Messenger bag from the Australian STM company.  Offering the user a choice of attaché style handle or adjustable, padded shoulder strap carrying solution, the Radial bag is available in black, steel or, in the case of my review sample, Moroccan blue.
Entering the world of Harmonia, you are set the task of rescuing family members from the forces of evil.
The Seawise Chronicles – Untamed Legacy is a game that belongs to the popular Hidden Object Adventure genre.  This game is set in the world of Harmonia which is a magical land inhabited by goblins and other bizarre and fascinating characters with some being friendly and others of the unfriendly type.  Your role in the game is that of a rather young looking 16-year old who is set the task of rescuing his sister and grandmother from the forces of evil.
Having recently told you about internal and external security cameras that are controlled by Apps here I go one stage further with a complete Security System, they do different configurations the one I was sent does not include a camera but they do internal ones and I was sent a camera to add to the other offerings in the complete Security System.
I was sent what they call a ‘Starter Pack’; this contains one of each of the four items, Cube One which contains a 110db siren. Contact Sensor designed to go onto anything that opens like doors or windows. Motion Sensor which detects movements in a 90 degree arc from where you place it and a remote Tag that allows you to arm the system without opening the App.
Adding power and extra storage to your LAN is the task undertaken by the Buffalo TeraStation.
Classified by Buffalo as “an affordable larger capacity NAS device with robust RAID 5 capability”, the company’s TeraStation™ ES series is available in a variety of capacities.  I have been taking a look at the TS-XEL/R5 unit which is available as a 4-bay fully populated device.  My particular unit came with four 500GB drives giving the product a total capacity of 2.0 TB of storage.
SSD drives always carry a substantial premium over conventional hard drives, however the price of storage is one of the few things that continue to drop, while we are meant to have low inflation few have seen real wage growth for many years.
While an external hard drive used to be almost as big as an internal drive, then when they went from 5¼ inch to 3½ inch things began to tumble in size as well as cost. Original USB drives needed external power as well as that provided by the USB bus, now few if any USB drives – however large – require more power that delivered by the USB bus. This drive is tiny at 9x5.5x1cm and weighs only 69 grams, with its box and lead its 156grams.
Having previously reviewed a Window Vac and lots of Vacuum cleaners, this was left to last of the three products I requested to review at the recent Karcher open day. The reason is it’s a new tool to me and is definitely not for a child to use.
Having suffered some burns in my past life as a chef I can definitely say those caused by steam were some of the most painful so a steam cleaner is a tool to be used with care by an adult once they have very thoroughly  RTFM (read the £$%-&*# manual). What I was sent was the smallest size of their deluxe unit that not only cleans bathrooms and floors but any soiled or stained surface so that old discoloured tile grouting has met its match.
With Kickstarter support, this next title takes you into a community that allows you to body hop between characters.
Thimbleweed Park is a mystery point-and-click adventure game.  This game has been developed by a team led by a trio of ex-Lucasfilm Games employees.  No doubt gamers of a certain age will have fond memories of titles such as Monkey Island, Manic Mansions and Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade featuring the work of Ron Gilbert, Gary Winnick and David Fox.  Now we have the latest offering to emerge from this hotbed of creative talent.
873107 Lumie Bodyclock Luxe 70

Lumie WakeUp Light

We all feel so much better when we are woken by bright sunlight, of course there are exceptions like if your alarm has failed to go off and you are already late for work and the boss has previously had a go at you for lateness.
Some days even in mid-summer you are not going to get bright sunlight so the solution to straighten up your body clock is to be woken by light rather than a raucous alarm. These tend to work somewhat differently by waking you slowly which may take a few minutes if you are in a deep sleep. If you are very lucky you may have around three hours during the night when you are in deep sleep the rest of the time it is a far lighter sleep.
873221 darth vader bluetooth speake

Star Wars Gifts : Fowndry Star Wars

As the Star Wars steamroller continues to carry on its merry way, this space saga brings a variety of gifts.
Like many fans of the series. I can remember queuing to see the first Star Wars film.  I must admit that at no time did to imagine that, some forty years later, the series would still be going strong with new episodes to add to this money making franchise business.
873110 RiutBag R25 backbac

Riut Backpack R25

If you travel ‘light’ then the last thing you want is to wait ages at the baggage collection carousel for your one bag. The solution is a bag that is just within the legal size for carry-on luggage and that is the RiutBag R25 a substantial backpack.
It is 50x37x15cm (maximum unfilled size) and weighs 1290 grams empty. The stated size is 55x40x20cm which I assume is when packed. The material of the backpack feels solid and a close examination of the stitching and zips shows a well-constructed item and perhaps most important it is well padded at the points where it matters on your shoulders and back. In fact when I opened the rear compartment – the one nearest your back - there is a label saying ‘hand made by 18 people’.
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