Vizio dips its toe into the UK marketplace with the launch of one of its sound bar systems.
Already established as a leading player in the US marketplace, VIZIO is currently girding its loins for the company's entry into the UK in partnership with Exertis, a UK and EU distributor. For those not too familiar with VIZIO, I should explain that the company was founded in California in 2002 with the stated aim to produce an industry-leading brand of products that include televisions, sound bars and other devices.
Recently my review of an 8th Generation Kindle was published and it was something I had not seen for a number of versions. Here another such items a Fire Tablet which I see – over the years - I had tried three previous versions, now it comes with Alexa built in so it is possible to talk to your Tablet. So what exactly has been happening with the Fire Tablet recently?
The Fire 7 tablet from Amazon measures 19x11.4x1cm and weighs 288 grams. The viewable screen is 9x15.2cm which gives the diagonal imperial measurement of 7inches. A full charge via trickle charge is 3½ hours boot up is 20 seconds and shutdown is 3 seconds. Going around the outside has the micro USB slot on the right side, the base is clear; the right side has the speaker near the base. The top has volume up and down buttons, 3.
Having carried out some spring cleaning, you may be able to say "Yes" to the next question.
Do you have enough room for a cabinet in your home? I am not referring to the type of cabinet you would use to display your awards, of which I am sure you have plenty, or your collection of knick-knacks.
With its full page adverts in National Daily Newspapers and television adverts, Gtech is known for pushing the boundaries associated with various product offerings.
I was fortunate enough to attend the launch of Gtech's latest product which was billed as being the world's smallest high-performance vacuum cleaner. This is the Gtech Hylite vacuum cleaner. The product was supplied to all those to attendees packed within a black soft pouch bag for easy transport. The product came with a disposable bag already in position just in case any energetic journalist was keen to start cleaning the biscuit crumbs that had gathered around their chair.
This is one supplier who kept their promise to send samples of their items for me to review from my visit to the annual Housewares show in London. So here a microwave rice steamer and a larger than normal storage box with or without inset basket.
It is 14cm tall and almost square at 20cm wide it weighs 315 grams. The attached cardboard wrapper describes this as a 2.7 litre rice and grain cooker suitable for up to four people. The receipt book inside the container goes into detail about fish and chicken dishes as well but they seem to be for other items in the same range. Looking closely at the impressed characters on the base of the container has it suitable to use up to 140 degrees Celsius and as low as -18 degrees Celsius.
As another year passes, I take a look at the latest version of an old friend
I first came across this next product, entitled PC TuneUp Utilities, some ten years ago when the product was available as Shareware (a try before you buy method of marketing). With our relationship, between the reviewer and software product, spreading over a decade, or as near as makes no difference, I do feel I can regard PC TuneUp Utilities as an old friend. After all friends are allowed to move around between owners as happened with TuneUp Utilities.
Some files and documents are important or perhaps even more valuable than that, if you run a business they could mean getting a contract – or not – if the information they contain fell into the hands of your competitors, so knowing who sees what is vital. This tool from Yubico means only those in possession of the USB key do see the encrypted data, no need for special passwords just the USB key.
For those who want more these keys can be used as a second level of protection as well as standard passwords and even as a third level with ‘Two Factor’ and ‘Multi Factor’. The keys can work with standard USB, USB ‘C’ and even NFC (near field) most prevalent with SmartPhones. FIDO 2 support is now standard with the YubiKey 5 & 5C.
The Salter electric knife sharpener is easy to use and provides an effective way of putting a good edge on one’s straight-edge kitchen knives.
Developed by Anewiki & RetroStyle, Animal Drop Safari is a game that belongs to the Match 3 genre.
Unlike more recent examples of this genre that I have checked out recently, Animal Drop Safari uses a more basic interface appearance with larger clearly identified tiles displaying coloured heads of popular cuddly, animal toys. The game involves making matches of three or more tiles of the same colour need to be created by swapping two adjacent tiles. You are cast in the role of a photographer's assistance who sets off on a wild expedition around the world.
PopSockets add to its range of smartphone accessories.
For a number of years now I have been a regular sufferer from back pain brought on by a disk lesion forming part of my spine. According to certain members of my family, this condition has not been helped by the amount of junk (their description, certainly not mine) I pack into my jacket pockets. I have, of course, a different opinion.
This camera can work indoors or outdoors, possible advantages of the ‘battery’ version over the ‘wired’ version is that you do not need to drill a hole through an external wall; another is that if placed on a shelf it is quickly relocatable.
The camera is round at 6cm and is 9cm tall; if you use the fitted stand this will add 2cm to the overall height and depth. Apart from sitting on a shelf or fitment it can be attached to a wall or ceiling and almost anything else as the stand can be twisted and turned to virtually any angle. However if you are using this battery version of the camera outside be aware that the battery does need to be removed to be recharged so sighting must be a consideration.
With the subject of pollution being a hot topic, perhaps it is time to consider water purification.
"Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink" is the opening stanza of a song sung by Tommy Steele in a film that was mean to represent the early stages of his life as a pop singer. Fortunately there is a ready supply of this life supporting liquid for us to intake. That is if you are prepared up put up with the impurities that water supplier feel is a required addition and whose removal does not form part of their remit.
I must be getting old as I remember the very first Kindle. These days so many people are reading them on the bus or train, what you rarely see is a real book being read. The kindle of course has a huge advantage over a book be it hardback or paperback in that they weigh even less and for good measure you do not have to turn over the corner of a page it knows where you got to.
The latest iteration on the Kindle e-book reader measures 16x11x.8cm and weighs 168 grams. The viewable screen is 11.2x9.2cm. At the default font size this can show 20 lines of text with the addition of percentage of book read and other information below this. This Kindles display is 6 inches from corner to corner.
Worcester Bosch has launched a new range of domestic wall-hung boilers, the Greenstar 8000 Lifestyle range to replace the 14 year old CDi Classic series
Following on from 4 years involvement by the UK team, in addition to the efforts of the Bosch team in Stuttgart, the new products are a major redesign and aimed at being more efficient as well as being easy to install and maintain. The boilers have outputs ranging from 30 to 50kW and are available in combi, system and regular versions so that there will generally be a unit that will meet most domestic needs.
Developed by Big Fish Games, Labyrinths of the World – The Devil’s Tower pits the player against a vengeful god on a mission of destruction in this Hidden Object Adventure game.
In this game it is up to you to defeat an army from another world under the leadership of the god and save your world from the forces of evil. I have been checking out the Collectors edition of this game which features a number of bonus items, some of which only become available after progress has been made in the main game.
This is a small but extremely powerful tower system. Acer does a number of different versions under the same name and model number both with and without an SSD drive, it also has various Intel and AMD processors so do think about all this prior to selecting where to purchase it from as certain models like this one are only available from two outlets.
It’s 35cm from front to back but add another 5cm for cables to be inserted. It is 16.5cm wide and 35cm tall. The top has a wireless charging plate towards the front. The front has a vertically mounted optical drive and towards the right near the base an SD card port, a USB ‘C’ and a USB3 port (always on) as well as 3.5mm headphone and microphone sockets. The back has kettle style mains lead, lower down are four USB2 sockets and below this two USB3 ports and an Ethernet port.
With apologies to the Scarlet Pimpernel and Baroness Orczy, "They seem to be here,
They seem to be there,
There seem to be everywhere,
Those damned and annoying devilish scammers."
Raspberry Pi has launched its 4th generation model which is significantly faster and more capable than any of the existing products.
Information has just reached me regarding a brand new series of mice from ROCCAT.
Now part of the Turtle Beach family of companies, ROCCAT has announced the launch of the company's brand new mouse series. This is the ROCCAT Kain AIMO mouse. According to Piotr Gburzynski, Product Manager for mice and keyboard, "The Kain's development challenged all performance-related features for a next-gen gaming mouse. Using a new click mechanism, mouse wheel structure, sensor and performance coating, it fulfilled gamers dreams for the best in reliability and precision.
A visit to annual Exclusively Housewares show had me given four assorted silicon kitchen tools to scrape and whisk with - at least that’s what I assume I was given them for – they come in a range of colours and one thing they all had in common is their ability not to melt at temperatures up to 300 degrees Celsius and for those like me of the older generation that close to 700 degrees Fahrenheit.
I would describe this as large whisk as 15cm of the total length is made up of the six pairs of (12 in all) of coated wires that put volume into whatever you are whisking. This is an easy to clean whisk that can be placed in the dishwasher. It is guaranteed to be odourless and tasteless on whatever you whisk. Unlike a lot of older whisks that can damage sensitive items this is guaranteed not to damage sensitive surfaces.
The Mi8 Lite is a mid-range smartphone in the portfolio of Xiaomi Corporation, a fast growing Chinese company that, despite becoming China’s largest smartphone company in 2014. is hardly known in this country.
As the world's leading manufacturer 0f Dash Cam devices. Nextbase has added to its current list of product offerings with its Series 2 range.
The new batch of offerings consists of five new models identified by their product numbers of 122, 222, 322GW, 422GW and 522GW. All the new models share certain features such as improved video quality and a 35% reduction in size over the previous generation of Nextbase Dash Cams. However I will concentrate the findings of this review on the 322GW model which has a RPP of £99.
Faced by a powerful curse, you will need to use your alchemy skills to win the battle.
veloped by World-Loom GAMES, "Lost Grimoires 3 - The Forgotten Well" has been categorised as belonging to the Hidden Object genre. However this game also features elements of Adventure and mini-game action as you enter a world where the war between the Kingdom of Phoenix and the elves appears to be coming to an end.
This is an alternative to in/on ear offerings ideal when ‘small’ is required, great for personal listening. The battery should last up to six hours so ideal for studying as a clue to when to take a break, two hours to recharge it and also your own personal battery.
It is a 6.5cm cube with sound coming from the top and both sides. The rear has 3.5mm socket for Auxiliary input, a micro USB socket for charging and an on/off button with LED in it. The bottom has four tiny feet to stop the possibility of the case scratching anything it sits upon. This is primary a Bluetooth unit and linking to your SmartPhone is simple, once paired when turned on it will immediately find your device.
A catch phrase of a comedian of a previous century was "Are you listening Mother?" In modern times, everybody seems to be listening.
According to the American singer/songwriter, Paul Simon, there is a "Sound of Silence". However a recent survey conducted on behalf of Mastercard paints a different picture as we, in the UK, appear to be a "Nation of Good Listeners". It seems, as members of the "Always on" generation, we spend the equivalent of 27 days a year listening to music, podcasts and audiobooks while our individual spending on "audiotainment" rose by 14%, up to £125, in the last year.
I do not watch much live TV on commercial channels but two adverts stick in the mind, the first one for a remote doorbell and the second where a lady has a range of garden ornaments and once one was stolen she installed one of these Hive cameras and now tells the thief – when he returns – to get out of her garden.
Unlike a lot of small external cameras this does not run on batteries so it requires the supplied USB lead to be connected. The lead supplied is 7.5 metres long so should be able to reach a mains outlet in most homes without problem but of course it does mean drilling a hole through a wall, a door, or a window frame to use it. The camera is a 6cm cube with a 4cm magnetic fitment that attaches to its rear; just below this is where the supplied 7.5metre micro USB to USB lead attaches.
The Philips 222B9T 21.5 inch 1920 x1080 touch screen monitor with its 16:9 aspect ratio has been built to the IP54 environmental standard for dust and water protection so it can be used in more arduous situations for point-of-sale (PoS), information kiosks or workshop applications rather than just in the office.
"The Enthralling Realm - The Witch and the Elven Princess","e-FunSift"
While a short snappy title might suit a particular game, a longer title, such as “The Enthralling Realms – The Witch and the Elven Princess”, can give you some idea as to what you are in for when taking on its challenge. This lengthy title offering makes a return to the environment that featured Avis, the master alchemist who has his own school of alchemy, and two orphaned girls, Coral and Iris, who became pupils of Avis.
“Game of Thrones” may have concluded but its influence could still cost you money.
I must confess that I have never watched a single episode of the popular “Game of Thrones” television series. Furthermore I have never been remotely interested in entering this epic fantasy world of feuding parties, turmoil, blood letting and inhabited by Dragons. While this might not seem so surprising, I should add that I am a fan of another series based on a world inhabited by humans and Dragons.
This panel could answer all your viewing requirements. It’s big enough to watch a film comfortably and its range of connections work for a PC or a Notebook/Tablet and even your phone as it even has a USB ‘C’ connection. I used it in HD and a range of other screen sizes up to 4K and it can work in both landscape and portrait modes.
It is 71x41x1.6cm, its stand is circular with one edge flattened this makes it between 23 and 26cm across it raises the panel by between 5 and 24cm from your desk in landscape mode and up to 9cm in portrait mode. The connections are in a line on the back; to the right of the connection arm is the mains lead. To the left of the connection arm are two HDMI then Display Port, USB ‘C’, Ethernet, four – two by two – USB ports and finally Display Port out.