The NETGEAR Nighthawk X4S is an AC2600 Smart WiFi router. I have been looking at the latest R7800 model of this particular device. It offers the user quad-stream X4S architecture for use with advanced gaming and streaming features on your LAN.
Following the standard NETGEAR plinth shaped appearance, combining a plastic matte black base with a dark grey top, the Nighthawk X4S has dimensions of 285 x 185 x 50 mm (W x D x H). To gain the full benefit of this router you will need to attach the provided four antennas. These antennas can be screwed into sockets that are positioned on either side of the unit and along the rear of the router.
I never saw the first version of this mid-range SmartPhone, I was not even aware they had entry level phones in fact what I knew about this company before the launch in London I could have written on the back of a small postage stamp.
The Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus has a silver grey back and sides with a black face. It measures 14x7x.7cm and weighs 162 grams. The diagonal imperial screen measurement is 5inches. The screen resolution is 1280x720 the whole unit has a two year warranty. This can be increased by a year to three years with a £14.99 fee that includes screen replacement so if you tend to drop or regularly mistreat your phone it could be a good investment.
Dogs give you loyalty, cats stay with you if they want to, and while you say you own a cat it might be more accurate to say you have a cat that spends time with you, as unless he/she never leaves the home you never know what else it does and where, that is until now.
Assuming your cat allows you to place a collar on it then this device will enable you to track its whereabouts. I have reviewed a couple of larger devices recently that allow you to find your keys, car, bicycle and suchlike, and I believe both those companies are planning such a device to place on an animals collar, while this is sold for a cat I see no reason why it should not live on a dog who normally accept a collar without problem.
Vodafone has come up with a choice of special viewing options for its Smart Platinum 7 smartphone.
The Smart Platinum 7 is another member of the Vodafone family of smartphones. This particular model features stylish rounded corners. Weighing 155g and with dimensions of 154 x 75.7 x 7 mm (H x W x D), this is a 5.5-inch unit. It is black in colour with reflective front and rear faces that are less inclined to gather finger smears than many smartphones I have used over time.
This is a Notebook and a Tablet; the 11.6inch screen can show 1366x768. As it’s a Tablet as well as a Notebook it of course has touch and then Windows 10 starts to make sense, not for Cortana but for the on screen annotation ability.
The Acer Aspire R3-131T measures 29.5x21x2.1cm the last figure at the back and it is only 1.5cm at the front, it weighs 1509grams. Going around the outside, on the left is an Ethernet port, HDMI, USB3, USB2 and finally a headset port. The front and back are clear, the base has reversing speakers, this leaves the right side that has volume rocker, two pin hole LEDs, on/off button and DC input. The viewable screen is 26x14.5cm which gives the notional imperial diagonal measurement of 11.6inches.
As one of the leading players in the arena of computer protection, Bitdefender has a range of software offerings to suit the different needs of users. You can select from products such as the 2017 versions of Antivirus Plus, Internet Security, Family Pack, Antivirus for Mac or Total Security which is the subject matter of this next review.
Available in a choice of boxed product or download, Bitdefender Total Security 2017 is the company’s current flagship offering. If you opt for the latter method of receiving the product, as I did, then I would advise that you also download the User Manual.
It is time to don your investigative hat as you set out to solve the ritualistic murder of Melissa Darling, a popular writer.
Alicia Griffith is a detective whose role you take on in the game entitled Lakeside Murder. Published by Agnostemona Ltd., Lakeside Murder is an Adventure game spread over four chapters as you encounter various characters in a variety of locations. According to the initial information I received regarding this game, I was expecting it to contain Hidden Object game play but this particular aspect failed to make an appearance during the review period.
This is a 17inch pull along case, it has four different zips that all join at one padlock point so unless someone steals the case the contents should be safe as unlike other such cases it is sold with the ‘stab proof’ banner so just add a tracker inside the case and unless it is totally destroyed you can locate it once stolen.
This Kensington Stab Proof Case measures 32x27x50cm and weighs 3.714kilos, remember that last figure it is without anything in and there will be times when you need to carry it up those stairs so when you pack it with alacrity remember those occasions. Of course for the majority of the time this will be pulled along behind you and when you about to stop or suddenly change directions remember those other people who are behind or beside you, they have feet.
Continuing with its tag line of “For The Brave”, Huawei has released the next product in its popular Honor series.
Huawei has been busy of late with various new releases featuring both Huawei and Honor For The Brave brands. Hot on the heals of the launch, held in Munich, of the Mate 9 model with its dual lens featured reviewing recently on this site, the focus switched to a new flagship offering from the Honor brand.
Earbuds are perhaps the jogger or more serious runners friend, often however the more vigorous the exercise the harder for the buds to stay in place and while you are listening to possibly encouraging music you need the buds to stay in place.
First a shout of joy from me, a box that you do not have to destroy to remove the buds from, while there is a simple drawstring pouch to keep them in you could still replace in the box and of course the spare buds need somewhere so they do not become lost on a shelf, the box they came in is the obvious choice. The ones sent to me were lime green with grey plugs and backs of the buds. I see they also do Blue and Grey.
Leap Frog a big name in toys for babies and young children bring out a nightlight that can help to remove the fear of the dark for youngsters. I reviewed a similar night light product a few months ago from Philips so what has this to offer.
The Scout's Goodnight Light from LeapFrog measures 16cm tall and 13cm wide at the handle, very solidly constructed so it should survive the odd knock to the floor. It is battery driven and they are sealed behind a Philips screw shut opening in the back. It has a four position yellow slider on one side, a red button on the front and another yellow push button on the outside of the substantial handle.
“Your computer is infected with a virus” or “we can claim on your behalf for that accident you know nothing about” are just a couple of nuisance call topics.
I think of Doro for home phones and basic mobiles for those with hearing and sight problems. While they have released a SmartPhone previously I never got to see it. This was shown at their Xmas In July event but only arrived with me in November.
The Doro 8030 Android SmartPhone measures 14.6x7x.9cm and weighs 141 grams. The viewable screen is 10x5.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial screen measurement of 4½ inches. Start-up is 51 seconds and shutdown is 14 seconds. Even though this is chunky in comparison to most standard SmartPhones it does feel solid in the hand. Going around the outside finds the charge point on the right side with a dedicated camera button towards the base of the right side.
Offering to help keep you calm is a product that is shaped and named after a geological sample.
Arriving with the claim of being the first wearable device that tracks both physical movement and state of mind issues, Spire is a small device that has been designed to help reduce stress in the wearer by increasing calm and focus while reducing tension. I have been road-testing, actually more chair-testing as I will explain later, the company’s Spire Stone product as it checks out how I have been spending my time during the day.
As an expert in the control of wild animals, you are called in to round up escapees from various zoos.
Developed by Cervo Media, Crazy Rings is a game that sits firmly in the Match 3 Shooter genre. For reasons not explained, the zoo animals of the world have become involved in a mass breakout. You are called in to take on the role of the person who has to corral the escapees so that they can be returned to the enclosures in their home zoos.
Having told you about McAfee and Kaspersky the latest offering from Panda arrived. Most Notebooks I get to review come with some sort of Anti-Virus or Internet Security trial installed, so when one arrives without such security it’s an ideal testing medium.
A lot of items that I get to see are downloads and often what I test the software on comes without an optical drive, the unit I used to test this had no optical drive in fact it only had a standard USB port on the keyboard section of a Tablet.
Offering to put power in your pocket is a device from PNY that can be used with smartphones, tablets and action camcorders.
When out and about, either when relaxing and enjoying the surroundings or involved in various energetic pursuits, you often need access to a supplementary power source for those mobile devices we seemingly find it impossible to live without. One such supplementary power source is The Action Charger.
While this company seems to have been in the UK since 2012 the first of their products I saw was the excellent P9 Smartphone earlier in 2016, then I get to see their ‘cheaper’ brand the Honor 5C SmartPhone and now this rather smart Windows Notebook/Tablet the MateBook12.
The initial look is ‘wow’ not a word that crosses my lips that often. It is 27.5x19.1x.6cm and weighs 642grams. The viewable screen is 35.5x17cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial screen measurement of 12inches the normal screen resolution is 1920x1080. Switch on is a very impressive 16 seconds, shutdown is 3 seconds.
This is one of three special packs launched by Gillette to coincide with the latest Star Wars film. The razor and gel are branded ‘Mach3 Turbo’ so once through the hype what sort of shave does this unit give or would buying the parts separately be a better buy?
I recently heard in the ‘business news’ that a famous triangular chocolate bar would now have larger gaps between the chocolate triangles but we will have to pay the same price. How does this relate to this shaving set well at a previous Gillette launch the razor came with two spare blades and a normal size container of Gel, here you get the razor and two spare blades but a smaller Gel container.
Adding to its range of ink cartridge devices, Epson has released its XP-442 model.
The Epson Expression Home XP-442 is a member of the company’s range of All-in-One devices. This particular product gives the user a choice of print, copy and scan features either via a USB or WiFi connection with the additional option of sourcing documents and images from SD media.
Bluetooth headphones and Earbuds were given a huge sales boost by Apple removing the 3.5mm socket from their latest offering in the autumn and so here an offering from Optoma nu force the BE Sport3 earbuds for those who exercise.
These definitely click the small and light boxes as they weight only 12.6 grams and their total length is 44cm and this includes any excess that is captured in a loop. They are stated to last up to ten hours between charges and I managed this on one occasion, another was slightly more but a third test was around twenty minutes less so ten hours is a fair average. Total recharge is just over an hour using the supplied micro USB to USB lead and charging from a PC or Notebook port.
The need for storage capacity continues to grow. To help ease this situation, Buffalo has released a new TeraStation series.
Adding to its range of NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices, Buffalo has introduced its TeraStation™ 3010 series. This particular series consists of three main models covering capacities from 2TB up to 16TB with either 2 or 4 bays. I have been looking at the TS3210DN0202-EU model which is a 2-bay unit with a capacity of 2TB of storage. Featuring a pair of 1TB SATA drives, this NAS box is predominately black in colour although there are gun metal grey panels around the front of the unit.
Fifteen years ago the local sheriff was murdered and now you are asked to locate a missing journalist who was investigating the crime.
Developed by Mystery Tag and Arcali Entertainment, The Wisbey Mystery is a Hidden Object Adventure title. As is fairly usual with games of this genre, you can create profiles for individual users. These profiles contain the volume levels for sound effects and background music plus the player’s progress. You can also select to use a custom cursor and place the game in full screen mode. Two levels of difficulty are available with this game.
Over the years I have looked at a good number of phones from the French company Archos. Here I think I have received their first rugged phone. This is still a normal phone in other ways but it is able to stand up the odd drop or three.
The Archos 50 Spahir measures 14.2x7.2x1cm and weighs 219grams. Rather than being the perfect oblong the corners are shaved off at perfect 45 degree angles. This is a dual SIM phone with SIM 1 being capable of 4G, SIM 2 3G but instead of two SIMs you could have a single SIM –SIM 1 - and a micro SD CARD. Going around the outside the right side has a volume rocker and below this the on/off button.
Carrying your personal data in your pocket requires hardware such as the subject of this next review.
As data tends to become more mobile in its use, it is always useful to have a device or even multiple devices that can provide a combination of storage space, mobility and encryption protection. Recently Buffalo send me a device, falling into all these categories, to check out. This is the company’s MiniStation™ SSD-PMU3 product. The Buffalo MiniStation SSD is a portable hard drive.
Teufel are a German manufacturer and as far as I know nothing to do with British Telecom so the BT name here is just a name given by them to a decent set of Bluetooth earbuds. They are mainly known as quality speaker producers.
The box does not need to be destroyed to access the contents, while this may not matter I consider it a plus that allows all the accessories to remain in place for the times they are required. In the box is a solid 11x9.5cm zip up case and inside this a weighted container that has exact positions for each earbud and a waist to wind the connecting cable around, so with luck you will store the buds in the container and the case when out and about.
In the autumn after a round of press/trade shows all the software companies rush to get their 2017 versions of software releases and updates on the market. Here I am looking at two such items from CyberLink who like Nero now reside in Germany.
Unlike a lot of other software companies CyberLink do not try to make all their versions have the same numeral at the end of the product name. So the two getting the once over here are and Anyone into making videos will love the obvious new feature 360 degree video maker. It allows you to make 360 degree videos and even to use 360 degree video footage in standard video output.
It has been a while since I last took a look at a monitor but that period has come to an end with the Philips UltraColor.
Arriving with the claim of combining true-to-life colour on an edge-to-edge screen with built-in full digital sound, the Philips UltraColor is a monitor that is currently available in 24 and 27-inch versions. I have been checking out the 27-inch (276E7QDAB) model which comes with leads for power, VGA, HDMI, DVI and an audio cable plus a software CD that contains a PDF version of the product’s User Guide.
This is the first of my reviews for machines launched at the very end of November by Acer in Glasgow, those who saw my launch report will know it was not cold, wet or snowy; I got the very cold bit almost as soon as I got back to the south of England.
The Acer Swift 3 measures 33.5x23x1cm, the last figure at the back while it is little more than half of that at the front, it weighs 1551 grams. Silver Grey in colour with only the four round rubber feet and the black hinge being different when closed. Open the lid and again the majority is Silver Grey with only the hinge and the keys of the keyboard being black. The viewable screen is 31x17.
I usually tend to think of headphones when the topic of Skullcandy and its product line-up is broached but this is not the only type of audio product produced by the company. Rather than purely personal listening devices, such as the Crusher headphones, Skullcandy also manufactures speakers for a wider audio output distribution. One such product is the Barricade XL which is the subject of this next review.
As part of a series of speaker units, the Barricade XL is a Bluetooth unit. It has dimensions of 101.6 x 172.7 x 86.3mm (W x D x H). While the size of this device, and its weight of 867g, is such that you are hardly going to feel comfortable carrying this speaker around in a jacket pocket, it does feature a stitch decorated strap. This can be used to carry the Barricade XL around if you do not mind it occasionally banging against your leg during your travels.