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

 
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’.
With its range of graphics products, Corel has taken the decision to give away the latest version of one of its titles to those who had purchased the previous version.
A popular saying states that there is no such thing as a free lunch but maybe that should not apply in the case of a free loyalty update.  The loyalty update in question is the one being offered by Corel to its customers who have previously purchased the company’s Pinnacle Studio 20 Ultimate product which is a video editing package.  The update, which is free, takes the product from its current version up to that of version 20.5 of the software.
873105 Huawei P8 Lite Android Smart Phon

Huawei P8 Lite PRA-LX1

While Android 7 phones are still in the minority this offering from Huawei has it. Until last year Huawei was a name I had not heard of. A huge launch brought the P9 to the world’s attention and although this was launched much later this is the latest version of the P8.
The Huawei P8 Lite measures 14.5x7.3x.8cm and weighs 147 grams. The viewable screen is 10.9x6.6cm and this gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 5.2inches. It comes with an Octa Core (eight) 64-bit Kirin processor and is 4G LTE which can support downloads up to 150mbps. The display is full HD 1080x1920, 3GB of RAM and has 16GB of internal memory with around 7GB free.
Most Karcher cleaning items use water – at least in part – to facilitate cleaning. Not this one as it is their entry into the vacuum market. Like a number of recent releases it uses the wand principle with the motor at the top of the wand.
It comes with a conventional shoe which can be removed for other cleaning jobs and one of the three supplied other attachments fitted. With the shoe on the wand extends from as little as .62metres high to as much as 1.22metres so no excuse for the kids not to do the cleaning. My next joy was the length of the hard wired lead its 9 metres so it is far longer than most cleaners in fact the longest I have reviewed was 8 metres.
873124 Reveries   Soul Collector Platinum Editio

Reveries: Soul Collector

Reveries: Soul Collector belongs to the popular Hidden Object Adventure game genre
Developed by ERS Game Studios, Reveries: Soul Collector places you in the role of a princess who is shortly to be married to King Richard of Misty Island.  However before the marriage can take place, your fiancée is kidnapped by the Chaos Order.  It is up to you to set out on the task of rescuing the King so the marriage can take place.  This task will involve solving puzzles and playing an assortment of mini games and Hidden Object challenges.
Having recently told you about a Kurio Tablet that although designed for the younger user could equally well be used by an adult that comes with Windows 10. Here a Tablet that comes with a rubber sleeve that could withstand a knock or three.
Once booted this is a nice Tablet which could be used by an adult and you can clear 2.5GB of items from memory by removing the majority of the 51 games pre-installed. However if you do then the Tablet would no longer appeal to a child. It has 5GB of memory with the games loaded 471MB is available, and 2.48GB of free memory with them removed.
You better watch out when ghosts come out to play as some are not particularly friendly.
Developed by GameMill Entertainment in conjunction with Sony Pictures and Scholastic is a game based on R. L. Stine's infamous Goosebumps book series.  In this game, which can be described as an adventure within an adventure, you are cast in the role of one of the schoolchildren living in a neighbourhood that has been overrun by monsters, such as werewolves and gnomes and the like (plus a white rabbit who likes to wear a top hat) who roam the environment threatening the local inhabitants.
873109 Canon PIXMA TS5050 All In One Inkjet Printe

Canon Pixma TS5050

I know it’s a long time since the last Canon printer review, partly caused by Canon changing their fulfilment house. Here hot off the press is the latest Canon Pixma offering the TS5050, this is a three in one unit meaning it prints, scans and copies.
While it still comes with a CD-ROM it wants to do the whole install from the Internet. The setup on the printer unit will probably take as long as the software installation – dependant on your Internet speed – the majority of the install time will be for the rather good ‘Image Garden’ software. This is a five cartridge unit small (normal size) that if you are a heavy user will not last that long.
873122 BT_log

An Impressive Start : BT Call Protect

Excuse me while I ignore the incoming phone call. It is probably one of the many call calls from various companies wanting to divest me of money.
As covered in an earlier report, British Telecom launched its BT Call Protect service at the beginning of the year.  For the benefit of those who might have missed the original announcement, BT Call Protect is a free service that the company offers its customers.  The service is aimed at cracking down on the nuisance callers, who regularly pester us while we relax or carry out important tasks at home.
872763 samsung galaxy s7 edg

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

A rather nice phone that has the ability to fast charge via wireless, I did not try this, sticking to the perhaps safer micro USB connection. The word ‘Edge’ is taken literally here as the screen has no border at all, so the screen literally goes to the edge.
This arrived shortly before mid-day Friday and after charging I left it on for three days all the time doing updates getting emails etc. and use on WiFi while getting to know the phone and still had 30% left which I think is good. Once emptied I did a full recharge by mini USB to USB cable in 140 minutes. On a ‘normal’ work day for me – if I have a normal day – around 45-55% would be used while out and about.
Four years ago I saw Kärcher’s earliest entry into the Window Cleaning market the WV 50. So here is the 2017 version unusually with a lower number than the original at WV 5. This is the top of the range of the three currently available units.
The cleaning unit has a 28cm wide head and all liquid it comes into contact with is sucked into the internal bottle so when you clean your windows you get results as good as the professionals with no streaks and best of all no wet arms. The unit is 31cm tall and a maximum of 8cm wide. The Kärcher yellow colour is predominate apart from the odd bit of black and the see through waste water container.

McAfee Annual Labs Day 2017

This event took place in London just before Easter 2017 and for the second year I was invited to be among the two dozen European journalists there. Of course the big Malware threat ‘Ransomware’ was high on the list of topics discussed however as always you left with many new concerns.
Firstly let me ask a question, how many connected devices do you have in your home? McAfee themselves have just gone through a big chance in the last week their ownership has shifted away from Intel (who still own 49%) and again they have become an independent company. May I suggest you look at a site that McAfee has created and in a lot of cases has found ways to help those who have suffered attacks.
The Karcher VC5 Premium is a compact, versatile and powerful mains powered upright vacuum cleaner which has been designed with the modern home in mind where storage space is at a premium.
In Karcher’s traditional black and yellow colour scheme the body of the machine incorporates the motor, filters and the bag-less dust container. The handle is built into the top of the body while the telescopic suction tube is at the lower end. When not in use the overall height of the machine is less than 30 inches and so the machine can be stowed unobtrusively in a cupboard or in a corner and just pulled out when needed. The machine weighs just 3.2kg without accessories.
873016 game gem legen

Defeating Chaos : Gem Legend

As I was downloading the game of Gem Legend from the Gamehouse.com web site, I was expecting another session of Match-3 game play but I was in for a surprise.
Although the game of Gem Legend is classified as Match-3 on the host web site, it was based on a concept unlike those formats that I have come used to over many playing sessions.  Instead Gem Legend had more of a puzzle feel to it although it is based around a series of grids housing different coloured tiles which the program refers to as chips.
Moving files – especially larger ones – between devices like phones and PC’s has always required extra thought, the trouble is they are often last minute thoughts? Here a solution from Kingston that is as easy as plug it in to a USB port.
A while ago their solution for micro USB ports arrived here a solution if your phone has a USB C port. It is 3x1.5x.7cm and weights a tiny 4 grams. The capacity sizes available are up to 128GB the sample that I requested to be sent was 64GB simply because not all phones will accept 128GB.
Unlike the previous Epson All-in-One which I looked at recently, the Epson Expression Photo XP-960 is of the more traditional type that uses ink cartridges rather than the bottles provided Eco Tank models with their ink supply.
Decked out predominately in black, the Epson Expression Photo XP-960 combines print, scan and copy functionality with a choice of WiFi, Ethernet or USB connectivity.  You also get the ability to print images of up to A3 in size.  As a very welcome bonus item, you are provided with a pack of 50 A3 sheets of glossy photo paper in the box.
872761 Kurio Student 9 Inch Windows 8 QC Table

Kurio Smart

A reasonably priced Tablet produced by a company in the toy field but equally useable – without restrictions – for an adult. Unlike a lot of recent Tablets this comes with a detachable keyboard and even the latest version of Windows 10 (v1607).
Kurio describe it as ‘2 in 1 Tablet + PC.’ It is creamy white with blue keyboard and screen surround. The keyboard is a little smaller than full size and has 61 keys these are just about typeable for an adult but ideal for a child. This unit has excellent Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built in. I found the units five point touch perfectly acceptable. The viewable screen is 18x12cm with the notional diagonal display of a tad under 9 inches. The screen display is 1280x800 pixels.
872762 Acronis True Image 201

Acronis 2017 New Generation

Last autumn I saw what was described as Acronis 2017; my first tests were problematic but settled down once a build 5554 was installed. This is still called Acronis 2017 but has a far higher build number at 6116; the latest editions new features are mentioned below.
It is strange to release two versions both in the same release year this version however has more new features as well as a longer title ‘Acronis 2017 New Generation’. I am sure everyone has heard of Ransomware a very nasty infection that encrypts your files and while ‘Anti-Virus’ and ‘Internet Security’ packages do their best sometimes the nasty people win out.
How are your horticultural skills? I ask merely to ascertain your suitability for the required role of the main character in the game of Jewel Match: Royale. As you might suppose from the game’s title, this particular offering from Suricate Software combines Match-3 game play with a royal theme that might be currently relevant as it involves a romantic encounter between a member of the established royal family and a commoner.
Your role in this game is that of the commoner, Matthew, the son of a gardener working for the Queen Meredith of Nerinia.  While growing up as a child, you are allowed to play with the Queen’s young daughter, Sofia.  As you grow into adolescence, the friendship between Matthew and Sofia grows into love but Matthew knew in his present circumstance that the Queen would never countenance a marriage with Sofia.
872759 Vodafone Smart platinum

Vodafone Platinum Plus

I know the centre of London quite well but move a few miles away it might just as well be a different city so I find Google Maps invaluable and that came into use just south of the Elephant and Castle whilst I was reviewing this unit.
In a car the number of choices off this gyratory roundabout is probably as testing as that near Hammersmith, try either on foot after emerging from Elephant and Castle tube, you might find things even harder. This phone is one of Vodafone’s own range, same high quality as those it sells for other manufacturers but slightly cheaper. It is 15.5x7.6x.7cm and weighs 156 grams. The viewable screen is 12.2x6.9cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 5½ inches.
We live in a society where sounds can cause stress but they can also help us relax.
To sleep, maybe to dream and then awake refreshed for whatever the next day holds for you.  But sometimes the desire for sleep is difficult to come by.  Worries and stress invade your mind thus causing insomnia to take control and block the advance of the longed for sleep condition.  Sometime I find the thought of a required early morning rising can have the adverse effect and thus interfere with my drifting off to sleep.
Developed by Lazy Turtle, The Far Kingdoms is a Hidden Object Adventure game set in a fairy tale type land with strange creatures and magic.
Your role in this game is that of Princess Arianna.  On your return from a long journey, that appears to have been unaccompanied and carried out on horseback, you find that you hardly recognise your kingdom as the Dark Witch Morgana has enslaved everybody under an evil spell.  Everybody, that is apart from your pet bird, Corvus, who takes on the task of acting as your chronicler as you set about saving your people in the game of The Far Kingdoms.
I get the occasional chance to test items from LIDL and as in the case here they sometimes arrive in time to tell you about them before they go on sale in their stores. Here a hand blender that not only is the basic thing but comes with extra attachments for other tasks.
This hand blender measures 29cm long, the green top 17.5cm detaches from the stainless steel bottom 11.5cm, it is circular at a maximum of 5cm at the top and the base and 14cm just above the base is only 1cm across. The total weight is 600 grams with the hard wired 1.5metree lead attached. The top 17.5cm part should only be wiped clean with a damp cloth the bottom 11.5cm bit can be washed normally.
This next offering from the Dell family of products sets out to reduce the amount of office space required for its presence.
I suppose, at a pinch, you could describe this next product, which is the Dell OptiPlex 3050 All-in-One, as a laptop for the desktop.  This particular product, which Dell claims to have been “crafted for functionality and flexibility”, consists of a combined screen and system unit partnered with a bog standard tethered keyboard and mouse.  An optional extra of a wireless keyboard and mouse is available at an additional cost.
872760 Philips Moda 24 inch LED IPS Monito

Philips Moda 245

This has a very small edge top and both sides and only a normal size at the base, it is also very thin. However the most important thing is the quality of the image on the screen, this is excellent and while I tried with the controls to better the ‘Auto’ settings I failed.
It is 53.5x31x.5cm the last figure at the edges. The viewable screen is 53.3x30.2cm which gives the notional imperial diagonal measurement of more than 23¾ inches it’s actually 23.8inches. The stand is a ‘V’ shape back to front so it’s only .5cm at the back and 30.5cm at the front in total it is 19.5cm from back to front. A little surprisingly it is a standard 1920x1080 display.
872765 Penclic Mini keyboard Bluetooth KB

Penclic Mini Keyboard KB3

How big is yours – relax you have not suddenly gone to a different type of website – I am talking about your keyboard, 46x17x3cm would not fall into the category of large, here however I am looking at one that can be described only as small.
This Penclic Mini Keyboard measures 27.5x11.5x1cm, it weighs 282grams and can be used as USB or Bluetooth. So that means the amount of desk space needed is far less if indeed any. The provided micro USB to USB lead plugs into the back of the keyboard to charge its internal battery and it can be left in place and if you plug the other end into a USB port on your PC or notebook this provides power either while the keyboard is charging or a connection so it can be used as a USB keyboard.
News has just filtered through regarding a new wireless speaker system soon to be made available. This is the innovatively named BeoSound Shape product which promises to combine high quality sound with a unique customisable design concept suitable for different environments.
BeoSound Shape is a wall-mounted modular system that is based on hexagonal tiles that have been developed by Bang & Olufsen, a company originally set up in 1925 by Peter Bang and Svend Olufsen in Struer, Denmark.  Starting life as a developer of high quality audio reproduction, Bang & Olufsen has gained a reputation for the performance and design excellence of its domestic technology products as well as diversifying into other areas of audio delivery.
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