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.
With your clear thinking and skill at finding hidden objects you seem to be the perfect candidate to solve the mystery of the Dark Asylum
With its title of Dark Asylum: Mystery Adventure, you should expect that you are about to enter an environment were everything is not quite what you might expect. And this is certainly the case with this Hidden Object game that has a slight adventure influence the main aspect of object searching game play. In common with many games of a similar genre, you can make some adjustments to the game’s playing environment.
This phone has no curves and for some that maybe in vogue, but I am no fashion guru. After Apple and Samsung perhaps the best known brand is Sony and this offering is the latest one from them to come across my desk courtesy of Vodafone.
The Sony Xperia XZ measures 14.5x7.2x.8cm and weighs 159grams. Top right on the rear is the camera and just below this the LED flash. The right side has a large on/off button in silver grey. Below this in the same colour as its surround is the volume rocker and even lower a dedicated camera button. The bottom has a USB 3.1 port for charging. Towards the top of the left side is a covered slot which takes the Nano SIM and any micro SD card you use this is stated to be up to 256GB.
Adding to its range of PowerPacks, PNY has introduced its AD5200 model.
Despite the amount of work that has gone into, and is currently undergoing, the development and performance of battery technology with regards to its use in mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, users still feel somewhat short-changed with the amount of running time they get from their mobile devices. As a result battery chargers continue to be a sort after accessory either for personal use or as a present for others.
Up until the last few years a bathroom scale read out your weight. Now they link to Apps and seem to tell you so much more, this item will even tell you your bone density and before long they will possible even tell you what you had for breakfast.
My last comment was flippant but you never know. The scale is 35x35x3cm it weighs 2.64kilos. Setting up to a recent SmartPhone – either iOS or Android – is straightforward providing you have Bluetooth 4. There is a barcode on the back of the scale and this needs to be scanned using your SmartPhone once the App is downloaded and running. This then links your scale to the App.
I love manuals, and of course with most software been sold as downloads the best you get today is a PDF file which also needs to be downloaded. Serif software have been around for 29 years and they have recently produced Affinity Designer firstly for MAC and now for the PC, this is their workbook a heavy hard backed tome.
The front cover puts it well ‘learn digital design and illustration with Affinity Designer’. The book is 20.5x23.5x2.7cm and it weighs 1.47kilos. Unusual perhaps to give the dimensions and weight of a book but then it does give me a chance to get over this is a textbook written by the team at Serif who will be thirty years young next year.
With in-car phone use being upgraded regarding penalty points, this next product could be worth a purchase.
While some other companies may have a wider choice of models from more companies AO have a big plus in that they offer next day delivery by their own vans, you are rung on the day and yes they deliver when they say they will. Another plus their prices are very keen.
This toaster is called ‘Bit More’ as it allows you to just add a little more colour to your toast without starting the whole process again. Heston Blumenthal is a chef whose restaurant is always full; his name is linked to a lot of unusual dishes cooked in strange ways.
While flash drives are useful for transporting data, they do run the risk of being lost or stolen. So the data they contain should be protected.
Your data, especially of the personal variety, is valuable, not only to you but others who might be prepared to put it to use for their own nefarious practices. As this data is your personal property, it is up to you to make sure it is adequately protected at all times whether it is stored on your main computer or being transported between locations on a flash drive.
An orphan girl finds herself in a magical land that has been taken over by a witch. She needs your help.
Our story begins as a baby is left of the doorstep of the St. Michael’s Shelter, a rather dreary establishment that is the local orphanage. A quick jump forward in time of ten years reveals that the baby has grown into a young girl called Evy whose best, and possible only friend, is her teddy bear. While exploring the orphanage, Evy enters the attic where she finds a wardrobe. This piece of furniture emits a strange glow as its doors swing open.
When I asked to review this I assumed that it would arrive assembled, wrong. They state use by children 14 and above, OK. You need patience to assemble and above all follow the illustrations that form the vast proportion of the instructions.
It was a good job they arrived disassembled as the postman put them through my letterbox on a day I was out and certainly if they had of been assembled it would have meant a journey to sorting office to collect.
Offering a variety of tools to protect your home is Devolo’s Home Security system.
Recently I took a look at Devolo’s Home Security System. The product was the Devolo Starter Pack. As its title indicates, this is an opening gambit to encourage the user to take their first steps on the path to using technology as a protective shield for their home.
Firstly a set of earbuds from probably the biggest name in Reggae, Bob Marley who has a whole range of audio products in his name. Second an item that arrived without request or documentation but something that might be of use when away from electrical power a Solar Charger.
Bob Marley a huge name in pop was always very distinctive and so are his earbuds with their bright colour cords and red and green earbuds but for most what matters is the sound and not the look so what do these earbuds offer. A 1.5metre long from the wood backed earbuds to the L shaped 3.5mm adapter. 15cm down from the left earbud is the 2cm long control and then another 15cm to the connection where the too cords become one for their 1.2metre journey to the L shaped 3.5mm plug.
Yes security software is almost as boring as backup software but both are nevertheless essential software in the world we currently live in as there are vast numbers of people making their living from defrauding innocent people of their data and money.
Almost all new PC’s and notebooks/tablets come with a limited time trial of Anti-Virus or more likely full Internet protection software and most of those that I see seem to be a version of McAfee. McAfee now part of Intel called Intel Security they do four versions, first McAfee Anti-Virus which covers you from most Virus attacks and helps keep you clear of dangerous web sites.
With this next product I had to combine the roles of a reviewer and a brother.
It began, as can sometimes happen, with a telephone call. This was not the usual type of phone call with a PR agency asking if I would be interested in reviewing a product from one of their clients. Instead this was a call from one of my sisters to inform me that her desktop computer was playing up in various ways and she was ringing to ask for my help.
Over the last few months I have told you about the new small LS-P2 PCM Recorder and also the Olympus OM-D camera. So here finally is the meeting of the two parts connected by a standard audio cable and an adapter that fits into the camera shoe so you can have brilliant audio linked to your videos.
Adding to its portfolio of graphics software, Serif has developed an application that can run on the Mac and Windows platforms.
Developed by Serif, Affinity Designer first saw the light of day as a Mac product. More recent development has seen the product make the journey over to the Windows platform. Affinity Designer describes itself as a personal vector design application that contains pixel-based textures and retouching capabilities.
Mixing forward planning, strategy and aiming skills, this next game sets you task of defeating darkness.
The Sparkle series of titles, developed by 10tons, belong to the Match-3 Shooter gaming genre. Starting with the original offering of Sparkle, the game developed into Sparkle 2, hardly the most inspiring naming of a game, before the subject of this review, Sparkle Unleashed, made its appearance. This title places the player in charge of an orb shooting apparatus in an effort to save a world from the evil that has spread over the land.
If I said Master Socket few would know I was referring to how your Ethernet connection should be connected, if you have problems with slow speed or lots of time your line drops it’s the first thing the phone engineer will talk about.
It seems that the only thing that should connect to your Master Socket is your Modem or Modem/Router. Phones should only connect via secondary sockets, of course this is not a problem if everything connects via Wi-Fi and everything is well in range. Only once you satisfy these criteria will BT or whoever your ISP is will then look to see if the problem is elsewhere. A pair of Orbi routers can be the answer, in my case they are.
Are you into action water sports? If so you might be interested in this net product.
I have to admit to a certain degree of surprise at the continued appearance of devices designed to enhance the capture of Selfies and the like either with or without an accompanying celebrity, location or action that might hold some significance. When this vanity capturing phenomena first burst on to the scene, I regarded it as one that would quickly disappear as people became bored with the activity.
This is a small Bluetooth speaker from a company with a good reputation for sound quality. However they also have another less desirable reputation – for me anyway - that of their boxes having to be destroyed to get the contents out of them.
The Barricade Bluetooth Speaker from Skullcandy measures 12x10x7.5cm and weights 510grams, the last figure could be important as it has a fabric thumb loop to enable use while on the move. It should be drizzle proof – I try to say that rather than shower as some might consider shower to mean what occurs in the bathroom – with a rubber bung covering external connections.
Anti-Virus software was developed in response to people who wanted to harm your computer, then it was the whole Internet Security thing with people trying to get at your money, now the latest Kaspersky suite focuses on protecting your children from harm.
As with most recent products this is multi-platform which means not only your PC – or MAC – but also your SmartPhone and Tablet or Notebook in fact most things that connect to the outside world. So count up the number of devices you need to cover before you buy as Kaspersky have versions for 1, 3, 5 or 10 devices. No longer do you purchase a ‘boxed copy’ or as in this case a DVD cased copy because what is inside is a credit card.
Having purchased a LeapFrog tablet for your child, you might be interested in card sets designed for use with the LeapPad tablet.
Adding to its portfolio of apps for its LeapPad range of tablet devices for young children, LeapFrog has developed its Imagicard products. Currently there are three titles making up this series. These offerings are entitled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Letter Factory Adventure and Paw Patrol – To the Rescue.
At this time of year a lot of people just forget their gardens, nothing much grows even the weeds call a truce. So here something for those who cannot leave well alone a garden blower to move those leaves around and regiment them in neat piles.
Designed specifically for young children, the LeapPad takes a walled-garden approach to the access and content available to its users.
As the combination that makes up its title of LeapPad and Platinum might indicate, this particular LeapFrog product is the company’s top-of-the-range tablet aimed at the younger members of the family. In fact LeapFrog has pitched this tablet, with its collection of facilities that include WiFi connectivity, built-in stylus, front and rear cameras and a rechargeable battery, at the 3 – 9 year age group.
Are you up to defeating an enemy who controls floating figures with staring eyes? If so then be prepared to fight the flames.
Developed by Mad Head Games, Dark Realm: Queen of Flames is a Hidden Object Adventure game. I have been looking at the Platinum or Collector’s version of the game. This version comes with a number of extra items whose access will depend upon the progress made within the main game and bonus chapter.
Wrist watches are less popular now than at any time since people stopped using a pocket watch. However fitness devices worn on the wrist are now so popular that the fact they also tell the time is perhaps often overlooked by many.
The Asus VivoWatrch measures is 3.5x4.5x1cm and weights only 48grams with the attached strap.
Do you control your home? Or does it control you? Devolo believes it can put you in the driving seat.
Technology, in its many guises, aims to improve the quality of the standard of living of users through the use of device that might bear the appendage of “Smart”. No I am not referring to smartphones, although they could have a part to play, but the creation of a smart home where devices can be set to remotely control aspects of a personal living environment.