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876922 startech MST30C2HDPPD Dual Monitor USB C Docking Statio


StarTech is a company that has those had to find things that others do not have. Here something that could be a larger seller with more small notebooks being marketed with only USB ‘C’, so how do connect a standard USB device as well as other components.
‘Ultra-Portable’ is often the phrase the notebook is compact, and, as long as everything you need is already there that is fine. This 17x9x4.5cm box and all the likely to required leads are supplied by StarTech with the less than catchy name of MST30C2HDPPD Okay that’s the part number but the name is USB-C Docking Station for Laptops – Hard Drive Bay – MST and Power Delivery – 4K.
This Toughbook looks ‘normal’ which while it may sound like a criticism, it isn’t, some Toughbook’s are very rugged as they are used on building sites and other places where they get abused, here one that would not look out of place in a boardroom.
I first saw this over four months ago at a pre-launch briefing at Panasonics factory in Cardiff. The Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6 measures 28.5x22x2cm and weights 1.2kilos. The viewable screen is 25.5x17cm and it has the notional diagonal imperial screen measurement of 12inches and a screen resolution of 2160x1440 which never looks small even on the smaller than normal screen. There is a 2MP web cam and microphone in the centre at the top of the landscape screen.
Both these award winning products are now available in a single box. So if you normally take videos but want to get a photo from a video or if it’s the other way round then the solution lies in having both items to get the best possible results.
Two top of the range photo and video manipulation products supplied in a single box by Cyberlink, you not only get a good discount by buying both together but you also get a digital copy and 50GB of cloud storage for 12 months. It comes on two DVD’s, the basic programs are on DVD 1 and took ten minutes to install on my Windows 7 notebook, the installation took 2.69GB of hard disk space. DVD 2 has extra content for both packages. There is a six side 18x12.
Big it is, and the curve means that the centre is 3cm further in than the outside and unless you are viewing from a good distance away it is certainly noticeable. However while sound is often low on this list of priorities here there are fantastic up facing speakers mounted in the rear.
Most speakers in panels are at best ‘average’ here they are superb as the extra depth is used to have great up pointing speakers in the back. While – for me anyway – the red line of LEDs under the base of the screen and the two pairs of red LED lines of lights on the back do little they may suit some. You would never buy this panel for word processing or spreadsheets this is a gaming or video watching panel.
If you need to move data around then on a Ethernet or Wi-Fi network should be easy, if however the files are in different places this is harder, so maybe a large capacity USB stick can help, or possibly to move from a mobile device to a PC then an OTG device can help, both are covered with the below.
Inflation is a thing most of us have problems with in one way or another, as far as computer memory it means that programs and the data they use can be larger, much larger, a long time ago – yes I am old – the operating system its programs and data fitted on a floppy disc of less than 100MB here however is a USB stick that can contain up to 115GB of data.
With backward and forward movement between centuries your character needs to save her daughter
Developed by TuttiFruitti Interactive, Darkarta – A Broken Heart is a Hidden Object Adventure game that is available in Platinum edition format.  Following a rather dramatic opening sequence, set in 1700BC, featuring a Samson-like chained prisoner and a human sacrifice procedure, the actual game is based in a more modern day environment involving your character, Mary, her husband James and their young daughter Sophia.
876786 CELLO Traveller 22 inch rechargeable LED T

Cello Battery TV

This is a full size (22inch or 32inch available) TV that can run off an internal battery pack, mains power or even off a car cigar lighter socket. Best of all it comes with everything you need even a Philips screwdriver and an external aerial.
This rechargeable LCD television measures 38x30x8cm, my unit was the 22inch model, the viewable screen was 48x26.5cm this gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 22inches. This is a first for me a TV that can run off an internal battery pack, while it is of course ideal for caravans it is also useful for anywhere that suffers regular power cuts and it can even power a couple of low power lights which are supplied with the unit complete with the LED bulbs.
Moods can come and go, often influenced by outside conditions such as lighting.
Cinema, television and theatre directors have proved over the years that different lighting conditions can evoke a variety of moods within the audience.  More recently this technique of using lighting to create an atmosphere is being used by companies developing lighting equipment for use in the home environment as a mood generator.
876743 Focal Spark Wireless Earphone

Focal Spark wireless

I think of Focal for higher end quality speakers and even headphones, here something a little less expensive a set of wireless earbuds for use most likely on the move and probably with either your iOS or Android SmartPhone.
They are 55cm from one earbud to the other the connecting cord has two boxes in the cable the one most will know seems to do everything as the three buttons and LED when charging/linking/dying as well as connection for USB charging are all in the 4x1x.5cm box. The one thing I did not mention is microphone which seems to be the job of the slightly larger 4.5x1x.7cm box.
876739 wall climbing remote control ca

Wall Racer

This was one of five things that I requested from one of the range of Christmas In July events. I was told they would go on sale in September however at the time of writing in October this is the only one of their units to arrive with me.
This is a quite light remote control car that can travel across a solid floor or with a change of a setting on it up walls or for that matter across ceilings. The car is 13x8x4.5cm and weighs only 57 grams. It is charged from the rear by the supplied 60cm yellow USB lead. The control box is 14x7x5cm and is powered by six ‘AA’ batteries (not supplied) it weighs 234grams; all dimensions given both for the car and control unit are maximum figures.

DreamToys 2017 : Toys

When composing a list for Santa, you may like to consider the following items.
Every year, around this time, a panel of the leading retailers in the toy industry will get together and announce the hottest items that are expected to fly off the shelves in the lead up to the Christmas season.
Normally when I hear ‘All In One’ it refers to a printer and scanner unit. This however is a PC everything is built into the touch screen with the only external bits the wireless keyboard and mouse so much less desk space is required.
The overall size is 53.5x33.5x3cm, the stand is 23.5x23.5cm and raises the screen by 6cm. The only other parts are the keyboard and mouse both are wireless controlled by a single tiny USB controller. Apart from one USB 3.1 port, a headphone socket and an SD Card port on the left side bottom edge of the screen everything else is on the rear of the unit. On the right side of the connecting arm are an HDMI, two USB 3.1 and a USB 2 port as well as a small Kensington Lock Port.
876733 GoBag Vacuum Compressible Carry on Backpac

Vacuum Packed Luggage : GOBAG 2

How good are you at packing your luggage before a trip? This product might help.
Described as the ultimate carry-on backpack, the GOBAG 2 offers to provide the regular traveller with the means to fit as much content as possible into the available storage space.  As the figure “2” part of its title might indicate, the GOBAG 2 is the follow up offering to the original GOBAG which was launched back in 2015 on the crowd-funding Kickstarter platform.  GOBAG 2 is following a similar route with a Kickstarter launch in November 2017.
Take a trip, back in time, to Persia and help save the land from evil and mis-rule.
Persian Nights – Sands of Wonder is a Hidden Object Adventure game developed by SO DIGITAL_.  As its opening premise, this game is set in the kingdom of Persia which has been brought to the edge of ruin by the harsh rule of the Grand Vizier Zaved.  Your role in this game is that of Tara, a talented young apothecary, who sets out to purge the kingdom of the disease and evil that has spread throughout the land.
876742 Nokia BPM Compact Wireless Blood Pressure Monito

Nokia BPM+

The words ‘mobile’ and ‘blood pressure’ in the same statement seemed strange to me so I asked to see this device from what is now Nokia but they are perhaps better known as Withings who have been making these sort of health devices for years.
You should always take your blood pressure reading ‘at rest’ which for most will mean while sitting and also in ‘normal’ circumstances once you been sitting for a few minutes. So the ‘mobile’ here means that the results are stored on your phone or Tablet. Taking readings at different times of day, before and after meals and exercise can often help your doctor or nurse solve what is causing higher or lower readings.
876730 winzip 2

File Distribution : Corel WinZip 22

Originally released to compress file sizes, WinZip has developed into aspects of file distribution.
During a recent clear-out of my flat, I came across an old Compac (a name from the past that shows the device’s age) laptop that I had not used this century.  One of the applications that were residing on the laptop’s hard drive was an early Shareware version of WinZip.  By co-incidence, I had just received the latest version of this Corel software.
876523 Samsung Galaxy S8 plu

Samsung S8+

This ‘+’ of the Samsung S8 is seriously big and for the first time I have been able to move all my Apps etc. from one phone to another seamlessly. If you are someone whose life revolves round a phone why not have that extra screen size that you get here.
The Samsung Galaxy S8+ measures 15.5x7x.7cm and weighs 174grams. The viewable screen is 14x7cm, my unit had a grey back with a slight blue tinge the sides were silver and the front a not that shiny black, so joy of joys it does not show fingermarks that much. The screen has 16 million colours and is 2960x1440. The right side has the on/off button, the base the speaker, the 3.5mm socket for headphones and the USB ‘C’ port for charging and for an OTG device.
876524 lumie bedbu

Lumie Bedbug

Not a small creature that lives in bedding but a bedside light that has no less than twenty two levels of brightness from a dull red up to a bright white. Designed primarily for young children I must admit that it has been a hit with me.
The Lumie Bedbug measures 16x10x10cm and is supplied with a 1.5metre micro USB to mains plug lead. However should it be required it could run off a standard micro USB to USB lead which could be powered from a charging port on a notebook or other device. As an experiment I also ran it using a ‘PowerBank’ mobile phone charger as the input and this worked correctly as well. This would be ideal when mains power is not available.
876595 kaspersky security clou

Kaspersky Security Cloud

Adding to its family of industry-leading anti-virus and security protection products, Kaspersky has developed its Security Cloud offering.
With a description of being “the first security-as-a-service with a tailor approach”, Kaspersky Security Cloud (KSG) is available in personal and family editions.  The product combines patented adaptive technology and comprehensive protection against the threat of viruses, Trojans, worms and phishing amongst other attacks by configuring itself to fit comfortably with the user’s behaviour. This review is based on the personal edition of the product.
876520 Lenovo YOGA 520 14IKB Ultrabook convertabl

Lenovo Yoga 520

This is a lightweight Windows Notebook/Tablet with – for me anyway – the all-important touch ability. Other things that might tempt you are USB ‘C’ and narrow screen borders on either side or the screen and the lack of Bloatware pre-installed.
The Lenovo Yoga 520 measures 32x23.5x1.5cm and it weighs 1710grams. The viewable screen is 31x17.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 13.7 inches, it would have been nice to have 1920x1080 display but the default is 1366x768 which becomes noticeable when viewing web pages. The left side has DC input, HDMI output, USB and USB ‘C’ ports and a 3.5mm socket for headphones. Both the front and back are clear, the base has a pair of speakers.
876518 Funky Veg Kit by Plant Theatr

Funky Veg Kit

One of the stranger items that was in the bag from Amazon at their Christmas In July event - and checking round this is the last item yet to be reviewed - or those received. While it is rather late to start planting for cropping this year everything apart from gloves are supplied in this kit.
As its now well into the autumn I will not get a chance to test these out till next year. I have however opened the box and read the dual language sheet to try to get an idea of exactly when and how to proceed. My normal gardening goes as far as cutting things down and mowing the grass so actually watching something – other than weeds – grow will be a plus and it might even mean I have a partially green digit.
As the follow up title to Eventide: Slavic Fable, the House of Fables team have developed Eventide 2: Sorcerer’s Mirror which is described as belonging to the Hidden Object genre. Actually the game would be equally at home in the Hidden Object Adventure genre with its mixture of Slavic mythology, magic mirrors, exploration, mini-game type puzzles and an assortment of Hidden Object game play.
The main Sorcerer’s Mirror game comes with a series of extra features made up of wallpapers, music, concept art, cut scenes, Hidden Object scenes and mini-games.  Like the original Eventide offering, all these extra items can be accessed immediately.  This means you can try out the 16 Hidden Object scenes, 12 mini-games and view the 14 cut-scenes before encountering them in the actual game as you get in some extra practice.
This is much smaller than the original version I reviewed some years ago. The basic shape is the same but the heating element inside is humped which should mean the heat is better distributed amongst whatever is being cooked.
Philips Viva Collection Airfryer TurboStar measures 27x24x24cm not including the handle and the part that can contain items - the basket - is 18x18x8cm, this area lifts out. While most will use it to cook chips – which it does very nicely – however it can do much more.
876522 Aura GestureBotics Gesture Controlled Flying Dron

A Drone for Kids

The main problem for most with a drone is C O N T R O L and here this is easy, I first saw a prototype demonstrated at the annual Toy Fair last January and here it is in October just in time to appear on your kids Xmas nag list.
Before you stop reading saying ‘this person is crazy’ my dexterity at ‘three score and ten plus’ is far less than the average young child but I have flown this round my kitchen and hall without damaging anything. The blades of the drone are inside a protective frame and yes if it has a direct hit on something on the edge of a shelf it may knock it off but the drone itself is light that is why this is an indoor unit.
Having looked at a water purifying bottle, and a Charcoal stick water bottle earlier this year I was a little sceptical about what this one could offer but the fruit infusion side got my attention and I asked to see what it had to offer.
While you cannot actually buy one at the time of writing you can participate for £23 in a crowd funding site. The charcoal stick idea is not new and I have recently reviewed such a bottle and this even has a similar way of hold the stick in place in the bottle.
All kids love cartoons, any parent will have to watch the child’s favourite over and over again. When the child is a little older then this torch and projector in one unit may just remove the need for the child to require a nightlight in their room.
This Disney themed torch and projector is 11.5cm tall and at the front end circular at 3cm, add another centimetre when you insert one of the three provided Disney image reels of images. Each reel has eight images and while I am the world’s most anti health and safety instructions person here some care might be required for the very young who seem to like eating anything, these plastic reels are 3cm across and .3cm thick.
876301 Mywalit Leather Magic Walle

Magic Wallet My Walit

I am sure we all know how to make money disappear, the trick is to make it reappear again and while I saw this trick demonstrated when visiting one of the ‘Xmas In July’ events. The wallet it is meant to work with arrived but so far I have failed to make money disappear or reappear.
The demonstrator had a £5 note in one side of the wallet he opened it again and it had gone, reopened it and it was there again. So sadly all I can tell you about is the wallet. It consists of two separate parts both 10.5x8cm, the first part is a small zip up purse on one side and a clear side for the reverse. The second part has three credit card slots on one side and the other side being clear.
876519 ICY BOX IB PBa5000   power bank   Li po

5000mAh PowerBank and more

This small black box is a PowerBank to recharge all your USB devices, however it is also a digital clock and a temperature display, and for good measure an alarm clock and it is even stated to have a calendar so this is a true multi-functional device.
It is 8.5x5x2cm and it weighs 153grams. Firstly as a charging device it has 5Vinput and 2.1A output for mobile devices – called fast charge – if you charge your SmartPhone from a computer port the fastest you are likely to charge at is 1A. Within the 12 sides of this 14x9cm User Manual which covers ten languages three of the sides are in English.
Nuance is taking its voice recognition software on the road with Dragon Anywhere.
WitchcraftPandora’s Box is a Hidden Object Adventure game. This Meridian 93 title, developed by the Heroes Game Studio, and spread over six chapters, sets you the task of rescuing your daughter who has been kidnapped by the Witch-Crow.
In Witchcraft – Pandora’s Box you will need to visit a parallel reality, awaken magical forces, confront terrible creatures using dark powers, avoid traps and outsmart the witch.  The game involves unleashing powerful spells, solving puzzles and completing tricky quests.  Are you ready to accept the challenge? As usual with games of this genre, you can create profiles for individual players to record their progress.
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