A sub £80 SmartPhone is not how I normally start but if price is the most important thing then what better way. However if the phone offers the majority of things other more expensive unit do then surely it’s a good place to start.
This offering from Vodafone is aimed at the PAYG customer, it is 14.5x7.3x less than 1cm, it weighs 150grams. The viewable screen is 11x6.2cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial screen measurement of five inches. The screen is 720x1280 pixels. It comes with Android 7. My unit had a white screen surround and a mushroom patterned back (they call gold) which means less finger marks showing. The top has a 3.5mm socket for headphones.
Adding to its range of protected hard drives, iStorage has released a new diskAshur DT2 model.
While the most popular buy is a fridge/freezer combo, a lot of people still prefer a stand along freezer especially if this is going to live somewhere other than in the kitchen. This offering from Fridgemaster seems to be an excellent buy.
Before I tell you about the freezer let me mention a very important point the service offered by AO.com. You are invoiced by email as soon as the sale is made, the delivery date agreed, and then a four hour time slot is agreed. On the day an automated phone call early in the morning and then an email reminder of the delivery. AO have an iOS and Android App to let you track the driver’s progress and show the number of deliveries before yours.
Until earlier this year I thought of Sennheiser for quality headphones, then I reviewed the Flex 5000 which came with a set of earbuds, since then a pair Sports buds and now this Bluetooth offering to give you total freedom of movement.
As regular readers will know my ears often swell after an hour or so of use of earbuds so I tried the smallest buds supplied thinking they would not be big enough however because there is little of no weight on the buds as you wear the control unit around the neck like a collar (open neck) the short length of cord between the neck and the ear is not load bearing.
Nero has bundled together its various standalone offerings into a multimedia suite.
Now available in its 2018 version, Nero has released the latest edition of its multimedia suite package. As with the previous version, this product is available in two separate offerings. With a name change from Classic to Standard, the basic version of the Nero software is made up of Nero Video, Nero Burning Rom, Nero MediaHome and Nero Recode. Offering even greater functionality and improved performance is the Platinum version of Nero 2018.
This is part of the Dell back to school/university range. A Chromebook is able to do a lot of things that a Windows or Apple computer can do, it can browse the Internet, collect and send emails and you can these days even store word processing and spreadsheets on it. What it cannot do is run Apple or Microsoft programs.
This Dell Chromebook measures 30x20.4x1.5cm and weighs 1290grams. The viewable screen is 25.5x14.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 11.6inches. The screen opens to 180 degrees. The base has four enlarged rubber bumps to keep the unit off your desk and allow the speakers to function, these are placed either side at the front of the base and give better sound – and more of it – than a lot of other notebooks.
When out and about exploring the wilds of the countryside, this next product could prove vital.
As part of the discussions relating to the design of a powerbank device, I should imagine that the balance between size, weight, capacity and functionality has a major role to play. While some users might consider the device’s size and weight to be top of their wish list regarding vital considerations, other might prefer the unit with the largest battery capacity.
When visiting the Big Kahuna Reef you have tasks to perform while admiring the local fish.
Many games are based on a story line. This story could have its roots in historical content, myths and legends or the imagination of the game’s development team. However none of this would be true with this next game under review. The Big Kahuna Reef does not have a story line. Instead it is a Match-3 game that draws its inspiration from an underwater scene that is home to a variety of colourful and decorative fish.
This sadly is one of those occasions where the launch bears no resemblance to the availability of review samples, so while I was ready to go when the launch came my memory of exactly what the camera can do was somewhat dimmed by the time taken for one to arrive which means the time required to review is longer.
This is a camera that can work on land or under water, when used in the latter condition the ability to get a level shot may or may not be important but it does have both horizontal and vertical levels, it is of course fully waterproof and can withstand the odd drop as I remember from the presentation day. If can also function in extremes of temperature. The zoom is quite impressive and is of course periscopic to avoid any possible leak points with the normal lens expansion. The camera is 11.
While Microsoft and Apple might be the best of competitive opponents with regards to their commercial activities, the software developed by the two companies can co-exist within the same environment thanks to Parallels.
Windows and MacOS are two computer operating systems that you could hardly call the “best of friends”. Put them in the same environment and you might expect conflicts to occur as they battled for dominance. That is until Parallels came along with a solution that would allow Windows to operate on a Mac-based environment running the wall-gardened MacOS software. The Parallels solution, now up to version 13, is currently available as Parallels Desktop Pro Edition.
The Air Chef is the second of my three choices from the Birmingham based company that I came across by accident during a visit to the Exclusively Housewares show in London early in the summer, the first was the Home Baker already reviewed.
The Air Chef is 32cm tall, 32cm from side to side and 38cm from front to back. As you will probably have guessed this is cooking tool like the previously reviewed Home Baker but totally unlike the third item still to come. Once you have unboxed the Air Chef anyone into cooking will love the choices around the 3.3x2.2cm display ‘Rapid, Roast, Fries, Bake, Pizza, Grill, Skewer and Rotor’.
A while ago I was sent some Nespresso compatible pods from a London company named Volcano my Nespresso machine failed to work – no fault of the pods – so now with another machine I can test these as well as pods from Aldi and Dualit.
If a company makes a compatible pod it’s a very fair bet that that companies machine must be a big seller and of course have the ability to make decent ‘pod’ coffee. There are two camps ‘pod’ and ‘bean’ and while a coffee shop will use beans these are best the instant they are ground so that requires a grinder so the pod is the more likely home solution. I have accumulated pods from Volcano, ALDI and Dualit.
Making its presence felt in the UK, Reichelt Electronics has a range of competitively priced products including this next item under review.
Digging into the depth of my memory box, I seem to recall a time when the company responsible for the development of this next product was often referred to as the Mouse Company and no that company was not Microsoft. In fact the company with a reputation for manufacturing mice was none other that Logitech.
If you have a clear desk policy then with your PC under the desk you still need to connect various peripherals and the best way to do that is a USB hub so if this hub lives in the item that need to be on the desk - the panel - all you need is the keyboard and mouse and you are working. If you still have a cluttered desk then this panel can help.
This Philips monitor measures 54x32x1.7cm with the last figure at the edge. The stand is a circle with a chunk taken out of it at the front, 27cm from side to side and 24cm back to front. There is a telescopic arm that connects the stand to the rear of the panel. The arm itself extends 42cm from the desk with the panel being able to be raised between 5 and 21cm from the desk. The panel can also be used in a portrait orientation, the swivel is anti-clockwise.
With claims that much of its stock being 20% cheaper than elsewhere in the UL, Reichelt Electronics supplied this next product.
File sizes, over the years, have grown at a prodigious rate, even far outstripping my waist measurement. At the same time, hard disk sizes and other types of storage media devices, such as flash sticks and memory cards, have expanded to create the storage space necessary to hold the bloated software products that we cannot do with out. Talk of 20MB hard drives.
As one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon need your help to return them to their full glory.
Developed by Suricate Games, Babylonia belongs to the Match-3 genre. This game takes you back to a time in the dim and distant past when King Nebuchadnezzar ruled the grand city and kingdom of Babylon. It was on his orders that the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were created. These Gardens were given, as a gift, to Nebuchadnezzar beloved wife, Amyitis.
Having had a rather good fan in my office for some of the hottest part of the summer now a slightly different device this one from Philips aimed at those who may struggle without better air quality so here the Philips Air Purifier.
This Philips Air Purifier measures 66cdm tall, 35cm wide and 25cm deep. It comes assembled but not ready for use as you have to unwrap the filters which although in place are sealed until removed unwrapped and reinserted. The filters are in line, first the HEPA filter, then the NanoProtect AC and then the Pre-Filter. All the controls are on the top surface and are invisible when the unit is off.
With a model number that has a binary feel, this next product offers dual speaker connectivity.
The Edifier R1010BT product forms part of the company’s range of bookshelf multimedia speaker systems. Available in a choice of black or, as in the case of my review system, brown, this Edifier R1010BT kit consists of a pair of bookshelf multimedia style speaker units and various connection leads plus mini booklet style documentation regarding the set up and use of the product.
One thing any person trying to lose – or gain – weight requires is an accurate scale. Here the latest offering from Terraillon is stated to be the thinnest on the market and because it is metal it’s solid and also very easy to keep clean.
This is however not only a scale to show your weight it also tells you other things like your body mass index, it shows body fat, body mass, body muscle and body water content. It can do that for up to eight different people and in the case of twins with identical body composition it asks which number to store the information under. All the data can then be transported to up to eight different SmartPhones using a free App downloadable from either iOS or Android store.
Until recently I was not even aware that Sennheiser did earbuds then I reviewed the Flex 5000 that came with a set. Here I have to thank Vodafone for allowing me to extend my review period with their Samsung Galaxy 8 phone as these earbuds were designed for the Galaxy range of phones and Tablets.
Lime green seems to be the in colour for ‘sports’ earbuds. These are very bright and of course they do show up in reduced lighting areas. The buds themselves come in three sizes which fit onto the overall fitment that flexes over the ear. The silicon buds are mid grey as is the control unit which is 28cm down the cable and below this once the two cables become one is the shirt or top grip to stop the spare cable moving around. 92cm further on (making the total cable length 1.
Your data is a valuable asset which should be protected by a product such as the latest offering from Acronis.
Keeping ahead of the current times, Acronis has released the 2018 version of its True Image personal back-up software for the home user. According to Serguel Beloussov, co-founder and CEO of Acronis, this latest version of True Image is “the first and only personal back-up software that uses artificial intelligence to defend consumers against one of the fastest growing threat to their data.
Certainly not my favourite job and one that only gets done when things get really bad or as in this case when I am sent a tool to take the hard work out of cleaning windows and best of all remove the mess so all you see is clean windows.
I seem to remember a strap line that I think referred to a vacuum cleaner ‘so easy to use even a man can use it’ it seems appropriate here but no doubt if someone used it today there would be a pack of lawyers claiming certain laws had been broken. So I will simply say I found it easy to setup and use and yes I am a man.
Like an old friend, I welcome the latest version of Corel’s Paint Shop Pro on to my computer.
I can not state that I was totally surprised but it was a minor shock to realise that the subject matter of this next review, made its first appearance 27 years ago. That was in August 1990 when Robert Veil released his graphics conversion utility. The product was released as Shareware where you try before you buy, or as in some cases try and continue to use without buying as the Shareware offering was sometimes based on an honour system.
Mixing Hidden Object game play and restoring pictures, this next game involves the Incan Sun.
Developed by Jolly Bears Games, Undiscovered World: The Incan Sun is a Hidden Object game. When playing this game there is a choice of three modes although only the first mode of Find the Incan Sun is initially available. You need to complete this mode before you are granted access to Unlimited node (find all the objects in each location) and Mini Games (replay the eight mini games that occurs). Before embarking on this game you can create profiles for individual players.
Unlike the recent pod machine I reviewed from Lavazza this unit requires a single power lead as the creamer unit takes power from the coffee machine as is integral on its right side. The last two months have taught me one thing my top of the range instant coffee is not a match for quality coffee pods.
This Nespresso Machine measures 35x27x12cm, the exception is where the milk frother joins the unit two thirds of the way down the right side and then the width increases by 10cm to 22cm. While people who make ‘good’ coffee at home are in two camps the ‘bean’ and the ‘pod’. This machine is from the ‘pod’ arena and Nespresso are one of the leading players.
Offering a virtual toolbox approach, Parallels has bundled together a collection of in-house tools.
Probably better known by many as the developer of its Desktop software, whereby users can install and access a copy of Windows within a Mac environment, Parallels has released its Toolbox product for either the Windows or Mac platform. This offering consists of a collection of tools designed to carry out specific tasks. Each of the provided tools has been designed to be activated by a single mouse click. The product is available on an annual subscription basis for either platform.
This is an external light and a camera and it runs on a standard power lead so if you already have an external light – with or without a sensor – you can just replace it and this will come on when something is sensed and it also records automatically.
This is certainly the most expensive security camera I have reviewed. It is external and has an integrated light so it is a two in one device. Open the box and there is the light camera unit at 20.5x10.5x6.5cm and a backing plate that fits without overhang on the rear of the unit. There are two screws and raw plugs together with a small Philips screwdriver. Lift the snug fitting padding to find three 44 page manuals and one of these is in English.
On a recent visit to London during the rounds of Xmas In July I saw a rather nice coffee machine – reviewed 1st September – an electric scooter - sorry no review – and this water bottle. The contents come out as a clear liquid even if they are put in with colour, no it’s not a magic trick but the secret is in the filter inside of what is otherwise like a quality padded standard water bottle.
The example I saw at the event was the demonstrator pouring a cola into the bottle and a clear liquid emerging from the bottle. Yes I did ask the question about passing your own ‘water’ into the bottle and would the liquid coming out be drinkable, he said he had not tried it and before you ask neither have I during my tests. The bottle states ‘removes up to 99.9% of bacteria, viruses + more’.
Glancing through a recent brochure of suggested Christmas gifts available from Philips, I noted six different shaving products. One of these products is the Philips Shaver Series 9000 which is the subject of this next review.
The Philips Shaver Series 9000 comes in two versions. The 59211/12 model, which is the subject matter of this review, consists of the Shaver 9000 unit, a SmartClick Precision Trimmer, semi rigid zipped Travel pouch and a power lead with a standard two-pin plug. The Series 9000 also features the 59211/26 model which adds a SmartClean Plus system. This element has the capability to clean, lubricate, dry and charge the shaver’s internal battery.
A pair of lime green earbuds – other colours are available – have kept me company on a range of journeys in an around London. The first advantage is that your SmartPhone remains well and truly out of site be it in your pocket or purse.
These are described on the box as Wireless Sports Headphones with LED neckband.