Clearing a suitable space in my living room and, at times, putting a strain on my back, it was time to check out one of the new models in Samsungs television line up.
I can still remember the “box in the corner” scenario when you might be the only family in the street who had a one-channel television. You could invite some neighbours round to share the entertainment being broadcast while occasionally some others could be invited to raise the envy and jealous levels.
Relish is the name for a pilot 4G fixed network initially covering the central London area just launched by UK Broadband. It is being offered as an alternative to fibre.
At present the service covers the core area from Kensington in the west to Canary Wharf in the East and from North to South, Shoreditch to Southwark. Having launched in central London the plan is to roll the service out to Greater London and other UK cities in due course. “We do not have a fixed time line. We would like to roll-out quickly but our focus right now is on providing a great service for central Londoners.
The Duo stands for dual SIM and with various companies offering good deals for one service or another having a dual SIM phone can save a lot of money. As Prestigio phones are sold unlocked you can even use SIMs from two different companies.
I have reviewed a couple of other Dual SIM phones in the past. The last one used a full size SIM and a micro SIM. This uses two full size offerings which piggy back on top of each other but fit in different ways. Also nearby is where any Micro SD card you use fits. All require the back to be removed to insert, but only the SIMs require the battery to be removed.
A simple device to do one job I seem to have written that a lot recently but it is something that most people can use to make things easier. It is a USB hub on a long lead meaning you do not need to be tied that closely to your PC or even a power outlet.
The lead when unfurled is three metres and the power lead that connects to is another one and half metres long so in effect you can charge or power items up to four and a half metres from a power point. Of course this can be even further away if you use another lead extension. So on a nice day you can work away in your garden and still have power. The box contains the Life Hub, the Cradle that holds the wound cable, the mains cord, the power adapter and a small multi language manual.
Like with many boys of my generation years ago, cowboys & Indians was a popular pastime but somehow getting involved in a gold rush never came into it.
The year is 1849 and the location is California. At this time and location you are wondering how best to make your way in a world of opportunity with minimal laws to thwart any plans you may devise when the blood pounding cry of “There’s gold in them thar hills!” begins to be heard. This is the chance you have been looking for. But it is not for you the risky business and hard labour of joining in the gold rush.
An Android Tablet with an added plus it can be used when Wi-Fi is not available so it can be a phone or with the correct service with Mobile Data. So what does this recent offering from French company have to offer the user?
The Archos 79 Xenon Android tablet measures 19.7x13.4x.7cm and weights 315grams. The viewable screen is 12x16cm. The unit is cream in colour with a silver back. At the base of the back is a pair of reasonable speakers. At the top of the back is a 2cm cream strip that is your way to inserting SIM and Micro SD Cards. At the left corner of this strip is the camera. Immediately above it on the top edge is the on/off button.
When I am hungry I can be tempted by a snack (crisps and chocolate tend to head the list) but what do you do if your mobile device is hungry for power?
Mobile devices, as their classification implies, are at their most useful when you are out and about. They can provide you with facilities that you come to rely on where ever you are. However, despite the numerous advantages on offer, mobile devices can prove to be extremely annoying. I am referring to the “lack of power” syndrome as you are faced by a “dead device” when attempting to make a call or download some vital information.
The popular Blackwell series of point-and-click adventure games draws to a conclusion with the Blackwell Epiphany unless, of course, at some later date Wadjet Eye does an about-turn and comes up with a further episode to challenge the player.
Wadjet Eye’s latest offering is the Blackwell Epiphany adventure game. If you are familiar with other Wadjet Eye titles then you will not be surprised to discover that the Blackwell Epiphany takes a decided retro approach to the graphics that make up this game with its various scenes and two-dimensional characters that always move in straight lines.
An Inkjet multi-function machine that means it has fax - as well as scan, copy and print. This is part of the OfficeJet range and as such has a more substantial paper input tray than you might find on those units designed for home use.
The HP Officejet Pro 8610 is also a bit boxier given that it probably does not have to pass the lounge police, however with Wi-Fi there is no reason why it needs to be in view, it could sit behind a sofa or even in a cupboard. It is 47x44x29cm. The power, phone and USB/Ethernet should you use either of the latter all go into the back left of the unit.
The Prestigio Multipad 4 Diamond 7.85 3G is an Android tablet with a number of installed apps aimed at business users. Having both 3G and Wi-Fi, it will enable the user to keep in touch virtually anywhere while on the move and, in addition, will be able to handle movies and music for leisure time.
Running the widely used Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) it has a 199mm (7.85 inch) screen. Its overall size is 200 x 138mm and it is less than 9mm thick and weighs 470g complete with its black slip-in case with stylish red stitching and lining. As one withdraws the tablet from this case it automatically wakes up, and vice versa, so is always ready for use. The actual body of the Multipad is of brushed black aluminium with silver edges.
Around a year has passed since I last looked at a Doro handset. This latest handset has cut back of features and has a reduced price tag.
The Doro PhoneEasy 508 is a new addition to the Doro family of easy to use handsets. Designed for the more elderly members of society, this candy bar style of mobile phone is available in a choice of black, white or graphite. With its plastic casing, dimensions of 118 x 53 x 13mm (H x W x D) and a weight of 81g (including rechargeable battery pack), this handset can easily be slipped into a pocket or bag without causing an unsightly bulge.
A lot of people of my generation still have a lot of vinyl, however a good number of those have nothing to play it on. Here a more recent solution a USB deck that allows you to play your music and even make a digital copy of it.
It is 37x35x8cm with cables inserted. While a USB lead takes the data to your PC or MAC you will also need the hard wired RCA lead provided. This can end in two plugs or a single one and both possibilities are catered for. Here I stress RTFM (read the !!!! manual) in fact there are two and both are clearly written (less than ten relevant pages) in a good sized type.
The Cygnett 1A ChargeUp is a charging device that helps you out when your phone or tablet goes flat and a power plug is not in sight. However this has another feature that can also have a use when power is lost it has a built in torch in the end of the unit.
The device measures 9.6x2.8x2cm and weights 72grams. It comes with a 30cm USB to micro USB cable that has two uses dependant on the way it is connected. There is a single button on the base of the unit that will turn the torch on, this button is flush to slightly indented so you are unlikely to turn the torch on by mistake. You also need to press the button for at least a couple of seconds to turn it on/off.
In what could well develop into a popular trend, this next game, entitled Moebius Empire Rising, owes its existence to support from Kickstarter partners ($435K raised by 5,836 backers).
Developed by Pinkerton Road, Moebius Empire Rising is a point-and-click adventure game. You are cast in the role of Malachi Rector who is an expert in the field of antiques and has a reputation of being able to detect fakes no matter how well they have been made. The game is structured around a points’ system which you receive for making the correct decisions and actions as you move around environments and interact with other characters and objects.
This is a small digital camera that can be used in Auto mode to give you nice images, however should you want more then it can also help you learn and set you on your way to capturing great images should you wish to progress.
The Ricoh Digital Camera WG-4 is a small Waterproof unit that follows the recent Ricoh course of having built in levels and even a clock on the face, I can see the point of knowing you are capturing a straight image on land but if you are under water why should it matter, as for the clock! It is 16.5x6.5x3cm and weights 235grams. The right side has a chunky wrist strap, the left side is semi circular and has nothing.
This next product is available from the Gizoo.co.uk web site.
The “thumbsUp!” Retro Touch Speaker is described on the packaging as being a wireless one touch, bedside smartphone speaker that can double as a USB phone charger. I have to state right from the start that the appearance of the product in question, does not live up to this multi-tasking description.
Rather than the usual PC platform, this next game is available for Android devices.
Several months ago I reviewed a Big Fish game entitled Fairway Solitaire that was available as part of the Focus Multimedia catalogue. Now it is time for a follow-up offering that has the title of Fairway Solitaire Blast. Unlike the original title, which was for the Windows platform, this follow-up Big Fish offering is an Android game available free-of-charge from the Play Store.
A tool to do a single job, link to various web sites such as YouTube and relay whatever you have on your phone or Tablet and via some electronics in the supplied HDMI dongle and show it on your TV with sound, so any non Connected TV is updated.
It is 7x3.5x1cm, the middle figure the width is at the fatter back just behind the connection it is only 2cm so should not block any nearby HDMI ports. However if this is a problem on your TV an HDMI extender cable is supplied. It is also supplied with a 1.5metre lead which fits into the end of the Chromecast and is a USB lead who’s other end is either a standard USB plug or fits into the supplied 13AMP plug, this is required to provide power to the Chromecast.
A regular source of products that I feature in reviews is the Denmark based Sandberg company. The latest offering to arrive from Sandberg is the Bluetooth Stereo Headset Pro product priced at £53.99.
The Bluetooth Stereo Headset Pro is an over-the-ear type of listening device. It is predominately black in colour apart from the brushed metallic face plates decorating each ear piece and a logo-bearing strip attached to the top of the headband. When not in use, this headset can be folded into a smaller shape making it easier to be packed away when in transit.
Often new phones are available from the large providers before the actual company who manufacture them. This is a case in point this unit was supplied by O2. It is the most recent Samsung SmartPhone to become available in the UK.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 measures 14x7x.5cm and weights 145grams. The viewable screen is 11.2x6.4cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial screen measurement of 5.1inches. While I have used other Android 4.4 this unit (Android 4.4.2) has a lot of features I have not seen or used before and the short one week review time did not give me the chance to try more than a few. However those small things I tried I liked. One I did try was the excellent camera for both still and movie capture.
This is another version of the recently reviewed item from thumbs UP that got the highly desirable and very rarely awarded 5x5 award. It has the same great volume increase ability to turn a low volume from and speaker into something desirable.
It is somewhat larger and also has a separate volume knob, it can show video on the screen if placed correctly and lets the sound come out of the speakers, yes I said speakers so there is stereo and while it can be run on batteries it is also possible to run on mains power. It is also possible to charge your playing device via USB while in situ. On the basis of what I have said above this surely is worth another 5x5 award.
The title of this next game available on Avanquests GSP label, 1000 LYA, gives very little away with regards to what is in store for the player. In fact this is a Match-3 game that is based on the theft and recovery of a time machine. The enigmatic title stands for 1000 Light-Years Away.
When playing 1000 LYA, individual players can set up their profile by adjusting volume levels for music and sound effects plus opting to play in full screen mode using a custom cursor. The game opens with a comic book style sequence with printed text. This interlude covers the theft of the time machine by the interstellar villain named Origon. It is up to Togard, the Guardian of the time machine to recover this valuable piece of equipment by tracking down Origon.
Yes I am aware Backing Up is boring but if it is fully automated and at times you are not doing anything with your PC then it can be just another task that takes place. Then of course when the worst does happen you are prepared.
I first downloaded this and tried it on a Windows 8 machine, ad is a small 50MB ZIP file and there is no longer any support for Windows XP why not try it here for a slow machine with not a lot of memory but having files you still might want. Once downloaded the file decompresses and takes around 300MB of hard disc space. I decided that I would not allow any Internet access (it wants to check for updated files etc) so just gave it a blanket job to back up the ‘C’ drive.
This is one of those occasions when I found it easier to source a product from a retailer rather than the manufacturer. Thanks to Gizoo for supplying this Oregon Scientific speaker.
Mobile devices (smartphones, tablets and the like) are generally considered to be for personal use. However there are times when you may wish to share their features with others. A prime example of this type of interaction is the sharing of music with a group of friends. While the mobile device’s built-in speakers may be fine for a single user, with or without a headset, they could struggle when delivering output to a larger audience.
It was meant to be the holiday of your dreams. But events did not turn out as expected. The result of this misadventure is Mountain Trap: The Manor of Memories. This is a Hidden Object Adventure game developed by Color Brush Studios and originally published by Alawar Games. This title is now available as part of Avanquests GSP extensive catalogue of titles.
It all started when you and your friend Amy decided to take a skiing holiday at a little known resort as you tackled the Ardennes Peak. One of the attractions of this location, apart from the skiing facilities, was the Manor of Ardennes. This rather old building had a long history that is based around the story of two young lovers who were torn apart by a magic spell.
A 24inch panel from Viewsonic. While they used to be thought of as screens for viewing computer information more and more these days they come into their own as devices to watch videos and even live TV delivered over the WWW.
My test period included the World Snooker Championship and as the BBC has only one ‘Red Button’ channel these days there was often good stuff not available live so the glib presenter just says available online or via your connected TV. I do not have the latter so this panel connected to a PC and from there via Wi-Fi to my router gave excellent full screen coverage even when live ‘aerial’ coverage was not available through your TV.
See if you can spot where I made a type that changed faxes into taxes in this review. There is more than one possible location but which was the most appropriate.
The Samsung C460FW is a multifunction device. It is based on a colour laser and has an ADF (Automatic Document Feeder) module mounted on top of this combination of printer and flatbed scanner. This Samsung product provides the user with print, scan, copy and fax functionality plus a choice of USB, Ethernet or wireless connectivity.
A snug fitting shoe, a little bright by my standards but given that anything goes today the word is comfort and while these are extremely comfortable I am not one for vigorous exercise which I understand is their main purpose.
These weight 280grams per shoe (mine are size 10, 44EU) and so comfortable with or without socks. Which as a very mature person also seems wrong to me, but I did wear them barefoot as they are designed to be worn - most of the time. These are marketed as ‘off road ready’ which means rough terrain my extent of rough terrain is walking round the local car boot fair in a nearby field. The moulded soles are predominately yellow with one red area.
A new name to me that I found by chance while checking the Apps pre-installed on an Android Smartphone. Health items are of particular interest to me as I have several health problems myself so these items are always useful.
The company is based in the USA and has a base also in Europe. I liked the look of the App and that I why I ventured to their website and then to ask for review items. I was sent three items a Blood Pressure Cuff, Wireless Activity and Sleep Tracker and a Pulse Oximeter. I have looked at other Blood Pressure readers mostly the arm type but there is another cuff type in a recent review.
My collection of favourite music has its origins in the vinyl era of recordings. I mention this merely as a lead in to a recent visit I paid to a location known as the Vinyl Factory in the Soho area of central London.
Hosting this particular event was Naim, a company founded in 1973 by Julian Vereker MBE. As the winner of the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise on three occasions, including the award it received for its ground-breaking design of digital music systems in 2014, Naim has built up an impressive reputation with its work in the field of audio system.