A few weeks ago I had a gas problem, when I realised it was going to take a while to fix I started to look around for other ways to keep warm in the mornings, at this time of year the afternoons are not a problem and nor are the evenings.
I have one halogen heater and while it could be moved around it’s a pain to keep plugging and unplugging, so that sits in my office, so I needed something very portable. I took a walk around my local town and could not find anything suitable so while I was waiting for my bus home I popped into the local Wilko store as much to keep warm and out of the rain as anything and there at the end of an isle was this little Beldray Fan Heater.
The Braun Beard Trimmer BT 5010 is one of Braun’s new range of grooming aids for men. It is a well-designed rechargeable battery-powered tool that makes it easy to keep one’s beard in good shape.
It fits neatly into the hand and has a matt black surface with the underside, where one’s fingers rest, having a rubberised feel for better grip. The press button on/off switch and other controls are usefully coloured turquoise. The comb unit can be removed by gently squeezing the turquoise buttons on either side to release the latches and then sliding it off.
Having recently reviewed a Sounddeck and a Soundbase that both sit under your TV. I now turn my attention to a Sound Bar that can sit in front of your TV or be mounted on your wall if that is where your TV lives.
The Edifer Cinesound SoundBar measures 1metre long by 10cm tall and is 8cm deep. So first point if you are placing it in front of your TV make sure it would be raised by 10cm above whatever it sits upon. Of course it can sit elsewhere like on the floor but you will need line of site for the remote to work. The remote is 9x3x.5cm and has 12 well marked buttons in two columns of six, it is powered by a circular watch type button battery that is supplied.
I am sure we all know either first or second hand ‘hello, hello, hello then a range of expletives’ whichever phone company you use they all have ‘not spots’ so the Anywhere SIM allows you to make you call across three different major providers.
The SIM as I received is a full size or micro SIM but it did require careful extraction as the plastic surround was more solid and less well perforated than previous SIMs I have used. As most users will know some SIMs work better in certain areas than others and most will have a SIM to suit their locale.
Having recently divested itself of some of its product line up, Sony can now put more effort into offerings such as its Smartphone catalogue.
The Xperia Z5 is the latest addition to Sony’s range of smartphones to be available from Vodafone. This particular model has dimensions of 146 x 72 x 7.3mm (H x W x D) and weighs in at 154g. Featuring a 5.2-inch screen with 1080p resolution, the Xperia Z5 is available in a range of colour schemes including White, Gold, Green, Pink and, as in the case of my review unit, Graphite Black.
Not that long ago a 14inch notebook would be unlikely to display 1920x1080 this unit is IPS QHD (3K) which shows 2560x1440 and its quite useable. So what other features does this Intel i7 offering with Windows 10 have to offer.
The Gigabyte P34W measures 34x23.5x1.5cm and weighs just under 1.8kilos. This is a mixture of conventional and the latest, a Kensington Lock Port, Ethernet, VGA, USB3 (with charging when off), USB 3.1 and 3.5mm socket for headphone/microphone are the left side. The front has a line of five LED’s. The right side has USB3, SD Slot, USB3, HDMI and DC input. The rear is clear as the lid comes down to 135 degrees. The viewable screen is 31x17.
Health issues played a major part in the products displayed at the recent Wearable Technology Show.
It was over a decade ago that I first came across the Mio brand of devices. These were various products offering SatNav functionality for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. Recently, following a visit to the Wearable Show held at the Excel Exhibition Centre, I was re-introduced to Mio and the company’s range of activity trackers such as the Mio Alpha 2 which forms the basis of this next review.
Mixing together pirates, Leonardo da Vinci invention and islands within the Bermuda Triangle, this next game sets you the task of thwarting a plan to dominate the world.
Hidden Expedition – The Uncharted Islands is a Hidden Object Adventure Game developed by Floodlight Games and available from Big Fish Games. In order to play this game you will need a 1GHz processor with 1024MB of RAM and 240MB of hard disk space running Windows 7 and later. Pricing is in the region of £7.70.
This is a large 5.5inch screen Android phone that comes with Dual SIM it has 8GB of memory and a Quad Core Processor so as it also has a 13MP camera with LED flash it may well tick all the boxes for a lot of people.
The Archos 55 Platinum measures 15x7.5x.7cm the last figure at the edges but the rear camera does protrude slightly, it weighs 162grams. The viewable screen is 12x6.7cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 5.5 inches. This is a 4G phone but the only available micro SIM at the time that I had was a 3G one, however I have no complaints about the speed of data transfer.
Spreading its audio net wide, Edifier’s latest speaker system can connect to a range of sources.
As sometimes happens, a model number gives very little away regarding the product's purpose. However it does give me the opportunity to explain that the R2730DB is a multimedia speaker system from the Edifier comprehensive range of audio products. This particular model consists of a pair of speaker units, a small remote control device and an assortment of leads for specific purposes plus a User Manual booklet.
Steaming food means that the goodness -often boiled away- is retained. So is it possible to have healthy and good tasting food. This item from Morphy Richards gives you a good chance and best of all it is not a whole lot of fuss to produce it.
While food can taste great things with different flavours still taste better when kept apart in preparation so this has two compartments and even a special container for rice. It is 29x21x29cm the last figure is the height so the footprint is small onto whatever you place it on. The front of the unit has a 7.5x3.2cm display with six control buttons in an ‘L’ shape down the left and along the bottom of it. Towards the right edge is a water gauge.
The main problem with a product 18 versions old is when you remember the first one. Corel were one of the main reasons you got a CD drive. It was all the extra content they provided in images and fonts. Now the download needs a fast connection as its 1.8GB.
Having done the download you then need to burn a DVD so it’s not a trivial process. Once installed I had 2.3GB less hard disc space and my Desktop had five extra icons – yes Corel still give extra – apart from the CorelDRAW X8, there is also Corel PHOTO-PAINT, Corel CONNECT, Corel CAPTURE and Corel FONT MANAGER. They still do 32bit versions if that’s what you need but 64bit is what I am reviewing it on and to be frank with anything complex you need memory as well.
Offering to be your personal private shopper, your Big Apple Buddy claims to get the tech items you want.
A recent spell of convalescing in hospital, as I recovered from a brain bleed, coincided with a number of UK launches I had planned to attend but circumstances decreed otherwise. Also happening during the same period were a number of announcements regarding certain US products that might be of interest to the likes of you and I. Fortunately I had been provided with details of these announcements, sight unseen, for the benefit of Gadgetspeak readers.
Sound Bars have been around for a while, they started life as a means of improving the quality and range of the poor quality TV sound, they had one drawback the need for space in front of the TV which could be a problem, enter the Sounddeck and the TV sits on the deck.
This is a quality item and as we all know quality is not cheap. A while ago I visited the then new Harrods Technology Department and today you should be able to see most of the Raumfeld range there. It is 73x39x9cm and it has a chunky rubber foot at each corner to sit it on and to allow sound to percolate from under the unit, these feet raise it another 10cm from whatever you sit the Sounddeck on. Both sides and the front are covered in black fabric and behind it are the speakers.
You have probably heard, on more than one occasion, the popular sayings of “As pretty as a picture” or “The camera never lies”. These two saying were far more appropriate yesterday than in today’s more computer dominated society. We now have access to a number of software applications that do their best to improve on the former saying and misrepresent what is delivered by the latter. One such product is Portrait Professional from Anthropics.
It has been around three years since I last took a look at the Portrait Professional software. In the intervening interval, the software has moved from version 11 to the current offering of version 15 which is available in Standard, Studio and Studio Max flavours. I have been using the 64-bit Studio Max product as the basis of this review.
With its title of Haunted Legends: The Undertaker, you should have a pretty good idea that this next game will involve zombies at some point and you would be correct.
Developed by ERS Game Studio and available in a choice of Standard or Collector’s Edition format, Haunted Legends: The Undertaker is a Hidden Object Adventure game. My review is based on the Collector’s Edition product which comes with a number of Extra items. Some of the addition items, such as Strategy Guide, Music and Concept Art, can be accessed immediately.
An All In One unit which means it prints, scans and copies. The HP Envy 4520 can do the last two actions without the PC needing to be turned on. In fact with printing being possible from phones and other non PC devices you might even buy one without owning a PC.
The printer measures 43x35x12cm when closed. You will need more space above the 12cm height to place things on the flatbed and more on the 35cm depth to allow for paper to emerge in front of the inbuilt paper tray the flip out support opens automatically when printing starts by 13cm in front to hold onto the output. This is a four ink two cartridge offering which can produce rather nice looking images but do remember the cost of ink as the cartridges are only small.
If there is such a thing as a universal modem router, the Archer VR900 from TP-Link is it. It has 2.4/5GHz wireless connectivity and is compatible with ADSL and VDSL standards as well fibre, cable and 3G/4G USB dongles.
I attended the launch in a packed venue that if you were at the back or standing you needed binoculars to see the stage. It lasted close to two hours and the first 45 minutes was solely on the phones cameras ability it is produced in conjunction with Leica.
In this review I will talk about the phone and in a few weeks after longer use I will focus on its cameras. Of course a lot of comparisons were made to Samsung and Apple and of course this is larger/smaller faster better but once beyond all that what have you got a very thin phone, the cameras do not go outside the case so no rubbing in your pocket. It has what is called a 5.2inch 1080p screen. On the right side is the on/off button together with the volume rocker. The connection is USB 3.
Admittedly the box it came in was for two of them but even the plastic bag that this single backpack was packed was large, my first job was to put it on my kitchen scales, empty it weighs 2.81kilos. Next let’s see what items it can hold.
First it’s dimensions, 30cm across, 25cm deep and 50cm tall. Part of the reason for the weight is that it is so solid. The top for instance is solid enough to write letters on, the sides have little give and the front could probably support a child sitting on it. The only part that has giver is the back that fits snugly into your back but still gives to contours they call it a ‘Balanced Comfort System’.
A small A5 page printer for photographs which can be printed direct from either an SD or Micro SD Card the latter via an adapter but also direct from your SmartPhone via an App as this unit has its own Wi-Fi you can link into.
The Canon Selphy CP1200 photo printer measures 17.5x30x5.5cm but you will also need clear space behind the unit as the postcard sized sheets are passed from front to back of the unit. The front is initially from a cassette but after moving through the first time it then comes through above the cassette and does the task four times, first for yellow, then for pink, then blue and finally the protective coating.
Freecom’s Tablet Mini SSD offers 128 or 256GB of external storage that can supplement the capacity of an OTG-enabled tablet or smartphone or back it up.
This item could have an identity crisis. By default it is a Tablet but instead of running Android it runs Windows 10. It can also be used as a Notebook it comes with a Bluetooth keyboard. So here I get to use Windows 10 as it was intended with touch and even a pen stylus.
It is 21.7x12.5x.7cm and weighs 365grams. The supplied keyboard for use in notebook mode is 26x17cm. The viewable screen is 10.7x17.4cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 8inches. The screen display is 1920x1200 and in a 16:10 aspect ratio. One word of caution if you shut down in notebook mode you can have difficulty in getting the onscreen keyboard to show up if you next boot in Tablet mode.
The One holding the Spear of Destiny will rule the World. Can you stop it happening?
According to ancient legend, the Spear of Destiny is the most powerful artefact in the world. Who ever has possession of this artefact can rule the world. So powerful was this artefact that, when the last person to control the force died, a council of wise men decided that its power should be weaken by the removal of the various gems built into the artefact. These gems were then handed over to an ancient Colossus who was charged with guarding them.
Ricoh and Pentax are both names in quality DSLR and even some smaller but high quality cameras often cruelly called point and shoot. This offering is somewhat different as you only know what you have when you have it stored.
However this is a two fish eye lens offering that captures both still and movie images in 360 degrees so ideal for those sightseeing adventures. A have read that a couple of other companies have launched such devices at the recent MWC (Mobile World Congress) so it looks as if the upgraded THETA S has stolen a match on both of them. While you can control the unit via iOS or Android Apps you can also capture and store the images or video and then transfer them via a USB lead.
A lightweight pair of on-ear headphones which most will use with their SmartPhones as it does have the controls needed to answer a phone call and the built in microphone is perfectly adequate for any passer-by to think you are talking to yourself.
As a paranormal investigator you should be prepared for the unusual as you try to solve the mystery surrounding the Big Pine Lodge.
“Mysteries of the Past – Shadow of the Daemon” is a title that belongs to the popular Hidden Object Adventure game genre. In this game you take on the role of a Paranormal Investigative Detective who goes by the name of Jane.
This is a small DAB/FM unit sold by the Dixons and Currys Group. It has a wooden case where most units in the same price band have a plastic one. Wood often gives a better sound. So what else has this LOGIC unit got to offer.
The Logic L55DAB15 DAB+/FM radio measures 24x9x12.5cm and weights 900grams (without batteries). The base, sides and top are a light wood. A lift handle fills 19cm of the top, the base has four stuck on rubberised feet. Both sides are clear. The back is plastic it has a 60cm six piece rod aerial, below this the battery bay for four ‘AA’ batteries. At the bottom right of the back a 3.5mm headphone socket and the DC power input, a 1.
The LG G4 is a smartphone that comes in a variety of skins. There are models with grey, white, gold and coloured leather back covers. My review unit, supplied by Vodafone, came with a metallic grey back cover.
While an initial glance of this handset might give the impression that LG has gone with the usual standard layout of the external functions used by all the other smartphones that I have checked out, this LG unit might have a few surprises especially for those moving from another brand of mobile. With dimensions of 148.9 x 76.1 x 9.8mm (H x W x D), the G4’s front face is dominated by a 5.5-inch screen.
Having launched various cordless cameras Netgear now go the other way and attach a cord but instead of this being an Ethernet one it is a generous length USB one meaning it takes power from the cable – no batteries – and sends the signal it receives to your account.
My review has taken longer than normal simply because this relies on a SmartPhone to function, either an iOS one or an Android one. Just before this unit arrived I was reviewing a Windows Phone and this was followed by another such device and the statement on the box ‘One App for all Arlo Cameras’ has a flaw, no support currently for Windows Phones as far as I could find. It is rectangular with all the edges set at 45 degrees so it looks more diamond shape. The camera is 11x6.5x3.