It is rare for me to start with the price; £20 for a food mixer on a stand is I think unique, so I asked to review one. You could probably get a basic hand held offering for this price but certainly not one with a set of beaters a set of dough hooks as well as a large stainless steel bowl and stand.
Assembly is just a matter of unpacking, remove the stand from the box along with the beaters and dough hooks, then unpack the actual mixer unit, the longest job was removing the plastic tie from the 1.2 metres long hard wired power lead, now clip the mixer into the stand and plug in the lead and you are ready to go, maybe two or three minutes in total.
It is story time as Violet makes a return to the Leapfrog range of learning tools for young children.
Originally making an appearance with My Pal Violet, the cuddly soft toy, named Violet, makes a return with this next Leapfrog product. Entitled Read With Me Violet, this particular offering, from the Leapfrog range of educational learning tools, is aimed at the 2 – 5 year age group. As its title might suggest, this product has been developed to help introduce the child to books, print, comprehension and early vocabulary.
If you expect your Tablet to have a hard life then you are better off paying more and getting one that will survive knocks and drops and even a degree of getting wet. In fact Panasonic launched another of their Toughbook’s on a weather balloon to the edge of the earth’s atmosphere and then brought it back by parachute and it still worked.
If you expect me to give it such a test you are mistaken, however I did take it out and about and while the temperature was below freezing but it was not nearly as low as those for the one below the balloon. I did use it in drizzle without problem. However my job is to review what is put before me and this is a powerful Windows 10 unit.
With the same name as the company which designed and manufactured it, the SITPACK is a collapsible and portable seat.
Developed by Factory Katz Games, The Grand Banquet is a Hidden Object title that is based on the factory and home of the Katz’s family.
Located on the outskirts of a small town at the end of a winding path, the Katz property had been designed by Wilhelm Katz to house steam powered machinery to manufacture small boiler units to drive all types of transportation. Adding a decorative appearance to the factory was an assortment of bronze farm animals. The mansion part of the structure was added later and was lavishly decorated with ornate woodwork, fine art and impressive furniture.
Not long ago I told you about an upper arm blood pressure device from Philips. They have also launched one that some may find easier to use. Instead of it working on the upper arm this gets all its required information from your wrist.
The complete device fits on your wrist rather like a very oversized watch. The cuff size is 13.5 to 21.5cm and is tightened by Velcro with the display part being visible rather than a separate unit sitting on a table. Even at a doctor’s surgery very few are hand inflated, here it is battery controlled via a supplied integral charge unit. The display part is 8.5x6.5x1.5cm with the all-important sensors on the underside.
As your most expensive possession, your home can be vulnerable unless securely protected.
Home Security kits continue to be a popular offering with manufacturers, retailers and customers. The latest such product to come my way is entitled the Smart Home Security Kit. This product has been developed by D-Link with my review sample being supplied Currys PC World. Conveniently packaged in a single box, this kit consists of four items. Each of these items arrive packed in their own individual boxes.
Wireless headphones received a big boost last year when Apple removed the 3.5mm socket from their iPhones, however while Headphones have a big advantage sound wise over earbuds they also have a large size disadvantage so a small Wireless Headphone set has a ready-made market.
Despite the small size – unless you have very large ears – these are over ear offerings. They also have a good noise reduction system built in. Many purists might scoff but as my review period was during the coldest part of winter I often wore them over a synthetic woollen hat pulled down well below my ears so my near bald head and back of my neck were protected. The sound given even through the added barrier was excellent.
Having last week told you about a mattress cleaner from Hoover; here I get to dust off my ironing board to test out one of their latest group of irons. Certainly this is a far different product from a standard iron that resides in the back of one of my cupboards.
I would suggest that a man who has had his ‘three score and ten years’ is hardly the target market for a very powerful steam iron however he is the one who get to test this offering from Hoover. Until about a decade ago I used to be a smart dresser with an ironed shirt and tie and defiantly well creased trousers and handkerchief. Now when I have a dozen or so handkerchiefs washed I tend to fish out my iron and give then a once over.
Violet in colour and Violet by name, this soft toy from Leapfrog is customisable.
My Pal Violet is a soft toy with a customisable centre aimed at the 6 – 36 month age range. As part of the Leapfrog range of educational toys for the younger members of the family, Violet, in her white and Violet fur, cries out to be picked up and cuddled. However this cuddly creature, with dimensions of 308 x 270 x 190 mm (H x W x D) has more to offer than just tactile sensations as is explained in the accompanying Quick Start Guide.
Most panels show you a screen of information, some do it with low Blue Light, and some have the ability to rotate so you can see your screen in portrait mode. This offering from Philips however is a first for me having a changing colour display in the base.
It is 60x36x1.5cm at the edge. The stand is circular at 23cm with the connecting arm attaching to the back edge. The stand raises the screen by 10cm from the base and the screen has 20 degrees of back tilt and 10 degrees of forward tilt, there is no side to side movement. There is no assembly required as the unit comes from the box with the stand already connected.
There are a number of products that provide on-going spring cleaning facilities including one from AVG.
How is the performance of your Windows computer right now? I am willing to bet that there has been some degradation in its performance over the months since it was first set up with its Microsoft operating system. As we tend to slow down as we get older, your computer will exhibit a similar trend. While trips to the gym and regular bouts of exercise might help us, a computer might need to fall back on some performance boosting software such as AVG TuneUp Utilities.
It is time to don the mantle of Jack Knight as you visit Bluebeard’s Castle in the Hidden Object Adventure game of Son of the Heartless. In this Fanda Game created title your role is that of a young man who is the victim of a curse that decrees he will die young. And why you may ask has this state of affairs come to pass? Let me explain.
One of Jack’s ancestors was the infamous Conte Gille de Brais. While out hunting one day, the Count was attacked by a wolf when suddenly a mysterious stranger came to the Count’s rescue. This stranger was a demon who demanded that the Count should enter an agreement in return for the help he had received. This agreement, signed in blood, stated that the Count would become immortal in return for sacrificing an innocent member of his family on a regular basis.
The PowerShot range is only one step down from their DSLR offerings; however they are small enough to fit in your pocket but are still extremely powerful units that have a large number of features that started out in their DSLR models.
The Canon website says ‘DSLR-like creativity in a connected large sensor compact’ which seems to sum up this powerful unit. It is small enough to fit in your pocket or purse at 10.5x6.5x4cm the last figure increase to 8cm when fully zoomed. It is somewhat heavier than a standard digital camera at 318grams. A novice user could turn the nine position wheel on top of the unit to ‘Auto’ and get very respectable images via point and shoot but this unit offers so much more.
With a range of new features, Acronis backup software emerges in New Generation mode.
Breaking the pattern, I have come used to over the last few years of releasing, a new single version of True Image each year, Acronis has produced a second version of its 2017 True Image offering. In order to distinguish this second version from the original product, Acronis has named the latest offering True Image 2017 New Generation.
It was nearly four years ago that I discovered EM Client 6 unlike most software programs that seem to upgrade annually it is close to four years ago that this Outlook Express replacement came into my life and it is still in use as my email collecting tool this has just become EM Client 7.
Removing the back of a phone used for some to be essential in order to get access to the battery, now a lot of phones come sealed so batteries cannot be changed. This phone from Archos arrived without a back as the last reviewers cat had stolen/eaten/hidden it. But as it only performed a fashion role it is not essential; however I would not like to meet that reviewer’s cat on a dark night.
Without the cosmetic back you get more information on what button does what and how to insert SIM or Micro SD Card and the case is still sealed. It is 15.2x7.5x.7cm and weighs 186grams. The viewable screen is 12x6.8cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 5½ inches. While there are Android 7 phones out there I have yet to handle one so this Marshmallow offering is the latest Android 6 to have come my way.
While the majority of Smart Home devices I get to look at tend to concentrate their functionality on the various aspects of home security, a new offering from Netatmo is more concerned with health issues. This product is the appropriately entitled Healthy Home Coach.
Opening the package reveals the device, a power lead with a three-pin plug and a mini Welcome booklet. Tubular in shape, with a height of 155 mm and a diameter of 45 mm, the champagne coloured Coach, with its aluminium sheen, perches in an upright position. Running down the front face of the Coach is a slim elongated window which displays feedback information regarding the health of the dwelling using a colour coded system.
The chances are when you visit your doctor one of the tasks completed is to roll up your sleeve so he/she can check your blood pressure. If the wait to see your doctor was a long one then the chances are that the reading will be high.
This unit is a little different from most other devices, it is battery controlled and for you it can store the results via Bluetooth in a Philips Health App. The units battery is charged via a mains adapter supplied. The unusual bit is that the display is integral to the unit so all 303grams sits on your upper arm. It has just two buttons below the 10.5x2cm display, these are User (it can support two users) and on/start/off.
Offering to light up the issue of home security is a product from Sengled.
Security can come in many different forms. In the case of Sengled, a company that is best known as an internationally active manufacturer and supplier of innovative lighting solutions, you could say that light was being directed at the problem of home security. This solution is known as the . Designed for use either indoors or in a garden environment, the Snap bulb is of the large bulbous type with dimensions of 148 mm height and a 121 mm diameter.
With a choice of activities, Melody the Turtle has been developed to help young children.
Melody is a turtle. She is also the central component of a Leapfrog product. As befitting her role in the product, her name forms part of the title which is Melody the Musical Turtle. Aimed at the 2+ year age group, Melody sets out to help the young child develop the core learning skills of number, colour recognition and memory skills.
Having recently told you about the larger Xperia XZ here a chance to put the smaller sibling through its paces, like the larger offering both were supplied by Vodafone and with this I got the chance to check their coverage not only in England but also Scotland.
Travelling back from Glasgow by train recently I was able to keep in touch all the way back mostly via 4G with around 15% of 3G coverage and a couple of times it was down to ‘E’ in the more remote parts of the Lake District. It is 12.7x6.4x1cm and weighs 135grams. My unit was shiny black – normally a minus point as it shows all the finger marks – but this seemed to hide most quite well apart from on the screen. The viewable screen is 10x5.
Seeing the courier struggle up to my front door was enough to give my back a panic attack at the thought of this next review.
As a specialist in the production and manufacture of premium audio solutions with innovative design concepts, Edifier has a portfolio consisting of a wide range of speakers developed to fulfil different user needs and budget constraints. Currently the company has speakers that could be classified as Bluetooth, Desktop, Cinesound, Wireless, Portable, Bookshelf and Speakerphone.
Yes you read it correctly, Hoover have brought out a cleaner specifically for cleaning of mattresses. While those of us that have mattresses that can be turned I am sure few of us – and certainly not me – have previously taken a Hoover to a mattress.
I am sure we all change the sheets regularly and turn the mattress around once a month. With a normal mattress that gives four ways of use to ensure even wear, the exception is a few of the new memory foam offerings that can only be used one way up. It is 26.5x32x16cm with the head 20.5cm wide, it weighs 2.2kilos.
Having told you about the other two units in the latest Canvio range the chance came up to tell you about the Basics offering. This is - Bus Powered - so no need for external power as with earlier external drives so it should plug in and be ready to use.
The memory is 3TB or 2.72 TB depending on how you calculate the available space. It is 12x7.5x1.5cm but the USB3 plug fits into the back meaning you need another 3cm of total space so 15x7.5x1.5cm is required. It weighs 207grams and the box has a padded bubble wrap bag idea for moving it around. There is a 22 language PDF file on the drive, the first eight pages are in English and should answer most questions.
As old classic films have been digitised and transferred to modern media, so you can do the same with your treasured home video tapes.
You may have heard, read about, or actually participated in the upsurge in the sale of vinyl music recently – as old technology fights back in the marketplace. But, as the old saying goes “One swallow does not a summer make” and the rise in vinyl sales popularity does not necessary mean that other superseded technology, such as VHS recorded tapes, is about to make a comeback thus allowing you to access your treasured collection of old video tape-based recordings.
While a number of NAS units tend to require a good amount of knowledge to get them up and running correctly this is not the case with those produced by Buffalo, here I was sent a two bay offering that arrived pre populated with drives.
The Buffalo TeraStation TS5210 is a small NAS unit measuring 17x16x29cm, the last figure the depth is with cables inserted and weighs only 4.359kilos. To set it up you need to download ‘NAS Navigator’ software from a link given in the Quick Start Guide. Connect the NAS to your router via Ethernet and connect a PC/Notebook to the NAS also via Ethernet. Once setup you can then dispense with the latter Ethernet cable and use Wi-Fi.
It is time for a “bit” of music with this next product from Polk Boom.
With a title of “Bit” and an appearance that could be mistaken for a stubby flash drive, you could be forgiven for wondering just what was the purpose of this next device under review. In fact, as part of the Polk Boom family of devices, the Bit is a wearable Bluetooth speaker. Available in a choice of colours that include Black, Sport Blue, Lava and Mist Grey plus the Volt unit I had been sent as a sample.
While coffee is fast overtaking as the nation’s favourite hot beverage, let us not forget the old favourite and style of tea drinking.
With all the necessary tasks about the home completed, it is time to sit back and enjoy the traditional English tea party. And what better way to indulge this important act with younger family members than with the Musical Rainbow Tea Party product. As part of the Leapfrog “learn as you play” range of products, the Musical Rainbow Tae Party is targeted at the 1 – 3 years age group but I am sure they will not mind older members of the family taking part.
This notebook is both light and thin, it also has a metal chassis and for good measure it boots quickly. Anyone on the move that needs a PC has probably only one more request that it runs all day without the need to search out mains power, it can do that as well.
The ASUS ZenBook UX330UA measures 32x22x1cm, the figure at the front is less than 1cm and at the back just over 1cm, it weighs only 1206 grams. According to the website it is made of an aluminium alloy, which in summer would always make it feel cool in winter you may need gloves. The left side has a USB port, a 3.5mm socket for headphones and an SD card slot. The front is clear.