This is one of six of a recently launched range of earbuds three of which are wireless and the other three including this set are corded offerings. So what have they to offer that is not already on the market in other earbuds?
The cable is 1.2 metres from the buds to the gold plated 3.5mm plug. The first 35cm from the earbuds are in two cables with the left lead having a circular connector 15cm from the ear for all the normal controls that stop you removing your SmartPhone from your pocket to answer calls or change music tracks etc. The cable itself has a slightly tacky feel and has a red pattern on the black cable.
Offering to provide untethered access to your favourite music is a headset from SkullCandy.
While I am not a great believer in co-incidents, they do happen. As an example I was in hospital having treatment for a skull problem when SkullCandy released its new headset in the UK. As its title might indicate, the SkullCandy Grind Wireless is an untethered device or, as the product’s packaging proclaims with “No Strings Attached”. The SkullCandy Grind Wireless is a Bluetooth headset of the on-the-ear variety.
The unit I was sent is a 2TB USB3 drive and the ‘Alu’ stands for aluminium which makes the case very sturdy. This is part of Toshiba’s mid-range statuary for USB3 external drives it comes with built in back up software from NTI.
This Toshiba external hard disk measures 11.3x7.4x1.9cm and weights 213grams with the supplied USB3 attached. While this is not a ‘rugged’ unit unless a drop happened while data was being read or written I cannot see any harm coming to it or your data. Some transfer times are given on the back of the box a three hour HD movie should transfer in 5 minutes and 16 seconds on USB3 or 16 minutes and 26 seconds on USB2, 350 photos in 15.2seconds on USB3 and 36.
Adding to the range of portable battery chargers currently available is this product from Sandberg
According to the accompanying press release, the PowerBank 3000 product from Sandberg is for people with style. This is a designation that I would seldom used to describe myself in normal circumstances. But for the benefit of this review, plus I do have a need for a portable device to provide backup power to the collection of handheld devices that are my usual constant companions, I will regard the designation of style as being purely life-style rather than any other connotations.
Can you help Katherine find true love and a home she can call her own.
Set in America of the last century, Love Story: The Way Home is a Hidden Object Adventure game. This particular title is based around the story of Katherine as she grows up as an orphan and later relates the highlights of her life over the five chapters making up this game. As usual with games of this genre, you can create profiles for individual players so that their progress is recorded.
This is not a Sat Nav – but it always knows exactly where you are – it comes with a lifetimes updates for safety cameras – which sounds better than speed cameras – and gives an exact view of what happened should you ever have a crash it even captures audio.
There are three parts, the camera unit, the windscreen sucker which forms the rear of the unit and a cable to go to your cars cigar lighter and this should fit into the back of the unit near the sucker. On the face of it attach the cable through the windscreen sucker part and click into the camera.
Adding to its range of Smart Managed Switches, NETGEAR has released this next product.
While mere mortals generally find the four Ethernet ports making up standard routers or router/modems to be adequate for their local area network needs, those involved in running small to medium business environments need more powerful devices with a greater range of available Ethernet connections. One such product offering to deliver the additional power and more Ethernet connection is the NETGEAR ProSAFE XS708T.
How do you pack a sub-woofer and a sound bar together in one box, with difficulty is my answer, perhaps they are put together to make sure they stay together, both need mains power but there is no physical link between the two items.
The sound bar is triangular in shape with the front edge sloping backwards it is one metre long and each side is 8cm. The sub-woofer is 28.5x24.5x33cm and it can be placed anywhere within reason, in my tests with TV sound most will be surprised how much base is in music that is not normally heard from things like theme tunes and incidental music, certainly they sound so much different than they do without external an sound bar and sub-woofer.
Five a day is the mantra for ‘fruit and veg’ but then all the things you like do not count so not your potatoes even when they are steamed. However if you make your items up into a smoothie or drink they do count and this makes it easy.
The container is 23cm tall with spill prove lid attached and the unit is circular at 7.5cm it is made of clear strong plastic that should even stand a dishwasher. It is stated to hold 600ml of liquid and is marked at 200ml, 400ml and 600ml the last measure 4cm below the top. The lid unscrews and the top has a solid clip that should not unclip in your bag so you can make at home and drink while out on a run or just at the office.
Adding to its own brand range of handsets, Vodafone has released the Smart platinum 7 smartphone.
Ten years ago, in 2006, Vodafone took the decision to develop its own brand of handsets appealing to the more economically priced market sector. The first such device was a 3G clamshell handset christened the Vodafone 710. Since then Vodafone Devices have racked up sales of 85 million units. Aiming to add to this impressive figure is the latest Vodafone Device which is the Smart platinum 7 which Vodafone believes will answer the consumer’s need for a 4G+ smartphone.
A recent visit to the iconic BT Tower in London saw BT launce their latest Smart Hub which is said to be faster than the competition such as Sky and Talk Talk and easier to setup and use, it also has a more stable form factor than most others.
The BT SmartBub measures 16x22x6.5cm the last figure is with the flip out feet engaged without them it is only 2.5cm thick. All the user connections are in a single line at the back, first the Broadband input, then a USB port, next four bright yellow Gigabit Ethernet ports then the DC power input and finally an on/off button.
One way to increase storage capacity and access functionality is to add a NAS to your computer system.
Available either as a populated or diskless product, the LS520 is a NAS device which forms part of the Buffalo LinkStation™ series. This review is based on the populated version of this two-bay unit featuring a pair of 1TB drives to provide storage capacity. Following the pattern that seems to be have been established by competitive products, the LS520 adopts a fairly standard box shape.
This next title gives you the opportunity to step back in time and play a game in the style of yesteryear.
Let me introduce you to Digital Bounce House. This is a small game development studio with tales to tell based on how we used to play games. One such tale is that of Tick’s Tales with its subtitle of Up All Knight as it places you in the environment of an 8-bit sword and sorcery adventure with all that that entitles.
This is the latest watch from iHealth but do not think of it as a tool to tell the time, it will do that but this is a fitness tool aimed predominately at those who swim for fitness it will also tell you how well you sleep and if you wish will even wake you up.
Its name is iHealth Wave and it is a Wireless Activity, Swim and Sleep Tracker. In the box is a watch with a 4cm stainless steel circular dial and attached black rubber strap. There is also another blue strap in the box for those who are colour conscious. There is a proprietary 20cm long charging cable that attaches to the back of the watch the other end goes to any USB port to charge. A small multi-language booklet is included with the first ten pages in English.
As its title should indicate, the Work Force Pro WF5690 DWF has been designed to act as a fairly heavy duty device.
Decked out in computer grey, this multi-function, multi-layered device from Epson has dimensions of 461 x 442 x 342 mm (W x D x H) and weighs a fairly substantial 14.3 kg. Due to its size and weight, this is a product that is best suited to having a permanent home rather being moved around to suit various circumstances in an office environment.
The Netgear ReadyNAS212 is a two-bay high-end network attached storage unit designed for those who, in addition to basic backups, want a high level of data protection as well as other features such as being able to do full HD 1080 to 480p transcoding on the fly.
When out an about people often stop for a coffee, nowadays which coffee chain they stop at may depend of which of the two wireless charging devices that chain supports. Yes sadly there are two standards I am sure most remember the VHS and Betamax battle.
The lines are drawn with one contender being Qi and the other PMA both charge suitable devices via wireless the difference is that they use different parts of the spectrum. There are big names on both sides so what is this to do with coffee simply Starbucks fall into one group and McDonalds the other, so if your device needs a charge it could mean that if your device has a back that needs one then that probably decides which outlet you go to.
REV stands for Robotic Enhanced Vehicles and while in this context they are toys – clever toys – we see more and more robotic items in today’s world an early example is the robotic vacuum cleaner that has been around for a while, turning to cars there are currently many worldwide tests of driverless cars.
Toys through the ages were made to mimic the real world, has the wheel turned 180 degrees so that the real world mimic’s toys? Here you have a pair of low slung sports cars that are quite detailed and substantial they weigh 387grams with the required 4x‘AA’ batteries (not supplied) inserted. They can be used individually or they can race against each other. The extra games in the App allow the child to invent as well as enjoy. They are 17x10x4.
Adding to its range of storage devices, Toshiba has produced the Canvio Premium portable hard drives.
Highlighted by diamond-cut edges with sleek and stylish high quality aluminium casing, there are Canvio Premium models for PC and Mac users. Units are available in capacities of 1, 2 and 3TB. My review is based on the Canvio Premium PC unit with a capacity of 3TB. With dimensions of 109 x 78 x 18.5 mm (D x W x H) and weighing 243g, this appealing looking, pocket-sized device comes with a soft carry pouch for protecting the unit during transport.
A PAYG offering from Vodafone, this 5inch screen offering seems almost small by some recent items that have passed over my desk but it means it fits easily in a pocket and can be held easily in the palm of your hand for ease of use.
It is 14x7x.7cm and weights 135grams. The viewable screen is 11x6.5cm which gives the notional imperial diagonal measurement of 5inches. Going round the outside has a volume rocker on the right with the on/off button below it. The base has a tiny slit speaker as well as a micro USB socket for charging. The left side is clear and the top has a 3.5mm socket for headphones/earbuds and beside it a pin hole microphone.
For a change this next product from Sennheiser is not a set of headphones.
Usually when a product arrives from Sennheiser it is a set of headphones but this time there was a difference. Even so, being Sennheiser, the product was concerned with the delivery of audio but instead of a wearable set of headphones, the new product is meant to be positioned on a desk or table with the audio being delivered to those within the immediate vicinity of the device. This is the Sennheiser SP20 speakerphone.
Entering a kingdom based on magic can be a dangerous occupation especially when a wicked witch is involved. Are you up to the task?
Echoes of the Past: The Kingdom of Despair is a Hidden Object Adventure game that sets you the task of freeing a variety of characters from a witch’s curse while searching for a path home. This review is based on the Collector’s Edition which comes with a number of bonus items. Most of these bonus items require progress to be made in the game before they become active. There is a bonus chapter, concept art, replayable mini games and a book of spells.
Three years ago Olympus launched their LM-12 and LM-14 high quality voice and music recorders, the LM-14 was unique in having three microphones. Now they have launched the LS-P1 (4GB internal memory) and LS-P2 (8GB internal memory) the latter also has three microphones but is a lot smaller.
The Olympus LS-P2 audio recorder weighs only 75grams and is 11x4x1.5cm so will fit easily in the palm of your hand. Having used the LM-14 for a lot of music recording I know how helpful the ‘third microphone’ is for capturing base notes. So the LS-P2 with the third mic was the obvious choice for me. Going around the outside has a 3.5mm headphone/earbud socket and then an external microphone 3.5mm socket and if you are testing in a low light setting this could lead to problems.
The Latitude 3470 is a Dell laptop forming part of the 3000 series. This model has been designed for those users looking for a work machine that is reasonable priced.
This Dell 14-inch laptop has an understated appearance. Black in colour, the only real embellished seen on the unit’s casing is the appearance of a Dell logo on the top cover of the unit. Supplied with a two-piece power cord and battery pack, my review sample comes with an Intel Core i3 6100u CPU processor working in conjunction with an Intel HD Graphics 520 GPU. There is 4GB of DDR3 RAM.
Perhaps one of the most unsecure methods of transporting data around – apart from a paper copy - is a memory stick so file encryption can help here however another method that allows internal file encryption and also encryption on the device before you can even see the files.
This unit is made of aluminium and with its sleeve quite watertight but the secret is once you have removed the sleeve. A USB3 plug on one end a keyring connector on the other and in between a numeric keypad and until you enter the correct key your device cannot be recognised by a USB port. If you enter the wrong key ten times in a row then all the information on the stick is wiped. The stick itself is the same dimensions as a normal USB stick but it is slightly longer. The dimensions are 8x1.
If this dancing toy with unruly hair does not persuade your child to get a decent hair style I am not sure what will do so. This however should keep the youngster amused for a while and any busy parent knows that this is gold.
A worrying trend is that there are six slightly different versions all do something slightly different in the way the ‘hair moves’ so at the age range aimed at, the possibility is that pester power is large on the scene.
Adding to its range of budget smartphone offerings, Vodafone has released its Smart Ultra 7 model.
Adding to its range of Smart Ultra handsets, Vodafone has released its Smart Ultra 7 model with the promise of bringing speed, power and performance to the user. With dimensions of 152.2 x 78.12 x 8.68 mm and a weight of 150g, this handset has a 5.5-inch full HD IPS (Plane to Line Switching) screen surrounded by a black bezel that is considerably wider at the top and bottom than the sides.
An 8inch Tablet that runs Android 5.1.1 not quite the latest version but still recent. My test unit came direct from Alcatel in the UK but was a model sold by O2 in the UK, unlike a lot of Tablets it has a micro SIM slot so can be used online while out and about.
It is an 8inch Tablet the outside dimensions are 21x12.5x.8cm and it weighs 335grams. Going around the outside it has two bar buttons on the right side on/off and volume up and down. The base and left side are clear with the top having 3.5mm socket for headphones or earbuds and a micro USB port for charging – no support for OTG devices - and a pin hole microphone. The rear has a 5MP camera that sits slightly proud of the body and there is not an LED flash.
Does your home love Wi-Fi? If not then maybe a Repeater would help.
Better known for its work in and support for Powerline technology whereby your current (no pun intended) electrical cabling system is used as the conduit to deliver a home network, Devolo has other strings to its bow including home security and wireless networking. In the case of the latter area, Devolo has just released a device to boost the range of an established home Wi-Fi network.
So what did Goldilocks do after eating the porridge and taking an unauthorised nap? You might be surprised.
Living Legends: Wrath of the Beast is a Hidden Object Adventure game. I have been looking at the Collector’s Edition of this game which is available from various gaming sites including Big Fish Games and GameHouse.com. Spread over six chapters, with the option of a bonus chapter once the main game has been completed, this game is based loosely on the story of Goldilocks and her ursine experiences.