This is one of a range of machines by Sage marketed under the Heston Blumenthal name. If you need to ask who he is then you have either being living on a remote island or have no interest in food beyond baked beans and sausages.
This machine is fairly basic in that it has no bean grinder but if you like your coffee then you probably have somewhere where they roast and grind – use your nose – if it’s there you will find it. The smell of fresh roasted coffee will entice almost anyone. The machine is 30cm deep, 25cm wide and 32cm tall so should fit on most worktops. The water container fits into the rear of the machine and can hold up to 1.8litres of water. The hard wired mains lead is 1.
As part of the Huawei family of offerings, the Honor 6+ is a 5.5-inch smartphone. This is a dual SIM device. However this feature can come at a cost elsewhere but more on this facet a little later. The Honor 6+ is available in a choice of black, white or gold livery.
With a weight of 165g and dimensions of 150.46 x 75.68 x 7.50mm (H x W x D) the Honor 6+ could well be a tight fit for those pockets designated for use to hold your smartphone. I know I had to arrange the content of my jacket pockets in order to free up a suitable sized pocket to store this handset. Admittedly the Honor 6+ is not the only handset to suffer from this problem but it does need to be taken into consideration.
With puzzles and mini-games, this next adventure game takes you on a journey through Egypt as you defeat an evil force.
Egypt, the land of Pharaohs, ancient mysteries, magic and evil curses, is the location for a game developed by Teyon. The game, not surprisingly, uses its location as part of its title which is Riddles of Egypt. Priced at £5.10, this game is available as a download from the Avanquest GSP game label.
Being old I still find it strange that items are sold with one year licences, like most things I have I expect them to last forever, however as we old people die out I am sure that you having a one year licence for everything will become the norm.
This Total Security product from Kaspersky is one such example the DVD style case says 3 Devices and 1 Year licence, in fairness during that year you will get lots of updates and in this fast moving world they are certainly needed. The days of a single piece of software to protect against virus infection are long gone. The CD provided is for PC use only instructions are given for those using MACs and also for Android devices.
Easily recognised by the skull logo, the SkullCandy range of headsets has been expanded by new models including the topic of this next review.
SkullCandy Inc., the company behind the popular brand of headsets, has recently expanded its range of lifestyle audio devices with a series of wireless offerings. I have been checking out the Hesh 2™ Wireless product. This is an on-ear style of headphones available in a choice of camouflage with red embellishment, grey with hot lime embellishment or, as in the case of my review sample, black with silver embellishment.
At the start of December I told you about a portable page scanner from IRIS and mentioned there were other such devices that could read information from a book or magazine without the need for it to be torn out. Here is such a device.
The IRISPen Air 7 is truly portable and it is used like a pen with you scanning a line at a time, it is a bit like highlighting a line or so of text from a page to help to remember a fact or statement. With the highlighter method you still need to refer back to the book to get that fact when you revise, not so here as you scan into your PC or portable device and the book remains in pristine condition. It is 13.5cm long 2.5cm wide and 1.
While some may think this is a printer on steroids or even a multi-use Swiss army knife it is neither. This device is a 32GB SSD which has seven different uses the main one being able to move data from one source to another quickly.
The QNAP QG-103N Network Attached Storage (NAS) unit is small at just 11.5x6.x1.5cm and it weighs 114 grams. Going round the unit it has a small 2.5x1.5cm display on the front near the top. The right side has a slider off/charge/on below this OLED next an SD Card slot and finally a USB3 connector. The bottom has an Ethernet port and a USB3 port. It comes with leads and a small fold out card sheet with eight sides of instructions.
Adding to its range of consumer multifunction devices, Brother has introduced its DCP-J562DW model.
Decked out predominately in black, and box-shaped with rounded corners, the DCP-J562DW is a new addition to Brother’s range of multi-function devices for the home user. Combining an A4 flatbed scanner with an inkjet printer, the DCP-J562DW offers print, copy and scan facilities with a choice of wireless or USB connectivity plus support for various remote print services such as Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print and Brother’s own free iPrint&Scan app.
Going to the Planetarium is an expensive experience, buying a telescope is also expensive, looking at the stars with a naked eye requires a clear night that probably means a cold night you also need to be clear of light pollution. This product works indoors whenever you want.
First you need to download the Universe2Go App from the Android Store and start the App. Setting it up to work with your phone will take a while as your phone needs to fit inside the frame. When you get it this is covered by several pieces of foam to cover the whole area if you are using say a 5inch SmartPhone most will need to be removed piece by piece and probably just leave one thin strip to hold your phone in place.
Like many others, Im sure, I have a number of VHS tapes containing videos capturing personal memories. Sadly these videos are often neglected due to the fact that they rely on technology that is not of the most recent kind and the player required for viewing this content no longer forms part of my current entertainment set up. Offering to help get round this type of problem is a product from MAGIX. This is entitled Rescue your Video Tapes!
Now up to version 8, Rescue your Video Tapes! consists of a software CD, Scart-to-phono-plug lead, Installation Guide and a Video Converter kit plus a card containing a 31-character serial number needed to activate the software. The Video Converter kit consists of a bulky USB stick featuring a mini USB port, a short extension lead and a mini USB to RCA (Cinch) female sockets.
Golden Trails 2, subtitled The Lost Legacy is a Hidden Object Adventure game. The Collectors Edition of this game is available as a download priced at £10.20 from Avenquests GSP game catalogue.
As you would expect with a Collector’s Edition title, Golden Trails 2 comes with a number of bonus items are included with the standard game offering. You get various wallpapers, sound tracks, a shooting gallery module, information about the making of the game plus a bonus episode. However you must complete the main game before you have access to any of these items.
This flat panel from BenQ is one of a growing range that not only want to give you a crisp clear but also are aware of the damage that can be done to eyes by Blue light so that is possibly the one stand out selling point for eye health.
The Benq GW2870H monitor measures 65x37x2cm the latter is at the edges. It comes with a 11.5x32cm base that extends in the central area to 30cm where it is attached to the arm. The stand raises the panel by 10cm from your desk; there is no side to side movement but a reasonable amount of back tilt and a small amount of forward tilt. The base of the stand attaches via a twist screw to the arm. The viewable screen is 62x34cm which gives the diagonal imperial measurement of 28inches.
Oil and water not mixing is a popular conception that I would be surprised if you had not heard many times before. Some might even apply the same though with regards to the operating systems developed by Microsoft and Apple. However those inventive people at Parallels headquarters, based in Seattle, would certainly not agree with this point of view.
Oil and water not mixing is a popular conception that I would be surprised if you had not heard many times before. Some might even apply the same though with regards to the operating systems developed by Microsoft and Apple. However those inventive people at Parallels headquarters, based in Seattle, would certainly not agree with this point of view. Parallel has developed a solution for mixing Microsoft Windows on a Mac device running the Apple Mac OS software.
If the charms of an i device are not top of your wants list then the name top of the Android wants list will be whatever the Samsung machine has to offer. Here is one of their most recent offerings courtesy of Vodafone the Galaxy S6.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 measures 14.2x7x.7cm and weights 138grams. Going round the outside the right side has the on/off button, the base has speaker, 3.5mm headphone socket and micro USB for charging or attaching an OTG device. The left side has volume up/down buttons and finally the top has a very effective microphone.
Looking like what early impressions of an alien space ship might be like; a circular disc with thin sides and thicker in the middle this hub from Cygnett does but a single thing it charges your USB devices using mains power and offering five outlets around the disc.
Five equally spaced ports around the side and the sixth space is taken where the two prong mains leads is inserted. The five USB ports take 180degrees of the circle with the mains lead entering mid-way through the other half of the product. It is white in colour with blue lettering on the top and a blue band around the middle highlighting where the five charge ports are, it is 9cm across.
It is welcome back to an old friend as the latest version of one of my favourite products arrives in its version 20 guise.
WinZip is a product that has been around for a good number of years as its latest version number of 20 will testify. It is a product that has rarely been absence from my work system. While I can not guarantee that I have used every single version, no doubt a few managed to escape my attention, but I have been a solid supporter of this software from its early days as a shareware product right up to its current position as a respected member of the Corel family.
This inkjet unit can print, scan, copy and fax. It is suitable for the home or SOHO user. Unusually it has three paper inputs within its normal sized form. So what exactly can this latest offering from Brother bring to the market.
Being designed to be left on – to send and or receive faxes – the Brother MFC-J680DW has an extra press of a button on the TFT screen which adds a couple of seconds to boot time. Shutdown also has another press to remind you that you are turning the fax off. The machine is 40x38x17cm the last figure will need to increase by a few centimetres if placed on a shelf to allow you to put sheets on the flatbed scanner.
Corel has a number of products for the creation and editing of graphics including one that is perhaps not as high-profile as some others
In the early nineties, Roxio was a leading force in the field of developing burning software. Many a time I have sat back to watch the company going head-to-head with Nero in a battle for the hearts and minds of users by adding extra features as they expanded into the area of video creation software and other aspects of multimedia. Roxio then underwent a series of changes of ownership before becoming part of the Corel family.
Noted for its expertise in the development of educational devices for young children, LeapFrog has come up with the LeapFrog Epic. This product is an Android-based tablet aimed at children in the three to nine year old age group.
Encased with a LeapFrog green bumper, the hardware element of this product is a tablet with a 7-inch capacitive touch-screen. The screen has a resolution of 1024 x 600. While this resolution should be fine for the targeted audience, it was noticeable that viewing angles were fairly restrictive. This would certainly cut down on the opportunity for groups of children to gather round this device as a child shares the LeapFrog experience with friends.
There are several programs about that allow you to control one PC from another remotely very useful for teaching purposes. Here however a program that allows you to run Windows PC programs on an Android Tablet.
As an example I have a database program that lists my CD collection but it is a Windows only program and when out and about it would be useful to know if I had a certain CD or the tracks that make it up – record companies do sometimes reissue under another name – to stop me buying something I already have. Best of all you can try it free for seven days to see if it does what you want/need before you need to purchase. Download an App from the Android or ‘i’ Store.
Adding to its range of NAS boxes, Buffalo has released the LinkStation 520D. This is a two-bay unit that is available fully populated with a choice of 2, 4, 6 or 8TB of capacity and a choice of RAID settings. My review unit is the 2TB model.
Apart from the model label and a thin red strip over the top of the front cover, the LinkStation 520D NAS box is totally matte black in colour. Housed inside this black box (dimensions of 87 x 126 x 205mm) are two 3.5-inch SATA hard drives. By removing the front cover you can gain access to these drives if the need arises for either or both drives to be replaced for any reason. Power and function LEDs are positioned alongside the front cover.
In view of the spate of deliberate car collisions perpetrated by insurance fraudsters upon unlucky and unsuspecting motorists a forward facing video recorder in one's car is a very useful defensive tool. As well as meeting this need, the Transcend Drive Pro 220 car video recorder (aka dashcam) also incorporates a number of other useful features.
At a recent press event showing new products one item got me excited although there were other interesting items that item were these brand new adjustable lens glasses that enable each eye to be suited and for good measure they cut out 80% of harmful blue light.
First what is an advanced night light which could work at both ends of the spectrum for the young or the old. Second a word that only recently found its way into the dictionary yes its a Selfie stick this one even has Bluetooth.
A visit to a recent event held by a large distributor saw me leave with information from a number of companies I do not normally hear from. One such company was Integral who I think of only for memory but here something rather different. A very simple looking device at 7.5x11.5x2.5cm these figures are maximum when plugged into a 13amp socket. The light is 7.5x7.5x.
As its first foray into the field of Freeview Play, Humax has launched its FVP-4000T set-top box. This product has been developed to combine catch-up TV, on-demand services and live television in high definition resolution with a hard drive of either 500GB or 1TB capacities. This review is based on the 500GB version of the Humax FVR-4000T unit.
Adopting a plinth-like shape with curved slick lines, the Humax FVR-4000T is very similar in appearance to the Humax HDR-1100S reviewed recently. The set-top box has dimensions of 280 x 48 x 200 mm (W x H x D). One major difference is the top of the box with Humax having gone with a faux leather look. In the case of my review sample, this was coloured Mocha to blend in with the silver trim and black base. There is also a white unit with gold trim and a cappuccino topping.
A Tablet computer running Android intended for use by the young. It looks like a rugged device used on say a building site with lots of protection around the sides of the unit and of course the average pre school child is just as tough on toys if not tougher.
The Leapfrog Epic tablet measues 22.5x15.5x2.5cm and weights a touch under 600 grams. The initial setup should be done by an adult – even if it’s for an older child – to set up age group and all Internet use should be set by site which requires the parent’s password. I always have my doubt about such devices once a child reaches school age as they seem to want the ‘real thing’ rather than something designed for them.
Along with the recently purchased PC Tuneup software, AVG has added software for the Mac and Android devices to offer an all-round performance boost.
AVG Performance is a collection of software titles designed to tune up various devices. Making up this package are PC TuneUp for Windows, Cleaner for Android and Cleaner for Mac. The product, consisting of a CD and Installation Guide booklet with an activation code printed on the front cover, comes with a one-year licence for use on unlimited devices that are for your person and home family use.
This is one of those occasions when I get the opportunity to check out the debut title of a software development team. In this case the title in question is Runes of Camelot from Fingerpunch Games. This game is available as a download from the Avanquest GSP gaming arm.
Runes of Camelot is a game that belongs to the Match-3 genre. It is set, as its title indicates, in the land of Camelot. In this game you have the choice of taking on the role of Arthur or Merlin’s apprentice Amelia. This is one of the two choices you get when playing this game. The other choice involves whether you opt to play the game with the sometimes rather loud audio turned on or off.
Reviewing an item like this attached to my TV requires many hours of work just to see if the dire sound quality associated with many American movies can be improved once that hurdle is overcome then you check to see what else it can do.
This is described as a 4.1channel system with 200watt output Sound Bar with Bluetooth. It is 93cm long, 8.5cm tall and 6cm deep. The sub-woofer is a 25cm cube. Assuming you are using it with your TV you can connect by RCA leads or Optical cable both are supplied, I used the latter. Plug the Optical into your TV and the other end into the end of the Sound Bar. Position the Sound Bar and then connect the supplied lead to run from the Sound Bar to the Sub-Woofer and place that.
Modern technology consumers, of which you and I are committed members, are always demanding and constantly on the look out for more power, increased functionality and a wider range of connectivity. NETGEAR believes it has a product that could help satisfy our needs.
Adding to its Nighthawk series of products, NETGEAR has developed the X4S model. This product is an AC2600 WiFi Modem Router that offers both ADSL and VDSL functionality across the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bandwidths. The unit’s built-in VDSL / ADSL modem facility comes with the claim of working with DSL ISPs such as BT, Talk Talk, BT Infinity and Talk Talk Fibre.