Secondhand bargains apart, there are a couple of kinds of really low cost projectors you can buy: no-name brands of dubious origin, and low resolution business projectors intended mostly to display charts and presentations. For different reasons, none of these will be much fun for home entertainment viewing. Yes, youll get a big screen, and it might even be watchable - for a while. If all youre used to is a 36 inch TV you might even be temporarily impressed. But the odds are that the loss of nuance in the picture details, or problems with focus, or the jerkiness of the motion, or the screaming inaccuracy of the colour will send you back to your TV before the month is out.
However something very interesting has been happening in the home entertainment market over the past few years. Low end projectors capable of showing very decent big screen video have been turning up from brand-name manufacturers at the sort of price you’d expect to pay for a modestly specced 42 inch TV. We’re talking of decent, liveable-with projectors that cost only a couple of hundred quid or so more than those problematic cheapos. That’s the good news.
While I am very happy with my Moto G the Moto E is a cheaper phone and it now comes with, or is upgrades to Android V5 so is this upgrade and other improvements such as 4G and the larger 2390mAh battery worth doing?
It is 13x6.5x1cm and weights 144grams, the screen is 5.5x10cm these figure gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 4.5inches. Front VGA camera for those all-important Selfies and for things like Skype. Switch on is 34seconds while shutdown is 3seconds.
They are an on ear offering that is sold to work via Bluetooth which it does, however they can be used as USB headphones whilst charging the units internal battery or at any time without turning the Bluetooth on, so they are dual use.
After recently reviewing two quite heavy on ear and over ear corded headphones these seem extremely light at 81grams in Bluetooth mode. Unlike a lot of headphone sets you are unlikely to wear these on the wrong ears as they are tilted back so if you put them on the wrong way round they just do not fit well. Lack of weight is great for moving around but that of course also means lack of padding and anyone like me who is somewhat hair challenged on top who may find this noticeable.
A small black box from NETGEAR offers to provide a range of additional features based on Wi-Fi networks.
Entitled the NETGEAR Trek, this next product is described as a Travel Router and Range Extender. It sets out to provide the user with a choice of features from within a home network set up and when away from home while on your travels or should that be “trek”. This “on the go” and “in the home” approach is achieved from a single device that features a Wi-Fi antenna which can be swivelled through 270 degrees when searching for the optimum signal.
A new corded vacuum from Vax however its not an upright nor is it a conventional pull along. Have they found a new way to clean your carpets and floors? I saw it at a recent visit to a popular London launch venue now Im trying it out.
The Vax AirRevolve is a cylinder 24cm across -36cm with connection to cleaner head- 40cm long. This might sound confusing as it can be used either on its wheels – the cylinder ends – when it pulls along like a conventional pulled unit or on its end which is ideal for things like cleaning stairs as it can sit on a stair and just be moved as you move up. There is a maximum of two metres between cleaner and head.
Although some power walking might be helpful, it is not really necessary with this next product which can still work when just strolling.
The Packr™ belongs to the EnerPlex family of battery charging products. In the case of the Packr, this product is a rucksack that features a 285 x 135mm solar panel embedded into the back of the rucksack where it is ideally placed where to soak up and convert sunlight into power that can be used by a variety of today’s electronic devices that we would find difficult managing without during our daily lives. The rucksack itself has dimensions of 496.
Using actual locations, this next game delves into the background of Jane Austin.
Jane Austin’s Estate of Affairs is a Hidden Object Adventure game that is currently available from the Avanquest GSP game catalogue. In this game, which opens with a list of credits that include Big Fish, BBC, Legacy Games and dragoneye studios, you take on the role of Christiana, a niece of the famous novelist Jane Austin. Following the usual pattern adopted by games of this genre, you can create profiles for individual players.
Having just looked at a small DSLR unit, this is a bigger one with a large lens, certainly not something to fit in a pocket and definitely something to attach the neck strap to unless of course you are into a tough fitness regime when it may not seem heavy.
The Canon EOS 5D DSLR measures 23x11.5x18.5 when closed, fully extend the 24-105mm lens I was sent and this increases the last figure to 23cm. The weight is just over 1500grams with neck strap attached. While I am always as guilty as most to not reading the %-&*(“! manual not so here as this unit stretches me as I would call it a semi-professional model and that is almost beyond me, but I do enjoy the challenge.
With a choice of connection options and added technology, a new monitor from Philips certainly has eye-appeal.
With the less-than-descriptive model number, the 274E5 is a 27-inch LCD monitor that belongs to the Philips E-Line family of products. Featuring an ultra-narrow black bezel, this monitor gives the user an effective viewing area of 597.89 by 336.31mm with an aspect ratio of 16:9. This monitor has an optimum resolution of 1920 x 1080 @ 60Hz. Unpacking the kit reveals the 27-inch panel, an oval shaped black stand, a two-piece AC/DC power adapter, audio cable with 3.
Getting 50mm driver units into headphones means they are never going to be small. These are just on ear offerings for an adult for a younger person or someone with small ears then they enter the realm of an over ear offering.
The earpads are round and 8cm across; they are heavily padded so have a reasonable external noise deadening effect. There are 4cm worth of extension on each arm and with the earpads extended to 24cm width the distance from the centre of this area to the top of the rubber padded headband is 19cm. Each earpad turns through 90degrees so they can be rotated to sit -either independently- or together on top of the ears if the headband goes to the back of the neck. They come with a 1.2metre 3.5 to 3.
TP-Links Archer C7 AC1750 wireless dual-band gigabit router can be used on DSL, fibre or cable Internet services and is targeted at gamers and other demanding users who need ultrafast data transfer speeds and dont want their router to be a bottleneck.
It has a polished black finish, is roughly 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.2 inches in size, and is designed to be either wall-mounted (keyhole mounting slots provided) or free standing on a desk or shelf. Connections and switches are on the rear edge while the status LEDs are on the bevelled front edge so that they can be easily seen when wall mounted or on a desk even if more difficult when placed on a very high shelf.
I am not a lover of evening presentations, probably because of the various medications I am on I cannot drink so I find the socialising a drag, lets get down to the point of the event the presentation which was interesting and I got the chance to have a 1 to 1 with the scientist behind the event while the majority partied the evening away.
If you are a man then the name of Gillette must probably have formed part of your morning routine. Having decided that the five (make that six) blades in their current cartridge could not be improved they went to work on the shaft that you hold so that the blades grip the many contours of your face to allow their blades to give you a closer and more comfortable shave.
Taking on the role of Microsofts flagship smartphone offering is the task currently assigned to the Lumia 930 as it battles for market share against the dominant forces of the iPhone and numerous Android handsets. The Johnny-come-lately will certainly have a fight on its hands and there well could be tears before bedtime or maybe there is room for three heavyweight contenders within this particular market.
The Lumia 930 is available in a choice of colours, some fairly distinctive such as the bright green coat worn by my sample kindly loaned by Vodafone for the purpose of this review. Other colours, concentrating on the handset’s back cover, include bright orange, gold, black and white. In each case there is a matte silver band adding a trim to the phone’s appearance. The Lumia 930 has dimensions of 137 x 71 x 9.8mm (H x W x D) and weighs 167g.
I have been using this unit for several months. Mainly because of the claim that the ink tanks should last up to two years. A bold claim but when you examine the minute amount of ink normally supplied in cartridges 70ml is a lot.
First some maths, you could buy a bargain ‘All In One’ for well under £100 the Epson 555 ‘Multi Function’ – including Fax is more than three times that. Normal ink cartridges can contain as little as 3 to 4ml of ink the Epson 555 ink bottles contain 70ml. When the time comes to refill the tanks around £30 should have you full of the four inks again. So a rough – very rough – comparison says 140ml of ink and the Epson 555 around £350.
The next product under review allows you to increase the volume level of your mobile devices music collection.
The Bass Connect product is a small Bluetooth 3.0 speaker from thumbsUp! (UK). The speaker has dimensions of 70 x 70 x 30mm (H x W x D) and weighs 191g. With its size and weight, the device is certainly portable but maybe more suited to a bag than a pocket where it might cause an unsightly bulge when on your travels. Along with a brief instructions document in various European languages, the Bass Connect speaker comes with two leads.
A new game from GSP combines two different genres as a lonely knight builds his own community.
When I first fired up Village Quest, a game that can be downloaded from Avanquest’s GSP site, I though that I would be in for some time management game playing. But my initial thoughts were slightly wide of the mark.
A slightly oversized watch that appears to have no connections, there is a dock but as the unit just sits in it the charging is wireless and the connection to your Android phone is via Bluetooth. So is this the next must have accessory?
I am extremely happy with my current phone but the Moto 360 works with any phone that can download the Moto software from the Android store. It is 4.7x4.5x1cm and weights 51grams. As is my way I charged the unit in its cradle this took just over an hour until it stated 100% and indeed once I let it fully exhaust the recharge took the same time and also kept the time and all the settings I had changed from the defaults.
While London has its Gherkin, Brussels has its Egg which was the location for the annual IRISLink event where a new portable scanner was launched.
As part of the Canon family, IRIS concentrates its expertise on the development of OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software, scanning devices and related business services. A recent additional to the company’s various products is IRIScan Pro 3 Wifi which offers to “Scan anywhere, share anytime” This product is based around a portable document scanner.
The ConferenceCam Connect from Logitech is aimed at providing an affordable videoconferencing solution that bridges the gap between the basic Skype on a PC and the larger and more expensive videoconferencing suites and is a portable all-in-one solution that is suitable for meetings of up to 6 or so people.
The battery-powered unit is cylindrical in form: 3 inches in diameter and 12 inches tall and weighs less than 1kg. It incorporates an autofocus Carl Zeiss Tessar lens which provides a 90 degree field of view and has digital pan, mechanical tilt and 4x digital Full HD zoom. Automatic compensation for different ambient lighting conditions ensures that participants can be viewed clearly. As well as HD 1080p video and effective audio it provides multi-device connectivity for group collaboration.
I understand that Epson claim this to be their smallest printer ever. It runs either on a solid internal battery or by mains power. It can receive data via Wi-Fi, eMail or USB. So will this mobile offering be in place in every sales persons car?
When shut it is 31x15x5cm and weights 1.623 kilos. When ready for use the lid tips back to form the paper input tray and the 15cm depth becomes 25cm, the height with A4 paper in situ is increased from 5 to 29cm. For many reasons you are unlikely to print huge documents as it’s not that fast, the ink cartridges are small and only a few sheets can occupy the input tray at a time.
Have you ever arrived at the airport and started your holiday with a huge excess baggage charge, if so check out the Balanzza mini S sold by Lakeland. The second single purpose item is a USB Power Tap this is distributed by Thumbs Up.
This simple device can save much more than its purchase price the very first item you lift with it as it can save huge excess baggage charges. Don’t worry either as it easily tells you the weight in either lbs or kilos at the press of a button. A simple item consisting of a grip with a display on the top, this is powered by two clock type batteries that are supplied, either side of the oval display is a button.
Having checked out numerous headphones from different companies in the past I was not expecting to be surprised by the appearance of this next set of headphones from Blue Microphones which arrived for review. But surprise was the emotion I felt as I lifted the product from its box. These over-the-ears headphones, with a difference, are the Mo-Fi which come with the name of Blue emblazoned on each ear piece. However it was not the Blue logo that marked these headphones as different.
The Mo-Fi headphones have been designed with the aim of giving the user as much control as possible over how the product sits on the head while encompassing the ears. Wherever possible, the Mo-Fi headphones have been constructed using multi-jointed elements allowing you to adjust the headphones for a comfortable fit whether you are wearing them on the head, of whatever skull shape, or around the neck.
The Talkband is a hybrid device incorporating a bluetooth headset and a basic activity monitor. So how good is at these two distinct functions?
This is my first real experience with and so I was quite curious to see what benefits this new category could provide. First of all let me descirbe the device to you. From the image you can see a reasonably marrow strap, one side of which is quite chunky. The chunky side shows a glossy black display which when switched on shows a blue-tinted OLED display.
A pair of small on ear headphones from a quality name Monster, these were sent to me to review from the QVC TV channel. So what have these headphones to offer well first of all the price is somewhat less than you might expect.
They are overall quite small headphones, similar to others that seem to be glued to the heads of lots of younger people in trains, tubes and even walking along the street. It seems that earbuds are now out of favour for those wanting better sounds. These are also very flexible or perhaps bendable and twistable are better words. Measuring when the headset is vertical produces 18cm from the base of the earpad to the top of the headband. There is 3cm of expansion/contraction on each side.
The development team of Michal Rawdanowicz, Adrian Kaiser and Erkan Karagocz at rokapublish want to send you on a quest. With this particular outing, you are to embark on the Alchemy Quest which is a game belonging to the popular Match-3 genre.
In this game you take on the role of an alchemist named Calen. Always willing to experiment, Calen attempts to create a special magic potion just for the heck of it. Unfortunately matters do not turn out as expected. There is a loud exploration which manages to cause a great deal of damage to Calen’s home and laboratory.
While printed documentation seems to be a thin of the past with today's hardware and software, there are still numerous books relating to computers including this McGraw Hill Education title.
A current hot buzz phrase is that of “The Internet of Things”. While it might seem like a recent additional to computer vocabulary, this phrase is from the last century. It was first uttered by Kevin Ashton in 1999 (alright only just in the last century) while he was working for MIT’s Media Centre.
This is both a notebook and a tablet. It has touch screen ability as well as the latest HP touchpad technology. So is there anything in this unit that is not to like, well it is Windows 8.1 and there are cheaper units out there but nothing really.
The HP Envy Notebook X360 measures 38x25x2.3cm and weights 2.4kg. There is nothing on the back as the screen goes through 180 degrees. The right side has an SD card socket, two USB ports, HDMI port, Ethernet socket, DC input point and a Kensington lock port. The front goes down to only .7cm thick so has nothing, the left side has a +/- rocker for volume, beside this is a 3.5mm headphone socket and another USB port, finally an on/off flush button.
Like my waist band, the amount of storage space I require continues to grow which encouraged me to check out a Buffalo NAS device.
Just how much disk storage space do you actually need? One possible answer, perhaps with more than a touch of tongue in cheek, might well be the retort of “the same again that I already have please”. Or to put in another way – we will never have enough storage space to satisfy the needs of our constantly growing amount of personal data.
The AOC M2870VQ is a 28 inch 1920 x 1080 full HD wide screen monitor with the performance and connectivity to meet most office and home needs and, being a value line product, it is not priced out of the reach of those who want a very large screen.
It employs an MVA panel, a LED backlight and has brightness and contrast ratio claimed to be 300 cd/m and 3000:1 respectively, a viewing angle of 178 degrees and a 5mS response time. While we can read these figures in the specification all too often they don’t mean much to us as, after all, we are only really concerned with whether it will do what we want. In practice, I found that the image quality of M2870VQ is more than adequate and found no blurring when watching action movies.
This is a small unit which Roberts describe as portable and indeed it works in all modes via six AA batteries but even when used in DAB or FM mode time between charges is not great, when used in Internet or UPnP mode even less.
The main body is 21x11.5x4cm this does not include the six piece rod aerial that would add 64cm to the middle figure the height when fully deployed but this is not required for Wi-Fi and UPnP use. As a portable the weight is important it is 781grams with the six ‘AA’ batteries inserted in its back (166grams). As a mains unit the story is good the single speaker is the left third of the front.