This next offering from the Dell family of products sets out to reduce the amount of office space required for its presence.
I suppose, at a pinch, you could describe this next product, which is the Dell OptiPlex 3050 All-in-One, as a laptop for the desktop. This particular product, which Dell claims to have been “crafted for functionality and flexibility”, consists of a combined screen and system unit partnered with a bog standard tethered keyboard and mouse. An optional extra of a wireless keyboard and mouse is available at an additional cost.
This has a very small edge top and both sides and only a normal size at the base, it is also very thin. However the most important thing is the quality of the image on the screen, this is excellent and while I tried with the controls to better the ‘Auto’ settings I failed.
It is 53.5x31x.5cm the last figure at the edges. The viewable screen is 53.3x30.2cm which gives the notional imperial diagonal measurement of more than 23¾ inches it’s actually 23.8inches. The stand is a ‘V’ shape back to front so it’s only .5cm at the back and 30.5cm at the front in total it is 19.5cm from back to front. A little surprisingly it is a standard 1920x1080 display.
How big is yours – relax you have not suddenly gone to a different type of website – I am talking about your keyboard, 46x17x3cm would not fall into the category of large, here however I am looking at one that can be described only as small.
This Penclic Mini Keyboard measures 27.5x11.5x1cm, it weighs 282grams and can be used as USB or Bluetooth. So that means the amount of desk space needed is far less if indeed any. The provided micro USB to USB lead plugs into the back of the keyboard to charge its internal battery and it can be left in place and if you plug the other end into a USB port on your PC or notebook this provides power either while the keyboard is charging or a connection so it can be used as a USB keyboard.
News has just filtered through regarding a new wireless speaker system soon to be made available. This is the innovatively named BeoSound Shape product which promises to combine high quality sound with a unique customisable design concept suitable for different environments.
BeoSound Shape is a wall-mounted modular system that is based on hexagonal tiles that have been developed by Bang & Olufsen, a company originally set up in 1925 by Peter Bang and Svend Olufsen in Struer, Denmark. Starting life as a developer of high quality audio reproduction, Bang & Olufsen has gained a reputation for the performance and design excellence of its domestic technology products as well as diversifying into other areas of audio delivery.
Around four years ago I reviewed my previous Kodak printer, I was told they were shutting that part of the business but still producing cartridges for their units. I saw a Kodak offering last month from Curry’s for a Kodak Printer so this sent me into detective mode.
The Verite name has been appended to the word Kodak and here I am looking at the ‘65 Plus’. This is an All In One unit which means it Scans, Copies and Prints. It can be connected via Wi-Fi or USB and it can also connect to mobile devices by several methods including installation using NFC. The unit is a black box so your other half may insist it resides behind the sofa or in a cupboard, so Wi-Fi would be needed for most in this case.
Adding to the range of wearable devices is news of a new type of headphones coming from Australia.
Headphones come in a variety of shapes, sizes, styles and functionality to appeal to the needs of different users. There are in-ear, on-ear and my particular favourite of over-ear models. They can come with features that include noise-cancelling and wire-free connectivity, such as Bluetooth, to add to the offered underlying audio quality.
Glimmer is a Match-3 adventure game set in the land of Elithium. Developed by Gamestudio Ludomo, this offering takes an approach that is different from the many other types of Match-3 game play that I have encountered.
In this game of Glimmer, which includes options to turn off background music and sound effects by clicking on icons tucked away in the lower right corner of the title screen, gives you the option of taking on the role of either Myrana or Khar who are from the same small village and are childhood sweethearts. As far as I could tell there appears to be no difference in the ability of the two characters other than in their appearance.
Having recently looked at various large and high resolution panels there is something soothing about a panel of average size with average resolution. This offering the GW2270 is exactly what the review below is all about, a 22inch panel displaying 1920x1080.
The display is 50x30x1.6cm the last figure at the edges, it has an ‘L’ shaped arm connected to a 28x12cm stand, the central 6cm is another 7cm deep to keep the unit stable on your desk. The notional imperial diagonal measurement is 21½ inches. There is only a couple of degrees of forward movement and a good 15% of back movement. There is no side to side movement but as the unit is quite light it is easy to turn the unit and stand.
As part of its presence at CES 2017, Huawei launched its Honor 6X handset. This latest addition to the company’s popular range of handsets comes with the claim of being the world’s first smartphone to come with dual-camera functionality priced at under £250.
Available in a choice of grey, silver or the gold back plates, as is the case of my review sample, , the Honor 6X has dimensions of 150.9 x 76.2 x 8.2 mm (H x W x D) and weighs in at 162g. While the unit’s rounded corners have a degree of style, the white framing of the Smartphone’s screen will not appeal to everybody.
This is the last of the five recently launched Health items from Philips. In fact for most the words should be ‘unhealthy items’ but that would infer that the items are unhealthy when in fact it’s the user who has the health issues. ‘Unhealth’ should perhaps be the word, when we go to see our doctor most visits will be to a ‘Health’ centre when surely it should be ‘Unhealth’ centre but that word gives my spell checker palpitations.
The Thermometer is 13.5cm long 3.5cm wide and 2.5cm in a slight curve it weights 75grams. It is powered by two ‘AAA’ batteries that are supplied. If you have been in hospital then a similar type of device has been stuck in your ear to enable a nurse to determine your temperature that works almost instantly this takes a few seconds and if you are taking your own temperature then two small beeps tells you it has a reading.
Almost every bus journey I make sees babies in a pram or pushchair playing with their parents SmartPhone. Now the SmartWatch is growing in popularity kids are going to want to play with that as well so here something that might prevent that confrontation.
This looks like a SmartWatch for kids. In truth it initially seems little more than a watch with extra screens and items to keep them occupied. This I suppose makes the watch Smart as most parents dream of keeping their small charges occupied; at home this task might fall to the TV or video/download. When at pre-school then this falls to the teacher or teaching assistant, but on a journey be it on a bus, train or car it’s down to the parent or guardian.
NETGEAR continues to develop its Arlo home security systems with the release of its Pro product.
Following on from the original Arlo and Arlo Q offerings, the NETGEAR Arlo product has now reached its third generation with the Arlo Pro. For those not familiar with the Arlo family, this product range offers HD security camera facilities. In the case of the Arlo Pro, the product combines indoor / outdoor, 100% wire-free connectivity with 2-way audio capability. I have had the opportunity to check out the basic VMS4130 model of the product.
I think only one previous Sat Nav that I had seen has had a specific bicycle mode, this was interesting as it enabled things like bridle ways into the journey equation. A pedestrian Sat Nav would allow progress down one way streets. This offering from Beeline is rather different again.
The Beeline cycling Sat Nav uses your Mobile Phone to plan the journey and then has a small circular sealed rubber device that you attach to your handlebar to point the correct way meaning your phone can remain safely in your pocket. It is circular at 5.5cm and 2cm deep, there is a 3cm rubber loop that goes around your handlebar and its total weight is 60grams. It has a built in clock – once initially linked - which can show the time even when your phone is switched off.
More expensive than champagne when sold in cartridge format, Epson can supply ink in bottles for some of its printers.
The Epson ET-2600 is a multifunction device that can provide print, scan and copy facilities. As well as the print, scan and copy features with WiFi connectivity, this multifunction device comes with the promise of delivering cartridge free printing as indicated by the “ET” part of the product’s model number.
The arrival of a comet starts you off on an adventure to defeat an evil demon who threatens to take over the world.
In ancient times a dreadful demon came to our world and began to wreck havoc. Druids, who had mastered the power of Avalon, tried to defeat the demon but with no success and many died. Eventually the ArchDruid cast a dark spell to entomb the Demon in a cavern. Here the demon would be forced to stay until a comet hid behind the moon and thus cause the sky to turn purple. This state of affairs would result in the demon being set free thus allowing it to take over the world.
The cameras supplied with this product are truly wireless – no Ethernet and no power – as they run on the supplied batteries that last for on average two years. So once an intruder is detected the image is on its way to the Cloud and then back to your phone instantly.
The initial units sent to me were designed to be used indoors but there is soon to be an outdoor version which seems to have overcome the one obvious shortfall of looking through glass. This I will of course test as soon as it’s available. Unlike all the other cameras I have recently tested this has no physical connections so no power required and no visible data transfer method as it is done wirelessly to a ‘Sync Module’ that connects to your Wi-Fi. The cameras are 7x7x2.
Adding to its range of speakers, Edifier has delivered a Bluetooth portable speaker with microSD capability.
While headphones, of whatever variety, are an excellent means of listening to your favourite music when out and about, they are limited in being just a private personal listening tool. For those occasions when a group listening situation is called for, then headphones can be replaced with a portable speaker system such as the Edifier MP233 product which combines AUX, microSD and Bluetooth functionality in a device that has a stylish look to it and is portable.
At the end of last year WileyFox launched two new SmartPhones, at the event it was let slip that another was soon to be launched, during terrible January weather it was launched and this is what it was all about a larger screen with higher resolution and a larger battery.
However unless you have them side by side you might struggle to tell them apart for example the screen is .2 inches larger – remember that is a diagonal measurement – the screen resolution is higher and the battery is larger. The version of Android shipped with is still six but I am told Android 7 will be downloaded onto devices by the end of ‘quarter one 2017’. The Swift 2x measures 14.6x7.2x.7cm and weights 153grams. The viewable screen is 11.4x6.
There are a number of TVPlayers available and certainly the main ‘terrestrial channels’ all have their own ‘players’ but they all need registration of some sort even if it’s just entering your post code. Here there are some extra channels not available on Freeview and this works on Windows 10, Android and iOS.
When deciding which environment to site a computer game, a house, especially one with numerous rooms in which different elements can be based, might seem to be an ideal location. However some care does need to be taken as the house might have plans of its own that could increase the level of difficulty. Take, for instance, the building at the centre of this next game entitled Cursed House.
While giving the outward appearance of being an old-fashioned but attractive historic dwelling, the central character of the game certainly earned its reputation of being cursed. Ancient spirits had taken possession of the dwelling many years ago and settled in the establishments ten rooms. Since this evil invasion, nobody had dared to enter the house.
Having told you in the last few months about their excellent SmartPhone, their rather good MateBook computer I now get the chance to tell you about their watch that can bring both into focus in different ways, here the Huawei Watch.
Perhaps calling it a display aid for a SmartPhone might be a more accurate description. Unusually for a SmartWatch the software it uses is AndriodWare and not anything proprietary. The watch is 4.2x5x1cm and comes with a black leather strap. First job is to charge it using the supplied cradle that fits onto the back and the other end of the hard wired cable to any USB port be it on a PC or to a wall socket front.
The last time I took a look at Vegas Movie Studio, the product was under the banner of Sony. However matters have changed as Sony has undergone a process of divesting itself of some of its software and hardware kit.
In 2016 MAGIX, the well-known German development house took over some of Sony software offerings including VEGAS Movie Studio 14 Platinum product which is the subject of this next review. This new addition to the MAGIX product portfolio consists of four main elements. Along with the title offering of VEGAS Movie Studio 14, you get NewBlue VEGAS Movie Studio 14 Platinum, DVD Architected and Music Maker. Each application is installed in turn.
Some mirrors return a reflection but then some attempt to draw you into a world where evil rules.
Following the success of Mirror Mysteries, GoGii has developed a follow up offering entitled Mirror Mysteries 2: Forgotten Kingdoms. As with the original game, and obvious from its title, mirror do play a major part in this battle between good and evil which is conducted in a Hidden Object Adventure environment spread over worlds connected via portals. You are cast in the role of an investigator who has been hired to investigate the disappearance of Tommy Bryant.
Y-Cam has been producing home security cameras for a while. There latest offering is what I am scrutinising here. It is the EVO, possibly the easiest camera I have even setup. This unit is intended to be used indoors only and it is powered by USB.
It comes with a small stand so is easy to move around, however it can be fixed to a wall or ceiling with the provided screws. The base of the stand is magnetic so anything metal it is placed upon provides a firm base. Every movement within range is tracked and all video clips start around four seconds before the movement occurs and within a timeframe continue till after the movement stops.
While most prospective customers would tend to think of burning software when the topic of the main area of the company’s expertise arises, Nero does have other strings to its corporate bow. One such offering is Nero BackItUp which is the subject of this next review.
With ever-present dangers, such as malware and the threat of a ransomware demand, waiting to pounce on the unsuspecting or devil-may-care user, it does seem extremely fool-hardy not to have the insurance-like blanket of a backup system. Offering to provide “Peace of Mind” in this respect is the latest version of Nero BackItUp software which has recently been enhanced to work with an Android app to back up data from a smartphone.
Abbyy Finereader 14 is a universal OCR package that works with scanned images, PDF files etc. and, having recognised the text, can convert it to Word, Excel or other formats in addition to offering a range of advanced options.
We have a love/hate relationship with paper. All too often if it is in the computer, we want hard copy. Similarly, if it is on paper, we need to have it stored in an appropriate electronic form for editing or onward transmission to others. Finereader 14 is a versatile tool that should meet virtually everyone’s needs. Having downloaded and installed Finereader, and inserted the 24 character registration key, it found the connected scanner without any difficulty.
Philips launched a range of five ‘Health’ items at their Christmas In July event in 2016, however the first available unit was late in the year and the other four followed soon after. This the Bathroom Scale is my forth review item.
While this is perhaps the most ‘healthy’ device of the five, for some trying to gain or to more likely to lost weight is a big health issue. The scale is 31.5x31.5x2.5cm the last figure can be increased if required by larger feet that are supplied. The scale itself weighs 2kilos. The clear 7x5cm display is backlit. The unit is powered by 4x‘AAA’ batteries that are supplied. There is an A5 five language User Guide with the first thirteen in English.
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.