While the various in-car navigation devices that I have checked out tend to give you a choice of voices, whether of the male or female gender, the current trinity of Siri, Cortana and Alexa from Apple, Microsoft and Amazon do not offer the user such a choice. All three of these disembodied voices are of the female variety as they provide the requested information.
Recently I have had the opportunity to interrogate and request assistance from Alexa, the vocal conduit providing feedback from devices such as Amazon Echo and Echo Dot. In my case, the designated device was the smaller Echo Dot housing Alexa and her ability to respond to the user’s spoken commands. Available in a choice of black or white, the Amazon Echo Dot is a small circular platform device with dimensions of 84mm diameter and 31mm height.
The title on the box says Vintage Suitcase Turntable. Which to me anyway makes the suitcase sound vintage, in fact nor is the turntable although until a few years ago when vinyl came back into fashion it would definitely be retro.
This is one of Aldi’s bargain buys that are always on sale until they sell out which could be a week or even much less, often their online stock sells out prior to the on sale day in their stores, so if you want one don’t think about it for too long. The suitcase itself is brown and covered with a leather effect wipe clean plastic.
Both items from a company called tech21, first a case for an iPhone 7 and also for the same device something that Apple devices certainly seem to need a screen protector and this is called Impact Shield Self Heal 4.7 inches.
Protection made intelligent is how tech21 label this case. It makes three claims on the front of the box 3metre 3-layer drop protection, ultra-thin & lightweight and limited lifetime warranty let’s delve deeper into those claims. The case itself stretches over the back and sides of the iPhone and just enough over the front of the unit to hold it in place.
Providing you with your own personal, portable library is the task of a new eReader from Kobo.
While most of the competition has faded away, for various reasons, as they attempted to battle the might of the Amazon Kindle machine, Kobo continues to fight the good fight. Based in Toronto, Rakuten Kobo is one of the world’s faster growing eReading services with an offering of five million eBooks and magazines accessed by its various eBook readers. A recent addition to the company’s family of eBook readers is the Kobo Aura One device.
There is often a long interval between requesting an item and it arriving, this is certainly the case here with this well constructed USB external drive. The manufacturer G Drive calls this a mobile USB drive that works on both MAC and Windows.
It is 12.5x8x1.7cm, the length increases by 4cm with the supplied 60cm USB3 cable attached. It weighs 170grams. The stated transfer rate is ‘up to 136MB/s’ according to their website. It is available in 1TB in Black or Grey, 2TB in Black or 3TB in Black as I received. The prices given on their site in dollars are $69, $119 or $179. It is a 5400RPM class drive speed.
The Kensington USB 3.0 hub model UA3000E provides three USB 3.0 ports as well as a Gigabit Ethernet connection and so could be a useful add on to a netbook or laptop which lacks necessary ports.
The UA3000E is a small unit which is compatible with both Windows and Macs. It will take up very little room in a laptop bag and will provide much useful connectivity. It is black in colour, weighs just 68g, is 105mm x 45 x 25mm in size and has heavily chamfered edges which give the impression that it is smaller than it actually is. The three USB 3.0 ports are along one side and, at one end, is the Gigabit Ethernet. At the other end is the 10cm long USB 3.0 cable to connect to the laptop.
You do not want to annoy a god, such as Ares, who can send down all manner of threats against you.
When a god falls in love with a mortal, even a mortal who is a royal princess, you know that the situation is bound to cause trouble. This was the scenario covered in the Match-3 game of The Trials of Olympus. In that title Angelo, a god expelled from Olympus, builds a magnificent city and wins the heart of the Princess Amara.
Having recently covered a couple of Notebook/Tablet offerings this item from ASUS is different in that the keyboard is detachable so without it it’s a true Windows Tablet and with it then you have a small touch enabled Notebook
The viewable screen is 21.6x13.8cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 10.1inches; the default screen resolution is 1280x800 there is a webcam in the centre of the top of the 2cm strip above the screen. It is 1089 grams in weigh made up of 506 grams for the detachable keyboard and 583grams for the screen unit. It feels a little back heavy but it is not unstable, the screen has a positive fit into the back of the keyboard unit at around 100 degrees.
A computer mouse is just a computer mouse that has been designed to slide around a mouse mat as it controls the movement of your desktop cursor or so you might expect. But the reality can be somewhat different. A computer mouse can come in a variety of sizes, colours schemes, connectivity options and enhanced functionality. Standing apart from many brands of rodents is the Air Mouse® Voice device developed by Gyration, part of the SMK-Link Electronics Inc.
Forming part of Gyration’s family of “gyroscopic” input devices, including the Air Mouse GO Plus, Air Mouse Elite and Air Mouse Mobile, this Air Mouse Voice adds a voice-enabled presentation remote control and motion sensitivity to high-precision desktop mouse control. Slightly longer, and perhaps not as tall as my usual device, the Air Mouse Voice has dimensions of 115 x 60 x 28mm (L x W x H).
This is a multi-connection easy to use and to setup 24inch flat panel. It is literally open the box clip the connection between the base and back into the back of the panel and then clip the base into that, plug in the leads and you are done, two minutes at most.
This BenQ GW2455H LED monitor measures 57x34x1.6cm; the stand is oval at 24x19cm and raises the panel by 10cm from your desk. The viewable screen is 52x29.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 23.6inches. There is a line of connections mid-way up the back on an overhang, to the left of the support arm, VGA, Digital and HDMI and to the right the three pin kettle style power input.
Lava Lamps were all the rage about two generations ago, this is a very similar thing in that there is a coloured liquid in the container and towards the base what looks like a layer of sparkly stuff which slowly turns into small craters and then it starts to rise.
The lamp itself can either come in chrome or brass finish mine was the former and the container has very dark blue liquid. Assembly requires an Allen Key (provided) and the container fits into the chrome skeleton and the one fitting holds the skeleton to the container. Just be careful when assembling that the top fits inside the bottom or the two will not be joined. A short 50cm electrical lead is hard wired into the base of the lamp. This then joins the main 1.
It is time for an old favourite to make its annual upgrade appearance.
Over the years WinZip has developed from a basic compression / decompression utility, which was my first introduction to the product, into a file management / sharing / encryption application while retaining its original functionality. The latest edition of this software is now up to version 21 with Standard, Pro and Enterprise packages being available. This review is based on my experiences with the Pro version of the product which has been launched with a price point of £42.
The Doro 8030 is an easy to use smart phone tailored to meet the needs of those mature people who form the company’s traditional market but now feel that they are ready to migrate to a smart phone.
This is essentially a 4G smart phone with a 4.5 inch screen running on Android 5.1 However, Doro recognises that while technology and performance are important, ease of use and having the features needed by those whose sight and hearing are not of the best in addition to being able to call for assistance in case of an emergency are vital.
Monster might be a brand name but these are large over ear headphones and even when fully compressed I feel they are a little loose and no one has ever told me I have a small head so these are certainly not the headphones for a child.
From a point mid-way between the parallel earpieces to the base of the well-padded headband is 19cm and that is the same distance between the earpieces. The headphones are not light as they weigh 357grams. These are corded and or Bluetooth headphones. The indication as to which ear is in the inside of the ear pad with ‘L’ and ‘R’ in the respective pads. The base of the left earpad has connection for the 3.
When your sister gets a new job you are invited to visit her place of work in the game of Labyrinth of the World: Shattered Soul.
There is no prize for guessing the type of content making up this next game package. Its title says in all with Hidden Object 10-in-1 bundle.
This game collection consists of ten Hidden Object game titles from Alawar’s catalogue. All ten titles are accessible from a menu consisting of thumbnail images representing each of the games. Three of the titles in this collection belong to the Magic Encyclopedia series. While appearing to be the work of different development teams, they all feature the same main character named Catherine.
There are lots of advantages for Wi-Fi perhaps the most compelling for most will be the lack of trailing wires, so how do you get Wi-Fi to work when you are close or perhaps even just beyond the normal coverage given by your router.
A lot of my sockets are on the shirting board so that means anything that juts out below the plug itself are not directly connectable without the aid of an extension lead. I know newer properties have the standard of all/most plug points being at waist level but a short extension lead in the box would have been useful and in my home anyway most plugs are utilized so a pass through might help those with newer properties. It is 16x8x4.5cm at the base of the unit it is slightly less higher up.
The more people you ask the same question, the more varied the answers are likely to be as can be seen with this report.
It seems a long time ago when I first looked at one of these devices and they have moved on in what they show and indeed how they show it. For those who do not know it's a screen that shows you the easiest/quickest way to get from A to B and these days so much more. According to some information I was sent they have been around for 25 years.
The TomTom Via62 GPS satellite navigation unit measures 16x10.5x4cm the last figure the amount it will stick out from your windscreen is a minimum figure it can be far more according to the slope on vehicles windscreen. There is a forty page booklet printed in six languages with one fact per page, the first twenty six have helpful information which should enable even a first time user to set things up successfully. The item attaches to your windscreen via a two way sucker mechanism.
Salter Body Analyser Scale model 9174 goes further than one’s ordinary bathroom scales. In addition to weight it measures body fat, body water, bone mass, muscle mass, BMI and BMR for up to ten users.
It has a 300mm square platform of black toughened glass with two 95 x 30 mm metal plates inset to provide the electrical contacts necessary for carrying out the analyses. The scales can display weights of up to 180kg or 400lb in both metric (kg) or Imperial (lb., or st. & lb.) units on the 80 x 40mm back lit display. The resolution is 0.1kg or 0.2lb and, to avoid confusion when taking readings, the fractions are displayed in smaller digits.
The first a rodent for those of us who still have a desktop system or those who just cannot get on with a trackpad on a notebook, the second something that arrived without notice a Waterproof Bag for your mobile phone from MPOW.
When I think of Cherry my mind thinks quality keyboards but then it is not that difficult to think of other peripherals that might be sold in the same way so when I was offered a mouse bearing the Cherry name I tested what it could offer. It is 12cm long 6.5cm wide at the back wasted to 5.5cm in the centre and 6cm wide at the front, at the 5.5cm point it is close to 3cm high and lower elsewhere and only .8cm high at the front, it weighs 130 grams.
Windows tends to slow down with age and I know how it feels. This next title offers to help.
Say what you will about Microsoft and its various software products but you will probably have to admit that the different versions of its Windows operating system have certainly opened the door for other companies to step in and develop software designed to enhance the Microsoft offering.
At the recent launch of two new smartphones, the Swift 2 and the Swift 2 Plus, Wileyfox let slip, either by accident or design, details of a third phone, the Swift 2 X.
Wileyfox is a little known brand that has sold over half million phones across many countries in western Europe. Design responsibility is in the UK and, like many others, is manufactured in China.Its phones are currently available over the web rather than over the counter these phones are unlocked allowing the user to have a choice of networks.
Part of a new range of units recently launched, this is currently exclusive to Dixons/Currys and is a unit designed with the student in mind, either those off to university or maybe college, so it has to be a strong unit.
It is 37x25.5x2cm and weighs 2121 grams.
Going around the outside on the left edge are DC input a full size Ethernet port which is achievable by the base of the port flipping down, VGA, HDMI, two USB3 ports and a Kensington lock port. The front is clear. The right side has an SD Card slot, headphone out and a USB port then amazingly a DVD optical drive which like the Ethernet port is squeezed in by being a reduced height unit. The back is also clear with the screen going down to around 140 degrees.
Inkjet printer cartridges from various manufacturers continue to be a popular subject especially when users are expected to purchase regular replacement units at premium prices. One company that has adopted a different approach to the replacement of its ink is Epson with its EcoTank technology.
Originally launched in October 2014, EcoTank offers users a way of reducing the cost and regularity of ink replacement. Instead of using ink cartridges with their limited capacity, the Epson EcoTank technology makes use of ink tanks that can hold a year’s supply of ink. These tanks are filled from bottles which are available priced at £7.99 or £10.99 for higher capacity units.
Pack your bags and join newly wed royalty at an amusement park with a difference.
Royal Trouble – Honeymoon Havoc is the follow-up title to the original Royal Trouble offering from Orchid Games. Both titles feature the same two main characters as they embark on Hidden Object Adventure escapades. The first title introduced game players to Loreen and Nathanial who found themselves imprisoned in the same dungeon.
A rather nice 27inch panel from BenQ but while I am not greatly in favour of long names I would have thought of something that flows off the tongue better than EW2775ZH. Still this is about the usability of the unit and not its name.
It is 61x36x2cm and it has a stand that is 31x17cm in the shape of an upside down ‘T’ so only the front 6.5cm is the full 31cm width. It raises the screen by 8.5cm from your desk; there is good back tilt and more front tilt than most units. No side to side movement is available but of course you could turn the whole unit. The now standard claim for most panels is that they can be viewed from 178 degrees from each side.
As every family member now seems to demand their own mobile handset, so some sort of control needs to be applied to their use and financial considerations.
Offering to save you a reasonable wedge of your disposable, hard-earned cash, BT Mobile has launched a new family based deal. This is the new Family SIM service that takes in mobiles and tablets. According to figures released by BT, this new service could save customers up to £372 per year depending upon the data plan and the number of SIMs involved in the contract.
In past years I have reviewed a number of Doro phones for both house and their specialist mobile phones for those with sight and hearing problems. Here it’s the former category with the accent on connecting other units to the base station.
Why may you ask well I have been contacted by several people who say it’s not as easy as it should be. Doro have made their name on ease of use and while in the past I have just reviewed base units often people want to attach other units to the same line with remote phones. Normally the Doro instructions are ‘bullet proof’ and also clear and easy to read.
However much desk space you have it seems never to enough, if you have a tower or mini tower you can probably move it under the desk, a lot of panels have a USB hub but that still leaves the problem of the keyboard and the mouse.
Here I am looking at a small keyboard and a mouse that looks more like a pen in a holder than the traditional rodent. I laid this on top of my standard keyboard and its about 2/3 the size. The actual dimensions are 28.5x14x.7cm, the last figure is at the key end the back can be up to 3.5cm if you use the tilt supports. It runs on two ‘AAA’ rechargeable batteries which you charge when needed by a retractable USB to micro USB lead (supplied).