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).
Recycling unwanted goods can be big business for some people.
What do companies such as Samsung, HP, Toshiba, Logitech, Acer and Canon have in common? That is apart from the obvious IT connection shared by these companies. To save you the bother of indulging in some wild guessing while providing me with the lead in for this particular report, I will provide the answer to my own question. All the aforementioned companies feature in a recently published Top Ten listing.
If you move around then the most important things with a notebook/tablet are good battery life and unless you spend a good bit of time in the gym the weight of the unit or to be precise the lack of weight, this unit from ASUS ticks both boxes.
This ASUS Zen Book measures 32x22x1.2cm and weights 1344grams. Firstly as a normal notebook the slight copperish tinge to the lid, base and keyboard surround means no nasty fingermarks to show. Sadly this does not apply to the standard shiny black around the screen. The left side has a USB port, SD Card Slot, two pin hole LEDs with explanation, volume rocker and finally on/off button. The front and back are clear. The right side has DC input, USB port, USB 3.1 port, mini HDMI out and 3.
Version 2 of Power PDF from Nuance is an update that has also been designed to take into account the latest features in Windows 10 including touch screen technology.
Keeping track of vulnerable and elderly family members is the aim of this next product from Acticheck.
Activity type products, often in the form of wristbands, continue to be a popular item. Generally these types of devices concentrate their functionality on providing the user with data dealing with the wearer’s lifestyle and current medical issues. This data can then be used by the host subject for their own needs. But this is not the only approach adopted by a wristband product used when tracking the wearer’s physical condition.
Time for some Match-3 action with a sprinkling of Hidden Object game play as you try to keep the peace between humans and dragons in this next title.
If like me you enjoy a good manual then this unit should make you happy. The manual I saw was in PDF format – sadly not something to read in the bath – and it is 156 pages with 144 pages before the safety and warranty pages, bliss.
If you purchase this unit I assume that the manual will be in print as the camera I had for just one week came without a box just the component parts in bubble wrap. While you might purchase the unit ‘body only’ I was sent an 18-135mm lens with it as the latest 155mm lens is not yet available. Certainly a unit to attach the neck strap to securely as it weighs 1140grams. It is 14.5x12x9cm with the lens collapsed and fully extended it increases the first figure the length to 20.5cm.
This next product adds WiFi functionality to a Powerline solution.
While WiFi is often the chosen option of many when setting up a home network with the minimum of disruption, this method is not always totally suitable for certain dwellings with walls getting in the way and blocking the passage of the wireless signal. In such instances you might prefer going with a solution that helps circumvent the problem caused by blocking walls while still retaining some of the benefits of WiFi.
This is a portable speaker system that can sound great indoors as well as out. This is a Bluetooth and 3.5mm system that looks stylish and has a battery that lasts well over the claimed eight hours even when playing via Bluetooth.
The Edifer MP700 bluetooth speaker measures 29x10x6.5cm with handle down with handle raised its height is raised from 10cm to 16.5cm, the unit weights 1569grams. My first joy with this unit was that the User Manual was bigger than the safety instruction manual. The second joy was the sound quality initially from 3.5mm lead and once I read the manual – ten small sides – via Bluetooth and later via NFC. While the manual is not large it is clear and has plenty of illustrations.
This machine uses pod coffee from Lavazza and they do a huge range so you should find at least one you like, it also has a fool proof milk frother jug as part of the unit now there is no longer an excuse not to have a perfect Cappuccino at home.
The Lavazza A Modo Mio Fantasia coffee machine measures 32x17x27cm, the last figure needs some extra clearance as the mechanism to insert the pods requires this to be lifted to move the used pods to the internal storage area and this adds around 12cm to the height. Do remember to empty this regularly as it also contains waste coffee from the pod and otherwise it can overflow.
BenQ manufacturers a range of monitors for different situations including this business model
Designed for a business environment, the BenQ BL-2405 model is a 24-inch backlight monitor with the capability to act in portrait and landscape modes depending upon your needs. This combination of display screen and adjustable stand has dimensions of 503 x 579 x 213mm in portrait orientation and 392 x 579 x 213mm when used in landscape mode. There is also an option to wall mount the unit if desk space is a problem.
The word convertible brings my mind to cars where the roof opens out and in a way turning a Notebook into a Tablet is much the same transformation. This Pavilion unit from HP can be a standard Notebook however push the screen back through 180 degrees and you have a Tablet.
The HP Pavilion X360 Convertible laptop/tablet computer measures 32x22x2cm and weighs 1660 grams, the viewable screen is 29.5x16.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 13 inches the native screen resolution is 1920x1080.
Turning your digital images into a slideshow has never been easier with this next product from MAGIX.
Our love affair with all things digital has resulted in many terabytes of storage space, whether of the local variety or that situated in the virtual expanse referred to as the Cloud, being taken up by our personal collections of digital photographs. While readily available via various approaches, it does seem rather wasteful if these representatives of our personal memories are left to gather a form of digital dust, caused by faded memories, through the lack of use.
As you can probably guess from the title, The Trilogy: Princess Isabella is a collection of three games featuring Princess Isabella who has somehow got on the wrong side of an evil witch intent in doing as much mischief as she can, These titles, in chronological order, are the Witch’s Curse, Witch’s Curse 2 and The Rise of an Heir. In each case, GSP has bundled the Collector’s Edition of the game with accompanying bonus items.
For those who need a larger screen than even the largest phone can offer and need to be able work when out of Wi-Fi range then a Tablet such as this sold by Vodafone may well solve all your needs just don’t hold it to your ear for answering a phone call.
It is 25.5x15.5x.7cm and weighs 450 grams. The viewable screen is 21.5x13.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 10.1 inches. The native display is 1920x1080. The edges and back are silver grey with the standard shiny black for the front which unfortunately does show finger marks. The edges are very smooth with on/off and volume rocker towards the top of the right side and the base as well as the left side having nothing. The top has 3.
Data is valuable. It is up to you to ensure it is fully protected especially when it is being transported.
Call them what you will – whether flash drives, thumb drives or whatever – these items have certainly made it easier to physically transport data between locations and computers. However this functionality brings with it an increase in the possibility of this data being lost either accidentally or being misappropriated by others.
The Ambiano Premium Stand Mixer, ref. 68007, will go on sale in Aldi stores nationwide and online as one of the company’s “specials” on 20th October. It is a solidly build traditional food mixer which comes with extra accessories to increase its versatility.
Employing a 1000W direct drive motor for reliability the machine offers eight different speed settings from slow for gentle mixing or kneading up to a high whisking speed. The rotary switch also offers a pulse setting. It certainly appears to be robust enough for all domestic food preparation tasks and it had no problem in kneading dough even though, in the instruction book, there is a warning against overheating. The mixer, which is available in red, cream or champagne, is provided with a 4.
While top of the range SmartPhones are in the middle hundreds there are a few ‘more basic’ offerings often with older operating systems that are available for say £50. So what can you expect to get for well under one hundred pounds?
One such is the Obi MVI which looks a little different simply because the top is flat and the base is curved. It has – like some other phones – a skin over the Android 5.1.1 operating system their offering is called Cyanogen. It is a little different in that all the Apps are displays in groups under the initial letter so in a way you can move quicker to what you want.