A few years ago DAB radio was promoted as being the next big thing. That has yet to happen although new DAB products continue to appear.
Like Paddington Bear, I enjoy marmalade, the tasty spread that accompanies my morning toast. However the same appreciation does not apply when the marmalade term refers to the patterned colour scheme that is adopted by a DAB radio. Such is the decorative feature of this next product under review. This is the VQ Retro Mini radio.
These are a pair of quality in ear earbuds. The only lead is the small flat one connecting the two buds, a short distance from the left earbud is the in lead box that charges the buds and also moves through your tracks etc. on whatever device you connect them to.
The connection is of course Bluetooth and my recent Android phone found the BE-6i almost instantly and made the required connection.
When is a tablet not a tablet? Or maybe I should rephrase the question and ask when is a laptop not a laptop? After all the two questions have a close connection. In fact the answer to both these versions of the latest conundrum is the same. A tablet is not a tablet and a laptop is not a laptop when it is a hybrid device that brings together a tablet and a laptop into a single package. This situation occurs with the Fujistu Stylistic R726 offering.
Aimed at the mobile business user who is constantly on the move, this Stylistic R726 product consists of the screen element with a kickstand (that’s the tablet element) and a magnetic keyboard. You also get a digitised stylus pen, two-piece power lead and various items of documentation plus a backup CD. Applying the virtual glue to bring these hardware items together is a copy of the latest version of Microsoft’s Windows Pro 10 operating system.
An evil force has started to take over the world. You have the task of defeating this force and restoring peace and harmony.
The game of World Keepers belongs to the popular Hidden Object Adventure genre. Your role in this game is that of Corsair Elizabeth Robinson, a sea captain who embarks on a voyage to help her close friend Ethan Brown. Your task is to help him locate his lost son, Adam, who has somehow become involved with an evil force that leaves behind a trail of destruction and victims reduced to rags and bones.
Having recently told you about the latest Alcatel Smart Watch called the ‘Go Watch’ I now have the chance to see how they arrived there by looking at its predecessor which should still be on sale in some outlets and its look may suit the older user.
It has a chrome finish and a black leather look rubber strap. The dial is round at 4cm but with close to a centimetre closed off at the base. It uses a proprietary charging device that plugs into one end of the strap and runs to a standard USB port. Just like its younger relation it charges quickly around 70 minutes from empty. The clip mechanism that fastens the watch to your wrist can be a little fiddly to adjust to get the size exactly right.
Of all the keys on a computer keyboard, the one that tends to be the most confusing for novice users is the one labelled Print Screen or Prt Scr.
No matter how many times you press this Print Screen or Prt Scr key your printer will not spring into action and automatically duplicate a hard copy of the current screen being displayed. Actually this key does perform its task but rather than dump the screen content to your printer, this content is stored in memory from where it can be accessed by appropriate software. Offering to take over this screen grabbing activity is SnagIt.
There are lots of streaming services out there perhaps the best known is Spotify but that has one big minus good quality MP3 is the best available. Recently I told you about Qobuz that offered better and here TIDAL that offers you FLAC.
They have two subscription price points according to their site £9.99 for MP3 they call it Premium and £19.98 for FLAC which they call Hi-Fi, both those figures are monthly there are other figures given for six month and for more than one person. There is a Free Trial available and during that time you can cancel without any charges being made to your credit card or Pay Pal account.
Being able to try a program for seven days and remain anonymous, or thirty days just for giving a little personal information is a big plus in making a decision as to if this program does exactly what you want it to do, yes it has a free trial.
This package is an easy video editing program, so easy that a single eight minute tutorial gives you all you need to know to link any number of clips together and add captions and even music to make your own efforts look professional for not a lot of work. From the opening screen you have two choices import a video or videos or open an already started project. The import can be direct from a camera or from a file previously imported to your PC. Select all the clips you want to link together.
I have always regarded Bitdefender as a software company with its undoubted expertise in the area of security and antivirus – that is until now.
The reason for this change is the Bitdefender entry into the field of hardware arena with the launch of the company’s Box product. While a definite change in product type, Bitdefender has remained true to its roots as this hardware release is still steeped in the field of protecting devices from malware infestation.
If you want a PC to browse the Internet and to send a receive Emails there is an option that can avoid Windows. It is a Chromebook. This rather nice offering is from HP and unlike the very early Chromebooks you can still work offline.
The HP Chromebook 14 G3 measures 34x23.5x2cm and weighs 1605grams. The viewable screen is 31x17.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 14inches. The screen resolution is 1920x1080. It took me a while to get used to the turquoise blue colour of the screen and keyboard surrounds but this does not show fingermarks. The case back is white as is the keyboard. Chrome keyboards have always shown characters in lower case not a problem just different.
I honestly meant to phone you to explain that I would be late but my phone battery was dead.
Mobile devices, as I am sure you will agree, can be extremely useful. However these same mobile devices also have the ability to be really frustrating. This latter situation tends to occur when that moment arrives as you discover that your mobile device’s battery lacks the power to fulfil its designated function of providing communications, Internet access or other tasks when it is most needed.
Mixing together columns, rows, tiles and number clues, this next game takes us through Penguin history.
Every so often I like to take a break from checking out the numerous Hidden Object Adventure games and those of a similar genre by tackling a title that deals with just puzzles. Generally my favourite example of this type of game is that of the Griddler or Mosaic genre.
Alcatel better known for budget phones have made a venture into Smart Watches this latest version is aimed at the 18-30+ plus market so as someone who is definitely 30+ I gave an early sample the once and twice over to see what it could do.
My sample was white – but I am told other colours will be available. The dial is 3.3cm across by 2.6cm top to bottom; the bottom area is squared off. There are just two buttons, on/off on the right side and touch below the screen to light the display. On first touch of the display you get an analogue watch with a rather nice display which stays for five seconds unless you press something again.
This is the latest version of a trusted Backup program. It is designed to make the job of file backup easy and if it becomes easy then maybe more people will do what is a boring job more regularly. This is not a full system backup just a file backup there is a distinct difference.
This is designed to backup four categories only, Music, Videos, Photos and Documents. You can choose any combination of the four groups and simply give it a destination and let it get on with things, if you wish it will even turn your PC off when it’s finished. This process can be done at whatever intervals you wish, it can be one off or even a continuous job whenever a file is added or changed, you decide.
The Verbatim Bluetooth stereo headphones product reference 44403 are comfortable to wear, provide a nicely balanced sound, have convenient controls and are light in weight.
They provide one with the freedom to move around the room and listen to streamed music or even the TV (from appropriate Bluetooth enabled devices) without bothering anyone else in the family. They are very convenient to put on as they are not designed to fold -- as one would expect with headphones intended for use on the move.
In the right hands this product can give you amazing results, it can create 3D images from photographs add cartoonish features and much more however it can also create lip sync to audio or voice so you can be there even when you are not.
In my hands it created a reasonable 3D image of me from a forward facing head and shoulders shot and a selfie side on. You just click a number of points around your head to match eyes and mouth end of nose etc. and it does the rest. In total around five minutes from importing the images. This was only rough but the image was quite good.
As one of the new iconic meeting places in London, the Shard was the location for a recent Toshiba briefing.
A popular advertisement of yesteryear, that no doubt some older readers will have fond memories, featured a couple street urchins being captivating by the aroma created by flavoured gravy granules. This advert, with the tag line of “Ah Bisto”, was brought to mind at a recent press lunch when it was revealed that “Ah Bisto” was an anagram of the company hosting the event. I must admit that I was not the one who had spotted this.
If you have touch then you should have Windows 10 as it was designed with that in mind, certain things like annotations only work with touch. So a Notebook and Tablet all in one with Windows 10 should be the way to go.
The unit is 29.5x20x1.5cm and it weighs 1176grams. Unlike some devices that are tablets with an attachable keyboard this unit is the conventional Notebook design with it becoming a Tablet when the screen in turned through 180degrees and then the keyboard and trackpad – although exposed – become dead until you turn the unit back into a conventional Notebook.
So what version would you expect to follow version 11. In the case of this next product it is a sizeable jump to 365.
When is the “Last” not the “Last”. Presumably when developers feel a follow-up title is appropriate.
The Last Door Season 2 could be regarded by some as a “blast from the past”. By that I do not mean the game’s storyline is based on historical events, although it is set two centuries ago. No, the reference to the past is due to the style of graphics and other elements used in this game.
This is a three in one unit (no fax) it prints, scans and copies. With recent units this can not only be via a PC but also other devices via the WWW. It is unlikely to pass the lounge police so with Wi-Fi it can sit behind the sofa or even in a cupboard.
The Epson ET-2550 measures 46.5cm wide, 41cm tall (with A4 paper inserted in the rear insert tray) and 42cm deep with input and output trays open, so this is nearly a cube. Apart from Wi-Fi you can also link it via USB. Give yourself plenty of time and some old newspapers – not to read – to place under the unit as however careful you are a few drops of ink will spill and better on old newspaper than the carpet.
Some users prefer a notebook while others opt for a tablet. With this next product you get both options.
From its base in Quarry Bay, Hong Kong, Venturer has released its hybrid 2-in-1 Mini Notebook product. This unit is available in either BravoWin 10XT or EliteWin 11KT models. In both cases the Mini Notebook has a detachable screen which can act as a standalone tablet once it has been removed from the keyboard element with both the notebook and tablet running the latest Windows 10 operating system. This review is based on the slightly larger EliteWin 11K unit.
The AOC model I2475PXQU is a 24 inch 1920 x 1080 full HD monitor incorporating an IPS panel for good colour rendition and wide viewing angle together with LED backlighting for long life and energy efficiency. It is a good all-round monitor for both work and pleasure.
The narrow black bezel around the 10:6 aspect ratio screen, which has an actual screen diagonal of 23.75 inches, has resulted in the monitor being just 22inches wide. Hence, it does not appear to take up an enormous amount of desk space. The design of the stand makes it easy to set the screen at a comfortable position and angle.
As most will know Braun and Gillette are under the same ownership. Normally Braun mainly deals with dry shaving and Gillette deal with wet shaving. So this is a combination device that can be used dry or wet when the occasion demands.
Recently I have covered head hair and beard hair. Or course the requirements or shaving cover other parts of the body as well as what is normally on show for all to see. Fashions change and I have heard from younger people in a relationship that if she shaves or waxes the lower part of her body she expects him to do the same. I am aware some prefer to go to their hairdresser for such treatments but most surely get a ‘friend’ to access such areas.
A pair of on/over ear headphones, a pair of rather comfortable on/over ear headphones, a pair of on/over ear headphones giving an excellent sound. Put all these together and you get the PhonAudio Headphones with the less than catchy name of PHN100.
These are designed for use with ‘i’ devices, so if you have a recent iPod, iPhone or iPad then the full range of functions are available. For other devices then you have a very decent set of on/over ear headphones. The rubberised lead is 1.3 metres long. I cannot tell you about the box or anything else it may or may not contain as I was sent just the headphones and detachable lead. 30cm down the lead is a single button control on one side and a range of presses will do most things.
With dimensions of 143 x 69 x 7.7 mm (H x W x D) and weighing 152g, the Xperia X is Sony’s latest entry into the rather overcrowded smartphone market sector.
The Sony Xperia X handset is currently available in a choice of colours. The user can select from models coloured White, Graphite Black, Lime, Gold and Rose Gold. My review sample is the Graphite Black model. The Sony Xperia X’s metallic casing is dominated by a 5-inch screen that is capable of displaying Full HD 1080p resolution with bright clearly visible content in different lighting conditions.
I am sure we have all misplaced our keys, I know the last time I did it cost £160 for a replacement lock and yes you’ve guessed it they were then located. Here something that may help in the more mundane task of finding them around the home or maybe even further away.
Voila has been developed by Philippe Stark who is known as an iconic designer. This looks like a USB stick it is 6.5cm long, .6cm wide and 2.2cm across. The top end has a hole with which you can attach it to your keyring, the bottom end has a 1cm area in a transparent plastic in one of four colours mine was orange. You can have different colours for different things and they show up in that colour on the App.
As our personal storage needs increase, we need to look for a solution to offer easily accessible storage capacity. A NAS box could be the answer.
Forming part of Buffalo’s LinkStation 500 series of NAS devices is the LS510 model. Adding a sizeable wedge of storage capacity to your home network resources, the NAS LS510 is a single hard disk unit for creating your local Cloud based storage. I have been checking out the 2TB version of the product and I have been led to believe that 3 and 4TB modules are currently available.
I could have entitled this review as “Be Afraid!” which might give you a clue as to the game’s content.
True Fear: Forsaken Souls is a Hidden Object Adventure game that is available in Standard or Collector’s Edition formats. My review of this game, developed by GOBLINZ, is based on the Collector’s Edition which contains a number of bonus items, some of which are available immediately while others require you to make progress or complete the main game.
Until recently mobile phones could accept up to 32GB micro SD cards which gave you another way of storing data, photos and most likely videos. Now the majority of recent phones will accept larger capacity Micro SD Cards up to 64GB and possibly even more.
Recently I ventured halfway up The Shard for a presentation by hard disc manufacturer Toshiba. It covered what Toshiba do, with the essence on their recent hard drives including a new 8TB desktop unit and while there I requested their mid-range external USB unit that I will tell you about when it arrives.