In September I told you about 1TB and 2TB WD portable drives and now I can tell you about the 3GB version that the press release said was released in July sadly it only arrived on my desk at the end of the year, still better late than never.
Most laptop and notebook computers still only have 500GB (½TB) hard discs. My desktop has 1TB and if you have 2TB you probably paid a large premium. So 3TB for a USB powered external drive is still a very large in capacity unit. My first surprise is that it is exactly the same size and weight as the 2TB unit, so unless I have gone further round the twist than normal it means that 1TB or additional memory is stored in more larger carrier but weights exactly nothing.
As mobile phones underwent a metamorphosis and developed into smartphones, so wrist-watches are now beginning to follow a similar path and emerge as smartwatches.
Arriving boxed, within a box, the Huawei Watch is a member of the new breed of offerings that combine basic chronology features with fitness tracking and a link to a paired smartphone whether of the iOS or Android variety. Supplied with the Huawei Watch is a charging unit, consisting of a circular magnetic platform for mounting the device at one end and a standard USB plug at the other end. There are also various items of documentation to help get you started.
Not all games have instant appeal. This next title took a while to draw me into its spell.
Developed by Space Monkey, Apothecarium: The Renaissance of Evil (now there’s a title to get your tongue around) is a Hidden Object Adventure game. This city, as part of the game’s title might indicate, has fallen under the influence of an evil force in the form of a powerful alchemist who has taken over the lives of others in order to conduct experiments. Your task is to rescue these unfortunates and defeat the wicked alchemist.
The last item I reviewed from Sennheiser was a set of earbuds I did not even know they did earbuds this is a quality Bluetooth set of headphones. In the past I have reviewed several sets of wired headphones so for those who prefer not to be tethered
As always my job is to point out problem – however minor – often at the expense of waxing lyrically about the good points. Well I found one minor niggle here so let’s get it out of the way, when I paired it with a PC I am currently reviewing it insisted that it was an Bluetooth earpiece which it is not but as it worked correctly I almost let it pass. The headphones when fully compressed are 20cm from base of the earbud to top of the headband, there is 4.
How many remote controllers do you possess? In my case the number is well into double figures although only four are used on a regular basis.
These days an increasing number of electrical devices arrive with a couch-potato accessory such as a remote control unit. You can quickly build up a collection of these devices which have the tendency of being paired so only work with their associated product. Remote controls also have a habit of going missing or exchanging their positions with another similar looking unit in your collection.
While there is a lot of hype about watches that work with phones, and one company a fruit make you feel naked if your wrist does not sprout one, here a similar offering from a company that comes from the panel display sector.
The watch itself is 4.5x4x.75cm, attached to is a fitted strap, on the back are four contacts which mean that to charge the watch via a standard micro USB to USB you need a cradle for the watch to fit into, both the cradle and lead are supplied. There is an eight language Quick Start Guide and two of the eight columns – half of one side – have the illustrations and English instructions.
The Philips Brilliance P-line model 241P6EPJEB is a 24 inch LED professional monitor which has the facilities and ergonomics to meet the needs of those who sits in front of their computers all day long.
This 16:9 aspect ratio monitor has a native resolution of 1920 x 1080. As well as providing a good quality image, it employs the new SoftBlue LED technology which we are assured is less harmful to the eyes. This is because studies have shown that just as UV can cause eye damage, blue light rays from LED displays can result in eye damage and affect vision over time. This technology reduces the harmful blue light waves without affecting the colour or image of the display.
If it sounds too good to be true I thought so to, so I tried it and I can confirm they are offering a range of services and the lowest level of data 200MB a month is FREE and you get both 200 minutes and 200 texts with it as well.
A few modern SIMs are full size, most are micro and a few are nano. Specify which you need at the time of registering. After a few days your SIM arrives and it is already activated ready for you to insert into your phone. You an unlocked phone and at the time of writing you have to accept one of the phone number choices offered, for some this would be a problem but they say that changing your current number will not be essential shortly.
Keeping your home protected from outside influences is the task of this next product. Unlike other offerings it takes a different approach to providing you with warnings.
Described as a “Plug & Play Alarm System”, the Smanos X300” kit brings together a number of protection tools. Central to these items is the X300 Control Panel from which the kit takes its X300 designation. The Control Panel has a removable bracket and/or stand but more on this feature a little later. Also included in the substantial packaging are a PIR (Passive Infrared Sensor) Motion Detector, Door / Window Contact unit and two Remote control units.
Having recently told you about Roberts new entry level Internet offering, it seems only correct to move up the scale a little to what they call a DAB/FM/WiFi Internet Radio with Music Player and this even comes with Spotify Connect built in.
It is 26x17x9cm disregarding the handle that can slot back behind the unit and the 75cm six piece rod aerial. My unit was a mixture of matt and shiny black with the front dominated by the centre of the 6cm stereo speakers shining through the grill. Both sides and the bass are clear. This unit can run on ‘C’ cell batteries but it is of course mainly a mains unit. At the base of the back is the entry point for batteries.
With this next game, the developers have melded together asset management with Hidden Object game play as an author tries to overcome writers block.
Scarlet is a talented writer who is suffering from writer’s block at the beginning of this next game. In an effort to overcome this affliction, Scarlet decides that a complete change of surroundings might be the answer to her problem. To achieve this state of affairs Scarlet attends an auction and purchases a 19 century mansion situated in the country.
Arriving from a new name in the Smartphone arena is a product that offers a choice of dual SIM or a combination of SIM and SD card functionality.
While there are more smartphone brands than you could shake a stick at, with the usual suspects taking central stage, occasionally a new name will make an appearance. This is the case with the arrival of the dual-SIM Storm smartphone from Wileyfox.
Although Windows 10 was available to some to download as early as August last year this is the first unit that I have reviewed that was designed to use Windows 10 and by that I mean it can use all the features that Microsoft had as selling points when they tried to persuade people to upgrade. A natively installed product this is what Windows 10 should be.
The HP EliteBook Folio G1 measures 30.5x20.5x1.5cm the last figure at the back and less than 1cm at the front, it weights 1230grams. The left side has a Kensington Lock Port, HDMI, USB3 and Micro SD ports. The front has nothing not even LEDs. The Right side headphone socket, USB3, SD Card port and finally DC charge socket. The back has nothing as the screen goes down over it to 135 degrees.
It is a long way when travelling between Yorkshire and China. However this is the journey made by the Damson Jet and then some as it have continuing on a journey that brought it to London where I can check out this Bluetooth Wireless Stereo Speaker System.
Designed in Yorkshire and manufactured in China, the Damson Jet is a two-piece speaker system that delivers its audio output through the use of Damson’s pioneering sound-enhancement Incisor Diffusion technology. Along with the pair of Jet speaker units, this kit comes with leads covering power and a daisy-chaining facility which also doubles as the means of connecting a non-Bluetooth aware audio source.
A change in how review loans are authorised is the reason that there has been an interregnum since the last review from me. Hopefully now I can get back to telling you about the latest offerings from this iconic name in cameras and more.
Canon are best known – and rightly so – for their professional and semi-professional DSLR units. They also do two small pocket camera brands the IXUS and the Power Shot. IXUS unit are always small and sometimes tiny, the size of the Power Shot units vary from as small as the IXUS to almost as large as a small DSLR. This unit, the G9X, is on the small end.
Monster is a name worth considering with headphones, here is for me anyway a first a Wi-Fi set called Freedom, most people will have heard of Cristiano Ronaldo the very rich footballer even if they know nothing about the sport.
If you were in a position to buy a Rolls Royce or Bentley I doubt you would ask about reliability. So in the same way an indorsement by a top player who is certainly in a position to buy the best should give you encouragement here. While these are Wi-Fi headphones they also have the ability to play ‘wired’ so that gives the option where Bluetooth is not available such as with older audio units. A 1.35metre 3.5 to 3.5mm rubber coated lead provided.
While better known for its range of motherboards, Gigabyte does have some other strings to its bow. The company also manufactures desktop systems, tablets and the subject of this next review, a gaming laptop. This is the Gigabyte P55 product.
Decked out in black with occasional orange highlights, the Gigabyte P55’s top cover features a silver Gigabyte logo. However it also has the habit of displaying fingers marks from time to time. Fortunately these can be removed with a brief sessions of rubbing. The solid build of this laptop, along with its dimensions of 380 x 269 x 34mm (W x D x H) and weight of 2.
This is watch, a fitness device and it tracks your footsteps. More importantly if you wear it while in bed it tells you how well/or not you are sleeping. So what if anything makes this a better device than numerous other such offerings?
The Huawei Talkband B2 measures 4.5x2x.5cm and can be attached to anything or it comes with a wrist strap which is certainly the way I reviewed it. In this way it weighs just 30grams. My unit was black and had a matt black rubber strap. The device clicks into the strap housing. It can fit a wrist between 16.5-22cm my wrist was in the middle of that band in the fifth of ten holes. You need to download an App from either the iOS or Android store.
While I have never felt comfortable using a track pad, much preferring a traditional mouse, I took up the challenge of checking out a new type of mouse pointing device.
As somebody who often has to endure pain caused by a reoccurring back problem, I am always on the look out for products that claim to reduce issues relating to Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI) and how best to avoid the problem. A recently example of such a product, rather than the painful back problem, is the arrival of a mouse from Penclic, a company I had not heard of before.
A wicked Queen and a search for eternal beauty are the central planks for a Living Legends Hidden Object Adventure game.
With the tagline of “Eternal Beauty has a price”, Living Legends: Frozen Beauty is a Hidden Object Adventure game. This title is available in Collector’s Edition format from Avanquest GSP catalogue. In order to qualify as a Collector’s Edition format offering the game has to come with a number of bonus items. In the case of Frozen Beauty, you have immediate access to the Wallpapers, Screen Savers, Music and Concept Art sections plus a Strategy Guide.
A sub £100 flat panel is not unusual, a near £100 flat panel from a company like AOC is. This offering has cut a few of the bells and whistles but nothing has been cut that matters and with everyone now worrying about Blue Light this gives reassurance.
The screen of the G2260VWQ6 measures 50.5x30.5x1.7cm the last figure is at the edge. The viewable screen is 48x27cm which gives the diagonal imperial measurement of just over 21½ inches. The stand is circular at 18cm and with the connecting arm raises the unit by 7.5cm from your desk. There is no side to side movement but the unit is light so turning is not a problem, there is some forward tilt and a good amount of back tilt.
It was just over twelve months ago that Epson turned its approach to the printer inkjet market on its head. This change was brought about by the companys EcoTank technology.
For those not familiar with Eco Tank, this technology uses bottles rather than cartridges to store the ink used by the printer. Whereas a standard cartridge will hold approximately 3 or 5ml of ink with a price point of £5.99 for the 3ml of colour ink or £7.19 for 5ml of black ink, an EcoTank bottle has a capacity of 70ml of ink priced at £7.99 for both black and the various colours.
This latest Dyson vacuum is both an upright and a handheld cleaner in one. It can perform this seemingly impossible task by having the motor and collection container at the top of the arm remote from the cleaning shoe(s).
The Dyson Wand V6 Absolute measures 112cm from the top to the base of the shoe, the larger of the two provided is 24cm wide. AS stated it can be used with or without the single 65cm connection attached. This means as an ‘upright’ no bending and the smaller shoe sizes mean it can get into far tighter spaces that would either not be accessible or would require moving things around. For very tight places it can be used with other supplied accessories as a handheld device.
This is described as a headset but while it does have a microphone it is of the sort attached to a lead and while it is probably fine for phone calls etc. but I found them less than perfect for say speech recognition use, however the headphone part was fine.
For something to be described as a headset means to me equally able to listen as to hear and for me its listening ability to what you say is not great. Anything coming out of the ‘ear’ part was good be it speech or music no complaints. Each arm has 3cm of expansion to accommodate even the largest head. For me no arm extension and the headset was exactly vertical at the sides for a comfortable fit this being 19cm from outside of one pad to the other pad.
As Windows 10 is, in effect, a new operating system all users are on a steep learning curve. "Windows 10: the missing manual" from O'Reilly will be of major assistance to new PC users as well as to those who have upgraded from a previous version.
This 670 page tome by David Pogue is well structured and contains a vast amount of information that will be of value for both new and experienced users. It is well written in an almost chatty fashion so that the reader will not find it daunting. That having been said it is not bedtime reading. After all, in the main, it will be used as an aid to problem solving – either when getting something working or when dealing with a problem that has just arisen.
It is time to clear the floor and make room for battle to commence as you take on both artificial Intelligent and human opponents in various contests.
R.E.V. is not a mistyped reference to the condition known as Rapid Eye Movement or a 1980’s American Rock Band. It does stand for Robotic Enhanced Vehicle. This is a remote controlled, battery driven vehicle developed by the well respected toy manufacturer WowWee. The company has released a battle pack which consists of two R.E.V. units. One unit is coloured black while the other is white so that they are easily distinguishable when competing against each other.
Once a home has several computers the file or files you need will always be on another PC. Of course you can transfer most by USB stick or assuming they are connected by a Network by Wi-Fi or Ethernet, surely there is a better way.
Yes there is a NAS drive and before you stop reading saying they are complicated they need not be. Here is such an example from Buffalo, the Link Station 520. Another thing people are concerned about – size – this one is tiny for a two drive unit. The Buffalo Link Station 520 measures 20.5x8.5x13.5cm and weights 1.77kilos. Both sides and the top are blank. The front has a door to allow insertion or removal of drives.
Arriving from our friends at Sandberg is another product designed for working with smartphones and digital cameras.
While out and about I regularly see laptops, eBook readers, smartphones, cameras and the like being put to good use by others. However I have never seen anybody using one particular product. Yes I have seen images, usually in promotional documentation, of this type of product being used but I have never seen the act in actual operation in real life.
Are you ready for a special promotion? If so then accept the challenge of becoming the Royal Detective in this next offering.
Developed by Elephant Games and available for purchase from various web sites, Royal Detective: The Lord of Statues is a Hidden Object Adventure Game. My review is based on the Platinum version of the game which is just another way of stating that it is a Collection Edition with a number of bonus items. Many of the bonus items supplied with this game are available immediately.
This is of course larger than an A4 unit but not by as much as you may think. It has tanks five that are filled by bottles of ink that reduces the cost per page. You can see the actual ink levels of each colour by looking at the side of the machine.
The Epson EcoTank ET-14000 measures 70cm wide, 36cm deep when the paper output tray is closed and 45cm deep when it is open and 32cm tall. It weights is 12.2kilos. The ink bottles fill the tanks on the right side of the unit in theory this is mess free but while the tipping of the ink into the tank is easy enough removing the foil on the top of the bottle can be tricky so as this is stated to be a once in two year task for ‘average’ use.