Due to Apple in the UK being, shall we say, frugal with items they send out for review the whole Apple brand gets little coverage. Recently the same external source supplied me with an iPad to review and now the latest iPhone, the S6.
The Apple iPone 6s measures 12.5x6.5.6cm and weights 142grams. The edges are rounded so the viewable screen is 10.5x5.5cm the screen is 1334x760 pixels, this is called a 4.7inch display. A total of 24 icons are viewable in portrait mode, twenty above the line and four fixed items phone, browser, mail and music below the line. For those coming from Android the main thing to adjust to is that below the screen is just a single button. Going round the unit, the right side has the on/off button.
While the scanning element of a multifunction device works fine for many tasks. Sometimes you need the greater functionality provided by s standalone product.
Generally when flatbed scanners come my way, they form part of a multifunction device operating in partnership with an inkjet or laser printer. But there are still some standalone A4 flatbed scanners for those who prefer separate units. One such product is the HP ScanJet 2500F1 model that is currently taking up space on my work top. Before concentrating on this flatbed scanner I would like to comment on the packaging in which the unit arrived.
Rather than a faraway place or fairy tale land, this next game is based closer to home as you explore the mind of a disturbed young woman.
Developed by Elephant Games, and available from various websites, Surface: The Noise She Couldn’t Make is a Hidden Object Adventure game that involves the exploration of a mind. Both Standard and Platinum versions of the game are available. This review is based on the Platinum versions which includes a number of bonus items that are either available immediately from the title screen or when the main game has been completed.
Anyone who wants a very easy to use camera that takes extremely good images and can also take video from a unit which can slip into even the smallest pocket, should be looking at the Canon IXUS range and this tiny offering is no exception.
The Canon IXUS 275 compact digital camera measures 10x5.5x2cm, the last figure can increase by another 3.5cm when the lens is fully extended. The camera weights a tiny 144grams. The left side is clear, the right side also looks the same apart from the anchor point for the supplied wrist strap until you look closely when you see it is a cover behind which there are mini HDMI and AV sockets.
Hour glass or vase shaped are adequate descriptions of the speakers making up this next product.
The Edifier M3200 is a 2:1 speaker system for providing the audio output from a computer or other audio input device such as an MP3 player or multimedia system. Those familiar with the Edifier approach to the design concept of its products will not be surprised to hear that shape does have a part to play with this kit especially with regards to the satellite speakers. As the “2:1” designation implies, the M3200 kit consists of a subwoofer and two satellite speakers.
I was sent this from France and to be honest my French is non-existent so I needed to wait for a translation before I could start seeing exactly what it could do to achieve what we all want to save some money from household bills.
Both items in their own way hold things, the first could be a camera or phone and then you could wrap it round something. The second holds data and allows you to transfer it either to anything with a lightning connector on one end and a standard USB on the other.
I certainly remember reviewing other Joby items in the past with their ability to twist round any object to hold your camera securely via the standard screw. On this it works slightly differently the camera screw is still there but now it has a frame attached so that your SmartPhone can be held securely on the fence, lamppost or railing while you take your shots. In a way it becomes a long distance Selfie Stick.
Adding to its range of computer desktop accessories, Penclic has released its K2 keyboard model.
The K2 product from Penclic is a mini keyboard that has been designed to help alleviate any problems that might occur through Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) and is compatible with either Windows or Mac systems. This mini keyboard communicates with a host computer via a nano receiver inserted in an available USB port. Included in the box with the keyboard are the nano receiver, extendible micro-to-standard USB lead, two rechargeable AA batteries and a small User Guide.
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.