This is very like the Roku Stick, somewhat like Chromecast, but as it is far cheaper than either it would be better, however it also has a lot more features and has another huge plus it is from Amazon so how can it be anything but a big hit.
Of course Amazon are not a benevolent organization and once you have the fireTV Stick the front screen will offer you the chance to download lots of videos and even some ‘Amazon Only’ series, a lot of which are free if you take out a Prime Video subscription, they even offer you a free month to check it out. The stick is 8.5cm long with the last centimetre being the HDMI connection so will not be visible when connected. It is 2.5cm wide and 1cm thick.
Rather than a range of print facilities, this next product concentrates its functionality on the production of labels.
The Leitz Icon is a label printer that certainly did not get off to the best of starts when I began to review the product. Unpacking the kit revealed the printer unit, decked out in white and dark grey, a two-piece power lead and adapter, a micro-to-standard USB lead, label cartridge, a Quick Start Guide plus a Warranty and Disposal document. The printer unit was of a rather unusual shape.
Sold as a Clinical D Image panel it is capable of 2560x1440 display. The clinical bit of the last sentence means the display needs to be ultra-sharp and clear as when a surgeon is looking at say an X-Ray image he/she needs clarity.
This 27 inch Philips LCD monitor measures 63.5x39.5cm and it is 2cm thick at the edges. This is a 27ince panel. The near round support base is 30cm across, the arm coming from it can raise the panel between 1 and 16cm from whatever you stand it on. These figures assume you use it in portrait mode but it rotates easily to be used in landscape. Connections at the rear are from left to right audio input, HDMI1, HDMI2, Digital and Display Port at the other side of the support arm DC input.
A Bluetooth speaker with good battery life excellent sound and it can not only get wet like in the bathroom but get involved with you while for instance riding a bike or perhaps even more extreme tasks beyond my current imagination.
The FUGOO Sport Bluetooth Active measures 18x5.5x7cm; the 5.5cm is at the bass and its only 4cm wide at the top. Mine was black with turquoise blue rubber trim but I know there are different jackets available. Let’s first mention the accessories that come in the box. Mains charger that goes to a USB lead also in the same turquoise colour, next a 3.5mm extension lead yes you have guessed it in turquoise blue and finally a fabric slip case.
While not the same as eyes in the back of your head, this next product can provide feedback as to what is happening in your home when you are out and about.
As the leader in the area of connected health solutions, Withings has developed its Home product. Behind its rather straightforward and plain name, the Home product combines a high quality security camera featuring built-in noise and movement detection features with air quality sensors that can alert users to possible air pollution issues. There is also an option to save up to 30 days of continuous recordings in the Cloud for later viewing.
This is quite a small and lightweight offering from Pentax. However this does not mean that the images its takes are anything but excellent in both JPG and RAW. The only unusual thing to me is that both the body and lens are white.
The Pentax K-S1 Digital SLR camera measures 11x9x15cm and weighs 771grams without the neck strap. The right side has a rubber bung behind which are HDMI and USB outlets, there is also a neck strap anchor point. The left side has the anchor point pair. The face is whatever lens you attach I was sent an 18-55mm offering As well as AF/MF twist control. The top has the manual rise built in flash with button on the left at the very top is an external flash shoe and below this the viewfinder.
A visit to a riverside iconic London event centre introduced me to a stylish activity tracker that doubles as a hands-free earpiece.
Wearable products, especially those that cover aspects of healthy living, continue to be a popular item for many. The latest such device to attach itself to my wrist is the TalkBand B2 from Huawei. As you might suppose from the “B2” reference, this product is the follow-up and replacement for Huawei’s initial foray into this particular market sector.
The saga of Weird Park began with the game of Broken Time before moving on to the second episode entitled Scary Tales. Now the curtain is about to fall with the third and final chapter of this Hidden Object Adventure series. This game is appropriately entitled Weird Park: The Final Show. As it is entirely self-contained, missing out on the first two chapters should not impinge on your enjoyment of this title.
This is the latest in a range of health and fitness items. It has one distinct difference in that it looks like a standard smart analogue watch. It is quite thin, is worn on the wrist, and, to anyone else looks exactly like a wrist watch.
The strap is 25cm long and rubber although the face of it looks like leather. The watch dial is 4.5cm across and the watch is .8cm thick and only .5cm thick at the edges. It has no winder and it does not require charging it has a large clock type battery in the rear and this is stated to keep it running for ‘eight months plus’.
The Vax PowerPlus Steam VPW2S is a versatile cleaning tool for around the garden and patio. Use the pressure washer to blast away all dirt and grime from outdoor surfaces and then hygienically steam clean critical areas.
Combining a 2kW pressure washer with a steam cleaner into a single unit is a time saving solution. Assemble the pressure hose and lance, connect it up to water and electricity and then the pressure washer is ready for immediate use.
The Mini Wi-Fi Home Hotspot 500 Kit, now theres a name to get your tongue around, is a product that comes with the claim of allowing the user to get the best Wi-Fi any where in your home.
Developed by BT, the Mini Wi-Fi Home Hotspot 500 product makes use of Powerline technology to provide its network functionality. For the benefit of those not familiar with this technology I should explain that Powerline uses the home’s power lines (hence its name) as the conduit for sending data between locations and devices.
While ink jet printers are still dominant in the colour market lasers can now offer much more and with less of a premium, printing speeds are better and perhaps most important the quality of the printed output is now excellent.
It is 42x42x32cm, if using the flatbed you will probably need another 12cm to the last figure the height to insert a book or magazine. The mains lead enters back right and Ethernet/Fax or USB back left, once attached there is no reason to leave more than ventilation clearance behind as all the controls are on the front. The on/off button is on the front at the top right, just above this on the top edge is NFC and everything else is either controlled from the PC or from the 6x4.
These quality wireless headphones from Sennheiser can take input from RCA jacks or Optical. The latter means that if your TV has optical out those of us with less than 20:20 hearing can now hear that murmured dialogue so favoured in US movies.
They can be as much as 23cm across at the base of the earpads and the same from the base of the earpads to the top of the headband. Each arm has 4.5cm of contraction from this point and the earpads will sit happily at half the mentioned spread. The pads are well padded in a velvet like material and the headband has two leather pads usful for those of us who have no hair. The headphones can be worn either way and there is some side to side movement for those who favour the behind the head style.
Manufacturers are now adding different features to their battery-charging products. A recent example of this trend is seen with t new Braven offering.
In the past I have checked out a number of Power Bank devices that offer a range of battery charging capabilities for mobile devices. These battery chargers have come with various power storage levels plus features that include the ability to charge two devices simultaneously and provide waterproof protection to combat inclement weather. There was even a Power Bank recently that featured an LCD window showing the current battery power level available.
Having recently looked at two DSLR units from Canon it is now time to try something smaller and lighter but the technology is still rife in this latest offering in the Canon PowerShot range, so what wonders does the G7X offer.
The Canon PowerShot G7X measures 10.5x6x3.8cm and weights 300grams, add 4cm to the last figure when the lens is fully zoomed. The right side has a flip door behind which are AV and HDMI connectors, below this is a flush button that will search for a Wi-Fi access point and behind the flip door is a strap anchor point. The left side also has an anchor point as well as the built in flash flip up button.
It is good bye and hello to a software application that has formed a regular part of my computer system for a number of years now.
Completing the saga of the Nightmares from the Deep series is the final chapter entitled Davy Jones. Available in Collectors Edition format, this Hidden Object Adventure game can be purchased from Avanquests GSP game catalogue.
As usual with Collector’s Edition offerings, Nightmares from the Deep: Davy Jones comes with a number of bonus items including the story of Stolen Treasure which becomes available once the main game has been completed. All the other bonus items of a Strategy Guide, wallpaper, concept art, music, Hidden Object scenes and, rather surprisingly, cut-scenes, can all be accessed immediately from the main title screen.
This arrived shortly after the Mio Fuse, for something that uses the same App it works in quite a different way often to achieve the same goals. However its obvious differences are unlikely to matter to the user just getting the results.
A black rubberised band that has some stretch at 26cm long with a solid watch type device at 4.5x4cm in the centre. It has a bright yellow surround to the watch area that is controlled by two press areas on either side and the initial setup although straightforward will take a while as with one area to change setting such as year time and weight etc. has only the other button to increase the setting such as 3 to 4 etc. and if you require 2 you have to go up to 0 then 1 to find 2.
Adding extra power to your Wi-Fi signal can help remove dead spots and widen your networks sphere of influence. One such product comes from BT.
Wi-Fi continues to make serious inroads into the home environment. According to the latest research, carried out by ABI Research (February 2015), more than 90 million Wi-Fi devices were sold in the UK during last year alone. This was a 17% increase over the previous year as users set out to create a situation enabling the streaming of data between computers, tablets, smartphones and other entertainment devices no matter where they are situated around the home.
A small candle type bulb running on batteries is the first and a standard screw fitting bulb the second. Both can be controlled manually or from a SmartPhone App. The candle can be extinguished by blowing on it or lighted in the same way.
Yes it’s not a misprint once the batteries are inserted the unit can be turned or by simple blowing across the top of it. Now I have seen such a candle light before that can be turned by blowing on it but never one that can be turned on in that way. There is a small on/off slider that stops this happening unintentionally.
First an interesting device from Motorola that is a plug with just a single USB socket on the base. Then an item supplied to me for those who have Lightning and forget their cable, then another device different make same purpose.
While this is stated to be for recent phones I have tested it with and range of phones and Tablets. This can deliver up to 1.6amps from a standard looking 13amp plug back, it seems to check what charging rate your device can take. While faster charging is likely to only avail itself to more recent phones I tested it on a range of phones and tablets. If you tend to charge from a standard USB port you may only get .5amp and indeed my own Tablet takes a good part of a day when charged in that way.
There used to be a popular saying, in fact it could still be in use but I have not heard it recently, which implies the older you get, the younger policemen appear! I could also add from my own experiences that the older you get, the steeper hills appear or the older you get, the longer it takes you to remove a product from its packaging. This last statement sprang to mind as I struggled to extract the Withings Activité Pop offering from its protective casing. Admittedly I was trying to avoid destroying the box holding the product but the task took well over 15 minutes before I was able to hold this activity tracker device in my hands. Some damage was caused to the packaging as a result of my efforts.
The Activité Pop takes the form of an analogue wristwatch. The watch has a certain retro look to it with its round face and plastic strap. Instead of numbers the watch face is divided into sections, each covering a five minute period. Anybody who has a wrist thicker than mine might well struggle a little to attach this watch to their wrist due to the length of the strap.
Yes its big, you could display a lot of spreadsheet or several web pages on its possible 3440x1440 display. You could use it in either portrait or landscape mode as it swivels easily on its stand, you could even treat yourself to cinema videos without large borders top and bottom.
This AOC 34inch Panel measures 82.5x37x2cm; its stand is rectangular 30x22cm and raises the panel between 6 and 27cm in landscape mode. This is certainly the largest - in screen size – panel that I have reviewed but even with its fairly weighty base it weights a fraction of what my first 17inch monitor weighed, that you always had a space to put it down before you picked it up, this unit is still quite easy to move around.
When a Brother product arrives for review, usually its main function is that of a printer whether of the monochrome or colour variety. However printers are not the only type of device that is associated with Brother. The company also manufactures scanners either as a standalone unit or combines with a printer to make a multifunction device. In the former category is the Brother ADS-2100e which has been developed for use in a medium sized office environment. This scanner requires a USB connection to the computer system.
Predominately black in colour, the ADS-2100e is a wedged-shape unit. In its closed state it has dimensions of 299 x 220 x 179mm (W x D x H) and weighs 3.3kg. Raising the top cover of the unit increases the scanner’s height measurement to 305mm and reveals the paper feeding mechanism and the basic control options available with the AD-2100e.
It is time to put your detection skills to good use once again as you visit an island-based hospital where everything is not as it might seem.
As the second instalment in the 9 Clues series, The Ward takes you on a journey to investigate a psychiatric hospital. In this Hidden Object Adventure game, now part of Avanquest’s GSP game catalogue, you take on the role of a female detective who is accompanied by a partner who is appropriately named Owen Duffer. I say “appropriately” as you are required to do most of the work while Duffer just stands around looking important until called upon for the rough stuff.
If you pay more than £100 for a set of earbuds then to me they must be special. So does the fact these are made from Carbon Fibre and Machined Brass mean they are automatically worth the money I was unsure so I used them for several weeks.
When I think of brass I assume something will weigh a lot, the total weight of these earbuds is 18grams. They are 1.23metres from the gold plated ‘L’ shaped connection to the silicon earbuds. The last 33cm are two leads the rest of the lead is one. The left lead has the tie-shirt-or whatever crocodile clip and above this the normal phone answer and music track control.
Bluetooth speakers continue to be a popular item. The latest such device to reach me includes speakerphone and battery charging functionality.
Adding to its range of wireless speakers, Braven has developed its 805 model. As is becoming increasingly popular with such devices, the Braven 805 can act as a Bluetooth speaker, speakerphone and a power bank for changing a variety of mobile devices when a mains power source in not immediately available.
This is not Samsungs latest and greatest high end model but it is being sold by AO at a very competitive price so much so that they class it as a best seller, so what exactly do you get for your money and is it a good value purchase.
The screen is 90x52.5x3.5cm, the stand is rectangular at 50x19cm and this raises the screen by 6cm from whatever you place it on. The viewable diagonal screen measurement is 40inches.
A set of headphones designed for kids of an age when the parents/guardians still decide what they listen with so the headphones are volume limited as the early years of a childs life is the time when their hearing can be most easily damaged.
They are however still wearable by an adult and I spent many hours listening to their output, which is perfectly adequate to listen to either a mobile phone or even an MP3 player, I even tested them with my audio system and the sound was clear and crisp. Now onto the claim of ‘volume limited’ well the packaging states 85DB which to me anyway is more than loud enough.
A recent visit to a trade show introduced me to a company developing products for the kitchen that were controlled by remote.
It was time to sit back and enjoy a cuppa with probably a biscuit or two. Now where did I put my smartphone? At this point in time I should stop indulging in flights of fancy and explain that I am not going to call up some home delivery service with an order for refreshments but show further evidence that the Internet of Things is taking over different aspects of modern day living. Let me tell you about the iKettle which is a kettle with its own built in Wi-Fi functionality.