My second laptop, and third as well, were both Acer units and could almost be regarded as desktop replacements. The same could not be said of this next Acer unit.
While its title might give you the impression that this next product could be the top-of-the-range offering, in fact the Acer Swift 1 is the opposite in this particular brand line up in its portfolio with regards to specifications. My review sample is decked out in an obsidian black plastic casing, embossed with a silver Acer logo to add a touch of style to its brushed finish. The device has dimensions of 339.4 x 234.9 x 17.
This is a rather fine phone, not like some that are almost too large to hold, this fits easily in the adult hand. Like other recent phones it arrived courtesy of Vodafone. As I am aware of certain black spot areas south of London these areas always get tried for phone and also 4G coverage as part of my tests on the phone and service offered by Vodafone.
It is 14.5x7x.7cm and weighs 159grams. The viewable screen is 11.4x6.4cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 5.2 inches. The edge to edge display shows 1920x1080 (portrait) resolution. This is the first phone from Vodafone that did not immediately work correctly, I was able to do the basic setup of country, then input by Wi-Fi and put in Gmail settings.
Working from home, I like to listen to music when reviewing products. So I am always keen to review speaker systems.
Adding to Edifier’s extensive range of speaker units is the M1360 product. This audio delivering device is a 2:1 + 1 unit that is made up of a subwoofer, a pair of satellite speakers and a wired controller. All the various hardware elements are decked out in a mixture of matte and lacquered black sections. A small multi-lingual User Manual is included in the box with the product to help with the initial set up procedure.
Unlike Dr Who and the TARDIS, you need a glove to visit various time periods in this next game.
Wave of Time, published by Itera Labs, is a Hidden Object Adventure game. This game, as its title might indicate, is based on the concept of time travel and what might happen if an object from the future was left behind in the past by a participant. That somebody is you in your role of a young woman called Jane who has been having some memory problems of late.
This is a small but very power DSLR kit supplied with an 18-55mm lens. I always enjoy my testing of such items as once past the initial learning curve – when I use the Auto settings – in whatever review time remains I extend myself with the range of manual mode choices.
It is 12.5x10x14.5cm the last figure with the lens at its most compressed position, the total weight is 696grams. It is supplied with a neck strap but the normal substantial grip point on the right side I prefer to use it without it. The left side has an anchor point for the neck strap with a rubber bung covering a charge port, USB port and HDMI out socket. The right side has the pair to the neck strap anchor.
Data, whether personal or business orientated, is valuable and needs to be protected from various types of attack. This next Acronis product offers to help.
This is quite a small unit that can alert you to people coming towards your door as well as those who actually ring its bell. You do not need to walk to the door to see who is calling you get an almost instant video reply via your Wi-Fi to your phone or Windows 10 PC.
A bold statement is made in the package that ‘everything that is required is supplied’, almost everything is, the missing things are the drill, bredell and pencil, another item that could help the single person obtain the correct location is a couple of double sided tape pads. With any holes be they in wood or masonry check twice before you mark the spot and then again before you drill.
While most of us have at least one mobile phone, only a small proportion of us have a case for it. There are a huge variety of options from a wallet style that also covers the screen to those that just cover the back and sides of your phone.
Very few units come with a case and often the reason muted by the manufacturers is the same as that used by printer manufacturers for not providing a USB lead, it gives our resellers the chance for an extra sale. Here I am looking at two offerings from Tech 21 who seem to have the highest standard in case design and testing which is far higher than ‘Military Standard’ first Evo GO for the Samsung Galaxy S8 which is stated to be droppable from 3 metres.
Taking you on a trip through Old London, this next title adds a range of features to the familiar Match-3 game play.
Developed by Kool Haus Games, Antique Shop – Lost Gems London is the follow up offering to the similar entitled Antique Shop – Lost Gems Egypt. Fortunately no knowledge of the earlier title is required to play this latest offering which is based on a cursed historic London City built around this Match–3 offering as you find clues and solve mysteries on your archaeological journey.
While I have reviewed several nice small Penclic keyboards including the most recent the KB3 that only failed to get a ‘Highly Commended’ because of the price. Here I will be looking at the Mini Keyboard C2 and a first for me an external Trackpad the NiceTouch T2.
This is a 79 key keyboard, however the other minor keys are there but for some you need to press keys in tandem. However in return for this occasional inconvenience you get a smaller keyboard on your desk, this is only 28.5cm long and 15.5cm deep and at the front is only .5cm thick. At the back it is between 2.5 and 3.5cm dependant on if you use the tilt control lifts or not. This is a USB keyboard and the 1.
While not the name that immediately springs to mind, Moshi has a range of products that include speakers, travel bags and headphones with the latter being the subject of this next review.
When search for the word “Avanti” using your favourite browser’s search engine, you will receive numerous hits covering a range of topics. But it is unlikely, if my experience is anything to go by, that the subject of this next review will appear in the first few pages.
Put your skills as a thief to good use as you attempt to thwart a secret cult intent on taking control.
Released as a combined effort from Playrix Games and Shaman Games is the Hidden Object Adventure game entitled Fall of the New Age. I have been looking at the Collector’s Edition of the game which features a number of bonus items to which you gain access once the main game has been completed. These bonus items include Concept Art, Wallpaper, Screensaver, Art, Music and Video.
My machine that I write with and collect my emails as well as numerous housekeeping tasks has been getting slower and slower, so I finally decided to bite the bullet and reinstall Windows 7 which I know would be a long job not least as my CD-ROM was not even Service Pack One.
Adding to its range of WorkForce Pro business multifunction products, Epson has released its WF-4720DWF model.
The WorkForce Pro WF-4720DWF device combines print, scan, copy and fax capabilities along with a built ADF (Automatic Document Feed) and automatic Duplex printing. This multifunction unit can be integrated into a computer system via a choice of WiFi, Ethernet or USB connectivity. With rounded corners, this black box-shaped unit has dimensions of 425 x 378 x 249mm, which is the same as those of the WF-3270DWF reviewed earlier, and weighs 9.1kg.
While cases for phones are an important extra – they should in my opinion be supplied with the phone – I suspect the reason they are not is the same as that I was given many years ago for not supplying a USB lead with a printer the reseller wants the opportunity for an extra sale.
Here I am looking cases for the new Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ all marketed under the Survivor brand and all designed to meet or exceed the military standard for dropping onto concrete. Firstly three cases for the Samsung Galaxy S8 two come in yellow boxes and one in a blue box now the colour difference is not cosmetic; yellow boxes – whatever the type of case – will withstand a drop from 4 feet or 1.2 metres, while blue will withstand a drop from 7 feet or 2.1 metres.
Socks for me perform two purposes, to keep your feet warm and to absorb sweat. The pair I was sent also does another task and they can become a talking point as well as the two things I mentioned above they are – I think – a design statement.
I call these ankle socks – not the things that are really only shoe size - but that the ones that go around 12cm up the leg. The socks are quite soft to wear even after several washes mine were green in colour with a yellow toe and top area and then their selling point a face in black white and yellow along the top of the foot. Sadly as I do not tend to wear sandals so one normally gets to see it when I am wearing them. These are sold as ‘unisex’ and to fit me large.
As part of its range of IXO power tools, Bosch has released its 3.6V Lithium-ion cordless screwdriver product.
This Bosch kit consists of the screwdriver unit, a selection of ten bits, charging cable with attached 3-pin power plug at one end and a micro USB connection at the other plus a multi-lingual User Guide. You can also download a PDF version of the User Guide but this offers little advantage with regards to additional information.
This is one of the few companies still willing to sell a boxed product rather than a download; however you can download it if you are without a drive. Whatever you want to do with video – and more – then this latest version from Cyberlink can handle it.
They modestly call themselves the ‘World’s Number One Movie and Media Player’ and certainly their ability to get media from wherever makes this likely. There are three different versions Standard, Pro and Ultra, I was sent the latter which contains a bonus offering of PhotoDirector 8 DeLuxe. For those into Virtual Reality this version has support for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, there is also far more support for those who use 360 degree video playback.
Usually it is Huawei that supplies my review samples of its handsets, but this time Vodafone provided the model.
Huawei could not be accused of settling back and resting on its laurels. The company has produced a regular stream of handsets under its main brand name of Huawei and Honor. To these brands can be added various Lite offerings such as the Huawei P10 Lite handset which is the subject matter of this next review. I have to thank Vodafone who kindly supplied my review sample.
Eden’s Quest: The Hunt for Akua is a treasure hunt dressed up as a puzzle game with just a smidgen of adventure game play to add some extra sparkle.
Eden’s Quest: The Hunt is set on an island that is divided into zones that need to be completed in the appropriate order. In this game you are cast in the role of Eden Hunt who has recently received a Woman of the Year award for her discovery of a 2300 year old Egyptian tomb. On her return from this mission, Eden discovers that she has been invited to take part in a challenge to join a treasure hunt to find Akua and win the prize of $10,000,000.
This is the latest offering from Canon in their Print, Scan and Copy range often called an All In One. Around 360MB of hard disc space will get all three modules working with a PC, however these days these items work with other devices as well.
The unit is small at only 35x30x15cm those figures are when it is closed up. This unit can be setup to work via Wi-Fi or USB; the former might be favoured by those whose other half say’s black does not match the colour scheme in the lounge. It can fit on a wide shelf and you just need a little space above to insert or remove things from the flatbed scanner, equally it can live in a cupboard or behind a sofa. Both the mains input and USB lead – if used – fit back left.
When workspace is at a premium, this next product could prove to be useful as a space saver
Like many users, I have my own particular favourites when it comes to accessories. Take, for example (but not literally because I would be lost without it), the keyboard I use for typing reviews. It is rather old, and has been cleaned more times than I care to remember, but it has an affinity with my two-finger style of typing.
I was sent a ‘Fitness Pack’ which comprises a bathroom scale which seems to be called ‘Webcoach Prime’ and a wrist strap called ‘Activ It’ band, like all such bands it can tell the time, how far you have walked and other information.
First the bathroom scale which can detect a lot more information apart from your weight. It runs on 3x‘AAA’ batteries which are not supplied. Firstly you have to download the Terraillon App from either the Android or iOS store. Like all such Apps you need to give it personal information like age, weight and height, these figures help it tell you – what you may already know – that you are possibly overweight or maybe even obese.
To dust off my ironing board twice in a year is unusual and certain things like trousers and my non drip dry shirts think it’s their birthday as they get sharp creases – that’s the trousers – and no visible creases – that’s the shirts and for good measure other items see an iron for the first time in a while.
As with so many recent items your first task is to absorb the images that form the first twelve pages of the instruction booklet and then the eight pages of close typed text. This is a steam iron designed to work with ordinary water and like the few irons that pass through my grasp it comes with a stand meaning that you no longer need an ironing board as the stand remains cool so it can sit on a table.
Developed by BLAM! Games, Dangerous Game: Illusionist belongs to the Hidden Object Adventure genre. This game is available in Standard and Collector’s Edition versions. My review is based on the latter version which has a number of bonus items.
Dangerous Game: Illusionist’s title screen gives you the option to create profiles for those planning to play the game in your household. A profile can contain a player’s individual progress plus the volume levels for sound effects, music and voice dialogue. You can also decide whether to play in full screen mode with or without a custom cursor which changes shape to indicate when different actions are possible. Four levels of difficulty are available.
This is not a unique device but it is the first I have seen from a quality headphone manufacturer. It allows any corded headphones you may have to become wireless headphones which gives you the ability to move far further away than any normal cord will allow.
Unless you are prepared to spend an arm and a leg – make that two legs – TV’s do not normally have good sound as that requires larger speakers which would of course spoil the line of the TV. If you have perfect hearing then the mumbling in most modern films will not bother you however the majority of us have some form of impairment often meaning that the higher register of sound becomes unclear.
It has been a while since I last took a look at an Acer device. This drought was ended with the arrival of the Acer Spin 5.
Stepping back in time, you can visit 19th century Eastern Europe as you attempt to defeat the plans of an evil being called Mephisto.
While classified as a Hidden Object game, Exorcist does have its fair share of Adventure and Puzzle elements. Developed by Intenium and Deep Shadow, this game casts you in the role of Garret Ghostfighter who lives up to his name by taking on the task of tackling and defeating ghosts in 19 century Eastern Europe. In the case of this game, Garret’s main adversary is called Mephisto who appears to control several ghosts and has some hold over out hero.
Having told you about a Panasonic ToughPad now onto the really ‘tough boy’ of the group the ToughBook. This is built to withstand environments that you really should not expect a computer to function in, it has even been launched outside a weather balloon and still worked when it came back to earth.
The Panasonic ToughBook CF-20 measures 27x23x3.5cm and weighs 1750grams. The viewable screen is 21.6x13.6cm 2which gives the notional diagonal imperial display of 10.1inches which means you can use the Mobile versions of Word/Excel/Power Point for free. However the screen resolution is higher than the PC norm of 1920x1080 you have 1920x1200 which is WUXGA.
Adding to its range of ink cartridge multifunction devices, Epson has developed its WF-3720DWF model.
As its title might indicate, the Epson WorkForce Pro has been designed for use in a small busy office environment rather than a more subdued home location. I have been looking at the WF-3720DWF model which combines print, scan, copy and fax facilities within a single unit. Also included with its four-in-one functionality are features such as WiFi/Ethernet/USB connectivity, ADF (Automatic Document Feed), a Duplex facility plus remote printing.