When I first came across the Spellarium 2 title for a possible review, I thought it was a game based on words and correct spelling. But, not for the first time, I was wrong
While this can be used as a notebook the keyboard is not fixed and the screen would need propping so this Latitude device is really a Tablet with a keyboard attached so probably best described as a Tablet/Notebook to be accurate.
The Dell Latitude 5285 measures 29x21.5x1.3cm and it weighs 1251grams. It has an 82 keyboard with the alpha keys being full size. There is a hinge behind the keyboard that can have the screen upright and no space between the function keys and the screen or the other way and over 1cm gap between the two. Around 1.3cm is the gap between the edges and almost 8cm clear in front of the keyboard with the 10x5.5cm trackpad mounted 8.5cm from the left and 10.5cm from the right side.
Offering a wide range of viewing features is a monitor from BenQ aimed at designers.
Delivering more than one billion colours, the BenQ PD2700Q product is a 27-inch monitor for use on either a Windows or Mac computer. This monitor is aimed specifically at the creative and designer fraternity as they take advantage of the product’s range of viewing angles and display modes. My review is based on using the monitor running a Windows 7 computer.
The latest in a range of small pocket recorders not just for voice but also with the quality to handle music with the special crossed microphones that Olympus brought in a few years ago. It comes able to use either Ni-Cad or Alkaline battery.
The Olympus LS-P4 Audio Recorder measures 11x3.7x1.4cm and weighs 72 grams. The face has a 2.7x2.2cm black on grey display. Below this three bar buttons and then two round buttons Stop and Record. Next is the ubiquitous five position joystick control and finally near the bottom of the front two further well marked buttons. The reason I have only mentioned Record and Stop by name is simply they are all you need to know about to make recordings. The right side has two 3.
A few years when I wrote a Shareware column, graphics editor products were a popular subject. This next title is a late addition to this genre.
I suppose the event I am about to relate could well qualify as an example of Sod’s Law. When examining four different titles from the same company I was not expecting the fourth offering to prove the most stressful when it came to the task of installing it. But that is what happened with Smart Photo Editor from Anthropics Technology. To clear up one point from the start, all four titles were installed and checked out on the same computer.
I asked to look at this - solely on price - as most camera carrying Drones are not cheap – I am thinking three figures – but this offering is less than £20. In fact only just over a year ago similar items were well into the middle hundreds.
I looked at one very small drone last year that was suitable for children, yes suitable for children as it had blades that were fully protected and was very easy to hover. This unit is larger and will either need parental supervision or children of an older age as it needs to have more ability to fly it – yes even I could fly it – and the blades although plastic could do damage. It is circular and a maximum of 32cm across and up to 5cm tall with its camera attached.
Entering somebody else’s dreams can be a nightmare as your character discovers in this next game.
Classified as a Hidden Object game, Dream Walker takes you into an environment where you need to battle the evil Sandman. Shaman, the developers of this game, has adopted a similar approach to that which formed the Catch the Witch title reviewed earlier on this site. The storyline may be different but the greater part of the game revolves around Hidden Object scenes, jigsaw puzzles and reforming pictures cut into strips as you travel through various levels.
Do you suffer from poor Wi-Fi coverage then Zyxel may have a solution for you. This Tri-Band Router allows you to increase the area covered over that offered by the majority of other similar devices simply by not sticking to one waveband.
Unlike most this is an easy setup and everything required – even a good length Ethernet lead is supplied, just plug the Multy X into your modem insert the power supply and download the App – yes App – and then once the App is linked to the Multy X you get a white light on the Multy X and you just plug in whatever you want to and it works. It is even possible to get Amazon Alexa to control Internet time for children using Multy X.
Manufacturers tend to use the word “Lite” as a means of launching a second version of a product that has reduced features. But what does this mean in the case of the Honor 9 Lite.
Launched approximately six months after the well-received Huawei Honor 9, the Lite version of the product shares some of the Honor 9 feature set. However there are some differences including those of chipset used, size increase and weight reduction plus a reduction in the price along with different cosmetic colour schemes.
Braven do a range of speakers that do not object to getting wet, in fact they can even be waterproof. However the most important feature should not be that but the sound quality and here it is rather good from such a small enclosure.
This wireless speaker from Braven measures 18x9x8cm and gives a sound that makes you think you are listening to a CD through good speakers rather than MP3 being streamed from a SmartPhone, and this was with the default settings out of the box. It weighs 810grams. The Ready Pro is number two – smallest to largest - in a range of four outdoor speakers from Braven. It has a 2600mAh battery which lasts for around 14 hours at a good volume level enough to fill the average room with sound.
Body sculpture is the designated aim of the next product from Anthropics Technology as your digital images try to match your wishful aspirations with regards to appearance.
Watching an expect demonstrator can persuade a lot of people to buy things. I saw one sharpening with this product all kinds of knifes with edges - even serrated examples – then for effect - I am sure - an old axe was produced and this too was sharpened and then a soft tomato was sliced up thinly with it, everyone was suitable hooked.
What I have yet to do is carry out some of the other things he demonstrated on other garden tools perhaps the most strange a builders cement trowel that he also then proceeded to cut a ripe tomato into wafer thin slices. Why a ripe tomato well try it yourself I suggest you do not wear anything like a decent shirt or dress as tomato stains are not easy to remove.
The Filofax EniTAB360 Tablet Holder is a folding prop stand that has been designed to be attached to the rear surface of a tablet larger than 8.5 inches to enable it to be set at a convenient reading angle.
The components of the stand are moulded from an attractively coloured grey plastic material. The prop’s leg, which is 80 x 170mm in size, has a soft plastic non-skid piece incorporated into its lower edge in order to prevent it sliding around the desk. It is linked to the other, slightly smaller, portion of the stand by a friction hinge.
Visit a strange world in the Clouds as you try to rescue a kidnapped brother.
The Artifex Mundi title, Eventide 3: Legacy of Legends belongs to the popular Hidden Object Adventure genre. This title takes the intrepid gamer above the clouds to a world inhabited by mysterious creatures gathered from Slavic myths as you set about reviewing the ancient covenant between humans and the Clouders. As usual with such games, you can create profiles for individual players and adjust the game’s environment.
Most people think of Acer for their comprehensive Aspire range which varies hugely from entry level to really powerful business machines, they also have the Predator range of gaming systems and as I recently found another range call Nitro, here I am looking at the Nitro 5.
The Acer Nitro 5measures is 39x26x2.5cm and weights 2.454kilos. This is of course a powerful machine likely to be used by gamers. This means that battery life may not be that great, the best I got streaming video was around four hours. I see the figure quoted is ‘up to 8.5 hours’. So going around the outside has a Kensington Lock port, an Ethernet port, USB ‘C’, HDMI, USB3 and SD Card socket. The front is clear apart from the speakers that are under the cut away corners.
Whenever the subject matter of Anthropics Technology arises, my thoughts immediately turn to graphics software for editing specific types of digital images. In this case the designated target is that of landscapes.
This is a large panel with high resolution that should – for most – be just plug and play, it certainly was for me, my Desktop system normally has a 21inch panel running at 1920x1080, this unit was plugged in and the HDMI lead connected and I was looking at a screen showing 4k resolution that’s 3840x2160 and while icons were smaller all I had done was plugged in and switched on.
Yes it was a Windows 10 system completely up to date and the Auto display was at 150% but everything worked correctly. For some reason some of my desktop items moved to unusual places on the screen but once put back and ‘refreshed’ they stayed in position, a couple of older programs – note programs not Apps – failed to scale up but nothing that made them unusable. It is 74x44x2.5cm; the viewable screen is 70x39.
A mouse is a mousse is a mouse but then not all mice are the same. In this case the mouse belongs to the Handshake family developed by Bakker Elkhuizen.
Based in the Netherlands, Bakker Elkhuizen is a company that specialises in the development of high-end and ergonomic hard and software solutions designed to help users adopt a more positive proper working condition for their general environment. As a result the Handshake Mouse has been designed to help compensate for issues such as unnatural posture practices which can bring about the development of wrist and lower arm problems that can occur through Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI).
Having recently told you about CUE also a fun coding solution for older children here I regress slightly to tell you about an offering for children from six years upwards. This one is called DOT, again a Robot for the child to control.
Remembering how easy CUE was to extract from the box left me somewhat frustrated that the same system was not used here and sadly although I took time to remove DOT without ripping the cardboard apart I doubt I will ever get it back in place. DOT is 11cm across, 7.5cm from back to front and 9cm tall, it is a basic ball shape with extensions either side and on the base.
The latest range of USB3 small external drives from Toshiba sees the Canvio Advance (highest specified of three) cross my desk to be given the real world test over a matter of weeks, using transfer by USB2, USB3 and this time also USB ‘C’ for good measure.
As I was testing this with Windows PC’s and I had used similar products all I did was unbox the drive and connect the supplied USB3 cable. Unlike earlier USB drives this takes the small amount of power required from the USB port so it is true ‘plug and play’. While this is stated to be 2TB and by the 1000 calculation method it is but Windows used the 1024 calculation so it only shows as 1.81TB this is normal.
Grandma, so they say, knows best, so will you take her advice and enter the Fantastic Worlds.
Developed by Grandma Studios, Reflections of Life: Dark Architect is a Hidden Object Adventure game. It takes you on a trip to the Fantastic Worlds. You will arrive as these worlds are under attack from an evil force and are cast in the role of Queen Clio who is also one on the Guardians of this enchanted environment. I have been looking at the Platinum version of the title which contains a number of bonus items classified as Extras.
There are a number of music streaming Apps out there and while most will perhaps settle on one, I get the chance to try several for an extended period. I first looked at Deezer four years ago and things have progressed since then.
Maybe your face might not launch a thousand ships, as the face of Helen of Troy is claimed to have done, but this next software might help when using your digital image prior to setting sail.
It does seem somewhat incongruous that Anthropics Technology, a company best known for its face enhancement software, should be based in a location known as Ugli Campus in West London but maybe it is a case of opposites attract. The company has recently released the latest version 17 of its PortraitPro offering which is available in Standard, Studio and Studio Max editions. I have been looking at the top-of-the-range PortraitPro Studio Max version.
Motorola used to send regular phones to be reviewed and then they became part of Lenovo who have a different reviews team, so it’s been a while since one has crossed my desk and this only because it is one of a range promoted by Vodafone.
The Motorola Moto Z2 Play measures 15.5x7.5x.6cm and weighs 168grams. It has a matt black back with a grippy pattern. It is an all metal body with the sides being gun metal grey the screen is shiny black but does not show finger marks that much. The viewable screen is 13x6.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial screen measurement of 5.5inches with over 400pixels per inch. At the base of the front is the finger print sensor surely a better place for it than on the rear of the phone.
Now forming part of the MAGIX family of products, since 2016, VEGAS Movie Studio has recently been released in its version 15 format.
The version 15 of VEGAS Movie Studio is available in three different flavours priced accordingly. This review is based on the standard classic basic offering priced at £39.99. Enhanced, with more advanced features, are the versions of VEGAS Movie Studio Platinum costing £59.99 and VEGAS Movie Studio Suite with a list price of £99.99.
A tiny device that arrived in a small plastic sleeve and this still in a not large clear plastic envelope with the lettering USB ‘C’. It is designed to fit in any device that has a USB ‘C’ port like the majority of recent mobiles or some recent lightweight Notebook/Tablets, that are lacking the thing that most people still require a full size USB port.
It is 2cm long, 1cm wide and .1cm thick, it weights well under 1gram, yes 1gram and only just 2grams in its protective plastic holder which has a hook on one end and it clips into it. All you need to do is remove it from its holder and fit it into any USB ‘C’ port and then attach any standard USB drive and it is read by the phone or Notebook/Tablet that it is connected to.
If you have a phone of Tablet that you no longer use you could couple it with this App from Manything to let you know what is happening when you are not there, it allows your phone or tablet camera to keep you updated on who eat the last sandwich, left the milk out of the fridge or even wrecked the lounge was it Brutus or just maybe it was innocent little Simon.
Some will say this is spying, others will say if it’s your home then it’s your rules but you need to make that choice yourself. Manything offer a range of offerings with the basic one of ‘Liveview’ being FREE. Place your old mobile in the position most likely to confirm your suspicions and assuming it’s your home then you are probably entitled to see what is happening when you are away.
Fortunately the downfall of snow that struck recently had cleared by the time I took a look at Winter Wonders.
Winter Wonders is a Hidden Object game. Let me repeat that Winter Wonders is a Hidden Object game. Just in case the message has not impinged itself on your consciousness, Winter Wonders is a hidden Object game no matter which of the various modes of game play found in this title. Developed by Tamajaki, Winter Wonders allows you to create named profiles to record the progress of individual players as they tackle the different types of game play on offer.
Currently there are a range of four products that has their own ‘V’ by Vodafone SIM that keeps you connected to your Pet, Car, Bag or the device here I have been looking at a Arlo Go camera that sends information to your phone of any movements detected wherever you have placed the Arlo Go camera.
With its background in hard drives, WD has come up with a personal Cloud solution.
Where do you store the ever-increasing amount of personal data? With the options available, such as local drives, network facilities, flash devices and Cloud services, the choice and spread of the data is wide and varied. You could opt for a single location or prefer to mix and match as circumstances decree.