GadgetSpeak Articles

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It is time to travel around Egypt as you search for objects concealed in various locations.
Thinking back, and it did require some delving into my memory bank of past-playing gaming, my first encounter with Hidden Object titles was the Amazing Adventures series developed by SpinTop Gaming and released on the PopCap label.  This series of titles took you to different locations where you needed to find hidden objects and play a number of puzzle type games. I was reminded of the series when I came across a boxed copy of Amazing Adventures: The Lost Tomb.
Step back to Victorian London as you investigate and foil an attempt to take over the world.
Stepping back just over a century in time, e-Funsoft has based its latest Match-3 offering in London as it was during the reign of Queen Victoria.  The game in question is Gaslamp Cases - The Deadly Machine.  Following the usual pattern of recent 3-Funsoft Match-3 titles, this game consists of a series of chapters made up of a number of grids, conversational interludes between two static characters and various sets of upgrades that need to be completed in order to progress.
891625 melitta epour electronic pour over filter coffe

epour from Melitta

This is filter coffee machine, simple in design but works well with easy to use controls. Perhaps best of all very it is easy to clean so if your tipple is filter coffee then this offering from Melitta should certainly be on your short list.
The 'epour' from Melitta has a total footprint of 32x37x16cm. Cold water is placed into the rear of the machine at the top by removing the lid, this can store up to 1litre of water. It comes with a 70cm long hard wired mains lead. There are just three buttons on the area below the coffee pot at the front, Pre-Brew, Brew and Control. The front of the machine at the top has the area that you place a filter in and then add coffee to your taste.
As restrictions are eased and life begins to revert to a more normal existence, here is some news from Huawei.
891619 Airpop Light SE Reusable Face Mas

Face Masks by AirPop

When I wrote a piece about face masks a year ago they were still a talking point and one that few - if any - of us thought would still be a feature of day to day life a year later. Now when we leave home it is a thing we check along with wallet and keys as while in an open area they are not currently compulsory they are on public transport and shops.
The vast majority of masks that I see are what are deemed as single use pale blue with white elastic to go round your ears. Some more fashion conscious people – mainly ladies – make their own and they are very inventive and sometimes very colourful but do they fulfill the requirement? I see more of the Perspex shield that start at the forehead and come down to the mouth, again I wonder if they stop germs coming from the wearer.
Starting at a new school can be difficult, especially one run by an evil witch.
Now available on the budget BlackLime label, Gothic Fiction: Dark Saga is classified as an Hidden Object Adventure title.  Developed by ERS Game Studio, you are cast in the role of a young mother who will do anything to rescue her daughter from the clutches of an evil witch. Allowing different people to play the game and have their progress recorded, the game supports the creation of profiles.
This is a very powerful and also rather expensive offering but when you get a boot at six seconds and shutdown at two seconds this immediately tells you it will not be ‘cheap’ so what exactly does this latest offering from Porsche and marketed by Acer offer.
Porsche AP714-51GT laptop measures 32x19.5x1.5cm the last measurement is at the rear because at the front it is only 1cm thick. The viewable screen is 30.5x17.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of very close to 14 inches, the display is full HD 1920x1080 and the default is to show this at 150%. Going around the outside has connections on the left for power in, HDMI out, USB3 and USB ‘C’. The front is clear while the right side has a 3.
A previous client asks you for help to solve a mystery. Are you up to the task?
Developed by Iki Games, the 10th Corpse is a Match-3 offering.  In this game you are cast in the role of a private detective.  You have been hired by Madame Vinterfragen, a renowned philanthropist, who you have worked for before.  This time you have been asked to investigate various mysterious incidents that have been occurring recently in her family mansion. Profiles can be created to allow different people to play the game at their own speed and have their progress recorded.
891605 Samsung Galaxy A5

Samsung Galaxy A52

This is the latest Samsung offering to cross my desk, my unit has a matt sky blue back, a shiny slightly darker blue sides and a very shiny front. There are a vertical line of three cameras top left of the back and a forth camera and LED flash beside these.
The Samsung Galaxy A52 measures 15.6x7.3x.8cm and it weighs 189grams. The viewable screen is 15x6.7cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of close to 6½ inches. The display is 2400x1080 which is called FHD+. Going around the outside the right side has the volume rocker and below this the on/off button. The base has microphone, 3.5mm socket for headphones, speaker and USB ‘C’ socket.
Are you ready to join the Top Secret Finders to discover what went wrong with an experiment in an isolated town?
Top Secret Finders, or TSF for short, is a Hidden Object Adventure game from the BlackLime series of titles.  The game is based around a secret experiment involving the specially created town of Melton.  Classified and given the code name of VNV-33, this experiment was designed to create and test the first ever Time Collider.  A small group of scientists were integrated into the normal residents and the town was closed off from the outside world apart from radio communication.
891652 Xiaomi Poco M3 Smartphon

A New POCO Handset

POCO has added to its range of smartphones with the release of its M3 Pro 5G model. The POCO M3 Pro 5G offering comes with MediaTek Dimensity 700 processor. This handset is available in a choice of POCO Yellow, Power Blue or Cool Blue to show off its ergonomic 3D curved back design and glossy finish in the best light.
With this model POCO has gone with a triple camera array for its main photographic features.  This POCO arrangement consists of a 48MP main camera supplemented with a 2MP macro camera and a 2MP depth sensor.  Among the features available with this triple camera arrangement are Night mode, Time-lapse video and Timed burst plus dual-LED dual-tone flash, HDR, panorama and video capture at [email protected]  Selfie fans have not been forgotten.
891588 AOC GH200 Over Ear Gaming Headse

AOC Headphones GH200

As far as I know this is a new venture for AOC who normally only produce flat panels although most of these have inbuilt speakers. So what might this reasonably priced set of headphones have to offer to both home and office users?
They are the over ear variety and they also have a microphone arm attached to the left earbud and it has enough adjustment for those who like to position it under the chin or on front of your mouth. Fully expanded they are 21cm from the base of the earpiece to the inside of the well-padded headband. There is up to 4cm of expansion on each side so even a child might be able to use them but they have full size earpieces which are round at 9.
This game's title says it all. Witch Hunter: Stolen Beauty concerns a witch who uses her power to steal the beauty and youth of others. This then is the story of a young woman, named Angelica, who sets out to defeat a witch known as Madame Flemet.
Forming part of the BlackLime series of Hidden Object games, this offering opens with you cast in the role of Angelica as your grandmother relates the tale of how she ran away from a finishing school that was run by Madame Flemet.  The mere mention of Madame Flemet's name was enough to bring forth the presence of the witch, who then attacked your grandmother, and stole your youth and beauty.
Can you help our virtual hero as he survives his time at a special university?
Gamers of a certain age, and even older, might well recall the excitement and thrill of playing the Quest for Glory series of adventure RPGs titles.  Now, some twenty years later, is the opportunity to return to this environment created by Corey and Lori Cole and relive their previous obtained glories with a sequel offering.  This opportunity is brought about with the release of the husband and wife team of Corey and Lori Cole's latest production entitled Hero-U Rogue to Redemption.
891529 instax mini 40 instant camer

Fujifilm Instax mini 40

If you take images while out and about and like to get instant photographs from what you shoot then something like this offering from Fujifilm could well be the answer. I recently reviewed an offering from Polaroid that turns out to be not so instant so this more compact offering from Fujifilm has the word Instax in the title so let’s see.
The Fujifilm Instax mini 40 measures 12x10x6cm when the lens is closed the last figure increases by 2.5cm when the unit is on. It weighs 399 grams. The images it takes are 6x4.5cm. The Polaroid ones are 10.7x8.7, Polaroid films are eight to a pack while the Fujifilm ones have ten images in a pack. I was disappointed with the images that the recent Polaroid unit gave. They were not that sharp and took a long time to be fully developed.
Tracking down the guilty party is the task set you in this murder based game.
The Art of Murder series features a number of titles based on the solving of various murder crimes.  I have been looking at one of the earlier members of this series entitled The Secret Files.  Developed by City Interactive, Art of Murder - The Secret Files places you in the  role of Nicole Bonnet, an FBI investigator, assigned to help the DEA bring down an evil Mexican drug cartel who are also involved in the acts of murder and kidnapping to achieve their ends.
891582 SwitchBot Curtain

Its Curtain Time : SwitchBot Curtains

Do you fancy waking up in the morning with sunlight streaming through your bedroom window as your curtains open automatically?
Over the past few years many homes have undergone a make-over.  I should point out that I am not referring to decorative make-overs, however expensive or inexpensive they may be, but those of a technology kind which turn our places of residence into a smart home through the addition of a device or several devices.  You may have one or even a number of these devices controlling different aspects of your home.
891496 Limited Edition Solar Digital Blu

Fossil LE Solar Watch

This latest offering from Fossil is a Solar Watch. Unless you live permanently in a darkened cave thinking about winding it up should never enter your mind. It was produced for Earth Day which for those who do not know was the 22nd of April. It is stated that eight hours of sunlight should power it for up to six weeks of continuous use and it can retain charge for three months.
The face is 4.2cm across and 5cm from top to bottom from strap lug to strap lug and 1.2cm thick, it weighs 48grams. Mine had a black face with white hands and a blue fabric recycled material strap with Velcro fixings. On the face from 8 to 4 there is a slash to show each hour, the area below this has a cut out area to show the various things like day and date among other choices. There are four buttons on the sides at 2, 4, 8, 10 and if you look closely at the face they are explained.

Online Selling

If you no longer wear it then you could put technology to work and sell it.
891461 Acer Swift 5 SF514 54T 14 inch Lapto

Acer Swift 5

This latest version of the Swift 5 is small and powerful and while it is intended for use when out and about, as it has a full size HDMI port there is no reason while it should not be used at home or even in the office if it is the latter then make good use of the Kensington Lock socket or someone else will be using it.
The Acer Swift 5 measures 31x21x1.5cm the last measurement is at the back of the side as it is only 1cm at the front edge. It weighs only a tad over a kilo at 1041 grams. It is gun metal grey in colour apart from the hinge at the back and the Acer logo on top which are both copper in colour. The screen goes back to 135 degrees and the viewable screen dimensions are 30.5x17.3 which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of close to 14 inches.
With a variety of helpful features, can you solve the mystery of statues that take on a life of their own.
Royal Detective - Lord of Statues is classified as an Hidden Object game.  Developed by Elephant Games, this offering is now available as part of the BlackLime series of titles.  In this game you adopt the rank of a Royal Detective who has been sent to the town of Martlet to investigate the strange occurrence of statues coming to life and rampaging through the town.
Evil forces can take up residence anywhere and wait for the ideal opportunity to apply or afflict their influence.
Developed by EleFun Games, The Keeper of Antiques: The Last Will is a Hidden Object Adventure game with more than a passing acknowledgement to the American TV series entitled Warehouse 13.  As you might surmise from the game's title and the reference to Warehouse 13, artefacts with magical properties  have a part of play in this game but more of that later.  I have been looking at the Collector's Edition of the game which comes with a number of bonus extras.
891445 Creative Sound Blaster PLAY 4 Hi res External USB C DA

SoundBlaster Play 4

The SoundBlaster Play 4 is a DAC, a plug in device to USB or USB ‘C’ that improves the sound quality of music and indeed of the spoken voice be in from a phone call or any other source. As a plus it can also improve your voice be it a phone call or any other connection with other people. In the simplest of terms a DAC is a Digital (to) Analogue Converter.
The SoundBlaster Play 4 measures 5x1.5x.8cm and has a 3.5mm headphone or earbud connection at one end and the other end has a hard wired 8cm lead ending in a USB ‘C’ plug, an adapter for USB ‘C’ to USB is included in the box, this would add 2.5cm to the length. A lot of Notebooks and most Tablets compromise audio; I have even seen a Tablet without a 3.5mm socket.
Combining the adventures of the students from the Academy of Magic is this next offering from e-FunSoft.

Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G

This is the latest offering from Samsung to cross my desk. While it supports 5G it also works perfectly well for those of us who do not have those faster transfer speeds available on our doorsteps. The phone feels very solid with what looks to me a light violet back, and, on this back, three cameras in a vertical line at the top left corner that look like a set of traffic lights, for some reason this area is in a gold colour which draws your eye to it, so why not smile.
Going around the outside has the volume rocker with the on/off button below this on the right. The base has speaker, USB ‘C’ for charging or data transfer and SIM entry point. The left and the top are both clear of controls. The phone is 15.8x7.4x.7cm apart from the area where the cameras are that is very close to 1cm thick. The viewable screen is 15.5x7cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 6.7inches.
Reminiscing is a popular past-time of many as they look back on previous years to relive how things were back then. I was recently reminded of this with the arrival of a gaming product to review.
This offering, bearing the GSP logo (incidentally GSP sold its gaming catalogue to an American company several years ago), was entitled Adventure Mysteries Triple Pack.  The three games making up this Triple Pack are Little Shop Road Trip, Cruise Clues Caribbean Adventure and Welcome to Mysteries City Las Vegas. Having made their first individual appearance over a decade ago, these three titles each have their own installation routine giving entry into their form of Hidden Object game play.
891472 Emporia ACTIVEglam 4

Emporia TALKactive

This offering is a partnership between Emporia and RNIB. So while it can be used by a sighted person, most of those using it will either have severely limited sight or be registered as blind. While most of us take our phones with us to stay in contact and indeed I know of people who run their lives from their phones, for a blind or partially sighted person being in contact can be much more important than that.
Once the SIM and battery are installed this becomes an easy phone to use. The right corner of the back allows a fingernail to slip under to insert the SIM and then the battery the three contacts on the end of the battery line up with three contacts in the battery bay so it will only fit one way. Fitting the SIM is a little more tricky not least because being Nano it’s very small. This is a Flip Phone small enough to fit easily in the palm of your hand when closed. It is 9.5x5x1.

Upgrade Syndrome

"Worn out" is not a condition often applied to gadgets as we tend to rush and replace them before this state even gets close to occurring.
891521 HONOR Band 6 SmartWatch Fitness Tracke

Honor Band 6-18E

This is a watch although Honor call it a Band. In fact it is far more than a method of telling the time as it tells you your heart rate and a great deal more. In fact it does more than my own watch that is four times the price of this unit.
The  Smart Watch measures 4.5x.2.3x.7cm and weighs 30 grams with the attached strap. The viewable screen is 3.5x2cm. It is stated to last up to two weeks between charges this is of course dependent on the amount of time the display is on and after eleven days I was down to 15% so this seems about right as I was testing all the modes for my review. Like most recent Smartwatches or Bands it works with an App on your Android device.
However much we have, we always seem to want more. AVAST offers a way to extend the output delivered from a battery.
Most mobile devices are generally well-served with a variety of products that are usually referred to as power banks.  These products have been designed to provide a power boost that will help extend the battery life of the appropriate mobile device.  However the use of a power bank is not the only way of extending the battery life of certain offerings.
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