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The only link these two items have is that they both came from a ‘Christmas In July’ event organised by Lakeland. While they are best known for Catalogues, they also have shops and of course a Website to help you choose.
Scales designed for the young cook, easy to use and small, mine was a orange colour and of course they are easy to clean. The only control is the pop out display and this is also the on/off switch. It runs on two ‘AAA’ batteries (not supplied), these fit into a bay in the base, beside this is a slider switch to determine if the scales show in grams or ounces. The pop out measure is 6x3cm and its display is 3.5x2cm. It has a single line showing the number of grams on the scale.
While the tool of choice for many professionals working with digital images is Adobe Photoshop, the pricing of this product puts it out of the reach of mere mortals. Fortunately Adobe, being aware of the financial restraints many of us have to work under and still wishing to draw more customers into its family, has developed a more economic but less powerful offering. This is Photoshop Elements which is now up to version 12 and is available in either Windows or Mac flavours.
Continuing the approach adopted with the pervious version of this product, Photoshop Elements 12 opens with a flash screen that gives you the option of accessing modules entitled Organizer and Photo Editor.  This flash screen also provides the user will a number of video tutorials regarding some of the different features of this latest version of the software.  Apart from having to put up with an American accent, this is a nice feature and worth checking out.

Aldi 16GB Digital Camera

This Maginon Digital Camera goes on sale in Aldi stores on Sunday, as with almost all of these offers when it’s gone there are no more. This is an ideal Xmas present and rather than having to then purchase an SD card and case both are supplied in the box.
Firstly it looks expensive – it isn’t – second it takes good images – even at lower resolutions – and third as the SD card and case are supplied its ready to go – even a wrist strap is provided – lastly the price is an amazingly low one for such a good camera. My suggestion is get down to your Aldi today as tomorrow they may all be gone. It is 10.5x6.5x3.5cm the last figure is the width which can increase by another 4.5cm when fully zoomed in.
726481 acronis true image 201

Acronis True Image 2014

It is your responsibility to make sure your data is kept safe. A scheduled back-up process can help in this respect.
Many years ago, when hard disk capacities were much smaller and software tended to arrive on 5.25 or 3.5-inch floppy disks, I would regularly spend an afternoon feeding this type of media into a drive as I backed up my computer system.  Those days are now happily just a distant memory as the backup process has advanced to the stage where you merely need to schedule a job and then forget about it as the software takes the strain.
It is time to grab your virtual passport as you travel to four different locations and test your puzzle solving skills.
731825 kobo aura

Koba Aura Book Reader

This is the smaller SD version of the Kobo HD that was launched earlier this year. Can this smaller device match what it offered, or does it launch offer even more as it has at least one feature that I have not noticed in other readers.
Size is always important and my first thought was is it big enough. It is 15x11.5x1cm and weights 174grams. However the readable screen is 9x12cm with twenty lines of text in the default font size which is only just big enough for my old eyes but once you get into it then its fine. It certainly fits easily into the palm of your hand. This has the best of both worlds being e-ink and having a backlight the latter will automatically turn off after 15 minutes.
The Samsung S27C750P is a 27-inch LED Monitor that forms part of the company’s Series 7 family of products. This particular model is of the type that can be viewed in either landscape or portrait orientation depending upon your needs.
Unpacking the Samsung S27C750P revealed two separate units consists of a rectangular metallic silver base stand and the display unit with a permanently attached support pole.  Both units are reassuringly weighty giving a solid appearance to the product.  Connecting the display to the stand base is straightforward as you slot the two items together and tighten a single screw.
727700 Canon PIXMA MG5450 All In One Colour Printe

Canon Pixma MG5450

A three in one printer, that means it prints, scans and copies. The black colour may mean it is hidden from ‘they who must be obeyed’ when in the lounge but it can be connected by Wi-Fi and in fact can do extra things when in Wi-Fi rather than USB mode.
It is 43x36x16cm when closed; you will need a few centimetres more than the last figure to place items on the flatbed. It has two internal paper trays so while neither are huge this means paper can sit ready to be used within the size given.
Powerline communications provides a convenient way of using the mains wiring to extend the range of one’s home Ethernet network. In addition to doing this, the Linksys PLWK400 Powerline AV Wireless Network Extender Kit also provides a wireless connection which is particularly useful if one has a Wi-Fi only tablet.
The kit consists of two adapters and Ethernet cables together with a set-up disc. In addition to both adapters, each having an Ethernet port, one also supports wireless data at up to 200Mbps. Physically, the wireless adapter is roughly 7.5 x 11.5 x 4cm deep while the non-wireless one is about 1cm shorter. They are black in colour and, by the way, when they are plugged into a wall mounted power socket all the annotations are “upside-down”.
727702 Edifier M1380 2.1 Multimedia Audio Speaker Syste

Edifer M1380

Recently I have reviewed, Wireless speakers, Bluetooth speakers, Wired and Wireless speakers, now a 2.1 speaker set that is totally wired, even the control (I nearly said remote control) is wired so if you like everything wired….
While Wireless and Bluetooth have their place, if your PC or audio system is static a wired solution is often best and cheaper while it can still give excellent sound quality. The speakers are 12x10x14.5cm at the front, they are near triangular in shape and only 10cm tall and 4cm wide at the back. Each speaker is hardwired to the sub-woofer by a lead of just over two metres in length. The sub woofer is 27x16x9cm and has two connectors on the back, inputs from the left and right speakers.
received an email recently which reminded me that there was a task that required my immediate attention. This email informed me that my Norton 360 subscription had expired and I was no longer protected. This wake up call was just the impetus I needed to make sure the next product under review would be the latest version of Norton 360 which provides antivirus and Internet protection for up to three devices.
727701 AOC E1649FWU 16 USB Powered Portable LED Monito

AOC e1659 USB Panel

A somewhat unusual flat panel that requires just one connection, USB, no other power is required and it will configure itself as a second display. This is an ideal accompaniment to any Desktop or Notebook where a second display is required.
It is the same size as mid range notebook screen, overall it is 37x23cm, it is 1.5cm thick when the flip out stand is closed. It weighs just 1200grams. The actual screen display is 34.5x19.5 which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 15.5inches. The ‘V’ shaped support arm can be moved out in various amounts dependant on the amount of backwards tilt you require.
Freesat HD is a subscription free service giving access to a range of television and radio channels with some addition features. To gain access to this service you do require to have an installed satellite dish and a set-top box such as the Humax HB-1000S which is the subject of this review.
The Humax HB-1000S box is rather nondescript in appearance.  Compact in size with dimensions of 200 x 155 x 30 mm (W x D x H), the metal box is well perforated with punch holes on the top and slots along the sides and base of the unit.  An on/off button and infra-red sensor are accompanied by logos for Humax and Freesat HD on the front panel.  Four small feet on the base of the unit raise it above the surface to aid w the free flow of cooling air.
This next title mixes match-3 game play action with a storyline based on royal princes looking to take over their father’s kingdom.
As it title indicates, Experiment 2 is the follow up to Experiment.  Unfortunately I seemed to have missed out on the first offering but I have been informed that with this latest game you again need to come to the aid of Sophie and Adam as they attempt to thwart a plan being hatched that could cause the four kingdoms of Ice, Air, Earth and Fire to plunge into darkness.
Scales to weight things and scales to weight yourself. Both are rather special, kitchen scales normally have a ‘glass ceiling’ at 5kilos, these can easily weight twice that. Second a set of scales that also analyse you to give more information.
Two simple pieces, a scale that can measure 10kilos and a wide stainless steel bowl to fit on the scale, you can even use it without the bowl to weight difficult items of strange shapes. First the bowl 7.5cm across at the base and 25cm across at the top, it is strong and with no corners easy to clean as well. The scale is 21x16x6cm maximum. Apart from the display angled at 45degrees at the front the rest is only 3cm tall. Again no edges so it wipes clean with ease.
725814 edifier bric connec

Edifier Bric Connect

Although our various mobile devices can play music, they often need help to produce quality audio. This next product offers to help.
I have always looked forward to the arrival of a new speaker system from Edifier as the company’s design department generally comes up with a shape that is a little out of the ordinary and brings a smile to my face (not a pleasant sight but one that I am stuck with as I do not fancy plastic surgery).  However on this occasion, with the arrival of the Edifier Bric Connect, my first glance at this new product was tinged with a little disappointment.
Two small cameras with subtle differences to give you security when in and when away from your home, you can view content on a PC or Mac or on a mobile device, you can even have movement alerts sent in an email to you.
Certainly the box is a cube and once the contents have been removed it needs a puzzle expert to replace them all again. Of course unless there was a fault this would not be a process you are likely to carry out. The camera is 6.5x6.5x4cm with power lead inserted. You can run it either wired or wireless; however for the initial setup it has to wired. Unusually these days you need a CD-Rom to install the files from a mini CD. This process is very quick and then you need to finish the setup online.
727697 TRENDnet AC1200 TEW 805UB Dual Band Wireless USB Adapto

USB Wireless Dongle by Trendnet

Like so many things you have not got, you manage, often until you have it you do not realise what sort of problems you were overcoming. Here I am referring to the Wi-FI ability of a device, where Ethernet just is too difficult.
I found two uses for this USB stick Wi-Fi device immediately. First I have a Tower PC that does not have Wi-Fi it works but to be honest you do not move a Tower PC too often and it sits only a few feet from my router so not an immediate requirement. Second the notebook I upgraded to Windows 8, even when this was Windows 7 the Wi-Fi never worked correctly/at all.
The title “Gel Shiatsu 2 in 1 Back and Shoulder Massager with Technogel” is certainly a mouthful. It is also not one that you would expect to come across every day or act as the title of a product being reviewed on Yet, unlikely as it may seem, this over-long title belongs to the next product on my review schedule.
As the title indicates, this product makes use of Shiatsu practices to help massager specific areas of your body.  If you are not too familiar with Shiatsu I should explain that in Japanese the word means "finger pressure".  Shiatsu is a type of alternative medicine that consists of finger and palm pressure, stretches, and other massaging techniques.
727316 Libratone Speaker Standard Lounge Airplay Versio

Libratone Lounge

If you really want to improve the sound quality of your Apple device you need external sound, here is perhaps the widest single speaker unit I have looked at. From the same people that the recently reviewed Libratone Zipp came from, but bigger, much bigger.
This Libratone Lounge measures 101x10.5x24cm. While there is a wall mounting kit provided I would check the wall strength before fitting it as it weights 12kilos. I used it on the floor and in front of my TV on the TV unit. This is designed as an ‘i’ device unit but can work with the humble PC it can also work as a soundbar with your TV using the provided proprietary Digital Optical cable.
As one of the leading suppliers of HomeBase network technology, Devolo has been taking a look at how best to include Wi-Fi into a HomeBase network
Now I do not want you to panic or get in a state but, according to those “inventive” people at Devolo, computers could well be suffering from a particular ailment which some believe has reached epidemic proportions in the UK.  This ailment is not, as you might suppose, be as a result of one of the numerous viruses or various anti-social activities that are currently being unleashed on the general community.
You can not keep an n Emperor down for long especially when his name is Montezuma. As a result Alawar has announced the release of the latest episode of one of the company’s most popular franchises with the arrival of The Treasures of Montezuma 4. This time, however, the Emperor takes a back seat as the game is more to do with his beloved Anakaona.
This latest take on the Match 3 genre opens as Montezuma and Anakaona pledge their undying love for each other.  However the celebrations are quickly cut short by the appearance of the conquistadors led by Cortez.  The Aztec Gods come to the aid of the royal couple by opening a portal to another world so that they can escape from the clutches of the invaders.  Unfortunately Anakaona is shot before she can enter the portal and escape.
A European Phone and Tablet company that had a brief foray in the UK a few years ago, now they are back backed by the biggest name in chips in their phones Intel. So what has the Multiphone PAP5430 got to offer users?
The first thing is a very good price point of around 50% of a similar phone by others in the same area. The Prestigio MultiPhone PAP5430 measures 12.5x6.3x.5cm and weights 133grams. First a minus point, currently it only comes with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) but an upgrade is promised this year. Now for some good stuff, it is sold unlocked so you can use any SIM in it. It has an 8MP camera which takes rather good images and videos. The viewable screen is 9.5x5.5cm.
Brother continues to develop its range of multifunction devices. This latest model is aimed more at the office rather than home users.
The Brother MFC-J470DW multifunction device follows the normal convention of mounting an A4 flatbed scanner on top of an inkjet printer.  Along with the usual functions of Scan, Print and Copy, the device adds Fax, Duplex, ADF (Automatic Document Feeder) and Wi-Fi capability into the mix.  Matte black in colour, this multifunction unit adopts a basic box shape with dimensions of 410 x 180 x 374 mm (W x H x D).
After my recent tests with a soundbar from Sandstrom, I am looking at another unit from another manufacturer, this time Samsung and this unit comes with a Wireless sub woofer to beef the bass up even more than the single unit.
While I often think if you need to read the manual the product is more complicated than required. As sometimes happens with test units this did not have a manual and to be honest I was not finding my way round it that well. However I was sent a link to a PDF version and that changed my outlook. While this is a soundbar it is far more and its correct name is ‘Crystal Surround Air Track’ Active Speaker System.
721681 Motorola Blink1 WiFi Remote Access Digital Video Baby Monito

Motorola Baby Monitor

For anyone with a baby or other dependant person something like this will make a hard life easier. Starting with the setup. This will work on your home Wi-Fi network or over the Internet the latter ideal for keeping an eye on the baby sitter.
Place the camera where you want to use it, within the two metre length of its power cable, it can even be hung on a wall, follow two simple instructions and then download the appropriate free App either from the Android or ‘i’ store. Set it up to work with your Wi-Fi and then wait a couple of minutes, the camera is recognised and you are in business. In total around seven minutes including the download.
720927 zaggs universal portable keyboar

Zagg's Universal Portable Keyboard

No matter how skilled one is when using a virtual keyboard on a touch screen, a proper keyboard is far better when working with text. ZAGGkeys Universal Bluetooth keyboard has been designed to work with various sizes of tablets and smartphones irrespective of whether they are iOS, Windows or Android devices. It is small and light and will make a very useful accessory for those who need to do a reasonable amount of typing on their tablet or smartphone.
The keyboard itself is grey in colour with white inscriptions on black keys. It is sized 245 x 135 x 22mm and weighs 300g complete with its slide-on (black) protective cover which, when removed, doubles as a stand for one’s tablet or smartphone. It has a curved cross-section which provides the rake necessary for comfortable typing.
It is time to join up with a band of pirates. I am, of course, referring to the type of pirates who sailed the seven seas in the vicinity of the Caribbean in years gone by as they preyed on merchant vessels and, according to Jack Sparrow, lived by the Pirate Code. This particular band of pirates, led by their charismatic leader, Captain Salty, inhabits the TAG Publishing title of Caribbean Jewel available from GSP.
Available as a download rather than a boxed product, Caribbean Jewel gives you a comic book style of storyline with well drawn scenes and printed text.  Returning from his latest round of plundering and pillaging, all carried out in the background so as not to offend the less bloodthirsty game players, Captain Salty discovers that his wife, Pepper is missing and there is no supper waiting for him.
Moving files to and from a portable Apple device has always been a faff, now there is a halfway device you copy them to, and then, transfer by drag and drop to the PC and by downloading an App, from the iFlash Drive to your ‘i’ device.
The PhotoFast iFlash Drive HD measures 4.7x2.5x1cm and its total weight is 8grams. These devices are available in different capacities – the one sent to me was 8GB – one end is a USB plug the other end is the standard Apple 30pin plug. For those with the very recent new connector size there is an adapter available. Transferring files from the PC is as easy as drag and drop just like to any USB stick.
723403 Kobo Aura HD eReader

A New Kobo Aura : Kobo Aura

Back in April of this year, Kobo raised the bar on screen quality with the release of its Kobo Aura HD product. This model featured a 6.8-inch WXGA+ Pearl E Ink touch screen with a resolution of 1440 x 1080. Now Kobo has produced another model in the Aura family but this time without the HD capability. This latest product is being pitched against the new Kindle Paperwhite offering
Available in a choice of black or pink, with my review unit being of the former hue, the Kobo Aura is certainly significantly smaller than its HD sibling.  In fact, with its dimensions of 150 x 114 x 8.1 mm, it could almost fit within the screen area of the HD model.  Befitting its size and weighing just 174g, the Kobo Aura fits comfortably into the hand, helped to a degree by the slightly ridged back of the unit.
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