It is time to clear the floor and make room for battle to commence as you take on both artificial Intelligent and human opponents in various contests.
R.E.V. is not a mistyped reference to the condition known as Rapid Eye Movement or a 1980’s American Rock Band. It does stand for Robotic Enhanced Vehicle. This is a remote controlled, battery driven vehicle developed by the well respected toy manufacturer WowWee. The company has released a battle pack which consists of two R.E.V. units. One unit is coloured black while the other is white so that they are easily distinguishable when competing against each other.
Once a home has several computers the file or files you need will always be on another PC. Of course you can transfer most by USB stick or assuming they are connected by a Network by Wi-Fi or Ethernet, surely there is a better way.
Yes there is a NAS drive and before you stop reading saying they are complicated they need not be. Here is such an example from Buffalo, the Link Station 520. Another thing people are concerned about – size – this one is tiny for a two drive unit. The Buffalo Link Station 520 measures 20.5x8.5x13.5cm and weights 1.77kilos. Both sides and the top are blank. The front has a door to allow insertion or removal of drives.
Arriving from our friends at Sandberg is another product designed for working with smartphones and digital cameras.
While out and about I regularly see laptops, eBook readers, smartphones, cameras and the like being put to good use by others. However I have never seen anybody using one particular product. Yes I have seen images, usually in promotional documentation, of this type of product being used but I have never seen the act in actual operation in real life.
Are you ready for a special promotion? If so then accept the challenge of becoming the Royal Detective in this next offering.
Developed by Elephant Games and available for purchase from various web sites, Royal Detective: The Lord of Statues is a Hidden Object Adventure Game. My review is based on the Platinum version of the game which is just another way of stating that it is a Collection Edition with a number of bonus items. Many of the bonus items supplied with this game are available immediately.
This is of course larger than an A4 unit but not by as much as you may think. It has tanks five that are filled by bottles of ink that reduces the cost per page. You can see the actual ink levels of each colour by looking at the side of the machine.
The Epson EcoTank ET-14000 measures 70cm wide, 36cm deep when the paper output tray is closed and 45cm deep when it is open and 32cm tall. It weights is 12.2kilos. The ink bottles fill the tanks on the right side of the unit in theory this is mess free but while the tipping of the ink into the tank is easy enough removing the foil on the top of the bottle can be tricky so as this is stated to be a once in two year task for ‘average’ use.
From its German base, MAGIX has developed the latest version of its slideshow creating software.
Now available in its 2016 Deluxe version, MAGIX Photostory offers a solution that enables you to meld your still images, video clips and music into slideshows and other types of media viewing styles. As usual with MAGIX products, the software will require to be activated by the entry of a 31-character serial number and the registration of the product via an online link.
This is an improved and updated version of something that I had for a while before I could use it as it had a problem with syncing for those of us who use Android. I am pleased to say this rather smart unit does not have those problems.
The iHealth Edge is circular, a tad under 4cm and around 1cm thick. It comes fitted with a grey – near black – rubber strap with eight holes for the simple popper to nestle into so it should fit even the largest wrist. The upper part of the casing is matt silver with the bottom part matt black. When you look at the near flat face you see nothing in fact one person I showed it to thought it was a mirror but in reality it’s not that reflective.
First a real case for a phone not just the back but the screen as well and it also space for your credit and store cards. Second a well-made memory stick - it metal all round and the company are sure enough to offer a five year warranty.
This case is designed for iPhone 6s and 4.7inch iPhone6. It is 14x7x1.5cm and weights 87grams when empty. It has a back that fits over the iPhone and is held in place my magnets. So if required it can be used just as a standard phone back. The case is two tone leather mine was brown on the top and black on the bottom of the case. There is a small hole through both the case and the phone back for the iPhone inbuilt camera.
Even in my lifetime, the shaving implement has changed beyond all recognition. My grandfather used a cut-throat, my father a safety razor and I used a battery powered electric shaver.
In the dim and distant past, although not quite prehistoric times, my first electric shaver was a Braun product. Despite my proclivity to act a little like a pack-rat and hoard kit, this shaver has long since departed to the appropriate cemetery for discarded items although I must admit to still having the small cleaning brush provided with the shaver. However to return to the present day, I am currently using a new addition to the Braun range of electric shavers.
This is one of a range of machines by Sage marketed under the Heston Blumenthal name. If you need to ask who he is then you have either being living on a remote island or have no interest in food beyond baked beans and sausages.
This machine is fairly basic in that it has no bean grinder but if you like your coffee then you probably have somewhere where they roast and grind – use your nose – if it’s there you will find it. The smell of fresh roasted coffee will entice almost anyone. The machine is 30cm deep, 25cm wide and 32cm tall so should fit on most worktops. The water container fits into the rear of the machine and can hold up to 1.8litres of water. The hard wired mains lead is 1.
As part of the Huawei family of offerings, the Honor 6+ is a 5.5-inch smartphone. This is a dual SIM device. However this feature can come at a cost elsewhere but more on this facet a little later. The Honor 6+ is available in a choice of black, white or gold livery.
With a weight of 165g and dimensions of 150.46 x 75.68 x 7.50mm (H x W x D) the Honor 6+ could well be a tight fit for those pockets designated for use to hold your smartphone. I know I had to arrange the content of my jacket pockets in order to free up a suitable sized pocket to store this handset. Admittedly the Honor 6+ is not the only handset to suffer from this problem but it does need to be taken into consideration.
With puzzles and mini-games, this next adventure game takes you on a journey through Egypt as you defeat an evil force.
Egypt, the land of Pharaohs, ancient mysteries, magic and evil curses, is the location for a game developed by Teyon. The game, not surprisingly, uses its location as part of its title which is Riddles of Egypt. Priced at £5.10, this game is available as a download from the Avanquest GSP game label.
Being old I still find it strange that items are sold with one year licences, like most things I have I expect them to last forever, however as we old people die out I am sure that you having a one year licence for everything will become the norm.
This Total Security product from Kaspersky is one such example the DVD style case says 3 Devices and 1 Year licence, in fairness during that year you will get lots of updates and in this fast moving world they are certainly needed. The days of a single piece of software to protect against virus infection are long gone. The CD provided is for PC use only instructions are given for those using MACs and also for Android devices.
Easily recognised by the skull logo, the SkullCandy range of headsets has been expanded by new models including the topic of this next review.
SkullCandy Inc., the company behind the popular brand of headsets, has recently expanded its range of lifestyle audio devices with a series of wireless offerings. I have been checking out the Hesh 2™ Wireless product. This is an on-ear style of headphones available in a choice of camouflage with red embellishment, grey with hot lime embellishment or, as in the case of my review sample, black with silver embellishment.
At the start of December I told you about a portable page scanner from IRIS and mentioned there were other such devices that could read information from a book or magazine without the need for it to be torn out. Here is such a device.
The IRISPen Air 7 is truly portable and it is used like a pen with you scanning a line at a time, it is a bit like highlighting a line or so of text from a page to help to remember a fact or statement. With the highlighter method you still need to refer back to the book to get that fact when you revise, not so here as you scan into your PC or portable device and the book remains in pristine condition. It is 13.5cm long 2.5cm wide and 1.
While some may think this is a printer on steroids or even a multi-use Swiss army knife it is neither. This device is a 32GB SSD which has seven different uses the main one being able to move data from one source to another quickly.
The QNAP QG-103N Network Attached Storage (NAS) unit is small at just 11.5x6.x1.5cm and it weighs 114 grams. Going round the unit it has a small 2.5x1.5cm display on the front near the top. The right side has a slider off/charge/on below this OLED next an SD Card slot and finally a USB3 connector. The bottom has an Ethernet port and a USB3 port. It comes with leads and a small fold out card sheet with eight sides of instructions.
Adding to its range of consumer multifunction devices, Brother has introduced its DCP-J562DW model.
Decked out predominately in black, and box-shaped with rounded corners, the DCP-J562DW is a new addition to Brother’s range of multi-function devices for the home user. Combining an A4 flatbed scanner with an inkjet printer, the DCP-J562DW offers print, copy and scan facilities with a choice of wireless or USB connectivity plus support for various remote print services such as Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print and Brother’s own free iPrint&Scan app.
Going to the Planetarium is an expensive experience, buying a telescope is also expensive, looking at the stars with a naked eye requires a clear night that probably means a cold night you also need to be clear of light pollution. This product works indoors whenever you want.
First you need to download the Universe2Go App from the Android Store and start the App. Setting it up to work with your phone will take a while as your phone needs to fit inside the frame. When you get it this is covered by several pieces of foam to cover the whole area if you are using say a 5inch SmartPhone most will need to be removed piece by piece and probably just leave one thin strip to hold your phone in place.
Like many others, Im sure, I have a number of VHS tapes containing videos capturing personal memories. Sadly these videos are often neglected due to the fact that they rely on technology that is not of the most recent kind and the player required for viewing this content no longer forms part of my current entertainment set up. Offering to help get round this type of problem is a product from MAGIX. This is entitled Rescue your Video Tapes!
Now up to version 8, Rescue your Video Tapes! consists of a software CD, Scart-to-phono-plug lead, Installation Guide and a Video Converter kit plus a card containing a 31-character serial number needed to activate the software. The Video Converter kit consists of a bulky USB stick featuring a mini USB port, a short extension lead and a mini USB to RCA (Cinch) female sockets.
Golden Trails 2, subtitled The Lost Legacy is a Hidden Object Adventure game. The Collectors Edition of this game is available as a download priced at £10.20 from Avenquests GSP game catalogue.
As you would expect with a Collector’s Edition title, Golden Trails 2 comes with a number of bonus items are included with the standard game offering. You get various wallpapers, sound tracks, a shooting gallery module, information about the making of the game plus a bonus episode. However you must complete the main game before you have access to any of these items.
This flat panel from BenQ is one of a growing range that not only want to give you a crisp clear but also are aware of the damage that can be done to eyes by Blue light so that is possibly the one stand out selling point for eye health.
The Benq GW2870H monitor measures 65x37x2cm the latter is at the edges. It comes with a 11.5x32cm base that extends in the central area to 30cm where it is attached to the arm. The stand raises the panel by 10cm from your desk; there is no side to side movement but a reasonable amount of back tilt and a small amount of forward tilt. The base of the stand attaches via a twist screw to the arm. The viewable screen is 62x34cm which gives the diagonal imperial measurement of 28inches.
Oil and water not mixing is a popular conception that I would be surprised if you had not heard many times before. Some might even apply the same though with regards to the operating systems developed by Microsoft and Apple. However those inventive people at Parallels headquarters, based in Seattle, would certainly not agree with this point of view.
Oil and water not mixing is a popular conception that I would be surprised if you had not heard many times before. Some might even apply the same though with regards to the operating systems developed by Microsoft and Apple. However those inventive people at Parallels headquarters, based in Seattle, would certainly not agree with this point of view. Parallel has developed a solution for mixing Microsoft Windows on a Mac device running the Apple Mac OS software.
If the charms of an i device are not top of your wants list then the name top of the Android wants list will be whatever the Samsung machine has to offer. Here is one of their most recent offerings courtesy of Vodafone the Galaxy S6.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 measures 14.2x7x.7cm and weights 138grams. Going round the outside the right side has the on/off button, the base has speaker, 3.5mm headphone socket and micro USB for charging or attaching an OTG device. The left side has volume up/down buttons and finally the top has a very effective microphone.
Looking like what early impressions of an alien space ship might be like; a circular disc with thin sides and thicker in the middle this hub from Cygnett does but a single thing it charges your USB devices using mains power and offering five outlets around the disc.
Five equally spaced ports around the side and the sixth space is taken where the two prong mains leads is inserted. The five USB ports take 180degrees of the circle with the mains lead entering mid-way through the other half of the product. It is white in colour with blue lettering on the top and a blue band around the middle highlighting where the five charge ports are, it is 9cm across.
It is welcome back to an old friend as the latest version of one of my favourite products arrives in its version 20 guise.
WinZip is a product that has been around for a good number of years as its latest version number of 20 will testify. It is a product that has rarely been absence from my work system. While I can not guarantee that I have used every single version, no doubt a few managed to escape my attention, but I have been a solid supporter of this software from its early days as a shareware product right up to its current position as a respected member of the Corel family.
This inkjet unit can print, scan, copy and fax. It is suitable for the home or SOHO user. Unusually it has three paper inputs within its normal sized form. So what exactly can this latest offering from Brother bring to the market.
Being designed to be left on – to send and or receive faxes – the Brother MFC-J680DW has an extra press of a button on the TFT screen which adds a couple of seconds to boot time. Shutdown also has another press to remind you that you are turning the fax off. The machine is 40x38x17cm the last figure will need to increase by a few centimetres if placed on a shelf to allow you to put sheets on the flatbed scanner.
Corel has a number of products for the creation and editing of graphics including one that is perhaps not as high-profile as some others
In the early nineties, Roxio was a leading force in the field of developing burning software. Many a time I have sat back to watch the company going head-to-head with Nero in a battle for the hearts and minds of users by adding extra features as they expanded into the area of video creation software and other aspects of multimedia. Roxio then underwent a series of changes of ownership before becoming part of the Corel family.
Noted for its expertise in the development of educational devices for young children, LeapFrog has come up with the LeapFrog Epic. This product is an Android-based tablet aimed at children in the three to nine year old age group.
Encased with a LeapFrog green bumper, the hardware element of this product is a tablet with a 7-inch capacitive touch-screen. The screen has a resolution of 1024 x 600. While this resolution should be fine for the targeted audience, it was noticeable that viewing angles were fairly restrictive. This would certainly cut down on the opportunity for groups of children to gather round this device as a child shares the LeapFrog experience with friends.
There are several programs about that allow you to control one PC from another remotely very useful for teaching purposes. Here however a program that allows you to run Windows PC programs on an Android Tablet.
As an example I have a database program that lists my CD collection but it is a Windows only program and when out and about it would be useful to know if I had a certain CD or the tracks that make it up – record companies do sometimes reissue under another name – to stop me buying something I already have. Best of all you can try it free for seven days to see if it does what you want/need before you need to purchase. Download an App from the Android or ‘i’ Store.
Adding to its range of NAS boxes, Buffalo has released the LinkStation 520D. This is a two-bay unit that is available fully populated with a choice of 2, 4, 6 or 8TB of capacity and a choice of RAID settings. My review unit is the 2TB model.
Apart from the model label and a thin red strip over the top of the front cover, the LinkStation 520D NAS box is totally matte black in colour. Housed inside this black box (dimensions of 87 x 126 x 205mm) are two 3.5-inch SATA hard drives. By removing the front cover you can gain access to these drives if the need arises for either or both drives to be replaced for any reason. Power and function LEDs are positioned alongside the front cover.