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.
Two products for jobs around the home from JML who seem to have a lot of such items. In the past I have reviewed several useful cooking devices. Here a portable light source and something to stop those annoying drips or more.
Almost all local councils now turn street lights off during the ‘small hours’, mine turn them off between Midnight and 5AM. If you arrive home after midnight then finding your way up your garden path can be improved by something that senses movement. This solution needs no wiring as it runs on four ‘AA’ batteries – rechargeable ones work fine – and it can even be fixed in different places by screws or doublesided tape.
A new name to me so I asked to see a couple of their products to tell you about, first a rather nice extra-large sweater that looks expensive a has a ‘plus’, second a pair of warm socks that double as a pair of slippers for indoor wear.
This is not like any vest I have worn in the last 70 odd years. I would call it a sweater and on the colder string days that is how I have worn it. Dependant on size I vary between a large and XX-large and so I plumped for the latter, it is a little large as a ‘vest’ but again if we use the US version of the word it is not underwear but a shirt of sorts. It had a seamless ribbed construction made basically of cotton with a TOG rating of .45.
With a choice of playing methods, this next game presents you with numerous Match-3 grids that need to be completed.
It is time to step into Wizard Land. Developed by Rumbic Studio, this game belongs to the Match-3 genre with one or two extra items thrown in for good measure as you attempt to restore the status quo in Wizard Land. At one time this enchanted land, home to Wizards, Witches, Fairies and all manner of strange creatures was a happy place where magic rules and the mood of the inhabitants matched that of the gorgeous storybook style scenery.
This was launched via a Webinar and while there are new features the main difference was that anyone with a full licenced version (not academic or NFR) can upgrade to this latest version from any earlier versions not as normal the last two or three.
It is now normal for almost every company to bring out an upgrade every year and even to offer a yearly licence for products the most well-known of these is Microsoft with Office 365. I heard that Corel now do such an offer which may suit some. However those who have an earlier version this might even be more than ten years old can now upgrade – with the proviso mentioned – at half price.
Carrying a WiFi hotspot is your pocket is made possible by this next device.
A saying, probably more relevant now that during my youth, stated that you could never find a policeman when you wanted one. Nowadays you could probably say the same thing about Wi-Fi hotspots unless you wanted a cup of coffee. Fortunately, while carrying a police officer in your pocket is not really possible, a mobile hotspot could be a distinct possibility.
This is Canon’s entry level range but do not make the mistake of thinking they are basic units. Canon’s technology filters down and things that would only be in a high end unit a few years ago are now on something that can fit into a small pocket.
As always I start in Auto mode and right from the first image you know that you have hold of a more than decent unit. It is 9.5x5.3x2.2cm the last figure when closed this can increase by another 3cm when the unit is fully zoomed. It weighs 126grams.
Providing features such as air monitoring and pollution charts, this next product offers to act as “your good air guru”.
The arrival of this next product for review immediately brought back memories of a hit song from my youth. The song in question was entitled “The air that I breathe” by the Hollies while the product is the Foobot device from Airboxlab. The Foobot has been designed to alleviate the problem of air pollution.
Almost all SmartPhones and other devices that accept a Micro SD Card will now support up to 64GB. Some will support 128GB or even more but 64GB is now a safe size to purchase and that can hold a lot of video or a mountain of music.
For modern SmartPhones that record high quality video you need a card that can accept a lot of video being transferred to it quickly and to do that you have a higher standard. The last thing you want is lots of dropped frames from a possibly irreplaceable video. So for those who have not seen such a device it is 25cm long without sleeve, 1.3cm wide at the USB type ‘A’ end and less than half that at the USB type ‘C’ end and the width is .5cm.
Two items to make or store your coffee – or other hot or cold drink – for hours. First a device to make the coffee called a CoffeeGator, second something to store the made drink in a rather decent flask called a CorkCicle Canteen to carry on your journey.
Like many good ideas this is very simple, a funnel/sieve with a very clever fine mesh and a jug that you put the funnel in. All you now need is some good ground coffee – maybe less easy to find – and a kettle to heat the water you pour over the coffee. Firstly do not try this with a normal mesh strainer – however fine – as it will not work this is totally different to a tea strainer mentioned for those of us old enough to remember times before tea bags.
Offering to keep your data secure is a hardware device from iStorage.
Described as the “most secure hard disk drives ever made”, iStorage has launched its new ultra-secure diskAshur range of devices. The range consists of diskAshur , diskAshur SSD, diskAshur PRO , diskAshur PRO SSD and diskAshur DT models. This new range features fast USB 3.1 speeds. PIN authenticated hardware encryption incorporating iStorage’s unique Enhanced Dual Generating Encryption (EDGE™) technology.
Because of the relationship Huawei have with Android they always get the newest and latest version of Android, here the current version is 7.1.1 whereas the only other version of ‘Nougat’ I have seen is Version 7 several point releases behind.
The Huawei Nexus 6P measures 16x7.5.8CM and weights 177 grams. The viewable screen is 12.5x7cm which gives the huge notional diagonal imperial measurement of 5.7inches and this has 518 PPI. The processor is an Octa (eight) Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 offering. The speakers are front facing so it has good volume levels. This Huawei offering was also the first to offer Android 6 ‘Marshmallow’, here you are also nagged to upgrade to the latest Beta version 7.1.
As part of its family of All-in-One devices, Epson has developed its Expression Premium XP-640 product. Predominately decked out in lacquered black, this All-in-One device combines the functionality of print, scan and copy with features that include automatic Duplex printing, local and remote output plus Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct and USB connectivity.
Reasonably compact with dimensions of 390 x 341 x 138 mm (W x D x H), the Epson Expression Premium XP-640 will not look out of place in an office or home environment. The standard box-shape with rounded corners adopts the usual arrangement of an A4 flatbed scanner mounted on top of an inkjet printer. The top-mounted scanner is of the CIS (Contact Image Sensor) type and has a resolution of 1200 x 2400 dpi (H x V).