A recent visit to view some of Amazon’s cornucopia of goods introduced me to a product designed to enhance my communication skills.
Are you ready to play a game? I should explain that this is not the usual type of game that I review for Gadgetspeak. Rather than a computer game offering visual representations of different environments as you search for clues and carry out tasks, this next game involves cards designed to pique your imagination and creativity as you produce your own visual imagery.
When I went to a recent Bosch event that featured items like fridges that were connected the one item that seemed out of place was a tiny chain saw, ideal for use in the home or even the garden but it works in the same way as it would on a tree branch but for smaller items.
Having recently tested a powerful hedge trimmer I took one of the thickest items it had cut at 2.5cm across and cut into it with ease with the Bosch saw looking at the two ends bore no resemblance, the Bosch saw cut was smooth the hedge trimmer end was a work of three slashes to get through. Certainly in the home you do not want anything but a smooth finish. Bosch call it the EasyCut 12 cordless NanoBlade saw.
As you might expect from its Toughbook classification the FZ-Q2 is a product that has been developed for use by professional field workers who require a device that can withstand the rigours of a workspace environment.
Developed by Panasonic, the FZ-Q2 combines a touchscreen element, which can double in the role of a laptop screen or tablet, with a spill resistant keypad. Whereas other 2-in-1 laptop products that I have checked out arrived as a single unit, my review sample of the FZ-Q2 was delivered boxed as two separate units packaged within their own boxes.
This is modestly called ‘The World’s First 3D Printing Pen’ but as far as I know it is. It is certainly the first 3D printing pen I have seen or used. Given the price of 3D printers a pen that can extrude onto a flat surface in 3D it is well unique.
While anyone can draw a 2D image drawing a 3D is different and in theory anyway you could use this kit to replace any broken plastic part. The instructions make it sound easy, I followed them and they worked, the one thing I was lacking was any real artistic talent.
In hot weather a cool bag is very useful either to keep your lunch, shopping or even picnic cool or maybe allow frozen food to stay frozen. Most are insulated bags with a cool brick or two inserted but those bricks take up valuable space.
Here I am looking at a small version called a Lunch Bag and one more than twice the capacity called a Picnic Tote. These bags are different in that the coolant is between the outer and inner layers and you actually fold the bag up and place it in your freezer overnight and then in the morning pack your lunch/picnic or take the bag with you when you shop the next day.
While I must admit that as I get older, I tend not to shave every day but this confession did not stop me from checking out this next product.
Described as a device promising to deliver an “Effortless even trim”, the Series 5000 Beard trimmer, with its model number of BT5200, forms part of the Philips facial hair product line up of offerings. This particular kit consists of the main hand-held beard trimmer unit, combo guard and comb element, power lead with attached three-pin plug and a small cleaning brush which does tend to make itself scarce when it is required.
This is a small Mono DAB/FM from Alba a budget brand now sold by Argos. So what can you expect without having to spend that much money? The first surprise for me was that it is both mains and battery operated so immediately a plus.
It is 16x10x5cm and weighs 306grams (without batteries). With 4x‘AA’ batteries not supplied add another 96grams. It has a seven piece rod aerial that will increase the 10cm height by 42cm when fully extended. There are two rows of five buttons Power, Scan, Menu/Info, Prev and Alarm on row one. Row two is Mode, Preset, Select, Next and Snooze. There is also a large twist know that is simply volume. The rear has the battery bay, an on/off slider, earbud socket, and DC input.
With a name more like that of a military plane, this next product is a set of earphones.
You may, like me, have seen several adverts for products such as the B150 from Brainwavz when accessing your browser. Brainwavz is a Hong Kong based multinational company that specialises in the development of earphones and headphones that claim to deliver high quality audio that can be used across a wide range of audio genres with support for various platform formats. Adding to its range of over 25 earphones and headphones, Brainwavz has launched its B200 offering.
With 50 levels, many of which are challenging, this next game sets you the task of helping a young woman regain her memory.
Do you remember your dreams or are you the kind of person who wakes from a deep sleep knowing you have dreamed but can not remember an iota of these distant memories? Whatever your answer, you could be an ideal candidate to enter the world of Oriental Dreams. Developed by Adept Studios, this game is classified as belonging to the Match-3 with some additional features.
An electric drill is something that has been around for years, I have an old Black and Decker one that was my father’s and I think it still works. However in recent years the technology has improved not just in gearing but also in other ways.
Here the latest offering from Bosch, not as some recent offerings are cordless but mains powered so not work time limits between charges providing of course you have mains power.
Forming part of its business-orientated Pro-line brand of products is the AOC new 90 Series of offerings. One of these new models making up this new series is the 12490PXQU which forms the subject matter of this review.
While the 12490PXQU panel can be wall-mounted, this does require the purchase of an additional supporting arm, I have been looking at the free-standing unit. This comes with a two-piece ergonomically designed adjustable stand. Consisting of a circular base, which connects via a thumb style screw to the upper support arm, this stand is coloured a fairly tasteful matte gun-metal grey. Forming part of the support arm is an adjustable square plate.
When a dog is at home you normally know where it is, when it is in your garden likewise – unless or course you have a very big garden – however if you let your dog off its lead when out for a walk/run and you lose sight of it maybe not.
This unit is unlike many other collar attach devices I have reviewed that just tell you where you dog is assuming the device has not been removed. It also tells you how far your dog – according to size – should walk as a number of steps as well as other things to keep your dog healthy. The box has a statement on each side ‘Your pet is never lost’, ‘Your pet is always connected’, Your pet is always healthy’ and ‘Your pet is worth it’.
StarTech were a name new to me but as I know their PR company through the good things of a totally different item I said I would look at the product offered, initially I failed as the item offered had limited availability of the cards to use in it. Then I was offered this offering which if you have USB C on your mobile device is very useful.
It is 7x6.5x1.5cm and weighs 66grams. It has a hard wired 20cm USB C lead emerging from the back. The front of the unit has Compact Flash on the top and SD and Micro SD under it. Before you say everything is SD or Micro SD these days – and you are probably correct – there are still some top of the range cameras that have Compact Flash alongside SD to capture images and videos.
A recent visit to a central London location introduced me to nkd Life a British company specialising in the design and development of cutting edge water purification and filter technologies.
With a company name that owes something to the popular phrase of “naked as nature intended”, nkd is on a mission to grow with high performance, high quality products that promote a clean and healthy life style and environment to create a lasting change. As its opening gambit to achieve this aim, nkd plans to shake up the global bottled water market with the release of the company’s initial product, the pod+ offering.
While a hedge trimmer is useful in all gardens that have hedges and small trees, having a professional unit such as this cordless offering from EGO might be a luxury, but for a gardener or landscape technician it is a tool that is an essential not a luxury.
It is 114cm from the end of the cutter to the back of the unit. It is described as a 65cm unit that is the length of the cutter arm so it will go far deeper than all ‘home’ units I know. It will also cut far thicker branches; one such I lopped was 2.5cm thick.
I first came across Tune-Up Utilities several years ago as a Shareware product that you could try before you buy.
Over the years I have used various versions of this TuneUp Utilities suite of tools developed to help improve the performers of computers running on the Windows operating platform. During this period this software has undergone a number of changes including the one of ownership as Tune-Up Utilities now forms part of the AVG family of offerings.
When a job offering arrives, with financial rewards that are too good to be true, then you should regard it with suspicion. Albert didn’t!
Cursed is a Hidden Object Adventure game which casts in the role of a young woman who is in the process of preparing for her forthcoming wedding to her fiancé Albert. The preparations however were interrupted when Albert receives a letter offering him a job with financial rewards that would pay for the wedding, a home for the young couple and set them up for life. Not surprisingly Albert takes up the job but then goes missing after arriving at his new workplace.
Walking around a recent show in London found several interesting stands, one of the most interesting was one from a firm based in Birmingham that had a range of interesting electrical items, here is the first of three that I selected from their wide range.
A lot of modern homes do not have a conventional oven, so this small unit could enable things to be made that otherwise would only be childhood memories. It can also be used instead of a conventional oven when cooking for one at a far lesser cost. For those of us old enough the remember the Breville Sandwich Toaster this is a slightly larger unit and you just plug it in and cook. The maximum dimensions are 29x27x17cm and it weighs 2.64 kilos.
Mobile device battery chargers continue to be a popular accessory. This next product is from Moshi.
Designed by Moshi, a company founded in 2005 to create simple, sophisticated accessories for users of mobile devices, the IonSlim 5K is a portable power bank product. Extremely simple in appearance, with a touch of style, the IonSlim 5K is an ultra slim slab encased within an anodized aluminium body that can be used to extend the life of a mobile phone when you are out and about with no access to a convenient mains power source. The unit has dimensions of 130 x 70 x 8.
I think of Bosch for power tools but they also do a whole other range, shortly I have been promised an external camera a small circular chain saw and an electric drill, but they are in a lot of other sectors both in the home (consumer) and business fields.
Here a small battery powered screwdriver for those jobs around the home and it even has a light for those occasions when you need three hands. With ‘My Bosch’ once your product is registered you get a three year warranty. It is 15cm from back to front, 12cm bottom to top and a maximum of 4.5cm wide, it weighs 318grams. I see from the Bosch website that this is the fifth incarnation of the small pistol grip screwdriver but it is the first I have seen.
A recent visit to a show in London found me with time on my hands before an arranged meeting and wandering round the other stands found several interesting products not least the AnySharp stand who have scizzors that can cut bone and a sharpener that can give anything metal an edge.
These curved sizzors (their spelling) can open bottles, crush garlic, crack nuts and best of all cut through most materials including bone. They are ‘dishwasher safe’ usable in both hands so ideal for those of us who are left handed. They are 23cm long 8.5cm wide at the handle and around 1.5cm wide. The curved blade is 9.5cm from the pivot. I tested the bone claim on chicken and it worked correctly, do not however expect them to cut through a leg of lamb.
Recently available from Vodafone is a small Bluetooth speaker.
This is a very small A3 All In One unit. For my review time it sat on top of my own A4 All In One and only overlapped by a small degree. So it can of course still print A4 as well as the larger A3, it is a six ink offering and for good measure will print on CD’s and DVD’s.
It is 46x36x14cm when closed, A4 paper is stored internally near the base, A3 paper will need the sit up poke up from the back tray so more height will be required for that and unless you are adept at poking a sheet of paper into the lift up scanner bed then a little extra for that especially if you are scanning from a book.
A few year ago, perhaps thinking about it, more like a couple of decades ago, DAB (Digital Audio Broadcast) was expected by many to be the next “big thing” in the area of radio broadcasting.
The switch over from analogue to digital failed to totally capture public endorsement although the manufacturers were still keen on the new technology. We are still in a state of flux as FM and DAB continue to fight for the dominate position in the field of audio broadcasting for a UK audience.
If your child likes Disney characters, and who doesn’t, then this next product might appeal.
As part of its child-centric Imaginative Lighting category of products, Philips has developed its 2-in-1 Projector and Flashlight offering. This product, which has been designed for used as a Christmas stocking filler or other type of impulse purchase type of product, does what its title implies.
Having recently told you about a Dell small Tower system with Windows 10 v1703 the next item to cross my desk again from Dell is a notebook in the same Vostro series that also comes with the latest incarnation of Windows 10 v1703.
While it is described as a ‘business’ unit I see no reason while it should not also be a ‘home’ unit. It is 33x23.5x2cm and weighs 1605grams. Apart from the hinge and the rubber strips that form the feet – which are black – it is totally grey, silver grey for the top and bottom and dark grey for the screen surround and keyboard area. This means finger marks tend not to show.
As part of its new version of protective software, AVG has introduced an Unlimited version. This next product belongs to this category.
Who has heard of EU GDPR (EU General Data Protection Regulation), you may say with Brexit this does not apply to the UK, rightly or wrongly they do as they came into force in 2016 and complete implementation comes into force in 2018. This replaces a 1995 (yes the date is correct) directive.
‘In case of a data breach businesses will face fines of up to 4% of their annual global revenue or 20 million euros (whichever is greater) and must inform their national supervisory authority’. So for any business that should cure any personal constipation. Last year Kingston Technology purchased Ironkey who market encrypted USB drives and they are now fully part of Kingston Technology.
This is the latest item from Gillette which can make shaving, beard trimming and sideburn tidying up simple and because it’s all battery driven the shaving head or the blades do the work you just point it in the direction required to do the work.
First my moan – it’s my job to moan – while the packaging makes it look great on the retailers shelf and you can see everything you get there is a lot of plastic items that are never going to used once the items are extracted the possible exception is the power unit holder which has space in the rear for trim heads or spare blades, the rest sadly will all need recycling. The total package weighs 282 grams, the contents are less than half that.
Small and lightweight, this next product provides a battery back up facility for your mobile device.
I recently joined the “dead smartphone” club. This is the unofficial loose organisation of users that found that their mobile phone device’s battery had run out of juice when they needed to use the phone to make an important call. This was the situation that faced me. It was a situation that could be laid firmly on my shoulders.