Like many companies, Amazon holds a Christmas in July event for journalists in order to promote products such as the Fire Tablet forming the basis for this review.
Along with the multitude of third-party products on offer from its Aladdin’s Cave of delights, sometimes known as its catalogue, Amazon has a number of its own brand offerings. One such brand is that of the company’s Fire tablets with the 7-inch model currently being one of the company’s favourite products of the year according to its own literature.
The Salter Kitchen Gift Set contains the digital tools -- scales, timer and thermometer -- needed to assist a cook to obtain consistent results
The three items, all of which have a matt black finish, have LCD displays. They are packed in a neat cardboard box which also contains the necessary batteries and separate instruction leaflet for each item. The scales are roughly 220 x 195mm in size and about 10mm tall. No scale pan is provided so items to be weighed are either placed directly on top surface of the scales or in any suitable bowl with a base of up to 16cm or so in diameter.
The men’s bathroom at a Philips Xmas In July event was where I saw a range of shavers and toothbrushes from Philips, the demonstrator called the first of these offerings for areas below the neck, while I was also presented with a ladies offering I never did find the ladies bathroom.
As with so many recent products you gets lots of small booklets and sheets of paper most of which are for safety and most of which are not even in English. There is a small 10.5x7.2cm 12 page booklet and eight of these have illustrations, the ninth has a web link to the . A lot of the illustrations are for different models a total of eight models are covered.
Here I am looking at two different brands of microwave cookware and both can be purchased from Lakeland. First from their own brand a casserole dish and second an egg poacher –OVO- from the Lekue range of microwave cookware.
I saw this at the Lakeland Xmas In July presentation that took place at Somerset House in London. It was a busy day and I had already seen a similar silicone product from Lekue at a different event which I shall tell you about below. This is a silicone oval casserole that works in a microwave, it is 27cm from end to end, 18cm from side to side and 5cm from ridged base to the top of the handle, it weights 405grams.
A trip to the BT Tower in Central London was the occasion to attend the launch of a new Wi-Fi product.
You may have seen the television advert, involving a helicopter, regarding the new BT Smart Hub which has been launched with the impressive claim of having the UK’s most powerful Wi-Fi signal when measured against its major competitors. As BT expects this particular product to be delivered to many customers via the postal route, this Smart Hub comes packaged in a box that BT feels should fit most letterboxes.
The claim from reichelt is that they sell up to ‘20% cheaper than others’ in the case of this item I see they sell it for £15 and I found another outlet at £24.80 so they certainly exceeded their claim by some way with this item manufactured by Panasonic.
So what of these on ear corded headphones that bear the Panasonic name. There are hard wired leads that run from the base of each headphone that are clipped together are 40cm and then run the next 80cm side by side to the L shaped 3.5mm plug. The headphones are Black and Blue with a white covering for the earpieces. The headphones break on the top of the head to allow them to reduce in size for transportation, the earpieces also rotate through 180degrees to also reduce the size.
The Wilko milk pan will be appreciated by those who like hot milk on their breakfast cereal or a hot milky drink at bedtime.
As anyone who has to heat milk knows, it is a tricky task. One moment it is sitting peacefully in the pan and then, just a moment later, it has boiled over. Hence the need for a deep pan designed especially for the task. This Wilko pan is roughly 11cm deep so that, even with 2 pints of milk in the pan, there is still over 6cm of headroom. Hence, as soon as one sees the milk starting to boil, it can be quickly removed safely from the heat before it has the chance to boil over.
Adding to its portfolio of Wi-Fi extenders, NERGEAR has released a new model.
My home is on a single level. What it lacks in height is partially compensated by its spread from the front to the back as it encompasses several intervening solid walls. As a result my wireless local area network (WLAN) does tend to struggle when delivering a signal from my work system and router-modem situated at the front of my home to a second computer located at the rear of my home.
Taking you on a trip into a magical land is a game that requires you to use the power of Sight to reveal important surroundings.
Developed by Boomzap, Otherworld Shades of Fall is a Hidden Object Adventure game that is available for downloading from sites such as Big Fish Games and Gamehouse. I have been looking at the Collector’s Edition of this game which features various bonus items. There is an Epilogue which only becomes available once the main game has been completed plus you can replay any of the various cut-scenes and mini-games once there have been covered in the main game.
This is said to be the world’s smallest A4 All In One unit, being small you lose the option to have a flatbed scanner as that would increase the size but the sheet fed scanner works well and the unit is ideal to use remotely with a mobile phone.
Unusually for me I started by downloading a small App to my phone and was able to print scan and copy within around a minute. The registered link then let me download the required basic software to a PC to print, in order to scan I needed to download another piece of software. While both these worked the speed angle might be a problem as the connection was via an IP address and output of both print and scans was slow.
Adding to its portfolio of graphics products, Xara has released its Designer Pro X365 offering. This product brings together elements of vector illustrations, photo editing, page layout and web design within a single WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) package.
To clear up any confusion, I should explain that the “365” part of the product’s title does not imply that Designer Pro X is a subscription type product, although there are certain online services available to which you could subscribe. The “365” is more to do with the Xara Update Services which allows the user to access updates regarding new features and additional content immediately without waiting for the appearance of a new version.
Having recently told you about a rather good Road Cam from another manufacturer I was offered the chance to review this top of the range unit that is both a Sat Nav and Road Cam in the one package, so is the extra expense worth it?
The unit is 14x8.5x5cm which is not that much bigger than most Sat Navs. Unlike most standalone Sat Navs that can be used for a reasonable period out of car this unit is designed for in car use only. It has a very small internal battery and relies instead for power for that provided by the cigar lighter socket of your car. The viewable screen is 11x6.3cm which is touch controlled.
A simple device and when your mouse of a long time starts to move of its own accord you think it must be me, eventually I plugged in a spare – even older – unit and that quickly showed the same symptoms so a visit to my local Wilko had me spending £2.50 on a new one, and this – so far – behaves correctly.
The latest Olympus product allows you to record your audio memories.
Following the release of its LS Linear PCM audio recorders in 2014, Olympus has now developed its LS Pocket Series of Hi-res audio recorders. I have been trying out the pocket sixed LS-P1 unit which is the base model in the series. With dimensions of 108.9 x 39.1 x 14.1mm (H x W x D) and weighing 75g (including the battery) the LS-P1 is eminently portable whether carried in a pocket / bag or held in the hand for capturing sound bytes or whole audio performances when attending a concert.
The Freecom mHDD Slim is a portable hard disc to complement the latest high performance PC or Mac laptops
The P9 is an excellent camera and phone, look back and you will find two reviews of it on this site, however launched at the same time – but not immediately available - is the P9 Plus which was stated to cost £100 more so what exactly does the extra get you.
It is a little larger at 15x7.5cm and weights 20grams more. Neither of which you would probably notice unless you have the two units side by side. What you may notice is that the viewable screen has a notional diagonal imperial measurement of 5.5inches again that bit larger. Strangely there are less colour choices but quite by chance the review unit was the same colour as my own P9 with the exception of the on/off button that has a red hue around it.
When taking a drive you can call on assistance from Garmin with products such as its Drive Assist 50 product.
Garmin has recently introduced its Drive range of portable navigation devices (PNDs). I have had the opportunity to test the Garmin Drive Assist™ 50 product. This particular PND combines the company’s well-established satellite navigation features with a built-in dash cam facility to record action and act as an eyewitness to possible incidents. Encased with a black plastic shell, this PND has dimensions of 160 x 85 x 30 mm (W x H x D) and weighs 214g.
Spread over 100 levels, Fantasy Mosaic 16 is a puzzle type game that sets you the challenge of creating images made up of coloured tiles.
Like other titles in the Griddler genre, this latest offering from Match Gems is based on a series of grids (hence the genre title of Griddlers) and numeric clues that can be used to create the mosaic-like images so beloved by the ancient Romans.
This is a dual Karaoke system not a toy or an add on to something else, a two mike system and decent amplifier that means in your own home – not the pub – you can find out for yourself how good or bad your voice is without witnesses.
It consists of the main box 30x20x17cm that contains the amplifier for the dual microphones. The microphones are 23.5cm long and wireless that link to the amplifier without problem, they weigh 216grams with the two ‘AA’ batteries inserted, the batteries are not supplied. Each microphone has nine buttons on the front so they can be controlled separately. There is a 1.
The handy-sized Verbatim Bluetooth Mobile Speaker, 44404, is a practical means of providing decent sound for the traveller.
This stylish battery-powered speaker has a choice of inputs: Bluetooth or direct via a 3.5mm audio port. It is cylindrical in shape – 7cm in diameter and 5.5cm tall and weighs 257g. The bottom cm or so is black in colour with a red styling line running around it. The remainder, a metallic grey in colour, is covered in etched vertical lines. The base is cloth covered while the top is a robust metallic grill, with the Verbatim logo at its centre, covering the 40mm speaker driver.
Adding a keyboard to a tablet is becoming a popular trend.
As it title of Latitude 12 Series 7000 2-in-1 might indicate, this Dell product is one of the new breed of hybrid portable offerings which goes by the model number of Latitude 7275. This product has been designed to attempt to give the user the best of both worlds when it comes to working with a tablet and a laptop within a single product. Central to this product is the Tablet with dimensions of 290 x 195 x 9mm (W x H x D) and weighing 638g. This 12.
This is an LED backlight monitor that is kind to the eyes and also is part of their value series. So what does this have to offer that will tempt you away from whatever you are currently using.
Normally whatever panel I am reviewing gets attached to my review system that gets all the new software and hardware. Currently my main system is at the local repair shop so whatever day to day files I need have been installed on this unit from my last backup – yes they do have a use – and this panel will get an even more rigorous test as it now is attached to my machine for emails etc. as well as testing so in use all day every day. It is 22x56x2.5cm, the viewable screen is 29.5x52.
This is one of six of a recently launched range of earbuds three of which are wireless and the other three including this set are corded offerings. So what have they to offer that is not already on the market in other earbuds?
The cable is 1.2 metres from the buds to the gold plated 3.5mm plug. The first 35cm from the earbuds are in two cables with the left lead having a circular connector 15cm from the ear for all the normal controls that stop you removing your SmartPhone from your pocket to answer calls or change music tracks etc. The cable itself has a slightly tacky feel and has a red pattern on the black cable.
Offering to provide untethered access to your favourite music is a headset from SkullCandy.
While I am not a great believer in co-incidents, they do happen. As an example I was in hospital having treatment for a skull problem when SkullCandy released its new headset in the UK. As its title might indicate, the SkullCandy Grind Wireless is an untethered device or, as the product’s packaging proclaims with “No Strings Attached”. The SkullCandy Grind Wireless is a Bluetooth headset of the on-the-ear variety.
The unit I was sent is a 2TB USB3 drive and the ‘Alu’ stands for aluminium which makes the case very sturdy. This is part of Toshiba’s mid-range statuary for USB3 external drives it comes with built in back up software from NTI.
This Toshiba external hard disk measures 11.3x7.4x1.9cm and weights 213grams with the supplied USB3 attached. While this is not a ‘rugged’ unit unless a drop happened while data was being read or written I cannot see any harm coming to it or your data. Some transfer times are given on the back of the box a three hour HD movie should transfer in 5 minutes and 16 seconds on USB3 or 16 minutes and 26 seconds on USB2, 350 photos in 15.2seconds on USB3 and 36.
Adding to the range of portable battery chargers currently available is this product from Sandberg
According to the accompanying press release, the PowerBank 3000 product from Sandberg is for people with style. This is a designation that I would seldom used to describe myself in normal circumstances. But for the benefit of this review, plus I do have a need for a portable device to provide backup power to the collection of handheld devices that are my usual constant companions, I will regard the designation of style as being purely life-style rather than any other connotations.
Can you help Katherine find true love and a home she can call her own.
Set in America of the last century, Love Story: The Way Home is a Hidden Object Adventure game. This particular title is based around the story of Katherine as she grows up as an orphan and later relates the highlights of her life over the five chapters making up this game. As usual with games of this genre, you can create profiles for individual players so that their progress is recorded.
This is not a Sat Nav – but it always knows exactly where you are – it comes with a lifetimes updates for safety cameras – which sounds better than speed cameras – and gives an exact view of what happened should you ever have a crash it even captures audio.
There are three parts, the camera unit, the windscreen sucker which forms the rear of the unit and a cable to go to your cars cigar lighter and this should fit into the back of the unit near the sucker. On the face of it attach the cable through the windscreen sucker part and click into the camera.
Adding to its range of Smart Managed Switches, NETGEAR has released this next product.
While mere mortals generally find the four Ethernet ports making up standard routers or router/modems to be adequate for their local area network needs, those involved in running small to medium business environments need more powerful devices with a greater range of available Ethernet connections. One such product offering to deliver the additional power and more Ethernet connection is the NETGEAR ProSAFE XS708T.
How do you pack a sub-woofer and a sound bar together in one box, with difficulty is my answer, perhaps they are put together to make sure they stay together, both need mains power but there is no physical link between the two items.
The sound bar is triangular in shape with the front edge sloping backwards it is one metre long and each side is 8cm. The sub-woofer is 28.5x24.5x33cm and it can be placed anywhere within reason, in my tests with TV sound most will be surprised how much base is in music that is not normally heard from things like theme tunes and incidental music, certainly they sound so much different than they do without external an sound bar and sub-woofer.