Most people will have heard of Spotify, the majority of them will have tried Spotify, the reason I am looking at the Premium version of Spotify is because I have recently reviewed another streaming product and its been a while since I last tested what Spotify has to offer.
After downloading the interface around 140MB I hardy recognised what I saw no difficulty in finding what you want and on not the most recent PC the search was fast. Vodafone is one of the Spotify content partners and you will find Spotify pre-installed on all their 4G offerings. Being able to play things offline on a PC may be less important when most now have broadband but could be useful when broadband is down.
Following on from its Selfie stock product, PNY has developed a lens kit that can be used with various smartphone models.
According to a recent study, 92% of smartphone users take photos with their device Frankly I would have expected the percentage to have been even higher what with the ever increasing popularity of vanity selfies and the improvements that have been made to the photographic capabilities of today's smartphones Even budget handsets now come with a camera capable of 13MP or better images But even with the increase in the photographic capability of smartphones, users are still demanding greater functi
While most vacuums have the floor mastered, most people need to get them upstairs and of course also to vacuum the stairs themselves. The problems of the lead are often solved by an extension but the hose still needs a connection.
When removing from the box I liked what I saw just two main items the cleaner itself and the handle (wand) that just clips onto it, no tools are required to assemble. My next joy was the mains lead its long at 10 metres so even if sockets are a distance apart no extension lead should be required. It is 114cm tall, 30cm wide at the foot and 25cm deep also at the foot. In this format it is a conventional powerful upright vacuum cleaner.
Home security continues to be a popular area for manufacturers with this latest offering arriving from Samsung Techwin.
The last Samsung Techwin security device that I looked at involved multiple cameras (four units), physical cable linking and PVD storage making the product far more suitable for a small business environment. Now it is the turn of a more home environmental based product in the form of the Samsung Techwin SmartCam HD. This is a single camera kit that offers 1080p live streaming and WiFi connectivity as it links to a home network.
With its different types of Hidden Object game play, this next title sets you the task of defeating Eternal Darkness.
7 Roses: A Darkness Rises is a Hidden Object Adventure game developed by Dragonseye Studios and TAG Publishing. This game is now available as part of Avanquest GSP catalogue and evolves solving the riddle of eternal darkness. From the game’s main title screen you can create profiles for individual players. Profiles can contain adjustable levels for the volume levels for music, ambient and SFX audio.
Everyone needs backups, no ifs no buts no maybes, backups are essential. If you have gone through life without needing one so far you are lucky, very lucky. In fact maybe you would like to go halves on a lottery ticket, but one day you will need a backup.
Most people do backups without thinking and that is perhaps almost as bad as not doing a backup. For instance some do a backup say once a month and then do incremental backups for the other weeks in the month. Sods law says the day you will need the backup is the day before you do the full backup.
The Filofax Metropol iPad Air case is a well-made zipped case in black faux leather. It has been designed to accommodate both the iPad and an A5 sized notepad and should suit the person on the move.
It is well-padded case and is supplied with a replaceable (portrait orientation) A5 pad with ruled micro-perf pages. It has a zip closure running around three sides and is220 x 265mm overall. When opened, there is the rotatable table t holder one side and a number of internal pockets on the other. A pen holder is located in the centre.
No sooner do I finish checking out the Vodafone Smart Prime 6 handset than the company releases the follow up product. This is the Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 smartphone which is available as a pay-as-you-go basis priced at £125 or on a monthly Vodafone contrast priced at £17.
The Smart Ultra 6 is a 5.5-inch 4G handset with dimensions of 154 x 77 x 8.4mm (H x W x D) and a weight of 144g. As you might expect with a budget priced offering, this handset has a plastic casing available in a choice of black or grey with minimalistic side bezels. There is an the fairly standard arrangement of a top-mounted 3.
I have reviewed several Chromebooks before, they are small laptops running the Chrome operating system. This however was the first Chromebox I have reviewed it is a full featured PC all you need to add is a panel via HDMI or DisplayPort.
While most items to charge your mobile devices on the go are small this offering from MIPOW is not. While most items to charge your mobile devices on the go are light this offering from MIPOW is not. So the question is if its not small and not light then what does it have in its favour?
It comes in a box like a quality book with a slip case. The unit itself is 9x9x1.5cm and weights 250grams. It has four tiny rubber feet on the base that makes it very stable on whatever you place it on and with so much weight it makes a very good paperweight. Mind you the aluminium case seems very strong.
The Rewind is a small portable Bluetooth speaker. This product forms part of the Jam family of offerings that are distributed by HoMedics.
In a previous life this was one of the first really useful products. Corel came out with their excellent CorelDRAW product and made the purchase of PaintShop Pro an early capture and now this is a very mature product at version 18 (X8).
CorelDRAW started the ‘bonus’ software by offering lots of Clip Art and extra fonts. So when you buy anything Corel you expect ‘more’ and you get more with the Ultimate version of PaintShop Pro you get Perfect Effects 9.5, After Shot 2 and Perfectly Clear 2 SE as well as the main PaintShop Pro package all for no extra cost. If you have a qualifying earlier version you qualify for a 25% discount when purchase is made by download from the Corel website.
Offering to help reduce the bottleneck that can occur for those who are involved with streaming videos and on-line gaming activities is a modem router from NETGEAR.
Sometimes the arrival of a new product for review brings back memories of an earlier period of my involvement in the world of computing. Such was the case with the NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 WiFi VDSL/ADSL Modem Router product.
In this game your on-screen persona makes a mistake that releases an evil demon. Will you be able to correct this mistake and recapture the demon?
Theatre of the Absurd is a Hidden Object Adventure game. Developed by GoGii, this game is now available from Avanquest’s GSP game catalogue. Although the packaging does not actually mention it, this game comes with a number of extra features that usually qualify such titles as being a Collector’s Edition game.
The days of this being just an Anti-Virus product are long gone. In fact the only products that seem to have only Anti-Virus are the free ones and even then when you update them you have to be careful to click the correct box or you get the whole package and then you will start paying.
Panda have four products, AntiVirus Pro, Internet Security, Global Protection and Gold Protection. I am looking at the third of these Global Protection. I installed it on both a Windows 8.1 and a test system with Windows 10. While some products make a great show of saying ‘I am working at protecting you’ this just sits in the background and does the necessary. The install took around five minutes and around 400MB of hard disc space.
While queuing is an established practice, it is not one that is well received when we need to wait in order to charge a mobile device when there is just a single power source available. Sandberg believes it has a solution to this problem.
It was not so long ago that I checked out a product that allowed you to charge up to four separate devices simultaneously. This task was carried out from a single power point socket. While this would be fine for many users, there are those whose needs call for an even more extensive number of access points in order to recharge power hungry devices simultaneously.
Nobody wants their Sunday joint burnt on the outside and raw on the inside. The Heston Blumenthal 5-in-1 digital thermometer from Salter is a useful tool in preventing that and similar problems in the kitchen. But that is not all it can do
As well as for roasting it can also be used for checking the temperature in a deep fat fryer, act as a jam thermometer etc. or, when in the manual mode, provide an audible alert when a predetermined temperature has been reached. Normal oven thermometers measure either the temperature in the oven or that within the item being cooked -- but not both.
A new DAB and FM offering from Roberts that looks more like something from many decades ago. It is however packed with modern technology, so instead of having to continually move around to get a good signal and sound its just there.
It is 17x12cm at the back and 15x12cm at the front and 12cm deep. The front has a grill behind which is the speaker this is 9.5x8.5cm. Both sides are clear with only a connection point for carry handle that is in the same fabric that covers the whole unit, my unit was in a lime green colour. The exceptions are the back that is a gold colour as is the top. The back has a battery bay which optionally takes 4 x ‘AA’ batteries.
The price of this group of in ear headphones seems to vary according to their colour. With Midnight being nearly 50% more expensive than curry, here I am listening to a mid-range unit called Fire at least I think I am as the box has no part number.
The length of the supplied lead is 1.3metres. From the ears it is 30cm to the point where two leads become one. Around 10cm from the left ear is the now near ubiquitous control to stop/play, back and forward control. The lead itself is fabric in spirals with red yellow and green then black and this is repeated for the whole length of the lead. Finally the plug at the player/phone end is the ‘L’ type to sit flush with whatever you connect it to.
This next product from Fujifilm adopts an almost retro style of photography.
I can remember, back in the day, the launch of a camera that could capture and then develop photos giving you almost “instant” hard copies of photos that had just been taken. Named after the company responsible, or was the company named after the camera, the Polaroid was one of those devices that was almost a status symbol or a fashion accessory. I have to admit that I was an early adopter of this camera capable of capturing and delivering monochrome images.
This phone is only available from Vodafone and as such needs a Vodafone SIM. It is part of the Smart 6 series of phones. Android Lollipop 5.02 is the operating system and while some of the installed Apps are Vodafones it is still an Android Phone.
The basic dimensions are 15.5x7.5x.7cm and it weights 153grams. It has a front camera for those Selfies which at 5MP is better than some rear cameras. The excellent 13MP rear camera has an LED flash the auto focus means no more blurry rushed shots. This has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor which is stated to be octa-core 64-bit CPU architecture. Not long ago a 2000mAh battery was top end and it was able to last a full days use, this unit has a 3000mAh battery which lasts two days.
While standalone flatbed and All-in-One devices can cope with many scanning tasks, sometimes you need a more specialised piece of equipment to handle this aspect of your document management needs.
The Brother DS-920DW is a device described as an “anywhere, anytime, portable scanner”. As the “DW” part of the product’s model number might indicate, this scanner offers both Duplex or double sided scanning and wireless connectivity.
Ancient Rome is a popular location for game developers. In this case the location shares the stage with the Mahjong board game.
7 Hills of Rome comes from the same team responsible for the recently reviewed Treasures of Rome. While both games are played out against a storyline and backdrop of Ancient Rome, the style of play has switched from Mathc-3 action to that of the Mahjong board game. This latest offering is available as a download purchase from the Avanquest GSP catalogue of titles. Profiles can be set up for individual players.
This is a multi-function unit which means, print, copy, scan and for those who still want/need it fax. However this unit has something extra the ability to print up to A3 and while it is a good deal wider than most A4 units it is not that much deeper or taller.
The HP OfficeJet 7510 all-in-one printer measures 45cm deep including the paper tray, 48cm wide and 28cm tall to the top of the sheet feed. It weights 13kilos. The unit has a single substantial paper tray at the base which has a good weight of lid which is the output tray. The tray will take 250 sheets of standard weight paper and according to the specifications up to 60 sheets of photo paper (15x10cm size).
Developed by Smanos (a combination of Chuango Security Technology Corporation, Chuango Europe B.V. and Smanos Holdings), the WiFi Alarm System forms part of the companys Smart Home System line up. This particular product has been designed to provide protection against unauthorised entry to your home via doors and windows.
The WiFi Alarm System consists of a W020 Control Panel, two DS2300 Door/Window contact units and a RE2300 Remote Control Unit. You also get a set of four AA batteries, an SA-A12 3-pin power adapter and lead, reset pin, User Manual and Warranty Card. There is also an app which will need to be downloaded from the Play Store or App Store and installed on a smartphone. Central to this kit is the W020 Control Panel which links together the various elements of this protection package.
Its been a while since I have been sent a camera that stretches me a little. Providing the amount of stretching is a little I like it as it stops you getting into a rut that allows the camera to make all the choices without you having to think.
The Pentax K-S2 DSLR measures 12x11x9cm and it weights 848grams (without neck strap attached). The second figure the width is achieved by the lens being locked in closed position which makes the 18 to 55mm lens smaller than it would otherwise appear, as unlocked (ready to shoot) it is at least 3cm bigger. My unit was predominately white with grey covering the entry points and buttons and viewfinder being the normal black.
With the perfusion of cookery programs on TV the things that comes through is accuracy, both in weight and timing/temperature so these two items can help with those things. First an accurate kitchen scale and second an oven temperature gauge.
This scale can weigh up to 5kilos. They are rectangular at 25x18x2cm as a maximum as they are slightly less at the back. They run on two ‘AAA’ provided. There are just two buttons one each side of the 5.5x2.2cm oval display, this display is black on grey. The right touch button zeros the display when whatever you are using to measure your items in is placed on the scale, if you continue to press this button it turns the scale off.
Standing for Paris New York, PNY is a company that designs and manufactures products to make some aspects of modern living easier.
Summer comes and summer goes. However due to the vagaries of the British weather sometimes you could miss the season if you happened to blink. Yet there are still organisations that have targeted this particular season as the ideal time to launch some mew offerings. Recently at a meeting with PNY, I was informed that the company had just released a number of products in its summer line up.
This is a DAB/FM/Internet radio that works via Wi-Fi and can be used as an input or output as well as having Spotify built in. It can be run off batteries which can be rechargeable and even off a battery pack for when mains power is not available.
The Roberts Radio Stream 207 radio measures 29x13.5x6cm; this figure is without the seven piece rod aerial extended which can add 66cm to the middle figure. The case is made of black plastic which does show fingermarks and rubber buttons that do not. The front has a 7cm circular speaker on each side the 8.
Did you know that 84% of smartphone users feel they cannot go a single day without using their device; 60% of users admit they sleep with their phone; while 17% claim to have showered with their handset?
2013 marked what some regard as a sea-change with regards to the choice options open to users looking to purchase a new smartphone. Previously the accepted options were either expensive or old technology. However in 2013 Motorola released its ground breaking Moto G handset which offered reasonable up-to-date technology at a price point within the reach of many.