I was invited to a world-wide launch of several products from Nest early last summer. I asked to review this item and was told two weeks despite numerous reminders nothing happened until I assume a new employee arrived now this is protecting me.
I am sure we all have at least one smoke alarm in fact if you have more than a single story building you may find your insurance company requires one on each floor of the building. This however offers more it is also a CO² detector. CO² is extremely dangerous as it has no smell or taste it does just one thing it you. That may sound alarming it was meant to as only a few minutes in a confined space with a CO² leak and you will be dead. You just go to sleep and you do not wake up.
Providing dual connectivity options is a speaker system from our old friends at Edifier.
Since its formation in 1996, Edifier has been busy developing an impressive range of speaker products designed for specific purposes. These different types of speaker generally fit into categories such as Bluetooth, Portable, 2.0 Bookshelf, 2:1 System or 5:1 System. Recently I have had the opportunity to check out the company’s Studio 1280T model. This speaker product is part of the company’s 2.0 Bookshelf range of offerings.
Mice helping cats is not an everyday occurrence but it is one that forms the basis of this next game made up of puzzle solving levels.
In the past I have installed and played numerous games available from the Avanquest GSP game catalogue. This next title, however, is a first for me with a game from this particular source. The game in question is MouseCraft and it requires you to have a Steam account in order to install the title. If anybody is unfamiliar with Steam, I should explain that this is an Internet-based digital distributor platform providing access to computer and console titles.
While I have seen Windows Phones in the past the new Lumia 950 is the first for a while. In theory, as a Windows desktop user of various versions from 3.1 to 10, this should make me feel right at home after those initial problems we all face with a new phone.
Recently I got used to using an iPad and an iPhone without too much difficulty so the latest Windows Phone should not cause too much trouble, should it? This is of course something developed by Nokia who a few years ago were the major player in phones this is now in the hands of Microsoft, hence the Windows phone. As I have a Windows account the setup was easy and in fact I could have imported everything but I always like to see what a new user would have to go through.
Sitting in front of a computer, as I do, for many hours each day is, according to my doctor, not a particularly healthy way to carry on. I could point out that the doctor giving this advice always seems to be seated in front of a computer during my visits so is hardly following this given advice regarding health living. But of course this could be one of those situations that are based on Do what I say, not what I do!
One way to avoid being in the same position as you sit in front of a computer would be to set out your computer equipment on a height-adjustable desk. In such cases you would be able to switch between a seated or standing position while working (or maybe playing a game) on your computer. I have recently being looking at a height-adjustable desk from VARIDESK. The product under review is the VARIDESK Pro Plus 36™ model.
An All In One unit from Canon and instead of the standard dark grey colour the Canon Pixma MG6853 unit is cream so may just get past the lounge police. If not, as it has a wireless connection, you can always put it in a cupboard and as it has a special mode you can even print to it when it is turned off.
This Canon device measuires 37x45x12cm add another 8cm to the middle figure the depth to have A4 paper in the drop down front that forms the paper input tray. Paper should be placed in this tray face down and it is delivered face up onto the output tray when printed. I no longer quote PPM times as the specifications are now done to a set standard so the days of a manufacturer stating 25PPM and you only getting 10PPM are long gone.
Joby are the name to think of for flexible grips. You wind it round any item to leave whatever you want held securely by a tripod screw but not all recent objects such as SmartPhones and even bicycles have tripod screws so they have designed mounts.
First the grip part a very substantial three leg with ten spherical sections so the grip has every chance of doing it job whatever you need to wind it around. Next the grip for the SmartPhone this expands to fit most sizes and makes of SmartPhone. The grip also has the female screw fitting on an adjustable fitting that can turn through 135 degrees and has its own screw tightening device. The width of the phones it can accommodate varies from 5.5 to 10cm and this also has a tightening screw.
Adding to its range of audio devices, Edifier has developed a speaker system with the model number of M1370BT.
Since it was established in May 1996 in Beijing, China, Edifier has built up a well respected reputation for developing speaker units that have a distinctive quality with regards their appearance plus a range of headphones and music systems. While I have yet to check out any of the company’s headphones or music systems, I have had the opportunity to try out a number of Edifier speaker units including the M1370BT which is the subject of this review.
To the best of my limited medical knowledge I think they have yet to perfect eye transplants. So we are stuck with the pair we are born with, one way to knacker your eyes is staring at a screen for far too long each day, the manufacturers have produced certain things to help like eye care in the case of BenQ.
This 28inch panel from BenQ measures 65.5x38.5x2cm the last figure is at the edges. It comes with a rectangular stand 32x11cm that raises the screen by 10cm from your desk. There is a good amount of back tilt but almost no forward movement beyond vertical. Since panels are now much lighter the manufacturers have decided that side to side movement is not required. Viewing from either side is always good and it is easy to twist the whole unit if required.
Growing up my friends were people I met on a regular basis but nowadays many people have friends they have never met.
Are you a face-to-face person or one who prefers digital communication when dealing with others? I ask this question because recent research has indicated that around half of us prefer keeping in touch with our friends via a digital conduit rather than speaking directly to them in the flesh. This research has been conducted on behalf of BT Mobile in partnership with Dr. Peter Collett who is a former Oxford University lecturer and psychologist working on Big Brother and Body Talk.
As part of the Lost Lands series of games set in a world of strange creatures and magic with an ancient wizard names Maarin, FIVE BN GAMES has developed The Golden Curse.
I have been looking at the Collector’s Edition of the Lost Lands: The Golden Curse Hidden Object Adventure game. This title has a number of bonus items, some of which are available immediately while others require a certain amount of progress before they can be accessed from the main title screen. Wallpaper, concept art, music, Strategy Guide and achievements can be accessed immediately while videos, puzzles and mini games can be revisited once completed in the main game.
This is an Android 5.1.1 Phone that is thin and light but very smart in looks. Most recent phones have Quad Core Processors this is no exception, most recent phones have 4G again so does this, so what is unique perhaps its what is called Fusion Storage.
The 50e Helium from Archos measures 14.5x7x.5cm and weights147grams. The viewable screen is 11x6.2cm which gives the notional 5inch diagonal imperial measurement. It has Dual Sim capability which means that those who have this as a business phone can also have their personal phone in the same case. It also allows those who prefer a different service for Data and Phone.
Huawei has added to its range of e-brand smartphones with the release of the Honor 5X handset. Described at the launch as being the most affordable premium smartphone of 2016 (admittedly at the time we were just 35 days into the year), the Honor 5X is aimed at the young, stylish and adventurous type of customers.
The Honor 5X, with dimensions of 151.3 x 76.3 x 8.2mm (H x W x D) and weighing 158g, is available in a choice of gold, silver or, as in the case of the review unit, grey, is a 5.5-inch smartphone. As is the standard with such devices, the front of the unit, is dominated by the 5.5-inch Full-HD IPS screen. This screen is of the capacitive touch screen variety and has a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels.
A very striking red colour is the first thing you notice when you take it from the box, the next thing is that there are just three items that will only connect together one way and as they click together you do not even require a screwdriver.
The 11 should give a good clue to this not being a new product. Team Viewer has been around for a long time and is a method for someone with knowledge to help those with less knowledge to solve a problem remotely easily and quickly.
Whenever you allow someone access to your PC you should be very sure they are who they claim. With Team Viewer you have to send them the invite. They can then see your screen and you can see exactly what they are doing as they move around trying to solve your problem. Team Viewer has been available for MAC and PC for a long time, now however the latest version also works with Chrome and Android and even for those on Linux. So whatever your environment you should be able to receive or give help.
Following the release of its original Arlo home security camera system last year, NETGEAR has now produced the Arlo Q. This is a 1080p HD Security Camera that offers two-way audio features operating as an intercom.
With the design of the Arlo Q, NETGEAR has instigated a number of changes to the appearance and performance of this home security device. For a start the “Q” is a tethered, rather than wireless, device. That is not to say that this camera lacks support for Wi-Fi. In fact it is a Wi-Fi device. The wireless aspect of this product refers to the means of drawing power. A lengthy 300cm USB lead and power plug are provided.
Protect your home while you are away is something that many companies seem to be producing items for, some insurance companies even offer a reduction in your premium if the item selected meets their criteria. Here is a solution from Nest.
I thought the setup for Nest Protect was easy, this is even easier, select a site for the camera attach it to the magnetic dock provided, plug in the camera to the 3metre micro USB to USB lead a 13amp USB plug front is supplied and start watching what the camera shows on your phone or Tablet.
In my personal dim and distant past I can just about remember using a device called a stereoscope. To my young eyes it was a thing of wonder as it converted a pair of slightly different 2D photos into a 3D scene with depth. Now with digital images and computerised devices the younger generation look for something extra.
Today’s young generation require a more immersive experience to hold their attention. Offering to provide this experience is the View-Master product from Mattel. This particular product is based on a Virtual Reality headset that Mattel feels will take the young child (7+) on a virtual and augmented reality adventure as they are transported around the world and beyond.
While I am a big fan of Anne McCaffreys books on the Dragons of Pern, I had not previously encountered the Dragons of Derod.
Guardian Dragons: The Prophecy is a Hidden Object Adventure game that is based on the novel by Falco Loffler. The game is set in the world of Derod where dragons and demons have fought a long-running battle over the fate of mankind. The dragons have always watched over man from afar and protected them from the constant attacks from the demons. Many battles have raged until the demons were driven off beyond the Koan Mountains in the far northeast of Derod.
While I think of ASUS for notebooks and Tablets and although I have yet to review one All In One systems which of course all have screens I was not aware until a recent visit to the BETT education event that they sold standalone screens.
This is a 27.75 inch offering strangely only 27inch is claimed. The screen is 61.5x36x1.5cm the last figure at the edges. It has a 21cm circular stand that raises it by 7cm from your desk. There is a good amount of back tilt and even some front tilt. It weighs 4.47kilos. There is a single line of connections just above the stand mount connection on the rear. DC input, Display Port, HDMI, VGA audio in for VGA and headphone out.
While Flash drives are extremely useful when transport data between systems, they can be lost. As a result this type of device does require layers of protection.
Kingston Digital, Inc., part of the Kingston Technology Company, Inc., has added to its DataTraveler® family of products. This new offering is the DataTraveler 2000 which is remarkably similar in appearance to the iStorage DataShur Pro which I reviewed earlier. In fact iStorage is mentioned on the packaging. However there is one major difference in that the Kingston product supports USB 3.1 rather than the USB 2.0 technology used by the iStorage offering.
It looks like a round neck pair of in ear buds. It is, so you could use them as a simple music player however it is also a Wearable Music Player with Fitness Tracker, so it can play music in a beat to match your heart rate (pulse).
12cm across and 12cm tall would match the non-twisted size of these buds, each ear has a 5x2.5x1cm unit in front of the bud and their total weight is only 42grams. It would be totally wrong to describe this as a music player even though it can play music.
Another very mature product, as computers continue to get more powerful processors things that took a while to process can now be done almost instantly. Here is a good example you can manipulate your files easily and quickly and improve them effortlessly.
There are three versions of the latest edition of Magix Music Maker software the main difference between them is the number of instruments they come with. In the simplest terms this is electronic music creation software but as with all such software the simple part is putting the music down, the hard part is having the ear to know what is say an annoying earworm or perhaps just very occasionally a true classic composed piece.
Home security continues to be a hot topic with the next candidate offering a welcome.
Developed by Netatmo, a company founded in 2011, the Welcome is a security camera that comes with the promise of delivering face recognition without the need of a contract or subscription fees. The product consists of the camera unit, power lead, Ethernet cable and an 8GB micro SD card for storing any captured content. You also get a mini booklet which relies of illustrations to get its message across regarding setting up the device.
However big your desk is there never seems enough room. So things got moved away the tower or mini tower went under the desk, a lot of recent panels have USB hubs what else can you move away, possibly the keyboard or at least have a smaller one.
This unit from Penclic helps as it is small – about the size of that found on a laptop – and it has no wires to connect it as it uses a Wi-Fi dongle. It is 28.5x16cm and weights 345grams with its two ‘AAA’ batteries inserted in its back.
Well know for its range of home security products, Swann has released its SwannOne kit. This product is meant to provide the user with a range of security features that have been designed to protect your home whether you are present or absent for any reason.
Central to the heart of the SwannOne system is a Smart Hub which is provided with an Ethernet cable and power lead. This plinth shaped box, with dimensions of 220 x 135 x 60mm (W x D x H) acts as a half-way house between the resident router and any additional attachment elements making up the SwannOne system. The Smart Hub features connections for power, Ethernet and USB plus WPS, reset and speaker / microphone options.
A reappearing spirit, abducted children, flowers and skulls are all featured in this next Hidden Object Adventure game.
For many years the villagers of San Cristobal have held an annual festival entitled Flores de los Muertos (Flowers of the Dead). This festival’s purpose was to ward off the spirit of the Weeping Woman whom the villagers believed was responsible for the disappearance of young children. The story behind the legend of the Weeping Woman began with the marriage of the village beauty Maria Gonzales to Domingo who has a reputation of being a rogue.
When I first read the press release I thought I remembered the View Master name from the dim and distant past with a stereo projector of images from cards. This is a somewhat different idea that uses a viewer face but the images are 360 degree around a feature.
You get a quite well make headset which from the front looks like quality ski goggles, the rear has rubberised eye pieces to take away external sights. On the right side is a slider, the starter pack comes with a 9cm circular disc that you need to focus on in order the view the contents. However all these parts are dumb as they rely on a SmartPhone and App to activate the content each time you go on an experience.
How much time do you spend sat in front of your computer? It does not matter whether you are playing games or carrying out more productive tasks. I suspect that in many cases your answer could well consist of a number of hours. I know that my answer would definitely be a number of hours.
While not immediately registering on your consciousness, a significant word in my original question is that of “sat”, a position that could sometimes be replaced with or used alongside “huddled”. There are points of view which state that being sat or huddled in front of a computer plays a major factor in the cause of RSI or, as in my particular case, back problems.
An analogue watch with a step counter. Yes analogue I do hope younger children are still taught to read a watch rather than rely on digital timepieces. This is a very smart looking offering with a circular dial and absolutely no buttons.
When I reviewed an earlier model I found it difficult to setup this one was a joy, press the back of the case with the tool supplied and you link to the App that you have downloaded, enter a few personal details and then the App and the watch link via Bluetooth and the time is set and that is about it, around five minutes in total.