Are you worried about what might be going on in your home when you are not there? The Piper can offer to help.
The Piper is a small device designed to provide you with a degree of control over what might be happening within the confines of your home even when you are not there. Originally developed by Blacksumac Inc but now forming part of the Control Networks portfolio of connected home technology devices, the Piper becomes your eyes and ears during your absences. Using set rules, the Piper can keep you informed as to event soon after they happen.
Having looked at and used Epsons first foray into health via watch that lets you log your pulse as well as much more I am here looking at another device, this one aimed at those whose aim is to get fit as well as those who just try to survive.
This is somewhat larger at 4.5x5x1.5cm and it weights 51grams. The dial is round and has four buttons on the sides in the 2, 4, 8 and 10 o clock positions, the watch display is digital and will not be correct until it gets a satellite fix. The initial setup on the watch consists of language, units, height, weight, DOB, gender, year, month and day. Finally something that has yet to reach its sibling the Pulsense date format.
EnerPlex is a company that specialises in the manufacture of rugged solar charging and portable power products for those requiring a convenient power source when on the move. One solution developed by EnerPlex is the Jumpr product for directly charging smartphones, digital cameras and the like. I have been checking out the Jumpr Stack 3 member of the product line-up.
The Jumpr Stack 3 is a pocket sized device that can provide charging facilities to a range of digital units whether they belong to the Android, iOS or other fraternity. Decked out in a combination of black, grey and orange, the Jumpr Stack 3 has dimensions of 105 x 68 x 14mm (H x W x D) and weighs 120g and so should not over-burden the user too much. At its heart is a Li-Polymer 3.7V 3200mAh battery which has a rated recharging cycle of 600 cycles.
With this new Match-3 game from rokapublish you have the choice of game play as you rescue trapped fairies from an evil sorcerer.
A faraway land of magical beings, where fairies live in peace and harmony with all the other creatures, is the setting for Fantasy Quest, a new title from rokapublish. Unfortunately the appearance of an evil sorcerer upsets the balance of nature as he released a yellow smog which starts to suck up the magic out of everything thrust disrupting the smooth running of the world. If this state of affairs is allowed to continue then the world will be destroyed.
Marketed as DJ headphones these are rather fine on-ear offerings that have both 3.5mm and 6.3mm plugs. So what do you get for your money from the Pioneer HDJ-C70? As stated the sound quality is superb from the 40mm driver, the whole finish is quality.
It is up to 30cm from the base of the headphone pads to the centre of the padded headband, the headphone pads happily spread to 20cm. Each arm can flip through over 180 degrees to accommodate any style of wear I can think of – and others I cannot – and all in the weight is only 216grams. Having mentioned the maximum size there can be as much as 6.5cm contraction on the distance from headphone pad to padded headband so even say a child’s head could be accommodated.
On the one hand there is continued talk regarding the possible myth of the paperless office while developers continue to come up with technology to increase the use of printers and I am not just referring to recent initiatives regarding ink use.
Lantronix, a company well versed as a global provider of smart networking and communications solutions, has come up with its xPrintServer Cloud Print solution. This product has been developed to enable data to be sent from Chromebook and Android devices to a range of network based printers.
The IRIScan Book is a portable, cordless, battery-powered scanner. Hence, it is easy to take it to the material to be scanned rather than vice versa and so one can capture material wherever you are.
Black in colour, 220mm long, and with a 25 x 30mm rectangular cross section it weighs roughly 220g including four AAA batteries and is such a size and weight that it will easily slip in one’s laptop bag. It is supplied with ordinary alkaline batteries and, although it can be used with NiMH rechargeables, IRIS does not recommend it. This is because the latter operate at 1.2V per cell rather than 1.5V and so will provide a shorter usage life.
This DSLR is only a little larger than their most powerful PowerShot unit. It is a full featured DSLR capable of capturing very good images and for those that require it also capable of capturing very good video images as well.
The Canon EOS 1200D Digital SLR Camera measures 12.5x9.5x14cm and weights 684grams without the neck strap. While you would probably attach the neck strap for those occasions when you are wandering around for hours taking images I preferred it without it when I was removing it from my bag to take images and then moving on. The hand grip on the right side is comfortable and although the scales do not lie it feels comfortable when being held.
It is rare that I review something that is Free in its early days I reviewed Skype when it was more or less the first of its kind. So why am I reviewing a free Android Business Suite, for one reason only, it claims 100% Microsoft Office compatibility.
Rather than Bluetooth connectivity, this next speaker uses touch as its means of receiving a signal.
With a title like Boombox you might expect the product to be of a reasonable size as it delivers its audio to all and sundry. However by adding the designated “mini” to the title then the concept of size can change dramatically. Take, for instance, the TouchMini Boombox which arrives with the claim of being a miniature speaker offering high sound without the need of cables or pairing (so no Bluetooth then).
This is a small A4 printer with a scanner lid on top, so small you think its only a printer but its a true All In One as it scans in colour and prints and copy in mono. This laser surely has a place in any small office if only for its diminutive size.
The Brother DCP-1610W measures 38x48x25cm with paper and cables attached so that is all the space you need, it’s not that heavy so even a wide shelf should accommodate it. Just allow a few centimetres on top of the 25cm height to allow items to be placed on the scanner flatbed.
Whenever the subject of graphics tablets comes up, the first name that springs to my mind is that of Wacom, the company behind products such as the Pen & Touch offering which is the focus of this next review.
Available in either small or medium format, this Intuos Pen & Touch product has been developed to help when drawing, sketching or creating projects on a computer. It does this by stepping in and taking over from the mouse controlled cursor and providing a drawing pad work area. The kit consists of the tablet, micro-to-standard USB lead with an “L” shaped plug at the micro end, stylus pen with cloth material holder, Quick Start Guide and a software CD.
With over 100 levels, this next game is aimed at fans of the Match-3 genre.
A shipwreck off the Gulf of Mexico leaves our intrepid explorer without the necessary crew members to continue with his mission to find missing Aztec relics and artefacts that have lain hidden for many centuries. Fortunately, coming to his rescue is a native guide called Ichtaca. She is only willing to help as long as the explorer, called John, can deal with the evil spirits protecting the land. This is the opening sequence of Aztec Venture.
This unit is the size of a 13amp three way adapter. It does have a 13amp plug but few things can be plugged into it. The main task is as a Wi-Fi extender it can also be used to play music via its one connection a 3.5mm socket.
Setting it up to extend your Wi-Fi is simple and if you have an area that is just about covered like maybe an attic room then this will help. It is 4.5x5x6.5cm when plug is inserted. The right side has a button to enter the required modes. The front has an LED to slow what is happening. The third connection is a 3.5mm socket on the underside and this allows you to connect a headset or a set of speakers so you can play music from anywhere else on your network.
Adding to its range of label printers, Brother has released its P-Touch D600VP model.
As with the company’s D450 model, reviewed recently, the Brother P-Touch D600VP is a “Professional PC labelling machine” that comes packaged in its own rigid carry case. This black case, with built in handle, bears more than a passing resemblance to an old portable typewriter I used many years ago. Opening the moulded plastic case reveals the same arrangement of content as found with the D450 unit.
This is actually a multi-function device as not only does it print, scan, copy but it also has fax. HP call it an All In One so that is why I must also. The OfficeJet series are designed for office use but assuming the slate grey colour passes the lounge police
The HP 6830 Officejet Pro All-in-One Printer measures 43x41x21cm these figures are with leads inserted in the rear but you will need a little extra space above if you use the flatbed rather than the sheet feed to scan or copy. While you can purchase this for under £100 it has a big selling point for those who need value it is stated to have running costs of 50% of lasers. It can be connected via Wi-Fi or USB. Any leads you use, power, USB, phone/fax are attached back left.
First a device from TP-Link that can charge two items at once and just for good measure is also a torch. Second a device called a Stylus Pen which amazingly has no less than six abilities, yes the size of a pen but with six different uses.
I must admit when I first read the label I missed the last ‘0’ and thought I have seen smaller 1000mAh units. Then the actual size came into perspective when I focused on the huge capacity. As with most such units it comes with a cable the smaller (micro USB end) plugs into the side of the unit and the larger end (standard USB) into a PC or a 13amp plug with a USB socket.
The Crosskase Eighty 6 laptop bag is suitable for laptops of up to 17.3 inches and should meet the needs of the busy commuter who can use it as a backpack, a messenger bag or a tote bag.
Weighing 1.2kg it is 32 x 46 x 17cm in size it is made from durable grey 600D polyester with the lining in a lighter weight blue material. It has a wide range of pockets and compartments and has been designed to accommodate the laptop and the rest of one’s paraphernalia on the daily trek to and from the office. Comfortably padded handles on both top and one end as well backpack shoulder straps give one a choice of carrying modes.
Welcome to the world according to Kyle Keever and his sidekick Mel. Be prepared for a modern day adventure in New York City.
Taking some inspiration from the numerous talent shows and superhero offerings that are currently dominating television schedules is the Supreme League of Patriots. This is a task-based point-and-click adventure game, set in New York City, from Phoenix Online Publishing. Developed by No Bull Intentions, this game comes in three episodes which are available from Steam, GOG.
This is a tiny device that has two jobs, first to amplify the signal from your MP3 or other audio device and second to allow the signal to be shared so no longer will you need to see one earpiece in one ear and the other in another persons ear.
It is 2.5x2.5x1cm and weights only 15grams. It has an internal solid battery and can be used while being charged as well as when charged. The back has a micro USB socket to charge the unit; a 20cm micro USB to USB cable is supplied. The left side has a 3,5mm input and a 10cm 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable is supplied. The right side has two 3.5mm sockets so either one of two sets of earbuds of headphones can be connected. On a sheer health point not sharing earbuds is surely a plus point.
Edifier has recently added to its range of Bluetooth aware speaker products with another 2:1 system.
As I have mentioned in the past, probably on more than one occasion, I tend to look forward to the arrival of a new piece of Edifier kit. I am always keen to see what physical shape will have been used for the pieces making up the company’s latest speaker unit. In the case the Edifier Prisma Encore, a 2:1 speaker system, the company has combined an ancient battle helmet look with that of a triangular pillar that is narrower at the top than the base.
Captured failed game contestants, twelve styles of hidden object game play and a television game show can all be found in Millionaire Manor.
As most will know Naim produce quality high end audio products so a unit cost less than four figures is for Naim near entry level. This is a quality six speaker system in a single case however it is not a completely dumb unit.
This arrived with me just prior to Christmas and I spent far too long experimenting with it, when the online manual was located it answered some of my questions something that the online help system did not do. It comes with a fold out sheet that is basic assistance and for those using the Naim app may enable you to achieve most things. Of course you need to download the App entering MU-SO will not find it (on Android anyway) you need to enter MU.
Epson has thrown down a challenge to other inkjet printer manufacturers with its introduction of bottles instead of cartridges initiative.
It has long been accepted by many that inkjet printer manufacturers have priced their various models at rock-bottom prices in order to attract customers who then need to spend well above the initial purchase price in order to replace cartridges whose ink can be priced higher than champagne. Epson has decided it is time for a different approach as the company introduces its Eco Tank models.
A rather nice business notebook with a range of security features from both Intel and HP. The items not immediately available on this unit are available via a dock, so you not end up taking extra weight out and about with you.
It is 33.5x23x1.4cm and weights 1554grams. This unit has USB3 ports although you would only know it by speed of transfer as they do not have the blue middle bar that normally denotes these ports. The screen is 14inches and has a 720P webcam set at the centre above it. The default display of 1920x1080 is crisp and clear. The left side has a Kensington Lock connection, a USB3 port, micro SD card socket and an SC connector. The front is clear. The right side has a SIM card slot, 3.
The last item I reviewed from Pioneer was an excellent sound bar, here something much smaller in fact it is designed to give sound without wires and is something you may use when away from home or your office its called Free Me.
This is a small portable speaker at 15x8x3.5cm. Like other Pioneer products it is solidly constructed and as such it weights 360grams, which is quite a lot for a speaker unit of this size. The top and base are a neutral dark grey with the central 12x5cm area of the base rubberised to 1cm depth which raises the speaker grill that goes round all the sides by nearly 2cm from whatever it sits upon. There are five rubberised push buttons 1.4x.
Whether referred to as Griddlers, nonograms or Hanjie, there is one type of puzzle game which I found hard to resist. You could almost say it was a kind of addiction as I can find myself attempting to solve just one more of these puzzles when I should be getting on with something entirely different. This is yet another case as I struggle to break away from playing to write this review.
For those not familiar with the Griddler, nonogram or Hanjie type of puzzles, I should explain what these addictive puzzles involve. The puzzle’s basic playing field consists of a grid of cells arranged in rows and columns. Aligned along the top of the columns and down the left side of the rows are a series of numbers. These numbers provide the clues as to which cells in that row or column need to be blocked in by the player.
A rather unusual piece of kit that can be used to solve problems that you thought were not resolvable. In effect this plugs into a USB3 port to give you HDMI, VGA and Ethernet connections and increase the range of your PC/Notebook.
It is 12.5x5.5x2cm and weights 78grams with the hard wired 10cm USB plug that flips out. Often when I get to review notebooks I mention that a docking station is available to add the bits that were not on the main device, this is normally a proprietary product and has a high price as it is manufactured for a single system so made in small numbers. Here a solution to solve most of the problems from a generic box that plugs into a USB3 port.
Until we get self-charging mobile devices, a popular accessory for smartphone and tablet users will be a lightweight battery charger.
When reading a review of a mobile device, there is a good chance that one area that will engender some criticism will be that involving battery life. While advances in other areas continue at a pace, the important factor regarding the length of battery life can often be a disappointment with the result that a recharging source becomes increasingly important.
As can happen with dreams not everything is as it appears in a new addition to GSPs game catalogue as you attempt to free your family.
The Emerald Maiden Symphony of Dreams is a Hidden Object Adventure game available in Collector’s Edition format on Avanquest’s GSP game label. As usual with Collector’s Edition format, this game comes with a number of bonus items, some of which are available immediately while others require a certain degree of progress to have been made before they can be accessed.