This is very thin in fact so thin that the only connection is in the leg of the base of the unit which in turn goes to a fitment that looks rather like a power brick and then everything power and computer connection via HDMI goes from there.
The unit comes with the stand already attached, the screen is 54x32x.5cm, this is raised 9cm from your desk by the stand, the stand is 24x18cm in a ‘C’ shape only the left side arm connects to the screen. This means the open end of the ‘C’ shape lays flat on your desk and this is where the supplied lead connects the power and HDMI signal via a 60cm long lead that goes into one end of the 14.5x6x4cm block that is not only the power supply but also the HDMI connection.
How many passwords do you have, probably not as many as you should, if one site gets infected or has a leak then any site you use that has that password is vulnerable. Not a pleasant thought so you have two main choices. Write down all your passwords, which is not a great idea, or find a way to let someone else look after all your passwords.
One such package for SmartPhones is Keeper Security. I am told more than 10% of all passwords is 123456, while of course there are still those who use default settings and one of those is err PASSWORD. Hopefully not you, or before long – maybe it has already happened – you will be compromised. The very early virus writers did it for fun and I believe that ‘Hello World’ would be displayed on your screen.
A small camera that comes with a large number of fittings so however you use it you should be able to get great videos and images up to 4K. My use of it was far more mundane but I was still amazed at the video and sound quality it produced.
The GoXtreme Vision 4K action camera measures 5.5x4x2.5cm without any fitting or extreme use case. As always with new devices I do what most people do and see what I can manage to work out without recourse to the manual. I found a Micro SD Card and inserted it, pressed the on/off button and took a short video, extracted the card and inserted it in the card reader it in my PC and watched the video without problem.
An alternative to a standard light fitment fitted with a bulb for special effects like colours or moods is to have something like this offering from ‘jedi lighting’ which provides the whole gamut of colours, shades and effects in a single clip on fitment.
It is controlled by a supplied remote control so unlike other such offerings does not require Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to use. The only things not included are the three ‘AAA’ batteries and possibly a magnifying glass for the limited multi language instructions provided on the box. A few minutes with the twenty button remote control that also has a double centre joystick (another six choices) and a flip switch on side, so yes the instructions on the box are inadequate.
Many will think of this as the same as that offered by Withings the company taken over by Nokia last year, there are some changes but these are mostly on the cosmetic side such as different straps being options with the unit and wider availability of the 40mm option.
This is an analogue watch but it also is a full featured health and fitness device that works in conjunctions with your Android or iOS device, so it can truly be called the best of both worlds a timepiece and even possibly a life saver. Anyone looking at the 36mm round face will see a conventional stylish analogue watch, as the name suggests it is stainless steel and has what looks like a conventional winder on the right side.
Most people hold their new items and Xmas Showcase in July, not sadly Holland & Barrett, they chose the start of the cold weather -preamble version- when to be fair some of their products on view would help the numerous coughs, colds and sniffles in the less than warm environment.
The venue was an old three storey warehouse in a less salubrious part of London. The showcase was on the first and second floor. After the event I asked several people what they thought of Holland & Barrett items, most replies were on the same, lines of pills and things of the like, and most have heard of their famous ‘penny sale’ when you one item at full price and the other costs 1p.
In the case of this unit it is a four in one device as not only does it print, scan and copy but it also has fax capability and while this may not be required by the majority it is certainly used by my health centre to send urgent prescriptions to chemists.
The Brother MFC-J895DWmeasures 39x34x17cm. You would need around another 14cm onto the second figure the depth for paper output and another 5cm onto the last figure to insert sheets in the feeder mechanism to scan, however this unit is perfectly flat on top when the scanner unit is closed so as we also know any flat surface in the office is useful to put things on. The total weight is 8.5kilos so if on a shelf make sure it is strong enough.
I thought it would be good to take a longer term look at a few products, some of which will no longer be on the market but that will give an insight into the quality and concerns of different manufacturers. First up is this JVC mini hifi.
After a couple of years getting by with an ad-hoc combination comprising various wireless Bluetooth speakers I was sorely missing a 'hifi' box with good speakers and quality sound. After shopping around I settled on this product from JVC. I can't say the decision was very informed.
The quality of music on most people’s phones is probably not great, I do not mean what they choose to listen to but the output quality, the old motto ‘garbage in garbage out’ is probably true here but even if you input better quality such as .WAV then the device itself probably strangles the quality of the output.
At the launch event I noticed they were using TIDAL to beef up the quality of input but then few if any have a decent set of speakers with them while they are traveling to and from work. While we were offered the possibility of a TIDAL subscription this in my case anyway has not yet materialised so is no help with this article. If it arrives later I will update as well as cover TIDAL itself.
As always I start by opening the box and looking at the components before I go anywhere near a car, if I need to refer to the Quick Start Guide then for me anyway the setup is not that straightforward, here I needed to study the Guide before I worked things out.
While a display is not essential this is the first such unit I have seen that does not have one, my first thought as the unit was not new when sent to me was there was a part missing, I was wrong. It works in a different way in that a powerful sticky 6.5x3.2cm pad is attached to the side of the back of the web cam and arrived in a separate bag giving me the wrong idea. Once clipped into place on the camera unit all became clear.
Avanca is not a name that I have previously heard of, this is a Bluetooth and NFC headset, the distance between the two buds is 34cm when the connection is pulled taught, they are designed to go over the ear and round the back of the neck.
A snug fit is required when such devices are worn during exercise or dare I say the words ‘a workout’ and on my normal size head they fitted correctly but I fear someone with a larger head might find the unit a little on the small side to pass over the ears and round the back of the neck. I did also try them the other way round where the connection goes under the ears and that would fit most people without problem. The total weight of the headset is only 18grams.
With its German background, this next mouse has been designed for gaming use.
The Kone AIMO mouse features the Roccat developed ONE-EYE optical sensor which is based on Pix-Art technology. Offering to provide smooth movement and precise targeting, the OWL-EYE optical sensor can operate at a range of adjustable steps from 100-dpi up to 12,000-dpi with recommendation in opting for a range of between 400 and 3000-dpi for a more natural feel to the response from the mouse’s behaviour.
Not exactly a new phone but a chance to purchase this ‘mid-range’ phone at a lower price by simply accepting a static ad as your lock screen, so you get a new phone of a design only launched a few months ago at a price of around 60% of what you would pay without the ad lock screen.
The phone I was provided with is the Spark X which originally launched with a version of Android 6 and now with ‘Add-X’ comes with Android 7, at the event I was led to believe this was going up to Android 7.1.2 (the current version) but despite me keeping it on for a week no upgrade beyond V7 was offered and when I queried this with WileyFox I was told that was not the case and this phone will not be further updated. It is 15x7.5x.8cm and weighs 174 grams.
Time to settle down to a gaming session with a new headset from Roccat.
The Roccat Khan Pro is a gaming headset designed to be your companion as you tackle the challenges offered by a variety of computer games. Decked out in black, embellished with various matte silver imagery and the company name, the Khan Pro combines an on-the-ear style of headset with an adjustable stick style microphone.
Starting in Paris, this next game takes you on a trip to various locations as you seek a missing father
Modern Tales: Age of Invention belongs to the Hidden Object Adventure game genre. You are cast in the role of Emily, the daughter of an inventor who plans to show off his energy emitter during the World Expo taking place in Paris during 1900. But, not surprisingly, things do not go as expected as a scheming madman has evil plans of his own to take over the world by abducting the most brilliant minds of the era.
A large flat panel showing 1920x1080 may seem like overkill for spreadsheets or word processing but of course if you have 20:20 vision you can change the % rate shown, as an example a notebook will often show the display at 150% or 125% this defaults to 100% so you see a lot more.
Large panels are useful for group viewing and as almost all recent panels have near 180degree viewing angles you can gather a lot of people around one and it’s normally much easier than connecting a projector and it also avoids having to find a blank piece of wall that the projector would require for display. It is 62x37x1.5cm its stand raises it by between 8 and 21cm from your desk. The total weight of the unit is 7KG. It can be used either portrait or landscape.
Offering to provide key protection for your online activity is a product from Yubico.
How safe is safe with regards to your actions and valuable data? Perhaps a few words of explanation are required to clarify my original question and its relevance to you and your personal computer equipment.
A dramatic title but today there are people out there determined to make you crash into the back of them by their actions so unless you have an ‘independent’ witness the fact that you hit the car in front makes you automatically guilty.
A Dash Cam can tell via satellite and video the speed you were doing, the exact time and date as well in some cases if you were talking but more importantly it gauges where that vehicle you just hit came from if it has crossed lanes if it has braked excessively etc. Most importantly it is classed as an independent witness. So any money you spend on a Dash Cam is an investment against the possibility of losing your extremely valuable no claims bonus.
If you have ever looked at things on Amazon then you often get ads in the form of an email sometimes at the same price and sometimes at a price that is just too good not to buy, this item was under £3 but then there was delivery but as part of the recent Black Friday round of reductions it became only £2.24 with free delivery.
For a while the CD player in my bedroom has become rather picky about what it will and will not play. In the worst cases it said No Disk and whatever I did this remained the same, sometimes just rotating the disc 90 degrees meant it would play. Sometimes a disc would play for a few minutes and then stop and a few other nasty tricks which I will not go into. In all cases the CD’s in questions played without problem in my audio system in the lounge and in my PC’s CD drive.
A big silver grey notebook from Dell was their latest offering to land on my desk. A large screen and a surprisingly small keyboard almost lost with lots of free space all around it may not sound that encouraging for you to read on.
The Dell Inspiron 15 5000 measures 37.5x25x1.5cm and weight just over two kilos. Bootup is ten seconds and shutdown to blank desktop only two seconds. One fact I cannot normally give is that after a full charge and being left unused for ten days the battery was still 98% charged. The reasons for the lack of use were a nasty bug affecting me and then several trips out which meant that little was done workwise but since that useful fact is available I have shared it.
As a member of Philips S Line range of business monitors, the Quad-HD 27inch 272S4LPJCB ticks all the right boxes for the discerning user. It provides 2560 x 1440 native resolution, is mounted on an ergonomic stand, provides a range of features and offers a choice of connectivity. In addition, Philips claims that it is built using 25% recycled materials.
At the start of 2017 I told you about a pair of pioneer headphones, here what are described as DJ Active Monitors while they are that they are also a rather good pair of speakers for home use so even MP3 sounds can sound excellent.
They are two way bass reflex speakers with ¾ inch tweeter and a four inch woofer. The speakers are 22.5x14.5x22cm. The total weight is just under 5 kilos. The total power output is around 40watts. There is a power lead that plugs into the left speaker and a connecting lead that runs from the left to right speaker which connects via crocodile clips. Also supplied is a 3.5mm to RCA lead.
Artists tend to use a pen or pencil when creating a picture, so why not use something similar when working on a computer screen.
As the capabilities and feature sets of modern computer devices develop in various ways and directions, so the available tools adapt to take advantage of the changes made to the make-up of our must-have units. Take, for instance, the humble pointing tool used to provide the user with the means to carry out tactile communication with the computer.
Most will think that once you have located the correct size of battery the only real choice is do you use Alkaline 1.5v or Rechargeable 1.2v. According to Panasonic while any battery that fits will work getting the best performance is down to the correct type of battery.
The four grades are EVOLTA, Pro Power, Everyday Power and Alkaline Power – each one with a different capacity. As different appliances require different levels of energy, Panasonic want to help battery consumers “see the wood for the trees” by guiding them through their purchase decision. So as with so many things today you need to use an App this one is available in the iOS or Android store.
Looking for a way to save money on your next smartphone purchase then Wileyfox might have a solution.
You have only to walk down your local High Street to get the confirmation as to how crowded is the mobile phone market. Often matching, and in the case of my High Street out-numbering the collection of coffee shops, these mobile phone establishments have more different handset models for your selection than you could shake a stick at. The manufacturers of the various brands are constantly seeking ways to make their handsets more attractive to the buying public.
It’s over a year since I told you about the indoor version and here at last is the promised outdoor version, it seems CE compliance takes longer than everyone thought. So here the camera that can work between -25c and +45c and it has no wired connection.
Slightly larger back to front than the indoor but apart from that it works in virtually the same way, the only difference rather than automatically shining a light when full colour images cannot be given because of lack of light this uses infra-red to give you a sharp image.
If the multifunction aspect of modern smartphones is not enough for you then Lenovo offers a modular approach.
As part of the impressive line up of Lenovo products, the Moto Z2 Play is a modular designed handset. The modular design of this product means that additional features can be added to suit the individual needs of the particular user. These additional features, or mods as they are referred to, include items such as extra battery life, wireless charging capability and special camera facilities.
Fancy over-dosing on Hidden Object game play, then read on.
Having just watched the rather gory Hansel & Gretel movie, it seemed the appropriate time to check out the Shaman Games Studios “Catch the Witch” offering. This particular game belongs to the Hidden Object genre and casts you in the role of Alice who is an apprentice of the world famous witch known as Circe. Before entering this world of magic, witches and Hidden Object game play you can make adjustments to the playing environment and create a playing profile.
This board game for adults is based on a TV series, as I have never seen it I can only comment on the game. Strangely it has a 17+ rating that until now I did not know exist, I know of 18+ but that was/is a film classification which used to be – in my youth - ‘X’ or I believe ‘H’.
While there is a folded 22.5x22.5cm sheet with the rules you can probably get the idea better by watching the You Tube Video – link at the end – the box contains everything you need for a probably alcohol fuelled evening and it may even put a relationship of three to the test. The game is said to be for six to ten players – there needs to be an even number – as you play as a pair, six would be fine.
Tucked away on your wrist, this Nokia device can check on various health issues.
As a sign of the times, whenever I now think of Nokia my thoughts tend to drift towards the subject of health matters. Over the last few months I have looked at a blood pressure monitor and a BMI weighing machine from Nokia. Now it is the turn of the company’s Steel HR product which is a wristwatch device that combines activity-tracking features with heart rate monitoring capabilities.