This is a small flat circular device that you talk to – and it can talk back – it can also give you information and even play music from a range of sources. Other joys it can tell you time and set alarms to wake you so ‘Alexa’ from Amazon is here.
Some may think Alexa is real as she interprets what you say to a good degree of accuracy but she is just a very sophisticated voice recognition package which needs no training but she is still able to learn and while some of the initial stories coming out about it ordering things for you without you meaning to place the order, this is unlikely to occur by accident.
Something I have heard of previously but until now I have never tried a water bottle filled with tap water and then left for various periods with a stick of charcoal in it. Recently I reviewed a water bottle with a filter to remove impurities for use when no clean water is around, this item is intended to improve the taste of pure tap water.
Before anyone starts taking lumps or charcoal from a fire I assume the stick provided here has been treated as it does not disintegrate like burnt wood. What you get is an 11cm long slightly curved 2cm across round stick black in colour, it goes into the supplied 21cm tall round bottle which is 3cm across at the top and up to 9cm across lower down. The bottle has a cork to fit in the top with a metal clip to hold it in place.
Philips are a trusted name in electronics, the panel division is based Europe, I have reviewed a number of items for the home medical and health division, here something from another division home grooming which they do for both men and women.
This electronic razor is equally useable ‘Wet’ or ‘Dry’. A lot of dry shavers have a problem when shaving once a couple of days have passed since their last use especially on the area below the chin and while you feel fine just after the shave then the irritation starts and also as this hair is somewhat softer there is also the likelihood that it has just been brushed aside rather than removed.
While you may spend many hours staring at it, how much thought went into the selection of your computer screen?
If, like me, you spend many hours sitting in front of a computer, whether for work or more entertaining activities, then some care should be taken regarding the environment and the equipment being used. While much thought may be put into features such as processor speed, RAM and the amount of storage space, the monitor can sometimes be regarded as little more than an after thought even though it fulfils the important role of delivering an insight into the world created by the computer.
It does not seem all that long ago that I reviewed a game entitled Cursed House and now I am entering the world of Cursed House 4.
This is from a Polish company bringing a range of SmartPhones to various parts of Europe including the UK. The first thing I noticed is that it is not light and the volume levels need to be adjusted as they as set rather high by default, ideal for those with hearing loss.
My sample also had another rather interesting setting in that by default Wi-Fi is set to off so you cannot do the standard of inserting SIM, setup Wi-Fi – because no Wi-Fi will be found – then set up your email account etc. before you get to the Home screen. There is sometimes a third option showing of ‘later’ on the Wi-Fi setup screen which allows you to get to the Home screen.
While better known as the developer of mobile phones, Nokia is also active in the area of Health equipment. One such product is the Nokia Body. Not to be confused with an Australian supermodel, the Nokia Body is a weighing machine. It has Body Mass Index features plus rain and weather forecasting capabilities along with its weighing capability.
Available in a choice of white or the black of my review sample, the Nokia Body’s ultra slim body features a large high-strength tempered glass platform on the top of a square unit with dimensions of 327 x 327 x 23mm (W x D x H). Positioned at the top of the reflective mirrored platform is a 128 x 64 pixel viewing window providing large easy-to-read feedback regarding the device’s various functions of weight, BMI and weather forecast.
This is an inkjet All In One meaning it prints, scans and copies. It is a five ink offering with the pigment black cartridge being considerably larger. So it is Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black plus the second pigment black to get the five cartridges.
The Canon Pixma TS6050 measures 35x35x15cm with A4 paper in the small bottom tray. You would need a little more space on top to place things on the flatbed scanner and if you use the rear sit up tray a lot more space above. Some extra space - around another 12cm - for when A4 paper is printed to fully extend the output tray. Paper is inserted in the bottom tray face down and in the rear tray face forward.
This is a Bluetooth tube speaker with bright green ends all round speakers and black rubber sides. None of that really matters as turn it on to a music source of your choice and marvel at the sounds coming from the unit then play the same music through your Notebooks speakers, it’s no contest this unit from Braven is a winner.
The Braven Stryde 360 bluetooth speaker measures 16cm tall and 7.5cm from side to side, it weighs 474 grams. Virtually the whole front and rear of this round tube is all speaker with the top and bottom also being speakers as well, for which the technical term is passive radiators. The front has a black rubber strip with five near invisible buttons mounted over its length, I say invisible as they are imprinted black on black.
MAGIX offers to help put your photos and videos into a format to entertain others.
No doubt, like many others, you have a large, if not vast, collection of photos and videos taking up valuable storage space on your computer. While these images are a great aid to your memory, they can also be put to more productive use by being amalgamated into a visual and audio experience that could be enjoyed by friends and family. This task could be carried out with a software product such as PHOTOSTORY Deluxe from MAGIX.
A Nespresso coffee machine called ‘Expert’ & milk. So if you like black coffee there are cheaper options, but even if you only like a frothy coffee once in a while then this offering from Magimix could well be just the thing.
The work ‘Expert’ here means you have choices as to the size of the cup and even to the heat of the water both things that you do not directly have in most other machines. Yes you can always stop the flow early or even add more over the used pod but you certainly only have one water temperature, with the ‘Expert’ you can choose both. It is 36.5cm wide, 21cm deep and 28cm tall. Both the milk unit and the water tank sit on the right side of the unit.
Not to be confused with the natural phenomena found in astronomy, the Luna Eclipse product is a set of multimedia speakers offering Bluetooth connectivity.
Consisting of a passive and active speaker combination with a remote control unit, the Edifier Luna Eclipse comes with a small multi-language booklet that acts as a User Manual, and various leads. In the case of my review sample, the collection of leads was made up of a two-piece mains power lead with linking switching adapter, a lead with proprietary six-pin connections for joining the two speaker units and an audio lead with 3.5mm jack plugs at each end.
While the blurb that arrived with Secret Investigations: Nemesis indicated that this was an exciting and multilevel detective game involving intricate cases and logical thinking, my experiences with this game were somewhat different.
Secret Investigations: Nemesis casts you in the role of a private detective, who does not even seem to have a name, who is set the task of “investigating” ten different crimes. These crimes are identified as The Mystery of Room 13, Rescuing Fire, Echo of the Past, Last Bus Route, Lost Dog, Forgotten Case, Cursed House, Subway Legends, Missing Elephant and Mysterious Passenger.
Just occasionally I get an email from Hoover about new offerings, one such arrived last week and I selected what seemed an interesting offering asking if one was available for delivery four days later just in time for my weekend cleaning blitz.
The next afternoon it arrived and it therefore sat in my hall for three days waiting to clear up the last weeks mess. Assembly was a matter of extracting it from a tightly fitting box and finding the handle among all the accessories and hose extensions all provided. There is one screw - packed in position with a piece of tape – so a screwdriver is required. The supplied 6 metre power cord is almost long enough to do the whole property from a single power point – another .
Designed for the young at heart (at whatever age), the Honor 9 is the latest smartphone in the range to join the Huawei family of products. With this particular model, Huawei has attempted to combine aspects of quality, appearance and a price point that should appeal to its designated market sector.
With an appearance that seems to whisper “pick me up please”, the Honor 9 is available in a choice of colours. The discerning user can select from Sapphire Blue, Midnight Black or the Glacier Grey colour of the model that I have been reviewing. Incidentally I have heard rumours of a pink model but, as yet, have not set eyes on it to confirm its existence. The Honor 9 has dimensions of 147.3 x 70.9 x 7.45 mm (H x W x D).
A notebook with decent Harman Kardon speakers, a not that reflective screen brushed metal front and a mushroom back which means not much to show finger marks all things that are plus points before we get on to what’s inside.
This Asus Zeonbook measures 32x22.2x1.5cm the last measurement is at the back and it is only 1cm at the front and it weighs 1320 grams. The viewable screen is 31x17.7cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 14 inches. The display is 1920x1080. The left side has DC input, USB port, HDMI port, USB 3.1 port and finally a 3.5mm socket for headphones. Both the back and front are clear. The right side has two USB2 ports and an SD card socket.
Magix are a name I first came across years ago and they still continue to publish software products for both home and professional use, most of their products are available to download as a trial once you can get past their ‘I am not a robot’ shield.
Any product that has reached version 12 must have a lot going for it, while I have reviewed other packages from Magix previously some doing a lot of what Sound Forge does this is the first time I have used this package. So in order to help those who have used it before my first port of call was to the What’s New tab. Firstly I gather this is Sound Forge’s first 64bit version. While an expert is probably clear with things like Slice Editing, Soft Cut and Spectral Cleaning.
It is that time of the year when new versions of existing products begun to appear – including MAGIX’s movie editing software.
MAGIX has just released the latest version of its popular Movie Edit Pro software. Now up to version 17, this software is available in a choice of Standard, Plus and Premium editions, each priced appropriately to reflect the product’s feature set. This review is based on the standard MAGIX Movie Edit Pro offering. As part of the initial installation procedure of this product, users are given the option to include a copy of MAGIX Music Maker in the process.
Very different to the original first launched in 2014 and a little bit different to Chromecast 2 launched two years ago. It really is just a matter of plugging into an HDMI port and downloading an App to your phone the link is almost instant and then almost anything on your phone can be ‘cast’ to the HDMI screen be it on a TV or computer.
The original Chromecast was an oversize USB stick which meant at the very least it would obstruct ports either side of the one you connected to and in most cases you would need to hang it from an extension lead. The latest model is small and circular and is attached to a short lead so it gets away from the other ports on the rear of your TV or panel. It has a 1.5metre micro USB to mains lead plug so in most cases this is long enough but you can always use an extension lead if required.
When looking for an IT bargain, one place to check out is the Reichelt superstore.
Supplied by the online and bricks & mortar superstore, Reichelt, the VARTA powerbank is a device that can be used to recharge a mobile device when a mains power source is not available for carrying out the purpose. For those not familiar with the company VARTA, I should explain that this is a German organisation with 128 years experience in the development of solutions involving batteries such as this powerbank device.
With Kestrels and Alchemy, this next game sets you the challenge of rescuing a kingdom.
A sub £80 SmartPhone is not how I normally start but if price is the most important thing then what better way. However if the phone offers the majority of things other more expensive unit do then surely it’s a good place to start.
This offering from Vodafone is aimed at the PAYG customer, it is 14.5x7.3x less than 1cm, it weighs 150grams. The viewable screen is 11x6.2cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial screen measurement of five inches. The screen is 720x1280 pixels. It comes with Android 7. My unit had a white screen surround and a mushroom patterned back (they call gold) which means less finger marks showing. The top has a 3.5mm socket for headphones.
Adding to its range of protected hard drives, iStorage has released a new diskAshur DT2 model.
While the most popular buy is a fridge/freezer combo, a lot of people still prefer a stand along freezer especially if this is going to live somewhere other than in the kitchen. This offering from Fridgemaster seems to be an excellent buy.
Before I tell you about the freezer let me mention a very important point the service offered by AO.com. You are invoiced by email as soon as the sale is made, the delivery date agreed, and then a four hour time slot is agreed. On the day an automated phone call early in the morning and then an email reminder of the delivery. AO have an iOS and Android App to let you track the driver’s progress and show the number of deliveries before yours.
Until earlier this year I thought of Sennheiser for quality headphones, then I reviewed the Flex 5000 which came with a set of earbuds, since then a pair Sports buds and now this Bluetooth offering to give you total freedom of movement.
As regular readers will know my ears often swell after an hour or so of use of earbuds so I tried the smallest buds supplied thinking they would not be big enough however because there is little of no weight on the buds as you wear the control unit around the neck like a collar (open neck) the short length of cord between the neck and the ear is not load bearing.
Nero has bundled together its various standalone offerings into a multimedia suite.
Now available in its 2018 version, Nero has released the latest edition of its multimedia suite package. As with the previous version, this product is available in two separate offerings. With a name change from Classic to Standard, the basic version of the Nero software is made up of Nero Video, Nero Burning Rom, Nero MediaHome and Nero Recode. Offering even greater functionality and improved performance is the Platinum version of Nero 2018.
This is part of the Dell back to school/university range. A Chromebook is able to do a lot of things that a Windows or Apple computer can do, it can browse the Internet, collect and send emails and you can these days even store word processing and spreadsheets on it. What it cannot do is run Apple or Microsoft programs.
This Dell Chromebook measures 30x20.4x1.5cm and weighs 1290grams. The viewable screen is 25.5x14.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 11.6inches. The screen opens to 180 degrees. The base has four enlarged rubber bumps to keep the unit off your desk and allow the speakers to function, these are placed either side at the front of the base and give better sound – and more of it – than a lot of other notebooks.
When out and about exploring the wilds of the countryside, this next product could prove vital.
As part of the discussions relating to the design of a powerbank device, I should imagine that the balance between size, weight, capacity and functionality has a major role to play. While some users might consider the device’s size and weight to be top of their wish list regarding vital considerations, other might prefer the unit with the largest battery capacity.
When visiting the Big Kahuna Reef you have tasks to perform while admiring the local fish.
Many games are based on a story line. This story could have its roots in historical content, myths and legends or the imagination of the game’s development team. However none of this would be true with this next game under review. The Big Kahuna Reef does not have a story line. Instead it is a Match-3 game that draws its inspiration from an underwater scene that is home to a variety of colourful and decorative fish.
This sadly is one of those occasions where the launch bears no resemblance to the availability of review samples, so while I was ready to go when the launch came my memory of exactly what the camera can do was somewhat dimmed by the time taken for one to arrive which means the time required to review is longer.
This is a camera that can work on land or under water, when used in the latter condition the ability to get a level shot may or may not be important but it does have both horizontal and vertical levels, it is of course fully waterproof and can withstand the odd drop as I remember from the presentation day. If can also function in extremes of temperature. The zoom is quite impressive and is of course periscopic to avoid any possible leak points with the normal lens expansion. The camera is 11.