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DreamToys 2017 : Toys

When composing a list for Santa, you may like to consider the following items.
Every year, around this time, a panel of the leading retailers in the toy industry will get together and announce the hottest items that are expected to fly off the shelves in the lead up to the Christmas season.
Normally when I hear ‘All In One’ it refers to a printer and scanner unit. This however is a PC everything is built into the touch screen with the only external bits the wireless keyboard and mouse so much less desk space is required.
The overall size is 53.5x33.5x3cm, the stand is 23.5x23.5cm and raises the screen by 6cm. The only other parts are the keyboard and mouse both are wireless controlled by a single tiny USB controller. Apart from one USB 3.1 port, a headphone socket and an SD Card port on the left side bottom edge of the screen everything else is on the rear of the unit. On the right side of the connecting arm are an HDMI, two USB 3.1 and a USB 2 port as well as a small Kensington Lock Port.
876733 GoBag Vacuum Compressible Carry on Backpac

Vacuum Packed Luggage : GOBAG 2

How good are you at packing your luggage before a trip? This product might help.
Described as the ultimate carry-on backpack, the GOBAG 2 offers to provide the regular traveller with the means to fit as much content as possible into the available storage space.  As the figure “2” part of its title might indicate, the GOBAG 2 is the follow up offering to the original GOBAG which was launched back in 2015 on the crowd-funding Kickstarter platform.  GOBAG 2 is following a similar route with a Kickstarter launch in November 2017.
Take a trip, back in time, to Persia and help save the land from evil and mis-rule.
Persian Nights – Sands of Wonder is a Hidden Object Adventure game developed by SO DIGITAL_.  As its opening premise, this game is set in the kingdom of Persia which has been brought to the edge of ruin by the harsh rule of the Grand Vizier Zaved.  Your role in this game is that of Tara, a talented young apothecary, who sets out to purge the kingdom of the disease and evil that has spread throughout the land.
876742 Nokia BPM Compact Wireless Blood Pressure Monito

Nokia BPM+

The words ‘mobile’ and ‘blood pressure’ in the same statement seemed strange to me so I asked to see this device from what is now Nokia but they are perhaps better known as Withings who have been making these sort of health devices for years.
You should always take your blood pressure reading ‘at rest’ which for most will mean while sitting and also in ‘normal’ circumstances once you been sitting for a few minutes. So the ‘mobile’ here means that the results are stored on your phone or Tablet. Taking readings at different times of day, before and after meals and exercise can often help your doctor or nurse solve what is causing higher or lower readings.
876730 winzip 2

File Distribution : Corel WinZip 22

Originally released to compress file sizes, WinZip has developed into aspects of file distribution.
During a recent clear-out of my flat, I came across an old Compac (a name from the past that shows the device’s age) laptop that I had not used this century.  One of the applications that were residing on the laptop’s hard drive was an early Shareware version of WinZip.  By co-incidence, I had just received the latest version of this Corel software.
876523 Samsung Galaxy S8 plu

Samsung S8+

This ‘+’ of the Samsung S8 is seriously big and for the first time I have been able to move all my Apps etc. from one phone to another seamlessly. If you are someone whose life revolves round a phone why not have that extra screen size that you get here.
The Samsung Galaxy S8+ measures 15.5x7x.7cm and weighs 174grams. The viewable screen is 14x7cm, my unit had a grey back with a slight blue tinge the sides were silver and the front a not that shiny black, so joy of joys it does not show fingermarks that much. The screen has 16 million colours and is 2960x1440. The right side has the on/off button, the base the speaker, the 3.5mm socket for headphones and the USB ‘C’ port for charging and for an OTG device.
876524 lumie bedbu

Lumie Bedbug

Not a small creature that lives in bedding but a bedside light that has no less than twenty two levels of brightness from a dull red up to a bright white. Designed primarily for young children I must admit that it has been a hit with me.
The Lumie Bedbug measures 16x10x10cm and is supplied with a 1.5metre micro USB to mains plug lead. However should it be required it could run off a standard micro USB to USB lead which could be powered from a charging port on a notebook or other device. As an experiment I also ran it using a ‘PowerBank’ mobile phone charger as the input and this worked correctly as well. This would be ideal when mains power is not available.
876595 kaspersky security clou

Kaspersky Security Cloud

Adding to its family of industry-leading anti-virus and security protection products, Kaspersky has developed its Security Cloud offering.
With a description of being “the first security-as-a-service with a tailor approach”, Kaspersky Security Cloud (KSG) is available in personal and family editions.  The product combines patented adaptive technology and comprehensive protection against the threat of viruses, Trojans, worms and phishing amongst other attacks by configuring itself to fit comfortably with the user’s behaviour. This review is based on the personal edition of the product.
876520 Lenovo YOGA 520 14IKB Ultrabook convertabl

Lenovo Yoga 520

This is a lightweight Windows Notebook/Tablet with – for me anyway – the all-important touch ability. Other things that might tempt you are USB ‘C’ and narrow screen borders on either side or the screen and the lack of Bloatware pre-installed.
The Lenovo Yoga 520 measures 32x23.5x1.5cm and it weighs 1710grams. The viewable screen is 31x17.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 13.7 inches, it would have been nice to have 1920x1080 display but the default is 1366x768 which becomes noticeable when viewing web pages. The left side has DC input, HDMI output, USB and USB ‘C’ ports and a 3.5mm socket for headphones. Both the front and back are clear, the base has a pair of speakers.
876518 Funky Veg Kit by Plant Theatr

Funky Veg Kit

One of the stranger items that was in the bag from Amazon at their Christmas In July event - and checking round this is the last item yet to be reviewed - or those received. While it is rather late to start planting for cropping this year everything apart from gloves are supplied in this kit.
As its now well into the autumn I will not get a chance to test these out till next year. I have however opened the box and read the dual language sheet to try to get an idea of exactly when and how to proceed. My normal gardening goes as far as cutting things down and mowing the grass so actually watching something – other than weeds – grow will be a plus and it might even mean I have a partially green digit.
As the follow up title to Eventide: Slavic Fable, the House of Fables team have developed Eventide 2: Sorcerer’s Mirror which is described as belonging to the Hidden Object genre. Actually the game would be equally at home in the Hidden Object Adventure genre with its mixture of Slavic mythology, magic mirrors, exploration, mini-game type puzzles and an assortment of Hidden Object game play.
The main Sorcerer’s Mirror game comes with a series of extra features made up of wallpapers, music, concept art, cut scenes, Hidden Object scenes and mini-games.  Like the original Eventide offering, all these extra items can be accessed immediately.  This means you can try out the 16 Hidden Object scenes, 12 mini-games and view the 14 cut-scenes before encountering them in the actual game as you get in some extra practice.
This is much smaller than the original version I reviewed some years ago. The basic shape is the same but the heating element inside is humped which should mean the heat is better distributed amongst whatever is being cooked.
Philips Viva Collection Airfryer TurboStar measures 27x24x24cm not including the handle and the part that can contain items - the basket - is 18x18x8cm, this area lifts out. While most will use it to cook chips – which it does very nicely – however it can do much more.
876522 Aura GestureBotics Gesture Controlled Flying Dron

A Drone for Kids

The main problem for most with a drone is C O N T R O L and here this is easy, I first saw a prototype demonstrated at the annual Toy Fair last January and here it is in October just in time to appear on your kids Xmas nag list.
Before you stop reading saying ‘this person is crazy’ my dexterity at ‘three score and ten plus’ is far less than the average young child but I have flown this round my kitchen and hall without damaging anything. The blades of the drone are inside a protective frame and yes if it has a direct hit on something on the edge of a shelf it may knock it off but the drone itself is light that is why this is an indoor unit.
Having looked at a water purifying bottle, and a Charcoal stick water bottle earlier this year I was a little sceptical about what this one could offer but the fruit infusion side got my attention and I asked to see what it had to offer.
While you cannot actually buy one at the time of writing you can participate for £23 in a crowd funding site. The charcoal stick idea is not new and I have recently reviewed such a bottle and this even has a similar way of hold the stick in place in the bottle.
All kids love cartoons, any parent will have to watch the child’s favourite over and over again. When the child is a little older then this torch and projector in one unit may just remove the need for the child to require a nightlight in their room.
This Disney themed torch and projector is 11.5cm tall and at the front end circular at 3cm, add another centimetre when you insert one of the three provided Disney image reels of images. Each reel has eight images and while I am the world’s most anti health and safety instructions person here some care might be required for the very young who seem to like eating anything, these plastic reels are 3cm across and .3cm thick.
876301 Mywalit Leather Magic Walle

Magic Wallet My Walit

I am sure we all know how to make money disappear, the trick is to make it reappear again and while I saw this trick demonstrated when visiting one of the ‘Xmas In July’ events. The wallet it is meant to work with arrived but so far I have failed to make money disappear or reappear.
The demonstrator had a £5 note in one side of the wallet he opened it again and it had gone, reopened it and it was there again. So sadly all I can tell you about is the wallet. It consists of two separate parts both 10.5x8cm, the first part is a small zip up purse on one side and a clear side for the reverse. The second part has three credit card slots on one side and the other side being clear.
876519 ICY BOX IB PBa5000   power bank   Li po

5000mAh PowerBank and more

This small black box is a PowerBank to recharge all your USB devices, however it is also a digital clock and a temperature display, and for good measure an alarm clock and it is even stated to have a calendar so this is a true multi-functional device.
It is 8.5x5x2cm and it weighs 153grams. Firstly as a charging device it has 5Vinput and 2.1A output for mobile devices – called fast charge – if you charge your SmartPhone from a computer port the fastest you are likely to charge at is 1A. Within the 12 sides of this 14x9cm User Manual which covers ten languages three of the sides are in English.
Nuance is taking its voice recognition software on the road with Dragon Anywhere.
WitchcraftPandora’s Box is a Hidden Object Adventure game. This Meridian 93 title, developed by the Heroes Game Studio, and spread over six chapters, sets you the task of rescuing your daughter who has been kidnapped by the Witch-Crow.
In Witchcraft – Pandora’s Box you will need to visit a parallel reality, awaken magical forces, confront terrible creatures using dark powers, avoid traps and outsmart the witch.  The game involves unleashing powerful spells, solving puzzles and completing tricky quests.  Are you ready to accept the challenge? As usual with games of this genre, you can create profiles for individual players to record their progress.
876521 mcafee life safe anti viru

McAfee Live Safe

McAfee call this the ULTIMATE antivirus, identity and privacy protection for all your PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets, so while you may have purchased it for your PC all those other devices such as your Phone and Tablet are also covered.
Even if you get a box – or card – from a retailer you do not get any media which means you have to download it from the web address given, this may seem like an extra step but of course Anti-Virus needs updating all the time as the bad guys are always updating their threats. So you get the latest version and not one produced weeks or even months ago.
876534 flir one pro thermal imaging camer

Thermal Image Viewing : FLIR ONE Pro

Giving a different viewing aspect to building and other work is the task undertaken by FLIR ONE Pro.
There is no doubt that the photographic ability built into the latest smartphones have improved compared to the models that were on offer over the last couple of years.  However I have yet to see an influx of smartphones offering the Alien-like X-ray ability to visualise thermal images of various scenes.
876298 nero platinum 2018 video editing softwar

Nero Platinum 2018

The round of lets be first with 2018 products is now in full swing, here a product that I use on a regular – more than once a week – basis. Unlike a lot of software that is sold on subscription Nero never ‘times out’ so you need good reasons to upgrade like added features.
Not the fastest installer at twelve minutes for the main components but you are kept informed of what is happening, while you will need up to 5GB of space for everything the main components need around 1.5GB. You then need to enter your 39 character serial number, this is only required once so you can then install the other parts when you wish without this inconvenience.
876296 qabu

Qobuz (part 2)

Early in the summer I told you about what Qobuz expected and now after a few months of regular use I can tell you about what I have experienced, and, also what a rare answer from Qobuz has had to say to some of my concerns.
876300 Logitech M325 Wireless Mous

Logitech M325 Wireless Mouse

Some people hate a trackpad and as more notebooks are sold today than PC’s they either have to learn to accept one of just maybe find another solution and that solution could be available in the form of a wireless mouse like this small offering from Logitech.
The mouse is small – without being tiny – it is 9.5x5.5x3.5cm and weights a total of 87grams with its receiver. It is powered by a single ‘AA’ battery that is stated to last 18 months. The receiver is tiny at 1.8cm long and 1.2cm of that goes into a USB port so only .6cm sticks out. I tried it on both a Windows 7 and Windows 10 computer and in both cases it worked almost instantly.
876299 66 Audio BTS+ Bluetooth Sports Headse

BTS Pro Headphones

Headphones is perhaps the wrong word for these small units perhaps neckphones – my spell checker hates that word so maybe I have just invented it – as they sit behind the neck rather than on top of the head and they are on ear offerings rather than over ear.
The size of the case fits in the palm of the hand so maybe that says more than saying what size they collapse to. 13.5x8.5x5cm is the size of the hard sided zip up case that is supplied and they fit in this with no problem. Rather than press evenly on the ear they fit on where they touch which is the side away from the hinge so not perhaps the best in very noisy environments as the ear can still breathe and therefore extraneous noises can penetrate.
876297 acer spin 7 convertible windows PC laptop table

Acer Spin 7

This is both a Notebook and a Tablet computer. It is of course quite light which is nice if you are walking around with it all day but that means compromises the main one for me was the lack of a full size USB port which for some might be a problem.
The Acer Spin 7 measures 32x22.5x1cm and it weighs 1341grams. The diagonal screen measurement is 14inches and the recommended display is 1920x1080.This is an updated version of one the units I got to briefly try during last year’s Glasgow visit. At that point it had Windows 1511 and now via updates it has Windows 1703. It has on/off button on the left and beside this is a volume rocker, both the front and back are clear. The right side has a 3.
876293 acronis true image 201

Acronis 2018

I have used Acronis for my regular Backups for several years, while it feels strange in August to be calling a release ‘2018’ I know all manufactures vie with each other to be first and certain software packages always come early.
The big recent talking point is Ransomware and if anyone gets clobbered by this nasty virus then their life will stop until they manage to restore some order. No Acronis is not a virus package it’s a Backup package and one that can wipe your hard drive so you can go back to where your PC was before your last backup and thus you can negate the effects of Ransomware just remember to do regular backups.
876294 tubicon YubiKey

Encryption from Yubico

If your worry is not the actual stealing of your notebook or computer but people snooping at the data stored on it then the Yubikey could be the answer. If however your notebook or PC is stolen then without the Yubikey the thief still cannot get at the data.
There are a number of different models I was sent two different ones that both work via a USB port. The first a standard thin USB stick size and the second a tiny offering that could reside on a lanyard. Perhaps best of all it can work with external services so you can use you Yubikey to add an extra layer of security to external sites where you might store your files.
875822 Amazon Echo Dot 2nd Generatio

Echo Dot from Amazon

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.
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