The latest range of USB3 small external drives from Toshiba sees the Canvio Advance (highest specified of three) cross my desk to be given the real world test over a matter of weeks, using transfer by USB2, USB3 and this time also USB ‘C’ for good measure.
As I was testing this with Windows PC’s and I had used similar products all I did was unbox the drive and connect the supplied USB3 cable. Unlike earlier USB drives this takes the small amount of power required from the USB port so it is true ‘plug and play’. While this is stated to be 2TB and by the 1000 calculation method it is but Windows used the 1024 calculation so it only shows as 1.81TB this is normal.
Grandma, so they say, knows best, so will you take her advice and enter the Fantastic Worlds.
Developed by Grandma Studios, Reflections of Life: Dark Architect is a Hidden Object Adventure game. It takes you on a trip to the Fantastic Worlds. You will arrive as these worlds are under attack from an evil force and are cast in the role of Queen Clio who is also one on the Guardians of this enchanted environment. I have been looking at the Platinum version of the title which contains a number of bonus items classified as Extras.
There are a number of music streaming Apps out there and while most will perhaps settle on one, I get the chance to try several for an extended period. I first looked at Deezer four years ago and things have progressed since then.
Maybe your face might not launch a thousand ships, as the face of Helen of Troy is claimed to have done, but this next software might help when using your digital image prior to setting sail.
It does seem somewhat incongruous that Anthropics Technology, a company best known for its face enhancement software, should be based in a location known as Ugli Campus in West London but maybe it is a case of opposites attract. The company has recently released the latest version 17 of its PortraitPro offering which is available in Standard, Studio and Studio Max editions. I have been looking at the top-of-the-range PortraitPro Studio Max version.
Motorola used to send regular phones to be reviewed and then they became part of Lenovo who have a different reviews team, so it’s been a while since one has crossed my desk and this only because it is one of a range promoted by Vodafone.
The Motorola Moto Z2 Play measures 15.5x7.5x.6cm and weighs 168grams. It has a matt black back with a grippy pattern. It is an all metal body with the sides being gun metal grey the screen is shiny black but does not show finger marks that much. The viewable screen is 13x6.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial screen measurement of 5.5inches with over 400pixels per inch. At the base of the front is the finger print sensor surely a better place for it than on the rear of the phone.
Now forming part of the MAGIX family of products, since 2016, VEGAS Movie Studio has recently been released in its version 15 format.
The version 15 of VEGAS Movie Studio is available in three different flavours priced accordingly. This review is based on the standard classic basic offering priced at £39.99. Enhanced, with more advanced features, are the versions of VEGAS Movie Studio Platinum costing £59.99 and VEGAS Movie Studio Suite with a list price of £99.99.
A tiny device that arrived in a small plastic sleeve and this still in a not large clear plastic envelope with the lettering USB ‘C’. It is designed to fit in any device that has a USB ‘C’ port like the majority of recent mobiles or some recent lightweight Notebook/Tablets, that are lacking the thing that most people still require a full size USB port.
It is 2cm long, 1cm wide and .1cm thick, it weights well under 1gram, yes 1gram and only just 2grams in its protective plastic holder which has a hook on one end and it clips into it. All you need to do is remove it from its holder and fit it into any USB ‘C’ port and then attach any standard USB drive and it is read by the phone or Notebook/Tablet that it is connected to.
If you have a phone of Tablet that you no longer use you could couple it with this App from Manything to let you know what is happening when you are not there, it allows your phone or tablet camera to keep you updated on who eat the last sandwich, left the milk out of the fridge or even wrecked the lounge was it Brutus or just maybe it was innocent little Simon.
Some will say this is spying, others will say if it’s your home then it’s your rules but you need to make that choice yourself. Manything offer a range of offerings with the basic one of ‘Liveview’ being FREE. Place your old mobile in the position most likely to confirm your suspicions and assuming it’s your home then you are probably entitled to see what is happening when you are away.
Fortunately the downfall of snow that struck recently had cleared by the time I took a look at Winter Wonders.
Winter Wonders is a Hidden Object game. Let me repeat that Winter Wonders is a Hidden Object game. Just in case the message has not impinged itself on your consciousness, Winter Wonders is a hidden Object game no matter which of the various modes of game play found in this title. Developed by Tamajaki, Winter Wonders allows you to create named profiles to record the progress of individual players as they tackle the different types of game play on offer.
Currently there are a range of four products that has their own ‘V’ by Vodafone SIM that keeps you connected to your Pet, Car, Bag or the device here I have been looking at a Arlo Go camera that sends information to your phone of any movements detected wherever you have placed the Arlo Go camera.
With its background in hard drives, WD has come up with a personal Cloud solution.
Where do you store the ever-increasing amount of personal data? With the options available, such as local drives, network facilities, flash devices and Cloud services, the choice and spread of the data is wide and varied. You could opt for a single location or prefer to mix and match as circumstances decree.
I saw this at the launch last year and despite two representatives of ASUS saying it would be available from tomorrow, it has taken a whole lot of tomorrows to pass before I managed to finally get one into my hands to review.
ZenBook means it is both a Notebook and Tablet and unlike a couple of recent machines this has a good amount of storage and indeed it arrived complete with V1709 of Windows 10 the latest update that has finally very recently struggled onto my own PC despite it trying to upgrade to it since mid December. It is 30.5x21.5x1.2cm the last figure at the back but this is half that at the front and it weighs 1110 grams. The viewable screen is 29.3x16.
No sooner had I completed my review of the Honor 7X smartphone than Huawei announced the released of its Honor View 10 model. It was not too long before a unit was winging its way to me for the purpose of reviewing the product.
Available in a choice of colours including Midnight Black, Charm Red,, Beach Gold and the Navy Blue of my review sample, the Honor View 10 certainly has a stylish appearance with its glass front and aluminium body. The side bezels are so narrow that they are almost non-existence and give on a reflective effect that can give you the impression that the handset is encircled by a metallic band.
How much does your Internet Security software impact on your daily use of your computer, does it slow you down, does it warn you of various sites, does it put up messages on the screen, does it demand you click again to continue or does it just sit quietly and do its job.
Of course we all think we know best and only if a ‘nasty’ gets through do we then say that it’s the fault of the Security Package. I still know some people who have no security and others who rely of that supplied by Microsoft assuming they are running Windows 10. Sooner or later they will be hit and dependant on what hits them it might mean someone ‘tweaks’ their credit card or takes their identity or just cause havoc on their PC.
Listening to music on your mobile phone probably means headphones or earbuds, it seems quite popular among the young to share a set of earbuds, not perhaps great hygienically but if you need to share output an external speaker can improve the volume.
Brando are selling Mi-Amp a device that sits on top of the phones speaker and increases the sound in my tests this can be up to treble the normal output level. It is round at 8cm and is 4.5cm tall, inset in the base are the on/off button and entry point for the supplied micro USB lead, outside this a rubber 2cm circular disc to give both a smooth surface to place onto your phones speaker and also provide a solid connection.
Are you up to the task of joining the Myth Seekers? Now is your chance to find out.
Developed by Sunward Games, The Myth Seekers: The Legacy of Vulcan is a Hidden Object Adventure offering. Along with the main investigative game, this title comes with a number of bonus items that are immediately accessible by the player from the Extras option on the product’s title screen. You can actually play eight Hidden Object scenes or try out eight mini-game puzzles before you encounter them in the Legacy of Vulcan.
Most people will have either an iOS, Android or even a Windows Phone, their used to be another option called BlackBerry and now there is again, now surfacing from the dead with Android, so you have what looks like a BlackBerry offering but running Android.
BlackBerry were originally a business tool and came with a real keyboard below the screen, not having used one for a while even entering my password for Google had me scratching my head for how to get to the non-alpha keys. The unit is 15x7.2x1cm and it has a 9.8x6.5cm viewable screen which gives you the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 4.5inches in a 3:2 display ideal for emails, with the four line keyboard under this.
When confined to a hospital bed, nurses (bless them) still insist on sticking a thermometer under your tongue. But there us a better way,
On one of my regular visits, as a patient, to my local hospital, my temperature was taken as part of the usual procedure. While there was nothing strange about this particular visit, I was rather surprised that unlike all the previous temperature measurements carried out in the past, this time the measuring tool was a-fixed to my ear. I mentioned this incident as the lead-in to the next product under review – this is the Nokia Smart Temporal Thermometer.
This is a new range of products from Vodafone, in short form they connect your Pet, Bag, Car or Home. Here I am looking at a sample from one of the first three that are all products that go on products that may on occasions go missing.
What I am looking at here is an Alcatel product that is designed to attach to a bag but it could also go into the pocket of someone who might be in the early stages of Dementia for those occasions they become less sure of their location and could therefore be safely tracked. I know most parents would like to track their children but they might be less willing to let them use this technology. This product is the Alcatel MOVETRACK and sold by Vodafone and comes with its own Nano SIM in the box.
With the appearance of a bathroom wall tile, this next product under review offers 1TB of portable storage space.
The My Passport Ultra is a portable storage device from Western Digital (WD). Available in a choice of either Black & Grey or White & Gold, there are models with a capacity of 1, 2, 3 or 4TB of storage space. I have been sent the 1TB White & Gold unit for the purpose of this review. Slightly smaller and lighter than the 3 and 4TB models, my review sample has dimensions of 110 x 81.5 x 13.
Often the time between product request and its arrival is extended as was the case here so when the box arrived I first thought – before I opened it – that it was a speaker and even when I opened it I was unsure, removal from the box did not require destruction, already a plus point with me.
If you imagine three balls in a triangle with another on top of them you have the shape each is round at approximately 8cm, the two front units have grooved wheels and the rear one just a small steering option. The top unit lights up, revolves and has both the power of speech and hearing. To remove from the box move two catches apart and then find a flat place to put CUE down as it goes through a quite amusing configuration routine, after that everything works with Bluetooth via an App.
Having recently told you about a larger unit from Dimplex here is something a lot smaller and intended to work in smaller spaces such as maybe a damp cupboard or wardrobe rather than a larger room the main reason is the small water tank capacity.
The VAVA Quiet Portable 700ML Dehumidifier measures 26cm tall, 15cm wide and 10cm deep, it weighs just under one kilo. I used this in my small bathroom for a week and it extracted just under one litre of water that for those who have not converted is just less than two pints. The VAVA website talks of (US) oz of liquid which I find hard to follow but one litre was easily held although the maximum stated on the downloadable .PDF file is 670ml.
Currently a hot topic, drawing attention from various quarters, is that of the damage that can occur from the uncontrolled disposal of goods made from plastic. As this damage will be to the environment, the results will affect us all.
According to the font of wisdom we know as Wikipedia, plastic is a material that can consist of a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic organic compounds that are malleable. These compounds can then be moulded into a variety of solid objects that can either be for single or multi-use tasks. However, in both cases, there could be a problem when the time comes for the decision to be made that the plastic object is no longer needed.
My two favourite things are ‘food and drink’ and ‘music’ both recorded and even better when live. Here I get a chance to try good quality coffee in my home and even listen to my music while relaxing with a great cup of coffee.
This is the largest coffee machine that has crossed my kitchen but possibly also the best and certainly the nearest to a coffee shop offering. The Melitta Barista Smart measures 37x47x25cm and weighs over 10kilos. Dependant on the type of coffee you want – there are two bean containers – it grinds just the right amount for one cup and then makes it, this can take less than a minute, longer if you are having a fresh milk element in your drink.
This is a small removable lens camera from Olympus that goes under the ‘Pen’ name that Olympus first created several years ago with a single offering that has now grown into a brand all of their own for small easy to use quality cameras.
The Olympus Pen E-PL8 measures 12x6.5x6cm and weighs only 528grams with neck strap and flash unit attached, the latter increases the last figure the height by 2cm. Going around the camera, the left side has only the neck strap anchor point; the right side has its pair as well as mini USB and HDMI sockets behind a flip door. The base has the solid battery behind a door that is also where you insert any SD Card you use, further along the base is a tripod anchor point.
The Brother DCP-J774DW is a versatile A4 3-in-1 inkjet printer targeted at the low-volume SoHo user who wants versatility in a package that doesn’t take up too much space.
The unit is light grey in colour and rectangular in shape with a full size lift-up cover over the glass scan/copy platen. It is 40cm wide x 34cm. This increases to about 38cm when the control panel, with its 6.8 cm diagonal touch-sensitive colour LCD display, is swivelled outwards to a more convenient viewing angle and about 46cm when the paper catcher is extended to the front and still further on those occasions that the rear single sheet feeder is deployed.
Honor have the same parent company as Huawei in fact their UK PR is in the same building in London. So a lot of the latest technology can be found in both these brands. Here I am looking at the Honor View 10 one of their recent releases.
The Honor View 10 measures 15.5x7.3x.8cm and it weighs 171grams, mine had a smoky blue back and sides that was matt in finish, the screen can be shiny in direct sunlight but still does not seem to show finger marks. The viewable screen is 13.5x6.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial screen measurement of 5.98inches; the default screen resolution is 1080x2160 and 18x9 aspect ratio LCD panel, which is full HD plus a bit.
All the pieces in this game are the same length the same thickness and the same width and you have to make increasingly difficult models using them, no glue no nails no screws just friction to hold them together it is not easy, in fact for some of the models it’s very difficult, or for me anyway close to impossible.
My annual visit to the 2018 Toy Fair had me stop in my tracks at this stand to take a second – and third look – at a far more impressive model created by the lady on the stand of a very large balloon (also made of these pieces of pine) which she assembled in 90 minutes, my thought was wow. Which is possibly what she intended she had me hooked. I left with this small set called Kapla Challenge and for me anyway it certainly was. The box is 12.5x12.5x3.
Where Wi-Fi cannot reach there is an alternative to a very long Ethernet lead and that is using power sockets to transfer the signals. Providing the router and the external point are on the same ring main you can get a strong signal it could be your basement, loft or garage.
I was sent a single box that contains two Powerline Adapters it is called a starter kit and this contains all you need to get that out of Wi-Fi spot back into use. The kit has two adapters the one to connect to your router is slightly larger at 14x7x6cm and this has three Ethernet Gigabit ports on the top, the other smaller unit is 13x6.5x5cm and has one Ethernet port on the top.
Here a set of Bluetooth earbuds that arrived at the time I was reviewing two recent phones neither of which comes with a 3.5mm sockets so Bluetooth is not a luxury but an essential. These are both small and light and as required for ‘exercise’ stay put once inserted.
The cord connecting the buds is 60cm long and somewhat surprisingly for me anyway the control box is on the right side and only 6cm from the bud. The box describes them as Wireless Stereo earphones with a less than catchy name of VAVA MOOV 28 model VA-BH009. The buds are 3.5cm from front to back and .5cm across the magnetised back. Apart from the buds – three sizes included – there are also ‘hooks’ which go into the outer ear to help hold the bud in place during exercise.