Having last week told you about a mattress cleaner from Hoover; here I get to dust off my ironing board to test out one of their latest group of irons. Certainly this is a far different product from a standard iron that resides in the back of one of my cupboards.
I would suggest that a man who has had his ‘three score and ten years’ is hardly the target market for a very powerful steam iron however he is the one who get to test this offering from Hoover. Until about a decade ago I used to be a smart dresser with an ironed shirt and tie and defiantly well creased trousers and handkerchief. Now when I have a dozen or so handkerchiefs washed I tend to fish out my iron and give then a once over.
Violet in colour and Violet by name, this soft toy from Leapfrog is customisable.
My Pal Violet is a soft toy with a customisable centre aimed at the 6 – 36 month age range. As part of the Leapfrog range of educational toys for the younger members of the family, Violet, in her white and Violet fur, cries out to be picked up and cuddled. However this cuddly creature, with dimensions of 308 x 270 x 190 mm (H x W x D) has more to offer than just tactile sensations as is explained in the accompanying Quick Start Guide.
Most panels show you a screen of information, some do it with low Blue Light, and some have the ability to rotate so you can see your screen in portrait mode. This offering from Philips however is a first for me having a changing colour display in the base.
It is 60x36x1.5cm at the edge. The stand is circular at 23cm with the connecting arm attaching to the back edge. The stand raises the screen by 10cm from the base and the screen has 20 degrees of back tilt and 10 degrees of forward tilt, there is no side to side movement. There is no assembly required as the unit comes from the box with the stand already connected.
There are a number of products that provide on-going spring cleaning facilities including one from AVG.
How is the performance of your Windows computer right now? I am willing to bet that there has been some degradation in its performance over the months since it was first set up with its Microsoft operating system. As we tend to slow down as we get older, your computer will exhibit a similar trend. While trips to the gym and regular bouts of exercise might help us, a computer might need to fall back on some performance boosting software such as AVG TuneUp Utilities.
It is time to don the mantle of Jack Knight as you visit Bluebeard’s Castle in the Hidden Object Adventure game of Son of the Heartless. In this Fanda Game created title your role is that of a young man who is the victim of a curse that decrees he will die young. And why you may ask has this state of affairs come to pass? Let me explain.
One of Jack’s ancestors was the infamous Conte Gille de Brais. While out hunting one day, the Count was attacked by a wolf when suddenly a mysterious stranger came to the Count’s rescue. This stranger was a demon who demanded that the Count should enter an agreement in return for the help he had received. This agreement, signed in blood, stated that the Count would become immortal in return for sacrificing an innocent member of his family on a regular basis.
The PowerShot range is only one step down from their DSLR offerings; however they are small enough to fit in your pocket but are still extremely powerful units that have a large number of features that started out in their DSLR models.
The Canon website says ‘DSLR-like creativity in a connected large sensor compact’ which seems to sum up this powerful unit. It is small enough to fit in your pocket or purse at 10.5x6.5x4cm the last figure increase to 8cm when fully zoomed. It is somewhat heavier than a standard digital camera at 318grams. A novice user could turn the nine position wheel on top of the unit to ‘Auto’ and get very respectable images via point and shoot but this unit offers so much more.
With a range of new features, Acronis backup software emerges in New Generation mode.
Breaking the pattern, I have come used to over the last few years of releasing, a new single version of True Image each year, Acronis has produced a second version of its 2017 True Image offering. In order to distinguish this second version from the original product, Acronis has named the latest offering True Image 2017 New Generation.
It was nearly four years ago that I discovered EM Client 6 unlike most software programs that seem to upgrade annually it is close to four years ago that this Outlook Express replacement came into my life and it is still in use as my email collecting tool this has just become EM Client 7.
Removing the back of a phone used for some to be essential in order to get access to the battery, now a lot of phones come sealed so batteries cannot be changed. This phone from Archos arrived without a back as the last reviewers cat had stolen/eaten/hidden it. But as it only performed a fashion role it is not essential; however I would not like to meet that reviewer’s cat on a dark night.
Without the cosmetic back you get more information on what button does what and how to insert SIM or Micro SD Card and the case is still sealed. It is 15.2x7.5x.7cm and weighs 186grams. The viewable screen is 12x6.8cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 5½ inches. While there are Android 7 phones out there I have yet to handle one so this Marshmallow offering is the latest Android 6 to have come my way.
While the majority of Smart Home devices I get to look at tend to concentrate their functionality on the various aspects of home security, a new offering from Netatmo is more concerned with health issues. This product is the appropriately entitled Healthy Home Coach.
Opening the package reveals the device, a power lead with a three-pin plug and a mini Welcome booklet. Tubular in shape, with a height of 155 mm and a diameter of 45 mm, the champagne coloured Coach, with its aluminium sheen, perches in an upright position. Running down the front face of the Coach is a slim elongated window which displays feedback information regarding the health of the dwelling using a colour coded system.
The chances are when you visit your doctor one of the tasks completed is to roll up your sleeve so he/she can check your blood pressure. If the wait to see your doctor was a long one then the chances are that the reading will be high.
This unit is a little different from most other devices, it is battery controlled and for you it can store the results via Bluetooth in a Philips Health App. The units battery is charged via a mains adapter supplied. The unusual bit is that the display is integral to the unit so all 303grams sits on your upper arm. It has just two buttons below the 10.5x2cm display, these are User (it can support two users) and on/start/off.
Offering to light up the issue of home security is a product from Sengled.
Security can come in many different forms. In the case of Sengled, a company that is best known as an internationally active manufacturer and supplier of innovative lighting solutions, you could say that light was being directed at the problem of home security. This solution is known as the . Designed for use either indoors or in a garden environment, the Snap bulb is of the large bulbous type with dimensions of 148 mm height and a 121 mm diameter.
With a choice of activities, Melody the Turtle has been developed to help young children.
Melody is a turtle. She is also the central component of a Leapfrog product. As befitting her role in the product, her name forms part of the title which is Melody the Musical Turtle. Aimed at the 2+ year age group, Melody sets out to help the young child develop the core learning skills of number, colour recognition and memory skills.
Having recently told you about the larger Xperia XZ here a chance to put the smaller sibling through its paces, like the larger offering both were supplied by Vodafone and with this I got the chance to check their coverage not only in England but also Scotland.
Travelling back from Glasgow by train recently I was able to keep in touch all the way back mostly via 4G with around 15% of 3G coverage and a couple of times it was down to ‘E’ in the more remote parts of the Lake District. It is 12.7x6.4x1cm and weighs 135grams. My unit was shiny black – normally a minus point as it shows all the finger marks – but this seemed to hide most quite well apart from on the screen. The viewable screen is 10x5.
Seeing the courier struggle up to my front door was enough to give my back a panic attack at the thought of this next review.
As a specialist in the production and manufacture of premium audio solutions with innovative design concepts, Edifier has a portfolio consisting of a wide range of speakers developed to fulfil different user needs and budget constraints. Currently the company has speakers that could be classified as Bluetooth, Desktop, Cinesound, Wireless, Portable, Bookshelf and Speakerphone.
Yes you read it correctly, Hoover have brought out a cleaner specifically for cleaning of mattresses. While those of us that have mattresses that can be turned I am sure few of us – and certainly not me – have previously taken a Hoover to a mattress.
I am sure we all change the sheets regularly and turn the mattress around once a month. With a normal mattress that gives four ways of use to ensure even wear, the exception is a few of the new memory foam offerings that can only be used one way up. It is 26.5x32x16cm with the head 20.5cm wide, it weighs 2.2kilos.
Having told you about the other two units in the latest Canvio range the chance came up to tell you about the Basics offering. This is - Bus Powered - so no need for external power as with earlier external drives so it should plug in and be ready to use.
The memory is 3TB or 2.72 TB depending on how you calculate the available space. It is 12x7.5x1.5cm but the USB3 plug fits into the back meaning you need another 3cm of total space so 15x7.5x1.5cm is required. It weighs 207grams and the box has a padded bubble wrap bag idea for moving it around. There is a 22 language PDF file on the drive, the first eight pages are in English and should answer most questions.
As old classic films have been digitised and transferred to modern media, so you can do the same with your treasured home video tapes.
You may have heard, read about, or actually participated in the upsurge in the sale of vinyl music recently – as old technology fights back in the marketplace. But, as the old saying goes “One swallow does not a summer make” and the rise in vinyl sales popularity does not necessary mean that other superseded technology, such as VHS recorded tapes, is about to make a comeback thus allowing you to access your treasured collection of old video tape-based recordings.
While a number of NAS units tend to require a good amount of knowledge to get them up and running correctly this is not the case with those produced by Buffalo, here I was sent a two bay offering that arrived pre populated with drives.
The Buffalo TeraStation TS5210 is a small NAS unit measuring 17x16x29cm, the last figure the depth is with cables inserted and weighs only 4.359kilos. To set it up you need to download ‘NAS Navigator’ software from a link given in the Quick Start Guide. Connect the NAS to your router via Ethernet and connect a PC/Notebook to the NAS also via Ethernet. Once setup you can then dispense with the latter Ethernet cable and use Wi-Fi.
It is time for a “bit” of music with this next product from Polk Boom.
With a title of “Bit” and an appearance that could be mistaken for a stubby flash drive, you could be forgiven for wondering just what was the purpose of this next device under review. In fact, as part of the Polk Boom family of devices, the Bit is a wearable Bluetooth speaker. Available in a choice of colours that include Black, Sport Blue, Lava and Mist Grey plus the Volt unit I had been sent as a sample.
While coffee is fast overtaking as the nation’s favourite hot beverage, let us not forget the old favourite and style of tea drinking.
With all the necessary tasks about the home completed, it is time to sit back and enjoy the traditional English tea party. And what better way to indulge this important act with younger family members than with the Musical Rainbow Tea Party product. As part of the Leapfrog “learn as you play” range of products, the Musical Rainbow Tae Party is targeted at the 1 – 3 years age group but I am sure they will not mind older members of the family taking part.
This notebook is both light and thin, it also has a metal chassis and for good measure it boots quickly. Anyone on the move that needs a PC has probably only one more request that it runs all day without the need to search out mains power, it can do that as well.
The ASUS ZenBook UX330UA measures 32x22x1cm, the figure at the front is less than 1cm and at the back just over 1cm, it weighs only 1206 grams. According to the website it is made of an aluminium alloy, which in summer would always make it feel cool in winter you may need gloves. The left side has a USB port, a 3.5mm socket for headphones and an SD card slot. The front is clear.
A recently received email was my introduction to the subject of this next review.
This is one of a new range of ‘health’ devices from Philips. I saw the range at their Christmas In July event and despite my nagging only at the end of December did the first of them arrive. This is their health watch which tracks heart rate, activity, sleep and more.
It comes with strap attached but for those with a small/large wrist a separate strap is supplied to avoid large amount of excess strap. The watch is black as is the strap and it looks normal with only a shiny outer ring. The default display is a very traditional analogue but you can choose a digital one in settings. However telling the time is just a minor part of what it does. The watch is circular at 3.5cm and it is 1cm thick with the rubberised strap attached it weighs 51 grams.
If a pair of headphones are designed for a DJ, they must give good all round sound and they must also be comfortable as anyone ‘spinning discs’ for hours on end has enough to worry about with his/her aching feet and possible bladder requests so everything else needs to be comfortable.
A gold plated connection means both 3.5mm and the larger 6.3mm connector are supplied as one unit the larger one unscrews to reveal the 3.5mm offering underneath. Dependant on ear size these could be ‘on’ or ‘over’ ear offerings. With no side extension they are 18cm from a mid-point at the base of the ear pads to the padded headband. They are 25cm from side to side when the earpads are parallel. The lead emerges as a 3.5mm connector from the base of the left ear pad.
The paperless office is an urban myth as 80% of document-based processes are depended upon paper with employees spending 25% of their time on the labour-intensive and time-consuming process of handling paper documents
It has been a while since I last took a look at ABBYY’s FineReader product. In fact it was over 30 months ago when I checked out the company’s FineReader 12 Professional edition of this OCR and PDF software that can scan a paper document and turn it into editable text. In the intervening period, ABBYY has been busy developing its product line-up in various areas such as its Transformer PDF software.
Most viruses are clever and even though you can often delete them they remain in memory and to remove them from there is trickier. So perhaps the best way to remove them is when they are not active and that means outside of Windows.
Assuming that your PC allows you to boot from a USB stick this device called FixMeStick may be able to help. In a perfect world place this stick in a USB port and it will update itself – so Ethernet or possibly Wi-Fi will need to be active.
It is cylindrical, comes in a choice of colours and provides a Bluetooth experience in the round and it has been developed by Edifier.
As part of the company’s new generation of portable speakers, Edifier has developed its MP280 model. This is a Bluetooth speaker that also offers support for receiving input from an AUX source and SD card. The MP280 is cylindrical in shape and available in a choice of red (my review sample), blue or black; The speaker has dimensions of 183 mm width and a diameter of 58 mm. While a little too bulky for just slipping into a pocket, even of the patch variety, and weighing 0.
Described as the exciting Tick Tock, beat the clock challenge, this Leapfrog product is aimed at the 3 – 6 year age group.
Leaping Letters from Leapfrog is an alphabet game that is aimed at the 3 – 6 age group. The product has been designed to cover the core learning skills of the Alphabet, matching skills and fine motor skills. The Leaping Letters product consists of 29 game pieces. Central to this game, based on alphabet letters, is a plastic 3D tray element.
Sub titled The Athlete’s Headphone this set of earbuds will get noticed for its lime green colour, still I suppose the athlete will be able to move fast enough to keep the attention on them rather than the earbuds that they are using.
These buds will stay in place during even the most vigorous of exercise simply because of the hook fitting behind the bud. Hook is perhaps the wrong word as it does not spear you merely its silicon rubber attaches to you to be held securely. They are 1.3 metres from the ‘L’ shaped grey connector to the lime green and grey earbuds.