Adding to its range of carry cases, STM has released its Saga model.
As our reliance on portable electronic devices grows, so does the need for a means of storing such items when on our travels. Offering to provide carrying option for various items is the Saga 15-inch laptop backpack from the STM family. This nag has been designed to be carried on the back or in the fashion of an attaché case.
This is part of a range of gaming notebooks from Acer. While I openly admit that I am no gamer other reviews will tell you what this and other units in the Predator range can accomplish in the gaming area I concentrate on its other features.
The Acer Predator is a 17.3 inch high performance gaming laptop measuring 42x28x2.5cm and weights just short of 3kilos at 2.94kilos. This is a powerful beast that has the whole rear to dissipate the heat a heady gaming session is likely to create. The left side has a Kensington lock socket, Ethernet port, USB ‘C’ port, HDMI out, USB3 port and an SD Card slot.
Larger memory sticks are always useful if you need to transfer large files such as videos to various destinations, if these devices have the ability to work on what are otherwise conflicting operating systems then so much the better.
It is only slightly longer than a standard USB stick at 6.5x2.3x1cm and both the end pieces are covered. It weighs only 16grams. Assuming you only lift one cover the other is held in place as the rubberised cover has two strips down the back which if required can be integrated into a belt so you never lose the stick unless that is you lose your trousers. The Lightning connector is one end and a standard USB3 (actually USB3.1) connector the other.
Following up The Mad Scientist, Old Enemies Return in the Greed Series.
As one of the Seven Deadly Sins, Greed is also the title of this next Hidden Object adventure game. Developed by Urchin Games with the sub-title of Old Enemies Return, the game opens as two characters provide introductory dialogue through quivering lips as a large safe slams shut. Fortunately the game’s developers seem to have had second thoughts and have dispensed with the quivering lips approach which, quite frankly, looked ridiculous.
While the sound quality of the two previous Cello units have been good there is little any normal TV speaker can do about the terrible sound quality on recent films even those made by people like the BBC are now falling into the choice of hearing speech and being deafened by the music or hearing music at the normal level and lip reading speech, however help is available with a quality sound bar.
This is a 43inch TV with a couple of plus points, first it has an integrated sound bar which looks little more than an extended area under the screen and second this unit has a full Android computer built in so you can get and send emails and search the WWW in fact anything you can do with an Android Tablet. It comes with a tiny Wi-Fi USB dongle to connect to the supplied TV’s ‘Air Remote Control’. The TV is 96x63x1.
Joining the ranks of new handsets to grab your attention is the latest Honor offering.
As part of the Honor X-series range of handsets, Huawei has released its Honor 7X model. This smartphone comes with a range of new features designed to appeal to those users prepared to pay £269.99 from sources such as store.hihonor.com, Argos and very.co.uk. Available in a choice of colours from black (my review sample), blue, gold or red, the Honor 7X has dimensions of 156.3 x 75.3 x 7.6 mm (H x W x D). Combining a metallic chassis with a 2.
Here are a set of headphones with a difference a big difference. Those without hearing problems might perhaps not find the information below useful but for others it might allow both music and speech to be heard a lot better than it otherwise would.
They are a set of intelligent headphones that understand your hearing – or lack of it - and adjust the output to suit. They also come with buds that sit in the ear but do plug them. Also when worn while moving about either corded or cordless they allow air to circulate so that the ears do not overheat. If you know what I mean about hot or plugged ears then you could certainly think the cost worth wild.
Epson continues to develop and improve its range of Eco Tank devices included its ET-2750 model.
With its “ET” prefix indicating that this next product belongs to the EcoTank family of offerings, Epson has launched the ET-2750. Suitable for Home and Home/Office use, the ET-2750 offers print, copy and scan All-in-One capabilities plus double-sided printing and wireless connectivity for good measure. For the benefit of those not familiar with the Epson EcoTank system, this is a sea-change that Epson introduced with some printers in 2015.
Coffee machines are always a hit especially ones which you can approach and know your coffee is ready to pour. Of course that often means the coffee may not be freshly ground unless of course you live in your local coffee shop.
This is a bean machine and providing it has water and beans it can have your hot coffee waiting when you get into the office even if its 6AM. While this unit works perfectly well with you at its side it can also work by Wi-Fi once you have set it up and as the process takes around eight minutes from start to finish it might be just the thing unless you have a servant to do everything for you.
This is a USB cable that has three possible connections at the other end. So if the options given match the connections needed by your devices then on your travels you only need to take this single ‘tri’ ended cable with you.
If your travels go beyond the UK then you might also need to take the previously reviewed Omnia TA502 which someone who knows a bit of Latin told me means ‘everything’ or something close to that, read the review to see if it suits you needs.
This is a larger Android Tablet that has an ‘approved by Google’ label. I am told not many tablets have. It comes in quite a large box for an Android Tablet. There are three different Android Tablets in the range I was sent the largest the 10inch offering, I hope to get a smaller one soon.
This 10" Android powered tablet from Time2 measures 24.5x17x1cm and weights 513grams. The viewable screen is 21.5x13.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 10inches. The right side has the volume up and down controls and below that the on/off button. The base and left side are clear, the top has micro USB connection, headphone socket and behind a lift off door are Micro SD Card slot and SIM slots, also in this area is the rear 5MP camera.
At any time of the year it is difficult to get a doctor’s appointment and so many decide to descend upon A&E. If you have done this then you know you will have a long wait and possibly feel there surely must be a better option available.
In the weather that prevailed just before Christmas fixing a new door bell was not the most pressing thing on my mind, or course once fitted the various groups of carol singers that seem to materialise can safely be ignored from your indoor comfort.
It was only when the thermometer rose slightly that I persuaded myself to install it and as it has video I can then safely ignore all those ringing my doorbell trying to sell ‘x’ or ‘y’ the worst I find are those who start off by saying ‘I am not selling anything’. While a video doorbell may for some seem ‘anti-social’ for those with disabilities or those of us who are older they become more important.
Small enough to use on your lap and it comes with ‘ice cool’ technology to keep your palms cool something you will appreciate in the warmer months. The touchpad – a dirty word for some – has intuitive gestures and there is even decent sound from the Sonic Master chip.
This ASUS Notebook measures 33x23x1.5cm and weights 1473grams. The left side has DC input, Ethernet port, USB ‘C’, HDMI out, USB and an SD Card port, The front has three pin hole LEDs. The right side has a Kensington Lock port, a USB port and a 3.5mm headphone socket. The back is clear as the screen goes back over it to 135 degrees. There are four 1.5cm rubber feet on the base as well as the pair of speakers either side near the front.
I did not know what the Omnia meant so I asked Google and now I have at least a dozen choices, none seem relevant to this tool I am looking at from Adam Elements, first it’s a plug for the three main regions of the world which then accepts plugs from all over the world and for good measure has a couple of USB outlets built into its body.
Certainly not as small as the last ‘Small A3’ unit I reviewed but this uses tanks not cartridges and unlike the first tank unit I reviewed that had the talks on the side these are internal and joy or joys the tanks have no spill technology that works.
The Epson ET-7750 A3 printer/scanner measures 49x61x18cm, it would need to be a very strong shelf to place it on so even if you have such a shelf allow a few centimetres more to the last figure to put items on the A4 flatbed. The 61cm figur3e is with the back A3 paper tray raised as well as the output tray at the front extended. There is a small display in the 32x10cm lify up from the base area in the front this can be flat to front or extended to any point up to 90 degrees. The display is 5.
A range of wireless, networked speakers that can talk to each other and to your other network enabled devices to
create a multi-room synchronised sound space.
The main range comprises three speakers and an 'adaptor' that will allow a legacy speaker to become part of the network. There are also additional ancillary products available such as a soundbar and a system with a built in CD player (The Wave SoundTouch Music System IV). This review is focussed on the core speakers. The SoundTouch 10 is a small monophonic speaker idea for a kitchen.
While the Windows phone seems for many manufacturers to be not the path to take with iOS and Android the winners left to slug it out between themselves in business we are told there is still a sector that needs/requires Windows phones.
A dark blue box contains the phone, a micro USB charge cable and a card with instructions on how to fit the supplied 2100mAh battery. As this phone is sold for business use you will probably already have a Microsoft account if not after a bit of faffing about it lets you create one. From then on its reasonably straightforward although I found for around the first half hour little could be done as ‘Apps were updating’ after that speed and use improved greatly.
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.