While Microsoft and Apple might be the best of competitive opponents with regards to their commercial activities, the software developed by the two companies can co-exist within the same environment thanks to Parallels.
Windows and MacOS are two computer operating systems that you could hardly call the “best of friends”. Put them in the same environment and you might expect conflicts to occur as they battled for dominance. That is until Parallels came along with a solution that would allow Windows to operate on a Mac-based environment running the wall-gardened MacOS software. The Parallels solution, now up to version 13, is currently available as Parallels Desktop Pro Edition.
The Air Chef is the second of my three choices from the Birmingham based company that I came across by accident during a visit to the Exclusively Housewares show in London early in the summer, the first was the Home Baker already reviewed.
The Air Chef is 32cm tall, 32cm from side to side and 38cm from front to back. As you will probably have guessed this is cooking tool like the previously reviewed Home Baker but totally unlike the third item still to come. Once you have unboxed the Air Chef anyone into cooking will love the choices around the 3.3x2.2cm display ‘Rapid, Roast, Fries, Bake, Pizza, Grill, Skewer and Rotor’.
A while ago I was sent some Nespresso compatible pods from a London company named Volcano my Nespresso machine failed to work – no fault of the pods – so now with another machine I can test these as well as pods from Aldi and Dualit.
If a company makes a compatible pod it’s a very fair bet that that companies machine must be a big seller and of course have the ability to make decent ‘pod’ coffee. There are two camps ‘pod’ and ‘bean’ and while a coffee shop will use beans these are best the instant they are ground so that requires a grinder so the pod is the more likely home solution. I have accumulated pods from Volcano, ALDI and Dualit.
Making its presence felt in the UK, Reichelt Electronics has a range of competitively priced products including this next item under review.
Digging into the depth of my memory box, I seem to recall a time when the company responsible for the development of this next product was often referred to as the Mouse Company and no that company was not Microsoft. In fact the company with a reputation for manufacturing mice was none other that Logitech.
If you have a clear desk policy then with your PC under the desk you still need to connect various peripherals and the best way to do that is a USB hub so if this hub lives in the item that need to be on the desk - the panel - all you need is the keyboard and mouse and you are working. If you still have a cluttered desk then this panel can help.
This Philips monitor measures 54x32x1.7cm with the last figure at the edge. The stand is a circle with a chunk taken out of it at the front, 27cm from side to side and 24cm back to front. There is a telescopic arm that connects the stand to the rear of the panel. The arm itself extends 42cm from the desk with the panel being able to be raised between 5 and 21cm from the desk. The panel can also be used in a portrait orientation, the swivel is anti-clockwise.
With claims that much of its stock being 20% cheaper than elsewhere in the UL, Reichelt Electronics supplied this next product.
File sizes, over the years, have grown at a prodigious rate, even far outstripping my waist measurement. At the same time, hard disk sizes and other types of storage media devices, such as flash sticks and memory cards, have expanded to create the storage space necessary to hold the bloated software products that we cannot do with out. Talk of 20MB hard drives.
As one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon need your help to return them to their full glory.
Developed by Suricate Games, Babylonia belongs to the Match-3 genre. This game takes you back to a time in the dim and distant past when King Nebuchadnezzar ruled the grand city and kingdom of Babylon. It was on his orders that the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were created. These Gardens were given, as a gift, to Nebuchadnezzar beloved wife, Amyitis.
Having had a rather good fan in my office for some of the hottest part of the summer now a slightly different device this one from Philips aimed at those who may struggle without better air quality so here the Philips Air Purifier.
This Philips Air Purifier measures 66cdm tall, 35cm wide and 25cm deep. It comes assembled but not ready for use as you have to unwrap the filters which although in place are sealed until removed unwrapped and reinserted. The filters are in line, first the HEPA filter, then the NanoProtect AC and then the Pre-Filter. All the controls are on the top surface and are invisible when the unit is off.
With a model number that has a binary feel, this next product offers dual speaker connectivity.
The Edifier R1010BT product forms part of the company’s range of bookshelf multimedia speaker systems. Available in a choice of black or, as in the case of my review system, brown, this Edifier R1010BT kit consists of a pair of bookshelf multimedia style speaker units and various connection leads plus mini booklet style documentation regarding the set up and use of the product.
One thing any person trying to lose – or gain – weight requires is an accurate scale. Here the latest offering from Terraillon is stated to be the thinnest on the market and because it is metal it’s solid and also very easy to keep clean.
This is however not only a scale to show your weight it also tells you other things like your body mass index, it shows body fat, body mass, body muscle and body water content. It can do that for up to eight different people and in the case of twins with identical body composition it asks which number to store the information under. All the data can then be transported to up to eight different SmartPhones using a free App downloadable from either iOS or Android store.
Until recently I was not even aware that Sennheiser did earbuds then I reviewed the Flex 5000 that came with a set. Here I have to thank Vodafone for allowing me to extend my review period with their Samsung Galaxy 8 phone as these earbuds were designed for the Galaxy range of phones and Tablets.
Lime green seems to be the in colour for ‘sports’ earbuds. These are very bright and of course they do show up in reduced lighting areas. The buds themselves come in three sizes which fit onto the overall fitment that flexes over the ear. The silicon buds are mid grey as is the control unit which is 28cm down the cable and below this once the two cables become one is the shirt or top grip to stop the spare cable moving around. 92cm further on (making the total cable length 1.
Your data is a valuable asset which should be protected by a product such as the latest offering from Acronis.
Keeping ahead of the current times, Acronis has released the 2018 version of its True Image personal back-up software for the home user. According to Serguel Beloussov, co-founder and CEO of Acronis, this latest version of True Image is “the first and only personal back-up software that uses artificial intelligence to defend consumers against one of the fastest growing threat to their data.
Certainly not my favourite job and one that only gets done when things get really bad or as in this case when I am sent a tool to take the hard work out of cleaning windows and best of all remove the mess so all you see is clean windows.
I seem to remember a strap line that I think referred to a vacuum cleaner ‘so easy to use even a man can use it’ it seems appropriate here but no doubt if someone used it today there would be a pack of lawyers claiming certain laws had been broken. So I will simply say I found it easy to setup and use and yes I am a man.
Like an old friend, I welcome the latest version of Corel’s Paint Shop Pro on to my computer.
I can not state that I was totally surprised but it was a minor shock to realise that the subject matter of this next review, made its first appearance 27 years ago. That was in August 1990 when Robert Veil released his graphics conversion utility. The product was released as Shareware where you try before you buy, or as in some cases try and continue to use without buying as the Shareware offering was sometimes based on an honour system.
Mixing Hidden Object game play and restoring pictures, this next game involves the Incan Sun.
Developed by Jolly Bears Games, Undiscovered World: The Incan Sun is a Hidden Object game. When playing this game there is a choice of three modes although only the first mode of Find the Incan Sun is initially available. You need to complete this mode before you are granted access to Unlimited node (find all the objects in each location) and Mini Games (replay the eight mini games that occurs). Before embarking on this game you can create profiles for individual players.
Unlike the recent pod machine I reviewed from Lavazza this unit requires a single power lead as the creamer unit takes power from the coffee machine as is integral on its right side. The last two months have taught me one thing my top of the range instant coffee is not a match for quality coffee pods.
This Nespresso Machine measures 35x27x12cm, the exception is where the milk frother joins the unit two thirds of the way down the right side and then the width increases by 10cm to 22cm. While people who make ‘good’ coffee at home are in two camps the ‘bean’ and the ‘pod’. This machine is from the ‘pod’ arena and Nespresso are one of the leading players.
Offering a virtual toolbox approach, Parallels has bundled together a collection of in-house tools.
Probably better known by many as the developer of its Desktop software, whereby users can install and access a copy of Windows within a Mac environment, Parallels has released its Toolbox product for either the Windows or Mac platform. This offering consists of a collection of tools designed to carry out specific tasks. Each of the provided tools has been designed to be activated by a single mouse click. The product is available on an annual subscription basis for either platform.
This is an external light and a camera and it runs on a standard power lead so if you already have an external light – with or without a sensor – you can just replace it and this will come on when something is sensed and it also records automatically.
This is certainly the most expensive security camera I have reviewed. It is external and has an integrated light so it is a two in one device. Open the box and there is the light camera unit at 20.5x10.5x6.5cm and a backing plate that fits without overhang on the rear of the unit. There are two screws and raw plugs together with a small Philips screwdriver. Lift the snug fitting padding to find three 44 page manuals and one of these is in English.
On a recent visit to London during the rounds of Xmas In July I saw a rather nice coffee machine – reviewed 1st September – an electric scooter - sorry no review – and this water bottle. The contents come out as a clear liquid even if they are put in with colour, no it’s not a magic trick but the secret is in the filter inside of what is otherwise like a quality padded standard water bottle.
The example I saw at the event was the demonstrator pouring a cola into the bottle and a clear liquid emerging from the bottle. Yes I did ask the question about passing your own ‘water’ into the bottle and would the liquid coming out be drinkable, he said he had not tried it and before you ask neither have I during my tests. The bottle states ‘removes up to 99.9% of bacteria, viruses + more’.
Glancing through a recent brochure of suggested Christmas gifts available from Philips, I noted six different shaving products. One of these products is the Philips Shaver Series 9000 which is the subject of this next review.
The Philips Shaver Series 9000 comes in two versions. The 59211/12 model, which is the subject matter of this review, consists of the Shaver 9000 unit, a SmartClick Precision Trimmer, semi rigid zipped Travel pouch and a power lead with a standard two-pin plug. The Series 9000 also features the 59211/26 model which adds a SmartClean Plus system. This element has the capability to clean, lubricate, dry and charge the shaver’s internal battery.
A pair of lime green earbuds – other colours are available – have kept me company on a range of journeys in an around London. The first advantage is that your SmartPhone remains well and truly out of site be it in your pocket or purse.
These are described on the box as Wireless Sports Headphones with LED neckband.
As part of its range of graphics products, Corel has released the latest version of its Pinnacle Studio offering.
Pinnacle Studio 21 is the latest version of Corel’s video editing tools package for the Windows environment. Three versions of the product are available, designed to cover the needs of different users. You can select from Standard, Plus or Ultimate offerings. My review of the product is based on the 64-bit version of Pinnacle Studio 21 Ultimate.
It is time to become a collage graduate as you help a famous archaeologist
It’s been a couple of years since I have been offered a Roberts DAB radio to review. While I have looked at offerings from other manufacturers the Roberts units have not been available. This I assume was down to the excellent PR lady I have been in contact with for some years moving on.
This is a DAB/FM Alarm Clock Radio, it is 19x11.5x6.5cm but you will need another 3cm behind it as the power lead sticks out by that much. Instead of the more normal rod aerial this uses the wire type offering it is 60cm long and emerges from back right it should either hung down or be stretched up especially for the initial scan of DAB stations, in my area it found 96 stations. This is a mono unit but you can listen in stereo via headphones or earbuds.
As a walking repository of various medical ailments, I am always on the look out for health offerings such as this next product.
According to recent research conducted on behalf of the National Health Service (NHS), an estimated 25% of the UK adult population suffer from hypertension, often without realising the fact. High blood pressure or hypertension can be caused as the result of smoking, poor diet and the lack of exercise. It has been known to raise the risk of heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease and dementia.
While I get to see a range of new phones from Vodafone here are something that I have previous not seen. First a very nice small pair of on ear headphones ideal for traveling with, second a small cube speaker for those occasions when you share your sounds.
These headphones are small, with the phones parallel there is only 13cm between them, at the same position and no side extension it is only 17cm to the base of the head padding. Fresh ‘N Rebel seems to be the name for these matt blue on ear headphones. There is close to 1.5cm of padding on each ear and nearly 1cm on top of the head.
This is the latest – and certainly the best – Nest indoor security camera that I have seen, the information about when and what was seen along with the video quality makes this a wow product for any internal security purpose you may have.
The initial email notification will say ‘Someone’ or ‘Something’ has been seen with a still image you can then click on the link and see a very high quality video with exact timeline. It is possible for you to identify people so it can say change this message to ‘Mother’ or ‘Jimmy’ for example and if they have access you can then ignore the message.
After a number of in-ear products, this next listening device is of the over-the-ear offering.
Developed by Sandberg, the Blue Storm is a wireless headset which forms part of the company’s Esports Equipment range of products. Arriving with a five year warranty, this product consists of the Blue Storm headset, a 16cm audio cable for use when the music is supplied from a non-Bluetooth source, a 54cm micro-to-standard USB lead and a small, brief Quick Guide booklet which relies more on illustrations than text.
As my trips to various venues around London for Xmas in July comes to an end I smell the inviting coffee from Lavazza and here in the form of a tiny machine for your Expresso or other black offering as well as a separate machine for those who prefer their coffee white with a coffee shop head.
Always popular with Gadgetspeak readers are coffee machines of all types no matter if they are pod or bean machines and if they have good coffee with them then this reviewer gets his fill of extra nice coffee as his reviewers perk. While the quality of the coffee is the most important factor, for those who love a cappuccino then being able to foam the milk is also important and the kit as supplied to me does that. Few will disagree that the Italians know about coffee.
Just how smart is smart? Your home may contain any number of devices that claim to be smart but do you really trust them to respond in an appropriate manner when they receive instructions, especially when the instructions emanate remotely from an outside source not under your control. It could happen.
The current big topic, referred to as IoT or Internet of Things, is for all your household goods, whether fridges, kettles, lights and even air purifiers, are all interconnected and remotely accessible via the Internet and a mobile device.