Picture a normal mid sized ice cube tray and place another upside down on top of it and you arrive quite close to what you have with IceBreaker Pop. There is more to it including the ability to keep other items frozen for longer.
The IceBreaker Pop measures 20x11.5x3.5cm at one end and 5cm at the top end. However a normal ice cube tray is open here it is closed – sealed - so does not need to be laid flat while freezing and no chance of taking in tastes from other items. The instructions as received by me were on a brown cardboard sleeve in the now popular illustration format. Being old I did not find them that easy to follow and a couple of attempts were required to get the desired results.
A visit to a Soho hotel introduced me to a high-end amplifier product.
For those that are not too familiar with Cyrus, I should explain that Cyrus is a British company specialising in high performance, upgradable Hi-Fi systems. Over the past 35 years, the company has been hard at work developing modular audio room-friendly products that are claiming to make listening to music to be an emotional experience. The latest product to emerge from Cyrus is the earlier mentioned Cyrus ONE Cast.
Probably better known for its toothpaste, Colgate also produces a range of toothbrushes..
Released under the banner of being "Tough on Plague, Gentle on Gums" as it provides a deep clean service, the Colgate ProClinical product consists of a handle unit and a brush head which is already in place and ready for action. The sleek and white handle unit houses a rechargeable battery that can hold enough power for two daily cleaning sessions over a period of ten days.
It would be nice if we could all sit right beside our modem as that is the point where - however good or bad our signal is – it is at the maximum we will get. If you use Wi-Fi then any distance will mean a drop in signal strength. One choice that will work – even in far flung areas where Wi-Fi is poor or non-existent – is power through mains plugs.
Devolo have such a product called Magic 2. In the UK your electrics are on a ring main and providing both the master socket and any subsidiary Devolo plugs are on the same ring main you can live in any shape of building with solid concrete walls – normally very bad for Wi-Fi – the signal should not be reduced. The main (starter kit) unit and a LAN triple come in the same box and then should you need it you can buy extra LAN triples.
Taking a train journey sets you on an adventure to find your son and solve a mystery.
Taking you on a journey to another world with a mystery to solve is a title from the Big Fish Surface series. Developed by Elephant Games and entitled "Mystery of Another World", the next game under review belongs to the Hidden Object genre. I have been looking at the Collector's Edition of this game which comes with various bonus items adding extra appeal to the main game in which you take on the role of a father looking for his missing son.
Unlike a number of other Huawei SmartPhones this arrived with little fanfare. It is that little bit smaller than some and for a lot of people this may seem a good feature, so what exactly has this latest offering to offer the user.
It is 15x7.4x.8cm and weighs 177grams. It has 3mm borders except at the base where it is 5mm. The viewable screen is 6.8x14.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial screen measurement of 6.26 inches. The selfie camera is top left corner of the display. The screen is 2340x1080 and is easy to read. Going around the outside has the volume rocker and slightly inset on/off button on the right side.
Its cuddly with a strange voice, gives birth and belongs to the Nestlings family.
For under twenty pounds, this next product uses German technology to add speaker output to a computer.
Founded in 1974, the company Jöllenbeck is the driving force behind the Speedlink brand of devices that cover gaming. computers, office, sound and accessories for PCs tablets, camera and smartphones. I have recently had the opportunity to check out the Speedlink Daroc product which is a set of stereo speakers.
This is large and you will need to sit well away for normal work and even farther away for those times when you marvel at videos shot in high resolution as this panel displays 3440x1440 and unlike other manufacturers offerings this requires no drivers to do it.
The Philips 346B1C curved screen monitor measures 80x37x2cm but the screen is far larger than the measurements given as there is a 4cm difference between the edges and the centre of the screen. It has a two piece arm the flat base 25x25cm and the arm that connects to the centre of the units back 9cm from the rear of the base. The screen has about 30 degrees of back tilt and a good amount of forward tilt. It can be as little as 6cm above your desk to as much as 25cm.
Question - What do you say when you meet a visitor from outer space?
Answer - Hello Rizmo!
On my annual visit to DreamToys, I bumped into Rizmo. I should explain that Rizmo is a new arrival from the far reaches of the universe, looking to make new friends with Earth's young inhabitants. To achieve that aim, Rizmo has taken on the persona of a soft cuddly toy waiting to evolve through the attention it gets because of its love of music and ability to provide a series of game. After we had both apologised for the accidental collision, Rizmo set out telling his story.
Mobile power is something in demand, did you charge your phone last night and even if you did will it last all day? Here is one solution that may get you out of a hole while out and about a charge station charge point, or you could just buy it all keep it with you, it has both iOS and Android connections built in.
If you opt for rental then you pay £1 for an hour of charging once your use gets to £3 you then get the rest of that day for free. This continues till you get to £30 when the Charged Up unit becomes yours to keep. Alternately you can get it from the website. It is 14.5x7.5x1.2cm and weighs 168grams. The left side has a groove for the hard wired 10cm long double ended micro USB and USB ‘C’ adapter. The same on the right side for the iPhone connector.
Using wireless technology, this next product should be fine for relaxing listening and while exercising.
The Cyrus soundBuds is a set of wireless sports earphone. Along with the ear-buds, which I found slipped easily into my ears, you get three pairs of interchangeable ear-tips, These are of various size for use with different sizes of ears. Completing the package is a charging case with a small standard-to-micro USB lead plus a small concertina type User Manual.
If your Wi-Fi is slow – or even non existent – in the further flung places of your home then you are likely to need a ‘Point’ which duplicates the signal once linked to the ‘Router’. The ‘Router’ sits beside your modem, and the ‘Point’ at a place where it pumps up the signal to reach those places that otherwise will not get a sufficient signal.
Like so many things today it is controlled by an App. There are two sides of instructions on 12x12cm card that consists of three items on the left side, Plug in your Router, Get the Google Home App and Set up your devices. The right pane has illustrations in order that a total novice can identify the supplied parts. These are the Router, the Point, a couple of Power Adapters and an Ethernet Cable.
Many more years ago that my memory is capable of delivering total recall, I attended a Microsoft event dealing with the topic of counterfeit products. Actually it was just over 19 years ago and the event had Graham Norton as its compère. The numerous attendees were divided into various teams. Each team had to identify which items, from a selection, were genuine or counterfeit.
This is a DAB and FM radio with presets, it is also a speaker for those who want output from the ‘Aux’ input plus it also has ‘Alexa’ built in. This oval unit has another big plus the ability to run from its internal battery for up to fifteen hours.
I called it oval as it has rounded corners but in truth it is a 10cm cube when in use. The height when switched off is only 8cm. The on/off mechanism is simply by pushing down in the centre of the top and this releases the unit to show the display, push down again from any mode and the display disappears and it becomes 10x10x8cm. On first switch on you should be given the option to set your language of choice.
Leonardo, the detective cat, returns for further Match 3 game play.
A little over a year ago I reviewed a game entitled "Mystery Loss". This game belonged to the Match 3 genre and dealt with the less than dynamic duo of Grandma and her pet cat, named Leonardo, as they attempted to solve the mystery of a case of bird-napping. Now Intersol has produced a follow up offering which is simple entitled "Mystery Loss 2". As with the original title, "Mystery Loss 2" is a March 3 game but with a slightly different cast list.
An interesting offering at the top end of the budget and below the mid price phone category. This comes with lots of extras not just things like a case and even a solid looking suitcase but also several software offers to temp you but as always it’s the phone that matters.
This is a 3D SmartPhone and once setup the globe on the front screen is an eye catcher. It comes in a large 18x12x4cm hard sided zip up case rather like a suitcase. Inside are a case for the back of the phone, a nice long USB to micro USB for charging, a wrist strap, and the all important tool to open the SIM slot and a small 13x7cm eight side fold out getting started sheet. The phone is 15.8x7.5x.8cm; the viewable screen is 13.
Money may well not grow on trees but a child can grow their own toy with this next product.
The clue regarding this product, not surprisingly, can be found in its title. Alright the spelling might cause a little confusion but saying the title and you could get a clear indication as to what to expect from this offering Skyrocket UK. I am, of course, referring to the Skyrocket Blume product.
This is a 27inch panel that takes up not a great deal of your desk space. The secret is the shape of the stand that remains mainly within the footprint of the panel. So will this achieve everyone’s nirvana of a clean and clear desk space?
The screen is 61x36x1cm and the stand is24x15cm in the shape of a wide ‘U’, it lifts the display by 10cm from your desk and it gives you plenty of both back and forward tilt. There are a line of five buttons under the bottom right edge if you think you can get a better display than the ‘Auto’ offering. In reality you will probably only use the on/off button. The connections are hidden under the back left behind a detachable part of the housing.
While banks expect us to trust them, does this trust extend to their security arrangements when payments are concerned.
Part of the impetus behind this research was the concern felt by Generation Z, made up of those born after 1995, regarding their views on banking fraud and the possibility of any follow up issues that have generally be known to occur after such instances. With payment fraud seemingly becoming the norm in today's society and the banks doing little to improve security standards and ease the concerns felt by consumers, some form of pressure was required and should be welcomed.
It’s the nations favourite Pod coffee brand often known as Nescafe Dolce Gusto, for those who like Starbucks coffee it now includes Starbucks brand coffee to work in their Pods. So what does this ‘XS’ machine offer well first it is rather small with a water tank to match. So probably the ideal unit for a single user or just maybe a couple.
The Krups Piccolo XS measures 28cm tall, 24cm deep and 13cm wide so any other Krups machine dwarfs it. The only instructions are on the outside of the box but as everything is assembled all you need to do is insert the mains plug, put water in the clear container at the back and lift the preparation lid an insert a capsule.
It is that time of year again when I need to make the trip from my Sound London base to the area Sherlock Holmes called home.
OnePlus are rapidly becoming a SmartPhone that has new features and pushes the boundaries. In fact a lot of their ‘fans’ will reserve in advance as they are happy with what produced, so what has this latest offering from OnePlus at the top end of mid pieced handsets have to offer.
It is 15.9x7.2x.8cm and weighs 189grams. The viewable screen is 6.9x15.2cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 6.54inches. Going around the outside has the on/off button on the right side with a lock button above it. The base has a speaker, USB ‘C’ for charging and OTG devices, the SIM entry point is also there. The left side has volume rocker. The top has a pin hole microphone. There is a raised circle of 2.
It is a strange, strange world you are about to enter with Skyland - Heart of the Mountain gaming environment.
I have been looking at the Collector's Edition of Skyland - Heart of the Mountain. Developed by Cordelia Games, this Hidden Object game comes with a number of bonus items. These elements can be accessed from an Extras section on the product's main title screen.
This is a keyboard for those who hate the onscreen keyboard that you get with SmartPhones and Tablets. But it is small in its collapsed dimensions it even has a carry bag and the whole thing is 27x5x3cm and weighs only 228gram including instructions.
The bare keyboard weighs only 189 grams and unfolds to 25x10cm with each key being 1.3cm square and to save you checking those on a normal desktop PC are 1.5cm square so still very typeable. The area behind the keyboard needs another 6cm of space and here is where your Tablet or SmartPhone sits. So total space required is 31cm.
Offering to look after your mobile phone when it is being charged is a purple dragon.
While, for many, there is the opinion that the majority of others, not including themselves, cannot exist without the safety blanket of using the all-enveloping features of this communication device. But there has to be periods when a temporary separation of the user and their device might be called for at various intervals. I will leave you to draw up your own list of these possible short-term separations that could occur.
With all the advertising on television and magazines I am sure we all know that a powered toothbrush gives better cleaning results than a manual brush. While the whiteness of your smile is important to some, perhaps the most important thing is to have no tooth – or tooth associated – pain.
It is 25cm long 3x2.5cm at the base and slightly thinner towards the top of the handle, the replaceable head forms the last 8.5cm of the length. While the 22x7x4.5cm flip shut case has space for two toothbrush heads only one comes in the box. There is a 7cm round clear stand that is supplied for when at home and this clips over an identical one which forms the charge point ending in a two pin plug which are the only plug sockets that should be in a bathroom.
The Doro 8080 has been designed to meet the needs of those who want to obtain the benefits of a smartphone but are less familiar with technology
With the 8080 Doro has recognised that the sophistication of a smartphone can be daunting to a new user. Consequently, in the Quick Start Guide and when setting up the phone for the first time, one is given the choice of selecting between “Yes, I am a beginner”, “No, I have already used one” or “I’m setting the phone up for someone else”.
This next title combines Hidden Object, Match 3 and Card Pairing game play.
"The Far Kingdoms - Hidden Magic" belongs to the Hidden Object genre of gaming. Developed by Lazy Turtle Games, this title casts you in the role of a princess who had embarked on a sort of gap year experience to broaden her knowledge of the wide world and different communities over which she would eventually rule.
Google do not make cheap phones so if you are looking for a bargain buy it’s not here, having said that Google make phones that look good and normally work well, however any phone these days has to be great to get to be the desired one.
It is 15.8x7x.8cm and weighs 192grams. 14.5x7cm is the viewable screen which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 6.3 inches. The screen resolution is 1440x3040 pixels. I was sent the orange backed one which to my unfashionable eye looks weird, the front and sides apart from the orange on/off button are black and the orange on the back is interrupted by the 2.4cm raised square that are the cameras. Switch on is 9 seconds which is good.