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872021 Sony Xperia X Compact 4.6 inch Smart Phon

Xperia X Compact from Sony

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.
872170 Edifier S1000DB Audiophile Active Bookshelf Speaker

Bookshelf Speakers : Edifier S1000DB

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.
872288 Hoover UltraMATT MBC500UV Mattress Vacuum Cleane

Hoover your mattress

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.
872017 ASUS Zenbook UX330UA FB025T laptop noteboo

ASUS ZenBook UX330UA

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.
872019 Philips Health Watch Connected Activity Sleep Tracker and Heart Rate Monito

Philips Health Watch

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.
872020 fix me stick antiviru

FixMeStick

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.
872016 Monster iSport Compete In Ear Sport Headphon

Monster iSport Compete

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.
Back in the day products came with comprehensive documentation but today it is different.
One of my pet bugbears, and yes I do have more than one, relates to products that arrive for review with minimal information regarding the installation or set up procedure used by the product.  Falling into this category is the Polk Boom Swimmer Duo offering.  This piece of hardware is a Bluetooth arrived packaged innovatively in a plastic glass tube.
872015 Kardia Band EC

Kardia Band for Apple Watch

While the Apple Watch does what it does quite well it could do more for you especially if you have certain medical conditions so here is a band (strap) to attach to your Apple Watch to fill the void left by the basic Apple software.
In the box are two part black rubber straps. The first 12cm long with a 1.7cm square hole cut just before the top it is 2.2cm wide. The second is the same width but slightly longer at 14cm, this a square metal disc in the same place as the cut-out in the first part strap. So at this point you probably should download the Kardia App. If you have had an Electrocardiogram in hospital you will know the amount of wiring that needs to be attached to you to give the results.
871737 BenQ GL2706PQ 27 Inch Widescreen TN LED Multimedia Monito

BenQ Panel gl12706pq

Apart from being a large panel in dimensions it also looks different as it is not a normal 1920x1080 offering. Just looking at it tells you it must have a larger width, this turns out to be 2560x1440 and of course you see so much more than 1920x1080.
Eye Care is a thing that has always mattered as we only get one set and even with modern technology they still cannot be replaced, so good resolution, good clarity and viewing a panel correctly all help those who spend hours each day looking at a screen and in the last few years ‘Eye Care’ and ‘Blue Light’ have become something to look for in a panel. Before you rush out to purchase one the size of the unit and th3e stand will be important so let’s start there.
I must admit that I passed through my DIY phase several years ago as other matters became more prominent in my life. Maybe, however, this period of getting my hands dirty might have been extended if I had access to a kit such as the subject of this next review.
The Dremel 4000 is a collection of tools designed for the enthusiastic DIY person who wants to carve, grind, polish, cut, sand and carry out other miscellaneous tasks in and around the home.  Forming the central unit of this tool kit is the Multi-Tool device that features the new EZ Twist Nose Cap. Sporting a colour scheme of black, grey, blue and silver, the Multi-Tool is cylindrical in shape with dimensions of 230 x 41 x 43 mm (L x W x D) and a weight of 0.66 kg.
871736 ASUS Chromebook C202SA YS0

Asus Chromebook C202SA

If all you want from a Notebook is to be able to collect your emails and browse the WWW then something like this should high up your wish list, nowadays it is possible to work off line with Chromebooks so word processing and dare I say it games are possible when not online.
The Asus Chromebook C202SA measures 29x20x2cm and weighs 1182g. It has a tiny pattern on front and back with the edges in a blue rubber material, the back has a slim rubber strip at the front and a chunky one at the back which means there is a slight tilt when in use rather like a conventional keyboard on a PC. The viewable screen is 25.7x14.7cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 11.6inches the standard screen resolution is 1366x768.
Adding to its range of smartphones, Wileyfox has introduced a new member of its Swift 2 family.
Following the launch of its Swift 2 and Swift 2 Plus smartphones a couple of months ago, Wileyfox has introduced a third member of the family with the Swift 2 X.  As with the earlier offerings, Wileyfox has adopted the approach of melding together aspects of London-based design concepts with best-in-class Chinese manufacturing using tier one components and the Popular Android software supplemented with some additional tweaks.
The crash of your plane near Blackburn is just the start of your troubles with this next Hidden Object Adventure game.
Created by N-Tri Studios, Crossroad Mysteries: The Broken Deal is a Hidden Object Adventure game available from various gaming websites.  As usual with games of this type, you can create profiles so that individual players can enjoy the game with their own set of customised options. These profiles can contain the volume audio levels for features such as sound effects, music, speech and ambient sounds.
871733 canon G3X compact camer

Canon PowerShot G3X

Canon do three ranges of cameras the IXUS the smallest, next is the PowerShot and finally their DSLR range. However the area between the last two is somewhat grey, this PowerShot is considerably larger in size than a small DSLR.
The Canon PowerShot G3X measures 12cm wide, 8cm deep and 11cm from the screen to the front of the lens when closed however when fully zoomed this last figure increases to 17cm. So with that amount of optical zoom (25x) you will not be surprised that it weighs a good bit more than most PowerShot offerings at 738grams. Of course all recent cameras have to have the ability to take selfies so the TFT can flip through 180 degrees to show above the camera.
871855 picturekeeper connect phone backu

Picture Keeper Connect

Flash drives can have multiple uses including providing a cross-platform backup service.
Whether being used to capture Selfies or probably more picturesque scenes, the tool of choice for many users is that of their smartphone or, in some cases, a tablet.  Once these images have been captured, it can sometimes be a wrench to dispose of them in order to make space for further additions to your photographic collection.  However a possible solution could be available with a product from Picture Keeper entitled Picture Keeper Connect.
871994 LIDL Security Camer

LIDL Security Camera

IP surveillance cameras can be expensive so when LIDL brings one out at under £60 it is certainly worth taking a look. This camera can be connected by Ethernet or Wi-FI and everything you need – apart from a drill and screwdriver – are in the box.
871735 Evo Tactical Extreme Edition Cas

iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Cases

While lots of companies have a vast range of phones that they produce cases for the vast majority of cases produced by Tech21 are for the iPhone. Here I am looking at a detachable wallet case for the iPhone 7 and a brand new case for the iPhone 7 Plus.
Unlike a lot of phones that have a Plus after their name that you have to scrabble around to find the differences here it is obvious the iPhone has a 4.7 inch screen while the iPhone Plus has a 5.5 inch screen. The latter went on a three day trip to Scotland recently with me arriving the day before departure and was immediately fitted to an iPhone 7 Plus that was being reviewed so three days the phone and case were my constant companions. It is 14.5x7.
It’s small, available on a 30-day basis and provides a mobile hot spot service. For more information, read on….
871732 Apple iPhone 7 UK Sim Free Smartphon

iPhone 7 Plus from Vodafone

Unlike a lot of phones that have a ‘plus’ or extra ‘enhanced’ version where the differences may only be minimal this has a big difference that you do not even need to measure it to see it’s the overall screen size which is a lot larger.
The Apple iPhone 7 Plus measures 15.6x7.8x.8cm and weighs 186grams. The viewable screen is 12.2x6.8cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 5½ inches whereas the standard iPhone 7 is 4.7inches. On the iPhone 7 Plus the screen resolution is 1080x1920 (portrait) the same as most computer screens. The left side has the two volume buttons near the top and even closer to the top is the small volume off slider button.
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