Those of us who use a Desktop or Tower system still need a keyboard and a mouse. I have always used wired offerings, these days you are less likely to have special ports instead having connections via USB. So when I got the opportunity to test a set of keyboard and mouse from Trust my own offering was disconnected and the Trust items connected.
They only use a single USB port and being wire less units you are not tethered in any way. The batteries required for both units are already inserted and you just need to pull the small strip of paper out that stops the contact being made. Insert the wireless USB controller and wait a few seconds for Windows to install the driver. There is an on/off switch on the right edge of the keyboard and a similar slider on the base of the mouse.
While I am sure we all enjoy good Coffee Shop coffee, sad to say even those with far deeper pockets than mine are starting to see where savings can be made. Sadly one of these is the coffee shop, while some instant offering are tolerable what if you could have coffee grounded and brewed in your home of office, you can with this latest offering from Melitta the Purista Series 300 Jubilee Edition.
Perhaps the first step is to find out what coffee you favourite coffee shop uses and where they get it from. There are plenty of online places that roast beans and despatch them the same day. If you have beans then what you do not want is them to be ground and not used immediately as fresh ground is even more important than how long ago – within reason – they were roasted. Now all you need is a machine to grind and prepare your coffee.
A set of in ear earbuds from Creative bundled with the SXFI AMP is what this latest offering from Creative Labs to cross my desk is, and while I do not normally want to know the price before completing the review on this occasion I needed to know if this was one or two reviews and as it’s a bundle only price that is 36.67% of the separate selling price.
The wired earbuds have magnetic backs, 12cm down the lead from the buds is a tiny 2x.5x.5cm control a further 20cm down the two leads become one and stay joined for the final 80cm till the gold plated 3.5mm plug. You can use the earbuds like this if your phone still has a 3.5mm socket.
As another year passes Corel releases the next version of its Pinnacle Studio video editing product.
Now up to version 25, I have been checking out the Ultimate offering of this Advanced Video Editing software that brings together video editing tools and a selection of creative effects designed to enhance the completed video. Also released at the same time, for those with less demanding needs, are Pinnacle Studio Plus 25 and Pinnacle Studio 25 versions to join the Pinnacle Studio family.
This is a 27inch flat panel 1920x1080 that shows everything just that little bit larger, it also has something that most other flat panels do not have a decent set of speakers so external speakers should not be required, so what else does this recent offering from Philips have to tempt you.
It is 61x36x1cm apart from the base of the screen surround that is 3.5cm and immediately you know why the sound is so good as the speakers are down facing in the base. The surround on the sides and top are .5cm with the base surround being 2.4cm and so the notional diagonal imperial measurement is as stated above, the full 27inches.
If you are looking for a last-minute Christmas gift then this next product could help.
While I have been known to bestow certain inanimate objects with a personalised name, this practice has not been applied to my toothbrush. Despite coming into regular personal contact, as it carried out its teeth cleaning duties, this device was simple known as the toothbrush. Oral-B obviously feels differently as it named this particular series of toothbrushes, one of which arrives in the Fereday household, as "Genius X".
It is rare for me to form an instant like or dislike and even rarer for this not to change during the course of the review period. This arrived as I was trying to stream something via a notebook that has adequate speakers when it is on your lap or desk, if you walk to the door you lose the context so as soon as I unpacked the Creative Pebble I plugged it in, instant plug and play and I could clearly hear even outside the room.
The Pebbles are 12cm across, 12cm tall and 12cm from back to front, however they are not round and in places are far less than that. A triangle might describe them better as the speakers are angled at 45 degrees. The left unit is hardwired to the right unit. The right unit has a wire emerging from the back to link to the left unit and another also hard wired that goes to the USB ‘C’ port.
Most recent ‘outdoor’ cameras that have crossed my desk have been battery offerings that would require you to climb up to change the battery or recharge it. They of course require only fitting, this offering from D-Link is wired so it needs to go through either a wall window or door frame to get power and to deliver its signal to you.
It is 8.5x5.5x6.5cm the last figure the depth is increased by the bracket so could be as much as 12cm. The hard wired lead that emerges from the back of the bracket is 4.2 metres long ending in a round 1cm across fitment that carries both power and signal. There is a further plug/fitment on another 3 metre length of cable that ends in a power plug so however you link it you need power within three metres of entering your home. Also in the box is a ten side fold out Quick Start Guide.
The only way you know if your Anti Virus or Total Security product is doing its job is if it fails; and, if you have no problems, then it is probably doing its job. While I have previously told you about what McAfee and Kaspersky have to offer today its BitDefender.
I have been using it for nearly a month and the only time I know it’s there is when I attach a memory stick while it checks its content. Some people are concerned that certain files are permanently deleted and here they have a secure shredder to do the job. The thing that most recently seems to be the thing that people worry about is Ransomware and BitDefender say they will stop files being encrypted once they know an attach is in progress.
With its collection of puppet-like creatures, you ca visit a world that has the feel of a nightmare.
Bringing the Weird Park saga to a conclusion is the appropriately entitled The Final Show. Like the earlier offerings, this title is a Hidden Object Adventure game and is entirely self-contained so missing out on the first two parts of this trilogy should not spoil your enjoyment of this adventure game. Rather than just offer the player the challenge of the main game, Weird Park - The Final Show comes with a number of bonus items that could well appeal to you.
Knowing the price of something when I start reviewing is not my choice as it might predetermine the value score, here however I do know the price and ‘I do not believe it’ came immediately to mind. As always there must be minus points, now to try and find them.
Really top end offerings by Samsung and Apple can get towards four figures, while Honor is a part of Huawei their prices are normally somewhat lower but this offering is really low, the initial promotion price was sub £200. Sadly this offer finished just as I received the unit to review, the price now is £249.99 but you do get one of a choice of three free gifts with it. It is 16x7.3x.8cm and weighs 210grams.
A rare find these days a Desktop offering, rather than a Laptop/Tablet/Notebook. This is a very small offering the dimensions are below and it comes with a Wireless keyboard and mouse set so nothing apart from the panel needs to be on your desk.
The Acer XC-885 desktop computer measures only 10cm wide, 29cm tall and 32cm from back to front but add another 4cm for cables etc. so 36cm deep. On the back it has two HDMI connectors and a VGA. There are 4xUSB and below that 2xUSB3 and Ethernet. The standard three 3.5mm audio connections and there is still room for two internal blanking plates. The front has on/off button at the top and working down an SD Card reader, two always on ports USB ‘C’ and USB and finally 3.
This is a SIM with a difference, it is tuned to your hearing, so your phone conversations in any phone are as clear as they can be, and this service is ideal if you have a little or a lot of hearing loss. The process is simple and they have several plans to suit the amount you use your phone. In these times where meetings in person are not encouraged the phone becomes more important than ever.
I have been testing this service with the range of Emporia phones recently reviewed but I have also tested it with other recent SmartPhones. In fact I would never have heard of Audacious without my meeting earlier this year with the man from Emporia. You go onto the Emporia website and select the service that suits your needs, in fact you can conduct a hearing test before you sign up. They recommend you do the test a couple of times and certainly you should repeat it if you get a new phone.
Watch out, Hackers about and it is up to you to protect your computer data with the appropriate software.
As a young child I can remember playing a game we knew as "Pig-in-the-Middle". Now as an adult, with a thicker waist line and many grey hairs, it seems the situation is returning. I, and many others, find ourselves in the middle of an ongoing battle that is taking place between security companies and those who are intent on infiltrating the computer data and facilities of ours for their own nefarious purposes.
Every new Pen camera from Olympus is a pleasure to review. For such a small overall unit to give brilliant quality images and video without you having to be a semi-professional user is great. This latest offering camera only was sent with the new 14-42mm lens so I could review it.
The Olympus Pen E-PL10 measures 12.5x6x6cm and weights 471 grams. There is about 3cm of extension with the lens. Let’s start with the top of the camera, pop up flash, flash shoe, nine position wheel, and finally on/off button. On either side of the top are neck strap anchor points. The left side is clear, while the right side has a door covering HDMI and USB sockets. The base has tripod screw and the solid battery bay as well as SD slot. The face has the motorised lens.
A picture, so they say, may be worth a thousand words but sometimes the image does not tell the complete story. Images, especially those of celebrities, have sometimes been doctored to enhance and modify the original image by specialist using software such as PortraitPro 19 from Anthropics Technology.
This product is available in Standard, Studio and Studio Max versions with this review being based on the top-of-the-range 64-bit PortraitPro 19 Studio Max offering. As its title should indicate, this software's main focus is concerned with the facial features of the subject featured in an image. This software does work best when dealing with a full face or profile view of the main character featured in the image.
ewel Match Twilight 3 is the latest edition to Suricate Games’ Match-3 series. As the game’s title might indicate, this offering has a ghostly theme as it features eerie sounds and abandoned buildings that require restoring. This review is based on a Collector’s Edition of the game that comes with bonus levels, spooky wallpaper and music.
Jewel Match Twilight 3 is the latest edition to Suricate Games’ Match-3 series. As the game’s title might indicate, this offering has a ghostly theme as it features eerie sounds and abandoned buildings that require restoring. This review is based on a Collector’s Edition of the game that comes with bonus levels, spooky wallpaper and music.
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.
Early this year I told you about the Google Home Hub, now Google have launched another range of products. I will start with probably the smallest the Google Nest Mini (2nd Generation) that is truly small but it has a big sound with twice the base of the first generation offering.
The Google Nest Mini is round with a 9cm diameter and is 4cm thick; there is a choice of four colours: chalk; sky; coral or charcoal. There are three touch controls on the device volume down, volume up and mute. The only physical connection is the 1.5 metre long micro USB to mains plug. The initial setup requires the Google Home App which is available on the iOS or Android store. Once setup is completed you can run the Nest Mini totally from your voice so the phone does not need to be present.
While this was launched before the Cricket World Cup it did not arrive with me until the Cricket season was finished. Indeed anyone watching the main courts at Wimbledon would have seen the ‘oppo’ name on the show courts, great advert but how many will have known what the name referred to.
The Oppo Reno 10 Pro measures 16x7.5x.8cm and it weighs 216grams. The viewable screen is 15.5x7.2cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 6.6inches. This is a large phone with hybrid zoom. The selfie phone gives a wider capture angle as the lens is not in the screen but on a pop out above it. Start up is 13 seconds and shutdown only 1.2 seconds. Going around the outside has the on/off button on the right. The base has USB ‘C’, SIM entry point and speaker.
Originally only available for those taking out insurance from this company, it is now available for all. I looked at the early offering in February. Now it comes with packaging more fitment options and the chance to get far longer video clips.
Since my first review nine months ago the camera will now work with Alexa and you have the option via a subscription to get far longer video clips, the basic is twelve seconds and this increases with the extra subscription to sixty seconds, either way your videos are stored for 14 days. The camera itself is a five centimetre cube but the height can increase by another three centimetres by the base lifting on itself in a three way movement to let you get it pointing in exactly the correct place.
As notebooks get smaller something had to go, the easiest to lose was the optical drive, other things were harder possibly the Ethernet connection and then the flood gates opened as some devices have just a single USB ‘C’ and sometimes little else.
So the market for third parties to produce the ability to let your notebook have all the connectivity when in the office and still be as small and light when out of the office. So from Brando those clever people in Hong Kong comes the ‘USB-C Multifunctional Converter’ which gives everything you used to have but no longer do with the exception of the optical drive. It is 28cm long 7.5cm wide and a minimum of 1cm and maximum of 2cm thick, it weighs just 258 grams.
Adding to its range of graphics software products, Corel has released version 23 of its Pinnacle Studio offering. I was fortunate to have been sent a free version of the top of the range Ultimate product rather than the standard Studio or Studio Plus products.
Without a doubt, the fact I had been sent the Ultimate version of the product added to the time required for the downloading of the software and its installation on my work system. The size and length of time required by the tasks can be judged by the number of desktop icons that were created. Normally you would expect a product, even one involved with graphics, to make do with a single desktop icon.
Amazon started life as a book seller, now it sells EBook readers.
Books, a valuable source of information and entertainment, whether in hardback or paperback format, have been around and will continue to do so for many years. However this should not mean that new, or more recent concepts with regards literature, should be ignored. Not only does the digital format of text presentation provide the means to read literature but it also delivers additional information concerning the story and its author.
It been a while since I have reviewed a camera that can fit in your pocket, of course most recent SmartPhones have better than average cameras but I do not know any that can shoot underwater as this latest offering from Olympus can.
While it was clearly marked sample and it was just the camera no leads and most importantly no manual, I was able to download the manual sometime later and this helped me to fill in some of the things that the camera is capable of that I was unable to figure out without it. I defy most to get anything like the best from this unit without a thorough read of the 168 pages of the manual.
Recently my review of an 8th Generation Kindle was published and it was something I had not seen for a number of versions. Here another such items a Fire Tablet which I see – over the years - I had tried three previous versions, now it comes with Alexa built in so it is possible to talk to your Tablet. So what exactly has been happening with the Fire Tablet recently?
The Fire 7 tablet from Amazon measures 19x11.4x1cm and weighs 288 grams. The viewable screen is 9x15.2cm which gives the diagonal imperial measurement of 7inches. A full charge via trickle charge is 3½ hours boot up is 20 seconds and shutdown is 3 seconds. Going around the outside has the micro USB slot on the right side, the base is clear; the right side has the speaker near the base. The top has volume up and down buttons, 3.
This is a small but extremely powerful tower system. Acer does a number of different versions under the same name and model number both with and without an SSD drive, it also has various Intel and AMD processors so do think about all this prior to selecting where to purchase it from as certain models like this one are only available from two outlets.
It’s 35cm from front to back but add another 5cm for cables to be inserted. It is 16.5cm wide and 35cm tall. The top has a wireless charging plate towards the front. The front has a vertically mounted optical drive and towards the right near the base an SD card port, a USB ‘C’ and a USB3 port (always on) as well as 3.5mm headphone and microphone sockets. The back has kettle style mains lead, lower down are four USB2 sockets and below this two USB3 ports and an Ethernet port.
Raspberry Pi has launched its 4th generation model which is significantly faster and more capable than any of the existing products.
True wire free connection as this kit is Wi-Fi and uses rechargeable batteries that should last months between charges. This means you just need to find somewhere to fix an external camera, this kit also includes a second camera and a motion detector even for total darkness so while other kits say they are wireless often you still need something going through an external wall.
The kit is controlled by the siren which can be set to on or off, this connects to your router via a supplied Ethernet lead and this also needs mains power once this is connected you download an App to your phone from either the Android or iOS store. Once you have created an account just follow the prompts and in around two minutes you should be setup. You now have two cameras each around 8x5x7.5cm although they are more oval than rectangular.
F-Secure, as you might presume from the company’s title, offers users a range of hardware, software, apps and Cloud protection solutions.
For those looking for an all-round protection software solution, F-Secure offers its Total product which consists of three main elements. There is another fourth element but I am reserving that element for another review. The three main elements are SAFE, FREEDOME VPN and KEY. As well as being available on a subscription basis, there is also a 30-day trial version for checking out the product.