More Info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2OaMEin
This new power bank from Metecsmart has to be one of the best looking and most elegant I have tried of this capacity. At the current Amazon price of £16.98, it is by not the cheapest on the market however, it has the style as well as the specs that many of the cheaper rivals lack.
In the simple eco-friendly product box was the power bank itself, a short USB to micro-USB charging cable, and a well designed and nicely printed User Guide albeit rather small in size. I enclose a scan of it on the end of my unboxing video.
The first thing that strikes you about this device is the elegant and upmarket appearance. It has a shiny silk finish to the body with high gloss steel look for the port bay. Coupled with the high build quality this really does give it the appearance of a high-end piece of kit. It would not look out of place on the desk of a CEO or on the table of a posh restaurant. At just 240g in weight and 138x72x16mm, this device is small and light enough to slip into a jacket pocket to keep it on hand when needed.
On the side is the only control, a soft touch multi-function button which powers the device off and on checks the battery status and controls the built-in flashlight. On the front are the three ports: micro-USB 2A power in, smart USB 2.1A, standard USB 1A. When both ports are in use the maximum output is 3.1A. The smart port will automatically deliver the maximum needed by the connected device, the other a standard 1A. Should there be an overload then the device will safely reset itself. The 10000mAh Lithium-Ion battery cell should be able to give three or more charges for most modern high-end phones and once for an iPad mini.
The main selling points for this device and the reason it is worth paying the extra are the compact size and high-end looks of the unit coupled with versatile high speed charging capabilities.
If style, as well as performance, is important to you ..
More Info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2wXMx2X
My backup computer, a small mini PC, is rather short on USB ports and would benefit greatly from the possibilities open to it with this new hub from ICZI.
Presented in a low key but attractive display pack the adapter was bundled supplied with a small but useful User Guide which I reproduce in my unboxing video.
The 11.6 x 4.2 x 1.45cm device is made of matte black plastic with a short hardwired USB cable on one end. It has two USB 3 plugs together with two USB-C plugs on one side and three more USB 3 ports and a power-in socket along the other. Also included is a standard three-pin UK power adapter, Build quality seems good although perhaps not premium but fine for the budget £19.99 price.
This is a device designed for data transfer rather than for charging and it will work for this without the power unit attached. For use with multiple devices, the supplied PSU should be used. The five USB 3 ports support Low-speed (1.5Mbps, full-speed(12Mbps), high-speed (480Mbps) and super-speed (5 Gbps) data speed as well as charging. The USB 3 ports are downward compatible and should work with all USB devices. The two USB-C ports are for data transfer only, not for charging, which is a pity. The device has over-current protection built into each port to protect both connected devices and the hub from power surges.
The excellent User Guide includes a handy chart showing the typical power consumption of different types of compatible devices. For example, a mouse would draw just 100mA but a USB 3 Hard Disk Drive would need the full power of the hub at 900mA. No drivers are needed for the USB ports.
This is a useful little device, small and easy to stow away in a gadget bag or drawer when not needed. For the relatively low price, this is a worthwhile addition to the kitbag of any computer or another USB-C device owner.
Good Build Quality
No drivers needed
More Info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2oIZ3Ph
As computers and smartphones continue the move from USB to USB-C we will find adapters such as this increasingly useful. As they gain in popularity the prices for these all in one device continues to fall and at the current Amazon price of £30.99, this is one of the least expensive on the market.
Packaged in a low key and rather a downmarket box the adapter was bundled supplied with a small but useful User Guide which I reproduce in my unboxing video.
The 4.5cmx1.6cmx 0.5cm device is made of matte black plastic with a short USB-C cable on one end and an HDMI port on the other. On one side are three USB 3 ports and on the other a USB-C power pass-through port together with an SD and TF card slots. Build quality seems good although not premium but fine for the budget price.
The USB, TF and SD cards function as they would with any other card reader. The HDMI port allows you to play video directly from your current generation MacBook or MacBook Pro as well as many high-end smartphones. The USB-C port can be used to charge smartphones and other selected devices but it cannot be used to charge another Mac. The USB plug, however, can charge a connected Mac when the power in cable is connected to the USB-C socket. Many of the functions can also work with selected USB-C smartphones but this varies from model to model.
I was perfectly happy with the operation of this little device, I tried it with a MacBook Pro and with my phone and both worked well although not all features are supported on my phone, a limitation of the phone rather than this device.
For the relatively low price, this is a worthwhile addition tot he kitbag of any MacBook or MacBook Pro user.
Pass through charging
No drivers needed
Not all USB-C smartphones support all features
USB-C port is charging only
More Info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2NSBK0F
LeftCafe Bluetooth Sport Earphones with 8GB Memory
I do not usually like yoke style headsets too much and for exercise, I usually favour the True Wireless type but this new sports Bluetooth headset from LeftCafe has given a possible reason to change my mind.
The headset arrived nicely presented in a simple but stylish mid-market product box. Inside was the headset itself together with a USB to micro-USB charging cable, three sets of ear gels (one prefitted) and a well written and easy to read User Guide. I append the User Guide to my unboxing video.
The headset has a quality feel to it. Gloss black plastic used for the outer surface of the earpieces with a smooth silk surface for the yoke and body. The yoke is very flexible and should be able to mould to fit any head shape. All the controls are on the right earbud and these consist of a large button on one side which controls Power On/Off, Play/Pause and call acceptance or rejection. On the other are the usual dual function track and volume buttons together with a grommet protected micro-USB charging port. The single microphone can be found here also.
I found the headset simple and intuitive to use. Pairing was fast and easy and the connection seems stable and drop out free. Track controls and volume are pretty much standard with the usual long and short button presses. I was pleased to see the multi-function button positioned away from the rest, this makes it easier to find quickly when in a rush.
Sound quality is excellent and better than almost all the True Wireless and in-ear rivals I have tried due to the larger size of the earpieces allowed by the yoke format. Again the format and the elasticity of the yoke allows the headset to be securely draped around the neck when not use with little chance of it falling off. The claimed wind noise reduction does seem to work and I found making calls outside a less fraught process than usu..
More Info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2M8RCKK
This is the latest handheld water flosser from Mornwell and is in part an upgrade from the earlier D50 model but there are several changes between the two. Priced at £22.99 on Amazon the D52 is actually a pound cheaper than the D50.
In the attractive mid-market product box was the flosser itself, a USB power cable, three standard heads, a tongue cleaning head, and a User Guide. The User Guide is large, well printed and easy to read and I enclose a scan of it in my unboxing video.
Build quality seems fine for the price and I was pleased to see that it uses a USB power source, which makes it great for taking on holiday as no mains plugs or adapters are needed. It is a pity though that it uses a non-standard socket on the flosser end rather than a normal micro-USB. Lose the cable and the flosser is useless. It is IPX7 waterproof so it can be used with safety in the bathroom.
Using the device is easy enough. On the front are two large buttons, one for power Off/On, the other to toggle through the three cleaning modes: standard, soft and massage (pulsating). There are LED lights to indicate the selected mode and the pitch of the motor varies in intensity between modes so you easily know which is selected. The device will switch off after two minutes if the current mode is not changed. The mode selection lights are also used to indicate charging: flashing when charging, solid when charging completely. Sadly, the device will not work when charging.
As a long-term user of these devices I was pleased with the power of the device, often battery powered flossers can only manage a rather feeble flow, not so here. I usually use it in standard mode and switch to soft or massage modes for the gums. The extra large 300ml water tank is more than enough for a cleaning session and can be quickly refilled from the tap. One battery charge is enough for a couple of weeks of normal use.
What are the dif..
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Weighing in at just 25g this super lightweight pair of polarised UV400 sunglasses from Tomppow seem like a quality buy at £23.99.
The glasses do not come in a product box, just a shaped plastic bag with the sunglasses and other items within the hard carry case. Also included was a soft carry bag, a cleaning cloth and a screwdriver keyring. It is a pity no product box was included as these are a high-quality pair of sunglasses and need to be presented as such.
The glasses themselves are very lightweight indeed. The Amazon page description lists them at 25g, and 200g when boxed. The AL-MG METAL frame gives them a strength that belies the minimal weight. They are comfortable to wear and in fact, I soon forgot I even had them on. Because they are so light to me they feel a bit flimsy but the manufacturer claims they are super strong due to the aluminium-magnesium frame. Well maybe, but I have yet to find a pair of glasses that I don’t break eventually. There is little chance of me damaging the hard case as it is built to a very high a quality and looks capable of stopping a bullet whilst sharing the high feel of the glasses.
The polarised 2.4" lenses are claimed to block 100% of harmful UVA & UVB Rays. I cannot test that but have no reason to doubt what they say. I can attest that the lenses are not too dark when looking through them and don’t restrict the vision in any way. The frame is of black plastic with dark sheathing to the arms and padded and adjustable nose guards. A discreet SPORT logo is on the side close to the hinge.
There is not much to dislike about these sunglasses unless you prefer a heavier build. They are easy and comfortable to wear and shield the glare nicely. The price is not the cheapest but these seem well made and it is probably worth paying a little more for quality eye protection.
Great Build Quality
High-quality hard case
More Info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2Q2aqhZ
I have tested and used many sets of copper string lights similar to these but none in a twin pack at just £7.30 per string. I selected the warm white option but a cool white version I also available.
Inside the nicely designed but simple box were the two identical string sets each with hard-wired battery box and a credit card sized remote control. A well printed and easy to read two-page User Guide is included, although it is not really needed. No batteries are included.
Each remote controls and battery box are clearly labelled with the various lighting options. There are eight static and flashing light modes available plus a single eight hours on/sixteen hours off timer.
The units are each powered by three AA batteries housed in a tough plastic box with waterproof seal and clip on catches. We are told the box is water resistant and proof against spills but no formal IP Enclosure Rating is given. I would suppose the box would be fine for normal outdoor use. It is a pity there is no socket for USB or indoor mains power adapter use. Two remotes are supplied although I was pleased to see that both strings can be controlled together from the same remote. This gives the option of using them as either one super long string or two separately.
The hardest thing about using the string is actually getting unravelled as it is supplied wound around a cardboard sheet rather than around a tube. I found it was difficult to avoid tangles and snares when getting it unwound. That task done it was easy enough to position it around a small tree in the garden. The lights look equally good when put into a decorative bottle, inside a wood burner and of course on the Christmas tree when that time comes. The lights are warm and bright and lend warmth and ambience to the room or garden.
For the current price of £14.55 for the pair, this is a great buy.
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I have used several similar GPS trackers in the past but this new one from LESHP has some features the others lack and is certainly the most user-friendly. Priced on Amazon at £79.99 this is not the cheapest but it does have a finished quality the lesser rivals lack.
In the windowed display box along with the tracker are the charging stand, USB to micro-USB cable, screw hole grommet set, screwdriver, Quick Start Guide and a User Guide. The two printed guides are large, easy to read and in colour. The 23-page User Guide is too large but I include a scan of the Quick Start Guide in my unboxing video. No SIM card is included as unlike with some rivals this device will work with any 2G SIM card network.
This device that uses a GPS receiver to locate the tracker and a 2G micro SIM card to allow you to communicate with the tracker to send and receive data using SMS messages. The tracker also has a microphone and speaker and can be used as an emergency phone.
The teardrop-shaped IPX5 waterproof device weighs in at 299g and is 6.2x4.5x1.3 cm in size. On the front is a large SOS button - press and hold to transmit your location to up the three phone numbers in an emergency - and microphone. On the rear are the charging terminals and speaker grill. On one side are a grommet protected micro-USB charging port, the status LED and the power button. The charging dock is made of gloss off-white plastic and has a micro-USB power in port on the rear and a single red LED on the front - flashes during charging, solid when charged.
Use the supplied mini screwdriver to remove the three screws allowing the top of the device to be opened revealing the micro SIM card port. Insert a 2G capable card - some networks such as 3 in the UK are 3/4G only. Turn the device on by pressing and holding the power button. Turn it off by pressing and holding the power and SOS buttons.
The unit is configured and set up by..
More Info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2oob5NU
I have been a long-term Fitbit user and have tried a great many budget rival devices but all have fallen by the wayside either due to poor hardware or over simple and undeveloped smartphone apps. For the first time, I have encountered a budget device that can challenge the Fitbit's supremacy.
The device arrived very attractively packaged in a rather upmarket white box. Inside was the watch itself, a non-standard magnetic mount USB charging cable, and a small and rather hard to read although well-written User Guide.
The watch itself has a minimalist design free of physical buttons featuring a .95 inch OLED screen with a soft touch button at the bottom of the watch face. It has a 170mAh Lithium Polymer battery with a rather optimistic 150 days standby and an active use of 10-12 days. The 20mm strap is made of leather and clearly designed for a small to normal sized male wrist. It connects to the phone using Bluetooth 4 LE. It is rated as IP67 waterproof which means it is OK for short immersions in water up to 1M deep - so you can wear it in the shower but do not swim in it.
I was very pleased to receive an over the air firmware update to the device which shows that they are continuing to develop the device. Too many budget devices are never updated as the designers prefer to move on to a new project rather than improving an existing one.
As with Fitbit, the heart of the product is not just the watch. To a large extent, the watch is just a container for the various onboard sensors with some display features thrown in. It is not a full-blown Smartwatch in the way WearOS and Apple watches are although it does have some smartphone features and interactions. The real heart of the product, as with Fitbit, is the app. The strangely named 'Hey Band' app offers features and information more advanced even than Fitbit but, sadly, not yet as well realised. To illustrate this I have included some b..
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This seems a well made and attractive home Carbon Monoxide warning device from Tegollus. It is similar to many others I have seen but does have a few features that make it stand out from the rest.
The unit arrived in a rather downmarket product box but which had useful information about the device printed on it. Inside the box were the alarm itself, a mounting kit and a plastic tool the purpose of which is not explained but may help with fitting the device. Also included was an excellent User guide, well written and informative but rather hard to read. It is worth getting the magnifying glass out to read it as it contains important information about using and installing the product. I include a scan of it in my unboxing video, switch to full screen and pause to read it.
The alarm is circular, 4.5" in diameter, 1.3" tall and weighs in at just 4.54 g. On the front face of the unit are the sensors, speaker grill, backlit LCD panel, three status LEDs and a test button. On the rear of the unit is the battery housing for three AA batteries (not supplied). The batteries are a tight fit and I had to struggle to get them out after testing but it is good to know will not work loose.
Fitting the unit is simple enough and is similar to many others I have tried. Using the included kit attach the plastic mounting panel to the ceiling or wall and the alarm will then just lock in place. Just rotate the alarm to remove or refit it.
The device has a memory function, auto testing features which automatically informs you of a circuit or sensor failure or low battery. It has a four-stage alarm system designed to protect against sustained low or increasing Carbon Monoxide levels: 30PPM, alarm within 120 mins, 50PPM, alarm within 60-90 mins, 100PPM, alarm within 10-40mins, 300PPM, alarm within 3mins. Pressing the button will stop the alert sounding but if the abnormal levels continue the alert will sound again.
The unit has thr..
More Info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2op5I0T
Many plugboards now come equipped with USB charging sockets but too often they output a have a low power standard output of just 1A or even lower. Not so here. This new desktop plugboard from HULKER comes with three 5v/2.4A smart sockets and one smart Fast Charge 3.6-12v/1.5-3A socket.
Unlike most plugboards, this one arrived packaged like a techy gadget in an upmarket box with a well printed and useful User Guide which I include in my unboxing video. The upmarket presentation makes a difference to how the product is perceived and this is clearly not just another plugboard like the ones we all have hidden behind the sofa and under the desk. This plugboard is designed to sit on the desk rather than under it and the unusual hexagonal shape makes not look out of place there. It comes with a 2M heavy duty power cord with a three pin UK plug hard wired in place.
As a powerboard, the device is more versatile than most the four sockets all capable of handling a range of plug formats and shapes: UK, EU, USA, Australia, two pin etc. The sockets are all controlled from the same backlit switch and there are no switches for each separate socket. Check your foreign device will work on UK 240v before plugging it in! That said, this plugboard is fully fused and offers surge protection in case disaster strikes.
The three standard USB sockets have smart technology and will output the correct load for your device up to 5/2.4A. The fast charge socket will deliver u 3.6-12V/1.5-3A according to the needs of your connected device. Take note that not all fast charging devices are supported most notably the Motorola G4 and G5. Non supported devices will still be charged but at standard speed.
This is an excellent plugboard designed for modern office use and all it lacks is wifi Alexa/Google voice control and individual switching. For the current Amazon price of £16.99, it is a very attractive buy
More Info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2LMNjV1
There are many very similar dental flossers available but this one is perhaps the most nicely presented I have seen and is certainly one of the most inexpensive currently at £23.49 on Amazon.
In the attractive mid-market product box was the flosser itself, an induction charging base with two pin plug, a set of two colour coded heads, and a User Guide. The User Guide is large, well printed and easy to read and I enclose a scan of it in my unboxing video.
Build quality seems fine for the price and I was pleased to see a proper shaver point plug was included as many of the imported rivals come with a three pin plug illegal for bathroom use.
Using the device is easy enough. On the front are two large buttons, one for power Off/On, the other to toggle through the three cleaning modes: standard, soft and massage (pulsating). There are LED lights to indicate the selected mode and the pitch of the motor varies in intensity between modes so you easily know which is selected. The device will switch off after two minutes if the current mode is not changed. The mode selection lights are also used to indicate charging: flashing when charging, solid when charging completely.
As a long-term user of these devices I was pleased with the power of the device, often battery powered flossers can only manage a rather feeble flow, not so here. I usually use it in standard mode and switch to soft or massage modes for the gums. The 150ml water tank is more than enough for a cleaning session and can be quickly refilled from the tap. One battery charge is enough for a couple of weeks of normal use.
This is an excellent device, works well, and compares well to similar units from high-end rivals. However, it is worth pointing out that Mornwell has just introduced a new and updated model at the same price, the Mornwell D52 (https://amzn.to/2NEl3WH).
Cleaning works well
Quiet in use
More Info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2wBmFcp
This is really two products in one. It is a multi-angle adjustable camera hot shoe mount together with a small format camera toolkit.
The kit arrived in a plain cardboard box inside of which was a robust plastic storage box containing the mount itself, Allen key, multi-purpose wrench, screwdriver bit set, two small storage boxes, and a cleaning cloth. No User Guide or paperwork was included, just a customer service slip.
The camera mount is clearly a serious piece of professional level equipment. It is made entirely from metal but with a protective rubber pad on the top face to protect the light or other attached device. The mount has a male steel shoe mount to connect to the female shoe mount on the camera. The mount will rotate through 360 degrees horizontally around this point and can be secured in place with a large knurled thumbwheel. Above this the verticle axis point through which the mount can move front and back up to 176 degrees which can be locked in place using the supplied Allen key on either side of the mount. Above this is the 1/4" tripod screw around which is a rubber protective pad. The screw is adjusted and locked using a black alloy knurled thumbwheel.
In use, the fixture seems very secure and once locked in place will not wobble or move through any axis. The small size reduces the strain on the equipment it is connected to as well as reducing bulk and clutter. I use it mainly to give a secure mount to some small LED light panels I use and for this purpose, it works perfectly either on camera or when attached to a tripod.
The plastic case is handy to store this and other small photographic items in. It is robust and strong, padded inside and has four retaining latches which may well make it waterproof (although this is not claimed). The large metal wrench included is again clearly a quality item which may come in useful for dealing with recalcitrant brackets and n..
More Info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2BHw5sp
For 50% discount Skype Kora: [email protected]
Blenheim, our Whippet, is a big strong lad and when he gets excited he pulls hard and so we need a lead that can keep him under control and him and us the confidence that it will not break or give way. This new lead from AISITIN is ticks almost all the boxes.
Priced at £16.99 discounted from an eye-watering £29.99 the lead arrived in a small storage bag with some basic information about the leash printed on it.
The strong and very robust nylon lead has a 1-inch bungee type cord which will stretch in use between 43 to 59 inches although only under considerable sustain pressure. On one end is the looped reinforced soft grip with about halfway down a metal D clasp to which a poop bag container or water bottle could be attached. Just before the collar end is a tough plastic hand grip designed to allow the dog to be secured when maximum control is needed. Along the lead are reflective stips to keep the dog easily seen during night walks On the collar end is the main metal alloy buckle to attach the lead to the collar and this has a 360° swivel hook to prevent the buckle from twisting off should the dog become overexcited. One unusual feature is the addition of a stainless steel car safety buckle which will clip into a car seat belt clip to keep the animal secure when in a vehicle.
This a high-quality dog lead, well made and robust with clearly a great deal of thought put to the design and manufacture. It is by no means the cheapest on the market but for the price, it is probably the best I have seen.
Car Safety Buckle
Heavy Duty Clasp
Additional D Buckle
Could be Longer
More Hand Grip Padding Needed
More Info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2BIRyRV
There are always uses for this type of double-sided tape. It can be used for a range of things across the house. At home, we use it to secure fine mesh material to the windows to keep the flies out during the summer. In my unboxing video, I use it to secure the top flap of the case for my gimbal. The good thing about this sort of fixing system is that is is only semi-permanent and can easily be repositioned and removed when required.
The two 5m reels of tape, one of hooks and the other of felt, arrived simply presented in a clear plastic bag. It is a pity they were not in a branded box as although this would add to the cost it would give the item a more upmarket feel.
Each roll of tape is 20mm wide and has a super sticky base protected by a peel-off plastic backing. The tape seems well made and will stick to pretty much anything.
Using the tape could not be easier. Just cut a strip of each type to the desired length, peel off the backing and stick one to each surface to be joined. Repositioning is possible if they do not line up perfectly first time and of course, once correctly position the two surfaces can be pulled apart when needed. Take cure when doing so to ensure the sticky surface is not pulled off. Strong though the adhesive is it is not as strong as the hook and eye fastening.
The current Amazon price of £5.98 is as good as you are going to find anywhere and makes this an excellent buy.
More Info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2wkCP9W
Priced on Amazon at just £23.99 this new touch control desklamp from
Donewin is larger and rather more impressive than I was expecting. The rather low key product box does not really do justice to the attractive and well-designed lamp within.
The blue and white stylishly designed lamp extends to a full 61cm from the non-slip 13com base. The base section and lamp housing are of white semi-gloss plastic and the blue gooseneck of blue silicone. The neck can be twisted and bent to almost any angle without affecting the stability of the lamp. There is one soft touch button only which is used to vary the light output and colour temperature of the 5w LED light panel. Short press the button to switch on and off and to scroll through the three light levels, press and hold to scroll through warm, medium and cool white light settings.
The light is powered through a standard USB phone charger, which is supplied along with a USB to micro-USB cable. This is good news as it means any standard USB phone charger and cable can be used to power the device. The supplied cable is shorter than I would like but at least now the option to replace it easily is available. Also in the box is a user Guide but this is not needed as operating the lamp is simple and obvious. This is just as well as the User Guide is largely in Chinese which a few short lines in poorly translated English.
This is a very attractive desk lamp that looks good not just in the office but in the living room too. It is well designed and nicely made and available at a very good price.
Single Button Operation
Standard USB power supply
Three light levels
Variable Colour Temperature
Fully Flexible Gooseneck
Poor User Guide
No Battery Option
More info and purchase: https://goo.gl/WL7iBJ
I have tried rival silicone bag sets before but this new set is the least expensive yet and the first I have tried in this attractive and easy to see blue colour.
We all have this problem. A half-open container of food that we need to keep fresh in the fridge whilst protecting the contents. This £6.99 set of six silicone stretch covers from Heaven Ladder may be what you need.
The sizes are: 6.5cm, 9.5cm, 11.5cm, 14.5cm, 16.5cm, 21cm. The covers are VERY stretchy and cling to surfaces to make a seal. Although they are all circular you will find that they will seal square, rectangular or almost any shape of the container. They each have multiple grab handles to allow for easy fitting and removal. They are dishwasher safe and are showing no sign of warping, discolouration or splitting so far.
Using them could not be simpler. They seem to mould themselves into any shape and make an instant seal around the edge. Because they stretch so much you will find that with the set you should have the means to seal all but the very largest containers. They are microwave, dishwasher and oven safe (-40 ℃ to + 230 ℃ ) and are made entirely from BPA Free food grade Silicone. Downsides… they can be a bit hard to work with at times because the silicone tends to stick to itself.
This is an excellent set of versatile and reusable covers available at a reasonable price.
Easy to use
Stretch to fit almost any size
Storage bag included
Silicone sticks to itself
More Info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2BHQ5LA
Usually, I carry my camera gear in a Billingham shoulder bag. As a press photographer, I need to have instant access to my gear so I can swap lenses and cameras as required. However, I like to take a decent range of cameras kit with me when I go hiking and a shoulder bag is not suitable as it gets in the way and often I need both hands free to get over styles or scale steep and rocky slopes. For this, a backpack is really what is needed. A normal rucksack will not do as it does not offer sufficient protection to my gear and finding particular items quickly can be difficult.
This new camera rucksack from K&F Concept goes a long way to answering my needs. It is strong and rugged enough to offer decent protection with adjustable interior padding to custom fit to any piece of equipment and with the back unzipped all the items within are immediately visible and accessible.
The rucksack arrived in a just a plastic bag with no product box although it did have K&F Concept tags in place. No instructions or paperwork was included and none needed.
The rucksack is 17.3 x 6.3 x 11.4 inches and is made from water resistant (whatever that means) rip proof 840D nylon material. It features numerous inside and outside pockets and pouches including one in the top padded flap that can accommodate a 13.3" laptop. It also has a small external zipper pocket on a folding flap that can be used for a credit card or small instant access items. It is designed for weighty loads and has well padded should straps as well as a retaining chest strap. On the sides are external straps to allow a tripod of up to 50 cm to be secured.
The heart of the bag is the large padded area where the camera gear is stored. This is protected by a padded external flap which opens up fully to reveal space sufficient for a couple of DSLR camera bodies, flash and several lenses. However, do not expect to get anything larger than a 70..
More Info asnd Purchase: https://amzn.to/2Lf9rHH
Priced at just £23.99 reduced from £28.99 this has to be one of the least expensive dash cams I have ever tried. But quality and presentation are going up as fast as prices are falling and so it needs to offer more than just a bargain price to be any good.
Inside the attractive but simple box was the camera itself, long mini-USB car charging cable with hard-wired cigar lighter plug, short USB cable, suction cup mount, and a User Guide. The User Guide is nicely designed compared to those usually supplied and well printed in colour too but rather brief. I attach a scanned copy to my unboxing video. Switch to full screen and pause as needed to read it.
Insurance fraud is on the rise and one way of protecting yourself from driving-related scams is to install a dashcam. Dashcams such as this one are positioned discreetly pointing forwards through the front window and record all your driving activity. The dashcam turns on automatically when the car is started and off again a short time after the engine is turned off. It records continuously in short recordings onto a memory card. When the card is full the camera records over the oldest recording. A good camera will have a built-in G-Sensor which automatically records impacts and secures that file against overwriting.
The camera is quite small and on my car can be hidden in front of the driving mirror. The camera attaches to the windscreen with the supplied mount and in my tests, this worked well. Like most cameras, this one has a built-in battery which is designed only to give short-term coverage should the car power supply fail in the event of a crash. For normal operation, it should always be connected to the car power port. The camera has a microphone which is useful in an incident if you have the presence of mind to observe and announce number plates or external events not captured by the camera. The dashcam has a G-sensor, a must fo..
More Info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2vKwSnb
These charming and delightful set of twelve faux wisterias arrived simply packaged in a clear bag with the flower stalks bound together. No paperwork or other items was included or required.
Each of the flowers is 1.1M in length when unfurled with plastic stalks and branches together with delicate crepe flowers. Care has to be taken as in common with real flowers the petals will fall if roughly handled. That aside build quality seems fine as the stalks and flowers are colourful and very realistic and are easy to manipulate and position as required. They are colourfast and can even be washed if needed.
The faux wisteria can be used alone, as part of a wedding or party decoration or any way you wish. We have them in our conservatory to brighten up an underused corner mixed in with some ferns. They will continue to lift and brighten that area throughout the darker winter months.
The current price of £16.99 is not excessive for the number of flowers you receive and given that they will last many years of careful use.
More Info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2wamRPx
Currently, on sale at Amazon for just £49.99, this has to be one of the least expensive dual camera dashcams available but is it any good?
Insurance fraud grows daily and one way of protecting yourself from driving-related scams is to install a dashcam. Dashcams such as this one are positioned discreetly pointing forwards through the front window and record all your driving activity. The dashcam turns on automatically when the car is started and off again a short time after the engine is turned off. It records continuously in short recordings onto a memory card that seamlessly dovetails together when played back. When the card is full the camera records over the oldest recording. A good camera should have a G-Sensor that will automatically flag any recording containing a possible impact and not record over it.
It arrived in a rather simple but robust box inside of which aside from the front camera there was the small rear camera and cable set with cable tool, short micro USB cable, car power adapter and long cable, suction mount, adhesive mount, an adhesive and screw mounts for the rear camera and a User Guide. The User Guide, unlike most, was very well printed, easy to read and quite informative if rather brief. The User Guide is one of the best I have seen: well written, nicely printed in colour and a decent size. I include a copy of both at the end of my unboxing video, switch to full screen and pause as needed to read it.
Unlike with many more expensive rivals, there was no SD card and the user must supply their own. This was a pity as everything else was included and the camera will not work without it.
Unlike with most dashcams, this system is supplied with a second small waterproof camera that is attached by cable to the front camera and can be positioned in the back window or above the rear licence plate to continuously record activity behind the car in addition to the forwar..
More Info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2L7vzUd
I always prefer wireless keyboard and mouse sets. The technology has developed now so dropouts and high battery use are no longer issues even for budget models. My current set comes from Logitech and is similar to this new model from BJL in many ways although is more than twice the price.
In the attractive product box were the keyboard, mouse, User Guide, USB dongle and batteries. The keyboard takes two AA batteries housed in a housing on the underside, the mouse just one in a compartment also used to store the USB key. Unusually for the price the keyboard sports LEDs for caps lock, Numeric pad and low battery. Again, surprisingly for such a low priced device, the wireless mouse has no less than five selectable DPI levels of between 800 to 2400DPI. Both Mouse and Keyboard have default energy saving to switch them to sleep mode after eight minutes without use. Both devices have power switches, useful for long-term storage. The keyboard has a stylish sculptured fluting to the base which means there is no kickstand needed, good as they invariably break over time. However, this does mean that the keyboard is always positioned at a preset angle and cannot be made to lay flat on the work surface.
Build quality felt fine although the mouse felt lighter weight than I prefer. The keyboard is claimed to be spill resistant but I would not want to put it to the test. One minor issue is that the USB dongle is a plain and anonymous black with no marking on it which makes it hard to identify and easy to lose.
No setup required other than plugging the USB dongle into the computer, fitting the batteries to the keyboard and mouse and ensuring both devices are switched on. The computer will immediately recognise the BJK set and you can begin using it at once. One major selling point is that this is a UK configured keyboard with a £ key, so no awkward keyboard mapping is needed.
I found the keyboard f..
More Info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2B5ZLzh
I have tried other wireless car chargers before but this one is more than just a charger. It also offers a fully automated app-based car location service.
The charger arrived presented in an attractive mid-market box that helps make the product eminently suitable as a gift. Inside the box was the charger itself together with a rather short USB-micro USB cable, airvent adapter, dashboard mount and a two well printed and easy to read user Guides, one for the charger and the other for the car location app.
Build quality seems fine if rather lightweight. The charger has a matt black finish with steel effect highlighting. The two mount adapters attach to the rear of the charger with a ball and socket joint. The air mount adapter can be adjusted to suit varying grill types and the dashboard mount comes with a prefitted sticky pad. No old-style cigar lighter interface is included but then almost all modern cars now come with USB ports. It should work safely with any phone as it has electronic and short-circuit protection.
Having mounted the device using it could not be easier. As with all wireless chargers just put the phone into the mount and touching the charging pad and it will work automatically. In fact, this one is easier to use than desktop chargers because the phone is held in place and positioned exactly over the charging coil by three retractable and adjustable arms that grip it tightly and securely. It should be noted that the arms can be adjusted to suit phones of different lengths as well as width, unlike with some lesser rivals. This adjustable length feature means that even new 18:9 format phones should fit safely into it. The secure mount coupled with the ball and socket joint on the rear means the phone can be quickly and safely rotated from portrait to landscape modes with no fear of it falling out.
The selling point of this device and the feature that lifts it above the h..
More Info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2KKGFhv
A 7.1 Channel sound card for £0.42? A piece of junk, right. Yes, right, at least from my experience.
I saw this on Amazon for the remarkable price of just £0.42 including shipping from China and I thought I would give it a try just for fun. It gets three and a half stars on Amazon with eighty-five reviews so some people are clearly happy with it.
The first thought that comes to mind is how can they ship it from China for that price never mind actually manufacturer it? It turns out that due to trade agreement Chinese suppliers receive VAT exemption as well as virtually free shipping. This article explains it: https://dailym.ai/2MI8AAQ
So what of the sound card? It arrived safely enough after a few weeks in a reinforced jiffy bag. Inside was just the sound card itself, no box, instructions or paperwork. No sign too of the promised 'Xear 3D Sound simulation software'.
The device is a USB plug-in sized 11 x 10 x 1.3 cm. It has two colour coded 3.5mm jack ports, one for audio out and the other for a microphone. On the front are the mic and audio out Off/On buttons, volume up and down buttons together with LEDs for power and microphone status.
When I plugged it in the LED lit up and the device appeared to be working. Audio from it was appalling, muffled distorted and clipped. The sound was far worse than using the built-in Windows 10 sound card. After some minutes experimenting with it I then immediately binned it. Actually, that may have been a mistake as following some online research it seems that the device needs the correct drivers and software to work properly. Search for 'Cmedia CM108 drivers' and/or 'Xear 3D' and with this software installed the unit works well. Of course, I can't attest to that myself as I no longer have the little unit to try it with!
If you have 42p burning a hole in your pocket and don't mind some online research then maybe this could be for you.
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We have two dogs, Poppy and Blenheim, both hardcore pooing machines when out on their walk. They think nothing of going half a dozen times each when out and about. So it is that our household goes through vast quantities of poo bags and so it is that sourcing decent quality bags at a reasonable price is a not unimportant thing.
What do we want from our poo bags? Strong: the horrors of a burst or split poo bag are best left to the imagination. Capacious: Blenheim is a big boy with a hearty appetite, need I say more? Scented: no need to expand more on that topic. Tie Handles: crucial to keep the contents in place and to keep the fingers as far away from that which lies within as possible. Price: with two dogs in tow that have devoted their lives to both eating and pooing the less expensive the bags the better.
These bags from Ecohound are well priced at £12.95 for 500. Smaller quantity boxes are available but work out more expensive per bag. They come folded rather than on rolls, which is a good or bad thing according to your preference. They are a thick enough and a decent size at 38cmx 17cm with large and easy to tie handles. They are also eco-friendly, we are told, and so will dissolve into the earth over time. They are unscented, which is a pity, but you cannot have everything.
If you are in the market for poo bags, and how many dog owners are not, then these are a rather good buy.