The HTC Vive VR is Coming!

HTC and Valve got together to create a baby, and that baby is arriving in April. In what is shaping up to be a pretty important year for virtual reality, the two big names are shipping with a rather hefty price tag. We already saw Oculus announce their headset with a pre-order price of $599, which left some early adopters waiting to see what HTC would ship their Vive VR at.

Well the answer is here, and it’s $799. If you’re in the market for a brand new VR headset, then you can pre-order from the device from February 29th, with orders shipping in April. The Vive VR will ship with two wireless controllers, which helps to really complete the package.

HTC also unveiled a brand new feature, Vive Phone Services, which allows users to take and make calls, texts, and check their calendars, without ever popping the headset off. Sounds interesting! Combined with the front facing camera that will allow users to still interact with their immediate surroundings, this is shaping up to be a very interesting device.

So, what are your thoughts? Do you plan on jumping into the realm of VR, or are you going to hold off a little longer? If you’re joining in, then will you be going with the Oculus Rift, or HTC’s Vive VR, or maybe someone else? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Review: Razer Nabu Watch Forged Edition

Well, I couldn’t help myself. I’m getting tired of conventional smart watches and their terrible battery life, so I decided to give the Nabu Watch Forged Edition a try. I’ve only had this watch for a few days now, so this is a review in progress which I shall update as we go.

I’m a massive fan of big watches and I’ve always wished that Casio would bring us a smart G-Shock, which they kind of are, but it’s pricey and not yet available. When I saw Razer’s Nabu Watch my heart skipped a couple of beats, and when I got an email confirming it was now available for purchase I gave in and ordered the Forged Edition.

Now, it’s not a conventional smart watch, but it has smart features. The watch has a normal watch feature, it will last between 12-18 months on a standard battery, but there is also a second screen just below the main display that handles your smart features. The smart features include step counting, sleep tracking, and notifications, pretty much all the things you want.

Look and Feel

The watch itself is a beast. It looks big in the pictures and is no smaller in real life, but it is surprisingly comfortable to wear. A few of my colleagues tried the watch on and commented on how nice it felt to wear. The screens both look good, with the lower smart screen being exceptionally bright and readable despite its smaller size.

The Nabu Watch feels very premium with a rubberized plastic surround, and metal trim and buttons. The one thing it lacks in comparison to the standard edition is the bright Razer green trim. Although that looks pretty nice in the pictures I’m really fond of the metal trim and buttons on the Forged Edition, so it’s a worth while trade off.

Conclusion

That’s it for now. I’ll be updating the review shortly, but after only having a few days with the watch, it’s not quite time yet to sum it all up. I’ll admit, I’m really enjoying this watch so far and I definitely prefer it to standard smart watches, but only time will tell how I feel about it. Check back soon!

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Review: Wireless Headphones Venstar®Bluetooth

These are a fantastic set of headphones, comfortable, stylish, and awesome audio quality. They come in a well presented box, all folded and ready to go in a stylish carrying case. In the box you’ll find, the headphones, a 3.5mm cable, carrying case, micro USB cable, user manual, and warranty card.

They are easy to start up, giving the user the option of using bluetooth, or a 3.5mm cable to pair your device. The option of having both forms of connection is great as it means you’re always going to be able to use these headphones with pretty much any device, old or new.

When it comes to noise quality these things are fantastic! The noise cancelling is mind blowing, literally cancelling out everything else around you while you listen to your music or take your calls. The audio range is brilliant, and my music sounds great when using these headphones. I can’t stress how good these things are, especially considering the price!

The look and feel is good. They look stylish and they are extremely comfortable to wear, although, a little on the heavy side. However they are well cushioned and fit very well. They fold up and become even more portable which is a welcome feature.

I would personally be willing to pay more than the asking price when it comes to these headphones, and after reviewing other bluetooth headphones, I can safely say these are the best I’ve had the pleasure of using. Definitely worth picking up a pair.

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News: Amazon Prime Music UK

Are you an Amazon Prime subscriber or thinking of becoming one? Well good news if you are as Amazon has just launched its music streaming service in the UK!

Subscribers get access to unlimited access to over a million songs, all of this ad free. Not bad when you consider the other benefits users get by being a Prime subscriber which include:

  • Watch over 15,000 movies and TV episodes with unlimited instant streaming.
  • Borrow one of over 500,000 titles per month for free on any Kindle device with no due dates.
  • Unlimited One-Day Delivery on millions of eligible items.
  • Get unlimited, FREE One-Day Delivery on millions of items
  • Unlimited photo storage in Amazon Cloud Drive.

Check it out: Amazon Prime Music

Review: DBPOWER HD 720p Wireless Endoscope 8.5mm 2 Megapixels

Now here’s something I never thought I’d own. When I received this item to begin my review I couldn’t really think what to do with it, but after putting my mind to it I came up with all sorts. The first thing was to locate my stylus that I lost down the side of my leather arm chair. I’d been hopelessly searching for the stylus for a while, but I wasn’t really sure where it had gone. Now armed with my new toy I was able to locate the missing stylus and finally retrieve it! Score one for my new endoscope.

Upon opening the box up you’re greeted by something that looks like it’s jumped straight out of Half Life. The orange and black design looks pretty good and the plastic finish actually feels nice and is easy to hold. In the box you’ll find the unit itself, software for use on a PC, a carrying case, and clips to hold your mobile device in place. Please note there are no batteries included which can be a pain if you don’t have any around the house, so make sure you grab some when you order this, you will need 4x AA.

Putting the unit together is easy and I was surprised that the holster to fasten a mobile device to the unit could house even my Nexus 6, which is a massive 6 inch screen. So any of you out there who have moved over to large screened phones won’t have to worry about size being an issue!

Once it is all up and running you will need to visit the App Store or Play Store, depending on whether you use Android or iOS. Download the WiFi Endoscope App and you’re away and ready to play. The app is easy and simple to use and gives you the option of recording video and taking photos, saving these to the mobile device which can come in handy later. This is not just a view, but lets you save the video for later use!

Quality wise, the images look good and with the added torch function on the endoscope you don’t really have to worry about low light. The camera is also waterproof (although the units body is not) which comes in handy if you’re exploring drains etc.

So is this worth while? Depends if you need it I guess. I personally didn’t think I would, but once I got my hands on the device I found plenty of uses for it. If you are after something like this, then you can;t go wrong here. The quality is great and the ease of use is fantastic. Worth checking out!

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Review: DiGiYes® 2-in-1 Portable Desktop Qi Wireless Charger

Now here is a product that really comes in handy, offering a great wireless charger and stand combination. At first I was worried by how light weight the product felt which led me to wonder how it would ever stay put, but I was soon pleasantly surprised. With the added weight of your phone the stand stays put and doesn’t move about.

There is a small rubberised shelf that your phone sits on, and the wireless charging pad has a rubber logo on it which helps to keep your device in place. This is great as it means your device won’t slide off or loose contact with the wireless charger!

Another added bonus is that the wireless charging pad is adjustable and can be removed from the stand. This is handy as it allows you to locate your devices optimum charging position and align the pad and your phone so your device charges perfectly. It also comes in handy for making this a more portable charging solution as you can pop the charging pad out and take it with you rather than carrying the stand and pad combined.

The charging pad will make a loud beep to tell you when you’ve lined your mobile and the pad up. This is handy for those occasions when you aren’t sure if your phone is charging or not. For those familiar with Qi chargers I’m sure you’ve all had a moment when you’ve placed your phone on the pad only to come back later and realise you never lined it up properly and the blasted thing was never charging. Well this product will make a lovely beep to tell you you’ve got it right!

There’s nothing here that I dislike, especially at this sort of price point. Granted it would be nice if it felt a little more durable, but it’s a fantastic product nonetheless. I would definitely recommend this for anyone who is looking for a wireless charger and stand for their phone!

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Review: Soundpeats Q2 Mini Lightweight Wireless Headphones

Good
  • Light weight
  • Well presented
  • Carrying case included with three ear bud sizes
  • Good fit and secure
  • Great price
Bad
  • Slightly muffled sound
  • Audio range average
TheSoundpeats Q2 wireless headphones struck me as being a lot more premium than the price suggested when I first opened them up. They come in a tidy little box, safely tucked away in a nice carrying case.

I popped the case open and found the headphones tucked away inside, already charged and waiting their first use. My first observation was that these headphones looked and felt good, withwell defined buttons and clear print and symbols.

At this price range I’m used to a flimsy wire and headphones that have a habit of popping out of my ears every few minutes. This set has a hard plastic loop with a soft matte finish that sits over yourearlobes, securing the headphones in place. The connection between the two earpieces sits along the top of your neck and is a fairly durable and thick wire with padding.

So design and build quality are right up there. In fact it was so impressive that I had todouble check the price to make sure I was reviewing these headphones against other devices in the price bracket!

Moving on to the audio side, probably the reason you’re looking at picking these up right? Well here’s where things aren’t as good.

The sound quality is OK, but they perform like a cheap headset. For the price bracketits what I’d expect, but they do seem just a little muffled with sub par audio range.

While listening to music the vocals were clear but instruments, especially bass, were drowned out. Things got a little better at louder volume, but that isn’t ideal and gets uncomfortable. Certain tracks were almost unidentifiable, just a singer and someone bashing a bass drum with everything else an inaudible blur. These headphones can’t cope with much more than a singer strumming an acoustic guitar.

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News: Google Cardboard gets an update

The Google I/O has been taking place today and one thing that got announced was an update to Google Cardboard. Now, as a fan of VR, this is something that I find quite fun and intriguing, and after taking the first Google Cardboard out for a spin I was surprised by how well it works.

So what’s new with the latest build? Well, for starters it supports devices with screen sizes up to 6″ which will come in handy considering how mobile phones seem to be continually getting larger. Google have now shrunk the steps to build the device from twelve to only three, meaning once you unpack your new D.I.Y VR kit it will only take a couple of minutes to get up and running.

Perhaps the biggest update is that Google Cardboard will now support iOS, meaning that all of you iPhone users out there will get to have fun with some makeshift VR.

For anyone out there who wants to experience virtual reality without handing over a huge sum of money then this is probably worth taking a look at. Google can now boast to having over 1 million Cardboard users and over 500 apps available for the VR market. Not bad eh?

Oculus fires out special press invites for June 11

Well it looks like Oculus are preparing to share some more information on their consumer device after invites were sent out to the press for a special June 11 event, tagline “Step into the Rift”.

Oculus VR recently announced that their consumer product would be launching in the first half of 2016 with pre-orders going live later this year. Hopefully at this event we will get to see finalised specs and pricing for the consumer device along with some more concrete dates for pre-orders and launch windows.

The press event ties in nicely with getting demonstrations ready for this years E3 event. Fingers crossed there will be hands on time and some first impression reports shooting out all over the web.

VR is coming! I’m definitely going to need a replacement heart at this rate as mine still hasn’t recovered from the horror gaming I’ve been trying in VR so far.

While we wait for the event, feel free to check out my early impressions of horror gaming on the Oculus Rift DK2.

Umbra: Kickstarter Campaign

Well this sure looks interesting, a brand new action RPG built in Cryengine with some very ambitious goals. Umbra is currently just a Kickstarter campaign, but what has already been built looks pretty fantastic.

It looks a lot like Diablo but with some very high end graphics. The developers promise some very ambitious features, but if they can pull off what they have planned then this promises to be a great game. Check out the features below:

  • Open World : Discover the world and enjoy it at your own convenience
  • Exploration and experimentation is rewarded with new powers, attributed according to your play style!
  • Free character development – No class limitation. You have three resources: Rage, Stamina and Mana, and they all interact with each other in order to balance gameplay.
  • Apocalyptic Form: According to your play style, you will develop special powers for your character, changing their abilities and look. Fierce melee warriors may gain a third arm to equip with a new weapon; a fire caster will have their skin turn into lava and heal from fire. Even wings and horns might appear on your character depending on your actions!
  • Tons of Loot: Weapons, Armor, Potions and randomly generated magic effects for more gameplay diversity!
  • Semi procedural Weaponry: Blades, pommel and guard details can be randomized for more unique gear in the game!
  • Advanced Crafting mini-game: Build your own weapons and armors thanks to a complex and challenging module in Umbra
  • Tons of Destructible environments: From small walls to complete parts of an area. We hope you enjoy it!
  • Housing: Create your own house and proudly showcase your special gear!
  • Mature story full of secrets to discover exploring the world
  • Kythera AI system: The automatic real time navigation adaptation of Kythera adapts to any change in the physics of the world, allowing us to create exciting scenes including large portion of levels collapsing or moving and fighting on the back of giant creature, creating never seen before gameplay situations!
  • Dungeon challenge (Stretch goal): Transform a special part of your house into a dungeon and challenge other players to survive the onslaught!
  • Multiplayer mode (stretch goal): Multiplayer is an ambitious goal we would love to achieve, but it must be done correctly.
  • We plan to have different interesting stretch goals for you that will allow us to build the foundation of the multiplayer. In the best case scenario, we would like to have the following mods: Dungeon Challenge (see above), Co-Op mode, and Competitive Plaver vs Player vs AI.

Check out their Kickstarter campaign page here and their promotional video below.

Battle of the Smart Bands

This week I’ll be taking two Smart Bands out for a test drive in the hopes of finding out which one is better! The two bands that are battling it out are as follows, the Microsoft Band and the Sony Smartband Talk SWR30.

The Microsoft Band launched in the UK not so long ago and I’ve already really enjoyed using the device. I’ve been a user for about 4 weeks now and I’ve got to say I’m impressed by how accurate it seems to be with regards to its fitness tracking features.

The Sony Smartband Talk has a lot to live up to, but I like what I’ve seen from the Lifelog app. Combined with a nice looking e-ink display and talk functions for taking phone calls, I’m sure Sony is going to stand its ground in this weeks arena!

Stay tuned for my thoughts and feelings on both devices next Monday when I’ll have had a good length of time to really see what they are both capable of.

In the meantime feel free to check out my initial thoughts regarding the Microsoft Band in the video below.

My Virtual Experience

Its been a week now since I started playing with my Oculus Rift and I’ve got to say I’m more than a little impressed with what I’ve seen so far. Of course my feelings are mixed, but I can safely say that I cannot wait to see some finalised consumer products hitting the market.

 
The Oculus Rift Developer Kit 2 isn’t meant for consumers, but I wanted to give it a go anyway. So far my experience has been amazing, but VR sickness is a very real thing (as you can tell if you watch my gameplay videos)

 
Its been a while since any form of technology blew me away, but when you find yourself in a piece of software optimised and made to work in VR, you’re in for a real treat. Playing games that aren’t made for VR is intriguing, but it’s not a great experience. I tried to force games like Skyrim and GTA V to work in VR and even got them running, but things just didn’t look right and I couldn’t get that sense of presence everyone who uses VR talks about.

 
I moved on to try games and software made with VR in mind like Elite Dangerous and that’s when the fun began. Suddenly I was in a world I felt a part of. While sat in my spaceship I felt as though I could really reach out and touch the controls or interact with my ship. The feeling is just breathtaking.

 
It was this kind if gaming experience that made me believe that VR can be the next big step in gaming. On the flip side, using other demos available, I also came to the realisation that VR is going to be huge in other areas such as education and communication.

 
Walking around virtual museums, or taking a tour around locations around the world in the Rift is pretty impressive. Watching a huge virtual cinema screen is another big win. Unfortunately due to the low resolution of the developer kit these things aren’t perfect, but once the consumer version lands I can imagine myself using VR to replace things like TV’s and monitors.

 
The possibilities of VR are endless, and although the technology isn’t quite there yet, using the Rift has made me realise how close we are and what a massive potential the technology has.

 
I have to wonder, especially since my background stems from retail, what the impact of VR will be on online shopping. As these devices become mainstream I’ll be interested to see what companies get onboard and transform their online shopping experience.

 
Imagine being able to slip on your VR headset and walk around a virtual store and interact with the products. The sales staff, instead of being webchat advisors, would be real people using a VR headset themselves, interacting with you in your online session.

 
If this is done right it really could revolutionise how we shop online, but also help to bridge the gap between online shopping and high street retail. Most people might think this is a long way off, but I think it’s a lot closer than we believe.

 
So in conclusion VR is amazing! The time with my Rift has blown me away and left me a true believer in the technology. As I said, its been a long time since any form of technology really impressed me and now I can’t wait to see the final product.

Feel free to check out my two VR gaming videos!

 

Review: TaoTronics® Bluetooth 4.0 Wireless Stereo Headset Earphone

The TaoTronics Bluetooth headphones are pretty impressive, especially when you consider the relatively low price. I used mine while on the rowing machine and also jogging and found that they stayed in my ears despite the movement. They are very small and compact and the wire isn’t long which really helps to prevent them from getting tangled.

When i first opened the headphones up I was dubious of the design. They are small and the only thing in place to keep them in your ears is a small rubber hook that fastens snuggly inside of your earlobe. My first impression was that they would slip out of my ears the moment I started to do anything, leaving me wishing that there was a clip to go around my ears, however, as mentioned above, they never slipped out of place during exercise.

The other thing that left me dubious at first was the small rectangular control box on the right earphone. It has volume controls, play and pause controls, microphone, and also a charging port. At first I thought the box would add too much weight to the right earphone, causing it to pop out of my ear, but somehow it remained fixed in place.

They are small, compact, and stylish, never slipping out of place making them very well designed for sports and exercise. The question is how do they sound?

Well the quality is pretty good, beating my Apple earpods which will hopefully give you some idea of the quality. At their loudest volume the earphones didn’t lose quality and my only complaint is that the bass isn’t great. However both music and voice quality is spot on and I really can’t complain.

Would I recommend these headphones? Definitely! For anyone who is after light weight and compact sports headphones that also offer good sound quality these are worth checking out. Despite my first impressions and fears, these headphones performed beyond my expectations which was a pleasant surprise.

Please note I was sent this product to test and offer an unbiased review.

 

 

Review: Soundpeats Qy7 Mini Lightweight Bluetooth Headphones

When I popped these headphones open the first thought that entered my mind was ‘How on earth will these stay in my ears?’ Well I’m not sure how, but they do stay in. They look stylish and are pretty lightweight. Normally I prefer to wear something that has a clip to go over my ear rather than headphones such as these which seem supported by nothing. However these are comfortable to wear and stay in my ears, they never slipped out and the cable attaching the two buds together never gets in the way.

On the headphones you’ll find a small micro usb port, volume up and down controls and also a power button. All of these ports and buttons are stylishly presented with nothing sticking out. At first they look like they will stick out of your ears, but to be fair they nestle in quite nicely (check out my attached picture)

Pairing these headphones is fast and easy. Once paired up with your device they will automatically connect once you turn the headphones on, making it fast and efficient.

The sound quality is fantastic for the price. The only time they skipped was during my more active periods such as running or cycling, but to be fair this was very rare. The headphones also cut out background noise and do a very good job of this. I’ve been using the EarPods that come with Apple devices and these headphones exceed the quality offered by Apples headphones by quite a margin, giving you a good indication to compare against.

If you’re after some lightweight and sporty headphones then these are definitely worth investing in, especially if you’re on a budget.

 

My Smartwatch Excitement

So wearable technology is finally beginning to take off. We all expected it to but we’ve been left with sub par devices up until now. There are a number of manufactures bringing wearable technology to the market, and for the first time these devices are beginning to look like something people will actually want to use and wear.

LG G Watch R

Now this is a smart device that looks like a watch! I never thought that would be too much to ask for but apparently strapping some weird futuristic device to our wrists was acceptable in major manufactures eyes. Well LG decided against this, bringing a watch to the market that follows Motorola’s circular design. The device runs on Android which gives the user a fantastic range of features in this nice looking device. The thing that stands out the most in my eyes is the circular dial around the outside of the display, which mirrors traditional watches and helps the G Watch R to avoid standing out like a sore thumb.

Stylish, powerful and functional, this is a wearable that’s on my radar.

Motorola 360

After Motorola showed off their wearable I was a little shocked. It looked fantastic and its stand out feature was that it was circular. For some reason the desire for a circular smartwatch had never entered my mind until then, but now I had seen the 360 I couldn’t imagine ever owning a boring square device. I think it’s safe to say that Motorola really stole the show after Google announced Android Wear. All eyes were on the 360 and for good reason.

It has just landed on shelves in the UK and is selling out quickly, with positive reviews coming. I can’t wait to get my hands on one and take it for a test drive and see what Android Wear is really like.

Pebble

Now here’s a smartwatch that hit the market a little while ago but it is only just arriving in the UK, signing an exclusive deal with O2, a major UK telecoms network, for some of its products. Until recently the Pebble hadn’t really caught my attention, but after more research I’ve found myself genuinely intrigued by their smartwatch range.

After using a smartwatch for almost a year I’ve found my biggest pet peeve is that the battery life of these devices is awful. The Pebbles bragging rights are that their smartwatches will last between 5-7 days on a single charge. That’s pretty impressive given that the competition can hardly last a day. Now granted the Pebble does a little less but it still offers the essentials and gives customers a good variety of styles to select from.

All in all this is definitely a product launch to keep an eye on.

So those are the three devices that I’m looking forward to having a good play with this year. Of course next year we have the Apple Watch hitting the shelves and no doubt that will help to really drive this market. Until then however, we have a great selection to play with.

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Apple announces October 16th event

Well it looks like the time for the latest announcements from Apple are fast approaching! So what can we expect?

Well it’s that time of year when the iPad’s seem to get their refresh. I feel it is a safe assumption that we will see a new iPad Mini and iPad Air wielding touch ID and slimmer designs. Fingers crossed we will see a 13 inch iPad Pro/Plus (with mouse input support)

A refresh to Apples Mac line is most likely incoming, seeing their 27 inch display Mac gain Retina Display and perhaps we will see an updated Macbook Pro’s? Of course to go hand in hand with this I’m sure we will see a final build of Yosemite and find out exactly when it will see a public launch.

Should you be excited? Well I know I am, but only if that 13 inch iPad makes an appearance!

iPad Pro/Plus

With rumors of Apples next iPad’s coming up there is one that has really caught my attention, the larger screened iPad. I had it in my head that Apple would align their naming with their Mac and Macbook range, running with a mini, air and pro, but after the announcement of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus it looks like maybe Pro won’t be appearing anytime soon. Regardless of the name it comes with, if it does come I’m very excited for it!

Some people think I’m a little mad wanting a larger iPad than my Air that I have already, but the only thing that really lets my iPad Air down right now is the screen size. The device itself is very close to being able to replace my Macbook, but the screen is just a little too small. Rumors suggest that the iPad Pro/Plus will come with a 13 inch display which is perfect. Combined with a keyboard dock then it will offer a near perfect solution for portable productivity.

I do a lot of writing on the go and my iPad Air, keyboard dock and Pages app really make work easy to accomplish. I’ve even gone a little crazy at times and completed Keynote presentations and spreadsheets on my iPad, but due to the screen size things get fiddly.

The 13 inch screen size would help to make things a lot easier to complete, removing the fiddly process of constantly zooming in and out of certain areas on the screen. Even with the added weight and potentially added discomfort of holding something so big, that can be easily cancelled out by using a keyboard dock which normally act as a stand as well.

The only issue I have with the idea of a 13 inch iPad is that iOS doesn’t support mouse input unless you jailbreak. Now if I’m going to go keyboard dock, larger display, and potentially replace my Macbook, then I’d love to see Apple implement this into the software. Considering their refusal to do this in the past, insisting that the touchscreen is the only input needed, this could be unlikely. However there are a lot of things happening over at Apple that they always insisted would never happen, so maybe mouse input will show up?

Only time will tell what new devices are coming. We don’t have long to wait, with Apple usually announcing new iPad’s within October. I’ll be keeping a close eye out and really hope Apple come out with something bigger and if they do, maybe I’ll finally give up my Macbook.

Omaker Brilliant 10000mAh

This is a great portable battery, offering plenty of backup charge. There’s plenty of juice for all of your gadgets and the two USB ports really help this battery to stand out a little from the competition, offering the ability to charge multiple gadgets on the go.

I used this with my iPad and iPhone and had no issues at all charging either. The charge times were fantastic, offering a very speedy recharge time.

There’s a handy wave like LED battery indicator that shows off how much charge is left in the battery, helping to prevent you from getting caught out. The micro USB port for charging the battery is a welcome addition meaning that you won’t need to seek out different cables.

Now for a bit of an odd feature that I never expected to find on a portable battery is the torch. It’s not on the top of my ‘must have’ features, but I must admit it comes in handy for those odd occasions and it is a very bright torch.

The device itself is relatively light weight and feels nice to hold. It has a matte finish, helping to prevent finger prints and also stopping it from sliding out of your grip.

All in all this is a fantastic portable battery. The two USB ports and the torch help it to stand out and when combined with the large capacity you can’t really go wrong!

Please note I was sent this product to test and offer an unbiased review on.

 

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Galaxy Gear Fit Impressions

I’ve been using my Galaxy Gear Fit for a couple of weeks now. It was a bit of an impulse buy, on offer with O2, so I grabbed myself one. I prefer the look and feel of the Gear Fit vs the Neo or the Gear 2, and it’s definitely a much nicer device to wear on a day to day basis than the original Galaxy Gear.

For me it’s the style of the watch that I like. It’s small and compact and looks smart, giving a solid two to three days of battery life. Throw in the added water resistance and Samsung have really gotten themselves a winner.

When it comes to screen size, the Gear Fit is unusual, but work pretty well. I have my display oriented vertically, making my notifications and menus much easier to navigate through. Speaking of notifications, I don’t really use the watch much for them. Granted it’s handy to be able to see who is calling, or why my phone just vibrated, but for me they are an added bonus.

S-Health is a great complimentary piece of software for the Gear Fit, tracking your heart rate, steps walked, calories burned, sleep patterns and exercise. It’s nice to have these stats in one place, and you can chose when your Gear and phone sync up. I must admit however, the software still has leaps and bounds to go before it is any real use. Right now it’s more of a handy little link up to store your information, but you can’t do a massive amount with it.

So that’s it really, short and sweet. As I mentioned, this is a fantastic watch, and by far my favourite wearable so far. It suits me perfectly as I was looking for a nice looking watch, that had added functionality thrown in. Is it for everyone? No, but if like me, you want a nice watch, that can also link with your phone, then go ahead and take the plunge.

Chromebooks

Up until a month ago I had never played with a Chromebook. I saw them as watered down laptop, capable of barely anything, but now I’ve had a tinker with a few, changing my perception.

What got me think was, what do I actually use my laptop for? Writing, browsing and the occasional spreadsheet, all of which a Chromebook can handle. They are nice and lightweight, and the best bit, they are very reasonably priced.

I almost want to get, my carry everywhere device, but that seems a little wasteful considering I have my macbook pro. However it’s something I’m considering for the future. It offers everything that I need and at a pretty good price.

What really struck me was how likely it is that these devices could really start to eat into Microsofts territory. For students a Chromebook is pretty perfect and for a lot of other people these Chromebooks will really fulfil most needs.

What I’d like to see from the Chromebooks is either a 15 inch model, or a hybrid, a great tablet and keyboard combination, like a Surface running Chrome. Fingers crossed either of these things come along, and then maybe I’ll say farewell to my Macbook.

I think it should be an interesting year seeing how Chromebooks evolve and push their way into the market. They’ve become serious competitors now, offering more than enough to steal users away from Windows. Who knows what the future hold, but with Microsoft offering a hugely pricey Surface 3 in response, the future isn’t look bright for them.