Posts

Showing posts from 2020

What's in my tech/gadget bag (2020)?

Image
Here are the accessories I group together in the house and take with me on any serious journey to family etc. What inevitably happens in all locations is that, as the 'tech guy', I'm the one people turn to connect A to B, to adapt C to D, to provide power in the middle of nowhere, you get the idea. I'm sure the same is true for you!  From my original AAWP intro to this idea:Over the years I've reviewed dozens of smartphone accessories, maybe even hundreds. And I've reviewed a fair number formally here for AAS and AAWP. But, of this mass of plastic, metal and, often, lithium, which accessories really made the grade? Which ones do I personally carry around with me on any trip out of the house of more than a few hours? Here's a glimpse into my standard kit.
Here's the same kit briefcase but exploded in summer 2020 form:
Note that:I've set the case code here to a dummy number to mask my real case unlock...I also often take either my Surface Pro (and Backli…

Round-up: Cases for the Sony Xperia 1 II flagship

Image
As usual for my case roundups, I'll cover a variety of styles, with most samples supplied by MobileFun, kind people that they are. See their complete range of Sony Xperia 1 II cases and covers.

But on with the individual cases, each link goes to the relevant product page, of course. Olixar Carbon Fibre, £13
This is a well worn design, of course, I've seen similar cases from Spigen and others. The idea's the same though - encase the fragile phone in a tough layer of flexible plastic - something tough enough to provide protection against casual drops, yet looking relatively stylish at the same time.

The Xperia 1 II design does throw this case style a few curves, not least the top 3.5mm headphone jack (the hole fouls some 3.5mm jack designs, so pick your headphones to match!), and the side fingerprint sensor, shown above - the case beautifully flattens out here and finding the power button/sensor is child's play.

The 'carbon fibre' texturing is as tastefully done as ev…

Computer help in the Reading, Woodley, Earley, Twyford and Wokingham areas

Image
I've started doing a local IT support thing, linked below! Here's the pitch:
Now that COVID-19 lockdown is about to be lifted, have you had your eyes opened to a whole new world where your computers and other technology will play a larger part in your working and home life going forwards? The Internet means that all of us have a chance to at least step back partly from the rat race and work from home. Or perhaps it's your life-line to distant family and it needs to be smoother and more reliable?

Which is where I offer my computer help services in the ReadingWoodleyEarleyTwyford and Wokingham areas.
If you've ever thought:
'that's not right, surely?' or'I wish someone could sit beside me and show me how to do this properly!' or'do I need a faster laptop or phone or can I get this one fixed up?' or'does this computer have a virus?'why can't I get this channel on my 'smart TV'? ...then perhaps I'm the person to talk…

Mini-review: Vissles Wireless Charger for iPhone, Airpods, Apple Watch

Image
I have a confession to make. Though I love my iPhone 11 Pro, I don't own an Apple Watch (I don't get on with anything on my wrist). Nor Airpods (I want hi fidelity in my ears, not 'OK' quality).

Which makes me a slightly odd target for this accessory, sent in for review, but I'll give it some attention anyway, since it offers (kind of) something Apple itself promised and then failed to deliver: charging of phone, headphone case and watch all at the same time.


In fact, the Vissles Wireless Charger does cheat. Somewhat outrageously. But it gets there in the end.

What you have is a single coil 10W wireless charger (aligned in the centre), plus a wired Lightning jack on one side, magnetically aligned so that you can insert your Airpods case on top. And then, at the other end, an illuminated hole.


This last is cheeky, but hey - you're provided with a spunger and asked to split the charger open (this is easy) and then you physically insert your existing Apple Watch c…

Round-up: Cases for the Huawei P40 Pro

Image
As usual for my case roundups, I'll cover a variety of styles, with most samples supplied by MobileFun, kind people that they are. See their complete range of Huawei P40 Pro cases and covers.

But on with the individual cases, each link goes to the relevant product page, of course.
Olixar Slim Leather Wallet, £20
Now, wallet cases like this have obvious pros and cons. On the 'pro' side the phone's screen is normally covered and protected, plus you get to keep a couple of cards in the front slots, perhaps obviating the need to carry  a separate wallet. And, as here, there's the option of part folding the rear half to form a stand for watching media on your P40 Pro in landscape mode. Win!


On the other hand... there's the thickness when closed, typically around 2cm. Ouch. But Olixar has done a good job here of keeping the case as thin as possible:
The shell that grips the phone is slender (and shock-absorbing) TPU rather than cheap solid plastic, which tends to be th…

Review: Reusable Furniture Movers (coasters)

Image
Back in the day, my mum and dad used to have little hollow 'coasters' under their sofa wheels, the idea being that the extra surface area meant that the wheels didn't dig into the carpet too much (and destroy the pile).

In fact these coasters also then came in handy under simple, static legs, as we found out later. Rather than have to drag sofas with legs around and 'ruck' up the carpet, stick these coasters under the legs and the sofa could be glided around with one hand. Genius!

Except that I haven't seen them in a shop... ever!

Fast forward to this month and we have two bedside units with slab wooden sides. Moveable with some effort when empty - just about impossible to budge when loaded up with books and other bedside 'stuff'.

Why move them? Because they block access to the under-bed drawers! Argh! We only need access once a month on average, but often enough that moving the units was a major pain.

So I remembered the coasters and went looking on Am…

Cases for the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Image
The Galaxy S20 Ultra is pitched as the ultimate imaging phone - with massive specs, most of which do bear out (my review goes up in a couple of days), at a price!

But how to protect your expensive snapper? As usual for my case roundups, I'll cover a variety of styles, with most samples supplied by MobileFun, kind people that they are. See their complete range of Galaxy S20 Ultra cases and covers.

But on with the individual cases, each link goes to the relevant product page, of course.
Samsung LED View Cover, £54
One of the most expensive cases I've ever reviewed, this is also one of the most functional, from a tech perspective. Taking power wirelessly from the phone, a matrix of small LEDs in the cover of this folio case light up with time or notifications, as needed, in 'retro' dot matrix fashion. It's a little stylised, but I can see this appealing to anyone wanting a folio style case in terms of protection and yet large and easy access to seeing the time.


The tim…