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!
The case I used was the black and grey Macbook pro 13 inch case. It feels good and looks premium, so you can’t go too far wrong with the design. There are two sets of popper buttons on either side of the case, allowing you to close it with two levels of tightness. This is handy if you fill the case up with your Macbook and other gadgets (which it has plenty of slots for)
The most pleasing part about this case was this it offered plenty of room for my Macbook, but also other compartments for additional gadgets such as my tablet and mobile phone. As mentioned above, the two levels of tightness when closing the case helps to prevent this from feeling cramped and allows for additional protection for all of your portable devices.
My only criticism of the case is that it feels just a tiny bit too large for the Macbook as there is just a little room for it to slide around while in the case. It’s not a deal breaker and won’t take away from the protection, but it does mean the case takes up more room in your bag which is a shame.
Apart from that one criticism this is a pretty good case, especially when you consider the low end price. For the cost, you get a great deal of style and quality and can’t go too far wrong. Definitely worth picking up, especially if you’re the kind of person who carries multiple gadgets on the go!
I’m not normally a fan of sleeve style cases, but with me constantly throwing my tablet into a bag where it gets knocked about this case came in pretty handy. It feels and looks good, a neutral grey felt finish with a light brown splash at the bottom. The case closes using a popper which stays in place nicely and doesn’t pop open, even when it’s knocked about in my bag.
The case is a good fit for my iPad mini, not too tight which comes in handy if you have one of Apple’s magnetic cases attached to your tablet. It also helps to future proof your case, just in case you decide to switch to another similar sized tablet in the future.
Inside you’ll find a soft felt finish which will help to keep your iPad free from any scratches. it also helps to keep the screen clean (well kind of, it wiped my screen free of some finger prints anyway)
So overall I’m impressed. This is a good looking case with a quality finish which won’t break the bank. If you like the look of it from the pictures then you’ll like it more in person. Definitely one worth considering.
I’ve reviewed my fair share of portable battery’s but this has to be the big daddy of them all! Now don’t get me wrong, it isn’t as portable as some devices out there, in fact it’s on the large size, but it packs a lot of juice.
The device will offer plenty of charges for one of your gadgets, or even multiple gadgets. I charge mine throughout the day, then over night charge my phone, tablet, and smart watch. This is the perfect companion for those with multiple gadgets that need charging on the go.
The battery lives by my bed as I have no plugs there. This is exceptionally handy for charging my devices by my bed which I haven’t been able to do before.
On the go the battery packs enough juice to ensure that I won’t run out of power on any of my portable gadgets. Other battery packs will give me a couple of charges, but this beast gives me an awful lot more!
It looks and feels fantastic. It’s relatively slim despite the battery capacity, smooth and compact.The battery pack does tend to get a little hot when charging all of my gadgets, but that’s understandable.
If you’ve got a bit of spare space while traveling around and power consumption is an issue for you then this is the power pack you’re looking for!
As I opened up the book I realised I had no idea what I was going to get reading this. I’m a big fan of The Witcher and I thought that it would be a fun read, especially in the comic format.
The art style is unusual, but it works very well with the story telling and the world of The Witcher. The colours match up wonderfully with the gloomy world and really match up with the tone and atmosphere set in the games coming before this. Although some scenes seem to lack an immense amount of detail, I found it was the subtlety of the art that really helped to bring the pages to life. They didn’t need immaculately drawn characters with huge levels of detail, it just all seemed to work.
The writers have captured the character of Geralt amazingly well, spinning a new story out based around the main character. We get a glimpse into his personality and once again his cold, detached humour adds some fantastic moments. The secondary characters also add to the plot, continually adding to the readers curiosity throughout. Right up until the end I wanted to know more about these new characters and even once their stories were told I wanted more.
The story itself was good fun. Throughout it reminded me of quests you pick up while playing the game, spinning new tales, taking the reader on an adventure. I won’t go into detail as that would offer spoilers, but the story is well worth a read.
After finishing up I can safely say that this is an enjoyable read, especially if you’re a big fan of The Witcher franchise.
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!
Well, after taking Alien Isolation out for a spin on the Oculus Rift, I know that I’d be absolutely no use to Ripley against the Xenomorphs! This is perhaps the most terrifying game I’ve played on the Oculus Rift and I’d even go as far to say it’s the best virtual reality experience I’ve had.
The game looks absolutely fantastic with a huge amount of attention to detail. Exploring the ship and taking a look at what’s on display can take forever because there is just so much to see. The effects look fantastic, with steam rising from vents and really adding to the atmosphere.
The dark corridors make it so much harder to see that pesky alien and with it’s random exploration things get really interesting. This isn’t a game thats just filled with jump scares and set pieces, this is a game where the alien is hunting you, listening out for any sounds you make. Now, combine that with the Oculus Rift and that makes Alien Isolation one hell of a game!
If you’re interested in seeing how terrified a grown man can get then check out my gameplay videos below:
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.
This is perhaps the most portable battery I’ve reviewed to date. This slim line, compact device is fantastic to use and easy to carry around no matter what.
I’ve used and reviewed a number of portable batteries, almost everyone of them boasting far more power than this little device. The one thing they all lack in comparison is the super compact design.
Now it does have its draw backs. If you’re going on a long journey and you need a lot of power for multiple devices then this isn’t the product for you. However, if you are looking to use a portable battery on your daily commute or while at work, then this product is far better suited than most others out there.
I’ve found it very convenient to slip this into my jacket pocket, taking it out and attaching it to my phone when needed. The great thing about it is that it fits in my jeans pocket along side my phone without adding any real bulk. Its comfortable to charge and carry at the same time.
Also the fact it has a relatively short cable attached is a good thing as it means you won’t have lengths of cable sticking out of your pocket.
The charge time as relatively fast, only a tiny but slower than plugging my device directly into the mains.
As I mentioned above, if you’re after something with a lot of power for long journeys this isn’t for you. However if its just a daily power boost you require then look no further.
Out of all the power banks I’ve been sent to review, this one is by far the most practical to use on a daily basis.
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?
I was sent this product to offer an unbiased review and I was pretty excited to see how this keyboard and trackpad combination performed. I’ve been keeping my eye out for this sort of product for a little while now to combine with my Nvidia Shield Tablet so naturally I jumped at the opportunity to review this product. So, did it live up to what I was hoping for?
Stylish and slim
Keys feel good with no skipped presses
Micro USB charging
Function keys for Android and Windows
No grip for the bottom
A little too slim, flexes when typing
Trackpad sometimes stops working for a few seconds
The keyboard is very easy to pair with your device, literally hold the function key and the C key and then search for the keyboard in the bluetooth settings on the device you wish to pair with. Within only a couple of minutes of unwrapping the keyboard I was paired and ready to play.
It’s comfortable to use, with keys that feel great to type on. They offer a good click and are adequately spaced unlike some portable keyboards that have a plushy and cramped feel to them. My only criticism of typing on this product is that due to the keyboard being so slim it does seem to flex a little when in use.
Moving onto the trackpad is a slightly mixed bag. On the one hand it works straight off the bat with Android and offers something closer to a laptop experience on your tablet. The trackpad is large enough to use for browsing, but it does feel a little cramped, but I suppose that’s to be expected. The one thing that really let the mouse side of things down was its tendency to either lag or just disappear entirely for a few seconds. However, it performed well enough that I didn’t need to carry a portable mouse around with me.
The design of the device is great. It’s slim, lightweight, and the keys fill up pretty much all the space on the device, giving the user a great typing experience. However, the biggest flaw with this product is in the design. It has four rubber nubs on the top, obviously to help protect your tablet screen if its faced down while in your bag, however it doesn’t have the same nubs on the bottom. It does have four, very tiny and recessed slivers of rubber in each corner on the bottom.
The issue with this design flaw… Well if you type on a smooth surface it causes the keyboard to go sliding all over the place. In the end I had to seek out some form of rubber to stick on the bottom of it because out of the because the keyboard was just too slippery to use on a smooth surface. It’ not the end of the world, but it does require some additions in order to be usable.
So in conclusion this is a pretty good keyboard, especially at the price range. Are there better keyboards out there? Of course there are, but you’ll be paying extra for that. If you’re after something to combine with your tablet for some on the go use without paying a premium then this is going to cover everything you need.
Yes it has its flaws, but for the price being asked you can’t go wrong.
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.
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.
So, how many survival games does the games industry need? Well apparently more is the answer!
ARK: Survival Evolved is a survival game which leaves the player stranded on an island occupied by dinosaurs and other creatures. Now that sounds a little more tempting than the usual stuff we’ve been seeing from survival games recently.
Players have to craft tools, research technology, grow crops, and hunt for food. They have to do all of this while hunting or taming the beasts. Taming, you read that right! Apparently players can tame the dinosaurs and ride them. Ok, they have my interest.
If like me, you’re looking to experience the intrigue of VR gaming, but you don’t want to invest in the short term solution of an Oculus Rift developer kit then I may have the solution for you! For a while now I’ve been following VR, especially when it comes to gaming. I love the idea of immersing myself in a game, but the VR headsets out there aren’t built for the consumer yet and they come at a price.
We either need to fork out our hard earned cash and pick up a developer kit, which will get a consumer release at some point in the near future, making our purchase almost redundant, or we can try a different route. Now I need to point out that this isn’t going to supply you with the perfect VR solution, but what I have to tell you does give you a pretty good idea of the future of gaming!
For this to work you’re going to need a few things:
Google Cardboard type headset
So how does it all work? Well I picked up a relatively cheap Google Cardboard equivalent from Amazon and combined this with my Google Nexus 6. With these two devices alone you can have some good fun with apps downloaded from the Play Store, but the real fun comes when you download Trinus VR.
Trinus VR is an app that you download for both your gaming PC and your Android handset. The app allows you to customise how your PC and Android handset communicate, giving you different levels of connection options, e.g. wifi direct, USB etc. It will also give you a number of different options so you can chose how your games are streamed to your device, either in VR or non VR.
The great thing that Trinus VR offers is the ability to work alongside Limelight. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Limelight it’s basically a reverse engineered version of Nvidia’s Gamestream software. Limelight turns any Android device into an Nvidia Shield and allows you to stream your games from PC to your phone or tablet. Trinus VR takes this and turns it into VR.
The ultimate result is your Android device becomes the screen, that when inserted into your VR goggles gives you a pretty good virtual reality experience. As I mentioned, it’s not perfect, but it’s an awful lot of fun. While you’re stuck waiting for the final consumer versions of VR to hit the market this is a pretty good solution.
So why not check it out? You’re in for a lot of fun, and maybe some motion sickness, but hey, it’s worth it!
While everyone is being patient and waiting for the second book in the A Thousand Hearts series I’ve decided to fill in some of the gaps with a weekly ‘Webisode’. Basically these will be short snippets that take place between book one and two. Hopefully these will satisfy peoples hunger as I finish off the second book.
Speaking of the second book, things are coming along well. I’m going to get a deadline sorted and I’ll post the update once I have a date. Look forward to sharing the first glimpses of the story with you all this coming Friday!
Well, this is impressive. A company named OTOY has posted a video showcasing work they have undertaken to bring real life locations to life in 3D. The video is impressive and if what is being showcased can find its way into the mainstream then I’m sure we will see some fantastic uses for this!
Jut imagine the possibilities, estate agents for example. Right now when checking out a property online we get some boring static images, or if we are lucky we get a video. Now imagine being able to view a property in full 3D and walk around it using something like the Oculus Rift. Want to check out a potential venue for an event? No problem, just slip on your headset.
This is looking like another fantastic leap forward for VR technology. Check out the video below.
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.
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.