Tag: Featured

By January 22, 2016 Read More →

Panasonic Viera TX 50CX802B review #VieraVIPclub

downloadLast year we saw Panasonic putting out a pretty fantastic Viera television set the really blew  away the competition with a feature set that included some of the nicest looking Smart TV software experiences available at the time. This year Panasonic have changed their focus away from pushing a software feature set in favour of display technology where their heart really lies.

A new super bright LED panel featuring wide colour phosphor technology which combines LED back lighting with a new colour filter system has increased brightness significantly without increasing the power requirements. This keeps the television as a low power option whilst maintaining a fantastic picture quality. This year’s 4K set has proved to be better than we could have imagined featuring crisp Blu-ray images on the panel’s generous 8.3 million pixels.

Some folks may pass this by as it is an LCD screen, nowadays most are all about LED. Panasonic is managed to produce a picture from an LCD screen that truly resembles in many ways the picture they managed to get from the plasma technologies that they so dearly clung onto for the last few years. It is a crazy notion that a company uses older technologies to achieve the best however Panasonic are certainly getting close.

Major work has been done to avoid the glow effect LCD TV’s sometimes suffer from when trying to show black, Panasonic has spent a lot of R&D time eliminating this glow effect and delivered a sense of depth and realism in the brighter content, the likes of which we haven’t seen before. Utilising clever light management Panasonic have been able to deliver deep blacks and can seemingly crush the bleed that can come from the side of the pixel affecting the next pixel. Each individual pixel seems to be able to offer its own degree of colour without affecting those surrounding it. An impressive technological feat that will probably be lost on the average viewer.

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The Tom Cruise movie Oblivion is widely considered to be one of the best test cases for a screen and Panasonic have no qualms about showing off this movie on one of their screens. This is primarily because the television can handle it easily, and if I can handle that movie I can handle any.

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The television itself is gorgeous with a minimal bezel surrounding the 50 inch screen. The stylish stand, admittedly that some may find impractical, possesses 3 HDMI sockets, 3 USB ports and an SD card slot alongside integrated Wi-Fi and wired network options. Changing from their in-house software the television now features Firefox OS as it’s main operating system. This has may concern some as recent news suggests that Firefox OS has become “a genuine open source project” and has been discontinued for smartphones. No word on the future of the television variant, and I hope that there is no plans to stop development as this it really works well. Minimal without being threadbare yet packing a lot of features that most TV manufacturers can’t manage to find a logical way to integrate without clustering of the user interface.

Functionality of this television is deeply impressive. We are given the option to simply be able to add frequently used features of the television to the main screen. I’m not talking about just a channel that is loved but a shortcut to your HDMI 3 instead of having to cycle through the TV/AV option on the remote control several times to get to HDMI 3. The helps greatly when wanting to use a Playstation or something a little more custom.

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As a cord cutter I was skeptical of the television’s ability as a smart TV to function without an aerial or satellite feed. Firefox OS has an app collection that covers the main basis of television viewing whilst not stretching the boundaries. This was to be expected given the infancy of the operating system. Whilst most people will probably not actually use the TV’s inbuilt  smart technology favouring Amazon’s Fire TV, Roku, Android TV options for their streaming needs there are some who will find the television’s operating system’s life span a concern as apps may not be supported for the long. For now, all is fine and like any emerging platform, only time will tell.

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Panasonic are one of the first manufacturers to include a Freeview Play app. This app opens up the ability to view live television from all of the main UK terrestrial broadcasting platforms and integrate with their catch up platforms in a seamless experience to make up to the last month’s programming available at any time.

Adding to the Freeview Play option comes the Market. A diverse collection of content delivering apps that vary in quality however the main contenders are there. Wuaki, Youtube, Amazon, Vimeo and Netflix lead the way with around 100 others to flirt with. Catch up options are all pre-installed  and might only need an update before use. Honestly, Firefox OS is beautifully convenient for a TV operating system, it’s hard to get right, Amazon and Roku’s hardware could learn a lot from this simple setup. In testing the 4K however I found there to be a bit of a scarcity of material. YouTube, Vimeo and Amazon are the only apps that deliver 4K out of the box. Netflix have some however I would have to change my subscription for gain access, as a legacy subscriber I get the HD for £5.99 instead of £6.99, to get 4K this would have to change to £8.99.

However judging a television cannot solely be based on the smart technologies inside. Many users never touch TVs in built operating system outside of setting the TV up. The Panasonic Viera is a display first and foremost and a phenomenal one at that. This is a television that people will stand in awe looking at and when you tell them how much you paid for it they will be considering going to the same retailer as you and picking one up.

Panasonic have lost the IPS technology they used in last year’s model and we’ve actually seen a bit of a u-turn on the viewing angle however this allows for a more impressive contrast performance.This helps Panasonic achieve the 4K Studio Master process they’re very proud of. Panasonic are hoping to deliver a similar experience to that directors see when editing their movies in Hollywood, on the master screens. Whilst most will probably not be able to tell the difference they’re taking it almost as a personal goal for the company to create the best-looking colour representation on screen this year.

If there is anything negative to say about the television is that the 3D included really feels like unnecessary addition that they don’t really expect you to use. Case and point, there are no glasses included in the box. Unfortunately I was unable to test the 3D without glasses and  whilst content providers and exactly pushing 3D as much as they had been it’s likely someone who is actively going to purchase this television will have some 3D movies on amongst  a media collection. Plan ahead, know where to get glasses.

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Many will complain that they have too many remote controls in their living room, this Panasonic Viera will add two more. Oddly they both do pretty much the same thing. One controller is a standard long candy bar with the typical functions you would expect to find on a TV remote control save for a few shortcut buttons added in for convenience such as Netflix.

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The second controller is the more interesting of the two. Much like last year Panasonic have be working on touch and voice controls. Lacking backlit buttons and a somewhat slippery exterior this little controller was more difficult to use than it’s bigger brother and be completely honest somewhat unnecessary as the touch controls felt a little unnatural. Certainly it is great to show off and voice control on your television is a wonderful addition especially when done right as with Apple TV, Fire TV and Roku however Panasonic haven’t quite nail this yet.

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On the most cutting-edge television sound really isn’t taken seriously. The speakers here perform quite well however having the screen technology that is on display only makes sense that you plug-in a suitable system rather than relying on the inbuilt rear facing speakers. It seems a little crazy that it’s a given that people will purchase a surround sound system to go along with a television and the Panasonic Viera is no exception to this rule. If you want the most you will have to add something to it. The volume can go reasonably high and it renders voice is quite well. There was no noticeable disruption during noisy sequences however it just lacked that the immersive quality.

This TV is currently priced at £1,300 in Currys. Given that 4K TV’s can cost roughly doubt that this seems like an absolute bargain and if you purchase one you will be deeply pleased with your choice. Panasonic Viera maybe arguably slightly inferior to some of Samsung’s top offerings right now however Panasonic have a loyal customer base and those who are upgrading to this will be deeply impressed and thoroughly satisfied. Those who are not should really consider just why the loyal customers keep coming back to Panasonic.

 For more information and demonstrations please check out:

 http://www.panasonic.com/uk/consumer/viera-televisions/led/tx-50cx802b.html

 

 

 

Posted in: Reviews, TV & Home Cinema
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By January 17, 2016 Read More →

Qumi Q6 HD Pocket Projector Unboxing

vlcsnap-error179Vivitek have sent over their Q6 variant of the Qumi HD Pocket Projector. This is a modestly priced HD Projector designed to be thrown in your bag, pulled out at a moments notice and deliver a HD display on a wall or screen with minimal fuss.

From the initial impressions, it’s pretty awesome. Whilst not the smallest projector we have seen over the years the picture quality is up there with the best of them delivering a range of smart looking and heavily spec’d devices to meet most scenarios.

The Q6 is the pick of the crop as it features:

WXGA (1280 x 800) HD720p
800 ANSI Lumens
C.R.: 30,000:1
T.R.: 1.55:1
0.475 kg

 

The Q6 also braggs a stylist compact design that whilst not exactly pocket-able does manage to be lightweight and very easily transportable. 4GB of internal memory allows for a little bit of content without having to resort to the USB or HDMI in every time. Speaking of, there are actually two HDMI ports, one of which supports MHL for streaming video from a compatible smartphone or tablet. The Wi-Fi connectivity helps the EZ Media and EZCast Pro operate. A Connect to PC is available however this requires an uncommon USB Type A-to-USB Type A cable and there is not one provided, unfortunately.

The Qumi Q6 HD Pocket Projector can be purchase from various retailers, and there is a list of recommended sources on Vivitek’s website. Prices vary however Projectorshop24.co.uk list the Q6 at £688.80 +£8.99 shipping

http://www.vivitek.eu/Category/Pocket-Personal-Projectors/150/Qumi-Q6-

Also included in the video is the Vivitek Portable Battery Back Up Battery. This is a large 18,000mAh capacity battery and delivers 1.8 to 4.5 hours of use (lumens vary). There are various outputs including a DC 16v to 20v, DC 9v to 12v and a USB output to charge phones etc as well as a 19v input. Prices seem to settle around £120.

By January 11, 2016 Read More →

EasyAcc PowerBank PB10000CF Review

easyacc-2nd-gen-brilliant-10000mah-power-bank-“Make it easy to keep running.” We are becoming a more power hungry society, with technology connecting us instantly to friends, family and news there is nothing worse than that dreaded notification on your mobile device that your battery is running low. You hope that the remaining 8% battery life will enable you to make that important phone call, or let you listen to a few tracks on the journey home but there is no need to worry if you have a portable powerbank to charge your device on the go.

The EasyAcc powerbank PB10000CF is a fine example of many of the power banks available by the company. The company describe it as a super battery pack that can give your smart devices enough juice to keep them running.

Specifications:

  • Capacity 10,0000 mAh/37 Wh
  • Battery Type Lithium-polymer rechargeable battery cell
  • Input DC 5V 2A (max)
  • Smart Outputs DC 5V 2.4A (max)
  • Size – 144x75x14.8mm/ 5.7×2.95×0.58 in.

I have previously used powerbanks to give my battery a boost but this power bank can fully charge your phone not once, twice but three times on a single charge. The battery takes about six hours to fully charge and about 90 mins to fully charge my phone from zero battery. The device is quite weighty and is about the size of my palm. EasyAcc describe it as i phone 6 plus size and boast it is capable of charging the new mac book.There are two USB ports on the device and a flashlight in between.  Double tapping the button on the right hand side turns the torch on and off. There is a 4 light indicator of the power banks charge, and it is charged with a micro usb port.  

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This is the 2nd generation of this battery and the advance on style and shape is a great improvement from the 1st generation.

I have used this power bank extensively over the Christmas period, and to my surprise have used it more than I imagined I could, the 10,000mAh battery just keeps going. Not only did I take it with me as a charging source in the car, on my commute to work I have also found use in charging my gaming consoles’ controllers. I have battery packs on the controller that the charge never lasted for any great length of time. My son used it as an excuse to sit too close to the television as the charging cable was plugged into the console. Now he has to sit at an appropriate distance away from the television as this power bank can keep up with his gaming needs.  No longer do i hear cries of despair as batteries are running low, it is now pass the power bank.

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Currently priced at amazon.co.uk from £10.39 this EasyAcc powerbank is a great purchase for any user of smart technologies. It really does make life easier and help you keep running all day long.  It is also available in a variety of colours. Black and Orange, Black and Green, Black and Gray, Black and Purple, White and Gray…

This is a fantastic product and is now an essential item that i do not think I could do without. Head over to Easyacc’s website to read more about this product.

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Other specifications

  • OUTER CASE - premium grinding craftsmanship with better touch
  • BATTERY - High-quality Li-polymer battery cell
  • CENTER FRAME - Uniquely colored and durably constructed
  • Auto On/Off - Auto on/off when devices are connected or unplugged
  • PCB - Highly sophisticated and safe smart ICs;
  • Short circuit protection;
  • Overcharge protection;
  • Overdischarge protection;
  • Overcurrent protection;

 

Posted in: Accessories, Reviews
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By January 4, 2016 Read More →

Elite 8 Pin Braided USB Cable from Gadjet Review

P1020514There is an ongoing problem that Apple users are constantly having to deal with, Lightening cable burn out. Living in a household with a number of Apple’s recent portable offerings there seems to be a silent struggle with the lack of charging cables as those that are provided with the device might not last as long as the purchaser will have expected. The first is usually replaced by a second official Apple cable with grumblings about the price, for a cable. Thereafter most folks hit Ebay or Amazon looking for a cheaper alternative. This seems like a great solution until that packs in a few months later, sometimes longer, sometimes a lot shorter.

There are many reasons for a cable to stop working, burn out, something snapped inside, heat problems when using cases, even firmware updates can get the blame. The advice is always back to getting the official cable.

Gadjetsupply however have another solution, their Elite 8 Pin Braided USB Cable. Priced at £7.99 this is sitting right in the mid range of the Apple cable price list however you would be hard pressed to destroy this cable so easily. Compatible with all devices rocking a Lightning port: iPhone 6 plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5, iPad Mini, iPad Air, this cable features one of the most solid connectors I have used for a while.

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When using an iPad in bed, with the cable providing power, the cable felt somewhat resilient. Previously, having lost one cable to such a challenging task, I have watched a cable tear and fray in slow motion. I have faith that the Elite will withhold a large amount of movement whilst continuing to charge. Oddly enough, using a device in bed does put a lot of strain on the cable as it is usually stretched to the maximum, in this case 1.2 metres, a little longer than Apple’s.  Additionally the cable also transfers file, as the user would expect, between your computer and iPad/iPhone.

Apple’s devices are normally considered fashion accessories, aside from the recently released Smart Battery Case, however you could easily carry the GadJet cable with you instead as there are a variety of colours available. Orange, Green, Blue, Pink, Charcoal make for a pretty if basic look however there is also the Elite Metal 8 Pin USB Cable available with striking looks whilst loosing the unique braided feel.

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Moving forward I will be using this cable to power and charge my devices on the go, I have no fear throwing it in a bag, oddly the braided texture allows the cable to keeps it shape a little more than Apple’s. I have been rough with this in testing and believe me I will be updating this review in the future if the cable does give in. However, be aware, this has been stretched, coiled, left in a car overnight through freezing conditions, subject to a chair rolling over it on carpet and crucially given to a 17 year old girl, with lots of friends, for a week whilst home, sick in bed. Without resorting to fire, water and methods of actual destruction the cable looks like new. At £7.99 this isn’t breaking the bank to have a little piece of mind that your cable will work when you need it to.

The charge cable shouldn’t be a cause for concern, talk to an Android or Windows Phone user and they will not know the woe. If you need one, I heartily recommend the Elite USB range.

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By December 22, 2015 Read More →

Huawei Mate S Unboxing

vlcsnap-error898Huawei have very kindly sent over a Mate S for a full review. Here is the initial unboxing and reaction to the device.

Featuring a 5.5 inch 1080 x 1920 pixels (401 ppi) Amoled capacities touchscreen there is a lot to like in the Mate S. Under the hood are a couple of Quad-core processors, one sitting at 2.2 GHz and the other at 1.5 GHz with 3 GB RAM at disposal. A 13mp, OIS, autofocus camera with dual-LED flash lies subtly in the rear whilst the front sees an 8mp LED flash companion. Powered by a non-removable 2700 mAh battery the phone should see an upgrade from Android 5.1.1 Lollipop to 6.0 Marshmallow in the near future.

A fairly heavy user interface sits atop of Lollipop call EMUI. This can seems somewhat intrusive however initial impression are that this user interface has more elegance than the user interfaces we have seen from other manufactures and in fact bring Android a lot closer to iOS than we’ve seen before.

Available in three colours Luxurious Gold, Mystic Champagne, Titanium Grey and with three storage options 32, 64 and 128gb we will have a full review up early in the New Year.

Thanks for watching.

Posted in: News, Phones, Videos/Unboxings
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By December 22, 2015 Read More →

Syma X5SC explorers 2 Review

syma-x5-sc-1-explorers-2With the mad Christmas rush reaching fever point you may find yourself stuck finding that perfect gift for someone. Look no further than red5.com for some fantastic gift ideas. Whether or not a Quad copter is on your child’s or your own Christmas wish list they are fast becoming the must have fun item for this Christmas and new year.  You can spend hundreds of pounds on a drone however if like me you are a complete novice you can start with a low budget quad copter like the Syma X5sc explorer for £58.95 available in black or white.

This was my first time test driving a quad copter so when I unpacked the Syma X5sc explorers 2 I was surprised at how light it was. My main concern was would this break easily?

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When my kids saw the drone they were thrilled and could not wait to have a turn, however I had to make sure that I was able to show them how to fly it, so after a few hours they lost interest waiting for their turn as I needed another go, just to be sure.

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Out of the box it took 15 minutes to attach the legs, blade safeguards, camera and battery.

With the remote control taking 4 AA batteries I was ready to fly.  I like most men had a quick glance at the instructions and figured i would instantly know how to fly the drone. I was proven wrong. I suggest you have a long read at the instruction booklet as the controls are quite tricky to get use to.

My first test flight was indoors as storm Desmond was still attacking the UK.  The controls were tricky to begin with as i was restricted to the flight paths available. But i must say it was incredibly fun, dodging doors and christmas decorations. The blade safeguards proved to be extremely useful as they prevented any damage that may have been caused on my first few turbulence filled flights. 

On my second attempt i took the drone outside with my son as my navigator we went were no drone had been before.  With a full battery charge we managed six minutes of flying. To recharge the battery it took just over one hour and thirty minutes before the quad copter was ready to fly again.  I have been told by colleagues that this wait time for a battery charge was incredibly fast.

The controls outside were easy to handle as I was not restricted by the inside obstacles. The quad copter took off and I was able to control very carefully around my back garden, however there were a few epic crashes.  The Quadcopters light frame was very durable as there were a number of times the it fell from great heights and seemingly like a cat bounced into an upright position ready to fly again.  On testing my seven year old son and I did not manage to damage the Quadcopter or blades. There are however four extra blades included in the box but I am sure these are only there as after extensive use they will eventually need replaced.

In my videos I have included a couple of the crash landings the copter experienced.

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The quality of the video is fine for a 2 megapixel camera. Understandably if you wanted a better recording device you would have to spend more money on a better on board camera. For there most part there is a small amount of fragmentation in the recorded image and some might be unhappy with it, however for the money it is considerably better than the competition.

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Product features

  • Super Stable quadcopter
  • Built in HD camera
  • 2.4 GHz frequency
  • 6 axis gyroscope
  • 720p video recording
  • Take in flight videos and photos
  • Headless flying fuction – easier in flight control
  • Bigger improved optional blade protectors
  • Raised landing skids optimize camera viewing angle
  • 2 fly modes – beginners and advance
  • 360^ flips and tricks
  • 4GB micro SD card and card reader included
  • Colourful LED lights indicate front of quadcopter
  • USB charging
  • Measures approx. 32cm x 32cm x 11cm

The Syma X5sc explorers 2 has 360 flight which you can do many stunts with as with time I am sure I could master.  For a budget under £60 I feel you cannot go wrong purchasing this Quadcopter. As a learning experience before moving onto a bigger, more expensive device, or perhaps just for curiosity, I have never purchased one before however I will consider purchasing this one for my son’s birthday as he thoroughly enjoyed test flying it.  The camera recording may not be as fantastic as you would want but for a 2 megapixel camera the recordings are adequate.

The best place to get the Syma X5SC quadcopter is from Red5.

By December 15, 2015 Read More →

Win a new Panasonic Sound Bar worth £160

20138_SC-HTB485_angleTo champion the latest Viera TV range, we’ve teamed up with Panasonic to offer one lucky reader a brand new Panasonic Sound Bar worth xx. You’ll be able to enjoy watching your TV with the highest quality of sound.

Panasonic Viera TVs, which I got to see in IFA, Berlin, as part of the Viera VIP Club, produce stunning images and are packed with ‘4K Pro’ technology, allowing you to view TV in remarkable quality.

Many Viera TVs from this year’s line up now feature 4K pro technology as standard. 4K allows content to be viewed in four times as many pixels as Full-HD content. They have a shiny new Mozilla-powered user interface which allows navigating around so much easier. Not only that, but the new range is the first to host Freeview Play. This service allows the viewer to stream Freeview programmes from the internet which you may have missed using the familiar TV guide rewind facility.

The Panasonic SC-HTB485EBK Sound Bar is a 2.1-channel high-quality sound system which produces a rich sound field and crisp, clear dialogue. It comes with a wireless subwoofer and its Music Sound Mode optimises music listening. Without taking up too much space, you can enjoy movies, TV and music videos with lifelike acoustic ambiance and the clearest of sounds. 

To be in with a chance of winning a Panasonic Sound Bar, just answer the following question.

As usual we are going to make this very easy for you.

To enter, all you have to do is follow tracyandmatt on Twitter and retweet the following tweet: “RT I want to win a new Panasonic Sound Bar from @tracyandmatt and @PanasonicUK – You could too: http://wp.me/p3WUB6-fwL #vieravipclub” You can also click the retweet link below to save you copying and pasting the phrase. Your twitter name will be entered in to the draw.

 

RETWEET ME!

Your twitter name will be entered in to the draw. You’ll have to keep following us as we’ll notify winners via DM. 

Entry is open until midnight on the 28th December 2015 and the winner will be picked on the 3rd January. Will that be a lucky day for you?

We’ll contact the winner via twitter so make sure that you are still following us!

Good luck.

Click here to find out more about the Panasonic Viera TV range.

 

Terms & Conditions for [insert blog/website name]/Panasonic Competition

1. The promoter is: Tracy And Matt Ltd

2. Tracyandmatt.co.uk contributors, Panasonic and their family members or anyone else connected in any way with the competition including helping to set up the competition shall not be permitted to enter the competition. The competition is only open to residents of the UK and Republic of Ireland (ROI), aged 18 years or over.

3. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.

4. Route to entry for the competition and details of how to enter are via http://wp.me/p3WUB6-fwL

5. Closing date for entry is 28/12/15. After this date the no further entries to the competition will be permitted. Only one entry may be submitted per participant. Multiple entries will not be considered. Incomplete incorrect or otherwise invalid entries will not be considered. The Promoter reserves the right to verify the eligibility of all participants. 6. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.

7. The prize for each winner are as follows: one Panasonic SC-HTB485EBK Sound Bar

8. The promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions without notice and for any reason. Any changes to the competition will be notified to entrants as soon as possible by the promoter.

10. No cash alternative to the prizes will be offered. The prizes are not transferable. Prizes are subject to availability and the promotor reserves the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice.

11. Winners will be drawn at random by Tracyandmatt from all valid entries received

12. The winner will be notified by email and/or letter within 28 days of the closing date. If the winner cannot be contacted or does not claim the prize within 14 days of notification, the promotor reserves the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.

13. The winner consents to their name, postal address and mobile contact number to be passed on to Panasonic in order to fulfil the prize.

14. The winner agrees to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current UK data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent.15. The promoter’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.

16. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.

17. The competition and these terms and conditions will be governed by English law and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England.

 

By December 15, 2015 Read More →

Asus Zenpad 8.0 Review

IMG_20151026_182344Christmas is normally a time that folks start looking for a cheaper tablet to appease a younger child or to slip down the side of an armchair for quick usage and there are a bunch of online lists of the best tablet to grab for not too little money. Over the has couple of years the Tesco Hudl has usually been the all rounder that many would pick up however this year there is no refresh and the Hudl name is a thing of the past.

This creates a gap in the market and there will be a flurry of tablets fighting to be the hit this year. From this tech enthusiast I would recommend avoiding the unknown and going with the trusted. Looking around the options there is no tablet that really ticks all the boxes however one tablet gets very close, it’s from Asus.

Having impressed everyone for the last few years, admittedly with Google supporting them, with the Nexus 7 devices Asus know how to put together a winning package. Some of their ventures between the Nexus 7 2013 and now have been a little forgettable however they are back with the Zenpad range and I urge you to check them out.

Most manufacturers will fill their devices with tech and you will have little to no option save for some storage options depending on your location. Asus have gone the other way with a confusing array of differing tablets that will fit your desired spec without inflating the price too much.

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At the lower end is the  £80 Zenpad C Intel Atom X3 processor with 1 GB of RAM, and 16 GB ROM. Moving up through various different price bands and losing the C there is a Zenpad 7 and 8 with a base model spec increase with 2-4gb of RAM, 16,32 and 64gb of storage and display sizes of 7, 8 and 10” inch size. You will have to spend some time to get your desired spec.

There is also a high end option called the Zenpad S that seems to have the strongest spec options however lacks the customisable hardware we will be looking at next.

In this review we will be having a look at the P022 Zenpad 8.0 with 2gb ram, 16gb rom, 800 x 1280 (189 dpi,) Intel Atom Z3560 processor. Asus were kind enough to provide the optional extended battery and an alternate cover. The covers and setup were previously illustrated in this Unboxing video.

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The extended battery comes with a simple, yet funny charge adaptor that clicks onto the battery with little fuss. I would suggest it is easy to lose based entirely on size however it does provide a handy alternative to using the tablet to charge the extended battery. In a sense you do never need to charge the tablet if you were to make full use of the extended battery every other day. Combined we are looking at roughly 14 hours of continual use or over a week of standby. The little adapter that magnetically grips the extended battery cover and charges it independently, hardly a fast charge I clocked a full charge at 5 hours.

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One additional add-on is the ASUS Audio Cover, a simple folio cover with an over-the-top cinematic, 5.1-channel surround sound built in providing the ZenPad with DTS-HD Premium Sound and SonicMaster technology provide further enhancement. I’m not sure where this might be useful however I love it exists. In saying that I would probably want to be able to use it everywhere.

One issue I would have is the alternate cover. I would have been fairly annoyed having purchased it as the clips are broken having removed it once. Given the nature of the extended battery the covers should have a more durable fitting method.

The tablet has a very standard layout, aside from the lines of the back cover. Here is a little gallery of the device’s notable edges:

Below is a video illustration of the Asus Zenpad benchmark scores and compared again a high end Android tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4. The Zenpad has a decent amount of power inside to keep things ticking over and for the money I hope to see if stand up well against an ageing super beast of a tablet, in saying that the innards of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 are almost identical to the Samsung Galaxy Tab S. 

Asus have also included a fairly heavy overlay. This doesn’t intrude as much as Samsung’s Touchwiz or HTC’s Sense UI, instead it adds a number of features for helping the user get more from the device’s settings.

Take, for example, the screen settings. Ordinarily Android offers the ability to adjust the screen brightness with sensors above the screen measuring the direct light on the screen. In a step forward manufacturers have taken the brightness and contrast settings and allowed the user to pick from different settings to customise the look of the screen’s colour palette. Asus have taken another step again allowing a massive amount of freedom in boosting and subduing the colour palette to get the most out of the screen. Adding filters to help reading in the dark and reduce eye fatigue.

The screen is good. Using a Samsung Galaxy Tab S as my main tablet I am spoiled when it comes to screen tech in my life. The Zenpad, doesn’t quite measure up yet I would find it difficult to fault. The IPS display works well, has great brightness and contrast levels alongside some commendable colour representation. Movies and games look very well and there is no evidence of a limited viewing angle. The Tru2life additions give great options for the user to get the most out of the screen alongside some presets that enhance the most basic experiences.

Android 5.0.2 is whats at play here. Far from stock as the Zen User Interface is in full swing. Whilst I had initially thought Asus had really taken strides to enhance the user experience on the tablet I realised quite quickly that the Zen UI is for the Zen range as there are tools and options that are really designed for the Zenfone and there is no way they would put the level of effort into a camera application as they have here for such a poor camera optic.

The Camera isn’t terrible, however it’s about as far from award winning as you could get and falls in line with the majority of tablet cameras. Fit for purpose, little more. The front facing will work for video calls and the lesser quality will help disguise blemishes and not-quite-so-beauty spots better than most smoothing options. Yet those beautification additions are resident, turning the user into a mannequin, an obvious leftover for a better camera on the Zenfone. 

Video quality is pretty bad and there do seem to be some bugs with the camera software itself when rotating the device. There are only two options for the camera, SD or 720 HD. Both feature a large amount of image fragmentions.

The front facing speaker is a welcome addition, there is only one however it proves to be loud and whilst hardly amazing quality will provide a decent output for sound when watching a video or playing a game. The user won’t accidentally cover the speaker but it would have really been a step up had there been a second speaker on the other side of the screen.

There is a bit of bloatware on the device, something I am not a fan of, especially when dealing with a 16gb were only 9gb being available. Most of the pre-populated apps are Asus’s own however the odd app like Trip Advisor pops up and isn’t removable. It can be hidden however it’s still there, and that bugs me.

In all the Zenpad range is a truly welcome move and entry to the market. Priced nicely with echoes of the Nexus 7 legacy here and there and no real compromises with the hardware. You are getting what you pay for and knowing upfront how well it should really operate. This is the device to replace an aging Hudl, a kids beaten up cheapie or something to slide down the side of the sofa for quick reference.

 

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By December 8, 2015 Read More →

Syma X5sc Explorers 2 Unboxing

vlcsnap-error161SYMA X5SC QUADCOPTER HD CAMERA is currently selling over at Red5.com. This modestly priced Quadcopter an updated, upgraded, bigger and better version of the popular Syma X5C Quadcopter with an HD Cam. This improved version still has all the same capabilities as the X5C, but with a few changes to get more out of its feature set. The rotor guards have been increased in size to further protect them from damage and the landing skids have been raised to give you the best possible viewing angle.

The Syma X5SC is a 2.4GHz Quadcopter with a built in HD 720p camera allowing you to film all of your flights, as well as taking some still images along the way.

This quad comes with a 6 axis gyroscope and 4 channel flight making it ideal for newbies who are just starting out on 4 channel flyers, as well as the pros who want to do some sweet tricks.

With a range of approximately 50 metres, boasting incredible stability, and indoor and outdoor usage, the Syma X5SC Quadcopter With HD Camera is worth checking out.

You can pick one up for only £58.95 here.

Check out the full review over at TracyandMatt.co.uk in the next week…

By December 7, 2015 Read More →

Whats new on Netflix 30th Nov – 6th Dec?

TWoNFLets take a look at whats new on Netflix 30th November to the 6th December 2015

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