The Panasonic Toughbook CF-20 delivers a new level of unrivalled versatility for mobile business computing as the first fully rugged detachable notebook. Offering the best of all worlds for mobile workers, the Toughbook can be used in 6 different modes to meet every business need. With its glove enabled touchscreen, up to 14 hour hot swappable battery life and purpose-built Vehicle Mount and Desktop Port Replicator, the Panasonic Toughbook CF-20 is an unrivalled rugged mobile business tool.
Kitted out with a powerful Intel® Core™ m5-6Y57 vPro™ and running Windows 10 Pro this Toughbook manages to include the Intel® HD Graphics 515 chip and a 10.1” high brightness WUXGA (1920×1200) display featuring a capacitive 10 finger, glove enabled multi-touchscreen. Panasonic’s test show the computer can survive a 120cm drop and comes with Water and dust resistance factor or IP65.
Vivitek 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
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.
Huawei 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.
With 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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Netgear have sent over a Nighthawk AC1900 Modem router for testing and this thing looks the biz. Over a series of articles on Tracy And Matt we will be taking a look at the router and the functions of it as there is far to many to feature in an unboxing video.
Here have a look as the packaging and contents alongside how to put the good looking communication device together.
Picking an in-car satellite navigation system is a very difficult choice at the moment. What with mobile phones becoming so much more competent at being companions on the road. It seems a bit futile for you to spend money on a decent, dedicated GPS system. However this has not stopped Garmin from producing a high end unit that dwarfs older units from years gone by.
Looking around the device, on the top there is nothing but a large shutter button, allowing you to snap a quick and easy picture. Obviously not whilst driving as that would be dangerous, however if a moment were to present itself whilst you are parked then you can grab it quickly and easily.
The back features the power button, a grill for a speaker that is easily fit for purpose and inside a magnetic circle are some ports for connecting the charger and mount. One of the handiest features is the NuviCam’s ability to just pop onto it’s mount to start charging. No need for fiddling with MicroUSB connector or a proprietary connector every time. A powerful magnets guides you in and clamps the two together with a satisfying connection. This great mechanism eases the burden of having to remove the unit from view every time you leave the car.
On the bottom are three ports, one for a mircoUSB when connecting the unit to a computer or power source outside the car. There are two MicroSD card slots. The first is an expansion port for storage of maps whereas the second is dedicated storage for the dashboard camera. A simple and tidy solution. A 4GB card is included as standard for video recordings.
The Garmin is a massive device first and foremost. A 6 inch screen fills a huge unit however this size allows the NuviCam to capture so many desirable aspects of in-car equipment that you would not normally have access to. Not only does it tell you directions and find local services but it integrates with your phone via Bluetooth, it records your journey via camera, preserving important maneuvers to SD card for easy playback when required and barks orders at you to help or correct your driving.
The device is easy to set up, has a fantastic holder that connects to your dashboard with minimal effort, alongside a very simple to use interface. One thing I can’t sing praises about is the wiring, the power cable and microphone cable are incredibly difficult to conceal. Whilst one is a double width cable that you cannot easily conceal in dashboard seams. The other is so fine it slips out with a simple knock or shudder. However you can forgive this because the rest of the unit works so darn well and there might also be cars out there that have particular troughs that can accommodate. Here is, rather crude, video to illustrate the nuisance wiring.
Whilst we are on the topic of video here are some examples of the in built camera:
As you can see from the footage in the video above the picture quality on the inbuilt DVR is exceptional. A wide angle lens captures everything you could need on the road right down to the fine detail and most importantly number plate information from a considerable distance. Videos are recorded at full HD 1920 by 1080 resolution at 8mb per second. The quality is perfect level of detail and you should hopefully only ever have to use the footage in the instance of an accident. A already mentioned it is pretty handy to be able to hit the button to allow you capture a still image along the way in case of something interesting ahead of you. I can’t imagine too many instances that you would need to grab a still image, however it a nice feature to throw in. The 4gb card in included and this is great for about an hours worth of footage, if you were to upgrade to a larger card, say for example 64 gigabytes you can get almost 18 hours of storage.
The screen is excellent, on paper a 6” screen sounds pretty hefty for a portable device however it makes sense when in use as it really has to rival the screens built into the dash of modern cars. One criticism is that modern day smartphones tend to use swipes and gestures to navigate around the menus and the user may find that they are swiping unnecessarily as a Garmin does not support swipe-like movements.
Whilst driving with a camera I noticed that there were a number of warnings as I’d progressed through my journey. There were things like Lane departure notifications, speed limit warnings, proximity collision alarms and whilst these are very handy they become a little annoying from time to time and distracting whilst driving. They were easy enough to turn off and on again whilst parked however I was unable to find a way to vocally interact with these warnings perhaps including the voice command “shut up” may have be a good idea.
Garmin have included a Digital Traffic via DAB radio service. This has a DAB radio receiver built into the unit that allows the device to update itself with traffic information every minute. I found this to be somewhat accurate during rush hour. The Digital Traffic lifetime subscription is included with the new Nuvicam however this does not stretch to all countries around Europe, instead a handful including Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway and Germany. For other countries you receive standard RDS-TMC updates which aren’t quite as luxurious and only update every 15 minutes.
One handy extra feature is the integration of Foursquare point-of-interest locations that appear on the map. This is a nice use of relevant social networking to keep the Garmin system as an up to date platform.
When it comes to the voice commands I found it to be fairly accurate. I do not have a particularly broad Northern Irish accent and I did not have to make a much of an affort to “bend” my accent to help the system pick up certain phrases or words. Once you learn how it works you find it to be quite confident at picking up local requests. I did have an issue trying to find the nearest Smyths Toy Shop at one stage and it recommended Smiths Tours or some such over 300 miles away. Changing it to Smyths-Toy-Shop-Belfast sorted that out on the first try.
Comparing this to a smartphone app like Google Maps the Garmin is a very choice satellite navigation system. The differences are phenomenal. Having used Google Maps to navigate for the last few months I have found it I have made several errors whereas the Garmin has always kept me right I have not had to question its logic or lane placement when leaving a motorway. The roads around Dublin tend to be quite difficult for new drivers to understand and mistakes are often made along the way, the Garmin helped me navigate them very easily and in a sensible fashion that I was able to understand whilst not distracting me from my driving.
Certainly the Garmin is more expensive than using your smartphone on the road. There is no doubt it is really for the road warrior as opposed to the casual driver. Having something like this in your car will require forward thinking as this is such a large, bulky device you will likely need to take it with you when leaving your car in a city centre for fear that it may be spotted and removed. It wipes the floor with smartphone and inbuilt car navigation. There is also the factor it does not impact on your phone’s battery life or data allowance and can be used across Europe without fear of extra charges and will actually serve as a bit of a talking piece for passengers in the car.
The Garmin Nuvicam will make you realise just how half baked the other options are and it is with a heavy heart I have to hand this back to Garmin.