Sandberg PowerBar 2200mAh (Pink) with Flashlight – Review

Back up batteries are becoming a must have item nowadays, especially with so many people having and relying on gadgets that are battery powered.  There are plenty of products to choose from and today, I have the Sandberg PowerBar 2200mAh, complete with its own flashlight, for review.

The packaging that the PowerBar arrives in is pretty simplistic.  It shows you the PowerBar itself through the clear packaging at the front and in the bottom corner, there is a short bit of text about the product.  On the reverse of the box, there is a bit more info which is also available in several languages.  The bottom of the box shows you that there is a 5 year guarantee on the product.

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Removing the PowerBar from the box is as simple as open the top of the box and sliding out the plastic sleeve that houses the product.  Also included in the box is a Micro USB cable which is used to charge the device, and a small instruction leaflet.  The PowerBar itself has nicely curved corners and measures in at 9.3 cm in length and 2.10 cm in width, and weighs around 75g – definitely small enough to be carried around with you while out and about.  Along one of the sides, you will find the Sandberg logo, a silver button and 3 LED lights.  The button is for the flashlight – double click to turn it on and double click to turn it off again.  I haven’t had a reason to use this too much yet, but what I have used, it could prove handy.  The LED lights show the battery level and come on when you press the silver button once.

Charging the device prior to its first use was really straightforward,  It was simply a case of connecting the USB cable to the PC and also to the PowerBar.  Once connected up, charging started immediately – no need to install any drivers.  While charging the LED lights flashed, and once fully charged, the flashing stopped.  It was just as simple to use when I wanted to charge my phone also.  I simply hooked up my charger cable to the PowerBar and connected it to my phone and charging began.  It managed to charge my phone around 45% after a 30 minute charge.  It could have charged it more if I wasn’t using my phone at the same time.  I have only had to charge the device once since receiving it last week, so it seems like the battery life will be sufficient for most people.

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Overall, I am very impressed with the PowerBar.  It does what it should, when it should, and is small enough to be portable.  The metallic effect to the pink colouring makes the device stand out even more and doesn’t look out of place.  This can be used with many devices – pretty much any that can be charged via USB cable.  For the price of between £12.00 & £17.00 GBP (varies with colour choice) on Amazon UK, I think that this is a handy accessory to have, even if as a ‘just in case’.

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Phantomus Kids Stylus – Review (@iChicGear)

The Phantomus Kids Stylus for Tablets from the iChicGear Kids range is definitely aimed at kids or at a push, someone who is still a kid at heart.

The Phantomus stylus arrived in a nicely designed cardboard sleeve type packaging that gives you a view of the stylus through the clear window on the front.  A list of tablets that you can use the stylus with is included on the front whilst on the back, there are a couple of images of the stylus being used with different sized devices.

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The stylus itself feels very well made and when holding it, it actually sits in the hand very comfortably.  Size wise, the stylus is about the same weight, length and thickness of a felt tip pen so shouldn’t prove an issue for any kids that will be using it.  It is available in two different colours, pink and blue, and it comes with a one-eyed, one-toothed, rubberised ghost head on the top, and a small black rubberised nib on the opposite end.

The ghost head is something that can be removed and put over the nib to provide protection when not in use.  The nib itself is actually very soft, something that I am not too sure on if I am honest, but it does work very well when being used.  The stylus works extremely well for both general use, as well as gaming use.  I have not had an issue with response times, etc, since using it.

Overall, the Phantomus Kids Stylus is something that would prove handy for both adults and kids alike, and considering the price of around £12.50 GBP (€15.00 EUR), it would make a nice tablet companion.

GamerModz Thanksgiving Sale Offers 40% Off (Plus Extra Discount Code)

Custom controller site GamerModz have currently got a 40% off their Create-a-Controller on site.  The discount is applied automatically and is highlighted in the pricing list on site.

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For an extra 10% off, so a whopping 50% in total, just apply discount code ‘tootie’ before checking out.

This promotion is due to run throughout Thanksgiving and so that the rest of the world who don’t celebrate Thanksgiving don’t miss out, it is available worldwide!  Also included in the promotion are the newly released PS4 and Xbox One controllers.

Perfect timing for Christmas so head over to the GamerModz website and get creating!

[NEWS] Android 4.4 KitKat Update to Arrive on HTC One January 2014

HTC One owners can expect the eagerly awaited KitKat OS update, and the HTC Sense 5.5 update to hit their smartphones towards the end of January, it was announced on the HTC UK Twitter feed.

The KitKat update has been slowly rolling out to devices over the past week or so, hitting Nexus 7 devices a few days ago.

[NEWS] Logitech PowerShell Announced

Logitech has officially announced their iOS 7 gaming controller, the PowerShell.

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The PowerShell peripheral will be compatible with the iPod Touch, iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5. The device comes complete with a 1500mAh battery which enables you to keep your device(s) charged while using it.

The PowerShell sports shoulder trigger buttons, X B Y & A buttons, and a D-Pad. There are no analogue sticks included, unlike the recently announced MOGA Ace Power.

Logitech revealed that due to their research, they have discovered that 87% of iPhone and iPod Touch users play games on their device.  A handful of iOS games have been optimised for use with the PowerShell. These titles include MetalStorm Aces, Galaxy on Fire 2, Nitro, Bastion and Fast & Furious 6.

You can now pre-order the Logitech PowerShell for £89.99. Orders are expected to be shipped out next month.

Anker Ultrathin Backlit Wired Keyboard – Review (@AnkerOfficial)

When it comes to PC peripherals, there are plenty out there to choose from.  Being a night owl though, I am always on the lookout for something that will benefit myself as well as my partner.  I received the Anker Ultrathin Backlit Wired Keyboard just over a week ago now – here are my thoughts on it.

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When I first received the keyboard I was glad to see that it was as described in the name – Ultrathin.  My previous keyboard is quite bulky so the Anker one measuring in at 45 x 21 x 1 cm and weighing only 975g, definitely makes a welcomed change.  The keyboard itself has an impressive finish to it with its aluminium palm rest, and the overall black and silver theme goes really well together.  Build quality is very good – everything feels well made and works as it should.

Getting the keyboard set-up to use was as simple as it could have been.  You plug-in the USB plug to your PC and you’re up and running.  Like I said, simple!  The keyboard itself has 15 independent multimedia and hot keys which make performing tasks easy and straightforward.  The top right corner of the keyboard sports a dimmer switch which is used to control the amount of illumination the keys and buttons put out on the keyboard when in use – having the illumination turned on makes nighttime use so much easier, especially if you prefer to use the PC in the dark (like I do).  The palm rest helps to alleviate hand fatigue which can be caused by prolonged periods of typing and computer use.  Another feature of the keyboard that makes nighttime use easier is the whisper quiet keys.  Not only are they quiet, they are also very responsive and feel cushioned when you press them.

I have used this Anker keyboard for several different tasks over the few days that I have used it.  These tasks range from playing games to typing out emails and long text documents, as well as your basic daily use.  I have yet to encounter an issue with keyboard and everything works as it should do.  Personally, I think that people who use the keyboard for basic every day activities, as well as those who play games in a casual manner would more than likely benefit the most from this keyboard as there are more advanced and gaming focused keyboards available for the hardcore gaming types.

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Overall, I am very impressed with the Anker Ultrathin Backlit Wired Keyboard.  It does exactly what you would expect it to and is a breeze to set-up.  The illuminated keys makes nighttime use so much easier, and the whisper quiet keys means that you are less likely to disturb others in the room when you are busy typing away.  For the price that you can pick this keyboard up for (around £26.00 GBP), I doubt you will be disappointed with anything at all.  The keyboard does what you would expect of it, and how you would expect it to.

I will mention that I was a bit surprised that when I powered down the PC, the lights on the keyboard stayed illuminated.  This was the case right up until I turned the dimmer switch all the way down.  I am not sure if this is supposed to happen or if it is a driver issue.

Razer Mamba 4G 2012 Gaming Mouse – Review (@Razer)

The more products from Razer that I use, the more I fall in love with them as a brand.  I have grown accustomed to the outstanding quality, ease of set-up and use, and the range of people that they cater for.

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The moment I saw the packaging for the Mamba 4G 2012 gaming mouse, it was a pure ‘wow’ moment.  The mouse itself is presented in a transparent box packaging that shows off its beauty before you even touch the box.  The mouse is shown attached to a stand that allows you to see all angles of it.  The top right hand corner of the box is sporting the Razer logo, while the right top corner informs you that the Mamba is powered by the all new 4G Dual Sensor system.  The bottom half of the box is encased in a cardboard sleeve that you simply slide off to remove.

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Getting into the box was a bit tricky for me.  I don’t have much strength in my hands so the fact that you have to press the two sides of the box together and pull out the top from the bottom before you can get into the box would have put a stop to things for me straightaway.  Luckily, I had my partner to open the box for me.  Once the top was separate from the bottom, gaining access to everything was pretty easy.  You simply unclip the mouse from the stand to remove it.  Looking around the back of the box, you are greeted with three cardboard drawers, as well as the standard  envelope that contains the Razer stickers and information.  The drawers themselves contained even more goodness.  The big drawer at the bottom of the three was housing the mouse charging dock.  The dock itself has the Razer logo, a sync button, and a space in the back to plug-in the cable.  Drawer number two contained the 1100 mAh battery, which provides around 12 hours of use once fully charged.  In with the battery you will also find the battery compartment cover for the base of the mouse.  Finally, in the last draw, is the braided Mini USB cable which you can use to connect the charging dock to the PC OR you can plug it directly into the mouse to make it wired – how amazing!  The mouse simply sits on top of the dock – it’s pretty simple and once in place, feels quite secure.

Setting the mouse up took only a few seconds.  Plug the dock into the PC and insert the battery into the mouse.  The battery may need charging before use, so maybe set it up a little while before you intend to use it, or use the USB cable.  Once plugged in and turned on, the RGB LEDs went to work and my gosh, they look amazing!  The dock lights up all around the base and the mouse lights up in unison.  The lights are fully customisable using the Razer Synapse 2.0 cloud software – you can also use the software to personalise your mouse DPI  (range of 100 to 6400), buttons and cursor settings – perfect for if you have different profiles for different people.  Also using the Synapse program, you can keep track of the battery power level and also calibrate the mouse to suit you.  Finally, the Mamba is sporting the new 4G sensor, which uses both a laser and an optical sensor, which when coupled with the ultra slick mouse feet, provides increased accuracy across a number of different surfaces.

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After using the mouse as both a wired, and a wireless mouse, personally, I could tell no difference.  Both modes worked seamlessly well and having the option to go wired and wireless is definitely something that could come in handy.  The Mamba fits very nicely in the hand and access to all buttons (Left & Right, scroll wheel, two small buttons at the top of the left mouse button and two on the left side of the mouse) is easy and effortless.  It is very comfortable to use for both short and extended periods of time and for someone who gets sore hands from long sittings at the PC, I can honestly say that I encountered no discomfort.  The base of the mouse has the sensor, power button, sync button, an eject button for when the USB cable is attached, making it easier to remove, and of course, the battery compartment.

After having time to use the mouse for a number of activities, the ease of use with the Synapse 2.0 software, and also being able to sit back and watch the light show provided by the charging dock, I am very impressed with the Razer Mamba 4G mouse.  It is an absolute pleasure to use, no matter where you are or what surface you are using.  The option to have both a wired and wireless mouse is a nice touch and would suit any and every body.

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iChicGear Oxford Tweed Pouch for iPhone 4/4S – Review (@iChicGear)

I was recently sent the Oxford Tweed Pouch for the iPhone 4/4S from the iChic range to review.

The packaging for the Oxford Tweed Pouch is pretty simplistic.  Open the top of the plastic box and slide the pouch out.  On the packaging itself there is a small colour swab on the bottom right hand corner showing what colour the lining inside the pouch is.  You also get a very nice view of the pouch itself, so you can tell exactly what it is that you are getting.  The back of the box shows up some key features of the pouch and also what is included in the box – the screen protector & microfibre cloth.

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I loved the actual feel of the pouch as soon as I felt it.  You can tell immediately that the pouch is made from high quality materials and it nicely padded to protect your phone whilst it is sat inside.  The material on the inside of the case is nice and soft to touch and I can’t see it causing any scratches or marks to your phone.  You will see the iChicGear logo embossed on the bottom right corner of the pouch and the logo is coloured to match the inside lining material.

There is a magnetic clasp that holds the fastener closed when your phone is in the pouch.  It couldn’t be simpler to insert your phone into the case – you just put the case into the pouch and push it in until it is securely in place.  You will notice that as you push the phone in, the fastening strap does get shorter as this is what you use to remove the phone again.  You have access to the headphone jack and power button once the fastener is fastened over the top of your phone.  To remove the phone once it has been inserted, you unclip the clasp and pull the fastener upwards to push the phone out from the inside.

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The pouch itself is simple to use, very nice to touch and it protects your phone as you would expect.  The Oxford pouch is very high quality and adds a bit of class to your phone when in use.

Gadgets

Everyone loves gadgets, right?  They make cool gifts for pretty much everyone.  Check out my list below and see if anything catches your eye.

Retro Wooden Robot Nut Cracker – Geniegadgets.com
Hot Cookie USB Cup Warmer – Iwantoneofthose.com
iPhone 4 Mini Microscope – Iwantoneofthose.com
Betron Portable Pop Up Speaker – Amazon.co.uk
U8-S 3 Channel Heli 2.4GHz – Red5.co.uk
Breffo Spiderpodium Tablet – Breffo.com

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Gaming

Below is a list of gaming peripherals that would make awesome gifts and stocking fillers!

PC Gamer:
Definitely at the top of my list would be items from Razer. A company well known for the quality and usability of their products, there will be something for everyone. Below is a list of items that would kit out any gamers set-up.

Black Widow Ultimate Keyboard – Razer.com
Vespula Mouse Mat – Razer.com
Naga 2014  Mouse – Razer.com
Kraken 7.1 Headset – Razer.com

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All of the above have excellent reviews and would suit anyone, from a hardcore gamer, to someone who plays casually, male or female!

Console Gamer:
I think that Gioteck have the console side of gaming pretty much covered. From headsets to controllers, there is something to suit most people, and with their upcoming new range release, there is even more to choose from!

EX-05 headset (EX-05S coming soon) (PS3, Xbox 360, PC) – Gioteck.com
FR-1 Racing Wheel (PS3) – Gioteck.com
SC-1 controller (PS3) – Gioteck.com

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Gioteck also have a PS4 range hitting the shelves from November 29th, onwards.  The reviews for all of the above are great, and the prices are even better!