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Steven Unwin "Steve Unwin" (Preston, UK)
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Inateck 2.4 GHz Wireless Presenter/ Presentation Clicker with Remote Control Red Laser Pointer Pen, Cordless Powerpoint Slide Changer PPT Clicker - LCD Display with Battery Indication & Vibration Reminder
Inateck 2.4 GHz Wireless Presenter/ Presentation Clicker with Remote Control Red Laser Pointer Pen, Cordless Powerpoint Slide Changer PPT Clicker - LCD Display with Battery Indication & Vibration Reminder
Offered by Inateck
Price: £39.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little device and one thing less to worry about when you're presenting., 20 Nov 2014
Please note that the reviews here are a mixture of reviews for two quite different wireless presenters. The WP1002 is a rectangular stick shaped model whilst the WP1001 is an ergonomically shaped model with LCD screen. Take care not to get confused when reading. (Click the two small thumbnails below Colour Name: in the description to see the difference).

This review is for the WP1001 ergonomic model.

In my work I give a lot of conference style presentations and my first impressions are that if you are familiar with using the Logitech R400 or R800 wireless presenters I think you will feel at home with this device. It is nicely shaped to fit the palm, with the buttons and controls falling readily to hand. It feels well-designed and well-made and the plastic has a really nice matt feel that makes it comfortable to hold.

Most of my presentation work involves the use of Powerpoint which is ordeal enough for audiences, but is made worse if the presenter finds himself stuck behind a podium, so I like to wander about as I speak, (some might say I like to present a moving target) and devices like this are wonderful for doing this.

The basic controls are simple but effective. They allow you to move forward and backwards through a presentation, just like pressing the left and right keyboard arrow keys and these are the buttons you’ll make most use of. There’s also a button to select full-screen and one to terminate the presentation – take care not to press this by mistake. In addition there’s a button and also a trigger beneath the presenter that illuminate the red laser pointer if either is pressed. When the laser is illuminated a LED illuminates on the top of the presenter to alert you to the fact, and hopefully help avoid dazzling your audience should you inadvertently point in their direction.

The final presentation control available is a volume up-down rocker switch positioned on the side of the presenter which is sufficiently out of the way that for right-handed users that there is little risk of it being pressed by accident.

They’re the controls you’ll use during a presentation, there is however another button on the device labelled TIMER, and this can be used to set your display time-slot before you begin your presentation. Once set, the timer begins its countdown, so it’s a last minute task to set it as you walk out on stage. The timer issues alerts to warn you of your time limit by vibrating when there are 5 and 1 minute left and vibrates twice when your time is up. Glance at the small LCD screen at any time and you can see how many minutes remain. It’s a handy feature though some conference speakers seem to need rather more than a gentle vibration to encourage them to draw to a close.

The wireless presenter is a doddle to use. Insert 2 AAA batteries, pull out the concealed wireless dongle and insert in your laptop, switch on the presenter and within less than a minute it will have automatically paired and you’re ready to go.

When the presentation’s finished, just remember to put the dongle back in place in its slot in the presenter and it’ll be there ready for next time.

Overall I think this is a great device. It’s well made, does a simple job very well and feels like it will last. If I were to offer an improvement, it would be to alter the shape of the ESC key that terminates the presentation, but that’s nit-picking really as I’ve never actually pressed it by accident, only feared doing so, and no reason to hold back on five stars.

I was delighted to be asked to review this Wireless Presenter.


DB POWER 7 Inch Car GPS Navigation with Free UK Map of 800X480 Touch Screen Built in 4GB WinCE5.0 Support up to 8GB Micro SD Card
DB POWER 7 Inch Car GPS Navigation with Free UK Map of 800X480 Touch Screen Built in 4GB WinCE5.0 Support up to 8GB Micro SD Card
Offered by HappyGo

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Low Cost GPS Hidden Behind Poor Documentation, 11 Nov 2014
Many years ago early in the days of domestic GPS systems, I bought an Acer N35 Pocket Chauffer, a pocket PDA with an attached GPS antenna, which along with some software turned the PDA into a hand-held GPS system. It wasn’t totally successful, but the fact that it did anything at all was enough to impress me in those distant formative years.

The DB Power GPS follows a similar approach. The system is a fairly basic 7 inch touch screen tablet which comes preloaded with navigation software and maps. In the box you’ll find a screen suction clamp and clip for windscreen attachment, mains and car power leads with a 2 to three pin adapter and a USB lead.

At switch on the tablet opens with a menu revealing a selection of apps which include music player, picture viewer, flash player, video player, calculator and unit conversion. None of these will set the world on fire, but they do seem to work.
Of particular interest are three apps, The Navigation System, GPSInfo and FM.

GPS info provides satellite reception information. On a single screen it indicates signal strength for up to 12 satellites and your latitude / longitude position (connection to at least three satellites is required for the GPS system to locate its position). The default initial location is Paris, so if that appears on the screen it means you don’t have satellite connection.

The FM App enables you to tune an FM transmitter in the GPS system to the same frequency as your car radio, so the instructions and guidance can be heard over your car stereo system. This is helpful if the internal speaker is not loud enough.

The Navigation app takes you to the route planning and navigation system. Here I’m afraid you are on your own. The supplied user guide says practically nothing about this software, so it’s really a case of having a play.

My first impressions were not good and I contacted the supplier in the hope of instructions on using the GPS software. In their absence I decided to write my own and spent a week or so playing with the system’s features as I discovered them.
The good news is that I came to really like the device, with one significant and one lesser caveat.

What I liked
• The large screen display,

• The provided software is a very capable suite full of features that sadly were initially hidden from me. For example my early impression was that the system did only partial postcode searches. It took a little digging to discover how you enter full postcodes. So it’s good software if you can come to terms with it.

• Good Price

• Comprehensive suite of maps covering all of Europe bundled with the device.

What I didn’t like
• Total lack of documentation for the GPS system. Without this many users may never find some of the software’s features. Indeed they may never really get going with the device.

• The biggest caveat, and it may be a show stopper for some people, is that it is not readily apparent how or even if you can update the maps on the device. This isn’t to say that it’s impossible, and someone may work out how to do it, but it’s certainly not a straightforward feature of the device. Having said that, for many people the update path isn’t new maps, it’s a new device after a couple of years so for them it’s not such an issue.

• Second caveat, the device has no internet connection capability, so there are no live traffic features. At this price level I wasn’t expecting live traffic, though it can be a little galling to see the feature greyed out, when you find yourself needing it! So if for example being directed around queues before you reach them is an important feature for you, then look elsewhere and be prepared to pay rather more.

So despite a shaky start I came to rather like this device. For the money you get a very capable, though not networked, GPS system with a great screen and a huge selection of inbuilt maps. The features are hidden behind a total lack of documentation, but if you can tolerate that you have the makings of a very decent device.

Of course it’s not top of the range, (for top flight live traffic features you need to look elsewhere) but it is great value for money. Personally I enjoyed playing with the device and getting to grips with it and liked being surprised finding out what it could actually do so, given the low price and against my first impressions, it gets five stars from me.


DBPOWER Safety Cut Proof Stab Resistant Stainless Steel Metal Mesh Butcher Glove with Safty and Secure Hand Protection, Used for Food Preparation Lab Safety and Work Environments
DBPOWER Safety Cut Proof Stab Resistant Stainless Steel Metal Mesh Butcher Glove with Safty and Secure Hand Protection, Used for Food Preparation Lab Safety and Work Environments

3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't Meet My Expectations, 11 Nov 2014
Overall I have to say I’m somewhat disappointed with these gloves when compared to their description in the item title. I’ve seen real steel mesh butchers gloves, and these certainly are not like those. They are a woven fabric material of unspecified composition, (the gloves have no labelling at all). The gloves do feel different and kind of tough, but it’s difficult to determine just what that toughness achieves.

Another reviewer mentions using these with thorny garden plants, I’d say they are totally unsuitable for that purpose (and to be fair, the product description doesn’t make this claim). In use I found that thorns and spikes simply find their way through the weave of the material and I had to revert to my thick leather gloves for that job.

I did try them out preparing food and they do offer some protection from knives, though my safety strategy for kitchen knives is to leave them fairly blunt, so any glove would offer some protection. It’s difficult to gauge whether these offer appreciably more.

I was intrigued by the material used as it does look and feel different, perhaps even special, but when I tried to cut the gloves with scissors I had no real problem doing so. The gloves did feel a little cold to the touch so I was almost prepared to believe there was metal there somewhere, but my magnet paid to interest to them. So I concluded that they offered some protection, by virtue of being a layer, rather than a barrier for the knife to cut through before it reaches your flesh.
I tried using them when slicing chicken pieces, but wearing them made the job more difficult and clumsy, getting stained with meat juices and I wasn’t totally convinced that the protection given made the added difficulty worthwhile.

Finally I tried using them with the cheese grater, a favourite way of shaving pieces of knuckle from my fingers. Here at last they came into their own and I could happily press on without fear of accident. I ran my hands up and down against the grater without actually grating any cheese, since I’d already touched chicken whilst wearing the gloves. Of course this raises the issue of care needed in making sure the gloves are properly cleaned between uses.

All in all I find it difficult to recommend these gloves for the average kitchen. Perhaps they may serve a specific purpose in particular circumstances but for me at least, even though I wince at the thought of knuckles on cheese grater, the perceived benefits aren’t enough to outweigh the drawbacks.


Cool-Touch heat & flame resistant oven gloves Wrist Protect Heat Proof Gloves (1 x Pair)
Cool-Touch heat & flame resistant oven gloves Wrist Protect Heat Proof Gloves (1 x Pair)
Offered by HappyGo
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good Heat Protection, 27 Oct 2014
I don't do a vast amount of cooking, but whenever I do I seem to manage to catch my wrist or hand on something hot. I've used various oven gloves from the traditional joined up mitts, through to some exotic shark-mouth like silicone oven gloves. All seem to slip by the wayside and I'm left reverting to a scrunched up tea towel, with varying degrees of success.

The advantage of the tea towel is that there's always one to hand, so no rummaging around to find gloves, the disadvantage is that the tea towel often doesn't give adequate protection and leaves me precariously lifting casserole dishes and the like in fear of burns or their contents ending up on the floor.

The disadvantage of the traditional joined oven mitts is that the joining bit always seems to be catching on something or in the way, and whilst the shark-mouth shaped silicone gloves looked brilliant for ventriloquism, I just couldn't pick up anything whilst wearing them.

So to these ordinary looking standard shaped oven gloves.

The description says heat and flame resistant. I'm not sure of the flame resistant qualities, and didn't feel inclined to try them out, however it was the heat protection that interested me.

They're labelled as being manufactured from cotton with a cotton/polyester mix lining. In use they work pretty well at shielding you from heat. The heat does make it through the material, but the time it takes is more than ample for transferring food from oven to worktop. The cuff is long enough to catch the bit of my wrist that seems prone to touching baking racks, so that's a plus point.

The gloves are well padded which deadens the feel of things your holding, but the fact that they're fingered gloves does make it easier to hold things compared to mitts, though it's tricky picking up a spoon whilst wearing them.

They're not waterproof so you'll need to take care if your thumb dips into the casserole sauce and I can imagine they'll soon become stained with evidence of your culinary creations. I don't know yet how well they wash.

So overall, for heat protection they work well though I can't comment on their flame resistance, and they make it reasonably easy to pick things up, but take care with hot liquids as they will eventually work their way through the fabric to your fingers.

Will they prove indispensable in the kitchen? For some people perhaps, however I suspect that the need to keep taking them on and off, and the fact that they might find themselves at the back of a drawer and not be readily to hand, might find me reverting back to the trusty tea towel in a month's time. Time will tell.

If you're an organised type of person with everything in its place, then these are a simple alternative to traditional oven gloves that you might find very useful.

I received a sample pair for this review.


[USB 3.0 | SATA 6Gbps | Offline Clone] Inateck Dual Two Bays USB 3.0 Hard Drives Docking Station with Offline Clone Function for 2.5 Inch & 3.5 Inch HDD SDD SATA (SATA I/ II/ III) Support UASP/2 x 4TB/6TB, Including USB 3.0 Cable and External Power Supply 12V 3A, Compatible with Windows XP / Vista / 7/8 | Mac OS X 10.4 | Linux
[USB 3.0 | SATA 6Gbps | Offline Clone] Inateck Dual Two Bays USB 3.0 Hard Drives Docking Station with Offline Clone Function for 2.5 Inch & 3.5 Inch HDD SDD SATA (SATA I/ II/ III) Support UASP/2 x 4TB/6TB, Including USB 3.0 Cable and External Power Supply 12V 3A, Compatible with Windows XP / Vista / 7/8 | Mac OS X 10.4 | Linux
Offered by Inateck
Price: £59.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Cloning Drives Made Easy, 27 Oct 2014
Looking a little like a small two slot toaster this is a really useful well designed dual disk docking station that makes the task of attaching, managing and cloning SATA drives a doddle.

In the box as well as the docking station you'll find a 3-pin power supply, USB cabling and a brief but adequate instruction guide - add the HDD(s) or SSD(s) and you've all you need to get going.

At the back of the station there are sockets for power and USB connections plus a small on/off push switch. The two top slots allow for two SATA disk drives, either 2.5" or with the spring loaded flaps folded down 3.5" drives. The packaging includes a transparent cover that it's worth holding onto as it can be used to prevent pens paperclips and other small office items from falling into the top openings when the station isn't in use. This way the docking station can be left in position on your desk wired up and switched on only when needed.

The docking station couldn't be easier to use. Simply plug in the cables, insert the drives, no tools required, and switch on. Within a few moments the drives are recognised and accessible via My Computer. It's really that simple.

What I find particularly useful is the docking station's party trick of cloning drives whilst offline. From time to time, upgrades or disk failures have necessitated transferring data onto the new replacement drives. Previously for me this has always seemed to involve endless faffing around and takes five times longer than I anticipated, and has became a task I'd rather avoid. Now it's simply a process of inserting the old and new drives into the docking station and hitting the clone button. A series of LED's track progress of the cloning operation. Ok it's not a task I perform every day, but it's hardly a task at all now. Just make sure that you attach the drives to clone from Drive A to Drive B and that Drive B is at least as large as Drive A.

So refreshingly, it's a simple device that does a simple job really well without making it unnecessarily complicated. If only everything worked this way.

I received this docking station for review.


OXA® Super Light Silicone Protective Cover Case Kids Shock Proof Case For Apple iPad 2, iPad 3 and ipad 4, 4 Colors available (Black)
OXA® Super Light Silicone Protective Cover Case Kids Shock Proof Case For Apple iPad 2, iPad 3 and ipad 4, 4 Colors available (Black)

5.0 out of 5 stars Useful protection for an iPad on the move., 30 July 2014
This is a well-made and well-designed cover that can provide protection for your iPad from bumps and knocks.

The cover is made from a rubberised silicon material, we have the funky purple colour. It fully encloses the iPad providing a protective layer along the edges and two large shock absorbing buffers at the ends. The material has a nice feel and the bulbous ends fit neatly in the hand to make the iPad feel much more securely held. In this respect it creates a shape a little like the new Lenovo Yoga tablet, giving you something to grab. The cover has all the appropriate cut outs for camera, connections, switches etc. and the iPad can be fully operated with the cover in place.

Though I’m not brave enough, or crazy enough to drop test the iPad, the impression is that the cover would provide a degree of protection that might save it from an otherwise terminal accident. The ease with which the iPad can be held, and the drop protection mean the cover is best suited for use with an iPad that is being carried and used on the move.

The cover is less suited to other situations. It for example has no protection for the screen and therefore is not suited for use protecting the iPad in a schoolbag jostling with other items that might scratch the screen. Additionally there is no provision for a stand, so the iPad cannot be tilted on a desktop for ease of viewing.

However the case is very easy to attach and remove and my daughter, who uses the iPad for school, has been quite happy switching from a wrap-around cover that she uses at school, to this cover that she prefers at home.

So if you use your iPad on the move and want the feeling of holding it more securely, and the possible protection from drops and bumps, this could be very useful. It’s not a jack of all trades. But is well made for what it does do.


OXA® (2nd Gen)Bluetooth Bracelet wireless Wristwatch with Rechargeable Lithium Polymer Battery, Clear OLED Display, Incoming Call Notification, One Touch Call Answer and Music Player after Pairing with Most Smartphones - Black
OXA® (2nd Gen)Bluetooth Bracelet wireless Wristwatch with Rechargeable Lithium Polymer Battery, Clear OLED Display, Incoming Call Notification, One Touch Call Answer and Music Player after Pairing with Most Smartphones - Black

4.0 out of 5 stars Handy Phone Accessory, 30 July 2014
One day a device looking just like this will teleport you around the world, for the moment it connects to your phone via Bluetooth to give you some handy features.

The bracelet is a single piece wrap around design and comes boxed with a proprietary USB power connecting cable for recharging the fixed internal battery. There are just two operating buttons on the side of the bracelet and a display panel which occupies only a small portion of the display area..

In use the bracelet lets you leave your phone safely in a bag whilst you can access some of the phones features, primarily taking calls and listening to music played from the phone.

The bracelet has a microphone and speaker and operates as a kind of handset, allerting you when a text, email or call is received. It lets you complete the call hands-free, but you’ll have to get your phone out of the bag to read texts or emails.

The other useful feature is that the bracelet vibrates to alert you when the phone is going out of Bluetooth range. As I’m prone to leaving my phone wherever I go, this is personally a very useful feature for me.

The internal battery promises 72 hours of use, but this will depend on how you use it. In any event you need to develop the habit of recharging the bracelet alongside your phone.

I don’t think of myself having large wrists, but I found the bracelet uncomfortably tight to wear for extended periods. This and the styling give the impression of this being better suited to women rather than men. As with most displays the small screen is best viewed indoors and impossible to view in bright light and the sound quality is acceptable rather than spectacular.

In summary the bracelet won’t fit everyone’s taste or wrists, but for some people the ability to take calls whilst keeping their phone safe using a fashionable bracelet accessory will make this an attractive gift item.


OXA® 10000mAh Power Bank USB External Battery Backup Pack Charger Dual 5V 1A/2A USB Output High Capacity Portable Battery Charger with Digital Screen and LED Flashlight for Apple iPhone 5S/5C/5 iPad mini 2/1 iPad 5/4 iPhone 4S iPad 3/2/1 iPod Samsung Galaxy S4 S3 Ace Note 3/2 HTC One Sensation Desire C S X Wildfire S Google Nexus 7 Nexus 10 Nokia Lumia 920 800 900 N8 Motorola Razr LG Optimus Blackberry Z10 Sony Xperia Z Amazon Kindle Fire, HD, DX and other Tablets, Notebooks, Laptops and Most USB Powered Devices
OXA® 10000mAh Power Bank USB External Battery Backup Pack Charger Dual 5V 1A/2A USB Output High Capacity Portable Battery Charger with Digital Screen and LED Flashlight for Apple iPhone 5S/5C/5 iPad mini 2/1 iPad 5/4 iPhone 4S iPad 3/2/1 iPod Samsung Galaxy S4 S3 Ace Note 3/2 HTC One Sensation Desire C S X Wildfire S Google Nexus 7 Nexus 10 Nokia Lumia 920 800 900 N8 Motorola Razr LG Optimus Blackberry Z10 Sony Xperia Z Amazon Kindle Fire, HD, DX and other Tablets, Notebooks, Laptops and Most USB Powered Devices
Offered by DBPOWER
Price: £39.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gadget that will get lots of use., 30 July 2014
USB connections have crept into our lives, not just for connecting peripherals to our PC, but much more often as a convenient power source for portable devices, from mobile phones, to MP3 players, torches to tablets. In the past I’d bought spare phone batteries in the vain hope that I’d remember to charge and pack them before a long week-end away. Inevitably I’d forget until too late. Sure you still have to remember to charge this battery pack, but once you do, you can power or recharge any of the gadgets you’ve stowed in your bag, two at a time.

The pack has a micro-USB input socket and two standard USB output sockets. It comes with a USB to micro-USB lead which can be used either to charge the pack or to recharge devices from the pack. The pack is charged from any PC USB socket or a standard wall charger. The charger isn’t included, but you’ll probably already have several of these around your house already.

There’s a neat blue display panel with indicators to inform you of which input/output ports are connected, and the level of charge held by the pack, displayed as a percentage.

Of course charge and discharge times will depend on what you connect it to. In my experience it charges fully in around 4-5 hours and appears to hold the charge well. A full charge can recharge my mobile phone several times over. However rather than fully recharging my phone, I make calls with the pack attached and can then save the remaining charge for whichever other devices might need it.

The pack feels robust and well made, and comes with a draw-string pouch which protects it and means you can carry it in a bag with other items without fear they’ll damage each other. There’s a handy emergency torch built in that is activated by two quick presses on the power button, that also might prove useful.

Overall it feels good and performs well, and for once seems to be a gadget that’s going to get lots of use.


(2 Million Pixels Cmos,8.5MM diameter,5M USB Ipx67 Waterproof Camera) DB POWER® 5m USB Waterproof Hd 6-led Borescope Endoscope Inspection Tube Visual Camera (5M (8.5mm))
(2 Million Pixels Cmos,8.5MM diameter,5M USB Ipx67 Waterproof Camera) DB POWER® 5m USB Waterproof Hd 6-led Borescope Endoscope Inspection Tube Visual Camera (5M (8.5mm))
Offered by HappyGo
Price: £39.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun to use and perhaps sometimes indispensable, 2 July 2014
Having your own endoscope, seems kind of space age, or is it that I’m easily impressed? Before we get carried away, this isn’t quite the device that you’ll encounter the doctor using to explore your internals. A key difference is that this is a camera, but doesn’t have the articulation capability that a medical device has. So you can’t steer it or direct it around corners, it kind of goes where it chooses, though you can try your best to push it where you’d like it to be.

In some situations this isn’t such a problem, a small bore pipe for example, or peering round the back of the oil filter in your car engine, but if you want to guide it past obstacles in the void between the upstairs floor and downstairs ceiling, it’ll require lots of luck or something more ingenious, such as towing it using a cord you’ve previously managed to route where you want to look.

Ok but with this obvious limitation, this is a real endoscope, taking you to places previously out of view.

The supplied camera measures around 5 x 1 cm (2.25 x 0.4 inches) and has an attached cable of around 5 m (16 feet) which I think is around the upper limit for USB cable length. (You may be able to extend this using a power hub, but I’d check this if it’s a concern).

The camera is surrounded by five LEDs to light up the darkness. The brightness is controlled by a thumbwheel on the USB connector and the supplied software lets you take still and video pictures.

It’s all pretty straightforward, which is good because the instructions are very brief. Run the executable file Smart Camera.exe, plug in the camera and its up and running straight away.

The camera claims to be IP67 rated which means it’s totally protected from dust and protected from water up to a depth of 1 metre.

Unless it’s key for your work or hobby, it’s probably not the sort of device that you’re going to use every day, but from time to time it’ll come in very handy and might be indispensable. So far I’ve used it to examine gear mechanisms on my bike, peering into inaccessible areas of an engine and checking a drain block. All of these I’ve managed before without an endoscope, but in each situation the camera helped, though it has meant taking my laptop into more hostile environments than it had been used to.

In summary, the camera works and produces acceptable if not stunning results. On occasion it might save you a lot of work. For example helping you identify a problem without having to dismantle things to get in there to check. Plus you’ll probably find lots of other occasions where it’s not really necessary to use the camera, but more fun if you do.

I received this camera free to try out


(30 Meters Waterproof Depth Sport Action Camera)DB POWER@1.5 "LCD Panel Full HD Waterproof Sport Action Camera Diving DVR DV with 12 Million High-Definition Wide-Angle lens, Ultra High Definition Display, Plug-in Rrecording Function and HDMI HD Output for Extreme Sports, Outdoor Sports Activities, Bicycle, Car DVR, Scuba Diving, Home Security etc. (Silver)
(30 Meters Waterproof Depth Sport Action Camera)DB POWER@1.5 "LCD Panel Full HD Waterproof Sport Action Camera Diving DVR DV with 12 Million High-Definition Wide-Angle lens, Ultra High Definition Display, Plug-in Rrecording Function and HDMI HD Output for Extreme Sports, Outdoor Sports Activities, Bicycle, Car DVR, Scuba Diving, Home Security etc. (Silver)
Offered by HappyGo
Price: £128.56

5.0 out of 5 stars Great as a cycle mounted camera, 2 July 2014
This action camera won’t suit every need, but put to the right use it is very good.

Sports cameras seem to fall into two camps. There are the small cylindrical cameras designed for minimum size, and those that are miniature versions of standard style cameras.

The advantage of the former is that they are tiny and discrete but their main compromise is the loss of an LED screen. The problem here is that the screen doesn’t just allow playback and framing of pictures, it also makes the operation of the camera so much easier. With the screen-less cameras I’d often find recordings of the inside of my pocket, whilst the camera was in standby during my best action moments.

This camera is small but not tiny. It has a screen (around 3.5cm, 1.3 inch diagonal) and most definitely looks like a camera, albeit a small one. The main disadvantage is that it is not discreet, particularly when in its waterproof case and wherever you use it people will notice it, and will recognise it as a camera. That having been said, it is small, measuring around 6 x 4 x 2 cm. (2.25 x 1.5 x 1 inches). The waterproof case adds around 1.5 cm (0.5 inches) to these dimensions.

So if you’re looking for a discreet camera to blend in and record unseen, I don’t recommend this. If however that’s not a big issue for you, then there’s much to like about this camera.

Unpacking the camera kit has 3 main parts.
1. The camera, which for anyone who has operated a digital camera is a breeze to use. It has 4 control buttons the operation of which I found totally intuitive. There are 4 modes, still pictures, video, playback and settings. Again all simple to navigate and operate. Switch on and there’s a large ‘Welcome’ displayed, switch of and a large ‘Bye-Bye’. I found this a joy when you’re used to trying to see the flash of a minute led in bright sunlight.

The setting option is very comprehensive with over 30 menu options including motion detection, face detection, anti-shaking etc. The instruction booklet doesn’t describe any of these so a degree of experimentation is required. (Do many people read instruction books anyway?)

I use the camera mainly for cycling and I love the wide angle of the lens which seems well suited to the task. I’ve only used it in reasonable daylight, and back lanes enclosed by trees, and experienced no problems with exposure. The video is of good quality and I was able to take shots inside the house using the wide angle that I’d never managed with my regular camera.

2. Weatherproofing is provided by a clear plastic case into which the camera is a snug fit. Weatherproofing is crucial on my bike so to test the enclosure I packed it with tissue paper and then submerged it for 14 hours in a pan of water. It’s not an exhaustive test by any means, but happily there was no sign of ingress of moisture, so it seems to do the job. The case has buttons for each of the camera controls and I found the springs on these quite strong meaning you have to make a definite effort to depress them. It prevents accidental use, though some people might find this a problem. Overall the case works very well.

3. The camera kit comes with what has to be described as a comprehensive mounting system of brackets, belts, clips, sticky pads, plastic ties and even a metal cable/lanyard, though I’ve yet to identify the use for this last item. The instructions provide example guidance for mounting the camera on handlebars and cycling helmet. Personally I’d never dream of mounting it on a helmet unless I also had a BBC Outside Broadcast T-shirt to wear. The camera is just too obvious. Even on the handlebars it will be noticed, so saying hello as you ride by may spread the fear of YouTube videos for some people.

The problem for all cameras mounted on a cycle is that the camera will be shaken about and mounting the camera on an arm, however short, is rather like mounting it on the end of a school ruler twanged against a school desk. On my first ride I was horrified by how much the camera was moving. Also on a couple of occasions despite tightening the clamps as much as I could, they wilted leaving the camera pointing at the ground. The good news is that on playback on my PC, the video was much more watchable than I feared. I’d expected a totally blurred image, but found it was pretty clear with the main impact being a kind of vertical ripple effect, as if the picture was being squeezed and stretched vertically. A little distracting, but definitely watchable.

To cure the wilting problem I used some coarse sandpaper to roughen the smooth mating surfaces of the brackets – no more wilting and a slight lessening of the ripple effect. I recommend doing this, though I’m not sure how this affects warranties.

I plan to experiment with mounting the camera directly to the head-tube of the bike frame, though the problem will be how to make it easy to release from the bike. If I manage it I’ll add to this post.

One last point about recording, the camera records sound, though mounted to the bike all you hear is the rumble of the bike, rather like the sound of having your ear pressed up to the frame, which is what the camera is doing I guess. I heard neither my mutterings and exertions nor any other outside sounds.

The battery life claimed is around 1 hour which doesn't seem long. There are two options to extend this. The camera rechargeable battery is removable, so it may be possible to carry spares. A better option would be to carry a USB power pack to recharge the camera. The camera seems quite happy operating whilst connected to a power pack, so this can be used to extend continuous filming time, the only problem is that the waterproof case can't be used with the USB cable connected. However the attachment pack does have a holder suitable for the camera without waterproof case.

The instruction manual mentions including a charger, mine came without this, which is no great loss as my house is already full of USB style chargers. In its place came a spare door and seal for the waterproof case which I’m sure will prove more useful.

In summary - If you’re looking for a helmet mounted camera, or a discrete camera that will go largely unseen, then steer well clear. That’s not what this camera sets out to be. It’s small, but obviously a camera and will be seen. That said, it takes great pictures and video and the case does a great job of protecting the camera from the elements.

The mounting kit is very comprehensive and though it may take time to work out the best combination of items to use, gives opportunities for all sorts of mounting options. As a cyclist, helmet mounting this camera isn’t a viable option for me, but mounted on the handlebars the video is surprisingly good and satisfies my needs perfectly well. So if you’re a cyclist look elsewhere for a helmet camera, but if you’re after a bike mounted camera, with lots of other mounting options, then this is a pretty good choice.

I received this camera free to try out.


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