Fidgetting Investigated (Spinwise & Cubewise)

Just when you thought tech was hitting peak techitude, with near-supercomputers modestly called “smartphones” fitting into your shirt pocket, along comes—the fidget spinner! No processor, no RAM, no Bluetooth. We’re back to the basics of ball-bearings, and that’s it. The origin of the fidget spinner is a sweet-sour fairytale (see below). A related device, climbing on the shoulders of the fidget spinner’s success, has a comparable roller-coaster history. This is the Fidget Cube, a device … Now read on…

Getting Tough with the CF-33 Toughbook part 2

During the past several weeks with Panasonic’s Toughbook I’ve been waiting for a rainstorm. The plan was to include a photo of both of us out in the garden plugging away at this article and getting drenched. The rainstorm hasn’t come. So instead I faked a pretty fair equivalent with a garden hose (see picture below). I hadn’t had permission from Panasonic to do this, but earlier this year I’d visited the factory in Kobe, Japan, … Now read on…

Getting Tough with the CF-33 Toughbook part 1

While I was debating the acquisition of a MacBook Air back in 2013 my wife encouraged me with the unforgettable phrase: “Go on, it’ll see you out.” I’m 76. She might be right.  But I feel I might have a chance of winning the race. Although the Air continues to function, three and a bit years in it’s already beginning to show its age. The embedded battery, not user-changeable, is almost defunct and the keyboard … Now read on…

Exploring the Optoma Projection Mapper App

I can’t say it’s high on my list of life-essentials, but projection mapping is certainly a lot of fun. And done right, can be stunning. You may have seen it at exhibitions or concerts. Instead of projecting a coherent picture onto a flat surface, as you do when watching a movie or giving a slide show, the output is directed at a target of three-dimensional shapes, painting each shape individually. The shapes can be a collection … Now read on…

Wileyfox Swift_2, 2+ and 2X Part 3

When the Swift_2 range launched late last year, the improvement over the original Swifts was immediately evident from the slim metal casing and the fingerprint reader on the back. The central processor was now bumped up from quad-core to octa-core, making it over half as fast again according to our benchmark tests. Bumped up, too, was the price. These new Swifts started in the mid-£100s, pushing above £200 with the top of the range Swift_2X … Now read on…

Wileyfox Swift_2, 2+ and 2X Part 1

Wileyfox launched this second generation of Swift phones towards the end of last year. You may be wondering why it has taken Tested Technology five months to get round to reviewing them. We haven’t been sitting on our hands. The hands have definitely remained in the ON position. Regular readers will know that we don’t rush to be first with the news, and we take the “Tested” part of our name very seriously indeed. The … Now read on…

Wileyfox Swift 2, 2+ and 2X Part 2

Tested Technology complemented Wileyfox hugely on its initial choice of the Cyanogen operating system. And we don’t take that back, even now that Cyanogen Inc, the operating system provider, has gone to join the Norwegian Blues (the name might have been a clue—it means “Blue Maker”, and also happens to signify a class of poisons). When Wileyfox launched its first phones nearly two years ago, Cyanogen was an improvement on stock Android, and a clear … Now read on…

QNAP TS-451 NAS Server Part 6

Since part 1, this TS-451 epic has been classified as Storage and Multimedia. But our discussion of  the multimedia side of things has so far been restricted to feeding music, pictures and movies down the LAN into a variety of multimedia clients. Essentially that’s still Storage. But the TS-451 truly is a multimedia device. Even without a LAN, this box can sit in your living room wired HDMI-wise into your TV or (better still) projector … Now read on…

Blink Security Camera System

Home security camera system? Not for me. Yes, there’s been the odd break-in on our street, but who wants to add a whole new wiring system throughout the house, with ugly cameras ruining the decor, to say nothing of the cost. And don’t you have to pay some sort of annual subscription? Actually, no, you don’t. You can completely forget about the wires too. And those ugly security cameras have shrunk to discreet white boxes … Now read on…

Philips 258B6QUEB USB C Monitor

We tend to take them for granted, even though we spend a lot of our working day and (at least in my case) playing time in front of them. Monitors matter. It’s easy to think that now we’ve assigned the cathode ray tube to the dustbin of history, all those old stories of damage to health have been put to rest. Experts assure us there’s no convincing scientific evidence that today’s flat screens are intrinsically … Now read on…