Category Archives: Technology

Ozeri Savore Electric Pepper Grinder review

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When I received my Ozeri Savore Electric Pepper Grinder I was not sure what to expect as I have never owned an electric pepper grinder before so I was not sure how good they were.
The grinder came packaged in a sturdy cardboard box ensuring it wouldn’t get damaged in transit.

Once opened I was greeted by a black, stylish and smooth feeling device. Kind of like a plastic / rubber type of feel to it. Straight away I could tell this is very grippy and unless I was on a day where I was being clumsy, I wouldn’t be dropping this. In the description on the box is states that it has an ultra soft grip. I would not say this is correct. It is certainly not what I would call soft grip in any capacity. It does have a nice feel to it, theres no denying that but not soft. I would say its smooth and hard to touch.

The grinder is about 6 inches tall with a polished chrome button on the top. Towards the bottom of the grinder there is a clear window to see the pepper so you can instantly tell if it needs refilling or not. Underneath the window is a 3 position slider switch to give you the ability to adjust the size of the grind. You can go from very fine grind where is nearly like powder up to big chunky pieces if you so wish.

The grinder comes with a durable ceramic grinder so should last a long time before wearing out. It runs on 6 ( yes 6 ) AAA batteries which are not included so you will have to buy these yourself. So far, at the time of this review, I cannot say how long those batteries will last but considering it takes 6 of them and you only grind for a couple of seconds at a time, I would imagine they will last a while. One neat feature I like is that it has a finger-print resistant coating. Theres nothing worse that a nice stylish designed device that as soon as you use it gets finger-prints on it.

Opening the grinder to fill it or put batteries in is easy. Just hold the top section and the bottom section and twist. There is an arrow on the top section to align with the padlock icons on the window.

One thing I did notice about this grinder is that the slider can be a little stiff to move. I am assuming this is maybes because of the mechanism may be stopped by a peppercorn rather than a fault but I am not sure.

This grinder can be used for both pepper and salt, so having one of each would be a really nice addition to the dining table.

All in all, I have to say that for my first ever electric grinder, I love this. Being a man, I love, love, love gadgets and having one for the dining table is great. Its such a great machine.

Avantree Sacool Pro Bluetooth headphones review

These are a great set of headphones with serious bass and volume

Avantree Sacool Pro Bluetooth Headphones review and discount code

Avantree logo

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When my Avantree Sacool Pro noise isolating headphones arrived I was surprised at how small and slim the packaging was. I was expecting a larger box for some reason. That was a pleasant surprise.

On unboxing I found A nice little black sturdy carry case with the Avantree name embossed on it, the cool looking red and black Sacool Pro Bluetooth headphones,mini USB cable, spare buds, instructions and the normal Avantree advertising for some of their other products, and their warranty / support card.

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Being a man, I jumped straight in without even reading any of the instructions of reviews.
having already used a pair of Jaybird Freedom headphones in the past I already knew how to pair these. Simply hold the power button for several seconds and the little LED on the headset flashes blue / red. I love the fact they auto pair. No need for pairing codes.

I love my music loud. I cranked up my normal 80’s stuff on my Galaxy Note 3. Wow, was I in for a shock. Compared to all the other headphones I have used, which include Bose, Beats, Jaybirds, as well as stock Samsung or Apple ones, these have such a deep bass to them. It took a bit for me to get used to that much bass. I love a nice deep bass tone to my songs and to be able to hear the bass guitars but sometimes, on some songs, it would be nice to be able to reduce the bass a bit, so I ended up using Poweramp which has a built in equaliser. Saying that though, most songs I listen to these Sacool Pro’s have a lovely sound. One thing I will say I have noticed is the middle tones seem to be less. These have nice bass and treble but the middle needs a bit more to it, but its only a bit, in my opinion. Some people may prefer it like that. Another thing I have notice is how loud these get. I mean LOUD!! So loud that the were distorting the songs a bit. Thankfully that was just for the test as it was at a volume I would not listen to normally. Mind you, listening to Simple Mind’s Don’t You Forget About Me was fun. Hearing the bass drum nearly throbbing my head as did the bass line on Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke.
I got my wife to test them out, while we were in the garden today and I could not hear a thing from the headset, even though her head was bobbing away to the beat. Non of that annoying over bleeding of the treble that you hear when you sit to someone on the bus or train.
The design of these headphones is really nice. They are so light, only 18g. Some headphones hurt after a while, but I have not had that problem with these. While I am doing stuff on my laptop I have my Sacool Pro’s paired with my laptop and have my 80’s music blasting though them. I could be on the laptop for a few hours easy but there is no irritation from the headphone. No achy ears. In fact, just today, I had been working in the garden with them on, and after finishing off and coming back indoors, I could not find them. I went back out and checked the garden and the shed with no luck. I did eventually find them. They were still hanging round my neck from where I left them ( so I didn’t lose them ) when I took them off. They are so light I didn’t even notice them there.
They are a nice design Black with a red border and red buttons and wire. Very stylish.

Capabilities

The Avantree Sacool Pro incorporates Bluetooth 4.0, which from what I can gather uses less energy so should not eat your battery like some bluetooth devices do. This means listening to music you can get up to 8 hours, and talk time you can get up to 8.5 hours. In my opinion thats really good for headphones such as these. Ive had some bluetooth audio devices in the past that died after a few hours.
They also support aptX® to compress the audio data stream between the headset and the phone. aptX® significantly reduces the bit rate without affecting audio quality or introducing latency issues. So, with aptX® you can enjoy pure wireless CD-like quality sound whenever and wherever you choose.

You can connect 2 phones to these at the same time. For headphones, I do not see the reason for this unless theres something I am missing. Surely you would only listen to music on your own device or on one device at a time.
They also come with voice prompts. They tell you when you are powering up or off, when you are connected, or disconnected, and when you are pairing. These are the first headphones I have ever known to do this. This sort of thing is becoming a regular feature in a lot of Avantree products such as some of their car kits.

I tested the voice dialling facility of these and it worked perfectly first time. No problems at all.

The Sacool Pro’s will connect to ALL your mobile phones and tablets, and will connect to a Mac ( I am doing that now as I type ). I do not have a Windows pc to test these on but as long as you have a bluetooth adaptor, I would assume it would be fine.
The are a very secure fit and should have no problem staying in place if you are jogging or working out at the gym or doing aerobics as the wire loops over and behind your ears then behind your head.

The cost of these is amazing for what you get. You are getting a really fine pair of bluetooth headphones for only $49.99 ( 33.51 ukp ) at todays rates. My Jaybirds were 3 times that but perform no better that the Sacool Pro’s.

A little bit about Avantree. They are committed to environmental stewardship. Whenever possible, they use recycled and/or naturally bio-degradable materials for packaging and boxing. In manufacturing their products, they adhere strictly to RoHS standards which were enacted to eliminate the use of hazardous substances during production. That has got to be a massive thumbs up for Avantree. Being environmentally aware and doing what they can to help the environment is a huge thing.

Cons

The only thing I can think of for a con is the lack of or reduced middle in the sound. Apart from that theres nothing That I can say bad about these. I love them.

Pros

Where do I start??????

The style, the sound ( bass and treble anyway ), the volume, the comfort, the weight, and definitely the price.

Check them out at the Avantree website here

I have to say apart from the slight lack of middle on these, I love them. They will definitely be one of my go to sets.

Avantree have kindly provided me with a 10% discount code to give to you guys. This is only for the Sacool Pro headphones and will not work on other items. To use the code, please go to the Avantree website and place an order and enter the following discount code 10steAS8PMSA9V27Y40

CD rewritable drive Review from BangGood

A review of a cheap generic solution to a rewritable cd drive.

GoPro 3 Way 3 in 1 Mount review

Avantree Joytune Bluetooth Handsfree Car Kit with FM Transmitter review

This is an honest review of my experience with the Joytune. I have not been paid for this review.

 

Avantree logo

Avantree Joytune Bluetooth Handsfree Car Kit with FM Transmitter

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This week I received my Avantree Joytune Bluetooth Handsfree Car Kit with FM Transmitter to review.

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It comes complete with the Joytune unit itself, a car adapter, a charge cable to charge from your pc / laptop, and the sun visor clip for the back of the Joytune, along with a 12 month warranty card, quick starter guide, a user manual, and a card from Avantree advertising other products.

After fully charging and powering up the Joytune for the first time I put it into pairing mode by holding down the main button on the device, I was greeted by a rather stern emotionless female voice ( like some sort of dominatrix ) giving me instructions on how to perform the task. Once this is done, it then gives the option on your phones screen to give access to your phone book so that it can identify who’s calling when a call comes in and I assume for voice dialling. Once that was done, off to the car we went to test it on the road.

In the car I clipped the Joytune to my sun visor. I was surprised at how flat it sits given that the clip on the read seemed to stick out quite a bit. I was expecting the visor to be pushed out a bit when in the folded back position.

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As normal when I get a new device I can use to interact with people, I called my best friend to check the call quality. Firstly I tried a call with the sound coming directly through the Joytune. Unlike other car kits I have tested, this pushed the voice through immediately rather than having a 30 second period at the beginning of the call where the other person could not hear anything. Immediately my friend heard me. The call quality was good, even when going along a noisy, bumpy road. The call did not fade out or break up at all. The call was ended easily just by pressing the main button on the unit.

After parking the car up, I paired the Joytune with my car stereo. This is where you may have to have a bit of patience. Not because of anything to do with the Joytune itself but find a channel with the least amount of background hiss or crackle. To connect to your car stereo, just make sure the stereo is on ( obviously ) and press and hold the ‘FM’ button on the side of the Joytune until it gives you the sexy, stern voice telling you its connecting to the FM radio. It tells you what FM channel to tune to. This is where you may need to press the ‘FM’ button a few or several times to retune to different channels until you find one you are happy with. Unfortunately, you are in the hand of the gods ( or rather the dominatrix woman inside the Joytune ) for the channels. If you decide the previous one was better, as far as I am aware you cannot go back to it. Its just whatever random channel the Joytune tells you to pick.

Once tuned in, I decided to try out the music playing side of this product. I sat and selected random songs from my collection. ( all 80’s music as I am a complete 80’s nut ). Every single song I picked came through like cd quality. The only downside was even with my phones volume turned up full, I still had to crank up the car stereos volume quite a bit to get decent volume. I didn’t adjust the Joytune volume as that would make any call coming though too loud, so I just left it. But sound quality itself was spot on. I tried making a call while playing a song and it cut the music off while the call was in progress then resumed again after the call ended.

One thing I forgot about with the Joytune and made me laugh is when I had left the car to got to a shop, came back, and the moment I got in my dominatrix friend shouted at me that I was once again connected to her. This happens automatically. It detects when you get in the car as long as your bluetooth is activated on your phone. How much drain on the Joytune’s battery this has I have yet to discover, but its a good feature. On other car kits I have used in the past I have had to manually connect to it, or double check its connected, which all takes time when all you want to do is get going. The Joytune does that for you and notifies you. Less hassle has got to be a good thing.

For those people who are curious or just a bit geeky in general about these things, here are the specs for the Joytune.

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Up till now, I have had no problems at all with the Joytune and already I think this is the best car kit I have ever used. Believe me, when it comes to gadgets, it takes a lot for me to say that. I am very picky about some stuff.

PRO’s

1: No cables across my dashboard. Thats one thing that after a while irritated me about another car kit transmitter I had, was that to play through the car stereo I had to plug it directly into the AUX socket. I have enough cables already due to sat nav’s and mobile phone charge cables etc. I don’t need any more.

2: It sits nice and flat on my sun visor and also allows the visor to still open up properly. A cheaper car kit I had prevented the visor from opening up fully due to its size so when it was sunny I couldn’t really use the visor, or I had to relocate the car kit and risk poor sound quality on calls.

3: Good sturdy build. This product is well made and feels like it will last a good long time.

 

CON”S

None at all apart from the suggestions below.

A couple of things I would like to see incorporated into the Joytune for future versions is a solar panal ( such as what is on the Avantree Sunday car kit ) so it can be getting charged whenever it is daylight and you have no worries about the battery running out and also the option to change voices for the prompts and not just the language.

Sureflap Pet Door review.

This is my review of the Sureflap Pet Door after a weeks usage. This is not a paid review. We bought the Pet Door ourselves.

After a week of our cats having to come to terms with us not being at their beck and call and having to get up and open the window every five minutes to let them in or out and wasting valuable heat in this cold weather, they are eventually getting used to the new addition to our their house. Last week, if you read my previous post, you will know I installed a Sureflap pet door. Not the easiest job in the world, cutting a gaping hole in a UPVC door and making sure its the right size and shape, but I more or less got it done. It still need adjusting and straightening up a touch, but its in and its solid.

The Sureflap Pet door is a cat flap that is locked at a pre designated time ( cerfew mode ) so that the cats are locked in at night and allowed out during the day, subject to other lock modes we may have to use for different reasons. The flap locks are unlocked by detecting the cats microchip, which you register with the flap right at the start. So any cat thats not chipped or registered with the flap cannot open the cat flap and cause chaos in the house.

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Anyway, we have three cats. Molly, the oldest, Costa, the middle one and Franklin the youngster of the three. Molly and Frankin both took to the door within a day or so. Getting used to the loud click that it produces when the locks lock or unlock. Costa though, being the sensitive soul he is, took a bit longer. Its took him about 4 or 5 days to get the courage up to use it without us holding it open for him. We even had to activate a custom mode on the flap so that the locks stayed open during the day. He still needs a bit of coaxing from time to time to go through but we just ignore them now and they come and go as they like throughout the day. The cats definitely seem a lot happier in my opinion. Having all this freedom all of a sudden. Its funny at 5.45 am seeing them sitting there waiting for the locks to click open at the end of the nights cerfew so they can get out and patrol their patch.

The Sure flap pet door, which is the top of the range flap they sell is quite expensive, retailing at around 119.00 ukp ( might find it slightly cheaper elsewhere if you shop around.) direct from Sureflap themselves at Sureflap. We got ours at a better price at 99.85 from Petsupermarket.co.uk
They offer a 15% off your very first order as well, which saves you even more money. We received the Pet door within 2 days. It was a nice easy transaction.

With regards to Sureflap themselves. Yes their direct price is more expensive but one place they do stand out is with their customer service. I have emailed them with questions and even spoken to them on the phone and they are so polite and professional and try everything they can to rectify your query. So a massive thumbs up to Sureflap. I wish more companies were as courteous and easy to deal with as Sureflap.

Like I mentioned earlier, the do sell other cheaper flaps which may suit your needs, but we wanted the automatic cerfew mode locks.

They also sell automatic microchip controlled food bowls as well so each cat can have their own food without the other cats or dogs pinching it. Basically when the registered cat walks up, the see through lid opens up allowing the cat to have access to his food. When they walk away, it closes again stopping the other pets from pinching their food.
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Another great idea but not one I can afford yet, especially as they are selling for 99.99 ukp each. So for me it would be a few pence short of 300.00 ukp just for food bowls. Its a shame.

All in all, great products if you can find a decent price and definitely fantastic customer service.

Sureflap Pet Door

We have recently decided to invest in a Cat flap after one of our cats has started not coming back until it’s too late and she ends up locked out all day while we are out. After doing loads of research of different makes and features, I always ended up back at the Sureflap website. It was then a case of which model. I read all the reviews and watched every video I could find about Sureflap product and ended up deciding to go for the Pet Door.
I shopped around until I found the cheapest I could find, which was on the petsupermarket.com website. It arrived just a few days later.
I had already watched a video on how to install the Pet Door into the same type of door as mine, so I purchased a handsaw to go with the other tools I had, and the next day I set about installing the flap.
This is where it stated getting bad. The video I watched showed a man cutting a Georgian style UPVC door and installing the same cat flap as I have. He seemed to make it look a lot easier. Whether it was all down to editing the video and cutting out all his swearing or he is a master tradesman, I don’t know but what a complete b***h it is to cut through the door and decorative trims.

All the bending down and twisting and vigorous sawing left me in a lot of pain. I needed a really relaxing bath after that.

The annoying thing is, is that it still isn’t finished. The flap is in and screwed in but still need removing again and adjusting as it’s a bit lop sided. Also once I eventually get it sorted, I will probably squeeze some sealant around the edges to help keep the rain out of the door.

I will do another post about how the 3 cats of ours have taken to this new personal door of theirs.

Avantree Cara II, Bluetooth 4.0 aptX handsfree car kit/speakerphone review

Avantree Cara II, Bluetooth 4.0 aptX handsfree car kit/speakerphone

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Having used the Avantree Cara II, Bluetooth 4.0 aptX handsfree car kit/speakerphone for a week now in the car, and using it several times everyday I have found it a total good replacement for my old car kit which was clipped to my sun visor and always got in the way.

The Cara II is a cool, sleek looking little device that will look great on any dashboard. Its simple to fit. It literally only took seconds. Just decide where in the car you want to place it. You will need to have it somewhere close to the car stereo to be able to plug the aux jack into it. Made sure the desired area is clean, dust and grease free. On the magnetic mount peel off the sticky back and firmly press it onto the place you selected. Thats all there is to it. The only other thing is to plug the jack plug into the Cara II and the other end into the aux jack of your car stereo.
One thats done, select aux on the set and when you get a call, the sound comes through your car speakers. This being said, its also one of the annoying things to me as I cannot play the car radio channels at the same time. If the stereo is selected to play radio, I found it turns off the speaker on the Cara II.

Although I have not tried this feature, the Cara II does come with the ability to voice dial ( if its enabled on your phone first ).
The Cara II comes with the ability to have two phones connected at the same time to it, which is really handy if your on a car journey with someone else. This is a neat idea I have not seen on any other handsfree kit before.

One thing that confused my a bit was the two velcro disks stuck together in the pack. Unless I totally missed it, I could not see any mention of these in the enclosed instructions. The only disk shaped thing thats mentioned in the instructions was the magnetic mount, but not the velcro disks.

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After a week of using this in the car I’m more or less happy with it. It looks great, but the cable, gets in the way. When it works correctly, its really good, with good sound and from what I’m told most of the time, by my callers, really good quality at their callers end as well. There is a problem I have had with my Cara II, that bugs me a bit. There have been quite a few times where the Cara II announces that my phone is connected but when I get a call, the people say I sound distant, as if, the speech is going through the mic on the phone rather than the Cara II. Sometimes it does not transfer the audio to the Cara II to go through the car speakers, but stays on the phone ( on Samsungs ) automatically, when a call comes through so I don’t get the sound of the caller, rather I get a very distant voice from my phone trying to be heard until I realise what is happening.
It has been reported by a couple of people Ive rang from the car using the Cara II that it takes sometimes up to 30 seconds for my speech to start going through the Cara. From the call connecting to Cara working fully, speech seems to be picked up very quietly, a bit like its going through the mobile phone mic. Hopefully they will get that sorted for future updates of this device.

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One thing I would suggest is looked at for future updates of this device is the LED light. If the Cara is not directly in front of you at a perfect angle ( which it wouldn’t be if you’re driving, then you cannot see the LED to make sure its still switched on. The light is tiny.
Another thing I would suggest is including some additional magnetic mounts so that they can placed in extra places in case you need to move the Cara or in a second car.

Despite the couple of MINOR niggles with the device, after a couple of weeks using it now, I am still really pleased to have this in my car. Its a good looking small device that does not look out of place ( apart from the cable ) and when its connected on the call fully, gives a good clear call quality, and the the music transfer from the mobile to the car stereos just tops it off nicely.

My new Fitbit has arrived

Today I received my new Fitbit Charge in the post.

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I’ve been considering buying this for a while now. I decided to get this rather than the yet to be released Charge HR as this was on a special offer ( 25 pound off)  and also,  I don’t really need the heart rate monitor that’s on the HR,  as I don’t do anything that is even close to cardiovascular,  or running etc.  So hence,  I just went for the basic Charge. It seems nice.  I’ll do a review once I have had a chance to use it properly.