Buffalo WHR-1166D review – a budget dual-band WiFi ac router

whr-1166dhp_f1_1000x1000

I was looking for a cheap router to add better wireless coverage in the living room, as my existing modem/router is on the far side of the house, in one of the bedrooms. One router I considered was the Buffalo WHR-1166D, which Ebuyer have very graciously sent me to review.

The WHR-1166D is so-named because it promises maximum speeds of 866 Mbps on the 5GHz band, while also transferring up to 300 Mbps on the 2.4GHz band; 1166 Mbps in total. In this review, I’ll be testing that claim with real-world benchmarks. Let’s get started!

Continue reading

Innergie PocketCell review – portable battery for smartphones and tablets

Running out of battery sucks. That low battery warning is like a shambolic friend, always stumbling in at the worst possible moment to make things all about him. Trying to find your hotel? He’s there. Want to finish that movie? He’s there. On an important call? Oh yeah, he’s there too. Just dealing with him is bad enough, but you even start changing your plans to work around him, turning down stuff you’d enjoy because it’d upset him. Thankfully, there’s a way to pacify him – the Innergie PocketCell. This portable power pack steps in on your behalf, charging your devices and showing your inconsiderate friend the door.

IMG_2577

Right, let’s get out of that analogy before it breaks down entirely. We’re going to be looking at the PocketCell, to see whether it delivers on its promise of convenient, portable charging for your smartphone, tablet and accessories. Let’s start with the specifics of the promise it’s making: the features and specs.

Features & specifications

  • 3000 mAh power capacity, delivered at 2.1A via USB
  • Charged via microUSB at 1.5A (cable provided)
  • Protection from excess current, voltage, temperature, power & short circuits
  • 91 x 30 x 21 millimetres & 72 grams

First, capacity: 3000 mAh is enough to recharge high-end smartphones and phablets once over, effectively doubling your battery life. Accessories have smaller batteries and you’ll get many more charges from the PocketCell; a Moto 360 smartwatch can be charged ten times and most Bluetooth headsets can be charged about 20 times. Most tablets have larger batteries, so you’ll be able to recharge about 30~50% of their total capacity.

The PocketCell comes with a bag and short micro USB cable.

The PocketCell comes with a bag and short micro USB cable.

Next, speed. 2.1A will charge ~99% of mobile devices at full speed, including both phones and tablets – very good. For reference, most iPads and other tablets charge at ~2A, most phones at ~1-1.5A and accessories a bit slower.

Protection from charging maladies are nice inclusions; Innergie have rated their product as being able to withstand all of the common dangers like overfilling the battery or providing too much current to the device being charged.

The final stats are size and dimensions; suffice it to say that this is a pocket-sized device that’s easily kept in pockets, bags or gloveboxes. We’ll take a closer look in the Design section – which starts now.

Design

This battery feels compact and weighty in-hand; it feels well-built compared to most portable chargers that I’ve handled. The slightly curved shape and glossy finish let it fit into small pockets easily.

IMG_2582

 

IMG_2586

The body of the device contains a few features – a microUSB port on one end for charging the PocketCell, a USB port for providing charge to other devices on the other end and a button to activate the LED read-out of the current battery level and ask the device to begin charging in the middle.

IMG_2595

The PocketCell is available in a few different colours; this review unit is fairly obviously a reddish maroon colour. Other options include blue, yellow, black and white.

0829_Innergie_PocketCell_04-1024x1024

That just about covers the design of this small accessory, so let’s move onto testing.

Testing

Testing a mobile charger is pretty simple; we’re looking to see if it provides the charge and capacity promised and evaluating the device’s ease of use of the two week test period. Thankfully, we can keep this section short and simply say that the PocketCell delivered on its promises, delivering a good amount of charge quickly and easily. I used the device for the recent #AcerLiveBlog2014 event, and the PocketCell was able to fully recharge my OnePlus One smartphone in the same time it would have taken a wall charger.

Conclusion

The Innergie PocketCell is a nicely designed portable charger, with good specifications and a reasonable price point. The PocketCell feels well-constructed and should last for a long time. If you’re looking to charge smartphones, tablets or both, the PocketCell is a worthy choice.

ZOTAC ZBOX EN760 Plus gaming mini-PC review

press1

People love really tiny things. There’s something intrinsically satisfying about seeing something small produce something big – whether it’s a dose of truth from a kid or a wall-sized screen from a pico-projector.

The ZBOX EN760 benefits greatly from this phenomenon. It is a small black box that looks like a router – it even has two antennas sticking out of it – but it’s actually a gaming PC. And a media PC you can screw to the back of your HDTV. And yes, even a router, if you want it to be.

In this review, we’ll see what this small black box is truly capable of, as it challenges machines many times its size and price in the race for gaming performance. Read on to see how this £600 box performs!

Continue reading

Nomad ChargeCard & ChargeKey portable microUSB or Lightning charging cable review

Bikingthebridge2-newNomad is one of the latest companies to be formed off the back of a successful Kickstarter project. They began in 2012 with ChargeCard, a credit card sized Lightning and microUSB charger designed to be kept in your wallet at all times. It was a modest success, reaching its target of $50,000 and continuing on to raise $161,897 in total.

A year later, the company soon produced a second design, the ChargeKey, which solved the same problem but in a smaller key-shaped space. This was offered for crowd-funding on Indiegogo, where it raised $172,274 of its $50,000 goal.

Another year later, and Nomad have offered both gadgets for me to review.  As you may have guessed from the title of this page I accepted that offer. I’m intrigued to see how the ChargeCard and ChargeKey hold up, so let’s begin.

Continue reading

Tech21 Impact Snap Case Capsule Review

Tech21 are a mobile phone accessories company that take a scientific approach to protecting your phone from harm. Through the promise of impactology (“products that always deliver the most intelligent impact protection”) the company hopes to provide high-tech solutions to the age-old question: how do you keep your smartphone safe without covering it with a bulky case?

Home Monitor Indoor Security Camera

While smartphone apps and mobile connectivity are often touted for lots of things, be it fitness, media viewing, navigation or a whole host of other facilities, security isn’t one that’s touched on quite as much. Hoping to turn that trend around is Home Monitor, a home security camera system that hooks right up to your home network and gives you a chance to check in from wherever you are.