PREUP 1.7L Temperature Control Electric Glass Kettle

Well priced on Amazon at £42.99 (at the time of writing with a further 15% reduction available) this is attractive and well designed CJ1701 kettle from PREUP offers some features not usually found at this price point.

The kettle arrived in a fairly basic mid-market box containing the kettle, base unit and a large and well-printed User Guide which I append to my unboxing video.

Build quality seems fine with everything made of robust plastic and metal with double walled glass for the 17Ltr kettle body. As with most kitchen top devices this one comes with a short 70cm cable and a prefitted UK three pin plug. The kettle features a touch panel base allowing a range of temperatures between 40C and 100C to be selected with a keep warm option to hold the kettle at that temperature. The kettle has mesh filter over the spout which hangs free and can be removed for cleaning. With every button tap or when the kettle concludes an operation, there is a loud beep, which so far as I can tell cannot be disabled and could be a nuisance when brewing up at unsocial hours.

To operate the kettle after filling with water and placing on the base you can either press the On/Standby button to begin heating to the maximum level or else press the Keep Warm button and then the preset button for the beverage or temperature you wish. This is clearly designed originally for the US market as tea is listed as a 70C selection – the others are 100C Dechlorination, 90C Coffee, 80C Sterilization, 40C Milk. When the selected temperature is reached the kettle will beep and the bright blue LED illumination will go off. When the Keep Warm feature is enabled the kettle will switch on and off automatically to keep the water at the selected temperature. How many of us actually need or may use this feature is open to doubt, but better to have it than not.

The kettle has a 13.1cm wide and easy to access mouth with a lid that pulls right back and so is easy to fill and empty. Take note that the filter is prone to popping out but can be easily clicked back in place, although this is a minor annoyance. The kettle lights up in a very spectacular way when in operation and certainly looks good in the kitchen, particularly at night!

If you want a well made and visually striking kettle with preset temperatures and a keep warm feature then this may be just what you are looking for.

The Good
Good Build Quality
Good Price
Preset temperatures
Keep Warm Feature
LED illumination Glass Bowl

Easy access opening

The Bad
Water Filter pops loose
Beep cannot be disabled

LED cannot be disabled

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JEEMAK M5 4K Wifi Action Camera

Currently priced on Amazon at £69.99 this new JEEMAK M5 action camera from Campark is probably the best I have tried yet in the low to mid price range.

The camera and accessories arrived packaged in a large and attractive upmarket box which belies the low price. You get plenty of kit for your money as my unboxing video shows. A full range of accessories and mounts are included, too many to list here. The only notable omissions are an SD card and a wifi wrist mounted Off/On button. It is a pity about the SD card as they are cheap enough these days and would not add greatly to the cost and would allow the camera to be used straight from the box. It could be argued that the wrist mount feature is included in the phone app but that is not a practical option when biking. The printed User Guide although not great is better those usually found, is a decent size, well printed and easy to read.

The camera itself is certainly better than I expected for the money. Video quality is one of the best I have encountered for an action cam in this price range, and a definite step up from many of the cheaper no-name GoPro clones. Unlike with so many others, here there is no substantive daylight colour cast. The 170° wide angle lens is great but with the barrel distortion common to all of this type You can correct for this in the settings but I suspect this is achieved by simply electronically cropping the image. Image stabilisation is also available and although not great it does make a difference although I prefer to keep it turned off. The camera does a perfectly decent quality 4K@24fps – the definition of 4K used is not given in the User Guide -as well several other rather more useful modes including 1080@60fps. Slow motion is available at 120FPS@720p and 240fps@640×480. Burst Mode is also available to take multiple sequential images. Still images were good and free from colour fringing or casts.  Remember that the sample footage in my unboxing video will have been heavily compressed during posting and not reflect the true quality.

Like with many mid-range action cams this claims to be waterproof to 40M and I have no reason to doubt it. It should be fine for all normal swimming and diving use.

The camera has loop recording, which is often used for cameras and does indeed offer a Car Mode but I do not think it has the G-Sensor needed to record and flag impacts. For me, that is no big deal as I have yet to find an action camera that will actually work effectively as a Dashcam. Still, better to have that feature than not. It has HDMI video out and so can be connected directly to your TV, although a separate micro-HDMI cable will be needed for this. It can also be connected directly to a PC or video display to view files and FPV monitoring.

Like many more upmarket action cameras, it has wifi built in which means the camera generates a mini wifi network of its own which allows an attached phone have basic control of the camera and view live-streamed video. To use it you need to download the “OKCAM ” app from Apple or Android. The Android app is better than most and will act as a basic remote control, stream decent quality video, and save images and video to the app. The camera has a settings mode accessed using the rear LCD screen and this one is by far the best I have tried so far with multiple and easy to read options large and bright enough to be usable outdoors. The camera comes with two Li-ion 1050mAh batteries but no separate charger so you cannot charge the second battery when the camera is in use.

This is one of the best action cameras I have used in this price range. Image quality is excellent, there is a wide range of modes and options available with Electronic Image Stabilisation, WDR and Time-Lapse recording. A good range of mounts is included but no carry case. For this price, I doubt you will find a better Action Camera.

The Good
Great price
Good video quality with EIS
170° Angle of view
4K@24fps
1080P@60fps
Wifi
Good  app
Nice packaging
Wide range of accessories included
Car Mode
Time Lapse mode
240/120fps Slow Motion
Rectilinear Distortion Correction option

Two batteries included

The Bad
No SD card included
4K resolution not defined
No carry case

No Touch Screen

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ICZI USB 3.0 HUB with 4 USB 3.0 Ports

Not a lot to say here really. This is one of those devices that just plugs in and works, It does the job without a lot of fuss and bother or whistles and bells.

I have reviewed quite a few hubs, connectors and similar gadgets from ICZI in the past and have always found them to be simple no-nonsense items that get the job done at a decent price. This one is no exception.

Supplied in a branded display bag it consists of a 10.2×9.2x2cm plastic hub holding two USB 3.0 ports on either side with a short cable to the USB A 3.00 input plug. In use, it will give your PC or Mac an additional three ports (one being used by the plug itself). It supports data speeds of up to 5Gbs with a maximum current of 5V 900mA. It has built-in Overvoltage/ Overcurrent/ Leakage and Short-Circuit protection. No drivers or software are needed are needed to use the device.

The 5V 900mA power limit means that high power consuming devices such as external spinning HD drives can only be with their own separate power supply, as is normal for this type of hub. The User Guide usefully gives examples of typical power requirements of connected devices: Mouse 100mA, Camera 300mA etc.

The current Amazon price of £6.99 makes this an inexpensive addition to your computer gadget bag.

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ElevenII Laundry Trolley with MDF Ironing Board

 

 

When correctly and carefully assembled this is an excellent laundry trolley, large, capacious and well made. The current Amazon price of £59.80 is not excessive for a quality addition to the home. However, care needs to be taken when assembling it.

A fridge-sized box arrived from Amazon and within was a far small smaller box containing the disassembled trolly, so small in fact that I wondered how they got all the pieces in. At this point, I usually itemise all the contents of the box but in this case, there are too many and too similar in nature. Everything seems well made and built to last. Included with the kit is a small but well-printed assembly guide, but more of that later.

The first thing to do is to put the kit together. This is actually not difficult but made so by the Guide which is too small and is just a small selection of exploded diagrams. I found it simplest to copy and print the diagrams out at an easier to read size. There are a couple of important points to bear in mind. Firstly, it is essential to have the iron board hinge holes facing outwards on the two upright end pieces. This is not immediately obvious and is not made clear in the User Guide so do not get it wrong as I did and have to then start afresh.  The final thing is to fit the ironing board to the top and here again, things can go wrong. The metal hinge is secured to the MDF ironing board by three small screws either end and they will come out if the board is not lined up correctly when the hinge is fitted to the trolley. Doing this is really a two person job, one to hold the board in the correct orientation and the other to screw it in place. The trolley functions perfectly well without the board and some users may prefer to leave it off to give easier access to the laundry bags and to reduce weight.

Once all this is done you have a large 29.5×15.8×33.8″ metal framed laundry trolley with optional casters and holding three separate suspended 7.9×12.8×21.8 inch Oxford cloth bags. On the bottom is a mesh suspended shelf for additional items. Tags and markers are included too to aid in sorting the laundry. On top is an ironing board which can fold up to give access to the laundry bags. Build quality seems excellent and provided care is taken with the iron board there is no reason the trolley should not give years of happy use.

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VELAZZIO Waterproof Breathable Ski Gloves

These new Ski style gloves from VELAZZIO arrived simply packaged in a ziplock bag with no product box or other marketing information. This is a pity as had they been nicely boxed they would have been all the more attractive as a gift can easily have been sold at a higher price point.

The gloves, which are perhaps the thickest and warmest I have ever worn, are nicely made from waterproof Polyester DWR Coated material (whatever that is) with a waterproof Fan-Tex membrane and a fleecy 3M Thinsulate lining. I can see no sign of loose stitching or any other manufacturing shortfall and they certainly seem well made.

The gloves have a velcro belt which fastens just below the palm and a drawstring fastener just below the wrist. Each has a small zipped pocket on the back large enough to hold a key or credit card. A sizing guide is helpfully provided on the Amazon product page and the Large size I chose is a snug but not uncomfortable fit on my normal to large size male hands. If you like a looser fit or have large hands than get XL. The gloves although heavily padded as surprisingly giving and flexible when worn and do not feel as constricting as many similar gloves have been for me in the past.

The gloves are warm. well padded and comfortable and although perhaps there are better gloves on the market I doubt if you will find them for less than £20. Priced at just £19.99 on Amazon with a current additional £3.00 checkout voucher you are not going to find a much better buy than this if you need a pair of budget-priced but decent quality padded skiing type gloves.

PinShare Home Kids Projector Night Light

This deceptively simple little device may well brighten your Christmas or other festive days far more than you might expect. I can imagine tiny hands getting much pleasure from this child-friendly fun toy. It is basically a low power LED torch which projects Christmas and other party images onto the wall or ceiling along with pre-recorded festive music.

In the Christmas themed box was the projector itself, two sets of six slides, lanyard strap, mini-tripod, USB to micro-USB charging cord. No instructions are needed and none were included in the box. Build quality is lightweight but robust and hopefully tough enough to withstand the rough and tumble of the playroom.

At first sight, the device resembles a medium-sized torch with the lens at the front, lanyard mount on the end, and on the side the single control button and micro-USB charging port. Just behind the lens is the opening to insert a single large slide. Each slide contains twelve tiny themed images can be projected onto the wall or ceiling. Each slide has a different theme: Christmas, Halloween, Easter, Birthday etc. Press and hold the button to turn the device on, press again to play the four built-in songs (which can be heard as the soundtrack to my unboxing video) press the button again to rotate the projected images. The unit can be mounted on the included tripod/clip mount but most youngsters will probably prefer to hand hold it.  When the slide is removed the projector can serve as a simple torch or flashlight.

This is simple and rather old-fashioned little device but one which can give a great deal of pleasure to youngsters over Christmas or indeed at any time and is well worth the current Amazon price of £16.99.

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Giwil 24 Flickering Tea Light LED Candles

With Christmas fast approaching now might be the time to invest in some mood lighting for these festive seasons. At the current price of £8.99 for a set of 24, these will certainly not break the bank

Inside the well-designed product box, strong enough for long-term storage of the candles, were the twenty-four candles. No paperwork or instructions were included and none needed.

The candles are all identical and in my box every one of them worked perfectly. Each tea light candle is 1.4″ in diameter and the 1.25″ in height. On the bottom is a large and easy to access On/Off switch and a pop open battery compartment containing two AG10 Button Cell batteries. (The Amazon page says they have a single CR2032 which is perhaps an equivalent).  They can easily be replaced and the batteries are cheap and widely available. The candles are clearly made of plastic and are quite delicate but with careful handling there is no reason they should not last for years.

In use, the LED candles look great. They have a warm white light and flicker quite convincingly. They are not designed as a light source but as mood lighting, they work really well. They are small enough to easily place inside glasses, Christmas decorations or pumpkins or anywhere where spot decorations are needed.

The price of £8.99 is not bad at all for a set of this size. The ease and low cost of battery replacement means this set can be used over many years but remember to keep the box to store them in.

If you want to add some sparkle to your Christmas, Halloween, or family party this candle set could prove a worthwhile and lasting good buy.

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