Logitech MK270 Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Combo

I have used several wireless keyboard/mouse sets in the past but I have to say that for the price this is probably the best.

The combo arrived presented in an upmarket product box of the sort expected from a well known company like logitech. In the box was the keyboard, mouse, USB key and a warranty leaflet. To my surprise there was no User Guide as such although none is really needed as all you have to do is plug the thing in and turn it on. A User Guide is available from the Logitech website and I include a scan of it on the end of my unboxing video.

Unlike the others I have used this is a full sized keyboard and has a traditional desktop deep key travel feel. If you are accustomed to laptop type keyboards this may not be for use as it is quite noisy in use and requires old style heavy
keystrokes. It has all the usual keys in UK format and includes the Windows key and a short set of non standard keys at the top for email, browser, audio volume etc. There is an easy to find Off/On switch on the top right to reduce battery drain and lightweight kick stand supports on the back.The mouse is pretty much standard, medium sized with three buttons and a scroll wheel.

Both the keyboard and mouse works instantly once the USB key was inserted and the keyboard turned on. Unlike with others I have used there was no annoying latency or dropped keystrokes. I found I could walk away from the keyboard for several minutes and return to where I left off without having to wake the keyboard up.

The keyboard uses two AAA batteries (supplied) and the mouse one AA battery (also supplied). Many rivals have built in rechargeable batteries and it is a matter of personal choice which system is better. Take note that the keyboard cannot be used with a USB cable as many rivals can.

The User Guide mentions the Logitech Unifying software that can be downloaded from the Logitech website to acts as an interface and control panel for this and other Logitech wireless products. I installed it on my Windows 10 machine but despite my best efforts it did not detect the installed USB key. This is no big deal as the keyboard/mouse set works perfectly well without it.

This is an excellent desktop set and offers the best build quality and usability of any I have used. For the £16.97 Amazon price it is a remarkable buy.

The Good
Single USB key
Good build quality
No latency
Great price

The Bad
No User Guide
Logitech software did not work
Deep key travel
No internal battery
No USB cable use option.

More info and purchase

AGPtek 5 Mode Solar Camping Lantern

This large sized £18.99 multi mode camping lamp from AGPTek arrived attractively packaged in a mid market level product Box which lists all the main selling points of the lamp on the box itself. Inside the box was the lamp itself, a mains lead with UK plug, car charging lead with cigar lighter plug, and a single sheet large format User Guide in good English. I reproduce the User Guide on the end of my unboxing video.

Build quality seems OK for the price. The unit is made almost entirely from plastic and feels a bit on the lightweight side to stand up to the wear and tear of camping life for any length of time. I would have rather paid twice the price for a more robust construction. That said, the unit is well designed and easy to use.  I should add that the first lamp I received was broken in transit but the supplier immediately replaced it.

The lamp has a large carrying handle on the top with a shaped grip and which folds down when not in use. Under the carry handle is the large 0.8 watt solar panel which charges the 1500mAh 4V internal battery when the lamp is positioned outdoors. On the front are two small LEDs which show charging and power status when lit. Below the LED is the single button, large and with a good positive feel, which controls the light output: Off/240 Lumens/120 Lumens. On the rear of the unit is the large foldaway crank handle and the single standard sized USB output for when the device is used as a Powerbank. The input for the multi voltage mains power is here too. On the underside is a access panel for the compartment which houses the three standard AA batteries (not supplied).

Solar charging times we are told are between and six and twelve hours contingent on the amount and intensity of the sunlight available. The lamp can also be charged from the hand crank on the rear of the unit. Ten minutes use of the fold away crank will give about one hour of light. The internal batteries can also be charged from the mains using the supplied cable and a full charge will take between seven and nine hours. A full charge should give about twelve hours use at 240 Lumens and twenty hours at 120 Lumens.

This is a powerful and very versatile camping lamp which doubles as an emergency USB charger. The light output is excellent ,the device works well and the price is excellent. I just wish the construction was a bit more robust.

The Good
Five power modes
Bright two mode light output
Large easy to use button
Power Bank mode

The Bad
Flimsy construction
No USB power in charging

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RAVPower 12000mAh Power Pack with Quick Charge 3.0 & iSmart 2.0

I have used quite a few powerbanks from RAVPower in the past and they have always been well made and powerful with the latest generation technology although more expensive than many lesser rivals. At £25.99 on Amazon this powerbank is indeed by no means the cheapest but is it worth paying extra for?

It arrived in a simple eco friendly box inside of which was the powerbank itself, two USB to micro-USB charging cables, a soft carry pouch and a well designed and nicely printed User Guide albeit rather small in size. I enclose a scan of it on the end of my unboxing video.

This charger looks good. It has a up market look to it and this coupled with the high build quality gives it the feel of a high end item. On the front is a simple row of blue LED battery status indicators, on one side is the micro-USB power in port, on the other the soft touch Off/On button. On the bottom are the two output ports: one an iSmart 2.1A and the other a Quick Charge 3.0 giving up to 3A both adjust automatically to the requirements of the connected device to allow for speedier and safer charging. Should there be a overload then the device will safely reset itself.

The internal 12000mAh can be charged up to 1000 times, and takes around five to six hours to do so. which is twice that found with low end rivals. The device should be able to charge an iPhone 7 up to 4.5 times, a Galaxy S7 3 times, and an iPad Mini 4 times,

The main selling points for this device, and the reason it is worth paying the extra, are the compact size and high end looks of the unit coupled with high speed charging capabilities.

If style as well as performance is important to you then this would make an excellent buy.

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Compact Portable Mini Air Dehumidifier, from LUJII

I have seen quite a few 500ml dehumidifiers very similar to this one and they all seem to perform pretty much the same for the same price. This one is no exception and does a good job within the limitations of its small size and capacities.

Having just added a conservatory to out house and being new it is still rather prone to damp. After construction we used a large sized dehumidifier to dry out the plaster to prepare it for painting. That done we needed something smaller and more discreet for use in the winter when condensation can be a problem. This little device does the trick nicely and we keep it going all night to keep things dry. In the summer I doubt it will be needed and so we again wanted a unit small enough to be easily stored away without taking up too much space.

The dehumidifier arrived well packaged in a mid market style box attractive enough to be suitable as a gift. Inside was the device itself, a UK power adapter with cable, and a well written and easy to read large format User Guide. I include the User Guide as a scan on the end of my unboxing video.

The unit is very similar to large one we already have but simply scaled down in size. On the front is are two LED status lights, one to show the unit is operating, the other to show when the tank is full. The 500ml tank is accessed from the front and can be easily and quickly removed for emptying. There is a tiny rubber plug on top of the tank which needs to be released for draining. The small tank may need emptying at least once a day and there is no way to vary the dehumidification level, it is a simple On/Off system. As you might expect in a small budget unit there is no provision for a permanent drain tube.

So far the little unit is working well and the tank fills up every day and the conservatory feels warmer and dryer. For a larger room a bigger device would be needed but for a small conservatory cupboard,or bedroom this would be fine. The current Amazon price of £29.99 is an attractive one and makes this a good buy for anyone with a problem similar to ours.

If you have a serious condensation problem or your house is damp throughout then this unit will not be able to cope with it. For a small room or conservatory that feels a bit damp sometimes then this will do the job.

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Premium Series Waterproof Dry Bag from OUTAD

Anyone familiar with old films about the war at sea will recognize what this is. It is like the kitbag the sailors used to carry and store their possessions in, a sort of oversized duffle bag. But this is more than that. It is designed to keep the water out even from brief immersions in water and would be perfect for those going on yachting or other maritime adventures where there is a possibility of yourself and your kitbag coming into contact with the water.

There are two sizes of sack available, 30L and the smaller 20L size which I selected. It is also available in green and orange as well as blue. The colours are bright and easily seen should the bag go over the side.

The bag arrived simply presented in tough reusable plastic bag with an information card about the product and how to use it. There are also instructions printed on the sack itself. The sack has waist and shoulder straps, a semi rigid sealing strip and a locking clasp.

Using it is easier to do than to explain but once completed the first time it is simple enough. Press the sealing strip shut and fold over the top of the bag across and then over itself several times and then clasp shut. For best results do not overfill it. Once shut it seems pretty secure and is proof against the elements and even brief immersions in water. Hopefully if it falls in the sea you should have a few minutes to retrieve it before water gets in.

Build quality is first rate. It is made of a heavy duty waterproof laminated fabric that feels rubberised. It is tough and robust but soft enough to fold easily. The material is certainly tear proof and resistant to stabbing and sharp objects too I would say.

At £42.99 for the 20L and £49.99 for the 30L is by no means inexpensive but you get what you pay for and this is a quality piece of kit that should give years of heavy duty use.

More info and purchase

 

Lightweight inflatable Sleeping Pad from OUTAD

This is a lightweight inflatable camping bed with a novel low tech pump which folds up into a small and easily portable bag. Having misread the Amazon page description I was expecting a soft traditional sleeping pad and so I was surprised to receive a blow up version but in fact that made the test all the more interesting.

Inside the attractive product box, nice packaging always make an item more suitable as a gift, was the airbed itself, a pump, and a carry bag. No instructions were included other than the illustration on the box which I include in my unboxing video.

The bed feels well made and cleverly designed. I was impressed by the novel inflation system and by the effectiveness of the valve on the bed. The plastic the bed is made from feels a little thin and I wonder how well it would cope with outdoor life, rough surfaces, and snagging but a thicker skin would mean added weight and bulk. A balance has to be found between portability and durability and maybe this was the compromise they found best.

Had I bothered to look at the box or illustrations on the Amazon product page I would have seen that to use the pump – which does not look like a normal pump in any way and which I took to be a pillow – is easy enough. Just waft it around and fill it with air like a sail, close the open end, attach the valve to that on the bed and push the air through. I blew it up by blowing into the valve on the bed and in fact it took less time than I thought to get the bed inflated. I was impressed by the valve on the bed which unlike every other one I have tried did not let any air out between puffs.

Once assembled the bed felt much like any other air bed, not so comfortable as a proper bed but better than sleeping on the ground. The bed felt pretty much the same after leaving it inflated overnight and not much if any air seemed to have been lost.

The only real problem I found was getting it back into the rather small carry bag. It was clearly packed in a very particular way to get it in there so that it look attractive and bulge free. I repacked mine slowly and carefully indoors on a hard surface taking care to fold it slowly squeezing out the air as I went and although did go back inside eventually it was no easy job. I daresay with practise it will become easier but it is not a task I would like to do outdoors in the rain.

This is a clever and well made device and allows you get a full length single bed or reasonable comfort into a carry bag the size of a sliced loaf. At a penny under £46 I cannot say it is inexpensive but then what price do you put on a nights sleep?
The Good
Easy to inflate
Folds up small for storage
Good inflation valve system

The Bad
Expensive
Difficult to get back into carry bag
No User Guide

More info and purchase

TheCOO BTD708K Bluetooth speaker from OUTAD


This attractive and unusual speaker from OUTAD, THECOO BTD708K, is currently available from Amazon for £40 which makes it by no means the cheapest speaker of this size available but surely one of the best.

The speaker arrived in a novel plastic storage box which serves to store the speaker when not in use or even as a small desktop organiser for pens and related items. Inside the box aside from the speaker were a USB to micro-USB charging cable, a short Mini-jack to mini-jack audio cable and a single sheet user Guide which was poorly printed and hard to read. I reproduce it at the end of my unboxing video.

The speaker has an all metal body and a very sleek and stylish look to it. As soon as you pick it up it becomes clear why this is priced at £40 as it looks and feels like an upmarket item.

To the front are the two stereo speakers with a blue status LED inset into the right hand grill. On the top is a power button and three volume/track buttons which are clearly marked and easy to find. On one side are the various ports: USB (charging only), AUX in, TF card and a tiny charging indicator LED.

Pairing with my Android phone was quick and easy with the usual status LEd and alert tones for guidance. Once connected the link seem fast, stable and drop out free with a decent range to it.

Audio quality is excellent for the size with a surprising amount of bass with clear and well defined upper and mid tones free from clipping and sibilance.

One unusual thing about this speaker is the bizarre flexible disk thing in between the two speakers. It feels like it should do something but nothing I can see and there is no mention of it in the User Guide.

If you value style and design as well as audio and don’t the added weight of the all metal body then this could be the speaker for you.

The Good
Great sound
Heavy duty build quality
Attractive design
TF card

The Bad
No soft carry bag
No FM radio
More info and purchase