AMTOK Portable CD Player

I suppose CD players can be viewed as retro-tech, like turntables and cassette players, it was only a matter of time until CD players fell into that category. Some people too may have a much-treasured CD collection that they still need to have access to via a dedicated player. That is where a 2019 model CD player like this new one from AMTOK steps in.

In the mid-market box that I received was the player itself, in-ear headphones with three sets of buds (one prefitted), USB to micro-USB charging cable, audio-in cable, and a well printed and easy to read User Guide. Build quality seems excellent and this has the look and feel of a high-quality product with nothing looking likely to fail anytime soon.

On the front of the device are the usual track controls plus buttons for Mode Select, MP3 Directory Select, and EQ Control. On one side of the unit are Power On/Off switch, Volume control thumbwheel, two 3.5mm headphones sockets. Status LED, and the Micro-USB charging Port.

The player supports the usual formats: CD, CD-R, and CD-RW plus MP3 and WMA audio files with five playing modes: Track Repeat, Repeat All, DIR Repeat (MP3 only), Play first 10s, Shuffle Play. When playing there are five audio presets to choose from. The device can either be controlled from the buttons on the lid or using the in-line control pod. The player has a built-in 3.7v 1400mAh Lithium-Ion Polymer rechargeable battery which after a three-hour charge should give between and fourteen hours of sustained use. It can also be powered from a USB cable when incorporated into a home music system. The status LED on the device shows red when charging and green when charging is complete. You can select a flat audio output or select from the following EQ presets: BBS / POP / JAZZ / ROCK / CLASSIC.

Not always found elsewhere are an auto-Off feature to power the unit off after a period of inactivity and skip protection of up to 120 seconds for CD audio files and 160 seconds for MP3s., which means you can use this device when on the move with no problems.

Sound quality is excellent both when connected to an external sound system or when using the supplied headphones. Indeed, the headset is a cut above that usually supplied with portable players and can give excellent if not outstanding results and features in-line track controls.

If you need a portable CD player you are probably a specialist user and will require a good quality well-made device. So far as I can tell it is a minor upgrade from the earlier model from Gueray with some under the hood improvements, a colour change from black to white and a small drop in price. This £50.99 unit is not inexpensive but it is a quality piece of kit that promises to be reliable and a good long term buy.

The Good
Good Build Quality
Good Headphones
In-line Headphone Controls
Good Battery Life
Extended Skip Protection

The Bad
No Optical audio out
No Carry Bag

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DONYER POWER Convector Radiator Heater

This well made and functional metal-bodied convection heater follows the traditional design for this type of heater with a large grill on the top and side controls for the power level, thermostat and mechanical timer. It has recessed side handles comes with two detachable feet for freestanding use and access grooves on the back for wall mounting.

In the branded heavy-duty box was the heater itself, two detached floor standing legs, mounting screw set, and a well written but rather hard to read User Guide.

Build quality seems fine with nothing looking likely to fail anytime soon. The only point of issue is that the tiny three-position switch (Off/Timer/Thermostat) on the timer needs to be set correctly to operate the heater. When set to off, the heater power and thermostat controls do not work. It must be set to the Thermostat position for normal non-timer operation.

Using the device is easy enough. Firstly, following from what I said above, ensure the small turret in the centre of the timer dial is set to Thermostat position (bottom) then select the power lever needed: 750w, 1250w or 200w (both switch On), each switch has a bright red confirmation LED. Then adjust the thermostat dial to the temperature level you need. If you want to use the timer, select the Timer position on the small three-position switch, rotate the outer dial to the current time of day and then select the segments of the inner dial to set the heater to come on those times. You can also set the thermostat to operate within those times also.

During my testing, the heater worked well, gave off a good level of convected heat at all settings and at the selected periods using the timer. This is a long-standing and refined technology with very little capable of going wrong.

This traditional heater is well made, works well and has a good range of heating and timing controls and for the £25.99 price seems a pretty good buy to me.
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Ellis Graphix GB Car Number Plate Stickers

For good or ill we have now left the EU and those amongst us concerned to keep their vehicle up to date may wish to change their car number plates to reflect the new state of affairs. I thought I may as well update my car and as these stickers were not dear and were very widely available and seemed easy to apply.

This set consists of 108 x 40 mm stickers for the front and rear number plates. Each sticker is made from robust colourfast self-adhesive vinyl and is designed to be stuck directly over the top of the existing EU logo. They arrived just in a simple plain envelope with no external branding or other unneeded instructions or information.

Applying the stickers was easy enough and they can be removed and reapplied if necessary. Take care first to wash and dry the number plates to ensure a secure fitting. The stickers are a millimetre or so smaller than the area they cover which makes them easier to apply. If you look up close you can see the gap and a slight difference in colour but you need to be within a foot or so to notice and it does not bother me. On my car, there was a slight colour mismatch but that may well be due to my number plates fading. The stickers seem good and secure and I am hopeful that they will not peel off over time and that the colour will not fade. If we return to the EU they can easily be peeled off!

There is a wide choice of these stickers available online and all for a similar price to this set at £2.15, just shop around to find one with the best reviews.
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Miriqi Polarized Sports Sunglasses

This is one of those products where have to ask how can they do it for the money?

A small amount was saved on packaging as the kit arrived in just a ziplock bag with no external branding or packaging. Inside was the hard carry case and within that and well padded in foam were the frame, soft carry bag, cleaning cloth, five lenses of varying types, myopia frame (?), Polarising test card, lanyard, and a thick elasticated retaining headband.
I have to say all seems to be of excellent quality and, unlike with many inferior rivals, the polarising lens actually works which you can test using the enclosed card.

The glasses themselves are very lightweight indeed at just 24g. The frame dimensions are frame width 15.5cm, frame height 4cm, lens width 8cm, nose bridge 2.7cm, leg length 13cm. I don’t know about others but they fit me perfectly. They are comfortable to wear and in fact, I soon forgot I even had them on. Because they are so light to me they feel a bit flimsy but the manufacture claims the flexible resin frame. is almost indestructible Well maybe, but I have yet to find a pair of glasses that I don’t break eventually.

The polarised lenses are grey-tinted and are claimed to block 100% of harmful UV rays. I cannot test that but have no reason to doubt what they say. I can attest that the lenses are not too dark when looking through them and don’t restrict the vision in any way. Unlike with many inferior rivals, the polarising lens actually works which you can test using the enclosed card.

Changing lenses is not as traumatic as with some glasses. Just grip firmly on the far edge of one lens, pull out of the frame, ease the lens free from the nose guard and then pull the other lens free. Do the reverse to fit a new lens.

There is not much to dislike about these sunglasses unless you prefer a heavier build. They are easy and comfortable to wear and shield the glare nicely. This brings me back to wondering again just how they can sell them for £14.99. If this kit was in a posh box in an upmarket shop I would think them a bargain at twice the price.
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Tesecu ST-58 Mini Wifi Camera

This is essentially a home IP security camera in a small format body. It has most of the functions of a regular camera – 1080p video, wifi, motion detection with zones, in-app alerts, video files saved to a choice of locations. In fact it can be used as a normal home security camera when powered by USB as it comes with Nightvision infrared LEDs and has Motion Detection good for up to around 6m. It is has a built-in battery good for about 90 minutes of use and comes with a magnetic ball joint mount. It is even small and light enough at 26g for use as a drone camera. The camera will operate at a range of resolutions maxing out at 1920 x 1080p@25fps. saved using the H.264 codec. It has a 150 ° wide-angle field of view and can operate with as little as 1 LUX of available light.

The kit arrived nicely packaged and presented and as well as the camera included in the box was a charging cable, semi-rigid short cable/mount, ball socket magnetic mount and a well written and easy to read colour User Guide. Build quality seems fine and the device does have something of a premium feel to it. An interesting addition to the kit is a short semi-rigid flexible charging cable that doubles as a stand for the camera. The camera body is magnetic and so can be mounted easily to any metal object

The camera has just two physical buttons, one for Power Off/On the other to reset the device, with all the other parameters being controlled through the excellent HIDVCAM app which is one of the best designed and easy to use camera apps I have tried. This is just as well as with the app the camera cannot be set up or effectively used. Using the app you can configure the motion detection zone area and set the camera to work automatically by schedule as well as a good range of other options and preferences. Video can be streamed and recorded live or saved to the app, the camera’s TF card or to the subscription based cloud service. The camera will work with any suitable micro-SD card between 8 and 128gb and can be set to loop recordings when the card is full. Annoyingly, no card is included with the kit.

Setting up the camera using a camera hotspot worked well and once done the camera automatically attached to the home wifi after each reboot. Once connected all configuration is done through the HIDVCAM app, which works well and is simple and intuitive to use. Video and image files can be saved to the app, the camera SD card (not included) or the cloud, for which a subscription is needed. Once set up you could manage without the app by ensuring the camera has motion detection or schedule in place and physically removing the SD card to check for alert recordings but it is much easier to use the app for this.

Using the camera is easy enough with photos and images saved to the camera, cloud or the app either automatically or by pressing a button with the app. Recorded video is good for the price, sharp, bright and clear, and can be viewed or deleted through the app or with most video playing software. Recording to the cloud needs a subscription and indeed it is necessary to register an account before the app can be used but non-cloud use is entirely free.

This is a nicely made camera capable of decent results with a quality feel to it and small and discreet enough to use for covert security purposes. For the current price of £36.99, it is a very decent buy.
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AnvFlik Alcohol Breathalyzer ACT500

This new Alcohol Breathalyzer Tester from AnvFlik is simple and straightforward to use and contains all you need to keep you safe on the road after a trip to the bar or restaurant – except willpower. I have tried one or two of these before but often they are overly complex, fiddly to use and designed as scientific instruments rather than a quick and easy tool and so this user-friendly version comes as a breath of fresh air (!).

In the box are the device itself, five reusable mouthpieces and a well written and easy to read user guide. No battery or case is included. The User Guide is detailed but easy to follow and so I include it appended to my unboxing video.

Using the Breathalyzer could not be simpler and the device has a bright and clear LED display showing the current status and test results. .Switch it on and wait for it to warm up with an on-screen countdown from 19, it will make an audible alert to show it is ready to be used. Now blow into the unit for around three seconds, with an audio tone and progress bar on the LED display to alert you when to quit. Your result will now be shown on the screen. You can select the units the results are displayed in as an option but for most people, the easy to understand BACS system is best. It comes with five push to fit mouthpieces which can easily be cleaned and reused as needed. This is a change from some rivals which come with one-time use mouthpieces which are expensive to buy and hard to find.

This is an excellent piece of kit which is easy to use and simple to maintain, the only mild criticism is the lack of a storage case. Priced at just £15.29 this would be an excellent device for any bar, pub or restaurant owner to have on hand to ensure customers are safe to drive home.

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Torch4Life Mini -Tactical LED Flashlight

This truly pocket-sized little flashlight has a robust aluminium body, needs just one AA battery, offers three operating modes, full zooming, is shock and water-resistant and is perhaps the brightest torch I have seen of this size.

In the box is just the torch itself, no battery, case, or product details are included. Nothing more is actually needed but some product specifications would have been nice.

The manufacturer does not tell us just how shock or water-resistant or even how bright the torch actually is, but I can say that it seems exceptionally robust and well made and is certainly powerful with one of the widest zooms I have yet tried. It would have been better to know just how water resistant the torch is and the actual lumens rating. Of course, the torch is just as good and just as powerful with or without the tech specs.

The push-pull zoom is a bit stiff to operate but stays in position once set and the padded tail button is easy to operate and scrolls through the three modes available: full power, half power, and strobe. The light output seems pretty steady and the torch does not warm up in use.

At just 4″ in length and with a clip for that purpose, the torch can easily be kept in a pocket or car glove compartment for use when needed. This is the sort of item you can just tuck away somewhere and when the power goes off hunt it out. The AA battery that it needs are easily and widely available so finding one for it should not be an issue.

At the silly price of just £6.99, there is no reason not to recommend it.

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