Woolala Hand Massager Review

I have noticed early signs of arthritis in my hands and so I have been looking for a massager to help with the symptoms. Most hand massagers are basically the same – a clam-like body containing inflatable bags into which the hand is inserted to receive compression and heat massage. This one is different and has rollers to directly massage the fingers.
Most massagers don’t have these rollers and now I know why.

In the large and attractive box can be found the massager itself, a UK power supply, a soft storage bag and a large but rather brief user guide.
Build quality is first-rate, this unit seems built to last and is far better than some of the cheaper rivals I have tried. The only issue I have is that the power cable is just 1.5m long and should be at least twice that considering that this is a mains powered unit with no battery option.

Looking at the unit from the front we the large opening for the hand, again unlike some of the rivals, capable of taking a hand of any size. On the side is the power-in port and on the top are the four control buttons with the main power button in the centre. The other buttons allow you to select the three operating modes, turn the heating on and off, and select the three intensity levels for the rollers and compression bags. The buttons have a good positive clicky feel to them and are backlit to show the current operating status. Above the buttons is a large LED strip which changes colour when the device is on. This LED strip is very bright and there is no way to switch it off, making it difficult to use the device in the background.

One of the main selling points of this unit is that it also has mechanical rollers to massage the fingers. This is the only hand massager I could find with this feature and in fact the main reason I bought it. However, I found them to be very painful in use even on my unaffected fingers and after a very short while even on the lowest setting and I soon had to turn the rollers off. Also, the heating element on this unit covers only the palm, not the fingers, another drawback but not one peculiar to this device.

So this massager is going back.

That said, if you do need a hand massager with rollers then this would be a good choice. It is robust, well made and easy to use although at £95.99 it is much dearer than most of the rivals.

The Good
Good Build Quality
Finger Rollers
Easy To Use Controls
Quiet Motor

The Bad
Rollers Painful To Use
Short Power Cable
No Battery Option
Palm Only Heating

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JeoPoom Bluetooth Transmitter Receiver Review

More than once I have recorded a video only to discover that for some reason the microphone was not recorded. I needed a quick and easy way to confirm the audio was being received by the camera without yet more trailing wires.

This little device works as either a Bluetooth 5.0 transmitter or receiver and connects to a standard headphone socket to send or receive music or audio to a Bluetooth connected device.

In the box are the unit itself, a short 3.5mm jack audio cable, a micro-USB charging cable, and well written and easy to read user guide. Build quality is lightweight, all made from plastic, but it seems robust enough to get the job done.

The transmitter/receiver is housed in a 3.5 x 6.4 x 1.1 cm plastic box with an on/off/pairing button on the front with an integrated LED status display and on the side a simple slider to select transmitting or receiving mode and on the base the 3.5mm audio port.

The unit has a non-removable 300mAh rechargeable battery with a two hour charge giving around six hours of use. For permanent installation, the device can be left plugged in for USB power.

To operate, use the slider switch to select which mode you need and then long press the main button to turn it on. The unit will then automatically connect to the last paired device and if not present will go into pairing mode. In pairing mode, the red/blue LED will flash rapidly, when paired successfully a steady blue LED will show.

With this rechargeable device connected to the headphone socket of my camera, I can use Bluetooth earbuds to confirm that the microphone signal is received and that sound quality and levels are OK. Of course, most people will use it to listen to their TV in private or to send audio to their non-Bluetooth music system.

It works well enough for my needs. It connects speedily and automatically to my headset although often with noticeable latency. This delay does not bother me as I am simply testing to confirm the audio connection and indeed it may be simply a problem with the headphones or the native latency of the camera,

There are plenty of rivals available and I have no reason to think this is any better than the rest of them but it works well for me, connects every time and with no dropouts or signal distortion.

For me and for the £8.99 price, it is a good buy.

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Dolovo 8 IN 2 Multiport MacBook Hub

A common criticism of Macbooks is the lack of ports. The Dolovo DC66 hub adapter is targeted at some specific MacBook models most affected by this problem and aims to resolve the issue.

Packaged in a low-key and rather downmarket box were the adapter and a small but informative User Guide which I reproduce in my unboxing video.

The Docking Station is designed to work with certain specific MacBook models, those with side by side Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C ports and will not work with others. It is specifically designed to work with these models:

MacBook Air 13 inch 2022(M2)/2021/2020/2019/2018.
MacBook Pro 13 inch 2022/2021/2020/2019/2018/2017/2016.
MacBook Pro 15 inch 2019/2018/2017/2016.
MacBook Pro 16 inch 2019/2021.
MacBook Pro 14 inch 2021 (Including the M1 series chip)

Weighing in at 50g the 120 x 38 x 10 mm device is made of matt brushed metal with an HDMI 2.0 port on one end and SD and micro-SD card reader slots on the other. Along one side are the two USB-C format plugs to interface with the MacBook. On the other side are the Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C ports along with three USB 3.0 ports.

Here are the capabilities of the various interfaces:
4K video 3840 x 2160@30Hz
Thunderbolt 3
Data transfer 40Gbp/s
Video output up to 5K@60Hz
Power delivery up to 100w
USB-C 3.0
Data transfer up to 5Gbp/s
3 x USB 3.0
Data transfer up to 5Gbp/s
Power Delivery: 5v/900mAh
SD/TF Card Reader

The USB and SD cards function as they would with any other card reader. The HDMI port allows you to play video from your MacBook at up to 4K@30fps. Depending on the capabilities of your device you can support two additional monitors in either Mirror or Extended modes as well as the native Macbook screen display. The Thunderbolt 3 port can be used to charge smartphones and other selected devices at up to 100w.

I was perfectly happy with the operation of this little device, I tried it with my M1 MacBook Pro and it work fine. I will use it mainly to connect external USB drives and to read SDS cards rather than for video display but I tested that feature and it did work. The physical connection to the Macbook is good and secure but I would advise removing it before transporting or storing the computer as it feels a bit vulnerable when not supported by a firm surface.

Although not inexpensive, this is nevertheless a worthwhile addition to the kitbag of any MacBook owner.

The Good
Great price
Works well
USB-C Power port
No drivers needed

The Bad
Budget packaging

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LQTTEK 10000mAh Hand Warmer Review

This little device from LQTTEK is priced at just £16.10 after discounts, is compact sized, easy to use and just the thing to keep with you in the car or your coat when out and about over winter.

The device arrived nicely packaged in an attractive branded box with inside the hand warmer, charging cable, carry bag, lanyard and user guide. Build quality seems fine with no delicate items or anything likely to fail anytime soon. On the top face is the small and not very glove-friendly operating button which incorporates a tiny and hard to read LED display panel for selected temperature and a row of status LEDs for the battery level. On the front are the micro-USB charging port, USB-A power bank output port and lanyard mounting apertures.

Using the device is simple enough. Long press the button to turn off and on, and short press to scroll through the three heating levels (40°C, 50°C, 60°C) with the small backlit display confirming the heating level. Short press twice to turn the rather feeble flashlight off and on.

I was impressed by just how effective this handwarmer really is and how rapidly it starts to work. The three heat levels can be juggled to get the maximum life from each charge. For maximum heat and working life be sure to keep the hand warmer in the heat retaining carry bag. Warmth can be felt after about five seconds from switching it on.

The battery, a larger than average 10000mAh, can be charged using the rather dated micro-USB interface from any suitable USB port. When connected the blue LED row confirms the charging status and battery level and it should take up to 5 hrs to fully charge from empty. A run time of between 7 and 16 hours is claimed, depending on the heat levels used but I suspect 7 hours is about as good as you will get

The device also serves as a power bank and works well enough with enough power to charge most phones at least twice. Charging is not particularly fast but it does work and will get the job in the end. It is certainly a useful feature that could get you out of trouble in an emergency.

There is nothing new here, there are plenty of rivals out there but nevertheless, this is a well made and cleverly designed little unit which works well, is attractively priced and worth the asking price.

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ZOMAKE 35L Lightweight Foldable Backpack

This is the transformer of rucksacks.
It is a 35 Ltr capacity lightweight rucksack that incorporates a small handbag sized pouch into which the empty rucksack can be folded up for storage.

The rucksack arrived simply presented in a reusable ziplock bag with no other packaging or paperwork included or required. I bought the low key black version but it is also available in nine other colours.

Weighing just o.33Kg when unpacked from the 19 x 22 cm storage pouch the rucksack is 49 x 30 cm and 24 cm deep. It has one large internal storage area with a separate divider protected pocket. On the front are two zipped pockets, the lower one formed from the carry pouch. On either side are two large mesh pockets. The rucksack has two slightly padded adjustable shoulder straps and a single chest strap with a locking clip. There are two plastic mounting loops on the shoulder straps and a nylon carry handle on the top.

I have encountered other bags that are supposed to fold up to a small size for storage but too often prove impossible to refold once removed from the bag. Not so here, I was pleased and surprised to find it a quick and easy job to repack the rucksack back into the pouch. Just locate the pouch, open it up and then the main part of the rucksack seems to effortlessly fold back into it.

Once unfolded it becomes a normal small to medium sized rucksack strong and capacious enough to hold a laptop computer, water bottle, sandwich box, books, and all the items you use in your daily life. It is fine for both daily use and as an overnight bag.

This is not a big heavy duty camping rucksack but with multiple pockets, secure stitching and a reinforced base it is more than capable of securely holding all your basic needs for a weekend away or a day at the office.
Build quality seems fine, all the stitching looks good with no hanging threads and despite the light weight and small folded size this transformer rucksack seems a pretty good buy to me for the £23.99 price

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DONGSHEN Noise Reducing Earplugs

This has to be one of the best packaged and presented ear plug sets I have ever tried and a refreshing change to see some real care and attention given to this otherwise rather mundane product.

In general, there are three basic types of earplugs.
Traditional wax plugs – effective but uncomfortable, messy and hard to reuse
Foam – lightweight, comfortable but ineffective
Silicone – lightweight, comfortable and fairly effective

This is one of the best and most effective silicone sets I have yet tried.

In the box are two sizes of earplugs included, one set with a 13.5mm diameter and the other 14.5mm, a heavy-duty metal case with a screw top and mounting ring, a set of cleaning wipes, and a well written and easy to read colour user guide. I have to say I was deeply impressed by the build quality throughout, the earplugs are made from liquid silicone with a plastic core and a tiny handle grip along the edge and the carry case seems virtually bulletproof!

To get the best results from this set it is important to fit them correctly. You have to lift and hold the ear and gently rotate the plugs into position. When in place they do attenuate the sound quite well – as much as SNR 23dB we are told – although perhaps less so than the messy and uncomfortable wax rivals. Each plug has a tiny silicone grab handle to make it easier to retrieve them after use, a feature seldom seen on rival products. Once in place, they are very comfortable and it is easy to forget they are there. It is possible to sleep with them in place even with the head on the pillow sideways on. The plugs are designed for long-term use and the heavy-duty metal case makes storing them safely far easier.

If you need a set of silicone earplugs then I doubt you will find a better kit than this for long or short term use and well worth the £12.99 price.

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mosirui 12 in 1 USB C Docking Station

As computers and smartphones continue the move from USB to USB-C we will find adapters such as this increasingly useful. As they gain in popularity the quality of these devices improves as the prices fall and on Amazon for £65.99, at the time of writing with a 15% discount, this new model from mosirui is currently a pack leader.

Packaged in a low key and rather downmarket box were the adapter and a small but informative User Guide which I reproduce in my unboxing video. 

The Docking Station works well with any Thunderbolt 3/4 or USB C port devices, such as MacBook Pro/ Air, iPad Pro 2018 and later. Make sure your device has a USB Type-C port supporting DP Alt Mode, power delivery, or Thunderbolt 3/4 port.

Weighing in at 95g the 132 x 51 x 14.2 mm device is made of matt brushed metal with a 195mm USB-C cable and 3.5mm audio in/out port on one end and Gigabit Ethernet and Displayport ports on the other. Along one side are a USB-C 3.0 power port, two HDMI 2.0, and one USB 2.0 ports. On the other side are two USB 3.1 and one USB 2.0 ports together with full size SD and micro-SD slots. 

Here are the capabilities of the various interfaces:

  • 1 DP port: Resolution 4K @60Hz
  • 2 HDMI ports: Max resolution up to 4K@60Hz
  • 2 USB 2.0 ports: Data transfer speed up to 480Mbps
  • 2 USB 3.1 ports: Data transfer speed up to10Gbps
  • 1 PD 3.0: Up to 100W power delivery
  • 1 SD card slot: Speed up to 104MB/s
  • 1 TF card slot: Speed up to 104MB/s
  • 1 Mic & Audio 2 in 1 Jack: 3.5mm Jack
  • 1 RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet: 10M/100M/1000Mbps

The USB and SD cards function as they would with any other card reader. The HDMI and Display ports allow you to play video directly from your current generation MacBook or MacBook Pro as well as many high-end smartphones and devices. Depending on the capabilities of your device you can support up to three monitors at once. The USB-C power port can be used to charge smartphones and other selected devices. Many of the functions can also work with selected USB-C smartphones but this varies from model to model. 

I was perfectly happy with the operation of this little device, I tried it with a small format desktop PC, Mac Mini, MacBook Pro and with my Android phone and both worked well although not all features are supported on my phone, a limitation of the phone rather than this device.

Although not inexpensive, this is nevertheless a worthwhile addition to the kitbag of any Mac or USB-C device owner.

The Good
Great price
Works well
USB-C Power port
No drivers needed

The Bad
Budget packaging

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Aepannay ‎DC101-AF 4K Digital Camera

I have to say this new vlogging camera from Aepenny is far better than I was expecting, cheap vlogging cameras are widely available but are usually not much use but this one is not at all bad provided you do not expect too much from it.

The camera itself is nicely constructed, has got some weight to it and does not feel cheaply made, although not quite to premium levels.
It has a large 3 inch fold out but non rotating LCD screen, well labelled buttons which are simple and intuitive to use. It has a good range of ports and interfaces including a microphone port, USB and HDMI out. It has a 52mm thread around the lens to allow for external filters or add-on lenses to be fitted. I was pleased to see it came with a lens cover, two batteries and a 32GB full size SD card. It can be connected directly to your computer via USB for use as a webcam, for file transfer or for streaming.

There are three operating modes – Video, Stills and Replay with
a range of special effects and filters available from the settings menu along with white balance, backlight and EV compensation but otherwise, there are few options for manual focus or exposure selection. Simple file editing can also be made in the camera. There is also built-in x16 digital zoom in both stills and video modes.

Videos are AVI wrapped MJPGs with the following resolutions available
4k@15fps, 2.7K@30fps, 1080p@30fps, 720p@30fps, VGA. So far as I can tell there are no other shutter speeds available other than when used in optional Slow Motion mode. Audio seems to be only recorded as 16bit 16000Hz.

The video quality is good and better than I expected for the budget price, although it falls off somewhat in low light. It gives a good quality video at various modes from 4K to 480p but for me works best at 2.7K@30 fps. 4k image quality is fine but the 15 fps frame rate is too slow for general use.
It has an HDMI out port and I was pleased to see that, unlike with some rivals, this works in all modes and so allows the camera to be connected to an external monitor when recording video, a nice touch for vloggers.

The audio quality from the built-in mic is pretty good too, with a decent gain level, and was also better than I expected. I was very pleased to see a standard 3.5mm microphone in port which allows the use of lav, wireless or other external mics, important for vlogging use. The only audio resolution seems to be 16bit at 16000Hz, which is OK for vlogging but is a bit too thin for more serious use. Remember that the bit rate is determined by the camera and a low bit rate will limit the performance of a good quality external mic.

As a stills camera, it works well too with a range of image sizes up to 48MB available. Image quality is OK with no noticeable colour shifts or distortions but with reduced quality low light performance. Burst or single-shot options are available and there is a two stage shutter with an on screen focus confirmation. Flash modes – auto, manual, and off – are available and easily selected using the navigation controls on the rear of the camera with no need to delve into the settings to do so.

Switching between modes is quick and easy and all the buttons are nicely laid out, well labelled and intuitive to use. This is an easy camera to use and it does not take long to become familiar with the controls.

For the £105 price, this is an excellent camera and fine for use as a first vlogging camera or for general use.

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vancasso SESAM 16 Piece Multicolour Dinner Set

This is a very attractive 16-piece multicoloured stoneware crockery set. It arrived complete and undamaged, very well protected in multiple layers of thick cardboard in an otherwise very plain box and unattractive box.

There are 4 place settings consisting of a dinner plate, side plate, cereal bowl and mug, with each place set a different colour, all muted and attractive with a vague rustic look to them. My set consisted of Apricot, Pink, Purple, and Red Berry place sets although single-colour sets are also available as are 32 and 48-piece versions.

This is proper traditional stoneware, the crockery is heavy and substantial and like all stoneware may chip or break although the set is claimed to be chip and scratch resistant. The stoneware certainly does feel well made and built to last. The plain colour finish incorporates ‘sesame speckles’ which I thought was a glazing fault but in fact, is a feature. As you would expect the set is fully safe in the microwave, dishwasher and oven. The lipped design reduces the chance of spillage and the weight further reduces the likelihood of accidental spills.

This is an attractive and robust crockery set with an unusual design and colouring making it better suited to the breakfast rather than the dinner table.

The current price of £39.99 before discounts makes this an attractive buy for those looking for a more unusual tableware set.

The Good
Unusual Design
Traditional Stoneware Build
Lipped Design
Disher, Oven, Microwave Safe
Good Packing

The Bad
Poor Presentation
Non-Traditional Design

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Rybozen 4K 2 In 1 Out HDMI/USB KVM Switch

Rybozen are a company in the tech marketplace with a growing reputation for build quality and budget prices and this new KVM switcher does not let them down.

A KVM switcher such as this one allows the user to share one monitor, keyboard and mouse between two computers and switch quickly between them.

In the rather plain box can be found the switcher itself, two HDMI to HDMI cables. two USB-A to USB-A cables, and a well written and nicely printed User Guide. Build quality all seems first-rate, the KVM box is made from plastic but feels well made and robust and the cables are all heavy duty. Nothing looks likely to fail anytime soon.

Connecting up is simple enough. Two USB and one HDMI cable from each computer are connected to the rear of the switcher, on the front is the HDMI output port connected to the monitor and two USB-A ports for the keyboard and mouse, their wireless dongles or other USB devices. Press the button on the top to switch from one computer to the other with the large LED surrounding the button changing from blue to green accordingly.

The device can cope with HDMI video signals of to 4K at 60Hz, 4K at 30Hz or 1080p at 60fps and will auto-detect the current resolution. It works with both wired and wireless mice and keyboards and in fact, almost any USB-A device can be shared between connected computers.

It can be a bit of a performance to get it all wired up but once this is done the system works smoothly and reliably every time. Just press the button to switch computers with the LED confirming the active device. I noticed no stutters, frame drops or image degradation. It just plugged in and worked. There is a delay of a second or so as it switches from one connection to the other, but nothing too annoying. Remember of course that it will not work reversed – it will not allow you to use two monitors from one source device.

Priced at £28.99, although there are cheaper rivals available, this little unit works perfectly well, has a build quality good for many years of use and is certainly a very attractive buy.

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