» » » July 2019 Product Reviews

July 2019 Product Reviews

 

From environmentally friendly, bright green meal replacement drinks to accessories for your new Oculus Quest, our July 2019 reviews post has it all!

 

Ambronite Real Food Meal Shakes

These guys from Ambronite have some big goals!

Ambronite’s mission is to transform humans and our planet from surviving to thriving, through a sustainable plant-based lifestyle. We are helping urban professionals to live their life to the fullest by creating delicious, plant-based foods designed for a modern lifestyle. People who dare to transform stay at the heart of our tribe who we want to serve. These are the movers and shakers — leaders, creative professionals and athletes who set new boundaries in human capability.

Ambronite's mission is to transform humans and our planet from surviving to thriving, through a sustainable plant-based lifestyle Click To Tweet Launched in 2014 Finnish company Ambronite began disrupting the nutrition market and has been getting a lot of media and industry attention Click To Tweet

As a ‘mover and shaker’ myself I thought I had better give these meal replacements a try and do my bit to save the planet if that is possible. Launched in 2014 Finnish company Ambronite began disrupting the nutrition market and has been getting a lot of media and industry attention.

The meal replacement market is, however, still in its infancy and while legacy shake products have fallen out of fashion – nutritionally complete, natural, plant-based and sustainable alternatives are gaining traction. This summer Ambronite is releasing three new products – a bar, a balanced shake, and a green juice, the last two of which Tech Trends has dutifully quaffed. From its inception, Ambronite vowed to never use artificial or synthetic ingredients, or GMOs, unlike the vast majority of competitors.

“Our relationship with food has been dangerously distorted by corporations and many of us are living a life that is unsustainable, for the individual and the planet. Our vision is to provide access to clean, plant-based, sustainable nutrition options 24/7”. Commented co-founder Simo Suoheimo

This summer Ambronite is releasing three new products - a bar, a balanced shake, and a green juice, the last two of which Tech Trends has dutifully quaffed Click To Tweet

There’s a myriad of super greens already on the market but Ambronite’s research found that the majority don’t taste great and as a result consumption is low. To truly change daily nutritional habits Ambronite created a blend of greens that tastes great and contains key superfoods like cranberry, spinach, spirulina, bilberry, and sea buckthorn.

There’s a myriad of super greens already on the market but Ambronite’s research found that the majority don’t taste great and as a result consumption is low Click To Tweet

Juicing and hand-made smoothies are great, but when you add up finding the good stuff, shopping, spinning your blender, cleaning the machines… honestly, most people simply have more important (and fun) things to do in everyday life. With AmbroGreens, you should cover all your bases in just 1 minute every morning! And most importantly, it’s the healthy habit you can enjoy while saving your valuable time from shopping, prepping and cleaning up. Simply scoop one tablespoon of AmbroGreens and enjoy with water or add it to your favourite smoothie.

With AmbroGreens, you should cover all your bases in just 1 minute every morning! And most importantly, it's the healthy habit you can enjoy while saving your valuable time from shopping, prepping and cleaning up Click To Tweet

I found AmbroGreens to be really excellent. It was easy to prepare, not gummy and lumpy, very tasty and not too sweet (as these things often are). I would say it is naturally sweet tasting and a pleasant drink. I did feel that I got my greens boost every morning. Take a look at the video for a bit more info.

I found AmbroGreens to be really excellent. It was easy to prepare, not gummy and lumpy, very tasty and not too sweet Click To Tweet Each meal is designed to quench hunger for four hours. I had the Ambronite shake for breakfast today and I added a bit more water than stated because it initially felt too thick Click To Tweet

Ambronite Balanced Meal Shake delivers a real food meal that is more affordable, gentle on the stomach and provides 20 grams of protein, plenty of fibre, and food-based vitamins and minerals. Each meal is designed to quench hunger for four hours. I had the Ambronite shake for breakfast today and I added a bit more water than stated because it initially felt too thick.

My first impression was that there was not any one outstanding taste, just a thorough blend of the ingredient tastes. Not too sweet, not too salty (even though there’s a lot of sodium and potassium in it), not too ‘berry-y’, not too ‘other’. Which on a whole made it not unpleasant, but maybe not something I would look forward to every day. It was filling, but not in a heavy way and I can say that I didn’t feel hungry until about 4 hours after I drank the shake.

It was filling, but not in a heavy way and I can say that I didn't feel hungry until about 4 hours after I drank the shake Click To Tweet

Truthfully, I don't know that I felt any more 'focused' than I usually do but am sure the effects would be more obvious with repeated or regular use Click To Tweet

As to the claims of optimized nutrition, it seems they’ve done a good job. I like that it’s high-protein without the use of soy. As to the ‘power-kick that keeps you focused’. Truthfully, I don’t know that I felt any more ‘focused’ than I usually do but am sure the effects would be more obvious with repeated or regular use.

“Most of us succumb to the stresses of modern life and compromise our nutrition as a result. We’re a solution for professionals and health-conscious consumers who demand optimal nutrition in any circumstance”. Concludes Suoheimo

Not bad all around and these were definitely the tastiest and least gunky food in a glass products we have tried here at Tech Trends so check out their products here and see if Ambronite works for you and your gut!

 

Book: Blockchain Babel

Igor Pejic provides a handy guide to understanding what the flip the Blockchain is about, and what it will really mean for us all. If you ever wondered how a cryptocurrency wallet worked (it functions more like a key than a wallet) or what “hashing” means (it’s where original information is transformed into a code via mathematical scrambling with one-way cryptography) this book explains all of that, alongside the basic principles and workings of the Blockchain and the cryptos that run off it. Read the full review here.

 

Skross – US Adapters for World Travellers

We have tested and loved the sturdy and almost endlessly flexible power adapters from Skross before so when my summer 2019 schedule shaped up to be an epic American road trip of conferences, tech company visits and tours as well as the usual tech journo shenanigans I thought I’d try out their best solutions for overseas US travellers.

With a satchel creaking under the weight of two MacBooks, five phones (yes five) and various power banks and electronic gadgets I knew I’d put the Skross products through their paces and indeed they were worked hard and even saved my bacon a couple of times.

With a satchel creaking under the weight of two MacBooks, five phones (yes five) and various power banks and electronic gadgets I knew I’d put the Skross products through their paces Click To Tweet

To keep my gadgets juiced up while in the US Skross kindly sent me their Combo World to US a 2 in 1 solution for the USA and Europe combined in a single adapter.

Specs

– Designed in Switzerland
– Suitable for equipment with earthed & unearthed plugs (2- & 3-pole)
– Input plugs: Switzerland, Italy, Brazil, UK, USA/Japan,
– Europe (Schuko & 2-pole Euro), Australia/China
– Output plugs: USA, Europe (Schuko)
– Input voltage: 100 V – 250 V
– Max. load: 15 A
– Power rating: e.g. 100 V – 1500 W / 250 V – 3750 W
– Does not convert voltage
– Adapter: 94 g
– Adapter: W 58 mm H 60 mm D 71 mm

This adapter ensures getting connected is super easy, not just in the USA but also in all other countries with Schuko standard sockets (as predominantly found in Europe). This adapter provides global travellers with a safe, reliable and easy connection in all countries with the US and Schuko standard, making it an ideal solution for business and leisure travellers or, in fact, journos like myself. It lacks a USB-B but does just about everything else.

This Skross adapter provides global travellers with a safe, reliable and easy connection in all countries with the US and Schuko standard, making it an ideal solution for business and leisure travellers or, in fact, journos Click To Tweet I also tested their Skross Steel Line USB-C Cable which proved very strong and powered up everything from my MacBook Pro to three of my phones and my two power banks Click To Tweet

I also tested their Steel Line USB-C Cable which proved very strong (if a little inflexible, Duh… it is a Steel Line cable) and powered up everything from my MacBook Pro to three of my phones and my two power banks. I have nothing bad to say about this cable, it took everything I threw at it and laughed!

Specs

– Designed in Switzerland
– Input voltage: 5 V
– Output voltage: 5 V
– Output current: max. 3 A
– USB standard: 3.0
– Charges and synchronises all devices with USB Type-C
– Robust aluminium housing is made-to-last
– No more tangled wires
– Cable length: 1 m (3.3 ft)
– Reinforced jacket on Type-C and USB Connector

The Skross US USB-C Charger is perfect if you live in or travel to a country with the US or Japanese socket standard. The two USB ports (Type-C and Type-A) enable a traveller to charge two USB devices at the same time in over 50 countries around the world. This is very slim and probably got the most use during my trip, staying in my bag all the time due to its size while the other adapters mostly stayed in my hotel room for overnight use.

The Skross US USB-C Charger is perfect if you live in or travel to a country with the US or Japanese socket standard Click To Tweet

Specs

– Designed in Switzerland
– Suitable in all countries with US socket standard (more than 50 countries worldwide)
– Input: 100 V – 240 V ~ 50/60 Hz 700 mA (max.)
– Output A: DC 5 V, 2.4 A
– Output C: DC 5 V, 3 A
– Output max.: DC 5 V, 5.4 A total
– The two USB ports (Type-C and Type-A) enable to charge two USB devices at the same time
– Charges smartphones, tablets or any other USB devices in over 50 countries around the world.
– Not only for USB Type-C devices: the Type-A USB port can charge any USB device!

The World to USA USB is perfect whether you’re planning to see the sights of New York, visit Vancouver, trek in US national parks (which I did!) or experience the wonder of Niagara Falls (also did), this country adapter is the ideal charging companion with the added bonus of a USB port.

Specs

– Designed in Switzerland
– Suitable for equipment with earthed & unearthed plugs (2- & 3-pole) and USB devices
– Input plugs: Euro, Australia/China, UK, USA/Japan, Switzerland, Italy, Brazil
– Output plugs: USA
– Input voltage: 100 V – 250 V
– Max. load: 15 A
– Power rating: e.g. 100 V – 1500 W / 250 V – 3750 W
– USB output: 5 V / 2.4 A
– Does not convert voltage
– Suitable even for powerful devices such as laptops and travel hairdryers
– Applicable in many destinations: USA, Canada, Bahamas, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico and many more.
– The 1 x USB port easily charges smartphone, tablet or other USB devices

It’s small and very lightweight. It is also well constructed, unlike the shoddy cheap products found on Amazon for a few bucks, only the best Swiss manufacturing here! Click To Tweet

The best thing about this adapter (apart from its flexibility) is its size. It’s small and very lightweight. It is also well constructed, unlike the shoddy cheap products found on Amazon for a few bucks, only the best Swiss manufacturing here! All round, the Skross products I have used here and over the last couple of years have been excellent investments. They are not cheap but boy are they reliable and well built, these adapters will last years of international travel and are well worth the outlay.

Check out the huge range of product this excellent Swiss company makes here and trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

 

Airfree Tulip 1000

Clean the air in your home with the Airfree Tulip 1000 silent air purifier. More and more of us are paying attention to the air we breathe, both in and out of the home. While the UK Government are letting us all down by failing to comply with EU laws on air pollution in our towns and cities, inside our own homes we can at least try to control things. Airfree sent us their elegant Tulip 1000 to test so we read the very simple instructions, chose the fuggiest room in our house and plugged it in. After a day or two, I started to wonder how I could know if it is working as the cleaning supposedly takes place on a microscopic level and apart from giving off faint heat and an array of pretty colours the Tulip 1000 is completely silent and requires no maintenance, not even the occasional replacement of parts. Read the full review here.

 

VR Covers for your new Oculus Quest

If your HMD is shared around with family or colleagues it’s probably worth getting some changeable and hygienic pads or covers, as no matter how much you love your nearest and dearest or your workmates nobody likes sharing grease! The guys at VR Cover have been making affordable and comfortable solutions for a variety of headsets for a while now and they have quickly produced a few products for the shiny new Oculus Quest.

The guys at VRCover.com have been making affordable and comfortable solutions for a variety of headsets for a while now and they have quickly produced a few products for the shiny new Oculus Quest Click To Tweet

For only $29 they offer an Oculus Quest Foam & Interface Basic Set containing two easy-clean leather-like foam pads – one more padded than the other – to ensure you get the fit you want with your Quest. Both foam paddings prevent light leakage and you can simply switch between them to find the best fit and immersion. I found the comfort version with its thicker, broader pad helped to distribute the weight of the device better.

Effective at reducing pressure and red marks on the face, these ultra-soft foam replacements will make long VR sessions much more comfortable. Cleaning the accessories is easy. Simply use a cloth or anti-bacterial wipes to remove sweat and grime and you will have a fresh and hygienic headset again in no time.

Effective at reducing pressure and red marks on the face, these ultra-soft foam replacements will make long VR sessions much more comfortable Click To Tweet

Get your order in now as this basic set is expected to ship at the end of August 2019 & includes:
1 x Facial Interface (black)
1 x Oculus Quest PU Leather Foam Replacement (standard)
1 x Oculus Quest PU Leather Foam Replacement (comfort)

Make your Quest basic set even more comfortable and add one of their $19 Oculus Quest Cotton VR Covers comprising two, soft, washable cotton covers in one set. Made of quick-absorbing 100% cotton, the covers wick away moisture, so your VR experience feels comfortable and your headset stays protected.

To make your Quest basic set even more comfortable, add one of their $19 Oculus Quest Cotton VR Covers comprising two, soft, washable cotton covers in one set Click To Tweet

Installation is straightforward, thanks to a unique hook and strap system. The in-built elastic straps and hooks fasten onto the back of the interface, assuring a secure fit even during active gaming. This set is expected to ship around the 15 July 2019 so order soon. Each set contains 2 machine-washable covers so just swap one out for the other and get a clean headset every time.

Designed to optimise hygiene and comfort, these VR Covers are perfect whether you are sharing headsets or flying solo. Check out more of their products here.

 

Tech Energi USB Charger and LED USB Cables
Coming packaged in a recyclable aluminium can and featuring coloured LED connection indicators these Tech Energi USB peripherals are a little bit different but fortunately still work well at their simple jobs.
The Triple 3.1A USB Charger is made for your smartphone, tablet and all USB connected gadgets. Tidy and compact, the lightweight design means the charger is very portable plus includes surge protection, temperature control and its ‘no compromise’ safety features should keep you and your devices safe.

Three USB slots can charge 3 devices simultaneously. The charger automatically detects and outputs the optimal charging current for each connected device. Each USB port intelligently identifies your device to deliver the fastest possible charge at maximum speed (up to 3.1A) or will share the charge when 3 devices are connected simultaneously. It comes with a Tech Energi drawstring pouch to conveniently pack it in when you need to take your charger out and about.

Each USB port intelligently identifies your device to deliver the fastest possible charge at maximum speed (up to 3.1A) or will share the charge when 3 devices are connected simultaneously Click To Tweet

Specs

  • Three USB slots to charge 3 devices simultaneously
  • Model no: TE03
  • Input: 100-240V AC 50/60Hz 0.5A
  • Output: Max DC5V 3.1A
  • Rohs and CE approved
  • Short circuit and overload protection
  • High fast charging efficiency
  • Handy at home or at the office
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Reusable and Recyclable Can
  • Product weight 74.3g
  • Total weight 156.8g

Can Contents

1 x Tech Energi® 3.1Amp Triple USB Mains Charger
1 x Drawstring pouch
1 x User manual

The Tech Energi Micro USB cable is just what it says on the tin (sorry) and does a good job charging up my older phones. This connection is now old news but for people who don’t update their phones every year this cable is a must have when the branded ones that come packaged with handsets are often short-lived.

This Micro USB connection is now old news but for people who don't update their phones every year this cable is a must have when the branded ones that come packaged with handsets are often short-lived Click To Tweet

This ultra-durable cable features reinforced stress points, superior workmanship and thick gauge wiring that delivers an incredible bend lifespan and stands up to active daily use. Enjoy the most reliable and fastest possible charging and data transfer 24/7. The USB head also features a Purple LED that lights up when connected, a nice touch.

This ultra-durable cable features reinforced stress points, superior workmanship and thick gauge wiring that delivers an incredible bend lifespan and stands up to active daily use Click To Tweet

Specs

  • Tech Energi® 1A Micro-USB Charge and Sync USB cable
  • Transfers data, music and photos in seconds; supports fast charge and sync
  • Durable construction; metal housing
  • Incredible lifespan
  • Handy at home or at the office
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Reusable and Recyclable Can
  • LED indicator: Purple
  • Cable length: 1.2M
  • Cable gauge: 3.6mm
  • Product weight 45g
  • Total weight 97g

Can Contents

1 x Tech Energi® Micro-USB Charge and Sync USB cable
1 x Drawstring pouch

Never fear, for those on the latest handsets Tech Energi also make a USB-C cable for power and data transfer. From my testing, these cables are all high quality and well-made.

Featuring a Blue LED that shines when connected the Tech Energi USB-C Charge and Sync cable is made for your smartphones, tablets and any other device with a USB-C port Click To Tweet

 

Featuring a Blue LED that shines when connected the Tech Energi USB-C Charge and Sync cable is made for your smartphones, tablets and any other device with a USB-C port. The reversible USB-C connector allows you to plug your cable to the USB-C port of your device in any direction.

This cable features the same ultra-durable build, standing up well to active daily use and is compatible with any device using a USB-C socket. It also comes with a Tech Energi drawstring pouch to conveniently pack it in when on the move.

Specifications

  • Tech Energi® USB-C Charge and Sync USB cable
  • Transfers data, music and photos in seconds; supports fast charge and sync
  • Durable construction; metal housing
  • Incredible lifespan
  • Handy at home or at the office
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Reusable and Recyclable Can
  • LED indicator: Blue
  • Cable length: 1.2M
  • Cable gauge: 3.6mm
  • Product weight 45g
  • Total weight 97g

Can Contents

1 x Tech Energi® USB-C Charge and Sync USB cable
1 x Drawstring pouch

 

Tom Atkinson is Reviews & Dep. Editor at Tech Trends.