Alice Bonasio VR Consultancy MR Tom Atkinson Tech Trends Review AR Mixed Virtual Reality Augmented apricorn inateck nescafe blitzwolf wild one vype
» » » October 2018 Product Reviews

October 2018 Product Reviews

 

Boy have we got some cool reviews for you this month. From the latest Coffee tech to Vape pens and secure USB keys it’s all right here.

Vype ePen 3

Alice Bonasio VR Consultancy MR Tom Atkinson Tech Trends Review AR Mixed Virtual Reality Augmented apricorn inateck nescafe blitzwolf wild one vype

It is all the rage these days and this new ePen 3 from Vype is easily the best-looking vape pen out there. It is small and slick looking when the average pen looks more like an industrial breathalizer kit. It slips nicely into a jeans pocket and the tasty replaceable pods are easy to change and bring a clean new mouthpiece with each load.

It is all the rage these days and this new ePen 3 from Vype is easily the best-looking vape pen out there Click To Tweet

Alice Bonasio VR Consultancy MR Tom Atkinson Tech Trends Review AR Mixed Virtual Reality Augmented apricorn inateck nescafe blitzwolf wild one vype

I tried it out with Tech Trends new Crypto Correspondent, Richard Andrews who is currently kicking the rollie habit by vaping and he was impressed. We both concluded that despite its low price and slim design it really packs a punch. Give it a go if you want a low profile vape pen that gives you plenty of bang for your buck.

Available online from Vype for £14.99 down from £17.99 at the moment.

 

More Bike, less BS

People don’t really need to be sold on the advantages of getting on your bike where it comes to urban mobility. Compared to driving, cycling is better for the environment, cheaper, fewer issues with parking, and any time there is traffic you’re likely to get to your destination sooner than the cars anyway. And unless you really enjoy getting up-close and personal with random strangers every day, commuting on public transport can quickly lose its appeal, even if we forget about price rises, strikes and random delays. Read the full story here.

Tech Trends VanMoof Electrified Bike Launch London E-bike Technology

 

WILD ONE – Pet Accessories

In the past decade, Gen Z and Millennials accounted for more than half of the growth in the pet owner population. In fact, the 57 million pet owners under the age of 40 account for 41% of all pet-owning adults in the United States. It’s estimated that in 2018, Americans will spend $72 billion on their pets, $15 billion of that specifically on pet supplies. In New York City alone, there are roughly 425,000 dogs in homes across the five boroughs. That’s a lot of poop bags!

Wild One will also host a series of interactive experiences and events such as Wild One Wednesday Happy Hours, movie nights, collaborations with Sofar Sounds, and more Click To Tweet

Alice Bonasio VR Consultancy MR Tom Atkinson Tech Trends Review AR Mixed Virtual Reality Augmented apricorn inateck nescafe blitzwolf wild one vype

Americans will spend $72 billion on their pets, $15 billion of that specifically on pet supplies. In New York City alone, there are roughly 425,000 dogs in homes across the five boroughs. That's a lot of poop bags! Click To Tweet

As the owner of three dogs, yes three, I was excited to hear about Wild One, a new line of design-conscious pet essentials that has announced its first retail pop-up shop in NoLita, 242 Lafayette Street, New York. Located just around the corner from the new Amazon 4-Star and operational from October 20 through January 1, the immersive brick-and-mortar shop will serve as a dog-friendly community hub, designed to simplify and enhance the pet shopping experience and encourage visitors to relax, meet fellow pet parents, and enjoy the space. Wild One will also host a series of interactive experiences and events such as Wild One Wednesday Happy Hours, movie nights, collaborations with Sofar Sounds, and more.

Alice Bonasio VR Consultancy MR Tom Atkinson Tech Trends Review AR Mixed Virtual Reality Augmented apricorn inateck nescafe blitzwolf wild one vype

Wild One has opened its first retail pop-up shop in NoLita, 242 Lafayette Street, New York. Located just around the corner from the new Amazon 4-Star and operational from October 20 through January 1. Click To Tweet

While unable to jet my pooches to NY to try out the Sofar Sounds (whatever they are?) I was able to try out some Wild One products and found them well made, sturdy and modern looking. No leather or chains here, more of an Ikea or Apple feel to everything.

Wild Ones Products:

  • Collar – $45: Easy to use. Simple to clean. Made to last with a strong yet comfortable flex-poly strap that’s water-, odour-, tangle- and park-proof.
  • Leash – $75: Made from flex-poly straps and sturdy hardware, it’s ideal for easy temporary tie-up, quick short-leash adjustment, and everyday adventures.
  • Carrier – $180: A comfortable way to seize the day together. Cushioned base, soft straps, durable exterior, and a clever cut-out to enjoy the view. Perfect for pint-sized pups.
  • Harness – $75: A cushioned, lightweight harness that’s simple to secure and easy to link up with (in both the front and back).
  • Tennis Balls – $10 (6 / set): A set of tennis balls made from ultra pet-friendly materials, featuring extra bouncy rubber cores.
  • Bed – $125 to $225: Tiered foam for comfort, side rails for snuggling, water-resistant lining for accidents, and a layered poly-weave cover for durability.
  • Bowl – $25: Looks good on a living room floor and works well with enthusiastic eaters. Dishwasher safe with a non-slip base. 4-cup capacity for the super hungry.
  • Poop Bags – $10 (60 / box): Designed to take care of business after your dog takes care of theirs, these eco-friendly, blush-coloured bags are extra thick, leak-proof, and unscented.
  • Poop Bag Carrier – $12: A proper home for poop bags. Elastic attachment that plays well with any leash or tote. Easy-twist top for quick reloads.
Inspired by technical apparel and subtle style, Wild One applies performance materials and clean design to pet gear, focusing on form and function in equal measure Click To Tweet

Inspired by technical apparel and subtle style, Wild One applies performance materials and clean design to pet gear, focusing on form and function in equal measure. All of the brand’s items are designed to heighten ease and practicality, making it simple (and fun!) for people to incorporate their wild ones into their busy lives.

Check them out online and the Wild One pop-up will be open through the end of 2018.

 

Nescafe Dolce Gusto Infinissima Coffee Machine

I am regularly up into the early hours hacking away at articles or digital projects and need a quick hit of caffeine. My usual coffee making routine is wonderful but it takes a long time, grinding the beans, boiling the kettle, setting up the paper filter plus warming the milk. Yes, I take it rather seriously! So I was very pleased when the Nescafe Dolce Gusto Infinissima Coffee Machine by Krups arrived along with a couple of boxes of capsules. Now colour me sceptical about quick coffee but this little machine was not bad, not bad at all.

Alice Bonasio VR Consultancy MR Tom Atkinson Tech Trends Review AR Mixed Virtual Reality Augmented apricorn inateck nescafe blitzwolf wild one vype

Now colour me sceptical about quick coffee but this little Nescafe machine was not bad, not bad at all. Click To Tweet

Apart from looking a lot like a toy duck that spits out coffee, it is a tidy little machine and when charged with some strong pods and some filtered water puts out very nice if small cups of coffee. I normally take my coffee like I take my beer, in pints but the sheer tastiness of this Nescafe coffee has opened my eyes to quality over quantity.

My recipe for heaven using this Infinissima Machine is take a small espresso-style cup, add half a teaspoon of brown sugar and a splash for milk. Pop it in the microwave for 20 seconds while you warm up the Coffee Duck and charge with an Espresso Intenso pod. Flick the switch to hot and wow, the resulting macchiato type beverage will rock your world.

Flick the switch to hot and wow, the resulting macchiato type beverage will rock your world Click To Tweet

Alice Bonasio VR Consultancy MR Tom Atkinson Tech Trends Review AR Mixed Virtual Reality Augmented apricorn inateck nescafe blitzwolf wild one vype

Nescafé Dolce Gusto Infinissima manual coffee machine by Krups

  • Minimalist design, fitting seamlessly into compact kitchens
  • Maximum 15 bar pump pressure for coffee shop quality
  • 1.2 Litre water tank
  • Adjustable drip tray to suit all cup size
  • Available in White & Black, Black or Red & Black
  • Easy to use manual system
  • Can prepare both hot and cold beverages
  • A slimline offering at just 15cm (W) x 37cm (H) x 28cm (D)

The Infinissima is very reasonable and Available at Debenhams for £100 and takes up very little space on the counter so give it a go, you might end up drinking more coffee but hey, so what.

 

Tech That Every Poker Player Should Own

Playing online Poker is great, but it can get even better with some help from modern-day tech. From having the proper noise-cancelling headphones to owning a travel-friendly cigar humidor, here are ten things that will bring your game to a whole new level. Read the full story here.

Alice Bonasio VR Consultancy MR Tom Atkinson Tech Trends Review AR Mixed Virtual Reality Augmented pokerstars poker stars cards casino data online 888

 

Inateck Camera Bag & USB 3 SSD Drive Enclosure

As well as editing Tech Trends I work around the world as a photographer for clients including Samsung and HP so travelling with a tonne of kit plus the valuable digital files I produce is a serious pain. I’ve never had a bag or kit case that could fit everything I needed and be comfortable to carry so I was happy to get my hands on the Inateck 3 in 1 DSLR Camera + 15.6 inch Laptop & Travel Backpack. It’s a multifunctional water resistant rucksack with a rain cover and tripod holder.

I’ve never had a bag or kit case that could fit everything I needed and be comfortable to carry so I was happy to get my hands on the Inateck 3 in 1 DSLR Camera + 15.6 inch Laptop & Travel Backpack Click To Tweet

Alice Bonasio VR Consultancy MR Tom Atkinson Tech Trends Review AR Mixed Virtual Reality Augmented apricorn inateck nescafe blitzwolf wild one vype

I can get my camera, five lenses, cables, batteries and chargers plus a bunch of accessories and a 15 inch MacBook Pro in this thing and it is still comfortable and fits in overhead luggage racks. I can strap a small tripod to the outside and the rollout waterproof cover can be deployed quickly in downpours. Can you tell I like it? Well, I do, it is awesome and also has a quick access flap so you can get your camera out the side of the rucksack very quickly without opening the case via the main compartment or zips.

I can get my camera, five lenses, cables, batteries and chargers plus a bunch of accessories and a 15 inch MacBook Pro in this thing and it is still comfortable and fits in overhead luggage racks Click To Tweet

I have used this Inateck rucksack on location in New York, Barcelona and Berlin and have had no problems at all. Another point worth noting is that it doesn’t look special or technical, it looks like any normal bag so no one can tell you are carrying thousands of dollars of kit around. My old hard case was a bit too Mission Impossible and I always expected to get mugged and my hand sawn off at the wrist to release the nuclear codes!

Alice Bonasio VR Consultancy MR Tom Atkinson Tech Trends Review AR Mixed Virtual Reality Augmented apricorn inateck nescafe blitzwolf wild one vype

Along with the rucksack I tested out the Inateck external USB 3.0 to SATA SSD hard drive enclosure and Inateck’s USB-A Male to USB-C 3.1 Gen2 nylon braided cable. Click To Tweet

However, the images themselves are what I get paid for and keeping those backed up, safe and easily accessible is another challenge. Along with the rucksack I tested out the Inateck external USB 3.0 to SATA SSD hard drive enclosure and Inateck’s USB-A Male to USB-C 3.1 Gen2 nylon braided cable.

This combo delivers the flexibility and transfer speeds I needed in a practical, low profile setup. The drive case is optimised for 9.5mm/7mm 2.5 Inch SATA SSDs so I could stick one of my own super speed 1TB SanDisk SSDs in there and know that it would be reliable. The case is slim and would fit in a pants pocket but one extra touch I loved was the on-off button recessed into a slanted corner. This avoids possible corruption issues when swapping the USB powered drive between computers and was a very neat touch.

This combo delivers the flexibility and transfer speeds I needed in a practical, low profile setup Click To Tweet

Alice Bonasio VR Consultancy MR Tom Atkinson Tech Trends Review AR Mixed Virtual Reality Augmented apricorn inateck nescafe blitzwolf wild one vype

To go with it and link to my Mac The USB A to C cable was perfect and fast as lightning. The connectors are sturdy and the braided cable more flexible than boring old rubber. The reality of cell phone networks means that on location you never get a good enough signal to back photos up to the cloud so a fast portable set up like this is vital to ensure you don’t lose any images. Did I say it was fast? Yes, the bottleneck in this set up is the USB 3 port but that is plenty fast enough in real-world use.

Did I say it was fast? Yes, the bottleneck in this set up is the USB 3 port but that is plenty fast enough in real-world use Click To Tweet

Alice Bonasio VR Consultancy MR Tom Atkinson Tech Trends Review AR Mixed Virtual Reality Augmented apricorn inateck nescafe blitzwolf wild one vype

Available via Amazon here in the UK at the links below these Inateck products are reasonably priced and excellent quality, recommended by me!

Inateck 3 in 1 DSLR Camera/15.6 Inch Laptop/Travel Backpack – £47.99
Inateck USB 3.0 to SATA Hard Drive Enclosure External – £9.99
Inateck USB 3.1 Cable USB-A Male to USB-C 3.1 Gen2 Nylon Braided Cable – £5.99

 

BlitzWolf BW-FYE1 TWS Bluetooth 5.0 Wireless Earbuds

These are the first BT 5.0 headphones I have tested and in reality, this new 5.0 classification probably just means better battery life rather than improvements to audio quality. Not that this is to be sniffed at, better battery life is always a plus and I can say these earbuds from Blitzwolf lasted for 3 hours between charges for me, so pretty good. The charging case is also small and well designed and carries a claimed 12 hours of charge.

Sound was pretty good, full, with a rounded profile. They were pleasant to wear and connected to my smartphone quickly. Nothing to complain about here, a good pair of BT buds Click To Tweet

Alice Bonasio VR Consultancy MR Tom Atkinson Tech Trends Review AR Mixed Virtual Reality Augmented apricorn inateck nescafe blitzwolf wild one vype

Unlike other earbuds I have used, these make contact with your ear in a couple of places rather than just slipping in your ear canal. This is a bit strange in use but you quickly get used to it and they don’t look as strange in use as the xFyro xS2s I reviewed last month. Sound was pretty good, full, with a nice balenced profile. They were pleasant to wear and connected to my smartphone quickly. Nothing to complain about here, a good pair of BT buds.

Available from BangGood.com for £26.82 and use DISCOUNT CODE: 15fye1 to get 15% off now!

 

Apricorn Aegis Secure Key 3NX – USB 3.1 Flash Drive

I was really quite excited when the lovely Jon Fielding from Apricorn let me know the next generation of their secure key: the Aegis Secure Key 3NX was out! The last version of this handy little USB key got an excellent review from me earlier this year and has gone on to be the core of my personal digital security. My taxes, finances, insurance and all manner or boring but necessary records live merrily on my old Secure Key 3Z and I have 100% confidence they are safe there. This is the fourth generation of Secure Key and brings some next-generation security features and up to 25% cooler operating temperatures, which is a good thing as to be honest the old 3Z got bloody hot. Maybe most importantly the new 3NX comes at an even lower price with my new 128GB sample costing a very reasonable £189 while the base unit has dropped from £70 to $59.

I was really quite excited when the lovely Jon Fielding from Apricorn let me know the next generation of their secure key: the Aegis Secure Key 3NX was out! Click To Tweet

As before the 3NX is software-free, 100% hardware-based 256-bit AES XTS encrypted, onboard keypad PIN authenticated with ultra-fast USB 3.1 (3.0) data transfer speeds. All Data is encrypted on the fly and the device’s PINs and Data remain encrypted while the drive is at rest. Completely cross-platform compatible and OS agnostic the 3NX thrives in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, Chrome, embedded systems, and equipment possessing a powered USB port and storage file system. All internal componentry is protected from physical tampering with a layer of hardened epoxy, and locked-down firmware brings immunity to malware attacks such as BadUSB.

Alice Bonasio VR Consultancy MR Tom Atkinson Tech Trends Review AR Mixed Virtual Reality Augmented apricorn inateck nescafe blitzwolf wild one vype

 

The polymer-coated wear-resistant onboard keypad stays the same and the drive is unlocked by entering a PIN on the keypad and not the host computer’s keyboard. Until the device is unlocked via its keypad, it remains invisible to the host. The embedded keypad circumvents all hardware and software key logging attempts to capture passwords by excluding the host system from the authentication process. Polymer-coated buttons are wear-resistant and designed to not reveal most commonly used buttons.

The embedded keypad circumvents all hardware and software key logging attempts to capture passwords by excluding the host system from the authentication process Click To Tweet

The FIPS 140-2 Level 3 Validation (pending 4Q 2018) meets the U.S. government standards for information technology and computer security. NIST FIPS 140 is the cryptography standard program required by the US federal government for protection of sensitive data. I am a huge fan on the unattended auto-lock feature, a programmable period of Inactivity permitted before drive locks Itself. All Aegis Secure Drives will automatically lock once disconnected from a computer’s USB port or the power to that USB port is interrupted or after a pre-programmed period of inactivity. Super handy!

Alice Bonasio VR Consultancy MR Tom Atkinson Tech Trends Review AR Mixed Virtual Reality Augmented apricorn inateck nescafe blitzwolf wild one vype

The awesome self-destruct PIN also remains so when programmed and activated, performs a Crypto-Erase and becomes a new access PIN. The last line of defence for data security when the device’s physical security and your personal safety are at risk. The self-destruct PIN defends against these physically compromising situations by erasing the key’s contents, leaving it in normal working order appearing yet to be deployed. Suck on that MI6! or is it MI5?

The self-destruct PIN defends against physically compromising situations by erasing the key’s contents, leaving it in working order appearing yet to be deployed. Suck on that MI6! or is it MI5? Click To Tweet

The Brute-Force defence is also a useful real-world security measure. Select the Number of Consecutive Invalid PIN Attempts Permitted (4-20) Before Crypto-Erase. All Aegis Secure Drives are unlocked (authenticated) by entering a PIN on their own onboard keypad. Since the PIN is not entered using the host computer’s keyboard, they are not vulnerable to software or hardware-based key-loggers or software-based brute force attacks. However, if the device comes under a physical brute force attack, your data is protected with a programmable “Brute Force Hack Defense Mechanism” which, if the programmed number (between 4 and 20) of consecutive incorrect password entries has been attempted, the device will delete its own encryption key and destroy the ability to decrypt its stored data.

Data Transfer Rate
Up to 77MB/s Read / 72MB/s Write
Power Supply
USB Port / Internal Battery
Interface
SuperSpeed USB 3.1 (Backwards compatible with USB 3.0, 2.0 and 1.1)
Dimensions
81mm x 18.4mm x 9.5mm | 22 g
Warranty
3-year Limited Warranty
Approvals
FIPS 140-2 Level 3 pending 4Q 2018, IP-67, FCC, CE, VCCI, WEE, C-TICK
Certification Policies
ECCN   /  HTS  /  Cage Code
5A992.c  /  8473.50.3000  /  3VYK8
System Requirements
Windows®, Mac®, Linux, Android and Symbian systems, or any powered USB OS with a storage file system
In this day and age, everybody needs one of these and the self-discipline to use it and regularly back their shit up. No excuses with this price drop! Click To Tweet

With a shiny new 3NX in my hand, the least I could do was pass the old 3Z to my dear wife so the drive reset feature came in handy. All Apricorn devices can be reset and redeployed over and over. Activating drive reset clears both the User and Admin PINs, destroys the data, creates a new randomly generated encryption key and allows the drive to be reused repeatedly, with an infinite number of randomly generated encryption keys, allowing the admin and or user to reset the drive as often as is needed. I just don’t know how I got by without one for so long!

For more info on all the incredible tech built into this tiny device check out Apricorn’s website. In this day and age, everybody needs one of these and the self-discipline to use it and regularly back their shit up. No excuses with this price drop! The Aegis Secure Key 3NX is available from Apricorn starting at $59.00

 

BlitzWolf BW-LT7 Smart LED Desk Lamp with Qi Wireless Charger

Blitzwolf is another high-quality manufacturer from China that makes devices and accessories you actually need and want. This multipurpose desk lamp is a great example, offering useful control of the LED lighting system plus USB and wireless charging in a very neat and stylish package.

Alice Bonasio VR Consultancy MR Tom Atkinson Tech Trends Review AR Mixed Virtual Reality Augmented apricorn inateck nescafe blitzwolf wild one vype

The aluminium and plastic design is very tough and reassuringly heavy. No quality issues here. The controls are simple and intuitive plus in English and it simply does what it says on the tin, lights your desk in several really practical ways depending on your working practices or the time of day and charges a couple of modern devices.

Alice Bonasio VR Consultancy MR Tom Atkinson Tech Trends Review AR Mixed Virtual Reality Augmented apricorn inateck nescafe blitzwolf wild one vype

It’s a very sleek and cool looking lamp that offers flexible lighting and USB + Wireless charging for your smartphone and devices. It looks great and works well, what more is there to say! This is now on my desk and it should be on yours.

Available from BangGood.com for £41.03 and use DISCOUNT CODE 33df5d for 11% off now!

 

Tom Atkinson is a Digital Producer & Photographer at R3Digital and Reviews & Dept. Editor at Tech Trends. Connect on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter @R3Digital