Category Archives: review

AUKEY Omnia 100W 4-Port PD Charger with GaNFast Technology



If you’re still using the wall charger you picked up a few years ago. It’s time to either donate that device to charity or give it to the kids because the new AUKEY OMNIA 100W 4-Port charger with GaNFast tech is what you are going to want to upgrade to. Honestly up to this point my current wall chargers were simply not equipped with the latest tech to take advantage of rapid charging all of my newest devices that take advantage of fast charging.

On my bedstand, I have 2 phones, an iPad, and an Apple watch all get fully charged each evening or in some cases mid-day during the weekends. Not to mention sometimes needing to plugin while at the office.  Most USB-C devices are compatible including phones, tablets, laptops, etc. Augmented with AUKEY Dynamic Detect, each USB-C port can output the full power of the charger with 100W Power Delivery when used on its own, while 45W Power Delivery for each USB-C ports and 12W split between USB-A ports when four ports used together

You can even charge a Macbook Pro 16″ in just under 2 hours with the actual charger 20% smaller. Of course, designed with a foldable plug so that it does not take up much space when you are on the go.

The best part it’s inexpensive coming in at $56.99 on Amazon


ScoutPro: 240 Watt Powerbank – Kickstarter



The ScoutPro: 240 Watt Powerbank is the absolute ultimate beast in battery backup to recharge or run devices outright for USBA/C1/C2/ and wireless devices that I have seen in a very long time. This Powerbank will charge and power almost anything it has two USB-C ports capable of 100 Watts of charging power each. It charged my dead Samsung Galaxy S20 in just about 50 minutes to a full charge.  I do not get that performance out of my Samsung wired charger.  It has universal wireless charging as well built-in.

Obviously, I get a lot of devices to review and the majority never make it into my everyday bag of charging cables, gadgets, etc. This one did only after 24 hours of utilization. I have tested many multipurpose Powerbank devices in the past this one just blows every product I have used to date out of the water.

Let me break it down for you.

  • 24000 mAh
  • USB C1 100W
  • USB C2 100W
  • USB A 22.5W
  • Universal Smart Phone Fast Charging – Yes
  • Apple Watch Charger 2.5W
  • Wireless Charger

I’m a gadget guy and believe me I run out of power all the time, it’s usually when I am on the road or someplace where I need to juice up. Never in the past have I been able to “rapidly” charge two devices at once from one Powerbank. I have tested charging both my Samsung Galaxy S20 and my iPhone 12 at the same time and frankly, I was astonished. I even hooked it up to my MacBook Pro when I was down to 5% and kept working and the charged climbed while still actively using the computer.

This device is available via Kickstarter now and they have already reached their goal. You are not going to want to delay and get on the action at a significantly reduced price.

ScoutPro, by INTELLI, the ultimate all-in-one portable power bank!


Voyagers Film Review (2021)



This new film is the classic storyline that the human race is at stake and at the same time we have only marginally advanced having not yet achieved speed of light travel. Imagine being raised in a sterile environment as an infant and bio-engineered to travel in a largely automated spacecraft over many years and multiple generations to reach a new home among the stars. As young teenagers grow into adults, they embark on a mission in which they know they will die before they see the results of what could be man’s greatest attempt to colonize another planet.

Throw in some drugs to keep the emotions of young adults in check, and when they discover this fact and refuse to take it. The results are for the first time they feel fear, lust, passion, and want power. What could go wrong well let’s just say human nature is one that cannot be kept on reserve for long. This is a great movie that will think about the possibilities in the future and also not be so outlandish that we all could see ourselves being on that ship 50 years from now.

For those that love Space Odyssey, you’re going to want Act 2…

Written and directed by Neil Burger (Limitless, The Illusionist), the film stars Tye Sheridan (The X-Men franchise), Lily-Rose Depp (The King), Fionn Whitehead (Dunkirk), Chanté Adams (Roxanne, Roxanne), Isaac Hempstead Wright (“Game of Thrones”), Viveik Kalra (Blinded by the Light), Archie Madekwe (Midsommar), Quintessa Swindell (“Trinkets”), Madison Hu (“Bizaardvark”), and Colin Farrell (The Gentlemen).


The New Air Force One – Flying Fortress



If you have the National Geographic channel The New Air Force One – Flying Fortress film premiers today. I was given an early look at the National Geographic documentary and any of you that have watched any of the previous Air Force One series will want to see this premier and back story of the new Boeing 747-8i  that is being built for the President.  You may be surprised where the aircraft originated and the deal that President Trump did to lower the cost of the delivered airframe.

This is the first of many new looks at the new presidential aircraft that has a proud legacy. With the current airframe being harder to support, this newer aircraft will serve the president over the next several decades. Meet the team bringing the new Air Force One online.

While some of the story discusses the current Air Force One politics are at play with the color scheme. In that President Trump envisioned and new color scheme. But the final color scheme will be left to President Biden.  Enjoy this exclusive behind the scenes look at the new Air Force One.


Fix Rubbish TV Sound with the Roku Streambar



The new Streambar is the latest addition to Roku‘s range of media streamers in the UK. Unlike the other devices in the range, Express, Premiere and Streaming Stick+, which simply stream channels and programmes to the TV, the Streambar looks to address the problem of poor sound from flatscreen TVs by combining a Roku streamer with a compact soundbar. Is this the best of both worlds or a Jack of all trades? Let’s take a look…and a listen.

While the transition from bulky CRTs to LCD flat screens led to 4K and HDR, it didn’t help audio presentation at all. Thinness and narrow bezels aren’t friends to speakers and sound quality suffered. While A/V setups have been popular, they’re typically expensive and require wires all around the room to speakers in the corners. As an alternative, soundbars have become popular in the last few years, providing significant audio improvement without all the cables.

The Roku Streambar isn’t as long as some of the soundbars on the market, measuring around 35.6 cm wide, 6.1 cm high and 10.7 cm deep, and at this size, it fits neatly in front or below the TV. Inside the Streambar are four 1.9″ speakers, two facing forwards and two to the left and the right, providing much-improved audio. There’s a discreet LED just above the Roku logo that’s white in use and red when in standby.

Round the back of the Streambar, there are connections for power, digital audio (S/PDIF), HDMI and a USB port, along with a reset button. If the Streambar needs to be wall-mounted, there are a pair of screw sockets.

The Streambar follows Roku’s long tradition of including everything in the box: there’s no need to nip out for batteries at the last minute. Inside there’s the Streambar, voice IR remote control with AAA batteries, HDMI cable, digital optical cable, power supply (with both UK and European plugs).

Continuing in tradition, the Streambar follows the usual pattern of Roku setup with a couple of tweaks to accommodate the audio requirements. Simplistically, the Roku needs connected to the wifi (11ac – there’s no ethernet) and you need to sign up or sign in.

The main difference between an ordinary Roku media streamer and the Streambar is the sound and the clever trick here is that the Streambar can play audio from any device connected to the TV, whether Freeview, SkyQ or a Bluray player. The Streambar takes advantage of HDMI ARC – Audio Return Channel – which carries the sound signal to the device. It’s available on most new-ish TVs and it’s usually HDMI 1.

If there’s no HDMI ARC, the alternative is to use digital audio and that’s what I had to do with my TV. I have an HD Samsung TV that’s well over ten years old and there’s no HDMI ARC, so it was a digital connection for me. The Roku setup process runs through these different options and shows the necessary steps. It really only takes a few minutes to get the setup done.

Once configured, the Streambar is very much the Roku we all know and love, supporting 4K and HDR. The Roku uses the idea of channels which are kind of like apps, and all the usual UK suspects are available: BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, 4, My5. In addition, there’s all the subscription channels you can afford: Netflix, Prime Video, NowTV, Apple TV, Disney+, BritBox, Spotify. For your country’s regional variations, check www.roku.com/channelchecker to see what’s available.

Existing Roku users will have all their channels auto-loaded during the Streambar setup and new users can quickly add their favourites by browsing categories or searching for particular apps/channels.

I’m not going to review the Roku user interface in detail as it’s well covered elsewhere (check out my Roku reviews on YouTube) other than to say that the Roku is my favourite media streamer. The UI is simple, straightforward and isn’t trying to sell something all the time (I’m looking at you, Amazon Fire Stick). It seems like I’m not the only one either: over the past five years, Roku’s been the market leader in streaming media players, holding about a third of the market in the US.

There are a few customisations for the Streambar which don’t appear in the other Roku models and as you’d expect, they’re to do with sound. For starters, and most obviously given the tile on the screen, there’s a special Bluetooth app for connecting other devices to the Streambar in order to take advantage of the better speaker.

In addition, there are settings to adjust the audio including the bass, volume and, one of my personal favourites, speech clarity, which makes a reasonable attempt to promote speech over effects.

Prior to installation, my biggest concern about the Streambar was that I was going to have to use multiple remotes to control the volume – that’s the problem I currently have with my Yamaha AV amp. Fortunately, this was completely unfounded and even though my Samsung TV is over ten years old, the TV and Streambar played well together, outputting all sound to the Streambar, regardless of whether the sound signal came from Sky, Freeview or the Bluray player. Any remote could be used to control the volume.

One problem that my wife did encounter was that sometimes the Roku Streambar would go to sleep and wouldn’t rise from its slumber when the TV was turned back on. Using the Roku remote volume buttons normally solved the problem and woke it up but I later discovered that changing the Power setting to Fast Start resolved the issue as well.

As this is a soundbar, let’s focus on the Streambar’s audio qualities. Technically, it supports Dolby Audio but is the sound better than the TV’s? Yes, by a long way. It’s much richer, fuller and deeper with good clarity. TV soundtracks sound much better and more natural, and the effects in films become more emphatic and engaging. I also found it noticeable playing video games on my Nintendo Switch, and there’s a particular jingle on BBC’s Newsround which sounds terrible on my kitchen TV which is totally transformed by the Roku Streambar. Even better, it’s actually possible to listen to Spotify through the Streambar without cringing.

As the Roku Streambar is only 35 cm wide, the stereo separation is fairly limited, but apart from that the Roku Streambar performs well for the money. For sure, it doesn’t sound as impressive as a Dolby 5.1 Surround system, but then the Streambar costs a quarter of the price and doesn’t need cables everywhere. Regardless it’s still a significant improvement over a standard TV.

Before wrapping up the review, an honourable mention needs to go to the inclusion of a USB port on the Streambar. Plug in a memory stick or external hard drive and local media can be played directly, which is great for those with collections of ripped DVDs or home videos. This is the only model in the UK range to offer this, though all models can play from NAS units. And let’s not forget the complementary Roku app which will show smartphone photos and videos on the TV screen.

Having used the Roku for a couple of weeks, I think it’s a worthy upgrade for a not-very-smart flatscreen TV such as my ancient Samsung. You get a top-end Roku media streamer along with a soundbar, just as it says on the box. The RRP of the Roku Streambar is GB£129.99 but there’s currently a Black Friday offer on bringing the price down to £99.99 (offer ends 16/12/20). At either price, it’s a good deal. Available from all good stores.

There’s more in the video below.

The Roku Streambar was provided for review by Roku.


Fenix HM50R Multipurpose LED Headlamp Review



The Fenix HM50R Multipurpose LED Headlamp lives up to the reputation of the flashlights that Fenix produces. This is by far the brightest headlamp I have ever used with 4 different brightness settings. With outputs ranging from 4 to 500 lumens. This rechargeable headlamp can use two different types of batteries with the Li-ion being preferred.

When I was in the Navy and working on airplanes it seemed I was going through a headlamp every six months for a variety of reasons corrosion, switches not working the list is endless. But the build quality of the Fenix HM50R Multipurpose LED Headlamp is really going to blow you away from its stainless steel body, waterproof recharging port, and the waterproof battery enclosure ensures that this will be the last headlamp you ever buy.  My brother in law got his hands on it last week and he was like where did you get this. Well as I told him you can pick one up from Fenix-Store.com today for $59.95


USB-C Wireless Power Bank Review



The Eggtronic USB-C Wireless Power Bank Power Bar is a very innovative power brick. That allows you wirelessly charge your iPhone your Apple Watch and your AirPods at the same time. But that is not all, you can charge all your Apple devices to include your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro.   Delivering unparalleled power 7.5 watts to your iPhone, 5 watts to your Apple Watch, and 30W USB-C to your Macbook or any device that has a USB-C device.

The image above paints a powerful charging solution with a 10,000 maH battery that will deliver multiple charges to your mobile phone or Apple watch.  I have been using this wireless power bar here in my office in the studio area where it is not convenient to have charging cables.

Let’s face it perfect for travel and of course act as a backup power supply for your MacBook or any other USB-C devices you may need to charge. Priced at $149.99 never before has a power bank delivered more options in a single package.