Electronics Reviews

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Bought this little Epson printer to replace a very annoying HP Printer with its awful HP Solution Centre software and constant warnings about not using compatible ink cartridges because Hewlett Packard, like most other printer manufacturers, want you use to use their own overpriced ink cartridges. What do they expect when their branded replacement cartridges are so expensive?

The Epson XP-245 is small and neat, does everything you could want in terms of printing, scanning and copying and low-cost compatible ink cartridge deals are readily available for it. I chose the OfficeWorld Replacement 29XL Ink Cartridges from Amazon to go with the Epson printer – 3XL blacks and one each of the colour cartidges for under £14.

I don’t know what the negative reviews are talking about – don’t be put off by them. The Epson XP-245 has WiFi and I found it easy to set up, unlike HP printers.

I bought a second one for our holiday cottage because I like this little Epson XP-245 printer so much – it had actually dropped even further in price on Amazon, from £33.99 to £32.50. What’s not to like at that price?

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The Huawei Mate 9 – the best smartphone I have ever owned

This is a superb Android smartphone, the best I have ever owned. (My previous phones were an HTC One M8 and a Windows Mobile 10 Microsoft Lumia 950 XL – both excellent phones, but the Huawei Mate 9 exceeds even these in performance and specifications.)

The Huawei Mate 9 is extremely fast – all apps load instantaneously. It has loads of RAM and storage – more than I have seen on any other smartphone. It comes with a dual purpose SIM card / MicroSD card tray, so you can either have two SIM cards in it or one SIM card and an extra 128 GB MicroSD card if the 128 GB internal storage is not enough for you. The screen is a very sharp and clear 5.9-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) IPS display. The phone is very thin and although the screen is just under 6 inches, the body of the phone doesn’t seem any bigger than most 5.2 or 5.5 inch phones as the screen goes right to the edges of the body with hardly any bezel.

The Huawei Mate 9 6GB Ram 128GB Storage Gold Dual SIM, 4G LTE should not be confused with the Huawei Mate 9 Pro, P9, P10, or Honor. Take no notice of the other reviews – they are either for a completely different phone or from a different vendor.

Although intended for the Chinese market, if is set up with Multi-Language and Google Play Store ready installed, so you can install any Android apps you want. The Huawei OS iEMUI 5.0 operating system is excellent. It’s based on Android 7.0 Nougat. There is no bloatware and the OS iEMUI 5.0 actually helps prolong the life of the huge 4000mAh battery between charges, I only have to charge the phone every 2-3 days with moderate usage. Even with heavy usage the battery will certainly last

It is powered by the super-fast HiSilicon Kirin 960 octa-core SoC with four Cortex-A73 cores clocked at 2.4GHz, and four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.8GHz. It bears a very sensitive and effective fingerprint sensor on the rear panel, which unlocks the phone without the need to enter a password, although you can also set it up to unlock with a password.

Huawei’s Mate 9 has a second-generation Leica dual-lens camera, which has been ‘co-engineered’ with Leica. The two cameras are a 20-megapixel monochrome sensor and a 12-megapixel RGB sensor, both with f/2.2 apertures. It has loads of modes and features, but takes perfect pictures if, like me, you just like to point and shoot.

On the front part, it bears an 8-megapixel sensor with an f/1.9 aperture.

The phone is quite light for its nearly six inch screen size; it’s very solidly built and feels like a top quality premium phone, which is what it is.

It comes in a classy box with a clear case and a screen protector already installed on it, and this vendor, whom I highly recommend, makes sure it is well-wrapped for shipment.

You can easily download the full user guide and start up guide in English (or other languages) from the Huawei website.

Don’t bother with Apple iPhones or other manufacturers’ products – you get more phone and higher specifications from Huawei.

I am so impressed with Huawei that I have also ordered an 8.4 inch tablet from them.

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Superb top-of-the-range Hybrid Lenovo Yoga 900 Convertible Touchscreen Ultrabook
Latest version is the 910:
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Lenovo YOGA 900 13.3-inch QHD Convertible Notebook (Intel Core i7-6500U, 8 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD, WLAN, BT, Camera, Integrated Graphics, Windows 10 Home) – Silver

This is a really classy 13.3 inch convertible Windows 10 Ultrabook from Lenovo, the Beijing-based multinational computer technology giant. The Yoga 900 is wonderfully swift to use, with it’s latest generation i7-6500U Intel chip, 8 GB of RAM and a fast 512 GB SSD.

The Lenovo has a real quality feel, and the keyboard also feels well-made and solid, with good response, and of course it’s backlit.

The battery is a big four-cell job which somehow they have managed to squeeze in and it lasts the longest of any laptop computer I have ever owned – days of moderate use and certainlly a full day of web browsing.

The speakers and microphone are very good. I am learning German and tested them out on Mondly Learn German – the speakers are clear and the microphone accurately picked up my attempts to repeat the German phrases so the app could recognize that what I was saying was correct.

I use a 17 inch gaming laptop as my main workhorse, but it’s too heavy to travel with, and I needed a fast lightweight Ultrabook that can keep up with the speed at which I work, for when I go out to see clients and to take abroad. This baby does the job with style and it looks great too.

The other reason I wanted a convertible touchscreen notebook computer was because I have got used to using a touchscreen 12.2 inch Android tablet which is fine for most things but just can’t do the business as well as a high-spec Microsoft Windows-based computer, and I am old-fashioned enough still to prefer working with a full-size keyboard and mouse if I want to get any proper work done. However, I am really starting to enjoy a touchscreen and tried my Yoga in tent mode for the first time today – yep, the watchstrap hinge holds it beautifully in any position.

Now I am just looking for a suitable sleeve or case for my Yoga 900 – there are so many to choose from for 13.3 inch notebooks, and I am not sure whether to go for a lightweight sleeve or a more substantial bag with pockets for the charger, lead and mouse. As you have to take out the laptop and put it in the plastic tray along with your phone and coat etc. to go through the security at the airport, I am thinking maybe a sleeve is more practical, so I can just keep it in my rucksack hand baggage and can get it out quickly.

To conclude – this wonderful machine is not cheap, but if you want the best – go for it. I see at the moment it’s no longer available from Amazon UK and they don’t know when or if it will be on sale again – which suggests that the Lenovo Yoga 900 is selling like hot cakes. I’m not surprised.

18 people found this helpful