Connected home http://www.stuff.tv/connected-home/news en-GB Balluga Smart Bed hands-on: wafting you to sleep on a cushion of air cells http://www.stuff.tv/balluga-smart-bed-hands-wafting-you-sleep-cushion-air-cells/news <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> We try out the bed that syncs up with your connected home </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Balluga Smart Bed" alt="Balluga Smart Bed" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/balluga-smart-bed-04.jpg?1397186973" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>Smart home technology is spreading throughout every room in the house.</p> <p>We&#39;ve seen <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/wheres-catch-future-keyless-entry/news" target="_blank">smart locks</a>, <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/british-gas/nest-learning-thermostat-launches-uk/news" target="_blank">smart thermostats</a> and <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/these-smart-bulbs-make-other-lights-look-dim/news" target="_blank">smart lightbulbs</a> &ndash; and they&#39;re set to be joined by the smart bed.</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/stephen-graves" title="View user profile.">Stephen Graves</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>News Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The Balluga adjusts its air cells on the fly, to ensure that your weight is evenly supported. You can also tweak settings including temperature, matress firmness and a vibro-massage function using a remote or smartphone app; the bed can connect to the internet over Wi-Fi or Ethernet.</p> <p>As well as wafting you to sleep on a cloud of air, the Balluga is also a media centre; it can be kitted out with speakers and even an overhead screen that syncs up with your tablet, letting you lie back and watch a movie or read a book. The bed can also track when you go to sleep, so you don&#39;t lose your place. Optional lights under the bed can be set to sync up with your music, easing you into the land of Nod. Or you could just use them to create your very own disco.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="The prototype for the Balluga&#039;s matrix of air cells" alt="Balluga Smart Bed" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/balluga-smart-bed-02.jpg?1397186973" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Time for a lie down </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Stuff got hands-on (back-on?) with the Balluga at Gadget Show Live 2014, and can confirm that it&#39;s very comfortable; it feels like a solid mattress, not an air bed. The minor adjustments feel a little odd at first, though you quickly get used to them, while the massage function sends rippling vibrations up and down your body; you can also set it to focus on specific areas, if the mood takes you.</p> <p>Our model was a pre-production version without any of the multimedia bells and whistles above &ndash; which frankly sound a bit over the top, to us.</p> <p>Inventor Joe Katan&#39;s ideas for how the bed might fit into a connected home setup are more interesting. The Balluga, he says, will sync up with your smoke detector and wake you up in the event of a fire; it&#39;ll also play nice with smart locks and do the same in the event of an intruder breaking in. Its sleep tracking technology will also enable it to respond to restless sleep in real-time, rather than simply telling you that you&#39;ve had a bad night&#39;s sleep, as fitness bands do. And when you travel, you&#39;ll be able to take your bed settings to any hotel kitted out with Balluga beds, and enjoy a good night&#39;s sleep as though you were in your own bed.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper youtube-player-wrapper"> <iframe width="640" height="385" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/exQE-cTtd_A" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="See how entirely relaxed we look." alt="Balluga Smart Bed" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/balluga-smart-bed-01.jpg?1397186973" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The Balluga isn&#39;t cheap &ndash; prices will start from &pound;1000 for the bare-bones single bed version when pre-orders launch in November 2014.</p> <p>However, Katan&#39;s looking into smartphone-style price plans for the bed, with users paying around &pound;200 upfront and a monthly contract thereafter, covering repairs, upgrades and cleaning.</p> <p>You can check out the Balluga Smart Bed at <a href="http://www.gadgetshowlive.net/" target="_blank">Gadget Show Live 2014</a> &ndash; and while you&#39;re there, <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/visit-stuff-gadget-show-live-2014/news" target="_blank">visit the Stuff stand</a> to pick up your free copy of the magazine.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/project-make-your-house-smart-home-future/feature" target="_blank">Make your house a smart home of the future</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Balluga Smart Bed app" alt="Balluga Smart Bed app" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/balluga-smart-bed-05.jpg?1397186973" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Balluga Smart Bed app" alt="Balluga Smart Bed app" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/balluga-smart-bed-06.jpg?1397186973" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1200" height="900" title="Balluga Smart Bed app" alt="Balluga Smart Bed app" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/balluga-smart-bed-07.jpg?1397186973" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-4"> <div class="field-label">Image #4:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_4" width="1200" height="900" title="Balluga Smart Bed app" alt="Balluga Smart Bed app" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/balluga-smart-bed-08.jpg?1397186973" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/balluga-smart-bed-hands-wafting-you-sleep-cushion-air-cells/news" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/balluga-smart-bed-hands-wafting-you-sleep-cushion-air-cells/news#comments Connected home Thu, 10 Apr 2014 15:16:06 +0000 Stephen Graves 1435211 at http://www.stuff.tv Google Chromecast http://www.stuff.tv/google-chromecast/review <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Can this tiny, cheap streaming dongle vanquish the Apple TV? Not quite yet… UPDATE: UK version with BBC iPlayer tested </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/chromecast-stones.jpg?1395767087" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/sam-kieldsen" title="View user profile.">Sam Kieldsen</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A new generation of &ldquo;cord-cutters&rdquo; has abandoned the traditional concept of TV, instead using web streaming, catch-up services and devices such as&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/apple/apple-tv-video-review/video" target="_blank">Apple TV</a> to watch shows whenever it&rsquo;s convenient for them &ndash; rather than when the broadcaster says so.</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-pricing"><legend>Pricing</legend><div class="field field-type-number-float field-field-test-price"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> £30.00 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-price-from"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 0 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-ratings"><legend>Ratings</legend><div class="field field-type-hcmreviewrating-rating field-field-overall-rating"> <div class="field-label">Overall rating:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="hcmrating-default">8 stars</div> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-pros"> <div class="field-label">Pros:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tiny, forget-about-me design </div> <div class="field-item even"> Idiot-proof setup and use </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Strong audio and video quality </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-cons"> <div class="field-label">Cons:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Few compatible apps </div> <div class="field-item even"> Slightly untidy USB power </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Can&#039;t cast local videos on smartphones, tablets </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>Review Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Small and simple </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>If you thought the puck-sized Apple TV was small, wait until you see the Chromecast, which more than anything resembles a USB memory stick. A mere 35g in weight and possessing a single button, this dinky dongle plugs into a spare HDMI socket on your TV.</p> <p>It can&rsquo;t draw power via HDMI, however, so you&rsquo;ll also need to hook it up to a USB port or wall socket. It&rsquo;s not the most elegant of solutions, adding as it does to the cable spaghetti behind your telly, but if your TV&#39;s got a spare USB socket (and many do) you could replace the fairly long USB-to-micro-USB cable that&#39;s bundled with the Chromecast for one that&#39;s shorter and a little neater for just a couple of quid.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/chromecast-plugged-in_0.jpg?1395767087" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/chromecast-in-hand-back.jpg?1395767087" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Getting started </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Setup couldn&rsquo;t be much simpler. Once plugged in, the Chromecast displays a setup screen on your TV and opens up its own Wi-Fi network. Connect to that on your computer, phone or tablet, change the Chromecast&rsquo;s settings so that it&rsquo;s hooked up to your main home Wi-Fi network and you&rsquo;re ready to go.</p> <p>As well as &ldquo;casting&rdquo; iPlayer, YouTube, Netflix and Google Play videos, you can also use Chromecast to beam tabs from the Chrome browser (desktop version only) onto your TV screen. To do so, you&rsquo;ll need to install an extension in Chrome. Again, very easy.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/chromecast-tv-ready-to-cast.jpg?1395767087" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Compatible devices </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Chromecast has no dedicated remote so relies entirely on you having a companion device for control. You&#39;ll need something running at least Android 2.3, iOS 6, Windows 7, Mac OS 10.7 or Chrome OS - the only officially supported Chromebook is the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/google-chromebook-pixel/review">Pixel</a>.</p> <p>Left out in the cold are Windows Phone devices, BlackBerry devices and Kindle Fire tablets.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Video casting </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>To cast video to your TV you simply tap the icon that appears in both the mobile app and desktop versions of Netflix, BBC iPlayer and YouTube. After a few seconds, the video will begin playing on your TV, in quality up to 1080p if its available. 5.1-channel surround sound is also supported (with no dedicated audio output on the Chromecast itself, you&rsquo;ll have to connect your TV&rsquo;s audio output, if it has one, to an external speaker setup).</p> <p>Video quality depends on the source material to a large degree. Old, low-res YouTube videos look decidedly ropey on the big screen, while newer HD clips and Netflix material fares much better. In fact, with up to Full HD Netflix and 720p or 1080p YouTube videos, the crisp detail and colour reproduction is on a par with HD broadcast services such as Sky HD, or even better if you&#39;ve got an internet connection that&#39;s compatible with <a href="https://signup.netflix.com/superhd" target="_blank">Netflix&#39;s Super HD</a> streams, with which Chromecast is compatible.</p> <p>You control playback and volume using the device from which you&rsquo;re casting. There&rsquo;s a momentary delay from the time you press the button, but it&rsquo;s not long enough to become an annoyance.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/chromecast-netflix-phone-remote.jpg?1395767087" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/chromecast-netflix-on-tv.jpg?1395767087" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/chromecast-youtube-cast-button.jpg?1395767087" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-4"> <div class="field-label">Image #4:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_4" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/chromecast-youtube-on-tv.jpg?1395767087" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The truth about casting </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>One thing to note: despite the phrasing, video isn&rsquo;t actually travelling from your laptop, phone or tablet to the Chromecast. The dongle is streaming it direct from the web &ndash; the casting device simply kicks off and controls that process, so even if you&rsquo;re watching downloaded Google Play movies, you&rsquo;ll still need a working broadband connection to use the Chromecast.</p> <p>This needs to change if Chromecast is adapted for playing games in the future - if controls have to be sent from your casting device to the great wide internet before heading back to the Chromecast it&#39;s likely to cause car-crashing, shot-missing delays. Perhaps Google has no gaming plans for Chromecast, but that would be a shame given that Amazon&#39;s rumoured to be working on a <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/amazon/amazon-set-top-box-tiny-chromecast-and-offering-game-streaming/news">gaming-ready dongle</a> and the fact that Apple TV supports just such a feature via Airplay.</p> <p>Back to the here and now and we found that video streamed in HD very smoothly on our fairly &quot;normal&quot; 16Mbps broadband connection, but those still making do with just a couple of megs should expect Netflix&#39;s adaptive streams to deliver softer, lower-res videos, while ambitiously selecting 1080p from YouTube will necessitate a fair bit of buffering if you want an uninterrupted video.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> UPDATE: BBC iPlayer is Ready To Cast </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Google knows the way to British hearts. Casting BBC iPlayer is now just as simple as doing so with Netflix and YouTube. With smartphones and tablets on your home network, it&#39;s just a case of making sure the iPlayer app is up to date before hitting the new in-app Cast button.</p> <p>BBC iPlayer on desktop hasn&#39;t been treated to a Cast button just yet, but if you&#39;re happy to settle for lower quality streams, you can as ever cast a tab from Chrome. Stick to Casting from mobile devices and streams max out at 720p, which makes for a perfectly crisp picture - as with Netflix, iPlayer automatically adjusts the quality depending on the connection but as long as you&#39;ve got fairly solid broadband you should be up to 720p very shortly after starting the stream.</p> <p>As with any Chromecast-friendly app, you can still navigate around your smartphone or tablet as <em>The Great British Sewing Bee</em> is playing on your TV screen.</p> <p>There&#39;s no support for BBC Radio or BBC Sport just yet, but we&#39;re sure both are just a matter of time. Somewhat surprisingly you can even cast live BBC TV - we&#39;d recommend you check your TV license is in order if you&#39;re going to make use of that feature.</p> <p>And it&#39;s good news for those eager streamers who imported a Chromecast from the US - the BBC iPlayer app works fine with those, too.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="BBC iPlayer on Chromecast " alt="BBC iPlayer on Chromecast " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/iplayer-chromecast-top-gear.JPG?1395767087" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Cast button in BBC iPlayer app " alt="Cast button in BBC iPlayer app " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/iplayer-chromecast-htc.JPG?1395767087" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> UPDATE: New Chromecast apps are niche or not ready </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Anyone who picked up a Chromecast as a cheap way of getting Netflix on the telly probably adores it. But that won&#39;t stop &#39;Casters getting excited at the prospect of ten - yes ten! - new apps. There&#39;s no update to the Chromecast itself, just download the compatible apps and look for the Chromecast symbol at the top. Just keep your expectation in check - these are not the apps you&#39;re looking for.</p> <p>In the first batch of Google dongle-friendly apps comes Plex, Avia and RealPlayer Cloud, all hell bent on becoming your go-to media server and cloud storage buddy. But RealPlayer Cloud, for Android, iOS, Kindle Fire and desktop, isn&#39;t available outside the US yet (we pre-registered for updates here in the UK) and the popular but sometimes messy Plex requires a US$3.99 per month PlexPass.</p> <p>That&#39;s not a huge amount but considering the Chromecast itself is only &pound;30 and everything else is free (bar the Netflix sub), it seems unncessary. Plex is rolling out Chromecast compatibility to free users in the near future, but for now we&#39;d give <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.videon.android.mediaplayer&amp;hl=en">Avia Media Player</a> a go. It&#39;s far from perfect itself and enabling Chromecast compatibility requires a one-off payment of &pound;1.86 (US$2.99), but it does the job.</p> <p>If you can forgive connection and buffering stutters, you can now play your own local videos plus media dragged in from Dropbox, Facebook and Picasa. Videos have a video reel icon rather than a thumbnail, which is very annoying if you shoot a lot of untitled smartphone footage, but making playlists is easy and it&#39;ll do until Google introduces a better integrated alternative.</p> <p>Still, there&#39;s nothing here to rival <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/roku/roku-takes-google-chromecast-streaming-stick/news">Roku&#39;s incoming &pound;50 Streaming Stick</a>, which promises easy playback of locally stored videos on smartphones and tablets with the Roku app.</p> <p>Elsewhere in the new Chromecast apps are VEVO for ad-laden music videos, Red Bull TV for skateboarding and motorsports, PostTV for news footage from The Washington Post and the confusing but useful BeyondPod Podcast Manager for blasting out Brian Cox in audio-only form. There&#39;s also the international video app Viki for fans of Korean or Venezuelan TV, and playlist app Songza, which had dropped off the Google Play store at the time of writing but will probably be back on soon.</p> <p>So the best Chromecast apps are still the ones that have been there all along - Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Movies. Here&#39;s hoping this is the first wave in Google&#39;s long game to catch up to the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/apple/opinion-every-apple-fan-should-own-apple-tv/feature">&pound;99 Apple TV</a>, which still has the upper hand in terms of simple AirPlay mirroring as well as extra apps such as Sky News and Vimeo.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="New Chromecast apps - Avia Media Player (left) and Red Bull. TV (right) " alt="New Chromecast apps - Avia Media Player (left) and Red Bull. TV (right) " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/chromecast-apps-avia-red-bull.jpg?1395767087" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="New Chromecast app BeyondPod for playing podcasts through the TV " alt="New Chromecast app BeyondPod for playing podcasts through the TV " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/new-chromecast-apps-beyondpod.png?1395767087" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-5"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Casting web pages </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Chromecast&rsquo;s other ability is tab-casting from computers running the Chrome web browser: just click on the cast icon and whatever tab you&rsquo;re currently on will appear on your TV screen. This feature is still in beta, and it&rsquo;s not nearly as rock-solid as video casting. You can&rsquo;t see an on-screen pointer, so there&rsquo;s no way to use your TV as a proper monitor, and while embedded videos (from Vimeo, say) work, they do so with stuttering playback and choppy sound.</p> <p>As a little bonus feature, it&rsquo;s fine, but it really needs to be viewed as such, at least until Google can perfect it and bring it out of beta. We&#39;re hoping that happens sooner rather than later, as it could open up almost all of the streaming services on the web and make Chromecast a far more flexible video-on-demand device.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/chromecast-browser-cast-button.jpg?1395767087" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/chromecast-browser-on-tv.jpg?1395767087" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-6"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Verdict </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The Chromecast is cheap, easy to use and works well for Netflix, YouTube and now BBC iPlayer, but it&rsquo;s not really bringing anything truly essential to the video streaming table just yet. If you have an Apple TV, PS3, Xbox 360, smart TV or smart set-top box, chances are the Chromecast just isn&rsquo;t necessary, because these are all able to get YouTube, Netflix and more onto your telly already (and they don&rsquo;t require a companion device to do so).</p> <p>The addition of more essential apps (rather than filler we&#39;ve never heard of) and a more robust web-casting experience could make Chromecast a far more appealing prospect for tech-heads in the future, though. Plex, Avia and RealPlayer Cloud fill a gap but we hope Google is working on its own AirPlay-rivalling solution for mirroring locally stored videos and photos. If not, there&#39;s always the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/roku/roku-takes-google-chromecast-streaming-stick/news">&pound;50 Roku Streaming Stick</a>, which lands in Blighty in May.</p> <p>But if you&#39;re on a budget and want to re-awesomise your dumb TV or you&#39;re just fed up of squinting at videos on your laptop then this dongle is still your cheapest route to Netflix nirvana.</p> <p>Original review by <a href="https://twitter.com/samkieldsen" target="_blank">Sam Kieldsen</a>, additional words and testing by <a href="https://twitter.com/sophiecharara" target="_blank">Sophie Charara</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/chromecast-in-hand-front.jpg?1395767087" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-review-rating"><legend>Review Rating</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> picture </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 8 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> sound </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 7 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> design </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 7 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> smarts </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 7 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-verdict"> <div class="field-label">Verdict:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Tiny and costing a pittance, Chromecast does exactly what it claims to &ndash; just make sure you actually need one before you buy</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-preview"> <div class="field-label">Preview:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Disabled </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-carousel-item"><legend>Carousel Extras</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-carousel-item-title"> <div class="field-label">Carousel item title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> UK Chromecast tested </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-carousel-item-standfirst"> <div class="field-label">Carousel item standfirst:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Google&#039;s ace smart TV dongle, now with iPlayer </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/google-chromecast/review" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Chromecast Connected home Google iPlayer Netflix Streaming YouTube Thu, 20 Mar 2014 16:26:39 +0000 Tom Parsons 1425542 at http://www.stuff.tv QNAP TS-212P NAS http://www.stuff.tv/qnap/qnap-ts-212p-nas/review <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Has QNAP got the NAS nous to take on Synology’s supremacy of home network drives? It sure has. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="QNAP TS-212P NAS review" alt="QNAP TS-212P NAS review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/1665_20130820174612_84113.png?1392089041" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/henrywinchester" title="View user profile.">henrywinchester</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We&rsquo;ve grown to love NAS drives, the mini-computers that draw very little power but let you do lots of cool internet things, such as running a server, or accessing your files from afar, or downloading torrents overnight.</p> <p>Synology has rightfully earned its crown as the king of all things NAS, and we love its <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/synology/synology-ds213j/review" target="_blank">DS213J</a> - but the lesser-known QNAP has been sneaking up as a serious contender to the throne, like a little square white assassin.</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-pricing"><legend>Pricing</legend><div class="field field-type-number-float field-field-test-price"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> £150.00 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-price-from"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 0 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-price-notes"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Price doesn&#039;t include drives </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-ratings"><legend>Ratings</legend><div class="field field-type-hcmreviewrating-rating field-field-overall-rating"> <div class="field-label">Overall rating:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="hcmrating-default">10 stars</div> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-pros"> <div class="field-label">Pros:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Really easy to use </div> <div class="field-item even"> Well designed </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Lots of useful apps </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-cons"> <div class="field-label">Cons:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Adding a second drive is fiddly </div> <div class="field-item even"> Not as geeky as a Synology </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>Review Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The White Stuff </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Home NAS drives of the last few years have tended to be little white boxes, and the design of QNAP&rsquo;s TS-212P doesn&rsquo;t deviate from this - in fact, it looks eerily similar to the Synology DS213j.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s rather easy to pop open and install the first drive, but if you want to fit a second you&rsquo;ll need to make use of a pair of SATA leads. It&rsquo;s a bit fiddly and something of a pain if you&rsquo;re regularly going to be swapping your hard disks. We like the overall design, though - the silver strip of LEDs at the front gives it a modestly powerful look, and it runs nice and quietly.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="QNAP TS-212P NAS review" alt="QNAP TS-212P NAS review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/1.JPG?1392089041" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Easy Peasy </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>QNAP has done a great job of making its NAS drive easy to setup and use. Once it&rsquo;s plugged into your router via an ethernet cable it&rsquo;s simply a question of opening a website, which gives you a detailed step-by-step and provides relevant software downloads.</p> <p>For setting up the cloud features a QR code is supplied, which still makes us feel all childishly giddy. It&rsquo;s impressively user-friendly, and it&rsquo;s a great first step into the often overwhelming world of NAS.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="QNAP TS-212P NAS review" alt="QNAP TS-212P NAS review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/2_0.png?1392089041" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Join the end of the Q </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Once the drive&rsquo;s ready you can access it via the Qfinder software.</p> <p>This straightforward program can be used to configure the NAS, and it takes you to its dedicated web page, which is nicely designed and features multiple Android-style homescreens. From here you can access even more settings, such as power configuration and users, and add those all-important apps. Again, we love how simple it is in its layout and features.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="QNAP TS-212P NAS review" alt="QNAP TS-212P NAS review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/3_1.png?1392089041" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Plumbing the depths </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Installed by default are Photo, Music, Video, Download and File Stations, which do the respective things, with Download Station pulling in (only legal, of course) torrents while your computer&rsquo;s switched off.</p> <p>There&rsquo;s a trove of additional third-party apps to download, too, such as one for Google Drive uploads, which we love since we discovered Google Plus&rsquo; Auto-Awesome photos, and even a lawsuit-bating version of <em>Super Mario Bros</em> that runs from the NAS drive itself. On top you&rsquo;ll find the usuals, such as Wordpress and Drupal servers. It&rsquo;s got everything you&rsquo;re likely to need.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="QNAP TS-212P NAS review" alt="QNAP TS-212P NAS review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/4_0.png?1392089041" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Clouding the issue </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Cloud access is a big selling point for NAS drives, and we&rsquo;re pleased to say that setting up QNAP&rsquo;s internet access is a doddle. It&rsquo;s simply a question of registering an account, and from here you&rsquo;re given a web address for a page that can be accessed via any browser on the planet. There are also iOS and Android apps for playing music and browsing files stored on the NAS drive, so you&rsquo;re never too far from your files.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-5"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> USB business </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A USB port is provided on the front of the drive for quickly copying files from drives and cameras, which can then be accessed via any connected PC or smartphone. It also supports USB webcams so you can create a lo-fi surveillance system. They&rsquo;re both common features on NAS drives, but it&rsquo;s nice that QNAP has given us a couple of USB 3.0 ports and the webcam features are easy to apply.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="QNAP TS-212P NAS review" alt="QNAP TS-212P NAS review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/6_2.JPG?1392089041" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-6"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Versus Synology </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Synology is QNAP&rsquo;s biggest competitor, and the entire experience feels so similar that we wondered if one was a rebranded version of the other. It&rsquo;s not, though.</p> <p>As much as we love the Synology DS213J&rsquo;s geekery, it&rsquo;s also its biggest downfall as its DSM software can make things a bit fiddly and frustrating at times. QNAP has nailed the user experience here, and that&rsquo;s what matters most to casual NASers. If you want to run a custom web server or get into NAS hacking we&rsquo;d recommend Synology&rsquo;s do-it-all drive, but for a simple home network hub we currently much prefer QNAP&rsquo;s NAS.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/synology/synology-ds213j/review" target="_blank">Synology DS213j review</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="QNAP TS-212P NAS review" alt="QNAP TS-212P NAS review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/7_1.JPG?1392089041" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-7"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Verdict </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The QNAP TS-212P is a refreshingly straightforward entry in the complex business of NAS drives, and we love its ease of use and its array of useful available apps.</p> <p>It looks nice enough, too, and it&rsquo;s kicked the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/synology/synology-ds213j/review" target="_blank">Synology DS213J</a> out of the little spot in the corner of the living room.</p> <p>Synology is actually in the process of rolling out new software for its devices and there are a couple of interesting models we haven&rsquo;t yet seen &ndash; we&rsquo;re going to rectify that in the very near future, but right now you should look no further than the QNAP if you&rsquo;re after a solid but simple network storage device.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/geek-accessories/top-ten" target="_blank">The 10 Best Geek Accessories in the World right now</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="QNAP TS-212P NAS review" alt="QNAP TS-212P NAS review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/1665_20130820174612_95895.png?1392089041" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-review-rating"><legend>Review Rating</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> design </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 8 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> features </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 9 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> power </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 8 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-verdict"> <div class="field-label">Verdict:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A NAS drive with everything you&rsquo;ll ever need for a supercharged home network - and it&rsquo;s really easy to use</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-preview"> <div class="field-label">Preview:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Disabled </div> </div> </div> http://www.stuff.tv/qnap/qnap-ts-212p-nas/review#comments Connected home Geek accessories QNAP TS-212P Mon, 03 Feb 2014 16:28:04 +0000 Tom Parsons 1431973 at http://www.stuff.tv Would you pay £1700 for a washing machine? Samsung thinks so http://www.stuff.tv/samsung/samsung-kit-you-need-2014/news <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> We go hands on with all Sammy’s smart home tech at its European Forum in Marbella - read on for first impressions of everything from future TVs to fridges </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Samsung European Forum 2014 " alt="Samsung European Forum 2014 " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/samsung-european-forum-2014-scene-2.jpg?1391189047" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>There&rsquo;s nothing that Samsung&#39;s brainboxes won&rsquo;t tinker with.</p> <p>They want four windows running on one 12.2in Android tablet. They want microwaves to grill food and make yoghurt. NFC printers, quirky multi-room sound systems, washing machines that know how dirty you are. But most of all, they want mini plays.</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/sophie-charara" title="View user profile.">Sophie Charara</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>News Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Curved Ultra HD TVs + 4K Netflix + UHD Video Pack = Pixel Packed Picture </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>It&rsquo;s pretty obvious what Samsung thinks is the star of the show. As at CES in Vegas, its <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/lg/ces-2014/screen-wars-lg-and-samsung-reveal-huge-105in-4k-219-curved-oled-tvs/news">majestic 105in Curved Ultra HD TV </a>takes pride of place here at the Palacio De Ferias y Congresos venue with all the smugness of a prize pig at the village fair. Nothing else stands a chance and a small troll-like man spends fifteen minutes filming the 105 incher&rsquo;s five minute loop of scenic footage. Maybe he&rsquo;s counting the 11 million pixels on the 5120 x 2160 21:9 screen.</p> <p>Samsung spends plenty of time telling us how much more immersive curved screens are than flat ones but we&rsquo;ll hold off our full judgement until we&rsquo;ve watched a whole movie on one - Samsung recommends a flick with lots of shadows like The Dark Knight. Can&rsquo;t wait.</p> <p>The 105in model doesn&rsquo;t have a price yet or even confirmation of a release - our stab in the dark is US$15,000. But the curved Ultra HD Samsungs on sale in 2014 start at 50in with sizes up to the flagship 78in. There&rsquo;s no talk of firm prices yet but the range will get some love from Samsung&rsquo;s Evolution Kit which can upgrade tellies with new processors, connections and software every year. &nbsp;</p> <p>More excitingly, Samsung announces at the Forum that <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/netflix/ces-2014/eyes-we-feast-our-peepers-netflixs-4k-streaming-video/news">Netflix in 4K</a> is coming to its UHD TV line-up (which includes cheaper non-curved displays) in Europe this March. There&rsquo;s a nod to the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/galaxy-note-3/samsung-galaxy-note-3/review">Galaxy Note 3&rsquo;s 4K shooting capabilities</a> - playable on your Samsung TV only via MHL for now - but there&rsquo;s more in the way of pixel-packed movies and TV shows.</p> <p>Samsung&#39;s also teasing a mysterious UHD Video Pack that isn&rsquo;t on display and isn&rsquo;t available to see in press pics either. Samsung execs aren&rsquo;t even sure exactly how it will work at this stage except to say that it&rsquo;s a 1TB hard drive that will be pre-loaded with 4K movies like The Life of Pi from Twentieth Century Fox, NBCUniversal and more unconfirmed partner studios.</p> <p>The Video Pack will be compatible with 4K TVs made by other manufacturers, priced at 299 euros (no UK price yet) and more movies will be made available to download, up to around 50 in total, over the next 12 months.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Samsung 105in Curved UHD TV at SEF 2014 " alt="Samsung 105in Curved UHD TV at SEF 2014 " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/samsung-european-forum-2014-105-curved-UHD-TV.jpg?1391189047" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="4K Netflix on a Samsung UHD TV " alt="4K Netflix on a Samsung UHD TV " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/samsung-UHD-Netflix.jpg?1391189047" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1200" height="900" title="Samsung TV Evolution Kit " alt="Samsung TV Evolution Kit " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/samsung-european-forum-2014-evolution-kit.png?1391189047" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Galaxy NotePRO and TabPRO up for pre-order </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>So there&rsquo;s no need to prep the wall mounts for the curved UHD TVs just yet. But the Galaxy NotePRO and TabPRO Android KitKat tablets are now available to pre-order. With the NotePRO 12.2in getting an <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/galaxy-note-pro/ces-2014/samsung-galaxy-note-pro-122-hands-giant-slab-pixel-perfection/news">in depth hands on at CES </a>- not to mention a <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/ces-2014/2014-ces-hot-stuff-awards/feature">CES Hot Stuff Award</a> - we take a look at the smaller 8.4in and 10.1 models, both available with or without the S Pen.</p> <p>Since we&rsquo;ve just tested the excellent, hi-res&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/android/samsung-galaxy-note-101-2014/review">Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition</a> - stick with us - we ask what the difference is between this and the NotePRO 10.1. Samsung says it&rsquo;s purely a matter of software with the NotePRO running Android 4.4 out of the box with a much enhanced Magazine interface.</p> <p>The two smaller TabPRO models don&rsquo;t get four pane multi-tasking but the 8.4in model is lightweight and a very handy size with a unsurprisingly eye-popping 2560x1600 screen. It&rsquo;s not quite as lovely in terms of build quality as the lower-res <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/lg/lg-g-pad-83/review">LG G Pad 8.3 </a>though&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;and &pound;350 seems a little steep too, no doubt in part because of that resolution.</p> <p>Since CES there have been a couple of tweaks to the whole range - Samsung has added two regular Android homescreens to the set-up with two Magazine screens of news, email, calendar and social updates to swipe through too.</p> <p>There&rsquo;s also a bunch of accessories - Bluetooth keyboards, designer cases and covers - confirming the fact that Samsung&rsquo;s second only to Apple in the add-on stakes, though none of the tablets are getting <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/galaxy-gear/samsung-galaxy-gear/review">Galaxy Gear compatibility</a> just yet.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Samsung Magazine UI at SEF 2014" alt="Samsung Magazine UI at SEF 2014" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/samsung-european-forum-2014-notepro-magazine.png?1391189047" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Samsung TabPro 8.4in tablet at Samsung European Forum 2014 " alt="Samsung TabPro 8.4in tablet at Samsung European Forum 2014 " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/samsung-european-forum-2014-tabpro-84.jpg?1391189047" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1200" height="900" title="Samsung&#039;s S Pen Bluetooth Mouse at Samsung European Forum 2014 " alt="Samsung&#039;s S Pen Bluetooth Mouse at Samsung European Forum 2014 " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/samsung-european-forum-2014-bluetooth-mouse.png?1391189047" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-4"> <div class="field-label">Image #4:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_4" width="1200" height="900" title="Samsung&#039;s tablet accessories " alt="Samsung&#039;s tablet accessories " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/samsung-european-forum-2014-accessories.png?1391189047" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> We want this S Pen Mouse </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Our favourite accessory is Samsung&rsquo;s Bluetooth mouse, which mimics the S Pen&rsquo;s functionality when you have the NotePRO set up on a desk and don&rsquo;t want to reach over a Bluetooth keyboard to prod the screen every two seconds.</p> <p>Clicking a button on the left hand side brings up Air Command and all the usual options like Sketchbook and Pen Window - it doesn&rsquo;t work so well in our demo, getting a bit stuck opening up multi-tasking instead&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;but we&rsquo;re sure Samsung&rsquo;s ironing out the kinks in time for shipping. Price and availability isn&rsquo;t confirmed but we&rsquo;ll update this story when we get all the details.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-box-out-byline"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/sophie-charara" title="View user profile.">Sophie Charara</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> WW9000 knows how dirty you are </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>We don&rsquo;t spend a lot of our time thinking about appliances&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;maybe 0.02% on a good day&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;but Samsung does. It&rsquo;s showcasing a ton of mindboggling home tech including dishwashers with Waterfall spray mechanisms for cleaner pots and this sci-fi washing machine, the WW9000.</p> <p>Everything about is ridiculous - from the &pound;1700 RRP to the 5in touchscreen and its amazing ability to beam light through your clothes to measure how dirty they are, exactly how much detergent is needed and how they need to be washed with the Optimal Auto Wash function.</p> <p>And we love it. It&rsquo;s absolutely massive and we don&rsquo;t know where we&rsquo;d put it, but the huge door with a deep blue crystal finish looks awesome and it can of course be started or paused when you&rsquo;re out and about via Samsung&rsquo;s Smart Control app. All that and Samsung&#39;s waging war on what one exec called &quot;superfluous knobs&quot;. Quite.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Samsung&#039;s sci-fi WW9000 washing machine " alt="Samsung&#039;s sci-fi WW9000 washing machine " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/samsung-european-forum-2014-W9000.png?1391189047" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="5in touchscreen amongst other tricks " alt="5in touchscreen amongst other tricks " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/samsung-WW9000-press-pic.png?1391189047" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1200" height="900" title="Washing machines and Ultra HD TVs at Samsung&#039;s European Forum 2014 " alt="Washing machines and Ultra HD TVs at Samsung&#039;s European Forum 2014 " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/samsung-european-forum-2014-scene.jpg?1391189047" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> All Hail the Snack Door </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Anything that decreases the time between the &lsquo;ping!&rsquo; in our heads that we want a snack and Cookie Dough ice cream being slung down our throats can only be a good thing. Enter the Food Showcase refrigerator which adds a whole extra door full of storage room that sits in front of the main door purely for quick access.</p> <p>First shown off at CES, this ulti-fridge also rocks a metal cooling door to keep food fresh and a built-in water and ice dispenser.</p> <p>Another future fridge, the RF24, is getting a sparkling water dispenser powered by SodaStream later this year&nbsp;(which may or may not be a good thing depending on whether you side with Oxfam or Scarlett Johannson).&nbsp;It&#39;s enough to make you feel a&nbsp;kind of deep, seething disappointment in the rest of your kitchen gadgets. And no, neither of them tweet.</p> <p>So that&rsquo;s it. Where&rsquo;s the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/galaxy-s5/samsung-galaxy-s5/review">Galaxy S5</a>? The latest interweb tip-offs point to 23rd February launch, one day before Mobile World Congress starts&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;so hang tight and read our <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/galaxy-s5/samsung-galaxy-s5/review">S5 preview</a>.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Samsung&#039;s inner snack door on the Food Showcase fridge " alt="Samsung&#039;s inner snack door on the Food Showcase fridge " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/samsung-european-forum-2014-snack-door.png?1391189047" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Food Showcase fridge gets a close-up at Samsung&#039;s European Forum 2014" alt="Food Showcase fridge gets a close-up at Samsung&#039;s European Forum 2014" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/samsung-european-forum-food-showcase-fridge.png?1391189047" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/samsung/samsung-kit-you-need-2014/news" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/samsung/samsung-kit-you-need-2014/news#comments 4K Connected home Samsung Tablets Thu, 30 Jan 2014 17:47:48 +0000 Sophie Charara 1431865 at http://www.stuff.tv Livio Smart Car Radio talks to your connected home http://www.stuff.tv/livio-smart-car-radio-talks-your-connected-home/news <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Control your smart home tech from your car with Livio Connect&#039;s concept device </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Livio Car Radio" alt="Livio Car Radio" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/livio-car-radio-04.jpg?1389752022" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>Smart home tech is taking to the road with the Livio Car Radio.</p> <p>The concept car radio connects with your smartphone or tablet to seamlessly run apps on your car dashboard using the SmartDeviceLink standard. It&#39;ll also communicate with <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/project-make-your-house-smart-home-future/feature" target="_blank">smart home device</a>s such as the Nest thermostat, as Livio demonstrated at <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/ces-2013/ces-2014-biggest-stories-so-far/feature" target="_blank">CES</a>.</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/stephen-graves" title="View user profile.">Stephen Graves</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>News Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> On the road </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>As an example, you&#39;ll be able to hit the &quot;Go Home&quot; button on your satnav, and the Livio Car Radio will tell your thermostat how long the journey&#39;s going to take, and when to turn up the heat so that your house is at the optimum temperature when you arrive.</p> <p>It&#39;s all part of Livio&#39;s bid to get car manufacturers to use the <a href="http://projects.genivi.org/smartdevicelink/" target="_blank">SmartDeviceLink</a> standard across their infotainment systems, by showing the sort of apps that car radios will be able to run in future.</p> <p>We can&#39;t wait to mess with the folks back home by switching their heating on and off while we&#39;re on the road.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Livio Car Radio" alt="Livio Car Radio" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/livio-car-radio-01.jpg?1389752022" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Livio Car Radio" alt="Livio Car Radio" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/livio-car-radio-02.jpg?1389752022" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1200" height="900" title="Livio Car Radio" alt="Livio Car Radio" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/livio-car-radio-03.jpg?1389752022" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/livio-smart-car-radio-talks-your-connected-home/news" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/livio-smart-car-radio-talks-your-connected-home/news#comments Cars Connected home Tue, 14 Jan 2014 16:39:29 +0000 Stephen Graves 1431241 at http://www.stuff.tv Mother: the creepiest gadget at CES http://www.stuff.tv/mother-creepiest-gadget-ces/feature <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Until someone announces a robotic doll that smiles when you&#039;re afraid, that is </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1985" height="1500" title="Mother: the creepiest gadget at CES" alt="Mother: the creepiest gadget at CES" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/mother4cookies_hd.png?1389382378" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are you exercising enough? Are you eating properly? Are you taking your medication? Mother knows. Mother is watching you. Mother has so many eyes, and none of them ever blink.</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/will-dunn" title="View user profile.">Will Dunn</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Big mother </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Well, total control is unsettling. Yes, it is good to have more information on parts of your life - tracking exercise, diet and productivity can unquestionably improve your quality of life. Does having sensors attached to your children&#39;s toothbrushes improve your quality of life? Or does it turn your bathroom into a surveillance state in which your children have no choice but to comply with your dental dictats?</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Mother: the creepiest gadget at CES" alt="Mother: the creepiest gadget at CES" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/senseboard_en_hd.png?1389382378" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Mother knows best </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Of course, you don&#39;t have to use Mother to obsessively monitor your family. You can attach Cookies to anything. Stick one on your water bottle and the app can log how many glasses of water you&#39;re having per day, stick one on your humidor and it&#39;ll keep track of your cigar intake. With a little more tinkering, a Cookie stuck to your coffee machine can remind you when you&#39;re about to run out of coffee. Put one under your pillow and it can log how well you&#39;re sleeping. It&#39;s all very useful, and the only drawback is that you have a shiny little droid that sits in your home, smiling and smiling and smiling because it knows everything you do.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="883" title="Mother: the creepiest gadget at CES" alt="Mother: the creepiest gadget at CES" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Screen%20shot%202014-01-07%20at%2011.29.09.png?1389382378" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> I&#039;ll be mother </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Of course, Mother&#39;s creep-factor is hugely amplified by the name. For one thing, a machine pretending to be your mum is the stuff of nightmares, and for another, it appears to be named after that other environment-controlling Mother - the ship&#39;s computer in Ridley Scott&#39;s <em>Alien.</em>&nbsp;Like that Mother,<em>&nbsp;</em>all this&nbsp;Mother can do is give you information, in the hope it may alter your behaviour. It&#39;ll pop up a cheery message saying <em>You Have Admitted One Xenomorph This Month! Let&#39;s Try Admitting 0 Xenomorphs Next Month!</em>&nbsp;but for all it knows, you might be an android that admires the alien&#39;s terrifying clarity of purpose.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Mother: the creepiest gadget at CES" alt="Mother: the creepiest gadget at CES" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Screen%20shot%202014-01-07%20at%2011.29.20.png?1389382378" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Mothers of invention </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>While it may give you the willies, Mother is part of a class of devices that is here to stay. The age of sensors is very much upon us, and soon every home will be equipped with a hub that reads them and reports the data for you - the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/watch-out-ninja-sphere-set-take-over-your-home/news" target="_blank">Ninja Sphere</a> is another, less unsettling, example.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/ces-2013/ces-2014-biggest-stories-so-far/feature" target="_blank">CES 2014 - the biggest news so far, live from Las Vegas</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/ces-2014/2014-ces-hot-stuff-awards/feature">2014 CES Hot Stuff Awards - the 10 best launches from the show</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Oh God, they&#039;re multiplying" alt="Oh God, they&#039;re multiplying" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/mother_party.jpg?1389382378" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-carousel-item"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-carousel-item-title"> <div class="field-label">Carousel item title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The creepiest gadget at CES </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-carousel-item-standfirst"> <div class="field-label">Carousel item standfirst:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Meet Mother. She knows what you&#039;re up to </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/mother-creepiest-gadget-ces/feature" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/mother-creepiest-gadget-ces/feature#comments CES 2014 Connected home Tue, 07 Jan 2014 12:04:33 +0000 Will Dunn 1430866 at http://www.stuff.tv Belkin gets cooking at CES with internet connected Crock-Pot http://www.stuff.tv/belkin/belkin-gets-cooking-internet-connected-crock-pot/news <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The Crock-Pot WeMo Slow Cooker (now that’s a mouthful) makes cooking a wireless affair </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="567" height="425" title="Belkin WeMo Crock-Pot CES 2014 " alt="Belkin WeMo Crock-Pot CES 2014 " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/WeMoSlowcooker_large_verge_medium_landscape_0.jpg?1389621380" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>An exciting cooking app is not ten recipes and a picture of banoffee pie that makes you want to lick your iPad. An exciting cooking app actually lets you cook. In this case with the help of a WeMo enabled Crock-Pot slow cooker.</p> <p>Part of Belkin&rsquo;s partnership with Jarden (who owns the Crock-Pot, Mr. Coffee and Sunbeam lines in the US), you&rsquo;ll be able to control this little cooker with your smartphone, both inside the home and on the go, with the help of the WeMo app.&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/nigel-yap-0" title="View user profile.">Nigel Yap</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>News Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/belkin/belkin-gets-cooking-internet-connected-crock-pot/news" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/belkin/belkin-gets-cooking-internet-connected-crock-pot/news#comments Belkin CES 2014 Connected home Mon, 06 Jan 2014 13:11:51 +0000 Sophie Charara 1430753 at http://www.stuff.tv Watch out! Is the Ninja Sphere set to take over your home? http://www.stuff.tv/watch-out-ninja-sphere-set-take-over-your-home/news <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> If 2014 is set to be the year your house gets smart, the Ninja Sphere is hoping to become its controller, making everything from your lights to alarms smarter than the average home </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="640" height="480" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/ProductShot1_640x480.png?1388230419" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>The Australian Kickstarter project raised its target in just 36 hours, and the odd-shaped controller could soon be in a living room near you, keeping an eye on every gadget it your home</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/mark-prigg" title="View user profile.">Mark Prigg</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>News Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Unleashing a ninja in your living room seems a rather foolhardy proposition, but the Australian inventors of the Ninja Shpere says this rather odd shaped gadget could boost the IQ of your home - and save you money.</p> <p>&quot;Your Ninja Sphere learns about you, and your environment,&quot; they say.</p> <p>&quot;It uses data from sensors and actuators to build a model that can inform you if something is out of place. It can monitor temperature, lighting, energy usage, you and your pets&#39; presence, and anything else you connect to your sphere.&quot;</p> <p>The project has so far been a huge success on Kickstarter, and the Ninja&nbsp;Sphere&rsquo;s&nbsp;gateway,&nbsp;dubbed&nbsp;the&nbsp;&lsquo;Spheramid&rsquo;,&nbsp;is&nbsp;capable&nbsp;of&nbsp;controlling&nbsp;devices within&nbsp;the&nbsp;home&nbsp;using gestures.</p> <p>With&nbsp;a&nbsp;swipe&nbsp;of&nbsp;the&nbsp;hand,&nbsp;lights&nbsp;can&nbsp;be&nbsp;dimmed&nbsp;or heat&nbsp;turned&nbsp;up.</p> <p>There&#39;s also set to be a full suite of smartphone apps to turn the kettle on from anywhere in the world, and even a Pebble app so just a tap of the wrist could trigger the mood lighting and Barry White soundtrack.</p> <p>Also concealed (using ninja skills, presumably) within&nbsp;the&nbsp;Spheramid&nbsp;is&nbsp;an&nbsp;LED&nbsp;matrix,&nbsp;which&nbsp;can&nbsp;display&nbsp;information&nbsp;such as the weather or energy use.</p> <p>Source: <a href="http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ninja/ninja-sphere-next-generation-control-of-your-envir?ref=category">Kickstarter</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper youtube-player-wrapper"> <iframe width="640" height="385" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/4gPmI7mAZmQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="640" height="480" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/LEDMatrix-640x480.png?1388230419" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> http://www.stuff.tv/watch-out-ninja-sphere-set-take-over-your-home/news#comments Connected home Fri, 27 Dec 2013 20:56:11 +0000 Mark Prigg 1430484 at http://www.stuff.tv Wearable tech, mobile payments and the Internet of Things: why Bluetooth 4.1 is genuinely exciting (honestly, it is) http://www.stuff.tv/wearable-tech-mobile-payments-and-internet-things-why-bluetooth-41-genuinely-exciting-honestly-it/fe <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> New revision to the wireless spec promises to be everything we always wanted it to be </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Bluetooth 4.1 logo" alt="Bluetooth 4.1 logo" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/bluetooth-logo-pixels.jpg?1386991466" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>Since its inception, Bluetooth was supposed to be the definitive standard for &#39;personal area networks&#39;, connecting a myriad of devices in a cloud of radio activity around your body. Realistically, though, all we ever used it for was headsets and speakerphones. With the latest revision to the spec, Bluetooth 4.1, the technology is finally coming of age. And why not? After all, it&#39;s only been around for 20 years.</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/adamoxford" title="View user profile.">Adam Oxford</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Twenty years? Really? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Believe it or not. Bluetooth was first suggested as an idea in 1994, when mobile phones were still the size and weight of house bricks. Given that most of us were still carrying 10p pieces in our pockets to make calls, the idea of a radio-based cable replacement was pretty ahead of its time. It was invented by two researchers at Ericsson, hence the Viking-inspired name which came along three years later. It would be another four years before Bluetooth kit actually went on sale, mind.</p> <p><em>Image credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/51379203@N00/2342149979/in/photolist-4yY8Ac-4zVdn3-4AwFDJ-4AHy1B-4AHy7p-4AHybV-4APGTi-4ASJzR-4MdDsd-4TH5Nq-4UAsWq-4YRAm5-4ZhPRv-4ZhPSg-4Zn3vQ-4Zn3y9-4Zn3zh-516vqq-51nFYM-52Rx9p-55LGPr-5hbzaN-5vHEek-5vMZq9-5vRh2c-5xobsp-5y8GDV-5CspLu-5CyEwV-5CyF5R-5CyFia-5CyFK6-5CyFQX-5CyFWZ-5CyG3a-5CyGjc-5CCYv5-5CCYBY-5CCZnL-5CEgDJ-5E9Yqq-5HFbfV-5UxCFR-61d6Sz-629BmC-6aPWtK-6aU6Bo-6difxy-6dikeE-6e8rT9-6idjzf">Shaojeng Ku</a></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Bluetooth dongle" alt="Bluetooth dongle" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/bluetooth-dongle.jpg?1386991466" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> And here we are, four revisions later... </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Well, several more if you include point releases, but we&#39;re not really counting. Over the years, audio quality has got better, security tighter, and the types of devices that can be connected increased. A large number of improvements between version 1 and version 3 focussed on improving transfer speeds and reducing the propensity for interference &ndash; something of an historical problem as Bluetooth works in the very crowded 2.4GHz frequency. That&#39;s the same piece of the spectrum that&#39;s used by WiFi, wireless keyboards and speakers and very talented opera singers, all of which leave even newer Bluetooth devices suffering from dropped connections and limited range. The really big update, however, came in 2010, with version 4.0, aka Bluetooth Smart.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> What was in that? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Critically, Bluetooth 4.0 included a spec for Bluetooth low energy (BLE) which &ndash; as the name suggests &ndash; was designed to massively cut down on the power use of a Bluetooth radio. It introduced idle modes that might as well be completely off, improved device discovery and protocols for interacting with low power devices. It also makes pairing devices a lot easier too. Of course, you don&#39;t need Bluetooth Smart to actually be smart. Stuff&#39;s Gadget of the Year, the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/pebble-smartwatch/review">Pebble</a> smartwatch, relies on the decade old Bluetooth 2.0+EDR spec to work its wrist-based wonders.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Bluetooth Low Energy? Isn&#039;t that something to do with Apple? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>In a tangential way, yes. Apple&#39;s recently launched <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/apple/ibeacons-how-ios-7-s-secret-weapon-could-kill-nfc/feature">iBeacons</a>, the tiny sensors which can be used for anything from indoor GPS services to Minority Report style personalised ad broadcasts use BLE. It&#39;s not just Apple, though. The high level of AES encryption inherent to BLE and the ubiquity of Bluetooth phones also makes a lot of us think it will become the standard for generic mobile payments too.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="iBeacons Bluetooth 4.1" alt="iBeacons Bluetooth 4.1" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/ibeacons.jpg?1386991466" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> And the new release is something to do with that then? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>In a roundabout way, yes. The big news from the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) is that Bluetooth 4.1 includes support for IPv6, which means it can become the short range network connection for just about anything that uses internet protocol communications. Which, in the age of the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/how-internet-things-will-change-world/feature">Internet of Things</a>, is everything.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-5"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Aren&#039;t there already wireless standards for that, though? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>There are indeed. The ZigBee standard for home automation has been keeping small personal devices talking since 2004, and Z-Wave has been doing the same for light switches for the last three years. Like NFC, though, the two techs have struggled to capture the public imagination much, and are now seriously threatened by a leaner, meaner Bluetooth that is essentially a one-size fits all spec for low energy short range comms which is also compatible with ubiquitous internet protocol tech. That could well mean the war for the airwaves is over.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="ZigBee" alt="ZigBee" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/zigbee.jpg?1386991466" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-6"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> That&#039;s exciting </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>More immediately impressive, though, is the fact that Bluetooth 4.1 will do a lot more to support multiple devices simultaneously. So it can pair and automatically connect to your watch, heart-rate monitor, speakers, headset et al without breaking its ability to pair with anything else. Hopefully, that means the end of those mystery disconnections and random reliance on phone rebooting just to connect to your speakers. Even better is that Bluetooth 4.1 devices can be &#39;daisy chained&#39;, so devices don&#39;t just conform to one role, they can be hubs for connecting other devices too. It&#39;s all very meta.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-7"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Anything else? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Yes, there really has been a lot of work done on reducing interference. Bluetooth 4.1 radios will automatically co-ordinate with nearby 4G transceivers so that the two stop trying to talk over each other. And then there&#39;s better support for bulk data transfers too, so that watches and phones or glasses and phones can swap data collected while they were apart more easily. Told you it was exciting.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-8"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Can&#039;t wait to get hold of it, but I&#039;ve only just bought a new phone... </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Then you&#39;re in luck. According to the Bluetooth SIG, 4.1 can be distributed as an over-the-air update to existing radios &ndash; although exactly which ones are unclear yet.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="940" height="705" title="Google Nexus 5" alt="Google Nexus 5" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/google-nexus-5-review-main-2_2.jpg?1386991466" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-9"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> So, where does that leave NFC then? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Shhhh....</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/wearable-tech-mobile-payments-and-internet-things-why-bluetooth-41-genuinely-exciting-honestly-it/fe" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Connected home Wearable tech Fri, 13 Dec 2013 12:58:20 +0000 Sam Kieldsen 1430055 at http://www.stuff.tv Netatmo's Philippe Starck-designed thermostat is simply beautiful http://www.stuff.tv/netatmos-philippe-starck-designed-thermostat-simply-beautiful/news <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> It&#039;s not often you&#039;ll see us getting hot under the collar over a thermostat, but this one&#039;s a bit special </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="818" height="613" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/netatmo-thermostat-2.jpg?1384783579" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>Thermostats don&#39;t just control heating. They&#39;re getting pretty damn hot themselves. (Really, they are.)</p> <p>Netatmo&nbsp;has joined&nbsp;forces with designer Philippe Starck to create a thermostat that you&#39;ll actually want to show off to friends.</p> <p>Its minimal white design can be jazzed up with interchangeable coloured plastic frames to match your decor, and its simplicity also wins us over.</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/esat-dedezade" title="View user profile.">Esat Dedezade</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>News Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Clever little box </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Its easy-to-read e-ink display shows you the current and target temperature, which can be changed with a simple click on the top and bottom of the front frame. No buttons, no mess.</p> <p>There&#39;s also a companion iOS and Android app to let you make temperature adjustments wirelessly, as well as schedule times and check the energy usage.</p> <p>The app can also learn when you&#39;re away or what temperatures you prefer at certain times of the day.</p> <p>It&#39;ll set you back US$240 and we&#39;re trying&nbsp;to&nbsp;confirm UK pricing and availability.</p> <p><strong>Update:&nbsp;</strong>The Netatmo thermostat will be out in the UK &quot;early next year&quot;, so stay tuned.</p> <p>[<a href="http://www.designboom.com/technology/smartphone-connected-thermostat-by-philippe-starck-for-netatmo-11-15-2013/" target="_blank">Netatmo</a> vis <a href="http://gizmodo.com/a-sleek-wireless-thermostat-you-might-actually-want-to-1465097492" target="_blank">Gizmodo</a>]</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="818" height="613" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/netatmo-thermostat.jpg?1384783579" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> http://www.stuff.tv/netatmos-philippe-starck-designed-thermostat-simply-beautiful/news#comments Connected home Fri, 15 Nov 2013 17:17:00 +0000 Esat Dedezade 1429141 at http://www.stuff.tv Samsung NaviBot CornerClean http://www.stuff.tv/navibot/samsung-navibot-cornerclean/review <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Snazzy brushes for corners and brainier than ever, but does the new NaviBot really let you put your feet up? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Samsung NaviBot CornerClean" alt="Samsung NaviBot CornerClean" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/VR10F71UCAC_003_Front-30-Angle_Black.jpg?1383221596" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/caramel-quin" title="View user profile.">Caramel Quin</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you think tech reviewers live in gadget-packed homes and do very little real work while hi-tech gizmos serve them, you’re not entirely wrong. When testing the Samsung NaviBot CornerClean robot we spread talc on the floor then sat on the sofa with its remote control, watching it tidy up our intentionally created mess. We’re not proud to say we also occasionally threw popcorn in its path, but it was all in the name of testing. With its much-hyped cleaning and navigation abilities, could the new NaviBot be the robo vacuum to beat all other robo vacuums?</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-pricing"><legend>Pricing</legend><div class="field field-type-number-float field-field-test-price"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> £450.00 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-price-from"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 0 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-ratings"><legend>Ratings</legend><div class="field field-type-hcmreviewrating-rating field-field-overall-rating"> <div class="field-label">Overall rating:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="hcmrating-default">10 stars</div> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-pros"> <div class="field-label">Pros:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Cleans quickly and methodically </div> <div class="field-item even"> Avoids hazards with minimal setup </div> <div class="field-item odd"> So slim it often fits under furniture </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-cons"> <div class="field-label">Cons:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Doesn’t clean as well as a mains vacuum </div> <div class="field-item even"> Brushes get worn quickly </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Can’t clean, or climb, stairs </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>Review Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The robot with hairy arms </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The slim (8cm) NaviBot CornerClean sits discretely on its charging base without imposing into the room. But fire it up and you see its unique new feature: a pair of pop-out arms at the front, each with three rotating brushes. That’s right, this mechanical servant has hairy arms. They’re designed for cleaning into corners, but in fact get constant use, sweeping dirt into the middle to be sucked up.</p> <p>We tested the brushes’ abilities by idly flinging popcorn into the NaviBot’s path. It snapped them up as eagerly as a toddler at the Saturday morning pictures. Impressive. Less impressive was how scrappy the brushes looked after a small amount of use – they’re going to need frequent cleaning and replacement.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="The NaviBot&#039;s slim enough to be tucked out of the way" alt="The NaviBot&#039;s slim enough to be tucked out of the way" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSC_0100.jpg?1383221596" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> In the powder room </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Next we put cleaning abilities to test by sprinkling talc on the floor until it was as slippery as a Northern Soul dancefloor. The ‘bot found it very quickly. Rather than bumbling around the room for half an hour, NaviBot methodically vacuumed back and forth in parallel lines, getting it fairly clean within 5-10 minutes – a big improvement on the more random approach of the iRobot Roomba range.</p> <p>But we did say “fairly clean”. Results weren’t amazing – you could see where the brushes had swept up a fair amount, but much of the powder remained. Suction-wise it can’t compete with the dust-eating power of a mains-powered vacuum, or even one of the better rechargeable stick cleaners. The Northern Soul night was go!</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="The CornerClean doesn&#039;t have the power of a traditional vacuum" alt="The CornerClean doesn&#039;t have the power of a traditional vacuum" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSC_0149.jpg?1383221596" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Cheeky puppy </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The NaviBot has a ceiling-facing camera that allegedly maps your room to aid navigation. We saw no evidence of this; it just seemed to clean back and forth methodically, its direction based less on room shape, more on which way it was pointing when it started.</p> <p>But more important is its hazard detection. This ‘bot has the spirit of a cheeky puppy. If it comes up against a minor hazard it uses brute force to budge it out of the way, while major hazards are either detected and avoided or grumpily headbutted before it admits defeat. In the dining room it looked like a poltergeist was visiting as NaviBot cleaned underneath, bumping chair legs with enough force to move the furniture around.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Some objects are pushed aside in the name of dust-busting" alt="Some objects are pushed aside in the name of dust-busting" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSC_0139.jpg?1383221596" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Still useless at stairs </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>One place you don’t want your pricey robotic helper to be wilful is the top of the stairs. So it was with trepidation that we tested its cliff sensors, designed to stop it falling off steps and suchlike. Our fear was misplaced: it stopped perfectly at the stair top and turned around. Even in manual mode, using the remote control to direct it over the top stair (into us, poised, just in case) it refused, rolled back 1cm from the edge and awaited instructions that didn’t contravene its non-suicide directive. That said, as with other robo-vacs the Navibot can’t actually clean the stairs, or even climb them to clean another floor.</p> <p>NaviBot comes with two battery-powered Virtual Guard gizmos that use an infra-red beam to fence off no-go areas. We used one to good effect keeping the cat’s bowls protected. The one time we forgot to switch it on, NaviBot rolled neatly up the slope of the food bowl and into the water bowl, giving itself a wheel wash.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="The Samsung knows all about self-preservation" alt="The Samsung knows all about self-preservation" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSC_0233.jpg?1383221596" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> It&#039;s on the ball </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The aforementioned manual mode lets you control your ‘bot’s precise movements. A tedious way to clean the house, but ideal for navigating it out of trouble if it gets stuck in a tight spot. We tried shouting “you got in there, so you can bloody well get back out again!” across the room, but it just plaintively beeped. The mode also proved excellent for playing footie – NaviBot loves knocking smaller obstacles out of the way, so it enjoyed a good kick around.</p> <p>More useful is the timer, where you use the remote to preset the times and days of the week you’d like NaviBot to automatically clean. This is simple to set and vacuuming is quiet enough that you could easily have your robo helper clean in the early hours without disturbing a soul.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="The remote makes it easy to schedule regular cleans" alt="The remote makes it easy to schedule regular cleans" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSC_0204.jpg?1383221596" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-5"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Verdict </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The NaviBot CornerClean is the best robotic vacuum we’ve tested. Impressive features and it needs virtually no setup. It can’t clean stairs and its cleaning power can’t compete with a mains-powered vacuum or even the better rechargeable stick cleaners, so as with its robo-rivals the Navibot is more of a helping hand than a complete replacement for hands-on, grime-busting action. Still, if you live in an uncluttered flat with hard floors, it could be your new best friend. Hell, it will even play footie with you.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Samsung NaviBot CornerClean" alt="Samsung NaviBot CornerClean" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/VR10F71UCAC_001_Front_Black.jpg?1383221596" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-review-rating"><legend>Review Rating</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> design </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 7 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> features </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 8 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-verdict"> <div class="field-label">Verdict:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>It’s not a total replacement for a traditional vac, but the Navibot is the best robo-cleaner yet</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-preview"> <div class="field-label">Preview:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Disabled </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/navibot/samsung-navibot-cornerclean/review" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/navibot/samsung-navibot-cornerclean/review#comments Connected home Geek accessories Navibot Samsung Thu, 03 Oct 2013 14:43:12 +0000 Tom Parsons 1427445 at http://www.stuff.tv Synology DS213j http://www.stuff.tv/synology/synology-ds213j/review <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Synology makes incremental upgrades to its winning NAS formula with the DS213J – but is it enough? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/DSCF9233.JPG?1383220516" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/henrywinchester" title="View user profile.">henrywinchester</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A network-attached storage drive is something you don't realise you need until you have one. It's the missing link between your home computer and your entertainment centre, and features such as web servers and cloud file sharing make it ideal for small businesses and dedicated gadget geeks. Synology is a modest expert of all things NAS, and we plugged its latest model into our home network to see how it shapes up.</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-pricing"><legend>Pricing</legend><div class="field field-type-number-float field-field-test-price"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> £165.00 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-price-from"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 0 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-price-notes"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Price without hard drives </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-ratings"><legend>Ratings</legend><div class="field field-type-hcmreviewrating-rating field-field-overall-rating"> <div class="field-label">Overall rating:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="hcmrating-default">8 stars</div> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-pros"> <div class="field-label">Pros:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> More useful than you can imagine </div> <div class="field-item even"> Massive array of apps and accessories </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-cons"> <div class="field-label">Cons:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Not a huge upgrade over the previous model </div> <div class="field-item even"> Could be better looking </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>Review Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> NAS setup </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Getting the Synology DS213J physically connected is nice and simple. Remove a couple of screws, chuck in one or two hard drives of your choice (up to 8TB is supported in total), and connect it to your LAN. From here it gets a little more complicated - there's no quickstart guide for the software, and the browser-based interface is an entire new operating system to get your head around. For the uninitiated it's all a bit daunting.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCF9237_0.JPG?1383220516" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Use scenarios </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>After a bit of poking about in the interface you should end up with a freshly-formatted drive setup on your network, so you can copy and backup files via WiFi or LAN. Transfer speeds are good with a single drive, but arrange two drives in a RAID array and they become blistering – we transferred a 1.7GB 1080p video file in less than five minutes. You'll never need to look at that fetid 4GB flash drive again.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCF9230.JPG?1383220516" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Synology DS213j tech specs </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Processor - single-core 2GHz</p> <p>Memory - 512MG DDR3</p> <p>Drive bays - 2 (compatible with 3.5in and 2.5in HDDs and SSDs)</p> <p>Maximum capacity - 8TB</p> <p>Connectivity - 2 x USB 3.0, Ethernet</p> <p>Dimensions/weight - 165 x 108 x 233mm/1.25kg</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> App-tastic </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A huge range of apps are available for the DS213J's operating system, and it's a little like Android in that Synology actively encourages owners to hack their NASs and come up with new and exciting uses for them - just take a look at <a href="http://forum.synology.com/wiki/" target="_blank">http://forum.synology.com/wiki/</a>. There are also lots of cool <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=Synology+Inc.&amp;hl=en_GB" target="_blank">Android</a> and <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/synology-inc./id321493109" target="_blank">iOS</a> apps, so you can do things such as remotely set torrents to download and then transcode them so you can watch them on your device. In an age when mobile device storage comes with a hefty premium, being able to store and stream stuff in the cloud - your very own cloud no less - is not to be overlooked.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Geekology </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>It doesn't end there. We connected our incredibly cheap Epson inkjet to the Diskstation and found we could print from Android devices via Google Cloud Print - a feature that you'll only find built into printers that cost a lot more. The USB ports are put to good use, too - you can connect an IP camera and use it to set up a home security system, and USB speakers are compatible so it can become the hub of a home media centre. Alas, Spotify is not supported, but Synology's legions of geeks are undoubtedly working on changing that at this very second.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCF9231.JPG?1383220516" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The rivals </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>NAS drives from other manufacturers tend to lack the massive array of features of Synology drives, even if they are often cheaper and easier-to-use. Apple's Airport Time Capsule, a NAS drive in everything but name, is rather cool in the way that it integrates an AC wireless router into its sleek form, but as with most Apple products it foregoes complexity in the name of simplicity. While the Time Capsule suits clinically slick homes, we'd rather get our hands dirty with the Diskstation as it's capable of doing a great deal more once you unlock its secrets.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-5"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Worth the upgrade </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Last year we looked at <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/synology-ds212j/review" target="_blank">Synology's DS212J</a>, the DS213J's predecessor. They're pretty much identical – they feature the same plasticky housing that means you'll probably want to tuck the NAS out of sight, and the interface is unchanged. The new model doubles the RAM to 512MB and includes a slightly speedier system-on-a-chip processor, but in real-world terms the updates are barely noticeable. It's not worth splashing out on the upgrade unless you've got too much cash and a fetish for opening cardboard boxes.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCF9238.JPG?1383220516" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-6"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Verdict </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>We still love Synology's nuts-and-bolts attitude to NAS drives, and its DS213J quickly found itself at the heart of our home network. The biggest problems are the interface and device, both of which could do with more user-friendly and aesthetically-pleasing updates. We'll be quite cross if Synology releases an identical DS214j next year. But as it stands this is still one of the most useful bits of kit we've ever come across, and its potential is massive - as long as you're prepared to put a little effort in yourself.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCF9234.JPG?1383220516" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-review-rating"><legend>Review Rating</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> design </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 7 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> features </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 9 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-verdict"> <div class="field-label">Verdict:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Synology sticks to what it knows, and while it's still an excellent little unit it could do with a bit of a refresh</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-preview"> <div class="field-label">Preview:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Disabled </div> </div> </div> Connected home Geek accessories Synology Fri, 30 Aug 2013 17:48:46 +0000 Tom Parsons 1426023 at http://www.stuff.tv