Topic: Reviews

My personal experience with products of all kinds


TESmart KVM-Switch HKS0401B2U-EUBK (4× HDMI 4K @60Hz)

Disclaimer: the experiences described here are my personal opinion. I bought the product privately directly from the manufacturer and paid for it myself.

In the meantime, I often have the situation of having to switch between different computers, e.g. laptop and PC or PC and Raspberry Pi. Monitors usually offer several inputs, so switching here is usually not a problem. However, there is still the problem of having to move the keyboard and mouse around as well, which can be very cumbersome in the case of stationary PCs under the desk.

KVM switch TESmart HKS0401B2U-EUBK

The solution: a KVM switch. KVM stands for “Keyboard Video Mouse”. Such a switch is connected to a monitor, keyboard and mouse and forwards the connection to one of several connected computers. I chose a model from TESmart, which allows it to be mounted on a wall or under the desk. Furthermore, it also offers practical functions such as “USB passthrough”, which are often missing in simpler models. There are also models that are intended as a desktop device, but otherwise work in the same way.

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Pioneer SE-MS7BT – modern meets classic

A while ago I started to experiment with Google Cardboard and noticed a strange problem with my Sony Xperia Z3 Compact: as soon as you connect a headphone the view will jump back to the initial position in some Cardboard applications. This problem is also documented at Github and seems to be specific for the Unity SDK for Cardboard. A solution is not available yet even beginning of 2017. But these effects do not occur when using a Bluetooth headset.

This has basically fulfilled its purpose, but was rather uncomfortable during longer sessions due to its shape, since it rests only on the ears and does not enclose them. As a better alternative, I bought a Pioneer SE-MS7BT in the black version, which combines classic design elements with modern technology. In addition to the black version, there are also other versions with silver earcups or brown upholstery.

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A week with the Pebble

I’ve been using the “mother” of all smartwatches for about week now – a Pebble in the classic version which was already introduced 2012 as a project on Kickstarter. It is available on the market in the shown variation since about the beginning of 2013. I use the Pebble in combination with a smartphone on which Android 5.1.1 is running.

Update December 2016: Pebble decided to sell their stuff to Fitbit and the watches are no longer available. With Android 6 I often experience a loss of the connection so the Pebble is no longer useful for me in everyday use :-(.

Update January 2017: It seems that Fitbit wants to keep the infrastructure for the pebble running at least in 2017. Since Android 6 cause other problems on my device as well I decided to go to Android 5.1.1. Since then then Pebble is also useable again :-).

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Creative Sound Blaster Z

Creative SB1500It was already in the year 1989 when Creative Labs presented a soundcard with the name “Sound Blaster”. Since then more than 25 years passed and the technology has developed accordingly. First there was the change from 8 to 16 bit with the “Sound Blaster 16”, then followed by the AWE 32/64, Live!, Audigy and X-Fi. Finally in May 2011 the so far newest invention by Creative Labs was presented: “Sound Core3D” – an audio processor with four cores (also see the presse release about this). The first sound card with this chip was the “Recon 3D” in different variations for a PCI express slot. After that the “Sound Blaster Z” followed in 2012 which is also available in different models and which is still available unchanged today in the year 2015.

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Cullmann Magnesit M525 CW25

The Cullman Magnesit M525 CW25 offers a quite good value for the price and is a good choice if you just need a solid tripod which is not as expensive as the “professional” gear. Even though it offers nice details as the integrated monopod and adjustable quick release tension for the legs.

(Please see the German version for more details)



The all-in-one-recorder.

Since my LG GH24NS90 was not able to read pressed Video DVDs any longer, I purchased a LG BH16NS40 as a replacement, in the hope that this drive will work longer without any problems. The price is about 80-100 EUR depending on the distributor and the additional extras.

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Android on a Clock Radio

A clock radio with Android? Yes – this is available since the end of 2011 with the “Archos 35 Home Connect”.

With the advent of MP3 as a space saving format for digital audio data in the 1990ies, also devices were developed for it. The first devices like the MPMan F10 or the RIO PMP300 did not provide an internet connection and were only able to play back music which was stored on the device itself.

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