Tag Archive | Technology

Review – eBay iPad Mini Case

On the 8th of May I bought a rose gold case from eBay for £3.89 and it arrived on the 10th of May. I bought it because I loved the colour (it matches my phone and watch) and it reminded me of a better version of the Apple smart covers. So, what are my thoughts?

71eiiuviupl-_sx425_Well to start with, it is a two-part case. You first put the front on, like any other Smart Cover (like the official Apple ones), and then click the backing on, which also helps keep the magnetically attached front from falling off, and gives the appearance that the case is one piece. The back is slightly transparent, so you can see the Apple logo, and the colour looks great! Especially if you have a silver iPad like I do.

It feels surprisingly high quality for the price. The actual Smart Cover part feels really nice, I feel as if my screen is definitely protected and I have no worries of it slipping about or off and damaging my screen. The back is just a standard plastic clip-on case, so you can’t really go wrong there, but it is a smooth texture and feels very nice. The entire iPad feels protected. Because the case is so thin, my iPad still remains to be a light and portable device, which is great considering the old case made it feel so heavy and bulky, yet I feel as if both cases offered the same amount of protection, and if anything I think this current case feels more high quality, and from memory I think it was a fair bit cheaper! This case probably isn’t the best for travelling with if you’re more worried about it getting damaged in any way just because it is so thin with a magnetic cover, so I wouldn’t recommend this if you’re particularly panicky, but my iPad stays at home the majority of the time (apart from when I go to my boyfriends house and when I brought it to school a couple of times) so I don’t have to worry too much about travelling, but if you are someone to travels with your iPad a lot, you may prefer a bulkier case for that. If you’re someone like me who only takes it with you occasionally and it stays at home the majority of the time, then this case is definitely for you and I’ve seen it available in a variety of colours. I do recommend this case and I think it was a great deal!

-Laura

Review – iPad Mini

So as a tech lover, and more specifically an Apple tech lover, of course at some stage in my life I had to own an iPad. I got the mini option pre-owned a long time ago but have only recently really started going on it again. More for blogging and photo editing and kinda using it as a little thing to draw with. I wanted an iPad because of the bigger screen and for editing and drawing and reading if I so desired (even though I have a kindle for that!!) and I just find it really fun to use. Since I am a small person I think the iPad Mini is the best option for me, and I honestly think the other iPads are just too big, especially for me, and I have found them in the past to be a little heavy and bulky with a case on. My iPad as of right now has a very worn out flip case, and I definitely need to get that changed, but even with a more bulky case on, it’s not too bad and weighs very little, I really think the Mini is best for portability, and it’ll easily fit in any handbag or schoolbag.

 

1429446_R_Z001AAs a whole this is a really enjoyable device and I feel like I need to be using it more often and I kinda feel bad that I neglected it for so long, but now it is getting the love and use that the little thing deserves. I will most often be using it for reading, YouTube, games and photo editing and maybe occasionally using it for blog posts like I am right now. Yup, to test this device’s capability with WordPress I am typing the review of the iPad Mini on the iPad Mini. I wouldn’t say many people would find an iPad to be a necessity in their lives, but if you feel like you want one and know you’d get a fair bit of use out of it to be worth the money you pay (as these things can be pricey at times) then I highly recommend one, it is a lovely little device with a high variety of uses. Let me know what you think of it if you have one!

-Laura

Sims 2 – My Favourite Game

If you’re about my age (18), maybe a bit older, maybe a bit younger, you’ll know of Sims 2. When I was younger I absolutely loved it. For a while I’ve been unable to play any PC game because I have a Chromebook for school, but more recently I’ve gotten a laptop. Now, it’s obviously not the best laptop in the world, but it runs sims 2 and I’m able to use Word and play some other games and it makes me very happy. Being able to play Sims 2 again has been like I’ve reopened and rediscovered my childhood. I have so many memories of playing that game. I loved sending sims off to university, I loved making big families, designing houses, creating stories and playing around with the pre-made families in their little houses and continuing on with their stories, and even looking up about the mystery behind the famous sim of Bella Goth.

I used to be a huge lover of custom content, I always found myself downloading nice clothes and skins and famous celebrities turned into sims from websites like Modthesims and even directly from the Sims 2 website. But playing it again, I realise I love just the original content and what got brought into each expansion pack and stuff pack. I’ll admit my favourite stuff pack was the H&M Stuff, and my favourite expansion pack was most likely Pets. I just loved being able to make pets and put them into my game, it to me added so much to the families. I’ve found myself now enjoying the more simple things within the game, I’ve not felt this need to download extra content into my game like I used to feel. I’ll admit, some more hair colour choices may be nice, I may benefit from those but in all I do enjoy the game how it is.

When I moved house I did struggle to find a lot of my packs for Sims 2, but it wasn’t until I think a few years ago I realised at the time Origin had been doing an amazing thing. I think it may have been to celebrate an anniversary of Sims 2 or something, but they released the entire collection out for FREE if you put in a certain code. I did it and that is how I’ve been playing the game. Thanks to the generosity of Origin, I’ve been able to play a game that meant so much to me in my childhood. I have played Sims 3, and as much as I loved the open world and the customisation options for every single item, I do prefer the simplicity of Sims 2. I haven’t had the chance to play Sims 4, as unfortunately I know my laptop won’t run it, but from what I’ve seen, although I know I’d enjoy it, I also know for certain that I’d go back to Sims 2 every single time. It’s a game that has meant a lot to me and honestly, I’m just glad to have it back in my life.

-Laura

A Month With The Apple Watch – A Review

At the end of March, I got the Apple Watch Series 1 (38mm) in rose gold and since then it has been a big part of my everyday life. For a hefty price of £269, you can actually do a fair bit with it.

apple-watch-series-1-38mm-rose-gold-aluminium-case-with-pink-sand-sport-bandI used to own a Fitbit Flex, and honestly as much as enjoyed it for the basic fitness tracker, it just wasn’t doing it for me anymore, and after seeing what had happened to my old Fitbit Charge and my mums Fitbit Alta, I was starting to get worried my Flex would pack in. So as I was looking into similar things not by Fitbit, I remembered about the Apple Watch. I absolutely love Apple, and over the past 7 years I’ve owned iPhones. I tried out a Blackberry and didn’t like it, and I always find myself going back to Apples technology. I have a friend who has an Apple Watch and after I looked into it not just for the fitness tracker, but for the ability to check and answer messages, phone calls, check your bank and the heart rate monitor, I asked her what she thought of it and she said she couldn’t live without it.

When I got my Apple Watch, I was completely amazed. My first week with the Apple Watch was great. Although I had to charge it every night (which to me was no issue), the battery is quite good, I can easily get through an entire day and that’s when using it at school as well. It benefited me a lot because I am able to check messages from family while in lessons when I’m not allowed my phone out, or even just when I’m letting my boyfriend play a game on my phone. And, although I’ve never been a fitnessy person, (I’m quite lazy and I mainly had the Flex just out of interest to see how many steps I did on a daily basis) but the Apple Watch has kind of made me get more determined to fill up those little fitness circles! I absolutely love this thing. One annoying thing about the watch however is that in the box there was no power adapter. It came with the cable but nothing to plug it into, which I think was a bit of a silly idea from Apple, meaning if people do not have spares around the house (luckily I did), you’ll have to spend money on that on top of the £269 you just spent on the watch itself.

Now cut to a month later, what do I think of the Apple Watch now I’m used it and have kinda gotten over the initial OMG over how cool some of the features (like the heart rate monitor and the scribble feature to answer texts)? I still love it. If my phone is in my bag or whatever at school or during days out, I’m still able to check texts, which for me is essential as it means if anything as an emergency or important comes up from my family, I’m able to check and reply without people really noticing. The fitness stuff really has become quite interesting to me though, although I don’t think I’d ever use the workout app on it, the activity app is useful. I like getting the updates telling me how I’ve been doing with my goals throughout the day and it really has gotten me more determined to try to fill up the circles. I’ve discovered though that it’s easier if I’m out with my boyfriend as I have someone to go on a walk with. The heart rate feature for me is quite useful. As someone who does have an irregular heartbeat, it’s interesting to see how it changes throughout the day and I’ve been able to work out an average for my resting heart rate, but have also figured out ways to slow it down a bit, which makes me a bit calmer about it all.

In all, although this watch is expensive, it has a lot of great features on it and there are plenty of apps available which will suit a variety of people. It’s a great little device and I honestly think it’s become a big part of my life just over this past month. I do highly recommend this watch, but if you’re a swimmer or think you’d benefit from having GPS without your phone, the series 2 (priced at £369 in Argos) is probably a better option for you. The Apple Watch is amazing and I find it so useful. Let me know if you have one and what you think of it in the comments.

-Laura

Review – Kindle Paperwhite 2

I own the Kindle Paperwhite 2 and have for a good couple of years now. I’ve had it probably since around 2014 and since then I have used it a fair bit. It’s something I keep going back to because of how portable it is. I own a lot of physical copies of books, and sometimes I find it much easier to have copies of these books on my Kindle so it is easier for me to carry them around. I take it on long journeys, to school and I use it at home a lot, just recently I finished Star Wars: Bloodline by Claudia Gray and I found it much easier to read on my Kindle than on the physical copy because I’m able to change the font size to something my eyes can handle easier. I will also mention now that my Kindle has a magnetic case on it and I highly recommend these. Not only are they protective for both the front and back of the Kindle, but when you open the case, it automatically turns on the Kindle, saving a little bit of time and effort for you.

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The reason I got the Kindle Paperwhite is because of the light feature. I had an older Kindle but I couldn’t see it very well in certain lighting, so the fact that the Paperwhite had this light feature so I could read books both in the dark and in sunlight was amazing, and so useful to me.  I remember a trip I went on a good couple of years ago and I wanted to read a book to pass the time during the journey, but I wasn’t able to read anything on my old kindle because it was so dark, so the fact that the Paperwhite has a light built into it has really benefited me and allowed me to read in multiple situations.

Something else I completely and utterly adore about Kindles in general is that Amazon has such a wide variety of eBooks available, and quite a lot of them from various genres are free. As someone who loves classics, I adored that Amazon had so many classics from authors such as Jane Austen and Charles Dickens available for free, and I have most definitely reached into reading classics more often because of this. I also love that if you have downloaded eBooks from elsewhere or even have a PDF file, you can send them to your Kindle wirelessly. I own a Chromebook, so I only have simple features available to me on a laptop, so having the ability to convert eBooks and send them wirelessly was amazing to me and something I have found very useful.

Overall, would I recommend a Kindle Paperwhite? Absolutely! Not only is it so good for reading in various different lighting situations, but they’re so easy to use and the battery is absolutely fantastic. I tend to use my Kindle a fair bit and use it from full to empty without a charge in between and the battery lasts for absolutely ages, but this may be shorter or longer depending on how heavily you use it and what else you do with it. I obviously do not know much about other features on it such as Goodreads, or even how easy it is to purchase eBooks straight from the Kindle, as I tend to use my phone or the Amazon website to do that, but as a basic eReader with a light built into it, it is absolutely fantastic and I would highly recommend one of these to someone who either is a heavy book reader, or even someone who doesn’t read as often, but would like the portability of the Kindle.

-Laura

Review – Rose Gold Milanese Watch Strap (from eBay)

The minute I got the Apple Watch (which I will do a review on soon) I knew I had to get a milanese loop strap. I saw the look of them on multiple websites in silver and thought they looked beautiful. But, as I have the rose gold watch, I wanted a rose gold band. After looking on the official Apple website, I not only discovered that these bands were £149 each, but there was no rose gold! So away I went to eBay and Amazon and for £7.99 I found a rose gold milanese strap. I fell in love and ordered it as soon as I could.

Now, I absolutely adore my Apple Watch, and I do love the sports band that comes with it, but I really did want to get one of these simply for variety and because it’ll make the watch look a little bit more classy when in more formal settings, especially as I know soon I’ll be going to a Christening, and I don’t really want to be wearing an informal looking sporty watch strap to that!

I ordered the strap on the 6th of April and it arrived on the 8th of April, and tried it a couple of times and here’s what I think. It’s a great quality watch band and for £7.99, it is an absolutely amazing price. Now unfortunately I can’t link anyone to it, as the listing has recently been taken down for some reason, but you can find ones similar for a pound or two more expensive which I still think is a great price for this. Now, as I don’t own an official milanese strap, I can’t compare the two, but what I can say is the quality of this band is what I imagine Apple’s official one to feel like. The metal is comfortable and feels breathable and also feels very strong and sturdy. The magnet is very strong and I had absolutely no worries about it coming loose or anything. I let my boyfriend try it too and he noticed that it didn’t snag on any arm hairs, but when I was wearing it, the only issue I found is that the edges of the band kept getting caught on my hair band, but that problem is easily fixed by simply moving my hair band slightly further away (I always wear one on my wrist). I have very tiny wrists, somewhere between 13 to 15cm if I remember correctly, so the magnet has to touch the very tip of the other side of the band, which is fine, but I want to put that out there as a warning for anyone with tiny wrists.

Overall, this band is amazing quality from what I can tell, and is an absolutely amazing price and available in a wide variety of colours, more than Apple’s official range of these bands! This is definitely something that would be a lot more classy than the sports band, and is perfect for more formal occasions, but also looks great in a casual look. It’s definitely worth the money and if you can get your hands on one for roughly this price of even just a tad more expensive, you’ll be getting a great deal and it’s so totally worth it. I’m just hoping this band lasts a long time, and considering how strong the magnet is, I feel like it’ll last. I highly recommend one of these bands!

-Laura

Review – Polaroid ZIP

The Polaroid ZIP is a tiny portable printer that links via Bluetooth to your phone. It prints the image in the perfect wallet size, just like a little Polaroid camera, and requires no ink whatsoever, as the ink is built into the paper itself. It uses this paper called ZINK Photo Paper, which I assume means ‘zero ink’ and can sometimes be a bit expensive depending on where you get the paper from. To print the photos, you load them up in the Polaroid ZIP app, and from there your phone will connect via Bluetooth to the printer and print your image onto the ZINK paper.

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I got my Polaroid ZIP in Argos about a year or so ago and it’s something I’ve used on and
off. As someone who loves photography, I have printed a few of my favourite photos onto these little bits of paper before and have them in a photo album made specifically for Polaroid sized images. I do absolutely love the thing and it has become very useful. The paper itself is even a sticker, you just peel off the back and stick it to whatever you want. I have used them as stickers before, back when I used a Filofax for my organisation.

I personally think these little portable printers are better than getting a Polaroid camera, as it means we can take full advantage of the camera quality on our phones, and it means we can record the moment instantly, and worry about printing later. It also means that a single photo can be printed multiple times. For example, with a Polaroid-style camera, if you were with your friends and took a photo together, for everyone to have a copy, you’d have to try to take that same photo multiple times, but with the ZIP, you can just take the photo on your phone as usual and print it multiple times whenever and wherever you want. The actual device itself is a little shorter than the iPhone 6/6S but a lot thicker, so it still is portable.

In all, if you’re someone who likes the size of Polaroid photos, but do not want to get a camera, I fully recommend one of these. You can use this for so many things, like making stickers for your Filofax, printing memories out to keep in an album or even using it to create little bits for a scrapbook. It may seem expensive, as it is currently £119.99 in Argos and varying in price on Amazon, but it is most definitely worth it and a handy little gadget for photography lovers or even just a wide variety of people.

-Laura