• The perfect excuse to buy a new iPhone case

    by  • August 2, 2015 • 0 Comments

    Flip iPhone 6 case | Ted Baker | girlabouttech.comOnly time for a quick post today I’m afraid, but hopefully what it lacks in words it makes up for in beauty! I just wanted to give a quick shout out to these foxy new Ted Baker phone cases.

    Called the Rose Gold Collection, they’re made for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and come in two styles. My fave is the protective flip case, above, which opens out to reveal a handy little compact mirror, but there’s also a glamorous clip-on hardshell case, below. Both come in a choice of Nude or white, with a Rose Gold trim.Hardshell iPhone 6 case | Ted Baker | girlabouttech.comBoth styles are available now at tedbaker.com and in store – the hardshell case retails for £34.95 while the flip case costs £39.95. Any takers?

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    Which of Motorola’s new smartphones is right for you?

    by  • July 29, 2015 • 0 Comments

    Like a frazzled parent entertaining the kids on school holiday, Motorola is hoping to keep everyone happy this week… by introducing not one but three new smartphones. So which should you go for? Let me break it down for you.

    For fun lovers with a tight budget: the new Moto GMoto G 3rd Gen smartphone | Motorola | girlabouttechFollowing on from the huge success of the first and second Moto Gs, Motorola’s third reincarnation of the budget, feature-packed smartphone looks to be just as successful.

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    A Mid-Century Modern home phone

    by  • July 26, 2015 • 0 Comments

    M8 DECT cordless home phone | Philips | girlabouttech.comUp until last month, I’d been largely relying on my smartphone to make calls at home, with an ‘honorary’ landline in the form of a restored, pillar-box red GPO phone. It was all working out so well, too… but then I moved to a tiny village far from South London’s reliable mobile reception, where a rotary dial and lack of a touch-tone keypad went from quaint to the height of inconvenience.

    Now I could have replaced ol’ red with a lovely Wild & Wolf number, yet I dreamed of something a bit more ‘Mid-Century Modern’ to match my newly decorated living room – not to mention, some cutting edge bells and whistles. Anyway, it seems someone at Philips was listening, as its new M8 cordlesss phone seems tailor-made for me!M8 DECT cordless phone | Philips | girlabouttech.comThe M8 in white and pale wood, £129, won’t be in the shops until August, unfortunately, but the black version, £100, is available now at John Lewis.

    Both have the same features – an answering machine with up to 60 minutes of recording, 18 hours of talk time and 250 standby time at a push and a 250-name phone book. Philips have put a lot of care and attention into the sound quality, too – even the way the speaker is positioned in the handset is intended to make voices sound as natural as possible.

    Luceo cordless phone | Philips | girlabouttech.comIf Mid-Century isn’t Modern enough for you, can I also introduce the Philips Luceo, £79? Don’t let the price tag deceive you, as it boasts a fair few features that the M8 doesn’t, including call blocking and barring to stop nuisance sales peeps from getting through, and silencing so you won’t be disturbed at night unless a VIP number calls.

    The snazzy display on the base shows a caller ID and a clock, and the sound quality has been engineered further using fancy components and processors. There’s also a 30-minute answering machine.

    Again, you’ll have to wait until August for it, but you can always use the time to decide if you want the Luceo in black and white or simply black.

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    Don’t leave home without these cool travel gadgets!

    by  • July 24, 2015 • 0 Comments

    Packing for a holiday? Have a bon voyage with these vacation must-haves. I’ve even found a clever case to pack them in!

    1. Pool-proof eReader
    Aura H2O eReader, £140, Kobo at WH SmithAura H2O eReader | Kobo | girlabouttech.comPerfect for bookworms hanging out by the pool, this waterproof eReader won’t mind an accidental dip. Just give it a wipe with the drying cloth that comes with it and you can get back to the story straightaway.

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    Jura promises the best at-home espresso ever!

    by  • July 21, 2015 • 1 Comment

    Z6 Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machine | Jura | girlabouttech.comAs anyone who’s ever met me can probably tell from my slightly dilated pupils and permanent inability to STOP TALKING, I’m a bit of a coffee nut. Or should that be bean?

    Anyway, those unfortunate people will also know that in my 10 years as a tech journalist, I’ve tested out more than my fair share of coffee machines. So you can rest assured that I don’t make the next comment lightly, but this new Jura Impressa Z6 bean-to-cup machine makes the best espressos I’ve ever tasted.

    OK, you would expect anything that came out of a £1,900 coffee maker to taste pretty special, but these smooth espressos have an especially thick crema (the bit that gives the drink its taste) and not a hint of bitterness… and I wouldn’t be surprised if the same technology used to create them will soon be available in a budget version.

    Z6 Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machine close up | Jura | girlabouttech.comThe secret behind these longer and less bitter drinks is something called PEP (Pulse Extraction Process), which is a new way of forcing water through the coffee grounds. Rather than one continuous high-pressure flow, the water is fired intermittantly in a machine-gun action – Jura says this ‘teases the maximum flavour’ out of the freshly ground beans.

    This PEP technology is only used when making ‘shorter’ ristrettos and espressos of 40ml or less, as Jura believes it disenhances the taste of longer coffees – for these, the Z6 resorts to the old-school way of doing things.

    The machine can make 11 different styles of coffee, including a latte macchiato and flat white, and you can tailor every element using the intuitive touchscreen and dial – that’s everything from the temperature and aroma of your coffee to the levels of steam, froth and milk.

    Z6 Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machine 2 | Jura | girlabouttech.comWhen you buy your machine you’ll get a cute little kit bag that includes a litmus paper so you can measure the hardness of your water and set up the machine accordingly. The water tank is has a Claris filter fitted with a microchip, which sets off an alert when it needs replacing, or you can simply use a descaling tablet every so often. You’ll also be alerted if you do silly things like not put enough beans in the hopper, or leave the door open.

    Milk is pumped into the Z6 from a detachable flask that you keep in the fridge, or you can invest in a separate refrigerated cooler that can sit on the worktop. Either way, maintenance is easy using the special milk-system cleaning function. You’ll just need to add some cleaning fluid and the machine will do the rest.

    The Z6 is available now from John Lewis and Harrods, priced at £1,895.

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    Are you using your washing machine properly?

    by  • July 17, 2015 • 1 Comment

    How to use a washing machine | girlabouttech.comAccording to LG, the average person will ruin a staggering £3,969 worth of laundry in their lifetime. Which begs the question – how many of us are using our washing machines correctly? So before you tackle your next load, read my guide for washing without the worry.

    1 READ THE CARE LABEL
    It sounds basic, but it’s worth taking extra time to properly read and understand garment care instructions. If in any doubt, look the icons up on the UK Fashion & Textile Association website to make sure you’re clear on how the fabric should be cleaned.

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    You’ll never believe how much this smartphone costs…

    by  • July 10, 2015 • 0 Comments

    Rook 4G smartphone | EE | girlabouttech.comThe past few days of tube strikes and travel delays has turned my smartphone from ‘reasonably indispensible’ to ‘the only way you’ll take it is from my cold, dead hands’. I flit from the TFL website to BusMate to Twitter (where I have the best chance of ascertaining what’s actually happening), then back to Buzzfeed when I realise I’m probably not going anywhere for the next half hour.

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    Swap your morning fry-up for a healthy steam-up!

    by  • July 7, 2015 • 0 Comments

    I love a fried breakfast, but the effect it has on my waistline? Not so much. So I was intrigued when Miele invited me down to its Greaseless Spoon pop-up cafe yesterday, and introduced me to what I’m calling the ‘steam-up’. Miele Greaseless Spoon Cafe | girlabouttech.comLike your average greasy spoon, this one was patronised by its fair share of builders! But that’s where the similarities ended, as amazingly, our delicious full English breakfasts hadn’t been anywhere near a frying pan, let alone any oil or fat. Instead, they were cooked in a Miele combination steam oven by chef and Professional Masterchef finalist Sven-Hanson Britt.

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    What John Lewis thinks you’ll want for Christmas

    by  • July 5, 2015 • 0 Comments

    John Lewis Christmas List | girlabouttech.comIt’s the hottest week of the year so far, which can only mean one thing for us journos – it’s Christmas time!

    Yep, every July, we enrol in the same slightly bizarre ritual, donning sandals and sundresses to visit the various Winter Wonderlands that have been set up across the capital. It may be 30-plus degrees outside, but you’d never know it from the plethora of fake fir trees, mince pies and stockings hung by a (possibly fake) chimney with care.

    This Tuesday, it was the turn of John Lewis to give us its take on Christmas 2016. And among the giant brussell sprouts, golden and white trees and ‘make your own pom-pom knicker kits’ (seriously!) there was quite a bit of tech. Here are a few highlights – you’d better start penning that letter to Santa!

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    Did Bluebellgray just make breakfast more beautiful?

    by  • July 3, 2015 • 0 Comments

    Bluebell Gray toaster and kettle | Dualit | girlabouttech.comIt’s rare that you can describe a kettle or toaster as pretty, but there’s no better word for this new collaboration between Dualit and Bluebellgray. The painterly floral design – which BG fans will already know as Abstract – is available next month as a ‘panel pack’ that you can fit to Dualit’s Architect range of appliances.

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