The Last Time I Pre-Order A Product From Microsoft

Surface laptopI talk and write about tech for a living and buy all the new products that I consider people , listeners and clients will want to know about.

So back in May I ordered the Surface Laptop , Microsofts new product and waited for this week to arrive.

The Surface laptop went on sale on Friday in major stores such as Harvey Norman and is available but my Surface laptop was nowhere to be seen , it had arrived in Adelaide at DHL early Friday morning and was forwarded for delivery as the screenshot will show.

So late friday afternoon I went to the DHL facility in Adelaide to ask if I could pick it up as according to the paperwork it should have been there to be told that they do not deliver to my area and had passed it off to StarTrack and it would hopefully be there by tuesday.

According to my advice on my Microsoft account it however was still with DHL.

Delivery Receipt for Surface laptop

So I sit and wait.

You preorder a product to get it on a particular day – release day – Apple do this very well – never had an issue with Apple and their deliveries.

Microsoft you are making great products but your delivery to clients needs work , a lot of work , there is also nowhere on the account page to question my delivery with Microsoft so if it does not arrive I would descend into call-centre hell.

So this is the last time I pre-order a product from Microsoft for delivery , unless things change dramatically.

As the song in the video says in the video below ” you’re the one that I want ” but I will have to wait a bit longer ” – thanks Microsoft , thanks DHL , thanks Startrack


A Credit Card Solution For Small Business

Small businesses , including me are always looking for portable solutions when seeing clients and recently I have switched to Square to process credit cards when i see clients.

Square is a portable credit card reader which has a charge of 1.9% per transaction that can be used with iOS devices ( iPhones and iPads ) and Android smartphones and tablets.

The device costs only $19 to purchase and your transactions can be imported into many cloud based accounting packages including Xero ( my accounting package of choice ).

On your smartphone or tablet you will download the Register App for Square then plug the device in and charge clients.

The banking setup was extremely quick compared to some others and I had my Square account setup and functional within a couple of days. 

The Olympus OM-D Mark II Review – A Great Camera

I have been lucky enough to try the Olympus OM-D Mark II and have really enjoyed my time with this camera.

Here are some points from my time with the camera:

  • It is very well made as you would expect from Olympus with great images coming from the Micro Four Thirds sensor.
  • The silver one I had looks a bit retro and it really is a great camera to hold , yes something you do with a camera but not all cameras are great to hold.
  • Nice fast autofocus and love using the autofocus on the LCD screen
  • Great in low light as one of the photos above will testify to
  • The Olympus has built-in Wi-Fi for remote control shooting (aperture, shutter speed etc)

In conclusion I have enjoyed my time with the Olympus OM-D Mark II , a great camera that takes great photos , so nice in face I am going to buy one , I am that impressed.

Remember you can win one from FIVEaa and Harvey Norman by following this link 

Win a Olympus OM-D Mark II

Epson EcoTank ET4550 Printer Review And A Chance To Win An Eco Tank Printer

I have had an Epson EcoTank ET4550 for a while now and it is a great printer 

One of the things that people loath with printers is the constant buying of ink and while Epson have shown with their printers that they have been amongst the most economical with their Precision Core range of printers they have taken it further with the EcoTank range.

The EcoTank range come with bottles of ink that you fill the ink holders on the side of the printer and with the EcoTank ET4550 I now have 2 years worth of ink.

The ink bottles do not drip and when filling the tanks it is an easy job.

That means you can print up to 11,000 pages in black and 8,500 pages in colour ( depending on use and what you print)

Pages are crisp and clear which is a hallmark of Epson printers.

Installation is straightforward on both Windows and Mac and for the Mac you should go to the Epson website and download the latest drivers including the Epson Scan package.

Follow the instructions on the LED screen when installing and turning on for the first time.

The Epson EcoTank ET4550 is wifi enabled so hook it up to your wifi network so you can print from your laptop , smartphone or tablet.

There is also the Epson EcoTank ET-2550 which is available for $498 and comes with 2 years worth of ink as well 

Looking for more information on the Epson EcoTank ET4450 : Epson Link

If you would like to win an Epson EcoTank ET-2550 check out the lifestyle page at FIVEaa: FIVEaa Talking Tech

The Epson EcoTank ET4550 and the EcoTank ET-2550 are both available from Harvey Norman

The HP Spectre x360 Review – A Great Laptop

I have been able to use a review unit of the HP Spectre x 360 laptop for the last week which is a very superior Windows laptop.

This is a premium laptop with an Intel 6th generation Core i7 processor with 8GB ram and a 512gb solid state drive so it is very quick , great for multi tasking and for whatever you throw at it.

This laptop is thin and light and has a nice wide trackpad which I must say did not interfere with my typing and has a nice keyboard.

The 13.3 inch screen is good and anyone who knows me will understand how critical I am of screens and HP deliver with great colour reproduction.

Great wifi antenna which picks up any wifi signals in the area.

Sound is excellent with the Bang & Olufsen speakers and audio setup.

The HP Spectre has a 360 degree hinge which means it can be used in a variety of positions , including a tent mode or it can fold flat like a tablet ( did i mention it is a touch screen as well ) .

The finish on this device is superb , with a black flat surface and on my device the ever sought after “rose gold” edges and trim and the Hewlett – Packard name on the front of the laptop is actually raised lettering which is a nice design touch.

The HP Spectre runs Windows 10 which is now a great operating system for new computers and has worked flawlessly for me.

I am usually critical of hardware makers who insist on putting bloatware on their computers ( bloatware are 3rd party apps , trial programs etc ) but the HP Spectre only has a trial antivirus so congratulations to HP for this.

Battery life has been good with the laptop doing me a full day of normal use but remember it does depend what you do on your laptop as to how long the battery will last.


The HP Spectre x360 4128TU 13″ Laptop – Rose Gold is a top of the line laptop with a price to match $2999 , however you are getting what you pay for when compared to lower priced laptops.

The finish on this computer is excellent , coupled with the speed and versatility of the positioning of the touch screen and the tablet mode make this a great purchase for those wanting a high end laptop..

After using this for a week , if I had to buy a brand name high end laptop that had the power of a desktop , this is the laptop i would currently buy.

This laptop is available only from Harvey Norman and thank you to Harvey Norman and HP for loaning me one for review.

Wireless Video Cameras – Try The Arlo From Netgear

The Arlo from Netgear is a 100% wire-free, HD smart home security camera which is easy to setup comes with apps for monitoring from your smartphone or tablet.

The camera / cameras will only start when something or someone crosses the “beam ” after you have turned motion detection on , from the camera and Netgear claim that the batteries can last up to 8 months.

These camera are also weatherproof and offer night vision so you can place them outside.

More details can be found on the Arlo Site and they can be purchased from leading retailers including Harvey Norman 

The Switch Easy Air Mask – iPhone 6S Protective Case

I was recently sent the SwitchEasy AirMask iPhone 6S Plus / 6 Plus Protective Case – Silver to try for my iPhone6S Plus and have long been a sceptic of the screen protector as they were usually hard to put on , some would have bubbles and or need a credit card to apply the protector properly.. until I used this.

This case was incredibly easy to put on with full instructions on the packaging and on the website but this thin light case , that does not hide the iPhone , was on in about 30 seconds.

There are literally 2 pieces of plastic to remove , put the bottom part of the case on , put the front of the case on , peel away the protective layer and you are done.

This thin light case is adequate protection for keeping the iPhone in your pocket without covering it up and has all the ports and camera holes uncovered.

A link to the SwitchEasy AirMask iPhone 6S Plus / 6 Plus Protective Case this case can be found here at MobileZap and more cases and accessories for the iPhone6S plus can be found at MobileZap