Ruth's Reviews Spring 2018 - Fascinating Tech Magazine Archivee

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Ruth's Reviews Spring 2018

Archived Issues > Spring 2018 Issue

Welcome to Ruth's Reviews

Our chief reviewer Ruth favourite item this guide is the amazing coffee machine from our cover. First she looks at the Neato D3 Robot Vac is it as good as the previously reviewed D5 which did an amazing job of keeping her house clean.

Neato D3
Robotic vacuums from Neato have moved on since their early edition and the connection to your phone is very convenient. I can send the hoover to clean while I get on and do other things. As a busy person this suits me.

This is a lower model than the D5 that we recently reviewed. The first key difference we noted was the lack of a side brush and it seems slightly noisier in operation than the D5.

The hook up to Bluetooth was quick and easy and the vacuum can even tell you that it needs an update on the app. Take the vacuum back to base and the update is painless and seemed quick.

I did try this with stools with round bases and it did have a tendency to climb and to get stuck. It however does send a message to the phone to let you know it is stuck as well as an audible beeping. Once moved it will quickly restart and get going. It also can try to ‘eat cables’ so care needed.

However compared to me walking round with a manual vacuum I’d take this any day.  When compared to the D5 the lack of a side brush does mean that some debris is left at the very edges of the room. It picked up an impressive amount of dust and I did have to remove my hair from the brushes from time to time. However the app will tell you when the bin is full and a clean my brushes.

If you can afford it make sure you get the D5 as it cleans edge to edge but if you want to dip your toe into robotic vacuum this Neato D3 is a decent starting place and has sufficient suction to get the job done. 

Melitta Barista TS Smart

This Bean to cup machine is huge. So if you have a small galley style kitchen and need every inch of worktop this may not be the machine for you.

If however you love a top quality mug of coffee and to make your coffee bespoke to your taste then this is a real treat.

The machine allows you to have two different types of beans in play at a time and even comes with a water filter and a test to see if your water is hard. If you have hard water you are advised to fit the filter. So after a bit of fiddling to connect up the device to fit the filter and adding coffee beans you are ready to brew.

The machine can be controlled either from the panel on the front or from the Bluetooth app. My phone a Huawei was a bit of a pain to connect but other Bluetooth phones connected without a problem.

The control panel on the front lets you select how much coffee, how strong the coffee is, which beans are used and the size of the mug. The sliders seemed to work better than the plus minus buttons. There are various default buttons that you can select from.  However if you are a coffee buff then hit the recipe button and ok and you are into a large menu of different coffees from ristretto, to red eye, flat white etc. Far too many choices to mention but it was pretty obvious which one to pick. 

The milk is in a separate container so you can just disconnect and place the milk back in the fridge.

The app allows you to create personalised recipes and save these in the app so you don’t need to keep setting it up each time you want a cuppa. So great for a personalised experience and you can make the coffee without leaving the sofa. However the milk container was not refrigerated so it might not be suitable for setting up overnight (unless perhaps you use long life)

The milk is connected by a flexible pipe which when you have finished you connect to the base of the tray and the machine will offer you the chance to run a cleaning cycle every time it makes milky coffee and it always cleans before shutting down to save power. It has a safety feature that it makes sure you have moved the flexible cable to the tray before blasting with steam to clean the milk jets.

The tray is at the bottom of the machine and holds the ground coffee and the cleaning water. You get a warning if the tray is removed but if you place the tray back and forget to place the coffee ground tray there is no warning. The tray is quite shallow and you are advised to place the machine away from a sink. However if you do so you may have fun carrying the pretty full shallow tray to empty. It is a compromise as it would be annoying to be asked to empty the tray every 5 minutes but you need to be good at carrying carefully. The cleaning is quick easy and other than a clean of the tray the machine does the lot for you.

So what is the coffee like? It is fabulous and clean tasting and I love the ability to change the strength of the brew. I ended up with the machine set up one with a stronger bean for those who love that taste and a milder Ethiopian bean which I preferred. 

Then I started the challenge of working my way through the recipes…yes there are quite a few.  This is a top quality machine that provides high quality coffee freshly ground and brewed. The app control just adds to that by allowing you to totally customise a favourite recipe.

It’s fair to say this is a serious luxury item and it’s easy set up and clean added to this. We've found it online for around £730 which seems a lot but if it allows you to miss two trips to your favourite coffee shop a week then it is easilly earning its money back.

Recommended for serious coffee lovers who like to blend their own brew and because of the innovation we are pleased to award this our
TrulyFascinating Award

Garry has an opinion on the current dockless scooter controversy
DIY WiFi LED Strips, Xiaomi Smarthome and very cheap temperature sensors
Fabulous Coffee machine from our cover

Richard takes one for the team with his usual in depth reviews
Peter has a phone from Huawei's Honor subsidary which may save you a few pounds
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