Unboxing: Black+Decker ORA vacuum cleaner

It’s an upright vacuum with 12 cyclones, which claims to have no loss in suction, with 3 attachments and a charging stand. But wait – there’s more! It’s also a handheld vacuum cleaner that detaches from the main unit and becomes a compact (though heavy) smaller unit. The vacuum’s power is all stored in this smaller unit, so you won’t have any less power when using it. The vacuum held up well in tests, removing a great deal of dirt from places where this dirt is invisible, and losing no power throughout. Watch the video above to see us unboxing the Black+Decker ORA.

The Black+Decker ORA vacuum cleaner is available now. Visit Black+Decker to find out more.

Hands-on: Karcher’s WV2 Premium

Condensation in the home and office has to be one of the most difficult things to tackle in daily life. When you’re in an enclosed space that’s prone to condensation, you need a quick way to remove it before your windows look like they’ve been whitewashed. Karcher, a German company, aims to challenge this with its popular range of window vacuums – or ‘Window Vacs’ with its top-of-the-line release, the WV2 Premium.

The WV2 Premium and its family work like small handheld vacuum cleaners with a wide blade. It removes condensation with a swift and satisfying swipe – it is however prone to leaving streaky marks on the window, which can be frustrating. Nonetheless, it does as intended, and in our experience with the WV2 it has shown shown it is a far superior alternative to the familiar cloth method of water removal. Watch the video above to see us unboxing the WV2 premium.

The WV2 Premium is available now. Visit Karcher to find out more. If you’d like to see us comparing the new WV2 Premium to the older generation WV50, click here.

British Gas’ Hive: first look, hands-on & competition

UK energy company, British Gas, have recently unveiled their latest home innovation – the Hive system. The system looks to simplify the often confusing world of home and water heating systems, allowing for easy setting changes when they’re needed, without needing a conventional thermostat. The Hive system comes in an attractive layered box, and contains the welcome pack, the thermostat, the receiver and the hub, which will need to be set up by a qualified engineer in your home, but is good to go after this.

Hive Active Heating also aims to bring home heating to your smartphone – a free app, compatible with Android and IOS, will offer full control of your home’s heating and hot water wherever you are. If you’d rather put the heating on before you get home so the house is warm before you return, the Hive system will allow you to do this. This is made possible with the addition of the hub – included in the box, the hub is connected to your home internet router to allow it to communicate when you’re away from home.

The receiver allows the connection between the thermostat itself and the boiler – directly connected to the boiler by your qualified British Gas engineer, the receiver is the system’s middleman.

The thermostat itself is a fairly compact unit – its backlit screen offer easy viewing and control in the dark. The thermostat can be wall-mounted or kept on its own – it’s able to communicate with the receiver either way.

The system had us impressed – the benefits of a system like this could be great and make home heating a much easier and more approachable system. We also liked the fact that despite the system being created by British Gas, you don’t have to be a British Gas customer to take advantage of the system.

The Hive Active Heating system is available now for £159 for British Gas customers, or £199 for other customers. Watch the video above to see us unboxing the system.

For more information, visit Hive.

You can win a Hive system for your home!

To enter, follow these steps…

Step 1

Leave a comment on this post starting with “I love Hive because…” Be creative! To post, just click in the “Join the discussion…” comments box that appears below this article.

Step 2

Tweet this message: “I would love to win a @hivehome via @latestgadgetsuk as it’s smart, saves me money & puts me in control #HomeWithHive http://goo.gl/jgqRk6

Good luck!

Terms and Conditions: The giveaway closes on Sunday 8th February 2015 at 11.59pm. The winner will be chosen by random – UK entries only. The winner will receive a new, but opened Hive product – Guarantees of this product are provided by British Gas, not Latest Gadgets.

This post was sponsored by Hive, in conjunction with Nuffnang.