Once again Bosch choose December and the location known as Home Sweet Home to demonstrate some of its latest and best selling products. One slight difference with this year’s event was the lack of snow which I certainly appreciated as I made my way to the centralLondonlocation
While my first port of call was the same room as last year, this time it was not set up as a bedroom but as a more general work area Taking the lead position for this product roundup is a piece of kit that is not due to be launched until May. This is the new and improved Bosch IXO IV unit that features 30% more power than the previous version of the world's best selling power-tool. Weighing just 300g, this small device can handle all kinds of screw-driving projects using a range of bits.
This seems to be the season for people to launch and renew their earphone offerings. Today I am looking at two such items from a new name to me iGo. There are four in the range and here I am looking at the Miami and the City.
These are over ear headphones, not large but they do have a good amount of adjustment 5cm on each side. My head is largish but there is still another 1.5cm of adjustment available for those with an even larger head area. Described on the box as white and red they are white everywhere but the 3.5mm lead and the stitching around the headband. The lead 1.4metres long and the plug is gold plated the inline microphone is red matching the lead. In the box is 3.5mm to phono lead 20cm long.
Generally Smartphones tend to come with a price tag that makes you think twice. Alcatel has bucked the trend with its One Touch series of handsets.
The Alcatel One Touch 665 is a clamshell handset that is available on contract or as a pay as you go product. This handset has been developed for those on a limited budget with simple and uncomplicated needs.
PCTV are part of Hauppauge who have been making TV cards to fit into PC’s for many years. Of course with notebooks the solution had to be USB, here something that works on PC, Android (2.2 or later) and iPhone and iPad as well as the iPod Touch.
Why would you walk round your house watching TV on an ‘i’ anything, of course you probably would not, but from a Wi-Fi hotspot this could be very acceptable and not only does it work in the UK but anywhere in the world via your own router and the Internet. So the PCTV is far more than just a simple wireless enabled TV box. It is 12x14.5x4cm, which has two aerials that can add another 11cm to the last figure the height of the PCTV unit.
Following on from titles that include Survivor, Farmer, Marina and Sushi Chef, Youdagames has gone all at sea with its latest offering which is entitled Youda Fisherman. This is a time management game that puts you in charge of a fleet of ships and all the relevant issues and activities that come with this particular role in life.
Developed by I Sioux Game Production BV, a company that is based inHilversumin theNetherlands, Youda Fisherman’s opening screen gives you the opportunity to enter your profile name and adjust various settings. You can select from various languages with each one represented by a national flag plus adjust the volume level for sound effects and background music.
Available in a choice of lime green, champagne silver or black (as in the case of the review model), the Ricoh PX is a waterproof, shockproof and dust-resistant digital camera. Perhaps I should have included the word “compact” into that description as the camera certainly qualifies in this respect. The camera’s dimensions are 100 x 55 x 21.3cm in whatever mode or zoom level is currently being used.
This 16 megapixel camera features a 2.7-inch transmissive LCD rear-mounted screen displaying 230,000 dots. The screen has a protective coating and is your only means of lining up a scene for capture. The protective coating was not very effective as there was a small scratch on the screen by the time the review model made its way into my hands – the coating also did not help with keeping finger smears to a minimum.
Abbyy Finereader Professional 11 is the latest incarnation of a very effective OCR (optical character recognition) package. It is easy to use in its basic form as it comes ‘out of the box’ and is readily configurable to meet particular needs.
Finereader, as well as being available ‘shrink-wrapped’, can be downloaded from the Abbyy site and installs easily in just a few minutes. It is equally useful for dealing with odd sections of text or in reconstructing the native formatting of multi-page documents as well creating electronic books. Although it will work in a vast number of languages, understandably, I selected English. However, that is not set in stone; this can be changed at will.
The arrival of a battered box is not always bad news, the arrival of a box with space in it probably is. This unit had been doing the rounds and when it got to me all I got was the system box, not even a power lead or any instructions.
Looking at the various DSG websites it seems there should have been also a wired keyboard and a mouse apart from a ‘Welcome Pack’ and of course the power lead. First switch on was not an improvement as I had to do ‘Windows Repair’ as it would not boot. However this story of doom and gloom does start to become a happier tale. A lot of people would have just boxed it up and said take it back.
My first thought was good breathe but then everyone would think about the mouth and teeth and keeping them clean. These two products help you to breathe better first one for Asthma and second one to benefit others.
While I mentioned Asthma above it is stated to help with Hay Fever, Allergy, Pollen Allergies, Sinus Problems, Bronchitis, Breathing Difficulties and Respiratory problems caused by smoking as well as Asthma. While I am Asthmatic and that was the reason I asked to review it I do also have Sinus problems so can it help with both? The pipe is 12x4x4cm and weights 85grams. When you move the pipe it rattles as it is has what is claimed to be five years worth of salt crystals in it.
While out-and-about listening to your favourite music, your enjoyment can be reduced by outside noise elements. Noise cancelling headsets offer to reduce this problem.
While Paul Simon wrote and sang about the Sound of Silence, Wolfson Microelectronics was more interested in Digital Silence. With its headquarters located inEdinburgh, Wolfson Microelectronics is an audio and noise cancelling specialist supplying high performance mixed-signal semi-conductor solutions to the consumer electronics market worldwide. Digital Silence™ is the retail brand of active ambient noise-cancelling stereo headphones and headsets.
Whatever device you want to transmit the signal from it can be transmitted by around 15-20metres to an output device providing both devices have an HDMI port; my home has a lot of solid walls and it works end to end.
I tried this with a Blu-ray player, a video recorder, a Freeview recorder and two different PC one with only a Display Port the latter using a plug adapter also from Lindy part number 41018 that converts DisplayPort to HDMI. The kit consists of a transmitter, a receiver, two DC power bricks, one HDMI cable and an IR extender as well as a user manual.
A new DAB radio from Pure offers a Listen Later and rewind feature.
The Pure ONE Classic is a DAB/FM radio that has a rather plain appearance. Predominately matte black in colour, apart from the silver controls decorating the front of the unit and an extendable aerial, this radio has dimensions of 210 x 145 x 72mm (W x H x D). Most of the control buttons are arranged in a smiling mouth or horseshoe arrangement around a central dial knob which allows you to scroll through and select the chosen option.
When it comes to fashion, I could best be described as a stranger. Maybe this next title will help ease me into this area of expressive living.
Juliette’s Fashion Empire is a time management game set in the world of fashion from Alawar. As the game’s title suggests, in this game you take on the role of Juliette as she attempts to build up a fashion empire based in the cities ofNew York,Milan,Tokyo,ParisandLondonby competing with long-established fashion designers in each of the different locations. Options are available for different people to play the game using their profile name.
A small digital camera from Kodak, this however is part of their idea to make sharing easier and the camera itself has a 16MP image size and comes with 5x optical zoom so can it offer nirvana of everything to everyone?
The Kodak EasyShare Touch M5370 measures 10x5.5x2cm the last figure the width expands by another 2.5cm when fully zoomed. It weights 137grams. Mine was a metallic red and silvered face with the rest in black. The screen however is rather reflective in strong sunlight. The face has the lens towards the right side with the bar flash mounted above and to the left it can never be nearer than 3cm to the lens.
Many more years ago than I care to admit or can even remember some of them, I came across a piece of software that had been released as unprotected Shareware. The software had been developed by somebody whose main interests were jet planes and developing software which explains why he named his company JASC – that software was Paint Shop Pro.
Since those early days, Paint Shop Pro has developed into a well-respected commercial product which now forms part of the Corel family. It has also been a permanent fixture, through numerous versions, on my various systems. As I write this introduction, the current version of this photo and image editing package is installing itself on my work system.
If you own an iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad then this app together with the headband and software can tell you how well you are sleeping. I am perhaps not the best to review this as my sleep patterns are to say the least erratic.
If you do not own one of the devices above I see Zeo also do a bedside unit that I understand works more of less the same way but this is currently unavailable to review, as soon as it becomes so I will arrange to trial it. I was leant an iPod Touch and several of my initial problems were caused by not knowing the interface of this iPod. There is a six step instruction card that should really get you ready to use the product for the first time.
Here something brand new and LED light that can also be a flash that has just been released. The second item also from Manfrotto is something all serious amateur photographers need is a bag to keep all their items in.
This is the largest of three arrays recently launched but this is the only one that can also be used as a conventional flash. It is 13x7.5x3.5cm and with the required 4x‘AAA’ batteries inserted weights 168grams, this in the overall size. It can be fitted either vertically or horizontally as there are two shoe fitments. There are four rows of nine LED’s and intensity can be adjusted by on/off twist wheel, there is a separate flash button on the back.
Put the words “Samsung” and “Galaxy” together in the same sentence and you could start thinking that the subject matter was going to be a tablet device. However by inserting the word “Mini” into the sentence, the device under consideration would metamorphosis into a smartphone.
The Galaxy Mini is Samsung’s latest attempt to be the model of choice for those looking for a budget price handset. With dimensions of 110 x 64 x 12mm and weighing 107g, this handset is fairly unremarkable with regards to its general appearance. The off-white plastic casing might not suffer from a finger print affliction but the 3.1-inch capacitive touch screen more than makes up for this as it collects smears at a rate.
The latest range of Kodak All In One devices, USB and Wireless and software that can do more than the average software package. Here I am looking at the basic All In One offering units cost less than they did and ink is cheaper as tanks are larger.
The Kodak Hero 7.1 All-In-One printer measures 45x41x19cm, all black and rather boxy, certainly not something to please the lounge police but it can be USB or Wireless and of course the latter means it can live out of sight in a cupboard or maybe behind a settee.
According to the Concise Oxford Dictionary a “tab” is a small flap, strip, tag or tongue; an account, tally; and keep an account of. However in more recent parlance, a tab is also the abbreviated form used to describe the latest hot topics with regards to computer hardware. In this particular case it is the Liberty Tab from Packard Bell.
The Liberty Tab is a Tablet PC built around a 10.1-inch touch screen that delivers a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. The actual unit’s dimensions are 260 x 179 x 14mm (H x W x D) which does mean you will not be able to slip this device in a pocket when not required. The weight is 766g allowing you to balance the tablet on one hand while working away with the other.