While I have been concentrating on children others need gifts and those who have a hobby – in this case photography – can be an older child, a parent or grandparent, so here are a couple of suggestions from Manfrotto.
Even those with a minimal knowledge will have heard of a tripod that is designed to hold a camera steady for a tricky shot either for the distance, the zoom or just for lack of light, sometimes however there is no room for a tripod. That is where a monopod can help, in its basic form it is a stick with a screw at one end to attach your camera to. This offering from Manfrotto in its fully collapsed form is 38cm long.
Continuing its policy of developing mobile phones for a certain age group, this new Doro handset now has a camera feature.
Adding to its range of mobile handsets, Doro has released its PhoneEasy 615 model. Following the company’s normal practice, this 3G clamshell handset is designed for the older user who will appreciate its large buttons and easy to read text and display. Unlike the other models in Doro’s PhoneEasy range that I have looked at, the 615 has a built-in camera and flash for the easy capture of treasured memories.
While regular readers will not be surprised that the latter does something else almost everything from Brando does, they might be more surprised that the former is far more than a standard mouse but you will need to have Windows 7.
It is 12x6x3cm and weights 130grams with the supplied two ‘AA’ batteries inserted. The base has an on/off switch to save power when not in use. It can also hold the wireless transmitter when not inserted in a USB port of your PC.
I am fairly certain that when I started talking about Christmas items six weeks ago most thought I must have lost my marbles, here in the sixth of my series I tell you about a new game from Ravensburger and perhaps the best known board game of all Monopoly.
‘Reveal the secrets of the speaking animals and find the thief!’ is the tag line on the front of the box. It is a game for two to four players and the stated age is from ‘7 up’. You need to find a missing ring as it protects the Kingdom from the evil wizard who is on his way. Who has stolen the ring find that and you have solved the simple version.
If you are looking for a mobile phone that puts the emphasis on ease-of-use with large keys then Doro could provide the solution.
A slightly different DAB/FM radio from Roberts. Smaller than most but still capable of giving a large sound from the built in speaker. The big difference is that you do not need to be tethered to a mains lead as it can work from batteries.
The Roberts' Unologic DAB/FM radio measures 19.5x12x7.5cm. These measurements are maximum to encompass the tuning knob on the front and the volume control on the right side, the width and thickness are around 1cm less for both everywhere else on the unit. It weights a tad under 700grams with 4x‘AA’ batteries inserted, yes it runs on ‘AA’ batteries not ‘C’ cells as with most.
In the past I have looked at several products that have been based around DAB radio technology. All these units had been designed for playing on a desk, table, shelf or similar platform as they deliver their audio output through built-in speakers. The Pure Move 2500 is a DAB radio but it does not follow this pattern. Rather it is a portable DAB/FM radio for taking on your travels and requires you to wear a set of headphones to listen to its output.
Making up this Pure product are the actual Move 2500 unit plus a ChargePAK M1 1000mAh battery pack, noise isolating headphones with a choice of small, medium and large ear-buds, a power adapter plus the small A6 size Owner’s Manual. In appearance the Move 2500 unit looks like a smaller version of my iPod Classic.
Tact, charm and political correctness are just three of the attributes that you would never associate with the main character of this next title. This can only mean that the third episode of Telltale Games / Staandlooper Animation’s Badge of Carnage is upon us as Detective Inspector Hector continues in his own inimitable way to save the citizens of Clapper Wreake from an unmentionable fate. Those of a delicate nature should stop reading now.
First we were introduced to the beer swilling, curry devouring and rudeness personified Hector with his way of working and interacting with others in an episode entitled We Negotiate with Terrorists. Next came the rather more lengthy offering of Senseless Acts of Justice that had an option to switch characters as you take on the mantle of Lambert who is the antithesis of everything Hector believes in apart from upholding the rule of law.
This is a multi function unit as not only does it print, scan and copy it can also be used to send and receive faxes. What I would like to know is does anyone still send and receive faxes, surely everything is email today.
It is 44x40x20cm to the top of the ADF but you will need another 17cm to the last figure the height to insert a stack of A4 in the rear vertical tray, that should also allow you to place anything on the flatbed of the scanner. There are a total of 31 well marked buttons on the front edge of the unit to control it along with a 6cm long two line display.
While laptops come with a built-in microphone, this is really only suitable for minor tasks. For professional recording tasks, you need a microphone built to professional standards.
While many will regard the Yeti as being kin to Big Foot and the Abominable Snowman as a member of the legendary ape-like family, the people at Blue Microphones are of a different opinion. They know that the Yeti is the brand name given to a microphone developed by the company.
PC World and Currys have several brand names exclusive to them and one of these is Sandstrom. Here I am looking at a DAB and FM radio that also accepts MP3 input as well as having an iPod dock built into the unit.
It is 24x13x9cm but you will need to add another 2cm to the second figure the depth for the D/C lead to be inserted. This includes the eight piece rod aerial that expands to 70cm when fully extended for optimum sound. My unit was shiny black except for the front that was matt black, surely the whole thing in matt black would look better as the matt black does not show finger marks to the same extent so it will look cleaner to the casual glance.
Octobers here and the prime buying time – to avoid disappointment – from the younger ones is well under way. Here two more items that could be of interest to the younger ones, these just maybe, for the slightly older and just for a change both only require a single child to play them.
Apart from being marked as for ‘8+’ this is also small so could well be useful for travel that might lessen the ‘are we there yet’. 10,000+ Brain Busting Puzzles is what the front of the product claims and, joy of joys the batteries are included.
The Desire S is a recent addition to the range of Android phones from HTC and, as a result, has benefitted from the company’s experience. It is of a nice size and feels right in the hand and, having a fast enough processor and 1G of memory will meet the needs of the great majority of smart phone users. With built-in GPS, FM radio and torch it is also aimed at being the Swiss Army knife of smart phones.
As one would expect of a smartphone, with full connectivity, including WiFi and Bluetooth, and running Android 2.3 it is extremely versatile. The wide range of features and apps already incorporated are conveniently accessed via the seven home pages so that one can go from, for example, listening to an MP3, to checking appointments in Google calendar and then sending an email -- and there is also a vast range of other Android apps available.
A trip to a Central London hotel, which used to be a multi-storey car park, introduced me to a new product from Hitachi and gave me the opportunity to see the ET movie.
While some companies identify their hardware products with a combination of letters and numbers (for example the PX-2611U reviewed recently), others bestow a name upon the product. Sometimes the name is appropriate and gives you a clear idea as to the use to which the item can be put but this is not always the case. Take for example the Touro Mobile Pro from Hitachi which gives little away regarding the product other than it is portable.
The Sony CMT-MX550i is a elongated rather nice audio unit, it has DAB and FM radio, tray CD player, external audio in as well as the ability to play iPod and iPhone and to cap it off it can also play input from a USB stick drive for good measure.
With leads inserted in the rear it measures 31x28x12cm, the last figure the height might increase according to the size of your iPod. The iPod dock is a drop down open unit on the front and is 9.5cm from the top of the unit. It is supplied with two 1.5metre long wide aerials that push onto the DAB and FM aerial sockets at the rear of the unit, it looks crude but they work surprisingly well giving me excellent reception in my area by just extending the wire to around 80degrees.
The arrival of a new product from Edifier always gets my imagination going as I wonder what geometrical shape will have been used for the speakers that make up the new system.
For those who have not come across a speaker system from Edifier before, the company has a habit of designing speaker systems whose appearance has an eye-catching effect. In the past I have taken a look at Edifier systems of different colours and those featuring cylindrical, spherical and decapitated pyramid units. Now it is the turn of the Prime USB model which belongs to the Edifier IT Lifestyle range of products.
As the Shaman of the tribe, it is your duty to protect it from the evil forces that are threatening to destroy the village in a couple of titles from the Mystery Age series.
As part of its Hidden Mystery Collections, Focus Multimedia has brought together a couple of titles from the Mystery Age series. These two titles are The Imperial Staff and The Dark Priests. Both offerings fall into the Hidden Object Adventure genre and were originally released by Big Fish Games. Each title needs to be installed separately and it will place an appropriate icon on your desktop for easy access.
This is probably the most powerful notebook that I have ever used. A look at the Windows Experience index will show that. If you are looking for a powerful notebook then this should certainly be on a very short list of items.
The Acer Aspire 5750G measures 38x24.5x3cm the last figure the width is at the back with the front being only 2cm. For those - like me – who hate the finger marks left on shiny black plastic there is very little of it. The top is metal mine was ice blue and this was repeated around the keyboard, the base is matt black while only the screen surround is shiny black. The screen is 34.5x19.5cm giving the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 15.
After a gap of several years, I was re-introduced to Binatone and its range of telephonic and IT devices which include the subject of this next review.
The L1i Twin is part of Binatone’s iDECT range of phones for those who prefer a landline connection with a degree of mobility. As the “Twin” part of its title indicates, this product consists of a pair of handsets allowing you to set up a handset in two different rooms. There is a choice of colour schemes available as you select from black, silver or black & silver. The review model was of the latter colour scheme.
I have reviewed a number of these small (they still print A4) printers, however the last was a while ago and this has just been launched by HP. So if you work away from power will it do what you need to do or is portable not on?
The HP OfficeJet 100 measures 33.5x19x8cm either with leads plugged in or with the supplied battery pack plugged in, in the latter configuration it weights 2.585kilos. It comes with decent sized ink cartridges – something other mobile units have not seemed to have – it is also stated to have battery power to print ‘up to 500 pages’ between needing power.