It's about a year since I last looked at a digital photo frame. The latest incarnation
from Kodak has a number of excellent innovations that make loading your images that much easier
and at the same time provide a marked improvement in the screen.
While a year or so ago a 7" screen was often the norm and a premium would get you an extra inch the Kodak Pulse provides a bright clear 10" LED backlit display. The screen is bordered by a modest black surround about an inch deep. The device includes an integral stand holding the display at about 85°. All configuration of the device is accomplished through the touch-sensitive screen - resulting in an almost button free product.
Unlike most of my reviews, this next product requires an oven and a bowl of water rather than a computer and a mouse.
You either love the product or just can not resist the temptation it offers. Opinions are divided as to any health issues and hostile take-over bids have been fought over the ownership of our favourite brands. If you have not already guessed (there is a clue in the title) then I will reveal that the subject matter is chocolate. However I am not referring to those tempting bars that are available from numerous shops we tend to visit on a daily basis.
Christmas is on the way - and if you need a gift idea for a man in your life then
you might want to take a look at the WAHL Deluxe Gift Set. That is if the man in question
takes his grooming seriously!
While I'm not an expert it would seem this set has everything one would need to keep their hair, and beard, in check. On the 'manual' side there is a comb and a pair of hairdresser scissors suitable for trimming an errant fringe. The main interest though will be the three electrical appliances. Smallest in the collection and the only one I felt qualified to try in anger is a nasal trimmer.
This is a name that has been huge in lenses for longer than even I can remember. Here a small unobtrusive matt box that would not attract a second look. Will the images it takes move it up from the mundane to the yes please?
The Pentax Optio H90 compact digital camera measures 9.5x5.5x2cm however you can double the last figure the width when the camera is zoomed in. It weights 128grams. The colour scheme is matt black and matt silver, the face has the 5.1 to 25.5mm lens that gives up to 5x zoom and above and to the right of this the slit flash that is never nearer than 3cm to the lens. The only other thing on the face is a rubber strip down the right edge to improve grip.
If someone told you you could make a ball fly in the air using the power of your mind - would you believe it. We were certainly sceptical - but it's true! This game is just brilliant top notch fun!
If you're looking for a great Christmas present this year then the Mind Flex is one to consider. I was intrigued at the idea of a game that could be controlled by the mind. You can make a ball go up and down, through hoops, land on a see saw and fly through the air just by concentrating. There are two parts to the Mind Flex, the roller-coaster style console and a headband through which you control the ball on the maze of different games.
Late this summer I discovered a charming gift shop not that far from London. It has a whole range of items at affordable prices. Just in case you do not live that near they have a web site and of course they do mail order.
Edutainment is a dirty word – among children – it describes products that educate as well as entertain, here two such items first a Kaleidoscope Making Kit, I certainly remember having one as a child here with the aid of the bits you can make your own. Second a Doodling Robot that once again a child can make so both have Educational value. This kit is described as suitable for children over eight years.
Put together famous paintings, kidnappers and a criminally inclined collector of works of art results in a new game published by Alawar.
Developed by Blitpop and published by Alawar Games, Grace’s Quest: To Catch an Art Thief takes you on a journey to various cities as you enter the world of art, museums and criminal activity. All this is encased within a hidden object environment. You take on the role of Grace, who is an American art graduate, although at times you will need to switch persona and act as Grace’s best friend, Chloe who makes a habit of getting captured by the criminal element.
Cooking for Geeks is as much a workshop manual as a cookery book. It discusses the tools, and how to use them; and the components, and how to assemble them; as well as, finally, some plans -- sorry, recipes. It should be very useful to those who want to learn about cooking but need to know what actually is going on. Furthermore, it gives quite a number of tips that could well be new to many experienced cooks.
There are a large number of people who are confused by the average cookery book which assumes that they already have a fair amount of knowledge. The authors frequently take if for granted that all the reader needs is the list of ingredients and then their experience will enable them interpret the (often somewhat brief) instructions.
In the early summer I saw a range of Sony audio and photography items. I have already told you about both the photography items I selected. Here is a rather neat stack system that for me stood out as the item to request.
Nothing flashy just a black box but everything works as it should and as you would probably expect it to do no nasty surprises. It is 31x21x14cm with leads plugged in the rear so this is the space you will require, however if you place it on a shelf the 21cm height figure will need extra space for any iPod you might insert as this dock is on the top of it. The speakers are 14x24x20cm and each have a 1.5metre lead to connect to the rear of the main unit.
Having built up a store of digital music you might like to consider a software title that offers to help manage and make the most of your collection.
Although probably better know for its various video and graphics software titles, MAGIX’s original expertise and reputation was built up in the area of audio. The company still retains its interest in the particular field with various software and hardware solutions aimed at transferring and managing digital music. One of these solutions is MAGIX MP3 Deluxe 16 which offers to get the most out of your music collection.
An evil witch, broken mirrors, a helpful fairy and a cursed castle all play their part in a Gogii title now available on the Avanquest GSP label.
It is time to gird your loins (or the nearest equivalent) as you set out to help a young lady to remove the evil presence that is threatening her forthcoming marriage. The young lady is none other than Princess Isabella and her bridegroom-to-be is Prince Adam. Unfortunately when Princess Isabella returned from a trip she discovered than an evil curse has been placed on her castle by a mysterious witch.
This is another small Netbook. Here with Windows 7 Starter edition and Office 2010 Starter. So although everything is ‘basic’ it does mean that you are still using the program and tools that almost any modern business does.
The Acer Aspire One D260 measures 25.5x18x2.5cm and weights only 1200grams. The visible screen is 22x12.5cm giving the diagonal 10.1inch measurement. On this the 1024x600 display is clear sharp and readable even in sunlight, or direct light. There is an 85 key keyboard that is just about touch typeable for a stubby fingered man like me. The alpha and numeric keys are 1.5cm deep and 1.6cm wide while the function keys and a few of the symbol keys are smaller.
My first external hard drive, still in active service as a backup device, has a fairly substantial presence with its own power supply. More recent models have decreased in size while offering plenty of storage capacity and accepting power via the USB connection. Now a drive arrives with a choice of connectivity.
Lets start off with a little history lesson which, I must admit, came as a bit of a surprise to me and maybe it will be the same with you. Plextor, the company responsible for the external hard drive, currently occupying one of the ports of my trusty workhorse of a computer, was founded back in 1918. Back then the company was better known as the Shinano Kenshi Corporation and, quite naturally, was not involved in the computer industry as it did not exist at that time.
For those of you who need to get up before dawn during these winter months, the Lumie Bodyclock will wake you up gently with a simulated dawn experience and an alarm.
The Lumie Bodyclock is a stylish bedside light which comes on slowly to simulate a dawn experience at a time determined by you. Especially useful in these winter months, you can wake up gently without harsh ringing noises and without having to turn on a bright light in your bedroom. The set up for the Bodyclock is simple to use, with a select button for functions and an up and down button to make the settings.
Doro have a range of static and mobile phone offerings, they also have devices aimed at the less mobile and visually and audibly impaired. Here two devices for people who are hard or hearing or maybe even the totally deaf.
A lot of recent phones just do not have the volume levels attached to the old units. Some of the fancy tones sound great but can merge into the background if you have the TV or Radio on. Here is a solution useful for all. It is 17.5x13x3.5cm, mine was white. All you need is a mains plug. You do not need to attach it to the phone circuit just place the lead near to you phone so it can hear it ringing. You choose if you want sound only, strobe light and sound or just strobe light.
Back to Hong Kong for two further USB items, the first a Skype (or other VOIP handset) that is shaped just like an old BT handset. The second a USB stick that is made from a set of three dice, either would make ideal presents.
You only find out how good a supplier is when things go wrong and have to be put right. The service that I’ve had from Brother to deal with problems caused by a faulty laser printer toner cartridge was exemplary but what are the underlying issues.
In the middle of printing a number of copies of a 24 page document, the printer flagged that it was out of toner. It was a straightforward task to replace the toner cartridge and continue printing. Unfortunately, after just a few pages, the paper jammed and, when I cleared the jam, there seemed to be a large amount of toner around. After several unsuccessful attempts to resolve the problem, I phoned Brother Service. (My only complaint that it was an 0844 number and not a geographic one.
Many of our often-used gadgets and tools have shrunk in size over the years. In line with this concept Worx has developed a range of tools for the handyman.
The last time I met up with Worx, the company was demonstrating its gardening tools. However gardening is not the only category of tools available from the company. Worx also develops a range of power tools for the D.I.Y. and home improvement enthusiast. The latest range of handyman power tools to emerge from Worx form the company’s Icon Series which is currently available as a B & Q exclusive.
For some years there has been a growing market for replacement
remote controls for audio-visual products - usually cramming the functions of many
separate devices into one easy to use replacement. The Xsight Touch Remote Control
from "One-for-All" is the ultimate example of this genre.
The unit has a very good, quality feel to it with a good weight. The lower two-thirds resemble a standard remote controlwith function and navigation buttons. The top third contains a touch-sensitive LCD touch screen. While most remotes will happily work for months or even several years on a couple of AAA cells a device with touch screen is going to need more umpth. Recognising this the Xsigh Touch comes with a long-life Li-Ion battery.
Blu-ray players used to be rather expensive. Now a unit costs less than its predecessor and has more functions. So smaller neater cheaper and more functionality seems to be the way to go with the latest model from Sony.
Sony Blu-ray BDP-S370 is 43x23x3cm and weights only 1850grams with the hard wired 1.5metre long mains lead included in the weight. The rear of the unit has mains lead entry point, Ethernet port, Audio and Video out, Component out, HDMI, Coaxial, Optical and USB. The sides top and base are free of sockets while the front has another USB socket on a 1cm shelf protruding just four buttons, on the left on/off, in the centre open, play and stop. Not quite enough to control the unit.