How many functions does your mobile phone offer you? Perhaps a more relevant question should be “How many of these functions do you actually make use of on a regular basis?” The difference between these two answers illustrates the gap between a manufacturer’s view and the end-user’s actual needs with regards to a mobile phone.
It is time to enter a world of mystery and fantasy as you take on the role of a young woman in search of her father.
Some would say that Point n’ Click Adventures have had their day in the limelight yet still new titles appear that have the ability to draw the unsuspecting gamer into various weird environments. Falling into this category is The Legend of Crystal Valley. Developed by Cateia Games and published by MumboJumbo, this game combines 2D backgrounds, 3D characters and interactive objects woven together into a story that is seeped in mystery and fantasy.
A device to allow you to view your, movies, photos and music on your TV. Hands up those who thought I was going to say PC rather than TV. You connect a device (hard disc or memory stick) to this and then view / listen on your TV.
It is 19x19x3cm without cables that all fit into the back of the unit. Also in the box are a remote control and a composite cable as well as a power lead and instruction booklet. The front of the unit has two LED’s a small one to let you know power is received and a second larger one when the unit is switched on. The on/off button is on top of the unit near the appropriate LED. The right side and base are clear of controls.
On the surface, digital picture frames can look the same but beneath the hood lurks several differences.
In the past I have looked at several digital picture frames from various manufacturers. In every case these models all had one particular feature in common. These digital picture frames would only work when physically connected to a mains power outlet. Now that trend has been broken with the arrival of the latest digital picture frame from Kodak. This is the EasyShare S730 which features a built-in rechargeable battery and Quick Touch Borders.
This is rather good music software. However in the form I got it the cost to anyone is FREE, providing of course you were to buy one of their keyboard, microphone or external sound card all of which connect to PC via USB.
First the parent company is called Avid and there are various subsidiaries, I have a couple of times delved into the music students software of choice Sibelius that I understand Avid have recently purchased from the original owners. Pro Tools is music manipulation software hence the way it is delivered as software with a piece of hardware; however this is perhaps intended more for home use. As with almost all things USB you first install the software. Currently it is only Windows XP and Vista.
Tripods are normally considered something to attach your camera to that allows you to get a steady shot either with a very slow shutter speed or when you are using a large optical zoom. Here two rather different takes on a tripod.
This is a conventional offering called the Traveller Compact. Collapsed it is only 22cm tall and only 5cm around. Erected it is 43cm tall and the normal triangle shape requires 30cm between the legs. It weights only 270grams. Two extensions come out of the original legs and the central piece requires a twist to lock it in position. If you have only a light camera it will probably stay in place without locking but a heavier unit such as a DSLR will certainly need locking to prevent in collapsing.
The gestation period for the latest version of Nuance’s OmniPage OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software has been slightly longer than I would have expected Checking my records reveals that it was just over 15 months ago that I looked at the previous version of this market-leading software application.
Now up to version 17, OmniPage Professional comes with the claim of boosting accuracy by 40%; delivery enhanced integration with Microsoft Office; and including Smartphone features whereby you can download images of photographed documents. As with version 16, this latest incarnation of OmniPage requires online product activation, to be carried out within five uses, in order to continue using the full features of the software.
I have been enjoying the vast range of sounds from this unit for a couple of months. Just about time to buy for Christmas as this item that would make a perfect gift/purchase for anyone who loves their music.
Within this small unit it has the ability to play CD’s, FM and DAB radio, an adapter is supplied to incorporate your iPod or iPhone and of course you have an auxiliary input so anything from your MP3 player can benefit from the speakers provided. It also accepts input from SD card and even has a USB input; alas so far it has steadfastly refused to make the tea or even do the washing up. It is 25x14x16cm with cables fitted.
With the large number of pocket sized hard drives on the market it is difficult for the user to choose which set of features is most suitable for them and is thus, as far as they are concerned, the best buy. The Buffalo MiniStation will probably press the right buttons for many people.
No matter how good the performance, it is convenience and practicality that are key factors in determining whether a device will be used regularly. A good starting point for the MiniStation is that it is USB powered and that the 150mm long flat USB cable, just long enough to connect to your laptop, is permanently attached and so cannot be mislaid. When not in use it neatly docks tidily in the side of the drive. In addition, there is the bundled software.
Joining the ever-expanding family of Walkman phones is a unit that can help track your movements.
Similar in many respects to the W705, the Sony Ericsson W715 is a slider handset that is available in either silver or black. This handset, as its “W” designation indicates, is a member of the Walkman family. I have been looking at a review unit that is of the silver variety with gold trimmings. Weighing just 98g, this handset measures 95 x 48 x 14mm (H x W x D) when closed with the height increasing to 128mm once you have slid it open with a touch of your thumb.
While the main character’s name in this game may have a familiar ring to it, the use of a whip has little to do with this archaeological adventure.
There is no prize for guessing the thinking behind the decision to call the main character of this next title, Alabama Smith. After all this character is a professor at a university who has a strong interest in ancient artefacts. Like the other fellow, who shall remain nameless, Alabama Smith is always up for a challenge and laughs at danger. You can join him as he sets out to complete the Alawar developed game entitled The Quest of Fate.
Photo Frames have evolved, now they have multiple image inputs, the ability to play music, screen show formats that do not make you sick and this latest offering from Pandigital even has the ability to match your décor.
The total outside measurement of the frame is 29.5x25.5x3.5cm without rear support. However this maybe somewhat confusing as the image size is 16x12cm (8 inches). You are supplied with various screen surround blanks or you can extract the unit from the outer frame to use as a Perspex unit so as stated you can change it to suit your surroundings.
Have you noticed that the vast majority of products designed as accessories to enhance the capabilities of an iPod are larger than the Apple’s ubiquitous digital player?
Another in the range from Canon of their superb Ixus Digital Cameras. If anything I think this one is even smaller, but, this does not mean the image quality suffers in any way. This unit is an amazing 12.1MP and gives superb images.
The Canon IXUS 120IS measures 8.5x5.5x1.5cm but it still manages a TFT of 5.5x4cm. It weights 135grams. My unit was two tone gun metal grey. The face has only the lens and the flash, the later cuts into the side of the lens surround but it is never closer than 3cm from the lens when in use. The optical zoom is 4x and it can take images up to 12.1MP. The right side has an almost invisible wrist strap anchor point. The left side has nothing.
Here I am looking at two pairs of noise reducing earbuds, the first from Ultimate Ears and the second from Sennheiser. They have a number of things in common; the main one is that both reduce external noise so great for the train or tube.
Not a name that immediately rolls off the tongue. From the buds back there is 35cm of single cable before it joins with the two sleeved together for the final 80cm to the gold plated 3.5mm plug that not only suits iPods and MP3 players but also the latest Apple offerings as it has three bands rather than the normal two. The multifunction button (allowing you to answer calls etc) is 7cm after the two leads have become one on the cable.
Mix together an old house, abandoned ship and escaped monster might be enough for most developers but not Alawar who go that little bit further by adding a dash of Vampire threats in this next game.
Although using a pen or pencil is much more natural than using a mouse, years of using a computer have conditioned us otherwise. The Trust Slimline Widescreen Tablet from Zoombits.com redresses the balance especially for freehand drawing and similar applications.
The tablet, which is low profile and thus easy to use without hand or wrist strain, occupies 32 x 25 cm of desk space and has an active area of 25 x 15 cm. Although this aspect ratio is more appropriate for use with wide screen displays, it also works well with older 4:3 displays. It comes with a 2-button pen, which can be used equally well in either hand, that operates wirelessly so one’s hand movements are not hampered by a trailing cable.
This is a Netbook from a company who normally – as far as I know – make monitors and panels. However on closer examination I find it is manufactured by MSI for them but HannsNote from Hannspree sounds rather nice
The HannsNote SN10E1 Netbook measures 26x18x4cm and weights a tad under 1.3kilos. My unit was white (probably called cream) and while I normally prefer black this was fine. It comes with a slipcase and to my unstylish eye it looks smart. A nice feature it has a recovery DVD should the worst happen and your hard drive crash. The left side has two USB ports, the DC input and the Kensington lock port.
Want to rustle up a nutritious and delicious meal on these cold winter nights? Should you be going for a flashy pressure cooker or a reliable slowcooker?
The weather is definitely colder and wetter in case you've taken to hibernating. Now we are in the season of Advent there is simply no denying that winter is here and so our thoughts have turned to warming soups and nourishing casseroles – yummy comfort food. I thought I would give my Le Creuset a rest and look at what gadgets are out there to help make sure there is a warming dinner on the table as the nights draw in.
Taking your mobile music player for a ride can now have an Australian flavour.
I have to admit that until very recently I was totally unaware of Cygnett, a company immersed in the development of accessories to enhance the iPod and MP3 music experience. Set up in 2003, Cygnett has expanded into an international company with its headquarters in Australia and offices located around the globe. The company came to my attention with the arrival of its GrooveTransmit product for review.