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GadgetSpeak has close to 5,000 product reviews and other articles. You can use this page to find others opinions on anything from mobile phones to computers to the latest kitchen appliance

 
Recently I have felt like putting my laptop on a diet. The reason for this unusual thought was brought about by the need to test a laptop bag.
Laptops, notebooks and netbooks are all meant to be computer devices that can be easily portable when moving from location to location.  However, apart from the latter category, you are rarely provided with the means to help you transport the particular product.  Fortunately various manufacturers have come to the rescue with bags that have been designed specifically for keeping your portable computer safe and secure while you are on the move.
Join a mother who combines an archaeological expedition with a search for her missing children.
Developed by Artifax Mundi and published by Alawar, Joan Jade and the Gates of Xibalba mixes together elements of hidden object game play and puzzle solving.  This game places you in the role of Joan Jade who is described as the archaeologist of the year and mother extraordinaire.  From this you should be able to gather than the game involves some ancient ruins and problems affecting the younger members of the family.
This has the bold statement on the box ‘Up to 14x faster and up to 6x better range than 802.11g’ Speed is of course useful and range is vital if you are using the wireless option at anywhere near it’s distance capacity.
The Conceptronic 11n Wireless ADSL2+ Modem and Router measures 20x15x2.5cm with cables inserted and black in colour. The front has eight small LED’s (hopefully green) and the right side a push button that I will go into detail about in a little while. The left side the top and base have nothing. This leaves the back.
606417 3M MPro 150 pocket business LED projecto

3M MPro150 business pocket projector

For those of you that were introduced to corporate presentations in the form of acetate slides and permanent markers things have come a long way.
Am I showing my age? Many were the important presentations where I lovingly drew multi-colour slides with charts and text ready to slip onto an overhead projector. That projector in itself was an innovation - as is this new little marvel from 3M the MPro 150. Acetate was seen off in the corporate field with the advent of laptops and then with bulky projectors that would plug directly into the VGA port.
While inkjet printers are the popular choice, there is still a place for a laser unit that can deliver good quality output at a reasonable speed for full page printing.
It was almost a case of déjà vu as I unpacked the latest Samsung printer to arrive for testing.  I had only just packed up the previous model for returning to the company’s PR agency and now I appeared to be looking at its exact twin.  I should explain that both models, the previous ML-2525 and now the ML-1915, were both mono laser printers.  Yet I was still expecting that there should be some sort of visible evidence that would help identify these two models.
605815 microsoft autoroute 201

Microsoft AutoRoute 2010

Until a few years ago certain consumer products from Microsoft used to have versions released every year, now some like Works are updated occasionally, others like Money are no more, here the 2010 version of AutoRoute.
I deliberately installed this on a not that powerful Windows XP machine just to see if it still would work on a ‘non power’ machine. It took 7 minutes to install from the DVD and used 2.054GB of hard disc space, this also installs Office Database, Visual C++ and Text to Speech module before the Auto Route package, all in all quick and easy. It comes in a DVD case sized box that contains a DVD case with the product and beside this a GPS locator unit.
605814 sega mario sonic winter olympic

Two Nintendo DS Games

First Mario and Sonic at the Winter Olympic Games (yes I know they are over but I can only review items when received), this sent by Woolthworth.co.uk and second 7 Wonders II another of the puzzle series from GSP.
Being Mario makes it something for the younger ones but with all the instructions and preparations required before you can perform I feel that maybe they will lose interest before they get very far into the various available events. The available Olympic events are Skiing, Skating, Snowboarding, Bobsleigh, Ice Hockey, Curling, Biathlon and of course Luge. While there are eight categories the total number of available events is actually 15 with variants.
If you can not find the content you want with terrestrial channels then maybe the Internet can help with software available from Avanquest.
It is a great big world out there when you ventured into that entity known as the World Wide Web in search of legal media for your entertainment.  Offering to help in the search for and downloading process is the latest edition of AudialsOne, now up to version 4, and available from Avanquest. As part of the product’s installation process you are offered a number of options.
605813 canon pixma mp990 multi function printer scan cop

Canon Pixma MP990

Despite its squat size I doubt this All In One from Canon will ever pass the lounge police. Perhaps it is the silver grey colour but more likely the black band around the top edge; however as a man what matters to me is quality and performance.
The Canon Pixma MP990 multi-function printer measures 44x39x21cm. There is a small lift up lid 17x8cm that sits towards the front centre of the scanning lid. There are a total of twelve buttons that sit under it (including the ubiquitous five position joystick) and on the reverse of the lid a TFT 9x7cm. The TFT opens to a position around 15degrees beyond vertical to allow reading from a whole range of angles.
For someone using even a 17inch display with 1280 x 1024 screen resolution, “upgrading” to a 19 inch wide screen display with 1440 x 900 is unsatisfactory. After all, the lesser vertical resolution is inadequate. Consequently, a reasonable approach is to upgrade to a 22 or 24inch widescreen monitor with 1920×1080 WUXGA resolution and, ideally, to one such as the Viewsonic VX2433wm 24inch which provides both performance and a good degree of future proofing.
At first sight the large amount of desk space occupied by a 24 inch wide screen monitor is over-powering. However, the VX2433, with its slim polished black bezel, and anti-glare screen, is stylishly designed and so one soon gets used to it and starts appreciating its benefits.
When problems occur with your computer, the excuse of out-of-date drivers is often put forward as the reason for any conflicts. Perhaps you should consider some form of driver management.
Your computer system relies a great deal on drivers to carry out many of its functions.  Like other forms of software, drivers are constantly being upgraded with new features and bug fixes.  While these drivers are freely available to those who need them, the task of searching for them, before downloading and installing them, can be time consuming.
What would you do if you received a letter dated ten years earlier? Edwina Margrave decided to set out in order to find the sender.
When looking for hidden objects what better place to start than in a house especially if it is an old dwelling with plenty of rooms plus various nooks and crannies that can provide a multitude of locations in which to conceal items.  Throwing in a missing relative plus a 10-year gap to add a touch of mystery with a possibility of foul deeds and you have the basis for a Click & Play game entitled The Secret of Margrave Manor available on the GSP label.
This device can check what, how and when causes the astronomical electricity bill. Every modern device tells you somewhere how much power it uses, unfortunately normally few people tend to initially take much notice.
The Owl CM119  consists of two parts, the first magnetically wraps round a wire from your meter this ends in a wireless sender (powered by 3x‘AA’ batteries supplied). The wireless signal is sent the second unit that displays a range of information this can be up to 30metres (ideal conditions) away and this is also powered by 3x‘AA’ batteries (also supplied).
While the paperless office continues to be a myth, software does exist to keep electronic documents under some sort of control.
A rather different PC in that all you get is a small box not a lot bigger than a video cassette and a wireless keyboard and mouse. This can even be mounted on the back of a panel or a TV so maybe ideal for the occasional user.
The computer is 20x19x3.5cm, it has shiny black sides with the edges being off white, it will just about stand unsupported but a stand is provided (clips into the base or it can be fitted so that it fits parallel to the back of a TV. The whole unit is slightly tilted back, on the top is a USB port, the back has a multi card port, two 3.5mm jack ports for earphones (or external speakers) and microphone and an eSATA socket.
Not everyone wants - or can afford - an iPod. Here a fairly basic offering that looks rather like a USB stick and second a player for those who can’t bear to be parted from your music even when swimming or taking a bath!
Normally items from Brando come with a manual in Chinese and English. Here only the former, I do not read Chinese. However there is enough information on the website (in good English) for anyone to use this item. It is 7.2x1.6x.6cm the top pulls off and it can be inserted into any USB port, behind the connector is a port for you to insert and micro SD or SD(HC) card and on this you can copy any MP3 music of your choice to play.
Yet another new title emerges from that treasure chest known as Alawar. This time it involves a young boy helping his mother and father escape from danger.
Not to be confused with a singer/songwriter who had several hit records many years ago (Google his name for more details), Anka is a point and click adventure that revolves around the activities of a young boy named Anka.  The game’s opening sequence introduces you to Anka and his mother who, I must state, looks more like an older sister.
This is the third – and dare I say – the most futuristic Dolce Gusto coffee machine I have reviewed. Firstly I must thank espresso club who pointed the existence of this machine to me long before it was made available for sale in the UK.
Leaving the totally different design for the moment the main difference is that a higher pressure is used to brew the coffee. The machine is shaped like a rather squashed ‘0’ with the actual cup placed in the centre of the ‘0’. The dimensions are 32cm tall, 30cm wide and 18cm deep. The back is made of a plastic material which forms the water tank. The unit is silver grey and somewhat as a surprise to me anyway I cannot see the name anywhere on the box or the unit.
Not only does Duracell make exceedingly good batteries but it provides the means to drain them of power.
When the subject of batteries comes up, my first thoughts tend to gravitate towards Duracell - a name originally devised as a shortened form of 'durable cell'. I expect that the same thought process applies to many of you.
Have you been sleeping well? The reason I ask is the arrival of a new game from those inventive people at GameHouse.
The Dream Voyagers is a game that casts you in the role of a Sandman – yes that character you thought was a figment of your parent’s imagination.  Sandmen, according to GameHouse, do exist and one of their main tasks is to remove those nasty nightmares that can spoil our slumbers and leave us feeling less than restful when we awake in the morning.
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