The hidden object genre of game play continues to be popular as yet another example finds from Popcap its way on to my hard disk and keeps me entertained and occupied for many hours.
As a Private Detective (PI) you are used to being offered all manner of cases but this is the first time that you have been hired to track down a missing will. This will belonged to a fun-loving New York billionaire and has been hidden somewhere in New York City. Speed is of the essence as you have to complete the task within 17 hours otherwise the billionaire’s fortune will go to the Cat & Dogs’ Home.
My lack of horticultural skills is such that my only chance of success is with virtual gardens such as those found in a new title from Playrix Entertainment.
While there are numerous examples of the Hidden Object genre currently available, it is unusual to come across one that has fully integrated the hidden object element into the actual storyline. Usually you just need to identify a list of objects in order to move on to the next scene or maybe receive an inventory item as a reward. One exception to this is a new title from Playtrix Entertainment entitled Gardenscapes which involves you in the restoration of a garden.
Did the idea for this unit come from a number of recent films; it certainly looks like something from several popular films. So you have in effect a webcam that can roam around to give you content from different places.
The website describes this as a toy, well no doubt most children of a certain age would love one but I suspect the price will mean that it will be an ‘executive’ toy. This is a very clever piece of kit. What has 33 wheels? Yes you know the answer before you even try to count them.
Taking on the role of the company’s first WiFi enabled Walkman handset is the Sony Ericsson W705 product.
The Sony Ericsson W705 is a slider phone that weighs 98g. In its closed state the handset measures 95 x 48 x 14mm (H x W x D) with the height increasing to 128mm when slid open by a smooth movement under the control of your thumb. The review unit has a brushed metallic silver fascia with gold trimmings and a black back. A red version is available. As you would expect, the front of the closed handset is dominated by a 2.5-inch screen.
Things have changed hugely since I last looked at a baby monitor. Wired has long gone and now wireless with its limited channels has now been replaced with DECT technology, this unit however goes much further.
The baby monitor is 11x8x7.5cm while the parent unit is 11x5x3cm. A well written 40 page manual is well worth a thorough read just to see exactly what this multi functional unit can do. If you are just expecting a baby monitor then you are in for a big surprise. As an example the baby unit has no less than 50 lullabies built in to lull your baby to sleep, with technology ruling every other part of our life why not the baby monitor as well.
First a wireless notebook laser mouse from Kensington with the catchy Ci10 Fit name. Second a keyboard from Brando with Smart Touchpad for those who spend their days typing in figures or using their fingers in controls.
This is just slightly smaller than a standard mouse at 10.5x6x3.5cm. The 4.5x1.5x.5cm receiver fits into the base of the mouse when not in use and this saves the possibility of the mouse and receiver ending up in different places. The mouse is black and grey with rubberised sides to aid grip for those who perspire. As seems the norm these days there are no specific places to click with the area either side of the scroll wheel being the target areas.
First it was the Ultra then the Mino came along. Now we have an enhanced version of the Mino that promises improved image quality.
Adding to its family of pocket sized camcorders, Flip Video has produced the latest version of its Flip Mino product. This is the Flip Mino HD. As its title implies, this product adds high definition capabilities to the video capture and display features found in the original Flip Mino device.
Not as you may think a printer/scanner/copier but a PC that is built into a flat panel. It comes complete with corded keyboard and mouse. Viewsonic are best known for monitors/flat panels and of course the latter is heart of this unit.
The screen is 44x37x4cm it is raised 5cm off whatever you stand it on by the base that is 22x17cm. The whole PC is located inside the 19inch screen. The only extras are the keyboard and mouse both are black to match the screen. The screen weights a little under 5.4kilos. It uses the same processor as the range of Netbooks but the screen resolution is better at 1366x768. So its Windows XP Home and 1GB of Ram and a 2.5inch hard drive stated to be 160GB and this is normal Netbook fair.
If you were to line up all the different mobile phones end to end, I wonder how long the line would stretch. Sony Ericsson has added to this length with a new Cybershot model.
A recent addition to the Sony Ericsson product portfolio is the C510 mobile phone. This is a candy bar style handset belong to the Cybershot range. Predominately black in colour with a silver band running around the edges, the review unit measures 107 x 46 x 13mm (H x W x D) and weighs in at around 98g. A silver version of this phone is available. Dominating the front of the handset is the 2.
As its title indicates, Silent Hunter 4 follows on from three earlier offerings. I have to admit that all of the previous titles managed to escape my attention. As a result I came to this submarine simulation, subtitled Wolves of the Pacific, without any preconceptions regarding the game play, graphics, storyline or audio aspects.
As a mere man I know its impossible for a woman to walk past a shoe shop without at least a good look, here might be a way to avoid it, online shoe shops and best of all this site has no less than 40 different brands on show.
The link as always is at the end. The selection as you might expect is somewhat less for men as most men I know do not have double figure pairs of shoes and I doubt that many women have less than ten pairs with most far in excess of that figure. I checked my wardrobe, two black, one brown, Wellington boots, motor cycle boots, two pairs or trainers and one pair of slippers so I have eight pairs. Mind you the motor cycle boots are at least thirty five years old.
Sometimes a product’s title can cause some initial confusion as happened with kit developed by Bluelounge
Space Station! You have to be kidding! Why would you expect anyone with a fear of heights to tackle this particular subject? While experiencing zero gravity might do wonders for my troublesome back; the training involved would be extremely strenuous. These were just some of the thoughts that flashed through my mind when I glanced at the review schedule and saw that I had been pencilled in to review a Space Station.
A useful hobby and enthusiast tool that counts amongst it's abilities carving, engraving, sharpening, cleaning, cutting and sanding.
The Dremel Series 300 Multitool is very much like a small hand-held mains powered drill (in fact one of the jobs it can do is drill). The core unit takes a wide range of different tools, attachments and accessories. The review unit is packaged for Dremel's "Hobby" line and comes complete with twenty five different tools for a number of tasks.
First a quality Bluetooth headset from Plantronics and second, also from Plantronics, a set of stereo headphones - also using Bluetooth connectivity. Two items with different backgrounds the first to give you clear voice communication and the second for clear audio.
First something that's so small and light you could forget you are wearing it. In its most compact form it is 8x4x3cm and it weights just 17grams. It works via Bluetooth and like the unit below can be charged by a supplied USB to micro USB cable however this unit is also supplied with a mains charger and an assortment of plug ends for most countries as well as a cigar lighter charger for use in the car.
This audio unit allows the serious Hi-Fi user to have his CD player, Radio, Internet Radio, NAS and even iPod all in one unit together with the all important amplifier. Just add speakers of your choice for a high quality unit.
The NaimUniti all-in-one system measures 43x37x9cm and it's heavy so if you are planning to put it on a shelf make sure it is strong. We all know cheap hi-fis are plastic better quality could well be wood, well this Naim unit is made of – wait for it – cast iron. The front has the swing (from left to right) CD door and it requires a magnetic puck (supplied) to sit on top of any inserted CD. Below this are two 3.
As a regular user of an Acer TravelMate laptop, I was pleased to receive one of the company’s 8000 Timeline series for review. This was the slim-line TravelMate 8371 which is aimed at the business users and currently comes with Windows Vista Business.
Decked out in a matt black case (not everybody needs or wants a reflective sheen) with dimensions of 323.6 x 228 x 26mm (W x D x H) in its closed state, this laptop is not going to show you up when you bring it out in company whether in the home, office or local coffee shop. I was a little concerned at the lack of a holding switch to keep the lid down in its closed position.
With all the Blu-ray drives I have reviewed somewhere I have mentioned that Blu-ray is not only about picture quality but Dolby sound as well. Here not only do you get the Blu-ray player but also a rather nice set of speakers.
It is 43x30x7cm with cables inserted. It weights just under 5kilos. All but the front is matt black; the front is shiny black and electric blue. The left side of the front is where the drawer for inserting discs is, Blu-ray, DVD and even CD’s. The central area has a pop out iPod holder and the right side has six illuminated (when on) buttons and a large volume control knob. The sides, top and base have nothing leaving a very full back of connections. The left side has the hard wired 1.
What do Beyonce Knowles, Stephen Fry, Oprah Winfrey, Stella McCartney and Miley Cyrus have in common? They all use a Flip Video pocket camcorder.
In the beginning there was the Flip Ultra. This pocket sized camcorder quickly grabbed the public attention and numerous competitive products quickly made an appearance. Flip Video, the company behind the initial release, quickly followed up its original product with the Flip Mino and then came the Flip Mino HD. You might at this point suppose that the Ultra version would have passed into history but you would be wrong.
Following his experiences at word creation in Bookworm Deluxe, Lex, the world’s friendliest bookworm, returns as the central character in Bookworm Adventures from those creative people at Popcap.
Here two devices to help you talk on the move. Both these devices allow hands free speaking and listening. The first from Plantronics and then the second from Jabra, both are light and efficient.
The body is 4.5x1.5x2cm and the total weight is 11grams. The figure I gave do not include the covered wire hook that sits behind the ear include this and the 4.5cm height can increase to 8cm. It works with almost any Bluetooth phone and is specifically designed for in car use where noise, wind and echo can be problems. During my tests – even with windows wound down – I was able to hear the other party clearly and they never asked me to repeat anything I said.