Where do toys go when left to their own devices? It is a question that has confounded some of the world’s greatest thinkers but not those who are young at heart.
As any child will tell you, toys have a habit of moving from where ever they were left at the end of play time. In some cases this movement is as a result of mum doing the tidying up but not always. Rather than being returned to a central storage area such as a toy box, some toys simple disappear altogether. One theory is that these missing toys reappear in a mysterious location known as Neverland.
Say the word ‘A3’ and most immediately think too big or too heavy or probably both. Well it will not fit where I review A4 units – no surprise there – but it sits in the doorway to my office quite happily and it just needs an extension on the USB lead, I am no superman but I unpacked and moved it into place on my own.
As one of the main means of communicating with the computer, the keyboard offers manufacturers the opportunity to devise various combinations of features.
Joining the numerous keyboards that have spent time on my desktop and being unjustly blamed for my poor typing skills is the Wireless Touchpad Keyboard from Sandberg. This is a USB device that combines standard keyboard facilities with multimedia and application short-cut keys plus the touchpad feature that is standard on notebook / laptop units.
This is a tiny MP3 player that also can make voice recordings. Although it is tiny the screen is still very readable and with battery life of close to twenty hours between recharge it certainly has things in its favour.
Firstly it is small enough to fit in the palm of the smallest hand. It is 4cm wide and tall and only a smidgen over 1cm thick, the weight (before you attach the earbuds) is just 27grams. The top has on/off and back buttons as well as the 3.5mm jack socket. The right side has the volume up and down buttons and the rather good pin hole microphone. The bottom has the hold slider switch and another pin hole marked reset.
Two more items from those clever people in Hong Kong. First a 3D optical mouse with a built in card reader and second a USB set of traffic lights, exactly what the latter does you will have to read on to find out.
This looks like a standard two button mouse (black) with a grey scroll wheel in between. It has a 1.5metre lead so plenty of lead for the average user. The secret is the hole in the rear that accepts SD cards, it also accepts Mini SD and Micro SD (the sort found in the majority of mobile phones) by using one of the two adapters provided with the product. It is 10.5x5.5x3cm, the top is black, the base is black and where the two meet is clear to give a sort of view into the innards.
Now at the ripe old age of 17 years, Adobe Acrobat and its PDF (Portable Document Format) technology is the established lingua franca of the world of electronic documents.
During the past 17 years, the Adobe Acrobat software has undergone various changes and make-overs as user demands and competition from third-parties has increased. The latest version of this software, Adobe Acrobat 9, is no exception. In fact it could be said that this version is the result of a major overhaul with regards to new features and improved performance. As is standard with Adobe Acrobat, users have a choice of products depending upon their individual needs.
This is an iPod dock with speakers behind. It is of course also able to play MP3 files from an MP3 player and it also has an FM radio. So far it has refused to do the washing up, the vacuuming or even the dusting.
It is 27x13x13cm however the last figure the width can be as little as 4.5cm at the top. There is a small section towards the top of the black fabric that allows a red LED screen to show through this says which mode you are in. Aux, FM or iPod. If you insert an iPod into the dock it automatically charges it and if you were listening to the radio it changes to the iPod. You then have to press a button to return to the radio.
Lexmark has added wireless connectivity to the normal print, scan and copy aspects of a multi-function device.
The Lexmark X4875 is a box-shaped multi-function device that describes itself as a Wireless 3-in-1 unit. Combining various shades of grey with a reflective cream topping, the X4875’s measurement are 178 x 454 x 351mm (H x W x D) and the unit weighs in at 7.1kg. As is the standard arrangement, the flatbed scanner unit is mounted on top of the printer. Paper is loaded at the rear, with the paper slot capable of holding up to 100 sheets, and ejected from the front of the unit.
An opera singer, chatty bat, numerous rats and gargoyles all feature in an adventure that harks back to the style introduced by LucasArts
This is a tiny PC (size wise) of course if you have not got all the bits that connect then the price it costs will increase a good deal. All you get is the PC and a digital to analogue converter, so you need to find keyboard, mouse monitor/panel, CD/DVD drive and speakers.
The Asus Eee Box B202 measures 22x18x2.7cm and weights 1180 grams. Mine was black and as it is designed to work vertically looks a little like a book. All the connections are on the back and the front with the sides bare and the top and bottom having only ventilation holes. The rear has (from the top) wireless aerial, DC input, digital monitor/panel connection (as stated above digital to analogue connector is supplied), two USB ports, Ethernet port and Line In.
Not everybody wants a mobile phone with all the bells & whistles – sometimes basic simplicity is all you need.
The T303 is a Sony Ericsson slider phone. This particular model is available in either Shadow Black or, as in the case of the review sample, Shimmering Silver. The phone’s dimensions are 83 x 47 x 15mm (L x W x D) when closed while its weight is 93g. In its closed state, the phone’s appearance is dominated by its 128 x 160 pixel screen capable of displaying 65,536 colours.
If you use the Web, and even if you are not particularly interested in digital photography (but vital if you are), it is important that you calibrate your monitor to ensure that it displays colours correctly. You can do this painlessly with the DataColor Spyder 3 Pro.
How do you know whether your monitor is displaying colours correctly? In general you don’t. However, as the colours of images on my two LCD panels were noticeably different, I knew that one (or even both) was wrong. This was reinforced by the fact that some Web downloads that could be read clearly on one screen were virtually unreadable on the other with text just merging into the background. Correct colours are important.
I find it surprising that it is 11 months since I have reviewed an ink jet printer, by that I mean a printer as opposed to an all in one or a multi function unit. Unlike most inkjets it has two proper trays so you have far more control from the computer.
The Canon Pixma iP3600 inkjet printer measures 41x33x15cm with the rear upright tray closed, open the tray and add A4 paper and you add 22cm to the last figure the height. Sad to say it is black apart from a silver stripe so it is unlikely to pass the lounge police. The power lead on the left back and the USB recessed on the right back edge do not protrude so no extra space is required behind the unit.
These are slightly different, they are 100% waterproof, no not just for the British weather but for those who go out ‘on the water’ and therefore run the risk of going ‘Overboard’ here a carbon backpack and a waist pack.
This is really very different from the standard rucksack/backpack reviewed yesterday. It is stated to be a 25litre pack. It looks like a large sack with straps on the back. The material is obviously waterproof and feels like a cross between rubber and plastic. When open it is 68cm tall and 43cm wide. The stated sealed size is 49.5x34x16.5cm.
Mobile phones, MP3 players (including the iPod) and other devices all need recharging from time to time – an easy task at home but not so easy when on your travels.
As our personal complement of mobile devices continue to grow at a pace, the problem can arise as to which leads we take with us in order to recharge the various pieces of kit when on our travels. The problem can be further exacerbated when these travels take in other countries.
This is as you might imagine not a whisper quiet unit, however it is powerful in fact dare I say it, it almost has the suction power of a D*s*n and that was the only cleaner to actually lift a section of a fitted carpet from the floor.
Hands-free mobile phone use comes in a range of styles including designer headsets.
The Discovery 925 is a Bluetooth earpiece from Plantronics “signature” range of designer headsets. The kit consists of the earpiece unit with a medium ear tip already to place. You also get a small and large ear tip enabling you to match the earpiece with your particular ear size; a leather-clad case for charging and protecting the earpiece when not in use; leads for charging the earpiece via USB or mains; and a small User Manual.
Alright I plead guilty. As regards to fashion I am a walking disaster but at least I feel comfortable in my own appearance
It has been said that my sense of style could be described as a crime of fashion. In my defence I would plead guilty with extenuating circumstances and change the subject to Masters of Mystery. So what, you may ask, links Masters of Mystery with a crime of fashion? The answer is a new title from Big Blue Bubble Inc. As a leading Canadian video game developer, Big Blue Bubble has built up a portfolio of over 30 games for the console and Windows platforms.
When I first opened this box I thought another DAB radio from Pure, after a few minutes use I knew this was something that takes things to the next level. This is not simply a good DAB radio it is much much much more.
The Pure Evoke Flow DAB radio measures 21x14x9cm. The rear has six connections. USB, auxiliary speaker, headphones, stereo out, auxiliary in and DC power input. Towards the top of the back a 70cm seven piece rod aerial starts. There is also a door on the back that can take a proprietary charge pak to allow it to be used on batteries. Neither of the sides or the base has anything. So this leaves the front, the single speaker is on the left on the right is the six line 6.5x3.
Put together Bluetooth, a headset and a mobile phone and the result is hands-free communication.
Made almost entirely from aluminium, a new headset has been launched by Bluetrek, a part of the ModeLabs Groups which specialises in mobile phones using new generation technology. This product is the Metal and it arrives with the claim of being the world’s thinnest and lightest Bluetooth headset. When you consider that this headset weighs just 5.5 grams with a thickness of 4.2mm, it would be difficult to doubt this claim.