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GadgetSpeak Articles

GadgetSpeak has close to 3,000 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

 
Ignore the weeds and get into the garden, make the most of the summer with a couple of good books. Here I have a recent offering from the Dummies series and one that could even improve your memory.
Laptops All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies ISBN 978-0-470-14092-5 This is described as ten books in one and best of all being for notebooks you could even sneak your notebook out with you to try a few of what it says while catching some sun. This takes you through the initial choices right through to getting help to solving those annoying problems.
Lets return to the subject of nomophobia (after all my spell checker has been taught this word so I might as well make use of it).
Skypephone S2 Nokia E71 click image to enlarge Obviously believing that this fear of having no mobile connectivity should be consigned to yesterday's dustbin, the mobile media company 3 has promised a number of new products and initiatives that will be relieve this complaint.
edirol ro9hr voice recorder hi re

Edirol R-09HR from Roland

This is an excellent voice and music recorder. Not only does it record in rather good stereo in MP3 but it can also record in WAV at 44.1 in 16bit (CD quality) but even up to 96 in 24bit.
click image to enlarge The R-09HR voice recorder from Edirol is 11x6x2.5cm and weights around 170grams with the supplied 2x'AA' batteries inserted. I found these tended to last around eight hours. Also supplied is a 512MB SD card this would have capacity to record around 45 minutes in CD quality WAV. The unit is black and coated with a rubber substance that gives it some protection.
Although we generally refer to the whole computer as being a personal device, it is really the keyboard and mouse that provides the personal touch to the system.
The latest example of keyboard and mouse to come under my finger-tip control is the Kensington Ci70 Wireless Desktop Set which combines innovative stylish aspects with a mouse docking feature. The marketing people at Kensington have put some thought into the packaging design for this desktop set. By using a Perspex top to the packaging, the user is able to see both the keyboard and mouse laid out as if ready for use.
The game’s afoot as you set out to save English treasures from a French thief in an adventure aimed at Mensa-joining 3+ year olds.
When it comes to creating an investigative adventure computer game, where better to start than with the doyen of detectives, that redoubtable resident of 221B Baker Street, known as Sherlock Holmes.  Taking this premise, and adding in Arsène Lupin a French gentleman thief who features in a series of novels by Maurice Leblance, the developers Frogwares has come up with Sherlock Holmes: Nemesis.
Not that long ago a 22inch panel would have cost a great deal, now it costs no more than a 15inch panel did at that same time. Here I am looking at a widescreen 22inch offering that has built in speakers.
First the all important dimensions, the Hannspree XM-s 22inch Flat Panel 'Verona' is 50x36x9cm, it stands on a base that lifts it 5cm above your desk. The stand is oval at 19x28cm. While there is close to 20degrees of tilt backwards there is only a couple of degrees forward movement. My unit was black although the rather difficult to negotiate HANNspree site shows other colours including a wood effect but does not make it clear what these apply too.
Although many who would be totally lost if separated from their mobile phone for any length of time, the land-line phone still has a part to play in modern day living. This is especially true when the phone is a DECT device combining a degree of mobility with the more traditional aspects of a phone.
Unlike many of the new breeds of phones which are dominating the marketplace with small keypads and displays that cram in as much information as possible; the Siemens Gigaset E365 has been designed to be more accessible and user-friendly for the more mature user. Decked out in matt silver, the E365 kit consists of a base station and a handset unit - additional handsets can be purchased if required for your establishment.
iqua sun 603 bluetooth headset solar powere

Iqua 603 SUN bluetooth headset

This bluetooth headset takes advantage of available sunlight to help you get through the day, supplementing the internal battery with solar power - when we actually get some sun of course!
Iqua have a range of Bluetooth headsets - this is the first product that I've reviewed from the company - the iQua 603 SUN Bluetooth headset. Physically this headset is on the larger size measuring 48 x 25 x 12mm (LxWxH) and weights 14g. This extra size accomodates a small solar cell mounted on the outer face of the device. Included in the package are an ear hook, two different ear plugs a charger and a carry strap.
microsoft vx7000 web camer

Microsoft LifeCam VX-7000

It is described as a notebook web cam, I see no reason why it should not be used with any flat panel and even with a CRT monitor, the latter maybe with a couple of sticky pads.
The Microsoft VX7000 is 6.5cm wide and 2.5cm tall, the camera is 2cm deep but there is a weighted articulated arm behind this that folds over the top of the panel. It has a 1.35metre USB lead protruding from the back base of the camera. The camera is grey apart from the face that is black with chrome trim round the lens and on the right edge where the inbuilt microphone is. If you add a chromed button on the top you have described everything.
Here I am looking at two items that come from the company that charges $3 US shipping no matter how large your order. Fist an MP3 player that looks like a largish Lego brick and then an Alarm Clock radio that takes SD cards so you can wake to your choice of music guaranteed.
BB5003 MP3 Player Lego Brick This is a MP3 player but instead of using either internal memory or that of a USB stick it uses a Micro SD card (the ones most mobile phones use) this also gives you another way of transferring content from your phone to a PC or visa versa. It is 5.5x3.x1.5cm and mine was yellow but I think there are other colours.
The recent launch of six new Intel Centrino 2 processors, with a further eight to follow over the coming months, has provided the impetus for notebook manufacturers to refresh their range of offerings.
click image to enlarge Acer Aspire 2930 One of the first companies to take advantage of the new technology behind the Centrino 2 processors is Acer. The company has launched various business and consumer models in the TravelMate and Aspire ranges. Several enhancements have been made to the TravelMate range of business notebooks.
Flash drives have traditionally been fairly slow devices, but like all things to do with computers performance continues to improve over time. Here we compare two high-performance USB flash drives from Kingston and from Imation.
From Imation we're looking at the new "Atom Flash Drive", available in 1G, 2G, 4G and 8G bytes sizes. Our test sample is 1Gbyte. This is pitted against the Kingston Data Traveller 100, available in the same sizes.
geneva m ipod speaker syste

Geneva ‘M’

This is a rather good iPod playing device, that just for good measure can play CD’s – of various types – has an FM radio and an ‘Aux’ input to play anything that can connect via a 3.5mm jack plug.
The first unusual thing about this 'box' is that it had no controls on it at all. Everything is done via the remote control. It is 37x26x19cm with leads plugged into the rear. Mine was white with a white grill on the front, at the top right of this- behind the grill - is a six character red LED display that displays what, where and how. The top has the name Geneva on the front edge and in the centre a slot loading CD.
Taking the see-through packaging route, Symantec has lunched the latest version of its Norton 360 product.
From the back and side, the box certainly looked like the standard packaging used by Symantec for its utility products.  However turning the box around revealed a see-through panel showing the software CD as if indicating that the enclosed product could see through any malicious attack made on your system.  This product is Norton 360 version 2.0 which arrives with the promise of providing all-in-one security with comprehensive, automatic protection.
“Seek and ye shall find” could well be your mantra in the latest game to appear from PopCap Games.
Entitled Mystery PI: The Vegas Heist, you are cast in the role of the enigmatic, never-give-up, clue seeking private investigator who takes on the task of discovering the missing money.  This being , the recovery of the money is regarded as being far more important than apprehending those responsible for the heist.  Presumably less-savoury characters will deal out the punishment to those involved but that plays no part in this game.
ge a835 compact digital camer

GE A835 Digital Camera

Those who read my launch report at the start of the year will know the ‘A’ series are what GE consider to be their entry level offerings. It is a nice simple to use camera.
click to enlarge The GE A835 digital camera is small at 9x6.5x2.5cm the last figure can increase by 3cm when the zoom is fully out. It is silver grey in colour with a chrome strip along the top and sides and it weights around 170grams with its 2x'AA' batteries inserted. The front of the camera has the lens with the flash above and to the left, at the nearest it is 1cm from the lens. The right side has the anchor point for the wrist strap.
Kodak combines images and music with touch border technology in its new digital picture frame series.
With its long standing reputation and experience in the field of photographic development, it was a natural progression for Kodak to get involved in the manufacture of digital displays. The result is the Kodak Easyshare Digital Picture Frame series currently consisting of 7, 8 and 10-inch models.
motorola u9 pebl clamshell mobile phon

Motorola U9 clamshell mobile phone

A small pebble like clamshell, the U9 is available in pink, purple or graphite (black) with a glossy smooth finish and curved edges this phone feels great to hold.
The pink and purple varieties are most definitely aimed squarely at the female market, and in case you're not convinced Motorola provide a Pink or Purple test to help you choose your colour - question two asks whether you'd rather date Prince William or Prince Harry ( ). you can take the quiz here! The Motorola U9 is a quad-band phone that comes with a raft of features for those that prefer the clamshell format. Measuring 90 x 48.
Here I will tell you about two different companies with wonderful earbuds that shall we say are not cheap. In fact both could probably cost more than the unit you plug them into.
m-JAYS Stereo Handsfree Headset/ Stereo Music Adapter This can be used two ways. First as a standard set of earbuds and second as a hands free setup that can work with a mobile phone. It is one of the new range of headsets that work with the Apple iPhone. It is in fact two items that can be used only as earbuds (60cm) or you can plug them into the second longer extension lead (80cm) that has the microphone.
First the Wireless Notebook Microsoft Presenter Mouse 8000 that comes in some very novel packaging. Second the Belkin offering that I first saw last August as a prototype a washable mouse.
Microsoft Wireless Notebook Presenter Mouse 8000 This is the first mouse I have reviewed that comes in its own carrying case, and more than that, it swivels in the packaging so you can view it 360 degrees while still on the dealers shelf.
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