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

With the tag line of “Entertainment on the go”, the Nokia N81 attempts to broaden the game-playing scope of the mobile phone.
Click image to enlarge! The Nokia N81 mobile phone has a rather chunky appearance and adopts the slider style of unit.  Measuring 102 x 50 x 17.9mm (L x W x D) and weighing 140g, this phone is predominately black with a matt silver band running round the sides.  Supplied with 8GB of internal flash memory, the phone features an active matrix 2.4-inch QVGA 320 x 240 colour display capable of showing up to 16.
hp d7460 colour photo printe

HP PhotoSmart D7460

This is a six ink printer that also has a display and accepts inputs from various card types and USB sticks. However it is not only USB and Ethernet but it can also print via Bluetooth.
This is quite a low slung unit at 45x41x16cm, only the final measurement could be greater if you have the TFT raised vertically it would add 7cm to the height. As paper is stored flat in the base and delivered on top of this store no further space is required. The depth includes the 3cm that the power lead sticks out the back of the unit.
Over the last few years the trend in television has been for ever bigger screens - whether LCD or Plasma. There is however still a market for the smaller set - either for bedroom, kitchen or den. Humax have addressed this somewhat neglected market with a range of 19 and 22" highly functional sets.
I'm reviewing the 19" version here. Like it's slightly larger 22" sibling this set is available in either black or white. The display is a 1440x900 wide-screen panel with a wide 160° viewing angle. This sits on an integrated stand that contains the stereo speakers. Dimensions for the whole unit are approximately 500x439x170mm (Width x Height x Depth). The depth is due to the base of the unit that houses the stereo speakers. Weight is a fairly modest 8.2Kg.
It has been a while since I last took a look at a DAB radio. A new model from PURE Digital was my re-introduction to the technology.
Like numerous other devices that I have seen recently, those delivering DAB (Digital Audio Broadcast) radio facilities are now adopting a multifunction approach to tempt users into making a purchase.  One example of this trend to broaden the scope of a DAB device is that seen with the Chronos product from PURE Digital.  This piece of kit brings together iPod dock functionality with standard DAB radio facilities in a product entitled PURE Chronos iDock.
With my strong aversion to heights, I hardly expected to enjoy being in control of a helicopter until I encountered Salvation 1.
Salvation is the name of the game as you are placed in the position of controlling your own helicopter carrying out user-specified missions.  Developed by Bladez Toys Ltd, this indoor helicopter is available in four models appropriately numbered 1, 2, 3 and 9.  I have been honing my piloting skills on the Salvation 1 which has already distinguished itself by being the winning product from ITV 1's Tycoon and one of the top ten boys' toys listed by STUFF Magazine.
lindy homeplug 25144 home mains networking 200

Lindy Home Plugs

If you live somewhere where extending Ethernet is not feasible or should there be a pressing reason not to use Wireless then the Lindy HomePlug Ethernet Starter Kit could solve your dilemma.
Each of the two plugs is 10x7x4cm when inserted into a 13amp plug socket. The actual power socket is at the bottom of the unit so you could have problems if there is limited clearance above the plug. In fact you need to add 3cm to the 10cm height for the supplied 1.8metre Ethernet cable. So you actually need 9cm of clearance above the socket.
A visit to a recent trade show introduced me to an electronic note taking device that was quickly added to my list of products to review.
Generally a review product's involvement in the actual writing process of a piece, such as this, is minimal especially when that product is a peripheral device rather than a system box or word processing package.  All the testing and use of the product will have been conduced prior to the writing stage.  Of course there are some exceptions.
I don't think I'm unique in wishing my TV were where I was, rather than in the living room where the aerial is! There have been a number of solutions to this issue - here we look at what the SlingBox, from Sling Media can do.
click to enlarge SlingBox comes in a various flavours - from the original 'Classic' through the the 'Pro', which is the one currently sat underneath my TV. What's a SlingBox? The clue is in the name. In short it takes video and audio from where they are and them to where you - SlingBox.
Multi Function Machines with wireless are not that unusual, what is unusual is that it has USB but no Ethernet. So you can setup for Wireless or USB.
This is not a large unit it is cream in colour so it just may pass the lounge police. The dimensions are 44x30x20cm the last figure the height increases by 13cm when the vertical paper tray is lifted and paper inserted. This is a printer, scanner, copier and fax. The scanning can be either sheet fed or flatbed and the printing can be duplex. For a novice the excellent software can guide you with wizards to do everything.

Greeting Card Factory Deluxe V6

With Christmas and the New Year both a distant memory, and the belt needing to be tightened by several notches any saving is worthwhile, so making your own greetings cards is certainly a possibility.
This product comes in a full sized software box. It is also heavy enough to contain a meaningful manual. In fact this is a paperback sized book of 260 pages all in English. The box does list the requirements on the side but a sticker is applied to the front modifying those to state you need a DVD-ROM as this is supplied on a DVD. The install is not quick but then it is transferring over 3GB of data to the PC.
Some like navigation buttons while others prefer a touch screen approach; with a new product from Archos you get both options.
Archos has a long establish presence within the area of PMP (Personal Media Player) devices that have the capacity to provide a range of entertainment features.  Forming part of the company's latest range of PMPs is the Archos 605 WIFI.  As its title implies, this PMP has built in support for WiFi 802.11g connectivity to add to the provision of music, video and still image playback and viewing.
casio mouse with integrated label printe

Casio PC Tag Writer

This is a standard mouse connected via USB that has a thermal printer inside. It can print on a range of sized roll media. Certainly something that you do not come across everyday.
The mouse itself is a standard three button mouse plug it in and it works. However to use the printer inside you first need to install the software. For me this took four minutes and after a reboot you plug in the mouse. Total hard disc space taken was 53MB. I found two problems it wants to install a system file but the installer can't find it, it's there but you need to navigate to it. You now have a line of six icons just above the tray.
emtec movie cube r multi media recorde

Emtec Movie Cube

I've been looking forward to reviewing this product - from a brief reading of the literatiure sent to me I was hoping it would be an ideal product for my multimedia and data backup requirements. An inexpensive video recorder and network attach storage unit with the ability to stream my video across my home network.
Just after this review was published Emtec came back to us with answers to some of our concerns with this product in the form of a new software release.
have recently been introduced to Jawbone. This is not, as you might suspect, a bone in the human body but a device to improve mobile communications.
Developed by Aliph and designed by Yves Behar, this latest version of the Jawbone headset makes use of Bluetooth for connecting to your mobile phone.  Totally agnostic in its support, the Jawbone Bluetooth headset works with any Bluetooth enabled phone.  For the purpose of this review I have been using the Nokia 6125 and Nokia N81-1 models.
In one of my breaks from playing the highly addictive Gemsweeper, I took the opportunity to check out another Lobstersoft title.
Not all games require high-powered systems and complicated commands and controls to grab the interest of players.  Falling into this friendly approachable category is Arcade Lines from Lobstersoft.  This game is based on the old, but popular, concept of creating lines of balls that are of the same colour in order to clear the playing area and improve your score. The game's interface could hardly be more straightforward in its appearance.
dyson dc20 vacuu

Dyson DC20 Stowaway

This is a pull along unit, however unlike most other cleaners on that type this still packs enough punch to actually lift a fitted carpet and therefore the dirt and dust has no chance.
click to enlarge To begin with this is no ordinary pull along cleaner. As you might expect it is not that light at close to ten kilos. Giving measurements is not easy as although it is a basic rectangle I can only give the maximum it is 24cm from side to side 45cm from front to back and 35cm tall.
While better known for their ability to mimic human speak, a parrot of our acquaintance can display your images.
Judging by recent experiences Digital Photo Frames have taken on an attribute normally associated with buses.  You do not see one for ages but then two or three turn up in close proximity. Following the Polaroid 10-inch model reviewed not so long ago, it is now the turn of a 7-inch Digital Photo Viewer from Parrot to take centre stage.
This unit can record two streams at the same time, or as more likely to happen record one item and start a second recording before the first one finishes so it’s a twin tuner.
It is 30x25x5cm and black and grey in colours. You need another 4cm on the 25cm depth to allow for connection of cables. So unpack and plug your coaxial into the rear and the provided SCART lead also. Next plug the 13amp plug into the mains. Your TV should automatically tune to the SCART channel if not do so manually, you will now see a screen where you set the aspect ratio 4:3 or 16:9 and then tell it to search for channels.
Flash memory is a small miracle - but it doesn't come without problems. Unlike the veritable floppy that has remain unchanged now for over a decade, flash emory formats change more frequently than government ministers.
Apart from the obvious problems with knowing which format you need for a particular product, you're also often left having to buy different card for each of your gadgets. Even ignoring competing formats, individual formats have now spawned whole families of related standards sharing confusingly similar names.
Just over a year ago Vista was launched and memory sticks got a new job as fast storage for temporary files. When it was launched I told you about a 2GB offering from SanDisk. There are of course others some others produced by different manufacturers some call their offerings ReadyBoost another calls it ReadyFlash. Either way they are still High Speed Flash Drives.
Verbatim USB Drive 4GB This looks like a conventional USB stick drive, just for a moment think that not long ago a 4GB hard disc would be large. It is quite able to do the job of speeding up Vista and indeed does carry the ReadyBoost name. However apart from part or all of the available space being allocated to Vista it comes with a £16.
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