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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

 
While you can receive a personal and friendly service from some traditional book sellers, the same is not always true when purchasing books online. Perhaps a new website can change this public conception.
Recently I was involved in a three-way discussion as to whether traditional books or the electronic digital variety that could be viewed on various portable devices was the chosen reading method.  While one member of the group was a strong advocate of the digital format, the choice of the other two was for the more traditional format of paper books.  The impetus for this discussion was the imminent launch of a new approach to online book purchasing.
samsung i85 compact digital camer

Samsung Cameras i85

This is quite a heavy camera but it is also a lot more as it also is an MP3 player and capable of displaying videos, it can also be a guide book, so far it has refused to do the washing up.
As often the cameras I get to look at are not totally new and sometimes the previous reviewer has managed to do strange things, I remember one where the colour balance was terrible with whites looking almost yellow. This one had a problem that it would only write to an SD card where it had made the DCIM folder and then only provided no other sub folders were present.
mi vox ricky gervais audio boo

Mi-Vox audio-books

With the holiday season round the corner, Mi-Vox ihas launched the latest in audio-books - a must for the beach.
Mi-Vox from £9.99 to £24.99 www.mi-vox.com One of my favourite things to do in airports, once the bags are all checked in and you have made it through the long queue for security, is to browse in one of the book shops.  With the thought of 2 weeks away from work, I usually end up with at least 4 novels.  It's a real pleasure taking the time to decide on which book will keep me company on the beach while my family frolics in the sea.
Verbatim has added its own touch of colour to the LightScribe labelling technology.
Verbatim has been involved in the development of data storage technology for the best part of 40 years.  During this period Verbatim has been active in various areas such as floppy discs; Magneto Optical storage media; CD and DVD formats; plus High Definition media Blu-ray and HD DVD. To this impressive list, we can add portable USB devices; flash memory cards; external hard drives; and, more recently, computer mice.
As a fan of puzzle games I am always on the lookout for new titles such as this next offering from Urse Games.
Season Match is one of those rather annoying games that you settle down for a quick five minute session and the next time you look up a couple of hours have flown by without you realising it.  The rest of the day is then spent trying to catch up with other tasks.  Of course it does help if you a fan of the colour matching genre of which this game is a prime example.
This is a very good Internet radio that can work wired or wireless, stereo not mono as some are and the first plus is that it can also be used to play the content from your iPod. The second plus you will need to read on to find out about.
This WiFi Internet radio from Goodmans is 25x11x14cm and shiny black with a matt black front grill that has the 6x4cm four line LCD display sunk into it. The top has two rows of six push buttons with a large touch wheel at either end. All are clearly labelled and unless you are a total novice setting up will be simple. The other connections are on the back outputs for earbuds and a stereo along with the Ethernet input.
No matter how many USB ports you may have, there will probably be occasions when none are available to connect a new device.
On a recent surfing expedition, I was checking out Belkin's various products and noted that the company currently had 29 different USB hubs as part of its product portfolio.  Admittedly in some cases the only difference was the colour of the hub but there was certainly enough choice to satisfy the discerning user.  Among the newer models were a clip-on hub and a flex hub which are the subjects of this review.
sony walkman NWZ A829 media playe

Sony Walkman NWZ-A829

This is a music player and not as you might think a phone. In shape and size you could easily mistake it for a phone. To be precise it is a digital media player as it will play video as well as audio and of course it will display .jpg still images.
click to enlarge The new Sony Walkman NWZ-A829 is 9.5x5x1cm and weights around 80grams. It has a TFT screen of 5x3.8cm. It has two buttons below the TFT screen as well as the ubiquitous five position joystick arrangement between them. The base has input for earbuds and the proprietary USB lead. The left side, the top and the back are all clear apart from a small indentation in the rear for a stand (not provided in my sample).
Rechargeable batteries have huge advantages over their disposable counterparts, but you do need to be able to charge them!
Uniross are now a very well known brand both for NiMh batteries and for the chargers you need to keep them operating. The range of chargers available from Uniross itself can be fairly bewildering. In this review I'm looking at their latest fast charger. The charger is packaged with 4x2700mAh AA size batteries - the highest capacity we've seen available.
Two games from Drumond Park, the first Bubble Buster aimed at 4+ and the second Lyric aimed at teenagers and adults, so I suppose the latter should not be called a game!
Bubble Buster It is the old blow a bubble and try to burst it. The difference here is that the bubbles are blown by a machine and you have to burst them with a wand that has two rounded prongs on the end. It's not just shoving the wand at a bubble it's how you do it as you need to make the wand ping and it will only do so if you connect in the correct way. The object is to get 20 pings, each ping becomes slightly higher.
Nomophobia, the fear of having no mobile connectivity, is not a complaint that should affect those with the WP-SI device (hereafter referred to as the Skype phone) from 3.
This product brings together Skype capabilities with those of a 3G mobile phone in a single unit.  While the white and blue colour scheme adopted by this device might not be to everybody's taste, other aspects of this mobile phone are more appealing. Measuring 100 x 44 x 13.6mm and weighing 86g, this Skype phone is of the candy bar style.
ge e840s 8M pixel compact digital camer

GE 8MP Digital Camera E840s

This is the first of the cameras from the GE camera launch in January. A new name in cameras so how will the units work out in practice, especially as they are the only manufacturer to promise one manual for all the models.
click to enlarge The General Electric E840s digital camera is 10.5x5.5x2cm the width the last figure can increase by another 2.5cm when it is fully zoomed. It weights 130grams. My unit was black and silver. This is described as an 8megapixel unit and it 4x optical zoom. In macro mode you can focus as close as 6cm and in normal (wide angle) 60cm and with telephoto 80cm. Going round the controls the from has the lens 6.05-24.
sonos digital music syste

Wireless music with Sonos

A look at a complete wireless system from Sonos for wirelessly piping music digital audio anywhere and everywhere in your home - including several places at the same time.
click to enlarge If like me you've taken the trouble over the years to rip the bulk of your CD collection onto your PC you can be left with wondering how to then play that music.
No matter how careful you are, your computer could benefit from an encounter with software designed to provide spring cleaning facilities.
Now up to version 8, System Suite Professional brings together a collection of utilities developed to maintain, protect and enhance your computer's performance.  Following the entry of a 29-character serial number, the product's installation process gives you a range of choices as you decide whether to include the Firewall and antivirus/spyware options or not.
hardtobegod video gam

A God Vacancy : Hard to be God

If you thought life was hard then maybe you should consider the role of a character from a Russian science-fiction novel.
click to enlarge Hard to Be a God is not another take on the God genre made popular by such titles as Civilisation.  Instead this game is a mixture of Hack & Slash with RPG overtones that aims to please followers of both types of game play.  The storyline of the game is claimed to be based on a 1964 sci-fi book by the Russian Strugatsky brothers.
A 15x10cm photo printer with a tiny footprint. It does not use conventional printer ink so the output is always dry when it emerges, it also prints onto postcards – remember them – so ideal to send from your holidays.
It is 19x13x8cm when closed up. There is a 5x3.5cm TFT on top of the unit and this can be at any angle from horizontal (when it takes no space sitting on top of the unit) to vertical.
With the familiar orange “W” logo, there is no mistaking the W910i handset as being anything but another member of the Sony Ericsson family of Walkman phones.
Tastefully decked out in Noble Black or Heart Red (who thinks up these colours), the W910i is a slider-type phone.  It has a display that certainly grabbed your attention.  Taking over most of the front area, this 2.4 inch TFT screen is capable of showing 262K colours in 240 x 320 resolution presenting a clear and sharp display. Located just below the screen are a series of control and navigation options.
Kensington have added to their range of audio accessories with this set of travel speakers, suitable for any media player with a standard jack socket but very obviously aimed at the iPod market.
The Kensington FX500 "speaker to go" is a slightly bigger than an A5 sheet of paper at around 150x200mm, around 35mm thick and weighing 400g. The unit has a soft finish that should be fairly robust and is reminiscent of a small zip-up folio case. From the front the product has a central clear window through which you'll be able to access front-mounted controls on your favourite MP3 player. A power switch is situated to the lower right.
cannon hg10 high definition hard disk camcorde

Canon HG10 HDD Camcorder

This camcorder is one of the latest versions that record to an internal hard drive, thus increasing the capacity vastly over other storage methods. It can of course also record still images onto an SD card.
The total weight of the Canon HG10 is 570grams. The dimensions are 12.5x7.5x7cm. The middle figure the width can increase by another 8.5cm should you choose to use the TFT screen while capturing images and have it at 90degrees to the unit.
spycatcher walkie talkie watche

Spy Gadgets Walkie Talkie Watches

As with a lot of these gadgets they (or something like them) were first shown in films like various inventions developed by ‘Q’ in the James Bond films. However I doubt at that time they ever actually worked.
The box contains a pair of Freetalkie XFD-008 wrist watches. They are chunky and you need to wear one for awhile before you get used to it. Yes it does tell the time but the main point is that the watch is a walkie talkie. After a couple of days of wear you get to the bulk. The weight of each unit is 80grams so it's not that heavy just bulky. The stated range is 'about 1.
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