GadgetSpeak Articles

GadgetSpeak has close to 5,000 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

You've painstakingly loaded all your music onto your iPod and you want to enjoy it wherever you are. Headphones are not always the answer - but do you go for high-quality 'fixed' speakers for home and and to be limited to when out, or do you sacrifice sound quality indoors in exchange for portability?
Well - now the answer is neither. Gear4 have produced the 'Duo' - the idea is that this one product provides you with rich sound when home and still have light-weight slim portable unit for when you're our and about. The solution is a little Russian doll like - heres how it works! In it's home configuration you have a largish unit measuring around 14 x 23 x 15cm (HxWxD) weighing a little under 2Kg. The bulk of this size is a 20W sub-woofer.
Anyone needing to print a little, scan a little and copy a little then this small light All In One unit from Lexmark may be the answer you are looking for and with its predominately white colour it may just sneak past the lounge police.
The Lexmark X2650 is 42x30x15cm, add paper into the tray at the rear and that adds 20cm to the last figure the height. Should you also extend the output tray this adds another 13cm to the second figure the depth. Both the extended paper trays are a mid grey colour and there is a matching band in that colour that forms the left and right sides of the unit.
549904 cenomax F7012A digital picture frame 7 inc

cenOmax 7inch Photo Frame

This is a 7inch offering from the people who I recently told you about a 3.5inch photo frame (21-09-08) this is a unit that offers the ability to play MP3 files while viewing images and even possible to view movies.
While this looks like a fairly conventional photo frame with a cream inner border and a clear Perspex outer one it is also supplied with a couple of sleeves black and orange, these clip over the clear Perspex to give a total of three totally different looks. It is 24x17.5x3.5cm the inner display screen is 15.5x8.5cm giving the notional 7inch diagonal screen measurement. This is actually a wide screen display but of course most people's photos are not.
Having recently joined the Acer family, Packard Bell took the opportunity of Acer’s Global Press Conference 2008 to demonstrate its new product line up. These products included a netbook plus various notebooks and desktop systems with a selection of LCD monitors and storage devices.
Whereas Acer has named its netbook the Aspire One, Packard Bell has opted for the “dot” designation.  Based on the Intel Atom processor with 1GB of RAM, the “dot” has an 8.9-inch display with a resolution of 1024 x 600; 5-in-1 card reader; three USB ports; built-in Wi-Fi (b/g); and a 160GB hard drive.  This netbook comes with Windows XP operating system and has a 6-cell battery as standard.
Love your media player but annoyed about the piece of wire that is forever getting tangled, pulled from it's socket or just isn't long enough to reach the appropriate pocket? You need Bluetooth.
Motorola have joined the small but growing band of manufacturers providing Bluetooth stereo headsets with their Motorokr S9. As well as being a wireless way of listenning to stereo on your favourite Bluetooth enabled media player, it also includes a microphone so should you be using a phone it'll allow you to make calls.
549902 disgo video plu

Disgo Video Plus

For those that remember my review of the ‘Flip Video Ultra’ in June this is a very similar product. However there are ‘swings and roundabouts’ so read on to find out what’s better and what is not.
I would suggest anyone also reads my review of the Flip Video Ultra 30-6-08 as then you will be better able to judge which might suit you best. This is 11x6.5x2cm and weights 150grams; mine was predominately white with a grey rubber material below the small TFT on the back. Let's start with the base, this has a screw for any tripod you might care to use. The right side (from the back) has an A/V socket and a slider high quality to long play that can give twice the length of recording.
Well that's what my 13 year old called it. Perhaps a small exageration, but this is a games console designed to get 8 - 12 year olds moving to it's beat.
Here we have a standalone games console which operates on its own batteries and with no need for a television or hand held controllers. The Swinxs is modelled around good old fashioned party games such as Hide and Seek and Tag. Swinxs has a central console and comes with four wristbands which are worn by the players. The wristbands are individually recognised, so Swinxs knows who is winning at any point in time. Swinxs comes preloaded with seven games.
Having built up a collection of digital images, why not put them to productive use and create eye-catching slideshows.
Xtreme PhotoStory on CD&DVD Deluxe 7 is the rather long title of Magix's latest software for burning photos to optical media so that they can be viewed on a television.  Various options are available from PhotoStory's installation routine.  These options include either accepting or changing the three different default locations used to store the program; templates and files; plus user files.
There are digital picture frames that will enhance your enjoyment of your digital images and then there are other digital picture frames that do little in this respect.
While some digital frame modules have taken the basic premise and enhanced the performance with increased functionality; some other products, fortunately in the minority, offer little in the way of innovation and just deliver an extremely basic performance.  The NuVue 710 digital picture frame from Digital Spectrum definitely falls into the later category as became immediately obvious on unpacking the product.
549900 sonim jcb mobile phon

Tough Mobile Phone : Sonim XP1

Never before have I been presented with a working mobile phone and been invited to throw it against a wall and then drop it on a concrete floor. It was still working afterwards; this is a ruggedised mobile phone.
It is 11x5x2cm and weights only 125grams. It is matt black and as you might expect well padded. While you can store pictures etc it is only really a phone as a camera is always one of the most fragile parts it does not have one.
It is your data and your responsibility to keep it safe by making use of any tools that are available.
When keeping your data safe, especially the sensitive kind that is so attractive to certain individuals, what could be a more appropriate method than to use a safe.  However, rather than the physical metal box used for personal valuables, your data could be placed in the software equivalent of a virtual hidden container on your computer.  This is the rationale behind the Steganos Safe title which is now in its 2008 version and is available from Phoenix Software.
roberts solar dab radi

Roberts solarDAB

Roberts have announced a number of energy efficient radios in the past. The 'solarDAB' combines energy efficient design with an integral solar panel to augment traditional mains power.
The solarDAB is distinctive in a number of ways. Firstly it has a somewhat unusual design, partly due to the need to incorporate the solar panel in the top of the device. Aesthetics are always somewhat subjective, although I did find the design grew on me over a couple of weeks. The second somewhat unusual aspect is the lack of an FM or analogue tuner - this is a DAB only radio. This is in many ways a vote of confidence in the DAB system after some poor press earlier in the year.
canon EOS 1000D Digital SL

Canon EOS 1000D

Having just reviewed the excellent EOS 450D (29-08-08) I was more than chuffed to be offered the very new EOS 1000D. At this time of year everyone wants to tell you about what they have to offer for Christmas are you listening Santa?
It is 12x8x9.5cm, add the 18-55mm lens and this adds up to another 7cm to the second figure the width. The main difference between reviewing a digital camera and a DSLR for me is that the manual is essential reading. With a multi language digital you might get a dozen pages in English and what they have to say you probably knew anyway. Here it is 196 and all in English and unless you are a professional photographer I doubt that you could claim I knew that most of the time.
These are a very unusual set of speakers from Harman Kardon a name that often comes up with speakers in notebook computers. However I doubt any other company has ever produced anything like these before.
What you get are a pair of sound sticks each with four speakers and a sub woofer. The first difference is that both the sound sticks and the sub woofer are see through. They look like glass but are plastic. Each sound stick is 25cm tall around 5cm across and at points 5cm deep. The sub woofer has the advantage that it is not as heavy as it looks and can be placed on the floor out of the way but of course being unusual you will want it on display. It is 20cm round and 25cm tall.
Michael Fereday joined up with Acer in Budapest to bring us this report on the company’s latest batch of desktop and notebook models.
Never the one to sit back and contemplate past achievements, Acer took the opportunity, offered by its Global Press Conference, to announce several new products to help consolidate its position as third in the total PC market and second with regards to worldwide notebook sales.
If you or your kids love marble runs, this magnetic construction kit will take you to the next level of marble play.
You can tell it's the run up to Christmas when more toys start arriving at Gadgetspeak. We were pleased this week to try out the new Magnext iCoaster. If you have kids that enjoyed marble runs when they were younger, this could be the next step up - a roller-coaster marble run with magnetic technology. There are 17 pieces of track and 10 towers of 3 different heights which can be configured in at least 10 different ways to make an exciting ride for the marbles.
sony BDP S300 blu ray dvd playe

Sony Blu-ray Player BDP-S300

I have used this for several weeks, however only around ten days ago did the HDMI cable arrive. Do not try using a Blu Ray player without the HDMI cable as you will hear music, sound effects but no speech when using Composite cables supplied.
A couple of recent reports say that within three years we will all be using Blu-ray, well if the quality of sound and video I achieved using this unit and the Sony TV (reviewed four days ago) are anything to go by I say yes please. Once you have connected the Blu-ray player to your TV and tuned it to whatever setting you are connected by (anything but HDMI will be inferior) it should when switched on go to easy setup if not follow the instructions in the 64 page instruction manual.
While ensuring that your computer is protected from outside nefarious influences is a recommended approach, sometimes you do need to take further precautions regarding the use and security of the data residing on your system.
Offering to provide various forms of protection is Steganos Privacy Suite 2008 which brings together nine tools covering different aspects of privacy.  Once installed, and you do have the choice of which tools are included, Steganos Privacy Suite 2008 will need to be activated via an Internet link and the entry of a 39-character product serial number.
Boiling a cup of water is quicker than boiling a full kettle so saving on time and energy consumption. That's the idea behind the Tefal Quick Cup.
Saving energy is important for both conservation issues and, especially with the ever-increasing spiral of rising costs, financial concerns.  Arriving with accreditation from the Energy Saving Trust, the Tefal Quick Cup product offers to help by delivering a significant reduction in energy consumption when compared against that of the average kettle.
adobe photoshop cs4 extende

Adobe Photoshop CS4 Coming Soon

I first saw a very early build of the new version of CS4 at the start of August but I was prevented from telling about it till now. There are of course lots of new goodies large and small and when I finally get a copy I will tell you in detail about some of them.
As always there are a series of different products (six I understand) but here let's concentrate first on Photoshop CS4. Content Aware is an amazing feature - if it works as shown - in the one slide I have seen, the scenario four people running along a beach spaced out in the original, this is then altered to fit a column and although the image has a lot less width and more height all are still shown more or less in situ.
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