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

Technology is becoming increasingly involved in the health and condition of your teeth. A recent example is the new Philips Sonicare Flexcare.
While Philips "Sense & Simplicity" event held towards the end of last year was more concerned with technology aimed at the future, there was a sprinkling of current products on show.  One of them was the latest in Philips range of Sonicare rechargeable toothbrushes.  This was the Sonicare FlexCare, the third Sonicare generation toothbrush, which combines teeth and brush head cleaning features.
The first is a lightweight shoulder bag that has lots of pockets, ideal for losing things in. The second is a rotating USB hub called a Flex Hub enabling you to place a hub where a hub would not normally fit.
Belkin Sling Bag Not being up in the latest wording I would call this a backpack or a rucksack but it only has a single strap and sits on your left shoulder. The wording on the bags label says 'slim and lightweight carry your laptop and gear in comfort'. Well it seems quite light - when empty - and it is stated to accept a 15.4inch notebook - it does - and it has a range of other pockets to accommodate all those extras.
As vinyl and tape recordings fade into obscuring, I decided to look for a method of safeguarding my out-dated music collection using modern technology.
My music collection spreads over vinyl, tapes, compact disks and MP3 tracks with the latter consisting of duplicates from the compact disks.  Recently I have been looking at a way of converting the first two categories into MP3 tracks that can then be burned on to optical media.  The product under test is SnapMusic Studio 715 from KWORLD.
In the past extending your computers storage meant choosing internal disks and getting performance, or external and getting ease of use and flexibility.
This is the first chance I've had to take a look at a new external hard disk sporting the high performance 'eSATA' - or 'external SATA' interface as an alternative to the otherwise ubiquitous USB connection. This drive is from the Hypertec FireStorm range and comes with capacities from 80G byte to 1T byte. Here I'm reviewing the 80G byte model.
This is purely a photo printer and one that’s maximum paper size is 15x10cm. However it is extremely easy to use it does one job, it does it well and it does it quickly.
While this can of course be connected to a PC it is not essential. It can just work anywhere there is a 13amp power plug. It is 21x16x14cm when closed. In use the first figure the width does not change. The last figure the height increases by 13cm when the lid is opened to form a backplane for the stored paper waiting to be printed, and this together with the front dropping down to reveal the card slots and tray for the images adds 11+12cm.
Here I am looking at four rather unusual accessories, the first called a BoomBox Bag and the others a range of USB flash drives with unusual designs, same use they just look more interesting.
Not a BoomBox but a BoomBag A simple device that is not that expensive. Simply connect your iPod or MP3 player to the 3.5mm plug inside the bag and hey presto the sound issues from the speakers. It is a fabric bag looking rather like a sponge bag with handles. The inside is plastic lined. It is 32x10x15cm, the pair of fabric handles add 20cm to the last figure the height.
OmniPage is not the only OCR package available. ABBYY has its own product ready to challenge for the role of optical character recognition solution.
When taking delivery of a new scanner or multi-function device you will often find that some bonus software will be provided and this will include OCR (Optical Character Recognition) functionality.  In many cases the OCR capability will be provided by a copy of FineReader Sprint.  This is a basic edition of ABBYY's flagship FineReader product which currently stands at version 9 in its Professional guise.
If you add Podcasts and FM radio then the title above just about covers the abilities of this, the first of – that I know – a new breed of dual radio that can cover such a wide band of features, this is the Revo Blik.
It is a maximum of 25x12x6cm, mine was white, but they also do black. The rear has a six section 55cm rod aerial, jack sockets for output to stereo speakers. A 3.5mm earbud socket and input for the power socket, the only other socket is on the right side 'Mport' that allows inputs from other sources such as an MP3 player. The centre of the front has a 6.5x2cm three line display, white on black. When in standby this will show time and date.
Catpod is a outdoor cat shelter made from a Contico Monster Fun Storage Trunk and a Ferplast Swing 1 cat flap.
Catpod is a simple product idea I came up with to provide shelter for our cats. It's basically a 189 litre Contico Monster Fun Storage Trunk with a Ferplast Swing 1 lockable cat flap at one end. Dimensions: External: L 1100 x W 510 x H 480mm Internal: L 910 x W 360 x H 420mm Capacity: 189 Litre Weight: approx. 5 kg Benefits: Easy to make. Total construction time was about 25 minutes.
When an old friend is also a utility that you find extremely useful to help the smooth running of your computer, you tend to look forward to the arrival of the latest version.
In this case the old friend is a software package entitled Diskeeper.  I have been using this software product over a number of years to ensure that the files on my hard disk are stored contiguously rather than being scattered in bits and pieces in the various locations that were available during the initial writing of the data.
Happy with your local environment? Maybe you could try out some improvements by designing and managing your own virtual community.
Let me take you back nearly 20 years.  It was in 1989 that Will Wright developed a title that helped introduce Maxis to the computer gaming community.  This title was , the forerunner of numerous other Sim offerings that took over numerous hours of game playing sessions for many.  Following in the footsteps of this seminal game is City Life with the latest version being the 2008 edition.
samsung q1 ultra mobile compute

Samsung Q1 Ultra

A tablet PC that weights 800grams and has a true 8 hours of battery life, it has a keyboard – of sorts – as well as the touchscreen one. Anyone who needs a lightweight PC it’s here.
click to enlarge First the all important dimensions it is 22.5x12x3cm. The screen is 15.5x9cm and this displays at 1024x600 and should you not be a fan of the stylus then there are mouse controls either side of the screen. It has a full copy of Windows XP (Tablet PC Edition) service pack 2 installed. I found around 30cm away was the ideal viewing distance away. It works just as well with a finger as the stylus.
While MP3 players are meant to be portable, they often arrive without the means to carry them unless you put them in a pocket or bag.
Having spent a large wedge of your disposal cash (perhaps in the region of £80 or even more) on your Creative ZEN V mobile music player ( ), you could be forgiven for feeling rather peeved that your new purchase does not include a carry case for your new device.
brennan jb7 media jukebo

Brennan JB7 Digital Jukebox

A refreshingly straightforward product that does not try to be all things to all people. Instead it tackles one thing and does it rather well!
The JB7 from Brennan aims to make music simple - the way it always used to be before the advent of MP3 players, phones that do everything, downloadable music and the proliferation of media formats. While tackling this noble aim it doesn't aim to drop you back into the dark ages - instead it encompasses all that's best in the latest technology, but only so much as is necessary to meet it's core function.
pure highway in car dab radi

Pure Highway

Using Pure Highway turns your car stereo into a DAB radio, until now there have been very few DAB car radios and this unit from Pure makes it available without spending a fortune.
In the box is a lead to go to your cigar lighter to provide the power. A rather flimsy aerial to attach to the inside of the windscreen, a bracket (much like those for Sat Nav systems) to fit the unit into, an optional line out lead and of course the DAB radio module. It is 12x7x2.5cm. When you first apply power it tunes so you need to have connected the aerial first.
Here I am looking at two rather different offerings. The first from Jabra to give you stereo from your phone. The second from Mobile Fun with a rather novel way of working.
Jabra BT3030 As the box states 'Music and Talk meets the streets'. This is far more than a basic answer/call unit it can of course do that but it also allows you to increase/decrease volume, move back/forward tracks as well as star and stop. Of course there is also a phone button. The whole thing is a 5.5x3.5x1cm 'dog tag' style unit that comes on a chain to fit round your neck.
Desktop sets continue to evolve with addition functions and design features to aid the user at both work and play.
There has been a great deal written about RSI (Repetitive Stress Injury) and the effect it can have on those tied to a computer for most of their working life.  Even the average computer user is estimated to type more than two million keystrokes in a year.
parrot boombox hifi speaker

Parrot Boombox

If you wish to amplify the sound coming from your iPod or MP3 player then this could be for you. However it is also Bluetooth so you can do the same from your mobile phone or PDA.
This unit is neither small or light. It is matt black and the sound that comes from it is great. When this unit arrived I plugged the 3.5mm jack into my stereo and the stereo plugs into the back of the unit. The setting was that I normally use to my pair of rather good speakers. I switched on the Parrot Boombox and then started a CD, immediately I went to turn the volume down as it was far higher that I found comfortable.
As we move from an analogue to digital environment. You may wish to take your home movie videos with you as you adjust.
Adding to its range of video capture and archiving devices, Pinnacle has released the Dazzle DVD Recorder (DVC100).  This product acts as a conduit between a video source and whatever is your designated DVD destination.  Adopting the same tear shape used by the other Dazzle products, the DVC100 is easily identified by its bright red colour.
Recently it could be said that I have been pampering my face as it has been introduced to a shaver more suited to the A-list clientele.
I can remember my paternal grandfather shaving with a cut-throat razor. This was not a task that I ever contemplated undertaking myself. That is using a cut-throat razor and not the actual shaving part which occurred naturally with the passing of time. Starting with a safety razor (sometimes referred to as a "wet shave"), I have progressed through several electric shavers from various manufacturers.
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