A rainy day in South London was brightened by news of several new products from Canon, a company celebrating a double anniversary.
Perhaps we could all join together and sing a chorus of Happy Birthday to Canon. This would be to celebrate Canon's 50 years of existence in Europe and the current 20 years of sales built up by the EOS system at the heart of Canon's range of camera products.
This upright unit plays CD’s and has an FM radio it also has a clock, alarm clock and sleep timer. It can also be mounted on a wall, all it’s speakers are built in. All in All it look rather stylish.
It is 30x15x28cm and the top half of the face has a rather nice mirror finish. There are basic controls on the sides. However the real surprise is the circular remote control that looks rather like a kitchen timer. My first surprise was the manual that came in six languages - none of them English - so I was left literally having to fathom it out without any help as currently the ability to download a copy from the website is greyed out.
Fitting somewhere between a mobile phone and a landline, a new DECT phone is put to the test.
Why should mobile phones have sole access to all the tasty features that are currently available within the telephony sphere? Landlines have been around for far longer and, even now, hold the dominant position within the home - so maybe it is time for some of these usability features to make the transition from mobile to landline.
Do you fancy your own robot wars? The new N.S.E.C.T Swarm radio controlled creature could be just what you are looking for. A great toy for kids in the 7-11 bracket.
Do you fancy your own little robot wars creature? Mattel have brought out this radio controllled 'insect' which looks a lot like something you might see on Doctor Who but quite a tad smaller. The N.S.E.C.T Swarm Nano Shocker is a creature about 6 inches across in 'protected' mode and 10inches in attack mode. It has a whip of a tail which goes around its middle. Now being an adult I don't always get the play value of these things.
This 15x10cm printer can also be used to charge your camera and to transfer images to the PC. However with the optional battery it can print when away from mains power.
Unlike the other recent mini printers that I have reviewed from Canon, Epson and HP this can only print direct from the camera, the PC or via Pict Bridge, so no card slots. It is 20x18x10cm without the paper tray inserted this adds another 15cm to the 18cm depth. You will also need around 12cm clear at the rear when printing as the 15x10cm sheets are pulled from the tray and then out of the rear to prepare for the four pass Dye Sub printing.
Adding a new design concept to a travel mouse results in a device that looses its hump and is flat.
I doubt whether any research has been conducted on the subject but, from my personal observations, it does appear that many laptop users seem to prefer a mouse to the touchpad that forms an integral part of the portable computer. Where ever I go, even locations such as exhibitions where space is at a premium, laptops that are demonstrating the various software offerings and services, generally have a mouse attached.
This is a KVM switch and in this case not only links two computers together using only one keyboard, monitor/panel, mouse but also a single set of speakers.
A KVM switch has long linked my two computers that sit either end of my desk, now I can dispense with speakers as well. The long term test Acer panel has excellent speakers built in and now the set of speakers that were used for the other PC are redundant so the office now has that little bit more space and the eight gang surge strip even has a spare plug.
I have used Paint Shop Pro since it’s very early days of being a shareware product. It has come a long way since then, it is now owned by Corel and also has a slight name change.
Of course being Corel they have to 'add value' and they have done so here by including a 'light' copy of Snapfire Plus called 'SE' and two hours worth of training videos from a company called Lynda.com, in case you are worried they might not be suitable for the children they cover people using . As for Snapfire it is possible to download a copy of Snapfire for free.
Always on the look-out for more storage space, Michael Fereday discovers a new Seagate initiative.
Following its take-over of Maxtor, Seagate has not been sitting back admiring its new acquisition nor has it been contemplating a cull of its enlarged product portfolio. That is not to say there won't be any casualties but, for the record, Seagate will be continuing with the Maxtor brand.
This is a 15x10cm photo printer, however it is very unlikely to be confused with any other manufacturers product on looks as it is certainly very distinctive in appearance.
Perhaps if I called the ruggedised that would best describe the look, it is gun metal grey and looks exactly like a solid metal box and because of this it weights around 2.6kilos. This would increase if you had the optional battery pack to allow you to print images away from mains electricity.
It is time for some play as we take a look at a new entry in the Breakout/Arkanoid genre.
This is small and can be used as a standard PC or with the supplied remote control as a Media Centre PC. If space is at a premium then this offering from Evesham could be the answer.
It is 16x16x5cm but once normal leads such as for a monitor and USB are added the depth increases by around another 5cm. It can be used in Media Centre mode but then I found that the back of the unit needs to face you as the remote control sensor is on the rear of the unit. If used in PC mode moving the mouse brings up the ability to get to the standard XP desktop.
As a prime target for break-in merchants, it does help if your Sat Nav device can be placed in your pocket when away from the car. The Mio P350 certainly qualifies.
Sat Nav products tend to fall into one of two main categories. There are devices that have been purposely built to provide just the functionality of satellite navigation whether based in a car or used in pedestrian mode. While a second approach, used by certain companies, involves adding satellite navigation capabilities to a third-party device.
This looks rather like a 35mm offering and it has functionality. It is very useable as a basic digital camera coming with internal memory but it can support an SD card.
It is 8x9x7.5cm when closed and weights just over 300grams. It has 10x optical zoom and while this is becoming more normal now not long ago this would have been a very high specification as around '3x' would have been the norm. Like a lot of other reasonable digital cameras it has 'modes' if fact 14 different modes for capturing the shot to the best of the cameras ability.
Every so often I tell you about my passion – not ‘X’ certificate – it’s jazz. One of the best double bass players around is Charlie Haden, and, here are two CD’s of his.
Another year brings another batch of mobile phones from that hot bed of design and technological development we know as Sony Ericsson.
Sony Ericcson J110i
The early months of the year were once again Sony Ericsson's chosen time period to
call together members of the UK press to hear about the latest developments regarding
the company's new phone models that will be demanding market share. As is its
normal practice, Sony Ericsson has several new product announcements due to make an
appearance over the coming months.
The worst weather – snow wise – for some time in the London area marked the launch of fourteen new cameras from Samsung, some so new they did not even make the press pack as authority to mention them only came overnight.
Samsung S630 I have spoken with a number of well informed people who did not even know Samsung made cameras! Indeed in 2004 they only had 2% of the market. Last year it was 12% and the aim by 2009 is to have 20%. In fact in the compact digital market they were - in one table - number one in 2006 and their NV 10 was named product of the year. Face recognition is a feature creeping in and some of the offerings shown support this.
My trusty laptop has recently been wearing a new suit of clothes as I check out a new carry case.
Although marketed as a portable piece of kit, your average laptop or notebook rarely comes with the appropriate means to make transporting it easy. While you could tuck it under your arm as you move from location to location, it is hardly a practical solution to the problem.
A small 15x10cm photo printer with a limited range of features, however should you just want to print images direct from a camera card it gives acceptable results.
It is 22x12x12cm when closed, when in use the front opens down to provide a tray for printed images and the top of the back opens at an angle to allow a few sheets of 15x10cm photo paper to be inserted ready to print. For a single cartridge - three ink - printer the produced images are good. However I note the claimed print speed of 1 minute for a 15x10cm image.
While route planning software is ideal for vehicles, walkers and ramblers require a different category of software.
How well do you know your local area? Probably well enough to get around as long as you do not venture too far a field in an attempt to explore the history and natural delights of this country. One way to expand your geographical knowledge could be to make use of a mapping product such as Anquet Maps.