No matter how much storage space you have available for your computer, an additional wedge, presented in a stylish box, will always be welcome.
Following the migration of the computer from the study or office into the living room, more emphasis has been placed on appearance without negating performance. Naturally designers/manufacturers of peripheral devices have followed suit. We are now seeing devices being marketed on looks along with the other areas of price and performance. Printers, scanners, desktop sets and external hard drives all fall into this category.
While some titles, passed their first flush of youth, tend to reappear on a budget label, others become part of a collection such as this offering.
First there was Hearts of Iron, a title that failed to register on my horizon. Later along came Hearts of Iron II and yet again it passed me by. A standalone expansion pack, entitled Doomsday, and the Armageddon booster pack joined this series of titles. Now Ascaron Entertainment has bundled the expansion pack and booster pack with Hearts of Iron II thus giving me the opportunity to see what I missed first time around as I review Hearts of Iron II Collection.
This seems to be a style that has been touched on by several manufacturers but that so far does not seem to be that popular. You have what looks like quite a thick TFT display and this hides the PC everything else is connected via USB.
The ASUS Eee Top 1602 measures 40x30x4cm and weights around 4.5kilos a good part of this weight is in the substantial carry handle and adjustable tilt balance that adds between 5-10cm to the 4cm depth. The screen is 35x19.5cm and gives a best resolution of 1366x768. This is Windows XP and another front ‘easy’ end for the real novice (very like the recent friendly Linux offerings) but it can be clicked away after booting. The biggest surprise is that it is also touch screen.
It was about 12 months ago that Logitech introduced the Pure-Fi Anywhere product to the UK. Now there is a new version of this portable compact speaker set for the iPod Pure-Fi Anywhere 2which is entitled, not surprisingly, Pure-Fi Anywhere 2.
Last August I requested to see this DSLR unit from Nikon and a series of miss communications means it finally arrived with me recently, was it worth the wait, it sure was! I always enjoy being stretched when I review a DSLR.
The Nikon D60 Digital SLR camera measures 12x9x7cm without a lens attached. Mine came with an 18-55mm unit and this increases the last figure by up to 10cm. It weights 820grams not heavy by some DSLR standards but enough for you to value the supplied neck strap. Unless you are a DSLR expect your first port of call should be the Quick Start Guide and this 60x42 double sided (four columns per side) sheet has more information than some cameras User Guide.
A stress ball shaped like a pear but is not new but having USB abilities is another clever item from Brando in Hong Kong. The second item is from Belkin a device that enables up to five people to fit their ear buds and listen to the same content.
The pear shaped ball (mine was red) is 10cm tall and 5cm across it is coated in rubber and it has three working actions. Before attaching the stress ball to the PC you need to install the software and on my XP system it took 2 minutes and 40MB of hard disc space. The instructions say XP SP3, Vista SP1 or Windows 2000 SP4. Connect the stress ball to a USB port it has a 1.2metre lead so it should have enough length to work from a rear port.
As well as the Eee family of netbooks and the like, Asus does have other irons in the fire. There is a video phone product, developed in conjunction with Skype, and the notebook that is the subject of this review to mention but two.
Generally when I receive a notebook for review, it has already served a similar purpose with others and arrives with the operating system up and running. However with the Asus N80V model I was granted the privilege (maybe task or something even stronger would be a better description) of working through the final stages of the installation of Vista and the accompanying software bundled by Asus.
If you use a notebook on the move and at a desk then the latter is often a ‘pain’ as you are almost certainly looking down at the screen. With the addition of a keyboard and a mouse this item can solve the neck pain.
While the idea of Nero playing the fiddle as Rome burned is a matter of conjecture; Nero, that is the company formerly known as Ahead, has certainly been busy working away at developing the latest version of its flagship product. This is Nero 9.
Starting primarily as a burning tool, Nero has gradually developed into a full-blown suite for the creation, burning and distribution of digital media. As a result of this multi-functionality, you should be prepared to allocate 1.5GB of hard disk space and be ready for a lengthy installation session as the various files are copied to your system. You will need to enter a 39-character serial number in order to start the installation.
It would be appropriate if I could begin this review by relating the dream I had last night. Unfortunately, try as I might, I have no recollection of the dream or even if I dreamt at all.
If a full DSLR unit is either out of your pocket or out of your skill set then the next best thing is something like this Power Shot SX10 is. It outwardly looks like a DSLR and has superb 20x zoom on it’s built in lens.
You would need a copious pocket as the SX10 measures 12x10x8cm, fully zoomed this adds 5.5cm to the middle figure the width and it weights 670grams. Having attached the neck strap, insert 4x‘AA’ batteries and an SD card you are ready to go. As with all cameras I find it best to take a few shots with the ‘Auto’ setting while you familiarise yourself with the location of the controls and how they function.
Sometime a degree of patience is required during the interval between seeing a new product and getting your hands on a review unit. With this next product that wait lasted six months before I was able to confirm or adjust my initial impressions.
Classified as an Internet Media Tablet, the Archos 7 is the latest addition to the company’s portfolio of PMP (Personal Media Player) type products. As its classification indicates, this product combines Internet access and media storage/playing facilities within a single device. The number “7” of the product’s title specifies the diagonal dimension of its high resolution (800 x 480 pixel) touch screen.
Backups are boring, backups are annoying, backups are a pain the *%$#. However once you have had a hard disc crash and spent ages reinstalling your applications only to realise that the most important thing – your data – is no more then you start to think backups are ESSENTIAL.
Most backup programs require the average user to know things and probably they do not, so guess what they do not do backups. In a business, backups are forced but normally a expert installs the software and in all probability the backup takes place when you are not there. Any Soho or home user has to be their own ‘expert’ so when a package comes along that claims to be ‘Clickfree’ then it needs checking out.
While I was listening to some music as I reading this book I realised that I had not told you about it so here I will tell you about Adobe Photoshop CS4 ‘After the Shoot’ ideal for anyone using Adobe Photoshop CS4.
The first thing you notice on opening this book is that each chapter has different blocks of colour on each chapter great when a reference work like this that needs constant revision for finding the part you require. The next is that the book is in two column format. The author Mark Fitzgerald comes from the USA and he is a certified Photoshop expert and instructor. This 370 page book has 14 chapters two Appendix a Glossary and an Index.
The Internet can be a vast treasure chest of information and resources but it also has the capability of being a mine field for the unwary. It is best to be well protected when on surfing sessions.
When thinking about the subject of security with regards to Internet activity, one of the first names that spring to mind is that of Norton. First as an independent utility company and later as part of the Symantec family, Norton has been a leading player in the field of computer maintenance and Internet security.
A rather nice sleek looking unit with no outwardly visible controls or entry/exit points. This unit does print rather nicely and it scans and copies well. The only problem I can possibly see for this unit are the ever vigilant lounge police.
The Canon Pixma MP620 measures 43x31x18cm when closed. Add another 6cm to the last figure the height when you open the flip up display that also hides the twelve buttons to control the unit. Add 11cm to the second figure the depth when the paper receiving tray opens at print time. Add 21cm to the last figure should you insert A4 photo paper in the back flip up tray. So in use for photo printing the footprint is 43x42x39cm.
Whether you are a fan of the iPod or MP3 style of mobile music player, you presumably purchased your chosen device as a personal player for you ears alone. However once the item has been purchased, there is no need for it to remain a personal device.
Mix fantasy, role-playing, turn-based strategy, warfare with the opportunity for marriage and divorce within a single game and the result is King’s Bounty: The Legend.
This uses the same processor as other Netbooks, it does have decent graphics a good sized hard disc and 2GB or RAM however I am not convinced that it has enough punch to run the memory hungry Vista especially with the Norton software supplied.
It is 27.5x21x3cm mainly black with the keyboard surround in grey and silver. It looks smart. Of course the original idea of a Netbook was to give basic email, web access and word processing ability at a cheap price. The right side has PC Express slot, Headphone and Microphone sockets, a USB port, VGA outlet, Ethernet port and A/C input point. The rear has nothing apart from the battery that protrudes around 1.5cm from it along the whole length apart from the last 3cm each end.
It was just over a year ago when I last took a look at Corel’s VideoStudio product. That was version 11 Plus which introduced a number of new features. Since then the product has been further enhanced.
The top-of-the-range edition is entitled VideoStudio Pro X2 Ultimate and comes bundled with WinDVD 9 Plus, DVD Copy 6 Plus and WaveLab LE 6 that adds playback, copy & convert plus audio mastering facilities to the main package. The VideoStudio installation procedure lets you cherry-pick from the various applications and drivers that include Windows Media Encoded 9, Flash Player 9 and Quick Time.