With the MFU (multi function unit) or AIO (all in one) taking up little more space than a scanner and providing the functionality of three or four products then the scanner needs to do extra things to consider a stand alone product. There are units that read vast numbers of textual pages at 16 or 20 PPM. Here it can read slides and transparencies.
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First the all important dimensions it is 44cm long, 26cm wide and 9cm tall. It is a very dark grey in colour and has the power input and USB close together on the back and the on/off switch on the right side. There are four buttons on the front edge but everything can be managed from within Windows.
While a multifunction device can cover a range of eventualities, sometimes you just need the scanner element.
The popularity of multi-function, or all-in-one, devices has resulted in a drop in the number of standalone scanners available in the market. Rarely does a standalone scanner cross my desk but this is one of those occasions with the arrival of the Fujistu ScanSnap S300 product. However this is not a flatbed model but a page or document scanner.
Role playing takes centre stage as you enter a star system with three worlds and an invading alien force.
Developed by Sonic Team, Phantasy Star Universe is set in the Gurhal Star System that originally formed the game playing arena for Phantasy Star Online. Bringing together the ability to choose between single player game and online network action, Phantasy Star Universe belongs to the Japanese RPG genre. Now available on the White label, Phantasy Star Universe has been rated at 12+ and forms part of the Avanquest Software Publishing product portfolio.
With camera phone resolution improving it will soon be a phone camera. This unit has a three mega pixel offering and a good quality image would just about be printable at A4 without pixelization.
This phone is small enough to sit in the palm of an adult, in it's closed state it is 10x5x1.5cm push the screen upwards and reveal another 4cm that hides the keypad. It is matt black (it also comes in a rather smart black box) with a silver/grey stripe round the edge and the only immediately obvious control is a silvered wheel on the back left edge. Look closely in good light and several other buttons become visible on the edges. The top has entry point for a micro SD card.
Some mobile phones cry out to be picked up and used. While the Nokia N82 does not fall into this category, it is not too unpleasant on the eye.
click to enlarge Adopting a chunky candy-bar style, this Nokia N82 3G Smartphone dimensions are 112 x 502 x 17.3mm. It has a silver fascia with a large screen that gives a 38 x 50mm viewing area. The screen can display 16.7 million colours producing a clear display in various lighting conditions and had the capabiloity to smoothly change between portrait and landscape mode depending upon which way round you hold the handset.
With summer holidays just around the corner what will you do with all the digital snaps you take? This digital frame is perfect to keep the memories of sun and sand alive.
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The Falcon Fridge Magnet 'Digiframe' £29.99 from
I Want One of Those I was sorting out some boxes recently and came across a collection of
old photos. I managed to waste a delicious hour or two being transported back
to lovely holidays and numerous Birthday parties. Since I started to use a
digital camera I just don't look at the photos much.
The title says dual radio in this case itís FM and Internet but it is also an MP3 player a Media Server and an Alarm Clock. The Internet part can be either Ethernet or Wireless connectivity.
All the time the Sagem MyDual Radio700 is powered up even without a station selected the front screen will display a small top line of year, date and day with a large (four time the size) bottom line showing the time in 24 hour format. It is 20x10x14cm maximum, the right side is the larger being circular and the single speaker with a fine silver/grey mesh the rest of the unit is grey. The display is 7.3x3.
After looking at Sat Navís that have all the bells and whistles itís quite refreshing to review a unit that has one aim to get you from A to B. Some extras are missing but some things you might think of as extras are included at a reasonable price.
Intended for use in the car (the only charger provided is the one for a cigar lighter) a standard mini USB to USB will charge it in less than four hours. I always test it on trains and or buses as well as in a car. Unless you are a passenger you cannot really look at the screen of the unit and while travelling in a bus or train gives you that opportunity.
From the lofty heights of Londonís Millbank Tower, Toshiba revealed a new processor and some notebook models.
When one door closes, another opens or perhaps not keeping all your eggs in one basket might be a more appropriate slant on circumstances. Whichever view you opt for, the result is probably the same. With the death knell of HD DVD still echoing through the retail and consumer areas, Toshiba has announced the Toshiba Quad Core HD processor.
This is the second camera I have seen from the launch earlier this year (see article on 23-01-08). This on is from the ĎGí range and is an 8MP offering with 4x zoom face detection, image stabilization and in camera red eye removal and panoramic stitching.
click to enlarge The G2 from General Electric (GE) is available in silver, black and red measuring 10.5x6x2cm, these are both minimum and maximum dimensions as the Aspheric glass lens uses a periscope type zoom where the zooming all takes place inside the unit. The lens and flash are level with each other and in my tests this produced less than brilliant flash results when images taken were a little further away.
Let your computer take the strain as it monitors Internet radio stations for your favourite music tracks.
Many more years ago than I care to admit, I would often record music direct from a radio using a reel-to-reel tape recorder for my own listening pleasure. Today you can be more selective as you automate the process using software and your hard disk storage capacity. Up until very recently I thought that a 43-character serial number was one of the longest I had encountered and rather excessive.
Mix together a combination of canvas, sawdust, clowns and speciality acts under the control of a ringmaster means the subject must be a circus.
The concept of a circus has changed radically since my early youth. Animal acts are considered both inappropriate and cruel while other forms of entertainment have proved more irresistible by modern day audiences. If it is not digital or personal then you start off with a disadvantage especially when the viewing environment lacks the desired level of comfort demanded by today's paying customers.
Another pair of items that have been used together with the Space Station and USB light reviewed a few days ago. First the Microsoft Wireless Notebook Laser Mouse and second a very neat and compact DVD-RW USB2 drive that will work with any PC or notebook.
Microsoft Wireless Notebook Laser Mouse 7000 For anyone who dislikes trackpads then an external mouse with a notebook is the answer. Having a wireless mouse means that the limited space often associated with notebooks can be utilised better if the mouse does not have to operate in a specific place and not having a certain length of cable helps. This offering has a USB receiver that looks almost identical to a USB pen/stick drive.
Adding to the range of iPod accessories, not developed by Apple, is a new speaker and recharging unit from Logitech.
click to enlarge The influence of the iPod phenomena continues to spread. The latest example of this trend to come my way is the Pure-Fi Anywhere product. Developed by Logitech, this product is a one-piece, portable speaker set with a centrally positioned docking station for the ubiquitous iPod.
This is a multi function unit (as it has fax) but for me anyway the major selling point is itís ability to print A4 photo quality borderless images in 68seconds, yes I do mean one minute and eight seconds.
click to enlarge Speed of photo printing has never been that important to me only quality, but when a MFU can print lovely images with great sharpness and depth in this time I wonder why some other units take ten times this long to produce an image. It is quite large at 47x42x21cm and will never pass the lounge police as it is silver grey and matt black. The front edge has 45 buttons several LED's and a 5x4cm TFT display.
Here I am looking at two useful accessories from different manufactures that work well together. First an item to clear up the clutter of wires for everything that connects to a notebook. The second provides that light just where you need it courtesy of a USB port.
Space Station This is a laptop dock, USB hub, cable management system and a desk organiser. It is black, 65cm long, 11cm wide and 4cm tall at the rear and 3cm tall at the front. The top is covered with rubber while the sides and back are plastic. Turn it upside down to reveal a four port USB hub (power supply is supplied should it be required) and there are sixteen clips in two shapes and sizes to secure cords.
A last minute decision took me to a central London hotel for news of a new product that has already taken America by storm.
Flip is the name and flip is the action that reveals a concealed USB connector. But just what is this product whose name is derived from a user-instigated action? The Flip is a digital camcorder aimed at the mass consumer market and has been designed around the three core concepts of fun, simplicity and quality. Available in a choice of white, black, orange or pink, the Flip provides out-of-the-box point and shoot capability.
This looks like a small DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera while is not it does have a range of features such as a decent continuous shooting mode only normally found on DLSR units.
click to enlarge It is 10x7x7cm when switched off, the lens can jut out by another 3.5cm. It is of course black and it weights around 360grams with - shock horror - the supplied 4x 'AA' batteries inserted. It is supplied with a neck strap partly as most wrists would soon get tired with that weight and probably partly as DSLR units always come with neck straps.
While Adobe Photoshop is the popular choice for professional users, it can prove rather expensive for the home or enthusiastic amateur. Fortunately there is an alternative from Adobe.
For those who fall into the rather limited budget category and wish to stick with the kudos of an Adobe branded product then Adobe Photoshop Elements is the obvious route to take. Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 is the first version of the product to be released since the launch of Windows Vista and comes with some additional features.
Forget about Sir Richard Branson and Sir Alan Sugar, you could be the next rising star in the UK business firmament. Offering to help you hone your skills in this respect is Industry Giant II.
This business simulation title, developed by JoWood, now forms part of the Reload series and is available from Avanquest Software Publishing as Industry Giant II Gold Edition which add the Official Expansion Pack to the standard version of the game. Whereas previously Industry Giant II was set in the period stretching from 1900 to 1980, the expansion pack now takes the player into the future and the year 2020.