No matter how many USB ports you have, there could come a time when none are available for a new device especially when support for USB 3.0 is required.
If the various computer systems I have looked at recently are anything to go by then USB 3.0 is gradually overtaking USB 2.0 with regards to the available USB ports built into the box. While there has not been an avalanche of new peripherals supporting this new faster technology (presumably due to cost considerations and the fact that not all types of peripherals would benefit from the faster data rate available with USB 3.0), you could find yourself struggling to find an available USB 3.
The Canon Pixma MG8250 is a sleek black unit that will look good in any office. I fear however it will need to be discretely placed in most homes unless the ‘lounge police’ are of Goff persuasion. It is a lovely six ink offering that prints, scans and copies.
When closed it is 44.5x38x18cm, double the last figure the height if you have A4 paper in the rear photo printing recess. Add 11cm to the middle figure the depth when the paper output tray opens automatically for printing. The overall weight is 10.7kilos so it would need to be a strong – and wide – shelf to take the weight of this unit. The screen is on top so great for viewing from above but it can be raised from the base to nearly vertical if required.
This is designed by Stefano Giovannoni. It looks very swish and is a high quality DECT product. When on the charging base it looks elegant away from the base it still looks smart, even lying on the sofa or the kitchen table.
This DECT phone from Alessi measures 18.5x5.5x5cm when base and handset are paired together. Individually only the last figure changes and that becomes a maximum of 3cm with the base unit and 3cm for the handset. It is a very stylish matt black colour. Even the User Manual has an air of quality about it. In Italian, English, French, German and Dutch. Not like a lot of such offerings each are in there own section and has its own numbering and of course is very easy to follow.
First came the Mystery of Joyville which was quickly followed by Souls of the Innocent. Now the third instalment of PuppetShow, which is subtitled Lost Town, has arrived to test your playing skills.
Originally developed by ERS Games Studio and published by Big Fish Games, PuppetShow 3: Lost City is now available from Focus Multimedia in Collector’s Edition format. You will have immediate access to a Strategy Guide but the other bonus elements only become available once you have played the game to its conclusion.
Another item launched last year among glitz and glamour at no less a venue than Claridges. I was told it would be on sale in January – maybe is was – but review units only arrived with the UK agency at the very end of March.
Anything with the Prada name is a status symbol, however will this unit coming from LG a huge name in electronics as well as mobile phone make the perfect phone for use on the streets, I have tested it for the last month. It looks classy the mottled black back looks like a skin, the face is black a little reflective but not as much as most. Switch on and you see the theme as all the basic icons are monochrome, for colour move to the Google service screen.
As a long time user of WinZip, I am always keen to see what the latest version of this compression and archiving software has to offer
In common with a number of other products, I first came across WinZip when it was released as Shareware on a try-before-you-buy basis offering to reduce the size of files using various compression techniques. More recently WinZip has joined the Corel family of products. I had been sent version 16 for reviewing (actually at the time of writing WinZip stands at version 16.5 but more on this a little latter).
Have you ever wanted to take photos when tackling an Adventure game? This next title includes a camera for just that purpose.
Shiver: Vanishing Hitchhiker belongs to the popular Hidden Object Adventure game genre. Originally released by Big Fish Games, this title is now available from Focus Multimedia in Collector’s Edition format. Included as part of the Collector’s Edition is a bonus chapter plus wallpaper and concept art. However these only become available once the main game has been completed.
Having recently reviewed the tiny Sony P Tablet. This offering is more the normal size; however the shape of a thin wedge is still totally different from anything from any other company. So with design and style does it perform?
The Sony Tablet S measures 17.5x24cm when in landscape mode and the thickness varies between 2cm at the back and less than 1cm at the front. The viewable screen is 20x12.5cm which gives the imperial diagonal measurement of 9.4inches. The screen display WXGA which is 1280x800. It is an Android device with version 3.2.1 and has 1GB of RAM and can support up to 32GB od storage dependant on model. However this is not all available.
Taking liberties with the first two lines of Pete Seeger and Joe Hickerson’s classic folk song “Where have all the documentation gone, Gone to PDF every one”.
Ever since Adobe introduced the Portable Document Format technology, more and more documents have made the transition from paper to the digital platform. While Adobe holds the high ground with its Acrobat product, other companies have produced their own offerings to read and create documents in the PDF style. One such product is Fusion PDF from Corel. A fairly lengthy installation procedure gives you the opportunity to select the destination drive and folder.
Powerline communications where mains cabling is used for local data transmission is an extremely useful tool that has been around for quite a while. However, at the same time as other LAN speeds have increased so have those for powerline. Now TRENDnet is offering 500Mbps adapters that enable one to speedily assemble an Ethernet LAN to provide connectivity in different rooms around the house as a viable alternative to wireless -- especially in those buildings where wireless connectivity is difficult.
TRENDnet’s Powerline AV technology is simple and convenient to use. Just plug an adapter into a local mains socket and it will automatically connect to other Powerline AV adapters on the same mains circuit. As it offers high speeds it can be used for tasks such as streaming HD video as well as more mundane, but important, tasks such as backing up files across the network.
Two tools for different jobs that can help you do them without disasters. The first locates those hidden things in walls like pipes and cables so you don’t screw or drill into them. The second allows you to get a straight line to work from.
When was the last time you tapped a picture frame pin or a screw into a wall? A lot of newer houses do not have picture rails – very useful for hanging pictures from – in fact often walls in new houses are not solid at all. So you need to find battens in order to nail or screw anything in.
The first backed by the RAC gives a variety of ways for people to know you are there as a motorist, cyclist or pedestrian. The second from the USB kings in Hong Kong Brando that can sit on your desk or childs bed table to give that beam of light.
While the front illustrates it sitting on the ground – presumably guarding a broken down car – I see other uses dependant on which of its settings you use. The point of this is that they say ‘it can be seen up to 1km at night’. It is circular 10.5cm across and 4cm thick, each of the sixteen breaks in the rubber surround can show a bright light. These can be static or rotate according to the setting that you choose to suit the situation of its use.
Forget your five-a-day, there is an avalanche of fruit waiting to be put to use in this next game from Alawar.
According to the traditional nursery rhyme, the horticultural expert is a young lady called Mary who is asked the question “How does your garden grow?” However Alawar Games and e-Funsoft have come up with another candidate for this particular area of expertise as they introduce Alice to the game playing community.
The first of a new range of mobile phones from Doro. Doro from Sweden now have a good range of both mobile and home phones. The latter are great DECT units, the former as the one here they produce easy to use units.
Phones today from a number of major players are computers mainly and phones second. Doro however do not go down this path. In all probability the young will not be large users of these, such devices tend to concentrate on the basics and only recently have you been able to do more than call which includes sending texts. While this does the basics it is intended mainly for those who have problems using more complex units.
The unexpected arrival of a small device gave me the opportunity to give my regular MP3 player a break as I checked out this Archos device.
The Archos Clipper is an MP3 player with 2GB of internal storage that comes with the claim of being big in sound and small in size. As this is the smallest, although not by much, MP3 player that I have seen then I can certainly confirm the latter while the former claim is perhaps more debatable. The Archos Clipper, which features a spring clip on the back of the unit thus explaining its name, has dimensions of 53 x 27 x 10mm (H x W x D) and weighs just 14g.
For fans of vampires, hidden object searching and puzzle solving, Alawar has released the next title in this popular Vampire Saga series.
First it was Pandora’s Box and then came Welcome to Hell Lock. Now with the third title in the Vampire Saga series it is time for Break Out. This is a new Hidden Object Puzzle Adventure from that hot bed of casual game publishing we know as Alawar Entertainment. Do not worry if you have not played the earlier games in this series as each title is completely self-contained with different characters although the last two are located in the same place.
This is a very sleek unit – almost flattened – so while the height is tiny there is some width and depth increase. It is a six ink offering ideal for those who need to print decent images, however it still scans and copies.
The Epson PX730WD Epson All In One PX730WD measures 43x52x15cm, for those who place things on shelves – it would need to be a wide shelf so maybe the top of a low cupboard would be better - another 5cm should enable things to be slipped under the landscape scanner lid. The power lead enters back left and both USB and or Ethernet cables enter back right of this unit.
Not everybody will appreciate your choice of music but by using a headset you can avoid upsetting others. A new Sennheiser allows you private listening without tying you to a fixed point.
Checking my records revealed that the last Sennheiser headset I looked at was the PX100-IIi model which could be folded to take up less space when not in use. Prior to that model I had also run the rule over the Sennheiser RS120. This particular model gave the user cable-free listening so you can wander around without being physically tethered to an audio source. Now it is the turn of the Sennheiser MM 400-X model which combines the main features of the previous two units.
This is the second large TV that I have recently had the pleasure of sharing my lounge with. Both were 40inches, the last one was a ‘Smart’ unit, this one perhaps is more affordable as it is what most call a large TV.
Four screws attach the base of the stand to the TV, attach the power lead and your aerial lead and you are ready to switch on. You should be taken to a screen to run through the setup but this does not happen if it has been used before but all the relevant screens can be easily accessed the most important is the channel scan and this took only 57 seconds to find 111 digital channels that is made up of TV, Radio and Data, extremely rapid.
It’s been a while since I have reviewed a watch with hands. In the last couple of years my life saving heart rate watch and the rather stylish – if strange – Nooka offering have taken my time, here a Casio Chronograph but it has hands.
My starting point for most reviews is size and weight so 5cm wide, 5.5cm top to bottom - with strap lugs – 1cm thick. The weight is a not insubstantial 176grams this is with the rather bulky metal strap attached to the unit. It’s been a while since I have worn a stainless steel bracelet as the two mentioned above had basic plastic offerings. While I assume it is politically incorrect to call this a mans watch surely the weight alone will discourage many ladies from wearing it.