Starting life as a basic compression tool available as Shareware, WinZip has developed over the years to encompass a wider range of functionality as can be seen with version 17.
As a long time user of WinZip, stretching back to the early days when this software was prominent in the Shareware arena, I have always been keen to check out the latest version of this product that can compress your data. Originally the compression was to enable users to save on storage space when floppy disks were popular with their 720K or 1.44MB capacity.
In the past I have reviewed earbuds from Cygnett that were in the value market. Here are two sets of headphones – their first - that are something to fill the mid price gap, nice quality at a still quite acceptable price point.
An over ear set of headphones. They are well padded both at the ear and at the head the latter very important for the follicle challenged among up. There is up to 3.5cm of extension on each side of the headband so they should fit most. The colour scheme is black and red. The red is highlight bands on the ear pieces and the underside of the headband as well as the 1.5metre lead from the left ear piece to whatever the 3.5mm jack is connected to.
Children tend to imitate their parents or other adults – not just in their behaviour but also with the type of gadgets they feel they can not live without. Television, mobile phone and computer are just some of the items that feature in “Can I have?” demanding requests. To that list you could easily add the current best-selling gadget, namely a tablet. Binatone has recently developed such a device aimed specifically at the pre-teen generation.
The Binatone KidzStar tablet, with its 7-inch capacitive touch colour screen is protected from being dropped accidentally. Binatone has encased the unit in a removable, sturdy, rubber, protective bumper. This bumper is a bright orange colour and certainly marks this product as a child-centric offering. Blue and pink replacement bumpers are available as part of an optional accessory pack that also contains headphones and an in-car charger.
Usually when you die in a game, you restart from your current location but not in this case as you are transported from one planet to another.
Let me introduce you to Amrite Stone, an archaeologist and leader of a team that has set to explore the depths of the Atlantic Ocean in order to solve the ancient mystery of Atlantis. This is the character you will play in the Alawar Entertainment Hidden Object Adventure game of Eternal Journey: New Atlantis released in Collector’s Edition format.
A powerful notebook with lots of memory and joy of joys no shiny black in sight anywhere as the whole thing is silver grey. The screen is of course reflective but not nearly as much as a lot of other offerings I have used.
This is an Intel Core i5 unit with a 500GB hard disc and a small SSD that helps make things quite a bit quicker in starting. It is 36x25x2cm and it weights 2.175kilos. The unit feels really sturdy probably because the screen back is aluminium. You will note from the dimensions that there is no increase in size towards the back – normally caused by an oversize battery.
It started out as an evening to check out a Canon camcorder but events turned out differently to what I expected.
Recently I was a murder victim. I kid you not. There I was busily typing away on a Mac Book when I was repeatedly brutally stabbed several times by a masked maniac. This horrendous crime was committed at The Hospital but this location seemed bereft of doctors, nurses or even medical equipment. Fortunately my murder was part of an unscripted short film being captured on a Canon handheld camcorder.
While we all know that it is essential to back up our data, all too often we don’t do it routinely. As Verbatim’s new Store’n’Go USB3.0 portable hard drive is small and comes with back-up software so making it just that bit more convenient to use. Hence, it is just the device to make it more likely for us to get into the habit which will reduce the risk of coming to grief.
This new Ultra Slim 500GB USB 3.0 hard drive, is 80 x 160 x 10 mm thick and is of a size that will easily fit into the corner of a drawer when at home or in the office. Equally well, as it only weighs about 150g complete with the 60cm USB 3.0 cable it can be carried in a pocket or handbag. After all, one doesn’t want to keep it in one’s laptop bag as this would risk both the machine and backup being lost or stolen at the same time.
This is a 27inch flat panel that has a smooth edge at the top and sides. It has the ability to show multiple screens on one screen and perhaps the newest feature via a micro USB to USB lead the screen from recent mobile devices.
It is 62.5x38x2cm around three sides, 2.5cm at the base of the screen but 9cm where it links to the stand and where cables attach. The stand is 29x13cm with 5cm being in front of the display. This lifts the screen by 6cm from your desk. There are five touch buttons at the right of the bottom of the screen with a single blue/orange LED to denote power is on. There is a 1cm border on the top and sides but the viewable screen butts directly to it so no inset as with most screens.
The Sonoro goLondon is a DAB/FM radio although without the rod aerial raised it might not be immediately obvious. The shape is vertical and the actual controls are underneath, it does take a while to get used to this units rather unusual format.
It is 18.5cm high at the back without the aerial and 16.5cm at the front, the rest of the shape is square at 8.5cm. The six piece rod aerial is 38cm when fully extended. The sloped top is the speaker and the only control is the twist on/off/volume control. At the back towards the bottom is a gap in the rubberised sleeve where there is a slider DAB/FM, DC input and Auxiliary input. On either side there is an 8x2cm depression which facilitate holding the unit when moving around with the radio.
When developing a follow-up title to a popular game you could opt for a sequel or, as in this case, a prequel.
It all began with Shadow Town which was closely followed by Insomniac. I am, of course, referring to the Twisted Lands series of Hidden Object Adventure games developed by Stargaze Studio and published by Alawar Entertainment. Now, arriving in the guise of a prequel, we have the third chapter in this series. Based on the nightmarish environment of Twisted Lands is Origin. Maybe there is a clue in its title but then maybe not.
The Nikon D3200 is the DSLR has the ability to capture the largest images, at 24mega pixel, the highest definition I have ever reviewed. Just think for a moment one tenth of the image size should be enough to print an A4 image if you use it all.
The Nikon D3200 I am looking at comes with an 18-55mm lens and, , this does come with built in flash. Quite unusually I have been able to use this for a longer than normal test period, sometimes this is because the company need it back to go to another journalist or other companies have sent me cameras and either way on this occasion I was able to test and retest under a range of conditions.
Designed specifically for people who like to listen to music when out and about, but feel cut-off when wearing headphones, comes a product from San Francisco.
Up until very recently I was totally unaware of a company with the rather striking name of Boombotix. Suspecting that many of you might not have heard of this San Francisco Company, let me provide you with some background information. As you might guess from its title, Boombotix area of expertise is with delivering audio content.
Following the discovery that the Mona Lisa has been removed from the Louvre, you are called into action to recover this priceless work of art.
Time Chronicles: The Missing Mona Lisa is a Hidden Object game pure and simple. It offers no pretensions as to any adventure influences as you attempt to track down the Time Chameleon. This task is carried out by completing a series of hidden object scenes set in various locations in time and around the world.
When CD’s first came out the need to copy or backup started and there were two major players in the market. Nero was one of those but now it is so much more than CD backup software, one of the few things it refuses to do is make the tea.
There are two version of Nero 12, here I am looking at the Platinum version which has the addition of hundreds of extra video effects including retro movie effects, the ability to stabilise shaky videos (very impressive), rip Blu-ray to almost any other video format as well as watch Blu-ray movies on your Windows PC. If you decide to buy the standard Nero 12 offering you will not have the above but will have everything else it has to offer.
Living, as I do, on a one-way street, I often notice cars proceeding along my road travelling in the wrong direction. Perhaps such drivers would benefit from using a product such as the Binatone R430.
With the strap line of “Drive like a local”, Binatone has released its R430 SatNav device. As the number forming part of it title might indicate, this unit features a 4.3-inch colour touch screen (perhaps “tap” would be more appropriate) within a reasonably wide black bezel. The overall dimensions of the unit are 78 x 122mm (W x H) with a depth of 13mm.
As laptops are increasingly becoming the computers of choice, users want speakers which do not take up a lot of space and yet deliver the required performance. The SoundBlasterAxx SBX8 is the smallest in the series from Creative Technologies which, in addition to providing improved audio, incorporates a microphone so is also ideal for Skype and other VoIP services.
The SBX8 is a 57mm hexagon in cross-section and about165mm tall. Five faces are covered with black cloth and the remaining one to the rear, where the connections and the “port” to improve acoustic properties are located, has a matt black finish. In addition to the micro-USB, there are two 3.5mm sockets -- one for headphones and the other for aux/mic. in. The touch controls are on the top, slightly angled, surface which has a polished black surface.
Both these devices are small, one from a source that you expect to produce scales for various purposes, the other from a company that produces all sorts of speakers for ‘i’ devices as well as for other products One Bluetooth the other wired.
A somewhat strange name from a company that produces scales and back massagers but this Bluetooth speaker does give a rather good sound from a very small body. I assume the Jampot comes from the container it arrives in, it does get good protection especially useful if you purchase it by mail order rather than retail. It is circular at 7cm and is 6.5cm tall. A ring around the base and top are black while the rest is a metallic blue.
While this is aimed at ‘4+’ it could at a pinch be used by the child’s parents as in ‘parental’ mode you have access to the Internet and therefore could use it for browsing as a standard Android device. It comes with versions of lots of games for various ages.
Out of its bright orange case, as I suspect any adult user would choose, the KidzStar Tablet from Binatone measures 19.5x11.5x1cm. It is not designed as an adult tablet but should your own PC or Tablet be unavailable then this can contact the outside world. This is primary a tablet for the young, exactly how young will depend on your common sense, there are games to appeal to pre school children but for various legal reasons the box states ‘4+’ as the age group.
Recently my car driving experience has been enhanced by a new product that provides in-car music and hands-free telephony features.
Like many others, I prefer listening to my favourite music while I am driving. I also know, as I am sure you do, that using a mobile phone while driving should only be considered when it is a hands-free device. Offering to provide both hands-free telephonic operations and music playing features from various sources is the iO Play 2 kit. iO is a brand name of Armour Automotive Ltd.
While most new PCs come with Anti Virus software it is normally only a trial lasting for 90 or 60 days. Most of these are from Norton or McAfee and while they work and these days do not slow the PC down that much there are options.
Most people want protection while on the Internet and when running programs and files downloaded from it. These days a growing number of products and updated choices are primary supplied as downloads, this means reinstalling is often tricky or not possible. A few minutes or less unprotected on the Internet is all you need to get a virus or other malware, the first you may know about is a huge credit card bill as someone has captured your personal details and at best it’s a nasty mess.