Tt can be worrying (well only slightly) if you are put in the situation where you come across a product with the word "Retro" in the title and you realise that you can remember this particular look from your youth or even later. Surely Retro has to mean before "my time" but sadly that seems to be no longer the case. In my defence I will state that with this next item, the Retro designation did refer to the appearance of the product rather than its in-built functionality which did feature an impressive array of some of today's modern technology.
As part of its retro series, View Quest has released its Wi-Fi Radio model. This product is available in a choice of black or white face with the rest of the unit coloured matte black. Box-shaped, this radio with a useful carry handle, has dimensions of 284 x 94 x 170 mm (W x D x H).
Many older people do not want or need lots of texts and mobile use as well as mountains of calls a month. So a service that offers some of everything at little or no cost seems nirvana. I have been testing one such service from Ovivo.
Many years ago a single PAYG call cost 49p a minute but in the early days your credit was still there if not used straightaway. I remember one such service that charged 15p a minute for the first five minutes in a day and then 5p a minute after that. Nowadays the main problem – for a lot of people – is using their allowance before the month comes to an end.
A while ago someone who knows more about audio than most, told me that the CD would become niche –like vinyl – I was unaware such a revolution was taking place, but it does mean that higher quality audio is now downloadable.
I selected four albums from the Linn and Universal offerings that have been remastered. I am told there are over 400 currently on offer. While my passion is Jazz there are some popular and a lot of classical with a few other genres available. With MP3 downloads you may get a picture of the sleeve so your player can display it, with these you get the sleeve (printable format) and in some cases the booklet as well. I have an original recording of this so was able to compare the two.
Recently the Sony team was out in force at a Central London location to demonstrate some of the company’s new products that could end up on your wish list for the Christmas season.
Wishing attendees a “Very Sony Christmas”, the company had various products on display. These products were categorised as Home Entertainment, Imaging, Computing, On the Go and At Home. While the constriction of available space means I can not cover all the various products, I will include at least a couple of offerings from each category. Lets begin with Home Entertainment and, in particular, televisions.
A multi function unit as it has Fax, when I speak with manufacturers they still claim there is demand, my findings are somewhat different, this is rather like the PX730 recently reviewed but this is black rather than cream.
The Epson PX830 MFU measures 44x50x20cm the rather large depth figure is solely because of the built in Duplex that adds to the depth, the colour may put some off but if it resides in a cupboard then it need not be seen. The wireless option works very well. The whole control panel 30x8cm flips from vertical to horizontal hinging on the top so is viewable from any angle. With the exception of the on/off button which is to the left of the huge 21x6cm screen everything is controlled by touch.
Those innovative people at Kingston have come up with a possible solution to increasing the storage capacity available to your mobile device.
While you nice, new, shiny smartphone or tablet will come with a certain amount of available storage space, there will come a time when you will struggle to find the space to store items you would not want to be without. This occasion is bound to happen sooner or later depending upon factors such as the manufacturer and the percentage of your disposal income you were prepared to part with when making the purchase.
Friendly ghosts, shimmering portals and dual locations meet up with an evil spirit in a Hidden Object Adventure game available from Avanquest
It all began with an unexpected phone call from a lawyer. This phone call informed you that you had inherited a house in its own grounds but, apart from it location, the lawyer could supply no further details. I should explain that you are cast in the role of the beneficiary; a young woman named Sara Haverston who immediately sets out to check this dilapidated dwelling that is meant to be empty but is home to several restless spirits.
A while ago I reviewed another high quality device from Audyssey. Here a Wireless device that can also be attached via 3.5mm cable. However this is mainly Wireless – and I mean Wireless – not Bluetooth and can be used in several ways.
It is 21x12x20cm and each side has cloth covering where the speakers sound emerges. At the base of the back is the power input, a 3.5mm Auxiliary input and the ‘Pair’ button. The top has a large circular volume button and behind this two small LED’s. The front has a 3.5mm socket for headphones or earbuds when the speaker may be inappropriate. While not as heavy as the last Audyssey I reviewed it still weights over two and a quarter kilos.
If you are looking for a budget priced All-in-One inkjet product then maybe this next offering might suit.
Adding to its range of all-in-one inkjet products, Brother has released the DCP-J140W model. This is the company’s lowest priced wireless inkjet product. It has been designed for SOHO users who need to print from a range of devices whether a computer, smartphone or tablet requiring a free download of iPrint&Scan as well as scan and copy documents. This DCP-J140W all-in-one supports both USB and wireless connectivity.
Not everyone has a workbench -- and even those who do, will often find that having a portable one is a great convenience. The Bosch PWB600 portable work bench is a solidly build unit that is both easy to erect and to fold up again for easy transport and storage.
Mainly constructed from aluminium box section extrusions and with a 15mm bamboo block board top it gives the impression that it has been designed for solid everyday usage rather than for just being used once or twice and then being relegated to a forgotten corner the garage. This view is underlined by the fact that, even though there is a warning not to stand on it, the marked load bearing capacity is 200kg i.e. 440lbs.
Just that little bit smaller than most current Android Tablets. This has the advantage of the latest version of Android (Ice Cream Sandwich) 4. Being that bit smaller can increase battery life and is that bit easier to handle.
The Gemini JoyTAB measures 15.5x21x1cm and weights 500grams. My unit had 8GB of memory (but according to documentation) 4GB and 16GB are also available. Apart from in bright sunlight it is easy to read, great in poor light but the screen is reflective. The viewable screen is 16x12cm. I shall mention where thing are assuming you are using it in portrait mode.
Having recently discovered the Bayan 3 I am looking at its bigger sibling the Bayan 7. This is the biggest and they also do a ‘Grand’ however it is still designed as an iPod player but you would definitely not move it too often.
The wooden body is 26x27x23cm but that only contains the main speaker, two more sets of speakers are in the Perspex surround so the overall width is 44cm and the height is 27cm, the Perspex which contains the speakers is 1cm thick. Need I say it’s not that light, moveable yes but as it is mains powered certainly not portable. While some will say an iPod or anything connected by a 3.5mm jack is not likely to sound great for a small system this is pretty good.
A visit to a Central London location introduced me to a range of products designed for relaxation, stress removal, air pollution and weighing functionality.
Apologies for the play on the standard Father Christmas greeting but I was unable to resist the temptation when bring you details of a range of products from HoMedics. In case you are unfamiliar with this company, I should explain that HoMedics was set up in 1987 with the intension of using the latest technology advances to develop innovative personal wellbeing products. If, like me, you suffer from back problems then this first group of products might be of interest.
A fully USB monitor meaning it has a single lead only. So no power lead all the power comes down the USB lead. This does have one drawback it can only be a second monitor or be used as a monitor for your laptop or notebook.
I saw this at an evening event for the press which occurs twice a year (spring and autumn) called Digital Summer and Winter. This brings together around twenty vendors some known in the UK others like AOC are based in Europe so new to me. I am told that AOC is a division of Philips who have long been pioneers as they were the first to give you sound down USB so no internal sound card was required.
While a new version of an OS (Operating System), such as Windows, might take a number of years to make a commercial appearance, utilities designed to keep the OS running smoothly operate on a short gestation period.
New versions of utilities are generally released on an annual basis with the year appendage being used to identify the current version. One such product that falls into this category is TuneUp Utilities 2012. Available with a three user licence this product provides a range of tools covering different aspects relating to the smooth running of your Windows computer system.
Keeping your customers satisfied is the aim of this next game as you run a made-to-order store in fashionable parts of town.
As the developer and publisher of casual games for various platforms, Youdagames has now ventured into the world of glamorous accessories for its next game playing offering. This is Youda Jewel Shop. Available for the Windows platform, Youda Jewel Shop is a time management game that contains over 80 levels of keeping your customers happy by providing the jewellery on their shopping list.
This consists on a pair of glasses with earbuds connected by a short lead to a small box. My thoughts go back to early handheld CD players however here you not only get sound but also vision and the box has an Android system.
The term ‘learning curve’ seems to have fallen out of favour, this revives it. While with help I managed to get it to do all it was supposed to do you get a chance to learn the art of touch as with the glasses on you cannot see the box and you need to control the cursor on the screen you may also need to use a button on two on the box so you do get the chance to see things as a blind of partially sighed person does, an interesting experience.
Aliph has recently introduced a big brother to its original Jambox audio device.
The Big Jambox, as its title indicates, is a much larger and heavier version of the original Jambox providing enhanced audio and speakerphone capability to your mobile devices. Available in a choice of Red, White or Graphic Hex (black to you and me), the brick shaped Big Jambox has dimensions of 256 x 80 x 93mm (L x W x H) and weighs in at 1.2kg.
The Doro Comfort 1015 is an attractive DECT cordless phone that incorporates an answerphone and other features, such as hands-free operation, that a user will find useful. It is convenient to use and is available in a number of variants. As well as the single handset option, there are the two, three and 4-handset packages listed which also provide paging and intercom around the house.
Handsets are 165 x 50 x 25mm approx. and fit comfortably in one’s hand. They are black in colour and the white characters on the keys are easy to read. The matt rear surface of the handset makes them easy to grip. Doro has taken a very practical approach in the design of these phones with the handset using two standard AAA rechargeable batteries rather than specials. The claimed standby and talk times are respectively 100 and 10 hours.
Canon does a lot of professional cameras however they also have two ranges, Ixus and PowerShot, suitable for home and pocket use. Here the latest offering, the Canon PowerShot A4000IS, in what used to be the larger of the two small units - the PowerShot, which has shrunk.
The PowerShot A4000IS measures 9.5x5.8x2cm and weights 150grams. However the width can increase to around 5.5cm what fully zoomed. My unit was silver and grey. The front has the 8x optical zoom lens and the bar flash above and to its left; it is never nearer than 2.5cm to the lens. I found this gave good images although they did initially look a little over exposed on the TFT.