While you might feel that Adobes market-leading professional graphics product, Photoshop, is priced well beyond your current budget restrictions, there is a possible alternative that has also been developed by Adobe. This is Photoshop Elements which is now up to version 11. This product costs approximately one tenth the price of its much bigger sibling.
Photoshop Elements 11’s new opening flash screen gives you the choice of entering the Organizer or Photo Editor module. Both this areas feature a pale grey interface that is easy on the eye and does not distract you from the main purpose of the software. Arranging your images to suit your own preferences is the task of the Organizer module.
A couple of weeks ago I told you about two sets of Bathroom personal Scales. Here are two sets of Kitchen Scales both from Salter a neat single scale and second bearing the Heston Bloomatile name a jug that converts wet and dry weights.
I am perhaps rather simple to please as this delights from looking at the box through to use. The first joy is that colour is spelt correctly, next the simple easy to use unit. The scale itself is a 14.5cm disc set into 15.5x18x1.5cm rectangle. I know they do a range of colours mine was a lime green but it is crisp and easy to read.
Adding to its range of Bluetooth headsets, Plantronics has developed its M55 model.
With its company name indicating its original roots in the aeronautical electronics field of business, Plantronics has released a new Bluetooth headset featuring DeepSleep technology. This is the M55™ model that has a claimed DeepSleep mode that lets the headset retain a portion of its charge for up to five months. Needless to say I have to confess that I have not tested this facility but I have no reason to doubt Plantronics figures with regards to the DeepSleep capability.
It is almost taking a supermarket approach as this next product offers you two titles for the price of one as you embark on Grim adventures.
Last year I was at the launch of the Nikon 1 camera, and although I asked several times to review it I never got to the top of the list. Now however Nikon have just launched the Nikon 1 v1 which comes with two lenses.
Most ‘kits’ come with something like a 28-55mm lens. With the Nikon 1 V1 kit you get a 10-30mm and a 30-110mm to give a wide range. You could also buy with just 10-30mm lens if you wished. Both are available in black or white. Te Nikon 1 V1 compact system camera measures 11x7.5x8cm and once the smaller lens is released this increases the last figure by 3cm. The unit weights 500grams with the 10-30mm lens attached.
Whats in a name? Do we call this next product the iPad 3 or the New iPad? As long as we regard it as the latest addition to Apples iconic tablet range, I dont think it matters all that much. You can call it what you like (personally I tend to use Oi you or Thingy if I am in a particularly good mood at the time) as long as it does what you want when you want (I will not mention the words I use if this does not happen).
My review sample of Apple’s latest tablet, kindly provided by Vodafone, was the 16GB version of this product. At a quick glance there is little to distinguish this new model from the previous version with regards to overall appearance. With dimensions of 241.2 x 185.7 x 9.4mm (H a W x D) and a weight of 652g, the review model features a black bezel encompassing the embedded Home button and enclosing the 9.
While long-established company Binatone is well known for its phones and related products, not many people are familiar with its designer brand, iDECT. With its recently introduced iDECT Solo Plus the company has taken a fresh look at the way things were done in the past and has produced a versatile and easy to use DECT phone with built-in answering machine.
These phones are available in black, white or red and the curved 19.5cm long handset is of a comfortable size and shape. Whereas most DECT phones are designed so that handsets stand vertically on their docking/charging stations, with the Solo Plus it lies neatly on top of it. Consequently, just like a traditional phone, it is a natural fit in one’s hand when picked up.
Normally to boot a PC you need a DVI or VGA monitor connected. Recently I reviewed a unit that could be a second unit for notebook that had only a USB lead, so this unit was a new thing for me as it has neither DVI nor VGA.
The Samsung C24B750X Smart Station Series 7 monitor has a surround which measures 56x33.5cm and apart from where it joins the stand is only 2cm deep. The screen itself is 53x30cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 24inches. The default resolution is 1920x1080. The screen has no side to side or forward movement but can tilt back up to 20degrees. The stand is quite meaty at 16x23cm and raises the screen around 9cm above your desk.
Two more presents for Christmas, first a Crossbow that fires water balloons, it can be messy but not dangerous. Second an anatomical model of a dog from Revell, first for you to put together and then to be displayed.
It is 47x30x12cm. Before you as a responsible parent stop reading the only likely damage to your child or property is they or it might get wet if one of the supplied balloons fired from the crossbow might split and spill some water. A target is supplied and if someone else got hit by one of the balloons it might sting a bit but not much more than that. I suspect some larger water pistols would carry a more destructive load.
With its passion for all things music and strong support for the Apple family of devices, it is not surprising that Gear4 has developed offering that combine these two elements in a single product such as the HouseParty Rise.
This Gear4 product is an app-enhanced alarm clock radio designed specially for use with the iPod and iPhone. It also has Bluetooth wireless connectivity that expands its range of linked devices. The HouseParty Rise has a stylish modern look. Its overall shape has the appearance of an elongated squashed circle.
This is the larger sibling to the offering reviewed on the 13th August, that was 8inches this that bit larger at 9.7inches. So apart from the larger screen what else has this to offer both are running the latest version of Android.
While it has a perfectly good on screen keyboard it comes with a 24.5x18.5x1cm external keyboard that is made especially for the JoyTab. It is Bluetooth but is can support the Tablet so it becomes more like a notebook. Also supplied is a mini USB to USB adapter that allows you to attach a standard USB stick to the unit. This has the advantage of quick transfer to a PC as well as the advantage of large storage ability at a cheaper price. It is 24x18.
While you may not fancy holding a conversation with your computer, it can handle your dictation with the help of appropriate software.
When a God comes calling, you better be prepared to do as you are commanded otherwise you could be in trouble. This next title is one such case.
In the game of the Heroes of Hellas 3 you take on the role of the Great Constructor. You are commanded by Athena, the daughter of Zeus to help rebuild her city of Athens which had been attacked and destroyed by an evil source. As this game is based in Greece, during the rule of the Gods, you have little choice but to obey this command as you play this game of match-3 action.
First from Buffalo a 500GB Thunderbolt drive which should take care of the storage side. Second from Proporta a solution to your mobile device running out of power an external battery that you can keep in your wallet.
Not the smallest 500GB drive around, however it will sit happily on your desk and is still small enough to travel with you in a case or bag. The coverage from me for Apple products is small and rarely goes beyond various ‘i’ items. Here however the white top and white lead make Thunderbolt users right at home but so are USB3 users. The back of the box compares possible speeds USB2 30MB/s, FireWire 800 77MB/s and Thunderbolt 105MB/s. The case is 13x8x2.
Do you remember your first one? I am, of course, referring to your first portable media device such as an MP3 player.
I have just had a flashback – fortunately it was not painful but it did remind me of my first MP3 player. This was a device, whose antecedents I have forgotten, that I won as a prize in a charity raffle. Actually it was not the prize attached in my winning ticket – that was a signed Chelsea football shirt from the period when Dennis Wise played for the club and they had just won the FA Cup.
For those who print a little, scan a little and copy not a lot may well fancy a small in size unit that does all those things. Those who have a small place to print from this is certainly a unit that can tick all the requirements.
The Epson "Expression"e; XP-102 All In One is 38x30x14cm but add another 20cm to the last figure to put a stack of A4 sheets in the sit up sheet feed in the rear. 10cm on the 14cm height should be plenty if you are scanning something and wish to locate the unit on a shelf. USB enters back left while the power enters back centre. There are four touch buttons on the front face of the unit just above where the finished page exits face up. The buttons are on/off, mono copy, colour copy and problem.
Christmas is now well on the map, here are two things that are a little different, first a 3D construction toy from Triqo and second a model of a giraffe from Revell that includes where all the vital organs are to be found.
In my youth Meccano was king, for the last few decades it has been Lego. Now a new kid has arrived called Triqo - yes the forth letter is a Q so if it gets into the dictionary scrabble fans will love it. This is a different type of construction as the pieces are triangles and circles, all are disc shaped and they clip together. Strangely enough they are made in Holland like another construction toy. The pack I was sent has 50 pieces in the two styles.
If you like Hidden Object Adventure games then this next offering from Focus Multimedia could well be placed at the top of your must-but list.
Oddly enough this next product from Focus Multimedia consists of not one, nor two but three games that are entirely independent of each other. The only two things they have in common are that they all belong to the Hidden Object Adventure genre and were originally published by Alawar Games.
This is a PowerShot but looking at it quickly you may consider it is DSLR unit as it is larger than the recent PowerShot offerings not in the battery area as it has a solid battery but all round as it is a chunky looking item.
The Canon PowerShot G1X weights 540grams quite a lot for a digital unit and it comes with a neck strap. It is 11.5x8x7cm but add between 3 to 5cm when switched on as the lens moves out by that much as soon as power is applied. If you use the TFT to frame images then you can double the width to 16cm as it flips opens like that of a camcorder. The left side has one anchor point for the neck strap; the right side has the other as well as a door hiding the HDMI and A/V out sockets.
A visit to one of the increasingly popular Christmas in July events brought a Bluetooth speaker unit to my attention.
For a long time if you had wanted to add external speaker capability to a mobile device, you would have needed to make the necessary connection using an appropriate audio lead, unless, of course, your mobile device belonged to the Apple family of mobile devices. In such instances you could mount your iPod, iPhone or iPad on to a docking station that would both charge the unit and give you access to the audio content.
Alawar offers to take you on a journey of adventure as you attempt to colonise the Spring of Eternal Happiness.
Looking for a fresh start and being of the adventurous type, you decide to set off for pastures anew. Finding a willing captain, complete with a ship and crew, who was prepared to set sail for faraway lands, you embark on your journey. Not every thing runs as smoothly as you, and no doubt the rest of the crew, would have wished.
Hoover is a brand name from Wales as well as being a generic name for a vacuum cleaner. Here is their latest offering called The Globe which has striking resemblance to a recent upright cleaner offering from Dyson.
There are three parts to assemble when the unit is unpacked, the body, the shoe (or foot) and the handle. The only slightly tricky bit is connecting the two pin power connector between the base and the body which is a swivel motion. During my couple of weeks testing it my own vacuum was put aside and this got a good workout. As with most modern uprights you can remove the hose from the body and attach various supplied fittings to do stairs and curtains etc.
Sometimes review products are available immediately but there are occasions when a great deal of patience is required before you get your hands on a product. This is a case of the latter.
The Pentax K-01 belongs to the mirrorless compact system breed of camera. It is the type of device that you are going to want to hand around your neck or dangle from your shoulder rather than stick it in a pocket until required. This camera has been designed from the ground up by Marc Newson who, I must admit, I had never heard of prior to the launch of this product.
If like me you find bathroom scales hard to read then either of these offerings from Salter may well have the answer. The first has a magnified display that stays on for a while once you step off. The second is all glass with large digits.
Unpack, attach the supplied 3x‘AAA’ batteries, attach the rubber foot covers place on the floor, the unit shows 0.0 it will then switch off. Step on it and it will show your weight in the default measure of kilograms. Step off and it will still show the weight for another four seconds giving you ample time to bend down to read the display should it be necessary. It is approximately 28x28x2cm but as the corners are chamfered it could be slightly different to the size stated.
With the Olympics now a distant memory thoughts must turn to Christmas. Here a couple of suggestions, first a UFO toy that can have a message of your choice, second a jigsaw but this one is not flat but built up in 3D.
The box suggests 8+, while I have no doubt children of this age will have the required piloting skills; I have my doubts about their ability to insert the required six ‘AAA’ batteries into the remote controller / charging box. As with a lot of toys they look great in the packaging but removing them from it is a work or art with numerous pieces of tape and in the case of the remote even a Philips screw through the cardboard to be removed.
It has been a while since I last took a look at a Canon printer. Checking my records revealed that this period covered at least 15 months. Now the arrival of the Canon PIXMA MX-435 Office All-in-One model that period has been brought to a close. This unit brings together scan, print, copy and fax capability plus ADF (Automatic Document Feeder) and wireless connectivity all at a price well under £100.
The MX-435 adopts a stylish box-like appearance with rounded corners and a top that slops upwards and inwards so as to create the platform which houses the ADF module. Like many other manufacturers, Canon has gone with a lacquered black colour scheme. Unlike many products from other manufacturers, I am pleased to report that the Canon All-in-One finish proves to be highly resistant to my attempts to leave my finger smears over its surface.
Listening pleasure for a group with the Bluetooth Speaker Stand allowing you to view as well as listen to stored content. The second is something called Fit Active earbuds that stay in place even when you engage in activity.
While the name of Huawei might not be one of the first names that trips off your tongue when the subject of manufacturers of Android devices is taking place, the company is determined to change that perception with some new products. Recently I took a look at the Huawei MediaPlay tablet and now it is the turn of the Huawei Honor U8860 smartphone.
This is the standard candy mode style of unit. It is decked out in black and comes with the Android 2.3 operating system. With dimensions of 122 x 61.5 x 10.9mm (H x W x D) and a weight of 135g, the Honor has a nice comfortable and solid feel to it when in the hand with the two external controls within easy reach. On the top of the handset is the power button while a volume rocker is located towards the top of the left side.
When entering the world of Age of Enigma you are not involved in code breaking but have the opportunity to chat with and help a series of ghosts
Age of Enigma: The Secret of the Sixth Ghost combines elements of puzzle solving, mini-game play and object location with point & click action. Set in an alternate universe (in the year of 1947) when paranormal activity is considered the norm, you are cast in the role of Ashley Reeves, a respected medium in Age of Enigma. Following a series of visions and worrying dreams of a young girl trapped in an old house, you set out to visit Amityville, New England to investigate further.
Since this was first announced I have been trying to get one to test as this is probably the most talked about recent offering from anyone. A friend of mine claims it is the only product he needs to run his whole work life.
For a phone it is slightly large but for web browsing it is perhaps the ideal size able to be read in the palm of your hand. For composition of emails or writing longer items it also works with ‘SWYPE’ technology built in. It is 13.5x7x.5cm and weights 132grams. The exact model number is GT-19300 although everyone seems to call it Galaxy SIII. It runs Android version 4.0.4 The viewable screen is 6x10.7 with notional imperial measurement of 4.8inches.