The first a rather nice small 2.1 speaker set from Edifier that I tried in my lounge replacing my handmade speakers. The second I used out and about not however on the device it was made to be for a bicycle as I no longer ride. Both cost less than £40.
This is a three piece speaker set, the two satellites and the sub woofer. Small yet powerful, their weight is light in comparison to my own hand crafted offerings of half a lifetime ago, these are also a lot smaller in dimensions. Playing music from the same source through both produced good results but as the Edifier cost not a lot more in 2012 money to what my own speakers cost in 1960s pre decimal money and that the Edifier take up a lot less space… They are 15.
Neither of these items will break the bank and both are useful and likely to be used so are an ideal present. First a charger for use in most of the world, second something even smaller a cable with a rotating end to charge micro USB and Apple.
In essence a Mains powered USB charger however it not only comes with 13amp plug but also those used in Europe and Australia. It is 7x4x2.5cm before you attach whatever plug end suits your area. With the UK plug fitted it becomes 8x8x3cm. So at this point you think why - when there are lots of 13amp ways to charge your USB device - is this iLuv offering any different.
If you want to get ahead get a head is the mantra behind a game making the transition from iOS to the Windows platform.
While best known for its range of games that cover Time Management, Hidden Object Adventure, Match-3 and Arkonoid offerings, Alawar Entertainment occasionally comes up with a left-field type of title. In this case the left-field aspect is that area which is usually occupied by the Tablet and Smartphone mobile devices that are our constant companions.
A small notebook from Acer that I assume is aimed more at the office market as joy of joys no shiny screen surround to show your fingermarks. It also comes with a rather large battery that protrudes down at the rear of it.
The Acer TravelMate P- (TMP633) measures 32x22x1.5cm at the front but this swells as you go back culminating at 4cm at the back where the battery is, it weights just 2kilos. I assume there must be another configuration with a smaller battery as the back pair of rubber feet never sit on the desk. The left side has the Kensington Lock socket, DC power input, two USB3 ports, SD Card and Express Card ports.
Like vinyl, cassette tapes are yesterdays technology. A new product from honestech offers to help safeguard any media stored on such items.
Over the years, like many others, I have built up an extensive collection of music. While more recent additions to this collection are on CDs, vinyl and cassette tapes still makes up a large percentage of my collection. Unfortunately both of these early formats have seen better days with regards to the availability of the hardware required to play back the content as manufacturers have moved into other areas of production.
The works of Shakespeare have been turned into musicals or modern day equivalents. Now we have a game that takes its inspiration from a classic Shakespeare title.
Shakespeare wrote about many things including royalty, treachery, murder, comedy, magic, court cases and even some cross-dressing. However the idea of time travelling was never a theme that Shakespeare considered for any of his literary creations.
Doro are a name that produce phones that allow the visually and audibly challenged to still send and receive calls, until now the main problem is most of their handsets looked different so drawing attention to the users disability.
The Doro PhoneEasy 715 however looks like a number of mainstream units but you can have very large text, extremely easy to read displays and ring volumes far above that on most phones. The other advantage is this is extremely easy to set up. The handset measures 10x5x1.5cm, slide it open to reveal the keypad and the 10cm height becomes 15cm. The unit weights only 104grams.
A bit like an insurance policy, your computer protection needs regular updates as circumstanced change. Offering to help provide protection against a range of issues is the latest version of Kasperskys flagship product.
Arriving with the promise of delivering “Real time protection from all Internet threats” is the latest version of Kaspersky Internet Security. This is the 2013 edition of the product and it bears the “Ready for Windows 8” logo. In common with other security suite offerings, Kaspersky 2013 (KIS2013) gives you three licences enabling the protection to be installed on more than one computer.
Another title could have been drill or screw. The first not only does what you expect from an electric drill but a little more The second will screw and unscrew either or both could make excellent Christmas presents for those who use such items.
For those who think size is important then having a spare may also be important. Here I am looking at not one but two electric drills from Hitachi both are cordless and while one is larger than the other both have their place. First the smaller one the WH 18DSAL, it is 23.5x14x5cm the height includes the battery pack but it is 11x7cm at the pack. The first 12 pages of the Handling Instructions are in English which covers safety, charging the battery and fitting items in the chuck.
Now that the days are getting shorter it is a good time for working indoors on tabletop photography whether it is to make a photographic record of valuable items, to illustrate adverts on ebay or purely for enjoyment. However, for those who have mainly taken photos outdoors using available light, possibly supplemented by fill-in lights, it is often daunting task to get started. Cyrill Harnischmachers book entitled Tabletop Photography, which has the sub-title Using Compact Flashes and Low-Cost Tricks to Create Professional-Looking Studio Shots, provides a large amount of useful information for both the beginner and those with more experience.
The short chapter on basic theory relating to sharpness & blur, the effect of different focal length lenses and the key issues relating to light is followed by one entitled Technology. Having made the point that the small size of compact or system flash units make them ideal for tabletop photography, the author discusses the various types of units available and the various ways of triggering them.
Something for the young child that may let you find out if they really want a pet cat or dog. Both these do things that cats and dogs both do, some are nice others are less pleasant but the beauty here is that you can turn them off.
It is 21x18x14cm in the sitting position, it moves a little and creates a number of noises, some are charming others less so, however as there is no smell attached a young child will probably enjoy the noise and they look fun. For once I can say batteries are included and providing it has not been played with in the shop the 3x‘AAA’ should be fine. It pants, burps, snores, barks and farts. It also waves it left leg in the air.
Large telephonic buttons and an Emergency message facility means another Doro phone has arrived for review.
Doro’s latest addition to its family of handsets is the PhoneEasy 715. This is a slider handset available in either a black or white outer casing. In its closed state the handset has dimensions of 100 x 50 x 17mm (H x W x D) and weighs 103g including the 800 mAh 3.7V rechargeable Li-ion battery pack that should give up to 12 hours talk time or 533 hours on standby. As is becoming standard with more recent Doro handsets, the PhoneEasy 715 comes with its own charging stand.
This is a set of speakers that can also charge external devices; it is also a dock. Yes that word does have a life beyond the i devices. Other Sonoro devices are high end so why should you spend your money on this device.
It is not often I start with the Instruction Manual, I can just forgive English being the second language after all they are not manufactured in the UK. What is harder is that the one page in English lists the contents and tells you to read it in its entirety before using and then the next page does the same for the next language and so on. Then from page 12 on you have a series of pictures and diagrams with little or no worded instructions on how to use it.
One thing you can be sure of when Edifier International is involved is that the various speakers that emerge from this company will be of a design that could be considered slightly unusual.
In the past I have reviewed Edifier speakers featuring various colour schemes and with an assortment of shapes that include cylindrical, spherical and a decapitated pyramid. This trend has been continued with the latest Edifier speaker to reach me. This is the Sound To Go Plus™ unit. This latest Edifier speaker (note the singular rather than the plural) adopts an elongated triangular shape. Rather surprisingly, this particular shape is not all that innovative.
Several months ago I reviewed the first episode of the Fall Trilogy. Now it is time for the second episode as amnesia suffering character tries to escape from his environment.
The Fall Trilogy is an adventure game that the developers have decided to release as three separate chapters. The first title in this series was entitled Separation (see my review at URL) and involved your game character, who was suffering from a memory loss, while attempting to escape from a mysterious old temple.
A new Smartphone seems to arrive often, a new Apple offering has people queuing round the block, a new Android offering less so, but you can do more of what you want, a new Android smartphone with an Intel Chip.
Yes the Intel smartphone is alive and fast in the form of the Motorola RAZRi. It is smaller than a couple of recent offerings and uses a micro SIM and micro SD for added storage but even study fingers like mine work well with it. People I have shown it to often say that is heavy it’s actually 126grams but the case is metal and it should survive the odd knock with ease.
It is that time of year when the latest edition of Bitdefender Total Security software makes an appearance just as emails start to arrive advising you that your current subscription is about to expire. Following the general pattern established over the years, this latest version of the product is identified by the appendage of next years date. So we have Bitdefender Total Security 2013.
In common with other protection type software, Bitdefender does not like to play with other competitive products. As a result it will offer to remove any competitive titles it identifies during the initial stages of its installation. There are some titles that Bitdefender is unable to remove and it will ask you to carry out this task if necessary.
This is another in a range of larger flat panels to have recently crossed my desk. This one has VGA, DVI and Displayport connections as well as USB to power a hub. Here however you can control how high off the desk it is.
Assuming this is your only display then use either DVI or VGA and you should get a perfectly acceptable image. Should you need any further advice then you need to consult the manual that is in PDF format and to view this you need a working monitor. While this unit has Displayport most such connections are on Apple units and I do not have one of those so I cannot comment on whether this works out of the box on first connection or not.
Even after the clocks went back most people are having to rise for work in darkness and while most will still be reluctant to get up in daylight you often need another pressure other than your bladder to get you from your bed.
For those with limited space this small unit may be ideal. It is 23cm wide at the face and 17.5cm at the rear, a maximum of 7cm tall at the face and 4cm at the back these figures are without your ‘i’ device inserted in the dock. Overall it is 8cm deep with leads inserted inset in the rear. The hard wired wire radio aerial is 1.4 metres long. Without your ‘i’ device it is an alarm clock radio controlled by two ubiquitous joystick controls on the units top.
With the amount of malware and types of scams trying to take control of your computer, it makes sense to install protection software such as Norton Internet Security.
As regularly as clockwork (if you can measure clockwork as an annual event), Symantec releases the latest version of Norton Internet Security product. Rather surprisingly the front of the product box and its spine make no reference to a version identifier. To confirm that this is the 2013 version of the product you need to check out a small label in the lower left corner on the rear of the box – it also holds the product’s bar code.
A long time ago in the early years of PCs there was a phrase around saying no one ever got sacked for buying IBM. While things have changed a huge amount you still see a lot of ThinkPads around in everyday use.
For those of more tender years IBM sold their notebooks to Lenovo who have continued to develop this winning brand. While this does not look as ‘sexy’ as some other brands the rubber coating over the skin make it feel solid and reliable the whole reason for me reproducing the comment in the introductory sentence above. It is 35x24x2cm and weights 1865grams; it feels sturdy when you move around with it and nothing during use changes this perception.
Not everybody needs to use colour in their documents. If you fit into this category then a new Brother product might appeal.
The Brother DCP-7055W could not be regarded as a shrinking violet. That is not to say that this all-in-one device with scan, copy and mono laser printer functionality is particularly large but it is substantial. With its base footprint of 370 x 358mm (W x D), the unit expands slightly to 407 x 398.8mm as it rises to a height of 268mm. Predominately computer grey in colour, the unit features rounded corners and side grip handles for easy movement between locations.
Based on the popular US television series of the same name that use to be broadcast on Freeview and now on Sky, Criminal Minds is a Hidden Object Mystery game.
This title gives you the opportunity to solve two cases from the files of the BAU (Behaviour Analysis Unit) section of the FBI. At various points during the game you will slip seamlessly between the main characters of Aaron Hotchner, Emily Prentiss, Spencer Reid, David Rossi, Derek Morgan and Jennifer Jareau with additional background information being supplied by Technical Analyst Penelope Garcia.
Samsung have long produced a range of printers, notebooks and other electrical products including digital cameras. In the last few years they decided to use Micro SD cards for storage; here I am pleased to say its just SD here.
The Samsung WB150F measures 10.5x6x2cm and weights 204grams. It can take 14MP images, has a 24mm wide angle lens and is capable of 18x optical zoom. My unit was metallic red the right side has the wrist strap anchor point and a door behind which is the AV out socket. The left side is clear, the base has tripod anchor point and a door behind which is the units solid battery and any SD card you may use. The face has the lens and the small bar flash which is always a minimum of 4.
While it might appear that some people are talking to themselves, it could be that they are using a Bluetooth headset linked to their mobile phone
When it comes to Bluetooth headsets Plantronics spreads its net wide by developing products for different aspects of the market. For the entry level customer, it offers its M25 and M55 models while mid-range is covered by the Marque and Marque 2 models. If music is more your thing then Plantronics can offer its BackBeat GO product.
A few days ago I was sent a link and passcode to download Windows 8. So with fingers crossed I embarked on making a two year old notebook that has become slower and slower become a more useful member of society.
While I understand that some UK people were involved in the Beta program I was amazed that Microsoft decided not to have a launch in the UK. I have attended every launch since Windows 95 so to launch a new operating system without the chance to talk with people who have been involved seemed strange, also as far as I know there were no UK pre release briefings. So it was a little surprising when I received a link and a code. You need to download onto the machine you intend to upgrade.
An Internet camera can be a useful remote access security device for when a home or office is unoccupied. The Trendnet TV-IP672WI is a high resolution model for indoor use with pan and tilt movements and so can provide useful coverage over a wide area. Having wireless connectivity, one or more of these cameras can easily be added to ones network to provide useful surveillance that can be monitored over the Web.
The unit is off-white in colour and is roughly 5 inches tall. It is provided with a wall/ceiling mounting bracket to which it should be secured with two screws. Alternatively, it can just be placed in a convenient place, or even moved around, as circumstances dictate. The camera, which has a resolution of 1280 x 800 WXGA, can pan through 340 degrees and has a tilt range of 115 degrees.
Neither of these are what you may expect. The Rubik Cube is a speaker available from the Science Museum the Mouse has a hedgehog type covering but the spikes are soft and will not prick it comes from Brando in Hong Kong.
An 8.5cm cube with blue, yellow, green and white sides, the back where the connections enter is orange and the front where the speaker grill is red but with the black showing through. All the links between the nine squares of each colour are black; however these do not move the only connections are on the back on this fun unit. The bottom line of three squares on the back has the connections, on-off slider, USB power input and Auxiliary input from your music device.
With an indication that it is an all round product, the latest version of Norton 360 is now available and comes with the claim of providing ultimate protection for you and your PC.
The Canon Pixma MG4150 is an All in One printer, scanner and copy unit from Canon. Small and flat and it works either via wireless or USB. The black colour may not appeal to all but as it can sit on a shelf or in a cupboard or even behind the sofa.
When closed the MG4150 measures 43x30x15cm. The middle figure the depth increases by 13cm with paper in the front tray. If you add 5cm to the last figure the height you should be able to slip most items onto the scan surface of the flatbed. There are nine buttons and the ubiquitous five position joystick to the left of the flatbed where the flip up screen also is. This is a two ink offering with reasonable sized cartridges.