The Pentax Q has the appearance of a compact camera yet it offers the user an interchangeable lens facility.
At its launch, the Pentax Q was described as having the smallest and lightest camera body that was capable of accepting different lenses. With dimensions of 95 x 57 x 32mm (W x H x D) and a weight of just 190g, admittedly without a lens attached, you could understand how this claim could be justified. The Pentax Q is available in a choice of black or white featuring a faux-leather coating. The review sample was the black model and it came with a 3.2mm f/5.
I first heard of this last September, unfortunately the PR promises seem shall we say optimistic and it only arrived with me this year. Not the longest wait for something but certainly worthy of a reason as to why it was delayed.
The first PogoPlug – strange shape and colour – appeared in early 2010 and was probably before most had discovered ‘cloud’ storage. This unit is a far more sensible black in colour and is far smaller and better balanced but at the cost of extra connections. It is 10x12x3.5cm and without connections the little black box weights only 175grams. Looking at the front there is a bar LED under the logo when power is on. The left side has an SD card slot.
Here I am looking at two different but similar small keyboards from Brando in Hong Kong; the first is Wireless with IR Remote. The second is a wheel micro wireless keyboard mouse with added presentation abilities.
About the size of a TV remote at 14x6x1cm, it weights 107grams. However the functionality does not end there as it not only a 75key keyboard, to its right is a track pad under this two mouse key buttons and the ubiquitous five position joystick. Believe it or not this little marvel is not finished yet as the back has another five position joystick with no less than another ring of six controls outside this, also a slide out section where the wireless USB connector is.
By coincidence I started looking at this next game on the same day that I paid one of my irregular visits to the local barbers. With such a clue you should have little difficulty in working out that the game is about that demon barber of Fleet Street, Sweeney Todd.
To give the game its full title, this is Penny Dreadful™ Sweeney Todd. Developed by PlayPond and originally published by Big Fish Games, this game if now available from Focus Multimedia in Collector’s Edition Format. The main game, which is divided into six chapters, needs to be completed before you gain access to most of the extra content making up this Collector’s Edition.
PowerShot are the larger of two small Digital Camera ranges offered by Canon. This unit is larger than most and on first glance could be mistaken for a DSLR unit. The main difference is that its lens is not interchangeable.
The Canon PowerShot SX40HS measures 11x11x9cm but the width can increase by another 6cm when fully zoomed, it weights 605grams without neck strap. The right side has a door behind which are HDMI and AV sockets, there is also neck strap anchor point. The left side has only the other neck strap anchor point. The base has solid battery behind a door where any SD card you might use also resides and there is also a tripod screw. The face has the 35x zoom lens (4.3-150.
A quick check of my laptop revealed that it was about time a new Norton security package was due and so it was as the latest version of Norton 360 made an appearance.
Now up to version 6, Norton 360 is Symantec’s all-round security product that can be installed on up to three computers to protect the user from a range of malicious threats. The product is available in either Standard or Premium versions. The former comes with 2GB of online storage space for the duration of your subscription while the latter edition increases this figure to 25GB of online storage. Installing Norton 360 is both straightforward and quick.
Adding to its extensive collection of Hidden Object Adventure titles, Focus Multimedia has brought together two offerings developed by Stargaze Studio and originally published by Alawar Games. Both games are based around a character named Angel who may be the villain or victim of a mystery involving ghosts, zombies and all-manner of horrors.
This double pack is made up of the Twisted Lands titles of Shadow Town and Insomniac. Both titles are classified as being of the Collector’s Edition variety which means that some extra items are included with the main game. In the case of Shadow Town you get a walkthrough to help keep you on the right track plus an option to replay any of the video cut-scenes that are interspersed throughout the game once they have already appeared.
Certain things take a long time, this certainly in one such item, I remember seeing a pre production unit in the late spring with promise that it would ship in September 2011 but it arrived with me after the start of 2012.
The Archos Tablet G9 is a rather nice 10.1 inch Tablet running Android 3.2.5; the overall size is 27x16.5x1cm and it weights 640grams. The screen has a resolution of 1280x800. The viewable screen is 21.5x13.5cm giving the notional imperial measurement of 10.1 inches. There is 8GB of storage and 512MB of RAM. I never saw the Archos 80 (8 inch version) but I am told the inside was exactly the same. For a dual core Android Tablet with version 3.2.
Sections of the entertainment industry are never shy about borrowing ideas from each other. In this case it is a computer game borrowing from a television series.
Crime does not pay. This statement may or may not be true. I don’t just means with regards to criminals but also those who are involved in the production of various crime-based offerings that form a major part of the entertainment industry.
Not a totally new name to me as I have looked at a couple of sets of headphones from them last year but this is something different environmentally friendly rechargeable batteries, not just the fact that rechargeable is more friendly than single use.
I was sent both ‘AA’ and ‘AAA’ batteries together with a charger that works with both these sizes of the batteries. The batteries are stated to be the only non toxic rechargeable batteries. A review of this type takes time as only by charging and recharging and measuring time between charges etc can you decide if the batteries are as good – or better – than the offerings by other companies that produce rechargeables.
With downloads becoming more popular is the CD in danger of going the same way as vinyl? In one of my occasional forays into my passion of jazz I tell you about one such release that is only available as a high quality download, while a couple of others are CD or download all are from the British label NAIM.
By download I do not mean low quality MP3 or even the higher quality 320kbps often used as downloads from places such as iTunes. In fact the download quality is more than twice that of Wav files found on CDs as it is 24bit and 96kHz. Mind you the downloads will be big the one I did is available in WAV or FLAC and in the WAV format is 1.8GB for a CD of just under an hour.
Aggressive contestants in the ring but friends at other times, three wrestlers take centre stage in a new point and click adventure.
Da New Guys are a trio of professional wrestlers named Brains, Simon and Defender. This fighting trio perform their trade regularly at the Wrestle Zone. Sharing the same apartment, the mismatched group are the central characters of a new comedy game created by Chris Burton for Icebox Studio (I’m tempted to say the developers of cool games) and published by Wadjet Eye, a company that continues its love affair with retro style adventure games with a strong element of humour.
I first saw this early last autumn at the impressive restaurant at OXO tower. I took some great images from their outside balcony over the Thames and have been impatiently waiting to get my hands on one to give it a thorough review.
My memories were correct this is a super camera. It is a little larger than a digital camera that fits in the pocket but smaller than a DSLR unit. It is 11x5.5x9.5cm and the weight with the supplied 18-55mm lens fitted is 475grams. Even with my initial test photos the quality was superb and when used at various gigs as I always do as part of all round testing the results were stunning.
Taking photographs is fun especially when you are collecting visual representations of memories of important personal events. You can then store these images locally or in the Cloud knowing you can recall them when necessary. However why stop there.
Even photos captured by professional photographers could benefit from tools designed to enhance images and the same will apply to those of us who do not possess the same skill set when it comes to capturing images. Offering to help with the management and enhancement of your images is PhotoDirector. Developed by CyberLink, a company well-versed in digital image software, the latest version of this product is PhotoDirector 3.
Like some others, I regard shopping as a chore rather than a pleasure. This next title lets you look at this task from the shops point of view as you become manager of a shopping mall.
You would normally expect a product with “Spooky” in its title to appear towards the end of the year to take advantage of Halloween rather than at the beginning of the year as has happened with Spooky Mall. But maybe the ghosts, spirits and hobgoblins that inhabit this particular shopping centre have lost all sense of time and choose now to stock up on provisions.
This Android device will easily fit in a pocket or purse, the screen is however larger than you think as it hinges in the centre giving a view that is far larger than the overall size of the Tablet and certainly worth a look.
The Sony Tablet P measures 18x8x2cm the last figure is at the centre as the unit is a squashed ‘o’ shape and the edges are only 1cm it weights 365grams. The viewable screen is 12.5x12.
It is hidden object searching and adventure exploring time with a new title from Youdagames.
Put together a young woman with an inquisitive mind and an abandoned house, mix in a sprinkling of puzzles and copious amounts of hidden objects and you have all the ingredients for a Hidden Object Adventure game. In this case the game is entitled Youda Mystery: The Stanwick Legacy. Your ole in this game is that of Emma Stanwick who was packed off to boarding school when her parents died in mysterious circumstance.
The BETT (British Educational Technology Trail) has in the past proved to be a fruitful source of information and products ideal for the small business user, after all a school is certainly a business for those who attend.
This was a little larger than a normal inkjet but it does have something that most home or small office machines do not have that is the ability to receive emails – yes it has its own email address - and print them to be precise you can send items including images from anywhere in the world – now that is a wide network – and it will print them out on receipt. It is 45x44x33cm. The front edge has 26 buttons and three LED’s as well as the ubiquitous joystick around the 5x3.
First something ideal for iPod or iPhone users it requires no power source and gives a good sound the Travel Speaker System from Griffin. Second the JBL on Tour Micro a single speaker that connects using a standard 3.5mm lead.
This is ideal when you do not want to use earbuds or headphones as the sound is amplified to give a decent sound level but it takes power from your iPod or iPhone so you do not need any mains or computer source nearby. It is 18x10x3cm and is slightly convex, your iPod or iPhone fits in the centre 6.5cm part and the amount it protrudes above the top depends on which model of iPod you are using.
Picturesque Cornwall, a less-than picturesque demon and missing festival attendees all feature in a task-based Hidden Object game now available from Focus Multimedia.
Originally published by Big Fish Games, the Elephant Games developed Hallowed Legends: Samhain is now available as part of the Focus Multimedia catalogue in Collector’s Edition format. As usual with a Collector’s Edition title, you get a Strategy Guide made up of instructions and appropriate screenshots. You also get concept art, wallpaper, screensaver and music plus a bonus chapter which adopts a slightly different approach to many other such offerings that I have seen.
Not slim, not sleek and the cream colour makes it look a little strange. However the important thing is image quality and here I have no complaints, in fact this ultra compact model has other features not always found with other small cameras.
The Pentax Optio RZ18 compact digital camera measures 10.5x6x3.5cm, the last figure can increase by as much as a further 5cm when fully zoomed in. It weights 190grams. This is certainly not another small digital camera the MP size can be up to 16MP but the real star is the 18x optical zoom. The still capture sizes are 16MP, 12MP 1:1, 12MP 16:9, 7MP, 2MP 16:9 and 640x480. If I do not state they are all 4:3.
It has been a while since I last looked at a Netgear product. However a change of PR agency allowed me the opportunity to check out a new dual-band modem-router from the company.
The Netgear DGND3700 is a wireless dual band Gigabit ADSL2+ Modem Router that forms part of the company’s N600 family of products. On opening the box I was rather surprised to discover that no software CD was present. On checking the supplied content listing I was able to confirm that the lack of a CD was deliberate and not the result of an accidental loss. This fact immediately alleviates the chicken and egg conundrum as to which procedure comes first.
Developed by Stargaze and published by Alawar Entertainment: Mountain Crime: Requital is a Hidden Object and Puzzle Adventure game.
Like many other games that fall into this genre, Mountain Crime: Requital offers you a choice of two game modes. You can either opt for Regular mode with a quicker Hint recharge feature and highlighted interactive areas with sparkles or take the more challenging Expert route that does not highlight interactive areas and makes you wait longer for the Hint feature to become available after each use. In this game you take on the role of Dr.
For those who always think the weather forecast is wrong or who always think your own personal weather is different from what they say this may just be what you are looking for - your own personal weather station from Oregon Scientific.
With so many things needing a PC or Internet connectivity this rather bucks the trend in that it does it all in the modules supplied so once you have it in position you can tell wind speed and keep you own count of rainfall and more. Everything you need is in the box apart from a screwdriver and something to drill holes; all the washers’ screws and batteries are supplied as well as the various modules.
A favourite series of mine is the Jewel Quest collection of titles that feature match-3 and adventure and hidden object searching.
The Jewel Quest series started life as games featuring match-3 jewel boards with an underlying story regarding ancient civilisations. Since those early efforts, the series has branched out to include a Mysteries section that brings together hidden object game play in different locations with some match-3 jewel board action. The latest Jewel Quest title to come my way falls into the Mysteries section and is entitled The Seventh Gate.
All you need is a USB port and an aerial then you can watch TV or even record programs anywhere. In theory the supplied mini aerial will be enough but that depends on the reception in the area that you are viewing from.
The PCTV Nano Stick just a USB stick with a connector on the end for an aerial lead, plug in to your PC or Notebook and install the software on the supplied CD and let it search for channels. Certainly I would initially use a roof or loft aerial to find the maximum number of channels, in my case it found 110, once tuned then – dependant on location – the mini aerial supplied may be enough. The receiver is 7x2.4x1.
First one designed for use with an iPad and by having Bluetooth it can also work with other systems even if it does not fit smoothly in. Second something the size of a Palm type device with a small QWERTY keyboard and large trackpad.
What I am looking at is a Bluetooth Keyboard that was designed to work with an iPad or such similar type device. Sadly Santa failed to bring me one of those - once again - but it works with any device capable of pairing so a PDA or Android device can be used without problem.
It is rare for a week to go by without another new title appearing from Alawar. This time it is a retro-style cartoon adventure.
Developed by Stargaze, The Jolly Gang’s Misadventures in Africa is a new cartoon-style game from Alawar. The game’s title gives a clear indication that this is an adventure game with a strong fun influence to keep you amused as you join the Jolly Gang in their escapade to track down treasure. The game’s opening screen gives you a variety of choices although a couple of them only come into their own once you have started playing your Africa adventure.
In the mass market Canon are best known for cameras and ink jet printers. For the professional photographer its the DSLR camera, for office users its possibly their laser printers. Here an All In One that can suit home or small office.
The Canon Pixma MG6250 all-in-one measures 46x38x16cm, you will need another 10cm on top of the 46cm depth when you have photo paper in the back upright tray. You probably need 10cm on the 16cm height for that purpose as well as placing items on the flatbed. The power lead is inserted back left while USB is inserted back right. The front right edge has a USB port and behind a door on the curve of the right front edge are three card ports that accept most common card types.
Watching a DVD movie on your laptop may be fine for a single person but when more are involved you need a larger display. A new product from CablesToGo offers to help in this respect.
If at first you do not succeed then try, try and try again. I took these words to heart as I set about installing the TRULink product from CablesToGo. For those unfamiliar with the company, CablesToGo is involved in the development of connectivity products. The TRULink device has been developed to allow the user to stream video from a computer to a remote monitor, projector or television set using Wireless USB (WUSB) Technology.