A recent visit to a trade show re-introduced me to a company that produced some of the early audio tapes I used for recording my favourite music from the radio. Those were the days. Now I have the opportunity to test another of the companys products, this time for listening to my current favourite music.
Established over 50 years ago, Maxell original was best known for the different types of recordable media that it produced. It was this aspect that I had my first dealings with the company. However a recent search through my collection of audio tapes failed to turn up even one of the Maxell products that I had purchased in my youth.
When you think of label printing you tend to think of Dymo, as I discovered earlier this year Brother makes label printers and now I find so do Epson, here I am looking at their latest offering the Epson LabelWorks LW-400.
Of course early label printers were onto impressed metal and you stamped them out one at a time with a revolving wheel, yes I know even Dymo moved into the 21 century but this unit is more like a tiny computer as you are able to store designs, templates and it can even print barcodes all on adhesive tape strips. It is 17x12x6cm and weights 456grams. Mine was a creamy white with black keyboard and a sort of lime green button on the side.
First a set of Headphones that are better than they look and represent a type of music that passed me by many years ago and then some rather nice earbuds that are called noise cancelling stereo headphones I agree they are noise cancelling.
These are on ear headphones with a basic looking design. The earpieces are nearly round at 7x6.5cm and sit on the ear. They come in either black or white. The gold plated connector is at the end of what seems to be a 1.5metre lead but this has fifteen curles in it (like the old telephone cords) and this extends the lead to around 1.9metres when fully extended before you pull the plug.
Aimed at users on a limited budget, Samsung feels a new member of its Galaxy family could be what you are looking for.
I’m tempted to ask just where the subject of this review fits into the Galaxy scheme of communication according to Samsung. After all this Samsung product is named the Galaxy Fit with the code designation of GT-5670. However on second thought perhaps I should just state that this handset is aimed at those users without deep pockets who want to indulge themselves in the smartphone experience. With dimensions of 110.2 x 61.2 x 12.
During my review of the Motorola XOOM Android 3.1 Tablet I found no real problems but the one discovered very near the end. It is a fast unit running what is currently the latest version of Android; it is rapid and far more intelligent than some other such units.
The Motorola XOOM measures 24.5x16.5x1.2cm and weights 705grams. The viewable screen is 21.5x13.5cm which gives the diagonal imperial measurement of 10.1inches which gives the 1280x800 resolution. You will need to read on to find what the only thing was that I found against this unit. Unlike a Windows PC an Android tablet has its own way of touch even those running the same version of Android.
There cannot be many users of power-hungry portable devices such as iPads and smartphones, who have not seen a warning message that their battery is getting very low or have even had it stop working when the battery dies on them. The Proporta TurboCharger 7000, which is not much larger than a smartphone, can make this a thing of the past.
The TurboCharger 7000 is an external rechargeable Lithium-ion battery that, when fully charged, has a capacity of 7,000mAh. This is well over four times the capacity of many smart phones. Just connect it to your phone and, as well as recharging, it provides instant power so you are back on-air without delay. It is roughly 120 x 70 x 15mm and sits comfortably in one’s hand and weighs just 240g when stowed in its draw-string bag with its accessory connectors.
With its policy of providing systems for different needs and pockets, Acer presents its Aspire 5755G model for your delectation.
The Acer Aspire 5755G joins the already well-populated 15.6-inch laptop sector. This particular model weighs in at 2.5kg which is hardly lightweight but still makes it portable when the need arises. The unit’s dimensions are 381 x 254 x 28mm (W x D x H) in its closed state. While the laptop’s gleaming black casing has that initial “pick-me-up” appeal, it isn’t too long before unsightly finger smears begin to decorate the top cover.
If you have ever wondered what a toys eye-view would be like then Mattels latest Hot Wheels product could provide the answer.
Is it a toy? Or maybe it could be considered as a desktop decoration that could double as a surreptitious security device for keeping a watch while you are away from your computer. Actually it could be both but I have a strong suspicion that it will be cast in the former role in most households. I am referring to the latest addition to the Hot Wheels brand of racing toys from Mattel UK Ltd which goes under the banner of Video Racer.
Here I am looking at three different tripod type devices to allow you to let go of your camera. First the Hybrid that works with DSLR or pocket cameras. The other two are smaller the Micro250 for the pocket offering and the Micro800 for the larger pocket offering or the smaller DSLR.
I think this was the first to offer gripping of a non flat surface; in fact it can grip round a pole. Here the Hybrid can raise your camera by up to 24cm from a flattish surface like a wall. Not only does it have a ball and socket joint on top to allow you to use camera at any angle but a built in spirit level if level is what you need. The joint will tilt at any angle to 90degrees and it will pan through 360degrees. The total weight of the Hybrid is 190grams. It will support up to one kilo.
From their base inGermany, the people at Nero have been busy developing the latest version of the companys multimedia software which is the subject of the review.
The latest version of Nero’s multimedia software is available in Standard and Platinum flavours. This review is based on Nero II Platinum which contains a tool set that allows you to rip, burn, convert, edit, backup and organise your media to suit your individual needs.
This is a wide screen pivot enabled 1920x1080 display. You have a choice of VGA or DVI connection and for good measure it has a four port USB hub built in. Is this the sort of display to give your office that extra wow?
The screen is 54x32cm; the viewable area is 51x28.7cm giving the notional imperial diagonal measurement of 23inches. It certainly looks nice and a telescopic arm means it could be anywhere between 11 and 26cm above your desk in landscape mode. The depth of the unit is between 6 and 11cm and the fixed circular base that it sits on is 24cm across. The connections are all on the rear under an overhang from the thickest part so nothing connected shows below the screen level.
Did you realise the iPod first appeared over ten years ago? What started as a music player to challenge other manufacturers MP3 offerings has now become a brand that has spread its wings and gone on to be far more than that?
Here are twelve musical facts about those years. Do you know the year in which each of these happened? Check your answers with those at the end of the following review to see if you got them all. While I have not had an iPod for more than half that time it has still got lots of duplicates, untitled tracks and as for missing artwork …. So here Real Networks bring you Rinse that utilises the Gracenotes database to remove duplicates, give tracks correct titles and find that missing artwork.
Once again Bosch choose December and the location known as Home Sweet Home to demonstrate some of its latest and best selling products. One slight difference with this years event was the lack of snow which I certainly appreciated as I made my way to the centralLondonlocation
While my first port of call was the same room as last year, this time it was not set up as a bedroom but as a more general work area Taking the lead position for this product roundup is a piece of kit that is not due to be launched until May. This is the new and improved Bosch IXO IV unit that features 30% more power than the previous version of the world's best selling power-tool. Weighing just 300g, this small device can handle all kinds of screw-driving projects using a range of bits.
This seems to be the season for people to launch and renew their earphone offerings. Today I am looking at two such items from a new name to me iGo. There are four in the range and here I am looking at the Miami and the City.
These are over ear headphones, not large but they do have a good amount of adjustment 5cm on each side. My head is largish but there is still another 1.5cm of adjustment available for those with an even larger head area. Described on the box as white and red they are white everywhere but the 3.5mm lead and the stitching around the headband. The lead 1.4metres long and the plug is gold plated the inline microphone is red matching the lead. In the box is 3.5mm to phono lead 20cm long.
Generally Smartphones tend to come with a price tag that makes you think twice. Alcatel has bucked the trend with its One Touch series of handsets.
The Alcatel One Touch 665 is a clamshell handset that is available on contract or as a pay as you go product. This handset has been developed for those on a limited budget with simple and uncomplicated needs.
PCTV are part of Hauppauge who have been making TV cards to fit into PCs for many years. Of course with notebooks the solution had to be USB, here something that works on PC, Android (2.2 or later) and iPhone and iPad as well as the iPod Touch.
Why would you walk round your house watching TV on an ‘i’ anything, of course you probably would not, but from a Wi-Fi hotspot this could be very acceptable and not only does it work in the UK but anywhere in the world via your own router and the Internet. So the PCTV is far more than just a simple wireless enabled TV box. It is 12x14.5x4cm, which has two aerials that can add another 11cm to the last figure the height of the PCTV unit.
Following on from titles that include Survivor, Farmer, Marina and Sushi Chef, Youdagames has gone all at sea with its latest offering which is entitled Youda Fisherman. This is a time management game that puts you in charge of a fleet of ships and all the relevant issues and activities that come with this particular role in life.
Developed by I Sioux Game Production BV, a company that is based inHilversumin theNetherlands, Youda Fisherman’s opening screen gives you the opportunity to enter your profile name and adjust various settings. You can select from various languages with each one represented by a national flag plus adjust the volume level for sound effects and background music.
Available in a choice of lime green, champagne silver or black (as in the case of the review model), the Ricoh PX is a waterproof, shockproof and dust-resistant digital camera. Perhaps I should have included the word compact into that description as the camera certainly qualifies in this respect. The cameras dimensions are 100 x 55 x 21.3cm in whatever mode or zoom level is currently being used.
This 16 megapixel camera features a 2.7-inch transmissive LCD rear-mounted screen displaying 230,000 dots. The screen has a protective coating and is your only means of lining up a scene for capture. The protective coating was not very effective as there was a small scratch on the screen by the time the review model made its way into my hands – the coating also did not help with keeping finger smears to a minimum.
Abbyy Finereader Professional 11 is the latest incarnation of a very effective OCR (optical character recognition) package. It is easy to use in its basic form as it comes out of the box and is readily configurable to meet particular needs.
Finereader, as well as being available ‘shrink-wrapped’, can be downloaded from the Abbyy site and installs easily in just a few minutes. It is equally useful for dealing with odd sections of text or in reconstructing the native formatting of multi-page documents as well creating electronic books. Although it will work in a vast number of languages, understandably, I selected English. However, that is not set in stone; this can be changed at will.
The arrival of a battered box is not always bad news, the arrival of a box with space in it probably is. This unit had been doing the rounds and when it got to me all I got was the system box, not even a power lead or any instructions.
Looking at the various DSG websites it seems there should have been also a wired keyboard and a mouse apart from a ‘Welcome Pack’ and of course the power lead. First switch on was not an improvement as I had to do ‘Windows Repair’ as it would not boot. However this story of doom and gloom does start to become a happier tale. A lot of people would have just boxed it up and said take it back.
My first thought was good breathe but then everyone would think about the mouth and teeth and keeping them clean. These two products help you to breathe better first one for Asthma and second one to benefit others.
While I mentioned Asthma above it is stated to help with Hay Fever, Allergy, Pollen Allergies, Sinus Problems, Bronchitis, Breathing Difficulties and Respiratory problems caused by smoking as well as Asthma. While I am Asthmatic and that was the reason I asked to review it I do also have Sinus problems so can it help with both? The pipe is 12x4x4cm and weights 85grams. When you move the pipe it rattles as it is has what is claimed to be five years worth of salt crystals in it.
While out-and-about listening to your favourite music, your enjoyment can be reduced by outside noise elements. Noise cancelling headsets offer to reduce this problem.
While Paul Simon wrote and sang about the Sound of Silence, Wolfson Microelectronics was more interested in Digital Silence. With its headquarters located inEdinburgh, Wolfson Microelectronics is an audio and noise cancelling specialist supplying high performance mixed-signal semi-conductor solutions to the consumer electronics market worldwide. Digital Silence™ is the retail brand of active ambient noise-cancelling stereo headphones and headsets.
Whatever device you want to transmit the signal from it can be transmitted by around 15-20metres to an output device providing both devices have an HDMI port; my home has a lot of solid walls and it works end to end.
I tried this with a Blu-ray player, a video recorder, a Freeview recorder and two different PC one with only a Display Port the latter using a plug adapter also from Lindy part number 41018 that converts DisplayPort to HDMI. The kit consists of a transmitter, a receiver, two DC power bricks, one HDMI cable and an IR extender as well as a user manual.
A new DAB radio from Pure offers a Listen Later and rewind feature.
The Pure ONE Classic is a DAB/FM radio that has a rather plain appearance. Predominately matte black in colour, apart from the silver controls decorating the front of the unit and an extendable aerial, this radio has dimensions of 210 x 145 x 72mm (W x H x D). Most of the control buttons are arranged in a smiling mouth or horseshoe arrangement around a central dial knob which allows you to scroll through and select the chosen option.
When it comes to fashion, I could best be described as a stranger. Maybe this next title will help ease me into this area of expressive living.
Juliette’s Fashion Empire is a time management game set in the world of fashion from Alawar. As the game’s title suggests, in this game you take on the role of Juliette as she attempts to build up a fashion empire based in the cities ofNew York,Milan,Tokyo,ParisandLondonby competing with long-established fashion designers in each of the different locations. Options are available for different people to play the game using their profile name.
A small digital camera from Kodak, this however is part of their idea to make sharing easier and the camera itself has a 16MP image size and comes with 5x optical zoom so can it offer nirvana of everything to everyone?
The Kodak EasyShare Touch M5370 measures 10x5.5x2cm the last figure the width expands by another 2.5cm when fully zoomed. It weights 137grams. Mine was a metallic red and silvered face with the rest in black. The screen however is rather reflective in strong sunlight. The face has the lens towards the right side with the bar flash mounted above and to the left it can never be nearer than 3cm to the lens.
Many more years ago than I care to admit or can even remember some of them, I came across a piece of software that had been released as unprotected Shareware. The software had been developed by somebody whose main interests were jet planes and developing software which explains why he named his company JASC that software was Paint Shop Pro.
Since those early days, Paint Shop Pro has developed into a well-respected commercial product which now forms part of the Corel family. It has also been a permanent fixture, through numerous versions, on my various systems. As I write this introduction, the current version of this photo and image editing package is installing itself on my work system.
If you own an iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad then this app together with the headband and software can tell you how well you are sleeping. I am perhaps not the best to review this as my sleep patterns are to say the least erratic.
If you do not own one of the devices above I see Zeo also do a bedside unit that I understand works more of less the same way but this is currently unavailable to review, as soon as it becomes so I will arrange to trial it. I was leant an iPod Touch and several of my initial problems were caused by not knowing the interface of this iPod. There is a six step instruction card that should really get you ready to use the product for the first time.
Here something brand new and LED light that can also be a flash that has just been released. The second item also from Manfrotto is something all serious amateur photographers need is a bag to keep all their items in.
This is the largest of three arrays recently launched but this is the only one that can also be used as a conventional flash. It is 13x7.5x3.5cm and with the required 4x‘AAA’ batteries inserted weights 168grams, this in the overall size. It can be fitted either vertically or horizontally as there are two shoe fitments. There are four rows of nine LED’s and intensity can be adjusted by on/off twist wheel, there is a separate flash button on the back.
Put the words Samsung and Galaxy together in the same sentence and you could start thinking that the subject matter was going to be a tablet device. However by inserting the word Mini into the sentence, the device under consideration would metamorphosis into a smartphone.
The Galaxy Mini is Samsung’s latest attempt to be the model of choice for those looking for a budget price handset. With dimensions of 110 x 64 x 12mm and weighing 107g, this handset is fairly unremarkable with regards to its general appearance. The off-white plastic casing might not suffer from a finger print affliction but the 3.1-inch capacitive touch screen more than makes up for this as it collects smears at a rate.