It is that time of the year when Adobe reveals the latest version of its graphics package for those on a limited budget.
While Adobe Photoshop is the market leading graphics package, its price point puts it out of the reach of many users. For those that fall into this category, Adobe offers its Photoshop Elements product with the latest version being number 10. The product is available for either the Windows or Mac platform and comes as a standalone product or as part of a bundle with Adobe Premiere Elements. This review is based on the Windows standalone version.
More Adventure than Hidden Object style of play, a new game from Alawar takes you to an abandoned amusement part to solve a mystery.
What is it with journalists? Some of them seem incapable of researching a good story without getting into a whole heap of trouble. For instance take the case of John Flatter who set out to investigate an abandoned amusement park that has a pretty gory history with disappearances and deaths. Before you know it, Flatter has disappeared, adding to the mystery of the place.
This is a DAB, FM and Internet radio; however believe it or not that is just part of what this can do. Pure have their Lounge and with this service now improved and enhanced it enables your radio to do much more.
The Pure One Flow DAB radio measures 20.5x14.5x7cm this excludes the 77cm added to the middle figure the height by the eight piece rod aerial. It weights 730grams without batteries. Mine was black and covered in a sort of rubberised material that might give some protection if it were to be dropped. The back behind a flip down door is where batteries (or a charge PAK) are inserted it is also where the DC is inserted.
When buying any computer kit one wants to plan ahead to give oneself a degree of future-proofing without going to the too expensive extreme. The Netgear N600 wireless dual-band gigabit ADSL2+ modem router model DGND3700 will provide more than adequate performance today while, at the same time, has enough facilities and performance to meet needs for the next year or two which is, after all, as far as it is reasonable to plan -- even if one switches from ADSL to cable or fibre.
Before anyone gets the wrong idea, this ADSL modem router does not directly support cable or fibre; it has a WAN (wide area network) gigabit Ethernet port to connect to a cable or fibre modem. Thus, a user can make the transition without having to disturb any of their LAN connections or having to make any additional purchases. The DGND3700 is a vertically mounted unit which is roughly 23 x 16 x 7.5cm overall including the stand even though the body of the unit itself is only 3.5cm wide.
As I say goodbye to one Epson multifunction device, so another model takes its place. This time it is the Epson Stylus SX535WD.
Following the pattern established by the previous Epson Stylus multifunction units I have looked, the Epson Stylus SX535WD is a box shaped unit with rounded corners to give it just a touch of style. Predominately black in colour, combining matte and areas of reflective black that tend not to show up finger smears (do I hear a shout of “hurray”), this model has dimensions of 445 x 367 x 169mm making it slightly smaller than the BX635FWD that I looked at recently.
If you are in the market for a large flat panel then certainly this offering from Samsung should be on a very short list. It is described as a 27inch monitor but for something so big it is not heavy or in any way really bulky.
The screen is 64.5x39x2.5cm. The base it stands on is oval at 28.5x23cm and it raises the screen by 9cm from your desk. The screen has a few degrees of forward movement and around 15degrees of backward tilt, there is no side to side movement. The viewable area of the screen is 60x33cm giving the diagonal imperial measurement of 27inches. I used this attached to several PC’s of varying vintages running XP, Vista and Windows 7 at up to 1920x1080 and all worked correctly.
Few if any of us can afford a Ferrari so this red and black offering with the Ferrari logo might be the closest we come. Second Go Mini not a car reference refers to a small corded mouse for those who cannot get on with trackpads.
Many – in fact probably most – or us would love to own a Ferrari, most of us could not even afford the insurance, here however is something with the Ferrari log we can afford their wireless laser mouse, it is of course predominately red. It is 10.5x6x3cm, the edges are black as is the scroll wheel and button areas back to the prancing horse logo under your palm. Described as high precision it can be up to 2000dpi.
Adding to its range of handsets, Samsung has released its Galaxy S II handset to tempt you to part with your hard earned cash.
Have you ever wondered what happens to all those mobile handsets that are now considered to be no longer the favour of the moment? Judging by the rate at which new models are appearing, there must be a vast army of handsets, sitting on retailers’ shelves or clogging up various warehouses, which have been replaced by the must-have model.
If you say BlackBerry to any one under forty they probably thing smartphone. If over sixty they thing of a berry growing wild picked in late summer. Here for all its the BlackBerry offering into the very crowded Tablet market place.
Think Tablet and PC, Android and Apple come to mind, so does another have a chance even one with such a wide user base as BlackBerry. Shortly before I got this Tablet a great number of people in the BlackBerry area were hit by several outages and realised how much they relied on a single small object to control their working lives. It is 19x13x1cm and while it will just about fit in a large pocket it is more a bag sort or tool. It weights a little over 400grams.
Bringing together video, music and pictures is the role of a media player such as the hdMEDIA RT3
Newly arrived from our Dutch friends at Eminent is the EM7280 HD Media Player otherwise known as the hdMEDIA RT . This black box device is considered to be the successor to the company’s EM7180 HD Media Player that gave you control over the various aspects of your media content stored on various devices. Slab-shaped with dimensions of 222 x 155 x 55mm (W x D x H), this product comes with a collection of leads and a full size remote control unit.
All you can see is not all that is available in a game that has you looking up and down as well as left and right in search of hidden objects.
Separation is the title of Chapter 1 of The Fall Trilogy. Spread over five chapters, this is an adventure game with more than a sprinkling of Hidden Object searches, puzzle solving and mini-game action to keep you occupied. You will quickly discover that this game takes a more all-round view of its world as you can direct your viewpoint to the left and right plus up and down as you move around an environment based around a hexagon layout.
This is a slimmer, faster and better specified version of the original Packard Bell oneTwo. It is a full featured Windows PC with Touch Screen working out of the box but it is also a Windows Media Centre unit with remote.
The screen is 51.5x32x5.5cm with only the sprung stand increasing the width to a figure of your choice between 22 and 30cm dependant on the amount of back tilt you require to suit you. The diagonal imperial screen size is 21.5inches. This shows 1920x1080 in a clear crisp sharp screen. The left side has headphone and microphone sockets, two USB3 sockets and a multi card port. The top centre of the screen surround has a web cam and beside it a pinhole microphone.
STM has introduced a vertical laptop shoulder bag in which the computer is stowed vertically rather than the normal horizontal. This turns out to be a remarkably comfortable way to carry a machine together with its basic accessories, possibly an iPad, and some paperwork and so many people may consider it a viable alternative to the conventional ones.
Designed to accommodate the majority of 15inch laptops it weighs just 0.9kg and is constructed, mainly, out of 300D water-resistant micro rip-stop polyester. As well as the padded grab handle there is a removable shoulder strap that can be adjusted over a wide range to suit user needs. My preference was to have a very short strap so that my elbow stopped the bag swinging around. Others may choose to have a far longer strap going diagonally over the shoulder.
Recently I have been able to give my Brother mono laser printer a break from its day-to-day activity as I replaced it with a product from Samsung.
Offering a choice of USB 2.0 or Wi-Fi connectivity, the ML-1865W is a mono laser printer from the Samsung stable. Combining glossy and matt black with its plastic casing, this box shaped unit with rounded corners has an appealing look and a footprint that is smaller than other inkjet and laser printers I have seen. With its front and top flaps closed, the ML-1865W has dimensions of 341 x 224 x 184mm (W x D x H).
This is a small 32 key keyboard that connects via USB to your PC. The software is what makes this small keyboard something that really stand out it is Sibelius First a slightly cut down version of the full product that costs several hundred pounds.
The keyboard is 42x10.5x2cm, so the keys themselves are smaller at 7x2cm and the black keys 4.5x1cm in size. You have 19 white keys and 13 black keys however with the aid of the seven buttons on the left side of the keyboard you can raise of lower octaves to get a full keyboard. Here you will also find a volume knob to control sound. The box describes it as ‘32 note ultra-portable keyboard controller’ which although a bit of a mouthful describes it.
Two items that I saw recently at a press event called Digital Winter, other requested items from various other manufacturers have yet to arrive so these two stocking fillers get pride of place as their PR person is on the ball.
These are in ear earbuds, they come with soft silicone buds that enable them to fit to most ears – two other sizes are provided – the sound quality is reasonable with a good base just using it with MP3 or iPods, on a proper audio system they were fine. The lead is white and 1.3metres long so you are dying to know how are they ‘non tangle’.
While you may have built up an impressive collection of digital images, are you forgetting those negatives and slides carefully stored away a few years ago? honestech believes it can help in this matter.
As older technology gives way to more modern approaches so the need arises for a means of transferring the content produced by the old method into a format that is recognised and usable by the latest technology. One example of this can be seen with the more traditional photography that relied on negatives and slides for storing its content and today’s digital images.
First a mono noise cancelling offering from Jabra. Then what Plantronics call a smart headset for your smartphone. Both these Bluetooth offerings fit into the ear and are secured over the ear to allow all-day comfort.
It is 9x3x2cm and weights only 18grams. So when fitted over your ear the weight is not a factor in wearing it all day. There are three methods of charging the headset, mains power, USB power or car cigar lighter and all the required leads are in the box. Perhaps best of all it supports either ear as the over ear part flips to allow left ear wearing. This feature is vital for anyone who is either hard of hearing in one ear or has a hard or arm problem.
When taking part in strenuous activities you might prefer to have an appropriate communication device with you/
While one of the numerous modern stylish smartphones will be the preferred communication device of many as their day-to-day companion, there are some occasions when such a device is nor the most suitable. If you are the adventurous, outdoor type then you might prefer to have a more robust handset to hand. One possibility could be the Samsung Solid Immerse which comes with the promise of being built for strength and ready for adventure.
Why stick with one body when reincarnation can switch you between characters in a Collectors Edition game?
Joining the popular Hidden Object Adventure genre is the Big Fish Reincarnations 2. Now available in Collector’s Edition format from Focus Multimedia and subtitled Uncover the Past, Reincarnations 2 includes the main game and a Strategy Guide. You also get a bonus Reincarnations story dealing with the Rainbow Circus, wallpaper, screensavers, concept art and a musical soundtrack but these only become available when the main game has been completed.
This tiny handheld unit has probably got more capture power ability than a full size tripod mounted film unit of not that many years ago, so for not that much money you can capture HD movies and sound without any real effort.
Its been a while since I have looked at a Camcorder – as opposed to a ‘Flip’ type unit or the ability of a digital camera – and even though externally it looks similar the guts and how it captures and deals with video has changed. It is 11.5x6x6cm when closed and it weights 305grams. The viewing and capture screen opens on the left side and this can add up to another 9cm to the 6cm width. The screen can rotate up to 270 degrees, 180 degrees away and 90 degrees towards.
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.