As most will know Canon produce two ranges of small cameras the PowerShot and the Ixus. Having reviewed some tiny Ixus this seems quite large. The main difference is that PowerShot use AA batteries and the Ixus a solid battery.
The Canon Ixus 1000HS measures 10x6x2cm and weights 187grams, my unit was gold in colour except for the face that was a chocolate brown although it's also available in red and silver. This unit is ‘10’ by that I mean 10x optical and 10mega pixel. Perhaps that is why it has the name 1000 to keep with the ‘10’. The 2cm width can increase to a maximum of 4.5cm when you are fully zoomed.
Having played and reviewed numerous computer based games, especially those categorised as "Casual", I sometime wonder how the plot or storyline behind the game came about. Maybe you have had similar thoughts.
Giving my keyboard and mouse a rest from the usual pounding gave me the opportunity to check out an offering from Logitech.
This is quite a large unit that is certainly a multi function unit. My interest was the claim made with that it 'cost 50% less per page than colour lasers'. I am sure we all know normally a mono laser is far more frugal than an inkjet.
The is big and black measuring 50x42x30cm and the middle figure. the depth, is only to the front of the paper tray a shelf to catch printed pages can extend up to another 18cm. All the connections are in a line at the back on the right hand edge. Not only does this have a flatbed but also a document feeder. It also has a duplex printing unit that has to be fitted as otherwise the paper path is not complete.
Maybe James Bond would consider it beneath him but others might find this next product useful for covert photography
Adding to its range of security products, Swann has released its RemoteCam™ device. Combining the ability to capture still images and video clips with an audio accompaniment, the RemoteCam is a pocket size unit that comes attached to a key-ring presumably to avoid suspicion when out and about undertaking covert surveillance. Adopting a kind of flatten ovoid-like appearance, the RemoteCam’s body is constructed of a rubberised material.
This is a triangular shaped box and a wireless USB dongle that lets you show whatever you can see on your notebook or a PC onto your TV screen, so you can show HD movies, play MP3 content or even use it for work stuff like Powerpoint.
Installation was a matter of downloading the software from the Veeebeam site, running it on the PC or notebook and then connecting power to the triangular Veebeam box and finally plug in the USB dongle into a port. Wait a few seconds for them to pair and once your TV is tuned to the correct source you see your PC or notebook screen on the TV. I used the Composite cables provided and all worked correctly. After a few tests I tried an HDMI cable and there my troubles started.
While earbuds are popular, my travels around London still see a lot of people preferring Earphones and in fact it seems to me especially in noisy environments that such items are in fact more popular than they used to be.
The Genius GHP-04NC are a pair of smaller Earphones. 20x14x6cm in a non stretched state. The individual ear pieces are 7.5x6.5cm and do not smother an adult ear like some larger units can. I was happy to walk round with them on, an added bonus was that during the review period we had some cold weather and they kept my ears warm. Joy of joys they come in a box that does not need industrial scissors to gain entry so they and the provided case can be returned to it when not in use.
Whenever I travel on the London Underground, I regular see fellow passengers reading books and newspapers or listening to various music player devices. There is even an occasional iPad being used. However it is extremely rare to see anybody using one of the eBook readers that are currently available such as the topic of this next review.
Sony has recently released two new eBook readers entitled the Touch Edition and the Pocket Edition with the latter being the subject of this review. Arriving in a book-sized box (presumably to help emphasize the connection between the device and the more traditional reading style), the Sony Reader Pocket Edition consists of the actual digital book reader, USB lead and a Quick Start Guide with all the various elements being manufactured in China.
The various range of coffee machines from Nescafe bearing the name Dolce Gusto have been amoung the most popular reads, everyone needs coffee to get you going in the morning, some bear the name Krups who make the machine, the coffee that goes in them is Nescafe.
The Nescafé Dolce Gusto Piccolo is undoubtedly the smallest machine; it can hold just enough water for three cups and would be ideal for the small flat. It is a maximum of 30cm tall, 22cm from front to back and 14.5cm wide, mine was in a nice bright red colour. Whereas the Circolo ( ) had similar water container in the rear this slots into place a lot easier than that container did.
Following its normal policy, BitDefender 2011 product line-up consists of the three titles of Antivirus Pro, Internet Security and Total Security.
BitDefender 2011 Total Security offers antivirus protection, firewall capability, network management, file encryption and online back-up in its feature set. As part of its installation routine, which is not the quickest I have encountered by a long chalk, the software checks out your system for any issues that could cause conflicts at a later date. It will recommend that Windows Firewall and Microsoft Defender are turned off and does carry out the task for you.
A new addition to the Avanquest Click & Play game series brings a 3D option and the opportunity to play as different members of a family.
Available for both the Windows and Mac platforms, Escape the Lost Kingdom is a hidden object adventure game with a difference. Developed by Gogii, Escape the Lost Kingdom has the distinction of being the first ever casual game to have a 3D feature at various points during the adventure. To help you benefit from this feature, the Collectors Edition of this game, available as part of Avanequest’s GSP Click & Play label, comes with free 3D glasses in the box.
Here I am looking at three new SD cards, one from Kingston, the second from Verbatim and the other from Integral. All are 64GB and use the new SDXC format (128GB cards will follow shortly). However you will need updated card readers to view your files.
Last year with the aid of Kingston Technology - and how to tell what the various numbers found on stood for. These covered 4GB up to 32GB. Now however there are 64GB and soon – I am told – 128GB. One word of caution if you are purchasing a 64GB or 128GB card you will need a new card reader as older readers can only recognise up to 32GB. Two of the cards I am looking at came with readers.
While not the first name you may think of regarding digital cameras, Ricoh has some interesting products such as the CX3 model.
Adding to its range of digital cameras, Ricoh has launched its CX3 model. While not the small digital camera available, the Ricoh CX3 is reasonably compact with measurements of 100 x 59 x 28mm so that is should not cause an unsightly bulge in a pocket or bag. This model also has the advantage of a 10.7x 28-300mm zoom lens for capturing those memories we all love. Not having had the opportunity to check out any other Ricoh camera units, I had no preconceptions of what to expect.
This is an inkjet unit that is unlikely to be any smaller if it was only a printer. Yes, the scanner is only a flatbed, but I doubt anyone would use an inkjet to scan dozens of pages as the cost per page would make it uneconomic.
The Canon Pixma MP280 all-in-one printer measures 42x30x15cm when the back paper tray is closed, open it and load in A4 paper and the last figure increases to 32cm and the second figure the depth increases to 36cm. The 32cm height is enough to lift the scanner lid to 45degrees plenty to insert anything to scan or copy if you were thinking of placing it onto a shelf.
While most eBooks are using eInk that causes battery power to only be used when a page is turned and I see that Binatone do one of those (higher price) I am looking at a model that uses a conventional display screen and has extra features.
It is 21x13x1cm and weights 305grams. It comes with a leather book style wrap over case that weights 105grams. The viewable screen is 13.5x8.5cm and in a reasonable sized (normal reading) font this gives twenty lines per page and in this font it’s between 40 and 42 characters per line when viewing in portrait mode. In landscape mode this changes to fourteen lines at around characters per line, I will explain how to do this in a bit.
I wake up slow is a song written and performed by Dory Previn. I was reminded of this recording when setting up a new device from Logic 3.
How do you wake up in the morning? Are you the type that prefers to do it naturally without any outside interference? Maybe you opt for some form of assistance such as sometimes happens in my case when my cat decides it is time for me to perform the important task of providing him with food. For many the preferred method is to rely on an alarm clock. Joining the range of possible alarm clock models available is the i-Station TimeCube from Logic3.
Canon has two ranges of small cameras, the Ixus very much a pocket offering and the PowerShot slightly larger and using AA batteries rather than the solid rechargable type. This in itself makes the overall camera larger and heavier.
The Canon PowerShot SX130is measures 300grams and 11x7x4.5cm however the last figure the width can be doubled when the lens is fully zoomed out. 12 seems the number with this unit as it has an impressive 12x optical zoom and the pixel offering is 12.1MP. The right side has the anchor point for the wrist strap and above this a rubberised door hiding the A/V and USB out. The base has the door for the two ‘AA’ batteries and any SD card you might use as well as the tripod screw.
Having purchased a netbook, you might find the lack of an optical drive to be inconvenient. A solution could be to add an external drive
The arrival of netbooks, without any optical media capability, has had the effect of increasing the interest in external devices that can provide the missing functionality delivered by optical media. With the right piece of kit you could access data stored on optical disks and even burned your own data on suitable media. Providing this type of functionality is the slim-line optical writer from LiteOn. This product is the 8X External Top-Load DVD/CD writer with USB connectivity.
In what can be one of the bargains of the year for hidden object adventurers, Avanquest has bundled together three Samantha Swift titles from MumboJumbo priced at under a tenner.
I first met up with Samantha Swift when searching for the Hidden Rose of Athena. Later we got together to explore the mystery of the Midas Golden Touch. Both of these MumboJumbo titles now come bundled together with the third instalment of the Samantha Swift series entitled Mystery from Atlantis. These three titles now form a single package as the Samantha Swift Mystery Trilogy which is available from the Avanquest GSP Click & Play catalogue.
A small wireless laser printer that cannot annoy the lounge police as it can sit in a cupboard of behind the sofa and once you have connected it to a recent PC by a USB lead everything is done automatically no need even to insert a CD.
Installation can therefore be done on a Netbook without having to transfer files to a memory stick. It is just attach the printer via a USB lead the ‘device driver’ is recognised, wait a few seconds and it then installs the required files (on my Windows 7 system it was 10 minutes and 237MB of hard disc space) you are then asked to disconnect the USB lead and you then print a test page, it works, now that is for me finally is some good progress.
Once considered only suitable for the experienced user, networks are now being promoted as being straightforward and easy to set up with products such as this new offering from Cisco.
A name does not always help in explaining a product. This item massages the shoulders and gives massage and heat relief to the lower back, either can be used individually or together however I cannot agree with the all purpose part of the name.
The Oregon i-Comfort All Purpose Massager actually arrived in the autumn after I had some very long working days and together with carrying lots of items in my bag my shoulders were more than ready for a massage or three and it proved to be vigorous enough to help melt the pains and stresses of the day away. The parts it can’t help with are the legs, arms and the feet. It consists of a horseshoe shaped collar; this is quite large and reasonably heavy.
Two separate items the first from Edifier a small soundbar for use with a PC or any device with a 3.5mm output. The second Microsofts LifeCam HD-5000 for those without a web cam so probably for those using a PC rather than a notebook.
There are times when you want sound but earbuds or headphones are not wanted, maybe you are listening for the phone or the doorbell, possibly even you are baby sitting, the TV is too much so possibly the iPod but you need decent sound. It is triangular and 27cm long a maximum of 3.5cm going down to 1cm and 4cm deep. The left side has two connections a mini USB (for power) and a 3.5 to 3.5mm jack lead. The USB lead is 80cm with the 3.5mm lead is 90cm both ends are L shaped.
It was hardly the most auspicious of meeting. I had to battle through a heavy downpour and then sit through a presentation that was in constant competition with those watching a televised European football match featuring the local team in the next room. This was my introduction to CyberLinks latest media playing software.
CyberLink Power DVD 10 Ultra 3D is the new all-singing, all-dancing version of a product that comes with the tag line of being “The No. 1 Movie Experience on the PC”.
While most will say another iPod dock with radio but the Pioneer NAV1 is more than that. Us older people who still prefer our music on CD are satisfied as it also has a slot loading CD on the top and there are more features so read on.
The Pioneer NAV1 measures 37x21x18cm the second figure the depth is only 10cm for most as only the iPod dock centre front and power lead centre back increase it to the full width, 4cm could protrude over whatever you sit it on as that is the dock width. Mine was white and black but they also do all black. It weighs 3.5kilos. Before some get bored I will add the CD player can also play DVD’s so with the aid of leads and a TV you also have a DVD player.
Over the years I have has the opportunity to try out various versions of Acronis software developed to provide backup and restore facilities. Now it is the turn of the latest version which goes by the title of Acronis True Image Home 2011.
This review is based on the download product which is currently available on a trial basis so that you can test the product on your own system. The full unrestricted product is priced at £39.95. Installing the product is relatively straightforward as you follow a series of on-screen prompts. The full paid for version of the software will require the entry of a serial number.
Time to put away your toys and childish things and get down to some hard gaming with a new headset from Plantronics.
In the past I have looked at a number of headsets, some with an attached microphone, which could be classified as being designed for general purpose use. The latest headset to come my way, however, has been designed specifically for use by hard-core gamers although that should not stop others from making use of this headset. This product is the GameCom 777 which has been designed by Plantronics in close cooperation with Dolby.
Having looked at an earlier model (not HD) this was an eagerly awaited arrival. Very different in size and shape. My first check was the pass-through and that performed correctly, is this to be the unit I have been looking for?
The TVonics DTR-500HD measures 37x20x9cm but the last figure the height is only 3cm at the front. For me anyway that creates a possible problem. Tuning takes around three minutes mine found 72 TV 23 Radio and 11 Data channels. As with most such units almost everything is controlled from the remote control. Here a 52 key model that of course contains the ubiquitous five position joystick. As always various major buttons are in differing places but once used to the layout it’s easy enough.
Not everybody can afford the prices being asked for the market-leading graphics products available from Adobe and Corel. Serif offers an alternative with its DrawPlus product.
Since it was founded in 1987, Serif has continued to challenge the conception that full-featured graphics applications should automatically qualify for a high price tag. Starting with desktop publishing software, entitled PagePlus, before expanding into other areas, Serif has developed and published a series of applications under its Plus brand name covering all aspects of graphics. Each title was released at a price point considerably lower than other titles in that arena.
The days of a household having a single iPod are no more so not only do you need the ability to charge more than one the ability to play the sounds from more than one through speakers is here with this double dock offering from Altec Lansing.
In simple terms the Altec Lansing Octiv 202 is two docks mounted side by side on top of a pair of speakers. However the ability merge playlists is something new and with a downloadable utility you can select what comes from which of the units. The shape is like a quarter of a round cake. It is 27cm across at the front and 3cm at the back. It is 8.5cm tall without whatever iPods inserted in their docks on the top. From front to back it is 14cm.