While most seem happy to say YES when completing a 1000 piece puzzle me included I started my quest before Christmas on two larger offerings a 3000 piece one eventually completed, meant time to start a 5000 piece offering.
Of course even these are tiny in comparison to the 32,000 plus pieces in the world’s largest jigsaw that they produce. See last paragraph. For me anyhow a 2000 piece jigsaw is at the very least ‘a challenge’, it also has an awful lot of various shades of blue.
With smartphones, mobile music devices and other electronic gadgets it can sometimes be difficult to find all the power points necessary for recharging purposes. One solution could be to use a universal desktop charger.
Several months ago I was introduced to a product from Inoitulos, a Spanish technology consultancy. This product was the . The “i3” part of the product’s title indicates that it was capable of charging up to three different devices simultaneously. Now the company has come up with an enhanced version of the product. This new version provides the means for powering four devices at the same time.
This is much more than just a phone, like all decent recent phones its cordless and DECT however it can connect to any Wireless network and using its Touchscreen you have a unit capable of Internet browsing or playing Internet radio.
The phone is 15x5x2cm it has a cradle that is circular at 14cm and 3cm tall it has a small stand to allow leads etc to emerge and this raises the height by another 2cm at the rear of the unit, both the phone and the cradle are shiny black. The viewable screen on the phone is 4.3x5.8cm. Below the screen are the green answer button and the red end call button above these a back button and another between these is the ubiquitous five position joystick control.
With a pile of paper, various images and electronic documents all ready and waiting, it is time to test a new multifunction device. This time the manufacturer is Canon.
Arriving as the replacement for its MP490 model, Canon is now offering users the PIXMA MP495. Like its predecessor, the MP495 brings together print, scan and copy facilities within a single inkjet unit. In addition the MP495 features wireless connectivity as standard but this does come at a cost with regards to other types of functionality. Canon has taken the decision to remove any support for memory cards and PictBridge.
Ever fancied a job as a shelf stacker at your local supermarket? Maybe this next game will give you an indication as to your suitability for this particular task.
This is exactly what a modern notebook should be, well specified and easy to use. The latter is handled by it having a full suite of touch modules built it so things that used to need the mouse can now be completed using your fingers.
The Acer Aspire 5745PG touch screen laptop measures 37x25x3cm and weights 2.65kilos. It is black with the area in front of the keyboard being grey. Unfortunately the black is that horrible shiny black that shows fingermarks and the screen is rather reflective. There is a 106 key keyboard with the alpha and numeric keys being full size, there is of course a separate numeric keypad.
A recent delivery at the Fereday household saw the arrival of three new headphone sets from Panasonic which might be of interest.
Available in a choice of black or white, the Panasonic RP-HX45 is described as being Hi-Fi monitor headphones. This product has been designed for use with MP3 players and the various members of the iPod family. The lightweight headset consists of a padded, expandable headband with ear-pads that can be swivelled through approximately 100 degrees to suit different head shapes and sizes. By swivelling the ear-pads you can also store this product flat when not being used.
Netgears N300 RangeMax wireless gigabit ADSL2+ modem router DGN3500 has been designed to provide the higher speeds that users increasingly demand. In addition to its wide range of LAN and WAN features it can also support an external USB storage device.
The DGN3500 is in a slim case 223 x 153 x 31mm which is accompanied by a mains plug type power adapter. Although the unit can be laid flat on its side, Netgear recommends that it is stood vertically using the supplied clip-on stand in order to get the best wireless coverage from the three internal antennas. Installation procedure is quite simple; just follow the step-by-step illustrated instructions on the provided CD.
Panasonic do two ranges of cameras the ones that could even be called professional and can be seen being used by keen amateurs, they also do a Lumix range that look like point and shoot but have far more functionality.
The Panasonic Lumix TZ10 measures 10x6x3cm, the last figure can increase to 6cm when fully zoomed. My test unit was black with silvered fittings, it weighed 215grams. It has up to 12x zoom and captures images up to 12MP in size, this model can even use GPS to tell you where your images were taken. So this is by no means anything like an entry level ‘point and shoot type’ offering. The right side has two connectors behind a flip open door for HDMI and AV out.
Brando from Hong Kong has cornered the market in quirky devices that are in some way powered by USB. Here a USB hub with a touch responsive Plasma Ball, the second DJ Mix Turntable, both these items are fun things.
It is 14cm to the top of the ball which starts 6.5cm from the base. The hub is the base and is 9cm across but there are the four ports - two on each side with the spaces in between filled by the USB to mini USB lead and a simple on/off switch that controls only the Plasma ball the USB ports are live all the time the cable is connected. Of course from the point of view of a man this is not perfect, the glass sphere is of course clear but the Plasma when idle is P I N K.
With a desert island, a castaway and a man called Friday, it can only be a title based on Robinson Crusoe.
Who better to be the central character in a hidden object adventure game than an archetypal survivor. In this case the survivor is none other than the Daniel Defoe created character of Robinson Crusoe and the game, not surprisingly, is entitled Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. As part of Avanquest’s GSP Click & Play catalogue, this game entrusts you with the task of helping Robinson Crusoe survive after ending up on a remote island in the Caribbean following a storm at sea.
Having looked at two earlier models that were only available from Amazon.Com, here after a very long wait I get to sample the joys of the latest sleek offering that at long last is available from Amazon in the UK.
The latest Amazon Kindle measures 19x12x.5cm and weights only 230grams, the viewable screen is 9x12.2cm giving a diagonal screen measurement of 6inches. When off the screen displays one of a range of wonderful monochrome graphics, these graphics use no power. The controls are simple, both the left and right edges have < and > keys to move page forward and page back. The bottom has a volume up and down rocker, 3.5mm headphone/earbud socket a micro USB socket and on/off slider.
While many pocket camcorders have been designed for general purpose use, the Kodak Playsport is aimed more at the more adventurous members of society. To this end the Playsport combines electronic image stabilising technology, to assist when capturing sporting events, with the ability to be waterproof up to a depth of 10 feet for recording aquatic expeditions.
With dimensions of 58 x 112.5 x 19.5mm (W x H x D), the Playsport should fit comfortably in a pocket or bag without causing an unsightly bulge (Kodak has produced a case for this camera but this an optional extra). Available in a choice of colours, including Abyss (Black), Wave Crash (Blue), Adrenaline Rush (Purple) or the orange of the review model, the Playsport stands apart from the other pocket camcorder that I have looked at, in that it does not feature a flip-out USB connection arm.
Sometimes a knock on the door or a ring of the doorbell can bring a pleasant surprise. However this is not the case when Sam Hunt answers a knock at the door in Alawars Stray Souls: Dollhouse title.
With a choice of Custom (one-minute Hint recharge and highlighted interactive areas) or Expert mode (two-minute recharge and no highlights), Stray Souls: Dollhouse is a hidden object adventure game. Currently the game is available as a Collection’s edition which features a number of extra items.
This is very slightly larger than a small point and shoot digital camera but a good deal smaller than most DSLR however in reality it is neither, it has good points and bad, two that stick out are no optical zoom and a poor inbuilt flash.
The Sigma DP1x Digital Camera measures 11x6x5cm with the last dimension, the depth increases by 2cm when you remove the lens cap and turn it on, it weights 280grams. Truly an oblong box with the lens protrusion being the only thing extending, the face has only the lens as the flash – such as it is – has a manual release mechanism on the top, I rarely mention its size but as it is 2cm long and less than .
Ever since taking a look at the Sony Pocket Reader I have made a conscious effort to watch out for similar devices being used in public areas instead of traditional books and other reading material. Currently these sighting stand at just two instances admittedly over a fairly quiet period with regards to excursions. In neither case was the observed device being the Sony Touch Reader which is the subject of this review
As its title implies, this Sony Reader features a touch screen allowing you to carry out a number of actions using either your finger or the supplied stylus. Following the same pattern adopted by the Sony Pocket Reader, this bigger sibling product arrives in a box that bears more than a passing resemblance to a traditional book.
Amplicon are better known for improving peoples hearing with devices and aids. Here they offer help from the other end by making a mobile phone with a high ringer volume and increased sound volume for the phones user.
The company whose phone the Amplicom Powertel M4000 most resembles to me is Doro who do a lot for those with disabilities. Here Amplicon have a phone with big buttons and large text on the screen to go with a ringer that will wake almost anyone so those who are hard or hearing are well catered for. Often however a loud ringer on its own is not enough as the volume of the caller is still not increased enough, that is certainly not a problem with this unit.
Over the last few months I have told you about various Oregon products but not the one they are best known for Weather Stations, I got one early in summer and just recently a second model both can prove extremely helpful.
If you just want a weather station to tell you the internal and external temperatures plus things like day date humidity and prediction for the next 24 hours then several fit the bill one such is the Slim Weatherbox BAR 800 received recently more of that in a bit first… I have been testing this since the summer, my main worry was that as the main unit is Solar it would die during the winter months, it has not done so, it is in my kitchen window and even with so few hours of light it kept
It hardly seems like yesterday when I took a look at the Ricoh CX3 compact digital camera. Actually it was more like four months ago but that hardly gives the company enough time to develop and manufacture a new model. Yet here we are with the latest offering from Ricoh. Not surprisingly this new product is entitles CX4.
This is a completely different shape for a Multi Function unit. It is Multi Function as not only does it print, scan and copy but should you still need the facility it can also be used as a Fax machine. The shape is higher rather than wider.
So in height, width and depth order the Lexmark Genesis S815 measures 43x38x30cm. It has a shiny black front, silver grey sides and matt black for the rest. It comes with four inks the black being larger than the three colours. Once you have used the machines touch screen to set location you install the inks. Next add some paper and you are ready to print a test page.
I have been a regular user of a Dymo labelling device for many years. While fine for simple tasks, this device was unsuitable for more complicated labels. Fortunately Dymo manufacture a product that is capable of carrying out this type of task.
While it is possible to produce labels of various types using your main printer, it can sometimes be a little fiddly. You need to get the settings and positioning just right plus often your main printer, whether it is a laser or inkjet, can be busy performing other important jobs. An alternative solution would be to have a dedicated label printer on hand to carry out the task of running off address and other kinds of labels when required.
Are the adventure-style games of yesteryear about to make a comeback? This next title obviously feels it is a possibility.
Not quite an iPad but still a lovely piece of kit. The screen is that much smaller but of course it will fit in a larger pocket that unless its a poachers one the iPad will not, it is however an office on the move as even without wireless you still have mobile.
For the Samsung P1000 Galaxy Tablet weight is perhaps the most important statistic, well it's 380grams and it measures 12x18.6x1cm; the viewable screen is 9x15.5 cm. If you have a wireless connection around your home/work then it’s just a case of entering your password once and from then on all the time it’s on you are in contact. There are of course thousands of ‘apps’ available. The top has a 3.
Adding to its range of products for the iPod family and Mac and PC users, iLuv has released a set of earphones that come with a lead that claims not to tangle.
Inanimate objects are, by definition, meant to be inanimate. These types of objects are not supposed to take on a life of their own and move from where you are 100% certain you placed them or get themselves entangled with any other inanimate items that happen to be in close proximity.
This is described as the Ultimate HD Video Editing Solution some will purchase it just for the codec that allows you to play Blu-ray movies on your Blu-ray drive in your PC or Notebook as without something like this you cannot.
However there is far more to this product than that feature – as nice as it is – you really can put together a movie and add soundtracks etc and then burn your output to a vast range of optical media, however you will need time. Starting with the 27 minutes to complete the installation - on a reasonably fast notebook – this comes in two parts with a reboot after the nine pieces of Microsoft software installed taking .
I remember getting these tiny speakers early last summer but for a multitude of reasons it was 2011 before they got tested. The earbuds are from Altec Lansing more normally known for their speakers so a good match?
I think most will know the Altec Lansing heritage in speakers so their ability to produce speakers is without doubt. The box says designed for iPod, iPhone and iPad but they will work with anything that outputs to a 3.5mm jack. The lead is 1.35metres in length. It has a gold plated 3.5mm jack (with the three bands) the earbuds are the silicon type that fit snugly in the ear to reduce external sounds, other sizes are provided to suit most ear canal sizes.
When you hear mention of the name Air Force then your thoughts will probably gravitate towards that branch of the armed forces that operates in the sky. However in this case the subject matter is more land-based as it deals with the force of air rather than the force that rules the air. This Air Force is a cordless vacuum cleaner from Rowenta.
On the face of it very like the professional notebook that I recently reviewed from Samsung however despite having USB3 ports gone is the non reflective screen and back has come the normal shiny black that shows fingermarks.
The Samsung RF510 Notebook is 38x25x3.5cm the latter is the height at the back – with case closed – this reduces to 2cm at the front. The lid opens to around 60 degrees beyond vertical. The viewable screen is 34x19.5cm giving the notional 15.6 inch measurement. The back of the unit has no connections, the left side has the DC power input, VGA outlet, Ethernet, HDMI out, two USB3 ports and the 3.5mm microphone and earbud/headset ports.
Bringing together the various elements of your home entertainment facilities is a task that can be carried out by a media streamer unit. Acting as a centralised hub, this type of device can link together such items as a television, computer, digital recorder, MP3 player and other types of media peripherals while also including Internet, network and storage access in the mix.
With a title not too dissimilar to that of a film many regard as a classic, Mumbo Jumbo has released a game that combines hidden object game play with a degree of detection skills. The game is Unlikely Suspects.
In this game you are cast in the role of a detective who has to undertake a series of cases to find the guilty party from a list of 16 criminals. Each of your cases begins with a telephone call giving you details of the victim and location of the crime scene. A tabbed screen gives you access to the different elements that make up your investigation. These tabs cover Suspects, Map, Weapons, Notes and Accuse.