GadgetSpeak Articles

GadgetSpeak has close to 5,000 product reviews and other articles. You can use this page to find others opinions on anything from mobile phones to computers to the latest kitchen appliance

A lot of Bluetooth items require that you enter text either with an on screen keyboard and stylus or perhaps even more daunting - for the occasional user - via a phone type keyboard with up to four characters per key touch.
Here I offer two solutions both small but both have a standard keyboard layout that only needs to be paired to your device, neither are large so I doubt you will be touch typing but they are a distinct plus on the choices above. This is 11x6x1cm and weights 69grams. Mine had black sides and back with silvered surround to the face and the keys were grey with black letters. It has 52 keys with 30 keys having a second function in blue via the ‘FN’ key. The alpha and numeric keys are .
Getting the balance right between ease-of-use and a difficulty level can cause problems. This next game only really succeeded in one of these two areas.
Imagine the scene.  You are driving your car along a country road with your two children sat on the back seat.  Obviously it has been a long journey as the children and yourself are rather tired.  Maybe this tiredness plays a part in your decision making as you decide to stop for a break outside an old fashioned house that looks as if it could heave been built by the crooked man of nursery rhyme fame.  After warning your children not to get into trouble you fall asleep.
616198 creative ZEN Style 300 mp3 video playe

Creative Zen Style 300

Way back in time – before the iPod – Creative had one of the early MP3 players. Here one of the latest generation of such devices called the Zen. Of course time moves on and so does what we expect from such a device.
The Creative Zen Style 300 is 8x3.8x1cm and for such a device quite chunky hence the weight of 43grams. However this unit does include a speaker. These days this sort of device needs to do than just play music and the Zen does. It has a 3.5x3cm screen which in imperial has a diagonal measurement of 1.8inches. Not only does it play music, it can play photos and videos and for good measure it also has a quite decent FM radio.
Portability, Bluetooth, solar energy and analogue connectivity all come together in a new speaker system designed to work with a range of music sources.
Solar Sound 2 is a portable speaker unit that combines Bluetooth connectivity with the ability to use solar energy to recharge its internal Lithium Polymer 1600 mAh battery.  Developed by Devotec Industries, a company set up in 2005 with the aim of developing high quality products for today’s modern gadget users, this product comes with the promise of delivering features for those who like to listen to music when out and about.
Avanquest gives you the opportunity to explore a Pharaoh’s tomb and various sites in America with a Click & Play title.
Sometimes referred to as the boy Pharaoh, Tutankhamen ruled Egypt from 1333BC until his untimely death in 1323BC.  As was the custom, his body was preserved and buried with the great riches according to his status.  The discovery of his tomb by Howard Carter posed more questions than answers with the result that Tutankhamen has become a popular topic for discussion and also the framework on which several computer games have been based.
616197 samsung r580 laptop computer re

Samsung R580 Notebook

For those who don’t want black here I am looking at a subtle shade of red (dark wine) colour that will pass for black in poor light but still offer that something different in decent light, best of all the fingermarks don’t show as they do with shiny black.
The Samsung R580 laptop measures 38x25x3cm and weights 2.465kilos. The left side has the Kensington Lock socket, D/C input, VGA outlet, Ethernet, HDMI, e-SATA and a USB socket, external microphone and earbud sockets and a PCI (express card) slot. The front has an SD card slot. While the right side has the DVD multi optical drive and two further USB ports. The rear is clear as the screen slips over it.
First came the Lexmark Interpret and this was followed by the Lexmark Intuition. Now it is the turn of the Lexmark S305 which follows the same pattern of being assigned a name beginning with “I”. In this case this multifunction device is known as Impact.
Adopting the familiar box-shaped design with a fold-up 100-sheet paper input compartment at the rear and a pull-out paper output panel at the front, the Impact is predominately matte-black in colour with an appealing band of white piping running around the top of the scanner unit.
The Sennheiser PC11 is a lightweight single-sided, over the ear, headset that, unlike conventional headsets, one can put on and taken off with one hand. Consequently, it is very convenient to use -- especially for road warriors who will also appreciate its small size and weight. After all they often make use of Internet telephony services such as Skype when travelling in the UK and abroad.
Weighing just 31gm, including the 2m cable and ear hook (hooks provided for both left and right ears), it slips easily into one’s laptop bag and so is available whenever needed. It only takes a moment to unwind (and possibly untangle) the cable and plug it in to the computer’s 3.5mm audio In and Out sockets. Then, although it seems strange at first, one soon develops the knack of hooking the headset on one’s ear and adjusting the microphone boom into a suitable position.
614763 suunto Core Extreme sports watc

Suunto Core Extreme

Calling this a watch is rather like calling Big Ben a clock. I do not just mean the size but also the fact that it is a lot of other things as well. Compass, Altitude and Barometer, Stop Watch but sad to say it refuses to make the tea.
The watch is round 5x5x1.2cm. Its face is silver grey surround on the front with a chrome back. The sides are matt black with a grey black rubber strap. There are a total of five well marked buttons at 10, 2, 4 and 8 with the fifth at 3. Despite reading the 54 pages of the User Guide that are in English more than once I still found things out by pushing various button combinations. When I referred back to the User Guide I found they were fully mentioned.
614762 USB Wrist Band Battery9_64

USB Power Devices

Here I am looking at two different devices to provide power, the first fits round your wrist like a bracelet to power your PDA or Phone. The second is a box to provide power to USB devices when the mains are not around.
This is a black rubber bracelet weighting 81grams. It is 26cm long, 3.5cm wide a maximum of 1.3cm thick. It has six battery cells three either side of the seventh cell that is the charging indicator with four white LED’s and a push button which you press when you want to use some of its power. There is a micro USB socket on the side and all the supplied fifteen different heads either fit into that or a coiled 50cm extension unit.
Laptops tend to lose their charm quickly when you’re constantly looking for the nearest power outlet to charge up. How do you keep your battery going for as long as possible? Here are 15 easy ways to do so.
Laptops tend to lose their charm quickly when you're constantly looking for the nearest power outlet to charge up. How do you keep your battery going for as long as possible? Here are 15 easy ways to do so. : Clean your battery's metal contacts every couple of months with a cloth moistened with rubbing alcohol. This keeps the transfer of power from your battery more efficient. . Itunes, Desktop Search, etc. All these add to the CPU load and cut down battery life.
Queen Victoria is said not to have been amused but you could put your sense of humour to work with a product available from Smith Micro.
No matter how old you are, you would be hard pressed to deny that you are not amused by cartoons, especially the animated kind that appeal to all and sundry.  Now, rather than wait for others to produce cartoons for your amusement, you can create animated cartoons with a product from Smith Micro.  This product is entitled Anime Studio™ Debut 6.
Although not a particular TV addict there are times when it's good to be able to tune in. This natty little USB receiver from AVerMedia allows you to so do while on the move.
The AVerMedia Volar HD Pro is the size of a traditional USB memory stick. One end has a standard USB plug while the other has a standard TV aerial socket. Included with the receiver are a small dual rod antenna, remote control, quick installation guide and CD containing the tuner and video recording software (PVR). Signal strength in our area isn't great however I have to report very little success with the built in aerial.
614761 pioneer SE E22 J2 ear phone

Pioneer Headset and Earbuds

A company that I think of for high end audio equipment, however thanks to a recent briefing I find they also do more ‘affordable’ items the first of which is a range of earbuds and a headset that give quality sound at a reasonable price.
They do a whole range of earbuds and here I am looking at two as well as a rather fine set of earphones. The categories they break them into TWeens, Street People, Beat Junkies, Sport and Fitness, Hi-Fi, DJ’s and Commuters. These look fairly conventional earbuds if a little flamboyant (mine were red with a silver circle) and black ear fittings and leads.
613197 nokia n97 smart phone ope

A Nokia Smartphone : Nokia N97

If you are just looking for a mobile phone then you are unlikely to be interested in the Nokia N97. Let me explain.
London is the location for the latest game to emerge in the SpinTop hidden object extravaganza published by PopCap.
In your role as a Private Investigator (P.I.) you receive news that the priceless Crown Jewels have been stolen.  The thieves have given the Royal Family a mere 17 hours to come up with a huge ransom in order to ensure the safe return of these jewels otherwise they would be destroyed.
614760 creative D200 Pure Wireless Bluetooth Speaker Syste

Creative D200

After looking at numerous iPod speaker docks its nice get a chance to review a set of speakers designed to support something else and that is Bluetooth so almost any Bluetooth device can output through these speakers.
However it also has an auxiliary input to allow hard connection from any MP3 or other device even dare I say an iPod. Because it has this connection I used it but with the level being controlled quiet passages are really quiet and you need near silence in the room to hear them even with the volume ramped up but please read on.
FileMaker Pro 11: the missing manual – “the book that should have been in the box” is about 900 pages long and, had it been supplied with the program, would have needed a quite large box. It will meet the needs of both the novice and the experienced user. Consequently, it will prove valuable when both initially using FileMaker and when developing more sophisticated applications.
FileMaker Pro 11 is the latest version of a database program that has evolved over the years and is now an extremely versatile and sophisticated program. It is relatively straightforward to get started and yet has the advanced features to meet virtually every need.
Transferring your video content to portable devices should be easy but often isn’t. As a result software developers have come up with solutions to help you achieve this task.
614759 elgato Eye TV Deluxe USB DT

Eye TV DTT Deluxe

Like most of us I have little luck in raffles of draws but I was lucky enough to win this in a draw at a recent event. It’s a tiny TV receiver that fits into a USB port on a laptop, Netbook or PC however you do need to be running Windows 7.
In its simplest form it also comes with a tiny rod aerial, or another slightly larger is also supplied and there is even an adapter that allows you to fit a standard aerial connection to the unit, however for the first two options everything can fit in a pocket or bug with ease. Of course if I had had it earlier then you could have purchased one for the World Cup or Wimbledon but being so small whatever the event in late summer or autumn it will probably do the job.
614758 Since Forever Fred Simon Quarte

Three Jazz CD’s

The first two are from Naim with recent offerings from Neil Cowley and Fred Simon. The other is a solo guitar album from a new name to me Chris Flegg, calling this Jazz stretches the definition a little but it is relaxing.
Carrying out a little background research following the arrival of Nancy Drew Danger by Design, I was surprised to discover that this mystery adventure game was the 14th title in the series and that this detective character was originally created in 1930. This latter fact certainly makes me feel young by comparison. But back to Danger by Design and helping Nancy solve this mystery.
614757 kifit fitness devic

KiFit Device

Do you want to lost weight, gain weight or just maintain your current weight? This small device can help you to obtain your targets if they be daily, weekly or some other measurement. I tried it for ten day recently.
The device sits under your clothes on your upper left arm; it is around the size of a large watch and is held in place by a strap secured by Velcro. You wear it all the time apart from showering/bathing/swimming. It has two LED’s on the front for memory and battery. The back has raised dimples on either side of a slight curve these take information from your skin and store it until you transfer it to either a wireless receiver or your PC via USB.
611680 garmin navi 1240 satna

Garmin Navi 1240 : Gamin Nuvi 1240

While I have checked out a number of GPS devices in the past, I was not prepared for my initial introduction to a unit from Garmin.
When receiving a GPS device for reviewing purposes I like to carry out the initial set up process from the comfort of my living room.  Selecting the appropriate language; adjusting the date/clock feature; opting for my chosen measurement unit; and even entering my home address details are just some of the tasks that are more convenient to complete in a relaxed surroundings.
Combining hidden object game play, match-3 jewel boards and scrolling search windows is another addition to the Jewel Quest franchise of casual game titles.
Following the success of its Jewel Quest Mysteries: Curse of the Emerald Tear, the Jewel Quest developers have now come up with the second Mysteries title,: Trail of the Midnight Heart.  Described as a hidden object adventure game, Trail of the Midnight Heart takes you on a journey to locations such as the Taj Mahal and Old Shanghai as you discover hidden objects and complete various Jewel Boards with a new scrolling search screen feature thrown in for good measure.
614756 ge E1486 compact digital camer

GE E1486TW Digital Camera

If my memory is correct this is the third year of GE being involved in the production and marketing of digital cameras. This is a fairly standard shape of pocket camera that seems to have all the modern bells and whistles and it is totally touchscreen.
The GE E1486TW digital camera measures 9.5x5.5x2.5cm and weights 150grams, the lens expands another 3.5cm when fully zoomed. My review unit is silver with chrome trim but other colours are available. As always one thing dominates the back the TFT screen which is 6x4.5cm (termed at 3inch), a very easy to use unit as the screen displays all the options and you just need to touch to change a setting, absolutely ideal for the novice.
A visit to a recent Press event introduced me to the Singapore company heavily involved in digital lifestyle technology.
Having recently reviewed my first Freeview + HD with PVR along –sort of – comes another. I am assured the units that you buy in the shops will be so; in either 46inch or 40inch size they both have the extra yellow gun.
Most TV’s have Blue Green and Red to form all the colours you see. This latest offering from Sharp has those three plus a yellow one and not surprisingly the colour that really benefits is yellow, giving really striking results. It is 110x71.5x4cm however if you use the stand this adds 5cm to the middle figure the height and 34cm to the last figure the depth.
Here I am looking at two rather nice webcams. First an offering from Blue Microphones that obviously features a quality microphone. Second an offering from Microsoft that is HD and offers far better images than most.
While everyone will see the large headed microphone that forms part of this device most will not be aware of the 2MP webcam in fact it can be invisible as it can be retracted inside the back of the microphone head when not in use. Describing the size is somewhat difficult but I will give the maximum and minimum sizes as it can be either and several in between for good measure. 15x7x8cm down to 8x6.5x7cm. The only thing that cannot change is the microphone head.
As part of its Casual / Snack Games portfolio, XING Interactive has released Pizza Deliciozo. As you might surmise from its title, this game features pizzas (not one of my favourite meals but then the food is not for personal consumption) which you need to make and serve to your customers as you build up your business in the quick food sector.
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