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

609437 samsung galaxy gt 15700 android mobile phon

Samsung GT-15700 Android Phone

When does a phone become a computer? Perhaps not quite yet but as this Samsung phone can do a lot of things that a computer can its getting there. The screen flips easily between landscape and portrait for ease of viewing.
It is 11x5.5x1.5cm and weights 125grams. Heavier than a lot of other units but most is the larger battery to give more time between charges. The viewable screen is 4.5x6.8cm. There are lots of apps that can be purchased for all the modern phones, here apart from the built in bits you get seven icons on the desktop apart from a rather nice analogue clock as well as the digital one on the top bar. This bar also shows what sort of phone and Internet reception and the state of the battery.
First a rather nice small but powerful laptop speaker from Altec Lansing called the Orbit USB. Second another offering from Brando in Hong Kong, this time a clip on USB fan or course there is also an extra, quite small but it still very efficient.
While this is described as a notebook speaker I see no reason why it should not be used with a desktop system – in fact I did with one of my tests – as the sound is a lot better than say cheap small speakers often found in a panel. It uses USB sound, so even if your sound card or chip is knackered there is no reason why you should not enjoy wonderful sounds from your PC or Notebook. Indeed some of the recent Netbooks have really nasty sound.
Lets start with a warning – you should not reconstruct the opening of this next game at home. Instead consider playing this game.
Available on the Avanquest GSP Click & Play label, Trapped: The Abduction is a GoGii developed game.  Described as a “dark and mysteries hidden object adventure game”, Trapped: The Abduction places you in the role of a young woman named Helene.  The dark and mysteries side of the game is obvious right from the start as your character discovers herself trapped inside the trunk of an old car.
609433 corel painship pro photo x

PaintShop Photo Pro X3

Yes this is what used to be called PaintShop Pro, but that was in the days before it became a Corel product and also – as with most software – a product to do one job at a time, now it does most things and is more complex.
Anyone who has used Corel products knows that added value is their byword. So not only does the DVD have the main PaintShop Photo Pro X3 on but also in a separate installation PaintShop Photo Project Creator and a cut down version of Painter (Essentials 4). I installed all three and my hard was 4.145GB down on hard disc space afterwards. The install times 8 minutes for PaintShop Photo Pro X3, 15 minutes for PaintShop Photo Project Creator and 4 minutes for Painter Essentials 4.
While software arrives on optical media, sometimes the destination device lacks the appropriate means to access the software. This next product could help solve this dilemma.
Old memories came flashing back as I took on the challenge of a platform style game that certainly had me scratching my head.
One of the earliest examples of popular computer gaming genre was that of platform games.  I can remember spending many enjoyable hours playing games such as Commander Keen and Duke Nukem (this was before the character was turned into a first person shooter) with plenty of running, jumping and avoiding the various nasties to keep me occupied.
609432 Panasonic SC HC20DBEB DAB music syste

Panasonic SC-HC20DBEBK

Not exactly a catchy name for what could be a rather nice DAB/FM/CD/iPod unit. Its small sleek and dare I say – as a fashion dunce – rather fashionable, however with a note of caution not everything is absolutely perfect.
It is 38x22x9cm, I give the width figure as 9cm as that is the maximum but at the top it is only half that as a maximum. There are 11 buttons on the top that can do most things. The remote control is 18x5x2cm the size of remote normally given to TV’s and other such devices, it can control everything except opening and closing the CD door.
According to information prominently displayed on the packaging of an Aliph’s product, “4 out of 5 users prefer talking on a Jawbone vs. a cell phone alone”. I should point out that the Jawbone is Aliph’s hands-free headset that comes in a variety of flavours. The latest such headset is entitled Jawbone ICON.
Things do not always arrive that quickly, this is a case in point I saw this unit last summer before Windows 7 was even launched. Finally after much nagging it arrives to be tested after summer time had started in 2010.
The Sony Vaio L12S1E is a Touch Screen unit complete with Wireless Keyboard and Mouse. It also comes with a remote control so it can be a Media Centre PC as well if you should desire. The screen has everything built into and around it. It is 57x41x20cm on the pull out stand. The viewable screen area is 53.5x30.5 giving the notional diagonal 24inch measurement. The left side has three 3.
Okay so I cannot really see a link between a book ‘62 Projects to make with a dead computer’ and a rather neat small hub/card reader. The first from Workman Publishing and the second from Conceptronic, both however are worth a look.
I found this 260 page book easy to read. There are nine choices of things to make/convert on the front cover and only three of them seemed logical to me before I read the book. There are lots of cartoon type illustrations often several to a page. The two column format over the 18cm page width make things a lot easier to read. It starts by explaining the innards of a computer and the bits that need care – or even leaving alone – within it.
Retyping your hand written notes on your computer is a task that a product from IRIS offers to take care of for you.
Combining its expertise gained in the areas of scanners and OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software, IRIS has come up with a solution to transfer and convert handwritten notes into ext that is editable.  The procedure takes the content from an ordinary piece of paper to a computer system.  This solution is IRIS Notes 1.
609424 casio exilim EX Z550 Digital Camer

Casio Exlim EX-Z550

As a mere man this camera has a distinct disadvantage, so much so that the PR lady who sent it to me apologised you see its p i n k, quite a nice subtle shade but its still pink. However if you are a man I am assured they do other colours.
The Casio Exilim EX-Z550 compact digital camera measures 10.5x5.5x2cm, with the lens fully zoomed it adds another 2cm to the 2cm width. The unit weights 130grams. The camera is fitted with a 14.1mega pixel sensor, with 4x optical zoom and 26mm wide angle lens that takes rather nice images. The face has the lens with the flash above and to its right at least 2cm away.
With a tag line of "Create it. Play it. Organise it. Share it", a new product from CyberLink sets out to provide support for the upsurge in digital lifestyles.
As its title indicates, CyberLink Media Suite 8 Ultra brings together a number of tools designed to work with your digital content.  Entering the same territory covered by products such as Nero Reloaded and Roxio Creator 10, this CyberLink software opens with an interface that categorises its functionality into the areas of Music, Movie Player, Data Photo, Video, Copy & Backup plus a number of utilities represented by icons running across the bottom of the screen.
Settlement development, hidden object game play and puzzle solving come together in a new title from the Alawar casual gaming site. The game casts you in the role of a 300 year old Emperor.
In the game of Settlement: Colossus you take on the role of a 300 year old emperor who was once honoured by the Gods and who ruled his people wisely.  However events turned against him and he lost his true love as his kingdom was laid to ruin by his enemies.  He was forced to lead his loyal band of followers in a search for a new homeland.  After many years of fruitless searching, a ripe, uninhabited location was discovered.
First a rather fine set of upside down torch like speakers together with a beefy sub woofer from Altec Lansing. Second a rather beautiful set of Digitally Enhanced Audio Headphones from Plantronics.
These consist of a sub woofer and a pair of speakers that look like quite large torches, the difference is that the larger ends go down and get added resonance out of whatever surface you place them of, a wonderful design. The speakers are 27cm tall and 11cm across at the base but little more than 4cm at the top, the sound comes not only from underneath but also all along the front of the units. There is a single lead from the left speaker going into the sub woofer.
In this final part of the look into the iPhone economy I take a softer approach - looking at what you can load onto your iPhone from Apples appStore
Human beings are endlessly inventive. A quick trip to the iTunes App Store will confirm that. I don't even know how to describe the breadth and depth of what is out there, but here a are few apps that I just love. Do you remember things in the middle of the night, when you are out and about? This app works just like a pad of post its. You can either use your finger to scrawl a quick note to yourself or the keyboard if you need more detail.
608001 sanyo xacti hd VPC CA9 digital dual camera waterproo

A Dual Camera : Sanyo HD VPC-CA9

Once regarded as a luxury item, camcorders are now often looked on as a must-have companion for even the occasional traveller.
With the appearance and popularity of various basic camcorders, such as the and , manufacturers of more mainstream kit have needed to look to their laurels especially with regards to any additional features offered by their products.  One interesting approach, adopted by Sanyo, can be seen with the company’s camcorder. This is sometimes referred to as a dual camera because of its capability to capture both movie clips and still images in a single session.
Until last month I was unaware that Panasonic did either headphones or earbuds, mind you they have also been around in the white goods sector (mainly in Asia) for 50 years but more about that on another occasion.
First the only set not truly new the these qualify as there is a new colour a vibrant red. They are a full headphone looking like the offerings of a decade or so ago but with of course a 3.5mm gold plated jack plug rather than the larger size plug that dominated the market in the period I am thinking of when big was the way to go. They come with a 1.2metre lead to allow your MP3 player or iPod to reside even in the lowest of the low jean pocket.
607940 doro 750X Outdoor DECT cordless phon

Doro 750x Outdoor Dect Phone

Doro are well known for their mobile phones for the elderly and those with limited sight and very good they are. However they also do phones for landlines and here is one ideal for those who work in the garden its rugged.
The phone is 14.5x5x2.5cm and coated in a rubberised material meaning it should withstand the odd drop or three. It weights 130grams. The charging base also has the ability to page the phone ideal if you have put it down somewhere and can’t remember where. The base is 11x8x4cm at the top and slightly more at the base. A red charging light on the right and the paging button on the left. As with most Doro home phones you can have more than one handsets for those who have large properties.
While not in the same league in terms of a long running series as “Last of the Summer Wine”, Murder She Wrote has an impressive pedigree with its number of episodes and has now made the transition to a computer screen.
The second part of my round up of some of the many accessories available for your Apple iPhone - starting with headphones!
I took a look at powering your sleek and trendy iPhone along with suitable cases to protect your little wonder of touch-screen technology. Today I'm looking at just a few of the many available headsets and related accessories. The final part will delve into Apple's appStore to see how your iPhone can help you when you're not making a call! Having an iPhone means I can leave my iPod at home.
607939 light sleeper Sunrise Natural Alarm Clock Sleeping Ai

Light Sleeper

For many a good night’s sleep is rare, others need help in the way of sleeping pills, alcohol or maybe just a milky drink. Here is another way, no pills, no hangover in fact it is just following a light played onto the ceiling above your bed.
I have had the LightSleeper for sometime and while I have found it helpful, for me anyway it is not a total solution. That is why I have persevered and I also wanted the chance to try its effectiveness during the longer summer days where it still seems to do what is expected provided the room is still somewhat dim, it does not need total darkness. It is 11cm across the circular base which is rather like a saucer. The height is 11.5cm; the circular top is a maximum of 7cm across.
Part one of my round up of some of the many accessories and applications available for your Apple iPhone!
Having been completely underwhelmed by the recent fanfare launch of the new iPad from Apple I decided to ditch the Blackberry and succumb to the sexiness of the iPhone. There is something wonderfully intuitive about sliding things around on a screen but once you have played with all the preloaded applications, what next? There are so many accessories and applications you can buy for your iPhone that bewildering scarcely covers it.
607102 jabra stone

The Jabra Stone : Jabra Jabra Stone

Hands-free mobile devices come in a variety of shapes, sizes and appearances including those that are found in nature. So what would you think the Jabra Stone looks like?
A visit to a certain residence in Baker Street can lead you into a world of mystery and criminal activity. There is also a French flavour to add further spice.
Now available as part of the Focus Multimedia extensive catalogue of titles, Sherlock Holmes Nemesis is a first-person perspective adventure game that is set in the year 1895 and located in London.  The story brings together the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle characters of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson with the French fictional cat burglar, Arsène Lupin who was created by Maurice Leblanc.
607938 samsung pl80 compact digital camer

Samsung PL80 Digital Camera

Having recently looked at a dual TFT screen from Samsung this modern looking (mine was bright red) digital camera looks near normal. But not that long ago a 28mm wide angle lens and 5x optical zoom would not be normal.
The Samsung PL80 digital camera measures 10.5x5.5x2cm and weights 138grams. While the red colour is rather too bright for my liking it does of course not affect the images it takes! The top bottom and left side have a chromed band as well as the lens surround on the front, as the legends are written in white on the chromed area they can be difficult to see what they say in certain lighting conditions. The face has the lens that can extend by up to 3.
607101 powermat portable charger wireles

Charging Multiple Devices : Powermat

There have been various initiatives designed to ease the problem of recharging portable devices. The use of USB and solar powered devices are just a couple that have gained credence. Now we have a device that offers to recharge multiple devices simultaneously.
Unless you are exceedingly lucky, each of your mobile devices will require its own recharging facilities in the form of a lead and a bulky power plug or plugs in the case of those whose travels take them to distant climes.  The clutter this causes increases as you add more devices to the collection that you can not live without.  Managing the logistics necessary to keep the appropriate power lead and plug with the correct device only adds to the problem.
607937 veho VSS 002w Mimi Qube wireless speake

Veho Mini Speaker

A small circular shaped speaker that can be connected and powered from any PC with an audio out socket and USB port. However it can also (via USB) be connected wirelessly and with a charged battery with USB power.
It is 7cm tall and both 8cm wide and deep; it is a matt black rubberised material and should handle the odd knock or two. First if you connect via a 3.5mm jack the lead supplied is 66cm long. If there is no power in the internal battery then you will also need a USB port for power and the supplied mini USB to USB lead is 75cm in length. Should either or both of these leads be required they both plug into the unit at the back near the base.
607935 ravensburger sleeping kitten jigsaw puzzl

Ravensburger Jigsaws

First an assortment of puppies and second a single cat, the latter doing what cats do best sleeping. Both these puzzles are delightful and are from the 1500 piece range, I am certain both will be very popular with puzzle doers.
It is landscape in shape and 80x60cm in size. This image is made up of eight boxes seven of which have a single puppy and the eight has two puppies. In theory this makes it easier to complete as the blue areas around each puppy give you distinct areas to work with. However the drawback is there is a lot of the single blue colour. The image is by Greg Cuddiford. However it would have been nice to know a little about each of the puppies.
Up until recently my walking music needs were catered for by the Sansa Clip device. This small (55 x 35 x 16mm) silver and black device has been a regular accoutrement clipped (a feature that explains the product’s name) to my belt but now it has been replaced. So it is time to say a fond farewell to the Sansa Clip as I welcome the arrival of the Sansa Clip+.
This small MP3 player is available in a choice of 2, 4, or 8GB capacities.  Whereas the original Clip device came in a choice of five colours, this new model can be purchased in sleek black unless you go for the 4GB version which will also be made available in either burgundy red or ice blue.  This review is based on the black 4GB model.
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