Adding to its various image editing products, MAGIX has released Xtreme Photo & Graphics Designer 5 which brings together a number of applications.
MAGIX Xtreme Photo & Graphics Designer 5 integrates the features found in MAGIX Graphic Designer 5, MAGIX Photo Designer 7 and MAGIX FunPix. Like other titles from the company, this product comes with a couple of bonus items. In this case you get the regular offering of MAGIX Photo Manager 8 plus Reallusion Face Filter Studio 2 SE. These titles need to be installed separately if you want to get the full benefit of what is really a suite.
In theory you just connect this External Hard Drive (almost as easy as the USB unit reviewed on Wednesday) install some software and then you have 1TB of external storage, shame it did not happen like that.
This Network Attach Storage (NAS) unit measures 19x11x5cm and is matt black apart from the face that is shiny black. The front has a green pin hole LED in the middle. The connections are on the back, two USB ports, Ethernet port and DC input above this the on/off button. It comes with a CD-ROM that has an application called Finder, manuals and Nero Back It Up 4 Essentials. There is also a printed manual the first 51 pages in English.
While many games support the use of a gaming console, some users are not comfortable with this type of approach and would prefer to use their keyboard as their main control method.
In the past I have looked at a number of keyboards. Some could be classified as general purpose; others offer additional multimedia controls; while occasionally you would get light displays and one, if memory serves me correct, could be rolled up when not in use to save on space. However this is the first time I have looked at a keyboard designed specifically for the hard-core gaming community. The keyboard in question is the Microsoft Sidewinder X4 model.
Egyptian Gods, time travel, altering history and hidden object game play are just some of the elements found in the latest Luxor title.
As one of the most popular gaming franchises, the Luxor reputation has been built on numerous match-3 style shooter titles. However with this latest Luxor title, Luxor Adventures, the game’s developers have branched out into the area of hidden object adventure game play folded into a storyline that includes the good old standby of time travel.
A single sentence at the launch of Duracell Torches event made me aware for the first time that Duracell made rechargeable batteries. After several months I found out the correct agency and then after a couple of bouts of illness an eventual meeting.
If you knew that Duracell made rechargeable batteries then you probably shop in B&Q or Homebase who seem to be the main stockists of the batteries. They of course also make various rechargers for them some quite innovative. First the batteries that at first glance look quite similar to their non rechargeable cousins however look more closely and you will see a green area that the more famous (advertised) batteries do not have.
According to a popular saying "There is more than one way to skin a cat" (with apologies to the bundle of fur that keeps me fully occupied) and this is definitely true when it comes to setting up your backup routine.
“To back up or not to back up” should not be the question. Instead it should be a case of “When to back up and how to back up”. With the numerous backup solutions available you could be spoilt for choice as you make the selection most suited to your particular needs. A new addition to the range of backup options is Clickfree Transformer SE (Special Edition) which combines a small hardware device with automatic backup capabilities.
The Canon Pixma iP4700 is an up-market inkjet printer in the higher price bracket and should not be compared with the budget printers that can be bought for less than £40. It is a stylishly designed versatile machine that delivers realistic colour prints as well as crisp black printed documents. It is easy to use and, as well as offering duplex printing, can print on CDs and DVDs. Consequently, it will come high on many peoples wish list.
When closed it is just a rectangular black box 44 x 30 x16cm high with the paper cassette protruding from the front by some 9cm. Overall, it is black in colour, with a partly matt and partly brightly polished finish, so that it would not even look out of place in most homes. Both the paper cassette and the rear paper tray each have a capacity of over 100 sheets.
For anyone wanting a single unit to do it all (sorry, it refuses to make the tea) then this Cello offering is not only a 32inch TV but it is also a DVD player and even can become a PVR with the addition of SD cards in the rear slots.
I know people who really only want the screen from their TV, even using external speakers. But the converse is also true and for some this unit from Cello will be nirvana with everything from one single electrical 13amp plug. The Cello C2698FR television measures 80x52x10cm on a fixed stand 48x25x5cm meaning it is 57cm from whatever you sit it on. For someone who attaches a number of stands to TV’s every year having fixed unit is joy, but for others I know this is less important.
First a voice controlled USB powered lamp and then a card reader and USB hub. How does this innovative Hong Kong company keep finding more devices that are available to use from your USB ports?
Time to put your detecting skills to the test as you tackle a hidden object game with a difference from GoGii
Developed by GoGii and now available as part of Avanquest’s GSP Click & Play series, Private Eye is a puzzle solving game that combines hidden object game action with quick reaction interludes to keep you on your toes. In this game, as the title indicates, you take on the role of a Private Eye who has recently graduated from the Private Investigation Academy. The game allows individual players to set up their own profile with some personal information.
This looks rather like the Grundig machine recently reviewed however there are differences; one is that it has features such as the ability to set HD recordings in advance for ITV programs via the improved program guide.
The measures 30x26x4.5cm. The face, like the Grundig, has no visible clock and all that can normally be seen is a red button on the left together with a similar button on the right when recording while the unit is not being tended. The six sides of the A4 Quick Start Guide4 should be enough to get even the novice user up and running. The 32 page A5 instruction manual has little more detail.
Memories can be transient especially over the passage of time. It is for this reason that we often take the precaution of storing special moments using the technology that was current at the time.
Unfortunately that which was created by yesterday’s tools is often incompatible with the modern devices developed using today’s technology. Put simply, content stored on VHS tape is in danger of being lost due to issues such as deterioration caused through moisture and geomagnetism as well as an inability to replace faulty equipment because manufacturers are no longer making the kit as they switch production to disk-based PVRs (Personal Video Recorders) and the like.
When the year in focus is 1912, the thoughts of any student of maritime history should concentrate on the RMS Titanic and its disastrous maiden voyage which resulted in massive loss of life.
Titanic Secrets of the Fateful Voyage is a game in the Hidden Mysteries series and part of Avanquest’s GSP Click & Play catalogue and is described as a point & click adventure game. In this game you take on the persona of Margaret Ashley, newly married and about to start a new life in America with her husband.
This is a very thin 500GB portable USB hard drive that displays the free space available even when no power is available (or even connected to a PC). Could this unit be the way that all external hard drives will become?
This is really easy to attach via the 50cm USB cable supplied, to any –preferably- USB 2 port and after a few seconds Windows will recognise it as an external drive. There is a tiny Quick Start Guide with two pages in English and a folded (equally tiny) sheet of paper with a single side in English explaining why 500GB means 465GB. It is also stated to work on MACs. The hard drive already has the User Manual and Nero Back It Up Essentials 4 on it.
With its expertise in the area of telephonic devices within the home/business environment, it is hardly surprising to discover that Doro is also active in the manufacture of headsets designed to add functionality to the basic landline phone set up.
One such product is the Doro Prosound hs1910 DECT device. This is a wireless DECT headset. It has been designed for those who seem to spend a great deal of their time either making or receiving phone calls. While the various Doro phones that I have looked at, whether of the traditional, DECT or mobile variety, have prided themselves on their basic functionality and ease-of-set up, this wireless DECT headset attempts to be extremely flexible in how it can be used.
How ever big the area surrounding the keyboard there are always times when it is just not large enough. I often find the 30x20cm area set aside for my mouse to move around in taken by notes, cups or even a plate.
While the size of the Air Mouse Elite is not that different from a conventional one the shape does vary as there is a deep notch cut under the unit that allows your thumb or finger to sit flat under the unit to hold it securely. It is 12x5.5x3cm (maximum dimensions) and to use it as a conventional mouse requires no thought if on the desk or in the air. The mouse weights 90 grams.
Here I am looking at two units from Jabra. First the Jabra Extreme that works to reduce external noise and this unit even includes a car charger. Second the Jabra Clipper that allows you to work with iPhone and iPod units.
This tiny unit is 4.5x1.5cm that will stick out from your ear, the thickness is a maximum of 2.5cm but less than 1cm of that will be visible. Its weight is only 10grams. The top of the unit has the USB connector, the right side has the on/off switch while the face has two buttons to increase and decrease the volume. There is a third control (between the volumes) that answers calls this is a slightly raised 1.
When it comes to number crunching and logic, the computer is in its element. It is therefore no great surprise to come across a new title from MumboJumbo that combines these two features in a game entitled Everyday Genius: Square Logic.
Developed by TrueThought, Everyday Genius: Square Logic take takes a leaf out of the Sudoku methodology by working with square grids that hold numbers that are not allowed to be present more than once in each column or row. While there are some similarities between these types of puzzles, there are more than enough differences to make Square Logic stand out from the competition.
From a company that makes professional and semi professional DSLR unit, they also have entry level models in the compact market. The Nikon Coolpix L110 is neither and sits above the compact and below the DSLR.
The Nikon L110 measures 11x7x9cm and add another centimetre to the last figure the width with the lens fully extended. It weights 415grams. To me this is a real crossover unit. For anyone who mastered the compact digital camera but is a little unsure about the jump to a DSLR, here you are approaching the weight and of course you get a neck strap (as opposed to a wrist strap) and the whole feel and some of the look of a unit with interchangeable lenses without the need to do so.
Recently I have felt like putting my laptop on a diet. The reason for this unusual thought was brought about by the need to test a laptop bag.
Laptops, notebooks and netbooks are all meant to be computer devices that can be easily portable when moving from location to location. However, apart from the latter category, you are rarely provided with the means to help you transport the particular product. Fortunately various manufacturers have come to the rescue with bags that have been designed specifically for keeping your portable computer safe and secure while you are on the move.
Join a mother who combines an archaeological expedition with a search for her missing children.
Developed by Artifax Mundi and published by Alawar, Joan Jade and the Gates of Xibalba mixes together elements of hidden object game play and puzzle solving. This game places you in the role of Joan Jade who is described as the archaeologist of the year and mother extraordinaire. From this you should be able to gather than the game involves some ancient ruins and problems affecting the younger members of the family.
This has the bold statement on the box Up to 14x faster and up to 6x better range than 802.11g Speed is of course useful and range is vital if you are using the wireless option at anywhere near its distance capacity.
The Conceptronic 11n Wireless ADSL2+ Modem and Router measures 20x15x2.5cm with cables inserted and black in colour. The front has eight small LED’s (hopefully green) and the right side a push button that I will go into detail about in a little while. The left side the top and base have nothing. This leaves the back.
For those of you that were introduced to corporate presentations in the form
of acetate slides and permanent markers things have come a long way.
Am I showing my age? Many were the important presentations where I lovingly drew multi-colour slides with charts and text ready to slip onto an overhead projector. That projector in itself was an innovation - as is this new little marvel from 3M the MPro 150. Acetate was seen off in the corporate field with the advent of laptops and then with bulky projectors that would plug directly into the VGA port.
While inkjet printers are the popular choice, there is still a place for a laser unit that can deliver good quality output at a reasonable speed for full page printing.
It was almost a case of déjà vu as I unpacked the latest Samsung printer to arrive for testing. I had only just packed up the previous model for returning to the company’s PR agency and now I appeared to be looking at its exact twin. I should explain that both models, the previous ML-2525 and now the ML-1915, were both mono laser printers. Yet I was still expecting that there should be some sort of visible evidence that would help identify these two models.
Until a few years ago certain consumer products from Microsoft used to have versions released every year, now some like Works are updated occasionally, others like Money are no more, here the 2010 version of AutoRoute.
I deliberately installed this on a not that powerful Windows XP machine just to see if it still would work on a ‘non power’ machine. It took 7 minutes to install from the DVD and used 2.054GB of hard disc space, this also installs Office Database, Visual C++ and Text to Speech module before the Auto Route package, all in all quick and easy. It comes in a DVD case sized box that contains a DVD case with the product and beside this a GPS locator unit.
First Mario and Sonic at the Winter Olympic Games (yes I know they are over but I can only review items when received), this sent by Woolthworth.co.uk and second 7 Wonders II another of the puzzle series from GSP.
Being Mario makes it something for the younger ones but with all the instructions and preparations required before you can perform I feel that maybe they will lose interest before they get very far into the various available events. The available Olympic events are Skiing, Skating, Snowboarding, Bobsleigh, Ice Hockey, Curling, Biathlon and of course Luge. While there are eight categories the total number of available events is actually 15 with variants.
If you can not find the content you want with terrestrial channels then maybe the Internet can help with software available from Avanquest.
It is a great big world out there when you ventured into that entity known as the World Wide Web in search of legal media for your entertainment. Offering to help in the search for and downloading process is the latest edition of AudialsOne, now up to version 4, and available from Avanquest. As part of the product’s installation process you are offered a number of options.
Despite its squat size I doubt this All In One from Canon will ever pass the lounge police. Perhaps it is the silver grey colour but more likely the black band around the top edge; however as a man what matters to me is quality and performance.
The Canon Pixma MP990 multi-function printer measures 44x39x21cm. There is a small lift up lid 17x8cm that sits towards the front centre of the scanning lid. There are a total of twelve buttons that sit under it (including the ubiquitous five position joystick) and on the reverse of the lid a TFT 9x7cm. The TFT opens to a position around 15degrees beyond vertical to allow reading from a whole range of angles.
For someone using even a 17inch display with 1280 x 1024 screen resolution, upgrading to a 19 inch wide screen display with 1440 x 900 is unsatisfactory. After all, the lesser vertical resolution is inadequate. Consequently, a reasonable approach is to upgrade to a 22 or 24inch widescreen monitor with 1920×1080 WUXGA resolution and, ideally, to one such as the Viewsonic VX2433wm 24inch which provides both performance and a good degree of future proofing.
At first sight the large amount of desk space occupied by a 24 inch wide screen monitor is over-powering. However, the VX2433, with its slim polished black bezel, and anti-glare screen, is stylishly designed and so one soon gets used to it and starts appreciating its benefits.
When problems occur with your computer, the excuse of out-of-date drivers is often put forward as the reason for any conflicts. Perhaps you should consider some form of driver management.
Your computer system relies a great deal on drivers to carry out many of its functions. Like other forms of software, drivers are constantly being upgraded with new features and bug fixes. While these drivers are freely available to those who need them, the task of searching for them, before downloading and installing them, can be time consuming.