Although they do other things Ravensburger are best known for jigsaws. Here I am looking at two offerings, the first The Bizarre Bookshop a 1000 piece conundrum and second a 1500 piece map of the World circa 1594.
This premium puzzle has the Ravensburger softclick technology so if the pieces do not seem to fit they certainly are not meant to go with each other. A Landscape offering roughly 70x50cm and its such an intriguing image.
Time to pack your bags and gather together your wits as you are about to embark on a trip to Alexandria in search of mystical sacred spheres.
The Lost Treasure of Alexandria is a match-3 game. In this game, which forms part of the GSP Click & Play series, you take on the role of Christine who is an archaeologist. Having discovered an ancient mystical sacred sphere, Christine is convinced that her discovery is part of a set of ten spheres linked to different ancient religious environments from around the world. Naturally she sets out to discover the location of these spheres.
To me I knew the name Duracell for one thing batteries. Here they are launching a range of top quality torches, powered of course by their batteries. However the torches themselves offer something new, not seen before.
Have you noticed that almost all torches bulb or LED have bands of whiteness when shone into a dark area so you either have to move them about or refocus the beam to see what you require, these Duracell offerings give a totally white light, yes I mean white and not a rather washed out nicotine type yellow tinge to the colour. The items I am looking are from the Daylight range and there are a total of nine units of varying size and shape.
This book by William R Stanek and published by OReilly contains a massive amount of information in its 960 or so pages. It is not a book to be read but one to be delved into as and when the need arises and this could well be anytime from the moment you get the computer.
While not aimed at the rank beginner, it provides a broad spectrum of information and so will be of interest to virtually everyone ranging from the serious amateur through to the PC professional. With virtually all PCs now coming with some version Windows 7 installed, we are all faced with a large number of similarities with previous versions as well as the differences -- some of which we will find disconcerting. That applies to both stand-alone and networked configurations.
Capturing video clips can be great fun as you record memories of family occasions and other events. However what you actually do with this content when you have transferred it to your computers hard disk is another matter entirely.
Not everybody has the time, inclination or skill to adopt the role of a film director and make productive use of the content. Yes there are a number of software applications that can turn your work into a format that looks good and has a professional sheen but they do expect the user to have a certain amount of expertise in this field. Not everybody, even in their wildest dream, would consider themselves to have such skills.
It was a hard climb to ascend Everest and then follow up that escapade by trekking through the Amazon jungle. Now the Bermuda Triangle comes a-calling with the next Hidden Expedition title.
Yes this camera has a TFT at the front and the back. Not as daft as it sounds if you either want to catch a shot with the image taker in or if you are trying to keep the attention of a young child their own image works wonders.
The Samsung ST550 digital camera measures 9.8x6x2cm and weights 135grams. Mine was black with a chrome ring around the lens and a thin purple line along the top and left edge with a larger area on the right edge, sounds weird but to my non stylish eye it looks smart. It is a 12.2MP offering with 4.6x optical zoom and is almost totally touchscreen. Looking at the front of the unit you see the 1.5x.4cm flash unit just to the left of centre at the top and the chrome ring around the varioplan 4.
It is not just call centres that require headsets for communication purposes; ordinary users could find such a device will suit their needs.
No matter how many rings your cooker has there are always times when you are juggling them to get even a fairly basic meal prepared so that everything is ready to eat at the same time. This could be a solution to the problem.
One such solution requires bamboo containers to be stacked on top of a saucepan, this is something totally different. In fact this requires no rings at all as it starts with the base that is the cooking element and above that other containers as required. It claims to be able to produce a three course meal with no mixing of the juices between courses, certainly something that the bamboo containers cannot do as the steam comes through from bottom to top.
Certain things make a claim that can be easily verified, others take longer. Certain claims may be initially true others may take time to prove. Then again some may never be proven/disproven even after a long trial period.
Last year I decided that my mattress was not helping my long term back problem and splashed out on a memory foam one. This I consider was probably my best purchase but even though it gives me hours of comfort I still have my back problem. Here I am looking at a pillow made of a similar material but it has a second purpose to play music to allow you alone to listen, so if you share a bed your partner need not be disturbed when your music lulls you to sleep. The pillow is 48x29cm.
As part of its range of new printing devices, Canon has released the PIXMA MP560. This is an All-in-One model featuring print, scan and copy functions. This PIXMA unit has Wi-Fi and USB connectivity and is being aimed at the small office / home user.
Removing the unit from the packaging reveals a black and silver box with rounded corners measuring 450 x 365 x 160mm (W x D x H). Power and USB connections are located at the rear of the device, as is a secondary paper input option giving you the opportunity to have two different types of paper loaded ready for printing. The main paper input is via a tray that slots into the front of the unit. Both paper inputs are rated as being able to hold 150 sheets of paper.
This is triangular in shape and ideal for beside the bed, not only DAB, FM but also CD and an Auxilery input. It has two small internal speakers so decent stereo (considering its size) can be achieved from this Pure unit.
The Pure Chronos CD II measures 19cm wide at the front, 7cm wide at the back, 19cm deep and 12cm tall. The front of the unit has two columns of four buttons with a wheel set between the columns. Above this is a four line (green on black) display. Below the columns of buttons are two 3.5mm sockets, headset and Auxiliary In. The top of the unit has two buttons on each of the front corners to control any CD you might play.
Acer, which claims to hold the number one position in notebook sales in the UK, has announced its new TimelineX range based on the Intel Core series of processors, high quality displays and versatile connectivity. They will start coming onto the market within the next few weeks. The company is offering a number of different series of machines each of which targets a particular sector within the consumer and SMB marketplace.
Extending from 11.6 to 18.4 inch models, these range from the mobile user needing maximum battery life through to advanced multimedia solutions offered a full HD capability. Although based on the previous generation of machines, Acer has taken a hard look at improving machine efficiency with the aim of increasing battery life from the previous 8 hours to 12 hours. This will support a busy day of work or play without the inconvenience of having to break off to recharge.
A recent delivery from Spain brought with it the ability to charge various portable devices simultaneously.
How many portable devices do you currently own? I am willing to bet that the number is gradually increasing and, if my experience is anything to go by, you will probably have forgotten about at least one device when arriving at the final figure.
The normal phrase is Lights, Camera, Action! but, as fans of Nancy Drew will appreciate, when a certain young lady detective is involved then matters are rarely considered normal. So in this event it is more a case of Light, Camera, Curses! as Nancy tackles a HeR Interactive game that is available from Focus Multimedia.
This is a small camcorder that has a 64GB of supplied internal memory and 3.3MP stills. 15x optical zoom may not sound huge by some standards but try keeping the camcorder still when you have far greater amounts of zoom.
It weights around 330grams, light enough to sit on your fingers for some time without you needing to spend hours in the gym. It is 11.5x6.5x5cm when the TFT is closed add another 8cm to the 6cm width when it is open. The 270 degree of movement now seems to be standard on most camcorders and it can be very useful when taking images in a crowded area. It is easy to take images even when the unit is above your head as the TFT can still picture what you cannot see directly.
Probably better known to the Mac fraternity, Elgato has recently made moves designed to raise its profile in the Windows marketplace with the release of its EyeTV DTT Deluxe product. This is a television tuner that will work on both the Windows and Mac platforms in conjunction with software developed by Terratec.
Having looked at a number of USB television tuners in the past, my initially impression of the Elgato unit was related to its size. It is definitely the smallest television tuner I have seen and is well qualified for its Micro-Stick designation noted on the product box. This USN stick measurements are 57 x 17 x 9mm (L x W x D), making it a little larger than nano size but small enough not to cause any problems when positioning the stick on even heavily populated array of ports.
Having recently looked at a Touchscreen notebook, here, I am looking at an All In One screen that has all the normal connections around the edges including the optical drive with the only external items being wireless mouse and keyboard.
The Packard Bell oneTwo measures 42x52x5cm on the built in stand that is 15x24cm at the base so the amount of desk space required is 52x15cm. The viewable screen area is 43.5x25cm giving the diagonal viewable screen measurement of 20 inches. There is a webcam built into the top of the screen surround. The left side has two USB ports near the bottom. The base has nothing apart from a couple of vents, while the front has a very hard to see on/off switch on the left edge.
With almost every newspaper having Sudoku games for you to do why have a PC program devoted to them? Well you could say the same for Crosswords or perhaps even Bridge. If you enjoy Sudoku then the 25,000 games here should allow you to be in ecstasy.
Holding your valuable data, your hard disk does deserve consideration and help when it comes to performing its various functions.
Whether you have purchased or built it yourself, a new computer will do its best to impress you with its speed of operation. However, during the normal course of events, the computer’s performance with regards to speed will start to degrade. One reason for this state of affairs will be the condition of your hard disk. Whereas the original files will have been written contiguously to the hard disk, subsequent files will tend to be slotted in wherever space exists.
Somewhat different from the previous two Freesat units I have looked at from Humax and Panasonic. The first things I noticed are that it has no visible clock on the front and also no obvious means of knowing how far into a program you are.
The Grundig Satellite Recorder I'm reviewing measures 29x25x6cm and black in colour. The only noticeable controls are three buttons and the ubiquitous five position joystick. On the left of the front is an LED (red on standby, blue when on) and another on the right that shows red when recording.
As somebody who spends a great deal of time typing, my choice of keyboard does need to combine functionality and, more importantly, ease-of-use.
Keyboards have come a long way since these heavy clunky models, decked out in computer grey, that were attached to my early computers via a cable with a 7-pin plug. They really made their presence felt with the less-expensive models suffering from keys that lost their letter identification through the effect of finger pounding.
Describing itself as The Most Beautiful Hidden Object Game Ever, Jewel Quest Mysteries combines puzzle solving and match-3 game play with plenty of hidden object searching.
Joining the popular Jewel Quest franchise is Jewel Quest Mysteries: Curse of the Emerald Tear. In this game you join the famous husband and wife archaeological team of Rupert and Emma in their hunt for the Emerald Tear which is an ancient Jewel Board that is rumoured to have mystical powers.
This is the larger version of the Kindle (reviewed around six weeks ago) A lot of the features are the same and should you already have some Kindle books you can view them on either unit, the main advantage more words per page.
The larger Kindle DX measures 26.5x18x.6cm and weights 460grams. The viewable screen area is 20x14cm. Below the screen is a 35 key alpha numeric keyboard spread over four lines. Great for making electronic notes in whatever you are reading. The top edge has the on/off slider as well as a 3.5mm earbud jack. The right side has a volume control rock. The base has a pair of small but effective speakers for those who prefer their special books read to them as well as the USB/Mains lead entry point.
Sometimes a products title can give you a clear indication as to its purpose and functionality but this is not always the case as this next product illustrates.
The KRG-D50 gives nothing in the way of evidence to explain what is in the box. You could easily indulge in flights of fancy as you come up with numerous suggestions as to what the KRG-D50 actually is and still not come anywhere near the fact that this is a radio-alarm with iPod docking and charging capabilities. Even then there is one important feature still to be revealed.
Seeing when your toast is done to the colour you desire is nice, having a toaster with cool sides is important especially if you have young children. The Magimix does both of these as well as allowing you to toast things others do not.
Close to a year ago I reviewed a toaster from Tefal that also had a fitting on the end to poach – or boil – eggs. Here this is more traditional – in that it only toasts – but the conventional two slices in parallel is gone replaced by the ability to place two full sized pieces of bread side by side in the only slot, but it will also do far thicker things like bagels and crumpets even traditional muffins and even refresh French sticks I tried them all.
Two more items from those clever USB people in Hong Kong. The first a Star Trek type webcam that allows you to fix the position unlike those built into the screen. Second a device to tell you when you have received email.
The dividing line between desktop systems and their laptop brethren is becoming increasingly blurred as manufacturers incorporate more power, functionality and features into their portable offerings.
One product that falls into the desktop replacement category is the Acer Aspire 5942G laptop. With dimensions of 382 x 174 x 26mm (W x D x H) in its closed state and weighing 3.0kg (including the 6-cell battery pack), this reflective black encased model cries out for a permanent home on your desk space with, perhaps, an option for occasional travel privileges. Driving this laptop is an Intel Core i5 520M 2.4GHz processor that supports Intel 64 architecture.
A pull along cleaner with two major differences, first the suction tube really stretches and second it can run for up to twenty minutes on its inbuilt battery. So if the lead is just long enough to get to that place there are two ways to access it.
With a battery built the Miele S4812 hybrid vacuum cleaner is naturally a little bit heavier than other products but with a 6.5metre flex and the very stretchy tubing it will not need to be picked up that much. It is 45x24x20cm (these are maximum figures as the unit is curved), the base unit weights around 8Kg without the tube.
According to Sods Law, the odds against a hard disk failure, whether due to outside influences or not, decrease substantially the moment you neglect to carry out a backup of your data. While disaster might not strike immediately, when it does you will be sorry and to paraphrase an old saying It is no use crying over lost data.
While backups of old (as I well remember) could be long drawn out affairs involving copious amounts pf disks that were of the removable media of the day; the modern backup process is automated and can be scheduled to take place at a time that will not inconvenience you. Offering to carry out this type of task is True Image Home 2010 from Acronis. Described as PC Backup & Recovery software, this product arrives complete with Windows 7 compatibility and an online backup option.