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Where once it was enough for a device to satisfy discerning users by performing a single function, now devices need to be multi-functional in order to loosen customers’ purse strings and make a sale.
When is a mouse not a mouse?  The answer to this riddle could well be when it is a new classification of product that owes its concept to an innovative Belgium company.  This company is I.R.I.S. and the product in question is its IRIScan Mouse which, as its title indicates, combines the features of a pointing device with a hand-held scanner.  The IRIScan Mouse comes with the tag line of “You swipe, it scans.
This is a 10inch Android Tablet with a few extras that are unique to Samsung. A lot has been written about a device made by Apple and the apparent similarities this bears to it, as I have no close knowledge of the former I cannot comment.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 measures 25.5x17.5x1cm and weights 583 grammes. My unit was white. The viewable screen is 22x13.5cm giving the imperial diagonal measurement of 10.1inches. The screen display is 1200x800 which with excellent zoom in and out gives a screen nearly the size of a PC or a notebook and of course good battery life and lack of weight. The unit comes with a proprietary lead to charge it and this can either go to a USB port or to the supplied plug to charge from the mains.
688228 XTZ EarPhone 1

XTZ Earphone-12

From Roxette to the Rednex, can the Earphone-12 put the X-factor into your audio XTZ?
With the resurging popularity of headphones amongst the young folks, many retailers have started to offer in-store demonstrations. However, due to hygienic reasons you can't usually try out the in-ear variety before committing your money, money, money. Heeding the call is Swedish high end hi-fi manufacturer, XTZ. Their first set of in-ear earphones the EarPhone-12, are available to purchase directly from their website on a trial basis.
You are out and about and nowhere near a 13amp plug so what do you do to charge your flagging battery in your portable device. Of course there are solar devices – but can you guarantee the sun – here two portable battery packs.
The basic idea is before your device shuts down to attach the device and the power flows into your unit to power it immediately and in a lot of cases it will also recharge your unit at the same time so in a few hours it could be fully charged. This device has the Sony name and will charge all those items using USB to charge there is a 10cm lead micro USB to USB in the box. The unit consists of a semi circular battery of 2000mAh with input of .5A and output of 1A both of these figures are at 5V.
A change is as good as a rest or so they say. Maybe that was the reasoning behind the decision taken by RIM to change its company name. In common with a number of other companies who have ventured along the same route, RIM is now known by its flagship product. As a result RIM is BlackBerry. The first product launched under this new nomenclature to reach me is the BlackBerry Z10. My review sample has been supplied by Vodafone.
The BlackBerry Z10 has not wandered far from the standard slab appearance we have come use to with the numerous smartphones that are currently available.  This black unit has dimensions of 130 x 65.6 x 9mm (H x W x D) and weighs 137.5g (including battery).  A 4.2-inch screen, with a resolution of 1280 x 768 pixels, is encased by a black plastic bezel that is thicker at the top/bottom than the sides.
Here I am looking at two sets of earbuds from Audio-Technica, both are designed for use for those who move about a lot and dare I say the word RUN. The main difference between is the fitment in or over your ear.
Often earbuds come with very long leads which normally get knotted very quickly. Here the basic lead is very short at .6metre however before you think that will never reach the pocket in my shorts or jogging pants there is another .6metre extension lead in the box. Normally the silicon earbuds are smooth as indeed are the pair fitted but for those who want or need them then ridged ones are in the box.
As part of its range of software titles designed specifically for the less experienced user, MAGIX has released Photostory Easy. This product, as it titles might suggest, allows the user to combine various photo images, transitions and a sound track into a slideshow. Boxed and downloadable versions of the software are available with my preview copy being of the latter type.
When selecting to create a new project, a Wizard will lead you through the initial steps of the process of creating a slideshow.  You can either accept the default file name format, which combines the current system date with the word “slideshow”, or enter one of your own choosing.  The next step involves deciding whether to import images from a digital camera or opt for content already stored on your computer.
Just how and why was a young woman attacked and murder in a locked room? And how did the murderer escape? These are the mysteries facing you in the game of Victorian Mysteries: Yellow Room. Categorised as a Hidden Object Investigation, this game is available as part of Avanquest’s GSP catalogue of titles.
Set in 19 Century France, the game of Victorian Mystery: Yellow Room casts you in the role of Sainclare, a photographer who is aided Joseph Rouletebille, an investigative reporter for the Epoque.  The two men have been set the task of investigating the murder of Mademoiselle Stangerson at the Chateau du Glandiers.  Different players can set up their game profiles with volume levels for sound effects and background music plus whether to opt for a widescreen view or not.
This is a printer, and this unit has multiple connection types, USB, Ethernet and Wireless, so it can work in the home, SOHO, small office and even larger office settings as a workgroup unit, so it is an all round unit.
It is quite beefy in size at 45x55x44cm with paper output tray extended. You can subtract 18cm from the last figure the height when you do not have thick paper, letterheads or envelopes in the back top 80 sheet capacity paper feed. All the controls are on the sloping front panel, there is no display so you rely on the eight LEDs and seven well marked buttons. The main paper tray at the front base takes 250 sheets so it should work without attention for a reasonable time.
Bringing together the various streams of entertainment content that is readily available is the stated aim of a black box from Samsung.
The Samsung STB-E7500M is a Freeview dual tuner personal video recorder (PVR) box that comes with a built-in 500GB hard drive for storing content.  While not the smallest device of its type, this reflective black box, with dimensions of 330 x 270 x 45mm (W x D x H), is not too demanding with regards to space and it does look stylish enough to fit in with most home environments as you control its range of features with the supplied full-size remote control unit.
Here I am looking at a Gaming Mouse capable of 3500DPI, it has the name of Death Adder. I am also looking a keyboard, both these items are branded Razer and both connect to the PC using USB as their connection method.
You could connect to any PC and it would work out of the box as a standard mouse however it offers a lot more for the Gamer. It is 12x7x5cm these are maximum sizes. The top has normal left and right buttons with a scroll wheel in between. The left side is waisted and has two further Gaming Buttons cut into the waist to give extra gaming features. It has an infra red sensor in the base which is stated to react at 3.5G, beside this sensor is a Profile change button.
Lego has been around for a long time, I seem to remember that originally there was one shape of brick and possibly just a single colour. Now things are very different and this set here is a case in point to produce a specific object.
I am old enough to remember time before Lego when the only construction toy was Meccano and you constructed most things from within your head. Now you have sets with a specific purpose and although some of the bricks are still the basic shapes a lot of them are specific to the task of constructing your Super Hero.
A visit to the dentist does not rate high on my list of favourite tasks. As a result I am always on the look-out for ways of keeping my teeth and gums in a healthy state.
Diamonds, for James Bond fans, are forever.  These precious stones are also, according to a classic Hollywood movie, “a girls’ best friend”.  Now, so Philips informs me, diamond (note the switch to the singular from the plural) is the latest high standard of oral cleanliness that is available from the company’s new electronic toothbrush.
This is a thin and light notebook – claimed as the thinnest – but as soon as you boot it up you notice it is also very fast so without looking you know that a ten second boot and seven second shutdown means it has an SSD drive.
The Samsung Series 9 NP900X4C measures 35.5x23x1cm maximum and weights 1665grams. The screens diagonal imperial measurement is 15inches. The viewable screen is 34x19cm with a near invisible webcam mounted in the centre of the screen top. It is capable of displaying up to 1280x1024.
Corel has never been afraid to open its purse strings to purchase software companies especially when it concerns graphics offerings. One of its latest purchases was ROXIO.
On one of its recent shopping trips Corel purchased ROXIO and its various software products.  One of these titles is ROXIO Creator which provides the user with a range of tools for capturing, creating and sharing media content plus burning this content to optical media.  The latest version of this software still bears the ROXIO name and is entitled Creator NXT.  Included with the ROXIO branded software is a full copy of Corel’s Paint Shop Pro image editing package.
As part of the Hidden Mystery Collectives series, Focus Multimedia has bundled together two Haunted Manor titles in a two-game pack. The two titles are Lord of Mirrors and Queen of Death with both being classified as Hidden Object Adventure games. Using the same front end, each of the two titles has its own installation routine which needs to be instigated separately.
687477 philips Monitor Lcd 27in 278g4dhsd monito

Philips 27inch Gioco

A slim and light panel from Philips, it is capable of 1920x1080 and the unit has a good range of forward and backward movement available on its base. There is no side to side movement but as its light its easy to move around.
The 27inch Philips Gioco monitor measures 62x37x2.5cm, the stand is 31x20cm. It raises the unit by 10cm from your desk. There is around 15% of back movement and around half that in forward movement. As the unit is light – but well balanced – moving it to the sides is easy. However as you can view it from close to being beside it little movement should be required. The viewable screen is 60x33.5cm and the diagonal imperial measurement is 27inches.
686614 philips AquaTouch AT896 Wet and Dry Shave

Philips AquaTouch Plus

I can remember my grandfather using a cut-throat razor which he would sharpen using a leather strap. Now we have safety razors, disposable blades and electric razors.
According to a recent survey, conducted by a sock subscription service for gentlemen (I had not realised that such an establishment existed), men have now overtaken women in what previously was considered to be an area that they dominated.  According to this survey, a man can now spend up to 75 minutes over his daily getting ready routine.  Women, on the other hand, only spend 70 minutes on their beauty regime.
Although the majority of laptops now incorporate a webcam, and they are also widely available for one’s desktop, there are many occasions when it would be useful to employ a camera for other tasks and not just using it to provide images of one’s face for Skype. The HueHD Visualiser is a versatile unit that will handle a whole range of imagery tasks on the desktop in addition to being a useful webcam.
It is a small unit, just a bit smaller than the size of a mains plug, attached to a 30cm flexible stalk, which terminates with a USB connector. This can be plugged directly into a USB port on the computer or via the provided desk stand. A 1.75metre USB cable is supplied to connect the desk stand to the computer. The visualiser has a 640 x 480 resolution and a viewing angle of 75 degrees and the focus range claimed is 5cm to infinity.
687474 Brother DCP J4110DW multi function printe

Brother DCP-J4110DW

This is an All in One unit with a big plus in that paper is fed landscape even though in normal use it will still print in portrait. The major difference is that the unit’s depth is somewhat less than when paper is stored in portrait.
The Brother DCP-J4110DW measures 46x32x16cm and this includes whatever cables you connect to it, the only extra is space required to lift the scan lid. If you require fax then other models in this range have it but for most home users this unit will complete their tasks at a lesser price. The controls are all on the front on a panel that lift from the base by 45degrees very useful when looking from above. There is a small touch screen 3.
Here I am looking at two items that both use dice to play. Neither of them use the normal 1–6 type dice. The first is very simple in its construction its called Letter Cubes. The second requires more input from the users called Talking Dice.
This has the main ‘rules’ on the face of the pack of twelve dice each face has a different letter and each letter has a score associated with it. The rules are 1)Throw the dice. 2)Build a word. 3)Score points. Turn to the back for a detailed explanation and variations thought of by the inventor but the basics are exactly the three points listed. Stated for an age range of ‘7+’ it is likely that the best games will be for people of closely matched vocabularies.
Born on March 24, 1874 in Budapest, Ehrich Weisz was to become one of the more charismatic characters of his generation before he died of a ruptured appendix on October 24, 1926 at the age of 52. Perhaps if I mention that Ehrich was better known by his stage name of Harry Houdini then everything will become clearer.
As well as his interest in magic and escapology, Harry Houdini became interested in the occult.  Using the skills he had learned through his stage and circus work, Houdini was able to expose the tricks used by so-called mediums.  His end came about when he was unable to resist a challenge to perform one of his signature tricks by allowing a student, named J. Gordon Whitehead, to punch him in the stomach.  Houdini died shortly afterwards from a ruptured appendix.
Way back in 2012 I attended a presentation where Thecus were involved, I heard nothing from their better known UK partner but a trickle of press releases emerged from Europe which eventually led to the unit arriving for review.
While the largest NAS I have previously looked at was a two drive offering. This five drive offering does everything to make the expansion easier. However it is still small enough to sit on a desk should that be required. It is 18.5x23x24cm the last figure the depth is without anything connected, add another 3cm for mains lead and Ethernet connections in the rear. Also at the back are four USB, HDMI, VGA and a range of audio connections.
It has been several months since I last took a look at an Epsom printer. Bringing this period to an end is a new multifunction unit in white.
After a steady stream of lacquered black devices of the multifunction persuasion arriving for review, it made a pleasant change to open up the latest product to reveal a pristine Apple White unit from Epsom.  The product in question is the Epson XP-605.  This multifunction unit provides you with the ability to scan, print and copy documents using a choice of USB and wireless connectivity.  This multifunction device also features a CD/DVD labelling option.
Adding to its series of Weird Park titles, Alawar sets you the task of rescuing children trapped in various Fairy Tales.
It all begins with a night-time car journey.  There you are driving along with loud music blaring out of the radio to ensure you do not drift off to sleep while at the wheel.  Shortly after passing a sign for Fair Gate Town your concentration is broken as a young girl appears in the passenger seat and speaks to you.
687473 Samsung NX1000 Digital Compact System Camer

Samsung NX1000

This camera has a removable lens, mine came with a 20-50mm offering that is fine for a lot of normal images. However its small size could possibly have it confused with a basic digital camera, this it certainly is not.
It is 11.5x6.5x11.5cm, it weights 400grams without the provided neck strap. My preference was to use it as a digital camera and while you would need a capacious pocket it easily fits into a bag. The hold grip for the right hand is comfortable. The left side has only the anchor point for the neck strap. The right side has the opposite anchor point as well as a door that hides micro USB and mini HDMI sockets. The base has a door behind which the solid battery and any SD card you use will rest.
It is not just celebrities who can benefit from a digital make-over. Now you can use a software package to tidy up your own image.
The digital age has totally disproved the old adage that “the camera never lies”.  No longer can we put our trust in the displayed image will give us what actually existed at the moment of capture.  Often referred to as “airbrushing”, this technique can be used to remove unwanted items and blemishes plus add what was never there in the first place especially with regards to the physical appearance of the individual subject.
Some say size is important, certainly for this All in One lack of size is vital as this is a portable unit that has a battery for when mains power is unavailable. It connects via Bluetooth or USB so no leads are required for the former.
It is 34x19x8cm when closed, it weights just a tad over 3kilos. Lift the lid and the 8cm height becomes 38cm with paper loaded. Once the lid is lifted the small touch screen needs to be lifted 45degrees and that is about it. If you are using mains power then the DC lead fits in back left and the USB lead connects back right, there is also a USB port beside it. The ‘Home’ screen has just three options, Print, Scan or Copy. Touch any of the three to proceed to more detailed screens.
686581 corel cad 201

CorelCAD 2013

There is one product in the CAD market that people think of even if they never use CAD. However providing certain rules are adhered to there is no reason why others cannot work in the same arena here an offering from Corel.
Most CAD packages are not cheap and this offering from Corel does not break this rule. The name everyone knows was when I last saw a copy protected by a dongle. Unlike other Corel products you do not get extra bundled offerings. However the price is the offering here from Corel as it reads and writes even the latest version of AutoCAD files in .DWG format. While I have only used it in the Windows environment it is said to work just as well for those working in the MAC arena.
While I could never claim to be a fan of the lacquered black coating that decorates numerous electronic devices, I have to admit that the Canon PIXMA MG6350 has a certain visual appeal. With its rounded corners, sloping base and top, this All-in-One unit would not look out of place in either a work area or living room as it fulfils its function of a Print, Copy, Scan and Direct Photo model.
At a casual glance the MG6350 might seem a run-of-the-mill device providing print, copy and scan facilities.  However closer examination of this lacquered black box with dimensions of 486 x 369 x 148mm (W x D x H) reveals some innovative features that sit alongside the standard arrangement of an A4 flatbed scanner mounted on top of an inkjet printer supported by two paper input options.
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