First two are a wooden (yes wood) mouse and a wooden keyboard that both feel wonderful to the touch, they really look the business when on a desk. Third a USB Card Reader that is wonderfully compact and easy to fit in a pocket this also has another purpose.
When I saw these advertised I was intrigued, how do make a wooden (working) mouse and perhaps more complex a (working) wooden keyboard. Both are supplied by those all things USB Brando in Hong Kong. The mouse is 10x6x2.5cm and weights 93grams, it has a 1.4metre USB lead, the top and sides are bamboo with only the clear plastic scroll wheel spoiling the overall light wood effect.
It was a case of déjà vu as a new game arrived from Playrix with yet more aquarium building and Match-3 game play.
Over the last months I have requested to look at several of these book reading devices about the size of paperback but definitely lighter than a hardback. This is the first of them to arrive this one is called the COOL-ER.
The colour was shocking pink (they do other colours) and while I have seen others using these devices on a train as a mere male without a great feminine side I decided to do my reading behind closed doors as pink and I don’t really mix. It is 18.5x12x1cm and it weights 190grams, the screen is 12x9cm. I was somewhat put off by an off icon in the centre of the screen all the time it is not on. Still if it’s not on you are unlikely to be looking at it that much.
Some laptops are used as a travelling companion while others are more suited for providing your computing needs in the home. Falling into the latter category is the Asus K50IN.
While netbooks are being targeted specifically at the user who requires a travelling companion with Internet access, communication facilities and other similar features, the laptop is moving outwards and onwards with the object of usurping the desktop unit as the living room computer system.
While we often make visits to a virtual environment, there are some who spend their whole lives in this king of environment. Im referring to those characters that belong to that tribe known as Virtual Villagers.
Malleable little people form the basis of a new offering from Focus Multimedia catalogue of titles which consists of not one but two separate games that need to be installed individually. Making up the Virtual Villagers package are A New Home and The Lost Children. Following the destruction of their original home by a volcano, a small group of islanders escape by boat and end up being washed ashore on what appears to be an empty and isolated paradise.
This phone is clearly marked GD510 on the box and while the initial press release called it the LG Fun their website (link at the end) calls it the LG Pop. Either way this phone packs a lot in and I can see it being popular.
The LG POP GD510 mobile phone measures 9.5x5x1.3cm and it weights 85grams. Perhaps the fun name came as the range of shades it has. The face is black apart from the single button area near the base that is grey, as are the sides with the exception of the top left corner that is a chrome colour, finally the back is a gun metal grey. The viewable area of the face is 6.5x4cm.
One name that immediately springs to my mind when I think of SatNav products is that of TomTom. With over 3,300 employees spread over four business units (TomTom, Tele Alias, AUTO and WORK), the company is a world leading provider of navigation solutions and digital maps.
This is quite a squat offering and it looks almost child like with large buttons and rather garish colouring, very unlike recent PowerShot offerings, there is however a rather good reason for the PowerShot D10 strange appearance.
This digital camera is usable under water and I assume this is the reason for the electric blue front. The shape is also probably for the same reason. I am afraid taking it out in heavy rain and putting it a bath is the nearest I got to 10 metres under water, but in this weather the thought of swimming is not really top of my hit list of things to do in the UK in winter, not even in an indoor pool and I doubt if ‘health and safety’ rules would allow a camera anyway.
For once the first word describes this product exactly, it is a Power Mat, you lay your supported devices on it and it or they are recharged, in some cases quicker than they would be if they were recharged by a conventional cable.
There are two styles a solid mat and a collapsible one that folds into three for ease of movement (a zip up case is supplied) either way the mat when open is 30x9x1cm. The names given to them by Powermat are Home & Office Mat or Portable Mat. To give an idea of what can be charged by category you can charge Bluetooth Headsets/Headphones, Mobile Phones, Digital Cameras, Digital Readers, Handheld Game Systems, MP3 Players and even some portable GPS units.
While nowhere as near as prolific as new mobile phone handsets that appear on a regular basis, its near-cousin, the DECT phone, does come in a variety of models from different manufacturers.
Voice Recorders have been around for a long time, mainly as an office tool for the executive wanting to dictate notes or letters when away from the office. Of course many other devices such as MP3 players can do this now.
It is 9.5x3.7x1cm and weights 44grams when the single ‘AAA’ battery is inserted. I always try to use such devices without – initially – resorting to the manual. Here I was able to record and replay messages I left on the unit without any problem. Looking at the controls one thing seemed to be missing and that was an off switch, however I found after a period of inactivity it shut itself down. The face has a 2.
Have you noticed how inanimate objects have a habit of developing the ability to conceal themselves in a variety of locations? You may also have come to the conclusion that the effectiveness of this ability increases with the relative importance of the object at the given moment you need it.
Car keys, purse/wallet, travel pass or even your mobile phone never seem to be where you clearly remember leaving them. While some may suggest that it is your memory that is at fault, there is a theory that the Borrowers have been up to their old tricks. Whichever point of view you subscribe to, maybe a new product from Doro could help alleviate the problem. This product is the MemoryPlus 335.
An Egyptian artefact, robbers, a train journey and plenty of puzzles and hidden object searching make up an offering from Focus Multimedia.
Adding to its portfolio of games, Focus Multimedia has released Serpent of Isis. Developed by Gamgo, this game is based on the search to track down those responsible for the theft of a rare Egyptian artefact, not surprisingly entitled the Serpent of Isis. In order to solve this mystery you will need to get involved with hidden object game play, inventory-based puzzle solving and various mini-games playing in either relaxed or timed mode.
Earlier this year I saw a demonstration of Solid State Storage demonstrated at an event currently I understand it is available in 64 and 128GB. I was sent a 64GB unit to review by Kingston, their price seems quite reasonable.
So what do you get. A 64GB module that fits into a SATA slot in a PC, a copy Acronis True Image software and an external USB case to insert your old SATA drive. try to insert the SSD in the external case it will fit but it will work. You cannot format the unit while it is a USB drive, full instructions are supplied in the box. The box is called SSD with Accessory Kit. My kit was for a notebook but they also do a similar kit for desktop machines.
Whereas speakers have traditionally been box-shaped in appearance, todays users tend to look for a more stylish appearance especially with regards to shape.
While speakers are meant to be listened to, there are times when you might like to consider their appearance as well as audio quality. At least one manufacturer takes this viewpoint and attempts to add some style to its products. That manufacturer is the Canadian-based Edifier Enterprises.
Not a writing instrument as you may think from the title, but a DSLR camera, this designed to look like an SLR of a long time ago. It takes brilliant images in daylight; alas I cannot tell you about night time shots as no flash was supplied.
The Olympus Pen E-P1 measures 12x7x11cm with the supplied 14-42mm lens fully extended. It weights 550grams including the supplied neck strap. It is supplied as standard without a flash, a hot-shoe socket is on the top and almost any flash can be fitted. A small rectangular module is mentioned but at the time of my review one was not available to be sent to me so all my tests were in daylight.
Two USB devices that can help keep you warm during chilly weather, neither is an item of clothing. First a cup warmer and second a lunch box warmer, both from those clever people in Hong Kong who do all things USB. Finally a device that works out how much power your PC can save without shutting it down.
This is something I have seen before but not in the format supplied here. It is 16cm wide 14cm deep and 3cm high apart from the front that has the display screen and here it is 7cm high. The rear of the unit has a one metre long hard wired USB lead; to the right of this is a push button to control the warming plate that is most of the top of the unit. Along side of this are two USB ports, another two USB ports are the other side of the hard wired USB lead.
Rather than add a caption or speech bubble to get your message across, why not consider putting words into the mouths of your creations.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words but just imagine how that number would rise if that picture could talk. By that I do not mean capturing a real person talking on video but rather an inanimate object, image, cartoon or an avatar created for a website. Offering to provide the tools for creating this type of functionality is CrazyTalk 6 from Reallusion.
Unlike most PC reviews that have to rushed through in only a week or so I have been allowed to keep this unit for an extended period that has allowed me to not only review it but a number of software products with it as the medium.
The Asus F70SL laptop must be considered a desktop replacement as it has a 17.3inch screen, measures 42x29x4cm and weights close to four kilos. Certainly if you carried this on public transport all day everyday then you would be a pretty fit person. The face of the lid and the area around the keyboard are a pinstripe pattern the rest is the more normal black colour.
While Adobe controls the PDF standard, other companies have not been slow in developing solutions to take advantage of this technology.
In 1993 Adobe released the first incarnation of its PDF (Portable Document Format) software onto an unsuspecting world. This innovative technology allowed for the easy distribution of electronic documents that could be viewed exactly as the original author intended no matter what software and fonts were available on the host system. All you needed was the free reader utility. Since that date, 16 years ago, PDF has become the dominant force in the world of electronic documents.
A Search for Lost Treasure
Joining the Avanquest Click & Play catalogue of games is Adventure Chronicles: The Search for Lost Treasure. This game features Susan Anderson who some might remember was the central character of Escape the Museum. Now sufficiently recovered from the ordeal of escaping from the wreckage of the museum with her daughter, Susan is back at work when she takes delivery of a journal from an unknown source. This journal is the work of T. R.
While most recent camcorders can take still images and almost all digital cameras have a movie mode this offering from Sanyo really does combine the two items in one casing, so is the camcorder/camera the way to go.
The Sanyo Xacti is designed to be gripped in the fingers with the thumb pressing the shutter and joy of joys – for the left handed – it can be used in either hand. It is 12x7x4cm and weights 187grams. When shooting with the side mounted wide screen display fully open this adds 9cm to the 4cm width. The base has a joint USB&A/V socket as well as the tripod screw. All other controls are on the back of the unit near the top and able to be reached by either thumb.
After my recent visit to Buck House (excuse the familiarity especially as there was a distinct lack of tea and biscuits on offer for visitors) in the Hidden Mysteries escape, my next trip took me across the pond. This time the designated target for exploration was Americas most famous residence and home to the countrys Head of State, namely The White House maybe coffee and donuts would be served.
Hidden Mysteries: The White House forms part of Avanquest’s Click & Play range. It brings together the familiar mix of hidden object game play with a scattering of puzzle-based mini games This game places you in the role of Miranda Hunt, a college student.
I have owned a first generation Apple iPod Nano for a while; just recently it started to become unresponsive and then early on Sunday stayed switched on with no button working. So as I was working with a product that needed an iPod what do I do?
Having purchased a number of things from Amazon and have a Prime account meaning I get guaranteed next day delivery free. This however only works on items ordered on Monday to Thursday. Recently I have seen same day delivery offered so I paid my £7.38 and had a brand new iPod sitting on my desk seven hours later and my review was able to be completed.
First perhaps the smallest one I have seen from Jabra, you just need to use it in your right ear. Second a more conventional (still small) offering from Plantronics, this you can use in either ear. Both have noise reducing abilities.
When I sat tiny the maximum size is 4x4x2cm, this is the bit that goes into the ear apart from that the thickness is .5cm or less. The weight is a minuscule 5grams. The actual ‘stone’ that provides extra charging while on the move is another 32grams. So even when the earpiece is in the stone the total weight in your pocket is 32grams.
Better known for its LCD screens and projectors, ViewSonic has recently expanded its field of operation by entering the notebook market. One of the new models bearing the ViewSonic brand is the ViewBook Pro. Now why, I wonder, does that name have a familiar ring to it?
I remember reviewing the original chocolate phone in 2008 and this is longer and thinner. In fact it really is nothing like the original. Of course phones continue to evolve so what has the new Chocolate BL40 got to offer.
The old chocolate was a slider phone, 9.5cm closed and 13cm open, the width was 3.7cm and the thickness 1.4cm. The new chocolate is totally touchscreen 13x5x1cm. It weights 130grams against the old chocolate 86grams. Mine was black back and front with a silver band along both sides and bizarrely the top and bottom are both red.
How many functions does your mobile phone offer you? Perhaps a more relevant question should be How many of these functions do you actually make use of on a regular basis? The difference between these two answers illustrates the gap between a manufacturers view and the end-users actual needs with regards to a mobile phone.
It is time to enter a world of mystery and fantasy as you take on the role of a young woman in search of her father.
Some would say that Point n’ Click Adventures have had their day in the limelight yet still new titles appear that have the ability to draw the unsuspecting gamer into various weird environments. Falling into this category is The Legend of Crystal Valley. Developed by Cateia Games and published by MumboJumbo, this game combines 2D backgrounds, 3D characters and interactive objects woven together into a story that is seeped in mystery and fantasy.
A device to allow you to view your, movies, photos and music on your TV. Hands up those who thought I was going to say PC rather than TV. You connect a device (hard disc or memory stick) to this and then view / listen on your TV.
It is 19x19x3cm without cables that all fit into the back of the unit. Also in the box are a remote control and a composite cable as well as a power lead and instruction booklet. The front of the unit has two LED’s a small one to let you know power is received and a second larger one when the unit is switched on. The on/off button is on top of the unit near the appropriate LED. The right side and base are clear of controls.