Sometimes a products title can cause some initial confusion as happened with kit developed by Bluelounge
Space Station! You have to be kidding! Why would you expect anyone with a fear of heights to tackle this particular subject? While experiencing zero gravity might do wonders for my troublesome back; the training involved would be extremely strenuous. These were just some of the thoughts that flashed through my mind when I glanced at the review schedule and saw that I had been pencilled in to review a Space Station.
A useful hobby and enthusiast tool that counts amongst it's abilities carving, engraving, sharpening, cleaning, cutting and sanding.
The Dremel Series 300 Multitool is very much like a small hand-held mains powered drill (in fact one of the jobs it can do is drill). The core unit takes a wide range of different tools, attachments and accessories. The review unit is packaged for Dremel's "Hobby" line and comes complete with twenty five different tools for a number of tasks.
First a quality Bluetooth headset from Plantronics and second, also from Plantronics, a set of stereo headphones - also using Bluetooth connectivity. Two items with different backgrounds the first to give you clear voice communication and the second for clear audio.
First something that's so small and light you could forget you are wearing it. In its most compact form it is 8x4x3cm and it weights just 17grams. It works via Bluetooth and like the unit below can be charged by a supplied USB to micro USB cable however this unit is also supplied with a mains charger and an assortment of plug ends for most countries as well as a cigar lighter charger for use in the car.
This audio unit allows the serious Hi-Fi user to have his CD player, Radio, Internet Radio, NAS and even iPod all in one unit together with the all important amplifier. Just add speakers of your choice for a high quality unit.
The NaimUniti all-in-one system measures 43x37x9cm and it's heavy so if you are planning to put it on a shelf make sure it is strong. We all know cheap hi-fis are plastic better quality could well be wood, well this Naim unit is made of – wait for it – cast iron. The front has the swing (from left to right) CD door and it requires a magnetic puck (supplied) to sit on top of any inserted CD. Below this are two 3.
As a regular user of an Acer TravelMate laptop, I was pleased to receive one of the companys 8000 Timeline series for review. This was the slim-line TravelMate 8371 which is aimed at the business users and currently comes with Windows Vista Business.
Decked out in a matt black case (not everybody needs or wants a reflective sheen) with dimensions of 323.6 x 228 x 26mm (W x D x H) in its closed state, this laptop is not going to show you up when you bring it out in company whether in the home, office or local coffee shop. I was a little concerned at the lack of a holding switch to keep the lid down in its closed position.
With all the Blu-ray drives I have reviewed somewhere I have mentioned that Blu-ray is not only about picture quality but Dolby sound as well. Here not only do you get the Blu-ray player but also a rather nice set of speakers.
It is 43x30x7cm with cables inserted. It weights just under 5kilos. All but the front is matt black; the front is shiny black and electric blue. The left side of the front is where the drawer for inserting discs is, Blu-ray, DVD and even CD’s. The central area has a pop out iPod holder and the right side has six illuminated (when on) buttons and a large volume control knob. The sides, top and base have nothing leaving a very full back of connections. The left side has the hard wired 1.
What do Beyonce Knowles, Stephen Fry, Oprah Winfrey, Stella McCartney and Miley Cyrus have in common? They all use a Flip Video pocket camcorder.
In the beginning there was the Flip Ultra. This pocket sized camcorder quickly grabbed the public attention and numerous competitive products quickly made an appearance. Flip Video, the company behind the initial release, quickly followed up its original product with the Flip Mino and then came the Flip Mino HD. You might at this point suppose that the Ultra version would have passed into history but you would be wrong.
Following his experiences at word creation in Bookworm Deluxe, Lex, the worlds friendliest bookworm, returns as the central character in Bookworm Adventures from those creative people at Popcap.
Here two devices to help you talk on the move. Both these devices allow hands free speaking and listening. The first from Plantronics and then the second from Jabra, both are light and efficient.
The body is 4.5x1.5x2cm and the total weight is 11grams. The figure I gave do not include the covered wire hook that sits behind the ear include this and the 4.5cm height can increase to 8cm. It works with almost any Bluetooth phone and is specifically designed for in car use where noise, wind and echo can be problems. During my tests – even with windows wound down – I was able to hear the other party clearly and they never asked me to repeat anything I said.
While colour will often enhance a document, sometimes all we really need is a crisp monochrome document such as delivered by a mono laser.
In the past I have checked out and worked with a number of Lexmark printers and multi-function devices. All these various models were based on inkjet technology. Now it is the turn of a Lexmark mono laser product, namely the E260dn, which is currently taking over my general printing tasks. The E260dn is network ready via a Fast Ethernet connection. Decked out in two-tone grey, this box shaped unit measures 260 x 406 x 370mm (H x W x D).
I have had this device for some months; however I have only been able to use it twice. Normally a device review has a lot of use but when it requires two units to do anything meaningful it is somewhat difficult when you only have one.
The Leyio UWB device measures 7.5x5x2cm but is waisted so in the centre it is .5cm less. It weights 70grams, so it is easy to fit in a pocket. It has one task to transfer data quickly using something called UWB (ultra wide band) when you come across another Leyio, you pair taking only a few seconds and then the one sending data flicks their wrist towards the other device and that’s it, large files can be transferred in a matter of seconds. No PC is involved at all.
Apart from mainstream wired phones for home and office, Doro also do DECT phones. Recently their mobile offerings are becoming widely accepted for those with disabilities, first however a seven button remote control.
How can a remote control with only seven buttons replace a remote control with forty or more buttons. In short it can’t but often the only controls required are volume up or down and channel up or down and this it can duplicate. Most remote control replacements are almost as complex as the ones they replace, normally they work by entering a code number to make them a near (or exact) replacement to the remote that came with the TV (or other device) they are replacing.
Backups, as has been stated many times, are important; not only for your peace of mind but also to ensure you have the appropriate tool to help you recover when disaster strikes.
An external USB2 CD/DVD drive is obviously extremely valuable for those who have a netbook or a notebook that lacks such a drive. Furthermore, it can often rejuvenate a somewhat tired machine or even one with a dead DVD drive. The Lite-On eSAU108 series are USB-powered and are thus easy to connect and use.
A proliferation of mains adapters is always a nuisance. Consequently, being able to power a writer directly from a PC is obviously a boon. However, although these drives are claimed to be very power-efficient, sometimes the peak power drawn during some random read/write operations may, with some computers, exceed that available from a single PC USB port. To ensure that this does not become a problem, the drive incorporates technology to carry out a power check.
Another Multi Function unit (it has Fax) silver grey with a broad black stripe around the top edge, so sad to say it will never pass the lounge police. However as an office machine there is little wrong with it.
The Canon Pixma MX860 measures 48x35x7cm when closed. If you store A4 paper in the back vertical tray this adds close to 20cm to the height. You will probably need another 10cm clear at the front to the 35cm depth when printing. Space required might be 50x45x30cm this would allow you to place books on the flat-bed if say you sighting point were a shelf. This is a five ink five cartridge unit. Printing the nonsensical 200 word document produced 12PPM in custom (set to speed) mode.
The value of data can decrease if it is not immediately available. A portable USB storage device will allow you to take your data with you on your travels.
While Amsterdam means different things and brings back various memories to different people, when Youdagames is involved this location means diamonds and curses as portrayed in the game of The Curse of the Amsterdam Diamond.
Before concentrating on the game of The Curse of the Amsterdam Diamond, perhaps a few words about Youdagames would be appropriate especially, if like me, you are unfamiliar with this company. Youdagames is a publisher and developer of casual games. The company is based in Hilversum, the Netherlands, and was established as recently as 2006 as the publishing arm of I Sioux Game Production. Previous titles from Youdagames have included Governor of Poker and Red Cross: ERU.
Often as part of my tests of a Satellite Navigation system I take it for a ride on a bus or train, sometimes both. It gives you a chance to see exactly what is shown on the screen and indeed this can be extremely interesting.
In this case I did neither as I could initially find no way to turn off (or even reduce the volume of the speaking voice) and without this ability I would be very unpopular on either mode of transport. Only later did I find the preference screen that only seems to appear before any route planning is started.
When did you last perform a backup? You do backup your data, dont you? Perhaps this next product might help.
Joining the numerous packages currently available for carrying out a backup of your important data is the Clickfree Traveler. Developed by Storage Appliance Corporation, the Clickfree Traveler Card is the first flash memory-based solution that uses the Clickfree technology. This technology has been designed to allow a backup to be carried out by simply connecting the storage device to a computer without the need to set up or configure the software unless, of course, you want to.
I first saw this at the beginning of the year and only now in late summer did I get to see this environmentally friendly 'green' TV. Strange that it is only available in 40 and 46inch versions, I saw the former, still because of design it takes up little more room than my 32inch model.
The Sony Bravia WE5 (KDL40WE5WU) measures 98x63x11cm (with cables inserted) and the second figure is increased by 5cm should you decide to use the 45x25cm stand rather than take the option to wall mount it. Do you or your family leave the room without turning off the TV well this has a motion sensor so after a set time (default 30minutes) it turns off the picture, when you return so immediately does the picture.
Again looking towards Christmas two items to give as ideal presents, the first for someone with an urge to learn and the second for some who just wants to play, but even playing with this helicopter uses and improves dexterity skills.
A little like the Airfix kits I remember as a child this box has all the bits required to build six different items that all work using solar power. Perhaps a strange thing to promote as a Christmas gift but during the dark days you can build and then when the lighter days arrive the unit is ready to be used, all the best things are worth waiting for. The six items that you can build are a Revolving Plane, Windmill, Plane, Airboat, Puppy and Car all take advantage of the solar unit provided.
Not everybody needs a full featured notebook and so the netbook was developed. In the same way not everybody needs a high end desktop computer.
Adding to its impressive range of products, Acer has developed the Aspire Revo product which is based on the Intel Atom CPU 230 running at 1.60GHz. As a netbook is a king of notebook sub-species, so the Revo could be regarded as a sub-species of your desktop system. In other words the Aspire Revo falls into the category as a small, low powered desktop unit known as a Nettop.
It is always useful to have a small radio that is available for use as and when needed. This could be when sitting in the garden away from the house, when on a train journey or even when there is a power cut. The PowerPlus Cheetah is a pocket-sized radio which could fit the bill.
The dimensions of the Cheetah self-powered radio are 13 x 7 x4cm and it weighs in at just 205g. It has a built-in battery which is charged either by the hand-cranked dynamo or from a solar panel on top of the radio. It is claimed that cranking for one minute will give 20 minutes playing time. The solar panel appears to be quite effective as, even on an overcast day, the blue 'charging' LED was illuminated with the radio sitting on a window sill.
Another in a superb range of small digital cameras from Canon. This is the forth one I have looked at in the last three years. This one has three subtle tones from silver to grey and it looks are pleasing even to a style dunce like me.
The Canon Ixus 990IS Digital Camera measures 9x5.5x2.5cm and weights 180grams. The last figure, the width, can extend up to 4cm more when on full zoom. The rear is dominated by a huge 6x4.5cm TFT display and it is reasonable in all but the strongest sunlight. To the right of this are four triangular buttons two above and two below the ubiquitous five position joystick. I suspect all but the real camera novice will know what these do from their illustrations.
This natty device aims to provide your home computers with safe storage for important documents and a central store for shared media files.
I've reviewed a number of home network attach storage (NAS) products over the last couple of years that have promised much and delivered rather less. The Media Hub from Linksys, a division of networking giant Cisco, has focussed on delivering a robust, reliable product with a good core feature set. The focus is on simplicity and ease of use - a product that sits there quietly in the corner looking after your data! The Media Hub measures 11.1 x 19.8 x 16.8 cm (WxHxD).
Keeping your computer safe from outside influences is always recommended but occasionally it can bring a sting in the tail.
One of the longest established names within the field of personal computing is that of Norton. Ever since Peter Norton revealed that deleted files were not exactly deleted but just had their reference altered in the FAT (File Allocation Table), the name of Norton has been linked with various software utilities. The name of Norton is so well respected that Symantec continues to use it as a brand identifier for the company’s various security products such as Norton 360.
According to my Concise Oxford Dictionary, a bookworm is a person devoted to reading. Bookworm is also the subject matter of a series of games, published by Popcap, that involve creating words from a selection of letters.
Recently I have been testing my word creation skills with Bookworm Deluxe. The game gives you a choice of the more relaxed Classic game play or the faster moving Action mode. You are represented on-screen by a worm that has literacy tendency. This worm is named Lex, presumably short for Lexicon, and stands guard over the grid of letter tiles that can be used to create words. When creating words within this game, there are a couple of limitations that you need to follow.
First BounceBack Ultimate from CMS Products and second BackItUp & Burn from Nero. Neither review was without its problems, partly due I am sure to a notebook of mine that seems to dislike being backed up. However when used on another system both did their work as expected.
The install of this went as expected however although it can do a full system backup it is aimed at making things easy, so it lets you selects types of file to backup no matter where they maybe on your hard disc. So Photos, Music, Movies, Documents, Spreadsheets etc are all categories and you can easily just add others for any types not included.
I'm into reviewing on-line shopping experiences and I'm into quality. What a pleasure to find a website that offers both a swish experience and the best shoes in town. Check out www.rubbersole.co.uk.
It's nice to come across an original and easy to use shopping website that sells high quality products. If you've been looking for a shoe shop, accessible from your laptop, that will sort through a range of trendy international designer shoes of your size, and will dispatch the same day when you order before 4pm Monday – Friday, with no delivery charge if they are available from the UK, then you'll do well to look at .
The concept of a paperless office continues to be a myth as can be seen with this next product which combines traditional elements with modern day technology.