I first saw this unit when it was launched at a show in the spring of 2008, finally I got one to look at in the spring of 2009, however other pressing reviews stopped it being looked at until now with summer flourishing.
Strange how two installations can be vastly different? I first tried installing it on a fast new Vista notebook and I could write a thesis on the problems, eventually solved after a two hour call from technical support. Mind you as I had already read the manual a couple of times and tried everything I could think of I knew the product fairly well. Next my older less powerful desktop running XP, full install without a hitch total install time 3 minutes and not a problem in sight.
Turn a standard mouse upside down and you have an inactive piece of kit but this is not the case with a new product from Kensington.
In the same way that keyboards have been designed with enhanced features, such as multimedia controls and zoom capability, their usual companion, of a mouse, has followed a similar pattern as is exemplified by this next product. This is the SlimBlade Media Mouse from Kensington. This offering is a laser mouse that communicates with the computer via a USB stick receiver with a wireless 2.4GHz signal operating on a range of up to 30 feet.
You are invited to a murder. But can you arrive at the correct solution within the designated time limit?
I do not get to see many Sony units as their agency in the past has not the most cooperative hence this unit being supplied by Jessops. This is a small neat unit but it also has a lot of recent features and certainly worth a look.
This looks like many other small digital cameras with a huge TFT. However apart from a very small amount of internal memory it requires a card and because the camera is from Sony it will require their type of memory and not the far more easily available and reasonably priced SD cards. It is 9.5x5.5x3cm the last figure can double when the lens is fully extended. It weights 175grams and my unit was black with a chrome strip around the unit.
A new candy-bar mobile from Sony Ericsson that provides a wealth of features
in a small package at a good price.
The Sony Ericsson C510 measures approximately 47x107x12mm (WxHxD) and weighs 92g. For the fashion conscious you can have your choice of red, silver or black. The device is very reminiscent of my , although with the addition of a few new features and a loss of around 30% of thickness. In the box with the phone Sony Ericsson provide their standard charger, USB cable, stereo headset, manual and CD.
As we tend to use our computers when listening to music, some thought should be given to the kit that provides the audio output.
Often it is easy to focus on a company’s main field of expertise with regards to products while you ignore other areas in which the company might be active. I have to plead guilty to falling into this trap myself but in my defence I can put forward the excuse that, until very recently, I was totally unaware that Verbatim produced speaker systems.
Having recently told you about an HP OfficeJet that is black with white sides, this offering from Canon their Pixma MX320 is white (cream) with a black collar around the top. Like the HP it is a multi function unit meaning apart from printing, it can copy, scan and fax.
The Pixma MX320 is 43x38x30cm with A4 paper in the input tray at the rear and the last figure allows the landscape flatbed to be lifted 10cm to allow items to be slipped in for scanning. However there is also a page feed that means it could happily sit on a shelf as it weights around 8.5kilos. There are a total of 28 buttons on the front lip as well as a two line LED display in the centre.
Okay so my normal games involve cards, but as I have a Nintendo DS this is one that Michael could not cover. Over the years I have reviewed a number of software products from GSP for the PC, here a mystery solving game for DS.
The background ‘As a journalist in need of a holiday, you set off to a beautiful, remote island in the Caribbean ….’ ‘…You end up trying to solve a kidnapping …’ ‘You end up 10,000km away in Berlin, will you solve the case’ The above was taken from the eight pages of instructions and apart from what you glean in the game that’s it apart from the rest of the instructions that explain the controls in the game.
Like many others I have a collection of VHS tapes holding video content that I would hate to loose. Looking to safeguard this content, I decided to checkout a product from K-World.
As technology advances, so we tend to have reduced access to the previous generations of media-based content. You only have to visit a local boot fair to see numerous examples of people trying to sell off old technology and its content.
Verbatim and Genius have both introduced mid-range mains operated speakers. While the Verbatim Multimedia Audio Bar is an innovative and yet practical design for a 2.1 speaker system with a built-in microphone, the Genius SP-J330 Elegant 2.0CH Multimedia Speaker set is an attractive conventional 2.0 system.
Overall, the Verbatim system consists of a black cylinder which sits just in front of the monitor without seeming to intrude on one's workspace and is thus conveniently located for any number of purposes ranging from listening to music to using Skype.
Over the recent years Archos have produced a lot of interesting devices but not until now a notebook, here is their first offering a 10.2 inch Netbook and it of course comes with extras that others do not seem to provide.
It is certainly small and light enough to fit easy into a bag or case. It weights 1.28kilos and is 25.5x19x3cm. The left side has the Ethernet port (it also works fine on wireless) VGA port and two USB ports. The front has two 3.5mm sockets for microphone and headphone/earbuds. The right side has SD card socket, VGA port and the A/C power input point. The back is clear as the screen partially folds over it.
Joining the ever-expanding range of iPod add-on devices is Kensingtons latest FM device for working with your car radio.
Kensington has consistently supported the iPod platform with many of its products. In the past the company has developed external speaker units; and adapter to enable the iPod Shuffle to be connected with standard iPod peripherals; rechargeable battery packs; and various solutions for in-car use. Recently added to the latter group is Kensington’s Liquid brand featuring both LiquidAux and LiquidFM products for connecting an iPod to a car radio.
Forget the chips, the fish in this title are of the tropical variety and they promise to be at your beck and call during relaxing interludes.
One of the attractions of owning an aquarium is the peace and tranquillity it can bring to those who observe the movement and interaction of the aquatic residents with their surroundings. For this reason, aquariums are often used as a screen saver by many users. Now with Fishdom H2O Hidden Odyssey you can create your own collection of aquariums and have some fun at the same time by searching for over a thousand hidden objects scattered on the sea bed.
It has been a while since I have reviewed a fully fledged camcorder, yes I have reviewed a couple of HD style units that are no bigger than a mobile phone, and yes, most digital cameras can take videos as well as stills, here however a conventional camcorder but getting almost small enough to fit in a pocket without a bulge.
The Canon Legria FS200 just about fits into the palm of your (adult) hand. It is 11.5x5.5x5cm when shut, the last figure the width increases to 13.5cm if you have the screen (that can rotate up to 270degrees) fully open. The weight is 275grams. Quite unusually this came with a ‘kit’ that includes a 4GB SD card and a case. In fact to my mind all cameras and camcorders should be sold this way.
At a time when a great many cellphones are getting smaller, the Doro PhoneEasy 410gsm presses the, slightly larger, buttons and offers what a great many users -- especially the more mature -- want.
Doro is a Swedish manufacturer which, rather than directly competing with the better known names, carefully addresses niche markets. To that end, hearing aid compatibility, an emergency call facility, Bluetooth, two-way peakerphone and an FM radio are among the features incorporated into the 410gsm. After all, to someone who doesn’t use a phone very much, the radio may be the justification to carry the phone at all times.
Recently I have had the opportunity to try out Nokias answer to the Apple iPhone
Whatever your view of Apple and the company’s close control over its various products, you would be hard pressed not to agree that its design innovations have certainly stirred up sections of the IT industry. Take, for instance, the appearance of the iPhone and its subsequent effect it has had on the competition. Mobile phone manufacturers have been falling over themselves to produce an offering of similar style and functionality.
They are small and round, some would say cuddly but others might prefer tasty. Can you help them escape before they are served up for dinner?
Back in my younger days, the game of Bumps was regarded as a birthday treat for the unsuspecting that you, along with your mates, would be keen to grant to whoever was celebrating their special day. You would each grab hold of part of the victim and then throw them up in the air the required number of times. Unfortunately, as sometime would happen in the excitement, you might fail to catch the recipient on the way down.
I have been asked numerous times why the reviews of HP items suddenly stopped. The reason/excuse I was given by their then agency is too far fetched even to print. Now with a new agency I hope to be able to tell you about the current range of printers.
The HP Officejet Pro 8500 is certainly no beauty but it is very fast and certainly an Office unit. It is black with white sides and even my total lack of style tells me this is certainly a lounge no no. It is 48x42x30cm andit weights a tad under 12kilos. This is a multi function unit as not only does it print, scan and copy but it also can send and receive faxes.
Of course the two items are not bulk standard offerings from this clever USB company in Hong Kong. First a keyboard that is compact and more and then a mouse small enough to fit in any pocket but big enough to work with.
This is slim in depth, width and height. It is 42.5x11.5x2cm and at the front it is little more than 1cm thick. This is a full key sized 110 key unit and only the top line of function keys are slightly smaller at only .6cm tall rather than being 1x1cm. As it is an international keyboard you get # where the £ sign is on the top row and of course “ where the @ key is beside the enter key but with a UK keyboard driver the keys will still give what you expect them to.
X-OOM Photos on TV 3 is a photo presentation tool that, as you might well suppose from its title, lets you display your favourite digital images on a television screen. It does this by providing the means to create and edit personalised slideshows of your images and content from sources such as Google Earth.
Not just another MP3 player but this touchscreen controlled unit is also an MP4 unit as well. This means that not only can you listen to your music you can also watch movies.
Gear4 takes a different approach with its product that connects an iPod to your car radio.
With paddle in hand and a ball under control, the latest Arkanoid-style game from Alawar has been keeping me busy of late.
Many years ago I had my first encounter with the game of Breakout which required you to destroy rows of bricks using a ball and a paddle. Little did I think then that this game format would survive and evolve over a period in excess of twenty years. Since those early implementations, the game has changed out of all recognition as multiple balls, power-ups, bonuses and all-manner of theme-based environments now appear as standard offerings.
Not small and not big this 13.3inch offering from Acer might be just the size for those who need to travel and also need to work in an office. The lid is a dark chocolate brown so may well appeal to the ladies.
The Acer Aspire 3935 is 32x23x2.5cm and weights a modest 1.87kilos. Apart from the dark chocolate lid and keyboard surround the rest of the unit is the more normal black. The left side has power input, VGA output, two USB ports and 3.5mm microphone and earbud sockets. The front is clear as the edge is feathered up to just a centimetre. The right side has the slot mounted DVD multi drive one further USB port a small Firewire port and the all important Ethernet port.
Whether you adopt the if it aint broke, dont fix it mantra or can not help making adjustments, you could benefit from using a set o software tools from Avanquest.
As its title indicates, Fix-It Utilities is a collection of tools that offer to keep your computer system performing at its optimum capacity. The last time I took a look at this particular product was with version 7 which displayed a “Works with Windows Vista” logo. That logo has now changed to indicate the product “Works with Windows XP & Windows Vista” with this current version 9 (I seemed to have missed out on version 8).
A phone company perhaps better known in Europe, I have previously reviewed offering from them both for the home and mobile. Here I am looking at two different mobile phones aimed squarely at the older age group who might be new to the idea.
It is 12.5x5.5x1.5cm with a white face and black back. It weights 95grams. The screen is 3.7x2.2cm and a mono display. It has a total of 20 keys and perhaps most important three of the keys labelled A B and C are one touch dials ideal for those who perhaps struggle to remember numbers. So ‘A’ might be their daughter, ‘B’ might be a neighbour and ‘C’ maybe the doctor.
Yes two more useful USB gadgets from the people in Hong Kong that charge a flat rate postage and packing fee of $3 US no matter what the size of your order. First a Micro SD Card reader that is also an MP3 player and second a model plane that is a speaker.
Like a number of things from Brando this does two jobs. It looks just like a memory stick and is 5x2x1cm mine was transparent orange but they do other colours. It inserts in any normal USB socket (ver 1.1 or 2). Just above the bit that plugs in is a slit for you to insert a Micro SD card. The PC will then read it and you can add MP3 or WMA files to it. This action also charges the internal MP3 player. Remove the unit and plug earbuds (supplied) into the other end.
Unlike other Website design packages Ive seen, a product from Mr Site uses the Web as its construction environment.
Fresh from a mountaineering trip up Everest, I set out once again but this time to explore the Amazon Rain Forest.
Following on from Hidden Expedition Everest reviewed recently, Focus Multimedia has now released the next title in the series, namely Hidden Expedition Amazon. Although this game takes a different approach in some respects, it still retains the basic hidden object style of game play.
Buy the BlackBerry Pearl from T-Mobile and the included SIM gives you 12 months worth of web access and emails included in the price. Yes this is still a phone as well (you do need to pay for phone calls) but it means you email can follow you everywhere.
The Blackberry Pearl 8110 is 10.5x5x1.2cm, mine was silver and chrome and it weights 90grams. It comes with a rather neat leather slip case. The TFT screen is 4x4cm. Below the screen there is a sort of QWERTY keyboard and this is the thing that might stop this unit being a roaring success. The keys are .8x.