Small, durable and with the ability to challenge your visual-spatial awareness, a set of tiles from New Zealand attempts to dominate the UK puzzle playing fraternity.
Hoping to emulate the success of puzzle games such as the Rubik Cube and Sudoku, challenging puzzles took a firm grip on the public consciousness, is a visual-spatial offering that was created in 1987 by New Zealander Mike McManaway. Entitled Tantrix, which I am led to believe is a contraction of tangled tracks, this puzzle based game has quickly built up a solid user base involving individual and group players plus online and tournament game play.
I remember seeing a very early Everio it did not have a hard disc but a MicroDrive I believe 4GB was possible. Here it has a full blown hard disc at 30GB that allows up to 37 hours recording.
Of course you would need numerous batteries to fill the disk on the new in one session. However for most I suspect two would be enough. As for the 37 hours I would not be happy with that high a compression for anything important. The best quality -super fine- gives just over 7 hours. I also found the -fine- at 10.5hours quite acceptable for most uses. To say a camcorder can fit into a pocket maybe a slight exaggeration but it is small at 11x6x6.5cm and the weight is only around 350grams.
If you've had enough of the 'retro' look that seems to be mandatory from many DAB radio manufacturers, and want an excellent, full feature DAB radio into the bargain then the Roberts Gemini 55 radio should definitely be on your short list.
is an all-in-one DAB (Digital Audio Broadcast) radio, available in either glossy black or white depending on your preference.
Size is 27cm by 13cm, with a depth of 7cm and weighs in at around 1Kg. The unit comes complete with a mains adaptor. If you prefer to run from
battery then you'll need 6x'C' cells, which will add a reasonable amount to the weight.
The age of luggable notebooks has long since passed. Now such devices can be held in one hand while typing with the other.
The arrival of Intel's Santa Rosa Centrino Pro technology has provided manufacturers with the ideal opportunity to refresh their current range of notebooks with some new attractive models. Not surprisingly, with its position as a leading notebook manufacturer, Acer has taken the lead with some new products that include the .
Gadgetspeak drinks from the cup of the UK's most popular coffee machine. Compact and easy to use, winner of Product of the Year 2007, as voted in a survey of 10,000 households
Now isn't coffee such a personal thing, and choosing the right coffee machine comes down to just how much of an aficionado you are and how much time you have on your hands. Here at GadgetSpeak we will be testing some of the best selling and newest coffee machines so that you don't have to! In the first of a series we have road tested the , winner of the Product of the Year 2007 (the UK's largest independent consumer vote on product innovation).
Apart from Cameras and Keyboards Casio also make watches and here I am looking at two from different ranges both of which are new to the market.
G-Shock (G-011D-4AVER) Certainly a 'man's' watch and as supplied it is for a man with a large wrist. I worked out that I would need to remove four links to get it to fit my not that delicate wrist. It is also quite weighty at around 150grams. The model I have is chrome with a nearly square orange dial. It has hands but in truth is still a digital watch.
Its not just winter that is good for games, here is one of the offerings that could be a big seller this Christmas that I saw at the Toy Fair last January. Perhaps a more responsible offering than In The Drink.
Certainly not a game to attempt after you have had a few as it requires thought. It is for 1-6 players and is stated to be for age 10+. However the game played by the solo person is somewhat different to that when played by 2-6 players. Not an easy game to describe, in fact it is possibly easier to play than describe. Each player has a board to place their six sided pieces on.
Paper dresses were not the only items on display when Canon revealed its new product line-up.
Canon G9 12.1 Mega-pixel digital camera As summer draws to an end (you must remember those few hours of sunshine which were our allocation this year), you know it is time for Canon to roll out its autumn collection of new and enhanced products. To mark this occasion, Canon was involved in an exercise in creating haute courtier fashion using paper decorated by Canon printers.
Back to Uni, renting a flat, camping, trekking, or just moving around a lot. Here are some MP3 speakers you can take anywhere!
The is the smallest and most vibrant edition to the i-Station speaker range, and the first of quite a few we'll be reviewing on Gadgetspeak. i-Station Traveller The is as small as my purse and folds to lay flat - so it meets its claim of being easy to put into a handbag or (reasonable sized) pocket.
Two headsets for different purposes, one from Microsoft that was originally developed for X-Box use and the second from Jabra that is designed to fit onto a car sun visor.
Microsoft LifeChat ZX-6000 This device was first created for use with a X-Box but have been given a new life to work with a PC. It is stated to work with all flavours of XP or Vista. The base station fits in any USB port it is 6.5x4x1.5cm and it has a 1.7metre lead. The earpiece is chunky by comparison to some but it is comfortable to wear.
In April this year, Apple announced that the 100 millionth iPod had been sold. That figure is mind blowing
in it's own right. So what's all the fuss about? To find out I've taken a look at the Apple iPod Shuffle, the latest
second generation version.
Before even opening the box, you're struct by to things. Firstly - this thing is . Secondly the packaging is tiny. At about 4cm by 2.5cm the is around the same size as commemorative postage stamps. It's a little thicker of course at around 1cm, and weights in at a hefty 15 grammes. That really is tiny and potentially very easy to loose. You don't really want to put something that small into a protective cover - because that would probably double the size.
Not a secret agent but a FreeAgent has been increasing my storage capacity of late.
There is a first time for everything and this is definitely one of those occasions. Just in case any flights of fancy kick in as to what this occasion should be, I should explain that this first time experience relates to a product that requires not one but two USB ports in order to connect to a computer. The product in question is . Fortunately a special two-headed USB lead is provided in the box so that the device can be attached to your system.
Young children love pets but are perhaps not the best when it comes to looking after them. The solution might be an artificial pet.
Meet Gupi! No, that is not a mis-spelt reference to the small fish, introduced into the in 1866 by the Reverend John Guppy, but the name of a robotic guinea pig. This lovable creature has been particularly demanding of my attention of late. The reason for this attention seeking will become apparent a little later.
The Olympus E-500 is a DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera and I was sent it with a couple of lenses, the first a macro lens great for those close ups and the send a more general 14-45mm offering.
Perhaps a camera those who come from a 35mm background would fall in love with, mainly because they are used to making decisions that the modern digital photographer either does not make or does not have to make. However the 'Auto' mode is there but it still requires some work with the lens that a standard digital camera does not. As with most SLR cameras what you normally get is just the body.
A splashproof 'poolside' radio, although with the summer we've had so far the splash is more likely to be from up-above as everyone dashes indoors!
The unit is very well built - weighing an impressive 1Kg without batteries certainly gives a very solid feel to the product. Opening the box gives a couple of surprises. Firstly, although it can be powered from a 3V mains adaptor, no adaptor is in fact supplied. It is very clearly and seriously aimed at poolside use on battery power. Secondly the radio doesn't have built in batteries - instead it takes two 'D' sized cells.
Rather than headphones, you can use your FM radio to listen to your MP3 tracks.
The first time I came across a FM Transmitter device it was legal to buy but illegal to use. This strange state of affairs was brought about by legal restrictions on the use of FM transmission bandwidths, a situation that dated back to the Second World War, within the . Fortunately, following the lead set by some other countries and representation made to the government, these restrictions, which applied to low power FM transmitters, have now been removed.
Rosetta Stone present an entirely new way to learn a new language, modelled closely on how children learn their native tongue.For some of us learning a new language is easy, for others tortuous. However, we over look the fact that we all learnt our native language without a textbook or translator in sight. Usually by about the age of 5 we have a large command of our mother tongue and a vast vocabulary without ever knowing about verbs, nouns, pronouns and tenses. Somehow we just get it. And that's the whole theory behind Rosetta Stone's language course.
This software, available to learn in 30 different languages, throws you straight into your new language without a written or spoken word of your home language in sight. The learning is based on seeing pictures and hearing and seeing words, just as if you were growing up with those words and images around you. I tried out , mainly because I don't speak a word of Italian and wanted to try it out as a complete beginner.
Having recently looked at two offering from Kensington here are the latest two Diamond Eye offerings to land on my desk, just like the last pair one needs the industrial scissors.
Kensington Ci60 Optical Wireless Mouse Nothing more difficult than a stubborn piece of sellotape stopped me from finding the contents of the box, the mouse proudly protruding through the plastic window on the face. Should you ever need to replace the mouse in it's packaging it's possible and because of this you have a good chance of finding the instruction sheet and CD.
This PC Tutor package comes on four CDs and takes you from the absolute beginning along a journey to understanding Microsoft Vista as well a Microsoft Office.
As stated it is four CD's and there is an awful lot of information on them. In total there is 2.3GB of information and while the majority is for the novice user it is not generic. By that I mean Office 2003 has totally different files to Office 2007. The installer is on the first CD and once installed (less than 13MB) it tells you which CD to insert for which course.
In the build up to Christmas we are seeing the latest from Toy Manufacturers. This morning we received this cute little toy which records a short phrase and then raps it back to you.
Mock U Rappers has three little cool dude creatures that sit in a tree and sing along merrily in rap style. They have their own little rap and then you can record your own phrase which they turn into a rap and sing back to you. Only short phrases are allowed, and the Rapper beeps at you to say when your recording period is finished. Now being an adult, I always try these toys out on my kids - as they appreciate the finer points of toys a little differently to us big people.
Following its acquisition by the Petters Group Worldwide in 2005, Polaroid has undergone a change, maybe not of image but certainly with its range of products.
Certain names have the ability to bring memories flooding back with the effect that you have the totally wrong impression of the current situation. Take, as an example, Polaroid. My immediate thoughts, when invited to the company's product briefing, were of instant cameras that were bulky and produced instant snaps. Later, perhaps, I would have probably thought of sunglasses.
Once upon a time, waiting for a delayed plane, or filling the time on that long train journey could be
a seriously boring experience. Once you've read every page in the paper, including the adverts
what would you do?
Luckily those days have long gone with the advent of mobile entertainment revolution, with of course the phone at its heart.
Here the word portable means no mains and not just with a 15x10cm offering. So for anyone needing to produce documents while away from mains power this is it. It is a product that Canon have successfully produced in various forms for years.
This latest incarnation of the is a little larger simply because the battery fits in an attachment at the rear. The overall dimensions with the battery extension attached at the rear are 31x20x5cm and the weight is such it could easily fit into a bag to be carried around. However in it's 'mobile' life I would expect it would live in a car as a mobile office for people who need to produce quotes and invoices on the move.
Now this is a strange little gadget and one which could prove useful if you need to do what it says in the instructions - cut flexible materials up to 6mm!
The Bosch Xeo is a hand-held 'universal cordless cutter'. It comes into that category of 'things I never knew I might need until now'. It is very much the sort of thing you might buy for that person who has everything at Christmas. If you are considering purchasing this though, do make sure that it cuts the type of thing you (or your intended recipient) regularly cuts.
Adding live video capability to your notebook can be as easy as attaching a USB device to your system
As part of its webcam family of products, Logitech has released the specifically for use with a notebook. While it is theoretically possible to use this webcam with a desktop system, you would need to have a fairly thin LCD monitor for attaching the device. There would also be a problem with the USB lead as this is permanently attached and only measures 74cm which is more than adequate for a notebook but not so for a desktop system.
While I will admit to a preference for a dog as a pet, I still enjoy the company of a cat although the same can not be said of the need for a litter tray.
As a nation of pet lovers, it is hardly surprising that several toys are based on this aspect of modern life. With cats recently taking over the number one spot by replacing dogs as the nation's favourite domestic pet, a trend that is clearly re-enforced by my local neighbourhood, it is appropriate that Hasbro has of products.
I was always amazed why Archos needed such an array of leads and now my flabber is totally gasped as for all (or most) of the things you want to do you need another separate product.
It should be possible to import via the supplied dual USB/charger lead most AVI files however one recent digital camera takes a default of 800x600 and these files when imported are shown as too big. If I record in 640x480 these are correctly imported using Windows Media Player 10 but the sound is lost during importation.
Bored with the 'standard' jug kettle? Want a kettle that adds to your kitchen rather than being something you really want to hide in a cupboard? This might be just the thing for you!
Rather than the current fashion for jug format the kettle seems to hark back to an earlier age. The base is wider than a jug and the sides vertical. The main body is clear perspex allowing a clear view of the water as it boils and removing the need for floats or other devices to show how much water you have in the tank. My initial visual reaction was 'wow - something different - I like that'. My wife's was a little different - being not so keen.
While the majority of computer protection software products rely on signature files, a new company offers an alternative method.
It has been estimated recently that there are currently more than 900 million viruses circulating the Internet each day. While it is entirely possible that none on these viruses have your or even my name on their hit list, it is not a chance you should really encourage by leaving your computer unprotected from attacks.
For those readers of shall we say more mature years you will remember Sidekick as perhaps the first PIM (Personal Information Manager) product on the market, here it forms part of a mobile phone offering from T-Mobile.
This is neither small or light - if that's what you want T-Mobile have lots of other units - this is a PIM that allows you easy Internet access and collection of emails oh and just for good measure you can make phone calls and text messages etc. It is 13cm long, 6cm wide and close to 2.