Sometime a degree of patience is required during the interval between seeing a new product and getting your hands on a review unit. With this next product that wait lasted six months before I was able to confirm or adjust my initial impressions.
Classified as an Internet Media Tablet, the Archos 7 is the latest addition to the company’s portfolio of PMP (Personal Media Player) type products. As its classification indicates, this product combines Internet access and media storage/playing facilities within a single device. The number “7” of the product’s title specifies the diagonal dimension of its high resolution (800 x 480 pixel) touch screen.
Backups are boring, backups are annoying, backups are a pain the *%$#. However once you have had a hard disc crash and spent ages reinstalling your applications only to realise that the most important thing your data is no more then you start to think backups are ESSENTIAL.
Most backup programs require the average user to know things and probably they do not, so guess what they do not do backups. In a business, backups are forced but normally a expert installs the software and in all probability the backup takes place when you are not there. Any Soho or home user has to be their own ‘expert’ so when a package comes along that claims to be ‘Clickfree’ then it needs checking out.
While I was listening to some music as I reading this book I realised that I had not told you about it so here I will tell you about Adobe Photoshop CS4 After the Shoot ideal for anyone using Adobe Photoshop CS4.
The first thing you notice on opening this book is that each chapter has different blocks of colour on each chapter great when a reference work like this that needs constant revision for finding the part you require. The next is that the book is in two column format. The author Mark Fitzgerald comes from the USA and he is a certified Photoshop expert and instructor. This 370 page book has 14 chapters two Appendix a Glossary and an Index.
The Internet can be a vast treasure chest of information and resources but it also has the capability of being a mine field for the unwary. It is best to be well protected when on surfing sessions.
When thinking about the subject of security with regards to Internet activity, one of the first names that spring to mind is that of Norton. First as an independent utility company and later as part of the Symantec family, Norton has been a leading player in the field of computer maintenance and Internet security.
A rather nice sleek looking unit with no outwardly visible controls or entry/exit points. This unit does print rather nicely and it scans and copies well. The only problem I can possibly see for this unit are the ever vigilant lounge police.
The Canon Pixma MP620 measures 43x31x18cm when closed. Add another 6cm to the last figure the height when you open the flip up display that also hides the twelve buttons to control the unit. Add 11cm to the second figure the depth when the paper receiving tray opens at print time. Add 21cm to the last figure should you insert A4 photo paper in the back flip up tray. So in use for photo printing the footprint is 43x42x39cm.
Whether you are a fan of the iPod or MP3 style of mobile music player, you presumably purchased your chosen device as a personal player for you ears alone. However once the item has been purchased, there is no need for it to remain a personal device.
Mix fantasy, role-playing, turn-based strategy, warfare with the opportunity for marriage and divorce within a single game and the result is Kings Bounty: The Legend.
This uses the same processor as other Netbooks, it does have decent graphics a good sized hard disc and 2GB or RAM however I am not convinced that it has enough punch to run the memory hungry Vista especially with the Norton software supplied.
It is 27.5x21x3cm mainly black with the keyboard surround in grey and silver. It looks smart. Of course the original idea of a Netbook was to give basic email, web access and word processing ability at a cheap price. The right side has PC Express slot, Headphone and Microphone sockets, a USB port, VGA outlet, Ethernet port and A/C input point. The rear has nothing apart from the battery that protrudes around 1.5cm from it along the whole length apart from the last 3cm each end.
It was just over a year ago when I last took a look at Corels VideoStudio product. That was version 11 Plus which introduced a number of new features. Since then the product has been further enhanced.
The top-of-the-range edition is entitled VideoStudio Pro X2 Ultimate and comes bundled with WinDVD 9 Plus, DVD Copy 6 Plus and WaveLab LE 6 that adds playback, copy & convert plus audio mastering facilities to the main package. The VideoStudio installation procedure lets you cherry-pick from the various applications and drivers that include Windows Media Encoded 9, Flash Player 9 and Quick Time.
This is the third in their range of All In One devices, reviews of the ESP3 and ESP5 can be found via the search function above. This looks a little more professional by having the screen on the front edge of the unit.
The Kodak ESP-7 measures 42x42x18cm when closed. If you pull the receiving tray out this adds 18cm to the middle figure and as it has an internal paper tray that is the only change for printing. To allow the landscape scanning tray to be lifted to 90degrees would add 30cm to the last figure. Both the power lead and USB cable insert towards the right side of the back but neither project more than the central part of the unit so they do not add to the dimensions.
Yes here its two further useful USB devices from those people in Hong Kong. While the dollar is higher than last summer their prices and still good value as is their $3 standard delivery charge for shipping anywhere in the world. The two items from their huge USB repository today are a Micro Mini Wireless Keyboard and a Business Portable Recorder.
The greater majority of remote controls tend to have an over abundance of control keys covering as many features as possible. However, for some, these devices tend to be complicated.
This is described as a USB Turntable, the difference from other - more expensive units recently reviewed is that you are not forced to save in MP3 but other formats are available including .WAV that means your LPs can be turned into CDs.
The Veho VTT-001 Record Deck measures 29x27x8cm, which include the overhang at the rear for a USB lead. However as soon as you put a 12inch LP on the turntable the space required is 30x32x8cm. Unlike most solutions this unit also claims to work for 10inch, EP’s, 45’s and even 78’s. I have my doubts about the last mentioned as a diamond stylus on 78’s would soon lead to problems but it does have the speed setting for 78’s.
I have been told that a sea voyage can be good for your health. But presumably the type of voyage that is involved in Sea Journey does not fall into this category.
Sea Journey is a game from DivoGames, a Russian based company that was founded in 2001 and specialises in the development of casual games. This game brings together sea battles, pirates, hidden treasure and maps aplenty with the traditional match-3 genre. The whole package is encased in a story line that casts you as a young captain of a merchant ship.
While many users will be content with the scanner module that forms part of an All-in-One device, better quality can be achieved with a standalone model.
Adding to its range of standalone flatbed scanners, Canon has released its CanoScan LiDE 200 model. This colour image 48-bit scanner offers a resolution of 4800 x 4800 dpi that can be expanded to 19200 dpi through the use of software as part of a feature set designed to tempt those users wanting better quality than is usually available from the scanner unit forming part of a multi-function or All-in-One device. Opening the box reveals four components.
This is an interesting piece of kit if like me you have a couple of redundant internal IDE drives lying around. It can also work with SATA drives as well so for less than £20 these can now spring back to a useful life.
It is 7.5x4x1cm yes less than the size of a credit card. It has a 70cm USB lead hard wired into its end this has a black plug and a red plug on it. There is a small information sheet and a fairly substantial power supply ending with a four hole power socket as fitted to IDE internal drives.
Using the wireless connectivity of DECT phones, you can easily set up an arrangement of handsets in various rooms with a single telephone line connection.
Not to be confused with the similarly named Doro Arctic brand of DECT phones is the Doro Arc brand. Any confusion is easily understood. Not only are the brand names very similar but both types of product are DECT digital cordless phones with answer machine capabilities. However there are some difference but most of these are concerned with improved functionality rather than additional features.
The clue is in the last letter of the title, this is a stereo DAB radio. While the majority of DAB radios give a stereo output it is normally only heard natively in mono as they have only a single speaker. This is a more beefy unit and has two speakers.
The Pure Evoke 2S measures 29x19x13cm and weights 2724grams, however I suspect this will stay in a single place. It can be run on a ‘Charge Pak’ but that is an extra so it is reviewed here as a mains unit. Mine was a light teak colour. The rear of the unit has the 70cm eight piece rod aerial, entry point for the ‘Charge Pak’, mains input as well as an on/off switch, Auxilery In, Line Out, headphone socket and mini USB.
I suspect more of us will be resorting to soup and bread for lunch and while a lot of us crave Coffee Shop coffee I suspect that will soon be something else that will be experienced less. However good coffee can be achieved at home for around 20p a cup.
Last year I told you about a competitor to Bovril/Marmite –Toastmate - from him, now he has produced a range of soups that you just drink out of a cup, preparation time is however long your kettle takes to boil. I have tried them all normally with a slice of toast as a decent light lunch total cost of ingredients around 40p. I am not sure that now is the greatest time to produce an Organic range as more and more people will solely be concerned with making ends meet. The £1.
Sometimes first impressions can be misleading. Take for instance this next product from Kensington.
The Kensington LiquidAUX product is not, as I first thought, a FM Transmitter device. Instead this device, designed specifically for the iPhone and iPod products, is an auxiliary car kit with a remote control for the music loving driver.
This is the smallest projector I have seen; it is smaller than most mobile phones. However from two metres away it can display a bright clear image on any flat wall, in fact I even tried it on a ceiling but that would require you to be lying down on a floor or sofa.
It is 10x5x1.8cm and predominately black with silver/grey underside. It weights 110grams with its solid battery inserted. When I first saw this demonstrated in October last year I immediately thought of the Flip video recorder as a use. I was promised one the next week well three months later it arrived. Controls on the unit are minimal with the right side having a 2.5mm A/V input and a focus control. The front has the lens. The left side has mini USB and the three position on switch.
Canon has recently made some changes to the line-up of its PIXMA range of products. One of these changes involves the entry-level All-in-one device. This position is now taken up by the PIXMA MP190 model.
Maybe due to the current economic climate, this years Toy Fair definitely seemed smaller. One product that caught my eye was a helicopter manufactured in China.
While visiting the recent Toy Fair, held at the Excel Exhibition Centre, I was struck by, what appeared to be, a total lack of one particular toy that was heavily featured last year. Flights of fancy, via remote controlled helicopters and the like, were now conspicuous by their absence – but not quite. The thought had barely faded from my mind when, as chance would have it, I stumbled across the small, but welcome, Extreme Fliers stand.
This is a powerful product and also needs a beefy machine to run it. However for those who need the ability to manipulate to the nenth degree there is not really a serious alternative. Apart from maybe the more expensive Extended edition.
On a fast modern Vista notebook this took a total of 44 minutes to install. It required 1320MB of hard disc space. As the requirements are high I will add them here so you will know if your system can cope. 1.8GHz processor, Windows XP service pack 2 or 3 or Vista SP1. 512MB RAM. IGB hard disc space. 1024x768 display and a DVD drive. All the figures I have given are and the recommendation is often more.
One of my favourite episodes of Last of the Summer Wine involves bulky walkie talkies. Nowadays units are much smaller and more portable as can be seen with t product from Doro.
As part of its telephony-based product line-up, Doro has released its wt96 Pro offering. This product is a walkie talkie communication kit. Opening the box reveals a pair of walkie talkie handsets with accompanying docking stations, various power leads, ear-bud style headsets and two packs of AAA x4 rechargeable batteries that fit into each handset.
This is another in the range of marvellous Canon Ixus offerings that I have enjoyed reviewing over the years. Not only me but those of my friends who have taken my advice and purchased one of these little Ixus offerings.
The Canon Uxus 980IS measures 9.5x6x2.5cm and the last figure, the width, can increase by up to another 3cm when it is fully zoomed. It weights 178grams. Mine was matt silver with chrome sides and round the lens. It is also available in black. Looking from the rear the right side has the anchor point for a wrist strap and a bung covering A/V out. The left side is clear. The base has entry point for the solid battery and any SD/MMC card you might use, it also has the anchor point for a tripod.
Two items essential for those who want to just do their own thing. First a rather nice set of headphones from TDK that can block almost anything out. Second a way to occupy your mind, a book from Adrian Arnold, Computing for the Older and Wiser.
These are described as headphones for DJ and professional applications. Everything about them is quality. Starting with the bar linking the earpieces, good quality moulded plastic with a rubber insert on the top to stop sweaty fingers slipping, the underside is padded so those with less padding (or being crude bald) are still comfortable. Each earpiece moves through 120 degrees giving a snug fit for all.
Not to be confused with a 50-year old hit of Sir Cliff Richard, Move It is a new product from Nero, better known for its disk burning technology and software.
One of the common problems relating to media content is the variety of formats used for music, image and video files by manufacturers of mobile and personal media devices. Move It offers to help in this respect by offering a range of profiles designed to make the transfer of content between devices as simple and seamless as possible – or that is the claim made for the product.
Adobes Photoshop Elements 7 is a major enhancement of over the previous version and is widely recommended for anyone who wants to go beyond basic image editing. A useful complement to it is Photoshop Elements 7 for Dummies which is much more than being just a guide to the application.
Although it is pretty straightforward to get acceptable photos directly from today’s megapixel digital cameras, once the image files have been transferred to the PC one is able to use an editing program, such as Google’s Picasa, which is simple to use and ideal for many basic improvements. However, PE7, as well as incorporating a range of “autofixes” and other simple makeovers, is far more versatile.
This Blu-ray player was the one I used with the recently reviewed Samsung Series 6 Full HD LE32A656 however any full HD TV should allow you to see the full glory of Blu-ray. To hear the full cinema sound quality you will need a 5.1 or 7.1 sound system.
The Samsung BD-P1500 is 43x31x6.5cm with leads inserted in the rear. It has matt black top and sides with grey back and base, the front is shiny black. The following connections are on the back a hard wired (1.35metre) power lead, HDMI out socket, USB socket, Ethernet socket, Optical out and a set of six Component Out and A/V out.