GadgetSpeak Articles

GadgetSpeak has close to 5,000 product reviews and other articles. You can use this page to find others opinions on anything from mobile phones to computers to the latest kitchen appliance

evesham solar mx10

Evesham Solar MX100

This PC has taken longer to review than normal simply because not only did I have a PC to review but also the operating system it was installed with. Yes Vista is supplied with Evesham’s Solar MX100.
Having recently now with thanks to Evesham for their patience lets look at this rather nice PC. Firstly mine came with some quite meaty Creative speakers, a wireless keyboard and mouse set from Logitech, and a 19inch panel that gives a rather good image all within a small total screen surround size of 44x30cm the name on it was new to me Cibox. It is however only an Analogue offering but you can pay extra for a digital model. The maximum screen display is 1440x900.
It does seem that new printers are arriving quicker than ever. We take a look at a new Canon budget offering.
PIXMA is Canon-speak for inkjet printers.  Joining this range of Canon printers is the model.  This rectangular box shaped unit, decked out in highly reflective black (giving you a mirror in an emergency and a repository for occasional fingerprints), measures 442 x 237 x 152mm and weighs in at 3.3kg.
pure move portable dab radi

Pure Move DAB and FM radio

This is small about the size of the pocket offerings that were MW/LW radios in my youth, the difference the battery is rechargeable and of course the sound quality is far superior.
It is 15x8x2.5cm with the rod aerial collapsed this when fully extended (six piece) adds another 40cm to the 8cm height. The weight is a little under 300grams. The face is silver with the sides and back a black rubberised material. There is a small 15x10cm manual of 10 pages but once you have located the on/off switch most will be able to work out at least the basic functions.

Support Pillows

A lot is made of the benefits of support from your pillow especially if like me you suffer from back problems. So never one to lie down on a job – for no reason – I have tested two such offerings.
Tempur Traditional Pillow Each year I visit the Ideal Home show and I manage normally to find something of interest to readers this time it was the Tempur pillow. Firstly if you like a soft pillow this will not be for you. If you like a light pillow this will not be for you. If you like the cool crisp feel of linen on your face this will not be for you.
Rather than force the user into making a choice, LG takes the approach that two formats will fit into a single box.
There have been several instances of so-called "wars" between competing technologies in the past.  A couple of examples are those between Betamax and the VHS video tape format and the short-lived contest between the GEM and Windows GUI software packages.
Several people I know say Samsung is a good make so after a long while trying I have succeeded to get one to review and you know what they are not wrong.
The outer screen dimensions are 81x51x10cm, there is a 4cm high base (but you can fit it on a wall) and the bases footprint is 24x47cm. The actual size of the wide angle screen is 70x40cm giving the diagonal 32inch measurement. As with most recent TV's the routine is much the same, remove from box, fit the base, plug in aerial and any other boxes (Sky, Cable etc), plug into mains and switch on.
As an inveterate labeller, I am always on the look-out for the means to improve on the basic pen and paper method. Could Brother help?
Brother, that's the printer company rather than a relative, covers a wide gamut of devices dealing with different aspects of printing.  Laser printers, inject printers, all-in-one devices and label printers are all featured in the Brother portfolio of available products.  Within the latter category, the various label printers tend to form the P-touch series of electronic devices.
This printer has an extra that is becoming – slowly – more common, the ability to print onto CD’s and DVD’s. I do not mean on a piece of paper that you then stick onto the CD but direct onto the CD.
The is not small at 40x45x24cm the first and last figures need to increase slightly when paper is inserted in the vertical back position and the space behind needs to increase when CD's are printed as the tray is taken out the rear of the printer before printing. So the figures I give are really the desk footprint of the unit. It weights around 6.5kilos.
No longer satisfied with just controlling your cursor, the modern mouse has designs on your search and zoom facilities
I'm tempted to say that we are about to undergo a revolution with regards to mouse technology.  However it is probably more correct to use the term "evolution" despite this mouse bearing the title of VX Revolution.  Designed and developed by Logitech, this product is described as a cordless laser mouse for notebooks which is not to say that this particular device will not perform equally well when attached to a desktop system.
microsoft vista deskto

Vista from Microsoft

Certainly the most talked about new operating system I can remember. I have been using it on a PC for a few weeks now and the learning curve seems to be decreasing.
Let's assume you have 1GB of memory and a graphics card (not an onboard graphics chip) then your system can probably run Vista and also the Aero glass graphics engine. I have been testing such a system and for good measure my tests have been conducted with a 2GB Ready Boost pen/stick drive for additional support. Using such a stick/pen drive is cheaper than additional conventional memory. Only Vista can take advantage of this extra memory.

FSP's Easy-to-Build Jet Engine

Jet engine construction is typically left for professional engineers, but Father Son Projects, LLC has designed a simple engine that is safe, fun, and relatively easy to build.
Father Son Projects (FSP) has done it again with their new homebuilt jet kit. Jets typically have a row of compressor blades in their front that force pressurized air into a combustion chamber. Here fuel is added and ignited. The rapidly expanding gasses flow past a turbine that is connected by a rotating shaft to the compressors up front. The gasses spin the turbine, which is turn spins the compressors. Then the gasses shoot out of the back of the jet, producing thrust.
Having just printed an image that should last for 120 years, let me tell you about the device I used while waiting to see if the claim is true.
As part of its new batch of products, .  This is a device that provides print, scan and copy facilities.  Basically it is an with an A4 flatbed scanner positioned on the top.
The last couple of weeks have extended me, to be precise the time spent with Samsungs latest DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera has enabled me to take some superb images.
I get to see a range of digital cameras from a variety of manufacturers but few SLR offerings. So the latest Samsung offering was eagerly anticipated. I am told that most resellers will sell this with two lenses so it was a little disappointing to receive it with only one, however should you have any Pentax lenses from whatever vintage of camera they should fit and a trawl round some boot fairs could provide a rich harvest.

Phones for Cash : Envirofone

Normally recycling goods just encourages a feel-good effect but there is a way it could increase your bank balance.
So what do you do with the gear you no longer want?  Maybe, like many others, you point your browser at eBay and put the various pieces of kit up for sale.  However if these items are mobile phones then there is an alternative method that you could take to dispose of unwanted items while swelling your bank balance and possibly benefiting third-world countries plus doing your bit for recycling.
Blu-ray is one of two new DVD formats giving better sound and vision quality, of course to use it you will need an ‘HD’ ready TV.
The black box of the Samsung BD-P1000 blu-ray player has a silver strip along the bottom half of the front, it is much the same size as a standard video recorder at 43x32x7cm. You will need to add around another 3cm to the 32cm depth for insertion of any cables in the rear of the unit. The front has some buttons but everything - apart from insertion of the DVD's - is possible from your armchair via the 49key remote control.
Recently I have been carrying a camera; PIM; MP3 player; data link to my home computer; television; and phone all within a single device that doesn’t cause a bulge in my pocket.
Coming across one of my original mobile phones recently (I had thought all my old models had been dispatched to a charity) helped to re-enforce the strides such devices had made over a relatively short period.  Developed initially as a means of voice communication when on the move, mobile phones are now so feature-rich that you could almost forget about the aspect of making and receiving voice calls.
A comfortable headset, a wireless headset, a headset that connects to any 3.5mm jack plug and thus not only is your MP3 player able to be connected without wires but anything else that has a 3.5mm jack.
My first personal joy was that you can remove the headset from the plastic container without an industrial pair of scissors and therefore the packaging, instruction book and charger can be replaced and kept together. So what do you get in the box? A small 3.5x3.5x1.3cm black box with a 3.5mm jack plug on the end that can fit into your MP3 or audio player. You also get six small plastic plates to provide a custom fit for a range of iPods.
xoom clean v4 box imag

X-oom Music Clean 4

Have you lots of LP’s and cassettes you no longer play but still love the music they contain? Then one solution could be Music Clean 4 that allows you to transfer it to CD or MP3 amongst other formats.
There is a 68 page A5 manual and unless you are an expect in music manipulation you will be well advised to read it. There are other - far simpler - products out there to do the jobs this does but this can do most of them within one package. I myself have a stack of LP's waiting to be transferred to CD's and currently I use three different products to do what Music Clean 4 can do. Mind you they all do their bits easily and without fuss.
Data in your pocket use to mean a floppy disk but now we have USB flash devices larger than my original hard drive.
Do you remember your first USB memory device?  In my case it was an 8MB unit.  At the time this device was being promoted as being suitable for all your personal needs when on the move from location to location.  Today most users would be embarrassed to be seen with a USB device of such a low capacity and would consign it to the back of a drawer while making use of one of the higher capacity devices that are currently available.
epson dx600

Epson DX6000

This is far more like what I would expect from Epson than the DX4000 I reviewed recently. The look, the output quality in fact the whole experience was lots better.
This is a four colour four cartridge offering. The software - as with most printers/all in ones is partially installed before you attach the unit. Unlike this came back to me after the initial install with options to install the rest of the software that includes some nice printing and OCR software. The total install time - two parts - was around 30 minutes and afterwards my hard disc had 1.1GB less space but I did install everything.
Enhancing your home videos requires specialist software such as that on offer from Adobe for the budget-conscious discerner user.
As processing power increases and hard disk storage costs decrease so more and more people are becoming involved in the creation of home videos.  While the professional fraternity are able to afford the premium price of around £700 for a copy of Adobe Premiere Pro, for many this cost makes the product too expensive especially when you consider you could buy a new system for less.
The market is awash with 'video capable gadgets' - but without video they are just that - capable. Here we review a product aimed at helping you fill the memory on your mobile device with something to watch.
The advent of cheap memory, improved battery technology and high-quality color LCD screens on devices such as mobile phones and game machines, the opportunity for 'video on the go' has become a reality. Whether you have the latest mobile phone a or a video iPod, you now have the opportunity to take more than just music with you.
alba PRDAB210MP

Alba PRDAB210MP3

Not perhaps the most catchy title but if I say 50 hours or use on a single AA battery that becomes interesting and as a DAB radio around 14 hours, did I mention that it’s also tiny in size.
As always I tend to barge right in without reading the blurb. I have over the years reviewed lots of MP3 players and initially if you got 8 to 10 hours of use you were doing well. As things developed then 15 up to around 20 hours was possible. But I have never got beyond that on a single AA battery. Here after 20 hours the indicator is still registering fully charged. Apart from some short tests to tune the DAB all my use up till then had been on MP3 use.
Like a blast from the past, aliens are on the menu for this mission-based shooter game.
Like the Sixties, if you lived through them - you won't remember them, the Fifties has left its own distinctive imprint on modern day society.  Take, for example, the phenomena known as B-movies and the classics, especially of the Sci-fi genre, that it let loose on an impressionable public.
hp laserjet 102

HP Laserjet 1022

Small, neat and simple to install and use. These are just some of the attributes of the HP Laserjet 1022 mono laser printer.
There are in fact three models all bearing the 1022 label this the cheapest that is USB, the next with an N for network at the end of the 1022 that can also connect via Ethernet and the top of the range 1022NW that is network and wireless. Apart from the connectivity the units themselves are identical. The one thing you can always say for a laser printer is that it will always print textual pages at the speed stated.
Look back via the search button on the site front page and enter Family Tree or Build a Model Railway to find earlier versions of both these products, in both cases Focus has added even more value.
Create Your Own Family Tree Genealogy Suite from Focus Genealogy is a subject near to a lot of people since smaller families became the vogue, when large families were in fashion lots of people were around with all the required information and so lack of information on great uncle Jack. There are - according to the information on the DVD style box - six items on the supplied CD-ROM. First the item you are expecting Family Tree Legends (Deluxe Edition).
Just because it is called a mouse, does not mean that this input device can not take on another shape.
What's your mouse like?  I ask the question because of the numerous styles of this particular peripheral that ate currently available (and as a way of leading into this review).  Since its initial introduction as part of the standard computer set-up, this pointing device has progressed through various evolutionary stages.
canon dc1

Canon DC19 DVD Camcorder

A camcorder that records direct to 8cm (mini) DVD’s and can also record still images to an SD card. Could this be the best of both worlds?
It is small and weights only around 450grams. The dimensions are a maximum of 12x10x4.5cm. The optical zoom is 10x (a lot less than some) and a standard DVD-R disc can record around 30minutes of action. The battery is said to last for around 80minutes between charges. If I said a 2.2MP camera most would say not enough. However this is a camcorder and indeed an HD one with 16:9 display.
winzip 1

Zip Goes Corel : Corel WinZip 11

Corel expands its product portfolio as it takes on board the latest version of WinZip’s compression software.
With my first disk-based computer I was able to fit the operating system, along with a word processor and various documents on a single floppy disk that had a storage capacity of 180K.  Those were the days when tight code and other constraints meant that we had little need to consider any form of compression when transferring data from one location to another.
This is a small sized high quality twin tuner PVR, I have been happily using it for several months and in that time I have not had a single problem with it.
First let me explain - the is a twin tuner unit and not a twin recorder unit. You can watch one channel while recording another. You can playback something while recording another, however, you cannot record two programs at the same time. Goodmans GHD8015F2 It is very small in comparison to other such units in fact the width and depth are no more than a standard video recorder but the height is half that.
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