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

Here I am looking at two kids toys that will be very popular with younger kids – not quite so sure about their parents – one a tiny guitar with built in songs and the other another item a belt buckle giving guitar sounds from a mini amplifier this again comes with built in sounds. They are both reasonably priced.
When I first saw this my initial thought was toy, after using it I can see musical merit in it. You can play chords and therefore tunes and possibly just possibly the child might take music seriously. It is 19.5cm long, 6.5cm wide (max) and 3.5cm deep. The back and sides are brown, the fret part is yellow and guitar head is blue (other colours are available). It requires two ‘AAA’ batteries that are not supplied. The back has a speaker and a three position switch off/low/high.
565212 verbatim media statio

Verbatim MediaStation

A 500Gbyte hard disk aimed at those wishing to centralise their multi-media storage, or at least to have a usable copy of those files somewhere near their television.
Verbatim have been in the storage industry for very many years and that lineage is very clearly visible in the MediaStation. The convergence of multiple functions into a single device tends to happen with each manufacturer their area of expertise, working outwards to incorporate additional features. So good mobile phones initially integrate a fairly poor camera and media player. In the case of the MediaStation, this is very much a hard-disk that has some additional features.
Joining Nokia’s extensive portfolio of mobile devices is a model with a strong emphasis on music and games.
The Nokia 5320 XpressMusic is a candy-bar style of handset.  Measuring 108 x 46 x 15mm and weighing 90g, the review sample of the Nokia 5320 is predominately black with a red trim around the handset’s body and the unit’s navigation pad.  A further touch of colour is present with the green and red phone keys for accepting and rejecting calls respectively. Taking over the top half of the unit is a 2-inch QVGA screen capable of displaying 16 million colours.
Have you often wondered whether an ergonomic keyboard is for you? This review looks at one of the newest keyboards, the Goldtouch.
The Goldtouch Ergonomic Keyboard: £139.95 ex VAT from I have tested a large number of ergonomic products as well as those that claim to be ergonomic but just don't quite make the grade. While the intention is good, the delivery sometimes lacks a certain something. Unfortunately the Goldtouch Keyboard fits into the latter category. What frustrates me is that by doing a bit more user testing I’m sure this product could have been great.
While notebooks have the advantage of mobility, sometimes mains or battery power can be a problem area. A new adapter offers to help.
roberts solar dab radi

Roberts Solar DAB Radio

This is quite a squat unit, it is DAB only so no FM. However the white unit with grey sides looks quite nice. Normally a DAB radio on batteries is unlikely to get beyond ten hours this unit shatters that by a long way.
It is 19x11x7cm, weight is around 700grams, the grey sides are rubberised as is the base of the seven section rod aerial that extends 58cm from the top of the unit. The back has 3.5mm connectors for line in and earbuds. There is also an input for the mains adapter. Everything else is controlled by five small rubberised buttons and below that two larger rubberised twist knobs are below back. Above these knobs is a 5.7x1.
Missing servants, a bloodthirsty religious sect and a visit to Victorian London to meet a famous detective can only mean it is another Sherlock Holmes adventure.
When it comes to honing your observation skills and improve your logical analysis what better role model to have than that of Sherlock Holmes.  This opportunity is offered to you with the remastered version of Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened.  Developed by Frogwares and published as a joint venture between Ascaron Entertainment and 93GAMES, this remastered version of a point and click adventure now features a new third-person view mode, improved graphics and an updated help system.
561323 doro th80 dect phon

Doro Phone TH80

Recently I heard about a Swedish Phone company, I went along to their presentation and was given several of their phones to try. This was the first offering a rather nice slim DECT phone called the TH80.
The phone is 15.5x4.5x1cm and weights only 120grams. It comes with a base station that you plug into the wall socket and this is 11x11x3cm both the phone and the base station are black. The phone has a silver back. The base station also charges the phone. If the phone is away from the base station you can page the phone from it, great if you have a large garden and the person in the garden has it in their pocket. Also useful if you forget where you left the handset just follow the tone.
564002 intempo iDS 01 unplugge

Intempo iDS-01 unplugged

A small, lightweight, portable iPod docking station aimed at those that want a robust home dock that's also capable of battery powered use on the move.
The Intempo IDS-01 is available in black, silver and pink - I have the silver version here to test. The unit measures 240 x 120 x 90mm (WxHxD) and weighs a light 600g. Taking a traditional layout, the iDS-01 positions the iPod dock between the pair of stereo speakers. It's compatible with all the standard docking iPods, only excluding the Shuffle.
Is it a torch? Is it a camera? Is it a camcorder? Actually this device brings together all these three functions within a single unit.
The FlashlightDVR (Digital Video Recorder) is a device developed by Swann, a company well versed in the production of security systems and devices.  With dimensions of 326 x 70 x 97mm (L x W x H) and weighing 730g when three C size batteries (not supplied) are on-board, the FlashlightDVR could well act as a weapon in some circumstances but this is definitely not its prime function.
We live in a mobile world thanks to the advancements made possible by a range of technical innovations. Where ever we are there is an almost compulsive desire to remain close contact with all the trappings of this digital environment.
561774 ge e1050tw digital camer

GE E1050TW Digital Camera

At the start of 2008 GE launched a range of cameras into the UK. While some were on show and have been reviewed during the year as they became available. Not even a dummy mock up of this unit was available at the time, finally it has become available, was the wait worth it?
A lot was made at the initial event of all cameras sharing the same manual. Well this unit does have the same ‘Superior Features’ sheet featuring Face Detection, Panorama Stitching, Smile Detection and Blink Detection but while the manual itself is in five languages it varies quite considerably simply because the controls are in vastly different places. The reason, this is an almost totally touchscreen camera.
A light-weight, powerful and versatile cordless drill from Bosch making use of the latest in battery technology.
The Uneo joins a growing trend in power tools using Lithium-Ion batteries. These provide much higher power density than traditional Ni-Cad or the more recent NiMh cells. They also avoid the memory effects of the older technology resulting in every shorter usable charge cycles. Bosch make use of this technology in the Uneo to provide a compact and powerful hand-held drill, ideal for the DIY enthusiast. The device weighs 1.
These two products both have an ‘extra’ apart from the main job they are there to do. The mouse could be useful for those who need to work in confined spaces and the Multi Card reader might be useful for those who are worried about their appearance.
This is a small mouse 9cm long and a maximum of 5.5cm wide. As is the trend today it is wireless and it even has a place in the base to insert the USB receiver when not in use. However this would be nothing that different from what I have so far told you about. It weights less than 90grams – still not that unusual – it will work in this form with MAC and Linux but the plus is the software supplied when working with Windows XP or Vista.
A game aimed specifically at the gaming market, but that also works well in 'normal' applications the Verbatim Rapier V1 contains no less than nine buttons.
A mouse is a mouse is a mouse - well, not quite. I'm sure many people have had at one time or another to use a very cheap optical mouse. This was possibly included "free" with your last computer. Even more expensive devices can have a few niggles. Verbatim have thought long and hard about their latest entrant to this already busy sector. First the feel.
Looking to upgrade your landline phone then BT would like you to consider its Verve 450 DECT model
Where all the world and its mother seems to be totally concentrating on do-it-all mobile phones, BT continues to provide units that require a landline connection and thus helps keep our communication costs down.  The latest BT landline model to come my way is the BT Verve 450.  This is a DECT phone which, like those bulky, old-fashioned phones I remember from my youth, is black in colour. As is usual with a DECT phone, the Verve 450 consists of a base station and the handset.
Around a year back I reviewed the original Altec Lansing Orbit. One year on the design has been revamped and I'm pleased to see that one of my few criticisms has been addressed.
Despite keeping the circular design and 3xAAA power source the new Orbit - the Altec Lansing iMT237 has had a significant make over from . For a start it's bigger. The diameter of the unit is about the same however an additional 15mm has been added to the height and the tapered cone like appearance is replaced with a squat cylinder. My main criticism of the original orbit was the lack of feedback to know that the unit was powered up - there was none.
561319 roxio creator 200

Creator 2009 : Roxio Creator 2009

This used to be called CD Creator and was one of the two main products in the field. Now of course the CD part is dropped mainly as most will use the DVD part as much if not more than the CD but it does a great deal more as well.
First the bad news it does take a long time to install (I installed it on a good speed notebook and on a desktop system) and the times were within a couple of minutes of each other at 48 and 50 minutes. A lot of the time was taken by installing yet another release of Net Framework. The total space taken was 2.8GB. After the install I was browsing though the items available directly and my eyes first descended upon an Audio setting that allows you to change various styles.
Developers of puzzle-style games now seem to be taking the approach of blending different types of puzzle solving into a single title. This next product is one such example.
It all started with Atlantis Quest which, somehow, managed to escape my attention.  This title was followed by Rise of Atlantis, a game that held me captivated for many hours.  Now Playrix Entertainment has released the third title in this series.  This new game is entitled Call of Atlantis. Rather than stick to one type of game play, Call of Atlantis combines elements of Match-3, Hidden Objects and Adventure within its story line.
Lexmark does have a tendency to change the appearance of its various offerings making up its ranges of inkjet printers and all-in-one devices.
As part of its latest range of multi-function devices, combining print, scan and photocopy facilities, is the Lexmark X2650 model. This unit adopts a bread bin look with a two-tone (cream and light grey) colour scheme that is reasonably attractive. While its basic measurements are 43 x 31 x 17cm (W x D x H), you will require extra space when the paper input, up to 100 sheets, and output trays are extended at the rear and front respectively.
Visiting various toy-based events makes it clear that one type of toy that always attracts attention are the one that require the use of a remote control.
It has been said that many toys imitates real life. This reviewer just hopes that he is not involved in any imitation with regards to one aspect of this next product which is the Zero Gravity Micro racing car. While I am not a great fan of speed, it is other features of this car, as will become obvious a little later, is responsible for my point of view.
If like me you are of mature years you will remember pressure cookers and I am sure today such objects would be illegal. This however is very unlike what was on offer it is just a rapid method of one pot cooking.
It still works on pressure but the change of it exploding and depositing burning liquid all over your kitchen and you are all but nil. It has a very simple and foolproof locking mechanism. A very easy and safe method of removing the steam and should you need to move it while in use then it has two one click lock handles that remain cool. It is 25cm tall to the top of the lid and 25cm across. The interior diameter is 22cm and the base diameter is 18cm.
DAB Radios have appeared in various shapes and sizes with a range of features including a model that is at home in the kitchen.
When you put together retro-styling with some modern day radio technology and an unexpected timing facility, then the result could well be a DAB radio from Dualit.  In this case the product is the Dualit DAB Lite Radio.  For those not too familiar with Dualit, this is a UK company that is better known for its kitchen equipment developed for commercial and home use.
558783 pleo the friendly donosau

Pleo - your very own dinosaur

According to Ugobe, the creator of the Pleo, this is the very first life-form they have created. While a claim to have actually created life may be a little bold, there's no denying some of Pleo's life-like characteristics.
I'll start by mentioning the price, which I usually leave until the end, which is around about . Now you can either consider this as a very expensive toy as a cheap way of satisfying your childs desire for a pet without the cost of a tin of catfood each day, vets bills and a responsibility for your pet long after your child has moved on to other delights. You can see what Pleo looks like from the pictures - a small happy dinosaur.
After my last review of a SanDisk unit this came – initially – as a disappointment, in fact more than a disappointment. I was sent a replacement unit and that had the same problem, so once solved I have put it through a thorough and rigorous set of tests to see that it did not occur again.
This is a MP3, Video, Photo, FM Radio and Voice Recorder. It measures 4.5x75x.5cm and weights just 30 grams. It comes with 2GB of internal memory but it can also accept a micro SD card. The left side is where the Micro SD card can be inserted and beside this is where the pinhole microphone is. The right side has slider for on/off, however if you are the energetic type slide it the other way to engage the hold control. The base has the proprietary USB connection and a 3.5mm earbud socket.

USB Gift Sets for men and women

An ideal gift for a man or in the alternative pink colour equally ideal for a lady. The items in this kit perform a range of vital tasks and can all be powered from a USB port. Yes another great gift idea from those clever people in Hong Kong.
A total of five items all in a single box.  The first is a the actual light unit is 7cm long. It comes on a circular base 5cm across and the articulated arm is 16cm long, the actual light consists of three LED’s  spaced 1cm apart. One side of the base has a USB plug and the other has a simple push on/off switch. It could do with an extension cable as most USB sockets are slightly inset and even though it is on the outside I could not get it to fit without one.
A small bluetooth headset that provides good quality sound and good noise reduction, all at at good price.
The MotoPure H12 from Motorola measures 41 x 18 x 12mm and weighs in at 12g putting roughly in the middle of the pack compared with . It also happens to be exactly the same size abd weight as the Motorola H680 that fared well in my - no coincidence I'm sure! The H12 is well provided with both a small charging cradle and a protective hard case that can also be used as a charge point.
While colour does give documents eye-catching appeal and helps emphasize points of importance; not all documents require this feature.
In many cases a well laid out document in black and white is all that is required to get a message across to interested parties.  As a result monochrome printers, especially of the laser variety, have an important role to play in the creation of certain types of documents.  The Canon i-SENSYS LBP3360 falls into this category. Designed more to give a feeling of solidity rather than an overall stylish appearance, the LBP3360 is a boxed-shaped unit.
555449 roberts crd 33 dab radi

Roberts Gemini 33 (CRD-33)

The Gemini 33 is an attractive bedroom radio/alarm system, but it wouldn't be out of place anywhere in the home.
First of all the most striking aspect of the Gemini 33 is the clock face. For those of you that miss a traditional 'clock' to tell you the time you'll love this product - although of course without the need to wind up a clockwork mechanism. In fact all you have to do is switch on and the time is automatically extracted from the radio signal. As soon as the time is established the hands start to turn - which does look very impressive.
557634 tefal rice cub

Tefal Rice Cube

Rice is something that’s lots of people struggle to cook well. So maybe a device designed for the job is something that can help you get rice as good as your local Chinese or Indian restaurant or take-away.
To me I was brought up with potatoes at every main meal. Rice happened occasionally as did pasta but only when out and it seemed strange. I still love potatoes in all forms but rice and pasta have their place. However cooking rice well is not always easy. The unit is not quite a cube as it is 23cm wide, 24cm deep and 22cm tall. The latter figure does not include the circular container that all the cooking is done in and that protrudes by a couple of centimetres from the top.
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