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

 
This is a tiny PC (size wise) of course if you have not got all the bits that connect then the price it costs will increase a good deal. All you get is the PC and a digital to analogue converter, so you need to find keyboard, mouse monitor/panel, CD/DVD drive and speakers.
The Asus Eee Box B202 measures 22x18x2.7cm and weights 1180 grams. Mine was black and as it is designed to work vertically looks a little like a book. All the connections are on the back and the front with the sides bare and the top and bottom having only ventilation holes. The rear has (from the top) wireless aerial, DC input, digital monitor/panel connection (as stated above digital to analogue connector is supplied), two USB ports, Ethernet port and Line In.
Not everybody wants a mobile phone with all the bells & whistles – sometimes basic simplicity is all you need.
The T303 is a Sony Ericsson slider phone.  This particular model is available in either Shadow Black or, as in the case of the review sample, Shimmering Silver.  The phone’s dimensions are 83 x 47 x 15mm (L x W x D) when closed while its weight is 93g. In its closed state, the phone’s appearance is dominated by its 128 x 160 pixel screen capable of displaying 65,536 colours.
If you use the Web, and even if you are not particularly interested in digital photography (but vital if you are), it is important that you calibrate your monitor to ensure that it displays colours correctly. You can do this painlessly with the DataColor Spyder 3 Pro.
How do you know whether your monitor is displaying colours correctly? In general you don’t. However, as the colours of images on my two LCD panels were noticeably different, I knew that one (or even both) was wrong. This was reinforced by the fact that some Web downloads that could be read clearly on one screen were virtually unreadable on the other with text just merging into the background. Correct colours are important.
I find it surprising that it is 11 months since I have reviewed an ink jet printer, by that I mean a printer as opposed to an all in one or a multi function unit. Unlike most inkjets it has two proper trays so you have far more control from the computer.
The Canon Pixma iP3600 inkjet printer measures 41x33x15cm with the rear upright tray closed, open the tray and add A4 paper and you add 22cm to the last figure the height. Sad to say it is black apart from a silver stripe so it is unlikely to pass the lounge police. The power lead on the left back and the USB recessed on the right back edge do not protrude so no extra space is required behind the unit.
These are slightly different, they are 100% waterproof, no not just for the British weather but for those who go out ‘on the water’ and therefore run the risk of going ‘Overboard’ here a carbon backpack and a waist pack.
This is really very different from the standard rucksack/backpack reviewed yesterday. It is stated to be a 25litre pack. It looks like a large sack with straps on the back. The material is obviously waterproof and feels like a cross between rubber and plastic. When open it is 68cm tall and 43cm wide. The stated sealed size is 49.5x34x16.5cm.
Mobile phones, MP3 players (including the iPod) and other devices all need recharging from time to time – an easy task at home but not so easy when on your travels.
As our personal complement of mobile devices continue to grow at a pace, the problem can arise as to which leads we take with us in order to recharge the various pieces of kit when on our travels.  The problem can be further exacerbated when these travels take in other countries.
This is as you might imagine not a whisper quiet unit, however it is powerful in fact dare I say it, it almost has the suction power of a D*s*n and that was the only cleaner to actually lift a section of a fitted carpet from the floor.
Hands-free mobile phone use comes in a range of styles including designer headsets.
The Discovery 925 is a Bluetooth earpiece from Plantronics “signature” range of designer headsets.  The kit consists of the earpiece unit with a medium ear tip already to place.  You also get a small and large ear tip enabling you to match the earpiece with your particular ear size; a leather-clad case for charging and protecting the earpiece when not in use; leads for charging the earpiece via USB or mains; and a small User Manual.
Alright I plead guilty. As regards to fashion I am a walking disaster but at least I feel comfortable in my own appearance
It has been said that my sense of style could be described as a crime of fashion.  In my defence I would plead guilty with extenuating circumstances and change the subject to Masters of Mystery.  So what, you may ask, links Masters of Mystery with a crime of fashion?  The answer is a new title from Big Blue Bubble Inc.  As a leading Canadian video game developer, Big Blue Bubble has built up a portfolio of over 30 games for the console and Windows platforms.
569539 pure evoke flow dab radi

Pure Evoke Flow

When I first opened this box I thought another DAB radio from Pure, after a few minutes use I knew this was something that takes things to the next level. This is not simply a good DAB radio it is much much much more.
The Pure Evoke Flow DAB radio measures 21x14x9cm. The rear has six connections. USB, auxiliary speaker, headphones, stereo out, auxiliary in and DC power input. Towards the top of the back a 70cm seven piece rod aerial starts. There is also a door on the back that can take a proprietary charge pak to allow it to be used on batteries. Neither of the sides or the base has anything. So this leaves the front, the single speaker is on the left on the right is the six line 6.5x3.
Put together Bluetooth, a headset and a mobile phone and the result is hands-free communication.
Made almost entirely from aluminium, a new headset has been launched by Bluetrek, a part of the ModeLabs Groups which specialises in mobile phones using new generation technology.  This product is the Metal and it arrives with the claim of being the world’s thinnest and lightest Bluetooth headset.  When you consider that this headset weighs just 5.5 grams with a thickness of 4.2mm, it would be difficult to doubt this claim.
568233 doro arc 9

Doro Arc 9 +2 : Doro Arc 9r +2

This is a DECT phone (well three DECT phones actually) and the base station unit is also an answering machine. As I have found with all the Doro units I have looked at there are lots of bits individually wrapped in a single box.
Setting up the base station means finding a power adapter (it always seems to be the one with the smallest end. The base station itself is easier as that is the biggest one and the handset. This is hardest as all three are the same wrapped side by side in tissue paper and only by unwrapping and installing the two ‘AAA’ rechargeable batteries and fitting the cover will you see the number you want DORO 1. Each handset is 15.5x4.5x2cm and weigh 115grams.
568235 zenses rainforest nintendo d

Relaxation with the DS Lite

While I am new to the world of the DS Lite, I am not discussing the unit but a couple of game inserts that are made strictly for relaxation. While both in their early stages are certainly that as you get into higher levels they become challenging.
I am sure there are lots of things that you can do with the DS Lite that are far from relaxing but the two games I am looking at are. Zenses Ocean and Zenses Rainforest. Both of the plug in modules have six different games. I do not think the names themselves are that important and the aim of each game is always to improve.
565870 sandberg wireless keyboard set u

Sandberg Wireless Keyboard Set

A new wireless desktop set from Sandberg adds a recharging feature to the mix.
Several years ago I came across a wireless mouse that was able to recharge itself by being docked on the receiver unit.  If memory serves me correct, this was the Logitech MX700 unit.  I was reminded of this piece of kit by the arrival of a wireless keyboard set from Sandberg.  Like the earlier Logitech mouse, the Sandberg product featured a rechargeable mouse using a docking station.
568232 sandisk sansa clip mp3 player with headphone

SanDisc 4 or 8GB Clip

I must be showing my age as I remember the days when 20MB was a large hard disc (I actuary remember the days before hard discs) now an MP3 player with 8GB of internal memory in a tiny body and compete with rechargeable battery.
It is 5.5x3x1.5cm and weights only a few grams. The back has a clip taking .5cm of the stated width and this can open to 1.5cm meaning it can be clipped onto almost any item of clothing. This is the second item I have recently reviewed that makes a mockery of the claimed battery life, stated at 15 hours I actually got 19 hours and 30 minutes not once but twice.
Bringing back memories of my first telephone, in looks if not in functionality is a product from Doro.
With the preponderance of mobile phones, DECT devices and even VoIP handsets, it is easy to forget that the standard landline desktop phone can still play a part in modern living.  It is not everybody who needs the ability to be in constant communication range with every Tom, Dick or Harry.  Some people just need the ability to call a friend or receive a welcoming call from their nearest and dearest in the comfort of their own home.
Adding to its portfolio of game titles, MumboJumbo now offers an adventure style hidden object game entitled Samantha Swift: The Hidden Roses of Athena.
568231 samsung nv30 compact digital camer

Samsung NV30 Digital Camera

Shape and size wise this is very similar to other offerings from the ‘NV’ range previously reviewed. However this unit has not one wheel on the top but two enabling far more choices to be made quickly without delving.
The Samsung NV30 compact digital camera measures 9.5x6x2cm and uses the same system of grid buttons around the TFT to get to the various settings, strange initially but in fact far easier when you are used to it. The TFT is 5x3.8cm and to the right of this is the telephoto/wide angle rocker. There are seven push buttons to the right of the TFT and seven buttons below it.
Aimed at the younger generation, the Sony Ericsson W350 handset is positioned at the lower end of the Walkman range of mobile phones.
Predominately black in colour with occasional touches of orange, the W350 is a sort of a cross between a candybar and clamshell model.  While the 1.8-inch colour screen remains visible at all times, the main keypad layout is concealed behind a cover which can be flipped out when necessary.  This is the first Sony Ericsson handset that I’ve seen with this particular design feature and it certainly appealed.
First an offering from Altec Lansing whose two speakers each have their own sub woofers. Second an offering from Gear 4 intended to pep up the output from your iPod of almost any type.
This is a pair of speakers with what amounts to a sub woofer built into the units. So instead of a pair of speakers that require a separate unit to handle the bass these speakers do it without any extra assistance. These can be used with a PC or any other device needing output but they can also be used as out for an MP3 or iPod device. The two speakers are a similar size but the right one has on/off and volume controls on top and all the inputs. The two units are connected by a quite thick lead.
Yes it’s those people in Hong Kong again with two more unusual USB items. First a keyboard that is so small it will fit where no other keyboard will. Second an retro wireless microphone it is wireless but charges via a USB port.
This is tiny at 17x6.5x1.5cm you need to add another 2cm to the second figure the width for the mini USB connector. Just plug it in to any USB port and around 30 seconds later you can start typing. It is a 56 key offering the keys that you would otherwise lose are available via the Blue FN key and an additional keypress that’s a total of 23 keys and you even can have numeric keypad via this feature. However I expect most will be two finger typing as the keys are 1.2x1cm.
Current global financial issues aside, and lets not mention some recent football performances and results, Kensington opened the New Year with a showcase featuring some of its new products at Chelsea Football Club’s almost palatial hospitality facilities.
568229 epson SX600fw multifunction printer scan cop

Epson SX600 FW

This is a multi function machine (includes fax) that can be connected via USB or wirelessly. My own opinion is that very few still use fax but as these machines (with fax) are still produced I must by wrong.
The Epson SX600FW multi-function unit measures 47x39x22cm the latter figure the height will increase by around another 9cm with A4 paper loaded in the rear vertical position. With the control panel tilted up this adds 4cm to the second figure the depth. It is black so it will pass very few of the lounge police. The top has both a flatbed and a sheet feed and in a very nice touch the sheet feed can be closed to produce a nice flat top when not required.
I've mentioned in previous reviews how one of the most important elements required for good sound is often neglected my media player manufacturers. In this case I review some headphones that not only address the sound quality but also aesthetics.
A number of manufacturers have recognised the opportunity to improve on the audio performance of the standard headphones shipped with most media players. Atomic Floyd have taken this a stage further and recognised that good audio is a necessary requirement, but in these fashion conscious days is not sufficient in and of itself. Portable media players are all about that - being portable, listening on the move and for many people 'on the move' can include moderate exercise.
Unlike the various types of printers which tend to arrive without the required USB lead for connecting to the computer, scanners are more fortunate in this respect.
The CanoScan 8800F comes with both power and USB leads.  This model has recently taken over the desk space, normally the home of my CanoScan LiDE 90 unit, for the purpose of this review.  Decked out in matt silver and reflective black, the CanoScan 8800F has an attractive stylish, if solid, appearance with its bevelled edges.  The effect is diminished a little by the reflective black’s tendency to collect and display finger smears.
With this new game from MumboJumbo, your puzzle solving skills will be put to the test as you attempt to rebuild some historic buildings in various parts of the world.
568228 gear4 blackbox ipod speaker syste

Gear 4 BlackBox 24/7

This is what used to be called a clock radio but with the ability to accept input from any device with a 3.5mm jack socket. It also has a dock for almost any kind of iPod. It has FM radio and of course a good sized clock display with two alarms and of course a snooze setting, so now the iPod has invaded the ‘clock radio’ bedroom.
It is 26.5x10x12cm however the power lead protrudes 2.5cm from the rear thus increasing the middle figure the depth to 12.5cm. You will probably not be surprised to hear it is black. My iPod is white and this sits in the multi unit dock on the top increasing the third figure the height by 8cm however this will change according to the type of iPod you have.
Adding to its range of Walkman mobile phones, Sony Ericsson has released the W380 model.
Measuring 92 x 49 x 16mm and weighing 100g, the Sony Ericsson W380 is a clamshell device with a slopping aspect at either end.  The review unit is predominately electric purple in colour with silver embellishments and the familiar Walkman “W” logo in magenta. One immediately obvious feature is the positioning of the handset’s camera.  Rather than the standard rear location, this camera is sited on the front of the unit.
568264 logic3 rotat

i-Station Rotate from Logic3

I've reviewed a number of iPod docking stations over the last couple of years. This one has an extra twist to take account of the latest range of video capable iPods.
Technology has marched on allowing Apple to evolve the iPod. From the first generation through to the latest the iPod has progressed from simple music player to a capable multi-media player. While many of the latest iPods are video capable this facility is most evident on the iPod Touch, the new iPod Nano and, of course, the iPhone.
568227 flip mino handheld video camcorde

Flip Video Mino

This is the second incarnation of the rather good Flip Video Ultra. This unit is smaller slimmer and aimed at the teenager and twenties market. Everything else works the same as the original product launched in the UK last year.
It is 10x5x2cm and weights just 75grams. The unit comes with memory to give an hour of video. This is 640x480 but it is truly excellent quality. It can be shown on a TV using the composite leads provided that fit into a TV (2.5mm socket) on the left side of the unit. It is as good as any normal TV picture providing of course the images you take do not suffer from shake. To help with this there is a tripod screw in the base of the unit. Alternatively brace it on any solid object.
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