Not perhaps obvious items to be put together but either or both could make a great present. The first something for that frustrated drummer I am sure you will have heard or Air Guitar but how about Air drums? The second a twist of a jigsaw that is made in the shape of a globe.
Not a skin in sight, it is basically a pair of drumsticks with thin leads going to a small box, while there are a couple of smaller boxes that is it. Insert 4x‘AA’ batteries in the box and start learning the movements and hear your efforts either from the inbuilt speaker or once you have things perfected pipe it out through external speakers. Annoy the neighbours without even ever bringing anything larger than 43x26x6cm cardboard box into your home.
Using resources that are renewable is advice we could all follow. Unfortunately sometimes the required resource is not always available.
Reviewing kit, of whatever type (software, hardware, toys, kitchen equipment, etc.), can sometimes involve the need for additional resources. For example to test a printer you will need plenty of paper; a flight simulator product cries out for a joystick as the preferred method of control; while electronic toys often arriving bearing the “Batteries not included” warning. Generally supplying these resources is well within the scope of this reviewer.
Physically the largest iPod docking stereo system I've reviewed the iLuv uses this
size to good effect to provide sound worthy of your music collection.
Measuring 500 x 200 x 180mm (WxHxD) the iLuv i399 is by no means a shrinking violet. Despite it's size and indeed weight (around 6Kg) the manufacturer has decided to provide battery power as an option. I'm not entirely sure why you'd want to be lugging this around or using it away from mains power, however should you wish to so do you'll have to acquire eight 'D' sized batteries.
Neither of which is via a PC however both require an Ethernet connection, the first the Belkin Ethernet Skype Phone is wired and the second the Philips VOIP 841 has a wireless link to its base station that connects to the router.
This looks exactly like a standard office phone. Looks are deceiving as it is a Skype phone and unlike most other Skype phones needs just one thing an Ethernet port. It is not wireless but wired and probably because of that sound to the caller and receiver is excellent. It is 15cm tall, 18cm wide and 3cm thick. However the phone sits at 45degrees making its display very clear on your desk. The handset is 17x4.5x3cm max and this sits on the left side of the unit.
The Navigon 2200 and 2210s are slimline 3.5inch screen GPS units which incorporate traffic information (TMC) and text-to-speech. They are identical with the exception that the 2210 maps cover Europe and not just the UK & Ireland.
I like the very clear print that is used, under the rolling map display, for the names of the road that one is currently on and the road into which one will next turn. However, it was not really needed most of the time as the voice instructions gives the name of the street into which you should turn. This is particularly valuable as it minimises the chance of taking the wrong turning where there are two in close proximity.
An Egyptian Queen, a dead Pharaoh, renegade priests and scarabs aplenty are just some of the elements that make up the latest episode of the number one selling action-puzzle franchise.
The various titles making up the Mumbo-Jumbo developed Luxor series can justifiably claim to be the Number One selling action-puzzle franchise. Since the launch of the original title, Luxor in 2005, this series has racked up 75 million downloads and this figure will no doubt increase with the arrival of the latest addition to the Luxor family. This is Luxor – Quest for the Afterlife.
Just over two years ago I reviewed a coffee machine from the people who made the coffee Nescafe. Now there is a new version and this is from the people who make the machine Krups. Its still the same coffee but the machine is even better.
In the ensuing two years my Dolce Gusto article has been well read and I am told is one of the top reads ever on it certainly still often features in the monthly top ten reads as it is still an extremely popular coffee machine. So what is new or different well lets deal with the consumables first the Chocolate was launched after the review and has had some favourable comments. If you have a spare half an hour why not read all the numerous comments to my original review.
Stepping back the best part of a hundred years in time, you can test your military and strategy acumen in Ascarons latest historical strategy game.
Whereas Canon uses the i-SENSYS brand name for its laser multifunction devices, when the all-in-one device makes use of inkjet technology then the brand name changes to PIXMA.
In the case of the Canon PIXMA MX700, this product has been designed to deliver fax, print and copy functionality to the small office or home environment. Following the standard arrangement, the flatbed scanner unit is positioned on top of the inkjet printer. Adding further to the height of the PIXMA MX700 is an ADF (Automatic Document Feed) unit.
Robots have always held a fascination for me ever since my school days. In that time robots have evolved. Here I'm looking at the latest consumer 'toy' Robot - the i-Sobot from Tomy.
Things have moved on a long way since the plastic toy robot my father bought me well over thirty years ago. If I remember correctly that had a single electric motor in the base and a couple of caterpillar tracks to move. The only other technology was a couple of flashing lights. The only real similarity between that long lost toy and the i-Sobot is that both are made of plastic. Gone are the caterpillar tracks to be replaced with 17 different powered 'joints'.
This is the second of the phones from the Swedish company I met recently. This is two handsets the base one has a built in answerphone and the remote one can be placed anywhere within range where there is a power supply.
The phones are 15x5.5x2cm and with their two ‘AAA’ rechargeable batteries inserted weigh just over 100grams. Mine had a black face and silver back; the rubberised buttons were silver with black numerals. The display is black on grey however for eight seconds after a key is pressed it is backlit in blue. There are a total of nineteen buttons and a circular one that works top and bottom so I suppose it’s twenty one.
The first is hidden inside a standard looking pillow, the second inside a fabric hat. Both allow you to use your favourite iPod or MP3 player to provide the material.
All you need is your iPod or MP3 player plus a pillowcase. Replace your normal pillow with this offering and you can listen to your music without disturbing others, I doubt even most people sleeping in the same room or maybe even in the same bed would be disturbed. While I suggested iPod or MP3 there is no reason why it should not be a radio or even a portable CD Player. I am told learning works with this method of dropping off to sleep while listening.
It is small, pocket-size and can deliver printed images of your digital photos almost as soon as they are captured.
Back in the early 1960s, before personal computers were not even a twinkle in the eye of manufacturers, mention Polaroid and you thoughts would probably turn to an instant camera that could capture and then produce a print of your image. Since then technology has moved on and the Polaroid Instant Camera is no longer with us as digital rules the roost. However the company has not given up on being involved in photo printing as can be seen with its Polaroid PoGo product.
Sometimes you want to listen to your music stored on a portable player without the need of a headset. Altec Lansing offers a solution.
In the past I have made my feelings clear regarding the over-whelming number of audio devices that have been developed to support the various types of iPod units without giving much thought to the many users of MP3 players. Being a fan of MP3 music format myself, I am always on the look out for products that treat both formats on a more or less equal basis. It has to be admitted that this is often a thankless tasks that generally ends in disappointment.
Version 2 of the Home Hub from BT adds both style and functionality to an already good product. Coupled
with the BT Hub Phone it will offer most of the capabilities an average home could want.
Broadband hubs, or routers, are traditionally fairly drab units designed with function in mind. Originally these devices would have been stuffed away in a corner or behind the sofa - out of sight. Integrating wireless into such a device has always caused conflict between utilitarian design and the need to place the hub somewhere in the open to get the best wireless signal.
It must be at least two years since I first saw these sort of items advertised, however for one reason or another it is only now late in 2008 that I finally got to test one. This unit from ION comes with three different pieces of software.
The record deck is 40x34x10cm, mine was silver in colour with a clear Perspex lid. There are three push buttons on the front and a USB connection on the back along with two RCA audio output sockets and mains lead input. The three push buttons are for setting the deck speed 33 or 45, to automatically lift the stylus from the record and a stop button. The reason I mentioned these is that they are not controls to effect in any way the output to the PC.
With an ample supply of different coloured pegs and a collection of balls, the game of Peggle returns with more challenges.
As with the original Peggle Deluxe, the follow-up title of Peggle Nights Deluxe takes the player to that mysterious location known as the Peggle Institute. The Institute, for those who have not been there before, is the home of a super-intelligent group of characters that have achieved Peggle Master status.
This is a digital camera that is easily small enough to fit in a pocket or purse but this does not mean it is lacking in features. It is a 12MP offering that has scene recognition, face detection and auto red eye removal to mention just three.
It is 9x6x2cm and weights only 165grams. Doing a quick run round the unit mine was a rather nice matt black with silver fitments such as the Fujinon lens F=8-24mm. Above and to it’s right by a minimum of 2cm is the flash. The left side is bland while the right side has wrist strap anchor point and A/V out behind a door. The base have the rechargeable battery behind a door that also hides the card slot, to the left of this is the tripod anchor point.
Not every has or wants a home network set up yet would still like to use USB devices on more than one computer. Check out a possible solution.
If like our house you have remote controls coming out of your ears, but never the right one then
this little box could be just the thing for you. As well as controlling up to four separate devices
it will also completely power them down - saving you money, batteries and the world resources.
The URC-8350 is a fairly standard sized 'traditional' remote control unit measuring 210 x 55 x 30mm (HxWxD). Power is provided by two AAA batteries. As well as the remote the product is provided with an on/off power plug (HC-8000). Simply insert this into a wall socket, and the connect all your A/V equipment through that plug via a power strip. The remote then allows you to completely remove power from all those devices - reducing the standby requirement to zero.
The big thing about this 22inch panel is not the resolution it is what now seems to be a standard 1680x1080, its not the wonderful sound their isnt any- it is simply that is uses less power in both use and on standby so it can help your pocket and the planet.
I find it weird that my more than three year old 20inch panel has a greater resolution than a brand new 22inch offering. Of course my panel is 4:3 and this is 16:9. The panel is 51x34cm and is a maximum of 9cm thick. It has a 20cm circular stand and this raises it 6cm above the desk. The screen itself is 47x29.5cm giving the diagonal 22inch measurement. The rear has connections for analogue and digital as well as the power.
Video glasses for your iPod or other video player with good battery live and that can also show 3D content. A great idea for watching your video in bed or on the move.
Vuzix have a history in developing audio-visual eye-wear for military and medical applications. With the AV920 they bring their expertise to bear on the burgeoning consumer portable video market in the form of a set of video glasses. The AV920 a stereoscopic headset that focusses an image on each eye. The effect is that of 62" screen - very impressive.
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.
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 Nokias 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.
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.
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.