Philips launches Blu-ray player for cash-conscious customer
19 June 2009
The new Philips BDP7300 Blu-ray player has been launched in a bid to appeal to film fans on a budget and it offers an appealing package.
There's a fast start-up time, meaning users can save energy and be simultaneously kind to the environment by not having to leave it on standby all the time, while it produces full HD images in 1080p 24 frames per second.
In addition to that, users can still view their old DVDs with an upscaling feature that generates almost the same picture quality as the new Blu-ray version.
As is to be expected from the format, DTS Master Audio Essential 7.1 decoding and Dolby TrueHD are both supported, so the sound quality's been good as well.
Continuing the theme of outstanding picture quality, Deep Color technology and BD Live for internet access both feature, while home video recordings captured on HD camcorders can also be hooked up to it.
It's available for around £249, which is likely to have many film fans reaching for their wallets.
© Adfero Ltd
Mobile Phone Reviews
19 June 2009
The new Samsung Jet mobile phone offers gives users a 3.1-inch active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (otherwise known as AMOLED) screen that consumes less battery but still produces impressive contrast ratios and is a great feature for viewing video playback. It's also got WVGA resolution, which offers around four times more pixels than most other phones. In addition, there's an 800MHz processor that produces a more responsive touch-screen, while users also get a proprietary operating system that only accepts Samsung applications and so may turn off some people. On the plus side, it's available for free on a two-year £20 a month contract.
From the same manufacturer is the Samsung i8910 HD mobile phone, which offers a 3.7-inch AMOLED screen with 360x640 pixels that works brilliantly for watching films and makes it easier to use the touch-screen feature, simply because there's more room. Haptic feedback - where the handset vibrates when a button is pushed - is sometimes activated without the function itself actually registering, but is nonetheless pretty good. It's thin but quite sizable and feels sturdily built, though it loses style points for having a plastic backing that seems a bit cheap. An eight-megapixel camera could keep snappers happy. The price is dependent on the contract.
Lastly we have the Acer X960 mobile phone, which offers a 2.8-inch screen and is a full-touch Windows Mobile handset that operates v6.1. It doesn't really attract the eye on first glance, which could be an issue for more style-conscious users, but the screen offers 640x480 pixels and there's a 3.2-megapixel camera on the back. In addition, users get a range of features including Bluetooth 2.0, Wi-Fi and SiRFstar III GPS, all of which facilitate connectivity over both wireless networks and normal mobile phone lines. A stylus is also on offer for the touch-screen feature, or customers can just use a pen. The contract determines the price.
© Adfero Ltd
Digital photo frame launched by Sony
18 June 2009
The new Sony DPF-V900 digital photo frame offers an innovative way to display a range of personal photos using features that can actually improve them.
Presenting a nine-inch screen comprising 800x480 pixels that delivers sharp images and wins style points for a gun metal coloured bordering frame that adds a luxury edge to the overall design.
A memory card slot on the back enables users to load a range of different formats, including Sony's DUO and Pro-STD, as well as SD card, xD-Picture Card and CompactFlash, with all the images accessed and thrown up on the screen as soon as the card's loaded.
To add flexibility, pictures can also be fed onto a television screen or electronic devices plugged into it directly rather than using a memory card.
Picture quality can be enhanced using an auto touch-up function, but this is purely optional and doesn't give specific choices.
In terms of presentation, users can arrange to have photos displayed singly or in a variety of different ways including a multi-screen format.
Available for around £150.
© Adfero Ltd
Digital Camera Reviews
18 June 2009
The Casio EXILIM PRO EX-F1 offers six megapixels and is mainly built for capturing speedy action as it can be set to take six shots every second for ten seconds, or alternatively an impressive 60 at once. Taking pictures at this speed may not result in the best quality as it doesn't give the autofocus enough time to react, but capturing at the slower 15 frames per second (fps) setting works better. Users get a 2.8-inch LCD screen, a 12x optical zoom and plenty of intuitive menus that'll have the device up and running in minutes. Available for around £540.
Next is the Nikon D300, which offers a lower-price option for keen photographers or a good starting point for the enthusiastic amateur. Within a sturdy case designed to resist both dust and water, users get features including a 12.3-megapixel CMOS sensor, a 51-point autofocus system and a three-inch LCD. A range of autofocus options mean faces will stay sharp wherever they are in the frame and a continuous drive mode of 6fps that can generate 20 JPG files and up to 14 images in RAW. Users wanting 8fps can get hold of the MB-D10 plug-on battery as an optional extra. The body's available for around £1,020.
Finally we have the Olympus SP-565UZ, which is suited to taking great close-up shots by way of an impressive 20x optical zoom lens, with shake handily minimised with an image stabilisation function. A shooting mode of 13.5fps was found by T3.com to be undermined by a 15-second processing period to actually view the images that have been captured and the picture quality deteriorates on use. Still, it remains a good feature and an ambitious addition to a compact camera that may appeal to those looking for some exciting extras on a budget. Plus, pick a sport that doesn't involve lots of running and you're sorted. Available for around £270.
© Adfero Ltd
B-Series Walkman unveiled by Sony
17 June 2009
The Sony B-Series Walkman has been unveiled by the electronics giant and comes across as a stylish alternative to the iPod shuffle.
Designed for handy music selection while on the move, it comes in a range of bright colours and can be operated without the need for a screen, although users get one of those as well, perhaps to appeal to old-school customers.
When the central button is pressed, the device plays a five-second piece of each music file and users have the option of playing each one all the way through when they come to one that they're in the mood for.
Otherwise, there's always the screen to act as guidance, but that's a bit more old-fashioned.
In addition to the selection feature users get more options including voice recording, an FM radio and 18 hours of playing time from a single charge, so it could be perfect for any upcoming long-haul flights.
© Adfero Ltd
17 June 2009
The Toshiba Portege A600 122 notebook offers a 12.1-inch screen and is aimed at people looking for a convenient mobile device. The screen itself doesn't produce the best colours, but the thin-film transistor material tackles glare from windows and bright sunlight, which could be a benefit for commuters. In addition, LED backlighting means the machine is more efficient and gives greater operational running times between charges. Designed mainly for office use, users get an integrated Intel chip and with as much as eight hours available before it needs a mains supply, this could find a fan base. Available for around £1,044.
Next up is the Samsung R720 notebook that aims to appeal as a multimedia machine by combining high-definition graphics and 3D SRS sound. Users get a 17.3-inch LCD screen, an Intel Centrino 2 processor and an ATI Mobility Radeon HD4650 graphics card, while four-Watt stereo speakers and a subwoofer are also part of the deal. Gamers could be kept happy by the full-sized keyboard and for general use there are four USB 2.0 ports, one of which can be used for charging other electrical items. The machine comes with Windows Vista Home Premium and is out in July.
Making an impression in terms of style is the HP Pavilion dv6 Artist Edition, which offers a 15.6-inch, HD 16:9 display, along with ATI video graphics and an AMD Turion dual-core processor. In addition, there's as much as 500GB HDD and up to 6GB RAM. Perhaps the most striking feature, however, is the cover design from rising Japanese star Hisako Sakihama, who won the HP and MTV Engine Room Notebook Design Contest. His "sea and sky" is also used for a special sleeve, as well as for the desktop design on the Microsoft Vista operating system. It'll be available in the UK for around £700 in August.
© Adfero Ltd
TomTom unleashes Homer Simpson as a voice guide
16 June 2009
A new Homer Simpson TomTom voice skin has come about as the result of a partnership between the satellite navigation company and Twentieth Century Fox.
The deal is the latest business partnership arranged by TomTom and will enable drivers to have directions read out in the original Homer Simpson voice, as performed by voice artist Dan Castellaneta ever since the show was first screened way back in the late 80s.
Motorists getting hold of the skin will have their directions read out in Homer's voice, complete with personality quirks offering the occasional piece of mischievous advice.
Drivers looking to get a bit more personality from their TomToms may well jump at the chance to get hold of the new skin, especially as Homer is one of the best loved characters in modern pop culture, let alone the cartoon world.
Samples from the skin are available at tomtom.com/Simpsons and £7.95 will download the full programme.
© Adfero Ltd
Xbox 360 Reviews
16 June 2009
Fuel offers gamers the opportunity to explore a fully-rendered world as well as getting stuck in to more traditional racing scenarios. It takes place in an America plagued by all kinds of bizarre weather conditions and users have the option of taking part in a straightforward racing career if they want, but there are plenty of other challenges along the way for those looking for less conventional things to do. Race courses are pretty flexible so long as the right checkpoints are hit, while the range of terrain gives lots of opportunity for exploration, trial and error. Available for around £50.
Venturing into a pseudo-superhero setting is Prototype, where gamers play as Alex Mercer, who can jump around a richly-realised city environment with all manner of superhuman skills and abilities. Waking up in a mortuary, Mercer has to fight a range of government goons and bizarre monsters, while cut scenes attempt to communicate more of the story. Bigger and better physical skills for Mercer can be unlocked as the game progresses, although gamers might get tired of the slaughter and the stealth elements that offer little between. The visuals struggle when the screen is busy, which may disappoint fans of Gears of War 2 and other competitors. Available for around £50.
Also expanding on the open world concept is Red Faction Guerrilla, where gamers play as Alec Mason who spends the game seeking vengeance for the death of his brother on Mars. The open world of Mars doesn't make for the most exciting environment to explore and gamers may be frustrated by how much time they spend moving around in vehicles, but there are challenges to be had in winning the support of locals as the fight moves to the tyrannous Earth Defence Force. Destruction is the name of the game and it looks great too as everything is powered by the Geo-Mod 2.0 engine. It's available for around £45.
© Adfero Ltd
Gyration looks to turn heads with a new air mouse
15 June 2009
The new Gyration Air Mouse Go Plus is designed to control the cursor on a computer screen without the need for a desk or other surface.
It offers an unconventional, elongated design and works up to 30m away from the computer, with a trigger button mounted on the underside of the device used to control the cursor on the screen.
An additional control mounted on the top offers eight different movements that can be programmed to translate into separate functions for controlling presentations or other business uses.
GyroTools software is used to actually configure all the necessary controls, using programmes such as PowerPoint, Windows, MCE navigation and the internet to select actions from a list and then to save preferred settings for use at a later date.
The mouse works very well with Windows Media Centre, but may not turn out to be everyone's choice when it comes to gaming and general web browsing.
It's available for around £90.
© Adfero Ltd
Speaker Reviews (15 June 2009)
World's first DivX Certified portable Blu ray player launched (12 June 2009)
Vita Audio unveils latest radio design (12 June 2009)
Home DAB and web radios (12 June 2009)
Apple launches new Snow Leopard (11 June 2009)
Home cinema system reviews (11 June 2009)
New Philips webcam looks to conquer the office (10 June 2009)
Television Reviews (10 June 2009)
Panasonic delivers backpack Blu ray (09 June 2009)
Mobile Phone Reviews (09 June 2009)
Keyring GPS caters for people lacking direction (08 June 2009)
Toy Reviews (08 June 2009)
Asus launches multi functional notebook (05 June 2009)
Logitech mouse loaded with features (05 June 2009)
GPS Reviews (05 June 2009)
New eco TV unveiled by Sharp (04 June 2009)
DVD Recorder Reviews (04 June 2009)
New memory card targets netbook owners (03 June 2009)
Camcorder Reviews (03 June 2009)
Logitech wows gaming fans with Wireless Guitar Controller (02 June 2009)
Laptop Reviews (02 June 2009)
Earphone Reviews (01 June 2009)
PS3 Game Reviews (01 June 2009)
Mouse Reviews (01 June 2009)
Noise cancellation improvements offered by Bluetooth headset (29 May 2009)
New DAB clock radio from Roberts (29 May 2009)
Digital SLR Reviews (29 May 2009)
Study Ball could help keep students at their desks (28 May 2009)
Mobile Phone Reviews (28 May 2009)
Sony Ericsson offers Bluetooth stereo speaker (27 May 2009)
Blu Ray Player Reviews (27 May 2009)
Photo player launched for HDTV use (26 May 2009)
Projector Reviews (26 May 2009)
New air powered battery in development (22 May 2009)
Panasonic enters shaving market (22 May 2009)
Speaker Reviews (22 May 2009)
Improvements added to Ovi Maps (21 May 2009)
Gadget Reviews (21 May 2009)
Microsoft launches new webcam (20 May 2009)
Xbox 360 Game Reviews (20 May 2009)
Denon launches new CD player and amp (19 May 2009)
Compact Camera Reviews (19 May 2009)
Laptop cooling pad unveiled by Logitech (18 May 2009)
Laptop Reviews (18 May 2009)
New security feature from D Link (15 May 2009)
Canon launches new projector (15 May 2009)
Media Player Reviews (15 May 2009)
PowerPlus delivers wind up shaver (14 May 2009)
GPS Reviews (14 May 2009)
New colour additions announced for the Dell Inspiron line (13 May 2009)
PS3 Game Reviews (13 May 2009)
Sony targets security industries with smallest HD video camera (12 May 2009)
MP3 Player Reviews (12 May 2009)
Philips' NXP steps closer to NFC chip (11 May 2009)