We got a chance recently to check out a robot of the cute and cuddly variety, as opposed to the kind that will take your face off. The sickeningly cuddly and cute WowWee Alive Panda Cub. While it doesn’t go so far as to chew bamboo in your livingroom and call itself Ling-Ling, it’s an impressive huggable robot for the kid or the grown up in your life. The final verdict? Kids love it because of it’s interactivity and realism. Hit the link and head over to our robot site for the full review.
Archive for Review
We recently got a chance to go hands on with Epson Artisan 800 All-in-One Printer. Just like the Epson WorkForce 600 All-in-One, it didn’t disappoint. The Artisan 800 is geared toward the more creative type of office. Designed to combine sleek styling with high performance. It has many of the same features, but with a creative slant. The Artisan 800 features built in wired and wireless networking, ultra fast print speeds (38 ppm), 6-color ink, a 7.8” touch panel, a 3.5” LCD screen, standalone photo capabilities, faded photo restorations, and a smart ink system. The Artisan 800 is smaller then the Epson WorkForce 600, which is nice as it can be tucked away a bit more conveniently.
Out of the box you get an ethernet cable, power cable, driver/software disc, user manuals, some sample paper, a small bit of phone cable and the necessary printer cartridges. No USB cable, but if you plan on using it wirelessly, that’s no big deal.
Printers can go either way. I’ve found that they are generally terrible due to high expectations, or in some cases they actually live up to the hype. I can tell you straight away, the Epson WorkForce 600 All-in-One Printer lives up to and even exceeds the hype. First, it looks great and it’s not much bigger then your standard printer, so you don’t need a lot of extra desk real estate. That’s a good thing for anybody, but being designed for small and home businesses, it’s a huge plus to have a work horse that looks good and goes just about anywhere. Some of the features on the 600 include WiFi capabilities, laser quality printing, fast printing speeds, built-in memory card reader, and a super handy LCD to preview your pictures and operate the whole thing effortlessly.
Right out of the box you get an ethernet cable, power cable, driver/software disc, user manuals, even sample paper, a small bit of phone cable and the necessary printer cartridges. No USB cable, which is common and with the Wi-Fi capabilities you really don’t need one.
How the folks at Schick knew we were a hairy bunch here at the ‘Brick is beyond me, but we’re glad they did since we got the chance to try out this new Schick Quattro Titanium Trimmer. We’re really not in the habit of reviewing personal hygiene products such as razors, but this one is kinda’ cool and runs on batteries so we thought we would make an exception.
Wicked Lasers recently gave us the opportunity to check out one of their popular laser pointers, which gave us quite a surprise. Actually, before we received it we called it a laser pointer but not any more. Wicked Lasers assured us that it is not a laser pointer – it truly is a wicked laser, and we can’t disagree.
The sample product we received was from the Elite Series of green lasers, specifically the Elite 125. This laser appears to be around the middle of the road for the different lasers offered by Wicked Lasers. The average output power according to the company runs from 125mW to 149mW. They also have lasers in their catalog with as little as 50mW and as much as 300mW. The Elite 125 for us had plenty of power and made it very clear why this is not a laser pointer for regular presentations. For starters it would be difficult to see anything on a presentation screen because the light from the laser is way too bright, even from across a large room. Also, the crowd would be so distracted by what you’re using to point with they’d never pay attention to anything else you’re trying to show them.
Skullcandy is known for their quality headphones. Skullcandy’s Skullcrusher headphones are not new, but I wanted to give them a try and see what all the fuss was about. They don’t have any sophisticated active noise canceling features, but still manage to drown out background noise with a nice level of bass rumbling and sheer over-powering volume. And they do it very well.
The folded headset takes up an amazingly small amount of space. They are pleasingly lightweight and portable, perfect for anyone on the go, especially if you use have a backpack. You get a vinyl protective carrying pouch, one AA battery, a 1/4″ plug adapter and a two-prong plug adapter. I really like the fact that with the included adapters, I’m covered no matter what. The cord is about 5 feet long, so you have plenty of freedom.
Normally I’m not a big headphones kinda guy. I mean, I use them fairly often, but I don’t really get much enjoyment out of them as for the most part, one pair always seems pretty much like the other. So I don’t really go out of my way looking for quality and comfort. It’s been my experience that there really isn’t much room for improvement in headphone design.
I was wrong. I can admit it after listening to these headphones. When you plug a pair of Skullcandy icons in and crank up the music, the difference between these headphones and a standard pair is obvious. First, the double headband design and weight of less than 45 grams, makes for an exact fit and total comfort. You don’t even know they are on you and they don’t bother your ears. As far as sound, the 30mm audio driver really does provide absolutely crystal clear and amazing sound.
In honor of our current contest, Otterbox sent me their Defender case for review. Keep the funny comments coming guys(and gals), you have until midnight on Valentine’s day to enter. I have to say, you people are really surprising me with your creativity. Now, on with the review.
The Otterbox is probably the most rugged iPhone case I’ve seen. Comprised of plastic and rubber, it couldn’t be easier to install. It will protect not only the body, but the screen as well. It’s water resistant NOT water proof.(Don’t go swimming with it, ye of withered braincells) I found it interesting that the Defender actually protects the headphone jack, serial jack, speakers and mic, helping keep any debris safely outside.
I got my Eco Media Player about 2 weeks ago and I’ve been checking out it’s various functions. The device has several features like a video player, music player, fm radio, LED torch, photo viewer, hi-fi recorder, memo recorder, data storage device and a mobile phone charger. You charge the device via USB, but if you don’t have a computer nearby it can be hand cranked to recharge the juice via a fold-out handle on the rear.
They claim that 40 minutes of audio play requires only one minute of self powering. Actually when I put that to the test I got a whole lot more. Closer to 2 hours. I don’t know if that is typical or not, but I let the battery deplete to nothing before I wound it. So that was a plus. I loaded a few videos and the conversion software is pretty effortless. The quality of the video is surprisingly crisp and clean for the small 1.8″ color screen. No complaints there.
I’ll be reviewing both the Kone and the Kurv hand vacuums from Dirtdevil. These are Dirt Devil’s newer more stylish vacuums that don’t assault your decor, while remaining handy to clean up those messes. In fact, both the Kone and the Kurv perform that function very well. Unlike most small appliances, they actually fit into and become a part of your living space without screaming to the world, “Hey, I suck up filthy stuff.”
I was curious to find out which would perform better, so I divided my time between both units, back and forth. It’s worth noting that these are not intended to clean your whole carpet and replace your upright, or to suck up huge disastrous, nasty, sticky, toxic spills. And it’s not designed to be a full power shop vac. So, unto my impressions of both models.
Over the past week we’ve had the opportunity to try out Sound ID’s SM100 EarModule Bluetooth headset which resulted in a unanimous vote of “impressed” from those of us who spent some time with it. The headset seems pretty cool from its looks alone but there are also some less visible features that add to the uniqueness and value of the SM100. We tested the headset with the Motorola MOTOSLVR and the new Motorola MOTOROKR Z6m which were both very easy to connect.
For starters, and one of the most important things we watch for in these devices, is the general size and comfort. If you find yourself wanting a wireless headset its probably because you spend a fair amount of time talking on the phone and the last thing you need is something that’s too uncomfortable to wear for those multiple and long conversations. The comfort was not an issue for us with the SM100, and in fact after a few hours of wearing it I found myself once even having to check with my hand to see if it was in my ear. The headset measures about 1.75 inches by 1.0 inch by 1.2 inches and weighs only 0.4 ounces.
If you’re like many people that spend any amount of time online, you’ve probably had concerns or problems with probably the most common issues people have with surfing the net lately; security. For many, more and more interactions and transactions are taking place online, and everywhere you go you have to enter a user ID and a password. You can’t complain since security for the most part is a good thing, but it’s hard to remember the login credentials for every site you go to, and with all of the online identity theft scams going on these days many people are leery of entering their financial information online at all.
GuardID has a product called the ID Vault which we recently had the opportunity to review that goes a long way to help thwart online scams and gives you a single point to store login information. As a software engineer that has been developing hosted applications for years I’ve always trusted my own ability to identify phishing scams and unsecured sites, and I had never used a product like this before as I’ve always been hesitant to put all my information into one point of access. Although I still feel I do a good job of watching out for scams on my own I do have to admit that after spending some time with ID Vault product I’ve changed my tune and am pretty impressed with the secure environment this product creates.
This past June we wrote about Casio’s tough G’zOne Type-S mobile phone when it was released and we recently got a chance to get our hands on one to see just how tough this thing really was and what “water resistant” really meant. What we found is that the G’zOne Type-S lives up to its hype on standing against the elements and also had some nice surprises we were not expecting.
SmartNav by NaturalPoint is a hands free pointing device designed to provide an alternative for graphical navigation. The sensor looks eerily like the flying automatons from Batteries Not Included and sits atop the monitor responding to reflection from the infrared light it generates. You can wear the cap provided with the unit or apply the reflective tabs to anything you wish. The cap is a bit geeky but it works best in my experience.
The software provided allows for fine tuning the reaction of the device as well as control over how the user causes a click event. With a little experimentation the unit can be optimized for minimal head movement. The software accommodates pausing the detector with customizable key commands to make switching to another device simple. There are two methods of evoking a click event: software or hardware. Key commands can be assigned to initiate a click event or any number of simple actuators can be connected to get the most out of the user experience.
CellPoint has recently acquired a couple of Bluetooth headset product lines from Gennum, one of which is called the nX6000 and we recently had the opportunity to review it here at the ‘Brick. This model wasn’t Gennum’s first crack at the mobile headset market. Prior to this version was the nXZEN PLUS 5500 and in our opinion they’ve done quite a nice job with improving the look while still maintaining a very quality product.
There are a few main features of the nX6000 that are important to point out, which are also key things we look for when choosing a good headset, the first of these being its size. This device measures only 1.75 x 0.8 x 0.5 inches and weighs a mere 0.38 ounces making it a feasible solution for multiple continuous hours of comfortable use. It comes packaged with 3 different sizes of ear tips and 2 different sized ear hooks. The ear tips are designed to fit slightly inside your ear which makes a much clearer sound and helps keep the device in place. Some headsets that do not do this will flop around when the wearer moves their head, making a loose feel. Even with glasses the device was easy to wear and fit comfortably.