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Brianmini

Brianmini

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since 29/01/2010

43

Kensington External battery pack + battery charger Apple iPhone (33396EU) 15/03/2010

An iPhone battery pack that actually works!

Kensington External battery pack + battery charger Apple iPhone (33396EU) Kensington Ultra Portable Battery Pack Introduction Since purchasing my iPhone several weeks ago I've been looking for a good quality but not too expensive battery backup to keep my phone up and running for longer. I had an old Belkin tunejuice which although it uses exactly the same connector isn't supported by the iPhone (sneaky Apple), I wanted something similar, that could easily charge my iPhone. A quick search online made it pretty apparent that although there are battery packs on the market none of them are particularly cheap. I originally purchased a cheap chinese clip on batter unit (the type you see for £5 on ebay), and there is a reason they are £5 on ebay, they don't work very well. Giving roughly one full charge, but they quickly pack in, mine only lasted a week and about 5 charges. I'd all but given up as I refused to pay £50 for an expensive battery backup, until a choice visit to PC world revealed the Kensington Ultra Portable battery pack. I'd seen this advertised on Amazon for around £25 but it looked massive in their pictures, on seeing it in PC world I realised it was smakker than the iphone, although still bigger than i'd like, however its price was reduced to clear at £7.49, a bargain! Assembly Its not what you'd call a pretty battery pack, its rectangular and has only marginally rounded edges, its quite large at about 10mm shorter than an iphone and 10mm narrower but around the same thickness. On the front of the battery is a ...

F1 2010 Timing App - Championship Pass (iPhone Application) 11/03/2010

Feel like your sitting on the pit wall - F1 timing app for iphone

F1 2010 Timing App - Championship Pass (iPhone Application) Soft Paur 2010 F1 Timing app Introduction Are you "into" F1? Can't get enough of the F1 experience during race weekend, well now help is at hand from Soft Paur with the Official F1 2010 timing app (for ipod touch and iphone). How about real time live telemetery data just like the Pit crew use to compliment your BBC coverage? And thats not all, the telemetery data is translated into actual graphical representation of where all cars are on track and their relative position in the race, including pitstops. Finally if this still doesn't seem like enough you'll find that the two Friday practices and Qualifying session telemetery data are also broadcast to the app. In addition when you have some down time between races you can check the current F1 news too. Main screen On loading up the F1 2010 Timing app your presented (while holding the iphone verticle) with a split screen with current driver standing at the top of the screen with the following information, car , driver, lap and lap time. The bottom half of the screen is dedicated to graphic overview of the track and where each driver is on the circut (shown as a circle with the first 3 letters of the driver name). Below the split screen are 4 icons:- * Race * Info * News * Setup By default the Race icon is selected, showing you the race split screen (race data, circuit). The Info option gives a menu (stylised as a race pit board), with options for :- * Help * Drivers * Teams * ...

Thule 591 Proride Bike Carrier 03/03/2010

Sturdy construction at a good price.

Thule 591 Proride Bike Carrier Thule 591 Bike Carrier Introduction Thule manufacture bike carriers (along with roof bars) ranging from car specific to generic carriers which can fit any car. In general Thule carriers carry a premium over budget carriers but this is offset by the quality of construction of the carriers. Car part shops such as Halfords usually stock a range of bike carriers and Thule units will number amongst these. However I have found that shopping online tends to get the best deals and access to the entire range of their carriers. Stores like Halfords tend to only stock the low cost and premium units. Where as the Thule 591 in my view is middle of range, with good construction at an affordable price. Assembly I have 2 of these carriers and both required full assembly. The large Thule box comes with all the parts sealed in separate plastic bags with the main rail and A frame bars separated in the box. Initially it’s a little daunting as construction takes about 30-40minutes and requires you follow the instructions closely. However the instructions are fairly comprehensive with a decent number of well drawn diagrams. The vast majority of the assembly is by hand with only the use of an Allen key required to tighten up the hex nuts and bolts. This Allen key is supplied in the box. Fittings to connect the carrier to roof bars are provided, although on the website it quotes that you might need to purchase additional fittings if you have oval roof bars (rather than ...

Apple iPhone 3GS 32GB 03/03/2010

Cheapest way into iPhone 3G S Ownership?

Apple iPhone 3GS 32GB Cheapest way into iPhone 3G S Ownership? Introduction I’m going to assume you’ve read my previous review of how to get your hands on an iPhone cheaply, and that you’ve discounted buying second hand and that you want that box fresh sensation of unwrapping your very own brand new iPhone 3G S! If this is indeed the case then read on, the following is for YOU! We’ll look at what Contract options there are, what Pay and Go options are available and (my favourite) what’s available Off Plan. We’ll use the iPhone 3G S 16GB model in these examples, as it’s the cheapest iPhone 3G S to start with. Obviously you could buy a brand new iPhone 3G and make an additional saving, but then this review is of the iPhone 3G S (although much of the content is applicable). I will be looking at the obvious telecoms firms and have no bias towards any one specifically. I also won’t be looking into who offers the best network coverage etc. How much will you save? Scenarios The best way to understand the savings on offer is the look at a number of scenarios, firstly we’ll look at the user that “need” everything unlimited! Then we’ll look at a medium use user, and then finally at a low/medium user. I want EVERYTHING… So you need unlimited telephone calls, texts and internet access? Well your probably going to need a Contract deal. O2 offer the iPhone 3G S on Contract for £89 upfront cost on a 24month contract for just £35 a month. This gives you ...

Rightmove App (iPhone Application) 02/03/2010

right move.... right application!

Rightmove App (iPhone Application) Right Move App Quick Review App Description These days most people looking to move house will do some research online first. Obvious sites like Your Move and Remax usually have a good selection of properties in whichever area you’re looking to move to. But usually there is a degree of street walking looking for less well known estate agency boards outside houses. Right Move is a site which removes much of this pain of house hunting by bringing together the major and the minnow estate agents under one easy to use website. Now there is an iPhone app for that! Main Screen The Main screen is a simple search screen. With the “rightmove” logo and the search bar below (Google style). A number of simple easy to use buttons are below the search area. A button to “Get my current Location” using triangulation/gps to get your general location, a button to view recently viewed properties, and two search option buttons. These main search buttons are “For Sale” and “To Rent”. So once you’ve either let the phone work out your location or keyed in your search area you click the type of property your after (Buy/Rent). Along the bottom of the screen there are 3 buttons, Home, Saved searches and Saved properties. Interface The interface is easy to use, even on the go, so if your en-route to the area you want to live in you can search while walking. Buttons are large enough to easily locate, although the “get my location” option retrieves ...

Angry Birds (iPhone) 25/02/2010

Angry birds.... need revenge!

Angry Birds (iPhone) Angry Birds Introduction The birds have a lovely little family, with eggs about to hatch, they will defend their little eggs with all they are worth. Along comes a fly and lands on an egg, the birds get so preocupied with doing in the fly that some naughty little pigs kidnap the eggs! The pigs want fried eggs for tea instead of yucky grass. The Birds must use all their anger to get their family back. Game play This is a very simple game, basically you are presented with a puzzle with a number of pigs hiding in a structure you have to destroy the structure so the pigs get "popped", then you progress onto the next level. You take down the structures by firing your "angry birds" at the structures with a catapult. Its a very cartoonish game, so no gore or guts, so perfect for kids. Its a case of pulling back the catapult and then releasing, once your bird takes flight there is nothing more to do but watch and see if your aim was true and you clobber the pigs or the maze they hide in. You have to whack all the pigs to progress to the next level. At low levels this is pretty easy, but at higher levels you need a level of skill to bring down the maze so that you can get to the pigs. Graphics and sound This game relies on its bright vibrant cartoon charms to win you over, and with that it succeeds very well. The style of the game is fun and friendly and a treat on your eyes. Sound is quite basic, no tune playing through the game, just a ...

Cadbury Wispa 18/02/2010

Don't shout.... Wispa!

Cadbury Wispa Wispa (Aerated Milk Chocolate Bar) The best thing to come out of the 80's, I never could understand why they fell out of favour in the 90's. But now the Wispa is back, long Live Wispa. If you've never tasted a Wispa where have you been the last 20 years? Imagine if an Aero bar and a bag of Cadbury's Buttons had a love child and you'll understand why Wispa is such a gorgeous chocolate for kids and Adults alike. Soft velvety milk chocolate with pin hole bubbles all the way through, nothing could feel so smooth on your tongue and so tastey on your tastebuds. In the old days (1980's) you could get Wispa in a variety of "flavours", fortunately the Original (and best) Wispa was reintroduced first, its the one in the purple blue wrapper, and definately the pick of the crop. However you can now get the Caramel Wispa, which has a thin layer of caramel near the top of the bar, this is quite a tasty bar but I still don't know why they didn't release the Mint Wispa before it. The poor old Mint Wispa has still not been re-released, but it can surely only be a matter of time. Unless....... KRAFT have their say and bin the least selling Cadbury products. Of which I'm certain the Wispa will be one of them so to enjoy a Wispa time is of the essence, if you want to try one, remember them or maybe even ensure they stay in production now is your time. Get your hand in your pocket, russle about until you find 50p, get down the news agent and grab yours now and enjoy being ...

3 Mobile Broadband 18/02/2010

3 MiFi mobile broadband

3 Mobile Broadband 3 Introduce MiFi (personal mobile broadband and hotspot) Introduction Mobile broadband, its the latest buzz phrase. You know the one, big ugly dongle sticking precariously from the side of your laptop/netbook. Tethered to that one device while you load up proprietary dialup software on your PC to connect to the internet. It works perfectly well, there is just one major downside..... you can only use it on your PC (or Mac is some circumstances). So what about all your other wi-fi enabled devices? Tough..... used to be the answer. 3 Network recently released the MiFi (Huawei E5830), a device so cool no "peson" about town should be lacking. Its a simple concept, a small device with a SIM card in it, a battery and enough electronics to 1. connect to the mobile internet infrastructure and 2. wi-fi connectivity. This means you don't need a PC, you could use your MiFi with an Archos 5/7, iPod Touch, most modern mobile phones, xbox, playstation? Anything basically that has wifi connectivity. Layout MiFi is fairly simple, the device itself is about the same length and depth as a mobile broadband dongle, but twice as wide. So its still easily pocketable. It has 3 buttons and 5 LED's. One button to switch the device on/off, one button to switch the WiFi on/off (if you use the MiFi with a USB you can use it like a conventional dongle so switching off the WiFi might result in saving some battery life), and the final button is the Connect button (also ...

Samsung SMX-C10 17/02/2010

Not HD, but not HD cost! Samsung SMX - C10

Samsung SMX-C10 Samsung SMX-C10 solid state memory video camera Introduction As solid state memory video recorders go this is one of the pricer non-HD devices, its also not the smallest. It is however very nicely designed, it fits in your pocket easily but its not so small that its not comfortable to hold while filming. Its designed in such a way that you don't have to bend your wrist to aim in front of you, which makes for more stable shooting and less strain on your arm over prolonged period of filming. The SMX-C10 doesn't come with any built in memory, that is reserved for the more expensive HD version. But this isn't such a big failing as it allowed to to pick and choose which SD card you want to fit, you'll never run out of space, just add a new SD card or upgrade to a larger one. A 16gb one and its good for about 8 hours recording at the highest resolution, considerably more if your filming for youtube uploading. Handy features include the editing software (intello Studio) which comes not on an supplied DVD but build into the recorder itself, plug the camcorder into a new PC and your able to install the video editing software onto your PC direct from the video camera. There is a removable battery (meaning you can carry a spare) the camcorder is supplied with a Samsung power supply for fast charging, or if you want, the camcorder will trickle charge while your copying your videos to your PC over the USB cable. The battery is rated at 160mins usage, which I can ...

LINX B-Tube 17/02/2010

LINX B-Tube - Take your music with you, and share it!

LINX B-Tube Linx B-Tube. Today I will be reviewing the Linx B-Tube a Bluetooth speaker/hands free device. The B-Tube is quite unlike any set of portable speakers you have ever seen. Firstly the speaker unit is cylindrical, at just over 6” (145cm) long and about 1.5” (4CM) in its other plain. The small 4cm speakers are housed in either end of the spun aluminium case. On the front of the unit is a plastic inlay with the name of the device (LINX B-TUBE) and integrated into this is a small DSP microphone. A sticker on the back signifies its Bluetooth connectivity, next to this sticker is a 3.5mm line input and a small proprietary charging jack. So just to look at the B-Tube you know its going to be something special. The speakers on each end are housed in moveable 1cm housings also in spun aluminium. One end is a push MFC (multi function control), On/Off/Pairing/Answer/Hang up and the other end twists for volume up/down. Inside the packaging box is: * Linx B-Tube * Black velvet style carry pouch with B-TUBE in large label. * 3.5mm to 3.5mm fly lead to connect non-Bluetooth devices to the speakers. * A small plastic stand for the B-Tube to stop it rolling around on tabletops. * A USB to B-Link charge cable * A UK 3 adaptor plug (with short fly lead) to USB input. * Warranty card with online registration details * LINX quick start guide * Linx User Guide First use Initial charge is around 8 hours for a full charge, but once complete it should run in ...

Skullcandy Full Metal Jacket SCS2FMBZ-CZ for iphone 17/02/2010

Skullcandy Full Metal Jacket SCS2FMBZ-CZ - Feel the Bass!

Skullcandy Full Metal Jacket SCS2FMBZ-CZ for iphone Skullcandy Full Metal Jacket SCD2FMBZ-CZ for iphone/blackberry. Overview If you’re in the market for a set of earphones to replace your standard apple buds (which I personally find very uncomfortable and not very good quality) then you could do much worse than a set of Skullcandy ear buds. Skullcandy tend the target the younger trendy generation with their surfer/mountain biking/skate board advertising, but don’t discount them just because they want to stand out from the rest of the headphone market. There won’t be any comparison in this review to rival products from firms such as Sennheiser as I currently don’t have a set of their ear buds to compare with. Features * Speaker Diameter – 11mm * Magnet type – NdFeB * Frequency Range – 16-20K Hz, Impedance – 16 ohms * Max input power – 500mw * Gold plated 3.5mm plug * In-line mic * Pause/play/answer/hangup multi-function button * Armoured cabled * Aluminium casings Feel and Form The FMJ (Full Metal Jacket) name isn’t just a rip off from a film; almost every part of the earphones is hewn out of aluminium (aside from the cable). The headphone jack the point where the cable splits to feed each earphone, the inline remote and the earphones are all cased in an aluminium shell. Available in 3 attractive colours, chrome, silver and black. The use of aluminium gives the headphones a solid feel but doesn’t make them feel too heavy. They do weigh more than standard plastic iphone ear ...

Falling Balls! (iPhone) 17/02/2010

OMG! Balls from the sky!

Falling Balls! (iPhone) Falling Balls! Game outline You’re a little stick man in a black & White world, your only object in life is to run and dodge balls falling from the sky and stay alive for as long as possible. There are 3 levels of game play; Classic Mode, Advanced Mode and finally Ninja Mode. Graphics Are simple 2 dimensional line drawings, you; a simple stick man, and falling balls of varying sizes. Everything is black and white, except for the eventual red splat you’ll make when you eventually get overwhelmed with falling balls. On screen info is in the form of your current Score at the top left of the screen, your highest Score at the top right of the screen, and a pause button mid way down the right side of the screen (this pauses the game and brings up the Main Menu/ Play Game option) Controls This couldn’t be simpler you control your character by leaning your landscape mode iPod Touch/iPhone from side to side to make your stick man run in the direct of the tilt. Would I recommend this game? I actually do recommend this game, for one thing its free, to be honest its not really worth paying for. However it doesn’t task the iPod Touch/iPhone too much so probably won’t kill your battery like many games do. It’s a very simple game, so no mastering difficult controls. It’s the perfect antidote to 5mins of down time. Falling Balls! It does exactly what it says on the Tin! ...

Rolando (iPhone) 16/02/2010

Rolando its no Loco Roco

Rolando (iPhone) Rolando Quick Review Story This is a cartoon style game where you use the iPod Touch/iPhone in built accelerometer to control your little ball character through a side scrolling universe. Your objective in any given level is to get from the start to the little cave at the end of the level, using only tilting the iPod Touch to guide your little ball left and right and sliding your finger up to make him jump. Game Idea This story is clearly borrowed from the game Loco Roco on PSP an amazingly simple and fun game. Unfortunately Rolando is not a patch on the original concept. Your little Rolando ball is ridged hard, and seems artificial in his environment; where as character in Loco Roco is fluid and squidges around as he rolls. In Rolando you can team up with other Rolando, also “borrowed” from Loco Roco, but in that game your character combine to create a super Loco Roco, which can build up great speed and shrug off “baddies” easily, some sections of the game require you to split your Loco Roco into his mini buddies, this is great fun and sorely missing from Rolando. Interface Poorly executed, when you have multiple Rolando you need to drag around them to highlight them all which is not easy. The tilt feature is the only good concept which differentiates it slightly from Loco Roco (although its controls are still better). Graphics Basically poor, they’ve tried to replicate the bright vibrant colour of Loco Roco and to some degree ...

Archos 7 160GB 15/02/2010

Archos 7 - The big boys ipod!?

Archos 7 160GB The Archos 7 is has been around for a while now, it fights for market share in a busy sector of PMP's (Portable Media Players). So what makes the Archos 7 the device for you? Well its got a 7" screen for a start, which makes it about 3 times larger than an iPod touch (and many of the competitors). 7" is the perfect size for watching a movie on your traveling, by car, train or plane. In fact its large enough for 2 to share the viewing experience without having to squint or hold the device close to your face. Its that 7" display and the large hard drive that are the Archos 7 saving grace, because for all the features it has in addition many of them are crippled or disadvantages in some ways in comparison to the iPod touch. The screen big enough, bright enough and vibrant of colour, and the hard drive big enough to hold enough movies and tv shows to keep you occupied for weeks of viewing. Other features include Opera web browser, email support, music player, built in widgets, some customisation, PDF support, WiFi, upgradable firmware, software packs, snap-on items (head cam, DVR, battery etc) online content from Archos, touch screen technology, removable battery, beautiful shiny bronze metal case. Built in leg stand, unique in the PMP market I believe, perfect on the large Archos 7. However for all that the above are great features they are all in some way hampered by Archos poor customer support. Web Opera does not have support for the latest Flash ...

Shanghai Mahjong (iPhone) 15/02/2010

Classic brainteaser on ipod touch or iphone

Shanghai Mahjong (iPhone) Mahjong is the typical type of game to port over to the iphone, simple and easy to play a quick game but one that also requires a bit of thought and keeps your brain functioning. There is nothing outstanding about this particular port of Mahjong other than its low cost relative ease of play. For those whom have never played Mahjong its a game of tiles, stacked and arranged in such a way that you can't lift a tile unless its free on at least 1 side and doesn't have a tile stacked over it in any way. You select a tile then find a matching tile and click that, if the tiles are free to move then the tiles are removed from the board. And you continue this until there are no remaining tiles on the board, or you run out of moves (dependant on how good you are, good observational skills and awareness are essential to completing a game). Graphically the tiles are clear and easy to make out but due to their size can be tricky to pick sometimes. Being able to use the pinch/zoom feature in this game would have given it a 4*(star) rating, especially for those with less than perfect eye sight. Its also a game thats good to play when your a bit tired but your mind is still active, but not if your eyes are tired as you'll soon suffer from eye strain. To get 5*(star) this game would have to introduce something new, which it doesn't. Something different and new would be co-op play? or massive games with many more tiles than normal, requiring you to scroll the screen to find your ...
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