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Reviews written

since 12/01/2011


Samsung LE40B530 14/01/2011

This is an awesome TV

Samsung LE40B530 I've owned this TV for little over a year, and I am loving it. I had an LG before this one, and I thought that was awesome, but this is miles better. While I think that LG is still a brilliant manufacturer, I have to say that Samsung do it better. LOOKS: Black, sleek and stunning. Samsung products have always looked the part. I did tell myself not to buy another gloss black product, because of finger prints, and dust shows up easily, but this TV looked so nice, I decided to ignore me. Nice and thin for it's size, it has a stand that rotates and a red bar across the bottom, that doesn't seem to have any purpose other than to add a bit of colour. SOUND: I have read that some people have found the sound to be a bit underpowered. With me, this isn't the case. I often have to have it around the 5 mark, just to keep it quiet (if anyone is in bed, say). Around the 10 mark is loud enough to hear it just fine. No issues here. CONNECTIVITY: You get 3 HDMI ports which is good, as I have 3 HDMI devices. You also get component input, composite input, optical audio out, stereo audio out, and a PC input using a standard VGA connector. You also get a PCMCIA type slot, though I haven't researched what this is for yet, and a USB port for firmware flashing via a flash drive. The next model up, the LE-40B550, also featured video playback through USB drives. This TV does not support this. The only bad point is it only has a single SCART port. Again, I only one SCART device, but it would have ...

Microsoft Kinect - motion sensor - wired 13/01/2011

Get Kinect-ed...

Microsoft Kinect - motion sensor - wired You are the controller. So says Microsoft. And it's true. I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised when I tried this for the time. It can follow your movements very well, it knows when your waving, it can tell the difference between your hands and feet and it knows who is in front of other people. It can even detect up to 6 people while tracking up to 2. I was amazed and I couldn't stop grinning while playing it. The face recognition works well to. It will have difficulty identifying you if there are more than 2 people detected. But on your own, and it will ID your face and sign you in under the correct Gamertag. The voice recognition is brilliant. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean it will recognize your voice and your voice alone, but it will understand vocal commands. While at the Dashboard, saying XBOX will let the 360 know you are talking to it. The say KINECT. You will then start up the Kinect Hub. from here, you can use the voice commands. Say XBOX and a group of vocal options appear on screen. Say any one of them to carry out the command. So say XBOX OPEN TRAY. The disc tray will open. Saying XBOX CLOSE TRAY will close the tray, obviously. The say XBOX PLAY DISC and you'll play the disc. And it works really well. The only problem is, because it doesn't recognize individual voices, anyone can come in and say XBOX and interrupt your session, even if they didn't mean to. You will also need a fair amount of space around you to play this. Calm games such as Kinectimals ...

Acer Aspire 9303WSMi 13/01/2011

A very good laptop for it's time

Acer Aspire 9303WSMi I bought this laptop many years ago. It was my second laptop, before I bought the Dell XPS M1730. In the time that I had this Acer, I was quite pleased with it. It was pretty quick, had a nice screen and had built-in webcam (but crap resolution). Not too bad. It had an actual graphics card installed and not an integrated one, so you could play proper games on it. The Nvidia 7300 GPU had a bit of grunt behind it, and play several games well, but it was a low-cost, low-powered GPU so many newer games just wouldn't play. I tried to play OutRun 2006, and while it ran, it did feel quite jittery, and not very smooth. OutRun wasn't even that hardware intensive either. There were a few configurations available for this model. I had the 160Gb, 2Gb RAM and Nvidia 7300 256Mb config. Back then, I though this was the dogs' knackers. It is also a cheap laptop, for the hardware you get. This was one of the good things with Acer. Their laptops were very good while always being a little cheaper then the opposition. The Aspire makes a brilliant desktop replacement, as it can do many of the same jobs relatively easy, but again, don't expect high-end, graphically intensive games to run. If you don't need it for gaming, then you can't go wrong. Unlike many other laptops, which were small, this one was quite big. As such, it has a full size keyboard, which included the keypad to the left. Only the larger laptops could have this, and it's always nice feature to have. Connectivity wise, you get ...

Archos 605 WIFI 30GB 13/01/2011

Best MP3 player I've ever used

Archos 605 WIFI 30GB It may be a little bulky, and won't fit into your pocket, but considering the features this thing packs, it's no wonder. It has a nice, vibrant 4.3in touchscreen which is brilliant for watching videos on. It does all the normal things you'd expect from an MP3 player: it plays audio (MP3/WMA), plays videos (AVI/WMV), view images. The usual. This model of the 605, though, has built-in WiFi, so you can connect to any wireless network (as long as you have the p/w) and do some internet browsing. But not right away. The Archos 605 WiFi requires that you purchase 'plugins'. These consist of the Opera web browser, MPEG-2 and H.264 codecs and various games. Once you've purchased the Opera plugin, you can browse the internet. The good thing about the Archos is that it uses a standard laptop hard drive, so it's pretty big. In this case, 30Gb is plenty for music and videos. The bad thing about the Archos is that it uses a standard laptop hard drive. It Does tend to sap battery power quite rapidly, and hard drives are very sensitive to knocks and bumps, so don't expect it to last as long as flash memory. You can use the touchscreen for every action you perform, from selecting what mode you want, playing/stopping, volume, skip back, skip forward, the lot. There are also a few buttons down the right side of the Archos which will also perform similar functions. The touchscreen is also finger-print resistant, which is nice. The unit comes with a pair of styluses, but there's nowhere on ...

Dell XPS M1730 12/01/2011

The Beast? Yep

Dell XPS M1730 Nicknamed The Beast by DELL, this 'laptop' certainly lives up to it's name. First off, I have yet to encounter any of the issues that many people are experiencing. Although I have only had the laptop for little over a year, it's continuously been rock solid and has never failed me. The M1730 is clearly aimed at the gaming world. This is good for me because I am a gamer. The model I purchased had dual Nvidia 8700m GTs. Unfortunately, by the time I was able to buy this laptop, Dell no longer had the 8800m GTS as an option. But never mind, 512Mb in SLi is still pretty awesome. So awesome in fact, that the last game I played, the newest NFS: Hot Pursuit (barely 2 months old) played without a problem, and seemed to run at a smooth 30-60fps. No glitching, no slowdown, nothing. The only problem with this is the heat. Sure, the XPS has 3 big fans to help keep it cool, but start playing a game and the fans will kick in, sounding like a tornado outside your window. Maybe a good idea to buy a cooling stand. The Beast looks pretty to. It has a sort of carbon fiber look to it. It's not everyone's taste, but I for one like the LEDs on the lid, the illuminate DELL logo, the touchpad and the LEDs within the speakers. I also like how the dance to the music while using Windows Media Player. You can also change the colour of the LEDs to. The keyboard also lights up, helping you to type in darker rooms. DELL had a choice of lid colours; white, grey, blue and red. i wanted red, but again, this ...

Metropolis Street Racer (Dreamcast) 12/01/2011

A racer that was way ahead... of it's time.

Metropolis Street Racer (Dreamcast) Little joke in the title there. This was one of the first 'proper' racers I'd ever played, featuring real locations, real cars even real music stations and DJs. It was also the BEST racer I'd ever played. And the same can be said even now. Although, at the time, Gran Turismo 3 on the PS2 was leading the way as a 'Real Driving Simulator', MSR was definitely the 'Real Fun Simulator'. Yeah. OK, so GT3 had realistic looking graphics (for the time) thousands of cars to choose from and so much more to, MSR was far and away so much more fun to play. Graphics maketh not a game. Playablilty does. The cars feature in MSR were those that you really wanted to drive, whereas GT3 just included as many as it can. Besides, during a game of MSR, you're very likely to have driven each car at least once. With GT3, with so many cars, you'll never drive them all, making them a waste. In the end, the game was year late. Bizarre Creations wanted to make sure this game was as perfect as it could be... but it wasn't. Early copies of the game had numerous bugs still present in the final game. Some of these bugs included Tokyo races always being at night, VMUs becoming corrupt and the Quick Race screen being blank. The major bugs were soon fixed with new copies, but small bugs still existed. The bugs also lead to the exclusion of the replay feature. My biggest annoyance is when a racing game doesn't include a replay feature (ahem EA, ahem). Who doesn't want to see their car belt down a straight or ...
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