Reviews

IXT Systems Karaoke Microphone Review

Many of the cheaper DVD players these days include inputs on the front panel for connecting microphones for karaoke. More expensive DVD players however typically don’t include such functionality, and that?s where a company called IXT Systems has stepped in to bridge the gap. They have produced a microphone designed to integrate with any DVD Player to turn it into a full-blown karaoke machine. The microphone comes in a coloured retail box showing pictures of the microphone, and descriptions of…


The Spectec SDG-810 GPS Receiver Unboxed

After all of the excitement caused by my December 23rd post, it was almost anti-climatic to receive the Spectec SDG-810 SDIO GPS Module today. Almost! 😉 Included in the box are the driver disk, the module and a nifty plastic case. The module comes with a 128MB microSD. And I think that it looks pretty odd hanging out of my Treo 700wx. 😉 When the GPS module is installed and the PDA is turned on, an LED indicates that it…


The Minds Refined Art Dealer Game Review

Soon after I signed Gear Diary up for Google’s AdSense, I noticed a new advertisement for something called Art Dealer. I had already weeded out the totally irrelevant ads for Kangol hats, heart-shaped boxes of chocolate, a zen garden, and lingerie (don’t ask!), and I was tempted to weed out this ad, too. But instead I made note of the site’s name, and I visited to see what it was all about. After spending a little bit of time at…


Creative Zen Vision W Unboxing

After my disappointing experience with the Cowon A2 –and yup, I did return it–but still determined to see if a personal media player (PMP) can be a good thing to have around, I decided to give the Creative Zen Vision W a try (I’m still on the waiting). Once again, the basic specs of the device are intriguing: Creative Zen Vision W (the widescreen version), available at various places for around $300 (30GB) or $375 (60GB) 9.7oz/276g (30GB); 10.5oz/297g (60GB)…


The Booq Mamba L Vertical Shoulder Bag Review

Are you still holding out for your perfect laptop bag? Perhaps you’ve been looking for one that isn’t too fussy, one that has plenty of large storage compartments, one that is made of strong durable materials, that uses a minimum of Velcro, one that has many pockets of all sizes…and most importantly, one that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. If 2007 is the year you have vowed to find your perfect laptop bag, and if you are open…


The Palm Treo 750v WM5 Pocket PC Phone Review

In August this year I went 3G. I moved over to Three, a 3G-only carrier here in Australia that provides the best prices on calls, caps, data rates and other services. I didn?t want to be locked into any contracts, so I bought both the SIM (or in this case, USIM) and phone outright. I got the Sony Ericsson M600i, which has a fantastic form factor, including a touch screen and thumboard into its very compact dimensions. However, it wasn?t…


The Psyclone Gamer PSC99 NODUS PSP Sound System Review

The Sony PlayStation Portable, or PSP, is one of the most popular handheld gaming devices available – and with good reason. The PSP features a gorgeous 4.3″, 480 x 272 pixel, TFT, LCD, 16:9 wide screen which provides an amazing gaming experience. This WiFi enabled device is also perfect for use as a portable media player; it can be used to listen to music or to watch full-length movies. To the best of my knowledge, it is also the only…


The SPB Backup for Pocket PC Review

My Treo started playing up recently, with random software crashes and some sort of battery drain. It got to the point where my Treo would only last 6hrs without any use before it would be dead. I had also just received my MacBook Pro, but I couldn’t get it to sync with it, so I decided it was time for a hard reset. Since I hadn’t been able to sync all my contacts/calendar to my MacBook yet, I needed to…


The Belkin CushTop Review

When I bought my latest laptop I envisioned spending more time sitting on the office couch, versus time spent sitting at my desk. In this lovely fantasy, I would no longer sit with my back half-turned to the room; instead I would have my feet propped on an ottoman, with WiFi streaming to the laptop on my lap, and Gizmo (my Yorkie) curled at my side. CNN would be on the television, and I would would have my ever-present cup…


The Lumaray FL12-RX LED Flashlight Review

It’s hard to believe that this will be my fourth Lumaray LED flashlight review, but it’s true. Every time Lumaray releases a new light, I have to wonder what they could possibly do to improve upon their past version, but each time they manage to surprise and impress me. Let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we? First there was the FL6, an intensely bright six LED flashlight that borrowed its good looks from a science fiction movie’s prop…


The Brando USB MP3 Player + SD/MMC Card Reader Review

If you haven’t yet succumbed to the Apple iPod shuffle, then you might be interested in taking a look at another flash-based MP3 player that not only costs less, it can be configured to carry significantly more music for the same amount of money. I’m talking about the Brando USB MP3 Player + SD/MMC Card Reader, a device which shares one major trait with the shuffle – no LCD screen. No, the Brando version doesn’t have a stylish aluminum skin,…


The Ultimate Theft Alert v3 Review

Ultimate Theft Alert is an application that runs hidden in the background and monitors the SIM card in your Windows Mobile Phone Edition device. It is designed to send an SMS message from your phone in the event that the SIM card is changed. Installation is just like a regular Windows Mobile application, but configuration requires a little digging in File Explorer. You will not find any shortcuts for UTA in any menu on your device. It runs stealthily in…


The Presto Service and HP Printing Mailbox Review – Part One

My ex’s grandfather is 88 years old. Papa, as we call him, was stationed in Pearl Harbor and Saipan during World War II, and to this day he won’t ride a plane because of experiences during the war. This means that he doesn’t travel anywhere unless it is accessible by car or rail. Papa has three children, eight grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren, and they live in various places around the country. He does not have a computer and to the…


The Logitech Harmony 890 Universal Remote Control Review

Well, I did it. I didn’t think I would, at least for a while, but I did it. I bought the big screen LCD TV, I bought the DVD player, I bought the AV receiver and home theater speakers, and I ordered digital cable. It was a sad day for my wallet, but a happy day for me. It’s something that I’ve always wanted – a top notch mini home theater of my own. I soon found out that there…


The Belkin Folio Kickstand Case for Zune Review

As many of you know, I bought a Zune shortly after they became available. While it has managed to stay amazingly scratch-free due to its durable casing material, I still don’t feel comfortable letting it roll around in the bottom of my bag. Shortly after it arrived, the hunt for a good case was on! One of the cases that caught my attention was the Belkin Folio Kickstand Case for Zune. Unlike a case that will just hold and protect…


The Belkin Concealed Surge Protector Review

I could whine about the fact that my elderly home doesn’t have enough electrical outlets for all my gadgets, but the fact is that even a newer house probably wouldn’t have enough outlets in the exact places where I would need or want them. Add to that problem a pressing need for surge protection, and it becomes obvious that a power-strip of some kind would be my best solution. But which one? Let’s look past the ancient six-plug power strip…


The Brando 1GB USB Flash Card Review

Some days it seems as if I have seen just about every form a USB flash memory device could take, but every now and then a product will come along and make me think “hey, that was a great idea!” The Brando USB Flash Card is just such an item. Measuring 3.4″ long x 2.1″ wide x 0.15″ thick, the USB Flash Card is the exact size of a credit card, and the approximate thickness of three. The USB Flash…


The EXIM Screen Protector Review

Ever since I applied my first screen protector on my XDA II Mini I have been hooked. Since then, I have purchased a screen protector for every device I own, from PDAs, to phones, iPods and cameras. I have only ever used one brand of screen protector and I have not yet found any reason to change. That brand is EXIM. I have found these screen protectors to be excellent in all areas, including durability, clarity and application. My latest…


The Cowon A2 Personal Media Player Review

This has been a very, very difficult review for me to write. Most gadgets, I find I either like them, or dislike them, or just feel kind of “eh” about them. The Cowon A2, on the other hand, arouses some pretty powerful conflicting feelings in me. I’ll try to give you all a full idea why throughout the review, but the bottom line for me with this device is, I’m totally conflicted, and there is no bottom line. So read…


The HTC Star Trek / Qtek 8500 WM5 Smartphone Review

It’s been a little over a month since I received a Qtek 8500, HTC‘s first clamshell phone which runs the Windows Mobile 5 Smartphone operating system. Unlike some of the other Smartphone OS devices available, such as the Dash and the Q, which attempt to “be all and do all” without the benefit of a touch screen and the full Pocket PC operating system, this is one model that appears to be happy just being a smart phone. Phone first,…


The Belkin Clamp-On Surge Protector Review

As you are a reader of Gear Diary, it’s pretty likely that your house is something like mine–an impossible flood of electronic gizmos, gadgets, and geegaws, both portable, and not, but all requiring a simply astonishing amount of plug-in space for wall current.? Around our stereo area it can get bad, sure; the receiver, TV, VCR, DVD, TiVo box, satellite box, etc; you need some hefty power strippage to deal with it. But for me where it gets really bad…