Reviews

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 to trying a vertical messenger style, then I may have discovered one you would do well to consider… The Booq…


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 long before I started to have problems. The phone would hang, the email program would crash, calls wouldn?t ring but…


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 device which has its own dedicated movie format available next to the DVD section in almost any electronics’ store. Yet…


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 get that data off before I did the hard reset. Before I did I loaded up SPB Backup to see…


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 of Diet Coke and small bowl of chocolate covered espresso beans somewhere accessible – but not so near that I…


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 department. Next came the FL12, which I described as an “FL6 on steroids” due to the addition of a cluster…


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, and it doesn’t come with a cute Lilliputian dock, but the it does have a slot which can accept SD…


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 background, so that any would-be thief cannot disable the software. Obviously you will need to install it to the…


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 best of my knowledge has never expressed interest in owning one. But by not having one, Papa has missed out…


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 was an issue with controlling all of these devices. Four components makes four remotes. It’s not that four remotes is…


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 device, this one has another trick up its sleeve. Composed of smooth-grain black leather with black stitching, the case…


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 that I’ve been using – obviously it is not the proper solution for the thousands of dollars in computer hardware…


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 Card is available in 1GB size, and unlike the Walletex memory card I reviewed last year, it does not have…


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 EXIM screen protector has been for my Treo 750v. Due to its excellent size and rubberised casing, I carry the…


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 on, and decide for yourself. I’ve been playing with the Cowon A2 personal media player (PMP) for a few weeks…


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, PDA second, which is an interesting concept these days.


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 is my desk.? I work from home, so in addition to all the “usual” computer equipment that I have maintain…


The i.Tech Virtual Keyboard Unboxing

The i.Tech Bluetooth Virtual Keyboard has been on my list of must-try items ever since I first heard about it – which if I remember correctly was in 2003! The first time I saw pictures of a keyboard which worked by beaming a red laser display on any flat surface, my inner geek did a happy dance! This is a product that looks like came straight out of a Philip K. Dick novel, out of a Star Trek episode, out of a…you get the picture. 😉 Like many new technologies, the VKB had a few false-starts and took longer to…


The Skullcandy MFM MP3 Integrated Stereo Headphones Review

I’d be the first to admit that I have never been snowboarding. I’m such a klutz that it takes very little imagination to picture me lying flat on my face in the snow or worse – lying broken at a tree’s base. So would it make me a total poseur if I said that I am intrigued by much of the snowboarder’s gear I’ve seen on the web? Of all the sports, they seem to have the coolest musically integrated gear. Today I’ll take a look at one such piece of equipment, the Skullcandy Mark Frank Montoya MP3 Player, a…


The Vaja MiniSD x2 Case Review

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of reviewing a Vaja case for my O2 XDA Atom. As we often do, Judie and I were chatting online about Vaja’s cases, and she described them as “yummy” when it came to their deep leather scent. I laughed this off, but after experiencing their case’s wonderful aroma for myself, I can tell you that they indeed do smell yummy! It goes beyond the scent, though. These cases are just outstanding and really are a wonderful way to luxuriously protect your PDA, phone, or MP3 Player. Enamored by the scent and the…


All About the Treo 680

[Ed. note: This unboxing with comments was written and translated by Michael Lin (“puttingdog”) and posted on the Palm is Life Forum. The original Chinese version with larger pictures may be seen here. Gear Diary would like to thank Michael for making his pictures and commentary available to an English Speaking audience and Larry for obtaining Michael’s permission to re-post in English.] The Palm Treo 680… My first impression: why does it take so long just to turn on the machine! It takes almost 50 seconds, dude! Appearance I assumed the coating on the front side and the back are…