Microsoft Surface

Gear Games Review: Fierce Laser Gaming Mouse

Gamers are a funny group when it comes to controllers, and none are more particular than PC gamers with their mice. I remember years ago buying a BOX of Microsoft Intellimouse 3.0 mice … that is 5 mice! That way I had one for any situation or possible computer I would access. The reason? The two side buttons were perfect for games like Jedi Knight II where I could assign them to Force Push and Pull. The question now: is the Fierce Laser Gaming Mouse something to inspire that sort of idiotic devotion? Read on and see! The Hype: We’ve…


Hewlett Packard Elitebook 2540p Laptop Review

Last year I reviewed the Hewlett Packard (HP) Elitebook 8440w Mobile Workstation, declaring it one that I would love to be able to keep and use in my daily life, and as the best business laptop I’d ever used. Well, move over 8440w – because I have a new favorite, the svelte but ultra-powerful Elitebook 2540p! The Hype: Stay connected and productive on the go—without getting weighed down. Starting at just 3.38 lb, the durable HP EliteBook 2540p is HP’s smallest and lightest EliteBook, designed for maximum portability and uncompromised performance. Ultra-portable: • Compact, lightweight design with a 12.1-inch diagonal…


Review: Arctic K381 Slim Keyboard For Windows

Our school finally recently replaced the teacher workstation computers with updated machines running Windows 7.  One thing they did not replace was the old keyboards.  I am not sure how old the keyboard I had was, but it was enormous.  I remember a few years ago when keyboard seemed to have the bigger is better phase and this was a remnant from that era.  The keyboard was so high that I had to use a wrist pad to raise my hands up to even use it.  I was not a fan of the large spring-loaded keys either.  (I know some…


The Lenovo ThinkCentre M90z All-In-One Desktop Computer Review

photos by Kevin Lenovo recently sent me a 23″ touchscreen ThinkCentre M90z all-in-one desktop computer to use for long-term evaluation. Because of its similar form factor to the ThinkCentre A70z (which had a 19″ non-touchscreen monitor), I already knew that I would like its space-saving design. But what I didn’t expect was how much I would come to appreciate the touchscreen; having a desktop computer with a touchscreen has never seemed that important to me before, as I am used to more traditional methods of input. As with the A70z, the M90z came packaged in a ThinkCentre bag; minimal cardboard…


Dragon Age: Origins The Darkspawn Chronicles DLC: PC/XBOX360 Game Review

I have already detailed my feelings about the epic role-playing game Dragon Age: Origins, stating in my review that “not only do I love nearly every aspect of the game, I also love how after finishing it a couple of times I am thoroughly enjoying a new play-through as I contemplate my actions and consequences from the prior runs.” After such praise, it is a pretty easy guess that I am a lock to get any and all new content for the game. There have already been several add-ons released, from the initial Return to Ostagar DLC to the much…


Translation and Frustration: Learning a Language on a Budget, Week Three

photo credit: woodleywonderworks So far, I’ve talked about dictionaries and dictionary sites, and other language-learning resources on the Internet.   There is, however, one Internet service that many of us will come across, even if we aren’t in the process of learning a language – online translation tools. Arguably, the biggest sites today for these services are translate.google.com, and babelfish.yahoo.com. This week, I want to talk a little bit about the differences in these sites and how they approach language translation and some things you can do to make your translation more effective and accurate.


Windows Mobile 6.5 is Officially Released

Last week Wayne and I had the opportunity to sit in on an NDA workshop discussing the new and updated features of Windows Mobile 6.5. Wayne got hung up and couldn’t attend (pesky day job getting in the way, again!), but I was able to sit in an hear a bit about 6.5 and Marketplace, Microsoft’s new software store for Windows Phones. Those of you who read our GearChat back in February will recognize many of the new 6.5 screens, and yes – the Zune-like interface is still present.


The HP Pavilion dv2-1199us Laptop Reviewed

photos by Kevin As many of you know, two different MacBook Airs in a row have performed as my main computer for over a year. I can get away with using what others have called an “oversized netbook” because I don’t do a lot of processor-intensive computing beyond basic video and photo editing, and much of what I do can be done “in the cloud.” I would be lying if I didn’t say that part of the Mac’s attraction for me has always been hardware based. From the first time I laid eyes on Mitchell’s MacBook Pro, I knew it…


HTC Touch Pro2 After Awhile

If you haven’t already, please read our Initial Thoughts on the HTC Touch Pro2. That’s where you’ll find a full gallery of Touch Pro2 pictures as well as our unboxing banter. So without further ado… Drew: The TP2 Rocks!  I haven’t been this excited about a WM phone since the Advantage came out and then I was mollified for quite some time with the TyTN II.  The gorgeous screen, super keyboard, and excellent phone/sound definitely make it a keeper if you are in the corporate world.


Unboxing the HP Pavilion dv2-1199us Laptop

HP and Microsoft sent me an HP Pavilion dv2-1199us Entertainment PC to try out. Once I got past the fact that the model number is a mouthful, I couldn’t help but notice how lovely this moonlight white computer is – both in appearance and specifications. The exterior is described as a “magnesium-aluminum-alloy case in a white imprint finish,” but that barely describes it; the look is stunning.  The touch pad is a mirrored surface, and it runs Windows Vista Home Premium with Service Pack 1 (64-bit). The dv2 has a bunch of bells and whistles…both in the hardware and in…


Facebook for Windows Mobile Review

I have a confession: I am not a big Facebook user. I know this can get me thrown out of being a late-term gen-Xer and/or banned from geekdom, but there it is. However, despite my best attempts, I can’t avoid using it entirely. Everyone I’ve ever met or ever will meet seems to have a Facebook profile, so I do my best to keep up on a semi-regular basis. I spend a great deal of time on my phone, so when Microsoft released a Facebook app for Windows Mobile I was very excited to review it. Will this make me…


The HTC S740 (Rose) Windows Mobile Standard Phone Review

[This is a joint review between Doug Goldring of JAMM and Judie Lipsett of Gear Diary; it will appear simultaneously on both sites. Doug’s comments are in black, and Judie’s are blue italics] The last time I used a non-touch screen version of Windows Mobile was the Motorola Q.  It ran Windows Mobile 5, and I quickly learned that the interface was nothing short of terrible.  That phone lasted about a week before I declared the phone completely unusable and gave it away to a friend.  That was then.  This is now: Windows Mobile 6.1.  And a lot has changed….


Spb Mobile Shell 3 Review

[Note: This is a three-way, multi-site review.  Chris Spera (italics), Clinton Fitch (bold), and Doug Goldring (plain text)have all teamed up to review Mobile Shell 3 together.  It is being simultaneously posted on Gear Diary, and Just Another Mobile Monday.] It is hard to believe that it has been only a little over two years (February 2007) since Spb Software House revolutionized the way we use our Windows Mobile devices.  Since that time, dozens of other software developers and OEMs such as HTC, Samsung, and Sony-Ericsson have adopted this same technique of replacing the user interface entirely.  Through all of…


The Microsoft Arc Mouse Review

I have been a fan of the ever shrinking computer since I was in college.  Laptops, netbooks, PDAs, my motto these days is small, compact, and light.  The whole time, however, there has been one thing the gnawed at the back of my brain…probably due to the numerous hand cramps I have gotten over the years.  There is just no good way to control the mouse.  This started with the eraser tip controller, which worked well enough, if you don’t mind rubbing against a tiny rubber nub in the middle of your keyboard (which was also prone to accidental swipes). …


The Sprint HTC Touch Diamond Review

You might remember that when I attended the Seattle Mobius in May, I was given the European version of the HTC Touch Diamond, which for network reasons I opted to have sent to Mitchell in Australia. The Diamond version he received and reviewed was at first glance nearly identical to the Sprint version I’ll be covering today, with the exception of their back sides. During his testing period, Mitchell found that he liked the small size of the device, the multitude of radios packed in that small package (HSDPA, WiFi, BT, GPS and FM), the sharpness of the 2.8″ VGA…


HTC Advantage X7510 Review Part 2

In the first part of my review of the HTC Advantage X7510, I covered the physical hardware of this new device that resides somewhere between Handheld PCs and Ultra Mobile PCs. If you haven’t had a chance to read the first part of the review, you can do so here and then pick up this review afterward. In this part of the review I will be covering the software aspects of the device now that I have received the final shipping ROM from HTC. I will start by covering Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional, the Operating System of the X7510 and…


Celio’s REDFLY – The Ultimate Smartphone Extension Review Part 2

In part one of my review of Celio’s REDFLY, I covered the REDFLY’s physical attributes. For part two I will cover the functionality of the device. First, it is important to remember that the REDFLY will only work with Windows Mobile 5.0 or 6 Professional (PocketPC) and Standard (Smartphone) devices and currently only a small subset of the total number of devices available. For a complete list of what devices are supported visit . Having said that, I did test the REDFLY with a number of devices including several that were not on the Celio website. All of them worked…


The MWg Zinc II Unboxed and Discussed

It was almost a year ago that Clinton posted his review of the O2 Zinc, and since then a lot has changed. As I mentioned in my MWg Mobius posting, O2 was purchased by eXpansys, and as part of the purchase eXpansys acquired everything and has now rebranded the company as MWg. Today I’m going to share my early thoughts regarding the MWg Zinc II which I was given at the Mobius event; the second part of this review will come in a few weeks and will cover the software and overall user experience. But first, the unboxing… Anyone who…


The Samsung SGH-i620 Windows Mobile Smartphone Review, Part One

The first time I saw the Samsung i620 in the flesh was in the lobby of the Amsterdam Hilton last November. Derek Snyder had brought a white one to Mobius, and Vincent and I couldn’t wait to play with it! Vincent is one of those guys who always has a video camera glued to his hands, and before I knew it, we were shooting. Let me take a moment to say that one of the things I like most about V is that he doesn’t look at me like I’m an idiot when I get excited about a new device;…


The Toshiba Qosmio Review: Better, Stronger, Faster Than Anything You Have Seen Before

[Note: This is the second part of my look at the Toshiba Qosmio.  For my unboxing and initial impressions, take a look at Part 1] When I first started looking at the Qosmio laptop, I thought I was going to have a panic attack.  There were just so many different features here.  How was I possibly going to discuss them all?  Was I in over my head?  In fact, I came close to wondering whether I should have asked for it at all.  Yikes!  Talk about a crisis of confidence.  Luckily, I had a chance to discuss this with Judie,…


The Toshiba Satellite M205-S7452 REVIEW

Several year ago, one of my Sunday morning rituals was relaxing on the couch, kicking back with a cup of coffee and reviewing the big box circulars from Staples, Circuit City or Best Buy. I would flip through and fantasize about the expensive laptops pictured in the ads, thinking that one day in the far off future that prices have got to fall. Thankfully today, it’s not uncommon to find budget-based laptops starting at $499 and up. Fast forward to the holiday season of 07-08 and there are some good mid-priced mainstream models available including the Toshiba Satellite M205-S7452. Let’s…