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Motorola MPx200

Motorola MPx200

Motorola became the first handset manufacturer to openly declare a Windows Mobile-based smartphone when it announced the <A href="http://reviews.zdnet.co.uk/hardware/mobilephones/0,39023925,39116278,00.htm">MPx200</A> earlier this year in an exclusive deal with Orange. The device joins Orange's SPV, now on its third incarnation as the SPV E200, as one of only two current models of phone running Microsoft's operating system available in the UK. Motorola has done a fairly good job, although Bluetooth and a camera are both absent from the hardware, while the SPV E200 runs a more recent version of Microsoft's software. The MPx200 is available on Orange's network and is free with certain tariffs. It will also be offered shortly on a pay-as-you-go basis.

December 17, 2003 by in Mobility

Jabra BT200

Jabra BT200

Jabra is another company trying to make the headset look less like a growth on your ear. The BT200 is an inexpensive, unsophisticated headset that's suitable for less demanding users, and is designed to be less obvious in use.

December 16, 2003 by in Hardware

Sony Ericsson HBH-35

Sony Ericsson HBH-35

Sony Ericsson has designed a sleek and stylish headset that manages to be reasonably unobtrusive, despite having a boom microphone. Also, although it's at the heavier end of the range of headsets, its design means its still quite comfortable. It's also one of the highest-priced Bluetooth headsets we've seen.

December 16, 2003 by in Hardware

Fujitsu Siemens Pocket LOOX 610 BT/WLAN

Fujitsu Siemens Pocket LOOX 610 BT/WLAN

When we reviewed Fujitsu Siemens’ first handheld, the <A href="http://reviews.zdnet.co.uk/hardware/handhelds/0,39023880,10001512,00.htm">Pocket LOOX 600</A>, we thought it was a serviceable device, but didn’t find anything especially outstanding. This time around, with the LOOX 610 BT/WLAN, Fujitsu Siemens has pulled out most of the stops in terms of specifications, and has come up with a good-value alternative to HP’s high-end iPAQs. However, moderate battery life and lack of SDIO support let the side down.

December 9, 2003 by in Mobility

Logitech QuickCam Sphere

Logitech QuickCam Sphere

The success of instant messaging has spurred Logitech to add a range of IM-friendly features to its latest Webcam. The QuickCam Sphere, which costs £79.99 (inc. VAT) from Amazon, delivers plenty of features and applications: a Webcam with an integrated microphone and mechanical pan and tilt ability should have wide appeal; add a face tracking capability that allows the camera to automatically follow you around, plus ‘one’click’ video email, and you’ve got a very attractive package.

December 8, 2003 by in Hardware

Mitac Mio 339

Mitac Mio 339

The Mio 339 is the second Pocket PC to hit the UK from Taiwan-based company Mitac, following its entry level <A href="http://reviews.zdnet.co.uk/hardware/handhelds/0,39023880,10003117,00.htm">Mio 338</A>. This is the first Pocket PC we’ve seen that incorporates a digital stills/video camera, and it has one or two other nice features too. But it enters a crowded market where there’s lots of similarly priced competition: so is the camera enough to make the Mio 339 a viable choice?

December 1, 2003 by in Mobility

Olympus DS-660

Olympus DS-660

Tapes are out for dictation machines these days, as manufacturers and users cross the digital divide into the world of flash-memory-based devices. Much of this has been prompted by the lowering of flash memory prices over the past few years, and now pretty much any dictation machine comes with enough memory to store the equivalent of a sack-full of tapes. Memory is so abundant now that many devices double up as disk storage, with some even adding an MP3 player for good measure.

November 27, 2003 by in Hardware

LaCie Ethernet Disk

LaCie Ethernet Disk

LaCie is best known for its external storage options, and the company recently expanded its portfolio to include a Network Attached Storage (NAS) range, the Ethernet Disk. Designed to run ‘headless’ in a rack, the Ethernet Disk can also serve as a PC if required. Its target is the small workgroup market, and this file and print server supports between 10 and 25 users. Several capacities are available, ranging from an entry-level 80GB (£329, ex. VAT, reviewed here) right up to 500GB (£999 ex. VAT). As NAS kit goes, the Ethernet Disk range carries relatively low price tags, and so offers good value for money.

November 24, 2003 by in Storage

Logitech io Personal Digital Pen

Logitech io Personal Digital Pen

The io Personal Digital Pen from Logitech, which looks like a futuristically designed marker-pen, incorporates an optical sensor that captures your keystrokes. Software inside the pen digitises these, turning them into information a PC can understand and display. For the pen to work in this way, you have to write on special ‘digital paper’, although its ordinary ink cartridges allow you to write on standard paper too. The digital paper incorporates an irregular grid of tiny dots, and it’s these that allow the optical sensor in the pen to do its job.

November 21, 2003 by in Hardware

Nokia Wireless Car Kit

Nokia Wireless Car Kit

Driving while using a handheld mobile phone is to become illegal in the UK from 1 December 2003. With on-the-spot fines of £30, rising to a maximum £1,000 fine if you are taken to court, the case for evaluating hands-free car kits becomes more topical by the day. There are several reasonably priced wireless hands-free devices available. Nokia’s Bluetooth-based Wireless Car Kit is compatible with the company’s 3650, 6310, 6310i, 6650, 8910 and 8910i handsets, as well as other Bluetooth 1.1 phones that support the Handsfree profile.

November 17, 2003 by in Hardware

Sony Ericsson GC79

Sony Ericsson GC79

Unveiled back in the spring at CeBIT, Sony Ericsson’s new GC79 wireless PC Card has finally seen the light of day. But the wait has been worth it: the GC79 adds wireless LAN functionality to the feature set of the card it supersedes, the GC75, a tri-band GSM/GPRS PC Card. Plug the GC79 in to your notebook, and you now get the best of both wireless worlds -- fast Internet access when you’re in a Wi-Fi hotspot and decent (but not quite so fast) Internet access when you’re elsewhere.

November 14, 2003 by in Hardware

Sony Ericsson P900

Sony Ericsson P900

Sony Ericsson has released the P900 smartphone, an update to the well-regarded <A href="http://reviews.zdnet.co.uk/hardware/mobilephones/0,39023925,10002616,00.htm">P800</A>. The size has been reduced slightly, the screen improved, the appearance tidied up and some more software added. If you're looking for a big leap forward from the P800, the P900 isn't it. However, as with the P800, it's a well-featured and capable smartphone that should be high on your list of options.

November 13, 2003 by in Smartphones

Axis 205 Network Camera

Axis 205 Network Camera

USB Webcams are ten a penny these days, but they generally suffer from moderate image quality, low frame rates and lack flexibility (these are ‘dumb’ devices that must be tethered to a PC running the requisite software). By contrast, even an entry-level network camera such as the £139 (ex. VAT) Axis 205 delivers good resolution and decent frame rates; also, thanks to its built-in Linux OS and Web server software, it can operate independently anywhere there’s a network connection. If you want to monitor your home or your business remotely, or stream live video onto your Web site, the Axis 205 Network Camera is an excellent starting point.

November 11, 2003 by in Hardware

Xerox Phaser 6250DT

Xerox Phaser 6250DT

Xerox has pushed the speed limits of colour printing back even further with the launch of the 26 page per minute (ppm) Phaser 6250 range. This one-pass colour laser produces richly coloured, double-sided documents very quickly. The networked printing support is also excellent. However, some qualities of the printer's output make it more suitable for general office work than high-quality graphics printing, such as colour proofing.

November 10, 2003 by in Printers

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