Monday, March 20, 2006

Srarpa Vantage Rock Climbing Shoe

I’ve just recently taken up rock climbing and I’ve found it quite fun. After a few sessions at the centre and having to rent shoes from them at 2.50 a pair I decided to do away with the smelly rentals and get shoes of my own. After some searching I found www.rockrun.com and www.needlesports.com to have very reasonable prices. Both sites are based in the UK but send to other countries as well.

I decided to get the Scarpa Vantage Rock shoes because I used them in the climbing centre and liked them a lot. Before buying the shoes I decided to get some views on rock climbing shoes from some people at the centre. They said that when getting a pair of rock climbing shoes make sure you get some that are 1 size or even 2 sizes smaller than your normal foot size. This of course depends on preference. I decided to get mine about 1.5 sizes smaller and since the shoes do expand after some use they would be a perfect fit.

After climbing with them for the first time I noticed that the heel is rather stiff and bites into your skin a little bit but that should go away after while. I also noticed that these shoes are not that sticky but that could be because it is new. Also after I’m done I get blue feet because of the leather but that’s no big deal.

The shoe is well balanced with the cool looks and the great comfort when climbing or walking. Although it doesn’t have the adjustment ease of a Velcro shoe it gives the user full control over the fitting since the laces go all the way down to the toes.

So overall it is a great shoe and worth every penny.

Cheers

More Reviews....

Firstly some views on items i just got

Scarpa Vantage Rock Climbing Shoe

And….

The Powerball Hand Gyroscope

And my first game review

Star Wars: Empire At War

I'll be dishing them out over the week

Cheers

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Jabra BT205 Bluetooth Headset

I recently just got a Bluetooth earpiece form Sony Ericsson the HBH-600. I got it from O2 as a freebie since I got the K750i. I thought “Wow not bad looks quite nice!” Little did I know that it couldn’t fit me at all… So I gave it to my girlfriend and like the gadget geek that I am I set out to get another one. So after doing some research (i.e. Googling and browsing through Ebay) I finally found a decent Bluetooth headset. The Jabra BT 205. I got this headset from Ebay at a good price and couldn’t wait to receive it.

Upon receiving it I noticed the packaging looked rather boring but the headset itself looked rather appealing. I actually already knew how it looked like but I still think it looks cool. Anyway I was a little amused by their little slogan “Release Your Jabra” I thought why not put “Get Your Jabra On” OK that was lame… Moving on…

The contents of the package include the standard manual, charger, cradle, some extra minigel earpieces (standard and large) and of course the headset itself. Now normally I’d not bother reading the manual but after trying to figure out how to get my K750i to recognize my headset I gave up and recovered the manual from somewhere in my room(not the trash). By this time the remaining charge it had inside it gave out so by using my intuition I figured out how to use the cradle and charger (Pretty simple to do it actually…)

While letting my Jabra BT205 charge I thought I should see what it has to offer. Firstly the buttons, call button easily distinguished by the telephone icon on it and the volume control buttons have up and down arrows. The down arrow is a little indented as to easily distinguish the buttons by touch. As for battery life, the standby time on paper is 100 hours and a talk time of 4 hours. So that should be quite good for those who drive around a lot or need their hands when doing things. This is suitable for me since I drive a lot back home.

After leaving my Jabra to charge for 2 hours It was finally time to test it. So it was time to sync it to my phone. It didn’t actually take too long to do it. By just keeping my finger on the call button for a few seconds it allowed the BT205 to be recognized by my phone.

So time to test the sound quality, range and comfort

After calling Lucas for a while, I realized the sound was quite clear but some times muffled. The microphone it a little weird though. Lucas could hear me better when I use the Jabra on the right ear rather than on the left. As for the range, I was quite impressed because I could still hear easily when phone and I were in different rooms but when the doors are closed the signal quality is reduced quite drastically. I don’t think this is that big a deal because most people will be using this when driving and their phones will at most be in their bag. This headset is also very comfortable with the behind-the-ear style it sits nicely and doesn’t hurt at all. Its co comfortable you could forget that it was there.

Overall the Jabra BT205 is a very good quality Bluetooth headset and worth the money I got it for. I’d recommend this to anyone who needs a good Bluetooth headset for everyday use.

Logitech MX610 Laser Mouse review

The Logitech MX610 is the… well we could call it the “Big Brother” of the MX700 although the numbers a slightly smaller. Basically it is a new version of the very good MX700 (I had one before I got the MX610).

So out of the package you get the mouse, USB wireless receiver dongle and manuals etc. First looks of the MX610 are good. There is cool factor there and it looks rather stylish. The ergonomics are great too. I have rather big hands so I need big mice. The MX610 doesn’t look too big but it fits perfectly in my palm, much like my old MX700 and it uses AA batteries so my rechargeable batteries I got wont go to waste. Unfortunately the design is more favorable for the right hander than it is for a left hander. The mouse has 12 buttons; the usual left click and right click buttons, back and forward buttons, 3 volume control buttons, left and right scroll buttons, the middle button and of course the new dedicated Mail and Chat buttons. If you use the software, 10 of the buttons can be changed to perform a different function. The Mail and Chat buttons cannot be changed from its preset functions.

So that’s the first looks of the mouse.

Now more about its features,

First of are the dedicated Mail and Chat buttons, how cool is that!! Buttons that you press to check your mail and chat to your buddies!! Such innovation from Logitech… Right more on that later.

Next the USB wireless receiver dongle. Well it’s small and doesn’t take up space on your desk, so it is laptop friendly too. Ok it uses the new 2.4 GHz frequency which helps to avoid interference between the receiver and the mouse. I haven’t really noticed the difference, but it sounds cool!!

Ok... Time to plug it in and use it…

Firstly plugging in the USB receiver. I had some trouble with this but I guess it isn’t a big deal. When I got the mouse I only had space in the front USB ports so I thought it would work there but NO.. it didn’t work. So I rearranged a few things and stuck it in the back. Then when it came to getting the Reciever to recognize the mouse I had to perform some sort of funny clicking ritual and finally got it to work.


The movement is smooth and easy. The cursor doesn’t jump like with the MX1000. (Luc has that mouse) All the buttons work even without the software installed. The Mail and Chat button don’t blink but open up Outlook and Messenger when pressed. Finally time to install the software, Logitech Setpoint.

Some say that first looks always make a good impression but then never judge a book by its cover. Well Setpoint certainly did impress me with its looks but on the inside it is just a dumb blond. The interface was really neat and quite intuitive but the functions are rather touchy. For example, I changed the mute button to open my browser using the Function Key assignment. It worked the first few times but then after I restart my computer it doesn’t work again. So I have to remove the Function Key assignment and then reassign it again. Another problem is the Mail and Chat buttons. The idea of having these buttons on a mouse is really cool and fantastic but only if it work properly. Somehow on my mouse the chat button doesn’t blink when some one sends me a message and the mail button only blinks if I have MS Outlook or Outlook Express running. What happens if you use Mozilla’s Email client, Thunderbird, well too bad because Setpoint only works with Outlook and Outlook Express. If you use GMail or Hotmail or Yahoo Mail or any other online Email client you could have Outlook access your inbox for you but that would take quite a bit of configuring to achieve. Anyway Setpoint looks great and don’t get me wrong I’d love to use it once they give it a bit more configurative ability and iron out the creases but for now I’ll stick to not using it.

Another thing about the MX610 that really impresses me is the fact that is switches off automatically when you shut down your PC. It really is very useful. Even when you leave your PC on to download something you can always switch the mouse off manually. The battery life is also extremely good. My rechargeable batteries can last for a week under constant usage without being charged. Compared to my old MX700 that’s double the usage time.

Overall the Logitech MX610 is a GREAT mouse and worth the money.... Too bad the supplied software is rather disappointing though. If you’re thinking of getting a MX610 make sure you don’t mind using crappy software for a while.

Cheers

Hi all

Will be bringing you new reviews shortly..

*rumages around looking for new stuff to criticise*

ah... found something!!!

My new

Logitech MX610 Laser Mouse

Review in the next post....
Content Coming Soon...

For your review needs, from the useless to the indespensible =)