Gadgets

By April 1, 2007 Read More →

Parrot PHOTO VIEWER 7″ review

The Parrot PHOTO VIEWER 7″ is the bigger brother of PHOTO VIEWER 3.5″ that we reviewed last year. We liked the 3.5″ version as its compact size meant that it could easily sit on one of the desks in our office and allow us to upload the photos from our mobile phones via bluetooth.

Since then we have been looking to buy a larger photo frame that we can have in our lounge so were keen to try the PHOTO VIEWER 7″.

The Parrot Photo Viewer is unique in that it uses Bluetooth technology rather than a USB cable or SD card in order to upload and display pictures. Parrot have aimed this product at people with camera phones, giving them the ability to transfer their favourite photos from their phone to display them on the photo frame. Since the launch of the PHOTO VIEWER 3.5″ Parrot have done some work with the firmware running on the PHOTO VIEWER 7″ and have improved the bluetooth connectivity. The 3.5″ version suffered some problems in this department, often requiring a power cycle to get things working again. The 7″ does not seem to suffer the same problems.

Parrot PHOTO VIEWER 7"

At just 22.2 x 17.6cm the frame isn’t huge. It’s slim too measuring just 2 cm deep. However these dimensions include the frame, the LCD screen has an effective diagonal of just 7 inches and has a resolution of 720 x 480. This is a reasonable high resolution for an LCD of this size and therefore images look very sharp. The backlight is bright and evenly lit and can be adjusted to suit your needs. There is also a light sensor on the frame so that when the room is completely dark the frame goes in to a sleep mode where it simply displays the time. This is a nice idea if you are using the frame in a bedroom for example. You can turn this feature off though if you wish.

Available in 10 frame designs the frame can be used in either portrait or landscape and what’s more, the frame has a built in sensor that can tell which way is up and rotate the images on screen to suit; a pretty cool feature.

Parrot Photo Frame Designs

The photo frame is powered by the supplied mains adapter. There is a switch that allows you to turn the unit on and off. One thing that is did find strange and somewhat annoying is that, having chosen a black surround for my photo frame, I’m still stuck with a white adapter and power cable!

Parrot Power Cable

Uploading images via Bluetooth is dead easy. On my HTC TyTN I simply browse through the images I have saved and choose the one I want to send. Selecting beam file brings up a window where I can search for devices in range. Once the Parrot Photo Frame is shown on the list I click send and a few seconds later the picture is displayed on the screen.

Parrot Bluetooth

Transferring files from a PC is equally simple but gives you the added benefit of being able to send more than one picture at a time.

The Parrot Photo Viewer will accept jpeg images in a variety of sizes and will automatically scale them to fit the screen. That said, it is a good idea to resize large images on the PC before you transfer them to save space as the frame has only 128MB of Flash RAM available for images. 128MB Should be plenty of room for hundreds of images, however you can’t necessarily fill this all up as even if you are below the memory limit the frame will not accept more than about 500 images. This should be ample for most people though!

The photo frame has a built in menu system that allows you to change various settings, review and delete stored images alter the backlight brightness, etc. The on screen display is really intuitive and is accessed by three buttons on the rear of the frame. You can also alter how frequently the images are changed from 5 seconds up to a few hours. The one thing that we thought was missing from the slide options on the 3.5″ model has now been added to the 7″ so that you can now display your images randomly.

Photo Viewer Rear Buttons

The Parrot Photo Viewer is mains powered and comes with a slim power adapter. I would like to see a battery power option for this as it really is the ideal size for passing round to show people your photos. When most people see it for the first time they immediately want to pick it up.

The box for the Parrot Photo Viewer is also impressive and is ideal for anyone purchasing it as a gift for someone.

Parrot Photo Viewer Box

High-quality display
Featuring a high-resolution LCD screen with 720 x 480 pixels and 262 144 colours, the Parrot PHOTO VIEWER 7″ benefits from the TFT technology to guarantee you the highest level of rendering in terms of colours and sharp details.
It comes on during the day and switches off at night
An LCD screen gives off light, which can be a pain if you want to put it on your bedside table. The Parrot PHOTO VIEWER 7″ features a sensor that switches off the frame when the light level drops.

Technical and commercial specifications

Parrot PHOTO VIEWER Bluetooth® wireless photo viewer

  • High-resolution LCD TFT screen with 720 x 480 pixels
  • 262 144 colour display
  • Effective LCD size: 7 inches
  • Built-in light sensor
  • Compatible image format: JPEG (700 K to 7 M pixels)
  • 128 MB internal memory for storing over 100 photos
  • Stores over 500 photos in its internal memory
  • Automatic image resizing
  • Menus: Slideshow, Picture, Delete, Reposition, Language…
  • Fitting: free-standing or wall-mounted
  • Power lead
  • Automatically rotates the picture
    (portrait/landscape)

Bluetooth®

  • Built-in Bluetooth receiver
  • Bluetooth v2.0 + EDR
  • Bluetooth profiles supported: FTP, OPP and BIP
  • Receives pictures from up to 10 metres away
  • Pairing: not required with this product
  • Software updates by Bluetooth

Dimensions and Weight

  • Width: 22.2 cm Height: 17.6 cm Depth: 2 cm
  • Weight: 358 g (not incl. frame)

Processor

  • Samsung 2412 Microprocessor
  • Memory : Flash = 512Mbits – SDRAM = 128Mbits

Conclusion
I like this Parrot PHOTO VIEWER 7″ we have it sitting in our lounge at the moment. The images are very sharp and clear and colours appear very rich. The firmware is a great improvement over the old 3.5″ version. If you are looking for a digital photo frame then consider this one!

Matt

[Technorati tag(s): smartphone blog, Pocket PC blog, Parrot PHOTO VIEWER 7″, Photo Frame, Gadgets]

Posted in: Gadgets, Reviews
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By February 1, 2007 Read More →

TomTom infected with Trojans

TomTom admits that a number of its devices are infected with viruses. The viruses were shipped with the TomTom GO 910 model but do not affect the operation of the device, according to the manufacturers.

However upon connecting the device to a PC, anti-virus software on the computer immediately flags up two alerts identifying win32.Perlovga.A trojan and TR/Drop.Small.qp as being resident on the device.

The two viruses are found on brand new devices right out of the box!

Matt

[Post Tag(s): trojan, malware, TomTom, Windows Mobile Blog, Tracy & Matt]

Posted in: Gadgets
By January 28, 2007 Read More →

Microsoft and AMD ‘Vanishing Point’ Game

To celebrate the upcoming consumer release of the Windows Vista(TM) operating system, AMD
and Microsoft Corp. have launched “Vanishing Point,” the largest puzzle game in the world. Although many clues have been disclosed online, parts of the puzzle are being revealed at real-world events, including a first-ever takeover of the Bellagio Hotel and Casino fountains, cryptic skywriting messages, and projections appearing on iconic structures around the world.

These spectacular sights have driven millions of people to find out more, with hopes of winning the grand prize: a trip to space. Today at 6 p.m. PST, the final real-world event will reveal more clues through an amazing spectacle: an incredible fireworks show at Seattle’s Gas Works Park.

“Vanishing Point” raises the stakes in online games with tougher challenges, bigger rewards and events scheduled around the globe. Players worldwide are competing for nearly a half-million dollars in prizes, and the eventual winner will secure a ride to space courtesy of Rocketplane Limited Inc.

“Vanishing Point” challenges players to work together to solve an international game, drawing clues from spectacular events at various locations to decipher online puzzles. The action hinges on the true identity of the mysterious Microsoft Puzzle Master.

More information, official rules and coverage of the offline events are available at
http://vanishingpointgame.com .

Matt

[Technorati tag(s): smartphone blog, Pocket PC blog, Windows Mobile blog, vanishing point game, AMD, Vista, Microsoft, Tracy & Matt]

Posted in: Gadgets
By January 7, 2007 Read More →

Parrot Photo Viewer gets bigger

You may remember that I reviewed the Parrot Bluetooth PHOTO VIEWER a few months ago and one of the main criticisms was that it was too small. Well today Parrot announced a new version of the Photo Viewer this time with a 7″ Display.

Parrot Photo Viewer

The larger format Bluetooth-enabled digital photo frame will hold more than 500 images and have a seven-inch active-matrix TFT screen for exceptionally bright, crisp photo images. The new Parrot PHOTO VIEWER 7″ joins Parrot’s 3.5-inch model introduced earlier this year that holds 120 photos.

The Parrot PHOTO VIEWER 7″ will be available online and through retailers in the U.S. in the second quarter of 2007 with an MSRP of $249.

Photos can be transferred quickly and easily to the Parrot PHOTO VIEWER 7″ from a Bluetooth-enabled cell phone, digital camera, laptop other storage device.

Parrot 7″ Photo Viewer Specification

  • Active-matrix (TFT) screen with 720×480 pixels
  • 262,144 color display
  • Bluetooth v2.0 + EDR
  • Bluetooth BIP, OPP and FTP profiles
  • 128 MB internal memory for storing more than 500 JPEG images
  • Software-controlled image resizing
  • Accepts JPEG images from 700 K to 7M pixels
  • Portrait or landscape position sensor
  • Light sensor adjustment of brightness, contrast and backlight
  • Fixed display and slide show functions
  • Size of the frame: 8.75 x 7 x 1 inches
  • Weight: 17 ounces
  • Matt

    [Technorati tag(s): smartphone, Pocket PC, Parrot, Photo Frame, Gadgets, Tracy & Matt]

    Posted in: Gadgets
    By December 27, 2006 Read More →

    Picoo-Z Helicopter

    Not the sort of thing that I would normally blog about but Iain bought me a Picoo-Z minature remote control helicopter for Christmas.

    For those of you that haven’t seen these yet the Picoo-Z is an amazing piece of engineering. These helicopters are two channel super minature flying machines that weigh about 10 grams.

    Picoo-Z Helicopter

    Made by Silverlit Electronics the Picoo-Z comes completely ready to fly and charges from the infra-red handset (which takes 6 AA batteries – not included). Once charged the helicopter gives you 5-10 minutes of flying time on 30 minutes of charging.

    You can only fly these things indoors, as above, but have given us hours of amusement over the Christmas period. They also seem to be pretty indestructable!

    People have even started to mod these to have different bodies and flight characteristics. There is a great site called PiccoZ Toolbox where they show you lots of ways to mod your toy!

    One thing to note if you are looking for one of these is that there seems be a lot of different ways to spell Picoo-Z the box for ours says Picoo-z but others seem to say Picco-z or Pico-z etc.

    Matt

    [Technorati tag(s): Picoo-z, Silverlit Electronics, Toy Helicopter, Tracy & Matt]

    Posted in: Gadgets
    By September 27, 2006 Read More →

    Sony Mylo

    I got a chance to play with one of Sony’s new mobile communication devices in the form of the Mylo today

    Sony Mylo

    Small enough for a pocket or purse, the slim, oblong-shaped device features a 2.4 inch color LCD (measured diagonally) with a slide out QWERTY keyboard for comfortable and quick thumb typing.

    The device, available in black or white, comes embedded with popular instant messaging services: the Google Talk™ instant messaging service, Skype and Yahoo! Messenger™. These services are free and the product does not require initial computer setup or a monthly service contract.

    These things are pretty cool but the web browser isn’t great, it renders some sites rather strangely!

    Matt

    [Technorati tag(s): smartphone, Pocket PC, Sony, Mylo, Sony Mylo]

    Posted in: Gadgets