Category Archives: Electronics

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Filed under Electronics, Uncategorized

Product Review – XMI X-mini II Mini Speaker

Let’s start with some background which led to the purchase of this speaker. Back in February when I bought a Nokia 5800 I used to listen to podcasts in the car with the phone’s speaker. However, when I changed to an iPhone 3GS I didn’t want to subject it to 3 hours of ‘almost maximum’ loud speaker usage a day – that and the loud speaker is not loud enough to be heard over motorway traffic. So, I decided to look at other options.

My car is 7 years old and doesn’t play MP3 CDs, nor does it have an AUX input to enable me to plug my iPhone to it. I went to Halfords this weekend just gone as they had a new fascia for my car which would allow me to get a new stereo fitted with both an AUX input and MP3 CD playing ability. All sounds good right? Wrong! The fascia was too small and after being contacted by Halfords yesterday I am told the manufacturer says that is the only fascia available for my car – FAIL!

So, this brought about another option – that of attaching a speaker to my phone. Only problem I found with most is that they would take their power from the iPhone and the sound was pretty poor, if reviews are to be believed.

Then I came across the XMI X-mini II Mini Speaker which is charged via USB, has 360 degree sound and reviews were very good. I ordered this from Amazon yesterday and it arrived this morning, courtesy of my 1 month free trial with Amazon Prime!

The XMI X-mini II Mini Speaker

The XMI X-mini II Mini Speaker

Don’t be fooled by the size – while it appears small in comparison to my iPod Touch the performance is very impressive. Apart from being very cute, the sound quality is superb, and the volume was more than enough to cope with motorway traffic when I used it for the first time this morning. With a simple twist the speaker expands to play mode and after being turned on a little blue LED glows from the underside.

A full charge took 2 hours and this should give me 11 hours of usage – I’ll report back to say whether that is the case. It comes with a dual lead that is USB at one end and then splits to mini USB and 3.5mm jack so that you can charge it, whilst having it connected to your audio input and playing simultaneously. All this can be housed in a little velvet pouch so it stays clean and safe.

At just £16.96, my first impressions are very favourable and it has met and exceeded my expectations and fulfills my requirements which is enabling me to get back on track with my podcast listening and fill those 3 hours in the car every day with something of interest.

As an aside, you can actually daisy chain these little speakers for enhanced sound – maybe one day I’ll try that, but for now just the one will suffice.

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Filed under Electronics, iPhone 3GS, iPod Touch, Mobile Phones, Podcasts

Casio F-91W – a watch for the ages

Today I was transported back in time 18 years as I received a gift in the form of a classic timepiece – the Casio F-91W. After not having worn a watch for almost a year it took a few hours before I stopped looking at other ways to tell the time – laptop, cooker, mobile phone, iTouch – all watch substitutes over the past 12 months. Now of course, I have this genius piece of digital technology.

Back in time...

Back in time...

The Casio F-91W first came out in 1991, in fact I’m almost sure I had one back then. It has a whole heap of features such as a stopwatch, alarm, light and even the ability to switch between 24hr and 12hr time display at the click of a button. It is also Water Resistant (read Splash Resistant), hence the WR emblazoned in red on the front.

One look at the screen tells me the time, date and day – there is no doubt that I have on my wrist a king amongst watches, one that I wholly recommend to anyone.

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Filed under Electronics, Watches