Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Eneloop Ni-MH Rechargeable AA Batteries Review

Panasonic has entered a new generation of rechargeable Nickel Metal Hydride batteries with the new Eneloop AA batteries. According to the label, they now provide 1900 milliAmp hours. I used to use alkaline AAs for my Canon Powershot SX120 IS, but they lasted only an hour or so the way I take pictures. So I bought some of these Eneloop batteries. They come pre-charged for immediate use, and they recharge fairly fast. But the best thing is that I can shoot a whole day or nearly a whole day on one set with my SX120,

Having just returned from a 12-day trip where I shot 2400 pictures with these batteries, I can recommend them warmly.

I ordered a set of four with the Panasonic BQ-CC17 charger and never looked back.  Great batteries, great performance, great price.


Sunday, August 2, 2015

Gear Head Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard for Android KB7500AND Review

I needed a compact keyboard for portability and use with my Samsung Galaxy tablet. After a bit of research, I was interested in a small keyboard by Inland, but after looking it over, together with the other wireless Bluetooth offerings at the computer store, I decided on the Gear Head KB7500AND.

Connecting it to the tablet was fairly easy. When I turned the keyboard and tablet on, the tablet could not find the keyboard. Reselecting the "find Bluetooth devices" didn't help. But after exiting the settings and coming back in, the tablet found the keyboard immediately. Then the instructions worked fine (press the Connect button for two seconds, then enter the code number displayed on the tablet).

I downloaded the WPS office application and started using the keyboard right away. Typing is a bit awkward, but functional even for my large and somewhat clumsy hands.

+ The keys have an excellent tactile feel to them, making typing easier and giving a confident feel to the typing.
+ The keys are spaced apart much better than on the other keyboards I looked at.
+ The overall size is about 10.5 inches by 5 inches (about 27 by 13 cm), allowing it to fit handily inside the "personal bag" that airlines allow in addition to a carry on bag.

+ The keyboard is powered by two AAA batteries rather than rechargeable Li-ion batteries.
+ The batteries are included.
+ While typing does have that nice tactile feel, for a man's hands, the keyboard is a bit small. But then, that is the deliberate choice to get a compact item for travel and use with a tablet.

- My main complaint is that if you hold down a key too long, the keyboard pops up a menu of choices for special characters (such as accented vowels) that you have to wait for to close if you don't want one of the choices. My awkward typing is always popping up the menu for the letter a. So I'm having to type  more carefully.
- The documentation supplied with the keyboard is minimal. There is no information on the specialty keys. Instead, there is the cryptic line, "Note: Functions of the shortcut keys might vary on different tablets."
- Worse, the Gear Head web site (www.pcgearhead.com) does not list the keyboard as one of the company's products.

For a travel or vacation keyboard for your Android tablet, this is a good choice. I haven't tried it at 30 feet away yet, but at practical distances it's fine. Include this as a consideration if you need the solution it offers.