Office essentials: Dymo Touch Screen LabelManager 500TS

Whether you work in a busy office or have a booming eBay business at home, the Dymo touch screen label maker, otherwise known as the LabelManager 500TS, is sure to make your life easier. The time it will save you in editing, printing and cutting labels is worth its weight in gold, or at the very least save you from tearing your hair out whilst you try to print off multiple labels at once.

Dymo-Touch-Screen

The touch screen interface is easy to use and means you can quickly edit your label before it is printed. There is also the option to add special fonts and clip art. The 300dpi resolution will clearly show any graphics and fonts in crystal clear clarity. There are also a range of built-in symbols to choose between to further personalise your work.

The automatic label cutter is a real boon, and will not only save you time, but it will also eliminate any costly mistakes that may be made when manually cutting and sizing your labels.

Compatible with either a PC or Mac, you can also use the label printer without connecting it to a computer thanks to its rechargeable battery pack. The clever device is capable of printing a wide variety of DYMO D1 labels in 6mm, 9mm, 12mm, 19mm and 24mm widths.

The Dymo LabelManager 500TS – which prints twice as fast as any other previous Dymo label maker – is available from most stationary shops or online at the company’s website. The recommended retail price for the LabelManager is £197.99.

For more information on how your label-printing life could be made easier, visit www.dymo.com.

Planon Scanstik: An office in your pocket

It may be the size of a pen, but the Planon Scanstik, is capable of scanning a full page in colour just as any regular full-sized flatbed scanner would. But this one you can fit it in your pocket. Yes that’s right, you can take your very own scanner with your wherever you wish to go. The Scanstik is perfect for the businessman on the move who wishes to save some documents or even a student who is in a library researching work for an exam. Just think of the possibilities…

ScanStick

You use the Scanstik just like a normal, conventional scanner, tracing the pen over the page you wish to scan. It is fast too – a full page can be scanned in only four seconds.

Once stored in the Scanstik, you then connect it to a computer using the USB port and transfer the files across. The MicroSD memory is capable of holing literally thousands of scanned images in black and white or colour, with a resolution between 150 to 600dpi. The Scanstick includes ABBYY FineReader software for easy editing, along with PaperPort OCR and Crystal Line Contact software to improve image quality.

The full technical low-down is as follows:

Resolution:150, 300, & 600 DPI

Scan: 24-bit Colour JPG, B&W

Dimensions: 8.9″ x 0.5″ x 0.5″ (227mm x 13mm x13mm)

Battery: Re-chargeable Lithium Polymer (charges through USB slot)

Memory: MicroSD card slot (purchase separately)

Connectivity: USB

Image Technology: PlanOn CLC (Crystal Line Contact)

Platforms: Windows XP, Vista, 7 32/64 and MacOSX

Leather Case

USB Cable

ABBYY FineReader SE OCR Software

PaperPort OCR Software

For more information on how you can get your hands on the world’s smallest colour scanner, visit www.planon.com.

Why was the chicken thrown across the office? Red5’s Chuckimal

It’s pretty hard to get my attention when I’m in the office. As someone who gets hundreds of emails (all trying to sell me things, I’m not popular) and lots of tweets, texts and actually work screaming for my time someone actually in the room with me often misses out. Even worse I often have earphones buried deep within my ears blaring bass heavy rap classics in stereo. I’m pretty sure any one who’s every shared an office with me has thought, “if only I could hurl a soft toy in his face… but one with a four second message recorded inside.”

Chuckimal

Bizarrely enough, those people’s dreams have been have been fulfilled (while my prayers for app that tells me where all the good chips shops in London are go strangely unanswered) by the good people of Red5.co.uk who have added the Chuckimal to its range of weird and wonderful ways to spend your money.

Ostensibly a big fluffy chicken (yes that is a great way to start a sentence) the Chuckimal literally has a hidden egg that stores short messages. You simply record your piece with the Chuckimal and he’ll repeat it back the moment he hits or is caught by the person you’re chucking him at. If you can find someone one playing Angry Birds, record “Stop Playing Angry Birds” and manage to hit them on the head with it, you may be in danger of dying from high 5s.

Available in two different birdie designs, blue and yellow, Chuckimals are very simple to use, just press his wing, say something in 4 seconds or less, then hurl with gay abandon.

Out now for £12 from Red5.co.uk

Battle it out on your desk with the TankBots

If you find you’re getting too much work done in a day, you could always distract yourself and your colleagues with the latest ‘pets’ to hit the market. The TankBots are robotic desk pets that come in a choice of four colours and can be controlled using an iPhone, iPad or Android device. An added bonus is that they need no ‘feeding’ or ‘petting’ like lots of electronic pets.

Tankbots

These cute mini robotic tanks can be played with in three ways (hey it makes a change from cyberstalking your exes on Facebook, surely?). Forget those spreadsheets, page proofs or marketing reports – instead spend some productive time setting up an obstacle course along your desk (and that of any participating colleagues) and set the deskpet to maze mode. Time how long it takes your little android apprentice to escape.

Alternatively, set the TankBot to roaming mode and your pet will just head off on its own, using its infrared sensors to avoid any obstacles and making the obligatory tank sounds.

Finally, you can set it up in remote control mode, using any iPhone, iPad or Android 2.1 device (and a free downloadable app) to control your desk pet. Each differently coloured bot operates on its own frequency, so there are plenty of opportunities for a few of you to join in with your own TankBot – we foresee, obstacle course races, and TankBot battles aplenty. You could even have your own in-office TankBot Olympics.

The TankBots from Desk Pets can be charged via USB and costs £24.95 from Red5.co.uk. They will arrive in store on September 20 2011.

DYMO LabelManager PnP label printer review

DYMO-Pnp

If, like most people of my generation, you use the first ten seasons of the Simpsons as a reference guide for life, you will hear the phrase “label maker” and instantly think of the Radio Bart episode in season three, where Bart is given a label maker as an awful gift and, in a fit of boredom ends up pretending to trapped down a well.

Would Bart have been as bored had he received a DYMO LabelManager PNP? Yes. Of course. He’s an 8 year old boy and label makers are not suitable toys for children. But as a 28 year old boy (plus one) working in an office environment, there is a sense of enjoyment to be have from playing the DYMO PNP – especially if you conflate “easy to use” with “fun”.

The DYMO pnp is probably one of the easiest to use label makers I’ve seen – and I’ve seen a lot of label makers (editing gadget websites is a never-ending world of fun and stationary).

The unit is small and well-built, with an integrated stand so it doesn’t take up too much space on your desk. There is a lovely big power button on the top and an equally lovely cut button that lets you chop off your new labels with a very satisfying click. The DYMO pnp packs a lithium ion battery, which you charge via you computer’s powered USB port.

Software is very cleverly installed onboard – although you can download a more complicated label software package from the basic software on the unit (nb the link from the inbuilt software doesn’t appear to work so you might have to search around the DYMO website to find the correct download link).

As you’d expect from the name, label printing is plug and play – it automagically “just works”, which is the whole point of all productivity devices. The little adhesive labels are ideal of labelling hard drives, plugs, cables and folders – but there are plenty of uses if you are in the habit of keeping things neat and tidy.

The DYMO LabelManager PnP is available to buy online at www.dymo.co.uk or from your stationery supplier with an RRP of £49.99

3M MPro150 – The future of the present(ation)

When I think of projectors I’m reminded of the huge Over Head Projectors we used in French class, or the bulky noisy devices that we used to screen a film at the end of term. Admittedly I haven’t really kept up with projector technology since but from time to time I’ve been subjected to a slide show presentation and projectors remain theses sizable devices whirring away at the back of the room. So when the 3M MPRO150 arrived at my desk, half of my excitement was in holding the thing. A micro projector, it really is small – only slightly bigger than an old candy bar Nokia. It definitely has the feel of a robustly built hi-tech gizmo, although the MPRO150 is no toy.

MPRO150-Micro-Projector

Being the n3rd that I am I threw away the instruction manual and attempted to simply use the device – with great success. Attaching a USB cable allows you to open the MPRO150 like a USB drive and simply drag and drop files onto the device. Anyone who has used a pen drive in the last 10 years should be comfortable with loading files onto the built in memory (which is 1Gb but there is also a micro SD card slot to you can expand the device’s capacity). After that you can simply unplug the device, point it at a wall and before you can even say “Boom” you will be able to give a slideshow presentation.

I found the MPRO150 a bit fussy with regards to file formats – *.pngs wouldn’t load and some *.jpegs wouldn’t display. Most worked perfectly however and I gave a 50” display of my holiday snaps. Despite just using a white wall the image quality was superb. Pdfs, MS Office files and most images were fine. It also plays back *.avi files, which I found pretty amazing – I projected an episode of Sealab 2021 onto my wall and it worked flawlessly. 3M also threw in a mp3 player just for fun – ostensibly so you can relax listening to some music on the way to a presentation but I have no idea why anyone would do this instead of using any of the multitude of other devices they have for this purpose. Still it works.

The MPRO150 comes with a little tripod and a built in stand as well as lots of connector. You can hook it up to pretty much anything – desktops, laptops or iPhones but for me the real magic of the device is to just use it as a standalone presentation tool. It’s so small that it can easily pop in a briefcase – or even a suit jacket. I loaded up the MPRO150 with my Cymande.ppt (Brothers on The Slide) presentation and was able to get 2 hours battery life out of it. The built in speakers won’t blow you away but it is easy enough to connect to a remote device.
“To mark its launch we are giving our customers the chance to win £500 of iwantoneofthose vouchers and one of 10 MPro150s,” said Nick Hughes, Marketing Manager for 3M’s Mobile Interactive Solutions Division. “To enter, go to our mobile u web site and simply tell us in 50 words or less the most memorable, funny or embarrassing presentation you’ve delivered or seen. One winner will also be made into a short viral video, which the winner can star in if they wish.”

Ideal for business folk “on the move” but also pretty cool for anyone who would like to project a 50” photo, movie or slideshow onto a wall, the 3M MPro150 is now available to pre-order from shop3M.com, amazon.co.uk and selected high street retailers including Dixons Travel and Micro Anvika at an RRP of £349.99 including VAT.