Panasonic BD30 Blu-ray player, Phixr, iMate 9502

Panasonic BD30 Blu Ray player
Price: $769

Now the HD format wars are over, is it time to dip your toe in the water? You might have heard of the astounding picture, but the untrained eye won’t see much difference from Panasonic’s BD30 if you have a large CRT TV set to begin with — the difference is more visible on a computer monitor or large plasma or LCD. Blu-ray’s other selling point — more extra features than you get on a standard definition DVD — hasn’t materialised yet, the disc space taken up by the superior picture and sound formats.

The BD30 is as good a standalone player as you’ll get, but there are two inherent marks against it. It has nowhere near the affordability that increased uptake will one day generate. Also, by the time high definition is standard, Internet infrastructure might have reached the point where we don’t even need plastic discs any more. It’s a good product, just ahead of its time for most of us. 3/5

iMate 9502
Price: $1,099

This is the second phone we’ve looked at with the sliding screen functionality, revealing a full QWERTY keyboard behind the screen so you can turn the mobile on its side and type with two thumbs. It’s a good form factor but the iMate 9502 doesn’t get it as right as others have. It’s a heavy, clunky device with a cramped keyboard and keys too indistinct from each other to allow for comfortable typing.

You can get around using the touch screen or the clickwheel on the side that scrolls through functions, and the battery life is excellent. Unfortunately the OS (Windows Mobile 6) is a step back from its predecessor, less streamlined and slower to respond. It’s exclusive to Telstra but we put a SIM card from another provider in it with no trouble, and While it’s a sturdy business tool there are better looking and more comfortable models around. 2/5

Price: Free

If online software is indeed the future as Google Documents and other services suggest, online image manipulation tools like will only become more popular.

If you want to convert an image to Sepia or bring out more colour but can’t afford Photoshop or you simply don’t want to own a piece of software for a one-off task, Phixr lets you make rudimentary edits to images completely on the Internet.

You can sign up for an ongoing account or upload a single image for an account that deactivates after a little while, even bringing your snaps straight from Flickr, Facebook or other online sources. Then simply select and upload your image and it appears in a large window with a toolbar to make changes in everything from orientation to colour, cropping, voice balloons and more, a small applet window showing you your change before you commit.

When you’re done, simply click to download your image in any number of formats. The tools are basic, intuitive and the process takes as much or as little time as you like. 4/5

Full client and publication list:

  • 3D Artist
  • APC
  • Auscam
  • Australian Creative
  • Australian Macworld
  • Australian Way (Qantas)
  • Big Issue
  • Black Velvet Seductions
  • Black+White
  • Bookseller & Publisher
  • Box Magazine
  • Brain World
  • Business News
  • Business NSW
  • Campaign Brief
  • Capture
  • Cleo
  • Cosmos
  • Cream
  • Curve
  • Daily Telegraph
  • Dark Horizons
  • Dazed and Confused
  • Desktop
  • DG
  • Digital Media
  • Disney Magazine
  • DNA Magazine
  • Empire
  • Empty Magazine
  • Famous Monsters of Filmland
  • Fast Thinking
  • FHM UK
  • Film Stories
  • Filmink
  • Follow Gentlemen
  • Geek Magazine
  • Good Reading
  • Good Weekend
  • GQ
  • How It Works
  • Hydrapinion
  • Inside Film
  • Loaded
  • M2 Magazine
  • Marie Claire Australia
  • Marketing
  • Maxim Australia
  • Men's Style
  • Metro
  • Moviehole
  • MSN
  • Nine To Five
  • Paranormal
  • PC Authority
  • PC Powerplay
  • PC Update
  • PC User
  • PC World
  • Penthouse
  • People
  • Pixelmag
  • Popular Science
  • Post Magazine
  • Ralph
  • Reader's Digest
  • ScienceNetwork WA
  • SciFiNow
  • Scoop
  • Scoop Traveller
  • Seaside Observer
  • SFX
  • Sydney Morning Herald
  • The Australian
  • The Retiree
  • The Sun Herald
  • The West Australian
  • TimeOut
  • Total Film
  • Video Camera
  • Video&Filmmaker
  • Writing Magazine
  • Xpress
  • Zoo