Only The Best Earn
PET Seal of Approval

Reviews by Tim Boxer

HP Photosmart 720, Photosmart 8881 Camera Dock, and Photo Printer 7550
Kung Fu Chaos

HP 720 Digital Camera

HP’s Shoot & Print
Is One Cool System

OME say the HP PhotoSmart 720 gray/silver digital camera, weighing in at 12 ounces, is too bulky for a point-and-shoot model. I say it’s just right. The bulkiness rests comfortably in my hand and lets me shoot without shaking. The rubber hand grip on the camera’s right side helps to hold it steady.

Needless to say, I got crisp clear pictures every time. This camera deserves our PET Seal of Approval from the 15 Minutes Product Evaluation Team.

The camera has a 3.3 megapixel resolution with a 3X optical zoom. This is fine for enlargements up to 11 x 14. The internal memory is a nice16MB. The card slot takes only a Secure Digital (SD) memory card.

Like any worthy camera, it has auto focus, auto exposure, flash and red-eye reduction. In addition you can capture action and sound using the video clip feature.

Granted, the 1.6 inch color LCD, for immediate review of photos, was a tad small for this size camera. But it didn’t bother me. My eyesight is fine (with glasses, of course).

If you already have an HP color inkjet printer – as I have – you can print photos directly from the camera, bypassing your computer. That’s a nice timesaver.

Estimated street price is $329.

HP 8881 Digital Camera Dock

However, I recommend you get the optional HP PhotoSmart 8881 Digital Camera Dock so you can upload photos to your PC or Mac, or send them straight to the printer.

Simply by docking your camera, you can recharge your NiMH batteries that come with the camera.

The camera dock also connects easily to your TV with an A/V cable. Press the “TV” button and you can enjoy being a producer exhibiting your pictures on the tube to an appreciative audience in the living room.

Estimated street price is $79.

HP 7550 Photo Printer

Hewlett-Packard PhotoSmart 7550 is a must-have picture printer. You get colorful photos without using your computer. Print direct from your digital camera using by connecting to the front USB port. The printer’s memory slots accommodates SmartMedia, CompactFlash, Secure Digital and Sony Memory Stick.

I found the flip-up color LCD screen very helpful in previewing and editing photos before printing them.

The control panel lets you select the images, set the number of copies to print, zoom in, rotate, stamp date and time on the photos, and group them into albums.

By using HP Premium Plus photo paper you’re assured of having photos that will last up to 73 years. I won’t be around to verify that but I trust the folks at HP.

Estimated street price is $399 but has recently been selling for $299 at Compusa.

For more information on these three units visit


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Scent Spells Sex

ICHEL GERMAIN, the French Canadian perfume designer, labored long and hard to come up with a scent that would please his wife Norma. He succeeded with an essence he calls Sexual eau de parfum – and for good reason.

Ladies, this modern love potion is so potent you can count on captivating your man.

I got Sexual pour homme and I can attest that Germain has succeeded in creating an eau de toilette that arouses the sensual emotions of my Nina.

The 2.5-ounce bottle of Sexual lists at $59 at fine stores such as Bloomingdale’s.


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Getting Kids to Dance

ES, Musini will transform your child’s energy into music. For children from 3 and older, this toy is a perfect way to keep them amused and entertained. Children at this age learn by touching, moving and exploring. This toy helps them to touch, move and explore rhythms and dance steps.

Select the kid’s musical style – Bach, Latin jazz, carnival, orchestral overture, child’s play – and let the kid dance away. Press a button to change the instruments. Every step, turn, touch and tap activates a unique musical response.

It’s a whole new way to make music. Musini will turn any room into a musical playground.

Requires four C batteries. See more at where Musini is priced at $64.99. Additional music cartridge available at $19.99.


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Don’t Stand A Fighting Chance

CAN’T put it any better than the press release: “You ready to groove out on the most funk-a-delic game since Twister? If you’re Jonesing for a far-out trip, Microsoft’s new Xbox game, Kung Fu Chaos, is one solid squeeze. Set in the time when “everybody was Kung Fu Fighting, this boss game lets you battle it out on interactive movie sets, grooving on far-out songs of the ‘70s. Get your bootie outta that bean bag, fire up the lava lamp, pick one of nine psychedelic characters and embark on a fighting fury that rewards you for smack-talking that jive turkey.” Whatever. Individuals of a certain age will find this game groovy.

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