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    • Kawasaki ZR-7 / Motorcycle / 0 Readings / 0 Ratings
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      01.09.2015 12:01

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      • reliability

      Disadvantages

      great tourer. love it

      I ride the ZR7-F1. i love it even though it has it's faults which do sometimes annoy me.

      But what is different about it?? Not much, apart from cosmetics and the rear swing arm and mono shock. There has been just a slight modification with the frame and ride style in comparison with previous Z's. It's the same old proven 'bomb proof' engine. it's superb on long journeys. doesn't like sitting at lights in hot weather with a hot engine. economically brilliant, tyres are an improvement though wheels are pretty standard alloys which have been used on other makes.

      One thing, I'm not fully happy taking a corner when it's raining. You can feel the front end go light when cornering and it sometimes feels like it's gonna skip out. Maybe it's me, maybe the bike. The headlamp seriously needs an upgrade or additional lights.
      Overall, looks good, will run for ever and parts are reasonably priced. Servicing is simple. After spending a month touring parts of France on this bike, i've learnt a bit more about it.
      The turning cidcle is quite short and will handle this turn with ease under good control. On a long run, fuel consumption is best at about 55mph. If you find a nice long stretch of road, opening up the throttle is adviseable hehehe.. it loves to sit at over 100mph with ease. The bike tends to gently mould itself into long sweeping corners and even at speed it will hug the tarmac.

      The standard tyres on this bike are the Bridgestone 'battleaxe'. Seems to be a medium to soft compound. after a good dry ride, you can feel the tyres and how hot and sticky they get. The way i've been riding these last few months means I will soon have to replace the rear tyre as it's starting to go bald, but saying that, this will be the first tyre change after 9000 miles. I'd probably get another 3 or 4 thousand miles from the tyre, but taking safety into mind (that and the law) i'll change it soon.
      Changing or cleaning the air filter is quite simple though putting it back can sometimes be a bit tricky. Try to get the filter aligned correctly.. or struggle for ten minutes or so. Battery removal/installation is relatively easy, though you gotta remove the petrol tank, luckily the bike comes supplied with all the correct tools.

      If for any reason you had to 'jump start' the bike, then i advise carrying a piece of insulated cable, at least 5mm thick, with a small crocodile clip at one end. The small clip will be needed to connect to the battery + terminal. The earth connection can go anywhere but the gear change arm is a good spot.. Any other jump lead clip will not fit down the gap between bike frame, tank mount and battery housing. there is a big risk of shorting the battery on the frame if you use a large connecting clip.
      With all my previous bikes my left hand used to go numb on occasions. I've heard that there is a scientific reason as to why bikes should cause this, but with the ZR7, I'm yet to experience this problem.

      Headlamp adjustment is a small screw under the headlamp itself...easy to adjust.
      There is plenty of storage room under the seat, I carry a chain and padlock, waterproofs, spare gloves, a map, bit of wire with crocodile clip..hehe. and a few other select tools. The tools are thoughtfully stored behind the battery.

      for those of you who are worried about the seat height, there is an option to buy the reduced height seat.
      Although the brakes work well, I am changing the standard rubber hose for the reinforced hosing. This hosing has a flexible metal casing that increases brake performance by reducing the amount of 'swell' in the standard hose.

      A genuine Kwaka Zr manual even gives you a table for shim replacements. i love the stainless steel exhaust, you can even tuck your knees into the tank.... Great bit of design. If you know the Z series you'll see that it has just been cosmetically upgraded to suit modern market and kawasaki are just playing on a good engine. Thanks kawasaki.
      I'll try to add more as time progresses...

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    • Make Up Academy Lip Liner / Make Up / 0 Readings / 0 Ratings
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      01.09.2015 12:00

      Advantages

      • "Excellent price"
      • "Good colour choice"

      Disadvantages

      • None

      Great value lip liner

      Back in my younger years, I always used to wear a lip liner (the fashion, or so I thought was always a shade darker than my lipstick), however I haven’t worn any in for years up until recently. The look of the pencil itself is no different from any other eye liner I have tried, the different with this one it that the lid of the pencil contains a pencil sharpener which I find really handy as my daughter has a habit of stealing mine when she cant find her own.

      There are 6 different shades available, Caramel Nougart, clear, Brooding Plum, Pink Me Up, Softly Lined and Red Drama, I chose Pink Me Up as this was the most similar to the Soap & Glory lipstick that I wear. What I like about the MUA range is that the prices are excellent, this retails for just £1, they can be picked up from Superdrug or from MUA direct on their website, I actually picked this up from Superdrug when they had a 3 for 2 promotion running.

      Applying the liner is really easy, I found the colour transfers onto my lips really easily, without having to press on too hard and leaves a solid line to I don't have to go over the same area a few times. Once I have applied, the liner lasts me for several hours, even longer than my lipstick, if at the end of the day I have any left on my face, it comes away really easily with my makeup remover.

      As I mentioned earlier, I love that there is a pencil sharpener in the lid, this is really easy to use and give the pencil a nice point. Overall, I would definitely recommend this pencil, the colour is fab, long lasting and the price is excellent therefore this gets 5 out of 5 stars from me.

      Thanks for reading.

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    • Samsung Series 5 Chromebook XE500C21 / Netbook / 0 Readings / 0 Ratings
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      01.09.2015 11:53

      Advantages

      • Speed

      Disadvantages

      Fastest laptop so far

      The laptop only takes 10 seconds to boot and to log in, the speed of the laptop is amazing also it has a slick and amazing design. The laptop is showing a new laptop era and could be beat many of the leading laptop on the market.

      The ChromeBook does not use windows OS, but uses it's own Chrome. This has it's disadvantages and advantages, the new OS system looks just like the Chrome browser, too me it does not feel nice and would prefer to use Windows OS. But it is nice to see Google trying there own software.
      The memory of this laptop is also amazing, is has a 16GB SSD memory and an I7 Intel Core processor. Another thing I liked about this laptop is the new 3G capability, meaning you can connect to the Internet any ware but I yet don't know how this will perform.

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    • Infinity On High - Fall Out Boy / Music Album / 0 Readings / 0 Ratings
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      01.09.2015 11:51

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      This Ain't a Scene...

      After re-listening to Folie a Deux recently, I decided that I hadn't listened to Infinity on High for a while either. Clearly, I missed it more than I thought that I did.

      Infinity on High is an awesome emo/punk album, combined with the roaring soul voice of the beautiful and amazing Patrick Stump. Dude can sing, and you cannot argue with this.

      The songs here are that fab mix between giddy hedonism and pure heart. And it makes you want to sing at the top of your lungs (one of these days my neighbours are going to call the police about the noise, sigh.) I don't remember a lot of the names of the songs - because this is Fall Out Boy. The song names are ridiculously long and bear little actual resemblance to the song.

      Stand out tracks to me though are 'Golden' (so very soulful,) 'I'm Like a Lawyer the Way I'm Always Trying to Get You Off (Me & You)' (which is just awesome,) 'This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race' (an excellent single and an excellent track,) and 'You're Crashing but You're No Wave' (which has some home truths about justice and corruption added in for extra spice.)

      Again though, if Patrick Stump would learn to enunciate so that we know what the hell he's saying, it would be lovely. My mother is certain that 'This Ain't a Scene...' is actually This Ain't a Scene, it's a dead horse race (excuse me while I face palm.) There are many, many instances where you can be forgiven for not being sure just what it is was in the lyrics, not least because Fall Out Boy's lyrics are rarely overly-normal to begin with.

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    • Hints and Tips in General / Discussion / 0 Readings / 0 Ratings
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      01.09.2015 11:31

      Advantages

      • "We need the energy"

      Disadvantages

      • "Expensive and dirty"

      Should we frack?

      So, do we really need to dig up half of Britain for that shale gas? Why are the Tories so keen to close down the last remaining coal mines so to buy in cheap from abroad yet encourage the equally polluting shale gas industry? The same energy companies that shovel up coal abroad will be the ones awarded these exploration contracts. The coal is definitely down there but the gas may not be. What’s really going on? Energy security is one reason and cheaper household bills is another but no doubt the main reason is Big Energy is lobbying the Tories and no doubt sizeable contributions will be made by them to Tory coffers.

      In Wales and Northern England, of course, they were up in arms over the closure of the far uglier coal industry and would like to see the return of the pits, although unclear is their kids would actually like to work in those mines. I can’t see it myself. It would be interesting to see just how many locals work on the fracking sites here when they eventually get permits. And they are going to get permits? Will the locals then complain no locals are being employed and get on the anti foreigner rhetoric again? The London Olympics did not appeal to the locals in the East End that’s for sure and the unemployment rates remained unchanged as foreign and external labor was shipped in to build the stadiums and infrastructure. Streetwise black and Asian boys didn’t fancy being seen wearing the yellow safety hat and day glow vest.

      Fracking in America has been a huge energy success and drove the price of gas down to nearly zero per therm at its peak. But that means a lot of exploration had to be licensed and as the average well lasts three months then that is lot of holes in the ground. And that isn’t cheap once you have extracted the best of the field. It will be the same problem in the U.K. These sites will expand and expand and change the countryside. Yes, the drilling does bring jobs but once the well is dry the fields often move and you have to go with to keep your jobs. The big shale sites in America have people sleeping in their cars and living like bums to keep their jobs. It’s the new Wild West.

      Cameron said he would be democratic on where the wells go in and asked local councils to decide, the sweetener being they would get some of the profits from the drills. They do this in America with domestic energy extraction and extremely lucrative for the local services, National Parks ripped up if the money is right. But the shires are not so easily bribed and resistance has been huge here from the people who have hairs growing out of their nostrils. It’s a problem for Cameron as these are his core voters. Fracking, like nuclear power, is getting the selfish middle-class hot under the collar. The same people who protested against oil wars in Iraq and Libya and don’t want wind turbines spoiling their rural views have dusted down the placards and back on the streets. It’s unclear where they expect their energy needs to come from if it’s not from the above.

      NIMBYs are nothing new, of course, but I think it’s fair to say fracking is far more destructive than throwing up ten or so wind turbines in a nearby field. When you buy a second home in the countryside the last thing you want to see out of the window on your two visits a year is a bloody great windmill over there and a convoy or lorries rumbling through the village full of rocks all day and night over there. As we have seen with the recent immigration crisis in Europe, we seem quite happy to let them drown in the Med than spoil our views at home on the high street. Those people with placards would protest against immigration if they were allowed to. In fact they would rather people were slaughtered in the Middle East for oil than have their idyllic country lives upset. Obviously they would never admit to that.

      The health issues with fracking are varied. The drill system goes into the ground and fractures the rocks and releases the gas. But they use chemicals to help speed up the process and that enters the drinking water table. A big concern is the radon gas they can release. If you want a quiet life then don’t look at the radon map of Great Britain. That stuff coming up naturally increases your cancer chances significantly but they don’t want you to know that. It could be right underneath your houses.
      I’m sure it does dirty the water at some point but America is a litigious society and so they will have perfected it by now so not to be weighted down by law suits. It is pretty clean and modern treatment centers clean any impurities out. You guys have no objection to drinking the cleaned up water you pooed and pissed in earlier. Yep, that’s what you are drinking folks!!

      Cameron has been knocked back by the lack of support for fracking on those health and NIMBY grounds from councils. SO much so that he intends to pass a law to push through licenses to drill, bypassing that democratic ideal. Another problem he has is the oil price is very low and set to stay there as China slows down and that means the energy companies have little spare cash to invest in drilling. It costs two billion dollars to drill and run North Sea wells. It isn’t cheap. People poor scorn on the industry for blowouts like the Gulf of Mexico but the energy companies have to take risk to put petrol in your car and keep your central heating going. They are only seen as the enemy, a contradiction that is hard to get my head around. Again, the people want the energy but not the consequences. It’s like in America where the evangelical white Christian right hate abortion yet despises the babies the poor ethnic Americans have that make up most of the country.













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    • More +
      01.09.2015 09:53
      Very helpful
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      A Delicious Chocolate Collection!

      I recently bought a box of these special Lily O Brien's chocolates which are designed to mimic some of the most well known puddings in the world. The box contains 18 chocolates with six different varieties.

      The dessert chocolates are: Hazelnut Torte, Raspberry Infusion, Banoffee Pie, Key Limey Pie, Creme Brulee, and Passion Fruit Posset.

      There are two dark chocolate varieties in the Key Limey Pie and the Raspberry Infusion whilst the Hazelnut Torte has a white chocolate cup. The other chocolates have milk chocolate cups. My favourites in the collection are the Banoffee Pie. This is a milk chocolate cup with a white chocolate top. The top is decorated with milk chocolate covered crispy caramel chunks. These are a little chewy though. The inside has a rich, banana flavoured caramel cream and a very thick and chocolatey truffle.

      I also love the Passion Fruit Posset which is a milk chocolate base and top, decorated with a sprinkling of juicy passion fruit pieces. Inside the chocolate is a rich white chocolate truffle which is dashed with pieces of passion fruit.

      The brand's Key Limey Pie is an award winning sweet (Great Taste Awards) and is very different and unusual. The blend of bitter sweet dark chocolate and the kick of the lemony-lime truffle inside is a pleasant awakening of the senses.

      The weakest sweets in the collection are possibly the Creme Brulee which is just a little bit bland with it's vanilla flavoured custard truffle and it's crunchy, sugary top. The Hazelnut Torte has a nice flavour but the texture of the dried nuts is not so nice.

      However, overall this collection is very impressive. They have certainly proved popular in my house and I would not hesitate to purchase these as a gift for a loved on in the future now that I know how interesting, tasty and well designed these are.

      The box cost me £6 and these sweets can be found at major supermarkets in the UK.

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    • More +
      01.09.2015 03:49
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

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      • perfect

      Disadvantages

      perfect size and easy to use

      I've never personally had my own laptop before, i've just used the family laptop, which is an older, chunkier laptop, so when i got to choose my own i wasn't sure what to look for. i liked the idea of having a ultrabook as they're much slimmer. as this ultrabook only had a 14 inch screen i wasn't sure whether i'd find that too small or not, but it isn't at all! because the whole ultrabook is slimmer and light weight, it's a perfect size! i only got it about a week ago and have been on it constantly. it has great screen brightness with easily adjustable setting for everything, easy to use if you know how to use a computer.

      there is one bad thing about this ultrabook, i purchased one with an i3 core processor expecting it to be much faster than anything i already have, but was a bit disappointed by the speed of the internet. it's only very slightly slow, but for something i got told was much faster, it's nothing too impressive. although, this could just be due to the connection to my home wifi system that is making it slightly slower, i'm not sure.
      other than that i really really love it!

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    • More +
      01.09.2015 01:10
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Moisturising "
      • Cheap
      • "Easy to apply"
      • "Natural looking tan"

      Disadvantages

      • "Fake tan smell"

      Perfect for pale skin. You can't go wrong!

      I love love love this product. I am extremely pale and the fair to medium shade was not too dark for me as you can gradually build up the colour through applications. I didn't even bother to use a mitt with this in the end and just applied it as a moisturiser and washed my hands afterwards. I didn't get any streaks or patches at all because it is so light. It dries quickly and settles into your skin well. It was £2 something for it as it was on offer and for the price, it is fantastic! In fact, I didn't even pay anything for it because I had the points on my boots card and its lasted me well all summer. I still have quite a fair bit left. I would recommend this product to anyone, even those with darker skin tones as there is also a medium to dark skin bottle. Being the colour of milk bottles I have experimented with numerous self-tanners over the years with very limited success and I think I may have finally found the product I've been looking for. The only thing I would say is that it does not last very long. You kind of need to put it on every day to get a really noticeable result which can be a bit of a pain. I would say it lasts about two days but by the second day it is already starting to fade. It lasts about shower and then you need to put more on. I would say you could maybe get away with putting it on every two days if you wanted to. Overall an amazing product for the price.

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    • pcspecialist.co.uk / Online Shop / 1 Reading / 0 Ratings
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      01.09.2015 00:41

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      • "Great service"
      • "Great price"

      Disadvantages

      Best buy

      I received a beautiful and very fast and durable notebook. Great price and service, I recommend and I do not regret the purchase.

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    • More +
      01.09.2015 00:39
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Removes all traces of make up"
      • "Soft and gentle on your skin"

      Disadvantages

      • None

      Simple wipes

      I have always used wipes to cleanse my face and these Simple kind to skin wipes are definitely my favourite. The full retail price is £3 but I have never actually paid this for them and I think that this is very expensive for a product like this. I buy a lot of toiletries from discount stores and can usually pick these up for around £1.

      There are thirty wipes in the pack which is a plastic packet with a lid similar to baby wipes which you open to remove the wipes and then click back to secure the packet. I have always found them to clip back very securely and I have never experienced them not closing properly or the wipes drying out. The wipes themselves are quite thick and strong and feel moist to the touch but not too wet to be uncomfortable or messy to use. They don't really smell of anything apart from maybe a bit fresh and they are hypo-allergenic so are suitable for most skin types.

      I have always found that one wipe is plenty to remove all my make up even if I have gone out in the evening and have been wearing full make up. They really do remove waterproof mascara and this is sometimes what I wear and I find that I don't really have to rub too hard to remove it.

      They do feel moist and cool when I am using them and I am happy that they are very gentle and not abrasive in any way. I will start off first wiping round my face all the way to my hair and jawline, then I will gently wipe down to my neck. Lastly I will wipe over my eyes which takes the longest as mascara is the hardest to remove, however with several sweeps to my upper and lower eyelashes is usually sufficient to remove all traces of my mascara.

      These wipes are great for every day but particularly when you go on holiday as they don't take up too much space or weight and are easy to transport as they won't leak or split like a bottle of cleanser or moisturiser can. I find that they always remove my make up and leave my skin feeling soft and smooth and I have never experienced any soreness or irritation with them. I recommend these wipes especially at £1 and I will continue to use them as they are soft and gentle and remove my make up with minimum effort.

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    • More +
      01.09.2015 00:33
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Removes waterproof mascara"

      Disadvantages

      • None

      Effective make up remover

      I bought this Helena Rubinstein make up remover from a local chemist when it was on offer and got it for just £3 which is a lot less than the recommended retail price of around £16. I find that a good make up remover like this one removes my make up quickly and easily.

      It has a dual action formula whilst still being gentle and it conditions your skin as well as cleansing. The bottle is clear plastic and the lotion is blue so you can clearly see how much liquid is left and it displays the usual ingredients, contact details and instructions for use.

      To use I will tip the bottle onto a cleansing pad or ball of cotton wool and then wipe it gently over my eye area. I find that I don't have to apply much pressure as the liquid seems to do the work removing my make up including liquid eye liner and waterproof mascara. I find that I only have to use a small amount and it seems to spread out so it really is good value and also it doesn't leave any smudges or little bits of mascara like some others I have used. It does have an oily feel when you apply it and I find that I need to wipe it off completely otherwise it can leave an oily film on my skin but you only need to wipe the area with a clean part of the pad or cotton wool and it comes off easily. It is fragrance free and is suitable for sensitive skin and I have always found it to be very gentle leaving my skin feeling soft and smooth.

      I do really like this eye make up remover and find it does a very good job of removing my make up leaving my skin feeling clean and fresh. When I use this product I never find any traces of make up on my pillow in the morning or underneath my eyes, so this is definitely recommended by me and well deserves five stars.

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    • More +
      01.09.2015 00:01
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • Brush
      • "Length and Volume"

      Disadvantages

      • "Sometimes goes clumpy"

      Great product. Worth the money, really accentuates lashes.

      This product is definitely a good buy. Although I have recently found another maxfactor mascara that I think I prefer (the manga lashes one) this one is great. I have the black non-waterproof version and I find it great for an everyday product.

      It volumises and lengthens your lashes and can add considerable impact if that's the look you want to go for. I tend to like to have quite bold lashes and this product can achieve this. I bought the waterproof version before and found it incredibly cumbersome to remove (guess this is so it does the job) so this mascara is great. I find it sometimes goes clumpy if you do not wipe the brush off a bit before you use it but I like the shape of the brush itself and find it easy to use. It is around an average price for a mascara so I would say it is good value for money. I have bought the product a couple of times now and would continue to buy the product in the future.

      Maxfactor products in my experience are usually good quality and this mascara lived up to my expectations. I tend to use two mascara's sometimes, one to get the volume and one to lengthen and separate out and de-clump lashes afterwards but with this mascara I often didn't need to although I tend to run out of it fairly quickly. It is worth paying the extra £2 or so for this one rather than the standard maxfactor false lash mascara as it really is better.

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    • More +
      31.08.2015 23:40
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • Cheap

      Disadvantages

      • "Doesn't last very long"

      Good present for a pre-teen?

      I guess you get what you pay for. I was bought this product from a relative one Christmas and although it sat in the box for a while I used it when I ran out of my usual perfume. It is to be honest, better used as more of a body spray as it lasts about as long and the scent is similar. I describe it as a young, fruity scent that to be honest smells a bit cheap, but it is pleasant none the less. As it is not that strong or overpowering I imagine it will be somewhat liked by the majority of tastes. The bottle is very nice and the lid clicks on and off easily. It is quite a large bottle and lasts a long time- I still have loads left. Celebrity-endorsed perfumes are in general never that good and this one falls into the same category if I'm honest. If nothing else the fact that it's Beyonce does make it a good present. It came also in a set with a shower gel/body wash which actually was really nice. I prefered this to the actual perfume and was a nice change from my usual shower gel. I would suggest it as a good perfume for a 9-13-year-old girl maybe.... Overall it is not a bad perfume for the price and I guess it meets my original expectations of the product but the body wash is better in my opinion. Perhaps just buy this one instead.

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    • Toshiba BDX3200 / Blu-Ray Player / 3 Readings / 3 Ratings
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      31.08.2015 23:33
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Easy To Use"

      Disadvantages

      • "Limited Features"

      Good Product To An Extent

      Key Features: Full-HD 3D playback; DivX HD, MKV, MP3 & JPEG playback; USB port; BD Live; Built-in picture adjustments
      Manufacturer: Toshiba

      The BDX3200 is one of two Blu-ray players Toshiba has launched this year to partner its latest range of 3D flat panel Regza TVs. The BDX3200 is the better-specified of the two, adding 3D playback to the BDX1200’s spec sheet for a premium of around £45.

      Previous Toshiba players have been rather conservative affairs, shunning the eye-catching features of its Japanese peers for straight-up affordable Blu-ray movie playback, and a quick scan of the spec sheet reveals the BDX3200 offers more of the same (aside from 3D of course). That’s not necessarily a bad move though, given that not everyone cares about streaming files round the house or watching YouTube clips on their TV

      Toshiba certainly hasn’t ignored the design conscious among you, dressing the BDX3200 in alluring gloss-black bodywork adorned by a glinting silver strip running along the top of the fascia and an illuminated Blu-ray logo in the middle. We’re not talking heavyweight build quality here as the deck is light as a feather, but it’s certainly easy on the eye – not to mention slim, with a height of just 42.5mm. The tiny display panel is quite difficult to read though, and the row of buttons on the right looks a little gawky next to some of its rivals’ sexy touch-sensitive controls.

      Next to that display panel is a USB port hidden behind a flap to stop younger members of the family jamming Twiglets into it (other snacks are available). That’s backed up on the rear panel by a modest array of connections, including HDMI v1.4, composite, analogue stereo and coaxial digital audio outputs. Once again Toshiba hasn’t yet gone down the Wi-Fi route, which leaves the Ethernet port your only way of getting online – fine if your router is situated close by, a logistical nightmare if not.

      Being a budget player it comes as no surprise to find there isn’t a second HDMI output for non 3D-ready AV receivers and no multichannel analogue outputs, but it’s worth pointing out.

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    • Sony S380 / Blu-Ray Player / 2 Readings / 2 Ratings
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      31.08.2015 23:31
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Awesome Picture Quality"

      Disadvantages

      • "Not Divx Supported"

      Good Product For The Price

      Key Features: Two USB ports; Wi-Fi ready with wireless LAN adapter; BRAVIA Internet Video; Music, video & photo playback via USB; Picture presets and noise reduction
      Manufacturer: Sony

      Sony’s BDP-S370 was one of the best budget Blu-ray players of last year, offering a number of snazzy features not always found on entry-level players, such as access to web content via Sony’s brilliant BRAVIA Internet Video. The Japanese AV behemoth follows it up this year with the BDP-S380, which looks like a similar proposition to its predecessor including its lack of support for 3D – if that’s what you’re after, you’ll need to step up to the BDP-S480, S580 or S780.

      Like most players at this price point, the BDP-S380 is a slim, slinky unit that should pose no problems being slotted into a crowded AV rack. It’s designed to match Sony’s Monolithic TVs, and as such there’s a moody gloss-black fascia and a protruding lip at the bottom that sports a row of buttons. This gives it a sleek hi-tech appearance, plus the subtle white light in the centre provides extra allure. On the right hand side is a small but legible display panel and a USB port, while overall build quality is satisfying thanks to the sturdy aluminium bodywork.

      Rear panel connectivity is pretty much what you expect from an entry-level player like this. There’s an HDMI output of course, which pipes those pixels to your hi-def TV and passes HD audio to your amp. It’s backed up by component, composite, analogue stereo and coaxial digital audio outputs, but there’s no optical output and no multichannel analogue outputs.

      The Ethernet port is on hand to provide a wired connection to the internet, but thankfully the BDP-S380 supports Wi-Fi if you buy the UWA-BR100 wireless LAN adapter, and Sony has kindly put a second USB port on the back to house it.

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