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9217niall

9217niall
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Member since: 12.04.2010

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    • More +
      04.09.2012 21:28
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      A good beginner's bike, but I'd upgrade after a while and would look around first.

      Confidence Stow A Bike Foldable Exercise Bike

      Having purchased this bike in April, it's fair to say that it's been used at least 3 times a week, usually more, and I've had a few ups and downs with it, but for the money it's okay. Nothing spectacular.

      Having paid £74.99 for it from The Sports HQ, and reading the reviews around, I thought that it was quite a good price, considering there are many other models available for stupid amount of money. However, it's now available for £59.99 apparently: a much fairer price in my eyes.

      It comes boxed and has to be self-assembled, and after about 40 minutes or so I'd finally cracked it. The instructions were not extremely helpful, but if you're one of these who can assemble things without reading the manuals then good luck. Even with it, I managed to put two sets of screws in the wrong place!

      Once assembled, I connected up the 'monitor' on the front. It's quite handy to see a progress check of how you're doing; furthermore, it's easy to operate. If left alone, it flicks between telling you the distance you've covered, the speed you're going at, the time you've spent on the bike and the amount of calories you've burned. One gentle tap of the button fixes it to a certain setting, so if you wanted to only see the distance then this would do this for you. Holding it down for a couple of seconds resets it too, so you can start again on your next workout. The reliability of the computer is questionable, since it seems to go up in blocks and can become quite scatty, jumping from the mid twenties to the early thirties (KPH) without reading anything in-between.

      The bike has eight settings, ranging from a very flimsy '1' to a challenging '8'. I say challenging, but if you're an experienced rider, this is probably nothing. I tend to change the settings depending on the strength of the workout, but some of you may wish to keep it on the higher settings. The resistance on the bike is generally good, but obviously for beginners. More experienced users of similar equipment may be somewhat disappointed with the resistance levels offered on the bike.

      After only a few workouts, disaster struck. The straps on the pedals snapped off, and I thought that maybe this was because I was being too hard on them. However, they were replaced free of charge by The Sports HQ, which I was impressed with. Within a matter of weeks though, this set snapped too: I've now not bothered to ask for more replacements, and instead cycle without the straps - this has resulted in the odd slip if I've gone too fast, leading to a badly bruised knee as it clonks off the side of a thick screw. Not great.

      The seat would be better for me, personally, if it went a bit higher. I'm a shade under six foot and in all honesty, an extra notch or two would be beneficial to my workout. Furthermore, the seat has become unstable and I'm well below the recommended weight limit, so it's not great on this aspect. Prepare for a numb bum, also - the padding wears down after a small amount of use!

      I've also had to recently tighten the pedals and the handlebars too, as they've been loose, due to wear. Doesn't bother me too much, as they provide the tools for the job in the package too, but it's a little annoying if the pedals are shaking half way through a session.

      It does fold up fairly well, although I don't recommend leaving it too far away from where you want to position it for use; at 20KG, it's a lot of bulk to move about and there isn't an easy way of doing it.
      Overall though, for the price I've paid, I think it does represent value for money. But, with it being a bulky load to move, coupled with the small faults, I think you've seriously have to consider this. Great for a smaller user, but those taller people - like me - will struggle with this after a while.

      I would say at £59.99 it's a good bit of kit, and for a beginner there's nothing wrong with it; just be gentle with it, or the only exercise you'll be doing is to open your wallet and take your credit card or for a new one when you become fed up with the annoyances. Luckily, I'

      I'll give it three stars - just. I'd say that 2.5 is more accurate but I'm being generous with it here.

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      • Philips Micro HQ40 / Electric Shaver / 62 Readings / 59 Ratings
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        04.09.2010 17:25
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        A great piece of kit for the beginner shaver or an excellent addition to the travelling suitcase!

        Phillips HQ40 shaver

        My mum purchased this shaver for me last year as a sort of "beginner's shaver". I'd never shaved before and the idea of a real razor and blade, taking the time to shave each morning didn't appeal to me. So this handy shaver really came in handy.

        It comes in a small box, with two AA batteries and an instruction booklet. As a typical man, I never bothered with the instructions and I've never needed them, it's so simple to use. There is a little brush included too, which aids the cleaning process of it.

        The case just lifts of at the bottom to put the batteries in and normal batteries will give you around 45 minutes of well-powered shaving time. Once the power starts to go, I recommend you change the batteries as this will hurt your face - the blades won't rotate as fast, thus reducing how easily it shaves the facial hair! I recommend some decent powered rechargeable batteries, as you can use them over and over again and they last longer than normal batteries.

        To use the shaver you simply slide/push a button up and off you go! As the blades start to rotate you can start shaving, which is really simple to do and it doesn't cut your skin, it's quite gentle too.

        There is a small button on the outer side of the shaver which, when pressed, detaches the top part of the shaver, thus enabling you to clean it. Be careful and hold the shaver upright as you don't want to spill the hair - a disaster for your carpet! Inside the part you've just taken a small clip that you squeeze. Do this and it detaches the razor parts, meaning you clean them with the brush. If you're really thorough then they do slide out of this tray and then split further down for an even deeper clean, but I hardly do this as the brush does a good job.

        I would say that this would be good for a beginner with not much facial hair to shave, so a teenager, or as a handy travel companion to quick you a quick shave

        It provides a good shave, since there are two blades. None of them move so sometimes you have to spend a little longer on trickier areas, but what do you expect from a travel charger?

        Costing £15 from Argos, I've seen the same one in the Tesco Direct Christmas catalogue; it's had a slight facelift but it's the same product really. I find that it's a really good price for the job it does and I will continue to use it on a daily basis. I think that's good value for money and I'd have no quibbles about buying another one. Mine is extremely reliable and I've never had any issues with it.

        5 stars, I really cannot fault it.

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      • More +
        01.09.2010 18:34
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        Not for me as I'm a striker, clumpy and large but it's down to preference.

        Now, I usually play on grass and so studs are better for me, but when I got signed up to a five-a-side team, I felt I needed to purchase some astro-turf trainers as we'd be playing both on astro-turf and a sports hall. I've also used these in an eleven-a-side grass game when it was dry.

        The Nike Total 90 range was first introduced to the UK market back in 2000 and the range has grown substantially since then. You wouldn't recognise the original T90s if you compared them to the ones now as the design is so different.

        The original designs were, in fact, my very first football boots when I first starting playing football in 2003. Navy blue and silver they were, and I loved them! This led me to getting a pair of the same boots in astro turf too but when I outgrew them, I switched my allegiance to the Adidas Predator range and I've never looked back. Well, let's see if I'll be swapping back to Nike again...

        These trainers retail for around £40, however since Sports Direct (have always) had an offer on, they cost me £15, which I thought was a great price. I had the choice of black and orange, black and yellow or yellow and black; well, so I thought. Turns out the only had black and orange in my size, so that's what I had! On the SportsDirect website, it shows that they've gone up to £31

        With a side lacing system, they do look rather trendy. There's a large surface area on the front with the number 90 in a circle, and this would be the "striking zone" if you were to rifle a volley into the top corner.

        To the outer sides of the boots there is a bright white Nike 'tick', which looks very crisp and is typically characteristic of Nike to put it on there so boldly. On the back part of the boot, above the heel, there is also a 90 in a white circle, which adds a neat touch.

        On the soles, the little stud-type bits that stick out give you maximum grip on astro turf and also indoor. I wouldn't recommend playing in these on wet grass, as you'll go flying all over the place: obviously in matches you have to have studs, but if you're having a kick about in the rain, don't bother in these!

        I'm a size 10 and these were quite tight to start with when I first put them on, but after my first five-a-side match my feet had stretched them a little and moulded. Compared to their biggest rival, the Adidas Predator, these felt quite clumpy and big at first. However, once you get used to them they do begin to feel slightly better and therefore you can accurately judge where you want to control the ball and how best to position your feet.

        Playing primarily as a forward in five-a-side, I need to make sure I can get a clean strike on the ball and also have a good first touch. However, in 11-a-side I'm versatile and have played in practically position and so you need football trainers that will have a positive impact on your game. Well, I'm pleased to say that if you're a striker, these do help you get a powerful strike on the ball and also good placement too, however a certain level of skill is required from the man (or woman!) in the shoes. The total 90 range are the choice of boot for top drawer strikers such as Fernando Torres and Wayne Rooney, who both can deliver extremely wonderful shots with accuracy and power.

        If you're a pub footballer centre back and your team likes to play the "hoof it and run game" then these will be great for you, since the wide style of the boot means you can get maximum contact on the ball to clear the ball. I wouldn't recommend these to any player that plays on the wing since you need to bomb up and down and these just won't suffice.

        I definitely wouldn't recommend these to the play-making midfielder, since you need to be able to spin away from players with ease and you need great traction. You also need to be one step ahead of the game - great if you can think the move, not so great if you can't pull it off in these!

        Running with the ball at my feet is good, and I feel that I can maintain a good pace whilst still keeping a decent level of control of the football. In terms of crossing the ball in - in an 11-a-side grass match - it was a tad difficult to get my foot underneath the ball well enough to get a well elevated cross into the box, which would make it even harder for you if you do play out wide like I previously mentioned.

        I do feel as though they give me good placement if I'm through on goal and looking to side foot it into the net. I can also get a lot of power on my shots, although these are not always as accurate as I'd like. The trouble is, they're just not as good as the Adidas Predators, in my eyes. The predators are thinner, smaller, more stylish; these just feel clumpy, as if you're dragging concrete lumps along. The design is good, they're quite stylish to wear even with jeans, but - at least with the astro-turf styling - I just can't get on with them, though they were spongy and did support my feet nicely.

        I'm giving them a two out of five, which is probably a tad harsh - 2.5 would have been better!
        +ve points are that they're stylish, good support for your feet and good for placement or power.
        -ve points are that they're quite bad if you're trying to cross the ball in and the price is now over £30 again, they're quite clumpy too.

        Thanks for reading my review!

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        • Lexmark Z615 / Inkjet Printer / 59 Readings / 56 Ratings
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          21.08.2010 19:52
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          Does exactly what it says, nothing more, nothing less. brilliant

          Lexmark Z615 printer

          I've used this printer for around two years after purchasing it from my local ink shop for just under £15 back in 2008. As I needed to print off page upon page of coursework for submission, I needed a printer that would be reliable enough to keep up to the job; needless to say, it has never let me down.

          Inside the compact box you receive the printer itself, 2 ink cartridges and the power supply. You do no get the USB cable, but this was picked up for about £1.99.

          My main reason for this purchase was that it was at such a good price and it came with two full cartridges of ink, or so I thought. Turns out they only fill them half full, but at least I didn't have to shed out for inks straight away. I've later realised that if your printers is expensive to buy, the inks are fairly cheap to replace, and if the printer was low cost, they grab your money when you need replacement cartridges.

          Installing the inks was simple, as you lift the front flap up and the cartridge holders slide along to the middle. You just pull up the top, slot the inks in and then clip down the lids on top. Simples!

          Plugging in the printer to the USB slot, it didn't take long to be recognised. The software is downloaded within seconds as it was only a small file and it installed extremely quickly. I decided to do a test print first and configure the settings, which you can do on screen. It prints a line of 20 colours and you type back which number was clearest. This was all relatively simple really. This will work with Windows 2000, XP, Vista and also Mac OS X (whatever that is...). I don't know if it supports Windows 7, but I assume it will.

          There is one cool feature with this printer (and most Lexmark printers I believe). IT TALKS! As soon as you hit the print button, it says "printing started". This happens at the same time as a box in the bottom right of your screen popping up, giving you and update on your ink levels and how far through the printing is. I found it handy as it meant I could start looking for the best deals on ink when I knew it would be getting low.

          As well as telling you your printing has started, it also tells you if you should press the "feed paper" button if it's jammed or slightly skew-whiff and you also get a message if your inks are running low, which I think is brilliant. Be sure to have your sound down low - it can be quite loud and frightening the first few times!

          Printing is quite fast for such a small machine, it says it will print 14 PPM (pages per minute) in mono, and in colour it will complete 8 PPM, which isn't bad for a low cost printer. All my documents have come out brilliant presented and the text isn't wonky or anything. There's never any surplus ink spilled onto the paper, so that's a bonus. There's an extendable tray on the end so that the paper doesn't go on the floor or anything. For standard documents you could get away with using "quick print", which uses less ink but still comes out fine. You find the option to change this on 'properties' after you've pressed 'file' and then 'print' in your word document.

          As for colour printing, you can print vivid images which come out stunningly. None of the colours run over each other and they don't come out faded in places like some printers do. It is best if you change the colour setting to "high quality" for pictures, as you receive increased quality although it is slower to print.

          While printing, it can get a little noisy but while it isn't being used it is silent, so I can put up with the noise for a few seconds to print a page here and there.

          Should you not use the printer for a while, it does have a "head cleaning" function built in, which removes the dried on ink and any other nasties so you can have crisp, fresh documents. The inks required for this printer are 16 or 17 (black) and 26 or 27 (colours). I believe one set are only half filled inks, therefore they are cheaper. You can pick up a twin set of 16 and 26 inks on Play.com for £17 at the moment - official Lexmark inks. Obviously if you choose 3rd party ones, they'll be cheaper.

          I would recommend this printer to anybody as it is low cost and it will be extremely efficient for the student as the inks will last a long time. 5 stars from me! (Thanks for reading).

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          • Kensington ValuKeyboard / Keyboard / 47 Readings / 46 Ratings
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            19.08.2010 15:27
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            If you're in need of a keyboard, go for this. Why pay more?

            Kensington ValuKeyboard

            I needed a keyboard for when I was going to put my netbook onto a large LCD screen, as it makes it easier to do essays and letters, for example, since my eyesight isn't that great. I had been looking for a keyboard for a while, but I wasn't really fussed about the brand, as long as it did the job and was a reasonable price.

            Well, I scoured the car boot sales that I attended but came home empty handed - the prices some sellers want is ludicrous. One seller wanted £10 for a second hand Dell keyboard. Anyway, whilst on holiday I came across this. It was brand new in a cellophane box and I asked how much it was; needless to say 2 minutes later I was £2 lighter but had a new keyboard! Upon coming back I discovered that it is currently retailing for £5.86 on Misco.co.uk, so definitely towards the lower end of the market. A quick google search and I see that it's also available for £4, so a real bargain!

            The amazing thing about this keyboard is that it can fit both USB and PS/2 connection ports on your PC or Laptop. As standard, it is a USB 'ended' device; however they include an adaptor to make it usable with PS/2 slots on your device, which normally cost about £2.50 on their own anyway. It is wired, but for the price I paid, I'm not complaining. You just plug it in and within seconds, it is instantly recognisable.

            Another great feature of this keyboard is that it is spill resistant, so should you accidently have an accident with the keyboard and some liquid, they keyboard will still work due the spill-safe technology, because the sealed membrane can resist the spill.

            It comes in black, with white writing on the keys. Layout wise, it's the same as you'd expect on any other keyboard, with the 'QWERTY' set up and the number pad to the right hand side. Soft to the touch, the keys are quite springy and have a calm feel to them, they're very quiet when typing, unlike some keyboards where it sounds like a machine gun is firing when somebody is typing extremely fast! The sleek, modern design also means it won't take up too much room on your desk.

            There are two clips to the back that raise up if you like your keyboard to be slightly higher at the top than at the bottom, although I would prefer it if they were a little longer. However, the keyboard works perfectly fine and I can type my reviews without clattering other keys into Word Documents!

            As standard, you get a five year warranty from Kensington.

            For the price, you really cannot go wrong. There are no fancy hot keys but what do you expect for something you can buy for £4? I would recommend it to anyone because although it's cheap, it's a name you can trust.

            5 stars all the way for a great, back-to-basics keyboard.

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            • Advent 9115 / Laptop / 35 Readings / 32 Ratings
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              18.08.2010 18:47
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              A brilliant laptop for those on a low budget. Extremely reliable!!

              Advent 9115

              Having previously reviewed my Fujitsu-Siemens laptop, I thought it would be good to share my experiences with the laptop that replaced it!

              This laptop was released in November 2007, and I purchased it in around February 2008 - I still kept my old laptop but gave it to my brother who also lives in the household.

              Advent computers are aimed towards the cheaper end of the market and this computer was no exception. If I remember correctly, I paid just under £400 from PC World for this laptop. You should now be able to pick this laptop up for around £120 if you're looking to purchase second hand.

              Oh, and remember, you get an amazing variety of colours...oh, I meant black.

              So, you're wondering what you get for your money?
              Well, as standard, the computer comes equipped with 2GB RAM, a large 120GB hard drive, DVD re-writer drive and a shiny 15.4" TFT screen. The processor on the laptop is an Intel Pentium Dual Core, which, in theory, should allow it to run smoothly.

              Setting up the laptop is easy and efficient; it only takes a matter of minutes. You do have to input a few details too but once you've done that, you're ready to explore. As standard, it comes with Windows Vista Home Premium operating system. I didn't have that many problems with it, although the general consensus was that many would prefer to stick with a more reliable version of Windows: XP. Having Vista installed meant you could customise and tweak more than you can on XP. It also took up more memory than XP, meaning the laptop ran a little slower. Now that I've reverted back to XP on my latest laptop, I can tell you that it also freezes more often and in comparison, I'd rather stick to XP. However, I did get on with Vista and I feel it's good, but they could have made the laptop more appealing with XP

              2 gigabytes of RAM is plenty for your everyday tasks, such as word processing, surfing the internet and (if you feel the need to) it will run Microsoft Live Messenger, which is more commonly known as MSN, with ease. I also managed to play my Football Manager game on it competently and it processed things quickly. As a side note, I managed to run Macromedia Suite 8 on it, which is a fairly large program and takes up a considerable amount of memory. It did it with ease, although I did have to select it to "run as Windows XP", since it didn't want to load very well with Vista.

              The large 120 GB hard drive never gave up on me and I got nowhere near to filling it up! The hard drive is partitioned for the Operating System and then your everyday storage needs. On the hard drive is also "The Tech Guys" help program pre-installed, so should you encounter any problems you can fix them yourself without having to pay out for fees etc. Obviously these days you can get a lot of help on the internet too if you're not sure on what to do or if more serious problems develop

              The laptop wasn't tacky or weak by no means, however it isn't the strongest I've seen. The screen (for my liking), has too much play, as when you put it in to place it's still slightly flimsy. It had a matt black out shell, although on the bottom of the back of the screen there is a slight design pattern which adds a neat touch. I kept mine in a case when not in use, however it didn't stop it getting the odd scratch on the top, which happened quite easily due to the plastic outer casing.

              The 15.4" widescreen is clear and crisp, although try not to get any finger prints on these as they're hard to get off. Anti-glare would have been nicer but this is a low end laptop and therefore I wouldn't expect it as standard. Using a button on the keyboard, you can adjust the brightness. It goes quite bright which is nice if you need to see when you're outside but if one is in a darker room, then you have the ability to tone it down a little.
              The trackpad and buttons are situated in the middle of the laptop, not towards the side like on some laptops. I prefer the layout like this rather than to the side. The keys on the keyboard aren't too far apart and are firm to the touch. Should one come off, they're extremely easy to pop back on and replacements aren't too costly.

              On the laptop there are 4 USB slots; two to the side, two to the back which are easily accessible and are the standardised and most used 2.0 configuration. There's also a 4-in-1 card reader on the side - this is suitable for SD cards. I found it extremely useful when taking photos of my eBay items, as I didn't need to fiddle around with cable and camera, I could just pop in the memory cards and all my photos were there to view in seconds. Wireless, as you'd expect, is built in (RaLink Wireless Card), however there is a major flaw with it (in my eyes anyway). Every time you turn on the machine, you have to activate it by pressing FN and F10. This is really annoying as you should expect it to already be turned on when using it. There isn't a way of solving this, it's how the card operates.

              The battery lasted for more than 3 hours when I first purchased it, but struggled to last 2 hours come September 2009, just over 18 months. That said, I felt this was good, since I use my laptop on a daily basis for in excess of 3 hours a day. The power cable wasn't thin and was very strong, I didn't have to replace it in all the time I owned the laptop.

              Watching DVDs on the screen was a breeze due to the clear screen and the fact it has a DVD reader-type drive. I would recommend keeping the laptop on a flat surface in a well ventilated area, since it can get quite warm inside and cause internal components to malfunction or even be rendered unusable.

              I never had any problems with my Advent, Vista updates downloaded regularly and it was a good servant to me. I would recommend this to anyone as it is a powerful laptop for a good price and it's extremely reliable.

              I give it 5 stars. Brilliant computer.

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            • More +
              15.08.2010 12:42
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              Don't buy it, save your money and get something more sturdy and practical!

              Argos canvas wardrobe.

              Thankfully, I only paid £20 from eBay. Still brand new and sealed, still an Argos canvas wardrobe. Some come with poles and others with wood. I only had the choice of poles. It does retail for £50+ in Argos, and similar ones go for more from other retailers.

              My reasons for purchasing it are that I only have a small chest of drawers and a clothes basket for all my clothes. Any jackets/shirts/trousers/suits are hung on the bag of my door on two rails which isn't the best way of keeping clothes. I thought it would be more beneficial to have everything hung up in a stylish storage facility. Well, obviously buying this wasn't the answer to my questions.

              When you open up the wardrobe, you'll see all the poles, the canvas and a set of instructions. When I say set, I meant to say you get one sheet with barely readable numbers and tiny, confusing, overlapping diagrams. If you've a pair of binoculars handy, get them out now.

              Handily, the poles are all labelled up with a little sticker, which, surprisingly, matches up to the number on the instructions.

              So (with binoculars at hand), I had to match up the poles. I started with the bottom base, which is relatively easy to do. Then I had to start building up one side which didn't stand up at all well and I got my friend to hold it; I wouldn't recommend constructing this with one person. Once the main side was up, I could construct the five shelves that went up the other side.

              The plastic "joints" slot the poles together and I'd completed all of it within 15 minutes (with the help of my friend). While putting the poles together, you have to make sure insert the sheets of fabrics along the poles for the small shelves (something I forgot to do, as the instructions were unclear!)

              I did have a few concerns about the build quality of the whole wardrobe. The poles are about as strong as bamboo sticks and whilst some of the poles would push easily into the "joints", most would hardly fit in. The quality of these were poor because, as I've mentioned, they don't fit the pole well, but also because they aren't finished well - sharps bits of plastic scratched across my fingers and caught one of my clothes too.

              Also, the colour of the wardrobe wasn't so much beige, more urine coloured, so it blended in excellently with my freshly painted walls...not! Really disgusting, although you can get it in navy blue and pink (so the box says)

              To top it all off, the fabric didn't fit properly over the poles, even with two people pulling it down simultaneously. It ripped, but with a bit of UHU glue, it was on the mend.

              I then unzipped it to put my clothes in. Space wise, there's an awful lot of it in the shelves, but I wouldn't want to fill the gaps up completely with clothes as the fragile canvas would have a breakdown. I hung up my suit jackets in there and I couldn't get a medium men's one in without it sticking out and making the front look all lumpy, so there's not really a decent amount of space in terms of depth, which I felt was disappointing.

              With all my clothes in, there was plenty of space in the compartment shelves, but the let down was the depth of the wardrobe, as the hanging rail wasn't deep enough and so the clothes pushed against the front and stuck out, making it highly noticeable and ugly.

              I couldn't bear to look at the disgusting monstrosity any more and needless to say, my clothes are back in a chest of drawers with my suits on the doors for now. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone, and I definitely wouldn't pay £50+ for it.

              1 dooyoo star, because that's the lowest I can give. Poor build quality, poor colour and lack of space but it was quick to set up once you've managed to read the miniature instructions!

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              • More +
                26.07.2010 20:14
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                Definitely worth buying because they're so comfy, you won't want to take them off!

                Nike Court Tradition Trainers.

                One of the most iconic and noticeable trainer shoes available on the market at the moment. They've been around for a few years, but over this time, the range and popularity.

                I've just purchased another pair off of eBay because I love this make so much.

                The shoes are available in both junior and adult sizes, with there being colour schemes to suit both male and female taste.

                Both the velcro and lace up versions are extremely trendy and I have no preference to these as I think they look great. I do feel that the lace ups work better with a smart pair of jeans, and that velcro do work better with sporty clothes like tracksuits and shorts. I currently have a pair of each because I like to change the styles.

                For the most part, the trainers are white with another colour making up the detail of the shoe. For example, I've just purchased white ones with a little green tick on the side of the soles and then the Nike writing on the tongue is green. They're very stylish indeed.

                You can get the main colour as black too, but the ones I see are usually white. There are a variety of colours available to suit your individual preference.

                The soles of the shoes are extremely hard wearing and will last for a long time. It sounds silly to type it but they're not too firm that they hurt your feet and you feel like you're walking on wood, but on the other hand they're not too spongy that you feel like you're walking on foam.

                When you put your foot into the trainer you'll find they are quite padded which is nice. This protects and comforts your foot so you're not getting any pain while using them.

                I wear mine for all sorts of sports, like football, tennis and basketball and they give me no pain at all. I do use them while cycling too and they're very comfortable and as I use mine for all of these, it shows they're good on all surfaces and conditions.

                Nike Court Tradition trainers have an RRP of around £55 but tend to be sold nearer the £40 mark in places such as Sports Direct and JJB. If you've a watchful eye on eBay, you can grab some real bargains; it was just the other week I picked up a pair of hardly worn ones for £12.50 including delivery which was a great deal.

                £40 is around the same price as their competitors like Adidas and Puma.

                I give them five stars as they offer fantastic comfort and durability couple with their decent retail price.

                They're so comfy, you won't want to take them off!

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                • More +
                  20.07.2010 10:55
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                  Used to be a high flyer, still good for a beginner though!

                  I purchased this laptop in November 2005: it was my first laptop.

                  My computer actually came with 512mb RAM, which for the time made it one of the best in the market. A large 40GB hard drive accompanied the computer, as well as a clean install of Windows!

                  I shelled out £399.97 at the time which was wasn't the cheapest laptop available, however I wanted it to be faster than my desktop. I felt £400 was worth it for such a good looking, high spec laptop. It held quite a lot of its value, as I still managed to sell it for £175 last summer, so that was good.

                  If you are looking to purchase one of these, then you're going to pay around £100 nowadays for one from eBay.

                  You get a 15" Screen which is clear, but compared to the ones you buy now, it's not very good. However, it serves its purpose and I was happy with it.

                  The keys were soft and springy to the touch and in the whole time I owned it, they never displaced themselves. I like how there was a contrast between the white/grey keypad area and the black casing.

                  One thing I would recommend for ALL laptops is that they are stored in a bag, because the tops can get very scratched and this is detracts from the appearance of the machine.

                  Also, keep the laptop on flat surface and make sure the area is well ventilated. This is because it got quite hot on the underneath and would cause discomfort on your lap and is also bad for the laptop if it overheats. Don't use them for long periods of time, such as 2+ hours in a row. This is because it will get hot and run down the internal parts so it's best to have breaks.

                  It has 4 usb slots; 2 on the side and 2 on the back. The two on the left side are next to each other, so you can have two things in at any one time. The back slots are on top of each other, so that's a bit annoying as it can be hard to squeeze two USB things.

                  In terms of how quick it was, it booted up extremely quickly and would play my Championship Manager 04 game with ease. Microsoft Office programs opened up within a few seconds and it wasn't slow when in use.

                  The battery life was about 2 hours when I purchased it, but obviously these deteriorate and therefore it only lasted about 35 minutes when I sold it. If I'd have planned on buying a new battery, it would have cost upwards of £80

                  Now, to the only let down of this computer is the power cable. It become very frail quite easily and a non-Fujitsu Siemens branded one cost £60, which is a hefty about to pay.

                  The computer plays DVDs too, but I added a piece of DVD playing software to make it easier, smoother and clearer to use.

                  There were many laptops beginning with the "V20", and I believe you can interchange the parts. There are a lot of these around so it shouldn't cost too much to replace certain aspects of it

                  I would recommend this as a beginner/children's laptop these days, since they're outdated in the current market.

                  4 stars from me!

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                  • FIFA World Cup / Discussion / 61 Readings / 48 Ratings
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                    21.06.2010 21:11
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                    Get in the South African spirit this summer...just not too often!

                    The Vuvuzela: love it or hate it, it's part of the South African World Cup experience.

                    With each major footballing tournament, the fans of the teams try to embrace the culture of surroundings in which it's held. To create an atmosphere at football matches, the South Africans have used the Vuvuzela to create noise at football matches.

                    So, fans have been flooding in their thousands to buy these, not only in South Africa but also here in England too.

                    In South Africa you can buy one for about 60 Rand, which is equivalent to around £5.60; above it says the "hot offer" is £9.94 from Amazon, which is a fair price to pay and similar to those on you local high street. I haven't seen too many of the large, full-size ones, although some supermarkets do sell them.

                    Typically, Vuvuzelas are around 65cm (2ft in old money), though they can vary in size and you can find smaller versions. Obviously because it's made of plastic, it's easily breakable, so don't be too rough if you're wacking it about, not that you should be.

                    In terms of sound, it produces one monotonous sound as you're blowing into it, but obviously blowing at different speeds and for different lengths of time makes the pitch different, but in general a monotonous sound is produced. It's quite a light thing and although long, it's easy to hold. You don't need to apply too much force when blowing to make some sort of noise.

                    A recent survey showed that a standard Vuvuzela can produce a sound up to 130 Decibels, which is just under the equivalent of Jet take off, apparently. (According to my research)

                    I find that because of the sheer number of people blowing into these overgrown horns, they are detracting from the game of football; instead of the cheering, all you can hear are the Vuvuzelas.

                    Many high profile footballers have blamed poor team performances or bad moments of play on the Vuvuzela - these include Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Patrice Evra. The latter has blamed the Vuvuzela for France's poor perfomance, citing issues of poor communication with his team mates due the noise these cause. I, for one, don't agree with Mr Evra. You're 11 men on the pitch that speak the same language. Highly trained, over-paid athletes, and you can't kick a football between two posts because of some noise? Yeah, somehow I don't agree...

                    There has been pressure on FIFA to ban the Vuvuzela, because of the noise level which detriments the game of football, and also because of the associated health risks. In the opening ceremony of the games, the announcer asked all owners of a Vuvuzela to refrain from playing, as he couldn't be heard.

                    FIFA do have the powers to ban the instruments, which in one respects I feel they should, since it detracts from the quality of the game, but on the other hand, it's the South African spirit, and the world cup is being hosted there, so we should respect their traditions and cultures.

                    The BBC received over 500 complaints from viewers, with those complaining claiming that the Vuvuzela has interrupted their viewing experience, and the BBC (as well as ITV) are looking for alternate ways to provide coverage of the games without the Vuvuzela noise, while still maintaining full commentary. I find this drastically ridiculous, what a waste of money. You stick with the South African spirit, annoying as it can be. If you don't like it, don't watch it. They're not blowing for the whole 90 minutes, so it's not so bad.

                    However, my problem with it is here in the UK. I can cope with it on the tele, but youths wandering the streets of our towns with them, blowing furiously to try and disrupt the general calm of our neighbourhoods. They then proceed to think they're funny by hanging about in groups and blowing them all in one go. I know they're a bit of fun, but it'd be nice for people to consider others; not everyone's bad mind you, just the minority spoil it! Some pubs have banned them too; others haven't, so you might not have any being blasted in your ear at various intervals of the match.

                    In the wake of the Vuvuzela revelations, it has been banned from Wimbledon and other major sporting events, such as the Millennium Stadium and the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

                    Relating back to health and safety concerns, there has recently been an article in the news about a woman who ripped her windpipe from blowing on the Vuvuzela, so use it with caution!

                    So, why have I rated it two stars?

                    Well, all the hype surrounding it has actually meant there's a lot of attention on the Vuvuzela which means there's less focus on the World Cup. For me, as a passionate football fan, I'd rather them talk about the football, not the Vuvuzela. Also, inconsiderate people don't have respect for others and blare it out everywhere in the street, which isn't needed. Also, there are the risks associated, like pain to your ears and your throat.

                    However, I should also point out that this symbolizes what South Africa is about, and that you can't take it away from them, so it should still remain in the World Cup, even if it does annoy some people.

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                    • Mars Revels / Chocolate / 49 Readings / 48 Ratings
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                      19.06.2010 18:05
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                      A good variety bag that'll satisfy your sweet tooth

                      Revels

                      Packaged in their traditional orange, brown and slightly red livery, they really stand out from the crowd. The packet has "revels" written on it in white bubble writing and orange shading around the outside.

                      They come in the standard bags of 35g or you can purchase the large 140g bag, which is re-sealable and great for sharing. However, as they're so morish, they're also great for keeping to yourself; not so good for your waistline, mind you.

                      One 35g bag contains 168 kilocalories, which is 8% of your Guideline Daily Amount (GDA) based on a 2000kcal diet. One bag also contains 7.4g of fat, which is 11% of your GDA. Definitely try and refrain from eating too much of these!

                      I purchased my small bag for 55 pence in my local corner shop, so they're probably cheaper elsewhere. The larger bag of 140g are around £1.60, yet you can purchase them in Poundland and Home Bargains for £1 which is far more respectable price to pay. You can find these bags in all good shops and newsagents. There are even larger bags but I think these are only available in cinemas.

                      There are 6 varieties of sweets inside the bag. These are:-

                      * Coffee: a round, chocolate coated sweet with a soft, but strong tasting coffee centre. Many people dislike this, but it is my favourite since I love the flavour so much and I wish they'd do a bag of these on their own. For those of you who don't like it, there's not many of these, in fact I'd say it's the one that there is the least amount of.

                      * Orange: very similar in principle to the coffee one, the same size too. Definitely more of these, again a soft centre in the middle and a subtle orange flavour, gives a like kick when you bite into it.

                      * Chocolate; this is just a whole chocolate shape in the style of the "minstrel" sweets but without the crisp outer shell. I like them but I prefer "minstrels" because of the crispness of the shell, but it is a nice sweet in this set of combinations.

                      * Toffee: slightly smaller than the coffee/orange but nonetheless a very sweet confectionary item. It does get stuck in your teeth and it's very hard to chew but I do like it very much because it's something different, something for you to sink your teeth into. Sometimes I find that the toffee is slightly too hard and in those cases, very hard to chew.

                      * Raisin: your typical chocolate coated raisin, like you can get in the "pick n mix" ranges in shops. The raisins are always soft and they taste great, but there are always an awful lot of these in the bag, which is a big disappointment in my eyes, because if I wanted loads of these I would have bought a bag of them. Just by the size of it, you'll know what you're going to eat.

                      * Malteaser: the same as any other malteaser, the honeycomb centre and a very light chocolate. The largest of all so you know what you're going to be eating just from feeling it but I do like an odd malteaser so the inclusion of these is fantastic for revels. Lovely and crispy to bite into.

                      In previous versions there were coconut and peanut versions, which were replaced by the current coffee and raisin versions respectively. Although I never tried these, the coconut one sounds extremely appealing; I'm a big lover of Bounty!

                      A "Big Brother" eviction campaign was launched in July 2008, with Coffee receiving the majority of the votes. They were replaced with a strawberry crème version, but coffee returned by the turn of the New Year. I am glad that the coffee remains, I found the strawberry too sweet and vile to an extent.

                      4 stars from me, I love these sweets but there they're carlorie crazy and I'm fed up of so many raisin ones.

                      Thanks for reading.

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                      • JD Sports / Highstreet Shopping / 58 Readings / 55 Ratings
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                        12.06.2010 08:23
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                        Worth a visit, just don't spend beyond your means.

                        JD sports are fashion and footwear retailer who seem to tailor their styles to the younger generation, or at least that's how it comes across to me. They do stock many sporting goods too, but they're primarily a fashion store, whereas somewhere like SportsDirect specialise in sporting clothes and goods. The company was founded in 1981 with just one store, however now they now operate over 400 stores in the UK. The founders were John Wardle and David Makin, hence the "JD" in the name.

                        Always stocking the latest trends, their shops are packed with choice. However I've found that the some of their stores can be cramped, with lots of garments being placed high up on the wall. Obviously only staff members can get these down which means you have to spend the time asking a member of staff to get the item of clothing you wish to try on. The high railings aren't all bad though, as it means you get a wider choice of brand, design and size.

                        Placed throughout the store are little islands with t-shirts on them, usually Adidas, Mckenzie and Nike and these have always been on an offer, two for £20. I feel this is good value for t-shirts these days because they can be costly. I've seen t-shirts on sale for £30 or more - at the end of the day, it's a piece of fabric with some holes in it!

                        Every store I've visited, as well as my local one, has a sale rack! Okay, so some of them can be very small and don't offer a wide choice, but in other stores there can be 3 or 4 rails of clothes. They are always separated into Men's and Women's sections. It's worth checking them, there are some fantastic bargains to me had. For example, I was on holiday in the Isle of Wight and popped into the store there. I purchased a McKenzie jacket for £15, so I soon nabbed that! I've also purchased McKenzie t-shirts for a fiver, absolutely brilliant for someone who doesn't have a big budget when it comes to clothes.

                        However, not all of their products are low cost. Oh no. If your wallet happens to be overflowing with cash, then there are items to suit those budgets too! Adidas trainers: £80. Nike tracksuit top: £50. Lacoste t-shirt: £50. Now I know I've picked a few items at random here, but those 3 items alone would cost £180 and you still haven't got a whole outfit. Yes, there are other, cheaper items in store, but there are also very class, expensive items that some people just cannot afford.

                        Members of staff are young, clued up people who, for the most part, are happy to deal with you and offer any assistance if need be. Nearly all are extremely chirpy and informative which I have found to be very helpful/ For example, when I purchased shoes, they advised me on what was the best pair of trainers to purchase for my needs.

                        Online you'll find all the products they stock, including lots of the latest offers. There are toggle options so you can refine your searches which I find useful as it shows products that suit my style within in my price range. There is free delivery over a certain limit. I would recommend you definitely have a look in their sale sections on the website, there are massive reductions on many items and I've picked up some bargains here before.

                        JD Sports offer a gift card service, so they're great for giving out as presents. By being purchased in £5, £10 and £25 denominations, you have a choice to suit your budget. Also, I've seen them for sale in Sainsbury's, so you can bung one in on your weekly shop! A perfect gift if you're unsure what to buy somebody for those special occasions. I've had them given to me on previous occasions and I feel they are better than money because I can buy something useful with them from the shop, whereas money would just get wasted away on useless junk items I don't actually need.

                        If I've had to return something to the store, there has never been a problem as long as it was still tagged if it's the wrong size or there was a valid reason, as long as I had my proof of purchase.

                        I am deducting one star because the price of some of the goods can be quite high but the layout, cleanliness, helpfulness of staff, variety of products and general good business practises make this a firm favourite of mine.

                        All in all, if you're a fashion guru then it might be worth going to check these people out, since their stock is always of the highest quality. There's an excellent choice both online and in-store, so what are you waiting for?

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                        • mazumamobile.com / Internet Site / 68 Readings / 67 Ratings
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                          29.05.2010 18:35
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                          Try it and see what your mobile is worth!

                          Mazuma Mobile

                          ** What they do **

                          Mazuma Mobile are one of the UK's leading phone recycling companies. The aim of the company is to purchase your phone off of you: this stops it going into landfill and gives you some money for your next upgrade. Mazuma will cater for both individual and business needs.

                          I was sceptical when I first came across this site and you probably will be too. However, hopefully my review will change your mind and put any worries at ease.

                          ** The website **

                          When you arrive onto the homepage, you are greeted with a well laid out website that's easy to navigate. To the technophobes out there, it may seem daunting at first because the layout is quite crowded but structured. Upon arrival of the homepage, you are greeted with a purple and white colour scheme, with the former being the background throughout.

                          Along the top of the website is a navigational bar with numerous links, so if you're looking for something, chances are it'll be hiding beneath one of those sub categories. There are a variety of buttons to click which will take you to the various destinations on the site. As you look down the site, there is a large advertisement that shows you various information: this includes how much they've paid out and also a few prices for several different mobiles.

                          To be able to use the website, you'll have to sign up for an account - this takes less than a couple minutes and is extremely simple to do. All they require is a few details, like name, date of birth and email (which is not sold to 3rd parties). Extremely easy to do.

                          At the top of the webpage, there is a search box whereby you type in the model of your mobile; once you've tapped enter, you'll be redirected and can choose your make of mobile from any of the matching results.

                          ** How does it work? **

                          Mazuma follow the same procedure that most other phone companies do;
                          (Info copied from my review about Mobilevaluer.com - check it out if you have time, it was crowned!)

                          * They value your phone
                          * They send you a jiffy bag to post it in/you send it freepost to them
                          * They process your order
                          * They pay you the money in a variety of ways

                          You will need to sign up to the site first, as previously mentioned. You can then select the phone you are going to sell by typing the model name into the search box. If you don't know the model, you can search for it by the make and then trawl through pictures until you find your phone.

                          Not all phones will be in the archive, but nearly all are; if there's one that's not there, you can email them and see what they can do.

                          Once you've selected your phone(s), you must enter the IMEI numbers of the phones so that they know what to expect. For those of you who don't know, the IMEI is a 15 digit number that is unique to each mobile. These can be used to tell if a phone is working, lost/stolen etc. You can find your IMEI on the back of your phone, usually underneath the battery. However, if you turn the phone on and key in *#06# and it will come up on your phone display. Once you've put in the IMEI number, you're free to continue the check out process. If the phone you are selling is classed as lost/stolen, then the company will not accept it and you will not receive your money nor will you receive the phone back - I think this would be understandable, considering it's stolen goods!

                          The rest of the ordering process is extremely simple. You review your order and the next stage is to input your details so that they can send you your freepost envelope. Once you've filled in all this and made sure all your details are correct, you confirm your order and this process is done. The whole process is very easy and there are plenty of prompts on the screen should you be unsure on anything. While you're in this section, you can choose to be paid in 'cash' (in the form of a cheque or directly to your bank) OR you can take Argos Vouchers, which yield 10% more that the cash value, if the cash value is £40, then you could get £44 in Argos vouchers.

                          Now you just wait for your envelope to arrive!

                          Once it arrives, just pop your phone into the bag. Now, Mazuma doesn't require any other accessories, just the phone and its battery. I would recommend some bubble wrap or plenty of newspaper to package the phone in; you don't want it being damaged in the post as you won't be able to claim any money back and the value of your phone will go down 90%. The pre-paid postage bag they provide you is fine if your phone is of low value, but for anything over the value of £40, I recommend that you send it via Royal Mail Special Delivery. This will offer peace of mind, as you can track it online and it also offers compensation should loss or damage occur. When I sent my phone off, as the standard postage had already been paid then I only paid for the insurance on top

                          They let you know on your account screen what is happening ever step of the way, so it will update and notify you that the envelope is on its way. Inside the envelope, there's also a leaflet that explains the process and some of the postal options they recommend, but as I've said, make sure you've got peace of mind! You have a note to put in the bag, which identifies your package once Mazuma have received it. Remember to include this note or you're pretty doomed otherwise!

                          So, once you've posted it off, the waiting game begins. Again, you'll be updated when they receive the phone and you'll get an e-mail letting you know too (I think). It then goes for testing, to make sure it is fully working as you've said and at this stage, they check to make sure it's not stolen.

                          You'll be informed that the phone has passed all the due diligence tests and your choice of payment will be on its way to you. When I used the company, I chose the cheque option as I didn't fancy giving bank details over the web. My cheque was sent out two days after they have received the phone, so an extremely quick turn around.

                          When I received my cheque the day after it was posted, I headed straight for the bank, keen to get it cashed in. It took the normal few days to do this but, checking online, I could see the money had gone in. I was chuffed; the whole process took less than a week!

                          Now, the prices you receive on the site can be less than on other sites. If you read my crowned review about mobilevaluer.com, you'll see that you can get a better price elsewhere. It can be confusing and difficult to decipher which company to choose. However, Mazuma has a great reputation and if you look in the top corner of their website, you'll find a link to a site that tells you numerous reviews and opinions of other people's experiences with Mazuma.

                          I would definitely recommend a visit to Mazuma to sell your old mobile phone, or indeed any phones that you have lying around, simply because you could have cash just waiting to be released. The whole process is quick and easy and it was a pleasure to deal with them. All of my friends now use Mazuma Mobile, I just can't speak highly enough of them. Absolutely brilliant, 5 stars!

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                          • Dimitar Berbatov / Discussion / 67 Readings / 66 Ratings
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                            16.05.2010 17:36
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                            A brilliant player - even if he does play for United

                            Dimitar Ivanov Berbatov was borrn on the 30th January 1981, which makes him currently 29. This is an age that is said to be where players are at their peak.

                            Berbatov played for Pirin Blagoevgrad while in his youth, a team that his dad played for professionally. When he was a young boy, he tried to model his game on Marco Van Basten; this was until Euro 96, when his new idol was Alan Shearer.

                            At the tender age of just 17, he moved to CSKA Sofia, where he first came to the attention of many of Europe's clubs. Dimitar's time in CSKA was a mixed one, as he was kidnapped after a training session by a Bulgarian gangster, who wanted him to play for his favourite team. However, undeterred, Berbatov made a real name for himself, by scoring 25 goals in 50 games - an excellent goals to game ratio for such a young footballer. His stay at the club lasted until January 2001.

                            He moved to Bayer Leverkusen in January 2001. The influential striker played a brilliant part in Leverkusen's road to the Champions League final, but overall the start he made was poor and below expectation. Fine individual goals in the Champions League did show glimpses of his potential.He scored 16 goals in 67 games, well below the form he showed at his previous club. Although it took a long time, the club's faith was repaid when, in 2004, he scored 16 goals in 24 games, which is a record of 2 goals for every 3 goals.

                            Many journalists thought this form was enough for bigger clubs to get their wallets out, however it was another 2 years before this happened. In the summer of 2006, after scoring 46 goals in the previous couple of seasons, he was definitely on the move, and heading for England's top flight.

                            The Bulgarian centre-forward first graced the Premier League when he joined Tottenham Hostpur. A fee in the region of £11 million was paid, and Berbatov was handed the number 9 shirt. Two minutes into his home debut, he found the net against Sheffield United. Building a strong partnership with Robbie Keane, and being utilised in Martin Jol's striker rotation, Berbatov still managed to secure the role of main striker. As he had such a great season, he was named in the Team of the Season, being one of only 3 players to be named who weren't from the title winners, Manchester United.

                            With 44 stars and 6 substitute appearances in all competitions, Berbatov scored 23 goals in his first season. He also claimed April's player of the month, sharing this with his strike partner Robbie Keane; the first shared award since 2004. He also hit a landmark by scoring Spurs' 100th goal of the season.

                            His second season picked up where the previous one left off, with the Bulgarian being compared to Thierry Henry by Arsene Wenger. In December 2007 he scored his first hat trick for Spurs, when he scored 4 goals in the pulsating 6-4 win against Reading. In another good season, he again scored Spurs' 100th goal of their season and, quite strangely, finished with an identical number of goals and assists to the previous season: 23 goals and 11 assists in all competitions.

                            As Spurs reached the Carling Cup final in this season, Berbatov had his first taste of glory with the team. He scored the equaliser in a game which Tottenham won 2-1 against Chelsea in the magnificent Wembley Stadium. However, once this 2007/08 season was over, rumours were rife that Berbatov wanted a move away from White Harte Lane and he was dropped from the squads for the new season.

                            A move to Manchester materialised after his club accepted a bid from both Manchester United and Manchester City. Eventually he chose the red half of Manchetser and the fee was £30.75 million, with Frazier Campbell moving on loan to London as part of a makeweight in the deal, which happened on deadline day. He left Spurs with a record of 46 goals in 102 games.

                            When he joined, he received the number 9 shirt, most recently vacated by Louis Saha. Joining a team with such world-class players, Berbatov wasn't able to play the major role he would've liked. Besides, the cameras were trained to follow Cristiana Ronaldo throughout the game, as he was the one that was spearheaded United's attacking.

                            Although his season wasn't as fruitful in terms of goals, he finished joint second in terms of assists. He still finished the season with 20 goals, though 6 of these did come in International games for his country. He did show, on numerous occasions, his goal scoring prowess but also his link up play. A few neat touches and stylish turns created opportunities for his team mates. Some sports reports criticised him for his lack of work rate, but to me it seemed as if the whole team was working for Cristiano Ronaldo - just my opinion though.

                            In the summer of 2009, Ronaldo left for the millions of Madrid, meaning Berbatov had the chance to create some headlines for himself. He did so with devastating fashion. An inspirational display against Wolsfsburg in the Champions League was followed up with a sterling performance against Sunderland, where he scored a scissor kick equaliser. More key performances followed, but a muscular injury ruled him out of playing for a month and this meant his stunning form was disrupted.

                            Upon return to the team, it took him a while to slot back in. He didn't immediately find the back of the net again and it took him a month to score, with the goal coming against Hull. He did regain the form from early season, scoring 5 goals in 5 games. In March of this season, he scored his first brace for the club, leading the line for United against Bolton, where they won 4-0.

                            As the season wore on, things worsened for the Bulgarian. Injuries to Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney meant he was the only recognised first team striker, and he came under hefty criticism from fans and pundits alike for not producing the goods in the Red Devil's late push for the title. Berbatov was heavy relied upon, yet he couldn't rise to the occasion, causing the manager to rush Rooney's recovery from injury to aid the title hopes. In total, Berbatov scored 12 goals in 29 games for United in what turned out to be a rubbish latter half of the season for the striker.

                            Also attacked for his poor work rate this season, it seems that he has become disheartened and discontented with life in Manchester and it has been suggested that Berbatov will leave in the summer; however no official bids have been placed as yet.

                            As for his international career, Berbatov has scored 48 goals in 77 games. He also captained the team for four years up until his retirement, where he cited personal concerns and constant criticism as his reason for retirement. The number of goals he scored makes him Bulgaria's all time leading goal scorer. I feel this is a great loss to international football as a whole and not just the Bulgarian National team, as his impact on the field can be phenomenal, even if he does have the bad game here and there.

                            In my opinion, Berbatov is one of the world's best strikers. Many people may disagree with this statement, but he is an influential player. He can bring his team mates into the game, he has a deft touch and is a proven goal scorer. Just take a look on YouTube, which shows how one bit of skill opens up an opportunity for his team mate! (type 'Berbatov vs West Ham' and click the 3rd link down)
                            I love watching this player as you never know what side of him you're going to get, but he's a proven goal scorer (as I may have said before...) and he's unpredictable.

                            Although there's a heck of a lot of bad press about Berbatov, a reason for his lack of goals is his willingness to backtrack to the midfield and help them out when defending: this can cause him not to be at the front of the attack and obviously if you're not in the box, you're not getting the shots.

                            Thanks for reading my review.

                            *If you feel there's more I can add, or something I haven't picked up on, message me and I'll happily have a little go at editing my review!*

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                              15.05.2010 19:32
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                              A good sweet but only in moderation

                              Mister Choc Milk Chocolate Peanuts

                              You've heard of M&Ms, now experience something different!

                              ** Where will I find them? **

                              These little beauties can be found within the sweets and snack aisle in LIDL stores. So far, LIDL are the only place in the UK that I know you can purchase these from. I may be wrong but I did try and do a little research before writing this review

                              ** How will I recognise them? **

                              Packaged in a plastic yellow bag, there's a colourful image of peanuts on the front - not real ones, by the way! To the bottom left is a logo which states the product contains no artificial colours, which is re-assuring to know

                              ** How much will I get? **

                              A 250g bag: it should last you a little while. A very generous amount will be in your packet. Don't eat them all at once though...you'll regret it!

                              ** Price **

                              99 pennies! For a 250g bag, this is real value for money. If we compare this to M&M's, you'd have to pay £1.75 in my local Sainsbury's for a 185g bag, so we can see that Mister Choc Milk Chocolate peanuts offer the best value.
                              Mister choc price per 100g - 39.6p
                              M&Ms price per 100g - 94.6p
                              These are definitely the better choice if money is your main issue.


                              ** What are they like? **

                              Well, they're different to M&Ms to say the least. The crunchy outer shell has no artificial colours, as previously mentioned. The colours include orange, green, brown, yellow and red, which are actually on the lighter end of the colour 'scale'. Once you've cracked the outer shell, you're greeted with a thick helping of milk chocolate; an extremely nice, melt in the mouth chocolate (if you have the time to eat it layer by layer, dismantling it inside your mouth)! Anyway, on to the next layer; a huge peanut awaits in the middle, which I wouldn't recommend eating on its own - very bland and quite tasteless.
                              Now, the M&Ms are all one size. The Mister Choc version is completely different! You receive a wide range of shapes and sizes in the bag. However, as a whole, these are quick nice, though thorough chewing will be required for the larger ones.

                              ** Nutritional Knowledge **

                              A 100g serving of these contains 500kcal, but watch out for the fat - 25g per 100g! This is extremely bad, so eat these nuts sparingly.

                              ** Anything else? **

                              Yes - be careful how many you eat

                              ** Would I recommend these? **

                              Yes, with a little hesitation mind you. A good tasting chocolate covered peanut, but the calories and fat that come with it defy belief! Seriously, if you're on a diet, then you shouldn't even be looking at these but don't buy them as a 'treat' - scoff the lot and that's your diet ruined!

                              4 stars

                              I've taken one off for the amount of calories and fat in them, but on the whole a good value alternative to M&Ms: something a little different.

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