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There's little in the way of deciding features for buying a USB flash drive, but as with many things, the greatness lies in the details, and detail is precisely where this tiny device provails. The build quality of the device is much better than others that you might come across, as opposed to a cheap plastic case which easily breaks, this one is a solid piece of metal which makes it very sturdy. The metal body is then coated by a removable rubber sleave with a lid. To be honest I can't really see the point in the sleave as it easily comes loose and the lid rarely stays on. I lost the rubber sleave months ago and the stick is still working fine (so its hardly necessary for protection).
It also comes with a name and address label printed on the underside. If you're as forgetful as me then this is rather helpful, I've left plugged into computers at my college and it has always found its way back to me. Also in the way of "anti-loss" features it can be attached to a key ring or lanyard and the end lights up in orange when its plugged in.
As for the speed, although I'm not sure of the exact specifications, and I'd be far from the expert even if I was, I have no complaints. My computer, and all other computers that I've used it with detect it almost imediately and file transfers never take too long (although that mostly depends on the speed of the computer that use it with).
In summary this is a great little device, for about the same price as similar products you get a much better build quality is unlikely to break on you (even with out the rubber case).
If you live with others, who may not apreciate your music playing loud all of the time, and don't want to be restricted by wires, then these are ideal. They provide the high quality of sound that you'd expect from Sony, have several great features and best of all, they won't break the bank! Available for about £50 online these headphones are probably the best ones available in within the budget.
One of the great features of these headphones is the induction charging. Which in my opinion is something needs to be much more widely embraced by manufacturers. The headphones come with a rather unusual, but stylish, cradle shaped base station. This is both the wireless transmitter and the charger. The headphones naturally fit into the cradle and and will charge when in, this means that you don't need to worry about charging them, as chances are they'll be left in the cradle when not in use. As a result I'm not even aware of the battery limitations, I rarely wear them for more than a few hours at once, and the rest of the time they are in the cradle charging.
The headphones themselves have only two controls on them; the volume wheel and a button to switch channel (three are supported in total). There is no on/off button on either the headphones or the base, as the headband detects when it is being worn, and cuts out when removed, only to resume power when placed back on your head.
As I mentioned earlier the headphones provide the high quality of sound that you'd expect from Sony. The quality of sound rivals that more expensive heaphones, and despite them being wireless there is no real loss of quality. The only noticable difference is a subtle hissing sound that you'd get from any wireless headset, and is noticable during few seconds silence between tracks.
These headphones are not the most comfortable pair available, although nor are they the worst I've had. The headband fits securely around my head, and the ear pieces are large enough that they won't squash your ears. The only problem is that they're not as light as I'd like them to be. Wearing them there is a noticable weight on your head, probably from the batteries and wireless reciever.
These are great headphones, especially for the price that they are available for, and I would say that they rival much more expensive models. So if your budget is around £40-£60 and you want a pair of high quality headphones that won't restrict you with wires, then these are for you!
The Red Hot World Buffet in Milton Keynes is in the theatre district (just a few minutes walk from the shoppig centre) along with other restaurants such as TGI Fridays, Bella Italia, Frankies and Bennies etc. If you are ever lookiing for a place to eat in this area, Red Hot is by far the best!
As the name would suggest its an all you can eat buffet, and offers cuisine from all over the world. The buffet is layed out by country, each with a variety of dishes. Their website claims to offer over 120 dishes, and this seems to be accurate (Not that I spend my time counting), cuisines include; Chinese, Thai, Indian, Mexican, Japanese, the list goes on. The problem that you would expect form such a restaurant is that due to the diversity of the food it'd all be of poor quality. However specialist chefs are each cooking their own dishes, so the quality of- chinese food for example- is of equal standard to what you'd expect in a chinese restaurant.
For some of the dishes such as stir fries, you choose the ingrediants that you want, and then a chef will fry it all up for you on the spot. The is a very nice feature as one of the worst things bout buffets can be that the food is just left under heat lamps and dries out. The puddig section is also of good quality. As well as cheesecakes, crumbles, fruit and all the usual desserts, there is also an Ice cream and frozen yoghurt section and bowls of sweets spread about.
The drink menu is average, they have cocktails and non-alcoholic cocktails as well as beers, wines and all the regualr soft drinks.
The service does tend to vary, sometimes I've been and had to actually ask a passsing waiter to take our used plates away. Other times they are taken away almost imediately after they're done with.
This is a great place to eat, the spectacular variety of foods is sure to please everyone, although the service is not always great.
When I first got my HTC Desire I was reluctant to get a case for it. I didn't like the feel of have a surround case on it and thought that the pouch design would make it awkward to get to my phone. However after having the phone for six months, the screen acquired a large scratch. Let me tell you now, paying a few pounds for a decent pouch is better than paying £50 for a new screen!
However now that I have bought this one I'd highly reccomend it! Not only does it look professional with real, and soft leather on the outside. It protects the screen of the phone from scratches and has a soft interiopr to ensure that the screen is not damaged.
The pouch is not at all fiddly when trying to get the phone out. It was a small band along top that when pulled brings the phone out with it. The pouch is a snug fit and holds the phone tightly and securely, a reason to get the HTC branded one, rather than a genric pouch, as it is made specifically for the desire.
This pouch is a definately a must have, I wish I'd known that sooner!
I recieved my Kindle for christmas in 2011, and so after a few months of use I feel I can give it a review.
---In the box---
The packaging for the Kindle is incredibly basic, and in todays eco-conscious society that is not necessarily a bad thing. Its brown cardboard box looks similar to the stadard packaging used by Amazon, open it up there lies the Kindle in a white cardboard tray. Lift the kindle out and you'll find a USB charger and a small instruction book. Thats it, as I said... Basic.
The kindle is extremely simple to start up, after pressig the on button on the base to start it up you asked to sync it with your Amazon account and set up a wifi connection. You are also given your unique kindle email address (XXXX@Kindle.com) this can then be used to send text documents straight to your kindle. It was the start up that I noticed one of the few minor flaws of the Kindle flaw,and that is typing. If you buy the kindle 4 over the keyboard version the you are most likely aware that it will be more difficuly to type and are not too bothered. Although tedius, it is not a major issue as you are likely to do little typing on it.
Perhaps the most important factor, seeing how its and e-reader. The kindle is a delight to use, it is very comfortable to hold and the display really is like reading ink on paper, and so far I have experienced no problems with ghosting. The screen is easy to read in direct sun light and causes no eyestrain like when reading a backlit screen. For going forward and backwards in the book there are two buttons of either side, so it doesn't matter if you're right or left handed. There are also a variety of pre-installed dictionaries on the kindle that allow you look up words while reading using the 5 way controller. Another nice feature is the ability to highlight sections of text that are then saved to "my clippings". As well as highlighting the parts that you like, you also have the option of he seeing what other people have highlighted.
The kindle supports a variety of different text formats which means that you are not just restricted to buyig your books from amazon. eBooks can be downloaded on your PC and then either emailed to the kindle or simply drag and drop when connected bu USB. The easiest way however, is by using the built in Kindle store. This is accessable from the settings menu and you can then browse books and buy them within a few clicks. Amazon also allows you to download a preview (usually the first chapter) before purchasing.
The Browser is really for novelty purposes than for serious web browsing. Combined with the difficulty of typing and e ink screen that has to refresh every time you move the cursor, the Kindle really is not made mor web browsing.
The kindle really is perfect for travel! For a start it is much lighter and thinner than the 1200 books that you could have stored on it! Secondly the battery does last a great deal of time. In our society of mobile phones that need charging everyday it really nice to almost never have to charge your kindle! The battery life is estimated at one month (based on half an hour of reading time a day) which means it can easily endure long flight or car journey of non-stop reading.
The Kindle really is excellent as replacement for physical books. It is easy to read, comfrotable to hold and you don't have to worry about the battery dying on you. The only areas that the kindle falls down in are the typing and the web browsing, however these are minor parts of the kindle's functionality.
Before this one I had the iPod touch 3g, which I unfortunately had to replace due to a problem with socket for the audio jack. As soon as I opened the 4g version there were noticable improvements! First of all the black surround of the screen goes almost right to the edges rather than having a chrome trim like the 3g, which in my opinion looks much better. Secondly the newer version is significantly thinner than its predecessor, although only a few millimetres, for something that spends most of its life in a pocket it makes all the difference. The 4g also has both a front and rear camera (although of poor quality) which is not so much a necessity, but it is nice for features such as facetime. Another change that was not immediately noticable was the movement of the lock button from left to right, while not a major issue, it did take some getting used to.
As with all iPods the sound quality is excellent, I would be shocked if it were anything but. Listening to music is a breeze thanks to the intuitive music player (much better than the one on my HTC desire), adding playlists is simple and a double tap of the home button when locked brings up the controls. The whole interface is well designed at looks great on the 960x640 resolution screen, especially after the update to iOS5 (although the new notification bar is a clear rip off of android). Thanks to the front facing camera and the Facetime app video calls are available via wifi, this is somewhat of a novelty, but fun all the same.
The iPod is also perfectly capable of running almost any app from the app store, although it can sometimes be a bit unresponsive when multitasking i.e, playing music and a game at the same time.
One slight flaw that the 4g shares with all of the previous touches, is how easily the polished back scratches! Even with a case on it, it still seems to pick up marks. My second complaint is not so much about the iPod itself, but the accesories supplied. I was disapointed, although not suprised, that it came the same poor quality headphones that seem to come with all other iPods. When I bought my old Sony Walkman it came with fairly decent in ear headphones, and I can't understand why a company as large as apple can't supply the same. Also Apple have once again oly supplied a USB charger and not a mains adapter.
Despite these minor flaws the iPod 4g is a great portable media player that provides excellent music quality and a massive selection of apps from the app store.
Over the past few months my friends and I are fast becoming regulars! Fire and Stone is primarily a Pizza restaurant, although like pizza express and pizza hut, they also do pasta dishes. The food rivals that of Pizza Express and i my opinion is better. The menu has a wide variety of different toppings, all named after places around the world e.g. Newyork, Melbourne, London. For my friends and I the biggest selling point of Fire and Stone is their weekly thursday offer...Any Pizza £5! The food is usually priced, reasonably, at about £10-£12 per dish, and so £5 for a such quality pizzas are a bargain! A Pizza, and a few drinks for £10 cannot be argued with, although desserts are a little bit pricey about £7
Fire and Stone is becoming increasingly popular, and so if you want to get a table on a Thursday night you'll have to book in advance (you can do this online) to secure a table. There are two floors of the restaurant with the majority of seating being downstairs, this is the preferable place to sit as it has more atmosphere, although you don't get to choose your table.
As with most restaurants the level of service really depends on your which waiter you get. At Fire and Stone I can happily say that I have only ever recieved average and excellent service. The high quality of food is consistant and waiting time for food is never excessive. Also despite it being busy, we have never felt pressured by staff to leave.
Overall this is a great place to eat with friends or family, there is a friendly atmosphere withy kind staff and great food. On regular nights the food is reasonable, on Thursdays its a steal!
I stayed at the Wembley Plaza in January 2012 with two friends, we shared a triple room for one night and payed £19 each.
The hotel is a part of the Hilton chain and from the inside does live up to the name. The room was fairly spacious for a triple room, with comfortable beds, a reasonably sized bathroom, a flatscreen TV, minifridge and Kettle (with complimentry tea coffee and biscuits). Upon our arrival the staff were not rude, but nor were they welcoming, after checking in we went to our room on the 4th floor with a beautiful of a tesco car park.
The ameities of the hotel include an indoor swimming pool, a steam room and sauna and a gym, all free of charge. This was very welcome after a day of walking around London in the cold! Breakfast the next morning was also excellent, with a variety of cereal, fruit, toast, (near) full english- no black pudding :(
The location of the hotel is perfect for those visting either the stadium or arena, only a 5 minute walk, however if you plan on goig into the city (as we did) it is quite a distance. The hotel is about a 10 minute walk to the tube station and then about half an hour to the city centre.
This hotel is far from the nicest Hilton, but for its price is great value. Again the location is not great for visiting the centre, but for the price, and the amenities included it is good value.
I bought this kettle a few months ago, fed up of them buying cheap ones ad having to replace them, I decided to pay a bit more for higher quality product. The kettle does seem to be a very quality and robust build so far. It boils very quickly retains the heat for a long time, due to a large element and good heat insulation, however this does come at a price- the weight. This is without a doubt a heavy kettle. I guess this can be put down to the metal body, large element and heat insulation. While I am more than happy to put up with this for the features that it provides, when filled to the maximum it becomes very heavy. The insulation of the kettle is very good, not only does it retain the heat for a long time, but allows you to touch it without buring yourself, which if your as clumsy as me is very handy! Another slightly annoying factor is that the lid does not open quite as much as I'd like, angling the tap to get water in can prove slightly difficult.
Overall this is quality kettle and does seem to be worth its high cost. It also came with a 2 year warrantee from Magimix so if anything does go wrong then I'm covered!
I've had this radio for a little over a year now and am more than pleased with it. The shiny "piano" black finish really is stunning, although somewhat of a magnet for fingerprints and dust! On the front of the radio there is a small, but readable, amber display with four buttons beneath (As well as several other on the top). The display is very easy to read, displaying the time when on standby or listening to iPod or Mp3 Player and shows the radio station or frequency when using FM or DAB. The only issue, if at all, is that the display can be a bit too bright at night time. Even on its lowest brightness I find it too bright at night, but maybe that's just me. The user interface is straight forward and easily navigated, allowing you to set alarms, and change the "source".
For those who like foreign music, or live away from home and want to listen their favourite station this radio is perfect! The internet radio is easy to use and provides over 10,000 stations. You can search for stations alphabetically or by genre, country, language etc. The radio is easily connected to your home network and (depending on your bandwidth) loads stations with a few seconds.
The radio also allows you to listen to FM or DAB, connect your iPod via the iDock or other Mp3 players via the Aux in, as well as stream music wirelessly from your PC.
The sound quality is excellent, and it lets you fiddle with the bass and treble until you get to your taste. The radio has two stereo speakers and a subwoofer which all provide brilliant quality and volume. At full volume I can hear my music through out most of my house. Which brings to one of my favourite features...
This is something that I did not know when I purchased the radio and only discovered on setup. The remote, rather than traditional infrared, uses radio frequency. This means that the range of the remote is dramatically increased to about 50m. Upon set up you will asked to "bind" the remote (just press a few buttons) this means that you can control the remote from almost anywhere in the house.
I would highly reccomend this radio, and my only quibbles are:
The gloss finish is a nightmare for fingerprints and dust
The display is a little too bright for my taste
Entering letters when searching for stations or inputting wifi details is tedious, the letters are layed out alphabetically and you can scroll through them using either the remote or the +- controls on the unit. However even when using the arrows on the remote you can only move left and right not up and down.