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I originally bought the Brother 2150N a year ago to replace an older model, the 1250N which was also a mono laser printer which I had been using for a few years and had decided to give up on me altogether. Already having previously owned a Brother, I decided to buy Brother again because of the reliability of their printers and the fact that they last so long. As I print at least 15 pages of Word and PDF documents a day, I only needed a mono laser printer, a printer which only prints in black and white rather than a fancy colour printer. I bought this from Oyyy.co.uk after a good shop around and got it for £99 including delivery, but sadly a year on this printer is still at a similar price on the internet, for those who may consider buying it.
First Impressions and Overall Appearance
Straight out of the box you can see immediately that this printer is very basic. There is only the Go Button that is located on the front of the printer and 3 LED lights: Toner LED, Drum LED and Error LED. These essentially demonstrate to you at a first glance how simple and easy this printer is to use. It is a little heavy, being a laser printer you would expect it to be. The box includes the printer itself, 2 installation CDs (1 for Windows Vista, Mac and all previous versions and 1 for Windows 7), a quick set-up guide, the drum unit and a toner cartridge and the AC power cord. The design itself is pretty good, the colour scheme of white with navy blue goes well with the printer and the smooth chamfered edges add to the overall look of this printer. Clearly this isn't by no means the best looking printer available, but because of its function of being a mono laser printer, Brother has made this printer for those who care about printing performance rather than looks. Initial set-up will take no longer than a few minutes, as all I had to do was insert the drum and toner cartridge, connect he power cord and add paper to the paper tray. Please be aware that you will need a USB interface cable to connect the printer to your PC or Mac which isn't supplied, but can be usually purchased from an electronics store for around £10. Installing the printer on your PC or Mac is also a doddle. If you're using a Mac as I do, it should automatically detect the printer and you will be able to print as soon as you connect the printer to your Mac. However, for PC users you will need to use the Installation CD provided to install all the relevant information onto your PC, but this doesn't take very long at all. It is important to point out that if at any point you do have problems or issues, the guide provided in the printer box is extremely helpful. There are step by step stages for installing the printer as well as annotated diagrams which make the installation even easier. I'm confident that anyone could install this printer because of how detailed and well made the quick set-up guide for this printer is. Furthermore, the CD's provided also guide you through each step of the installation which is great if you haven't purchased a printer like this before.
Basic Printer Features and Operation
As I have mentioned this is a mono laser printer, meaning it will only print in black and white. It is ideal if you're printing large amounts of Word, PDF and other documents at home or in offices, but if you're looking for a printer which prints great quality colour photos, this isn't it. This is why I believe it would appeal to office workers or home users who tend to print black and white documents on a regular basis. Because Brother has targeted this sort of market, it has many features which would appeal to such buyers. On average the Brother 2150N prints 22 pages per minute which is pretty impressive considering it is a small compact mono laser printer (larger more expensive office printers can print up to 30ppm). It will print a maximum paper size of A4 which I'm sure is the regular printing size, but not any bigger than this as the paper tray can only hold paper as big as A4. The paper tray itself can hold up to 250 sheets of paper but this depends on the thickness and type of paper you use. The resolution of the printer or how clear the text and images appear is 240dpi × 600dpi (or dots per minute) which isn't as high as colour printers which have a 4800dpi × 1200dpi resolution on average. When your printing it operates like any other printer you have and the LED Go Button will flash blue every time you have sent a print job to the printer to let you know that something is being printed. The advantage of having these LED buttons is that you know if the printer is having any problems, as each one will flash accordingly. Hence if the toner is low the Toner LED will flash indicating the toner needs replacing. The Drum LED indicates when the drum is nearing the end of its life and the Error LED indicates either there is no paper, a paper jam or if the printer cover is open. Loading the paper tray is a doddle too as the paper tray just slides out and you can insert your paper straight into it. This printer is really simple to operate as I said before so you can use it day in day out and not worry about anything going wrong.
Toner and Drum Life
The toner life on this printer is pretty impressive, as since the last year I have only replaced the toner 3 or 4 times, considering I print at least 5 pages during a weekday if not more with this printer. When the toner is low the Toner LED will flash yellow telling you that it needs to be replaced and even if you don't replace the toner immediately it will last you a week or so before it totally runs out. Being a laser printer and using toners instead of ink cartridges means that you will be able to print much more than if you were using an inkjet printer and this is ideal if you using this to print only black and white documents on a regular basis. From personal experience the toners themselves aren't too expensive to replace. I buy compatible toners that do the same job as the original Brother toners but are half the price and retail at around £20 to £25 and help to save money. The Drum life is 12000 pages so it will be a considerable amount of time before you will have to consider replacing this. Even for me this will be a few years! However when you do need to replace it you will have to fork out around £80 or so for a new drum. This is quite a bit to pay for and some would consider buying a new printer altogether but as I said this is something that you will need to think about a long time after you purchase this printer.
Other Additional Features
This printer in comparison to other Brother printers I have had in the past isn't too loud when it is printing. Having even used it during the night whilst everyone is sleeping, I can honestly say you can't hear it. The thing that lets this printer down the most is that fact that it isn't wirelessly enabled, something that tends to be quite common in many of the printers on sale these days. I'm sure that if it did have a wireless feature I wouldn't be able to fault this printer at all and it is a feature that is essential for this type of printer. Brother also provide a 12 month warranty on this printer which is great if anything goes wrong within the first year of your purchase as they will replace any parts or the entire printer in accordance to their warranty.
Ease of Use
The 2150N is extremely simple to use as I've mentioned before. Brother have made this print very easy for almost anyone to use, especially through their use of the 4 LED lights. This means that you can easily resolve any problems that you may have as one of the LED lights on the printer will flash according to whichever problem that the printer is having. You can easily turn on your PC or Mac and print away once you have installed the printer software; it is as easy as that. Replacing paper and cartridges are also quick and easy to do. My kids use this most of the time and they have no problem at all printing off all their school work and what not and so far it hasn't caused me any problems what so ever. I honestly can't recommend this printer enough for people who are looking for something easy to use on a regular basis, which prints in black and white, as this printer fits the role perfectly.
I honestly believe this printer is the best laser mono printer I have ever had and I'm sure it will last me many years to come. Brother have really created a easy to use and professional printer that will print quality black and white documents and be quite cheap to maintain. Clearly the lack of a wirelessly enabled function lets this printer down slightly and is likely to put some people off. However, with a quick printing speed and long toner life, the Brother 2150N is a truly superb mono laser printer.
I purchased the Siemens Gigaset C385 Trio over a year ago to replace a faulty Panasonic Trio handset. Although the description mentions a review for the double set I have the trio, which provides an additional handset. I was looking for something simple and easy to use and ideally a triple wireless handset as the house is quite big so it is nice to have a few handsets dotted around the house, so if you are upstairs there will be a phone handy if you need it. This Siemens handset fitted the bill perfectly and from other reviews I had read that Siemens was a very reliable brand when it came to home phone handsets. Furthermore, this set was very well priced, only £69.99 for three wireless handsets and answering machine with 25 minutes recording time seemed like a good buy. I purchased this from Argos when this price had been reduced from around £80, but with a little shopping around on the Internet I've found you can get this for as little as £39.99.
First Impressions and Overall Appearance
Out of the box this trio of identical handsets doesn't look too bad. Clearly they aren't the most fashionable and best looking of phones but nonetheless, they are very solid and well designed. I've bought these handsets with the Titanium finish which unfortunately is the only finish available, but they do look good around the house I have to say. The front of each handset has a titanium finish and the back has a dark matt black finish. In my opinion this is great and makes cleaning the phone easy, I did accidentally cover the back of one of the handsets in paint whilst painting around the house and cleared the paint off after an hour with a dry towel. There aren't too many buttons on each handset and each button has a picture on it showing what it is for. The keypad isn't the biggest, but this is something I wouldn't worry about at all, however for elderly people with sight problems it may be difficult to see all the numbers. There is one main base station which is where the answering machine is located, this is probably best kept in the living room or the most commonly used room in the house with a telephone connection socket. The other 2 handsets are significantly smaller and only have charging cradles with them, so they can be placed elsewhere in the house, I personally have one in the kitchen and one in the upstairs bedroom. The handsets do fit nicely in each of the cradles' but I have on a number of occasions accidentally knocked them over with a little knock, so they don't seem to stable. Each handset is identical so you can easily switch them around the house if you wish. It's important to note that only the main base station with the answering machine needs to be connected to via phone cable to you telephone socket, the other 2 handsets only require mains power to use which is handy. Setting everything up the first time is simple, all the relevant cables and rechargeable batteries are supplied. There is a well-detailed instruction booklet provided which clearly explains how to set everything up, with plenty of pictures too making it easy to understand. We had all 3 handsets set up in the house in around less than 10 mins, it's as quick and simple as that. After each handset has been plugged in all you need to do is set the date and time and the booklet explains this very well so you have no problems in doing this. Initially it will take around 11 hours for each handset to charge fully, but after around 2 hours I was already using it around the house. The 1.5 inch LCD screen on each phone has a simple black and orange colour theme which makes everything easy to see. Being light each handset is easy to carry around, but they are a little big at around 5.5 inches long but will easily fit in pockets.
Basic Phone Features and Operation
Probably the most important thing about these handsets in my opinion is that they are completely cordless. In this day and age it's so much simple to have a cordless phone rather than a wired one and trying to move around the house with a wired telephone in your hands. Each of the handsets have a 50m indoor range and a 300m indoor range so you can easily pop down to the corner shop to fetch the milk and still keep talking on the phone. Otherwise this great to use around the house and in the garden and moving around does nothing to affect the sound quality whatsoever. The standby time for each handset is around 700 hours and talktime is for around 28 hours. Charging time will differ between the main base station handset and the other handsets around the house. The main station handset takes a little longer to fully charge, around 12 hours whilst the other handsets take around 9 hours. The reason for this is because the handset which is on the main base station uses a little more battery than the other handsets around the house because it is the handset through which the rest of the other handsets operate. Saying this, I usually use each of the phones regularly and forget to charge them for at least a day or so and they still work fine the next morning. Making calls is like any other phone as it has a button for calling (green) and a button to terminate calls (red). However, you can easily set the phones to start answering a call as soon as they are picked up from the cradles, which is handy and stops you from having to press a button again and again when answering a call. You can store up to an amazing 150 phone entries on each handset, which is ideal, I have only managed to reach half of this after one year! As I said it is very simple to add new entries to each handset and takes less than a minute, but what I found extremely handy was that when you save an entry on 1 handset you can easily send this entry to the rest of the handsets in the house or even send a whole group of numbers, which saves you having to save the same number on each phone. The phone has the usual redial button and you can easily view your call history through the touch of a button, allowing you to view the past 25 outgoing and ingoing calls. There is also handsfree mode on each handset so instead of holding the phone to you ear you can it put it down if front of you and is great when you want other people to participate in a call. You also assign up to 10 speed dial numbers too if you wish. There are 15 different ringing melodies to choose from and they aren't too bad either. When not being used the LCD screen of each handset (standby mode) will simply display the time only, but in the main screen it will display the date, time, battery remaining, signal strength and the number of the handset. The is also a button on each of the handsets which lets you call the other handsets in the house. This is a much needed feature especially when the kids have misplaced one of the handsets around the house somewhere, it can be vey easy to find. I've also used this to wake them up in the morning and rung the handset in the bedroom letting them know they need to get up!
This handset has the answering machine built into the main station as with most handsets with answering machines. The answering machine on this handset has up to 25 mins recording time, this may not seem a lot but we have messages stored in it before Christmas and there is still plenty of time left which is a real advantage. Listening to old plays and playing new ones is very simple. The message light on the base station will flash red continuously showing that you have a new message and you just press it to hear the messages that have been left. Deleting messages is also easy, just the click of a button and you can either delete many messages together or individually. The machine also lets you pause during playback of a message, go back to the previous message or skip to the next. This is extremely handy and reminds me of my Sky HD box! As with many home phones you can also record your own announcement if you wish. Another very useful feature is that you can listen to any messages left on the machine via any handset anywhere in the house. This saves you having to go back to the main base station to hear a message that has been left. The playback from each message is very clear and even when listening to messages from individual handsets instead of the answering machine, none of the clarity is lost. For privacy you can even programme the answering machine to be protected by PIN so when you enter that PIN only then will your messages be played back. Another useful of the answering machine is the protection of recordings against power failure. I can only say this has happened once last year where there was a minor power cut in the area, and everything went dead for a while. However, after everything was up and running again we'd found that the answering machine hadn't lost any of the saved messages.
The Gigaset C385 also boasts integrated High Sound Performance (HSP) technology that provides higher sound quality to normal analog land-line phones. I can't honestly say I know how this technology works or how, but the sound quality on this set is superb. The sound is clear and crisp and even when I have used the phone in the attic, your conversations are just as clear as if you were using the phone outside. This probably has to be one of the best set of phones I have owned in terms of sound quality and it is clearly an area where Siemens know their stuff.
The Siemens Gigaset C385 has a whole host of other features it has to offer. The first of these is that you can send SMS messages and receive them too. I can't say I've used this feature too much but on the few occasions that I have I can say it works very well and messages are easy to read on the screen. However, if this feature isn't to your liking you can simply deactivate it if you wish. The phone can also be switched to the ECO Mode+ which reduces the transmission power significantly helping to save electricity and the environment. I have used this feature myself and I find it no different to having the phone on normal mode, so it is definitely worth bearing in mind to use. However, having the phone in this mode does reduce the range of each handset, so I wouldn't use the phone more further than the garden if this mode is in use. There is also an alarm you can program on the phone, which although is pretty basic has eliminated the need for the bedside clock. You can also listen in to an external call known as making a Conference call, a feature which seems to common in such phones. This enables someone else in the house, who has access to a handset to listen in or take part in your conversation. Personally I have deactivated this feature because of the numerous times the kids have tried to listen in to my conversations, so something to bear in mind. The Siemens also supports CLIP or Calling Line Identification Presentation which means that when you receive a call, the caller's number and name is displayed. However, this feature will only work if you have this enabled with you telephone provider, something I only found out recently. Some companies will charge for this privilege, normally around £1 a month, whilst others offer it for free, so this definitely worth looking into and checking with you telephone provider for. As well as 30 different languages available and the ability of being able to mount any of the bases to a wall, the Gigaset C385 is certainly worth every penny.
Ease of Use
This phone is extremely simple to use for almost anybody. The buttons on the handsets are few and easy to understand, however it is the silver Navigation key which guides you through to the main menu where you can make changes such as increasing ringing volume and changing ringing melodies. The orange and black colour scheme on the LCD screen works well during the day and the night. If you're looking for something that will easy to use for you and the family I would strongly recommend this. From the moment you take this out of the box, you will not have any problems with operating and using the phone and if you do happen to the instruction booklet is very helpful.
Overall, I honestly think this is the best home phone I have had to date. The Siemens Gigaset C385 is packed to the brim with features and although there are some you will never bother to use, the ones that you will do will perform very well. It's great to use within a family home and well worth every penny you spend on it and you can be sure that this phone will last you a few good years and not something that will go faulty a year or so after it is bought. Every home should have a phone like this and if you looking to buy a home phone seriously consider this as Siemens have definitely made this an amazing product.
I bought this printer around 2 years ago to replace an old HP Deskjet Printer. The main use I would have for it was printing word documents a few times during the week, the kids printing their work off and every few times a month using it to print photos. The main reason I had gone for this Kodak Printer was because I wasn't looking to spend a lot on a printer at the time, being a Kodak I assumed that the picture quality would be very good for printing pictures and most of all I was sucked in by the Kodak Printer ads telling me how Kodak Printers used less ink and the ink cartridges were more cheaper than other printers. Furthermore, being an All in One printer it meant I could also get rid of my huge scanner and put this in its place. At the time when I purchased it I payed around £80 online, unfortunately to my knowledge this model is quite old and new models have replaced it (e.g new models with built in Wi-fi) and this specific model has been discontinued. A similar model to this with built in Wi-fi can be bought for round £65.
First Impressions and Overall Appearance
On first impressions the Kodak ESP 5 is a good looking and well designed printer. It weighs around 6.5 kg so it isn't too heavy either and in terms of size it will easily fit under a computer desk. The main control panel has a piano black glossy covering, whilst the rest of the printer is a dark matt black and overall seems to have a good build quality. In the right hand corner is a large 3.0-inch LCD colour screen on which you can view your photos before printing and also carry out a number of operations such as scanning and copying without having to turn your PC on. The buttons on the main control panel have a silver and black theme and are well made, with an on/off power button, zoom in/out button, cancel button, start button and a square grid so you can navigate through photos on the LCD screen. The printer also has a PictBridge port and a Memory Card Slot so you can easily print and view photos without having to go turn on your PC. This printer uses only 2 ink cartridges, a black and a colour both of which are provided already. You are also provided with a power lead and adaptor and a Software and User Guide CD, however, I think it would have been better if a full set of instructions was included in the box rather than on the CD.
Photo and Document Quality
Setting the printer up is fairly straight forward and the small guide provided is quite helpful if you have any problems. Not being a Wi-fi printer sadly you will need to connect it to your PC with a USB cable which isn't provided as is common with most printers these days. You can pick up cables like this for around £10 at a computer store if you already haven't got one. In terms of picture quality I can honestly say the Kodak ESP 5 prints photos of exceptional quality and detail. I have printed photos of various sizes of paper and of different scenes such as landscapes and of family and each time the photos come out very crisp and clear and sometimes seems like you've had them printed from professionally. On all the photos I have printed edges are clear and the colours are very vivid and look great in a picture frame around the house. Furthermore, Kodak also claim that the inks they use are smudge proof and dry to the touch straight from the printer. From personal experience I can't say they are totally dry straight from the printer but it will take around 30 seconds for the ink to completely dry, but this will depend on the size of photo you print. Printing photos is also fairly simple as you just insert your memory card into the slot and there is no need to turn the PC on, as you can view all your photos on the 3.0-inch LCD colour screen. You can also decided whether you want you photos borderless or not and print multiple photos all in one go which can be very useful. In terms of document quality, it seems to me that a black and white document is no different in quality compared to when I print it from my mono-laser printer. However, when the kids are using it to print of school documents and projects with pictures and text it is ideal. It will print around 30 pages per minute in black and 29 pages per minute in colour which isn't too bad, but when printing photos it will take much longer. Using the Kodak Home Centre software that is provided you can also make multiple changes, such as colour alterations, brightness, contrast and red-eye elimination in photos when using your PC. You can even whiten teeth and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and blemishes. When I have wanted to print off photos I have often altered my photos using this software before printing them off and the photos look much better than if I was to simply print them off as they were.
Inks and Cartridge Life
Despite what the adverts say about Kodak Printers using less ink and the ink being able to 'achieve the highest level of overall print performance of any current consumer desktop printer system' I have to strongly disagree. In my personal opinion this printer uses too much ink and it seems I have to replace the ink every 2 months or so, even though I often never use this printer. The colour cartridge has to be the worst and after printing a few colour photos on A5 size photo paper the colour cartridge is already half empty. I tried to ignore this the first few couple of months but lately it has become a little annoying and I have resorted to printing anything that isn't colour on my other mono black and white printer. I am sure there will be some people who will disagree with me, but for me the one thing that Kodak say their printers do best, seems to be the thing they do worst! The black ink cartridge doesn't seem to run out as often but as I say I would avoid using this if you are simply going to use it to print documents most of the time. Although the life of the cartridges is awful the price of the cartridges is probably the best you will find for any cartridge in an all in one inkjet printer. You can get both a colour and black cartridge for less than £15 and best of all the prices are more or less the same wherever you buy them. Because it only uses a colour and black ink cartridge not only are they cheap, but I personally prefer it to printers which have multiple ink cartridges.
Scanning and Copying
Scanning and copying on this printer is relatively straight forward and often you won't need to even turn your PC for this as you can do everything using the controls on the main control panel and view your scan on the LCD screen. However if you do wish to crop, adjust and make other changes to your scanned document or image you are better off using the PC to do so. The software provided by Kodak on their CD is the Kodak Home Centre System which lets you navigate between printing, scanning and copying. This system is very handy when you want to edit and make changes to documents and pictures and strongly recommend you install it if you purchase this printer. What is probably the biggest problem about the scanning and copying feature on the Kodak ESP 5 is the amount of sound it makes when it is scanning or copying. I am sure that the noise this printer makes when scanning a document or photo could wake up the whole house if I tried whilst they were asleep. It seems as if a factory machine is operating right next to you and can often get quite annoying. This is why I recommend you try out the scanning and copying functions on any printer before you buy it, just to avoid any surprises when you buy it.
Operation and Other Features
The printer being noisy when scanning/copying is bad enough but even for general printing it is still really loud in my opinion and this is probably what annoys me most about this printer. Even when the kids are using it I can hear it downstairs from the other rooms in the house and I am sure people who also have this printer will agree. The printer does however have a very smart paper sensor which detects the paper type that is being used and the settings are automatically adjusted to ensure you get the best print possible which is a very good feature. The Kodak ESP 5 also has a Bluetooth slot and can apparently connect with Bluetooth enabled devices. Initially I though this would be very useful as it would allow me to print wirelessly using the bluetooth on my laptop, however after plugging in several bluetooth transmitters into the printer and having no luck I gave up. It seems that you have to buy a Kodak Bluetooth transmitter which costs around £50 to be able to use this feature, which in my opinion is a complete waste of money.
Ease of Use
The printer itself is very easy to use its just a matter of using the buttons on the main control panel to get what you want and the LCD screen shows all the options that you have available when printing or scanning too. As I said, most of the time you won't need to turn your PC or laptop on when scanning or printing photos because it can be done directly from the printer which adds to the simplicity of this printer. Changing ink cartridges is straight forward and very simple, but I think this simplicity wears off after you realise the ink runs out so often. My kids use this and they have no problem at all printing off all their school work and what not and so far it hasn't caused me any major problems.
Overall, a good printer in terms of photo quality, build/design and ease of use. The price of the ink cartridges is what will probably win you over with this printer as with any other Kodak Printer, as they are much cheaper than any other printer cartridges. Unfortunately, the amount of noise it makes and the speed at which the ink runs out really let this printer down. If you are looking for something that will last and is going to be used on a daily basis and for a family this printer doesn't quite fit the bill.
I purchased this Gtech Cordless Sweeper just under a year ago for my wife who had just had surgery and being crazy about cleaning I decided to buy this cordless floor sweeper so that she could continue to vacuum around the house using this, instead of our heavy Dyson DC25 which she would have had difficulty moving around. This Gtech Sweeper however was very light and cordless and it meant she could easily vacuum around the house. This was by no means a replacement for our Dyson, instead it was just so my wife could give the rooms a quick vacuum here and there rather than vacuuming with a heavy vacuum cleaner. I had decided to choose between this and a similar cordless Dyson, the Dyson DC35. I chose this instead because it was £150 cheaper compared to the Dyson and it had a longer battery life and could be used for a longer period of time. I bought this for £49.99 at Argos, but I am sure with a little shopping around you can get this for around £40.
First Impressions and Overall Appearance
On first impressions the Gtech is extremely light it, it only weighs around 1.6kg, which is perfect for any elderly people who don't want to push huge vacuum cleaners around everyday. The main unit itself has a low profile, which means it's pretty easy to vacuum under your beds and other furniture, without you having to strain yourself. It has a very sleek and simple design, I purchased the Gtech SW08 which has a silver and purple colour scheme which looks appealing. It only has 2 different buttons on the main unit, which increases the simplicity of it. One button is to turn it on and off, whilst the other lets you adjust the speed depending on whether you are using it on carpets or on hard floors. There are 2 telescopic tubes, which let you adjust the height of the handle. Furthermore, it's extremely easy to assemble and takes no more than a few minutes, as the instructions are very helpful with diagrams on each page. The dust tray located on the main unit is a simple sliding tray that is easy to remove and put back in. Finally the Gtech runs on a 6.0v battery, which is located inside the main unit, which takes around 16 hours to fully charge using the charging adaptor that is provided.
Cleaning ability and Operation and Features
As I use this almost everyday I've had the chance to see how good it cleans and picks up dirt on a day to day basis. To start it you just push the on button with your foot and you're off, it's as simple as that. The power button will illuminate red to let you know the unit is turned on and the Speed Control LED will illuminate green telling you which option you have selected for cleaning, either for use on carpets or on laminate floors and tiles. You can push the speed control button if you wish to switch between the two and the Gtech will change its speed accordingly. There is a small visor at the front of it so you can see what is going into it. For everyday use this is great, i.e when the kids drop cereal or crisps around the house, small hairs and even in the kitchen to pick up small pieces of litter. If you have pets this vacuum cleaner is ideal. However, as you would expect with this type of vacuum cleaner it won't pick up bigger pieces of rubbish. The rubberized wheels and maneuverable base mean it easily glides over the kitchen tiles and laminate flooring, but even when being used on the carpet it moves around easily and quickly and doesn't require too much strength. The dirt tray being quite big does take time to fill up so you needn't worry about having to empty it every day or week and it does often surprise you about how much dirt there is on your carpet! There is also a Furniture guard at the front of it so it won't cause any scratches or bumps on you furniture if you accidentally hit it against or table or chair, whilst cleaning. Even though the manufacturer's claim it is good for edge cleaning, it does tend to struggle sometimes in corners where a small connecting thin hose would be useful to be able to reach in such areas. It is great however though for cleaning stairs, as the front part of it is detachable so the fibres clean around the edges saves having to haul a heavy hoover up the stairs. You can remove the main upper handle leaving you with the basic unit and you can steer around using the top base handle, which is great for cleaning specific areas and on the stairs. The Gtech is also surprisingly quite compared to other vacuum cleaners and only produces around 80db and you can easily hear other people over it without a problem.
Battery Life and Recharging
The 6.0v battery which powers the Gtech takes around 16 hours to charge fully and will give you up to around 1 hour of usage, however I've found that I will charge this on a Monday, use it throughout the weekdays and charge it again on a Sunday as I only spend around 5 minutes vacuuming one room as it is so quick and light. Considering other similar cordless vacuum cleaners, this one has probably the longest running time. The Dyson DC35 which I also considered buying only has a run time of 15 minutes compared to this Gtech which has a run time 4 times longer than the Dyson. When you do plug it into charge the power LED light will illuminate to let you know it has started charging. Unfortunately, this LED light doesn't turn off to let you know it has fully charged, which I thought was a bit of a let down. It's extremely important to bear in mind with this cordless vacuum cleaner as with all other cordless Gtech cleaners, that if the cleaner is left to charge for more than 16 hours the battery could be damaged and not operate again. This is where it would be ideal if the LED would turn off or flash to let you know it has fully charged.
Ease of Use
Being very lightweight and cordless the Gtech is very simple to use and the pivoting head makes it very easy to move around. Emptying the dirt tray is quick to do as it just slides out and then back when you have emptied it. However, it is important that you when you do pick it make sure the main unit is horizontal otherwise if it is carried with the 'nose down' dirt will spill from the dust tray which can often be quite annoying when you have just cleaned the tiles and dirt is falling out. Because it is very well ergonomically designed it will fit any individual well and be a delight to use and it is very well built. As I mentioned it will pick up small items of rubbish and any loose dirt, but because of its small 6.0v it will struggle to pick up larger or harder bits. If this is the case I would consider you look at the Dyson DC35 which has a huge 22.0v battery, but has a poor battery in comparison to this Gtech.
Overall this is great product and there are very little negative points that I can find about it. It will ideally suit the elderly, anyone who struggles with vacuuming or for anyone who wants to use it here and there instead of using their big vacuum cleaner. Being lightweight, small and easy to move around makes this vacuum cleaner ideal for these types of people. Clearly this Gtech isn't designed to pick up every piece of dirt and rubbish of the floor, but it's ideal to use daily and when you just want to pick up loose dirt. It is reasonably well priced too and compared to other similar products it doesn't break the bank either and you can be sure you will get what you pay for.
I purchased this camera almost a year ago to replace another Sony Digital Camera a Sony DSC W90 which I had lost. I spent a long time deciding whether to buy this camera or a similarly priced Panasonic Digital Camera. I decided to go for this as my previous camera being a Sony too, I knew beyond doubt that I would get what I paid for, but more importantly this camera was more future proof than the Panasonic, which would probably seem like an old relic in a few years. I am no expert photographer, so I usually would use the camera like anyone else, taking holiday pictures, pictures during special occasions and here and then when family visit and what have you not, so I didn't want something too complicated. I bought this camera for £189.99 online but this was when it had just been released, but now the price has dropped and you can easily get this for the £150 region if you shop around.
First Impressions and Overall Appearance.
On first impressions the camera is very beautifully and ergonomically designed with the customer in mind. It is well built and has no visible areas of weakness. It has a 3.0 inch LCD screen which is one of the biggest I have come across on any Digital Camera of this type. You may think that because of this big screen size Sony comprise on quality and the number of features on offer, but no. The camera has 14.1 Megapixels which is more than enough for me, but more importantly in this growing technological age it ensures that if you do decide to buy this camera it will last you a good few years and is future proof as most camera's these days have a minimum of 10 or 12 Megapixels. It has a 25mm Wide Angle Lens which rivals many other digital camera's on the market. The 10x Optical Zoom is also another feature which attracted me to this camera, as I was going to use this as a family camera and this zoom would ensure that I could take great pictures when zooming in without losing picture quality. The camera has a zwivel wheel, which lets you scroll through 7 different shooting modes (although there are many more once you start using it) on the top saving space on the back of the camera. Finally it runs on a Lithium Ion Battery which means you won't need to insert any batteries, rather just charge the battery provide using the provided charger.
Photo and Movie Quality
Having used this camera on many family holidays both abroad and at home and in varying weather conditions, I can safely say the picture quality is exceptional. When taking pictures of both people and of the natural environment I found that pictures came out very clear and sharp and even when zooming in you don't lose the 14 Megapixel quality. You can also alternatively lower the picture quality on this camera to 10 or 5 Megapixels depending on the type of photos you wish to take and the amount of memory you have available on your memory card, which is added bonus. Viewing each picture on the 3.0 inch LCD screen is great and having viewed the pictures on a HD Ready and Full HD 1080p TV I can say that they are just as crisp and clear as when you view them on the camera. There is also a Optical SteadyShot Active Mode Image which prevents you from taking any blurry or wobbly pictures. This is really useful when you're walking and trying to take pictures as I have found. The movie quality in this camera is even better and even though you can only take 720p HD movies they seem like 1080p. I have been very impressed with the movie quality and it has to be one of the best features of the camera in my opinion and the movies look superb on a HD TV, I was simply amazed at the quality, detail and colour. If you do consider buying this I can assure you that you won't be needing a camcorder anymore to make movies!
Battery Life and Charging Time
The battery included in this camera is Lithium G battery which has an impressive battery life. I have found the battery life on this camera pretty impressive both in terms of when taking photos and when it is turned off. For regular usage of take photos I've found that the battery will last more than 6 hours easily which is plenty in my opinion and for usage of video recording I found it lasts around 2 to 3 hours. When the camera is turned off it will last you a good few couple of months. I used during the Summer Holidays in July and left it fully charged and used it again during Christmas and there was still some battery left which was pretty good after 5 months. To charge the battery fully it takes around under 6 hours, but I've found if you charge it for 5 hours it should last you a few days usage. The battery bar on the LCD screen is also useful for letting you know how much battery is left. One thing to bear in mind though is the base door where the battery is stored when opened is a little flimsy so if you put too much weight on it when it is open it might snap off as the hinge is quite small.
This camera has a whole host of impressive features, but I think probably the most impressive is the Sweep Panorama. This is new feature exclusive to Sony Cameras and in my opinion very useful. Sweep Panorama allows you to take fabulous panoramic shots up to 224 degrees and even at the lowest horizontal panoramic setting you'll still get a field of view of 108 degrees. This is great when you want to take landscape pictures and the picture quality is phenomenal. I found this feature useful when on holiday taking photos from skyscrapers and of beach views and when you have these printed out they look great around your home. You can even take horizontal panoramic shots if you wish! As well as this the camera has a Scene Recognition feature, whereby it recognises the type of scenery you wish to take a snap of and the camera adjusts itself accordingly. Face Detection is also included as is common with many digital cameras these days, as well as Smile Detection which has a number of settings allowing you to take photos according to how and when the people in your photo smile. I found this a great feature when taking a picture of the kids and saves you having to keep clicking to take photos as it does it automatically when a smile is detected. As is with many Sony cameras this camera has the classic swivel wheel which allows you to navigate between all the different shooting modes and their description appearing on the screen each time they are selected. Another bonus is how easy it is to transfer photos to your PC or Mac. Sony provide a cable and CD in the box to allow you to transfer you images and movies and I've found it very simple to do so.
Ease of Use
This is a very simple camera to use despite the countless number of features it has Sony have successfully managed to make it a breeze to use. Zooming in and out is easy to do using the zoom wheel on the camera moving it right to zoom in and left to zoom out. This eliminates the need for separate zoom in and out buttons. Deleting photos is also very quick to do and you can delete single photos, multiple photos or a whole folder, all using one Delete Button on the camera. Viewing photos is even simpler and you only have to press one button to view all the photos you've taken and it shows you the time and date the photo was taken. The camera is quite light too at only 170g but it is a little chunky compared to other cameras as it has a depth of 29mm so it might be a struggle to fit in your tight jeans. The camera is well designed so it fits around your hands well and is comfortable when it is being used. I can't express how simple this camera is to use and even the kids find this a very easy to use.
All in all this a superb camera packed to the brim with features but nice and easy to use at the same time. It's a great camera if you are looking for something that will last a long time and deliver. I'm sure that if you do buy anyone will be able to operate it and be able to take stunning photos and record great quality movies. Furthermore, this camera doesn't break the bank and you get what you pay for and it is well worth the money.
I purchased this TV a few weeks ago to replace a broken down 16 inch Bush TV/DVD Combi which was used in the Kitchen and used quite often and had broken down due to a problem with the DVD loading slot. This TV was within my price range and I like the Toshiba brand name and the fact that being a HD Ready TV/DVD Combi it would do its job in my kitchen. I managed to get it for £149.99 at Argos and as they were running their voucher promotion I also got a free £10 voucher for spending over £100.
First Impressions and Appearance
The design of this TV is quite good as it has a glossy black exterior and will look great in any modern kitchen. It is nice and sturdy because of its round oval base, but I have found because of this base it does tend to take up quite a bit of space whereas my previous TV had a rectangular base and saved space in my kitchen. The DVD slot is on the top left hand side of the TV where all the other buttons are located such as Volume and Channel Control and the Power button. It is important to bear in mind because of this big DVD slot in comparison to other TV/DVD Combi's this TV is quite wide so will take up quite a bit of room and sticks out a little from my kitchen wall. The speakers are located at the bottom of the TV and although the sound quality is good its positioning could be better.
The TV itself weighs 5.3 kg which isn't too bad but its depth is 21.5cm which is a little wide in my opinion so I would measure the area where you intend to use this TV and check if you have a good fit or not. It can also be mounted on a wall using a VESA 100 x 100mm bracket but this is not supplied, so if you intend to mount it check the price of the bracket too before purchasing the TV.
Image Quality and Sound
The image quality is impressive but be aware that it will be likely that you may need to tune the contrast and brightness of the TV as its original default settings don't give the best image quality you can get. Sound quality is also very good but as I mentioned before the poor positioning of the speakers somewhat limits it. DVD's look great too and even though this is only a 19 inch TV having watched a variety of DVD's on it, I can honestly say that images are very clear and there is no juddering at all. The DVD also runs very quietly compared to my previous TV which is an added bonus.
Connections and Output/Input
The TV has 2 HDMI sockets which is more than enough in my opinion for a TV of this size and calibre. However if you are looking to connect this TV up to a Blu-ray player, a games console and a sound system all at the same time using HDMI cables I suggest you look for something else. It has a Freeview receiver as with all TV's these days. It has all the other standard inputs such as a SCART socket, a PC input socket allow you to connect your PC to the TV and using as a monitor and a component video socket as well as a headphone socket. However, best of all is the USB port on the side of the TV. The port allows you to connect your MP3 players to your TV and listen to music or watch photos, but beware I have connected a USB containing photos which were taken on a 1080p HD camera and the pictures on the TV appear fuzzy so I would avoid watching photos on hear as the TV can't display such pictures to a high enough quality. Be aware it will take at least 10 seconds for it recognise any USB devices that have been inserted. The USB unfortunately doesn't let you watch movies from a USB either, which would have a been an added bonus.
The remote control is considerably bigger than my previous TV/DVD Combi remote and I would go as far to say it is almost as big as the remote from my 42 inch TV! The remote does have all the right buttons, but being a TV/DVD Combi all the other buttons for DVD operation (Play, pause, fast forward etc) are also on it which seem to suggest why it is so big. However it does have buttons which my previous TV didn't such as the 'Previous Channel' button. It takes 2 AA batteries which are already included.
Ease of Use and Personal Opinions
The TV is pretty standard and even my kids can operate the DVD and adjust the brightness without any problems. The 8 day electronic programme guide is very useful and gives you a full overview of at least 7 channels and the upcoming programmes, but personally I would like a mini guide to see what I am watching on the current channel rather than being thrown into an 8 day EPG for multiple channels immediately. What's probably most annoying about this TV is the time it takes to change channels. It will take a minimum of 3 seconds or more before the channel changes which can be a little frustrating when you want to change channels quickly.
As I use this TV in the kitchen it is ideally suited as it would be in any bedroom, but if you intend to use it in a living room or as the main TV I would recommend you look at something else. It has a great viewing angle of up to 170 degrees so everyone can practically see the image wherever they are seated. The DVD player works great as I have and has it has no sliding compartment for DVD's it ensures the DVD mechanism will last. Sound quality can be an issue at times when cooking, but for general watching I don't have to increase the volume above 15.
Overall a great TV/DVD combi with great image and sound quality that delivers and is ideally suited for use in bedrooms or the kitchen and is great value for money. Being a Toshiba brand you can expect it to last and know it will be reliable. Easy to use too whether it be for young children or an elderly individual. However, little things such as speed and which channels change and overall size may be an issue