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~ My Opinion ~ After many years of using manual screwdrivers I thought it was about time I gave my hands a break from twister and squeezing. I always hated getting rubber burns on my palms and then risking my life when squeezing hard on the screwdriver whilst pressing hard to get a screw to go into the wall whilst being close to my neck. So I decided to treat myself to a screwdriver that would prevent injury and harm to myself whilst being able to just stand and hold the drill like object until the screw goes into the wall. Still requires a bit of pressing for those walls which are made out iron and refuse to allow you to prick them with anything but still it goes in whether it likes it or not. ~ Battery Life ~ So far I have had it a few days and the battery works fine so I assume it has a long lasting battery life but still unsure what constitutes long batter life with electric screwdrivers (bet doctor who would know). ~ Power and Speed ~ The speed is enough to screw things into walls and the power is just enough although for anything more durable you are going to need a proper drill. The number of screwdriver bits isn't that great and hence the lower rating at a four but still for the price I cannot complain one bit (pardon the pun). ~ Best Deals and cost ~ I bought my Challenge Cordless Screwdriver a few days ago and I am quite satisfied with the way it works looks and handles. I bought my screwdriver from Amazon for a massive amount of £8.99 (bargain). I also managed to get free posting and came well packaged and on time too. ~ Interesting Facts ~ - 4.8V, Max torque 3.5Nm, with reverse function - LED power & Battery indicator. LED Mini Torch - Spindle lock type & Soft grip handle. - Accessories included: 3 x screwdriver bits. - Batteries required: Ni-Cd (included).3 to 5hr charging time ~ Useful Web links ~ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Challenge-Cordless-Screwdriver-4-8V-Bits/dp/B00GKL6MWI ~ Conclusion ~ Overall the quality isn't the best but this little screwdriver will prevent skin removal, burning palms and prevent rage outbursts when your screw doesn't go in the wall. It has 3 bits which are enough for me but maybe not Bob the builder. The power, speed and durability is great and the price is decent too which is great for those people with a little bit of spare cash in their pocket. It comes with a 4.8V torque and a mini torch which is great for playing Ghostbusters (sorry screwing in the dark). It takes around 5-6 hours to get full charge which is what I did when I first got the screwdriver. Quality: 4/5 Durability: 4/5 Cost: 5/5 Overall 4/5
~ My Opinion ~ I had my doubts about purchasing a TV at the lower end of the market but I only wanted it as a 2nd TV so I decided to give it a go. The television itself is excellent and the picture, sound and features are all very good. The only negative point I could make was that the remote control was poor marked with symbols and text and will start to rub off over time. The print quality is so poor and small that you might end up needing a magnifying glass to read it or a 1000 watt bulb. The text itself it not white print on black either but more of a very faded white on black. I cannot believe that ALBA allowed this to happen and get past testing but otherwise an excellent product. ~ Best Deals and cost ~ I bought my TV from Argos and was the first flat screen TV I bought and having looked around at the time LCD TVs were around £200 to £250 so this was a bargain at £149 a couple of years ago and is still going strong today. ~ Interesting Facts ~ - Pixel Resolution - 1366x768p - Digital Tuner with all Freeview channels - HDMI Connections - 2 - S-Video Connection - Yes - Headphone Socket - Yes - HD Ready - Yes - Wall mountable - On-Screen Menus - Built in DVD player - No - Type - LCD - PC VDU link - Yes ~ Useful Web links ~ www.argos.co.uk/ ~ Conclusion ~ This television has been great so far for me allowing me to stream live TV from the internet via the PC I have using the PC link on the back of the TV. The television itself is quite good looking and quite simple to set up. The quality of picture isn't the best you have ever seen but for what I needed it for it does a cracking job and very rarely need the remote so that gets round the text fading issues. Using and scrolling through menus is easy and setting up digital was no problem at all as long as you have an aerial. You can adjust the brightness of the screen through different levels and also a custom option too but I recommend the dynamic option for colour and sharpness of pictures. Overall a nice purchase at the right price. Quality: 3/5 Durability: 3/5 Cost: 5/5 Overall 4/5
~ My Opinion and using the headphones~ These headphones are a very nice set and previously I have spent up to £80 on a pair of Shures but only to find that the quality of sound was nowhere near as prodigious as I had expected so I'm no longer prepared to spend a lot of money on something that for sanitation reasons you can't really try before you buy. I have been through a few of the usual options when it comes to headphones for example the Sennheiser CX300 and Skullcandy Titans but these headphones I bought recently beat them all hands down. The headphones themselves do have a warm and potent sound. The volume and various levels are good and the bass is deep and soothing but it also doesn't overpower the mids and treble. The sonic detail is imposing across every type of music that I have played which is everything from 60s blues to murky dub step. I have only owned them a few months so it's early to comment on the build quality but they are nice and durable. The earpieces, jack and the collar where wires tend to split are all metal and seem tough. My pair came with seven options of ear buds (The usual amount is three that most manufacturers tend to supply) which is good as finding the correct option makes a large difference to the sound within the ear phones. I would really recommend this to any music lovers and I am even tempted to buy another pair just in case these ones fail or break. ~ Best Deals and cost ~ I originally bought my head phones from www.richersounds.com for around £30 and I have checked today and you can buy them for around £29.25 which is cheaper than what I paid a few months ago. You might be able to find them cheaper on eBay second hand too but just have a look around and I am sure you will find the right deal for you. ~ Interesting Facts ~ - These headphones have a powerful bass enhanced sound with superb musical detail. - In the ear sound isolating design to hear your music without any interruptions. - Sound: Powerful bass response with clear vocals and sparkling trebles in your ears. - Users should protect and care for your headphones by placing it in the protective pouch provided by the company. ~ Useful Web links ~ http://www.richersounds.com ~ Conclusion ~ I must admit that I miss my previous pair of headphone but these headphones are great for everything I require. They are cheaper than headphones that I have bought previously and still have a high quality sound output and easy to use too. ~ Ratings ~ Sound quality: 5/5 Durability: 5/5 Cost: 4/5 Overall 5/5
~ My Opinion ~ The Bamix food mixer is a must have for any cook but there are limitations to its use. I have just recently started to teach myself how to cook. There are good days and bad days as my wife and kids know for example food explosions, sponge collapses and then there is the issue of putting buttercream on a warm sponge only to find it has melted to the bottom of the cake plate. Personally it is quite expensive for what it is but you will have no problems using it and it will do a job for those who whisk on a regular basis like myself. ~ Best Deals and cost ~ I have recently bought my mixer from Amazon for a price of £79 with free delivery and after looking it is still at the same price. ~ Interesting Facts ~ - Original Swiss Made Hand Held Food Processor - 120W motor - 2 speeds: 7,000 & 10,000 rpm - All material parts which come into contact with foodstuffs are rust-proof - Tasteless and resistant to corrosive ingredient ~ Using the machine ~ This Bamix is quite good but this version tends to be much slower than the 16,000 deluxe model. This Mono works at 10,000 rpm and whilst it is still quick it struggles tougher foods like very thick mixtures. It also struggles to turn milk into a creamy consistency which was one of the reasons to spend more on the deluxe model. ~ Useful Web links ~ http://www.amazon.co.uk ~ Conclusion ~ This machine is perfect for light and easy to mix items and is perfect for those who will use it a lot throughout the year. If you are a devoted chef then please take my advice and spend the extra money because you will not be disappointed. Overall a very easy to use and handy device.
~ My Opinion ~ This coffee machine does everything I need a coffee machine to do. After washing it with water first it was ready to go. I was quite impressed with how quick the coffee brews. I tend to use the aroma button if I use a minimal amount of water as it is very effective at making the coffee stronger. This is a simple machine to use and very easy to clean afterwards. ~ Best Deals and cost ~ I bought my coffee maker from Argos at a cost of around £40. I did use cash back sites so I did get it cheaper and would recommend that you do this for a lot of Argos products. I tend to use cash back site to get money back on certain products I buy from Argos. I have also found it currently at around £32 on Amazon but I am sure you could find it cheaper if you do a more in depth search. ~ Interesting Facts ~ * Power output of 1000 watts. * Water capacity of 1.8 litres. * A water indicator. * The machine comes with a permanent filter providing a cheaper, fuss free option. * Keep warm function. * 24 hour programmable timer. * Auto shut off setting. * Size H35.5, W22.8, D22.5cm. * Manufacturer's two year guarantee. Capacity: With a huge twelve cup capacity you can brew up many cups of coffee whenever you feel like a cuppa. Water Measuring: The Coffee Maker has a water level indicator which helps you fill up easily and ensures that you get to just to the right level. Practical: To ensure ease of use the Coffee Maker comes with a glass carafe with a flip top lid which has a drip stop function allowing you to serve coffee in the carafe whilst at the same time ensuring the coffee is still brewing nicely. It has the auto shut off feature which ensures that the machine is safe and means it automatically turns off after two hours. Cleaning: As I am an avid cleaner the coffee machine is quite easy as the designers have included a washable filter basket. This ensures the user to take the filter out of the coffee maker and enables you to clean it easily with no mess. ~ Coffee Taste ~ The coffee tastes perfect after using the machine and does not leave any lasting tastes of metal or plastic. ~ Using the machine ~ Using the Digital LCD display was very easy to use with the buttons on the front of the machine and the display is clear and easy to read and also setting the timer was not trouble at all as long as you follow the user manual and you will be fine. The measuring option also enables you to make as many cups as you like. ~ Useful Web links ~ http://www.argos.co.uk http://www.amazon.co.uk/ ~ Conclusion ~ After using this machine for quite a while now I would recommend this little machine to any coffee lover. With its lovely colour and design and functionality it will really speed up the process and time involved in making a lovely cup of coffee. Overall a lovely little coffee machine for the home.
~ My opinion ~ I decided to buy some new spears as my dog had chewed and dribbled on my old ones and hence making them not work properly. I was really happy with this purchase. I tend to use the speakers for MP3's, and the output is quite clear and does not distort with full volume. Bass response is quite good and the overall sound is well balanced. The bass does not travel to the higher rooms as my Trust 2.1 system I used to own which I put down to the woofer. ~ Cost ~ I originally bought my speakers from Argos at a price of £20 and from what I can see on the web you can purchase on Amazon for roughly the same price. ~ Interesting Facts ~ - Improved sound imaging and separate satellite speakers improve perception of both gaming action and stereo recordings. - Deep bass with compact sub woofer adds new level of realism - Cloth grilles which has an elegant design looks great anywhere in your home. ~ Reliability ~ Overall I am very happy with the quality of sound and reliability and have not had a problem since buying them a few months ago. Durable and slobber free! ~ Setting up the equipment ~ Setting up the equipment was rather easy but still if you want to do it right then the instruction manual was really easy to follow too. ~ Sound test ~ The sound quality is of a really high standard and can clearly hear all the instruments and sounds when listening to CDs and MP3s. ~ Conclusion ~ I would recommend to anyone and this lovely piece of hardware works well in most places and it is not too loud but more than adequate for the average music lover. The Altec Lansing Stereo Speaker System with Sub woofer can be used with Laptops, Netbooks, Desktop PCs, and most MP3 Players and with that added sub woofer it is ideal for watching films especially if you had a DVD drive or DVD drive within your computer. Overall a top notch product.
~ My Opinion ~ Apple I-Pad 3 is a really useful tablet with the ability to entertain, multitask, play multimedia seamlessly and be your very own modern notebook. ~ Best Deals and cost ~ When I bought my I-Pad 3 I bought it from John Lewis as it came with a two year guarantee better than any other stores which were only selling them with one year. The price I paid was £349 but with the extra years guarantee this turned out to be the best deal for me. ~ Interesting Facts ~ Glue - The screen is glued to the device so removing it is just a case of heating the glue up and then using suction to prise the two elements apart. Battery - Apple managed to increase the capacity of the battery by a massive 70%. The battery is made of a 42.5-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-ion and delivers an impressive ten hours of multimedia tasking. Lithium is used as it is the lightest metal and its properties allow it to be recharged at any time. Additionally it doesn't suffer from crystal buildup, which can affect other forms of battery. iSight camera - The camera has been upgraded to a five-megapixel sensor and this may not seem like a lot, Apple is keen to point out that lens tech is as important as megapixels. In the new iPad Apple has utilised the same five-element lens that currently resides in the iPhone 4S. This works by filtering light five times to ensure that the colours you see on screen are the same as those you see in real life. This is done by cutting out frequencies we can't see like infrared and ultraviolet. ~ Memory ~ The RAM is built on the A5X chip and doubled from 512MB to 1GB. This provides the random access memory needed to run your apps better and quicker. ~ Using the App Store ~ Using the app store is relatively easy but the most important thing especially if you have children is to lock the purchases from happening in apps as you may find yourself with a hefty bill from little fingers buying little bits and bob with in app purchases. ~ Useful Web links ~ www.johnlewis.com www.apple.com/uk ~ Conclusion ~ Overall the camera is high quality, the range of applications (apps) is massive, the size of the screen is decent and the overall quality and reliability is top notch. The price is expensive but so are most high quality tech gadgets these days. These days you are looking to pay around £200 - £340 for a used or new I-Pad 3 although the new I-Pad Air is the new kid on the block. The touch screen is perfect and is easy to use and the battery life tends to last a long time which is good for car journeys. My I-Pad has been dropped multiple times by the children and still no lasting damage and working well. I would recommend this to anyone especially those with young children and the applications you can buy these days really does get them thinking and interacting in ways that we had not thought of. I have taught my children the alphabet and numbers through apps which talk and are interactive with touch. A wonderful device.
~ My opinion on petrol prices ~ The day has finally come, the day I write a review on how high petrol prices have risen. Before I rant I do want to point out that considering the long distance petrol travels to land at our pumps in the UK the price isn't actually that bad. What angers me is the amount of tax we are paying on the average litre which makes the end price one that is quite frankly beginning to squeeze the people of the UK. The current duty total is roughly 67p of every £1 spent on fuel (probably more now with price increases) and another rise in duty forecast for April but we shall see if George Osborne allows this to occur, my bet is it won't happen as the oil markets are very unstable at the moment and I believe that a overhaul of the entire road tax system is required. It is outdated and needs a review pretty quickly in my opinion, or we need a better more efficient car that doesn't require oil which the government won't like, as all that tax will be lost in revenue. Not only does it impact our pockets when filling up, the average Joe will end up having to cough up extra to pay for their daily bread and milk too as petrol increases affect haulage company prices charged to deliver good to and from shops. Petrol prices increasing can only be a bad thing for our economy. If you look at the previous year's petrol prices have really started to spring up in price mainly because banks buy large quantities and stock pile it as they know the price will go up the more demand there is which is why when the banks went broke the price of oil fell back significantly. Now as the banks have been bailed out they are starting to stockpile more oil meaning yes you guessed it OIL PRICES RISING! MORE DEMAND + SAME OIL OUTPUT = HIGH OIL PRICES. I just cannot believe just 10 years ago the price of a litre of unleaded petrol was just 54p and even then the tax on that was 39.4p (wow!). Another reason for the big increase this year is the VAT rise which affects fuel duty, the increase was 2.5% on top of the 17.5% we were already paying. The government uses the average motorist and haulage companies as cash cows as they know we have to pay it, especially if we have to drop our kids off at school or just travel to work. Ideally yes we should all try to move closer to our jobs or schools and use public transport but this is not cheap, unsafe and very crowded as they do not run enough buses, trains etc...And another major issue with public transport is reliability. A major improvement in infrastructure is required if we are to progress as a country and become dependent on public transport. ~ Saving money ~ Well what we tend to do is find when we have money off vouchers from supermarkets or vouchers we find online or in the post and use these to reduce the amount per litre we spend on undleaded petrol. We tend to do a weekly shop and we normally get for example 5p off a litre for a limited amount of time. ~ Did you know... ~ Red diesel used by farmers to power their tractors has a greatly reduced tax rate and if a driver is caught using red diesel in their vehicle on the main highway you can be fined by the police substantially. The government receives around £32 billion in revenue from fuel duty which is a staggering amount. ~ Useful web links ~ For more statistical information visit: http://www.petrolprices.com/fuel-tax.html - I use this website to find petrol stations which have the cheapest petrol prices near me daily. Very useful! ~Conclusion ~ Well according to a certain Mr Hubbert oil production will hit a peak level in terms of output and then dip meaning massive problems for the human race to attend to if we do not invest in newer technology to get off this addiction to oil. I do believe that high oil prices are here to stay as demand will only increase all over the world as more developing countries grow e.g. India and China. I do believe that we will decrease our demand on oil but will take a large amount of time before we become fully dependent of oil. Another snag here is that this will hit the Middle Eastern part of the world hard where they depend on selling oil to countries so they would need another product to export or we could see massive problems there. Whichever way we look at it massive change is required in order to maintain our current lifestyles of affordable heating, travelling, and electricity. I believe we have only seen the tip of the ice berg in terms of the cost of oil but I am sure our clever scientists will help the world out once more! It is good for the environment and sooner we get of being dependent on oil the better for the whole world. With car insurance on the up, car tax discs on the up its hard to not look at the current picture and not be negative but I do hope a new technology will pop its head up and break the doom and gloom. My advice is pump up your tyres, downgrade your car's engine size and drive slower until that day comes when we have free motoring!
~ Personal Opinion ~ As I use my PC quite a lot and especially writing lots of different material mainly using MS Office I tend to go through quite a few keyboards. One thing that frustrates me these days with equipment is the amount of wires I have hanging around and sometimes makes me trip if one is sticking out looking for a foot. So I made the unequivocal decision to scrap my old Acer keyboard as all the keys had started to fade so I practically had to use my psychic powers to guess where to press or in my case my fingers took over they just seem to know where to go now to find the correct keys - amazing! So what where the main points that my new keyboard had to have I hear you ask? Well for a start I decided to get wireless to cut down on the amount of wires I have coming out of my PC. The next step was to make sure I get a keyboard that is user friendly, comfortable and reliable and a keyboard that wouldn't crumble on me even when times are bad and you decide to take a fist to it. The Logitech K800 is just that keyboard. It illuminates in the dark which is fabulous and stands out if you have dark rooms or space and all the back of the keyboard becomes lit. I like the layout of the keyboard and all the shortcut keys which run along the top of the product. It is quite a nice smooth rectangular shape and in my opinion it is quite comfortable using this little piece of hardware. I have not had any problems connecting this to my PC and had no interference and is easily charged through a USB cable, very simple indeed. The model we have is black which makes the backlight stand out better in the dark. ~ Installation ~ Basically you unpack the keyboard from the box, plug the USB receiver into the USB port in your PC/Laptop or anything else you wish to connect your keyboard up to. Then make sure that the keyboard has been charged properly first, once this completed then ensure that the connect between the receiver and keyboard is made, then once connected your PC windows operating system should go "POP" and a bubble message should appear in the bottom right of your screen and then state that new hardware has been detected. If you have a decent operating system installed then it will recognise your new keyboard. If not you will then be required to put your software CD in and install the keyboard drivers to ensure that your hardware works to its optimum capacity. Once your computer recoginises your keyboard it should function without any hiccups. If you continue to have issues that it could be a compatibility issue and you can visit the Logitech website which may be able to solve you issue. You could also do what I do and search on the Google search engine with the error message being received and browse through the various tech forums which may have an answer for you regarding your driver conflict or compatibility issue. ~ Compatibility ~ This kit is compatible with Windows 7 and comes with Microsoft assurances that this product has passed compatibility tests and is reliable with 32 and 64 bit windows operating systems. The minimum windows requirement is Windows XP and anything more recent than this windows operating system will work fine and that's a fact as I have Windows 7 and Windows XP and both work the keyboard fine. ~ Cost & Shop ~ I bought my product from PC World for around £70 a few months ago which is quite expensive but if you want a decent wireless connection with your keyboard and a product that has a high standard of reliability then this is the keyboard you need. The packaging is a basic box and comes with a CD with all the relevant software (drivers) that is required just in case your windows operating system doesn't not recognise your keyboard. ~ Extra Technical Details ~ The keyboard come with infrared USB technology and comes with Logitech curve keys for better quality of keyboard typing. The receiver which receives the wireless signals runs at 2.4GHz which is quite good in terms of processing speed. The weight of the keyboard is around 1000 grams which means it won't break your legs when you rest in on your lap. The keys on the keyboard are quite silent when pressing them unlike my old keyboard which made noises that sounded like I was hole punching my desktop table. A very fluid and affable piece of equipment. ~ Conclusion ~ To sum this product up it does what it says on the box its wireless technology that when setup properly works like a dream. It is very easy to use it's very fluid and very reliable and nice on the old ear too. The price is a little expensive and if you looking for a cheap alternative there are those on the market but you may get issues with connectivity when using your wireless keyboard. I would recommend getting a fast receiver adapter to avoid the delay in keystrokes which can be very annoying especially if you are doing lots of typing. It is compatible with all the recent operating systems and has a very cool and ultra-thin profile which makes this a very nice piece of hardware and with the glow in the dark effect it really does stand out from the rest. An excellent product, well worth the money in my opinion. ~ Ratings ~ User friendly: 4/5 Cost: 2/5 Reliability: 5/5 Ease of installation: 4/5
~ Personal opinion ~ After deciding to upgrade my internet connection I also decided to get a new router and I decided to buy the Netgear DG834G to go with my new fast internet access. I do think though that as new routers come out the longer the names. I remember an old router I had the RM356 not its DG834G, I sometimes wonder where it will all end up. My advice is that if you require data to be transferred wirelessly at a high rate and maybe you have vast amounts of data you transfer frequently between lots of wireless devices such as laptops and gaming consoles then you will require a router with a high Mbps. The higher the better really which is my important advice to you. I do prefer the white routers than the other types as they do hide the dust for longer as I am lazy when it comes to polishing my furniture. The speed of the router adapter is important too and this one comes in at 2.4 GHz which isn't bad at all. I use my router to link my PS3 console up to the internet aswell as my laptop and I tend to get a good signal wherever I am in the house and also get a decent transfer and download rate too. I would recommend setting a password on your router so knowone outside your house or neighbor can login and nab your internet connection so this is a must in terms of security and is easily done through the router login intranet page. ~ Using the hardware ~ Basically plug in your internet cable into the router to ensure it is sharing your internet connection, and then ask your hardware to scan for the wireless connection and then add the WEP Key (Wired Equivalent Privacy). This should ensure security whilst using your connection. I haven't had many problems with this device only when the cat chews the wires and cuts the power off to the signal. I used the installation CD to install the relevant software (drivers) to help my PC/Laptop pick up the router and to ensure that it works correctly. ~ Technical Information ~ The router is very reliable and I have not had any problems with it since I bought it. The speed is pretty quick in terms on Mbps (54 in total). The router comes with a modern firewall and with a 4 port 10/100 switch which enables you to connect to multiple PCs to share printers, computer files, internet access and emails. All operating windows systems are compatible going all the way back to windows 98. It also supports Linux, UNIX, NetWare and the Mac OS. The router does require Internet Explorer 5 or more to function properly on your PC. The weight of the router according to the website is 299g which isn't much at all and easy to transport around. The router comes with ADSL & ADSL 2+ digital signaling protocol and supports TCP/IP, PPTP, L2TP, IPSec, PPPoE and PPPoA Transport protocols. This product is also ENERGY star qualified which means it is energy efficient. ~ Cost & Shop ~ I bought my router from PC World at the time for around £50 which isn't bad at all for a pretty decent piece of hardware. I require wireless technology as I hate having wires all over the house and we don't have carpets to shove the wires under so it would be obvious on wood en flooring. You also receive a two year warranty with the device which is pretty decent for the price. ~ Packaging ~ The router comes well packaged with installation instructions which are concise and easy to follow and enables the user to set this up with a fair amount of accuracy. You do not have to be IT literate to understand the wording and very easy to setup. What do you get in the packaged box:- Wireless ADSL Firewall Router DG834G Power adapter Ethernet cable Phone cable ADSL phone line filter (most countries) Resource CD Installation guide Warranty/Support information card ~ Conclusion ~ Overall I really cannot complain with this piece of equipment and still use this today for all my internet wireless connections in our household. If you looking for a reliable, easy to install and use, efficient and low price router then I recommend this kit. I have lots of items which use the same internet connection in our house and all use it simultaneously without a hiccup once configured properly. It comes with a decent warranty; all the relevant cables and installation CD which helps your computer recognize the router. The router itself is nice to look at and comes with static IP routing. Just plug in your network cables and off you go. Great for gaming and surfing the web anywhere in your house. ~ Ratings ~ Installation: 5/5 Ease of use: 4/5 Cost: 4/5 Compatibility: 5/5 Security: 5/5
~ Personal Opinion ~ As I tend to build most of my computers I bought the PNY NVIDIA Quadro 600 graphics card to go with my new mainboard. When I was looking at buying a graphics card I always look for decent specifications e.g. good amount of graphics memory (1 GB (Gigabytes)), and obviously a card that is compatible with my motherboard (PCI). I would personally recommend getting high amount of graphics memory to enable better graphics on your PC. Also you may need a HD monitor if you wish to go to certain resolutions using the graphics card (HDCP compatible). I also went with the NVIDIA technology graphics card as I have used NVIDIA products in the past and they have been top notch and quite reliable. On another note if you do tend to suffer from driver problems usually it is very easy to go to the NVIDIA website and download the relevant update to fix any glitches or conflicts which you may be having with standard drivers from the windows system. I didn't need this on this occasion as most pieces of hardware come with a CD which will have software on it to install on your PC which will enable perfect functionality for your graphics card. ~ Why choose this device? ~ I chose this as I previously mentioned as it comes with a lot of SDRAM onboard which is what I require for gaming online especially for newer PC games which are released. I also do a lot of multimedia work which requires a lot of graphics and memory to render certain bits of content. The output resolution is high 2560 x 1600 / 60 Hz - 30-bit colour. This product also conserves engery so if you are going for the efficient type of machine then this will maximise productivity and reduce energy usage saving you money in the long term. ~ Easy to install? ~ I had no problems installing this into the PCI slot on my motherboard and took roughly a few seconds once slotted in (obviously when my PC was switched off). ~ Shop & Price ~ I bought my card from the website Amazon for a price of around £208, not the best value for money but still powerful and comes with the technology I required for my PC. It arrived a few days later well packaged and in great condition. All I had to do is unpack, undo my PC casing and then insert into the relevant PCI slot and install the software and then tweak a few software settings and overall takes about 20 minutes from start to finish. If you are not as IT literate you may have to get an engineer to install it for you (PC World). ~ What do I need to know? ~ The RAMDAC clock speed is 400 Mhz which is quite fast and what this does is enable sharper edges for your graphics. API (API is a software program which enables access and make use of the services and resources provided by a different software program that implements that ) supported with this card are: DirectX 11, OpenGL 4.0, OpenCL and I am sure there are more that I haven't mentioned. ~ Conclusion ~ I am very glad I decided to pay a bit extra and get this graphics card as it does a great job now I have built my PC from scratch. I have had no problems running any software packages since using this card. I have recently run office 2010 and Windows 7 through this card without any issues so compatibility wise it is excellent value for money. When I decided to build my own PC I was certain that I had to have great graphics as I have to use lots of big programming software packages and have to render high amounts of graphics. The more SDRAM the better I say on these types of hardware packages. ~ Extra Technical Details~ + Interface Type: PCI Express 2.0 x16 + Max Resolution Details: DVI: 2560 x 1600 / DisplayPort: 2560 x 1600 + Graphics Processor / Vendor: NVIDIA Quadro 600 + Dimensions (WxDxH): 16.8 cm x 6.9 cm ~ Ratings ~ Ease of use: 3/5 Graphics Output: 5/5 Energy Efficient: 5/5 Value for money: 4/5
~ Personal Opinion ~ As I tend to have a lot of information on my computer especially for work purposes I require constant backing up of my information so nothing will be lost if suddenly my hard disk wares out. This isn't the fastest internal DVD drive burner out there but I did buy it a while ago now and I do think I may need to upgrade from this drive. I have played lots of CDs and DVDs through this drive without any problems and the reading time is pretty quick although the DVD speed is slower. You can also easily label CDs after burning with this drive with ease hence the labelflash logo on the drive. I have a black case for my desktop PC so inserted a black coloured drive was not a problem and fitted in quite nicely. Installing the drive may require some knowledge of computers and knowing what cables to insert into the back of the drive and what jumpers are needed depending on how many optical drives you have in your PC. If you don't know get someone who does know to ensure you get the maximum performance out of your drive. A very reliable dinosaur which never lets you down. If you prefer to get a different colour I am sure they do another colour to match your PC box. The speeds are all quite old and the amount of data being burned is a lot higher on newer drives e.g. Blu-Ray burner. As an IT professional I would not recommend this now as it a bit old. ~ Product Information ~ Read Speed DVD: 16x max. CD: 48x max Write Speed DVD-R: 24x max. DVD+R: 24x max. DVD-RW: 6x max. DVD+RW: 8x max. DVD-R DL: 12x max. DVD+R9: 12x max. DVD-RAM: 12x max. CD-R: 48x max. CD-RW: 32x max Access time DVD: 160 ms CD: 140 ms Mechanism Motorized tray load mechanism for horizontal and vertical use Interface S-ATA Burst transfer rate 150 MByte/s Cache 2 MByte Media supported DVD-ROM, DVD-R (DL), DVD-RW, DVD-RAM, DVD+R9, DVD+RW, CD-ROM, CD-R and CD-RW with 80mm and 120mm diameter Modes supported DVD-ROM, DVD-Video, CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA, CD-I Ready, CD-Bridge, Photo CD, VideoCD, CD-DA, CD Extra, CD Text Writing methods DAO, SAO, TAO with zero gap, variable or fixed packet, multisession Compatibility MultiRead, PC2001, Microsoft® Windows 7 Weight 0.64 kg (Drive only) Dimensions 148 mm x 42 mm x 170 mm Special features Dust protected enclosure, buffer under run error prevention, LabelflashTM Direct Disc Labeling ~ System Requirements ~ Pentium® III 1.0 GHz or faster (or equivalent) - Pentium® 4 2.0 GHz or faster (or equivalent) CPU is recommended, 256MB RAM or more (512MB RAM or more is recommended), 1GB of hard disk space (10GB for DVD mastering) and available SATA port. Windows® 7, Windows® Vista, Windows XP operating systems. ~ Price & shop ~ I originally bought my drive from a place called Micro Direct which is a company in the North West and they do have their own website if you Google it. They are excellent for getting computer parts cheap and good reliable parts too. I bought the drive for £57 a few years ago but i assume that it will be even cheaper to buy now online. I checked Amazon and it is selling for around £18. ~ Conclusion ~ After owning this drive for a few years now I would recommend buying the drive if you are looking for a low spec model which will just read CDs and DVDs and burn the odd CD but if your looking to do a lot more work with the drive I would get a better model with better read and write speeds or maybe even look at getting a Blu-Ray drive. One of the best features of this type of drive is that it will run on many older computers as it requires lower computer specifications to work and operate perfectly. ~ Ratings ~ User friendly: 4/5 Performance: 1/5 (only because todays drives are more powerful) Reliability: 5/5 Ease of use burning CDs/DVDs: 3/5
~ Personal Opinion ~ If you're like me and you tend to skip breakfast then these are a nice little nibble to ease your hunger until lunch time. I prefer the honey and nuts selection best as they are very sweet and yummy. The biscuits are specifically designed for breakfast time and are made from wholegrain and really do keep you going all morning. The packaging is well packaged and small and compact to fit so many delicious biscuits in. They don't look like the most attractive biscuits you have ever seen but still very tasty and well worth a punt. On the packaging you are given lots of statistics for example: four biscuits are the equivalent of and even one of your portions of fruit a day! You don't really notice the nuts in these but the honey is quite strong and very nice if you are a honey lover. I do however find that getting into the packs of biscuits are quite hard, and normally end up using my teeth to open them - they do it on purpose! An excellent product for those who are too busy to stop and eat a proper breakfast. They don't replace proper breakfasts but still better than eating nothing at all. ~ Ingredients ~ Cereals 66.4% [Wheat Flour 47.1%, Wholegrain Cereals 19.3% of which (Oat Flakes 44.1%, Whole Wheat Flour 32.0%, Barley Wholegrain Flour 23.9%)], Sugar, Vegetable Fat, Rye Flour 4.6%, Raising Agents (Ammonium Hydrogen Carbonate, Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate, Sodium Diphosphate), Whole Milk Powder 0.9%, Skimmed Milk Powder 0.9%, Whey Powder, Salt, Emulsifiers (E 472e, Soya Lecithin), Flavouring, Vitamins and Minerals Mixture [Vitamin B1 (Thiamin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B6, Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid), Iron, Magnesium] Allergy Information: Contains Barley, Contains Oats, Contains Wheat, May Contain Eggs, Contains Milk, May Contain Nuts, May Contain Peanuts, Contains Rye, May Contain Sesame Seeds, Contains Soya\Soybeans Contains: Wheat, Oat, Barley, Rye, Soya, Milk May contain traces of eggs, peanuts, nuts, sesame and poppy seeds. ~ Product Information ~ Brand: Belvita Storage Instructions: Store in a cool dry place. Item Package Quantity: 10 Use By Recommendation: Once opened consume same day. Package Information: Box Manufacturer/Producer: Kraft Foods Country Produced In: Produce of the EU Allergen Information: Barley, Eggs, Peanuts, Sesame Seeds, Soy Energy Content: 1875 Kilojoules Protein: 8.7 grams Total Carbohydrate: 69.0 grams Sugar: 19.0 grams Total fat: 15.0 grams Saturated Fat: 4.2 grams Fiber: 3.6 grams Sodium: 0.4 grams ~ Price & Shop ~ I have recently bought my biscuits from ASDA for a bargain price of £1 and each pack consists of four biscuits and you get six packs which really do last you a good week or so. At a £1 you really cannot complain. Stack up now while they are cheap! ~ Conclusion ~ What more could you want for your hard earned pound and also get some good nutritional food into your gut at the same time. A nicely presented, well informed product which I will be buying even when they are not a pound as they fill my hunger for the most important part of the day and when you're in a rush and don't have time to stop for breakfast then these are the best meal deal out there. I am a big biscuit fan anyway (a bit of a cookie monster in fact) and the amount of vitamins each biscuit contains can only be good for my little belly. ~ Ratings ~ Taste: 4/5 Appeal: 2/5 Packaging: 4/5 Price: 5/5 ~ Interesting Fact ~ Breakfast is a significant part of the day and provides around 20% of your daily energy intake.
~ Personal Experience ~ I am a big fan of family type games as we tend to play quite a few board games as a family and if we can get a console game which is as good as the board game then we invest in them especially for the Wii console. When we bought this we had in mind how many players would be able to play it as we tend to have on average four players playing if we are going to play fun console games like Wii Party, Wii Sports and games alike. So what's the game like to play? It's jam packed full of mini games (80 in total) and all of them are brilliant and full of fun and will keep you entertained for hours on end. If your competitive it can be quite annoying at times as it tries to even the game up at certain points especially during the board game island. There are many features (most games are either 1-4 or 2-4 players): - Hide N Hunt: This is fun as you have to hide the remote within your room and the opposition has to find it within the allocated time. Time Bomb: You have to have precision handling here especially with the Wii remote and have to pass the remote to your opponent without shaking it, yes you know what happens if you have a shaky hand! Boom! Animal Tracker: The console makes an animal sound and the players have to guess which one made it. Buddy Quiz: basically one player chooses to be a buddy and then answers a set list of questions. Then the other players have to guess what that player would have answered. Board game island: This is our favourite part of Wii party as one of the longest to play and anyone can win depending on their luck and what parts of the board each player lands on, very entertaining and fun to play. Globe Trot: This is our second favourite game as each player trots around the world trying to collect power cards which will enable them to reach a tourist destination before any else, beware though you need enough coins to take a snap! Bingo: What do I need to say its bingo but with Mii heads instead of numbers, quite humourous! Swap Meet: basically it's the game pairs but with Mii characters. You also have to get a row of the same character and you win points. Spin off: Basically the game wheel of fortune but with coins instead of cash and mini games thrown in to make it even more exciting, quite fun in my opinion. Balance Boat: This can be hilarious but can make you cry if you get towards the end and suddenly you get your balance wrong and you have to start again which can be frustrating. Great fun for lots of players. Friend Connection: This is where two players answer questions to see if they are as compatible as you think you are, can return interesting results! Match Up: Basically match the Mii characters and you win. ~Cost & Store ~ We bought our game from the store ASDA for around £29.99 which was quite some difference from the big game stores which were selling it around £40. I tend to see this trend quite often and find that most times supermarkets are cheaper than the big boys. ~ Conclusion ~ Fabulous for socialising, great for family fun and you have kids they will love this, aswell as adults. This can be a great addition to your Wii games and would be great for events such as parties and family/friends gatherings. The cost I am sure is even cheaper than when we bought this game and is well worth the price we bought it at. The graphics are great, the playability is brilliant and there is no age limit on who can play. A real fun game which keeps you entertained for hours, I never got bored playing this game. ~ Overall Ratings (out of 5) ~ Graphics: 3/5 Fun: 5/5 Easy to play: 4/5 Cost: 4/5
~ Personal Opinion ~ After my last laptop dying on me because the battery decided to stop working I decided that this time I was going to get a much smaller sleek and efficient laptop which is quite easy to move around as my last laptop was bulky and quite heavy. I required a laptop which could surf the internet and do some basic word processing. This little laptop Acer Aspire One comes in white but I am sure you can get in other colours but I decided to get it in white and a few months on it is still white considering the use it gets. The operating system isn't the best (Windows 7 Starter) but it does the job I need it too. If you require a laptop which can run games and do lots of multimedia work which can be quite extensive in terms of memory usage and using lots of graphics then this isn't for you. It also has a 160 gigabyte hard disk which for what I use it for is ample. Overall if you are looking for a small, efficient laptop which surfs the net and writes documents for work then this will be just what you need. The battery lasts quite a few hours too so no need to keep charging. Overall a nice piece of hardware. ~ Price and Shop ~ I bought my Acer Aspire One laptop from Argos for £170 which is quite a good deal in my opinion. I picked it up in store rather than buying online as I don't have the patience to wait for a delivery. ~ Tips ~ As this is such a small laptop it does not come with a CD/DVD drive so you cannot use disks. But if you do require to install software from a disk then you can always buy an external CD/DVD USB drive which will simply connect into one of the USB ports on the laptop and work just like a normal internal optical drive. ~ Features ~ Memory: DDR 2 - 1 Gigabyte Graphics Card: Intel GMA 3150 Screen Size: 10.1 Inches Built in Wi-Fi Operating System: Genuine Windows® XP Home Service Pack 3 & Android 2.1 Processor: Intel® Atom? Processor N450 , Speed: 1.66GHz, 512 KB L2 Cache 3 USB ports Built in web cam Battery life: Up to 4 hours Hard Drive: 160 Gigabyte SATA ~ Conclusion ~ Overall a great little laptop which looks quite trendy, modern and quite user friendly. The only downside in my opinion is the operating system it comes with but if you only require it to do low powered tasks such as internet surfing and word processing e.g. for writing work documentation then this is an excellent buy for the price. I personally like the colour and the style of this laptop along with the built in WiFi so I can surf wherever I want in the house along with networking it to my main desktop PC. I would recommend this product as it is an excellent all round netbook. ~ Ratings ~ Performance: 2/5 Price: 4/5 Features: 3/5 Ease of use: 4/5