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MiserableMonkey

MiserableMonkey
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Member since: 21.08.2012

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    • Canon PIXMA iP7250 / Inkjet Printer / 11 Readings / 11 Ratings
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      09.10.2013 15:11
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      Quality prints and ease of use at a very respectable price.

      Desktop photo printers don't appear to be as popular as they used to be, but this example from Canon proves that the company is still a market leader in producing them. This model features wireless connection with direct print, plain/photo trays and works with iOS, Android and AirPrint.

      The PIXMA iP7250 is a merely redesign of its predecessor, but it comes with a incredibly good value low price and can produce high-quality prints from numerous sources, including those stated above. It is different to its predecessor in that its around 25mm shorter which helps to store it on a desk with low shelving, as was the case with me. Most of its subsequent redesigns have come from that its reduction in height.

      Little nuggets have been added, such as pressing the button on the front panel which causes the panel to fold down and at the same moment, a support swings out to stablise it. There are two paper trays, enabling you to fit in around 125 sheets of plain paper or perhaps 20-25 photo blanks. When you flip open the paper tray, you'll find a CD/DVD carrier on its underside, which is useful in itself. This slots in the paper trays should you wish to print onto coated disks.

      With five ink cartridges, there is a risk that changing them would be complicated, however this is not the case. They are extremely easy to get at, by flipping up the full width cover. Canon uses smart LED indicators to highlight when an empty cartridge needs changing and which one it is.

      You can print using both USB connection and wireless connections. Whilst the USB is awkwardly placed, the wifi setup is painlessly quick and easy. All you have to do is press a button on the font panel, the button on your router and it's all done and ready to go. Should you wish to print straight from iOS or Android, simply download Canon's Easy-Photo Print App.

      Overall, this printer is incredibly worth purchasing if you like quality prints and ease of use at a very respectable price.

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    • Outback Excel 300 / BBQ / 2 Readings / 2 Ratings
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      12.08.2013 13:47
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      Completely worth splashing out on if you appreciate barbecued food.

      I'd been looking for a well-received gas barbecue ahead of the summer. The range of products available is simply outstanding, with prices for the larger models being quite hefty at times.

      This particular model was the perfect size, quality and price for my family. Not only that, but it comes with a regulator and cover. The instructions were clear and concise, with helpful pictures aiding its construction and use. It took around 90 minutes to put together and have fully working.

      The correct gas was easy to find and attach also. Cooking was easy with excellent control over the finished product. It was quite possibly the easiest barbecue I have ever operated, which was an added bonus.

      The rocks heat up like charcoal so the barbecue taste is definitely present. It has become a prominent part of our summer so far, and we wouldn't be without it.

      We would recommend this barbecue to anyone wanting a summer of gorgeous food and little issues, if any.

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      • Tefal BF273815 / Kettle / 9 Readings / 8 Ratings
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        12.08.2013 03:31

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        Worth the price, but ascetically-longer lasting kettles available.

        I purchased this kettle as a direct replacement for a previous Tefal kettle I owed, which broke suddenly. This particular model is both stylish and practical, despite not having a fairly hidden light to tell you its working. However, the lid opens easily, feels good to grip and is easy to fill with water.

        The only other issue I had with the kettle is it can be unsteady on its base, which has worried me on one or two occasions. If it is full of water, then it feels far more steady than when it is quarter full for example. It is for this reason that I keep it out of reach from children and pets.

        Bonus points are that it is quick to boil and extremely quiet too. We have also found that if you fill it up too much, it trips the electric - a useful, yet occasionally frustrating feature. The silver lining on the lid has started to peel, two months after purchase.

        Besides this I would happily recommend this product to anyone.

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        11.08.2013 22:37

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        Worth looking at for first time tablet buyers. Not the best on the market.

        Whilst this is an incredible product, with its aesthetically-pleasing finish and impressive performance, it does have a few issues. First of all, the Bluetooth pairing is unbelievably hard to set up for a first-timer. And when you finally do get it to pair, it won't remember the connection - frustrating to say the least.

        The battery life however, is a dream come true. It lasts far longer than I thought it would, lasting almost a whole day of constant use. The keyboard can be a small to use, especially if you have large fingers such as myself. There is a bigger keyboard available to buy separately, but the price is likely to put many off.

        I was disappointed at the lack of 3G. Considering the tablet relies heavily on cloud access but doesn't give an option to connect to 3G. Hotspots are quite poor for receivership, but that could be an issue with my particular model.

        The tablet can run numerous apps, including Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel etc) which is fantastic, and personally why I bought the product in the first place (commuting and working at the same time). Storage however can be an issue, with DropBox (when a connection finally appears) being the only way to store work.

        Worth looking into if you want a tablet, but there may be much better tablets available.

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      • Panasonic SD 251 / Bread Maker / 11 Readings / 10 Ratings
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        10.08.2013 21:41
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        Worth looking at if you're serious about baking bread.

        One of my hobbies is breadmaking, so I have had a few breadmakers over the years. This particular model is top of the range as far as I'm concerned. Since practically giving up on making bread after some pretty useless breadmakers, it took a massive vote of confidence to dive back in - but I don't regret it.

        I currently use this model on an almost daily basis, and almost every loaf is my best yet - bar a few mistakes, which I take full responsibility for! My range of breads has increased due to the reliability and the flavour of my current bread is outstanding. I now waste far less money on wasted ingredients, just because I purchased a slightly more expensive breadmaker - one drawback, however, is the lack of a viewing window, so it can be guesswork sometimes.

        So yes, this is quite expensive for what it is but it's worth every penny if you love baking bread. The recipe selection provided is awesome, and the instruction manual has come in handy many times.

        Definitely worth a look if you're serious about baking bread.

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          10.08.2013 21:16

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          Brilliant product at a great price. A definite must-buy!

          This product, the new Apple iPod Touch 5th Generation, is without a doubt the best iPod Touch released to date. The 4 inch retina display is perfect for playing games and displaying the relevant apps and games, with the quality of resolution being impressive and the colours vibrant.

          The new iPod Touch is considerably lighter than the previous generation of iPods. It only weighs an incredible 88g. It has dual cameras (both front and back), and both are high quality. Some people may come into difficulty with the fact that the cameras' pictures fail to fill the whole screen, with a black border. However, for what little problem this is the video quality makes up for it.

          I had a little trouble with the earpods that came with the item, as they keep falling out of my ears. This could however be a personal issue. Further issues arise from the lack of a microphone and volume controls on the earpods themselves.

          The battery life is completely faultless. It only takes around 30-45 minutes to charge a completely flat battery. Also, with the inclusion of Siri, I do hammer my battery quite a bit asking it to tell me what films are on, where my local McDonald's is and so on. The maps feature is heavily used.

          I would happily recommend this generation to anyone. Definitely worth every penny!

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        • ZALMAN ZM-VE200 / Storage Accessory / 3 Readings / 3 Ratings
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          10.08.2013 21:07

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          Good product for the money charged.

          I purchased this product not long ago, and have had barely any issues with it so far. There are a few niggles with the plastic side strip, which you have to bend accordingly to fix in the screws and it won't bend back into shape, looking out of place and gets in the way. The drive also gets quite hot on occasion, but makes up for this in being extremely lightweight.

          I set up a folder called "_iso" which I copied all my original files into, and was able to run them from startup. The device is particuarly useful in its multifunctions. For example, it can be used as a DVD player, Blu-Ray player or as a hard disk drive.

          Should you have to use the recovery disks, you'll find that it reinstalls in less than 50 minutes which is an added bonus. My drive didn't come with an Esata cable, but I believe this is not the case with all packages, so look at which you are buying carefully.

          In conclusion, it is an excellent drive but there are a few small issues - particularly the lack of an Esata cable, but this can be resolved easily and cheaply.

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          23.07.2013 00:49

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          Good value for money, although more expensive models might be worth looking at

          Whilst Canon may not be as well known for their value as they used to be, the LEGRIA HF M56 is a step in the right direction. Its price presents a nice model with many features and specifications that are designed to impress. Whilst it can be found cheaper in certain retailers, the value for money is almost spot on for the camera you're receiving.

          It has a 2.37Mpixels with 2.07Mpixels used for video. The still images are only captured at 1920x1080 so don't come out as well as they could. The video footage however, is incredible. The resolution is the same as full HD, and works well in low light situations too. Video format options include Full HD at 24Mbits/sec and MP4 formats. The MP4 formats shoot at 720p and 5-9Mbits/sec. The MP4 options work best if you're sharing video footage online, such as YouTube.

          The memory does leave alot to be desired in terms of space, as the M56 only offers 8GB. That's around 45-50 minutes of HD footage. So if you're considering purchasing this camera, I'd advise purchasing a larger SD card too. Features are identical to the previous model, the M52. The zoom is good, offered from 10x to 200x but there is a lack of advanced programming. The zoom is also quite hard to reach, with the buttons on the other side of the LCD to the record button. Image stabilisation is complicated, with four different modes. However, with time and patient these can be worked out and used to the purchaser's advantage.

          There is an option to add a custom time stamp, but I personally think this is best avoided. The ability to draw animated patterns, images and write freehand is also possible, but again, I cannot really see the point of such features - but there are those who might.

          Overall, a decent camera that does its job well. There are better cameras on the market, but you will pay accordingly for them. At this price, this camera offers value for money.

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        • Samsung RV511 / Laptop / 15 Readings / 10 Ratings
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          23.07.2013 00:19
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          Good value for money.

          As well as the laptop itself, I received a recovery CD, battery, quickstart guide and power cable. It was an extremely simple process to set up, and within half an hour/45 minutes, I was good to go!

          There is a wide selection of trial version programs preloaded onto the laptop, including Norton Internet Security and Office 2010. All of this software is removable, for those who don't wish to use it.

          The quality of the picture displayed on the screen is quite simply incredible. The screen is sharp and displays HD videos perfectly. The battery life is also good (lasting 6-7 hours), which I hope will remain that way, as my previous laptop (Sony Vaio) lost battery life quickly towards the end of its working life. The screen did flicker once or twice, but this isn't an issue I have experienced since.

          The keyboard is nice and large, which is a nice change. You can easily hit all the keys without moving your arms, only flexing your wrists. You can use the touchpad for zooming in, much like most smartphones. This shortcut comes in handy quite often, especially when working with graphics.

          Another good aspects to this laptop are the speakers, which have plenty of bass (for a laptop) and volume. The webcam is also good, and comes with a few software features, which I haven't used.

          The only issue I have with the laptop is the lack of USB slots, as I do like to use a few at the same time and the flickering screen when I first began watching television on it - this left me nervous.

          All in all, if you are thinking about purchasing this laptop, then my advice is do so. You will not regret investing it in, as its returns are a bargain for the price.

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          28.01.2013 16:05

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          Would recommend to anyone wanting an easy-to-transport device capable of streaming TV

          The Prestigio Multi Pad is a really smart piece of technology, and its speed is something that really stands out. Whilst it's a little bit of a fiddle compared to a PC or a laptop, it has its own merits. For example, the reaction time from pressing a button/app to the function being carried out is exceptionally quick.

          There are plenty of features available, such as directions to places of interest including restaurants and attractions. You are also able to watch television on this device, via apps such as the BBC iPlayer, 4OD and YouTube. Skype is also a frequently useful application available. There are very minimal problems with this device - previous tablets I've owned have not allowed me to stream television, but this hasn't been a problem yet with the Prestigio.

          The device itself is very light, and easy to transport around with you. It comes with a cover and pen, and the only fault that can be found is how easy the pen is to lose. This is a device I'd easily recommend to friends and family, as it performs so well.

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        • Panasonic HM-TA20 / Digital Camcorder / 3 Readings / 2 Ratings
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          27.01.2013 22:25

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          Good for children, accident-prone users and those wanting to film close to water.

          This camera is perfect for the younger child in the family, as we found out. If you provide your child with a camera, it's bound to get dropped and essentially ruined, fairly quickly. But not this product, no. It's completely drop-proof, dust-proof and most importantly, waterproof. It's the ideal low-cost camera to take on holiday with you, and it doesn't matter too much if it ends up at the bottom of the pool!

          Unintentionally, we ended up testing this particular product to the limit. It was smothered in melted chocolate, washed, dropped from a 8ft wall and then lost at the bottom of the bath briefly. It's still going, despite having more than a few knocks. It should be noted that it is only waterproof for down to three metres, and we haven't (yet) tried that one out!

          I'm yet to common on the quality of the HD video, which is extremely good. 1080, 720 and 480 MP4 resolutions are the common qualities available, so you're able to select which suits your needs the most. With a mini HDMI cable, you're able to put the footage attained straight onto your television, or your laptop. The special mode featured for low light settings is an added bonus, as it works really well. However, the zoom is a bit hit and miss so this makes up for it.

          The camera comes with a wrist strap, USB cable and mini tripod. You'll need to get a SD/SDHC/SDXC card as the built in memory lasts for only a short amount of time - only a few minutes of HD.

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        • Nikon 1 J2 + 10 30 mm / Digital Camera / 3 Readings / 3 Ratings
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          27.01.2013 22:03
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          Perfect for someone wanting a bit more than a point and shoot.

          If you're considering purchasing a new camera, then you should definitely have a look at this camera. Whilst the J2 is not massively different to the Nikon 1 J1, there are a few improvements since the previous model. Most notably, the camera now features a much improved LCD screen, ensuring that the multiple options available to the photographer are easily accessible. A selection of features have been added to the control dial, rather than leaving the user to search for the them on the interactive menus.

          Nikon are produces of high quality products 99% of the time, and I'd easily recommend the majority of their developments to other consumers. However, this particular product I'd promote without an ounce of doubt in my mind. Its predecessor, the J1, was already a prime example of perfection, and the J2 purely adds to it.

          The body is superior to most cameras, despite being a tiny bit too small to confidently hold whilst gaining shots that require the camera to be held in precarious positions. Most notably, there is a lack of places to grip the camera, and on occasion you can find your thumb knocking the control dial by mistake. These combined, you do find yourself constantly worried about dropping it.

          The lens is 10-30mm, and retracts into itself when you activate the locking button. This locking button must also be released before you're able to use the camera. It should be noted however, that the unlocking mechanism doubles up as an option for switching the camera on, so you're able to remove the camera from your pocket/its case and take photos reasonably quickly, which can be extremely useful. If you are planning to carry the camera in your pocket, you may need to remove the lens to ensure it fits comfortably.

          The camera is fully capable of shooting HD videos at normal speed/lower resolution in slow motion. You can also capture photos whilst recording, but the quality is limited. The stabilisation is extremely good in both the photographs and HD video, meaning that videos shot whilst walking or moving are of reasonable quality.

          I won't deny that the camera has it's little issues, such as the images not being crystal clear from the start, but that could be down to not being used to the camera. This is the only flaw I have discovered with the camera, but issues with the photos at times can be incredibly annoying. On the downside, it can be expensive for what it offers, but it's well made and is incredibly quick - thus enabling you to capture facial expressions, actions and events that you would usually miss with a standard point and shoot. The option to record HD video is also an added bonus, with its sharp and colourful quality for the majority.

          I'd recommend this camera on its merits, but recommend users to look at other models and pick the features that they require the most, before parting with money for a model that may not offer the best qualities in the area you require most.

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        • Canon Powershot A2300 / Digital Camera / 8 Readings / 6 Ratings
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          27.01.2013 21:39
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          Worth a look, but those with a slightly bigger budget should look elsewhere.

          The Canon PowerShot A2300 is a rather slick, attractive and very able camera, grabbing sharp 16-megapixel photos, boasting a 5x zoom range and being quick off the mark. However, it isn't as perfect as it first appears. Whilst it's compact, its high ISO performance isn't quite up to scratch, as there is very little in the way of photo stabilisation and anything beyond taking a photo is limited. There are much better cameras available, and for not much more money either. For example, the A2400 IS is almost identical and yet offers a better selection of options - the stabilisation is top notch.

          This model isn't a write off though. The camera features a solid metal body that feels better than the plastic enclosures found on similar budget cameras, and it's size benefits it greatly. It's only 2.1 by 3.7 by 0.8 inches in size and weighs a modest 4.4ozs. The 5x zoom lens covers a 28-140mm focal range and has an f/2.8 aperture at the wide end, capable of letting in plenty of light. However, if you're looking for a considerably longer range, look for an alternative model. Taking the price into consideration, the speed of the A2300 is impressive. Combine this with the sharpness of the camera's lens and you've got yourself a reasonable camera.

          If you're looking for a decent camera on a budget, the A2300 is good investment. However, if you can afford to stretch the budget a little further, we'd recommend the A2400 instead for the reasons mentioned briefly above.

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        • Apple iPod touch 16 GB / MP3 Player / 4 Readings / 3 Ratings
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          04.12.2012 23:53

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          Well worth buying as it is at the top of its game

          Despite the fact this product is only 16GB, it really is a good little gadget. Yes, you don't quite get 16GB due to system files and such, but that's the same with any storage device. Everything about this iPod Touch is impressive, right down to the packaging it arrives in! It really is a outstanding piece of kit, not just for a few reasons, but many.

          Whilst there is bound to be improvements made storage-wise in the near future, this item is extremely good at what it does. In fact, I don't think I can pick fault with any of its functions, bar one - the battery runs out incredibly fast. The touch screen is incredible in terms of how responsive it is, however the pop-up keyboard can be awkward at times, as can the WiFi configuration but for what most people will use it for, that's probably not even relevant.

          YouTube is a particularly useful app, as is the included web browser. The contacts screen, calendar and photo gallery all look immensely smart, and the video playback is out of this world - no/very few pauses/buffering!

          To summarise, it's well worth the money as it not only looks its part, it is absolutely fantastic.

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          19.10.2012 20:48

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          Really good product, but can cost too much.

          Recently moved into my new house, and got a Sky HD box before quickly taking out a Sky HD subscription. I've never seen appeal of high definition previously, but thought that with my recently purchased HD TV, I should take the dive and try it all out.

          Now, whilst I do enjoy watching programs via my Sky HD box, I don't quite see the point in HD. Therefore, many of my gripes will probably be due to this. Firstly, the cost of continually having a product such as this is astronomical. Each monthly cost, whilst different each customer, is quite high for what you're getting. And then each package on top of that, such as Sky Movies or channels for the kids, bump the price up a bit more.

          The box has its good points of course, such as the quality of the picture. But I don't think that justifies the price, as I'll quite happily revert back to standard. Other little gimmicks make it good as well, such as the menu screens, which look considerably smarter - they're easy to use as well. Also, setting the box up in the first place was much easier than I thought it would be. For us, Sky sent someone out to do it for us, which was a bonus.

          In our house, we have lots of remotes. Remotes for things we don't even use or know the whereabouts of anymore! However, the remote for this box is completely different to previous Sky box remotes, which is pretty helpful. Other quick point relates to the games available, such as Bingo and Fantasy Football and all the shopping channels, such as Bid TV etc.

          With the box, you can easily connect to the internet via your router, giving you access to Sky+, BBC iPlayer, ITVPlayer and YouTube (including 4OD Player). The Sky Anything + option is particularly useful, as it remembers your favourite programs and recommends them for your viewing pleasure. For those that like to spend their time more proactively, you probably won't like this feature as it will see you watching far more television than you should!

          I haven't had any issues so far with the box, and would happily recommend it to anyone. Do note though, that some (if not all) Sky contracts will see you receive the box for free, so check that out first if you're new to Sky.

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