- Premium reviews
- Express reviews
- Reviews rated
- Ratings received
Motorstorm was one of the first games I bought with my ps3 along with Resistance in the package deal.
Its a Racing game developed by Evolution Studios and was one of the first games realeased for the then NEW ps3 when it came out in 2006/7
The game itself is pretty straight forward, your task is to race in a whole series of different races all based off-road with different vehicles and to win as many as you can to be crowned the Motorstorm festival champion which is based in the fictional location of Monument Valley.
Players get you use 7 different types of vehicles throughout the game: bikes, ATVs, buggies, rally cars, racing trucks, mudpluggers and big rigs. all the vehicles have pros and cons, some are quick to accellerate but are flimsy and crash easy while others like the trucks are slower but once going can bash other players out the way and stick to the road better.
For each of the races you come across you have to select your vehicle to compete in that event and you will soon learn which are the best and for what type of course.
The races themselves are quite well setup with many scenic tracks and fantastic airtime in the jumps. The vahicles and terrain also take real time damage and change as its used so the course is dynamic.
You also get the use of nitrous boosts but you need to keep an eye on the temp of your engine because if you boost when your vehicle is redlining then it will blow up.
That really is all the game in a nutshell. You pick a vehicle and race against other AI vehicles or friends to complete different events and unlock others to complete the game.
The music is quite good and atmospheric and inkeeping with the game. The graphics are actually quite good for a racing game and the different vehicles are fun to try out.
Personally I'm not a massive fan of driving games i'm more an RPG adventure guy but I did like this and it was a good laugh at times.
The good thing is that you should be able to pick this up for £10 or less pretty much anywhere now so its a good addition to your collection for a cheap price.
Oh yeah and interestingly it holds the Guinness World Record for the most variety of different vehicles in a racing game apparently so there is lots to choose from.
I read early previews of this game and was really excited at the prospect. I love new games and new ideas and created by Quantic Dream exclusively for the PlayStation 3 I was pretty excited at the prospect.
I wasn't disappointed.
Heavy Rain is an interactive drama psychological thriller video game as they call it and it really does mess with your mind and moral pendulum. It features 4 protagonists or characters that you can control through the game. You control these characters to help discover and solve the mystery of the Origami Killer, a serial killer who uses long periods of rainfall to drown his victims in unusual and horrible ways.
First of all if you play this game "You will never catch the RED BALLOON" . That wont make sense to you if you haven't played it but to others and if you do play it then it will make sense. Reason I say that is that for some reason some people still think they can replay the game and catch the red balloon and end the game early .. I wont go into specifics but its an early event that you can only hopelessly work through and fail but its an important and key part of the mystery and story.
Ethan Mars is one of the characters who you play. He is a father and his task is to save his child from the Origami killer because he has been kidnapped. Then there is Madison Paige who is a reporter on the cases who gets tangled into the story. Then there is FBI profiler Norman Jayden and private detective Scott Shelby all of whom have different parts to play.
I wont go into the story too much as it will give away a lot of the plot but you take turns in controlling the characters and see it from each of their point of view during the game and they all just want to solve the case in some way or another.
The controls of this game are what helps to make this game more intense as you play it. They call it 'quick time events' but basically apart from the normal game controls you get these sequences which determine specific outcomes but you have to be quick to respond to the instructions on the game. Button presses and direction moves flash up on the screen and you have to be really quick to press them in the way they are required. If your good then you will pass each one but if your bad or just fail some which I did near the end then your characters fail or actually die because of your inability to do it. This has then an impact on the outcome of the game and the other interactions there on.
It truly is a master stroke interactive game.
This game is so good it won 3 BAFTA awards for technical innovation, story line and music.
Probably one of my favourite games on the ps3 to date so far and cant wait for further games like this
For me its a must buy game for all ps3 owners.
Be aware though it's not for the faint of heart and the dialogue and game play isn't for kids which is why its an 18 rated game.
I've owned quite a few cars and subsequently changed a few CD head units in my time.
Recently I changed my car to a BMW 3 series and it comes with a built in business head unit which actually isnt that bad as a normal FM radio and cd player but I wanted more as I have an ipod and wanted to play music in the car.
I went to Halfords and spotted this JVC KD BT11 for £130 at the time. It had been reduced from £149. I admit though this was nearly 2 years ago now and I believe JVC have discontinued this model but you can still pick it up online and certain places like amazon.com for around £90 still now.
I had to buy a 3.5m to ipod wire with it and the usual BMW connector wire and facia trim to make it fit but that was expected.
Radio / CD / MP3 player
Full-DIN - in-dash unit
System Control Bus J-Link
Volume, fader, balance, attenuate
50 Watts x 4
CD Changer Control
Telephone mute, CD Text capable, rotary encoder multi-control, ID3 tags support, Bluetooth hands-free for cellular phone, HD radio ready, iPod ready, Bluetooth Audio Streaming
24 preset stations
Pre-set buttons, FM stereo/mono switch, best stations memory
Type CD / MP3 player,WMA, MP3
1 x audio line-out 1 x audio line-in
Remote Control Infrared (not included)
Its easy to set up, basically its like most CD head units if your used to fitting them otherwise best just pay Halfords to fit it for you but sometimes they do it for free so may as well use them.
As an FM stereo and a CD player is perfectly fine. I didn't notice any difference to be honest between my old one and this one. There comes a point when the quality is of very little difference between all units. However I did like the fact that I could detach the front fascia panel and carry it with me in the box supplied.
And once I got it all set up my ipod worked fine as well so I was really pleased with that, however you did have to still control the ipod via the ipod itself so I bought a phone holder so I could put the ipod into it for easier use.
I know it has Bluetooth as well but I've never used it to be honest as the only device I have was an iphone and iphones couldnt link with it.
One thing I did notice however is the ease of use for the volume control as its a round dial that you turn and it has a satisfying little click as it turns.
Overall its a good head unit and at a decent price.
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic games or also know as Mario and Sonic at the Beijing Olympics for me is probably my next best game to the basic free sports games you get with the Wii.
Its the second game I ever bought for the Wii and I still have it. I've always liked Olympic sports games ever since I used to play games like 'track and field' in the arcades. Remember those things, arcades, its a place where people use to go before people had games consoles in every house where you stood up in massive rooms by the seaside or in a town centre and it was full of games to play on large screens spending all your pocket money.
The game itself is really easy. It is a collection of 24 events based on the Olympic Games events and you pick a character to compete in these events or against other computer controlled characters or other user controlled characters. You gain points based on events to unlock other events and eventually you can compete in all available events. Basically there are 3 modes, Circuit mode, Single Match, and Mission mode and they are pretty straight forward and self explanatory. Within these modes you have several categories of events, athletics, gymnastics, shooting, archery, rowing, aquatics, fencing, and table tennis.
Within those categories you have things like the 100m dash which is my favourite, and the relay race and the hammer throw and javelin etc.
Overall its probably the second best game that i've played for the Wii so far. It is so much fun watching people swing the controllers as fast as they can against each other and watching people physically jump over the hurdles thinking its what you do.
I guess that's the best bit of a Wii its the watching of people play it especially if they are not used to playing on a Wii. The game itself I like in a family environment because it can be quick and not take up all the evening and its also actually a good way to keep fit because it does give you a sweat on especially if you really get into it.
The graphics are nothing to talk about but perfectly acceptable for the type of game it is. Same goes for the music.
overall its a good laugh and nothing to take to serious which is the main reason for getting it.
Mario Party 8 for the Wii is one of the few games on the Wii that I own.
The game includes 14 playable characters, Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Princess Daisy, Yoshi, Birdo, Toad, Toadette, Wario, Waluigi, Boo, Dry Bones, Blooper and Hammer Bro you can also use Mii characters as well which is basically your own character that you create on the Wii.
The game itself is mainly designed for more than 1 player so the more people you have over to play the better but it is limited to 4 but that doesnt mean you cant take turns if there are more of you. However if there are less than 4 the AI or computer fills in the blanks.
You then compete against each other in one of six themed areas in the game. From there you can then select five different areas to play on: Party Tent, Star Battle Arena, Minigame Tent, Extras Zone, and the Fun Bazaar. Each of these are different but needless to say its all fun.
Without going into each of the game boards there are basically different tasks to do including side tasks where you compete against each other to earn stars and coins and you end up ranked agaisnt each other.
The games itself are quite fun but can be really long winded and take up most of your evening before you know it. Its not like the free sports games where you can have a quick game in 5 minutes and carry on for the evening, it really does take time to setup and to play so you'd better be prepared for a long evening with friends.
I really enjoy playing it but it can be really frustrating as many of the games are really just you clicking a button which randomly picks how successful for are and because of that there is no reall skill which is good in one way as new players can win but its frustrating as well because there is no learned skill really as someone who is losing in the game can somehow end up winning it. It's hard to explain other than if you play it.
I bought this for around £29.00 new but i'm sure you can get it far cheaper now.
overall it is a fun family / friendly game to play but it really is only useful when you have a house full who want to play and the time to play it.
I'm not 100% sure as to whether I can truely review this game but I will try my best with the gameplay I did have. That remark will make more sense at the end of the review.
I love role-playing games the most out of all gaming genres and i'm often keeping an eye out for them.
I had read reviews and online ratings for White knight Chronicles for a long while but never really fancied it as there was always other games id rather be playing. I finaly took the plunge and bought a copy as it was on second hand sale at a local game store for £10. I thought I couldnt really fail at that price so took the chance.
White Knight Chronicles is a game solely produced for the PS3 by Sony Entertainment, it is an RPG based adventure game. They call it an epic fantasy tale about two kingdoms amidst a long war between them. All sounds good so far doesnt it. Balandor is one of the kingdoms, they want to end the war between the two and they invite the duke of Faria ( the other kingdom) to their castle to celebrate the king of Balandor's daughter's coming of age.
The Magi however have other ideas and cause lots of problems and sabotage the event. The reason why they want to cause chaos is because they want the White Knight which is a weapon benieth the castle of Balandor. This weapon will help them rule the world if they get it. During the chaos, a character named Leonard accidentally unlocks the power of the White Knight as he was trying to save the princess. With everything in chaos, Leonard is entrusted with a mission to find the Magi and rescue the princess from them.
Fab so we have a good story to play from but that where the game ends pretty much.
After a long drawn out start to the game I finally got to play it. The graphics arnt all that I was expecting and it reminds me of a cheesey japanese classic rpg game because of the repetative sole destroying music. The controls arnt the best and for the first hour or so your character is led from tedious task to tedious task one after another.
I don't know if I just didnt give this game a good enough chance or the fact that sometimes games just really are poor but after about 2 hours of gameplay I just switched off.
I'm sorry but a game can't waste 2 hours of your life and expect you to smile and continue playing in the vain hope of it getting better. I felt like I was reading a visual book or something with mild interactivity.
It just wasnt what I was either expecting or hoping for and in the end I switched it off and traded the game back in for about £2 the next day .
I still feel my review is valid because I did try with the game , I did buy it with the intention of playing a good rpg but it just didnt deliver in the end so I had to tell you my opinion.
overall i'd save your time and money and just avoid it like the proverbial plague
Ok so a shocking headline I know but I had to think of something.
Fallout 3 by Bethesda is actually the first Fallout game i've played. I had heard friends and other talking about it when it first came out and took a slight amount of notice to their ramblings but didnt really take note until much later.
I noticed a copy for sale at a local retailer games store second hand for £15 at the time and remembered that people had fond words about it. So I thought i'd give it a whirl.
God i'm so glad I did, however I did almost quit after 10 minutes of gameplay.....
First off you start in an underground fallout shelter which is apparently sealed off from the outside, however this isnt the bad part.. You have to partake / watch some intro sequences that basically show you growing up in the shelter and do a little demo type getting used to the controls type tasks between FMV's . This is all well and good but it's just not my cup of tea so after 10 minutes and using a BB gun to kill a few roaches I wasnt imediately taken back by the game... I really did nearly switch it off and throw it away. However the game doesnt really start until you get outside the bunker or fallout shelter and start in the wastes on your own.
I love post apocalyptic type games and movies so once I got into the game properly it really does get far far better.
I wont go into the story as to spoil it for some but you get the usual weapons and some not so usual ones. You are free to roam despite the story that you can follow in your own time. The combat is quite difficult unless you use your VATS system which is something you get right at the start, but I guess its a nice ballance because you cant use the VATS all the time and its needs to have a bit of difficulty otherwise it just wouldnt work.
I do like the basic story however but I wont mention it here. But the sub plots and tasks make it for me. Collecting items solving problems killing raiders selling guns and ammo etc etc its a really good game all round.
The only reall thing that narked me a liitle was that you kinda scrape by a living so to speak in the game all the way through. Selling off looted goods and the likes with slowly getting better equipment and armor and guns etc building your character up until you finally get some great armor and kit and stock up on ammo and guns etc . ONLY for the game to end in the next mission.
It would have been nice to have had the chance to have more missions and levels after you get to this point. Or for you to be able to get better equip earlier in the game.
However that said its still a good game.
Defo worth a purchase now that its available cheap just about everywhere.
I've always been a fan of the Tiger Woods games. It helps that I like to play golf in real life as well but you really don't have to be a golf fan to enjoy this game.
I bought it from Grainger Games which is a local games store in the north east of England. I paid only £12 for this game because it was second hand and about 8 months after the original release date.
The game itself is rated PEGI 3+ which means it's suitable for all ages so there is no worry about bad language or violence.
EA sports have produced another fantastic game with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11. With Dynamic weather conditions powered from the Weather Channel real time weather situations at all the courses is now possible.
Live online tournaments where you can play against actual PGA tour pros and the best online gamers as long as you have your PS3 hooked up to the internet that is.
For the first time you can now take on the U.S OPEN. Possibly one of golfs most important events and its a tough one so you'd better be good.
A choice between the classic 3-click swing and the new directional movement swing means if you have a problem with the swing you can always go back to the easier 3-click option. Same thing with the putting as well as a new precision putting is there by default but you can go back to the old version if needs be.
The game itself is so easy to play. You don't need to immediately play in a tournament, you can try a few quick games first if you like but I always just go straight into creating my user character and starting the comp.
At first I found it really hard actually. I was failing to make the cut and was rarely getting anything better than a par. However after a few rounds (about 10) you really do get the hang of it. at that point however it turns quite easy. From literally failing miserably I found myself comfortably winning round after round and after about half a season I found I was regularly shooting 12 under par or better per round and sometimes far better. At the end it got silly to the point where I actually shot a round of 18 holes and got 22 under par. Crazy compared to real life but its a game and I was playing well.
So I spent 3 seasons basically winning everything and maxing out my characters stats by buying the best equipment and thus maxing out my player stats as well.
Overall it is very enjoyable unlocking all the courses and equipment but once you've done it it is essentially just a repetition of each season to try to beat your stats.
I still love it though and for the £12 I paid it's been well worth the purchase.
This is one of those consoles that when you first play them you just have to have one simply because of the innovative controllers and interactive gameplay but the reality is that its actually a poor system.
Nintendo suprisingly some don't know was actually a card making company started in 1889 and in the early 1890's in Japan made hand made playing cards. Then in 1956 they contacted people in the states to start to produce Disney related cards and pictures of Disney characters on their playing cards.
They dabbled with other enterprise like hotels and and even started their own taxi firm under the nintendo name but eventually bored of all this and other ventures in 1974 started in the video game industry but it was not until 1980 that they developed the Family Computer or known to many as the FAMICOM in Japan but to the rest of the world this was known as the NES.
The entry NES system which first delivered MARIO BROS to light up our world as well as many other top games at the time. Then moved on to the SNES or SUPER NES, the upgraded and far superior model turned the original MARIO BROS into the mighty SUPER MARIO BROS as well as other upgraded games. The SNES pretty much dominated years of gameplay just like its original NES did before that.
Ignoring the handhelds and the not so popular gamecube that followed the very popular nintendo 64 we come on to arguably their most successful console to date and namely the one in this review the wii.
The Wii is truely an inspirational console but not many people know that it was originally called the "Revolution" but was then renamed the Wii just before launch.
I first tried the Wii at a friends house and was instantly hooked as most people are. A few weeks later I decided to buy one seen as they arnt a great deal of money I believe I paid around £170 for it as it was a games bundle as well but you can just get the console for far less around £140 now.
Wii Sports game
Wii Remote with strap
Wii AC Adapter
Wii Stereo AV Cable
Wii Stand Plate
Wii Sensor Bar
Sensor Bar Stand
Wii Sports game (baseball, tennis, bowling, boxing, golf)
Got the product home and its really easy to setup. Surprisingly the console itself compared to most others is very small and its a lot of tech to fit into a small box but it looks great.
In slides the game cd and after power up and putting the tv to the right channel away you go.
The OS and console menu system is really simple to navigate. Unlike other older consoles which instantly launch the game the Wii like the new xbox and playstation 3 now have a menu screen to navigate and allow you to see records and setup local machine variables like connecting to a wifi if you have internet access and many other options.
This is however where the console really does come to an end however. Yes for the first few weeks or months you become better at the basic free sports pack games and one or two other games you've bought but the novelty really does wear off quickly.
I think I played this constantly for about 2 months perfecting all the games I had and becoming pro at all the sports games. After that all the other games are just terrible. Occasionally I switch it back on when I have guests over like family and other kids to keep them quiet but honestly I just never use it now.
Every time I want to play a game I either use my playstation 3 or my PC .
Reason why is simply because the Wii is graphically poor, the sound is poor and the gameplay however revolutionary at the start is just downright tedious and boring.
Every aspect of a Playstation 3 or an xbox or a PC is just far superior in all counts.
However this doesnt take away from the family fun factor which is why I havent sold it yet. IT IS FUN!
But really its only use is for when there is more than 1 person who wants to play.
Overall it's a cheap family console. Reality is that its still vastly lacking.
After moving into my current property 2 years ago now we had to completely rip out and re-build the entire place from top to bottom.
One such room was obviously the kitchen. After doing all the usual building and fitting work it was time to sort out some fitted kitchen appliances. I purchased my kitchen from Wickes and part of the deal was that if you ordered the full kitchen you got 50% off on all appliances from then on to finish it off.
I opted for a hidden washer dryer and this looked like one of the best options they had as we have very limited space in our kitchen and this unit was just the right size. I've used plenty of washers before but I don't know alot about them other than how to switch them on.
I was happy to go for the Electrolux brand as they have been around a very long time so when the salesman told me this particular machine was £600 at the time as it's rated as one of the better washer driers so to get it for £300 included onto my kitchen was a good deal. I believe even now in the shops it is between £600 and £700 to buy so that was not bad to get it for that price.
Delivery it was packaged really well and I managed to follow all the initial instructions easily to remove the drum restraining bolt from the back and to hook up the water feed line etc, it was all straight forward and easy to do. The machine fitted perfectly and slotted into the unit well. I again followed the initial instructions and did a pre wash to set the machine going and to give it its first working cycle to make sure everything was ok and it was fine.
What they dont tell you however is the wooden door which came with my kitchen to hide the machine is just a basic door. it's not actually desiged to fit the washing machine as such so I had to go out and buy a specific drill bit designed to bore out a perfect circle and luckily because I am actually quite good at DIY I managed to fit the washer hinges to the door and fit the magnet catch etc all fine and it fitted well. For some though this would be very difficult to do and may end up damaging the door so be careful or get a joiner in to do it for you.
The washing machine itself is really smart. In all white with a neet digital display and simple set of buttons and the usual turn dial for settings it looks perfectly fine.
Product details (taken from the electrolux site)
Front loading washer dryer
Revolutions per Minute 1400
Maximum Loading Capacity in kg 6
Energy Efficiency B
Wash Efficiency A
Energy Consumption in kWh (60° C) 4.85
Water Consumption in Litres (60° C) 84
Energy Saving Trust Feature No
Start Delay Option Yes
Display of Remaining Time Yes
Water Control System Yes
Height in cm 82 cm
Width in cm 60
Depth in cm 54.1
I havent really had a problem with the machine it's always washed my clothes really well. I havent used the dryer much, mainly in the winter when I can't get my clothes out on the line outside but overall it does what its suppose to.
The washing options on the turn dial are really simple and easy to use and as you select each option the machine lights up and displays the time and setting on the digital display.
It has a large door so its easy to get clothes in and out of the machine which is good as its a compact hidden machine not like some washing monsters that are sold today. I like the controls and the ease of use which it gives and the washing powder input drawer doesn't clog up as much as past models I've had. It's easy to clean out and put back together if you do need to take the powder drawer out to clean.
One good point is that its a condenser dryer so there is no venting required, which was great for us as there was no was we could have put a vent in anyway. It has a delay start option which sets the machine to start when it suits you but to be honest i've never used it.
Also it has a Time Manager function which adapts the programme type to how soiled your clothes are (Intensive, Normal, Daily, Quick, Super Quick) but again I've always just used the preset values as it's something that could be useful to others.
One issue I do have however is after about 1 years use we noticed a small amount of black discolouration on the rubber seal around the inside of the door. nothing major but it does look a little strange and it looks like its some kind of mould. After a little research apparently its to do with the type of rubber used and the washing powder as its BIO and to do with washing temperatures.
The machine's auto temperatures are quite low by default so I recommend whenever you do a white load to crank the temp up which helps eliminate the black.
Also I've done an empty wash with antibac and other cleaning product to clear it away but its something to note. I belive on other machine makes this issue was raised on Watchdog a year or so ago but I hadn't experienced it until now.
However don't let that detract from a good wachine machine, overall its a nice unit and does what we want it to and is still running strong after 2 years so far.
I've had many a printer in my time and as a keen photographer I like the ability to print out quality images in the house. I have been after another printer for a while because my last one an Epson had ran out of ink. I know you'll probably say "why did'nt you just buy new ink" but to get the Epson specific ink refils they were wanting close to around £50. So because my printer was a good few year old I gave that one away and decided to look through my subscription to a well known photography magazine and the one they recomended for A4 printing was this Canon Pixma MG6150.
I imagined that I was going to have to pay around £150 for it as thats what it said was the retail price in the magazine but to my surprise when I went down to pcworld/currys it was marked down to just £99.
Thats a lot of product for £99 when you considder its an all-in-one printer copier and scanner.
Here is a bit of tech detail (from canon website) about the product itself then I will talk about my views further. A full spec can be found on the canon site http://www.canon.co.uk/
Intelligent Touch System with light-guided operation
6 Single Inks with grey
9600dpi 1pl; 10x15cm photo in 20sec
Full HD Movie Print
ISO ESAT speed 12.5/9.3 ipm mono/col
Ethernet and Wi-Fi
Auto Duplex, Direct Disc print
Print Resolution Up to 9600¹ x 2400 dpi
Print Engine InkJet 6-ink with minimum 1 pl droplet size and FINE print head
Single Ink technology - 6 separate ink tanks (PGI-525PGBK, CLI-526BK, CLI-526C, CLI-526M, CLI-526Y, CLI-526GY)
Compatible Memory Cards
USB Flash Memory, CompactFlash, Microdrive, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo, SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card, MultiMedia Card (Ver4.1), and MultiMedia Card Plus
Dimensions (W x D x H) 470 x 368 x 173mm
Number of language (LCD) 22 Languages selectable.
Weight Approx. 9.2 kg
Power Source AC 100-240V, 50/60Hz
Power Consumption Standby: Approx. 2.0 W (when scanning lamp is off),
Off: Approx. 0.5 W,
Copying: Approx 24 W¹
Ok so now that tech detail from the canon site is out the way I can tell you about my thoughts on the product.
Out the box it looks really smart. It was really easy to setup and to put the ink cartridges in place if you just follow the simple guide that comes with it it's a breeze.
One issue I had was not with the product put the member of staff that sold me the product who insisted that I needed to buy a printed cable to setup the device... YOU DON'T not if you want to use it wireless that is. Also he wanted me to buy further ink cartridges insisting that the free ones your get with the product only last 5 to 10 prints as they are DEMO inks as he called them.
Load of rubbish.. I've so far printed around 30 FULL A4 photo quality prints and several plain black photocopies of documents and the ink levels are still at MAX. I've found that a full set of replacement Inks actual canon ones and not alternative makers will set you back £40 for a full set from amazon.com. You can get slightly cheaper alternates but I wouldnt recomend them. Individual inks are up to £10 each and you can get twin pack of black inks for £20 which is what you'll probably replace the most.
As mentioned the device was really easy to setup and install and after about 30 minutes I had a fully working unit in place connected wirelessly to my pc and laptop.
The quality of the prints is top notch. I can see why they have introduced the extra ink cartridge so its a 6 cartridge unit. The most impresive colours and crisp black n whites are produced and as a photographer I liked that.
I can completely see why the magazine said it was their pick of the printers to date.
I've never had any issue with the WIFI connection from anywhere in the house but one thing is that it does take a little while cleaning itself when you switch it on, presumably to prepare itself for printing. This isnt an issue however and shouldnt detract from a fine product but it is something to note.
I personally thought the printing speeds to be decent enough and was actualy quite impresed how quickly it prints full A4 photos but I was used to an 8 year old Epson before this which took 3 times as long to print the same thing.
I also really like the flip up little digital display and navigation.
Overall its just a really good product and for £99 you really can't go wrong.
After the birth of my son I wanted to get myself a blender that was able to not only blend meal products as he got older and started on solids but useful for ourselves for general blending needs. I didnt however want to spend the earth on one for the sake of it.
I looked around the usual home accessory shops and was shocked at some of the prices they were asking. I decided to check online and managed to find this product at amazon.com for I believe was £24.99. I was happy to pay that for a basic blender and decided to go for it.
It came delivered on time and packaged really well. The blender itself comes out the box with not only the default blender attachment but a very useful whisk attachment and an great chopper pot as I call it which is basically a container with a lid that you put attach the device to and that drives the blades inside the container to do your blending or chopping. It also comes with a beaker.
Philips have been around a long time so I was confident of getting a good product build and this was no exception. Despite its low price it is a sturdy and solid unit and does not feel cheap at all.
The device itself is a 600 watt powered white blender with blue speed buttons. One is the normal speed button and the other is what they call a turbo button for that little bit extra power if your blending something tough. One thing to note is that either button requires you to keep it depressed for operation, it's not a switch on / off type. The beaker holds 1 litre of product so its quite a good size as well.
In use i've never had an issue so far. I've blended many farleys rusks for bottles down to a very fine dust powder and numerous healthy lunches. I've blended whole bananas with hard ice creme to make smoothies and its tackles it really easily.
Another great thing I noticed is that I hate cleaning up and with the spash guards and the fact that it is so simple to wash I don't mind rinsing it through after use. To my knowledge the unit itself is obviosuly not dishwasher safe with it being an electrical unit but the beaker and the accessories I'm sure are safe but i'm not 100% on that as I don't have a dishwasher.
I havent seen any deterioration in the blades or product after a year of use so far , so overall I can only describe it as a top product that is totally fit for purpose.
My partner and I are regular coffee drinkers and as such there is always a eye on the latest coffee makers currently on the market. One evening we went to my brothers house to visit and he showed me his new coffee maker. Needless to say it was the new Dolce Gusto by Krups. Initially I tried the cappuccino and my partner had the latte macchiato and to our surprise it was really quite nice, despite the sweet taste.
So at our earliest available time we ordered one for ourselves. At the time most Dolce Gusto's were selling for around £100 to £120, but my partner noticed an offer online for only £59.99, a 50% sale so we had to have one.
The package arrived on time and after plowing through the large but well protected box we somehow managed to get it setup( not that its hard it just felt like it took a while ).
Filling the water holder up is easy and has a large open lid with well described water level markings and it just rests back into place once filled. We were supplied with 4 types of products to drink in the 'starter pack' totalling 12 pods as they call them. The caffè lungo is a dark medium strength coffee which was quite nice but not my everyday drink. There was also latte macchiato's which is my partners favourite and is quite a nice version of the drink despite the sweet taste so you don't really need any sugar to be added. You also get cappuccino's and my surprising favourite of them all the chocochino ( basically hot chocolate ).
The system is easy to use once you have plugged it in and added your water to the container. You switch it on by pressing the button on the left hand side and wait till it stops flashing, thats when you know its ready.
You have an option of flicking the switch lever from the centre to the left for cold water or whatever temperature you put into the hopper, or switching to the right where its hot water. Be warned though this is not an automatic stop like some levelled coffee makers, you must remember to flick it back to the centre once your cup is at the appropriate level. We made that mistake once and ended up with coffee all over the kitchen bench because we got distracted by the phone as we were making a cup and forgot it was on.
The unit itself is quite futuristic and decent looking but if you have an old fasioned kitchen it may look like a bit of an odd sore thumb stuck out.
The 'pods' as they call them are easy to use and to install and remove once used although you do have to be careful as sometimes hot water still drips from them as you take them out to throw away. The unit is easy to clean which is a plus because some coffee makers are a nightmare.
The 'pods' themselves are not expensive but they arnt cheap either and you can get them in most good supermarkets and some bad ones too. They work out much cheaper than having a coffee out in a cafe but still a bit more than normal freeze dried instant coffee's.
The drinks themselves all have a sweetness to them and some have claimed a bit of a bitter aftertaste but I havent noticed that, all I know is that I think they are nice and anyone who has visited my house and has tried one has always liked it.
Overall I think its a decent machine and it makes nice drinks, if your into your coffee then I would certainly recommend you give it a go and see for yourself.
Toast is the way forward. It's the pinnacle of cullinary delights thats often forgotten about. Once a mainstay in the development of many a post war young childs diet, it has been now been pushed to the back of the cupboard only to be replaced with the lesser poptart, and may other e-number filled teeth rotting breakfast alternatives.
Needless to say its still a popular figure in our household and a daily right of passage before embarking on the usual grind.
Because of this I have been through many a toaster in my time but the Tefal Avanti Deluxe has to be the best by far.
Surprisingly it was purchased for our family as a house warming preasent when we moved. The last one got skipped along with all the other rubbish that gets thrown when you move house. Initially I didn't really think about the quality of the product. It's a toaster! I accepted the lovely present and assumed it was much like all the other predecessors.
How wrong was I. The Avanti deluxe , deluxe meaning its a 4 slice toaster with a bit of chrome edging as opposed to the 2 slice inferior plain black version is a toasting marvel.
We have used this toaster now for nei on 8 years. Yes thats right ! 8 years. I've never known a toaster last that long for starters so it's already a winner and value for money.
Then there is the looks. A toaster is a toaster but it is very sleek and stylish. The black base with chrome trimmings and side panels goes well together and with the slight slant towards the user it looks more like a polished sports car rather than a toaster.
Each bread entering slot is wide enough for most thicknesses of cut bread loafs, obviously if your cutting your own then there are still limits to what can fit in. The levers to drop the bread and clamp into position are easy to use and straight forward.
Each 2 slot side has its own timer control knob, drop in lever clamp and express push out high rise lift to help remove the hot toasted delights.
It also has emergency stop buttons, a defrost button for certain cold products and a reheat button along with 2 crumb trays which are accessable at the rear of the device for easy cleaning.
Overall this product works wonders and has not missed a beat since the day we got it. I enjoy a nice slice of toast with a dash of jam, sometimes marmalade each morning before work and without it I don't know what I would do.
When this one does finally pack in I wont hessitate to buy the exact same version again as soon as I can.
Tefal truely have made a fine electronic product for the world to embrace.
I find laptop reviews sometimes go on far too much so I will try to get the main points in and give you a fair review of this product without the need for over talking it.
I have been after a new laptop for a while. My old Dell laptop had seen better days as it was 5 years old now, so it was time for a change. Coincidentally my parents wanted a laptop as well so I thought if I buy a new one they can have my old one for free and same them some cash.
After many shop visits to numerous stores around my area I decided upon buying he ASUS 52f ex911v laptop.
I paid £399 for it and so far have been pleased with the laptop but there are a few annoying things about it.
Manufactured by ASUS this laptop comes with a 15.6" WXGA HD screen. Windows 7 Home Premium as standard and is powered by the very good I3-330M CORE I3 Intel dual core processor at 2130mhz. It comes with 4 gig of RAM and a 320gig HD.
It has 3 USB ports, WIFI and an integrated webcam (although its pretty basic webcam) . It doesn't have bluetooth or firewire but it does come with a 4in1 card reader and a dvd writer / bluray combo drive.
So overall not a bad spec especially for the price. (p.s I bought the dark red one which I think looks the best)
Straight out the box the laptop feels comfortable to hold as it weighs about 2.6kgs so its doesnt squash your legs if its on your lap. After many hours use it also doesnt heat your legs up to a crazy temperature which some laptops do so the fan cooling system seems to work really well. It powers up quite quickly to be honest with it being Windows 7 and new, there wasnt any of my junk on there yet to slow it down so to date its startup performance is really good.
It comes packaged with loads of ASUS software as well as many others like Adobe Air, Adobe Flash Player 10, Adobe Reader 9.1, ASUS AI Recovery, ASUS AP Bank, ASUS CopyProtect, ASUS Data Security Manager, ASUS FancyStart, ASUS LiveFrame3, ASUS LiveUpdate, ASUS Multiframe, ASUS Power4Gear Hybrid, ASUS SmartLogon, ASUS Splendid Video Enhancement Technology, ASUS Virtual Camera, ASUS WebStorage, Boingo WiFi, Bookworm Deluxe, CyberLink LabelPrint, CyberLink Power2Go, Game Park Console, Google Chrome, Microsoft Silverlight, syncables desktop SE, Windows Live Essentials and many more.
One thing I loved about the laptop is the size of the mouse trackpad, however this is both a blessing and a curse and is one of my slight issues with the laptop. ASUS still havent solved the annoying issue when your typing on the keyboard, the trackpad decides to track your wrist as you are typing and thus moves around the screen at time and it does get annoying even though it says it has wrist recognition or something to help stop this from happening. However the trackpad itself when you actually want to use it is very good, it's a nice size and responds very well and is positions pretty centrally to the laptop which I like.
The keyboard is ok, its not the best i've used but at the same time it does its job. The keys are fine but it does look cheap to be honest a far cry from other laptops and netbooks like Apple's Macbook etc but at the same time it is a budget laptop at half the price of a Macbook.
The Performance is really good. The dual core I3 processor is as quick as Usain Bolt (when he doesnt get disqualified that is.:) Powered along with the 4 gig of RAM and Windows 7 it's a tidy performer.
The sound is a bit of an issue though. I dont know what type of built on sound card it has but its not the best. Don't get me wrong though it does sound ok for normal things and for general use its fine but it's not that loud and it really hasnt got any power to it, but the worst thing of all is simply the controls to turn it up and down. After 6 months of ownership I still havent a clue how to control the sound. Most laptops have simple media buttons but the ASUS you have to control it via the keyboard 3rd level shortcuts or something which I havent found out how to do yet so my sound is always on and I control it via the Windows 7 sound bar on the OS instead.
The WIFI is good and I havent had any issues with the connections yet to my wireless broadband. The graphics are really good. with an HD screen and bluray player player built in you can imagine how good it is but it flows well and I havent had any graphical problems.
It also looks really good, most laptops nowadays appart from Apple are really ugly to be honest, but the ASUS is actually quite a nice looking laptop.
The battery life is the usual 3 hours the same as most laptops but again it does depend on what you are doing with the laptop that dictates the slight fluctuations in battery life, but it does charge quite quickly once plugged in.
The screen is really clear and has a decent range of viewing angles which is nice and the webcam although a poor 1.3meg one seems to work fine but if your serious about having a web cam then you'll probably need to buy a better one.
Overall its a top spec laptop for the price you pay and it does perform well even though the trackpad is annoying and the sound isnt the best and is hard to control. Other than that it's all good and as a general household laptop for the family you really cant go wrong.