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I have just upgraded from a Sony Ericsson c510, which had a basic facebook feature but was other than that a standard phone. My first impressions of the wildfire are really good. It looks really good and feels well made. The features such as importing numbers from my old phone over blue tooth and the auto set up features for facebook and gmail accounts were very useful, everything was very quick and easy to set up. I did need to manually link up my facebook contacts with phone book ones, but automatically doing this would likely lead to false match ups, so its understandable this feature was left out.
There are loads of apps and games available right from the android store, and there are tons of free ones. The wildfire does have compatibility issues due to its low resolution screen, but the vast majority of apps are supported. I customised my home screens with widgets and short cuts in minutes. After a little bit more searching i found ways of running all 3 of my email accounts and the phone easily juggled multiple calendars and facebook / twitter feeds.
The hardware of the phone is very good. Sturdily built, looks great and fits well in the hand. The battery life is amazing for the amount of features this phone packs, and it is fast enough for most apps. The only thing letting the phone down is the resolution of the screen. It makes text somewhat blocky when you are zoomed out. Its annoying, but for me, not annoying enough to spend another £50 or £100 on the next model up. If you are on a budget but want a lovely little smartphone with all the great features android offers, i don't think you will find better. If you are considering getting an iphone, buy this or a slightly more pricey HTC with a better resolution screen. You will love the freedom and apps android has to offer.
I bought this camera because i read many good reviews and it comes from an extremely well trusted brand.
Feature-wise it has enough settings to play around with, but not so many to be daunting. The intelligent auto mode seem to work in 995 of situations producing good results. Using the night sky mode i even managed to play around making pictures with a laser pointer, as this mode forces the shutter open for a set amount of time up to one minute. The one setting i would have liked would be an auto picture mode for timelapse work, but on a compact for this price, its hardly surprising they would not expect you to want this. I have not seen any other cameras with any more features for the price. The menus and settings are also fairly easy to use, and the lack of a wheel for controls mean you cant accidentally turn it onto settings you don't want. I normally switch between intelligent auto, and the "normal" profile for which i have forced flash off, as all other settings are great on auto.
The camera itself feels very well made and is metal rather than plastic. Everything feels solid and can easily stand up to a few bumps and knocks. The only gripe i have with this is the little door that hinges open to let you get at the battery and memory card (its an SD or SDHC card by the way). If you dropped the camera with this door open i could see it snapping, but other than that it is a very sturdy, yet lightweight and portable camera. The screen is also very clear, and you wont have too much trouble even on bright days. This is not a touch screen. Personally i see this as an advantage, touch screens on cameras are more toruble than they are worth.
It connects to the computer using a USB cable with Panasonics own special connection wire, but you don't need special software, you can just drag and drop files like a memory stick. You also get a good capacity battery and charger, and as a side note, the camera fits nearly any standard sized camera case. For the price i think this is an excellent camera. If you want a compact, get this one, very highly recommended.
I bought some of this RAM for my i5 system, it was paired with an i5 750, asus P7P55D, and powered by the corsair TX 650. I have received excellent performance out of it. It runs very cool and looks great.
After owning it for around 6 months i did start to have some problems with blue screens and my computer not booting properly, and so i ran memtest 86+ to check if anything was up with the RAM. From reading other reviews of this product, it seems i had an extremely rare problem, and the support people at crucial could not have been better. I went on the online support chat to ask about sending back a matched pair of sticks, and they told me to send both back on recorded delivery. I sent it on a Monday and had new RAM on the Wednesday.
This RAM is extremely fast, running at 2000 MHz, you may need to go into the bios of your motherboard to make the memory run at this speed, as some default to slower speeds. I would advise getting crucial RAM as the customer service is exceptional, and the product itself performs very well. Remember this is a 2 part kit however, and is DDR3, and so is only suitable for DUAL channel DDR3.. so only on i5 builds and possibly some AMD.
This is my current case, and is in my opinion the best air cooled case available. It can also be fitted with a double radiator for water cooling with no alterations required. The case comes with three 120 mm fans on the front, 2 on the back, and then a 200 mm "big boy" fan on the top. All of these fans have LEDs, and their speeds can be controlled by controls on the outside. The top fans LEDs can also be switched off from the fan control panel on the back of the case. There is room for 2 more fans, one on the side panel and one on the inside of a hard drive cage.
The case is huge, and can hold 9 hard drives and 3 disk drives in the top. The case also comes with an adapter to fit a single 2.5 inch drive, either on the front panel with an adapter, or as an internal one, maybe for solid state drives. The side panel is great, and shows off the black innards of the case. The case holds full ATX motherboards and the largest of graphics cards.
There is also room at the top of the case for a double radiator to be mounted. For standard air cooled builds this means there is a huge amount of room to work with, making cable management and air flow brilliant. Water cooling should be fine too, there is plenty of room for internal pumps and reservoirs.
The hard drive cages are removable (i use this when transporting the case, as hard drives are easily damaged by bangs), and all front and side fans have built in washable dust filters. The amount of fans means the case does have a noticeable volume, but due to the use of thumb screws over stupid plastic clips, there is very little vibration and no resonating tool less rubbish. Most screws are thumb screws, and i prefer this over tool less designs because everything feels more secure, and wont break, although some would consider this a negative point.
In my opinion, this is the best case on the market. It does cost around £120, but then again you do get around £75 worth of fans in with it. Nearly every part of the case is steel, meaning it is heavy, but extremely sturdy.
Antec have produced a brilliant case and i can think of nearly no negatives about it. I could not recommend this product any more strongly. The case has everything you need and in my opinion looks brilliant.
This is an adaptation of the antec 900 case, which was extremely popular and very well reviewed, but suffered some vital flaws, which have been corrected in this case. it should also be noted this case is almost identical to the antec 1200 case, only is slightly smaller and cheaper.
The changes from the antec 900 are the inclusion of dust filters on the front and side panel, which greatly reduce the amount of dust build up inside, which is a very welcome feature. The inside of the case is now sprayed black the same as the outside, which means everything looks a little more professional through the large side window. All fans can now be controlled through speed knobs on the front of the case, as well as 3 way speed switches for the back and top fans.
The case comes with 3 120mm blue LED fans, and 1 200mm big boy LED fan fitted in the top. There is the option to fit another fan on the side and yet another on the inside of one of the hard drive bays. This makes for one extremely well ventilated case, and the inbuilt cable management system helps this. Cables can all be tucked behind the motherboard tray, making for a nice tidy build. The case can hold 6 hard drives and has room for 3 CD / DVD drives at the top, and also ships with one bay adapter to fit 2.5 inch card readers as well.
I could not recommend this case any more strongly, the only one i have found to be better is the antec 1200, which gives you slightly more room to work with, but has all the same brilliant features. The case has adequate room for most full ATX builds, and runs cool enough for the most ambitious builds. A double radiator can easily be fitted to the back of the case where the two 120 mm fans are, and there is plenty of room for a pump and pipes inside. If you are looking for a silent build i would not recommend this case. Although the non-toolless design reduces noise from resonating loose parts, the sheer amount of fans means the case is going to be noisy.
This cooler is basically an extractor fan fitted on its side. It can be fitted onto the expansion slots on the back of your computer, and blows air from within the case to the outside.
It connects using a standard molex connector, and has a 3 speed switch which lets you vary the fan speed between low, medium and high settings. Although it fits in the expansion slots at the back of a computer, and therefore blocks slots on the motherboard, it does not require any slots for power. Although this means it can be placed in any slot in the case, it does increase cable clutter.
My case (antec 1200) has the power supply fitted at the bottom and so this product is not much use. I advise using this product where the power supply extracts air at the top, and there is nothing expelling air at the bottom rear of the case. Without this a graphics card might not get the air flow required. In most set ups, this will not help with CPU cooling.
The unit itself feels fairly well made, but is nothing special. It is fairly quiet at low and medium but is very noticeable on high speeds. The cable is not sleeved and the unit is fairly ugly, although this may not be a concern.
Overall i would recommend this product if your graphics card does not exhaust hot air at the back of the case (so most single slot cards), because then it would encourage fresh air from the front into the graphics card area. If you do have a card which exhausts air, then this could well starve it of air at higher speeds, and make cooling worse. Due to its location it will have little effect on CPU temperatures.
The Samsung story station is an external hard drive. It is completely plug and play, and works with PCs and Linux (ubuntu), and works with macs, although i have never tested this. It has an external power supply and connects to the computer using a USB cable.
I know, i know, USB 2.0 is slow for a 1TB drive, however drives with esata and especially USB 3 cost so much more at the moment it is ridiculous, and not that many computers in the world actually have esata or USB 3. In practice, USB 2.0 is fine 99% of the time, and you wont notice the difference. It is only when loading huge amounts of data onto the drive in one go when you notice the difference. I use the drive to ferry my files between home and uni, and so any huge files i just keep on there the whole time. USB 2.0 is adequate almost all the time, but if you want the extra speed, be prepared to spend an extra £50 or £60 for a drive of this size.
As far as i am aware, the drive inside is Samsung's own F2 1TB drive. The USB interface will be the limiting factor on speed, so the drive speed is of little importance. The drive has a good reliability record anyway.
The case feels very well made, and comes with a 3 year warranty, which is very reassuring, as most only come with 1 year. The rotary switch on the front alters the brightness of the status indicator light, which is a bit of a gimmick, but it also serves a second purpose. You can turn the drive off using this switch, so you have complete peace of mind that the drive was not being accessed when you power it down or unplug the USB cable. The packaging it is shipped in is also very good, and means your drive will not be banged up in transit.
I would strongly advise this drive. It is a little more expensive than others, but then again you do get a metal caddy which protects from bangs and overheating, a very long warranty, and a slightly faster drive (against others using USB 2).
This printer has a scanner built into the top, and can print pictures directly from a USB stick or an SD card. The printer connects to the computer via USB. It gives good printing quality for documents and the scanner has always met my need as well. I have never tried printing photos, and so cannot comment on this.
The navigation keys on the front of the printer are not very intuitive, but you can get things done. The screen is useful for directions when replacing cartridges, and for printing photos directly from a memory stick. The printer is very neat and professional looking, and isn't too big, while still providing a full A4 scanner.
The software that goes with this printer is terrible on the CD, and the Epson website doesn't even allow you to download it if you lose it. There are no drivers, so you must install the entire Epson printing suite. This is extremely dodgy with windows 7 and vista, as it was made for windows XP.
Another thing to watch out for on this printer is the huge cost of ink. Epson ink jets are famous for their high running cost, so if you do plan on printing lots of photos and pictures, i would consider another brand. For documents i would recommend this printer, however a certain amount of patience and computer knowledge mat be required to get it working on newer operating systems.
These ink cartridges seem far too small to be economical. They are individual cartridges each of which has a chip built in to make sure its never been used before, and a load of seals and packaging. The cartridges are ridiculously expensive to buy separately, so this pack (for around £20) is the cheapest way to buy ink.
The printing quality itself is perfectly good, installing and removing cartridges is easy, and you don't need any technical knowledge to work them. The cartridges just seem to last no time at all. I never print pictures, only text, and yet i still seem to be spending a fortune on ink.
The cartridges could easily be made larger and cheaper, however Epson have loaded them with technology to stop them ever being refilled easily. This just means the cartridges occasionally are not recognised by the printer, or are recognised as already used, and so you need to buy even more cartridges to continue to use the printer.
The Epson ink jet printers are famous for their high running price, and unfortunately it is only after buying the printer i find this out. If you have an Epson printer, then i guess you have little choice but to choose these cartridges. If you are reading this review attempting to decide which printer to buy, steer clear.
When building a computer from scratch, i spent a lot of time looking into components, and decided on this hard drive as the computers main drive. It is a fairly recent offering by samsung, and offers greater reliability and performance at less of a power cost than the S1 and S2 hard drives. This hard drive stores the data on only 2 platters (the metal disks inside that spin) and this means it consumes less power, and because of this produces less heat.
This hard drive shows up as having 931 gig of usable space in windows. This may seem like a lot less than the 1TB quoted, but it is important to know that this is because of a difference in what a gigabyte actually is, and what companies are legally allowed to quote as the capacity. You are buying a drive which assumes a gigabyte is 1000 megabyte, where actually, it is 1024. This all adds up, and you do lose a seizable amount of your drive. Some is also not accessible to the operating system, but might be doing important jobs in the background. This is the same for nearly all hard drive manufactures.
The drive does not have any IDE connections, so watch out if you have an old power supply, you will need a SATA adapter. These are cheap and can be found for a few pounds on Amazon or play. The drive on the outside is nothing special, and fits the SATA standard, with all the usual screw holes and connections in the right places.
I have used this drive for around 6 months now, and experienced no problems at all. It seems to run quietly and reports back cool temperatures, so i am very happy with my purchase. I would strongly recommend this drive.
This is my second bluetooth dongle, as the ASUS one i bought for my desktop was so good i needed another for my laptop. I use it for transferring files from my phone, and also now with my GPS bluetooth module. It can also be used to control your computer with your phone and to use your mobiles internet connection on a computer.
In comparison, they are both quoted as having a 10m range, but realistically this varies for the task it is performing. Transferring files requires a perfect link, so a weak signal means the entire file fails to send if it drops for a fraction of a second. Receiving GPS can live with an intermittent signal, and so can easily cope with being in a different room. Realistically, you wont need great range on it, and this will just be used to save time fiddling with cables, and for this is does a perfect job.
As far as i can tell, using the dongle doesn't have an effect on laptop battery life. I have used this on both windows and ubuntu, and both required no drivers and were extremely simple to use. I would really really strongly advise buying a copy of blue soleil if you are running windows, as it seems to make everything i do much more reliable, and also opens up extra features such as mobile internet. These can be done without the software, but would require a lot of faffing. On ubuntu, the built in bluetooth manager sorts all this out for you, and so no additional software is required.
I would strongly recommend this product, as it is a big time saver, and is very small. It has no real advantages or disadvantages over its competitors, however belkin is a big name, so is reassuring if you ever do need a support service. It is small, cheap and extremely useful, a must have product.
Im a computer nerd. I have built my own computer, and found ASUS to be very good manufacturers of motherboards, and also graphics cards. About a year ago, i wanted a netbook, and bought an ASUS 900a, which is brilliant. My sister also wanted a cheap laptop, and so we decided to get her this, the 1000ha.
She loved it. For using msn, facebook and general small demand internet applications its a dream. The only limiting factor is the screen size, but for the price, you cant really complain (it does have VGA output). It has wifi built in, and enough hard drive space for photos and work, and maybe a few films. It has decent enough battery life for day to day use, and is just the right size to be carried round in a small bag.
It is important to note that this laptop does have a hard drive disk, as opposed to a solid state drive that some other eee models have. The HDD is what stores all the data on the device, and are very sensitive to the laptop being dropped and bumped around. In our eee pc, the hard drive broke, and all our data was lost from it. If you look after your eee (have a case, dont bump it around much) then this wont be a problem, but it is important to note that backups should be done frequently with this sort of device. The ASUS support service was brilliant however, and we had the laptop sent off and fixed within 1 week.
This laptop is a very nice little netbook, and has all the features you would need for basic internet use and work. This laptop will not play games more demanding than those on facebook however, and the screen size and battery life are not as good as more expensive full sized laptops. I would recommend this product, but only if you intend to look after it, and take regular backups of data from it.
The memory stick itself is well built, and feels sturdy with its slide mechanism, like clicking a pen. It looks pretty good and is small, which you would expect from a memory stick of this price and branding. It is not the cheapest, but then you do get a branded product, and so you know any support services will be decent. It also has a hole for a keyring attachment, and a blue indicator light. It has a fairly good transfer rate, and is good enough to work with windows ready boost if you want it too. I have used it on windows, linux and my xbox 360, and it all works plug and play no problems.
The stick also comes with software on it called Virtual expander. Virtual expander is compression software that works to compress files as you copy them to the memory stick. It theory, this means the stick will have much greater capacity than 4 gig. In reality, pictures and video cannot be compressed by very much at all, and because this is what would normally fill up a memory stick, the software isn't that useful (unless you do have 4 gig of just word documents, in which case its great).
In summary, this memory stick is perfectly fine for general use, and the compression software might be good in rare cases, and can be easily wiped if not needed. It is not the cheapest stick for its capacity, but then again you are getting a brand name, and it is built to last. I would recommend this product.
World of goo is a physics based game where you control a group of goo balls, and build structures from them in order to achieve goals. This game is released on the wii, but i prefer it on the PC, because you can be a lot more accurate with a mouse than a wii-mote.
Every level starts with a small structure of goo balls. There are then other goo balls from which you can make additions to the structure to make things such as towers, bridges and much more. The less goo balls you use to create a structure capable of finishing the game, the better your score. If you achieve the level with the minimum possible amount of balls, you get a little achievement called "OCD". The advantage of having extra goo balls is that all spare ones collected throughout the game can be built into one gigantic tower, and then your results posted online.
The story is cute, and is shown with nice cut scenes of goo and other funnily drawn characters. The style of animation is nice for children, and something a bit different for experienced gamers. The game is for windows, but a linux and mac version are available.
Overall i would recommend this game, as it is extremely fun to play, and is really cheap. This game is a great first play through, but it gets old quickly, and i don't expect to be replaying it often. The game also runs on very low end hardware, which is good because i was playing it on my eee PC netbook. As with any game, i recommend putting the title in on youtube to see the game being played.
This is a can of compressed air, supplied with a little straw which can be used to direct the airflow into small spaces. it is a 300ml can which is a pretty standard size for compressed air for this purpose. You can expect to get a couple of cleans out of it, and if used in bursts will last a long time. I used this product to clean the components inside my computer, as it gets quite dusty being located on the floor.
This product is perfect for this purpose for several reasons. This compressed air is exactly that, air, meaning you don't get weird smelling chemicals or need large amounts of ventilation for cleaning. Ventilation is still a good thing to carry dust away, but you don't need to worry about your own health using this product.
It is also far better than using a vacuum cleaner or similar device, as it does not produce the dangerous static charges other devices produce. These static charges can build up on the cleaner and your body, and then damage components inside a computer.
When using this to clean computer parts, i recommend using small bursts and then manually blowing away stray dust, rather than using this in continuous blasts, as this saves air and money. It is extremely useful for cleaning out fans and fins or coolers, and can help to reduce temperatures inside your PC, as well as keep it all clean and reliable.
Cleaning a computer is essential for cool, clean running, and a product like this could not be more fit for purpose. My only advice is that you use it sparingly, as compressed air does not last as long as you might expect.