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Before buying this desktop hard drive, I had heard from friends that Seagate were a really good brand so when I was looking and found this, I decided to give it a try. I bought it last year and I am yet to be disappointed. It is everything someone would need from a desktop hard drive; easy to use, quiet, quick and unobtrusive on your desk. There is one small disadvantage which I will get on to later in the review.
First, the box was delivered and came well packaged in a sturdy box. There was the usual film to protect it, which I always take off. Some leave it on but it's up to you. The drive has a glossy black finish which isn't the best for finger prints but I am sure the aesthetics are not why you would want to purchase this in the first place. Saying that though, apart from the glossy finish, it does have a nice sleek look and feel to it. It is pleasing to the eye and will go well on any desk top.
Set up is child's play. It very much uses the 'plug and play' concept which makes things easy for everyone. Sure, they could make you go through a bunch of installation and waiting but who really wants to do that? In this day and age where pretty much every household has a computer, and not every person is a computer geek, we need devices like this which are easy for everyone to use. It is a good idea for every household to have a backup of their information in case something goes wrong with their computer. This is the affordable (around £50 depending on where you shop) and user-friendly solution.
The one drawback is that it is mains powered. If this isn't a problem and you have a spare plug then great, but this may annoy a few people. I wasn't bothered because I read up on first and was fully aware the power was supplied by the mains. The adaptor has the option of two or three pins, meaning you can use it in the US as well. Useful for those who travel on business and need to take their desktop hard drive with them. This is a small complication which may put some people off buying it but overall I believe most people won't be too bothered. It is a good reliable drive, which is the main thing.
Set up just couldn't be any more simple. Attach to the mains and attach the USB. Plug and play! A screen will come up asking you to register your device but this isn't compulsory. Then it is just a case of drag and drop. Plug and play then drag and drop. Does it really get much simpler?! This drive has been made with simplicity in mind and this definitely helps. There is a green power light which comes on when you switch it on and this starts to flash when there is a transfer in progress.
In addition, this drive lies flat on your desk top rather than on its side. Such a simple yet effective idea. Side standing drives have the risk of falling over and being damaged, and even damaging the files inside it if it falls. So this was yet another simple addition to the design but one that works so well.
Overall, simplicity at its best!
This monitor is a neat little thing (well, not tiny obviously!) and doesn't disappoint. Samsung have struck onto a winner here and I am sure they know it. This screen will fit into a number of different markets; the gamers, families, people who watch a lot of videos on the web, gadget lovers and people who like something to not only work, but look attractive as well. This is an all-rounder, even if the price is a little bit steep. I bought this monitor a few months ago and paid £180 for it. I believe you can pay anywhere between £150-£230 for it depending on where you go, so shop around before committing to buying it. Maybe even consider looking for it second hand, although I am not a fan of this for monitors. I prefer the crisp, clean feel of a new monitor in my house.
The bezel has a glossed black effect on it and is very attractive. There are curved edges which make a change from the usual sharp corners of many monitors. On the bottom right you will find the silver power switch which is lit by a blue light. Very sleek and well designed. The material is smooth to the touch and overall the monitor looks very modern. In addition, to make it even more modern, it is wall mountable. This is easy and straight forward to do if you are used to doing these kind of tasks. If you aren't, get an experienced friend to do it because the last thing you want is to put it up and to have it crashing down. I shuddered while thinking about that. If you want to keep it on its stand then that is fine too, you can't adjust the height but you can rotate it and tilt it.
With the rise of HD and Blu-Ray, it would be great if all monitors came as standard as HDCP compatible. Alas, this is not the case. But this is the case with this screen. As much as there is no HDMI connector, you can get a converter which will do the job. It's just great to at least have the option to do that. So many monitors don't have that, which adds an extra star to this one. Personally, I think we will see many more HDCP compatible computer screens in the future and hopefully this will become standard.
There are a number of different colour/contrast buttons well placed on the screen. There are more than you would expect. You can boost the colour, find out the different effects you can have, choose a colour tone theme, sharpness and manual changes. In addition, you can also set the colour for the task you are doing; game, sport, movie, dynamic, internet, text and custom. This is what makes the monitor user friendly. Anyone can set their monitor for what they are doing, rather than doing it manually. These automatic options make it easier for the user to choose.
Now, the most important part, how does the screen look when it is on? How will your movies look? Perfect. Images are sharp and colours vibrant, as you would expect. In addition, as you would expect from a high spec monitor, the dark areas of a movie for example are not blurry or difficult to see as with some monitors. You can see any details, for example if the movie shows someone in a dark cave you can see the reflection of the water on the damp cave walls rather than just a blurry darkness. Whatever your light conditions, this monitor will not disappoint you. It has been built to be used whether your lights are bright or if you live in a dark cave (which has electricity of course!).
Overall, a winning monitor.
The Mad Catz MC2 steering wheel for the Xbox 360 has its advantages and disadvantages, like most items. I was sceptical when I saw the price (I paid £50 at the time but I believe it fluctuates in price depending on where you go) and did some research before buying it. I did find some more expensive steering wheels but at the time I couldn't quite afford them (too many other gadgets had caught my eye that month!). I was looking for something which wasn't going to break within a few weeks and could stand up to quite a lot of game play. This has withstood a good 6 months of playing so far.
Getting into the box was a bit of a task as it was very well packaged but I would rather that than it hardly being packaged at all. Good for long transits.
In size, it wasn't quite what I was expecting. I have used other steering wheels (for my PC) and they were bigger, quite a lot bigger in fact. This is a relatively small wheel but after seeing it, I didn't let the size disgruntle me. I got right in there and hooked it up ready to go. One good thing about the size is that you can easily reach the buttons with your thumb as the wheel doesn't have a large diameter.
Looking underneath I saw that it is shaped to be sat on your knee. However, I don't have the smallest or thinnest of legs and I found it very uncomfortable to do this. You would need to have quite thin thighs and would need to keep your legs close together at all times to be able to sit it on your lap. I didn't even try this for a long period of time because I knew that it just wasn't going to happen with my big legs. With my set up, my screen is on a desk and I have space in front of me so that was perfect for the steering wheel. I recommend this set up if you get a steering wheel because sitting it on your lap for long periods of time just wouldn't be comfortable. The wheel itself is covered in a rubber material which is great for gripping it as you are driving. Very comfortable to drive with.
The brake and acceleration pedals are what you expect, easy to press down, stay in place and are responsive.
How easy is it to hook up? Very easy. Connect the pedals to the wheel and then wheel to xbox. It doesn't get much simpler than that! All cables needed are supplied with the wheel. How easy is game play? If you are used to an xbox 360 controls then you will find it a piece of cake. The usual buttons are on the wheel and colour coded the same as the controller. Behind the wheel you will find two triggers which are used to change gears. This is easy enough when you get used to it.
Another advantage is that you can use this wheel with your headset so you can game on xbox live with friends and speak to them at the same time.
Playing games like Forza and F1 is great; the wheel is very responsive as are the pedals. There is no lag or anything annoying like that when using this wheel, which takes down good game play a lot when that has happened with other wheels.
So overall, although this is a small wheel and can't really be used easily on your lap, there are plenty other advantages to it. I believe you can get it on ebay for under £50 so it's worth having a look there if you are interested. I am happy to recommend this wheel for xbox 360 driving games and I think it is responsive and does the job.
Along with my love of gadgets is also a love of (rather surprisingly) animals and pets. Having grown up around dogs, cats, rodents of different varieties, insects in tanks and many other critters, I can say that I have met the lovely blighter called the flea. Now that I live in my own place with my own plethora of animals, I had an outbreak of these little guys 3 months ago. I absolutely HATE them. Completely and utterly. It gets to me that they are jumping around and making the house their home, along with the skin on my animals (and me on occasion too, ew).
I try to keep on top of treating all my animals but they do often socialise with other animals outside and I believe some stray cats to be the culprit. Along with myself being a bit late on the mark for treatment. So I got my usual Frontline for the animals and got them treated first and foremost. My animals have to come first.
I then went to the vet and was recommended this spray for my house. I bought 2 because my place is fully carpeted and so would need more as it soaks in. I read the instructions, hoovered my place first and then got to spraying. The smell was not pleasant but with a flea spray, I didn't really expect it to be. It is quite a powerful smell so make sure you ventilate the area afterwards. You will definitely need to!
I sprayed my carpets, furniture and my mattress. I used up both cans even though I had finished after 1 and a half. I hate the thought of those bugs roaming around my house so I wanted to make sure they were gone. It has now been 3 months and I haven't caught sight of any more. Much to my relief!
This product is easy to use and I had no problems with it other than it having a very strong smell. Because of that, make sure none of your animals are in the room when you spray it, they wouldn't thank you for it! At around £10 it isn't the cheapest but I would pay twice that to get rid of the little bugs!
So... I got myself a new toy. I do love new gadgets when they come out on the market. I always do a bit of research first and was very sure this little phone with a BIG personality wouldn't disappoint. Being a lover of iPhones I did hesitate between this and the iPhone 4. But I wanted a change, something without that little Apple logo. I can't believe I just said that, but I did!
So, what can you expect from the HTC Desire? I received it and was surprised by the size of the box. As much as phones these days have much smaller boxes than those of the past, this continues to surprise me. You would think something so expensive would have a big 'look at me look at me' box. But no. It was simple and small. I slid out the box and looked at my new toy. The battery looked relatively large but this phone does have a pretty good battery life so it can be forgiven. Plus, even with the battery in, this phone is pretty light weight. On par, if not lighter, than the iPhone 3GS.
I gave it a full charge, which I do hate doing because I just want to sit and play with it! When it was FINALLY ready I switched it on to be dazzled with a gorgeously coloured rich screen. I had an initial play about and then started with the settings to get it as I wanted it. One part I love is the 'live' backgrounds. There are a number of different ones but my favourite is the sky and grass. It changes as the day goes on and turns into a starlit sky at night. The grass moves around as well. I have set mine up to have a large clock face (with those American type flapper clocks), weather underneath for my city and the main icons I use which are: Google mail, photos, camera, messages, mail and internet. You can customise this screen for whatever you like though. One little feature which would be nice is if the clock flapped down like the real clocks do, but it just changes as each minute and hour goes down. That's just a little personal thing though.
To go onto the main menu there is a 'menu' button at the bottom. A physcal button, not an on screen one. This gives you the options: all programs, scenes, add to home, wall paper, notifications and settings. To get onto the screen with all your apps etc you tap the arrow on the bottom left of the screen and it gives you that familiar app screen similar to that of the iPhone. Here you have your apps, app shop, ebuddy, facebook, games, settings, internet, maps and the like. It is one continuous screen to scroll down on rather than pages to flick through like the iPhone. It is easy to find what you want and to change the order of the icons.
The locking feature is unique but slightly flawed. It is a set of 9 buttons on the screen and you set it in a pattern. So to unlock your drag your finger over the buttons in a certain order. This is different from other phones but the bad part is that it comes up on the screen in green as you drag your finger across. So if someone happens to be watching then they can easily see what your 'code' is. Not great if you are worried about the security of your phone.
Ringtones are your usual that you could expect to find on a new phone. Guitar riffs, dance tunes etc. You can download your own for free though, I have mine set to my favourite band.
Texting and messaging is easy but will take some getting used to if you are not used to a touch screen. I have been used to touchscreens for some years now so it was easy for me.
Overall, this phone does what it is meant to and then some. It is easy to use and to get used to, a definite contender for the iPhone, a good lot of apps from Android, fun features to keep you entertained, the right amount of interaction and only has a couple of niggles. Will add more to this review as I become more familiar with the phone. Had it a week now though and loved it!
Now, I am not usually one to splash out this much on a household item such as a toothbrush. Normally I will buy the toothbrush which is on offer in Tesco for £2.50. I save my money for the more exciting items such as mp3 players and my latest toy, my ipad! What swayed me to pay £30 for a toothbrush? I am ashamed to say it was a television advert telling me how much electric toothbrushes clean your teeth when compared to normal toothbrushes. So I thought I would look into which one would be best. I saw some for £5 which had batteries in them but then I thought that rechargeable may be better. So splash out I did!
I am yet to be disappointed. It seems like such a small thing, having a clean mouth. But you don't realise how important it is until you go back to using a regular toothbrush, like if you stay over at a friend's house and don't want to take the electric toothbrush. My mouth just felt... dirty.
I like Oral-B as a trusted brand so decided to go with them. It is easy to charge because you just plug the unit into the wall and put the toothbrush in it. Getting used to using an electric toothbrush isn't easy though. I seemed to brush mine very hard and when I used this toothbrush a red light would come on if I pushed down to hard. Who knew that light brushing is all you need? I am used to it now and it is easy enough, just different. There is also a timer on it, which is quite unique. Every 30 seconds or so it will sort of shudder to let you know that you need to go onto the next quarter of your mouth. It will then make a longer shudder to let you know that your two minutes are up. This is good for those who don't do their teeth for long enough, as I apparently used to do.
I have had this toothbrush for a week now and charged it once. Seems to be lasting a good while, I brush twice a day. I have no complaints at all. It does not have extra programmes but that doesn't matter to me. Clean is clean, right?
Overall, it cleans my teeth well and I just need to buy replacement heads when needed. I am happy with this product.
Please note: two pin plug. I know some people don't have that type of socket in their bathroom so please be aware of this.
Back in its day, this was a nifty little phone. It doesn't have a multitude of functions but when it was released in 2003, there weren't too many sophisticated phones out there anyway. At that time I had a Nokia 3330 so a colour screen was a very large step up from the usual green screen!
I chose this phone partly because of its size. It is a dinky little phone which does what a phone should do; calls and texts. I have had no problems with it doing these tasks and still to this day it works. Usually I will use it when I am on a night out with friends because I don't like taking my iPhone with me in case I lose it. I don't have the largest of hands so I find it easy to use but people with bigger hands/fingers may have some bother with it. I would advise trying it out beforehand but I doubt you will find it in many places other than car boot sales and ebay. Unless anyone has the same idea as me and takes it on nights out!
The menu system is simple and easy to follow with coloured icons. It has an email client and WAP but I didn't use these and still haven't. The other features however were fine including: phonebook, texting, voice control and recorder, vibration alert, picture ID, predictive text, games and polyphonic ringtones.
You can get the phone for around £10 off ebay nowadays. A good buy for nights out or festivals where you don't want to ruin your trusty all singing all dancing iPhone, HTC, Samsung Galaxy etc. Charging was easy and straight forward as you would expect and the battery still lasts a good few hours of talk time and a couple of days standby, around 5.
The attachable camera which comes with the phone (or can be bought separately) isn't great at all but you can't really expect too much for the price and the time it was made can you?
If you are looking for a decent phone then look at modern budget phones but if you just want a cheap and cheerful phone for certain occasions then this may be what you need.
I have also been told it looks cute in a handbag as it is very small (82 x 45 x 22 mm) but that is not really for me to judge! A friend stole it off me for the night and I had to pry it out of her hands in the end because she loved it so much. One for the ladies perhaps? I still like it though.
If you suffer from eczema or go on holiday and get insect bites/stings or suffer from skin inflammation in general then this cream could help you. There have been a number of different times that this has come in very handy for me. I suffer from eczema and have done for about 20 years now. I have used numerous different creams through out that time. Nowadays I don't get it so bad and only have rare break outs, often in the hot weather. So when I do have a break out, I will use this cream to take care of it. Often if I have been itching at it (those of you who have had eczema will be able to sympathise with the itchiness that you get with the condition) I find this cream not only cools down the area but helps with any inflammation as well.
The other situations I have had to use this in is when I go on holiday. I was in the Maldives and suffered quite a few mosquito bites during my two weeks there. Luckily I brought my cream with me in case this happened or if I got an outbreak of eczema. Despite using insect repellant I still had bites at the end of the day which looked quite raised and red. I took out my cream, squeezed it out and applied it to the bites. It is quite a thick cream but spreads on easily and is absorbed into the skin. The inflammation went down relatively quickly along with the redness.
Usually this cream should not be used long term as a solution to skin problems. It is better for eczema break outs and insect bites rather than chronic eczema and skin irritations. It is best to speak to your doctor if you are suffering for more than a week from any irritations. However, if you are just wanting to treat break outs and bites then give this a go.
As with all medicines, always read the leaflet and seek advice from your doctor if you are unsure about using it. There are various guidelines including advice on using it if you are pregnant (don't use it), which areas of the body to avoid using it on and long term effects of the cream.
Personally, I have only had positive effects with this cream but we are all different. Read the instructions carefully before use.
Remember to apply the cream as a thin layer as it is very strong.
First of all, I would like to apolgise if this ends up shorter than my normal reviews. I aim to put in at least 400+ words of useful opinion for each review but some products are a little bit hard to review than others. I am sure those of you who have been on this site a while will understand!
Anyway, onto the product. This is a protective zip sleeve for notebooks/netbooks. It is for 10.1" sized note/netbooks and you won't be disappointed if you are in the market for a sleeve. The material is soft and smooth and nice to the touch. If you are taking your netbook on light travel such as commuting to work and the like, then this could be for you. However, if you want something more hard wearing then please think about a more sturdy alternative such as one made from tough rigid plastic.
This sleeve will protect your netbook from scratches and any bumps that happen to come its way but if you drop it from a height then I don't think it would survive the fall, or if you happen to be visiting a knife factory! But for everyday travel it will hold up fine. I carry it within a back pack personally, during my commute to work each day. Sometimes I like to listen to music but other times I will want to catch up on a bit of work or a presentation which has to be ready at 10am.
The zip is positioned well along the middle and opens and closes with no problems at all. I have not encountered any problems with this mechanism as yet and I have had it for a good few months now.
The HP logo is on the bottom left side as you can see from the picture. Otherwise it is just plain black in colour. My netbook is black so I am quite happy with this! You can get a range of different colours though, even some pink swirly ones to go with the pink HP netbook. I prefer the black partly for security because it feels less noticeable and I think it is less likely to get pinched. Touch wood!
Dimensions: 28.1cm x 19.7cm x 2cm
1 year warranty
All in all, if you are looking for a sleeve for your netbook then this is a good buy. At £12-£15 it may seem a little expensive but shop around and you may find a second hand one for cheap. It is a good idea to have one if you are likely to be travelling with your netbook, just in case there are any accidents.
To start off with, I am going to tell you all that I have the black version of this laptop, not the very fashionable pink one! As much as it would complement my... style... I just preferred the black!
Usually I am someone who wants the best gadgets around, which do everything. I have a perfectly Sony Vaio laptop but sometimes it annoys me because of its size. This is not a massive laptop or anything, just a normal everyday laptop. Smaller even than some of its main competitors. But I just wanted something a bit simpler, a bit lighter to sit on my lap while I am watching the tv. I find at times that I am peering over the top to see the tv. Sometimes it can be a bit buggy as well so decided to give myself a treat.
This little netbook is great if you just want something simple and easy to use to go on the internet or do a bit of typing. However, if you want much else then it is best to stick to a multifunctional laptop. I spend a lot of my time on the internet so I do find this very useful. Another good point is the size. This is a tiny little thing and I suggest you get a cover for it if you are going to be taking it anywhere. Keep those pesky scratches from appearing. I got myself a good little zip cover from Amazon when I bought this netbook.
Windows 7 Starter isn't a patch on Windows 7. The first thing I noticed is that you can't change the background on your screen. I was trying to put up one of my favourite photos as the background and realised there was no option to do this. I researched online and found that this just isn't possible. You are stuck with what you get. Not a big deal really, just a small annoyance. It would also have been nice to have the full Word/Excel/Access/Powerpoint package but you just get a trial. I recommend downloading Open Office if you want to do some typing and spreadsheets etc.
There are the usual accessories like the calculator, Word pad, media player, Adobe and the like so it's not completely void of programs. You need to remember that this is a netbook and therefore don't expect it to be all singing all dancing. The webcam is nothing to write home about either, the quality is questionable. But again, if you want lots of programs and a good quality built in webcam then invest in a laptop, with Windows 7.
RAM: 1 Gb
Widescreen display 10.1 inch
250 Gb hard drive
Webcam with integrated microphone
92% full keyboard size
Intel GMA 950 Graphics
6 hours battery life
3 USB ports
Weight: 1.2 kg
All in all, this is a nice little netbook but does lack in features. If you just want to surf the net then this is great but if you want a lot more from your gadget then think of investing in a laptop.
£150-£300 depending on where you shop.
Should've gone to Specsavers!
This is one of the companies which actually does advertising very well. There are so many annoying adverts out there (Go Compare!) that it's nice to see some fun adverts of people getting mixed up and having hilarious consequences.
Anyway, onto the company itself. I went there for an eye test because I was having problems seeing detail at a distance such as reading from a board. I made my appointment and went in two weeks later. I was tested with the usual glasses contraption and read the letters off a board. The optician was welcoming and friendly and made me feel at ease. She checked out my eyes with the light as well to see that everything was ok.
Turns out I needed glasses for reading anything far away. Then there was the decision to make... NHS or go with the expensive ones? I had a look and found quite a few I liked surprisingly. Of course, I had to try on the designer ones just for fun. I did like them but decided to save a bit of money and get some NHS ones. They have a rectangular black frame and sit well on my face shape.
My experience in Specsavers was positive. The staff were friendly, the service was quick but still accurate and the brand lives up to its positive name. As much as they tend to spend quite a lot on marketing, it seems to pay off because people know the catch phrase and seem to remember it over other brands. I know that's why I chose to go there, I barely hear about any other opticians. Not on tv anyway, well not that I have noticed. Maybe the adverts are just really bad or something!
Choice of glasses is important because everyone is different and this company provide a good number to choose from, even on the NHS which I thought would let me down but I was pleasantly surprised.
I would recommend this optician to everyone. And I do!
Looking out my window I began to feel rather embarrassed about the state of my hedge. Even a neighbour had a quiet word with me about it because it was getting very bushy (almost as bushy as Moss' hair!) and starting to cover part of the walking path. I knew I needed to head down to the nearest hardware store that day and buy something to cut it with. Now, I am more of a geek with computers and gadgets than with outdoor tools. I scoured through my Argos catalogue and decided that I wanted a trimmer which was cordless, a decent price and not too heavy.
After looking at various brand named trimmers which everyone knows such as Black and Decker (price tag not so great!) I decided to take a risk and go with one I hadn't heard of before, Challenge. The price tag was good at £34.99 but I did wonder whether this would be another strimmer fiasco. My parents had bought a cheap strimmer from Argos and it was completely useless. I dithered... but in the end I knew I needed something. I didn't want to pay a lot for it (got to save money for all the latest gadgets don't you know!) so I went ahead with the purchase.
Got home and read the instructions, it needed a 7 hour charge first. So I charged the battery up and the next day I went to use it. Slotted the battery in easily and pressed down on the two levers, a nice loud noise echoed throughout the house! I went outside and attacked the large bushy hedge with ease. It really is easy. I have a bushy privet hedge and it cut through that easily. There were a few thicker branches which took a bit longer to get through but it cut them very well. The battery lasted around 20-30 minutes before starting to cut out. I found this fine because I managed to get the hedge cut in that time. People with larger hedges may find they want a longer lasting battery.
A word of warning: if you are not particularly muscular then please be aware that your hands and arms are going to tremble and become sore for a few days after using this trimmer. Mine took around four days to recover. For the first two days I couldn't grip glasses without shaking them. So just be aware of this and the strain it will put on your hands and arms if you are not used to this. As light as the tool is, you will find it feels heavier after using it for 20 minutes!
Charging time - 3-5 hours (initial charge 7 hours)
18v 1300mAh battery
Running time - 20-30 minutes
Overall, it does what it is supposed to and easily. The price tag is great and I think it is going to have lasting power for the next few years at least.
If you are looking for a gift for that hard to buy for person then this could be your answer. This digital keyring comes in pink, red, blue, black and silver (I personally have the silver one rather than the pink one). They are a novelty so don't expect an all singing all dancing piece of gadgetry, but do expect a bit of fun and a clear picture and an easy to use item. The price isn't too bad either.
You have 8mb of space which doesn't sound like a lot but it will hold around 128 pictures. A good part of it is that you don't need to install any software. It will automatically load when you connect it to your computer. This is a great feature and one which more and more devices are adopting rather than providing you with a disc of software which, as we all know, can get lost easily. The software itself is pretty decent for the price of this little novelty. It resizes your images and you are also able to rotate your photos so that they are the right way around when you have them on your keyring. Great for those pesky pictures which are the wrong way around. Or if you want to get all artsy and put some upside down! In addition, you can even zoom in to a section of your photograph and have that part showing on the keyring.
Charging is easy and is done via the usb port. The keyring lasts around 8 hours and will then need a charge. This is decent enough and what you would expect.
I like having the photos on as a little slideshow and enjoy showing my friends, family and colleagues the latest photographs of the important people in my life. Which is often them!
It attaches via a keyring or a strap.
All in all, a nice little novelty gift for a stocking filler or a secret santa. Why not complete it with a larger version for the living room? Or if you are giving it to a loved one then fill it with photos first as a nice idea.
When I started researching into lawnmowers I was looking at a few different factors; the height of grass it would cut, ease of use, electric or petrol and price. These are all important factors when looking for your first or next mower. Take into consideration the size of your lawn, the height of your grass (is it a massive garden of metre high weeds?), the space you have to store the mower and how much you have to spend on it.
I finally decided on the Challenge Rotary Mower because it does everything I need it to do, it is electric which is what I prefer and it was a very good price at £35 from Argos. I had it delivered, unpacked it from its box and had a look over the instructions. A piece of advice, have the box in front of you when you are putting it together because the box tells you a heck of a lot more than the 'instructions'. They are very misleading and seem to tell you to put the handles on the wrong way! Another problem was that there was a clip missing on the bottom where the grass collector goes on at the back so it only clips on at the top. This does not pose any difficulty when doing the grass though, it stays on fine.
There are 3 different height settings for the grass which is set by adjusting the wheels. Very easy to do as it is just a series of notches and springs. To switch it on (after you have plugged it in) you press the big orange button and then pull the handle. Safe and easy. The cord is 10 metres long which does me fine as I have a small garden and my electrical outlet is near to it.
There is no signal to say that your grass box is full so you do have to check it now and again but this is easy as it just unclips. Also, you need to check the blade at the bottom because the grass can sometimes clog in it. This just pulls out though.
I would recommend this mower for small gardens because the grass box only holds 20 litres so needs emptied often. The blades are metal which is another reason I got this mower. Plastic blades just don't have the same durability as metal ones. I have a strimmer which has plastic blades and they are quite useless.
The mower is relatively light weight at 14kg and is comfortable to push around the lawn. The cutting width is 30cm and the three cutting heights are: 2.6/4.1/5.6 cm. I was initially worried because my grass was quite overgrown but the blades did what they are meant to do and gave me a good short first cut.
This is a cheap mower but works perfectly well.
I have a set of these in my bedroom and they are brilliant. The sound quality is very good for the price and if you are the kind of person who likes to have a boogie in the bedroom before going on a night out (you know, while getting ready for a night out with the lads, splashing on the aftershave, choosing the shirt etc) then this would be the perfect accessory to your bedroom or any room in the house for that matter.
They are compatible with: iPod Classic, Nano, Mini and Touch. However, just watch out if you have a Nano because it isn't compatible with the 3rd Generation one. A slight problem but it's still a great device if you have the right iPod.
A great part of it is that you don't need batteries or an electrical supply to work it. You can just plug in your iPod and you are ready to go! This is a great feature if you want to take it away for a night like if you are going to a hotel. I took mine on a stag weekend and it was great to have on while getting ready. Safe to say most of the guys crowded into my room for pre-drinks!
It is easy to use and very straight forward. The volume controls are basically two little bumps at the bottom for putting the volume up and down. You can hold each one down instead of constantly pressing each to get the volume up or down. Playing is just using your iPod as you normally would if you had headphones in.
The downside about it using your iPod battery is that you really need to be near a power supply after it has run out of juice. So you may not want this iPod dock for festivals where you want to listen to it every evening or during the day because you are ultimately going to run out of battery when your iPod dies. The good part is that charging is easy since all you need to do is carry your iPod charger with you. Making a very small and neat little package to pack in your bag; brilliant portability.
The sound quality is very good for a dock of this price range but don't expect crystal clear quality. Also remember that the louder you go, the quality does go down a bit. But not too much, these are still a good little set of speakers. And at £5-£9, can you really complain?
All in all, a great portable iPod dock but remember to bring your charger.
The iBlock comes in red, white and black.
Dimensions: 6.1 x 2.5 x 1.5 cm