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I bought the silver version of this fridge freezer late last year and have only praise for it. The biggest thing it's got going for it is its really generous size - I was upgrading from a much smaller hoover fridge. It's got really big, wide door shelves meaning you can stack about six pints of milk in the lower shelf, with a middle shelf also at the right height for another six pints! Above that is a really generously proportioned cheese drawer in the door with room in it for cartons of eggs, cheese, whatever. The veg drawers are huge too with ample room for loads of salad etc. Naturally it's frost free, and seems to defrost itself about once every 24 hours (I hear it cracking away every evening around 7pm, which some may find a little disconcerting). The three internal shelves in the fridge compartment can be spaced in a variety of combinations depending on what you want to store. The freezer has four drawers, one of which is deeper than the rest. And finally it looks pretty good too, especially in silver, in my honest opinion!
Undoubtedly the best airline I've travelled on, although there has been the odd one or two glitches over the years. I'll start with the bad flights I've had with them - BA's Tel Aviv route seems beset with problems. I've never had a flight leave on time from Tel Aviv airport, and the worst experience was being stuck on the taxiway in extreme heat with no air conditioning on the plane for several hours. This, combined with the usual Israeli crowd containing lots of screaming children all the way back did not make for a happy traveller, and no amount of G&T would change that!
However, that last sentence sums up what's really good about BA - so few scheduled airlines these days still give away free booze. And have cabin staff as attentive and polite. On leaving Ukraine a few years back there was nothing more inclined to relax one than the dulcid sounds of an English captain over the tannoy, followed by copious amounts of the old malaria-preventer. Bottoms up!
Hmm, difficult one for me this. I used to be a big fan of AA, having flown direct Heathrow to Manhattan with them in late 2007. That flight was a real pleasure - on time, pleasant cabin crew, modern airliner. Then in summer 2008 myself and a bunch of pals took them from Stansted to the US on a road tour, going first to St Louis to visit relatives and eventually flying out of LA after a three week drive across the country. The outgoing flight was delayed by around four hours, meaning we got the later flight to La Guardia new york rather than JFK new york. Which meant we missed our connecting AA flight to St Louis. And finding we had to transport ourselves, overland, from La Guardia to JFK for the later St Louis flight. The counter staff were incredibly abrupt, rude and unhelpful and told me we'd have to make our own way across New York City, at our own expense! I protested strongly and eventually convinced them that it was the airline's error and they did grudgingly pay a cab (although we paid the cabby his tip). Then the return leg was another hellish experience, even worse. Flight out of LAX was five hours on the tarmac due to some unexplained technical malfunction. Stuck in the plane's cabin - older plane with the TV screens not working and baking in July heat with the aircon seemingly also not working. Took off late at night - got in late the next morning to JFK to find, inevitably, that we'd missed our connecting flight to Heathrow (not Stansted this time). With flights from the US there's a window, due to UK noise restrictions, meaning that if you miss the last morning flight you have to wait all day until the first evening one. Which was at 8pm. Which gave us a day to kill in New York - bit too shattered to enjoy sunny Manhattan though. After much badgering, and thanks to one decent individual (Dave?) at JFK airport we managed to secure meal vouchers and a biz class upgrade, which was nice - but that took an awful lot of badgering to an awful lot of people. The word on the street says morale at AA has gone right down the pan since the credit crunch and lots of redundancies, which I guess explains the total lack of morale amongst the staff.
I have to say I really liked Aer Lingus on a short trip to Dublin I took with them a few years ago. Firstly the prices were right - budget airline price for a scheduled airline. Think I paid around £30 all in for a long weekend return to Dublin in August 2006, which strikes me as very good indeed. And from Heathrow, near where I live, at a sensible time of day. That has to beat Easyjet/Ryanair and their Knock/Shannon routes any day - straight into Dublin airport. The seats had enough room, ok you have to pay for food, but hey - it's about an hour long flight, so why bother? The flight out of Heathrow was delayed slightly but that's a Heathrow problem rather than an Aer Lingus problem, as the captain rightly pointed out (damned airport's forever over stretched). All in all a good airline and a great weekend in Dublin to boot!
Hmm, where do I start with this one. Awful, awful, awful, worse even than Ryanair, and that's saying something. On a 2005 return charter to Gran Canaria the flights at both ends were badly delayed - the return leg was scheduled for around 8pm and didn't get off the ground until gone midnight. On the return flight we were pretty knackered after a good week in the sun, and just wanted to get home. A four and a half hour delay was then compounded by possibly the worst airline experience of my life. Exhausted and knowing I had to pick my car up from Stansted and drive my compadres about 70 miles home, I just wanted some shut eye. But the cabin lights were never dimmed and I was continually pestered by the cabin (sales) staff trying to sell drinks and snacks which I repeatedly hissed I didn't want. When my two mates paid several quid for headphones to watch the film, they found the sockets in the armrests were broken and they missed it. Hmm. Won't be repeating the mistake. Avoid this god awful shambles of a chav airline.
Ahh, godd old, now-defunct TWA! Happy memories of travelling to St Louis with this airline as a child, as it was the only one with a direct link between the UK at Gatwick and STL (relatives on my mum's side live there). One of my fondest recollections is of being delayed at Gatwick for no fewer than six hours as repeated tannoy announcements informed us of ongoing attempts to fix the ailerons or something on our manky looking TriStar. Never inspires confidence, but at least airports are fun places for kids. Then boarding one of their flights found the panneling next to my window seat detatched from the side of the plane's cabin, leaving a gaping chasm into blackness, leading to what one assumes was the luggage hold. But when alerted to this the flight crew seemed completely unconcerned and we took off as normal. Ahh, happy days. Howard Hughes would have been proud!
Of the two main budget airlines in the UK, I'd take the orange one any day over R**nair. Cheap and cheerful - OK, the flights do often seem to be at stupid O'clock in the mornings but I guess that's the price you pay. Not particularly cheap when you book near the time, but I've always taken advantage of sales offers and booked several months in advance. The best I did was Barcelona once for about, if I remember rightly, £23 all in return, from Gatwick. I really like their simplistic approach to air travel - it cuts out a lot of the unnessecary checking in times and queueing by doing it online. The staff are quick but polite and if you're an early bird like me and arrive first, you get to board first. I also like travelling light so enjoy being able to get on the plane, sit up front with my hand luggage only then jog off as soon as the plane lands. All of which leads to quicker turnaround times for the planes, and I've always found them the most punctual of all the airlines I've used.
Yes, Ryanair are cheap, but so are Easyjet and they manage to do it without levvying stupid 'charges' on top of their tempting, but completely false, advertised sale prices.
OK, I know the arguements.. you pay peanuts for your flight and should expect little in return. I like to travel light anyway and on a mid haul flight can happily do without airline food. But.. flying to Morocco with two friends in January of 2008, one of my companions dropped out at the last minute. Luckily I found a replacement, but simply changing a name in a computer (you can't do it on their website, it has to be over the phone) cost me £70. Just for changing someone's name! And on the return leg my luggage was literally two pounds over. Fortunately for me, Marrakech airport was a bit primative, so I was able to convince check in staff to slide down the conveyor and retrieve my bag from the tarmac next to the jet. A quick repack saved me the 200 dirhams or whatever they wanted to charged. And of course the flights tend to be at really antisocial times of day, which require you to get up before you've actually gone to bed, leaving you shattered on the first day of your holiday.
So - use Ryanair if you must, but remember they're a mean bunch of tow rags who'd probably charge an old lady to cross the road.
I'm currently writing this at work staring at one of these monitors, which have just been purchased by my employer to facilitate the easy viewing of text in a new application we now use. I have to say its large screen area is a major bonus if you need multiple windows open at once as we do. The stand enables you to easily flip the monitor to either portrait or landscape positions at the touch of a finger, then just right click and rotate the picture to suit. I've got mine in portrait mode at the moment, which is ideal for displaying internet or other pages with a long, scrolling text on. The resolution is pin sharp, and the casing has a feel of real quality that you'd of course expect from HP. In landscape, widescreen mode you really get a feel for whatever expansive graphics or video you're viewing.
I've had my orange sky gnome for years now, got one when they first came out in, I think, early 2006. It really is a nice little gadget which enables you to listen to the audio from any of the Sky digiboxes / plusboxes / HDboxes in your house. I tend to leave mine plugged into its charger in the kitchen for the most part and listen to Sky News when I'm doing my toast and coffee in the morning. In addition, you can change the channel of your Sky box on it remotely using either the 'up' and 'down' buttons or the numeric keypad. It's great to carry round the house when doing DIY jobs and suchlike, and its robust construction means it can take a bit of abuse. I've found the range on it is also really long, meaning I can take it down to the bottom of the garden and still receive audio from my Sky box.
Now we're talking! After years of putting up with replacing my toaster with yet another cheapo special offer one only to have it blow up on me in no time flat I decided that in the case of toasters cheap is a false economy.
I really can't sing the praises of Dualit toasters enough. It's an iconic piece of kitchenware that looks great on any counter top. Chunky, toasts bread quickly, never, ever, breaks down - the thing's practically indestructible, I'm sure of it! My mornings wouldn't be the same without the ticking of the analogue rotary timer dial ticking down. The chunky rubber feet ensure it stays put, and the big crumb tray does the job just fine. OK, it's a lot bigger than cheapo toasters so takes up more counter space, but that's a small price to pay indeed for what is a superb piece of British engineering. Highly recommended - no kitchen should be without one.
I bought my TomTom Go 910 back in 2007 when they were about the top of the line, for a road trip I was making to Ukraine. The reason I chose TomTom with its inbuilt world maps was the perception of better customer support than for satnavs from the likes of Mio, and the fact that UK, Western Europe, the US and Canada were all built in - I sometimes drive in the States too.
I find TomTom's clear, easy to understand maps and concise voice instructions easy to follow. However, I've had a few issues with the unit crashing, and it won't power up again afterwards. This has happened on a few occasions and requires you to stick a pin or similar into the 'reset' switch at the back next to the connectors. This serves to reboot the unit, after which it's fine.
The UK maps are excellent but I found driving through certain European countries where they've built lots of new roads in recent years - most notably Poland - meant it lost the plot and went off onto blank space. Happened a couple of times in Eastern Europe and is somewhat confusing when it does. Also the English voice struggles with foreign town names.
On a road trip across the entire US last year it really performed well, particularly with the American voice 'Mandy' added (the English 'Kate' had trouble with words like 'intersection'!)
All in all a very good unit which still stands up as a wholly competent sat nav today, despite being superseded by newer models.
I've got one of these on my desktop PC at home and have to say I find it absolutely superb. Great, sharp picture quality combined with its size means that I don't need my glasses. A good looking monitor that's never let me down. I'm a big fan of Dell products in general for their superb build quality and their great customer service - I've always found the call centre to be particularly helpful when ordering Dell peripherals, hardware or consumables, and they really reward business customer loyalty. This monitor was easy to set up and didn't require the driver disks to get it working. Another advantage is the stand is fully height adujustable, and swivels around easily without fuss. I particularly like its eye catching design, and this, together with its outstanding screen resolution and the quality I've come to expect from Dell products, make it a sound bet.
I bought one of these just over a year ago when they were about £400 - now much cheaper (sob sob) - but I'm not bitter! I don't use the HD ready so can't really comment on that but my standard sky plus box looks good playing through it with a nice crystal clear picture. I will say the menu options are a bit fiiddly to get used to - I'm forever mashing the picture options function when I'm looking for mute, or vice versa. The remote control's buttons are a little fiddly but to be honest this seems to be the same with most TV's these days, with the possible exception of Sony. One great advantage I've found to this TV is the better than expected sound quality. When I bought it I was preparing to plug it into my hifi amplifier, but found the built in speakers to be more than up to the job. It's got the usual twin scarts plus AV inputs & 3.5mm jack. The stand is a nice glass item and looks good and stylish. No problems to report.
I purchased this washing machine in December last year from Currys (a retailler I've had terrible experiences with, but that's another story entirely!). I'm impressed by the generous capacity of the drum - in my shared household we cram a lot into it and it seems to take it. So far no problems whatsoever after Curry's finally managed to get the thing delivered. The best feature to my mind was the free five years parts guarantee - a sure sign that the manufacturer trusts its products. I also signed up to a further five years engineer callout cover (the first year comes free with these Hoover appliances). It's not too noisy and importantly has a 'quick wash' function which only takes about 20 mins, which is great for when what you're washing isn't majorly dirty to begin with. On the other end of the scale you can jack the temperature right up to 60 if you don't care too much about the environment. All in all a great machine.