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Being a student I often buy the lowest priced meat which can be quite fatty. The George Foreman solves this problem with its two grill plates and fat drip tray. Thanks to the George Foreman grill I can cook meat in half the time with fantastic results.
~ Usage ~
I have cooked several different types of food on the grill from burgers to pork chops to cheese toasties. Every time it really hasn't failed, simply turn on and allow it to heat (the light turns off when it is at the highest temperature). The grill means that it is no longer necessary to spend 10 minutes waiting for the grill or frying pan to heat up - furthermore it is so much easier to clean after usage than a conventional grill or frying pan. What is more, thanks to the sloped angle, fat from meat drips down into the tray which you position in front of the grill.
~ Problems ~
The George Foreman grill is fantastic but a few changes could be made in the design of the product. Firstly there is no temperature control on this model meaning that if meat is extremely fatty I have found that it can burn. A solution to this problem I have found is to leave the lid open and flip the meat as if you are cooking on a BBQ. Secondly, the grill plates on this model are also non-removable making cleaning slightly more of a challenge - It can however be steam-cleaned very easily with some wet kitchen paper immediately after usage. (I saw some specially designed sponges online but they seem to be extremely overpriced for a sponge!)
~ Verdict ~
If you are tired of cleaning out the oven after cooking fatty foods, or even enjoy eating toasties cooked to perfection, then this grill could be the perfect product for you. Apart from the small issues above I really cannot fault this product - Well done George!
Nowadays scanners are required on a regular basis. Someone will always ask you to email them a document which can save valuable time and money. The CanoScan LiDE 600F scans documents at high speed and at great quality. What is more, this scanner also has a few other tricks under its lid!
~ Functionality ~
The choice of scanners on the market is huge, each scanner boasting different features. What is great about this model is how easy Canon have made scanning. The scanner features 7 buttons on the front which allow you to scan or copy in different modes. Using the bundled software these hotkeys can be changed to suit the user. The scanner can also be used with the negative scanner attachment which allows you to scan in those memorable photos at ease. Although I haven't used this feature too much as I tend to use a digital camera, I can fully understand the benefits for someone who wants to backup important memories.
~ Practicality ~
The great thing about this scanner is that it can be positioned to stand upright using the fold out stand. I personally find this fantastic as it really does save on desk space. You will be also pleased to know that documents sit still in the scanner when the stand is upright.
~ Quality of scanning ~
In the past I have used a range of different scanners. The first time I used this model I was extremely impressed at how quickly it can scan such a high resolution document. As a bonus it isn't too loud like other scanners I have known can be. Colours tend to be rich thanks to LED scanning.
~ Conclusion ~
This scanner can now be purchased for around £90 which sounds a lot until you consider what it offers. If you only scan occasionally however it may be better to look at one of the lower end models in Canon's range.
~ Introduction ~
Over the years the iPod has grown significantly in terms of popularity. The simple concept of being able to fit so many songs onto a device so small has taken the market by storm. The 6th Generation iPod Nano certainly doesn't fail to disappoint with its great looks, functionality and easy to use interface it's difficult to find an mp3 player of this type which can compete.
~ Interface ~
The iPod could be described as an iPod Touch which has shrunk in the wash! For those that are familiar with the iPod Touch menu, the interface certainly seems familiar. The screen is a touch screen which is quite unique for a player of this size, simply swipe the screen to choose between the menu pages and tap the icon to select.
~ Practicality ~
The iPod Nano 6G is extremely practical, especially considering that it includes a belt clip which allows it to be safely secured to your trousers or belt. Furthermore, it is possible to buy a case for this iPod which turns it into a watch, which is a must have for those of you that really can't live without your music. (This is available on iworld.co.uk)
~ Sound Quality ~
The headphones which are supplied are the Apple headphones which do the job perfectly. If however these headphones aren't to your standard, or you would like to hear your music in a higher quality any other headphones can be used.
~ Sports Usage ~
Are you one of those people that cannot exercise without their music? This iPod may be perfect for you. Not only does the iPod have an inbuilt pedometer and radio, it can also be used with the Nike running accessory which can be purchased and used with the iPod.
With a colour to suit every taste, features which cannot be found on other MP3 players of this style and a wide range of accessories to boot, this iPod ticks all the boxes. Battery life is above average and the iPod is so light and compact it can be taken everywhere. If you can afford to splash out I recommend this!
I am not an extreme gamer but having just bought an Xbox I decided to try out a range of different games. I have been out of the link in terms of gaming but was extremely impressed to see the depth and detail of graphics in this game - What is more this game can now even be classed as out-of-date.
~ Gameplay ~
As with most games nowadays the game comes complete with several different modes such as online play and campaign mode. I have now completed the campaign mode however I was a little disappointed at how short the game was - I think there are about 15 missions which are quite short. Online gameplay however is fantastic - I really do recommend practicing offline first however as if you are like me you will struggle to compete!
~ Price ~
The game can now be purchased for an average price of £25 which is not too bad but considering the fact that newer versions are on the market its not as good as it could be - my recommendation is to buy a preowned version.
~ Verdict ~
I recommend trying this game first as so many copies can be found on eBay where the seller discovered that it wasn't the right style of game for them. If violence isn't your thing then I discourage you from buying this. For those that do like it however it is a good bit of fun with great graphics and a great story line - It's a shame the game is so short though! (This is however continued in the sequel)
Buying a case which provides adequate protection for your phone can always be a challenge. I am a great believer in keeping my iPhone safely in a case, reducing wear and tear as much as possible.
The Speck Candyshell case comes in an attractive selection of colours including blue and black. It is also guaranteed to fit the 4S if purchased from the correct places: http://store.apple.com/uk/product/H7152ZM/A/Speck_CandyShell_for_iPhone_4
The case is made of one component which simply pushes over the phone. The case feels robust yet maintains the attractive style of the iPhone.
All buttons remain accessible whilst using the case and the camera also has a lens whole on the rear of the case.
What I like about this case is that it includes a ridge around the edge of the screen which adds a small amount of protection when the phone is placed on a desk or table face down. It also ensures that impact to the screen is kept to a minimum if the phone is dropped.
~ Verdict ~
This is a brilliant case which is a lot more robust than a lot of other cases on the market. If you do not do anything too extreme with your phone but want protection, then this case is for you. The only negative point is the price tag which could be said to be a little too much.
Buying a TV can be a challenge at the best of times. There are so many different things to think about such as room size, sound quality, HD, Freeview and with new technology emerging everyday the list just keeps on growing!
After hours spent researching the perfect TV I discovered the LG 32LK450U which was released earlier this year. I found this TV using the Which? comparison service, who also rated it very highly. I use the TV for gaming, watching TV and also DVDs and it performs all of these tasks brilliantly. I can even connect my Macbook Pro to the TV using an adapter I purchased combined with an HD cable.
The 32" TV can be found online for under £300 which is a superb price when the specification is taken into consideration. I could write forever on every detail but the following are just a few I have selected:
~ Picture Quality ~
Televisions on the market nowadays can be HD or Full HD (1080p). For a TV of this size Full HD is often recommended. The picture quality on this model is fantastic, with a very crisp image. For an LCD TV in this price bracket you get a lot for your money. For someone that likes watching TV every evening, or even a few films this TV is more than adequate.
~ Sound ~
TVs nowadays are getting thinner which can be a problem when sound depth is concerned. The amazing thing about this TV is that the sound remains rich in comparison with the competition out there. Great clarity and brilliant depth.
~ Freeview Tuner ~
Most televisions on the market nowadays include a Freeview tuner. Due to the current switchover I highly recommend a TV that includes this feature. The Freeview tuner is fantastic and includes an inbuilt planner which you can add programme reminders to. Channels can be selected using the remote or the EPG (Electronic Programme Guide). The only thing that disappointed me is that the Freeview tuner, unlike the TV, is not Full HD. After doing some research however I discovered that many other TVs at the time of purchase had the same problem.
~ Energy Saving ~
With the current electricity prices being so high saving electricity is vital. This TV has a brilliant Energy Saving feature which allows you to lower the brightness to save electricity. The TV also features a light sensor which allows the TV to adjust to the correct brightness depending on the room.
~ Swivel Stand ~
This is a personal favourite of mine. In many houses finding the correct seating position can be a challenge. This TV features a swivel stand, meaning that the whole TV can be rotated depending on the viewing angle - A great idea!
~ Disadvantages ~
Being quite honest I don't have many issues with this TV. There are however one or two improvements which could be made. The biggest issue I have is the lack of a viewing window whilst browsing through the programme guide. This could have even been improved by reducing the guide size as it is impossible to view something whilst scrolling through the planner.
~ Verdict ~
All in all a fantastic piece of kit. If you are looking for an all rounder TV then this could well be the one for you. LG is an extremely trustworthy brand that gives you a lot more for your money. My recommendation would be to try view the TV in a local showroom however, as it can be a very personal matter.
Do you ever wish that you could hold 40,000 songs in your pocket? It sounds unbelievable but the iPod Classic 160GB makes this reality. It is amazing to think that this iPod is physically so much smaller than the first iPods yet it can hold more than double the music.
The iPod Classic is currently available in Silver or Black and is smaller than a CD case. The iPod has all the standard features such as video playback, a basic collection of games, which includes the great iQuiz which allows you to test how well you know you know your music. I find the iPod extremely simple to navigate using the touch sensitive click wheel. Simply spin your thumb around the wheel to adjust the volume, or use the wheel button to change song.
I personally feel that this iPod is a brilliant addition to any DJ collection. With 2 of these iPods a DJ could connect the iPods to an amplifier and provide hours of music. Adding music is extremely simple using iTunes which can easily be downloaded from the internet. iTunes also occasionally allows you to update the iPod whilst connected using the provided USB cable.
~ Disadvantages ~
Now comes the picky part. This iPod is a great piece of kit but it doesn't come without some disadvantages. Firstly I feel that it is very important that the user selects the correct iPod for the job. If you are the sort of person that is very athletic and likes to go running with their iPod then this model may not be for you. I know someone who had an iPod Classic and broke it simply because they listened to music whilst riding their motorbike. The reason for this is the hard disk in the iPod contains a small needle which can be very fragile when shaken or dropped.
The last problem I have found is the iPod occasionally does tend to freeze. A reset normally solves this however so it is not a major disadvantage.
~ Conclusion ~
Apple keep making these iPods bigger and bigger! I really recommend this iPod for someone that would like to carry every song in their library without compromising on which songs to pick. As I said before though I really wouldn't recommend this model iPod for the more athletic amongst you as it is very fragile.
If you have a Nintendo Wii you will probably already know the endless possibilities and accessories available to you. One of the options is the Wii Fit Balance Board which can be purchased as an optional extra. The Wii Fit Balance Board is basically similar to a set of scales - Four pressure feet (one on each corner) calculate your balance and movement whilst you stand on it.
The game currently being offered alongside the Wii Fit Balance Board is called Wii Fit Plus. The game allows you to set up a fitness regime which actually takes note of how often you undertake your routine which can be easily set up. Fitness goals are also extremely easy to set up with exercises for everyone. You have the option of doing cardiovascular exercises such as running or even muscular exercises which can help to increase your flexibility.
The board is ideal for people of all ages. My mum even enjoys using the step up exercise where you step up and down in time with animated characters on the screen. One feature which is great for parties is the range of games available for when you are not in the mood for carrying out routines. These include ski slalom, ski jumping, kayaking and much more.
~ Disadvantages ~
The Wii Fit board is great for those who want to exercise whilst having fun. One thing I will say though is that the Wii Fit board is not that good for extreme athletes. Apart from stretching I find that a lot of the exercises do not push your body enough when you are used to going on long runs for example - This just depends on the user however.
~ Verdict ~
The Wii really does push the boundaries in terms of gaming. The Wii Fit Board is great for parties or even just a bit of fun after work. It is great for starting out if you are looking to get fit but I cannot see people training on it for a marathon. The stretching however is great for everyone and you will be amazed at how many exercises you can learn from using the Wii Fit Board.
It amazes me when I look back at the iPods which were on the market a few years ago and compare them with the current range. The size of the devices for example has decreased dramatically. Each iPod has there own special target market meaning there really is an iPod designed for everyone.
The iPod Nano 6th Generation looks great and holds 16GB of music and videos, what is more it is only 37.5mm x 40.9mm in size meaning you really can take it everywhere. What I like about the Nano is that unlike the iPod Classic it doesn't contain a hard drive - This means the device is less fragile making it perfect for sports when used with one of the available neoprene sports cases.
When you turn the iPod on you are presented with a miniature menu rather like on the iPhone. Navigation can be achieved by simply swiping your finger across the screen. The screen can also be rotated by putting two fingers on the screen and rotating. One feature which makes this iPod stand out from the others is the FM radio built in using the connected headphones as an antenna. The Nano boasts many other great features but another distinctive feature is the Pedometer which is great for those people that like to keep track of their daily steps. I have even seen cases available for this iPod which act as a watch strap and turn the iPod Nano into a watch - This is personally amazing as it means you could always have your iPod on your wrist.
~ Disadvantages ~
It's hard to believe it but unfortunately technology hasn't quite developed enough. The iPod Nano is only available in 8GB or 16GB. The reason for this is that unlike the larger iPods which use a hard drive, the Nano uses flash memory. Flash memory is a lot more expensive hence the high price tag and it is currently not available in the same sizes as a conventional hard drive. The advantage with flash as previously stated is that it is less fragile as there are no moving parts.
A second disadvantage is that no mains charger is supplied with the iPod meaning that you have to stick to charging the iPod with a computer - Unless you buy one of course.
~ Conclusion ~
This iPod packs a lot of punch for its size and with free engraving at present you really cannot go wrong. Shake to shuffle, edit playlists on the go... this iPod really is great value for money. It's just a question of whether you can sacrifice the size of an iPod Classic for something less fragile.
My dad was looking for an external hard drive last summer and the Seagate FreeAgent Desk 1TB was on offer in our local Maplins. We were seriously impressed at the price we paid for such a large amount of space - What is more it is also 'Mac Compatible' unlike a lot of other hard drives that seem to ditch the Mac completely! This drive is even supplied with a 5 year manufacturers guarantee, giving you that extra piece of mind.
~ Looks ~
The design of this hard drive is amazing. The brushed alluminium case looks brilliant on your desk with its light up Seagate logo on the front. The drive is also supplied with a stand allowing you to have it positioned vertically on your desk maximising on that all important desk space!
~ Speed ~
I have used a few hard drives in the past for backup and general storage. I have to say that this hard drive loses marks in terms of speed (in comparison with competitor drives on the market). The problem is that this drive only has the ability to connect to a computer using USB 2.0. It's not crazily slow but after using my other drive which has the ability to also use eSATA and Firewire this drive is left in the dust!
~ Reliability ~
What I have learned over the past few years is that you can never 100% even your backup drive! The problem is that a hard drive is mechanical. Because of the fragility of the drive it is bound to go wrong at some point and some drives just have a better reputation than others. The drive we own was running brilliantly until about a month ago when it just stopped working! I personally do not think that Seagate are to fault. Maplins still stock this drive - it must be therefore normally quite reliable! I returned the drive to Maplins and was giving an exact replacement - No questions asked! The new drive is currently running fine but I will update this review if that changes!
~ Verdict ~
All in all, apart from my first drive failing this is a neat looking hard drive that does the job perfectly. It's just a shame that Seagate couldn't have included some faster connection sockets on the drive as USB 2.0 is already behind in terms of speed. For the price we paid though (around £49.99) we are definitely not complaining!
I have been playing piano for a few years now, practising on our old piano which was basically way past its sell by date! After decorating the room at home and doing a bit of moving around, it was obvious that we needed a piano which was slightly smaller. If you had even mentioned to me a few years ago about getting a Clavinova I would have thought you were crazy! Firstly, they seem to have a reputation in the piano world as being an imitation.
There are various models on the market which offer different features, feel etc... we chose the CLP-370 as it seemed to be a good all round model, I also liked the feel whilst playing. The features of this model are as follows:
Dark Rosewood / Cherry / Mahogany / Polished Ebony
88-key NW (Natural Wood) keyboard (wood is used for the white keys)
Synthetic Ivory Keytops
Pure CF Sampling
4-step AWM (Advanced Wave Memory) Dynamic Stereo Sampling tone generation with Stereo Sustain samples and Key-Off samples
14 Voices x 2 variations
Digital Effects (Reverb / Chorus / Brilliance)
Internal Flash ROM for song memory
USB TO HOST and USB TO DEVICE (2, Selectable)
Amplifier (40W x 2)
Speaker System (6 5/16" + 1 15/16") x 2
Internet Direct Connection
Three foot pedals
MIDI IN / OUT / THRU
Sliding key cover
Dual headphone jacks
50 built-in demonstration piano songs with sheet music
As you can see the capabilities of this instrument are certainly not limited. There is even the option to connect the piano to the internet and download lessons and tracks etc...
~ Usage ~
The technology that Yamaha uses in the Clavinova has evolved again and again. Yamaha strive to get the same feel and sound as a real piano whilst often saving on space. A grand piano for example would never fit in one of our rooms at home, but the Clavinova means that the sound produced by a grand, can be imitated to a certain extent.
What I really like about the Clavinova is the headphone port. We have our piano in the living room at home and as you can imagine, as soon as someone turns on the TV, practising becomes impossible! Now I can either turn the volume down or wear some headphones and play until my heart's content!
This model also has a button which allows you to control the damping and the piano also has 3 pedals allowing you to get the most out of your music.
~ Why would I choose a Clavinova? ~
The Clavinova is a superb instrument however side by side, the sound quality and the feel are without doubt not the same. So why choose a Clavinova and not a real piano? We chose the Clavinova firstly because it saves a lot of space. The dimensions of the product are 1408mm x 917mm x 511mm. Because there is no need for strings the height can be reduced.
Secondly, the Clavinova is an electric piano so does not need any tuning. This in the long term saves an extremely large amount of money as each tuning session can cost around £50!
~ Verdict ~
I seriously recommend trying a Clavinova out in a showroom if you are thinking of purchasing a new piano. As previously said the quality is not the same as a real piano, but if you are looking for something to play every now again without the worry of tuning costs etc... then the Clavinova could well be for you. New models are also being released all the time meaning the technology used to built these products is improving drastically! Who knows, in a few years people may be writing reviews on here and saying that they cannot tell the difference between this and a real piano.
What is more the piano is even supplied with a free music book and recording capabilities - release your creative side!
Everyone has their favourite board games. Whether it be Monopoly, Scrabble or Cluedo, something exists for everyone. Taboo has to be one of the games in my personal top 10 with its simple yet amazingly entertaining nature. I have the newer version so if you are looking at purchasing the older version the description may not match 100%.
The game basically consists of a spiral board, 2 counters, word cards and a squeaker and an egg timer. Everyone playing (minimum 4 players) is split into 2 teams. One person on the first team picks a card from the stack, whilst someone from the other team stands behind that person with the squeaker as a judge. The aim is for the person to describe the word on the card to the other players on the team, without saying the 'taboo' words listed on the card or the actual noun/adjective itself. If one of the words on the card is used then the judge from the other team squeaks the squeaker and that team is not allowed to move on. All this has to be done before the all the sand runs out of the egg timer. The winning team is the first team to get to the end of the board.
As a languages student I have now even purchased the German version of this game. This allows me to increase my vocabulary whilst also improving my ability to explain things in German.
This game is truly brilliant. The only thing that would be even better is if it was also possible to play this game with 2 people so my girlfriend and I could play together but I haven't thought a way of making that possible.
All in all a great game which will remain with the classics for years to come!
My old electric shaver recently packed-up due to the battery deciding to die on me. My girlfriend very kindly bought me the Philips HQ7390/17 as a replacement and I have not been disappointed.
The shaver which has a list of F1 sponsors on the back probably wouldn't appeal to everyone. I have to say however that the design is very sleek with an illuminated green button on the front. The shaver comes supplied with a cleaning brush and a charging cable. What is more, the head of this shaver can be washed under a running tap to thoroughly clean the heads.
~ Usage ~
This shaver seems to take around 1 hour to charge and so far I have been very impressed with the battery life which lasts for multiple shaves.
After having charged the shaver for the first time I decided to put the product to the test. After switching the shaver on I was amazed at how quiet this shaver is compared to the older Philips model I own. The rotating heads on the top are also brilliant for getting to those hard to reach places on your face.
I am very impressed with the results of this shaver. Although, not quite as good as a good old wet shave, when you are in a hurry this does a more than adequate job. I have also noticed that the shaving time with this shaver is significantly less as I do not need to keep going over bits that would not shave the first time round!
~ Problems ~
As previously said this does not beat a wet shave however it comes pretty close. It is also great when you are travelling and have no access to shaving foam/a sink.
I have had absolutely no problems with this shaver so far. The only thing that I was disappointed with is the fact that no shaver carry bag was provided with the product. I have ended up using the bag from my old shaver - Not the ideal situation but it does the job.
~ Verdict ~
Without trying every single shaver out there, selecting a shaver can be a challenging task. What I can say however is that you will not be disappointed with this model which seems to do a brilliant job. I have noticed that this shaver can be sold at extremely high prices. My girlfriend however managed to get the shaver on Amazon at half price (£49.99). I have heard that this product has been even cheaper in the past due to the changing of F1 sponsors!
There are so many methods of relieving the nasty old sore throat. Whether it be the old school gargling of salt water, a warm mug of Lemsip the list is endless!
Strepsils have been around since 1958 however since then they have come on an extremely long way.
There are currently 9 different types available meaning that the really do suit all tastes:
Ginger & Lemon
Honey & Lemon
Orange Vitamin C
Strawberry Sugar Free
~ Product ~
I haven't tried every flavour of Strepsils but from the few flavours I have tried I can tell you that 'Cool' is my favourite. Strepsils are normally available in 12, 24 or 36 lozenge pack sizes and the 36 pack normally retails at around £4.
The reason why I rate the 'Cool' variety so highly is that it seems to be the best at combatting the pain associated with sore throats. The cooling effect really does numb your throat allowing you to get on with life. What is also great is the menthol effect that the 'Cool' Strepsils provide. The last time I had a blocked nose because of a cold these tablets allowed me to breath almost immediately!
The tablets also contain 2 antiseptics which should also help your body combat the bacteria in your throat.
~ Issues ~
I am a great believer of Strepsils as they do offer quick 'no-hassle' relief of sore throats. I do however have one problem with the product. I am not sure why but the effects of the lozenges seem to be pretty short-term. In the past my throat has been sore again after around 15 minutes and with a maximum adult dosage of 12 lozenges per day this really isn't great.
~ Verdict ~
If you are out and about and need some quick sore throat relief I would recommend this product hands down. If however you are at home and have time to gargle some salt water or even have a drink with some honey in it, it would definitely be the cheaper and possibly more effective alternative!
I bought this roll on deodorant for around £2.00 buy-one-get-one-free at Tesco a few months ago. I normally use a spray deodorant but due to the summer now arriving I wanted to see if roll-on would do a better job at keeping me dry.
The bottle is a very attractive blue glass bottle which promises to last 24h. The deodorant/anti-perspirant has a very masculine scent which seems to last for most of the day. So far I have been very impressed and I have definitely noticed that it seems to be working as promised.
Obviously I have not carried out any extensive testing into whether the deodorant does actually last 24h. For me it doesn't seem to be a great problem anyway as I tend to top up in the evening if I am going out somewhere anyway.
Application is very simple using the attached roll-on ball and the product seems to dry quite quickly especially in comparison with major competitors.
~ Verdict ~
On my last trip to Tesco I couldn't see this product any longer. I am not sure if they were simply out-of-stock or whether this product has now been discontinued. Nivea has released a similar product called 'Cool Kick' however, which promises 48h protection instead of 24h - This can only be positive!
If you do find this product I would definitely recommend it. It is without doubt one of these products that does exactly what it says on the tin.