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I bought the Mamas and Papas Aria pushchair as a follow on pushchair from the Graco Mirage that I purchased for my son when he was first born. I paid £109.99 for the pushchair which also came with a free matching cosy toes footmuff and changing bag due to it being on special offer.
The pushchair is very well made and very light weight which I found was a drawback of the Graco pushchair that I had previously. It has a 5 points safety harness to keep your little one safe and is easily adjustable to keep them safe and secure. The seat reclines to three different positions from sitting upright to lying flat. The pram folds flat, this is done by pulling the clips at the sides of the handle and lifting the bar at the button right up with your foot, then pushing it into the flat position and clipping it into the holder so it won't unfold. I found this easy to do; after looking at the instructions I managed to do it first time.
The pushchair also has a tray at the front which can be taken off if you require, in the tray there is also a cup holder. The handle is comfortable and makes the pram easy to push. The wheels are small but I found the pushchair very responsive and very easy to push even with a lot of weight in it. There is a hood that I think is meant to be used as a sun shade but it's not nearly big enough to do this and hardly covers any of the pram. There is a shopping basket at the back underneath the pram which is very large and the netting it is made out of is very strong so can support a lot of weight.
The Aria pushchair is also compatible with the Prima Viaggio car seats which clip in over the seat of the pushchair. This is a very well made pushchair which will do your child from 0 to 36 months.
I bought a My-Link Crystal 3 USB Laptop Cooler after my laptop started overheating, I didn't think much of this product so I thought I would give a Microsoft Notebook cooler ago instead. I paid £14.99 for amazon for the product and I am very impressed with my purchase.
The pad has significantly reduced the temperature of my laptop thus reducing the risk of heat related damage which is one of the main cause's damage to laptops / PC towers. The first thing I noticed about the Microsoft cooling pad is how well made it is. The fan is protected and in cased within the plastic which makes it a lot safer to have your child around this product. The pad is suitable for laptops / netbooks up to the size of around 15 inches any bigger than that and it would over hang, my laptop is 15 inches and fits no problem.
The pad can be adjust to you can have your laptop on a tilt whilst using the device or it can be folded flat to allow you to have your laptop on your lap. There are also two rubber pads one on the top of the front of the pad and one at the bottom. This stops your laptop from slipping off whilst it is in the tilted position. You connect the device to a USB port on your laptop and off you go, its simple plug and play.
This pad does what it says on the tin, it is very well made and is built to last the test of time. It is also very comfortable to use and light weight enough that you don't really realise that it is on your lap. The fan doesn't really make much noise so you don't get distracted from what you are doing. I have seen many more expensive mats but in my opinion this is one of the very best on the market.
The Logitech M180 is a good basic wireless mouse. I had a couple of problems with this little mouse and ended up getting a replacement for the first I bought. The bought the mouse for £9.99 and had it for about a week before the fault developed, the mouse is wireless but it stopped connecting to the adapter. The shop I bought it from replaced it with no problems; luckily I have had no problems with the replacement.
As mentioned the mouse is wireless, you simply plug the USB adapter / dongle into your PC or laptop and your good to go. Unlike some mouse's there is no setup needed it is simple plug and play. The main advantage of having a wireless mouse is the fact that there are no wires. The mouse has a 3 metres range, I tried this out and it is about right. It looks a little cheap and not to sturdy, I wouldnt like to drop it as it looks easily breakable.
The mouse uses infrared to communicate with the dongle which is much better than having an old fashioned track ball. The mouse has the usual three buttons including a scroll button between the two main ones on the left and right.
The Logitech M180 is a good basic mouse with no added extras, it's cheap and cheerful but does the job that it is expected to do.
I had one of these in my PC a couple of years ago now before I replaced it with an OCZ StealthXStream 500W. I had a few problems with it at first as it literally became dead, wouldn't power my pc at all. The customer support provided by Antec was great I received a new power supply within 48 hours of telling them about the problem. The Antec is a little more expensive than most power supplies, I paid £79.99 for amazon two years ago and the price has held at around this.
The power supply is very quiet and can get very warm. The fan doesn't spin very fast which contributes to how warm it actually gets. As I said earlier I bought an OCZ StealthXStream 500W to replace this model and compared to the Antec it keeps my PC tower colder than my freezer.
The PSU is enclosed in a good looking black casing with all the usual connectors that you would expect. There are plenty of SATA connectors, only drawback is you can't disconnect ones that you don't want so I cabled tied them together to make it look a little neater. The PSU has auto voltage control which is great as risks of it over heating are majorly reduced.
Installing the PSU is easy; the manual clearly shows all steps for installing for those who need a little help. The usual few screws and the correct connectors connected and you're ready to go!
The Antec is a good power supply, maybe a little overpriced compared to a couple of cheaper models that in my opinion do a better job.
I bought one of these around a year ago for my laptop after it started to get ridiculously hot whilst I was hammering the CPU. I bought this from amazon for £4.99, I thought I'd give it ago even after thinking it seemed a little to cheap for an external fan. As soon as I got the fan out of the box I noticed a number of design flaws.
The first being that the fans aren't protected, I caught my finger a couple of times in one of them and it hurt enough for a couple of profanities to emerge. I have a young son so I make sure that he isn't anywhere near this whilst I'm using it. The other flaw being the fact that the fan has legs. This wouldn't be a problem if I usually use my laptop whilst it is on a flat surface but I don't I usually use it on my lap, you can't do that with this fan it has to be on a flat surface.
The product plugs in through your laptops USB port and has blue led lights which look pretty good. The three fans are a lot louder than I thought they would be to the extent were you wouldn't want to be doing anything that required your 100% concentration. The product claims that they are low noise, this is not in my experience. The fans rotate at a speed of 3000 rpm which is pretty impressive for a fan of this price.
For the money this product isn't bad, there are a couple of points that could be improved on; but if your looking for something that's cheap, cheerful and gets the job done this would be it. Personally I would proberly pay a little more to get a fan with the flaws I mentioned corrected, but all in all a good external fan.
I bought this as power supplies around 6 months ago when I was getting the bits together to build a new gaming Pc. I wanted a power supply that would be capable of keeping everything really cool, I defiantly picked the right one! My freezer is warmer than this thing, the next time we have a really warm day I know where I'm heading.
I've had a lot of fans in the past but this surprisingly was one of the quietest, theirs obviously some vibration but most of this is at start up; once this is out the way I can hardly hear it even when I'm listening out for it.
Installation was very quick, this isn't helped by the fact that the manual isn't great, just a few screws involved and connecting the connectors into the correct sockets. If you didn't know what you were doing you could easily get confused as a number of steps are missed out All the usual safety features including safety stickers and health & safety warnings. The IDE / SATA connectors can be used to connect certain graphics cards. All the wires are presented nicely and kept tidy in the shiny black casing.
The power supply is very heavy and bulky, but then again so are a lot of fans. It is very well made and does exactly what a power supply / fan should do, my tower is the coolest it has ever been. The on / off button is massive not a chance you could miss it! I would highly recommend this fan.
I have owned a number of camera stands and have to say this is by far the worst I have ever bought. The stand itself is so tiny you would think that it was meant for a child. The stand is made from very cheap plastic that you would defiantly not want to drop, the legs are attached to two hinges which allow the stand to followed flat, the legs lock once they are pushed out. I am only an amateur photographer but can find no use for this stand; it can only be used on flat surfaces and has no any adjustments.
The camera connects to the stand through a standard screw. You have to tighten the camera onto the stand by using a sort of plastic spanner that comes with the stand. The one thing that annoyed me was that there was nothing stopping the camera from the stand, my camera actually got scratched and all that was needed to avoid this was a bit of rubber between to the two. There is rubber on the ends of the legs to stop the stand from slipping which actually does its job.
I actually ended up giving this to a son of a friend to use with his camera as I found it useless. This is defiantly not for anyone who is into photography.
I bought this external card reader for £6.99 from amazon about 6 months ago. My laptop did not have a card reader so this product seemed like a good solution to the problem. The main reason I bought this model at the time was that it cost considerable less than other external card readers that did pretty much the same thing.
The card reader is very well built and appears to be very robust and well designed. It's very compact and hardly weighs anything so is perfect for carrying around if need be.
The card reader accepts a wide variety of popular memory cards as listed below.
Compact flash card type I & ii
Memory Stick Pro / Duo
SD Memory Card / Micro SD (Transflash)
Smart Media Card
XD Memory (picture) Card
Muliti Media Card 4.0 (Moblile) / Plus 4.0
The reader is compatible with the following operating systems Windows 98,98se,ME,2000,XP and Windows 7. It isn't listed as working with Windows 7 but this is the current operating system I am running and it works fine.
As soon as I connect this reader to my laptop via the Usb it is instantly recognised as it is plug & play. I found it very easy to use as it uses a drag and drop function which makes transferring files really easy.
I haven't had any problens with this card reader and find it very easy to use. The high speed Usb 2.0 makes transferring files fast very easy.
I bought this cable around a year ago so I could connect my Computer Tower to my monitor. The Startech cable is 20 feet in length which is the main reason that I purchased this particular cable as I needed the added length as my Pc monitor is situated on my wall so standards cables wouldn't reach. I paid £19.99 for this cable from an online store which I thought was very reasonable for this length of cable. The same store also had the 10ft cable for 13.99 if you don't need it to be quite as long.
I have bought a lot of VGA cables for various monitors over the last through years and must say that this is by far the best one I have ever bought. The picture quality of the Startech DVI on my monitor is fantastic and is much improved from the usual standard cheap and nasty cables that I sometimes use. The VGA cable is a little thicker from the average but this adds to the durability and quality of the cable. The connections are very high quality and robust, they use standard screw fittings and fit easily into most monitors / projectors.
The data transmission is also excellent at around 4.2gb per second; The main thing with this cable for me is the excellent picture quality and this Is why I would highly recommend it.
I bought my kindle at Christmas after about a year of wanting one but not being quite ready to put my paper backs away. I was'nt sure if I would enjoy reading as much on the kindle but I certainly do!
After receiving it and seeing the size of the screen I decided to by a case to protect it from the usual scratches as I'm sure having scratches would annoy the hell out of me whilst I was trying to read.
I wanted a leather case and went for a duragadget case after seeing it on sale on amazon. The usual retail price is around the £40 mark but I managed to pick one up for £11.99, what a bargain! The case is made of very good quality leather and is very soft to the touch. My kindle fitted in to the case no problem, the fit is very snug so there is no chance of the device slipping out. The kindle can be used whilst it is in the case and does not in any way effect the way in which you use it. All the important areas such as the buttons, charging point and speakers are still easily accessible. There is no loss of sound even though the speakers are covered with a protective mesh whilst in the case.
The case is very light weight so does not add much weight to the weight of the kindle. My favourite design feature is the inbuilt stand; I always lye on the couch or bed when reading so this little stand comes in very handy.
The case is very well designed and excellent quality. The rrp of around £40 is a little steep but sometimes you have to pay for quality.
I managed to pick up one of these around a year ago for £14.99 which was a bit of a bargain as they usually sell for around £20. I bought it to use in my digital camera and to use with my ps3.
Data transfers really fast as long as you don't try to transfer to much at once. I have done this a couple of times and it crashes my computer to the extent were you have to reboot. I have transferred jpeg to my ps3 a number of times with no problems and was very hope with the download speed.
I primarily use this to upload photos from my camera to my laptop, images transfer within seconds but larger files such as videos do take a little longer. I have a number of memory cards and must say it does seem to take a little longer with this one. The card has the usual lock function on the side of the card which I've put on a couple of times when I have finished using it and then wondered the next time I wanted to use it why it wasn't working. After a couple of minutes of cursing at the memory card I usually figured out that it was me being an idiot!
Apart from the memory card crashing my computer a couple of times and being a little slow I've had no other problems with this little card. A little bit more expensive than some cards of the same type but does the job that it is meant to do.
I bought this memory stick a couple of months ago on sale for £16.99, which is a bargain for 16gb. At first I thought it had been priced wrong as I bought it from Curry's on the high street. Memory is normal so overpriced on the high street compared to the web but not in this situation. I bought it primarily for backing up some photos of my son as I'm paranoid about losing them (even though their already backed up on my external hard drive!).
It's not much to look at as it's just a dull black colour but does the job. Its thin plastic so won't stand up to robust handling, in fact I have already managed to cause a minor crack to the outer case. The design is pretty cool when it comes to the fact that you can rotate the usb 360 within its case which is a nice little design feature.
The download speeds are fast, I managed to transfer around 12gb in around 5 minutes consisting of photos and music files. An interesting feature is the added security settings that are available on this memory stick. You are able to make a user ID account with password protection, I like this feature as if I lost this stick I certainly wouldn't want anyone to be able to access photos of my son. There is also virus checking software on this little device which would defiantly be useful to business users. It also comes with a 2 year warranty which to me proves that the company would made these are confident that it is a reliable / quality product.
Ive found this memory stick very easy to use and extremely reliable.
I bought a pair of these after I purchased an mp3 player that had Bluetooth connectivity as wanted to use them in the gym. I hate using wired headphones in the gym as the wire constantly pulls and gets caught and frankly I don't need anything to distract me and make me stop as let's face it I hate the gym! There isn't much weight to them so you hardly know that they are there and the main thing is they are really comfy to wear. They came with 2 different sizes of buds which is great as the standard ones never fit in my ears so the fact that these came with a smaller pair saved me from having to track some down. The buds have never come out of my ears or even slightly slipped whilst I am jogging. The controls are by the ear buds and are really easy to use, the usual volume control and skip controls. I pair a Samsung p2 together with these headphones but a phone or iPod with Bluetooth connectivity does the same job. As soon as you turn them on they pair straight away with my mp3 player.
I was really surprised with the sound quality of these headphones as it sounds fantastic, I've never had sound quality that sounded this clear and crisp out of a pair of headphones before.
The headphones use a tiny usb port to recharge through the main adapter or your pc, you can't use them whilst your charging but it would defeat the object of them being wireless if you wanted to. If you're a very active person these headphones are perfect.
I bought one of these around 2.5 years ago from play.com for around £79.99, considerably cheaper than the iPod. I bought it mainly for the soul destroying 25 mile trip to and from work. I wanted something that allowed me to listen to music / podcasts, watch videos as well as having bluetooth connectivity and a touchscreen; luckily this little device had all of those.
There are no buttons on the front of the device just a very generous 3 inch touchscreen. The player is very light weight and easily fits in your pocket. The home screen has 9 icons and is operated by pressing the icon with your finger, the screen is very responsive. I've had many touch screen devices; many have had me tapping away at the same icon trying to get it to work. This touch screen is not like this; if you gently touch the screen the input is almost always instantly recognized. There are two buttons to the side of the device; these are for volume control and to lock the mp3 player. The lock button comes in hand whilst the device is in your pocket as it stops you from accidently activating an icon on the touchscreen. You are able to store music files, videos, podcasts, pictures as well as games. It comes with a number of touchscreen games but others can be easily downloaded. It also has a fm radio and Bluetooth connectivity. The Bluetooth connectivity was the main reason I purchased this player as I wanted to be able to use wireless headphones in the gym. This is a fantastic feature and makes the device unique compared to other mp3 players. I currently used this feature with a pair of Motorola s9 wireless headphones and am very impressed with how easy it is to pair the two devices.
I can't find any faults with this little mp3 player, of course it is always going to be compared to the iPod touch but in my opinion for the price difference this is much better value for money.
I bought this travel system for my new born son Xavi 15 months ago. The travel system consisted of the pushchair, car seat and raincover. It was great value bought from Argos for £109 in the sale.
The car seat was fantastic ideal for any new born, in fact my Xavi loved it so much he would only go to sleep if we rocked him in the car seat and then put him in his cot when he was a sleep! The car seat fits easily and very safely to the pushchair and is easily clipped off again. The instructions are not the best but we worked out eventually how to put the car seat in the car. Its very safe and secure, the padding around the sides and back of the seat are excellent and heaven forbid we did have an accident this is the car seat you would want you child to be in.
The pushchair unfortunatly is not on the same level as the car seat. I found it very stiff and hard to push especially as my Xavi got bigger, this may be different for others as my son is 82cm and 2 stone at 15 months!. The pram never goes the way you want it to when you have the wheel lock off on the front wheels. The only way to get it to go in a straight line is to have the wheel lock on which unfortunatly makes the pushchair very stiff. The safety harness is very well made and secured my son safely. The tray at the front also comes in handy especially at meal times when your on the go. The pushchair folds down on itself so its quite big and bulky, not the type of pushchair that you would fold down to get on the bus.
A rain cover is also included which for the price was a welcome surprise! The diagram in the instructions is useless so it took a while to figure out how it went on. The instructions are also useless when putting the pram together, myself and my partner put it together eventually. It would make an ideal game on the crystal maze, but saying that we dont have a good track record in putting things together (took us 4 hours building our son's flat pack wardrobe!)
Overall the car seat is fantastic, the pram does its job even if it is a bit annoying and once you figure out how to put the raincover on the pram it works great. If you are looking for a compact pram to pop on and off the bus this travel system isnt for you as it is quite bulky.