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I bought this camera before a recent trip to Egypt in June specifically for the purposes of underwater photography for my first time in the red sea - and I am so glad that I did!
I already have an excellent Samsung digital camera, and bought a protective underwater case for it on ebay - waste of money, I couldn't get at the buttons properly and the plastic over the lens wasn't clear enough for good quality shots, so I decided to invest in a camera that could be completely submersed without the need for a protective case so all of the buttons were accessible.
There aren't really that many on the market, and after much deliberation and searching on the net the Pentax appeared the most capable without being too expensive (some of the professional ones are hundreds and hundreds of pounds)
First impressions out of the box were very good - very robust camera, small enough to fit in your pocket, comes with a useful clip and as I bought mine from pixmania they included a really useful lanyard in the box, which was very useful underwater (I tied it securely round my wrist while snorkelling, as the camera will sink underwater if you drop it)
It's very easy to use and the menus on the camera are very simple, I was impressed with the wide range of settings it has, to name a few, sport mode for fast moving action (used this at the olympic football and it's fab), pet mode which captures great shots of your pets and has a kind of motion sensor and produces great quality shots of those hard to capture pesky critters, and it has specific underwater settings for still shots and video which compensates for the different light under water. It also has settings for very dark and very bright settings - all you'll ever need really.
Underwater I was extremely happy with the pentax - the battery and memory card slot is securely sealed from moisture getting in with rubber seals and I have had no problems with the display or lens misting up as I have read in previous reviews for this product. I was very careful to not open any compartments without being sure the camera was completely dry.
The shots of the tropical fish in the red sea we took with this camera were phenomenal, I didn't expect it to be so good - the face recognition worked in the same way underwater to focus on the fish, picked up on all of the amazing colours of the fish and coral and the deep blue of the sea. The ease of use was a blessing, as the last thing you need when you are underwater near coral is to be stressing about making your camera work and faffing with buttons - it was as simple point and shoot. We even used it in the swimming pool. The underwater video even picks up audio really well.
We took this camera everywhere with us on holiday, we weren't scared of getting it wet by the pool or the beach, there are no moving parts so sand can't get into it.
It's really been the best purchase I've made in a long while, so much fun to be able to capture images underwater, we also take it on days out, camping etc, as it's perfect if its rainy as it won't get damaged.
Apparently it's crush-proof as well but I have no intention of standing on it anytime soon :)
I have had an XBOX 360 Elite console for years, it's one of my favourite things, and when everything went 'wireless' I felt really left out, especially when the new slimmer console was released. I had a perfectly good console sitting there with 120 GB memory and I didn't want to trade it in or upgrade, spend a lod of money for the new model which was basically the same thing - but with wifi built in, I couldn't justify it.
Nor actually could I justify spending £50 for this device, I tried shopping for a used one on ebay, but they were still expensive - so I asked for it as a Christmas present :)
So I received one as a gift, along with a Gold Membership for a year - fantastic. So now I have cloud storage for my saved games, so I can go to my partner's, take my game and carry on there!! Also there's facebook access and chat and messaging.
I'm not really one for co-op xbox live gaming with strangers online - but I do play against friends and that's really cool.
If you have a sky account you can also watch via your xbox, unfortunately I have Virgin Media so can't use this. There's also Love Film and lots of digital catch up channels such as 4OD.
The unit itself is small and fairly unobtrusive and connects via USB, luckily I had one spare as I use the other at the front of the console for my USB controller charger. The unit has two feet that swivel to enable it to stand.
I am glad that I eventually for this contraption, as it saved me having to needlessly upgrade to a new console when my old xbox elite is perfectly good.
I bought these headphones in about 2007/2008 as an upgrade to a set of cheap Technics I had when I started off DJing. I got them from Hard To Find Records www.htfr.com for around £120.00. I did see them on ebay for half the price, but after reading a few reviews I quickly found that most of the cheaper ones you find on ebay and other marketplaces are cheap chinese imitations - and though they may look like the real thing before you buy, what you end up with can be quite different. So beware - you really do get what you pay for. I wanted quality, so I made sure I purchased them from a reputable company that could provide me with a warranty should I need it.
These headphones have stood the test of time, not only for me, but htfr and other online retailers are still selling the exact same headphones for around £130.00 which proves how good they are.
My DJ decks are Pioneer and virtually indestructable, and I was advised that for DJs they were an excellent make. I was a little hesitant to spend so much - but when they arrived I wasn't disappointed. They look extremely good with the silver and chrome effect and Pioneer's logo printed atop the head strap and have large ear cushioning. They have a quality look and feel to them, the leather is soft and comfortable, the fit isn't too tight and they are easily adjustable. My only criticism of the finish is that some of the silver plastic bits could look more refined, I'm trying not to say the plastic cheapens them a little, but that's what springs to mind. Only a little though, I'm sure any other material would have made them heavier and more expensive...
Both earpieces swivel around with ease to every position imaginable which is handy if you just want to listen with one ear, so this will suit any DJ's style - I like to alternate wearing them around my kneck, on my head and sometimes just holding them to my ear when lining up music. In a hot club if wearing them around my neck I found I didn't get a sweaty neck like with some of my other headphones - that's not nice... Beacuse they bend and swivel in many directions they can be carried easily in the compact Pioneer draw string bag that they come with. This bag has been so handy as it protects them from getting dusty and bashed. My HDJs are still looking pristine.
The cable is ideal for DJs as it's coiled, so it's short when you need it to be and stretches when required, it doesn't get tangled or wrap around you in the DJ booth when you move around, which believe me does happen, I've tripped and been in knots alot!
They have a mono and stereo switch. The sound quality is out of this world in my opinion, which wasn't really neccessary for the type of DJing I do - but at home when watching a movie on my laptop or playing a game - it's immense. I should imagine if you're a professional mixer they'd be great, and I guess that's why they're still pretty popular.
I would buy these headphones again in a heartbeat.
My dad called me last summer from Comet saying I needed to get there asap as he couldn't physically leave the store - odd I thought... It turned out they'd priced this wrong in the shop and instead of being approx £800 it was down as just over £500. He wasn't really shopping for an £800 television and when he saw the opportunity he reminded the sales assistant of trading standards rules, and insisted they sell it at the reduced price, and after much debate it was ours, but my dad couldn't leave the store if he wanted the deal he had to buy it there and then - but he didn't have a big enough car to transport it - which is where I came in to help...
I am so glad I did, as this TV is fantastic. Easily connected to our V+ box and DVD player, it has HDMI slots in abundance. The quality of the picture when watching HD channels is excellent, it's brilliant on normal digital channels but it really comes into its own. When I connected my XBOX 360 to it I was hooked, I've never seen my games look so good.
The USB port is a brilliant feature, as it enables you to plug and play downloaded movies and TV off a memory stick (this did not work however, with my 500GB hard drive, I had to put the files on the stick) I found that not all files play on the TV though, maybe it's only set to upscale certain types, I'm not sure, so I bought a sumvision cyclone media player for around £20 and connected that via a HDMI slot and that resolved this problem.
The TV is wi-fi enabled to play online content such as you tube - but you need a wireless dongle, which you need to connect via the USB port, the sony ones are quite expensive, I tried using my O2 one thinking it only needed it as a form of antennae, but that didn't work. To be honest I don't think I'll bother as I don't really need to watch online content on the TV, I have my laptop, mobile and xbox for that and Virgin Media TV. Newer models have wifi enabled I believe so you don't need to buy the dongle.
The TV's menus I found easy to navigate as you need to select the HDMI port depending on what you want to watch i.e. V+, DVD, XBOX, Media player, so you have to remember which port you put them in. But I am tech savvy, my mum has a bit of a nightmare, and we always have to set it up for her if it's set to the wrong selection. It's a good job she never watches stuff off the USB stick, as that is quite hard to find if you don't know where you're looking, it took me an age when I first used it.
I did have a bit of a fight with the remote control when the batteries ran out for the first time also - I just couldn't figure out how to open it - but eventually I discovered you slide the back off.
Overall this TV is fab - and despite the fact we paid a couple of hundred less for it - it was definitely worth the original asking price. Technology has moved on even since the summer though and you can now get more for less, but at the time it was a great buy.
I absolutely love this machine, as I am an absolute coffee fiend! It's extremely easy to make delicious coffee very quickly. Though I do find the milk steamer tends to make my milk a bit watery so I've had to buy an additional milk frother as I can't seem to get it right - maybe I just need barista lessons!? Cleaning is a bit of a faff but I get someone else to do that :)
My machine came with a lungo (long coffee) and espresso cup and saucer which are branded and really cool. I also bought a large selection box of capsules. They're numbered to indicate strength and all are stunning. Some are more suited for use as an espresso drink and some for standard larger cups and my favourite, lattes. My kitchen smells like an italian coffeehouse!
I initially thought that the nespresso brand was a bit snobby, and granted, the machine was expensive in comparison to other brands, but they really have taken it to another level, the range of different coffee strengths and flavours available is immense. The accessories available to purchase are unreal such as pod dispensers you mount to your wall and other storage like elaborate boxes - you can even get a carry case to take your machine on holiday with you!! I draw the line at nespresso branded sugar packets though! There's even a nespresso membership club! Very swish!
I've recommended these machines to friends who now also rave about their prize coffee makers. I couldn't live without mine. My only niggle is that the pods aren't widely available to buy, and because I don't live very close to a Selfridges, I have to mail order, and I dislike running out of pods immensely!
My machine was around £200.00 from selfridges at the time I bought it, which was a few years ago, and I've seen that they've updated their range since then and magimix machines can be bought for around £140.00 (without the milk frother) and around £200 (with milk attachment) from amazon, selfridges, ebay, and direct from nespresso themselves, the M200 model I have seems to have been superceded by the M190, which has a much better milk steamer/frother. The pods can also be purchased from the retailers mentioned above and it's about £8.00 for a box of 10 capsules if flavours are bought individually, but a mixed selection of 50 pods can be bought for around £25.00. All of the nespresso capsules fit their entire range, and there are even capsules available from amazon and ebay that you can fill with the blend of your choice! What more could you want?
This tiny touch-screen smart phone has all the android features you'd want or need all neatly packaged in what is not much larger than credit card sized, as opposed to the bigger and bulkier sensation or desire models which can be a bit brick-like, cumbersome and heavy.
The wildfire S is very light, and this updated model comes in a stylish white/grey colour. I always use a case on mine to avoid getting it mucky, and a screen protector, and this doesn't bulk it out too much.
The HTC operating system is very easy to use on this device and though it's not as much of a power house as the larger models it still holds its own and has all the useful apps you'd expect, and the android market place is a great resource for loads of free stuff. The wi-fi hotspot functionality is a godsend sometimes.
The camera isn't the best, but is good enough for on the go snaps and little videos.
The battery life can be extremely short if running alot of applications, so I'm constantly turning them off.
My niggle with touch-screen phones though is that texting can be annoying, and with the small screen size on this mobile making the keys tinier than usual, the typos I make on it are horrendous. So I use a stylus for this device. Just a generic one works fine such as you'd use on an iphone or ipad, this makes life alot easier.
This handset didn't come with a micro sd card when I got it from Orange, which was disappointing, and I can't seem to add music files to it when I connect it to my laptop as a hard drive. A music file doesn't exist like on my Desire HD. I tried creating one and dragging and dropping my tunes but the phone didn't recognise them as media... I've tried adding them to just about every file within the mobile and still no joy, so I'm going to try putting in a memory card and see what happens. Very frustrating though. I know it's a lower end android phone, but I think it's a bit cheap of Orange not to include a memory card. The contract is £15.00 a month before insurance, bu to compare it to a Blackberry Curve from Virgin mobile; they sent a micro SD along with a £7.99 a month contract.
Overall I am thrilled with this mobile for the price and will persevere with trying to add music, but I fear that I will upgrade before I achieve success.
I got this mobile primarily as a business phone as I thought it would be useful to use when billing / invoicing customers on the move rather than using an expensive tablet or cumbersome laptop. And a an internet mobile it's been brilliant. Webpages are clear and easy to navigate as the screen is so large and it still has the flash player capability (I heard they're getting rid of this on smart phones / android soon if they haven't already) so I can view videos embedded in webpages other than you tube (there's an app for you yube) Facebook and twitter aps for android are decent.
It took me an age to move over to this phone from my blackberry - as I'd become very attached to their operating system and find keypad phones much easier to use when doing alot of texting - especially if you're walking and texting - with my blackberry I never used to misspell badly or bump into people or pbjects in the street - with this phone - and probably most other touch screens, texting and walking is virtually impossible if you want to keep safe or if you want your texts to make sense... the keypad accuracy on this phone is definitely not perfect. It has an annoying habit of kicking me out of the message I'm writing when I first wake the phone up too.
Battery life will only last you a day max if you're using it at all - less if you have wifi etc on. I'd advise getting an app killer to shut down applications all at once to conserve energy.
Audio output is great on this phone - I listen to my music on it all the time. Simple to add music to it when mounted to your pc as a hard drive, drag and drop music files, no converting to ituned etc neccessary.
The headphones that come with the mobile are quite good too...
The phone is heavy, but it is excellent and you quickly get over the size and weight , as lots of phones on the market are quite big if you want big functionality.
The navigation on this phone is excellent - so much so I've stopped using my tom tom go as it's up to date and even speaks the road names for you - screen mounts for in car are only a few pound on ebay - though the speaker volume when driving could be a bit louder, especially if you drive a noisier car - or have noisy passengers...
all in all I'm glad I got this phone - aside from the texting annoyances it's brilliant.
I really like my wesc headphones. This is the second pair that I've bought, as I own a pair of the red Oboe style also and alternate between the two depending on my outfit :) which is the luxury of wesc having a stylish and reasonably priced range - you can buy a few pairs! I use them whilst commuting in my ipod and for the music and videos I have on my mobile and think they're spot on. Because they're on-ear, you don't get the immersive audio quality of larger over-ear headphones, which would probably be unsafe whilst commuting anyway, as I wouldn't want all exterior noise cancelling out. I prefer using these when on the move as I find with in-ear buds when the wire gets snagged it hurts when the buds pull in your ears and prolonged use of buds can make my ears ache.
They're not too bulky and quite light so are comfy as there's no excessive weight or pressure on my head. But at the same time are robust, as mine have taken a fair bashing and are holding up very well.
The colour and the metal styling makes them look quite retro which I really like.
The audio quality is very good for the price for a casual pair of headphones. I do a little DJing, and they wouldn't be suitable for this as they'd need to be louder and the cable longer (and have stereo and mono settings if I was being super fussy), so I'll stick to my expensive pioneers for that. Also, if I were watching a movie or playing a video game I'd prefer an over ear style for a better experience (or even buds for that external noise cut-out), but for walking about town or on the bus they're great and look very cool.
These headphones are great looking without being too bold like the other beats headphones, and the audio quality is fantastic, especially for basey tunes, I'm not usually a fan of in-ear headphones but these ones come with in-ear buds of various sizes so you can choose which ones fit you better for a more comfortable listen. They also come in a handy little zip pouch to keep them clean and safe. The in-ear buds reduce sound escaping, meaning you won't disturn the person next to you with what you're listening to...
The cables are thick and wide which makes them less likely to get tangled up as headphone wired usually do. I think the rubber material used also assists this.
Though the first pair of these I had after a year and a half started to malfunction - They were used alot - but were covered under the beats warranty. So I called up a number found on their website and I was sent details of how to send them off for repair / replacement - I sent them abroad and a few weeks later was sent a brand new set - so full marks to monster beats for honouring their warranty. They are expensive headphones so it's nice to know if something goes wrong you're covered.
I'm still enjoying using these headphones.
I bought this camera for my Graduation in 2004 and it lasted years - brilliant point and shoot, great display, great ease of use (even though the instructions I was sent were in French!!) Great optical zoom for the year of manufacture. I researched this camera fully at the time and it came up top in the reviews I read back then - it's better in my opinion than some of the new point and shoots being released. It was a great holiday camera - took fantastic resolution pictures. Also very handy on a night out due to it's small size - fitted nicely in my jeans pocket. The menu facilities are simple and easy to use. As well as everyday pictures of people and scenery I used it for a bit of product photography and founf the macro settings great for this. I think Canon were ahead of there time with this camera and I loved using it. It's got some great accessories you can buy for it too - like an underwater case if you want to take pictures while diving. The compact flash memory card was the only downside I found with this camera - as not many pcs have a CF port now - as they tend to be SD cards... but you can plug the camera into computers directly using the USB cable which is just as easy.
I bought this laptop just over a year ago as my Dell of 5 years died a death and I had to rush to buy a replacement windows laptop... in hindsight I wish I'd have done a little bit more research rather than picking the first laptop that looked decent and looked like it had a decent spec... I bought one in blue, and my partner bought one in red, they were each £360.00
I use it fairly regularly for surfing and photoshopping small scale graphics and during the past year it's been absolutely fine - then coincidentally (or not) just after the 1 year warranty ran out mine started to make an extremely loud whirring noise coming from the hard drive/cooling fan area when tipped slightly to the left (which is impossible not to do if working with the laptop on your lap) the noise was so loud I couldn't work with it so had to restart every time - and now the cooling fan has stopped working altogether so I need to take it in for repair as it's unusable for extended periods in case it runs too hot and kills the rest of the laptop - conveniently just after the 1 year warranty expired.
My partner's laptop has also started to make an even louder sound occasionally and this is the cooling fan too...
It's also starting to run slow too despite using hardly any of the memory and having very few programmes loaded onto the laptop - it takes longer now to start up and get on internet explorer alone - and I've cleansed the system to make doubly sure... another win for planned obselescence I think...
The battery unplugged from the mains doesn't even last an hour now either - this is only browsing too - no strenuous programmes running...
So I'd say about this laptop if you don't mind having to go out and spend another 350 of your hard earned pounds on a replacement, or running about after a year spending more than the laptop is worth on repairs - go for it... otherwise - do a bit of research on what laptops are a better investment and don't start to go wrong after a year
Also, they look nice in the different colours and the finish is great when you first buy it - but as soon as you touch it fingerprints show up on it and make it look greasy even if it's clean...
I'm going to get this fixed and see if I can sell it or just use it as a download laptop...