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mattharris1801

mattharris1801
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Member since: 20.01.2012

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    • Mio 269 Plus / GPS Sat Nav / 6 Readings / 6 Ratings
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      15.03.2012 20:10
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      Great buy, cheap, simple, easy to use

      Had this sat-nav since it came out in 2005, never once taken me into a field river or private road.

      Looks >>>> This sat-nav is quite bulky at around 1" thick and 6" wide, has a resistive touch screen, back button, home button and zoom etc, for quick access. Considering its age it doesn't look old, software of physically; as it uses a frontal panel of aluminium and buttons in cased in a soft touch plastic.

      Usability >>>> The software is simple, elegant and very quick and easy to read whilst driving. The voice on the sat nav is also bearable, and uses English without american versions of some words. The only map option is face down, i.e birds eye view/map view, this is great and makes it much easier to use, unlike some satnavs that allow an almost 3d car view, which can be confusing and hard to follow in my experience. When entering an address it only allows the first 5 components, you must then add the house number for example afterwords. This may be annoying if you're used to just inputting the whole postcode, which admittedly is easier and faster. Gives instructions in miles and yards, and always gives plenty of notice before a change of direction needs to occur. The menu's are easily navigable and self explanatory.

      Whilst navigating it has a visual countdown to the turning for example, and also shows speed, est. arrival time and altitude.

      The sat-nav includes the maps of Europe, and given its age may need updating via a PC to get fully up to date maps. Have used this throughout England, France and Spain with no issues, apart from a couple of new roads being non existent on the mapping software, but it recalculates fast. It also has a fair list of tourist attractions and petrol stations in its maps, which is helpful on long drives.

      With age the battery now holds no charge at all, and have got through 2 car chargers, although these are cheap so not an issue.

      it also has an mp3 player, cant see much use for this feature, and have never used it.

      Comes with a load of extras such as: Carrying case, remote control, windshield mount, bike mount, earphones and a USB cable.


      Overall >>>> Great buy, especially now when one of these could be bought for a fraction of the original price, and still does a great job. Never got lost while using this.

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    • Stella Artois Cidre / Beer / Cider / 8 Readings / 7 Ratings
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      14.03.2012 23:01
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      A great new refreshing cider with its own unique taste

      Having strong faith in the brand from there quality lager, I had to try there take on cider. And am I glad I did. They've gone straight to the top with this one, outdoing other ciders that have been in the making for hundreds of years.

      When this first came out, it was about as scarce as could be, with news of its brilliance spreading coupled with supermarkets nervously low initial buy in of the product; meant that it was hard to find; and you may not have seen it around.

      This comes in both tin and bottle from, the bottle is very unusually but elegantly shaped, whilst even the tin looks classy, with its rose gold colour scheme. The bottles come in crates of 12, and the tins in groups of four, Tesco's normally have a deal on the tins for 3 for 2. The bottles are a pint and the tins are just under.

      Made using Belgian apples, this cider is incredibly easy to drink, and has a wonderful taste. Compared to Strongbow which tastes of added ingredients, and very processed; this cider tastes sweet and refreshing, with a real taste of apples. If I had to say what other cider it tasted like, I would say Bulmers, but you have to give it a try, because it really is a distinctive taste. Normally drunk cold from a pint glass, better than from a tin, and allows the addition of ice.

      Due to its great success you can now find this 4.5% Belgian Cidre in most pubs nowadays, which is great as the summer is fast approaching. It's normally for sale at around £3.25 in a Weather-spoons, the price of an average pint of Cider.

      A must try, you wont be disappointed. 10/10

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    • More +
      14.03.2012 22:11

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      Great for low level stubble maintenance, removable guide comb so can be used as general trimmer.

      Had this for about 6 months now, and use it regularly.

      Looks >>>> As far as looks of the object go, its styled well, and looks modern and well made. The shaver is about 20cm long, as most have said they don't expect this, but it actually comes in as an advantage as it makes it much easier to use and less fiddly. It features a piece of inset aluminium on the front which gives the product a nice non cheap feel to it.

      Usability >>>> The item has three buttons, 2 arrows to change the cutting length and power. The cutting length increases by either .2mm or .5mm nearer the larger lengths. Upon changing the length, the head of the shaver adjusts.Considering the minute difference in lengths it offers is surprisingly accurate.
      It also has the great option of flipping the guide comb over and clipping to the back, to enable the shaver to be used for tidying sideburns or getting an even closer shave, unguided. The device turns off after a few second if left in standby mode and comes on at the press of any of the buttons.

      The display is bright and after a few seconds gives a battery readout indicator out of three bars.

      At first when using this, you initially presume its not working properly, but because the blades are so sharp, you cant hear the hairs being cut. It also takes a few goes getting used to which setting suits you best. I find the charge lasts around a week sometimes more. Charges up in around an hour but also has a quick charge mode of around 5mins for 5 mins.

      Difficulties I have encountered are:> that it is quite difficult to get an even shaved length sometimes depending how long you leave in between shaves as it struggles to pick up hairs that lay flat. This means you have to go over areas a few times in order for it to pick up the hairs in the comb.
      >And that doing the under nose area can take a bit of getting used too as its quite fiddly to get the trimmer to reach the upper parts as the guide comb gets in the way.

      The device comes with its own special oil, and a double brush, which is good as there are lots of places for hairs to get into as its quite mechanical.

      Comes with plug adapter for the shaving plug and full instructions.

      Would be nice if it came with a stand.

      Would recommend this product, just beware of the fact that it does struggle to cut some hairs.

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    • Strongbow / Beer / Cider / 7 Readings / 2 Ratings
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      01.03.2012 19:55

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      Great for festivals, or as a cold refreshing beverage on the cheap

      Okay, its not Aspell's cider, but nevertheless still a great cider for when you don't feel like splashing out a tonne of cash. Point being, makes a great festival drink, can be bought in bulk, cheaply, and doesn't taste like you've bought a case of Tesco Value along. What ever you do, don't let it get above a cold temperature, once warm, this tastes terrible.

      A pretty refreshing drink, but doesn't have the taste or smoothness of a more expensive cider. Quite a crisp tasting cider, in comparison to bulmers or stella cidre, for example. It just tastes more artificial, and probably is for the most part, i dread to think how many extra little things they add. Being mass produced, it of course is generic tasting, the Fostors of the Cider world.

      After about a pint and a bit of Stronbow the artificial nature of the product and as it's very fizzy leaves me feeling fairly bloated, which is never a good thing. Most pubs have a variety of local ciders available and depending on whether you like traditional scrumpy or scrumpy jack, after trying many a cider I can say with confidence that you are better off mixing it up with something more refined.

      Summary >>>> At 5%ish, a great Cider for festivals, or any other occasion to get the old alcohol levels up. Not for the cider connoisseur, as the taste is too generic, too fizzy, not great. But hey it's cheap so what more are you going to get. I'd reccomend Stella Artois Cidre, if you fancy something different, very drinkable and refreshing.

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    • Dyson DC14 / Vacuum Cleaner / 6 Readings / 5 Ratings
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      01.03.2012 19:35
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      Great all round cleaner, pretty heavy and so carrying up stairs could be an issue.

      Had this for about 5 years now, showing no signs of wear and tear, still as good as it was when i got it out the box.

      Quality >>>> As stated above, the device is made, in part, from the same materials used in riot shields, so as you'd imagine, makes it a very hard wearing product. I'm pretty sure this thing could deal with being thrown down the stairs. Even when being bitten by the dog, shows no signs of damage. Comes with a good set of attachments, the brush being god for dusting, with a crevice and stair tool. No real need to spend more on extras. They tweaked some old design weakness on the the previous model, mainly:

      The hose used to rub and eventually ripped at the connection point > They have added in a piece of flexible rubber that adjusts to which direction you pull the hose in. Done the job.

      The crevice tool used to get stuck and cause the machine to pull violently > place a hole on the side. Fixed.

      Annoying to empty > Place a button with an under hinged flap for easy emptying. Fixed.

      Only issue with this one is that the handle about halfway up, is apparently not for lifting the machine, but as its quite heavy often gets used, and cracks have started to form...

      Cleaning >>>> Great suction, picks up dog hair as well as dust and what ever else. This isn't the animal version, but deals with this pretty well when you go over it a couple of times. Easy to clean the filter every 6 months or so. Very long power lead, allows me to do most of the house from a central plug. Hose long and allows you to do the stairs leaving it at the bottom. Also an option to switch between wooden and carpeted flooring.

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    • Kenwood KDC 7080 / Car Audio / 8 Readings / 7 Ratings
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      21.02.2012 18:21
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      Great looking stereo with a lot of features, shame it hasn't got DAB

      Had this a couple of months now, bought this from halfords who also fitted it for me. This was to replace my standard stereo in my Fiesta.

      Looks >>>> The blue light is pretty cool when you turn the unit on, and has this feature where the whole front of the stereo folds down in order for you to insert a CD, which looks pretty fancy. This can then also fold in itself again to make it look like your car isn't fitted with a radio and so makes your car less of a target to thieves.

      USB/iPod/CD >>>> You can also attach a USB orientated device or an iPod, which you can control through the stereo itself, which is good, and avoids messing around with the device while driving. Although this has to be either the nano or the latest generation of iPod (For compatibility issues I think.) I tried a touch and it sounds great when connected via the aux input, but this means you cant control it with the actual device itself, as the aux is just taking the sound. It also plays my MP3 CD's and they sound great. Provides good quality bass settings as well.

      Radio >>>> Even the radio sounds better albeit only FM/AM. A negative of this audio system is that the remote isn't included with the stereo and is an optional extra, and also that it hasn't got DAB, as the FM and AM frequencies are being phased out in a few years time. Plus DAB just sounds better as it's a cleaner signal.

      Control >>>> Another negative is that now my stering wheel controls no longer work as the units cables will not work with my fiesta according to Halfords.

      Summary >>>> Overall I would recomend this unit, and the fact that I cant use the steering wheel controls is only a small set back, as I throughly enjoy the sound quality from my new stereo. Just think about the lack of DAB and only one CD at a time. Very glad I bought this; totally blown away by the high quality of the sound.

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    • BT Diverse 6250 / Telephone / 9 Readings / 7 Ratings
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      19.02.2012 19:16
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      Well built, easy/intuitive to use and set up

      Had this phone for many a year now, still works fine, no issues with it at all.

      Quality >>>> The look of the set is good, looks nice and smart on a desk for example. The buttons are of good quality and still work fine today. The screen is average but for a home phone of this agge, it does what it needs. Nice and easy to read of the screen with the blue light. The base also features message indicator which is easy to notice.

      Reliability >>>> Never had any issues at all with the phones, they do their job and do it well. The batteries still last for a good 2-3 hours off of charge and this is 7 years after purchase, so pretty amazing really.

      Ease of use >>>> The menu system is very easy to use even for someone whos not too sure what they're doing. Logical menu layout, with logical contents means you can easily change settings add contacts etc, with ease. The base also has a find feature, which rings your missing phone, meaning you can find it once more, comes in handy a lot. The phone also has the ability to send and receive text messages, one can also insert a sim card if they wished. The phone also records who called and when, and features an extensive range of ring-tones. The speaker feature is loud and peoples voices are clear and easy to hear. Still has good signal when used from very far away from the base.

      Overall >>>> Still a great phone today, well built, easy to use, logical, what more do you need.

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    • D-Link DSL 300G+ / Modem / 6 Readings / 5 Ratings
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      13.02.2012 23:15
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      Fine for setting up a simple home wireless network easily

      As said, had this product for about 5/6 years now, and has only really just started to show signs of this.

      Worked fine up until the coming of the Xbox 360, which has seemed to have taken its toll on the modem. Cuts the wireless fairly often, and has to be restarted a couple of times a day at least, more on a bad day. This is pretty easy to do though, as the windows based GUI controls allows you to do this from anywhere in the house.

      >Features 4 Ethernet ports on the back.

      The wireless range is very good, still very strong quite far away, even outside I can still pick it up.

      Security >>>> The software allows you to set up quite stringent rules, which means that the mac address of any item you want to allow on the wireless can be input into the computer. So even if someone guesses or hacks the password onto the wireless, they still couldn't use it anyway, as there items MAC address wouldn't be recognized by the modem.

      If you don't have a games console this modem would be perfect, and even if you do it still works fine to be honest, the restarts take no time at all. The router, looks wise, given its age, doesn't really look that ancient, so is fine on the desk.

      UPDATE >>>> The router has just started error flashing the Ethernet ports, run diagnostics and a hardware failure now means that the Ethernet ports cease to work, wireless still works.

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      • Epson Stylus D92 / Inkjet Printer / 8 Readings / 7 Ratings
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        13.02.2012 18:29

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        Perfect for the average printer, still used at the moment and runs fine.

        Had this for a good few years now, still works fine, and gets used often for photos and documents.

        Quality >>>> Nice compact printer, would be good for those with a small desk. No componants have broken through general usage.

        Reliability >>>> Normal a very reliable printer, if you use it fairly often. As with all printers, if you leave it for a long time, the ink will dry up, and will need 'recharging', or replacing. The maintenance button with light, works well, notifying low ink, or incorrectly loaded paper/jam. Very simple too use, good printer for the un-tech savvy.

        Ease of use >>>> Gives great instructions of how to replace ink, on the computer screen, very helpful if your aren't sure. No complicated settings or built in scanner to contend with. on/off button and a maintenance button. As simple as could be.

        Print Quality >>>> When set on its best settings, it can produce some really nice looking photos, but on the downside it does take an absolute age to do so. Normal documents, relatively fast, but of good quality. Ink can be expensive, so opt for a different cheaper brand (supermarket), still fine.

        Overall, great little printer, very simple, whether that's an advantage or disadvantage is up to you. Prints good quality photos and documents, just a bit slow.

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      • More +
        12.02.2012 00:38

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        good middle of the range product,

        Had this for a little over a year now and gets used quite a lot now i'm commuting daily.

        Processing/Quality >>>> Very thin, light, and has a very sturdy, good build quality feel about it. This being my first Archos product I was wary about build material quality, but their actually surprisingly good. Doesn't feel cheap at all, which is nice. As for processing, not magnificent but not terrible, handles most applications fine, but can be a little bit slow when loading more complex apps, or carrying out lots and lots of tasks at once. It also takes a little while to boot up, but I've not really found it to be an issue. The power connector jack is slightly dodgy in that it falls out quite easily, not broken just a slight design error.

        Reliability >>>> Not had any issues with this at all really, it froze a couple of times, about it really.

        Ease of use >>>> The touch screen works well and the android software also, now they've tweaked it a bit since its initial release. Be sure to install android market as well as it doesn't come loaded with it, quite easy, just head to the Archos forums and you'll easily find a link with instructions. The kindle software works well and doesn't strain your eyes, the screen also gives a very good picture for video and images surprisingly. Awesome little stand, very helpful, and means you don't have to buy a case with a stand.

        Battery >>>> Lasts quite a long time, depending on usage, its impossible to say. But i never find myself recharging it every day, and it gets used quite a lot as well.

        I know that the newer version of this gen of tablets is coming out soon or now, but these(101 & 70) are still a great buy, recommended for middle of the range in price and what you get in return.

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      • Dell USB Keyboard / Keyboard / 8 Readings / 5 Ratings
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        11.02.2012 19:12
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        Very bog standard, no additional buttons

        Got this with my old desktop, so had it a fair few years, still works fine.

        Quality >>>> The buttons are sturdy, and the unit is adequately made, all plastic, you don't get any thing shiny with this keyboard. A very bog standard keyboard.

        Usability >>>> Doesn't have the same feel to it as a laptop keyboard, you have too push the keys quite firmly in order for it to recognize it as a key press. This could make it quite annoying to use when typing up long documents. Features drainage holes on the back so that you can drain out coffee or water splillages if needs be, which is quite good.

        Features >>>> This literally is just a keyboard, it has no additional buttons too control any other computer features like volume etc.

        Whilst using it i did often think about trading it in and buying a new shiny ergonomic Logitech wireless keyboard, so, as you can tell, doesn't really satisfy its purpose. Also like i just said, it is wired, which means it absorbs a USB port, no good for laptops, and no good if you wish to type away from the base unit.

        >The keys came off quite easily in order to remove crumbs etc. but this is also a bad point as you are forever removing debris from inside the keyboard as its quite large with fairly big gaps. Also the keys are relatively close together which may be a hindrance if you're used to laptop.

        Overall >>>> Very bog standard, fine for the user who doesn't plan on using it often for typing long documents.
        5/10

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        • Dell Inspiron 530 / Desktop PC / 7 Readings / 7 Ratings
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          11.02.2012 12:38

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          Perfect for the average user, still used at the moment and runs fine.

          Had this for a good number of years, until i needed a laptop for university, so gave it too my brother when his computer died, and he still uses it now and works fine.

          Processing/Quality >>>> The machine looks okay and features handy little flaps to cover up CD/DVD drives, and the 2 frontal USB ports and audio jacks. Which keep it looking smart under your desk.Had no issues hardware wide through its 6/7 year existence, added a new graphics card to enable it to be able to play some games, but that's about all the adjustments I've made.

          Okay, it's not the fastest machine you'll ever use, but it does the job, and it does it relatively well as well. Never really got bogged down and could and can handle all the basic software with ease.

          Reliability >>>> Touched on this earlier, but to reinforce, no issues, at all, for 7 years and counting. If you aren't a tech savvy person, this is the computer you need to purchase.

          Ease of use >>>> Incredibly easy to set up, features all the ports you need daily access to on the front, (4 USB ports, audio) so you don't have to ever have to gain access to the back of the machine once set up. Once plugged in and set up and given daily use, never had to ever move it. (apart from graphic card installation, which was very easy to carry out, quick and easy access to the inside of the machine)

          Features >>>> Given the age of this, it does lack on the features front, and you won't impress with Blu-ray players etc. But maybe you could with all the money you'll save, because they'll be plenty of that going spare.

          Overall >>>> Perfect computer for someone, who want's a maintenance free, adequately equipped reliable home computer, without breaking the bank. 8/10

          (See my other reviews if your interested in purchasing a new mouse, or computer speakers to accompany your new computer)

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        • More +
          09.02.2012 19:43

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          Great machine, worth the money

          Had this for about 3 years now, still very powerful and a contender for most machines being released at the moment, and that's the thing when you buy good quality, okay you're splashing out a lot, but it lasts. Spend £300 on an i3 processor it'll be outdated in a few months by a phone.

          Looks >>>> When this first came out, this computer was the first of its breed, with the sleek, no massive base unit. Updated the very outdated desktop, and brought it right into the 21st century. The computer is pretty big, taking up a fair amount of space, with its 24" screen. Quite chunky as you'd imagine a good few inches, as you'd expect as it's a few years old and got a lot going on.

          Screen >>>> Use of the touchscreen becomes very natural, and you end up doing it when your using other computers around the place much to the confusion of onlookers. ONLY problem is its a fingerprint magnet. You cant see them when the screen is on, but turn it off, very visible. Comes with a huge cleaning cloth, but worth noting. Has also picked up a couple of light surface scratches, due to the touch, but has withstood well considering.

          Couldn't use it to type, far to great an angle, so keyboard still essential.

          Great for watching films and pictures, very vivid 1080 HD quality, pictures look great as well as hd films.

          Features >>>> The speakers, surround sound, are pretty fantastic, no need to purchase any additional ones. Very loud, bassy, and good crisp sound.

          Fans are quite loud though when its doing a lot of processing, may impede sound.

          Comes with a load of software, Photoshop etc., wireless keyboard and mouse. keyboard is great, mouse is a bit oddly shaped, but fine.

          500gb hard drive, is more than enough for most, and the processors cope well with editing software etc. Can become a bit laggy when using our back up drive,but it does consume a lot of processing power.

          Overall, great machine, touch screen isn't gimmicky, has withstood the test of time well and is still a viable purchase

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        • Breville TT48 / Toaster / 4 Readings / 3 Ratings
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          09.02.2012 19:12
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          Pretty much perfect

          Had this for over a year now and still works like new.

          Looks >>>> Looks incredibly smart for the price, the finishing material, picks up fingerprints quite easily though, and is quite hard to keep looking new. Ours after a year of good use has also picked up quite a few light surface scratches, which to impede on the look a bit, but nothing catastrophic.

          Usability >>>> The led display is much more precise and easier to use than an old fashioned slider type toaster. With our old toaster used to burn many a slices of bread after using it for crumpets as you couldn't see any noticeable change, but with this it's pretty blatant red '9' on the front. It also features the ability to move the toaster that little bit further out of the toaster, very handy and avoids the use of shoving implements in it to remove bread.

          The defrost feature works well, as well as the reheat feature, both doing their jobs perfectly without constant attendance to make sure no bread is incinerated.

          The led countdown feature is very handy, for some reason, you wouldn't think so, but you do quite often find yourself checking it. Basically an oven timer for bread.

          It also has a crumb collector which easily slides in and out to reduce the risk of burning stored crumbs.

          Only negative is if your only cooking one slice it gets a bit hotter in the middle as you cant specify that you only want to cook one slice. Not a big deal, but one side is normally a bit more done than the other.
          If your cooking 2 it's fine and cooks perfectly.

          5 seems to be the perfect setting for me at the moment, just right. 9 works well for crumpets, or 1 for a top up. Works quite quickly as well.

          Another small negative is its hard to remove crumbs that get stuck in this gap at the top of the toaster, where the materials join.

          Overall, perfect toaster. 9/10

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        • Karcher 399 M plus / Pressure Washer / 8 Readings / 5 Ratings
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          06.02.2012 19:30

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          Okay, if you don't mind it leaving the car a bit dirty still

          This being the first pressure washer i have owned, and have done so for the past 3-4 years.

          Bought this as it looked like it should do the trick, and for the price, do it well.

          When using it on the cars, it cleans, but not well. Let me explain, you can use this to clean your cars if you do not wish for them to be completely clean. When using this it manages to leave areas of dirt on the car which it just can't remove. Have reverted back to the good old fashioned way using a bucket and sponge. And no, i am not obsessive about the car being spotless, but when you pay that much money, you expect the car to look clean to the average person when they have a look.

          There also seems to be some joinery issues, there's always a slight leak from connection points, not catastrophic but still there.

          Attachment is okay for car, and fiddly to adjust settings as quite stiff.

          The build quality of materials seem to be very strong and can handle being thrown around a bit. Nice big handle and holder for the hose come in handy.

          If your going to pay this amount of money and have owned a pressure washer that cleaned cars fine, avoid the item.

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