- Premium reviews
- Express reviews
- Reviews rated
- Ratings received
Whenever it has come to memory cards I have always gone with Sandisk, they have never let me down. The price different isn't worth going for an inferior brand, 32GB for £20 you can't complain. While using with my SLR camera it enables me to take many shots in small period of time due to the speed it writes to the card being brilliant. I have recently started using this in my video camera and the performance has been excellent. You always hear of these stories of people going way on holiday and storing all there pictures on one card, only for the card to corrupt and they have lost everything. Why risk this for a few extra £'s, I have had numerous Sandisk cards over the years in different devices and have had not one problem. So in terms of reliability and performance I don't think you can get much better than Sandisk!, highly recommended. Also most of their cards come with free recovery software just in case!
I have stayed at the Majestic Grande on 3 separate occasions and it is a great hotel to stay in while visiting Bangkok. For a city visit it has everything you need at very a good price, it is not far from shops and bars and very close to the sky train which quickly gets you anywhere across the city. The rooms are basic but not run down and very pleasant; some rooms have great views across the city. The food is excellent and very cheap; we had a 3 course meal in the restaurant for next to nothing! They regularly do promotions in the restaurant at different times of the day. It has an added bonus of a pool, not huge but for a hotel in the middle of Bangkok what do you expect, it was great to relax around after a busy day sightseeing. The staff are very friendly and happy to help with any questions. Apart from more modern rooms I don't know what else other more expensive hotels can offer over the Majestic Grande, for the price it can't be beaten.
When we booked to go to the Maldives there was so much choice. We picked Vilamendhoo as it was reasonably priced and had the facilities we were looking. I cannot recommend this place enough, it is wonderful. The sea plane to get there was excellent, a bit noisy but something you have to experience. The snorkelling was the best I have experienced, there is a reef that goes round the island so you literally walk out about a few meters and the coral is there along with hundreds of different kinds of fish, amazing. The rooms were very modern and look like they had been recently refurbished, for the last few nights we upgraded to a water villa, which I highly recommend; you have your own private sun deck with steps down to the sea! The food was of a high standard, although sometimes it lacked variety, would suggest going all inclusive as it will work out cheaper. The beach was great although it wasn't huge due to a lot of it being washed away by the sea, it seems they are constantly bringing in more sand to replace what is being lost. The SPA is a must, you get to see all the fish below while having your massage! What more can I say than if you're looking to go to the Maldives then consider the Vilamendhoo as you won't be disappointed!
Visiting the Nou Camp Barcelona was a great experience and a must for any football fan and even non fans would enjoy it. The stadium is stunning and the atmosphere was great, although mostly not under cover so hope it doesn't rain when you go! The price for the ticket was very reasonable, cheaper than most premier league matches. Getting to the stadium was very easy using their metro system, although it was very crowded there were plenty of trains, it seemed like one every minute and it was well organised. Typically when I went it happened to be 0:0 which was typical, what are the chances going to watch Barcelona at home I thought I would be guaranteed goals, even Messi missed a penalty! I am sure the normal stadium tour is great but being there for an actual match must be a lot better, the crown were amazing. Very much enjoyed the game, if your in Barcelona you must visit the stadium.
I debated about buying an Apple Mac for a while due to the cost but eventually made my mind up on the 13inch Macbook Pro. It's a good little laptop, very stylish and solid, not made from plastic like most laptops!. The 13ich screen is great and more than big enough for what I need, very portable and easy to carry around. Typically when I brought it a few months later they brought out a new version, so a tip to anyone buying Apple, make sure you check the rumours to see when an updated version is out! The performance of the laptop has been ok but I only use it for internet and a bit of admin. I would recommend installing your own memory upgrades as the Apple price is expensive compared to if you buy it yourself. I had hoped the battery life would be better but it's not a huge problem. If you're used to a windows machine and worried about getting used to Apple, don't be as you soon pick it up after a while. You can install the Windows operating system as well which is a bonus. If you're a student, they offer a very good discount, so worth checking out before you buy.
I was looking for an underwater camera to take on holiday with me and came across the Kodak EasyShare Sport C123. I didn't want to spend a fortune; I just wanted something that would take decent underwater pictures. I did look at waterproof cases for my digital camera but didn't trust them and as the Kodak was responsibly cheap I went for this. I found it to be a great little camera for snorkelling and around the pool, the battery life was excellent and the quality of photos were very good. It had an added bonus of recording video as well which worked really well. I was worried about water leaking into the camera but I didn't have any problems like this, the only major problem that I had was that it steamed up quite a bit. At the beginning of the holiday it was fine but after a number of uses it regularly steamed up, you had to turn if off for a while and wait for the steam to go before you could use it so this wasn't great but didn't happen all of the time.
Overall it was a decent little camera that served a purpose and for the price you can't really complain.
I brought the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX5 just before I went away and didn't have much time to test it before I went. I was very impressed with the camera, especially the 10x zoom and the HD Video. However unfortunately I had to take the camera back as for some reason most of the photo's I took at night came out with loads of white dots. Upon taking it back to the shop they seemed to think it was something to do with the way the flash was focusing on dust in the air and he duly gave me a refund, I could not believe that a camera over £300 could have this problem, he said that I may have just been unlucky with it being faulty but I didn't want to risk it again. Apart from this major problem , the shots during the day were excellent, the colours were very vibrant, the night shots without the flash were also good, there was a mode which took 3 frames very quickly and stitched them together the results were very good if you stayed still. The sweep panorama feature was also very nice although it shot in a lower quality than the standard features. Battery life was good and it also had a GPS setting that would tag the photos with a location allowing you to load onto your computer and it would tell you exactly where you took the picture. So overall this camera was very good apart from the one MAJOR problem that I had with the white dots, it's a shame really as this would have been a top notch camera otherwise.
The Dusit Thani resort in Pattaya was a very nice hotel, we were staying in Bangkok but fancied a change of scenery so ended up getting the coach down to Pattaya. The Dusit Thani was located in the south of the resort and had plenty of shops and restaurants nearby. We only stayed for 2 nights but thoroughly enjoyed our time, check in was quick and we were made to feel very welcome. We had a sea view room and the view was excellent, the room was a good size and very well made up. We had room service one night which was good and dined at the Italian the other night, the food was great and the service brilliant, the breakfast was nice, plenty of choice from the all you can eat buffet. The hotel has 2 pools both were clean and very good indeed, the beach was not the best so we stayed round the pool most of the time, although we did go down to the beach for the sunset. The hotel is right on the beach and next to beach road which is very handy for wondering off to the nearby shops and food places. The beaches are not as nice as Phuket but what do you expect 2 hours from Bangkok, I have not stayed at other hotels in Pattaya but I would be very surprised if the Dusit Thani is not one of the best there. Overall a very nice hotel with great service.
The Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket, WOW! where do I start. This place was amazing, we chose to stay there when we got married at the nearby Chapel on the Lagoon. The hotel is situated in the Laguna complex which comprises of about 5 other first class hotels. Yes the place was a bit pricey but what do you expect when the place is so fabulous. Checking in was a breeze, our luggage was taken straight away to our room and we were sat down in the air conditioned reception and had our complementary welcome drink while we checked in, the staff were very helpful and gave us an overview of the complex and answered any questions we had, they even took us to the room. The room itself was lovely, very modern, flat screen TV, walk-in shower and separate bath although the actual living space could have been a bit bigger. The balcony had a great view of the sea and we spent many hours there enjoying the view. The hotel restaurants where excellent, especially the Italian and the Thai were top class, if you didn't want to go to the hotels restaurants you could go to reception and book through them a table at one of the many other places just outside the complex, they would even come and pick you up from the hotel. The hotel pool was very good, not the biggest but very nice, the beach was great and the sea was very calm, although we did see a few jellyfish which put us off a bit. There are many activities on offer, we did the canoeing on the lagoon which was free and great fun, there were plenty of other water sports on offer. The sunsets were superb, sitting on the beach with a cocktail! I have been to Phuket once before and thought the place I stayed at was nice but the Dusit Thani is stunning, if you are planning a trip to Phuket in the future then I would highly recommend going here, yes it is a bit pricier than other hotels but the location is perfect and would be ideal for a special occasion, in my opinion you cant go wrong staying here.
I have recently changed my car insurance to Kwik Fit, after a lot searching the internet for quotes they came out on top for the best price and for what the policy covered. I have read a few reviews and some people don't seem to rate Kwik Fit very highly, I have not had to make a claim yet so cannot comment on what they are like for claiming but I have had no problems signing up to the policy, all the paperwork was sent out quickly and correctly. As well as being the cheapest, I also managed to go through Quidco and get cash back, they also give you a free MOT and a 10% off card for Kwik Fit garages. So taking this into account they are very good in this sense, I can only hope that this would be the case for any dealings I have with them in the future. Also if you already have their insurance you can recommend people and get £20 if they sign up, worth knowing in case you know someone who is looking to change providers. Overall so far I have had no problems with Kwik Fit but they do always say you never know how good you insurance is until you need to claim!
I am not a massive fan of PC World/.co.uk but I have brought a few things from them in the past that have been on offer. Generally I find them quite expensive compared to another online/store places. The times that I have purchased products from them it has been using their reserve and collect service, I have found this very useful as they usually have web exclusive prices but as you reserve it online you get pay the web price. However I have found that the in store staff don't seem to reserve the product for you they just tell you where it is or go and get it from the shelf, this is fine as you still get the web price but not that great if they have sold out when you turn up to the store, as I thought the whole point of it is you reserve the product!. I don't find their staff overly helpful, however I have had no problems in taking things back in the past. One of the other things that the staff seem to lack knowledge on is their price promise, a couple of times I have found things cheaper and mentioned their 110% price promise but they seem very unwilling to acknowledge this, I had to actually show them the print out of the terms! I have never had to deal with their TechGuys but have heard a few bad reports from people that I know, one being that they took their PC back to the store (less that a year old) as it would not boot up, even though there was important data on the hard disk they were told that the hard disk is damaged and nothing can be recovered! They put a new disk in and sent them on their way, although they gave me the drive to test and I managed to retrieve all their data in about 10 minutes! Sounds like it was too mush hassle for them! So overall not my preferred shop for electrical items but I do keep an eye on their website for any offers.
I was after a credit card that would offer me something in return and eventually went for the John Lewis / Waitrose Partnership card. It was voted the best credit card by Which? which helped me decide on this card, also another factor was the well regarded customer service that John Lewis has. Signing up for the card was easy, you fill out a form online then they send it through the post to sign and return. It only took a few weeks to sign up and get the card and account details. The card is associated with HSBC so I could easierly change the pin at any HSBC cash point. It offers you 1 point for every 2 pound you spend and 2 points for every pound you spend in store at John Lewis, Waitrose and Ocado , with 500 points earning you a £5 gift voucher. It may sound they like it would take ages to reach these totals but if you are already using a CC and not earning any extra benefits then it makes sense to switch to the Partnership card as at least you are gaining something. Upon the account starting I was setup with 6 months 0% on purchases and 0% on balance transfers. I have not had any problems with the customer service and I always seem to get through to someone promptly. If you are after a CC that gives you a bit extra then you can't go wrong with this one.
The Samsung SWA-4000 wireless receiver is a great piece of kit, I have mine connected to my SAMSUNG HTZ310R but I believe you can you use them for other Samsung surround systems although I do not know exactly which ones. Please be aware that this only allows the 2 rear speakers to become wireless, never the less this is still very handy indeed. It saves you running cables across your room and is much neater. To setup the system you plug the receiver card into the back of your system then plug the 2 rear speakers into the receiver, obviously you still get cables but I can hide these behind my sofa. Before I brought this I was worried about the sound quality from the speakers but it is just the same as if you had them plugged directly into your surround system. The only slight complaint is that the fan in the receiver can become quite noisy at times, it seems to kick in after a certain volume, however I don't really hear this unless I am listening for it so it's not that bad. Overall I am very happy with this device and have had the convenience of less cabling without the loss of sound quality, if you have a compatible surround system then this is a must.
I flew with Thai Airways when I went to Thailand last year and overall there experience was very good. I flew out from Heathrow to Bangkok and the flight was ok, the only complaints were maybe the leg room and the TV screens were not the best, apart from this the service they offered was excellent, one of the best things about them was how friendly and helpful the cabin crew were, always on hand to help with any request, the food was ok, as good as you can expect from plane food! Once we got to Bangkok the disembarking of the plane was quick and the baggage was ready very speedily. After spending a couple of days in Bangkok I took another flight with them to Phuket, this was only a short flight but the checking in of luggage was seamless and as on the first flight the service was good. It was a similar story on the way home, not much queuing to check in and the good thing was I only had to check in once in Phuket airport and the cases would be automatically put onto our connecting flight back to Heathrow, very handy indeed. If someone asked me what I thought of Thai Airways I would probably recommend them as a decent airline maybe not up to the same standard as the likes of BA or Virgin but overall pretty good.
I have been using Microsoft Windows Vista Business for about 6 months now and can definitely say that I prefer Windows XP. One of the main things that I noticed about Vista was how sluggish it was, the machine I am running it on is a decent spec and I really expected it to be a lot quicker. To me I haven't really found any major benefits of Vista, with it being slower it has put be off straight away. You can tweak it to look similar to XP which is what I have done, I found there are few options that you can change such as turning off the desktop ticker and the also the aero option to improve performance. Although it may get a bit annoying the enhanced security features are needed especially I suppose for some people who just install and click on anything, the UAC feature informs you when a program want to access the computer or requests permissions, this feature I believe can be turned off but I have left it on as I believe it will help prevent viruses and spyware. I have spoken to a lot of people recently who have purchased a new machine which has come with Vista installed and they are not entirely happy with either. I will continue using XP where possible and wait or Windows 7 to come out, as they seem to have improved the speed in that version.