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slender_toned
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Member since: 11.07.2010

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      15.09.2010 21:11
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      A great toaster to provide a nice warming change to your ordinary lunchtime sandwiches!

      This sandwich maker is great and always gives another way to have your lunch by toasting your sandwich instead of having it as normal. It makes quite a nice change to have a nice toasted sandwich - especially in the winter when it's cold as it helps to keep you warm with a nice cup of tea too.

      The toaster can be bought in various places and countries for around £26 or the equivalent. It's quite easy to maintain and works really well. You simply plug it into the mains and it will begin to heat up. Once it's done, the red light on the top will go off and then you can put your sandwiches in.

      You should just make your sandwiches as normal - whether it be a cheese and ham sandwich or anything else, just pop it in with the bread on either side of the filling as normal. There is no need to butter the outsides or anything - this will just make an unnecessary mess. The lining of the toaster is non-stick, which is great as you never have to worry about your sandwich being ruined, although sometimes you may need to get it from underneath with a utensil to help ease it off.

      Once the toaster has heated up, the light temporarily goes off and you can pop in your sandwich. It takes a couple of minutes to toast it well and it does tell you when it's ready by use of the light. I tend to just open the toaster every now and then to check when it's to my liking, which is a lot simpler!

      The toaster has quite a simple design. It's white so can look a bit dirty if you don't give it a wipe every now and then. The wire isn't very long either but it's long enough if you have a plug along the kitchen surface. The logo is on the top side with the red light towards the lower end. There is a handle with a good size hole for lifting, and a blue button, which must be clicked up to release the lid and open up the toaster. It clicks down when you push the lid in, which seals it in place and prevents it from popping open due to the pressure of your sandwiches in there.

      The toasting surface inside is non stick as I said before, and it has a simple square and diagonal pattern, which leaves your sandwich with a little design. It has two square spaces for sandwiches, and you may think of this as room for '4 sandwiches' when they are cut in half. I like to cut mine diagonally after they have been in the toaster rather than into rectangles. The toaster won't fit huge size bread in it, but even if a bit sticks out or into the adjacent square tray, it still gets pretty well toasted. The toaster is visible on the sides of the machine, and this can be quite a hazard when it's switched on as it gets very hot! The benefit of this is that it toasts your bread very well right up to the sides.

      It sits well on the kitchen surfaces with some stands underneath that have good grip. Once your sandwiches slide out onto your plate, you can unplug it to turn off the heat and it will then cool down within about 10 minutes. After, it's best to give it a wipe with something to get rid of any grease but apart from that, it's very easy to maintain and never needs a scrub unless something comes pouring out your sandwich in the toaster! It's a great little gadget and I'd certainly recommend it - great quality and works well.

      Thanks for reading!

      :)

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        15.09.2010 14:48
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        A good pair of swimming goggles

        I do quite a bit of swimming and I much prefer to slap on some goggles if I am doing laps as it's so much easier to see, and it seems to be easier to breathe and swim in general too. Whether you are in the sea or a pool, goggles can help keep water out your eyes so you can keep them open without them hurting, enabling you to see much better.

        I bought these goggles a while ago, along with my Speedo swimming hat. They are of great quality but they aren't perfect - perhaps I just don't like goggles. They fit round my head quite well but the rubber strap can really pull on my hair when I am positioning them, which is uncomfortable. The benefit of this is that it does grip to your head quite well.

        The straps on either side can be adjusted reasonably easily to change the length of the goggles, so it should fit all adult heads. You'd be best off buying junior ones for a child though. The goggles I have are black with a clear lens. The lens is oval-shaped and a thin rubber strip, which looks as if it could break, connects them!

        The lens itself protrudes the goggles a bit so when you are wearing them, you can look out to the side as well and your vision is not restricted. The lens itself is made of plastic, which is a lot safer than glass just in case they got smashed. The lens is reasonably thick and of good quality so I wouldn't expect it to break easily!

        The goggles have the Speedo logo round the rubber strap in a lighter colour. They look pretty good and fit well - they are as small as possible whilst still being efficient for worthwhile use. There is a soft seal, which sits around each eye and prevents water from getting in. I have found this works very effectively and water has never leaked in if I am wearing them correctly. If they are a little high or low around your eyes, water may start to leak in. This can be quite annoying depending on the situation as you then have to take them off, get the water out and put them on again!

        I can see very clearly through the goggles when swimming with my face down or getting splashed by water. My eyes themselves feel a lot better too rather than opening them under the water. However the goggles do hurt after a while around your eye due to the tight seal, but if it wasn't for this they wouldn't work! I'd recommend a pair of these for around £15 - doesn't seem very generous but they are a good pair of goggles and the quality is there. Mine have got no water marks on the lenses, which is pretty good too!

        Thanks for reading!

        :)

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          15.09.2010 08:21
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          A unique controller used to drum the beat of tunes on Donkey Konga

          We got a couple of these 'bongos' when the original Donkey Konga came out. There was a second one later released too. I originally tried them at a games festival I went to in London. It was definitely the highlight of the trip, standing up on the wooden flooring in the Donkey Kong setting and banging away at the bongos to the sound of the music.

          This was a pretty unique idea and goes very well with the whole Donkey Kong theme and games. The bongos were featured in the games before Donkey Konga was released and it's great you get a chance to actually play them yourself! They are great controllers and really unique like no other.

          The bongos can be used purely as the only controller with the game. You can select through menus by tapping both sides of the bongo at once. You can scroll through the menus by simply tapping one of the two sides. There is also a button on the front side in between the bongos, which can be pressed as a menu button to go back. The Donkey Kong logo is just below this button.

          The bongos have a plastic shell but are designed to look like proper instruments straight out the jungle! They have a wooden effect with grey parts round the bongos and they look just like two barrels. The top of the bongos has a soft covering, which is an off-white colour to blend in nicely without contrasting too much.

          The bongos work well and can survive a lot of slapping - ours never broke and we used two pairs quite a lot! Under the covers, there are little buttons, which you can feel if you give them a press with one finger. They are sensitive to light and hard touch so it doesn't matter. The bongos are also meant to be used with a clap or slap on the side of them. The point of this is to create a noise picked up by the bongos. Unfortunately, me and my brother soon found out that the microphone in the middle of the controller on top was sensitive to 'blowing', which was great for those long clapping parts in songs. For the independent clap beat, it's a lot simpler to just clap or tap the sides!

          They stay on your lap pretty well although they don't have much special grip. They are light and not too big either so fit nicely. The controller is very efficient to use and works perfectly. The RRP is £24.99 but you can buy them brand new for about £15 each online. This isn't bad at all and they can be used with a few Nintendo games.

          Thanks for reading!

          :)

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            14.09.2010 21:54
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            A great invention :)

            The Nunchuck is pretty much a necessary controller used in conjuction with the Wii Remote. It works very well and is powered off the controller, leaving your other hand free to concentrate on the controller. The Nunchuck is used in games mainly for movement so you can use the Wii Remote to aim at enemies and shoot or for other uses.

            The Nunchuck simply fits into the lower end of the Wii Remote with a unique connection. It is powered from the batteries within the Remote, but obviously causes them to drain a bit faster when using both at once. The Nunchuck can be used with left or right handed players as the Wii Remote and Nunchuck are somewhat independent of each other and you don't need to hold them a certain way round, but being right handed I use the Nunchuck in my left hand. It brings a bit of complexity to gaming but feels quite natural too compared to just one controller in both hands.

            The Nunchuck has a very smooth shape to it so it is very comfortable to hold. It's not overly large - if anything a bit on the small size for my hands, but this means it can be gripped easily by children. An analogue stick sits on the upper surface, which has a bit of grip on it, being made with a rubber coating. On the opposite side of the Nunchuck is a trigger, which is used quite often in games.

            The connections along the wire are of good quality and mine hasn't broke at all. Just like with the Remote, you can buy protective covers for the Nunchuck, which you can find online and in offline shops too. The Nunchuck makes the gaming a lot more natural as you do all your moving around with one hand and actions with the other. It has built in three axis motion sensors along with the remote, so this makes up for the lack of two analogue sticks as you can use the motion sensors to move around freely.

            It's an excellent idea and works well, and is unique to the other main stream consoles. The RRP of a Nunchuck is £14.99, but one comes with the Wii in the first place. You can find it for half the price online, so I'd recommend looking here if you want to buy a new one for a second controller. It's of great quality, simple and works well.

            Thanks for reading!

            :)

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            • Dyson DC07 PL / Vacuum Cleaner / 36 Readings / 33 Ratings
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              14.09.2010 17:37
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              An excellent hoover of great quality with good suction

              We had this vacuum cleaner quite a while ago and it was excellent. We no longer used it after moving place but it was excellent at the time. I think it is well worth buying a Dyson as they are very reliable, of great quality and work very well. The latest ones are better than this, with the ball making it easier to manouvere but this version has excellent suction and is easy to use and maintain.

              This hoover came with several attachments for all sorts of cleaning, and it can clean all floors anyway. I had a purple and green one although this model comes in a few different colours. It's a very bright machine and is really unique. It looks somewhat like a toy, and even a bit cheap but it's quite the opposite!

              The hoover comes with a long plastic attachment for getting into corners as well as a round one with hairs around the side, which can be useful for things such as keyboards or fabric. The hoover has quite a large drum and all the dirt is sucked up through into this. It can be emptied quite easily by releasing the button just to the front above the drum and lifting up the handle to take the drum off for emptying. This handle along with the top handle make it easy to manoeuvre and transport.

              The bottom part of the hoover is square and contains a few vents for suction underneath. There is a green wheel just above, which can be turned to decide which position you want the hoover in. This will be positioned according to what floor surface you want to clean, whether it be thick carpet, thin carpet or a wooden floor.

              The back of the hoover has some hooks to wrap the wire round when it's not in use. You can then use the clip on the wire to hold it all firmly in place so it sits in the cupboard nicely. There is even storage for all the tools on the hoover itself including on the back and above the drum. Most of these are quite sturdy places but one of the ones on top seems to fall off every now and then if it gets a slight knock.

              The power button is bright green just above the drum and will fire up the hoover when pressed. I have found the suction to be excellent with no loss - it picks up all fine dirt and larger bits too, leaving your floor looking great and very clean. If you want, you can lift up the handle after releasing it to reveal a bendy pipe. This is where you can attach your smaller tools to for different cleaning. The bendy pipe along with the hoover wire and also a harder extension to the pipe, you can reach the corners of rooms (even on the ceiling) with ease. The suction through this is just as excellent as when hovering normally.

              The hoover is quite nice to use - it's not too heavy although it is quite tall. It moves around smoothly and nicely thanks to the two wheels at the back. It looks wonderful and works very well. This model isn't made anymore but you can buy fully reconditioned ones for £70 on eBay, which I'd recommend if you are looking for a reliable hoover.

              Thanks for reading!

              :)

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              • Febreze Classic / Household Cleaning / 26 Readings / 25 Ratings
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                14.09.2010 14:23
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                An excellent product, which comes in handy quite often

                Febreze is an excellent product, despite the ever so slightly annoying adverts. It works really well and is the easy way to actually clean fabrics and leave them clean and smelling great. It's most effective in a smoker's house on fabrics, which may smell of smoke. It's also effective when you spill something on fabric or even if your pet has had an indoor accident!

                It comes in a light blue 1 litre bottle with a darker blue cap. It costs around £4.80 in supermarkets but may be a bit cheaper in some. It's quite expensive but can last pretty long depending on what you use it for. The cap has an ON and OFF option by the spray nozzle, which must be switched to ON before using it but this helps to prevent leaking. The spray handle is white and works very well, but it can be quite hard to get the last remaining bits of the liquid out without unscrewing the whole cap as it begins to foam up a bit at the end!

                The product is very easy to use - you can spray it directly onto fabric, which is probably best although you could use it indirectly onto a duster first. It comes out as quite a viscous foam with lots of small bubbles. Giving it a good scrub into the fabric with a sponge or something similar will give it a great clean. It can even be used on clothes to freshen them up a bit, but it will leave them slightly damp.

                When you use the spray in large amounts for example to clean a sofa, it will remain quite damp for a while and will need to air and dry out. This can be quite restricting when you want to sit down on it! It's best to open the windows in the room too, which will let it air and also help to dry the fabric quicker. Other things you can use this on include curtains, duvets, pillows, cushions, rugs, mats, car seats and more too.

                Febreze has a very light and attractive smell. It's somewhat flowery and a little sweet too. It leaves anything you use it on smelling fresh and looking clean. I'd say it's mainly a freshener for fabrics, but does clean pretty well too and can help to get dirt out. It's certainly worth having one of these in the cleaning cupboard, whether it is for the occasional accidental spill or if you need to clean some fabric! Due to it's staying power on the fabric, it will dry nicely but leave the fabric smelling lovely and fresh for a good while.

                Thanks for reading!

                :)

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              • Shuttlecocks / Discussion / 21 Readings / 21 Ratings
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                14.09.2010 08:27
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                A unique and enjoyable design for badminton

                I used to play badminton a lot at school and also as part of the David Lloyd health and fitness centre. It's a fantastic rapid sport where you can unleash your anger by smashing the unique shuttlecocks used in the game. I have bought a few different shuttlecocks in the past but Carlton ones seemed to make up the bulk of my purchases.

                The shuttlecock is a unique piece of equipment for any 'ball' game. It consists of a more dense rubber end with a net following down from this in a circular pyramid shape. The design means it flies very well and can be hit easily as the weighted rubber tip will always be at the front of the direction it is moving in.

                You can buy a variety of different shuttlecocks, which will be of different weights. According to the weight, they will travel at different speeds so you can adjust your skill to the shuttlecock, just like you can buy certain types of squash balls depending on how good you are. A standard pack of 6 Carlton medium speed balls will cost just under £10.

                The problem with shuttlecocks is that they do tend to break quite easily. This is due to the rather frail net, which lies beneath the tip. This often rips and then it may not fly as smoothly and it can be harder to hold and hit too.

                You should hold the shuttlecock by the tip of the net when serving and your elbow should always be above the level of the shuttlecock. It starts off to fly very well and can pick up great speed when smashed across the court from complete opposite ends. With the design it has, you can either reach it or not but the key is getting enough power and the correct direction to hit it over the net. If it hits the ground, the rubber bit is usually the part that takes the impact, which helps save it from being damaged but you may accidentally step on one too and break it!

                The shuttlecock is a unique piece of equipment used in badminton. I love the way they travel and find them fun to play with. They can travel very far and fast and make the sport very fun. They aren't too expensive but are a little bit more vulnerable to breakages compared to other types of balls. I'd recommend some Carlton ones as I have always used these and they have been good with the balance of quality and price.

                Thanks for reading!

                :)

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                • Vicks Vapor Inhaler / Health Product / 30 Readings / 28 Ratings
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                  13.09.2010 19:34
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                  A good product well worth using for colds, allergies or hay fevere

                  I have used this previously when I had a cold and it certainly helps to clear my nose and system by providing quite a strong and relieving scent in my nose. It works fast and pretty effectively although at times it can take a few sniffs to work. It also looks like you are sniffing drugs at points so doesn't give across the ideal look!

                  The product comes in a plastic container on a cardboard background. It says it gives fast relief from nasal congestion used for colds, hay fever and allergies. It is easy to get out the packaging by ripping off the cardboarc background. The product itself is in a plastic tube with a round end, shaped rather like a missile!

                  It has a blue label with a white VapoInhaler logo on it. You simply pull off the cap and place it up each nostril at a time before taking a deep sniff. You should cover the other nostril whilst you do this as it makes it easier to take up. Once done, you should do the same with the opposite nostril until they are both cleared.

                  The product works very well and relatively quickly but I found when I was very congested that it took a few sniffs to release the congestion. It's an excellent quick relief but does leave your nose smelling of the stuff, which smells very strong like a hospital. You soon get used to the smell if you are using it regularly and it doesn't seem to lurk around too badly.

                  It's of an ideal size as you can discretely fit it in your pocket or bag without it being noticed. It isn't the best thing to use in public as it's a bit weird putting it up your nose to use it and taking a sniff - looks like you are doing drugs too! Anyhow, it's a great and simple invention, which has been out for a long time. The product works by delivering into 800ml of air 0.04 - 0.15 mg of levmetamfetamine. It should not be used more than once every 2 hours and there are specific guidelines. It shouldn't be used with children under the age of two at all, and those aged two to six should consult a doctor with you to check if they are eligible for use! Children 6-12 can have 1 inhalation each nostril and adults can have 2 inhalations each nostril, although I sometimes need to take three. It may not work instantly but if you take 2 and wait a minute, your nasal passage will begin to clear anyway as it shrinks the swollen membranes and begins to work.

                  I'd recommend this product - it's very useful if you are prone to a blocked nose if you have an allergy or hay fever. It's ideal for when you get a cold too. It doesn't seem to have long-lasting power if you don't use it for a few months and it has been taken out the packet, so unless you have a chronic condition, it seems to be a product used on the occasion of a cold and no other.

                  Thanks for reading!

                  :)

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                    13.09.2010 09:17
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                    A good digital thermometer, which seems to be accurate with a 1 decimal point display

                    We bought one of these thermometers a while ago from Boots and it's in our first aid kit. It's quite good for clarifying high temperatures signifying some sort of infection. It comes in a little box with a picture of a sick child in bed on it. It's not the nicest image for a thermometer but certainly signifies its use! The box is bright turquoise and can easily be spotted in store.

                    It's only available in Boots either online or offline. You can even order one online to pick up in store, but it'll post probably be in stock anyway. It costs £8.99, which is a pretty fair price and not too expensive for the quality of the product. It's very easy to operate and safe to use as well thanks to the lack of any glass and mercury, which may not go down so well with a child, quite literally!

                    Anyhow, the tip of the thermometer has a metal covering and this can be inserted under the tongue. This thermometer can only be used for oral or axillary (under your arm in the arm pit) measurements. For tympanic (ear), forehead and other measurements, you will need other types of thermometers. I guess you could even use this one to get a rectal temperature but then again I certainly wouldn't want that going in my mouth after use! For a generally accurate temperature, it can safely be used under the tongue.

                    You simply press the button and pop it under the tongue. Soon enough it will take the temperature within about 20 seconds and it beeps. You can then read the temperture in degrees celcius. It should be around 38°C or just below. A higher temperature could indicate an infection, which may need medication depending on whether it is bacterial or viral. Nevertheless, it can certainly help to put your mind at rest!

                    The thermometer should be wiped down after with an anti-bacterial wipe - you'd be surprised at the amount of bacteria in your mouth! It's then safe to go back in the box and be used another time. It seems to be quite accurate and this one is very safe to use. The digital display gives the reading clearly and is easy to read. It has a long life battery too so you shouldn't ever need to replace it, but over time the screen display may fade a bit. It's very easy to use and can be given to children or adults or babies to check their temperature! I'd recommend having one of these handy as they can help to indicate whether your symptoms are due to a possible infection.

                    Thanks for reading!

                    :)

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                      12.09.2010 21:15
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                      A great durable case to fit most camcorders pretty well

                      I use this case to protect my Sony camcorder, having realised it was pretty important to protect it whilst out and about. It's a great case and mine fits in there pretty well being a compact Sony handycam. The case is very durable and of excellent quality. Personally I don't think it has the looks, but considering I have an expensive bit of kit in there, I'd rather have it protected well than having an amazing looking case! It doesn't look terrible and I like the two-tone colour scheme.

                      You can buy the case in either all black or brown, which also has a beige part to it. The case is made of a soft but very sturdy material and the inside is not going to scratch your camcorder thanks to the elimination of any zips sticking through. It's designed very well thanks to this and provides ample protection. There are three additional pockets in addition to the main holder for your camcorder.

                      On the top, the main section for your camcorder opens with two strong zips either side and there is also a clip to undo. Inside are two sections, split by a soft divider. You can squeeze your camcorder into one of these slots and it will sit in place comfortably and it doesn't move around much at all.

                      On either side are two more pockets, which have elastic fittings to help keep stuff in place. These are very useful to store things such as cables or slightly larger accessories so you can keep all your camcorder accessories in one place with the camcorder itself. There is even a smaller pocket on the back, which I use to keep my cleaning cloth in for the lens and screen.

                      The bag has a dark brown colour round the bulk of it with a beige part up the middle where you open it up with the two zips either side to place your camcorder inside. A Case Logic logo lies just at the bottom of this beige strip and it looks quite smart. A strong strap fits round the bag, clipping onto either side. It can be adjusted and is ideal for keeping the case round your neck or horizontally over your shoulder. As well as this, there is a handle built onto the top so you can carry it optimally without it drooping down too much!

                      The zips have another tone of beige/brown, which is lighter to add a bit more colour to the bag. All the zips, clips and materials are of great quality and very durable. I have only slightly dropped my case a short distance with my camcorder in and it was fine after. More importantly it helps to protect it from the simple scratches and bumps that it may otherwise endure. With such an expensive item inside, I'd recommend getting a case like this for your camcorder.

                      I never particularly loved the look at first, possibly because it doesn't appeal to me as a teenager! Anyhow, I did get used to it and like it a lot more than I did now. It is well organised and you can fit lots of stuff in it - the case isn't too heavy in itself either at 340g. It has dimensions of 16.5 cm x 14.6 cm x 15.2 cm comes with an amazing 25 year guarantee, which is unbeatable! This case is available for just £3.44 on Amazon.co.uk having just looked! This is a real bargain and I'd definitely recommend it.

                      Thanks for reading!

                      :)

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                        12.09.2010 18:21
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                        A great camcorder for stylish video recording

                        I have had this camcorder for quite a long time and it served me well but I haven't used it in ages! It's quite compact and very efficient to use. It works well and has some nice specifications. Made by Sony, it's very reliable and of great quality. It cost about £300 at the time but I got it as a present from a few people. It comes in a large blue Sony box with a good image of the camcorder and some of the features but it isn't full of information.

                        The camcorder is packaged well with adapters to charge the camcorder and also connect it to your computer for importing videos and editing them. You can also connect it to your television to view your videos on a big screen with the red, yellow and white cables. The camcorder isn't too heavy to hold but it isn't the lightest device. I'd recommend a bag to keep it safe in and to prevent it from getting scratched.

                        The camera has a chrome finish to it along with grey and silver parts to make it look ultra modern. The camera has a 10x optical zoom along with a 640x digital zoom. It has super steady shot technology meaning it captures movement very well to a great quality. It even has a nightshot function where you can film in the dark (with the classic green tinted view). On the left hand side of the camera are buttons to switch the screen's back light on and off as well as display the battery and other information. You can see how far through the tape you are as well as an image of the battery power.

                        On the left hand side, the screen flips out after simply pushing down the clip which says 'open'. Once opened out, you can turn the screen up and down slightly by tilting it to suit your view. You can even flip it fully all the way round and it'll automatically adjust the image so that the person being filmed can see what you are filming. This is ideal for blogs or filming yourself or others so they can see if they are in frame. On the inside of where the screen pops out is a reset button, where you can stick a pin in to reset settings.

                        The screen is actually a touch screen, which works really well. It is quite responsive to touch and you can access all the settings on there for videos. The main controls are on the back side where you view the camera from. There is a little wheel, which clicks into one of three positions at a time. The top is for ordinary filming, and you'll be able to press the red record button here, which clicks to give you some tactile feedback and it'll begin recording. The middle setting is actually the off location, where you should keep it when not using the camera! The bottom position is the place where you can view your video that you have recorded. You can rewind, fast forward and watch it through from here on the screen or even through the camera's cinematic scope.

                        There is a lithium ion battery on the back, which protrudes the device a bit. This isn't really the greatest of designs but means you can easily remove it using the little clip labelled 'BATT' to release it and pull it off. You can charge the battery with the included cable using the 'DC IN' port just above the record button and triple position wheel. The bottom of the camera isn't too interesting but has a sliding switch, which opens up the tape holder. Providing there is battery, once opened, the tape holder automatically raises out and flips open to reveal the tape. From here you can easily release it and stick in a new one. It's quite a good mechanism and works well. It's also very efficient as it's mostly automatic.

                        This camcorder is designed for right handed people with the hand strap on the right side. It's fitted very well and doesn't hang off too far. It will still fit all hands and can be adjusted with the strap. It has a very comfortable large pad to one side with a Sony logo on the outside. This helps to comfort your hand whilst holding it and also helps prevent drops! The pad is done up with Velcro and simply comes undone to adjust the strap length. When your hand is through, it fits very snugly and your fingers are positioned exactly with your index finger situated by the zoom and photo buttons and your middle and ring fingers seated comfortably on a well-positioned indent. It's very stable to hold and enables you to get a good video.

                        The zoom button works extremely well. It's very smooth and has a few levels of sensitivity as you can tell when zooming in and out. You have to be quite light-handed when using it through to prevent overly fast movements zooming in and out. A grey photo button is also situated towards the top, which can take a still shot to add to your video, which can certainly be quite useful. For example you may have reached a new destination on your holiday - a fine example may be a shot of the 'Welcome To The Fabulous Las Vegas' sign! From then onwards, you can film the wonders that extend beyond the border!

                        The camera has a cinematic eye piece, which you can view comfortably with one eye. It has a soft rubber-coated shell on it for comfort and displays a black and white image at the end. It looks simply amazing, just like you are sitting at the back of a cinema. Due to this, I sometimes prefer to film through here, and with the camera by your eye, you tend to keep it a lot stiller making sure you don't stab yourself in the eye! On the right hand side of the camera towards the top is a nightshoot button, which slides to OFF or ON. Below is a cover taken up with your nails to reveal many more connections for hooking your camera up to computers, TVs and whatever else.

                        It's an excellent camera and the quality is great. Whilst watching back videos on the camera, you can admire the stereo sound from the front of the camera, where left and right mini speakers sit. The screen gives a pretty high quality picture too with 800,000 pixels on the 2.5" screen. The lens is made by Carl Zeiss, which seems to be utilised in Sony camcorders and is of great quality. It has a lovely shiny silver surrounding to it. The battery can last with stamina for up to 12 hours if you keep the screen pressed in and use the eyepiece. This is quite excellent. It will charge fully in a matter of hours, but it seems to take a bit longer than it would to fully charge a mobile phone for example.

                        With USB streaming, you can send videos straight to your computer for editing and further work. Despite being a bit old at the moment, it's still a very capable and advanced camcorder. It's very efficient to use and has everything you need on it with a vast range of settings for focusing, exposure, volume, brightness and more. You can also set the date and time, which can be on your videos if you choose. Included with the camera within the box, you have:

                        - AC adapter
                        - Rechargeable battery pack
                        - A/V connecting cable (stereo)
                        - USB cable
                        - CD-ROM
                        - Cleaning cloth

                        The cleaning cloth is nice and soft and works well for the Carl Zeiss lens and screen too. The screen has a different surface to a touch screen phone for example, and thanks to this it doesn't seem to display fingerprints all over it. Overall it's an excellent camera and I'd certainly recommend it. I have not used it in a while but I think I may do again soon! It takes standard digital video cassettes, which it records on. Using the camera or with another device, you can play the videos from these discs or simply get them onto your computer using the other included accessories. It produces a great quality video, is a joy to use and very comfortable and well-designed with a nice look.

                        Thanks for reading!

                        :)

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                          12.09.2010 14:49
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                          A useful tool for those keeping an eye on sugar levels or for diabetics

                          As a budding medical student, I am quite fond of taking care of myself and others around the house! As part of our medical set, we have a glucose monitor, which can be a useful indicator for several problems, and is also ideal for simply monitoring your sugar levels to prevent diabetes, or for those with diabetes. It's quite a simple device to use and the price is just right but you do have to pay a lot more for the new testing strips - just like when you have to buy more cartridges for a printer, that's the expense!

                          The device came in a cardboard box, which was easy to open and contained the main monitor along with some testing strips and a thumb sticker loaded with 6 lancets. You simply prick yourself to get a little bit of blood out upon squeezing, let the drop go onto the testing stick and then insert it into the machine. The strips have little chips in them to keep the data recorded on them once they go in.

                          The thumb sticker is quite simple to use - you just press the button at the top once it's pressed firmly on your skin. There is a specific location you should get blood from, which is on your thumb on the side of it beside the nail. A prick here should get enough blood going. If you have any problems (you shouldn't as you only need a little drop), try warming your hands first and also holding your arm and hand down whilst giving it a little squeeze. The prick doesn't really hurt much and with some regular use you get used to it anyway!

                          You simply stick it in the machine with the microchip facing inwards and it takes the reading. You can either have the reading in mmol/l or mg/dl. Around 80-110 mg/dl is normal or 4.4-6.1 mg/dl. The machine works very quickly in about 5 seconds of putting the chip in and it's easy to use. It stores short term memory of results so you can always view these.

                          It's not really too painful to use and is quite useful for just £10.99. The expense is for the new testing strips with the chips as they cost around £24 for 50 strips, so it's pretty much 50p a strip! When you are using this regularly with a diabetic, I imagine the costs must add up extremely quickly. It's useful to have at home though and can go towards a set of objects for simple self-medical diagnoses!

                          Thanks for reading!

                          :)

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                          • Philips DVD 701 / DVD Player / 25 Readings / 24 Ratings
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                            12.09.2010 13:51
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                            A nice and reliable DVD and CD player

                            I've had this player quite a while but only recently used it as I usually just use my Xbox 360 for DVDs. It's a pretty good standard DVD player, is easy to use and can also play CDs. The DVD player is quite a large one actually, certainly not the smallest. It's silver and looks pretty modern however.

                            You can buy one for around £45 nowadays. Ours came with a black remote, which has a slight hour-glass shape. On the top of the remote is a keypad along with a red power button, which can be used to switch the player on from your seat. Below are menu buttons and ones for directing yourself around the menus. The very bottom buttons are for controlling your music with a Philips logo right at the bottom of the remote. The remote is pretty small and fits in the hand well. The buttons are rubber-coated and very responsive as well as the DVD player to input.

                            On the back is a battery holder. The remote takes 2 AA batteries, which came with our package and last a long time! An infra-red sensor on the remote is used to send signals to the DVD player. The box itself is quite large and has a silver colour to it. There is a large black screen on the front, which displays in crystal digital writing information to help guide you through the menus and it also displays times of the DVD and music you are listening to.

                            To the left of the front face is a standby button, which is used in conjuction with the remote to quickly switch it on. On the right hand side are buttons to change the sound output (e.g. to surround sound) as well as a circular section with play, previous and next buttons. Pause and stop buttons lie just below to either side with an open and close button for the disc tray. There is no eject button on the remote, which is a bit of a drawback but you need to approach the DVD player anyway to enter a DVD or CD!

                            The menus are a bit plain but not too bad. They are easy to navigate such as when you stick a CD in and you can change track using the remote and menus. The remote sits nicely on any surface really with four large stands to keep it a bit off the surface. The DVD player is complete with Dolby Surround Sound and various other features making it pretty good. The DVD quality has always been great and it runs them very smoothly without problems. It comes with a cable to hook up the player from the back of it to your TV. Apart from this, you must simply plug in the power cable for the DVD player separately.

                            For the price it's at, it's a pretty good DVD player to buy - reliable and of good quality. It looks quite nice in a chrome/silver colour and the large black screen contrasts nicely with the vivid white display shown on it. It's a little bit on the large size and a tiny bit heavy too but it looks alright in the lounge amongst other equipment below the television. I'd recommend one although it's not the latest model so you may want to buy a newer one.

                            Thanks for reading!

                            :)

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                          • World's Sharpest Knife / Kitchenware / 41 Readings / 41 Ratings
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                            10.09.2010 15:46
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                            A good all round kitchen knife

                            We have a couple of these knives and have had them for a few years now, proving that they are quite reliable and lasting. They come with a lifetime guarantee anyway so you should be satisfied! They cost around £20 each though - quite expensive. The knife is meant to be the sharpest in the world. I wouldn't go touching it but I haven't found it to be overly sharp.

                            The edge is actually slightly serrated and in my opinion this loses the knife's sharpness. However on a positive side, it makes it a lot better for cutting through a larger variety of things from bread to fish and tougher meat. The handles are plastic and grey. They are of quite a good size but the quality isn't that great and the attachment to the blade is a tiny bit bendy to the sides, so it's obviously not fixed in place well enough.

                            However these knives do perform excellently. They have a couple of sharp pricks on the end, used for picking up things such as bits of cheese, or even piercing packaging or food. The quality of the blade is excellent but it's just not fitted into the handle as securely as some of our other knives. The knife is comfortable to hold however thanks to the well-shaped handle.

                            The best way to use the knife is let the blade do all the action. Lightly pressing it on the food and doing a 'sawing motion' will get it cut in no time. There is no point putting loads of pressure on, as it doesn't feel as sturdy anyway due to the blade's attachment to the handle. The knife does give way a bit though because of this, so shouldn't get stuck in anything.

                            I have cut myself accidentally with a few knives and this was one of them. You should be very careful when using it and always try to face it away from you and judge with great care when it may jerk into your hands whilst cutting something! It left me with a deep cut but it wasn't too bad! You certainly shouldn't use it for skinning potatoes for example, but it can be used to simply cut things such as bread, fish, chicken, beef, pork, lamb, cakes, pies and more as well as raw meat. The strength is all in the blade so let it do the work! I'd recommend one of these for your kitchen but it's not necessary.

                            Thanks for reading!

                            :)

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                              10.09.2010 08:31
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                              An excellent sharp kitchen knife with two different blades

                              I don't have one of these in my bathroom like my Wahl electric shaver, or I might get them confused and saw my face off. However we do have one in the kitchen and it's quite a little gadget. Wahl seem to be quite a good make for electric goods and they are reasonably priced for the quality they possess.

                              The knife comes in a long box with some instructions, the main part along with two knife sets. One knife has quite a fine serrated edge and the other has a more obvious serrated edge, probably best for tougher meat. The knife is excellent for all kinds of meat and food cutting, but ideal for roast beef joints and other large joints.

                              The knife works really well by vibrating back and forth very quickly to cut through meat. This fast action along with the sharp blades makes it cut meat ever so easily! The holder has a plastic cover so doesn't show up as marked/scratched/damaged too easily.

                              There is a button on top to start the knife up, and there is also a safety lock button, which prevents it from being switched on, which is certainly a safe feature! You simply plug it straight into the mains and cut away, but should obviously keep the plug away from water that may be around.

                              We tend to always use the largely serrated knife as the other one seems better for more tender meat or thinner cuts. It works at a very good speed and the knives fit in place well to be steady so they don't vibrate from side to side to much, which leads to a neater cut. You can buy one of these for around £25 and they are certainly worth the buy. The quality is there and they do a good job. They are easy and pretty safe to use and the knives can be washed manually or in the dishwasher.

                              Thanks for reading!

                              :)

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