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thingymabob
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Member since: 28.07.2010

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    • Panasonic DMR-EX769 / DVD Recorder / 9 Readings / 8 Ratings
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      21.04.2011 21:10
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      An average HDD recorder, with a DVD player built in

      This device is basically designed around a family, you can use it for a multitude of tasks, these being watching DVDs, watching Freeview HD channels or recording HD tv.

      The device can only tune into one freeview channel at a time, which means it can't record a separate channel at the same time as you watch one. This is a downside as most devices like this do have that feature. However, it is still really useful for making recordings of HD tv so that other members of the family can watch later on in the day, or on a different day if they wish.

      As for the DVD part of the device, it plays region 2 discs and does it as well as any DVD player. The remote control deserves a special mention as it is really easy to use and you can use it to do everything without any hassle. Unfortunately we are living in an era when blu ray discs are becoming more and more popular and DVD discs are a lot less used. This presents a problem for users of this device as within a few years I estimate that it will become out of date and the dvd feature will only be needed for watching old copies of films which will have been replaces by blu ray versions.

      Overall I think you are better of purchasing a different HDD recording device for the same price, even if it's one without the DVD features as most people already have a means of playing these and they are soon to be out of date. Other devices have separate tuners built in and this allows you to watch one channel whilst recording another one, this is much more useful as it allows you to watch a show whilst another one records that you also wish to see.

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        21.04.2011 21:00
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        Good speakers for small rooms, great surround sound

        It's no secret that I'm a fan of cheaper supermarket own brands, especially ASDA who seem to keep the quality of their products as high as the top end names, including this one which I currently have installed in the bedroom.

        There are five mini speakers and one main speaker to this device, the main speaker is more or less just for the bass sound and I find it only works well if you keep one of the smaller speakers quite close to it, as for the other four they come with long wires and small clips to attach them to the wall. The best layout is to have them around the room, preferably towards the ceiling, in order to get the complete surround sound effect that comes from a cinema.

        When in use with a TV (especially a big HD one!) these speakers really help make a great in cinema experience from home. However they can also be attached quite easily to a computer, all you need is a scar to 3mm jack converter which can be pretty easily picked up. I am currently using it with a computer I find that when listening to music and shows from iTunes the experience is excellent.

        Overall these are great speakers, more suited to smaller rooms or office settings than the actual family living space. They create a great cinema like environment and I whole heartedly suggest that you use these speakers rather than paying a ridiculous amount for higher priced brands.

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      • LG GW300 / Smartphone / 3 Readings / 2 Ratings
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        21.04.2011 20:54

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        A good looking phone, but it's near impossible to use the qwerty keyboard

        it's clear from the start that this phone was designed to compete with the Blackberry range of mobiles, and it is aesthetically pleasing to the eye, in my personal opinion it has a better design than the Blackberry - however when handling it it becomes obvious that the phone is made of cheaper material than the actual things, and it isn't as shiny.

        Unfortunately the qwerty keyboard, which is the main feature of this type of device, is completely useless for anyone who isn't a munchkin. It requires you to have the smallest fingers imaginable to hit the correct keys, something which I personally found completely impossible.

        The features of the phone are quite acceptable, it doesn't have 3G internet capabilities, but neither does the phone it's modeled on and the web is quite fast. There are a number of websites built into the interface as applications however there are no extra applications that can be installed to make it a true smart phone.

        In short, this is a great low cost phone for those wanting to have a la mode phones, but it does lack in both features and usability (of which there is none). If you are cash strapped then I can see why you would go for this phone, otherwise there are much better ones on the market.

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      • Sony KDL-37W5500 / LCD TV / 2 Readings / 2 Ratings
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        21.04.2011 20:47

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        A great TV for those wanting to switch to digital HD.

        The new Sony KDL37EX5050 is an absolutely fabulous television. it has HD freeview plus built in and on the 37" HD screen it is amazing to watch your favourite shows on the freely available HD channels. The sound quality is perfect, the screen quality is perfect and the features are perfect.

        There isn't anything bad that I can say about this device, and it's not at a bad price either. In the mid hundreds in most stores and I have found a lot of shops offering ''buy now pay later'' deals on this television, which is good as you can pay in smaller packages.

        I first tested this TV just to see what it was like, and immediately decided to use it as my main set. It fills a huge portion of the room and stands out, visitors always comment on it. Additionally I have chosen to scrap my digital TV subscription and I am just using the Freeview HD capabilities of this tele.

        If you are looking for a large screen HD tv with extra features then I would advise getting this one, it looks great when being used as a standalone TV, great when being used using a blu ray player and great when being used with gaming devices. There really is nothing that this HD device fails on.

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        21.04.2011 20:39

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        A great little low cost toaster for those who don't use it too much

        This toaster, despite being Sainsbury's own brand, is actually really good! It is lightweight, which isn't surprising as it is a cheap device at only £6.00 in most stores. That is a good thing however as you can carry it around with you without trouble.

        During use the toaster heats up quite quickly, within two or three minutes you can use the toaster. It's simple to use, all you have to do is pop the toastie in the centre and close the lid. It takes about three minutes to brown the bread, and after that it's ready to eat. The instructions that come with the device suggest that you spread the outsides of the toastie with butter before cooking, however the surface of the toaster is non stick anyway, so there is no need for the butter if you prefer not to have it.

        The one small problem with the device is that it seems to hold heat for a long time after being turned off, even with the lid wide open in a cool room it stays quite hot for a couple of hours. This is slightly dangerous as you may forget it's hot and touch it, and trying to clean it whilst it is still warm is a bad idea as from experience I find it burns the cloth and melts it, causing it to stick to the surface.

        If you wish to get a low cost toastie maker, then there's no need to splash out on one of the more expensive ones on the market. Just nip down to your nearest sainsbury's and get this one!

        (Just as a side note the one that I bought seems to be an updated version of the one in the picture, however the features are all the same and it is only the aesthetics that have changed)

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      • HTC Desire / Smartphone / 6 Readings / 3 Ratings
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        28.01.2011 15:42
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        Ok, but not worth the price

        The HTC Desire is advertised as a high end smartphone with Android installed and access to a variety of apps. This is true, however there are features of the phone that do not work properly and are laggy. Therefore I feel it isn't worth the price that is charged.

        The phone looks great, and the on screen animations are good. The menus are easy to navigate and the touch screen is responsive. Calls are clear and the sound quality of the device is quite good for a phone.

        The problem with this phone is the battery, despite displaying a half full battery charge the device can shut itself down and refuse to switch back on until being recharged. This is an extreme problem when using apps which use more power, as first they become laggy, then non responsive and finally the device shuts down.

        I feel that for a phone of such a high price there should be warning signs (which there are, but they don't work half the time as the battery just vanished) Just to confirm I am not the only person who has experienced this, I have asked others (including customers who have bought the phone and returned it) if they have experienced the battery problem and they all told me that they had to varying degrees. This suggests to me that all of the phones have the problem, at least slightly. Or should I say they all have the potential for the problem to develop as lots of people haven't experienced it (yet!).

        Overall it's a great high end smartphone and does it's job well, until the battery decides it has ran out and everything goes to pot.

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        • More +
          28.01.2011 15:34

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          A perfect little mouse for carrying around

          Anyone who uses a laptop for work will know that the mouse on the device gets extremely frustrating to use and irritates your finger after a while. Therefore carrying a mini mouse such as the USB connecting optical one that Sweex produce is a good idea.

          Personally I have two of these, one that I use and one for a spare that I keep at home. I bought two as I knew Sweex was a brand known for making cheap products - but therefore the products were of cheap quality. I needn't have bothered, there is really nothing wrong with this mouse. It isn't cheaply made and feels as solid as any other brand that I have used.

          The mouse itself is extremely small and at first will feel strange to those people used to using only a full sized mouse, it will seem like the cursor is shooting super fast around the screen. But you will get used to it.

          The mouse simply connects via the USB port of a computer or laptop and works straight away, I have used it with Windows 7, XP and Ubuntu - I assume therefore that it works with Windows Vista and other forms of Linux.

          I advise that you get one of these if you use a laptop for work, or simply for those of you who use a laptop an awful lot.

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          28.01.2011 15:27
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          A good phone for the younger generation

          This phone is a member of the Samsung Genio range, which are a family of phones designed for youngsters who wish to use mobile internet, send texts and make cheap calls. This is the touchscreen variation of the phone and therefore has no keyboard, instead the screen is used to input data and numbers.

          The phone has a cartoon background, which shows a watch on the wrist of a walking guy - this is quite funky in my opinion and it's nice to see an animated background on a phone. It is extremely easy to use this phone, all of the controls are on the screen and appear when available allowing you to touch different visual aids to change certain options.

          The phone looks extremely trendy, with changeable back covers which come free with the phone - others can be bought also - apart from the three control buttons, volume control and power button there is no other form of button on the phone, making it look modern and simplistic.

          The camera also has a camera, however the quality isn't too great as it's only 2mbp. As for the sound quality it's OK but nothing special.

          This is a great phone for youngsters who want a touchscreen phone at an affordable price, but aren't too worried about the sound or photo features.

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        • Samsung GT B3210 Genio / Mobile Phone / 7 Readings / 3 Ratings
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          28.01.2011 15:20
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          A great phone for youngsters that doesn't cost too much

          The Samsung Genio family of phones were developed with youth in mind, they are colourful phones with changeable back panels. This phone, the Genio QWERTY, stands out from the other members of the family as it has a full QWERTY keyboard rather than a traditional set of mobile telephone numbers. This makes it quick and easy to write text messages, e-mails and surf the web. However the keys on this phone do not have a gap between them like the Blackberry and Orange Rio - which makes it more difficult to type with and may slow you down. On the bright side there is a pre-installed game on the device that trains you to use the keyboard at a higher pace, and with more accuracy.

          As well as this main feature it is clear that the phone is designed for use with mobile internet, although it does not have 3G capabilities, for example the mobile versions of Facebook, MySpace, Photobucket and other popular social networking websites are already linked to the main page. This makes it quick and easy to log on and update your status.

          Calls on the phone are also high quality, with a clear speaker to use during conference calls. The camera isn't much to write home about, it is 2mbp and can record video - however the quality is quite low.

          Overall I feel that the phone is aimed at youngsters who want to text, surf the internet and make calls. And it does all of these things really well. The majority of people already have a high quality camera that is separate to the phone and therefore the low quality of photos isn't too much of an issue. Also this phone can be fond for as little as £55 on PAYG and therefore won't break the bank.

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          • Tesco Value BB-060 / Portable Radio / 10 Readings / 8 Ratings
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            06.11.2010 16:17
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            A great CD and radio player for those of us on a budget!

            Working in an office can often be tiresome and a little boring, for that reason me and my colleagues decided to put the money together to buy a radio, after going to Tesco we went for this CD player as it was cheap and had all the functionality that we would require.

            The sound quality is somewhere between average and high quality, it's nothing special but there definitely aren't any problems with it. The volume is quite loud and to blast music around the whole office we only have to turn it up to about 50%, which compared other CD players that I have used in the past is actually quite loud.

            As for the radio, the primary reason that we purchased this product. it takes a little bit of playing to get the frequency and tune perfect but once you have it is perfectly clear.

            As well as being useful inside a large room, such as an office, this player works well outdoors. I experienced this recently at a promotional barbecue, to which we took this player and a selection of CDs. Although it was too quite to play deafening music to a yard full of people it was definitely sufficient for providing a nice ambience and fortunately the bass isn't overpowering when the player is at full volume (which is only too common with other cheap players which are manufactured, I would assume, cheaply).

            As for the ease of use there really isn't much to say, there aren't many controls to be dealing with and the ones that are there are more than easy to understand and use. There is of course an instruction 'manual' which consists of one sheet of paper containing the necessary information.

            Overall I advise that if you want a cheap, yet functional, cd/radio player then this is a fine choice, especially if it is to be used around the house or office.

            Just to add, I have forgotten exactly how much this cost as I only provided a proportion of the money to go towards it. But it is certainly less than £20.

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          • Tesco JKL36 / Kettle / 5 Readings / 2 Ratings
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            26.08.2010 21:14

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            A good cheap kettle that is good but not perfect

            I got this kettle from a friend for use in a mobile home, it is a very attractive kettle and looks very stylish in the kitchen.

            When I came to use this for the first time I was greeted by an easy to use device, extremely similar to most other kettles. It has a round base that contains the plug for the wall socket and also the main kettle which sits on top and connects without any wires. it has a clear long window that allows you to see inside the water jug as it boils.

            It is a bit slow to boil, taking longer than most kettles in my opinion (although in general I use the more expensive models that are available and therefore may have higher expectations) it can take anything up to five minutes to boil a FULL kettle of water, which is what I normally do for drinks for everyone.

            Apart from that it is a pretty standard kettle, good looking but slow. One advantage and one disadvantage. Therefore I can only advise this kettle as it is pretty standard.

            However, I have read a lot of reviews about how this kettle apparently leaks, personally I am yet to experience this and if I do then I will edit my review accordingly. Until then I am to assume that this is a perfectly water proof device.

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          • John Lewis U-H3801 Steam Iron / Iron / 6 Readings / 5 Ratings
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            26.08.2010 21:03

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            A cheap as chips basic iron

            I was given this iron second hand from a family member as I needed one for use in a caravan without carrying my own backwards and forwards every weekend, this iron is perfect for the jobs I use it for which is light use on everything from jeans to underwear and it seems to work well with anything.

            This is a basic iron, I won't lie, but it does everything that it's more expensive counterparts do. It irons. That's all you really need.

            In terms of the ease of use it is very simple to fill with water, you simply stand it upright and pour it in, a lot easier than some other irons which hide the holes in impossible to reach places.

            It heats up quickly and releases a decent amount of steam, ironing clothes isn't as fast as it could be but it doesn't take too long either. It is also comfortable to hold and use and is well designed.

            I advise you get this iron if you are either strapped for cash or looking for a secondary iron for use as a back up or for holidaying etc.

            This is a good high value simple to use iron.

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          • Sony ICD SX850DR / Dictaphone / 6 Readings / 6 Ratings
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            08.08.2010 00:44
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            A great, high end dictaphone that does everything well

            I bought this dictaphone recently in order to assess the difference in quality between my previously used cheaper version and the more expensive models that are on the market.

            I can't deny that I was extremely impressed. My old dictaphone had amazing quality and didn't cost too much, I used to be impressed by the amount of breathing that it managed to pick up whilst in use. This takes things to another level, the sound quality is absolutely perfect, there isn't a single sound that passes by this product without being picked up, recorded and saved.

            It also has a lot more flash memory than I am used to, meaning that there is no need to immediately remove the files from the handset in order to make space for more.

            Another feature that I love is the microphone directionality settings, you can 'aim' the recording power of the mic towards certain people or groups, or just set it to capture every sound in the vicinity. This makes your recording versatile and avoids picking up unwanted sound.

            As for interference it doesn't seem to exist at all, the hardware here seems a lot more advances that what I am used to in cheaper models and works well to only capture the things that need to be captures, not the useless pieces of interference which have always been an annoyance.

            Overall I advise that those of you considering upgrading to more expensive dictaphones such as this one should make the move as you will undoubtedly be extremely impressed with the improved quality and usability of this.

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          • More +
            08.08.2010 00:39

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            A simple easy to use product that can help you share your musical tastes

            If you need to use more than one set of headphones with a single source, such as a computer or iPod then this is the product that you need to get, it does the job really well.

            There are lots of headphone splitters on the market and they all do the same thing, the problem is most of them lost a lot of sound quality every time an extra headset it plugged into the product. This doesn't have that problem and although the sound does decrease slightly, the quality remains just as high.

            You can add up to four extra sets of headphones plus the original pair that you would be using anyway - that's a total of five that can be used at once. That is pretty good (however you will lose a lot of volume whilst using them all so I avoid any more than two or three).

            This product doesn't have any extra features, they aren't needed though as it works well without them. One might opine that extra features would be useful, or detrimental to the overall product. That is for you to decide.

            All I can say is that this product does what it is designed for and it does it well, extremely well in fact and for this reason I recommend this product to any potential buyers. The best part is that you can get it for £5!

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            08.08.2010 00:32

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            Does what it is designed for, could be better

            If you've read my other reviews then you know I still love my CDs. Therefore this product is ideal for me and those of you who still use CDs and may want a portable storage solution.

            This product does what it says on the tin, which is keep your CDs safe at the same time as being tidy and organized. The product is very sturdy, made completely out of steel and protecting the contents perfectly, if you drop this there is no chance of damage to the contents.

            The only problem is the size, if you want to take this on an aeroplane then it isn't going to do your weight or space restricted luggage any favours, and therefore it could prove to be a problem for you.

            However, it is good value for money and does the job it is made to do which is keep your discs safe and secure, therefore there are very few complaints that you can make against this.

            Another thing I would like to mention is that this product is easy to clean, not that you will need to do that often as you can just give it a quick dusting but if you spill anything on it it is easy to wipe off, and of course it protects the contents from the spillage.

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