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Gary Coupe (Nottingham, England)

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AmazonBasics 2-Port USB Car Charger with 2.1 Amp Output in Black
AmazonBasics 2-Port USB Car Charger with 2.1 Amp Output in Black
Price: £6.99

3.0 out of 5 stars There are undoubtedly superior adapters available, 2 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Not a lot can be said for this product. Plug in to your cars 'cigarette lighter' socket, and you then have a pair of USB power sockets.

I have only ever used one USB socket at a time, and it provides a Samsung Galaxy S3 with enough juice to charge when idle. When using Google Maps Navigation, the battery level stays virtually constant (i.e it doesn't charge, but the battery doesn't run-down either).

There are undoubtedly superior adapters available, but for the price, this is ideal for ensuring that your phone doesn't quickly run outof juice wwhilst in the car. Of course, it depends on how intensively used your device is.

Overall? No complaints.

Asus VS248HR 24 inch 1 ms Gaming Monitor, 1920 x 1080, HDMI, DVI, VGA, 250 cd/m2
Asus VS248HR 24 inch 1 ms Gaming Monitor, 1920 x 1080, HDMI, DVI, VGA, 250 cd/m2
Price: £104.99

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent picture - excellent value., 2 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There are plenty of detailed, more technical reviews already, so I'll just say that, in my opinion, the quality and value of this LCD is superb. Setup is nice & easy too, so any novice user should have no difficulties. It's important to consider the lack of speakers, especially if you plan to use this monitor with a console / via HDMI (in this case, you would need a splitter / cable that allows a separate connection for your speakers).

Purchased via Amazon Marketplace. Ordered on a Sunday, and given that I opted for free delivery, I was very pleasently surprised when it arrived on Tuesday morning!

Inside the solid ASUS branded box / carton was the monitor itself, stand, DVI cable, VGA cable, UK & European (2-prong) power cords, a quick-start guide and warranty / service booklet. All of this was secured in a 2-part polystyrene block.

The stand is easily attached, with a clip & two metal studs to guide the hand screw into place, where it takes minimal effort to achieve a firm, snug fit. Various signs extolling the various features are easily removed, and leave no marks. Power and video cables (DVI in my case - there are VGA and HDMI ports as well) connect on the rear. Power, menu and other buttons are neatly hidden on the underside of the bezel, which is labelled.

Whilst I haven't fully explored every last option / setting, I've had no need to. Picture quality is excellent - great depth of colour & contrast, and the black level is exceptional, with clear distinction of even the darkest colours in any given scene. By default, 5:4 or 4:3 ratios are expanded to fill the screen, though it is easy to change this setting via the on-screen menu (assuming you have the relevant settings on your graphics options too). All monitor settings are accessed via the same on-screen menu.

I have tried games, photos & HD (1920x1080) videos, and can honestly say I am very impressed by the picture quality.

I would be perfectly happy to recommend this monitor to anyone who is looking to buy something better than an 'entry level / basic / budget' type LCD, though considering the price wasn't a great deal more than said budget models (around £30 more), I would say that it's well worth the extra, though please do remember that this monitor doesn't feature any built-in speakers.

Kingston Technology DataTraveler 100 Generation 3 USB 3.1 Gen 1/USB 3.0 Flash Drive - 64 GB
Kingston Technology DataTraveler 100 Generation 3 USB 3.1 Gen 1/USB 3.0 Flash Drive - 64 GB
Price: £11.48

5.0 out of 5 stars Works well, great price., 17 Feb. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Plenty of capacity for several MP4 HD films, with reasonable transfer rates, though my PC doesn't have USB3.0, and thus is restricted to USB2.0 speeds. Plug-in to virtually any PC made within the last decade, and within a few seconds, you'll be up and running. It can also be made bootable. Very happy with the price, too.

HyperX Savage 240 GB SATA 3 2.5 SSD with Bundle Kit - Black/Red
HyperX Savage 240 GB SATA 3 2.5 SSD with Bundle Kit - Black/Red
Price: £83.13

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An easy, decent value way to improve PC performance, though the extra cost of the 'kit' seems a little expensive., 17 Feb. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is my first venture into the world of SSD mass storage - I purchased this drive to replace a failing hard drive. The kit includes a mounting plate (allowing installation in a standard desktop hard drive bay), mounting screws, pen-shaped screwdriver with changeable bits, external caddy (to allow use via the included USB3.0 cable), SATA data cable and a HyperX sticker. There is also a voucher, with a code to download Arconis TrueImage drive back-up / migration software.

Installation is very simple - attach the SSD to the mounting plate, fit the drive / plate into a HDD bay, connect the included SATA data cable, and connect a SATA power cable. The drive was detected in BIOS without any problems, and with no need to configure anything. A clean install of Windows 7 x64 took less than 15 minutes from 'blank drive' to installing the last device drivers. Boot-up time (before installing any other software) was incredibly quick - under 10 seconds from Windows boot logo to desktop.

I'm not a 'power' user or gamer, so I don't demand top-level performance from my PC. However, I am very impressed with the speed of this drive - it has made quite a difference to the responsiveness of my PC overall. I have given 4 stars, as the extra £20 for the 'kit' seems a little expensive, but I wanted to be completely sure I had everything I needed 'out of the box'. Next time I purchase an SSD, I'd be confident / happy to simply purchase the stand-alone drive, and a 3rd party mounting plate. In terms of the drive itself, I am quite happy with the value, and will certainly consider another Kingston HyperX product among my 'look at first' list.

Creative Labs Sound Blaster Z PCI Express Sound Card
Creative Labs Sound Blaster Z PCI Express Sound Card
Price: £52.43

5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional Value, 17 Feb. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Purchased to replace my X-Fi Xtreme Music. This is exactly the same PCIe card as sold for £65 or more in a retail package. Obviously, this OEM version is 'just' the card (no microphone, no driver CD / manual) and the red aluminium 'case' isn't included. However, being quite a bit cheaper than the retail version, this card is exceptional value. Whilst I haven't had the chance to explore everything about this card, the sound quality when listening to music is superb - I personally prefer the sound from the SoundBlaster Z to that of my beloved X-Fi. I am able to hear many more subtleties in music, and generally hear more detail (for example, it is much easier to hear the differences when comparing various mixes of the same track).

The dedicated 3.5mm headphone jack (with dedicated headphone amplifier) is a nice addition. Headphones are my primary way of listening to music, so having a jack tailored to headphones is really useful. The card also offers 3.5 jack (analogue) connections for stereo / 2.1 and 5.1 speaker systems, plus 2 x optical ports.

The software / mixer layout is quite different from the X-Fi, but is still quite simple to use. I had no problems installing this card - drivers / software is readily available for download from Creative, and are installed via simple 'Setup' packages. Windows 7 x64 detected the card just fine, and installed its own generic drivers. Installing the Creative drivers required no special effort (simply run the 'Setup' package). I highly recommend doing this, as whilst the Windows drivers work, using the Creative drivers / software are the best way to ensure all of the cards capabilities are available to use.

Overall, I am very happy with my purchase. I was very much a fan of my X-Fi card, and only replaced it when, after several years, it finally failed. My PC is my main system for listening to music at home, and for this purpose, I am very pleased with this card. Of course, there are plenty of 'top-end' cards available which would provide more features, especially for those who wish to record / produce music. For those who want great sound quality when listening to music and watching films, I think this OEM version of the SoundBlaster Z is exceptionally good value. I would have no hesitation in recommending it.

Titan Shattered: Wrestling with Confidence and Paranoia
Titan Shattered: Wrestling with Confidence and Paranoia
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended for any WWF / WWE fan, especially those of this period., 24 Jan. 2016
There isn't much to say that hasn't already been said in other reviews.

Having read (and very much enjoyed) 'Titan Sinking' (the 'prequel' to this book), I purchased this volume without hesitation. With a little editing, you could read both books and not know they were published separately - definitely a compliment, and not a criticism.

My first taste of pro wrestling was the 1993 Royal Rumble, and I stayed an 'active' fan until around 2000, so I have quite detailed memories of the period covered in Titan Shattered. Having never been all that interested in WCW, I found this book a fascinating insight into the when, why and who behind the things I watched as a fan - the comings and goings of the roster, the frequently changing 'gimmicks', and the ever puzzling (at the time) 'Billionaire Ted' segments.

I found the book informative, easy to follow, and most importantly, enjoyable. I recognised many of the quotes, having read several biographies / autobiographies, and it seems clear that the author has definitely 'done his homework'. This is not just a compilation of quotes and extracts - Dixon offers comment, arguments and details the consequences of the various decisions, events and reprocussions during an important time for pro wrestling.

Again, there are enough detailed, better informed reviews already. I can simply say that, as a WWF fan from this period, I enjoyed reading this book, and felt the Kindle version was very reasonably priced. I can gladly recommend it, and look forward to future volumes.

Heaven's open (1991) [VINYL]
Heaven's open (1991) [VINYL]

4.0 out of 5 stars Not exactly classic Mike Oldfield, but not bad at all., 12 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Whilst I specifically wanted a vinyl copy of this album, I suspect many will also consider / prefer a CD version, so I'll try to give my opinion on the music.....

As the review title says, this is not the classic 70s type Mike Oldfield fayre. The first 5 tracks are vocal (with Mike himself doing the honours), with the 6th being a 15 minute instrumental.

The title track 'Heaven's Open' is an up-tempo rock track, with references to Meatloaf in style, a piano taking a prominent part (I understand former Formula1 champion Jaques Villeneuve was a big fan of this particular track, often listening to it whilst preparing for a race). Other tracks vary from pop/rock to reggae. I doubt any of them would ever have been hit singles, but the songs are OK, with Mike making a creditable attempt at the vocals.

The instrumental track, 'Music From The Balcony' uses a strange mix of samples in which to create music. Birdsong, insect noises, and what sounds like metallic railings / fencing being hit all make an appearance, along with several synthesized / MIDI type musical instruments. It may sound slightly familiar to Amarok at times.

This is a slightly strange one - probably not a great idea for a casual Oldfield fan, or as a first Oldfield purchase. Existing fans may also place this album toward the lower end of their favourites list, and certainly nothing at all like his earlier works, but it still requires a place in any collection of Mike Oldfield music that is slightly more than casual.

Cruzer Fit 16 GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive (SDCZ33-016G-B35)
Cruzer Fit 16 GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive (SDCZ33-016G-B35)
Price: £4.93

4.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable value, VERY small, but not quite perfect, 12 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I use this to provide storage space on my ADSL router. Space near the router being almost non-existent, the VERY small size is extremely useful. The drive protrudes only around 25mm from the surface of the router, and is in fact 'shorter' than the plastic trim around the top of said router. I've had this for almost a year now, and not had a single read or write failure, despite frequent use of the entire capacity (14.9Gb FAT32 formatted).

The one, slight criticism I have, is that write speeds can be a little slow, especially with large (500mb or larger) files. I often store .mp4 video files to stream them from my router to the TV, and whilst the read speed is more than adequate for 1080p video, a write-speed of around 5.5mb/sec (on my Win7 system) means saving / uploading the file can be a little tedious.

No Title Available

4.0 out of 5 stars Does the job, and does it well - almost 5 stars., 12 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I purchased this in April 2012, to replace the supplied SkyHD remote, which lasted just under a year.

It's just a standard silver / grey SkyHD remote - not a great deal to say about it, aside from the fact that it has far outlasted the supplied unit. The build quality just feels a little better than the remote that came with our box. The letters / numbers have remained intact too, whereas those on the supplied unit wore away after around 9 months. A pair of Duracell Ultra batteries that were installed when purchased are still going.

The only reason that I've gone for 4 stars, rather than 5 is price - the remote I purchased from Amazon Marketplace was around half the price usually seen in the high-street / charged by Sky themselves, but I still think near £20 for what is a fairly basic remote control is quite steep, though I accept this is almost certainly down to the price charged by the manufacturer, and not excessive mark-up on the part of the seller.

UNiROSS Compact Charger for AA & AAA Rechargeable Batteries
UNiROSS Compact Charger for AA & AAA Rechargeable Batteries

3.0 out of 5 stars Cheap, works fine, but rather slow., 12 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This was purchased purely as a stop-gap until I could buy a better charger (as a side note, I highly recommend UNiROSS batteries & chargers in general).

The charger is fairly compact, plugs directly into the wall socket with no adapters or cables, and can charge 4 x AA or AAA batteries.

However, the charge time is really quite slow - 2 x 700mAh AAA (a very common type) batteries take around 12 hours, and 4 x 2700 mAh AA (the type you would need for a digital camera etc) can take anything up to 30 hours, so this charger is certainly not suitable if you need to charge / use your batteries at short notice.

For the price, this charger does what it is made for. There is nothing wrong with it, just a simple case of being slow. If planning ahead / charging overnight etc suits your needs, this charger will be fine. Otherwise, seriously consider purchasing a quicker charger - there are several available that will charge a set of 4 high capacity AAs in around an hour.

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