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A. Yu (Birmingham, England)
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PalmGuard - MacBook Air 13 (99MO012209)
PalmGuard - MacBook Air 13 (99MO012209)

4.0 out of 5 stars Works and protects well, but not perfect, 2 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought one of these Moshi Palmguards for my new 13 inch MacBook Air. I have used the Palmguard before on a 13 and 15 inch MacBook Pro.

What do you get inside? The kit comes with a pre-cut piece to cover the MacBook Air's palm rest from the bottom edge up to just below where the keyboard starts. You're also supplied with a pre-cut trackpad cover which I recommend fitting, otherwise the recess left behind feels a little too deep.

The colour matching Moshi have achieved is very impressive and on first glance is indiscernible from the aluminium Apple have used for the laptop.

The Palmguard is ideal for people that like to keep their Macs looking pristine, whether that's for long term ownership or simply to resell again in the future. I wear a watch almost constantly and I managed to scratch both the watch and a previous MacBook Pro's palm rest.

Fitting the Palmguard is simple and much easier than fitting a screen protector on an iPhone. Simply peel the backing off and line up the edges and away you go. A few air bubbles did form under mine, though I was able to gently ease these out using my fingers and thumbs. Any remaining bubbles and worked themselves out overnight.

The trackpad cover is equally as easy to fit, though requires a little more care when lining it up. Texture-wise, it feels different to the previous Palmguards I have used, feeling smoother. Sadly, the cover does make the trackpad marginally less responsive with taps; scrolling and general movement is fine. The trackpad covers on my old MacBook Pros feel more sensitive in everyday use.

The fit of the palmrest and trackpad cover are very good. They are precision cut and are a few hundredths of a millimetre smaller than the target area they protect, so they will not be accidentally peeled off with use. to peel it off, simply take a piece of sticky tape, apply to a corner and lift.

The Palmguard has a few small issues but overall, I've yet to find a better product for protecting my Macs.


SwitchEasy CoverBuddy Plastic Case for iPad Mini - Red Cover Buddy
SwitchEasy CoverBuddy Plastic Case for iPad Mini - Red Cover Buddy
Price: £12.46

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Smart Cover compatible case, 19 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Despite what one reviewer felt was misleading (why would an £18.99 case come with a free £35 Smart Cover?), this case pairs perfectly with the official iPad mini Smart Cover. It adds barely any bulk to the iPad mini and makes it much easier to hold and use, especially with its soft touch plastic coating that is quite common on various mobile phones.

What I particularly like are the bundled accessories like filler plugs for the headphone and lightning charger sockets. A screen protector is also thrown in for good measure.

Highly recommended!


Nathan Safety Strobe LED Light
Nathan Safety Strobe LED Light

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for runners, 12 Nov. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought this light recently to go running at night after work. It comes with several lighting modes, my favourite being the Knight Rider KITT scroll from left to right. It's bright and conveniently attaches to waistbands on shorts or bags and definitely alerts drivers of your presence. The light also has a rubber seal to keep moisture out.


Nike+ SportWatch GPS powered by TomTom - Black/Volt (discontinued by manufacturer) (discountinued by manufacturer)
Nike+ SportWatch GPS powered by TomTom - Black/Volt (discontinued by manufacturer) (discountinued by manufacturer)

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stylish alternative to other GPS watches, 29 Oct. 2011
There has been a lot of hooha about the Nike GPS Sportwatch over the last few months and it's hard to make a purchasing decision when opinions are so polarised. Those who have no problems absolutely love it and those who have had nothing but problems simply loathe it. Many of the reviews out there are also from the watch's earliest firmwares which were fairly basic, lacking the simplest of things like a standalone stopwatch and even alarms for basic digital watch functionality. My review is based on the most recent firmware which has added such features and a few more bug fixes.

The watch looks and feels impressive on the hand. It is quite chunky, akin to a G-Shock watch and wears comfortably with the face on the back or the inside of the wrist. Despite being a guy, I have very slender wrists which are comparable to an average girl's and I have no problems wearing it comfortably. There is some weight to it, but if you regularly wear metal dress watches then you should have no problem with it. The body of the watch appears to have a soft touch plastic to it like what you find on a lot of mobile phones today. I'm not sure if I like this because it tends not to wear away too gracefully, potentially leaving your £180 watch looking terrible. The strap is chunky and has a buckle with two arms on it for extra security. The end of the strap has two poppers on the end to secure it down when being worn. The clever bit about the watch is the USB port is hidden away in the end of the strap, though the clip is made from simple plastic and I have my reservations about how long this will last upon repeated use. I also wonder what I will have to do once the battery needs replacing further down the line?

The latest firmware has finally brought many missing features to the watch. Watch mode now has an alarm function and you have the ability to change the time and date on the fly without hooking it up to a computer - great for travelling runners. The run mode now features pace, average pace, elapsed time, distance, calories and time. You can have any of these display as the main data field and any combination of them displaying in the secondary data field, auto scrolling or requiring the buttons to scroll through the list. A stopwatch has also been added to the main menu, which many people have campaigned for. You can also invert the display now to have black on white versus the regular white on black. Finally, GPS satellite locations have been updated to make linking up faster.

Running with it is a joy, especially because I am a Nike running shoe user so the footpod fits easily inside the shoe. I managed to get satellite and footpod lock on within 30 seconds and satellite lock on within 2 minutes by placing it next to a window whilst getting ready for a run. I tend to have my main display set to average pace with distance, elapsed time and immediate pace on manual scroll as my secondary data field. I wanted to test its distance accuracy and I plotted a 4.3 mile route using Google maps and took my iPhone along for a comparison. Doing 4 runs, they each came up as 3x 4.3 miles and 1x 4.31. My iPhone came up with 1x 4.28, 2x 4.3 and 1x 4.31 so it looks to be very accurate for me with very little movement. I live on the outskirts of Birmingham and I ran along several main busy roads and under plenty of trees with no loss of signal.

My only complaints are as I've mentioned above - battery longevity and wear & twear on the USB/buckle. I would hope the battery on this watch lasts a few years at least with regular use and recharges, though I would not be surprised if Nike were to launch a Mk2 watch in the next 18 months. The USB port also looks worryingly flimsy, though because it doubles as a buckle to secure the end of the strap, even if the clip breaks it should still stay in place whilst being worn due to this design. Make sure where ever you buy this watch from has a good returns policy! These are the reasons why I can't give the watch a 5/5, though they may surprise me and actually pose no problem at all in the future - only time will tell.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 1, 2012 1:25 PM BST


HP CN245B Photosmart Wireless e-All-in-One Printer
HP CN245B Photosmart Wireless e-All-in-One Printer

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic printer and AirPrint compatible, 15 Dec. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought this printer for my folks as on the back of a previous review's mention of Apple AirPrint. My parents don't have a computer and rely solely on their iPad for their computing needs and I'm glad to say that this printer requires no connection to a PC to get it up and running on wireless setup. What impressed me further was that upon setup, it creates an email address for itself so that you can even send documents to print whilst away from home! This is also useful for iOS devices not yet on 4.2 or other makes of phone. The copying facilities are also good, working fairly quickly and efficiently.

The only fly in the ointment I've found so far is that the printer forgets passkeys for Wifi networks upon powering down or losing power, so for my parents who have no idea what the key is for their own network have to ask me to re-enter it each time for them. My workaround is I've told them to never switch it off!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 19, 2011 6:51 AM BST


Crumpler Muffin Top Full Photo Backpack - Black/Mustard
Crumpler Muffin Top Full Photo Backpack - Black/Mustard

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The bag for serious amateurs, 18 Feb. 2010
This is is my third camera backpack in as little as 6 months and I am finally glad to say it is exactly what I've been looking for.

Having grown my photography kit substantially, I needed a way to transport my gear from location to location and outgrew my first camera backpack, a Lowepro Flipside 200. This bag was very much function over fashion and wasn't particularly pleasing to the eye, yet delivered on the performance stakes. My kit grew yet again and I moved over to the 200's bigger brother, the 400AW. This was far too big for my needs, and looked like a camping bag meets a camera bag, so much so that I was embarassed to take it outdoors and actually use it! Then came the Crumpler Muffin Top...

Coming in a huge variety of colour combos, this bag certainly looks the part. I opted for the black and mustard, looking like it's the most popular colour combo judging by the higher prices it commands. On initial inspection, it's a similar size to the Flipside 400AW, though much more streamlined. There aren't any superfluous hooks or straps, creating a very clean look that does not look out of place. The style may be a bit too young and hip for older folks, though it certainly wouldn't go amiss on young pups.

It comes with a huge array of storage opportunities inside, and plenty of customisable inserts. The bag is large enough to carry at least one pro size body and another smaller, possibly two pro bodies. There is plenty of room for a number of lenses and other accessories like flash guns, filters, chargers etc. There is a plastic mesh layer which zips over the camera section to keep everything safely stowed because the Muffin Top can also store a 15" laptop!

The bag itself is very well made, having a semi-rigid casing to protect the contents inside. The material is pretty tough and looks very water resistant should you ever get caught in a downpour. The straps come with detatchable chest straps to spread the weight; wanting a normal bag look, I took mine off immediately. The back is very well padded and hugs you nicely, yet allows breathability still. In fact, this has to be the best backpack I have ever bought thanks to all the little details.

If you have a smaller collection of camera gear, Crumpler also make a Half Photo version where only the bottom half is specifically for photography use, with the top half acting as a normal main pocket, with the rest of the bag being the same.

These aren't the cheapest camera backpacks around, though if like me, it's taken me three tries to finally get the bag I was originally after. Do yourself a favour and just go for this if you're after functionality without looking like a complete photography geek!


Sto-Fen Omni-Bounce OM-EW Flash Diffuser (for Canon Speedlite 430EX, 430EX II, 430EX III)
Sto-Fen Omni-Bounce OM-EW Flash Diffuser (for Canon Speedlite 430EX, 430EX II, 430EX III)
Offered by FIVE STAR UK
Price: £18.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must-have for any external flash user, 29 Dec. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
In all my years as a budding amateur photographer, I have always been told that flash is bad and that natural/ambient lighting is good. Well, with an external flash and this Sto-fen diffuser, flash can be great.

It simply slips on and stays on with the power of friction. Its duty is to reduces the power of the flash by a factor of 2.5 and spread it more evenly across the subject and around the room. The result is a lovely soft light that is ample to act as fill-in flash, which most of the time is what you actually need. People look healthy and have a warm glow, instead of looking ill.

Cheapest I've seen it for here, whether it's compared to a retail outlet like Jacobs, or even eBay. A definite purchase if you have an external flash.


Canon ET-65B - Lens hood
Canon ET-65B - Lens hood
Price: £31.26

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lot of money for a lot of plastic, 17 Sept. 2009
Bought one of these recently from a famous high street camera retailer, which cost less than Amazon here (shhh!) and was shocked at how large it is. Echoing the previous reviewer's thoughts, it adds a fair bit of bulk to the end of the lens and when reversed, it adds a lot of extra girth to the lens so bear this in mind if you have a tightly packed kit bag etc. The inside is velvet lined to maximise light absorption, and clicks into place nicely.

The only downside with this lenshood is that due to the ring-USM design of the 70-300 IS USM lens, be very careful when attaching and detaching; the end of the lens moves when focusing so you want to make sure you've got everything held down tightly to avoid stripping the gears inside the focusing motor.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 5, 2015 9:31 AM GMT


Toshiba NB200-10G 10.1-inch Netbook (Atom N270 1.6 GHz, 1 GB RAM, 160 GB, Windows XP Home)
Toshiba NB200-10G 10.1-inch Netbook (Atom N270 1.6 GHz, 1 GB RAM, 160 GB, Windows XP Home)

81 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best netbooks out there, 14 July 2009
Recently bought this from House of Fraser where they threw in a lovely red leather case for free. Been using it heavily for the last few days and it has been a joy to use.

Pros:

*Black is the new black
*Near full size trackpad and dedicated buttons, no rocker switch here
*Glossy screen is rich and vibrant
*RAM and hard disk are easily upgradeable
*Overall design is very good, doesn't feel cheap
*Option to produce restoration disc or restore from hard disk
*Ability to charge over USB whilst asleep
*Near full-size keyboard
*Only 1.18kg

Cons:

*Only a 3 cell battery (4 hours actual use)
*No Bluetooth
*Not the Intel Atom N280 (1.66ghz), only N270 (1.60ghz)
*No option to have single partition on hard disk unless you use your own copy of Windows XP
*Some pre-loaded Toshiba apps are extremely bloated

You can purchase the 6 cell battery separately for about £60 and you can add a micro Bluetooth dongle for less than £10 to gain the same functionality as the flagship model. I decided to install my own clean copy of Windows XP Pro since I like to tweak Windows, and it was a chore getting some of the Toshiba apps and drivers to work together (ConfigFree and Toshiba Value Add caused network issues). What swayed the decision for me was the design and colour. Black will never go out of fashion and compared to the silver flagship model, it simply looks classier and won't show signs of wear and tear over the years.

Highly recommended if you're in the market for a netbook and worth considering against the Samsung NC10 and Asus EEE 1000HE.


The Rough Guide to Anime (Rough Guide Reference)
The Rough Guide to Anime (Rough Guide Reference)
by Simon Richmond
Edition: Paperback

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not one for the hardcore, 5 July 2009
Been an avid anime fan for many, many years and stumbled upon this book at a Forbidden Planet store, and with Evangelion being a firm favourite of mine, I decided to pick it up for a quick look. The premise was solid enough, so I decided to give it a purchase for later reading.

After finishing it very quickly, I was disappointed to find that I actually came away with no new knowledge at all, with some of the information quite incorrect. There are a lot of spelling mistakes also and whilst the author could argue that they're of romanised Japanese words and names, a lot of the studios have formally released English spellings for such things. The lists of must-see anime also seemed overly biased towards Studio Ghibli and Satoshi Kon's work.

The book is aimed squarely at newcomers to anime, and as such, is no better or worse than a lot of the introduction to anime books out there, yet it seems to have an identity crisis of its own because at times it explores areas that likely hold little significance to people just starting out in anime, such as the fandom itself.

Veterans have been warned!


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