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Amazon Customer (Lancashire, UK)

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DBPOWER 640*480 Native Resolution HD LED Mini Projector Portable with 4:3/16:9 Aspect Ratio, Contrast 500:1 support USB/SD Card, VGA/HDMI/ AV interface
DBPOWER 640*480 Native Resolution HD LED Mini Projector Portable with 4:3/16:9 Aspect Ratio, Contrast 500:1 support USB/SD Card, VGA/HDMI/ AV interface
Offered by Bravo Tech
Price: £49.98

4.0 out of 5 stars A dinky gadget that is priced about right for the quality., 30 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Length:: 2:02 Mins

Please note: in the sample video, my camera wouldn't focus correctly on the wall. The picture is substantially clearer than it looks in this video as you can see in the comparison screengrabs I've included below (to see the images large on here, hover over one till it pops up, then right-click and select view image).

This is a good and fun little projector, which is priced about right for what it is.

Set up was pretty straightforward. Once it was plugged in and connected to my PC (via a standard monitor cable), I closed the curtains and switched it on. It needed setting to the correct cable input (from the settings menu) and then turning the lens around until it was in focus. It also then needed me to set the display settings* in Windows (note: it's much easier, if using a PC, to connect it to a second output on your graphics card, if you have one, so that you can tinker with the display settings on your main monitor...)

The picture quality is pretty much as good as you could expect for this price. It's only at 640 x 480 resolution (max) and is nice and bright--even with my flimsy curtains--though obviously better at night. You may wish to invest in some blackout curtains to get the best of it during the daytime. I tried it for gaming (Minecraft) and it was easily playable and gave a more immersive experience than sat at a PC.

It also manages a slideshow okay, but the text isn't crystal clear so you need to use a reasonably big font and good contrast. Images also show up well, as do videos.

The unit itself is fairly small (6 x 5 x 3 inch--about the same size as a double VHS box). As well as connecting a PC or Video games machine, you can also insert an SD card or USB flash drive to play movies and photos (though, be warned, you will need to export slideshows as video files to view them this way).

In all honesty, this will serve best either for a kids bedroom, for occasional family photo slideshows or for testing the waters before deciding if you wish to splash out on an all-singing all dancing projector. It would also make for a fun retro cinema experience if you have a few mates and some beers. It doesn't have the "wow" factor, but for this price I wouldn't really expect it to. In a dark room on a white wall it does provide a bright and reasonably clear image.

Connections: AV (a single input--the type you get with digital cameras), HDMI and VGA, SD Card, USB drive.
In the Box:
Remote Control.
AV lead.
Power Supply.

*Note: to set this (or any other projector) up in Windows, right-click the desktop and choose "display settings". Whilst it's slightly different for 7 or below, you want to either look for "extend these displays" which should be under "Multiple Monitors" (If your graphic card has two outputs and supports dual monitors) or to set your desktop to 640 x 480 (or the smallest it will go) before connecting it to the projector.

Philips ORT7500/10 1950s Retro DAB+ Original Radio with Bluetooth and USB Charging - Red
Philips ORT7500/10 1950s Retro DAB+ Original Radio with Bluetooth and USB Charging - Red
Price: £198.26

3.0 out of 5 stars A snazzy, retro-themed DAB radio, which is somewhat overpriced and ultimately disapoints., 16 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Being as we’ve finally got DAB in our neck of the woods (darkest Lancashire), I was happy to try out a good-quality modern radio. It’s very well presented and taking it out of the box, you get the impression it is a quality product. The most striking feature, obviously, being the glossy metal finish. It looks fantastic and (being just slightly larger than a large loaf of farmhouse bread) is about the perfect size (at least for me).

I found it very straightforward to set up and use—once I’d worked out the the labels on the metallic strip above the knobs were also buttons. An initial scan (over by the window) provided patchy results (breaking up), so I moved it around the house until I found somewhere better. Surprisingly, this happened to be in the middle of the house—with no windows nearby—but just so happened to be right next to where our TV Ariel comes into the living room… I’d give this a go, too, if all else fails.

Once the scan has finished, the stations are added automatically in their correct order. Out here in the backwoods we can only get the BBC stations, but as I rarely venture further afield than Radio 4 that’s not a problem for me. Switching to FM (for local radio) is a simple twist of the left knob and as it remembers your last station (on both DAB/FM), you can easily switch between local and national radio if needed (perfect for nipping to Radio Lancashire for the weather forecast, AKA how much rain will we have today? :/).

The bluetooth functionality is welcome, but if you have a decent soundbar, Hi-Fi etc. then you’re probably not going to use this much for streaming your music to. Whilst it puts out a good and clear sound, it’s not particularly mind-blowing and for sound quality alone I’d say this is probably only worth half the price it is. Any other branded DAB radio in the £75-£100 range should give you a similar sound. That is not to say that the sound is poor; it simply lacks the “oomph” of a good speaker (like I say, this wouldn’t be a problem if not for the price).

Then there is the inescapable and gnawing annoyance that it only tries to recreate the look of a 50s radio—not the build quality. There is a tangible sense, both in the the knobs and buttons—which, especially the flimsy-feeling “strip” buttons, feel fairly lightweight—that it won’t last any longer than any other piece of modern equipment. You probably wouldn’t think twice about this in a normal radio, but given the price I was expecting a lot more quality. You’re paying, here, really, for style alone, which is a shame—I suspect many prospective buyers would be hoping this would be more durable, at least at the back of their mind, due to its old-fashioned design (and, to be fair, at this price, they fully deserve that!).

To summarise, then, this is a decent (though not exceptional) radio that has exceptionally stylish looks. If the price drops (to, say, £125 or less) I’d fully recommend it. At this price, though, it seems you’re paying double the value simply because of how it looks and to my mind that is a bit of a scam.

Hamilton Beach Electric Breakfast Sandwich Maker - Silver
Hamilton Beach Electric Breakfast Sandwich Maker - Silver
Price: £29.99

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good. Makes lovely, fast sandwiches and is easy to use., 10 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This mini breakfast muffin maker is both easy to use and (just as importantly) very easy to clean. It's perfect for single people who want to cook a warm sandwich before work, with as little hassle as possible.

Operating it is very simple. There are two removable pans, separated by sliding disc (for when the sandwich is cooked) which sit between the warming plates. Simply put the bottom half of the sandwich in the bottom pan (the bottom half of the muffin/any meat or cheese) and the top half (the top half of the muffin and an egg) in the top pan then cook for 5 minutes. Once cooked, simply slide out the separating plate and lift the pans up.

I've found it is very good and makes lovely sandwiches. Especially yummy are Bacon Spam egg muffins with a slice of gouda cheese in! … You can also make lovely diddy pizzas (ideal for lunch). I'm still thinking of other uses for it, but you could easily cook two hard boiled eggs in it in 5 minutes without the hassle of peeling the shell off after. They are flat, but are still fine for slicing up in sandwiches or a salad (and so much quicker/easier).

It's very small and doesn't take up much room in a cupboard. One thing to note is that it doesn't cook meat (so you'll have to pre-cook any bacon or sausage etc. prior to assembling the sandwich). It's not really been a problem for me: a slice of cooked meat with cheese and egg tastes so good that I've not bothered with anything that needs cooking first.

Also be sure to check out the Hamilton Beach website (the US one--I'll paste the link below) for more recipes and ideas. Overall,I highly recommend them and have been using this several times a week since it arrived. Long may it last!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 10, 2015 9:25 AM BST

Vango Berkeley 500 Dome Tent - Green, 5 Persons
Vango Berkeley 500 Dome Tent - Green, 5 Persons
Price: £107.24

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Plenty of room and relativley easy to pitch (even on your own)., 9 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Note, a quick tip (if you don't know it already), to see full sized customer images, hover your mouse over one of the thumbnails and then right-click > View Image (or similar) on the one that pops up.

This is a spacious and easy to pitch tent that is ideal for both single campers and couples.

I pitched this on my own and had no problems whatsoever. Though it has 3 poles, it's basically a two pole tent to pitch (with the third--which forms the porch area--being a doddle once the first two are up). If there are two or more of you it'll be even simpler. My first pitch only took around 25 minutes, though that also included attaching the inner tent. As you can leave it in place, once fitted, it'd probably only take me around 15 minutes. Putting the poles in place wasn't at all strenuous (they only have short sleeves--you clip the poles on around the sides) and overall it was a pleasant and comfortable experience.

Inside, there is loads of room--especially as it's just me and the dog! You could also fit a double airbed in comfortably (with a 1x2m gap at the foot of the bed) or a double and one single (with no extra room). As always, take the sleeping capacity with a pinch of salt. I'd say at most (without airbeds) this would take 4.

Another great feature is the height. At 1.85m in the inner and 1.7m in the porch there is plenty of room stand and dress comfortably. This is especially desirable if you have back or neck problems, as anything shorter and you'll spend a lot of time stooping.

The porch itself is a decent size. It's not huge, though there is plenty of room to sit in with space beside for bits of gear also. As it's not a massive area, though--and especially as there is no door cover (it slopes outwards), I'd recommend getting a tarp for it. With a bit more cover for hardier gear and a fully covered entrance, this would make life very comfortable. I've yet to test it with my own tarp (a Coleman Universal Tarp) and will update it when I do. Pretty much any smallish (2-3m) tarp should suffice though.

Ventilation-wise, it has a smallish, triangular vent on the read and a much larger one at the top of the door. The inner tent also has large mesh panels at the top and a decent-sized one in the door (covers about the top third).

If you are a dog owner, a very useful (probably unintentional) feature is that there is a hole in the groundsheet where the porch meets the inner tent. Though this is for pegging the base of the inner tent down, it's also ample for screwing a tether in (see the photo).

One slight downside is that it neither has an insect mesh or any gaps at the sides of the porch area. This makes it somewhat of a trap for wildlife. Though there are slight gaps along the base (around the inner tent--the porch area has a semi sown in groundsheet) I find bugs and flies tend to stay around the roof area. With gaps along the sides, they soon find their way out again (and in the morning there is nothing there). I'd be worried about the volume of "guests", particularly for longer trips in areas prone to midges etc., though for shorter trips it shouldn't be a problem (and you can always leave the door open in the morning to let them out).

Other than that, it's a good quality tent and should provide enough space for couples and single campers. I'd say for small families, though, you may be better getting something with a little more living space.
Comment Comment | Permalink

Power2Go 10 Platinum (PC CD)
Power2Go 10 Platinum (PC CD)
Price: £28.35

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good all round burning package, fairly quick, not a video suite., 4 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I personally had no problems with this software whatsoever (Windows 10 Home, 64 bit). I bought the download version (208mb) from Amazon (for a fraction of the advertised price) and it installed very smoothly. Following a 107mb update it was ready to use and seems very fast and fluid compared to burning suites of old.

I mainly got this for archival purposes and for that it is excellent. It's true (as another reviewer mentions) you cannot create blu ray video discs to play in your blue ray player with this software. It can only create DVD video and video CD's and nor will it rip copy-protected discs (it's more of a utilities and archival package than authoring or ripping software).

Here's a list of what it does by section:

CD, DVD and Blu Ray (up to 128gb XL)

Video CD, DVD and DVD folder.

Audio CD, WMA CD, MP3 CD, WMA DVD, MP3 DVD, CUE audio disc.

Photo gallery disc (to play in your player)
CD, DVD and Blu Ray.

Online Media Backup
CD, DVD, Hard Drive and Blu Ray. Basically, you can choose things to download from YouTube, Vimeo or your Facebook/Flickr stream and either burn them to a disc or save them to your hard drive. It's a pretty neat feature, you search for videos on YT (or can check your watch later list) and tell it which ones to download and (once you've picked the resolution from those available) then it does them all at once, saving them either to a disc or folder. (No more having to go through dodgy websites if there is a YT video you'd like to download.) UPDATE: It won't let you download copyrighted items such as official music videos.

Copy Disc
Copy disc (any unprotected disc), Save Disc Image and Burn disc image (ISO).

Media Converter
Video to Mobile Device, Audio to Mobile Device, Audio CD to mobile device, Rip audio CD, Audio Converter.

Erase RW disc, Virtual drive (mount an ISO image as a virtual drive), CD Extra (Audio CD's that can also contain data), Mixed Mode CD (Kind of the opposite--a Data CD which can also contain songs and play in a CD player), Disc Manager (keeps a list of all your burning projects, so you can easily burn them again), Burn Recovery Disc (create a Windows system recovery disc--I'd rather not bother, would prefer to use the one from MS), and label printer (a basic, but fairly configurable label printer, which enables you to print CDs, front/back and inlays).

It also includes a separate sound-wave editor, though I've not really looked at that yet.

Overall, it's ideal for archiving and printing purposes as well as the occasional other utility. I'll also probably use the fast and simplistic DVD video burner from time-to-time for creating simple DVDs.

Pioneer BDR-209DBK 16x SATA Internal BD/DVD/CD Burner - No Software
Pioneer BDR-209DBK 16x SATA Internal BD/DVD/CD Burner - No Software
Offered by The PC Customiser
Price: £57.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great burner, works out of the box with Windows 10., 4 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This came very quickly (as always) from Amazon. I got it mainly as I find optical media still gives more piece of mind than an extra hard drive (which are prone to failing) and is certainly cheaper in the long term than cloud storage. Given the increasing file sizes (particularly of photos and video), it's really not feasible to regularly back them up to DVD's anymore.

After reading many reviews (on here, and other websites) I decided this (OEM) version was the best to go for. It performed well in numerous tests and sounded like a good investment. (please note: from my research many people recommend not bothering with the software option--as it's only a limited version of Nero).

It arrived in plain packaging, with only a brief specs sheet and no leads or screws. It will require a SATA power lead from your Power Supply (not the old style power leads) as well as a SATA data connector (that connects the burner to your motherboard). This wasn't a problem for me as the DVD writer in my case already had both leads. The only thing I changed, was changing the SATA data connection on my motherboard (it was connected to a 3 mb/s socket and as there was a 6 mb/s socket spare (for a second internal hard drive, which I don't presently have) I put it in that. Note, I'd recommend finding the circuit diagram of your motherboard at this point, so that you know exactly where the SATA data connector goes.

There was no additional installation required. I rebooted (in Windows 10), loaded device manager and checked but the drivers for it were up to date. (I'd already read on various forums that there were no newer drivers for it, so didn't pursue this any further).

Software-wise, I decided to get a download copy of power2go 10 (platimum), from Amazon (it's a fraction of the price cyberlink or nero charge for their premium burning suits at their respective websites). It works really well with this burner and has all the features I need.

Performance wise, it allowed me to backup most of my photo collection (22gb) at 12x speed in around 14 minutes, to a Verbatim BDR 25GB disc. I'll add other tests later (for instance, I didn't bother to include the verify data option as I intend to go through all my photos and other files and organise them properly before archiving them; and I would also burn files at a lower speed--this was just a test run really, but it's good to know that you can burn large amounts of data in a reasonable time if required).

Overall, really happy and highly recommended.

UPDATE: I've just burned 21gb of mixed data (some very large files and thousands of small files--and everything in between) at a reliable 4x with full verification. It took 28 minutes to burn and a further 8 to verify it. I don't think this is bad, really, for backing up and fully verifying important data.

Microsoft OneNote 2013 (1PC/1User)  [Download]
Microsoft OneNote 2013 (1PC/1User) [Download]
Price: £50.34

1.0 out of 5 stars Don't pay for it, you can download it free from Microsoft., 1 Aug. 2015
The one star rating is for the pricing. Rather uncharacteristically, Microsoft have decided to give OneNote 2013 away (desktop version also--simply search "OneNote"). The software itself is fantastic, but please do not pay for it!!! :/

Wahl Hot and Cold Gel Pack Massager
Wahl Hot and Cold Gel Pack Massager
Price: £9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Very good for pain relief, though the massage bit is a bit naff., 31 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a very good warm/cold pack, which is easy to use, though the massage feature isn't anything to write home about.

Operation is fairly straightforward. The gel pack is inserted and removed from a Velcro closing on one end and you can then either microwave or freeze it to the desired temperature. Obviously, where heat is concerned, this varies dependant on the power of your microwave (though a grid of suggested heat times--by wattage--is provided). For our 1000 watt microwave, it suggested 40 seconds, but this wasn't really warm enough. After checking it was safe in the instructions, I heated it for another 15 (it suggests you add 10 second bursts until you get the right temperature).

It managed to just about retain the heat for the suggested maximum 20 minutes usage and did ease a stiff shoulder tremendously! I've no idea what another reviewer is talking about saying that it cannot be adjusted?! The strap is made from Velcro, which sticks to the entire sleeve, so you can adjust it to pretty much any length you wish to.

The downside is the massage feature. It's basically just a vibrating egg and is too strong for my tastes. If it had been a subtle vibration it may have been better to use, but with no means of adjusting the vibration level it's not something I'll ever use. (Though if you do like it, it's fairly easy to operate, simply slip it into a pocket inside of the sleeve and switch it on).

Another thing to note is that it's fairly flexible and can be used across the neck, the shoulders, knees, thighs etc.

Whilst it's possibly overpriced (probably due to the rubbish massage feature), I'd still recommend it if you're looking for something to bring pain relief. Due to the gel pack and strap, it's better (I think) than similar wheat cushions as you can fit it tightly around the sore area and walk around.

Sealy Posturepedic Pocket Spring Back Pillow - Soft
Sealy Posturepedic Pocket Spring Back Pillow - Soft
Price: £24.55

3.0 out of 5 stars Not really worth the price, though firmer options may be better., 28 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Though I got this on Vine I'd be very disappointed if I'd shelled out for it. Whilst a nice, soft pillow I found it to be of little (if any) discernible difference to £12 branded pack of two I got from the supermarket. It's very big and plush and is deeper than a standard pillow (though not as deep as two) and there is a bit of firmness to it, but (despite the advertised memory foam and springs) it feels barely any different to a normal pillow in practice.

It may well last longer (and is guaranteed for 3 years), though for the price that means I could get 12 of the other ones. I can see if you want something firmer, then a more firmer one in their range may well be ideal, though the one I was sent (soft) is pretty pointless. It's so soft, it's no different to any other half decent pillow (and three times the price!).

Anvil Men's Basic Cotton Double Stitched Short Sleeve T-Shirt
Anvil Men's Basic Cotton Double Stitched Short Sleeve T-Shirt
Price: £1.50 - £9.11

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Warning., 28 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I got 5 of these being as they were so cheap. The first thing to note is that they are fairly thin cotton and thinner than any other t shirts I've got. Secondly, whilst the orange one looks pretty retro cool in the photo you end up looking like you just stepped out of Guantanamo Bay in reality (especially if, like me, you get a size up to give some breathing space). Other than that they're pretty much what you'd expect.

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