Profile for Richard Hammond > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Richard Hammond
Top Reviewer Ranking: 2,902
Helpful Votes: 716

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Richard Hammond (Oxford, UK)
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
NESCAFE Dolce Gusto Oblo by KRUPS Coffee Capsule Machine - White
NESCAFE Dolce Gusto Oblo by KRUPS Coffee Capsule Machine - White
Price: £89.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic build quality, great for standard coffee, 14 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
There are challenges in choosing to commit to a pod-based coffee system, the issues around packaging waste, taste v convenience, bean-to-cup v pod and those come even before choosing which pod system to go for (Nespresso, Dolce Gusto and Tassimo being the leading options in the UK).

For the purposes of this review, I've decided to skip those considerations and instead look only at this specific machine and it's Dolce Gusto pods. My score, therefore, reflects only the quality of the machine and the pods that go into it.

Right from the moment you have the Nescafe Dolce Gusto Oblo by KRUPS in it's box in front of you the impression is of quality and class. It arrives in a shaped oval tower box with a cloth strap holding the external packaging on. If you know the recipient wants/has Dolce Gusto pods, then the packaging alone would make this machine a fantastic house-warming or wedding gift - it looks special.

Lift off the external cover and again, the whole package of contents is impressive: there's the obvious product manual of course but also a nice brochure covering flavours, pods and accessories that really serves to get you straight into the flavours and options available.

Then the first nice bonus: you'll spot a £10 voucher for credit in Nestle's own online Dolce Gusto shop. That's enough to get you the best part of three boxes of pods: nearly 48 cups of coffee (or 24 if you choose - two-pod-per-cup varieties). It's a terrific way to bring customers onboard with the system and to promote the online store. It's worth mentioning at this point that both Nespresso and Dolce Gusto are Nestle businesses/brands but the main distinction is that Dolce Gusto pods are readily available on the high street in supermarkets. You don't have to rely on the online shop (or amazon for that matter), you will be able to grab pods with your normal shopping.

Under the manuals and voucher you'll find your next nice surprise: a box of six free pods to try. In our case this consisted of two 'double pod' drinks and two single pod varieties, so four drinks in all.

Then the machine itself: I was very surprised by just how solid and well made it is. The marketing positioning suggests that Dolce Gusto is the everyday, mainstream alternative to Nespresso but this KRUPS manufactured machine suggests something of a substantially higher premium. It's heavy, in a good way, engineered such that levers and the water tank all clunk solidly into place and feel like they will last and work reliably for the life of the unit. I'm not sure the photos really get scale right here though - this is a very compact machine with a pleasingly small footprint. We also have a Delonghi bean-to-cup machine at home which is a hulking great worktop-hog of a thing - the Oblo is the very opposite of that. For a small kitchen or a home-office (which is where mine now lives), it's absolutely perfect.

Setting up is easy: just two water flushes to do, once for hot water and once for cold. For ongoing maintenance, as with most coffee machines, you will need to use descaling packs but right at the start there's no need to measure things like water hardness as you would for a bean-to-cup unit. We were up and drinking our first trial cups within five minutes. The speed this unit heats water at is amazing - the right temperature is achieved in about four seconds from cold.

This is a manual unit so operation is a little more complex than it is on the automatic equivalents: after popping in a pod, pulling down the lever to secure it, you then need to ping the water lever over to hot or cold and then judge the right amount of water to run through to your cup. Automatic Dolce Gusto machines are set to whatever 'line' is marked on your specific pod which takes the guesswork out of judging the right amount of water. That said - it's pretty obvious how much water you want on an espresso versus a cappuccino, for example.

So, pods: we had two distinct experiences here:
- Single pod coffee drinks: these have all been very good. Better than instant, less fuss than a drip coffee machine and always reliably tasty cups of coffee.
- Double pod milky coffee drinks: universally awful, the powdered milk does not taste fresh, it has an artificial taste and a slightly cleaning-fluid aftertaste.

It's the disappointment of those double-pod drinks, skinny latte for example, that knocks a star off for the Nescafe Dolce Gusto Oblo by KRUPS. For hits of one-pod coffee, either black or adding your own milk, the machine does a great job. We enjoyed all of the varieties we've tried so far. Installed in my home office, with a jug of milk at room temperature (changed each morning before it gets grim!), this has proven to be a terrific way to enjoy a regular coffee boost through the day. In the kitchen, the bean-to-cup still rules the roost but getting a cup of coffee from that is an art and a performance, where the Oblo is a simple pop, lock and water affair.


The LEGO Movie
The LEGO Movie
Dvd
Offered by Lovefilm UK Limited
Price: £4.49

5.0 out of 5 stars A glorious slice of charm and fun, 3 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A glorious slice of family fun. We've watched the Lego Movie together three times now and the whole family, from three-year-old, through teenagers and up to us 40-somethings love it. The basic premise is simple: the world is made of Lego, not a cartoon of Lego but rather a world that conforms to the strict dot and click Lego principles. In that world lives everyman Emmett, who may or may not turn out to be 'the Chosen One' who will save the world from the strict rule of Lord Business.

The journey we go on charts Emmett's own ride from nondescript building site to the weird and fantastical outer limits of Lego building imagination. Along the way there are lots of laughs for everyone in the audience: prat falls and toy comedy for the toddlers, knowing current satire for the kids and big 'I used to have that set!' laughs for the adults.

The film has the feel of stop-motion but I understand is mostly CG, I view that as a plus in the Lego Movie because it affords the action a degree more fluidity than might otherwise be the case. The world built, however achieved, is gigantic in scale and ambition and works consistently throughout. You'll grin a wide childish smile at the ways in which the limitations and conventions of your days playing with Lego are liberally scattered throughout that world and even brought into the story, including a gloriously nostalgic thread around 1980s Space Lego that had my partner nearly cheering with childish glee.

Chris Pratt's performance as Emmett is wonderful: delivered with bags of charm, as is the movie itself, and a real commitment to believe in and be part of a convincing world. Around Pratt its a fun game of spot the cameo with a particular highlight being that of Arrested Development's Will Arnett as a less than knightly Batman.

We loved The Lego Movie and can see it becoming a traditional family favorite for years to come.


Method Daily Shower Spray 828ml UK
Method Daily Shower Spray 828ml UK
Offered by Beauty Store Uk
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Quality product that works., 25 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Smells great and works as advertised. Method Daily Shower Spray avoids that synthetic smell some sprays have and gives great coverage from the large size bottle. We use it once a day, as suggested and will probably get a good four or five months out of the one bottle.

Best of all - it's much nicer looking than most alternatives; it doesn't feel look an ugly cleaning product lurking in the corner of an otherwise attractive shower cubicle.


Infinity Double Maxi Stainless Steel Bathroom Cabinet
Infinity Double Maxi Stainless Steel Bathroom Cabinet

4.0 out of 5 stars Simple cabinet that does the job nicely., 25 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This looks great on the wall - simple lines, crisp squared off shape and all surfaces are reflective. The hinges are piano-style and so run the entire length of each door. The middle shelf is fixed but arranged such that you have space for tall bottles and a useful shelf for the stubby pots every bathroom houses.

My one gripe, and a relatively big one, is that the four fixing holes on the back are the exact size of fixing screws which means there is no way to make small adjustments to level. They should be slots rather than holes, which would allow that final adjustment.

Overall, very happy with it, looks nice.


Lezyne Smart Kit Clear (6 Patches)
Lezyne Smart Kit Clear (6 Patches)
Offered by Drover Cycles Online
Price: £3.97

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic ultra low-weight cycling accessory, 25 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Fantastic ultra low-weight cycling accessory. The Lezyne Smart Kit is tiny but still contains a useful selection of high-quality self-adhesive patches and a scraper to prepare the inner tube properly. In addition, on the reverse of the instruction card is a tyre boot, large enough to provide an emergency patch under (between tyre and tube) a tyre tear.


Revell Control RC Micro Helicopter Spike with Gyro (Infrared)
Revell Control RC Micro Helicopter Spike with Gyro (Infrared)
Offered by Ben Madigan
Price: £34.75

4.0 out of 5 stars Stable and Fun, 19 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
We've had a lot of fun from the Revell Control RC Micro Helicopter Spike with Gyro: both outdoors and indoors (though with somewhat more crashing into stuff). My main suggestion however is to be patient and give yourself time to learn how to get the best from the controls: the Spike really does reward flying time and practice.

Once you've put in a few goes, and accepted that battery life between charges is a little short, you'll get a real sense of achievement from accurately and easily pulling off neat moves and cool hops.

I selected this model in the hope that I could play with it with my three-year old but I have to say that was a bit optimistic on my part: absolutely no fault of the Helicopter, Arthur just couldn't get to grips (both physically and conceptually) with the controls. My fault NOT Revell's but I mention it in case you're thinking of grabbing one for similar reasons.

Why four stars given the bucket of fun had flying the Revell Control RC Micro Helicopter Spike? Build quality: it's a £23 toy, so expectations are rightly low but despite a spare set of rotor blades, I can see important bits breaking very easily. A number of other reviews have mentioned the on/off switch in that respect and I would have to agree with them: it's an unnecessarily weak spot.

But all said and done: £23 is very good value for a surprisingly stable and satisfying RC toy. I get a lot of fun out of it.


Daylight Company Mini LED UV Nail Lamp 6 W
Daylight Company Mini LED UV Nail Lamp 6 W
Price: £26.72

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does the job extremely well and is easy to use., 19 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I handed the Daylight Company Mini LED UV Nail Lamp over to my oldest daughter to test. She's a nail art nut and currently counts over 300 bottles of various varnishes in her collection. Rosy's verdict follows: she said that it works extremely well and wishes she'd got a UV Nail Lamp much sooner because of how easy to use this is.

She liked the build quality and size: it's well made and small enough to be practical for use on holiday or to take to an event where she'd be changing for the evening. One of the issues Rosy was surprised by was safety and the recommendations to avoid looking directly at the LEDs and to only use for no more than 10 minutes in a session: these things are pointed out but she felt that a peel off sticker over the nail entrance might also be sensible to make it clear that careful use is important.

Rosy also felt that it was worth mentioning that most people will not be able to get a full hand of nails under the light at one time: she uses it, as other reviewers have also mentioned, by doing fingers on one hand, then fingers on the other and finally both thumbs together. That still has multi-layered designs drying in minutes though, so she's happy.

It's very much a decorated thumbs up for the Daylight Company Mini LED UV Nail Lamp from Rosy! Highly recommended.


Braun Silk-épil 7 7569 - Wet & Dry Cordless Epilator with 6 Extras (Including Shaver Head and Trimmer Cap, Cleansing Brush for Face)
Braun Silk-épil 7 7569 - Wet & Dry Cordless Epilator with 6 Extras (Including Shaver Head and Trimmer Cap, Cleansing Brush for Face)
Price: £98.76

4.0 out of 5 stars Hair be gone, 12 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
For hopefully obvious reasons, this review is from my partner Emily:

This epilator works really well. Easy to use, and certainly stops hair from growing back for much longer than shaving. You can use it in the shower or bath, which is great. There’s also a shaver head included which works well, and is useful if you don’t want to use the epilator in certain areas. (I chickened out of doing underarms first time round.) I found the epilator quite painful at first, but it’s the first time I’ve used something like this, and it was much less painful the second time. Can take several passes to completely remove hair, especially if it’s shorter hair, but gets more efficient with practice. Comes with a bag to keep all the parts in.


Twisted Veins ACHRA3 Three (3) Pack of HDMI 90 Degree/Right Angle Connectors/Adapters
Twisted Veins ACHRA3 Three (3) Pack of HDMI 90 Degree/Right Angle Connectors/Adapters

5.0 out of 5 stars It's the little things, 22 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Arrived in a neat little branded bag with a free key-ring LED torch and a microfibre screen cloth. Given the usual unbranded-in-an-envelope nature of these sorts of little bits of kit, I was really impressed by the details. The adapters themselves are chunky and appear well-made. Nice one.


Masterplug Indoor Power SHADC-MP Shaver Adaptor Fused (White)
Masterplug Indoor Power SHADC-MP Shaver Adaptor Fused (White)
Offered by Accessories Arena
Price: £2.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Genuine, 22 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There are lots of fake plugs of this sort rattling around the internet. The one we received came in good quality packaging with all the right stamps and marks and printed properly. The plug itself feels 'right'. If I were pushed, I would say that it certainly appears to be a genuine product.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20