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Mr. I. Simms "I Simms"

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EasyAcc® Mini Superspeed USB 3.0 4 Port Bus-Powered Hub with 0.6 ft USB 3.0 Cable for Mac,iMac,MacBook Pro Air,Ultrabooks,Microsoft Surface RT,Laptops,Raspberry Pi and any PC,Black
EasyAcc® Mini Superspeed USB 3.0 4 Port Bus-Powered Hub with 0.6 ft USB 3.0 Cable for Mac,iMac,MacBook Pro Air,Ultrabooks,Microsoft Surface RT,Laptops,Raspberry Pi and any PC,Black
Offered by EasyAcc.U Store
Price: £25.99

2.0 out of 5 stars it's fine as long as you're only connecting devices with their ..., 21 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm reviewing the mini Superspeed 4 port hub and I'm afraid I'm disappointed; it's fine as long as you're only connecting devices with their own power, but if there is any power draw to the hub at all (e.g -a USB dongle, wireless adaptor etc.) then it becomes exceptionally unreliable.

I tried with a USB dongle, and an external hard drive (with its own power) connected and the hard drive was constantly being disconnected and reporting read/write errors. When I removed the hub and connected it directly it functioned flawlessly.

So while this hub might be adequate if all you need to do is connect a printer and backup drive (each with their own power supplies), otherwise I wouldn't trust it at all.

Theragrip Thermal Tape
Theragrip Thermal Tape
Offered by RelChron Limited
Price: £4.24

4.0 out of 5 stars but it is actually very good; if you've ever used self-adhesive heatsink modules (for ..., 27 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This thermal tape may be a bit on the expensive side, but it is actually very good; if you've ever used self-adhesive heatsink modules (for RAM and such) then this is pretty much the same stuff, extremely thin with negligible thermal resistance for the sole purpose of creating a quick and effective bond. This will create a much better connection than thermal pads which are often far too thick for what they do.

Samsung 2.5-Inch 1 TB 850 EVO Solid State Drive
Samsung 2.5-Inch 1 TB 850 EVO Solid State Drive
Price: £297.98

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars EVO Evolution, 27 Feb. 2015
Performance simply can't be faulted, though it's not really much different to the 840 EVO that I replaced, perhaps a few extra megabytes per second write but otherwise about the same.

The biggest difference seems to be in durability; the 850's are rated for higher usage and come with an appropriately extended warranty.

I'm not sure if the outer case construction differs from the 840 or not, as I replaced an mSATA drive, but it's a highlight for me as the all-metal casing does a good job of keeping the SSD cool even in the hottest of cases. SSDs are generally more tolerant, while generating little heat themselves, but in a small form factor system it's something to consider over an mSATA drive that may get too warm under prolonged or intensive usage.

But yeah; this drive has solid performance given the limitations of SATA III, but if you're looking for an upgrade to an 840 EVO then this isn't really it; we're at the end of what SATA III can do, so any true upgrade will be using the newer, much faster m2 connector or PCIe.

Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop Keyboard, Mouse and Numeric Pad Set - UK Layout
Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop Keyboard, Mouse and Numeric Pad Set - UK Layout
Price: £67.19

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Comfortable Keyboard, 19 Dec. 2014
I've been looking for a new wireless keyboard for a while, after being disappointed by the Logitech K750, when I stumbled upon this unusual offering by Microsoft.

The whole package is very pleasing aesthetically, with attractive lines and a mix of glossy and matte plastic. Each of the three distinct pieces is very solidly built with none of the creaking and flexing of cheaper offerings.

Although I'm not really using the mouse (as I have a trackball) it is a comfortable shape that reminds me of Apple's old hockey puck style mouse, but more comfortable though unfortunately right-handed only. It glides very smoothly and tracks on almost any surface, with a decent set of shortcut buttons in addition to the usual left/right click and scroll wheel.

The numeric keypad is its own device, fairly compact and can be placed wherever you like in your setup, or even kept in a drawer till you need it. Personally I was a little disappointed that it doesn't dock with the main keyboard, as I feel that keeping it loose just means it gets shoved out of the way, and so far I haven't really used it at all, though some of my software will need it at some point, it's nonetheless a nice device with a feel similar to a large calculator.

The keyboard is the real gem of the set though; it's ergonomic using a split layout design that will take some getting used to. I found it awkward at first, in fact it felt like I was learning to type all over again, but most of my trouble came from bad-habbit that I'd gotten into, such as hitting the "Y" key with my left-hand instead of my right, it only took a day or so to get more used to it, and perhaps a fortnight to get fully back up to speed. The keys on this (and the number pad) are soft-touch with short-travel, and remind me a lot of the keys on Apple's aluminium keyboards (which unfortunately don't come in a full-size wireless variety, hence my search); they are very pleasant to type on, though people who prefer a more mechanical, larger key may disagree, I find them very comfortable, quiet and responsive, there is also a split space-bar which is an added bonus.

There are a few oddities with the keyboard however, the first are the function keys; they're not quite the same style as the main keys and are much shorter, however this isn't a huge inconvenience in most apps. More unusual still is that instead of a key to switch between special functions and F key usage, as on other keyboards, Microsoft has used a toggle-switch. This may indicate some future intent that Microsoft has towards eliminating F-keys entirely (not really a bad move actually), but it is a bit weird. Since I'm using my keyboard with a Mac I've toggled to F-key usage so I can map all of them how I want, as many of the special functions are Windows-specific, but I think most Windows users will get by just fine leaving it on the special functions.

The other main oddity is the layout of the arrow keys and home/end/page-up etc. keys; these are arranged vertically with the arrow keys as part of the main layout, which personally I'm not a fan of. Although the keyboard is already quite large I wouldn't have minded and extra centimetre to allow for a more traditional layout for these keys, as I'm constantly hitting the wrong arrows, or return instead of delete etc., which is the only thing I haven't gotten used to, and to be honest I'm not sure I will, as it's a very odd thing to do. At least with the traditional layout for these keys there is a natural spacing to keep you right, not so in this case.

The only other criticism I have are the batteries; this set includes three distinct devices, and each uses a different type of battery! The keyboard takes two AAA batteries, the mouse takes two AA batteries, and the keypad uses a watch battery, it's a nightmare. In an otherwise great product this seems a huge oversight, as I can't imagine the mouse's battery life would be bad with two AAA's, and the keypad could easily have used a single AAA instead, this way it would be a lot easier to replace them all.

However, these are all relatively minor niggles, as the keyboard is fantastic to type on and very comfortable, the keypad is handy and the mouse likewise comfortable to use (for right-handed people). I'd highly recommend getting the keyboard itself to anyone that types a lot, and there is a set without the mouse for left-handed people, though with only a small difference in price I'd recommend getting the mouse as well to right-handed users, as you will at least have a spare mouse even if you don't use it.

Creative Sound Blaster Omni Surround 5.1 USB Sound Card with High Performance Headphone Amp and Integrated Microphone
Creative Sound Blaster Omni Surround 5.1 USB Sound Card with High Performance Headphone Amp and Integrated Microphone
Price: £60.76

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Does the Job Nicely, but Creative's Mac Driver Support is Slow!, 19 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this for use with a Mac to replace an older Firewire external sound card, and I'm very pleased with it. The sound quality is good, and the microphones work extremely well, all wrapped up in a convenient USB-powered device with the added benefit of some front ports for headphones, which are often awkward to connect to Macs with ports on the back.

The only problem is that this device has no drivers that work with OS X Yosemite, even though it's now been out for some time, after an even longer period of early access for developers (precisely for people to update their software!). This is a very disappointing lapse for Creative, however the device works well enough without its software, albeit with no ability to tweak individual speaker volumes etc.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 4, 2015 9:17 AM GMT

Noctua NF-A4x10 FLX - NF-A4x10 FLX Fan - 40mm
Noctua NF-A4x10 FLX - NF-A4x10 FLX Fan - 40mm
Offered by NOCTUA - Designed in Austria
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Premium Quality, Premium Priced, 19 Dec. 2014
For such a small fan I'm not sure it's possible to find anything better than this; at 4cm x 4cm x 1cm it's minuscule inside the provided packaging, but if you're working within a confined space then you won't have the luxury of choosing something larger.

On its own this fan moves a very respectable amount of air and does it reasonably quietly while running at a low to medium speed, though it may whine slightly, and does become distinctly audible as it approaches full speed. However, if fitted with the low noise adapter provided it is almost completely silent, though of course you trade airflow for this but in tight spaces the main thing you need is for the air to move at any speed, so this may not be an issue.

The cost of the fan is pretty high, but what you're getting is an extremely well engineered and quiet set of fan blades, built-in anti-vibration pads, anti-vibration mounting pins and a comprehensive set of adaptors. The anti-vibration pads help to keep this fan silent, and the rubber pins can help further, though personally I found them most useful because I didn't actually have a proper fan mount (I had to adapt one from an existing vent) and the pins are more forgiving of misaligned holes.

In addition to the low-noise adaptor, the fan also includes an extension cable if you need it (as the fan's basic cable is a convenient length for short distances), and also a 3-pin to 2-pin adaptor which is useful for things like hard-drive enclosures and other devices that usually use the smaller, simpler 2-pin connector. Also included is an omni-join set which you attach your fan to any bare wires of the appropriate voltage, useful in devices that don't have an actual connector at all.

While you're paying a premium price for this fan, Noctua have given you the tools to fit this tiny little fan into almost any device, and give you your choice between near silent operation with decent airflow or stronger airflow with some noise (albeit still much quieter than many cheaper fans).

LMP Bluetooth Keypad with 28 Keys for MacBook and MacBook Pro
LMP Bluetooth Keypad with 28 Keys for MacBook and MacBook Pro
Price: £37.00

2.0 out of 5 stars which is allowing you to expand an Apple wireless keyboard to a more useful size. - Does a reasonable job of matching ..., 6 Dec. 2014
- Does what it sets out to, which is allowing you to expand an Apple wireless keyboard to a more useful size.
- Does a reasonable job of matching the wireless keyboard's style.
- Doesn't prevent use of the wireless keyboard's power button.

- Cheap plastic construction.
- Bulky as the batteries are stored under the keys rather than in the cylindrical section at the top.
- Cheap power button (a little flick switch).
- Poorly printed keys (characters are not crisp at all).
- Keys are not as light as on the wireless keyboard.
- Bluetooth pairing issues (only two out of my four Macs could recognise and pair with this device).
- Slow to respond when computer is waking from sleep.
- Requires another two AA batteries on top of the two or three from the wireless keyboard.
- Joining strip gives a flimsy fit, making this unsuitable for use except on a desk.

To summarise; this is a very disappointing product for the price. If you choose to get one then you're dropping around £80 on a keyboard, but there are far better options out there. I've personally tried the Logitech K750 solar keyboard which is okay, but in the end I settled for a Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Wireless Desktop; you'll need to use Better Touch Tool to remap the keys to your liking, but it's an excellent and very nicely made keyboard. In short; there are much better alternatives to slapping one of these keypads onto the Apple wireless keyboard, at least until Apple finally sees reason and produces a full-sized wireless keyboard again.

Sony SBH20 Stereo Bluetooth Wireless Headset with NFC and Multi-Point Connectivity - Black (discontinued by manufacturer)
Sony SBH20 Stereo Bluetooth Wireless Headset with NFC and Multi-Point Connectivity - Black (discontinued by manufacturer)
Offered by Technomobiles
Price: £17.85

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Freedom From the Cable!, 24 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a great little device, and an excellent, and versatile, way to free yourself from cabling; ideal for connecting to a phone, tablet or laptop in your pocket/bag, without the hassle of a trailing wire.

- Extremely lightweight with adjustable clip, so it easily clips onto the top of a T-Shirt.
- Strong Bluetooth connectivity and compatibility, particularly with newer (e.g - Bluetooth 4.0) devices, but has good range even for older v2.0 and v2.1 devices.
- Full set of controls for handling play/pause, forward/back, volume and for answering calls, plus a menu button, though the latter doesn't seem to do anything with my devices.
- Standard mini-jack connector, allowing any preferred headphones to be used over the stock ones; for example a high quality over-ear pair for home use, with ear-buds for jogging.
- Can likewise be hooked up to any device with a mini-jack input, such as speakers, and some TVs and media centres, which can make it a convenient way to play music without the headaches of software sharing.
- The provided in-ear headphones are actually very good considering the price; they do an excellent job of cancelling background noise (almost too good) while delivering rich bass and just all round great quality. Personally I've reduced the bud size so I can still hear my surroundings.
- A choice of bud-sizes for a comfortable fit, though bear in mind that it can take some getting used to if you've never used noise-cancelling in-ear headphones before.
- Decent battery life (about 8 hours on half volume) considering the small size.

- Controls are fiddly to use without looking; the play/pause button especially could do with a better defined edge.
- LED isn't the most informative way to determine battery life; it would have been nice if an audio message could give an exact percentage when the device is switched on, for example.
- The rotating clip, while handy, only "clicks" into position at one point; if you prefer a different position then it may rotate while attempting to clip it onto clothing, making it a bit awkward to attach.
- Microphone for handsfree calls is capable enough but not especially amazing; it's built into the corner of the device which will limit where you can put it (as does the length of the headphones themselves). I'm not sure if the device supports headphones with integrated microphone or not. It's certainly better than nothing, and will on par with a lot of phones, but I personally prefer my handset.
- Connectivity with Bluetooth 2.0 devices can be a bit fiddly; I'm not sure if this is a problem with the headset or these devices, but while the headset may appear to connect it won't receive any sound, requiring it to be turned off and on again (the age old electronic troubleshooting solution) at which point it will usually work fine. I haven't noticed this issue with Bluetooth 4.0 and 4.1 devices, so it may be a problem with older hardware or Bluetooth versions.

All in all this is a great device that lets me listen to music from my phone, while allowing me to continue to use my phone with total ease of use without cables snagging or limiting my range of movement.

Max Payne 3 (Xbox 360)
Max Payne 3 (Xbox 360)
Offered by games-wizard
Price: £5.43

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Max Payne, Now With Gritty Detail, 17 Sept. 2014
I'm a bit late to this game, and I think like a number of others I was put off by the weird advertising decision to show Max Payne as a bald guy in a Hawaiian shirt, which led many to fear that Max Payne wouldn't be the same gritty action-fest they knew and loved…

…but man was I wrong to have my doubts! This sequel is expertly crafted with fantastic visuals, a dark and blood-soaked storyline, and fantastic gameplay that preserves many of the best bits from the previous games, while adding a solid cover shooting mechanic, and "last man standing" slow motion to kill an enemy before they deal the fatal blow to you. It feels refined and smooth, while keeping the gun-play very, very deadly.

Regarding difficulty, I've only played through on medium so far, and I found that pretty tough in places, particularly when there are frequent enemies ambushing you down seemingly deserted corridors, requiring fast reflexes to shoot dodge or find yourself gunned down with no cover to hide behind. It all serves to make the game very tense, requiring careful use of your slow motion bullet-time to leap to fresh cover and get those precious killing head-shots. There are also numerous set-pieces to keep things fresh, alongside "free aim" segments of slow motion challenging you to kill as many enemies as possible or else be stuck with hard odds after returning to normal. If I were to have any complaints about the game-play, its that the enemy seem to find it too easy to know where you are (so ducking around to another piece of cover doesn't take the heat off you for even a moment), and it can be difficult to know when you've killed an enemy, but otherwise the game-play is faultless, if very challenging at points.

In terms of replay value there are various "grinds" such as number of head shots, kills with particular weapons etc., plus a number of achievements (many in the free aim segments, which I seem to have failed to get any of!). There is also a series of "New York Minute" arcade challenges, pushing you to complete them as fast as possible, so there's some good content even outside of the main game. There are also two additional difficulty levels beyond Hard, though I'm not sure if I'd even want to attempt those without first grabbing more of the golden gun weapon upgrades scattered throughout the campaign. There's also multiplay, though I've yet to try this.

The campaign's story is as action-packed as you'd expect, though not quite as gripping a conspiracy as the first two (I had the villain clocked from the first level's cutscene). Not that that slows anything down as excellent, if a little cutscene heavy, direction, superb character graphics and animation and a few scattered extras to find in the levels tell the story well, and keep our favourite tortured cop as dark and disturbed as ever as he fights substance abuse as much as he fights waves of enemies. While I was initially disappointed by the change of scenery from the grim, snow-covered New York I loved, Sao Paulo manages to be every bit as dark in spite of its sunshine, as Max rampages through some of the worst areas in the city, but for good measure we do get a couple of flash-backs set in white-washed city fans are familiar with.

All in all this is a great game, and a very worthy addition to the series. I might even argue that it's better than the second game, and I very much want to see a fourth title in this great series.

Logitech K750 Wireless Solar Keyboard for Mac - Black
Logitech K750 Wireless Solar Keyboard for Mac - Black

2.0 out of 5 stars Great Typing Experience, 18 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I initially reviewed this very positively, but feel I had to come back and edit my review after (trying) to live with this keyboard a while along. My newfound conclusion is this; I hate it.

In spite of being plastic this keyboard seemed nice and sturdy initially, however, after using it for a while it now flexes quite easily, so easily in fact that it frequently loses its connection to its badly designed battery which means that either the keyboard has no power until you flex it just the right amount, or it discharges its power extremely quickly. Also, the keyboard appears to lie about charging under artificial light sources; several times I've had the green light claiming it's getting enough to charge, only to find that it's hardly charged at all. This means that in the UK it's pretty charge it at the window or have your keyboard run out of charge.

The typing experience didn't seem too bad initially, but I've come to dislike it; the keys just aren't as crisp or responsive as the Apple wireless keyboards I was trying to find a full-sized alternative for, and I find that modifier keys (command, alt, control and shift) often don't register properly during keyboard shortcuts, which is simply unforgivable, as it requires to make a very firm effort to perform such combinations. Also, instead of focusing the media keys on F keys that Macs don't really use anymore, like F13 to F15, they media keys on this keyboard uses some of the most important function keys on a Mac keyboard layout, including the default Exposé/Mission Control keys, without offering those functions somewhere else. The full-sized Apple wired keyboard is perfect in this regard, so why Logitech couldn't use the same layout for their own Mac keyboard is beyond me; the Logitech Control Centre offers no ability to tweak this except to change the behaviour of the function key (to make F keys function as normal F keys rather than triggering the special functions).

I'm also very dissatisfied with the overall design of the keyboard; the solar panels make it too tall, the power switch is positioned very poorly and I just the flexing, plasticky body just doesn't justify the price I paid for it at the time. It seems to have come down considerably since then, but I'm still not sure I would justify paying for such a miserable experience, so I can't recommend that anyone else does either.

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