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Glasgow Dreamer (Glasgow Scotland)
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Philips GC2048/80 Easyspeed Steam Iron with 120g Steam Boost and Ceramic Soleplate, 270 ml, 2300 Watt, Purple
Philips GC2048/80 Easyspeed Steam Iron with 120g Steam Boost and Ceramic Soleplate, 270 ml, 2300 Watt, Purple
Price: 40.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All you'll need in a household iron., 24 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have been very impressed wit this iron. It heats up really quickly, being ready to use in only about a minute, and it glides through the ironing almost effortlessly on its ceramic soleplate (I didn't know it was called that either). I have found that I can get through shirts much quicker than with my old iron, and I particularly appreciate the "button groove" feature at the point of the iron, as it allows you to iron around buttons without any problem, so the front of the short sits correctly, with no small un-ironed patches.

Overall, I can't fault it at all. I needed a new iron, and this does everything I would want of it.


Polar Loop Activity And Sleep Tracker
Polar Loop Activity And Sleep Tracker
Price: 66.28

2.0 out of 5 stars Simply not up to the job., 13 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was initially keen to try this out. I have been using a Withings Pulse O2 unit for a month or so, and have been quite impressed, but, on the surface anyway, it looked like the Polar unit may be considerably better.

Unfortunately I don't now believe that to be the case. The first problem arose when I found that I had to cut the strap to the required length, and re-attach the clasp to the strap. Apart from the possibility of cutting too much off the strap, this means the unit becomes useless if the size of my wrist increases (as may happen after some time at the gym), or if I find the unit unsuitable and want to pass it on to someone who happens to have larger wrists. Although largely a cosmetic issue, this has not been thought out well.

Practically, the unit seems to perform well, measuring steps, calories burned and activity time. However, in common with many other reviewers, I found its interaction with the app to be hit-and-miss at best, often failing to sync at all. This is inconvenient, but it also renders most of the stored data useless, as the incomplete data results in wrong totals and rolling averages.

There is a function which allegedly analyses sleep patterns, but, as with the Withings unit, its results are extremely unscientific; it can not distinguish between "trying to sleep", "sleeping" and "having recently woken up". I had a very broken night's sleep recently while I was unwell - I know I was awake for the majority of the night, yet the app's results indicated that I had had my best night's sleep in over a week!

Other disappointments include the fact that there is no heart rate monitor on the device (a separate device must be purchased), and the rather poor battery life. The literature trumpets that the device can be used 24/7, yet the battery barely lasts 24 hours, so it needs to be removed on a daily basis. The Withings unit includes a heart rate monitor and the battery comfortably lasts a week between charges.

To sum up, I feel these monitors are still, quite frankly, not up to the task. This one, in particular, seems rather limited, and does not even perform its few tasks particularly well. I would definitely give this one a miss.


Ring RCT5 Compact First Aid Kit
Ring RCT5 Compact First Aid Kit
Price: 12.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Decent small kit, covers the basics., 29 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Being honest, this is all you will need from a small first aid kit. Several reviewers have criticised the kit for being smaller or less complete than they may wish. However, unless someone is particularly unlucky, there will be enough in here to deal with most minor incidents. It is not, nor is it meant to be, a substitute for professional qualified treatment where such treatment is required.

There aren't very many bandages or plasters included, but these can be replaced when necessary; after all, you are unlikely to need to use four bandages at the same time! The pair of scissors isn't great, but good enough for its intended purpose. The whole set is included in a neat green zipped case, and wouldn't take up much room at home or in the car. Yes, there are bigger and better (and more expensive) first aid kits available; but this is perfectly adequate for most minor injuries, and would be ideal if you do not already have such a kit (and every home should really have one!).


The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir who got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe
The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir who got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe
by Romain Puertolas
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 7.27

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit contrived, possibly down to translation., 29 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I had hoped for more from this. I admit, I was attracted as much by the ridiculous title as by anything else. Unfortunately, the book itself doesn't seem to quite live up to the title. Once you get past the daft concept of Ikea stocking beds of nails, there didn't seem to be much else to it.

Being charitable, this may be one of those books that simply doesn't translate well; it doesn't "flow" the way you would expect a book written in English to "flow"; maybe it made more sense to readers in its original language; perhaps the somewhat strained "wackiness" may have originally come off as charming eccentricity. I don't know; I confess I didn't see it all the way through. I might give it another shot in a couple of months, maybe take it on holiday with me.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 4, 2014 9:45 PM BST


NESCAFE Dolce Gusto Oblo by KRUPS Coffee Capsule Machine - Black
NESCAFE Dolce Gusto Oblo by KRUPS Coffee Capsule Machine - Black
Price: 89.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice compact machine, but awkward to fill or empty, 29 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a fine-looking coffee machine. It is perfectly suited for a single person (or at a push, a couple), as its compact size seriously restricts the amount of water the small reservoir can hold - any more than two cups, and you'd be re-filling the reservoir, and continually waiting for the water to heat.

Having said that, the water does heat quite quickly, and the machine is ready to make coffee within around thirty seconds from the power being switched on, and it is quite simple to make a wide variety of drinks. There is a complimentary sample pack, containing four different drinks, and these were all perfectly pleasant. The capsules are widely available, and reasonably priced; I purchased three different packs at my local (small-ish) supermarket, and, again, I have enjoyed all the drinks.

Apart from its small size, my only grumble concerns the reservoir. It is unclear how it should be removed from the machine, and replaced after filling. The process is quite unintuitive and frustrating, and has resulted in some minor spillages. I have used the machine about a dozen times, and still haven't got the knack. If that could be remedied, this would be a five-star machine.


Body Pure 1200 mg Raspberry Ketones
Body Pure 1200 mg Raspberry Ketones
Price: 12.07

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Could not ascertain any benefit. Placebo??, 14 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Although I have only been taking these for a couple of weeks, I feel I can already say that they don't work for me. The tablets have to be taken along with a large glass of water around half an hour before breakfast and evening meals.

The large glass of water before meals "trick" is a well-known technique to aid weight loss, and my own thought is that it doesn't make any difference whether I took a tablet with the water, or just took the water on its own.

Perhaps, if you have more persistence than I have, you may find these help you. To me, I can't shake the idea they are just a placebo, to "science things up" a bit instead of just using water.


Kingston 16GB Micro USB 2.0 DataTraveler Flash Drive
Kingston 16GB Micro USB 2.0 DataTraveler Flash Drive
Price: 6.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal for use with smartphones or tablets, 9 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
At first glance, this just looks like any other USB drive. However, as well as the standard USB connector, this also has a micro-USB connector, so it can be used easily with most android tablets and smartphones. The micro connector, being slightly more fragile, is protected by a plastic cover, which swivels off, to enable the micro-USB connector to be used.

As expected, the unit performs perfectly well, and at 16Gb, this one has enough capacity for most day-to-day uses, without being too large to be used on my Galaxy S5 phone. (The range includes a 64Gb version, which may not be compatible with some smartphones or tablets, particularly slightly older models.)

Overall, this would be ideal if you need a flash drive to connect with your phone or tablet. Otherwise, that second connector would be redundant, and it would be just another flash drive. I'm perfectly happy with it.


Withings Pulse O2 - Activity, Sleep, Heart Rate and SPO2 Tracker for iOS and Android - Black
Withings Pulse O2 - Activity, Sleep, Heart Rate and SPO2 Tracker for iOS and Android - Black
Price: 99.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely little item, possibly a little impractical, 7 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
There are many gadgets similar to this on the market at the moment, and it could be argued that none of them have quite got it right, yet! Most have at least one drawback; they may not be portable or practical enough; they may not give accurate or consistent readings; they may have poor battery life, or they may suffer from one of many other common "show-stopping" flaws.

This one, however, is closer than any of the others I have tried. It is simple to set up - I had it set up and paired with my Samsung S5 in less than five minutes. As with most similar devices, it gives a step count,but also gives further relevant information; it shows distance covered (total, or for a run etc.); total height climbed (absolute heights - stairs, not gradients), and calories burned in doing so. It also has facilities for measuring heartbeat and blood oxygen levels, and a sleep monitor, and the battery life seems to be outstanding - a two-hour USB charge from my PC seems to last four or five days!

This all syncs to the Withings app on my smartphone by bluetooth. This updates periodically, but updates can be forced through at any time to give an up-to-the-minute reading. The app retains previous readings, making it easy to monitor and compare performance over time.

I have been perfectly happy with the operation of the device, and the readings it provides. My one reservation is with the physical item itself. It's a really well made, neat little unit, it feels comfortable to the touch, and it is easily operated and very responsive.

The device fits into a wriststrap, and I have used that method for monitoring my sleep cycle. The manufacturer's literature suggests you could wear the device on the strap during normal daily activity. I would strongly advise against doing so. The fitting on the strap is not tight enough to keep the device secure. It has come loose a number of times during my sleep cycle, thus negating my readings, and distorting my rolling averages. I am quite sure it would be lost very quickly if it was worn that way on a normal day. (In fact I see at least one reviewer has lost his unit in this way.) So I now secure the device to the band with a small rubber band before going to sleep. For all other activities the unit is either kept in a pocket, or in the clip provided, which seems to be much more secure. It's just a minor drawback, but one the manufacturers should know about.

Overall I'm quite happy with the item. It's still not accurate enough to rely on 100%, and the sleep monitor in particular seems to be far from scientific, but it's held my attention for a couple of weeks now. Ask me again in six months, and we'll see if it was really worth it!


Case-Mate Tough Case for Samsung Galaxy S5 - Black
Case-Mate Tough Case for Samsung Galaxy S5 - Black
Price: 13.98

3.0 out of 5 stars If size is more important than protection, fine..., 16 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
There are two layers to this case - an inner silicone layer, and a hard outer shell. As the S5 is quite a large phone, almost as large as can be carried comfortably in a trouser pocket, it is just as well that these layers fit so snugly; some other cases simply make the phone too large to carry conveniently.

The phone is still perfectly usable in the case, and I do get the impression that it would be quite well protected if it were to fall from a reasonably small height. However, you may feel safer with a wrap-around case, as this does nothing to protect the screen. As I managed to crack the screen on my S3, by dropping it from less than three feet, I might feel safer with a little more protection for the screen. There's a trade-off between protection and size, and this particular case probably comes down more on the "size" side of that trade-off. Overall therefore, I'm not quite convinced.


No Title Available

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great sound, really adds to the experience..., 16 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As other reviewers have stated, this is a really impressive piece of kit. When fully set up, with the subwoofer in action, and with the optimum settings applied, it gives a full, clear, and very LOUD sound, which can really add to the viewer's enjoyment of TV shows and DVDs. I also, more surprisingly, got great results with music, which is easily played through the bar from any bluetooth-enabled device.

I had no prior experience of soundbars, so I really can't comment on whether this is better than any other models, or whether I would have been equally satisfied with a cheaper model; all I can say is that I wouldn't like to go back to not having a soundbar again!

The instructions were easy to follow, which was handy, as set-up is not quite as straightforward as you would imagine. The only disappointment was the common (these days) gripe of necessary cables not being included with the package. We've all got a box of spare cables, but as usual, the one I needed was not here, so I had to temporarily cannibalise another device until I could purchase another HDMI cable. At this level of quality and price, cables really should be included.


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