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Lenovo YOGA 2 8 inch Tablet (Silver) - (Intel Atom Z3745 1.33GHz, 2GB RAM, 16GB Memory, Android 4.4)
Lenovo YOGA 2 8 inch Tablet (Silver) - (Intel Atom Z3745 1.33GHz, 2GB RAM, 16GB Memory, Android 4.4)
Price: £189.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly adequate tablet, despite "ugly duckling" looks, 6 Dec 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have taken my time before submitting this review, as I wanted to see if it "grew on me", with repeated use.

Although the display is exceptionally clear and bright, the refresh rate seems rather sluggish, to the extent that sometimes it's not clear whether your keystrokes have been recognised, so you end up double-clicking and retracing your steps. Because of that, I wouldn't say the tablet is particularly suitable for activities which require much input from users; for example, it is excellent for watching movies, but not so good for entering text into websites etc.

The built-in stand is a nice touch, and has a hole in it so the tablet can be hung up, possibly useful for kitchen use, for example when following recipes. However, the stand is only of use when the display is in landscape view (which, admittedly, is how it will be, most of the time).

The other obvious talking point about this tablet is the design. Rather than being a flat tablet, this design incorporates a one-inch diameter cylinder along the bottom of the tablet (when held in landscape view). This allows for greater battery capacity, and therefore longer battery life, and may therefore be a welcome addition to many users. However, it gives the tablet an "ugly duckling" look; it is the Citroen 2CV of tablets - many will simply find it ugly, but it will have its fans. One other drawback with this shape is that it will not fit neatly into most generic covers, so if you want to properly protect your tablet, you will need to go for one of the more expensive bespoke covers available from the manufacturer.

Overall, it's an odd little beast; it's no better or worse than others in its class, but the two points I raised above would lead me to choose one of the alternatives.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 17, 2014 8:08 AM GMT


The Art of McCartney (Amazon Exclusive Version) [+digital booklet]
The Art of McCartney (Amazon Exclusive Version) [+digital booklet]
Price: £9.98

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just about OK. Lacklustre and uninspiring, 29 Nov 2014
One look at the track listing should be enough to convince any fan of McCartney to part with their cash and buy this.

For the most part, it's money well spent, and almost everything on the first CD gets pass marks. Nothing is really anything out of the ordinary, and one or two of the artists, in particular Billy Joel, seem to be struggling with the material.

The second disc, however, contains the highlights and the lowlights of this collection. Dr John's "Let 'Em In" and Toots Hibbert's "Come and Get It" are the obvious highlights. Unfortunately, Smokey Robinson's take on "So Bad" lives up to the song title, Dion really struggles with "Drive My Car", and Chrissie Hynde's "Let It Be" is simply abysmal with some very odd phrasing completely ruining her delivery - I can't fathom how that got past the producer. If you buy from Amazon, you'll get two extra tracks, a decent "C Moon" from Robert Smith, and a pretty pointless "Put It There" from Peter, Bjorn and John.

Overall, it's not bad, but it's also not good. Nobody stretches themselves, and it really sounds like most contributors were simply going through the motions. This should have been so much better.


SanDisk Ultra SDHC 32 GB UHS-I Class 10 Memory Card 40 MB/s (SDSDUN-032G-G46)
SanDisk Ultra SDHC 32 GB UHS-I Class 10 Memory Card 40 MB/s (SDSDUN-032G-G46)
Price: £19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal, probably just what you need., 18 Nov 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As I have mentioned in other reviews of memory cards and USB pen-drives, it really is quite amazing how the capacity of these has increased, and the price decreased, over the past decade or so.

This particular card has already seen use in my Nikon One camera (I had wondered whether it would be too high-capacity, but it works fine), and to transfer files from one PC to another. In both tasks it performed just as well as one would expect - fast, accurate, and hassle-free transfer of data.

There really isn't much more to say about a memory card. I have had many, over the years, and I have to say the few problems I have had have not involved SanDisk products (although I have had several SanDisk cards), so I would recommend this without hesitation.


Mitre IC Tungsten Shinguards - Blue/Yellow - M
Mitre IC Tungsten Shinguards - Blue/Yellow - M
Price: £9.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Give good protection, and stay in place well., 18 Nov 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Being a little past the age of playing competitively now, these have been worn by my teenaged son in two school matches in the last week. According to him, they are very comfortable, and stay in place well (even from my own time, I can remember this being a problem).

We both particularly like the added ankle protection provided in these pads; it is amazing how often one's ankles come into contact with an opponents studs in a competitive match! During the second match, my son's left shin was the victim of a particularly vicious assault, but the guard held up well, and there was no lasting damage, to either shin or guard. After a quick wipe after the game the guards still look as good as new.

Overall, my son and I are both very impressed and would not hesitate to recommend this product.


Tacwise 1038 Hobby 53EL Kit
Tacwise 1038 Hobby 53EL Kit
Price: £31.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Ideal for certain jobs - but might not get used very often., 6 Nov 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a great little powered staple gun. It feels comofrtable in the hand, and effortlessly fires staples into various materials. I have used it on two outstanding DIY projects, stapling some underfelt to floorboards, and re-atataching a cushioned back to a chair. Both jobs seem to have held well. It is also quite a verstaile piece of kit, capable of using five different sizes of staples, as well as one useful size of nails.

You may not use it particularly often, but it is certainly handy to have. The only slight disadvantage is that it is mains powered, so you may need to use an extension cable, or continually change sockets, if you are undertaking a larger project, such as installing underlay in a larger room. In cases such as that, a battery-powered unit may be preferable.


Mitre Primero 32P Ball - White/Navy/Silver - 5
Mitre Primero 32P Ball - White/Navy/Silver - 5
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly fine, what more can you say?, 1 Nov 2014
This review is from: Mitre Primero 32P Ball (Sports)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a perfectly good training ball - it's not match-ball quality, but it doesn't claim to be.

It arrives deflated, as you would expect, but can be inflated in a matter of minutes using a needle adapter and a bicycle pump. The panels seem to be lightly padded, which makes it ideal for a kickabout, which was surprisingly possible today, in between the November showers in sunny Glasgow. Some heavier balls can turn a kickabout into a chore, but this one still felt light and responsive, even on the damp grass.

What more can you say about a football? It's certainly everything you would want in a training ball, or even for a light-hearted game.


Jam Touch Bluetooth Wireless Speaker - Black
Jam Touch Bluetooth Wireless Speaker - Black
Price: £24.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great budget portable speaker., 17 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a sort of "half-way house", but it is none the worse for it! It's not one of these tiny speakers you can slip into a pocket and use wherever you are; and it's also not a boom-box sized audiophile ipod docking beast!

What you get here is a small (about three inches in diameter, and the same height) speaker, which connects effortlessly via bluetooth to a smartphone or other bluetooth-enabled device. The sound is surpirisingly loud and clear, easily loud enough to listen to in a decent-sized room, and also easily loud enough to annoy fellow travellers on a train!

It's heavier than it looks, but could still be carried around easily in a briefcase or a rucksack, and it seems to be quite sturdily built. It charges fully via USB in around three hours, and seems to have a decent battery life (the blurb says five hours, but I've had it running for six!), and there is also a stereo minijack, so you can play music from non bluetooth-enabled devices, as long as they have a headphone socket.

Overall, I'd say this is well worth the money. It's not tacky-looking as many on the market are, and it's really simple and intuitive to use.


Proctor-Silex 60200-UK Commercial Drinks Mixer for Milkshakes and Frappes, 300 Watt, Black
Proctor-Silex 60200-UK Commercial Drinks Mixer for Milkshakes and Frappes, 300 Watt, Black
Price: £247.63

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Over the top for home use, but quite basic really...., 22 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This item is designed for the commercial market, but is attractive enough to look good sitting on the kitchen worktop in my small flat.

Thankfully, as the instructions are very brief (almost useless, really), it is very simple to use the unit. Simply fill the metal cup (included with the mixer) with milk and other ingredients, taking care not to fill beyond the maximum capacity, and then clip the cup into the machine. It will be held in place by a bracket on the machine, and the small platform on which it sits while the mixing takes place. If powered on, the mixer will automatically start at one of its two settings, either quite loud and quite fast, or very loud and very fast. In a few seconds, the shake will be ready for drinking.

I tried a number of different combinations of fruits and other ingredients, but this unit is not really capable of dealing with any fruit firmer than a ripe banana, as the mixing spindle is obviously not designed to deal with solids.. It works best when simply mixing milk with a shop-bought milk shake concentrate, paerhaps with a little ice cream.

If I was buying a milk shake maker for home use, I wouldn't even consider this one. For its limited uses, I would have been just as well served by a basic model, easily sourced for under £30.00. However, if for some reason I wanted to make 250 milk shakes a day, then this would probably be the sensible choice, as more basic models would almost certainly overheat and blow if used so heavily.


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: £27.00

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
Offered by Millet Sports
Price: £79.50

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.


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