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Medisana 88254 Infrared Lamp (IRL)
Medisana 88254 Infrared Lamp (IRL)
Price: £31.52

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad but won't tilt down, 6 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This heat lamp does what it says, provides a gentle warming to tired or aching muscles. As a 150w unit you can stand or sit a good distance away so that more area is covered.

Things you might need to know

It will not tilt down at all. So do not buy if you need it for hands or wrists. The inability to tilt down can also cause problems in general use.

The plastic casting can get very hot, especially at the back and on initial use there was a 'plastic cooking' smell.

The cable is only 4'6" (142cm) long and comes with a 3 pin plug

Its a little unstable and the base could do with being just a bit wider

Groov-e Retro Boombox Portable CD, Cassette, Radio Player - Red GVPS813RD
Groov-e Retro Boombox Portable CD, Cassette, Radio Player - Red GVPS813RD
Offered by SIMPLUS
Price: £34.49

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A retro box that is not very boomy., 6 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought as a kitchen radio to replace another make that had a fault on the CD player.

Good points

Has a tape player, which is rare these days
Has an aux port so you can plug an mp3 player into it - set the player to cd and then plug the mp3 player in at the back. Thus is a 'dumb' socket, you cannot control the MP3 with the Boombox. You can set the volume on the Boombox,
Sounds rather good for the price, nice treble and the base is not too hollow for a plastic unit. (See below for volume issue)

Bad points

Suspect build quality. We had to send the first one back as we could not tune the radio at all. This one is OK, but the tuner is stiff as you move up the frequencies and the pointer will actually move backwards slightly near the end of its travel. Tuning down the scale is fine. The radio does stay tuned but it can be a bit of a fiddle to get tuned and you probably would not get a station right at the end of the dial as the pointer moves back.

Not very powerful. It sounds Ok and there is no distortion at full 'volume' however full volume is not very full. It's fine for a kitchen but be aware if you like or need more power.

There is no headphone socket.

Other stuff.

There is no Dolby on the tape (is there ever now?)
The plastic is a bit brittle feeling. You can't deform it but it just feels as cheep as it is.
The tape has a soft (ie slow) eject
All the controls are on the top with the exception of the radio tuner (right side near the back) and the aux port (at the back).

Archos Gen10XS 80 8 inch Capacitive Multi-Touch Screen Tablet (Multi-Core A9 ARM Cortex 1.6GHz Processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB Flash Memory, Wi-Fi 802.11, Bluetooth 4.0, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS)
Archos Gen10XS 80 8 inch Capacitive Multi-Touch Screen Tablet (Multi-Core A9 ARM Cortex 1.6GHz Processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB Flash Memory, Wi-Fi 802.11, Bluetooth 4.0, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS)

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but with some odd ommisions, 28 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Update as of 6 Dec 2014

Ok its started to misbehave.

The internal speaker now distorts at all volumes.

Its started to disconnect from the wi-fi randomly and won't re-connect even if you stand over the router. You have to turn the tablet's Wi-Fi off and on again to get it to connect.

Part of the silver screen surround has lifted slightly.

As suspected in the original review there is zero support and there have been no updates to the version of Android on it - though the Archos apps have been updated.

So after a year and a bit of use I'd say only 2 stars now.

Original review below


This was my second foray into tablet land, the first was a 7 inch Chinese brand that was OK until it stopped working.

As a result I purchased this through Amazon so that could use their guarantee if needed.

I have split this review into sections - just scroll to the bit you are interested in.

Unboxing - what do you get ? *** 3 stars

The answer is not a lot. You get the tablet, a small basic manual a mains charger and a usb plug (and the keyboard if you have bought the tablet with one) . You don't get a usb hosting plug and since like most tablets this one has a mini usb connection will need to buy this separately in order to plug any standard usb items (like pen drives) in.

Software - what's on it at the start ? ***½ 3 and a half stars

Mine was supplied with Android Jellybean V 4.1.1, google play store plus some Archos specific music and video players. I didn't get the BBC i-Player, and the Office pro suite they make a big thing about isn't that good -indeed Kinsgsoft Office (available from the play store) just feels better and easier to use. Note that many of the installed apps do not have icons on the home screen by default - you can get at them by pressing the 6 dots thing in the right corner of the home screen.

Flash is not provided (owing to Adobe throwing a hissy fit and sayng they will not support any Android beyond Ice cream Sandwich) but you can install it from Adobe's site (search for flash player archive in google) and check Unknown sources in security. It works, ish. 4oD is playable on Firefox only and is flakey. The 4oD app does not work at all. I have not marked the tablet down for this it is not Archos' fault, but just be aware.

Other apps include Zinio, Newsrepublic, various google items (eg Play books, Play music etc) a calender, clock calculator and system monitor etc. So OK on the supplied software, and you can download from the play store. It just takes time. On the plus side there were no Chinese apps and as far as I can tell you can delete those apps you don't want.

Note for the techies amongst you - this table does not come supplied with root access and I have no idea if it will be posible to root.

Compatibility ***** 5 stars

Ignoring the Flash and 4oD issue this has run everything I have downloaded from the play store. Yes some apps have locked occationally - but that happens on my PC.

Speed ***** 5 stars

This is a dual core with a max of 1.6 ghz, up with many eg Antutu rates it at 9787 (cpu 3121, gpu 4678). About the same as a Samsung galaxy note 2. Now I'm not much of a gamer, but 6 guns runs fine as does Archane Legends. Angry birds and less demanding stuff has no problem.

It feels quick and fluid in use starting most apps quickly, and starting from cold in a minute or so.

Wifi connection **** 4 stars

Connects fine to an O2 technicolor router but the signal power drops when going upstairs - still works but its not as strong as the Chinese tablet I mentioned.

Screen ***¾ three and 3 quarter stars

Its not an IPS screen but seems better than most. There is some colour washout when viewing from the edge and top and bottom of the screen. This is most notible when viewing at an angle from the side holding the connectors. I've marked it down due to the lack of IPS screen - this is not a cheap device and this omission - while not a deal breaker is really poor for the price. Front viewing gives a very good image, and you can get away with around 50 degrees either side of this.

Memory ***½ 3 and a half stars

1 gb main ram is good, but only 8 gb 'disk' is poor when compaired to other tablets of a similar price. On the plus side the disk is formatted so you get one partition (its in one chunk) rather than 2 as you can have on some tablets.

It does have a mini sd slot so you can store music/video there rather in the main disc and you can move apps to the external sd card.

Ease of use **** 4 stars.

Not 5 as the power button is tiny and the same colour as the case. You have to hold it in for around 5 seconds to start the tablet from cold and this is just a pain due to its size. The tablet lacks a volume control on the Android status bar and you cannot hide the status bar - not sure if the latter is a feature of Jellybean or not. If so it's a stupid one as is the way you take a screen shot (press power and the up volume - come on...)

The side volume control is also too small and just darn hard to find.

External keyboard ***½ 3 and a half stars

There is no doubt that using the optional keyboard is much easier than poking one on the screen. It connects to the table using magnets and a back support which is sort of adjustable, but does not turn it into a laptop. There is no hinge and you can only adjust the angle so much. In use the keyboard is like typing on a large calculator, with the same kind of feedback. There are some odd ommisions and odd keys. You get cursor control arrows and a del key, but no page up/down home or end keys. Making ediiting a document more hastle than it should be. Archos have however given a key with paragraph marks on it (¶§) which is unusual, and all the status bar icons controlling volume (missing from Archos' status bar) screen brightness, back, home etc. You can also charge the table from the keyboard - thus freeing the usb slot on the tablet. That said the screen size makes using and onscreen keyboard less of a chore for short notes and emails.

Battery life **** 4 stars

It's not bad, you can get 5-7 hours browsing and text editing etc, however put a 3d game on and the battery will drain rather rapidly in around 2-3 hours.

After sales from Archos no stars.

Archos say they reply within 48 hours, I sent a question 3 weeks ago - they haven't replied - nuff said.

Anything else?

There is 1 mini usb port which is also used to charge the tablet (takes around 3 hours from almost empty). Basically you cannot use an externalusb device when you're charging the thing, unless you plug it into the optional keyboard which has another socket.

Overall - is it for me.

If any of the following are vital to you then no:
More than 8gb internal memory
IPS screen
10 hour long battery life
Ability to charge and use an external usb device at the same time without using the optional keyboard.
Guarenteed flash player (get an Ice Cream Sandwich tablet)
Good (ie there is some) aftersales service

Otherwise its a case of comparing this with Amazon's offerings (currently no external storage and an odd implementation of Android that restricts access to the Google play store) or something from Samsung/Google themselves or chancing your money on a chinese 'no-name' tablet.

I like it, just wish it was cheaper from Amazon.

Joseph Joseph Pie Kitchen Timer - Grey
Joseph Joseph Pie Kitchen Timer - Grey
Price: £8.50

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A case of form over function, 27 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This mechanical timer is made of a rubberised plastic, which feels a bit odd but is easy to grip even if you have wet hands. You set it by rotating the top half of the timer and this results in the dial on the top face showing something like a pie chart to indicate the time.

To get a long 'ring' you can set the time to 1 hour - its max - and then turn the dial back to the desired duration. It also looks very modern and is reasonably accurate.

Unfortunately the dial face is not clear, its sort of mottled and translucent rather than completely transparent and this can make it difficult to read the mid grey (about the same colour as the case) figures. The tick is loud but the 'ring' is not, ranging from a asthmatic fart to a sick rattlesnake depending on the surface its resting on.

So only 3 stars. It's OK but has been over designed and I would not recommend it for anyone with poor eyesight due to the top face masking the figures rather than being clear plastic.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 25, 2013 2:52 PM BST

Philips PH-62050 CD/MP3/MD-To-Cassette Adapter
Philips PH-62050 CD/MP3/MD-To-Cassette Adapter
Offered by Smith & Co
Price: £29.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Works but not recommended for some types of car radio, 19 Jun. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I tend to steer clear of Philips products, I've been very unlucky with them in the past - coming out of the box faulty or developing faults soon after. Still the other reviews were good, it was cheap so I took a chance.

It comes in the standard card backed blister pack and consists of the cassette unit with a fixed lead. You can move the position of this by undoing a couple of screws so that the lead exits the cassette at the back or the side.

In use you just slot the cassette into the player and plug the jack into your MP3's phone socket. The sound quality is fine (but see below), not brilliant, but then I doubt if you'd use this to listen to an MP3 player on a HiFi. The play head in the cassette is sprung, but it does mean its a metal to metal contact with your cassette player's head, no idea if this would result in scratches but there are other ways to connect a MP3 to a HiFi.

For general in car listening it works - ish, though there is a note on the packaging saying it's not recommended for AC Delco radios. The product is made for the US market (the package suggests using dimes to loosen those screws I mentioned) and a 'net search suggests that AC Delco radios are mainly fitted to General Moters' vehicles. However since AC Delco radios don't appear to have anything on them to say who made them and AC Delco make radios and other car components for anyone I have no idea how you find out if your radio is an AC Delco or indeed what would happen if it was. After all Vauxhall is owned by General Motors.

I own a Ford and there is a background buzz if I turn the volume up beyond 7. This does not occur with the radio or when playing normal cassettes. I get the same buzz when using a different manufacturer's cassette adaptor as well - do I have an AC Delco radio? Not a clue. I don't get this buzz if I use the adaptor in my cheap and chearful kitchen radio cassette player.

So it works, but check your car radio's make first if possible. Would be interested if any other purchasers have the same buzz I have.

Through The Night
Through The Night
Offered by mecodu-uk
Price: £10.07

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good - an artist to watch. Review of the MP3 version., 13 Jun. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Through The Night (Audio CD)
I don't normally write music reviews, music is after all a very personal thing and while I might like something you may not. That said I listen to everything from ACDC to Michael Praetorius so what do I know?

As a debute album this is very good, Ren's voice has a slightly smokey quality and the tracks, which have touches of Motown and Phil Spector (the latter most noticable on Walking in the rain) about them, fit this very well.

The whole album is good and there isn't a dud or filler track on it. I'm not sure on the production on the 1st 2 tracks on the MP3 version. Ren's voice feels a bit lost in the mix - yet somehow also sounds detached, as if she's singing to a backing track in a Karaoke bar. Thus could just be me, as I said it's a personal thing. There are posts of the tracks on youtube and they don't seem to have this problem so it could be the MP3.

Recommended, listen to the example tracks on the MP3 and then maybe buy the CD if you dislike the mix.

4 stars due to the slightly odd mix on the 1st two tracks.

Sansa Fuze 8gb MP3 Player Black
Sansa Fuze 8gb MP3 Player Black

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 stars - A good player, however perhaps due to it's age, there are a number of minor problems, 14 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The Sansa Fuze has been available for a number of years and there is now a newer version. I bought this one as it's a bit cheaper and I don't really like the style of feel of the Fuze plus.

This item is currently (May 2012) sold by I-Zone deals, a Canadian based company, so standard delivery will take a while, mine took 3 and a half weeks to arrive. You may thus wish to pay a bit more for faster delivery.

It is dispatched in a plain sturdy cardboard box with the player wrapped in some bubble wrap. There is no manual, though this can be downloaded from the I-Zone website, and the supplied earphones are rather basic.

My unit had the latest, and last, firmware installed - V02.03.33P. It is very unlikely that there will be any updates to this, so there is little reason to install Sansa's update software unless you want to add videos to the player. It uses an odd format and they need to be converted. Unfortunately I could not get the Sansa updater to download the required conversion software at all, it just sulked and threw up odd errors (stating there was no hard drive for example). This might be due to the player's age and the fact I am using a 64 bit version of Windows 7. Thankfully there is a freeware programme called Video4Fuze available on the net and this worked fine for me. However since it's a download the usual caveats apply regarding it not working for you, possibly installing a virus, trying to take over the world etc.

Sansa state that there are a number of minor issues with the latest firmware. In no particular order they are;

The is no 'gapless' playback, meaning that there is a short pause between tracks, not a problem normally but this may be an issue for you if you listen to long pieces of music and they are split across tracks on the original cds, there would be a short period of silence between each track.

The player takes a long time to update it's internal database if it has more than 6000 songs on it. I haven't found this to be an issue yet - but then don't have that many stored. There is an update delay when you add/remove songs so suspect this just gets longer.

The EEC passed some legislation restricting the maximum volume on portable devices and some people have found the MP3 players that follow it are not loud enough for external speakers, cars etc. The fuze has an option to set the volume for the USA, EEC or rest of the world - mine asked when I first turned it on - and selecting rest of the world solves this problem.

The Fuze comes with some preloaded music, photos and a video which Sansa have hidden for some reason - they do not show up in a normal Windows explorer window. To remove them you either have to format the player, or set it into MTP mode (its in Settings > system settings > USB mode) and set your pc to display hidden files. A pain if you don't want the supplied items.

In use it is recognised by windows 7 and you can sync and copy items straight from Windows media player. You can also simply drag and drop files from Windows explorer. Indeed you will have to use the latter if you wish to add videos or music stored in Ogg or Flac format as Windows media player still can't handle these.

You can store audio books and although there is no bookmark facility there is a resume function. So you can pause, perhaps listen to some music, and then go back to where you left off. This also works for videos.

The screen is very clear and videos are watchable, though I doubt if I will be using this facility much due to the screens size and the fact that it eats the battery (5 hours video playback, 18 music).

It sounds really good, there is no emf interference when the menus update and the sound is good without being base or top heavy. There is an equalizer with presets or you can customize it to your own tastes.

The build quality is good, but Sansa use their own form of plug to connect the player to a computer. This is wide and quite difficult to remove if you have the headphones connected.

The built in radio is OK, and you can save presets. I found that I had to manually tune some stations even though once tuned they gave a good strong signal.

Overall its a very good player, worth the price and I hope will give many years service, I say hope as a number of reviewers have had reliability issues. 4.5 rather than 5 stars due to the problems with the video conversion and that plug is a pain to remove without unplugging the headphones all the time.

Freecom 56067 2TB Quattro eSATA/FireWire800/USB 3.0 3.5 Inch External Hard Drive
Freecom 56067 2TB Quattro eSATA/FireWire800/USB 3.0 3.5 Inch External Hard Drive
Offered by Kikatek
Price: £118.93

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A silent, fast drive with lots of connection options, however perhaps expensive if you can't use the fastest, 4 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There are a great many external hard drives on the market and many have USB 2 interfaces. this is fine if you are using them to store photos, mp3s etc but not so great if you have a lot of data - such as holiday videos - to move around. USB 2 is just too slow.

Freecom make this drive in several capacities, 500GB 1,2 and 3 TB. This review is for the 2 TB drive.

At 2TB(ish see below) this drive is near the top end of those currently (as of May 2012) available and has a surprising number of connection options: USB 3, eSATA, Firewire 800 (two ports) and Firewire 400. You can daisy chain firewire devices together so the addition of a 2nd 800 port is a nice touch.

The drive comes with all the cables you could possibly need to connect it, although the USB 3 one is rather short, perhaps this is normal - I'm not sure, so you'll need to site the drive close to your computer for USB 3.

Although it states it's a 2 TB drive, you actually get 1.8 TB once it's formatted. That's still a lot, but I do wish that manufacturer's would play fair and state a more accurate capacity. As mentioned by another reviewer it comes formatted as FAT32 - which restricts the largest file size to 4gb - so you will need to reformat if you want to save larger files. The manuals, a copy of NeroBackItUp, Freecom's own format utility (you don't need this, windows format works but it appears to give a slight increase in capacity over Microsoft) and a utility that allows the drive to spin down after a time when not in use are actually on the drive so copy these somewhere else before you format.

It's a fanless unit and in use is almost silent, there is no access noise and an almost nonexistent hum from the spindle motor. The very robust casing only gets slightly warm to touch and it looks a very well made piece of kit. There is even an on/off switch on the back. Looks are let down somewhat by the standard grotty power adaptor and the rather thin power cable. Its OK but I would have preferred the cable to be thicker to cut down on the chances of it getting damaged.

It's a fast drive, though this depends on how you connect it to your computer. I have a PC with USB 2,3, eSata and firewire as I do a lot of video work. The drive's box states that USB 3 is the fastest way of connecting, but I didn't find this.

I copied a 25 Gb directory of videos and jpg pictures from the PC to the drive though the various options and found the eSata to be the fastest with peek of 105MB a second for large files dropping to 74 for small ones. The other connection options came out as below

USB 3 - peak 80MBs dropping to 57 for small files
Firewire 800 - peak 60Mbs dropping to 44
USB 2 - peak 42MBs dropping to 27.

The firewire 800 speed was a pleasant surprise as firewire on windows 7 is notoriously flaky requiring various techie tweaks to get it to behave. As a comparison copying the same data internal sata to internal sata peaked at 115MBs, dropping to 98.

So to round up. It's fast, silent, has a great capacity and has a lot of connection options, recommended if your computer can use the faster interfaces but not if you only have USB2 there are cheaper USB 2 drives available.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 1, 2013 8:00 PM GMT

Memorex M10057 CB25 Ear Bud - Orange Tips
Memorex M10057 CB25 Ear Bud - Orange Tips

5.0 out of 5 stars Surpising quality with a warm sound., 22 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These buds come with 3 different sized soft tips and have an angled body so that there is a definite left and right. They fit in the ear very well and comfortably and although the tip material looks a bit too thin it works very well and they stay in.

The cable is a good length allowing you to pop your mp3 player into a jacket pocket, is quite soft and does not tangle as much as some others I have tried.

The biggest surprise though is the sound. For the price it is astounding. There is a richness and depth that really should not exist in a product for this price.

They have a warmth that is rather like that of a vinyl LP though if I have one criticism it is that they are perhaps a bit too deep and a little base heavy which can sometimes mask the top end.

Well worth the price.

KLASTOR HK 4GB Blue MP3 Player / MP4 Player with Full Colour Screen - FM Radio - Expandable Micro SD / Micro SDHC Slot
KLASTOR HK 4GB Blue MP3 Player / MP4 Player with Full Colour Screen - FM Radio - Expandable Micro SD / Micro SDHC Slot

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars MP3/4 player with minimal facilities for organising music. (Does not come with any software), 19 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is cheap and cheerful device so I guess you should not expect too much. It works (mostly) but it lacks a number of features you might need.

The good.

It's light and has a goodish battery life (probable manufacturer states 5 hours music and 3 video, but this may be out of date)
The sound is very good and there is no interference when the menus update, unlike some other players.
It's simple to use, plug it into a USB port and simply drag your files onto the player. You can organize stuff into folders on the player, but cannot do much else, no searching, no play by artist - unless you place an artists tracks into one folder and then manually navigate to it on the player.
It starts quite quickly, unlike some Sansa devices that take forever.
You can resume a track from where you left it after turning the player off.
The radio is not bad sounding and you can save presets.
You can expand the memory by adding a micro sd card.

The not so good

The 'manual' is very basic and appears to have been written for a slightly different version of the player. Some of functions do not work as described in the manual or are accessed slightly differently. (Amazon's screen pictures in the description do not show the ones that are displayed on the actual player which so I guess there has been some kind of software change.)
The interface is odd. When you start the player it defaults to music, but pressing play does nothing. In fact if you hold play it will turn off. You have to press the M (mode) key. Indeed pressing play while navigating around folders takes you up a level rather than playing the files in the folder
There is no facility to search by artist, genre, year, album etc at all. You have to manually organize your music by artist/album etc in folders on the player and then manually navigate through these folders to get to the tracks you want. You select tracks - by pressing M and then play, rather than just play, which is not very intuitive to start with.
Files on the micro sd card are not added to any playlists (there aren't any) again you manually navigate there.
Video is a bit jerky (and to be honest the screen is rather too small to be a video player or an e reader). Though the example golf playing polar bear cartoon made me smile.

The not very good at all

The manual states that you can download software from the web. You can't. The manufacturer is probably Howking Technology, a Chinese producer and this is on their web site (as of 18 April 2012) as model M1838T, a 1.8 inch screen mp4 player. There is no facility to download any software from them. Klastor do not appear to exist at all.
The player has a sleep function (basically it turns itself off if it's not doing anything to save power) you should be able to set the delay before it does and there is an option for this. Unfortunately the player keeps forgetting this setting and defaulting to almost instant meaning that you have to keep switching it on if you leave it for even a short time, or pause too long between selecting tracks.
Mine also tends to forget the volume I've selected when I turn it off, defaulting to ridiculously loud - see below. Very odd when the player remembers where it was in a track.

The bottom line.

If you want a cheap - don't mind if you loose, put through the wash, drop - good sounding (and it does sound very good) mp3 player ; don't mind learning a slightly quirky user interface; and can live with it occasionally forgetting some of it's settings (could be I just have a dud) then this a good product.
If you want to organize your music by artist/album etc and then search for this using mp3 tags then look elsewhere.

For my own part this is probably going to get returned to Amazon as it keeps deafening me when it forgets the volume setting.

As an addition searching for Klastor on Amazon no-longer shows this player but an Ipod nano look-a-like which bears a remarkable resemblance to one 'made' by Swees, or is it Atlantic, or maybe Micropix... but is likely to be Howking techs M2229 or M1825.

As an aside if you don't like this review please comment as to why.

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