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David Jackson (UK)
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Seagate ST2000DM001 2TB SATA III Performance Hard Disk Drive
Seagate ST2000DM001 2TB SATA III Performance Hard Disk Drive
Offered by Xtreme_Drives
Price: £61.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good disk, poor packaging, 23 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Along with many other reviewers, I found the packaging of this disk to be barely adequate - the disk was wrapped in a layer of bubble wrap and placed in a cardboard box (with the brand name "Optimum Packaging" - which it certainly wasn't in this case). This was then held in a larger Amazon box by crushed brown paper - this absorbs more shock than many think so it isn't as bad as it looks - providing that the product can't roll around in the box. Luckily this one didn't.

As to the disk - it's standard Seagate fare - it's mostly quite in operation, with the over-riding noise being a mains harmonic hum and it seems reasonably fast to very fast, depending on what it's doing (and, most likely, whether the cache contains the next data it is asked for). As usual with a 2GB disk formatted free space is around 1.8TB.

I cloned my previous disk to it with Acronis True Image in around 30 minutes and fitting took another 30 seconds. For those without a cloning tool, a Seagate custom version of True Image is available from Seagate's web site.

I loaded up the Seagate tools, which showed no errors (and, nearly two weeks later, still don't, neither do I expect them to) and revealed a firmware update was available, which I applied. I can't say that I've noticed any change with the new firmware, but the process was simple enough. There are some who say that this disk needs its firmware updating to stop a clicking noise (when retracting the head and going into power saving mode I think). I can't comment on that as I wasn't experiencing any clicking.

All in all a good drive at a good price, with disappointing packaging. The 5 star rating is for the disk only as packaging may vary.


Cable Matters Gold Plated DisplayPort to DisplayPort Cable 2 Metres
Cable Matters Gold Plated DisplayPort to DisplayPort Cable 2 Metres
Offered by Cable Matters
Price: £10.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great value cable., 23 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As others have said this is a good value, well made cable.

This has replaced a DVI connection between my PC and monitor and I have had no issues. In fact, better than that, it is sturdy, but doesn't remember the coil it had in the pocket - it straightened out immediately which I wish all cables would do. The plugs are of the locking variety (this is mentioned in the cable spec, but at the bottom) meaning the plugs won't accidentally come loose when moving the monitor, but, being a push type lock they are much easier to remove than the screw in DVI (and VGA) plugs on their respective cables.

I can't think of a reason to remove any stars, so it's also a five star review from me.


[usb3.0 & 5V4A power adapter] Inateck Mini Portable USB 3.0 4-Port Hub with 5V 4A Power Adapter - Support Windows XP 7/8,MacOS X 10.8.4 or above, Linux [3ft USB 3.0 Cable]
[usb3.0 & 5V4A power adapter] Inateck Mini Portable USB 3.0 4-Port Hub with 5V 4A Power Adapter - Support Windows XP 7/8,MacOS X 10.8.4 or above, Linux [3ft USB 3.0 Cable]
Offered by Inateck
Price: £49.99

9 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sits in the middle, 18 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This USB 3.0 hub is an oddity - it's compact, but not compact enough to throw in a bag (with it's heavy power supply) without missing the space and noticing the weight; it looks space saving, but with 6 plugs in it (including the input cable and power supply) it actually requires a lot of desk space and it's neither very good nor bad as a result.

Positively, it's a USB 3.0 hub and does achieve the transfer speeds associated with the standard when connected to relevant devices; it looks well made and well finished; it has a light per input to show when they are in use and the sockets hold inserted plugs firmly.

The bad: it's quite lightweight so tends to tip up when the physical socket load isn't "balanced" - you end up removing plugs and trying a different socket to try to prevent this and my biggest grumble - the design looks as though it's space saving, but with all ports in use it takes up a lot of space with plugs sticking out of every side, and their associated cables snaking across the desk. A device using the more conventional line up of ports on one side takes up less overall space.

Summing up, if you have the desk space for this, it'll serve you well (try a little blue tac (or similar) to hold it down) and is reasonable value. If you want a portable hub, this almost fits the bill - it's pretty lightweight, however the power unit is too big and heavy to make you want to carry it everywhere.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 4, 2014 4:31 PM GMT


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5.0 out of 5 stars Small, shiney and marvelous, 16 Dec 2013
I bought an Ankher unpowered hub to connect my PC to an external Seagate 2TB drive and a couple of other devices. As the other devices had a low power requirement and the Seagate disk has its own power supply I initially went for an unpowered hub as I thought that would be sufficient. I was wrong; it seems that my PC was unable to provide enough current to drive the hub with a high powered device connected (even though, as I said, that device has its own power supply).

Anker recommended that I should use a powered hub and supplied me with one of these 4 port units. It's small, with a good quality gloss black finish with a blue LED to show when a port is in use. The ports feel substantial and grip inserted plugs well (they also have the USB 3.0 standard blue tongue for easy identification). The ports are lined up on the front edge of the unit, with the rear having sockets for the USB 3.0 input (cable supplied - around 1 meter long) and for power - to this end a small power supply unit is supplied, which feels sturdy enough to survive being carted around in a bag with a laptop, etc.

Windows 8.1 picked up the device within a few seconds and the Seagate disk, when connected also took a few seconds to be recognised first time around. This time, unlike with the unpowered hub, the drive was correctly identified. I performed a full disk backup (using True Image 2013), which took around 1 hour 55. Previously, with USB 2.0, this had taken around 5 hours so I am much impressed by the extra turn of speed USB 3.0 gives, and that this hub correctly identifies the relevant standard and switches accordingly.

All in all, a very good buy which does what it says on the box.

My experience with Anker's customer service was exemplary so I'm happy to recommend this, and their other devices to friends, and give it a good review here.

To sum up - if you need a USB 3.0 hub, think carefully before buying an unpowered one - if you are connecting higher powered devices, even if they have their own power supply, buy a powered hub. If you only need 4 ports, this hub is an excellent choice.


USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Extension Cable Type A Male to Female BLUE 1m Short
USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Extension Cable Type A Male to Female BLUE 1m Short

5.0 out of 5 stars It's USB 3 and it's blue !, 9 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
USB 3.0 sockets have a blue "tongue" to distinguish them from USB 2.0 sockets, hence having a blue cable for an external USB 3.0 device seemed a good idea so I could easily spot it round the back of the PC in the gloom, preventing me from wasting a USB 3.0 socket on a USB 2.0 device.

This one wasn't expensive, feels well made, grips attached plugs tightly and works as expected. What more is there to say ? Excellent value.


Anker® USB 3.0 4-Port Hub with a Built-in 1ft USB 3.0 Cable for Laptops, Ultrabooks and Tablet PCs with USB Ports Backward Compatible with USB 2.0 & Support Windows 8/ 7/ Vista/ XP, Mac OS X 10.8.4
Anker® USB 3.0 4-Port Hub with a Built-in 1ft USB 3.0 Cable for Laptops, Ultrabooks and Tablet PCs with USB Ports Backward Compatible with USB 2.0 & Support Windows 8/ 7/ Vista/ XP, Mac OS X 10.8.4
Offered by AnkerDirect
Price: £25.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Smart looking device - not compatible with my PC/peripherals, 9 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This hub looks smart and well made, with a piano style gloss black finish and a (very short) captive lead for connection to a laptop - if using with a desktop you'll probably need an extension cable unless you're happy to let it dangle behind the PC. There's a light confirming it's powered up in the latest favourite colour of blue. It's fairly bright.

The hub was instantly detected by my Windows 8.1 PC and the relevant driver loaded, however when connecting a Seagate Backup Plus drive the drive was detected in device manager, but the contents couldn't be accessed. The event log is full of related errors and warnings about user mode driver crashes. This also prevented access to all external drives, not just those connected to this hub; the driver crash wasn't just affecting the Seagate USB disk.

Following the advice on the vendor's website didn't help so I can only assume it's incompatible with either the Seagate USB circuit or the Intel chipset on my motherboard, whichever I don't care - it's not working for me so I returned it for a refund.

So, the bottom line is that you may find this works for you and meets your needs, in which case you'll probably rate it as 4 or 5 stars, or you'll find it incompatible, like me. If you do, my advice is to return it rather than try messing around trying to get it to work.

UPDATE: Since returning the hub, Anker have been in contact with me, suggesting I use a powered hub - one of which they provided me with [Anker® Uspeed USB 3.0 4-Port Hub with 12V 2A Power Adapter and 3ft USB 3.0 Cable [VIA VL812 Chipset]. I can confirm that the Seagate drive was able to work correctly with the powered hub, suggesting that my PC can't deliver enough power via it's USB 3.0 ports to drive a non-powered hub when it has a higher powered device connected, even though that device has it's own power supply.

I've amended the score on this review to reflect my thoughts on this hub bearing in mind that it wasn't suitable for my requirements. I will reiterate my comment that, if in doubt about what you are connecting, buy a powered hub. If you don't need a powered hub, this one appears to be of good quality and worth recommending. Updated score, 4 stars (it loses one for the short cable). Anker customer service - 5 stars !!!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 16, 2013 9:08 AM GMT


Expert Shield - THE Crystal Clear Screen Protector for: Microsoft Surface RT & Windows 8 Pro 10.6" Tablet *Lifetime Guarantee*
Expert Shield - THE Crystal Clear Screen Protector for: Microsoft Surface RT & Windows 8 Pro 10.6" Tablet *Lifetime Guarantee*
Offered by Expert Shield
Price: £13.95

5.0 out of 5 stars All Screen Protectors Are Not Equal, 22 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having screen-protected several touch devices to protect them from myself I set out to find a protector for my new Surface Pro. Having now tried three it's obvious that all are not created equal and you do, to a large extent, get what you paid for.

The first one I tried at around 2 quid had a degree of opacity caused by a mixture of the "glue" and the material it was made of. Try as I might, I couldn't get all the bubble out from beneath it either. Useless and removed straight away.

The second one was closer to £10 and the bubbles did come out easily, unlike the dust which was sucked in by a tremendous static charge. To add to that there was a horrible tacky feel to the surface - it felt as though it was coming away with my fingers!

So to the Expert Shield - I applied this in a steamy room (as recommended) to keep the dust tamed and laid it down in the correct position first time - brilliant. However I'd got a piece of plastic stuck under the shield - a quick note to Expert Shield and a replacement was on its way. So first point to Expert Shield - they boast excellent customer service and they delivered it.

Applying the second shield correctly first time, the bubbles were all smoothed out in around 20 seconds and, with it in place and dust free, it's impossible to tell it's on the screen while there is an image showing. It's pretty good at not showing finger prints and grease too. The feel is smooth, with no friction holding back either fingers or the stylus, there are no sharp edges to the protector, unlike the cheaper ones and unless I look around the camera I can't tell it's there. Accuracy of the stylus is unaffected.

So, high praise for this product from me - it does what it's intended to do and doesn't get in the way, or make you change you techniques to work with it. It's clarity is great and the feel is such that you could say there is no feel. Add to that the excellent customer service and I'm a very happy customer and recommend this highly.


Canon PIXMA iP7250 Colour Inkjet Printer
Canon PIXMA iP7250 Colour Inkjet Printer
Price: £56.00

231 of 235 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Canon IP7250 - an excellent photo printer !!, 29 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this printer because the print head on my IP4700 failed and replacement of the head would be more expensive than replacing the printer. I don't need a multi-function device and main use is for photo printing, with occasional documents and envelopes.

I'd read a few reviews of the IP7250, which concentrated on printing costs and made little real mention of print quality. It didn't help that reviews on Amazon started well, but more recently were low, dragging the average score down to 2 stars. As these seem to be related to specific issues with individual reviewers (for example, faulty units and high ink usage) I chose to go with Canon's past reputation and order the IP7250.

Two days after ordering the printer arrived, despite being the 3 - 5 day free service so I started off impressed!

Unpacking the printer was easy enough, with all of the tapes which need removing being easily accessible and the ink cartridges were easy to install. On first power up the printer initialised the print head, then a supplied thick paper sheet has to be placed into the printer to allow the head to be aligned automatically. All this took around ten minutes. The driver and associated utilities took an additional 5 minutes to install via USB connection on Windows 8. I later tried the wireless setup and this also was simple, with the wireless link being reliable so far.

The paper supply mechanism has changed since I bought my IP4700; there is no longer a lift up lid to feed in paper which doesn't fit the main tray; instead there are two fully enclosed trays provided - one can take 125 A4 (or smaller) sheets of standard paper and the other tray 20 6x4 or 7x5 sheets of photo paper. Users of older Canon printers need to be aware that the printing side of the paper is now inserted facing down; this is clearly noted in the manual.

So, how does it print ? Plain text prints very well indeed as there is a dedicated black ink tank for text printing. Speed seemed no faster than my old IP4700, but is more than satisfactory for the occasional letter or moderately sized document. There is an inbuilt duplex unit, allowing double sided printing and there is a driver setting to allow A5 booklets to be printed using A4 paper (though there is no in built stapler - but then at this cost, I don't expect one). So far, so good.

Photo printing is up to the standard of the IP4700 (which was, 2 years ago, the PC Pro A listed photo printer), with bright, contrasty prints showing good colour rendition, a high level of detail, without banding, being produced. Again, speed was similar to the IP4700 so should be fast enough for most uses.

The noise produced by the printer is higher than I expected when it's cleaning it's heads (which it, like all other recent ink jet printers I've used, seems to do randomly when a print job is submitted), though it's better when actually printing. There is a quiet mode which can be set from the driver (as well as on/off you can specify the time period when the quiet mode is to be used) and this does reduce the noise, and speed, of printing, with the printer sounding like it's moving air through it, rather than paper.

I haven't yet had the printer long enough to comment on the number of pages/prints per refill, but I note that the tanks are no more expensive than those for the IP4700, or alternative Epson models.

My overall verdict at this point is that I have bought a very good photo printer, which is also capable of good text printing and has good paper handling, all for a price which is low for the high output quality. I'm very pleased with the IP7250.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 29, 2013 12:08 PM BST


SCREEN/LCD SCRATCH PROTECTOR For Apple iPod Touch 2G/3G - 2nd & 3rd Generation (PACK OF 12)
SCREEN/LCD SCRATCH PROTECTOR For Apple iPod Touch 2G/3G - 2nd & 3rd Generation (PACK OF 12)
Offered by Ultra Sales Global (7-23 Business Day Delivery Time)
Price: £4.34

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Value iPod Screen Protectors, 22 Sep 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I must admit that when I ordered these screen protectors I wasn't expecting too much from them as the price was low. I couldn't have been more wrong, they exceeded my expectations in every way. They are actually big enough to cover the whole front of the iPod, not just the display area so offer greater protection than some I've seen (there is a gap for the button. They aren't thin, flimsy things so should last well - it should take me years to get through all twelve. They are don't affect either the colour or clarity of the display and best of all, the first one attached first time with no air bubbles left after a slight smoothing over.

Installation hint - don't use the provided card to smooth the protector on - use something wider like a credit card. Use this to press down on the protector from above while you peel away the bottom cover sheet, keeping the card moving at the same rate as you're moving the cover sheet.


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