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Wenger GA-7357-02 Carbon 17 Inch Mac Backpack - Black
Wenger GA-7357-02 Carbon 17 Inch Mac Backpack - Black
Price: £58.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful bag, 23 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a great bag. Really like the looks, makes loads a bit lighter, well padded, good compartment sizes. The material used seems to be very durable, including the material used for the internal layers between the compartments (sometimes this is an oversight in other laptop bags where they use thin layers which tear after a while). The zips, the handle, the straps, they're all perfect.

The only issue I would have with this bag is that the side netted pouches are a bit thin/slim as opposed to being wide. They're approximately half the width of the same pouches on many other backpacks, and therefore will only take something with a circumference of around 2 inches. This means it won't take a standard plastic 1 litre or 750ml bottle of water because the pouch isn't wide enough. I can fit a small umbrella and a 330ml plastic bottle in there, but even those are slightly tight squeezes.

However, the quality of the bag means this a straight 5/5 for me.


Akasa AK-CBUB19-10BK USB 3.0 to USB 2.0 Adapter Cable
Akasa AK-CBUB19-10BK USB 3.0 to USB 2.0 Adapter Cable
Price: £3.90

5.0 out of 5 stars Works fine, 23 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This cable allowed me to use my USB 3.0 ports on my Fractal R4 case with a standard USB interface on my X58 Motherboard (which is now very outdated). No complaints, no issues, everything seems to work fine.


Samsung S-View Wireless Charging Case Cover for Samsung Galaxy Note 3 - Black
Samsung S-View Wireless Charging Case Cover for Samsung Galaxy Note 3 - Black
Price: £37.32

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but far from perfect, 23 April 2014
Pros:
- Looks:
I think the cover looks pretty nice. It does add a very professional touch, and it looks as though it is a premium leather cover on the outside (it is of course a plastic material and not a leather).

- Protection:
The cover adds a small amount of protection around the sides for impact when dropping, plus of course protection to the screen from scratches. Truth be told I'm not sure the Note 3 needs too much protection in its default case because it is one exceptionally sturdy and scratch resistant phone, but I guess this is one of those instances where it's better to be safe than sorry as a mint condition Note 3 will fetch a good price for a few more years yet I think should one upgrade. However, the level of protection here is minimal, so it’s not going to compete with something like an Otterbox high protection case.

- S-View Functionality:
S-View is a very nice idea that adds good functionality to the phone on top of the protection the case provides. Particularly on the Note 3, the S-View window is pretty large, and given that you can see notifications, use the camera, make calls, use the S-Pen to make notes, etc etc, it covers alot of the very basic tasks.

- Convenience:
The wireless charging is kinda handy if you are regularly in one location in a room where you're likely to put the phone down. It removes the need regularly plugging and unplugging a usb connector. Is that worth an extra £40-£60 over the normal S-view case (when factoring in the cost of the wireless charger unit also) for the luxury? Probably not, but that really depends on what people are willing to pay for the smallest of conveniences.

Cons:

- Materials:
Whilst the outside of the case looks good with its impression of premium leather, the inside of the front cover of this S-view case has a firm plastic which seems odd because your screen is then up against a solid plastic. Why not something soft to dampen or reduce and front facing impact? This isn’t really a major issue, it’s a very minor one.

- S-View Functionality:
S-View is a relatively new technology that is still in an infant stage. As such, it is far from finished. A lack of modification options for what you can see on the S-view window limits its functionality, and we really do need the option of adding widgets to this s-view screen. Very rarely the S-view function lags when opening/closing the cover and the phone seems to be lost, but this is very rare and a restart always fixes it. But without widgets I’m constantly having to open the screen, so S View is a bit away from being what it needs to be to deliver the functionality end users ideally need.

- Case functionality:
One of the biggest annoyances/issues I have with the case is that the front cover seems to have been poorly designed in terms of returning to a normal state once tucked behind the phone. Just to explain what I mean here, if using the phone one handed or if using a car mount kit, the S-view case allows you to bend the front cover backwards behind the back of the case (like you might sometimes bend a magazine’s front cover/pages behind the back cover) so that you can use it one handed and so that the cover doesn’t inadvertently close and obstruct the screen when in the car mount. However, once you have finished with the cover in this “folded backwards” stance, when returning to the normal default position of the front cover closing over the screen, the case no longer stays closed. The bending of the spine causes the cover to be distorted and so it won’t sit over the screen like in the first picture Amazon have. Instead it will remain half opened, like a door left ajar. This can be fixed by holding the cover down onto the screen and trying to re-bend the spine so that the cover stays closed, but it’s an annoying thing to have to do. In other iterations of the S-View case for older phones (such as the S4), folding the front cover backwards didn’t result in this issue as the spine was slightly different. I think this is a relatively big oversight from Samsung given that it limits the use of the case so much in specific situations.

Overall I think this is a good case, but it does have a number of flaws that make it more convenient/easier to use other cases instead. 3/5 stars from me.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 30, 2014 3:52 PM BST


TP-Link TL-WN851ND 300Mbps Wireless N PCI Adapter
TP-Link TL-WN851ND 300Mbps Wireless N PCI Adapter
Price: £13.28

1.0 out of 5 stars Poor reception, inconsistent connection speeds, read on for details, 5 Sep 2013
My Setup:

An i5 desktop PC (ASUS P7P55D Pro 1156 motherboard) within an Antec Sonata II case running Windows 7 64-bit Ultimate. I have BT Infinity (HomeHub 3) as my ISP with a connection speed of approximately 60MB down and 40MB up. The desktop this card was installed into was located 1 floor below the HomeHub router, in a standard terraced brick wall house, with the desktop on the floor up against a wall. The Wireless on the HomeHub is set to a/b/g/ and Automatic channels. In the same room, near the same location to the desktop, I have an Xbox 360 Slim which has built in Wireless-N connection.

Results with TL-WN851ND:

After initial installation using the supplied drivers on the mini-disc, I was getting about 0.8MB down and 5MB up according to Speedtest.net with 2 bars of signal according to the software utility. I upgraded to the latest drivers downloaded from the TP Link website (uninstalled previous etc), but found no improvement in speed or reception. I spent 10 minutes testing different wireless channels on the HomeHub and found Channel 4 to give me the best speed according to Speedtest of 10MB up/down. However, a day later and despite no changes to the channel, the speed was back down to less than 1MB down. I retested the 11 channels on the router and this time found that a different channel (Channel 1) was giving me the best results (close to 10MB again) so went with that. A day later and the same thing happened - connection speed drops significantly despite no changes to the channel. On top of this, having used this card for a week, I had several instances of hours worth of no connection to my HomeHub. During this time, my Xbox 360 connected perfectly with the HomeHub and downloaded large files fast.

End result:

I am returning this card. I do not think it is reliable or robust enough to work with everything. Instead, I purchased the 300Mb version of the TP-Link TL-WN822N 300MBPS High Gain Wireless N USB Adapter and found it to be 10x better. Getting 30MB up/down now with 100% stable connection. I would highly recommend the USB device and not this PCI one based on my experiences alone, but I do think there may be some science behind why the USB is better because the USB interface allows you to place the receiver wherever you want (depending on how long your USB cable is), e.g. on the computer desk itself, therefore possibly getting better reception, whereas with the PCI version you're stuck with it in one location right next to a bunch of PC components.

Conclusion:

The problem with critiquing this device is that because of the large number of variables involved regarding performance - i.e. it could be the computer case, or PSU, or a component, that is interferring with the signal, or maybe just compatability with either the HomeHub or the motherboard - it's difficult to pin where the problem lies and whether the card is at fault or it's something else. Given that there are many negative reviews of this device in amonst the positive, I would personally recommend trying the USB version first because I found the performance to be alot better, it's slightly easier to install as it doesn't involve having to open up the PC, can easily be unplugged and used on other PCs if you need it, and doesnt involve having 2 antennas sticking out the back of your PC.

I gave this product 1 star based on my problems with it as I can't give it 2 or 3 when it just didn't work well at all for me.


Football Manager 2012 (PC/Mac DVD)
Football Manager 2012 (PC/Mac DVD)
Offered by DVDGAMING DIRECT
Price: £11.99

71 of 79 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Should be great, but ultimately too bloated and crippled by an awful match engine, 1 April 2012
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
To start off with, I'd like to say that I've bought nearly every Football Manager (or Championship Manager as it used to be) since CM'93 way back in...1993. So I like to think I know a bit about the CM/FM series of management games, having experienced the major changes the game has gone through as Championship Manager became Football Manager, and can be in a position to offer an opinion on this one. Hence, my review of this game isn't about how very little has changed from FM'11, it's about the game overall and how it's developed over time.

The core of the game itself has come on leaps and bounds since the 90's. I've always been a fan of the switch to 3D - the option is there to view old school text-only commentary if people want it, so visualising the text was never a negative imo. The depth of the game is now immense, from contracts to media interaction, tactical depth to set pieces, from scouting to training, etc etc, feature wise it's great compared to older versions, and provides everything the game needs to it to be a downright brilliant experience.

However, this is where the criticisms start to mount up. Ever since switching to SEGA as publishers, Sports Interactive have been under considerably increased and tremendous pressure to rush games out in time for the pre-Christmas sales every year. In the past few years, they've released retail versions of Football Manager that have had horrendous balance issues and downright game-breaking bugs, hoping to patch the problems later on (usually releasing the main patch in March, some 5 months after release) whilst they collect as many sales as they can. And to make matters worse, they're clearly working to a development budget and cycle that doesn't give enough time or manpower to make drastic overhauls to the game. As such, the game doesn't change much at all and hasn't really since FM2008, they just continuosly tweak the same game and add more features and options (or bells and whistles) onto an outdated design that really needs to be re-written from the ground-up again. Most of us know that FM 2012 is pretty much the same as FM 2011 just with a few streamlined menu options that allow you to perform a task in 1-2 clicks that previously would have needed 3-4 clicks (certainly not worth £30), but that doesn't even begin to deal with the underlying design that is horribly outdated. A good way to think about it is that if FM 2012 were a version of Windows, it'd be Windows '98 that had been continuously patched over the next 14 years, never being re-written from the ground up. Think about all the inefficiencies and limitations that such a development model would present compared to systems that are constantly redesigned, especially in the face of competition (i.e. Windows 7 copying elements of Linux or MacOS because the others provided something innovative).

As an example of the limitations being referred to, take a look at the match engine. It hasn't changed in donkey years and the AI has become so linear it's a joke. E.g. the AI actually cheats by scripting mistakes and poor performanes into your team/players to give the impression that the AI is countering your tactics like a real life manager would. The AI doesn't have the ability to form genuine counter tactics, or exploit weaknesses in your tactics or lineup, - you just end up losing games because the game has decided you will. It's gotten to the stage where having good tactics and a well put-together team with great individuals means alot less than it used to in older versions of FM/C. This is fact, not opinion - the game code simply doesn't have this functionality.

The match engine itself also has players in specific positions doing the same repetitive motions, no matter what your instructions or what their abilities, because those specific positions are scripted to play a certain way. For example, you'll never see a centreback dribbling forward past 5-6 players like Lucio or Beckhenbauer (or even big Sol Campbell at one time) used to, no matter how much you tell them to, so if you somehow managed to get a cultured and gifted attacking defender, those attacking abilities are useless within the game. Same thing applies to many other positions, e.g. fullbacks. The Cafu's and Roberto Carlos' in real life don't exist within the match engine as fullbacks only play one way, so you could play a rubbish centreback with zero ability at right back and he'll play the same way as the equivalent of Cafu. This is all because the game is stuck with a match engine from 5+ years ago that they've only incrementally updated, and won't really make major changes to, when they really should.

Another area that I've learnt to hate is the match ratings, again completely linear - unless outfield players score a goal or get an assist, or the entire team wins by a large margin, players rarely get good ratings. So you could have a defender like Franco Baresi in your side playing the game like it's an art form week in week out, putting in 10 out of 10 defensive performance where he single handedly keeps the defense together and dominates the opposition attackers, but if it finishes 0-0 he'll get a 7 rating, 7.5 at most. Defensive midfielders like Makelele, Roy Keane, Vieira, etc, or "playmaking midfielders" like Xavi, won't get good match ratings unless they score/create goals (or again, the team wins convincingly, in which case everyone in the team automatically gets good ratings). For me, this ruins much of the fun the game should bring to players.

Other aspects of the game outside of the match engine are also outdated and probably "broken" because too much tweaking has been done to code that needs to be re-written from the ground up. E.g. the transfer market is far too weak, it's nothing like in earlier versions where competition for the next hot talent was fierce because clubs who were interested in a player would actually bid for him. In the current iteration of the game the AI clubs seem to do nothing despite there being major interest by a whole gang of suitors. And the horrendous AI squad building (encompassing both transfers and newgen development) is pretty much infamous - can the game really be fun if you can visibly see great clubs like Barcelona, Milan, ManU, etc etc, waste away whilst they buy dross? Ever wondered why it's realtively easy to build a title winning squad within 3-5 years with a mid table Premiership club? It's simple - the AI won't aggressively sign the top players when the budget is there, it won't develop it's newgens properly, there seems to be no scouting at the youth levels, and hence you can steamroller all the other AI clubs over X numbers of years because you can snap up all the future greats for peanuts with no competition early on.

There are also features of the game that haven't been fully implemented properly (again because of the rush-rush-sell-sell-patch-later development model). Player agents for example, the game needs to build better relationships between managers/clubs and certain agents, because that's sometimes what happens IRL (I know some Premiership clubs have purchased most of their players through a single agent at some points). I think footballers who want to leave for "first team football" and will accept a step down to a club at the other end of the table doesn't happen enough in this game too (e.g. Carroll to West Ham, Berbatov to Fulham, etc etc). We don't have the "European" Football Director model, i.e. where Head Scout + Director of Football signs players and the manager just picks the team and makes do with what he's given - how SI have managed to get away without implementing this (or at least giving players the choice to have this feature in the game for those clubs who IRL have it with their current management), I don't really know, as some of the biggest clubs in the world IRL have this structure. Press conferences are also a major waste of time, so much so that judging by the SI forums the majority of gamers will have their assistant managers attend them. The newgen system is still too erratic, whilst I don't think the player longetivity model works. So there are many features that need improving.

Hence I'm giving this game 2 stars out of 5, because in my opinion it is a highly frustrating experience that is benefitting from not having enough competition to force significant changes and restructuring of game concepts/code.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 23, 2013 10:26 AM GMT


Jamie Oliver DO250D34 750 Watts Food Processor, 2 Litre, With Blender
Jamie Oliver DO250D34 750 Watts Food Processor, 2 Litre, With Blender

123 of 130 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but a flaw worth noting and an important safety issue, 16 July 2010
To start off with some background info that's worth noting. This Jamie Oliver food processor (by Tefal) was an upgrade over my £15 Cookworths model picked up from a high street retailer, and purchased for about £80 six months ago, so much of this review compares this mid price range food processor to a budget one. Furthermore, I don't use any of the attachments to slice or grate anything as I personally find it fiddly swapping the attachments around, and I'm comfortable using a grater/knife anyway for those tasks. So this review is only concerned with the main big blade chopper, with the main vegetables I tend to chop/blitz being onions (for curries for example), carrots, and celery (for a fine mirepoix). Depending on what I'm cooking, or how many different items, I might process only a few vegetables (e.g. 2-3 onions), or I might do a bigger batch (10+ onions). If it's a small number of vegetables, I tend to just drop them down the little chute/chimney whilst the processor is running. If it's a bigger batch, I prefer to put them all in the jug, fit the jug onto the base, and then blitz awap.

The budget food processor referred to earlier was a very simple one, very cheap, certainly not pleasing on the eye, but it did the job pretty well. I put vegetables and even meat in it, using the main big blade, and it chopped and mixed things into a pulp if left long enough. Everything was consistently chopped/pulverised as the blade was right up against the inside of the base jug, and that base jug had straight sides, which ensured food would rise up the sides and then fall back into the middle.

The first criticism I have to make of this Jamie Oliver Tefal food processor therefore is that it simply won't consistently chop/pulverise the vegetables all over, especially if I'm using a larger number of vegetables (so not dropping them in one by one down the chute). There are two design flaws prevalent which I didn't notice in the shop that cause this failure to produce consistent chopping using the main large blade.

Firstly, the blades don't actually reach the very edge of the inside walls of the jug. There's a considerable gap between the plastic walls of the jug and the edge of the blade - it might only be half a centimetre, but it's enough to leave a small wall of roughly chopped vegetables that just seem to remain there without ever being brought back into the action so to speak.

Secondly, the jug doesn't have straight sides. It's slightly curved, getting wider as you go up from the bottom. I think what this results in is that food being chopped at the bottom rises to the top on the sides, and because the jug gets wider as the food rises up, it results in a small top layer of larg chunks of vegetable just sitting on the sides, out of reach of the main body of pulp that is being continously. Which means having to get a spatula, spoon the excess chunks back in to the main mixture, and blitzing again (or just living with having different sized chunks in your mixture, which is what I do now).

Another minor criticism for the main chopper is that you can't take the jug out, fill it with vegetables, and then put it back in for blitzing. The reason for this is that the blade is forced upwards by the connection when you try to slot the jug back into the machine, and hence food then falls underneath the blade which then then prevents it from fitting back into the machine. So you basically have to always have the jug fitted to the machine first, and then add food to it. The annoyance here is that this wasn't the case with my earlier model, and so I could take the jug off, scoop my vegetables from the chopping board into the jug, and put it back in. I know this isn't a major deal, but it's one of those little things that can be annoying depending on how you like to cook.

Now, that's the main flaw with the big blade. Beyond that, the chopper is pretty decent. It's very compact, the jug is strong, the blades could sit slightly better in the jug than it does but it's not a real issue for me. Overall, for the price paid, it looks very nice, and in the store the only ones that looked better were the Magimix ones which were three times the price and out of my budget. This is why I give this food processor 3 stars. If the price was more reasonable (let's say £30), it'd be a 4 star processor.

Regarding the important safety issue. In all food processors (and as far as I'm aware, in blenders too), there is a saftey mechanism within the lid that prevents you, or a kid, from turning on unless the lid is attached and locked in place - obviously this ensures you can't stick your hand into the chopper whilst it's on. I have a seperate stand-alone cheapo blender, and it has this safety mechanism in that it wont turn on without the lid attached. This safety feature is of course present with the main chopper jug, as you'd expect, however the lid safety mechanism is NOT present for the blender that comes with this package (in the picture this is the rectangular jug on the right). This blender has a small integrated blade/whisk sitting at the bottom, which is pretty sharp (it has to be of course to blend fruits/vegetables into a smooth liquid pulp). The lid has no mechanism at all for detecting whether it's in place or not, it's just a simple lid that sits on top, and as such you can use the blender jug without any lid at all. Which might be very dangerous if you're going to leave it lying around for children to attach and play with. So just a word of caution regarding the blender, which I have tucked away in a draw as I'd rather use a stand alone blender with better safety features.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 18, 2012 12:11 PM GMT


Meyer Professional Choice Non-stick Open Stirfry Wok, 26 cm (discontinued by manufacturer)
Meyer Professional Choice Non-stick Open Stirfry Wok, 26 cm (discontinued by manufacturer)

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing wok - a sign of the times..., 7 Mar 2010
Prior to this wok, I had listened to the "authentic" purists' advice, which was that the best wok to get was a carbon steel wok, which when properly seasoned could handle a heat that no non-stick wok could handle (with there being many refernces to non-stick coatings not being able to handle the high heats). When properly seasoned, a carbon steel wok should be perfectly non stick, very durable, very quick to cook in thanks to the high heats, and easy to clean/maintain. So I purchased a 34cm carbon steel wok from Amazon (made by Swift and very heavy once filled with food), followed all instructions that I could find (from manufacturer's instructions, to those of celebrity Chinese chefs), purchased different ingredients to season the wok with (groundnut oil, palm oil, lard, etc etc), got the wok ring attachment for my double-ringed and pretty powerful cooker wok burner, so on and so forth, but for the life of me, no matter how hard I tried, how long I spent seasoning, how many times I scrubbed the wok in case the original glue was still there, no matter what method of seasoning I used or how many times I set the smoke alarms off, the seasoning process almost always failed. The few times it didn't fail, the next time I tried cooking with it, even if pre-seasoning the wok again, it still eventually failed, with bits of the season coming off or food sticking like glue. I found washing the carbon steel wok to be difficult too, because once seasoned you're not meant to use any liquids or abrasives, but if food is stuck then scrubbing meant the seasoning would come off. Even if food didn't stick, the layer would come off in little black bits after cleaning and re-seasoning. So no matter what I did, the food would stick, the seasoned layer would come off in bits into the food, and I was at my wit's end.

Then I saw an online interview with Ken Hom on youtube, and in it he said that the new non-stick woks had improved in terms of technology, and could now handle the high heats required for wok cooking (whereas he said 20 years ago, he was dead against anything but carbon steel woks). I thought to myself, was Ken Hom telling the truth, or was he just pushing his own line of non-stick woks? I came to the conclusion that there's no chance Ken Hom would lie about this - firstly, his personality has always come across as a model professional with high ethical principles, and secondly he surely wouldn't risk his reputation by lying on air about the properties of modern non-stick coatings.

So I went out and purchased this wok by Meyer (sorry Ken, but he has to many products in his range with differing quality, making it hard to know what is good or isn't), mainly because it has a few good reviews on Amazon, but also because the size seemed more fitting for me (it can cook for two, but not really any more). And by Jove, Ken Hom was right. This non-stick wok can handle the exact same level of heat that the aforementioned carbon steel wok could handle. Maybe the pan doesn't get quite as hot as the carbon steel one did, but it's still plenty hot enough to cook in the same way. I have had this wok sitting at full heat on my wok burner for 5 minutes, probably more, and it's handled the heat perfectly, without a single piece of food sticking to it. So not only is it perfectly non-stick and can handle very high heats, but the coating seems to be so good, and the manufacturing quality so high, that after months now, it's still near brand new condition (on the inside that is - naturally the handle bit is slightly browned, and the enamel on the outside has darkened or changed colour dude to the rough treatment it's got on the stove, food/oil burning on, etc). Furthermore, because it's a good quality non-stick coating, it's an absolute breeze to clean - nothing sticks, so it's so very easy to wash.

So for me, this wok is proof that non-stick coatings, good quality ones anyway, have now moved on from earlier days when it couldn't handle a high heat and so wasn't useful for wok cooking. So for those people suffering from the difficulties of using a carbon steel wok, I can only recommend trying this, which should save you the hassle of having to maintain and prepare a carbon steel wok.


You're In The Movies - Includes Xbox LIVE Vision Camera (Xbox 360)
You're In The Movies - Includes Xbox LIVE Vision Camera (Xbox 360)
Offered by SHOPTODAYPLAYTOMORROW
Price: £14.95

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sort of like a bad attempt at a Wii-esque game...outdated, so avoid and wait for Project Natal, 16 Feb 2010
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
I can't begin to describe how disappointing this game is playing it now in 2010, and like alexp1104, I can't believe it has a good number of 5 star reviews on here, even ones from several years ago. My guess is that maybe those 5 star reviews are made by people who were merely happy to do some sort of activity with the xbox, and ignored all of the games' major flaws?

Well, to start off with, I feel the need to point out that this game is a classic example of total and utter misselling by the game's publishers/marketers. The adverts for this game that were on national TV a while ago showed a family playing fun mini-games within "You're in the Movies", and clearly showed sharp, vibrant images of said family within the actual game (e.g. the dad running on the screen in some sort of desert scenario akin to the "Road Runner" cartoons). The product pictures on the box also show similar images, and clearly it's aimed at selling us the game by showing us examples of what the gameplay looks like.

However, the problem with that is that those images are are most likely doctored, or "touched up". The reason I say this is because the camera quality of the "Xbox Live Vision Camera" is extremely low, so low that there's no way that what they're showing us was actually produced within the game through the same camera that comes bundled with the game. As an analogy of the camera's quality, think back (if you can) to the early years of mobile phone camera technology, back when 1 megapixel was the bee's knees, and recall the low, dark, fuzzy quality of video captured by those phones. That is the standard of image this camera will produce, or at least, that is the quality of the end image you get in game. It's abysmal. It looks more like a ghostly, lagging version of yourself on screen than a mirror image. I mean, even if you were to play the game in a professional photograher's studio, with perfect lighting and background for the camera, I still think those product adverts of the in-game video quality were doctored, because your movement is still picked up poorly by the camera. The hardware just isn't good enough for what this game needs.

And thinking about it, it does make sense. This is effectively a £10 camera you're getting bundled with the game, and to make matters worse, we're talking about a £10 camera from 2006, which is when it was first released. So you can understand why the quality might be poor and why virtually no other game on the 360 has made use of this camera. And unfortunately, as this game is reliant on images produced through this low quality camera, the game suffers as a result.

Moving away from the poor camera quality, the actual games themselves aren't that much fun. The mini games are a bit "meh", mainly because I'm not sure how accurate the game actually is, and also because they're over pretty quickly, which then leads to boring, slow down-time in between the next mini game. For example, in one mini-game (where you're attached to a big rubber band) you have to make a fast running motion using your hands, and the faster you go, the further in-game you get before the elastic slams you back. But I'm not sure the game actually differentiates well between someone moving their hands say 5 times per second and someone moving theirs 7 times per second. Furthermore, the game is over very quickly, in fact the word "mini" fails to describe how quickly they're over. And once they're over, you then have loading, positioning of the camera if you've moved (or need to swap around with someone else), more text, more explanations, and then a very short game. The actual acting clips are also pretty poor. Instructions aren't very good, accuracy is poor, and the game just ends up being more frustrating than fun.

If you want movie games to play with others, your best bet is to go with one of the Scene It? titles, which are pretty decent and good for party situations. Until Project Natal comes out later this year, then for those who want activity based games, the Wii is the only sound option. "You're in the Movies" is merely a gimmick, and feels as though it was created simply to provide some reason for the Xbox Camera to exist.


Breville HG20 Family Steak Grill
Breville HG20 Family Steak Grill

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much better than a George Foreman, fantastic grill, 26 May 2008
Having made up my mind to go for another George Foreman grill to replace my old one, I changed my mind at the last minute having seen this Breville grill ranked as a best buy in Which magazine, which compared it to the best grills around at the moment (including Cuisinart's grill/griddle).

And im glad to say, I am extremely happy I did so.

First thing to note is that George foreman grills arent ridged well at all. If you open one up, the base of the grill tends to be pretty flat for nearly all of it, with the only real ledges rising high towards the very tip. Of course, the ridges are still there, and therefore you get the required grill marks, but they pale in comparison to this Breville's ridges, where its raised high from front to back. I wouldnt be able to explain why this makes a big difference, just that it does - the only analogy I can think of is that youre cooking food more on a barbeque than a frying pan.

Secondly, the top is on a floating hinge, so that it lays complete flat on the food, from front to back. This is totally different to most of the GF styles, where its more alligator mouth with a small hinge that isnt as good as the floating one.

Thirldy, this is 2400 watts. Basically, it runs very hot on the highest setting ("Steak Sear"), and it cooks nearly everything you throw at is as a result. Ive done chicken thighs with the bone left in, which youre not meant to do, but it cooks it well. Its great for everything else too, sandwiches, burgers, etc.

Fourthly, the actual grill metal seems to be alot better than the GF ones. More towards cast iron than for example than light plasticy metal. Its very easy to clean, BUT only if you have a GF sponge which has the grooves that fit perfectly for this grill too (for health grills, this sponge is a must, makes cleaning 100 times easier).

Fifth, the drip tray is clip on. Not a massive deal, but with GF ones they tend to be loose, and therefore easy to knock during grilling. Also, this grill has little feet underneath if you want to cook things on an even plane and therefore not have things rolling off.


Logic3 Rumble Pad - USB Game Pad (PC)
Logic3 Rumble Pad - USB Game Pad (PC)
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £14.99

42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor controller if you want something "good", 25 Jun 2006
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This controller works. It has the same design as the Playstation controllers, the buttons work, the analog stick works, it rumbles moderately.

If thats all you want, then its an OK gamepad.

If, however, like me, you are used to "good" controllers, than this gamepad is very poor in comparison.

By good controllers, I mean ones like the Microsoft XBox control pad, the Sony Playstation Dual Shock gamepad, PC Logitech Dual Analog gamepad (which unfortunately suffers from calibration errors, but is the best pad on the PC and the calibration errors have been removed in the renamed Logitech Rumblepad 2).

The buttons on this Logic 3 rumble pad are far from smooth, the main 4 buttons are OK but the trigger ones are very poorly made, they dont press anywhere near as smoothly and fluidly as ones on "good" controllers do. The analog sticks arent decent, probably the best part of this controller, but the D-Pad is extremely poor, because its cheap and poorly made its hard to move between 2 close points quickly and the diagonal direction points are poorly defined on the pad itself.

My recomendation - go for the Logitech Rumble Pad 2, £18 here on amazon, far superior in every way and is a quality gamepad. If youre a serious gamer, and especially if youre going to use the D-Pad often (analog is fine on this pad) for games like Pro Evo, then I strongly recommend you go for something else, as this pad will leave you frustrated.


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