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popo (UK)

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Interpet Aquarium pH Adjuster - Alkaline
Interpet Aquarium pH Adjuster - Alkaline
Price: £5.75

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Use with caution, 28 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This product is now called pH down which is a more intuitive name than alkaline.

It comes as a bag of white crystals which you can measure with included spoon. Dissolve a quantity according to instruction into water for a certain pH change. Sounds simple enough?

Unfortunately it doesn't really work on my hard water. My tap water has a KH of around 10 degrees which provides significant buffering capability. Adding the first dose of the product did reduce the pH a bit, but left alone for a few days, the pH had rebounded back to the original value. I'm no chemist, but my understanding is that to lower pH permanently, I would need to lower my KH. Adding acid would do that, and presumably the crystals are some form of acid, and I need far more than indicated gradually applied over a long period.

I should add the packaging indicates it is intended for water of pH above 8.5, which I think would be unusual for tap water. Mine is typically up to 8.2 before adjustment. Regardless, this product may work better for those with lower KH water.

If you really need to lower pH, other options are probably the better long term solutions.

Motorola DEFY Mini Sim Free Smartphone - Black Slate and Tangerine
Motorola DEFY Mini Sim Free Smartphone - Black Slate and Tangerine

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Limited starter smartphone, 26 Oct. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The build quality is pretty solid. The back clips onto the front very tightly, and is very difficult to separate once you have put it together. This should help in its claims of water and dust resistance. The front is gorilla glass and has survived unscathed after some weeks of use now. It does pick up fingerprints like any touch surface, but as a minor negative, it does seem a little harder to completely clean than an iDevice or even a BB Playbook. Perhaps they use a difference coating, as with those a wipe with any cloth like whatever clothes you're wearing cleans most of it off, yet on the Defy Mini it smears a bit more.

Around the edges of the phone are the usual power, volume and camera buttons. There's also a USB charge port and headphone socket which are covered by rubber plugs. Again this helps with the phone's resistance to the elements, but it is a small inconvenience when you want to plug things in. When uncovered the cover plugs remains attached to the phone so you don't have to worry about losing them.

As this is my only Android experience, I can't compare it against other Android devices but can against an iPhone. The interface responsiveness is reasonable, comparable to an iPhone 3GS, as is the screen resolution. There it shares the same limitations if you try to use the browser. Regular web pages are not worth the pain of such a limited resolution screen, and you need to stick to either mobile versions of popular sites or use dedicated apps like the included Facebook one.

A major weakness of this phone is the very limited internal storage. There isn't much of it to start with, and by the time you applied some system updates and installed a few apps, there's practically nothing left. Of course, you can use the micro SD card to store a lot, and many apps can be moved onto that to relieve pressure. But the way Android works means you can't move a lot of things onto SD, and you have to remember to move them yourself after installing the app. Also note not all apps can be moved. Some just want to stay on the phone itself. And an additional annoyance, even if the app can be moved to SD, it may want to store its data on the phone anyway. As your app collection grows, you will find yourself juggling where they end up.

At the time of writing, Motorola say there are no plans to offer major Android upgrades for this phone and there are no third party methods to do so either. So it would be safe to assume the Android version that you get out of the box is all you will have. Given the phone's lower specification it may struggle to run newer versions anyway.

The camera is unremarkable, with still image quality that wouldn't scare even a budget compact camera. Most annoying of all is that the phone plays a very loud fake shutter sound every time you take a photo. I do mean very loud, and as far as I know you can't turn it off. Even my compact camera allows me to do that, and a real SLR with a flapping mirror would be quieter!

I wasn't expecting much from the music player, thinking it would be like any other. I was surprised to find it presented they lyrics to the track I was playing, either complete or karaoke style line at a time. I don't know if this is a standard Android feature or a Motorola bonus, but it was a nice touch. Sound quality was decent enough with 3rd party wired headphones.

Real world battery life is harder to quantify. With the phone left on, a full charge will easily make it through a weekend with light usage. It does depend on the app function, as using the GPS in particular seems to eat the battery pretty quickly.

The GPS seems to work very well, picking up a precise fix faster than either of my Tomtom satnav or compact camera does. Similarly the accelerometer and compass seems to work quickly and accurately.

And finally... it works as a phone too, in case anyone still talks to people. Nothing particularly great or bad about it.

Overall, the price is quite important in determining its value. As such my rating has to reflect that. At the price of £79 I paid for it, I think it does a great job within realistic expectations. I am rating it down due to the constrained built in storage though, as that is possibly an economy too far. If you want more features, expect to pay for it elsewhere.

+ low cost (when I bought it)
+ extra dust/moisture resistance

- miserly phone internal storage capacity
- stupidly loud fake shutter sound when taking photos
- no official major Android version updates expected
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 9, 2013 9:47 PM GMT

Blackspur BB-UK100 4-Way Utility Key
Blackspur BB-UK100 4-Way Utility Key
Price: £2.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Meter cupboard - sorted, 10 Mar. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I got this to open/close my electricity meter cupboard, and there it just works. I was a little concerned when I saw it it might not reach into the recess, and they have made the length close to the workable minimum. But it did reach and there was no problem.

The other three ends might come in handy somewhere else another day.

NScessity Ionic Humidifier inc. Night Light and Variable Mist
NScessity Ionic Humidifier inc. Night Light and Variable Mist

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could be better, 14 Nov. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Does the mister work? Yes. Does it work well, that depends on your expectations. It isn't very powerful and the tank is rather small, running for about 4 or 5 hours at full power. It may be ok for smaller spaces but forget bigger volumes. The mist is directed upwards, and if there isn't much airflow it falls straight down again and can cause some moisture build up around the unit. On the plus side this unit is noticeably quieter than another bigger model from the same manufacturer.

Duronic BL400 White 1.5 Litre Jug Blender and Multi-Mill. 2 Speed efficient 400W motor - Autoclean and pulse function
Duronic BL400 White 1.5 Litre Jug Blender and Multi-Mill. 2 Speed efficient 400W motor - Autoclean and pulse function

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great value, 15 Jun. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was after my first blender and this one caught my eye so I bought it. I'm not an intensive user and this seems ideal. My first usage was to blend mixed fruit for pet food and it handled apples and pears no trouble. There was plenty of power to go through the fruit. My second usage was to make a fine tomato blend as part of a cooking sauce and it too handled that without problem. So while I haven't tried anything heavier in it yet, it shows no sign of lacking in power.

Cleaning was very easy. Just rinse out what you can, then part fill it and operate the "clean" button which in turn operates the blender to shift any left over remains.

I haven't used the milling attachment yet. It is very tight once fitted and takes a bit of force to get off.

Morphy Richards Daily Loaf 48330 Breadmaker - White
Morphy Richards Daily Loaf 48330 Breadmaker - White

87 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice bread, great value, 1 May 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Let's start with the most important aspect, what is the bread like? Personally I like it. Following the standard recipe included, it produces a nicer loaf than the big name loafs in the supermarket. The texture is a bit heavier and has more flavour. The loaf is on the small side as expected, but it is a generous quantity for two people as the basis of a meal. The bread keeps well, and is still in good shape the next day if you haven't already finished it by then. I have tried two brands of bread flour in it so far. The results they give are slightly different, so you may want to experiment a little if you want to get it to your exact preferences.

How is the machine in operation? The measuring items are included so all you need to do is use them to put in the right amount of each ingredient. Place it in the machine and press start. On the default setting, it is done in about two and a half hours. But it isn't ready to eat yet, as you need to remove it for cooling in two steps.

From pressing the start button to having ready to eat bread, you're looking at around 3 hours. So you do need to plan in advance. Here is a weakness of the machine. There is no timer operation so this isn't one you're going to wake up to. If you don't look at the clock when you start, you're also left guessing when it will be ready. There is also a fast bake setting but I haven't tried that yet.

If you think additional features are useful then you will have to look at higher end models, but this machine can certainly deliver what it claims and give nice fresh bread.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 28, 2013 11:41 AM GMT

Kinectimals  - Kinect Compatible (Xbox 360 )
Kinectimals - Kinect Compatible (Xbox 360 )
Offered by Game Trade Online
Price: £9.94

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cute kitties are cute!, 8 Jan. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm definitely not the target audience for this title but this is what sold me Kinect after seeing it in operation. The graphics are rich and detailed, giving a visual feast. The animation is done well and looks nice. The gameplay itself is nothing taxing, as you would expect from a more child targeted game. Most of it is pretty straight forward, although to max out the awards you might need a little practice in some of them. Performing interactions unlocks more items and minigames. There is still that lure of seeing what else will come next, and I know I haven't seen everything yet! Definitely give this consideration if you have Kinect.

Professor Layton and the Lost Future (Nintendo DS)
Professor Layton and the Lost Future (Nintendo DS)
Offered by Hauseinkauf
Price: £14.49

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More of the same, 7 Nov. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you've played the 1st two games, this is pretty much more of the same. That's good and bad, in that you know what to expect. There isn't anything radically new or different. Overall difficulty might be slightly easier, as I managed to complete all the main game puzzles and minigames. I haven't done that on the previous games.

Professor Layton And The Eternal Diva DVD+Blu-ray Combi Pack Deluxe Collector's Edition
Professor Layton And The Eternal Diva DVD+Blu-ray Combi Pack Deluxe Collector's Edition
Dvd ~ Chris Miller

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A mystery..., 7 Nov. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
First the film: the animation, story and voice acting are great and overall it is very enjoyable. A small amount of Japanese singing did feel a little out of place but doesn't detract overall. If we stop here I'd give 5 stars but...

The bigger question is was the collector's edition worth it over the film only versions? Having gone for the collector's edition, I'd say you'd have to be a really, really serious Layton fan to make it worthwhile. The book is interesting, but will likely be the sort of thing you look at once and then gets forgotten in the box. For the massive price increase over the film only versions, I'd have to mark it down on value.

Zalman Z7-PLUS Mid-Tower ATX Gaming Computer Chassis
Zalman Z7-PLUS Mid-Tower ATX Gaming Computer Chassis

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cool, 7 Nov. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The construction of the case is reasonable for the price. It doesn't feel as solid as more expensive models, but is a fair step up from the bargain basement. The case is a little wider than average allowing a taller CPU fan to fit than on lesser cases. The drive bay fan is fitted with blue LEDs so that lights up, and there is also a blue light up Zalman branding on the top.

Airflow design is decent. The 3.5 inch hard disk caddy holds 5 drives allowing decent expansion, all cooled by a 120mm blue-LED fan. That sucks air through the filtered front mesh. At the back is another 120mm fan drawing air out. This arrangement is very effective, with an overclocked X6 at 3.5 GHz dropping 3C under load compared to my old case with lid open. There is also a side fan but I haven't connected that up as it seems unnecessary for my needs.

Fitting components is a mix of tool-less and tool required. The optical drives can be held in only with a built in retaining mechanism. For my drive it sticks out a couple mm too far to be flat with the case, so I reverted to using a conventional screw arrangement. The hard disk caddy assembly is also screwed in. The hard disks themselves are held in place screwed through rubber mounts to help damp vibration. Expansion cards can be held in place with built in sprung plastic clips, but I haven't needed to try that.

Overall this is reasonable as a moderate price case.

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