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Surrey Baggie 54

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Gtech AirRam Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
Gtech AirRam Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
Offered by Gtechonline
Price: £199.00

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great buy so far..., 29 Aug 2014
We live in a smallish 3 bed semi. Apart from kitchen and bathrooms, the house is fully carpeted with a mix of close and medium pile.

Our venerable Dyson has finally died and I therefore spent a great deal of time researching potential replacements. We decided we wanted a lightweight, upright hoover. Conventional corded uprights are pretty well all quite or very heavy. There is a newish Hoover A2 product which might have fit the bill, but there is a 6 week backlog and nowhere to test it, also no independent reviews.

So, this left us with the cordless market. The Which survey best buys are the Bosch Athlet range which cost between £240 and £290. The Gtech comes out pretty well in Which but is rated down because it performed poorly on floorboards with crevices. As the latter does not matter to us, we shortlisted the Gtech and the Bosch.

We could only find the Bosch at John Lewis. It was certainly light but we could not test it because the display models were not charged. Also, although apparently capable of 60 minutes cleaning at standard power, only 15 to 20 minutes was possible at full power.

The Gtech was available at our local Lakeland store. Again it is very light but seems quite robust. We tested it on laminate (fine) but were less impressed with its performance on carpet. To be fair, the carpet was of the commercial industrial type- probaly not the sort you'd have at home.

Despite our slight reservation we decided to go for the Gtech - Lakeland offer a no quibble, no time limit guarantee so we took the view that we could test it thoroughly at home and could easily get a refund if need be.

It took a couple of minutes to put together, charged up in the advertised time, and the charge is retained well when not in use.
The suction appears to be just as good as the Dyson and it accesses crooks and nannies better in our view. We do have a handheld Electrolux which does the stairs and more inaccessible bits.

So after 2 uses we are very happy.

There are a number of negatives that crop up in reviews that it might be worth commenting on:

1. Lack of tools - I don't understand this - if you want tools why buy the Gtech? No point in buying it and then complaining afterwards.
2. Small capacity leading to the need to empty more frequently. This is true but it is easy to do and you could argue it is a good discipline!
3. Filters take for ever to dry. Obviously we haven't tested this yet but we have acquired a free set of back up filters direct from Gtech. They normally cost £15 but there is a voucher code included in the documentation that comes with the cleaner.
4. Difficult to reinstall filters - obviously we have yet to test this. I'll update this review if need be in due course.

Overall though we are very pleased with our purchase which seems to do the job very well and means that hoovering is much less of a chore.

Maxell MXSP-SB3000 Soundbase TV Speaker
Maxell MXSP-SB3000 Soundbase TV Speaker
Price: £159.00

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worthwhile upgrade, 12 Dec 2013
I recently updated my review of the Maxell 252 sound bar because it developed a fault and had to be returned. As indicated in that update, I decided to upgrade to the new SB 3000 rather than accept a replacement 252.

The 3000 is rather larger than the 252 and therefore heavier and larger TVs can be placed on it (this was not an issue for me). It also has blue tooth connectivity which would appeal to some though again is not an issue for me. The remote is larger and more robust which should satisfy those who felt that the remote supplied with the 252 left something to be desired.

There are rather more options to personalize the sound. There is also an LED display on the front which tells you which mode and connection you are using - also an improvement over the 252.

The reason I went for the upgrade was simply the greater power available from the 3000. The 252 certainly delivered a significant improvement on my TV speakers and first impressions are that the 3000 delivers even more.

So is it worth the extra £100 price? My subjective opinion based purely on the sound is definitely yes.

Just be careful to check the measurements as it is quite a sizeable piece of kit.

Steens Richmond 2 Door Wardrobe, White
Steens Richmond 2 Door Wardrobe, White
Offered by Furniture For The Home Ltd
Price: £159.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good value, 2 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This product is extremely good value for money and is a robust, reasonably attractive wardrobe for the spare room.

Delivery was prompt, but there was no advance warning and it was left with our neighbour. I think this was inappropriate given the weight of the package which we struggled to transfer from next door.

The wardrobe is described as 'easy self assembly'. Whilst the instruction diagrams are pretty clear, I have never seen such an array of screws, tacks, and other fittings. It took 2 of us several hours to construct the wardrobe. I'd suggest deleting the word 'easy' from the description!

Once assembled, we are happy with our purchase and its price - hence the 4 stars.

Buffalo Ministation 500GB USB 2.0 Portable Hard Disk Drive (discontinued by manufacturer)
Buffalo Ministation 500GB USB 2.0 Portable Hard Disk Drive (discontinued by manufacturer)

5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to use back up, 25 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought this to back up my Brennan JB7 cd collection.

It had been recommended by a friend who also owns a Brennan.

It arrived promptly, and is very easy to use - effectively plug in to the Brennan and away you go. The download took many hours but this is not surprising given that 8000 tracks were being transferred to the Buffalo.

I have nothing to compare this with but it certainly did the job I wanted.

Maxell MXSB 252 Digital SoundBase TV Speaker
Maxell MXSB 252 Digital SoundBase TV Speaker
Price: £86.68

91 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent product and services, 23 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having recently moved to a larger house, we upgraded to a larger TV also (Philips 39" LED, bought from Richer Sounds).

Whilst the sound quality is adequate, we decided to invest in a budget sound bar seeking greater clarity and depth.

I spent many days researching the options on this and other sites and eventually settled for the Maxell which does not appear to be widely available. I could find no English reviews of this sound bar and finally considered Google translations of a number of German websites. Whilst the translations were a little hit and miss, nevertheless the reviews were all positive.

The features that attracted me to the Maxell are:

1. I liked the design and the fact that the TV sits on top of the sound bar. (4 soft rubber cushions are supplied which you fix on top of the sound bar to reduce any possible vibration). Whilst there are similar cheaper options available, they did not appear to be as robust nor have as wide a range of connection options.

2. Both the TV and sound bar are ARC compatible so that they can be connected by a single HDMI cable. (I bought the Amazon Basics high speed cable which is also ARC compatible). None of the other budget sound bars have this capability which I particularly wanted - the prevailing view appears to be that HDMI connection gives the best quality sound. It also means that you can control volume from the TV remote and only need to use the sound bar remote to select from the various options.

3. It was within budget at £120.

4. It has many connection options, in the event that I ever decide to get into gaming etc.

The Maxell has limited scope for fine tuning the sound which may put some people off but I suspect this applies to most cheaper products.

As to the actual experience, well the service from Smartgear was excellent - it arrived within 48 hours rather than the advertised 5 to 7 days. It was easy to set up. It certainly enhances the sound - the tinny reproduction of the TV speakers is already a distant memory - and the surround sound setting does introduce a cinematic quality, albeit not on the scale of top of the range sound systems.

All in all, highly recommended.

UPDATE December 2013

Having been very happy with the 252, a couple of months ago it stopped delivering any sound! My tv pop-up indicated that the sound bar was active, and the sound bar responded to instructions from the remote but was silent. I checked all the connections and tried rebooting it without success.

So I contacted the retailer (Smartgear) via Amazon's website. Smartgear responded by phone within a couple minutes of my e-mail and after discussion decided to put me in direct contact with Maxell and to monitor progress. Maxell made a number of suggestions, none of which worked so it was agreed that my unit was faulty. They asked me to return the unit direct to them for checking, and assuming the fault was confirmed, would offer either a refund or replacement.

Eventually, the unit was confirmed as faulty. Rather than a direct replacement, Maxell have agreed that I can upgrade to their new 3000 sound bar (paying the difference in cost). I would happily have accepted a direct replacement for the 252 had the new model not been available but am attracted to the 3000 model because of its bluetooth connectivity but mainly because of its enhanced power. i expect to receive the 3000 shortly.

Obviously, this course of events was disappointing but I do feel that I was just unlucky. The procedure leading up to the eventual replacement was a little slow (partly down to me) but throughout both Smartgear and Maxell were clearly doing their best to resolve the problem to my satisfaction. I will review the 3000 once I have had an opportunity to test it.
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