Shop now Shop now Shop now Up to 70% off Fashion Shop All Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Amazon Fire TV Amazon Pantry Food & Drink Beauty Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Listen with Prime Shop now Shop now
Profile for Ben Saunders > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Ben Saunders
Top Reviewer Ranking: 28,752
Helpful Votes: 593

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Ben Saunders (Stirling, Scotland)
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
Vax H85-GA-P18 Gator Pet Cordless Vacuum Cleaner, 0.3 Litre, Silver/Black
Vax H85-GA-P18 Gator Pet Cordless Vacuum Cleaner, 0.3 Litre, Silver/Black
Price: £57.63

5.0 out of 5 stars It sucks. Good., 31 Jan. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I’d often thought that we could do with a hand-held vacuum cleaner, but this is the first that we’ve owned, so I can’t compare it to other models. I can say that it really is as useful as I thought it would be. The first thing I used it for (after reading the instructions and charging for the recommended 24 hours) was tackling the stairs, and the result was better than I’d ever managed with our full-size vacuum, as well as being far easier. Since then, it’s been used for all kinds of little jobs, from reaching into awkward nooks and crannies, to sucking up crumbs after a snack.

It’s pretty simple to set up though, as noted, the instructions recommend a full 24 hour charge before first use. This caused me some problems. There’s a red LED which is supposed to light up when plugged in. I’m not clear whether this is supposed to be on only while actually charging or all the time that it’s plugged in, but I did find that it kept going out, hence I wasn’t sure that it was actually getting the full charge or not. Poking around at it generally caused the LED to light up again for a while, only to go out again soon after. In the end, I gave up and just started using it. I’ve not noticed any problems with the battery life, though as with most rechargeable batteries I expect its performance will decline with age.

For such a small device, the suction power does seem pretty impressive – though, along with this, it’s still pretty noisy (if you or your pets dislike the noise of a regular vacuum cleaner, this isn’t much better). I found that it does need the roller attachment in order to get hair out of the carpets effectively, but with this it seems to do at least as good a job as our regular vacuum cleaner. I do worry that, as longer hairs get tangled around the roller, this may get less effective. Again though it’s too early to comment on any future loss of performance. If there are dramatic changes then I’ll come back and edit the review.

Emptying the collected dirt is pretty straightforward. One minor gripe is that perhaps it could have been designed so the dirt is funnelled towards a smaller outlet, to make this process less messy. Still, the whole unit is small enough, so if you hold it over a bin then it shouldn’t be much trouble. If it makes a small mess, you can always suck it up again!

Overall, I’m very impressed. I wish we’d bought one like this before.


VELCRO Brand VEL-EC60394 25 mm X 63 cm Easy Hang Strap
VELCRO Brand VEL-EC60394 25 mm X 63 cm Easy Hang Strap
Price: £7.49

3.0 out of 5 stars Situationally useful, 5 Jan. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Since moving to a smaller house back in 2014, we’ve struggled rather for storage space. While I didn’t expect this to make a huge difference, I was sufficiently intrigued to give it a try. The idea is that you can hang the metal hook from something sturdy and then use the Velcro strap to hang things you want stored out of the way.

First observation is that the strap is smaller than I expected. 63cm sounds like quite a lot, but this must be the total length when unwound. Given that you need it to overlap in order for the Velcro to hold, the actual diameter is much smaller than I thought it would be. It’s enough to loosely bind my wrists together (my girlfriend tried this to see whether I could break out – nothing kinky! – I was able to slip my hands free without breaking the Velcro).

Having just taken our Christmas tree down, I realised this strap was just about the perfect size to hold the box – which is now sufficiently battered that it doesn’t really close on its own. I’ve not yet tried actually hanging it from anything, since I’ve not found a good place to hang it from (we have some beams in the garage, but they’re a bit wobbly and I’m not convinced they would take the weight). I’d have no qualms about the Velcro holding something quite a bit heavier though, at least while it’s still comparatively new; its grip may weaken with age, but it’s too early for me to comment on that yet.


PaperPro 02210-220V-GB Impulse 25 Sheet Electric Stapler, Black
PaperPro 02210-220V-GB Impulse 25 Sheet Electric Stapler, Black
Price: £43.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Impulse Buy?, 5 Jan. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I always have piles of paper everywhere at work and at home, so anything that helps to keep them in order is welcome. Document wallets are my favoured option usually, but then I’d never tried an electric stapler before either. It’s much larger than a manual stapler and surprisingly heavy, so it takes up some desk real estate. Thankfully, though the lead is a little short, it would fit on my office window sill.

Staples are not included but it takes standard ones. The loading process is quick and easy, with a draw that pops out the front, though it doesn’t hold a particularly large number of staples. If this was getting used in a large office for a lot of stapling, then it would need refilling quite often (not that it’s difficult to do).

I assumed there would be a button to staple, but it automatically senses and fires when paper is inserted into the slot. The slot is small enough that it’s not likely for things to fall in by accident, but not so small that it’s a job to put the paper in. It’s quick and effort-free, while the staples are driven home well, looking neat and professional, and I’ve not seen a jam.

One downside, however, is that if it’s left plugged in then the plug gets hot, suggesting that it’s drawing power. I make sure to switch it off when not in use, but now that I have to switch it on at the plug before using it, it’s no longer quicker for occasional use. If you regularly have a large stack of papers to staple, then this is definitely worthwhile, but I expect I’ll still be using my manual stapler occasionally.


Case Logic LoDo Sleeve for 11.6-Inch Laptop - Graphite Anthracite
Case Logic LoDo Sleeve for 11.6-Inch Laptop - Graphite Anthracite
Offered by Travelbags
Price: £27.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Wouldn't trust it with my laptop, 1 Jan. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I already have a Case Logic backpackCase Logic Backpack for 15 inch Evolution Plus Laptop/Tablet that I liked sufficiently that it’s become my regular daily backpack, as well as being used when I need to carry my laptop, so I was expecting similarly high quality from this sleeve. Unfortunately, it’s much less padded that I’d expected and I wouldn’t be happy to trust it with my laptop, at least, not alone.

Since it doesn’t have its own carrying strap or handles, I guess it’s not really meant as a bag anyway. I do have colleagues who will carry laptops round the building, from office to meeting room and the like, and I suppose this sleeve could provide a bit of extra protection (though most of them seem happy to carry their laptops in hand). If you’re travelling then I guess you could put your laptop inside this and then inside another bag – indeed, being for a smaller laptop, it fits in my aforementioned backpack – but that seems to defeat the point rather, as I generally trust by backpack to do the job (though sometimes I put my laptop inside a jiffy bag first).

Also, aside from the lack of padding, I wasn’t really happy with the seal. There’s no zip on the sleeve, merely a flap held by a magnetic popper. I’m not too worried about it falling open, but it’s not water tight and I thought it was a bad idea to keep magnets near my computer.

As I said, I wouldn’t rely on this to protect my laptop, so it’s not really good for its intended use. I’ve re-purposed it for carrying books and papers (see picture). I’m a wargamer, so this is good for a couple of rulebooks, some reference sheets, tape measure, and dice, that kind of thing. Nonetheless, I've rated it based on price and intended purpose.
Comment Comment | Permalink


Cat Infrastructure, Men's Safety Shoes, Grey (Grey), 12 UK (46 EU)
Cat Infrastructure, Men's Safety Shoes, Grey (Grey), 12 UK (46 EU)
Offered by Barratts
Price: £92.50

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Safe and Sound, 14 Dec. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I usually take an 11 (UK), but I ordered these in size 12 because I have quite wide feet and, as others have suggested, they can be combined with thick socks. They’re comfy enough, but it’s probably not surprising that they rub a little on my heel, being a bit loose there. As one would expect, they’re noticeably heavier than ordinary shoes, with particular weight on the front (toes), but they’re not especially heavy for what they are and I soon got used to wearing them.

Mine are mostly grey, with a yellow stripe. The alternative is navy with a grey stripe, so be sure to choose your preferred colour. I don’t particularly care whether my feet look ‘cool’ or not, but I do like the fact that these look like regular trainers rather than steel-toed boots or the like. Of course, I wouldn’t recommend wearing them for sports or the like, but it’s nice that I can use them for everyday wear without appearing conspicuous. One thing I didn’t realise until after I’d worn them a few times was that they also have little reflectors on, which makes them ever so slightly safer after dark.

The most important aspect, of course, is the protection that they offer. Both the toe caps and soles seem pretty tough. I haven’t been deliberately mistreating them, so it’s hard to say what they could withstand, but my girlfriend was able to stand on my toes (all her weight) without me feeling anything. They’re pretty good for crushing cans for recycling too. Whether they would stand up to more serious punishment – such as being run over by a car or hit by a chainsaw – I really can’t say.


Garcinia Cambogia Whole Fruit by Nutravita - UK Manufactured High Quality Dietary Supplement - Great Value - Order Today (90 x Garcinia Cambogia weight loss capsules )
Garcinia Cambogia Whole Fruit by Nutravita - UK Manufactured High Quality Dietary Supplement - Great Value - Order Today (90 x Garcinia Cambogia weight loss capsules )
Offered by Nutravita
Price: £29.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No miracle cure, but I think it is working, 4 Dec. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
While I try to eat fairly healthily for the most part, I’ve always had a very ‘healthy’ appetite and, being vegetarian, my diet is practically the reverse of Atkins (no meat, lots of carbs). I wouldn’t consider myself massively overweight, but I could probably do with losing a stone or two. Further, as I enter my mid-30s, it gets harder to shed this extra weight, so I was certainly interested in anything that sounded like an easy option.

There is actually far more information about this pills on Amazon’s product page than on the bottle itself, which tells you nothing about how they work and the instructions are limited to taking one pill twice a day. I’ve been trying to do this morning and night, spreading the doses out, but I have no idea how important this is. There’s no indication as to whether, for example, they are best taken with food or not.

Having been using them for about 4 weeks now, I can’t say that the effect has been drastic, but I think there has been a noticeable effect (it’s always hard to be sure, especially since any effect could be placebo-like). I’m still eating decent meals, but I’ve been able to reduce between meal snacking. This hasn’t been entirely eliminated, but then I haven’t tried to eliminate it. I think, on the whole, I probably could eat as much as before if I wanted to, but I’m less likely to feel the impulsive desire to eat.

I don’t have scales, so haven’t been weighing myself, which makes it hard to be certain of any weight loss over the course of 4 weeks. I doubt there’s been any significant change, but my girlfriend did say she thought I was looking a bit slimmer in the face. Certainly I don’t think that I’ve been gaining weight and hopefully these pills will help to instil healthier eating habits. I gather from other reviews that the effectiveness of these drops off as one gets used to them, so I’ll probably take a break after this bottle to see how I go, but I’d certainly be open to buying more of these or a similar diet supplement again.

There is one thing that puts me off these particular pills and that is the presence of Titanium Dioxide in the ingredients. I’d never heard of this before, but a bit of research suggests that, while this is a fairly common whitening agent in food, there have been some studies linking it to cancer. I’m no scientist, but it sounds to me as if the risk shouldn’t be exaggerated. Given that being overweight is also risky in itself, it’s possible that these pills reduce any overall risk, but I’d still prefer it if they didn’t include this ingredient – since it’s presumably used only for colouring, rather than being an active ingredient, it seems pointless to take any risk. It’s this that may lead me to look for a different brand next time.


Liteway 7 W ES E27 GLS LED Bulb, 40 W Traditional Replacement, 560 Lumens - Warm White
Liteway 7 W ES E27 GLS LED Bulb, 40 W Traditional Replacement, 560 Lumens - Warm White
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Lights the way indeed, 3 Dec. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
We had a number of LED bulbs in our old house, and were impressed with them, but they were all halogen-style bulbs. This is the first time I’ve had one with a traditional screw fitting, but first impressions are equally favourable.

Most of our ceiling lights are bayonet fittings, so this went in a freestanding lamp, pointing upwards. The bulb was larger than I expected, which could perhaps be a trouble for some fittings, but was fine where I intended to use it.

It lights up instantly, unlike some energy efficient bulbs. It’s not as bright as most of the other LED bulbs we’ve tried – I’m not sure whether that’s because it’s supposed to be a ‘warm’ yellow-ish light or because it’s only designed to replace a 40W bulb – but it gives enough light for our purposes. Since it’s low on energy consumption, it will probably be one that we leave on as a security light if the house is empty too. We can connect the lamps to timers, but this could be left on for a long time if necessary.

Obviously having only replaced one bulb so far, we haven’t noticed any difference to our energy consumption/bills, and it’s far too early to comment on whether the bulb lasts as long as claimed, but I definitely intend to get more LED bulbs in future.


Ultrasport Men's Rainbow Compression Shorts - Black, X-Large
Ultrasport Men's Rainbow Compression Shorts - Black, X-Large
Price: £26.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Impressively Compressed?, 28 Nov. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
To be honest, I don’t really run and, while I would like to lose a little weight, I’m not likely to start at this time of year. Nonetheless, since I don’t own any other means of transportation, I do walk a fair bit. I sometimes find this leaves my hamstrings feeling tired, if I do a long walk after a while without much exercise, and I also sometimes suffer chaffing on my inner thighs. I figured that compression shorts might help with both problems.

One difficulty is knowing what size to order. I would normally go for Large or XL, being about a 38” waist, but I couldn’t find any size guide in the product information (or on the actual shorts when they arrived). I went for XL and they seem to fit me reasonably well. They do feel tight, which I suppose is the point, but not to the extent of being uncomfortable. However, I note from the description that they are supposed to be very tight, to the extent that they are difficult to put on. I wouldn’t say that this is the case with mine, so it’s possible that the size is too large to observe optimum effects.

As I say, they are tight, to the extent that my girlfriend suggested it would be indecent for me to leave the house in them. Well, as I said, I’m not really a runner anyway, so I decided to wear them under my normal trousers, which I’ve been able to do for a day at work. Even wearing them for a fairly extended time hasn’t caused any discomfort, though they do make doing to the toilet more difficult.

I can’t really say I’ve noticed any difference in circulation in my legs. Perhaps the XL shorts aren’t tight enough for this to be more noticeable. However, they do seem to have helped avoid any chaffing on my thighs so, while this isn’t exactly what they’re designed for, I’m glad that I’ve got them for this reason anyway.

It’s too early for me to comment reliably on their durability, other than to say that they’ve not fallen apart after a couple of washes, but they feel well-made so I expect them to last a while – though I do worry that if they stretch, and lose elasticity, then their effectiveness may diminish as they get older. As I say, it’s too early for me to say whether this will happen.


FORZA Health 5-HTP Advanced Formula for Wellbeing, Stress, Anxiety Relief and Mood Balance Capsules - 90 Capsules
FORZA Health 5-HTP Advanced Formula for Wellbeing, Stress, Anxiety Relief and Mood Balance Capsules - 90 Capsules
Offered by Forza Supplements
Price: £7.99

3.0 out of 5 stars 3 out of 5-HTP, 24 Nov. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I ordered these for my girlfriend as she regularly takes 5HTP anyway, in order to enhance serotonin, which helps mood and sleep. She usually gets them from Holland & Barrett though, since they don’t always have their vegetarian ones in stock, it’s helpful to try out some alternatives. (On that note, I see that Forza also produce a ‘Super 5HTP’ which is about half the price but NOT vegetarian.)

Initial impressions of these capsules is that they’re larger, but still easy to swallow. For some reason, they’re a bright blue colour, which is rather unusual. They also contain Titanium Dioxide, which may put some people off – I believe it’s a fairly commonly used whitening agent, but there have been fears that it’s carcinogenic.

These tablets are stronger than the H&B ones. The recommended dose is two capsules, which amounts to 400mg of Griffonia Simplicifolia. In contrast, the H&B ones recommend one to two 50mg capsules, so this is a significant dose increase. On the other hand, the H&B ones also include other ingredients, including vitamin B and magnesium (which my girlfriend’s been taking separately whilst using these).

She says she hasn’t really noticed any difference, positive or negative, from her previous 5HTP supplements. Her mood and sleep patterns aren’t affected. Perhaps this is slightly disappointing, given that two of these is a higher dose, but on the other hand these are cheaper than her usual brand, when both are at full RRP, so on that basis being equally as effective is pretty good. I see that Amazon currently offer even better prices on bulk buys too.

My girlfriend would happily use these again, but wouldn’t go out of her way for them – so future purchases will depend on price and availability.


High Purity Magnesium Complex by Nutravita - 90 Tablets - Made in the UK
High Purity Magnesium Complex by Nutravita - 90 Tablets - Made in the UK
Price: £10.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Works fine, but no obvious improvement over cheaper brands, 16 Nov. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I ordered these for my girlfriend, since she regularly takes magnesium supplements already. It’s supposed to help a range of issues, including regulation of body temperature, difficulties sleeping, and period pain/PMS, as well as being generally useful for muscles and bones. Some quick online research suggests that many people don’t get enough of it in their diets either (apparently about 75% in the US don’t get their RDA).

Of course, absent some major issue, it’s always difficult to know how effective these products are, especially when one’s taking multiple supplements. I see that some reviewers comment on the chemical composition (magnesium in oxide form, apparently, is harder for the body to absorb). Nonetheless, neither of us are scientists, so I’ll stick to personal observations, albeit those of my girlfriend (I didn’t try them myself).

The bottle is much larger than necessary for the quantity supplied (90) and, should anyone want to know, does NOT have a child-proof lid. The recommended dose is 2-4 tablets daily (there is no indication whether these are better spaced out or not). So, this bottle will last about 3.5-7 weeks, depending on how many you choose to take. I should note that taking four is more than your RDA, though presumably not to the point of any danger (especially if it’s true that these aren’t easily absorbed).

The tablets are small and easily swallowed. My girlfriend’s verdict, based on a couple of weeks’ use, is that these are not noticeably better or worse than other brands that she’s tried. She hasn’t noticed any signs of magnesium deficiency, but nor have these delivered any obvious benefits compared to her usual brands (Superdrug, Boots, Holland & Barrett). Given that these are more expensive, even at the significant discount currently offered on Amazon, I doubt that we’ll be buying them again.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20