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Matt (England)
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Philips GC4521/87 Azur Performer Steam Iron - 200g Steam Boost, Safety Auto Off, 2600 Watt, Black
Philips GC4521/87 Azur Performer Steam Iron - 200g Steam Boost, Safety Auto Off, 2600 Watt, Black
Price: £49.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Iron but Too Pricey Maybe?, 25 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I recently ordered a Philips PerfectCare Azur Iron GC4912/80 which, for the price, I thought would be a great iron. However, it turned out to be only slightly more effective than throwing clothes into a pile and hoping that they would magically de-crease themselves over time. That in mind, I was a bit hesitant to try another Phillips iron.

I am happy to report that this iron is in a totally different class as, first and foremost, it actually irons clothes! Not only that, it does it very well, isn't heavy and makes ironing very easy. The shape of the plate makes it very easy to get around buttons on a shirt.

I don't iron all that often, once or twice a month when enough of a pile has built up, so I'm not all that clued up with grams of steam, numbers of watts and technical things like that. I can tell you that out of the box it heated up very quickly (I wasn't timing but I'd say under a minute) and straight away I was ironing. It's very easy to use the steam burst from the plate as this is controlled with a trigger under the handle. What's not so easy is the placement of the water squirt. This is a button on top of the handle that in theory you should be able to press with your thumb. However, control to switch between normal, dry and ECO steam mode is where your thumb naturally falls so you have to stretch a bit to reach the water button. Not a big deal, though.

The iron comes with a cable guide which I imagine some people will find very useful. I don't however as the most useful place for it is on the opposite end of the iron from the power socket. The cable isn't overly long so for me it makes the iron almost impossible to use so I just don't bother. Surprisingly, the iron doesn't come with a water cup to fill the iron with but the hole is nice and big so it's very easy to fill from the tap.

There is also a built in auto-off safety feature. If you leave the iron standing for eight minutes on the back plate or thirty seconds face down, it will automatically turn off to save power/stop clothes from getting burned.

Finally, there is a Calc Clean function whereby once a month, you are recommended to clean the iron to prologue the appliance's lifespan. All you need to do is fill the iron, turn it on and set it to maximum temperature, then hold the Calc Clean button while gently shaking the iron over the sink until the reservoir is empty. Then you eject the small calc tray at the back of the iron, rinse it and put it back. Doing this monthly is a recommendation from the instructions but how often you need to do it will actually depend on how often you iron and whether you live in a hard or soft water area.

I'm knocking a star off because I don't really see what this iron does that a normal iron doesn't. Our first iron was cheap (I can't remember how much now as it was so long ago but it wouldn't have been more than £30) and I can't tell what this iron does that that one didn't. Undoubtedly it's a great iron but I don't think the price is justified.


Vax P86-P4-T Pressure Washer
Vax P86-P4-T Pressure Washer
Offered by The Tech Lodge
Price: £191.43

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Damn, Someone Already Used "Under Pressure"... :), 24 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I just decided to take the pressure washer out for a quick ten minute test and am now back, an hour and a half later, fairly wet but with a very clean patio! This thing is actually quite addictive. You start using it and along the way you think of more and more things you can use it for. I mostly washed some bird poo off the decking and cleaned the patio but I thought I will also use it to clean the inside of the bins (carefully, that won't be a fun job!) and get the moss off my driveway.

The washer comes with a long hose, trigger handle, rotating brush, car washing brush and patio cleaning brush with a handle extender (it may be easier to use this without the extender but probably wetter). You also get several nozzles including a flat spray and a high powered circular spinning spray (not for use on cars...and I can see why!)

It is mostly assembled when it arrives, you just need to push the top orange part on to the body and fix it with two cross head screws and screw on the hose pipe adapter (the instructions also show you how to put the wheels on but on mine they were already attached).

My only gripe about the washer is it seems to have so many potential places to put the numerous accessories but nowhere that's actually designed for it. The patio brush is pretty big and I wouldn't expect it to be fixed to the main unit the whole time but I would have thought the two other brushes and spare nozzles would have somewhere to store them. Whatever isn't being used simply has to sit somewhere else and to me that seems a waste. However, this is my only complaint and I don't think it warrants deducting a star from the rating.

Anyway, back to actually using it. After cleaning the decking a bit I started on the patio with the dedicated brush. This works pretty well and would normally be fine for a standard clean. However, my patio has not been done before (I've not done it in the three years I've lived in the house anyway) so I ended up using the high powered nozzle to really get it clean. The only problem is the patio is a bit old and once or twice I managed to blast out the mortar between the slabs.

The washer also comes with two concentrated bags of cleaning fluid: one for washing a car and one which is more of a general cleaner. These bags are quite large, the idea being you fill them up with water, sit them in a cradle on the washer and insert the feeder tube which adds the bag's contents to the spray.

I've been thinking about getting a pressure washer for a while and now I have this one I'm absolutely thrilled with it. It's easy to use and works extremely well. I'd certainly recommend it


Vibe FLI Over-Ear Headphones with In-Line Microphone - White
Vibe FLI Over-Ear Headphones with In-Line Microphone - White
Offered by savvybuys2
Price: £54.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Decent Sound, Quite Comfortable But a Bit Heavy, 21 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Despite being a music lover, I've never been that into high end headphones (I consider "high end" to mean anything over about £40 but I imagine a few people may argue with me about that!) After having a poke around Amazon, I can see that these seem to have been designed to resemble Beats. That said, they're not bad headphones at all. The bass is perhaps slightly too intense for me but not to the point of distraction. As they are marketed as "Extreme bass headphones" ("extreme" being something of an exaggeration in this case) I won't hold it against them.

The speakers I predominantly use to listen to music are in my car and after that, I use a USB travel speaker which is slightly better than my laptop. Compared to either of those, these headphones are excellent. Aside from the slight bass dominance, the sound is clear and well balanced.

They have also been designed to be used as a mobile phone headset (although I don't think subtlety was one of the features they had in mind). There is a button the cable that you can press to answer calls and there is a microphone built into the headphones (although I can't work out for the life of me where it is. It does work, however!) I have actually tested these and they work very well, although it is not a feature I will ever use as I think the headphones are far too big to take out in public.

I'm not a big headphones wearer (in both senses) but I find these to be quite comfortable. My only gripe is that they are slightly heavy, a problem that could have been solved with a soft cushion at the top of the head band. Unfortunately the part that rests on top of your head is made of a fairly hard (though not solid) rubber. This is why I have knocked off one star. After sound quality, comfort should be the main feature of a pair of headphones.

As another reviewer has pointed out, there are no buttons on these headphones, despite what the product images on this page show you. Literally the only button is the one on the cable for answering calls.

All in all I imagine there are a lot of worse headphones out there but probably some better ones, too. If you're not sure, try before you buy if you can (or try them and send them back if you don't like them). It's probably worth having a go with these before you spend over £100 on something else.

P.S Just shown them to my wife and she tried them on. In my opinion they looked like some daft from from a seventies sci-fi show. Still, in my own home I don't care so much what I look like!


Korg RP-G1 Rimpitch Soundhole Acoustic Guitar Tuner
Korg RP-G1 Rimpitch Soundhole Acoustic Guitar Tuner
Offered by Stompbox
Price: £19.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Really Cool Little Guitar Tuner, 10 Aug 2014
For such a little thing, this really is a nifty tuner and it's really easy to use. Just slot it on the edge of the sound hole and turn it on (it only has one button). On each side of the green light (see product photo) are two arrows which light up yellow if a string is out of tune. As you tune each string, the yellow and green lights change in intensity so you can see how close you are to the perfect note.

For anyone wondering about using it on left handed guitars, it works perfectly (I am left handed). Obviously this means I can't comment about right handed guitars but since almost everything is designed with right handed players in mind I wouldn't worry.

The only thing that annoys me slightly is the way it fits on the guitar. I have two acoustics and on one it fit perfectly but on the other it's not so great. There's a piece of wood that runs immediately past the edge of the sound hole just where the tuner would fit on, making the thickness of the wood about three times larger. This means the tuner doesn't sit properly. On my other acoustic it fits perfectly.

The only other niggle is that it doesn't tune electric guitars but it says that in the product name so it's not really an issue. Overall I'm very happy with it.


Philips PerfectCare Azur Iron GC4912/80 - One Perfect Temperature, T-IonicGlide Soleplate and 180g Steam Boost
Philips PerfectCare Azur Iron GC4912/80 - One Perfect Temperature, T-IonicGlide Soleplate and 180g Steam Boost
Price: £95.00

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It Doesn't Get Creases Out of Clothes..., 30 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm going to go straight into pros and cons with this iron:

Pros

1. The cable is nice and long
2. It automatically adjusts its temperature so you don't burn clothes
3. it is apparently impossible to burn a hole through clothes if you accidentally leave it face down on something
4. It looks really cool

Cons

1. It's bloody heavy
2. In standard mode it gulps through water like there's no tomorrow and runs ridiculously hot
3. In eco mode it doesn't actually iron clothes at all.
4. For a glorified paperweight, it's damn expensive!

My arm aches after pushing this thing forward and back while ironing (something I have to do twice as much as normal in an attempt to get anything worse than a very faint crease out).

The first time I used it I had it on standard mode and while ironing four shirts, a few of my wife's tops and two or three of my daughter's dresses, I had to refill the water tank four times. The steam jetting out of the sides was hot enough to burn me.

The second time I used it (this afternoon) I tried eco mode instead. It runs a lot cooler but that has an adverse effect on its ability to iron. I think the only reason it had any effect on the creases at all was down to the fact the iron is really heavy. If it weighed as much as a normal iron I'm convinced clothes would come out just as creased as when you started.

If you only buy irons because you like the way they look then I recommend this one whole-heartedly. If you want an infinitely more efficient way of flattening your clothes than using this iron, leave them between two heavy books.


Bright Starts Springin Safari Bounce A Round
Bright Starts Springin Safari Bounce A Round
Price: £59.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well Thought Out Design and Lots To Do, 30 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'll be honest, I don't actually have a baby to try this thing with at the moment (and if I want for the next one, the review will be about a year late!) However, I am very familiar with baby toys and accessories as I already have one child and from the way she keeps trying to play with this, I'd say she's jealous she can't actually fit in it (she's three).

This comes in a pretty big box and once you get into the box, you'll find it in lots (and lots) of pieces. As long as you follow the instructions closely you shouldn't struggle to put it together but I don't see why they couldn't have just made the box a bit bigger and had more of it pre-assembled.

The base is nice and wide so there's no danger of this being tipped over by a baby playing in it. The green circular pad the child stands on is actually bouncy so I would imagine this could encourage development of leg strength pre-standing and walking. The seat height can be adjusted using straps on the underside of the seat so a baby could use this for quite a while once they are able to sit up (they may be able to use it before they can sit up as the seat looks as though it would support them well. The seat also rotates through 360 degrees so the baby will be able to reach every toy around the unit.

There is a variety of toys around the unit including things for the baby to spin, push, crunch, pull and slide. There are also four orange rings among the toys so additional baby toys can be hung on for extra stimulation/entertainment. My only gripe is that on mine, the long arm with the mirror hangs out away from the centre so if a baby were sat in it, they wouldn't be able to get anywhere near it. It does not bend or twist around into the correct position. I have tried it in all the other holes it fits in but it always points out. I assume this is just a problem with my unit making it a quality control issue but whatever it is, it's losing a star.

There is also a small built in storage tray which you could use for whatever you can think of. At the moment all I can think of is for putting some sort of snack in it. I suppose you could put another toy in it but this thing already has so much to do I don't see why you'd want to do that!

Unusually for a product such as this, the instructions also include telling you how to take it apart (without taking it completely to pieces) and flatten it down so you can store it more easily.

We never got round to looking at these when out daughter was born and now we have this we have no need to look around for our next child so I have nothing to compare this one to. It seems well built and I'm sure any child would find it entertaining. If you are in the market for a toy station (I have no idea what to actually call this thing!) then this one seems very good indeed.


Philips Disney Minnie Mouse Children's Table Lamp - 1 x 4 W Integrated LED
Philips Disney Minnie Mouse Children's Table Lamp - 1 x 4 W Integrated LED
Price: £34.97

4.0 out of 5 stars Fiddly and Expensive but Otherwise a Great Lamp, 30 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a very nice lamp for a small child. I sent for it because my daughter is three years old and despite the fact she's never seen a Minnie Mouse cartoon in her life, the character appears on all sorts of things for small girls and as such, my daughter absolutely loves her. We were looking something we could use as a night light in the future in case we need one (or to light the way to the bathroom in the night) and this (on a timer) will be perfect.

The reason I have given it four stars instead of five is a combination of the price, quality of materials assembling. With the exception of any electronic components, the lamp is 100% plastic. Even the shade (which I assumed would be fabric). The lamp comes in four pieces and while that doesn't sound overly challenging, it is a bit of a faff to put together.

The lamp is LED which means it's much safer than a lamp with a conventional glass bulb. If this gets knocked over/off the shelf, it may break but at least there won't be glass everywhere. The lamp issues a bright, warm light and it very pleasing in my daughter's bedroom (and she's thrilled with it).

The only other thing I would say is that the lamp feels quite cheap and I wouldn't expect to pay more than about £15 for it. I think the current price is extortionate. I suppose you're paying for the name Minnie Mouse/Disney.


Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Clock
Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Clock
Price: £9.16

5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Tool for a Variety of Ages, 24 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a great toy/educational tool for quite a range of children. As a shape sorter it is great for kinds under one year old. For children around the age of three (my daughter's age) it is great for teaching them to recognise numbers and for older children it can be used to teach them about the time.

Already my daughter is putting the numbers in the right place but making sure they are the right way up (when you take a number out, it is still shown beneath the block that has been removed). She can recognise the numbers 1-4 so from 1 she can start counting around the clock face and learn what the other numbers look like.

She's still too young to understand about time (she just wants to push the two hands on the clock face together all the time) but I can see it being something she comes back to again and again.


TP-LINK TD-W8980 - TP-Link N600 DLBND Wifi ADSL2+ MDM RTR
TP-LINK TD-W8980 - TP-Link N600 DLBND Wifi ADSL2+ MDM RTR
Offered by Kikatek
Price: £64.86

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Range and Easy to Set Up, 19 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This has replaced my something-or-other pile of crap router (Netgear, I think) provided by Orange. It needed resetting at least once a day and the signal was average at best. The router sits in one corner of my house so anything on the other side/upstairs struggles or simply can't pick it up.

I'm no tech genius by any stretch of the imagination but I know a bit and can follow instructions easily enough. I found this router really easy to set up. I just put in the mini CD and followed the installation wizard. The difference was instantly noticeable. The range of my wifi signal is now fantastic compared to how it was. I can connect anywhere in the house (it does still struggle a bit in my bedroom but that is the opposite corner from where the router is set). I can even use it out in the garden!

It seems like a very good price for such a great router and I don't think anyone out there will find it difficult to set up as long as they follow the instructions.


Sony Xperia Z1 Compact FULL BODY MAXIMUM SHIELD Invisible Screen Protector
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact FULL BODY MAXIMUM SHIELD Invisible Screen Protector
Offered by Ultimate Shield
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good but Very Tricky to Apply (Xperia Z1 Compact), 5 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I saw this shield recommended in another review and thought it sounded good so I sent for it. If you are the sort of person who doesn't like fiddly or awkward jobs, you may want to look somewhere else.

Unlike most screen protectors, applying this one involves a bowl of water (you're hearing warning bells, right?) For each of the large sections (front and back in the case of this phone) you need to wet all of your fingers, then peel off the shield and wet the adhesive side of it with your fingers (I suppose you could dip it in the water but you'd have a lot of excess water to then get off your phone). Then you place the shield on the screen, alight it properly and use the small squeegee the pus it down and get all the water out.

As the instructions state, at this point you may have small bubbles that you can't remove. I had a lot and thought I'd buggered it up but the instructions say to leave it for 24 hours before you panic. I didn't believe it but they were right. The protector on my phone now looks flawless. Unfortunately I have a bit of a bubble under the back cover near the corner but I'm not so bothered about trying to fix that as I'll have a case on it soon anyway.

There are also numerous tiny pieces to go on the sides and top of the phone, as well as the camera lens. The instructions say you don't need to wet these in the same way as the main shields, just to use wet fingers. However, doing this will still make them very slippery and difficult to keep in place. I kept moving ones I'd already placed when trying to put others on. The best way is just to get them on as best as you can and then try to slide them more accurately into place when they're all on.

It's a great product but I'm knocking a star off because it's just such a rigmarole to get the shields on.


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