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Hamstead (UK)
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Panasonic ALL8 Wireless Speaker System (Black)
Panasonic ALL8 Wireless Speaker System (Black)
Price: £295.00

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars AWFUL USER INTERFACE, 23 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Oh dear. This speaker system is well built and solid and sounds wonderful. But...
The reason it's missing the other four stars is the travesty of an operating system. Who on earth thought it was a good idea to make the user download a Panasonic app and connect in via mucking about with the house Wifi and passwords rather than Bluetooth. Why, when Bluetooth works perfectly well do you want to go and abandon a system that every android uses and complicate it with a rubbish interface that either doesn't work or only does half a job.
I wanted this speaker for my kitchen. At the moment I have a Jawbone speaker that links to my tablet with Bluetooth and will happily play streamed music from Amazon Cloud and Google. Forget it with the Panasonic. You can't do it. To actually hear music on my tablet I have to put the songs onto the tablet itself rather than streaming. I have thousands of songs on my cloud accounts and I ain't going to put them on my tablet and clog up its memory, so this product is basically unusable for me.
You're offered 6 months free trial of premium Spotify - after which you have to pay. I don't want Spotify. I want to listen to my own music collection (free and without adverts) streamed through good speakers with a minimum of fuss.
The instructions appear to have been written by someone without English as a first language. For example: 'When the update has been failed, retry from the preparation.' What's that supposed to mean!
The difficult setup for this, the limited options and lack of Bluetooth make this a complete and utter waste of money in my opinion. Might come in as a doorstop I suppose.


Igenix IG9030 PTC Ceramic Fan Heater 1,800 W - Silver
Igenix IG9030 PTC Ceramic Fan Heater 1,800 W - Silver
Price: £25.78

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent small piece of kit, 19 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Bought this for occasionally requires boosts of heat and have been really pleased with the product. It's compact and solid. It gets on with the business of heating the room in no time at all and kicks out a good wallop of heat for its small size. Excellent for a spare room, garage, or cold corner. The safety features are excellent. Pick it up, knock it over and it cuts out. I am hoping to use this in the summer to move the air about should we ever get any warm weather. Can't report on that side of matters yet, but as a heater it's certainly recommended.


The Knight Who Saved England: William Marshal and the French Invasion, 1217 (General Military)
The Knight Who Saved England: William Marshal and the French Invasion, 1217 (General Military)
by Richard Brooks
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.08

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid Effort. Recommended., 16 Mar. 2015
I have been studying William Marshal for many years and have read most of what's out there about him, including biographies and primary sources. This is a strong addition to the oeuvre, The general biography makes a good fist of telling his life story. There are a few errors which is why I dropped a star, but it'll give you a good overview. Where this work shines is on the military aspects and I think Richard Brooks understands the Marshal very well as a soldier. It's probably the best of the works I've read on analysing that aspect.
All told it's much better than Thomas Asbridge's recent very badly researched bungled offering The Greatest Knight. It would, however sit very well alongside David Crouch's biography of the Marshal.


The Devil's Detective
The Devil's Detective
by Simon Kurt Unsworth
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.39

4.0 out of 5 stars Original and imaginative - with caveats, 14 Mar. 2015
This review is from: The Devil's Detective (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
When I took a punt on this it was because I thought it might be quirky, enjoyable fun rather like Ben Aaronovich's Rivers of London. Never was I more wrong. It's quirky, yes, and highly imaginitive, but in a very different way. This is a dark, dystopian novel with strong elements of the horror genre, set in the kingdom of Hell. There's always routine murder, but when bodies begin turning up with their souls missing, it's down to Hell's Information man Thomas Fool to find out just who is responsible, and in so doing change the landscape of hell - but for the better?
The Devil's detective is one of those multi-layered novels that makes the reader think and it can be read on several levels. I enjoyed it for that aspect and for the imaginative twists and turns of the plot where everything is nearly always not what it seems.
I did, however, find the gore and the body fluids relentless and tedious by the end of the book. Unsworth is a fine writer and very good at the graphic descriptions. He puts you in the moment but there is only so much visceral detailed description of torture, blood, vomit, mucus, excrement, saliva and other body fluids that a person can take, especially when accustomed to reading a mealtimes!


Lost Letters of Medieval Life: English Society, 1200-1250 (The Middle Ages Series)
Lost Letters of Medieval Life: English Society, 1200-1250 (The Middle Ages Series)
by Martha Carlin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.38

5.0 out of 5 stars A real gem, 9 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a fabulous book both for students, academics and the general reader wanting to find out about daily life in the Middle Ages. The letters, dating from the 13th century, cover all manner of subjects from ordering wine and fur for cloaks, to invites to tournaments, to demands for parental cash from hard up scholars. It's extensive in scope and clearly a labour of love. The authors give detailed explanations of the workings of that aspect of society behind each letter and include sources and an extensive bibliography. For anyone wanting to know the nuts and bolts of early 13th century society, this is a must have on your book shelf.


AmiGami Giraffe Figure
AmiGami Giraffe Figure

4.0 out of 5 stars Good standby for a creative moment., 9 Mar. 2015
This review is from: AmiGami Giraffe Figure (Toy)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Kept our little one thoroughly entertained for a while over half term. She is four and a half and had some fun with it. She found it fairly simple to use and could manage the tools quite easily, twisting the card and using the pegs to attach to the giraffe. Very useful for a wet afternoon.


Philips GC3811/80 Azur Performer Steam Iron with 160 g Steam Boost and Steam Glide Plus Soleplate, 2400 Watt, Multi-Colour
Philips GC3811/80 Azur Performer Steam Iron with 160 g Steam Boost and Steam Glide Plus Soleplate, 2400 Watt, Multi-Colour
Price: £44.00

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lovely iron - shame about the flex., 9 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a lovely iron. It runs smoothly and is easy to use. It's easy to fill. The temperature calibration is excellent and easy to use. It's not too hevy but still has a good design built. So why only three stars for such a good product? The flex is way too short. Using the iron, even with it backed up against the plug socket, it still didn't properly reach to the end of the ironing board. One of this iron's competitor's the Tefal has a flex twice as long. Manufacturer's please, please don't skimp on your flex length. It ruins what are otherwise good products.


Igenix IG8700 5-Speed Hand Blender 200 W - White
Igenix IG8700 5-Speed Hand Blender 200 W - White
Offered by SENDERCITY
Price: £13.34

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!, 2 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
What a brilliant piece of kit. I admit I wasn't sure at the outset, but I've now made two Victoria sandwiches, some brownies and a rhubarb sponge, and all have turned out wonderfully - in fact far better than using my industrial Kenwood Chef or Magimix. However, even with 5 stars there are pros and cons.
Pro: It's fast and beats plenty of air into whatever you are making.
It's solidly made and the two year guarantee means the manufacturers have faith in it too.
It's small - fits in my kitchen drawer.
Perfect for someone starting out or who hasn't got a lot of kitchen space but enjoys baking.
Good value for money.

Neutral comments. If you have stiff or not very strong fingers, you do need to be positive about pushing the speed button. I have RSI and had to use the thumb of my other hand at times to push the button forward. But it's good in that it's a solid build. Same with the beater detach button. You need to be positive.
There isn't much of a difference between speed 1 and speed 5, but speed 1 is pretty fast anyway.
If making cake you will need to soften your butter in the microwave first. It won't blitz it from cold like say a Magimix blender will. You need to help it along, but once it gets moving it does a great, fast job.

Negatives? It starts getting warm after around a minute and you will need to watch how much time you use it for. It is, however, very fast so you should just about be able to mix a cake in the time. Haven't tried egg whites yet though.
The flex is stingily short. I can just about manage but would have liked a bit more - although I guess for health and safety in the kitchen they can't make it too long.

Overall impressions is good and baking results so far have definitely put it into the 5 star category for me!


Jabra Evolve 65 Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Headset for PC, laptop, smartphone, softphone and tablet
Jabra Evolve 65 Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Headset for PC, laptop, smartphone, softphone and tablet
Offered by Aurora-tech
Price: £92.36

3.0 out of 5 stars Not for me., 2 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a comfortable set of headphones geared to the work market rather than the leisure one. Like the reviewer who gave this product one star, I had difficulty with the set up, but that is down to me being a 'plug and play' sort of person too and blue-tooth is very hit and miss with my technology. Sometimes it works well, sometimes it doesn't, and this was one of those occasions where hassle happened. I don't have sufficient free 'dongle' plug ins for my PC either, which already has the slots in use for keyboard, mouse and sundry other gadgets. No room for an earphone one too. I am going to have another go, and see if I can get the product to work with my tablet, but I suspect it's not for me.


Finish Quantum Original 2 x Pack of 30 (60 Dishwasher Tablets)
Finish Quantum Original 2 x Pack of 30 (60 Dishwasher Tablets)
Price: £12.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Good job - a bit of spillage in bag though., 23 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I wasn't quite sure when I saw all the little granules trapped inside their little see-through 'suit-cases' and indeed, some of the granules had escaped from one and had made a powdery residue in the bottom of the bag. That's the reason for the dropped star. I couldn't see a damaged one, so I can only assume a one off bad package at the factory or micro leakage from the tablets themselves. Performance wise these were great. They worked well on our usual auto wash and everything was clean and sparkling at the end of the cycle and no sign of damage on the glassware - we're not daft enough to put expensive glassware in the dishwasher, but the everyday stuff came out sparkly and pristine.


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