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Daniel Dalton

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Tacwise 191ELS with 180 Nail Selection Pack & 91 Staple Selection Pack (Bundle Pack)
Tacwise 191ELS with 180 Nail Selection Pack & 91 Staple Selection Pack (Bundle Pack)
Price: £59.99

4.0 out of 5 stars 100% value if not 100% quality, 5 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Firstly, how much? 30 quid? OK, so a hammer is cheaper, but you'd need to look pretty hard to seriously criticise an even slightly working nail gun with getting on for 8000 nails for this price. And there are some things to criticise about this gun. Firstly, the nails are relatively small calibre, and won't be enough for housebuilding (or even really laying a deck(. however, the longer supplied nails are more than pins, and the staples are solid enough. It would certainly be good enough for sticking up a trellis, light fencing etc. In this use, it save a fair bit of time compared with hammering.

nails/staples are loaded in a cartridge, and fall easily into position. i've not had any jam yet, but found the business end easy to dismantle, so imagine clearing a blockage isn't too tricky. The supplied nails/staples are of varying lengths, but are all about 2mm gauge. all the supplied nails have horizontal ridges, so, even though not terribly pointed, they stick firmly into the wood. There are enough supplied to go to town on a number of projects. Replacement ironware isn't to expensive and is easily bought form amazon.

The safety mechanism comes from needing to press the nozzle firmly against whatever surface is to be nailed. It won't fire without, so there's no way to spray nails into space. As other reviewers have said, this isn't faultless, and the recoil can mean that the gun goes off without the nail fully flush into the surface of the wood. if looking for a neat finish, this mean going round later with a hammer, which rather defeats the object.

My other gripe is that the power chord, at 1.5m is too short. There's never really going to be an occasion to use this without needing an extension reel.

No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars perfect, 5 Jun 2014
Materials, finish, function all 100% indistinguishable from Mac original. Price, substantially distinguishable. OK, so some of these probably fail, but so do some of the Mac originals.

Trunki PaddlePak Water-Resistant Backpack - Pinch the Lobster (Red)
Trunki PaddlePak Water-Resistant Backpack - Pinch the Lobster (Red)
Price: £15.24

4.0 out of 5 stars just about..., 5 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
There's a range of these paddlepak's in various marine fauna themes; the lobster here is bright red, and funky. The bag is roll-top, waterproof (I've not taken it into the shower, but it is taped and sealed, albeit in a lightweight fabric without a sealed backing) and has soft padded straps, a towel ring, and a small secret zipped pocket in the "tail." The whole bag is big enough for a change of clothes, and a couple of odds and ends. I can't fit a full change, and coat for a 14 month old, so there's no real chance of getting a full swimming kit , change of clothes + adult-sized towel in. It fits fairly nicely on my boy's back, but he doesn't take well to it as a carrying proposition yet. Price is decent, and certainly the quality is better than I would have expected for this cost. I'd probably like it better with slightly more flexibility, another couple of pockets might push it to 5 stars.

Galt Dr Miriam Fill and Spill Barn
Galt Dr Miriam Fill and Spill Barn
Price: £18.07

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars simple and fun, if short on flair, 6 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
So, what you get is a handful of printed, brightly coloured, wooden 2D animals, and a plywood barn-box with removable roof (pegs into place) in which to store and play with them. The toy has pretensions at being educational, and includes and educational play guide (read, a foldaway leaflet which suggests taking the various animals both an, and out, of the barn, whilst using actual words with which to subtly educate your darling child). That all play is a learning event renders this a rather redundant USP, but the pseudoeducational stuff aside, this is an OK toy. The construction is really solid, the pieces are nicely finished, with no sharp edges or hints of splinters, it is well weighted, and the way the roof fits is tactile, and makes a nice, if simple, puzzle.

If there were a little more design flair in the animal images then I'd be inclined to rate higher; the animals are relatively distinct, but not ideally so. For example, pig, cow, and horse all have a pink, porcine muzzle. Having seen the countryside on occasion, i can reasonably attest that many, if not most, cattle and horses have a black muzzle. The lack of differentiation risks minimising some of the purported learning plusses, and also makes the animals look slightly odd and clumsy.

Ambi Toys  Max Pull Along
Ambi Toys Max Pull Along
Price: £15.53

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars cute, funny, but ultimately plastic, 6 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a cheaply constructed, brightly coloured, and quirky plastic dog. It has eccentric wheels, so bobble along almost like a rolling walk, and wags its tail as it wiggles its head as it goes. The dog also makes a mechanical "craunch craunch craunch" noise as it rolls, which might pass in some ears for a bark. My boy likes it enough to carry it around a bit, and has occasionally bothered to pull it by the cord too; this is a pretty solid endorsement from him, since he is deluged by toys, and choses a select few alone. So, why only 3 stars? well, the plastics are shiny but soft and easily scratch and texture. The fit isn't first rate, with some edges and shut lines open to exposure. The cord is very short (about right for a short child, but not much cop for adult interactive play) and there are some design features (moving ears that don't move of their own accord or serve much purpose) which leave a bit to be desired.

Sony Portable Wireless Speaker with Bluetooth/NFC - Black
Sony Portable Wireless Speaker with Bluetooth/NFC - Black
Offered by Stass-Volevacs
Price: £139.00

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, versatile, & very cool, 24 April 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Sony keep making these things just right. I have a Bose bluetooth speaker also, and think it is a stunning thing, but also think it missed the portability prize by about 2cm all round, and about 200g in weight (also reviewed for comparison). This, however is ergonomically/portably perfect. It is a sleek, handbag sized, metal, slab. It is neatly buttoned on the top, covered in fine mesh grille front and rear, and brushed back steel to the sides, with soft rubber feet, and the sort of heft that indicates "engineering" It has a power outlet for your mobile device (usb) and power inlet for charging hidden away at the rear, along with a handy headphone jack (why you'd need this give its main function i don't know). It is, in short, a really really cool object.

Sound is good. it isn't up to the Bose sound, but then it is cheaper and smaller. Compared to the sound output from a laptop, it is chalk and cheese. Compared to a "proper" hi fi, it loses out, however, for party use, as a speaker for presentations, to augment game or portable music, or as a picnic speaker, I can't imagine why anything more would be needed.

Needless to say connection is effortless both by bluetooth or NFC. A single button press and no entering of key codes, and off you go.

I'd very highly recommend
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 25, 2014 6:42 AM BST

Bose ® SoundTrue On-Ear Headphones - White
Bose ® SoundTrue On-Ear Headphones - White
Price: £149.95

4.0 out of 5 stars nice, analytical sound, but slightly flimsy build, 24 April 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a review for the white, on ear, version of these headphones.

The first thing that strikes is how compact these phones are. The zip case seems scarcely larger than a couple of CDs, and is soft, leathery, but robust. Almost enough to be packable without notice. The headphones are also light, which is good for carrying about. However, once out of the case, the good impressions are slightly dented by the flimsy feel to the headphones. The ear pads, for example, are a slightly low-rent fabric with a blue print, which really doesn't look great up close. the band is plastic, high gloss, but without any reassuring sense that it will resist a scratch. The chord, detachable and with mic/volume controls, has a soft blue coating, but snags and tangles easily, and the plugs are straight, rather than right-angled, meaning easily pulled or snapped. There's also only a short cord (replaceable admittedly) and no option to use a cord without volume control, or a larger jack for home stereo use. Very much headphones for portable use, then. Overall, there are headphones half the price which feel just as/even more well build, in essence. At this sort of price point, that seems an issue to me.

Wearing experience is also mixed. the lightness is very welcome, but the flimsy ear pads, and slightly too tight headband, don't give any sense of the phones ever not being there. this means that they end up feeling intrusive after half an hour or so. The flipside is that they are very sleek, and don't scream "look at me" even in the white finish.

Sound is very hard to criticise. For little speakers, the richness and precision of the sound is great; in particular, they seem to offer real subtlety when listening to musical or complex pieces, and some serious welly when with bassy or driving music.. There is a little sound leak, but not much, and the outside world doesn't intrude, so these could well work as outdoor headphones.

I like the precise and tight sound tone, but find it too became slightly wearing after half an hour. It didn't quite feel like the music was just "there" but always a little bit like the headphones were part of the experience. This isn't a bad thing, and there's no doubt the most rewarding thing about these is the listening experience, but it isn't quite enough to be magical.

Garmin Edge Touring Touchscreen GPS Bike Computer
Garmin Edge Touring Touchscreen GPS Bike Computer
Price: £175.05

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good enough, but plus model is better, 3 April 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
'Tis is hard to rate: on the one hand,it does a great job, on the other hand, another £20 buys the touring plus model, which has so much more to offer that there really isn't any way I could recommend this version. Anyway, in more detail:

First up, I own an edge 800, which has more functionality, but is slightly older, with a less penetrable user interface. Largely, I think the interface on this is good, and certainly it is easier to navigate and plot routes than the 800. This isn't great praise, however, and as other reviewers note, this is a lot clumsier than a car satnav. There is one nice function, which is that the mapping can plot a random route round trip from your current location, to the distance of your choice. I think this works well, and haven't had the experience of others that the routes are cycle unfriendly, on the contrary, the routes proposed to me have all been interesting, have taken quiet roads, and offered a mix of terrain. There is also a whole screen dedicated to a compass, should this be desired by those truly off the map (you need to leave Europe for this, since the base map is a detailed, and Europe wide inclusion).

The unit's stand alone credentials are certainly nav-specific in isolation, but it works infinitely better when yoked to a computer, to plan routes using Garmin's Basecamp programme or the excellent bikeroutetoaster website, and to download data to Strava or Garmin's Connect website for post ride analysis.

Other than lacking in 2 key areas, the only shortcoming compared to the edge 800 is that there isn't any virtual training partner, but this is no big deal for most of us normal people, otherwise, it has most of the functions, with a great touchscreen, fantastic battery life (much better in practice than using a smartphone with GPS constantly on) good weatherproofing (if the rubber covers to the ports are closed, and a nice mounting system. The display is highly customisable, readable, and works whether wearing gloves of bare handed.

So, what's really not to like? Well, firstly the lack of ANT+ compatibility. this means that the only speed detection is GPS based, and this can become inaccurate when in even quite light trees. signal holds well enough to navigate, but not well enough for accuracy. it isn't a major issue if data is downloaded later, since the speeds over segments are calculated, but is a bit annoying on the bike. it also means the unit can't be used on an indoor trainer to log miles, and can't be used with a power meter or HRM. I can follow an argument that those who want this performance functionality can/should buy the Edge 810, but when the functionality can be had with the touring plus, just in case, why would you not opt for it? Secondly, the unit is much less useful for the lack of an altimeter. the "elevation corrections" that the mapping software attempts on download are usually inaccurate with the Edge 800, and the functionality of the unit displaying gradient is actually quite useful when is comes to pacing, and is a nice display option whilst on the road. Both are missing from this model, but available with the touring plus.

3 stars would be harsh because it is such a good device, but 4 seems over generous for something which is ultimately a hamstrung version of the device to buy.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 7, 2014 1:17 PM BST

Fisher-Price Kick & Play Piano Gym
Fisher-Price Kick & Play Piano Gym
Price: £35.93

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars compactness and quality; fisher price through and through, 28 Mar 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Ah yes, perfect: a baby gym that adds a little more noise to the already far from tranquil world of early parenthood. Compared to the twin arch type gym, more frequently seen, this is a slightly smaller design, and requires some slight dismantling to fold up, but this isn't to it's detriment, it means that is can be more easily stowed away, and actually seems slightly more rigid and solid than others. It takes a couple of minutes with a screwdriver to assemble, comes ready batteried, and is made of high quality materials with nice varied textures, and a fun (for a baby) collection of dangly items with assorted reflections, textures, rattles and twizzles to keep your child happy (i particularly like the transucent bit, it has lovely feel and eye appear, and certainly draws my baby's attention; the mirror is also a little larger than many, and very shiny, for a plastic reflector, which betters something other gyms tend to have)

Most cleverly, the keyboard rotates, so in early months it is a kick plate, likely to encourage some thrashing of legs, in later months, once your child is sitting, it is a proper horizontal keyboard for play-along with whichever parent has musical talents fun.

And, in my view, given the quality of the materials, a very decent price.

Pampers S4 Giga BD - Pack of 120
Pampers S4 Giga BD - Pack of 120
Offered by REMI DIRECT
Price: £24.99

5.0 out of 5 stars perfect for night times, great value to boot, 28 Mar 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This really is a big pack of nappies, enough for almost 6 months if used exclusively as a night time nappy (my preferred approach, using the active fit nappies which are slightly lighter and more flexy during the daytime) and with sizing latitude that makes this a realistic prospect. The nappies are absorbent enough that, as long as only weeing, there's no need for a nappy change at night at all, and still the baby sleeps cozy and comfy, with no rash or soreness in the morning.The cost of buying in bulk is way lower than one off purchases at the supermarket, but the biggest advantage for me is the size of the pack, and inconvenience of carting around packs of nappies with the already stuffed trolly of a parent.

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