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Profile for R. C. McGinlay > Reviews

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Content by R. C. McGinlay
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Reviews Written by
R. C. McGinlay (Ilford, Essex)
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   

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Mars 18 x 57 g Protein Bar
Mars 18 x 57 g Protein Bar
Offered by E- Shopper
Price: £34.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Protein from Mars, 7 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The chances of protein coming from Mars… are quite good, actually, with each 57g bar containing 19g of protein.

I found the product to be harder in texture than a regular Mars bar and not quite as tasty, but not bad at all really. Some reviewers have complained of it being too sweet, but I didn’t find that – but then I do have quite a sweet tooth. This is less sweet than a regular Mars bar.

Take care when opening the box – the cardboard that separates the layers of bars has quite a sharp edge to it and I gave myself a paper (well, cardboard) cut the first time I opened the box. Talk about healthy eating! No, really, I’m fine – the cut was annoying more than anything, and it healed within days.

The price seems high. To an extent that is par for the course with protein bars, but even so these work out (at the time of writing) quite a bit more expensive by weight than similar products from Grenade.


SlimFast 250g Sweet and Sour Chicken Noodles (Pack of 3)
SlimFast 250g Sweet and Sour Chicken Noodles (Pack of 3)
Price: £9.87

3.0 out of 5 stars Three star dining, 5 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
There are reviews of various flavours lumped together in this section, so to be clear, I am reviewing the Sweet and Sour Chicken Noodles.

The smell (especially before cooking) is more like store’s own economy vegetable soup than sweet and sour. The taste is more of a step in the right direction – like a store’s own sweet and sour meal in a can.

My advice when microwaving is not to peel back the lid halfway as the instructions on the pack indicate. The first time I tried this, the lid rose up during cooking, which could have led to a messy microwave. Subsequent times I only peeled the lid back a bit, which worked much better.

Be sure to stir the food very well before eating, and keep scooping bits up from the bottom with each mouthful, as the better tasting pieces tend to sink down there.

SlimFast 250g Sweet and Sour Chicken Noodles did satisfy me in place of a light lunch, but I won’t be buying this product very often because of the price.


Igenix IG3121 Steam Iron with Stainless Steel Soleplate, 2000 W - White/Purple
Igenix IG3121 Steam Iron with Stainless Steel Soleplate, 2000 W - White/Purple
Price: £15.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Steaming ahead of the competition, 8 May 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I had struggled on with my leaky old iron for years. I knew I should get a new one, but it’s one of those things that you really want to try before you buy. I know so many people who have irons that drip when on the steam setting, or can’t get on with the weight of the appliance. So when I was given the chance to review this product, I jumped at it.

On receiving it, I ripped open the box, and in my haste to try it out I totally missed the fact that there was a protective layer of plastic covering the soleplate! Thankfully, I managed to spot it before it had fully started to melt – even so, I had to switch it off and clean it a little to make sure that no plastic remained. Don’t make the same mistake as me!

There’s a handy booklet that lays out the usual safety instructions, but also explains which calibrations various materials should be ironed on; what the various steam settings do; how to clean the iron; and what the self-cleaning function is all about.

The Igenix IG3121 Purple and White 2000W Steam Iron heats up incredibly quickly, and glides effortlessly over shirts (something that was starting to take a little effort with my old iron). I’m not overly certain about the anti-drip function. While I didn’t notice any drips, only time will tell if it will still be as effective in a year or so.

The one negative aspect, and this is something that has often puzzled me with irons, is that the flex is terrible. It’s fixed in place where it joins the iron (some other models have retractable leads or ones with a pivot on the iron) and this makes it very hard to stand it on its end. Why do manufacturers so often seem to overlook this? A red-hot iron, wobbling on a board could easily tip over and burn the user. But then this is an issue with so many irons that it is perhaps churlish to mark this one down for it.


Rapesco Set Classic Heavy Duty 73 Plier Stapler and Staples 73/12 mm - Pack of 2000
Rapesco Set Classic Heavy Duty 73 Plier Stapler and Staples 73/12 mm - Pack of 2000
Price: £46.94

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Built like a tank, 23 April 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Rapesco Heavy Duty 73 Plier Stapler Set is just the job for when a standard stapler won’t cut it.

Its strong construction (this thing is pretty much built like a tank) means that you can leave it lying around in the office without worry that it will get damaged if it falls off your desk.

I have to be honest and admit that I’ve never owned a heavy duty stapler of this construction before and, being a typical man, I thought I’d be able to figure out how to load the staples without help. How wrong I was, and with no instructions included, I was left scratching my head. Thank goodness for the internet – how did we manage before it? In seconds I had found an unboxing video review that quickly showed me where the staples went and how to load them.

The box claims that you can staple up to 70 sheets of paper. I’m assuming that’s correct as I don’t need to staple anything more than 30-page documents at present.

For those of you wanting a heavy duty stapler, they don’t come much sturdier than this. In addition, you get two interchangeable anvils, straight (blunt) for stapling flat objects and sword (pointed) for recessed packages.


Case Logic LoDo Attache Case for 15.6-Inch Laptop - Petrol Green Drab
Case Logic LoDo Attache Case for 15.6-Inch Laptop - Petrol Green Drab
Price: £59.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Makes light work of a heavy laptop, 23 April 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I use an HP 14-q050na 14-inch Chromebook, and really this case is big enough to accommodate two of them within its sturdy yet padded sleeved compartments. However, it securely holds Chromey (as I like to call it) to ensure that there is no danger of the device rattling around as I carry it from A to B.

The HP 14-q050na is quite heavy as Chromebooks go, owing to its long-lasting battery, but in the Case Logic LoDo Attache Case, slung over my shoulder, it feels much lighter. There is hardly any weight at all to the bag when it’s empty.

With its matt finish and khaki colour scheme, the Case Logic doesn’t shout, “There’s a computer in here”, which might help to reduce the risk of bag-snatching. The look of it is more a case of, “All that’s in here is my lunch box and the results of my latest mushrooming field trip.”

Overall, I am delighted with this laptop case – but then, as a Vice Voice, I didn’t have to pay for it. I’m not sure I’d fork out £59.99 for it, but if it happens to be offered for less at the time you read this review, then it’s worth picking up.


X-Rocker Mini Rocker Gaming Chair with 2.0 Audio System, Black
X-Rocker Mini Rocker Gaming Chair with 2.0 Audio System, Black
Price: £34.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Child seat, 26 Mar. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Many moons ago, when gaming chairs were new to the market, this household purchased one for the princely sum of £100. It was cool, and greatly enhanced our family gaming – apart from the fights over whose turn it was to sit in the chair! Over ten years on, I am pleased to see that the market is still strong and there’s plenty of choice out there. You can now buy wireless Bluetooth seats, and smaller ones to fit in tiny bedrooms.

Our original chair was a bit too large, really, and was constantly getting in the way (and, should you get out of it as someone was walking behind you, you were in danger of knocking them for six). The X-Rocker Mini Rocker Gaming Chair is more compact, though probably not the best choice for adult gamers unless you are slight of frame. Everything to get up and running is included. There is even an extension lead provided that is designed to prevent damage to the chair’s control panel. It has only two speakers, which are placed at the top of the chair either side of the head (a lot of other chairs have a bass speaker around the back to create a more immersive experience).

The technology in the Mini Rocker is pretty much identical to our decade-old gaming chair. It’s not wireless, so you’ll have to be careful of tripping over wires. Should you really want a wireless option, you can pick up Bluetooth transmitters and receivers to plug into both your gaming console and your chair at a fraction of the price of buying a Bluetooth chair.

One word of advice: shop around for price, as while the retail price is claimed to be £69.99 (I found the RRP to be £59.99 on a quick Google search of other stores), you can pick these up from many well-known stores for under £45. It’s a little over £50 on Amazon at the time of writing, though that is subject to change.

For those interested in the audio specs…
Signal-to-noise ratio (amplifier): >65dB
Frequency response: 350Hz to 20kHz
Distortion: Satellite: <1%(F=1kHz)
Input: DC 6V/0.6A

Overall, this is a good chair for the younger gamer in the family.


Liteway 5 W SES E14 Candle LED Bulb, 40 W Traditional Replacement, 400 Lumens - Warm White
Liteway 5 W SES E14 Candle LED Bulb, 40 W Traditional Replacement, 400 Lumens - Warm White
Price: £5.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Light my way, 2 Jan. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
We’ve come a long way since the early days of energy-saving bulbs that seemed to take forever to come on. Those were CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps), whereas you don’t get that problem with halogen or LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs. The Liteway 5 W SES (Small Edison Screw) E14 Candle Bulb is of the latter type. When it is switched on, there is no noticeable delay before it lights up.

The warm, white light is good and bright, but without being dazzling, thanks to the frosted glass on the bulb. The frosting also conceals the less attractive mechanism within, which is not true of all such products. The only slight issue I had was getting into the packaging – in the end I had to use scissors to cut through the tough plastic.

With an A+ energy-efficiency rating, 5 watts of power producing the equivalent of a 40-watt incandescent bulb (if anything, it seems a little brighter than that to me), the promise of 30,000 hours’ lamp life (though Amazon cannot wait that long for my review) and a three-year warranty, this should be a worthwhile investment. Just make sure that you can find your proof of purchase should the need arise within such a length of time…


Basic English Grammar For Dummies
Basic English Grammar For Dummies
by Consumer Dummies
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.30

4.0 out of 5 stars Learn the more betterer English, 26 Dec. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Perhaps the best way for you to judge whether this book will be of any use to you is to cast your eyes over this review and try and spot where I’ve fallen foul of any of the English grammar traps that people frequently stumble into.

‘Basic English Grammar For Dummies’ claims that it can help you to become confident with written and spoken English, develop your skills without learning complex grammar, improve your spelling, and avoid common mistakes.

Whether it’s knowing the difference between their, they’re and there, or how to spell the plural of bunny, this book lays out simple explanations that will help you to grasp the basics, get to grips with the tougher elements of the English language and help you with texting, talking and writing letters. It also claims that it can help you make a better impression when applying for a job, as well as how to structure a better presentation or school report. It gives us a refresher course (for those who remember from their schooldays) on what nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs are, and how they should be used. This is a book that will come in useful for everyone – we all post things on social network sites, text friends, or have to hand in written submissions for work or school.

On occasion, thanks to arguably incorrect everyday uses of English that have become accepted by the masses, the correct way to construct a sentence can feel wrong and sound unnatural. The book examines ‘friendspeak’ and conversational English, where the ‘laws’ of the language can be a little less restrictive.

Once you know the basics (like what the difference between a noun and a verb is), then ‘Basic English Grammar For Dummies’ is a handy reference guide that you can pick up to discover something you were unsure of, or refresh your mind about something that’s a little cloudy.

As with all ‘Dummies’ books, this is fairly straightforward and easy to digest – but be warned, this is a volume that requires your complete concentration. You may find yourself reading the same passage half a dozen times in order for things to sink in. And, at times, I couldn’t help feeling like I was back at school again!

Overall, for those who want to brush up their use of English, or those not wishing to come across as a plebeian on social media, this is a worthwhile purchase.


ByJoy 925 Pear Shape Amethyst Dangle Sterling Silver Earrings
ByJoy 925 Pear Shape Amethyst Dangle Sterling Silver Earrings
Price: £44.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty, pear-shaped pair, 24 Nov. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I gave these earrings to a lady friend, and asked for her opinion of them.

These pear-shaped items of jewellery are quite small, and so perhaps not recommended if you have a lot of volume to your hair, because the earrings might get lost among your locks and not be seen. So long as your earlobes are clearly visible, though, you should be fine. You could, of course, wear your hair back. These earrings are very pretty – they look a lot more expensive than the current asking price of £44.99. Bargain!


ByJoy 925 Oval Shape Ruby Sterling Silver Dangle Earrings
ByJoy 925 Oval Shape Ruby Sterling Silver Dangle Earrings
Price: £49.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A decent bit of dangle without heaviness, 24 Nov. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have not been wearing these earrings myself, but gave them to a female friend and asked for her opinion.

There’s a good bit of dangle to these oval-shaped adornments, so they stand out well even among the curly locks of my lady friend. However, they are not heavy, so they don’t pull down on the lobes in an unattractive manner. There is visibly a lot of tasteful bling here for a lot less money (at the time of writing £51.99) than you might expect to pay. Bargain!


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