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Dr. Paul Ell (NI, UK)
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Philips ORT7500/10 1950s Retro DAB+ Original Radio with Bluetooth and USB Charging - Red
Philips ORT7500/10 1950s Retro DAB+ Original Radio with Bluetooth and USB Charging - Red
Price: £190.58

2.0 out of 5 stars Unconvincing DAB/Bluetooth radio, 2 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
There are lots of DAB/FM/Bluetooth radios around and this Philips model joins the crowd. There's nothing compelling to suggest this is the model to purchase against the competition.

First, it's expensive. Second, it's fairly large although this is partly repaid by fair, although not outstanding, sound quality. Third, it as a pseudo retro look. It's not an original look but you might like it. I don't. Fourth, reception is pretty bad. It's OK for FM but for DAB you'll need to have the intrusive aerial fully extended and then, in poor reception areas, will probably need to strategically position the radio.Fifth, the controls are far from intuitive. You need to use a combination of the two obvious knobs on the radio and pressure buttons on the metallic band above them. The band itself feels as though it could easily be pulled off and finding a station, switching radio band, and more is far from intuitive.

So overall I see no compelling reason to buy this radio/bluetooth set. There's lots of competition and at this price point, unless you love the design, look elsewhere.


Omron MIT Precision Five Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor
Omron MIT Precision Five Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor
Price: £56.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Good design but variant pressure readings, 31 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This blood pressure monitor consists of the monitor itself, two AAA batteries, a neat case and instructions in multiple languages. The monitor itself is of high quality with a clear interface and good design. You will need to read the, remarkably clear, instructions to be sure how to use the monitor (particularly in relation to its positioning) and to understand some of the more advanced features such as the inbuilt memory.

A major advantage in using this monitor as far as I'm concerned is that it is used on the lower wrist rather than upper arm. As a result it's much easier to attach and easier to read the results. It takes about 10 seconds to attach the monitor the your wrist and secure it using velcro material.The monitor attempts to ensure it's correctly positioned, and consequently the result is reliable, by systems which alert you via the LCD screen if it's not correctly attached on the wrist or is above or below the level of your heart. The monitor is designed to be used sitting at a table with your arm on the table and the monitor on your wrist level with your heart. The guidance offered by the monitor is very useful as the position of the monitor relative to your heart can result in radically different results.

In use it takes about 30 seconds for a reading to be obtained. You also get a pule rate reading and the monitor alerts you to an irregular heartbeat. The pressure readings are extremely easy to read. On first use the date and time are set on the monitor and the last 90 readings are stored on the monitor and can be reviewed, If you take up to three readings in 10 minutes or less the average reading is also displayed.

So all good but I do have some reservations. First the average reading is a bit of a gimmick. The instructions advise that you should not take readings one after another - two or three minutes are needed for the blood vessels to recover between readings. You're going to have to be quick off the mark to get three readings in 10 minutes therefore to obtain an average reading. More of an issue is that I keep getting notably different readings - with a variance of up to 20 per cent - between readings taken a few minutes apart while obtaining a reading in the same position. The readings also seem a bit high - at least compared to those I get from my GP when, in theory, 'white coat' syndrome, or at least not being in a quiet home environment, should result in a lower reading. At this stage I can't say the monitor is inaccurate but I will take the monitor with me when I have another blood pressure check and see how it compares.

So a well designed and easy to use monitor, and the 90 reading memory is useful. But I have some concerns over the consistency of readings and the average function is not very useful. The positioning monitors are good and they should help ensure an accurate reading so the variant results are a marked concern. So one star dropped.


[18 Month Warranty] Muber Multiple Devices Charging Station Dock Organizer for 5-Port USB Charger Cell Phones, Tablets & Macbook - (PU Leather, Black)
[18 Month Warranty] Muber Multiple Devices Charging Station Dock Organizer for 5-Port USB Charger Cell Phones, Tablets & Macbook - (PU Leather, Black)
Offered by Intuk
Price: £54.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent one-stop charging station for multiple devices, 28 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If like me you have multiple phone and tablet devices which sit around the house charging in different places, this charging stand offers an elegant solution. It is also capable of accommodating a netbook, MacBook Air or smaller laptops. The unit comes in two parts. The base is able to accommodate slim multi-port USB chargers which in effect mean than only a power cable goes into the rear of the base. Otherwise multiple USB cables go into the base unit and are secured by the elastic banding in the unit. The upper section is magnetically attached to the base and consists of two upright dividers and three cut out sections at the front to allow charing of smaller devices. The base itself has a further four cut outs to allow easy access for charging cables to reach larger devices - such as tablets and laptops - accommodated in the in the rear bays of the unit.

The unit and cut out sections are large enough to accommodate several tablets at once and it really does make it both easier and neater to charge several devices at once and in a much neater and compact way.

In terms of build quality the charging dock is robust and, although not made of leather, has a convincing leather look with complimentary neat lighter stitching. It comes fully assembled and looks to be high quality.

Overall highly recommended for anyone with several devices that require charging via USB so five stars.

Note that this item was provided by the manufacturer at no cost in return for a fully independent review.


Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 Plus QWERTY UK Layout - Black
Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 Plus QWERTY UK Layout - Black
Price: £33.27

4.0 out of 5 stars Another Logitech keyboard which works well, 22 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Another addition to the seemingly endless Logitech range of keyboards! This one is designed to work with your PC - or tablet or phone running Windows, Chrome or Android (note no Apple support) - connected to your TV. The keyboard works with the PC/tablet with the results viewed on the TV. Of course the keyboard can also be used independently from a TV with a tablet for example rather than using the tablet's virtual keyboard.

I found it very easy to set up for an Android Tablet - the latest Sony Z4 Tablet running Android 5 'Lollipop'. The keyboard is a little small for regular extensive use but for social media or selecting items on the tablet it works fine.

A solid 4 stars.


Gigaset G-tag Personal Bluetooth Tracking Device - White
Gigaset G-tag Personal Bluetooth Tracking Device - White
Price: £17.49

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easily setup local tracking tag, 22 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A relatively small (a little under 4cm squared) bluetooth tracking device that can be used to find items such as lost keys or notify you when the G-tag is out of range - for example if you've forgotten to pick a laptop up or, alternately, someone is stealing it! It's very easy to set up. Reading the barcode on the back of the tag will take you directly to the manufacture's website to download an app (for either iOS or Android) to use with the G-Tag. Registering the tag with a phone simply involves placing the tag on the phone screen in a marked area. I'm not quite sure how this works. It's not using Near Field Communication (NFC) but does work. You can then rename the tag and chose whether you wish the phone to let you know when the device goes out of range or back in range.

I've attached it to my keyring to help find lost keys. However the system is not that good at finding the precise location of the keys. Within about 4 feet the app will tell me they are very close and to look around. It would be useful for tracking larger objects though. Also the tag will only show you where the item went out of range - about 30 metres from your phone. It will not track its current location and does not have inbuilt GPS technology. Some devices with GPS would allow you to identify the location of the tag anywhere in the world. So find out that your luggage in still in London when you're in Athens. I've knocked a star off for this. Also the password requirements are a bit onerous in registering the tag - a number, at least one uppercase character, and a special character with a minimum password length of 8 characters. Very secure but I'm almost guaranteed to forget this password! Finally support in English is limited as this is a new product to the UK. The most detailed instructions seem to be in German where the manufacturer is based.

Overall though easy to set up, fairly inexpensive, and is useful so four stars


Eylure Brow Palette, Blonde
Eylure Brow Palette, Blonde
Price: £9.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Compact and high quality, 22 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A very compact eye brow palette set consisting of coloured wax, blond light powder and darker highlight powder. The kit also comes with a large mirror, or as large as it can be reflecting the size of the kit and a two ended applicator - one end for the wax, the other for the powder. All looks very high quality for the relatively low cost and is ultra portable. Recommended. 4 stars.


Philips QT4013/23 Series 3000 Beard Trimmer
Philips QT4013/23 Series 3000 Beard Trimmer
Price: £35.00

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent bespoke product, 12 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've some criticism for other Philips beard trimmers which are multi-function devices and don't seem to do any of the functions especially well. This product is far better. It is simply a stubble trimmer with the ability to chose 20 lengths of stubble from 0.5mm to 10mm (the latter I guess really becomes a beard). It's a compact device with cleaning brush and travel bag. Mine came with a standard UK plug charger, not a bathroom-style 2 pin charger. As I don't have power in my bathroom this suits me a lot better and it's a pleasure not to have to search around for an adapter! It will work both when plugged in and has an internal battery. Charging is fast. An hour's charge results in 60 minutes use.

In use, with a 0.5mm setting I found it easy to use easily gliding over the face with no pulling on nicks - with such a low setting a fairly significant advantage. When the battery is running low a red power light flashes, the device is turned on my a sliding power button so is unlikely to come on in your suitcase for example, and the only other setting is a rotary wheel fixing the cutting length.

This is an inexpensive product compared to some other Philips trimmers and I'm very impressed with it. My only minor criticisms are that the trimmer is not waterproof (although can easily be disassembled for cleaning) and the plastic trimmer length adjuster flexes a bit so length can vary as a result. Overall though five stars.


Tefal Multi-Cook Advanced 45-in-1 Multi-Cooker
Tefal Multi-Cook Advanced 45-in-1 Multi-Cooker
Price: £69.99

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pointless kitchen appliance., 10 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I may be missing something here but can't see any value in this product. In most instances the meals it can produce, and they are limited, can be more easily achieved either with a casserole dish or saucepan.

The range of food that can be cooked is limited - largely rice dishes, pasta dishes (which take longer to cook than using a saucepan), casseroles, soups and porridge! The included recipe book, or more accurately leaflet, contains just 22 dishes. Even these in many instances would be easier to make using conventional technology. Spaghetti Carbonara for examples takes 25 minutes to cook and the bacon needs to be fried separately using a frying pan and then added to the mix. The spaghetti is added at the same time as the other ingredients so is likely to be massively overcooked. Potato gratin would be so much easier to cook in the oven in a baking tray rather than making it in the large bowl that comes with the multi-cook. Not the traditional way to serve a gratin!

The interface to the device offers 45 different cooking options - choosing the type of food - fish, meat, vegetables etc - type of cooking such as steam, stew and porridge together with some control over cooking time and temperature. However the selection of the various elements is not particularly intuitive. A touch screen would have been better but as it is you need to negotiate around using four or five push buttons by the side of the display. Straying from the 22 dishes for which are provided in the recipe book would involve experimentation with some disasters along the way. There is a 'DIY' function but I think trial and error would be involved. It seems to me that the multi-cook is really aimed at making 22 recipes! If you like yogurt curd cheese with garlic and dill this product may be for you!

Also this is not a small kitchen appliance, and nor is it something you'll want to leave out on display, so you'll need a lot of cupboard space to accommodate it.

I have a feeling this is the sort of kitchen appliance you'll buy, use for a few weeks, and then forget about it. It doesn't save time and is inflexible in what it will cook.

On the positive side (!) the multi-cook has a timer so some meals can be cooked to a specific time. That said with many recipes require user intervention during the cooking process so you might be able to set a time for cooking to start but you'll need to be about to add ingredients. Plus ingredients have to be prepared in the usual way. Much mention is made of using a food processor before adding the prepared ingredients to the multi-cook. One bizarre use of the multi-cook is for bread rising. You'll need to prepare the dough either by hand or using a bread machine but the multi-cook will keep it warm to help it rise before you either put it back in the bread maker or into the oven. Totally pointless.

However if you do go through the rigmarole of making something using the multi-cook it will keep food warm once the cooking process is complete.

So from my perspective this is a very disappointing product that I would have returned had Vine not provided it. As it is I'm not sure it's worth keeping so I may bin it - since Vine rules mean it can't be passed on to anyone else who might actually have a use for the thing. A definite one star for an unnecessary kitchen appliance.


Getting a Big Data Job For Dummies
Getting a Big Data Job For Dummies
by Jason Williamson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Superficial, 8 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This book really falls between two key areas - first, an explanation of Big Data and, second, how to prepare for a job interview. Unfortunately at about 230 pages long with lots of typical 'Dummies' graphics there is simply not enough text devoted to either topic to cover them sufficiently.

A key element of getting a job involving Big Data is to actually understand its potential and current use together with the processes of collecting data and methodologies for identifying patterns in data without pre-conceived answers. It's all about letting data speak for itself. Unfortunately the sections on Big Data in this book are so light weight it would be difficult to convince any employer that you had the necessary skills or knowledge to carry out a job involving Big Data. So the book fails in one of it's primary purposes. The Appendix B Glossary is useful because it contains some key wording but without understanding the use and context of this sometimes technical language it's not going to help the novice much.

I think the second section on interview skills etc is misplaced. Better to have a book devoted just to that - and there are plenty around. As it is, constrained by space I guess, this section is also far from comprehensive and rather banal and generic.

So not recommended at all I'm afraid. One star


Philips S738/17 Series 1000 Click and Style Shaver / Beard Trimmer / Body Groom
Philips S738/17 Series 1000 Click and Style Shaver / Beard Trimmer / Body Groom
Price: £75.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Good value multi-function product but with compromises, 6 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
In many ways this product suffers from a similar product I recently reviewed - it simply tries to do too many things and tends to do nothing as well as a bespoke device with just one function. For example with a two-head shaver there are simply other Philips shavers available that are much better. And certainly for shaving having tested it there are many, many products available out there. Further, whilst the shaver is rechargeable it only has a two pin plug so an adapted will be required and the accessories feel a bit flimsy.

That said by combining a shaver, stubble trimmer and body shaver in one it does save money. It has further advantages in that, thankfully, there are replaceable heads - most importantly for the shaver and body groomer. It charges very quickly and has a useful carry bag. The body shaver is OK, but again better bespoke products just for body grooming give better results.

Ideally I'd buy individual products with one specific function. This is a fair, well priced, multi-function Philips product though. So three stars and maybe four if you want an inexpensive shaver, stubble trimmer and body groomer.


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