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Profile for Dr. Paul Ell > Reviews

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Content by Dr. Paul Ell
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Reviews Written by
Dr. Paul Ell (NI, UK)

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Eylure Brow Palette, Blonde
Eylure Brow Palette, Blonde
Offered by Greens Pharmacy
Price: £9.45

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: £34.99

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: £19.74

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.

Philips Style Shaver QS6141/33 Dual Ended Shaver and Beard Trimmer for Wet and Dry Use
Philips Style Shaver QS6141/33 Dual Ended Shaver and Beard Trimmer for Wet and Dry Use
Offered by Activecare Online
Price: £59.94

2.0 out of 5 stars Not good for stubble, 1 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
More to come but very poor as a stubble trimmer. I think it try's to do many things in one device. I didn't like the plastic attachments either.

Don't have a beard so can't speak for that element. On stubble found it painful to use and couldn't get the length right. Better to buy a bespoke device I think!

AmazonBasics Everyday Fitted Sheet, Double - Lilac
AmazonBasics Everyday Fitted Sheet, Double - Lilac
Price: £18.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent value, 22 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Good value everyday fitted sheet. Not excellent thread count but at this price what can you expect and better thread count at 200 than many other 'standard' bedlinen from other manufacturers. If fits deep mattresses and does not come unattached. Nothing to fault for the price. The colour is very subdued - more a tinted off white so should be suitable for many colour choices.

However, although I have a very, very, thick mattress the sheet does seem to be a bit too large - normally they're too small in that the elasticated sheet edge is pulled up over the mattress base and the sheet easily works loose. In this case the sheet can move around - although this is admittedly better than the sheet being too small! For a standard mattress the sheet will be very loose indeed.

One star dropped for the variant fitting. I think the double sheet would be better described as being suitable for 'deep' mattresses. But overall very good value for money, save my obsession for high thread counts! A solid four stars.

Kaspersky Internet Security 2015 Multi Device: 3 Device, 1 Year [Frustration-Free Packaging] (PC)
Kaspersky Internet Security 2015 Multi Device: 3 Device, 1 Year [Frustration-Free Packaging] (PC)
Price: £14.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Support issues, 5 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Refuses to load on my Android systems - i want it to use on three different tablets but it looks as though it cope with this. I have contacted their support system but to reply yet.

Not good.

UE MEGABOOM Wireless Bluetooth Speaker - Charcoal Black
UE MEGABOOM Wireless Bluetooth Speaker - Charcoal Black
Price: £249.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Very good bluetooth speaker with some standout features - like being waterproof, 9 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Note that this is a review of the UE MEGABOOM Speaker! In a crowded market of bluetooth cordless speakers (noted by thefact that Amazon are selling three different speakers from one web page!) it's difficult for manufacturers to shine in the market. Well this speaker has one stand out feature - it's weather resistant. So I see myself using it in the garden in summer without the need to remember to bring it in. Now I don't think it will withstand dropping in the bath but should be OK left out in the rain. That said a protection of IPX7 in theory it can be submerged in water of at least a metre deep! Impressive stuff but It's not a piece of kit you'll want to leave out all year however.

Actually getting to the speaker was a little problematic. It comes in a black packing (and storage?) case tubular in shape just like the speaker. This has an outer card sleeve with product details on. I had difficulty in getting the sleeve off and then more difficulty prising the packing open. Also the USB cable is stored, and a bit hidden away, in a draw at the base of the case. The micro USB charging system comes with a cleverly designed compact UK plug and a mainland Europe plug - both in a great high reflective yellow colour.

In use pairing with a bluetooth device was simple - a couple of minutes. It also has NFC built in so placing a near field connection phone close by should do the pairing for you. The speaker comes with an Android and iOS app and the Android one is pretty good. It installed a firmware update for the speaker which took about 10 minutes. The app allows you to add another speaker to the system and to set some detailed graphic equalise settings as well as using a suggested number of presets. The app also allows an alarm to be set. You don't need to use the app to use the speaker however - a big advantage. So you can direct any audio output from your phone or tablet to the speaker.

In terms of sound quality I think it's good. There's a lot of bass and the sound is sent in all directions due to the speaker's circular design, good for outdoor use. On design, I like it's understated nature - two white lights and associated hidden buttons on the top to control pairing and power, two large volume controls on the side (the large blue '+' and '-' symbols, and an Aux in and USB charging port under water sealed rubber on the base. There's also a metal loop which could allow the speaker to be hung from a suitable hook. Pushing the volume controls simultaneously will tell you, in an American accent, the battery charge level. Battery life is predicted to be around 20 hours.

As is so common these days there's virtually no printed instructions. I wonder if someone who had no idea what bluetooth is would ever manage get get the speaker to work. Instructions are downloadable though!

So I think this speaker does have some stand-out features, and now having decided that the shipping packaging is indeed a carry case with built-in handle, I'd strongly recommend it. Did I also mention that it will also act as a speaker phone with your mobile. Press the bluetooth button to answer the call! Despite all this I can't quite bring myself to give any bluetooth speaker five stars. Can anything be perfect when so many speakers exist? But a solid 4.8 - if that was allowed!

Philips Lumea Prestige SC2008/11 IPL Hair Regrowth Prevention System for face and body
Philips Lumea Prestige SC2008/11 IPL Hair Regrowth Prevention System for face and body
Price: £300.00

18 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pain free hair growth control, 9 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
There's no doubt that this Philips hair re-growth prevention system is expensive but it seems to deliver exactly what it promises and, for once with hair 'control' systems actually is pain free! So I suspect certainly this IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) system is the way to go. There are other models however - more on this later.

First it's worth noting that the Lumea comes with several warnings and, bearing in mind the technology it's probably sensible to heed there! Most critically it's not suitable for hair which is very blond, white, red or grey. Also for very dark skin which does not tend to tan (this does not apply to skin that burns easily) equally the system is unlikely to work. And if you're sun sensitive - and there are antibiotics about which warn about sun exposure it's not sensible to use the system while taking the medication.

So how does it work? Well it's all about controlling the melanin in the root of the hair is passes into a dormant state, the fair falls out, and with with reuse simply does not grow back. Over time reuse becomes less critical. I guess in terms of limitations is the length of time it takes to use the system. I think Philips' estimates of time take - 8 minutes per leg for example - are optimistic particularly as it's difficult to avoid covering the same areas twice, or three times.

There are many advantages however beyond the overall effectiveness of the system. It's cordless to is easier to use, there's no blades that need replacing - in fact nothing needs to be replaced due to use and it comes with special 'safe' attachments for face and, er, other delicate areas.

I guess one key question is why buy this top-of-the-range model. Well to be honest I think you could get away with the Philips SC2004/11 model, currently the second most basic model in the Philips range. It's around £150 cheaper, lacks attachments, and probably shouldn't be used on your face. But if you want the best go for the SC2008/11. I'm dropping one star for the price, the differential of which between other models doesn't seem quite justified, but this is a very good hair prevention system. Throughly recommended, and 4 stars!

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