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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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Kleenex Airflex Hand Towel Dispenser Starter Pack (product code 7992) - 1 Dispenser and 2 Slimroll hand towel rolls
Kleenex Airflex Hand Towel Dispenser Starter Pack (product code 7992) - 1 Dispenser and 2 Slimroll hand towel rolls
Price: £59.78

3.0 out of 5 stars Installation and running cost issues, 4 May 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I got this product for my utility room which is fairly large and really functions as a laundry room. The towel dispenser is fairly large and very utilitarian - think public toilets - and whilst it works in a utility room this is not the sort of thing your going to want in a domestic bathroom or kitchen. Unlike 'conventional' paper towel dispensers this product uses rolls rather than individual towels. The dispenser is designed to perforate the towel room as it's dispensed. The holder accommodates two large towel rolls.

I have limited DIY skills but did not anticipate any problems attaching the towel dispenser to the wall - but maybe not exactly straight. In practice the lack of any clear instructions about attaching the dispenser - or indeed even how to open it and put the towel rolls in - is a major problem. I have four screws but only two clear holes to put through the dispenser to hold the towel dispenser to the wall! Both of those are at the base of the dispenser so clearly more screws are needed. I also have a random piece of white plastic that looks important but I'm not sure what it does.

If you do manage to install the dispenser it is not a cheap option for drying your hands. The rolls are 'discounted' at the moment to around £10 which seems expensive. The full cost is much more.

Overall this product will have limited appeal for domestic use and will be expensive to use in an office environment. The lack of instructions are an major issue as are recurrent running costs. Overall a cautious three stars


QardioBase Wireless Smart Scale
QardioBase Wireless Smart Scale
Price: £129.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Stability issues and better smart scales out there, 4 May 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As others have pointed out, there are some issues with this product. Most significantly the scales are unstable in use due to the base of the scales being smaller than the glass top which you stand on. The additional feet included with the scales, which you stick on, help a bit but the design is essentially insecure. So there scales are not a brilliant choice of anyone not sure if there footing. Additional concerns relate to the positioning of the scales read-out which is pretty much where you put your feet. I think more so than almost any scales I've seen, the associated app is critical to the scales use. From the app you can clearly see your current weight and more easily view the range of other measurements available. Whether you want to have your phone with you every time you weigh yourself is another matter! I prefer the Withings approach where their scales function well in everyday use without their app. The app is really used to review weight trends and other measurements. More minor issues include the 8 batteries the scales need to operate - I hope that they last a reasonable time!

More positively, the scales look very good. I had no problem first connecting my iPhone to the scales via Bluetooth and then connecting them to my wifi network. Unlike others I found the scales to be consistent in their weigh measurements - as long as you keep your feet more or less in the same position. Finally, the app works well and a number of useful statistics are gathered - including BMI, muscle percentage, and useful weight targeting.

Overall I guess I'd mark these scales as a four star product. I don't think they are as good as Withings scales and Withings have a larger ecosystem of products which work well together. With QardioBase you only have the scales and a blood pressure monitor. The big issue is the lack of stability which really requires a total redesign. I don't think including additional feet solves the problem. For that reason I rate this product as three stars. In essence better smart scales exist.


The Drone Pilot's Handbook
The Drone Pilot's Handbook
by Adam Juniper
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Basic flying guidance and contextualising the drone experience, 20 April 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This isn't an exhaustive manual on how to fly a drone. It's generic in nature - so doesn't talk about specific drones - but gives general guidance on flying them. I'd expected more on the mechanics of controlling a drone, and this is covered but not in great detail. It advises on what the (usual) two joysticks on a drone remote do, together with information on basic manoeuvres. Much more information is provided on the principals of flyinging in a 3D environment, on orientation, and a host of issues such as safe flying, the law and drones, and some applications such as aerial photography and 3D mapping. Guidance is given on battery life and pre-flight preparation on where you intend to fly.

The book it fairly light on words but with many accessible graphics. I don't think the book is essential reading for drone owners but it is interesting, gives context, and is an easy read with short, to-the-point, sections. Overall worth a look, and four stars.


ManCave Natural Conditioning Style Cream 75ml
ManCave Natural Conditioning Style Cream 75ml
Price: £6.56

4.0 out of 5 stars Light hair control, 20 April 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a non-sticky, non-greasy light style cream that's easy to apply. The fragrance from the cream is pleasant - don't be put off by the 'whiskey' scent which doesn't seem to relate to any whiskey scent I've ever experienced! You won't smell as though you've spent all day in a pub! Where the product description is accurate however is where it states that hair feels soft and enriched when using this.

This hair cream is not for ridged highly-stylised hair. The hold is light and more gentle than most waxes or clays and leaves a natural look. It also has a whole range of 'natural' ingredients which might appeal.

Overall a quality product which does pretty much what it says. Four stars.


Ring Wi-Fi Enabled Video Doorbell
Ring Wi-Fi Enabled Video Doorbell
Price: £145.98

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does all that is says it will. Excellent, 19 April 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having read other reviews on Amazon concerning loss of wifi signal, delays in being notified of the bell being run, and built quality, this bell has more than met my expectations. I've experienced none of the problems others have listed. The bell performs extremely well. Mine is powered thanks to an older powered door bell I removed. Installation was easy and now IFTTT allows you to sync to SmartThings to, for example, turn a light on when the bell is rung. The manufacturer says that streaming video on demand is being rolled out to powered bells.

Any downsides, well,an annual subscription to keep six months of video footage costs $30 so around £20. Looking at the costs for some home security cameras to store footage this is not excessive though.

Overall a brilliant product which really does allow you to answer your door anywhere in the world! 5 stars.


Keter Knit Cozies Indoor/Outdoor Large Garden Plant Pot Planters - Misty blue, 1 Piece
Keter Knit Cozies Indoor/Outdoor Large Garden Plant Pot Planters - Misty blue, 1 Piece
Price: £12.68

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fussy design and costly, 17 April 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A large blue/grey planter for use indoors and out. The planter comes in two parts - and inner pot with water drainage built in for use outdoors and a plug to prevent water leaking out when used indoor. It is designed to be used in door and out.The second part, the outer case, has a knitting type design. To be frank it looks over fussy to me and I'm no really a fan of the design. Plus the planter is rather expensive.

I'd tend to go with a more traditional terracotta planter. Whilst designed to be used outdoor the planter is light weight and if not planted would probably blow around.

I guess it's down to personal taste as to whether you'll like the planter. Because of the cost and design I only think it merits two stars.


Patimax Litter Baby Powder Deodoriser
Patimax Litter Baby Powder Deodoriser
Price: £4.90

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Does the job, 17 April 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A powder cat litter tray deodoriser that works pretty well in terms of masking smells. It goes a bit further though and is meant to help kill dirt-tray bacteria. Assuming it works that's pretty good.

To use you simply sprinkle it over the dirt tray. The pack comes with two or three different dispensers built into the lid.

Cats are fussy creatures but my 8 month old kittens don't seem to be bothered easy way by the deodoriser. They are now getting close to a time when they can be let out. At that point the dirt tray goes! In the meantime this product helps to reduce smells.

Overall quite good. Four stars.


Command MR13-SS-ES Large Modern Metal Hook with 1 Hook/2 Strips
Command MR13-SS-ES Large Modern Metal Hook with 1 Hook/2 Strips
Price: £5.49

3.0 out of 5 stars Does the job but utilitarian., 17 April 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A utilitarian metal coat peg that, as part of 3M's Command range is designed to be fixed without screws. You get the hook and two double-sided sticky pads. One pad is needed to fix the hook. The sticky pads are pretty strong with the hook - and more importantly sticky pad - designed to hold close to 1 kilo. The hook can be attached to most surfaces but not wall paper. It's easy to attach and works well. The hook can be removed without damaging the mounting surface by pulling the sticky strip down.

The hook is not the most attractive product and the pack is pretty expensive. But if you don't want to use screws it works.

Overall three stars - marked down for a workmanlike design and the cost


Magix Youcast - Start your Broadcast (PC)
Magix Youcast - Start your Broadcast (PC)
Price: £19.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful, 14 April 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Inexpensive software which allows you to make fuller use of home-produced local video either live or as a recording. The software is primarily designed to work wot Intel's RealSense camera but I had no problem in getting it to work with a generic webcam. I'm not sure though if additional software functionality might be available if I had a RealCam.

The software offers easy access to Youtube to stream videos and also has a number of templates to suit different video circumstances - from steaming videos to a live stream. It's also easy to broadcast live gameplay to highlight your game skills - or indeed show sections of a game you're having problems with. From a business perspective presentations using PowerPoint, for example, can be broadcast using the softwares's functionality to broadcast the Windows' desktop.

Overall you can't expect much at this price point and the quality of the software was surprisingly good. However, you only get a licence to use the software for a year at which point you'll need to spend more money and this is reflected in the three stars I'm giving this product.


Command BATH19-ES Shower Caddy Hanger
Command BATH19-ES Shower Caddy Hanger
Offered by ISE Forest & Garden
Price: £5.49

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Utilitarian bathroom fitting, 13 April 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Like the other products in the Command range this caddy hanger - really a white plastic hook - securely fits to a wall - as long as it's not a painted wall. It's worth bearing in mind though that if it's attached to a tile it's testing how securely the tile is fixed. Also like other products in this range, I'm afraid the hook looks rather cheap and workmanlike. Sure it works effectively but it's not an elegant thing. If you're into white utilitarian plastic though this may be for you! One other issue is that the hook will 'only' hold 3.4kg. Once your metal shower caddy is attached with two or three bottles of shampoo and shower gel you'll get close to that limit.

Overall if you can manage to drill a hook fitting in your bathroom I'd go for that. This is a little less hassle in the short term but not an elegant solution. Three stars, just.


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