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Ralph Bacon "Aresby" (Milton Keynes, UK)
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AmazonBasics Bluetooth UK QWERTY Keyboard for Apple iPad / iPhone Black
AmazonBasics Bluetooth UK QWERTY Keyboard for Apple iPad / iPhone Black
Price: £18.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Comfortable to use, UK symbols SOLVED!, 22 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
[Update Dec 2014. As I was unable to persuade the keyboard that SHIFT-3 was a £ symbol, SHIFT-2 was double-quotes and so on when using my Android phone, I found that on Google Play the External Keyboard Helper (free demo version available) immediately solved the issue and all the UK-style symbols are now generated by the correct keys. The remaining problem is that the key legends no longer correspond to the actual character (eg the @ sign is no longer generated by SHIFT-2 but by SHIFT-apostrophe, next to the ENTER key) but I will live with that). I have absolutely no connection with this app, BTW.

Still use it often with my Android LG G2, it's so much quicker typing longer messages.

[End of Update]

This replaced an older Anker bluetooth keyboard which had started failing, requiring a hard push on the keys to get them to register - as a touch typist you might imagine how frustrating that was!

This keyboard is pretty much the same (compact, 26cm) size, which means that the typing experience is not that of a full sized keyboard but does mean I can keep it in my work desk drawer and whip it out to respond to emails or texts on my Smart Phone (during lunchtime of course).

It connects to the phone (LG G2, running Android 4.2.2) once you've switched it on using the neat switch under the keyboard after about 5 seconds (it seems to require that I press a key to 'wake up' the connection but it might be a timing coincidence).

It's lovely to type on, and responds very much like a laptop keyboard. I also appreciate the special keys to adjust the volume and to 'back' up - it's obviously been designed for phone or tablet use.

Although it has the UK keyboard layout (£ on the 3-key) this doesn't correspond to real life use; I have yet to find out where the British pound symbol is lurking but to get the @-sign you need to press shift-2 and as for the Euro sign... well, I'll find out soon. Luckily I don't use those symbols much in my texts and emails. It might be, of course, that I can set the language in the phone settings to UK rather than US - I'll update this review if I discover this.

All in all a nice keyboard to use for simple tasks, comfortable to use for short bursts and reliably connects to my phone.

[Update: forgot to mention the included tablet stand. Made out of single piece of folding plastic it actually works very well in holding it either portrait or landscape. Not so good with my phone as the cut out is too large and obscures part of the screen - OK in an emergency though. Sometimes the simple things work best!]


EMERGEN-C Juicy Strawberry Energy Release and Immunity Support Food Supplement - 2 x Pack of 8 Sachets (16 total)
EMERGEN-C Juicy Strawberry Energy Release and Immunity Support Food Supplement - 2 x Pack of 8 Sachets (16 total)
Price: £3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Fruity, effervescent and plenty of vitamins, 12 Oct. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've only just noticed when starting this review that these are, in fact, strawberry flavour - I just tasted general fruitiness that was pleasant on the tongue. Having tried multi-vitamin 'fruity' tablets before and been disappointed with the taste these are so much better than I expected so good news there.

The vitamin C and zinc are what I would normally take anyway on a daily basis to ward off evil cold viruses so these certainly meet my needs on that front.

The addition of, mainly, B-vitamins to the mix to provide extra energy are welcome but I have to be honest and say I haven't noticed a boost in my performance - certainly nothing that a cup of coffee wouldn't bring anyway, but at least these drinks will do me good whereas the coffee can give me sleeplessness and a pounding heart!

Be careful how you add these to a glass of water as it effervesces like the head on a pint of beer so give it some room at the top of the glass and don't dilute it down to much if you want to keep that fruity flavour at its best.

Price-wise I'm not so convinced as it works out at about 60p a shot - not cheap enough for me to buy on a regular basis but OK for a quick boost now and again.

So a good taste, a warm fuzzy feeling that at least you're drinking vitamin goodies, but only suited on price for the occasional thirst quencher.


OCZ ARC100-25SAT3-120G 120GB ARC 100 Series SATA 3.0 6GB/s 2.5 Inch SSD
OCZ ARC100-25SAT3-120G 120GB ARC 100 Series SATA 3.0 6GB/s 2.5 Inch SSD
Offered by Kikatek
Price: £55.43

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes my Windows laptop fly, 12 Oct. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
If you have a standard (mechanically revolving) laptop disk in your laptop (or PC) then you need to consider a solid state disk (SSD) like this OCZ one to totally transform the speed of your machine.

I installed this into an HP 15-r011na HP 15-r011na 15.6-inch Touchscreen Notebook PC (Natural Silver) - (Intel Pentium 2.58GHz, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Wi-Fi, Windows 8.1) to replace the 1Tb disk already installed, and as part of Microsoft's technology preview program I was invited to install the yet-to-be-released Windows 10 onto the blank disk which it did without asking me for any further information.

Once Windows 10 installed (which happened very quickly) Windows booted up in about 5 (yes, five) seconds and closed down in about 3 seconds. I know that Windows 8 also boots up quickly but the speed of this laptop with the OCZ Arc 100 disk installed causes me to wonder just how it can start up and run so quickly. Absolutely amazing. Programs such as Microsoft Word load instantly (yes, instantly). In fact, *everything* runs so much snappier - it's how all laptops and PCs should run.

You might think that the reduced disk capacity (compared to the 1Tb originally installed) would cause me to pause but let me assure you that it is more than adequate for all my music, documents and photos with plenty of space left to spare. The speed increase in the laptop's performance more than makes up for any decrease in capacity that I'll never use anyway.

The drive is a bare drive - there are no software utilities included to copy the contents of your existing drive to it before installation, although you can probably find something on the Internet easily. That said, it's sometimes useful to reinstall your operating system and programs and the recover your documents and photos from your backups (or cloud based storage) to get the best out of a new disk.

OCZ do offer a downloadable utility from their website although it's pretty basic and doesn't tell you much about the performance, stability or longevity of the drive; given the maturity of SSDs these days, it's probably something that should not concern the average user. After all, does the average driver really want to know such details about the gearbox in their car?

A cracking drive at a cracking price - it will transform the speed of aging laptops and PCs as well as new ones out of the box.


Philips hue lux Personal Wireless Lighting Starter Kit (2 x A19 E27 LED Light Bulbs, 1 Bridge)
Philips hue lux Personal Wireless Lighting Starter Kit (2 x A19 E27 LED Light Bulbs, 1 Bridge)
Price: £79.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to install and use, bulbs very expensive, 6 Oct. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
To allow me to control the two bulbs that came with this starter kit was simplicity itself.

Connect the 'bridge' unit to a spare port in your router, download the app from the PLAY store and it magically finds your bridge on your local (wifi) network, connects to it and that is it. It took about 5 minutes to get up and running so why did it take me at least two weeks to get to this stage?

Firstly, the bulbs supplied are Edison Screw - more often found in USA homes than those in the UK. I had to therefore purchase an adaptor to allow me to use it in a standard Bayonet Cap (BC) socket - which then meant the bulb projects too far out but at least it worked.

Secondly, I was trying to figure out a real-world use for this product. Don't get me wrong, it's all very slick that I can (from anywhere in the world) adjust the brightness levels of two bulbs in my home, but why would I want to? Perhaps when I use the Cat Cam to monitor our cat, it would be useful to be able to switch on a light. Maybe...

More useful, perhaps, is the 'Geo-fencing' utility that comes with the app. Basically this allows me to automatically switch the aforementioned bulbs off when I drive away from home in the morning, and have them automatically switch on again as I approach home. It would be more use if the bulbs were external but the principle is sound.

The bulbs, incidentally, are eye-wateringly expensive. Let's hope the zillion hour life span is correct as they are expensive even if they last a full 10 years.

So whilst this is a slick unit, and involves several pieces of Philips' magic to allow me to adjust the brightness of bulbs by sliding my finger along my phone I'm just wondering a little, "so what?".

Can someone please give me a real-world example where this is actually useful and worth spending the type of money demanded by this kit?

In conclusion, a nicely made unit, very easy to install and use, just needs a reason for having it other than the "look what I can do with my phone" rather than using a dimmer switch that you can get for a fiver.


Webbox Chicken Fillets, 100 g, Pack of 15
Webbox Chicken Fillets, 100 g, Pack of 15
Price: £29.57

2.0 out of 5 stars Too tough for my Yorkie, 3 Oct. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Both my visiting Yorkie and me expected chicken fillets to be quite tender but these were the chicken equivalent of beef jerky, tough as old boots.

If I had a large(r) dog I'd probably try him out on one but these were far too big and tough for a small dog.

I snipped a couple of pieces off with a pair of scissors and he ate them(so I'm guessing they passed the taste test) but I was quite stressed he was going to choke on them.

Thank goodness I only got sent one pack not the full 15.

Only suitable in my opinion for larger dogs with a decent set of teeth.


Mark and Chappell Ltd Vet IQ Flea Guard, 90 Tablets
Mark and Chappell Ltd Vet IQ Flea Guard, 90 Tablets
Offered by Purely Health
Price: £9.08

2.0 out of 5 stars High hopes dashed by finicky dog - but the cat likes them, 22 Sept. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I thought this would be great for the Yorkie we look after regularly but my hopes were dashed when he refused his treat at the first mouthful.

Even after crumbling it up a bit he still just looked at me as if to say "You really expect me to eat that?".

This is not good news since he does develop his natural doggie smell after a while which I was hoping to eliminate along with the fleas using these tablets.

The manufacturers could surely add in something to make it palatable to all dogs (my Yorkie is not that particular about treats, as long as he thinks it's a treat he will eat it)?

The good news is that our cat likes them. But he only needs a small amount per day so this 90-tablet box should last a while - if they don't crumble into dust every time I break one up, as they seem very messy when broken up.

I might try mixing it in with the Yorkie's food but then it becomes a daily 'medication' I must give rather than it being a treat he would normally willingly eat. I'll try it.

The other downside is that it seems to take a long time for this product to ever have an effect; two weeks initially then several more weeks before full potency seems an overly long time when I can just put a flea spot control on his neck for immediate effect.

And he almost enjoys a bath once a week to make him smell nice because he knows he always gets a (proper) treat afterwards.

Pity, I had high hopes.


Foscam FI9821P Plug and Play HD 1280 x 720p H.264 Wireless/Wired Pan/Tilt IP Camera - 26ft Night Vision and 2.8mm Lens (70° Viewing Angle) (White)
Foscam FI9821P Plug and Play HD 1280 x 720p H.264 Wireless/Wired Pan/Tilt IP Camera - 26ft Night Vision and 2.8mm Lens (70° Viewing Angle) (White)
Offered by Foscam Digital Tech
Price: £74.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Works well but remote picture quality mediocre using Foscam app, 16 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This was bought to monitor our pet cat when away from the house. As such, it didn't need to be fancy or top quality but I was looking for reliability.

The unit I acquired from Amazon must have been one that had been sitting on the shelf for a considerable time; the software was very out of date and required over an hour to bring it up to date. This process was not as straightforward as you might think either as it required multiple downloads of the software and each one had to be applied in turn. There was no 'latest' software that could be applied just the once.

The browser plug-in (when running on Windows) has been replaced by a universal "exe" file which works just fine. The Android Foscam app for my mobile phone and tablet both connect reliably and provide a reasonable (but not great quality) picture. The panning does work well though once you get the knack of it and the infra-red lights can be either automatically or manually switched on.

A better image is provided by the IP Cam Viewer Basic from the Android Play store. I suspect, however, that it uses considerably more bandwidth (data) to provide the better picture so this may be why the official Foscam app only provides a mediocre picture: small data requirements. When used in this country (depending on your phone contract) it's not such a big deal but when abroad the additional data could be significant in terms of price.

Night time viewing is pretty good; it switches to black-and-white mode but the built-in LEDs provide a decent enough picture to spot a cat on a sofa some 15 feet away!

One downside is that there is no indication on the camera that it is on; you could easily be spied on by whoever is running the app or browser.

The plug-and-play bit sort of worked; it managed to set up the required connection on my mobile phone but I still needed to do all that port forwarding stuff for the browser to work outside of the house. The app worked without all this faffing about.

All in all it's a nice camera. It looks good enough to leave standing about and it has a huge pan and tilt range. Tip: set the panning speed to slow to avoid zooming about all over the place. Talking of 'zoom' it has no optical zoom. The Foscam app only provides digital zoom which results in a badly pixellated image (just like when you over zoom a digital photo).

Once you have it all set up and working you realise you could really do with another couple so you can cover the entire house - but not at this price! I'll wait until they either drop in price significantly or an offer comes along before I buy further ones.

Support is provided from London when purchased from Amazon (or directly from Foscam) so be warned before you buy off an unauthorised auction site - where there have been reports of clones being sold too.

All-in-all I'm pleased with it and it worked just great from Bermuda and New York - even to the point of being to speak to my daughter (and hear her responses) although you really need to use earphones otherwise you get feedback (howling) as the sound from the phone's speaker is fed back to the camera and so on.

Yes I'm pleased with it, just a shame about the high current price!


HP 15-r011na 16-inch Touchscreen Notebook PC (2.16 GHz,Intel Pentium  8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Wi-Fi, Windows 8.1) (Natural Silver)
HP 15-r011na 16-inch Touchscreen Notebook PC (2.16 GHz,Intel Pentium 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Wi-Fi, Windows 8.1) (Natural Silver)

41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast, modern and excellent manufacturer support, 29 Aug. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
[Update Oct 2014] I've now installed Windows 10 (yes, 10) on this laptop and all the drivers on the HP site installed too. It really, really does make this laptop work just a large SmartPhone, and that's just the first (test) release of Windows 10. It can only get better [End Update]

We're mostly familiar with smartphone and tablet touch screens but what about a laptop running a version of Windows with which I'm totally unfamiliar - does it work?

Firstly the performance of this laptop is pretty good. I never thought once that it was lagging behind what I wanted to do. It uses a power-efficient (but still quad core) processor specially designed for 'entry level' notebooks. I found it more than adequate during the short time I've been using it.

The 15.6" screen is razor sharp and has a resolution of 1366 x 768; in real life terms I found it big enough for web browsing, email writing and Internet shopping. In fact, it felt bigger than what the size might indicate (I was convinced it was a 17" screen until I checked).

The keyboard doesn't take up much room and there is a large touchpad area that is soooo smooth and delicate to the touch it's a joy to use. And use it you will probably have to some times because the touch screen is sometimes cumbersome to use with Windows 8.1 in 'desktop' mode. Let me explain further.

The screen is multi-finger touch sensitive and is just the same as a smartphone screen in use. Yes, you still get finger marks all over it but you tend not to see these when the screen is lit up. Using the 'metro' tiled interface it's a joy to use and works as you would expect.

When in desktop mode though, although the screen works just as before, Windows 8.1 has not been optimised for touch in desktop mode and some of the controls and links are awkwardly small to touch - that's where the delightful touch pad comes into its own. You can always connect up a (ideally, wireless) mouse to one of the USB 2.0 ports too if that meets your needs better.

You get a whopping 1 Tb (Terrabyte - that's 1000 Gigabytes!) of storage included and there's 8Gb of RAM so, realistically, it will never struggle to run multiple applications simultaneously.

And, whilst not the most exciting part of the entire package, HP has a brilliant web site with full support for all its products; if you need an updated driver that's the place to get it. They will even email you when there's an update for your machine if you subscribe, as I have. It's one of the reasons that I just love HP products so much.

Are there any downsides? I wouldn't want to lug this about too long (it's not like a tablet, weight-wise) as it weighs in at about two and a half kilos - not more weighty than many other laptops but not a MacBook Air either (which is about half this weight and several times the price).

All in all, this is a brilliant machine; the touch screen makes Windows 8.1 really come alive when using the tiles and it performs well with oodles of space for photos, videos and the like for quite some time to come.

I'm impressed and determined to learn how to use Windows 8.1 as well as I use my smart phone. Recommended.


Oral-B CrossAction Electric Toothbrush Replacement Heads - 8 Counts
Oral-B CrossAction Electric Toothbrush Replacement Heads - 8 Counts
Price: £19.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leave my teeth feeling clean and plaque-free, 25 Aug. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As a long-time user of Braun (and, it must be said, other manufacturers') electric toothbrushes, I'm always impressed with the Braun quality and longevity.

Certainly these toothbrush heads, that fit most of the Braun range, clean my teeth nicely. According to the blurb, the CrossAction is supposed to clean deeply between each tooth; only my dentist can determine that but I will say that my teeth 'feel' clean afterwards, although not particular better (nor worse) than other types of head. I'm just putting my faith in Braun that these are actually doing that little bit more for my teeth.

As an 8-pack this is enough for two people for a full 12-months, assuming you change your head at the recommended 3-month interval. For the price it's not bad when compared to similar heads from both Braun and other manufacturers. Given that this is a 'Vine' review I can't really comment on value for money although I'd like to think I value my teeth enough to buy these.

They heads have the standard coloured rings to identify them, of course.

I think they clean well with little effort - what more could you ask for?


GOODOGS CAPRICE Can Snack for Dogs, Small
GOODOGS CAPRICE Can Snack for Dogs, Small
Price: £2.35

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for limiting those tasy treats, 25 Aug. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The treats in this tub are about 3cm in length - but can be easily broken off into bits as small as half a centimetre as they are moist and flexible, ideal for the smaller dog like the Yorkie we often look after.

They actually smell OK (to humans, I mean, dogs seem to eat anything) unlike some others we have tried that, quite frankly, smell awful (to humans).

The tub was a bit smaller than expected but given that the treats can be broken off so easily and limited makes it very good value for money and easy to take with you on walks.

All in all this was the treat I've been looking for and I can only recommend it for smaller dogs - no good for alsations but perfect for Yorkie-sized dogs.


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