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Reviews Written by
Andromeda Descendent (Tarn Vedra)
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

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Kipling Women's Halia TT A4 Shoulder Bag K10624B78 Black Pearl W
Kipling Women's Halia TT A4 Shoulder Bag K10624B78 Black Pearl W
Price: £81.60

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical and stylish, 31 Aug. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This dual purpose shoulder bag / handbag ticks all the important boxes. It's really stylish, made from good material, and has more secret compartments than a 1800s smugglers' vessel. As a shoulder bag it's excellent, but the shoulder strap can be detached if you want. The central compartment is fastened by a clip stud and you can unclip two heaver duty push studs on the sides of the bag to expand the compartment. It has a full length zipped compartment within.

The front part of the bag has a zipped compartment which revels a notebook and pen holder and a mobile phone holder. It also has a key ring holder on a strap, which can be used to unlock the front door and then simply drop the keys back into the bag. On the very front, just above the chequered marking there is another zipped compartment big enough to put a Kindle book reader in. There is also a detachable key ring on the outside, with a monkey motif. There is another compartment at the back big enough for a file of papers.

Bop It! Beats Game
Bop It! Beats Game
Offered by a1 Toys
Price: £10.15

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once you bop, you can't stop! Yes, I really do mean it; every time you see it you'll just pick it up again., 30 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Bop It! Beats Game (Toy)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
"Bop it to start," says the voice of the Bop it! Beats machine, after I've inevitably scratched when I should have spun and should really be putting this addictive toy away again. But it's so addictive that, not unlike a certain potato crisp type product, you just have to keep having one more try.

The original Bop it! is a family favourite and we haven't tired of it yet. This new way of playing Bop it! is just as fun, but is cleverly different. This version is shaped like a double sided turntable – the sort that you'd imagine DJs might use in zero gravity – and instead of bop, pull, twist, spin and flick, you have bop, spin, scratch, flip, reverse and repeat (the latter two appearing when the difficulty starts rising).

That on its own would be enough for me to love this, but what makes this version really work is the officially licensed songs from Nicki Minaj and Avicii. I'm a fan of Avicii, so I love the use of "Levels" here, and the choice of "Pound the Alarm" is a natural fit for all that bopping and scratching. The tracks actually switch from one to the other every time you flip the Bop it! over. There is a remix mode where you can do what you like and flip the songs at any time, although for accuracy's sake I need to say that the scratching, spinning and reverse are just sound effects and you're not actually changing the speed or direction of the track.

As well as the standard solo game, you can get the family involved with a party mode where you are told after a few of the regular instructions to "pass it". There is also another game (called DJ), in which you need to remember a series of instructions and then do them when the Bop it! tells you to "go". This gives some welcome variety and it too has a party mode.

Although everything worked fine in testing (not that we thought of playing with it as "testing"!), a slight problem did present itself. In the DJ and DJ party games you are supposed to wait until the word "go" to carry out the actions. You would think that carrying out the actions before the word "go" would fail the game – and I think most people would agree that it should do – however unless one of those actions is flip (which does immediately fail the game if done before "go"), there is no consequence. That doesn't spoil your enjoyment if playing solo, but in party mode it starts to matter.

It occurs to me that just as the original Bop it! game can be easily used by the visually impaired, the Bop it! Beats game may be also be used by the deaf and people with impaired hearing. This is why I think this: There are eight LED lights on the Bop it! Beats (one every 90 degrees on each side) which light up in different patterns to accompany the voice instructions. There's even one for "pass it". In the DJ mode there is no visual cue for "go", and that could be a problem, however there is a long enough gap after the light patterns that after a few goes you'd get the hang of the timing. These patterns are quick, but distinct. No-one in my family has this consideration, so I would be interested to hear a review from someone or a family that does.

Corelle 1.9L Vitrelle Glass Lightweight Bake/Serve/Store Rectangular Baker with Plastic Cover, White
Corelle 1.9L Vitrelle Glass Lightweight Bake/Serve/Store Rectangular Baker with Plastic Cover, White
Price: £28.41

5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous quality baking tray, 28 Aug. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was looking forward to trying this out, especially because the first meal the family enjoyed from this bake tray was oven roasted duck breasts and potatoes.

First impressions of the tray were very positive. It's light and appears to be made from very strong material. The rims on the side make it easy to lift with oven gloves and also – when the tray is cold – make the accompanying plastic lid fit on tightly and securely. You can use the tray and the lid together in a microwave oven. Surprisingly, you can also use the dish and lid together in the freezer – although of course you need to let it cool to room temperature before you do so.

The cardboard wrap around the product when you take it from its packaging has more instructions than some electronic products I've seen. Most of these are fairly obvious safety precautions, but ones worth pointing out are that you must never expose the tray to a sudden change in temperature (don't pour cold water into it when its only recently come out of the oven), that you must only use plastic or nylon cleaning pads (not wire pads), and that you need to give it a wash before using it the first time so as to remove a clear protective coating.

The roast dinner was cooked perfectly. After the meal, of course, comes the washing up. Although the tray is dishwasher safe, its size means we'll always be cleaning it by hand. That's no problem, because the tray is very easy to clean. We poured warm water and washing up liquid into the tray and left it for a short while to soak. After that, the deposits from the meat just wiped straight off. It went back in the cupboard looking like new.

TCP LED E14 Small Edison Screw 5 Watt LED Candle, White
TCP LED E14 Small Edison Screw 5 Watt LED Candle, White
Price: £13.28

5.0 out of 5 stars Nice energy saving bulb. Does the job., 28 Aug. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is the smaller diameter screw type bulb. Although I made the mistake of thinking it was the larger sort when I ordered it, I do take this sort of bulb in my angle-poise-type desk light. It's a very good bulb, and ideal for putting on whilst I'm sorting out papers.

This LED candle bulb is a 5 watt equivalent of 30 watt standard, and boasts a 25000 hours lifetime (or 12500 on/offs, whichever comes first). It's warm white and has no perceivable warm up time. It's mercury free and has an A+ energy rating.

It looks well made and it comes with a 3 year warrantee. Like any energy saving product, the saving in electricity will come over time, and in these times of rising fuel prices many will see this as worth the initial outlay.

Wooden Pirate Ship
Wooden Pirate Ship
Price: £4.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pieces of eight, 27 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Wooden Pirate Ship (Toy)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Although at first glance this self-assembly, self-paint-and-decorate wooden model appears a bit oversimplified, that is actually something that's in its favour. It's very easy to put together, and the wooden pieces stay where they're put without even the need for the glue that's included, although it is best to use the glue seeing as it's there.

Our review copy didn’t come with the instructions that the box says should be there. This hardly mattered, because the model was so simple, but it means I can't comment here on how good those instructions are. Depending on your child's age, adult supervision is required, because there are some small pieces. Be especially careful with the thin wooden rods that hold the sails, even if it's just to make sure they don't roll off the table never to be seen again, or worse trodden upon.

There is enough paint in the small chain of plastic paint pots to give the model a couple of coats. A paintbrush is included. The paint is fairly quick drying, so it's best to make three or four painting runs with an hour or two in-between as you build up the detail. Unless you have a very steady hand, the line-work between the colours is not going to look as smooth as in the photo on the box without the need for some careful touching up after the rest of the paint has dried.

Be careful unpeeling the stickers, as they tear easily. Once they are placed on the finished model, it looks quite good. Okay, it doesn't look like a traditional pirate ship, but traditional pirate ships are complicated and it's always a good philosophy to start off simple and work up to something more complicated. This is a very good place to start.

Oral-B Trizone 4000 Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush Powered by Braun
Oral-B Trizone 4000 Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush Powered by Braun
Price: £55.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic toothbrush – gets everything right., 25 Aug. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is an Oral-B toothbrush powered by Braun, and it's without doubt the best toothbrush I've ever had. It requires a 22 hour stay on the charger in the first instance and you can use it until the battery runs down or place it on the charging unit after each use to keep it topped up. There are two spare heads for when the first one needs changing. Given time (about 3 months according to the instructions) the blue bristles will fade, letting you know it's time to think about putting a new head on. The three heads in the box come with different colour identity rings, so this one toothbrush could easily be used by a family of three. There is a nice storage box which clips onto the charging unit (and could be used by a family of four if you buy an extra head).

The first time I used the Trizone 4000, I put the toothpaste on the bristles and then switched it on whilst looking at it. The toothpaste started flying everywhere, and whilst I very quickly learned not to switch it on until it was inside my mouth, it was a good demonstration of how powerful the brushing motion is. Powerful though it is, it does not hurt, tickle or even feel funny to use.

The toothbrush makes a noise after each 30 seconds to let you know it's time to move on to the next "quadrant" of your mouth, but I find that more useful than that is the louder noise it makes to let you know when 2 minutes have elapsed (because I move the brush around my mouth as I see fit, and I don't really pay attention to "quadrants", but it is important to me that I use the brush for the recommended period of time, especially when I'm in a rush in the morning and don't want to give in to the urge to finish as quickly as possible). The handle is easy to grip and the power button is easy to find without looking. Pressing it again cycles to sensitive and polishing modes before switching the unit off.

The feature that most surprised me was the intrusive red light that shines in your eyes when you are pressing the toothbrush with too much pressure against your teeth. At first it was doing it quite a bit and I didn't like it, but each time I used the toothbrush after that I found I was doing it less and now the light is not flashing at all when I use it. Because that means I'm using the brush properly, I have to say that this is actually a really inspired feature.

Overall, I can't praise this toothbrush enough. Although you can get battery powered toothbrushes from the high street shops and supermarkets for comparatively very little money, they are nowhere near as good at getting your teeth clean as models like this are. Even after the first clean with this product, you can really tell the difference. And it's not just marketing when people tell you that the cleaner your teeth feel, the better you yourself feel.

Vibe FLI Over-Ear Headphones with In-Line Microphone - White
Vibe FLI Over-Ear Headphones with In-Line Microphone - White
Offered by savvybuys2
Price: £27.89

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sound, but does need more design work (both in looks and function), 21 Aug. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Whether something is stylish or not is always a matter of personal taste so, although the makers of these headphone obviously think they're stylish, I'm sorry that I can't say the same... Horrible display box, horrible logo, chunky design that only looks worse in white... I'm not being very positive, I know.

But looks can be deceiving, because what matters most is the sound you get, and - in that respect - these are really excellent headphones!

The selling points here are listed on the box: "extreme bass"; "smooth punchy bass and rich, accurate full range sound"; "a greater sense of depth and weight to your music". Having used these to listen to a wide variety of music, I can totally agree with these statements. The bass really is emphasised, but not to a point where it becomes detached from the rest of the music. You can still hear vocals and the higher range of the music perfectly. So whilst it's great for those of us who like the big beats, you can listen to any type of music and still get excellent sound.

For closed cup headphones, they are remarkably comfortable. Even after wearing them for over an hour they remained comfortable to me. However, that was when I was lying down flat with my head on a pillow. The only problem that really concerns me on the comfort side is the weight. If you are upright, then there's no problem, but when I am relaxing and listening to music I am usually lying back at an angle, and the combined weight of the headband and phones tips the whole setup back to the point where the phones seem to be attempting to gently twist my ears off. As long as you're sitting up straight or lying down flat, there's no problem. Think of how you use headphones and decide for yourself if it's going to be a problem for you.

The headphones fold up for easy storage. This brings them down to about two-thirds of what they are normally. Although initially I thought this was unnecessary, I changed my mind because it means they fit easily onto on the small shelf by my hi-fi. There is a small microphone in the lead, which comes into play when you attach these headphones to your phone.

So in summary, they're not a five star product in my opinion but that's only because there are design issues that could be improved upon, and I don't like the way the headphones' weight intrudes so much when I'm lying back listening to music on the sofa. If only the sound mattered, then these would get a perfect score from me. I will enjoy using them, but by necessity it will have to affect the way I sit when I listen.

Life In Color
Life In Color

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you for this catchy little track, 13 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Life In Color (MP3 Download)
OneRepublic are a dependable band when it comes to good songs and this is a very upbeat and summery track.

It seemed to me on first listen to finish very soon, although at 3:22 it is actually about a minute longer than I perceived it to be. I guess that's because I got swept up in it.

For good or bad, it's the sort of song you tend to hear on TV adverts, but I like it (I've played it three times in a row first time around, so I must really like it) and can see myself replaying it a lot.

Philips myGarden Raven Solar Powered Post, Anthracite (1 x 3.5W integrated LED)
Philips myGarden Raven Solar Powered Post, Anthracite (1 x 3.5W integrated LED)
Price: £103.49

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect outdoor spot lighting solution, 10 Aug. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Having a positionable outdoor light in the garden can come in handy for many things, such as garden parties, eating outside in the late evening, providing light when you're readying your firework display, and maybe even security purposes. For the time being I have set this light and its solar panel up around my greenhouse, but when it starts getting dark early I have a much more important use for it.

Although my house is well lit enough during the night due to a nearby street light, there is a patch of darkness that inconveniently lies where the path drops down a couple of stone steps. There is an outside light on the side of the house that can be switched on, but that doesn't illuminate the steps (if anything it has the effect of hiding them in shadow) and I've solved this problem in the past by having a small LED torch in my pocket when I come home.

The Phillips myGarden outdoor post is the perfect solution to this problem, as it can be placed anywhere at all, and has a nice long lead connecting it to the accompanying solar panel. Both the light and the solar panel are very well made and during the day they look good because they’ve got an attractive design. At night the stored solar energy powers the lamp. There is an on/off switch on the panel, and if you leave it on "on", the light will automatically stay off during sunlight and come on during the night. When the charge is depleted, the light will go off, and this time will vary depending on the state of the weather. It's perfect for illuminating those steps when they're most likely to be trodden on.

There are a good variety of options for fixing the lamp and panel in place. You can use spikes for both or screw them into decking, if you have some. The pole on the solar panel can be unscrewed to give three different heights, or you can affix the panel to the wall if you wish.

I waited a little bit to post this review because I wanted to see how it stood up to rainfall, and if we've had any rainfall in the past week or so it's been extremely light, so now having seen it come down really heavy this weekend I am satisfied that the set-up is waterproof.

I expect good things of Philips as a brand, so I was prepared to be critical of even the slightest detail here if needed, but I have nothing but good words for this product.

Official Xbox One Wireless Controller
Official Xbox One Wireless Controller
Price: £39.85

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much improved (even though I didn't realise until now that it needed improving), 10 Aug. 2014
Here it is, the new redesigned Xbox One controller. I thought the 360 controller was good, but after a couple of weeks using this with my new Xbox One, I wouldn't go back.

The sticks, the d-pad and the buttons all feel better and are much more responsive. The triggers feel great, but the best improvement is to the shoulder buttons, which are finally as easy and intuitive to use as they always should have been.

What don't I like? Well, the two buttons which in the past were "start" and "back" are now "window" and "lines" symbols instead, which I find confusing when I see them referenced in games. 1 and 2, alpha and beta, i and ii; pretty much anything would have been a better choice. Also, the battery compartment does not have the + and - clearly shown, which is annoying.

To end on a positive though, finally we have a vibrate feature that doesn't feel obtrusive and annoying.

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