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Andromeda Descendent (Tarn Vedra)
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TCP LED E14 Small Edison Screw 5 Watt LED Candle, White
TCP LED E14 Small Edison Screw 5 Watt LED Candle, White
Price: £7.59

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: £54.99

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: £34.99

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: £124.99

1 of 1 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: £34.85

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.

Xbox One Console
Xbox One Console
Price: £279.99

12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent console, and if you don't want Kinect, you don't have to have it., 10 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Xbox One Console (Console)
I had a lot to finish on my Xbox 360, so it took me until this July to get an Xbox One. On the strength of Titanfall and Tomb Raider the graphics are excellent and as time goes by I'm sure games will be even more impressive in this regard (after all, at the start of the 360 who would have thought you could run a game like GTA5 on it?).

This version does not have Kinect. I never really used Kinect on the 360 other than Fruit Ninja, but friends have it on their Xbox Ones and although it's apparently an improved version, you don't need it. The Xbox One's operating system allows you to "snap" another app to the side of the screen - for example, you can plug your TV feed in and watch it whilst playing a game. You double tap the Xbox button to do that if you don't have a Kinect, so the feature is still workable.

Achievements on the new console are tracked so that if you need to, for example, hit 10000 pegs in Peggle 2, you can see your progress as a percentage bar. Achievement pictures are much larger and you can get additional achievements for time based challenges, although these do not carry gamerscore. Bizarrely all games have 1000 gamerscore minimum, even one that costs £4 (Sixty second Shooter Prime).

The controller is much better than the 360 version, which until I bought my Xbox One I did not think possible. It's more responsive, feels better and the shoulder buttons are now a lot easier to use. Plus this controller finally gets the vibrate feature right.

The unit itself is bigger and can only lie flat. I don't see either of those things as a problem. The headset is good too. My only complaints so far are that the "desktop" needs to be more customisable, and the + and - on the battery compartment are not plain enough. I'd have preferred the Play and Charge kit to come with the console, but I guess leaving it out brings the price down (as with the Kinect). I decided to buy one though because the battery indicator on the "desktop" is no real warning. The screen should flash up that battery is getting low, but it doesn't and in the middle of a multiplayer game that is more than annoying.*

*UPDATE (20/08/14) - The Xbox One desktop has now been updated to allow you to comment on friends' achievements and it's also added a low battery popup, which is something Microsoft say a lot of people asked for.


Excellent graphics, HD and frame rate
New and improved controller
"Games for Gold"
Great games already out and several more coming late 2014.


Desktop interface needs improvement
Play and Charge Kit is separate and expensive for what it is

Titanfall (Xbox One)
Titanfall (Xbox One)
Offered by Game Trade Online
Price: £22.49

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three magic words: "Prepare for Titanfall!", 10 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Titanfall (Xbox One) (Video Game)
This is the first game I bought for my new Xbox One console, purchased this July, or more accurately it came with the console in a special offer but I would have bought it separately anyway. I hoped it would be as good as the hype and I'm very pleased to say that it is.

This is an online-only game based around multiplayer and campaign multiplayer; there is no single-player game as such. After a short tutorial you get into the action as a player on one of two sides (IMC and militia). The campaign is made up of nine maps, which are a mix of two game types. The battlefield is impressively full on both sides, because as well as other players (called "Pilots"), there are AI soldiers fighting you and alongside you. You win on some maps by racking up the most collective kills against enemy AI and Pilots, and on others by holding up to three areas of the map for the longest collective period of time.

The weapons are a mix of styles and you can spend quite a bit of time deciding which is right for you, but thankfully each weapon has challenges attached to it which give you XP towards levelling up. You can also hack robot AI fighters and large turrets which deal damage to enemy Titans.

Ah yes, Titans! After playing a few minutes into a match you automatically get a Titan – a giant mech war machine – which literally falls out of the sky. if you have a combination of luck and skill, you can get your Titan to fall onto the battlefield on top of an enemy Pilot, or at least an AI. The transition from being on foot to inside this massive war machine is seamless and once you're in, you're going to have an incredible amount of fun. As with the on-foot weapons, there are a number of Titan weapon options to choose from. You can also use various types of shield, even one which catches enemy Titan bullets and you can then release to throw them back at the enemy. When your Titan is destroyed, you can set it to explode (at the expense of other tactical options) and hopefully kill the attacking Titan or Pilot. Pilots can jump on your back and sabotage your Titan, but you can get them off if you choose electric smoke in your tactical loadout, or you can disembark and shoot the attacker off then get back in. Your Titan's AI will continue to attack enemies should you disembark to capture a hardpoint. Its kills count towards your score. When your Titan is destroyed you can earn time off the wait for a new one by racking up enemy kills.

If it sounds one-sided between pilots and Titans, it's not. Pilots can cloak and carry anti-Titan weapons, which can take a Titan down in a few shots if the player controlling that Titan does not rally against the threat or use the dash ability to escape and recharge their shields. The cloak is not perfect in as much as other Pilots can see your movement, but the Titans cannot. Whichever of the two you currently are – Pilot or Pilot in a Titan – you're going to have a lot of fun in this game.

In the campaign, you play your first run-through as one side and then on your second as the other. After that if you wish to play a campaign map again, the side is picked for you at random. The story is background noise at first and that's good on one hand because who wants lengthy cutscenes, but on the other hand it makes it kind of irrelevant. Repeated plays allow it to sink in more. The multiplayer option has more game types and more maps. The developers / publisher would love you to buy extra DLC maps, but there's so much going on already in this game that you may never feel the need to buy them.

New updates to this game are still coming out. The "burn card" feature allows you to earn temporary perks which you can select up to three of at the start of a match, and each one lasts until you die. Some of these give you better weapons, increased cloak, build time off your next Titan, and so on. If you want all the achievements, you'll need to play a lot of matches. However, even players who are more casual about this game may get there in time – reason being this is not a game you are likely to want to trade in; because it's so 'pick up and play', I for one can never see myself parting with it.

Oh and one final note – a crucial one – in some video games the long established players dominate multiplayer matches and the new or casual players don't stand much of a chance. In Titanfall the grading between these two types of player is perfectly balanced. The more you level up, the better you will do, which is as it should be; but because the AI don't care what level you are it is possible for a new player to get to the top of the leaderboard if he or she plays clever, especially because even a seasoned and kitted up Titanfall veteran can have their Titan brought down by a raw recruit if they don't pay attention to their shields and are too busy with the wrong target at the wrong time.

Overall, I have to recommend this game wholeheartedly. You may not play it as intensely over a short period as many other games, but you will keep coming back to it again and again during the lifetime of your Xbox One.

Tomb Raider Definitive Edition (Xbox One)
Tomb Raider Definitive Edition (Xbox One)
Price: £17.99

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A review from someone who also bought the 360 version, 10 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having finally bought an Xbox One this month, I wanted to play some games that were really going to show it off. I bought Titanfall and Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag. Titanfall is a lot of fun and looks fantastic. AC4 looks good, but didn't initially blow me away. Having played the Xbox 360 version of Tomb Raider, I was strongly tempted to buy the Definitive Edition for two reasons – firstly because I enjoyed the game so much the first time around (not multiplayer, but let's not talk about that again), and secondly because I wanted to see what my new console could do compared to the old one. Seeing a game I loved in a whole new way was tempting, and I'm not good with temptation when it comes to video games.

So I started up the game and, yes, I have to say I was blown away by it. Lara is rendered in so much detail she looks almost real. In this game you really empathise with Lara, so this has more than just cosmetic importance. Being someone who loves to go exploring in video games, I love how breathtaking the views are and how the tombs and underground areas look even better than before. I found myself just wandering around some of the tombs and caverns looking at all the detail. It looked good before, but now every object no matter how minor is high resolution and the lighting and water effects give these areas a feel of solidity that, as good as the last gen version was, now seems like it was only hinted at before.

So yes, the game looks shiny and new, but what of the gameplay? If you've read this far, you'll already know I'm not going to review the game the way I would for those who have never played it before; there are plenty of other reviews here that will do that. The short answer is that the gameplay is the same as the original. I'm about halfway through, but so far there have been no surprises, unless you never bought the DLC first time around, in which case you will find a selection of new outfits for Lara and an additional secret tomb. The achievements are the same, and the game does not support the progress bar feature of the new console. I would have liked more collectibles put in for the return players, but that hasn't happened. One thing I did notice was that my reaction time against enemies transitioned from screen to brain to hands to controller to screen fractionally quicker than before. That may be a combination of the improved frame rate and, I have to say, a much more responsive Xbox One controller.

If you've never played this game, I don't hesitate in encouraging you to do so, or at least to read the other reviews here and watch some footage on Twitch or YouTube. If you have played this game on the previous gen consoles, then it all comes down to how much you enjoyed it that first time around. If you feel like you want to play it again, then you will get a lot more out of the experience with the new visuals of this Definitive Edition.

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