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Creative EP-830 Noise Isolating Earphones (Black)
Creative EP-830 Noise Isolating Earphones (Black)

2.0 out of 5 stars Broke soon after purchase - sound quality is OK., 1 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
They broke pretty soon after I bought them - one of the headphones stopped working after just a few weeks. The sound quality was OK whilst it lasted, and the noise isolation did work well for a pair earphones. For the low price, I wasn't expecting much, however I recently bought a set of these panasonics to replace the EP-830s and they are much better quality, and have lasted much longer, they're still going in fact.

The panasonics:

Moonlight Sonata, Op. 27, No. 2 (Complete) (Belwin Classic Library)
Moonlight Sonata, Op. 27, No. 2 (Complete) (Belwin Classic Library)
by Ludwig Van Beethoven
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.45

3.0 out of 5 stars Low price, average quality., 1 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It's OK - the staves and notes are a bit too big and the page turns aren't in the best of places, there's a lot of wasted space. The paper quality is reasonable and it's paperback, so can be a little difficult to get it to stay on a page.

Toshiba CB30-B-104 13-Inch Chromebook (Intel Celeron 2.16 GHz, 4 GB RAM, 16 GB SSD, Google Chrome OS)
Toshiba CB30-B-104 13-Inch Chromebook (Intel Celeron 2.16 GHz, 4 GB RAM, 16 GB SSD, Google Chrome OS)
Offered by Hughes Direct
Price: £279.99

162 of 162 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly Impressed - really high quality machine at a great price. (Updated 14/06/15), 24 Feb. 2015
So I've spent many months looking for an expensive, high end Windows laptop to do work on - I wanted an SSD, HD screen, light, thin, long battery life, reasonable speed, etc etc, all at a budget (ish) price. I'd looked at chromebooks before but never seriously considered them - probably because I didn't understand much about them.

After many hours of fruitless searching, I saw this machine on John Lewis. I can't say anything about it grabbed me at first, but I looked at the specs and saw that it had a Full HD (IPS) Display, was light, thin, and an incredible 10 hours battery life... It seemed too good to be true, and it almost was, since it is running Chrome OS, something I'd completely dismissed in the past.

But I did some more research and looked at my own computer usage and saw that, actually, it seemed to fit my needs perfectly. Essentially, it's a glorified chrome web browser, though there are a few extra things it can do. Anything you do in your chrome browser at home, you can do on this. That includes:

Editing and writing word documents in Google Docs or Office Online, whichever takes your fancy
Listening to music through Spotify web player
Watching youtube videos (No problems playing 1080p content here)
Sending and receiving emails
Basic photo and video editing
Social networking
etc etc

I soon realised that almost everything I was doing on my original computer, I was doing in chrome (bar photoshop, though there's now a version of photoshop for Chrome OS). So the Chrome operating system made sense to me. Since it's light, it can run on slower (read: less fast) processors, and this means a slimmer laptop (this thing is slim, not the slimmest, but it's slim), way longer battery life, and fast performance even with a processor which would struggle enormously with Windows, despite windows 8.1 being fairly light too.

Chrome OS has a number of nifty features - opening apps like spotify in windowed mode looks great, as does the multitasking view. There's a dedicated search button on the keyboard. The trackpad has some great and intuitive gestures, such as swiping with three fingers to move between tabs, clicking a link with three fingers to open it in a new tab, etc - it takes some getting used to if you're coming from a windows laptop - but they're great for quick navigation.

Moving on to the actual machine, I have the full HD model, and the screen is stunning. It's IPS, meaning viewing angles are superb, and it's incredibly bright, sharp, and vivid. Everything from text and photos to HD video looks incredible - this is a screen I could and will spend hours looking at. Since it's 1080p, websites can look small, but in settings you can adjust the default page zoom. I have mine set to 125% which looks great! Some buttons on the Chrome OS operating system look small too but you soon get used to it and I love the extra screen real estate you get, despite the screen "only" being 13.3 inches.

Build quality is surprisingly good - It looks great (premium) and although is plastic, feels well put together. It's slim and light, and the keyboard (which I'm using now) has a good feel to it, there's plenty of key travel. There's no "delete" key but you can mimic the function of it by holding "Alt" and using backspace. The trackpad has the wonderful gestures and is spacious. The whole trackpad is clickable as a button - and one thing which took me a few minutes to figure out is that to "right-click," you tap with two fingers. The processor is low power and doesn't produce much heat - therefore this model is fanless. In fact there are no spinning parts in this whatsoever, meaning silent operation, perfect for long stints in the library.

The sound coming from the laptop is powered by "skullcandy," and I was skeptical at first, but having listened to some audio cranked up on full volume, I'm actually really impressed. There's no speaker grill, the sound instead coming from some speakers under the keyboard, and it does sound really good.

Battery life has also been really solid, I'm at about 50% brightness at 84% battery life, and it's telling my I have 8:11 hours left - something I'm not used to seeing on a laptop! The processor is nothing special on paper, but it seems zippy enough at most things, and can handle 1080p YouTube well. There's 4GB of RAM on board which helps with multitasking, but you will notice some slowdowns if you have lots of tabs open - not something I'm overly concerned about as I only tend to have a couple open at once. That said, there's no issues unless you start opening 15 different intensive pages - it's not going to slow down with a few amazon or gmail tabs, for example. Speaking of gmail, you'll need a google account to use this - and it's pretty integrated with their services, so if you haven't already and are considering buying this (or any other chromebook), I suggest migrating to the "dark side."

Overall, I'm extremely impressed. I paid £270 for this and didn't expect to get anything special, but it seems I have a really high quality machine, with a superb screen, silent operating, nice keyboard and trackpad, wonderful operating system, good sound, zippy web browsing, and amazing battery life. Absolute bargain and worth it for the screen alone.

Oh, and you can do word processing offline using Google Docs - something I was worried about before I bought this.

UPDATE 13/04/15:

Over one month later, how am I finding the CB2? Absolutely fantastic, and I could not be happier with it. I've received numerous updates which have given the operating system a slightly fresher, modern look in lines with "Material Design," specifically on the app launcher. I've noticed better performance too.

One of the great things about Chromebooks is that they don't really slow down over time. I'm not too sure on the specifics, but I believe every time it boots up, the Operating System checks for system files that shouldn't be there, and gets rid of them. On top of this, there is plenty of disk space reserved for future updates. This means, unlike a Windows Machine, it should be as fast as it was when it was first bought, even years on. So far, this has held true.

I have also read that google promises updates to Chromebooks for a guaranteed 5 years since they are released, which is excellent news - this is definitely a machine that I can see lasting me for 5 years.

I do watch a lot of YouTube videos on the CB2, and it was struggling with 1080p 60fps videos - a lot of stutter and sometimes unplayable. Unfortunately this is due to the format of video which YouTube uses, which at this stage (it'll no doubt be fixed in an update in the future) isn't well supported by Chrome OS. However, installing the extension "h264ify" from the Chrome Web Store seems to have fixed this - 1080p 60fps videos are now wonderfully smooth, with no lag or stutter.

Also, scrolling on this is amazing, using a two finger swipe up and down on the trackpad - this trackpad is better than ones I've used on far more expensive windows machines, which are easily 4 times the price. You can also go back and forward between web pages using either the physical keyboard buttons or by swiping right or left on the trackapd with 2 fingers. Other physical keyboard butons include:

The "Search" key, in place of Caps Lock, which brings up a dedicated search page to easily search the machine/google and view google now cards - far quicker than opening a new tab and typing your search term in the address bar. Google now cards update based on your location and interest with information about the weather and relevant news stories.

The back and forward buttons have the same function as the swipes back and forth on the trackpad - for moving back and forth between web pages.

A refresh button which - you guessed it - refreshes the page.

Full Screen button.

A neat "multitasking" view to allow you to see all the windows you currently have open.

Brightness controls and volume controls.

There are also a number of keyboard shortcuts, some of which make up for the lack of other dedicated keyboard buttons. For example, "Alt - Search" switches Caps lock on/off. "Ctrl - Multitasking" takes a screenshot. "Ctrl - T" opens a new tab. "Ctrl - W" closes your current tab. "Alt - Backspace" mimics the delete key. "Ctrl - Tab" goes to the tab to the right, and "Ctrl - Shift - Tab" goes to the tab to the left. They take a while to learn but once they do they come as second nature, and navigating on a windows machine seems slow in comparison (even with a touchscreen!).
Comment Comments (16) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 1, 2015 12:22 PM BST

No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars Trouble Free application, 24 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Great screen protector - paid slightly more than I usually would but the lifetime warranty and previous reviews were enticing. I did contact Customer Support RE the warranty and they said it is a fairly relaxed policy - if you need a new one for whatever reason just contact them.
On to the protector itself and it contains some very handy instructions. It also has multiple pieces of "dust tape," something I've never encountered in a screen protector before. It's quite simple, just a sticker you can use to remove bits of dust off the screen to avoid bubbles.
After application there were no bubbles and it was one of the easiest applications I've done (even on the large screen on the iPad).
It may have a premium price tag but from my experience with the Product & Company so far it's a price worth paying.

No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Cheap 5 way splitter., 9 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Fantastic - arrived 4 days early which is always a plus. Has 5 sockets which mean you can potentially plug in 5 headphones / speakers / or any combination of the two. One thing I was worried about, since it's not powered, was significant volume reduction due to it not being powered, but having plugged in 5 sets of headphones and listened, it's not a real problem. There definitely is some volume reduction due to the sound being split between the headphones, however it is not huge by any means.

The splitter also gives you the option of plugging in another Audio device, such as another iPod, and mix the music together, with fade-outs. A neat feature, but not something I can see myself using. It's worth noting this does come with a suitable cable (3.5mm Line in) cable to allow you to do this.

Overall a really good product, and I can't fault it. It does exactly what it's supposed to and does it really well. Excellent job Belkin!

Safe House
Safe House
Price: £1.89

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Stunning!, 25 Dec. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Safe House (Kindle Edition)
I bought this expecting it to be distinctly average at the meager price of 20p, and was very pleasantly surprised, so much so that I had finished the book in just a day, which was fast even by my standards. I won't go into the plot as others already have, but I will say that it is exciting, there are twists and turns everywhere, and it is obvious that real thought and planning has gone into the book. It is well written and the crossing between scenes and viewpoints in chapters works well.
If you haven't picked this up already, then I highly recommend it. At the time of writing, this is 20p, and I will be more than happy to pay full price for it.

ALESIS IO2 Express Audio Interface
ALESIS IO2 Express Audio Interface
Offered by Beatcontrol
Price: £68.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really really great device!, 6 Sept. 2012
Well I didn't actually buy the Alesis from Amazon, but from a high street store after speaking for a while to one of their staff. He highly recommended this product, saying it would fill all my requirements. Basically, I want to record the audio and midi of my piano with excellent quality onto my computer, yet still have "room" to plug in anything else I may acquire (mics, etc). I have to say, he was spot on. I can't praise this highly enough. It's pretty cheap for what it does, and it does it brilliantly.

For those wondering what this is, or why you might actually need it - it's basically an audio interface. An interface takes a signal from one device and makes it into a signal manageable by another device. In this case it's taking the audio from your Piano / Mic and making it so that your Computer can process this audio / midi. Call it an external hard drive with fancy bits attached, if you like.

So the device itself. It's small and compact, and looks sleek and professional. It's quite light, and doesn't have a metal finish, but that's just minor cosmetic details. How it actually performs is the important bit.

It comes bundled with Cubase 5LE, which I actually like. Maybe it's not top of the range, but it certainly beats audacity, and if you don't have any paid software, it will certainly be helpful. It's easy to use and does the job I need it to do. Included in the box is a USB cable (The Alesis connects to your PC via USB), and some instruction manuals.

Here is my setup: Yamaha Electric Piano - 6.3mm Audio Cables plug into the Left and Right Line in sockets on the Alesis. I also bought 2 midi cables - which I plug from the Piano into the Alesis. It's important to note that with midi cables that "Midi Out" on one device plugs into "Midi In" on another. The Alesis then connects via USB to my laptop. All in all this works perfectly for me and I'm able to get perfect quality piano with no hassle at all. I can also record MIDI - which means you record the actual data (What notes playing, for how long, etc) instead of audio. This means you can change notes on the Computer (In Cubase) and change the instrument playing them, for example. I also have a Studio Condenser Microphone which I can use with the Alesis. It has two Phantom Power sockets - which are needed to power some types of microphone.

Other features include Monitering - you can choose to listen to audio from the Computer, the Lines in, or a mix of both and this is fully customizable. You can plug in headphones and there are two sockets for speakers as well. It is fully powered by USB so doesn't take up valuable plug sockets.

In conclusion, a great, great product, which I can't recommend highly enough. Not only for price and features, but for audio quality as well. Fantastic!.

On a side note, with Cubase, you may have to install driver called AISO4ALL if there is latency or the Alesis doesn't seem to work properly with Cubase. Just google AISO4ALL.


Behringer C-1 Studio Condenser Microphone
Behringer C-1 Studio Condenser Microphone
Price: £35.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, Cheap Microphone!, 5 Sept. 2012
I've needed a microphone for a while, and after researching for quite a bit the different types of microphones, (condenser, diaphram etc) I decided that for what I needed, the Behringer was perfect. I'm mainly going to be recording Voice and Guitar and after already recording some stuff I can tell the quality is absolutely fantastic. I hook it up to my Interface with a Stagg XLR cable (This needs phantom power) as linked here:
Stagg 3m High Quality XLR to XLR Plug Microphone Cable
One important thing to note is that the cable needs to be Male to female - the female end plugs into the C-1 and the male into your interface / mixer. So I recommend going with that cable.
The Microphone itself looks good, a gold type finish (different than pictured) and an LED on the front indicating whether phantom power is turned on. It also has a Mic Stand/Boom adapter thread so you can easily put it on to a boom. This comes with a smaller thread adapter in case your stand has a different connection.
If anyone reading this is new to recording, like I was a while ago - you may be struggling knowing how to set this up and record onto your computer - I know I was confused. So here is my setup:
The Behringer C-1, hooked up with the Stagg Cable above to an audio interface - this is the Alesis io2 Express, a product which I could not recommend highly enough. ( Alesis RAL I/O2 Express grey ) It also comes with Cubase software so you get recording software as well. This comes with two phantom power xlr sockets so you can plug your C-1 into them. The Alesis then plugs into your computer via USB.

In conclusion this microphone is absolutely phantastic (see what I did there!)and I couldn't recommend it highly enough. I've used expensive condensor microphones in studios before and to be honest, placing these side by side, there wouldn't be much difference. It's an absolute bargain with great sounding recordings!

Hard Drive - 320GB Model (Xbox 360)
Hard Drive - 320GB Model (Xbox 360)

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't Fault it, Brilliant!, 29 Jan. 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
I have owned an xbox for a large number of years now. I did have the normal xbox 360, but after a number of pre-owned stuff I bought from a certain UK game retailer broke, I complained and got my hands on a free 4GB xbox, as well as a number of games. I have survived for around a year on the 4GBs, however I felt that now was the time to upgrade, with downloadable games becoming more and more frequent. Usually, when buying DLC, I would have to delete a map pack, for example, to accommodate for the latest one. I don't think that is very good.

So onto the product. Even the most techno phobic person could install this. That certainly isn't me, and I had no trouble, you just turn the xbox upside down (Make sure it isn't on) and press the small catch. You then just slot it in. You can then copy over all your game saves/files and re-download any DLC/Other purchased items.

320GB Is masses of space, although in reality it is only about 302GB. That is enough to fully install to the hard drive 50 average games (6GB), allowing them to run more smoothly, make the xbox whisper quiet, reduce heat, and sometimes improve graphics.

Also, at the time of writing, this is exactly the same price (£64.99) than the 250GB one, which is great, for 70GB extra storage. It may also be worth noting that this does come with a free Lego Star Wars game, available to download of the XBL marketplace with a redeemable code. Not that I will ever play it, but it is a nice touch.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 28, 2013 12:44 PM GMT

Gold plated splitter RCA plug to 2 x RCA sockets
Gold plated splitter RCA plug to 2 x RCA sockets
Offered by GNWE
Price: £0.68

5.0 out of 5 stars Great product at a Great Price!, 6 July 2011
This is just a great product. It is an amazing 49p (At time of writing this review), and it comes with FREE shipping! It is great, allowing you to plug two audio cables (Red and White) into one output, so its great for all different purposes. The only disadvantage is that it doesn't tell you which is which, so that requires a bit of guess work, getting the cables into the right socket. Great product at a Great Price!

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