Profile for Mr. P. Labrow > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Mr. P. Labrow
Top Reviewer Ranking: 7,110
Helpful Votes: 128

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Mr. P. Labrow (Stockport, UK)
(REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7
pixel
COCK Mug - Funny and Rude Ceramic Mug
COCK Mug - Funny and Rude Ceramic Mug
Offered by The Busy Bees
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect shape for my lips, 22 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As an Amazon Prime customer, my Ock came a lot quicker than expected - but was still very satisfying. It's the perfect size, wonderful hard and holds a surprising amount of juice. I'm grasping my Ock right now. A very pleasing way to start the day.


Transcend JetDrive 520 960 GB SATA III SSD Upgrade Kit - for Macbook Air SSD (Mid 2012)
Transcend JetDrive 520 960 GB SATA III SSD Upgrade Kit - for Macbook Air SSD (Mid 2012)
Price: £409.51

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great upgrade, 19 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Like many, I’d assumed that I was stuck with the installed SSD in my MacBook Air. OK, 256GB isn’t too shabby, but I did have to keep my music and photos on an external drive. This 960GB SSD drive is redesigned to replace your installed memory - this would enable me to move more of my documents from my external drive, making my life a lot simpler, especially when out and about. Installation is pretty simple. Being picky, I’d say that the installation guide is a bit too simple - if you’re not used to opening up computers I can imagine it feels like you’re a bit unsupported. A quick trip to YouTube helps. It’s just a case of unscrewing the back of the Air, popping it open, unscrewing the memory and replacing it. (The supplied instructions take a different route as they assume you’ll clone the current drive but I wanted a clean install.) Close the case, reboot and reinstall OS X. It’s easy to do and works like a dream. A highly recommend way of getting more space on your MAcBook Air without too much hassle. The item and packaging are top quality - it feels like an Apple product.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 31, 2014 3:10 PM BST


6TB LaCie 2big External Storage Thunderbolt Series 7200rpm (9000360)
6TB LaCie 2big External Storage Thunderbolt Series 7200rpm (9000360)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent piece of kit, 7 April 2014
I bought this over similar drives primarily because of how well built it is. No floppy plastic here, if anything the drive is bigger and heavier than you would want - and, as other reviewers have noted, the light is HUGE. It's like having HAL 9000 on my desk. But the performance of this drive really is something else - you just wouldn't know this wasn't an internal drive. It came setup already as striped, for performance - changing it wasn't a big deal but the documentation is inaccurate so it can cause a little head-scratching. Mine's now setup as mirrored, for data security and the performance of the drive is still excellent.


Kindle Paperwhite, 6" High Resolution Display with Next-Gen Built-in Light, Wi-Fi
Kindle Paperwhite, 6" High Resolution Display with Next-Gen Built-in Light, Wi-Fi
Price: £109.00

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great new Kindle, 16 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Kindles have come a long way in a very short time. My first Kindle, not much more than a couple of years ago, was a clunky, blocky affair. My second, the previous non-Paperwhite Kindle (the one with the keyboard) was much better – but still a little bulky. The New Kindle Paperwhite (late 2013) is an altogether more natural feeling device. It’s compact and light – very easy on the hand. Apart from the on switch, it lacks buttons of any kind, being a touchscreen device. My assumption was that this would be a weakness – that, like the iPad, it would be a fingerprint magnet which required frequent cleaning. Not so. It takes the lightest of touches to move from page to page; even my often sticky hands don’t seem to be making a negative impression on its screen. If I’m honest, I’d still prefer the button to be at the side of the screen – ergonomically, this seems to make the most sense, as you don’t have to even move your thumb to turn a page. But the touchscreen does work well, though I seem to have a habit of moving forwards more than one page, when I’m a little careless. The build quality is excellent. This is a sturdy piece of kit. While the plastic on the front is smooth, the reverse is matt – just enough of the sheen removed to allow you to grip it properly. As usual, adding a case gives you more protection – but adds weight and bulk. The screen is also excellent. It’s backlit, so – for the first time with a Kindle – you can read in the dark. Indeed, you can read in almost any lighting condition. You can adjust the level of backlighting until you’re comfortable. The refresh when you turn pages now has far less of a distracting flash. Type is clear and legible. The Kindle Paperwhite’s performance is snappy – it positively zips along when moving from page to page. Battery life is claimed to be much better. I have to say that, with the wireless turned on, I’ve not found this to be the case – I certainly didn’t get the claimed weeks of life from it. I’ve now turned wireless off and we’ll see how much of a difference that makes. It’s also very good value – more performance and a better screen for around the same money. Was it worth the upgrade? I’d say yes, without a doubt. It’s lighter, more comfortable to use and it’s wonderful to be able to read in the dark, or dim light, without an add-on light. I expect that many a Christmas stocking will have one of these inside it this year.


Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor - 50th Anniversary Special [Blu-ray 3D]
Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor - 50th Anniversary Special [Blu-ray 3D]
Dvd ~ Matt Smith
Price: £10.03

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fitting 50th anniversary story - let down with average packaging, 16 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
No spoilers - though I doubt any Doctor Who fan has yet to see this. The story itself is a fitting anniversary special. It's ambitious and well-produced, stretching BBC budgets to (sometimes) almost movie standards. It's also witty, moving and exciting by turns. No, it's not perfect, but then again nor were The Three Doctors and the Five Doctors. Ecclestone should have got over himself and at least come back for a few minutes - sometimes, when you're part of something that's bigger than you, it's the right thing to do. One wonders if he will regret this later, as Tom Baker does over The Five Doctors. The extras are good, if not amazing. What lets this release down is the lacklustre packaging - there is absolutely nothing celebratory or special about it. I'm personally not going to mark this down because of this, since I'm buying it for the episode - but it is disappointing and shows a lack for forethought by the producers. I'm sure that there are mixed opinions on the story - many Doctor Who fans seem to be never happy, to the point where one wonders why they watch it. And in some places a lack of budget does show - but overall, brilliant and one of my favourite ever Doctor Who stories. Even the flaws in the plot become more forgivable with each sitting.


Dell Ultrasharp U2312HM 23 inch IPS LED Monitor
Dell Ultrasharp U2312HM 23 inch IPS LED Monitor

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent value for money, 16 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It's given this monitor five stars, not because it's a five-star monitor bit because it represents five-star value. To be fair, it's a pretty decent monitor. The image is too bright as shipped, but that's easily sorted with the on-screen controls. It's a sharp and solid image. Colours colours could be better, but again the price of the monitor has to be taken into account when judging this. In terms of ergonomics and flexibility, it's excellent. It has decent height and swivel adjustments, and the monitor can be rotated 90 degrees to allow you to work vertically - the very reason I chose this. This makes it wonderful for writing or coding - and it's easy to flip back to the horizontal position when you need to (though it can be a fiddle to get it exactly horizontal, some kind of lock would be useful. Connects via VGA and DVI - I'm using DVI to connect to my Apple MacBook Air. The built-in USB hub is also useful. Build quality is decent without being amazing, it's solid enough - and it looks a lot better than the price tag would suggest.


The Chrysalids (Penguin Decades)
The Chrysalids (Penguin Decades)
Price: £3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Wyndham's finest book, 10 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It feels slightly odd sitting down to write a review of John Wyndham's The Chrysalids. I first read it when I was ten or eleven - about the same age as the book's protagonist, David Strorm, when we first meet him. Since then, I've read it many, many times - and enjoyed it as much each time.

Falling for that reader's temptation to spend time with an old friend, I've just finished reading it yet again - in fact, it's one of the first books on my new Kindle Paperwhite.

The story is set at some point in the future. We don't really know when, but it's safe to assume that at least a thousand years have passed since today. Civilisation has fallen long ago - and is now trying to claw its way out of a largely non-technological agricultural era. What became of mankind, we're not told for sure - but a large-scale nuclear war seems the safest bet.

David lives with his family on a farm in Waknuk, part of what we know now as Labrador. Life isn't easy. `Deviations' (mutated crops and animals) are feared as the work of the Devil and have to be guarded against, rooted out and destroyed to guarantee genetic purity. `Abominations' (mutated people) are sterilised and cast out to the Fringes, a land where little grows true and life expectancy is short.

Physical deviations are easy to spot - an extra finger, long arms and so on. But David deviates in a way that people can't see with the eye: he can communicate over long distances, with his mind. He's one of a group with the same curse, or gift. As he grows, it becomes increasingly hard for the group to hide their deviation - and discovery can only end in one way.

In a land that is driven by religion (the Bible being only one of two books which survived the Tribulation, the passing of the old people) David's father is one of the most fervent zealots, who wouldn't hesitate to hand over one of his family to the authorities.

So, enough plot. I don't want to spoil it if you've not read it.

To readers of science fiction, much of the above will seem like familiar territory. But remember: this was written in 1955. The Chrysalids is very much one of the first carts to cut grooves into science fiction's muddy lanes.

It could certainly be said that some of the writing is of its time. A little formal for today's eyes; a little proper; perhaps - now and again - a little stilted. But what can't be said is that the book is ever anything less than absorbing - and its tale of prejudice, judgement, intolerance and fear is as relevant today as the day it was written.

If the book has a flaw, for me it's a grand speech given towards the end - by one of the characters. Again, I don't want to spoil things for you - but it retreads the themes of the book in a less than subtle way, needlessly repeating and reinforcing the book's core messages. It's not a great crime - but possibly something of a stumble.

I personally consider this to be Wyndham's finest book. The characters are stronger than in The Day of The Triffids; their relationships more realistic, moving and engaging. The prose is wonderful. The plot keeps moving - raising the stakes until it reaches the conclusion.

I can't deny my deep fondness for this book. It's been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Its values and sensibilities have helped to shape mine. I'm affectionate towards it, as you would be with a loved old friend. It also was responsible for instilling in me a romanticism; a high regard for relationships based on deep love. In a time where most science fiction writers were somewhat emotionally constipated, Wyndham paints the relationship between David and his cousin, Rosalind, in a way that those of us who can't connect with our minds - and are restricted to physical senses - can only envy.


Full Dark, No Stars
Full Dark, No Stars
Price: £5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Our dark selves under scrutiny, 10 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Don't ask me why, I'd just not got around to reading this one, even though I'd bought it a couple of years ago. Full Dark, No Stars consists of four (loosely) thematically linked novellas.

The first story, 1992, is a man's first-person confession of a killing - and in many ways owes more than a tip of the hat to Poe's A Tell-Tale Heart. The second story, Dig Driver, is darker still - the revenge of a rape victim. The third, Fair Extension, deals with a pact and its consequences - though this is far from being The Monkey's Paw. The final story, A Good Marriage, deals with the horror of discovering that the man you've lived with most of your life isn't what he seems.

Stephen King describes these stories as harsh. It's an accurate word. Although there are hints (and sometimes more than hints) of the supernatural, these are really tales of the dark that is within us all - those parts of human nature which we tell ourselves don't exist, or occur only rarely. We may tell ourselves this, yet we know even as we do that this is self-deceit. Such darkness is around us - we only have to watch the news to know this is the truth. Sometimes the darkness is close to us. Sometimes it is inside us.

It can be the case with a collection of shorter stories that there's one stand-out story and at least one lame duck. Not so here. Each story is as strong as the next - an engaging plot that's driven forwards by believable, though flawed, characters in horrific situations.

None suffer from `clockwork plot' syndrome (that you can tell instantly where things are going and nothing falls in the characters' paths). None miss a step. None dawdle or linger. None flinch in the face of giving the reader the truth - the truth that's a bone, broken, with skin and flesh torn away. These are examinations of human nature; the dark with the light - though of course mostly dark.

Yet, the stories never become salacious. This isn't horror porn, it's our dark selves under scrutiny. What someone might do if tempted, pushed or cornered.

King remains a gripping writer. Someone who is able to conjure characters that are as solid and believable as your own neighbours, friends and family. He's also someone who's a master of not just the novel but also the novella - so unfashionable elsewhere, perhaps, but here the stories are exactly right for the word count.


No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic item, 6 Nov 2013
This is a great little portable background for portraits. Lightweight, easy to set up (although it takes a bit of practice to work out how to get it down and packed away - check out some of the videos on YouTube). Nice quality bit of kit.


Black White Green Three Backdrops Photo Studio 2m Background Stand Support Photography Set
Black White Green Three Backdrops Photo Studio 2m Background Stand Support Photography Set
Offered by PMS®
Price: £35.97

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good value, 27 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Let's face it, this isn't going to break the bank. It's a lightweight frame, easily erected in a couple of minutes, with some basic backdrops. As other reviewers have noted, the backdrops don't fill the frame, leaving a gap either side, and aren't especially long either. But they're fit for purpose - although supplied rolled rather than folded would have saved a job. Recommended.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7