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LJD (London, United Kingdom)

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Graco Sweetpeace Swing (Dreams)
Graco Sweetpeace Swing (Dreams)

4.0 out of 5 stars Rock-a-bye baby, 17 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Pretty good. Soothing music, gentle motion. The kind that parents normally use, for example the cradle position, which produces a soft, arcing motion.
You can try a number of different settings and orientations. You can change the direction that baby faces, if you move to the other side of the room, for example.

The speaker is loud and has a water sound effect that I really like. There's a sweet little pull out drawer where you can put your iPhone (or other phone or music player) and have that be the sound source.

Other points:
- very, very soft
- has 5 point-harness

I like that you have option to connect to mains if you'd rather not use batteries.


Motorola MBP27T Digital Video Baby Monitor with No-Touch IR Sensor
Motorola MBP27T Digital Video Baby Monitor with No-Touch IR Sensor
Price: £79.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NO TOUCH TEMPERATURE SENSOR, 8 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Length:: 0:55 Mins

This is a demonstration of the temperature sensor.

It's like having a little video intercom. You can mute either the camera or the handheld thing, using the latter.

watch in hi def at vimeo.com/108300111


Philips AVENT Fast Bottle Warmer
Philips AVENT Fast Bottle Warmer
Price: £32.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Handy appliance for the small hours, 2 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
✔ You don't have to use AVENT bottles.
✔ It uses steam (not water) to heat the milk.
✔ After burping the baby, the milk sometimes gets tepid - just put it back in for a few seconds to warm it back up

✅ Simple, fast, and easy-to-use.
✅ You can keep this in your bedroom, and save a trip downstairs; really handy. Great time-saver.

❌ Stagnant water in the bottle warmer needs to be changed, otherwise mildew accumulates.
❌ It can overheat the milk if you leave it unattended.


Bright Starts Peek-A-Zoo 60127 Baby Rocker
Bright Starts Peek-A-Zoo 60127 Baby Rocker
Offered by Debenhams
Price: £40.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Requires an annoying C battery (not included), 2 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
They could at least have included a C battery in the box.
This is alright, if a little noisy. To be frank, it's disappointing as a rocker.
The dangly toys are a bit cheap and plastic-y looking.
The item, overall, feels robust.


BISSELL Homecare Emergency Spot Cleaner 3698E, 275 Watt
BISSELL Homecare Emergency Spot Cleaner 3698E, 275 Watt
Price: £99.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The dirty water tank only holds a little bit; disappointing, 25 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was able to assemble it without looking at any instructions. It's pretty obvious where things go, you call tell by the shapes of the components. (No tools are required - you just slot/"snap" them together with your hands)

I would like this appliance BUT it seems to shut off after collecting a few inches of dirty water. If you keep emptying it, it works, but it's annoying. I might well be doing something wrong?

EDIT: I've just noticed that that it's supposed to happen. The fill level is really down low! The size of the tank is therefore very misleading.

The machine is pretty loud - just an observation, not a complaint.

I'm a fan of the design; onboard storage of tools and carry handle makes it handy.


Lumie Zest Combination Light Therapy - Portable SAD Lamp and Wake-up Light to Improve Energy and Mood
Lumie Zest Combination Light Therapy - Portable SAD Lamp and Wake-up Light to Improve Energy and Mood
Price: £129.15

4.0 out of 5 stars This has improved my mood and quality of life, but I HATE that it turns off after 90 mins, 18 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Length:: 0:42 Mins

Neutral comment: It's painful to look at when it's turned on. You learn not to stare into it. It tricks your brain into thinking you've been outside in the sunshine.

Immediate effects were that I was able to work at my desk for longer. I was less afflicted with insomnia. I say less, because it's been a mixed bag. There have been a few nights where it seemingly made no difference, and a few where I astonishingly (for me) fell asleep minutes after my head hitting the pillow.

This is expensive, so I'd only buy it if I knew I could return it for a refund. Keep all the packaging. If you're allowed, and if you're not seeing any results, return it after about 10 days. I don't know if retailers like Amazon will let you do this - I imagine so; it's not like these are underwear or something like that.

What surprised me is how cool this thing runs, for something that's so bright.

My criticisms:

❌ the clock is bright and distracting, so I actually turn it off at night by unplugging the power cable. (This is supplied - it's a UK plug on one end, and a micro USB port on the other).

❌ Setting the alarm time is annoying; I wasn't able to just guess the user interface, something you really should be able to do.

❌ I hate that the light turns off after 90 mins, what if I want to leave it running for a few hours?

❌ This is a cool device (literally and figuratively) but I'm not sure it's worth £125. Maybe I don't appreciate that this technology is very expensive or something.

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update: 1 week later, I'm back to my old sleeping habits, so I'm not sure how helpful this actually is.

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update: 2 weeks later : Got my usual insomnia back :( However, it's quite possibly because I'm stressed out about work related stuff.

I now wonder if it's just an expensive little light that doesn't do anything ? I can't say, conclusively.


Lenovo N20p Multimode Touchscreen Chromebook (Grey) - (Intel CDC N2830 2.16 GHz, 4 GB RAM, 16 GB SSD, Integrated Graphics, Webcam, Micro HDMI, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Chrome OS)
Lenovo N20p Multimode Touchscreen Chromebook (Grey) - (Intel CDC N2830 2.16 GHz, 4 GB RAM, 16 GB SSD, Integrated Graphics, Webcam, Micro HDMI, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Chrome OS)

11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Screen has terrible glare and is low res, but adequate cheap 'n cheerful Chromebook, 15 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Length:: 2:12 Mins

Criticisms:
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❌ The screen is terrible when viewed from certain angles. (No IPS technology) (see for 🎥 example)
❌ Even at maximum brightness, the screen is a little dim. (It's fine for normal conditions, though).
🔉 The sound is quite weak, but adequate for most people, watching iPlayer, YouTube etc (in a quiet room).

Praise:
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✔︎ SPEED: The 4GB of RAM and pure flash storage makes this plenty fast for everyday tasks. (In USA, they released a 2GB ram model and it was slow as hell)

✔︎ NICE INTERFACE: The OS is a variant of Linux. I like the similarities to Windows (see video) - for example a launcher where the `Start' button would be (bottom, left) and the time in the lower right.

✔︎ BATTERY LIFE: fantastic. I suspected the "8 hours" would be a whopping lie but it's very good! I got about 6 hours off a single charge.

✔︎ LIGHT: This is a small computer, it's a bit like a "poor man's MacBook Air" (for want of a better phrase). There's so spinning drive so less power requirements.

✔︎ Although this is Chrome OS, I really like that "Alt + tab" can be used to change windows.

Conclusion:
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💷 For £249, this is a reasonable ChromeBook; I think it's worthy of 4 stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

⭐️ For most people, this is great as an everyday computer.
⭐️ It's very low maintenance. (No tedious software updates)
⭐ It's nice and snappy.
❌ You may miss advanced Word and Excel features - I find the Google versions of these too basic

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STOP : everything below this line is optional reading. Most people can just watch the video
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TIPS / MISC:
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- You should become acquainted with the "Chrome web store" if you want to be more productive. A lot of stuff there is free but it's a double edged sword. You have to trust the developer as they can, in theory, see a lot of your private stuff. So, do explore, but if I were you, I'd only stick to very well known developers. (Maybe look at the reviews and ratings).

- I got a 🆓 Chrome extension called "EasyDrop" to have my Dropbox files easily accessible. This gives me easy access to files I've made on my Mac.

- I installed Ad Block Plus, essential for turning down the noise, IMHO. (Web advertising has become too obnoxious now)

THOUGHTS ON TOUCHSCREEN
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- Is the touchscreen good? Many tap targets are too small but it's not too bad, actually. I tend to use the pad on the horizontal plane (where my fingers already are, for typing) rather than reaching out to touch the screen. (Your arm starts to ache if you do it too much).

STAND MODE
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- When you go into "stand" mode, and the psychical keyboard is inaccessible, you do get an onscreen keyboard. This reminds me a lot of the iPad (Mini). The onscreen touch keyboard also has word prediction (which has only just become available in iOS8)

- I do think Stand Mode is a bit gimmicky, it's not really that useful or great.

MULTI-FINGER GESTURES WORK
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- The 2-finger gesture for page back/forwards works on the touchscreen, as well as the pad. (see 🎥 video - the latter is demonstrated)

CAPS LOCK
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- On a normal keyboard, you would expect the CAPS LOCK key to be above the left shift key. On this Chromebook, it's a button with a picture of magnifying glass (for search, I suppose). It's actually really useful for launching apps (or even doing a new Google search).

- If you are an angry internet commenter, and feel the need to rant in ALL CAPS, fear not, you can still activate it by using a keyboard shortcut [alt + 🔍].
- It is pretty anachronistic, though, I seldom have a real need to use ALL CAPS. :)

PRINTING
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❌ Although this ChromeBook has a USB2 port and a USB3 port, you CAN'T just hook up a USB cable and print. Most printers will NOT work. (You need one with Google Cloud printing)

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GOOGLE: GOOD AND BAD
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- (You may want to consider an iPad Air, which is not that much more expensive)
- However, for Word processing you can't beat a proper keyboard. The one on this Lenovo is decent; certainly better than an on-screen iPad keyboard.

GOOGLE DOCS vs MICROSOFT WORD vs APPLE PAGES
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- Google docs is a decent word processor, and for real-time collaboration, it is the best.
- Google docs is crap compared to Word. (See for yourself: force yourself to only use it for a week; you'll soon see if you miss the advanced features)

GOOGLE SHEETS vs EXCEL
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I, personally, hate the Google spreadsheets app. I really miss advanced Excel features (like formatting cells with special date or currency syntaxes)

BUT, i am an edge case; for most people, I think it will be okay. (You can see for yourself on your current computer).

GOOGLE IS ACE AT CLOUD STUFF
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- I am suspicious about this being so cheap. Just beware that you're selling your soul to Google. ;)
- Google is excellent at cloud services, but they unashamedly mine your personal data. (It's a fair trade, to be honest)
- The good news is, if something goes wrong at Google, the NSA have a backup of all your information ;) <joke>

UPDATE, ADDED 4-DEC-2014
===================

- I don't recommend this product anymore. It's cheap and nasty. You could get an iPad Mini 2 for not much more from the Apple Refurb store.
- The screen is not only glossy, the glare is TERRIBLE.
- Meh, I guess it's fine as a cheap Chromebook.


Boompods Earpods In Ear Headphones for iPod/iPhone/iPad - Blue
Boompods Earpods In Ear Headphones for iPod/iPhone/iPad - Blue
Price: £26.61

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sound good; look weird - quite ugly; super durable; great value compared to similar earphones from Bose, 31 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Length:: 1:14 Mins

❌ I initially got a "stethoscope" effect when I would use a finger to gentle touch one of the cables, near an ear.

✅ Update: FIXED: I changed the tip to the smallest size - that improved things, a great deal.
[Different sized tips are included, see 🎥 00:20]
Good job that fix worked, otherwise these would have been unusable while moving.

COMFORT
__________

They are sooo much more comfortable than they look. They look a bit invasive

IN-LINE REMOTE
______________

Using my iPhone 5s, I need to put it in my pocket upside down (which is fine), because the cable doesn't have a 90 degree bend. [🎥 00:41] [🎥 01:04]

The button on the inline remote works well to stop/pause playback on my iPhone.[🎥 00:46]

It remote works with Downcast and Instacast (third party apps) (for play/pause and volume up/down).

One criticism is that it's easy to press the wrong button, when not looking. I wish there was a different tactile feel to the three buttons.

COLOUR / STYLE
______

I have "space grey" iPhone 5s. I dislike the blue colour. Look at the contrast [🎥]
Your taste might be different. My initial reaction was YUK!
If only this had been black.
The pastel blue really reminds a child's toy vibe. (Apple went for bold colours in iOS 7, these seem to take a design cue from them?)

CASE
_____

As you can see from the video, the case is quite rubbery and flexible. Good for chucking into your bag.
The cables are made out of fabric, or surrounded by fabric. (This means they are much less susceptible to tangling but do still tangle a tiny bit).

THOUGHTS
_________

These remind me A LOT of the Bose in ear headphones, which I got a couple of years ago for about £79, for my original iPhone.
💷 At around £29 these are a steal! Plus you get a funky case. I guess the down side is that these (BoomPods) look like a child's toy.

These definitely seem WAY more durable, though it's too early to truly tell. I had those Bose ones replaced three times - they kept failing at the 90 degree bend. (I would gradually lose sound in one then both ears).

If you can tolerate that pastel blue colour, then go for it - definitely a recommended buy.

I really do like that you can literally chuck these across the room and they don't break. My initial impression was that the case was "stupid" but now i think it's ingenuous. [🎥 1:04]

I will be doing a lot of stress testing in the coming weeks. (I'm going to abuse them to see how easily they break)


Philips GC4521/87 Azur Performer Steam Iron - 200g Steam Boost, Safety Auto Off, 2600 Watt, Black
Philips GC4521/87 Azur Performer Steam Iron - 200g Steam Boost, Safety Auto Off, 2600 Watt, Black
Offered by The Savvy Group
Price: £49.00

5.0 out of 5 stars A very smart looking iron, that produces abundant steam, 28 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Length:: 1:05 Mins

This is a great iron; I have very few complaints. If I HAD to nitpick, I would say:

❌ I wish the plastic clip was black instead of white (it is really effective for cable management!) (you don't have to use it)

❌ The tank is perhaps a little small, or rather the water does not last very long, as it is converted into steam. 🚰

❌ When I press black clothing, for example, the fabric looks very shiny. (This does not happen with steam generator iron irons)

This is, by far and away, the BEST regular iron that I have ever used.

✔︎ The design is brilliant.

✔︎ As it is black it is not a magnet for dirt.

✔︎ The anti-scaling mechanism is super, will extend longevity.

I do still prefer steam generator irons, they are more bulky and expensive, but they are the best for lazy people (such as myself).


Amazon Basics USB 3.0 A to B Cable (6 ft / 1.8m)
Amazon Basics USB 3.0 A to B Cable (6 ft / 1.8m)
Price: £6.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Super high quality - very impressed, 28 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Arrived in playing cardboard box. Required only cutting through white sticky label to open packaging.
Cable looks like premium quality.

Works exactly as expected, I will update here if there are any problems.


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