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Nintendo DS Lite Handheld Console (Black)
Nintendo DS Lite Handheld Console (Black)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Minor hardware problems, 25 Nov 2010
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
I don't think I need to say anything about the features of the console, as they are covered by other reviews on this website and elsewhere.

However, despite the countless hours of enjoyment we have received from our two DSs, my brother and I both had cause to complain about their build quality.

The first problem on my black DS Lite is that the bottom-right corner of the screen flexes. This means that a firm press just outside of the screen registers as a tap inside the screen. Not really a practical problem, but an imperfection.

The second problem I had was with the top-left shoulder button, which stopped working for about a month before it suddenly began working again. I don't know why that was, and I'm not sure if it's going to come back or not.

My brother's problem was much more serious, though he did have a white DS Lite (as opposed to the black one being sold on this page): the top hinge broke, meaning it wouldn't stay open on its own. The console could only be played with the top screen lying at 180 degrees to the bottom one, which was far from ideal.

I should add that all those problems developed when our consoles were out of warranty. Mine's still perfectly playable after four years, though I wish I could say the same for my brother's - most games are much more fun with the local wireless multiplayer!

Sony MDREX77LPB Premium In-Ear Mid range Headphones - Black
Sony MDREX77LPB Premium In-Ear Mid range Headphones - Black

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sound good so far, 25 Nov 2010
These headphones sound great, as you'd expect from a mid-range Sony pair. They're also comfortable in the ear, with three different sizes of tip available interchangeably.

I'm slightly puzzled by the accessories and the unnecessary packaging, however. I don't see why the travel case has to be so much bigger than the headphones themselves, and why it needs two pockets. I don't need a separate winder for the headphone cord, though I can at least see how others might find that useful. The packaging-to-product ratio is way too high; the box could easily be a quarter of the size. At least it wasn't too difficult to open.

However, the true test of the headphones will come in a year's time. I've had many a good-sounding pair of headphones become unusable after about that length of the time, usually because the connector wiring has worn down and only one earpiece produces sound. That's what happened to the headphones I was using before these ones (by Creative). The build quality does seem slightly above average, and the L-shaped connector should prevent some wear and tear, but I can't give five stars until I know that they are as durable as they impressive.
Comment Comments (11) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 6, 2011 11:10 PM GMT

Collins Scrabble Dictionary
Collins Scrabble Dictionary
by unknown
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A useful purchase, 25 Nov 2010
How should this book be reviewed? Its content - a complete list of all legal words for Scrabble - is available in a number of other similar books, so I'll leave that aside to focus on other aspects.

Unlike other Scrabble dictionaries I've used in the past, this version has short definitions by every word. Although this makes the book bulkier, I think it's a useful addition for casual players. Previously, I've looked up a particularly exotic word and then immediately wondered "what on earth is that?", but this book solves that problem.

The extra space taken up by the definitions is compensated for by fairly small text, though not unusually small for books of this type. I find it perfectly readable, though players with weaker vision (I'm thinking of my extended family) may struggle.

The outer side of each page includes the letter of the alphabet on a black background. This means that, when the book is closed, a series of rectangles appears on the right side, making it possible to jump to (at least roughly) the right area of the dictionary straight away.

My copy of the book arrived with very small tears on half a dozen pages, and that's the only thing preventing me from giving five stars. It's not serious enough a problem for me to return it, and it certainly doesn't affect the book's usage. I imagine it's an imperfection within the printer's allowable tolerance.

Pay As You Play: The True Price of Success in the Premier League Era
Pay As You Play: The True Price of Success in the Premier League Era
by Paul Tomkins
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary detail, 25 Nov 2010
Although I am only mid-way through reading this book, I feel sufficiently impressed to give it a 5-star review already.

In the heavily congested world of football books, this one stands out for being completely unique in its subject area: there are a million player and club biographies, but as far as I'm aware, this is the only book that investigates the relationship between financial outlay and on-the-pitch success in such extraordinary detail.

After an interesting analysis of the book's findings, there are extensive sections devoted to every club which has featured in the Premier League since its inception in 1992, breakdowns of every individual season, and five of the most successful managers (in terms of number of points scored): Mourinho, Ferguson, Wenger, Benitez, and Ranieri. Statistics for all other Premier League managers are included, too. Then there are revealing lists, rankings and trends to mull over; fascinating for stats geeks like myself.

It must have taken a phenomenal amount of work to compile this book, and that is reflected in its quality. At no point does it feel too heavy, however, and the authors' enthusiasm for the project is clearly visible. One other thing about the book which I like is the way it is connected to the online community of amateur football experts: every club has a designated "expert", with their Twitter username and website given credit. It feels all the better for being a joint effort.

Price: 11.15

3.0 out of 5 stars An improvement, but not a step forward, 25 Nov 2010
This review is from: Invented (Audio CD)
I've been a Jimmy Eat World fan for as long as I can remember. Clarity, Bleed American and Futures remain some of my favourite recent albums. However, I was disappointed by Chase This Light, finding it cheesy and poppy. The band's latest album, Invented, goes some way to rectifying that, in parts sounding like Futures and at times like Bleed American.

That's not to say that it matches either of those two albums for quality - and besides, aren't the originals always best? After listening through the album once, I didn't feel like listening to it again. It doesn't have any real standout tracks, but then again it doesn't seem to have any duff tracks either. I just find it a bit bland.

Of course, this is all just my personal opinion, but that's what music reviews are all about. Overall, I'd say this album is not bad - hence three out of five stars - but it doesn't come close to the band's earlier output, Chase This Light excepted. I was hoping for, but not really expecting, a little more.

Wild & Wolf Lobby Phone - Chrome
Wild & Wolf Lobby Phone - Chrome

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Faulty but replaced, 31 Oct 2010
I bought this phone for my art-deco-loving parents, and although the original phone was faulty (one button wasn't working), Amazon arranged for it to be replaced via the manufacturer, and my parents report that they have been more than happy with the phone ever since.

Logitech OEM Internet 350 Keyboard Black (PS/2)
Logitech OEM Internet 350 Keyboard Black (PS/2)

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So nearly perfect..., 31 Jan 2008
I was looking for a few things in a keyboard:

1) It had to be black, to match the rest of my set-up (as most keyboards are)
2) It had to use a PS/2 connection, to free up a USB slot
3) It had to have multimedia keys, such as play/pause, volume up & down etc
4) It had to have a full-sized backspace key, as my last one had a half-size one and I kept hitting it when I didn't want to, or missing it when I did.
5) It had to be cheap - under 10.

This keyboard was one of the few that I could find that matched all the criteria - it seems like there aren't many multimedia PS/2 keyboards. So I bought it.

I like it a lot. It has a simple style which I think is very attractive including some smart polished strips along either side. The multimedia buttons aren't brilliant - they work, but they are actually a little depressed into a plastic bar that runs along the top of the keyboard, when it would feel more natural to have the buttons slightly raised. A couple of times when I've reached for those without looking, I've missed. The firmness of the (normal) keys themselves is just about right, if perhaps ever so slightly too stiff. The build quality is also good, it gives very little flex and generally feels solid.

You can tell it's designed for Windows Vista - it has the Vista logo on the Windows keys, and underneath some of the keys it tells you what it does when you press Ctrl and that key - for example, underneath C it says "Copy". I don't need this, but I see how it could be useful. Basically it's a very user-friendly layout. I don't use Windows Vista though, in fact I don't use Windows at all... ignore the rubbish about operating system requirements for this keyboard (and probably all keyboards).

So overall, it's a great keyboard. My only criticisms are, as I mentioned, the multimedia keys, and the tilt of the keyboard when standing on its legs, which I think should be a little greater. Can't really complain too much for the price though. If you need a new PS/2 keyboard, this is probably the one.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 29, 2009 11:58 PM BST

Buffalo ADSL Wireless Modem router and Access point
Buffalo ADSL Wireless Modem router and Access point

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Software alright, hardware excellent, 29 Jan 2008
I've been connecting to the internet via this router for about four months, and I've had few problems with it. The only thing I'm not particularly fond of is the management interface, which isn't particularly intuitive.

I've tried on many occasions to set up port forwarding for certain ports, and upon doing so the router instructs you to save and reboot it. After doing so, I navigate back to the port forwarding settings and the rules I previously applied have un-applied themselves. However, that aside, I've used it both wired and wirelessly, from my Linux-based PC and my Nintendo DS, and both have been able to connect with no problems. It seems pretty fast, although I can't solely attribute this speed to the router.

The AOSS facility works well, although it took me a while to figure out how to connect another wireless device to it at the same time, which must be done manually.

One last thing to note is that it can get very warm after a while, but this should never be a problem as long as you don't put anything on top of it.


Nokia 2610 Black Sim Free Mobile Phone
Nokia 2610 Black Sim Free Mobile Phone

44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It does the job, 29 Jan 2008
Let's face it - you're not going to buy this phone if you want to be on the bleeding edge of mobile phone technology. This is Nokia's entry-level phone, and so it is designed for calling, texting, storing contacts, and little else. It does all of these things very well, thanks to Nokia's superb and easy-to-use operating system technology. I bought it because I am a very light phone user, and I am exactly the kind of person this phone was aimed at.

It's very easy to make and receive calls, and the sound quality and volume from both the normal speaker and the loud speaker are excellent.

Text messaging is not perfect, as I find the buttons are too small and close together for flawless operation by thumb. This just takes a little getting used to and I still make a few more mistakes than I did with my old phone.

Other features are sparse, but cover my needs. The address book, alarm clock and calendar do everything you'd expect them to, and the menu is easy to use and familiarise yourself with.

The build quality is pretty good - the phone itself is rock solid, but the lightweight plastic buttons seem a little flimsy. Using the navigational button results in other keys moving slightly.

The styling is, of course, a matter of opinion, but I think this is a smart and attractive phone. It's also wonderfully small and pretty light. I have forgotten that I had it in my pocket on a number of occasions.

The battery life is phenomenal - I took the phone on holiday with me, fully charged, and despite sending two or three texts per day and making about half an hour of calls in total, I managed to get through the entire ten-day holiday without it switching itself off. I only charged it on the last day to make sure I had enough battery left for the journey. Overall, I've had this phone about a month and a half and have only had to charge it three times.

Overall, I really can't fault this phone except for its buttons. If you want a basic phone that simply works and doesn't do anything fancy, and assuming you don't have unusually fat thumbs which would make the buttons nearly unusable, this phone is for you.

The Way Out Tube Map
The Way Out Tube Map
by Roger Collings
Edition: Map

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable!, 17 May 2006
This review is from: The Way Out Tube Map (Map)
I'm very impressed with this - it's a great idea.

Unfortunately a couple of sections of the Underground do not have the details to accompany them - the entire East London line and the Jubilee line east of Bermondsey. There are a couple of innaccuracies (where it recommends the wrong carriage) and it is slightly out-of-date in some of it's information, but it's still a useful starting point - you can fine tune your positioning with practice!

It's nice and small, when using it on the underground, and it will save you lots of time, especially during the rush hours when I'm sure you'd rather not be stuck behind two hundred other commuters all trying to use the same escalator at the same time.

Recommended for anyone who uses the underground on a regular basis.

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