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Mrenshaw (Manchester)
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Asus VM40B-S025K VivoPC (Intel Celeron 1007U 1.5GHz, 500GB, 2GB DDR3, USB 3.0, HDMI, VGA, Card Reader, 2x 2W Speakers, Windows 8)
Asus VM40B-S025K VivoPC (Intel Celeron 1007U 1.5GHz, 500GB, 2GB DDR3, USB 3.0, HDMI, VGA, Card Reader, 2x 2W Speakers, Windows 8)
Price: 259.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's not the fastest system in the world, but it's ready to go (at a price), 7 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Opening the box, the VivoPC is nicely presented and set up is very easy - plug in and fire it up. Be aware that you only get the PC - nothing else is included, so you'll need all the other usual bits to plug in. The physical box is tiny and takes up little space, but there is a power pack that's quite chunky in relation to the PC. It looks okay, with a brushed silver effect and a white LED in the top centre of the front.
All the ports are at the back of the machine and it's although it's a little cramped the layout is well thought out and it's easy to get to the card reader and power button without too much difficulty.
Windows 8 is preinstalled, and although I'm not fond of this OS it works well enough. It's up and running quickly and although the VivoPC does generate some noise, it would only be noticed in a very quiet room.

My use for the VivoPC was to use as a media centre so I downloaded the freeware software XBMC and installed it and sure enough it worked fine and was able to stream 1080p HD movies over wifi without any issues. This is where the strength of the VivoPC lies - for a dedicated, (semi) single use machine to do a simple task then it excels.

However.

As a general use PC then it's very slow. The CPU, amount of RAM and physical HDD are all far below what I would consider to be entry level and as such it's difficult to use for any other than a bit of web browsing, or other simple tasks. Upgrading the RAM would help speed it up a bit, but that's really all you could upgrade (you could also put in a SSD but that's a lot of money for smaller performance increase).

This also highlights another issue - the price. You can buy this barebones system - Intel BOXDCCP847DYE Desktop PC - (Celeron 847, QS77, DDR3, USB 2.0, 2x HDMI, Windows 8) for less than half the price - you do need to add RAM, HDD & OS but it would still be cheaper and quicker (for a media PC you could even run without an OS by running from a USB Stick).

If you're looking for something a bit cheaper, and faster but that would require a bit of setting up then maybe look at other products available.

It's not a bad product - far from it, but there are other options out there that may suit the more cost conscious. If you are looking for a machine to do very simple tasks and that you can just unbox and turn on then this is for you and it comes recommended for that.


Pixnor Colorful LED Bluetooth Dancing Water Speakers for iPhone, iPad, Cellphone, PC (Black)
Pixnor Colorful LED Bluetooth Dancing Water Speakers for iPhone, iPad, Cellphone, PC (Black)
Price: 26.17

2.0 out of 5 stars Something you'd expect to win at a funfair..., 1 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Hmmm.

First impressions are that these are cheap. As in you could pick up at a car boot for around 5. Opening up the box did little to dispel that impression. Plugging the speakers (via the cable) into a laptop gave terrible, terrible sound - very bass and distorted with the sound of the pump that powers the water jets being very loud.

Connecting the speakers to a phone cured this but still not impressed - the pump noise (although quieter) was still noticeable and the sound quality still poor. The bluetooth connection worked well enough, very simple to use.

The speakers don't come with a power plug - you have to power from a USB connection or supply your own. I know you can pick these up for a couple of pounds, but I would have expected them to come complete at the price.

The actual water effect is nice to watch at first, but a bit subdued overall - the lights make a difference, especially in a darkened room but that's the only plus point

These may be good for a young child, as a novelty but the price is far to high and the quality far to low for any kind of serious use.

Not recommended.


Fisher-Price Rainforest Friends Musical Gym
Fisher-Price Rainforest Friends Musical Gym
Price: 35.20

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining for baby, 1 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Very easy to set up - you just clip in the two bars into the plastic stands and attach the hanging toys and that's it - however you do need batteries for the mirror that are not supplied (why?!)

The mat is a respectable size and easy to store (just rolls up) but it does have a huge label on the front of it that just flaps around pointlessly. This was cut off with scissors quite quickly (to help my OCD!)

The toys hang at just the right level for a small baby and the noises are loud enough to keep interest. The best part is the mirror though - it has some great noises when it is kicked (there is an off button!)

Baby was impressed and will lie for ages playing, kicking and looking at the various parts - always a good sign.

It's solidly built, and easy to clean - the price is higher than you'd expect and loses a star for that, but overall it's a good toy that had a couple of early niggles but it's used frequently which says it all really.

Recommended.


Galt Dr Miriam Activity Centre
Galt Dr Miriam Activity Centre
Price: 22.90

3.0 out of 5 stars It's okay - reasonable product, for a reasonable price/, 1 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As an early learning baby product, this is okay. The layout is good, and there are lots of bright colours and interesting things for baby to do (it kept my interest for a while too!) The red squeaker and purple spinner were favourites (baby, not me!)

The blurb claims that the toy will teach the baby several things including memory, hand-eye coordination and naming amongst other things. This may well be true, however baby was interested in it at first and then soon got bored - having to hand and with me playing on it got her interested again, but infrequently.

It's very easy to clean, however be aware that the telephone dial type activity has deep holes and it can take a lot of gunk in there!

On the plus side, no batteries required and it's easy to store. The price is reasonable for what it is, but I'm not sure how much long term value there is - it's probably good for around 4 months but then baby grows out of it.


Belkin Aluminium Desktop Loft Stand for Macbook and Laptop
Belkin Aluminium Desktop Loft Stand for Macbook and Laptop
Offered by Pudsey Computers
Price: 34.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It's a good product, but not all that nice on the wallet, 19 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I really like this stand. I used with a MacBook Air & Retina Pro and both sat on it comfortably and didn't slip - they do both have plastic skins on them though so not sure if that made them grip more.

It comes in a well package box and it's very easy to assemble - you slot the two pieces together with the O ring in the middle and that's it.

It had four rubberised feet and the top where the laptop sits there is a full rubberised ring. The rest of the stand is a brushed aluminium and fits the whole iLook very well.

It's not practical to use the laptop/mouse as it sits on the stand (okay for small amounts of use) so you really need a keyboard and use the stand to raise the laptop screen.

This is what lets down the stand - as something to simply raise the laptop screen to a more comfortable level then it works well enough and does a simple task but there are also lots of other solutions that will do it equally well. You could almost do it for free with two reams of paper then put the laptop on there.

The cost is very, very expensive for what you get. I'm lucky in that this was a free review product, but there is no way I would spend almost 50 on this - I would think twice if it was 20. It's nice, but not that nice for me I'm afraid.


Pampers New Baby Sensitive 1 (Newborn) - (Pack of 39)
Pampers New Baby Sensitive 1 (Newborn) - (Pack of 39)
Price: 6.73

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Odd mishap, but otherwise good, 10 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Great value as you may expect, and they did the job well - however couple of things to note, we used on a 3 week old and they became too small on the second packet - recommend you buy as required!

The fastened well, but there was a small amount of leakage on a couple - this may have been a one off/error fastening but worth noting.

They are slightly more expensive than other brands, but they are pretty good - we still use Pampers, but the larger size.

Wasn't really sure what the sensitive part referred too, but baby had no issues or rashes at all with these.

Recommended.


STV148 - ULTRA POWER MOUSE TRAPS - TWINPACK
STV148 - ULTRA POWER MOUSE TRAPS - TWINPACK
Price: 4.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Just the job, 10 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'd bought some cheap traps and they were rubbish. These were excellent - did exactly the job they were bought for and did it well. I would buy again if required. Easy to remove the mice once caught, and easy to set up again and again.

Highly recommended.


UP24 by Jawbone Medium Wireless Activity and Sleep Tracking Wristband for iOS and Android - Onyx
UP24 by Jawbone Medium Wireless Activity and Sleep Tracking Wristband for iOS and Android - Onyx
Price: 104.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's good, but..., 10 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've used a Fitbit One for around a year now, and was interested in the Jawbone as I'd heard good things about them. Having used the UP24 for a month, I'm not convinced.

First of all, it comes nicely presented and has a handy booklet to guide you though all the set up. The connection to charge is via a USB to 3.5 jack (headphone lead). The setup is pretty easy - download an app (I used on an iPhone 5) and away you go. I didn't try on a PC, and it didn't appear to have any software to connect up so I'd suggest you have an Apple or Android phone to get the most from it.

The wristband is comfy to wear and unobtrusive. You can get limited info directly from the band via the LED's built into it that you have to tap to fire up - saves battery as you just tap as you need. Battery life overall is pretty good. I was getting at least 5 days from a charge.

The software is excellent, although the default settings are a bit odd - it kept buzzing after 15 minutes, but turns out the inactivity setting was reminding me to move! Useful, but soon turned off...

You can do clever things like scan food in via the camera app on your phone (to monitor calorie intake), monitor sleeping patterns, and it also gives you some useful hints every now and then. The software works well and syncs with your phone via bluetooth flawlessly (this was an issue with the Fitbit) and just feels more polished all round. In day to day use, the step tracker is, as you'd expect, very accurate and works well.

The band is easy to use - tapping the button in different combinations does different tasks without having to fire up the phone, and as mentioned, the app is excellent.

So why only 3 stars?

It's clearly a far superior product to the Fitbit One, both in terms of usability and connectivity, however it's close to twice the price and my view is that it's not close to twice as good. I was lucky enough to have been given this to review for free, but if I to buy one then the UP24 wouldn't be at the top of the list due to the higher price - if it were to be around 20 cheaper then it would be better value.

It's an excellent product if money is no object, but there are (very) similar products available for a lower price.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 22, 2014 10:56 AM BST


Fisher-Price Newborn-to-Toddler Portable Rocker
Fisher-Price Newborn-to-Toddler Portable Rocker
Price: 59.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's good, but not really for a new born.., 9 April 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Be aware that when you open the box that the bits are not secured - they are just loose and flew out onto my foot! However that aside, it's typical Fisher Price quality - very good and solidly built. Pretty easy to assemble after a scratch of the head - you'll need a basic screwdriver to tighten up the frame but easy to do.

I've always preferred the basic rockers - basically a wire frame with a canvas seat in as they are basic and work however this rocker has an interesting feature with the vibration motor (battery not included!) that gently vibrates and works wonders in sending a grouchy baby to sleep quickly - very useful!

Even though this is designed for new born, I'd not recommend it as my 5 day old (of normal weight & size) was too small for the rocker really - I ended up buying a neck rest designed for a car seat until the baby is a bit older. It's a shame this isn't included for the price.

The toy bar hasn't been used much (as yet) but that's due to baby age, luckily it's easy enough to take off. One nice feature is that the position of the rocker can be adjusted all the way back (makes it easy to move around).

Although my baby is probably a little too young for this, I did like the product, however despite the obvious quality the high price and lack of a head rest and battery move this from being an excellent product to a good one, which is a bit of a shame.

Recommend, but not for new borns - there are better in the price range if you shop around.


Revell Easy Kit 06690 Model Toy Star Wars X-Wing Starfighter
Revell Easy Kit 06690 Model Toy Star Wars X-Wing Starfighter
Price: 35.87

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Looks good and easy to assemble, 9 April 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Comes nicely presented in a big box - the model is pretty big which I wasn't expecting. My initial thoughts is that it would be a similar size to the old models that you had to glue, but this is about three times bigger than those.

It's a little complex at first to work out where all the bits go, and you have to follow the manual, but once you've worked out all the different (numbered) parts then you get cracking at a good old pace. It took two of us an hour from start to finish.

There is a lot of hidden detail in this model - for example the missiles are hidden away in the main hull and once you've built the model then you'd have to pop the cover off to see. Seems odd but it's also kinda cool in the fact that you know they are there hidden away and ready to be fired at a passing Death Star!

You have the option to have the landing gear down and rest the X Wing on that, or to have on the stand. It looks good in either setting and it's very high quality although you have to push some of the plastic in quite tightly to ensure a snug fit.

Be aware that although it say you won't need any tools, I'd suggest a pair of snips/cutters and a file for removing some of the smaller parts and giving them clean looking lines.

Good quality model (not a toy!) and easy to put together quickly and looks the part for a reasonable price.

Recommended


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