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JohnnyP5000 (London, England)

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Rockport Men's Macudam Dark Tan Shoe K53171  7.5 UK , 41 EU , 8 US
Rockport Men's Macudam Dark Tan Shoe K53171 7.5 UK , 41 EU , 8 US
Price: £95.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely hard wearing and comfortable, 12 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm on my second pair of these.

My first pair where size 8 and felt pretty spot-on size wise.

8 wasn't available when I tried to buy another pair, so I took a risk on a size 7.5 which also seem (after 3 weeks) to be a great fit.

I have a lot of trouble with the outside edges of my heels wearing out. I recently destroyed a pair of Hush Puppies in a month (I do a lot of walking in my job).

The soles on these are as hard wearing as any I can remember ever owning. My last pair were still okay after 5 months (sole wise) and it was only because they started looking scruffy on the uppers that I decided to bin them (more down to me not looking after them than anything else).

Did I mention they are comfortable? They are. Even more so than my Merrell walking shoes. I have pretty wide feet too, so it's amazing that a shoe of this design is still comfortable for me.

You can see what they look like for yourself. I really like the style, but it won't be for everyone.

The only downside are the laces. My first pair snapped after about 4 months and I wasn't able to find a replacement which matched exactly. It wasn't a huge deal and not enough to knock a star off.

To sum up, these are the best "formal" shoes I've ever owned. They are comfy and very hard wearing.

Oh, and at about £33 they are a stupendous bargain. Just ordered pair number three!

Spider Catcher
Spider Catcher
Offered by Venture Blue
Price: £11.09

4.0 out of 5 stars Warning!, 19 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Comes with a plastic spider which will scare the **** out of arachnophobes.

Might be worth warning them if you've bought it as a present and they've got a cardiac condition.

Brabantia Touch Bin, 50 Litre - Matt Steel
Brabantia Touch Bin, 50 Litre - Matt Steel
Price: £99.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great big bin, 19 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It's got a huge capacity, it doesn't look out of place in a small kitchen (we got this to replace our our old 30L Brabantia), it's a lot cheaper than buying it on the high street (at the time of this review it was £65 cheaper than some retailers), it comes with some Brabantia bin bags, it arrived undamaged because it was very well packaged by Amazon.

On the downside, it doesn't have a plastic bucket like the 30L does, but I haven't missed not having one.

Sony KDL42W653 42-inch WidescreenFreeview HD LED Smart TV  (discontinued by manufacturer)
Sony KDL42W653 42-inch WidescreenFreeview HD LED Smart TV (discontinued by manufacturer)

18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great gaming TV, 1 Dec 2013
I bought the 42W653 to replace my old 2008 W4000 40 inch CCFL LCD Bravia.

As an avid gamer, I loved my old W4000, with its sub 8 millisecond response times (low response times are very important in gaming, especially for online games, such as first person shooting games) and for the last few years, I couldn't find a TV to match this.

But CCFL backlit LCD's are a bit "old hat" now and so I decided to look for a comparable LED screen. However, I've not been able to find one with a low enough response time.

Then the W653 came along with 6 millisecond response time. Not only that, the set was less than £500.

It was a done deal.

However, whilst the W653 is this years best gaming TV (if you don't believe me, check out the review on, it's also a great all round performer.

HD material is stunning, with sharp, bright pictures and well balanced colours (with little need for calibration, if you pick the right picture mode).

Black response (the ability to render dark scenes properly) deserves special mention. It's fantastic and by all accounts is better than the W805 series, which is the next tier up in Sony's TV range.

Standard def stuff is handled well too, although I have seen better (but not at this price point).

Motion seems well handled, although this is not a 200Hz panel in its true sense (I do not believe that there is any interpolation going on, which means the TV really runs at 50Hz, although I have seen it reported than the panel is 100Hz). The TV's "200Hz" mode is actually achieved by backlight blinking, which has some distracting side effects, so I leave it off. Despite this, motion is handled extremely well without using this mode, with little noticeable motion blur or panning judder (certainly much better than my old W4000).

You also get built-in WiFi and the smart TV functions seem to work well enough, although the UI is quite sluggish.

The TV is a great looking piece of kit too, with its tiny bezel and chromed stand.

Downsides? Well, the sound isn't great. My 5 year old W4000 beats it hands down, but the speakers on the W653 are around the back of the TV, so that's to be expected. You also don't get 3D, but I think most people would be happy to be without that. More importantly, you only get two HDMI inputs, which is a problem for me, although decent HDMI splitters can be picked up relatively cheaply and don't degrade picture quality, so it's not an insurmountable problem.

There is also an external power "brick" which is highly unusual for TV to have. This isn't really an issue for me, although I agree that it's not exactly ideal.

To sum up, this has got to be the best gaming TV on the market right now. It's also a great TV in general.

Add to that the sub £500 price and this has got to be one of the tech bargains of the year.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 2, 2013 7:08 PM GMT

Xbox One Console with Kinect
Xbox One Console with Kinect
Price: £389.00

51 of 66 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great (big) console, 1 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Despite the shipping box looking like it had been kicked from the Amazon warehouse to my home, the console itself works fine and I've had no (hardware) problems, at this time.

Setting up is straight-forward enough, although took a fair amount of crawling about on the floor, plugging in the power brick and Kinect.

I had a few issues with downloading the initial update, but following a call to the (very helpful) Xbox support line, these were sorted out (I had to reset the console and re-run my initial set up using a wired internet connection, rather than WiFi).

Once up and running, the console worked well. I had a little difficulty downloading DLC for BF4, but a hard reset (press the power button, on the console, for 6 seconds) sorted that out.

Kinect (voice commands) works well and actually adds to the console experience, in my opinion.

The new controller feels similar to the 360's controller, which you might expect. The reduced size of the battery compartment is great and the trigger rumble is fun, but some of the other changes are not so great and I prefer the old sticks and ergonomics around the trigger areas. The bumper buttons are still not the greatest, but they were a weak point on the old pad too, in my opinion.

The console itself is a huge hulking slab of a thing, but looks built to last and is very quiet during operation.

Unfortunately, there is some functionality which doesn't yet work, such as optical surround sound output and the TV throughput is still a work in progress, but these will almost certainly be sorted fairly soon. Still, these issues are enough for me to knock a star off the XB1's rating.

I have a PS4 too, and whilst I agree that the Sony console is more powerful and has a nicer form factor, in my opinion, Xbox One has a better range of exclusive launch titles.

If you are debating which console to get, my advice would be to wait a while and see what happens early next year.

By that time the bugs should be ironed out and both consoles should be getting into their stride. By then we should be starting to see who will be the real king of this generation.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 14, 2013 11:39 AM GMT

Sony PlayStation 4 Console (PS4)
Sony PlayStation 4 Console (PS4)
Offered by Talbot Media
Price: £328.99

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All good here, 1 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Firstly, I 'd just like to point out I'm no Sony fanboy. I have an Xbox One too and I'm very happy with it.

Console arrived securely packaged from Amazon.

Really easy to set up. No power brick. Plugged it in and downloaded an update in minutes (although PSN wouldn't allow me to log-in until late in the evening - the update was not dependant on me logging into PSN, thankfully).

Console is quiet and stays relatively cool. I can't hear any noticeable fan noise, even following several hours playing BF4. Air coming out of the PS4 seems warm, but not hot, even after hours of gaming (I have my PS4 positioned vertically).

The controller is a huge improvement over the old Dualshock. It's much more on a on a par with the new XB1 controller.

Lack of decent exclusives is a bit of a shame, although I agree it's better to delay games (Drive Club) than to release them with questionable levels of completeness (FM5).

To sum up, the PS4 seems to be a nicely designed, powerful console with a bright future.

Koss Porta Pro Stereo Over-Ear Headphones for iPod, iPhone, MP3 and Smartphone - Black/Silver
Koss Porta Pro Stereo Over-Ear Headphones for iPod, iPhone, MP3 and Smartphone - Black/Silver
Offered by Lotnabox
Price: £32.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Astounding!, 28 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
They look and feel cheap. However, the sound really is stunning.

Not really suitable for public transport, though, unless you play your music low or don't mind upsetting people!

Lenovo Ideapad Z500 15.6-inch Laptop (Dark Chocolate) - (Intel Core i5 3210M 2.5GHz Processor, 6GB RAM, 1TB HDD, DVDRW, LAN, WLAN, BT, Webcam, Nvidia Graphics, Windows 8)
Lenovo Ideapad Z500 15.6-inch Laptop (Dark Chocolate) - (Intel Core i5 3210M 2.5GHz Processor, 6GB RAM, 1TB HDD, DVDRW, LAN, WLAN, BT, Webcam, Nvidia Graphics, Windows 8)

117 of 129 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great hardware, but not without (fixable) issues, 7 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Firstly, I just want to say that - purely as a piece of hardware - the Lenovo Z500 is very impressive, for the price.

The machine comes with both integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 and GeForce GT635m (1gb) cards (the machine is set-up to switch automatically between cards, when required. However, it is easy to change the card settings to your own preference). The keyboard is similar to a MacBook Pro and is backlit. The machine runs quietly and stays quite cool (although I have not yet run any games on it). The build quality appears really good, (again) for the price (still plenty of plastic, though).

However, when I did my first Windows 8 update, 19 of the 38 updates failed. Turned out this is because I hadn't updated "Nitro Pro" (included software - I selected "free trial") to the latest version (the version pre-installed on my machine stops Windows 8 updating properly). Once I had updated "Nitro Pro", the other 19 Windows updates installed fine. It may have been possible to just remove "Nitro Pro" altogether, but I haven't tried that, so can't comment for sure.

Also, I started having problems with the WiFi (I would lose connection pretty regularly). I checked the Lenovo support site, and the cause of my WiFi problems appeared to be the installed WiFi driver software. However, there was newer driver software available, which was supposed to fix this issue. Updating the drivers took a little while, but appears to have rectified my WiFi issue. I also downloaded a number of other driver updates for the graphics cards and processor, etc, which seems to have improved the performance of my machine noticeably.

It's worth noting that, unlike my previous HP laptop, which would automatically check for new driver updates, I had to manually select and download the driver updates from the Lenovo website (although this is a fairly straight forward process, as it is possible to select Z500 specific updates on the website). It may be that there is software that searches for appropriate driver updates, but I could not find it on the Z500.

It's worth noting that if you are manually downloading driver updates, some of them give the choice between the 32 and 64 bit versions. The version of Windows 8 being run on my Z500 is 64 bit. It's also worth noting that at least one of the drivers I tried to install was an older version than the one running on my Z500 (thankfully the installer informed me of this and gave me the option not to proceed with the driver update. I am not sure that all the updates will warn you though, so it's important to check that you are not installing an older version of the driver software over a newer version). I also found it beneficial to update each driver completely (including restarting, if required), before going onto the next one.

Any other issues I've had seem to be Windows 8 related, so cannot blame Lenovo for them (once you get used to Windows 8, it's not that bad, really).

So, in summary, great bit of kit, as long as you don't mind "jumping through a few hoops" to get it to work properly.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 28, 2013 9:43 PM GMT

Test Drive : Ferrari Racing Legends
Test Drive : Ferrari Racing Legends
Offered by AllGoodDealz
Price: £19.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lower budget "Shift", with Ferraris, 25 Aug 2012
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Firstly, even though this is a Canadian import, it should run on your UK Xbox, as it's not regionally locked (at least the one I got isn't, and I highly doubt that will change).

TD: Ferrari Racing Legends is made by the same people (Slightly Mad Studios) who made Shift and Shift 2, and it appears to use the same game engine as the Shift games.

So, basically, this is Shift with Ferraris, only made on a smaller budget.

The handling model appears to (pretty much) have be taken straight from Shift 2, as are the graphics, physics and AI which means the game is not bad looking, but the handling and aggressive AI might not be to everyone's taste. It also seems to be darker than Shift / Shift 2 and, so far, I can't find a brightness adjustment option (and I'm not messing with my properly calibrated TV), although you can live with it.

The difficulty level is pretty crazy, but I like the challenge and (so far), I can't complain about it. I think it would help if you have a reasonable amount of experience of racing games to get the most out of this one. Having said that, I've read reviews that state that the game's difficulty level gets almost impossible as you get towards the end, although I can't confirm that (just warning).

Not played online yet, but I hope SMS didn't carry over the problems that Shift 2 displayed (game-ruining online collision detection). The original Shift was OK, so here's hoping.

This isn't meant to be an exhaustive review, as I've only spent a couple of hours playing. I have found the game to be pretty addictive and it has that "one last go" quality about it. Having said that, I don't know if it really warrants a full-price release.

If you are a big fan of the Shift series, it's probably worth your consideration. If you didn't like Shift or Shift 2, then I wouldn't bother. If you've never played the Shift games, you can download the demo from XBL (I'm sure there is one) and it will give you at least some idea of what TD: Ferrari Racing Legends is like (at least handling and graphics wise). Beware of the crazy difficulty level though!

Superstars V8 Racing - Next Challenge (Xbox 360)
Superstars V8 Racing - Next Challenge (Xbox 360)
Offered by SupaStock
Price: £5.99

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Retro touring car racing re-born., 28 Feb 2010
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
As a bit of an old guy, I too remember and love the old ToCA PS1 games. They were all about good, close, paint-swapping racing. Not car collecting, modding or painting.

GRID was a bit of a let down for a lot of people, mainly because it threw away the old authenticity of the previous games and went for a more PGR kind of experience. I've got nothing against that, but I always longed for a game to bring back the glory days. Race Pro filled the gap for a while, but it is a ruthless sim, and ToCA was never about that.

If you are expecting anywhere near the quality of graphics and depth of the likes of Forza 3 or NFS Shift, then you are going to be one unhappy gamer if you get SV8 not knowing what it's really all about. Please consider yourself warned and don't blame us for wasting your cash.
If, on the other hand, you too long for the PS1 glory days, and those old classic touring car games, then this ladies and gentleman, is the second coming.

Oh, and for those who bought the first Superstars V8 game and thought it wasn't all that, then this one is indeed a lot better. Recommend you try the demo on Xbox live first though.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 8, 2010 10:07 PM BST

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