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D. Keith "dkeith109" (Cardiff, UK)

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Pawtec UltraSlim External USB 3.0 Slot-Loading BDXL 3D Blu-Ray Writer / Burner For Apple Macbook iMac Mac Mini & PC - Silver
Pawtec UltraSlim External USB 3.0 Slot-Loading BDXL 3D Blu-Ray Writer / Burner For Apple Macbook iMac Mac Mini & PC - Silver
Offered by Pawtec USA
Price: £129.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Impressive Unit and Company, But Needs Extra Software to Play Blu-Rays, 21 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I ordered this to complement my newly acquired Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro Ultrabook and it has so far lived up to expectations.

Pros -

It is as slim and lightweight as the manufacturers claim, which is a bonus for those of us who want it to be a truly portable device which adds minimal weight to the laptop bag. It's square shaped and only slightly wider/broader than a DVD/Blu-ray disc, and only a bit more than 1cm thick.

It's also one of the few drives I could find that only needs to connect to one USB (albeit USB3) port to work perfectly well, without needing another connection via a 2nd USB to power it. Really useful as I plan to use it on a forthcoming long haul flight and minimising cables is a priority.

It's fast to read discs (but see Cons for Blu-Ray issue) and had no problem/buffering when viewing movies.

It's silveriness also makes it look rather cool, which I know sounds a bit superficial, but what's not to love about a gadget that works well and looks great too?

The unit comes securely boxed in a box that fits through a letterbox, so no need to treck to the post office to collect. It's posted from Pawtec in California and mine was dispatched only a few hours after ordering and I was supplied with a tracking link which worked perfectly (more than I can say for some UK delivery companies!). I took delivery 4 working days after I ordered it which was a pleasant surprise. I also ordered an extra USB cable from a UK company in the same Amazon order, and despite Amazon dispatching the cable on the same day as the Pawtec drive, my cable arrived 2 working days later - even though it was sent from Amazon's warehouse in Dunfermline!

I haven't used it to write discs yet, so unfortunately can't comment on that functionality.

Cons -

The provided cable to connect to your laptop is molded into the back of the unit so can't be removed to replace. It works well, but it's a bit small at 28cm from box to tip of the USB connector. I bought a 1m extension at the same time and it works fine and gives a bit more room when working with a laptop sat on the sofa, for example, rather than at a desk, so it's not a showstopper.

But the biggest problem I found... it can't play Blu-ray discs (on my Windows 8 laptop) until you install a Blu-ray player programme (it plays DVDs perfectly tho). The Pawtec technical help pages recommend using VLC Player (which is free) but this didn't work for me. I then contacted their customer support service by email, and received a reply literally a few minutes after I sent my email, suggesting another programme to download and use (Macgo), which worked fine. However this software is only available on a 6 month free trial after which I'd need to purchase (Pawtec offer a discount). I'm not sure if this is a Pawtec or Windows issue as I googled and it seemed that Microsoft may have caused the problem by removing blu-ray software from Windows 8, but I'm not sure. Anyway, for me, the problem is sorted, even if only temporarily.

Overall - A very impressive drive, which has so far met my needs, despite the software issue.

Rand McNally Easy to Read! Florida State Map
Rand McNally Easy to Read! Florida State Map
by Rand McNally
Edition: Map
Price: £4.54

61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Companion to SatNav, 15 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this map for occasional use during a Florida road trip last year. I actually ended up using it more than the SatNav which often has a mind of its own and is difficult to understand exactly where you have been, where you are, or where you're heading!

Its a good quality, very detailed, double sided map (South Florida on one side, North on the other). It includes detailed maps of all the main cities (eg Miami, Orlando, Key West etc). It also has tables showing mileage between main places and expected journey times which was extremely useful for planning our trip. It shows all main points of interest including tollbooths and each road has little markers along its route showing distance travelled between each marker.

Was absolutely invaluable during my trip and is highly recommended for anyone planning to drive in Florida. Rely only on your SatNav at your peril...
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 18, 2013 9:43 PM BST

Sony XDRC705DAB Clock Radio
Sony XDRC705DAB Clock Radio

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing, 2 Jun. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this clock radio a few months ago and was initially disappointed so have waited to see if my experience would improve over time. Unfortunately, it hasn't.

I have 3 gripes with the unit.

Firstly, it is overly complex to use. If all you want to do is to change the time for your alarm to go off, it involves scanning thru various options using different buttons and often missing an option and having to go back to square one and repeating the process all over again. I'm no fuddy-duddy when it comes to technology, I have all the latest gadgets and have no problems using them, but this unit is simply over-engineered and is absolutely not an intutitive system to use. The buttons are also positioned on top so any adjustment to the radio or clock whilst lying in bed requires tipping the unit forward to see the buttons, then back to see what effect clicking them has, before tipping forward again to select a different button and repeating the process for some time until you make the change you wanted. Poor design makes even simple adjustments annoying.

Secondly, it intermittantly picks up the signal from my mobile phone, so it randomly barks out the annoying ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba noise a mobile phone makes when placed near a radio (or other phone). I realise that radios and mobiles don't like each other, but it happens even when the radio is switched off! I therefore have to sleep with my mobile phone on the far side of my bed, rather than within reaching distance next to the clock.

Thirdly, and perhaps most annoyingly, it hisses... When the radio is switched off and I've settled down for the night, it emits a quiet, but noticeable, hiss from the speaker. It is continuous and just loud enough to very quickly become very irritiating in an otherwise silent room. Putting the volume down to zero has no effect.

Overall, poor design, overly engineered menus, and annoying noises mean this one is never gonna help me get a good night's sleep. I've given up using mine after several months of annoyance and bought a Pure Siesta instead.

Ravensburger Disney Princess Jigsaw Puzzle 3 Pack (49 Pieces Each)
Ravensburger Disney Princess Jigsaw Puzzle 3 Pack (49 Pieces Each)

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Quality, But Needs Sorting First, 21 Jan. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Good quality jigsaws, but all 3 come mixed up in 1 bag, so takes a lot of sorting out by mum or dad before the kids can make any sense of it.

I had to virtually do all 3 jigsaws myself just to separate the pieces into 3 bundles that the kids could then have fun with.

Would make life so much easier if it came pre-sorted into 3 bags - I had other more pressing things to do on Xmas morning than sort a jigsaw out!

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