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Aitchess "H" (Nottinghamshire, UK)

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Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8-inch - (White, Wi-Fi)
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8-inch - (White, Wi-Fi)
Offered by Trade Direct UK
Price: 144.99

218 of 227 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and very compact for the screen size, 9 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm very pleased with this tablet, having come from a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 (last year's range, 7 inch model). That tablet was perfectly fine, but of course the spec has gone up a bit in the intervening time and I wanted a larger screen - there wasn't an 8 inch model in last year's Tab 2 range.

The Galaxy Tabs tend to have solid, mid-market specs which don't necessarily impress the specialist reviewers, but I am finding the screen bright and sharp, with a wide viewing angle and the Tab 3 operates smoothly and quickly enough for me. About the only thing I don't use it for is playing games, simply because I'm not into games, so I can't speak for its performance there, but everything else I've used it for has impressed me. It is of course faster than my Tab 2 7.0 due to the increase in spec (and in fact the Tab 3 8.0 has a higher spec than this year's Tab 3 7.0 too - a faster processor, twice the built-in storage, a higher-resolution main camera with autofocus, higher resolution on the larger screen, and an infra-red emitter for TV etc. remote control). The Tab 3 range has seen some changes to the design, with a style more like the Galaxy S4 phone, including the hard Home button and the capacitive menu and back keys. They also now use a micro USB 2.0 connector with charging facility, replacing the previous wide proprietary connector. The charger is also noticeably smaller.

The Tab 3 8.0 comes with Android 4.2.2 (it seems the Tab 3 7.0 and Tab 3 10.1 are presently still on 4.1.2, having launched earlier, but I expect they'll get updates). A particularly welcome feature on 4.2.2 is the reinstatement of a "lost" feature - you can move your apps onto your external SD card to save device storage, which is great.

The extra screen size is great, giving larger text and icons whilst still looking sharp, and I am impressed by the compactness of the tablet - because of its slim bezels, it is the same width as my old 7 inch Tab 2, so I can still hold it easily with one hand. It is a little bit taller (not much) but considerably slimmer through, and actually lighter than my old Tab 2. This 8 inch model seems the most effectively miniaturised one in the range - the 7 inch Tab 3 is smaller still, but not as much smaller as you'd expect.

I also purchased the Samsung-branded Book Cover for this tablet, in white. I was pleased to find that this has automatic wake and sleep functions, which wasn't mentioned in the item description, nor on the packaging.

Obviously the Galaxy Note 8.0 is the next step up the Samsung range if you want this size screen. It appears to use the same screen, but of course has all the S-Pen stylus functionality, plus a more powerful processor (Exynos 1.6 GHz quad-core versus Exynos 1.5 GHz dual-core), 2 GB of RAM versus 1.5 GB on the Tab 3 8.0 (not 1 GB as currently stated on the item description), and a slightly more powerful battery. The camera spec is the same. The Note 8.0 has Android 4.1.2 at present. It has wider screen bezels than the Tab 3 (which some may find helpful, others might not be bothered) and so is slightly larger and heavier, but isn't currently a lot more expensive than the Tab 3 8.0 because it was introduced a month or two earlier. However, I didn't need the S-Pen and preferred the look and size/weight of the Tab 3 8.0 - plus the current "One, Two, Free" promotion with a free 16 GB memory card in the box and free insurance also helped sweeten the deal a bit.
Comment Comments (11) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 22, 2014 6:41 PM GMT

Samsung Notebook Cover for Galaxy Tab 3 8 inch - White
Samsung Notebook Cover for Galaxy Tab 3 8 inch - White
Price: 26.86

31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An elegant case for the Samsung Tab 3 8.0, 3 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a rather attractive, Samsung-manufactured lightweight case for the new (as of August 2013) Samsung Tab 3, the 8 inch version. Some of the colour variants of this case are listed as Notebook covers, some as Book covers but they all seem to be the same design - check the Samsung product numbers in the item descriptions (the box of mine refers to it as a Book Cover). Mine is the white version, which matches very nicely with the white Tab 3. The rear half of the cover is a rigid plastic moulding, in a slightly pearlised white plastic, into which the Tab 3 clips easily; it can be removed without too much struggle but shouldn't come off accidentally. The back is covered with small, raised dots which blend rather well with the dot pattern under the varnish on the Tab 3's body. These help the case be a little more "grippy" than the Tab 3 itself, which is completely smooth and glossy - the case is slightly more of a satin finish. There's an opening in the back for the camera lens, and also a pinhole in the top right corner for the microphone. The corners on the right side have small, rubberised feet to help the cover stand securely when folded for use as a stand.

The front of the case is very slender, has the same soft lining as the back, to protect the screen, and has two built-in folds to enable it to be used as a stand in two different positions. Like the back, it has subtle Samsung and model branding (in grey). The outside of the front is finished in a smooth, slightly velvety, almost rubberised-feeling fabric with a slightly pearly tint and a tiny dot pattern which blends with the Tab. There's a small hole for the earpiece of the rarely-seen version of the Tab which includes mobile phone facilities.

All connectors and buttons on the Tab are fully accessible without removing the case.

The front just shuts under its own slight weight when the Tab is set down on its back - it does not fasten in any way.

Though not mentioned at all in any of the descriptions, this is an auto-wake and auto-sleep case on the Tab 3 - a small magnet in the front cover automatically wakes the screen when you open the front and switches the screen off when you close it. There's a quite powerful magnet in the back, which firmly holds the front cover in place when it's folded into one of its two "stand" positions. The magnets make it very useful though you do need to remember the one in the back, I suspect, if you're resting it against a credit card, for example!

I've subtracted one star only because the case is slightly less grippy than the padded synthetic leather types such as those by Belkin and doesn't have any padding in the cover. However, it looks beautiful and hardly detracts from the surprising slimness of the Tab 3 8.0 (which, for the record, is slightly taller than last year's Tab 2 7.0 that was given away free with so many Samsung products, but just about the same width, noticeably thinner through and actually lighter).
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 2, 2014 11:17 PM BST

Fujifilm Premium Leather Case for X10
Fujifilm Premium Leather Case for X10
Offered by Bliss St
Price: 59.99

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Suitable for X10 AND X20, 19 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a black leather "ever ready" case of the type which was routinely available for 35mm enthusiast cameras (SLRs and rangefinders) in the 1960s through to the 1980s. Some people love them, some hate them - I'm in the former camp. This type of case has made a bit of a resurgence recently with the fashion for more retro-styled cameras, such as the Fujifilm X10 and X20. The case is in two halves - a form-fitting lower half (often referred to as a "body jacket" these days) which can remain on the camera except when changing the battery or the memory card, or accessing the USB or HDMI jacks, and a top/front cover which is removable, but equally can be left hanging open whilst you use the camera. The inside of both halves is soft-lined so that it doesn't scratch the camera or its screen. There is also a matching leather strap supplied, which is slightly broader and has more rounded and finished edges than the one supplied with the camera. The leather used is quite firm, with useful creases in the top cover to help it fit more easily onto the camera when closing it. It doesn't have any padding as such, but is quite robust as the leather is both stiff and relatively thick, so it does give decent protection.

Three aspects of the case are worth describing, because not all every ready cases (ERCs) are designed the same way. Firstly, the bottom half secures to the camera via leather loops with press-studs which hook over the strap attachments on the camera - this is totally secure if the camera strap is fitted and quite easy to remove when required - but not very secure if you haven't fitted the strap. The other type of fastening routinely used on other ERCs is to screw into the tripod socket. I personally prefer the strap loop fitment as I always fit the strap, and it prevents any chance of over-tightening or cross-threading a tripod mount fitting screw, or scratching the camera baseplate, and also gives a flat base to the case (most but not all of the tripod screw types tend to have a very prominent knurled knob for the fastener which completely unbalances the case when it is set down - flat-based versions usually need a coin to fasten or unfasten them). The Fujifilm case is flat-based whether the front is closed or removed.

Secondly, the front fastens "back to front" - that is, you open it by undoing the centre front attachment point of the flap on the base, and flipping it up and over the camera backwards, so that the opened case front hangs down from the back of the camera, with the inside of the case's nose pointing towards you as you shoot. This may seem unusual as most such cases hang down from the front of the camera with the outside of the nose pointing towards you whilst open, but in fact this case's approach means it is far less likely to make an accidental appearance in your shots when you leave it attached whilst open. The case is attached to the body whilst open or closed by two press studs on the rear of the base, which are pretty strong but easy enough to unfasten intentionally and also to reattach (some designs can be quite hard to refasten). Being two points, the case front does not spin whilst open, which is good.

The third point is the other part of the closure. When opening and shutting the case front, the third attachment point at the front of the case base is used. Unusually, it is not a press stud but a concealed magnet. It has a reassuringly firm action and is inside the case material between the leather and the inner lining (on both halves) so it cannot scratch the camera. It is also well-shielded - although both halves are powerful, very little magnetism is detectable on the parts of the case where the camera is housed - most of the magnetic field is directed outwards. This design means you don't have to mess around trying to line up a balky, strong press stud fastening when reclosing the case.

Last point - this case, though marketed for the X10, is equally suitable for the new X20. The two cameras have an identical size and shape, and although this model (the LC-X10) has technically been superceded by the LC-X20, which Fujifilm markets as being suitable for both models, the only difference I am aware of is that the LC-X10 has an X10 logo embossed in the top centre of the front cover and at one end of the strap - I'm guessing that this has been changed to X20 (or something that would be suitable on either camera) on the new case, though I've yet to see one! Worth noting though, since the X10 case is currently considerably cheaper than the X20 one, and easier to find in stock. The X10 logo isn't painted in, just embossed, so it's pretty subtle.

Samsung T190 19" Widescreen LCD TFT Monitor (2ms, Rose Black, 20000:1, DVI with HDCP)
Samsung T190 19" Widescreen LCD TFT Monitor (2ms, Rose Black, 20000:1, DVI with HDCP)

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Samsung T190 - superb, and there IS tilt adjustment on the stand!, 5 July 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this monitor from Amazon last month - it arrived the very next day (a Saturday) with Express Delivery at 7.65 which I thought was very reasonably-priced (and at Amazon, the monitor was the lowest price I could find it at, too - 112.92 in June 2009, excluding the Express Delivery charge, which is optional anyway).

The monitor is excellent - a great performer and it looks absolutely beautiful from all angles as well! I've got it connected via the DVI cable (which it comes with, along with a VGA cable, UK and European power cables, cable clip, a few bits of paperwork, CDROM and even a cleaning cloth). The so-called "simple" stand (small and elegant) is easy to assemble. It's completely plug-and-play with Windows Vista - obviously the monitor's native resolution of 1440 x 900 needs to be set for best performance - it's bright, crisp, even, stable and really sharp with excellent colours, no dead pixels. Contrast (20000:1) is excellent and response at 2ms is wonderfully smooth - easily the best LCD monitor I've used.

This model (and any others of the T range without a suffix after their size-related number) are primarily monitors so don't have built-in speakers - some of the larger models also come in versions with an HD suffix (e.g. T220HD) and those can operate as stand-alone TVs too as they have Freeview tuners and speakers built in - but have a lower contrast ratio of 10000:1 and the ones above 22 inch seem to be 5 ms response versions rather than 2 ms. However, their styling is exactly the same as the non-TV models so they look just as nice.

Back to the T190. The viewing angle of the LCD panel is very wide, both vertically and horizontally (notably wide in the vertical, actually) and it's a nice, compact unit. The high-gloss styling is lovely, with a translucent black finish which actually shows a deep red translucence near the edges and there's a clear, colourless perspex rim to the unit (narrower at the sides, more pronounced top and bottom) which is prismatic and works very well aesthetically. The power "button" on the front is in fact a tiny, printed touch-sensitive on/off symbol (in conductive silver paint) which works excellently (and silently) - when on, an LED arc glows inside the rosy area (it blinks slowly in sleep mode) - subtle and classy. The rest of the control buttons are normal click-type ones hidden on the right hand side of the housing behind the clear rim, and are a bit tricky to use as you need to memorize their order, since typically you're not going to be able to read the labels on them whilst looking at the screen! However, they do activate a clear on-screen menu, so you can muddle your way through.

The stand is an elegant, slender-necked oval affair which looks very nice and matches the appearance of the screen well. It's not terrifically tall, which could be a problem for some as it's not height-adjustable, and its slenderness can make the screen wobble a bit if your desk is a bit flexible and you are pounding the keyboard. There's no swivel, but the monitor is easy to lift and turn if required.

I had thought, from reading various reviews, that there was no tilt adjustment on the simple stand. Before I assembled it, I thought the metal prongs in the section that the monitor attached to looked promising, but when I tried to move them they seemed fixed, and very careful attempts to tilt the monitor after assembly appeared to confirm it. There was no mention of stand adjustment that I could see in the HTML manual on the CDROM, and I even rang Samsung UK who confirmed there wasn't any adjustment. However, after a week I got around to reading the pdf version of the manual off the CD, which states that it can be tilted from -1 degree (i.e. very slightly downwards) to 21 degrees upwards. So, I grasped the neck of the stand firmly to stabilize it, and pressed firmly backwards at the top edge - it worked - it DOES have tilt! It's now at an ideal angle for me and what seemed a strange omission is no longer a problem at all.

I wholeheartedly recommend this little widescreen monitor - hopefully its larger siblings will be just as good!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 6, 2009 4:20 PM GMT

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