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Mr Baz
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ORICO 10-Port USB 2.0 Hub with 12V 3A UK Plug Power Adapter & 1M USB2.0 Data Cable - Plug and Play on Windows 10 / 8.1 / 8 / 7 / Vista / XP, Mac and Linux PC - Black
ORICO 10-Port USB 2.0 Hub with 12V 3A UK Plug Power Adapter & 1M USB2.0 Data Cable - Plug and Play on Windows 10 / 8.1 / 8 / 7 / Vista / XP, Mac and Linux PC - Black
Offered by EASYLINK
Price: £19.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of USB ports and two dedicated charging ones - USB 2.0 is getting on a bit though, 28 May 2016
Note: The maker supplied a review sample for evaluation, the opinion of the product is my own personal view

For review I looked at the USB 2.0 model with charging ports (there are 3 listings currently one without and a USB 3.0 hub)

Quite long unit this is around 18cm in length by 6.5cm wide and a little under 2.5 cm thickness, by no means the biggest hub I have looked at - this one is quite slim and should fit in most places easily enough. Supplied is a power adapter and the USB cable (same style as a printer USB type A to type B it's about a metre long)

Case material is plastic a satin effect finish, it seems to be fairly dense and doesn't feel fragile or poorly made in any way. A total of 9 USB 2.0 ports on the top panel in groups of 3. A switch for each group lets you turn that bank on or off. If you don't have a device attached to at least one port in the group, then the LED light doesn't come on even if the power is on. It's really an indicator to tell you which group is on or off. Not a bad idea lots of hubs don't have switches; with this you can group devices together and if required turn them off via the on/off button.

At the front are two charge USB ports - these don't have data functions they are there purely to plug in phones/tablets or other devices to re-charge them. The maximum amp rating is stamped clearly on the case; one is a high speed charge 2.4 amp (that's the theoretical limit they rarely go above 2.0 amps), and one is a standard 1 amp output. Both will provide good charging speeds, for heavily drained phones or tablets use the fast charger port. With two ports that's probably enough for most - I like the positioning too (very obvious) not mixing them up with the top USB ports.

Advantages of a powered hub are obvious that is excluding the dedicated charging ports. If you have a lot of devices attached the power supply can deliver the full current to each one. This isn't usually an issue for printer or devices that have their own power, for 2.5" hard drives or DVD drives they draw power from the port and need it to operate. I saw no obvious problems using this the ports and hub are well made with a good fitting, and adding dedicated charging ports is a smart move from the maker.

What I will say is that USB 2.0 whilst it's fast enough for many devices (some products will never use a fast bandwidth keyboards/mice and other peripherals) it's pretty much ancient as far as PC technology goes. It was released in 2000 some 16 years ago and we've had USB 3.0 for 8 years. Being honest I think it's time to put USB 2.0 products to bed and just use USB 3.0. There are no disadvantages to USB 3.0 hubs for USB 2.0 and 1.0 devices all work even if they can't make use of the much higher bandwidth.

The other side of the coin is that USB 2.0 is good enough for many devices such as printers, optical drives and other add on items. They are acceptable for hard drives - but even traditional ones benefit from the faster bandwidth and transfer speeds, and SSD's are super fast they can prove frustratingly slow on the older interface. If you are a heavy hard disk user get the USB 3.0 model. Though if you are not then this might be adequate for your needs. For what it is it's not a bad hub.

Biona Virgin Coconut Oil 1200g x 1
Biona Virgin Coconut Oil 1200g x 1
Offered by Blukoo
Price: £23.25

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best coconut oil's I've tried, 28 May 2016
The good news with this Coconut oil is that it does live up to the claim of being odourless and without the coconut taste (evidently it's steamed to remove the flavour and smell) Some makers I've used do have a notable taste this is very neutral and the jar I bought (610ml) will last for ages.

One advantage of this oil is it can be stored for quite a long time it doesn't go "off" for a few years so there is no hurry to use it. In terms of possible health benefits or drawbacks I am simply not in a position to know some feel there are "many good natural fats" in coconuts and it is healthy. It is true though that the saturated fat levels are high the label states 81.5-100g (per 100g) a good vegetable oil is about 7g per 100g and Olive Oil usually abut 17-19g. I'm neither a chemist or a health expert so I will leave that to others. I typically use a very modest amount of this for cooking/frying, you really don't need much at all less is more here for frying a good pan with a quality non stick coating will need very little oil.

Storage just keep it in a cool place that is dry with the lid on avoid extremes of temperature. For what's on offer this does exactly as it states and is excellent for baking frying or using this as a replacement for more mainstream oils. The biggest attraction though is the lack of coconut taste which not all products deliver, and this one certainly does. Some folks also use it for skin care and massaging I can't say I've tried that myself but it's said to be an effective moisturiser and very kind to some types of skin allergies or irritation. As far as the cooking side goes though it's an excellent coconut oil and highly recommended

Brembo 09.8760.10 Brake DISCS - Pair
Brembo 09.8760.10 Brake DISCS - Pair
Offered by Maionesrl
Price: £37.15

5.0 out of 5 stars Top tier brake discs, 28 May 2016
A mechanic friend recommended this set of brake discs this is the first time I've used Brembo, though the maker is a major supplier to OEM car makers. Reasons for replacing older discs can be numerous usually they have reached the wear limit or there is excessive or uneven grooves on the disc this can reduce braking performance and wear pads down unevenly.

In my case the wear level wasn't reached but there was heavy grooving on the passengers side disc. The discs are packed in strong cardboard with instructions (some fits come with 2 screws it varies on the model). These are worth reading not just for safety reasons but preparation. Discs are not hard to fit but if you have any doubts get a mechanic to do it for you. Some points to mention after fitting you must clean the surface area with either methylated spirit or brake cleaner the discs have a coating of oil from the factory and it should be removed before fitting the new brake pads with a non petrol based cleaner. Secondly you should fit new pads regardless of the condition of the older ones these will have worn to the shape of the previous discs as new ones are flat it will impact braking.

There is inevitably a break in time for discs and pads so during this period avoid over excessive braking which could put additional pressure on the brake master cylinder. Once worn in the performance of these was excellent, not all discs are equal the stopping performance couldn't be faulted either, this set is ventilated which helps reduce heat. For the price I'm very happy with these and can recommend them strongly.

Apple 16 GB iPod Nano - Gold
Apple 16 GB iPod Nano - Gold
Offered by Blue Trade
Price: £119.35

4.0 out of 5 stars Apple's tiny but impressive iPod, though a few niggles, 28 May 2016
I bought one of these for a friend who wanted a good quality mp3 player, and is a bit of an Apple fan (ie they like their stuff)
First thing that hits you is just how tiny this little beast is, it's a mere 5mm thick too which makes it very portable and easy to carry around.

It's a very solid player overall, though it's not cheap...
A quick summary of the good and bad points

+ Very compact, nicely made case feels quality in the hand
+ Headphones much improved over previous Apple buds (new "Earpods" are quite good) though not as good as some stand alone sets
+ Screen is a fairly respectable 2.5" 432x240 pixel display quite sharp and clear, very good touch screen response quite accurate
+ Pedometer is built in if you fancy keeping track of your fitness/walking
+ Bluetooth 4.0, range is excellent and I had no problems with streaming music

Not so hot:
- Radio function is a bit crude, lacking presets and no auto search (also requires the headphones to be plugged in) It does have a live pause function though (which is unusual and useful)
- Wifi would be handy (maybe the next version)
- Have to use iTunes to sync, drag and drop can be handy for video

Other notes:
Lightning connector is a change from the older iPods so you have to buy an adapter (which isn't cheap) to fit most iPod docks. However you do have bluetooth which can make that a non issue.
Battery life is good for music playback (Apple say about 30 hours it's not far off that) expect a fair bit less with video playback though (enough to watch a movie or 2 at best, say 3 hours or so)

You can watch movies and look at photos (display is quite reasonable for movie watching but it's not super high res either)
Sound quality is good, though not high end audio by any means. Some people will find the new Earpods not their taste, I get on ok with them but some friends are not keen at all. Comfort wise it's down to taste.

It's quite a simple player in many ways no fancy features really, but it does the job well overall. Price wise, there are certainly cheaper options out there, but many feel Apple deliver in terms of quality and style.

ZHUOTOP 1Pc Umi Rome 5.5" Hd Mtk6753 Octa Core Dual Sim 3Gb 16Gb 4G Smartphone Cellphone? Gold
ZHUOTOP 1Pc Umi Rome 5.5" Hd Mtk6753 Octa Core Dual Sim 3Gb 16Gb 4G Smartphone Cellphone? Gold
Offered by ZHUOTOP
Price: £117.81

4.0 out of 5 stars High spec for a relatively "low" price point, 28 May 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Note: The maker supplied a review sample for evaluation, the opinion of the product is my own personal view

This latest model from UMI sports a fairly impressive specification including an 8 core MT6753 processor and a generous 3GB of ram rare to see such a combination in a phone in this price segment. In fact I did wonder where corners were cut because on paper it sounds a bit too good. Fortunately the answer is not many areas there are some differences here v their flagship model no fingerprint scanner and the screen resolution is 1280 x 720 pixels rather than full HD and the back cover is plastic. However the screen is still very much in the good category it's sharp and whilst not as detailed as a full HD is a nice panel with excellent contrast/colours and viewing angles.

Cameras would be an obvious place to save costs but I found the rear camera (which is a Sony IMX164 sensor) was very respectable with good details and resolution in fact not much difference between this and the Iron I looked at. Some processing improvements are obvious a better balance between noise reduction and details and less sharpening in some ways I prefer the camera on this to many other phones I've used it's far from shabby and has two LED flashes on the back, not as powerful as the Iron Pro's but fairly good for closer shots. Front camera isn't as dramatic with a 2 megapixel camera which does have an LED flash (not the most powerful) but it wasn't bad at all for skype calls or the odd selfie.

Peeling off the back cover reveals the 2 sim slots and a micro SD card area, one major advantage of having this removable cover is you can replace the battery easily it's removable though make sure to take the tab off the contacts it's there from the factory. Battery is rated to 2500mAh which is above average I didn't have any problems getting a days use out of the Rome if not a bit longer with lighter use quite good here though not mind blowing more than up to par heavy users might need a top up charge during the day but that applies to most phones screen brightness and gaming drain the battery quickly on phones non gamers won't have problems here. The cover is a very smooth a bit of texture might add more grip it's flexible and doesn't seem prone to cracking once re-fitted the feel and look of the phone still feels premium thanks to the metal edges of the case. I'm happy to have a plastic back cover if you can replace the battery (they do wear out this makes life much easier)

Apps wise a minimal installation here no bloatware present just the basics which I find preferable to a phone loaded up with apps that I might not need.

Takes 2 x Micro Sim cards both can be used with the micro SD card
Micro SD card support up to 32GB
About 11.75GB of internal memory is available out of the box
4G Frequency support: FDD-LTE 1800/2100/2600MHz
Geekbench multi core score: 2730

Summary of stronger/weaker points

What I liked:
+ Very well specified with a good processor and lots of memory
+ Nice design not the lightest handset but build is good and the case is slim
+ Good gaming performance from the ARM Mali-T720 GPU
+ Screen is up to the job though a tempered glass factory cover would be welcomed
+ Dual sim support
+ Cameras are better than expected with front and rear LED flashes
+ Sound is quite clear and fairly loud (though as with many phones lacks depth)
+ Easy access to the battery can be removed and replaced
+ Gestures and "smart wake" supported

Weaker points:
- Navigation buttons are not backlit, microphone is placed next to the home button
- Sound is single speaker (the other grill is cosmetic for appearance)
- 4G not available in the 800MHz band
- Lacks a notification light

There are of course some weaker points most but not all the 4G UK networks are supports and I would have liked to see a notification light included and possibly slightly more obvious navigation button markings, a back light would be perfect but I suspect some costs have to be pulled back somewhere. Balancing out the specs and price isn't an easy job the niggles are mostly in areas that I consider minor particularly if you compare it to the well known makers you just can't get this sort of hardware performance for this price nor anywhere near it. 2GB to 3GB isn't the key area though heavy app users will appreciate the extra memory, it's the processor and graphics that usually are not that great on phone around this price level and this stands well above the crowd in that department. It lacks the fingerprint scanner and some of the more advanced features of the Iron and I do miss the multi coloured notification light (a single LED would be fine maybe next time around) Little to fault in most areas though call quality was good and the dual band Wi-Fi also impressed it held a signal well even in moderate places.

Though this isn't the biggest spec phone from UMI it's one where I think the maker has managed to balance price/performance very well and I enjoyed using the phone. An easy recommendation for users on a budget who don't want to compromise on the key hardware.
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UMI IRON Pro 5.5" FHD Screen 4G Android Lollipop 5.1 OS 1.3GHz 3GB RAM Dual Cameras 8MP 13MP USB Type-C Eyeprint ID Touch Fingerprint ID Unlock Smartphone (16GB ROM, Silver)
UMI IRON Pro 5.5" FHD Screen 4G Android Lollipop 5.1 OS 1.3GHz 3GB RAM Dual Cameras 8MP 13MP USB Type-C Eyeprint ID Touch Fingerprint ID Unlock Smartphone (16GB ROM, Silver)
Offered by Xiaohai Technology Co.,Ltd
Price: £199.00

4.0 out of 5 stars A modest update to the first Iron, but a strong phone in most areas, 28 May 2016
Note: The maker supplied a review sample for evaluation, the opinion of the product is my own personal view

At first glance the differences between the Pro and normal Iron are not too obvious. On paper they share the same processor and spec which is quite generous for the price point (3GB ram, 8 core processor) There are a few enhancements firstly the addition of a fingerprint scanner to unlock the phone and a move to the newer USB type C connector which is a bit like a reversed lightning cable design (contacts inside) this allows you to insert the plug in either direction.

There are a few other differences some gestures are supported and there some minor improvements to the cameras (processing) as well as a new voice unlock option and a slightly improved eye unlock (honestly though the fingerprint one is the way to go) OS is still fairly recent with Android 5.1 though a move to 6 would have been welcomed. I spent a while testing the phone and have rounded up a list of areas I feel are worthy of a mention.

What I liked:
+ Impressive "Full HD" 5.5" screen good contrast/colours and excellent viewing angles
+ 8 core Mediatek Processor is still a good mid level performer
+ Decent "gaming handset"
+ Dual sim support and 4G
+ Competitive price, good battery capacity should ensure 2 days+ with moderate use and easily last a day with heavier users
+ Quality build metal around most of the case (bar top/bottom sections)
+ Strong all round spec which outdoes most major names at this price point, 3GB ram, 16GB storage, GPS, Bluetooth all the expected extras are here
+ Dual LED flash, front camera has an LED and the cameras/video performance is quite good in this price range
+ Useful customisable "notification" light

Could be better:
- Fingerprint scanner takes a while to calibrate/set up
- Not much of an update over the first Iron
- Cameras lack dynamic range (though HDR mode helps) processing could be improved though better than the first Iron
- Navigation buttons are on the screen would be preferable to have them as hard buttons
- No NFC features the less common "Hotknot"
- Not all 4G frequencies supported

Out of the box just under 12GB space is free for user files
Takes 2 x "Nano" sim cards you can't use 2 cards and a micro SD card at the same time though
4G Networks are: 1800/2100/2600 MHz

Many of the areas in the first Iron that I liked are still present here including the attractive but handy notification light, solid all round performance and styling. The finger print scanner is the main addition it is one worth having despite taking a bit longer to set up you can scan multiple fingers and it's quite accurate unlocking most of the time though it can bypassed with another method should that fail (pin or pattern etc) Eyeprint is a little better than before though can still struggle in very low light levels with a voice unlock option too but it's probably easier with the finger print unlock.

The original Iron was a strong handset though did suffer from a few bugs most of those did get addressed (but not all) so far this has been trouble free in operation (call quality is good and the speaker seems a little louder too) I would have liked to have seen a few more improvements to the phone possibly more storage or a newer processor just to give it a more obvious advantage. It's still a strong performer though not up to flagship models it's easily outdoes well known makers at this price point for features and spec and it's a fairly enjoyable phone to use. I'd much prefer to have hard touch capacitive buttons though this is a small point but one that should be addressed. Leaving the weaker points to one side (cameras are pretty good but not outstanding) the phone does deliver and one that many users will be quite happy with.

Samsung Memory 32 GB EVO Plus SDHC UHS-I Grade 1 Class 10 Memory Card (Frustration Free Packaging)
Samsung Memory 32 GB EVO Plus SDHC UHS-I Grade 1 Class 10 Memory Card (Frustration Free Packaging)
Price: £18.48

4.0 out of 5 stars Updated "EVO" card offers a speed boost over previous models, 28 May 2016
I bought this card as a reasonable compromise between capacity and cost (the very fast cards are quite expensive at this size) and 128GB ones even more so, thus I opted for the 64GB offering.

Samsung appear to be offering this model in addition to the entry "Blue" and "Orange" cards both are reasonable speed wise though not particularly fast for write times (the Orange EVO is about 15MB/s or a little over that) On paper Samsung quote "80MB/s" but that's the transfer speed (read)
In testing I found the speeds to be (on a USB 3.0 card reader):

Read: 78-82 MB/s
Write: 21-23MB/s

A little variation between tests but not much. That's a pretty good read speed as fast as many cards at the top end almost (some hit 90MB's just) write speeds are about 5-6MB/s over the lower down EVO that's a respectable write performance though not ultra fast still satisfactory enough for many users.

Taking the price point into consideration I'm pretty happy overall it's a fair cost for a larger capacity and performs well enough for most users.

Astonish Wheel Cleaner 750ml
Astonish Wheel Cleaner 750ml
Offered by ZigZag trading ltd
Price: £1.89

4.0 out of 5 stars Low cost wheel cleaner that works fairly well, 28 May 2016
This review is from: Astonish Wheel Cleaner 750ml
This cleaner is non acidic which means it's quite safe to use without any worries of overspray on paint or the tyre/plastic areas, acid type cleaners need careful use and can potentially damage the coatings (they also have to be washed with lots of water) As a non acid cleaner I didn't expect top end performance but it's a lot easier to use as you can leave it for longer than the specified 10 minutes without fear of damage.

It's not spray, wash and job done maybe for some lightly soiled areas but it does break down the dust and stains (even hardened ones) effectively. I found it's best to use with a small old toothbrush to get into some of the deeper areas (some wheels are easier to clean physical design) A wash off with a normal pressure hose worked for me, a pressure washer isn't needed but will clean behind the wheel better if that's a priority. Do make sure you give it a decent rinse off though as overspray on the brake discs needs to be removed.

Fairly happy with this it's better than I expected, but you do really need to agitate areas with a brush to remove longer term staining.

Wynn's Radiator Flush 325ml
Wynn's Radiator Flush 325ml
Offered by Rhino Car & Van
Price: £33.33

3.0 out of 5 stars Of some use though only for really "gunked" up coolant systems, 28 May 2016
This review is from: Wynn's Radiator Flush 325ml
This is really designed for use in a car that hasn't had much maintenance and has some dirt/calcium deposit build up in the cooling system. I used this to flush out a friends car he recently bought the inside of the expansion tank looked a bit like the bottom of a well use kettle and the engine was running a bit hotter than normal.

To use this you have to drain the system first the fill with water and add the bottle contents it acts very much like a larger scale de-coke. The instructions said to run for 10 minutes but many engines won't be at full temperature with that run time at idle so I'd wait a bit longer until it reaches the normal running temperature this allows the thermostat to open and the solution to reach all the parts of the cooling system (when run from cold an engine limits the cooling to build up engine temperature quicker it then opens up the full flow via the thermostat)

After that's done let it cool down a bit then drain the cooling system again and re-fill with new coolant. It's important you flush the system this isn't just an add it then forget about it solution. Results pretty good a fair bit of the calcium build up went though over time more gunk dislodged itself you might need to leave it a bit longer. So pretty good not quite the full one hit wonder but an improvement. If you have a fairly clean system you can just drain and re-fill it no need to use this if there are no signs of heavy gunk build up

SKMEI Men Military LED Digital Display Waterproof Outdoor Sports Quartz Wristwatch Black
SKMEI Men Military LED Digital Display Waterproof Outdoor Sports Quartz Wristwatch Black

5.0 out of 5 stars A great looking big display watch, 28 May 2016
I recently added this watch to my collection as I wanted a larger size big display sports style watch.

Quite a few areas I like on this watch, the most obvious is the easy to read LCD which is very clear even in daylight. Many watches tend to go with smaller fonts and this can make it less practical when using the watch. No such problems here as this model has very clear digits and a single bar with a marker showing exactly which mode you are in.

Operation is very intuitive the bottom right button cycles through the modes, time (including 24hr), stopwatch, alarm and time/date setting. The right buttons to adjust the settings or in the case of the stop watch the right to start/stop it and split times are available with the bottom right button (this also clears the stop watch when it's stopped). Hourly chime is also here, just enter the alarm mode using the top right button to select it, the alarm or a combination of both. No other features are here but that's all I really want on a watch of this type.

The strap is nice and comfortable too and appears to mould into the sides of the case (it's not but it's a smooth transition from case to strap). Stainless steel case back, water resistant to 50 metres all the basics are covered and it's well made. I particularly like the contrast back light which illuminates the numbers. Battery is a CR2025 cell and should last quite a long time and it's easy to come by when it needs replacement. I'm more a fan of the Analogue watches, but this digital one is attractive without being over the top as some digital watches can be. Even the second markers around the side are not distracting (they alternate in blocks sometimes one or several)

Simplicity can work because looks aside a watch is a practical device if it's easy to see and use that's half way there. This is available in a few colours (grey and green), I prefer the black being honest. A little gem
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