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OMG! It's got a plug!

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Nobo Barracuda Mobile Easel Whiteboard Flipchart with Magnetic and Height-adjustable features - 1000 x 700 mm
Nobo Barracuda Mobile Easel Whiteboard Flipchart with Magnetic and Height-adjustable features - 1000 x 700 mm
Price: 111.85

4.0 out of 5 stars Very good white board / flip chart holder but needs a bigger and better bolt, 4 Oct. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Assembled in less than five minutes, this is a sturdy whiteboard that can be wheeled around the primary school that my girlfriend teaches in with no problems whatsoever. Its height can be adjusted, the whiteboard is magnetic and chip resistant and it can be used with a flip chart. It has a tray for pens and you can lock it into position using the wheel brakes. I've included a couple of photos to give an idea of what it looks like when set up in a classroom.

Overall it's very good with just one negative aspect regarding the bolt used to hold it at your desired height. It’s way too small (see photo) to get a proper grip of making it very difficult to turn as you hold the board at the height you want to adjust it to. It’s made of plastic and it just feels like it could easily sheer and break because you've got to turn it really hard for it to hold the adjustable pole in place. It needs a bigger steel bolt with a wing nut type turning handle because as it is, it takes two people to adjust the height.
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OPPO R7 Plus Dual SIM-Free Smartphone - Golden (6" Super AMOLED Full HD Screen, Fingerprint Reader, Octa-Core Snapdragon 615 Processor, Android 5.1, 3GB Ram, VOOC Flash Charging, Micro SD, 13MP Rear Camera)
OPPO R7 Plus Dual SIM-Free Smartphone - Golden (6" Super AMOLED Full HD Screen, Fingerprint Reader, Octa-Core Snapdragon 615 Processor, Android 5.1, 3GB Ram, VOOC Flash Charging, Micro SD, 13MP Rear Camera)
Price: 314.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very impressive feature packed phone, 2 Oct. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
From build quality to performance, the Oppo R7 Plus is a very impressive phone. Running Android 5.1.1, it’s overlayed with Oppo’s ColourOS which almost gives it an Android/iOS hybrid look. I like the look and layout and it all makes for a really smooth experience with plenty of cool features. There was an update of the ColourOS waiting to be installed.

Build – slim design, subdued gold aluminium back and a full gorilla glass sheet front, it feels solid and looks like a premium phone with a LOT of screen space.

Battery – the 4100 mAh capacity is massive and it lasts throughout the day even during quite heavy usage. It comes with a fast USB charging cable and a full charge takes around 90 minutes but for some reason 30 of those minutes are spent filling up the last 15%. The back of the phone is non-removable so there's no option to change the battery.

Display – colours appear rich, detailed and well balanced. Whether watching video, surfing or reading, it looks good. It's not amazing in strong sunlight but if you reduce the brightness it's OK.

Performance – it copes with ease even when I have a lot of apps running concurrently with no noticeable pauses.

Storage – 21GB of the built in 32GB available and can be supplemented by a MicroSD card. I’ve fitted a 128GB MicroSD card which allows me to carry about half my music collection with me at all times.

Phone – Excellent reception and call quality. You can either fit dual SIM cards or one SIM card and a MicroSD card. There's a little slide out slot on the side of the phone making it easy to swap and change cards.

Camera & Video – neither are amazing but they're more than acceptable for social media and probably what I’d expect for a mid range device like this. There are loads features and functions – filters, GIF animation, Ultra HD, panorama, etc - and the menu is really well laid out and an absolute breeze to use.

Sound – the built in speaker is OK and music sounds superb when using headphones. I normally use the paid for version of Poweramp but prefer the layout and design of Oppo’s built in music player.

Features - lots of cool features including the finger print recognition tab located on the back that just works as it should when you set it up. When playing music whilst the phone is sleeping you can pause it skip backwards and forwards using swipes and if the phone is sleeping and you want to use the camera, just swipe a circle shape on the screen and the camera opens up immediately. You can set up custom gestures too.

Apps – it comes pre-installed with all the usual Google apps and some useful multimedia and maintenance apps and a couple that I don’t really want or need that can’t be uninstalled, but not a real problem given the 32GB capacity.

In the box there's a silicone case, screen protector, a pair of earphones and a plug with a high speed USB cable.

In summary, this is a quality phone that does what it does very well and I really do like the layout, design and functionality of ColourOS. It's good that you can upgrade its capacity at a time when a lot a Android manufacturers are ditching the option to extend capacity. I'm not much of a camera user so it’s no big deal for me but if photo and video quality are a big deal for you, you’re probably looking at the wrong phone. Most definitely recommend if you’re looking for a phone to go with a SIM only contract. 4 stars.

UE BOOM Bluetooth Wireless Speaker - Black Night
UE BOOM Bluetooth Wireless Speaker - Black Night
Price: 99.97

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Boom! Excellent speaker with loads of features and long lasting battery, 18 Sept. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
*Amazon are mixing up reviews for different UE speakers. This is a review for the UE Boom*

**To access all of the features (and there are some good ones!) that the UE Boom offers, you need to firstly carry out a firmware update (see link in comment below) and secondly, install the iOS or Android app (search 'UE Boom' in the relevant app store)**


Weighing 600g and about the same size as a packet of biscuits, the UE Boom is designed to be stood upright. It has a D-Ring that you can use to suspend the speaker (very useful in a tent!) or you can remove the D-Ring and mount it on a standard camera tripod. The outer shell is made of a tightly woven fabric type material and black rubber. It has two big buttons - Volume Up & Down - on the side with the Bluetooth button and the On/Off button on the underside and the USB lead and 3.5mm jack lead connections on the top.

I can confirm from a couple of wet camping weekends that it is definitely waterproof and if you get it dirty (which I haven't yet) the UE Boom website advises using soapy water to clean it.


The sound quality is rich & detailed and with the volume turned up to the max on your device and the speaker, it literally fills a house with music blasting out at 360 degrees. With the app installed, you can either custom set the Boom's EQ levels or use one of four presets.

As good as it is, even when adjusting the EQ levels, it does not have the overall depth of the Bose SoundLink Mini (I don't think any sub 200 speaker does) but the UE Boom is not really designed for stay at home digital audiophiles, it's designed for the great outdoors and parties where volume is everything. Having said that, it's perfectly acceptable for home use.


The battery takes a few of hours to get a full charge using the supplied USB cable and plug and when fully charged with the volume on my Android smartphone and the speaker both set around the 60-70% mark I've been getting more or less the advertised 15 hours of playback time. You can keep check of the battery level by pressing the Volume Up & Down button simultaneously.


Both my Android phone and iPad connect first time every time and you can have two devices connected to it at the same time (but it will only playback from one device at a time). The Bluetooth range is really good and when within 15 metres it never drops out. If you really have to wander any further away with your device, especially outdoors, then interruptions do start occurring.


It has some really well thought out and useful features and you'll need the app to access some of them.


Using the app, set the alarm time, select what music to play (either the last played music or select an album or track from your device's music library) and turn the speaker off. The speaker will then switch itself on and play the selected music at the time set. If the last played music was from a streaming service i.e. Google Play Music it will pick up from where it left off – amazing!

Doubling Up:

Using the app, you can set up two UE speakers to play from the same music source simultaneously (not used).

Adjustable EQ Levels:

As already mentioned, you can custom set the EQ levels in the app or use one of four pre-sets – The Standard, Bass Jump, Cramped Spaces & Voices. To my ears it sounds best on Bass Jump when listening to music and Voice when watching Netflix, BBC iPlayer, etc. (there is NO synch lag when watching streamed video).


If your Android device has Near Field Communication (NFC) capability all you need to do is hold your device next to the speaker for a couple of seconds to connect and likewise to disconnect. It works but it's not always as responsive as other NFC Bluetooth speakers I've used.


It can be used as a speakerphone. When your phone rings, the music is paused and you just press the Bluetooth button on the speaker to answer it. You hear the caller over the speaker and they can hear you and when you press the Bluetooth button again, the music resumes from where it left off. It works really well.


Overall, this is a superb speaker that has some really unique and well thought out features. If you're a stay at home wannabe digital audiophile then the Bose SoundLink Mini is definitely the better option but if you want to party in the garden or go down to the beach or camping and like your music loud and need a speaker that can cope with the rough, tumble and dirt better and has a battery that keeps on going, get this. If I have to find fault, the Volume Up & Down buttons do not double up to allow you to skip bacwards and forward between tracks, a feature that a lot of sub 30 portable speakers now have as standard. At the time of writing the price of this has dropped to just below 100, making it an absolute bargain. Finally, not that it matters too much, the packaging is really cool!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 18, 2015 5:40 PM BST

BT N300 Wi-Fi Extender - White
BT N300 Wi-Fi Extender - White
Price: 29.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do NOT buy if you want to boost your Wi-Fi speed, 17 Sept. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This extender is very easy to set up and it was just a case of pressing the WPS button on my BT Home Hub 3.0 router and the WPS button on this (if you don’t have WPS there are instructions for manually adding it to your network). I then found a suitable location in my hallway where the indicator buttons showed it as being in 'Good Range'.

I have BT Infinity with the router upstairs and should expect speeds of up to 60mbps but (unexpectedly) normally get speeds of between 20-30mbps downstairs (respectable but nowhere near its full potential). I thought this would boost the speed of my Wi-Fi downstairs but it doesn't. When connecting to this extender instead of boosting the speed, it halves it to around 10-15mbps!

I've reset the extender a few times and moved it to different locations in the house but when carrying out speed tests it nearly always returns speed results of about half those of when I don’t use it. I had hoped that with my set up being BT and this being a BT manufactured extender it would give me speed boost downstairs but unfortunately it has the opposite effect.

If you’re looking to boost your Wi-Fi speed, do NOT buy this. It might extend your Wi-Fi range (results are a bit hit and miss looking at other reviews) but it won’t boost it.

Gigaset G-tag Personal Bluetooth Tracking Device - White
Gigaset G-tag Personal Bluetooth Tracking Device - White
Price: 17.49

2.0 out of 5 stars Potential but you need to drain your smartphone's battery to use to it effectively, 17 Sept. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a 21st century update of the whistle-and-find key ring attachment from the Eighties. Lightweight and measuring 4cm x 4cm x 0.7cm, it's primarily suited for attaching to your key ring or bag. It's fitted with a Bluetooth receiver but not a tracking device and therefore its usefulness is limited.

When attached to something, download the app and keep your smartphone's GPS, Bluetooth and, although not strictly necessary (the app nags you to activate it when it's turned off), Wi-Fi permanently turned on. Doing this will allow you to find the G-tag's general location (the app monitors and updates your device's location when it's paired with the G-tag via Bluetooth) and when you're within a 30m range you can, through a combination of the app's graphics and beeping sounds, pin-point the G-tag's exact location.

With a large degree of patience during the final pin-pointing process, it does work. However, the fact that you have to have your smartphone’s GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi permanently switched on for it to work effectively makes it a non-starter. Having the three of them switched just sucks the life out of the smartphone's battery very quickly and I don’t think it’s a worthwhile trade-off. Basically, if you switch off your smartphone's Bluetooth and, particularly, its GPS when you're out and about, you're stuffed!

It’s worth noting that the battery, despite what the product states blurb, is NOT easy to change. Apart from drilling the three security pins out (and therefore destroying the G-tag), I can see no other way of replacing the battery. Also, on my Android phone I had to turn off alerts from the app because they were endless. Switch your GPS, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi on or off and it will alert you with a beep and screen pop-up and likewise if the G-tag is outside of your device’s Bluetooth range.

This has potential but until smartphones have much longer lasting batteries and the app is refined it is, unfortunately, a non-starter.

Sony SRSX55 Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker - White
Sony SRSX55 Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker - White
Price: 131.65

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sound, volume and Bluetooth connection with a couple of minor limitations, 17 Sept. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Weighing just over 1Kg and with dimensions of Width: 22cm; Height: 11.5cm; Depth: 5cm this is, size and weight wise, towards the upper-end of the portable Bluetooth speaker range. Design wise it’s bland but smart with a high end finish and the control buttons are conventionally situated on top of the speaker. It paired seamlessly with my iPad and Android phone and the range is outstanding – I can go anywhere in the house without it dropping out and haven’t once had even the slightest of blips.

Powered by 2 channel speakers and a sub woofer, the sound delivered is MASSIVE and the volume goes exceptionally LOUD and the quality of the sound is excellent, even at the highest of levels. It's rich and detailed and, most importantly the bass is near perfect - it doesn't get lost in the mix and it doesn't have an unnatural forced sound either. There is a 'Sound' button that according to the manual is supposed to switch on "surround effects". The manual further states that "Depending on the music, the surround effects may not be so noticeable". I've played all different types of music and haven't once noticed any difference with it switched on. Nonetheless, the sound is near perfect and it really does fill every corner of the room. Is it as good as the Bose SoundLink Mini? No. It doesn't quite have that depth that makes the SoundLink so unique in the portable Bluetooth speaker market, although you can turn the volume up louder with this.

Although heavier and bigger than most portable speakers in this price range it is, portability wise, perfect for the home and garden but given the high end finish, I wouldn't recommend it for camping or going down to the beach.

A full charge takes about two hours and with the volume around medium, I've been getting 8-9 hours of playback. It’s has a USB input so that you can draw power from it for USB enabled device.

It’s Near Field Communication (NFC) compatible. Download the Sony NFC app for Android devices if you don’t have NFC built in and, by touching the speaker with your device, it connects the two. It's also possible to connect devices using a 3.5mm jack lead (not included). The speakerphone works fine – tap the phone button to answer a call and tap it again to end the call and it will continue playing from where you left off. Once again, I've had no drop-outs when using it.

It’s not perfect. The volume buttons do not double as track backwards and forward buttons, a function that a lot of 30 (or less) Bluetooth speakers now have as standard. The power lead is not USB but I suppose the lead it comes with means that it charges faster than it would with a USB lead. Surprisingly there is a slight -1 second sync lag when streaming videos (YouTube, Netflix, BBC news clips, etc), something I've not experienced with any other Bluetooth speaker.

Overall this is, sound, volume and Bluetooth connection wise, an excellent speaker. However, due to the reasons outlined in the above paragraph, I think four stars represents a fair score.

Galactic Nightmare [VINYL]
Galactic Nightmare [VINYL]
Price: 23.15

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alan Jefferson's Galactic DIY Nightmare, 29 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Galactic Nightmare [VINYL] (Vinyl)
As is often the case with Trunk releases, the back story to this, their first double album release, is almost as interesting as the music itself. After hearing War of the Worlds, Alan Jefferson, an amateur musician and home recording enthusiast from Hull, decided to create his own electronic "science fantasy musical". Recorded between 1979 and 1985, Jefferson wrote, produced, engineered, narrated, sang, played all the instruments and created the artwork for his own 90 minute space odyssey. The finished album was made available on cassette for 7.99 and featured a full storyboard and artwork alongside a poster and was advertised in the ad section of computer and music magazines during the late 1980s.

Recorded using a mini moog synthesiser, hammond C3 organ, guitars and a whole host of special effects pedals and equipment, it's an unforgettable lo-fi electronic soundtrack and unmistakeably eighties sounding. The story is based upon the galactic nightmares of the crew of an extra terrestrial Starliner jet that crashes into the jungles of their planet, Zeon. Jefferson narrates and sings in his soft East Yorkshire accent the story that unfolds as the survivors confront giant jungle creatures and prematurely aged old men, are drugged by The Immortals ("Do you wanna live forever?"), destroy a cell processing plant on planet Fowgal, etc. It's crazy and some of the vocal tracks are addictive, particularly "Live Forever?" and "So Tired" on the Side 3, my favourite side. It could have been a cult classic for both right and wrong reasons!

The attention to detail, special effects, Jefferson's limited vocal skills (his Yorkshire accent during the narrations adds an extra surreal layer!), improvisation and perhaps even the naivety of it all given his limited resources make this a very special record indeed. Alan attempted to create something epic and succeeded and it's good to see it being made available to a wider audience.

Housed in a gatefold sleeve, in the liner notes Jefferson details "for the technically minded" how the music was recorded, the instruments and recording equipment he used and lists the endless equipment faults and failures he endured along the way. The inner sleeves feature the original storyboards and there's also a collage made up of some of the original artwork. In the unlikely event that you own one of the original cassettes, its value has probably increased ten fold following this release. Only 500 copies of this album have been pressed.

Romantic Times
Romantic Times
Price: 11.34

3.0 out of 5 stars "Come on Lewis, let's get you home", 24 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Romantic Times (Audio CD)
Conspiracies abound about Lewis but one thing that cannot be doubted are his perplexing pub singer vocals. When listening to this I imagine Randall Aldon Wulff (for that is, allegedly, his real name) performing it live to a backing tape at the end of a pier in mid winter in front of a crowd of none before his manager appears and puts a caring arm around him and quietly whispers in his ear "Come on Lewis, let's get you home" as he leads him off stage. Anyway, Light in the Attic have found Lewis alive and well and living in Canada and this is the follow up to his debut album which they also resurrected last year.

Recorded in 1985 this is an altogether downbeat affair and Lewis does not sound like he's in a good place. Synth soaked ambient pop, there are, if separated from the vocals, a few decent maudlin and meandering tunes here. It's outsider music, it's offbeat, it's not very romantic and he does sound under the influence but I suppose that's half the attraction of records like this. Lewis handles most of the instrumentation himself but the sax playing duties are delegated to a chap named Neil Armstrong. You couldn't make it up, could you? Repeated listens are rewarded but it's 3 stars all the way for Lewis.

Star Wars
Star Wars
Price: 9.99

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wilco letting loose, 21 Aug. 2015
This review is from: Star Wars (Audio CD)
Initially released as a free download via their website in July, this is Wilco's most adventurous sounding album since A Ghost is Born. They sound like a band letting loose in the studio with their electric guitars plugged in and, given that they're on their own label, disregarding the EQ levels and doing exactly what they want to do. Despite the occasional experimental "couldn't care less about the production" sound to the music, it's unmistakably the sound of Wilco and almost every song here sounds like it could be lifted and placed on one of their previous albums ('Taste the Ceiling' would fit perfectly on Sky Blue Sky, 'Magnetized' would sit comfortably on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, 'Pickled Ginger' on A Ghost Is Born, etc.). Given the four year gap between this and their previous album and Jeff Tweedy's album from last year, I did fear, despite the touring, that Wilco might be drifting apart as a studio band but they're back with their most diverse and interesting album in a long time. Kudos to the band for initially putting this out there for free without the benefit of a $100M handshake and backing from the world's biggest company! The CD comes in a gatedold cardboard sleeve with a booklet featuring the lyrics.

Panasonic RPHD10EK Hi - Fi Monitor Headphones - Black
Panasonic RPHD10EK Hi - Fi Monitor Headphones - Black
Offered by ATELCO UK
Price: 132.87

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comfortable with faultless sound quality, 17 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
There's a lot to like about these headphones and they really do justify their price tag. They fit comfortably over the ear with soft padding and keep the sound in and block out a lot (but nowhere near all) outside noise. They're not skull crushers but don't slip off if you tilt your head forwards or backwards. The have an innovative design that allows you to position the headband horizontally. To be honest, it's not made much difference for me but some might find it useful.

Sound wise, they're amazing. Plugged into a 20 year old Denon amp and I'm hearing CDs like never before. I won't roll out the usual clichés about mid range, treble, bass, etc. except to say they handle EVERYTHING perfectly. The clarity and depth of sound is truly astonishing.

The 3.5mm lead is detachable and it comes with two (1.2m and 2m) and a 6.35mm adaptor. It's a good idea too - the 'phones won't be a write-off if you damage the lead. There's also a soft faux leather black draw cord carry case. The headphones don't fold-up but they do lie flat.

Overall, these are a seriously impressive set of headphones and for both comfort and sound quality, they score two thumbs up.

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