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bunzena "bunzena" (UK)

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Acer K335 16:10 WXGA Projector
Acer K335 16:10 WXGA Projector
Offered by IPERprice
Price: £490.43

5.0 out of 5 stars Great for my needs, 14 Mar 2014
We've got some pretty specific needs for our projectors - which we use for work. They need to be light, bright and easy to use. We've been looking for some time to replace our old Sharp Projectors and have been considering LED units as replacements. The brightness of which - has been steadily progressing to a point where we think - they'll be good enough. Recently we took the plunge and bought this Acer K335.

But not without trying the Optoma ML750 first. What's interesting is the comparison.

The Optoma is smaller - but the power brick (none required by the Acer) - brings it up to a similar 'package size'. I think it's currently true that most 'small' LED projectors have external power supplies - so remember to factor that it to size/weight calculations. It's daft really, because for all their neatness, you have extra wires as a result.

Secondly the Optoma had a focussing issue. Even with type of 16pt plus - there was noticeable blurring between the top and bottom of the screen. With smaller type (14pt downwards) - it was impossible. No amount of keystone correction helped. The Acer has no such problems (and has automatic keystone) - able to read type down to 10pt. For this alone - the Optoma was sent back.

[One issue on both machines is that focusing is very critical. A TINY movement of the focus ring and there's a big change on the screen].

Next, the Optoma was noisier - and that noise was quite an irritating whine. In comparison the Acer seems quieter and the sound is a more pleasant 'whoosh'.

Finally, the Acer just 'works' better. It picked-up the signal from a VGA input from a Win7 Pro PC automatically and perfectly. The Optoma needed me to press buttons hither and thither. Some of the controls for the Optoma could only be accessed via the remote (which was a pain).

In my view, if you are looking for an LED replacement to a standard lamp projector - this is the one. They aren't as bright - but this one is still good enough for a slideshow in a well-lit room.

It's quiet, light, intuitive to use and bright enough. Very pleased so far.

Philips 5W (50W) GU10 Warm White LED Spot Light Bulb
Philips 5W (50W) GU10 Warm White LED Spot Light Bulb

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best GU10 replacement currently on the market, 9 April 2013
Boy these are expensive - but for a reason.

I've tried many different sorts of LED GU10s - buying one or two at a time to see what they are really like. Many simply don't measure-up to the 50 watt light output of a haolgen GU10, some make a high-pitched whistle, most have a very cold colour and many take a fraction of a second to 'start'. This is especially disconcerting! It can be true of other big brands - as well as some of the 'cheapies' - so watch-out.

In contrast, this Philips product starts instantly, runs silently and is a gnat's breath away from the light output and colour of the orginal halogen GU10.

Expensive but the best. A genuine halogen GU10 replacement. I've bought nearly 20 of them. They are all still running. Thoroughly recommended.

Microsoft Windows Home Server 2011 64-Bit, OEM (PC) (This OEM software is intended for system builders only)
Microsoft Windows Home Server 2011 64-Bit, OEM (PC) (This OEM software is intended for system builders only)

5.0 out of 5 stars Great software - all depends what you need, 15 Jan 2013
I've been running WHS 2011 for over 12 months. I installed it on an HP Microserver (great machine - amazing value). This sits in my loft and is connected into the network via cable.

I've been running my own small business for 12 years and have always been very keen on backing-up. I don't need a full business server - so have always relied on tape or external hard drives to keep my data backups safe. Frankly it's been a pain - and there's always been the need to check everything on a regular basis.

As I work from home - over the past few years - the network now includes my children's laptops, a newly acquired Mac and other assorted PCs.

So that's the background.

Installing WHS 2011 was a cinch. Installing the connector software on each PC (and Mac) was also really easy.

I now have a system that 'intelligently' backs-up each machine, gives me a central network location for movies, music and pictures AND monitors everything to let me know when laptops are being used, when they need updates or if any 'errors' on particular PCs occur.

I can also access the server from outside the network securely - so if I'm away from home and have forgotten a file - I can get at it.

I don't use it to stream media - or do other complex server 'things' - but, quite frankly, it's been a complete revelation. It just works. Backups, monitoring, storage.

I would recommend a book (bought from Amazon) called "Home Server 2011 Unleashed by Paul McFederies". It helped me get the most out of the software without introducing a vertical learning curve.

The are two downsides. The first is that MS have dropped the product. I personally think this is daft - as it's time has really only just come. The number of households with multiple PCs is on the rise - and whilst Windows 8 can do the job of WHS 2011 in many areas - it's just not as good. The replacement (Server 2012 Essentials) is ten times the price - adding features that I simply don't need. But - as usual - MS will continue to support this product for a good few years.

The other issue is more technical - and MS are promising an upgrade to WHS 2011 that will solve this problem soon. Currently WHS 2011 will not backup any disks running the new GPT system. That means many Windows 8 computers - or even newer Windows 7 machines. It all depends on how it has been setup. Check the web for more details.

Other than that - it's a complete steal at this price - and gives me real price of mind.

Sony Mid-Range In-Ear Headphones with Deep Bass for iPod, iPhone, MP3 and Smartphone - Black
Sony Mid-Range In-Ear Headphones with Deep Bass for iPod, iPhone, MP3 and Smartphone - Black
Offered by Tech Tigers
Price: £18.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Quality - Thoroughly Recommended, 25 Jun 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought these headphones to replace a much more expensive pair of Sennheisers. To be honest just took a punt because they appeared such good value and came with a multitude of great reviews.

Have owned them for 3+ months now and they are brilliant.

Great clarity - not too 'bassy' - and have an excellent soundstage too. Cable is long enough and they are sturdily made. They come with a variety of different rubber earpices - and fit my ears perfectly. I can wear them comfortably for many hours - and they stay put well when moving around.

Little details are very welcome - such as the right earplug having a 'red' mark - so I know which earplug is which - without having to grope around for my glasses.

Just about to order a spare set (in case, like all the best things in life - Sony decides to stop making them!). At this price they are a real steal - and (IMHO) as good as products costing 3 or 4 times as much.

Toshiba Satellite R830-182 13.3inch Laptop (Intel Core i5-2435M 2.4GHz, RAM 6GB, HDD 640GB, Bluetooth, Windows 7 Home Premium) (discontinued by manufacturer)
Toshiba Satellite R830-182 13.3inch Laptop (Intel Core i5-2435M 2.4GHz, RAM 6GB, HDD 640GB, Bluetooth, Windows 7 Home Premium) (discontinued by manufacturer)

28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Toshiba Portege R830-138 and Docking Station, 9 Feb 2012
This is a short story about my experiences with Toshiba - and the above two products - which echoes the quality control issues from another review here.

I bought myself a new laptop in September 2011 - together with a docking station. Neither were cheap - but I've owned Toshiba laptops in the past and have had a good experience with them - so felt the premium price would be justified.

Not this time.

The docking station was delivered `factory sealed' but with parts missing. I spoke to Toshiba and the retailer (not AMAZON) - and each said the other would `sort out replacements'. I'm fully aware of my consumer rights under the Sales of Goods Act - but rather than simply return the faulty item, I assumed it would be sorted-out quickly. It was not. It was three weeks before the retailer supplied what I needed.

Shortly afterwards - the screen on the laptop began to flicker. After posting questions to an online forum - I spoke to Toshiba UK and arranged to have it sent for repair. It was duly sent to Germany and returned `fixed' (and covered in fingerprints) some two weeks later. Not returned, I hasten to add, in the original box in which it had been sent.

The night before I was due to fly overseas the Fingerprint reader then stopped working. Despite many stressful hours spent online trying to find a solution - it became apparent that it had simply stopped working (no longer listed in device manager).

During that overseas trip - the screen started flickering again. So embarrassingly bad was it - that it became unusable in client meetings (I run a small business) and I had to use their computers.

Some of you out there may have more faith and patience than me - but by now I had lost confidence in this particular laptop - and the ability of Toshiba to put things right. In a little over 3 months of ownership - this combination of products had developed 4+ faults and had been out of practical commission for more than half the time.

When I asked Toshiba to replace the laptop - I was only offered another repair. Despite asking to speak to various people in customer services (over multiple calls) - I got the same response. Again, some of you may think this is reasonable. But I don't. This number of faults, this amount of hassle, losing it again for a period of time, the possibility that what was new and pristine machine would be damaged again by a repair - I don't believe is a fair response is simply to offer another repair.

So I wrote to the UK Marketing Director of Toshiba. A letter marked Personal and Private. I also copied in the Executive Officer, Corporate Senior Vice President of Toshiba's Digital Division in Japan - as I had been previously warned by Toshiba Customer Services that any communication would simply be referred back to them. I sent the letter on January 16th 2012 - and today (more than three weeks later) I received a letter back from Customer Support Services. Whilst "completely understanding my frustration" - there is no chance of a new laptop. Instead, suggestions that I invoke the Sales of Goods Act to get a replacement from the retailer.

(For those of you who know - a replacement from the Retailer depends on the item being effectively rejected within a reasonable time. Their interpretation of a reasonable time - effectively rules this possibility out. I know - I've spoken to them. Yes, I could take things further, involve a solicitor, small claims court - but should I have too?)

In my letter, I pointed-out that according to Toshiba's Group Customer Satisfaction Policy'. "We provide products, systems and services that are safe and reliable." Based on my experiences - I'm not sure I'd agree with that.

For those of you who may now think I'm a habitual letter writer - an inveterate `whinger' - I'm not and don't believe I am. I put-up with bad service, I tend not to complain. I usually just make a note of what's happened and resolve to shop elsewhere or seek an alternative next time. But this time I'm cross and disappointed.

We all get caught-up in the race for best specification and the lowest price when it comes to a buying a laptop. What we can never know - until it is too late - is how reliable it might be, and how you will be treated if things go wrong. I am surprised by Toshiba.

In a competitive market, products with a premium price and reputation need to deliver. I hope anyone out there contemplating buying a Toshiba might think again.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 19, 2012 8:34 PM BST

Sennheiser HD 518 Open Circumaural Headphones with E.A.R. Technology
Sennheiser HD 518 Open Circumaural Headphones with E.A.R. Technology
Price: £100.89

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Owned for 6 Months - Absolutely Delighted, 24 Jan 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Over the past 2 years - I've tried and bought a considerable number of headphones. I've been looking for something to wear at home - listening to music whilst I work. My priorities are simple - they have to sound good AND be very comfortable to wear. These HD518s excel at both.

I think the music is warm and realistic - without an over-bearing bass or treble. I listen to everything from Classic to Dance/Trance - and have no complaints. There's a good 3D soundstage too.

The build quality is excellent. The lead is long and is replaceable if it gets ripped or kinked.

But for me the standout feature is their comfort. They are open can design so expect some music leakage (note a couple of reviews here seem to forget this design compromise). But in being open they are SO comfortable. The cans themselves are large and fully enlcose even my big 'flappers'. The headband is well padded and exerts a very low pressure on the side of the head. I can wear them in hot or cold conditions for hours without discomfort.

By far the best headphones in their price range - amongst the many I have tried.

Fully expect them to last for years - but if I heard they were ever going out of production - I'd immediatley buy a spare pair.

LED Lenser P7 Professional Torch (Black) - Test It Pack
LED Lenser P7 Professional Torch (Black) - Test It Pack
Offered by Snap-on
Price: £31.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breath-takingly Good, 31 Oct 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I know all the reviews here are very favourable - and I already had another, older LED Lenser product - but the P7 is simply incredible. First of all - it's tiny. Not much bigger than a pack of extra strong mints. It feels gorgeous - as if hewn from solid metal. I find myself just picking it up and playing with it - because it is so tactile.

Then there is the strength of the light it gives off. I honestly think it is brighter than my car headlamp. The focused beam will clearly illuminate trees 150 metres away. The wide beam creates a pool of light that banishes dark. Great for walking with - great for detailed work. I've even used it in bright daylight to look under the eaves of my house. Please don't think of this as a small, secondary torch - it's as bright as good quality, rechargeable hand lantern and more than almost anyone is going to need.

Arthur C Clarke once said "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." In the case of this torch - that quote feels about right. How can such a small object be so bright? I know of no other battery operated torch that comes close. Expensive yes. Worth the money - I think so. Perhaps the only downside is that all my other torches [and I have a few!] now look like they below to a different age.

With LEDs this bright - it can't surely be long before they start appearing in quantity and at a decent price in domestic lighting. Brilliant!

Logitech Z120 Stereo Speakers
Logitech Z120 Stereo Speakers
Price: £12.33

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Little Gems!, 31 Aug 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I wanted some really compact speakers to use with my desktop pc. I don't want a 5.1 surround sound setup - just want something to sit behind my monitor and 'work'. Bought these and some Altec Lansing BXR 1220s from Amazon - to see which would give the best results.


Well the Altecs are on their way back [weird design in the flesh and terrible sound quality] - and these little beauties are staying. Although vey small and 'light' - they produce a great sound. One speaker has a volume knob on the front that makes it easy to adjust. Plug the USB cable in to power up - connect the 3.5mm jack [which is a bit short...] and hey presto - that's it!

Unlike my 'old' mains powered Creative speakers - there is no low volume 'hum'. The price is a steal too. VERY happy!

Epson Gt-1500 A4 Business Flatbed Scanner
Epson Gt-1500 A4 Business Flatbed Scanner
Price: £247.04

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not all it's cracked-up to be..., 31 Aug 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this to replace a Visioneer ADF scanner that has performed well for nearly 6 years but is sadly no longer made. The reviews here persuaded me that this was a good replacement so I ordered it - and as usual Amazon delivered swiftly.

First the plus points. It's compact and attractive to look at. It does scan fairly rapidly from cold [the LEDs help over a conventional lamp] - but it's only just faster than my old Visioneer.

The negatives. The software is classic 'bloatware'. 300 MB for the main scanning software - and then there are separate programmes for text capture etc. It installed okay - but is VERY clunky to use. It 'registered' a number of our photo and image capture software programmes automatically - and then refused to allow us to edit any image scanned into them. Despite installing and reinstalling numerous times - it was an absolute pain. Eventually we managed to get Photoshop Elements to work - but scanning, cutting and then editing each image was too much faff for me. You have to work the way the GT-1500 wants you to work - or else. [Tried the scanner on a PC running Windows XP Pro and Windows 7 Pro].

I found the scans themselves lacking in subtelty - despite fiddling with various parameters at length.

The ADF is quite hit and miss. It's pretty fussy about the weight of paper it will grab - and even with a consistent weight - it doesn't always work properly. The thought of trying to scan multiple pages for archiving brought me out in a rash!

The product is described as 'professional' - and that's [in my honest opinion] simply not true. In fairness it's not that expensive as a scanner [especially when compared to many products equipped with ADF] - but it's not that robust, the ADF is picky and the software is pretty horrible. If you need a scanner for occasional, moderate quality scans - and aren't easily stressed - then this might do the job. However you might be better off getting a standard flatbed, or spending a bit more [actually probably quite a lot more!] for something that is genuinely professional.

Unsurprisingly - I've just sent mine back to Amazon - and I'm now searching for a second-hand Visioneer like the one we used to have!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 29, 2012 8:38 PM BST

Roberts MP43 Sound 43 CD/DAB/FM Digital Sound System with Dock for iPod-Black
Roberts MP43 Sound 43 CD/DAB/FM Digital Sound System with Dock for iPod-Black
Offered by Hughes Direct
Price: £166.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well engineered, great reception - very pleased, 8 Aug 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this from Amazon over a year ago to replace a similar box made by Creative. I gave that good review - but subsequently it has proven to be very unreliable. In contrast the MP43 has been rock solid. DAB and FM reception is excellent from the standard telescopic aerial [one reason I chose this over the MP53]- lots of bass to fill a good sized room. The controls are intuitive. It looks good too. Very pleased - would recommend thoroughly to anyone in the market for a discrete, quality CD/DAB/iPod dock. HAS to be better value than the much vaunted BOSE!

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