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Reviews Written by
Victor Meldrew Mk2 "stefan morawiec" (Dorset)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

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ELEPHAS Full Color 130" Portable LED Pico Projector with HDMI cable 1000 lumen for Home Entertainment, Party and Games, Black
ELEPHAS Full Color 130" Portable LED Pico Projector with HDMI cable 1000 lumen for Home Entertainment, Party and Games, Black
Offered by ELEPHAS TRADE
Price: £69.90

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A steal at £60, 26 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Simply incredible value for a budget LED projector. No it isn't as good as a £750 models, but for around £60.00 I found this item an absolute lifesaver.

I give presentations on at least a weekly basis to a wide variety of audiences, sometimes I use a projector and sometimes I don't. I had a detailed presentation to give to around 80 people and the projector I routinely use failed and due to its cost was sent back to Epson for repair under warranty rather than simply replaced. I needed a projector quickly and reasonably priced. I saw this item as an Amazon "deal" purchased it and it arrived the next day, ready for my presentation the day after. In terms of construction and quality of build, there is a difference between this item and the Epson; but not £700!,but the major difference as you would imagine is the output and screen image and yo would not be surprised to learn that the Epson is far, far better. That said, the Elephas provided me with a very clear projection onto a dedicated screen and apart from having the lights turned slightly dimmer and a reduced image I found it very good.

Focussing and zooming are a bit hit and miss; focussing was a bit fiddly and there is no zoom facility; you increase the size of the image through moving the projector closer or further away; the further you move away the image quality deteriorates. Allowing for these statements, it is a budget item and therefore compromise is the order of the day. I have only used this item connected to a laptop to give presentations, however, when I got it home, I connected it to my ipad via and Apple TV and in the home I found it excelled and I watched an episode of "Happy Valley" via BBC iplayer and the quality of output in a darkened room was really very acceptable. I am not a "gamer" so can't comment on how well it works with xbox or playstation, but I suspect that the graphics may not be up to a high level projector, but that would not bother me.

In summary, if you are looking for a cheap projector at a bargain price, are going to use it in a dark/dimly lit room and are not expecting high end display, have the flexibility of connecting via HDMi or VGA, can auto stream via USB and have a low budget, this might be the thing to buy. It is certainly worth consideration and at £60 is an absolute steal.


No Title Available

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 5 star item at a 4 star price, 26 Mar. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As a family we have been fortunate to have used three of these items over the past few years, the first, a Philips model, remains our favourite, but the Tefal units, including this one are really very good and are almost on a par. The Philips just seems more solidly built, that's all. All of the steam generators are ideal for ironing, although I have to say that when it comes to pressing trousers, I prefer a traditional iron to get a really sharp crease, however, this might be due to my age, as most trousers nowadays tend not to need a sharp crease!

This steam generator has an additional feature as you can pre-set the quantity and type of heat/steam varying from normal, delicate and jeans. I have to say that our original steam generator did not have this setting and whilst this generator has the option, I have never had the need for it. It does produce more steam on the jeans setting though with the result that the water reservoir empties marginally quicker, but I could not notice the difference in performance on very dry jeans which were heavily creased through either setting. The ironing plates glides across fabric with ease, due to its non stick coat and I can confirm that using it, a large quantity of ironing is dealt with very quickly indeed. The item is quite bulky, but that is the norm for steam generators and is best kept on the floor during use; the cord from the unit to the iron is long enough to allow you manoeuvre across a large domestic ironing board. The reservoir holds around 500 ml of water and I find that by filling it, there is sufficient water for a large quantity of laundry circa 12 shirts, t shirts and quilts/sheets for two bedrooms; I don't use the additional eco setting, I just use it on normal and it is fine for me and my wife.

May I make new users aware of an issue which has to be considered. When you are advised that the unit needs to be descaled; a light flashes, it is a simple process of removing the plug for the limescale collector and allowing the liquid to drain. Please be aware that whilst it is difficult to remove when the generator is hot, it is possible to do it and scalding could/will occur. I drain our generator a couple of times a month before the warning light displays and always undertake this when the unit is cold and allow the dirty" water to drain out of the system with risk of scalding.

So why only 4 stars? Well I think that this is a five star item, it is well made, works well and removes creases from the most difficult items easily and quickly. A whole basket of ironing can be ironed quickly and it is a joy to use. Whilst it is marginally not as good as the Philips equivalent, I would not take that into consideration. To be honest the loss of a whole star is down to price. These items are not cheap and far more expensive than an ordinary steam iron, however, this item has features such as the adjustable steam settings, which I feel are unnecessary for 95% of your ironing (if not more) and Tefal produce alternatives without these features at a significantly lower price point. If you must have the highest spec model and can afford it, then by all means purchase this item as you won't be disappointed, however, if you are looking for the same quality construction, want a steam generator which irons clothes arguably just as well, look for a lower specification model and save a £100.


Hozelock 4-in-1 Porta Shower
Hozelock 4-in-1 Porta Shower
Price: £24.87

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get down shep!, 26 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Our Border Collie (Oliver - aka Ollie the Collie) enjoys a really good life, walked at least twice a day and never less that an hour in the morning and 40 minutes at night. We live in the countryside and a combination of muddy forest trails, a ball which he delights in chasing through the undergrowth and a wet winter have at time rendered our utility room and subsequently our kitchen quite gritty underfoot. We do dry him off vigorously after each wet walk, however, such is the density of his coat and undercoat that grit invariably is difficult to remove.

For a time we used a baby bath to wash his underside off in, but sadly that broke and the cost of a replacement was twice the cost of this item. We purchased it and feel that it is ideal; it doesn't remove all of the grit, but it removes considerably more than we achieve through drying alone. We fill the container up with about 5 litres of water, ensuring that it is never more than lukewarm; occasionally we add a small amount of shampoo, but generally water is ideal to remove debris and to keep the oil in his fur to make it more water resistant. As expected, we pump the shower unit up to pressure (about 30 compressions) and them spray his underside. I cannot say that he particularly likes the experience, but does let us do it and has even been known to bite at the stream of water. 5 litres lasts for almost 2 minutes and is sufficient to wash his underside thoroughly. A brisk rub down and then we leave him in our utility room where he lies on the tiles where the heating pipes pass to dry off.

Is it the perfect solution? Well no it isn't; that would include the impossible
air dry facility as well, however, it is pretty good. The stream of water is sufficient to rinse the whole underside of our 45 lb dog thoroughly and whilst it is a pain compressing the shower up to pressure, it is significantly easier that when we used to add water to the baby bath.

Well worth 5 stars and recommended to dog owners and their active dogs.


Large Autoglym Bottle Quality Bodywork Shampoo, 2.5 Litre
Large Autoglym Bottle Quality Bodywork Shampoo, 2.5 Litre
Price: £12.79

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite expensive, but so are cars, 24 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Just great. Our cars have been protected with an armoured coating to relieve us of the requirement to polish and wax them and to help them resit losing their shine. The companies who applied the protection suggest that a ph neutral shampoo is used, but theirs are significantly higher priced than even autoglym.

I am familiar with this excellent range of products and therefore have purchased this item to clean our cars. I usually clean my cars via:

+ Pressure hose
+ Soft brush attached to normal pressure hose pipe
+ Sponge, shampoo and warm water
+ Pressure hose rinse
+ Dry using a chamois leather

Works a treat. Shiny cars and despite the number of processes, three cars can be done in around 90 minutes, including cleaning the alloy wheels.


Photography Lighting: 34 Amazing Tips for Creating and Lighting a Photography Scene in Your Home Studio (Photography Lighting, lighting photography books, portrait photography lighting)
Photography Lighting: 34 Amazing Tips for Creating and Lighting a Photography Scene in Your Home Studio (Photography Lighting, lighting photography books, portrait photography lighting)

3.0 out of 5 stars Not for me., 21 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I received this publication for free and awarded it three stars based upon the fact that I din't have to pay for it. I saw that today the price had increased to £2.10 (21st March 2016). On that basis I am not sure that I would have awarded it three stars!

The book isn't bad as such, but it is annoying as really it is based upon a degree of DIY to manufacture your own equipment out of items as diverse a 'pringle" tubes. If that is what you are into, then this publication may be for you. I have awarded this item 3 stars on the basis that I received it for free, had I paid for it, I might just be seeking a refund.


Master Lock MLD08EB Small Quick Access Biometric Compact Safe
Master Lock MLD08EB Small Quick Access Biometric Compact Safe
Price: £136.47

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A chain is only as strong as its weakest link., 21 Mar. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
First off may I say that I feel the this is a well made item, manufactured from quality steel with a locking mechanism which is adequate for security and up to the quality of another safe which we have in our home already.

Out of the box you are presented with a sturdy and "heavy item". It feels solid and as it has no external hinges, this improves the degree of safety and prevents the box being easily opened by a casual intruder. Setting up the device is really easy, following the short but comprehensive instructions. The obvious one is the keys; two of which are provided and affixed to the door in a polythene bag. Setting up the biometric entry was extremely simple:

+ open the safe using the supplied key
+ remove the internal cover from the battery compartment
+ insert 4 alkaline batteries into the battery holder
+ Press the button within the battery compartment until the LED flashes
+ Repeatedly stroke your finger tip across the sensors until the system advises you that the set up is complete
+ Repeat the process for a second user/or a different finger

From a storage perspective, the safe is very nicely lined and is fitted with a tray which would be ideal for items of jewellery, with the option to remove the tray altogether to use the space underneath for larger items; such as passports. Internal dimensions are 9.5 inches X 11.5 inches X 3 inches.

So far so good. The item sets up simply and now it is just a matter of fixing it to a suitable wall/floor; I would suggest the floor is better as whilst it can be wall mounted, there is insufficient depth for it to retain documents when the door is opened. Obviously I am not going to be specific as to where I fixed the safe, but a good solid wall/floor is ideal and it is at this point that I withdrew a star. The box is supplied with two mild steel 2" bolts and washers to fix it to a wall. Finding raw plugs wasn't an issue, but to be honest, I feel that an item of this nature requires perhaps 4 holes drilled into the base, 4 longer/thicker bolts (sufficient to really penetrate a breeze block/concrete and hold it firmly in place). With this in mind and mindful that I have probably invalidated my warranty, I took it to my workshop and placed a further two holes into the body and made the existing holes bigger to take longer and stronger bolts. Fixing to concrete flooring was simple and I used expanding bolts to provide a firmer and significantly more substantial fixing into the floor.

So why three stars? I actually like this safe, if is neat and quite discreet. Locate it in a cupboard or similar, bolted to the floor, it is unlikely to be easily seen. It is strong and well made and providing that it is more securely fixed will not be simple to remove. The door mechanism is great and the gas mechanism strut operates extremely smoothly and should last a long time. The biometric reader is accurate and the locking mechanism should be sufficiently strong to prevent it being drilled out other than in a workshop. I withdrew the second star on the basis that this safe is not exactly cheap at £197.70 on 21st March 2016 and at this price I would have expected it to be larger; certainly deeper and I feel a degree of fire protection too.

It is a quality item, but at the price so it should be! It is relatively strong, but I feel that the method to fix it to flooring is insufficient and would result in the safe being relatively easy to remove to open later and finally, at this price point I would have expected fire protection as well. I may be being picky but I think that more of the value is in the biometric reader than anything else and with that in mind, I would seek another product.


PHOTOGRAPHY: Photography Lighting - The Complete Photography Lighting Guide to Shoot Like a Pro in Your Home Studio (Photography, Photoshop, Photography ... Photography Magazines, Digital Photography)
PHOTOGRAPHY: Photography Lighting - The Complete Photography Lighting Guide to Shoot Like a Pro in Your Home Studio (Photography, Photoshop, Photography ... Photography Magazines, Digital Photography)

5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, 20 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have been taking photographs with an SLR camera for over 30 years and before that used a variety of formats. I could never state that I was anything other than an enthusiastic amateur who has produced some pleasing pictures; at least to my eye. After being introduced to digital photography around 15 or so years ago, I really started to enjoy myself so much more and have ventured into the challenging field of macro photography. My passion though has always been photographing everything outdoors and I have concentrated in that area, until recently when I had the opportunity to obtain a complete studio; lights, back drop, stands etc. The only problem was that I was clueless as to how to use it.

I scoured my photography magazines and was able to pick up some clues, but I needed something a little more detailed, but not too complex as to put a budding studio photographic enthusiast off. At the price of £2.75 and based upon some positive reviews (well quite a lot actually), I purchased this book and downloaded it to my ipad. For the first time since obtaining my studio equipment, I felt in control of it. I am sure that there are more comprehensive guides, however as an introduction to studio photography, this publication has fulfilled what I needed to know for now. I am never going to be a fantastic photographer, but to me the joy is taking the images, technically if they are not perfect, I am not that bothered, as long as they are pleasing to my eye and those of the model. This book has enabled me to get going in this area of previously unexplored photography and I foresee that it will guide me through a number of rainy or not so rainy days when all I want to do is to take my camera out and take pictures.

Fantastic value and an inspiring guide.


Karcher FJ6 Foam Jet Nozzle with 0.6 L Capacity Foamer for Pressure Washer Accessory
Karcher FJ6 Foam Jet Nozzle with 0.6 L Capacity Foamer for Pressure Washer Accessory
Price: £13.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pants, pure and simple., 17 Mar. 2016
It really is not up to the job! Some people seem to have achieved fantastic results with this item, however, many like me feel that it is really poor. I used it using an Autoglym product, recommended by Amazon and also another shampoo purchased from Halfords. It isn't designed for snow foam and having tried that as well I can confirm that this is correct.

It simply does not work consistently, is barely adjustable, goes through loads of detergent, whatever the setting and unless i shake mine around every 4-5 seconds just sprays water. Buy a proper lance rather than this item, you will not be disappointed.


Cambridge IGCSE® Biology Revision Guide (Cambridge International IGCSE)
Cambridge IGCSE® Biology Revision Guide (Cambridge International IGCSE)
by Ian J. Burton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for the 15 year old who needs support, 12 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Recommended by my son's impoverished school for him to perfect their tuition of a bright 15 year old boy who is about to sit his GCSE before embarking on his A levels, my son has found this book an ideal aide memoir to what he has been taught.

It is well laid out and extremely clear, more importantly it has proved to be sufficiently interesting to stimulate he to undertake the various sections and tests; whilst he is good at geography, he does not enjoy it as much as he might and therefore we feel that it is a tribute to the book that it has managed to sufficiently captivate a 15 year o,d to go on and probably achieve an A or higher.

Well worth he investment, particularly if they need encouragement to achieve their potential.


Philips FC6232/62 Dust Mite Anti-Allergen Handheld Vacuum Cleaner with EPA Filter and UV Light
Philips FC6232/62 Dust Mite Anti-Allergen Handheld Vacuum Cleaner with EPA Filter and UV Light
Price: £159.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The build quality is great, the vacuum functions well but will UV light work in this format? The jury is out., 11 Mar. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This item is due to be released on the 1st April 2016 in the UK and is scheduled to be priced at £230. I received it to review as part of the AMazon Vine programme.

Out of the box, this is obviously a quality product,reflected in its price. Sturdy is an understatement! It is quite heavy and might I suggest that for those who wonder why it does not have a portable power source, it is my opinion that a portable unit would increase in weight from its 2kg+ to over 3kgs, which might make it more unwieldy, particularly when used on vertical items of fabric such as curtains. It is on that basis which I believe that Philips chose not to power the 450W motor via a rechargeable source and opted to fit a 5 metre cable.

OPERATION
==========

Using the vacuum is simple. It possesses three cleaning modes:

+ Standard suction - the same really as a normal vacuum cleaner. Whilst this does have some benefit to remove the food which mites feed off, my investigation in regards to bedding in particular suggest that the mites tend to be able to "hold on" when a vacuum cleaner is used or live deep within the mattress.

+ Vibrating pads - this has some benefit is makes the mites release their grip and in the same way that a standard carpet cleaner works, "beats as it cleans" aiding the cleaning by agitating items away from their mechanical bond to allow them to be vacuumed up.

+ UV light. Now this is interesting and whilst there is a significant amount of information regarding the fact that UV-C light does indeed kill dust mites and their eggs. So far so good, however, there does appear to be a difference of opinion regarding the distance the light has to be from the source and more importantly, the length of time that the mites and their eggs are exposed to the light. The US National Library of Medicine states:

"Highest immediate mortality of 100% occurred with direct irradiation at 10 cm distance from UV-C lamp and for 60 mins, for both species of mites. The post 24 hours mean mortality rates were (58.4±17.4)% for D. pteronyssinus and (27.7±9.7)% for D. farinae when irradiated for 1 hour at 55 cm distance under UV-C lamp. When mites were irradiated in the presence of culture media, the highest mortality rates were lower compared to the direct irradiation; at 10 cm distance and 60 mins exposure, the mean mortality was (74.0±6.8)% for D. pteronyssinus and (70.3±6.7)% for D. farinae. Egg hatchability for both species of mites was also notably reduced by greater than 50% following irradiation"

There is quite a lot of other research on this topic, but perhaps the one thing that they all have in common is that exposure to UV light needs to be significantly higher than what would occur should the vacuum cleaner be used as I believe that the average user would use it for.

In operation it is quite noisy, as you would expect from a 450W motor, but it is not uncomfortably so. I must say that I felt that the operating instructions were poor and not up to Philips normal standards. I found that it was very easy to operate and it took me about 15 minutes each to vacuum three mattresses in our home. I had not quite understood that the machine cuts out after around 30 minutes and felt that the unit had broken and was pleased when I found out that it had an overheat mode and I had to wait for it to re-set (thank you Philips support).

I was not at all surprised to see the quantity of debris which this vacuum collected, although I felt that the reservoir was quite small and was surprised when the reservoir full light was displayed when I started the third mattress. Cleaning the item was relatively simple and it is supplied with a cleaning brush. Also supplied are a spare set of filters, but I have no idea of how long they will last for; I imagine for at least 12 months.

So why only 2 stars? It is a well made item and does appear to vacuum debris which accumulates on the surface of a mattress. There are a number of items which I feel render this item a 2 star item:

1. Price. At £230.00 I believe that the main benefit of using this item will be removing the mites and their eggs from near the surface of the mattress - this can be achieved just as easily using a standard household vacuum cleaner and its suction tube and appropriate heads. I acknowledge that the Philips has a vibrating feature, but so too does my Shark vacuum cleaner possess a special head and far superior vacuum power.
2. I am not convinced that using this item in UV mode will allow the UV light to be projected deep enough or for sufficient length of time to penetrate either the material or even less so into the structure of a mattress; I suspect not!
3. At this price point I would have expected to have variable suction options for lighter fabrics; such as curtains and also for the UV light to be more stable. Mine did not illuminate consistently when passing over one multi-coloured mattress in particular
4. Better options may be:

a. Using the money saved through not purchasing the vacuum cleaner and purchasing specialist bedding covers, which are machine washable.
b. Using your existing vacuum cleaner

I so wanted to like this item. In theory it sounds great, particularly as there is significant evidence that UV light does kill off dust mites and their eggs. The problem as I see it is that not all dust mites lie near the surface of a mattress or fabric and the length of exposure required to kill those who are evident may be such as to make the task of effectively using this item extremely laborious.

2 stars then for build quality and until I can find evidence to the contrary regarding the effectiveness of this unit operating in a home environment, zero stars for the UV light option. The other cleaning elements such as "beating the fabric" and vacuuming, might I suggest that most people will have that facility within their home already.


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