Profile for Chris Hoare > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Chris Hoare
Top Reviewer Ranking: 165
Helpful Votes: 3121

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Chris Hoare "Chris" (UK)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
Energizer Lithium Aaa Batteries X4
Energizer Lithium Aaa Batteries X4
Price: £7.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Power when you need it, 30 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
When I'm travelling around the UK I do the environmentally friendly thing and use eneloop rechargeable batteries and tolerate having to recharge them and keep track of charged v flat batteries all the time. My biggest gripe with recharging batteries is travelling somewhere and finding I have flat batteries when i really need it. As a result I switch over and travel with Energizer Lithium's when i go overseas.

I have found these Energiser lithiums have a number of benefits over my good rechargeable batteries; they are considerably lighter and more temperature tolerant - delivering power even when they are very cold; they also seem to be able to deliver more charge quicker for devices like flash guns so they can recycle quicker; but most importantly they last considerably longer than rechargeable batteries for everyday day tasks like my GPS or LED torch. This combination of benefits means I can travel with less batteries in my bag in the first place and be more confident there will be charge in them (

They aren't cheap; but they keep their charge for a long time in storage and outperform rechargeables when you need them.


Seagate ST4000VN000 3.5 inch 4TB SATA III Network Atttached Storage Internal Hard Disk Drive
Seagate ST4000VN000 3.5 inch 4TB SATA III Network Atttached Storage Internal Hard Disk Drive
Offered by Ebuyer UK Limited
Price: £135.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Seagate keeps it quiet and cool, 30 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The battle for extra storage is a constant one; I added a second NAS to my network over the past year as my photo and iTunes libraries both stretched out the capacity of my first. My storage arrays have 4 slots; and using these 4Tb drives doubles the space for a more than reasonable price over the older 2 and 3 Tb drives that came before this.

The Seagate ST4000VN000 itself is a 3.5" internal drive that Seagate have tuned it for use in a dedicated NAS system. They have taken some of the technology from their enterprise disks to reduce the power use and heat generation of the disk; as well as getting 4 TB into the space I previously used two drives to achieve. It doesn't require a NAS device to use it though; so if your motherboard supports 4Tb SATA 3 drives and you need a lot of storage you could use it in your desktop too; though it would be better sorted as a secondary disk as seagate haven't built a disk to deliver the ultimate speeds rather ultimate storage.

Performance wise before slotting it into my NAS I ran my drive it in an external disk caddy so i can see how it performed. My first observation is that this disk is quiet and spins up quite quickly; recovering from stand by in around ten seconds. On its own copying a few 100 Gigabytes of my Lightroom Photo Library over to see how managing it on a single disk would be. I found it averaged writing around 85 megabytes a second which is far from being a fast disk but its fast enough that you could edit video on it even some compressed 4k video. The great thing is even after an hour of writing to the disk it didn't feel hot as older disks do so a NAS full of these should keep the fans off for longer. The disk is also pretty quiet with some soft clicks as it spins away. So the tuning that seagate have done to the disks have likely paid of.

Ultimately for their purpose these disks are excellent; just remember to get more than one. 5*


Braun NTF3000 No Touch Plus Forehead Digital Thermometer
Braun NTF3000 No Touch Plus Forehead Digital Thermometer
Price: £51.71

5.0 out of 5 stars The Thermometer is easy to setup, 30 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Braun NTF3000 Digital Thermometer is an accurate, fast and discreet way to take your or your families temperature. The Thermometer is easy to setup; remove it from all the packaging insert the included batteries. In the box is the thermometer; a multi-language instruction book, the aforementioned batteries and a cover to protect the sensor when not in use.

There are three buttons to use it; a mute switch on the side; handy for taking someone’s temperature at night. The round power on button and a take temperature button. Unlike some older thermometers this reads by contact - and unlike the strip thermometers seems to take a more accurate reading. The no contact mode broadly agreed with the direct contact readings (there was a difference up to 0.2 Celsius; and both agreed with my oral mercury thermometer. It’s also quick at taking a reading; with the temperature coming back in a couple of seconds every time. Braun say it is accurate reading temperatures from 5cm away. If you are taking the temperature of a sleeping person there is a targeting light emitted that helps get the right spot in no contact mode so you don’t disturb them; or if you have gentle hands you can use it to guide you in for contact temperature reading. This is where the no noise mode comes into its own; you can discretely take someone’s temperature day or night.

If you are taking your own temperature its best with sound on. It is easy to take your own temperature by pressing to your forehead; pressing the take temperature button and waiting for the beep to let you know it’s done. If the sound off you really need to be able to see the screen to use it.

The temperature read out screen itself has a clear back lit display. The back lights red/ green up after taking the temperature to give you a visual indication. The display shows a precise temperature 37.4C; far more so than my mercury thermometer which is limited to 1/2 degree increments.

The Braun NTF3000 ticks my boxes for the thermometer; it’s easy to use; quick and accurate thermometer. I also approve of the reduced cleaning requirements or the need for disposable tips that the touch and remote sensor readings allow. 5*


Tefal Safe to Touch Kettle, 1.5 Litre, 3000 Watt, Black
Tefal Safe to Touch Kettle, 1.5 Litre, 3000 Watt, Black
Offered by BigWhiteRabbit
Price: £32.95

4.0 out of 5 stars with an excellent piano black style finish and chrome touches to bring ..., 8 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Taking it out of the box the first thing you notice about the Tefal Safe To Touch kettle is the minimalist style to it; with an excellent piano black style finish and chrome touches to bring it out. Function has given way to fashion; there is no water volume indication you have to look inside to check. As something that’s going to spend a few years in your kitchen counter, looks matter and it wins on that front.

The rest of it functions as you would expect from Tefal; the kettle removes from the power base without a cord, it boils the water quickly – with an indicated 1.5l boiling off in around 3 minutes. This goes against most environmental advice; but the Safe to Touch has a thermal sleeve. Once the water is boiled, this kettle will keep the water hot for around 30 minutes, ensuring it is still at a usable temperature. Another benefit of the insulation system is if you are clumsy or have younger children determined to touch the black thing on the counter, is that the outside of the kettle doesn’t heat up once the kettle is boiled, it does get warmer but it is still safe to touch.

If you can cope with opening a kettle to check the volume of water still inside; the Tefal Safe to touch’s benefits that come from the thermos like function and its all around good looks should earn it a place on your counter. 4* as its nice to know how much water is the in the kettle and I cant help feel opening it to check diminishes the performance of the keep warm.


Philips Shaver Series 9000, Wet and Dry Shaver with SmartClean S9031/26
Philips Shaver Series 9000, Wet and Dry Shaver with SmartClean S9031/26
Price: £189.52

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Improvement on the Sensotouch; but toppled as the king of electric shavers, 8 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Over the last few years I have tested a number of razors using my chin as the guinea pig. There are reviews for the Braun cooltec, this Razors predecessor the Sensotouch 3d and most recently the Panasonic Silver 5 Blade Wet/ Dry Foil Shaver. The Series 9000 is the height of the Philips razor range.

Compared to the sensotouch predecessor you lose the built in beard trimmer; but in place gain an easier to hold razor grip and longer battery life. Not to worry about the loss of the built in beard trimmer; philips have included a smart click trimmer that you can swap out the main head for. (This is a great feature and on my older razor and i use the smart click brush to clean my face (its a male version of the vivo cleaners.) The battery life has been very good; there is a clear battery indicator on the grip; and its still going on its last bar after 2 weeks of daily use.

The minor changes to the grip aside; the major improvement up from the Sensotouch is the new razor heads these are far superior to the Sensotouch heads they are based on. These heads have a lots of degrees of movement; they can pivot around the grip; each of the 3 cutting heads can idependantly move with your face as you move; with the 9000 head there is now extra degree of movement with the inner cutting head on each of the 3 blades now also able to pivot. The benefit to all this movement is the heads keep closer contact with your face resulting in less passes as you shave. Using the sensotouch shaver I always had to use a lubricant to get the head to glide over my skin without pulling as it was all about cutting and not about gliding. The new head has a metallic ring on surround of each cutting blade that makes it much easier to pass over your skin. This is still a wet dry shaver though so use your favourite gel and you get a better shave from agitating your stubble; the water thickening it up and the gel further reducing friction. The 9000 works fine without a gel; but works better with it.

My 9000 shave also came with a new philips jet cleaning and charging system; this is similar to the older braun systems where the cleaning fluid is inside a plastic container; the previous versions had a little bucket to keep the liquid (from a bottle) in which could spill if you moved the charging station. The jet cleaning station does an excellent job of cleaning the razor; though the fluid never dried completely in the autumn weather unless i opened the heads up to dry out. Charging the 9000 can be done without the docking station; the included power charger can plug straight into the shaver which is great if you travel - the included travel pouch is by far the nicest of any shaver i have used.

This is all so very positive; so the 3* review might come as a surprise. Using the Phlip's click system to get a pace cleaner or the beard trimmer is a unique and useful feature (the face cleaning brush is excellent); but for its primary use is as a daily shaver the king has been toppled. Ultimately the reason for my low score is for the task of shaving the Panasonic 5 Blade system is broadly the same price and results in a far closer shave. A simple test of shaving with the 9000; then the Panasonic you could hear the panasonic cutting hairs as it went.


YEB0202 Fitted Gentlemen Mens White Solid Fantastic Design Cotton Handkerchiefs 4 Pics Set One Size By Y&G
YEB0202 Fitted Gentlemen Mens White Solid Fantastic Design Cotton Handkerchiefs 4 Pics Set One Size By Y&G
Offered by Men's Fashion
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars These (Y&G) are a good mixture of size (albeit it not quite the size ..., 4 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have bought and used other handkerchiefs from Amazon. These (Y&G) are a good mixture of size (albeit it not quite the size quoted) price and quality. Some cheaper handkerchiefs don't survive a trip through the washing machines; these came through unscathed and a blast with the iron has them ready to go again.


Triggertrap MD-N3 Mobile Dongle 2 for Canon
Triggertrap MD-N3 Mobile Dongle 2 for Canon
Price: £23.40

5.0 out of 5 stars The cable that opens a new world of possibilities with your camera, 4 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you haven't tried it or heard of it the trigger trap app is the camera app that Canon should have written. Trigger trap can do all sorts of clever smartphone enhanced photographic timing functions like taking a photo every 100meters using the phones gps to map it out; or take a photo when someone moves in front of the (phones) camera as well as all kinds of time-lapse functions. Unfortunately triggertrap won't connect to my 6d using the camera's built in wifi so you need a control cable to use it. The MD-N3 cable is for the /professional/ style canon shutter release cables. You connect to your phones headphone socket (dialling the volume all the way up) and to your camera; then set the camera in bulb mode and you are away.

The cable is a cable; the world it opens is fantastic fun. The App is free; 5*.


Forza Horizon 2 (Xbox One)
Forza Horizon 2 (Xbox One)
Price: £41.00

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyment on a disk, 4 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Straight out; Horizon 2 is a fantastic successor to the Xbox 360 Horizon. If you haven't tried it games like Forza 5 are traditional event to event game with menus and loading delays. Horizon takes place in a massive open world where every road; or farmers field is yours for the driving; where cars you meet are a potential races or hazards to avoid. This Forza streams the maps as you go; so the loading delays are minimal which means you spend more time playing the game - albeit often you are driving between events; but you can still earn points for your driving skills as you go

Horizon isn't completely to advanced in the single player game there is a race series in the game as well as a variety of challenges to test you (or a friend if you play online.) Unlike forza the races aren't all circuits; there are also point to points (on road and off road) as well rally cross type events. Winning races nets you cash to buy more cars in the came (or as with everything these days you can get extra cars via the in game purchases) or find them hidden away in barns from time to time. Like Forza you can customise your cars by upgrading or decorating them as you see fit. As you play you have a great deal of choice over the order and the races you do. These series are based around events taking place in a variety of towns and cities around the French Italian border.

Online gameplay is much improved in Horizon 2; with race series being available which i don't remember on the previous version (and are still lacking in Forza.) As well as taking road trips across the map and taking part in the challenges that are also available on the single player game (like driving through speed cameras at a combined speed or performing ramp jumps.) Playing cooperatively with friends is good fun.

The variety of the game stands it out from Forza 5 or the original horizon from simple things like the radio stations that keep expanding as you play saving you from the same music all the time; to the enhance weather in the game; Horizon 2 is better in every way than the original Forza; and for a fun night playing online is far more fun than Forza 5.


Tenvis iProbot3 HD 720P(1280x720) H264 Wireless Wifi IP Network CCTV Camera IR Cut 5x ZOOM Pan/Tilt PTZ, Day/Night Vision, Motion Detection/Alarm, iPhone & Android Mobile View (Gray)
Tenvis iProbot3 HD 720P(1280x720) H264 Wireless Wifi IP Network CCTV Camera IR Cut 5x ZOOM Pan/Tilt PTZ, Day/Night Vision, Motion Detection/Alarm, iPhone & Android Mobile View (Gray)
Offered by GLOBALEBUY-UK
Price: £49.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Commitment to support makes this a great choice, 30 Sep 2014
Tenvis provided me with a sample of the iProbot 3 for review; and I wasn't sure what I had let myself in for when i agreed to test it. When it arrived the camera was inside a well presented and well protected box.

Opening the box you find the camera itself; a Wifi antenna, a wall bracket (complete with screws and even wall plugs), a power brick; with a long cord and finally a network cable to go through the initial setup.

Having been using IT for a long time; and been through the pain of setting up all kids of devices over the years adding the iProbot3 to my network was refreshingly simple. There is a manual in the box to step you through it; but in very simple terms you power the camera up and connect the camera with the included network cable to your home network router. On the included utility disk (or download form the Tenvis website if you don't have a cd drive) there is a windows and mac application to help you set it up using the wireless (or you can leave it connected to a wire.) Run the application; it shows you the settings it has been given (by your router usually) and you can input the settings to connect it to your wireless network or make the wired network settings permanent. The iProbot worked with both of my home wireless networks; (one a BT Home hub the other a cisco.)

Once on your network the camera has a website that you can use to watch a live stream of its view; handy if you want to use the camera in a babies bedroom. You can control the position or movement settings of the camera; and setup the infrared (night) mode settings - set it to auto and you don't need to worry if the lights are off going forward (When on you an see a red glow from the lights on the camera). Using the website you can control the camera and pan left to right or tilt up and down to provide some sweeping security views.

The camera's website as well as setup various alerting options. The iProbot can take a Micro SD card and save video footage to the camera like a grown up security camera; it can send an email with an image or send data to an ftp server. The email alert needs to send via an email server using; so I setup a throw away account on outlook.com and configured the camera to email me from there. The image that comes through is clear but a little compressed.

The day after I set it up I was set to Munich for work; and when someone walked into my living room the camera sent me an email with their picture instantly. The piece de la resistance was I could take my iPhone load the Tenvis app view a live stream of my home with a decent quality video stream even over 4g - i could recognise faces in the stream; the app also lets you adjust the camera position to see if was an expected visitor - the memory card saving the video at the same time. The iPhone app also allows you to control the movement of the camera which is handy.

The iProbot was easy to setup but as part of testing it I did some research and found if you get one and you do get stuck there are comprehensive support documents on their website as well as forums to ask questions -with a lot of FAQ answers to get you past setup issues that might trip you up. It was also good to see they release software updates to fix their customers issues over time. This support commitment impressed me as much as the camera itself.

The iProbot 3 is easy to setup with everything you could need to use it in the box (bar a drill and screwdriver if you choose to wall mount it.) Its small enough to be reasonably discrete in the corner of a room (it can be mounted to the ceiling to minimise its profile.) Overall the Tenvis iProbot gives is excellent value; giving peace of mind when setup as a security camera but could also make a good camera for watching your baby sleep.

As an overall package if you want the benefit a home surveillance camera the iProbot3 is good value with excellent online support; a well thought through product that is easy to setup and this combination that earn it 5*s.


Noza Tec Waterproof 5M 3528 RGB 300 Led Strips Lighting Full Kit With 24Key IR Remote +2A AC UK Plug Adapter Power Supply For Home lighting and Kitchen
Noza Tec Waterproof 5M 3528 RGB 300 Led Strips Lighting Full Kit With 24Key IR Remote +2A AC UK Plug Adapter Power Supply For Home lighting and Kitchen
Offered by Iluvthisworld2013
Price: £13.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Low power, Low Fuss splash of colour, 24 Sep 2014
The Nozatec RGB Color kit comes with everything you need to setup a colourful LED light system. I was supplied a Kit for review purposes.

In the nozatec kit you get 5m of the 3528 LED light strip; a UK Plug (world voltage) 12v power adaptor and an infrared remote control and remote control receiver. Setting the kit up is very simple and doesn't require any electrical skills - connect the pins on the trip to the socket on the white remote control unit; then connect the 12v charger to the remote control unit plug the power in and using the remote control you are away.

I have used a number of LED light systems in the past configured in my home; as I have found them an easy way to add light or colour to rooms and I like that you can use a remote control to power them on and off or vary their intensity. Once you have the strip in place you can dial the colour to something that suits the function; and when you power it up it comes back to the last setting; or use the remote control to vary the colour to suit the mood.

This kit uses the lower power 3528 strip which has separate led's for each colour; there are higher power strips that can come with composite LED's The single LED colour low power makes this strip ideal where lower power is important; or you want a colour wash. For example you could arrange it around your tv; or under a cabinet to deliver some extra light where you need it. Being low voltage and almost no heat its safe to use around children an animals. The 3m adhesive backing helping here as well as the fact you can cut the strip down every 3LEds to get it to just the right size for your project.

The nozatec kit is excellent value and ideal for any project where you would like some extra light and to deliver some colour to a room (it doesn't do white.) The included remote control can also do some colour rotating tricks so it might work to attract attention in a retail environment or as part of a christmas decoration.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20