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Chris Hoare "Chris" (UK)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

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Zomei® Ultra Slim HD 18 Layer Super Multi-Coated SCHOTT Glass PRO Density Neutral Gray ND1000 Lens Filter - 82mm
Zomei® Ultra Slim HD 18 Layer Super Multi-Coated SCHOTT Glass PRO Density Neutral Gray ND1000 Lens Filter - 82mm
Offered by itech-coodio
Price: £39.99

4.0 out of 5 stars That long exposure bug, 30 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought the Zomei Super Slim filter to take on Vacation; I wanted to take some dreamy long exposures without having to use F22 or a stack of square ND filters as I have done in the past. Using 10d filter of the waters around Fiji and it did the Job well enough. At the wide end of my 16-35mm lens the filter wasn't visible which ticks the slim box; as i have tried other filters that vignetted. The filter does color cast but it was even over the frame and as such it was easily corrected in Lightroom. The photos are some of the most interesting i took on vacation; and it has given me a long exposure bug.


Bitdefender Total Security 2015 - 1 year - 3 users (PC)
Bitdefender Total Security 2015 - 1 year - 3 users (PC)
Offered by Wiziwoo Limited
Price: £20.02

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just stay away from Optmise, 30 Nov 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The first time I installed Bit Defender Total security I made a mistake; one of the features is a PC optimisation routine. I ran that and spent the next day setting my computer up again as it had broken all my applications - to the point that a system restore wouldn't recover them.

Lesson learnt and needing a computer I reinstalled windows and set my machine up again. I reinstalled Bitdefender (For science) only this time I didn't run the Fast Tune Up optimisation application and just ran the comprehensive suite of anti virus applications - that check your machine; run in your browser and scan emails in Outlook. As a virus scanner it has caught emails that my office system let through and removed the content. Its hard to gauge performance as I ended up running it on a freshly built PC: but it doesn't feel slower and the history clearly shows it paging through and checking my files all the time.

Setting up the application to work they way you want is done through a jargon free interface - Protection, Privacy as well as a huge raft of extra tools like Safepay which helps protect you from phishing or false sites. In my experience just keep away from the one called Optimize.

The Bit Defender Total security has a huge variety of features beyond the normal virusscanner; you need to judge for yourself if you would benefit from all these added extra's over the standard application. Features like 2Gb of secure online storage or the Remote wiping features of the Anti Theft functions are likely two standouts - though as I mentioned above the anti spam feature is very good.

As for the most important thing the virus scanner is regularly rated as the best on the market; the Total Security Suite comes with an awful lot more besides it. 3* because Optimise is dangerous the rest of the suite is excellent.


Netflix 
Netflix 
Price: £0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Better than smart tv, 30 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Netflix  (App)
The Netflix App on Amazon Fire TV is so good I have stopped using the built in app on my Panasonic TV; the smart tv interface just isn't as slick or snappy as the one on the app. The netflix app delivers all the normal netflix features; recommendations based on previous viewing as well as access to any accounts you have setup. The video quality as excellent; and snaps to higher resolutions quickly and for box set addicts you still get the netflix auto play on the next episode of TV

The biggest shame of the app is really that the Amazon Fire TV search doesn't let you search prime and netflix from a single point to watch something. Hopefully they can play nice for those customers with subscriptions to both systems.


Logitech Harmony Hub
Logitech Harmony Hub
Offered by sotel-germany
Price: £101.62

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Polished inside and out to Logitech deliver the best smart remote on the market., 30 Nov 2014
This review is from: Logitech Harmony Hub (Accessory)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Logitech have been selling Harmony Hubs for a long time; and with the latest updates they have delivered something easy for anyone in the family to setup and use. If you have a pile of remotes to control your electronics; and want to reduce it to something already in your pocket the Harmony Hub is the universal remote you need.

Once you have connect up the hub to the mains (or as it uses USB as a power source any source of USB power) you can place the main hub box near your TV (if everything is in the open this is likely best as it blasts IR everywhere; or hide it out of sight in your AV cupboard and use the included discreet IR blaster to control your tv. Once the hardware is in place you need to download the app for your Apple or Android smartphone (or better still tablet.)

Once you have downloaded the app; there is step by step wizard to takes you through adding all your home entertainment devices; and a growing number of home automation devices to it. The only codes you need to lookup are the the model number's of your equipment - input it into your phone and it downloads the settings from logitech's servers. The Hub can control Infrared and Bluetooth devices; which means it works with a playstation or your Amazon Fire TV.

When you have added your devices you can build activities - or configure the suggested ones to your perfection. That is one very nice feature - you can design on the phone a controller that works with the way you work with your devices. Don't watch TV channels - then don't spend time configuring your favourites and set up an activity for your Amazon Fire TV (it even has a keyboard to make it easier to type than using arrows.) The Harmony app also allows you to configure activities; so setting up Watch a Movie and the hub will on your TV, and choose the right channel, power up your Blu Ray Player, AV Receiver and reduce the brightness of your Philips Hue Lights to make the scene perfect. At the end of the film; touch the off button and each device drops to standby. This is really powerful when building custom screens; if your source and audio are in different places this is very simple to configure in the app; and something that the older hardware remotes made very difficult.

I received a Logitech Harmony Hub to review a year or so ago; and was frank with my review that at the time that the software just wasn't as good as it should have been. At the time the Hub system and the app's for it felt unfinished and were missing logical functions. That was then; in-between Logitech have made great strides in the app; and it is now a joy to use and has added much missed features - like tablet support and the in app keyboard. What Logitech have ended up with is something anyone can pick up and use - or something you can tailor to your hearts content.


SHIELDON Classic Handmade 100% Genuine Natural Leather Wallet Case Flip Book Style for Apple iPhone 6 Plus (5.5 inch only), with Stand Function, ID Holder, Credit Cards Slots - Mysterious Black
SHIELDON Classic Handmade 100% Genuine Natural Leather Wallet Case Flip Book Style for Apple iPhone 6 Plus (5.5 inch only), with Stand Function, ID Holder, Credit Cards Slots - Mysterious Black
Offered by SHIELDON
Price: £65.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crash tested, 25 Nov 2014
My Shieldon Flip case for the iPhone 6+ came well presented in a nice box; that reminded me of the presentation of a Sena case's packaging. open the box and you find the case was inside its own pouch. On first inspection after taking it out the actual phone case was well finished; the leather die was even as was the stitching. Opening the wallet fold revealed a rigid plastic phone holder on one side and 3 (very deep so they don't have to touch the screen) credit card slots as well as a receipt slot that opens from the spine. The plastic iPhone holder has cutouts for all the buttons and speakers on the phone so you can plug in your headphones or charger cable - and its easy to slot your phone in and out of the holder. After buying a phone case with card slots last year; I'm sold on benefit; it gives me an always with me slot for my work access key card; car park tickets and all the small things you need quickly during the day.

Having tried all kinds of phone cases in the past I generally avoided folding cases after a having a samsung that didn't fold back when you opened it so the case was always part open; even in your pocket. The Shieldon case has a nice supple leather that isn't showing cracks for dozens of calls made and closes up; but it stays closed thanks to magnets that hold it closed. The case does a great job in your wallet or bag in protecting the phone; when you are on your desk it has one more trick up its sleeve; it acts as a desk stand so you can easily see the screen even on the desk.

Being a klutz I have dropped it more than a few times since getting the phone; and the magnets keeping the case together has helped it protect the phone from dents or scratches - and unlike my Sena iPhone 5s case which sacrificed itself to save my phone when dropped; the shieldon case itself has survived the falls too without much of a scratch. Protection is really the most important task for a case and it has passed with flying colors. The card holder and desk stand features are lovely extras in a good looking case.

I was sent a Sample from Shieldon for review; I took off the official apple case to do this; and haven't put it back.


Sky News
Sky News
Price: £0.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Needs a facelift., 15 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sky News (App)
One of the nicest things about the Amazon Fire TV is the excellent interface; tiles of content with descriptions being the general still. The Sky news app for Fire TV doesn't follow that trend and the presentation of the content makes it difficult to find content. The actual news articles are fine; but the app needs a facelift.


Willow Organic Beauty Classic Box, Lime & Lavender
Willow Organic Beauty Classic Box, Lime & Lavender
Price: £55.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Combination of Presentation and Quality that makes it stand out, 15 Nov 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Willow Organic Lime and Lavender gift set is excellently presented; the two soaps, candle and moisturiser come in a nice box; the bar of soap is even wrapped in tissue paper.

The four items in the box are Liquid Hand Soap, a bar of soap, a hand moisturiser and scented candle. All come in the lime a lavender fragrance; I like lavender and lime on their own; Willow and Brown have gone for more a hint of fragrance rather than overwhelming you with it; I do feel the overall effect of the two diminishes the earthier smell of the lavender.

The quality of the actual products is very high; using the pumped hand soap (in a nice 250ml sized square bottle) is very good and leaves my hands feeling nice and clean - though perhaps a little drier than I would have liked. After washing you can reach for the matching fragrance hand and body lotion; also in the squared pump bottle; and this was a pleasant surprise - often the moisturiser lets these gift sets down. The Willow and Brown organic moisturiser is feels rich and silky when you pump it onto your hands; it absorbs quickly and doesn't leave your hands feeling too greasy afterwards.

In both cases the pump dispenser itself gives you a good dose of the product and second pumps are rarely needed (unlike molton brown pumps.)

The bar of soap gives a lovely rich lather which is always nice to experience when you are used to liquid soaps. It doesn't have the lime and lavender fragrance of the other products being Orange, Lime and Bergamot which for me is a much nicer citrus combination than the lavender and lime of the other products. The final element is the candle; this has a subtle fragrance; in a typical spa effect it enhances the atmosphere of a room rather than choking it with perfume.

The overall quality of each of the the products is excellent; the moisturiser exceptionally so. The presentation is first rate; and as such it would make an excellent gift or treat for yourself. 5*


EXTRA Cool Breeze Sugar Free Chewing Gum 10 Pellets (Pack of 30)
EXTRA Cool Breeze Sugar Free Chewing Gum 10 Pellets (Pack of 30)
Price: £12.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Less intense mint than spearmint, 10 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I like wriggles spearmint; and thought I would try these for a change. The texture is the same; an initial crunch with a nice soft gum and the flavour lasts reasonably well. That first crunch comes with a less intense mint hit than I prefer. For me the more intense hit of the extra spearmint gum is better. Otherwise these come in the same packaging and I love that my gum is shipped to my office from Scotland once a month.


Masterplug SRG62-MP 6 Gang Surge Protected Extension Lead 2m 13 Amp Fused
Masterplug SRG62-MP 6 Gang Surge Protected Extension Lead 2m 13 Amp Fused
Price: £10.09

5.0 out of 5 stars Masterplug's surge protected sockets were the choice for me as ..., 9 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Masterplug's surge protected sockets were the choice for me as they are very slim compared to a lot of other surge protectors and have sockets for wall mounting. I placed two into the backs of my entertainment cabinets to power up my home theatre system. Bulkiersurge protecters would have robbed the cabinets of space. The power lead at 2m long gets the extension lead from a socket to where you need it. There are two indicator lights to show you its powered up and surge protected.


LINDY 28 Super-Bright LED Torch Black
LINDY 28 Super-Bright LED Torch Black
Offered by EnergyMonitorWorld
Price: £9.03

4.0 out of 5 stars The rubberised power button is easy to find with your fingers and has a clean ..., 9 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The Lindy 28 is a Light, bright-enough torch; weirdly powered by 3 triple a batteries- rather than 2 or 4. Its small enough to fit in a glovebox; or a bag (i always take a torch when i travel having suffered through a few power failures over the years.) Its bright enough to light a wide area; thought the light has a bluish led tint. The rubberised power button is easy to find with your fingers and has a clean light action.

Its a great value torch.


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