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

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AEG  Ergorapido Rechargeable 2-in-1 Handheld with Brushroll Clean, Satin Black
AEG Ergorapido Rechargeable 2-in-1 Handheld with Brushroll Clean, Satin Black
Price: 104.29

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Second Vacuum, 28 Feb 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The AEG Ergorapido is a 2-in-1 "stick" vacuum with rotating brushes with a handheld vacuum that pops out. If you like vacuuming in the dark AEG have included LED lights on the front of the brush box so you can tick that important box.

I live in a duplex flat; and use iRobot Roomba 555 Vacuum Cleaning Robot to maintain the ground floor; sadly the iRobot suffers from the same design flaw as the daleks and won't do stairs so for me this ticks a vital box that I have been using a large mains Dyson as my second vacuume for some time. Using the Ergorapido in Stick Mode is outstanding for cleaning stairs; its light and easy to manoeuvre up and down the stairs and the rotating brushes are great and getting fluff out of carpet.

Taking the dust-buster out of the stick you can use the brush attachments for smaller areas or on furniture. The dust buster works almost as well as a Dyson handheld; the suction isn't as good but AEG provide a fairly hard brush attachment if you need a scrubbing action.

The batteries and charging on the Ergorapido seemed utterly baffling and I do think AEG have made a poor choice with regard to recharge time; a Toyota Prius can drive up-to 15 miles after charging it from a mains socket for 2 hours;. The Ergorapido needs 16 hours to last 20 minutes: of vacuuming. AEG have provided two options for charging it; a wall mounted and a floor mounted base; using either of these uses a lot of space though as it doesn't collapse. The charging mount holds the two included brush accessories for the dust-buster. Luckily I have a cupboard that it fits in when charged so it doesn't stand out all the time.

The ErgoRapido is a bit of a mixed bag; the long recharge time seemed bad till I actually time my Dyson Slim to recharge; Dyson manage 15 minutes of Vacuum action; though the Dyson is charged in around 5 hours.

The AEG is half the price of a Dyson Slim; and despite the slower vacuum time its dual design works really well as a second vacuum.


Skyfall (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy)
Skyfall (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy)
Dvd ~ Daniel Craig
Price: 14.60

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent BluRay, 20 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Skyfall feels like a film not of its time. When you see the current trailers for Die Hard (something) on the television and all the guns and explosions; Bond feels much more restrained. There are explosions and chases; but its closer to a Bourne film where intelligence is the name of the game rather than running in guns blazing. Until the ending; which is simply ludicrous and I refuse to believe it is how things would be done; trying to avoid spoiling it.

In the Blu-ray transfer we have something of a treat; it feels first rate on both the audio and visual fronts. The audio seems very well mapped to the 7 channels of my sound system with effects moving around the room and taking advantage of the extra effects speakers at the back of my room; but dialog always clear and rarely overwhelmed by music or action. The picture is first rate; there is a long night sequence in the film; and there are none of the dreaded compression artefacts in the night sky; and when the pace picks up and an explosion kicks in the fire looks like it should be making the room feel warmer.

Lastly Sony have included a proper downloadable digital copy that you can download into iTunes or your Android system rather than an ultraviolet copy - a system that I have had mixed experiences with even if it theoretically lets you lend people films.

If you can suspend your belief its an enjoyable film; the BluRay presents it in its best light. 4*s


Philips Instyle Nathalie Wall Light Black (Includes 1 x 80 Watts R7S Bulb)
Philips Instyle Nathalie Wall Light Black (Includes 1 x 80 Watts R7S Bulb)
Price: 58.03

5.0 out of 5 stars Mellow Light, 3 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
When I moved into my new flat the wall light in the living room was round like a ships porthole and used a CFL bulb that took a while to warm up. It was the first thing I wanted to change in my flat; and i looked around at lots of bulbs. Being in the Vine program I have had lots of philips products to test and have been consistently impressed with the quality of them. So i decided to get one of the beautifully designed philips lights. The unimaginatively named Philips 33213 is one of the Philips Instyle lighting range; and its a nice compact down and uplighter for your wall. The light shines around the golden ring on hte inside and the light it gives off a nice warm light up and down the wall rather than the cold light of the cathode i had before.

The light itself is a beautifully designed and built device. It comes fully assembled; you only need to remove a few screens before you can mount it - which helps when it comes to putting it back together as you can see where they had been. In the instructions are notes for either connecting it to the lighting ring or to a wall socket; though the wires aren't provided for the wall socket option.

At about 10cm high, 25cm wide and 15cm high it doesnt take up a lot of room on the wall. Its made from Aluminium so its nice and light; at about a kilo so should mount onto most walls with the appropriate fittings. Inside the box is a simple diagram for connecting it up; It took less than 10 minutes to wall mount it and connect up the wires using the helpful instructions.

It looks great and I love the light it gives off; 5*s.


LightwaveRF Connected Light Switch, Double Dimmer Wireless - iOS, iPhone and Android Smart Home Automation Control- Stainless Steel
LightwaveRF Connected Light Switch, Double Dimmer Wireless - iOS, iPhone and Android Smart Home Automation Control- Stainless Steel

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Light switches for the 21st century, 3 Feb 2013
The Lightwave RF truly are light switches for the modern era.

They are dimmer switches so your light bulbs need to be able to work with dimmers. The light switches themselves come in a variety of metal finishes; and 1 or two socket designs.

They come in two types; master and slaves to let them work with the lighting ring in your house (if you have connected lighting circuits - like up / down stairs.). Before you start it is worth nothing they need a 35mm deep light socket box so you may want to check before you begin that you wont need to do work on the boxes in the walls. Inside the packs is a good diagram showing you how to wire it up; if you aren't sure what you are looking find an electrician.

Once they are all connected up a feint amber light shows when the light is off and is replaced with a blue light when you turn it on. When you turn the light on the lights slowly fade up and the same when you power them down. Pressing and holding the switch enables the dimmer function to allow you to set the brightness how you want it. If you have a complex lighting circuit or aren't familiar with electrical wiring and lighting circuits or as I found a very complex lighting circuit - I strongly recommend you get an electrician to help you wire it up -better safe than sorry.)

You can pair the light switches with RF remote controls (they work through walls) of a couple of types; or there is a WIFI connection that lets you control your lights from an app on Apple or Android devices. The latter of which (depending on your home network) can let you check the status of your lights at home. Its class as a home automation device and there are thermostats, radiator controls and standard wall plug sockets all of which gain the RF control and app control features - which make it very easy to power things down to save energy.

The light switches look really great on the walls and the color status light helps you find them in the dark; and the ramp up of the lights makes turning them on feel like an event.


LightwaveRF Connected Light Switch, Single Dimmer Wireless - iOS, iPhone and Android Smart Home Automation Control- Black Chrome
LightwaveRF Connected Light Switch, Single Dimmer Wireless - iOS, iPhone and Android Smart Home Automation Control- Black Chrome

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Light switches for the 21st century, 3 Feb 2013
The Lightwave RF truly are light switches for the modern era.

They are dimmer switches so your light bulbs need to be able to work with dimmers. The light switches themselves come in a variety of metal finishes; and 1 or two socket designs.

They come in two types; master and slaves to let them work with the lighting ring in your house (if you have connected lighting circuits - like up / down stairs.). Before you start it is worth nothing they need a 35mm deep light socket box so you may want to check before you begin that you wont need to do work on the boxes in the walls. Inside the packs is a good diagram showing you how to wire it up; if you aren't sure what you are looking find an electrician.

Once they are all connected up a feint amber light shows when the light is off and is replaced with a blue light when you turn it on. When you turn the light on the lights slowly fade up and the same when you power them down. Pressing and holding the switch enables the dimmer function to allow you to set the brightness how you want it. If you have a complex lighting circuit or aren't familiar with electrical wiring and lighting circuits or as I found a very complex lighting circuit - I strongly recommend you get an electrician to help you wire it up -better safe than sorry.)

You can pair the light switches with RF remote controls (they work through walls) of a couple of types; or there is a WIFI connection that lets you control your lights from an app on Apple or Android devices. The latter of which (depending on your home network) can let you check the status of your lights at home. Its class as a home automation device and there are thermostats, radiator controls and standard wall plug sockets all of which gain the RF control and app control features - which make it very easy to power things down to save energy.

The light switches look really great on the walls and the color status light helps you find them in the dark; and the ramp up of the lights makes turning them on feel like an event.


Contigo Morgan Autoseal Travel Mug - 360 ml - White/Ocean
Contigo Morgan Autoseal Travel Mug - 360 ml - White/Ocean
Price: 15.96

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great in your hand, 28 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I recently moved offices and now find myself sitting under an air conditioner. The constant breeze has a chilling impact on my morning coffee. I tried Starbuck's own mugs but they aren't especially insulating; and I discovered they can leak.

The Contigo Morgan besides looking great in white and cyan; has a dual wall insulation design to keep your drink hot; and the two layers of plastic are thick enough to protect your hands from boiling water. If your drink is super hot there is an extra thick rubber section which is easy to grip in gloves (tested in the recent snow.) The cyan strip is slightly rubbery and makes a good grip; though if you lose your grip you wont be spilling anything as the button has to be pressed in to let you drink anything. If you are going anywhere near kids there is a switch on the top that disables the drink button. In the car its slim enough to fit into the can holder; rather than needing to risk the bottle holders in the doors. At Starbucks its a small; saving me 200 calories a day in coffee and bringing in your own mug saves you 25p.

At the end of the day cleaning it is simple; the entire cup and lid can go on the top drawer of your dishwasher. Only had it a week and haven't noticed any coffee stain build up on the white plastic yet.

The extra insulation over a paper cup keeps my coffee warm for longer; though it would be nice if it were maybe 1-200ml bigger. Though drinking small latte's saves me several hundred calories a day. It looks good; easy to clean and saves me from spilling anything on the stairs. 5 stars.


Zack 20182 2/ 4 cl/ 9.2 cm Colpi Jigger Cup
Zack 20182 2/ 4 cl/ 9.2 cm Colpi Jigger Cup
Price: 12.71

5.0 out of 5 stars Fluid Lines, 28 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The Zack jigger; ticks my boxes made out of an easy to clean stainless steel. The outside has nice fluid curves and there are clean lines on the inside for measuring out your spirits. Its not the cheapest jigger but it looks nice and feels like it will last a long long time.


Belkin Cat5e Snagless UTP Patch Cable (Green) 2m
Belkin Cat5e Snagless UTP Patch Cable (Green) 2m
Price: 1.66

5.0 out of 5 stars Short fast cables, 22 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The belkin Cat 5e cables are a reasonable length for wiring up things around your desk. In bright green you cant miss them - other colors are available. The connector on them is snagless by having two semi circles rise up to project the clip. Given how many broken clips there are in my office this should be a part of all network cables.

I needed them for some performance testing and I was happily blasting 100's of Mb/s into them for hours on end without issue; so they are quick as well as easy to maintain. At this price it has to be 5*'s.


Linksys 5-Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch
Linksys 5-Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch
Price: 28.08

4.0 out of 5 stars Small, 5 Port Switch, 22 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The surprising thing about Cisco Linksys 5 Port is how small it is. Looking at the pictures you imagine its quite large; but its not much wider than the 5 network cables you can connect. The switch itself is easy to use and very compact which makes it great for travelling or slotting in behind a TV or AV Rack. My only real issue with it is the power brick; i would far rather have had it integrated; as apple do on their Airports, and use a figure of 8 cable to connect into the switch as the power brick is oversized.

I needed it to run some performance testing against some webservers at work; Amazon shipped it next day it did the job perfectly and is awaiting its next missing. 4*s (-1 for the power brick)


Logitech UE 6000 Headphones - White
Logitech UE 6000 Headphones - White
Price: 90.42

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Jekyl And Hide, 22 Jan 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Logitech UE 6000 come in a very well presented box. Opening the package is a great introduction to the headphones with a magnetically capped flap. In the box is a black neoprene bag with a bright blue zipper with the headphones inside; a bright blue connector cable (hence the zipper) and a small manual; written in all the languages of the earth; english comes first and lasts for all of 3 pages.

Opening the neoprene bag you find the headphones collapsed down; and there is an evident batter protection strip you need to remove in order to use the noise cancelling feature. The bright blue cable has an iPhone / Modern Apple computer inline remote on it, as it uses standard connectors you can substitute with another cable - or if like me you find the cable is the first point of failure you can easily fix your headphones by buying a new one rather than spending a great deal more on a new set of headphones.

I left the headphones running on an old iPod for a day to warm up. I was delighted to see that you could use the headphones without the noise cancelling feature turned on - something that my Bose QC15's can't do - and likely saved me a Pair of AAA batteries. I had a set of Philips M1's to review last year; they are a similar price to these UE6000's and they have wormed there way to be my day to day headphones. Like these Logitech's they are on the large side; but their sound is impressively neutral - more so than the B&W p5's. These Logitech's have a Jekyll and hide personality; without the noise cancellation turned on they sound almost neutral; they are a bit base boomy - for the kids - and the boomy base tends to slightly overpower any midrange your music has going on - but its not . Your music is there it just sounds a bit stodgy; the Philips are smoothies and the B&W's attack you with every note. Each set of phones has a target set of customers.

When you turn on the noise cancellation the headphones become overwhelmingly Base at the expense of; well the music. I think they did it to offset the base you lose when on a plane; sadly they came a week to late for me to test on a plane and my next trip is a few weeks out; so I had to pit the noise cancelling against my office Air Conditioner at full blast and a rattly extractor fan. Against the Air conditioning which is a loud-ish hum they cancelled it out very well. Against the fan it had some impact but not nearly as much as the Bose QC15's do. It wasn't as good as my Bowers & Wilkins C5 In-Ear Headphones B&W either and they don't have active noise cancellation.

For last 3 days I have listened to a huge swathe of my music collection at work and on my commute to see how things went; with Bowie and Iron and Wine which don't use an awful amount of base the UE 6000's sounded pretty great. The brittle strings of Phillip Glass were overwhelmed at times by the larger instruments. Trying Robin's "We Dance to the beat" the bass pad overwhelms all others. I ended on "Suite for a Robotic Girl" by Davide Rossi / Royksopp; this has everything - chorus, strings, double bass, bass pad's and quite frankly on the UE6000's with noise cancelling it was a muddled mess even distorting at high volume. On my more balanced headphones it was the 4 minutes of bliss I know it to be. Without the NC it sounds like I switched on a base booster but wasn't terrible.

They come in white and Black - I went to white as I use a white iPhone. The white plastic looks surprisingly good and the general materials in the headphones are a step up from cheaper sets; but plastic is plastic - something in wood or aluminium would have looked good. Behind the white plastic of the left ear cup is a Pair of batteries (supplied) that are easily swapped out by pressing a button and lifting the case.

I know the trendy headphones all come with bags of bass; and so the NC mode is in line with current trends. Happily without the noise cancellation the UE6000s are slightly boomy rather than going all out as they do in NC mode. With the NC engaged things do get quieter - though if you can afford and travel enough to justify them you should look at the Bose QC15's. Sadly with NC engaged your music goes all to pot.

So Jekyll and Hide it is; ideally like to give them 2.5 stars so the UE5000's get 3*'s for not being as good as it gets for reproducing my music faithfully enough and the NC not going quite as quiet NC should go. If you like a bit more bass (you use a bass enhancer eq say) then these may be the phones are likely 4 or 5*'s for you.


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