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Chris Hoare "Chris" (UK)
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ABC Products® All in One USB Multi Digital Camera / Mobile Phone Picture Memory Card Reader Writer USB 2.0 Windows 98SE, ME, 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8 and Apple Mac OS V9.2 & above, PLUG and PLAY Digital Photo Frame Transfer, Reads all Cards Except Smart Media, USB Cable Included
ABC Products® All in One USB Multi Digital Camera / Mobile Phone Picture Memory Card Reader Writer USB 2.0 Windows 98SE, ME, 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8 and Apple Mac OS V9.2 & above, PLUG and PLAY Digital Photo Frame Transfer, Reads all Cards Except Smart Media, USB Cable Included
Offered by abcproducts
Price: £5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Takes most all cards, 12 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The ABC Products USB card reader takes most all cards; for the larger cards like SD and compact flash I found it easy to use. Inserting a MicroSD was a particularly challenge for me. Its USB 2 so its quite quick; USB3 would be nicer but more expensive and that is where you are with this - if you have a lot of different cards it lets you read them without messing around inserting things into your tablet or camera. You sacrifice speed for convenience.4*


Lenovo Miix2 8-inch Tablet (Silver) - (Intel Atom 1.33GHz, 2GB RAM, 32GB eMMC, WLAN, BT, 2x Camera, Windows 8.1)
Lenovo Miix2 8-inch Tablet (Silver) - (Intel Atom 1.33GHz, 2GB RAM, 32GB eMMC, WLAN, BT, 2x Camera, Windows 8.1)
Price: £199.00

22 of 34 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice Sized and apportioned Tablet; Windows 8 just doesn't help it., 12 Feb 2014
The Lenovo Miix2 is a (barely) pocketable Windows 8 tablet; running full Windows 8 rather than the cut down RT version. I have been using Windows 8 on my desktop (as a developer) before it was released and thought that I would enjoy using it as my tablet computer. After looking at a number of different tablets; including a colleagues Surface Pro 2 i found the Miix2, liked the size, weight and battery life and took the plunge. In getting it to this size Lenovo has included a Headphone, USB and MicroSD ports and bluetooth and wifi. It doesn't have a video out option.

After charging it up with the included charger and cable; I found that of the 32gb of original storage out of the box roughly 10gb was left was available for applications and documents. In this day and age of saving files on cloud storage like Microsofts Skydrive it shouldn't matter; but the more i travel this year the more I find how 4g just doesn't have the coverage, 3g is still too slow to use and none of my clients have public wifi points meaning i need files locally. That was quickly addressed by plugging a MicroSD Card into the device; something an iPad can't do; though a 32gb iPad comes with a lot closer to 32gb of storage - microsoft needs to start getting devices installing windows onto a separate storage space from the user.

In your hand the device feels robust. The screen is bright; and has a quite high resolution. The included apps load quickly; so long as you remember to close them down when they aren't running. The more apps you open the quicker the battery haemorrhages its life - just using office apps I haven't been able to get more than 5 hours without reaching for a power cable.

In use those 5 hours are VERY painful for all but one app - Onenote. I absolutely adore Onenote (available for free from the Microsoft App Store) and the Miix2 (with the optional pen) is close to the perfect one note device.) The issues for this and other windows tablets are the keyboard takes up too much room in landscape mode; and when you need numbers unlike iOS and android they are grouped in a little keypad - so 4 is off to the side rather than above the letter R. Desktop apps are very difficult to use without a mouse; there is no proximity detection of your finger so when you click there is a measure of rushing roulette to your success.

If you stick to the modern desktop apps and browser it does work very well; sadly most all of Office isn't in Modern Desktop and unless you have the pen you have to click icons far smaller than my fingers and press and hold for left click. If you do have the pen; one discovery was that at the hand writing recognition is absolutely fantastic.

The leaves me with a mixed bag; the device is brilliant, and if you want a tablet for Skype and Modern UI apps like one note its easy to use and more functional than an iPad thanks to proper multitasking. Its a disaster for inputting information even with a pen. That input problem compounds when you use the desktop as its entirely hit and miss what you click. Apple and googles productivity apps may leave a lot to be desired; but they may have left things out in the reach for actual usability. 2* because of the windows; the actual device is 5*.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 30, 2014 1:47 PM BST


ARCHOS 50 Platinum 4GB UK Sim Free Smartphone - Black
ARCHOS 50 Platinum 4GB UK Sim Free Smartphone - Black
Price: £186.36

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shocked at how good this is, 11 Feb 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I normally leave my feelings about a product till the end; but the Archos 50 Platinum is for its price fantastic.

Saying that really is a surprise to me as its been a while since I had used any Archos product; my mental image was tainted by older devices with poor slow and unusable touch screens. Opening the Archos 50 Platinum and I was confronted with a phone that is clearly a copy of my (work provided) Samsung Galaxy S4 - only the Archos FAR better made. As soon as you pick it up the Archos feels a quality product - more like the Nokia Lumia's - this is helped by the removable battery cover being very rigid and the materials whilst not as glitzy as the Samsung are far more robust. Once powered up the screen is bright; and displays text and images clearly; the phone is quick at opening apps - most everything you could want in a phone.

After a solid nights charging; i put in a Full Size Sim ! - not only is there room for a full size sim; Archos have room for two Full Size Sim sockets (And a Micro SD Card slot to expand on the Paltry 4gb of included storage.) Sadly for those sim cards one is 2/ 3g and the other 2g; but I'm not sure how many people are willing to pay for 4g until it becomes more established so likely not a problem for most people. If you travel though it does mean you can keep your UK sim in place and add a local sim (Mine is Sim free) which is great.

On its first startup I was taken through a wizard through which I configured my google account into the inbuilt google apps and watched my contacts and email sync from google. Reading my emails on the large screen was easy; the resolution isn't as high as the Samsung - but for business tasks its fine. The installed software is a Android 4.1; its untouched by Archos so you get the standard Google Apps and interface; and the ability to download the amazon app store. As an untouched android its easy to replace the standard apps with ones you would rather use from the app store. Unlike those Archos devices of old the Platinum is very responsive and surfing the web or reading your email is brisk.

The 4gb of included storage as quickly remedied with a Micro SD Card and that allowed me to test the built in camera which took respectable photos; the exposure was the big win for the phone; the resolution and noise were good but it seemed to get the exposure right in good lighting better than my Samsung. The second camera for video chatting worked find for skyping.

As I started the review; given the price I wasn't expecting something close to being as usable as the Archos 50 Platinum before it arrived. It deserves its 5*s for showing you can make a great phone with good software and camera for far less than the market leaders are charging. Sure there are things missing that my Galaxy has - but i can't remember the last time i used its built in pedometer or eye control features as they are gimics.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 2, 2014 7:53 PM BST


Cotton Men's Handkerchiefs Hankies (HH21) - Box Of 7 White by Handkerchief Heaven
Cotton Men's Handkerchiefs Hankies (HH21) - Box Of 7 White by Handkerchief Heaven
Offered by Wholesale Interiors
Price: £9.97

4.0 out of 5 stars White - Hankerchiefs, 11 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These handkerchiefs are at the lower end of the quality scale (they go transparent when wet and the thread count looks bad) but they remain above the point where I would reject them out of hand for being too low grade. They helped me survive the heat of the tropics for two weeks and survived being washed. For the price there is little to complain about really.


Sony SRS-BTS50 Wireless Portable Speaker Bluetooth with NFC - White
Sony SRS-BTS50 Wireless Portable Speaker Bluetooth with NFC - White
Price: £91.12

4.0 out of 5 stars Share your music and movies on the road., 11 Feb 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Sony SRS-BTS50 is small bluetooth speaker and microphone system; its about 80% the size of a 500ml bottle of Diet Coke; and and inside it are some speakers and batteries.

Thanks to its diminutive size for the last 3 weeks I have used it nightly for the 4 nights a week I spent in various hotels. The surprising thing was the battery held up to a couple of hours use each night 4 nights a week; so i left the charger at home.

Being bluetooth its easy to setup and use for a variety of purposes - and if you have a device with a N - nespresso like logo (for NFC) on it setup should be a question of touching your device to the logo on the speaker. Using it as an adhoc speakerphone or streaming music from my iPhone and to replace the speakers in my laptop when watching a love film. The microphone part of the Speakerphone was perhaps its weakest not really working as a speakerphone and picking up noise from the speak; but the speaker bit worked fine. Once setup and running the buttons are a nice improvement over the last bluetooth speaker I had; with a twee voice announcing Pairing mode or that the battery is somehow still at 70%. Musically its more than adequate for its size though if you are in a loud room it doesn't go especially loud - and I'm not sure it would work at parties. There are two positions you can use it in - horizontal and vertical. The sound in the vertical mode did nothing for the sound and didn't seem to improve the sound in the room I was in.

To help with portability there is a metal loop on the side; in the adverts its used with a Carabiner but Sony don't include one. It is almost mildly moisture protected - I thought great a speaker for the bathroom but the safety notices say keep away from the steam of a bathroom.

The BTS50 is easy to connect to a computer or phone; emits a nice balanced sound and the battery lasts a sensible amount of time. If you want to share your music or movies on the road - or just want better sound than your laptop can do its great. 4* (Dinged a star for the moisture protection not being especially useful.)


Anker® 2nd Gen Astro E3 10000mAh Portable Power Bank Pack External Battery USB Charger with PowerIQ™ Technology for iPhone 6 5S 5C 5 4S, iPad Air, mini, Galaxy S5 S4 S3, Note 4 3 2, Tab 4 3 2 Pro, Nexus, HTC One, Motorola Droid, Moto X G, PS Vita, Gopro, most other Phones and Tablets
Anker® 2nd Gen Astro E3 10000mAh Portable Power Bank Pack External Battery USB Charger with PowerIQ™ Technology for iPhone 6 5S 5C 5 4S, iPad Air, mini, Galaxy S5 S4 S3, Note 4 3 2, Tab 4 3 2 Pro, Nexus, HTC One, Motorola Droid, Moto X G, PS Vita, Gopro, most other Phones and Tablets
Offered by AnkerDirect
Price: £49.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charge When you need it, 30 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The Anker 10,000 mAh USB charger is bigger than either of my phones; but happily charges them both up at the same time. It also happily powered up a camera that used USB power. The charger wouldnt charge my noise cancelling headphones as they didn't meet the minimum voltage to charge requirements. So for most purposes the Anker Astro is excellent.

The quality of manufacture and the fit and finish of the Charger isn't as good as I would prefer but for the price its more than adequate and as a tool to charge up devices when you are away from the mains for a few days its excellent.


Energizer CA-LPE6 Digital Camera Battery (Equivalent for the Canon LP-E6)
Energizer CA-LPE6 Digital Camera Battery (Equivalent for the Canon LP-E6)
Price: £28.45

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Workers perfectly in my 6d, 30 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Once I had cut my Energiser LPE6 out of the (annoying plastic heat sealed packaging) it charged cleanly in the canon charger; and it safely cutoff the charging without overheating. In the camera the menus aren't able to tell me about the life of the battery and the charging cycles but the battery gauge seems to reflect the state of the battery. The official EP6 part is far from cheap but you know its safe with your equipment and gives a decent number of images on a chart.

In my hands the Energiser LPe6 works very well in my Canon 6d; in the harsh winter and through tropical heat of a holiday in the far east. General Energizer batteries are quality product well made with a long life; and their EP6 replacement part does the job almost as well as the official part and honours the company name, best of all they come in at a considerably lower price.


Amazing Spaces
Amazing Spaces
by George Clarke
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.60

4.0 out of 5 stars Idea for tight spaces, 30 Jan 2014
This review is from: Amazing Spaces (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Amazing spaces is a nice contrast to home design magazines - there are a mixture of very expensive and expansive looking buildings as well as tardis like tiny spaces. As the various spaces (its not just homes but trailers and even a Land Rover) the book spends time showing you how it was done. After showing you lots of ideas and possibilities the last chapter covers how you can find a designer or work to achieve your own vision.


AmazonBasics USB A to Lightning Compatible Cable for iPhone 5, iPad 4, iPad mini, iPod nano 7 and iPod 5 3 Feet / 0.9 m - Apple certified
AmazonBasics USB A to Lightning Compatible Cable for iPhone 5, iPad 4, iPad mini, iPod nano 7 and iPod 5 3 Feet / 0.9 m - Apple certified
Price: £10.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Getting a new iPhone get some of these, 25 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Amazon really do their cables a disservice calling them basics.

The basics connectors are chunkier than some and as a result easy to use and they feel well made. Every Amazon Basics cable I have tried has worked first time. So when i finally upgraded to a 5s I had to replace my Dock connector cables all over the place... I didn't look elsewhere and just ordered 3 of these. I wasn't disappointed; they are great value, arrive in easy to open packaging are a sensible length for most every purpose and have allowed my phones to charge and sync with every device I have plugged them into. 5*.


No Title Available

1.0 out of 5 stars Sounds Good; Lack of power, 25 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Weirdly given the mixed reviews from others my Victsing black 30 pin to 8 pin adaptor delivers audio from my iPhone 5s perfectly but doesn't charge the phone up.

Decided not to waste any time looking at other third party adaptors and have ordered the official part.


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