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

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Philips GC8638/20 PerfectCare Aqua Iron Steam Generator with One Perfect Temperature and 280 g Steam Boost, 2500 ml, 2400 Watt, 5.3 Bar, Navy
Philips GC8638/20 PerfectCare Aqua Iron Steam Generator with One Perfect Temperature and 280 g Steam Boost, 2500 ml, 2400 Watt, 5.3 Bar, Navy
Price: £179.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Complexity Be Gone, 27 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have reviewed a few irons on Amazon over the years; and Philips GC8638/20 PerfectCare Aqua Iron Steam Generator not only has the longest name it is also by far the largest. Over the reviews one thing became more and more clear; Irons have use ever more energy with the benefit of this is Ironing time has reduced year on year. All these irons have also become more and more complex; one Iron I have had to test had over 80 temperature settings to choose from - far too complex for a man doing his own ironing.

Then into my life steps the Aqua Iron Steam Generator no more complexity; fill it up with a LOT of water (there is a drain if you need to empty it for storage after ironing - a full tank of water happily did more than 15 shirts) and press a single button. There are no heat settings just a More steam trigger on the iron; using the Generator I found i could go from cotton shirts to a silk tie without any settings changes which further speeds up ironing. After pressing the single power button; the iron itself pulses a blue light. When the colour becomes solid blue its ready for use and you are away; the only thing you see whilst ironing is the sound of the pump injecting water to the steam generator.

The iron has a good friction free base plate and it glides whilst Ironing trousers and on shirts the pointed tip easily reaching between buttons on the board. The separate iron and steam generator makes for a light iron; and despite the light weight the copious steam it generates removes the creases. The connecting cord is long - long enough I could leave the iron on the Kitchen counter and iron on the board without the generator on it. The iron itself works horizontally on the board so you can iron jackets (or Curtains) whilst they are hung up.

Out of use the cord stores under the water tank; and is easy to reinsert; all you need to then is find the space in your cupboard to store it. Having been using it for the last month that is really my only real complaint with the iron; the steam generator iron is about 4 times the size of my old Azure iron. That said I have cleared the space in my cupboard to save some more time in my ironing.


eSynic 3.5" USB External Floppy Disk Drive Diskette 1.44MB FDD for Laptop PC - Compatible with Windows 98/SE/2000/ME/XP/VISTA/Windows 7
eSynic 3.5" USB External Floppy Disk Drive Diskette 1.44MB FDD for Laptop PC - Compatible with Windows 98/SE/2000/ME/XP/VISTA/Windows 7
Offered by eSynic
Price: £10.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Plug and play and read disks like its the 90s all over again, 21 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
We found we had no floppy drives left in the office; and suddenly needed to read a decades old floppy disk. After a huge debate about finding an old drive a quick search on amazon found this very reasonably priced drive. Fulfilled from an Amazon warehouse it arrived next day and plugged into a Windows 8 PC it read the disk without drivers or fuss. The unit feels robust and takes all its power from the USB cable so no need for a power brick.

The eSynic is very reasonably priced - I like that mine was also shipped from Amazon so qualified for prime - if you find yourself in the need to read an old disk this should be fine.


Tayogo Magic Cube Rechargeable Portable Bluetooth Wireless Speaker with 3.5mm Audio Port for Iphones, Ipads, Android Cell Phones, Touch Screen Tablets, Macbooks, Laptop Computers, Mp3 Players & Portable Cd/dvd Players (gold)
Tayogo Magic Cube Rechargeable Portable Bluetooth Wireless Speaker with 3.5mm Audio Port for Iphones, Ipads, Android Cell Phones, Touch Screen Tablets, Macbooks, Laptop Computers, Mp3 Players & Portable Cd/dvd Players (gold)
Offered by Tayogo_Direct
Price: £12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars No more tinny built in speakers, 21 Aug 2014
My Tayogo magic Cube speaker came (Fulfilled from an Amazon warehouse which is good for Prime customers or anyone in a hurry) in a gold coloured plastic; and it comes in other colours. Its cube shaped and about the size of a kit kat finger in all directions. The speaker itself comes in presentable packaging which is always nice when getting a gift. Inside there is a tiny manual; a 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable for direct connections for devices without bluetooth, a USB charging cable and the speaker.

Connecting the Magic Cube to a phone via bluetooth was easy on both my iPhone and Android running Samsung S4. Go to bluetooth devices on the phone; power up the cube and hold the bluetooth connect button on the top till it beeps; a few seconds later Magic Cube was visible as a connectable device on the phone; selecting it caused them to pair and the cube again beeped to indicate it was done (and a blue light flashes on the side.) After that whatever sounds my phone made came out of the Cube - and on one occasion that was a phone call i received which was well received on the other end - no complaints about the microphone.

That the magic cube charges by USB won it extra plaudits from the get go; I like things that charge by USB as its one less charger to carry around in your bag. Once charged the battery has always lasted far longer than I expected. Carry the Magic Cube I have doneI used it in the office for the magic hour before anyone else arrived; used it around my home and i slipped it into my carry on bag and took it on a short work trip to Belfast. For all the moving around the plastic looks as it did when it arrived; and the excellent non slip bass is still there.

I listen to a lot of music, podcasts and the radio streaming from my Phone whilst I'm working; the magic cube also worked connected to my laptop (replacing the speakers whilst I watched a film.) For the money you are spending the Magic Cube sounds excellent. The sound isn't biased so it sounds flat; I generally favour this you aren't overwhelmed by bass but it isn't to sparkly at the higher end resulting in something pleasant. You aren't hearing everything the producer wanted you to hear Its mono for a start) but as a replacement for the tinny speakers on my phone and laptop be it at home, the office and on the road it improved the experience of everything I was listening to at the expense of a small amount of the bag I was using. It freed me from wearing headphones all the time too - which lets you move around more. The Magic Cube isn't going to fill a room with music in the way a full Hifi can and that makes it ideal for kids where you don't want them turning the neighbours deaf.

I was provided Magic Cube for review and having been using it for a few weeks I am happy to have it around. The magic cube could be a treat or at the price its something in gift buying range and I think the recipient would be more than happy with it. It gets 5* because the combination of price, usb charging and acceptable sound quality.


Pantone Universe iPhone 5/5s IMD Cover - Deep Lavender
Pantone Universe iPhone 5/5s IMD Cover - Deep Lavender
Price: £19.27

4.0 out of 5 stars 18-3633 or Purple to its friends., 6 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
In the Pantone Universe - 18-3633 is called Deep Lavender; in my universe its Purple. Case Scenarios Pantone case is a very rigid plastic; that holds your iPhone 5 or 5s phone snugly - you can remove it by pressing it out through the cut out for your camera. The back is a nicely polished material; and the sides have cut shapes to create texture (and allow them to write Case Scenario on their product.)

For science and not at all because I'm clumsy I have dropped my phone a few times and neither the case nor the phone looks any the worse for wear. For finding your phone on a table of the exact same black cases this stands out.

Why only 4*'s well its not the cheapest case and it is just plastic but it is very purple and i like standing out amongst the clone. My last case had a fleck lining for the phone; and a card slot for a swipe card both of which are a preference thing; but they weren't purple and that is why this is the case on my phone.


Manfrotto Advanced Active Camera Bag Backpack I
Manfrotto Advanced Active Camera Bag Backpack I
Price: £48.60

4.0 out of 5 stars Comfy Commuter And Day Bag, 6 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Manfrotto Advanced Backpack I the smallest camera backpack I have tried; its a great design for carrying just a little bit of camera and manfrotto say unto a 15" laptop. My macbook pro 15" just fit; and its a fairly slim design. The active Backpack is very well made; with nice materials and easy to use zippers - even with gloves they are nice and long. The bag is very black so where something reflecting in winter. Manfrotto have avoided the boxy shape of a lot of bags apart from one side a design feature I haven't come across before - flat bottom so the bag stands up when you put it down. There is a tripod holder on the side; though its best used with small tripod. Up top there is a larger pocket and then two smaller document / pen pockets - one of which I put the included rain cover into.

Having walked about 30 miles with it over the last few weeks; the bag is very comfortable with nice padding on your shoulders and back; for comuting though I prefer the design of the Lowepro Photohatchback (I tested this last year; its a bigger bag than this.) The In the Lowepro design the camera section opens on your back so light fingers can't try and open it whilst you are out and about - though the computer pocket is much more exposed on the Lowepro so its a bit of give and take. Of the two the Manfrotto is the more comfortable bag; the Lowepro slightly larger and both your camera and back lose some padding compared to the manfrotto. Lowepro's ace in the hole is they have also included mesh pockets on the side for water bottles; which is something you can't easily carry with the Manfrotto - and my biggest issue with it.

I aspire to minimalism; with the Backback I Manfrotto encourages you to travel super light and for that its a great day bag as its comfortable, small and protects your gear. There is room for an SLR with a short lens attached and a spare lens and thats it. It is a comfortable bag for commuting; and on the plane it slipped under the seat in front of me with not problem. The compromise of the size stops you packing frivolous things like lunch or water; and in that respect the Lowepro photo backpacks stretch side pockets give it the advantage for me. I wavered between 3 and 4* because carrying a drink matters to me; taking my lowepro to work for the day and settled on 4* as its much nicer to carry around


Multiple Ports Wall/Desktop USB Charger 33-Watt 5V/6.5A Portable 6-Port Battery Charger | Charge Up To 6 Devices Simultaneously At Full Speed | For iPhone, iPad Mini, Samsung Galaxy S5, S4, S4, Note 3, Sony Xperia, Moto G, PlayStation Controllers, E-readers | 30 Days Money Back Guarantee And 24 Months Warranty - Glossy White
Multiple Ports Wall/Desktop USB Charger 33-Watt 5V/6.5A Portable 6-Port Battery Charger | Charge Up To 6 Devices Simultaneously At Full Speed | For iPhone, iPad Mini, Samsung Galaxy S5, S4, S4, Note 3, Sony Xperia, Moto G, PlayStation Controllers, E-readers | 30 Days Money Back Guarantee And 24 Months Warranty - Glossy White

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars USB Charging at home or on the road, 26 July 2014
Over the last dozen or so years USB power has become the de facto way to charge most devices we carry along with us every day - in the last year even my toothbrush has moved to USB charging. Unfortunately along the way it became multi voltage and we now face the need to charge several devices at home or on the road a lot of them every day. If you travel like me the number of those little chargers that make the trip with you grows – and the wretched things look alike but don't work alike - apple their low and high voltage chargers look identical which meant on at least one trip I didn’t had the right charger for my tablet.

My Volutz 6 port USB charger arrived in a nice box; and inside was a lightweight; gloss white plastic box. On its first outing it survived the rigors of airport baggage handling. On packing my bag; the benefit was immediately apparent –I took 3 USB chargers out of my travel bag and replaced them with one.

It should work pretty much wherever you go thanks to a universal DC converter for 90-240v. When you do plug in the figure 8-power cable (no power brick here) an LED lights up showing it has power and is ready to go. Once powered up use the USB cables that came with your device and plug them into the appropriate port on the front of the device; there are higher voltage ports for tablets and standard for everything else. Volutz have labeled the sockets common devices of their type so there are iPhone, iPad, Samsung sockets – the tablet sockets both charged my iPad and the rest all charged phones and camera’s without warnings on the devices. There is a decent amount of space between the sockets so its easy to add or remove them from the device.

Lying on its side in my hotel room I charged my tablet, two phones and camera all from the single socket the hotel felt was enough for the deka. All were fully charged in the morning. I really like that you don't to think about the chargers your need; and always have one with the right power output rating for the device you are using - and its a very reasonable price for the convenience. I have struggled to find a downside to this device; its compact and easy to use and really does solve a (albeit small) problem in my life. All considered the convenience you get from not using all those individual chargers at home or on the road is a pleasure. 5*s

Disclosure: I was provided a sample of this device for the purposes of writing a review and providing feedback to the reseller.


Panasonic Silver 5 Blade Wet/ Dry Foil Shaver
Panasonic Silver 5 Blade Wet/ Dry Foil Shaver

5.0 out of 5 stars Now my Favourite Razor - in a month, 24 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
With this 5 blade wet / dry electric shaver Panasonic have come from nowhere in my life to favourite razor in a month. Previously I have been a fan of the 3 blade design and using a Philips 9000 series shaver for a year; and alternating it with a Gillette Fusion to deal with the neck (and under the nose) hairs.

The shaving head rocks and pivots helping get closer as you move it around your face; though without some kind of lubrication on your face in the summer heat it had friction problems; so after the early set back I have used the razor with a gel. Used without gel the Panasonic was the first electric shaver I have managed to cut myself whilst using it. On my face the 5 blade shaver suffers as all electric razors have with neck hairs growing along the neck which has keeps me needing to use a fusion occasionally. It gets close under the nose which has been an issue before; and the built in trimmer works OK on sideburns. The motor is very good; forgetting to shave for 3 days the panasonic powered through it without pulling or scratching. With gel it shaves smoothly and closely; and panasonic have put an ultrasonic cleaning mode into it to help you clean it with water. The cleaning / charging dock can then be used for deep cleans and re-lubricating the head.

The battery life is outstanding; the razor lasted comfortably into two weeks before i charged it at 30% of life; I had to charge it to take it away on a business trip - there is a leatherette pouch to protect it in your bag and the charging cable works without the dock.

In the last few years I have tried the Philips 9000, Braun Cooltec and now this Panasonic. Until now none of the electric shavers have come anywhere near the Gilette Fusion; the Panasonic comes very close - and it does it with less cuts to my face.

Panasonic really have knocked it out of the park with the 5 blade- it shaves close and smooth (with a gel) thanks to its powerful motor and blades -working with batteries that keep on going. If the price doesn't put you off panasonic's shavers seem superior to their european rivals.


For Apple MacBook Pro A1278 / A1286 / A1297 Replacement 4 Pack Rubber Feet / Foott Kit 13" / 15" / 17" - Brand New
For Apple MacBook Pro A1278 / A1286 / A1297 Replacement 4 Pack Rubber Feet / Foott Kit 13" / 15" / 17" - Brand New
Offered by Racksoy
Price: £4.59

4.0 out of 5 stars Comes unstuck, 14 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These rubber feet fit my Macbook Pro (2011) perfectly. Luckily there were 4 in the pack as the first one lasted about 4 hours; the adhesive on them didn't keep them attached to my laptop. A drip of superglue in the channel and it has happily attached and you can't tell from the finish that it wasn't there from the start


Oral-B Pro 4000 Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush Powered by Braun
Oral-B Pro 4000 Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush Powered by Braun
Price: £49.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good brush; not the best overall experience, 14 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The braun Oral-B 4000 Pro was my first return to the brand after several years using Philips toothbrushes. Before the switch to Philips I had used Braun's electric brushes for at least a decade - but I switched as I found the overall experience of use as well as the brushing superior to Braun's.

The 4000 PRO came with 3 heads in the box; one of which is supposed to make your teeth whiter. The heads are the bit you replace with an electric brush - and the Braun refill's are cheaper than the Philips ones. They are also messier - the Philip's heads are solid on the outside whilst there is a hole in the Braun brush head that collects toothpaste and makes the brush harder to clean.

In the box there was also recharging base and a brush holder. Charging the 4000 pro for the first time took several hours; a green battery light flashing as it goes telling you the state of charge. There are various brushing modes accessed by pressing the power button until you get the one you desire - though there is no visual queue as to whats going on. The brushing heads all feel the same in use to me; they are long and thing which makes them great for getting to the back of your mouth and they pulse as well as rotate. The heads though are very small compared to traditional (or philip's) toothbrushes so make sure you move the brush around. One nice feature is whilst you are moving the brush around it lights up in a bright red to warn you if you are brushing too hard - even early in the morning if you have your eyes closed you still see the red and know to lighten up.

Cleaning teeth is a fairly subjective thing; my teeth felt as clean with the Braun as they do with the Philips brushes; so the distinctions for me come down to the overall experience; and there my Philips has the edge. The battery was the most disappointing experience; lasting about a week after a full charge both the first and second times. Secondly as someone who travels extensively the lack of travel pouch or travel charger is a disappointment; my Philips charges over USB in its travel case which is one less thing to carry.

As a toothbrush the 4000 is as good as the competition; as an overall package there may be a better option for you.


Screws set for MacBook + MacBook Pro Unibody bottom cover 13", 15", 17"
Screws set for MacBook + MacBook Pro Unibody bottom cover 13", 15", 17"
Offered by ibestsky
Price: £4.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Just what the macbook ordered, 9 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These screws were just what the doctor ordered for my 3 year old macbook pro. Over the years some of the screws have worked lose (I have opened the case a few times so its probably my fault.) This set includes the longer hinge end screws as well as shorter screws for the remains of the case. All are philips head and when in my laptop you can't tell from the outside they aren't the originals.

The screws set comes with about 10 screws; i used 4 and so have some to keep me going. They aren't cheap but the Apple store wanted more and replacing the missing screws protects my laptop going forward.


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