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Chris Hoare "Chris" (UK)

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Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars Variety Pack 40 Bars x42gm Big Value pack
Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars Variety Pack 40 Bars x42gm Big Value pack
Offered by Souvenirs & Gifts
Price: £17.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Tasty Crunchy x 40, 16 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I like the nature valley granola bars; i prefer my cereal bar to be crunch. These tick the crunch box. And with 40 in it this is a big box; they will comfortably last me around 8 weeks of one a day munching in the office

Having so many makes me happy that Nature Valley included some variety in the fox. Of the three flavours in the box almond, ginger and maple there are three nice divisions of flavour that let you mix it up. When they packed the box they are layered in the bar by flavour so you need to dig down to get that variety though.

These bars are a nice size for a breakfast / mid morning snack. The flavours work well with my coffee; and give me the energy to get to lunch. I want to give it 4* as it would be nice to have another flavour choice (4 x 10) but that seems a mean loss of a star so 5 because they are great bars; I just would like a little more variety.

6ft 4K Ultra HD Thunderbolt to HDMI Cable | Mini DP (Displayport) to HDMI | 24K Gold Plated Connectors | Video+Audio | PC and Apple MAC, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air
6ft 4K Ultra HD Thunderbolt to HDMI Cable | Mini DP (Displayport) to HDMI | 24K Gold Plated Connectors | Video+Audio | PC and Apple MAC, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air
Offered by ForPower(aLLreli TM)

5.0 out of 5 stars The cable is solid; and so is the image and sound it carries., 16 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It was clear the allreli Displayport to HDMI cable punched above its price as soon as i opened the packaging. Having used a fair few of these cables of the last 5 years I have lost a fair few apple original adaptors, and watched cheaper cables fail. What was apparent just from opening the pack was these were clearly a step up from the cheaper cables I have used in the past. The plastic grips around the connectors feels solid; and the connectors are rigid inside the grip - a good start.

The acid test; plugging them into my laptop and my home tv I was able to stream iTunes video at 1080p without getting display authentication warnings which is a good sign; even better was it also carried the sound down the wire into the TV. Having been using it for the last week to watch other films as well as collaborative work in the office I am happy to say the cable gives rock solid video and desktop display at 1080p at 50 and 60hz. This cable is a good length to get away from the screen or projector; there is a longer one also available.

This aLLreLi only does one job; but it does it with no if's or buts. The cable is well made; and so is the image and sound it carries are solid. Given the original part cables are multiples of the price its hard to find any fault and not give 5*.

Cetaphil 236 ml Moisturising Lotion
Cetaphil 236 ml Moisturising Lotion
Price: £5.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars effective; no allergy reaction so far., 12 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I should start saying that I have terrible eczema and to help alleviate the symptoms I have been alternating between a number of general moisturisers like E45, Neutrogena and Eucerin for years. I try and save the super expensive targeted eczema moisturisers for really bad days. Cetaphil is new to the UK and is targeting people with sensitive skin.

The Cetaphil Moisturising Lotion is much more liquid than other moisturisers I have been using; and it does make it easier to apply. It is also easy to rub into skin; and whilst it can be wet for a while - the instructions recommend you pat your skin dry after use with a tissue, towel or cotton wool - it does dry quickly. Once dried it doesn't leave a greasy and putting a shirt on nothing is bleeding through on the outside of the shirt - at the end of the day there wasn't anything on the inside either.

The immediate look is very good - my skin looks much healthier on application the dry look not being so evident and my skin looks more cohesive. It doesn't have any effect on the itch though; if you need that they do have an eczema targeted lotion too. Over the days using Cetaphil it did a good job and moisturising the really dry patches starting to look less red. As a moisturiser its effective on my skin - and it doesn't seem to trigger off a reaction even on existing eczema patches which is great. The price is competitive good value for a low allergy moisturiser and for me having another option to switch to is good news. 5*

Linksys WRT1200AC Dual Band AC1200 Gigabit Smart WiFi Router (1.3 GHz Processor, 128 mb Flash, 256 DDR3 RAM, USB 3.0, eSATA, 4 x Ethernet), Open Source Ready
Linksys WRT1200AC Dual Band AC1200 Gigabit Smart WiFi Router (1.3 GHz Processor, 128 mb Flash, 256 DDR3 RAM, USB 3.0, eSATA, 4 x Ethernet), Open Source Ready
Offered by BESTBUYIT
Price: £99.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The Configuration Software is the star, 9 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Linksys WRT1200 blew me away from the moment I opened the box. The packaging is outstanding with the modem, instructions and accessories all well presented on opening. Inside the box you get the modem; the two antenna's, a flat network cable and (sadly) a power brick.

The modem is quite big; and has chunky feet and a big vent on the back to give it some airflow. I started using it at the height of summer and it hasn't gotten beyond warm to the touch - its certainly no warmer than the netgear modem this replaced. The chunky feat also have screw holes in them so you can mount this to the wall if you want to. On the back you will also find an esata port for connecting some external drives; as well as a USB 3 socket for connecting a disk drive or usb printer and share them on the network. If you don't have any esata devices but a printer and a disk you want to share you can use the esata port as a usb 2 socket.

Once out of the box; setting it up is a total breeze. Plugging it into my broadband modem (this doesn't have an ADSL modem you need one or a cable/fibre modem) ; there is a clear socket on the back for this. Once that is done; you power up the modem; wait for the lights to all come on. You can also connect your computers into one of the four network sockets on the back. Out of the box the modem has a password (in the cd/ documentation wallet in the box.) Connect to the wireless and then to and the setup begins.

Before your start depending on your setup you may also need the passwords to connect to your broadband supplier if you don't have them; these are easily found online - search for PPOE settings company name and you should find help - otherwise give them a call.

The brilliance of this modem is the setup wizard and website. First time out setup takes you through a wizard that most people should be able to follow. If you do get stuck there is a UK phone number to get help. First time in your configure the name of your network, passwords and the basic options you might want - parental controls etc.

The basic settings leave you with a working secure network (running a shields test without testing the settings the modem passed first time.) Once that is done you get a fantastic dashboard of devices so you can see what is connected or not at any time to your network. Once it was setup I found that my laptop was able to get 300mb/s of network anywhere in my apartment; whereas on the netgear I had before I was able to get 200 near the modem but only 130mb/s further away so the wifi coverage seems to be as good as link sys are claiming - i don't have an AC compatible computer at the moment am stuck on the N standard.

Once you have your network running; there are lots of settings you can use to improve the overall performance - is your kids gaming stopping your Amazon Prime Video stream - you can boost your Amazon Fire boxes network priority which will slow their gaming and improve your viewing. This doesn't require knowing commands - you just click on the image representing the Fire box and drag it into a priority list (sadly there are only 3 options.) This simplicity of setup extended to connecting to my office IPSEC VPN is infuriating on every previous device I have used; on the WRT1200 i just had to check a single box and it worked. Once surprise feature to me; was dial in VPN which again is very simple to setup on the device; if you need access to your home away from home you can.

You can also configure and manage your modem away from home over the web or your phone (you can turn this off if you want to.) Its a handy feature if you want to be able to sort something out whilst you are away from home.

In conclusion the software makes this modem special; the website setup and phone app make setting up and changing the network a breeze. The Linksys setup features blow away Apple's time machine configuration options as well as Netters software. Having features for managing quality of service for devices and dial in VPN access are a nice bonus - that setting them up has been brought to selecting a few options is a delight. The most important bits though were the basic settings setup a network that basic port scanning penetration testing passed with flying colors. Secondly the the wifi speed was better than I had before and the network is faster over a wider range. Given all the praise I am a little reluctant on the 5* rating the modem at launch is pretty expensive. One word of advise thought; If you are getting a new router; don't through away your suppliers modem as often they need that in place to diagnose issues.

Microsoft Lumia 640 5 inch SIM-Free Smartphone - Black
Microsoft Lumia 640 5 inch SIM-Free Smartphone - Black
Price: £118.38

16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice Hardware; for some people Windows Phone won't fit their lives as well as other phones operating systems., 16 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Lumia 640 is well made and delivers a great experience; you get a nice clear screen protected by gorilla glass and a rigid feeling body. With moderate use the battery comfortably lasts me the day. Charing it up was made all the more fun thanks to a UK charger; a first for me with the earth pin retractable to make the charger smaller in your bag (and their box.) You can remove the back of the phone and plug in a micro sd card to boost the tiny 8gb of built in storage (and plug in a spare battery if you buy one.) If you are regularly on wifi or have good 4g the phone comes with an office 365 license that besides giving you access to a huge amount of online storage and access to office apps on your phone and home computer.

Besides the wifi the Lumia 640 has a 4g radio (and an FM one if you listen to old style radio) and when connected to my vodafone 4g chip the built in internet explorer browser loads pages nice and fast. Coming from Microsoft it runs Windows Phone 8.1; the interface is pretty unique it looks nice made up of tiles that either take up varying widths of the screen; they let you see useful to access items without opening the app like whats next in your diary other apps reveal recent tweets, news or the weather.

The downside to windows phone remains the paucity of apps; the only google app is search. Ignoring esoteric games even something as simple as getting your morning coffee will have you reaching for the plastic as neither Costa Coffee nor Starbucks have apps for Windows Phone. The phone comes with some very good apps preinstalled or available for free on the store. Some of the pre installed apps are infuriating; some are delightful - finding a contact when you need to make a call is harder than it could be; but when you find them you can call them over Skype from the phone app without running anything extra - great if you call abroad regularly.

For most of my common usage apps Microsoft will have provided something on the phone or for free to download from their app store - the Here Maps and Drive apps are great for getting around. Storage willing you can download free maps of a number of countries to use route planning without data whilst travelling which is great.

I have drawn out writing a review of the Lumia 640 trying to decide how to frame it. I desperately want to be able to say this is a great phone and you should all get one because I really like the interface and the long battery life. For corporate users you can use your network to control the security and link it in tightly and it is a great business phone - the contacts app works nicely with exchange and linked in creating unified records. If you are a home user and want a phone for the basics the Lumia 640 has a lot going for you its easy to use and see what is going on, Cortana can help you control some things with your voice; if you want to play the latest game (or just get a coffee without your wallet) then an android phone might suit you better. Having a useable browser makes up for some missing apps; apps generally make the experience better though.

Wrigleys Extra Ice Peppermint Sugarfree Chewing Gum (Pack of 30 x 10 Pellets)
Wrigleys Extra Ice Peppermint Sugarfree Chewing Gum (Pack of 30 x 10 Pellets)
Price: £12.29

4.0 out of 5 stars xylitol good for your teeth; and reduces the sorbitol content., 14 Jun. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Each little Wrigley Ice Peppermint tablet gives you nice strong hit of mint. Whilst still containing sorbitol which has notorious laxative effects on people; the Extra Ice also use xylitol as a sweetener; the reduction of sorbitol seems to make these more tolerable to my digestive tract. Its a shame they only do Peppermint though; 4* s as still has sorbitol in it :(

Seagate Personal Cloud 4TB 2-bay (2x 2TB) Home Media Storage - NAS
Seagate Personal Cloud 4TB 2-bay (2x 2TB) Home Media Storage - NAS
Offered by Ebuyer UK Limited
Price: £184.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to setup, Easy to use. Good choice home backup or media server., 14 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Out of the box the Seagate Cloud is a dream to setup. The Personal Cloud is a device you will need to read the manual to get it setup; plug in the power brick (sadly) and a network cable into the back of the device and wait for the LED to go solid. Your drive will then be available on your network as "PersonalCloud" the setup is done in a web browser. You are asked during setup if you want to setup the system using Mirrored Drives which gives you about 2Tb of storage or striped drives which gives you 4tb. You an plug in a USB 3 drive if you need some extra storage over time; there are larger versions than the this consider getting them if you need more space.

Once the initial setup is completed you can setup extra accounts for the rest of the house and individually give them access in and optionally out of home. Out of home the data transfer is encrypted which gives you some extra protection. This way you can have a central backup for your home computers (including support for apple time machine backups.)

I set it up and used it as a home media server for which it worked well; it supports DLNA and iTunes out of the box both of which worked fine with my living room tv and home computers. DLNA let me easily stream video and music from it around the house. You can also install apps from the configuration website to run things like Plex Media Server allowing you to centralise your media. You can also run a variety of applications on the PersonalCloud; like the Plex media server which lets you save media on the drive and play it back through a plex app (on say your Fire TV or away from home - which works well.)

Uploading data to the drives even on my wired gigabit home network was far from fast - it seems to top out at around 35mb/s (I set my drive up as mirrored to get the extra protection.) Reading files back from the drive it managed around 45mb/s. Like many NAS drives it is happy to work with mac's and windows simultaneously so if you have a mixed home network its great; you can also get apps for tablets and phones that let you see saved photos and video away from home (if you set the accounts up to allow it.

In either use - home backup or home media server - or some combination of the two, the personal cloud software makes it a joy to use. Its is hidden away at home doing its job. It would just be nicer if it were a little quicker at reading / writing files. 4*

TP-LINK TL-PA8010PKIT AV1200 Gigabit Passthrough Powerline Adapter Starter Kit (1200 Mbps, Multiple HD Streams and No Configuration Required) - 2 Units Pack
TP-LINK TL-PA8010PKIT AV1200 Gigabit Passthrough Powerline Adapter Starter Kit (1200 Mbps, Multiple HD Streams and No Configuration Required) - 2 Units Pack
Price: £59.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Consistent speed, and still use your power socket, 8 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Taking the AV1200 power line adaptors out of the box; I was impressed with the clean white look of the devices; and that TP-Link included two network cables in the box (albeit only Cat 5 - slower than higher rated and shielded cables) . Plugging them into my sockets the two sockets coupled up straight away; and i was happy to find the status lights were on the side - which for me at least means they are flashing away form my line of sight. Having been running the AV1200's for almost a month I have been super happy with the performance; I live in a flat that is less than 4 years old; so I'm hoping has good wiring - and I'm able to get about 350 MB/s over the line when moving files between servers on either end of the line. The AV1200 really does perform - but it sustains the speed over time even streaming 4k video to a TV resulted in clean streams.

Powerline adaptors are a great way to span distances in your home or deliver better than wifi speeds in congested places (like my apartment building.) You might not get the speeds I'm getting between floors in my flat; but it is often a good way to span a divide that wifi can't easily span. The AV1200 adaptors from TP Link; work straight out of the box just requiring you to plug them in. 5* for affordability and reliable consistent performance - and being a passthrough adaptor you can still use your power socket for something useful.

Accmart(TM) Stainless Steel Wire Cable Key chain Ring(Pack of 5)
Accmart(TM) Stainless Steel Wire Cable Key chain Ring(Pack of 5)

5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal Luggage Tag loop, 17 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
After a mishap with my luggage at the end of last year; I bought a microchipped tracking tag for my new suitcase earlier; rather than using a plastic strap this used a steel loop cable to attach to my bag. Having see how resilient it is I ordered this set to allow me to attach other tags to my bags and be more confident of them being there at the end of the flight - regardless of where my bag ends up. The steel cable loops and screws into a thread to form an oblate loop - you can pass a credit card through the loop. They are a great size then to fit around the straps and handles of my bags with a tag attached to them. They are long enough but not so long everything dangles around.

Very utilitarian in what they do; but they provide a secure anchor for things you need to tag together. I can't personally see using them for a key ring but they would do the job. Excellent value for money; though the shipping is from China so if you are in a rush you may want to find something similar locally.

Lava Brightsounds Bluetooth Speaker with Lamp for Smartphone - Teal/Grey
Lava Brightsounds Bluetooth Speaker with Lamp for Smartphone - Teal/Grey
Price: £36.99

4.0 out of 5 stars ... been using this for the last few weeks I like to think that the components that make for bluetooth ..., 17 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Having been using this for the last few weeks I like to think that the components that make for bluetooth speakers have fallen to the price that manufacturers can experiment with niches. The Lava Brightsounds that led to this speculation is an interesting combination of camping lamp and bluetooth speaker.

You can stream music to the bright sounds from your phone over bluetooth or the included stereo lead. The Brightsounds charges using the included USB micro cable; but you will need a USB charger as that isn't included. Connecting from my phone it appeared as a device called BT-Lamp; there is no code you just power it on and connect to it from your devices bluetooth connection. I had no problem connecting to it from a Windows Phone Lumia, Apple iPhone or Android Running Samsung Galaxy. The sound quality isn't bad; being so small the sound is all midrange - treble but its 5w does a pretty good job filling a small room and even at full volume there isnt any distortion. The battery life is pretty good; as a speaker it lasted a full work day on a moderate volume, after a nights charging albeit without the lamp on. The bluetooth feature also includes a handsfree speaker mode; which pauses the music off if you are using bluetooth. The speaker is great but the microphone echoes back to the caller and you need to speak up so its probably better to use something else if you need a speaker phone.

For the price the build quality is ok; the gasket that covers the charging points was well made and contributes to the devices water resistance - but the plastic blister buttons on the top are built to the price - they let you operate the speaker, answer calls, change the volume and light brightness but use combination presses to achieve it - there is a lot of space on the top of the speaker they could have had dedicated buttons. The color contrast between the teal speaker and the white plastic of the lamp section make for a nice contrast.

The lamp has a dimmer; and is OK at lighting a small area so you can at least see what is around you. Its nothing like as bright as a standard torch or lightbulb but provides a reasonable amount of light in a small area. It is light and charges from USB so if you have a solar panel with you it will charge up during the day and give you light at night which will extend the battery life. The lamp doesn't have a sleep function so you have to remember to turn it off otherwise the battery will be drained when you come back o it

The Lava Brightsounds is an interesting combination; overall it feels a little too big. Mentally putting it into my bag and travelling with it feels like it could be a waste of space as there are bluetooth speakers that sound as good and are considerably smaller. That said I am not a camper if you are the water resistance, long battery life and reasonable volume and light might make it destined for your backpack.

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