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

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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: £28.41

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 Apple Certified Lightning to USB Cable - 3 Feet (0.9 Meters) - Black
AmazonBasics Apple Certified Lightning to USB Cable - 3 Feet (0.9 Meters) - Black
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.


Bluelounge Sanctuary 4 Charger Docking Station for Tablets & Smartphones - White
Bluelounge Sanctuary 4 Charger Docking Station for Tablets & Smartphones - White
Offered by Top-Tech-Outlet
Price: £89.95

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The key bowl gets an upgrade for 201x, 25 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have had an older sanctuary for years and I am utterly convinced by the design concept of a small place to put your keys and charge your phone when you walk in the door or besides the bed. I was looking for an upgrade as my older sanctuary no longer supports modern phones or tablets. Then I saw Bluelounge had a new version with 4 usb sockets rather than the mess of phone charging cables of the original My first sanctuary has lasted very well and looks as good as it did when i bought it so despite the price I was happy to order a new version.

The 4 usb sockets are marked inside the box clearly showing two for charging phones two for phones or tablets. When it arrives inside the box is the Sanctuary and its power source as well as a USB micro cable and most a pictorial guide on how to set it up. Printed on the manual is a code for the blue lounge website to order some extra cables at a discount (You get 1 USB micro cable in the box) from Bluelounge. The amazon basics cables were cheaper when i looked (and as a user of several I will vouch for their quality too.)

I have configured mine to charge my personal iPhone and iPad as well as my work Galaxy (A picture is attached.) Setting up the Sanctuary for my two phones and tablets took a minute; I was prepared and had cables ready before it arrived. From the USB charger you route your cables through a cable hole at one end for tablets and the other for your phones. As the tablet stands up (and tablets vary) you can adjust a bar that supports tablets whilst charging.

Coming from the previous version as soon as you get it out of the box its clear that Bluelounge have cut costs on the overall design (whilst maintaining the price.) The platform you put your phones on is no longer soft and velvety and is now plastic. The cable management system is more cumbersome than the neat holes in the previous version and for me a step backwards as my phones fit better charging sideways than lengthways.

Ultimately the Sanctuary still does the job I bought it its retired sibling to do; it is a place to throw my keys and charge my phones when i walk in the door. It looks good and on past performance lasts well. I wish they had kept the velvety top of the previous versions as it made it feel that little bit more special; but I will happily trade it for the ability to charge my phones and tablet without needing a separate charger to be plugged in.

1*s knocked off for the plastic deck and inferior cable management system otherwise its still excellent.
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BRITA Dolce 3020 3 Way Water Filter Tap
BRITA Dolce 3020 3 Way Water Filter Tap
Price: £178.36

4.0 out of 5 stars You were trained to use this water filter from childhood, 14 Jan 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Brita 3020 Dolce Water Filter Tap replaced the Ikea installed mixer tap in my Kitchen. Straight up the design of this tap is far superior with the water flowing down rather than at an angle there is far less splash.

If your worktop is made from a difficult to work with material (e.g. stone) you might have difficulty installing the tap if the existing down pipe hole doesn't fit/ match. Brita have diagrams on their website with measurements if you need to check. You also need some room on top for mixer tap as it pulls away as well as swings and you need some room for it; my tap just fit without hitting the splash back guard. Besides some space for the tap you also need some room under your sync to fit a fairly large filter - it can be mounted horizontally or vertically if you have a shelf. The last component is a countdown clock; something Brita ought to make part of their website or a phone app then reminds you to biu a filter rather than a single function clock they ship with each tap. Before installation I looked at my pipes and decided based on all the plastic pipes I decided to use the installation service rather than risk and accidental break. Oraganising the installation was very easy being a matter of a phone call. I was given a 4 hour window; luckily for me the plumber came (on a Saturday) right at the start of the window at 8am. They swapped out the existing tap in about 45 minutes; tidying up after himself and was gone in under an hour.

The elephant in the room is the filter cartridges don't last forever and are quite expensive. The last step in the install was testing the water hardness of my water supply; and the hardness was low enough that the cartridges should last 90 days; they can last 30-90 days depending on the hardness of your water. Thanks to the chlorine I was a heavy drinker of bottled water; which isn't required thanks to the filtered tap water; though the water from the filter is close to room temperature so you might still want a cold water jug.

Turning on the mixer tap you notice the nice feel of the handle; the outlet has a nice aeration which saves some water flow and a separate outlet for filtered water. The head swivels smoothly but is quite loose so be careful when its running not to knock it out of the sink. There is a separate tap to release filtered water; from a clean outlet (there is an image of this running.) My tap water has a noticeable chlorine taste (I live in an apartment building that has to treat its water supply) the Brita tap seems to do a good job reducing the smell and the cost of running this is lower than my water habit.

The Dolce 3020 looks nice; the installation isn't onerous and lets you get cleaner water the way you were conditioned to get water from childhood - out of the tap.
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Bosch PLR 15 Digital Laser Rangefinder
Bosch PLR 15 Digital Laser Rangefinder
Price: £39.99

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Measure Once., 13 Jan 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Bosch PLR15 Digital Laser Ranger finder is a small and very easy to use range finder.

The PLR15 is for most jobs and weather conditions a direct replacement for a tape measure for most circumstances. It does need a target to point at - you can put some card if you are measure to a drop off edge. To set the PLR15 up you need to put the included batteries in; point the Bosch End away from your eyes and point at something between 15cm and 15m away. In about 1/2 a second you will know how far away the dot is. The distance (measure from the back of the device) is output on a green and black display that is easy to read in most all light conditions. Besides the switch there is one button; hold - press it and the display keeps the last measured value till you press it again. It is resoundingly metric; so if you are needing imperial distances you may want to stick with your tape measure.

On some surfaces it can take some time to settle the measurement down - I also found it occasionally floating between a few mm of the distance. As it measures the reflection of the laser beam this can happen as there are some super unreflective surfaces (like glass) that it can't measure accurately. The PLR15 does has some inaccuracies in its measurements - the manual lists it as +/- 3mm at 25C; it gets worse as the temperature deviates from that. Your existing tape measure is likely as bad (they aren't calibrated and the more you use them the worse they become so don't take it as a big negative; just don't expect it to be perfect. If you want to use the PLR 15 as a ruler; finding exactly 1.5m from your target you can slide it along the surface and the display more or less keeps up in real time (just remember it measures to the end away from the laster.)

One thing you do need to do is protect the optics; and here Bosch have let you down a little - there isn't an included case or clip to keep it away from everything else in your toolkit. So if you do keep it in your pocket make sure your keys are elsewhere. That considers the PLR15 is pocketable easy to use (and generally significantly faster) replacement for a classic tape measure. So long as you think Metric it is a simple easy to use tool that gets quick accurate measurements.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 11, 2014 3:03 PM BST


Alpen Light Chocolate and Orange Cereal Bars 19 g (Pack of 5)
Alpen Light Chocolate and Orange Cereal Bars 19 g (Pack of 5)

3.0 out of 5 stars Low Calorie High FIbre, 10 Jan 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Alpen Cereal bars a 70 calories each on the box and have a reputation for being considerably better than most all other cereal bars.

The Alpen Light chocolate and orange bars are an impressive 5% protein and 23% fibre each. My normal cereal bars are Eat Natural which come in at 35g; (almost double the Alpens 19g) and they do have more or less double the calories as these alpen bars. What they don't have anything like is the Fibre - if you need fibre in your diet the Alpen bars are outstanding - Eat Natural only manage 5%. What the Eat Natural bars do have is taste and texture though; the alpen bars offer little in the way of texture - and the orange flavour is far too subtle if you have a coffee - and the overall texture is underwhelming.

If you are on a strict diet there is a lot of appeal with these bars they have some flavour and texture; i just prefer the flavour and rich texture of the Eat Natural bar; and the low calorie high fibre is a rare combination.. The comparative lack of texture and flavour for a saving of only 89 calories compared to the eat natural bars isn't something I am prepared to make


Auraglow 5m 300 LED RGB 5050 Tape Strip Light Complete Kit
Auraglow 5m 300 LED RGB 5050 Tape Strip Light Complete Kit
Offered by Safield Dist. Ltd
Price: £79.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent LED Kit, 10 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have bought several LEd kits over the last 2 years as I replace old lighting in my apartment. The Auraglow kit is one of the best; it may be more or less the same components as the other kits; only Auraglow is far better presented and comes with some very useful extras others miss; like the strip joining links and some brackets you can use to screw down strips if the 3m adhesive on the back doesn't work. Though the first few CM of the strip the glue was ruined as Auraglow had pealed it back to solder in a connector into the strip; for that small section I used a glue to attach. The Rest of the strips adhesive worked well as I stuck to to some gloss paint in my kitchen; and it has remained in place despite the heat of cooking and my coffee machine.

The White from the LED's is a little cool compared to other light forms (it makes some orange / red colours look a little strange); but it is low power and very discreet. You can cut the strips up every 3 LEDs (about 10 cm) and Auraglow supply a few connectors to join strips together (so you can make cleaner corners or jump over gaps. The remote control lets you select colours from a preset list (you can't dial a colour) as well as alter the brightness of the kit. If you power off an on the strips default to powered on (if you are thinking of wiring them into a switch.)

The discreet nature of LED strips appeals to me; and the ease of installation (and removal) lets you get light into places that are a little dark with ease. Auraglow's kit is good value and the kit itself is the best I have bought so far.


Logitech Ultrathin Touch Mouse for Mac
Logitech Ultrathin Touch Mouse for Mac
Offered by Informática Pavón
Price: £53.61

3.0 out of 5 stars Too Small, 10 Jan 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Logitech T631 is a well made and good looking mouse; with a smooth white plastic on top of a cool metal base. The mouse is small - its barely bigger than a credit card and about as thick as a mobile phone. It connects to your computer by bluetooth; and if you have a desktop its worth nothing there isn't a dongle in the packaging. On the base of the mouse is a connect button and for me a feature I asked logitech to add a number of years ago - a Computer 1/2 Switch. You can program the mouse to work with multiple computers - I have 3 on my desk today and being able to cut down on the mice on my desk is a great advantage. If you use the mouse with a desktop and notebook when you are on the road it will do the same for you. For those on the road the mouse charges from a USB micro cable; so if you have pretty much any phone bar an iPhone you already have the cable in your bag; Logitech include a tiny USB micro cable if you don't. Charging from USB is very convenient; though the battery seems to last at least 8 days between charging; the battery indicator on the control panel suggested it was getting low so i charged it at that point.

Logitech chose the shape is determined by its top surface being a touch surface and so its large and flat; my previous mouse the Logitech T620 Touch Mouse - Graphite has the same touch features (albeit Windows 8 only) but is considerably larger - and considerably more comfortable to use as a mouse. The Touch functions allow you to control OSX functions like swipe on Safari or change desktops unfortunately they don't include the mouse pointer so you have to move the mouse to control the pointer and the T631 is just too small to use comfortably and that sadly detracts from everything else.

I love the charging, the ability to use with two computers and the touch functions but for general mouse pointer duty the T631 falls flat 3*.


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