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Motorola MBP36 Digital Video Baby Monitor
Motorola MBP36 Digital Video Baby Monitor
Offered by Real value
Price: £154.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A word of caution, 10 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The baby monitor market appears to be quite niche still, and feels like the technology that time has forgot to a certain extent. The technology appears quite basic alongside the high resolution small panels present in cheap smartphones. However, after much research, this appears to be the best on the market. Was expecting an option for the screen to come on automatically when a noise is detected, but it appears you have to turn the screen on manually. The battery life could be better but will definitely last a whole evening.

A word of caution, however. The microphone of this unit is EXTREMELY sensitive and will pick up even the smallest whispers and project these at quite high fidelity through the monitor unit. Great for listening to your baby, even in noisy environments. Terrible if your monitor is in the room with your current visitors and you happen to say something... less than flattering about them...

Always know where your monitor is. You have been warned.


HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630 - Hard drive - 1 TB - internal - 2.5" - SATA-600 - 7200 rpm - buffer: 32 MB(0J22423)
HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630 - Hard drive - 1 TB - internal - 2.5" - SATA-600 - 7200 rpm - buffer: 32 MB(0J22423)
Offered by M.T.
Price: £52.04

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great performer, 12 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
1. Choosing a drive:

I spent a lot of time looking for a replacement drive for my 'Early 2011' 17" MacBook Pro' as the original 500Gb 7200rpm drive had run out of space.

Most of the research I did was spent trying to decide whether to go for an SSD, a hybrid drive or this one as a primary drive (I may add a second drive in the superdrive bay at a later date, but that's a different issue).

At the time of purchase, this drive was £65 and an equivalent sized SSD £400. In the end, I was so happy with the speed of my original 7200rpm drive, even when it was full, that I decided the massive difference in price between an SSD and this bargain-priced drive was not justifiable. My decision was finalised when a friend happened to use my Mac and appeared impressed by the speed of a 2 year old machine with a full HDD, questioning the move to SSD. From full shut down, my system is fully functioning in less than 2 minutes and manages all but the most demanding tasks with relative ease. There are some users who move a lot of large files around or spend their time primarily editing video, who may benefit from SSD technology, but for me, an occasional photo editor, internet surfer and document writer etc, this drive is more than adequate. I was also put off by some users who had various difficulties updating the firmware etc. on the Crucial SSD M500 drives before they would work properly in a Mac, which sounded like a lot of hassle and headache.

2. The Drive in Use:

I have been using the drive for 2 weeks now and am very pleased with the upgrade. It is similar to the speed of my old drive, with possibly slightly faster operation due to the larger 32MB cache and 6Gb/s interface, as opposed to the 16MB cache and 3Gb/s of my older drive. It is only very slightly louder than the stock Mac drive: I never was able to hear my old drive at any time (which actually was disconcerting at times as I find it helpful to know when there is a lot of drive activity in a computer, especially when it seems to be unresponsive), but I do hear the faintest drive noise from this one as it operates. Still very, very quiet though. I haven't noticed any increased heat production or significant reduction in battery life, which were also concerns, (unfounded or not... I haven't tried one), with using a hybrid. I have a lot of faith in these Travelstar drives, as it was the only one of several drives that worked flawlessly in my PS3; I placed one in my PS3 a couple of years ago and it still is going strong. Incidentally, the stock Mac drive also is a HGST, the same brand as this one!

3. Moving your system onto the drive:

Another aspect of replacing the drive, which consumed many hours, was finding the best way to transfer my system onto the new drive. Most people seem to clone the drive, but I wanted to perform a fresh install of OSX and transfer all my documents and settings following this. I thought I would describe this below as I found it difficult to find this information on the internet.

I bought an external USB hard disk caddy, which I am now using to house my old drive and therefore act now as a backup drive.

The data transfer process with OSX Mavericks was fairly simple. You just go to Mavericks in the Mac App store and, if you already have that OS installed, you can click 'download' and it will download the Mavericks installer into your app folder. Once this is fully downloaded, you run it and can instruct it to perform a fresh install onto your new disk (formatted to 'Mac OS Extended (journalled)' in disk utility first), connected via USB in its caddy. Once this completes (took a couple of hours to download the installer and approx. 20 minutes to install it on the new drive), your Mac will restart and boot from the new drive. The new drive then acts as a fresh Mac system, while your old drive in your computer lies dormant. I then used 'migration assistant' in utilities to transfer all of my documents and settings onto the new drive. As I transferred around 400Gb, this took around 7 hours.

Following this, I had almost a full clone of my existing system, without having to mess around with any cloning software. I also think the fresh install may have increased the speed of my system a little. The only thing I did notice with this method, which may not happen in a full clone, is that some services required me to fill in my login details and password, as if I had never used them before. However, once I did this, all my previous settings and data were present in all the apps. Everything, including Aperture 3 and iTunes, with their relevant libraries, appear to be working flawlessly. Apps are updating normally from the App store and now I would not know that my system is 'fresh' if I did not know a new drive had been installed.

After the migration was complete, it was a case of opening my MacBook and swapping the drive from the caddy with the original drive and rebooting. (there are numerous, easy to follow guides on the internet and YouTube about this; note that you will need some small cross-headed screwdrivers to open your casing and a T6 Torx screwdriver to replace the drive). I found this fairly simple and took 5 minutes, with the right tools.

Hope this helps to save others time making the decision and installing the drive.

I'll post an update in a few months about the drive's performance.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 9, 2014 8:32 AM BST


Patuoxun USB 2.0 Charger Charging Adapter Cable for Sony Xperia Z1 L39H Xperia Z Ultra XL39h Black
Patuoxun USB 2.0 Charger Charging Adapter Cable for Sony Xperia Z1 L39H Xperia Z Ultra XL39h Black
Offered by Patox
Price: £6.09

3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 29 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought this for my new Xperia Z1 as I didn't want to keep opening the waterproof flap every time that I needed to charge my phone. I expect to use this phone for over 2 years and would have concerns regarding the waterproof seal if it was opened and closed that many times. This cable allows charging of the phone by just placing it on the side of the casing. The one that I have received appears to be unbranded.

A proud owner of a MacBook Pro, I was expecting the connector for this charger to be similar to the excellent MagSafe connector. Unfortunately, this lead is nothing like it. The connector does not feel like it fits in the reciprocal indentation in the phone properly at all and has a very tenuous magnetic connection. This is the same whether I have a thin, hydrogel type PU case on the phone or not. The head of the connector rocks back and forth when attached and will ping off with the smallest knock. If you connect the lead when the phone is in your hand, you will need the steady hand of a neurosurgeon to place the phone on a surface without the cable detaching. I also worry that the connector will ping off during the night and leave my phone uncharged, or even worse, turn off and prevent my alarm from sounding. Also unlike MagSafe, the connector can only be placed on the phone in one particular direction. Connecting it the opposite way causes my phone to crash and reset!

When the cable does stay connected, it appears to charge the battery at the same rate as a regular charger.

Although the quality of the rest of the cable and covering is satisfactory, the length of the cable is less than a metre, which is too short and therefore annoying.

I do not think this particular cable is worth the money. Disappointing.


KooPower® Google NEXUS 7 2nd Gen FHD 2013 OTG Cable Micro USB Host Mode On The Go for Nexus 10 XOOM Samsung Galaxy Note 3 S4 S3 S2
KooPower® Google NEXUS 7 2nd Gen FHD 2013 OTG Cable Micro USB Host Mode On The Go for Nexus 10 XOOM Samsung Galaxy Note 3 S4 S3 S2
Offered by Golden Battery
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Good quality, works with Xperia Z1, 27 Nov 2013
Cable is of great quality. It's short, which makes it compact and therefore portable.

I use it to pair a Dualshock 3 controller to my Xperia Z1. You only need to pair it with this cable the first time, then the controller pairs over bluetooth from then on.

Of you use your PS3 to charge your controller, it will pair to the PS3 again and you will need to use this cable to re-pair to your phone. Not a problem if you can charge the controller from another source.

I'm now enjoying excellent, lag-free emulation on my Z1 and have converted it into a very accomplished and portable game console! The controller really works extremely well.

The android games I play most that are fully supported are Dead Trigger and Shadowgun, which are both excellent. Note, however, that some games are not supported due to an inability to configure custom controls, such as (surprisingly) Modern Combat 4, which is disappointing. This would require root access and use of the sixties app.


Sony Xperia Z1 UK Sim Free Smartphone - Black
Sony Xperia Z1 UK Sim Free Smartphone - Black
Offered by Audio_Shack
Price: £323.99

21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not perfect, but almost..., 21 Oct 2013
Some great reviews already all over the internet, with plenty of depth, so just wanted to add some thoughts.

Been living with this phone now for about 4 weeks and I am pleased with my purchase. Bought at launch and got a free bluetooth headset adapter with it, but was gutted when I saw Amazon giving away the Smartwatch for free with it too... this really is an amazing deal!

There certainly isn't a phone on the market which meets absolutely all of my requirements, but this one comes closer than any other.

Positives:
1. Lack of bloatware: I upgraded from a Samsung Galaxy S2 and, while I loved that phone, the sheer amount of bloatware from Samsung was annoying. Especially later when I couldn't install any more apps on the phone, some apps won't install on the SD card. The Z1 has over 11Gb of the 16Gb inbuilt storage available to the user.

2. UI: I didn't mind Samsung's Touchwiz UI, but always thought it looked a bit pre-school. Sony have used a much more 'stock' look, which is clean and classy.

3. The speed of this thing is amazing, I'm multitasking all the time with ease. I haven't had to restart it every 24 hours or so either, it has hardly been off since I got it, with no slow-down. Hasn't crashed or required a hard reset either.

4. With Sony's own stamina mode (which switches off Wi-Fi and data when the screen is off), I will easily get a full days moderate to heavy use, without a recharge. Even without stamina mode, this seems to last all day, except if playing graphic intensive games. Would last 2 days with light use.

5. Size. Held the Note 3 and this phone in either hand and, while the Note 3 was great, it was just that fraction too big for my tastes. This phone, for me, is the perfect compromise of size and function. I particularly love editing Evernote documents on the go; the Galaxy S2 was just a fraction too small for this, but this phone makes it comfortable. One downside with this phone is that the screen is so good and the phone is so fast, my iPad 3 has been quite unused for the past month!

6. Native Dualshock 3 support: you can link the controller to the phone without having to 'root' it. You do need a special cable for the first time that you pair the controller, but after this, it just recognises it on bluetooth. Playing games emulators is now a complete joy. Some games, like Modern Combat 4, don't have the option to add custom controls, which makes them unplayable with the dualshock, which is annoying. Other games such as Dead Trigger fully support it, however, and are great!

7. Construction: Feels great in the hand. Very well made. A bit slippery to hold onto without a case, but stuck a TPU one I bought on Amazon; fits great, feels great and makes the phone look even sleeker. Had one of these on my S2 and saved it during several falls. Hope this one does the same.

8. Storage: Fantastic. I put a fast 64Gb SDHC in this for £40, expandable storage in a phone for me is a must.

9. Free movies included: OK, so there's only 5 to choose from, but Django Unchained is one of my all time favourites and Spiderman kept me going while waiting for a flight recently.

10. Music playback: Sony's Walkman app is really very good.

Negatives

1. The speaker is weaker than one on the S2. This may be due to the waterproof nature of it, however. I hear the message and ringing sounds fine, though, as long as it is nearly full volume.

2. The volume up and power button are a bit too close together: If in a rush, pushing the wrong button or both can be quite common

3. The camera is not as good as the specification would suggest. This is likely to be rectified in a future firmware update. It's not bad, it's just no better than the S2 one, despite the vastly superior sensor and lens.

4. LED flash is weak; this is usable as a torch, but doesn't add much as a flash. The S2 LED was about 4 times brighter than this one!

5. Sony PC software: Always has been a weak aspect of Sony products. Tried several times to sync my iTunes playlists with is, but appeared buggy.

6. Although a micro usb charger is included, I really think Sony should include the magnetic charger cable in the box. At the moment, in the UK, I can't find an original Sony cable and the third party ones available are overpriced at about £10.

7. Weight: a little heavy, but completely manageable. I mention it because my S2 with its plastic construction was considerably lighter and I think this also saves it during falls.

8. I think the PlayStation store is a bit underutilised at the moment. They just need more quality games, PS1 ports etc.

Overall, the positives for me vastly outweigh the negatives. I'm very happy with the phone and wouldn't change it for anything else out there. There is a rumour that Sony will upgrade the OS to Android 4.4 in November, which I really hope happens.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 9, 2014 12:34 PM GMT


Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 Lens for Nikon
Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 Lens for Nikon
Price: £339.07

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suitable for FX and DX, 9 Jun 2013
Bought this lens for my D90 and it is as good as the reviews suggest. Sharp as a tack. Extreme macro. Photos of flowers in particular are amazing!

It was a little difficult to handle on the D90, mainly because of the insanely shallow depth of field involved with some of the closest macro shots mean that you have to decrease the aperature to tiny levels, which means that camera steadiness becomes an issue as there is very little light getting in.

However, it is the most fun lens I have and very impressed with the output.

One thing I didn't expect was its compatibility on FX bodies. I recently upgraded to a Nikon D600 and, while my quite expensive 18-200mm VRII lens is now annoying to use (The viewfinder image is now circular, with a black rectangle in the middle for framing) and reduces the D600 to an APS-C size sensor, this lens does not! It's fully compatible with FX and is now easier to use with the larger sensor on the D600, which is much easier to capture the necessary amounts of light at smaller aperature sizes and faster shutter speeds.

It has reignited my love for this lens; I'm off to use it again!


Get Lucky (Radio Edit) [Clean]
Get Lucky (Radio Edit) [Clean]
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Essential, 28 April 2013
The song of the summer 2013. Can't wait to get this on in the sun, very loud, with the top down. Great tune from Daft Punk, which echoes of 70's funk, but with their trademark sound mixed in, which increases throughout the track with some electro-vocals later on. While I wouldn't have imagined a collaboration like this in the past, Pharrell's silky smooth vocals turn out to be a fantastic addition to the track. Perfect & Essential.


No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing., 20 Oct 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Had to write a review of these as I'm so impressed!

I really was not expecting to be able to perform functions on my smartphone which require an accurate touch. Completely surprised to find that I can send text on my Galaxy S2 with no difficulty at all! I don't seem to be making any more mistakes while typing with these on than I do with bare hands. I can envisage them being indispensable over the winter as I use public transport.

I have what I would consider to be average size hands for a man and ordered the small/medium size, which fits perfectly. There is a fair amount of stretch to them. I have not tried the gloves in really cold conditions yet, but they do seem warm. They are not the thickest gloves I have owned (and certainly not the thinnest) and are approximately half the thickness of the 'Thinsulate' black gloves I used to have. I presume that the thickness of the material needs to be kept to a minimum to enable accurate control of touchscreen phones.

I paid £5.95, which is a great deal for what they are. Highly recommended.


Canon Lens Close-up Lens Attachment 500D 72mm
Canon Lens Close-up Lens Attachment 500D 72mm
Price: £149.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, but not for real macro photography, 9 July 2012
I have always loved macro photography. Since I purchased my first digital 'point and shoot' camera, I have enjoyed exploring the minute detail, often overlooked, that is present in everyday life. So when I eventually upgraded to an SLR, this was one feature that I was keen to explore.

I initially had 2 lenses for my Nikon D90; the versatile Nikon 18-200mm VRII for most situations and the excellent Nikon 35mm f1.8 for portraiture and low-light photography. While both are excellent lenses in their own right, neither are suitable for the extreme macro close-ups that I was hoping for.

I was therefore excited to read the glowing reviews from 2 professional photographers about this 'Close-Up Lens' from Canon, which, at 72mm, would fit on the front of the 18-200mm VRII. There were also several favorable reviews online from people who had used this combination. The general consensus was that, while this is by no means a dedicated macro, it was an alternative at a fraction of the cost that would achieve 'macro' results, while not taking up much room in a camera bag. After a prolonged and frustrating search, (this lens was not easy to find at the time!), I was delighted to eventually acquire one.

Unfortunately, my delight was short-lived. After trying out the lens for some time, I realised that while it does get you closer than the native lens, this was only by a modest amount. For example, if shooting the face of a 50mm diameter watch, with the 18-200mm lens alone, the watch face would fill approximately 75% of the frame. With the close-up attachment, the watch face would fit 100% of the frame, but one certainly could not zoom in any closer, for example, to make a number on the watch face fill the frame.

Disappointed, I re-sold the lens in favour of a true macro. Even the modest cost of the close-up lens couldn't really be justified as similar results could be achieved simply by cropping in post-production.

I knew a macro, while probably the most exciting type of lens for me, would still be very much a 'third' lens for occasional use only. I could not therefore justify the substantial cost of a Nikon macro (or 'Micro'!). However, after much research, I opted for the £260 Tamron 272 SP AF 90mm F/2.8. Although this lens is slightly trickier to use than the equivalent Nikon, it really does achieve the amazing results I was looking for. Photos of insects, for example, are shockingly good, revealing detailed structures in a way that is commonly seen in professional macro photography. Photos of flowers are particularly satisfying as a quarter of even a small flower head will easily fill the frame. The lens is tack-sharp. Haven't looked back since (mainly because I am usually looking through this lens to see other details that are invisible to the human eye!).


No Title Available

1.0 out of 5 stars Poor quality, 14 May 2012
I was looking for a pair of smart-looking and hard-wearing contemporary style shoes.

First impressions were good; despite the low price, (I got them for £35, just over half price), they seemed to satisfy the above criteria and were also very comfortable. They are marked inside with the logo 'Ask the Missus', which I have seen before in the high street.

Unfortunately, after a few days wear, the problems began...

The leather of both shoes were obviously from different cuts; the left shoe appeared to just crease across a localised part of the toe section, as expected, whereas the right shoe developed a very different crease pattern with at least 3 times the amount of creases over the toe, giving it the appearance of a completely different type of shoe!

I could have forgiven them for this. However, what is unforgivable is that with even very minor knocks during daily work in an office, small flaps of leather would lift from the surface, revealing a horrible, grey, synthetic material beneath. These are meant to have leather uppers, but it is merely a thin leather coating which is prone to breakage and leaves very unsightly defects all over the shoe. They are now unwearable after only a week.

It's true what they say: 'Buy cheap, buy twice'. These are a waste of even £35 and I am currently in the process of returning them to Office.


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