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Matt Erritty

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GAGGIA RI8151/60 ESPRESSO CUBIKA PLUS BLACK COFFEE MACHINE
GAGGIA RI8151/60 ESPRESSO CUBIKA PLUS BLACK COFFEE MACHINE
Price: £155.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 5 Sep 2012
It really does make great coffee. This is my first espresso machine and I wanted one so I could make great espresso and nothing else, quickly and easily in the morning before heading off for work. It does this brilliantly. There is no need for pods, the highly simple operation makes them unnecessary. I'm using illy espresso coffee and I get a perfect crema every time. I've already moved on to putting together equally excellent flat whites and cappuccino.

My only comment regarding setup is that I found I had to turn the portafilter very firmly the first few times to prevent the hot water from leaking out (it should be a 90 degree angle to the machine before it then automatically snaps back a little). After a handful of uses, it's now much easier and smoother.


Suunto Core Outdoor Sports Instrument
Suunto Core Outdoor Sports Instrument
Price: £159.99 - £437.00

52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Core All Black, 22 Mar 2011
I purchased the Suunto Core All Black model after stumbling across it online whilst looking for an 'outdoors' watch. The styling and the provided functions matched perfectly with what I was looking for.

Some online searching confirmed that it provided all the functions I would consider necessary in an outdoors watch with the fantastic ability to measure and display altitude, air pressure for weather forecasting and a compass. The same searching also revealed a number of concerns regarding the following which I hope to address:

1) Negative display being difficult to read - I can't agree with other reviewers who found the display difficult to read. It is clear in all types of light and easily readable from all but the most acute angles. I did not find it necessary to adjust the contrast but this can be done from the settings menu. The backlight works very well when using in dim light.

2) Reliability - there seems to have been considerable problems with the early core models regarding both a very short battery life and numerous errors occuring in normal usage. I have read in multiple forums that these issues have mostly been improved at some point in 2009 so any new models won't suffer from the same. In any case, Suunto provide a 2 year warranty.

I have not yet had a chance to accurately test the altimeter, but the barometer and compass functions seem to closely match reference values provided by the metservice and a standard map compass respectively.

Also, I had always been under the impression that unless a watch had a 100m water resistance marking, then it should not be used for any activity where the watch is submerged. The Core is graded as a 30m watch by Suunto but also marketed as a snorkelling watch and comes with a depth meter. Again, more discussion on forums has clarified this watch as being perfectly suitable for snorkelling, kayaking, swimming etc.

I hope to add to this review once I have been able to test it some more in the outdoors.

EDIT
I've now been using the watch for over 6 months and would like to conclude that the altimeter, barometer and compass are superb.

I used the altimeter when on a multi day jeep tour in the Andes - as well as being a constant source of interest, after 3 days of ascending, descending (changes of over 2000m) and very changeable weather conditions the watch was only 5m off the reference value of a known location! Amazingly accurate.

I took the watch diving to a depth of 16m (not recommended as it is not a dive watch) and the depth displayed compared well with the actual dive equipment. It did develop a condensation ring for a while after, however I have had no issues for months now.

The battery died after about 10 months of general use. Replacing it however takes only 2 minutes.

I have downgraded the watch overall to 4 stars as the black bezel is far too easily marked by light usage. I spoke to Suunto customer services and they did suggest that if I sent the watch back then they would replace under warranty. I don't mind the scratches too much so far so haven't taken them up on this.

Overall I'm delighted both from a sports/outdoors persepective and also from a style perspective - it gets plenty of great comments.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 29, 2011 6:41 PM BST


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