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Wimbledog (London, England)

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Windows 8 Pro, Upgrade Edition [Upgrade from Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7] (PC)
Windows 8 Pro, Upgrade Edition [Upgrade from Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7] (PC)
Price: £59.50

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An unexpected win, 26 Nov 2012
The 1- and 5-star Amazon reviews reveal the polarized opinion of Windows 8: people either seem to love or hate it. And given that I'd fully expected to hate it, I'm surprised to be writing a positive review.

The desktop environment seems to operate in a similar way to Windows 7, and users of Vista or XP will probably not have too many problems adjusting either. Except that now your Start menu is the screen with square icons to launch programs and apps that has become the trademark across Windows platforms. Windows phone or Surface users would find it instantly familiar.

However, despite being designed with tablets in mind, swiping gestures that would be made on a touchscreen are easily replicated with a mouse and it doesn't take long to learn. So you can upgrade an old desktop machine or laptop confident of accessing all the necessary features without too much hassle.

It loses a star in this review for the poor availability of apps so far: Facebook and Twitter are notable exceptions but favourite games are already there in the form of Angry Birds and co. and I suppose the platform will grow as more people install Windows 8.

The last good point was that I installed on an old machine: 1.2GHz single core laptop from 2008 that now runs a lot faster that it did when Vista was installed on it!

Panasonic NA-127VB4WGB 1200rpm Washing Machine 7kg Load 12 Programmes
Panasonic NA-127VB4WGB 1200rpm Washing Machine 7kg Load 12 Programmes
Offered by Smart Electricals Direct
Price: £339.99

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good build quality and wash performance, 24 Jun 2012
Relatively quiet, good capacity and plenty of choices of wash program go in favour of this machine. 1400rpm spin gets clothes relatively dry, and while the eco option falls short of more expensive models there is still a water and power saving to be made.

I like the sturdy build quality, the only downside being the weight: I installed the machine myself and found it pretty hard to lift and move!

JML magic carpet dirt trapper door mat terracotta 70 x 40 cm
JML magic carpet dirt trapper door mat terracotta 70 x 40 cm

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Needed replacement quickly, 3 Jun 2012
The JML "magic" carpet is more Tommy Cooper than David Copperfield.

Shortly after buying, it started to disintegrate and now we have terracotta fluff all over the floor and the hallway. Simply doesn't stand up to repeated use, and not that good at soaking up mud or water. We couldn't rely on it.

Compact Dishwasher White (SKS40E02GB_WH)
Compact Dishwasher White (SKS40E02GB_WH)
Offered by Ship it Appliances Ltd
Price: £438.02

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Expensive option but worth it, 7 May 2012
For a table-top dishwasher, this is a good - if expensive - option. Easy to use with high-temperature, low-temperature and "eco" options, there are not many sophisticated settings but the machine does it's job well - dishes are clean and dry after use.

Noise is minimal compared to our washing machine or fridge, and it's relatively easy to connect to the cold water supply. Waste water is discharged via an outlet hose which could be left in the sink or attached to drainage to be tidy.

The claim of 6 place-settings' worth of space inside would depend on how many courses were served! But certainly would accommodate 4 main and side plates, 4 glasses and cutlery easily.

Overall, recommended.

Origami 60-Second Foldable Computer Desk
Origami 60-Second Foldable Computer Desk

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Let down by poor quality, 9 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A great idea, but the quality on this item was far short of what we were hoping for. Easy to assemble and sturdy, but the product we received had scratched, rusted and warped metal in places and the finish of the wood surface was quite poor. Hopefully this was a one-off from the manufacturer's side of things.

Driver San Francisco (Wii)
Driver San Francisco (Wii)
Offered by Clickforgamesltd
Price: £12.91

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun despite some quirks, 9 April 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This isn't the same game as the PS3 or XBox versions - and is no worse off for it. Owning a Wii, you'll expect that the graphics are less stunning at a lower resolution, but what matters here is gameplay and this Driver has it in spades. As much fun as the original PC version.

Playing in Story mode sees you acting out the backstory to the original Driver game, with the main character, Tanner, driving undercover to infiltrate San Francisco's gangs. Once you've overcome the bizarre control mechanism, which takes an hour or so, it becomes second nature and won't annoy. A second player can join in the main missions, acting as a shooter but this does make some of the missions almost too easy.

There are a fun variety of 2- to 4-player "party play" modes for a quick game, and plenty of side missions to complement the main story.

Not a technical masterpiece, but loads of fun.

SimCity Creator (Wii)
SimCity Creator (Wii)
Offered by FUN-N-MORE
Price: £27.90

4.0 out of 5 stars Faithful to the original series, adds new features, 6 Nov 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: SimCity Creator (Wii) (Video Game)
Any previous SimCity player will be able to dive straight into this new conversion - the zoning, buildings and disasters are all immediately recognizable. It's closest in gameplay to SimCity 3000, but time has moved on since this game so the graphics, music and gameplay are superior on the Wii version. Differences? Advisers are now 'hired', allowing you to dispense with them completely if necessary. Some civic buildings (e.g. airport, colleges, large parks) are 'unlocked' by building other objects of the same type or by completing in-game 'missions' - i.e. flying overhead.

For those not familiar with the series - SimCity is the best existing city-building simulation, with some fun features so that it isn't as dull as I imagine city planning to be in real life! But balancing the budget, setting taxes and providing services such as healthcare, education and public transport are all important. Zoning the correct balance of residential, industrial and commercial property zones will make sure that you can enjoy seeing a city grow where people have jobs. Low-density eco-village? No problem. Thriving commercial metropolis? The choice is yours to make. 'Disasters' are a nice element of the game, and enjoyed greatly by players - if things are going *too* well, unleash a Godzilla-like monster to destroy all your hard work. Comprehensive tutorials should allow immersion straight into the gameplay experience without reading a heavy manual or hint book.

Loses one star for the fiddly control mechanism, but otherwise there is still no finer simulation game, and one that's recommended to anyone who enjoys open-ended gameplay.

Sony XDRS55DABB Light & Compact DAB Portable Radio
Sony XDRS55DABB Light & Compact DAB Portable Radio

4.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says on the tin, 17 July 2011
Bought this unit in a sale and haven't regretted the purchase.

Light and portable, but a crisp sound and loud enough for home or office use. Selecting a station is easy enough, and the display can accommodate enough characters to tell you what you're listening to. A sleep timer will switch the radio off after a predetermined time, and the clock will automatically sync with the digital signal to give you local time. However, note that there isn't an alarm clock function.

One drawback is the short battery life - this unit is better run from mains power. In fact, if you're unplugging the unit it will forget your preset stations and while I left batteries in to preserve these the rechargeables only lasted a matter of weeks. And on the subject of present stations, you can seemingly only enter three.

However, overall it's a good value-for-money digital radio which does its main job well - good signal reception and great, clear sound.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 6, 2011 8:15 PM GMT

Sony SVRHDT500B Freeview HD Personal Video Recorder with Twin Tuner (discontinued by manufacturer)
Sony SVRHDT500B Freeview HD Personal Video Recorder with Twin Tuner (discontinued by manufacturer)

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Style and substance, 17 July 2011
Very pleased so far with this Freeview HD recorder.

The box is easy to set up and scans for available channels itself. The HD picture is crisp, and there is automatic detection of your television's resolution when connected via HDMI. I haven't yet encountered the problems other reviewers have mentioned with signal reception or fan noise - yes, there is a soft hum from this model, but less noise than a laptop might make from our particular unit. An extra bonus if you own a Sony Bravia TV is that the supplied remote control will operate both devices.

Recording is reliable so far, and series linking is a great feature. Twin tuners mean it's possible to watch one channel while recording another, or the possibility of recording two programmes at the same time.

Downsides? Price is at the top end of the market, and for the serious enthusiast the 500GB hard drive might be inadequate capacity (300 hours of SD or 125 hours of HD is quoted as the storage). However, external capacity is easily added via USB and the stylish look of the unit will be worth at least a few extra pounds I would have thought.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 6, 2011 5:49 PM GMT

Adapter USB to VGA Display LogiLink®
Adapter USB to VGA Display LogiLink®

4.0 out of 5 stars Average display, but a useful solution, 26 Jan 2011
I used this to add a second monitor ('i.e. extended desktop') to my setup to give extra working space.

I wouldn't expect the result to be as good as adding a graphics card with support for two monitors, and yet the second display is surprisingly quick to refresh and the quality - apart from a slight 'ghosting' - is pretty good considering the price.

Be aware of the minimum system requirements as listed by the manufacturer, namely
- Works with Windows 2000 / XP / Vista / 7
- Display resolution up to a max 1600 x 1200
- For 1 display: minimum 512MB RAM and 1.5GHz or faster processor
- For 2-3 displays: minimum 1GB RAM and single core 2.4GHz or faster processor
- For 4-6 displays: minimum 2GB RAM and dual core 2.0GHz or faster processor

Installation is easy (on CD), and the software allows easy access to settings. You might need an extra VGA cable (with two male ends) to connect to your monitor, but this is easily obtained for a few pounds.

Overall: recommended for extra workspace, although I'd choose a more advanced option for graphics work or similar.

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