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Benson (Cardiff, UK)
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Creative Live! Cam Connect HD 1080p Webcam
Creative Live! Cam Connect HD 1080p Webcam
Price: £62.03

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From a mac perspective..., 23 Feb. 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Tried this out as a 'plug and go' piece of equipment on my mac. As far as that goes it works wonderfully. Literally plug it into your computer via usb and to use it with your mac programs you just change the webcam setting in the program you want to use. Can be used with all apple programs that use a cam such as 'photo booth'.

I see a massive difference in picture quality, particularly when comparing to the built in isight camera. It is A LOT sharper and generally all round more polished. As is the sound. The 'crystal voice' software on the cam works a treat and provides the audio clarity it claims to produce.

Unfortunately the software is not compatible with mac. That is a windows only treat but is basically a program in which you are able to create visual/voice effects. I'm sure there are a thousand other similar things you could download if you are that upset at not being able to use it. Besides, macs have better built in programs anyway e.g imovie and garageband.

My only criticism is the auto-focus. At points it hinders the ability to make a more distanced image i.e if you want to see more of yourself than just your face in the frame. It tends to have this annoying knack to always zoom the image closer to your face. I haven't figured out yet if there is a way to 'zoom out' as such if you feel there is too much in the frame. On previous cams I've had you can twist the lense to zoom in/zoom out. That is not an option with this model.

For ease of use though and for someone wanting a better quality cam than what their inbuilt one provides this is a very smartly designed, easy to set up, very light piece of equipment. I should also add it fixes very simply and securely to anything sturdy. The USB coil is about one metre long so if you are close to a television set or something similarly sturdy you can fix it to that (perfect if perhaps you're attempting to broadcast your entire family to a relative via skype or something).
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 21, 2015 10:35 PM BST


Disney Classics Sing-Along Book and CD
Disney Classics Sing-Along Book and CD
by Disney
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Magical book, disappointing CD, 29 Dec. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Another immaculate publication from the UK based 'Parragon'. This book differs slightly to the other publications that it is not A4 sized. It is more of an A5 size (smaller) but chunkier due to the thick cardboard pages apposed to the usual thin paper style. Each song has its own page with a beautiful illustration of the accompanying disney character(s) and full lyrics to the songs. I'm sure little ones will adore looking at the pictures but the content of this is probably suitable for a slightly older child.

Unfortunately the CD disappointed me. Firstly, the songs are not instrumentals... they are meant to be sung along with. Typically these kind of publications will have an instrumental version and a vocal version. Just a vocal one here. Additionally, while it is an official 'Walt Disney Records' recording, the songs are largely not performed by the original voices from the movies. This will be rather irritating for a Disney purist.

5 stars for the book. 2 for the CD.


Disney Toy Story Storybook and CD (Disney Storybook & CD)
Disney Toy Story Storybook and CD (Disney Storybook & CD)
by Disney
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Authentically Disney, 16 Dec. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
High quality book as you'd expect from Disney. The pictures seemed like they were pretty much stills from the movie. It's about an A4 size book so nice and big for children to see. It's only around 20 pages so a short book really but the accompanying CD is an especially good asset for the car to keep kids entertained on journeys. It has the authentic voices and songs from the movie also.


Ultrasport Yogamat/Universal Mat - Black
Ultrasport Yogamat/Universal Mat - Black
Price: £19.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality exercise mat, 26 Nov. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It's hard to know what to write about a yoga mat so all I can confirm is its superior quality and will be ideal for a range of exercise at home. I'll personally be using it for abdominal exercises for which it will be perfect. It's heavier than you might expect but this just makes it more sturdier when laid out so you don't have to worry about sliding around. Looks more of a dark grey colour to me than solid black but that's a small qualm. I've bought cheaper mats in the past and they've slid around and not offered much support. This is worth the extra money if you are going to use it a lot and want to take your fitness seriously.


Girl On Fire
Girl On Fire
Offered by Bee-Entertained
Price: £3.29

10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 26 Nov. 2012
This review is from: Girl On Fire (Audio CD)
It's been a high profile 'come back' season in the last few weeks with new albums from Taylor Swift, Leona Lewis, Christina Aguilera and Rihanna to name a few. I was rather excited to get some new Alicia Keys but regret to say this album failed to capture me as much as any of her previous releases have, and owning all her previous albums I would call myself more than a casual fan.

It's not that there are not things to like about the album. There are some beautiful compositions here including 'Brand New Me', 'Not Even the King' and 'That's When I Knew'. Where it fails is they are just not as good as previous efforts. 'Girl on Fire' is about the strongest 'anthemic' song that appears, and thus the strongest overall, so if you were hoping for the next 'No One' or 'Empire State of Mind' you won't find it. Equally, while the ballads that appear here are lovely they do not top the likes of 'Lesson Learned', 'Tell You Something' and 'Distance and Time'.

All in all, it is a rather stripped back album, with many tracks featuring little more than piano and vocals. While that works perfectly fine, the songs are just not as melodic and memorable as Alicia has given us in the past. It's not an unpleasant listening experience but when people look back at Alicia Keys it's unlikely people will make references to this album. Definitely find a preview of this album before making the leap to purchase.


No Title Available

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reliable piece of kit, 21 Nov. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It's hard to say anything about this product other than it does what it is supposed to. I've used Remington products before and this is pretty much an updated version of previous models. Where this one wins is how compact it is. It essentially is an 'all in one' with four removeable parts altogether. No power charger required (just batteries which are included) but it does seem slightly larger than a previous Remington 'all in one' I owned. It will take up quite a lot of space in a toilet bag but is ridiculously light so for weight reasons in a suitcase it is not an issue.

I personally have always had a clean shaven look and have always used these kind of products to keep sideburns and facial hair neat. It's perfect for that kind of thing but also has parts for moustache/beard styling. I would imagine for intense styles relating to that you would want to invest in something a bit more sturdier and expensive. If you're intending to use it for body hair removal I would not rely on it for that kind of thing. Strictly facial hair only.


Lotus
Lotus
Price: £3.80

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE voice, 12 Nov. 2012
This review is from: Lotus (Audio CD)
When you have to listen to an album at least twice to really take in the lyrics and vocal delivery, you know you have a real pop album in your hands, rather than something churned out by the latest hit factory.

As an owner of all Christina's previous albums I was rather satisfied with Lotus. It's a through and through pop album with a sound very `in' right now. Working with Max Martin for the first time proves a hit with lead single `Your Body' and the sure fire club hit `Let There Be Love'. Yes, it's that `electro dance' production style that has already worked well for Katy Perry, Usher, Cheryl Cole and a whole host of others but you can't fail to recognise it as a Christina track with her vocal trademarks clearly stamped all over it.

`Red Hot Kinda Love' is catchy pop at its best with one of the most effective vocal hooks I've heard in a while. My other major highlight was `Cease Fire', a midtempo track led by a military-esque pulsating drum beat, likely to have been inspired by Christina's recent divorce. `Empty Words' oozes with positivity and a piano hook a little reminiscent of Demi Lovato's `Skyscraper'.

Overall, I found the vocal delivery quite characteristically `shouty' throughout on Lotus. There have been a few tracks on previous albums where Christina eases off the vocal olympics and sings more sparsely showing more vulnerable qualities to her voice. It's not a major criticism just an observation for those who have enjoyed tracks in the past such as `I'm OK' and `Oh Mother'. The lead ballad here is `Blank Page', a new songwriting collaboration with Sia, accompanied by little more than piano; the `Beautiful' or `Hurt' of the album. The country rock tinged `Just A Fool' with Blake Shelton surely proves Christina can make any genre her own with her distinctive vocal delivery. A great collaboration and one I personally enjoyed a lot more than the Cee-Lo Green one which failed to ignite me as much.

Lyrically there are a lot more of `Fighter' style songs. This is good news for anyone who likes this kind of `knock me down and I'll get back up' theme. Others may wonder just who Christina is so angry at. Whatever the case, Lotus surely proves Christina doesn't only have `the voice' but `that voice' which continues to set her apart as an artist.


Belkin Damage Control Overlay for iPhone 4/4S (Pack of 1)
Belkin Damage Control Overlay for iPhone 4/4S (Pack of 1)
Offered by SEDIVA UK
Price: £14.24

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Product. Bad Price., 11 Nov. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As far as the product goes it does everything it says, although I'm not sure of the exact benefits it brings that you can't get from a much less expensive brand. Upon research I discovered the overlay is a bit thicker. While this is good news for your phone and making it more or less completely scratch resistance it makes it quite hard to apply it to the phone without any air bubbles.

In Belkin's defence it does come with a lifetime guarantee so you'll literally buy it once. It would seem if you have any issues with it or end up losing your phone or what not they'll send you a new one if you call up their customer service division.

Personally I think it is a hefty price tag given the fact the iphone size has just changed. Where does that leave the lifetime guarantee if you upgrade your phone?


Frommer's New York City 2012 (Frommer's Colour Complete)
Frommer's New York City 2012 (Frommer's Colour Complete)
by Brian Silverman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative but heavy!, 30 Oct. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a really great comprehensive indepth guide of everything New York City has to offer. However, weighing in at approx 486 pages it is rather heavy and not the kind of book you'd want to be carrying around the city with you. If you like reading up on a city before vacationing there and making notes of what to do and where to go it is perfect. But for someone looking to take a book with them for aeroplane reading or to carry around with them I would not recommend it as it is far too large and heavy for that purpose. It also touches up on all manner of food and has expensive and inexpensive suggestions outside of the well known commercial favourites.

Content wise it is very informative but geared more toward the artistic personalities who love culture, history and food. You'll find a lot of historic facts about buildings, museums and stores which are not everyones ideal of a vacation in the city. As a frequenter of New York I know that doesn't interest everyone and for the majority they just want to know how to get to the obvious sights and the most famous stores. If this is you, go for a more common city guide such as the DK series.

If the artistic and chique are more up your street you'll take plenty away from this book and find plenty of things to check out in the city outside of the obvious.


Red
Red
Price: £4.99

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best one yet!, 22 Oct. 2012
This review is from: Red (Audio CD)
I was actually blown away by how good this fourth album from Taylor Swift is. I can quite easily listen to it from start to finish without track skipping and that is rather a rare occurrence for me. It fluctuates from toe tapping, head bobbingly catchy to delightfully peaceful and thought provoking to at other times, completely danceable.

Musically, there is a logical growth from `Speak Now'. On that third album Taylor started to play with a more pop influenced sound. `Red' goes in that direction a little bit more without wandering completely away from those country tinged acoustic numbers we like to hear. However, instrumentally I hear a lot more rock and pop influence than previous albums. At times the production rather reminded me of Avril Lavigne back in the days she was churning out acoustic guitar lead pop rock anthems.

Max Martin is involved on a few tracks this time around (perhaps most famously known for being the guy behind a whole host of Britney hits including `Baby One More Time') and he makes a rather great team with Taylor and `Shellback', evident in the already massive single `We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together' and the equally as infectious `I Knew You Were Trouble' and '22'. Other than that the majority of the tracks (as previous albums) are credited to Taylor Swift as a singular songwriter.

If catchy is what you like that continues in the ridiculously cute `Stay Stay Stay', one of those songs along the lines of `Mean' you can't help but hum. I'm sure Ed Sheeran will be a talking point of this album and as it goes he is a rather great choice of collaboration. While this track is perhaps not essential to the album, it was co-written together and is the kind of acoustic gem you would expect from two artists leading the singer/songwriter genre. I feel like this track might've lacked depth without Ed Sheeran's harmonies though.

My favourite thing about Taylor Swift is how she takes a simple scenario and turns it into a song that is beautifully peaceful yet tragically sad at the same time. If you loved `Enchanted' or `Last Kiss' from Speak Now there are songs here like `Treacherous', `The Lucky One' and `Begin Again', all capturing that awe inspiring feeling that is hard to put into words.

As Taylor points out herself in the linear notes, this album relates to the poem by Neruda that makes a point that `love is so short, forgetting is so long'. If you relish on moments of `newfound hope, extreme joy, intense passion, wishful thinking and the unthinkable letdown' you will love everything about this album and want to share it with others who think like you.


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