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semu5 "semu5" (UK)

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Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1-inch LTE Tablet (White) - (ARM Quad Core 2.3GHz, 3GB RAM, 32GB Memory, WLAN, BT, 2x camera, Android 4.3)
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1-inch LTE Tablet (White) - (ARM Quad Core 2.3GHz, 3GB RAM, 32GB Memory, WLAN, BT, 2x camera, Android 4.3)
Offered by R-B-DISCOUNT
Price: 553.00

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic tablet, but slight caution for UK buyers - LTE (4G) may not be available with current UK firmware, 13 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As with many of their products, Samsung produce a confusing array of regional variants of this model with a variety of subtly different firmware configurations and capabilities. As far as I can tell, Samsung themselves don't actually advertise an LTE (4G) version on their UK web site at time of writing (April 2014), so I'm guessing the LTE models advertised by Amazon.co.uk sellers may have been produced for non-UK markets.

The version advertised here by GameCyberShop is the SM-P605 P605XXUBMJ4 Android 4.3 variant which has the Quad-core 2.3 GHz CPU, 32 GB built-in memory and support for LTE bands 800, 850, 900, 1800, 2100, 2600. It should in theory work with all current UK 4G carriers.

HOWEVER, the latest radio firmware update available in the UK doesn't appear to support LTE. When I went to "Settings...More networks...Mobile networks...Network mode", expecting to see an LTE connection mode, all I could see was GSM/WCDMA (i.e. "H+"). The best mobile connection speed I've managed so far on a 3 Mobile PAYG mobile broadband subscription is "H+" at around 5Mbps. By way of comparison, I get solid "4G" connectivity with the same carrier on my Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, so I don't think it's a 3 Mobile problem.

This wasn't a showstopper for me as 4G is still something of a mixed bag in the UK at the moment, and an LTE firmware update may well become available in the UK in due course - but if you're specifically after 4G capability in the UK now you may be out of luck.

The model received was also set up with a Chinese IME touch keyboard by default, so I'm guessing it may have been intended for the Asian market. It was very easy to reset the default keyboard to UK English so it's not a problem in practice.

The tablet itself fully lived up to expectations (LTE issue aside) - it's extremely responsive, the screen is superb, and the S-pen and split-screen features are genuinely useful. The so-called Smart Stay and Smart scroll "retinal scan" features, on the other hand, have to be taken with a heavy pinch of salt - I turned them off after persevering in vain for a couple of days to save battery life.

This model also improves upon my previous first generation Samsung Galaxy 10.1 tablet in having removable micro-SDXC memory card support, better built-in speakers, significantly better battery life and a standard micro-B USB/charger connector (though unfortunately that means my old Samsung HDMI adapter no longer fits).

The tablet sold by GameCyberShop was over 150 cheaper than the closest equivalent high street price and arrived in less than 4 days (almost 3 weeks ahead of schedule!), so no complaints there. Less impressed with the courier (City Sprint), who left the item in my recycling bin with a scribbled note.


Samsung M2022W A4 Printer Xpress Mono Wireless Laser Printer
Samsung M2022W A4 Printer Xpress Mono Wireless Laser Printer
Offered by TheInkPeople
Price: 79.99

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Compact with useful wireless features, but beware high running costs and flimsy build, 23 Mar 2014
Bought this as a second printer for a small home office. Main criteria were compactness, good (black and white) print quality, wireless connectivity and low running costs (compared to an inkjet).

Pros;
1) Very good print quality, certainly on a par with some mid-range mono laser printers and much better than inkjets in the same price bracket.
2) Very fast initialisation and first print - typically less than 5 seconds. Compare that to the 60 seconds or more you can wait for an inkjet to run through it's cleaning cycle. Print speed of around 20 ppm is also pretty good.
3) Very compact and unobtrusive.
4) WiFi setup is very easy with the WPS feature, provided your router supports this. Unfortunately not so easy if you have to enter your WiFi passcode.
5) NFC (Near Field Communication) feature is quite handy, allowing you to print directly from an NFC-equipped mobile phone or tablet simply by placing the device on the NFC tag. On Android devices, you'll need to have the free Samsung Mobile Print app installed (if it's not already installed, the NFC feature helpfully takes you directly to the Google Play store to install it). This app is actually very good, and a lot less fiddly or limited than some other mobile printing apps I've tried.
6) Eco Driver feature is actually quite handy and more than just a gimmick - particularly if you're printing from web sites etc. and don't necessarily need all the background graphics.
7) Installation procedure via supplied CD very straightforward. It automatically checks for the latest updates so don't bother downloading drivers from the Samsung web site.

Cons;
1) For a mono laser printer, the running costs are actually quite high. The Samsung M2020 Toner Cartridge - Black standard yield toner cartridge will set you back between 36 (best price on Amazon) and 55 (from Samsung store) and is supposed to last 1000 pages, representing a cost of between 3.6p and 5.5p a page - almost double the cost of some other budget mono lasers. Additionally, the genuine Samsung cartridges are relatively difficult to find - most high street stationery stores don't stock them. I wouldn't recommend using non-branded compatibles.
2) The fold-out input and output paper trays are made of very flimsy plastic. Wouldn't last 5 minutes in an office environment, but probably just about adequate for home use as long as you keep the toddlers away. The internal construction seems OK but obviously not built for heavy use.
3) It only supports 2.4GHz WiFi, so if your network is on 5GHz (as mine was) you'll need to reconfigure, or resort to USB cable.
4) No auto-duplex or 'straight-through' paper path, but that's hardly surprising in this price bracket.
5) Gets quite hot when printing large documents, but again that's not unusual for lasers.
6) It only comes with a 'starter' 500-page (i.e. half empty) toner cartridge in the box. Sadly common practice for budget printers but still deeply annoying.
6) The supplied 'quick start' guide sheets are so generic as to be virtually useless, so it's just as well the setup is fairly straightforward. There's no printed user manual supplied - just the PDF on the CD or downloadable from the website - but I personally don't mind that as a cost saving (and environmentally friendly) feature.

All in all, some nifty features and probably worth the asking price, but you get what you pay for.

PS if you want wireless features, remember to get the M2022W model rather than the basic M2022.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 20, 2014 6:24 PM BST


Fender Sangle Neoprene Bass Short black
Fender Sangle Neoprene Bass Short black
Offered by Strings Direct
Price: 37.99

4.0 out of 5 stars High quality and very comfortable strap - not quite as long as described, 6 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A good quality and very comfortable Fender-branded guitar strap, nominally for (relatively heavy) bass guitars but there's no reason why you couldn't use it on a heavy standard guitar.

The neoprene padding is only used where it's needed - i.e. over the shoulder - though a couple of extra inches would improve the adjustable range. The rest of the strap is fairly decent nylon webbing with chunky 3mm thick leather end pieces. It'll take Schaller-style strap locks quite happily.

Some Amazon.com reviewers have commented on the shortness of the strap. The product description states the strap is adjustable from 38" to 52", but the actual hole-to-hole adjustment on the one I received is 36" to 47". I'm an efficient 5' 6" and have the strap adjusted (for a Fender Jazz Bass with strings about level with belly button) to around 41", and on this basis I would judge this to be suitable for heights between 5' 1" and 5' 10" at a push (unless you're a Peter Hook acolyte who insists on having the bass hanging around your knees).

Those afflicted with acute vertical distension may need to fork out an extra 40 quid for the longer Fender Sangle Neoprene Bass Long black, and our hearts obviously go out to them.

A bit on the pricey side, but worth it for the comfort and quality.


Polar FT4M Orange Black 90042879 Heart Rate Monitor
Polar FT4M Orange Black 90042879 Heart Rate Monitor

57 of 60 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Does the job very well, but no G-Shock, 5 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I wanted a basic heart rate monitor, primarily to use with an Infiniti (aka LifeCORE) R100 Rowing Machine. I was replacing an old and malfunctioning CARDIOsport Heartsafe-T, which was flaky at the best of times and never really recovered from the last battery change. I could have just bought a Polar WearLink chest strap and transmitter (for around 30-40) and used the HRM computer on the rowing machine, but for the difference in cost I thought a new HRM receiver watch would be useful.

My criteria were;

* accurate and reliable
* comfortable and washable chest strap
* compatible with the industry standard 5kHz HRM receiver on my rowing machine
* user-replaceable batteries
* no needless frills - I didn't need features like PC data interface, etc.

This model seems to fit the bill perfectly. I've certainly found it accurate (at least as accurate as any domestic HRM can be) - the BPM readings match those on the rower's computer (which they never did with the CARDIOsport for some reason) and it monitors reliably throughout a training session, provided you remember to moisten the strap well before use. The WearLink strap itself is very comfortable and I like the fact that you can detach the WearLink transmitter to maximise transmitter battery life and wash the strap.

Initial setup is fairly intuitive (I never had to refer to the supplied quick start manual), though the 5 push buttons have minimal labelling. Date and time are straightforward, then it prompts you to enter your biometric details (height, weight, age, sex). It uses these to calculate your optimum heart rate zone and calorie burn, using the usual generic algorithm. You can override the calculated values if you want to set your own zone thresholds. It can record and store up to 10 individual training sessions, each of which contains data on session duration, maximum and average heart rate, calories burnt, and time spent within the training 'zone'. You can delete individual sessions or all 10 at once. It has a useful feature whereby you can scroll through the display options simply by bringing the watch close to the chest transmitter. None of this information is in the supplied quick start manual, by the way - you have to download the full 16-page manual in your language of choice from the Polar support web site (I don't mind that so much).

As a watch, it's frankly on a par with a petrol station giveaway, though you can apparently swim with it on provided you don't push any buttons! It has dual time zone, a feeble alarm and an even more feeble back light, as well as a certain retro chic. The display is clear enough in daylight, but I can't see many people wanting to use this as their main watch. It's certainly no G-Shock and the plastic display scratches very easily.

I can't vouch for battery life yet. The watch battery is already installed on arrival, and once you've completed the setup the watch is on all the time - there is no 'on/off' or 'sleep' function to extend battery life. Fortunately battery replacement is via a standard coin-twist access panel, as is also the case for the transmitter.

All in all, it does everything I need perfectly well and I felt it was reasonably good value for the money (I paid 55).


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