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SousVide Supreme Small Vacuum Bags
SousVide Supreme Small Vacuum Bags
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best bags especially designed for sous-vide cooking, 21 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These are excellent bags. They are not as thick as the Foodsaver's bags but they have an immense advantage, which is that they are designed for sous-vide cooking . This means that they can bear prolonged immersion in a hot water bath without the seals breaking open whereas the Foodsaver's bags can't. So if you just want to extend the shelf life of your food you may want to order foodsaver bags (in which case order from the US Amazon website, even with the delivery it works out cheaper for the One Quart bags). But if you want to do sous-vide cooking, the Supreme bags are the ones to go to.

There is, however, another reason to go for this: all bags for non vacuum chambers sous vide machines have one side embossed to get the air out of the bag. On most, the pattern is very prominent, which means that if you vacuum some food to keep it in the fridge you get an imprinted diamond pattern on your meat or fish. I don't find this very attractive! By contrast, the Supreme sous-vide bags have a very fine, grid like set of indentations which hardly leaves any mark on the food. So it's much prettier to look at when you take it out of the bag. I know, it's a detail but if you're serving the food for guests it can make a difference... :)


Foodsaver Automated Vacuum Sealing System
Foodsaver Automated Vacuum Sealing System
Price: £156.64

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent machine, well designed and very effective., 20 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a fantastic machine. I just had two faulty Supreme Sous Vide Vacuum Sealers in a row and I was beginning to despair when I ordered this machine. But this is the real deal. It is extremely easy to operate so long as you remember to slide the bags from the side, where the arrows are, rather than inserting them directly from the front. This helps the machine to detect the presence of the bags. I personally prefer using ready made bags rather than the roll because I end up cutting long stretches anyway to avoid liquids being sucked into the tray when vacuum-packing, say, fish or moist foods. Of course there are other ways to avoid this: you can place a piece of kitchen paper at the top (when doing soft fruit, for example) if you don't intent to cook the food sous-vide. Or you can hit the 'instant seal' button before the liquid is sucked up (but then the vacuum may not be perfect). But if you just have a normal bag then the extra length allows the all the air to be sucked out before the liquid reaches the machine Also you can wash and reuse the bags (they are very strong), and the added length means that you can still seal them (just a little shorter). I also have noticed a marked difference between the Food saver bags and other brands (such as James Martin and Sous Vide Supreme): the Food saver machine will work with all but the original bags are stronger and thicker. Otherwise what is really nice about the machine is how simple to use, fast and powerful it is. Bag the food, slide the bag in, and that's it: the machine detects it, grabs it and does its thing. No need to hold anything down, as on many machines, nor to adjust the settings (although you can for example set it to 'gentle' but I haven't found this necessary). It also comes with a canister. I have ordered the marinator and a set of extra canisters to hold herbs and peppercorns. I am delighted with the machine and can't recommend it enough.

PS: it turns out that the Foodsaver bags are not recommended for sous-vide cooking, which is one of the main reasons why I bought the machine! I rang Foodsaver and they said that the bags will withstand being put in boiling water to reheat the contents but not prolonged immersion at relatively high temperatures: after 10h or so, the seals may break open, which is the last thing you want! So I've shifted to the Supreme Sous Vide bags: they are a little flimsier but they are designed for sous-vide cooking. Just to be on the safe side, when I have a joint that needs cooking in the Sous Vide machine for a long time, I double seal. If one seal breaks, the other holds!


SousVide Supreme VS3000 Vacuum Sealer, Silver
SousVide Supreme VS3000 Vacuum Sealer, Silver
Price: £98.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Two faulty units in a row... and seriously underpowered, 19 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Two faulty units in one row... The first would not vacuum at all, the second does vacuum but does not seal. Needless to say I have not ordered a third, have gone for the Fully Automated FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer.

From what I have seen, there would be two drawbacks to the SousVide Supreme even if I had had a working unit:

1. You need to maintain the pressure on the lid all the way through the process. If you have a lot to vacuum pack this will both take time and prove a little tiring as you need to press down with both hands.

2. The units I had seriously lacked power. The first one would hardly vacuum anything. The second did vacuum but slowly. It took about 2mn to suck the air out of a small bag with three thick slices of ham in it. Imagine having a whole set of items to freeze...

PS: by contrast the FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer is absolutely WONDERFUL. Efficient, easy to use, and it comes with various containers that can be reused, which saves on bags. No contest whatsoever, although interestingly the Sous Vide Supreme bags are much better than the FoodSaver bags for sous vide cooking (I have reviewed them, and the foodsaver, if you want to know more).


Orzly® - NEXUS 9 Premium Tempered Glass 0.24mm Protective Screen Guard - Oleophobic Screen Protector Designed Specifically for use with the HTC / GOOGLE NEXUS 9 Tablet - Fits Every 9 Inch Screen Version of the Nexus Tablet from Original 2014 Model onwards
Orzly® - NEXUS 9 Premium Tempered Glass 0.24mm Protective Screen Guard - Oleophobic Screen Protector Designed Specifically for use with the HTC / GOOGLE NEXUS 9 Tablet - Fits Every 9 Inch Screen Version of the Nexus Tablet from Original 2014 Model onwards
Offered by G-Hub
Price: £29.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect screen protector for Nexus 9, 9 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Excellent screen protector, so much better than plastic. I was a bit concerned because of the size of the screen that I would have bubbles but if you apply properly there are none at all. The surface is incredibly smooth and responsive.

In case it helps: clean the screen, remove the protective film on the screen protector and position above the Nexus, at about 0.5cm, aligning the edges exactly. Then drop gently into place and (very important) press FROM THE CENTRE, not the edges as with plastic film protectors. Chase any bubbles towards the edges (there are very few anyway) with a credit card.


PThink® 0.3mm Ultra-thin Tempered Glass Screen Protector for HTC One MAX with 9H Hardness/Anti-scratch/Fingerprint resistant (HTC One MAX)
PThink® 0.3mm Ultra-thin Tempered Glass Screen Protector for HTC One MAX with 9H Hardness/Anti-scratch/Fingerprint resistant (HTC One MAX)
Offered by PThink UK Store

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for HTC One Max, 4 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Excellent product, easy to apply and just the right size for my HTC One Max. You get an alcohol towelette, a cleaning cloth and an adhesive cleaning pad (easier than sellotape) for the price, it's really good value.


Motorola Google Nexus 6 32GB SIM-Free Smartphone - Midnight Blue
Motorola Google Nexus 6 32GB SIM-Free Smartphone - Midnight Blue
Price: £449.00

21 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent phone... but beware of the omnipresent Google Search Bar, which eats up the screen., 4 Jan. 2015
In many ways this is a really good phone: in particular, the ergonomics are excellent. It is beautifully designed and I'm rather tired of all these professional reviewers moaning that this is a 'massive', 'huge', 'beast of a' phone, too big for everyday use. Well, I'm a woman with small hands (glove size: 6) and I find it very easy to handle. Because of the curvature of its back and its thin sides, it sits very easily in the hand and is a joy to operate. The ratio of display to screen is excellent, with no wasted space. The display is beautiful, with very realistic colours tending towards the warm end of the specter.

The phone itself is fast. I have a Nexus 9 and the speed is very comparable. Android L is nice to work with, although nothing like the hyped reviews make you think it will be, especially since many of the most useful features, such as the notifications, are already available as stand alone apps (install: Headups Notifications, it's free and really great). I found the 'tap to go' setting totally useless because it basically does the same thing as just restoring your Google account. It did not restore my wall paper, my widgets, etc. From this perspective, the HTC transfer tool is infinitely superior (I have used it on an HTC One Max and an M7) as it really does transfer all your settings.

So this is a beautiful, well designed, fast phone. Yet I returned it. Why is that? Because of the omnipresent Google search bar. It features on ALL your screens and you simply can't get rid of it on an unrooted phone AND reuse the space. I'm technologically apt but I couldn't do it. I've searched various forums and even on XDA developers there is no fix. Of course you can make it disappear (by disabling Google search and restarting, for example); but you can't put any apps or widgets in its place. This shrinks the usable space by about 1/6th. That is acceptable on a tablet (the Nexus 6 has the same problem) but not on a phone, where space is so precious. In my view it also ruins the aesthetics of an otherwise really nicely designed phone. Perhaps in the future, if enough people complain about this, Google will issue an update that will allows users to get rid of it. But given that it is its own search bar, I doubt it.

So meanwhile I have returned this otherwise really nice phone, with regret. I'm now waiting for the new HTC Hima (or M9?), hoping that the screen will be big enough for me and that the camera will be rid of the ultra pixels, as otherwise over the past ten years or so I have consistently found HTC's phones to be the best designed, both aesthetically and in terms of software (Sense 5 is really good). I can't believe that even on a Nexus, which is supposed to be totally streamlined, Google managed to install this wretched Google bar!

PS: if you read this and know how to get rid of the Google Search bar on a non-rooted phone (I don't want to void the warranty) AND use that space for apps or widgets, please help me (and others) out and post how to do it? Then I think I would buy the phone again!

PPS: if you are looking for a Nexus 6 64gb, it's available now (Jan 4th) on the French Amazon website (amazon.fr). It's slightly cheaper than in the UK because of the current strength of Sterling against the euro, and it takes 2-3 days to get to you. That's how I got mine. Delivery is 6 euros and they refund 7 euros on the postage if you return it. When you unbox it, just select 'English' for the operating system (the first screen you will see) and you're off. It's exactly the same phone as the one which is (not) on sale in the UK.

UPDATE 3 MONTHS LATER:

As it is clear now that no other phablets will come out soon, I have reordered a Nexus 6 64GB (!). It turned out that with the Lollipop upgrade Nova has become compatible with Multicon, the folder app I use all the time. So now using Nova as my default launcher has resolved the Google Bar issue, and with this resolved, the phone performs extremely well (as noted above).

UPDATE AFTER 5.1 upgrade (march 2015):

This upgrade makes a significant difference on speed and battery life. Re: the first, that is because now all four cores are being used by the Nexus 6 whereas in the previous Lollipop version only two were running. This means a 20% increase in speed, on an already very fast phone. Secondly, battery life too is improved. I now end up the day with about 50% left (and I'm a heavy user), as opposed to about 35% before. Another thing to note is that the camera performs extremely well, in particular as far as colour rendition is concerned. In view of this, I have now upgraded my review to five stars.
Comment Comments (16) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 26, 2015 5:17 AM GMT


Samsung Galaxy Note 4 4G SIM-Free Smartphone - White
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 4G SIM-Free Smartphone - White
Offered by ELUXE UK STORE
Price: £461.50

4 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Excellent specs on paper, bad feel in the hand and dreadful user interface, 23 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I really tried to like this phone but I just can't get over the bad Touch wiz interface and the shoddy design. The phone is badly let down by its plasticky feel and sharp edges (the aluminium contour digs in your fingers). The faux leather plastic back is awful. The Note just feels tacky compared to the various HTC models or i-Phones that I have used. Also - I know, this may sound strange to some - the screen is too small! I'm accustomed to an HTC One Max and there you do have genuine screen real estate. But with the Note you get a larger phone than, say, an HTC 7 or 8, with a screen that is not worth the difference. I'd rather go really big, or stay with a 4.7/5 inch screen.

That's a bad start for something that you'll use every day a lot of a time a day (if you're like me and use the phone as a productivity tool too). And here, Touch Wiz is just awful. I had noticed that on my husband's Samsung tablet but it's no better on the phone. It slows down the phone (the multi layer window stutters for example). The interface is ugly, overly mannered and basically gets in the way of everything. Sense (on HTC) is infinitely better both aesthetically and in terms of use. I also have two Nexus (7 and 9) and of course there everything is streamlined to the minimum. The thing is, I don't want to spend a lot of time learning how to navigate an interface which makes me cringe every time I have to look at it, and use it...

I'm aware the above is very negative and I'm sorry if it raises the hackles of Samsung users. But this phone is just not for me: it is a pity as it has a great camera and great specs on paper. But in real life it disappoints badly. I have ordered a Nexus 6 64GB (I'll review it when I have it) and will stick to my HTC One Max meanwhile.

PS: I changed the rating to 2 stars in response to GStar's comments/review. I think that he is right that 1 star was too harsh (a reflection of my high expectations for the device, and equally high disappointment). But still, it remains that the phone has many disadvantages in my opinion. Read his comment to have the other side of the story!
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 14, 2015 5:24 AM GMT


Logitech Ultrathin Touch Bluetooth Mouse
Logitech Ultrathin Touch Bluetooth Mouse
Price: £40.55

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Customisable and works with Android tablets - a great little mouse., 27 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a fantastic little mouse. Design wise it's really nice to handle, smooth like a polished stone and very ergonomic. I don't find at all that I have to grip it hard, and it is very responsive if you adjust the settings (more on this below).

Although it is not advertised as compatible with Android tablets, it works very well with both a Nexus 9 and a galaxy tab pro. All you need to do to pair it is to make your tablet discoverable on Bluetooth, press the 'connect' button on the mouse and then on the tablet select 'pair'. That's it. once the mouse is turned off, it will pair automatically when it is turned back on. It has a very handy button which allows you to select two different devices to pair it with, so you can equally pair it with your laptop for example. I use it with a Sony Vaio (remember to turn Bluetooth on from the Vaio Smart network and then click on 'add a device' from 'Control Panel', 'Printers and devices') and it works fantastically, a great improvement on the track pad.

It is lovely to use: you stroke it up or down to scroll, and left and right with double fingers to go back and forth in browsers (that in particular is incredibly helpful). you can select text to copy or paste in the usual way, and to copy from websites you just long press the right click to get into select mode. In android you don't get the right click contextual menus but otherwise everything works beautifully. One charge gives you about 10 days of work, but a 1 mn charge will give you an additional hour in case of emergency. That's really handy.

Now, here is the clever part: out of the box, I found both the cursor and the scrolling to be on the slow and unresponsive side. But there is a fix! All you've got to do is connect the mouse to a laptop, download the Logitech setpoint software (from the Logitech thin mouse support page). Once this is installed it gives you a large number of customisation options. You can then adjust the speed of the pointer and of the scrolling, the type of gesture desired; you save everything and then reconnect your mouse to your tablet and bingo, it's now responsive and does exactly what you want it to do!

Finally, the mouse charges from a standard charger and is so small and compact that it fits easily in a pocket or a tablet sleeve. There is a three year warranty in case of problems. A really nice bit of kit, one of the best things I have bought this year in electronics.


G30-Global Swedish Filleter - 21cm
G30-Global Swedish Filleter - 21cm
Offered by Arte della Casa
Price: £93.83

5.0 out of 5 stars Unique, fantastic slicer, 22 Nov. 2014
This is an extraordinary knife, really unique. I have about 10 Global knives, including the larger ham/salmon slicer (G10 I think) but this one is special. The blade is so thin and flexible that it cuts through a slab of smoked salmon like butter, and you get the most beautiful, even slices. I can't do this with the larger slicer because a) the blade is too long for this and so slightly unwieldy and b) its surface is larger and so the salmon tends to stick to it, even though it is striated. Whereas with this rapier-like blade nothing sticks and you can really control the thickness of the slices through and through. Plus, it's extremely well balanced and aesthetically pleasing to look at. If you don't have a slicer and are considering buying one, get this (unless you have extra large hams to cut). It's the most ergonomic slicer I have ever seen (PS: of course it makes splendid carpaccio too).


Columbia Women's W Whirlibird III Glove - Light Grape Plaid, Medium
Columbia Women's W Whirlibird III Glove - Light Grape Plaid, Medium

4.0 out of 5 stars Warm, light and comfortable but not totally waterproof., 21 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
On the whole these are good. They are light weight, comfortable and warm. However they are not fully waterproof: after 1h of cycling in hard rain water had infiltrated the tip of the gloves and my fingers were wet. Granted, the conditions were particularly bad. But still, I would have expected these to be waterproof given the price.


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