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Andrew "impulsive gadget buyer"

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Tacwise 180 NAIL ASSORTMENT PACK (4000) 18G
Tacwise 180 NAIL ASSORTMENT PACK (4000) 18G
Price: £8.51

5.0 out of 5 stars Well made and good value selection, 10 Dec. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I’ve used TacWise in the past and really rate their products for the hobbyist and casual DIY-ER.

It’s always handy to keep an assortment of nails in the bag and so I decided to take up this pack for that very reason.

It provides a selection of 15/25 and 30mm nails which is ideal for me and comes as well presented as nails can be. The ocd in me loves the neat strips.

In the box you get 4000 steel nails and they look and feel well made.

The nails were easy to load and as robust in use as any other nail I’ve used. The package represents really good value I felt too.

LG P0427G30N11 GU10 4 Watt LED, 230 Lumens, 15 Year life time, Energy-Saving Bulbs, Warm White, 5 Year Warranty, Ideal for the home, 3 Bulbs per Pack
LG P0427G30N11 GU10 4 Watt LED, 230 Lumens, 15 Year life time, Energy-Saving Bulbs, Warm White, 5 Year Warranty, Ideal for the home, 3 Bulbs per Pack
Offered by Eco Power Shop
Price: £13.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Great quality bulbs, 6 Dec. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As I have mentioned in previous reviews, LED bulbs are the way forward. However the quality available varies widely so it's good to see another big name bring a product to market alongside the likes of Philips and Toshiba etc

You get three in a pack and size wise the bulbs are a direct replacement for GU10 so you should have no problems retrofitting them.

As mentioned by others they are made of a cheap looking grey plastic but that's not so much an issue depending on where you are placing them. They pump out 230 lumens and are rated at 4 watts so it's best to consider them a replacement for 35 watt halogens.

Temperature wise they give a nice warm light which I prefer in areas such as the kitchen and even the bathroom to a degree as sometimes the white can be a bit stark.

They have quite a narrow beam angle so these are best suited as spots and I have used them recessed int he kitchen ceiling and they work well in fairness.

They have an 'expected' life of 15000 hours and a reassuring 5 yr guarantee and I really like that LG are putting a direct replacement warranty in place so it's a reassuring purchase and a worthy alternative to Philips and Toshiba.

Cole & Mason Electronic Gourmet Precision Grind 21 cm Greenwich Stainless Steel Pepper Mill
Cole & Mason Electronic Gourmet Precision Grind 21 cm Greenwich Stainless Steel Pepper Mill
Price: £36.23

5.0 out of 5 stars Love it, 5 Dec. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I’ve had electronic mills in the past and this is most definitely the best one I have ever used. It absolutely looks the business and what really surprised me was the weight and general feel of it. It’s fairly heavy but reassuringly so. And less likely to tip over.

First off, and the only minor niggle is this thing takes six aaa batteries, not too much of a problem though.

Changing the batteries and filling the chamber is fairly straightforward and in fairness it takes a reasonable amount of corns.

On the bottom there’s a handy grind adjuster to select from a finer grind to a coarser one which is really useful. I personally like my pepper a bit finer so it’s great that you can adjust to suit with this.

The grind is a very measured too so when you start dispensing pepper it is easy to control how much comes out.

What a tremendous electronic mill. It has really made me reconsider these and I’m now looking to get the matching salt one. Good job!

BT Video Baby Monitor 7500 Lightshow
BT Video Baby Monitor 7500 Lightshow
Offered by elevenfirst
Price: £198.17

5.0 out of 5 stars I cannot rate this highly enough, 3 Dec. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I previously had the BT 1000 video monitor ( as well as the light show one) and this monitor improves on every negative point I had with the 1000, and then some.

First off, as I have come to expect from BT products the package is well presented and the monitor and accessories are well built.
Starting with the chargers you get usb mains adaptors and micro usb cables that power both the monitor and parent unit. This was a major criticism I had previously as it used a proprietary cable that you had to go through bt to get. I really didn’t see any need for this and I’m glad to see they’ve gone with such a common format. Not only does pretty much every high street shop have them but you can also use other usb mains adaptors. The ones supplied are nice and compact.

Now the parent unit. This has been improved tremendously. Not only is it an improved screen but it is also touch screen. Physically it’s a nice size and feels very solid in hand. The screen has finally been recessed in comparison to the BT 1000 which should make it less prone to scuffs and scrapes, something my BT 1000 failed on.

The buttons are easy to press and the menu is both easy and intuitive to use. Pretty much everything is customisable to suit.
One thing I/m not fond of is the kickstand but it serves a purpose. I’m also glad to see they’ve included a little dock which is much easier as you just drop the parent unit in to charge. Range and battery life are the best I’ve experienced on a baby monitor.

Now, onto the main unit. As mentioned this has been improved on and reworked and is fantastic. It is both wall mountable and also has a tripod mount so you could use a tripod or a gorillapod etc

The pan and tilt on this is fantastic. It is smooth and whisper quiet and it didn’t wake my lo up. In comparison to the BT 1000 it save shaving to manually position or reposition the unit, especially if like my lo you have a wriggler on your hands.
The camera is much improved and very clear featuring a x3 zoom. Night vision was unobtrusive, especially compared to other models I have tried.

The mic is crystal clear as is talk through which is natural sounding. It also features a temperature sensor which seems accurate and a visual indicator to support it (this can be toggled off/on).

What surprised me most is that they’ve managed to fit a projector in with the light show. This works really well and coupled with the built in lullabies there’s something to suit everyone. Both the light show and lullabies can be set to a timer as well which is handy.

There’s also a night light that can be toggled on/off with the brightness adjusted so as not to disturb your lo. This was invaluable recently when I had to take his temperature or when he decides to launch his dummy across the room and get upset about it.

Overall this is a tremendous monitor. BT have taken all the best bits of previous monitors, addressed all the negatives and created something special. I really can’t rate this high enough.

Synology DS213J 2 Bay DiskStation Desktop NAS
Synology DS213J 2 Bay DiskStation Desktop NAS
Price: £139.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still a good nas, 29 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The J series from Synology is billed as a budget friendly machine for the home or soho environment. Although one shouldn't let this put you off as for the vast majority of home users a J series NAS will provide the perfect balance of price and performance. It'll happily stream a HD video across your network to your htpc or other media player! The DS212J has been one of my first recommendations since it was released and this review takes a look at it's replacement, the DS213J.

Synology NAS enclosures are so much more than just storage as they provide numerous additional features. The Synology DiskStation DS213J is designed to be a budget friendly energy efficient server that can manage media, print, downloads, surveillance and mail. If you are a proud Android or iPhone/iPod Touch owner you can remotely interact with the DiskStation DS213J as well via a downloaded app.


The DS213J is more of an evolution of an already brilliant unit rather than a revolution. It features incremental changes which keep the unit fresh and uptodate. The main changes between this and the DS212J it replaces are:
*RAM - the DS213J now features 512mb DDR3 ram compared to 256mb DDR3 in the DS212J
*Weight - The DS213J has been revised slightly with an overall lighter chasis.
*WoL - The DS213J features Wake on Lan.


Included in the box is the unit itself, installation disc and welcome note. You also get the assembling kit, ac power cord and an RJ45 ethernet cable and the unit features a 2 year warranty.


The front of the unit is home to the power button and status LED's whilst th rear contains two USB 2.0 ports, the requisit RJ45 ethernet port and the power connector. Along with a recessed reset button and security lock connector.
Opening the Synology DiskStation DS213J involves removing the two screws on the back of the device and then sliding the left side cover off of the unit. The inside of the DS looks pretty similar to its predecessors as the primary upgrade in the unit involves memory capacity, going from 256mb DDR3 to 512mb DDR3. Those who have previously owned the DS211J or DS212J will be familiar with this as the drive uses the same format but with a boost to memory and some revision to the build.Setup

Setting up your new DiskStation is simplicity itself. You can use the supplied disc or download the DiskStation Manager software direct and go from there. For guide on how to get up and running check out our article. DiskStation Setup

Make sure you check Synology's compatibility list first if buying new drives to make sure they are known to work, as they test drives regards compatibility. The two drives in raid provide a level of data redundancy so should one drive fail you can fall back on the other drive mirroring it.

The Jewel in the crown - DSM

The Synology DiskStation DS213 is operating system agnostic so it can be used on home/work networks running Windows, Mac or Linux systems. The built in Media Server is DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) capable allowing the NAS to stream seamlessly to DNLA ready devices such as the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 or other media streamers around the house. I use mine to stream movies to my TV by mapping the shares to my htpc and then using xbmc.

Synology recently upgraded their DSM (DiskStation Manager) software to version 5.1, which is designed to feel more like an OS than typical NAS software and this is where the Synology drive really excels above and beyond the competition in my opinion. Make sure you update to the latest firmware form the control panel.

As mentioned Synology also provide mobile apps that interface with the DS213J for both the iPhone/iPod Touch and Android devices. The DS Audio iPhone app, allows music to be streamed from the NAS to your iPhone both within and outside of your home network.

DS Photo offers browsing and uploading photos and videos stored on DiskStation from your mobile devices. Best way to think of this is your own personal dropbox without limits, though the nas drive needs to be online for you to do it. DS Photo setup guide

As well as being able to operate with Linux, OS X and Windows it functions as an entertainment server through its DNLA enabled media backend and built in iTunes server. The Download station allows Bit Torrents to run on the DiskStation DS213J without any other computer being on within the network.

There are a range of available applications to launch websites and host mail servers. And a great feature is the ability to hook up a USB printer making it available across the network for everyone. Ideal in the home if you have a couple of users and saves having to hard connect to the printer and it could be tucked away somewhere out of sight! You get a complete print server that supports multifunction printers, Apple Air Print, and Google Cloud Print for sharing your printer around the home or office.

The Surveillance Station 6 is yet another very useful feature as you can setup the DS213J for use with IP cameras. For the home user these means keeping an eye on your property or even using your camera to keep an eye on your little ones.

The recently upgraded DSM 5.1 interface makes managing settings and applications on the machine much smoother and simpler and less intimidating for those with limited knowledge of networks and all the various settings. If you can navigate around Windows then the DSM 4 interface should seem quite familiar.

One of the major features of the DSM software is their cloud service, keeping all your digital devices in sync with your DS213J. All the benefits of cloud storage with the peace of mind that local security/storage brings.

My Final Thoughts

If you are looking for a very capable budget NAS then the Synology DS213J is a terrific choice for the home and soho user. It brings a welcome boost over the DS212J and strikes a perfect balance between performance and affordability. Bringing a polished operating system which is easy to get to grips with and a full compliment of mobile apps making access on the go a doddle. I found it's performance to be very close to the advertised figures achieving 85-90 MB/s Read and 55-60 MB/s write when copying large files which is more than sufficient to stream that 1080p .mkv to your htpc.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 1, 2014 8:21 PM GMT

My First Crayola Egg-Shaped Crayons
My First Crayola Egg-Shaped Crayons
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic intro to crayons, 29 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I really like these. I bought some of these for my 18 month old. They are easy for him to hold and work well.

An excellent introduction to the world of crayons. They are also too big for him to fit in his mouth which is a bonus.

Packet of (2) 37mm (just under 1 1/2") double sided suction cups with 37mm sucker on both sides, sucker, suckers, plain, clear vinyl, PVC suction cup
Packet of (2) 37mm (just under 1 1/2") double sided suction cups with 37mm sucker on both sides, sucker, suckers, plain, clear vinyl, PVC suction cup
Offered by Besocute
Price: £3.00

5.0 out of 5 stars There's not a lot to say about these. They ..., 29 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There's not a lot to say about these.

They arrived on time and as described at a reasonable price. They appear well made and work well.

Sensei Wireless Gaming Mouse (PC DVD)
Sensei Wireless Gaming Mouse (PC DVD)
Price: £119.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Really wanted to like it, 29 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I really tried to love this mouse but in the end gave up after two replacements.

It is well implemented though, I like the design of it and the dock but it can be very flakey.

I had a lot of issues with it pairing to the station and then charging. Just dropping it in the dock so to speak often meant it wouldn't charge till I shuffled and nudged it a little.

The other thing I noticed was that in comparison to an optical mouse the tracking and acceleration is not great. This became really obvious when I swapped over to a Mionix Avior 7000. Night and day different and my accuracy instantly went up with the Mionix.

It's not all bad though. The mouse is nice to use for everyday tasks but in my opinion no way worth anything north of a hundred bucks.

Tomy Aquadoodle Classic Drawing Toy
Tomy Aquadoodle Classic Drawing Toy
Price: £17.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless classic, 29 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I love this mat. It's an absolute timeless classic that provides a lot of educational entertainment.

The mat is well built and has taken a lot of abuse. It allows you to be creative and free without worrying about mess.

This is an excellent introduction to drawing etc without worrying about crayons being munched on. Or walls being drawn on for the matter.

I particularly like the alphabet around the edge for practising letters.

I can't rate this enough and out of all the toys etc I've bought for my lo so far this is one of our favourites.

Aquadoodle Magic Water Pens Twin Pack
Aquadoodle Magic Water Pens Twin Pack
Price: £3.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Essential add on when buying the mat, 29 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The aquadoodle mat is great. I love it and so does my lo.

Extra pens are essential though to allow others to join in and to replace those that got a lot of abuse.

I bought mine direct with Amazon and I had the two pens pictured.

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