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Andrew "impulsive gadget buyer" (Wales)

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Contour SuperSmart Battery Charger with 4 x World Best Batteries
Contour SuperSmart Battery Charger with 4 x World Best Batteries
Offered by Wiziwoo Limited
Price: 8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Best charger and batteries I have owned, 5 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is easily one of the best chargers and battery sets I have ever owned.

Over the years I have had other brand, notably Uniross and Energiser and so far this one has proved just as good quality, if not better.

The batteries themselves seem to last a long time, more so than other equivalent rechargeable but the key for me was the independent charging. It has four channels and charges each battery as if single. Thus a faulty battery won't interrupt the charging of other. It's reasonably quick and the unit features a number of safety features to keep your batteries alive and your house intact!

This is a well built and intelligent charger that I would instantly recommend, and is much more economical than named brands. Very happy with my purchase.

Progress Vulfix 660S Medium Super Badger shaving brush, Black colour
Progress Vulfix 660S Medium Super Badger shaving brush, Black colour
Offered by Diamond Edge Ltd
Price: 17.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1st brush, 5 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is my first brush as part of my first foray into DE shaving.

I went for the medium and I find the brush does the job very well. It's not at all scratchy and lathers nicely. Gives a nice spread across my face and is nice and easy to wash. Having spoke to a few people on various forums this brush is noted as somewhat of a bargain and I tend to agree.

No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars Does the job, 5 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Fantastic little stand that is both sturdy and well built. Comes with a sticky pad on the back for mounting it if required. Holds my Progress Vulfix 660S medium nicely.

Dove Men Plus Care Daily Care Duo Gift Pack
Dove Men Plus Care Daily Care Duo Gift Pack
Price: 3.35

5.0 out of 5 stars Love this deodrant and wash, 5 Oct 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've been using Dove Clean Comfort deodorant for some time now and it really is a clean smell and comfortable to wear, as described.

I'm quite fussy with my deodorants and this is the one I've stuck with the longest. It doesn't make you sticky or uncomfortable and the fragrance isn't too intrusive. I work shifts with a fair bit of gear on and this has no trouble keeping me fresh throughout. If I'm home late and go straight to bed I don't smell too bad in the morning either.

I hadn't used the body wash before and I am very happy with that. It lathers up nicely and has a pleasant fragrance like the spray. It gets you nice and fresh and doesn't dry the skin out. I think I'll be sticking with this body wash from now on as well.

Overall a very nice combo and an ideal set for a stocking filler with Christmas around the corner.

Scotch Titanium Non-stick Scissors - 20 cm, Brown with Assorted Accent Colours (Dot Colour Will Vary), 1 Pair (1468TNS-MIX)
Scotch Titanium Non-stick Scissors - 20 cm, Brown with Assorted Accent Colours (Dot Colour Will Vary), 1 Pair (1468TNS-MIX)
Price: 10.15

5.0 out of 5 stars great scissors, 5 Oct 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
These are a great pair of scissors and I gave them a whirl having recently picked up a pair from the supermarket. In comparison these immediately feel much better in hand and in my opinion look and feel like premium scissors.

My pair came in a pleasing brown accent and I was happy to find the packaging was easy to remove, rather than the nasty plastic blister packs that need a fire crews cutting equipment to get through.

The handle is comfortable enough and the blades are long and slender so good for the finer cutting. They nipped into some socks I bought to cut the plastic binder away nicely without taking half the socks with them. I tried them with some brown tape and they handle that brilliantly, unlike the pair form the supermarket and they really are non-stick.

A great compliment to the house stationary draw and one that feels that it will go the distance.

Ex-Pro NP-BX1/BC-TRX Fast Travel Pro Charger for Sony Cybershot
Ex-Pro NP-BX1/BC-TRX Fast Travel Pro Charger for Sony Cybershot
Price: 10.95

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cheap and cheerful and doe the job, 23 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I like this little charger and as per my title it's cheep and cheerful but does the job perfectly fine.

Firstly the unit comes with three clip on adaptors so not only is I t great in the uk, you can modify it to work abroad which is very handy.

It also comes with a car charger lead which is a bonus if you are out and about etc.

The main charger itself is a universal unit and you are supplied with a clip in insert depending on which battery type you ordered. In my case one for the NPBX1. Again, this I think is a good idea cause you could probably pick up different inserts making it very versatile if your sharing with someone else or change your camera in the future.

My one niggle is the little insert for the NPBX1, it holds the battery fine but it does come in and out very easily. I think I would have preferred a more secure fitting but this hasn't affected charging or anything.

Overall it's a bit plastic fantastic but does the job and is substantially cheaper than the Sony one.

Asustor AS-302T 2 Bay Desktop Network Attached Storage
Asustor AS-302T 2 Bay Desktop Network Attached Storage
Price: 258.00

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it. Intel performance without the price tag, 5 Sep 2013
We would like to thank ASUSTOR who kindly provided this unit for review.

ASUSTOR are a relative newcomer to the nas market releasing their 6 series not too long ago. We took a look at the AS-602T back in March and found it to be a highly refined and powerful nas solution. Since then ASUSTOR have gone form strength to strength. One of my previous criticisms was the lack of mobile apps. This has now been addressed and their recent aiData app fills in a lot of gaps. After focusing on the higher end with their 6 series, I wanted to see ASUSTOR develop their range further. And whilst there's not yet a budget solution in view, they've taken a step closer with the launch of their new 3 series enclosures. Built to the same high standard and aesthetic as the 6 series, the 3 series are a more affordable solution geared towards the home/prosumer and features the new Intel CE5335 SoC that brings fantastic media capabilities with it.

The new 3 Series from ASUSTOR features the dual core 1.6 GHz Intel Atom CE5335 chip that is part of Intel's CE5300 range. The new Intel CE5335 is a system on chip specifically targeted at home storage solutions. With built in enhanced graphics capabilities this new solution allows for a easy and smooth transcoding of media to other devices. Using the Plex app I was able to quickly and smoothly transcode 1080p video to my iPad. Although achievable on previous Atom Powered nas enclosures, the new chip made it noticeably faster and smoother. To further test it I also started streaming to my iPhone. This is where the chip shines and it handle multiple streams being transcoded simultaneously with ease.

Armed with this new Intel SoC, the new 3 series is the only 'home' nas to feature and Intel solution bringing with it fantastic performance. Other solutions form other companies such as Synology still use a Marvell SoC for their home units.

The ADM is a clean, modern looking GUI which has a desktop os feel about it and makes getting to grips with it a breeze regardless of experience level. It has been newly updated to version 2. It gives a fresh and vibrant app based approach that is fantastically simple, yet powerful and gorgeous to look at. I think this app based interface is the way forward for nas units. Certainly home units. You can customise the home screen as well as pin your favourite apps to the task bar for quick access like you would in a normal os.

The unit itself is superbly built and has a premium finish to it. The exterior is a lovely brushed aluminium that features a small grill for ventilation. The unit features two hot swap caddies for easy installation with vented grills for optimal air flow!

The front of the drive itself features a USB 3 port and a number of LED status lights which can be configured within the software settings or completely disabled which is good news for those who want to place the nas in a more discrete location. You will also notice there is an IR receiver to use in conjunction with the optional IR remote.

On the power saving front the 302T has many advanced power saving features. It allows you to hibernate the system drives and connected hard drives utilising the System sleep mode (S3 state) which drops power down to 2/3 watts. Power saving and power profiles are accessed through the control panel or you can simply hit the power button for the system to go to sleep, and again for what was in fairness and almost instant wake up.

The unit is cooled by a rear 7 cm fan which provides quiet airflow. Along with ventilation through a side grill and the hot swap bays this keeps the disks cool and importantly less heat means less noise and hopefully longer lasting drives.

The unit has a number of connection options with space to hook up many external devices and keep nearly everyone happy.
*USB 3 ports x2 (1 x front 1 x rear)
*USB 2 Ports x2
*3.5mm Headphone jack
*1 x RJ45 (Ethernet)
*HDMI for video output using the XBMC app.
*Kensington lock port

Like all NAS units the AS-302T is operating system agnostic and can be used in harmony and Windows, Mac OS and Linux or a mixture of all.

Initial setup is very straight forward. I used the web interface to get started which is simplicity itself. Or you could use the supplied CD and the Control Centre software search's for the device on your network and starts the installation and configuration process. From here you have two levels of control.

One click setup is as the name suggests the easiest way to get started and would suit most users in all honesty. Custom offers finer control and by default the system will configure two disks as raid 1 unless you go custom and select raid 0. The unit comes preinstalled with the operating system and during first use it prompted me to upgrade to the latest version which was quick and easy.

Whilst the system builds the raid array you can move onto configuring your shiny new nas through the administration panel. Selecting one of the options from the admin panel opens a new window where you can access settings or features, and I was up and running setting up new shared folders immediately. On the subject of the RIAD array, it is worth noting that should you have a problem with a disk in Raid 1, or wish to add additional disks this can all be done whilst the system is online, with no down time. You can also migrate to a four bay system easily.

The ADM software allows for the simple and fast creation of multiple user accounts, groups and shared folders. The app based menu is very well laid out and easy to use.

To help with getting to grips with the various features is the ASUSTOR College which is a handy online repository of guides to key features and getting started. There is also a healthy selection of guide videos on their YouTube Channel.

Having reviewed a number of nas units over the years it is clear that what sets them apart is their software and the availability of apps. ASUSTOR have particular reason to be proud here. Their ADM is now on version 2, and brings a feature set and ease of use that rivals long established rivals. The GUI is very clean and well laid out and anyone familiar with iOS should be at home here. ASUSTOR feature a demo on their website and I would really encourage you to take it for a spin to see just how polished it is. ADM Demo

When you first install the nas you are greeted with an admin panel where you can access the various preinstalled and administration functions. The ADM is really very good and goes a step further by giving you full control over the LED's, allowing you to disable front panel buttons if necessary and also manual control over the fan should you need it.

For such a new entrant the software is incredibly refined, easy to use and very intuitive. Anyone who has used an iPad or iPhone will be instantly at home. The various functions are all well laid out and they can be reorganised into pages, selected by discrete dots along the bottom indicating the different pages available.

This iOS like app based interface allows for true multitasking and background operation and I had several apps open and running at once. ADM 2 allows you to pin favourite apps to the task bar like you would in most modern operating systems. You can also customise the background wall paper if needed which is a nice touch.

For business users the unit supports iSCSI and NFS and also Windows AD authentication for seamless business integration.

Dr ASUSTOR is a neat little feature and as the name suggests it monitors your systems health and settings and if it detects that a setting or function might compromise say, your online security in gently prompts you with the appropriate action to take.

App Central

As mentioned previously, it's the software which makes a nas and this is where the ASUSTOR surprisingly excels. They call it App Central and it is where you go to add extra features and functionality to your nas. At the time of writing this review there in excess of 100 apps available for download now, making it the largest apps library on the market. It allows the user to select only what they need and keep their nas clean and focused and what they want. They include the uPnP media server, surveillance station for IP cameras, an iTunes server and a very handy Download Centre. Where ASUSTOR takes a march on it's rivals is the inclusion of 4 free IP channels or licenses straight out of the box which is very welcome and supports over 100 different ip cams including the popular Y-CAM. With other solutions you often just get 1 free license before you have to purchase additional ones.

The Download Centre links in nicely with their 'AiDownload' app for smartphones allowing remote access and scheduling of downloads on the go whilst away from the home or office. Also available, and one of my favourites is the Plex Media Server which I use to stream to my iPad and transcode on the fly which this unit handled perfectly fine.

Using the 'myasustor' portal allows for remote cloud access to your system from within a browser which is very handy when away from the home or office.

It really surprised me just how many apps were available and there are a number of developer tools available to build custom apps to suit your needs.

Remember that HDMI port I mentioned earlier? A quick trip to App Central and you can download the XBMC App which turns your nas into a fully fledged HTPC replacement. I found this feature to be very well implemented and it handled all my media with ease. Which admittedly consists of 6-8gb MKV's and the usual photos and music.

The nas supports the use of a usb keyboard or mouse and also available is a remote control from ASUSTOR. The remote control worked as it should making use of the built in IR receiver but the real gem is the 'AiRemote' app. Currently only compatible with Boxee on the 6 series, this is due to be updated to work with XBMC.

On the subject of the remote control, it is a handy option to have, but in all honesty I would imagine that there's at least one smartphone or tablet in most households these days and the remote control app would be the way forwards.

You can also hook the nas up to an amp or connect usb speakers and pair an iOS device to the iTunes server feature and use the Apple 'Remote' app for remote control.


There are a number of mobile app's now, a criticism I had previously that has been addressed.

AiMaster - this is a utility app designed to monitor and control your nas. A management app it gives real time control and notification of events for all your ASUSTOR nas units. Handy to remote in and turn your nas off or manage remotely as an administrator.

AiRemote - turns your smartphone into a remote control for use with the media player. Although this is currently only available for Boxee on the 6 series, an update is currently in the works to make it compatible with the XBMC app on the 3 series.

AiDownload - a remote administration tool that allows you to schedule and manage downloads on your nas in conjunction with the download station.

AiData - This is a fantastic little app and newly released at the time of writing this review. The beauty of this app is not only the access it gives you either at home or remotely to your files, it also allows you to stream your media easily.

Backup and Encryption

Featuring 256-bit AES Military Grade Encryption at the folder level the system also supports encrypted connections and has a firewall and network defender to prevent unauthorised access.

With full FTP support ASUSTOR have covered all the bases. It's fully compatible with Windows/Mac/Linux and supports Rsync, cloud backup to Amazon S3, one touch copy, time machine compatibility and backups to external drives to name just a few. And it is one of the few enclosures that offers two way backup through all the options. I particularly like their in-house app 'Backup Plan' which allows for scheduled and incremental backups from your pc to your nas. You can use the Dropbox app in this regard to sync your nas with your Dropbox account, and use it with different Dropbox accounts/users.

I'm very reluctant as a rule to post performance figures as they can vary so wildly between setups. My setup consisted of 2x 3tb WD Red drives in Raid 1. My main rig consists of an Intel i5 OC'd to 4.8ghz with 8 gb ram, a z68 motherboard and a crucial m4 ssd for my os drive. Copying a 5gb .mkv movie back and forth from the enclosure I recorded speeds of approximately 95 MB/s read 60 MB/s write which I found very good. I then copied just shy of 1 tb of data to the array which saw some fluctuations in write speed. Most notably write speeds occasionally peaked at 80 MB/s and dipped to 40 MB/s. I must say that I would expect to see these and on average write speeds stayed around the 60 MB/s mark. Fantastic performance in my opinion.

My Final Thoughts

It is fair to say that I have been blown away by this second offering from ASUSTOR, a relatively new player in the nas market. Whilst the 6 series is aimed at power users, this 3 series although aimed at the Home/Soho market, brings the power of an Intel Atom chip with custom built integrated multimedia capabilities when other manufacturers are still using Marvell SoC Chips for their Home ranges.

The 3 series is thus a fantastic value proposition, combining the power of an Atom chip with a price point matching comparable systems using Marvell chips. Their range of mobile app's is expanding and the software has been refined and polished even more.

The Asustor AS-302T is a well built product with a clean and fresh interface that is a joy to use. Its fast, fluid and responsive and Asustor have certainly built upon the solid base they established with their 6 series.

This is an extremely impressive unit from Asustor that builds on their already fantastic 6 series and I would highly recommend this enclosure.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 3, 2013 3:47 PM BST

Seagate STBM3000200 3TB Business Storage 1 Bay Desktop NAS
Seagate STBM3000200 3TB Business Storage 1 Bay Desktop NAS
Price: 150.38

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Does the basics very well, 5 Sep 2013
This is a small and compact NAS aimed at the business user and I am taking a look at the 3tb version. It is a neat, small and compact unit that can be placed unobtrusively into most environments. A NAS drive is the economical solution to backup your digital life within your home! As our lives and more importantly our contents go digital, it is becoming increasingly important for homes to have a sound digital structure. Somewhere not just to keep backups, but also serve up our content in a way you want. With that in mind, the Seagate Business NAS is an economical off the shelf solution that requires little IT knowledge to get up and running and comes prefitted with storage.

The unit is an all plastic affair with ventilation grills to the sides, bottom, top and rear to keep the enclosed hard drive cool. This is necessary as the enclosure is fanless which is great in operation, keeping noise to a minimum. That said it is solid in hand and doesn't feel flimsy or delicate. The unit itself is nice and compact and is not much bigger than an external hard disk.

Being a single bay NAS prefitted with a hard drive setup was very straightforward. It was simply a case of connecting up the power and Ethernet cables and then running the supplied setup cd. Very simple. Also included on the disc is Seagate's Black Armor backup software which includes 5 licenses. The NAS is also compatible with apple's Time Machine.

The Seagate dashboard is simple and straightforward with a clean interface. I really like the dashboard. It's not as pretty or as fully featured as the dashboards from the likes of ASUSTOR or QNAP but it does what you need and does it very well. From the dashboard you can create users/groups, set sharing privileges and set up your media folders. It is well laid out and easily accessible from the NAS novice upwards.

To the front of the unit is a USB 3 port, a welcome inclusion and a one touch copy button for instant backups of devices connected to the port. To the rear is another USB 3 port, an Ethernet Port, power connector and power button.

Utilising this USB 3 port allows you to hook up a printer to share on the network or an external hard drive to expand capacity or create further backups.

As is the case with nearly all NAS solutions these days, Seagate have a free app available to access all your content on the move remotely and thus create your own private cloud. The app is available for both iOS and Android and has a simple and easy to use interface. The one app gives you access to your files, allowing you to play music and watch video's.

You can also share your files across the local network with other users or with external users such as clients or friends/family.

Whether you are accessing you files locally or remotely, the NAS has high level encryption built in at the hardware level that ensures your important information is always protected, even when in flight between devices. You can encrypt individual files or full volumes which is great for keeping your business IP safe.

It features a power saving mode like most NAS solutions powering down into standby when not in use to save electricity.

What surprised me most about this unit was how capable it was at streaming media. It handled streaming some HD video content to my HTPC fine with no problems at all.

Bundled with the NAS is a copy of Seagate's Black Armor back up software with 5 licenses. This is very straightforward to use and anyone familiar with Acronis will be right at home. What it means though is that out of the box the unit can create continuous backups of multiple computers. It's also compatible with Apple's Time Machine.

The is a simple and straightforward plug and play solution that requires the bare minimum of effort to setup. Requiring little from the end user to deploy a solid back up and disaster recovery solution. Whilst it may not set the world on fire in terms of raw speed, it is perfectly fine for holding onto your files and providing access to them locally or on the go. A basic NAS that does the basics very well!

The dashboard software is simple to use and easy to navigate and understand, and the available app was surprisingly good.

Overall a solid off the shelf solution for those that don't need too much from their NAS and want something that they can all but plug in and go with the minimum amount of IT know and time.

Philips CorePro CLEDS2WGU1030ND GU10 2-35 Watt LED Bulb
Philips CorePro CLEDS2WGU1030ND GU10 2-35 Watt LED Bulb
Offered by UKHobbyStore
Price: 4.99

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good bulb and a solid value proposition, 31 Aug 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a fantastic LED bulb which I whole heartedly recommend. Philips are undenieably the market leader, they and Toshiba are blazing the trail with LED technology.

Traditional light bulbs are going the way of the dinosaur and it is clear LED technology is the way forward. However, the road to LED is not quite as simple as that. Anyone who has looked at moving to LED bulbs will now that the standards of quality vary wildly from the bulk poor quality ones to the premium ones costing in excess of thirty pounds each.

The bulb itself feels very well made in hand. Once fitted I was very impressed with the result. Instant on (but not dimmable) they produce a pleasant warm light with a touch of white so they appear just a little brighter than my old halogens. It produces very little heat by comparison and as mentioned they use just a fraction of the power. This isn't as powerful as the 50w replacement I tried from their corepro range but I was more than pleased with the results and would probably consider now sticking to the 35w replacements.

Retrofitting this bulb to existing fittings is a doddle as it is all but the same size as a standard halogen GU10 which is good as some, especially the cheaper bulk ones can be slightly bulky.

Overall this is a fantastic bulb although it is worth noting that the angle of light it produces isn't as wide, the same as the 50w replacement I tried or as a standard GU10 so the resultant beam is slightly more focused. Ideal for displays or recessed ceiling lights and having said that is fine in my bathroom.

TP-Link TL-WPA4220KIT AV500 Powerline 300M Wi-Fi Booster/Extender with Two LAN Ports Kit (Wi-Fi Clone, No Configuration Required)
TP-Link TL-WPA4220KIT AV500 Powerline 300M Wi-Fi Booster/Extender with Two LAN Ports Kit (Wi-Fi Clone, No Configuration Required)
Price: 54.03

136 of 138 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic kit, 18 Aug 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have been using home plugs for years to great effect and have had my eye on these for a little while now. The rear of my house suffers from a lack of Wi-Fi coverage, in no small part due to old stone walls and baby monitor etc. Having previously tried a Wi-Fi range extender with little success I came across these.

What struck me first about these is how small they are compared to some of the ones I have had in the past. I was particularly keen to try them as they pipe a strong signal to where it's needed and then create a new or cloned Wi-Fi hotspot, thus not suffering the same issues repeaters do
Installation was simplicity itself. I plugged the small nano unit in and connected it to my Virgin Superhub. I then plugged in the Wi-Fi unit at the rear of my property. Powered on the connected instantly. I then pushed the Wi-Fi clone button and then the WPS button on the Superhub and after about a minute I was up and running. I now have a flawless signal all around my home, garden and even in my garage. As I sue dthe Wi-Fi clone option my devices all move seamless around as if it were one network. Great for streaming movies to my iPad whilst I have a soak in the tub.

Now where these take it a step further is that in the Wi-Fi homeplug there is also 2 ethernet ports as opposed to the usual one. This is great as not only can I benefit from wireless but I can also supply a cabled connection to at least two devices. I find that with a cabled connection, my speeds aren't much worst off than when connected direct to the router. I use them for gaming, linking my xbox downstairs to my router upstairs and pings/latency etc are spot on.

A word of caution. Homeplugs/powerline adaptors etc can be a bit picky. Recommendation is that they are kept on the same ring main and not used in extension sockets, especially ones that are surge protected. In practical use I have not encountered any problems myself. I have used them in extension sockets (surge protected ones) and not experienced any problems.
Overall this is a fantastic bit of kit that works for me perfectly and it is to me the perfect solution to extend your Wi-Fi to areas not covered.
Comment Comments (11) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 3, 2014 12:01 PM BST

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