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Logitech Harmony Ultimate Remote Control
Logitech Harmony Ultimate Remote Control
Price: 159.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Promising start, one remaining little problem fixed **Updates**, 2 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Let me start by saying that I didn't really need this thing, I thought long and hard about it for weeks before deciding to buy it, you see I already have a Harmony 900 that this is (hopefully) going to replace.

I'd seen many reviews where people have said that they have not been able to get on with the Harmony Ultimate, or the Harmony Touch on which it is based. However I have a set of Philips Hue lights that the Ultimate is able to control. Also the additional functions of the Hub are of use to me, using it as an IR extender in itself without the need of the blasters is very handy to reach an IR light switch I have that is sometimes just out of reach of the remote on it's own.

First impressions

On opening the box you are greeted with 3 shiny black plastic components, the remote itself, the charging stand and the hub which is very pebble like in it's appearance and sure to be a fingerprint magnet.

The remote itself is finished well and is very responsive, certainly the delays in sending commends seem a lot shorter than my 900. The screen is more responsive but still nowhere near current smartphone performance. I like the grip, the texture of the underside is really nice. The form factor together with the new charging cradle is great, I much prefer the vertical charging arrangement. It looks a lot nicer and takes up less space.

Now the not so good stuff.

The bottom 2 rows of buttons are a bit low when my hand is holding the remote naturally, I have to stretch with my right thumb to reach the colour or DVR etc. buttons, slightly uncomfortable but I may get used to it. On the other hand I don't really find that having the transport buttons above the screen is that much of a problem but it's early days I may end up hating that.

It's a bit odd that the `devices' function is not on a dedicated hard button as I've been used to for years but again a minor inconvenience.

Oh and the My Harmony site, a bit of a problem as on initial setup it was OK, a bit slow but it worked although for some reason it had problems importing a couple of my activities and I had to delete my AV Receiver and add it back in for it to work properly. This meant re-doing all the activities that contained the receiver, something I was dreading. In this aspect the new website is much better and quicker than the old software, it only took me a few clicks and about 5 minutes all told to set these activities up and update (or sync) the remote. However when I went back in to try and set up my favourites it just wouldn't log my back in properly it seems that the Silverlight plugin was hanging. I tried a couple of different browsers on 2 different machines (mac and pc) but in the end I gave up and went to bed.

The next morning the problem was still there but after re-setting Safari on the mac I managed to get it working again.

I also had a brief problem getting the remote to see the Philips hub but after a couple of tries it worked. Though I'm not convinced the functionality works properly as it seems to upset any timers you might have set with the Hue app via a smartphone, more investigation is required on my part.

I did try to use the remote without the hub making sure that first of all the remote was set to control all the devices not the hub. This didn't work, I don't really like the idea of leaving the hub on all the time but it does appear that without it the remote will not send the signals direct, it looks like it has to check for it's `buddy' even though it may not be using it directly to send the commands.

I've only had this for less than 24 hours and it's going to need some more tweaking, when I tried Watch TV this morning it got it's knickers in a twist and then when I chose `help' it just turned everything off. The 2nd time I tried it it was fine.

Oh and one slightly odd thing, make a very careful note of how the accessories in the bottom of the box are packed if you ever need to re-pack it, it's a nightmare trying to get it all to fit back in nicely.

Overall Opinion.

It's nice to see that very recently Logitech have announced that they are not going to sell of the Harmony business after all. They get a lot of complaints about their support. The Harmony software would not work on a mac at all at one point. I've only needed to use it once but I have to say I was very impressed with it when I did, I got put through to a guy in Canada on a Saturday afternoon who fixed a problem with my setup remotely.

It's early days but I like the feel and the response of the remote enough to persevere. I've been a Harmony user now since the days on the 885 and the nightmare of the non-charging cradle. So I'm used to a bit of a challenge with these things and you know what I quite like that. I've never really been happy with the setup on my 900 and the improvement in response alone is enough to make me keep the new one.

Update 1

**The next evening however I had the same problem regarding logging in to the My Harmony site, the following morning it was OK. It looks like Logitech have a problem with server loads once their North American customers wake up. Although now a week later I no longer have the issue.

I have also discovered that one of my devices just doesn't want to be controlled by the Ultimate but with my old 900 it works fine. It's a remote dimming lightswitch DOUBLE DIMMER MOVEMENT SENSOR REMOTE CONTROL LIGHT SWITCH NEW. The Ultimate doesn't even like the commands if I try to teach it manually with the original remote, I'll be contacting support about this issue.**

After the usual 2 day delay support added the device in manually but it didn't work (and had some really odd options on the touch buttons like Zoom and slideslow). They have now got back to me saying that it has been escalated and the new device will be available to me in a few days. We'll see.

Update 2

So it's been 2 weeks since I was told my issue would be sorted in 2-3 working days and that someone would let me know once it had been. Well they haven't and not only that there has been no response to my questions about when it's going to be sorted. Not impressed so far...Apart from this issue the remote itself is performing well and I don't have an issue with the button layout, although I think ergonomically it could be improved.

Update 3

I received an email from support about 5 days after my last update telling me that I should sync my remote as my device had been added in to my profile. It worked! I know have control over my remote dimmer.

Case Mate Tough Cases for Apple iPhone 5 - Blue
Case Mate Tough Cases for Apple iPhone 5 - Blue
Offered by Modern-Tech
Price: 9.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tough enough but not suitable for larger earphone plugs, 1 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I like the fact that this comes as a 2 piece case and it seems pretty tough without adding huge amounts of bulk although it's much thicker than my previous case.

The problem I have is that the hole for the headphones is not large enough to accommodate my Shure earphones, some judicious altering with a knife will be required. Also this means that without cutting the case the Apple 30pin to Lightning adaptor will not fit.

In the end I cut away the whole of the bottom of the grey insert, it still fits into the blue cover snugly but means I don't have any protection over the speaker, mic or headphone socket.

Green-I Dimmer with Movement Sensor / Remote Control 2 Gang
Green-I Dimmer with Movement Sensor / Remote Control 2 Gang
Offered by Maplin_Webdeals
Price: 34.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice easy to use dimmer with more advanced functions, 30 Jun 2013
I also installed one of these to replace a varilight dimmer that I was having problems with it as one of the other reviewers mentions.

Easy to install, as long as you have the required neutral feed from the ceiling rose, which you probably wont have if replacing a rotary dimmer or switch.

Responds well to remote commands I use a harmony 900 universal remote. It will respond to commands from approximately 5 m away not even pointing directly at the received although I estimate about 10% of the time it fails to respond.

I don't use the motion detection or delayed sitting on this dimmer so I can't comment on these features. You can turn down the level of the green ring light that comes on when your lights are off. I find it much too bright as standard and turn it down almost all the way.

As an aside this light can give you an indication of when you have had a power cut, If you come back home to find it at full brightness you will have lost power during the day at some point as a power lost causes the brightness setting to reset to maximum on the ring. This is been a handy indicator for me a couple of times. I'm using it with 2 72w halogen bulbs and it works very well. Just a pity it won't work with energy-saving bulbs mind you hardly any dimmers work well with these.

No Title Available

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good and has got better since the launch, 30 Jun 2013
Very easy to use as others have said just plugged the plug the hub into your router with the supplied cable. Then use the hue app to connect the bulbs to the router. All the instructions provided in the box.

A slight disappointment is the number of colours available nowhere near the 16 million stated, for example it is impossible to get a deep green colour. This is due to The fact is that the green LED in the bulb is in fact a lime colour. However there will be enough colours for most people and a recent firmware upgrade on the hub has improved the depth of the reds.

I do find however that sometimes Bulbs can be a little temperamental in about one time in 100 they will not reach the correct colour, when being activated by a timer. Again the timer function has recently improved quite a lot with a new version of the firmware on the hub and the app.

With this new improvement you can also use IFTT, Which can change the colour of your bulbs four example depending on the weather.

Also what is great now is that they can be controlled by the Logitech harmony ultimate remote control. They just need to make the bulbs a bit cheaper and I'll buy some more.

WD TV Live Media Player
WD TV Live Media Player

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, but wish it could be more hackable for advanced users, 29 Jun 2013
I've had a number of media players over the years, This works really well if you don't expect the full XBMC experience from it.

It has a very limited user interface but at least it's graphical unlike some of the very early media players, It seems to play most formats that I have quite well. It's a bit sluggish especially on boot up typically taking a minute from power on to being able to use it which is a bit of a disappointment.

The remote is a stubby, chunky and am ergonomically well-designed piece of kit It sits on your hand very well in fact better than really every other Remote I've ever seen.

Given that this is several generations on from the initial WDTV I just wish that western digital would look at what some of the other manufacturers are doing in terms of functionality. On the other hand the good thing about this box is it's very reliable I've actually never had it crash on me unlike some others I could mention.

Logitech X-140 Multimedia Speakers (2.0)
Logitech X-140 Multimedia Speakers (2.0)

4.0 out of 5 stars Great value for money, Okay sound, good features, 29 Jun 2013
I've had these at work now for about three months because my new monitor did not have any speakers.

I couldn't believe the price of these things especially given the size of them. They sit nicely inside by my 24 inch monitor and really add something in terms of sound quality. I'm really sick of those small little plastic things that multiple manufacturers put out some of them are even battery-powered this thing is a big beefy mains powered set of speakers.

WhatI do like is the fact that on the front of the right speaker there was an audio input on a 3 1/2 mm jack and also headphone socket that does cut out the speakers when you plug the headphones in. My colleague has a 2.1 set of Logitech speakers that does not cut the Speakers when you plug headphones into the control unit, What were they thinking?

Sound quality is fine for the sort of speaker you get of course you're not going to get deep rumbling bass with such small drivers.

Overall quite happy with this for the money.

Dyson DC44 Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
Dyson DC44 Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
Offered by euroelectricals
Price: 273.95

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You can believe the hype, 22 Jun 2013
I like Dyson, I like their cleaners, I've bought a few over the years but even I was sceptical about the claims for the DC44. Could it really pick up that well, especially with the bin that far from the head? Was the battery really up to it? Could it really replace a traditional cleaner?

I'm happy to say yes to all the above. I love the simplicity, how lightweight it is and how I may never have to use that Dyson upright I have I the cupboard again. OK so the bin is small but it's not proved to be an issue and it does mean that I now see cleaning as less of a chore and more of a pleasure, well not quite but it we're getting there. The performance of this thing is much better than their other hand helds, the motorised brush head makes a huge difference. I can clean a 2 bedroom flat on a single charge, although the bin needs emptying twice. Oh and the bin can be a bit of a problem, more than once I've closed the bin after emptying it only to find a couple of minutes later that it has opened and spewn it's contents all over the floor. It takes a firm hand and a loud click ton ensure it's closed properly.

This thing is so good that I bought one for my 85 year old mother who loves it, particularly how light it is but for her it would be nice if you could latch that trigger in the on position. Even I find it a bit of a pain, we all know they do it because it means that you get better battery life but come on guys, what about people who have trouble putting pressure on that trigger continuously?

Another winner from Dyson

Wheelybug Mouse Ride-on (Small)
Wheelybug Mouse Ride-on (Small)
Price: 49.94

5.0 out of 5 stars My Niece loves it **Update**, 21 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was quite surprised as others have mentioned how small the small version of this is, especially as it comes from Amazon in a rather large box.

That said this is a quality toy, built to last and with a cute little tail as well. My niece has not actually ridden on it yet she just pushes it around backwards with the handle, but she seems to enjoy it!

**It's 4 months later and she now rides on it a lot, she loves scooting around the hard kitchen floor with it and even manages to get around on it over the livingroom carpet**

Ryobi RP4030 Infrared Thermometer with Battery and Charger
Ryobi RP4030 Infrared Thermometer with Battery and Charger

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice and rugged, just wish you could silence the beep, 15 Jun 2013
First of all this device is quite a bit more expensive than other non contact IR thermometers. Why pay more?

Part of the answer to this is the build quality, the rubberised coat is a great asset, I haven't dropped it yet but if I did I think it would survive a normal head height fall, even on a hard surface.

Then there's the rechargeable 4v battery, I was expecting a built in battery but I this has a separate 4v unit and plug in charger into which the battery slots.

I've been using and playing with thus for a few days, it's quite addictive. I'd like to be able to turn the beep off but apart from that no real issues. It also comes with a protective rubber cap which I didn't spot straight away, doh. I wondered why all my results were the same! A lot of the cheaper units don't have this and it doesn't seem to get in the way it is attached to the body just below the measuring aperture.

Wera 05057690001 BC Impaktor Diamond 30 Bit-Check Set
Wera 05057690001 BC Impaktor Diamond 30 Bit-Check Set
Price: 42.06

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Quality, pity no slotted bits, 13 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This came as a bit (no pun intended) of a surprise but there are no slotted bits in this set and several bits are doubles or even triples. The magnetic bit holder works well but when holding it vertically it slips back on itself quick easily under gravity. I don't see myself making use of the belt clip on the back of this thing even though there's little chance of it opening up accidentally and even less chance of the bits falling out, they are held in really well.

I've only used it for a few screws so far but I really do like the way the magnetic screw holder works. I've put this set in my Bosch cordless screwdriver box to use with it and there's still plenty of room for other bits.

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