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Twelve South BookBook Genuine Leather Case/Wallet for iPhone 4/4S
Twelve South BookBook Genuine Leather Case/Wallet for iPhone 4/4S
Price: 49.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful little case, 23 Oct 2013
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This is the nicest case I've ever owned, for any device. The phone fits perfectly, and is easy to access. The leather is soft and comfortable to hold (if you fold the flap back when you're holding it, it actually makes the phone easier to hold than without a case). The card-holder section is a good replacement for a basic wallet, and the bit where you can store folding money is big and easy to get into.

I've had this a while now and I've not used my real wallet once in all that time - this is easily big enough to hold a bank card + three or four other cards, and some cash. I know that when I leave the house I'll have my phone and my wallet with me, and it saves carrying two separate items in my pockets.

The other thing that's worth mentioning is the reaction this case gets from other people. It's a bit 'marmite' - people seem to either love it or hate it. The ones that love it will ask to hold it, will ask where to get one, and will ask how much it cost. They'll coo admiringly over the quality of the leather and the stitching. They'll gasp when they see how practical it is inside. And they'll probably go away and buy one themselves.

Those who hate it will mock you for making your phone look like a tiny book. They'll tell you that the phone looks better without it, that you should have gone for a minimalist case that doesn't try to disguise the technology, and that certainly doesn't make it any bigger. One of my friends who says this recently broke his phone's screen while it was in its case, in his pocket. The people that mock this case are wrong!

So it's practical, a conversation-starter, and it looks and feels amazing. Worth every penny.


TRIXES Black Leather Executive Wallet Flip Case Cover Card Pouch for Apple iPhone 4 4S Credit Card Holder
TRIXES Black Leather Executive Wallet Flip Case Cover Card Pouch for Apple iPhone 4 4S Credit Card Holder
Offered by Digiflex
Price: 19.99

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Looks good, doesn't last, 13 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought this thinking it was worth a punt for such a low price, and at first I was pleasantly surprised. The case looks pretty good, and seems well made too. It's not leather (despite being described as such), but it's a close enough fake that it still seems reasonable.
So initially I was happy. There were problems, though: the first obvious one was that cards don't really fit very well, and are extremely hard to remove from the wallet. Oh well, I thought, it was only cheap.
Then the lining of the 'pocket' where you can put your money started to come undone, and on several occasions I ended up removing parts of the wallet along with the cash. I wasn't overloading it - we're talking one or two bank notes at most. I was starting to get a little annoyed by this point, but decided to stick with it.
The next fault was to do with the little magnetic clasp which holds the case shut. The fabric which holds the magnet in tore, and the magnet itself became loose and fell out. Not good. I found it, and resorted to holding the clasp together with sellotape. At this point, of course, the case had stopped looking quite so good.
The final straw was when, after a couple of weeks of use, the plastic which holds the phone in place started to break away. This wasn't due to me taking the phone out of the wallet - once in, I left it in. This occurred during normal use, and in fact the first time some of the plastic broke it happened while the phone was in my pocket. At this point I stopped using the wallet - I think I gave it a fair shot, but it was clearly not fit for the purpose, and I didn't trust it to protect my phone.
So yes, it's cheap, but no, it's not worth buying. I suspect a lot of the good reviews here were written by people as soon as they got the case, and who didn't give it a run of use first. I really can't stress this highly enough - don't waste your money on this: buy a better (and dearer) case in the first place. I wish I had!


Targus Pulse Laptop Sleeve for 13-14.1 inch Laptop - Black/Grey
Targus Pulse Laptop Sleeve for 13-14.1 inch Laptop - Black/Grey
Price: 9.08

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent laptop sleeve, 13 Oct 2013
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Fits my 14" ultrabook perfectly - not loose, but not too tight either.
The sleeve is nicely padded and seems well made. Looks nice, too. Just don't buy this expecting it to be as robust as some other bigger cases - it is just a sleeve, but it's better padded than I expected, and doesn't add too much bulk / weight to the ultrabook either.


Tiger Keyboard Bench with Adjustable Stool
Tiger Keyboard Bench with Adjustable Stool
Price: 26.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Sturdy, comfy, well-built, 12 Oct 2013
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I bought this just over two years ago, and I'm not the lightest chap in the world. It still looks as good now as it did on day one. It's completely stable, sturdy, and the padded cushion is very comfortable. Easy to assemble, too, and very adjustable.
The only thing that's even slightly negative is that the little plastic feet sometimes slip off the ends of the legs. This is rare, though, and easily fixed. I suppose I could glue them on but it happens so infrequently it would be more of a hassle than simply popping them back on again.
Other than this (very minor) niggle, this stool is great. Highly recommended.


Dungeon! Board Game
Dungeon! Board Game
Price: 16.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Fun roleplaying lite game for everyone, 5 Oct 2013
= Durability:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Dungeon! Board Game (Toy)
I played loads of roleplaying games when I was a kid, so I was keen to get my own children into the hobby as soon as they were old enough. Someone recommended this to me as a way in, and I have to say that I'm hooked (as is my 7 year old boy!)

The mechanics of the game are simple enough - you move around the board, entering rooms and fighting monsters. The fights are based on a very simple dice-rolling system, and if you win, you get some treasure. The first person to get the correct amount of treasure and to get back to the centre of the board is the winner.

Like many simple board games it's a lot of fun to play. When someone is defeated, and drops treasure, there's a mad scramble by the other players to pick it up. When a monster card is first turned over (when you enter a room), there's often a sigh of relief or worry from the player who has to fight it (depending how easy it is). There are hidden doors, traps, shortcuts, magic spells, and much more.

My only real criticism is that games with lots of people can take a long time to complete, but this is easy to overcome by reducing the required amount of treasure to be collected.

Excellent fun, cheap to buy, and appealing to all ages. A great game.


Toshiba Satellite U940-11N 14-inch Ultrabook (Intel Core i5-3337U 1.8/2.7GHz, 6GB RAM, 750GB HDD with 32GB SSD, Windows 8, Bluetooth)
Toshiba Satellite U940-11N 14-inch Ultrabook (Intel Core i5-3337U 1.8/2.7GHz, 6GB RAM, 750GB HDD with 32GB SSD, Windows 8, Bluetooth)
Offered by BaffzTronics (Same Day Dispatch by Royalmail or Parcleforce Next Day Special delivery/Express 24. T&C Apply)

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding for the price, 5 Oct 2013
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I was a bit nervous about buying this, but read some reviews online and thought it was probably the best option for the money. So far I'm loving it. It's not perfect, but I think it's outstanding for the money.

The screen isn't the best in the world - it's absolutely fine, but it's not as vivid or clear as some other, much more expensive, devices that I've played with. It would be nice if it were touch-enabled, too, but to be completely honest the touchpad is excellent so it's not the end of the world.

The keyboard takes a little getting used to as well - the keys are well-spaced and backlit, but the travel is very short. Although this feels a little odd to begin with, if you're a touch typist (which I am), the short travel actually makes typing a lot faster. There's enough feedback to know if you've hit the key or missed it, and, compared to many laptop keyboards I've used, it's relaxing to type on. But it won't be to everyone's taste.

The battery - which I'd read wasn't very good - is lasting me around 5 hours on a charge. That's at 50% or so screen brightness, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on, and doing light tasks (word processing, mind-mapping, emails, web browsing). Personally I think this is pretty good, but I know a lot of people seem to expect 10 hours from a laptop nowadays!

Build quality is fine - it's no MacBook Air, but it's significantly cheaper. Yes, it's made of plastics, but no, it doesn't feel stupidly cheap. It feels solid and well-built, while retaining the admirable Ultrabook qualities of thinness and lightness. It really is easy to carry around all day.

The machine feels responsive and speedy. I think the i5 processor and SSD drive help a lot with that, as does the 6gb of RAM. The SSD is on a RAID system, which means you can't directly see or access it - as far as Windows is concerned you have a single 750gb drive. But the system uses the SSD to cache files, which means the whole thing feels very quick indeed. I'm not doing anything too heavy on it at the moment, but it's coped well with everything I have thrown at it so far. This includes a few games, which it has run reasonably well. Probably the most intensive game I've played on it is Skyrim, and it copes absolutely fine on the lowest settings.

Then there's the elephant in the room: Windows 8. I'm a long-time Mac and PC user, running the latest OS X on the Mac and Windows 7 on my desktop PC. I also use an iPad, and I was apprehensive about how well an OS designed for both regular computers and tablets would work. I know there have been a lot of terrible reviews, but I have to say that, so far, I really really like Windows 8. Sure, it's slightly schizophrenic (with the traditional desktop on the one hand, and the 'Metro' start menu on the other), but once you get your head around this (and it doesn't take long) it makes a lot of sense. I think this is the future of operating systems, to be honest - and my guess would be that, in future iterations, there'll be a much lower emphasis on the traditional 'desktop.' Unless you're a real power user, and want absolute control over every last element of your system (and personally I'm not, and don't, and would rather get on with using the thing than fiddling around with stuff behind the scenes), unless you need absolute control and can't bear the idea that Microsoft might be simplifying things, I think Windows 8 is pretty good.

So I'm glad I bought this laptop. If I have any problems in the future I'll update this review, but for now I'm happy to recommend it with 5 stars.


Kubik Evo 4GB MP3 Player with Radio and Expandable MicroSD/SDHC Slot - Black
Kubik Evo 4GB MP3 Player with Radio and Expandable MicroSD/SDHC Slot - Black

4.0 out of 5 stars Great for the price, 24 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've had this little mp3 player for a while, now, and use it a lot. It's not perfect - the menu system takes a bit of getting used to, it doesn't work well with the Mac (which, to be fair, it doesn't pretend to - you can, however, use it as a USB storage device and copy MP3s over manually if you want to). The screen isn't amazing, and mine has now got some dust behind the front plastic, which is annoying. The only more major criticism is that, when switched off, it doesn't remember what you were listening to or where you were up to in that listening. There's a feature which is supposed to solve this, but I can't get it to work. This is what cost it the fifth star!
However, most of these are minor issues. It works well with Windows, charges quickly and holds its charge for ages, and sounds excellent (especially if you couple it with some semi-decent headphones). 4gb is enough storage to hold plenty of songs, too. For the money, it's superb: recommended.


Memesis: modifiction and other strange changes
Memesis: modifiction and other strange changes
Price: 1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another fantastic collection of short stories, 13 Jun 2011
After reading Segue (also by Brooke) I couldn't wait to try another selection of his work. Memesis didn't disappoint - if anything it's better than Segue, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
This is a collection of stories about change, and it focuses heavily on issues around identity. What does it mean to be a human? What does it mean to be an individual? Can we really trust our senses and intuitions?
Brooke is a master story teller. His characters are sympathetic and dialogue is realistic, settings are described in magnificent detail (I particularly liked the world in the two related tales 'Queen of the Burn Plain' and 'Riding the Serpent's Back'), and the plots are pacy and compelling. Some of the twists are superbly surprising, too.
All the stories are strong, but my personal favourite is the final one of the collection - 'Beside the Sea'. It's a science fictional coming-of-age tale, with a beautiful setting and well handled adolescent characters. The ending is fantastic, and made me wish the collection was longer! Also worth a mention is the powerfully driven 'The Art of Self-Abuse', in which a confused time-traveling android experiences an existential undoing. It's notable both for the fantastic storytelling and also because of one scene in particular. I don't want to give anything away, but it involves a tooth and is absolutely not for those who don't like gory stories.
Overall, then, this is another great collection from Keith Brooke, a writer who deserves wider recognition. I'd recommend it highly.


Dune
Dune
Price: 2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Science Fiction with a thoroughly modern feel, 1 Jun 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Dune (Kindle Edition)
I first read Dune about ten years ago, and decided to re-read it recently on my newly acquired Kindle. I remembered it being a fascinating and intricate story of politics and intrigue, with a believable yet almost super-human protagonist. It's always a potential source of disappointment to re-read books that are remembered so fondly, yet in this case, I'm happy to report, the story is just as good as I remember (possibly even better).
The story centres on the political machinations of two powerful 'houses' and their struggle for power, land, and the favour of the emperor. The heroes and villains are sharply drawn, and possibly a little cliched in their motivations and actions (the heroes are portrayed in glowingly wonderful terms while the villains are archetypally evil). In this sense it reminds me a little of Tolkien's great work, and like the Lord of the Rings this is equally epic in scale and ambition.
However, unlike that other great work of speculative fiction, Dune never feels bogged down or slow - the story is pacy and exciting throughout, and the reader is given so much insight into the characters that you can't help loving (or hating) them, despite their clear-cut natures.
It's a reasonably long book but easy to read, and hard to put down. As a fan of science fiction I have to say this is a classic of the genre, and deservedly so, but it deserves a wider reading too. If you're not a fan of SF don't reject this one out-of-hand - it's a classic work and rewards the reader.
Highly recommended.


Limitless
Limitless
Price: 2.99

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A compelling page-turner with a disappointing ending, 1 Jun 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Limitless (Kindle Edition)
I bought this after I saw it in the bargain books section, and thought it looked interesting. I haven't seen the film so had no preconceptions.
Initial impressions were good: the prose is well written and pacy; the dialogue is believable; the characters are interesting; the story is compelling; the scenery is well drawn and vivid, and from the start I couldn't put it down. There's no doubt that, in many ways, this is a fantastic book.
However, this is a 3 star review so there are clearly some failings, too. Chief among these, for me, is the ending: without wishing to give anything away the deus ex machina unraveling of the hero's story left a sour taste in my mouth. Eddie, the narrator and protagonist of the tale, is at the mercy of his circumstances throughout the story, yet he constantly struggles and fights to find a way through everything. He is a driven man, and there are plenty of little hints throughout the telling which point to the way in which the story should have ended. He makes various enemies throughout the story, and one in particular (a Russian - still trying not to give much away!) could easily have become the key character in the story's ending. However, the ending is actually driven by a faceless character who we haven't met before, and is thoroughly disappointing given the driven nature of the story until that point. It reads as though Alan Glynn reached the point where he thought "I've got to finish this now" and he does so rapidly and without buildup. As I've pointed out, there is plenty of drama and buildup in the tale, but the ending doesn't really fit and leaves the hero without option or ability to act.
There are some other issues, too, notably with threads that are left open - did Eddie really commit the crime in the hotel room? - but these are forgivable because of the first-person perspective (if the narrator doesn't know, how can he tell the reader?) and the semi-hallucinatory nature of much of the story. There's also the fact that the story is heavily influenced by Dr Jeckyl and Mr Hyde, and if you know that tale you'll recognise much of this one despite the thoroughly modern fixtures and fittings.
Having said all that, the story is certainly well written and kept me reading happily right up until the denouement. If it weren't for the ending this would easily have merited four stars: as it is, it's a flawed gem of a story.


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