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John Walton

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Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E531 15.6 inch Notebook (Intel Core i3 3120M 2.5GHz Processor, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, DVDRW, LAN, WLAN, BT, Webcam, Integrated Graphics, Windows 7 Professional)
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E531 15.6 inch Notebook (Intel Core i3 3120M 2.5GHz Processor, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, DVDRW, LAN, WLAN, BT, Webcam, Integrated Graphics, Windows 7 Professional)
Offered by DGADGET
Price: £429.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Poor laptop with huge motherboard problems., 21 April 2015
I am sad to have to give this product a 1 star rating because on paper, this laptop is great. I work for a school and we purchased 40 of these laptops of which 14 ended up having to be returned to the manufacturer due to mother boad failures. Even after having their mother boards replaced, 2 had to be sent back again for exactly the same problem. Perhaps we had a bad batch, but Lenovo claim they have no reported problem with other customers with the same model. We have made no changes to the setup and are using the genuine supplied chargers that came with them but they seem to drop like flies with no warning.

The ones that work are great, but now that the warrantys have expired, the remaining laptops are slowly developing the same issue. We are a site with over 300 Lenovo laptops and it is strange that this E531 is so problematic.

I have to touch on the positive and they are that the display is great, very crisp and the audio quality of the internal speakers is great for a laptop of this price. When working, boot speed is impressive and the i3 processor is certainly impressive in a laptop of this cost.

The touch pad is terrible, not comfortable at all. My advice is to avoid this laptop at all costs, at least until Lenovo admit there is a core fault with their motherboards. I would never buy one of these myself as I would want mine to last at least a couple of years and the way ours are going, I think the chances are slim.


Xbox One Console with Kinect
Xbox One Console with Kinect
Offered by Shopplay
Price: £348.95

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A taste of brilliance, with a little bitter taste., 18 Dec. 2013
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
I am not a frequent review writer but I really wanted to share my views on the Xbox one so far.

Back in May this year, I created a blog entry on my opinions on the Xbox One announcement (link at the bottom of this post). I was very skeptical at this time as were many with the fears of Microsoft's new console being feature, not game orientated. At this point there were concerns on the ability to rent or lend games without additional charges and an 'always on' requirement alongside privacy worries about the all new Kinect.

Since then, Microsoft made some very much essential U-turns on their policies and now I sit here writing a review on the product I have now had a little under a month.

I managed to get my console about 3 days after release day and was extremely excited about getting it all up and running. The console itself looks smart, smooth and slick. It is certainly larger than I was expecting and I was disappointed to see that it does not come with the ability to be stood on its side like its older brother, the 360. I quickly got all the hardware set up, which is very simple I must add, including the all new Kinect - now an essential, not an add on and powered it up via the front touch sensitive button.

I was then informed that the console required an internet connection to continue and could do nothing else until I connected it to my router. Once connected I was then informed a 750mb update was required. Now my Internet connection is not the best, I get roughly 10mb download speed but this download seemed to take forever - All I wanted to do was play it! Eventually I followed the basic step by step instructions, transferred my gamertag across set up the Kinect settings and power options via the wizards and this was all very easy - ready to go!

The new controller looks smart, weighs a lot less than the 360 controller but has quite a cheap feel to it. i almost feel that if i wanted to, i could snap it in half in my hands. The new D-Pad is a lot nicer to use as are the triggers. In my opinion, the shoulder buttons are a little uncomfortable to use and the thumb sticks seem a little on the small side. It also comes with a new headset with different adapter to plug into the bottom of the controller, this also feels cheap and nasty and very easily breakable. the vibrate function is faultless as are the ABXY buttons - these feel ergonomically perfect.

Now I for one understand this console is in its very early days. I got the 360 back in the first couple of months of its release and remember the horrendous 'blades' styled dashboard that was so difficult to navigate, everything was all over the place and it took them almost 2 years to get it as easy to use, simple one we are familiar with now. So I know that this at present is not a finished product, I am aware that there are bound to be lots of updates and teething problems with ANY new console but my review follows on now as the Xbox One stands today both the good points and the bad.

The interface or dashboard looks familiar at this stage, all very clear, bright and colorful and looks somewhat similar to that of the 360s coupled with the pins, tabs and 'buttons' of windows 8. The first niggle I had at this point was the navigation, to open up anything took a lot longer than I was expecting, not minutes, but not the instantaneous opening I had been expecting. I installed a handful of apps form the store that I had on my 360 such as Netflix, xbox video and a few others. It was at this stage that I thought I would look at the hard disk space I had remaining and was shocked to see this is something you can not do. In case I was being stupid and looking in the wrong place, I checked the Microsoft Xbox one support page. It informs you that you can not look at the space remaining and simply the Xbox will inform you if you are getting close to your limit. I was not happy about this as i was always keen to have an idea on what was clogging up my console.

I also want to mention at this point that the television features of connecting your sky box or other television box to the xbox have never interested me. I must say I was pleasantly surprised although I cant help but feel its all a little gimmicky and unnecessary. I also think this of the console's all new snap in feature where you can snap other apps to a bar in the right hand screen. I like the idea of it but it in practice, it distorts the image of the main game or app you are using and becomes more of a hindrance than a help.

There are other irritations I have had with it so far which I will briefly touch upon such as there is no longer a way of turning notifications of friends coming online on. They have removed this completely. The 'party' is now massively over complicated including every member of a party has to manually turn on chat in order to speak to each other and I have experienced many problems of inviting friends to play games. Multi-player loading times are extremely slow, game updates and installs (I have Forza, Dead Rising 3 and Call of Duty) were all around a gigabyte and took a long time to download and install.

I am disappointed that I had to have the Kinect I have no interest in using it whatsoever. I have given it the time of day and have tried the in game features of using the voice commands and, as with the other things i have mentioned earlier it seems just a gimmick - I may be different to other gamers but this to me is a waste of time. I liken that to the feature of Siri on my Iphone - an equal novelty quick to wear off as soon as it arrives.

Irritatingly enough I had the dreaded disk drive fault just 2 days after getting the Xbox. I organised advanced replacement and one was here 2 days later. I am not going to moan about this, any product that sells one million copies in 24 hours is bound to have a few problems. Microsoft's service was unquestionably brilliant.

Aside all these minor frustrations I have to say I am hugely impressed with the Xbox One so far as I can see through all of this as just software and teething issues. I sound like I am being really harsh on the product in my review and focus heavily on the negatives but, this is due to the age of the console. I know, with exclusive titles being released, a few software updates and patches that the Xbox One will be fantastic. Its not at the moment so please don't buy the console expecting all around brilliance - this is just a taste of things to come!

[...]
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 23, 2013 8:46 PM GMT


SLx 27884D 48 Element Digital TV Aerial
SLx 27884D 48 Element Digital TV Aerial
Offered by Aerials, Satellites & Cables Ltd
Price: £22.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Up and watching television within 20 minutes! -Brilliant, 13 Oct. 2011
I had such a problem with my signal before purchasing this aerial. The instructions are great and I put it together in minutes. Now I get all the digital free-view channels with no problem at all. It is really easy to connect and put together with a very limited supply of tools.

One thing I would recommend before you put it in your attic is to make sure it will fit through your loft hatch! I had to dismantle it a bit to get it through as this thing is pretty big. Not a fault of the product - shear stupidity by my part!

Great aerial for a great price. Highly recommended.


Sony Bravia KDL40EX403U 40-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p LCD Internet TV with Freeview HD
Sony Bravia KDL40EX403U 40-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p LCD Internet TV with Freeview HD

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Television at a fantastic price., 13 Oct. 2011
I am so impressed with this television it has met every expectation I was hoping for in buying a new TV.

Plugging an network cable in the back of it and into your router puts this TV into a completely different world. With the built in I-player application, you can catch up on TV you may have missed, watch films on demand through the film applications and my personal favourite you can watch Youtube clips directly through your TV. Really impressed. (You can buy a dongle for it to make it wireless at about £70)

The picture quality is brilliant and putting through devices such as SKY HD PS3 and Xbox 360 through HDMI cables, I don't think that the quality can be faulted. It is an incredible picture. The sound is very reasonable although could be a little less tinny. I put my sound through external speakers so it doesn't really affect me.

I also really like the navigation of the menus, the remote is brilliant and really easy to use. When using the Internet features, the remote almost doubles up as a keyboard turning the numbers into letters for ease to type.

The only minor thing I could say that is slightly irritating is the length of time it takes to turn on. It turns on relatively fast but there is usually a 7-10 second delay before the menu becomes available to navigate. not really a problem tho as once you are in, the menus are very quick and smooth. It really is fantastic value at this price. highly recommended.


Dead Island (Xbox 360)
Dead Island (Xbox 360)
Offered by AllGoodDealz
Price: £13.89

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic game. I can't explain how much I love it!, 13 Oct. 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
I couldn't wait for Dead Island to come out from the minute that I saw the incredible trailer for it months before hand.

On release day I couldn't buy it anywhere I drove over 40 miles going from shop to shop to find it. Eventually I got it and proceeded to play it and have not been disapointed. I have since purchased the novel, 2 t shirts, the walkthrough guide and can not wait for the movie! - Perhaps a little over the top but this game is 100% in my top 3 games of all time.

I have read so many negative reviews speaking of bugs, glitches, freezes and corrupt save games and I can safely say after 50+ hours of game-play I have experienced none whatsoever. I am currently on my third play through and my friends and I have no complaints whatsoever.

Onto the game itself...

Graphically I think this game is incredible, the cut scenes are great and I really got into the story. Set on the fictional island of Banoi the back drop is superior to any game I have ever played. A beautiful setting for such a gruesome storyline. I am a huge fan of fallout 3, borderlands and zombie genre games such as left for dead and the dead rising series. Dead island incorporates all of these games into a smooth sleek gripping game that certainly makes you jump from time to time!

Although quite a liner storyline where there is a main quest that usually involves going out into the island, getting food for survivors, helping families in need and trying to help all people you come across. There are lots of great side quests that you can do if you fancie a break from the main story including collecting things like insulin for a diabetic, inhalers for a young asthmatic girl as well as putting infected family members of survivors out of their misery. You can also just wonder around the huge levels exploring, picking up items to add to your inventory which may help you later in the game.

The controls are really easy to use and with the ability to create and upgrade weapons throughout the game no hour of game-play is ever too similar to the last. You certainly need a range of weapons as some of the zombies are a lot stronger than others.

I also love the online drop-in drop-out mode that the game has. As you play a pop up box states that someone else on Xbox live is nearby and you can join there game with up to 2 other people and help with their story. You can set it to so others can join your game at any point throughout your game. I have a few friends who have this game and its great to invite them in if you get a bit stuck or help them out if they need hand.

So why not a straight out 5 star game?

My reasoning for not giving it the full 5 stars may seem trivial but there are a few things that have made the experience a little disappointing.

1 of these is the driving. The driving in this game is very poor. It has only one available view and that view is an in car view, similar to the one on the original Gran Turismo game you would never ever use! This linked with the lack of rear view option makes the driving very disappointing.

Another irritating issue I have had is with some of the cut scenes. When playing alone, when you get to a cut scene all of a sudden all 4 characters are in the sequence. In my view it should have been made where like left for dead where the other characters are AI when playing alone and changed to human players when playing on-line or the cut scenes should have been created for individual characters.

In conclusion my recommendation to you is to buy this game and I hope you will have just a fraction of the fun I have had playing it. The pros completely outweigh the relatively minor cons of this game it is brilliant I am so impressed and I am really excited about the downloadable content and extra missions that are available next month.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 27, 2012 11:39 PM GMT


JVC GR-D70 Digital Camcorder [Mini-DV 16xOptical DV-in/out]
JVC GR-D70 Digital Camcorder [Mini-DV 16xOptical DV-in/out]

37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant camcorder that is difficult to fault, 15 Jun. 2003
When searching for a digital camcorder, i found that every one i looked at, I would always pick out the bad points first. Some I found were to large or heavy, some looked of a poor quality and others looked cheap and nasty. This was not the case when looking at this one. The only bad point i could find was that the playback buttons were difficult to push as they are hidden behined the LCD screen when it is closed and upon purchasing it found that the night shot was not very reliable and/or effective.
It is of a very reasionable weight and has been well ergonomically designed to fit very comfortably in the palm of your hand. It also gives you the ability to zoom and access the menu and the other features using the one hand. The LCD screen quality is of a good size to be able to watch with ease.
The zoom claim to have a 700 range but this really is quite crazy and is better when you leave it on the 40 zoom setting as any further than this and it just becomes unsteady and the quality ofimage decreases rapidly the closer you zoom in.
It takes amazingly small tapes and they seem to last about as long as the battery judging from previous experiences. The digital effects are very fun to play with and there is a massive range of them, from black and white to sepia and even old style movie, where the footage speed is slowed down. They are all very fun and i found that this camera is hard to put down once you get playing with it! The sound quality is very good but does not play very loudly on full volume on the camera itself. However this is not a problem as you can playback through your VCR of television. It really is a good buy and I have no complaints about it except it is cheaper on amazon than where I got it from!!
Buy it and enjoy a good quality fun time of filming


Elephant
Elephant
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.92

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for any occasion, 3 April 2003
This review is from: Elephant (Audio CD)
There are many reasons why I have given this album 5 stars and I find it really hard to come up with bad points about this album!
I had been waiting for this album to come out for weeks and when it did I was first in the que to grab a copy. On inital playing, it is hard to believe that this is the same white stripes that produced 'white blood cells' another amazing white stripes album due it being so different to their previous sound.
As you skip through the tracks, each song is so different to the last one, this making this album so easy to listen to. It has a few quite heavy tracks on where Jack seems to have tried too hard to change the style of their sound but after a few listens you will start to love them!
What surprised me with this is that Meg White and Holly (jacks girlfriend) play a part in adding vocals to this album, both of their voices really fit this style of music and just add to the exellant quality of sound.
If you ever owned white blood cells, you will have noticed that Jacks voice often breaks (in a good way) adding to the rough rigid effect of the sound. This is really not found at all in ElEphant which in some ways i miss but it is made up for with the great use of acoustic sound.
Jack has produced lots of mellow tracks which contain really amusing lyrics that just again makes me give this album 5 stars.


Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix
Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix

5.0 out of 5 stars One for the collection!, 4 Feb. 2003
Wow! is just one of the many positive words to describe this game. It has amazingly improved from the first one, even though the first one was a great game as well. The graphics are quite stunning and the game play is also brilliant.
Online play is great fun espically if you play on a Local area Network (LAN) and you know everyone that is playing. I found that all the missions are really fun to play, and the covert levels are even better. Also bots are now available from a number of different websites, so multiplayer mode can be turned into single player mode. (Thats if you can ever tire of all the random missions in single player mode anyway!)
There are very few bad things you can say about this game, the only thing that I feel is weak, are the night vision goggles. In my view they are more the 'make things fuzzy' goggles rather than night vision. But as I said this is only one bad thing. I am sure that there is about a thousand good things to say to one bad thing so I really recommend this to anyone who enjoyed similar games such as desert dtorm, counter strike etc.
The levels are also quite hard, not like your usual shoot em up. Each level does take time to complete and the enemys are also very intelegent and they pick up on many different things such as sound, light and movement.
The random mission generaters are also very good, so even when you complete all the missions in single player mode, you can keep playing these random missions for hours. In my view this game never really gets boring and if you own the first one and found it brilliant, as I did, then I strongly suggest you get this one.


Enduring Love (Teach Yourself Advanced Literature Guides)
Enduring Love (Teach Yourself Advanced Literature Guides)
by Jane Easton
Edition: Paperback

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great help., 13 Jan. 2003
I am currently studying enduring love and I have found this little book a great help. It really covers everything you need to know about the novel and even includes images and drawings that keep you anmused and help with the studying when it all gets a bit boring.
Its sections on lauangue, style and strcture are very good. I have a presentation to do on these topics tommorow and the book has been a big help.
Another thing that helps are the chapter summurys. These are useful when you are looking for a certain event that happend in the book and can't remeber where it was.
In my view, if you are an A-level english Student, then this book is a must for help and revision.


Atomic
Atomic
Offered by Qoolist
Price: £5.67

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic from start to finish!, 13 Jan. 2003
This review is from: Atomic (Audio CD)
I was lent this album by a friend and within two hours of listining to it I was online, buying it! It really is a great album with some really catchy tunes.
It has some heavier songs and some softer more acoustic tracks. So there really is something there for most punk rock/ska fans.
I have to say i think this is so much better than the first album and if you do not own this album yet then hurry up and get it.
There is one song on here that i am sure is a cover but I can't think what from. Still if it is a cover they did a great job of making it sound great.
I found this album great and I am sure any greenday / nofx / mxpx fan would love this album.
In a word: Amazing!


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