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Themistocles

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Sharp EL243S Pocket Calculator - White/Blue
Sharp EL243S Pocket Calculator - White/Blue
Price: £2.60

4.0 out of 5 stars I bought this for doing basic calculations at work (scale ..., 29 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this for doing basic calculations at work (scale etc) and it does the job well. It comes with a protective cover that snaps securely over the screen and keys, allowing it to be put in pockets or pencil-cases without the risk of scratching the screen or getting junk in the keys.

The keys themselves are a little too squishy for me, especially since they're quite small. I'm used to them now, however. That's my only gripe - you can't ask for much more for the size and price.


HyperX FURY Series 16GB (2x 8GB) DDR3 1600MHz CL10 DIMM Memory Module Kit - Blue
HyperX FURY Series 16GB (2x 8GB) DDR3 1600MHz CL10 DIMM Memory Module Kit - Blue
Price: £68.92

5.0 out of 5 stars 8gb is the sweet spot for most users now, 29 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Popped in the RAM and it worked, replacing a set of two 4gb Corsair XMS modules. No need to mess about in BIOS or anything.
8gb is the sweet spot for most users now, but I found that running Photoshop as well as 3D gfx programs ate up that memory very quickly. So far, 16gb has been more than enough for my needs. The lifetime guarantee and an assurance that the modules have been tested makes me feel confident that this set will last me for a while, at least until 32gb becomes the norm.


MaxiNutrition Promax Protein Shake Powder 840 g - Chocolate
MaxiNutrition Promax Protein Shake Powder 840 g - Chocolate
Price: £24.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Tastes OK, seems effective, 28 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've used a few of the Promax flavours and I think this is probably the best one. It blends well with fruit, particularly frozen berries, and it tastes less artificial when taken 'plain' with milk or water than the fruit flavours, which almost always taste like children's antibiotics to me (especially the banana). The post-exercise 'I need meat, now!' pangs are definitely lessened when I have a shake and I definitely feel better on my recovery days.

The last batch of protein I used was a pea protein, simply because whey can mess with my guts a bit. There's some extra gas with this, but it isn't intolerable. It digests well.

I've found that mixing it by hand in a glass or shaker takes a while if you don't want a grainy shake, so I highly recommend sticking it in a blender. Less than a minute and it'll be mixed perfectly.


Philips S5130/06 Series 5000 Electric Shaver with Smart Click Precision Trimmer
Philips S5130/06 Series 5000 Electric Shaver with Smart Click Precision Trimmer
Price: £70.00

4.0 out of 5 stars and it's probably one of the better electric shavers I've used, 27 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've been using this shaver for about a month now, and I think I'll probably go back to my Gilette Fusion, simply because my skin is a bit too sensitive for an electric shaver.

That said, I was mostly impressed with the Series 5000, and it's probably one of the better electric shavers I've used. The heads are multi-directional and adjusted well to the contours of my face. Generally - to get a good shave - I had to make a few passes of the same areas, which I think led to the irritation I experienced. It always takes a while for skin to get used to electric shavers, though, and I've noticed an improvement lately. The problem areas were the usual ones: directly under the chin and along my jawline.

I only used the snap-on trimmer a couple of times for my sideburns. The mechanism is easy to use and it works quite well, but I often forgot about it. It's a nice feature to include.

Cleaning the shaver head can take a little while, but no more than other electric shavers I've used. I was able to rinse out most of the stubble with a blast of water, leaving only a few stubborn bits that needed extra attention.

Overall, it's a quality product and I've stuck with it for longer than other electric shavers I've owned, but I think my skin is too easily irritated for anything other than a manual razor.


Vax AP01 Air Purifier, White
Vax AP01 Air Purifier, White
Price: £79.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good small purifier, but a bit noisier than advertised, 26 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Good:
This is the smallest air purifier I've owned. It's small enough to fit atop or under my desk. This is a big plus if you don't have a lot of space to spare.
It definitely moves a lot of air for such a small unit, but I'll come back to that in the negatives. When I've had it running in my room I haven't experienced the blocked-up sinuses I normally have at this time of year. Doesn't do much for when I go out, but it's a relief not to wake up like that, and it's nice to be able to put it on in the evening and not have to take cetirizine every day.
The filter seems effective at removing smells - I've had it running in my kitchen for a while and it definitely helped clear the air after cooking.
The timer setting is nice to have, since I usually only run it when I go to bed and if it keeps running after I get up and leave the house, that's wasted electricity.

Mediocre:
Its looks are just OK. The rectangular white plastic body is fairly innocuous - a bit like a large toaster.

Bad:
The marketing bulletpoints for this purifier state that it's extremely quiet on the lowest setting - I found it to be rather audible on the low setting, and the medium and high settings are too noisy for extended use. Not sure if my unit is defective or if Vax have a different idea of whisper-quiet to me.
I think the problem is that the fan has a pretty high RPM to compensate for the size of the unit, leading to greater noise for the same amount of air movement versus one with a larger fan.

Overall, this is an effective fan for taking pollen and dander out of the air, as well as to help get rid of smells. The small size is both a bonus and a problem: it has great flexibility for placement at the cost of being a bit louder than larger purifiers.


Russell Hobbs 22630 Brew and Go Coffee Machine
Russell Hobbs 22630 Brew and Go Coffee Machine
Offered by Quality UK Wares
Price: £44.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The smell of coffee in the morning..., 21 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Getting up in the morning is tough for me. I use a gradual wake-up lamp and I've experimented with gentle alarms on my phone (I was late for work). The Brew and Go purports to make mornings easier by brewing a coffee at a set time. I was a bit sceptical at first, but hearing the thing working through in the kitchen and smelling the coffee actually does make getting up easier.

The appliance is styled in a fairly generic black and chrome. It won't stand out much on most kitchen counters, nor will it clash too much with your other gadgets. It's a professional, if slightly boring looking device. The generously sized 450ml travel cup matches it well and feels well made - mine has already withstood a drop with only a small dent and no spilled coffee.

The brew and go is a simple machine and setting it up is easy: there are a minimum of buttons and they're well labelled. I was able to schedule a cup for 8am without any difficulty and there are no additional settings, since all the machine does is make a cup of filtered coffee.

The coffee itself is pretty good. I used ground beans from a local shop (MacBeans) and the results were maybe a little weak when using the same ratio of coffee/water in a cafetiere. I increased the amount of coffee slightly and the taste is very similar. You may need to experiment a bit to find a good brew.

Cleaning is about on par with a cafetiere, I've found. The reusable filter can be cleaned with a quick rinse and the body of the machine can be wiped down. I've noticed a small amount of excess splatter when filling the machine up completely, but it isn't too bad.

Overall, if you fancy having a cup of coffee ready for you in the morning, this isn't a bad option.


SilverStone 20066 TJ08 Temjin Case for PC
SilverStone 20066 TJ08 Temjin Case for PC
Price: £88.77

3.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag, 20 July 2015
Good:
+ It has a nice, understated appearance that I much prefer to flashier 'gamer' cases with windows an LEDs.
+ Despite the Temjin being much smaller than my previous case, an Antec P-180, the build was easy. Cable routing can be rationalised by running it being the motherboard backing plate, and there's plenty of room for a big graphics card and a large heatsink.

Mediocre:
= The big fan on the front should be quiet and efficient, but I haven't been that impressed with its thermal or aural performance. It has a small switch that allows you to alternate between low hum and jet engine without having to fiddly with fan settings, at least. I would prefer a few more options for changing its voltage since the default setting is still too loud for me.

Bad:
- I'm not so sure about putting the PSU directly above the graphics card. Looking back, I think I would have preferred a case where the PSU is somewhat separated from the rest of the components.

Overall, I like this case and I expect to use it for a few more years. There are disappointments, though.


Whirlpool Max Microwave with Steam Function - Red
Whirlpool Max Microwave with Steam Function - Red
Price: £149.00

4.0 out of 5 stars A clever microwave with a unique design, 20 July 2015
I have a tiny kitchen, so I try to save counter space in any way I can. I bought this microwave to fit on a tiny windowsill in the corner of the room.

Good:
+It fits. The cube-like shape is a little taller than a regular microwave, but it's so much neater on the horizontal.
+The steam function works well, although it may take some trial and error to get the perfect settings for things that can overcook easily, like broccoli. Corn on the cob seems to work particularly well, as did chopped carrots.
+Defrosting is surprisingly quick for a 700w microwave.

Mediocre:
=The door latch is strong enough that sometimes you can pull the microwave forward when opening it. Putting something in front of the feet solved that, though.
=The waveguide plate on the side of the microwave looks a lot like a piece of packing cardboard, so be careful not to try and remove it when first open the microwave!

Bad:
-I'm not a big fan of the touch sensitive buttons. They don't offer any kind of tactile feedback and it can be difficult to know whether you've activated functions like changing the time of the clock. The only feedback is a beep that isn't much use to deaf or hard-of-hearing people.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 23, 2015 4:20 PM BST


V is for Vegan: The ultimate vegan cookbook packed full of amazing recipes
V is for Vegan: The ultimate vegan cookbook packed full of amazing recipes
by Kerstin Rodgers
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Fortunately, finding vegan recipes is easier than ever online, 19 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I am not a vegan, but have been trying to eat fewer animal products for multiple reasons: money, health, and environment. Fortunately, finding vegan recipes is easier than ever online. I like to have a good cook book in the kitchen, though, so V is for Vegan appealed to me.

The book is packed with recipes that are easy to follow and written in an informal style that is a nice contrast to stuffier cookbooks. The layout and printing of the recipes is appealing. Most of the dishes have well photographed examples of the finished product.

I'm used to vegan recipes requiring ingredients that are only sold in larger supermarkets or specialty shops. There are some of those ingredients in V is for Vegan and Rodgers provides links to websites where those ingredients can be bought. I preferred to fudge the recipes when I couldn't find an exact match, and the recipes I've tried so far have all turned out well and haven't required too much time or effort to reproduce.

Some standouts:
The kale chip recipe is easy and tasty.
The bunny chow curry (pictured) is an extremely flavourful south african curry that doesn't taste like anything I've had before - includes peaches!
Comment Comment | Permalink


Milk Frother BATTERIES INCLUDED, MONEY BACK GUARANTEE !! The Best Automatic Electric Handheld Milk Frother in Black with a Soft touch handle, Stainless steel whisk, Perfect for making Coffee, Hot Drinks, Shakes, Egg Beater/Mixer, Cappuccino, Vinaigrette, Latte, Hot chocolate
Milk Frother BATTERIES INCLUDED, MONEY BACK GUARANTEE !! The Best Automatic Electric Handheld Milk Frother in Black with a Soft touch handle, Stainless steel whisk, Perfect for making Coffee, Hot Drinks, Shakes, Egg Beater/Mixer, Cappuccino, Vinaigrette, Latte, Hot chocolate
Offered by jb online
Price: £15.97

4.0 out of 5 stars and the stainless steel head is easy to clean, 16 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Note: I received this item as a sample in exchange for an honest review.

I've been using this frother for a few weeks now and, overall, I'm impressed with its performance for the price. It comes with batteries, which is a big plus in my book, and it fulfils its function well. Its motor is powerful enough to froth milk in a few seconds, and the stainless steel head is easy to clean. The body has a rubberised plastic finish that is easy to wipe down as well. I've actually used it to mix protein powder in almond milk a few times - not as good as an actual blender, but definitely a bit quicker than a spoon.

The ergonomic body makes it easy and comfortable to hold. The power button is on the base of the frother, so you have to hold it in a kind of murderer-with-a-dagger grip.

My only grumble is that it would be good if the frother could stand on its base so it could be set down on the counter cleanly. If there's a revision of this design, I'd like to see a flat base with the power button repositioned under where the index finger rests.

Overall, a good frother for the money.


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