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M. Beddow "Michael Beddow" (Leeds, United Kingdom)

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Price: £9.94

5.0 out of 5 stars The real thing -- but Your Supplier May Vary, 19 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The problem with this sort of item is that some suppliers have been known to ship cheap fakes. Mine came from Screen and Chargers UK and was the genuine HP article, with a valid HP part and serial no. But I can't vouch for what other suppliers on Amazon Marketplace may ship, so buyers need to be a bit cautious.

That aside, if you have a more recent HP laptop where the charger that came with it has the "big pin" connector but has a marked rating of 19.5V output, don't worry. Though rated at 18.5 V, these replacement chargers work fine with the newer laptops that theoretically require 19V.

New HP Pavilion 14 Ultrabook Sleekbook Ac Adapter Charger & Power Cord 65 Watt
New HP Pavilion 14 Ultrabook Sleekbook Ac Adapter Charger & Power Cord 65 Watt

5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Thing, 6 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is the genuine article, manufactured for HP and with correct HP part and serial numbers. The sleekbook models aren't noted for long battery life, so I wanted another charger I could keep for use in another part of the house. This fits the bill exactly.

Masterplug SRGAUSBPB-MP Surge Protected Mains USB Charger
Masterplug SRGAUSBPB-MP Surge Protected Mains USB Charger
Price: £8.51

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Missing a bit of important info..., 26 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Anyone reading these reviews will notice a question mark over one matter that any potential customer will want to know: what charging rate is this device capable of? Not all the reviewers put it in those terms, but it's what's behind complaints such as very slow charging, or refusal to charge two devices at once. Both of those imply that the available charge rate is too low.

Against that, some reviewers have no gripes about the rate of charging, and others report successfully charging two fairly demanding devices at once. We can maybe discount those reviews that claim that they couldn't get any charge at all, since that's often down to using an unsuitable cable or connector for a specific device. But that still leaves a suggestion that there's a big variation between individual chargers as shipped, and that some are more fit for advertised purpose than others.

What makes that worrying is that the makers nowhere specify what current these chargers can deliver. Not in the product description here, not on the device packaging, not on the device itself, and not on their website either. This is quite extraordinary. I've just spent a few minutes rummaging through the collection of phone etc chargers I've built up over the past few years, and every single one of them specifies their maximum current output as well as the output voltage. The absence of this basic bit of information about this particulat charger means that any customer who isn't getting the rate of charge they expected might find it difficult to argue that they hadn't got what they paid for.

Of course, buying from Amazon means that no-one need be out of pocket, because they are so good about no-quibble exchanges or refunds. All the same, arranging refunds is a hassle most people could do without, and since there are so many other chargers on offer that state their charge rates plainly, it might be hard to justify ordering one of these in the first place.

I decided to take the risk, because I wanted the pass-through 13 amp socket feature. And I'm glad I did, because the charger I received seems to have no problems where current delivery is concerned. As I write this, my charger is simultaneously powering two miniature computers, a Raspberry Pi and another, more demanding, Chinese one. The Pi needs at least 500ma even for basic functions, and more when powering a keyboard and mouse as mine is, and its Chinese friend won't even boot on less than 1000ma. I've been driving both machines deliberately hard for several hours, with nary a blip from either. So I'm pretty confident that people with less geeky uses for this gadget than mine (such as the young lady in the pictures who is settling down for a hard-working night in her hotel bedroom with her Iplayer and Iphone both charging away while she has her laptop plugged into the passthrough socket) won't be dissatisfied.

If I hadn't seen the negative reports in the other reviews, I'd have probably given this five stars with no hesitation, But I'm dropping to four, partly to acknowledge that not everyone may be so lucky, and also because I do think the manufacturer's strange refusal to commit themselves to a charging rate is a negative point.

TP-Link TL-WA850RE 300Mbps Universal Wall Plug Range Extender/ Wi-Fi Booster (WPS function, Easy Configuration)
TP-Link TL-WA850RE 300Mbps Universal Wall Plug Range Extender/ Wi-Fi Booster (WPS function, Easy Configuration)
Price: £23.00

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't be put off by older reviews, 16 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The title explains why I'm bothering to add my own tuppence-worth to 900+ others.

It's pretty plain that prior to around mid 2012, these things were being shipped with inadequate firmware and poor instructions, hence a lot of the hassle earlier reviewers report.

Actually, I'm something of a geek and I enjoy a good tussle with my gadgets, so I was a bit disappointed to find that: a) there was a quick set-up leaflet, well-illustrated and written in plain and grammatical English, clearly setting out each of the possible setup methods and explaining which order to try them in; b) the first and simplest "single button press" method worked first time with the (D-Link) base router I was using; and c) when, in the hope of a getting at least a bit of entertaining exasperation, I deliberately did a hardware reset on the gadget so I could try out the other (browser-based) methods as well, those methods worked first time and exactly as laid out in the leaflet as well.

So on my mid-2013 experience, there's no longer any need to advise the technically-challenged against buying one of these in preference to, say, one of the more expensive Netgear devices.

In fact, there's one very big plus compared to the Netgears for anyone who lives in a house where the power points are low down on the skirting-board (as tends often to be the case in the older, bigger and thicker-walled houses which send many people looking for an extender). The business bit of the gizmo sticks upwards, with the prongs for the mains sockets on the lower end. Whereas on the Netgears, the prongs are at the top end, meaning that they simply can't be plugged into sockets that don't have much clearance above floor level.

As for performance, I can detect no limitations apart from those inherent in this particular approach to range extension. In brief, and rather oversimplifying things, the maximum throughput you can get via one of these devices is 50% of the throughput you would get to a laptop connected wirelessly to your base router and placed at the same point where you intend to position the extender.

If you have a suitable dual-band router, you could overcome that limitation by going for a much more expensive dual-band repeater, and configuring it appropriately, but that really is not something for technophobes to try. If you need more throughput than this type of device can give you, maybe because you have a bunch of on-line wargamers wanting to use your Internet connection from the part of your house the extender serves, you'd probably be better looking at using a pair of powerline adapters to send your ethernet over your house wiring to an outlet in your wifi "dead zone" and plugging in a separate wireless access point there. That way, you'd get whatever throughput your powerline adapters and your house wiring allowed, without the automatic 50% chopdown that single-band extenders like these entail.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 20, 2013 10:30 AM BST

Samsung UE32EH5000 32-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p LED TV with Freeview HD (discontinued by manufacturer)
Samsung UE32EH5000 32-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p LED TV with Freeview HD (discontinued by manufacturer)
Offered by UK ONLINE

858 of 882 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great at the price, 3 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The delivery man carried this set up to my front door in one hand and with a spring in his step, demonstrating how flatscreen technology has advanced. I'd just come close to busting a gut moving its predecessor, also a 32inch flatscreen but weighing around four times as much and a lot bigger, out of the way.

Unpacking, assembly on its stand and setup couldn't have been simpler or quicker. Everything was ready and working within ten minutes.

There was only one thing I needed to alter in the default settings. The default video mode, though labelled "normal" looks more to me like "chocolate box pretty". It may appeal to folk who like to boost the saturation of their snapshots to "enhance" the colours, but I went for a less garish option. I suspect that some of the reviewers here who don't like the greens may be reacting to this over-lush default setting. But tweakers and twiddlers take note: Samsung remind you that this is a bottom-of-the-range model by restricting access to video and audio adjustments, and even if you go in via the service menu, you'll find the corresponding options greyed out. You get to choose between five preset options for picture and sound, and that's it.

That done, I sat down to enjoy viewing, marvelling at what superb value for money this set is, now that the price has fallen so low. I think you'd have to go way higher in the price range to find a set with better picture quality. I can't say whether it would meet the motion-rendering demands of soccer or tennis fans, or video console gamers, but in all the various videos I've viewed I've seen not the slightest sign of motion blurring, smearing or juddering. It also has best sound I've heard, both in terms of power and frequency range, in a budget-price receiver relying on internal speakers alone. But as ever, people who want truly high quality sound will want to add some external equipment, whether it's a soundbar fed via the optical digital out and/or hdmi sockets, or the cheaper compromise of a subwoofer and satellite speaker set designed for PCs plugged into the headphone jack.

It's very noticeable, though, that there is a lot of confusion and misinformation about this particular model. I'll spend the rest of this review trying answer three questions that people keep asking but which so far don't seem to have been given satisfactory answers.

1. Does this set receive the four HD channels currently free-to-air in the UK? YES. Perfectly and with no special measures (apart from the viewer selecting the correct channel numbers for the HD services, of course). So... why does the Amazon description above imply that it doesn't, and why do Samsung UK support, if you phone them, emphatically confirm that it doesn't and say you need a more expensive model for HD TV off-air? The answer is the marketing policy of the company the owns the Freeview trademark. They insist that to be labelled and sold with the "Freeview HD" designation, sets must not only receive the HD channels, but also fulfil other technical conditions, including a considerable degree of Internet connectivity (of which more in my next answer). But if you take the common-sense view that "receiving all UK HD terrestrial channels" means, er... "receiving all UK HD terrestial channels", then these sets can do that just fine, in exactly the same way that sets officially labelled "Freeview HD" do. But if Amazon, or even Samsung themselves, claimed these sets were Freeview HD compatible, Freeview's lawyers would jump on them. So we get the silly situation where in effect sellers are obliged to describe these items misleadingly to avoid legal trouble (of the major sellers, only Richer Sounds seems to put honesty before legality in this matter).

2. Does the ethernet port on these models allow you (a) access any Internet video content or websites or (b) to access media on your home LAN, either on DNLA servers or via ordinary file shares? NO TO BOTH QUESTIONS. That's why they can't legally be described as Freeview HD compatible. I put that answer in big shout capitals, because many people understandably find it difficult to believe. These sets have a working ethernet port, and are able to get an IP address and gateway from your router and send and receive packets over the Internet via that router. But their network capabilities have been severely nobbled so that the only connection allowed is to a specific Samsung server, and the only material that can be fetched from that server is text data. The documents suggest that the TV's firmware can also be updated via this connection, but currently even that's not the case. To update the firmware, you have to download it on to another machine from Samsung's website, transfer the image to a USB stick and install it from there.

But, more important for home users, it's not only Internet connections that are disabled on this so-called network port. Despite statements elswhere, you cannot access any other machines on your LAN by any means via this port (although perhaps hackers who have made warranty-voiding modifications to the firmware can). I have read claims that if you run Samsung's own proprietary variant of a DNLA server on a PC on your LAN, you can access media from that PC. That is simply not true with this specific set. Anyone who knows much about TVs like this, which run an embedded customised version of Linux, will be aware that they would be fully capable of playing audio and video streamed across a LAN with no additional hardware, and little or no additional software either. But Samsung apparently want to keep something back to promote sales of their more expensive models, and it's in this area that this policy bites. So I can't yet dispose of my little WD HDTV box which now feeds this new set with media from my LAN server across our home network.

3. Can media on anything other than a USB stick be accessed via the USB socket? Now here's a real mystery. The documentation, and all the information on those suppliers sites that address this topic, says explicitly and emphatically "no". Supposedly, only USB stick devices are supported. But, at least on the currently shipping models like mine, that's not true. I have tried two USB-powered portable drives so far, a fairly old WD 256GB model and a more recent 1TB Samsung pocket drive, both formatted with NTFS. With both drives, there is no problem at all (except maybe for a certain sluggishness browsing the filesystem on the 1 TB device). The TV recognises the drives (though it claims to think they're USB sticks and displays a corresponding icon). It can access arbitrary levels of directory on them and play media (including captured 1080i HDTV transport streams as well as videos in avi, mkv and mp4 containers covering a wide range of video and audio codecs) faultlessly. I just can't understand why Samsung hide what could be a major selling point in this way. Maybe they're worried about users plugging in drives with excessive current drain and zapping the USB port, but in that case, surely an "at your own risk" warning in the documents, along with the built in fail-safe current limiters of modern USB ports would be enough to cover Samsung's backs while not keeping this feature such a secret? In my case, if I didn't have the WD network player to get my media content from my LAN servers to this TV, I could get round that by having a large-capacity portable USB hard disk normally plugged into a LAN server and using that as a media store, then just unplugging it from the server and transferring it to the TV to access the content there as and when needed.

In case anybody's wondering, you CAN'T, however, plug a USB-powered DVD drive into the set's USB port and play a disk from that. But that's not surprising, given that DVD drives have significantly different interface requirements from USB and hard disk drives. Nor can you record programmes received on the TV on to external storage via the USB connection. Again, that's a facility Samsung reserve to higher-priced models.

Some people may also find the presence of only two hdmi sockets a limitation (though that's shared with several other recent, more expensive, Samsung models). Alongside those there's a single Scart (wired to accept component video) and RCA sockets for component video and two channel audio in, plus a digital audio out and a standard earphone socket. There is no VGA input. Anyone wanting to connect up a computer that lacks an hdmi outlet will need a suitable adapter, but they are readily available.

Some people may wonder why I've opted for 5 stars, given the shortcomings I've described above. I did think about deducting a star, but then I reflected that this is a truly bargain-price piece of kit with excellent build quality and stylish appearance, and it does its basic job superbly. It's a pity that Samsung felt it necessary to differentiate it from more expensive products by, in effect, sabotaging the hardware's instrinsic ability to do things that those more expensive products do, but I guess that's business. All things considered, I couldn't be more happy with my purchase.

WARNING. I see that for one reason or another, reviews of quite different Samsung models are being posted here, some of them with different feature sets from the model these reviews are meant to apply to. So I have to stress that everything I say applies only to the model in the heading of this review, i.e. the UE32EH5000 (with firmware as of October 2012)
Comment Comments (48) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 12, 2014 10:25 PM GMT

HDanywhere® HDMI to Component Converter Adapter Downscaler
HDanywhere® HDMI to Component Converter Adapter Downscaler

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you know what it's for, you won't regret buying it., 24 Oct 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
No-one's going to complain they didn't understand the instructions that come with this gadget, because there aren't any. The only "documentation" is a sticker on the plain white box reminding you that component video can't handle 1080p material (which is what you get from Blu-ray disks, but from not much else in common use at the moment, though it's an optional output setting on modern games consoles). But 1080i, as in current HD TV, is fine.

Then again, no-one who doesn't know what this is for is likely to order it anyway, and so no instructions are needed. What you do need, though, are all the connection cables: none is supplied apart from the power lead. Plug in the PSU (the usual plug-top type, but an usefully small one that won't stop you plugging in other items in adjacent sockets on a power strip), connect your hdmi from your source device into one end of the box and your component video and l-r stereo leads to your target device into the phono sockets at the other end, and hi-def video in analog component form plus two channel stereo sound will be fed to that target device.

Using this to feed 1080i transport stream capture videos from a laptop to a 40" HD television via the component inputs, I can see no visible degredation compared to using the straight hdmi-hdmi connection. If this was to be in permanent use for such a purpose, style-conscious SO's might object to the spartan appearance (the unpainted aluminium case seems to have come straight off the hobbyist supplies shelves of Maplin's) but it's very small and could easily be hidden away.

As well as feeding HD viewing devices that have component video inputs, you could also use this little box to feed another (separate and rather more expensive) little box that would re-digitize and re-encode the component output, allowing it to be recorded (or re-recorded, let's not use that troublesome word "copy") in hi-def on a computer. Obviously many other reviewers here are using it in that way to record their game console gameplay and post it on YouTube etc. But one could also imagine it being used (in conjunction with the additional re-digitizing device) to make HD recordings from other sources with HDMI outputs. But that might not be entirely legal, so I'll say no more, and of course I would never dream of doing it myself.

Silverline CT22 Bolt Cutters Length 600mm - Jaw 8mm
Silverline CT22 Bolt Cutters Length 600mm - Jaw 8mm
Price: £15.59

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Did the job, 24 Oct 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I guess that, professional bicycle thieves or shed-burglars aside, most people buy these things to do some specific job that nothing in their existing toolbox can cope with. In my case, it was coping with a huge tangle of rusty old barbed wire that came to light in a corner of the garden when an overgrown hedge was removed. I wanted something that would let me easily cut the wire into small lengths that could be safely disposed of.

These proved to be the ideal tool. Not only did they slice through the wire with less elbow-grease than it takes to trim a baby's toenails, but the length of the handles (needed for the leverage, of course) allowed me to keep a healthy distance from the nasty springy stuff.

Now all I have to do is think of something else useful to do with them that justifies the amount of space they take up.

NEWLink: 10/100/1000 Mbps Gigabit Network/ Ethernet Switch - 8 Port
NEWLink: 10/100/1000 Mbps Gigabit Network/ Ethernet Switch - 8 Port
Offered by MHP Computer Services Ltd ®
Price: £31.34

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No frills, no gotchas, it just works., 27 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you want remote management, port-by-port configuration or rack mounting, then look elsewhere. But if you wanted any of those, you'd be looking in the wrong section and price range anyway.

For a home or SOHO LAN, this device works exactly as specified out of the box, and there's no point in paying more for a big-name item in fancier packaging.

It's in a neat and sturdy black metal case, the status/activity LEDs are distinct enough to see across a room but not so bright that they're liable to confuse passing aircraft, and neither the main unit nor its plug-top PSU are ever more than warm to the touch.

Unpack it, connect it, and forget it. I did, until the Amazon robot nagged me to write this review.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 11, 2012 10:48 PM BST

Brand New Unlocked Wireless Huawei WCDMA E1750 HSUPA 3G Modem Dongle With Micro SD Card Slot, USB 2.0 (Compatible with all Major UK Mobile Networks)
Brand New Unlocked Wireless Huawei WCDMA E1750 HSUPA 3G Modem Dongle With Micro SD Card Slot, USB 2.0 (Compatible with all Major UK Mobile Networks)
Offered by Time2 Direct
Price: £24.99

27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly right for purpose, though apparently inscrutable, 25 Feb 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Mine arrived loose in a jiffy bag with the standard Amazon Marketplace receipt enclosed and nothing else. But people who need instructions could Google for them. In my case, I wanted this to connect my tablet PC (NATPC M009S 8GB Capacitive , 7" , 1.6 GHz Super Slim Android Tablet PC with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and Responsive Capacitive Screen - Flash Player 11.1 - Compatible with BBC iPlayer / Youtube / Amazon Kindle / Facebook - HD 2160P - now with 8GB Storage) to the Internet when out of WiFi reach, and it was stated by the tab suppliers to be the only supported modem. Swapped the SIM from my 3 dongle into this new modem, plugged into tablet, set APN, and I was on the Net in no time. Also tried it on a Linux box, a little bit more info to be entered there, but then it was up and away on that platform too. Plugging it into a Windows7 laptop, it autostarted an installer in Chinese. But all it takes is a little nowse (or even less Chinese than I know) to figure out that the first question you're being asked in Mandarin is what language you you want to install in. Click the arrow, and you see "English" appear and from then on the install switches to English (of sorts) and the "dashboard" app also installs with an English interface. The Windows install assumes you have a SIM from a particular Chinese ISP, so you have to know, or discover, enough about how to navigate Huawei dashboard settings to find out how to create a profile for your own provider's SIM, and store it, and set it as default. A pity there's not even a slip of paper to tell people how to do that, but again, it's all out there on the Web.

Price: £25.00

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish, 26 Oct 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I see these items are now marked as no longer available, but in case they come back again, be warned! Yes, they do indeed meet the advertised spec as far as colour temperature and luminosity is concerned. But as for the advertised "up to 8 years' life" -- HA! Mine arrived, a little late, last week. The first one went pop after 20 MINUTES, the second one died after THREE DAYS (having been reluctant to start from day two). How long the other ones would have lasted, I'll never know, because the whole lot is going back.

I was using these in a desk light rated for up to 100W incandescent bulbs, and they were definitely not overheating. I can think of no other explanation than shoddy manufacture. They're branded Lloytron, but that doesn't mean much, because that's an import firm that sources and re-brands stuff from all over the world. Maybe other bulbs with the same brand but a different original manufacturer would be better. I can't seriously imagine anyone apart from a fly-by-night car boot trader would knowingly sell such trash, I guess they were misled by the original manufacturer).
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 8, 2011 11:10 AM GMT

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