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Reviews Written by
Bernardette Lugner (Manchester, UK)
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Logitech M175 Wireless Mouse
Logitech M175 Wireless Mouse
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly simple wireless mouse, 18 Nov 2014
This is the ideal portable mouse. You can leave the tiny receiver plugged into your laptop, and the mouse itself is light -- less than half the weight of my Logitech desktop mouse. It is smaller than many mice, but if you are holding it in your fingers, and not in the palm of your hand, that does not matter, even if your hands are large. The button areas and scroll wheel are full-size. I find it ideal for controlling Powerpoint presentations from a metre or so away.

It could not be simpler to use. Just plug the receiver into your computer, switch on the mouse, and it works. The receiver can be stored inside the mouse so you won't easily lose it when you shift from one computer to another.


TUFFskinz Premium Quality Screen Protectors for Moto G (2014 2nd edition) (Crystal Clear (Invisible) edition)
TUFFskinz Premium Quality Screen Protectors for Moto G (2014 2nd edition) (Crystal Clear (Invisible) edition)
Offered by TUFFskinz
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Protector for phone screen, 6 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've tried a few of these, and this make is way the best. The protector is not too floppy, and sticks hard to the phone screen. The fitting method, using sticky tabs to align the protector properly, worked very well, and the dimensions fitted my Moto G perfectly. There is no interference with touch function or the sharp appearance of the screen (this is with the glossy protector). The protector is thick enough to guard against most small scratches and scuffs.

Advice: Watch the Tuffskins video, read the instructions carefully and follow them slavishly, Take it slowly, and do everything in the cleanest environment you can manage. Absolutely clean screen, hands, and surroundings. The tiniest hair or grain of dust under the protector will show up!


Leitz WOW 1005 180 Degree A4 80mm Lever Arch File - Metallic Blue
Leitz WOW 1005 180 Degree A4 80mm Lever Arch File - Metallic Blue
Price: £6.49

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very decent lever file, 6 Nov 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a well-made lever arch file for two-hole punched papers. The lever mechanism is substantial, and the lever lifts far enough that you can file papers on both sides. Most binders you buy can't do this. Prongs line up perfectly.

The covers are brightly coloured, made of slightly thicker cardboard than some cheaper binders, but have no reinforcing metal strips at the corners or edges. Two metal-edged slots let the prongs snap in when you close the binder, and keep it closed.


Kingston Technology Micro SDHC 16GB Memory Card - Frustration Free Packaging
Kingston Technology Micro SDHC 16GB Memory Card - Frustration Free Packaging
Price: £5.13

5.0 out of 5 stars Very nice memory card for your phone and more, 21 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This little card comes in a strong case with an adapter so you can use it in a camera or elsewhere that takes a full-size SD card. I needed it for my phone, so opened the mobile, slipped in the Kingston card, and my phone (Android) at once asked if I wanted to load pictures and music to the card. I said yes, and that was it. Great value, no fuss.


QuickBooks Pro 2015 Plus Payroll - 1 Year Subscription (PC)
QuickBooks Pro 2015 Plus Payroll - 1 Year Subscription (PC)
Price: £334.36

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heavy-duty accounting and payroll for small businesses., 21 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
QuickBooks is sold as a complete solution to the bookkeeping and accounting needs of small businesses and single traders, so don't be too shocked when you start it up and are faced with what looks like -- and is -- a range of hundreds of functions, multiple windows, and a good deal of terminology that you might not know. You will soon find that the functions you do not need for your business can be hidden, and things get simpler. Nevertheless, this is certainly not a walk-up-and-have-a-go program. You are going to be spending many hours setting up your company file, arranging all the accounts you are going to use, designing invoices and receipts, learning how to enter transactions efficiently, and getting everything to balance. The best time for this is probably the beginning of your business year.

As well as recording every business transaction, from initial estimate (if you do those) through to paying your bills and banking the payments you receive, you can do some stock control, get detailed VAT recording and reporting, and up to date and thorough payroll, recognised by HMRC for online reporting. There are many ways to get reports that will help you see how your business is doing. Although there is a lot of on-line help from Intuit, the publishers, I found that a reference book (Dummies or similar) was essential. This is a big program that does a vital job for your business, and there is a lot to learn. You are also going to need to set up rock-solid file backup, and run it at least every time you exit the program. You'll also need to keep an off-site backup, in case of fire or flood.

I wanted to use some company files and accounts from Intuit's good old Quicken program, rather than start from absolute scratch, and was soon stymied. Intuit's various programs over the years have used many different file formats, and although the files seem to have much the same contents, they are often incompatible. I phoned the Intuit technical help desk, and got superb help. The guy I spoke to understood at once what I needed to do, took remote control of my PC, and ground his way through numerous obstacles until the job was done -- about 2 hours, with never a complaint.

A couple of criticisms. The screen layout often seems to get in a mess, with multiple windows open at once, and I keep having to minimise and maximise them as I work. In some windows, the font size is too large, and items go out of sight. I have not yet found out how (if) I can adjust this.

More seriously, QuickBooks cannot cope with investment accounts, for example holdings of shares or commodities whose value changes. Quicken was doing this well over fifteen years ago, but it seems that Quickbooks users will either have to get an old version of Quicken, or resort to a DIY spreadsheet.


New Motorola Moto G 2014 (2nd Generation) XT1068 SMOKEY BLACK Gel / Silicone / Hybrid Case Cover Skin With BONUS Motorola Moto G Moto G2 (2nd Gen) Screen Protector - Accessories Accessory By InventCase®
New Motorola Moto G 2014 (2nd Generation) XT1068 SMOKEY BLACK Gel / Silicone / Hybrid Case Cover Skin With BONUS Motorola Moto G Moto G2 (2nd Gen) Screen Protector - Accessories Accessory By InventCase®
Offered by Sunny Savers Ltd
Price: £3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice case, good value, 16 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This soft gel case is an excellent fit on my big, new Moto G, and is going to stay on all the time. It wraps around just enough to protect all the edges, and also the screen if you lay the phone face down. Apertures and switch covers are just right. The colour is very dark brown

The screen protector that came with the case was not so good. It was very slightly too large, so even the tiniest misalignment mean it overlapped the edge, so did not stick well. The cutouts for the twin speakers were a bit too far apart.


Philips B22 6 Watt LED 40W WW 230V A60 FR ND/4, Warm White
Philips B22 6 Watt LED 40W WW 230V A60 FR ND/4, Warm White
Price: £5.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great replacement lamp, 16 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a straight replacement for a 40-watt bayonet fitting lightbulb. In fact, I thought it was bright enough to replace a 60w.

The best feature of this LED lamp is that is the same size as a tungsten filament bulb, so will fit. (I have tried other LED lamps which were too large to go into the light fitting.) The colour looks the same as the old bulb, and the electricity saving is claimed to be 84%, so it is very worthwhile for a light that is going to be on for long periods each day. If it lasts as long as claimed -- 15,000 hours -- you won't be changing it for years.

It used to be an old joke that stingy people moving home even took the light bulbs away with them. By the time you have laid out to replace all your bulbs with LEDs, you might feel like doing that, too.


Philips LED Spotlight Light Bulb - Dimmable (GU10 4W) - Warm White
Philips LED Spotlight Light Bulb - Dimmable (GU10 4W) - Warm White
Offered by DDL-Direct UK
Price: £14.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top quality lamp, 12 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a perfect replacement for a Gu10 halogen bulb, and offers a huge energy saving percentage. One bulb doesn't add up to much saving -- a few pounds per year -- but I have 12 GU10s in my kitchen. I experimentally replaced three with cheapo LEDs, and two of them have failed in under a year. You do need to buy a good brand. This one is my fourth Philips, and all are going strong. Sure, they cost more, but we are looking for many years of life.

The output seems much the same as a 50w halogen, although only 35w equivalent is claimed. At 100%, the colour is genuinely warm white, but as with all dimmable LEDs, the dimmed light does not go warmer, so you won't get a romantic low light, just less light. Now there's a technical challenge for you, Philips.

Construction looks rock solid, and fit in the socket was perfect. I mean to buy more of these. By the time I have replaced all the lamps, the total wattage will end up below the minimum for my dimmer switch, so I will have to replace that.


Rapesco Stapler - Full Strip, Power-assisted X5-50f
Rapesco Stapler - Full Strip, Power-assisted X5-50f
Price: £16.35

5.0 out of 5 stars Stapler on steroids, 12 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is one big stapler, and it staples like a shark bite. To load, you push the button at the rear, and the staple magazine pops out forwards -- you do not have to prise open the stapler. Push it back, and then for goodness sake keep your fingers out of the firing zone.

When you press down, there is a bang, and a staple shoots through the papers much harder than you would expect for the moderate push you need to apply. It claims to do 20 sheets, and it just about does, although the staple is not fully closed. 10 or 12 sheets are easily and fully stapled.

The whole thing seems well constructed, and it does not skid about on the desk top. If you are in a shared office, write your name on it, or it will go walkies.


Bose ® Solo 15 TV Sound System - Black
Bose ® Solo 15 TV Sound System - Black
Price: £399.95

3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bose system brings quality and simplicity to TV sound, 10 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
There are now many solutions to the problem of weedy sound from TVs, and recently the move has been to plinth sound systems rather than skinny sound bars, with a wide range of prices and features available. This Bose system has very obvious objectives: to give you "clean" TV sound without exaggerated bass or treble, and to do so simply, and without gimmicks, LCD screens, and multiple controls and options. If you want it, you get it the Bose way.

Out of the box, the appearance is instantly one of quality build and quiet design. The whole front is a matt black metal grille, and the unit seems to float on a thin strip of shiny black around its base. This is effective on my black glass TV cabinet. It is big enough to support a large TV -- Bose say 46-50 inches, but I would advise carefully checking the size of your TV's base against the Bose dimensions to make sure it won't overhang. Front and centre is a small Bose badge that I hope my friends will notice, and one tiny indicator light.

What really count are sound quality and ease of use. Connection is very straightforward. You connect from one of your TV's sound output sockets to one of the input sockets of the Bose, and that's it. You can use digital optical, digital co-ax, or phono plugs, but not HDMI. All three cables are included. Your DVD player, games console and set-top box can stay plugged in the TV. You can optionally disable your TV's own speakers from the TV menu settings, or simply turn the TV volume down to zero. Now we're ready to listen. There's a big Bose remote -- more about that later. A real disappointment is that there is no Bluetooth connection, so if you want to play music from your smartphone or other device, you'll have to plug it in with a mini-plug to phono cable.

The well-written User Guide explains all in 30 pages.

If you've ever listened to smaller Bose speakers before, you will recognise the typical Bose sound. Middle frequencies are strong, so speech is clear against background sounds, and the bass is full but not booming, as produced by a live orchestra. If you like very powerful bass, this kit is not for you. At the back of the Bose is a good old-fashioned knob which you can twiddle to adjust the bass. Its effect is not very marked, though, and it is hard to reach. Unfortunately, there is no remote control for this function. Treble frequencies are warm, so the sharp fork-on-glass effect of many digital sound sources is missing. I think hi-fi buffs would call all this a flat response, making most sounds seem realistic. If you want adjust EQ, you have to do that on the sound source; the Bose has no pre-sets or other sound controls apart from volume and a "speech" setting that did not seem to me to do much. There is no simulated "surround sound", and the stereo effect is not striking. There's plenty of volume for a large living room. I've tried it with DVDs, YouTube music videos, TV and radio, and it is definitely going to be a fixture for me. It's trapped under my TV now, and is not getting out.

The big remote controller is an important part of the package. It is a universal remote, and can be set up to control your TV, games console, and set-top box or cable/satellite box. So most of the time, you need just the one controller. Bose provides a book of codes so you can set up for your makes of kit, and detailed instructions. I had no trouble with LG TV, Xbox360 (plays my DVDs) and YouView box. The remote can also be set to turn everything on and off together with one button-press. As with most remotes, there are some oddities. The mute button is tiny. Why? The number buttons are staggered, not in neat rows. If you already own and like one of those all-in-one remotes, you can (probably) set it up to control the Bose.

In summary: an excellent, straightforward TV sound plinth for grown-ups who want to listen rather than fiddle with controls, and who will appreciate -- and pay for -- Bose quality.


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