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Chris Hall "DLS Reviews" (Cardiff, Wales)

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Philips SC2007/00 Lumea Prestige IPL Hair Regrowth Prevention System for Face and Body
Philips SC2007/00 Lumea Prestige IPL Hair Regrowth Prevention System for Face and Body
Price: £299.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly easy to use, appears to be 100% safe, and it actually works..., 25 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Philips SC2007/00 Lumea Prestige IPL is a hair regrowth prevention system for your face and body that uses Intense Pulsed Light (‘IPL’) to achieve its (usually) permanent results.

The product arrives in a medium-sized box which opens out to reveal the device with its two interchangeable heads, a handy pouch, mains charger and a clear and easy-to-follow instruction manual. These are all packages behind a clear plastic covering which is sealed tight to show it is new, unused, and 100% clean.

Using the Lumea is an absolute doddle. There’s pretty much no set-up required. However, you do need to read through the included instruction manual thoroughly, and ensure that you have suitable hair colouring and skin type for using the Lumea. Obviously you’ll want to do this BEFORE forking out a fair few hundred for the device, so it’s very highly recommended that you have a look over the Philips product page in detail. However, in a nutshell, if you’ve got light blond, red or white/grey hair then it’s a no, and if you’ve got very dark skin then it’s also a no.

Once you’re happy that the Lumea is suitable for you, then you just need to fully charge up the device, freshly shave the chosen area, and you’re good to go.

Using the Lumea is really incredibly simple. First you set the strength of the device to the setting suitable for your skin type. Then position it at a 90 degree angle to your skin and hold down the trigger. You’ll see a small, quite intense flash from around the side of the Lumea’s head, and that’s it. No discomfort, no pain, no irritation (that we can report at least). The device won’t work unless the head is firmly pressed against your skin (a reassuring safety feature). It also takes a few seconds between flashes. So if you’re planning on doing your entire legs in one go, then you’ll be at them for a little while on each occasion.

The results are far more impressive than both my wife and I thought they would be. After the first session, my wife reported re-growth took noticeably longer, and the hair seemed more wispy and fine. The same applied to my sporadic back hair, which took around 3 weeks to raise its ugly head again. Session two seems to have had an even greater affect. The manual does state that you’ll need a number of sessions before hair regrowth is pretty much (if not entirely) dead.

I was sceptical. My wife was even more so. But even after just over a month of using the Lumea we’ve changed our position. The Lumea really seems to work. If it doesn’t 100% kill off the hair root, then at the very least it means a hell of a lot less shaving/waxing etc. And at the end of the day, that’s pretty much the only reason why people would think about purchasing one of these devices. It drastically reduces or even permanently removes the need for shaving or waxing. And for that it does the job really very, very well.

Joyoldelf Silicone Wine Glasses 12oz, Set of 2 - Food Grade Clear Silicone & Dishwasher Safe- Red Wine or White Wine, Beer, Whiskey or Any Beverage - Will Never Break. 100% Shatterproof - Drinkware Set for Camping, BBQ, Party Cups, Poolside.
Joyoldelf Silicone Wine Glasses 12oz, Set of 2 - Food Grade Clear Silicone & Dishwasher Safe- Red Wine or White Wine, Beer, Whiskey or Any Beverage - Will Never Break. 100% Shatterproof - Drinkware Set for Camping, BBQ, Party Cups, Poolside.
Offered by Joyoldelf
Price: £29.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Two very handy squashable travel glasses for use with picnics, festivals or in the garden etc..., 19 Aug. 2015
Length:: 2:13 Mins

The Joyoldelf Silicone Wine Glasses are a pair of flexible travel glasses that are designed so that they can be squashed to fit into your pocket or luggage etc

The silicone glasses arrive within non-branded clear plastic packaging with just a customer satisfaction card accompanying them. The two silicone glasses both measure approximately 10cm (H) x 8cm (W), with a 5.5cm diameter top.

The silicone glasses stand upright via a 4cm diameter flat base which (despite how they may appear) makes them really quite sturdy when placed on a flat surface - especially when holding liquid.

The 4mm (approx.) thick silicone used to form the glasses is thick enough to give them plenty of strength and make them tear-resistant, whilst maintaining their full flexibility.

The glasses fit snugly in the palm of your hand, and because of their flexible design, mould to the shape of your palm making them very comfortable to carry around and drink from.

Another small plus point with the glasses is due to their flexibility the glasses can be squeezed to make them perfect for pouring liquids back into bottles etc (see accompanying video).

These silicon glasses really are a handy thing to have for when you're out having a picnic, in the garden with the kids, or at a festival etc. Because they're constructed from silicone, the glasses are fully squishable, meaning you can easily squash them into your pocket or a handbag etc and away you go. They also won't break when dropped, which is perfect for use with young children. In fact, since we've had the glasses we've found ourselves using them for when we're out in the garden rather than just for travelling and picnics. They really are very handy glasses to have around.

Please note this product was supplied to me for free for a 100% unbiased review.

BEST DETANGLER CURVED BOAR BRISTLE HAIR BRUSH by BIZARRE.LY - Nylon Detangling Pins with Natural Boar Bristles Promote HEALTHY HAIR & Oil Distribution - No Snags - Works on ALL Hair Types Even Beards!
BEST DETANGLER CURVED BOAR BRISTLE HAIR BRUSH by BIZARRE.LY - Nylon Detangling Pins with Natural Boar Bristles Promote HEALTHY HAIR & Oil Distribution - No Snags - Works on ALL Hair Types Even Beards!
Offered by
Price: £24.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A well-designed and lightweight hair brush that really helps with detangling hair..., 16 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Length:: 3:29 Mins

The Detangling Hair Brush is a cleverly designed hair brush incorporating nylon detangling pins along with natural boar bristles that are supposed to promote healthy hair and oil distribution.

The hair brush comes packaged in a clear plastic box, with no other packaging or anything else accompanying it. The hair brush measures approximately 25cm x 8cm x 5.5cm. This is made up of an 11cm long handle and an 11.5cm x 8cm brush head.

The most noticeable thing about the hair brush is undoubtedly the special curved design of the brush head. The idea behind this design is so that the brush's head follows the curve of your scalp, meaning the bristles will come into more contact with your hair than a straight one would. To see how this works, all you need to do is hold the brush as if you were about to brush your hair, and you'll see that the shape of the brush's head does indeed follow the shape of your scalp - making for more surface area contact.

The second quite unique design aspect with the brush is with the bristles. For each nylon bristle (which are all around 2cm long) you have a collection of natural boar hair bristles surrounding it (all about 1.5cm long). These additional boar hair bristles help with detangling your hair whilst apparently distributing hair oils from the roots to the ends.

The third big design feature with the hair brush would be with the ventilated back of the brush's head which allows air to pass through the brush head whilst you're brushing your hair. This is particularly helpful when using a hairdryer in conjunction with the hair brush, allowing the hot air to go right through the brush head and reach all of your hair whilst it's being brushed.

First of all, the hair brush feels very lightweight and particularly comfortable in your hand. The brush is also very evenly weighted giving it a good overall balance.

In use the nylon bristles with their balled-ends feel firm against your scalp, yet they don't feel hard or as if they're scratching or irritating your scalp. Furthermore, the boar hairs really do seem to be able to get between the knots and separate them out, almost magically detangling hair with a surprisingly little amount of effort.

In fact, we've used the brush on our daughter's hair after she's been swimming and she's left it to dry into something akin to a clumpy mess. Although you do still need to put some effort into the really knotty areas, the brush effectively and efficiently runs its numerous bristles through the vast majority of the tangles hair with relative ease.

Okay, so I admit that I was quite sceptical at first about how much difference these additional boars' hairs would be. Furthermore, the curvature of brush head seemed like a bit of a gimmick to me. Not so though. As a whole the brush really does work well - much better than our standard flat and normal nylon-bristled brush does.

One of the very slight downsides we've found with the brush is that it seems to collect together a tad more hair between the bristles than a normal hair brush does. Furthermore, because of the boar's hairs, it's a little harder to pluck out all these interwoven hairs easily. But this is only a very minor point.

All in all both my wife and daughter are very happy with the brush. It really does seem to detangle long hair well, it's comfortable to use and doesn't scratch or irritate your scalp whilst in use. And the slotted gaps on the brushes head do seem to help a little with drying your hair. They certainly help it feel more lightweight anyway!

Please note this product was supplied to me for free for a 100% unbiased review.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 18, 2015 9:35 AM BST

Vodafone Smart First 6 Pay As You Go Handset Smartphone - Black
Vodafone Smart First 6 Pay As You Go Handset Smartphone - Black
Price: £29.99

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A pretty good Smartphone with Android operating system - but with a rather poor camera..., 9 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Length:: 5:51 Mins

The Vodafone Smart First 6 is an incredibly affordable Pay-As-You-Go Smartphone for use with a Vodafone SIM Card.

Inside the relatively small cardboard box you get the Smartphone, a charging lead & UK 3-Pin plug adaptor, the phone battery, a hands free headset (i.e. a set of earphones with a mic) and a very brief user manual.

The phone itself measures approximately 12cm (H) x 6.5cm (W) x 1cm (D) - so easily small enough to fit in an average-sized pocket. The screen measures approximately 8.75cm (H) x 5.25cm (W).

You'll need to get yourself a Vodafone Pay-As-You-Go SIM Card which you'll need to insert into the back of the phone before you can get started. Probably the easiest way to get a Vodafone SIM is to go to their website and order one (it's free). I did this and mine arrived within 2 days of placing the order.

Once you've inserted your Vodafone SIM and the battery, you'll need to charge the phone up. Once fully charged (takes a few hours for the first charge) you can turn the phone on (using the thin button located at the top-right-hand-side) and follow the on-screen instructions. To get all of the Smartphone bits running you'll need to have Wi-Fi access whilst setting the phone up, and if you haven't already got one, you'll need a Google account.

Being a Smartphone you have access to online features and Apps. The phone runs the Android operating system which provides you with access to thousands of Apps through the Google Play Store. To download an App / Game etc, simply select the Google Play icon and browse/search through all of the Apps available. Once you've chosen what you want, press on 'Install' and then the App will instantly start downloading. It will then appear on your Home Screen.

At the bottom of the phone you have three buttons. The first one (triangular shaped) is the 'Back Key' which takes you back to the previous screen. The middle button (circular shaped) is the 'Home Key' which takes straight to the Home Screen. Holding down this button also activates the 'Google Now' and 'Voice Search' functions. The button on the right (square shaped) is the 'Recents Key' which scrolls through all your running apps and pages.

On the right-hand-side of the phone you have the 'Power On/Off' button and the 'Volume Up/Down' buttons.

In use the phone provides clear calls with no distortion, crackling or breaking of signal. The volume can also be easily adjusted whilst on the call, should the signal be weak or the person on the other end be quite quiet.

Using the in-built camera is incredibly easy to use but the results are really quite poor. After selecting the camera option the camera is straight away ready to go. Here you have the option of either snapping off a photo or changing to video recording. However, both provide very ropey footage with the 2 Megapixels camera struggling in any sort of Low Light and blurring heavily at the slightest motion. Basically, avoid this phone if you're after one with a half-decent camera on it.

I've had the phone for a little over two weeks now and I have to say that I'm reasonably impressed with it. I've installed a few games for the kids to play on (see accompanying video) and, for a budget priced phone, I've found it does the job very nicely. Calls are clear, the internet access is relatively swift and playback of videos is of a good quality. The only big downside is with the camera. But then this is a budget phone!

Ink Jet Remanufactured Ink Cartridge Replacement for Epson - T0711 Black
Ink Jet Remanufactured Ink Cartridge Replacement for Epson - T0711 Black

4.0 out of 5 stars Cheaper than the normal branded ones I've previously been buying and seem to produce just as good results..., 9 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Ink Jet Remanufactured Cartridges for Epson’s are a cheaper alternative to paying for the genuine Epson branded cartridges.

In a nutshell a remanufactured ink cartridge is a recycled printer cartridge that has been cleaned out and refilled with ink. The external hard-plastic shell will more than likely be the original branded one – it’s just been re-filled, quality tested, and then sold on again.

Inside the small sealed clear plastic packaging you get the remanufactured ink cartridge, sealed in another clear-plastic bag along with a very short installation guide.

This is a doddle. I ordered the T0711 (Black), T0712 (Cyan), T0713 (Magenta), and T0714 (Yellow). Replacing each one was a simple case of lifting the holding-arm in my printer, squeezing the sides of the old cartridges, sliding them out, and then doing the same but in reverse for the new ones.

Once installed my Epson printer requested a test run / head cleaning be done (which I accepted). This printed out a page of lines and shapes in different colours.

Once the above was done I printed off a picture for my kids (a picture of spider-man). The top-half of the picture came out looking quite purplish where it should have been a perfectly blue background and spider-man himself looked more pink than red from his waist upwards. However, when I printed the exact same image again the second time it came out pretty much perfectly – basically as good as our cheapo printer can manage.

Since then I’ve printed off a few bits and pieces, mostly work related, so boring drafts of reports etc. However, each print-out has come out just as expected. In fact there seem to be no loss in print or colour compared to the usual cartridges I’ve be buying for the printer.

Well, the cartridges are quite a bit cheaper than the usual Epson branded ones I’ve previously been buying. And in comparison, from my Layman’s eye, I can’t tell any difference at all. The installation was the same. The recycled cartridges didn’t cause any problems with being non-genuine ink cartridges (for me at least). The printing quality seems just as good as the branded ones (although admittedly with our cheapo and old printer this isn’t any great feat!). But all in all, trying these remanufactured cartridges has convinced me to consider buying remanufactured one’s going forward. After all, why pay more if the end result is pretty much just the same?!

Fitness & Activity Tracker by fitWaves - Best Wireless Wristband Watch with Pedometer Tracks Your Steps, Sleep, Calories Burned - iPhone & Android Compatible Via Bluetooth - Monitor and Improve your Fitness today!
Fitness & Activity Tracker by fitWaves - Best Wireless Wristband Watch with Pedometer Tracks Your Steps, Sleep, Calories Burned - iPhone & Android Compatible Via Bluetooth - Monitor and Improve your Fitness today!
Offered by Retroprice
Price: £99.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A good motivational tool for getting you to hit personal targets each day..., 9 Aug. 2015
Length:: 4:29 Mins

The FitWaves Fitness & Activity Tracker is a wristband which measures your steps, sleep, calories burnt etc so that you can monitor your personal fitness against daily targets.

The product arrives in a small hard-plastic box which separates at the mid-point. Inside this you get the FitWaves Tracker itself, a 26cm charging cable, a User's Manual and an APP User's Manual.

Set-up of the FitWaves Tracker is pretty much done entirely from the FitWaves Activity Tracker App on your phone etc. However, first of all you'll need to charge the wristband. To do this you need to connect the charging cable to the back of the wristband and then plug it into a USB input which supports charging (a PC / laptop / plug adaptor etc). Whilst it's charging you might as well go ahead and install the FitWaves App and get all your info inputted into it.

The APP User's Manual runs you through the downloading and set-up of the App. However, it's all incredibly easy to do. Once the App's been installed you'll just need to go on the Settings page and input your key info - Gender, Date Of Birth, Weight, Stride Length, Hand you'll be wearing the wristband on, and your Target No. of steps for each day.

You can also set four different alarms. This is all done via the App, and is fully adjustable so you can pick certain days etc when the alarm applies. When the alarm goes off it's just a subtle vibration through the wristband. I use all four alarms from Mon - Fri and find this style of alarm incredibly helpful.

The FitWaves wristband has a very simple design to it - with just one button which you use to view the statistics and scroll through the different modes. The wristband is secured to your wrist using a two-prong attachment, which although easy to snap on and pop off, has a tendency to be accidentally yanked off whilst you're doing things like gardening etc.

The wristband is predominantly made from a hard-wearing tough rubber which not only feels very comfortable to wear, but is also easy to clean, won't absorb or become discoloured by sweat, and is reasonably waterproof.

The FitWaves Wristband displays the following as you scroll through the modes (see accompanying video):

- Time display
- Steps
- Calories burnt
- Distance
- Exercise timer
- Target (% reached)
- Target goal status
- Alarms (1,2,3 & 4)

All of these displays are easy to read (unless you're in direct sunlight, then I've found it's very hard to see the blue numbers). To be honest, the 'Target' display and the 'Target goal status' are basically the same thing - showing the % of how far along you are in reaching your daily target. The only difference is that one displays a bar showing how far along you are whilst the other shows a sad/smiley face.

The results seem to be generally quite accurate. Okay so sometimes the wristband picks up movement which isn't necessarily a step, but it's still movement, so unless its steps in particular you want to count and absolutely nothing else, then this shouldn't really be much of an issue.

For me on active days the FitWaves tracker has reflected this, whilst on days when I've just been stuck in the office for pretty much the entire day (in early, powering through lunch, and then working late) it shows very little movement.

Over the past three weeks of using the FitWaves Activity Tracker we have noticed a few small problems and/or drawbacks. Firstly the charging cable that comes included really is very short (26cm). This can be a tad annoying if the USB input you would normally use for things like this is in a slightly awkward spot for having something of a short length hanging from it. Ditto if you're using a plug adaptor and the plug socket you wanted to use isn't in an ideal place for a short cable.

The second annoying problem is that during the first two weeks of use, the FitWaves App regularly lost certain aspects of my key info which I'd previously inputted (such as weight, date of birth, stride length). This happened multiple times and, with my date of birth in particular, I found that I must have re-inputted it into the App a good ten times or so over the course of the first two weeks. Thankfully, in the third week of use it doesn't seem to have lost the data again - so maybe it's finally stuck.

Finally, and as previously touched upon, the data recorded isn't entirely accurate on strides / distance travelled, as it doesn't always pick up steps taken and other times picks up arm movement without steps. I've walked the entire length of our office at work (which is quite large) and found that the wristband didn't pick up a single step. On the other hand, I've picked up `steps' whilst standing still chopping vegetables in the kitchen.

For the first week my wife wore the wristband every day (as it was originally planned for her to have). Admittedly she wasn't too keen on how the wristband looked on her. It is quite masculine looking, and seems to stand out a hell of a lot more on her wrist. After wearing it for a week, and looking over the results, she decided it wasn't for her. Fair enough.

The following two weeks I wore the wristband every day and reinstalled the App onto my iPhone. I've gotten along with it much better. In fact, wearing the wristband and tracking my steps/activity has instigated a daily fitness regime in me which I didn't previously have. Now, each day I have to do a minimum of 10,000 steps - which over Monday to Friday is quite a challenge as I sit at a desk all day long whilst at work. So this then means I have to make up the deficit in steps (usually around 3,500) in the evening on our treadmill. Basically it's a good motivational tool.

I also love how the data and statics are shown in different ways on the App.

The only thing that I can't seem to get to work is the Sleeping Mode function. Admittedly I haven't really tried to get this working properly as I'm not really interested in these results (I sleep quite well). So, because I haven't really looked into this function much and how to get it to work, I've not marked this as a problem above. So far, the reading just shows the same thing for every day - which seems to show that I've not slept a wink. Must be all that exercising I'm doing these days!

Please note this product was supplied to me for free for a 100% unbiased review.

Busy B 2016 Busy Life Diary Birds Design
Busy B 2016 Busy Life Diary Birds Design
Price: £9.95

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A page for work...a page for home...absolutely ideal for busy lives!, 8 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Length:: 2:10 Mins

The Busy B 2016 Life Diary is a handy and nicely presented medium-sized diary for putting in all your appointments, reminders, and important dates etc.

Measuring approximately 13cm (W) x 19cm (H) x 1.5cm (D), the diary is reasonably compact - small enough to be easily carried around in a handbag etc, but a tad too large for a pocket (unless you've got some really big and deep pockets on a coat etc).

The cover and spine are made from a reasonably thick sturdy card, giving the diary a good overall strength to it without it being overly heavy. The diary also comes with a sewn-in ribbon marker for keeping your place in the year, a strong elastic fastener for holding the diary closed when not in use, and an elasticated pen holder on the side. The pages themselves are of a moderately thick paper which will allow you to write with a ballpoint pen or felt-tip without it coming through the other side.

The diary begins with a single page for inserting your personal details (in case of an emergency etc). Next you have a page for useful numbers (National Insurance No., Passport No., Driving Licence No., Car Registration, Doctor, Dentist, School, Nursery, Police, Bank, and plenty of blank lines for whatever else you need).

Following this you have one page that shows where the days full in 2016 and then another for 2017. Then you have twelve high-level month-by-month pages for imputing anniversaries and birthdays etc.

Now you come to the main bulk of the diary. Every three month starts off with a handy 'Reminders' double-page with a pocket for keeping together small documents / reminders / business cards etc. Then you have the diary pages. Each double-page is for an entire week (Monday - Sunday). You have one entire page for your home life and a completely separate page for work (or 'You & Kids' or 'You and Partner' etc). This means you can clearly and easily keep track of everything in your life - whether it's for work or part of your home life. Absolutely ideal for people with busy lives who juggle the two (like my wife!).

On these pages you also have a small column for 'Reminders' and the diary also has national holidays etc printed in.

The diary starts from Monday 21st December 2015 and continues all the way on until Sunday 8th January 2017. The diary ends with six blank and lined pages for 'Notes' and then three pages for 'Contacts'.

All in all my wife is absolutely delighted with the diary. Its style and overall look suits her perfectly, the design of the dual-life pages works perfectly for her busy life of juggling work, kids and our home life. In fact, she's already stated that she can't wait until she's able to start using it. Roll on 21st December 2015!!!!!

Murad Age Reform AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser 200 ml
Murad Age Reform AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser 200 ml
Price: £34.00

4.0 out of 5 stars A nice gentle exfoliating cleanser for use on your face and neck..., 2 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Length:: 2:02 Mins

The Murad 'Age Reform' AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser is a skin exfoliating cleanser for use on the face and neck for polishing away dullness and excess cellular debris, whilst priming skin for further treatment products.

Inside the usual Amazon cardboard packaging you get a medium-sized rectangular cardboard box which contains the 200ml tube of exfoliating cleanser. The packaging itself is sleek, confidentially understated and stylish in a quality and luxurious way.

Application is simple and hassle-free. Simply dampen the skin of your face and neck and then massage in a small amount of the exfoliating cleanser. Once the cleanser has been thoroughly massaged into the skin, rinse with warm water and pat dry.

Please note the accompanying video shows my wife applying the cleanser to the back of her hand. This is simply to show the product in the video and does not imply that the product is designed for application to your hands (although personally we see no reason why it shouldn't be).

The Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser is a nice, gentle exfoliator with very small granules which make it feel like it's giving the skin a thorough clean but without the irritating scrubbing sensation that some harsher exfoliators can give.

Neither the packaging, nor the directions on the tube, nor the included product sheet state whether this particular exfoliator can be used daily or not. The general rule is to exfoliate two to three times a week, but often with these gentler formulas they are suitable for everyday use. However the Amazon listing does state that the 'Suggested Use' is 1-2 times a week - so I'd go with that!

Whilst applying the exfoliating cleanser, a good, thick consistency to the cream allows for a nice and easy-to-work-with lather without having to use too much of the product. This means that the 200ml tube is likely to last you a good few months - especially if only used 1-2 times a week.

The AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser works well as a gentle but effective cleanser. The tiny granules do their thing nicely - without irritation or soreness. However, it should be noted that this is only designed to be 'Stage One' (i.e. the cleansing / toning stage) of a three stage skin treatment process. The included product sheet then goes on to explain that you should use further Murad products for Stage Two (the target / repair stage) and Stage Three (the hydrate / protect stage). As such, it really should be explained more on the packaging and listings that this is purposefully designed to be used alongside other products for a full treatment - and not necessarily as a separate product.

Nevertheless, it's still a darn good exfoliating cleanser - which at the end of the day is what the product is designed to be.

Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 Speaker - Black
Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 Speaker - Black
Offered by BoraComputer
Price: £146.35

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By far and away the best portable speaker I've owned to date..., 2 Aug. 2015
Length:: 3:49 Mins

The Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 is a portable wireless speaker which links up to your phone, tablet or PC etc to deliver a truly incredible sound quality through a portable and feature-packed device.

Upon opening the box up for the first time you realise how much more compact the Sound Blaster Roar 2 is compared with the original Creative Sound Blaster Roar. Here's a handy measurement comparison between the two modes:

Sound Blaster Roar 1:
21cm (W) x 12cm (D) x 6cm (H)

Sound Blaster Roar 2:
18.5cm (W) x 10.5cm (D) x 5cm (H)

With such a compact size the speaker really is an incredibly portable piece of audio equipment that's absolutely ideal for taking away with you.

Aesthetically speaking, the speaker looks much more stylish and sexier than the original Sound Blaster Roar did (which to be honest looked like a solid grey box). The main shell of the speaker is still constructed from a black coated metal which covers most of the speaker's surfaces. The sides have the Creative logo emblazoned along the two 'pulsating bass radiators'. All in all the design of the Sound Blaster 2 is definitely sleeker and perhaps more contemporary - but nevertheless remains wonderfully understated.

Underneath the black mesh of the speaker you have one active high-excursion driver that really pumps out the bass, along with dual top-facing 1.5" premium drivers either side of it. Cranking up the volume on the speaker, you hear absolutely no amalgamation of sound, no loss of acoustics through unwanted blending, and a clear distinction between the spectrum of notes being reproduced.
Bass-wise, the built-in subwoofer along with the two pulsating bass radiators provide some properly earth-shattering and stomach-churning bass depths - plummeting downwards to mind-boggling levels when music dictates such depths.

For those that really care about the quality of the sound, the warmth of notes, depth and coverage of the bass, the acoustic notes and clarity of the overall sound produced - then the Sound Blaster Roar 2 is definitely something you'll want to take a good look at. Creative know their business. They know how to produce good-quality mid-to-high-end speakers and audio equipment. And this compact speaker is no different.

Furthermore, if you're looking to really fill a room with sound, then on the rear side of the speaker there's a 'Roar / TeraBass' button, which when pressed once increases the overall loudness, depth and spaciousness of the audio output. Pressed a second time and the speaker intelligently boosts bass when audio levels are low. Furthermore, having played around with the TeraBass function with a number of different tracks I can confirm that it really does work. On old low-fi Burzum tracks and ropey live bootlegs, the bass comes out in absolute force; seemingly plucked out from the menagerie of distorted madness, and pretty much births a whole new version of the track.

Outside of the superb sound quality, the Sound Blaster Roar 2 (like with the original model) also offers up a whole host of additional features. First off, I have to comment on the ease of set-up. It's an absolute doddle. Whether you're linking your device (such as a smart phone) using the NFC-Enabled Bluetooth function - whereby you simply tap the corner of the speaker with your phone and you're done - or pairing it up using the normal Bluetooth pairing settings, it really is completely hassle free.

On the reverse of the speaker is where the vast majority of the different inputs, buttons and switches are located. Here you'll also find USB, micro USB and Aux-in jack ports, allowing you to connect up the speaker system via a cable to your PC, laptop or whatever.

For added mobility, the speaker system also has a microSD card slot where you can insert a micro memory card full of music and play the songs directly through the Sound Blaster Roar 2 without the need for an additional device. The speaker system also has a built-in 6000mAh battery which delivers around eight hours' worth of playback before it needs recharging. Furthermore, should your phone etc need recharging whilst you're out and about, you can simply connect it up to the speaker and it will charge your smart device or other USB device via the USB port on the rear of the unit. Handy!

Another handy feature on the speaker system, is the pairing with your bluetooth phone which when connected up allows you to answer incoming calls via the speaker (it has an in-built microphone), along with all the usual 'conference call style functions' and even record the conversation on a microSD card should you wish.

Sound quality on calls is once again incredibly good - picking up a voice from across a medium-sized room (we tested it out in our livingroom). At both ends of the call the voices could be easily heard, without any distortion or breaking up.

Aside from the numerous features and handy gadgetry included on the Sound Blaster Roar 2, you can also download a product specific control panel for your PC or Mac which allows you to set-up and customise different audio profiles and preferences for using on the speaker system. Once you've hooked up the Sound Blaster 2, the software is incredibly user-friendly - with a clear and easy-to-use interface for you to play about with the sound until your hearts content.

All in all this is nothing short of a top-class portable speaker system that achieves an incredible high-quality sound; especially considering the compact size of the hardware. Crammed to the rafters with features, this is an incredibly portable speaker system that offers so much more than the vast majority of other models on the market. Size and weight wise this really is a very portable speaker. Furthermore, the sheer quality of the audio output is quite frankly breath-taking. Where the original Creative Sound Blaster offered up an incredibly clear and defined sound, this second model has pushed the sound quality even further. The end result is a follow-on model that exceeds its predecessor, providing a better quality sound, thicker and deeper bass, and somehow its much smaller and lighter.

PLEASE NOTE - This product was supplied to me for free for a 100% unbiased review.

TONOR 7 inch A33 Quad Core 4.4 KitKat Tablet PC, HD 1024x600 Display, Dual Camera, 9GB Nand Flash, WI-FI Tablet Pad (Red)
TONOR 7 inch A33 Quad Core 4.4 KitKat Tablet PC, HD 1024x600 Display, Dual Camera, 9GB Nand Flash, WI-FI Tablet Pad (Red)
Offered by TonorDirect
Price: £79.65

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Considering the pricetag this is a great little tablet (especially for kids & teenagers)., 25 July 2015
Length:: 7:31 Mins

The Tonor 7" A33 Android Tablet is a small budget-priced tablet that's ideal for kids and teenagers etc.

Inside the medium-sized box you get the Tonor Tablet which measures approximately 18cm (W) x 12cm (H) x 1cm (D). You also get a Touchscreen Stylus measuring 11cm x1cm, a USB-to-Miscro USB cable, a 3-Pin UK Plug adaptor, a 2-Pin US Plug adaptor, a set of earphones, a spare screen protector, and a small instruction manual.

Setting up the Tonor Tablet is incredibly simple. After charging the tablet for the first time you just need to turn it on, unlock the screen using a finger-swipe on the on-screen lock, and then link to your Wi-Fi. After this has been done you're good to start playing with the settings, downloading Apps and games, surfing the internet, and using the camera function etc.

The functionality of the Tonor tablet works in much the way as an iPad etc. The main screen / desktop screen has all of your downloaded Apps displayed on it. You've also got various menus and settings located on the menu bar. You can scroll from left to right on the desktop screen to reveal further Apps you've downloaded etc. It's very much like any other tablet.

On the edge and reverse side of the tablet you have volume up and down buttons, a slot for a SD card (memory card), the power on/off button, a 3.5mm earphone socket, and the micro-USB input for charging the tablet with / linking with a PC etc.

As long as you have reasonable Wi-Fi coverage where you're using the tablet the speed at which it downloads apps, searches the internet and streams videos is generally pretty good. When using pre-downloaded games etc, the tablet is once again reasonably quick and doesn't seem to struggle with larger files or loading-up games much.

The Tonor tablet comes with a screen protector already stuck on the screen (it also comes with a spare). Possibly because of this, when using the on-screen keyboard or selecting options in menus it does sometimes require a slightly harder touch than you'd normally give - and often we've had to press on an option multiple times before it actions it. But this really is a minor point and something you'll quickly find yourself getting used to.

The camera function on the tablet is probably the biggest disappointment. There's a lens on both the front and back of the Tonor tablet. Sadly the image quality through both is pretty shoddy and struggles massively in low light. You can take both photos and record video footage with the Tonor tablet - but due to the low quality of both you'll probably decide not to really use this function much. But at least it's there in case you do want to!

All in all my wife and I (and in particular our kids) are very happy with the Tonor tablet. The 7" size is ideal for taking around with you. There's enough storage space with the built-in 8GBs available for plenty of Apps and games etc. Being able to slot in a SD memory card to further boost the storage space is also excellent. The screen's image quality is more than adequate for general use - and video footage looks fine (okay - so not the same quality as you'd get with an iPad etc, but plenty good enough considering the budget pricetag). The only disappointment with the tablet is probably with the camera function which you really notice the difference with. Nevertheless, this is only one function of many, and considering the price, I still believe the Tonor Tablet deserves to be awarded with a full five stars (especially considering our two kids absolutely love it!).

Please note this product was supplied to me for free for a 100% unbiased review.

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