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Robert Groom (UK)

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NEEWER® Black Quick Release Plate For Camera Tripod Ballhead PU-200
NEEWER® Black Quick Release Plate For Camera Tripod Ballhead PU-200
Offered by Happy Sales UK
Price: £17.47

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Quality Product, 8 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a well made and good quality metal plate. I particularly like that the screws have flip-our rings, which means you can tighten them without the need for a coin or a screwdriver.

If I could offer one criticism, it's that the screws can get a little stuck in the groove when you're attempting to slide them from one end to another, which can make attaching it a little trickier than it might otherwise be, but this is a minor criticism, and no reason not to buy it.

Also, it would have been nice to offer it with a 3/8" to 1/4" adapter for the centre hole, so it can be mounted on a standard tripod without requiring a separate adapter.


Ready Brek Original 250 g (Pack of 6)
Ready Brek Original 250 g (Pack of 6)
Price: £9.54

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Taste - Perhaps A Little Too Smooth, 8 Jan 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This takes me right back to my youth. Mixes easily with milk. Stick it in the microwave, and you'll have perfectly smooth porridge in a couple of minutes. A great introduction to a nutritious breakfast for kids. Personally, I prefer my porridge to have a little more texture, which is why I'm not a huge fan of it myself, but my children love it.

Given that this contains nothing other than oats and oat flour - it's not 20% sugar unlike most of the ludicrous breakfast cereals out there - it's actually quite a healthy product.

PaperPro Eco Stapler Compact Model with One Finger Stapling Power, 15 Sheets, Sand
PaperPro Eco Stapler Compact Model with One Finger Stapling Power, 15 Sheets, Sand
Price: £20.69

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly Good, 8 Jan 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I must have owned and used dozens of staplers over the years, but I've never used a small stapler as good as this one. Despite being mostly plastic in construction, it's fully capable of punching through several sheets of paper. Certainly more than you'd generally expect a lightweight stapler to handle.

The secret is that it doesn't rely on you to force the staple through the paper with gradual downwards pressure (which with most staplers, often ends up in the staple snarling up and not going all the way through), it works more like a staple gun. As you compress the grip, it gradually builds up tension in the firing mechanism, and as you reach the end of the stroke, the staple is suddenly ejected at great force and speed. This makes for a much more reliable and satisfying result, and you get perfectly formed staples every time. It even requires less pressure from your hand to do so.

An absolutely fantastic product. Can't praise it enough.

Sixties Fashion: From 'Less is More' to Youthquake
Sixties Fashion: From 'Less is More' to Youthquake
by Jonathan Walford
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.97

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If '60s Haute Couture is Your Thing - This Is Certainly Your Thing, 17 Dec 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Mostly featuring haute couture of the period, and female fashion at that, this is a serious and wide-ranging study of the catwalk styles and fashions of the era. It does branch out on occasion into street fashion and the odd reference to shoes and hats, but it's main focus is on the styles which were likely seldom worn in the street. You're not going to see what Jack and Jill Public were wearing to walk down to the town to do their grocery shopping in.

There are plenty of photos, mostly in colour, and the text woven around them leads you through the history of that decade of fashion with an authoritative and convincing air. The author clearly knows his sixties fashion very well, or has done his research in a great deal of detail.

A weighty and very good quality hard-backed volume, it certainly represents good value for money at its current advertised price, but its target market is likely to be reasonably limited to film wardrobe designers, fashion historians and design students with an interest in sixties fashion.

If it sounds like it's for you, then it probably is.

Ring Automotive 300W Powersource Inverter with USB
Ring Automotive 300W Powersource Inverter with USB
Price: £25.22

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Crocodile Clip Supply Lead so Limited Usefulness, 17 Dec 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This inverter has some good functions - I particularly like the overload and temperature protection. They will protect the unwary from connecting too powerful a device to the unit causing it to over-heat and possibly cause a fire.

The fact that it has a plastic body rather than a metal one could be seen by some as a disadvantage, but personally I think it's a good safety feature. This device contains mains voltages, so if there is a loose wire or a short circuit, having a non-conductive case means you're that bit less likely to get s fatal shock from it.

The fan is powerful and will reslly help to cool the unit. I've had passively cooled, metal-bodied inverters in the past, and they all overheat in hot weather. This inverter will stay cool and keep generating power because it maintains a good airflow through it at all times. The disadvantage is that the fan is rather loud, so you'd not want it next to your head if you were trying to sleep (e.g. in a tent).

The main issue I have is that it comes with crocodile clips and no 12v cigarette plug adapter. Every other inverter I;ve used comes with a cigarette plug adapter - because they're so convenient to use. If you want to charge your laptop or USB device, you want the inverter inside the car - probably while you're driving along. With the Ring inverter, it needs to be clipped directly to the battery. I can see why you might want to do that in some situations, but it's probably not how most people will want to use it.

The up-side is that the 12v supply connects to the inverter by screw terminals, so you can use these to fairly easily connect another type of lead in preference to the clips provided, but they really should supply a cigarette plug lead in the box with it too. It seems to me like a badly thought out omission.

That said - when you consider the price of the unit - you can't really go wrong for this kind of money.

So a nice little unit, just let down by having the wrong kind of power supply lead attached (for most people).

Philips QG3362/23 12-in-1 Waterproof Complete Facial/ Hair Trimming and Styling Multigroom Set
Philips QG3362/23 12-in-1 Waterproof Complete Facial/ Hair Trimming and Styling Multigroom Set
Price: £40.19

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flexible Clipper - Accessories Quality Variable, 17 Dec 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The main clipper unit is good quality and looks and feels nice. The fact that it's waterproof is a bonus. It clips well, and the accessories make it a very flexible device. There is a large clipper, a small detail clipper, a small foil shaving head and a nose hair clipper. These are all nicely made and finished. The depth guides for the large clipper are a little 'plasticky' however, and feel a little less robust than they could, but time will tell if they're easily broken. The accessory tray is unfortunately very cheaply made and does make the whole set feel slightly 'downmarket' which is a shame. The accessory bag supplied is also not particularly nicely finished, although it is serviceable.

So overall I'd say from the quality of the main items this is a value for money set, but it's just let down a little by some of the minor items. This is more in form than function however. It certainly gets the job done.

Worry Eater Saggo
Worry Eater Saggo
Offered by Sent2u by HTS-SCOTLAND
Price: £19.75

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Cute, 17 Dec 2013
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Worry Eater Saggo (Toy)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
My daughter loves Saggo. She's only recently learned to write sentences, but she loves drawing pictures of things she doesn't like, and giving them to Saggo to eat. Even pictures of food if she thinks he might be hungry!

He's really nicely made, and very cuddly. When you undo the zip, he has a mouth large and deep enough to 'swallow' even a folded sheet of A4 paper, so you don't need to restrict your child to little tiny slips of paper.

Great idea, and very nicely executed.

Sony QX10 Lens Style Camera for Smartphones and Tablets- White (18.2MP, 10x Optical Zoom )
Sony QX10 Lens Style Camera for Smartphones and Tablets- White (18.2MP, 10x Optical Zoom )
Offered by GSM-Fonz (We are taking orders of Apple iphone 6 and 6 Plus)
Price: £107.80

41 of 46 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Concept - Somewhat Cumbersome in Practice, 19 Nov 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Sony seem to be pushing the envelope more than most when it comes to moving out of the commoditised compact camera market. One of the more unusual concepts is this - essentially a small, relatively high quality sensor and lens in a very small package but having no screen. The idea being that you use your smartphone as a screen, and communicate with the lens via Wifi. Once you take a shot, it gets transferred to the phone via Wifi and you can instantly review, edit and share it.

The lens unit is really quite compact, and certainly pocketable in all but the smallest of trouser pockets. It's also reasonably robust, and the front of the lens is stainless steel, which should make it resistant to getting scratched by coming into contact with other things in your pockets. The casing is high quality ABS type plastic, which feels like it will stand up to the odd knock.

Image quality is actually very good, although the sensor isn't any larger than the one in the iPhone 4 and 5 (1/3.2") - so what you're really getting here is a better lens which has physical zoom capabilities - not necessarily a hugely improved sensor - although it does have 18MP rather than the 5MP and 8MP of the iPhone 4 and 5 respectively. You have to question whether you really need such a high resolution on such a small chip however. You're not really going to realise all that resolution in anything but the best lighting conditions.

I have to say that low light capabilities are very good, and in an artificially lit domestic room, usable images can quite easily be taken of static subjects without too much blur, but noise is very apparent when you zoom in, as you would expect from such a small sensor.

The zoom function works very well when using the slide control on the lens itself. The control in the iOS app is rather laggy and unresponsive, and the buttons are too small. This could certainly use some improvement.

Visual feedback is somewhat choppy due to the delay in sending images over the Wifi connection, so you're going to get some lag when framing. A little irritating, but nothing that's going to make you miss a shot.

The phone attachment arms work quite well, and they give a reasonably firm grasp to any standard sized phone which isn't too thick. Anything roughly the dimensions of an iPhone should work OK.

However, the real killer issue I see is the necessity to load the app and get it to connect to Wifi on each occasion. If you're out and about, and not in range of a known Wifi hub, you should be able to connect quite quickly, but it'll still take you 15 seconds or so to launch the app and connect - assuming the lens is fully booted up beforehand. Not really useful for shooting anything fleeting.

However, in a domestic environment or anywhere you're with in range of a Wifi hub, you have every chance of your phone connecting to it in preference to your Sony lens, and then you need to manually go into settings, change the phone to connect to the lens Wifi, wait a few seconds for it to lock on, then launch the app and wait several seconds for it to connect to the lens. It's all just too painful. Why don't Sony don't have an option where you can get the lens to automatically connect to the Wifi hub, so you can talk to it *through* the hub. That way you can be online and connected to the lens at the same time.

Ultimately, my preference would be to buy a fully featured camera which you can stick in your pocket, and which is Wifi enabled so you can transfer images to your phone. That way you get the best of both worlds. You even get a flash into the bargain (which the Sony does not have).

It just seems like Sony are trying to be a little too clever for their own good here.

There's definitely potential for a v2.0 of this device (or firmware update) having much faster and more intelligent connectivity options, and with better client software. That would be a more attractive proposition, but for me at least, this is not a 'must-have' gadget in its current release. Kudos to Sony for pushing the envelope, but for now, I'm going to be sticking to a dedicated device.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 4, 2014 6:20 PM BST

Logitech G27 Force Feedback Wheel and Pedal Set (PS3/PC DVD)
Logitech G27 Force Feedback Wheel and Pedal Set (PS3/PC DVD)
Price: £224.59

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Fantastic, 26 Oct 2013
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've previously owned a Logitech Formula Force GP, but now upgrading to the latest and greatest steering wheel combo with the addition of an H-gate stick shift. I've been playing F1 2011, Dirt 3 and WRC 4 on PC.

The first thing which strikes you about the G27 is quite how heavy it is. When you feel the quality of the construction, it's obvious that this is due to the many metal parts used in the wheel (pressed stainless spokes and paddles), pedals (stainless pedal covers) and even the gear stick (chrome plated shift stick). Clearly this is built to last. There is nothing 'cheap' feeling about any component with the possible exception of the cap on the very top of the gearstick, which I think would be a little better as a gloss laminate badge rather than a simple injection moulded cap. A minor criticism indeed though.

Fixings are robust. The screw clamps on the wheel are very nice, and are easily capable of opening wide enough to clamp it to a 40mm worktop (which my desk is made from). Not only do the clamps work well, the tops have a retraction mechanism so that, when they are fully clamped, you can recess the knobs into the wheel housing so that they're out of the way - ingenious!

The same is true of the gear stick, although I found it impossible to keep it attached to my desk when changing gear quickly. When pulling back into 2nd, 4th and 6th, it would slide from the desk, having no 'lip' to hook onto. This was wasily fixed by drilling two small holes into the clamp lugs and inserting two small screws through them into the bottom of my desk. A very simple fix, and very effective at keeping the stick firmly planted.

The pedals have rubber feet if you happen to have a smooth floor, but most will benefit from the retractable carpet spike strip, which is very good at preventing it from slipping away from you while you're pushing the pedals.

The pedals have varying degrees of resistance, with the brake and clutch requiring more pressure then the accelerator, just like in a real car. The offset and spacing between the pedals is also very realistic.

The wheel is gorgeous. It's just like a slightly smaller version of a racing wheel, and it's even covered in real leather and stitched. It's obviously not the highest quality hide, but it looks, feels and smells like the real thing. The fingertip gear change paddles are really nice - being finished in stainless, and they have just the right amount of resistance. If there is only one thing that I don't like, it's the small, red switches. They look and feel a bit cheap compared everything else, but that's only because everything else looks so impressive. I think they could have stretched to adding a couple of press-buttons just like in a real F1 car.

The H-shift is probably the weakest part of the whole set, as the stick is quite a bit smaller than life size and is finished with a slightly cheap plastic gear stick top. Saying that, it does otherwise look and feel impressive in the hand, having a good positive 6-position motion with realistic centering and push-down action for reverse. It has a stitched leather gaiter and a chrome plated, metal stick. All the buttons and direction controls on the console look and feel the business.

In use, the wheel and paddles are hard to fault - they just feel and work so well. The pedals too are great, and feel just like a proper car. The gearstick is definitely usable, but does feel slightly less than lifelike, and I found it difficult to work the clutch and gearshift without often getting neutral, but that's as much the fault of the software as anything - the Codemasters games will not let the H-selector go into gear if the clutch is not fully depressed when selecting, where in reality, you can force a shirt into gear with less then a full clutch depression in a real car. The solution is to skip the clutch altogether, which Codemasters let you do. You can then re-purpose it to take the place of the handbrake, or indeed use one of the paddle shifters for that.

Ultimately, I think you have a set here which is hard to fault technically, and when I consider the relatively minimal cost for something with such an excellent design and build quality, I don't think I can reasonably score it less than 5 stars,

Fantastic bit of kit, and highly recommended.

Dymo Label Manager 280 Label Maker
Dymo Label Manager 280 Label Maker
Price: £47.86

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Computer Software Installation Issues, 16 Oct 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I love my Dymo machines. They're amazingly useful things, and I use them all the time. This one is blessed with a full QWERTY layout keyboard and a set of number buttons, which is great, as you don't need to keep shifting between numbers and letters.

If I have one complaint about the physical button layout, it's that it should really have a dedicated full stop and preferably a hyphen button too. Those are two symbols I use constantly, and having to navigate through the menu to use them each time is a massive pain.

Would it not be possible to have a row of programmable buttons just under the screen with their corresponding characters displayed on the screen? On the plus size, changing the size of the text is very simple, as is adding bold, underline and italics. These have dedicated buttons.

I'm not sure the rechargeable battery is a good thing. Generally they tend to die after a few years, so you may find yourself needing to source an expensive replacement after 5 years. Personally I'd prefer if they made it compatible with rechargeable AA batteries, and supplied a few of those rather than a proprietary Li-Ion design.

My biggest issue however, is my inability to get the label machine to be recognised by either of my PCs - both running Windows 7. Neither was able to install the required device driver. Maybe you'll have better luck than me, but this is not a great sign, and I'm marking it down specifically because of this. If I manage to get it working, I'll amend my score accordingly.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 19, 2013 2:06 PM GMT

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