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Reviews Written by
wabrit (Derbyshire)

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Bi-Office Easel Classic, Frameless, A1
Bi-Office Easel Classic, Frameless, A1
Price: £104.41

4.0 out of 5 stars Easel does it, 12 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a sturdy A1 size whiteboard with adjustable height and retractable legs for easy storage and carrying; it also comes with the ability to hold a flip chart. The size makes it perfect for a small home office and at the current price on Amazon (under £60) this is a steal, but please note that it doesn't come with marker pens or eraser - you will have to buy those separately. The only minor quibble I had was that there seemed to be a couple of spots on the board where pen marks didn't erase - looks like some gunk left over from the manufacturing or packing process; fortunately these aren't permanent defects and a bit of elbow grease will get rid of whatever was causing the problem.


HP 14 Slim Brief Case Euro Red
HP 14 Slim Brief Case Euro Red

4.0 out of 5 stars Compact, well-made but could do with a larger pouch, 24 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A slim, compact and sturdy carry case for my HP laptop; this is very convenient for travelling but you have to bear in mind that it won't afford as much protection as a larger and more robust case. I dropped a star because the zip pouch on the front of the case could have been a little bigger - it's a bit of a stretch to fit in the power cable you'll probably need to take with you on longer journeys, and once you have done there's no room for anything else. Other than that quibble, a good product.


Rexel Advance 240x190mm Subject Notebooks - Black (Pack of 5)
Rexel Advance 240x190mm Subject Notebooks - Black (Pack of 5)
Price: £28.03

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Notable, 25 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Sturdy but lightweight plastic covers, convenient A5 size and easily detachable pages are the highlights of these notebooks. The only downside is that there are only 2 pocket sections; one or two more would have been welcome. Other than that, recommended for those who still prefer to take notes in analogue, rather than digital, form.


Canon Legria HF R606 High Definition 3 inch LCD Camcorder (3.28 MP, 32x Optical Zoom, 57x Advanced Zoom, Wi-Fi and NFC) - Black
Canon Legria HF R606 High Definition 3 inch LCD Camcorder (3.28 MP, 32x Optical Zoom, 57x Advanced Zoom, Wi-Fi and NFC) - Black
Offered by TODO! TODO!
Price: £209.99

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Feature-rich, great for videoing, shame about the apps, 16 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Having had a couple of weeks to get used to this camcorder (and a small kitten to try it out on), I can say I'm generally pleased with it. It's lightweight but sturdy construction and easy to handle. The lens cap is built into the camera itself, which avoids the problem of losing or breaking it. Battery life seems good. Video recording is very easy, but to take photos you have the press the screen which I found clunky.

There are lots of features - slow-motion, time lapse, decoration, image effects (B&W, sepia etc.), video montages, audio options, frame rate settings, AVCHD & MP4 formats supported. There are also special shooting modes (e.g. night shooting), exposure optimization using screen touch, face detection and tracking. This may explain why the manual is 300 pages long, and even with the concise guide leaflet I would definitely not recommend buying this camera a few days before you go on holiday - you will need at least a couple of weeks of use to become familiar with it; in addition you don't get a paper copy of the manual so you'll need to download (and probably print out) it, which is something of a hidden cost given its size and the price of printer ink.

It comes with USB and HDMI cables for downloading pictures to a computer or external hard drive, and watching on a HD TV. It doesn't have any wireless capability (unilke some other Canon models in this range). The download software recommended by Canon is cumbersome and less than user-friendly - you need a seperate app to download videos and another to download pictures (I struggled with the latter until it suddenly dawned on me that the app refused to even start unless you had switched to picture review mode on your camera). Frankly I'd recommend using something like Picasa which handles all the functions you need in a much better way.


Boxfresh Stern, Men's Low-Top Sneakers, Blue 12 UK (46 EU)
Boxfresh Stern, Men's Low-Top Sneakers, Blue 12 UK (46 EU)

4.0 out of 5 stars Well-made casual footwear, 19 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Overall a comfortable fit although maybe a little too narrow for my feet; construction is solid & robust, the sole grip is good, and the look clean and understated. I wouldn't wear these for any great length of time or to do any serious walking in, but for a relaxing afternoon on the beach or in the garden they fit the bill perfectly.


Rhinowares Hand Coffee Grinder
Rhinowares Hand Coffee Grinder
Price: £33.65

4.0 out of 5 stars Making the Daily Grind a Pleasure, 10 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This hand coffee grinder has a pleasing look and feel and solid construction, and comes with a carry pouch that makes it eminently suitable for travelling; in terms of capacity it probably works best for 2-3 people at a time. It took a few goes to figure out the best settings, and the instructions are online rather than included in the box, but other than that highly recommended as an affordable (and less noisy) alternative to electric grinders.


Panasonic ALL3 Wireless Speaker System - White
Panasonic ALL3 Wireless Speaker System - White

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some teething troubles, but worth it in the end, 25 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Having got the system set up (not without some challenges, which I'll come to), I have to say I'm delighted with it. The sound is really good, and the unit is small enough to make it convenient to move around and position easily in whatever room you choose.

Initially the setup seemed trouble-free, and I was able to get iTunes music and podcasts on my iPhone playing on the unit fairly easily; the only negative here would be that the Panasonic Streaming Music app has a fairly poor interface which manages to make simple things look complicated but fortunately there are other apps (such as Jukebox) which have a much simpler interface. Note that you'll almost certainly have to go through a firmware update the first time you power up the system, but again this was trouble-free.

The second issue was that the system mysteriously stopped working after a few hours, and the Streaming Music app could no longer see the ALL3 unit. After much head scratching and a few attempts to set the unit back to factory defaults, I finally resorted to rebooting our wireless router which did the trick. Fortunately the problem hasn't reoccured - it's probably a router problem rather than the fault of the ALL3.

The unit really comes into its own once you add streaming music and internet radio services to your phone/tablet that are compatible with the All Player system. Spotify works well with it but there are a couple of things to be aware of. Firstly only the premium subscription edition works, so if you are using the free with ads version (as I was) you'll need to upgrade or at least enroll in the 30 day free trial that is available on the Spotify web site. Secondly it wasn't at all clear exactly how to persuade my Spotify iPhone app to play on the ALL3 unit rather than on the phone - the Panasonic support site wasn't much help, and eventually I found the magic button (which is on the right hand side of the "now playing" page in the Spotify app) which allows you to switch output to your ALL3 unit. This isn't a failing of the product itself of course (it's down to Spotify) but something that's useful to be aware of.

One last point for Amazon - the amazon music player doesn't support connecting to wireless systems like ALL3 as far as I could tell, and since ALL3 doesn't have a bluetooth capability that rules it out for playing your amazon music files from your phone or tablet. (If anyone knows otherwise do let me know and I'll amend this review).

Bottom line - expect a few teething troubles, but this delivers a really good sound and pricewise seems to compare favourably with other products of the same type.


Gillette Fusion ProGlide Power Men's Razor with Flexball Technology
Gillette Fusion ProGlide Power Men's Razor with Flexball Technology
Offered by Parkem Retail
Price: £10.14

5.0 out of 5 stars The Razor's Edge, 17 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was sceptical as to whether this razor would really deliver on the promises; surely the "micropulses" would be nothing more than a gimmick, and the relatively high cost of replacement blades would be the sucker punch. Having used this for nearly a month it turns out I have to eat my words - I'm still on the first blade and its still giving a very smooth, comfortable shave, and the micropulse feature really does make a difference. At this rate of progress, the cost of replacement blades seems pretty reasonable. Highly recommended.


No Title Available

3.0 out of 5 stars You get what you pay for, 3 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a compact model at an affordable price, so a good purchase if you're on a budget and don't want to spend more than you have to on a toaster. However there are some downsides:

- The non-slip feet are not; partly this is due to the very lightweight construction, but I found the toaster slid about a lot on our worksurface with only the gentlest of pressure.
- The toasting control dial is poorly designed, making it unclear which "end" of the dial is actually pointing to the current setting. It's a bit too easy to mistake a "2" setting for a "5" setting.
- Like a lot of toasters (even quite expensive ones) you will find that slots nowhere near deep enough to toast the whole of your slice, especially if you use a bread maker that makes just slightly taller than average loaves.

None of these are showstoppers, but worth bearing in mind when deciding whether to purchase. It's also worth pointing out that if you need a 4-slot rather than a 2-slot, amazon has models that are not that much more expensive.


McAfee Total Protection 2015 - 3 PC (PC) [Frustration-Free Packaging]
McAfee Total Protection 2015 - 3 PC (PC) [Frustration-Free Packaging]

3.0 out of 5 stars Protection maybe, total definitely not., 28 Jan. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
We had a pretty good test for this software in the shape of the PC our kids share to run their games on; previously protected only with Windows Security Essentials (which is hardly protection at all), the PC was in pretty bad shape - all browsers infected with adware popups. So did McAfee Total Protection sort it out?

Installation was reasonably straightforward (but be careful about the option to "auto-renew" your license which is set true by default); the first scan ran for about 4 hours and found quite a few infected files and malware programs which it then cleaned up. I was less than impressed with SiteAdvisor (which was a real drag on browser performance) and the configuration screens are (for my tastes anyway) a bit too simple-minded.

The biggest strike against the product (which is why it doesn't get more than 3 stars) was that, about a week after it had been running I noticed CPU usage was permanently high. With a bit of digging around I found a trojan (WindowsUpdater.exe) that was running one of the CPUs flat out and basically inserting itself via a proxy into all the browsers. I removed it myself, but I was very disappointed that McAfee had not picked this up.


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