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Woody (London, UK)

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Pioneer DEH-X8600BT CD RDS Tuner with Bluetooth, Mixtrax EZ, USB, Aux-In and 3 Pre-outs for iPod/iPhone and Android Control
Pioneer DEH-X8600BT CD RDS Tuner with Bluetooth, Mixtrax EZ, USB, Aux-In and 3 Pre-outs for iPod/iPhone and Android Control
Price: £149.84

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great product but..., 9 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have been using this stereo for a few weeks now and although I am generally very happy with it there is an issue that I think people should know about before buying this unit.

I'll start off with the good points first.

For me the main reason for buying this stereo was its versatility and by that I mean how much this stereo can really do. It can play many types of music formats including WAV, WMA, AAC and MP3 (16 kbps-320 kbps in both CBR and VBR). It can play music from an audio CD (standard CD and mp3 CD-R), USB flash drive (used with the supplied USB extension cable from the rear of the stereo), SD/SDHC card (slot located behind the face panel), 3.5mm headphone jack aux input (located on the front face panel) and its internal Bluetooth receiver which you can send music wirelessly from your Bluetooth enabled mobile phone or MP3 player (I have tried this and it works flawlessly with an Android device). I use it mostly with a 32GB USB flash drive which holds over 5,000 tracks but this has a downside which I'll explain later. When using my USB drive it remembers the last track I played even when I have disconnected and reconnected the memory stick which I've found to be a very useful feature.
It also has the ability to connect to your mobile phone via Bluetooth to make and answer calls.

It has an FM/AM tuner (not DAB enabled) with RDS and 24 presets which works fine but I don't often use it.

The display looks great with the flashing DOT matrix and LED lights. These can be set to however you want them, bright/dim, high/low contrast, one colour/custom colour or auto cycle through all colours for both the button lights and the mini DOT matrix display. It can display three lines of text which is enough for my needs and the display information can be changed to show the time/date, screensaver, animated screensaver, dual 5-band graphic equaliser, file/folder name, track/artist name etc. There is a Mixtrax mode where it creates a non stop audio playback mix from your music collection with various audio and visual display effects that react to the beat of the music.

The sound quality is great but not that loud at first. I had to increase all the loudness, EQ and bass settings as the factory default settings are very low compared to my last stereo but once this was done it sounded a whole lot better. It also has a two level Sound Retriever mode which enhances the bass and treble slightly to compensate for compressed music formats like MP3, WMA and AAC files. You can also do all the usual things like front/rear, left/right speaker level balance and custom EQ and subwoofer frequency/level settings that you'd expect from a stereo like this.

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Now for that irritating issue I mentioned earlier.

The thing I dislike the most about this stereo and the reason why it didn't get 5 stars is because of the way it reads USB and SD media (issue doesn't apply to CD's). It has two modes of file browsing.
(1). With the "Music Browser Mode" on, it will create a database that saves to the media and then allows your music to be browsed by; Artists, Albums, Songs and Genres with the viewed results being displayed in an alphanumerical order.
(2). With the "Music Browser Mode" off (how it is set by default), it will let you browse the media in a folder and file structure as if you were viewing it on a PC. This is the way I prefer to browse my music as I have many hand picked tracks within custom made folders that would get really confusing and tedious to look through via Artists/Albums/Songs etc. The problem is that the stereo decides to put the folders and files in its own random order, and I do mean random. I've compared the order with my USB media on my PC and have not found any matches to whether it sorts them by name, date, size, etc. This makes locating tracks a real pain in the backside, but when you do find the folders or tracks you want it displays them in a random order as well despite me putting numbers in front of both the folders AND the files/tracks! Another downside to this is that if you were to play a mixed dance album it would jumble them up and completely ruin your listening experience. I assume that all the Pioneer stereos in this range have this problem?

Now this may not be a big deal to some people but if I'd have known about this before then I would have looked at getting another brand of stereo like Sony or Kenwood. It's amazing that we've come this far in technology but it's let down by such a small oversight like not arranging the music data in any sort of orderly fashion yet even the most basic of MP3 players can achieve this!

This stereo could really do with a firmware update.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 10, 2015 5:13 PM GMT


JVC High-Quality Portable Lightweight On-Ear Audio Headphones with 3-way Foldable Design - White
JVC High-Quality Portable Lightweight On-Ear Audio Headphones with 3-way Foldable Design - White
Offered by MyMemory
Price: £14.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than expected!, 23 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought these JVC headphones as I was looking for a good set that are both compact and foldable with good sound quality. They are comfortable to wear with just the right amount of pressure on the head to eliminate a bit of outside noise without giving me an ear ache whist wearing my glasses. I had a set of Skullcandy headphones previously which we're alright but didn't deaden the outside sound enough (well at all for that matter), I am pleased to say that these JVC headphones do a far better job.

Even though my last headphones had 40mm drivers (speakers) and these have 30mm I have noticed no difference in sound quality and feel they are very capable in reproducing sounds / frequencies across most genres of music. In my opinion I find that the bass, mids and treble are perfectly matched in level with a full dynamic range and no single band of frequencies overpowers the other. The speaker cans are just under 65mm in diameter which makes them very light and comfortable whilst not being too big at the same time. Although they are classed as "DJ monitors" I find them to be perfect to use as everyday headphones for listening to MP3's, watching movies and using with my PC. They do feel a little fragile but this is understandable with its foldable design. As long as you're not too heavy handed with them they should be ok.

I've had these for a month now and like them so much that I bought another set in black which look equally as nice.

Things I like;

- Compact foldable design,
- Lightweight and comfortable to wear,
- Look good in both black & white, (I have both)
- They have a single cable outlet from left speaker which is much neater and less restrictive for concealing the headphone cable,
- Good value at around £15,

Things I don't like;

- They have very thin leather cushion covers which look as though they will wear very quickly,
- They don't have an inline multi-function (next/previous/pause track) button.


Accurist Men's Quartz Watch with Black Dial Analogue - Digital Display and Gold Stainless Steel Plated Bracelet MB1030B
Accurist Men's Quartz Watch with Black Dial Analogue - Digital Display and Gold Stainless Steel Plated Bracelet MB1030B
Price: £350.00

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly detailed, a very nice watch, 7 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this watch here on Amazon with 74% off the original retail price which is a real bargain. I have to say that it looks so much better in real life than in the Amazon picture. I was a bit skeptical about buying it at first as the picture shows the watch face / dials to be slightly blue-ish in colour (at least on my monitor anyhow) but when I opened it on arrival I was very pleased to see that it is jet black which looks great in contrast to the gold plating.

The gold coating is manufactured through an Ion Plating process which is meant to be the most advanced way of gold plating and has good resistance against rubbing off. Although this is the first gold plated watch I've owned only time will tell how long it lasts. It weighs around 154 grams which I find to be just right with a good solid feel to it that's not too heavy but doesn't feel cheap and light either. It has a nice level of detail with a high quality finish and a rotating bezel too.

I have had Accurist watches in the past and have found them to be both reliable and accurate, my last Accurist only lost a mere couple of seconds per year.


38-114x70 Ultra Zoom Mak spotting scope SC3 1.25" 860mm + Tripod
38-114x70 Ultra Zoom Mak spotting scope SC3 1.25" 860mm + Tripod
Offered by Seben GmbH
Price: £80.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful for its size!, 27 Dec. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
First off I am very happy with the quality and service I received from Seben. The spotting scope only took three days to arrive from Germany and I was able to track it too.

In comparison I have previously owned both Tasco and Celestron spotting scopes / telescopes in the past and this is the first time I've used a Seben product. As for the quality of the optics I haven't noticed any difference between them and the previous manufacturers scopes I've owned and this is a good thing. The scope is lightweight and very portable which is one of the main reasons I bought it. The tube is made from sturdy plastic (but looks like metal) which might not appeal to some but for me it seems to do the job of housing the optics and focus mechanism just fine.

As for the tripod I would suggest investing in a full size adjustable one, not that there's anything wrong with the one included but it's only a table tripod at the end of the day. It is very steady but only has adjustable tilt. The base mount on the tripod has a quick release mechanism and a standard size screw thread which fits most scopes and cameras etc.

To sum up I think it's a great little scope and although it's not designed primarily for astronomical viewing it does serve well for viewing the moon which is what I use it for mainly, it is also possible to see Jupiter although not in great size and detail but it really is designed for terrestrial viewing and that's where it excels.


Samsung Galaxy SIII Smartphone (16GB, UK Sim Free Unlocked) - Marble White
Samsung Galaxy SIII Smartphone (16GB, UK Sim Free Unlocked) - Marble White
Offered by Digitaltek
Price: £169.95

73 of 80 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From an iPhone 4 to a Galaxy S3, 5 Oct. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Just to put things into perspective, I've been using this phone for around 6 weeks now and have found it to be the best phone I've owned. I had an iPhone 4 before this and although it was a great phone it has nothing on the Galaxy S3. Here are a few of my thoughts on why I did not upgrade my old iPhone 4 to an iPhone 5 and bought the Galaxy S3 instead.

Firstly to start off, if you're thinking of buying this phone and/or making the switch from IOS to Android, try it out in store which is exactly what I did before taking the plunge, then I came here and bought it on Amazon for a whole lot cheaper ;)

I chose the SGS3 mainly because of its shear hardware power. It's very fast and responsive and has some great features like the ability to switch on or off the Wi-Fi, mobile data network, GPS etc all via the pulldown notification menu instead of going through a ton of menus. The 8MP camera is great too with its HDR feature which I use often with great results. Browsing the web on this phone is beautiful with its ultra sharp bright display, this was another great reason why I chose this handset.

I also like the fact that Android is so customisable and very easy to share with other devices to boot. The best thing about using Android is that it's so much less restrictive than Apple's IOS platform, for example something which really bothered me before when using the iPhone was how useless its Bluetooth sharing options were, only allowing me to share with other IOS devices but now with Android I can send what I like to whoever I like.

As for its touch responsiveness I think it's definitely on par with my previous iPhone. I was very wary when trying it out in store and found that it didn't miss a beat unlike a friends old Android phone running Gingerbread 2.3 software which left me constantly re-typing odd characters here or there when the touch response failed (but this could have been the phone and not the software I can't be sure).

When it came to battery life I wasn't that impressed... at first anyway. Then I installed a free app call Juice Defender which improved my battery life a LOT! It switches off the mobile data network and/or Wi-Fi when the phone's screen is off and checks for data syncing every 15mins in the background whilst the phone is asleep and this makes a huge difference on saving precious battery life.

Now for my main gripes;

1* Although not a big problem the only downside to using Android for me is its Play store. I've found that Apple's app store has more apps of a higher quality and that some of Google's Play store apps aren't quite up to scratch, an example of this would be where I came across a few apps on IOS that run fine and were up to date on my iPhone but were months out of date with the latest features / bug fixes on the Android platform. This is probably due to the fact that many developers prefer IOS over Android (I've heard they make more money through IOS?). I managed to find just over half of the apps I had on my iPhone in the Play store and then a few more which weren't available on IOS, so it's a bit of give and take on that one.

2* The Samsung Kies software is terrible. Not only is it outdated (for Mac OS X Mountain Lion anyway) but when I run it through the Mac Unarchiver (which is the only way to get it to work) it more often than not fails to sync my device no matter what I try. I'm not gonna list all the things I've tried as it's probably unnecessary but let's just say I've got it to sync about 3 times randomly in about 20 attempts! Even the Android File Transfer (AFT) program will not sync (in MTP or PTP mode with or without USB debugging checked) maybe this program is out of date with OS X Mountain Lion too? Either way I had to use a 3rd party app like AirDroid to be able to sync it and that's why it lost out on a five star rating. If you own a Mac like me this could be a serious deal breaker.
I've heard it syncs fine on Windows so don't be put off if you're a Windows user.

For those of you still wondering whether or not to buy this phone or are still even here reading this review, here is my small list I used, for and against choosing the Galaxy S3 in reference to an iPhone;

For:

# More freedom with apps compared to Apple's restrictive regulations with certain apps in their app store,
# A more customisable experience with widgets & lock screen shortcuts,
# Expandable memory,
# Replaceable battery,
# Large 4.8" display,
# True multitasking,
# More hardware for your money,
# 2 year manufacturers warranty (as opposed to Apple where you have to pay extra for a second years warranty),

Against:

# Not as many Android OS updates,
# Doesn't have a complete premium quality feel being made mostly of plastic,
# Doesn't have as much resale value as an iPhone,
# Can at the best of times be touch and go syncing with Samsung Kies software.

(I could probably add more to the list but these were my main personal concerns in choosing this phone)

It really does depend on what you want in a smartphone, for me I chose hardware over software and by that I mean the specs on my Galaxy S3 are far superior to the iPhone 4 and a fair bit better than the latest iPhone 5 IMHO (others may feel differently). But when it comes to software I feel that IOS wins on that front and that's mainly because Apple don't have to make their software run on so many different devices which causes less problems with compatibility and stability with certain apps and software etc.

Don't get me wrong there are definitely things I miss about using my old iPhone/IOS but it's not enough to warrant me buying back into the iPhone franchise. I still love Apple hardware and will continue to use my Mac but I feel Apple has lost its edge in the smartphone industry... at the moment anyhow.

There are many more points I could make about this wonderful handset but many other reviewers have probably already mentioned them and I feel I've gone on far too much already.

CONCLUSION:

If you want simplicity / basic functions in a smartphone alongside a bit more of a premium feel, get an iPhone, But if like me you want a more customisable experience with really powerful hardware specs, larger screen, memory expansion, replaceable battery, longer battery life etc then get the Samsung Galaxy S3. Trust me you won't regret it.

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UPDATE!!! (13/11/2012)

It appears that both Samsung and Android File Transfer have released updates to their syncing software for Mac OS X Mountain Lion. My Galaxy S3 is still a bit temperamental with Kies but syncs perfectly with AFT (Android File Transfer). It worked with ICS 4.0.4 and also with the latest through the air update to Jelly Bean 4.1.1
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 9, 2014 4:55 PM GMT


Wacom Bamboo Fun Small Graphics Tablet
Wacom Bamboo Fun Small Graphics Tablet
Offered by SAI Sales
Price: £74.99

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This tablet is far better than I expected, 30 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've been meaning to get myself a graphics tablet for ages now and finally decided to buy this one. I was a little put off by the idea at first as I used to own a Trust tablet years ago with a PC and could never get on with it. This time around though I use a Mac and have read some very pleasing reviews of this product.

On my first use I found it very simple to set up, just plug in the USB cable and insert the installation disc. It took about 5 mins and I was all set to go (it will take a little longer if you download the free bundled software btw). As this tablet has a touch interface as well as pen use, this made the transition from my mouse to tablet that much easier. I actually now prefer to use this tablet to navigate around my Mac over the Magic Mouse I used previously and there was me thinking of buying an Apple Trackpad.

Now although at first glance some people may think it's a little expensive currently at ~ 72 pounds, after using it for a while I have come to realise it's an absolute bargain and as a previous reviewer has already mentioned the tablet is great value for money considering the free bundled software "Photoshop Elements 9 & Art Rage 3 Pro" really does cost more than the tablet. The free software is a download only by the way (using the supplied registration key) just incase people were thinking it came on separate media.

The multi-touch interface is a dream to use and as for quality and design of the tablet, I really can't fault it. It feels very firm and sleek as does the pen in hand. It's very slim and light but not so light where it compromises on quality, bear in mind Wacom manufactures professional tablets in excess of £1000 and so their quality and experience in this field really shows (hmm all of a sudden the price of this tablet feels like peanuts LOL). There's also plenty of user configurable options and settings when using the tablet which allows for a complete customised experience but for me I only changed the touch scrolling option (I have it set to "natural" like how you scroll with an iPhone) and left the rest of the settings as they were.

Oh and the added bonus is if you have a Mac and were thinking of getting an Apple Trackpad then I'd say this is essential in my opinion as it only costs a little more than Apple's Trackpad and does SO MUCH MORE!

There's probably a lot that I haven't touched upon (pun intended) in this review but I felt I may have gone on enough already, mind you it's hard not to waffle on about such a great product ;)


ORB 1.4 3DTV HDMI Cable (PS3/Xbox 360)
ORB 1.4 3DTV HDMI Cable (PS3/Xbox 360)
Offered by Otherland
Price: £6.19

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The best reasonably priced HDMI cable, 24 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was looking for a good quality cheap HDMI cable for my Mac Mini. I found this one here on Amazon and although it says it's a PS3/Xbox 360 gaming cable, I've found it to be perfect for my Mac and 22" HD Monitor. It is a 1.4v (version) cable which basically means it can handle faster data transmission speeds and higher than standard 1080p screen resolutions as in 4K x 2K. I feel much better using a branded HDMI cable like this than using one of those cheap £2 cables found elsewhere on the web.

The cable feels very hardwearing and high quality with its toughened braided outer sheath and gold plated contacts.

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UPDATE!!! (14/11/2012)

Okay so I've used this cable for only six months now and it's failed... although not completely, it has become very temperamental with one of the HDMI sockets. Some days it's fine and other days it looses A/V connection every few minutes at random causing my monitor to black out. The cable has never been mishandled and has been connected since day one.

It might have just been bad luck with the one I had but I think I'll give this brand a miss next time.


Mac OS X Lion: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals)
Mac OS X Lion: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals)
by David Pogue
Edition: Paperback
Price: £23.50

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect Mac companion, 23 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have only just recently made the switch from using Windows for the last 16 years to using Mac OS X Lion and felt a little unsure using Mac Lion. As easy as it is to navigate around Lion I was anxious to find out more about it. I came across this book on Amazon and thought why not give it a try, It does have 930 pages after all.

Now although this book seems quite pricey at first compared to other smaller cheaper guide books it does have a lot more to offer and if you're going to spend money on learning the in's and outs of Lion then the bigger the better in my opinion. I've only been reading this book for just over a week now and have found out things that I may never have stumbled across without it. This book is written very well with clear precise and to the point information (with useful illustrations) that can be read by novices and tech geeks alike.

To me this book has been the best reference resource to help me make the Windows to Mac transition.


Belkin Pro Series Hi-Speed USB 2.0 Extension Cable 1.8m
Belkin Pro Series Hi-Speed USB 2.0 Extension Cable 1.8m
Price: £1.80

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WORKS WITH IPHONE 4, 11 Sept. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Finally I've found a USB extension cable that works with the IPhone 4 whilst Charging and Syncing. I tried other brand cables and the iphone kept rejecting them saying that it was either not compatible or would just cause the phone to crash. I have fully tested this Belkin cable and would 100% recommend this to anyone, Especially if you have an IPhone 4.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 8, 2012 11:14 AM BST


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