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Matt

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Roccat Ryos MK Pro Mechanical UK Layout Gaming Keyboard with Per Key Illumination - MX Brown
Roccat Ryos MK Pro Mechanical UK Layout Gaming Keyboard with Per Key Illumination - MX Brown
Offered by Box Limited
Price: £84.99

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid: LEDs fail repeatedly., 5 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
AVOID: If you want the illumination this item is simply NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE

Update 2: LEDS failed on the new replacement, again at around 4 months of use.
Again the failure was "slowly fade and die" rather than sudden death, again the keys affected are two more rarely used keys.
Have now contacted Amazon for a refund as I'm not willing to gamble on a third replacement.

Update: Disappointed that 2 LEDs failed at 4 months.
Doubly so that they were on two less frequently used keys.

Keyboard works nicely.
LEDs are simply not fit for purpose.
The matte finish on the wrist rest will polish off in a couple of months leaving it looking worn and cheap from the two high gloss spots where you rest the heel of your hands.

For lack of longevity we've gone from originally a 5 star review to 1.
Amazon support exemplary however.

Original review:

Wanted this with MX Blue. No one carries them in UK layout, and Roccat support are worse than useless. Asking Roccat about MX blue availability, they send back a long, obviously stock reply saying essentially "we make a lot of keyboards, so we have no idea" (or care apparently).

With a supposedly premium brand and product I'd expect support to be a little more, well, supportive!

That said, MX Browns aren't a bad second best. Not quite the same level of feel, but still orders of magnitude better than a non-mechanical keyboard.

Pleasingly free of bling, aside from the large black on black Roccat logo. Not an orange or silver highlight in sight. Why is it gaming usually means "looks tacky"?

It's substantial and weighty, and yet there's something about the type of plastic used, especially for the wrist rest that feels a bit cheap. Not a big deal, but this is a premium £150 product so a little bit better should be expected. The wrist rest is a large enough size that it's comfortable to use though.

There is a some flex - there's no steel backing like the old IBM Model M's - so it remains to be seen how durable it is after a few years of heavy use and how willing it is to be disassembled and cleaned numerous times.

The back light is the best I've seen on any keyboard - the keys light up, and there's very little light bleed from the base of the keys. Most lit keyboards push out as much light from the bottom of the keys as the top, and it looks horrible. This, however, can set up nicely for gaming, or light all keys and low brightness and it's still tasteful - great for doing actual typing in low light.

Anti slip pads are huge (at the front there are three and they go most of the width of the keyboard) and are even on the little adjustable legs to raise the back. There's no way this thing is moving around your desk unless you want it to!

The three little thumb buttons below space are certainly not Cherry switches though - they feel plasticy when pressed and they are unbelievably loud. Louder than MX blues, louder than my Model M, and it's a very plasticy sound too. Much higher activation pressure needed than the standard keys.

I'd have preferred they spend the money used to implement a keyboard screen saver (blinky lights and ripple effects) on putting another row of macro keys at the left side.

Despite the niggles it's still an excellent product fully deserving of the 5* rating. The thumb keys are definitely a cheap gimmick. I'd still have preferred one with MX Blues though.

If I were including the Roccat support experience in the review I'd drop two, perhaps even three stars for their dismissive attitude. It has certainly put me off them for the future.


Corsair Raptor HS40 USB 7.1 Gaming Headset with Noise Cancelling Mic
Corsair Raptor HS40 USB 7.1 Gaming Headset with Noise Cancelling Mic
Price: £39.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good with one Hideous Flaw, 5 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Pretty good quality for the money with one horrible flaw.

First the horrible and potentially dangerous flaw, I got the USB so I could try 7.1. If you ever plug in a USB device into a different USB port Windows re-installs drivers, and with these headphones every time that happens the system volume is turned upto maximum. I can confirm that they go VERY loud as I found out when inadvertently plugging into a different USB port on the back of my keyboard. Unplug and volume goes down to what it was before. Seriously stupid lack of thought that could easily catch people out.

Tried this with a couple of other USB ports on my system to check it wasn't a one-off. No, Corsair are consistently stupid.

Sound is clear, though is a little lacking in bass. Hifi they're not though.
Mic is excellent.
Comfort is just about ok - they press hard on the top of your head, and are a fair weight, so after an hour you've definitely had enough of them.

Describing them as Comfortable as part of the name is really stretching it though - they are certainly nothing exceptional in comfort.


Panasonic KX-TG8562EB Twin Corldess DECT Telephone set with Colour screen and Answer Machine.
Panasonic KX-TG8562EB Twin Corldess DECT Telephone set with Colour screen and Answer Machine.
Offered by magicdiscounts

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Panasonic, What HAVE You Done?, 4 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My old Panasonic DECT phone finally gave up the ghost. Well, one handset did. The other is showing signs of dying the same way (keypad increasingly difficult to enter anything on, followed by total keypad death), I decided a replacement was due. The old phones were well past 15 years so I figured the replacement had to be another Panasonic as they've had very heavy use and lasted impeccably.

Given Panasonic set the bar for me with my previous phone, I shall compare and contrast.

Panasonic seem to have forgotten everything they once knew, or they bought something cheap from China and just slapped their name and menus on it. They used to make exceptionally good phones. Not any more.

THIS was a Which Best Buy? How??

Pros

Colour screen

Talking caller display - works surprisingly well with a natural human sounding voice.

Call quality is good, as I would expect.

Cons

They've saved 20p by replacing high quality ring tunes with something that belongs in a Poundshop musical doorbell.

My old phone managed to have a piano sounding like a piano etc. Pachelbel and Also Sprach Zarathrustra actually sounded quite nice. Sure there were some naff and chirpy ones. I now have 40 to choose from rather than 15. The problem is THEY ARE ALL AWFUL - Not because of the tunes, but because they sound like 1980s chiptunes that belong in a bad Spectrum game.

I read various reviews here about awful ring tones and assumed the reviewers were talking from a matter of taste on the musical style. Silly me. Oh no, we're talking Sinclair Spectrum levels of awful. Pachelbel's Canon is still there, it's just been made horrible to hear. Lose 2 stars for that Panasonic.

I'm seriously debating sending it back solely on the strength of the cacophony it makes, but am going to live with it a day or two and see how irritating it is in practice.

I struggle to comprehend how, after years of digital progress, they have made these sound so bad. It's like the last 30 years didn't happen.

Receive an incoming call and it displays "Incoming Call" on the display for a few seconds before it bothers to show you the caller display. What earthly use is this? The damn thing is ringing, the blue LED is blinking, and the display has lit up - it's pretty damn obvious there's an incoming call. I'm now looking at the flipping thing to see WHO is calling me. "Incoming Call" apparently!

Needless to say the old handset shows CLID immediately. For heavens sake there's enough screen to show Incoming call AND Caller ID. This is another significant glitch.

They've saved another 20p by removing the old constant Panasonic feature - the joystick button. This phone has a four way switch with OK on a soft switch above, by the screen. It does the same job, but it's a bit less intuitive and, crucially, significantly slower to use.

Mind you, it doesn't matter that it is slower to navigate as the screen struggles to keep up. I can hit the down key twice for each step the highlight moves on the display. I'm faster flicking through the menu on my old phone - and that never struggled to keep up.

It's a little taller and wider, than the old Panasonic handsets and thinner yet the screen is markedly smaller.

Being thinner it doesn't like standing up off base. Blow on it gently and it falls over. Literally. I tried. It fell over.

It looks and feels cheap. The front-only views on Amazon are really deceptive. It's mostly shiny black plastic with fake chrome highlights. The satin black you see in the photos is front face only.

Don't drop it, I suspect it would explode - perhaps unfair, but it will certainly show scratches quickly. My old handsets have been dropped, kicked by the kids, dropped down stairs etc numerous times - barely a scratch.

The LED on top can no longer change colour like old Panasonics used to - to indicate call category.

Neither the handset charger or answering machine base can be wall mounted - yet another standard Panasonic feature thrown away.

Caller display triggered ringtones (ie a different ring depending on the category you assign the person to) can ONLY be set on the shared base phonebook. For the handset phonebooks - no variation of ring tones. Again, Panasonics used to do this such that all phone books - handset and base could do differing rings and categories. I don't want work related numbers in the shared phonebook, just the office handset, but I do want differing rings.

Call blocking - could be really useful except you cannot block International, Witheld or Unavailable calls. Only calls that release Caller ID. Almost no junk calls release caller ID and much spam is international these days, so not well thought out. It's a feature I want - but mostly for those International calls.

Call history - lots of extra button pushing to gather the same info. Again the old handset does it better as you stepped through a whole screen with each step showing number, name, date and time.

So, in short, after 20 years of "progress" Panasonic have given us worse everything, except for the talking caller display and call blocking which is inherently limited.

Having written all this it's going back, and I'm off to eBay to get an old Panasonic DECT handset, from when they still had a clue.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 17, 2016 12:30 PM GMT


No Title Available

3.0 out of 5 stars Shame it shrank so much..., 30 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Love this T

A pity it went to too small after the very first low temp wash. I've never needed XL for any clothes - for this I did.

Buy far larger than you need!


AmazonBasics 7- to 8-Sheet Micro-Cut Paper / CD / Credit Card Shredder with Pullout Basket
AmazonBasics 7- to 8-Sheet Micro-Cut Paper / CD / Credit Card Shredder with Pullout Basket
Price: £54.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great little shredder, annoying paper feed., 4 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Great little shredder for the money. Very pleased!

Slide out bin and frame seems a bit flimsy, but is sturdy and stable enough once assembled. Works nicely in practice and is infinitely better than the usual home shredder approach of heavy lift off shredder on top of lightweight bin.

The bin is the perfect size and shape for using a carrier bag as a bin liner, and this stays put, so no need to cover the floor with confetti like always happened when emptying my old shredder. Shreddings are much more compact than a standard cross cut shredder, and compress far better. Happily reduces credit cards to the same tiny confetti pieces.

Smaller than I expected, but this is good, and it doesn't need to be larger as a surprising amount of shreddings go through before the bin is full.

4 sheets is probably a more accurate limit than 8. Even with 4 the motor is slowing down dramatically, so I wouldn't like to push it too far, especially as the old one died when the nylon teeth stripped.

Drops a star for the paper feed which takes health and safety to excess, and becomes annoying in the process.

The usual slot in the top, like most shredders, is there, but in this case has been covered by a plastic guide so that all paper has to do a 90 degree turn on the way in. Quite often I find that instead of feeding nicely into the machine the end of the sheets scrunch up rather than feed into the blades where they're pulled through. This is a minor annoyance though.

Once we're out the guarantee period that extra bit of plastic annoyance on the paper feed is likely to be ripped off :)

Overall the best, and probably cheapest, shredder I've owned!


Hydra [Double CD + Media Book (100 page booklet)]
Hydra [Double CD + Media Book (100 page booklet)]
Price: £25.19

14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Musically Brilliant, truly awful sound quality, 17 May 2014
I'm not usually a big fan of Within Temptation as a rule, but musically this album is utterly brilliant.

Sadly it's been utterly ruined by the most awful sound quality I've ever heard on a studio CD.

The bass is muddy and distorted on every single track, the overall sound is confused and utterly unclear. There's a confusion and muddiness that's unmatched anywhere else in my CD collection.

I'm actually tempted to buy the vinyl in the hope it escaped the hell of compression that is this CD. (I really wish Amazon would keep reviews for different formats distinct).

Was it mixed by Spinal Tap? Everything turned up to 11?
Was the sound engineer stone deaf?
They wanted to make the final shot of the loudness wars?

Whatever, they should have been fired for total incompetence.

If you want to listen to this album on poor quality equipment in really noisy surroundings, you'll probably love it. For everyone else, there's a brilliant album that's been utterly ruined by the production.

It only deserves 1 as I'm disappointed every single time I hear a track from it. Musically though, it's a 5 star album.

It's frustrating as I want to love it, and listen to it a lot, but I end up skipping most tracks. This is an album that deserves a quality remix asap.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 10, 2014 2:19 PM BST


Anker Gaming Mouse, 7 Programmable Buttons, up to 2000 DPI, 5 User Profiles (bound to specific games), Omron Micro Switches
Anker Gaming Mouse, 7 Programmable Buttons, up to 2000 DPI, 5 User Profiles (bound to specific games), Omron Micro Switches

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkably good, 28 Mar. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Update: I bought another to keep as a spare!
Lasting well with heavy daily use.
Braided cable is definitely too stiff - after 8 months the original folds from being in packing are still there!
Scroll wheel clicks have mostly worn away - Every mouse I've owned has lost these fast, so not unexpected.
Finish is still mint - I am very impressed as I expected the crackle finish wouldn't last.
Slip pads on the bottom are wearing some - rather faster than I'd hope.

original review:

In short, very impressed! Bought as a cheap temporary replacement for yet another early death Logitech who haven't been able to make a product that lasts in years.

Very good fit to my hand - possibly the best fit in about the last 6 mice, good positive action, decent weight and seemingly excellent build quality. I'm rather impressed for the price, hence the five stars. It feels just like your average £70 gaming mouse, only with no creaking of cheap plastic like you too often get with the brand names.

Braided cable with decent length - perhaps a little on the stiff side, but I'm splitting hairs now.

No soft-feel fake rubber to the sides, which to me is a big positive as without exception those finishes go greasy and flake off looking awful within months.

There's a soft-feel finish to the top and buttons and I do wonder how long that and the crackle effect will last, especially on the buttons.

The LEDs are a gimmick:
When you first plug the mouse in they light up eye searingly bright white, then once the drivers are installed the default mode is to pulse between bright and insanely bright in one of four colours - surprisingly given it always starts up with white, you can't select white as a colour for use - red, blue, green or pink/purple are your options.
You can adjust the software so that you can have your preferred colour with preferred dpi, but you render the +/- adjustment a tad meaningless in the process - setting 4 (maximum +) is always purple, setting 1 (minimum -) is always red, rather than simply choosing a preferred colour for each setting step.
Once the software is installed you can set the pulsing off, and turn down the brightness, though to my eyes we only have a choice of bright, too bright and far too bright, so I ended up simply turning the LEDs off. A couple of dimmer options would be nice, as would being able to select white.

But if you like such things they work well enough and the mouse remembers your preferences, so if you plug it into a machine without the driver software you'll get your preferred setting.

Of course it remains to be seen how it will be doing after 9 months, or a few years, but first impressions after a month are great. Let's be honest though, I'll be far less bothered if it doesn't have a long life than seeing yet another expensive branded mouse die after 18 months.

I'm very likely to buy another just to keep in the cupboard as a spare!


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