Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Fitbit
Profile for SteveR > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by SteveR
Top Reviewer Ranking: 283,765
Helpful Votes: 119

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
SteveR "stephen--r"

Show:  
Page: 1
pixel
Awinner Charging Clip for Garmin Vivosmart HR HR+ , Replacement USB Charger Adapter Charge Cord Charging Cable for Garmin Vivosmart HR Activity Tracker Regular
Awinner Charging Clip for Garmin Vivosmart HR HR+ , Replacement USB Charger Adapter Charge Cord Charging Cable for Garmin Vivosmart HR Activity Tracker Regular
Offered by Awinner-Direct
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the original Garmin cable, 23 Dec. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I find the original Garmin cable sometimes doesn't clip on securely and ends up not charging the device properly. This replacement cable is longer and clips on more securely than the original cable and works perfectly.


Avantree aptX LOW LATENCY Bluetooth Audio Adapter for Headphones with Clip, Wireless Receiver with Microphone for Handsfree Call and Music, laptop, V4.2 - Clipper Pro
Avantree aptX LOW LATENCY Bluetooth Audio Adapter for Headphones with Clip, Wireless Receiver with Microphone for Handsfree Call and Music, laptop, V4.2 - Clipper Pro
Offered by AvantreeDirect
Price: £34.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Technically decent but let down by poor design decisions and build quality issues., 23 Dec. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Technically the product is pretty good. Audio quality with my own earphones is comparable to other similar devices I have owned. Bluetooth pairing was smooth and signal strength seems good, only experiencing dropouts and interference in a couple of particularly challenging RF environments that also cause my £350 Sennheiser Momentum 2s to drop out.

Build and design is disappointingly poor, though. The rubber multi-function button sticks frequently or doesn't respond at all. I ended up removing the whole of the rubber cover and using a fingernail to press the button underneath.

Even if there were no issues with sticking or responsiveness, trying to use various combinations of one or more short or long presses of a single button for pretty much all functionality (power / call / play-pause and track skipping) is a poor design decision and really lets down an otherwise decent product.

The final straw was attempting to power off the unit but instead calling my parents' landline at 2am. I've written this purchase off as a mistake and bought a Sony SBH54 instead.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 26, 2016 9:37 AM GMT


Surviving AI: The promise and peril of artificial intelligence
Surviving AI: The promise and peril of artificial intelligence
by Calum Chace
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and accessible introduction to the topic of AI., 23 Dec. 2016
I read this having already read Nick Bostrom's Superintelligence as well as a couple of books by Ray Kuzweil, so while none of the technical or philosophical discussions in this book were new to me I was greatly impressed by how readable it is and how effectively it conveys all of what I consider to be the most salient aspects of the topic with balance and neutrality.

While Bostrom's book is still the gold standard in this field, I hesitate to recommend it to more casual readers as it is very dry and technical to the point of being almost impenetrable to anyone without strongly scientific inclination. Chace's Surviving AI on the other hand, I highly recommend to anyone who expresses even a passing interest in the subject.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 28, 2016 2:17 PM GMT


Patriot PSF16GSPUSB 16GB USB 3.0 Supersonic Pulse Flash Drive
Patriot PSF16GSPUSB 16GB USB 3.0 Supersonic Pulse Flash Drive

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Massive USB 3.0 read speeds but writes disappointingly slow and no benefit over USB 2.0, 17 Dec. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Before I get on to the Patriot Supersonic, I'll start by trying to clear up a few misconceptions about USB 3.0:

"10x faster than USB 2.0" refers to the capability of the USB 3.0 standard, not necessarily every USB 3.0 storage device produced.

The limiting factor is the speed of the NAND flash in the devices: yes, USB 3.0 can hit theoretical speeds of 640MB/s, however this is faster than the sequential I/O that all but the most expensive 256GB+ SSDs are capable of -- you're not going to get a 16GB memory stick getting anywhere near that.

When it comes to flash memory, the old adage that you get what you pay for is very true: buy a cheap memory stick and you'll probably only get ~3MB/s sequential writes (even USB 2.0 is capable of 10x that) simply because the NAND flash it contains will be low-grade and slow.

---

So, the Patriot Supersonic:

USB 2.0: Writing a 1.4GB file took 135 seconds, which is a little over 10.6MB/s but still significantly slower than my old 4GB Sandisk Cruzer Titanium, which managed an average speed of almost 14MB/s.

Reading the same file back over USB 2.0 took 43 seconds: maxing out USB 2.0 as expected, with an average transfer rate of 33.5MB/s.

USB 3.0: Writing a 4.37GB file took exactly 7 minutes, so the same 10.6MB/s as on USB 2.0. Watching the transfer in resmon saw transfer spikes up to 30MB/s, then dips as the flash caught up with the writes.

Reading the same file back took exactly 60 seconds; an impressive average speed of 74.5MB/s

Copying the contents of a Windows 7 x64 DVD to create a bootable USB stick also took about 7 minutes. This totals 3.65GB but involves copying a couple of large files and a huge number of very tiny files, which often bog down cheaper flash memory and controllers. No complaints here.

So, impressive read speeds but disappointingly slow sequential writes. How much this impacts your choice depends on how you use your USB memory stick: if you have a mostly static content which you regularly copy off to a number of PCs, it's very good. If, like me, you copy new stuff to it on a regular basis and want a convenient way to move files between machines, it's not so good (although it still matches a 100mbps LAN for transfer speed).

Overall it's good -- 3x faster than the infuriatingly useless SanDisk Cruzer Blade I purchased recently, while only 2x the price -- but not great -- my three year old USB 2.0 Cruzer Titanium beats it hands down for write speed. It's shameful that a USB 3.0 device is only able to make use of the extra USB 3.0 speed in one direction, however I suspect that to see >30MB/s writes you'd have to pay considerably more for a premium memory stick. As the read speed is genuinely impressive and the price premium over a similar USB 2.0 drive is minimal, the Patriot Supersonic still offers decent value. On the whole I would still recommend it.


SanDisk Clip Zip 8GB MP3 Player with FM Radio - Black (discontinued by manufacturer)
SanDisk Clip Zip 8GB MP3 Player with FM Radio - Black (discontinued by manufacturer)

78 of 80 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and will only get better with Rockbox - also see for low-volume fix!, 19 Nov. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'll start by saying that I very nearly returned this immediately as completely unfit for purpose: apparently some beancounters in Brussels have decreed that for our own protection, the maximum volume output by any portable audio player sold in Europe must be slightly quieter than a mouse farting. Luckily after a quick Google, I found that circumventing this is a simple matter of changing the player's region from 'Europe' to 'rest of world' (you'll need to do a factory reset and reselect when it prompts you) and voilà; additional volume on tap, up to really ear-splitting levels should you so desire!

I wanted a replacement for a 2nd generation iPod Nano that was never quite the same after getting soaked during the Great North Run. I have a 160GB iPod Classic which pretty much lives hooked up in my car, and a HTC Desire HD w/16GB that I always have on me and onto which I throw a few tunes for when I'm at work or out and about. Neither is particularly portable so I also need a small, sturdy device with the sole purpose of playing tunes in the gym and when running.

Even as a non-Apple person, I must say my old Nano was bloody fantastic. However the new one is way overpriced and the tiny touch screen is infuriatingly fiddly for big man-hands to try and operate when running (I borrowed the missus's once...), so I went for the Sansa Clip Zip.

Three things immediately appealed to me:
- Micro-SD slot to expand memory (put that unused 8GB card out of my phone to use).
- Wide range of format support (Mmmmm.... FLAC ;) )
- Rockbox support coming soon.

So after a week of usage and tinkering, I offer the following observations:

Good:
- Excellent audio quality: all my lossy music is MP3 @ 320kbps and it sounds flawless through my Shure SE215 IEMs. Not tried any FLAC yet.
- Battery life appears to be very good, and pretty much spot on that quoted by SanDisk
- File navigation is quick and powerful. I would like to see an 'all files alphabetically by file name' browse option, but that's nit-picking.
- Standard micro-USB connection and no bloated software required - just appears to the OS as a removable drive.
- Value proposition is absolutely epic! Same price as an iPod Shuffle with 4x the memory and a usable screen, or less than half the price of an 8GB Nano.

Bad:
- UI is a bit quirky and lacking a few basic things like song time played/remaining - uh, seriously guys, this is DAP interface 101 stuff...
- Copying files is sloooowwww - internal memory writes at ~3MB/s, SD card ~2MB/s (same card in my phone writes ~10MB/s)
- Playback of VBR AAC/M4A files encoded by iTunes is sketchy: stuttering and slowdown are evident.
- Skipping through tracks takes too long - it feels like you're holding down the fast forward button for ages.
- Bundled earphones are predictably useless. Surely everyone has a good pair of earphones already: at this price point don't bundle any at all and knock a couple of quid off instead.

Overall 4* - The good points of the Sansa Clip Zip /FAR/ outweigh the bad. AAC playback issues may be a problem for some (I only encoded stuff down to ~160kbps AAC as a necessary evil to fit twice much on my 8GB Nano) but in my opinion it only narrowly misses out on being a 5* product, mainly due to slow file copying and the fact that the UI feels a little unfinished. Rockbox will be along shortly to rectify the latter, and at that time the player will become damn near perfect.

---

Just like to make a quick edit to this review to say that I just accidentally put my Clip Zip through the washing machine and now that it's dried out it still works perfectly. If that's not a ringing endorsement then I don't know what is! :)
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 13, 2014 8:50 AM GMT


Lowepro Apex 5AW Digital Camera Pouch - Black
Lowepro Apex 5AW Digital Camera Pouch - Black

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent case but very small -- do make sure your camera will fit first!, 26 Feb. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
First of all I'd like to say this little pouch is brilliant! It's well cushioned, rain-proof, has a belt loop on the back and comes with a detachable strap to hang it round your neck. There are separate little pockets inside to keep a spare SD card and battery in. For £4.50 vs. £20 for an official Canon case, you can't go wrong.

Do check that it's large enough for your camera, though! It seems all the negative reviews here are people complaining that it's either too small or not as large as advertised.

I bought it for the new Canon Ixus 220, which fits perfectly with only millimetres to spare:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Canon-IXUS-220-HS-Optical/dp/B004M8S20Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1298719532&sr=8-1

This really is a tiny camera though; Amazon lists the dimensions as 92.2 x 55.9 x 12.5 mm. I've not measured the actual internal dimensions of the pouch, but using the Ixus 220 dimensions as a guide I wouldn't recommend trying to squeeze anything much larger in.


Page: 1