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kinetic24 (London, UK)

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Micro Scooter Bell (Black)
Micro Scooter Bell (Black)

3.0 out of 5 stars Good value, not sure it'll last very long, 11 April 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Micro Scooter Bell (Black) (Toy)
Perfectly reasonable for what it is; fitted to a two wheel scooter for my five year old, and used mainly as a substitute for fire engine siren. Originally tried to fit this on the vertical section of the handle, because there wasn't much room on the handlebar itself. We've found that it doesn't ring properly when installed like that, so I've moved it to a more conventional position. After a few uses, I've found it sticks a bit and doesn't 'ding' properly - not a major concern, but it was enough for my son to notice. It's not the best made bit of kit in the world, but for the money you can't really complain.

VTech Innotab 7 inch MAX - Blue
VTech Innotab 7 inch MAX - Blue
Price: £76.99

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tricky to set up but brilliant once running, 8 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: VTech Innotab 7 inch MAX (Toy)
We purchased this product as a way of weaning our three year old off the iPad, which was awkward to police in terms of usage time and content.

I'm not going to go into too much detail about how technically sophisticated a device this is; suffice it to say it charges in a couple of hours, the touch screen is good but nowhere near Samsung Galaxy Tab, let alone iPad good; the screen resolution is perfectly sufficient for the apps the device runs, and response times, lag and reliability all seem to be well within what I'd have expected. It doesn't compare to a full-blown tablet, but it isn't really intended to. If you want the iPad experience, look elsewhere (or buy an iPad).

For us the device needed to:

- be robust and not mind the occasional unexpected high-speed journey to the carpet
- allow access to educational games and apps, that could grow with our son
- allow him access to sanitised YouTube content (videos of fire engines mainly)
- allow him access to CBeebies via iPlayer

In the main we've been very pleased with the way the Innotab Max has performed. There were a few interesting set up challenges which I thought might be useful for others to know about.

Taking the above checklist in order:

- it's very robust, has a nice solid cover and has already visited the floor at speed without ill effect. Ports are covered with solid rubber blocks; the included pen is easy for little fingers to grip and use, particularly with the Art Studio app (built-in) which is cracking.

- V-Tech provide apps through a portal called 'Learning Lodge', which can be downloaded straight onto the device via WiFi. Some of these apps are also available as cartridges; the device has a slot for V-Tech games cartridges and these can be purchased separately, occasionally offering a saving. We purchased Cars 2 in cartridge form from Amazon, for about half the price of the available download.

We had quite a lot of fun getting the cartridge to work. The instructions and website tell you to expect a message when you first insert certain cartridges along the lines of 'you cartridge needs updating; update will be downloaded automatically'. Instead we got a message saying 'cartridge incompatible'. Several hours and one productive call to the helpful V-Tech support folk later, we had an approach to fix the problem: 1. Update Firmware; 2. Restore Factory Settings on device; 3. Reboot and insert cartridge. 4. Select 'Cartridge' icon. It's worth noting that there are no instructions for restoring factory settings provided with it - we got ours in a very helpful email from the V-Tech support chaps.

- Sanitised YouTube content: we've used the built-in web browser and created a Google account for the family. You can then use YouTube's Safety Mode to filter the content that can be played through that account. It's not foolproof - relying on user reports of suitability, but it'll work fine until he's canny enough to get round these things himself.

- iPlayer/Cbeebies: you can't put the iPlayer or Cbeebies apps onto the device; we've set the thing up so that one of the 'parent-approved' sites on the web browser is a shortcut to the cbeebies YouTube channel. Again, not ideal, but works fine to get him the content he wants.

An additional unanticipated benefit has been that letting him self-serve fire engine videos and Peppa Pig has actually reduced the amount of time he spends on it, in favour of other non-screen-based entertainment. Add to that the comfort of knowing he's not watching any more than you've allowed, and we're definitely happy customers. It's a shame it was a bit of a pain to set up; I don't think I can give it five stars when we had to ring support to get it to do what it should have done out of the box. Nevertheless, it's a great piece of kit and has met all of our needs.

1byone Amplified HD TV Aerial with Built-in Amplifier, Digital Indoor TV Antenna for DVB-T / DVB-T2 Television with VHF / UHF / FM Reception, High Gain 30dB Freeview Aerial, Portable Panel Design
1byone Amplified HD TV Aerial with Built-in Amplifier, Digital Indoor TV Antenna for DVB-T / DVB-T2 Television with VHF / UHF / FM Reception, High Gain 30dB Freeview Aerial, Portable Panel Design
Price: £11.59

4.0 out of 5 stars Plasticky but performs well for the money, 8 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
We purchased this aerial on impulse after the previous product stopped working over Christmas. We had got used to only being able to receive primary versions of many channels (E4 but not E4+1, Dave not at all, etc), despite living in South London, zone 4, within sight of the crystal palace masts...

The body of this aerial is plasticky and the stand somewhat flimsy - wouldn't want to try putting it under any pressure. The coaxial cable is also not huge - obviously benefits to the signal quality, but in our lounge required a bit of rearrangement to get it set up.

Beyond those points, it's brilliant! The amplifier is built into the aerial body, unlike our previous solution which had some clumsy coaxial plug attachments at the TV end. Plug it into the wall, plug the co-ax into your telly and you're done. All the channels we used to receive in pixelated form or not at all are present and correct in good quality. From a distance it is unobtrusive on the shelf and it didn't break the bank either.

In summary, you get what you pay for in build quality, but a good deal more than that in looks and performance. Early days, but no regrets at all so far.

Tuff-Luv 'ZipNGo' holster / telescopic style / Top-loader case for digital SLR camera in size: 2 / colour: Red / compatible with (Canon EOS 300D / 350D / 400D / 40D / 30D / 5D / 1000D / 450D / SX1 / 500D / 50D / SX10 / SX110 / SX120 / 7D, 1D / 1D / 550D / 5D Mark II / SX30 IS / 60D, 650D, 6D / 1D Mark IV / EOS500D / EOS1100D / EOS550D / EOS600D / EOS60D / EOS7D / EOS5D Mark II / EOS1D Mark IV / EOS1DX / XA25, XA20, HFG30, 100D, 700D)
Tuff-Luv 'ZipNGo' holster / telescopic style / Top-loader case for digital SLR camera in size: 2 / colour: Red / compatible with (Canon EOS 300D / 350D / 400D / 40D / 30D / 5D / 1000D / 450D / SX1 / 500D / 50D / SX10 / SX110 / SX120 / 7D, 1D / 1D / 550D / 5D Mark II / SX30 IS / 60D, 650D, 6D / 1D Mark IV / EOS500D / EOS1100D / EOS550D / EOS600D / EOS60D / EOS7D / EOS5D Mark II / EOS1D Mark IV / EOS1DX / XA25, XA20, HFG30, 100D, 700D)

4.0 out of 5 stars Fits EOS 400D + standard zoom; don't try anything bigger, 17 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I wanted something that would allow me to carry my EOS 400D and Tamron AF 17-50 f2.8 SP on quick trips out to the park with the family, without having to lug all the rest of my kit.

This bag is tough and pretty well made; it's a slightly garish red but is reasonably well padded on all sides, and has two zipped pockets: one to the rear (which I've never used) and a second mesh one on the underside of the lid, which houses a spare card and not much else.

I've used it for a year, and the camera has always fitted in nicely: protected but a little room for manoeuvre. In terms of depth, the Tamron is quite a large lens and just about fits into the case with the hood reversed. The 18-55 kit lens would fit fine.

It is advertised as being large enough to accommodate an EOS 5D; I'd be amazed if this is the case. I've recently upgraded my camera body to the EOS 70D, and while I'd hoped that it might fit OK, having briefly tried it in a shop, in fact its just too tight for comfort around the frame of the camera itself. The height of the camera body means that the hotshoe fouls on the inner edge of the case, and you have to put some pressure on it to get it in, which is far from ideal. The additional depth of the camera body then also means you have a tough time closing the zips; how on earth you'd get anything larger in it is beyond me.

As a result I'm getting rid of this and buying something that's a little more accurately described; good value product for the money, let down by inaccurate advertising.

Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF] Lens for Canon
Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF] Lens for Canon
Price: £338.49

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great value lens, don't use with Canon EOS 70D, 14 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I purchased this lens as an upgrade to the EOS 400D kit lens; most of my photography is indoor, hand-held, low-light portrait stuff, and I was becoming frustrated with the lack of a decent wide aperture at longer focal lengths. Really I wanted a lens that could morph into my Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 II Lens when required, whilst still allowing me some more options in framing when using it as a walkabout.

For its price point, and for the purposes above, it is a brilliant lens. I'm not going to attempt a review of the technical performance of the lens because I'm not qualified, and it has garnered a good deal of attention on various useful sites (dpreview, photozone.de etc); however, it allowed me scope to take attractive portrait shots in low light/indoors, and in general take greater control over my photography. The AF is noisy - I thought quite noticeably so, although it's not really much worse than the EF 50mm. The lens feels well made to me, and I liked the weight which balanced the camera nicely. It feels like a grown-up solution and was a great stepping stone. In addition, I had it in mind that the fixed aperture would be useful for when I started wanting an upgrade to the camera for video shooting (although I didn't bother with the stabilised version).

And there's the rub; I'm getting rid of it because I've now upgraded the camera body to the Canon EOS 70D Body Only Camera - Black (20.2MP) 3.0 inch LCD, and I've found a couple of issues. The first is that the lens doesn't seem to play well with the new Canon Dual Pixel CMOS AF focus system - there's a lot of quite noisy hunting when shooting stills in LiveView mode (indoor). More importantly, I've immediately come across the compatibility issues in video shooting that are widely documented on the web. In my case, I managed half a dozen short film clips on my first outing with it, but in four of the six cases the camera lost contact with the lens, terminated filming and presented a 'check lens attached' warning.

A quick Google on my return provided ample evidence on Flickr forums and other digital video review sites that I'm not the only one to experience this with this specific lens. Tamron don't yet claim to support the EOS 70D (for good reason). Tamron UK support had no idea what I was talking about when I spoke to them, which wasn't reassuring considering the issues were first reported more than eight months ago, so I'm switching to the Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 EX DC HSM Optical Stabilised lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras with APS-C Sensors, which from my research has been used quite happily with the EOS 70D for video shooting.

The lens by itself I think is good value; if you spend this money, you know you're not buying the last word in fixed aperture standard zooms, but I felt it was a real step up from the kit lens, and gave me exactly the extra options I wanted. If it worked better with the EOS 70D, I wouldn't have dreamt of getting rid of it. I've removed a star because Tamron really should be up with the compatibility issue, and able to advise/rectify; if they can't, it reflects poorly on their otherwise very impressive products.

No Title Available

68 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Puts the competition in the shade, 21 Sept. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
We bought this to replace the £100 Lumie Bodyclock Advanced 200, which lasted for 6 years but didn't survive its first bulb failure. There were things we loved about the Lumie - the subtleness of the light, the 'sunset' feature - but there were also things that were surprisingly awful: the clock gained about 30 seconds every day, setting it up felt like using a digital watch from the 80s, and the whole thing felt flimsy and badly made, and worth nowhere near the asking price.

The Philips has all the strengths of the Lumie and none of the weaknesses. It feels like a premium product (as it should for this money), with a reassuring weight and obvious build quality. The sunset/sunrise feature is if anything better graduated than the Lumie, and the change in colour tone, although I thought it might be a gimmick, in fact adds to this and makes the sunrise feel more natural and less abrupt, although we never used to think the Lumie was poor in this regard. The LEDs that the Philips uses appear to be just as effective, if not more so, than the halogen lamp that the Lumie relied on, and we're hoping will also have a reasonably lengthy life, since I don't think they can be replaced.

The user interface is much more fitting for a £100 clock - it boasts a dimmable display that appears to float on the surface of the clock, and four tiny LED marker lights for the principal controls, which increase in brightness as your finger approaches the clock. We've got more options in the way of sunrise/sunset times, and two independent alarms. There are apparently a host of bird noises it will emit as the light comes on, but you should be reassured that these can be silenced, and the wake-up effect of the sunrise is perfectly sufficient for getting us out of bed. The only feature which we miss from the Lumie (or at least haven't yet found on the Philips) is the automatic shut-off of the sunrise alarm, which happened approximately 10 minutes after reaching maximum illumination. This is particularly useful to prevent the bulb burning out if you forget to switch off the alarm whilst on holiday, and also if, like us, you have small children who occasionally wake you up and force you to begin your day before the sunrise alarm has come on...

We've only had it a couple of weeks, and there are a few features we've not used, and probably never will (the built-in FM radio, aforesaid bird noises) but it feels like a luxury item and I sincerely hope that our very positive first impressions are borne out by long service. It's very expensive, but it's so good that you don't feel you've been fleeced. From our experience, definitely buy it over the equivalent Lumie.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 27, 2014 6:51 PM BST

knomo Folio Case for Apple iPad mini Cognac
knomo Folio Case for Apple iPad mini Cognac
Offered by Branded and New Limited
Price: £9.99

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth every penny, shop around, 6 May 2013
I bought this cover as a replacement for my first instinct - something cheap that would do the job. I spent a fiver and it felt like it. I decided, unusually for me, to go for a pricier option.

There's a reasonable range of pricy ones out there - I wanted a leather front with good quality feel, a back that wouldn't intrude on the iPad, and ideally an elastic strap to keep it closed. This case has everything except the strap: the leather is actually leather, the back cover has a nice smooth grippable surface, and there's a small ridge that secures the device for typing - I'm using it now in the garden and it works a treat.

The brown one is great to look at - the inner surface of the leather is a brighter orange which I really like, and the whole thing looks and feels like it can live up to its £300 contents. Yes it is expensive and frankly I thought hard before spending this much, but I am extremely glad I did. It makes me want to use the thing even more than I did before, and improves the experience while I do. I love it, and will buy from this manufacturer again.

A brief aside - the cheapest I could find was not Amazon, and still isn't at time of writing, so shop around, including the high street (which is where I got mine). Apart from anything else I've learnt the value of checking out the look and feel of these things in the flesh...

No Title Available

4.0 out of 5 stars Get a little more than you pay for, 27 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I chose this cover as a cheap stop gap - it looked like good value and could have been a bargain. As it is, although it does what it claims, I'll buy something nicer soon.

Pros: The case is very slim, has a hard back and a fairly flimsy cover with two creases. The iPad fits in tightly and i'm sure it won't come loose. It's light and the leather effect is reasonable. Screen protection looks like it should be fine, courtesy of the soft lining. It stands up OK both in viewing and typing mode. Contrary to some other reviews, mine definitely says TeckNet on it, and came with the screen protector and stylus. One reviewer complained it's just a biro - mine is certainly a ball point pen at one end, but the soft rubber tip at the other is the stylus bit...

Cons: it seems mean to present cons for a product that does what it says and costs £5. That said, I don't really like the look of it, and feel it just seems a bit cheap considering the thing it's housing is upwards of £300. I will be buying a nicer more expensive one, although I'll be looking for a lot of the same things; I just don't feel like this case does the iPad justice.

Targus Wireless Optical Mouse
Targus Wireless Optical Mouse

4.0 out of 5 stars Quality feel, ideal for travel, not quite full size, 8 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this as a completely unnecessary replacement for the full-size wired version, which came with my work laptop. I had a sudden urge to clear the desk of cables...

This wireless version is visually very similar to the wired version, which is why I bought it. It feels comfortably weighty and well put together. It takes two AA batteries, and has a slot under the top cover for storing the USB adaptor. The cover attaches and detaches beautifully, held in place by a couple of tiny magnets.

The USB adaptor isn't as flush with the laptop body as I thought it would be - it sticks out about a centimetre and on my thinkpad you can see the top of the metal usb collar sticking out from the machine, beneath the branded plastic stub. I wanted to leave it in the machine, and I do, but to be on the safe side my laptop goes into the rucksack with this little dongle pointing upwards (my USB slots are at the sides of the keyboard).

Haven't had it long enough to comment on battery life - only a couple of months; all I will say is that I've left it switched on over the weekend a couple of times and it has shown no ill effects.

Pros: it was a bargain for the money, and when I thought I'd lost it the other week I was genuinely annoyed; it's nice to look at and use, especially for presentations around a shared screen or similar, and I wouldn't go back to wired.

Cons: my hands aren't huge but I'd have liked a full-size one, as I find them a little more comfortable for all-day use. I also hoped that the dongle would be a bit more flush with the machine.

Philex 2 x 2 m Cable Management Kit - Black
Philex 2 x 2 m Cable Management Kit - Black
Price: £3.82

2.0 out of 5 stars Just rearrange the house, 7 Jun. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this product despite some of the negative reviews on here; we needed some way of preventing our one year old messing about with the hundreds of cables draped round the lounge, and I thought for the price it would be fine.

Service was good and it arrived fast from the marketplace seller, so no complaints there. The cable tidy itself is pretty ugly, and looks and feels like it's been made from recycled car tyres. The reviewer who complained about the 'zip' thing is absolutely right - this one broke within about a minute and a half of leaving the box. It's a poorly made thin plastic thing with a flimsy, loosely fitted spring; one of the clasps snapped off and the whole thing immediately fell apart. With some dexterity it will probably still just about work, but I'm not sure I'll ever find out.

We ended up rearranging things in the house to fix our cable problem; I'm not sure I'd even use this for gathering up cables behind the computer, because it looks like it'd be more trouble than it's worth. So no complaints about the sale, many regrets about the purchase; it's not worth even the few pounds I spent on it.

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