Learn more Shop now Learn more 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 MacAvity > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by MacAvity
Top Reviewer Ranking: 97,649
Helpful Votes: 665

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
MacAvity (UK)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9
pixel
BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300 Sim Free Smartphone
BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300 Sim Free Smartphone
Offered by Gadget-Basket
Price: £89.99

35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The best phone I've ever had - almost..., 12 Nov. 2010
If this new Blackberry supported e-mail in the same way as do many other phones I would have given it five stars. However, e-mail on this device is carrier-dependent and requires a special subscription over and above your familiar PAYG SIM top-up. On contract deals the special subscription is usually included in your monthly charge. Otherwise I love this phone to bits because it is so simple to use. The telephone sound quality is also amazing - very crisp and clear. If you are slightly hard-of-hearing or work in noisy environments this is definitely a phone to consider. The only downside is that people with chubby fingers may find typing a challenge. The keys are very small. But, like I did, with perseverance you would probably get used to them in a moderate jiff. Then, add a smart leather flip case and at once you'll feel like somebody from Star Trek. This model is not just mega-efficient - it's super cool into the bargain: an awesome technological fashion statement. Buy one and I guarantee you'll be...dare I say...over the moon? Really!

13/11/2010: I've had to downgrade my opinion due to an issue with streaming video. When connected to Youtube videos start okay - then I get a message: 'Wireless network has been disconnected. Please try again.' This applies whether I'm connecting to the Net via 3G or WLAN. My other smartphones stream Youtube videos fine from the same router. So this dropped connection malarkey has to be something to do with the Blackberry Curve. I've Googled the problem and found a few 'solutions' that have worked for others but not for me. Meanwhile Blackberry Tech Support want fifty bucks before they'll help with this issue and the rep I spoke to was hard to understand because her English was very poor.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 1, 2011 2:37 PM GMT


Sony Ericsson X10 Mini Pro with Sim Free (discontinued by manufacturer)
Sony Ericsson X10 Mini Pro with Sim Free (discontinued by manufacturer)

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice wee phone but..., 9 Nov. 2010
It's hard getting used to the touch screen. Whenever I start scrolling with my thumb I inadvertently 'select' something and have to keep pressing the back button. I would say that, if you have large fingers, this might be even more of a problem.


Samsung N220 Plus 10.1-inch Netbook (Intel Atom N450 1.66GHz, 1 GB RAM, 250 GB HDD, Bluetooth 3.0, Webcam, Windows 7 Starter (Red/Black))
Samsung N220 Plus 10.1-inch Netbook (Intel Atom N450 1.66GHz, 1 GB RAM, 250 GB HDD, Bluetooth 3.0, Webcam, Windows 7 Starter (Red/Black))

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So far, nearly five stars, 9 Nov. 2010
I've only had this Netbook for a day. So the following is not by any means a full review. Just a first impression.

Compared to Samsung's earlier Netbooks, like the NC10, N220 Plus doesn't feel as solid - though it's well enough built. The power-on switch is now a slider on the lower front of the machine rather than a luxurious chrome bush-button on the right side. The unit also feels lighter and, as a result, more flimsy. Only time will tell if it's up to coping with the rigours of everyday life (in a rucksack).

The other thing you should know is that N220 Plus only has one memory slot occupied by a 1Gb stick. It's possible to upgrade this to a 2Gb stick.* But 1Gb seems adequate enough for running the Windows 7 Starter OS provided. Speed wise N220 is hardly a hare. But it's certainly not a tortoise either, performance being in line with, or better than, the competition. Moreover, once you strip out all the bundled software which, apart from NIS, comprises mostly appalling games, your N220 will run a lot faster than when you first switched it on.

I must also highlight the wonderfully tactile keyboard with its widely-spaced keys and really solid feel. Touch-typing is so easy on this one, in particular, I bet, for folk with larger-than-average digits. The battery, too, looks like affording the 8+ hours claimed of it, and the screen is of the sterling quality we've come to expect from Samsung, as showcased by their great tellies.

Besides the usual power adaptor and basic bumf (the User Guide resides on the computer hard disk) you might be lucky enough to find a very nice black protective padded sleeve in the box. This is not mentioned in the official specs. So maybe my mate just got lucky with his red unit and I didn't with my green one. You should investigate because nice protective padded sleeves of the type I'm talking about can be pricey.

In addition, don't let anyone tell you that N220 Plus has a 3G SIM slot in the battery compartment. It doesn't. That little slot is empty and if you try putting any SIM in there you risk losing it in the works - as I nearly did mine. Apparently not many Netbooks come with 3G built-in due to adverse experience regarding signal strength. This is why, for mobile Internet, most people use 3G USB dongles, which obviously are more positionable than internal modems with embedded antennas.

When N220 Plus has completed its starting procedure - which takes at least an hour - the 250Gb hard disk has four partitions: recovery and system (hidden), plus C & D (the latter for storing files). From a booting angle this fairly standard `system' (100Mb) plus `C' configuration on any new PC (as opposed to having the whole OS on the one partition) can make encrypting your computer difficult or impossible - a fact worth bearing in mind for a Netbook or laptop which will inevitably get carted around a lot and could easily get lost or stolen.

Finally, on the whole, although there could be better Netbooks out there bearing higher or lower price-tags I don't think you'll be disappointed with this Samsung N220 Plus. To be pretty sure I reckon you'll be delighted with it. I'm falling in love with mine already after a mere twenty-four hours. Hopefully our association will be a long, satisfying and productive one. Yours too.

* Just done the memory upgrade. Can't say I notice much improvement in performance.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 7, 2011 11:48 PM GMT


Panasonic BB-HCM581 Network Camera
Panasonic BB-HCM581 Network Camera

4.0 out of 5 stars This model represents good value for money, 5 Oct. 2010
Besides the fairly decent picture quality, the best thing we like about this camera is its 21x optical zoom lens. In our view this is what really sets BB-HCM581 apart from the competition. But please note that, being a PoE (Power-over-Ethernet) camera, it doesn't come with a power supply as standard. You will need a midspan or a PoE switch, like Netgear's FS108P (or Gigabit GS108P). Otherwise you will have to separately purchase the relevant DC adaptor which comes as standard with BB-HCM581's little brother, who goes by the name of BB-HCM580. He is exactly the same as his elder sibling save for the absence of PoE and two-way audio. So if you don't need these features, you could save a few quid by going for him instead.

Although both cameras come with a single-channel version of Panasonic's recording software, this version does not support the recording of MPEG-4 streams from either device - just M-JPEG streams. So we use the relatively inexpensive two-camera version of Milestone's XProtect software, which we think is much better than the Panasonic offering. Just so long as you know that Milestone software will only run on the high-end versions of Windows, like XP Professional and/or Windows 7 Professional/Ultimate. In addition, the free Panasonic software won't run on Vista or Windows 7 any versions. Windows 2000 and XP only apparently.

I have only given BB-HCM581 four stars because, not long after his warranty expired, he acquired a stuck pixel on his CCD sensor, which is still there, albeit not a great big deal. While at this price stuck pixels are not what you expect, considering that there isn't really another camera on the market at the moment that competes with BB-HCM581 on a price/performance basis, maybe you will not be surprised to learn that we're thinking of buying another - or at least a BB-HCM580 - to look out the back.

Other things we like about BB-HCM581 are the colour night view mode (which lets you see good pictures in the dark)and the SD card slot, which permits the buffering of images and the recording of short video clips. Both BB-HCM-581 and BB-HCM580 support SD cards up to 2Gb, which is more than enough for short timer and/or motion-instigated recordings.

Needless to say, Panasonic makes far superior network cameras for lots more cash. But for this sort of money we can't complain and we don't think you will either. Finally, if you fancy putting this camera outdoors there are some weatherproof housings you might like to look at from a company called Videotec.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 25, 2010 4:39 PM BST


Samsung 8GB SDHC PLUS High Speed Class 6 memory card
Samsung 8GB SDHC PLUS High Speed Class 6 memory card

5.0 out of 5 stars Records fine HD video from the Pentax K-X, 21 Aug. 2010
Just as I was about to shell out on a class 10 SDHC I decided to take this Samsung class 6 from another camera and test it in the Pentax K-X. The upshot is that now I shall be buying another TWO of these Samsung 8Gb class 6 cards for the Pentax for less than the cost of a single premium class 10.


Fujifilm FinePix HS10 Digital Camera - (10MP, 30x Wide Optical Zoom) 3 inch Tilting LCD
Fujifilm FinePix HS10 Digital Camera - (10MP, 30x Wide Optical Zoom) 3 inch Tilting LCD

70 of 71 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can I put it this way...?, 12 Aug. 2010
If it had a larger, slightly higher resolution sensor of around 12+ MP I reckon that many people currently in the market for an entry-level DSLR would buy this Fuji Finepix HS10 instead - mainly due to its chunky feel, fantastic manually-operated 30x zoom lens (with manual focus) and use of four ordinary AA rechargeable batteries. However, in terms of pure image quality I don't think HS10 takes pictures on a par with those from another bridge camera I bought recently - the Panasonic DMC-FZ38, which is smaller, lighter, cost over a hundred quid less and was much easier to source.

But FZ38 only has an 18x 'power' zoom lens and uses an expensive Li-ion battery.

This comparison aside though, HS10's brilliant lens combined with its ability to shoot RAW makes it very worthwhile having. The other thing you should know is that the Silkypix RAW Converter as bundled with HS10 is not a fully-functional version of the program. For example, the 'trim' feature is disabled and you can only save to JPEG as opposed to uncompressed TIF. Meanwhile I believe that HS10 RAW files are supported by Serif's recently-launched PhotoPlus X4. So this might be a reasonably-priced alternative worth investigating.

On the video front HS10's 1280x720 efforts are pretty impressive, especially when you consider that long lens. But be aware that any videos you shoot will be hampered by rattling and clicking noises made by the automatics inside the camera. This is a well-documented issue with HS10. Although switching off the automatics via the menu system will ameliorate these noises somewhat, better positioning of the on-board mics would have done that better, while the provision of an external mic input would have banished the problem entirely. Take note please Mr Fuji.

Would I buy HS10 again?

Yes. Definitely - because of its wonderful zoom lens. If you need to get 'really' close from 'afar', right now there's nothing comparable for the same sort of money. HS10 could be a proper boon to serious wildlife photographers on a budget.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 15, 2010 12:24 PM BST


Verbatim 47595 1TB Quad Interface 3.5" Hard Disk Drive
Verbatim 47595 1TB Quad Interface 3.5" Hard Disk Drive

3.0 out of 5 stars Good performer - frightfully noisy fan, 12 Aug. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This one is robustly-built, has all the right connections and works fast. It's also powered directly from the mains via a kettle lead - which might be good or bad depending on how much you hate those unsightly wall-brick power supplies that come with many other external drives. However, at the end of the day, it's the fan noise of this Verbatim unit that drives me nuts. How I wish I'd bought a quiet Western Digital drive instead. So, only three stars for trying Verbatim. Must do much better in the dB department in future. External hard drives that sound like your fridge are definitely not on.


Aqua Optima White Filter Jug ONE YEAR bundle Offer (inc 6x60day Evolve Filters) EJ0151 Galia
Aqua Optima White Filter Jug ONE YEAR bundle Offer (inc 6x60day Evolve Filters) EJ0151 Galia
Price: £29.37

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good value product that does what it claims, 30 July 2010
Very easy to set up and use. And it fits in our fridge door - just. But it might not fit in some fridge doors at all. So you should check yours if this is important. The filters are simple to fit, can be bought most cheaply in multi-packs and appear to be widely available, either retail or online. Highly recommended. We also bought the Morphy Richards 43542 filter kettle and are delighted with that too. Morphy Richards 43542 Brita Filter Black Plastic Jug Kettle
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 20, 2012 3:55 PM GMT


Morphy Richards 43542 Brita Filter Jug Kettle, Black
Morphy Richards 43542 Brita Filter Jug Kettle, Black

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last! A decent cup of char, 30 July 2010
Much to my amazement this product seems to do what it claims, namely: turn not-very-good tap water into excellent tap water that is ideal for making hot beverages that only taste as they should. We also no longer have to suffer the sight of an oily film floating on the surface of our cups of tea or coffee. So this kettle serves its primary purpose very well. In addition, it connects to its base via a centre spigot which allows the kettle to be rotated to suit right or left-handed people and the kettle itself is easy to fill. By registering the product with Morphy Richards you can obtain an additional year's warranty. The instructions are easy to follow and there's a little electronic device on the handle that reminds you when the filter needs replacing. Filters are not exactly cheap. But they can be made cheaper by buying them in multi-packs. They are also widely available, either retail or online. However, if you value the quality of your water the price of the filters is really insignificant. I can highly recommend this product.


Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38EB-K Digital Camera - Black (12.1MP, 18 x Optical Zoom) 2.7 inch LCD
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38EB-K Digital Camera - Black (12.1MP, 18 x Optical Zoom) 2.7 inch LCD

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good choice..., 5 July 2010
I think it pretty safe to say that you don't need to know anything about photography to take excellent pictures with this camera, either during the day or at night. The only thing I would recommend is that you buy filter DMW-LMC46 to permanently protect the camera's lens. This is a transparent filter that affects neither the colour nor the amount of light, meaning you can leave it in place all the time and it won't make any difference to your pictures. Otherwise, just set the mode dial to 'Intelligent Auto' and let the camera do the rest. In my view, right now DMC-FZ38 has no fair competitor. So, unless you have special photographic needs, I wouldn't bother looking any further. I've done all that stuff for you. This is 'it'.

I dare you you to buy one and tell me you're not delighted.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9