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Reviews Written by
Nick C (Middleton, Manchester)

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OXO "Softworks" Non-Stick Sauté Pan with Lid and 2 Helper Handles, Black, 28 cm
OXO "Softworks" Non-Stick Sauté Pan with Lid and 2 Helper Handles, Black, 28 cm
Price: £49.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Big well made pan., 22 Oct. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Brilliantly made pan, although the dimensions are listed here I was surprised how big and deep it was when it arrived. It is a fair old weight too especially when filled but it does have a second handle to aid lifting, but that weight gives it a real substantial feel. All the handles including the one on the lid have a rubberised feel and are heat resistant (will they be silicon?). The main handle is very tactile, nice and comfortable and fits the hand well The pan itself is of a thick heavy duty aluminium and the lid is clear so you can see what's going on, the pan looks very stylish (if a pan CAN look stylish). As I said the size surprised me, my better half made a paella for the 3 of us using it yesterday and it was cooked perfectly. This is the second Oxo brand pan we've had and both have been of exceptional quality I can't hesitate in recommending it.


Lynx Signature Gift Set, Pack of Two
Lynx Signature Gift Set, Pack of Two
Price: £12.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Great gift set., 22 Oct. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Two great smelling Lynx products in a nice matt black metal tin. The Oud Wood & Dark Vanilla pump spray especially is really nice I think of all the Lynx stuff I've come across this is my favourite, again my son has snapped these up as he uses and loves Lynx products. Obviously aimed at the gift market it's really well presented.


AmazonBasics LED G4 Capsule Bulb, 1.8W (equivalent to 20W), Warm White - Pack of 6
AmazonBasics LED G4 Capsule Bulb, 1.8W (equivalent to 20W), Warm White - Pack of 6

5.0 out of 5 stars Indistinguishable from Halogens., 21 Oct. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Quality wise these are bang on, they give out a lovely amount of warm light like a regular bulb not a cold light like you sometimes expect from LEDs. At a fraction of the energy usage of our old 20w halogens, running at 1.8w, the light they give out is indistinguishable, they are larger especially around the pins area but they have fit the slim light fittings perfectly. They come in basic packaging with no instructions (do you need instructions to fit a bulb?) which I like...no plastic. With them being LEDs they should last a darn sight longer than a regular halogen, we have two lights in the living room that use 6 bulbs each they are not the easiest lights to replace in the house (in fact I hate doing them) and it seems we have to swap out a bulb every month, so this should save a lot of fiddling about and time. I'm giving them 5 stars as their size made them that bit easier to fit and the light from them combined with the energy saving is top. Thing is I can't comment on value for money as at the time of writing the bulbs are out of stock and there is no price listed, these were provided by Amazon for review, but I have put them on my wishlist and as soon as they are back in stock I'll be getting another 6 for the other light.


PaintShop Pro 2018 Ultimate (PC)
PaintShop Pro 2018 Ultimate (PC)

5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite photo editing software, 18 Oct. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've used Paint Shop Pro for so long as my go to program for editing pictures. I always find it much easier to use than the "industry standard" Adobe Photoshop and for the price you get a huge amount of editing power.
These days Adobe Photoshop is only available as a rented piece of software through their creative cloud option (Photoshop CC), it's around £10 a month a big saving from buying it a while ago when it was several hundreds of pounds for the full product.
Corel Paintshop 2018 though can still be bought for a one off price, pay for the software once and use it for as long as you want to rather than a subscription fee paid each month for something which you never really own and in time the cost mounts up...there's pros and cons on both sides.
The Ultimate version comes with the following extras: Painter Essentials 5, Perfectly Clear 3 se, Aftershot 3 and Corel Creative collection. It took me about 20 minutes to load them all onto my PC and that includes the updates.

I notice it is quicker to load than X9 (after the first initial load) but each time it will give you the choice of whether you want to open it up in the stripped down Essentials interface or the standard interface. Now it might get annoying choosing the workspace you want to use each time you load the program so to get around this you can go into File > Preferences > General Program Preferences > Tab and click the radio button "Keep Last View",so each time the program starts it will open up in the workspace option last used - that's what I tend to use but there are a couple of other startup scenarios to choose from.

The new essentials workspace option is great - this is designed for quick editing when you know exactly what you want it's almost as stripped down as Microsoft Paint.It provides only the basic tools needed to edit a picture and provides a larger canvas area as such over the standard interface.You can at any time swap out of your current workspace to the alternate worksapce setting it will transfer the picture you are working on to the new UI without losing any changes you have made to the picture.

One tool I use a great deal is the clone tool as I'm always messing about improving pics or removing unwanted objects - it has changed from the last version of Paintshop I had, now when you chose an area to clone it shows a semi transparent preview of the selected area that you have right clicked and chosen to copy from in the clone brush area before you left click to overlay - this helps so much with straight edges on objects making sure they are levelled and match seamlessly on the first attempt. For me this is an absolute killer improvement.

One other nice addition is the quick customise option at the bottom of the left hand nav panel marked by a cross in a circle.
This has two uses it can be used to customise the buttons on the nav bar by either removing them or to add or remove certain tools from their drop down lists, or it can be used to locate a particulartool by unchecking the one you are looking for and then checking it again - it will light up the icon where the particular tool can be found. I don't know what they have done under the hood but using the same PC BUT it seems that my 2018 experience is faster than X9. It seems everything works a lot more smoothly.

I'm biased as I've used PSP for so long now over PShop (which I did start using and still do have access to and use from time to time at work) but I have always found it's interface to be logical and easy to navigate and it's tools easy to use when compared to Photoshop, it's so ergonomically laid out and I think that can help you reach a level of competency so much quicker. I've never had a time when I've had to resort to another editor to get what I wanted from a picture - having said that I'm not a pro, but for anyone who wants a huge amount of editing power at a good price then I find myself recomending it again and again.


Illegal: A graphic novel telling one boy's epic journey to Europe
Illegal: A graphic novel telling one boy's epic journey to Europe
by Eoin Colfer
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.43

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A valuable tale., 16 Oct. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A book aimed at children but anyone of any age could read this and get something out of it, a valuable lesson. It’s well illustrated and the story is simple yet very effective in getting the plight of these people across. I enjoyed it yet it makes me feel sad that in this world we live in people are driven to such measures by the futility or desperation of their circumstances.


Zyliss Quick Whisk, White
Zyliss Quick Whisk, White
Price: £19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth it., 11 Oct. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I haven't used one of these for a long time, the last I used was the old open mechanism kind which seemed to shake me as much as the mix, this has the mechanism completely covered though. It's a treat to be able to use one again, perfect for when you want to whip something up quick without having to get the electric mixer fired up. Easily cleaned, the bar and the two whisks are both removable and the housing is easily wiped down, no nooks or crannies to collect dirt in. It has a super smooth dual action action where the individual whisks also revolve around each other to aid mixing. A much better take on the old style whisk and a good price, well worth it.


Ionic Shower Head Handheld 3way Function Filter Bead Replacement 200% High Pressure, 30% Water Saving
Ionic Shower Head Handheld 3way Function Filter Bead Replacement 200% High Pressure, 30% Water Saving
Offered by JCR UK
Price: £14.87

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant shower head., 10 Oct. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Really like this shower head, it's replaced a large diameter sunflower one which was okay but the water flow and pressure on this one is so much better even on the relaxing rainfall setting. The jet setting is what I have used the most and then towards the end I set it to rainfall to chill me out. It's easy to change the setting without removing it from the shower head holder by using the rocker switch on the head itself, much better than faffing about with a shower head ring. Excellent product.


Design Toscano STEAM PUNK PEN HOLDER
Design Toscano STEAM PUNK PEN HOLDER
Price: £29.84

4.0 out of 5 stars Looks good but a little pricey., 10 Oct. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Things were not looking good when I unpacked the item as due to the packaging the hands of the clock, which are only a thin metal, had been forced against the face. I gently re-aligned them and put a battery in - ideally the clock face would covered by a piece of plastic so the hands don't get damaged in transit. It's made of cold cast resin bonded with crushed stone and the stone does give it that extra roughness that regular cold cast resin doesn't have making it feel that more "industrial", especially on the base where it feels almost metallic. It's nice and chunky and reasonable weighty. The area for the pens is stepped, one half 60mm deep and the other half 35mm deep (approx.) so the pens don't go in deep and are easy to grab but it's only going to hold maybe 5 or 6 tops depending on the thickness of them, using them on the shallower edge is a no-no, they'll fit but they'll fall out.
The clock itself is a regular cheap plastic mechanism that you find in everything these days, nothing special but does the job. As mentioned the hands are open and not protected so could be open to knocking on a busy desk considering that the use is a pen holder, if their housing had been extended a centimetre or so and a glass protector put over it that would have helped and might have even enhanced the industrial look giving it the appearance of some kind of gauge. The hands themselves are silver thankfully as bronze/gold ones would have made reading the time that much harder. The rear of item provides access to the battery compartment/ rear of the clock and is open which compromises the look a little not a problem if the rear is facing a wall but not as effective if on a desk in an office for example. But after all is said and done I do like it, quite a lot in fact, it looks great on my computer desk and the more I look at it the more I like it! I'm not sure about calling it steam punk though which suggests styling inspired by the sci-fi world's of Jules Verne,Victoriana and the like to me, it does have elements I suppose but I think industrial (as I have used here) would be more appropriate. Price wise...well it is cold cast resin and this stuff tends to cost a fair bit as I've discovered in the past, but I think a much fairer price would be the £25 - £35 mark. I really do like it but I sincerely think the retail price needs to be looked at.


Joseph Joseph Counterstore Utensil Pot & Chopping Board Set- Silver
Joseph Joseph Counterstore Utensil Pot & Chopping Board Set- Silver
Price: £40.00

4.0 out of 5 stars For that smaller work top, 6 Oct. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Quite a compact set – reasonably well laid out and incorporating a slotted larger tower to accommodate knives or bladed utensils like icing spatulas. The unit is made of a strong silver coloured plastic which looks quite attractive and has rubber feet to stop it skating across work surfaces. But at a £35 - £40 retail price I would have expected more than just plastic, in fact I thought it was metal until I opened the box. On the plus side though being plastic may well make it easier to clean. It comes with a chopping board which is a little on the small side, but it is after all designed to be a compact space saving unit. As far as it goes it’s quite good not sure about the price.


Warrior (Feat Vinnie Vincent)
Warrior (Feat Vinnie Vincent)
Price: £9.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 5 Oct. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've had the Warrior demos for some years now on tape due to the New England connection, well the first 6 tracks anyway and was expecting them to be freshened up plus I was looking forward to hearing the tracks I hadn't heard before. Are they an improvement sound wise? - no I'm afraid not, the quality is pretty much the same i.e. very ropey. The same goes for the instrumental tracks and the tracks laid down with Fergie Frederiksen, it just sounds like people mucking about at band practise - which I guess it is to an extent. Fair enough record it for your own reference but I'm not sure of the value in releasing this "into the wild" as it does no-ones reputation any favours. HNE are releasing some good stuff from the archives but at times their quality really dips. Definitely one for completists who have to have everything an artist has done.


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