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Profile for Mr. N. R. F. Smith > Reviews

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Mr. N. R. F. Smith "languagelover" (London)

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Esprit BIKE-X Fitness Magnetic Exercise Bike Foldable Fitness Cardio Workout Weight Loss Machine (Red)
Esprit BIKE-X Fitness Magnetic Exercise Bike Foldable Fitness Cardio Workout Weight Loss Machine (Red)
Offered by AVC Online Outlet

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to put together, 27 Jan. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Easy to put together, sturdy and very quiet in use. When folded up it needs surprisingly little space. Absolute bargain at £60 inc delivery and still excellent value at £65.

No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars It's really nice not to have a horrid faux leather case, 24 Jun. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The light grey is actually a lot nicer than it looked online. It's really nice not to have a horrid faux leather case. It also fits well and doesn't impose on any of the phone's functions ( as you would hope and expect).

Sony Xperia T James Bond UK Sim Free Smartphone - Black (discontinued by manufacturer)
Sony Xperia T James Bond UK Sim Free Smartphone - Black (discontinued by manufacturer)

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Some good bits but camera and battery life let it down, 5 Aug. 2013
After some research I chose the Xperia T when my contract was renewed. I thought that given Sony's experience of making cameras and the headline megapixels (not necessarily the sign of quality but I hoped a signal that it would be decent) that it would be on a par with my Nokia N8. The camera is terrible - images blur incredibly easily and low light is a total no-go. I'm not looking to produce avant garde masterpieces, I just want my phone to adequately handle photos on a night out.

After installing the power saver app, changing the settings before the screen switched off etc I was able to get at least a day of moderate use from it but otherwise it is a real power guzzler. The screen is lovely but if you want to watch a movie on the go then you'll probably need to charge before and after.

Android is slick though and apps are often cheaper than the app store. Texting is also almost enjoyable with the wizzy swipe controls.

In the end I decided to sell and return to my N8. It's a big step backwards in terms of a clunky OS that is painfully slow and clogged but the camera tramples over the Xperia T.

Apple iPad Mini 1 16GB Wi-Fi - Space Grey
Apple iPad Mini 1 16GB Wi-Fi - Space Grey
Offered by Shelfone™ (UK - VAT Registered)

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but pricey, 8 Feb. 2013
After a disappointing experience with the Sony s tablet, I decided to sell it and buy my first ever Apple product.


Being my first Apple product, I've never used iTunes before. For video content, particularly TV, the iTunes library is dramatically superior to Android. Not an issue if you torrent stuff for free but if you prefer to pay then it's great.
Currently iplayer content can be downloaded and played back off-line with Apple products but not Android. Though they are working on this for Android I find it really useful to download BBC stuff for a train journey (where you can rarely rely on a fast, consistent internet connection to stream).
Battery life is really good. I watched an hour long episode on the train plus some light gaming and I think it lost about 5% of the battery life.
I like to think I'm not swayed by how it looks but, of course, I am and it looks super swanky - especially with a colourful (if extortionately priced) cover.
Good size - the screen is big enough to do/enjoy everything but the tablet is small enough that you want to take it everywhere.


Price (and why 4 not 5 stars). I knew you could get something more powerful for less money and made my choice based on the pros above (mainly iTunes). However, clearly Apple make a lot more profit per device than Samsung, Amazon and Google.
Whilst the interface is fine and works well, having listened to the Apple evangelists over the years I was expecting something a bit more revolutionary - it doesn't seem to me to be that much different from Android.

Overall, I'm very happy with my purchase (John Lewis by the way, not Amazon). Given that an iphone 5 is £500+ I don't think the ipad mini is expensive as such but the competition is cheaper. If Google had the kind of content library that Apple have, I would have got a nexus for £100 or so less than the ipad mini.

Samsung Chromebook XE303C12-A01UK 11.6-inch Laptop (2GB RAM, 16GB HDD)
Samsung Chromebook XE303C12-A01UK 11.6-inch Laptop (2GB RAM, 16GB HDD)

28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Team google, 3 Dec. 2012
Early days but it's a really innovative product that thus far delivers as promised.


The concept - a super fast running chrome browser which switches on in a few seconds. Automatic back-up and the benefit of cloud storage. No need to buy anti-virus or MS office.

Battery life and wi-fi are both very impressive and essential for its success.

Hardware is impressive (looks nice and good keyboard) for the money. Obviously it would be nicer if it was brushed aluminium or whatever but I think Samsung have done a good job whilst keeping costs down.

For me personally I'm pleased it has bluetooth and now Spotify can be accessed without installing software i.e. you can listen to Spotify using the Chromebook. I (again personally) significantly prefer using the internet with a proper keyboard and mouse (clickpad) rather than a touchscreen.

Overall value for money is astonishing really.


Like many people I have some specialist software for work that obviously I can't install. I think it would be difficult (sadly) for this to be the only computer that you need. Consequently it might feel like an indulgence as it will almost certainly be a second computer. Perhaps even more unnecessary if you already have a laptop, a smartphone and a tablet.


For the low entry cost I think it's difficult to go wrong and would be unfair to award anything less than 5*s. I'm more than happy keeping this as my home laptop and let my work worry about providing a Windows machine with all the annoyances that they bring.

I think the Chromebook idea could really catch on and it'll have a broad appeal to tech loving Google enthusiasts as well as the more technophobic who just want something to work and do the basics - I will ensure my mum's next computer is a Chromebook!

Michel Thomas Method: Portuguese Foundation Course
Michel Thomas Method: Portuguese Foundation Course
by Virginia Catmur
Edition: Audio CD

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On a par with original Michel Thomas languages, 26 July 2012
I've already written a review of the Spanish original Michel Thomas course where I explained why I liked the method so much. Whilst it's not the legend himself there are one or two useful additions compared to the previous batch. Having the native speaker is really good. For the Spanish, French and Italian foundation courses you had Michel's German twangs creeping through. Secondly, the lady doing this course is slightly politer than Michel was. Some may find this patronising but I personally thought Michel had verged on rude in some of his courses. I remember him bellowing "you have to think it out!" angrily at his students in either the French or Spanish course.

As a general point about the Michel Thomas range, if you are serious about learning the language then it will give you the backbone. You will learn so much more with 8-9 hours and £50 than in evening classes. However, it won't give you tourist stock phrases and you'll need classes and/or time in a Portuguese speaking country to get basic vocab (numbers, foods etc) as well as be able to understand native speakers.

The other point I'd make is that I wouldn't recommend doing it in the car. To get the most out of it you really need to pause when prompted, think and respond out loud (or under your breath if on the tube!). My view is that the "thinking about it" is why you remember it.

No Title Available

30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good but not great, 4 Dec. 2011
Sorry for any typos but am doing my review on the tablet.

I've never had an android device before but it seems like a nice os and a much better range of apps compared to nokia's ovi store (no surprises there I guess).

I decided to get the sony for a few reasons. The design was a main one. The screen is the perfect size and the slant makes using it very comfotable, especially for reading an ebook or pdf. It's also nice having the old school playstation games like destruction derby and I hope more to follow.

The 3 star review is because the wifi is poor. It frequently cuts out or is out of range in my living room when even my archaic laptop gets good signal there. I'm a bit surprised at this really as without a good connection this device is severely limited.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 31, 2013 9:34 AM BST

Jiu Jitsu for All: Yellow Belt to Green Belt
Jiu Jitsu for All: Yellow Belt to Green Belt
by David Walker
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Really helpful, 5 Jun. 2011
If you are training with the Jitsu foundation then this book is really helpful and I credit it with getting me through my green belt grding. as you progress there becomes more and more to remember so it's good to have a reference and explanation. Reading step by step instructions was also quite useful if there was a technique that I was struggling with in training.

I think there have been some slight syllabus changes since this book was made however I believe there is less rather than more included in the earlier belts so it should contain all you need.

This type of book can't really be used as a "teach-yourself" manual. You do need to go to training. Still it might be an interesting read if you are looking to start a martial art or already train in something similar like judo.

Total Spanish (Learn Spanish with the Michel Thomas Method) (Michel Thomas Series)
Total Spanish (Learn Spanish with the Michel Thomas Method) (Michel Thomas Series)
by Michel Thomas
Edition: Audio CD

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect if you are serious about learning the language, 5 Jun. 2011
I've been evangelical about Michel Thomas since getting the Spanish discs in 2004. I've subsequently been through several of his offerings but Spanish is the one I feel best placed to comment on.

I subsequently went to study Spanish in Spain and then did an Erasmus year there. The foundation course really gives you just that - the foundation in the language and everything else you learn hangs off it. I still feel that the Michel Thomas Spanish is my base - the fundamentals of how the verbs work and how to construct sentences. I often do the advanced review course to maintain my level.

After the 8 hour course you essentially have the ability to express yourself and manipulate the language to do so.

Obviously you can't be fluent in 8 hours. There is little vocab taught and I think you'd be unlikely to understand a native speaker. In the tourist coffee shop situation you are not much better off and if you do just want to learn a bit for a holiday then this probably isn't the right course. Also, you cannot passively listen or have it on in the car. To get the best out of it you need to sit down and give it your full attention. It will be worth it.

If you genuinely want to learn Spanish then I believe this course should be the first thing you do.

Significantly cheaper than Rosetta stone which requires much more time and dedication.

Nokia N8 Sim Free Mobile Phone
Nokia N8 Sim Free Mobile Phone

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well done Nokia, 5 Jun. 2011
I first got this phone in November but sadly put it in the washing machine (they do not like washing machines). Have bitten the bullet and bought it again sim-free. Having looked at the competition I don't think anything else compares.

The best feature is the camera. I previously had a Sony w995. Although it had an 8mp camera the pics still looked very "mobile phoney". The N8 really is like having a proper digital camera with you all the time.

The other main function I use it for (after being a phone and a camera) is as a media player. Obviously most smartphones do this but I think the N8 has the edge in that you can download content from iplayer and watch it back offline. A fantastic feature.

There are less apps than android or ios but the important ones are there (angry birds, facebook, spotify, youtube etc). Nokia also give you quite a lot for free and it feels like they cherry pick the good stuff from the other platforms.

Internet browsing is also very swish and there are no flash player issues.

It's a question of priorities. I'd say mine go like this:

1. Call quality
2. Camera
3. Media player
4. Internet
5. Games and apps

For anyone that has similar preferences then I think this is the perfect phone.

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