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Chris Hoare "Chris" (UK)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

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Gobe Adventure 32GB SDHC 90MB/s UHS-3 SD Memory Card
Gobe Adventure 32GB SDHC 90MB/s UHS-3 SD Memory Card
Offered by Gobe Europe
Price: £18.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As fast as it says, which is great for my needs, 1 May 2016
Gobe's Products are a little different in a world of look alike photographic products. My Adventure SD card arrived in a small brown (amazon frustration free alike) brown pack. Gobe have three speeds of sd card and this sits in the middle of their range. Opening it was a nice experience; inside the brown envelope revealed was the SD card in a plastic case; though the bag packet itself had a metalized (perhaps antistatic inside.)

The faster gobe cards are more than my camera can do so for now I chose adventure 32gb card. A typical day of taking photographs for me can often result in me taking 700-1500 shots; so the faster download time is always a bonus.

My first day using it wasn’t atypical; I was taking photos at a Rowing Regatta. The GOBE card didn’t hold back the buffer writing images away which. When I got home; I had 14.9 Gb of images on my 32Gb card. I use a Lexar USB3 card reader; and it dragged the images over to my computer in just under 3minutes for a real world data read speed of 88MB/s which is awesome.

Since then I have filled and emptied the cards several times without any degradation in performance. Gobe's price is competitive with other cards with a similar performance; you also know that your purchase has caused some extra trees to be planted.


Gobe CPL 82mm SCHOTT 16-Layer Multi-Coated Polarized Filter
Gobe CPL 82mm SCHOTT 16-Layer Multi-Coated Polarized Filter
Offered by Gobe Europe

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Banish Reflections, 24 April 2016
I read some advice a while ago; buy the best filter you can sized to fit the largest filter thread you have. I chose the Gobe 82mm Circular Polarizing filter to fit my lens with the widest filter thread; a 16-35mm. To switch it down to fit my other lenses I use Step Up Rings which are inexpensive filter rings. Besides the filter Gobe emailed me a 6 month premium trial account for dphoto which is a photo archiving service. They also use some of their profits to plant trees; after my purchase i had an email saying 10 trees were to be planted as a result.

I have used a few CPL filters with my landscape photography over the past few years; they are a constant in my bag. The Gobe filter is a step up from the cheaper filters I have used in the past. Using high quality Schott filter glass; mounted in what feels like a robust and high quality filter holder. Unlike some cheaper filters the frame is taught; there isn't any wobble in it; the threads spun onto my lens cleanly without sticking from badly machined threads. Once its on my camera the rotating filter section rotation is silky smooth. When you stop turning the thread it holds its place; the lack of wobble improving the image quality.

To give the filter a whirl a difficult first real world use; I took it down to the local Rowing Regatta held on a sunny April morning by the river. This gave me a chance to spin the filter around and make the best of the suns reflections on the water. Spinning the Gobe CPL filter around to find the sweat spot; it was was easy to find as the water became darker and the reflections drastically reducued making the shots of the rowers increased separation from the water. The smooth filter made it easy to change the rotation as i panned to take shots (the image of the Swan taking off was a split second event of the bird taking flight; the reductions in the reflections make it look far better to my eyes) I have tagged a couple of photos taken a sunny day. Common with all CPL filters you are removing light from the photo so you have to drop the aperture or bump up the aperture - especially when taking pictures of moving subjects (something away from my more normal Landscape photography.) With photos and video the Filter gave a very uniform effect over the entire frame on stills. When shooting 1080p video taken on my Canon 6d the good news continued there wasn't any banding and the reflections are nicely reduced over the frame.

The Dphoto trial and tree planting are interesting extras that others don't offer; the filter is the main event though and the Gobe 82mm does a remarkable job. The river was shining from the sun for most of the photos but the filter removed the reflection and really make my subjects stand out against the water. Shooting city of rural landscapes, or rowers by the river, with the Gobe CPL you will get the benefit of reduced reflection from windows; or bluer skies.
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TP-LINK M7300 4G LTE-Advanced Mobile Wi-Fi Router/Hotspot (Supports up to 11 Devices - 10 Wireless+1 Wired, Lightning 4G Speed, Long Lasting Battery, Easy to Use, Unlocked)
TP-LINK M7300 4G LTE-Advanced Mobile Wi-Fi Router/Hotspot (Supports up to 11 Devices - 10 Wireless+1 Wired, Lightning 4G Speed, Long Lasting Battery, Easy to Use, Unlocked)
Offered by Maplin_Webdeals
Price: £64.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars You can stop the signal, 23 April 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have had good experiences with TP-Links products over the past few years. I have been using a personal MIFI unit when i travel for work despite my mobile phone having a wireless hotspot feature; I have been doing this primarily as it saves the battery life of my phone on the days/ nights in the hotel I end up using it. Its also really handy to have one in my car as both my car and passengers can use it as we go.

Setup

The M7300 is the first mifi device I have had that uses a mobile phone app to configure it. Using the app is a breeze; plug in a sim to the M7300, charge it up and power it on. Then Connect your phone to the Mifi (download app first using another network then connect to the device over wifi.) First time in the app invites you to change the default admin password to protect your settings. Using my vodafone sim; on connecting to the device i found i had a text message (readable on the app) telling me to use manual settings to configure the device; in the app's menu it was just a question of selecting the contract APN from the sim and the network was away. Using a 3 payg sim the experience was pretty much the same. I didn't need to do any manual configuration. The app does allow you to configure a manual APN to connect to the network if your sim doesn't have them programmed on it already. (A quick search will help you find this information.)

Performance

This sadly was a great disappointment and hopefully one a firmware update can resolve; using speedtest.net to test performance I could repeatedly get around 16mb down and 10mb up with the chip in my iPhone. Putting the same sim into the M7300 I could only get 5mb/s down and 4mb/s up using the MIFI (both tested from my laptop over wifi.) This was down to signal strength; the M7300 reported 1/2 strength in places the iPhone was getting 4/5 bars. Putting it near a window often improved the signal strength but positioning issues are always a hassle. The performance wasn't better with 3; though their coverage around my home isn't as good as Vodafones. I tested through the performance and the numbers I have quoted were stationary at home averaged out over a day of use; but my experience around the country in other cities has been similar.

In Use
The battery life is excellent; I have used it during 5 hour meetings and it has held up all the way through them. The M7300 is about the size of a mobile phone so its easily portable; and fits comfortably in my laptop bag. Charging it is done over micro usb. One handy feature a number of these devices share is the ability to stick a Micro SD card into them and use it as a network drive; with 128gb cards under £40 now this is actually a really useful feature as you can use the Mifi as a backup as well as a your internet connection.

Overall
The M7300 is a newer version of the model I had before; TP Link, thanks to the app setup and management, have improved the experience of using the device greatly over previous incarnations. The app made setup a breeze and makes it simple to track how much data you are using (it also lets you puts limits on it if you are on contract and going over the allowance gets expensive.) My reasons for using a personal hotspot are usually to overcome issues (or cost) with wifi in hotels and offices, so me the M7300 really let itself down with its inability to draw in signal - there are times when i really need a high performance network to do a task; and as i write the review the M7300 isn't up to the task


Magnifying Make up Mirror 5x Led lights Suction Base USB Charging
Magnifying Make up Mirror 5x Led lights Suction Base USB Charging

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Natural White Light Magnifying Mirror, 22 April 2016
Straight out of the box the Newcomdigi mirror surface has a pristine finish which is a very promising sign. This is made better that the outer surface feels like a smooth glass surface rather than plastic mirror coating which can distort or color over time. The entire unit is lightweight, but feels well made; the case is a white plastic but it all looks and feels well finished. I opted for the middle 5x magnifying mirror; unsure how much magnification I would want. The mirror itself is about 15cm across. Over my sink unit with the 5x magnification i can just get both my eyes visible at the same time in the mirror; I'm not sure at 7x that would still be the case. Cleaning the mirror of is easily done with ordinary window cleaner and a microfibre cloth; it quickly came back to its original state (this again points to the surface being a glass one.)

The Newcomdigi Magnifying Mirror was also the first one I have taken from the box to find a USB lead in it. The mirror is illuminated to help you with your make up. The light source is a diffuse natural white, rather than the cold bluish light some LED's radiate. I have attached a couple of photos to try and show this; the outer white surface is a diffuser - front on the light is nice and even, from the side you can see the lights but wanted to include a profile shot to show how it blends in nicely. The switch for the LED's is somewhat infuriatingly on the back, which results in a scramble to find it - the wall mount lets you rotate the mirror so its often not in the same place; i have put a thin sharpie pen line on the angle of the switch to make it easier to find it. The lights are arranged in a clear circle around the mirror and provide a great even light over your face as you use it. The USB lead is there as the lights are low power LED's so you can run them for a long period using a battery; the battery is included and rechargeable over the USB cable; you will need to use an existing USB power source to do this though. This makes it ideal if you don't want to or for renters, can't, whip out a drill to put in wires to power a light.

The mirror attaches to the wall by suction cup; the first time i attached it it fell off in minutes. A quick clean of the surface; and the suction pad and the mirror has been attached for over a week without further incident. The suction cup is push to attach and has a twist collar to further increase the suction. This does mean you will need to attach it to a non porous surface; like a tile or existing mirror rather than a wooden material.

Overall the Newcomdigi magnifying mirror is a handy addition above my sink. With my white tiles it blends in nicely; and the mirror and light are surprisingly useful. After its initial falling off the wall i was a little concerned about the suction abilities of the mount especially given the glass surface, thankfully it survived the first drop drop, the second time I mounted it after more preparation and it has proved resilient; I'm probably going to err on the side of caution and reattach weekly rather than risk it falling. You could use an adhesive suction pad (not included) to provide a more stable mount.

Newcomdigi provided me with a mirror for review purposes.
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Bionaire BFH003 Fan Heater, 2200 W
Bionaire BFH003 Fan Heater, 2200 W
Price: £21.50

3.0 out of 5 stars Far too noisy, 6 April 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Bionaire BFH003 Fan Heater is very easy to use; remove from its packaging and put on a sturdy surface. The unit isn't especially big so you could use it as a desk fan; or put it somewhere discreet in a room. Once you have plugged it into the mains and you are faced with two choices for operating it.A simple operation switch allows for; fan on - fan on + heat 1 or 2. Then there is a thermostat option that spins the bfh003 up when the temperature goes below a certain level (the lowest is 5c and is designed to help ward off frost -besides that its not clear what you are getting; the difference is marked by the increasing size of dashes on the control.

The fan blows air in one direction and doesn't offer any movement of louvers or the base to adjust the direction of airflow.

Im not sure if its my Bionaire bfh003 or if its the design but it far too noisy. Its not the high pitch whine of a dyson fan but a low pitched burble. The fan speed itself is constant as is the noise; changing the heat brings the inevitable dust burning smell at first along with warmth. The heater does warm up quickly and delivers hot air on setting 2 that quickly warms an average sized room.

Overall if it were quieter i would happily give it 4*; the fan looks good with its black and silver trim and blows a decent amount of air. The noise loses it a star; the lack of movement lost it the other.


Murad Essential-C Daily Renewal Complex 30 ml
Murad Essential-C Daily Renewal Complex 30 ml
Price: £79.50

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For Me: overnight moisture, smoother feeling skin and slightly less redness, 6 April 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
If you are happy spending money on expensive skin care creams the short review is the Murad Essential-C Daily Renewal Complex left my skin feeling great after application and still great in the morning so its main job is done. It works far better than the hypoallergenic moisturizers I normally use; and despite its varied ingredients it hasn't caused a reaction in my skin.

The reaction in my skin is always my biggest concern; I have very sensitive skin to a (weird) range of chemicals, so trying a skin cream something enriched with fruit juices and vitamins left me anxious at first. To be safe i tested it at night on a patch behind an ear for about a week; as that didn't result in disaster. I moved up to using it twice a week on my face; and now 3 weeks in i have used it nightly. For the first day I used it definitely felt the tingle after application but it hasn;t erupted into eczema mess. The better news is my skin feels immediately moisturized on application and after a night in dry winter air it still feels moisturized in the morning - far better than my normal hypoallergenic moisturizers like Diprobase. There are detailed instructions in the box; but i'm not sure how much you are supposed to use on application; there is a small spatula which i can almost use 4 heaps from the spatula per application - though the 30ml in the pot wouldn't last me much beyond 2-3 weeks of sparing daily use. Which makes it cost roughly the same per day as a daily costa coffee.

The Essential C Moisturizer is at the upper end of what I would pay for my skin; it definitely makes it feel better (more moist and smooth) and redness on my skin has been diminished during use. If you are looking at this you are likely happy paying for the benefits on offer; if that is you Murad Essential C based on my face Murad Essential C will likely make your face feel and look healthier.


Philips FC6232/62 Dust Mite Anti-Allergen Handheld Vacuum Cleaner with EPA Filter and UV Light
Philips FC6232/62 Dust Mite Anti-Allergen Handheld Vacuum Cleaner with EPA Filter and UV Light
Price: £150.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A little; often, 28 Mar. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Philips Dust Mite Hand Held Vacuum is a touch one to gauge. Its goal is to remove dust mites and trap them inside the vacuum. To help it achieve that its mains powered; it has vibrating feet and a uv light to help it in its quest. Out of the box it looks special with its gold finish; and has two buttons to help you turn on the features; the vacuum, the vibrating feet and a uv light. It does come with a LONG cord (it will reach comfortably over 3m which is impressive for something you use on your settee or bed. I am not sure why this isn't a battery powered device especially given the handheld design (and tiny dust capacity.) Its frustrating there isn't a way to store the cord at the end of using it; and the wedge shape means it takes up an unnecessarily amount of closet space.

The UV light as far as i can research is pointless; the time to kill a dust mite by uv light would require you to spend hours cleaning a king size bed; leaving it in place for upto 60 seconds at a time. The vibrating feet are there to justle up the contents of whatever your are cleaning and get more dust out. Finally there is the vacuum itself; which is a bit weedy because of the design. The feet and vacuum though do work nicely together and after a vacuum with my AEG the Philips 6232 had a small amount of visible dust in the container at the end. On an un-vacuumed surface though the design and feet don't contribute anything for other clingy surface debris (it works fine for lose debris.) As a touch up or anti dust vacuum it does work; but it may mean you need to do a dual clean. The wedge design does also mean its difficult to get into cushions if they don't detach and the lack of nozzles means the are areas where the edges of the 6232 can't get into.

The vacuum is small and the handle makes it feel a little awkward to use - the weight, whilst not heave, isn't well balanced. Its small size does makes it convenient to use repeatedly which if you are combatting allergens is frequently the best solution.


Murad Redness Therapy Sensitive Skin Soothing Serum 30 ml
Murad Redness Therapy Sensitive Skin Soothing Serum 30 ml
Price: £47.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Light moisturizer, 28 Mar. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The mural redness sensitive skin soothing serum comes in a glass bottle!

Its quite expensive even compared to the normal moisturizers i use on my super sensitive skin;. The pump dispenses a small amount and the skin smooth serum does go a long way - one pump covers the top of my hand comfortably. Some cremes do a great job with sensitive skin; almost making dry patches look normal. The serum seemed to emphasize the redness at first; after a few days of use my sensitive skin did look less red; but no better than using a normal moisturizer like Diprobase. As a moisturizer a little does go a long way and leaves your skin feeling better; and it didn't antagonize inflamed skin further. The one thing it didn't do though was stop the itch-scratch cycle which is i would want a skin soothing serum to do.


Kind Caramel Almond and Sea Salt Bar 40 g (Pack of 12)
Kind Caramel Almond and Sea Salt Bar 40 g (Pack of 12)
Price: £15.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another Good Kind Bar, for me its not a great kind bar., 20 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The Kind Caramel Almon and Sea salt bars are the third variety I have tried; and the first that didn't bowl me over. Kind bars are generally quite good for your; their sales pitch is ingredients you can see. In this case the bar is mostly almonds held together by caramel. As a result The 40g bar is 7.3g of Fibre, ~6g of protein and ~5g of sugar so the energy from the bar lasts. Between the caramel and almonds you are accounting for 81% of the weight of the bar. I don't want to comment if this is healthy for you or not its 203cal in 40g. The nuts high protein do make you feel fuller for longer.

The taste is excellent with the caramel and almonds really working nicely together. Unlike the Kind Bar, Dark Chocolate / Nuts & Sea Salt the salt was much more subtle; adding to the overall experience rather than being a significant flavor.

The flavor is nice (the apple one was nicest to my tastebuds but has most sugar) and compared to my previous kind bars this is the healthiest; I just don't enjoy the texture of a bar that is basically pure almond with some flavor. Its very crunchy and its not quite right for me.


Hippih Digital LCD Snooze Bedside Alarm Clock Electronic Desk Clock with Weather Station LED Backlight Colour Icon Indoor Temperature Humidity Day Date Time Display (White)
Hippih Digital LCD Snooze Bedside Alarm Clock Electronic Desk Clock with Weather Station LED Backlight Colour Icon Indoor Temperature Humidity Day Date Time Display (White)
Offered by FanceeHome

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice desk clock, 20 Mar. 2016
The Hippih weather station, desk alarm clock is super light; and has a sort of iPod look to it; white plastic with a black plastic screen. There are two uses for it; bedroom alarm clock or home/ office desk clock. Having tried both; desk clock would be my preference. The box came with some generic instructions which don't match the markings on the back of the device; that said the buttons on the back are fairly self explanatory. If you have ever set a digital clock you will likely be able to figure out what you are doing. Batteries are not included.

In bedroom at night this is a great alarm clock; especially if you don't like alarm clocks that taunt you with their laser bright LED's screaming 02:32 at you just when you need sleep most; though that could just be me. The Hippih weather station screen is dark most of the time; opowered by 3aa batteries; and no mains connector, this is to save power. Touch it the alarm; or if the surface it is on moves and the screen lights up for a few seconds.

The time on the screen is clear; and the numbers are big enough that without my glasses i can still read the time. When used in the bedroom as an alarm clock the light weight becomes a minor issue; pressing the large off button on the top of the alarm can send it scuttling across the room or crashing into my bedside table; as there aren't any rubber feet to keep it up. The alarm was loud enough to wake me up.

Besides the time It also shows the temperature and humidity; in the office to settle arguments over air conditioning... Its small size also doesn't rob you of too much desk space. Though in the office having the screen power down; at which point the display is pretty much illegible doesn't help. There is also a max / min button which gives you a daily high / low temperature readout which may be useful.


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