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Mr. A. L. Cooper "drunken_munkey" (England)

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Tweezerman Stainless Steel Fingernail Clipper
Tweezerman Stainless Steel Fingernail Clipper
Offered by A1 Beauty
Price: £7.06

5.0 out of 5 stars Love 'em!, 3 Sept. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Great clippers!! Didn't see myself leaving a review on a pair of nail clippers, but here I am. Quality is stonkingly good. Really tough metal that I know will last me ages.

Point taken with the other reviews slating its inability to trim toenails- it doesn't open incredibly far, but is still doable with some patience. These replaced a very old set of clippers I got in a Christmas cracker years ago, and needless to say if you're only using a cheap old pair like I used to, these will be a whole new thing altogether!

2nd SATA Hard Drive Bay Caddy 12.7mm SATA to SATA for ACER/ASUS/DELL/TOSHIBA /HP COMPAQ SONY SAMSUNG 12.7mm Laptops SATA DVD Drive Writer Enhance Your Data Storage
2nd SATA Hard Drive Bay Caddy 12.7mm SATA to SATA for ACER/ASUS/DELL/TOSHIBA /HP COMPAQ SONY SAMSUNG 12.7mm Laptops SATA DVD Drive Writer Enhance Your Data Storage

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars iMac 27" late 2009 - DVD replacement with SSD, 3 Sept. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a review based on my experience trying to install a SanDisk SSD hard disk into a late 2009 iMac 27", so just bear in mind not everything here will necessarily apply to over computers.

Can't quite give it the full 5 stars because of my situation: I needed this to install intomy trusty old iMac in order to replace the DVD drive with an SSD hard drive. Everything is running beautifully now that it's all put back together, but here's my issues:

- There's no plastic spacer included to sit behind the drive inside the unit (look in the first photo for this item- you can see the black plastic spacer is on the left, inside the hole where the drive goes, opposite the internal SATA connections. This point is pretty minor however, as the unit does come with screws built in that screw into the left and right sides of the SSD to keep it fixed nicely inside. Just a shame about the gap behind the drive.

- The unit doesn't quite fit perfectly into the gap where the iMac's old DVD drive was. Maybe due to Apple making sure their DVD drive had a millimetre or two shaved off the length, I can only guess. But in any case you'd have to do one of two things to get around this: firstly, trim down some of the plastic on the holding bracket that holds the DVD unit in place inside the Mac (just to be clear- DON'T trim this ESYNiC unit, it's mostly metal anyway..). Or secondly, try to simply force it into the iMac's DVD plastic holding bracket and screw it in place. Sounds barbaric, but it's only a simple bit of black plastic that then screws into the chassis of the iMac. I chose the 2nd option with some slight regret, since even though I got all 4 bracket screws back in place (albeit with some force...) the bracket now has warped slightly and I can only screw in 2 of the 4 remaining screws that actually bolt the bracket into the iMac's chassis. Again, not a massive deal given that SSDs have no moving parts so a millimetre here or there isn't going to be a killer, just wish for my own peace of mind that I didn't have these 2 unused screws sitting on my desk. I just doesn't feel right...

Overall then: it worked, it does its job, and rather well. The SSD I did try to shunt about inside the unit once I'd installed it and believe me- the thing doesn't budge at all. Love how the unit is mostly metal, love how the connections lined up perfectly and meshed smoothly with my SanDisk SSD. I'm seeing the performance results I expected with no obvious drop in speed, it's given my old beast a new lease of life!

Oh and on a side note for those wanting to do this same upgrade- the speeds I'm now getting on the iMac are around 220MB/s and 260MB/s write and read. Just remember that the late 2009 iMac doesn't have SATA-III so there's little point (other than getting a quality brand) buying an SSD promising 400-500 MB/s... it's simply never going to reach those heights.

Nikon COOLPIX P500 Compact Digital Camera - Black (12.1MP, 36x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD
Nikon COOLPIX P500 Compact Digital Camera - Black (12.1MP, 36x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lead-up to a D-SLR, 16 Nov. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Ok, so the digital camera market these days has 3 main types that manufacturers are trying to get us average consumers to splurge our hard-earned cash on: Compact, D-SLR and Bridge.

Compact cameras are easy to use, small and pretty rugged, but best of all: cheap!
D-SLR cameras are more for professional and semi-professional use, changeable lenses and can let lots of light onto their large sensors for better quality images, however normally come with a higher price tag.

Bridge cameras are where the Nikon COOLPIX P500 sits. The bridge cameras are the relative newcomers in the average consumer camera market and their purpose really is to provide a middle-ground between Compacts and D-SLRs. So the ideal situation is that you'll get an affordable camera with a decent image quality. This being said, how good is it?

It's good. Very Good. Not mind-blowing, just very good. You see, the price of one of these is approaching the lower end of the D-SLR prices. In fact, ironically at current prices (November 2012) you can pick up a decent D-SLR with similar specs to this at a cheaper price.

Let's talk image quality, since that's what this is all about: In my opinion, pictures come out very clear and very sharp. And the best thing about the P500 is the zoom, I mean... my word... this thing has a fantastic zoom! I also have a Canon 60D D-SLR with a 200mm zoom lens and it doesn't reach what this camera can. It also uses a very nice anti-shake system inside the lens that means you can reach the maximum optical zoom and still take decent pictures that aren't too blurry. Though I'd still recommend a tripod if you're going to be taking ridiculously high-zoom photos.

So why should you buy this instead of a Compact or a D-SLR? Well me personally, I'm quite happy to use my smartphone as a compact camera to take around with me all the time. And my D-SLR only gets used on special occasions, holidays and the odd project here and there. The Nikon P500 comes with me whenever I'm travelling and want a light load, but have a collection of pictures at the end that I can print lovely sharp images from onto photo paper.

My advice would be to think about whether you're going to want a camera that you're happy to throw in a bag (hopefully not literally) and take all over the place or whether you're happy to carry a separate bag just for a bulky D-SLR camera and any lenses you have extra in order to get the absolute best image quality.

Oh, and don't forget: whatever digital camera you buy these days, it's also worth investing in a half-decent program for your Windows or Mac computer to touch-up the photos once you've taken them. That's just part of the magic of digital photography :)

And on a side-note if you haven't already, check out the Nikon D3100 for a similarly priced D-SLR camera package, or the Nikon COOLPIX S9100 for a more compact, cheaper camera that should also give pleasant results.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 17, 2012 8:16 PM GMT

Belkin Wireless N450 Modem ADSL Router (BT Line) - Black
Belkin Wireless N450 Modem ADSL Router (BT Line) - Black
Offered by BESTBUYIT
Price: £23.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can't complain., 19 Jan. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Belkin N450 Modem Router is a complete hardware package designed to directly replace your BT or Virgin or other internet provider modem router. This means you can literally do away with that cheaply-made piece of plastic that was given to you complimentary with the subscription and upgrade to something better.

At least, that's what is hoped for.

Ok, so the negative first: this doesn't feel very well built. In fact, after only recently changing to a BT broadband package I was very impressed by the quality of the router supplied, and very disappointed with the Belkin N450 which I received not long after. The router given to us by BT just felt a lot more solid and had a very useful removable tab on the back which had on it the router's security key. The Belkin N450 had a piece of paper stuck to the bottom of the thin-as-you-like plastic base which I'm sure will eventually fall off after getting a kick or two. Not great. The setup was also a bit of a pain: in order to connect to our BT line, it required 2 numbers in order to connect up, neither of which I had a clue about. After a little search on the internet I found out the numbers are 38 and 0. Don't ask me why. For someone who likes to just turn something on and expect it to work, this didn't bode well with me. Hopefully if you use BT for your internet provider, those 2 numbers will work. Hopefully.

These niggles aside however, the N450 is actually not a bad router at all, once it's set up correctly. In fact, as it's got 2 transmitter/receivers built in (2.4GHz and 5GHz), this is very handy if you've got more than one computer/device to connect wirelessly (assuming some are on 2.4GHz and some are on 5GHz). If you have an Apple iMac or MacBook for instance, most of the newer ones can use 5GHz wireless, whereas I've tried a couple of new Windows laptops and both use 2.4GHz. Either way, this is great for sharing the internet connection evenly without too much overloading. And actually, even if most (or all) of your devices use 2.4GHz (which is more common), the router still does a great job of serving each device internet connection fairly.

The disc that comes with the router includes a program that quietly runs in the background after it's installed on your main computer and generally doesn't do a lot to get in your way. Having said that, I quite like it and it's something I've always liked about buying a new router: you'll get much greater control over it than you normally would with your regular BT/Virgin/etc router. Change the security password, set up port forwarding for gaming, select filters to stop certain websites being accessed... you can do it all. I'm not saying it's easy to manage, but it's there.

So let's summarise:

- Poor build quality (on the outside)
- First setup may be clunky

+ Handles multiple computers better than the average bog-standard router
+ Has a great wireless range (covers 3 floors in our house!!)
+ Comprehensive, useful software on the disc included

"Why would I buy this?"

If you're looking for a router with great multiplexing (handling lots of different computers, especially Windows/Apple combination) and capabilities that allow you to get the most out your current broadband connection, providing every corner of your house with a decent connection, then this is the router for you- especially if you've got an average understanding of how to use computers.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 20, 2012 5:31 PM GMT

Kaspersky Internet Security 2012 (1 PC, 1 Year subscriptions) (PC)
Kaspersky Internet Security 2012 (1 PC, 1 Year subscriptions) (PC)

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honestly, just buy this. Your PC will thank you., 2 Sept. 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Well, yes, if your PC had a voice it probably would thank you for installing this.

Kaspersky is a name that's come along a lot in recent years. Before when talking to people about antivirus software they'd say they had Norton or McAfee or AVG. I realised a couple of years back when I first installed Kaspersky 2009 how much these other antivirus programs were either lacking or overdoing.

Antivirus? But this is an "Internet Security"! Yup. In case you're unsure, Internet Security programs include your normal antivirus, but also add a variety of other features that are either a godsend... or just downright useless. This is where Kaspersky really excels, in my opinion.

With Kaspersky Internet Security 2012 you've got the antivirus of course which will clean up any nasty viruses that have worked their way onto your PC, although having said that the likelihood of any viruses getting on there in the first place is incredibly slim thanks to the firewall which is also installed. This deals with the mammoth task of ensuring no malware (basically any nasties including viruses, adware, spyware...) even gets a chance to settle itself in your computer. Kaspersky deals with this flawlessly.

Other features include a virtual keyboard (which I've seen no other security program feature other than other Kaspersky software) and this is important because it allows you to enter sensitive information into websites such as your bank details without having to worry about programs that might be sitting invisibly on your computer tracking every key you press. There is also a special safe-zone built into the program that can let you run your internet browser (Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc...) in a "green zone" which makes surfing the internet even safer. This is something I found incredibly useful when I wanted to check my online banking account- when you're running it in green mode (also called "Safe Zone For Websites") it's like surfing the internet in a simulator: so if anything bad does happen, it's not going to totally ruin your computer- Kaspersky will soak it up. That's the theory anyway, it just adds to my piece of mind when I'm surfing. And it's dead easy to turn on.

And that's another thing- Kaspersky is incredibly easy to use. Everything you really need is just there, where you'd expect it to be. Programs like Norton used to be popular for useability and still is, but Kaspersky really has stepped up to the plate and it's hard to say which is friendlier to use on the surface. Folks who have used older versions of Kaspersky might grumble at the new look, but honestly it's all there, easy to access, and isn't that what really matters?

In summary, Kaspersky Internet Security 2012 offers protection above and beyond most other security programs and bundles some incredibly useful extras to help make using your computer on the internet a much safer prospect. At the end of the day, you should buy your security package based on how effective it is, how easy it is to use and install, and whether it gives you the features you feel are necessary to keep your PC safe without sapping the life out of it.

Based on these criteria, buy Kaspersky Internet Security software. As a complete package, it's just the best.

Security & protection,
Useful features,
Effectiveness compared to how much it slows down your computer...

All of the above: 5/5

That's my opinion, anyway.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 30, 2012 4:10 PM BST

The Devotion Of Suspect X
The Devotion Of Suspect X
by Keigo Higashino
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Cleverly Written Crime Mystery, 15 Aug. 2011

A single mother and her only daughter are living happy, care-free lives, going about their daily business at work and school. An unexpected visitor turns up at the mother's work- her aggressive and forceful ex-husband whom she had been away from for years. One thing leads to another as he continues to shrug off her attempts to get rid of him, and he is killed. A quiet but seemingly friendly neighbor and brilliant mathematician comes to the aid of the single mother by offering to cover up the murder and help her and her daughter resume their happy lives. The mathematician spins an incredible maze of false clues and dead-end leads, making the case a near uncrack-able puzzle. However, a detective and his friend- a gifted physicist are highly suspicious and work together to try to unravel the tangled web of deceit- and truth.

As you've probably guessed from the title of the book, this is a crime-fiction novel written by a Japanese author- Keigo Higashino. And, well, what can I say... After finishing the book over the course of a week, I immediately want to see what else this author has written. Since others have given this book pretty thorough reviews on the story's contents, I'll focus a bit more on the style of writing and what it meant to me as a reader.

Crime-fiction novels can be very boring. The recipe sounds simple enough: present to the reader one case where a crime has been committed, allow the reader time to formulate assumptions and ideas about the possible outcome, and then throw back at the reader a totally different scenario that'll amaze and astound and occasionally make the reader whisper to themselves: "No way". Yet, so many crime-fiction books out there have so much conjecture and useless banter in them that they're a real slog to get through.

That's where this book absolutely blows a lot of other crime-fiction novels out of the water. Nothing feels as though it's written without a purpose here- everything feels like it's been written to contribute towards the story as a whole. Even conversations between characters that seem a little out-of-place have a meaning and genuinely make sense later on. It all comes together with a startling and unpredictable conclusion.

The story itself is masterfully composed. One paragraph you're reading in the perspective of the detective, the next in the perspective of the single mother, then in the perspective of the mathematician, and so on. It sounds chaotic, but you hardly notice the shifts. Every main character has an intriguing viewpoint and you get to hear them all first-hand. I love this style of writing.

One very clever thing the author has done with this story is left gaps. Sometimes they're gaping holes; sometimes they hardly seem worth paying attention to. He doesn't just lay it all out in a neat line for you to read about and follow blindly, he wants you to keep guessing and keep thinking about the solution. Don't worry though; the author addresses every gap he's left in such a graceful and tactful way that you'll be amazed by the result. All I can say is... I didn't see that coming.

In short, this is a spectacular novel and I can't urge you enough to read it. I've been recommending this to all my friends whether they like crime fiction stories or not. I would say "If you like crime-fiction, you'll love this", but honestly this isn't your average crime-fic, this really is what other books of all genres should aspire to be like: deep, easy to digest and thoroughly rewarding to read.

So here's my final recommendation: If you like novels that actually suck you in and won't escape your thoughts, buy this.

Pick up a copy and discover this absolute gem of a story. You won't regret it.

Canon EOS 60D Digital Field Guide
Canon EOS 60D Digital Field Guide
by Charlotte K. Lowrie
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.78

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great camera, Great guide!, 21 April 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
So you've just bought a D-SLR. Not any D-SLR, but the Canon EOS 60D. Fantastic choice for all levels of photographers, you won't regret buying it! But how do you use it? Step forward the Digital Field Guide. This book serves as a comprehensive guide to the camera and should be treated as a manual that it never came with.

The content within it is very, very full-featured and covers just about every aspect of the camera that I've needed to find out more about. My personal experience with photography started with a Nikon D50 a few years back, and that was about it. The Canon EOS 60D was my second camera and D-SLR. And I must say, the thought of upgrading was very alluring, but I knew I was going to struggle initially with a new control system and a totally different brand of camera.

I've found this guide overall a very handy companion for reference over the month or two I've had it and it's been a nice bit of light reading too for when I've felt like brushing up on my knowledge and trying new things with the camera- a great way to go about learning how to use it in my opinion. It also kept me interested enough while learning to not simply give up and sell the camera (not that I was planning to, but still). So for this, the guide was fantastic.

However, as with other books I'm sure, it started to feel a bit useless once I'd familiarized myself with the camera. Not only this, but because the book is only written with the Canon 60D in mind, not all of the information is that relevant for using other cameras. Don't get me wrong, a lot of it is, such as information about aperture, ISO, shutter speeds etc. This is common knowledge when it comes to D-SLR's and photography in general. But still, while this is a brilliantly thorough guide for this camera, the need to buy a new one for each camera might surface. The thought occurs that I could've learned a lot of the things about my camera simply by playing with it (which to some extent, I did). Perhaps getting a more general book or two on D-SLR's and digital photography would be a smarter move?

So then, let's review: you've just bought a shiny new Canon EOS 60D and you intend to take stunning photos that'll blow away your friends and family- maybe even go semi-professional. Do you buy this book?

If you're fairly new to photography in general, I would buy this along with a more general guide to digital photography. Some of these books can be invaluable for learning the terms and different camera settings on most D-SLR cameras to get the best shots.

If you're a seasoned user with experience using other D-SLR's then you might want this just as a reference for using this camera. Like I mentioned earlier, it's thorough.

If you're a seasoned Canon EOS user who's just upgraded and has experience in photography in general, then don't bother, you'll pick it up straight away.

Philips HF3485 Wake-Up Light with Radio Alarm and USB Playback
Philips HF3485 Wake-Up Light with Radio Alarm and USB Playback

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wakey wakey, rise and shine..., 21 Jan. 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As I'm sure a lot of you will know already, the Philips Wake-up Light/Alarm Clock is as the name suggests: an alarm clock that doubles up as a bedside lamp. However, what makes this alarm clock unique is the fact that it's designed to wake you up in a gentler, more 'natural' way to the conventional alarm clock. How? Basically, the light gradually turns on starting from 30 minutes before the alarm time. Then when the alarm time is reached the audible alarm goes off. Not only that, but it'll even put you to sleep if you want. It allows you to set a time in increments of 15 minutes over which the light will gradually dim down, gently rocking you off to kip. Simple, but cute.

Some facts: (in case they're not mentioned in the description)
-It'll put you to sleep and wake you up with the light and/or the alarm sounds
-You can plug a USB device into it like a memory stick and play music off it like a stereo system
-The music on the USB stick can also be used as the alarm
-There's several built-in alarm sounds which are all designed to be relaxing but intrusive enough to wake you up
-It has a built-in AM/FM radio (NOT digital) which can also be used as an alarm
-There's 2 alarm modes so you can set one to 7:00 for workdays and one to 9:00 for the lazy days off
-There's NO snooze function as far as I can tell. The closest thing is the 2 alarms, so you could set one to 7:00 and the other to 7:15 if you wanted and just switch them over to snooze
-The light brightness, sound volume and clock display brightness can be adjusted

So... does it actually work? Well, yes. I guess. Here's what I'm getting at- say you've had a really rough night out drinking or you've stayed up way to early into the morning doing work, but you've got to wake up dead on 7:00 to get ready for the next day. What I've learned after needing to pull an all-nighter doing uni work is that the alarm barely does anything to wake me up when I'm really tired. In fact, when it does go off it almost becomes a pleasant(ish) background noise that puts me back to sleep even if it does wake me up. Not ideal. However, as I mentioned above, you CAN plug a USB stick into it and play you own music at the volume you want, so you could in theory put Machine Head on there at max volume which would likely wake up the sleepiest of sleepers...

But let's be honest, this is besides the point. This alarm clock is for waking up gradually and assumes you've got to sleep at a sensible time the previous night. And actually, it's only failed to wake me up once: every other time it's been perfect. Ok, it did take a little getting used to because I kept waking up 15 minutes before the alarm sound actually starting playing due to the light coming on 30 minutes before. But that's to be expected- this isn't your average alarm clock really, is it?

One thing I really love about this clock though is the fact I can plug in my 4GB USB stick loaded with tonnes of my favourite ambient music and play it whenever suits me, and use it as my alarm tone. On top of this, the light actually makes a great reading lamp I've found because it's not your normal run-of-the-mill desktop light that's too bright and casts annoying shadows over your book pages. No, the light is bright enough to see clearly (and without eye-strain) and can also be adjusted just the way you want it.

The quality of the music playback isn't actually that bad either, considering it's a tiny built-in speaker. The only thing I will say though is that if you listen to music that's bass-heavy, you do start to hear the thin metal at the top rattle a bit. Just avoid using this as a room-filling speaker-system and you'll be happy. It's loud enough to hear clearly at lower volumes if you're lying right next to it.

So all in all, do you need this relatively expensive clock/lamp/radio/MP3 player? Well, I can certainly see why it might help those with sleeping disorders. I've found since waking up to it every morning (and occasionally letting it put me to sleep) that I've been in a less stressful mood when getting up- even on workdays, and I work in retail. Eep. I can see why some might get more stressed though, especially heavy sleepers who need a proper alarm to wake them up. Although from personal experience and after having used this now exclusively for a month, I can say that it's become an essential piece of electronics. It's the sort of thing I've become so used to that I don't always notice it, but were it to be taken away, I'd probably buy another.

Buy if: you suffer from sleeping disorders that hinder you getting off to sleep or if you wake up feeling stressed/uncomfortable or if you just want a new bedside lamp and clock in-one.

Avoid if: you're a REALLY heavy sleeper or if you only need a basic clock with MP3 playback (there's cheaper options out there).
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 17, 2011 9:36 AM GMT

The Complete Harry Potter Collection: (Adult Paperback Boxed Set)
The Complete Harry Potter Collection: (Adult Paperback Boxed Set)
by J. K. Rowling
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definite keeper for new and seasoned fans, 17 Mar. 2010
Here we have the full set of Harry Potter novels by J. K. Rowling, which cover years 1-7 in the Harry Potter world. These are the adult paperback versions which come in a very handy and handsome-looking box which keeps all the books safe when not being read. Although these are the adult versions of the books, I have been informed that differences between these and the children's versions are negligible in terms of the actual text, so they're virtually the same. The only real difference is the front cover artwork (and of course the box that these come in) which I think look very nice: really finishes off the collection nicely.

The books themselves jumped out at me after I'd watched the 6th Harry Potter film (The Half-Blood Prince) and I had a sudden urge to explore the books. In general, I've been very impressed with the stories presented by J. K. Rowling and there's what feels like an incredible level of depth not explored in the films which has been a pleasure to read into.

A little of my own reading background: I love reading the likes of Ian Rankin's Rebus detective novels and Dan Brown's 5 blockbuster thrillers. I've only read the first Lord Of The Rings book (which I realise is an incredible sin!) because it just didn't grip me as the films did. The Harry Potter series of books, though, have had me absolutely hooked from start to finish. Really, I haven't read a series of books like this, I literally finished off one, then picked up the next straight afterwards. I found I had to pace myself nearer the end of the series, out of fear of finishing the lot too quickly!

As a mature reader of 20, I love stories with complexity and plenty of emotion, and it's safe to say that J. K. delivered both in spades. What I love about this series is that it spans different levels of reading: the first couple of books I had the feeling would appeal greatly to younger readers, whereas the last few I felt were far more grown-up, especially the last. And it's not the otherworldly magic and wizard stuff that appeals massively to me (although it did make a change from the everyday stuff you read in other books), but I loved the character development and the relationships between them all that steadily built up as the books went along.

I don't doubt that J. K. Rowling is a very talented author, especially considering these books can be read by pretty much anyone of any age which is a feat in itself, however I couldn't help but feel that she drifted off in the last two books. More particularly the last, but the second to last had it's faults too (even though I probably enjoyed it more than the rest). I had the distinct feeling that she'd not put as much effort into those books as the first 5. The length of the last two books speaks for itself, really: they're not much thicker than the 2nd and 3rd books, despite them being probably the most important in the series. Shame.

So overall, a wonderful collection of books which really appeals to my sense of exploration and character relations. While the series might be considered 'over-hyped', which is true to some extent, it is in fact an incredible journey and chronology of one of the most well-known novel characters and I love this box set because I really feel like reading them all through again, which I only feel about particularly special books.

New or seasoned to the Harry Potter series of books or films, this is definitely one set you don't want to miss out on. Take the plunge and ignore the hype!

AmazonBasics 2 m / 6.5 Feet Quad-Shielded High-Speed HDMI Cable
AmazonBasics 2 m / 6.5 Feet Quad-Shielded High-Speed HDMI Cable

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good cable, Great picture, 22 Jan. 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The whole idea of using HDMI as a replacement for VGA and SCART is to obtain a picture of a much, much higher quality. Now this is particularly important if for instance you have a big-screen TV which fully supports 1080p (although 720p and 1080i will still require a HDMI or Component lead of some sort) and will also be of interest to you if you happen to have a 5.1 surround sound system, since the HDMI cable carries that sound signal, too.

Amazon have released this HDMI cable to be -from what I can tell after a few week's use- high build quality AND affordable, which is a mix a lot of companies get wrong (I'm looking at you, Belkin). So how does this cable rate against others? Point in case: I got this cable to use with my PS3 to plug into my 37" LG 1080p TV. Now before this, I was happily using a 5m HDMI cheap-as-you-can-get cable which I found on ebay. No massive gripes with it, although I must say the connections on either end were downright poor; they just looked tacky. I put up with this and the odd flickering I'd get when I'd switch modes on the TV from HDMI to Component for the Xbox. However, after replacing the old 5m cable with this AmazonBasics 2m HDMI lead, I saw a dramatic change in the quality of the cable itself. The connections were very good, and what I like most about it is the whole lead is braided with a protective shielding and is overall very sturdy and could take a lot of punishment. It really does feel very high-end.

The picture quality I can't confess got much better: it was already pretty good, but I will say it DOES look sharper and the colours definitely DO look more vibrant than the older lead. And I'm having little to no problems flicking between HDMI and Component any more, which is a big plus (saves me having to reset the display settings on the Xbox and PS3 every time).

So overall, a very good product from Amazon, very high quality lead and very much affordable. I'd buy this again anyday over the stupidly expensive (and needlessly so in my opinion) Belkin Platinum range of cables. For what you get, including nice little caps for either end of the lead to protect them when not in use and a better overall experience than rubbish ebay-flogged offerings, it's an absolute steal.

Note: There is much debate about whether getting those £50+ cables are really worth it when you've got massive TVs (50" and upwards). My personal experience with the AmazonBasics cable on both my personal 37" and testing on a 50" Samsung Plasma, the picture looks absolutely stunning on both. I'll leave that thought with you; just whatever you do, don't by a cheapo one like I did the first time, they're really not worth it, whatever screen size you have...

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