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Antec Sonata Proto Mid Tower ATX Case for PC
Antec Sonata Proto Mid Tower ATX Case for PC

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, quiet, well-designed case, 25 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was surprised when this case arrived and I saw that it had USB 3.0 ports rather than 2.0. I was delighted as neither Amazon or the manufacturer website said anything about this revision.

The case is study and well-designed. The removable dust filter at the front is very useful if you have hairy animals in your household, human or otherwise. The hard-drive cage is well-designed and very easy to use. Cable management is quite basic but functional. The case is quiet but I have an APU so a dedicated gaming GPU will make considerably more noise. Air-flow is good as far as I can tell but it does only have one fan so it probably isn't suitable for overclocking.

The case looks sleek and professional. It does not glow in the dark or attract the eye. The door on the front that covers the power button and optical drive is unnecessary but less annoying than I'd feared.

If you are looking for a cheap, sturdy and well-designed case, you could do far worse than this one.


ARCTIC Alpine 64 Pro Rev.2 - 90 Watts Low Noise CPU Cooler for AMD Sockets with Patented Fan Holder - Patented Anti-Vibration System
ARCTIC Alpine 64 Pro Rev.2 - 90 Watts Low Noise CPU Cooler for AMD Sockets with Patented Fan Holder - Patented Anti-Vibration System
Price: £7.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Decent cooler but extremely difficult to install, 25 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this cooler to replace the stock AMD cooler which was defective. I would not recommend replacing a working stock cooler with this cooler. It is very, very awkward to install. The metal clips need to be bent quite a bit so that it is possible to secure it firmly. It is slightly quieter than the stock cooler and performance is very similar.

I bought this cooler rather than a more expensive one because I didn't want to remove my motherboard from the case. I don't think removing the motherboard and installing custom brackets would be as difficult and frustrating as attempting to install this cooler. I have a FM2+ board which is listed as compatible, I suspect that this cooler was designed for earlier motherboard configurations and is not fully compatible with the newer standards. If it is fully compatible, then it is simply a very poor design. The AMD stock cooler is incredibly simple to install by comparison and you don't smear thermal paste all over the heatsink while trying to install it. I'm absolutely baffled that anyone could consider this easy to install.


Western Digita lBlue 4TBinternal SATA3.5inch HardDrive
Western Digita lBlue 4TBinternal SATA3.5inch HardDrive
Price: £145.10

41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good hard drive but some firmware issues, 26 Mar. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is an excellent hard drive as far as I can tell so far. I installed it in a new system as a data drive and I am using it to storing media for streaming over my home network. The packaging wasn't great but it doesn't appear to be damaged.

I have Acronis Disk Monitor installed and I noticed that the load/unload cycles were unusually high (2300) after just 52 hours of operation compared to the WD Black 500GB drive (30) that I use as a boot drive. I looked this up on the internet and apparently this is an intentional "feature" and Western Digital claim there is no correlation between HD failure and load/unload cycles. The WD Green drives are set to idle after just 8 seconds of inactivity which is what is creating such a large number of load/unload cycles while streaming media. You can use the wdidle3.exe program to disable or change the idle time to a maximum of 300 seconds which was what I did. There are a number of guides available freely on how to do this so I won't explain further. Synology recommend that you change the idle timer if you use one of these drives in their NAS devices and I imagine this applies to other NAS devices and people who use the drive to stream media.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 15, 2015 5:09 PM BST


Nintendo Wii U 32GB The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD Premium Pack - Black (Nintendo Wii U)
Nintendo Wii U 32GB The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD Premium Pack - Black (Nintendo Wii U)
Price: £260.82

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A surprisingly wonderful console with a great game, 17 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I first played Wind Waker on the Gamecube and thoroughly enjoyed it. This HD remaster matches or even surpasses my memories. The game looks absolutely dazzling. This is a HD remaster of the highest calibre. The lighting is especially stunning and it appears that most objects in the game have shadows. The game still plays very well; the combat is simple but responsive and satisfying. The sailing is very pleasurable and relaxing and sped up considerable by the new Swift Sail (obtained in the Auction House on Windall Island) if you choose. The Tingle Bottles add a layer of enjoyable interaction with other players as everyone can send random messages out to other players games. These messages sometimes contain pictographs, doodles or just a friendly hello.

The console is just like the other Premium Wii Us except for the Zelda-themed Gamepad which looks very nice indeed. The Gamepad looks a bit clumsy but feels very comfortable when held and the touchscreen is an invaluable input method for games and especially Miiverse. It enables fairly rapid typing and doodling to communicate with others on Nintendo's social network, Miiverse. These are the two aspects of the Wii U that have most impressed me and offer an experience you cannot replicate on any other console. Miiverse is great fun and enables you to connect with others even in wholly single-player experiences. You can share screenshots, tips and hints and your own experiences. You can ask for help and provide it.

In short, I am surprised by how good a console the Wii U is. I expected to enjoy Zelda and a few other exclusive but I can see this becoming my primary console as I love the Gamepad and Miiverse and there are plenty of quality games already released and many more to come this year and next. The Wii U is also fully backward-compatible with the Wii which has a huge library of brilliant and quirky games like Mario Galaxy, Okami, Metroid Prime Trilogy, Fire Emblem, Zelda: Skyward Sword, Trauma Center, Xenoblade Chronicles and many more. Most of the Wii peripheral are compatible and some (Wiimote Plus, Classic Controller) are used in many games.

The only criticisms I have so far relate to the lack of Dolby Digital or DTS. The Wii U only output LPCM 2.0 or 5.1 and unfortunately some amps and headphones (in my case) don't support this format. A modern amp will convert this output to the required format and pretty much everything will play LPCM 2.0 as basic stereo but there is no Dolby Digital in games or Netflix. I also have had some trouble with the WiFi connection but this could very well just be an issue with a very poor WiFi router. The battery life of the Gamepad is also fairly short (2-3 hours) but the AC Adaptor is quite long so it's not such an issue. You can buy an improved battery too if you really need it or the Wii U Pro Controller which has a battery life of 80 hours or so but I find the Gamepad features so useful that I would only buy a Pro Controller for multiplayer.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 1, 2013 9:50 PM GMT


Canton Tea Straight Glass Teapot, 400 ml
Canton Tea Straight Glass Teapot, 400 ml

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor quality glass, too fragile, 28 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have used this pot for about a week and it's broken already. It makes decent tea but the glass is of poor quality and is not made by the Canton Tea Company. The loose leaf tea can get stuck in the small opening at the bottom of the insert and I was trying to remove some small pieces with a plastic spatula when one of the pieces of glass between the openings snapped off. I was not using much force at all. The openings are quite crudely etched into the finished glass with a file. This is a poor product and I would not recommend it to anyone.


Devolo dLAN 500 Wi-Fi Powerline Starter Kit, Wi-Fi Access in Every Room (500 Mbps, 2 Plugs, 1 LAN Port, Small, Wi-Fi Booster, Wi-Fi Repeater, Wi-Fi Extender Kit, PLC Adapter, LAN, Wi-Fi Move) - White
Devolo dLAN 500 Wi-Fi Powerline Starter Kit, Wi-Fi Access in Every Room (500 Mbps, 2 Plugs, 1 LAN Port, Small, Wi-Fi Booster, Wi-Fi Repeater, Wi-Fi Extender Kit, PLC Adapter, LAN, Wi-Fi Move) - White
Price: £62.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply works and easy to setup, 23 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this product because our wireless router is of poor quality and the signal upstairs was very poor. This device is easy to set up and works pretty much perfectly. You can use it with some power-strips but it won't work with others. I use it with my laptop and Nexus 7 tablet and I haven't had any problems. The signal is strong and is a great improvement over my router. The software is also easy to use and quite useful.


Creative ZiiSound D5 Bluetooth Wireless Speaker with iPhone and iPodDock
Creative ZiiSound D5 Bluetooth Wireless Speaker with iPhone and iPodDock
Price: £267.60

4.0 out of 5 stars Great sound, good price, nice style, 23 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was looking for a Bluetooth speaker to use with Google Play Music All Access and my Apt-x compatible smartphone. I saw that this product was more than half-price and had been reviewed very well.

Firstly the speaker is quite small and compact but looks very stylish if this is an issue for you. It's ideal for a bedroom or smaller room but it is capable of generating significant volume for such a small speaker. The sound quality to my inexpert ears is very good. It's clear and the bass sounds very good for something so small. I have used it exclusively with Apt-x so I don't know what it sounds like with just regular Bluetooth. I mostly listen to classic rock (Led Zeppelin, Boston, Bad Company, Cream etc.) and electro-rock/pop (M83, MGMT, Chvrches etc.) and it works very well with both of these genres. I'd recommend getting an equalizer for your phone/tablet/laptop so you can adjust the sound to get the most from this speaker. You can also plug other devices in using aux input (3.5mm) and a cable is supplied. There seems to be no difference to using this input and Apt-x Bluetooth but it's a good option for older MP3 players.

The Bluetooth pairs very easily and is very reliable. It's very easy to use and so far I've not had the signal drop if I stay with 10m and in line of sight.

Overall I really like this speaker. However I would definitely not have paid the RRP, it's simply far too expensive. Amazon's current price (£100) is more than reasonable however. If you want much higher quality sound, I'd recommend considering expensive headphones or wired speakers. The wireless feature is very convenient but you can get better sound for less with a wired option (speaker or headphones).


10 Days to Faster Reading
10 Days to Faster Reading
by Abby Marks-Beale
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.20

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Useful advice that is poorly expressed, 8 Sept. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There is no doubt that this book contains some useful advice and techniques but the style used is infantile. It seems that the author assumes the target audience can only understand general principles when expressed through childish metaphors (reading is like driving a car) which are used with excessive enthusiasm. This book should be a lot shorter and more straightforward but the metaphorical framework extends some basic ideas and the result is "butter scraped over too much bread". The style is extremely repetitive, tedious and stupid or condescending. If you can tolerate the acute stylistic infelicities, then there is some value to be derived from this book. Otherwise try something else. Tony Buzzan's books are irritating to be sure but are far less condescending.


Reading Ovid: Stories from the Metamorphoses (Cambridge Intermediate Latin Readers)
Reading Ovid: Stories from the Metamorphoses (Cambridge Intermediate Latin Readers)
by Peter Jones
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent intermediate reader, 3 April 2012
It is often difficult to make the transition from reading modified texts such as those in Reading Latin or Reading Greek to reading original texts with only a dictionary for help. Along with Reading Virgil this is an outstanding attempt to help the student transition to reading the original texts. The book is well designed with vocabulary, grammar, literary appreciation and textual linking devices on every page. The extracts are interesting and the author's notes are an excellent introduction to the poem and contain much that is of interest. This text is highly recommended for students who have completed Reading Latin or Wheelock's Latin and are finding reading texts frustrating and difficult. I hope the author applies this methodology to creating other intermediate texts and I think a series of such texts in Greek would be immensely valuable.


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