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Profile for Tristan Martin > Reviews

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Content by Tristan Martin
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Reviews Written by
Tristan Martin (Hertfordshire, UK)

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Hama Diary Case for Apple iPhone 5C - Pink
Hama Diary Case for Apple iPhone 5C - Pink
Offered by SEDIVA UK
Price: £9.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good quality phone case (which also fits iPhone 5), 10 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This case for iPhone 5c (which also fits my iPhone 5), it's great. It fits the phone very snugly, so there is no risk of the phone coming off loose. It was a couple of compartments on the inside which are great to keep a credit card or train ticket. I also like the colour.

It does take a bit of time to get used to using your phone with the case folded back. It feels awkward at first but once it he case becomes more flexible, it's fine.

I personally prefer the case that opens from the top rather than from the side.

Safety 1st Kokoon Pushchair (Black/Red)
Safety 1st Kokoon Pushchair (Black/Red)

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good all-rounder, with one significant issue, 10 April 2015
This was a great little pushchair that was better than some of the more expensive versions.

The wheels were stable and smooth and the brake was of a good size and not near the wheels, which is good as it meant my foot did not brush against whatever was on the wheels. The padded sections all provided support where your child needs it: the legs, back and seat all seemed very comfortable. The straps were fine and the buckle was padded, which was a good touch that some expensive models don't have. The cover was large and it had a window on it, which my daughter enjoys looking up out through to see who's pushing. The basket below was of a very decent size and the handlebars were foam and of a good, adjustable height.

It wasn't all perfect, though: importantly, this was easy to fold, with a novel "triggers" system but to reassemble it, my hands did brush against the tyres a few times. Also, this wasn't the most maneuverable pushchair I've ever used and I did have to physically pick it up a few times to make those narrower turns.

For the money, this pushchair offers many great features, it's really the issue of my hands brushing against the dirty wheels when reassembling the chair that stopped me from giving this a five star rating.

Britax BOB Revolution Pro (Black)
Britax BOB Revolution Pro (Black)
Price: £399.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very comfortable, easy to use but still fairly large, even when folded., 10 April 2015
This was my first time using a jogger and I can certainly see their appeal.

The wheels are absolutely massive - perhaps too big. Maybe this is designed for off road usage but like 4WD vehicles, in my city, I only see these things used on the streets and never in the country! Like a pedal bike, this has a brake attached to the handlebars. Apparently, this is required due to its function but I wasn't used to it and my fingers kept rubbing against it. Perhaps it's something I'd get used to over time. The footbrake was very strong though it was near the shopping basket & I did find myself kicking the shopping bags continuously.

The padded areas - seat, legs and back, were all superb and couldn't have been better. This really was a comfortable ride for my daughter. However because this is three-wheeled and therefore pointed at the front, my daughter's long legs were not as comfortable as they could have been as it lacks a decent footrest. The straps were great with additional padding yet the buckle was made of surprisingly thin plastic; for an over-engineered product, the buckle seemed at risk of getting snapped, it was so weak. It seems that this was overlooked compared to the thought that has gone in to the rest of the design.

The cover was large, fold easily and had a big window in it, which my daughter loves. The seat reclines very well, giving access to your child below the handlebars. The buggy folded easy enough but was still very large, so you need room in your vehicle for this item. As you would expect, this was very maneuverable and easy to "drive", with overall a very smooth ride.

Concord Wanderer Buggy (Phantom Black)
Concord Wanderer Buggy (Phantom Black)
Price: £277.27

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Many quality features but I couldn't get this buggy folded at all!, 10 April 2015
Having had the opportunity to use a few different buggies recently, this came out as one of the better in many categories but had a fundamental flaw.

The wheels on this were big and sturdy and even over bumpy grass, gave very little bumpy feedback. The brakes were pleasingly big but they did require more pressure than most buggies seem to need. The padded sections were all excellent: the back rest, seat and leg rest were all well cushioned - the leg rest in particular seemed generously sized for taller children. The handlebars were a great size for a man like me who's over six foot tall.

I had a few small issues with this: there was no window in the cover, which is something my daughter really likes. The harness was good and well padded but the lock had a lock/unlock switch on its reverse. With a baby on board, this could prove a hard to access nuisance and possibly become a source of annoyance. The main area where this fell down was the folding of the buggy: the chair has to be removed first, which may not always be ideal if you're in a busy car park but the really gripe is that two of us couldn't get the frame folded. This is a real fault and I could well have given this a lower score were it not for the positives that I felt were sufficiently strong to stop it from getting one or two stars.

Perhaps you'll get on with this buggy better than I did; this had many strong attributes but seemed fundamentally flawed by two people who couldn't get the buggy folded between them.

Maclaren Quest Buggy (Black/Silver)
Maclaren Quest Buggy (Black/Silver)

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Build quality seemed very cheap, 10 April 2015
I was disappointed with this little buggy.

The wheels were really small and made for a rather bumpy ride, as they gave a lot of feedback. The brakes were small and right beside the wheels, meaning my feet always brushed the wheels and any dirt on them scraped off on my shoes. The padded sections were perhaps the worst parts - in the seat and back rest areas I could feel the metal bars through them. The leg rest, whilst adjustable, felt very flimsy & I thought that I was in danger of snapping it off. The harness didn't have any padding on it at all and the buckle, though easy to use, again felt brittle and that I might easily break it. The cover, too, felt like it was going to come off in my hands. The bottom basket space was small though there was a bag at the rear, which could be useful for things like a few nappies. Also, as I'm over six foot tall, the handlebars were too low for me.

The positives were that the chair reclines to near horizontal and the folding of the buggy couldn't be simpler.

Unfortunately, the overall build quality of this felt very cheap and, in my hands at least, felt like it was always in danger of snapping off in my hands.

Graco Evo Pushchair (Chilli, 2014 Range)
Graco Evo Pushchair (Chilli, 2014 Range)
Offered by Rapo-DE
Price: £220.01

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mostly excellent design, let down by a couple of design flaws., 10 April 2015
This stylish pushchair was a surprisingly good buggy with a pleasing overall build quality.

The wheels were a decent size - not too large but not so small as to give a bumpy ride. There was lots of padding and support where your child wants it: around the leg rest, back and seat, though the leg rest was a little on the small size for my daughter, who is taller than average. The harness had adjustable padding thought the belt buckle felt a little cheap, made of brittle plastic. The cover didn't have a window on it, which is a shame as my daughter loves looking up at whoever is pushing her chair but the material itself was great, it felt really good quality that will survive being handled and scraped in and out of cars. The back of the pushchair had a small compartment for things like emergency nappies, bags & wipes.

The handlebar, though comfortable, was too low for me (I'm over 6 foot tall) and it had a big plastic button in the middle, which was an unfortunate design choice for comfort but it did make it brilliantly easy to fold away, which I could do (and re open it again) one handed, which was a first for me.

Generally, I really enjoyed using this and it felt robust, with good quality parts. Incredibly easy to use but just not adjustable enough for someone as tall as me.

Disney Baby Miami Four Trio Set Pooh Ready to Play Travel System
Disney Baby Miami Four Trio Set Pooh Ready to Play Travel System
Price: £266.15

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cheap build quality., 10 April 2015
Disney is not a name I'd associate with quality buggies and that looks set to continue.

The whole thing feels very cheap - the foot rest is just hard plastic, the areas where your child will rest (back, seat, legs) has the bare minimum of padding and I could feel the hard plastic molding underneath, which could be very uncomfortable. The harness straps feel very cheap plastic and the buckles seemed really lightweight. I'm over six foot tall and the handlebars didn't adjust enough to be comfortable for me. It was easy enough to fold down but for some reason, much more difficult to get back up again.

Ultimately, the whole package felt very cheap and seemed like a case of paying for the brand name. It's a shame as my daughter loves pretty much anything that Disney can slap Winnie the Pooh's image on.

Maclaren Globetrotter Buggy (Black)
Maclaren Globetrotter Buggy (Black)

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent for short trips but not for a full day out., 10 April 2015
This is a serviceable little buggy, decent for short trips but not something you'd want to put your child in for longer trips.

The wheels are small and give a lot of feedback, meaning the ride is fairly bumpy. The brakes are small and right against the wheels, meaning my shoe scraped the wheels when using it. I didn't find that the harness adjusted particularly easily and that the cover was fairly lightweight. the buggy didn't provide a lot of padding in the seat and backrest areas and there's a lot of netting, meaning things could easily get trapped in them. the basket area is also quite small for shopping etc. However, it's very lightweight, maneuverable and folds very easily.

For the money I suppose it isn't bad little buggy but neither is great.

Braun Silk Epil 9 9-561 Wet & Dry Cordless Epilator with 6 Extras Attachments
Braun Silk Epil 9 9-561 Wet & Dry Cordless Epilator with 6 Extras Attachments
Price: £101.73

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good quality, but not sure if it is worth £150, 9 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I, naturally, asked my wife to use this product and tell me how it performed to write this review.

First impressions were great. The epilator looks stylish with lots of little add-ons for different purposes (shaving, trimming, massage head, etc). The little bag to keep all the bits safe looks very cheaply made though, which is a shame.

Moving on to performance, the first time my wife used it was in the shower, which did seem to reduce the pain of epilating, especially if it is the first time, but it took a lot longer than other reviewers stated. The wider head doesn't seem to make a difference regarding on how fast it takes to epilate. She also noticed that there were some areas where she had to go over and over again to make sure they were hair-free, which contradicts the statement about more precise epilating. She found it worked better without the head massager as she could get the epilator closer to the skin. The shaving and trimming add-ons as well as you can expect.

The reason why she has suggested giving it four stars it's because of the light feature. The little, yet powerful, light ensures that she can see exactly how well (or not!) the epilator is doing and go over areas that require it.

Boardwalk Empire - The Complete Season 1-5 [Blu-ray] [2015] [Region Free]
Boardwalk Empire - The Complete Season 1-5 [Blu-ray] [2015] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Steve Buscemi
Price: £49.99

29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Raise a glass to another phenomenal HBO television series, 8 April 2015
First the blu ray details: picture quality is superb, the sharpness and clarity adds extra finesse to the many wonderful period details. The sound quality is excellent, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 brings to life every popped bottle cork and gun shot, while never obfuscating the dialogue or period soundtrack.

Beginning on the eve of prohibition in Atlantic City, 1920, Boardwalk Empire is a crime drama that follows the fortunes of the unofficial mayor of the Las Vegas by the sea, county treasurer Enoch "Nucky" Thompson (deftly played by Steve Buscemi). Nucky has one foot in the political scene and the other in organised crime. As the money to be made from bootlegging towers over what he can scam from his political graft, Nucky drifts more in to a vicious world of murderous gangsters.

I was initially dubious about this drama series, despite its estimable pedigree: it is executive produced by legendary director Martin Scorsese (who also directs the first episode), it comes from HBO, the U.S. television channel that gave us Oz, The Sopranos, Deadwood and The Wire (amongst others) and it's created by Terence Winter, who was a longtime writer of The Sopranos. However, I thought Boardwalk Empire was going to be just a 1920s-set version of The Sopranos but lacking the magnetism of James Gandolfini. Luckily, I was totally wrong.

The tone of Boardwalk Empire captures the jazz age spectacle of the roaring twenties as brilliantly as films like Angels With Dirty Faces and, well, The Roaring Twenties. Everything about this production has clearly been considered to the enth degree: the clothes and set-dressing, the music, the racial politics, the houses, everything looks and sounds simply stunning. The stories have the kind of dense multi-layered plotting we have come to expect from HBO and the ensemble cast is faultless.

This is a work of historical fiction, meaning it takes real people and events but changes them, combines them and puts them at the service of the narrative. This is not a documentary and shouldn't be treated as such, despite its verisimilitude.

We are perhaps all familiar with the final years of some of the characters in Boardwalk Empire, such as the baseball bat wielding Al Capone, or Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel from films like The Untouchables and Bugsy. Boardwalk Empire introduces us to these people when they are just starting out in their "careers." It therefore echoes a film likes Sergio Leone's epic masterpiece Once Upon a Time in America in this respect. However, this is not an ironic take on the genre like The Sopranos (despite the Taxi Driver homage in season three); Boardwalk Empire is full bloodied, both in its stylistic trappings but also in its violence, which is swift, shocking and brutal.

All told, Boardwalk Empire is a classic HBO drama: detailed and complex, one that demands patience and concentration from the viewer but one that rewards with a rich tapestry of memorable characters and intricate plotting. If you've ever enjoyed any of the other HBO dramas that I've mentioned above, you'll probably get a lot out of Boardwalk Empire. At one point, a character says, "You can't be half a gangster." Well HBO don't make television series by halves.
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