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since 21/09/2004


Nintendo Gameboy Micro 21/08/2009

Gameboy Micro - A Forgotten Gem

Nintendo Gameboy Micro Though I was aware of the Gameboy Micro's release in 2005, it seems like myself, no one really took any notice at all when it launched, obscured by the release of 2004's original Nintendo DS and Sony PSP. The GBMicro really didn't offer anything new to the handheld gaming market at all, though there are a few factors which does help level the field of the major handhelds. Upon release, a brand new Gameboy Micro retailed for around £60-80, which for a seemingly out-of-date console was extortionate. Fortunately the price has come down a great deal in the last 2 years or so, seemingly over-stocking the Pink version as it is the cheapest available to which I purchase for a mere £13 as new from eBay. The box itself for the Micro is quite small and stylish. Inside are the usual refinements: - A4 'poster' advertising the Micro and GBA games - Health and Safety Booklet - Instruction Booklet - Gameboy Micro Console - Pouch - Power Adapter The Gameboy Micro Console is very elegant. The screen is a mere 2" though I haven't played a game which is difficult to use, and text is vibrantly clear. There are 5 different levels of brightness selected by holding 'L' and 'Up' or 'Down' volume keys. In comparison to the GBA SP the clarity is immaculate, incomparable to the original GBA. The entire device measures 10x5x1.5cm and surprisingly sits comfortable in my hands. All but the consoles' face has a metallic and bright texture, and feels very durable.The inter-changeable faceplate is ...

Nike+ SportBand 21/08/2009

Fantastic Product for the Price

Nike+ SportBand Having been looking for a product which I can use to take out running to track distance and pace I thought I would take the plunge and give Nike's 2nd version of the Nike+ SportBand a try and see how well it holds up. Firstly I would like to re-iterate that this is the 2nd generation of Nike+ Sportband's after the disastrous release of the first version earlier last year. V1 was recalled after a strew of complaints when the device was not sealed in manufacturing; which means sweat or water ultimately broke many of the old devices. There were also complaints about the black-background LCD screen which made visibility in dark lighting nearly impossible. It would seem after 4 days of use that these problems have all been fixed for V2 and it looks hopeful that it will not suffer the same problems as the first batch. The build and looks of the SportBand are fairly high-quality. The double coloured wrist-strap is made of a flexible plastic, with small grooves on the inner surface to increase grip on the wrist. Instead of a buckle, the SportBand uses 2 prongs which 'poke' through the corresponding holes to secure a tight, secure fit. It takes a little getting used to at first, but becomes easier after the first few uses. Though the device snugly fits my own fairly small wrists, I am unsure from looking at it, if it would be capable of fitting anyone with large wrists too well, though it should be fine for most people. The watch-face is a detachable USB dongle, roughly 4.6x2.3cm ...

The White Hart, Lincoln 21/02/2008

White Hart Hotel in Lincoln

The White Hart, Lincoln I am writing his review from my White Hart hotel room and in my opinion this is quite an above average hotel. I arrived here with my family (Mum and Dad) yesterday. It was pretty easy to find and get here from Leeds where we spent the day out, just off the A15, but in the next 2 hours when we check out we will be taking the A46 to return home (Reading). The hotel provides their own parking just round the side of the hotel, with a small bay which cars strictly shouldn't stay in at all, but seems to be used by taxis to drop people off. Upon arrival we were greeted by very pleasant reception staff who knew a lot about the local area. Asking about local restaurants they informed us about the various Italian, Mexican, Thai, Chinese, English Pubs and all about the restaurant they have which was very helpful. Even though a fair few must pass through, Lincoln doesn't feel touristy at all but I may simply be saying this as I am not visiting in-season and the city isn't exactly teeming with life at the moment. Just outside reception is the typical leaflet shelf with various attractions and there seems to be a few things to do in Lincoln. Just outside my room is a fantastic view of the cathedral which I will be putting up a picture of when I get back. There's also the Lincoln Castle as well as an exhibition which will take you to look at the Magna Carta (only 4 in the UK). It's quite a historic town with predominantly older, but beautiful buildings which fit in very well. The ...

The Descent (DVD) 20/02/2008

Pure Horror at its Best

The Descent (DVD) I have seen the Descent twice in the last week, both times with a bunch of mates and on both occasions it has scared the life out of me. I am not a person who easily takes fright, jump, or flinch from the sight of gore (which there is A LOT of) but this film managed it without breaking a sweat. This is British film making at its best the Descent truly draws you in, leaving a cold chill down your spine. The Descent is a horror film which follows 8 women who live for extreme adrenaline-fueled action. Just to illustrate this the beginning of the film shows 4 of the main characters white water rafting down some rapids. Not to spoil any part of the film, but one of the women - Sarah gets involved in a car accident soon after where her husband and daughter are killed. She then suffers from strange nightmares and delusions. We then skip ahead a year to when Sarah and the rest of her mates meet up to go caving - this may be linked to the car crash as later on in the film one of her mates mentions how they thought caving would be "Good for her." It is set in the mountainous regions of America but was entirely filmed in the UK which in my opinion is fantastic to see true British film. The 8 soon reach the caverns, but due to collapsing rock they are stuck inside, having to use their own skills to get themselves out before their lights' batteries are depleted. However all is not what it seems in this cave... there is something else... something inhuman. Although the main ...

Shoot 'Em Up (DVD) 05/02/2008

It's Ridiculous... But I Love It!

Shoot 'Em Up (DVD) Shoot 'Em Up in my eyes is a one-of-its kind film. It felt much more like an extended fight scene than a movie. It's ridiculous, pointless with gratuitous amounts of violence. The plot seemed hazy and confusing, yet I loved watching every moment of it. Shoot 'Em Up stars Clive Own (Croupier, Sin City), Monica Belluci (Matrix Reloaded) and Paul Giamatti (The Illusionist, Big Fat Liar). I thought that Clive Owen would be a very unlikely actor to play a role of a trigger-happy hero in an all-out actions film but I was proved wrong with quite a decent performance. I didn't expect any kind of a performance from Monica Belluci (who looks stunning!) or Paul Giamatti, that they would treat this film as just another to add to their list but I was pleasantly surprised. Paul Giamatti managed to successfully portray quite a humorous protagonist out to kill Oliver, a baby responsible for saving the life of Senator Rutledge (Daniel Pilon). Clive Owen plays a shady, yet kind-hearted (at times) squatter named Mr. Smith who we receive very little information about regarding his past. I did find his pet hates quite funny, which are unveiled at different points throughout the film. I felt the story to be pretty weak and even after watching the film 3 times over the last few weeks, it still doesn't make too much sense but I really do not care. This film is constantly bombarding you with gunfight after gunfight. There is a gunfight in the most absurd of occasions with very typical results ...

SanDisk Cruzer Crossfire - USB flash drive - 1 GB 05/02/2008

1GB Memory Stick with Neck Lanyard

SanDisk Cruzer Crossfire - USB flash drive - 1 GB I purchased this memory stick for £19.99 from PC World last summer and I have been very happy with it on the whole. Unlike many other memory sticks, on the lid there is a small hole which has various uses, such as with the neck lanyard which has come supplied with it. Unfortunately the neck lanyard was not particularly strong and snapped after a few weeks of owning it - but hey, what neck lanyard is manufactured to withstand any kind of heavy weight? I know that most memory sticks have a lid or a cap on, but they really do annoy me. I've gone through a few memory sticks and I keep losing the caps to them! It may not affect the working or functionality of the USB stick itself, but it completes the design, so there isn't a piece of ugly metal sticking out. The memory stick is quite small as far as memory sticks go - 5.5cm in length and under 2cm in width which is handy as it easily fits in pockets, even those small pockets which are meant for change in jeans. One downside of this is that it can quite easily get lost for example in a drawer or washing machine. The memory stick has a green/yellow LED light that flickers when data is being transferred which is very useful as I often have no idea when quickly pulling out a USB stick if someone is using it or not. Data transfer is fast enough. I've tried it with an Xbox360 and it works fine, although watching video off it there is a little bit of lag from time to time. The colours also compliment the 360's colour scheme ...

Logitech MediaPlay Cordless Mouse - mouse 05/02/2008

Feature Packed and Reliable Mouse

Logitech MediaPlay Cordless Mouse - mouse Although this mouse is now nearing 4 years old since I purchased it in 2004, it has never let me down. I would highly recommend it to anyone with a computer that uses it to listen to music, watch movies or simply want some extra features. At the time of purchase the mouse cost me around £30 which seemed quite pricey for a computer peripheral, but over the years it has proven to be a worthwhile purchase. Buttons: - Left/Right Click - Scroll Wheel (Vertical/Hotizontal) - Play/Pause - Volume +/- - Fast Forward - Rewind - Media (Opens up a media player of choice) - Foward/Back Included in the box was the mouse, 2xAA batteries, USB connector, manual and software CD with drivers. The mouse has great design to it - the base is glossy black plastic, with a rubbery blue strip above. On top of this strip is a layer of matte-black plastic, with the main silver mouse layout on top. It is quite a normal size, fitting snugly in the palm, with the forward/back buttons lying just under where your thumb will rest if you are right handed. On the underside of the mouse are 3 pads which make sure movement is fluid when using the mouse which I have found to be perfect. Last year one of the pads came off, but the plastic on the underside of the mouse is so smooth I didn't even notice. More of a novelty than anything, but pressing any of the media buttons (FF'd/RW'd, Media, Play/Pause, Volume) will make a blue back light come on from behind the buttons, lighting them up ...

Trust 14639 04/02/2008

Cheap Keyboard and Mouse Set-Up

Trust 14639 This keyboard and mouse set really is great value for money. It only cost £12 from Asda and has really helped me de-clutter my desk from all the wires which used to take up a lot of space. I did not choose a well-known brand as I see keyboards and mice generally being the same sort of thing when you take away some of the unnecessary bells and whistles. The keyboard is a standard UK layout, and is very slim with 2 plastic flicks on the back if you would prefer to stand it up. There are 13 additional keys along the top - 10 of which can be programmed to open up any application you wish using the software which comes with the CD. It has a low-battery LED which lights when low on power. Both the keyboard and mouse has a range of around 2 metres. They both look quite good without looking too tacky or cheap, although the mouse has a slightly flimsy feel to it when the right or left buttons are clicked. Like the mouse, the keyboard is entirely black except for a silver strip which looks quite suitable running around the edge of the keyboard. I noticed a design flaw in the keyboard is that when putting the batteries in I had to be quick to putting the cover over the top as they had a tendency to pop back out due to a spring. The mouse also is slightly longer and takes up more palm space than a standard mouse. The keyboard has smaller than usual 'Enter' and 'Backspace' keys which take a while to get used to. The mouse is quite sensitive and responds to small movements which is ...

Logitech S-200 04/02/2008

Great Set-Up for Under £30

Logitech S-200 I bought these Logitech S200 speakers from eBuyer about 18 months ago for around £35. Setting the speaker system up was easy enough, simply a matter of plugging the bass into the mains, with the satellite speakers attached to this. The 'main' speaker has a headphone jack and microphone port as well as volume and bass knobs, with a power switch. The speaker system doesn't look particularly eyecatching or appealing, but for £35 there are very few models which would. I was surprised at how small the speakers actually were - a little taller than a 6" ruler. I was even more surprised by how loud they are capable of going. The bass is rich and even at maximum volume there is still no distortion in sound. The bass can be adjusted using the knob on the main speaker, which is very suitable as I listen to quite a range of music. The sound quality is fine - above average and a solid option to choose if you watch any videos or game on your computer. I have owned these speakers for about a year and a half and I am having difficulty faulting them with the £35 - now down to £22 price tag along with daily use. I have noticed that whenever they are not in use, but turned on from time to time there is a single 'pop' noise which I cannot explain. It may just be my area, but the bass system in the last 6 months has managed to pick up some signals from the local taxi firm, albeit a very low volume. I did find the wires to be a little short for me, but they should be fine for anyone else. ...

Philips SHN 2500 04/02/2008

Good Earphones Flawed by Noise Cancellation

Philips SHN 2500 I purchased a pair of these Philips SHN2500 earphones from a local Maplins store about 3 months ago for £29.99 - recommended by one of the clerks of the store for good quality and I had read some good reviews and seen some pictures of it online. I must say that they weren't exactly what I was expecting. This is the only aspect of the earphones which really bugged me - the noise canceling device of the earphones. I had looked at images online and carefully at the packaging but I really had no idea how large and clunky this box thing actually was. It measure 8cm long, 3.5cm wide and 1.5cm deep and takes a single AAA battery to power it. This box really did annoy me, as its chunky size and weight due to the battery inside. It is positioned, very awkwardly as well. When the earphones are in the ears, if for example you have your music player in your pocket, the box would continuously keep pulling the ear buds out. Fortunately you can leave the noise canceling off and still listen. Although it may have simply been a bad purchase on my part. I can easily see how these could benefit people who travel on planes a lot as I used these earphones twice when I went on holiday, with noise cancellation turned on and it made quite a difference, but the battery and quality started to diminish on the flight back (about 6 hours of use). The sound quality was really quite something compared to my old Sennheisser MX500's - music was so much clearer and a joy to listen to. It came ...

HP Pavilion Vs19e 19 in 03/02/2008

Great Before it Broke

HP Pavilion Vs19e 19 in I purchased the HP VS19e in December 2006. It cost £130 from PC World which I believed to be a great price. It has a resolution of 1280x1024 and looked very good. It was simply a matter of plugging it in with the cables supplied and the monitor auto-adjusted all the necessary settings for the optimum display. It has a silver colour (plastic) which looks very average, with a matching stand. The speakers which are built-in aren't the best quality, but if you are thinking of purchasing this as someone who is fairly new to computers and don't want to spend a bundle, these would do just fine. There is also a headphone port on the side which I preferred to use over the speakers as they start to sound quite tinny after a moderate volume. There is also a microphone port which was quite useful. The screen's quality is very good - everything displayed crisply and clearly, no dead pixels whatsoever when I purchased it. It came supplied with a manufacturer's warranty of a year, software CD with drivers, full manual and all the necessary cables. The monitor worked without any problems from December 2006, but 13 months after I purchased it, with no warning at all the monitor would refuse to switch on It felt quite typical that it would brake 1 month out of warranty, so if you do plan on purchasing this monitor I would highly recommend an extended warranty When troubleshooting to see how I could rectify this problem, I found a number of people had this problem and could not get it ...

Samsung SyncMaster 2032BW 20 in 03/02/2008

Samsung 2032BW Review

Samsung SyncMaster 2032BW 20 in I bought the Samsung 2032BW to replace my 18-month old HP vs19e after braking. It is an extremely stylish glossy black screen which looks tremendous. It is simple to use and simple to set up - Just plug it in and it works straight out of the box. It uses the same power supply as PC's which I see as a useful advantage. It has a variety of settings which can be adjusted - Brightness, Contrast, Color Tone, Color Control, Gamma, MagicColor Settings, Position and how fine or coarse images are displayed, Transparency (which seems a little pointless), even brightness settings for the LED around the on/off button. When you first set the monitor up it will use an auto-detect setting which will automatically apply settings, but I recommend experimenting a little for the best display you can get. I do not know very much about monitors and cables, but there is also 'DVI-Out' port. It has a very high resolution of 1680x1050 which looks fantastic. As mentioned on the other review, some tweaking is required to get the best image, but that doesn't take longer than 5 minutes. Colours are all bright and clear. The monitor is especially suited to playing games and movies, which look great. One disappointment though is that my monitor has a dead pixel, but unless looking out for it you won't notice. It comes with a free 3 years manufacturer's warranty - 2 years longer than HP (previous monitor brand) offer. Also included in the box is a software CD which contains drivers, MagicTune ...

iRiver Clix 2 GB 06/11/2007

Stunning Red Line 8GB Player

iRiver Clix 2 GB The Clix2 is an amazing feature packed MP3 player. It is beautiful and sleek, easy to use and fully customizable. It has worked perfectly since I purchased it and is definitely a welcomed replacement from the iPod Nano. Bought for £170 it is quite pricey, but it is definitely worth its weight in gold. In the Box - iriver Clix U20 8GB Red Line MP3 Player USB 2.0 Cable Earphones iriver Plus 3 mini software CD Instructions/QuickStart Guide Warranty Features - 8GB File Storage (My player has 7.61GB total space), Many Supported Audio Files (Such as MP3, OGG, WMA) for playback, WMV playback, Radio, Flashlite games, Pictures, Themes, Alarm, Text Viewer, FM Radio with Preset Function, Fimware Upgrades, Recording, UMS or MTP mode. The iriver Clix2 Red Line is the most stunning MP3 player I have ever laid my eyes upon. The front panel has a glossy black finish, which does attract finger prints quite a lot. The back is matte black, with a red strip complimenting the colours well. I was surprised at the small size of the device - smaller than a credit card in length and width, with a 2.4" screen taking up a lot of the space. It's not exactly light, and has a small bit of weight to it at 56g. It does feel quite fragile when first handled; like the front and back panels are loose from eachother, which takes some getting used to. I chose to leave the supplied protector which came attached to the screen on, which turned out to be a wise decision as it works just as well as ...

Sony Ericsson W900i 05/11/2007

Overall Good Phone

Sony Ericsson W900i I've owned the W910i Sony Ericsson Walkman phone (Havana Gold) for nearly a month. It is a very impressive phone, with all the standard requirements for a modern phone built in, with some interesting features and a few flaws. In the Box - W910i SE Walkman Mobile Phone UK Socket Charger USB Cable In-Earphone w/ handsfree wire Quickstart Guide + Manual Sony Ericsson Software Suite Sony Card reader 1GB M2 card (May vary with supplier) At first it was a little tedious getting the battery and SIM card in and out of the phone, I have to use the end of a staple to lift the battery out whenever I need to remove the SIM, but it's not a large problem. Out of the box the most eye-catching part of the phone is probably the large screen on the front. It is bright, clear with a 240x320 resolution screen. Although very crisp and clear, it is still a 262k TFT screen so there are more high definition phone screens available at the moment, but the W910i's are more than adequate. I go the feeling that the screen would be easily scratched, but after just under a month of being put in pockets with keys I can't see any. The phone for its width and length is quite thin, has a little weight to it as well. The front-panel keys are of a decent size, but I've found texting with on the keypad to be a little troublesome at first, a little fiddly and easy to mis-press buttons - you'd get used to it after a few days of texting. The Navigation key is a little prone to bits of dust and dirt ...

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (PC) 10/07/2006

Oblivion Review

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (PC) I purchased Oblivion a few days after it came out here in the UK- purely because of the many astounding reviews and atonishing screenshots/information I had found on it for £30. Having not played any other Elder Scrolls games before, this is truly a unique experience, which was definately worh the money. Onto the review: What's in the Box? I purchased the standard edition, which came with manual, map of the in-game world, and of course the game. The manual tells you the usual controls, and information about the many features the game has to offer, along wiht background information on the various races, skills and attributes. I thought the map which came with it was a nice add-on, though pointless since it's much easier to use the in-game map. Graphics This is by far the most beautiful and immersive game I've ever played. Everything just looks right. The sunsets, the fights, the weapons, armour. It's all so detailed. There's everything you'd ever want strewn around this huge world which the game is set in: trees, rocks, lakes, oceans, rivers, mountains, shrubs which all seem to tick the right boxes in creating an effective natural, outdoor atmosphere. You can tell a lot of work has been put into every aspect of the game- from rats to huge towers. I can't stress enough how good this game looks; textures look about as photo-realistic as they come. I'm only using a mid-range PC and it looks superb, though to get the best possible graphics, you'll need a very good PC, or ...
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