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I have tried other budget electric toothbrushes from Fairywill and all impressed me enough to give this new and updated model a try.

The toothbrush arrived nicely packaged in an attractive product box inside of which was the toothbrush itself, two colour coded heads (one prefitted), a short non-standard USB Charging Cable. No USB charging adapter is included, although any standard phone charger will do. A brief but well-written User Guide was also included and I append this to my unboxing video.

The build quality seems fine and although this a budget device, the toothbrush feels robust and sturdy and is satisfyingly chunky and easy to hold in the hand. The head is of the sonic rather than rotary type and makes a not unpleasant buzz when in use. The toothbrush is IPX7 waterproof, so no need to worry if it gets wet.

Using the toothbrush was simple and straightforward. The toothbrush worked fine in all three brushing modes (Normal, Soft and Pulse) selectable by pressing the large Mode button. LED lights indicate the brushing mode and the sound varies for easy confirmation. It has a two-minute auto-off timer with 30-second alerts. The Charging Indicator LED will flash when the 1400mhA Lithium-Ion battery needs charging, show continually when charging and go off when charging is complete. A four-hour charge should be good for at least two weeks of normal use.

The brush sat nicely in the hand and was nice and quiet in use. My mouth felt just as clean and refreshed after use as with the high-end brush I usually use. The brushes seem good and strong but replacements can be found online at Amazon for the current price of £8.99 for a set of four.

This is a first-rate budget toothbrush, well priced and well made, that works excellently, is easy to use and looks good in the bathroom. My only criticism is the use of a non-standard USB charging port on the device itself, so take care not to lose the charging cable. The current Amazon price of just £21.99 makes it particularly attractive buy.

The Good
Great price
Robust build quality
Two heads included
Three Brushing Modes
Mode status LEDs
Auto Timer
Good User Guide

The Bad
Non-standard Charging cable
No USB Adapter
No Carry case

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This pair of hanging hooks are designed to clip to the car rear headrest stalks to allow shopping or other bags to be hung from them down into the boot. It is a very simple idea well realised here.

The hooks arrived nicely packaged in a moderately attractive branded box rather than a plastic bag in a jiffy bag I was expecting.
No instructions or paperwork was included and none needed.

The two hooks are identical and are made of robust piano black ABS plastic with bright green silicon grips for the shaft mount. Each hook weighs just 30 grams and is 9.8cm x 2.8 x 4.7cm in size with a supporting weight of 8Kg.

As you would suppose, using them could not be easier. They just press in place onto the headrest, the soft silicon grip means there is no click when they engage, and rotate freely. When in use the allow bags or other items to be suspended from them into the boot area. When not in use they can be discreetly folded away under the headrests.

Build quality seems fine and the design blends in well with most modern vehicle interiors. The current Amazon price of £5.99 for the pair certainly does not seem unreasonable for the quality and I am happy to recommend them.

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As I slowly switch my connected home from a hub-based to a hub free setup I have encountered quite a few of these generic smart plugs which vary only in price and the app they work. At just £11.59 this is one of the best-priced I have tried yet.

At home, I currently use LightwaveRF switches with my Amazon Echo and Google home devices and this works well but needs a hub to be connected to the router. The latest generation of IOT products, like this socket from Meross require no hub and connects directly to the router and assigned its' own IP number and is easy to identify online. It is recognised by the Amazon Echo and Google Home and seamlessly blends in their home automation ecosystems.

In the simple but attractively designed mid-market product box was the plug itself and a well written and easy to read User Guide. The Guide assists in using the Meross app and for linking the device to Amazon Alexa and Google Home. I attach a scan the guide to my unboxing video. Switch to full screen and pause as needed to read it.

The plug itself is well made, nicely designed and feels robust enough for long-term everyday use. It is smaller in size than many rivals and less obtrusive in use. I was pleased to see that it is not too wide and should fit fine into a multi-socket wall fixture. It has a large green/orange power status LED on the top which doubles as a proper clicky off/On button.

Setting it up was easy enough and can all be done by following the in-app instructions. Open the app and begin the procedure to add a new device. Plug the socket in and the LED starts flashing quickly, select the device type from the list in the app, input your wifi password, let the app detect the device on the network. The switch can then be controlled by the app and you can add the Alexa and Google Home Meross skill to get in onto their ecosystem. The Meross app will walk you through this. Sadly, u it seems not to work with the popular Smart Life app which will work with smart devices from a range of manufacturers. This is mildly annoying and means yet another app has to be installed on my phone.

That said, the app is excellent and does much more than just allow you to add the plug to Alexa and Google. The app will also allow the plug to be triggered by events such as you entering and leaving the house, sunrise/sunset, etc and will work in conjunction with a wide range of wifi devices from the same manufacturer. I doubt most users will use the app but will control is just through voice, as I do.

This is an excellent product in its own right and when integrated with Alexa or Google really can start to transform your home. I have seen identical rebadged products from other suppliers but this one has to be one of the most compact and least expensive yet.

The Good
Good price
Works with Alexa
Works with Google Home
Excellent App
Compact Size
No hub needed
Part of a family of devices
Off/On button
Status LED

The Bad
Does not work with other Apps

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Don't let the surprisingly small box deceive you. This £21.99 headset gives you a lot for your money with the upmarket looks and sound quality of a much more costly device.

Inside the mid-market display box was the headset itself, USB Charging Cable, audio cable and User Guide. The User Guide is well written and nicely printed but small and hard to read. I attach a scan of it to my unboxing video

The headphones feel lightweight but well made and robust and are of the on-ear rather than over-ear type. The headset looks good with an attractive black gloss finish to the body and what looks like PU leather for the headband and earcups. The padding is good but by no means luxurious. The build quality seems fine to me with no sign of the padding on the band working loose, poor stitching, visible wires or weak joints – all elements that have failed on similar headsets I have owned in the past. There is nothing to make me suppose that the headset is not well made. Time will tell and if something fails drastically in the future I will update the review accordingly.

The headset is very lightweight and comfortable to wear for extended listening sessions. The simple control buttons are on one ear cup only and are easy to find and identify by touch and by sight. There are the usual track/volume and multifunction buttons to control audio and phone operations. The buttons are large, not recessed and this makes them easy to use by feel and for me, this is a big plus. Another plus, unusual in a budget headset, is the separate Power On/Off button, a feature which I always prefer to the long press of the Multifunction button.

Bluetooth Pairing simple enough and achieved in the usual way by depressing the Multi-function/Power button for several seconds. The connection is indicated by the usual Red/Blue flashing LED and voice prompts. Once paired I found the connection to be stable and strong.

Battery life seems fine to me and I have no reason to doubt the claimed ten hours music time from a two-hour charge of the 400mAh lithium battery A red LED illuminates during charging and goes off when completed.

This headset is lacking a few features often found even on cheaper units these days. The is no FM radio, NFC, AptX codec or Bluetooth 5 (this set uses the slightly older Bluetooth 4.2). However, it does has a micro SD card slot and can work as a normal headset using the supplied audio cable.

Keeping in mind that this is a budget headset I was very happy indeed with the audio quality. The bass is good, clear, smooth and undistorted. Mid tones are clear and detailed and very easy to listen to. The sound quality of this headset has to be one of the main selling points. The headset has the looks of a more expensive device and the presentation is nice enough to make it attractive as a gift.

I like this headset. It is well made, comfortable, lightweight and easy to wear even for extended listening sessions and with decent sound quality too. It is a pity there was no NFC pairing or radio but I wonder how many people would actually use them? Nevertheless, the excellent audio reproduction and good build quality and presentation make this a great buy for the price asked.

The Good
Great price
Attractive upmarket looks
Excellent sound quality
Easy Access controls
Good build quality
Comfortable to wear
Microphone
Bluetooth 4.2
Separate Power Button
SD Card Slot

The Bad
No NFC
No Radio
No Bluetooth 5

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Well priced on Amazon at £42.99 this is attractive and nicely designed kettle from YOLEO offers some features not usually found at this price point.

The kettle arrived in a rather unattractive down market box containing the kettle, base unit and a large and well-printed User Guide which I append to my unboxing video.

Build quality seems fine with everything made of robust plastic and metal with High Borosilicate Glass for the 1.7 Ltr kettle transparent body. As with most kitchen top devices, this one comes with a short cable and a prefitted UK three pin plug. The kettle features a thumb panel on the handle allowing a range of temperatures between 70C and 100C to be selected with a keep warm option to hold the kettle at a selected temperature. The kettle has mesh filter over the spout which hangs free and can be removed for cleaning. With every button tap or when the kettle concludes an operation, there is a beep, which so far as I can tell cannot be disabled but is not so loud as to be annoying.

To operate the kettle after filling with water and placing on the base you can either press the On/Standby button to begin heating to the maximum level or else press the Keep Warm button and then the reset button for the beverage or temperature you wish. The kettle will light up with a ring of blue LED's around the glass bottom during heating and the beeper will sound once. When the selected temperature is reached the kettle will beep again and the LED illumination will go off. When the Keep Warm feature is enabled the kettle will switch on and off automatically to keep the water at the selected temperature. How many of us actually need or may use this feature or need water at any temperature other than boiling is open to doubt, but better to have it than not.

The kettle has a wide and easy to access mouth with a lid that pulls right back and so is easy to fill and empty. Take note that the scale filter can be removed for cleaning and is prone to popping out but can be easily clicked back in place. The kettle lights up in a very spectacular way when in operation and certainly looks good in the kitchen, particularly at night! Boil time is good and fast and the kettle is no louder than normal when in operation.

If you want a well made and visually striking kettle with preset temperatures and a keep warm feature then this may be just what you are looking for.

The Good
Good Build Quality
Good Price
Preset temperatures
Keep Warm Feature
LED illumination Glass Bowl
Easy access opening
Auto Shutdown

The Bad
Water Filter pops loose
Beep cannot be disabled
LED cannot be disabled

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This one of those difficult items to review because it is so simple in design and just does what it is supposed to do with a minimum of fuss and bother. Just plug it in and use it.

But what does it do?
This is a rather specialised adapter and when connected gives the user two additional RJ45 Gigabit LAN ports which can allow separate and independent access to LAN networks at 10/100/1000 Mbps speeds. Assuming the computer already has one Ethernet port and Wifi this could mean that as many as four networks can be used at once. Of course, most of us do not need this but those in finance or software development or those using Virtual Computers may need it. It should work with Windows (XP and up), Mac OS 10.6 and up, Linux Linux kernel 2.6.14 ~ 3.5.0.

The unit arrived packed in a simple but attractive mid-market product box with all you need to know about it printed clearly on the box. Inside the box were the adapter, printed User Guide and a driver CD.

The device could not be more simply designed. On one end is a short hard-wired heavy duty cable and USB 3.0 plug with a USB 3.0 port next to it. Personally, I would have rather had a separate USB input socket to allow for my choice of cable or replacement should the original be lost or damaged. It is perhaps a pity too that USB 3 was used rather than USB-C but as USB-C is only now starting to come to laptop and desktop machines it was no doubt felt that USB 3 has a wider market. The USB 3.0 port can be used to replace the one take up by the adapter, important on some laptops with few spare parts. Build quality is excellent and the adapter seems robust and well made.

On my Windows 10 machine as soon as I connected the adapter two more Ethernet ports immediately became visible with both functioning just as well as the built-in Gigabit LAN port. I did not need to install any additional drivers. It was as simple as that.

The current Amazon price of £37.98 is not cheap but then this has to be viewed as a low volume specialised item for advanced users and with that in mind, the price is not bad at all.

The Good
Good Build Quality
Good price
Simple to Use

The Bad
Hard Wired Cable
No Carry Case
No USB-C

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There seem to be plenty of these Shiatsu pillow massagers on the market these days and most of them very similar but at just £38.99 this is slightly dearer than most rivals but it does offer at least one thing the others lack - wire-free operation.

The massager was supplied in an attractive mid-market product box, suitable for storing the device in when not in use. Inside the box aside from the massager itself was a UK power supply and a simple but well printed and easy to read User Guide. I include a scan of the User Guide in my unboxing video.

The device consists of a large and quite heavy four roller mechanism contained in a robust mesh and leather look housing. Unlike the more expensive rivals, it lacks the arm slings which hold the roller tight to the shoulder and so with this device you have to control the massage intensity by simply pushing back onto it. It has a single large control button: press once to turn on, press again to turn the heat On/Off, long press to turn off. The switch assembly seems well made and has a good positive action although there are no status LEDs. There are an array of red LED’s which light up around the rollers when it is in use and heating mode selected. On the rear of the unit is an adjustable elasticated strap which holds the unit in position on the neck support of your seat. This is a problem as in the home I suspect few of us have suitable high necked chairs in the lounge or bedroom but in the car or office, it should be OK. In general, the build quality seems very good and the equal of the similar devices from more expensive rivals. It is a pity it is not supplied with a storage bag but at a pinch, the box it is supplied in could be used.

In use it is easy enough, you just rest it on your shoulders, switch on and hold it in place using the rear belt or with the hands, leaning back to adjust the pressure. As well as the neck and shoulders it can also be used on the back or indeed any part of the body. It can be quite uncomfortable at times and feels like having two cricket balls pushed into your back but no doubt it is beneficial. The rollers have a very powerful action which can be controlled only by varying the tension it is held in place or by pressing backwards onto it. The direction of the roller travel alternates automatically every minute during use. The heat action is pleasant and quite pronounced but again cannot be varied other than by turning it off. It operates on a fifteen-minute massage cycle after which it turns off.

It comes with a UK power supply but the cable length is too short and long enough only for use when positioned immediately next to a socket although when used on the internal battery this is not a problem. A two-hour charge should give up to two hours of use with heating and at least four hours without.

The massage effect is very powerful and once again at least equal to that from more costly models I have used. The battery feature is a major plus point and makes the device far more easy and comfortable to use. This feature alone makes the device well worth the asking price for me.

The Good
Good price
Good build quality
Attractive design
Effective massage
Auto off feature
Rechargeable battery

The Bad
May be too heavy for some users
Short power cable
No storage bag
Single power setting
Single heat setting

Qoolife Rechargeable Clip On Reading Light

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This excellent little lamp from Qoolife arrived nicely presented in a robust product box making the product attractive enough for use as a gift. Inside the box aside from the lamp itself was a short non-standard USB charging lead and a simple one-sheet User Guide.

The product is nicely designed in glossy white plastic with a single large button on the top to switch between the three brightness levels. The crocodile jaws are strong and grip well and once in place the lamp feels pretty secure. The short gooseneck is very flexible and can be put into almost any orientation. The device can be mains powered and will operate when charging but it is primarily designed for use with the internal 1000mAh lithium polymer battery for which it claimed up to eight hours of use from a two-hour charge, which I have no reason to doubt it not the case. It is USB powered but no mains adapter is included along with a charging cable, no problem as we all have plenty of spare USB adapters these days. This leads to my only gripe with the product as the plug on the lamp end is non-standard. If a normal micro-USB port were used, as many similar devices do, then there would be no problem if the cable were lost. As it is if the cable is lost or damaged then the lamp becomes useless.

It is designed mainly for use with the crocodile jaws but will stand self-supported on the flat base but be aware that this limits how the gooseneck is used as the lamp is liable to topple over if it is extended too far out. Most people I expect will be using the clamp to support it and this works very well.

The main use I put it to is to read by at night and it clips neatly to my bedside table for this purpose. It also works well as a computer light and can be powered from a laptop USB port when doing so.

This is an excellent little lamp, good and bright and available now from Amazon for the very attractive price of £12.99.

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At just £15.99 you cannot really expect too much, and certainly this is no Sennheiser but in fact and for the price, this is indeed a good buy.

In the simple, plain but robust product box was just the microphone itself, and a well written but rather small printed User guide. Build quality seems fine for the price. As you might expect for the price everything is made of plastic and feels lightweight but nevertheless seems well made and robust. The microphone has a USB interface with a hard-wired 0.9M cable. The microphone and stand are medium sized at 10.3" high on a 3.3" base but when sits neatly on the office desk and looks the business. The microphone has an Off/On switch on the base with status confirmation LED. The cable is hard wired which is a pity as a standard detachable USB lead would have been better as any USB cable could have been used. There is a foam pop filter on the microphone itself which can be removed if needed,

Setting it up is simple enough, is well explained in the User Guide and in fact is exactly the same as with any other USB mic. No additional drivers were needed or installed on my Windows 10 machine. It really is just push and play.

The microphone works well with decent sound quality for the price and a no significant background hum or interference. If better audio quality is needed or for high-end music recording then expect to pay much more. For Skype, blogs and Youtube this budget microphone should be perfectly fine.

If you need a small and neat mic for Skype or other uses with your desktop PC and appreciate the attractive and stylish design this might be for you.

The Good
Great price
Good build quality
Good audio quality
Good User Guide

The Bad
No carry bag
Hardwired cable

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I have tried plenty of LED strip lights before, many of them with remote control but this is the first new generation model I have tried with full Amazon/Google voice control integration.

Unlike many budget rivals, this package is nicely presented, contains all you need and does not feel like a cheap import. In the well designed and attractive product was the 2M strip itself on a film style reel, a control box, a power supply with standard UK plug and 1.2M cable, a sticky mount for the control box, cable mount kit with screws, LED strip extension connector, and a well-printed colour User Guide.

Build quality seems first rate, with all the kit appearing well made and robust. Unlike with many rivals, the User guide is genuinely useful and I reproduce the most important pages in my unboxing video. Much of the User Guide concerns the iLinTek app which I myself do not use and which is simple and intuitive to use.

Planning is important so first work out where the cabling can be routed out of sight, the best place for the light strip etc. I would suggest connecting it up on your workbench before fixing it in place and then set up Alexa/Google integration before sticking the LED tape down. You may need to cut the LED strip to the length you need, the cut marks are clearly indicated on the strip. Clean the mounting surface first to ensure good adhesion and you may even want to use a few clear plastic cable cleats to keep it in place for long term use. You may also wish to fit an extension strip if the 2M strip supplied is not long enough - the six pin male/male adapter needed is included in the kit but take care not to lose it as it is tiny. Make sure you select a six pin LED strip extension and not the older four pin type.

Setting the device up is simple enough. Connect the power supply to the control box and the control box to the LED strip. I found this last step a bit fiddly as it was a snug fit and I was worried about bending the pins, but after a few careful pushes, it was done. You can turn the strip on at this point and it should flash rapidly to show it is in setup mode. If it does not flash just hold the control box button for a few seconds until it starts. You now open the iLintek app which you should have already downloaded, installed and registered and follow the on-screen prompts to install a new lighting appliance. You can then rename the device to one better suited to voice control. You can now control it from the app and Alexa/Google should automatically recognise it. I should add that the strip works just as well with the SmartLife app and in fact, that is the one I prefer as I already use it for a range of other Alexa controlled devices.

Using Alexa/Google you can now turn the light strip On or Off, change colours and apply a range of other effects. It can also be incorporated into automated routines using Alexa, Google or IFTTT to come on or change settings when a range of selected external events take place.

This is an excellent device and although at £25.99 it is not the cheapest I have seen, the build quality, detailed documentation and versatility make it a cut above older budget rivals.

EasySMX Wireless Game Controller ESM-9013

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Available now from Amazon for £17.99, this is one of a range of new gaming devices from EasySMX. This rather less expensive than the high-end rivals and less than half the price of the Microsoft Xbox 360 controller which it closely resembles. This device is very similar to the last controller I reviewed from EasySMX but has a few crucial differences.

The device in a simple but attractive branded product box containing the controller, mini USB transceiver, and a well printed if rather a small User Guide. I append a scan of the User Guide to my unboxing video.

The mini USB stick is as you would expect it to be and seems well made and robust. It has no status LED to confirm power connection and the USB stick has no printed logo and so is hard to identify if mislaid. The controller has a matt black finish with red piping and sports all the usual buttons in the standard configuration: A, B, X, Y buttons, LB, RB buttons, left and right triggers, Start and Back buttons, two clickable mini-joysticks, an 8-way D-pad, and Home button. Unlike the earlier model, this one has a Turbo button between the two joysticks. It has blue LEDs incorporated into the Home Button. It has a simple dual-mode vibration motor for alerts and in-game use. It promises and I found delivers over twenty hours of gaming use from the two AA batteries it requires, another change from the other model which features a rechargeable battery.

The device should work with almost any gaming device that uses USB, including Fire Stick, PS3, Android etc. I tested it with my Windows 10 PC and it worked perfectly as soon as the USB stick was inserted with no need for additional drivers or software. The construction feels reassuringly robust and ergonomically friendly in the hand. The buttons and controls are all easy to use and resistance free. I must say I noticed a slight latency with the two analogue sticks caused by the distance they need to be pushed before becoming active. However, this is something that can be worked around, I daresay, with experience.

This is an excellent product for the money. High-level gamers may be prepared to pay out much more for the slightly smoother gaming experience and reduced latency of a pro level controller but for most gamers, this new controller should offer all they need.

The Good
Great price
Good Build Quality
Good User Guide
Standard Button Configuration
Standard micro-USB interface
Uses standard AA batteries

The Bad
No USB stick logo
No USB stick LED

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Available for £18.99 on Amazon this has to be judged as a budget item but in fact, you get quite a lot for your money here with the new gaming headset from EasySMX.

The device arrived nicely presented in a mid-range branded display box. Inside the box were the headset itself, headset splitter cable and a large and easy to read User Guide which I include at the end of my unboxing video.

The headset seems nicely made, robust and strong, and quite attractively designed compared to some gamer headsets I have tried – which is not necessarily saying much. It is well padded on both the earcups, which are of the over-ear type, and on the headband which has a soft sling beneath a rigid frame. It is lightweight, comfortable and easy to wear even for long gaming sessions. The headset does not support Bluetooth, as an increasing number do now, but does have a dual cable adapter to allow for separate mic/audio connections – green for headset, red for the microphone. The splitter adapter's standard 3.5mm plug allows the headset to be used with mobile phones and other devices with combined microphone and audio socket. The earcups and microphone tip have bright blue LED’s when connected using the USB plug and in fact, this is the only purpose of the USB plug as USB audio is not supported and there is no built-in vibration engine. There are no in-line controls but instead, all the controls are on the headset: volume control rotary dial, microphone On/Off and, unlike with most rivals, a separate switch to turn the LED lights On and Off.

How is the sound?
The audio quality is excellent and worthy of a higher priced device and one of the best I have tried in this budget price range. There is plenty of bass, not so much as to be overpowering, with the mid and higher frequencies being clear and well defined without being too sharp or abrasive. When both gaming and listening to music it is becomes a very immersive and enjoyable experience. When making calls the audio quality from the mic was fine with my caller saying my voice was clear, undistorted and easy to understand.

As headphones for general listening, this headset is excellent for the price. As a purely gaming headset, it less attractive. The mic has been improved but I would still prefer a clearer sound. It is worth saying again that the USB connection is to power the LED lights and not to allow for system-level interaction with a gaming console.

These are a large and well-made set of headphones described as being for gamers but really they are fine for general purpose listening with a full and rich sound not often found at this price. If you are a serious gamer and prepared to pay more, particularly a console user then my advice would be to keep looking. If you are looking for a budget headset for music, PC Gaming and general use then this would be a good buy.

The Good
Good sound
Great price
Good build quality
Comfortable to wear
LED Illumination
Audio/Mic adaptor
Adjustable mic position
No Drivers needed
Passive noise reduction

The Bad
Not Suitable for some gaming consoles
No vibration Engine

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This well made £29.99 cycling helmet from Base Camp arrived simply packaged with no branded product box. Although the headset was perfectly well protected the lack of a display box does make it rather less appealing as a gift. Inside the box was the helmet itself, a drawstring carry bag and a small but well-written User guide. I include a copy of the User Guide in my unboxing video.

Build quality of everything seems fine although of necessity rather lightweight being made of plastic and EPS foam. The LED light and battery seem watertight and rain proof but no IP rating is given. I would not expect any problems in normal UK rain. The helmet is fully adjustable between medium to large sizes (22 to 24 inches) with a quick release buckle The inner sponge lining is held in place by a clip and can easily be removed for cleaning.

The headset is a standard one in many respects and from a distance looks the same as the rest. Indeed I suspect it is a generic model rebranded for different suppliers. That is fine by me and in fact and this one is a shade less costly than some rivals I have seen. It has a bright red multi-LED warning light on the rear which can be switched turn on/off or switched between flashing and always on modes using the switch built into the light itself. This is awkward to reach and the rider would need to stop in order to do so. The light is powered by a CR2032 watch type battery. Although these batteries are inexpensive and widely available it is a pity that a rechargeable battery was not used. The light needs to be removed from the rear of the helmet which is best done using a flat screwdriver to ease it out as it is a tight fit and held in place by pressure only.

A good quality helmet is a necessity for all cyclists these days and the addition of the safety light is a great bonus. This is an excellent lightweight safety helmet and would be a worthwhile addition to any cyclists kit.

The Good
Good price
Powerful Rear Light
Carry Bag
Showerproof
Good User Guide
Padded lining
Adjustable size

The Bad
Budget packaging
Light switch awkward to use
Watch type battery used

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Blog: https://marcoscucom.wordpress.com/2019/02/27/outwit-night-light-alarm-clock/

This simple but very practical alarm clock and night light from Outwit is currently available from Amazon for just £8.99 and for that budget price is a great buy.

The clock arrived presented in a simple but attractive mid-market box containing the clock and a well written but rather hard to read instruction sheet. No batteries were included.

The 102g 100x90x90mm ABS all plastic kid friendly clock is touch-operated and has two pressure switches on the underside which react when the top of the device is pressed down. Pressing once turns the unit On and again to turn it off. The control buttons are all situated on the base of the device next to the battery housing panel for the three AAA batteries required. The controls are simple and easy to operate and allow the user to set the current time, date, alarm time, snooze time (up to sixty minutes) and select from any of the eight alarm tones on offer. Pressing the Up, Down or Alarm button to cancel the alarm when it is sounding

After configuration and when switched on the clock displays the current date, time, temperature and Alarm status. It will automatically begin cycling through the seven backlight colours which can be cancelled by touching the clock body.

The clock is marketed as being child-friendly and this is perhaps due to the simple construction from safe materials together with the lightweight but robust and durable build quality.

If you need a budget-friendly simple alarm and nightlight for any room including a child's bedroom this would be a very worthwhile choice

The Good
Great price
Good Build Quality
Easy to Use

The Bad
No Batteries Included
No USB/mains power option
No touch panel alarm cancellation

Full Review Below

More Info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2T5ksmL

Blog: http://bit.ly/2Vo2MQX

Currently available on Amazon for £17.99, this is one of a range of new gaming devices from EasySMX. This considerably less expensive than the high-end rivals and less than half the price of the Microsoft Xbox 360 controller which it closely resembles.

The device in a simple but attractive branded product box containing the controller, USB stick, a short USB to micro-USB charging cable and a well printed if rather small User Guide. I append a scan of the User Guide to my unboxing video.

The USB stick is as you would expect and seems well made, robust and sports a bright red status LED to confirm power connection. The controller has a glass piano black finish and sports all the usual buttons in the standard configuration: A, B, X, Y buttons, LB, RB buttons, left and right triggers, Start and Back buttons, two clickable mini-joysticks, an 8-way D-pad, and Home button. It has a micro USB charging port on the front and four blue LEDs incorporated into the Home Button. It incorporates a simple dual-mode vibration motor for alerts and in-game use. It promises and I found delivers about eight hours of gaming use from a single charge of the non-removable lithium battery. I was pleased to see a standard non-proprietory charging cable has been used. This allows the device to work in non wifi mode using the cable for suitably equipped devices.

The device should work with almost any gaming device that uses USB, including Xbox 360, Fire Stick, PS3, Android etc. I tested it with my Windows 10 PC and it worked perfectly as soon as the USB stick was inserted with no need for additional drivers or software. The construction feels reassuringly robust and ergonomically friendly in the hand. The buttons and controls are all easy to use and resistance free. I must say I noticed a slight latency with the two analogue sticks caused by the distance they need to be pushed before becoming active. However, this is something that can be worked around, I daresay, with experience.

This is an excellent product for the money. High-level gamers may be prepared to pay out much more for the slightly smoother gaming experience and reduced latency of a pro level controller but for most gamers, this new controller should answer all their needs.

The Good
Great price
Good Build Quality
Good User Guide
Standard Button Configuration
Standard micro-USB interface

The Bad
Some latency
No Storage Case

Full Review Below

More Info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2trA5q0

Blog: http://bit.ly/2SSU3JJ

Just £9.98 on Amazon will get you this remote controlled disco style lamp which would be excellent for a birthday or any other sort of child's party. It is not massively powerful but fine for the home but not enough I would imagine for professional use.

In the attractive but simple box, you get the disco light itself with hard-wired UK plug, remote control, an angled mount and a well written and easy to read if rather small one-page User Guide. I enclose a copy of the User Guide on the end of my unboxing video.

The light and mount are made of plastic and this where the budget price has to be met as more costly rivals of similar design are made of metal. The remote control is quite small but the buttons are well marked and have a positive feel to them. Due to the lightweight build, I do have doubts about the long term durability of the product as it does have a delicate rotating mechanism inside. I should say here that my unit has shown no signs of packing in but who knows how it will be after use in a few parties. Also, don’t be tempted to use this outside if there is any hint of rain, as this device is not water resistant.

Operating is easy enough. Just plug in – there is no Off/On switch – select the mode and features you want from the remote, and there you go. Note that the OFF button on the remote turns off the lights but does not power down the unit. The supplied cable is quite short and so an extension cable may be needed. There is a slight noise as the internal light wheel rotates but this would be no problem in normal use.

The remote allows you to select various lighting colours (Red, Green, Blue and White), with 7 different stroboscopic lighting effect, auto colour scrolling, all with a rolling rotating light wheel effect. There are also three music controlled modes determined by the internal microphone which cause the lights to pulse in time with the music. The difference between the Music modes is rather hard to define but I am sure it does exist.

The lighting effects are very effective and would be perfect to give atmosphere to a party or small disco. The supplied angled mount means that the device can be wall or ceiling mounted if needed and can be fixed to point in any desired direction. The price for a remote control unit such as this is very good indeed although for long term or professional use a more expensive and robust unit might be better.

The Good
Great price
Multiple lighting modes
Remote control
Good User Guide
UK Plug

The Bad
Lightweight build
Cable too short
Not suited for outside use
Doubts over long term durability
Slight operating noise
No power switch

Full Review Below

More Info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2tvvFhP

Blog: http://bit.ly/2IuI93U

I have tried other budget-priced desktop fans in the past and have not been impressed. Usually, they are garishly designed and cheaply made usually from low-grade plastics and invariably don’t work or else cease working after a few days. This one is better, nicely made and works well.

The fan arrived presented in a rather basic cardboard box containing just the fan. No instructions were included or required as everything you might need to know was printed on the box.

I was also surprised by the fan itself which is entirely made of metal with even the 3.6" fan blades made from aluminium rather than plastic. To my surprise, the blade shield frame is held in place with removable nuts rather the cheaper option of glue. The USB power cable is just over three feet in length and is hardwired to the body with a non-rotating fixed joint. It is a pity the cable is not connected using a standard socket on the fan as it means that should the cord fail then the fan will be useless. The fan has a single speed only but is turned off and on using a switch on the rear and not just by unplugging as cheaper rivals do.

The fan is position on a non-folding rigid stand within which the fan rotate around through 360 degrees. The stand can also be hooked over a window frame or chairback if needed.

The fan is almost silent in operation and is more powerful than I expected and it gives a pleasant breeze across the desk. Take note that this is designed for desktop use and you will not feel much benefit above about six feet away.

This is a stylish, well made and very functional desktop fan available at the time of writing for just £8.99 from Amazon. I doubt if you will find a better one for the price.

The Good
Good build quality
Attractive Design
Off/On switch
Quiet operation
Robust metal construction
Great price

The Bad
Hardwired cable
Desktop level use only
Single Speed only

Full Review Below

More Info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2MuoHm0

Blog: http://bit.ly/2T5AooZ

See below for 90% discount codes!

This deceptively simple clip-on lamp from Pinshare Home will surely answer most of your needs as regards a desk or office lamp and for the rather reasonable price of just £19.99 from Amazon.

The lamp arrived simply packaged in a simple branded cardboard box containing the suitably well-packaged lamp and a well printed, easy to read but rather unnecessary user guide.

The lamp consists of a 16.2cm long LED strip on the end of a 33cm gooseneck with a 10cm crocodile clamp base. The clamp is suitably padded to protect the surface of the desk and once in place is robust and secure. The lamp can be used with the clamp base acting as a stand but it is of course rather less stable than when clamped in place. Once in position, the black silk finish gooseneck can be bent and positioned in almost any attitude. The lamp is powered by a standard USB plug (no mains adapter is supplied) hard-wired into the lamp with an in-line control box with large and easy to use buttons

Using the lamp is simple enough. Once plugged in Press the Power Button to the device off and on, pressing the Mode button will scroll between the three colour temperatures on offer – Warm, Standard, and cool white, press the + and – button to scroll between the ten brightness levels of the light. It has an always-on blue LED on the control box that allows the lamp to be easily located in a darkened room, a thoughtful and very useful touch.

This is a simple and attractive lamp that does what it is supposed to do and does it well. If you need an office or desktop style lamp for work or reading then this would be a great buy.

NB The Supplier has made a limited number of 90% Amazon discount codes for this product:
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Full Review Below

More Info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2GNPOHN

Blog: http://bit.ly/2Vcacqn

I was very surprised when offered this new and updated CD player from Gueray product to review. Who still uses CD players? Sales of turntables, CD players and even Videotape players are taking off with the interest in retro tech and so I suppose it was only a matter of time until CD players fell into that category. Some people too may have a much-treasured CD collection that they still need to have access to via a dedicated player.

In the mid-market box that I received was the player itself, in-ear headphones with three sets of buds, extension cable with remote control pod, USB to micro-USB charging cable, audio-in cable, soft carry case, and a well printed and easy to read User Guide. Build quality seems excellent and this has the look and feel of a high-quality product with nothing looking likely to fail anytime soon.

The player supports the usual formats: CD, MP3, CD-R, and CD-RW with four playing modes: Track Repeat, Repeat All, Play first 10s, Shuffle Play. With MP3 discs there is also an option to repeat play a selected track folder. When playing there are five audio presets to choose from. The device can either be controlled from the buttons around the mono LCD screen on the lid or using the in-line control pod. The player has a built-in 3.7V/1400mAh rechargeable battery which after a four-hour initial charge should give at least eight hours of sustained use. It can also be powered from a USB cable when incorporated into a home music system. On my device charging, red LED when charging and green when ready, was fast and reliable

Sound quality is excellent both when connected to an external sound system or when using the supplied headphones. Indeed, the headset is a cut above that usually supplied with portable players and can give excellent if not outstanding results.

If you need a portable CD player you are probably a specialist user and will require a good quality well-made device. So far as I can tell it is a minor upgrade from the earlier model from Gueray with some under the hood improvements, a colour change from black to white and a small drop in price. This £48.99 unit is not inexpensive but it is a quality piece of kit that promises to be reliable and a good long term buy.

The Good
Good Build Quality
Good Headphones
Extension cable with in-line Controls
Carry Bag

The Bad
Expensive
No Optical audio out

Full Review Below

More Info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2SyKtvf

Blog: http://bit.ly/2GOd4p7

This elegant and rather stylish stainless steel jug can be bought separately or as the mid-sized of a set of three, the others being 200ml and 600ml. This one is probably ideal for use with one or two coffee servings.

The jug arrived simply but adequately packed in a branded cardboard box with the jug and, surprisingly, a well written and nicely printed User Guide. I doubt many will need it but from a sense of completion, I include a scan of it in my unboxing video.

The jug is reassuringly heavy and feels like a quality item. As you would expect it has a reflective shiny exterior with a mat finish to the inside to allow the engraved measurement scale there to be more easily seen. Yes, the markings are engraved and not just printed as they would be on a less well finished off item. The 7.5cmx 9.2cm jug is made from 304-grade stainless steel, this means nothing to me but apparently is the highest quality food gauge metal. It has a spout to the front, drip-free we are told, and a metal handle to the rear, welded rather than riveted to the body.

As you would expect the jug is easy to use as well as looking good and makes a neat and attractive addition to the coffee making routine. The current Amazon price of £6.99 is not at all unreasonable for an elegant and well-made item such as this.

Full Review Below

More Info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2tgX3Aa

Blog: http://bit.ly/2tpCBNx

This little device is designed to help you drift off into a calm and relaxed sleep. I have tried similar devices but this one is the easiest to use and has the most functions in the budget price bracket.

The White Noise Machine arrived nicely presented in an attractive mid-market box adding to the appeal of the product as a gift. Along with the device itself was a short USB to the micro-USB power cable and a small but well printed and easy to read User Guide which I include on the end of my unboxing video.

The device looks rather like a 90's era bedside radio and indeed it is a pity a radio could not have been incorporated into it. On the top can be found the speaker grill together with the input controls for the timer and the main silver On/Off button. The front panel has the small backlit timer LCD display along with timer On/Off, timer set, Volume Up/Down and large sound selection dial. On the rear panel is the micro-USB power port and on the underside the battery housing for the four AA batteries (not included).

Build quality seems fine for the price with nothing looking likely to break or fall off and nothing that little fingers can come to harm by if the device is used in the nursery.

The ten sounds can be selected easily by turning the front panel dial with the following options available: White Noise, Rain, Bird, Brook, Lullaby 1, Lullaby 2, Ocean, Typhoon, Thunder and Brown Noise. Pressing the Up/Down button to select the volume, press and hold the Mode button to set the current time of day using the top panel control to input the details. Press the timer button to select the timer and press multiple times to select the timer duration of 15,30,60 or 90 minutes. The LCD displays the current time with an eight second cut off for the backlight as well as the remaining time when the timer is selected.

I found the device worked well with decent sound quality and loud enough for use in larger rooms. It is a pity there is no audio out cable to allow connection to an external audio system and a pity too that no power adapter was included but for the current silly price you cannot be greedy.

The current Amazon fire sale price of £5.99 is fantastic considering the quality, ease of use, and features on offer.

The Good
Great Price
Easy To Operate
Battery/USB Power Option
Attractive Design
Auto Off
Multiple timer options

The Bad
No Radio
No Power Adapter included
No Audio Out

Full Review Below

More Info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2tjNUXG

Blog: http://bit.ly/2tjhCMv

Due to the supplier ceasing trading this headset is currently available for just £5.99, from Amazon. I was not expecting too much from this budget headset but in fact, I was rather surprised by their performance. Having tried them blind I would have expected to pay around £20-£30 for them.

In the small, mid-market box was the headset themselves, three pairs of differently sized buds, a short USB to the micro-USB charging cable, and a well written but small and poorly printed User Guide. I will include the Guide at the end of my unboxing video. Switch to full screen and pause to read it.

Build quality seems fine, the earpieces seem robust and well made. The earbuds are quite large and tend to project outwards a bit too much for my taste but once in place are comfortable enough and are securely fixed with an over ear loop. However, experimenting with the other buds helped with comfort and sound quality. The cable connecting the two earpieces I found to be quite short compared to some others I have tried. It is a pity that the earbuds do not clip together for storage as some rivals do. The headset is described as being waterproof but as no IP rating is given for this I would take it with a pinch of salt. The charging port is grommet protected and everything else seems pretty secure so I would expect them to be fine in all but the worst weather. A single charge should give up to five hours of audio playing time which is not a great deal but good for such a short charging time. A red LED indicates charging.

Pairing with my phone was quick and easy and the connection seemed strong and stable when I took them on a run. Long press the MF button on the right headset side to pair with and use the password 0000 if needed. The standard volume/track buttons are on the side above the MF button.

Usually, budget headphones have poor audio but not so here. Sound quality was not bad at all. There is a decent level of bass and although it is no rival to Dr Dre’s it is better than on most in-ear Bluetooth headsets I have tried. Mid tones are clear and well defined with non of the muddiness common to cheap headsets. All the instruments could be heard separately and clearly. Higher frequencies are again sharp and clear although for me perhaps a little too grating at times, but that can be down to my personal preferences.

For the price, this is a great buy. A decent quality well-made headset with a full range of accessories, an excellent User Guide and a very much above average sound quality.

The Good
Great price
Good sound quality
Good User Guide
Easy to use controls

The Bad
Audio a bit abrasive (for me)
Cable too short
Earbuds non-magnetic

Full Review Below

More Info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2taQG1i

Blog: http://bit.ly/2Go5Clk

I wanted to mount an additional security camera to the top of our conservatory which meant it would have to be attached to the plastic guttering. I did not wish to glue or screw it in place but instead needed a robust adjustable and easily removable clip-on mount. This unit from Phot-R seemed to tick all the boxes.

The device arrived with no instructions or paperwork and was packaged in a plain plastic bag, nothing more was included nor required.

The mount is made almost entirely of heavy-duty metal with removable slip-on rubber grips on the clamps and rubber padding on the camera screw interface. The device is basically a traditional bulldog clamp with a small ball and socket mount attached to it. The clamp spring is very powerful and opening the jaws fully requires no little effort and cuts into the fingers somewhat. The ball and socket mount has a locking groove and this can be rotated to allow almost any camera angle of view to be obtained. When locked in place the mount is very robust and feels secure. The whole assembly really does seem heavy duty and I would have no problems with mounting a DSLR if not medium format sized camera to it.

To be honest I cannot really think of any problems with it. It is well made, very robust and does the job it is designed for. At the current Amazon price of £7.99, it will certainly not break the bank either.

Full Review Below

More Info and Purchase:https://amzn.to/2Gl38Ev

Blog: http://bit.ly/2GhsdzM

We live near to a noisy woodyard that often works late into the night and so effective earplugs are a part of daily life. Having tried many different types I have found the wax type to be the best, the more common foam ones for me really do not work and make little difference. Wax ones such as these from Quies when properly used can do a good job of seriously reducing outside noise. On the downside, they are messy, fiddly and more difficult to use and have to be discarded after a few uses.

In the robust resealable plastic box were sixteen ear plugs each contained in a layer of cotton wool style padding. A poorly printed and hard to read multi-language information sheet was included.

Each earbud when first taken from the box is quite hard and unresponsive but once warmed in the hand for a minute or so it becomes pliant and malleable and can be pushed into the ear conforming to the shape of the ear canal as it does so. Once properly inserted it does a decent job of reducing the noise, the information sheet attempts to quantify this in technical terms but the reality is that it works well enough to make the effort of inserting it worthwhile. Taking the plug out can be a nasty business as over time it becomes very soft, quite hard to extract cleanly and merges with your natural earwax in a horrid way. After just a few uses the plug becomes unspeakably vile and has to be thrown away.

Currently priced on Amazon at £4.79 this is the best way I have found to cut down outside noise if you don't mind things getting a bit icky at times.

Full Review Below

More Info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2WKPzTJ

Blog: http://bit.ly/2Svuxt0

As part of a plan to install an external USB powered camera I needed an external housing for the junction of two cables. The junction had to be outside as I had to use a short flat format cable to feed the signal outside through the double glazed window lock.
Priced at just £2.60 including shipping from China this seemed a good buy.

The box arrived packed simply in a plastic display bag with no paperwork or other items included. A wall mounting screw set and some simple instructions would have been a nice bonus but they are not really needed and for the price who can quibble.

The 82g 85 x 85 x 50mm box is made of reasonably thick plastic and is rated IP55 waterproof which means it should be fine in normal UK weather conditions but do not immerse in water or subject to high-pressure water jets. The box has seven grommet protected cable entry ports and knock-out panels on the inside to facilitate wall mounting. The 7 1 inch ports have a removable rubber grommet which should be suitable for almost all sized of cable. It is important to ensure these entry points are watertight so to feed a cable in just make a small hole in the rubber grommet and force the cable through to ensure it seals around the cable. Do not cut too large an opening or try and use it with multiple cables together as water will be sure to find a way in. If you remove the grommet to cut it again ensure it is correctly replaced with the plastic case inside the rubber grommet groove. The box lid will snap firmly shut but there is an access point for a screwdriver tip to prise it open.

I have to say I have been very pleased with this box which I am hopeful will withstand the rigours of an English winter.

The Good
Good Price
7 Access Ports
Self Sealing grommets
Easy Open Lid

The Bad
Ships From China
No Wall mounting screws

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Created 1 year, 7 months ago.

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CategoryScience & Technology

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