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Tom Douglas (U.K.)
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FRiEQ® Bluetooth Hands-Free Car Kit for Cars with 3.5 mm Aux Input Jack - Compatible with all Bluetooth enabled devices including iPhone, iPad, Samsung Galaxy, Galaxy Note 2 / 3 and Other Smartphones - Dual USB Car Charger and Magnetic Base included
FRiEQ® Bluetooth Hands-Free Car Kit for Cars with 3.5 mm Aux Input Jack - Compatible with all Bluetooth enabled devices including iPhone, iPad, Samsung Galaxy, Galaxy Note 2 / 3 and Other Smartphones - Dual USB Car Charger and Magnetic Base included
Offered by T.M. Enterprise
Price: CDN$ 59.99
2 used & new from CDN$ 33.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A good entry-level car kit, Jan. 18 2015
This is a good entry-level hands-free kit for your smartphone. Important: it uses your car stereo for sound, and therefore needs a 3.5mm jack input into the stereo; without that, it won't work.

This is the set-up:
- Stick the receiver somewhere on your dashboard. It is magnetic, but I used a double sided sticky pad
- Connect the receiver to your stereo with the 3.5mm jack
- Connect the receiver to your 12v power source (a 12v dual USB adapter is included)
- Pair your smartphone with the receiver

And you are done.

It works well. As with all hands-free kits, it is prone to road noise, and the further away from your mouth the receiver is, the worse it will be. But this one works pretty well and does a good enough job of noise reduction.

Bluetooth pairing is easy and it stays connected.

Overall: a useful device at a decent price. Not as good as a fully fitted car kit, but a fraction of the cost of one. Considering the balance of cost and functionality, this is five stars.

Disclosure: I was sent this item to test and review by the manufacturer, but was free to write an honest and unbiased review.

TaoTronics TT-BA06 High-Fidelity Wireless Portable Bluetooth 4.0 Stereo Music Transmitter (Not A Bluetooth Receiver) for 3.5mm Audio Devices
TaoTronics TT-BA06 High-Fidelity Wireless Portable Bluetooth 4.0 Stereo Music Transmitter (Not A Bluetooth Receiver) for 3.5mm Audio Devices
Offered by Sunvalleytek Canada
Price: CDN$ 39.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Connect your non-bluetooth kit to your bluetooth speakers, Jan. 18 2015
What it is: a bluetooth transmitter, allowing you to use a bluetooth speaker with a non-bluetooth device, such as my iPod Classic, which is old but much-loved.

Step 1: pair the device by putting the transmitter into pairing mode and then putting the speaking into pairing mode. After 10-15 seconds they will pair.

Step 2: connect the transmitter to the non-bluetooth device. There are two options here: a standard audio jack, ideal for an iPod; or RCA connectors (the red and white plugs) for use with a traditional stereo system. Both cables are provided.

I have tested it with 3 separate bluetooth speakers and it paired every time. I have tested 4 different non-bluetooth devices, but in each case with the audio jack - I have not been able to test the RCA connectors. Again, no problems

A few practical points:
- this device is TINY; it is just 45mm x 32mm
- as a result there is no display, just 3 tiny LED lights which tell you whatever status it has
- the instructions are VERY clear, which is a blessed relief given the LED; this is one instruction booklet you will want to keep
- range is 'up to10m' but I started getting poor reception beyond 3m
- you can use it whilst charging but (a slight niggle) if plug in the charging cable whilst paired, it will drop the connection and need pairing again

The charging cable is a standard micro USB and is provided, without a mains plug.

Overall this little device does what it claims, bringing your kit up to date with the bluetooth age. I can recommend it, unless you need the full 10m of promised range.

Disclosure: I was sent this to test and review by the distributor, but was not required to write anything positive. Bottom line: yes, I would buy it; yes, I would recommend it to friends and family

LEGO Cargo Plane
LEGO Cargo Plane
2 used & new from CDN$ 269.00

5.0 out of 5 stars A huge and satisfying Technic model, Jan. 18 2015
This review is from: LEGO Cargo Plane (Toy)
This is Lego Technic at its best - a huge model, full of moving parts, which takes a few hours to build and is hugely satisfying, both in terms of the building process and the final model.

Unlike many Technics sets, this one includes a motor and battery pack, which governs the movement of the nose and tail lift, wheels stowaway and propellers. There is manual control of the tail and wing flaps via a single control stick. With the nose and tail lift, this is a faithful rendition of a cargo plane, although much of the internal space is taken up by the battery pack and motor.

I have included a couple of photos, with Luke Skywalker included for scale. I did not use the included stickers, but might add them in a later rebuild.

The build is challenging in parts (I made one error which resulting in undoing about 30 minutes of work) and I would pitch the entry age at an enthusiastic 8 year old, with younger children fine with a little adult help. My 4-year old helped with a few steps, but mostly enjoyed watching the plane take shape.

There is a second model, a hovercraft, but instructions need to be downloaded from the Lego website. Sadly this set is not included in the online and iPad 3D building instructions (yet), but as usual the printed instructions are excellent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, Jan. 18 2015
I LOVE the Magic Cube!

Basically it is a rechargeable bluetooth speaker, and there are very many of these around at the moment. Here is what you need to know about this one:

Appearance: obviously this is very subjective, but I think it looks amazing.

Feel: beautifully tactile with a slightly rubberised texture, rather than hard plastic

Size: 9cm in all directions, so it is a proper cube

Sound: very good for its size; many of these small bluetooth speakers have terrible bass, but the cube reproduces regular music very well. Bass heavy songs sound light, so not so good for playing happy hardcore, but my Christmas carols sound lovely.

Volume: a slight weakness, but again typical of small bluetooth speakers; it happily fill a quiet room, but a busy room with a background hubbub will expose its rather low maximum volume

Connectivity: bluetooth or a standard headphone cable; bluetooth connects very easily and never drops out

Charging: micro USB, with a full charge taking a few hours; ideally you'd leave it to charge up overnight

Battery life: I got 16 hours out of it with loudish volume

Overall, very very impressive and it has usurped our far more expensive Creative speaker.

Disclosure: I was sent this product to test and review; I was not required to write a positive review. Bottom line: yes, I would buy it; yes, I would recommend to friends and family.

FRiEQ® iPhone 6 Wallet Case - Premium PU leather Wallet Case with Card Slots, ID Holders and Cash Compartment for iPhone 6 (4.7 inch) - Black
FRiEQ® iPhone 6 Wallet Case - Premium PU leather Wallet Case with Card Slots, ID Holders and Cash Compartment for iPhone 6 (4.7 inch) - Black
Offered by T.M. Enterprise
Price: CDN$ 39.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A practical combo, Jan. 18 2015
This is a nice combination wallet / iPhone 6 case which is necessarily a bit of a compromise - it is neither the perfect iPhone 6 case nor the perfect wallet. However, it does save space and is a very good accessory for an evening out.

The case - a snug fit for your iPhone, with decent corner protection and access to all of the screen and all buttons and ports. The interior has a soft microfibre covering to avoid scratches. The exterior is black PU with black stitching and a FRIEQ logo. The glossy blackness does make it look like PU rather than real leather.

The wallet has 2 card slots and a pocket. It won't replace a full wallet, but for a night out when you want a couple of cards and some notes, it is ideal.

The case and wallet can be separated, but at that point you have a backplate iPhone case and a large but low capacity wallet. Still separation is handy if you want to use the phone for a length of time without having an entire wallet against your ear.

Verdict: a practical combo for certain situations, well made and it does look good. Decent value at the current $24.99

Disclosure: I was sent this product to test and review, but was free to write an open and honest review. Bottom line: yes I would recommend this to friends and family.

FRiEQ® Armband for iPhone 6 (4.7 inch) - Lightweight and Fully Adjustable - Ideal for Workout, Hiking, Jogging, Gym, Running or Other Sports
FRiEQ® Armband for iPhone 6 (4.7 inch) - Lightweight and Fully Adjustable - Ideal for Workout, Hiking, Jogging, Gym, Running or Other Sports
Offered by T.M. Enterprise
Price: CDN$ 29.99
2 used & new from CDN$ 14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great design - super secure, Dec 10 2014
This is an excellent armband for my iPhone 6 with a very secure double case structure and a thick adjustable strap which keeps it in place even with rigorous exercise.

First you put your phone into the backplate, which on its own is pretty useful as it will protect your phone from ‘pocket bend’. Then slide the phone/backplate into the main case, for a very secure fit. It is a clever design and feels extremely secure which, with a few hundred pounds on your arm is very important.

This is an open face case, so you can use your phone, subject to twisting your arm a bit. As a result it is not suitable for wet weather.

Great design, super secure, five stars.

Note: this product was sent to me to test and review. I was not required to say anything nice.

Verbatim 96808 16 GB Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) -Class 10 -1 Card/1 Pack
Verbatim 96808 16 GB Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) -Class 10 -1 Card/1 Pack
Offered by biddeal
Price: CDN$ 17.85
25 used & new from CDN$ 13.34

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The capacity of an elephant, the speed of a cheetah, April 16 2010
Memory cards are increasingly commodity items, but here is what you need to know before clicking the buy button:

SDHC - Secure Digital High Capacity. These cards are not compatible with older regular SD equipment. If in doubt, check first. Newer kit, especially DSLRs which need the extra storage, almost certainly are ready for SDHC cards.

Class 6 - The Class is the speed for reading/writing to memory. The existing Classes are 2, 4, 6 and 10. High resolution DSLRs need class 6 is you ever plan on taking sequential shots. Class 4 is absolutely fine for regular pocket-sized digital cameras. Class 10 is new and is for the extreme professional level.

Verbatim - Better known for blank CDs and DVDs, Verbatim make good quality memory cards with consistent reliability.

Price - Shop around and consider your true requirements. Depending on your camera and likely usage, two 8Gb might well be as useful as one 16Gb card, but cheaper. Likewise with two 16Gb cards and one 32Gb card.

For DSLR use, highly recommended. Five stars.

Kingston 8 GB Class 4 SDHC Flash Memory Card SD4/8GB
Kingston 8 GB Class 4 SDHC Flash Memory Card SD4/8GB
Price: CDN$ 8.06
33 used & new from CDN$ 4.93

46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High capacity, great value, March 31 2010
While moving house last week I came across a 16Mb memory card. How times change!

At 500 times the capacity, this 8Gb unit is a beauty. Huge capacity and, as usual, a very keen price on Amazon.

Two points to note:

- This is a Class 4 SD card. This means it is not really suitable for high spec digital SLRs, such as the Canon Rebel. The Class 4 indicates the read/write speed, and with a Class 4 the card will slow down the camera, and for rapid sequential shots will be a handicap. For such uses you need a Class 6. you will pay much more for one, but will be glad you did.

- Unless you are using a very high resolution camera, you probably do not need 8Gb, unless you plan to never transfer images off the card and onto your computer. For regular digital camera use, buy a couple of very cheap 2Gb cards. However, for other media use, such as playing digital video files on your TV, the bigger capacity is definitely useful.

As is usual with Kingston memory, it works perfectly every time.

Five stars, but make sure it is the right Class for you.

Kodak PlaySport (Zx3) HD Waterproof Pocket Video Camera (Black) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Kodak PlaySport (Zx3) HD Waterproof Pocket Video Camera (Black) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
6 used & new from CDN$ 319.95

52 of 57 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great little package, wet or dry, March 20 2010
I have not owned this long - yes, as usual a product shipped in the US a while before Canadians were allowed to buy it - but it is a mighty impressive package so far. It is a little short of perfect, but is definitely worth the price tag.

The positives:
- Although not heavy, it has a solid feel and the rubberized surface makes for a sure grip in the wet
- It is smaller than you expect. Genuinely pocket-sized
- The software is easy to use and simple to set up. They have put some thought into the balance between simplicity and functionality
- It happily runs in HD, although is better at 720p than full HD 1080p
- Most importantly, it is a full underwater camera, with a blue filter mode to balance the colours underwater

The negatives:
- Although it takes still pictures, and in good quality, you have to navigate throught he menu to do it. Simple point and snap would have been better
- 1080p quality is not so good. But at 720p and 60fps it is great. If full HD matters to you, then you need a better and much more expensive camcorder
- Low-light quality is poor, it struggles with balance
- The battery is not removable, so no fast swapping with a spare battery
- The front of the device is white, irrespective of the model colour. I'd prefer a single colour both sides

The negatives highlight an important point - this is a pocket-sized, easy-to-use, waterproof camcorder. It isn't intended to be everything to everyone, just a highly practical cam for the active outdoors.

As a robust first camcorder it is great. For many people it will be a second camcorder which can take the shocks, and the water, of outdoor family fun.

The pricing is very well pitched - while it does have some negatives in HD and low-light, it is a great pocket camcorder for the money, and will be your first-choice device on a daily basis.

Four stars - but much nearer to five than three!

Creative Live! Cam Vista IM 4 MP Webcam (White/Gray)
Creative Live! Cam Vista IM 4 MP Webcam (White/Gray)
3 used & new from CDN$ 28.00

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great value entry-level webcam, March 13 2010
There is nothing special about this webcam, and there is nothing much wrong with it either.

At time of writing, it is under $12 and, because it is sold by Amazon, you can get free shipping if you are buying some other stuff at the same time.

Now, bargain prices are always good news, but we have all fallen victim to the bargain that was junk and was merely passing through our hands on its way to the trash.

This webcam is no such item. It works simply and satisfactorily.

The cons are:
- It struggles in low light, as most webcams do, and sometimes gets a little confused with its auto-brightness controls
- There are some stability issues with the original drivers, this might not affect you, but it is well worth downloading the latest drivers from Creative (do a web search for VF0420 drivers).

Pros:
- Has an inbuilt microphone that works well
- Is simple, with no complicated software

If you need a webcam that you don't mind your children breaking, or for an older relative who needs to keep it simple, this is the one for you.

It is a good deal at anything under $25.

Four stars.

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