HP Spectre x360 13″ OLED review

Almost perfect for me, just a couple of minor compromises

Five Stars

I bought this convertible laptop after my previous purchase of a Dell XPS 13 9350 died and had to be returned to the manufacturer. This laptop had the slight compromise of no USB type-C port, and only 8GB of RAM, rather than 16, but had the benefit of a convertible OLED screen.

The OLED screen is just amazing – the colours just pop from the screen, and it’s so bright, that even with the glossy screen it’s perfectly usable outside. Inside, in a dull room, you really don’t need it on any brighter than 20%. You can also view the screen from almost any angle, but you get a yellow tinge when you’re almost level with the edges. It’s a quad HD screen, and no matter how close I get, I still can’t make out a single pixel. It’s also always nice when you power on a laptop for the first time and you can see that there are no dead or stuck pixels.
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Dell XPS 13 9350 Review

A noisy machine that will mutate into an expensive paperweight

One Star

I’m very sad to report that my Dell XPS 13 9350, with core-i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD has had to be returned to the manufacturer (at their insistence, I’d rather have had it fixed under the warranty I bought with it). Most of this review was written in the first few days, when the problems I saw I’d put down to other issues such as my external display lead or Windows. After the motherboard was replaced though, it lasted less than 24 hours, before Dell support insisted there was nothing they could do other than collect the machine and issue a refund. Note that I am an IT consultant with well over 20 years in the field – this is a review from a seasoned professional, who understands that computers don’t always work first time!
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Muzzle all dogs or keep children under control?

We experienced a quite horrid incident yesterday, in Skegness on a day-trip, and it left us with quite a bitter taste in our mouths.

Whilst standing on a wide walkway, with Coco the dog sat next to me on her double lead, connected to her harness, a small child came straight up to her, put one hand under her snout and one hand at the side and started staring into her eyes. Even though Coco did not react, I pulled her lead backwards, put my hand between her and the child, and said to the child quite firmly: “No! You don’t go straight up to a dog and put your hands in its face, you could get bitten”. At this point, the “mother” came scuttling backwards, having walked on long before, having no idea where her child was or what it was doing, took the child away and started mouthing about us needing to keep control of our dog!
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Splaks Keyboard Cleaner Review

This review appears in its original form here, and is for this product listing.

Five Stars

Surprisingly effective cleaner, for a toy from my childhood!

The item arrived in a retail foil, resealable packet. It was brightly printed and colourful, with a small window in the back to see the product (green slime!). Some basic (poorly translated) instructions are on the back, but the pictures are self-explanatory – push it onto the dirty surface, pull it off and the surface is clean.

When I was a child (I don’t like being reminded that it was the seventies…), this stuff came in little pots, marketed as a toy, and called Slimuck. I got it everywhere, and it definitely used to clean my hands whilst playing with it. I remember using it to make highly inappropriate noises, simulate snot, and just get up to all sorts of horrid things with it. It’s really cool to see this product now take on a genuine functional purpose, as a keyboard and other awkward surface cleaner.
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