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.
Continue reading “HP Spectre x360 13″ OLED review”

The Holidog ‘Happy Box’; free automatic renewals and poor customer care come as standard

image1Holidog have been streaming a torrent of direct marketing towards me since I registered with the site a couple of years ago just to get a feel for the service.  These emails continue sometimes daily despite me having never used the site either as a pet sitter, or for pet sitting services.  However, when they sent out an offer to try their happy box last month, I thought it was worth a go.  Unfortunately, rather than happiness, this box has ended only in disappointment, frustration, and what will consequently become the end of what could have been a beautiful relationship.

We received the happy box 5 days ago, and our big brown bubbly Labrador showed a mild degree of disinterest; she liked the snacks, but has blatantly ignored the scented rubbery toy.  I had actually responded to the offer of a ‘fox in a box’, but this was not what we received, and since I have had no communication from Holidog at all about when the box would arrive, or what to expect, it was a surprise for all of us.  I was not at all certain that this particular ‘treat’ was worth £29 a month. But I did consider purchasing a one-off box maybe every few months, around Christmas, time for instance, Easter, and Birthdays. Continue reading “The Holidog ‘Happy Box’; free automatic renewals and poor customer care come as standard”

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!
Continue reading “Dell XPS 13 9350 Review”

I’ve been libelled by Amazon… :(

So,

I’ve been a loyal customer of Amazon for at least 11 years (the earliest email I can find is from 2004, and that was for a return), and I’ve been writing numerous and regular reviews for products sold on amazon.co.uk over the past six months or so, as you may have seen on this website.

I’ve been posting reviews for items I’ve purchased, items I’ve been given a discount code for, and items that I’ve been provided free of charge, for the purpose of review (similar to the Amazon Vine program).
Continue reading “I’ve been libelled by Amazon… :(“

VicTop 3.5mm FM Transmitter Review

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

Five Stars

Neat little design, still good if you use a case!

This item arrived in a nicely designed, solid cardboard, printed protective box. The box opened nicely to show a well laid out interior, with the transmitter protected in a plastic packet, with plastic sheets protecting the glossy front and back of the unit. Inside the box were the unit itself, a micro-USB cable, and a car cigarette lighter USB power adapter, along with a basic instruction manual.

I think it’s a nice touch that the power plug has a standard USB socket, so you can use it to either power your phone, or power the device. The device has a battery, and there is a battery level indicator in the display, so you can use it without it being constantly plugged in.
Continue reading “VicTop 3.5mm FM Transmitter Review”