Reviews

Wayne provides his own review on products that he has either bought or experienced.

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Adding a review score is based on the factors:
Durability: how well it is made and likelihood of lasting.
Attractiveness: how smart it looks cosmetically, particularly in comparison with similar products.
Functionality: does it do what it is intended for very well? And does it do far more than expected?
Value: Based on the price paid and the expectation of its use, it is good value for money?

A

Apple HomePod

Durability: 10 Attractiveness: 8 Functionality: 5 Value: 2 Score: 25

Ok… this is a neat smart speaker with an excellent quality sound. It needs to be because it’s expensive and Apple and their updates cripple the functionality of this device, a lot! By way of example, I listen to LBC Friday and Saturday evenings… I say: “Hey, Siri… play LBC.” It doesn’t, but worse still, it did. For a while, just changing the phrase slightly to “Hey, Siri… play the radio station LBC” and another time, “Hey, Siri… play LBC radio” worked for a while. Currently, anything you say to it, remotely sounding like play LBC, it will only play a podcast of one of the presenter’s shows.
However, it’s exceptionally heavy and beautifully made.


Apple Mac Studio

Durability: 10 Attractiveness: 10 Functionality: 10 Value: 4 Score: 34

This is Mac mini replacement is the most expensive upgrade for any computer that I’ve ever spent. Was it worth the cost? Totally. It is easily the most powerful Mac I’ve ever used. Its multitasking is phenomenal, it’s totally silent and blisteringly fast. My favourite Mac of all time, so far.

B

Bosch High Pressure Washer

Durability: 10 Attractiveness: 9 Functionality: 9 Value: 10 Score: 38

This is my current pressure washer. It’s certainly powerful enough for any car wash. The spec is Aquatak 135 – 1900 W, 135 Bar Pressure, 450 l/h Flow Rate, with 3-in-1 Nozzle, Detergent Nozzle, and Carrying Handle in Carton Packaging.

It’s fairly easy to set up each time and has minimal fuss for connecting to the water supply. I can set up, wash the car and have the washer put away in about 30 minutes.


Bosch Professional 12V System Cordless Combi Drill

Durability: 10 Attractiveness: 9 Functionality: 9 Value: 9 Score: 39

An excellent, small, lightweight and proper professional cordless drill, powerful enough for any duties around the home. A sturdy case and spare battery means you’re ready to go from the moment the first battery is charged. Love it!

C

CarlinKit 2air Wireless USB Adapter

Durability: 10 Attractiveness: 10 Functionality: 10 Value: 8 Score: 38

Jezz bought me this device, and it allows for the iPhone (it’s equally Android compatible, too) to connect to the car’s infotainment system wirelessly. Before, I would need to connect the phone via a lightning to USB A cable for the sound and data to be used in the car, and now, this adapter connects brilliantly via Bluetooth. There is also a power pass through USB A socket, so you don’t lose out, if your car has only one USB socket. Just one drawback, I use an LED sign that connects to my iPhone via WiFi and this adapter needs a WiFi connection too and therefore has made my LED sign redundant.

D

Diffuser

Durability: 10 Attractiveness: 10 Functionality: 10 Value: 10 Score: 40

This is the Miserwe 500ML Essential Oil Diffuser, and it is the best one I’ve had so far. It has an adjustable mist mode and neatly includes a waterless auto shut-off feature. It includes a mini wireless remote where you are able to alter the colours with the built-in 7 LED colours. It’s ideal for home, office or living room. I have mine on my bedside table and hardly have it off… the diffuser.

E

Elgato Stream Deck

Durability: 10 Attractiveness: 10 Functionality: 10 Value: 8 Score: 38

This is such a neat bit of kit. It’s an extremely well-made, and completely configurable. This should speed up your workflow, as is it a user-defined set of buttons that allows you to create shortcuts. Two of the most useful buttons that I’ve configured are to raise and lower an active app’s window from my upper to my lower screen. Another is linking my Hue devices in the house and operating the lights and gadgets plugged in to smart plugs around the home. It hasn’t failed me… I love it.

F

Facial Silicone Ultrasonic & Vibrating Waterproof Rechargeable Cleansing Brush

Durability: 10 Attractiveness: 10 Functionality: 10 Value: 10 Score: 40

This is a superb product by Fashion Base. As someone who has frequent facial corrective surgery, the laborious task of massaging the product under the skin to smooth out any risk of nodules etc, is tiresome, but this makes it fun and it feels so thorough. It’s very powerful and has a strong vibration. It’s available in several colours, and I just happen to choose pink.

H

Headband, Bluetooth Soft Headphones

Durability: 9 Attractiveness: 10 Functionality: 10 Value: 10 Score: 39

This is a superb product by Fashion Base. As someone who has frequent facial corrective surgery, the laborious task of massaging the product under the skin to smooth out any risk of nodules etc, is tiresome, but this makes it fun and it feels so thorough. It’s very powerful and has a strong vibration. It’s available in many colours, and I just happen to select pink.

I

iPad Pro 12.9in (512GB) (5th generation)

Durability: 9 Attractiveness: 10 Functionality: 10 Value: 4 Score: 34

This is my most powerful, fastest and of course, favourite, iPad to date. It’s also the heaviest but never mind.

  • The Apple M1 chip – makes this iPad as powerful as a MacBook
  • Brilliant 12.9-inch Liquid Retina XDR display with ProMotion, True Tone, and P3 wide colour – is so realistic you have to experience it to believe how amazing it is
  • 12MP Wide camera, 10MP Ultra Wide camera, and LiDAR Scanner for immersive AR – the front camera is as impressive as the photo taking rear camera. FaceTime calls have a completely new look. With its TrueDepth camera system featuring an Ultra Wide camera with Center Stage, it looks as though there is a camera person following and focusing as you move around within the frame

And with all other features that we’ve come to expect from iPads. Staying connected with ultrafast Wi-Fi, long-lasting all-day battery life, a Thunderbolt port for connecting to fast external storage, displays, and docks, Face ID for secure authentication and Apple Pay. A four speaker audio and five studio-quality microphones, support for the Apple Pencil (2nd generation), all make this iPad a true game change for tablet owners.


iPhone 13 Pro Max

Durability: 9 Attractiveness: 9 Functionality: 10 Value: 4 Score: 33

Having had an iPhone since the iPhone 4, this is tricky because I have nothing to compare it too. The resounding testament to owning an iPhone is that you don’t experience what everyone who has an Android experiences. Connections, loudspeaker, quality of calls have all been issues with friends who have Android.

The best feature about owning an Apple iPhone is the ease of synchronising between devices. The seamless way that data just copies through iCloud, is effortless. Even copying something to clipboard can be pasted to a different device, on the same network. It’s amazing! The 13 Pro Max is my latest mobile, and buying them outright is so expensive that I can’t buy one every year. Every upgrade comes with higher quality photo taking, the background blur effect on FaceTime is something else, too. Bluetooth and AirPlay are flawless, album-sharing in photos is excellent and works well.

K

Keysmart iPro

Durability: 5 Attractiveness: 8 Functionality: 5 Value: 7 Score: 25

Here’s a new little gadget. I’ve been a bit of a fan of Keysmart for some time and bought their products before. This iPro keyholder replaces my last one. No particular reason for getting the rose gold colour other than it was a few pounds cheaper than the black one. This is definitely a clever and neat device for replacing chunky, noisy keys on a ring. But they certainly come with a lot of fiddle, requiring precision when adding your keys to it, raising impatience, frustration, swearing occasionally and doing all you can to prevent yourself from throwing the bloody thing across the room. By the way, don’t do that… some parts are tiny.

There’s a cute little torchlight at one end, activated by holding a button down, handy if you need to simply light your door’s keyhole.

The iPro comes with the tracking technology that the Apple’s AirTag has, so you can link it to the FindMy app on your iPhone. (It does the same for Android mobiles, too). It’s assumed that if you misplace your keys, or if they are stolen, that you’ll be able to track where they are and navigate yourself back to them. However, there’s no NFC (Near Field Communication) so as far as misplacing them goes, I’m guessing it’ll let you know what room, but then you’re on your own finding them under the cat on the sofa, (most alarming if you don’t have a cat). Anyhoo, on asking for a sound to play from your mobile’s FindMy app, the iPro starts to play a melodic tone until you stop the sound, again with your phone.

So the iPro requires power for the tracking facility to work, and that means recharging it. It comes with a short cable (I mean about 10 inches (25.4 cm) short) which has the standard USB-A and USB Micro plugs at either end. Charging times vary on usage (mainly that the torchlight will drain the battery quicker) but you can expect that you’ll need to charge it once a month. I don’t know yet, but I’m thinking that the LED light on the device will light up as an indication. It glowed red when I plugged it in the for the first time and went green after about an hour.

L

LED Scrolling Car Sign

Durability: 10 Attractiveness: 10 Functionality: 8 Value: 10 Score: 38

Here’s the third LED scrolling car sign I’ve had now, for the car. This one installs via Bluetooth and runs from an app. It’s flexible and light strip of LEDs, whereas my last one needed both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and is in a metal casing box.


LED Wi-Fi Galaxy Projector

Durability: 8 Attractiveness: 10 Functionality: 8 Value: 10 Score: 36

I use this everyday and fortunately, it works with a smart plug too. The span of ceiling it covers is really impressive. It’s bright, configurable, and you have to have the laser space stars on too. You even see the odd random shooting star, too.


Logitech Combo Touch Keyboard Case with Trackpad for iPad Pro 12.9-inch

Durability: 8 Attractiveness: 10 Functionality: 8 Value: 3 Score: 33

This neat keyboard, from Logitech, turns a 12.9 inch iPad Pro into a MacBook, complete with trackpad. Better still, it doesn’t need charging, it takes its power, and very little, from the iPad itself. It’s so strong and durable that I feel not only the screen, but the entire iPad is protected well.

M

Manscape Lawnmower 4.0

Durability: 10 Attractiveness: 9 Functionality: 7 Value: 3 Score: 29

An extremely well-made gentlemen’s groomer and trimmer for all parts of the body. The website advises the guard for the intimate bits, e.g., the scrotal sac, but I sit here doing this review with two gashes in the side of my scrotum as I type this… because of this thing. And I am ultra careful. I had the guard on, too.

N

Ninja Dual Air Fryer

Durability: 10 Attractiveness: 9 Functionality: 10 Value: 5 Score: 34

Another game changer… this time: cooking in the kitchen. Having the dual trays, allowd for us to cook a product in one side and something else in the other. and that maybe a different cooking time and temperature. The Sync option means that it will hold the side that needs less cook time but synchronise it to start so that they both finish together. Amazing. We haven’t tried bread and cakes yet but we have done pretty much all of our usual meals in this air fryer. We have dramtically reduced the need for our range cooker’s oven. It’s an excellent device. An extremely well-made gentlemen’s groomer and trimmer for all parts of the body. The website advises the guard for the intimate bits, e.g., the scrotal sac, but I sit here doing this review with two gashes in the side of my scrotum as I type this… because of this thing. And I am ultra careful. I had the guard on, too.

O

Oculus Quest 2 VR

Durability: 8 Attractiveness: 8 Functionality: 10 Value: 5 Score: 31

An amazing out of this world experience. Virtual reality at a high quality level. It’s not just about playing games in a new 3-D virtual reality kind of way, it’s a completely immersive way to maintain brain activity. Sure, there’s shoot-em-up’s and combat war games, but there’s also complex puzzles, keep excellent and fun keep fit exercise apps, like Beat Saber. I’m addicted to Zooma Deluxe Edition still.

P

Philips One Blade Pro

Durability: 8 Attractiveness: 8 Functionality: 8 Value: 6 Score: 30

Jury’s still out on this one… I’ve only been using this gentlemen’s groomer, trimmer for two days, but I had used Jezz’s one before, as well. A replacement shaver it ain’t. But, it is very safe, much safer than the Manscape Lawnmower 4.0. It seems to work best with body hair over facial stubble. I can’t say much more yet, I haven’t experienced it enough.

R

ring Floodlight Cam Wired Plus

Durability: 10 Attractiveness: 8 Functionality: 10 Value: 5 Score: 33

I am a huge fan of ring products. Of course, like any other gadget, it comes at a price and with ring, this is about the cost. For me, I consider them to be the elite of video recording doorbells and DIY security installations.

I have been a customer with ring since their launch of the first generation of doorbells, and both technology and customisation have come along way since then.

All other devices in the home have been battery-powered, and this is my first wired device. I had somebody qualified to install it, so I wouldn’t blow it up.

The two lights are so bright that having the option to dim them slightly is both amazing and possibly a relief to my neighbour opposite. The quality of the camera is superior to that of the other cameras around the home and in the garden.


Ryobi 18V Cordless Patio Cleaner with wire wheel brush

Durability: 9 Attractiveness: 8 Functionality: 10 Value: 6 Score: 33

We have a brick drive at the front of our house and each year, it needs a quick de-weeding between the cracks and grooves of the bricks. I bought a medium priced handheld wire brush that connects to an extendable handle. It was ok, but hard work and not something I looked forward to doing. I saw this online as an advert and decided to treat myself, with only the knowledge that it just had to be better than doing it manually. Well, it’s amazing. It feels heavy to begin with, but when you compare both the manual way and the cordless electrical way… there’s no contest. Admittedly, I did my back in on the first day, but I’m quite sure that was just me having a bad back combined with being a little too excited to get the job done in one session. It was £149.99 from Ryobi Tools UK’s website and I went for the slight upgrade and got the 4A battery instead of the 2A, to give me a little longer between charges. They do a 5A and 7A too, but they’re considerably more in price. My opinion originally, was to have another battery spare for non-stop cleaning, but on reflection, it does good to let the motor cool down after about an hour’s worth of use.

S

SATECHI Type-C Stand & Hub with SSD Enclosure

Durability: 8 Attractiveness: 10 Functionality: 10 Value: 8 Score: 36

A gift from my favourite technical support officer, Harrison… this is a stand with an external hard drive bay, heat dissipation, all the ports needed to take your Mac mini or even Mac Studio to the next level. I absolutely love mine.


Smart Mailbox

Durability: 10 Attractiveness: 10 Functionality: 10 Value: 8 Score: 38

This was a game changer when we had this installed. It’s a solid metal three-door, one letter flap device, bolted to the ground, outside the front door and on our driveway. The grey door is opened by the person delivering a small and medium-sized parcel, they place it on the inside of the door and close it. This allows the parcel to drop to the bottom. It’s made in a way that the general anti-theft mechanism prevents the parcel from being retrieved other than by unlocking the hinged door below. Letters, leaflets and flyers can be simply placed through the letters flap at the top, and they drop to the bottom as well.

Since this has been with us, we no longer need to collect parcels from the sorting office or even from Amazon lockers. Occasionally, we order something too big for it, but then, the issue of waiting in would be there if we didn’t have our Smart Mailbox.

A gift from my favourite technical support officer, Harrison… this is a stand with an external hard drive bay, heat dissipation, all the ports needed to take your Mac mini or even Mac Studio to the next level. I absolutely love mine.


Sony SRS-XB33 Bluetooth Speaker

Durability: 10 Attractiveness: 10 Functionality: 10 Value: 8 Score: 38

One of the best Bluetooth rechargeable cordless speakers I’ve ever used, bought and experienced. The quality is clear from just the weight of it alone, and the sound is amazing. Connectivity is simple for both Bluetooth pairing and connecting the rechargeable cable.

If I had to look for something negative to say about this, it would be the small rubber cap that sits over the USB socket… similar to the KeySmart iPro, the USB socket is covered with a rubber cap that is connected to a strand of rubber that is the hinge for the cap. It’s frustratingly fragile and each time I need to get to the socket, I fear that the flimsy hinge is going to break… it will at some point in its lifetime. But I’ve connected this Bluetooth speaker to the mains permanently, so I don’t need to get to the back of it, now.


Staple Gun (Cordless), 2in1 Electric Stapler & Nailer, Rechargeable Stapler/Tacker

Durability: 8 Attractiveness: 8 Functionality: 9 Value: 9 Score: 34

I was looking for something to use outdoors and knew that a standard stapler wasn’t going to be strong enough. This is. A cheap and affordable little gadget, electric staple gun that doesn’t need mains power or batteries, it’s rechargeable with the provided USB cable. It also comes with staples… and just when I thought that’s all I need it for, I discover that’s also a tacker, although I haven’t needed to use it for that purpose yet.

T

Tazer / Sting Ring

Durability: 8 Attractiveness: 6 Functionality: 8 Value: 8 Score: 30

This clever little gadget is real. It’s a self-defence piece of kit that can give an assailant a pretty powerful electric shock.

  • Electric shock ring fits around the middle finger of hand
  • New Squeeze-N-Stun technology unleashes 18,000,000 volts of electricity with a press
  • Easily conceal in your hand with on/off safety switch to prevent unintended discharges
  • Built-in battery can be recharged using the included cord in any standard USB port
  • Small and lightweight size makes it easy to carry in a pocket, purse, backpack, etc.

Toothbrush, Ultrasonic Automatic, 30”

Durability: 8 Attractiveness: 6 Functionality: 6 Value: 8 Score: 28

I think the advert makes this product looks bigger and better than it is. That said, there is a slight feel of oral cleanliness after using it, but certainly not enough to replace traditional electric toothbrush cleaning.I was looking for something to use outdoors and knew that a standard stapler wasn’t going to be strong enough. This is. A cheap and affordable little gadget, electric staple gun that doesn’t need mains power or batteries, it’s rechargeable with the provided USB cable. It also comes with staples… and just when I thought that’s all I need it for, I discover that’s also a tacker, although I haven’t needed to use it for that purpose yet.

W

Wireless Lapel Microphone (for the iPhone)

Durability: 8 Attractiveness: 10 Functionality: 10 Value: 9 Score: 37

This wireless mic is so cute. It does have a battery for the mic piece and a lightning connector for the transceiver. There’s no software required, and this little gadget simply allows you to keep the iPhone in one way, typically a distance away from yourself, but the clarity and quality of any audio during a video recording, is impressive. It is as though you were holding the iPhone and speaking directly into the phone’s mic. And I think it’s worth £20.