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4.2.2020

Packaging:Is it suitable?The packaging is quiet robust and holds the keyboard still so that it can’t damage itself. The outer box is quiet thin but covers a much thicker stronger cardboard inner to protect it from knocks and bangs.Overall the packaging serve the purpose of protecting the keyboard well, and should be resilient enough to prevent any damage weather it is being transported in your shopping or whether it is being sent to you from a online store via a carrier or the mail service.How it looks?The packaging is quiet attractive and shows the product on the box,the text on the box is very clear and easy to read. The main features of the keyboard are shown on the back of the box along with clear picture of each part as an example.Overall the box is designed very well and should be able to make it clear to the customer if the product is appropriate to them.Installation:How easy to install and setup?The keyboard will work as plug and play however not all of the feature are available until you download the additional software.Once the software is installed setting up the keyboard is very easy and can be tailored to your individual tastes and needs, this is very useful as the keyboard is able to be setup with multiple profiles for each game or piece of software you want to us it on, this makes the keyboard very versatile.Settings that can be customised for this keyboard include custom key bindings, and light settings. Within the keyboard software there are premade profile available to download unfortunately these are fairly limited.A problem this keyboard has is that a set of change keys and a tool to use to change them is include in the box however there are no instruction on how to use them included within the box, and the instructions are extremely difficult to find online.There is plenty of wire provided with the keyboard meaning it should easily be able to be plugged into most gaming rigs without needing additional hardware to make the cable longer. The cable is surrounded by braiding which helps to protect the cable meaning that the wire is protected from rubbing through and breaking when it is trailed over the edge of the desk.Performance:How well does it perform?The keyboard responds very quickly and you do not need to press the keys very much for them to respond, this makes the keyboard perfect for a gaming environment where games are constantly increasing the pace they expect you to be able to respond, however this also can pose a problem as it can make the keyboard a little difficult to use for general purposes, also there is no way to turn down the sensitivity of the keys the setup software, the only way I could find to reduce the sensitivity is to reduce the sensitivity of all keyboards in the main windows 10 settings.Is There Any Problems/Faults?The most noticeable thing about this keyboard that the keys are very loud particularly in a quiet room, this can be a problem if you play a lot of multiplayer games as the sound could be picked up on the headset or microphone.Ease Of Use:Is it easy to use?If you have previous experience with pc gaming accessories then the keyboard is relatively easy to use and setup, however it could take a lot of getting used to if you are new to this short of keyboard as it is much more sensitive and responds much quicker then a standard keyboard.The keyboard is quite heavy this a benefit as it makes it less likely to slip about when in use or if you catch with your hand. This is also Ideal if you are typing you have the keyboard sat on your legs as it makes it less likely to slip off of your knee.They keyboard allows you to set both custom keys and macros to any key or key combination on the keyboard this is great for gaming as it allows you to automate actions in games which could otherwise prove difficult or problematic to perform.Is it comfortable to use?The keyboard has reasonable sized buttons which makes typing or pressing key bind combinations easier. The keys are fairly sensitive which means you don’t need to press the key hard to get them to respond. The keyboard is quiet heavy this both good a bad as it means it will stay stable on a desk however the weight also means that after certain length of time it can become uncomfortable if you have it sat on your knee.The keys are a sensible size and in a typical layout which makes the keyboard easily to use and type on, the key smooth and have rounded edges and corners which makes gives them a nice feeling when you are using them and stops you catching several keys at the same time.Despite it having keys that light up the keyboard stays cool even after long periods of use or being switched on a long time. The keyboard is mechanical and has the advantage of remain at the same level of responsiveness as it had when it was first switched on to when it is switched off even after a prolonged period unlike other more conventional electronic keyboards which start to fade a little after a prolonged period of use.How It Compares:This keyboard stands out from other for its compact size yet it maintains sensible sized buttons and layout. With the keyboard being mechanical the keyboard is highly responsive even though it is a compact size.The ability to be able to program custom key binds and macros for different profiles in the software the keyboard uses make it quite versatile to different game types and jobs.I like the fact that it is able to synchronise with other gaming products if you have and other products from the Logitech G Series, this makes your gaming rig look great as all of the peripherals pulse in sequence together.Final Evaluation:I would highly recommend this keyboard to anyone looking for a gaming keyboard as it is a highly versatile product which can be used for many different jobs and game styles. If you have other products from the Logitech G series you should get this keyboard as it uses the same software and can be synchronised with the other peripherals. This will not just ease the setup process for the keyboard but will improve the look of your gaming rig.Once this keyboard is setup it should be easy to use for any type of user from beginner to regular user, although it does take a short while to get used to the sensitivity of the keys.Although the initial setup could be painful this keyboard is well worth the trouble as it make up for these short coming very quickly. At first I was expecting this keyboard to be the same as any other I have used before however after using it for a prolonged period this keyboard is now used as my main keyboard and used for all the different activities .I would also recommend this product if you would like a attractive looking setup on your desk because it has a smooth stylish appearance which makes any pc setup look good.The final reason I would recommend this keyboard is because it is quite heavy and there resists being moved around easily and therefore is very difficult or you or your pet to knock off of the desk.Pros & Cons:To summarise the pros of the keyboard are:• Easy to use• Highly versatile• Plenty of wire• Braided cable• Fast response & high sensitivity• The keyboard is quite heavy this a benefit as it makes it less likely to slip The keyboard is quite heavy this a benefit as it makes it less likely to slip• Can set custom key binds & macros• Multiple profiles• Stays cools even after long periods of use or being switched on a long time• Sensible size keys• Comfortable to useWhile the cons and difficulties with the keyboard are:• Requires download of additional software• Might not be intuitive to people new to gaming equipment• Limited premade keyboard set up profiles• No instruction on how to use them included within the box, and the instructions are extremely difficult to find online• Keys very loud when used• Difficult to change sensitivity of the keys [This review was collected as part of a promotion.]
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17.8.2019

12/19 UPDATE: Charge fault error, fixed!With the winter sun lower in the sky, the solar panel on the north side of the house was not getting enough light to charge. So, I replaced the standard mount with an Acetaken Arlo Mounting Bracket mount, a 23" long mount that allows me to extend the Arlo Solar panel over the roofline to face south from a north-facing garage.When I plugged everything back in, I got the dreaded "Charging Fault" error telling me that the Arlo Solar Panel was not compatible with the Arlo Pro camera.I went through all the troubleshooting steps, including: remove the battery, wait 10 minutes, re-insert the battery; remove the camera from the Arlo App and set it up as a new camera; reset the entire Arlo network; reset my modem. Nothing worked. I was just about to give up and call technical support but decided to do one more thing.We had just had an enormous winter thunderstorm come through the area, so wondered if there was a problem with the electronics in the camera, like, perhaps, some moisture got inside. I brought the camera inside, replaced the battery with another freshly charged battery, then let the camera sit inside for a day.Not sure which of my activities did the trick, but the camera is mounted, operating, and again charging with the Arlo Solar Panel. The problem seems to have been with the camera battery, not the solar panel. All five of the Arlo Solar Panels in my security network remain operational after eight months of testing; so, the Arlo Solar Panel keeps its five-star rating from me.6 MONTH UPDATE: ONE MORE PANEL, ALL GOODAfter six months of testing and gradually installing one Arlo Solar Panel at a time, I just installed my fifth solar panel. I now have an Arlo solar panel powering each of my perimeter cameras, and all continue to work flawlessly. As before, I installed this final panel on a battery that had been entirely drained. After one hour, the battery is 20% charged and will be fully charged by tomorrow.Considering a 100% success rate with six Arlo Solar panels after six months of testing, I’m increasingly puzzled by the negative reviews. Maybe people are not removing the plastic protective barriers, installing the panels in the shade, or not securing the plugs into the camera. Anyway, initially skeptical, I am a strong advocate of the Arlo Solar Panel for anyone tired of climbing the ladder every few months to charge their cameras.I’ve decided to NOT buy solar panels for the six Arlo lights I have on the property. After five months of operation, they remain fully charged while lighting the path whenever they are approached. Thank you, LED technology, super-bright with almost no energy. Cool.Because of all the warnings and negative reviews, I held off on buying the Arlo Solar Panel, hoping to find a viable alternative. Ironically, the other options proved less viable, so I took a slow approach to deploy Arlo panels. After four months of testing one installation at a time, I’m happy with the results and wondering why others have had so many problems.SEPTEMBER UPDATE: DO NEGATIVE REVIEWS SAY MORE ABOUT THE USERS THAN THE PRODUCT?Four months ago, I bought one and installed it with the Arlo Pro camera over the garage door. Installation was easy, and it worked like I would expect it to work.Testing one of the common complaints that the solar panel drains the battery, I plugged the panel into a camera with a depleted battery. Not only did the panel keep the camera operating while the sun was shining, it fully charged the battery over two days, and has flawlessly worked for four months. The only maintenance has been to brush it with a broom to remove spider webs lightly.After a month of operation, I bought a second Arlo to mount with the Arlo Pro camera monitoring our back yard. Same results. Easy installation, easy setup, zero maintenance.——-With another month of successful testing, I bought a third Arlo Solar Panel for the Arlo Pro camera monitoring the side gate. This one triggered the well-reported error of an incompatible power source. I thought this might be the end of the test, with the worst and most common complaint confirmed: the Arlo Pro Solar Panel is not compatible with the Arlo cameras it is made to power. Fortunately, the solution was easy: I made sure the cables were securely connected and reset the Arlo Pro Base station. Since then, two months now, everything has worked flawlessly.With another month of successful testing, I bought a fourth Arlo Solar Panel for the camera monitoring the front door. Same results, flawless operation.One slight problem on the front door unit: the cord is too short. All of the other panels are installed next to their respective cameras with the extra cable stuffed under roof tiles. With the front door camera mounted above the door and the solar panel on the side of the house, the wire has to stretch across an open area over the front door to reach the camera, not attractive. I am now in the market for an extension cable so I can tack the cable to the wall rather than have it hanging over the open area between the column and the door.As with the other three Panels, I’m also testing the fourth panel with a depleted camera. With today’s sun, it’s charging at a rate of about 10 percent per hour.——-With four months of successful testing on four units resulting in a flawlessly operating, no maintenance video monitoring system around the property, I’m wondering why others are having problems.I’m in Phoenix, Valley of the Sun, so have substantial exposure all day every day. I saw a picture in one of the negative reviews that showed the solar panel mounted on a tree. Solar means sun, folks — no solar no charge. Mounting a panel in the shade of a tree or in an area that does not have direct exposure to the sun will not work. For a couple of the panels, I bought a special mount that is about a foot long that allows it to reach around or over the house so the panel can get optimum southern exposure, even from the north and east sides of the house. Other reported issues may be fixed by making sure the connections are secure and resetting the base station.Occasionally, I get so much sun that the cameras shut down because they overheat. This seems to have been resolved by removing the black rubber protectors from the problematic cameras but may result in my moving the cameras under the shade roof rather than on the exposed side of the house. But, even when our temps hit 118 F, the solar panels have remained operational.I’ll keep testing to see if I can confirm the warnings and fears from those with the negative review. Meanwhile, four months of gradual deployment and testing of four Arlo Solar Panels has resulted in smooth operation and low maintenance for me.
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2.2.2020

This was bought as a replacement for another K9 harness we already had for our cockapoo, she has grown in the year since we picked up the first one so the only reason another was purchased was because she needed a slightly bigger one, it is not a reflection of the product or its performance, more our weakness in giving out treats to the dog!Below is the review for our original purchase and all of the points raised remain valid after a few weeks of extensive use of this new one,quality is not diminished and the dog is happier as she now has an extra notch on her belt :)---------------We had tried all manner of halti leads, traditional collars, 3 point harnesses and more before we picked up this harness for our Cockapoo after seeing another Cockapoo sporting one in a park.Our dog loves to pull ahead, its a constant when on the lead, we have tried to train her we have had three instructors to try and help but to no avail. With this in mind it was important for us to get a harness that firstly could help reduce this and more so made her as comfortable as possible without the strangling effect you see on lots of types of harnesses and leads.- You can tell the build quality is excellent as soon as you unwrap the harness, the stithcing is reinforced, the material itself where not webbing appears to be hardwearing padded cordura.- Its super simple to place over your dogs head then a quick clip together of the seatbelt like fixing buckle. Other products we have tried required one leg through this hole, another leg through that hole, it became a chore and at times distressing for the dog, this takes a few seconds.- We picked up two to get the right size, at the time our dog had a chest of i think 21inches and weighed circa 13kg. A size Mini was picked - however she has now outgrown this, so we have just ordered a size 0 - As a tip whilst it may be a pain you could be better off ordering two sizes then returning one if your dog is borderline on the size charts between two.- There is a good level of adjustment on the buckle strap so you can adjust your fit, we found this really useful as much like humans if the dog has eaten a lot she might have a fuller tummy, when in super wet conditions as per the pictures she sometimes has a fleece on, the adjustments can be made quickly and easily so as not to cause discomfort.- Functionally this really has reduced the pull factor, it has not eliminated it nor did we expect it to, we just wanted for her not to be hurting herself if pulling whilst on the lead. It really does do that. With some other harnesses you could see her walking and running gait change whilst wearing, indicating that the harness did not fit or was uncomfortable, with this that is not the case.- Security wise, she has never slipped out, i read some reviews that said this might happen, it can happen with any harness and a determined dog in an ill fitted harness, we have not had an instance.- The clip for the lead is just about right regards size, length and placement, it doesnt bang in to the dog whilst off the lead and is easily found whilst also trying to find a towel and treats, one handed operation is easy.- Durability wise we bought this in October 2018, we are now having to replace it but only because our dog has gotten a little larger so a size 0 is a better fit. During this time it has been exclusively the only harness we use bar when on organised park runs for which she has a special running harness. For good housekeeping we wash between 3 and 4 times a week depending on the trails and water, sometimes more sometimes less, but always its a machine wash.- Considering the amount of machine washing and 7 days a week walking this has been extremley durable. There are a couple of fabric grazes here and there, but there doesnt appear to be any structural issues, the panels are all intact, the lead anchor and belt clip both work fine and securely.- If you are machine washing then to save wear and tear on your machine and the harness, buy a couple of cheap pillow cases and wash the harness inside those, will reduce noise too!- Overall this is a fantastic product, well designed, durable, looks great, the dog is always happy to see it coming out of the cupboard and it really has changed how she walks, five stars.
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13.7.2017

I wanted a relatively simple hard drive enclosure to support multiple hard drives. A friend suggested that rather than getting something with multiple individual drives I should look more seriously at a RAID device. After hunting around the net and finding a massive selection of different units all offering the earth and stars I finally paid some attention to the buyer reviews. The fantec on average came out on top with more satisfied purchasers and so I bought one.At first I admit I had zero clue what the heck I was doing with this thing.But after poring through the user manual half a dozen times to familiarise myself with the thing I went off and bought a few drives to throw in. It's not tool-less like some other units, but it's just a small plastic handle that makes removing the drive more simple and safer, and it is a matter of using the provided screws and driver to attach two screws per drive so the handle is secured. Not really a big deal and nothing to moan about in my opinion.Power up is quick, and the initial hunt of the drives mounted is pretty fast. I think the default setting for this is Raid50 which expects to find a full box and so immediately throws an error. That caught me by surprise and I had to dive back into the user manual before I figured out that you have to hold the RAID select button for a few seconds, select the RAID function that matches the number of drives you have mounted and then hold the little black button in the too small for my fingers box at the back of the unit until the thing shuts down. Then power up again and hey presto the RAID is set, and the thing works like a dream. Data transfer is more than adequate for large block files and small files transfer nice and smoothly. It's surprisingly quiet, much more so than I expected. The Orico unit I have hums away quite busily by comparison. The light array across the top of the case is less intrusive than the Orico, and not so sharp that it burns afterglow into your retina when glancing at the unit.My only complaint is that the thing powers down into hibernation very quickly if it's not busy doing something. As it takes a little while (around 10 seconds on average) to spin back up again this can be a tad annoying, but not so much that the earth is going to end because of it. The advantage of the RAID array system, and the fact that I can access large drive storage offsets that small annoyance considerably. Well, for me anyway, I have no doubt there are people out there tearing their hair out over it.As far as I can tell, the build quality is good. The case is fairly strong and rigid, and feels solid when manhandling it. The empty case is quite heavy, but once it's packed with drives there's a considerable amount of weight there, so the unit needs to be stood on something stable and strong enough to support it. Power and other buttons are responsive and the feedback click is sufficient. The drive enclosures are simple and have a little space in them, so drive movement is possible if you are rough with the unit when moving it. Some care may be needed to prevent damage or data loss. The power cable and USB/SATA cable sit in sockets at the rear of the box and seat fairly firmly with very little play. However, moving the unit when it is on, could knock one of these connectors loose resulting in loss of data, I wouldn't recommend trying to move this thing while it is on, especially not if you've filled all the bays.Any changes to the RAID array will result in data loss as far as I can tell. So make sure you have this set up how you want it and with the drives you want in there before using it for data you want to keep. Also, empty blank drives only. DO NOT put any drives in this unit that already have data on them. You will lose it.For what it's worth, as a completely new person to RAID and mass storage like this, I had everything up and running within 30 minutes, including reading the user manual. Setting up the drives in Windows took about 20 minutes. So in less than an hour I had this up and running and working sweet as a nut. Can't complain about that. So far, this is worth the money I spent and I am more than happy with this purchase.
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2.2.2013

I've been researching Parker 5th for a few weeks now, before deciding whether or not to buy one. So by the time it came to order one, I was well versed in the arguments about it not being a fountain pen, not being a new technology, and for some, Parker is apparently the devil-incarnate for even thinking of selling a new product. I decided to give it a try anyway. I first bought the Parker IM Premium Chiselled. My first impression out of the box is that it is both big and fairly heavy.I must admit it did take a little while to get used to the heft of the pen, when the cap is on the top (for some reason I just can't write with a pen without its cap on the top). But I did get used to it. My second impression, whilst writing for the first time, is it wasn't quite as smooth or the rich experience I had hoped. However, within writing about 200 words, I began to get why this is a lovely writing mode.The tip does indeed adjust to your style - very very quickly, this gives your writing a rich colour and stroke that is very pleasant. The pen does indeed glide along - much smoother than a roller ball and indeed most fountain pens I've used. The colour and line is consistant, which curiously for me was both satisfying and disappointing. I read a review once that spoke about this and talked about the charm of a fountain pen being that the ink flow and strokes are quite variable - I must admit I agree that is a nice aspect of writing. But then just to be contrary I hated when rollerballs would miss parts of a stroke. I think for this pen it is entirely appropriate and expected that the strokes would be consistant.This of course speaks to the crux of the matter with this pen. As reviewers have said it is not a fountain pen. It is not an entirely new way of writing. BUT it IS a new premium way of using this tip. It IS an extremely exciting and pleasant design aspect to have pseudo fountain pen nib. It IS an EXCELLENT mode of writing that I thoroughly ENJOY. But I wanted a pen that wasn't quite so heavy. I ordered the IM gunmetal version and promptly sent that back - it was actually quite ugly and definitely not lighter, it also looked a lot cheaper than even the premium chiselled. That is when I decided to try the PEARL with gold trim.Luckily it had come down a lot in price (about £80). It is an exquisitely designed pen. It (politely) shouts quality and is heads above even the premium chiselled. It is elegant and understated. It is marginally lighter than the Premium Chiselled, but that is enough to make a world of difference (for me). It is not particularly small (height) but it is largely well-balanced so it feels smaller when I'm gripping it. I love this pen. It is comfortable to use for long periods - which I do, often. This is what I think is novel about this pen - never before have I been able to use a fibre tip pen in such a premium dressing. I think this is why it IS a genuine 5th mode, as in a professional setting I would feel that this pen sets the right tone for my image, like a good ballpoint, rollerball, pencil or fountain pen. I don't understand why some negative comments are so vitriolic about Parker and them selling this as a 5th mode of writing. Before, without this design, I would not be able to confidently (if at all) state this. The rest of course is just Parker pontificating and trying to get us all to buy their product not really deserving of the negativity being sent their way.So far I haven't had a problem with the tip drying out when the lid is off, but then I don't leave it off for terribly long periods - maybe 5-10 minutes. I also can't comment, yet, on how long the refill lasts.So all in all, if you like inkier pens that don't smudge this is a great mode of writing, and you should choose the Pearl if you want a genuinely premium feel to the pen. My hope is that in the future, Parker will sell lighter models at slightly cheaper price, with different colour refills other than blue and black.Thanks Parker for making writing fun again.
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31.12.2019

We had tried all manner of halti leads, traditional collars, 3 point harnesses and more before we picked up this harness for our Cockapoo after seeing another Cockapoo sporting one in a park.Our dog loves to pull ahead, its a constant when on the lead, we have tried to train her we have had three instructors to try and help but to no avail. With this in mind it was important for us to get a harness that firstly could help reduce this and more so made her as comfortable as possible without thestrangling effect you see on lots of types of harnesses and leads.- You can tell the build quality is excellent as soon as you unwrap the harness, the stithcing is reinforced, the material itself where not webbing appears to be hardwearing padded cordura.- Its super simple to place over your dogs head then a quick clip together of the seatbelt like fixing buckle. Other products we have tried required one leg through this hole, another leg through that hole, it became a chore and at times distressing for the dog, this takes a few seconds.- We picked up two to get the right size, at the time our dog had a chest of i think 21inches and weighed circa 13kg. A size Mini was picked - however she has now outgrown this, so we have just ordered a size 0 - As a tip whilst it may be a pain you could be better off ordering two sizes then returning one if your dog is borderline on the size charts between two.- There is a good level of adjustment on the buckle strap so you can adjust your fit, we found this really useful as much like humans if the dog has eaten a lot she might have a fuller tummy, when in super wet conditions as per the pictures she sometimes has a fleece on, the adjustments can be made quickly and easily so as not to cause discomfort.- Functionally this really has reduced the pull factor, it has not eliminated it nor did we expect it to, we just wanted for her not to be hurting herself if pulling whilst on the lead. It really does do that. With some other harnesses you could see her walking and running gait change whilst wearing, indicating that the harness did not fit or was uncomfortable, with this that is not the case.- Security wise, she has never slipped out, i read some reviews that said this might happen, it can happen with any harness and a determined dog in an ill fitted harness, we have not had an instance.- The clip for the lead is just about right regards size, length and placement, it doesnt bang in to the dog whilst off the lead and is easily found whilst also trying to find a towel and treats, one handed operation is easy.- Durability wise we bought this in October 2018, we are now having to replace it but only because our dog has gotten a little larger so a size 0 is a better fit. During this time it has been exclusively the only harness we use bar when on organised park runs for which she has a special running harness. For good housekeeping we wash between 3 and 4 times a week depending on the trails and water, sometimes more sometimes less, but always its a machine wash.- Considering the amount of machine washing and 7 days a week walking this has been extremley durable. There are a couple of fabric grazes here and there, but there doesnt appear to be any structural issues, the panels are all intact, the lead anchor and belt clip both work fine and securely.- If you are machine washing then to save wear and tear on your machine and the harness, buy a couple of cheap pillow cases and wash the harness inside those, will reduce noise too!- Overall this is a fantastic product, well designed, durable, looks great, the dog is always happy to see it coming out of the cupboard and it really has changed how she walks, five stars.
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24.6.2013

This is arguably the best gadget I've bought in the last couple of years. It allows you to get creative and produce your own-flavoured ice lollies, as you watch, in under ten minutes. It is PERFECT for our two-year-old daughter who loves it. It's on a par with baking cakes in her eyes!The device is dinkier than it looks in the photos and doesn't take up much room in the freezer. It must be cooled down properly first - we left ours in the freezer for 24 hours, where it remains as a permanent feature ready to go anytime.After that, grab child and ask what they want. We started with Coca-Cola and Lemonade lollies (groan). You get it out of the freezer and pour the lemonade, juice, milk, whatever, into the two lolly-shaped slots. The lollies start freezing instantly from the outside inwards. Then quickly put the supplied plastic lolly-sticks in and wait for it all to freeze up! Eight minutes later we had two perfectly-formed lollies! Our little one cackles with delight throughout and the speed at which the lollies are made means she can have her choice of flavour immediately. No overnight preparation needed, they can be made anytime. Great stuff.The frozen lollies are very easy to extract because the supplied sticks have screw threads hidden in their handles. When the lollies are ready, you use the supplied green tool to screw into the base of the lolly stick and the twisting action lifts the lolly out. Not much force is required - our two-year-old can nearly do it on her own already.We can usually make a further pair of lollies immediately afterwards. A third pair is possible but takes quite a bit longer to freeze at this point.If you are making lollies out of fizzy drinks then you get better results if the fizzy drink has gone flat. Whilst it's still all fizzed up, you get thousands of tiny air bubbles in the lolly which means it's not quite as good (albeit I still enjoyed them). Flat drinks = better lollies. Despite the warnings, we've had no problems using sugar-free Coke or lemonade - which is good news to prevent the creation of sugared-up kids. If you do use stuff which still has its fizz, then only half-fill the lolly slot to begin with as the fluid expands greatly during the freezing process and can overflow (this makes it difficult to extract the lolly). Fill up fizzy stuff in stages whilst you're still getting the feel of things.Whilst you can use milk or cordials, my absolute favourites are the lollies made out of fruit juices. Tesco's normal cartons of orange, apple or cranberry juice are perfect. The lollies are fantastic and taste wonderful. They're as good as, if not better, than the ones you buy.Our little one loves making combos though. For instance, it's easy to make your own rocket lollies. Fill just a third of the slot with orange juice, wait two minutes for that to freeze, fill the second third with Vimto, wait for that to freeze, final third with Coca-Cola. Hey presto, your own orange, red and black rocket lolly. I do it with fruit juices and the little one prefers the fizzy drinks.Cleaning is made easier by defrosting. Leave it out overnight then you can clean it in under a minute. Lollies are made quicker if the drinks are already chilled. Oh, and dad has enjoyed making some alcohol-based lollies, too!Given this gadget has stood the test of time with our daughter, then we might investigate some of the creative kits that allow you to really go to town on the lolly design.If you like your lollies - no matter what your age - then this device will earn its keep, allow you to make the lollies you want, and will generate enormous brownie points for mum and dad.
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5.2.2020

I’m a fountain pen devotee.I was attracted by this Lamy for two reasons. Firstly, was the fun aspect of the transparent barrel so that the colour of the ink could be seen. Handy, for someone with a couple of handfuls of fountain pens, all with different coloured inks in them, as I’m a bit of a collector of the Diamine range of inks, and then play colour mix with the ones I have.Secondly is the fact that I’m a Southpaw, and the Lamy, unlike my absolutely favourite brand – Cross,specifically the thin and elegant Century Classic – has a Left Hand Nib option. Something I have not seen offered by Cross. Lefties, depending on their own particular pen wielding and, I guess, the degree of left handedness, can find that they don’t get on with fountain pens at all. Some lefties curl their whole hand almost above the line, so that the wet ink of a fountain pen is smeared across the line as they write. I am not one of those. I write from below, albeit with a slight leftward roll of the nib. I’ve never found that problematic with a good, fine, fountain pen nib, and don’t have smear and blot problems. I probably have no real need of a ‘lefty’ but was interested to tryThis IS a nice pen, though visually it lacks the refined and poised look of that super slim Cross Classic Century. And I have small, slender hands, so find fatter pens seem to sit in my hands less well than willowy ones.For sure, I can understand the appeal of the Lamy for younger, possibly training writers – the chunkier barrel probably useful for those still learning how to manoeuvre a pen. The grooves down the barrel also impose more of a standard way of gripping the pen, again, this might be useful for those learning, but perhaps older writers, having had a lifetime of adapting to their own best way of gripping, find the grooved barrel inhibits comfortable familiarity. Certainly – I don’t know whether this was the slight curve to the nib, or the influence of the barrel, but writing with this was easiest with the pen very much square on the paper, forming a right angle with the line. Not my normal angling at all, A bit more effortful for meA downside of ‘Lefty’ is that though you can choose from a range of nib widths with the standard Lamy, only one choice is available if you go left – the Left Nib is a medium. It’s not too thick, but I definitely prefer Fine nibs for my handwritingSo…I like this, but I don’t adore it. But it’s more modest price make it a pen I would take out of the house, whereas the beloved, and more expensive, Crosses which also have sentimental attachments, stay indoors. Far too refined to be rolling around at the bottom of a handbag,This comes with one Lamy cartridge on board. Lamy cartridges are brand specific, and you can’t use the international standard, as their housing doesn’t fit the piercing point within the Lamy nib section. So, if you want to ease back off plastic waste, save your pennies, and get creative with a range of ink colours or ink blend for yourself, you will need the Lamy specific converter. The one for the Vista is the Z28-Z24 ‘the successor to the Z24’ which is available on this site. I don’t know if the old Z24 fits the Vista. In theory I think it should, as both the Z28-Z24 and the Z24 say they fit the Safari, which the Vista is a transparent version of. I think the changes may purely be in the colour/visuals at the top of the filling chamber, which looks a little more refined in the pictures of the new version than the old. Again, Lamy have their own specific converters, other non specific generic converters won’t do!
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3.12.2015

Appearance & Design (7/10)The Loom comes with a few variables, the body has two different finishes, the metallic finish and the piano finish, and also the pen comes in 8 different cap colours. This is the piano finish with lime green cap. The Piano finish is a fingerprint magnet (I also have the metallic finish which isn’t, if that is a problem) but when clean it is a nice finish. It has a good grip section with ring designs that gives you a little something to hold onto over say the piano finish that could slip though it isn't the best grip I've used it does the job.It may not have the rings and accents of other pens that are more expensive but at this price point it’s an ok looking pen and doesn’t look out of place in my collection. A sad point to this is you don’t get the nice Faber Castell box you would from other sells but a cardboard tube. So it look that impressive as a gift even though the pen is very good.Construction & Quality (8/10)Very impressive here, the body itself is very sturdy being metal, the cap is plastic but again well made, the clip is the weak point, mine has a little movement to the side, but it is spring loaded and should hold itself in your pocket if you need to. Overall I’m happy here, I have much more expensive pens that are a lot worse!Weight & Dimensions (8/10)It is actually a slightly heavy pen, this is due to its steel parts. I myself have a large hand and this fits posted very nicely and the weight is not a problem. As said I use this pen posted, it is a little short otherwise. Its always best to try a pen in person to see if you like the feel and weight but I feel this is an average size that is slightly heavy but well balanced if you wish to try it blind like I did.Nib & Performance (9/10)The pen comes with a steel nib and this listing is an extra fine. The only other extra fine I have is on a Sailor Sapporo (which is 14k unlike this nib) this nib is smoother! In fact this nib is simply amazing and there is a reason for this, Faber Castell use the same nib on their pens whether you spend £30 on a loom or eMotion at over double that. I don’t have many XF nibs due to them being hard to make smooth, there is not that problem here. This is the selling point of the Loom!The ink cartridge that came with it deserves to be thrown away, it is a watery weak blue, there are much better out there!Filling System & Maintenance (8/10)The pen does not come with a converter. I purchased the FC standard converter and it fits nicely in the pen. But the pen is your typical Cart/Converter pen, it won’t win awards like some pistons or vac fillers but its simple to use and clean, and cleaning is an area often over looked!Cost & Value (8-10/10)Overall, this is a decent entry level pen and for £30 or there about it is an a lot of pen for the money so I’m happy to give it an 8! But if you are after a Loom, just keep your eyes on them as the price goes up and down, I got my Loom from Amazon for £14 delivered, at that price point it has to get a 10!Conclusion (8.5)I'm really happy writing with this new pen, I was shocked with the nib, I can not speak highly enough for Faber Castell and I would love to see it in a 14k but I understand that a steel nib keeps the price down. I bought it along with a Pelikan M800 and while the Pelikan cost a lot more and is amazing, I’ve been reaching for this just as much and I think it speaks volumes, this has really surprised me as a pen, all I would say is put a good ink in it and not the Faber Castell Cartridge!
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25.5.2018

Comparison between 6 pensI had the opportunity to compare between few pens: (will cover 6 pens here)======================among other pens, I managed to try, see photos for a better comparison======================in shortPen1- CROSS Bailey Medalist Rollerball Pen with Gold-Plated Appointments incl. Premium Gift Boxlooks very very nicefeels premium in the had, and has some weight (37g)packaging is ok for a gift but nothing special regarding the box look or feel.it glides very smoothly when writing,and it has the right amount of ink coming out.my preferred penPen2- CROSS Century II Medalist Fountain with 23CT Gold Medium Nib incl. Premium Gift Boxvery beautiful design especially the Fountain tipvery detailed oriented designCROSS Fountain pens are very good for lots of writing, it has just the right amount of ink flowing, but if you use it for singing then don’t go too fast as the line will start breaking (a solution for that is to press a bit harder on the paper)lightweight compared to the others (22g) … not bad by any meansPen3- PARKER IM Fountain Pen, Light Blue Grey, Medium Nib with Blue Ink Refill (1931655)looks very nicelightweight compared to the others (24g)I would go with the fine Nib rather than this medium NibI noticed that PARKER Fountain pens spill more ink while writing than other brands, thus you have to write fast or the paper will start absorbing the ink, which is not ideal for a lot of writing, though it’s very nice for signing documents, as the line will not start fading when you draw line very quickly. also, that makes the pen not suitable for glossy papers.very smooth writing with it.Pen4- Parker Sonnet Medium Nib Stainless Steel Gold Finish Trim Gift Boxed Fountain Penlove the designthe weight is in the middle (25g) compared to the othersvery lovely box, one of the bestagain: I noticed that PARKER Fountain pens spill more ink while writing than other brands, thus you have to write fast or the paper will start absorbing the ink, which is not ideal for a lot of writing, though it’s very nice for signing documents, as the line will not start fading when you draw line very quickly. also, that makes the pen not suitable for glossy papers.I would go with the fine Nib rather than this medium NibPen5- Waterman Expert Stainless Steel, Ballpoint Pen with Medium Blue refill (S0952100)this pen is different than the ones before as it’s a dry-pen, similar to regular Pic pens.looks very very nicefeels premium in the had, and has some weight (34g)writes smoothlywould have been one of the best pens out there except I had issues with it spilling, which made a mark on my shirt few times and it ruined itPen6- Parker Stainless Steel with Chrome Colour Trim, Ballpoint Pen with Medium Black refill (S0809240)looks nicevery slimmedium to lightweight (27g)- just a regular pen, thus ok for writing (you are getting it for the looks).==============between the pens here I would pick:Pen1, then both Pen2 and Pen5==============Note:All pens have been bought (by me and my family) nothing was sponsored or gifted by any retailerI like all of the designs, that’s why we got them :)- Always read the details about the pen in the description by the seller (as they may change)most Fountain pens include refills (and sometimes even extras)I prefer pens with caps to eliminate spilling problem that may happen or accidental strokes.And sorry for the video, first time and was difficult writing while the paper is away from me.Many thanks
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