Homes and Gardens

From the latest lawn mower to hedge trimmer to that great new way to BBQ, or inside that wizzy vacuum, cool fridge. A big topic this one, with new gadgets appearing daily! Come and read other members experiences or opinions, or share your own with the rest of the community.

840490 philips smartimage 234E5QHAW monitoA Philips Monitor

Published in Homes and Gardens by mfereday on Mar 24, 2015
With a choice of connection options and added technology, a new monitor from Philips certainly has eye-appeal.
Edifier has recently added to its range of Bluetooth aware speaker products with another 2:1 system.

839511 Blaupunkt BLA 40 233 budget HD televisioValue TV from AO

Published in Homes and Gardens by paul_smart on Feb 4, 2015
I have looked at a number of high priced Smart TVs here something for a lot less with of course a lot less features it has Freeview and is an HD TV, but a lot of the extras like optical out are not included in this bargain buy.

839064 Russell Hobbs 20810 Purifry Health FryeRussell Hobbs Purifry

Published in Homes and Gardens by paul_smart on Jan 16, 2015
A lot of homes these days do not have a proper kitchen so a small oven type device can have its place. This small unit can fry – without fat – grill roast and more. The nearest thing I have previously reviewed is the Philips Airfryer.
Having recently looked at two bagless upright cleaners it seems only right to review a similar bag less cylinder option. Here a 700watt option from Hoover that is an immediate winner from me for one small feature that it has.
Over the years I have reviewed a number of coffee machines, all have been very popular with readers, some seem to think that the coffee from ‘Pod’ machines is not hot enough, so this unit that uses fresh milk that it heats could be their answer.

838305 BOSCH Athlet upright lightweight vacuuBosch Cordless Athlet

Published in Homes and Gardens by paul_smart on Dec 12, 2014
Happily you not need to be an Athlete to use this rather nice cordless vacuum otherwise that would certainly have ruled me out. In fact from setting it up to first use was less than a couple of minutes, no screws it just clips together.

837334 Vax Air Cordless Upright Vacuum CleanerVAX Portable

Published in Homes and Gardens by paul_smart on Nov 9, 2014
This is the second portable – untethered – unit I have looked at this autumn; my home is looking rather clean by my standards anyway. This unit that is not heavy comes in a very large and heavy box as it comes with not one but two batteries and a charger, these are the weighty bits.

836976 Flare 20cm SaucepaPans, Sauce and Frying

Published in Homes and Gardens by paul_smart on Oct 26, 2014
Here I am looking at two pans from different sources, the first an exclusive to Lakeland a different shaped saucepan. Second from JML a frying pan that is coated with stone and it then becomes truly non stick even in a dry pan.
Here it is the long awaited coffee machine and what a machine it is. While I have reviewed numerous machines before this is the first that uses fresh roasted beans, not ground coffee, unground beans freshly ground in the machine for each cup.
Here is one of my occasional forays into large kitchen items. This time an offering from Dixons a Grundig Fridge Freezer. This is quite large so should certainly suit a family as far as the fridge is concerned; it’s what is called 60/40.

836238 Samsung UE32H6200 32  inch LCD 1080 pixels 200 Hz 3D T32-inch SMART Television

Published in Homes and Gardens by mfereday on Oct 11, 2014
As one of its smallest models, the Samsung 32-inch television is the subject of this next review.

836148 hoover unplugged 300R vacuuHoover Unplugged

Published in Homes and Gardens by paul_smart on Oct 8, 2014
A lightweight upright cleaner with a narrow cleaning head ideal to get into small spaces. Add to this that it runs on an internal battery and you may just have discovered the ultimate floor and carpet cleaner. So is the Hoover Unplugged nirvana?

836145 AEG Lavazza A Modo MiLavazza LM 3100

Published in Homes and Gardens by paul_smart on Sep 28, 2014
With such a name you would expect this machine to be made in Italy after all the Italians can make a very good cup of coffee. This machine however is made in Germany a country perhaps more famous for making quality cars, it is made by AEG.

836144 Tefal OptiGrill with Automatic Thickness and Temperature MeasuremenTefal Grill

Published in Homes and Gardens by paul_smart on Sep 26, 2014
This device can take the guesswork out of grilling food. It has special settings according to how well – or rare – you like your food cooked. It even has a mode to allow you to cook from frozen as well as special programs for certain items and even sausages grilled are healthier than fried.
I've been "juicing" - supplementing my diet with home made pure fruit and vegetable juices - for nearly a year now. I believe it's helped to keep me healthy; I know for a fact that it's been responsible for my losing about 2 stone of excess weight. When intrigued friends and relatives who would like to try the same thing discover how much my imported Korean juicing machine cost - they back off. But now French kitchen appliance manufacturer Tefal is stepping into the ring with a very s
Vax has introduced a battery-powered upright vacuum cleaner, the Vax Air Cordless, targeted at those who want the power of a full-size cordless cleaner without the inconvenience of having a trailing mains cable to plug in or even trip over.

835501 Chefn Pulln Slice Extra Safe Mandoline Vegetable Slicer Shreddepull’n slice Mandolin

Published in Homes and Gardens by paul_smart on Sep 3, 2014
Mandolins are great for giving very thin slices of vegetables, they have one nasty problem they are very sharp, most are sold with a guard but these often produce a lot of waste, all other Mandolins are push action this is a pull action.

835131 Hoover UnPlugged UNP300R Turbo Stick Vacuum CleaneCordless Hoovering

Published in Homes and Gardens by mfereday on Aug 21, 2014
While not everybody’s favourite household task, a vacuum cleaner, especially a cordless one, can help.
Sorry not a coffee machine – ones in the pipeline – but something almost as vital for every home an iron. Certainly nothing like any iron I have used before it looks almost professional as are the claims made for what it does.

834654 KRUPS XP5620 15 Bar Pump Espresso MachinEspresso Coffee Maker

Published in Homes and Gardens by mfereday on Aug 5, 2014
While the presence of coffee shops on the High Street continues to grow, we still need a means of providing our favourite beverage in the home.

820188 Samsung UE48H6500 48  inch LCD 1080 pixels 400 Hz 3D TA New Samsung Television

Published in Homes and Gardens by mfereday on June 17, 2014
Clearing a suitable space in my living room and, at times, putting a strain on my back, it was time to check out one of the new models in Samsung’s television line up.
Having recently told you about a JML Halogen Cooker this is rather different. Most people will know of a Microware and those – like me – or a certain age know about a Slow Cooker but what does this 8 in 1 have to offer.

780781 JML Halowave Halogen OveCook by Halogen

Published in Homes and Gardens by paul_smart on Apr 13, 2014
With first living spaces getting smaller one solution is to cut the kitchen. With people of working age and no children eating out for time saving or pleasure is often more important than preparing a meal from scratch so oven.

756501 samsung oven MC32F606TCT Cello Microwave Grill CombinatioSamsung Smart Oven

Published in Homes and Gardens by paul_smart on Jan 31, 2014
During the time I had this unit my own oven and grill remained unused. Often today with small flats/bedsits there is no real kitchen, people make do with a microwave but for little more than that size you can have the Samsung MC32F606TCT.
I have looked at several devices that record onto SD and Micro SD cards. This is the first such device supplied with a recorder unit. This should therefore give better quality results and therefore provide you with better evidence.

725852 humax HB 1000S smart freesat receiver stA Freesat HD Box

Published in Homes and Gardens by mfereday on Nov 7, 2013
Freesat HD is a subscription free service giving access to a range of television and radio channels with some addition features. To gain access to this service you do require to have an installed satellite dish and a set-top box such as the Humax HB-1000S which is the subject of this review.
Moving files to and from a portable Apple device has always been a faff, now there is a halfway device you copy them to, and then, transfer by drag and drop to the PC and by downloading an App, from the iFlash Drive to your ‘i’ device.

721673 sandstrom s47s13 soundbaSandstrom Sound Bar

Published in Homes and Gardens by paul_smart on Oct 11, 2013
Is a soundbar a good investment? A simple question but as often the answer has several ‘ifs and buts’ mainly around how you use it and what for, this is not a cop out as a decent soundbar now need not be tied only to your TV.

712543 samsung ue40f6400 40 inch smart 3d led freeview T40-inch SmartTV

Published in Homes and Gardens by mfereday on Oct 5, 2013
I am old enough to remember sitting with the rest of the family around a small box in the corner of the room and watching a potter’s wheel in operation. I may have forgotten many of the light entertainment programs being broadcast by the BBC’s sole channel during that period but that potter’s wheel is firmly entrenched in my memory of early television. Nowadays the screen of that box in the corner has expanded in size while the box’s depth has reduced considerably as it grants the viewer acces