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Antec Performance One Mini P180 Micro ATX Mini Tower Case (No PSU)
I replaced a much, much cheaper case with this just because I wanted something quieter. The difference in quality is amazing.First of all, the panels are in another league. Just the removable side panel weighs more than the whole of the cheaper case. Its much, much sturdier and feels like its much better quality.The panel is easy to remove, and the inside layout is pretty good too. The HDD cages are much easier to deal with than trying to wedge yourself in to get it in/out. Theres a good amount of space to try and tuck any loose cables in, and the case comes with some ties to keep them there.My only problem with the case is the giant fan on top is a bit loud. I don't have much high performance gear in my computer so don't really need all that cooling, but reading around there are ways to slow it down that I need to look into. Apart from that, it is a very good quiet case.One word of warning though, the word 'mini' here is a bit subjective. This case is fairly huge for what is meant to be a MATX case. Make sure you double check the dimensions, because this beast might just catch you out. It just about fits in the space I have (which is why I'm limited to MATX) but its not a comfortable fit.Overall this is a decent case, not sure if its worth the high price but much, much better than those 20 quid cases you see about.
ASUS Xonar D2/PM 7.1 PCI Sound Card
A few years back I bought myself some Logitech Z-5500 speakers, but never had a decent way of playing music through them apart from playing CDs in the bluray player. Not ideal, but the on-board audio on my PC was fairly limited. I did a lot of reading about new soundcards, and the general consensus seemed to be that the Xonar D2 was right up there. Finally splashed out on one, and I'm so glad I did.Everything sounds so clear and crisp, music is absolutely brilliant. Got mine set up to 5.1, sounds so good having the music all around you, if you have good speakers and like your music you owe it to yourself. Films sound brilliant through it too.Its not just the sound quality that sets this apart though. The whole card is just quality. It feels good and solid, and it comes with all the connections you could want. The jacks on the back are all illuminated a different colour when they aren't being used, making it much easier to plug stuff in without having to pull the whole computer out and have a guess at what you're aiming for.Couldn't fault this card at all.
Logitech Wireless Mouse M215 Red (Clamshell)
Got myself one of these so I could stash my computer case out of the way, and it does brilliantly. The receiver is tiny so no chance of smashing it with your foot (which has happening to a few memory sticks in my room) and the range seems to be very, very good. Battery lasts a good long time, even so I've replaced mine with a long-life rechargeable on so even less to worry about. Theres a good long time between the battery indicator coming on and it running out completely, so you shouldn't have to worry about it just stopping working with no warning.All in all, can't fault it. Good size, comfortable and can take a few drops.
4 New from
When this came out I wrote it off as being yet another third rate comedy with that bloke off Friends in it. Oh how I was wrong. Luckily we caught this on TV and got to appreciate it in full. Well worth the buy, this had everyone in my family laughing which is a very, very rare thing. The live action roleplaying scenes are just genius and there isn't one duff character. Just goes to show, shouldn't judge a book by its cover! Or a film...
The A-Team Movie: Extended Explosive Edition
27 New from
Hadn't seen much of the TV show before I went to see this, but knew what to expect. Lots of stuff blowing up, a not very challenging storyline and a lot of fun. It didn't let itself down on any of those points. Been catching up on the TV show since, and haven't changed my mind on that. If you want complicated, though provoking scenes with deep characters and a hidden message this probably won't be the film for you. If you just want to kick back for a bit, watch a film with a good balance of comedy and action and just enjoy yourself, then go for it!
Breaking Bad: Season 1 (3 Discs)
7 New from
Been waiting a long time for this to get released in the UK, a truely brilliant, original show. This was shown on FX, don't know if its made it to terrestrial channels yet, but if you haven't seen it you are missing out. This is far better than...pretty much everything else on at the minute. Bryan Cranston is pretty spectacular in this, playing a very, very different character to the dad from Malcom in the Middle. Full of tension, black comedy and a fair bit of violence, you can't really go wrong with this. Season 2 is looking just as good! This is getting pre-ordered straight away.
Kingdom Of Rust
Doves - CD
29 New from
Took me a while to get through this album, mainly because I had the first two tracks on repeat. Amazing opening there, and then that high level is maintained throughout the album. Not one duff track, it flows well, theres some catchy numbers and some slightly more mellow songs. Really worth buying, best album out so far this year (not much competition yet though!) Theres lots of other bands out there trying to do this style, but Doves have been doing it far better than em for far longer. Top band, and they aren't half bad live either!
Marion And Geoff - Complete Series 1
22 New from
Short, sharp bursts of pure comedy. For a programme featuring just one character talking to a camera from his car this is addictive. One 10 minute episode is not enough, and before you know it you've watched the whole series and gone through all the ups and many, many downs of Keith's life. All credit goes to Rob Brydon for creating a character that you can empathise with so strongly, and who as well as being comedic, can also carry across heartbreaking moments. Powerful stuff.
Marion And Geoff - Complete Series 2
22 New from
After watching the first series of this, I was slightly sceptical that a second series could live up to the brilliance that had gone before it. A slight change in format puts each episode in at half an hour, compared to the shorter 10 minute epsiodes from first time round. Still though, unlike a lot of comedy around, there was no drop in form. Each 30 minute episode felt to me like 3 of the shorter ones, not one boring or unneeded momemt. The comedy is still just as funny, and the dark side is still just as miserable as Keith finally gets back full access to his 'little smashers' after his run-in with the law, only for everything to turn upside-down for him again. Pure brilliance. In the end I had to watch the whole series in one go, cos you care about this character and want to know how it all finishes for him.The bonus feature 'A Small Summer Party' is fun enough, but no-where near as good as the series itself. Taking the camera out of the car and introducing other characters...well. Its not the same.
Logitech X-230 Speakers
Invested in some of these a couple of years ago and they are still as excellent as they were then. Lots of speakers out there twice the price as these but nowhere near as good. The sound is brilliant, lots of volume and the bass....well. My near-deaf dog doesn't like being in the same room when you crank them up.For me though the best feature is that you can hook these up to anything. Most of the time I have them linked up to my DVD player but if the mood takes me they come supplied with an adaptor to put them through most games consoles plus they can used with anything that has a standard headphone jack. You even have choice as to how to use em. Either on the base, or you can swivel it round to make the two smaller speakers wall mountable. More than worth the money (although you can get them cheaper elsewhere...). Only problem is that now I've got these, I feel the need to upgrade to the 5.1 version, and I don't know if my dog could take it...