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Belkin 40W Home And Office Laptop Power Adapter
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Having read the other reviews I gave all the plugs a go and they all fitted fine for me. It powers my netbook just fine and adds a handy additional USB charging point for when the netbook is off or if its something I don't want talking to the PC (charging wireless PS3/360 controllers). My only two criticisms are that the plugs on the netbook side are all a bit bulky (sticking out over 15mm) and Belkin have followed everyone else in sticking a super bright blue LED on it, not good for charging overnight in a hotel unless you also want to read by it.
Seagate FreeAgent ST307504FDD1E1-RK / 750GB / USB 2.0 / 3.5 inch External Hard Drive
This brown and orange monolith dose exactly what you expect, you can throw large lumps of data at it and play back high resolution video files from it with out a problem, the software is a bit of a pain but optional so you can just skip it as everything I've linked it to from XP and Vista to OSX and Linux will just mount it up. The only real criticisms come if you want to move it about a lot the base of the case feels a little flimsy but has lasted well and the unit is a bit bulky, but if you are only after an extra hard drive or the ability to move big files round your office this is a fine hard drive.
Cooler Master NotePal Infinite Laptop Cooler
Having put the unit to the test on a Core2Duo 2Ghz laptop running Rosetta@home for 100% CPU utilisation the results are as follows:
Without:Core 1 56cCore 2 58cG.P.U. 55cRam 53cChipset 25cH.D.D. 34c
After 1 hour at full speed:Core 1 54cCore 2 56cG.P.U. 52cRam 50cChipset 25cH.D.D. 31c
The temperatures took about quarter of an hour to fall with the thermal mass of the alloy laptop case then stabilised out, during this time the ambient temperature remained constant.
So a 2-3c across the hot components, on a system that's marginal on cooling it may help out more but I had hoped to get a bigger drop in temperatures especially for the components not covered by the laptop's built in fan.
Finally noise levels are very similar to those of the internal fan so there are unfortunately no benefits to using this in place of the laptop fan for those simply after a quieter work place.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
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Continuing in the tradition of the previous Elder Scrolls games Oblivion features there best looking engine yet (though if your PC is a few years old you will need to turn down some of the settings the game still looks fantastic on my laptop) along with an absolutely massive game world (almost twice the size of Morrowind). Add in enough sub plots that you can spend quite literally hundreds of hours without touching the mail quest line and some very imaginative and often amusing side quests plus a streamlined interface that makes the game more accessible to novice RPG players than anything approaching it's scale has previously been, best of all there is the total freedom to never touch a quest if you don't want to, you can make a living any number of ways from simple cave exploration to cleaver trade and alchemy (buy ingredients to make potion then sell potion). It's no surprise that it swept through not only the PC but also the Xbox 360 and PS3 charts despite the normal reluctance for console RPGs of this depth. Quite frankly I can't recommend this game enough to anyone who has the time to put into it. Not that I can recommend it to anyone who would like to see the sun ever again. Once you enter Oblivion you may never want to venture from your computer again.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - Shivering Isles (Expansion Pack)
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Now lets be totally hones with the original Oblivion this was an add-on that had a lo t live up to. Being set in the world of madness should add some extra fun but the island lacks the same imagination in plots that you find in Cyrodiil (for example the dark brotherhood's Whodunit? quest and the suicidal troll spring to mind) and occasionally feels a little rail road like. That said it adds a raft of new dungeons if you like to explore, a host of new creatures to kill and plenty of extra ingredients for the alchemic types out there. If it wasn't for the fact it's following on from something as brilliant as Oblivion this would stand out on its own, as a follow up though it feels a little lacking in the inspiration of the original. If you like the original then you should probably get this. (So The Shivering Isles' biggest problem (it's predecessor) is also it's biggest selling point (after all it's an excuse to spend more time in Oblivion).)
Official Xbox 360 Play & Charge Kit - White
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This kit features a rechargeable battery that fit's into the back of your wireless controller where your normal battery pack sits and a USB cable to plug into the 360 or any USB port you have. As a little tip install a powered USB hub under your sofa and plug it in there, that way you can charge the controller when the 360 is off (one minor problem with plugging it into the USB ports on the 360 is that they turn off with the console) and if the battery runs low during an extended gaming session you can plug the controller back into the lead without having wires trailing across the room. Adding wires to a wireless controller may seem a backwards step but in all honesty it's not. The only real question is why this didn't ship with the system in the first place.