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Breville Die-Cast Citrus Press 800CPXL Breville Die-Cast Citrus Press 800CPXL Reviews

If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line citrus juicer, reviews point to the Breville Die-Cast Citrus Press 800CPXL (*Est. $200) as the best of its kind. Its electric reamer and press handle are the perfect combination of convenience, ease and efficiency.

The bottom line

The Breville Die-Cast Citrus Press 800CPXL performs very well with all sorts of citrus, but several less-expensive juicers, including the Black & Decker CitrusMate Plus CJ625 (*Est. $20) also work well. That said, while less expensive juicers are reasonable choices for those who use their juicers less often and need to keep an eye on the bottom line, frequent juicers who want an investment that will last for years should consider the Breville Die-Cast Citrus Press.

Note, however, that this juicer only processes citrus fruits. If you want to juice other fruits and vegetables, look for a centrifugal juice extractor like the Breville Ikon Variable-Speed Juice Extractor BJE510XL (*Est. $200) or the less expensive Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Pro 67650 (*Est. $70).

Performance

Fast, efficient and dead quiet to boot. "It was love at first squeeze," say the editors at BonAppetit.com in a 2008 review, praising the 800CPXL’s two different filter baskets, which let you choose between juice with or without pulp. Those results are echoed elsewhere, though we also saw comments from some experts that say some less expensive juicers they evaluated worked almost as well.

Users agree, saying that the Breville 800CPXL is fast and efficient and that it works well with all sizes of citrus fruits, from lemons and limes to large grapefruit (although a few say it performs the absolute best with medium-sized fruit). They particularly appreciate that peeling citrus before juicing isn’t necessary; just slice it in half, put it on the reamer (the cone the citrus fruit sits on) and press down on the handle. Although the reamer is electric, the 800CPXL draws lots of praise for being silent while operating.

Ease of use

As close to hands-free juicing as you’ll ever get. Reviewers love the Breville 800CPXL’s combination of an electric reamer with a manual squeezer; they say it takes almost no effort to get every drop of juice from citrus fruits. “This product is the best ever for juicing citrus,” says one Cooking.com reviewer who has hand, arm and shoulder weakness. Another says this juicer is simple enough for her kids to use and appreciates that you can clean it by simply rinsing it out, or you can put the removable parts in the dishwasher.

However, in a review for The Wall Street Journal, Joseph De Avila notes a potential problem: The Breville Die-Cast Citrus Press is larger and heavier than many comparable models. This is the only consistent complaint we found echoed here and there, although frequent juicers solve the issue by leaving the 800CPXL on the counter — they say it looks great. The other complaints are all minor, isolated and non-deal-breakers for most, like a single stray mention that it’d be nice if the cord were a little longer.

Durability

Near universal reviewer consensus that this model is a solid investment. While there are a few scattered reports of durability problems, we found many accounts from users who have used their 800CPXL for years. When problems do arise — such as when one Amazon.com user replaced a four-year old 800CPXL with a new one, and that one began to fail after seven months — reports say that Breville customer service is responsive and friendly.

A smattering of such comments aside, almost everybody agrees that the Breville 800CPXL is an excellent investment that’s built to last. “Solid as a rock,” declares one ABT.com reviewer, who says most manual juicers only last a year or so with her (she juices grapefruit daily). “Sturdy and well built,” agrees a user on Cooking.com.

Galaxy S4: AirGesture, AirView and SmartPause Reviews

To stop you covering that glorious display in oily cake crumbs, Samsung has loaded up some gesture-based navigation. AirGesture lets you wave in front of the phone to control it — left and right to switch between items, or up and down to scroll through Web pages. It only works in certain apps though. Only in gallery was I was able to swipe left and right, and swipe to scroll works in the Samsung Web browser, but not Chrome.

It’s not a critical feature by any means, but waving to move down the Web page will certainly come in handy if you’re following a recipe and don’t want to smear syrup on the screen.

The screen is super-sensitive which allows it to track your finger, even when it’s hovering above, but not touching it. It’s a feature also seen on the Galaxy Note 2, but in this instance you don’t need to a dorky stylus to use it.

It worked well on the Note, where AirView brought up previews of events in the calendar and emails in Samsung’s email app, without needing to actually open the items. The only thing AirView seemed compatible with on the S4 was the video player — hovering your finger over the timeline brings up a thumbnail of that part of the video, allowing you to easily skip to the section you want.

The high sensitivity of the screen also means you can swipe around it even while wearing gloves. I tried it with a lightweight pair of wool gloves and it still worked fine. It didn’t register at all with a thicker pair though, so you’ll need to take those chunky working gauntlets off before using it.

The S4 also tracks eye movements to allow you to scroll down a page by tilting the phone and pause a video by looking away — a feature called SmartPause. SmartPause worked well, pausing the video immediately when I looked away and starting again when I looked back. It’s handy if you’re quickly distracted by your cat jumping, claws out, onto your crotch, but it can become annoying if you’re forced to hold your gaze constantly on a 2-hour movie.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 review

What does Amazon’s brand new larger-screened ereader slate bring to the tablet table? Find out in our Kindle Fire HD 8.9 review…

The Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9” is the big brother to the Amazon Kindle Fire HD which eventually hit UK shores in 2012. The 8.9-inch version was released in the US last year, but we’ve had to wait until 2013 for it to make it across the pond to the UK.

While the original model went head to head with 7-inch tablets like the iPad Mini, Google Nexus 7 and the Nook HD, the larger version has more in common with the 9-inch Nook HD+, the 9.7-inch iPad 4 and the Google Nexus 10.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9: Size and build

The new Kindle weighs in at 567g and measures 8.8mm thick, making a very compact package, making it lighter and more svelte than the iPad 4. However, it’s still a fair bit heavier than it the 7-inch version - we found that it wasn’t that comfortable to hold as an ereader for too long.

The back of the tablet sports a relatively grippy brushed rubber finish, but the liklihood is that that you’ll be rocking a case to protect your tablet from the cruel, harsh environment that is the inside of your bag.

On the right-hand edge you’ll find a headphone socket along with the power button and volume rocker - both of which sit entirely flat against the tablet, resulting in a sleek finish but making them quite tricky to find without looking.

The underside of the tablet reveals micro HDMI and micro USB ports for charging and for hooking up to HD  devices, while Bluetooth connectivity means that you can use compatible gadgets including headphones and keyboards.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9: Screen

The device’s 8.9-inch display sports an impressive resolution of 1920x1200 pixels, resulting in a respectable 254ppi - the sharpest screen on a Kindle to date.

As with any backlit tablet, the HD 8.9 can be quite wearing on the eyes after a relatively short space of time, and certainly not as comfortable for lengthy bouts of reading as the Kindle 4 or the Kindle Paperwhite.

Amazon has kept the screen-surrounding bezel nice and thick - the theory being that there’s plenty of room to hold. However, when we were reading an ebook on the tube we found ourselves accidentally flicked through forward several pages when we shifted our grip on the tablet.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9: UI

The 8.9 sports the same carousel-style interface that the Fire HD has, but it’s faster and smoother and generally very impressive indeed. However, despite the sharpness of the screen (and also, because of it) some app icons still look pixellated when blown up to fit the carousel, but you can always remove them from the home page view if it bothers you too much.

You’ll find major links along the top of the homescreen, including Shop, Games, Books, Apps, Video and Photos, while the Search option at the very top of the screen enables you to search through your library, the store or on the web.

Tapping the top of the screen at any point will bring up the basic Home, Back and Search controls, while swiping down from the top of the screen fires up the settings menu.

While the UI is clear and easy to use, it’s starting to look a little dated compared to the likes of iOS 6 and Android. For example, once you’re searching in the Video stream, you can’t simply switch to Apps - you’ll need to go back to the Homescreen and start again.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9: Content

Amazon’s real strength lies with it’s Kindle store, which gives you access to 22 million movies, TV shows, songs, apps, games, books, audiobooks and magazines with over 1.5 million Kindle books and over 800,000 books priced at £3.99 or less.

The Kindle Owners’s Lending Library offers free acess to books for Amazon Prime members - a great idea in theory, but the selection doesn’t look amazing. According to Amazon, you can borrow all seven Harry Potter books, plus the top 100 bestsellers from the previous month.

We spotted Harry Potter but apart from that, the best book we found was an upcoming biography from country crooner Billy Ray Cyrus - that should give you an idea as to the quality of the rest of the titles, which appear to consist largely of unintentionally hilarious Mills and Boone-style bodice rippers as well as some slightly stronger stuff with some very dodgy titles.

Customers who are new to Prime get one free month of Amazon Prime when they purchase the Kindle Fire HD 8.9.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9: Video

If you’re got a Lovefilm Instant subscription then you can watch content through the Video channel on the homescreen - all you need to do is sign in once. You can add videos to your watch list to look at later and browse or search for titles to watch.

Unlike Netflix, where mobile versions tend to have very similar UIs, the Kindle version of Lovefilm shows little remeblance to the desktop version, so you won’t get a list of previously watch titles, unless you’ve watched them on your Kindle. Other than that, the picture-based menus of titles are pretty slick. If you’re not already a Lovefilm subsriber, you’ll be able to get a free 30-day trial.

Amazon’s X-Ray for Movies features uses IMDb to instantly tell you which actors are in the particular scene you’re watching - all you need to do is tap the screen. You can then tap on the links to go through to their IMDb profile.

Video looks pretty good on the screen, although it does struggle a little on darker scenes, and there’s some visible light leak at the edge of the screen on the murkiest segments.

Stereo speakers located on the back of the device supporting Dolby Digital Plus audio. The sonics aren’t Earth- shattering, but they’re pretty good for a tablet.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9: Camera

You’ll find a 1.3MP front-facing camera at the centre of the bezel on the top edge (if you’re holding the tablet landscape, rather than portrait). The quality is fairly standard but it’s fine for Skype calls.

The Photos tab on the homescreen enables you import your Facebook pictures, although you can’t specify which ones - it’s all or nothing. You can choose to sort them either alpabetically or by date.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9: Performance

The new Kindle runs on the latest generation Texas Instruments OMAP 4470 processor and Imagination SGX544 graphics engine, meaning that operation is a fair bit zippier than on its 7-inch sibling.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9: Battery

Amazon quotes battery life at 10 hours, which seemed to be about right during our tests. We managed a few days of reading and watching several films, plus lots of general exlporation of apps and settings, before we needed to recharge.

A USB charging cable is supplied, although there doesn’t appear to be a charger plug in the box. That means you’ll have to either charge from your computer or use another USB-enabled charger plug.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9: Verdict

This is the best Kindle Fire yet so if you’re already sold on the idea of an Amazon-tethered tablet and reading on a backlit screen doesn’t bother you, then this is a great gadget.

In comparison, the Nook HD+ may beat the new Kindle on some specs, such as the screen, but Barnes & Noble bookstore is nowhere near as mature and comprehensive as Amazon’s.

As well as the huge selection of content on offer from the Kindle store, we were impressed by the video playback (although it’s not perfect) as well as the audio quality. The user interface is also nice and easy to use, although the appearance of the odd pixellated app log does spoil things a bit.

This probably isn’t the best tablet in the world, but it’s certainly the best Kindle yet. The 7-inch version may have its compact form factor on its side but the new model is far zippier. And the 16Gb version is only 30 quid more than the smaller Kindle Fire HD…

Amazon Kindle Fire HD Fire HD Kindle Fire HD 8.9 The HD 8.9