Sunday, 14 July 2013

Reviews: Groupon, Karcher window vac and SnapBox photo canvas

Long, long ago when Jesus was a lad, I was asked to review a couple of items that I'm only just getting around to reviewing.

I know, I'm a bad, bad blogger. I'm slapping the back of my own legs as we speak.  Kind of.

Anyway, here goes.


I was given a coupon to buy a Groupon voucher, if you catch my drift.  The idea of Groupon is that you take a look at the all of the deals on offer and when you see one you like you buy the coupon.

Unfortunately, because I'm a numpty I didn't realise that and thought I'd actually bought the item (a mirror).

But no, you then use the coupon to order the item direct from the seller and I would imagine it's quite straightforward for non-numpties. Anyway, after a bit of faffing on my behalf I order the mirror and despite a bit of a delay when they ran out of stock, the mirror was eventually delivered.

And it was enormous and really heavy! So heavy, in fact, that I didn't trust myself to hang it and had to get my trusty handyman to do it. But it's been on the wall for a while now and looks great.

The Groupon price for the mirror was 50% cheaper than the usual retail price, so it was a very good deal but you do have to be quick because the deals change regularly, sometimes daily, so if you see something you like there isn't much leeway for dithering.

Karcher Window Vac

We have a lot of windows in this house, including the conservatory, and although the window cleaner does the outside of the windows I'm left with the time consuming job of cleaning the insides. The main problem is the puddles of water that form at the bottom of the window when I'm cleaning them, so this Karcher Window Vac seemed like it could provide the solution.

I cleaned the windows in my usual way using a spray with one part white vinegar to four parts water and a lint free cloth. As soon as I'd cleaned the window I used the Vac to clean away the water leaving no puddles!

It's fairly compact and lightweight so quite easy to handle. The Vac works like the squeegee you see window cleaners using to wipe the water away, but instead of just wiping it also sucks (or vacuums to be more precise) the water into its own water tank. It's easy to use and works well, leaving the windows bone dry and streak free. It also works well on shower screens or other flat surfaces.

My only issue is that it seemed to take a bit of time to charge so you'd have to plan when you're going to use it and make sure it's fully charged. It does vacuum up to 45 windows in one charge though, so you might get two uses out of it unless you live in a stately home!

The basic WV90 model retails for £59.99 which seems a lot for what it is, but if you're fussy about streak free windows then this might be for you.

SnapBox photo canvas

To be honest, I've had plenty of offers to review photo canvases over the years but I've always turned them down until this one. The reason was most likely because The Teenager recently went to her school prom - and oh, she looked stunning -  and although I'd actually been proactive (for a change) and ordered a photobook for her too keep, I also wanted one particular photo  (my favourite) enlarged and framed.

So it was good timing when the email from SnapBox arrived.

SnapBox is an interesting digital photography service newly launched in the UK and allows users to upload photos from a variety of places including Facebook and Instagram.

Their research showed that only eight per cent of 18-24 years olds are now displaying their photos in a traditional photo album, compared with 26 per cent of people over the age of 55. This suggests the trend for taking photos on smartphones, rather than cameras and displaying snaps on social media has changed the way people now share and store their memories.

John Doe at SnapBox commented on the research; “There is a whole generation of people who are relying on smartphones to capture and save all of their memories. Photos are all too often gathering virtual dust on phones and social media where no one can enjoy them. We’re hoping this research raises awareness that a smartphone is an unreliable way to store precious photos, especially for those who are particularly accident prone. People need to start making their memories count!

The process of ordering was very easy, the website is very user friendly and I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email two days later to say the canvas was on its way. 

I was even more shocked when it actually arrived two days later, which meant the whole process from ordering to receiving the canvas took 4 days - very impressive!

Not only that, but the quality of the photo and frame was outstanding. The photo canvas was framed by a black 'floater frame' which really makes it stand out from other canvas prints I've seen. It might be an idea for them to introduce some other colours for the frames though, as black might not suit every photo.

All in all, exceptional quality and service from SnapBox. Bravo!

And if that wasn't enough, I only ordered this last Monday so I've done the review within a week of receiving it - BOOM! Well, one out of three is some sort of improvement at least. 

SnapBox prints come in 5 different sizes and prices start at £13.99 inc VAT.

Disclosure: I was offered these items free of charge for review purposes, but word and opinions are my very own.