/ Technology

Your comments this week – umbrellas, ebooks & price rises

Unhappy woman using an umbrella

It’s that time of the week again – welcome to the comment round-up! This week you’ve been talking about capsule coffee machines, ebook readers vs tablets, and O2 being the latest mobile provider to put its prices up.

I hate umbrellas

With the prospect of an innovative ‘air umbrella’ in sight, we wondered what you thought of traditional umbrellas. Sophie Gilbert said:

‘The umbrellas that really get me are the golf ones. They’re like 4x4s in town, excessive and self-indulgent.’

While Richard also finds them impractical:

‘I never personally use umbrellas – though I have one that I use if escorting a woman. I have always found good waterproof coats and a hat very effective – but I do walk my dogs regularly and often and it is impossible to hold an umbrella and walk three large 50Kg dogs at the same time.’

Do capsule coffee machines grind on you?

We asked how you felt about the recent trend for capsule coffee machines. Jacqueline Pye is very keen on hers:

‘We’ve had a Nespresso machine for some time and vary the flavours, making one cup each (occasionally two) every day mid-morning. Find the coffee really good, and make in small cups with a dash of warmed milk. Lovely. And much cheaper than coffee in town.’

But Dave in Newcastle isn’t convinced:

‘It just goes to show that one can learn to be addicted to almost anything, not just alcohol, drugs, food and sugary soft drinks – but overpriced coffee too. The best things in life are free – well, almost. I am happy with most varieties of “brown dust” (instant coffee)!’

O2 joins the party with its price hike – are you affected?

This week O2 put its prices up for existing customers. Many Convo commenters, including Lollybeth, are angry about it:

‘Great – another price hike I can’t afford. I haven’t had a pay rise in three years yet every company in this country seems to think I have money lying around to throw at them! And yet again I have no option but to accept it.’

James is disappointed:

‘It’s not the amount, it’s the fact that they’re doing it on a contract they call ‘Fixed.”

E-readers vs tablets – the tale of two technologies

We asked if you were sold on e-book readers and tablets, or preferred to stick to old-fashioned books. William France earned our comment of the week when he told us:

‘I was not interested in e-readers. However, I was given a Kindle for Christmas last year. Since then I have not looked at a paper book.

‘It is small enough to fit in my jacket pocket and I can carry what would be a weighty volume easily. The experience is so like reading a book that for a couple of months after I started using it, I turned the Kindle over to read the next page!

‘Using my wife’s tablet is not the same at all. It is too big for a pocket and heavier. I also find the back-lit screen more tiring. It has many valuable features but e-books are distinctly a compromise.’

Comments have been edited due to length, so make sure to read them in full on their relevant Convos (by clicking on the red title link).


I recently purchased a Morphy Richards Chroma toaster – a ‘best buy’. I found it to be very small with most bread sticking out of the top. OK bread can be cut in half, but I still felt it was on the small side. I also found the lever for operating the toaster to be quite stiff so that if you do not support the opposite end of the toaster it tips up. While I agree it toasts well and evenly , its other drawbacks mean it will be looking for a new home!

Hi Vicki, I’m sorry to hear that the toaster you bought wasn’t what you were expecting. We found the same when testing this model, only when slotting taller or wider slices of bread:


However, it scored extremely high in the other testing areas such as performance and convenience. You can also read all about how we test toasters, including how we score them a Best Buy status here:


I’m sure you’ll find our guide to buying the best toaster to be really useful, too:


I wish you all the best with returning the toaster and buying a new one.