Tuesday, March 29, 2016

CRLight 6W Non Dimmable LED Filament Candle Light Bulb





WHY I BOUGHT THESE:
I have been using halogen candelabra lights for years in my outdoor fixtures. I used them, because the steep costs associated with LED lights and I was worried I would never find a match in color temperature to my other outdoor lights that aren't LED (2,700K for the halogen lights I use). However, I grew tired of replacing light bulbs every 6 months, approximately. I keep the lights on 4 hours each night on a timer and the label for those lights claim the halogen bulbs should last about 2 or more years based on that amount of usage. Well, I've never gotten anywhere near that life span. I got frustrated and found went searching for LED bulbs to replace them.

Reach Cables Charging Cord 10 Feet (Apple Products)

This charger comes in a resealable bag with no instructions. I wouldn't think you would need them, but it's worth noting.

Momoday High-speed Aluminum Multifunctional 3 Port USB 3.0 HUB


ABOUT THIS PRODUCT:
This comes with the USB hub and a USB adapter (see attached picture #1). Just to be clear, it does not include your inputs, such as SD cards, a USB cord to connect your device, etc.

ABOUT ME:
I was looking for a device that I could use to transfer files from an SD card to my computer. I also wanted to connect various USB 3.0 connection ports to my computer that this hub provides.

SD CARDS:
First, I'll talk about the SD card function. I have used the SD card reader on my computer as well as this hub. This hub transfers files much, much quicker than using the slot on my computer. I run game or trail cameras that store pictures to a card. There are times where I will have thousands of pictures to view on one card. There are often delays when scrolling through pictures using my SD card slot on my computer. However, this hub allows me to scroll through pictures very quickly.

USB 3.0 PORTS:
First, if you want to use these ports to their maximum potential, I would suggest obtaining some USB 3.0 cords if you don't already have them. You will know if they are USB 3.0 cords if the inside of the slot is blue. If it's not blue, you likely have version 2.0. For reference, USB 2.0 can transfer at speeds of 480 MB/second and charge devices at a rate of 100 milliamps. Comparatively, USB 3.0 can reach transfer speeds of 4.8 GB/second and charge at a rate of 900 milliamps. That's quite a difference, particularly if you use a USB outlet extensively.

I don't use the MS, Micro SD, TF, XXD slots on this hub much, but they are available should you ever need to.

REVIEW:
I have used this hub quite often. I really like having multiple USB 3.0 outlets where I can connect all of my devices. I also like the SD card slot. Both operate very fast. There isn't any unintended disruptions while using it. It works as intended. I'm very pleased with this hub. Sometimes these electronics can seem daunting to understand. If you have a question or comment, please leave it below and I'll try to answer it for you.

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION (FTC) DISCLAIMER:
I received this product for free. However, the opinions expressed herein were formulated based on my personal use of the product. I welcome all suggestions, feedback and/or product questions!





Monday, March 28, 2016

Degree Men Dry Spray


I've been trying all sorts of deodorants recently. I was very upset when I bought some new deodorant (because the old was staining) and the new deodorant stained my favorite, new t-shirts. I decided to switch to this spray after receiving a sample for free. I was hopeful that it wouldn't stain, but I was pleasantly surprised that it keeps me dry even longer than my former deodorant. My previous stick deodorants only lasted about 18 hours or less. My wife gave birth last weekend. I wasn't able to shower for 2 days due to all the craziness. I ended up staying 5 of 6 nights in the hospital with my wife. At any rate, this deodorant was still working well up until that shower on day 2. After this weekend, I came home and ordered 3 cans from Amazon. I can't wait to see what they smell like!

UPDATE: 4/11/16
I like the deodorant so much that I went and bought several different scents. It really does a good job of keeping me dry and my shirts stain-free!




Brooklyn Basix Freedom Wind Chime


WHY I CHOSE THIS WIND CHIME:
I was gifted a wind chime when my grandpa passed 2 years ago. I hung it just off my deck and was able to listen to the soothing sounds for about a year. I made some repairs to the cord holding the wind catcher a couple times and it kept coming off. Then one of the chimes fell off. I couldn't throw it away, so maybe one day I'll try to figure out if I can somehow put it back together. In the meantime, I decided to order this Freedom Chime from Brooklyn Basix!

ABOUT THIS WIND CHIME:
This chime utilizes recyclable, renewable & sustainable materials: the chimes are made of recycled and sand blasted aluminum, the wood is made from renewable laminated bamboo.

CARE:
All components of the Freedom Chime are designed for the outdoor environment. However, it is recommended that the chime be hung in an area offering some protection from direct sunlight if possible and periodically be cleaned with a damp cloth and mild detergent.

Bamboo - can be maintained by applying a thin layer of tung oil with a clean cloth as needed. Regular oiling will help protect the natural bamboo finish and inhibit the natural aging process.

Aluminum - does not rust and the sandblasted finish is an added protection from pitting (although pitting may occur due to long term exposure to the elements).  The tubes with mild non-abrasive soap and water periodically.

OPTION TO PERSONALIZE:
The windcatcher can be removed and put back on the chime in short order. In doing so, you can personalize it any way you like.

REVIEW:
The components of this wind chime are very simple but work well. It would be easy to repair...much easier than the other wind chime I have. The sound from the chimes is sharp, crisp and doesn't linger. The wind paddle is a bit small. On a windy day, this chime won't be too annoying like many chimes. However, it's a bit on the light sounding side in calm conditions. I can't tell if the cordage holding the chime together is different from my previous chime. I hope so though. I would hope to get more than a year and a half out of this chime. I will update my review if it does break in that time frame. Speaking of which....

WARRANTY:
This wind chime comes with a 1-year warranty should anything happen to it during that time.

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION (FTC) DISCLAIMER:
I received this product at a reduced price. However, the opinions expressed herein were formulated based on my personal use of the product. I welcome any and all suggestions, feedback and/or product questions!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Ohuhu 100' Expandable Hose



UPDATE: Do NOT buy this hose. The latex connections don't hold up well causing the hose to leak.

WHAT WAS INCLUDED IN MY PURCHASE OF 100' HOSE?
A 100' expandable hose with a brass on/off valve (you can also choose the 150' hose)

MY REVIEW:
I really like this hose for the convenience factor. This expandable hose is a quick way to water the plants. It doesn't take up much room and it hides away in a container with a lid very easy.  I would not leave this hose out in the winter or even exposed to the sun on a daily basis. It may be able to handle it, but it's not something I would recommend. The following is a list of pros and cons I've noted during my use with this hose.

PROS:
+ Shut-off valve
+ Lightweight
+ Space Saving/Easily Hides
+ Doesn't Kink
+ Brass Fittings (as opposed to plastic which was common in the past)
+ Convenient

CONS:
- A flow rate of approximately 3.15 gallons/minute which is less than a traditional hose
- 100' hose is actually 70-75' for all practical purposes*
- The hose has a latex collar to attach the inner tube to the brass fittings (time will tell how it holds up)

*This listing (and all expandable hoses like this) states it's expandable to 100' long which is true but a bit misleading. While it does expand that long if you turn the water on and shut the hose valve off so no water comes out. However, when you open up the valve, the hose shrinks back to approximately 70-75' long. If you turn the water off completely, it shrinks down to the 33'. So, while it says it expands up to 100', it's actually a 70-75' hose for all practical purposes.

UNKNOWNS:
- As durable as a traditional hose?

CONCLUSION: This hose is a great addition to my collection. Whether you buy this expandable hose or another, do yourself a favor and get one with the shutoff valve. It's a great feature! This hose is great for the convenience factor. It's lightweight and easy to transport. There are many positives. However, if you are watering your lawn, connecting a pressure washer, or something that necessitates a high flow rate, use a traditional hose. For most other uses, however, this will meet your needs. Just keep it out of the daily sun and winter freezes to prolong the life.  This hose definitely has a place in my yard. I hope my review was helpful in your decision!

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION (FTC) DISCLAIMER:
I received this product for free. However, the opinions expressed herein were formulated based on my personal use of the product. I welcome all suggestions, feedback and/or product questions!





Kazoo Microfiber Steam Pocket Mop


WHAT COMES WITH THIS STEAM MOP?
Steam mop, 2 microfiber pads, a cup for filling the reservoir, and a piece/glider for use on carpets

ABOUT ME:
I've used a Eureka Enviro Hard-Surface Floor Steamer, 313A for several years. It's done a decent or better job at cleaning floors. However, I had some things that I wasn't particularly happy about when using it. First, the pads it comes with are very nice quality. However, they are so thick that the steam doesn't get hot enough, I presume, to kill bacteria on the floor. That's very important with a steam mop. Second, it takes a couple minutes to warm up enough to steam. It's not something you necessarily want to leave and go do something else, but you don't want to wait that long to start either. Finally, it doesn't enter corners very well. As you can understand, I was looking for a different steam mop that was capable of doing those things.

MY REVIEW:
The Kazoo steam mop does a much better job at getting into corners. It also heats up much quicker, and it gets much hotter. I can put my hand underneath the Eureka steam mop for a short time. I can't do that with this steam mop. This is going to sound minor, but it's something I really like...the top knob where you wrap the cord around before storing slides out and rotates in any direction. This is nice, because you don't have to unwind every strand or pass you made with the cord when wrapping it up. You just turn the knob down and pull the entire length of the stored electrical cord off and you're done. I love that feature even if it's minor.

I like that I can check the water line at any time to see if I will need to refill it soon. I didn't measure the cord, but I'd say it's either 20-25 feet long. If you need an exact measurement, leave a comment below and I'll do so. Finally, I like the shape of the head. It does a much better job at getting into corners than the Eureka steam mop. I haven't used the carpet cleaning attachment yet. I just haven't had any potential stains where I would need to use it, so I can't comment on how well that works unfortunately.

THINGS TO KNOW IF YOU HAVEN'T OWNED A STEAM MOP:
-You can wash the pads in the washer
-You will need to sweep before steam mopping if your floors have dirt
-Steam mops are not recommended for use on wood floors (it could result in damage if left on wood floors too long)

CONCLUSION:
Overall, I'm very pleased with this steam mop. I have contacted the manufacturer to ensure that the water reservoir capacity is listed properly. I think it's closer to 300 mL than 450 mL. In terms of operating, it doesn't really matter much since it heats up so quickly. You can more than likely expect to get approximately 3-4 rooms mopped with 300 mL. Other than that, I have no complaints.

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION (FTC) DISCLAIMER:
I received this product for free. However, the opinions expressed herein were formulated based on my personal use of the product. I welcome all suggestions, feedback and/or product questions!





Chef Remi Grill Mats


WHY I CHOSE THESE GRILL MATS:
I was looking for an alternative to Aluminum Foil that I've used on my grill for years. Even the Heavy Duty aluminum foil gets holes in them and food falls through. I saw grill mats, and I got really excited about the possiblities. I chose these grill mats, because they are PFOA Free and made with materials from the U.S.A.. I remember reading up on PFOA warnings when I was researching non-stick cookware. There have been numerous tests that have shown that when used at high heat, they put off fumes that have undoubtedly killed birds. However, the researchers weren't sure if it was bad for humans. I don't see a need to take the risk when there are options out there that don't contain the ingredient.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS:
When I first received these, I figured they would be somewhat slick like a silicone baking mat. However, these are more like a nylon-like material. With that said, I am confident you could grill an egg with a touch of oil. Nothing I have cooked on this has stuck. They aren't thick, but they aren't thin either (real descriptive, I know). These are thin enough to be pliable, but thick enough that I think you could use metal grill equipment and not be too concerned about poking a hole through them.

MY REVIEW:
I have washed these grill mats with warm, soapy water and I've tossed it in the dishwasher. Both are fine to do with these grill mats. I've used these on a variety of food and they do a great job. They keep the grill grates much cleaner. It's easier to clean these than food that has been baked onto a grill grate. They also prevent food from sticking, so if you are cooking chicken for instance you won't have the skin stuck to the grill grate when you remove it from the grill. As I said earlier, you can probably use metal utensils. However, if you have silicone, it might be the way to go. I These mats are very basic to understand and use. I think you'll be happy with them. Should they ever break, they are covered under warranty.

CONCLUSION:
As you can likely tell, I am very pleased with these grill mats. I use them on my grill exclusively since I've received them!

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION (FTC) DISCLAIMER:
I received this product for free. However, the opinions expressed herein were formulated based on my personal use of the product. I welcome all suggestions, feedback and/or product questions!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Basstyle Bluetooth 4.0 Outdoor/Shower Speaker


WHAT'S INCLUDED:
Speaker, Micro USB cable (for charging), 2-sided 3.5mm audio cable (AUX-in cable), and a user manual

VIDEO:
I briefly give a glance of the speaker and accessories. I also give a short test/demonstration.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER:
Size, charge time, run time, Bluetooth pairing:
The speaker itself is the width of a soda can, but slightly longer. Battery life depends on how you use the speaker (high volume or low volume, Bluetooth vs auxiliary cable, etc.). However, it should last between 8-10 hours. Charging time is between 5-6 hours to fully charge. The 2 speakers are 6-watt speakers a piece with Bluetooth transmission of up to approximately 30 ft. Speaking of Bluetooth, pairing the device is very easy. Turn the power on the speaker, enable the Bluetooth function on your phone, iPod, etc. and wait for your device to pick up the signal from this speaker. When your picks up this speaker, click on it to enable it and that's it!

There are rubber bumpers on the top, bottom, and sides. The cover for the power port and 3.5mm audio cable seals to make the speaker water resistant or water proof (I haven't tested this claim to see if it's water proof but the owner's manual states both which is a bit confusing). I haven't had an issue with it, but other reviewers have had small problems. At any rate it's worth noting.

Using the speakers:
You can use the volume rocker when using the Bluetooth function. When using the cord, you must adjust volume from your device. The speakers themselves are very nice for this class of product. The speakers get very loud without any discernible distortion. The bass isn't top end like you'd get out of a stereo system, but there is certainly noticeable bass with these speakers. These speakers are certainly nice in comparison to similar products.

REVIEW:
I'm very impressed with this small but capable set of speakers. The sound is great. The bass is sufficient. The battery lasts for a while. Charging might be a bit longer than others, but I like the tradeoff of longer operating times. Overall, this is a solid product and a good value.

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION (FTC) DISCLAIMER:
I received this product for free. However, the opinions expressed herein were formulated based on my personal use of the product. I welcome all suggestions, feedback and/or product questions!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

1byone 2.8L Ultrasonic Humidifier/Aroma Diffuser (7 LED Colors)



VIDEO COMPONENTS:
1. Overview of the Humidifer/Diffuser
2. Demonstration
3. How to Clean
4. LED Colors Demo
5. Conclusion
6. Bonus: Essential Oil Blends (for different moods)

I ordered this humidifier and diffuser, because it has a large capacity (500ml) and long run time (10-20 hours based on setting). I'm not big on using LED's myself, but I can see how they would be useful for a child's room. Alternatively, if you are having company over, the LED's may provide some interest or be a conversation starter. However, most of the time, I just run the diffuser with the lights off.

MY REVIEW:
First Impressions - My first impressions of this product were very good. I could tell the company took great care in packaging. There were covers for the plug, the packaging was shape molded for protection, the instruction manual is well written, etc. The reason I mention this is because there are so many companies selling these units that make them cheaply and sell them quickly.

Positives
+ The mist begins within 1-2 seconds of turning the knob.
+ There is quite a bit of difference between low and high, which pleasantly surprised me.
+ Quiet - It's extremely quiet to operate.
+ Automatic turn-off - the diffuser will turn off the motor (though it's so quiet it's hard to tell), stop the mist and the LED will turn red when the water gets low. This prevents the diffuser from burning up the motor.
+ If you lift the tank off the diffuser when it's full, you might get a touch of water that comes out, but it doesn't spill all of it's contents.

Improvements
- I would like to see the cone on top that directs the flow of the mist lock or slide into place. As it is, the cone just sits on top. If you bump it, there's a chance it could fall off. It's not the end of the world if it does, but it's worth noting.
-Tray for essential oils - the tray to place your essential oils in could use some deeper finger grooves. It's not terribly difficult to take out, but in a perfect world that could be slightly easier.
- Faint smell using essential oil tray (I put 7 drops of essential oils in the tray on a few occasions. I can tell that there's scent coming out, but it's a bit on the faint side. Using 7 drops into the tank (which the instructions advise against), it smells much stronger and better. I didn't have any issues with the unit not working properly when doing so, but I suppose there is a possibility of that occurring at a later time.

Other Notes
This unit comes with a filter, which is nice for filtering the water you use. On the flip side, it must be replaced after approximately 500 uses.

CONCLUSION:
Overall, I really like this diffuser. It's really well made. Most of the "improvements" I've listed are very minor. However, I do wish I could just add drops of essential oil into the tank rather than the tray. I may contact the manufacturer to see if that might cause problems in the long run.

Available for Sale on Amazon by clicking HERE





Lumsing Ultrathin Power Bank 15000mAh



This power bank is simple to understand and use, and comes with a clear instruction manual. It has 4 blue LED lights that indicate about a 25% charge (see picture). It comes with a USB cord to charge the power bank. It takes about 9 hours to charge completely. When it's charged, the blue LEDs will turn off and the power supply is shut off to prevent overcharging. Likewise, when you use this power bank to charge your device(s), the LEDs will turn off when it/they are completely charged.

A nice feature about this power bank is that it is capable of charging up to 3.2A. This is more than sufficient for fast chraging all phones on the market (if your phone allows for that capability) and all iPads/tablets. iPads generally charge between 2.1 and 2.4A for reference. Each phone on the market charges at a different rate. Generally, this is 1.0A, but many newer ones can charge faster. This charger recognizes that and can supply the maximum power your device allows. Without getting too complicated, this is sufficient for most anything you'll charge.

Overall, I'm very pleased with this power bank. It has sufficient capacity. It can charge your device as fast as it's capable of charging. I see no downsides. I have no problem recommending it!

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION (FTC) DISCLAIMER:
I received this product for free. However, the opinions expressed herein were formulated based on my personal use of the product. I welcome all suggestions, feedback and/or product questions!

Available HERE on Amazon


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Lifeboost Organic Nicaragua Gourmet Ground Coffee

PACKAGING: This coffee comes in a burlap sack tied with twine. The coffee is contained a vacuumed sealed bag. The burlap sack can be reused should you choose to. The bag inside was a little tough to open. I just cut the bag and put it in a container that I vacuum the air out of.

MY TASTE PREFERENCES: I tend to gravitate towards the medium to medium-dark roasts. I do not like the west coast coffee roasts (like Starbucks) that are mild and/or acidic. I have tried in the neighborhood of 50 different brands and blends. I love trying new and different coffee.

MY SETUP: I use the Cuisinart DCC-3000 Coffee-on-Demand 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker. I typically use a scoop of coffee grinds per cup of coffee (each scoop is about a half tablespoon).

MY DESCRIPTION OF THE TASTE: This coffee is listed as a medium roast, "strong but the smoothest, cleanest tasting coffee ever. Bold flavor but smooth. Low acid and not bitter. Best choice of gourmet coffees." I hope to expand on this definition. I would classify this as a borderline medium/dark roast coffee. It is certainly bolder than most medium blends that I've tried. My interpretation of the "cleanest coffee ever" when I taste this coffee is that there are no secondary tastes. It is not a complex blend, just a straight bold coffee. It is not acidic or bitter. It also doesn't leave an aftertaste. There is a slight hint of burnt bean taste but nothing overwhelming.

All-in-all, I enjoyed this coffee, but I'm not sure I would reorder it either. There wasn't anything that really stood out to my taste buds. Again, it's not bad. It's just not extraordinary. I don't think I want to settle on any one brand or blend...at this point anyways.

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION (FTC) DISCLAIMER: I received this product at a reduce price. However, the opinions expressed herein were formulated based on my personal use of the product. Please feel free to comment with any feedback and/or product questions below.





Mellanni Bed Sheet Set

WHY I PURCHASED THESE SHEETS:
I bought a set of sheets made from brushed microfiber (Cosy House Sheets), and my wife and I absolutely loved them. I wanted to get a second set of brushed microfiber sheets to have a spare when one was being washed and dried. In short, these sheets are exactly identical to the Cosy House Sheets (which I was happy about).

MY REVIEW OF THE MELLANI BED SHEET SET
SOFT - I really like the feel of these sheets. They are very soft and make no noise if you roll over in bed. To give you a better idea of their "softness", I have some crib sheets that a different type of soft. Those crib sheets (Ziggy Baby Crib Sheet Set) are similar in feel to a thin version of a microfiber blanket. These sheets from Mellanni are soft as well, but in a different way. To me, they feel like a cross between cotton and silk sheets. These sheets remind me of sheets at a high-end hotel.

THIN SHEETS - These sheets are on the thin side, so I think these are better suited for warm-weather sheets.

DEEP POCKETS - As you can see from my pictures, these sheets have deep pockets. My 100% cotton sheets would ride up the mattress every night. I have an approximately 14.5" mattress. These sheets fit the mattress comfortably and stay in place.

PILLOWS - The pillows are very large. If you have small or medium-sized pillows, you might have some excess pillow cover. I wouldn't think having extra would be a problem but it' worth noting. The pillows have a 3 lines embroidered into them. It's a nice touch to the pillow (the sheets do not have this embroidery).

WASHING/STAINS - These sheets don't shrink in the wash. I haven't tested the product claim that these sheets are stain resistant at this point.

LIFETIME WARRANTY - The nice part about these sheets are they come with a lifetime warranty.




























FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION (FTC) DISCLAIMER:
I received this product for free. However, the opinions expressed herein were formulated based on my personal use of the product. Please comment with any feedback and/or product questions below.

TriNova Plastic & Trim Restorer

ABOUT THIS PRODUCT:
This restorer is an 8 oz bottle with a pop top, and it comes with a circular sponge. It is intended for use on plastic, vinyl and rubber. It is intended to repel rain, dirt, and salt. The label on the bottle warns against contact with eyes and skin. This is a "gel". I use the term loosely, because it's consistency is somewhere in between a gel and liquid. It is clear like water.

MY USES:
I applied this product to a mailbox first. I then used it on various locations in my 2004 Toyota Camry: the plastic buttons/knobs on the door and ceiling, cupholders, console, dashboard, radio, kickplates on the door, the odometer cover, etc. This product seems very simliar in principle and application to a product like Armor All that I've used before. You can take a look at some of my before and after pictures to get an idea of how it restores plastics. My mailbox really pops and shines in the sun now. That was really easy to do.

Applying it to the car was easy as well. However, you really have to use some elbow grease on spots with caked on dirt or grime. I wouldn't say this product is excellent at removing dirt. Take for instance the picture of my sunroof knob. I kind of forgot about cleaning that over the years. It's just somewhat out of sight. I tried cleaning that knob and it came off, but it took some a good deal of effort. I imagine vinyl with the different textures would be even a touch more difficult. Having said that, this product does an excellent job at restoring the luster, or shine. I am very satisfied in that regard.

CONCLUSION:
This product isn't perfect, because it takes a bit of work to remove grime. However, I am very pleased with it's ability to restore the shine to rubber, plastics and vinyl.

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION (FTC) DISCLAIMER:
I received this product for free. However, the opinions expressed herein were formulated based on my personal use of the product. I welcome all suggestions, feedback and/or product questions!









Monday, March 7, 2016

ACE DEAL MINI 8G Memory LCD MP3 Player


ABOUT THIS PRODUCT:
This MP3 player comes with the MP3 player itself, a USB charger (which doubles as a data transfer cord) and a set of headphones.

BACKGROUND & SETUP PROCESS:
I have 622 songs that I transferred over to the MP3 player. The total storage of that is 2.32 GB. My average file size per song might be a little less than the average size per song, because I delete all the album art for my songs. It's not really something I care about seeing and it saves space. Having said that, this is 8GB, so I am well below that (i.e. it's not necessary). At any rate, that might give you an idea of how many songs this player holds.

This MP3 player does not use iTunes to transfer files like an iPod does. All you do is open the folder where you save your music on your computer and open the folder of this MP3 drive - on my computer the MP3 folder is called E:/. You highlight and drag the music from one folder to the other. Once the transfer is completed, you are done. The player transfers over whatever you have named the file.

MY REVIEW (PROS & CONS):
Pros:
+ This MP3 is extremely affordable compared to other brands
+ Has a screen for viewing
+ Can record, play movies, play the radio, watch images, etc.
+ Easy to copy music from your computer to the MP3 player
+ 8 GB of storage

Cons:
- No toggling/scrolling
- No sorting by artist, song, album, genre, etc. (unless you save to folders individually)
- The buttons aren't as intuitive at first as an Apple iPod. It takes some practice, but you'll pick it up shortly
- Headphones are not great
- Radio may not pick up some of those "iffy" stations, only strong signals
- Ideally, it would include a micro SD hookup, because not many electronics use those micro USB ports nowadays

VIDEO:
I did a brief video to show you how this MP3 player functions. It's not meant to be exhaustive, but it's a good introduction (I think) into how this player operates...particularly with regards to music. I hope it helps!

CONCLUSION:
Overall, this MP3 player is a great budget option to an iPod. It may not be quite as smooth in operating, but it's also a fraction of the cost. If you run your player on random/shuffle like I do, you will likely not miss an iPod. Otherwise, I think a toggle button would really add some functionality to the player. Other than that, I am very pleased.

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION (FTC) DISCLAIMER:
I received this product for free. However, the opinions expressed herein were formulated based on my personal use of the product. I welcome all suggestions, feedback and/or product questions!


Saturday, March 5, 2016

Ares Height Adjustable Folding Personal Table


ABOUT THIS PRODUCT:
This table telescopes from 24" to 28" in height. I measured a storage height of 37.5" and a maximum width of 19". The table top itself is 26" x 18". 

MY REVIEW:
This table is very sturdy. You can place items on the ends/corners of the table and the table won't flip. I'm not sure what the weight capacity on this table is, but I would guess 40-45 lbs is the max recommended weight. I would think that would be suitable for most practical purposes. I really like using this table when I am using my smoker or grill to prepare food. I can set food and prep tools on the table. I can also fold it up and store it away if I need the room on the deck.

To change the size of the table, there is a tab underneath. If you push the tab in, the size of the brace decreases allowing you to move it up or down. To lock it in, you release the tab and the brace extends out and locks in. You'll know it's locked in when you hear the "click" sound. This would also be good to use as a laptop table on the couch, a folding dinner tray, use during parties, a small kid's table, or a small desk for drawing or doing homework. It might even store away under your coach depending on how much room you have under there.

CONCLUSION:
I really like this table. It fits my needs perfectly. I hope I was able to describe the table well enough to determine if it's something that might meet your needs.

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION (FTC) DISCLAIMER:
I received this product for free. However, the opinions expressed herein were formulated based on my personal use of the product. I welcome all suggestions, feedback and/or product questions!

QICENT 6 Outlet Power Strip & Surge Protector With 5 Smart USB Ports

It seems I'm always in need of these surge protectors. I travel with my job and need to keep a surge protector handy for setting up my mobile office. I also use them around the house for televisions, audio equipment, etc. I picked this up, because I was looking to replace my office surge protector.

ABOUT THIS SURGE PROTECTOR:
This surge protector comes with 6 outlets and 5 USB ports. The USB ports are 5V/2.4A. Many phones cut off the charge rate at 1.0A. No matter how large your charge capability, the phone will only charge at 1.0A for safety reasons. However, this charger is able to charge at 2.4A. Basically this means it can charge electronics with that capability, like iPads, at a faster rate (some newer, larger phones can charge faster too).

You can see the pictures attached for some of the other specifications. In short, this charger is capable of a very high output. I have many electronics hooked up to this at all times (a laptop docking station with a laptop, a second monitor, a multi-function printer, a shredder, a desk light, and a scanner). The surge protector has a small blue light that indicates when the power is on. It also has blue back lit USB ports which can help you find the outlet in the dark. The cord to plug the surge protector into the outlet is approximately 54". I like that it has a Velcro strap to fold the cord for storage or travel.

CONCLUSION:
I don't have any complaints. I like the blue light to indicate that it's powered on and the blue USB lights. I also like the Velcro strip for better organizing/storing the cable. Overall, I'm very happy with this surge protector.

PICTURE 1: The bottom of the surge protector with some technical specifications
PICTURE 2: The length of the power cord as measured
PICTURE 3: My office hookups (mentioned above) with various electronics being charged (my phone, an iPad, and an mp3 player)

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION (FTC) DISCLAIMER:
I received this product for free. However, the opinions expressed herein were formulated based on my personal use of the product. I welcome all suggestions, feedback and/or product questions!





Thursday, March 3, 2016

Easy@Home Digital Thermometer (Oral, Rectal or Underarm)

ABOUT THE EASY@HOME DIGITAL THERMOMETER:
The thermometer is about 5.25" long. It has a flexible tip. You can use it orally, under the arm, or by rectum. The time it takes to read each varies a bit. It has an LED screen that lights up when the temperature is finished reading. It also has a green, yellow, and red gauge to let the user know if that temperature is normal, slightly high, or very high.

ACCURACY:
I found after 15 tests that my temperature was generally +/- .2 when taken orally. My temperature was generally +/- .3 when done underarm. I did not test it by rectum, and don't plan to anytime soon. I noticed that orally gives you a typically temperature reading. I haven't ever used one underarm before. I was consistently getting temperatures in the mid 96's. According to the instructions, that falls within the normal temperature for underarm. I've heard the general rule that you add 1 degree to any underarm temperature to compare it to a normal body temperature. Given the choice, I recommend one of the other two methods over the underarm method for better accuracy, though both were consistent.

TIME TO LOCK IN TEMPERATURE READINGS:
When I initially reviewed the product listing, it stated that this thermometer worked in "as quick as 10 seconds". I rarely got readings that quick after much trial and error. For testing purposes, I took 15 oral and 15 underarm temperature readings. The oral testing took an average of 17 second (one was as quick as 10 seconds and one or two were as slow as 23 seconds). The underarm testing took an average of 42 seconds. After notifying the manufacture/seller of my results, the product listing was updated to "as quick as 10-20 seconds". They were very easy to work with and promptly updated the product listing, so that it wouldn't be confusing for buyers.

CONCLUSION:
Overall, this product is as good or better in accuracy and timed readings than many comparable oral thermometers. I would like to eventually get a forehead thermometer and see if those are as accurate. However, for now I am happy with this thermometer!

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION (FTC) DISCLAIMER:
I received this product for free. However, the opinions expressed herein were formulated based on my personal use of the product. I welcome all suggestions, feedback and/or product questions!

TEC.BEAN Portable Multimedia Mini LED Projector


Available for sale on Amazon at: http://amzn.to/2fbBxnq

ABOUT THIS PROJECTOR:
This projector is a compact, affordable projector with many useful features and inputs for a projector in this price range. I won't go over the specs, because I will post a picture of those. You can also see the specs in the product listing. Basically, you have all the functionality of more expensive projectors, but without HD video, bluetooth, a WiFi connection and things of that nature.

SETUP:
The setup on this is fairly straight forward. If you want to use this as a video projector, you just hook up the HDMI cable to your computer, laptop or whatever else you'd like to use. If you want to use it for pictures, you can insert a USB flash drive or an SD card with your pictures. The recommended projection size (or screen size if comparing to a television) is 20-80 inches. I used it up to 84" and the picture was still very good. For reference, an 84" picture is roughly 9 ft away from the screen. At 7', the projection is 57". The projector focuses at the different distances by turning the projector lens in front. It telescopes in and out. It's easy and simple to do. You can mount this projector on a ceiling, a wall, the floor, or place it on a table.

FEATURES:
The sound on this projector is adequate to fairly good for something so small. If you want cinema quality sound, you will probably want to hook up some speakers. That's probably true of any projector, however. The SD card is easy to use. You put it in and you can choose that input to play the pictures in a slideshow. You can do the same with the USB outlet. I didn't try the audio/visual outlet. The HDMI outlet is useful for any number of purposes. You can hook up a cable box, computer, laptop, etc. You can play videos, a slideshow, whatever the projector is connected to essentially. The projector has a kick stand. I prefer to legs in the front that telescope but it's an easy fix. If you put the projector on the floor or the ceiling, there is likely going to be some tilt. There is a button so that you can tilt the image so it's "squared-up" or not distorted.

CONCLUSION:
They say a picture is worth a 1,000 words. I put together a video, so maybe that's worth more. At any rate, it should give you an idea of the product you are reading about. I really like this projector. The native resolution is not high definition, but it still has a good picture. You'll have to spend much more for HD capability, unfortunately. It's imperative with these projectors that the room be dark, or you won't get the colors and brightness you want from any projector. Overall, this is a good product without all the frills (wireless, Bluetooth, etc.) at a good price.

Click the link/picture to the right to find the product on Amazon: 

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION (FTC) DISCLAIMER:
I received this product at a discount. However, the opinions expressed herein were formulated based on my personal use of the product. I welcome any and all feedback and/or product questions!