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Customer Reviews: 259
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Steve RSS Feed (Massachusetts, USA)
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   

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T.S. Shure ArchiQuest Wooden Pirate Blocks Play Set & Storybook
T.S. Shure ArchiQuest Wooden Pirate Blocks Play Set & Storybook
Price: $19.54
2 used & new from $19.54

4.0 out of 5 stars and I like the many different sizes and shapes of the blocks, February 25, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This set of blocks caught my eye because it allows for two different type of play. My son will be able to build with the blocks from a young age, and when he gets a little older, he will imagine stories about the different characters and items pictured on the blocks. The art style is cute and colorful, the characters are interesting, and I like the many different sizes and shapes of the blocks. They are made of solid wood, and feel substantial but not too heavy.

However, the art painted on the blocks may not last. When our set arrived, the lacquer was already peeling off of the shark block, and I worry that little teeth may quickly ruin the art on many more of the blocks!

Also, the picture book included with the set is poorly done. The writing is too advanced for the age of the child who will be using the set, and there is way too much text per page. The text is also badly set on some pages -- it overlaps the art. A good editor could have made the story much better.

Despite those two drawbacks, I think this is a delightful gift for a young child, and I can't wait until my son is old enough so we can play with it together!


TP-LINK Archer T8E AC1750 Dual Band Wireless PCI Express Adapter, 2.4Ghz 450Mbps + 5Ghz 1300Mbps, 3T3R MIMO
TP-LINK Archer T8E AC1750 Dual Band Wireless PCI Express Adapter, 2.4Ghz 450Mbps + 5Ghz 1300Mbps, 3T3R MIMO
Price: Click here to see our price
9 used & new from $66.99

4.0 out of 5 stars and it seems like that might be what makes the difference, February 15, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I installed this card into a Windows 8.1 desktop machine with the Windows drivers, and it gets a fairly-solid 3-bar connection. This connection has dropped out on me once or twice, but it is nothing near the chronic signal dropping that many other reviewers have been mentioned. I did not install the included drivers, and it seems like that might be what makes the difference.

The physical install was very straightforward and simple into a PCI slot.


Netgear Nighthawk Wi-Fi Range Extender AC1900 Dual Band Gigabit (EX7000-100NAS)
Netgear Nighthawk Wi-Fi Range Extender AC1900 Dual Band Gigabit (EX7000-100NAS)
Price: $169.99
30 used & new from $169.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The bottom line is that the performance of this extender is excellent. The wifi now covers the entire house (and ..., February 15, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Unfortunately the cable line in my house is at one end, and our master bedroom is all the way on the other end - as a result I would get spotty wifi access when using a laptop or iPad in the bedroom. I've been thinking about getting a range extender for a while to fix this problem, and the Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 has solved my issue admirably. The bottom line is that the performance of this extender is excellent. The wifi now covers the entire house (and more of the yard) and the connection is excellent.

Connecting the Extender to your wifi is very simple if your wifi router supports WPS (which mine did). Basically all you need to do is plug in the Extender close to your router, press the WPS button and the connection should complete. After this, you can unplug the Extender, move it to its permanent location, and plug it back in. You're good to go. I did have one minor problem with the install: I could not get my 5 Ghz wireless network to connect through WPS. The 2.4 Ghz network connected fine, but I had to use the web based setup method. This was straightforward and worked fine, but a bit frustrating because I tried to get it to work through WPS many times before giving up.

I don't think the minor install issue is enough to reduce the rating to 4 stars (I'd go 4.5 if I could). Everything else about this product has been great. Highly recommended if this is what you're looking for.


Lyric 2619066 Supreme Wild Bird Mix, 4.5-Pound Bag
Lyric 2619066 Supreme Wild Bird Mix, 4.5-Pound Bag
Price: $7.99
15 used & new from $7.06

5.0 out of 5 stars especially in the winter because I feel bad for all of the birds around having to brave ..., January 31, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I always have bird feeders up in our yard, especially in the winter because I feel bad for all of the birds around having to brave the cold New England winters. I've had this Lyric feed in one of our feeders for about the past week and the birds love it. There's a constant small crowd of birds (and the occasional squirrel) around the feeder chowing down every time I head outside.

One other thing I noticed that is worth pointing out is that this seed was very clean. Sometimes when buying bird seed it's all dusty when you open the bag, but that wasn't the case here.


Fluxx 5.0 Card Game
Fluxx 5.0 Card Game
Price: $13.07
21 used & new from $12.80

4.0 out of 5 stars On the bright side this keeps things fresh and provides an environment where experienced gamers and casual players can coexist a, January 27, 2015
This review is from: Fluxx 5.0 Card Game (Toy)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've been a fan of Fluxx for years now. I'm a big fan of board/card games, and own a whole closet full. Fluxx fills an important niche as a casual game that requires no real setup or long rules explanation session. Even if you're playing with someone who has never played before, they can be up to speed in ready to go in just a few minutes.

Here's how the basic game works: At the beginning you draw one card per turn and play one card per turn. There are rule cards that affect the rules of the game, actions that are one time effects, goals that give you a path to victory, and keepers that stay in play and help complete goals. Play continues until someone manages to achieve a goal and win the game.

The nature of the gameplay of Fluxx is fast and very dynamic, the rules and game state are constantly changing. One turn you're almost ready to win, the next you're way behind. On the bright side this keeps things fresh and provides an environment where experienced gamers and casual players can coexist and have fun together.

In fact, games of Fluxx are so dynamic that it can be hard for a lot of players to feel that you're really doing anything that would qualify as "strategy". This isn't really true, of course, there are ways to improve your chances at winning but in my experience players interested in playing Fluxx are generally just along for a fun ride and some good times, not min-maxing and optimization of resource allocation. If you're looking for deep strategy then you should probably look elsewhere.

If you're a Fluux fan who keeps up with the changes between versions, then the main thing to know is that 5.0 ditches creepers (introduced in version 4.0), and I think the game is better off for it. With Fluxx, less is more in my opinion.

Closing summary is that while Fluxx is far from my favorite game, it's one that I'm glad I own and is perfect for some situations. It's not a desert island game, it's a party game.


Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance LIT Duck and Potato Jerky Barks, 6-Ounce
Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance LIT Duck and Potato Jerky Barks, 6-Ounce
Offered by JD PowerSellers
Price: $7.39
23 used & new from $7.29

4.0 out of 5 stars The only negative with this product is that these treats are pretty expensive. Even with Amazon's heavy discount (from $25 ..., January 19, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My dog has a somewhat sensitive stomach. She doesn't have severe allergies or anything, but a sensitive enough stomach that we have to be careful when feeding her treats. We always introduce them very carefully and gradually, and make sure that things are going well before giving her more. Not only did she go crazy for these treats (loves them!), but they seem to treat her system well also. No stomach issues at all.

The only negative with this product is that these treats are pretty expensive. Even with Amazon's heavy discount (from $25 list to $8 as I write this), you're still looking at more than $1 per treat.


Adobe Ink and Slide Creative Cloud Connected Stylus for iPad (ADBIS)
Adobe Ink and Slide Creative Cloud Connected Stylus for iPad (ADBIS)
Offered by Adonit USA
Price: $124.99
7 used & new from $124.99

3.0 out of 5 stars and the stylus is comfortable and feel good to hold, November 29, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The first thing I noticed about this product was how sleek and well designed the stylus and packaging are. The color choice and overall design aesthetic will remind you of modern Apple products, and the stylus is comfortable and feel good to hold. Some other reviewer have mentioned that it is awkward, but this is not my experience. The pressure sensitivity seems a little clunky, but the stylus feels good in my hand.

I wouldn't recommend purchasing this unless you are a Creative Cloud customer. It only works on newer iPads with Adobe Illustrator Line. It works well within this suite, and I had a lot of fun making some quick sketches. I am not an art master, and someone with a higher skill level may have had a different experience. I have some experience with Cintiq tablets, and this setup isn't nearly as sensitive. There is also a bit of lag that makes smooth strokes especially difficult. This would be a poor replacement for a dedicated, higher-end graphics tablet - but it's not bad for a budget solution. The problem is that it's fairly expensive, so it's not so much in the "budget" category.

The battery lasted around 5 hours, which isn't as long as I would naively think based on the functionality. So make sure to keep the (nicely designed) charging station handy if this is going to be something you use often.


Carhartt Men's  Rain Defender Paxton Heavy-Weight Hooded Sweatshirt
Carhartt Men's Rain Defender Paxton Heavy-Weight Hooded Sweatshirt
Price: $44.99 - $79.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars and it's easily the most "heavyweight" hoodie that I own, November 10, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The first thing you'll notice when you pick up this sweatshirt is how heavyweight it really is. The weight is surprising, and it's easily the most "heavyweight" hoodie that I own. I've worn it so far doing yardwork in this New England autumn. Even though the outside is very tightly woven and smooth, the inside is soft and comfortable. I have worn it outside in very light rain and it did a good job keeping me dry, but I'm not sure how long you would want to wear it outside in significantly heavy rain. If I end up in that situation I'll be sure to update my review.

If you're looking for a warm, rugged hoodie that's comfortable and will keep you somewhat dry then this is a great product that I can definitely recommend. It's a Carhartt product and lives up to the company's reputation.


Logitech 915-000237 Harmony Ultimate Home Touch Screen Remote for 15 Home Entertainment and Automation Devices (Black)
Logitech 915-000237 Harmony Ultimate Home Touch Screen Remote for 15 Home Entertainment and Automation Devices (Black)
Price: $338.27
16 used & new from $294.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars and will likely be the worst part of your experience with it, November 10, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Setting up this remote was very frustrating for me, and will likely be the worst part of your experience with it. While it seemed at first that everything was working perfectly, after running through the initial setup tutorial I went to test my "Watch TV" button and... nothing happened.

There's a troubleshooting function that seems great in theory, but I ran through it many times and everything seemed to be working correctly. I went back and forth between the setup and help forums for a long time, and eventually I got it working although I honestly can't tell you what I did differently from the other times when I couldn't get it to work. It just started working, and once I got "Watch TV" working everything else was reasonably easy to setup.

Without going into too many details, I can tell you that I spent about 2 hours setting this remote up. At the end of that I had my Roku, Apple TV, cable box, and TV all set up and pretty much functional. The remote is beautiful and the screen looks great. It's well designed and easy to use, comfortable and ergonomic.

After the painful setup, I'd say that the only other negative that I can think of with this remote is that it's yet another thing that has to be plugged in on my entertainment center. In fact, two new things need to be plugged in: the remote charging station and the hub. This isn't a huge negative, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

Finally I'd say that you should check the list of supported devices to make sure the electronics you want to control are supported by this remote. I was disappointed that the Playstation 4 is not supported with this remote (apparently the PS3 is though), because that's my primary game/media console right now.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 29, 2014 11:24 AM PST


Munchkin Steam Guard Electric Sterilizer
Munchkin Steam Guard Electric Sterilizer
Price: $26.97
18 used & new from $26.97

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great sterilizer for large batches of bottles, October 14, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I got this sterilizer so I wouldn't have to boil water or wait for a dishwasher cycle to complete. I plan to use it for bottles and breast pump parts. It only takes 6 minutes to sterilize a batch, which is great! As other commenters have noted, it's large - but it's also very light and portable, so it doesn't have to sit out on the counter all of the time. Also, the large size and removable top tray means you could easily sterilize toys or other larger items.

I like the tongs that come with it - they clip onto the tray's handle, and you can use them to pull out the sterilized bottles without touching anything.

I was a little disappointed but not really surprised to learn that you're supposed to wash bottles with soapy water and rinse before putting them in the sterilizer - it's not a one-stop cleaning solution.

I've only used it twice so far, so I haven't run into any issues with rust or cleaning yet. The instructions say to thoroughly dry the sterilizer after each use -- that's easy enough to do and probably helps prevent the rust. You're also supposed to run a cleaning cycle with vinegar once a week. The amount of buildup you get likely depends on the amount of sediment in your tap water.

Overall, this seems like a great product, though the $45 price tag seems too steep. Right now it's on sale for $26, which is very reasonable.


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