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Customer Reviews: 360
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Helpful Votes: 3412

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Maek RSS Feed (Phoenix, AZ United States)

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Star brite Car Bomb MDG Odor Control System
Star brite Car Bomb MDG Odor Control System

1.0 out of 5 stars Didn't work..., July 21, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I had high expectations for this product. I was hoping to get rid of some lingering food odor that I haven't gotten around to myself with a detailed cleaning. However, this just didn't work for me at all. To be fair, however, I do live in Arizona and it's been 108-110 degrees lately during the day. I'm wondering if this product can handle the extreme heat well enough or not and, if not, maybe it's why it works for other people.

Belkin Smooth Tri-Fold Folio Case for Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro -10.1 Inch (Purple)
Belkin Smooth Tri-Fold Folio Case for Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro -10.1 Inch (Purple)
Price: $44.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Good case!, July 21, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have loved Belkin products from phone cases to chargers, and this is no exception. This case fits the Galaxy Tab perfectly with accessibility where you need it for charging, etc. The tri-fold also works very well as you might expect from numerous tri-fold cases out there. There's no substantial game changer here, but there's no reason to knock this down. I would recommend this for use with your Galaxy Tab!

Koryo Card Game
Koryo Card Game
Price: $15.96
37 used & new from $12.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Surprising fun!! But not as easy to pick first..., July 17, 2014
This review is from: Koryo Card Game (Toy)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a seriously fun card game.

However, I would like to preface it by saying that it's not as simple as picking it up and go. Reading the instruction manual (you can find a copy here, it becomes readily apparent that there are quite a few nuances to the game. You take a set amount of turns (8 turns called "seasons") to display cards in your possession. There are four different phases where cards are distributed, revealed, then acted upon (especially if you have cards that can influence an opposing players' cards), and then an end phase where the number of cards displayed shouldn't exceed the "season" card number". If you own the majority of a certain type of card, you are awarded the influence value (points) for those cards at the end of the game. But wait...there's more! Each card class has its own special ability that can affect other cards. For example, barbarians allow you to destroy other cards in another player's possession. Other cards protect you from that ability. One card type allows you to have 1 additional card in play at the end of the season. It's quite complex and I highly recommend you take a look at the instruction manual to get a feel for the game's nuances.

All in all, it will take several playthroughs with an instruction manual in front of you before you get the hang of it. I highly recommend the online PDF instruction manual since the included instruction manual is quite small to read.

However, once you get the hang of it, playing the game is quick (10-15 minutes) and strategically fun. The best part is that there aren't expansion packs or other hooks that force you to invest additional money into the game. It's self-contained and good to go.

1. Fun game for 2-4 people.
2. Self-contained; no need for expansion packs!
3. Beautiful artwork. Each card is nice to look at.

1. There's a bit of a learning first.
2. Instruction manual print is small. I have 20/10 vision and could read it just fine, but my wife had difficulty with her reading glasses. I highly recommend printing a copy from the online website.

Please let me know if you have any questions!

Sharp HT-SB602 2.1 Channel 310W Bluetooth Sound Bar
Sharp HT-SB602 2.1 Channel 310W Bluetooth Sound Bar
Price: $397.00
6 used & new from $339.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great bass...lackluster highs, July 13, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As sound bars go, this is fairly decent. While in the past, I have been apprehensive about wireless solutions, this one does a fantastic job delivering wireless bass through a small subwoofer that can be placed just about anywhere in the same room; acoustically, it is difficult to determine where low frequencies are originating from so the decision to make the subwoofer wireless is a good one.

Out of the box, the soundbar was easy to set up and go. It does have HDMI (2 HDMI, 1 HDMI-ARC), fiber optic, and aux line inputs. Bluetooth connectivity (i.e., with tablets, etc.) is easily established with a convenient button on the front for making the soundbar discoverable. Other buttons include audio modes/input selection as well as volume. The remote handles these as well.

Despite fairly decent bass production (110 W plus 2 x 50 W for L/R channels), I found the highs to be washed out. They don't exhibit the kind of punch that I would have expected with properly shaped tweeters; the small speakers on the front appear to handles mids quite well, however. It's that lunch of "sharpness" on the high end that docks the soundbar a star for me.

However, at this price point, you're getting a fairly decent soundbar. For the money, however, you'd be better off with this...not quite as much bass, but the overall sound production is superior:

Samsung Electronics 32GB Micro SDHC with Adapter Upto 24MB/s Class 6 Memory Card (MB-MS32DA/AM)
Samsung Electronics 32GB Micro SDHC with Adapter Upto 24MB/s Class 6 Memory Card (MB-MS32DA/AM)
Price: $17.99
4 used & new from $17.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works great in Samsung Galaxy 5!, July 4, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Micro SDHC cards are about as common as ants these days. Speed-wise, this card does its job and--at its under $20 price point--is a great, low-cost memory card for most smartphones and tablets. True, it's a class 6 card, but most smartphones aren't going to even touch its memory transfer while taking photos or storing/accessing files. For HD video, however, it's going to depend ultimately on your devices bitrate during recording.

We're currently using it in a Samsung Galaxy 5 and it feels just like an extension of the phone's internal memory. Great card!

AmazonBasics Micro USB Universal Car Charger for Android (2.1 Amp Output)
AmazonBasics Micro USB Universal Car Charger for Android (2.1 Amp Output)
Price: $8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Works great...that cord, however...., June 12, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The car charger works great, especially for devices that require more than the typical 0.5 A limit found on typical devices.

However, the cord length of 4.9 feet may be somewhat misleading. While the coiled wire is welcome in terms of avoiding "self-entanglement", I found that the "recoil" on the cord to make its effective length about half that amount. When I'm trying to charge my Galaxy S3, I was fighting the recoil a bit and found the cord yanking out if I stretched it too long.

To be fair, however, my phone is getting quite old (and heavily used) and I think the charging receptacle isn't what it used to be in terms of holding a cable properly. That said, I was able to use the cord to about 1/2 its advertised length with minimal fighting. I think that you'll find that with ANY coiled solution, but the buyer should be aware.

With a 2.1 Amp output, however, I'd still recommend this.

Five Star Backpack Sidekick, Holds 16 Inch Laptop, Blue (72388)
Five Star Backpack Sidekick, Holds 16 Inch Laptop, Blue (72388)
Price: $24.33

4.0 out of 5 stars Great, multi-purpose bag, June 8, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This bag works great for a variety of applications. Despite having a low number of zippers, there is a multitude of pouches within the bag to store a large number of things, including tablets. I used this bag on a recent trip to Vegas and it easily held my Kindle Fire, two Vitas (in their own cases), and about 2 days worth of clothes with some room to spare. The straps fit comfortably, even for me and I'm a pretty big guy. The material seems quite durable. My only minor deduction is the side pocket that appears to be made for holding a water bottle; it seems to be a common problem, but I just wish (like others) that it was about 2 inches deeper. If it had been, it would've been perfect.

Otherwise, it's a great bag for school or for someone looking to pack something light and fun on the go. Recommended!

Circulon Genesis Aluminum Nonstick 12-Piece Cookware Set, Red
Circulon Genesis Aluminum Nonstick 12-Piece Cookware Set, Red
Price: $149.95
6 used & new from $139.99

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Who even MAKES non-dishwasher safe cookware anymore???, June 8, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)

I got this package last week and was eager to try it out. Upon opening it up, I found all the pots/pans to be extremely well-packaged and compact...until unpleasant surprise number one. Eager to advertise DuPont's non-stick technology, every...single...pot...and...pan has a sticker proclaiming what it is. What makes matters worse is that some of these stickers were extremely difficult to remove.

Like most people, I failed to read the instructions. Despite the year being 2014, Circulon expects you NOT to use these pots and pans in a dishwasher. And oh, you definitely don't want to because after ONE mistaken use of one pot and one pan in the dishwasher, the entire top coat red surface was stripped away (dull red afterwards) and there was a fine red powder on EVERYTHING. To make matters "better", this SUPERIOR product insists that you place something protective like paper towels between each article to prevent the "coating from being damaged." Really?? If all it takes is simply contact on contact with another pot/pan, it makes me wonder how much I'm NOT seeing that I'm consuming with every use of this product. Do I need to use Dove soap with 1/4 moisturizing cream to prevent the delicate spray mean...anodized paint from peeling off? Do I need to use microfiber cloths delicately massaged by Tibetan monks in order to keep this starter set in working order?

And yet, somehow, against all odds, I'm supposed to believe that this superior paint job is supposed to withstand a 500 degree environment while not being able to handle soap gel packs (I avoid powders) in a dishwasher and a light wash cycle (yep, I tried something using a "delicate" setting in my dishwasher just for kicks...not practical, but hey...why not try?).

To be fair, you're not supposed to use a dishwasher and Circulon does make it clear...but good luck convincing someone that has one (even a college student in an apartment) to buy a set with that requirement built in. I'm not giving it a bad review because it handles poorly in a dishwasher, mind you; I'm giving it a poor review because even some of the cheapest cookware that I've purchased in a Target when I was going to college in 1994 did a better job than this one. And in 20, how far we've come.

The biggest stock pot has issues as well. While most handles in this set don't conduct heat, the stock pot's handles EXTREMELY careful handling that one. Short metal handles with heat-conductive connecting elements...BAD idea.

Cooking-wise, the Circulon set does actually do a fair job...provided that you're willing to treat this set like delicate China, that is. And for a mere $149, you can show off to your friends that you need to hand-wash it using a gentle bubble bath...maybe it could handle baby-safe laundry detergent soap!

Please pass on's worth spending $50 more just to get a set from another maker that can actually withstand the "demands of 21st century technology" and not make you wonder why your toilet bowl is slowly becoming red.

Do NOT recommend.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 26, 2014 8:36 AM PDT

Borderlands 2
Borderlands 2
Price: $39.99
24 used & new from $27.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Not perfect by any means, but a fantastic job by Iron Galaxy, June 4, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Borderlands 2 (Video Game)
I waited before posting my review since I wanted to test the cross-save functionality and 2-player co-op features of the game.

There have been many reviews on this game and just about every single game critic review that I have seen have lambasted the Vita version for not living up to the PS3 version. Is it fair? No...but it's an issue that's hard to avoid. With some of the gameplay issues, one may wonder if it's worth the purchase or not if one already owns it...and I'll get into that later.

This review assumes that the reader is familiar with the first Borderlands. Borderlands 2 is a continuation of the first game, with new Vault Hunters arriving to Pandora at the behest of Hyperion Corporation's recent leader, Handsome Jack. Handsome Jack betrays the players straight off the bat (he has no interest in having others "help"...he just wants to entice Vault Hunters to kill them off) and leaves them for dead. The would-be Vault Hunters are discovered by the lovable ready-to-quip robot, Claptrap, and the adventure thus begins and eventually involves Vault Hunters from the original game. It's addictively good fun to say the least and the shoot-and-loot that made the first game so fun to play returns in spades here.

First and foremost, this issue of Borderlands 2 includes 6 DLC's, so at $39.99 it's a fantastic purchase at launch. Without factoring in the PS3's season pass, you're looking at about $50 of DLC alone.

I was worried when critics shredded the game because of the lack of L2/R2/L3/R3 functionality. Instead, the rear touch pad is utilized. I use trigger grips, so I didn't find myself "accidentally" touching the pad as some critics have claimed. Tap the left side of the rear touch pad and you engage in sprinting (no need to hold it'll run and keep running unless you stop or get interrupted). Tap the right side and you'll use your melee attack. Touch the lower right-side of the touchscreen and you'll activate your special ability. Touch the lower left-side of the touchscreen and you'll throw a grenade.

Don't like where the controls are mapped? Well, guess can remap them! Including that in the programming of the game was a big plus for me.

There are a few unfortunate cons, however:

1. Two-player co-op. The inclusion of a 4-player co-op session proved to be too much for the hardware, so that sacrifice was made. Considering that only my daughter and I play, that wasn't a huge one for us.

2. Lower enemy counts. The hardware, again, is pushed to its limits so you'll find densely populated areas (like the Varkids in Caustic Caverns) to be reduced by about 20 - 30% compared to its console/PC brother.

3. No ad-hoc mode. Really? Why would you NOT include an ad-hoc mode in addition to finding other players online, especially given that ad-hoc generally runs much smoother than a Wi-Fi session? This is an unfortunate omission, especially given that my daughter and I play it...we're forced to go online.

Yes, I know that I'm comparing the hardware again, but if being forced to choose between alternatives, then one should know. However, there are reasons to get it which I'll describe later in "Who Should Get This."

This is where the unfortunate comparisons are made again.

Graphics take a noticeable hit...far off plateaus may pop in "closer" than the console/PC versions. If the firefight gets heavy, framerates will drop noticeably below the 30 fps target. Enemies will explode in red, rapidly disappearing chunks instead of ragdolling to the ground.

Is it game-breaking?'s just occasionally..."jarring." But I didn't find myself in a framerate drop so massive that I found myself dead in the next heartbeat...once you get used to it, it plays just fine, especially with a 2nd player.

That said, I've heard many people stating that the Vita's hardware can't be expected to do much, etc., etc. Given how good certain titles look (especially Uncharted Golden Abyss O-M-G), I find that explanation to be a frustratingly bad one. Borderlands 2 isn't a graphical marvel by any means and I know that the Vita could have handled more. That, and given that the Vita's resolution is lower than the PS3, it makes me wonder how much of the hardware is truly at fault especially given how impressive other titles look. Part of it may have to do with how well the original title was coded to begin with and relying on the brute force of console/PC power to compensate for sloppier coding...we'll never know. But, like I said, Uncharted titles on both the PS3/Vita platforms demonstrate that the hardware is capable of so much more.

In summary, graphically it looks quite decent but there are some minor framerate/texture/pop-in caveats that go along with that. Other than that, it looks like a miniature version of the big brother versions.

Who Should Get This

The million-dollar question. If you already on it on the PS3 and/or the PC, and you prefer to play with 2-3 others, pass on this. If you only play with one other or by yourself and you have it on the PS3, then you may want to get it if you play on the road because of the cross-save feature.

In my case, however, I play exclusively with my daughter... which comes to my next point. The really NICE thing about Borderlands 2 on the Vita is that your saves will transfer from the PS3 and vice versa. Simply upload your saved character and download on the other platform and you're good to go. My daughter and I both own Vitas with our own accounts and this worked PERFECTLY for us. We usually play on the PS3 at home, but recently we played on our Vitas during vacation with our characters on the road. Some items, unfortunately, do NOT transfer because only 2 of the 4 MAIN DLC expansions (not including the headhunters) are not available on the Vita...yet (and that is a hopeful "yet"). But never feat! Your items are still there...but DLC-specific items, skins, etc., from DLCs not available yet on the Vita won't show up in the Vita.

As a result, I love my Vita copy simply because we can take our adventure on the road. I'm hoping eventually that the other DLC's become available (especially Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon's Keep...the funniest and best DLC ever).

Borderlands 2 on the Vita is not a perfect experience nor is it as complete as the console/PC versions, but the shoe may fit for you if you play it by yourself or just one other. Some lacking features are unfortunate, but the DLC's that are available at launch (and the $39.99 price tag to boot) offset these immeasurably and still make it fun to play. I haven't encountered any groundbreaking issues with our Level 50 characters and we are looking forwards to many additional hours of fun.

Chummie Premium Bedwetting (Enuresis) Alarm Treatment System for Boys TC300B, Blue
Chummie Premium Bedwetting (Enuresis) Alarm Treatment System for Boys TC300B, Blue
Price: $99.01
5 used & new from $98.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Making progress...., May 8, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Chummie's Bedwetting Alarm was something that I admittedly was dubious about.

That said, the system is supposed to take several weeks to implement; however, my review is due today.

So far, there has been some limited progress in our child's bedwetting. The Chummie alarm utilizes a very loud (volume is adjustable) alarm and lighting system that can be pinned to your child's pyjamas. The sensor detects urine streams and sets off the alarm. The sensor itself is very easy to clean and re-use.

One of the smart adaptations of this alarm system is that the alarm pattern can be changed so your child doesn't become accustomed to (and therefore sleep through) the alarm. The detection works remarkably well.

The instructions do say that it may take weeks for the system to work fully and so far we've made progress, but we're still having night-time incidents and our child is very prone to sleeping through alarms, so results may vary. If your child is a very deep sleeper like ours is, you may have some issues, but this alarm and its proximity to the head makes it relatively hard to ignore.

I'll update my review if additional progress is made, but so far it's had some limited success so I'm hopeful.

For those of you who are wondering about the difference between the boy/girl model, it would appear that the sensor is exactly the same - the only variation is the color of the flashing light (blue for boys, pink for girls) along with the pink/blue accent on the alarm itself.

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