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Customer Reviews: 400
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Jonathan Birge RSS Feed (Belmont, MA)
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Syma Toys X5C-1 Explorers 4 CH Remote Control Quadcopter, 2015 Version
Syma Toys X5C-1 Explorers 4 CH Remote Control Quadcopter, 2015 Version
Offered by FireKingdom
Price: $52.99
9 used & new from $49.98

2.0 out of 5 stars The first version X5C is better, February 7, 2016
This is my fifth drone. I had a couple of the older version of this before and a Parrot. Despite their claims, this is NOT an upgrade from the last version. The flight qualities are essentially unchanged (and are great). The only things that have changed are things that have been made worse.

First, the low battery indicator comes on WAY too late to do anything about. It basically starts flashing the lights, and then a couple seconds later you crash land. Unless you were at very low altitude when the low battery flashing warning happens, you're going to crash.

Second, the video quality is HORRIBLE. I know this is a bad thing to say, but I am so sick of the blatant dishonesty of so many Chinese companies. They advertise this as HD video, but it's actually VGA video that has been processed up to 720 using a horrible algorithm, making it lower quality than if they'd just left it VGA. Check out the pictures I included for what I'm talking about. The videos look like they were processed with some cheap Photoshop oil paint filter. It's mathematically impossible to gain resolution through processing, so all they are doing is degrading the quality of the video.

Third, the video is also not compressed using a proper codec like MPEG. It's actually Motion JPEG, which means the videos are huge. You'll have to recompress them using a proper codec to get them down to size, but you'll suffer the usual quality loss inherent to transcoding between lossy formats.

Lastly, the battery they include is smaller than in prior iterations of this product I've purchased. In the past a 600+ mAh battery was included. This drone includes a thinner 500 mph battery.

In all, I can't recommend this drone. Look for one of the older versions for a similar or lower price. You'll actually be getting a better drone.
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Genuine Syma X5C-1 Explorers 4CH Remote Control RC Quadcopter - New Upgraded Version (Exclusive from Versa Games)
Genuine Syma X5C-1 Explorers 4CH Remote Control RC Quadcopter - New Upgraded Version (Exclusive from Versa Games)
Offered by Cart Wheel Deals
Price: $74.95
4 used & new from $25.00

2.0 out of 5 stars Not an improvement over the first version; terrible quality video., February 7, 2016
This is my fifth drone. I had a couple of the older version of this before and a Parrot (which was terrible). Despite their claims, this is NOT an upgrade from the first X5C. The flight qualities are great, but are essentially unchanged. The only things that HAVE changed are things that have been made worse.

First, the low battery indicator comes on WAY too late to do anything about. It basically starts flashing the lights, and then a couple seconds later you crash land. Unless you were at very low altitude when the low battery flashing warning happens, you're going to crash.

Second, the video quality on this is HORRIBLE. I know this is a bad thing to say, but I am really getting sick of the blatant dishonesty of so many Chinese companies. They advertise this as HD video, but it's actually VGA video that has been processed up to 720 using a horrible algorithm, making it lower quality than if they'd just left it VGA. Check out the pictures I included for what I'm talking about. The videos look like they were processed with some cheap Photoshop oil paint filter. It's mathematically impossible to gain resolution through processing, so all they are doing is degrading the quality of the video.

Third, the video is also not compressed using a proper codec like MPEG. It's actually Motion JPEG, which means the videos are huge. You'll have to recompress them using a proper codec to get them down to size, but you'll suffer the usual quality loss inherent to transcoding between lossy formats.

Lastly, the battery they include is smaller than in prior iterations of this product I've purchased. In the past a 600+ mAh battery was included. This drone includes a thinner 500 mph battery.

In all, I can't recommend this drone. Look for one of the older versions for a similar or lower price. You'll actually be getting a better drone.
Comment Comment | Permalink


TurboTax Basic 2015 Federal + Fed Efile Tax Preparation Software - PC/Mac Disc
TurboTax Basic 2015 Federal + Fed Efile Tax Preparation Software - PC/Mac Disc
Price: $29.97
27 used & new from $24.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Very good tax software, the best of the three I've tried, February 6, 2016
I've tried both major tax software packages (this and H&R Block's) as well as the TurboTax Online version. While none of them is perfect, I think this is the best of the three. What sets this apart is that you have the option to do your taxes via a very simple interactive step-by-step "interview" or, if you know what you're doing, you can actually just jump from topic to topic. You even have the ability to just go to specific forms and fill them out directly. This flexibility means you can quickly fill out an area you're familiar with, but have the software lead you slowly through unfamiliar topics. I find that I generally go direct to things I've done several years in a row, but will do the step-by-step interview for areas that are new to me (e.g. when I first got married, or had kids, or got a small royalty check from a patent). If you get a form in the mail you don't recognize (1099-G, for example) you just do a search for it in the software and it tells you where to go.

My recommendation is that you save some money and start with this or Deluxe. If you actually come across anything that you really need a higher version for, or that would be nice to have, you can upgrade the software online and pay a bit extra, keeping all the work you've already done. The software makes it very easy to upgrade in-place in the middle of filling out your returns. My guess is that you won't ever have to, however.


TurboTax Business 2015 Federal + Fed Efile Tax Preparation Software - PC Disc
TurboTax Business 2015 Federal + Fed Efile Tax Preparation Software - PC Disc
Price: $119.85
16 used & new from $118.85

4.0 out of 5 stars Very good tax software; make sure you can't just use Home & Business or Deluxe, though, February 6, 2016
I've tried both major tax software packages (this and H&R Block's) as well as the TurboTax Online version. While none of them is perfect, I think this is the best of the three. What sets this apart is that you have the option to do your taxes via a very simple interactive step-by-step "interview" or, if you know what you're doing, you can actually just jump from topic to topic. You even have the ability to just go to specific forms and fill them out directly. This flexibility means you can quickly fill out an area you're familiar with, but have the software lead you slowly through unfamiliar topics. I find that I generally go direct to things I've done several years in a row, but will do the step-by-step interview for areas that are new to me (e.g. when I first got married, or had kids, or got a small royalty check from a patent). If you get a form in the mail you don't recognize (1099-G, for example) you just do a search for it in the software and it tells you where to go.

Before buying this, make sure you actually need it. If you run a business, even with employees, you might be able to use Home and Business. If you're a sole proprietor without employees, you can actually probably save a lot of money and just use Deluxe (which includes Schedule C).


TurboTax Deluxe 2015 Federal + Fed Efile Tax Preparation Software - PC/Mac Disc
TurboTax Deluxe 2015 Federal + Fed Efile Tax Preparation Software - PC/Mac Disc
Price: $39.97
4 used & new from $36.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Very good tax software. Best to start with this or Basic, and upgrade only if needed, February 6, 2016
I've tried both major tax software packages (this and H&R Block's) as well as the TurboTax Online version. While none of them is perfect, I think this is the best of the three. What sets this apart is that you have the option to do your taxes via a very simple interactive step-by-step "interview" or, if you know what you're doing, you can actually just jump from topic to topic. You even have the ability to just go to specific forms and fill them out directly. This flexibility means you can quickly fill out an area you're familiar with, but have the software lead you slowly through unfamiliar topics. I find that I generally go direct to things I've done several years in a row, but will do the step-by-step interview for areas that are new to me (e.g. when I first got married, or had kids, or got a small royalty check from a patent). If you get a form in the mail you don't recognize (1099-G, for example) you just do a search for it in the software and it tells you where to go.

They don't tell you this, for obvious reasons, but there is really very little extra you get with Premier and Home Business. It's mostly little bonuses that you get, like online databases for valuing deductions. Deluxe has all the forms an individual could possible need; the main difference is in how much help you'll get filling them out.

My recommendation is that you save some money and start with this, or even Basic. If you actually come across anything that you really need a higher version for, or that would be nice to have, you can upgrade the software online and pay a bit extra, keeping all the work you've already done. The software makes it very easy to upgrade in-place in the middle of filling out your returns. My guess is that you won't ever have to, however.


TurboTax Home & Business 2015 Federal + State Taxes + Fed Efile Tax Preparation Software - PC/Mac Disc
TurboTax Home & Business 2015 Federal + State Taxes + Fed Efile Tax Preparation Software - PC/Mac Disc
Price: $72.33
24 used & new from $57.85

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Probably the best option out there, but you should consider just starting with Deluxe and upgrading only if necessary, February 6, 2016
I've tried both major tax software packages (this and H&R Block's) as well as the TurboTax Online version. While none of them is perfect, I think this is the best of the three. What sets this apart is that you have the option to do your taxes via a very simple interactive step-by-step "interview" or, if you know what you're doing, you can actually just jump from topic to topic. You even have the ability to just go to specific forms and fill them out directly. This flexibility means you can quickly fill out an area you're familiar with, but have the software lead you slowly through unfamiliar topics. I find that I generally go direct to things I've done several years in a row, but will do the step-by-step interview for areas that are new to me (e.g. when I first got married, or had kids, or got a small royalty check from a patent). If you get a form in the mail you don't recognize (1099-G, for example) you just do a search for it in the software and it tells you where to go.

I can also tell you, however, that Home & Business probably isn't worth it for the vast majority of people, even if they are self employed. The basic version will still allow you to fill out capital gains sheets and Schedule C with business deductions. The only thing this really gives you some additional tools to value and maximize deductions, and. If you have a home business that doesn't have employees (and thus no payroll taxes) you can also get by with Deluxe or Premier, instead of Home Business. They don't tell you this, for obvious reasons, but there is really very little extra you get with Premier and Home Business. It's mostly little bonuses that you get, like online databases for valuing deductions. Their website is downright wrong when it says you can't do Schedule C business income in Deluxe. My guess is they would get in hot water legally, or at least with customers, if they removed forms you're legally required to file as an individual.

My recommendation is that you save some money and start with Deluxe, or even Basic. If you actually come across anything that you really need a higher version for, or that would be nice to have, you can upgrade the software online and pay a bit extra, keeping all the work you've already done. The software makes it very easy to upgrade in-place in the middle of filling out your returns. My guess is that you won't ever have to, however.


TurboTax Deluxe 2015 Federal + State Taxes + Fed Efile Tax Preparation Software - PC/Mac Disc
TurboTax Deluxe 2015 Federal + State Taxes + Fed Efile Tax Preparation Software - PC/Mac Disc
Price: $44.97
25 used & new from $39.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not perfect, but the best tax software of the three options I've tried, February 6, 2016
I've tried both major tax software packages (this and H&R Block's) as well as the TurboTax Online version. While none of them is perfect, I think this is the best of the three. What sets this apart is that you have the option to do your taxes via a very simple interactive step-by-step "interview" or, if you know what you're doing, you can actually just jump from topic to topic. You even have the ability to just go to specific forms and fill them out directly. This flexibility means you can quickly fill out an area you're familiar with, but have the software lead you slowly through unfamiliar topics. I find that I generally go direct to things I've done several years in a row, but will do the step-by-step interview for areas that are new to me (e.g. when I first got married, or had kids, or got a small royalty check from a patent). If you get a form in the mail you don't recognize (1099-G, for example) you just do a search for it in the software and it tells you where to go.

They don't tell you this, for obvious reasons, but there is really very little extra you get with Premier and Home Business. It's mostly little bonuses that you get, like online databases for valuing deductions. They can't actually remove the ability for you to file your required personal taxes and so all versions have all the forms available. The main difference is in how much help you'll get filling them out.

My recommendation is that you save some money and start with Deluxe or Basic. If you actually come across anything that you really need a higher version for, or that would be nice to have, you can upgrade the software online and pay a bit extra, keeping all the work you've already done. The software makes it very easy to upgrade in-place in the middle of filling out your returns. My guess is that you won't ever have to, however.


Syma Toys X5C-1 Explorers 4 CH Remote Control RC Quadcopter New Upgraded Version
Syma Toys X5C-1 Explorers 4 CH Remote Control RC Quadcopter New Upgraded Version
Offered by YEGG INC
Price: $59.99
3 used & new from $57.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Enhanced version is actually worse in most respects than prior version; horrible video quality, February 6, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is my fifth drone. I had a couple of the older version of this before and a Parrot. Despite their claims, this is NOT an upgrade from the last version. The flight qualities are essentially unchanged (and are great). The only things that have changed are things that have been made worse.

First, the low battery indicator comes on WAY too late to do anything about. It basically starts flashing the lights, and then a couple seconds later you crash land. Unless you were at very low altitude when the low battery flashing warning happens, you're going to crash.

Second, the video quality is HORRIBLE. I know this is a bad thing to say, but I am so sick of the blatant dishonesty of so many Chinese companies. They advertise this as HD video, but it's actually VGA video that has been processed up to 720 using a horrible algorithm, making it lower quality than if they'd just left it VGA. Check out the pictures I included for what I'm talking about. The videos look like they were processed with some cheap Photoshop oil paint filter. It's mathematically impossible to gain resolution through processing, so all they are doing is degrading the quality of the video.

Third, the video is also not compressed using a proper codec like MPEG. It's actually Motion JPEG, which means the videos are huge. You'll have to recompress them using a proper codec to get them down to size, but you'll suffer the usual quality loss inherent to transcoding between lossy formats.

Lastly, the battery they include is smaller than in prior iterations of this product I've purchased. In the past a 600+ mAh battery was included. This drone includes a thinner 500 mph battery.

In all, I can't recommend this drone. Look for one of the older versions for a similar or lower price. You'll actually be getting a better drone.
Comment Comment | Permalink


Wirelessky 10inch Bendy USB to Micro USB Cable (Charge & SYNC) for Android BlackBerry Windows Smartphone, 25cm Durable Micro USB to USB Cable for Car Charger, Power Cable, Power Bank, Desktop Charger, Kindle (10inch Black)
Wirelessky 10inch Bendy USB to Micro USB Cable (Charge & SYNC) for Android BlackBerry Windows Smartphone, 25cm Durable Micro USB to USB Cable for Car Charger, Power Cable, Power Bank, Desktop Charger, Kindle (10inch Black)

5.0 out of 5 stars Durable, genuine certified cable, February 3, 2016
I don't know how much I can say about a cable, other than it works. I've gone through a couple iPhone upgrade cycles on this, so I believe it is a truly certified cable, not a knock-off using a reverse-engineered chip (this is a huge problem from third-party sellers on Amazon). The rubber has a nice feel to it, and this appears it's going to withstand more abuse than the Apple-branded cables which tend to break at the interface between the cable and the plug. I'll update my review if this turns out to not be the case.


【Apple MFi Certified】Wirelessky 15inch Black Lightning Cable Apple Certified for iPhone 6S iPhone6/6S+/5/5S/5C/iPad/iPad Mini/iPad Air, Durable & Bendy Lightning to USB Cable, apple iphone charging cable, lightning cable black mfi(15inch Black)
【Apple MFi Certified】Wirelessky 15inch Black Lightning Cable Apple Certified for iPhone 6S iPhone6/6S+/5/5S/5C/iPad/iPad Mini/iPad Air, Durable & Bendy Lightning to USB Cable, apple iphone charging cable, lightning cable black mfi(15inch Black)

5.0 out of 5 stars Durable cable that appears to be genuine, February 3, 2016
I don't know how much I can say about a cable, other than it works. I've gone through a couple iPhone upgrade cycles on this, so I believe it is a truly certified cable, not a knock-off using a reverse-engineered chip (this is a huge problem from third-party sellers on Amazon). The rubber has a nice feel to it, and this appears it's going to withstand more abuse than the Apple-branded cables which tend to break at the interface between the cable and the plug. I'll update my review if this turns out to not be the case.


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