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Customer Reviews: 107
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NOCO XGrid XGB6 22Wh Rugged USB Battery Pack
NOCO XGrid XGB6 22Wh Rugged USB Battery Pack
Price: $69.95
9 used & new from $69.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Chunky but valuable if paired with solar panels, September 30, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
First off, be careful when you take it out of the shipping box. The sleeve on the outside of the box fits very loosely and is slippery, and the inner box holding the battery dropped as soon as I picked it up, and it dropped again the second time I picked it up.

I have to chuckle at the "ultra portable and lightweight" description. This thing is chunky! Definitely not something you could slip into your purse and carry with you. And considering the size of other external batteries that have as much or more capacity, I have a feeling it's chunkier than it needs to be. The product isn't meant to be used as an external battery to be carried in your purse, however. Rather, it's designed to be rugged and withstand harsher conditions. Although I haven't done torture tests on it, it does seem quite sturdy.

The real value of this battery pack comes when it's paired with the solar panels, which are sold separately. They cost quite a bit, but they add a lot of value to the battery pack. You're least likely to have access to an outlet when you're doing something outdoors. Since you may have others with you, and those people are looking to recharge as well, you could find that a battery pack is insufficient for that many people. Instead of bringing multiple battery packs, you can pair it up with the solar panels and recharge the battery pack. This pack is absolutely perfect for a day at the beach as long as you're really careful about not getting sand in it. Or a long picnic. Or a multi-day camping trip. There are many possibilities.

Not to mention, you'll be acting in an environmentally responsible manner.

Crucial MX100 256GB SATA 2.5" 7mm (with 9.5mm adapter) Internal Solid State Drive CT256MX100SSD1
Crucial MX100 256GB SATA 2.5" 7mm (with 9.5mm adapter) Internal Solid State Drive CT256MX100SSD1
Price: $112.99
31 used & new from $111.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Provides adapter to convert from traditional hard drives in laptops, July 27, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Besides being competitively priced for a solid state drive of this capacity, the Crucial MX100 has a distinct advantage over other solid state drives. Traditional laptop hard drives are 9.5mm thick, while solid state drives are 7mm thick. The Crucial MX100 has an adapter that allows you to put this in a laptop that used to have a traditonal hard drive. Without this adapter, the drive would not have fit into my laptop because my laptop's hard drive is not screwed in.

Note: The adapter is only for laptops. If you want to install this in a desktop, you need to buy a bracket. Also, if your laptop has a hard drive held in with screws (mine didn't), you don't need the adapter.

Belkin QODE Universal Portable Keyboard for 7-Inch and 8-Inch Tablets (Compatible with iPad mini and Galaxy Tab 4)(F5L154ttBLK)
Belkin QODE Universal Portable Keyboard for 7-Inch and 8-Inch Tablets (Compatible with iPad mini and Galaxy Tab 4)(F5L154ttBLK)
Offered by Web's Best Deals
Price: $38.00
11 used & new from $35.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars May not fit your tablet well, mute key doesn't work, July 12, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I was excited to be offered a Nexus 7 compatible keyboard case to review. Unfortunately, although the case fits and the keyboard works, it's a sub par experience.

The one size fits all (7-8 inch tablets) approach taken by Belkin with this case results in far too many compromises. Since it has to fit an 8-inch tablet, a 7-inch tab like my Nexus 7 (2012) is swimming in this case. It's extremely thick too...more than double the thickness of my keyboard-less case, and also noticeably thicker than the other keyboard case I've tried (Logitech Fabric Skin Keyboard Folio for iPad Air).

Another compromise is that to accommodate different sized tablets, the case uses plastic cups anchored with elastic straps to hold the corners of the tablet. This means the tablet isn't locked tightly in position. There's a some play for it to stretch up, down, left and right, and towards you, perhaps a quarter of an inch.

As I said, functionally, the keyboard works fine, apart, strangely, from the mute key. Play, pause, volume up and down all work properly, but not mute! I typed this review on it. It took some getting used to the small size, but it was still far more efficient than the onscreen keyboard. I haven't had a chance to personally test the battery life yet, but the specifications quote 155 hours active battery life. As long as this isn't a gross overestimate, you'll hardly ever need to charge it.

Perhaps the biggest failing on Belkin's part is the poor documentation. If you like a puzzle challenge, then this may be the case for you! The instructions for setting up the bluetooth connection with your tablet consist only of two vague pictographs.

I can see Belkin's reasoning with this product. It's cheaper to make a case that can fit multiple different tablets, and it allows them to offer a keyboard case for tablets which don't have enough market share to make a dedicated case economically feasible. But, the compromises required to do this are severe. If you have a tablet for which there is a dedicated keyboard case available, you're much better off getting that. However, if you don't own one of the most popular tablets, this may be your only choice.

Full disclosure: I received a free test version of this keyboard to review but was not compensated otherwise.

Expert Report Rules
Expert Report Rules
by David M. Malone
Edition: Spiral-bound
Price: $31.50
2 used & new from $31.50

2.0 out of 5 stars About 2-3 times overpriced, May 28, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Expert Report Rules (Spiral-bound)
This is a tiny book. I should have checked the specs more carefully before buying the book. It's 135 pages, which is plenty of room to fit in a lot of useful information. That isn't the case, however, when each of those pages is 4x6inches, the size of an index card, with medium font and sizable margins.

For 35 dollars, you're not getting a lot. I ordered the book to help my expert witness write a report, and it's not useful for that. There are no examples, no information on structure or format, etc. It *is* useful for answering questions about legal requirements, but nothing in the book can't be easily found online, and a competent attorney will already know the information.

I would recommend this book if it were around 10-12 dollars, maybe 15, but for this price I can't recommend it.

Cardinal Premier Easy Open ClearVue Locking Round Ring Binder, 2-Inch, White (11120)
Cardinal Premier Easy Open ClearVue Locking Round Ring Binder, 2-Inch, White (11120)
Price: $13.28
29 used & new from $7.32

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to open, easy to turn pages, May 28, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I love this binder. Usually with binders this size (I got the 2 inch one), they're hard to open and close. Prior to buying this one, I bought one that broke my nail the first time I tried opening it! This binder really is easy to open and can be done with one finger. The rings are round rather than D-shaped, and I've always found that pages turn more smoothly over round rings than D-shaped rings. Highly recommended.

Oreck Graphite Bagged Upright Vacuum, U4300H2BS
Oreck Graphite Bagged Upright Vacuum, U4300H2BS
Price: $236.90

2.0 out of 5 stars Overpriced, May 21, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Overall, this vacuum cleaner works reasonably well, but it has significantly fewer features than cheaper models. It also requires expensive disposable bags.

Style is a personal preference, so I'm not going to give any opinion on that. Just be aware that this is very much a 70's retro style vacuum cleaner, so decide whether that's what you want before buying.

Assembly could be easier. Not many vacuum cleaners these days need a screwdriver to assemble. At least there are only two screws (to attach the handle), and they're machine screws securing metal to metal, much more durable than self-tapping screws into plastic.

Performance is reasonable. It doesn't do a bad job on my floor, but the suction is only average. This is a traditional vacuum cleaner design, there is no cyclonic design to prevent loss of suction as the dust accumulates inside.

There is a glaring lack of features. There's no extension hose or attachments for cleaning crevices drapes, baseboards, etc. The height is not adjustable.

In other words, this is *not* an example of getting what you paid for!

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 User Manual
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 User Manual
Price: $2.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Hampered by the lack of pictures, April 16, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
For tutorial books, pictures/illustrations are extremely helpful and go a long way toward avoiding confusion and learning the tricks quickly. The author does a fine job explaining what the phone can do, but without pictures, it gets confusing where to swipe, what a particular button or icon looks like, etc.

Spa Wars: The Ugly Truth about the Beauty Industry
Spa Wars: The Ugly Truth about the Beauty Industry
Price: $8.49

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Actual quotes from book, April 16, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This had the potential to be a great fun book giving a "behind the curtains" look at work in a spa. Instead, it's a combination of some spa stories, lots of bragging, and unnecessarily political and/or offensive comments.

Here are some actual quotes from the book.

"I think Howard Stern should be taken more seriously."--one of several comments expressive admiration for Howard Stern

"On any given night, you could have a group of black women approaching the counter and we would look at each other and know exactly what they wanted. Someone would say, 'Here cooooomes the eww baby bus,' and sure enough, they would come up to the counter and say, 'You get eww baby and chess-nut?' Classic! At the end of the day, it didn't take much to entertain us, but an eww baby bus."

[On working in Georgia] "It just adds to the whole idea that southerners think northerners that northerners think they are stupid. Well to be honest, people like that, do nothing to help their cause and only perpetuate that assumption. I would like to enlighten the southern part of the country."

"Of course I always get the obese women who want a Brazilian. I wonder if they're getting it because some guy is going to be down there. Maybe she only wants a Brazilian to be cleaner and in vogue. If that's the case, then drop 100lbs."

[On female lawyers] "Trust me, just about anything you do, is an improvement. Put that money to use and invest in yourself, especially if you are an ultra-liberal granola lawyer. Pick up a copy of Vogue and learn that appearance really is everything. Then make Playboy your new bible, since you don't believe in God anyway and memorize it. Female lawyers don't need to wear red lipstick to look powerful. Just look at Hillary Clinton! She looks pissed and cranky, not powerful. Maybe it's just her crappy, crusty underwear bunching up, but red just doesn't work in the workplace."

[On Asian clients] "I think the whole super smart thing is just a myth because they never seem to understand the steps in doing skin care and makeup. I think that is why Clinique developed the three-step process."

"When a black person does like and trust you, they will be a client for life. They'll shank anyone who gets in their way of seeing you! White women are not loyal like that. They go around constantly trying different people, and always believe they can find the next best great person. Sluts!"

"Even Clinton, the most powerful man in the world, made time for a blowjob, so you can wait online to shop."

"If you're an Indian man or woman, get a pedicure now. These people have feet that look like they walked right out of a Planet of the Apes Episode, from the 1970's."

The latter part of the book is a guide to recommended treatments and products. The author writes, "It is my mission in life to educate myself and others and force comapanies to higher more ethical standards. That was really the point of the book." Umm, could have fooled me.

Many of her recommended skin treatment products are made by her sister's company. To her credit, she fully discloses this. For the other products, she doesn't give specific names. She recommends "Skinceuticals Sunblock." Skinceuticals doesn't have any product called Sunblock. It has six sunscreens. Which one(s) is she referring to?

As others have said, the writing is very choppy--she often switches subjects randomly--and wasn't carefully proofread. That's a minor complaint compared to the actual content of the writing.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 26, 2014 7:47 PM PDT

Panasonic EH2331P Heated Eyelash Crimper
Panasonic EH2331P Heated Eyelash Crimper
Price: $20.99
86 used & new from $16.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for me, April 12, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Before I begin, I should say that eyelash curler experiences will vary a lot between people because people's eyelashes and eye shapes are so different.

For me, none of the traditional eyelash curlers worked for me. I have short, straight eyelashes and semi-flat eyes. I tried a bunch of curlers from the drugstore and Ulta, and none of them would grab my lashes. Research suggested that the two best curlers for my eyelashes would be Shiseido and Shu Uemura, both non-electric curlers.

The Shiseido curler grabbed my lashes very well. It also grabbed the skin in back of them very well. I couldn't squeeze the curler without painfully pinching the skin in back. The Shu Uemura curler grabbed my lashes pretty well and didn't pinch my skin, but my lashes never stayed curly despite trying all the tricks--waterproof mascara, flipping the curler up while in a closed position, curling little by little starting at the base, running the curler under hot water for a while, etc. I even tried hair spray on the curler. Nothing worked.

A woman at Sephora used the Dior heated lash curler on me with good results, so I bought one of those. It arrived broken. As did the replacement. Then I got the Panasonic EH2351AC Heated Eyelash Curling Wand because it looked like the Dior one. The instructions say to apply it after mascara, so I did. I ended up with mascara melted onto my skin.

Then I found this curler. Thank heavens! It grabs my lashes perfectly without pinching the skin behind. It does get a bit annoying to hold the button up while it heats, but it heats so quickly that I don't really mind it. I use it after mascara and have had to wash off the pad sometimes, but I've never had to change the pad. The battery lasts a long time.

As I said, your experience with eyelash curlers will depend on your eyelashes and eye shape. For me (short straight eyelashes with somewhat flat eyes), this is the only curler that works, and it works perfectly.

VINCENT LONGO Olive Oil Fix Tip Makeup Remover
VINCENT LONGO Olive Oil Fix Tip Makeup Remover
Price: $20.00

2.0 out of 5 stars Does the job, but outrageously overpriced, April 4, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I give this two stars because it does what it says. You dip the applicator (a lip gloss applicator) into the vial, dab it on your makeup mistakes, and the makeup mistake comes off.

For those made of money, go ahead and buy this product. For the rest of us, save your money. This is an outrageously overpriced product. You get 12 applicators, and I don't see a product option to buy more applicators. So when you're through with your 12 uses, it seems that, if you want to use the product in the same way, you have to buy another vial. You could wash off the applicators, but that defeats the purpose of this as an on-the-go quick fixer. You can't buy a pack of regular lip gloss applicators because the applicators have little protrusions at the end so that they fit in the cap.

There are much more economical alternatives. If you're at home, the best way is to take a pointed cotton swab (you can get them at CVS), dip it in some makeup remover, and use. If you're on the go, I recommend the Elf Makeup Remover Pen, regularly priced at 3 dollars, and they have half-off sales on their website often. You do have to pay for shipping during those half-off sales, though. The Elf Makeup Remover Pens aren't perfect by any means. They dry out way too quickly so that I rarely get more than a few uses out of them. But they're convenient, easier to use because there's no fiddling around with applicator tips, and for the price of the Vincent Longo makeup remover vial, you can buy 6+ of the Elf ones. I also like the swabs Sephora sells that have makeup remover built into them so that you snap it, and the makeup remover is released into the end of the swab. A pack of 20 costs 9 dollars. Jane Iredale makes a similar product to the Sephora one and is similarly priced, but I don't have experience with it.

Full disclosure: I received a free sample of the product but was not otherwise compensated for the review. Good thing the sample was free because otherwise it would have been one of the most uneconomical purchases in recent memory.

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