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Customer Reviews: 148
Top Reviewer Ranking: 8,003
Helpful Votes: 865




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MSI GTX 970 GAMING 4G Graphics Cards GTX 970 GAMING 4G
MSI GTX 970 GAMING 4G Graphics Cards GTX 970 GAMING 4G
Price: $359.99
3 used & new from $359.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome card! About the same performance as last year's ..., October 16, 2014
Awesome card! About the same performance as last year's GTX Titan but only 1/3 of the launch price. Some reviews mentioned a coil whine, but mine is completely silent. The fan does not spin unless I am playing very demanding games, and I cannot hear the fan over game audio. During Furmark stress test the max temperature is 71 celsius. Highly recommended.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 21, 2014 1:01 PM PDT


Corel VideoStudio Pro X7
Corel VideoStudio Pro X7
Price: Click here to see our price
36 used & new from $36.30

5.0 out of 5 stars Great program, April 24, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
To test Corel VideoStudio Ultimate X7 for this review, instead of using my big video camera, I used my iPhone and a Logitech webcam. In the editor, I spliced them together and output them for HTML5 viewing in MP4 and WebM format. The program automatically generated the HTML code to play the movies. (Ironically, the code generated was not HTML5 but instead XHTML 1.0 Transitional with a 2011 copyright. Cm'on guys! It's 2014!) Anyway, it worked just fine with lots of jQuery code to help it along. The main outcome was that it integrated the iPhone video with the local Windows 7 Webcam plugged into a USB port. (I mention Windows 7 because it may behave differently on Windows 8.1, but I have no reason to believe so.)

As you may or may not know, WebM is an important open source format supported by every browser except Safari. Being ever mindful of our Mac friends who use Safari, Corel VideoStudio generated an MP4 file as well. Using two <source> tags in the generated code, the HTML file and linked video files so that any browser can open the HTML file and play the video. This is all automatically generated by Corel VideoStudio.

The editing and transitions all worked easily and well, and the 268 page User Guide (pdf) is easy to use to look up stuff or walk you through getting started. The one area that is most notably in need of help is the rendering process. It is slow. In comparison to Pinnacle Studio 17 Plus, that wins the fast rendering prize, this editor is go-read-a-book-while-waiting slow. (I have an old Vostro 1500, which is ancient compared to the newer laptops, but I also tested Pinnacle Studio 17 Plus on the same computer, and it renders in a flash.)

One other feature I like on Adobe Premiere Elements is the "share" directly to YouTube and Facebook. As noted, the Corel editor is tops in generating multiple files and code for HTML5, and while you can load MP4 files to YouTube and Facebook, Adobe Premiere Elements does it directly from the editor. With Corel VideoStudio Ultimate X7, you have to use "FastFlick" (with limited editing capabilities) to upload directly to YouTube, Facebook and Vimeo. (Why they did not include that feature in the general Share window is a mystery to me.) Adobe Premiere Elements also has versions for both Windows and the Mac, which makes project sharing and cooperative development much easier across platforms.

I found that all three of the video editors compared here are relatively easy to learn. All three allow capture directly from a built-in or plugged in Webcam and mobile digital video devices like iPhones, Androids and Surface. Transitions are similar as are the editing tools--all are easy to use. The choices depend on details that are most important for the kinds of projects that you use the most.


Tales of Graces f - Playstation 3
Tales of Graces f - Playstation 3
Offered by MOST WANTED
Price: $34.10
75 used & new from $21.58

4.0 out of 5 stars Great game with a few minuses, April 10, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Tales of Grace is a long, epic game. If you like Tales, I am sure you will like it.

However there are a few negative points:

(1) The English voice acting is awful and Japanese audio is not included. I could not stand it so I turned off voices. This is the main reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5. Most of the time the actors are just reading the script. Male voices sound muffled - as if they were recorded by a cheap cell phone. This is strange because the previous game (Tales of Vesperia) had very good voice acting.

(2) The characters and story line are not as great as some other JRPGs. If you liked Yuri (from Tales of Vesperia) or Estelle/Joshua (from Trails in the Sky) you won't find anyone as interesting in Tales of Graces.


ViewSonic VA2249S 22-Inch SuperClear IPS LED-Lit LCD Monitor, Full HD 1080p, 20M:1 DCR, DVI/VGA
ViewSonic VA2249S 22-Inch SuperClear IPS LED-Lit LCD Monitor, Full HD 1080p, 20M:1 DCR, DVI/VGA
Price: Click here to see our price
61 used & new from $125.99

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great screen quality, but you can't adjust base height and there is no HDMI, March 27, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The screen quality is very good. Virtually all IPS monitors on the market right now have panels made by LG so you will get consistent quality whichever product you buy. The menu is easy to use and straightforward. Make sure you buy from Amazon or retailers that have generous return policies. Dead/bright pixels are a common problem for monitors. Do not count on Viewsonic's warranty policy. They require almost 10 dead/bright pixels to count as defective. In that regard I like Dell's premium panel guarantee (3 years warranty and 0 dead pixel).

The monitor does not allow adjusting base height and has no HDMI port.


JBL Sub 260P 12-Inch 300-Watt Powered Subwoofer
JBL Sub 260P 12-Inch 300-Watt Powered Subwoofer
Price: $599.95
5 used & new from $599.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Subwoofer is great, but at this price range there are many alternatives, March 27, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The subwoofer is very heavy and large and I was happy when I first received it, since for mass market electronics heavier weight often indicates better quality. It is about as large as a medium sized end table.

Sound quality is very good and blends well with my JBL L890 speakers. The specs say the lowest frequency response is 29hz but I definitely feels it is deeper than that. However JBL woofers and subwoofers are made of paper, which has limited stiffness...they lack the presence and beefiness of Yamaha and SVS subwoofers.

Overall this is a good subwoofer, but at this price range there is fierce competition so I recommend that you look at some other products as well.


Yamaha RX-V673 7.2-Channel Network AV Receiver (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Yamaha RX-V673 7.2-Channel Network AV Receiver (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Offered by superior sales
Price: $549.95
27 used & new from $328.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Clear and crisp sound but you HAVE to have a TV, March 21, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The sound quality of this receiver is absolutely fantastic. I bought it to replace a Denon X1000 which makes me feel as if certain frequencies are missing. The user interface and sound quality are very similar to the Yamaha Aventage A2010. I suspect that it inherited a lot of DNA from the Aventage line.

I have to take one star off because you cannot change settings without a TV. The settings page is shown on the TV, not on the receiver's small screen. So you cannot use the receiver as a room system that does not have a TV.


Pinnacle Studio 17
Pinnacle Studio 17
Offered by SkyMall1116
Price: $33.95
24 used & new from $28.68

5.0 out of 5 stars Great program and easy to use., March 20, 2014
This review is from: Pinnacle Studio 17 (CD-ROM)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Great program and easy to use. It provides a lot more functions than the movie maker that comes with Windows yet still remains easy to use.


JBL ES80BK 4-Way, Dual 170mm  6-Inch Floorstanding Speaker (Black)
JBL ES80BK 4-Way, Dual 170mm 6-Inch Floorstanding Speaker (Black)
Price: $194.95
19 used & new from $129.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome speaker. Make sure you get a good amplifier., March 18, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I got these speakers on Amazon for $254 a pair when they were on sale. Best value ever. I have had speakers that cost several times more - Yamaha NS 777 ($800), JBL L890 ($800), and KEF Q900 ($1600) and they sound only marginally better than the ES80.

At first I paired them with a Denon X1000 and it did not sound very good. Bass was weak and some frequencies sounded as if they were missing. Midrange was a little too strong and highs were somewhat unpleasant. Then I upgraded to a Yamaha 673 which made a huge difference. I turned off all processing/effects and selected Pure Direct mode (stereo, no subwoofer). They sounded clear and crisp. Bass is full-bodied yet without any boominess. Vocals are transparent and airy yet without any sibilance. I added a Yamaha SW315 subwoofer which further improved sound quality.

In fact, the sound quality is so close to the JBL L890 I suggest that if you are considering JBL L890, you should get the ES80 instead. Then use that extra money on a good SVS/Hsu sub. You won't be disappointed.


Yamaha RX-A2030 9.2-Channel Network Aventage Audio Video Receiver
Yamaha RX-A2030 9.2-Channel Network Aventage Audio Video Receiver
Offered by IQ HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Price: $999.95
17 used & new from $849.00

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Coupled with a pair of JBL L890 the sound quality is almost unreal, March 14, 2014
Note: actually I bought the A2010 which (as far as I can tell) is exactly the same as A2030.

I have JBL L890 speakers and SVS PB-1000 subwoofer. I was looking for a refurbished receiver in the $600-700 range. First I bought an Onkyo NR-828 since I never had an Onkyo before. It was a huge disappointment. Wattage was overrated and the sound lacked details. It sounded as if details were meshed together and some frequencies were missing. I returned it.

Got the Yamaha today. Took me few minutes to connect and set up. Played some piano music and a few songs by Kawashima Ai (a Japanese singer known for her accurate and detailed prononciation) on stereo full range mode and they sounded almost unreal. Totally natural and balanced. All the nuance and details were revealed. There is enough bass to add warmth and presence - although for movies a sub would be needed.

Then I played some BBC news podcasts. The voice comes right in the middle as if there were a "phantom" center channel. Human voices are, again, natural and pleasant.

Finally I tested some blu ray movies. Signal quality makes a huge difference. Blu ray audio sounds a lot more nuanced and rich than compressed audio. It is like day and night.

Throughout the tests I was impressed by the detailed and transparent sound quality. Indeed, occasionally the sound feels slightly straight and dry. This is a good thing because this receiver does not process sound to make it sound "better". It simply reproduces the original signal.

My only complaint about the receiver is the lack of Wifi. Wifi has become almost ubiquitous but receivers are slow to catch on. Also, although the receiver is DLNA-certified, it can play music only.


Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 [Download]
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 [Download]
Price: $19.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Fun and well-made game, but units are too specialized, March 14, 2014
The game is fun and produced with high quality, but too much unit specialization ruined it.

There are ground and navy units. For ground units, some are anti-armor, some are anti-infantry, and some are anti-air. Few units can target both air and ground, and if they do they are usually weak (such as Soviet Flaktrooper). Navies further complicate the matter. You are constantly being annoyed by unit specialization - if you play the game for 10-20 minutes you will know what I am talking about.


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