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Big Hero 6 11" Deluxe Flying Baymax with 4.5" Hiro Action Figures
Big Hero 6 11" Deluxe Flying Baymax with 4.5" Hiro Action Figures
Price: $35.37
188 used & new from $28.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Baymax. Half-hearted Hiro Figurine., November 23, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
If you want to impress your child or your friend's children, this is the gift to give this year. It's big. It's hefty. It's Baymax!

The plastic material is substantial. Baymax is heavy. If I were a child I would find this toy awesome.

For a big, clunky Baymax the posable ability of this toy was done well. The elbow is tight so it stay into any position. While the knees part clicks which helps when you want to make him stand on his own. Baymax has small feet so the weight of this toy helps him stand up just fine without being wobbly or clumsy to place into position.

A great plus is that this toy is electronic. He has an on/off position at the back and a subtle button by his chest. Like any decent toy manufacturer, batteries are included. Pressing on the button makes his helmet part light up and he makes robotic sounds. When you attach Hiro to his back, pressing on the button again will make him begin to talk. With Hiro still attached to his back, if you put Baymax into flying position he will make various flying sounds (similar to the flying Grover doll).

There are two more buttons. One button at his back will make him spread his gigantic wings. The other button by his left arm will enable Baymax to shoot his hand. Because of the weight of the hand alone, it really won't go far out. But it's a good addition to the toy.

So why only four stars? Well my issue is with the Hiro figurine. They planned it out well with Baymax, but it seems they half-heartedly included Hiro in this set just for the sake of it.

For one he isn't posable at all. He's in an awkward position ready to be strapped in the back. You can't really play with him alone and move his arms, legs, and head just like a regular figurine.

Second, attaching him to Baymax isn't strong and can be disappointing at times. He easily falls down so playing with him attached to Baymax isn't too exciting. Yes he has magnets on his hands to activate Baymax and attach to the back. But they should have gave the figurine stronger magnets on the hands and knees so it can attach just by magnet. You don't need to align it exactly and the plastic pegs that he has right now doesn't loosen up.

So I am knocking down one star because of this mis-step in construction. Otherwise, it could have been a perfectly awesome toy to play with for the child or the child in you.


Star Wars Command Star Destroyer Set
Star Wars Command Star Destroyer Set
Offered by Frodo's Fantasy
Price: $62.95
32 used & new from $50.77

3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing great. Space ship is okay. Non-posable figures. Batteries needed and advertised but none are included., November 23, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a Star Wars Command Star Destroyer set comes with the following:

1. Star Destroyer space ship
2. Remote Control
3. Four (4) pcs plastic missile ball
4. One (1) Metallic-painted Darth Vader
5. One (1) Gold-painted Luke Skywalker
6. Three (3) Storm Troopers
7. Three (3) Rebel Soldiers

The only assembly required is for the Star Destroyer space ship which is an easy snap on. After which there are a few creative ways to play with this Star Wars Command set even without the required batteries.

Your child can simply play with the plastic figurines alone. They are molded plastic that aren't posable. These are similar to the classic green Toy Soldiers Army Men. Nothing exciting here, but plain old imagination.

One can play with the Star Destroy space ship without batteries. To be able to fully use as intended, then you are required 4 x AA batteries for the space ship and 2 x AA batteries for the controller. None are supplied. Despite that they recommend Duracell which is a turn off in marketing. If they recommend a certain type of battery, please supply it as well.

To operate the remote, there are hand movements to learn. One to make it go forward, another for reverse, and then finally to shoot the green transparent plastic balls.

What your child does is set up the figures and he puts them into line of sight for the spaceship to fire upon.

The quality of the pieces are what's expected from a known manufacturer like Hasbro.

The gameplay is another matter. Without posable figures, it gets boring. The construction of the space ship is fine, but the construction of the figures is plain lazy. Yes, you get Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader that have metallic painting that grown ups will appreciate to collect. For the actual child they could care less.

For that reason and for the lack in supplied batteries doesn't make this too attractive to purchase for it's given price. It's an okay toy to probably give without having to think further. But for my son, he just moved on after less than an hour of play.

Your milage of course will vary.


Bose 722713-0010 WB-120 Wall-Mount Kit
Bose 722713-0010 WB-120 Wall-Mount Kit
Price: $24.95
7 used & new from $24.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple and Effective Two-Piece Metal Bracket Tailor-made for the Bose CineMate 120, October 26, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This WB-120 Wall-Mount Kit is specially made for the Bose CineMate 120 Home Theater System. This simple two piece metal bracket understandably is not included because not everyone has decided to wall mount their TV and hence their sound bar.

One metal piece goes into the soundbar via the included screws. The other metal piece goes on the wall also via included drywall mount screws. However if you really want a solid setup on your drywall, I would suggest using a better quality drywall hardware package to ensure your drywall screws doesn't get loose and fall out over time.

Once connected to each piece - the wall and the soundbar - all you need to do is hang the soundbar metal over the metal connected to the wall. There is a rubber piece you stick to the metal so the soundbar plastic doesn't get damaged from the metal or vibrate annoyingly if you put it to the test.

So why only four stars? Everything is included including the annoying template all manufacturers fall into. They supply you with the convenient paper template for you to cut out. Unless you have an awesome paper cutter or a robot hand, you will never be able to cut the template straight.

When manufacturers supply you with a wall mounting template, I demand these to be pre-cut already and actually printed on a hard cardboard sheet. Not on a paper for you to manhandle and attempt to cut straight.

Like all paper templates, I skip using these and actually use the actual speaker measurements and screw height measurements. I then use the wall markers and finally a leveler to ensure proper vertical and horizontal installation.

With the quality that Bose is injecting into their image, I wish they can improve their template and actually give owners who are demanding a Bose hassle-free installation the same ease in wall mounting their products.


Bose CineMate 120 Home Theater System
Bose CineMate 120 Home Theater System
Price: $1,099.00
15 used & new from $1,099.00

6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Price to Pay for a Simple and Worry-Free Set-Up, October 26, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
SETUP:

Bose has carefully and thoughtfully packaged the CineMate 120 so each content can be pulled out in an orderly way from one box with the console, the other box with the accessories - remote, speaker cables, power cables, and HDMI cable. Then the next layer is the carefully packaged soundbar. The bottom layer is the acoustimass module.

As you unpack, I would suggest setting up each to your location of choice as your remove the plastic wrapping. That way you can just route and connect the speaker and power cable wiring to each component.

POWER UP:

Once the cabling is done and the placement of your components are all set, it's time to power up the console and the acoustimass module. The sound bar is powered by the main console on behalf of the proprietary Bose speaker wiring that connects to it. While the acoustimass module has it's own power source and communicates via wireless. Although placement of the bass module can be anywhere within 30 feet of the console, I would suggest placing it as close to the sound bar as possible so there is no disconnect with the perception. I will touch on this more later.

ADAPTIQ:

Adaptiq is Bose's own term for their audio calibration process. This is your first order of business to ensure optimum speaker performance based on your room size, wall, furniture and drapery placement. You just plug in the minijack to the side of the console and wear the Adaptiq headset.

It essentially takes five measurements based on where the five people in your household will be sitting.

This process is similar to my existing THX home receiver that does auto calibration for best audio performance. Both shoot out high and low pitch tones to measure the speaker output and your room environment. The only difference is that Bose forces you to take five measurements than is necessary. Unlike my home theater set up by the living room. This Bose CineMate 120 I have placed in the bedroom. So I really have an audience of 2 most of the time with maximum of 4, if ever. I think the least Bose can do is give you an option to add more or do less measurements than force you to find five positions. Because mine is in the bedroom, how many listening positions do I really want on my bed. I can think of more than five positions in the bed, but not with the Adaptiq. Thank you.

So once the five measurements are done, it's time to start connecting your sources if you have not done so already.

CONNECTIONS and ARC (Audio Return Channel):

My Bose console is mainly connected to my 2012 Samsung LED TV. It's worth noting that if you have sources directly connected to your TV instead of the Bose console, then you should select the HDMI port on your TV with the ARC (Audio Return Channel) capability. This means that any source that plays on your TV will route it's audio to the Bose via the same HDMI cable that you connected from the Bose console to the TV. This is unlike the old days where you needed to feed a separate audio cable from the TV to your receiver in order to hear audio that the TV is playing. If you don't have media sources connected to your TV directly then this is not a concern. Or rather the work-around is to connect them to the Bose console than the TV.

The problem for me is that because the Bose console is too limited in function other than being an audio playback device for four HDMI sources, I have to play my other digital sources stored in a USB stick and hard drive via USB connection to the 2012 TV that can handle playing these various media. That way the TV plays the media then feeds the audio back to Bose.

HDMI-CEC / ARC issues:

That's not to say the ARC feature isn't perfect and I don't know who's fault it is at this point - Bose or Samsung. For one there is a set up in Bose's console that times out the console if no audio is playing for some time, with ARC via Samsung it plays the audio then eventually shuts off the audio. This means I'm listening to the Bose audio at one point then when the console shuts off automatically because it thinks there is no audio (oddly enough) then the audio goes back to the Samsung TV. The workaround for me is to disable the auto shutoff on the Bose console and it will play the ARC audio from the Samsung TV just fine for hours.

The second issue for me is that there is an annoying Samsung display stating their ARC (or what they also bill the feature under their Anynet+ branding) is routing to the Bose CineMate. Sometimes it will appear for a few seconds then disappear completely. But other times it will flicker on and off continuously. It's very annoying. So clearly Samsung and Bose are not 100% compatible with their HDMI-CEC (Anynet+) with regards to properly detecting and passing the ARC audio. But with regards to basic functions such as turning on and off the console, the TV power will also turn on and off just fine.

BOSE Remote control:

Kudos to the Bose remote control. I like how it's made. The size is big, but it appears to be the one simple remote I can live with to replace my TV and Arris cable box remote. Of course with the button naming and placement, there is a learning curve but after an hour of playing with the Bose remote to control my cable box I believe I have it all figured out.

The HDMI-CEC did not work for me. I had to program the remote for my cable box as well as the Samsung TV in order to have proper commands directly seen by each devices. Which is not a big deal once programmed. The Bose manual will explain how to program and the included program booklet codes is easy to find based on the most common devices out there.

If all else fails then you'll need to program your remote the old fashioned way by learning each commands. This will take time and patience. If this were the case, I would just use multiple remote controls than program each button and then learn the use of each buttons.

CONSOLE:

I find the Bose console too basic in function. It's small like a basic DVR. It can take four HDMI sources with video and audio as well as well three additional audio only sources via the optical audio (Toslink), coaxial digital audio, and analog RCA audio. There is a fourth bonus analog audio input via the Adaptiq on the side. It can be programmed as an Aux audio in or even a headphone out jack. For this feature, I'm impressed Bose has thought of it to program this way than an exclusive Adaptiq jack that will theoretically be only used once.

My gripe with the console is that there is no on-screen display that feeds to your TV. I was disappointed and surprised at this day and age Bose with it's price range has not built this feature. Instead I have to look at their tiny console screen to go through the menu and setup. Honestly for over a grand in purchase of even the basic CineMate 120, I can only scratch my head at this omission.

And more omissions which is true to Bose, they don't really discuss or even reveal their specifications. Such that this console actually only acts like an HDMI pass through. There is no upscaling of your sources unlike my THX receiver of the same price range. Anything I feed into my home theater receiver, it looks awesome because it tries to output like it's a 4K source. The good news is Bose is able to display 4K resolution if your HDMI source is 4K as well. But the bottomline is that it will display whatever your source is the same way it's being fed into the console.

But what if I have THX sources. As an audio and video enthusiast I do have THX media. Or DTS. Or Dolby Digital. So far I have seen that Bose will detect Dolby encoded media and actually display this to their mini display on the console for a few seconds or when you adjust the volume. Other than that, there is no way of knowing what Bose is receiving or actually doing to it.

Which means I don't like the lack of transparency of the console. I don't know what's happening, how Bose is processing it and spewing it out. I know Bose simply wants you to forget about those things and just listen to the output. If you like what you're hearing then that's what all you should be concerned about.

I have to note that Bose was criticized for this awhile back. They don't publish their specifications. Again as an audio enthusiast that cares about audio, I want to know what is the dynamic range of the Bose console and speakers? What is it really capable of? How low can the Acoustimass module go? It seems Bose wants you to forget about these technicalities. This marketing will work with people with money and no concern for anything else. If it works and seems to sound beautiful then that is all that matters. For other people like myself who are much deeper into the audio and video world, we also want more information.

SOUNDBAR:

Bigger is better, of course but the Bose CineMate 120 is perfect for my application. I have been wanting to buy a sound bar for my Samsung TV but everything is too long and too big. I never knew this CineMate 120 existed until it was offered to me. Actually I was not looking into Bose at all for the same reasons I said above.

But 17" in length x 3.1" in height of a sound bar is perfect for my bedroom application. My 55" Samsung LED TV is big enough hung on my wall, I don't need another equally big sound bar the size of my TV to show how big the picture and sound should be in my normal downtown sized bedroom. This Bose sound bar as soon as it was set up is more than loud enough to wake up the neighbors and shake their walls.

I had to separately invest in the Bose WB-120 Wall-Mount Kit (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00O66Q2LA/ref=cm_cr_ryp_prd_ttl_sol_1). It costs a quarter of a Benjamin and they supply the special metal brackets. I understand why Bose does not supply it, not many people are wall mounting their TV or speakers. It's a simple bracket and did the job just fine.

AUDIO QUALITY:

Despite Bose criticisms from audiophiles, Bose does even say in print when I opened the package that they don't colour the sound with exaggerated highs and lows unlike other speaker systems that make you believe they sound good because of this added equalization.

I raised my eyebrows then I played my audio sources. You know what, it sounds really nice. The Bose sound quality that they were known for is very evident. The mid-range is at the front and center and very clear with no audible distortion despite cranking up the volume. And at normal listening levels, dialogue was crystal clear coming from the compact sound bar. Very impressed.

My previous experience with personal audio setups with studio monitor speakers and separate subwoofers now carried over to my living room, I did find shortcomings in the lower range of the audio spectrum with the sound bar and Acoustimass bass module crossover. I find that, as with all Bose crossover and their tiny speakers, the crossover is too high. Because there are no specs, it's at least at 110Hz or even higher versus the conventional 80Hz for true non-directional bass support.

Because of this high crossover point, the Acoustimass module cannot really be placed anywhere despite being wireless because it tends to be directional than non-directional. So even low talking voices are split into the main sound bar and the Acoustimass module which means if they are far apart you hear the audio from two far apart sources. So to truly have a fuller effect in audio range, I would suggest to place this bass module closer to the sound bar than farther away. This will make the audio blend into one seamless dynamic range.

As for the highs, there are no surprisingly annoying high notes that jump out. And that's a good thing. Bose seems to actually play the sources you feed according to how it demands to be sounded. Of course you have to bear in mind this is taking into account their proprietary processing based on their compact speaker sizes and how it affects your actual room and furniture placement.

MISSES:
For a system that costs over a grand, it's got to be a joke not to have wireless connectivity options already built in. Bluetooth audio has to be the standard at this point for pricey systems. In order to get wireless streaming, you will need to buy an accessory for the console. If this was a couple of hundred, it's probably understandable. But not at this price range.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Just to let you guys know I did patronize Bose in their early years in the professional music DJ scene with their Bose 901 as well as their outdoor speaker application Bose 101. Then they became well known to the masses with the release of their Bose Acoustimass series speakers. By then Bose marketing was everywhere. You sit down and pretend you were listening to big speakers until the final reveal where they show you tiny speakers all around and a small bass module that drives the whole audio. My parents bought one for their home theater (and still works to this day). Then the independent testing came out. I grew up and delved further into the audio and video production where critical listening mattered. I needed to know my specs and suddenly Bose to me didn't exist.

But because of this experience and for applications such as bedroom where I don't need critical listening or critical setup of speakers, but where I definitely don't want to rely on the measly flatscreen flat-sounding speakers. This Bose CineMate is a force to be reckoned with in these applications. I will choose this Bose for it's small size and powerful output over the sound bar of the other guys. At least with Bose I get an elegant looking and well constructed speaker system. It's not tacky or cheap especially when hung to the wall next to your big TV.

If I were to do it all over again, I would probably still choose Bose for my bedroom and all other rooms that needed a sound bar set up with less complications than a 5.1 wiring and still output a rich sound especially for movies. The expensive price of any Bose is another factor, of course. But the seeming simplicity of their product versus the audio quality that you can get from their small speakers IS their selling point. Not to mention the build quality. You aren't getting a cheap looking product mind you. Everything is built solid.

The only issue is that the missing built-in wireless connectivity at this day and age for a system costing over a grand is an unacceptable commission. Do manufacturers really have to nickel and dime the features by selling more accessories that will occupy another space on your set up as well as your power supply receptacle? It seems only Bose has thought this was a simple decision for a company that touts simplicity in their products.

This will not replace your elaborate home theater speaker set up that demands critical listening and a variety of audio sources and proper certifications. This will however play along just fine with the big boys that don't care about those things as well. For a sound bar set up, Bose is definitely up there.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 4, 2014 4:19 AM PST


Yamaha HS5 Powered Studio Monitor
Yamaha HS5 Powered Studio Monitor
Price: $199.99
42 used & new from $149.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Legacy Continuous, October 13, 2014
I am impressed with these small Yamaha HS5 studio monitor speakers. For my home theater set up by the living room, I went through a few speaker sets including the first version Mackie MR5 (impressive performance for the price), then the KRK RP6G2 (good design more than sound), then back to the Mackie MR5G3 (great sound, bad design). My go to speaker for the living room became the KRK because I got one of their limited edition colour scheme and with a 6.5" woofer, produced a more robust sound. Then one day one of the KRK speakers just died. There was power, but there was no sound output. I checked it in the authorized KRK repair shop in my area and they quoted me a repair cost equivalent to the same price of a brand new speaker.

Since I had a previous generation speaker, I set out to find a new pair of studio monitors. Then I came across these HS5 which is the latest version to Yamaha's infamous HS50.

DESIGN
Unlike KRK and Mackie of trying to one up each other in speaker design that it's getting ridiculous and tacky altogether, Yamaha has gone the traditional route of offering a boxy speaker that look like your typical bookshelf. What sets this apart is their iconic white woofer cone set against black speaker cabinet. This is further highlighted by the white illuminated Yamaha logo when powered on.

In one of my old reviews I did give bad marks on the latest speaker design of the Mackie MR5G3. While it's true speakers are meant to be listened to and not looked at, as a reviewer I beg to differ. You review everything from it's design and build quality down to it's audio output quality. Plus if you buy studio monitor speakers for it's flat response to showcase in your home the way I do, then yes design does matter especially when price among other studio monitors are comparable.

Like all studio monitors, this is an open design. There is no protective grill to cover the actual speakers. Except for the massive 1" tweeter which has a metal grill.

SOUND QUALITY
I hesitated to jump on the Yamaha HS50 speaker because of it's reputation among audio mixers. I was looking for a decent sounding speaker that could try to achieve a flat response considering the price point. I wasn't after a $1K a pair studio monitor as I wasn't doing critical listening. I just wanted less coloration for my home theater.

When the HS5 came out last year, the positive reviews started pouring in. Yamaha was able to tame the sound quality and provide a more pronounced mid-range which is perfect for overall listening.

I find these speakers offer a clearer sound quality than my Mackie or KRK of similar price range. The vocal frequency range is crystal and the highs is balanced.

Of course for a 5" woofer, there practically is not much bass. It's a good thing if you want to monitor how your audio will sound in everyday speakers. For extended bass, I added a subwoofer at 80Hz cut off.

OVERALL
I would highly recommend these speakers if you're looking for relatively affordable studio monitors for everyday listening. For a 5" woofer, yes these are more expensive to the comparable sized KRK RP5G3 and Mackie MR5 III but the better sound quality makes it worth the added cost.

You get what you pay for. No gimmick in speaker design. Just straight up honest sound quality which I can't complain for it's price range.


D-Link Wireless AC1900 Dual Band WiFi Gigabit Router (DIR-880L)
D-Link Wireless AC1900 Dual Band WiFi Gigabit Router (DIR-880L)
Price: $159.99
34 used & new from $139.07

4.0 out of 5 stars Very Decent, VeryFast AC1900 Wireless Gigabit Router, October 4, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE D-Link Wireless AC1900 (DIR-880L)

I was surprised how slow my Apple router was until I replaced it with this D-Link Wireless AC1900 (DIR-880L) router. I didn't realize how much the router was holding up on the data transfer as I thought it was my internet provider. Swapped it for this D-Link and suddenly my computer's browser sprang to life. So if you have a dated router like I do and with limited budget, now's the time and you could be their target market.

Set Up:
- Super quick and easy I didn't need the actual manual to get started. You unpack the router to find the base unit and three antennas that you screw into place at the rear. You plug the ethernet cable (provided) from your internet provider's modem port to the rear port of this router that's labeled "INTERNET" which is also color coded yellow.
- Plug the power adopter and apply power to the router.
- If you are trying to connect wirelessly for the first time to the router then there is a small business card with the default router name and password. Follow that to connect either to the 2.4GHz or 5GHz bandwidth. If you are connecting via wired ethernet cable, then take any of the four gigabit ports to connect directly to your computer.
- From there you simply launch your web browser and go to http://dlinkrouter.local/ or http://192.168.0.1. The set up Wizard will take over where you can finish the setup depending on the type of modem you have as well as change the broadcast name and password to your own liking.
- Let the router re-start to save your settings and you sign back on with the new broadcast name and password. Once connected back in, you are now up and running.
- For more advanced users, there are more settings that enable you to control the flow of data in a very easy to understand graphic interface.

PROS:
- Easy set up it's scary how powerful this router is, yet how intuitive it is to turn you into an advance user.
- Dual core processing power that enables you to interact with this wireless router with less lag than previous router.
- Fast data speeds. It's not the fastest, but it's up there in the top considering the prices of other wireless routers it's competing with.
- Smartbeam technology which allows the router to concentrate on the wireless area depending on the demand of the devices in range.
- Able to host and stream practically any recognizable file these days - video, audio, photo, etc.
- USB port for printer and hard drives
- GUI with drag and drop ability for smoothest set up.
- Wall-mountable with the included hardware.

CONS:
- Despite being the most current model of D-Link it's still not the fastest among the other AC1900 players. However, the price of this unit makes up for the lack in speed. For regular users who are upgrading, this is plenty fast enough. For advanced users who need the most control, this may not be their cup of tea.
- Odd shape. I've been used to the boxy wireless router. This one has an awkward shape with lots of edges only PC people will appreciate. I don't mind the three protruding antennas, but the footprint of this router demands more space. While the thought of hanging this doesn't really warrant being displayed, but more of hidden.
- Typical plastic construction that demands to be tossed once outdated.
- Very limited Bridge mode and Access Point mode. I'm glad this has a bridge mod, but it's it's too limited in feature. While it has also been pointed out to me that any router can technically act as an Access Point which after researching online is true. The problem with this router is that it is trying to analyze your input in the settings and is telling you otherwise that there is an error, etc. While trying to do Access Point manually, this router will point out that you are not connected to the internet and is suggesting to repair the settings. It will even tell you that you have no clients connected to the router. But that is not true. In my case, after manually inputting the settings to act as an Access Point all my 9 devices were able to connect wired and wirelessly to this router. They all access the internet as well as communicate with each other with the 10th device on the main router supplied by my cable provider. Despite this successful connection, I am warned I have no internet and the internet light by the front panel is not lit up. This router wants to be a smart router, but ends up being annoying.

My out-dated Apple router acts as a Bridge and Access Point altogether. All I need to set is for it to be a Bridge. Then I state whether the connection is wired or wirelessly. From there is determines whether it becomes an Access Point with Bridging capability. This is what I expected from this 2014 router that boasts of it's Wizard capability.

As such I am disappointed that although it has Bridge mode and everyone can manually set it as an Access Point, it cannot act as an Access Point with Bridge in the first place. If you choose Bridge, you are forced to connect wirelessly than wired which then slows you networking capability right there. Instead, you are forced to bridge from a wireless signal. If I want to improve my wireless connection I want to take the best possible source which is via the gigabit wired port. The last thing I want is to take an already degraded or reduced wireless connection and feed it into the router especially if the wireless signal is 2.4GHz rather than the latest 5GHz to begin with. This was a major disappointment for a 2014 router.

OVERALL:
If I was starting from scratch, I wouldn't hesitate choosing this router. It's fast and it has a powerful wireless signal. For those like me who want to expand their existing connection, it's not advantageous to choose this model.

I hope D-Link is able to upgrade the firmware to allow seamless Access Point with Bridging capability via wired ethernet cable right from the Wizard setting just like my 2010 Apple router so I can truly use this as a replacement.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 9, 2014 11:57 AM PDT


Lasko Pure Platinum HEPA Air Purifier with Remote Control and Auto Clean, Model HF25630
Lasko Pure Platinum HEPA Air Purifier with Remote Control and Auto Clean, Model HF25630
Price: $199.00
15 used & new from $119.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good value for your money., September 22, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This may seem like an unfair comparison, but I need to point out that it somehow reminds me of the Rabbit Air MinusA2 SPA-700/780A air purifier which this Lasko HF25630 unit will give the Rabbit Air a run for it's money. Hold on, you say as the Lasko is a third of the price of the top of the line MinusA2 SPA-780A. Let me explain later in detail.

Dimension-wise the Lasko looks huge because it's tall. But it also is thin. This is versus the Rabbit Air which on the other hand looks deceivingly smaller because it's short, but it has a hefty width to house the 5 stages of filters and it's filter housing. The Lasko is thin because it has 3 stages of filters. It also comes with a non-replaceable UV-A LED to aid in killing germs which the Rabbit Air does not have. Both air filters do come with Negative Ion generators which suppose to mimic the air quality in mountains, forests and beaches.

I can't complain about the plastic quality. Although I want it to be feel more solid built to the touch so it can feel classy. The lighting on the other hand is a bit not too elegant. It's a nice concept, but needs more finesse in execution. There is a light strip at the top where the flat touch-sensitive buttons are located. Within the light strip are small LEDs that light up at the bottom of the flat buttons to let you know what options have been selected. The quality of the lights look cheap although the blue colour similar to the blue hue of the Rabbit Air is soothing.

Set up is easy. You remove the whole unit from the box. Remove the plastic wrapping on the unit as well as on the filters. The filters have sticker markings to let you know which side faces out. These are claimed to last a full year before replacement. Except for the carbon filter which last 4 months. So you have been provided with 3 pieces in the package. Place the filter without the packaging back and turn on the unit.

Controls are easy from fan speed, timer, UV-A, Negative Ion Generator, and Sleep Mode for reduced operating noise and lighting. It also comes with a Child Lock button so they don't go playing around with the unit.

Now back to the relative cheap pricing of this Lasko HF-25630 air purifier versus the 3X pricing of the Rabbit Air MinusA2 SPA-780A. The Lasko is claimed to have an effective coverage area of 200 square feet of space. The Rabbit Air claims to have an 815 square feet. So you effectively pay a third of the price, but a fourth of the capable cleaning area. What you do save up on with the Lasko is the air filter cost that comes out around 23% cheaper. But then realizing there are only three physical filter stages on the Lasko versus five physical filter stages on the Rabbit Air, it comes out to be more expensive considering there are less elements in the purchase and that the filter kit is designed to filter a fourth of the coverage area.

The Lasko has another weakness such that the metal stand is not adjustable or removable. That means it also has no capability to be hung on the wall.

Still the Lasko is relatively cheap and does perform well. Not everyone is willing to shell out 3x more or has the need to filter a 815 sq ft of space for their intended need. At which case, this Lasko is your next best bet to do the job.


Linksys AC1200 Wi-Fi Wireless Dual-Band+ Router, Smart Wi-Fi App Enabled to Control Your Network from Anywhere (EA6100)
Linksys AC1200 Wi-Fi Wireless Dual-Band+ Router, Smart Wi-Fi App Enabled to Control Your Network from Anywhere (EA6100)
Price: Click here to see our price
19 used & new from $45.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Basic No-Frills Router, September 3, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I didn't realize how basic this router was in today's day and age. For one Benjamin, I didn't expect much but I didn't expect too little.

This router is for beginners and that's what the selling point is. It's for people who just want to get on wirelessly without any hassle for complicated settings or features. That's a good thing if you just want to connect via a tablet or smartphone. However if you need multiple wired and wireless combination, then it's best to look elsewhere.

Pros:
1. Simple setup
2. Smartphone app setup and controls
3. Multi-voltage power adapter
4. Wireless and wired connections
5. USB 2.0 printer / external hard drive capability

Cons
1. No Gigabit LAN. Only 10/100 connection
2. No Bridge / Repeater Mode to extend a wireless connection
3. Two non-detachable antennas
4. Decent but outdated speed
5. Typical wireless signal strength. Needs to be better for today's standards.

I was hoping to use this as a wireless connection and turn off the wireless feature in the cable/modem supplied device.of my home internet provider. It cannot act as wireless bridge.

Wireless signal despite the two ugly antennas was not any stronger than my current wireless cable modem.

Perhaps as a senior this would be most appealing . All others will need to look elsewhere.


3M 39117 Complete Car Care Kit
3M 39117 Complete Car Care Kit
Price: $48.75

4.0 out of 5 stars Trusted 3M Innovation and Quality, August 24, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I like this product. I have always trusted 3M for its innovation. I have used a few of their automotive chemicals in the last but not in this form of a complete kit.

The product came in a box within a box. The outer box is from Amazon's shipping department which basically places the 3M packed box inside. As for the 3M box, the bottles are packed right inside via a brown crumpled paper to fill in the gap. This however doesn't stop the contents from moving and shifting around when in transit so I understand how spills can occur. My 3M box had a slight spill from one of the bottles because basically each bottle doesn't have an inner seal. And for bottles with chemicals, this concerns me. So if a cap comes loose during transit, the liquid leaks out slowly as what happened to one of my bottles or severely as what happened to the others who reviewed the product.

Even at half price it may be expensive but the performance each product gives is satisfying. Don't get me wrong, there is no magic in here. Just effective chemicals and elbow grease to make your detailing time worthwhile.

The 3M Car Wash Soap is as I have expected with other car soaps very sweet smelling like cherry. Perhaps it's psychological but it does make washing the vehicle more enjoyable. This preps the vehicle.

From there you grab the Lens and Hard Plastic Cleaner to remove any surface contaminants from the aging process.

Then into the Wheel and Tire Cleaner that effectively removes grease and grime.

If you haven't waxed the paint in awhile then you need to go with the Synthetic Wax Protectant. The chemical binds to your paint to form a protectant while giving a great shine in the process.

The Quick Wax Detailer is an in-between wax for the maintenance of your vehicle protection and shine. Do this until you are ready for your next major wax job.

Now that your exterior has been taken care of. Time for the Leather and Vinyl Restorer. This is one of the better products I've used. Like I said it's not magic but it does work effectively. The best part like my other favourite interior cleaner is that it doesn't leave an oily residue.

Part of the 12-piece pack is actually just 5 pieces of similar micro fiber clothes which if you already care for your car you may have purchased these in bulk quantities like myself. So this isn't really a selling point and doesn't impress me to create a "12 Piece Kit".

I wish they went further and equipped the kit with brushes for the wheel and interior. That would help anyone who wants to build a kit or to simply replace their existing ones.

Overall highly recommended kit especially if you want to replace your micro fiber cloths.


OXO Steel Vacuum Wine Preserver
OXO Steel Vacuum Wine Preserver
Price: $14.99
12 used & new from $8.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great value. Great build quality from Oxo., August 24, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Wow this was better than I expected for the price it's being sold. I was ready to receive a flimsy device but it's actually a bit more substantial to hold.

The body is made of solid plastic and has metal and rubber accents. The former is to add more class. The latter is for better grip. All three components are well put together.

It is a simple hand pump. You pump to suck the air out of the bottle with the aid of the supplied stopper. Once it gets harder to pump then most of the air is expelled slowing down the oxidation process.

Two stoppers are provided logically for red and white wine. The seal is tight so to release the stopper you simply press down on the grey tab and voila almost fresh wine ready for another round.

I wouldn't hesitate recommending this product. Price wise, functionality, simplicity, and build quality makes this a must have.


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