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Manfrotto Tripod Bag Padded 80Cm
Manfrotto Tripod Bag Padded 80Cm
Offered by Norman Camera & Video
Price: $78.18
2 used & new from $49.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Top Notch Quality from Manfrotto, April 16, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I don't know if Manfrotto has a direct hand at manufacturing this bag, but the quality is excellent just like their tripod. The nylon material is thick and the stitching is solid. Not a flimsy bag at all.

I was skeptical of pulling the trigger because of it's price. After seeing great reviews on it, I purchased one myself which I think is the best way to store my Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod + 322RC2 ball head combination. Both fit inside just fine.

The zipper is fluid. The opening is generous so you can pop the tripod in with no struggle at all.

The padding is thick. Of course this comes at a price in terms of making it very bulky to handle, but this bag is not for carrying around of course. It's for storing the tripod and bringing it from storage to your vehicle and onto the shoot. It gives me confidence knowing the tripod is heavily protected from dings and scratches when handling it to and from places.

After 7 years of owning this bag and tripod, I don't have any issues at all to date. Definitely recommend.


Sony PlayStation 3 Move Motion Controller (Bulk Packaging)
Sony PlayStation 3 Move Motion Controller (Bulk Packaging)
Offered by Direct Distributor
Price: $21.99
20 used & new from $14.66

5.0 out of 5 stars Great. New. Just in Bulk Packaging., April 16, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
With Sony phasing out the Move Motion Controllers due to the release of PS4 that doesn't need it, I was looking for a cheap offering of the Move Motion Controller from scouring the web and brick and mortar stores.

Amazon was offering the best price for a purported brand new controller. I was skeptical at first since it isn't directly sold by Amazon, but Amazon fulfills the shipment. I purchased mine from a seller called "Direct Distributor" which after reading positive reviews on them, I jumped on it for an experimental one controller first.

My package arrived relatively quick in an Amazon box. In it was a plain brown, compact box with a printed sticker that it was new and bulk package. Inside was the controller as well as the lanyard attachment both individually wrapped in their own plastic.

Physically looks great. Charged it fully. Plugged it in the PS3 system to pair and off I went using it with no issues.

As for the controller, it's a bit archaic in 2014 seeing how both PS4 and XBOX One systems have refined their process through the camera. But I'm still loving my shooting games in the PS3, not for it's authenticity but for it's arcade-style playability. I see the games in the arcade shops and I know I can play the same ones at home without having to keep on purchasing tokens to continue playing.

I love how the controller can be adapted to various accessories like a steering wheel and various model guns. I don't like how bright and big the glowing ball can be. A bit obtrusive at first which gets lost once your in the zone gaming.

It's a good piece of technology during it's time. I will wait for further price drop and will probably purchase two more so I can get a pair per person for some boxing arcade game this time.

If only the PS4 was backward compatible so I can carry over the games and accessories for the interim while we are still waiting for similar motion control games using the advanced camera.


The Rumford Gardener Tuff-Guard Expanding Hose, 50-Feet
The Rumford Gardener Tuff-Guard Expanding Hose, 50-Feet
Price: $43.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Loving it for it's compact use. A bit tedious to prepare. Not for everyone., April 12, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have high hopes for this product. The manufacturer seems to be especially proud of it's expanding hose offering.

PROS/ Manufacturer CLAIMS:
- Up to 250 PSI
- Solid Brass Fittings
- Kink-free
- made from a "Tuff-Guard" multi-layer core rubber inner hose
- Very lightweight. In fact it's the solid brass attachments on both ends that is basically adding the hefty weight to the hose.

CONS:
- Unlike a regular hose, you will need to wait and pressurize the hose in order to expand. This is the reason why there is an ON/OFF valve at the end. Once the hose has expanded, you can start to release the pressure and if the flow of water is good then the hose remains expanded. If there is not enough pressure flow, the hose may begin to contract.
- It claims an up to 250 psi rating, but once you open the package the included instruction sheet specifically states in big bold letters that it cannot be used with a pressure washer. (Although unlike other reviewers on this item, it can be used with a hose attachment like a sprinkler.)
- Unlike traditional hoses, there is an elaborate multi-step process in using the hose that is time-consuming in itself just for operating a simple tool - a hose. You have to ensure to expand the hose by SLOWLY opening the water source and letting it flow. This will ensure there are no kinks while the hose expands. Once fully expanded, you let the water out by opening the valve on the end of the hose. Then when you are done, you close the water source and wait for the hose to empty it's water contents as it contracts back to a compact hose.

OVERALL:
So you see this hose is not for everyone really. If you have a house with a big yard, I would simply go with a traditional big, bulky hose application that can be kept on a plastic reel. I live in a condo building at the heart of a Downtown city. I do not have much space to store or operate the hose. My main purpose is to wash down the car and bicycle when in need. That is why I have accepted the elaborate steps that I have to go through to operate the hose. If I were to regularly use a hose, I would not recommend going this route at all.

I believe that the manufacture should, in order to garner more positive reviews and avoid negative due to misunderstanding, not only highlight it's compactness, but to come clean in announcing what it can and cannot do on the feature page as well as on the box itself. This way everything is laid out for the purchaser to see. Why force the purchase when it truly isn't for them. This will avoid returns in the process as well.


Summer Sparkle Fun Newborn-to-Toddler Baby Tub with Toy Bar, Pink
Summer Sparkle Fun Newborn-to-Toddler Baby Tub with Toy Bar, Pink
Price: $26.09
4 used & new from $25.68

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Loving this 3-Stage Bathtub and included Accessories., April 12, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is my second baby bathtub for my second baby. The first was a Safety 1st brand and is very similar in shape. I love how Summer has innovated on the idea by not just offering a basic infant to toddler bathtub, but by including accessories to help occupy the baby which I never had for the first.

This bathtub comes with a simple-clip on toy bar with mirror. You have two attachments that hang on the clip-on bar which is a heart shape and a sun shape plastic.

There are 3 stages of use for this bathtub and basically solves the problem of having to purchase multiple products throughout your baby's growth..

STAGE 1: From 0 months
It comes with a clip-on bath sling which acts as a baby hammock. As a result it gently carries the baby on a laying down position.

STAGE 2: Contoured Backrest (possibly 6 mos and up; depending on baby's size and weight)
This is where you discard the sling at this point in the baby's growth, but retain the clip-on toy bar. At this stage the baby is able to sit upright on it's own and can appreciate the clip-on articles to keep her entertained.

STAGE 3: TUB (up to 2 years old; depending on baby's size)
You discard the clip-on bar and change the baby's position from the contoured backrest part to an upright sitting position. It now acts like a miniature tub where the length of the tub encompasses the length of the baby's legs.

For our first tub, we discarded it earlier than two when our baby could comfortably not just stand but walk by himself. This way he can safely move about on the adult tub without feeling constricted. So at this point, you can use it up to stage 3 until the time you are confident enough to allow your baby to bathe in the actual tub.

PROS:
- Included bath sling that acts like a baby hammock
- Accessories to keep baby entertained during bath time
- Drain plug to safely drain water especially when using over the sink. When using over an actual tub, I just tip the whole tub over.
- Soft padding on the tub.
- The actual tub is made in the USA (everything else is made in China)

CONS:
- Not BPA-free which should be a standard for baby plastic items
- One of the foam pads was not stuck together properly and was hanging loose. I had to remove the cardboard particles that became stuck underneath the sticker portion of the pad before re-applying it on the actual plastic tub. Time will tell if this will remain stuck.
- Accessories: sling pad and clip-on bar + toys are made in China which I have nothing against if the manufacturing is done right and the materials are non-toxic, but the hanging toys are questionable in quality and there is no mention of it's toxicity.

OVERALL:
My first tub was a blue plastic for my boy. I was excited to see this in person when it was a transparent and sparkly pink tub. Very princess-like and 100% better than that first blue tub I purchased for practically the same price.

Too bad the foam pads were loose and the tub plus included accessories are not advertised as BPA free. It could have garnered all 5 stars if they gave much thought into it even at a higher price.


Cybex Infant Car Seat Adapter
Cybex Infant Car Seat Adapter
Offered by QualityBrands
Price: $21.50
9 used & new from $9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Cheap. Great Build. Perfect for my Cybex Stroller, March 7, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a great alternative for my Cybex Stroller to accommodate an Infant Car Seat without having to go back to my full-size stroller. All in all it's just a simple strap with a stopper in one end and velcro in the other to wrap around the rear frame of your umbrella stroller. Based on other reviewers, they buy this for non-Cybex umbrella strollers which will work as long as the frame dimension is similar.

It's a little bit archaic, but it's so simple it works. What I'm impressed with is that Cybex can make a simple strap, but can make it look and feel so elegant. I wish other manufacturers can follow suit with the build quality like this.


Summer Spectra Travel System with Prodigy Infant Car Seat, Blaze
Summer Spectra Travel System with Prodigy Infant Car Seat, Blaze
Price: $379.99
10 used & new from $379.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bang For Your Buck Albeit Cheap-Looking, March 7, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've shopped, tried, owned and used a couple of strollers. As a Dad who loves gadgets, I'm also looking for something sturdy, has great design, and is functional.

Let's breakdown this stroller's pros and cons:

PROS/FEATURES:

STROLLER
1. Aluminum Frame - For a full-size stroller, it is relatively lightweight and rust-free.
2. One-Piece Push Handle - Easier to maneuver with one hand than strollers with two separate handles.
3. One-Handed Fold - Just push the button then twist by the middle of the handle and you will be able to fold the stroller
4. Drink Holder - Who doesn't appreciate a drink holder these days? In one of my strollers, I even had to buy one separately as an add-on accessory versus being included.
5. Self-Standing - Not long ago it was a selling point to be self-standing. I think strollers these days should have a self-standing feature when folded as a given.
6. Long and Spacious Footrest with Adjustable angle - As a full-size stroller, I expect the Spectra to have long and spacious footrest to accommodate the growing child. It does not disappoint.
7. Large Storage Basket - Again, all full size strollers I expect to have a large basket underneath the stroller seat and this feature does not disappoint. You can toss in a lot of things in there.
8. Child Snack/Drink Tray - You have a tray in the center as well as two cup holders for milk and water.
9. Built-In Rear Mesh for Ventilation at the Hood - This serves as a ventilation as well as a peek-a-boo window to see your child while pushing around.
10. Suspension for all Four Wheels - Helps provide a smoother ride for your child.
11. Large Rear Wheel Lock - they call their feature a "pedicure-friendly" lock. It's basically a large foot rest at the rear to help your foot lock and unlock the rear stroller wheels.

CAR SEAT + BASE
1. SmartScreen Technology - A simple screen at the car seat base to let you know if it's installed properly.
2. One-Pull Adjustment Straps - This means no need to re-thread the harness which can be a nightmare for others who need to reach at the back. I've had strollers and car seat harnesses that do both and it's not really a pain to re-thread. Although having this feature is definitely a selling point right now versus others that are not equipped with it.
3. Car seat locks into the Spectra stroller without needing any adapter. A very neat feature.

CONS:
1. The build is crude. On the frame there are too many unsightly welding points that at this day and age I would expect a sleeker and cleaner assembly.

2. Cheap plastic parts. I welcome plastic parts where it makes sense and to save on weight. There are plastics that are properly constructed and molded, and then there's those cheap toy plastic materials that gave plastic a bad rap. Unfortunately Summer Infant chose the latter route. It's so cheap that the fit and finish is typical of cheap strollers.

3. Bad Build.
a. Two wheels snapped on smoothly. The third wheel had to be snapped on with a little bit of force. The fourth wheel would not snap on at all. After applying frustrating force, I examined the piece and saw that the metal part that snaps on the wheel was out of alignment. It would not respond to the twisting of the plastic cap. What I did was to force it to bend with a screwdriver. Then I snapped the wheel into place. Unfortunately at this point you would not be able to remove the wheel any longer for replacement as it's stuck in there. In any case, I've never had to replace a wheel on any of my strollers. Once the wheels are done, I would assume the stroller condition is done as well. So it's not a big problem, but it does speak of the build quality and quality control.
b. The plastic parts don't fit properly nor do the locking plastic parts move smoothly. The snack tray locks into place with a plastic lock and it serves as a handle. Many times the plastic tray took off on it's own without unlocking the plastic part. For the two front wheels, you can lock these as with any other stroller so they move in a straight line which is helpful in non-paved paths. Locking the wheels with these plastic parts is a big pain. They don't move down smoothly and you'll have to ensure the wheels are straight first before you are able to properly lock them. This is unlike other strollers that you can just move a switch into place with your foot and then you start to push. When the wheels are straight, they automatically lock. Really bad design and my least favorite feature of the Spectra stroller.

4. Short Canopy - This is the shortest canopy I've ever seen in a stroller and is a big no-no these days to protect against the Sun and Rain. My umbrella stroller has a canopy three times as long as this one which has a neat expanding feature with a zipper. The Spectra canopy is a full size stroller and I'm severely disappointed they did not think of having a long one considering the length of the stroller. This impacts my buying decision against choosing this stroller.

5. Gimmicky SmartScreen Technology Feature - This is the first car seat base I've seen that needed batteries in order to tell me that it's installed properly. You'll probably only need the set of batteries included in the purchase for the 6 month that you'll need to use it before switching to a full size Toddler Car Seat. But still, I personally don't feel in awe with this feature and is not a selling point for my purchase. Less appealing is the basic screen that reminds me of V-Tech electronic toys. A bit crude and makes the Infant Car Seat cheap looking that it can possibly be.

6. Stroller Folding Can Be Smoother - I wasn't impressed with the one-handed folding as I still needed to aid it with my foot to help bend into place the folding points. And even when it folded, it didn't snap into the plastic lock at the side. I had to force the lock into place unlike my other full-size and umbrella strollers that clicks into place. You need to do the folding action swiftly in order set the lock. If you pause halfway, then the lack of momentum won't make it lock into place as a result.

OVERALL:

Yes, it's cheap. Unfortunately that's how the stroller reflects in build and operation as well. There's nothing exciting about this stroller that will make me want to choose this over the others at this price point. I know not everyone can afford the top end strollers which is why there are strollers at this pricing level. I'd probably will think about getting a second-hand stroller of something twice as expensive than deal with a brand new stroller like this.

I wish Summer Infant went into the stroller scene with a bang showing excellent build with a reasonable price. Instead they went with showcasing cheap strollers with a cheap manufacture.

As the saying goes, you get what you pay for, which in this case rings very much true.


Air-O-Swiss Refurbished U650 Ultrasonic Humidifier - Warm and Cool Mist
Air-O-Swiss Refurbished U650 Ultrasonic Humidifier - Warm and Cool Mist
3 used & new from $135.16

1.0 out of 5 stars Elegant and Functional Marred By Unbelievably High Operation and Maintenance Cost, February 22, 2014
UPDATE: FEBRUARY 22, 2014

After over 3 years of seasonal use, it's time to update my review.

Take note that from day 1 I've been using filtered reverse-osmosis ionized water purchased from my local store. Because of this I avoided their maintenance parts as follows.

Demineralization Cartridge ($20) or Granules for the Cartridge ($10) which you need to replace every 2-3 months.

Then by using your tap water, you need to use their EZ Cal Cleaner/Descaler ($8) or EZ Cal Pro ($10) every 2-4 weeks of use depending on the hardness of your water.

Oh as if the first two cost isn't expensive enough, you have a third maintenance part in the form of their latest racket - the Hydro Cell ($10) to be replaced every 1-2 months.

Because when I purchased the machine back in 2010 they featured an IONIC SILVER STICK ($30) to latch onto the water to kill the germs. After that they decided to go cheap by offering a plastic stick that latches on the same way as the original silver stick that was obviously not giving them much profit. This plastic stick has anti-bacterial properties as well. Both of these sticks are to be replaced ANNUALLY. Now they eliminated both of those sticks because they want you to buy replacement parts more often.

Let's see - Granule Cartridge for a year is $40.00. Plus Descaler Pro if purchased every month at $120.00. And finally their Hydro Cell every two months at $60.00. Total damage is a whopping $220.00 in yearly operating cost. Not to mention your own water and electricity. In the meantime a new machine will set you back $240.00. So for an extra $20.00, you can actually just buy a new machine every year to ensure a clean humidifier for your home. Better yet, head on over to Bed, Bath and Beyond to use their 20% discount and a new machine will be cheaper to buy than maintaining your old one. LOL!

So you can see how quick these maintenance parts ad up. Thanks, but NO THANKS.

Unfortunately from my glowing review back in 2010, to a 1 star rating due to ridiculously a high cost to maintain. It's a shame manufacturers think they can keep the customers hooked once they purchase the product. Think again. It's easier to jump ship.

Also I read in other people's review that their Hygrostat is malfunctioning and becomes stuck therefore spewing vapor mist into the air continuously. To be fair, I have not experienced this issue at all.

So I do find the actual machine reliable and functional to date. It's a shame all of this comes with a ridiculous price to operate and maintain. Unless you're willing to use reverse osmosis ionized water to avoid their high cost of parts, go elsewhere.

----------

ORIGINAL REVIEW BELOW:

After having an infant addition to our family, I began looking for a humidifier especially with the Winter season fast approaching. I was looking at function, maintenance parts and prices as well as build quality and design. I didn't like how the various humidifiers looked like - too quirky, too plastic-looking, too generic.

Then this Air-O-Swiss U650 caught my eye. It had an elegant design and shiny white colour that would fit any contemporary home. It reminded me of our Rabbit Air purifier in both elegant design and price. If I were to add this to our home, it wouldn't be an eye sore.

FEATURES:

1. Digital Display. Easy to read display even from afar to spot check it's current setting.

2. Sensitive Touch Controls. No need to press oddly raised buttons. This one sits flush on the unit for a seamless and simple design.

3. Simple Amber Lighting. No multi-coloured tacky lighting. This reminded me of the old German car lighting that was easy to see and read. At night, you can dim the backlight for a non-annoying soft light.

4. Hygrometer. This is one of the reasons why I chose this unit. Unlike the cheap humidifiers that just keeps on spewing moisture into the air. This unit will alert you of the current humidity level in your room/home. From there you can make a sensible judgement if you still want to introduce more humidity by raising the desired level.

5. Auto Mode with an "Intelligent Temperature Compensation". Humidity levels change when the temperature changes. You can't just expect to keep on maintaining a certain level when it's not advantageous and healthy. By setting the unit to auto mode, it calculates the desired humidity level based on the current temperature. No need to second guess what level you should be at throughout the whole day.

6. Cool/Warm Mist. Both have it's pros and cons depending on the current condition and season. You'd want a warm mist on cooler days and a cool mist on colder days.

THOUGHTS:

Like any humidifier or product that involves water for that matter, you'll need to know how to best maintain the product to keep it functioning as expected and prolong the life of the unit. For this specific Air-O-Swiss humidifier, there are two parts to replace:

- The Ion Silver Stick that eliminates bacteria in the water and is expected to be replaced yearly. Expensive, but at least just done annually.

- Demineralization Cartridge that needs quarterly replacement depending on the usage of the unit. If you use tap water, this is important to prevent any white dust due to hardened minerals to form in the water. Upon first use, you will need to soak this cartridge in water for 24 hours. The work-around is to use distilled or reverse osmosis water. That way there are no minerals in the water and you won't need this cartridge at all. Of course the cost is now buying distilled water versus buying another part. Choose your poison. If you have a reverse osmosis filter for your home, then that is even better. You save on buying this part and you are helping keep the product in the best shape ever.

Although I'd love to have this unit be more compact and slim, I guess it's necessary to be this bulky to prevent frequent water refilling for at least a day or even days. Where I reside, it rains quite often so there is enough moisture in the air at times. Since the unit is able to read the humidity levels in the air, it won't operate unless needed. This in turn helps eliminate the water tank refills.

If you were to invest in a humidifier, skip the novelty of the others and the guessing game of humidity levels in your home. This will do the job. Quite elegantly, I must add.


Rabbit Air MinusA2 (model SPA-700A covers 700 sq. ft.) Ultra-Quiet Air Purifier - Stylish, Efficient and Energy Star® Certified, Wall-Mountable!, White, Odor Remover
Rabbit Air MinusA2 (model SPA-700A covers 700 sq. ft.) Ultra-Quiet Air Purifier - Stylish, Efficient and Energy Star® Certified, Wall-Mountable!, White, Odor Remover
2 used & new from $459.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Stylish, Functional, Modern, February 22, 2014
UPDATE: FEBRUARY 22, 2014

I think it's time for an update after four years of continuous use. The machine itself has been running solid with no problems. My simple maintenance is an occasional vacuum of the filter to de-clog the dust that has accumulated in front of the screen. I also take the time to vacuum the outside and inside the machine including the vents and where the filter parts fit. I put the filter back and start it up again.

Yearly maintenance is, of course, the set of filters. When I first wrote about this the cost of the filter is $75.00. Now these same filters cost $85.00. Disappointed that with it's popularity they have increased their cost as well rather than decrease. Like any manufacturer that sells consumable parts, they try to make more money on this aspect to grow their business.

Which is a bit disappointing considering they feel their customers will stick with them regardless of price. What they don't realize is consumers will easily jump to the next big thing if they know the cost becomes unreasonable over time.

I will maintain it's overall 4 star rating for now, but I would take caution in the fact that they need to find a way to lower the cost of their filters should they want to maintain their existing customers for the long term.

But Rabbit Air needs to watch out for when Dyson comes out with an air purifier with a killer design that doesn't require replacement filters and still become Asthma certified. People like myself can easily jump ship.

----------

ORIGINAL REVIEW BELOW:

Air purifiers have come a long way in terms of design and technology. I've gone thru the simple HEPA filters, charcoal filter, UV bulbs, electrostatic ionizers, washable collector cells, and controversial ozone emitting products.

Now I'm down to two in my home one of which is the RabbitAir MinusA2 air purifier. I love it's stylish design that doesn't look boring, kitschy, or even gimmicky. I can place it in any part of my home and it doesn't look like an eyesore.

PROS:

1. Design - slim and modern

2. Controls - chrome-like buttons all laid out on one side

3. Remote - a small plastic remote emulating all the chrome buttons on the unit that is especially useful if you decide to hang the unit on a wall

4. Mood Light / Night Light - a horizontal strip of light in the front of the unit which contributes to the ambiance in the home.

5. Technology -

a. Silver Ion Pre-Filter - washable filter similar to A/C units with a fine mesh weave that capture large dust
particles. RabbitAir goes one step further by coating it with silver ions which have been proven to retard or even eliminate bacteria growth.

b. Anti-Bacterial Medium Filter - which appears to be a blue cotton filter and captures finer dust particles, pollen, mold and bacteria.

c. BioGS HEPA filter - (technology found on the previous BioGS models) and captures even more of the above plus fungus, dust mites, odours, smoke and greenhouse gases.

d. Customized Filter - another stage in filtration to specifically tailor to your choice of "Germ Defense", "Pet Allergy" and "Toxin Absorber".

e. Charcoal Based Activated Carbon Filter - the final stage in filtration in an old reliable charcoal filtration method that helps absorb more odours and toxins.

All of the above filters are housed in a relatively sturdy filter case which helps organize and arrange these for easy removal and replacement.

f. Negative Ion Generator - which further helps purify the air by clinging to suspended particles that haven't passed thru the filter and essentially making them fall to the floor rather than float around.

g. Brushless Motor - essentially produces a longer motor life and a quiet operation due to a friction-less design.

6. Filter Life / Cost - Less time consuming and relatively less expensive replacement method by being able to operate for a year in between changes. Of course, regular monthly maintenance is recommended by vacuuming and/or washing the pre-filter as well as cleaning the vents and odour analyzer.

7. Function -

a. Odour Sensor - a vent on the right side that detects changes in air quality and adjusts fan speed accordingly for faster air purification. Of course, effective placement of the air purifier matters for a more effective operation.

b. Light Sensor - detects available light and shuts down the mood light (if used) and air quality indicator.

c. Air Quality Indicator - gives a visual indication of present air quality by changing from blue (good) to purple, pink and then red (bad).

d. Easy front panel removal - no clumsy clips here. Elegant magnet on the bottom and a simple latch on top to facilitate easy pre-filter cleaning and filter replacement.

CONS:

My gripe is the filter replacement cost. As of this writing the marketing of the filter can last "up to two years". If you further read the manual and manufacturer FAQ, this of course means operating the unit non-continuously at only 12 hours a day. But RabbitAir has stated this on their website FAQ:

----------

Q: Why should I run my air purifier continuously?

A:To be truly effective, ALL air purifiers should be run continuously. Scientific researches confirm that indoor air pollution rapidly returns to pretreatment levels when an air purifier is turned off.

----------

To truly benefit from the air purifier, then it is a no-brainer to operate it for 24 hours a day (unless it's on a vacation home that sees traffic a few times a year). Which means under "normal use" then filter life is really good for a year. Replacement cost then amounts to $75 a year plus shipping and taxes, where applicable. I would have preferred the manufacturers offer discounted filter service and free shipping KNOWING that loyal customers will be replacing their filters anyway at this predictable time frame.

Throw us a bone and make it more convenient so we won't go looking for other air purifiers down the road.

OVERALL:

I would recommend this product with it's higher quality manufacturing and design that sets it apart from other air purifiers. Are the air filters with it's multi-stage redundant layers gimmicky? I don't know. Independent reviews and studies (not provided by the manufacturer) will prove in time. And it does beat simple one-layer filters of other machines, well, at a higher price to pay.

Of course, air purifier manufacturers will tell you that "there is no price to pay for your health". Well there certainly is a price to pay for buying these purifiers and if RabbitAir can improve their product filter replacement cost down the road and independent studies can prove the performance of their filters, then we definitely have a winner in the MinusA2 model.

As for which model to buy - SPA-780A or SPA-700A. I can only say that they are exactly the same on the outside as well as filter replacement parts. The only difference is a more powerful motor to help cover a wider space and essentially guarantee up to 815 sq feet of area as well as a choice of glossy black or glossy white. Choose well.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 5, 2014 6:05 PM PDT


Mackie MR mk3 Series MR5mk3 5-Inch 2-Way Powered Studio Monitor
Mackie MR mk3 Series MR5mk3 5-Inch 2-Way Powered Studio Monitor
Offered by Sam Ash
Price: $149.99
13 used & new from $128.17

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great sound. Kitschy Design., February 22, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've been an advocate of Mackie studio monitors from their original HR series for pros to their original MR series for home studio. Personally, I've feel Mackie has been pressured to create a lower MR speaker line to keep up with KRK's growing base of Rockit series users. And with that I'm glad they brought out their MR series which impressed me from the start with it's crisp sonic quality and clean audio output. This is compared with KRK's Rockit speakers which is more prone to electrical interference. In professional environments, there shouldn't be a problem in isolating electrical against audio wiring. But in home use, this can be a problem with power cables crossing against audio cables. And in this case, Mackie MR is very forgiving.

I loved the sound of my previous MR5 and it's good to see how far Mackie has gone with their third revision since they launched this series. The best design I've seen is the MR5 mk2. While this latest MR mk3 is a bit gimmicky in design that my visual sight is distracted from my listening experience.

Design:

- Gone is the simple led blue light to indicate the presence of power. They have instead succumbed to KRK's style once again in illuminating their own remade logo in the form of the "running man". Of course they didn't stop there, they had to light it up in bright green.

- I can live with the curvaceous fascia, but what is with the painted silver accents on the tweeter and woofer. Too overdone and too amateurish in design I had to do a double-take if this was by Mackie.

Sound:

- For those unfamiliar with studio monitors, the flatter the response the better because you want a speaker that outputs the true tonality of your audio source. This is versus other speakers that have been built to "enhance" the music by the use of passive or active equalization. In this case Mackie MR mk3 for it's price point, earns 4 out of 5 stars in my personal opinion. Like I earlier said, sound output is clear especially on the high range.

- I'm very impressed with the clean output and little static that you can hardly discern. To the normal ears, what static? Which is good. And besides this won't matter once the audio starts.

- Mackie has stuck to it's guns in having a rear port. Unlike the previous two MR series, they built their porting up top as a round tube. Again, personally, I'm not a fan of rear porting because I can't control the refraction as much as if it were front ported.

Overall:

Choosing this specific MR5 mk3 means you will eventually want to have their MR10S mk3 subwoofer. Having both will be a perfect pairing. It won't take you down to 20Hz, but unless your in a pro studio environment or an audiophile it really won't matter. A word of caution is that their subwoofer is also rear ported. You need to have a solid padding or your walls will vibrate like crazy more than a front ported speaker.

If you don't have space for a subwoofer, then I would chose to go with its bigger brothers - MR6 or MR8. (Another caving in to competition for adding a 6" speaker line which is great.)

Unfortunately if space really is an issue and the reason why you're choosing the MR5 versus a bigger speaker and no chance for a subwoofer, then I would suggest choosing instead switching to the KRK RP6 series. Unlike the MR6, the porting is up front and therefore more controlled especially for amateur audio creators. It's a bit taller only because of the front porting which gives you a solid, tight bass output and no annoyingly bright green light up front to distract you from your audio mixing especially in a close and dark environment. The only downside is if you don't have a clean wiring and cable layout, then electrical interference will bog your workflow.

If I had to chose only one studio monitor in this price range, a year ago I would go with Mackie's MR5 mk2. The latest MR5 mk3 or the mk3 series in general is too overdone in design that it detracts from how good of a lower end studio monitor that it can be.

My advice to Mackie is to go back to the drawing board and retrace your roots why you have made a name in the industry. Forget the kitschy styling and accents. Design is important of course so give us a sexy speaker with clean curves and lines. But most of all give us great sound as close as possible to your HR speaker line.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 20, 2014 6:23 PM PDT


Philips AVENT Drying Rack
Philips AVENT Drying Rack
Price: $16.52
8 used & new from $11.15

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Simple and Effective. Not advertised as BPA-free., February 9, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Been using Philips AVENT along with other brands such as Dr. Browns, Playtex, and other disposable brands with my first baby. Now on my second baby I have stuck to one brand - Philips AVENT - for it's durability and composition as well as the branding I have entrusted to Philips that there are no toxic chemicals used to produce their baby products.

With this drying rack, it completes the whole baby bottle organization and drying experience with the AVENT bottles, pacifier, and microwave sterilizer.

For under $20, you get a very simple yet effective drying rack. There are only six plastic pieces. The bottom part is two pieces - a white tray with multiple holes forming a flower image, and the black part that serves as the drip tray. The top part is four stems that go into the holes of the white bottom tray.

All of these just fit into place with each other. None actually snap tight. So the good part is that it's an easy assemble. The bad part is that every part is loose and can technically be easily knocked apart.

PROS:

- Simple plastic pieces that can easily be assembled and disassembled
- Small footprint that can be accommodated into the kitchen counter without having to rearrange your counter space
- Effective design that can fit into any environment
- Holds up to 8 bottles up to 11oz/330ml
- Affordable price tag

CONS:

- Packaging does not state as BPA being free like all other AVENT products so I'm unsure if it is at this point and will assume it is not
- Plastic pieces do not snap into each other which effectively can easily be knocked and dislodged
- I'm not loving the top-most stem that hangs the nipple piece which is the most vulnerable to falling. I think it needs either a clip or a redesign to be at the bottom part away from being knocked off.
- There should be an included thong to grasp the nipple without contaminating the bottle when it's time to assemble similar to their sterilizer.
- The black drip tray throws off the overall design. It should be the same white or a light grey to make it blend well into the simple theme of the drying tray

OVERALL:

Despite the cons, you really can't beat the price. But for a Philips AVENT branding, I'm surprised they did not build this to be BPA free. It may or may not matter, but as a parent that wants to ensure there is no cross contamination of materials then it actually does matter when you want to complete your AVENT collection to be completely non-toxic.

The loose fitting parts that don't snap together can pose an issue if you're constantly working around tight spaces which I assume is the reason why this was chosen in the first place. For families like ourselves living in an urban environment, space and effective organization is a valuable asset. I would wish that the parts snap together albeit gently so it can take a few hits without falling apart or the parts that hang onto it be knocked away onto the floor.

So for me it's a 3 star rating that can easily be improved should Philips chose to down the road with simple design and colour improvement to make it a 5 star rating.


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