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Customer Reviews: 226
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David Arnstein RSS Feed (California)
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Hoover Air Cordless Series 3.0 Bagless Upright Vacuum, BH50140
Hoover Air Cordless Series 3.0 Bagless Upright Vacuum, BH50140
Price: $299.99
4 used & new from $299.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It is great because you will USE IT, March 30, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The most expensive vacuum in the world is not worth a hoot if you don't use it. I know this, because I have a really expensive German vacuum and it just sits in a corner all the time. God, I hate house work.

This Hoover machine is cordless. That right there makes a big difference between using it and not using it. Putzing around with the plug, kicking the cord out of the way, going to the end of the cord and pulling it out of the wall, etc. What a pain! Cordless is great.

This vacuum has a steering mechanism that makes it especially easy to use. You twist the well-designed handle with your wrist, and the vacuum turns left or right. This is a big win over traditional vacuum cleaners, both canister-style and upright-style. The vacuum is also very light weight.

I had a Roomba vacuum that I had high hopes for. The problem with the Roomba is cleaning it. With the Roomba (and a ton of other bagless machines) cleaning is a time-consuming, get-your-hands-dirty, get-your-floor-dirty exercise. The time I saved with the robotic Roomba was less than zero, because I spent so much time digging dirt and hair out of the thing. In contrast, cleaning this Hoover vacuum is a breeze. The dirt cup can be emptied into a garbage can quite easily, because you can detach a piece of it and hold it over your garbage can. There is only one filter, and it is easy to remove for cleaning. Warm water and a brushing is all it needs. The brush roll is easy to remove for cleaning. I find that I can empty the dirt cup without getting messy. Cleaning the brush roll is mildly revolting, but I don't have to do it often. At least the mechanism is easy to work.

So that is the executive summary: this Hoover vacuum is easier to use than a traditional vacuum. Cleaning it is almost as convenient as a traditional (bagged) vacuum. Main point: I am actually using this vacuum. Still interested? More details follow.

Battery and charging system
===========================
It is really good. You get two good-sized LiOn batteries and a fast charger. Two batteries is loads better than one. Think about it. After you use up one battery, you swap in the other one, and start charging the used-up battery. If you manage to use up the battery again, you can swap batteries again, because the first battery is now partially charged. The batteries have indicator lights that tell you how full they are. The lights work while in the vacuum as well as while in the charger.

Cleaning power
==============
Look, this vacuum does not develop as much suction as a traditional vacuum, at least a *good* traditional vacuum. Depending on how deep your carpets are, and how sticky your messes are, this might be an issue. The brush roll has all the power it needs to do its job. The vacuum has a wand attachment, but I find that its suction is rather weak. I'll return to this in the next section.

Attachments
===========
The vacuum ships with attachments, two kinds of small brushes and a crevice tool. You can order other attachments from Hoover too, but don't bother. The design of the attachment system is a disappointment. The hose that you use with attachments is badly positioned and too short to be useful. Suction is low. It is easy to develop a sharp turn or kink in the hose, and if you let that happen then the suction becomes too low to be useful at all.

Not really an attachment, but Hoover includes an alternate brush roll that is soft and plushy. I presume that it is for use with your exotic hardwood floors. Nice.

Design
======
Hoover obviously tried to design this vacuum intelligently and they largely succeeded. The machine is light weight and so easy to use and store. The main handle is the most ergonomic of any vacuum I have ever used. Every switch, latch, and other control is colored the same shade of blue. This makes it easy to learn and remember the vacuum's functions. Appearance? It looks OK to me.

The amount of noise this vacuum makes is much less than that of a traditional vacuum cleaner. I must say, most vacuum cleaners are stupid loud. Hearing damage loud. I think that Hoover could have done a bit more design work and made this vacuum quieter still.

The vacuum ships with a spare filter. This is a really nice touch, it shows that Hoover is thinking about their customers. After you clean the filter, it must be thoroughly dry before using it again. Having two filters on hand makes this a non-issue.

By the way, the vacuum has a headlight and it works well. It is aimed where it should be aimed. It is bright enough, but no brighter.

Note to Hoover: one of the cardboard boxes in your packaging holds three accessories: a small brush, a brush roll, and a spare filter. I almost threw all of this away, because I did not realize that the box held these treasures. I think this packaging design could have been better.

Quality and longevity
=====================
This is a tricky one. I don't have a test lab at my disposal so I have to do some guessing. The printed matter that accompanied the vacuum promises that the batteries will last for 5 years. This is a very reasonable estimate for LiOn batteries, so I hope that the rest of the machine will also last for those 5 years. I dunno. The level of quality is about the same as that of every household gadget that I own, from hand mixers to flashlights. All these plastic parts are going to chip and crack eventually, and whether the end comes in 5 months or 5 years is a matter of luck. I noticed one issue already. There is a nice, easy to use mechanism for holding the brush roll in place. After I cleaned the brush roll, I found that the mechanism really did not "want" to snap back in place. Of course, this mechanism and the surrounding parts are all plastic. I got the thing back together with a bit of squeezing and twisting.

Conclusion
==========
Hoover promotes this machine as a full replacement for a traditional vacuum cleaner. I dunno about that. It is not as powerful as an old vacuum of good quality. The attachment situation is poor. But for people like me, this machine is *better* than a traditional vacuum. I am using it, my rugs and floors are cleaner than they used to be. Meanwhile, my excellent, traditional vacuum cleaner sits in the dark.


Panavise PortaGrip Phone Holder with Windshield Mount
Panavise PortaGrip Phone Holder with Windshield Mount
Offered by The House of Stuff
Price: $26.95
72 used & new from $21.39

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It works very well, January 26, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have used a few different phone holders, most recently "Mivizu Universal Windshield/Dashboard Car Holder Cradle for iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3, S2, Note 2, Motorola Droid Razr HD Maxx, iPhone 4s & Vent Mount" and this one is, in most respects, the best.

This holder features an arm that is about three inches long, with an adjustable swivel joint at each end. There is also a ball joint at one end so you can angle your phone screen just right. That's three adjustments. This, plus the relatively long arm, means that you will almost certainly be able to make this holder work for you.

The swivel joints have ratcheting (clicking) detents that work even when their adjusting knobs are all the way loose. This is a real help when you are setting things up. Without those detents, the holder would droop and flop around. If you like, you can unscrew the knobs and move them from the right side to the left side of the holder to the left side. Convenient.

The suction cup grips my windshield reliably. At the other end of the holder, the phone clamp clamps my phone reliably. There is no wigglling around, even when I drive over a bump in the road.

My old Mivizu holder is very good, but here is where the Panavise has it beat. I can remove my phone from the holder without bending my wrist into an awkward shape. I can also remove the holder from my windshield without twisting my wrist around.

Complaints? Not much. I have to say, my Mivizu holder is more pretty. It has a more finished look, featuring smoother surfaces and rounded corners. The Mivizu holder is more compact, which can be important if you remove your holder from your windshield a lot. The Mivizu holder looks like someone designed it. The Panavise holder looks like a tool.


AmazonBasics Lightning Compatible to Micro USB Adapter
AmazonBasics Lightning Compatible to Micro USB Adapter
2 used & new from $19.36

5.0 out of 5 stars Works fine and half the price, January 6, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As I write this, the equivalent Apple part is almost exactly twice as expensive as the AmazonBasics alternative. I have tested both parts, and they behave in exactly the same way for me.

The Apple part is smaller and it is a different color. I personally think that Apple's part looks a bit nicer, and I find its small size to be an advantage. Is this worth paying 2x for? Absolutely not!

After I submit this review, I will attempt to post an image that shows both parts. Judge for yourself.


Lexar JumpDrive S23 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive LJDS23-32GASBNA (Green)
Lexar JumpDrive S23 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive LJDS23-32GASBNA (Green)
Price: $16.98
43 used & new from $16.98

2.0 out of 5 stars Pretty bad, December 28, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Honestly, I was surprised by this drive. The moment I pried it out of its packaging, I had formed an opinion: cheap and ugly. The entire drive is made of thin, low-grade plastic. Looks aren't everything, but already, long blemishes appeared on the back side of the drive. I don't know if I put these scrapes in myself, or if Lexar did it for me.

Even the part that plugs into your compute is thin plastic. I had no idea that this was even possible. This is the worst aspect. This part is going to wear out, crack, or shatter. When it does, you can kiss your data goodbye.

There are a few positives. The drive reliably locks in the open position. I certainly hope that it also locks reliably in the closed position, because otherwise the exposed plug is going to get banged up in your pocket or purse (see previous paragraph). There is a big LED that blinks when data is being transferred. Not everyone appreciates this, but I do. And, I have to admit that this thing is light. If you need data storage while racing the Tour de France, then by golly this is the drive for you.

I tested this drive briefly and it did seem to read and write OK. On one of my devices, the connection was not reliable. To be fair, this happens to me occasionally with other USB devices too. But there it is: the plastic part of this drive does not inspire confidence.

Obviously, I don't deliberately acquire bad drives. But I can say that this is the worst drive that I have ever seen.


Celts
Celts
Price: $35.11
74 used & new from $0.08

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ho hum, December 28, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Celts (Audio CD)
I have a few Enya recordings that I like, but this one is quite boring. I could say that there is too much repetition. But it would be more accurate to say that nothing much happens here, really.


Love To Love You Donna
Love To Love You Donna
Price: $10.00
62 used & new from $6.00

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Stupid sampling exercise, December 28, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Love To Love You Donna (Audio CD)
Most of these tracks feature short bursts of Donna Summers' superb singing, sampled and looped. I listened to the preview tracks that Amazon helpfully posted, but these short previews did not reveal the full horror of this production.

What a terrible thing to do to Ms Summers voice. Oh well, I hope that she booked a decent profit on this effort. I don't mind. She gave us plenty over the years.


Monoprice 10-Feet USB 2.0 A Male to Mini-B 5pin Male 28/24AWG Cable with Ferrite Core (Gold Plated), White (108635)
Monoprice 10-Feet USB 2.0 A Male to Mini-B 5pin Male 28/24AWG Cable with Ferrite Core (Gold Plated), White (108635)
Price: $4.54
3 used & new from $3.69

5.0 out of 5 stars Working well, good value., December 28, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have two of these things connected to my computer at all times. No issues. The big ferrite bead is a nice touch. All of this for a small price too.


WD My Passport Air 1 TB for Mac: Portable, USB 3.0, Ultra-Slim, All Metal Hard Drive (WDBWDG0010BAL-NESN)
WD My Passport Air 1 TB for Mac: Portable, USB 3.0, Ultra-Slim, All Metal Hard Drive (WDBWDG0010BAL-NESN)
Price: Click here to see our price
46 used & new from $109.56

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet little drive, December 28, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
There are a lot of 2.5-inch, USB drives on the market. This one stands out from the crowd.

First, it is beautiful. The thing is entirely metal, and it lets you know it. It is also thinner than most drives in its class. Like the stuff on offer at an Apple Store, you just want to pick this thing up and hold it. There is nothing cheap or weak looking about this drive. Without a doubt, it is the prettiest disk drive that I have, and I have accumulated a lot of these things.

The drive ships with some software, and it has at least one useful feature, which is unusual. The software is able to do a S.M.A.R.T. test of the drive's integrity. This is notable because Apple's own operating system software is not able to perform a S.M.A.R.T. test on any disk drive that is connected via USB. By the way, Western Digital's software is also able to S.M.A.R.T. test another WD disk drive that I have, which is an older model. It is not able to test a Toshiba drive that I have, however.

The drive also offers an encryption feature. As far as I can tell, it offers no advantage over Apple's own encryption methods, so I just went with Apple.

I ran this disk drive for a little over 48 hours straight: first, I initialized it for use as an encrypted Apple Time Machine medium. This requires a bit more than 24 hours to complete. I did some more burn-in testing too. Finally, I got myself into trouble with an unrelated project and I fouled up my computer. Since I had a couple of brand new shiny backup sets sitting on this disk drive, I made the obvious decision to restore my computer state from one of these sets. It all added up to about two days of power up, read/write/seek.

No issues. The cable connection is solid, and this is important. The USB 3.0 micro socket design is small and has to be built nicely to be reliable. This drive makes the grade.

My only complaint is that I feel obliged to search for a stylish, close-fitting case to carry this thing around in. All of my disk drives travel, and only the prettiest case will do for this one.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 7, 2014 10:32 PM PST


HumanX AbX Ab Mat, Black/Blue
HumanX AbX Ab Mat, Black/Blue
Price: $34.99
6 used & new from $34.99

4.0 out of 5 stars The old guy's perspective, December 4, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
If you are totally fit, you are simply looking for a way to bring maximum resistance to your abdominal muscles, yay. My situation is different. I wish to exercise those muscles, yet avoid stress on my backbone, which is beginning to make its presence felt. Not fun.

I watched the videos on the humanxgear web pile, and there is no way I am going to use this gadget as in those videos. HumanX wants you to lie out flat on your back, so that you are stretching your back as it curves over the gadget. Then use those muscles to sit up, crunch, and so forth. If I did any of that, I would be in pain for a week.

I use this gadget to *limit* the stretch. I do sit-ups, but I use the gadget to limit the bottom half of each sit-up to about 45 degrees, measured against the ground. Works for me.

Durability seems adequate. This gadget is a LOT easier to store than a 65 cm swiss ball, which I appreciate.


Aux Belkin TuneBase Hands-Free with Auxilary Cable for iPhone 5, 5s, 5c, and iPod Touch 5th Gen
Aux Belkin TuneBase Hands-Free with Auxilary Cable for iPhone 5, 5s, 5c, and iPod Touch 5th Gen
Price: $60.85
43 used & new from $52.11

4.0 out of 5 stars Made right, but not suitable for all cars, December 4, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a nicely made little dock. The supplied cables are strong and not overly tangley, if you know what I mean. The flexible rod is strong. The clamping arrangement is of adequate strength.

It did not work well in my car. I could not get a reliable electrical connection with my cigarette lighter. The mechanical connection was solid, but the juice did not flow reliably. A related problem is that the dock did not quite clear some protruding bits of plastic in my car, near its cigarette lighter.

The above complaints are car-specific. This dock might work great in your car. In my car, it is too fiddly. By comparison, my windshield mounted dock is also fiddly, but less so. Your mileage may vary.


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