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Customer Reviews: 256
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Helpful Votes: 3072

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Miele Dynamic U1 Twist Upright Vacuum, Sprint Blue
Miele Dynamic U1 Twist Upright Vacuum, Sprint Blue
Price: $449.00
13 used & new from $430.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely better than an ordinary vacuum cleaner, February 28, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a big fellow, weighing in at 23 pounds. It manages to look sleek anyway. Good design makes the weight manageable. There is an extra handle on the back of the vac to help you put it away. The "swivel" feature is excellent: you twist the handle of the vac to steer it left or right. After about five minutes of use, you will get the hang of it. Don't push too fast, that wastes your energy. Don't extend your arm too far, walk instead. Don't exert effort turning the machine, just twist your wrist. I can go an hour or more without hurting my back.

Ergonomics are very good. The handle is comfortable and it puts your wrist into a relaxed shape. The power switches are right under your thumb, and you can reach the suction adjustment knob without bending over.

THE MIELE PROTECTS ITS OWN. If you read the reviews of mainstream uprights (Hoover, Eureka, Panasonic, etc.) you will find a recurring theme. The motor or drive belt burns out. Or something melts. Disaster. This vacuum has thermal protection. It will turn itself off when it gets hot. Honestly, I can't claim to know if this machine is going to last for years. This is important: it is what would justify its high price. Well, at least Miele is trying. All I can say is that the quality seems to be there. The materials feel strong in my hands, and the fit and function appear to be very good.

The power cord is quite long. You have to wind it yourself though. The attachments are very good. You get a telescoping wand that fits into a sort of holster. Out of the way, but instantly available. This is a much better design than what I have seen on other vacs. Suction through the attachments is very strong, which is not often the case with uprights. The three provided attachments are good quality, but a bit too small. They do hide nicely in the back of the vac. The hose for attachments is a reasonably long. I would prefer about a foot more length.

The core function of cleaning floors and carpets was excellent. If you push the vac slowly and just relax, you can get your rugs clean without going over the same territory twice.

The vac is quieter than most uprights. but that's not saying much. Mainstream uprights are ridiculously loud. I wish that this vac was a bit more quiet. I also wish that the vac had a headlight on it. Even a cheap incandescent light would be welcome.

I will close with a few thoughts about the vac's thermal protection. I tested this vac by using it for about an hour. I managed to trip the thermal protection several times. The easiest way to do this is to vacuum an object into the brush roller so that it jams. If you get the thing really hot, it will refuse to function until it cools down. A clue: the vac is capable of tilting down until it is completely horizontal. This allows you to get it under beds and chairs. However, when mine was new, the hinge that permits this tilting was a bit stiff. I had to (gently) bend the vac into the horizontal position, once. It made a clicking sound. The reason I mention this is that before I sorted this out, the front wheels would tend to lift off into the air as I pushed the vac forward. This would allow the vac motors to spin very fast, and then the vac would overheat. When you get your new vac home, just figure out how to get it horizontal, as shown in Amazon's product page. No problem.

Miele Classic C1 Olympus Canister Vacuum, Lotus White
Miele Classic C1 Olympus Canister Vacuum, Lotus White
Price: $329.00
16 used & new from $329.00

5.0 out of 5 stars A nice step up from the ordinary., February 21, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Long review here, so here are a few reasons NOT to read the whole thing:
* If you have rugs that are not flat and delicate, forget it. This vac won't cut it.
* If you want the very best, don't bother. What you want is a SEBO vac.
* If you are frugal, you probably won't be willing to pay the price.

This vac does not have a powered rug beater/brush, so if you have a normal rug, it won't cut it. I know, I tried. this is a vac for folks with bare floors and Oriental-type rugs. For those exotic rugs, you don't want a power tool beating it up, so this vac is appropriate.

You could buy a Chinese-made Hoover, Eureka, Panasonic, etc. for less money, so why pay up for a German vac? Well, reasons. Ordinary vacuum cleaners are designed by stupid people, and it shows. LOUD noises. Switches and knobs that break quickly. Uncomfortable handles. And so forth.

This vac is designed well. The hoses and other fittings all come together with a definite click. No friction-fit parts here. The wand can be adjusted for length, and so is easy on your back. Speaking of your back, the total weight is 12 pounds, which is pretty light. The motor speed (suction) is continuously adjustable. The main power switch (a pedal, really) is BIG, it is intended for use by your foot. You only have to tap it, it always responds. The power cord is quite long, and the storage mechanism is 100% optimal. You get the convenience of a spring-powered retractor. Unlike EVERY OTHER such retractor I have ever seen, this one will not transform the power cord into a speeding missile. Why? because the retroactor only pulls the cord into the vac WHILE you depress the retractor pedal. I certainly pressed the pedal by accident a few times. But when I took my foot off, the cord stopped moving immediately. Sorry for the ramble, but I have been waiting a long time for someone to do this right.

If I can figure out how to attach my seven photos to this review, I will do so. Until then, the following text will have to do.

There are a tab and slot on the vac that allows you to quickly stand the floor brush and wand vertically, attached to the vac body. Just what you want to "park" the machine while you go away for a while.

There is a tab and slot provided that allows you to store the floor brush and wand, and the vac body, vertically. Just what you want to store the machine in a closet.

There is a valve right under your thumb that you can open to let air in. This reduces the suction. You will use this when you are dusting something delicate, and you don't feel like bending over to reach the motor speed control on the vac.

The dirt bag has a plastic flap that covers the opening. You won't have dust spilling out when you change bags or otherwise fiddle with the vac.

A complaint. The instruction manual could be better. It features a big collection of those incomprehensible line drawings that provide almost no value at all.

A complaint. The main filter is secured by a large black plastic piece. This plastic piece snaps in place, and the "snapping" mechanism consists of a number of very small plastic bits. You really have to pay attention to what you are doing with this part, or you will break stuff. That instruction manual (see previous paragraph) offers no help.

A complaint. The three provided attachments (a brush, a nozzle, and a scoop-like thing) are all too small. They can be attached to a fitting that circles the vacuum cleaner hose. I don't like this arrangement. The hose rubs the attachments, and I am concerned that the hose will knock them right off the vac. Admittedly, this has not occurred yet.

Conclusion: you could certainly go out and buy a mainstream vac of this sort, and save money. If you are thinking about this vac, you don't want a power head, and without that complexity the cost could be quite low. The power head is a common source of fail, so your cheap vac could last quite a while too. If you appreciate quality, or if you dislike stupid loud noises, then this would be a great choice. I have attempted to enumerate all of the intelligent features that are designed into this vac. If good design pleases you, then this vac will be worth it. The build quality is very good; the vac should endure. It is not as good as a Sebo, but quite a bit cheaper.

Intertape Polymer Group IG2PK-A Iron Grip Black Heavy-Duty Duct Tape, 1.88-Inch x 35-Yard, 2-Pack
Intertape Polymer Group IG2PK-A Iron Grip Black Heavy-Duty Duct Tape, 1.88-Inch x 35-Yard, 2-Pack

5.0 out of 5 stars This tape means business, February 14, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
If you are going to do something, why not do it well?

This tape is certainly superior to the stuff that I have uncritically bought at the local hardware store.

It is significantly thicker and stronger. Bring your knife or scissors, because tearing this tape is not a trivial task. A roll of this tape is quite heavy too. The adhesive is stronger than what you get with ordinary tape. It is 1 7/8 inch wide.

Reservations? I would have liked to have an even stronger adhesive. I don't think I will find it though. There is a strong chemical smell. Who cares, right?

HP Stream 13 Laptop Includes Office 365 Personal for One Year (Horizon Blue)
HP Stream 13 Laptop Includes Office 365 Personal for One Year (Horizon Blue)
Price: Click here to see our price
63 used & new from $201.92

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the price, it is great, January 13, 2015
Because of low price, I am giving this one the full five stars. I find it to be stable, and quite capable for general web browsing, email, and similar lightweight chores. The storage system is SSD (solid state) meaning that there is no spinning disk drive. Consequently, battery life is excellent: On the balanced setting, it will last for five to nine hours. The size is comfortable. I have big hands and old eyeballs, yet I can use it with no discomfort. It has a port for HDMI output and a socket for micro-SD memory card. The latter is useful because the size of the internal SSD storage system is quite small.

There are many limitations that you should be aware of. The camera is the worst that I have ever seen: low resolution, noisy, and washed out. The trackpad is not the greatest. It is good enough so that I am not motivated to use a mouse, but still. The screen is not the greatest. Not awful, but you won't confuse it with an Apple Macbook, that's for sure. WiFi is 802.11n, rather than the latest 802.11ac.

About the storage system: it is small. The main partition is 14 GBytes, and a good portion of that is occupied by Windows. There is another 7 GBytes that is dedicated to recovery. If you like to tinker, you should be aware that those 7 GBytes are necessary for Windows to function. I verified this by trying to install Linux in that 7 GByte space. It sort of worked, but Windows would not load after that.

Speaking of Linux, this is a terrible Linux computer. It can be made to work, but it is not really useful. The biggest issue is the SSD data storage system. There is a special partition that is read only, and the current Linux distributions (kernel version 3.18 and less) do not handle this well. During a Linux boot, the kernel will try to read the problematic partition again and again. Practically speaking, this means that a Linux boot can take 10 minutes to complete. If you launch gparted, you can kiss another 10 minutes of your life goodbye. I had hopes that this issue will be resolved by kernel version 3.19. I recently found a preview distro "OpenSUSE Tumbleweed" that uses kernel 3.19. I found that the problem exists in this distro as well. Version 3.19 is so new that it is still rare. Therefore I would not expect to see this problem resolved for a very long time.

I got this machine for the low price of $200 and I am very happy with this. I obtained the "signature edition" which had absolutely no crapware on it. I installed Classic Shell software to make the Windows 8 user interface rational. Now I have a nice little machine for traveling, and for general fooling around. If I drop it on the floor, have it stolen, or foul up its software I am not going to shed any tears. An inexpensive computer is very nice to have!

AmazonBasics 13.3-Inch Laptop Sleeve
AmazonBasics 13.3-Inch Laptop Sleeve
Price: $9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect fit for HP Stream 13-inch notebook, January 10, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I am very happy with the way this sleeve fits my HP Stream 13-inch notebook computer. It is a bit tight, I have to stretch the sleeve a little when zipping it up. That is the way I like it.

This is a good quality, lightly padded sleeve. It has a feature that I really like. As the zipper closes, it pulls in some extra padding that comes to rest between the zipper and the computer. Thus, the computer is protected from scratches. Nice!

Linksys AC3200 Tri-Band Smart Wi-Fi Router with Gigabit and USB, Designed for Device-Heavy Homes, Smart Wi-Fi App Enabled to Control Your Network from Anywhere (EA9200-4A)
Linksys AC3200 Tri-Band Smart Wi-Fi Router with Gigabit and USB, Designed for Device-Heavy Homes, Smart Wi-Fi App Enabled to Control Your Network from Anywhere (EA9200-4A)
Price: $296.95
21 used & new from $264.39

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Would not recommend, January 7, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I am having trouble scoring this router. It has so much potential. I found one serious bug, but I believe that Linksys will be able to fix this with a firmware update. It is seriously lacking in features, which I will describe in detail. Finally, the missing features may not matter to the majority of potential users. This is an expensive router. Linksys needs to address some of these issues.

Physically, this router is great. It has a large base that keeps it stable, even when fully loaded with network cables. It is sturdy and it looks the part. The three external antennas are secured with high quality screw-on fittings. There are another three antennas inside too. It does not get hot during use, which inspires confidence. Finally, it is a nice looking gadget.

I have been using this router for about two weeks and it is mostly solid. In my network I have seven wireless devices and two wired devices. I can go for days with no disconnects, no reboots, no flakiness, no loss of service at all. I experienced a power failure and my network recovered by itself. I further simulated power failures by pulling out plugs from the wall and replacing them in various orders. In all cases, my network fully recovered without any tinkering on my part.

HOWEVER, I have encountered one problem which is reproducible about 50% of the time. I power up my Macbook Air computer and begin watching a movie on Netflix. Then, the Macbook loses Wi-Fi and I cannot connect again. Worse, every network device in my home loses internet connectivity. This includes both wired and Wi-Fi devices. I feel this is proof that the router is at fault. The only solution I have found is to reboot the router. This is bad.

My space is about 1200 square feet with wood and drywall construction. Signal strength was very good (but not 100%) throughout this space.

The router software was mostly easy to use, and good. I did have an issue during initial set up. I was about halfway through entering my preferences and I managed to lose all of my work. Suggestion: find the save/restore function in the user interface. Then, use it frequently during set up. I tested it, it works. Another issue, minor: the router claimed that there was no software update available from Linksys. I visited the Linksys web page and found an update, fancy that. I installed it before doing any further testing.

Here begins the complaints section. For such an expensive router, there are too many missing features.

There is a very limited ability to restrict incoming traffic. For example, I would like to restrict ssh access to a handful of sites. No can do.

There are no indicator lights on the front of the router. This might be good, style-wise. But I would like a blinkinglight to give me a clue about wireless data traffic, to take one example.

The user interface software is fancy looking and a little slow.

Warnings and errors from the router cannot be sent to an external location. As well, the router's "memory" of these messages is extremely short. If you are concerned about hackers, this is a problem.

Finally, the "guest network" feature is a deal breaker, for me. The guest network does not use encryption, so any nearby hacker can see all of the data on this network. And this is a magnet for hackers: your guest network will be the only unprotected network showing up on the bad guys' list of targets. Access to the guest network is controlled by a password, which must be entered via a web page. This is impossible for simple WiFi devices that lack a web browser. True, most of your devices will have a web browser of some sort. But it is still not a good situation. You have to re-enter the password every time you begin to use the guest network. Inconvenient.

There has been no new firmware published by Linksys since 2014 December 16. I took my rating down to one star because of this. This router has a serious problem that results in total loss of service. If and when this problem is resolved, I will update this review.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 23, 2015 9:18 PM PST

Venus in Fur
Venus in Fur
DVD ~ Mathieu Amalric
Offered by SourceMedia
Price: $15.73
35 used & new from $12.98

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars HO HUM, December 27, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Venus in Fur (DVD)
I was disappointed. The movie takes place inside an empty theater and features exactly two actors. The female lead teases out the mental hang-up of the male lead in a predictable, pop-psychology fashion. I did not obtain much titillation or inspiration from this.

Dorman Products 4-1373 Adhesive and Removable Standard Kitchen Hooks for Objects up to 1-Pound, 10-Pack
Dorman Products 4-1373 Adhesive and Removable Standard Kitchen Hooks for Objects up to 1-Pound, 10-Pack
Price: $4.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You can experiment with these until you get it just right, December 27, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Why be coy? These hooks are a cost-saving alternative to the hooks sold by 3M Corp.

They are working well for me. I put three of them on the side of my refrigerator and they are securely attached. The appearance is perhaps a bit more crude than the 3M design, but this is really a matter of personal taste. You will have to make that judgement yourself.

The cost savings are not much to shout about, but real. I appreciate that these hooks are cheap enough that I don't feel bad about wasting oa few of them. The first time I used these hooks, I decided that I did not like the positioning and so I removed them and tried again. That resulted in the loss of three hooks. No pain at all.

OXO Good Grips Plastic Measuring Cups, 6-Piece, Black
OXO Good Grips Plastic Measuring Cups, 6-Piece, Black
Price: $7.95
5 used & new from $7.85

5.0 out of 5 stars The better cup, December 27, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Someone went to the trouble of improving the design of very common item: measuring cups. As advertised, these cups snap together securely. The included scraper/lever tool also serves as a hanger for the entire set of cups. The bright, clear color coding will be useful for those folks who don't do a lot of measuring. The appearance (black plastic) is OK. I sent these through the dishwasher once and the appearance did not change.

The price I saw on Amazon today is fair. These cups are made of a non-brittle material that should last a life time. The "snap together" feature will probably get weak after a few years. That is the only reservation I have.

GE Lighting 13909 Energy-Smart LED 16-watt, 1600-Lumen A21 Bulb with Medium Base, Soft White, 1-Pack
GE Lighting 13909 Energy-Smart LED 16-watt, 1600-Lumen A21 Bulb with Medium Base, Soft White, 1-Pack
Offered by Elevation Distribution
Price: $20.97
5 used & new from $15.15

5.0 out of 5 stars Progress in LED lighting, December 15, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I installed this bulb in a floor-standing lamp, which has a fabric lampshade on it. The light is indistinguishable from a 100 watt incandescent bulb. There is no delay after I flip the switch to turn the lamp on.

Other LED bulbs (not GE) that I have fail on both of the above properties. Ugly colors, and a mildly annoying delay after power is applied.

100 watts is pretty impressive for an LED bulb. This is a big and heavy bulb, but it did fit (just barely) in my lamp. The bulb has several large, white cooling fins on it. Taking the fins into account, it still has the size and shape of a large incandescent bulb. If you put this bulb inside a light fixture, the appearance should not matter.

This bulb should not be used in a closed lamp fixture, it will get too hot. I don't expect that there will be a 100 watt bulb that will eliminate this restriction, any time soon.

Very nice light bulb! It draws 16 watts, according to the packaging. Now get out your calculators. How long will it take you to pay off the cost of this bulb with savings on your electric bill? If you just want to feel good about yourself, then don't bother doing the math.

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