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Customer Reviews: 8
Top Reviewer Ranking: 3,829,401
Helpful Votes: 43




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Runa Amazon Guayusa Traditional Tea, 1 Pound
Runa Amazon Guayusa Traditional Tea, 1 Pound
Price: $18.49

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff...when available, April 14, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I started using this tea to ween myself off of too much coffee; it works for that, and it's a terrific beverage in its own right. The individual tea bags are quite expensive (over $0.50 a bag). Buying loose and using either a diffuser or making your own bags (I recommend "finum" large white filters available on Amazon and at Whole Foods) brings the price down below $0.15 a serving. Unlike green tea or oolong, I find that I can leave the loose guayusa in the hot water until it cools to drinking temperature and beyond without it becoming bitter. The flavor is mellow and still "tea like" even though it isn't actually from the tea plant. There isn't a shaky caffeine buzz, but rather a smooth, subtle alertness. Depending on the size of your drinking vessel (I use a 16 oz glass bottle) the second steeping will be lighter but still flavorful but it's not worth doing a third. Definitely worth a try- grab it when you can since it seems to phase in and out of availability on Amazon frequently.


Amazon Kindle Touch Lighted Leather Cover, Black (does not fit Kindle Paperwhite)
Amazon Kindle Touch Lighted Leather Cover, Black (does not fit Kindle Paperwhite)

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent accessory gets you up and reading right away, December 12, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've had this case for a few weeks now and I felt like it made enough of a difference in my "kindle experience" that I should post a review. Previous to the kindle touch, I had the kindle 2 and the kindle 3/keyboard both of which have since been handed down to friends and family. I never felt compelled to buy the lighted cases for those kindles, preferring the soft Belkin neoprene sleeve type cases that slip on and off easily and reading with the kindle naked. Extra lighting was handled by the excellent OCTOVO light which uses 1AA battery and seems to have influenced the new cases's design. This set up works well enough, except the soft case didn't protect my kindle keyboard as well as I would have liked (it got a crack in the corner from pressure in my tightly packed backpack). Also, just fiddling with extra stuff (moving the kindle into and out of the case, mounting the light) made the experience a bit less streamlined for impromptu reading sessions.

But for the new touch, I thought I'd splurge and try out the lighted case, and I am very glad I did. The fact that the case is rigid and always on keeps the kindle protected. True, there is no closure for the front cover, but the case really surrounds the kindle entirely on the back and sides, and once placed closed in a bag, the front cover can't open. This setup lets you start reading as fast as you can open a book, no messing with closures or removing the device. The light is also cleverly designed, if cheap-feeling; it does wobble a little when extended. I don't have a problem with the top of the page being brighter, nor the light getting in my eyes. My only criticism is that there is some vertical banding in both light intensity and color that can be a bit distracting, but you get used to it. It also tends to highlight any dust or debris that have gotten on the screen, and you should dust off the screen while the kindle is off, since a touch could have you changing pages, etc. Overall it works and is a simple and elegant way to read in any environment. I'll also note that the battery life has still been excellent even with the light on most of the time.

One other unexpected benefit of this case is the enhanced ergonomics I've found with the case installed. The naked kindle touch is a bit hard to hold comfortably considering that you cant rest anything on the screen and must hold it solely on frame. While it does add weight, this case gives you more hand real estate, especially at the top, to support the weight over long reading sessions. Also, the rigid cover can be held in the left hand like a book cover which helps with the weight as well. My only concern is that the constant flexing or pressure on the thin strip of leather than binds the case will eventually wear it out before its time, but that remains to be seen. In summary:

Pros:
Fast access to reading, just open the cover.
Instant light whenever and wherever you need it
Light does not take toll on battery
Sleek understated look, not bulky
Offers good protection for the device
Enhances ergonomics

Cons:
Pricey
Adds a decent bit of weight
Light arm feels cheap and might be subject to breakage
Binding is thin and might tear over time

Overall, I am very happy with the case and my cons may prove moot as I see how it holds up over time.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 14, 2011 10:20 AM PST


Ridge Racer 3D - Nintendo 3DS
Ridge Racer 3D - Nintendo 3DS
Offered by Venchura
Price: $36.50
22 used & new from $15.76

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Looking down the Road: 3D Gaming, March 28, 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Given the limited launch options, this is as good as it gets. This game would probably go unnoticed if it were on any other system, but for the 3DS launch, it's the system's show piece. The graphics are average in 2D, but turn the 3D up and WOW, its like you are driving right into the system. The addition of 3D spacial information allows your brain to gauge and plan your turns with more precision and really makes you feel like a part of the game.

As for the game itself, its a fun, if repetitive arcade style racer, with an emphasis on sliding through turns, "slip streaming" behind racers in front of you, and strategic use of nitrous boosts. That's it. No vehicle damage, no crashes, no "weapons," no speed strips, etc. The graphics are pretty if not spectacular, the game runs smoothly and the control is on point. Music is pretty good, the announcers can be annoying and repetitive, but can be turned off. The challenge lies in increasingly difficult AI and curvier, longer tracks. Pretty simple, and I'm sure there will be far more impressive efforts on the console. That said, if you like pure arcade style racing and want to really see what the 3DS will have in store, this is a very fun title that fits for short bursts of entertainment.


Nintendo 3DS - Cosmo Black
Nintendo 3DS - Cosmo Black
43 used & new from $126.42

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 3DS: an imperfect but excellent step into the 3rd dimension., March 28, 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
After playing with this little machine for the better part of 2 days, I have some opinions about it, and 3D gaming in general. Note that I said "3D Gaming" as I do think it is a unique form of entertainment that can benefit from the extra dimension far more than a non-user controlled, overly dim movie in which the camera cuts all over the place, for which you pay twice the price to wear uncomfortable glasses.

I will also get something else out of the way. I don't think 3D is for every game on the system. It might look neat for a bit, but in some cases (like imho, Street Fighter IV) it adds almost nothing except a little depth accompanied by a restrictive viewing angle and a cut in battery life and frame-rate. It is a fact of life that some (read: many) developers will just tack unnecessary 3D on to a game as an excuse to charge way more $$, just like the movies...

That said, Ridge Racer, which would just be another ho hum racing game on any other system, is absolutely immersive and addictive on the 3DS with the 3D cranked up. You are racing into the screen, and actually able to look into the distance at the road ahead of you. The extra spacial information allows you to gauge the timing of your powerslide, etc. with another level of understanding. Because you are in control of the action, playing a game that involves moving in 3D space feels like a new world when played in 3D. This will be a boon for racing games, first person shooters, and platformers especially. The reason for this is that all of these games feature a constant point of reference (the car, first person point of view, or character) in an environment and the ability to control the movement around it. Essencially, you are "in" the environment, looking around, which is very natural. I have not experienced any ill effects (other than wanting to race some more ;)) from this game, which I partially credit with that constant focal point, focal distance and the fact that I control the action.

I'm just going to gloss over the hardware, since I'm sure you've read some other review's before. Build quality: good if a little glossy and boring. Screens are on the small side, but when you turn 3d up all the way and look at the right distance, you don't even notice. Screen resolution is much improved for Nintendo but still lags far behind that of last year's smart phones. The Circle Pad: Excellent! Too bad there arent two of them. Battery: Sux. You knew that. If you aren't on a plane you shouldn't be playing that long anyway ;). Too bad they didn't go with micro USB at least for more charging options. I haven't tested any wireless features and haven't used the gyroscope extensively. Cameras are grainy, but a fun toy as long as you just keep photos on the device.

Caveats: Please try the 3D in person, and give it a while before you decide that this is a migraine inducing torture device. If you still think so, I'd say you would just really need to like first party Nintendo games if you wanted to buy this. Also, THERE WILL BE BAD GAMES!! Actually, there already are. The problem is, rather than costing $0 to $5 in an online (don't call it "ap") store, they will be $40 in a shiny box on a shelf along side all the good ones. Do your research and be selective.

I just want to close out by saying that, for the price, this is the best and cheapest way to try out 3D gaming, and that depending on the game, 3D gaming is totally worth trying out. If you are interested in the 3DS less for the 3D, and more for an upgraded Nintendo handheld, with (hopefully coming soon) terrific first party software, that is another good reason to get it too.


Mario Kart DS
Mario Kart DS
Offered by kunumushin
Price: $48.90
106 used & new from $8.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The First True DS Killer Ap, November 17, 2005
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Mario Kart DS (Video Game)
Alright folks, I'm not going to waste your time describing all of the ins and outs of this title. Suffice it to say, if you've played any MarioKart title on any system out there before, and have enjoyed it, stop reading this right now and go out and get this game (and the DS to play it on if you don't already have it). This game takes everything great about the franchise and concentrates it into pure addictive fun in portable form.

For those of you who were dissapointed with the Gamecube version (speaking for myself here), fear not- the controls are much more in line with the (previously my favorite) N64 version. That is, you have the defensive tools at your disposal- holding items behind your cart to cover your rear, the 3 rotating shells make their appropriate return, the slide gives you a little "jump" action, etc. Before I got the game, I was concerned that it would be hard to pull off powerslides with the D-pad as opposed to analog control, but it is quite easy to execute them (perhaps a little too easy, as you don't start to spin out if you hold in one direction for a while). As others have stated, the bottom screen adds a whole new level of strategy as you can time your drop behind items for maximum efficacy, and see when something is coming for you, where coins are located, etc. As far as playability is concerned, everything is spot on (the GBA game was decent, but this is like night and day).

The N64 version stole much of my college education time, and this little tiny cart is likely to steal even more, post-grad. Just think- you don't even have to get out of bed to play a course or two. If only I had friends that had DS's...I guess I'll have to go make some online! Highly recommended.


Kirby Canvas Curse
Kirby Canvas Curse
23 used & new from $29.39

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The game Touch and Go should have been, June 15, 2005
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Kirby Canvas Curse (Video Game)
This game actually controls similarly to Yoshi's Touch and Go (for those familiar) in some respects. That game even has a few touches that would be nice in this one (the ability to blow away clouds/rainbows if you mess up rather than waiting for them to disappear). However, while Yoshi's Touch and Go never rises above an excellent control concept wrapped in a mediocre package, Kirby Canvas Curse takes an equally excellent play engine and goes above and beyond in presentation and innovation. While the story isn't exactly brilliant (Kirby follows a nondescript witch into a "weird" vortex where he becomes a ball inside a living painting), this game actually has clever levels and nifty bosses, lots to discover and go back for, and plenty of crafty surprises around every corner. The design team did a truly great job taking its established "laws" of play and bending them in each level in a way that never fails to entertain. Rather than go into minutea, suffice it to say that everything, from the map screen, to the "physics," to the music- all of it- is well designed and implemented. Rising from a dirth of quality DS titles, Kirby Canvas Curse stands out as a must play. It's an experience you won't find anywhere else.


iAUDIO M3-20SL-CR 20 GB MP3 Jukebox with FM Radio and Voice Recorder with Cradle (Metal Silver)
iAUDIO M3-20SL-CR 20 GB MP3 Jukebox with FM Radio and Voice Recorder with Cradle (Metal Silver)

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent choice, March 30, 2005
I'm not going to waste space debating this vs. Ipod, etc. Instead, I'll tell you that I've been using this player for about 5 months and enjoy it very much. Pros: small size, don't need to take the whole unit out of your pocket/bag to change stuff, intuitive and easy to use controls once you get used to them, lots of extras (FM radio, voice recording, radio recording, supports Ogg Vorbis and others), frequent firmware updates (the company cares about the users of their product), good price. Cons: some people may not like the extra wire that's needed for the screen, not supported by online music stores (that last one is a biggy if you plan on buying music online- I still buy CD's and then rip them (using CDex into Ogg) and put it on this). Even though there are a few other companies that have bested this one (barely) in terms of size and battery life since it's release, I still think this player has the most to offer for its price than any other on the market. Don't be scared off by the lack of the screen on the main unit; once you use it, you really wouldn't want it any other way. Unfortunately, Amazon doesn't seem to be offering it for $259 w/o the cradle anymore (the cradle is redundant to the small adapter it comes with which is much more travel friendly, but some people like it and at $289, it's still a great deal).


Yoshi Touch and Go
Yoshi Touch and Go
Offered by 5 Star Deal
Price: $38.00
33 used & new from $7.48

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best DS game thus far, March 21, 2005
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Yoshi Touch and Go (Video Game)
Yoshi Touch and Go is the type of game the DS was invented for. It is an experiment in control that truly pays off. The control system is very well executed and surprisingly deep given how simple it seems at first, which leads to a very addictive experience. It takes but a few play throughs to "get it" and the arcade action will really hook you in. That said, why not 5 stars? The only lacking is in presentation. While I don't expect much from a "story mode," the virtual lack of one in this title might lead some people to think this was merely 2 minigames. While there are some sort of "levels" that scroll through in marathon mode, I feel the game could have been helped greatly with the addition of actual zones or levels as in other Yoshi or Sonic games. Also, given the great gameplay the developers have devised, some clever Boss battles would have been a welcome addition. That said, I really like this game and would encourage anyone to try it who want to learn what the DS is all about. The PSP might out gun it, but it will never be able to deliver something like this.


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