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Customer Reviews: 96
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Helpful Votes: 5427

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Jindo Fox RSS Feed (Silver Spring, MD United States)

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Frozen Queen Elsa Let It Go Princess Anna Movie Video Game Vinyl Decal Skin Cover Protector for Nintendo 3DS
Frozen Queen Elsa Let It Go Princess Anna Movie Video Game Vinyl Decal Skin Cover Protector for Nintendo 3DS

4.0 out of 5 stars A big hit with my little girl., November 30, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Easy to apply, and attractive once it's been set. It hides fingerprints well and makes the system look unique.

(Discontinued) HP Stream 13.3 Inch Laptop (Intel Celeron, 2 GB, 32 GB SSD, Horizon Blue) Includes Office 365 Personal for One Year
(Discontinued) HP Stream 13.3 Inch Laptop (Intel Celeron, 2 GB, 32 GB SSD, Horizon Blue) Includes Office 365 Personal for One Year
Offered by Emma's Shop
Price: Click here to see our price
38 used & new from $113.65

75 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mythbusting the HP Stream 13, November 30, 2014
"Netbooks are over."
Seems to me they're coming back now, with the power and comfort they should have had the first time around. Windows compatibility in a cheap fanless design is really compelling. It's not Linux on the desktop, but it's a cheap, lightweight OS on hardware suited to the task. Microsoft's cloud services for documents, mail, and storage are equal to anything offered by Google.

"Forget about gaming."
While it's true you're not going to be breaking any speed records with this, you will do fine with indie games from Steam and good old games from GOG. The latter is particularly good on this hardware if you remember how noisy and hot PCs used to be. (disclaimer: I'm old, and I like old games)

"It's loaded with crapware."
Be sure to buy the "Signature Edition" straight from Microsoft. That's what I did, and found it to be very clean and streamlined, with nothing extra that you don't need. None of the junk that others are complaining about was on my machine. It should cost the same or less than the mainstream version.

"The screen, ugh."
The screen doesn't show well when you first power on the machine, but after a brief adjustment period, it's OK. Remember the price of this thing. It's like Chromebook screens in this price range. Something like the ASUS t100 has a nice, shiny IPS touchscreen, but at a higher price and without the size and comfort of this machine.

"Windows isn't optimized for battery life."
This simply isn't true anymore. This thing can do 8 hours without a charger, easily. I'm really impressed. It's like a tablet that can run Windows software.

"Windows 8 is the worst thing in the world."
It's a small adjustment (some, but not all, of the system functions have been moved), but if you live in the Desktop environment, it's not very different from Windows 7. This device does not have a touch screen, so you won't be in the tile screen very much anyway.

There's also an HP Stream 7 tablet with lower specs but decent touch features. Since it costs next to nothing, I'm tempted by that after this nice Windows experience.

"Atom and Celeron processors are garbage."
Again, see "forget about gaming." If you want to spend 4x as much for an i5, the option is there. Today's low end is the mid-range from a few years ago, only with reduced power usage.

"What's up with that blue plastic? It looks like a toy."
That's true, but it doesn't bother me ... especially since I expect my kid to use this a lot. The blue is bright and vivid, and I think it looks nice in person. The matte exterior finish doesn't collect fingerprints, and the faux metallic keyboard deck is cheerful and attractive. The whole package reminds me of the early, inexpensive Apple iBook clamshell laptops in vivid colors, except with a lot more power. I'm in search of a decal to hide the shiny HP logo on the front. A Superman logo would fit right in.

There's a pink one, too. If you don't want pink or blue plastic laptops, this isn't for you.

"2GB of RAM? 32GB of storage? And I can't remove the battery or upgrade the innards? Get out."
OK, this might not be for you. But with the option to for a cheap and large microSD card, you can load a bunch of media on this machine. It's probably possible to delete the system recovery partition if you really really want to get that 8GB of onboard storage back. The downside of doing that would be losing the easy rollback/erasing options included in Windows 8.

"Windows 8? I want Windows 10."
Settle down and wait until Windows 10 is actually released, and for sanity's sake, don't complain that the beta preview doesn't have every driver in the universe.

"The keyboard is a MacBook ripoff."
This is true, but it's not a bad thing. Some system functions are easy to reach in the top row (brightness, volume, media controls, airplane mode), and they put Home, PageUp, PageDown, and End keys in a column down the right side. The key motion and feeling is fine. I'm a little bit worried about long-term reliability of the switches and will update this review if the keys fail before my warranty is up.

"I hate the trackpads on cheap laptops."
Me too. This one is not bad, though. It's large and responsive.

"There's no way a $200 laptop can be any good."
Depending on your needs and expectations, this one might surprise you. I'm pleased with mine thus far.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 13, 2015 3:46 AM PDT

60 used & new from $188.20

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific little multimedia toy., April 4, 2014
This is a great little gadget, way more fun than you might think at first glance. Yes, it looks like an Xbox "Duke" controller from 2001 crossed with a flip-up GameBoy Advance. It's also squishy on the bottom and heavy all around. Yes, it's Android, and the PC streaming only works if you have a compatible Nvidia graphics card on your desktop computer. Before you turn up your nose at these "limitations," consider ...

The screen is SHARP and bright
The sticks are well made, and responsive
The buttons (there are plenty of them) are of high quality
The speakers are LOUD
There's an SD card slot for easy expanded storage above the onboard 16GB
The whole thing is well balanced and feels great in the hand.

I got one even before I had a compatible PC to stream to it. Why? Because with free and cheap emulator software from the Google Play store, it's like having a classic video arcade AND an entire Electronics Boutique store from the 1990s in your hand. Check the Software section of Archive dot org under MESS and MAME for everything you remember from the old days. My little girl likes to play Sonic the Hedgehog on this device.

The Shield controls are supported by the vast majority of old-style games in the store, and if they aren't, you can use Nvidia's software to map them yourself. You can even share your mappings with the internet with a single button press (shout out if you're using my Soul Calibur settings)! There's also a steady stream of high quality mobile games that are built for the handheld. The Tegra 4 GPU is still one of the most powerful chipsets out there, so in my opinion this isn't going to be made obsolete by a Shield 2 anytime soon.

The battery lasts a long time (10 hours? I've never run it all the way down) so with these loud speakers, we sometimes use it as a little boom box for Spotify or Pandora. Despite its smaller screen, it's a better lazy video player than a tablet because of the flip-up screen, perfect for watching streaming video on your back with this on your stomach.

Nvidia includes some fun free games, as well as access to their GRID cloud service, now in preview mode. The Grid has many of the same titles that OnLive offered, except for free (OnLive works here, too). On a fast wifi network, it's almost like playing a local, native game.

Most would say the real point of this device would be to stream your PC games to the handheld so you can play anywhere. Nvidia directly supports about 100 titles (check their website), but you can also play a large number of controller-enabled Steam games, too. Pretty much anything that supports the XBOX 360 controller works with the Shield without any reconfiguration. I'm using an Apple wifi access point and latency is almost nonexistent. It's great fun to kick back and play Skyrim anywhere. The next update (coming in a few days) will let you stream to anywhere on the internet, so you'll only be limited by your network connection.

Pretty cool stuff. The future is now. The people who designed this really understand their audience and are continually improving the device through frequent software updates that have added new features and performance enhancements every few months.

No Title Available

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Updated to be the best (at least for me), September 26, 2013
Until the recent updates, I preferred the Roku XS because of its versatility. It could do Amazon, Angry Birds, Pandora, and a lot of other "underground" video services. AppleTV could do a very nice Netflix client, Apple iTunes purchases, and in-home streaming, as well as AirPlay from iOS and OSX devices.

Now that it can do HBO Go natively and Amazon Streaming via AirPlay in addition to everything else, I think it's the way to go, at least for me. It's beautiful and easy to use. It's OK that it doesn't play Angry Birds.

Asus Nexus 7 2B32 7-Inch 32 GB Tablet, Black (2013 Model)
Asus Nexus 7 2B32 7-Inch 32 GB Tablet, Black (2013 Model)
37 used & new from $155.99

105 of 134 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little tablet, again. Recommended., July 26, 2013
I was a fan of the size and features of the original Nexus 7, so I stepped out to get one of the new models today. I wanted to see how the app and data synchronization works between two devices, and I'm likely going to gift the old one to my young daughter. Let's call the new device Nexus 7 (B) to differentiate it, since neither Google nor Asus has given it a new name.

The packaging is a nice slip-on gift box as you'd expect from this kind of device, with a splash of blue to differentiate it from Apple or Amazon tablets. First impressions as it comes out of the box are positive. Nexus 7 (B) is black-on-black-on-black: the power/volume buttons are black, the logos are black, the (slim, between the size of iPhone cube and iPad bricklet, very short cord) charger is black, the bezel is black, and the holes for the cameras (back and front, more on them later) are black. It's like, how much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black. (Apologies to Nigel Tufnel, but it's true).

It makes the "old" (2012) Nexus 7 look like a tacky cheese ball when placed side by side. The silvery painted-plastic trim on the old one (all nicked and pitted in my case) is not missed at all. The new device is slimmer and flatter (no curved back) than the original. The rubbery backing is smooth, not "Steve McQueen Driving Gloves" texture like the original, but still pleasant to the touch and solid feeling. The front is a fingerprint magnet as you'd expect, like any black glass screen, but you won't notice when the screen is on. There are pinholes for stereo speakers in the back, at either end of the device, which sound fine for their size (audiophiles will use headphones, I presume).

Nexus 7 (B) ships with Android 4.3 out of the box, with a few tiny service updates to make you reboot after assigning a Google profile to the device. The default start screen comes with Chrome, YouTube, Google Maps, Gmail, Hangouts, and the new-to-Nexus 7- Camera app in the bottom dock. A shortcut to Google Play (App Store) is on the first page, along with a folder for shortcuts to Google apps for music, books, movies, magazines, photos, G+ (Facebook wannabe), Keep (Evernote wannabe), calendar, Currents (news magazine), gallery (formerly known as Picasa), and People (contacts).

Google Sync pulled my installed apps from their store, including additional data, upon first launch. Unlike Apple's iCloud backups, not everything is synchronized and backed up. I had to enter lots of third-party passwords to get going, and all my downloads in other folders were not carried over. If you live more or less exclusively in Google's world, they've taken care of you, but otherwise, you'll need to look after your own backups. I'll need to install Amazon's App Store and my Humble Bundle apps separately. No big deal, but be prepared for some file transfers if you think outside the Google box.

The screen is qualitatively "nicer" than the original Nexus screen, with blacks being more black and text looking as Retina (no pixels) as I could imagine. I haven't received the over-the-air update for 4.3 on my original unit, so I can't tell if subpixel rendering is better on the old screen, but side by side the new one is clearly superior. It's probably not enough of a difference to upgrade if you're happy with the current one, but after some time with the new screen, going back to the old one could be more noticeable. Think Retina iPad vs. iPad Mini (though the original Nexus screen resolution is better than iPad Mini in my opinion).

What's missing, besides that nasty silver plastic bezel? The pogo pins (which allow for zero-friction placement on a horizontal dock, for charging and audio output) are gone. To make up for that loss, Nexus 7 (B) includes a rear-facing camera. Like many early mobile phone cameras, it's better than nothing but far inferior to what is possible. It looks to be about on par with the rear camera in the iPad 3, and shares the same megapixel count. There's no flash and the image is noisy, even in the preview screen. You're not buying this for the camera. There's also a low-quality camera in the front of the unit for videoconferencing with Google Hangouts. This time around, it's offset to the right the top center, so you can use it in landscape orientation.

There is no SD card support. Also unsupported: Adobe Flash, floppy disks, slide-out keyboard, removable battery. It's a wonderful, inexpensive personal handheld computer, not a genie that wants to grant every wish you might have. These "limitations" are fine with me.

Performance is super snappy, the way you want it to be. I'm always skeptical of judging how fast a computer system "feels" on first boot, before I've bogged it down with all my software and files. The technical benchmarks (which you can read elsewhere), particularly memory and input-output speeds, make me think that this snappiness will stay around, even once I've made this my own. Mobile Chrome, the slowest dog aspect of the original Nexus, is finally a pleasure to use here, just as it is on the desktop. Library apps like Kindle or Comixology respond instantly, without the heavy lag as felt on the old Nexus. Networking feels faster too, but that's probably because of the faster internal read-write workings. File copies over USB are terrible as always, you're generally better off using Dropbox plus Astro File Manager to move things around.

One of my favorite features of the Google Play store is their selection of video games. They have a lot of the same high-end, 3D-intensive titles as the Apple App Store, like Grand Theft Auto, Galaxy on Fire, and Riptide GP. All of these and more run perfectly on the Nexus 7 (B), as you'd expect, despite the absence of an Nvidia Tegra chip inside. Where the Google store shines is in the red-light district that Apple's App Store avoids: emulation. You can get an emulator for many different obsolete-but-classic home computers and video game consoles in the Google Play store. Playing Super Nintendo games with a glass touchscreen might not seem like fun, but you can add Bluetooth game controllers and keyboards to the Nexus to make it into many little computers in one. This feature is just as good on the Nexus 7 (B). DOSBox Turbo is showing that the CPU governor is in "ondemand" mode, which means better battery life for you but that I will need to wait for new software to enjoy TIE Fighter on the go. I am and edge case as far as that is concerned. Everything else seems to run very well, and the store software will likely be updated to optimize for this device.

I really like this tablet. Compared to some of the competition, it's limited (not as many apps as Apple), but its nice little size and price make up for it. Almost all of the "neutral" web services that work everywhere, like Feedly, Kindle, Dropbox, Pocket, Facebook, Tumblr, Flipboard, and so on work just as well in Android as they do in iOS. The physical aspect is very pleasant, both to the eye and in the hand. The screen is top-notch, the store is excellent, and the price is right. Recommended.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 15, 2014 5:17 AM PST

Wemo Light Switch, Wi-Fi enabled, control lights from your phone, works with Amazon Alexa
Wemo Light Switch, Wi-Fi enabled, control lights from your phone, works with Amazon Alexa
Price: $44.03
39 used & new from $36.00

51 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Home Automation done right (and cheap!), July 22, 2013
I have a couple of the Wemo sockets that plug into the wall, and have been eagerly awaiting the in-wall switch. I got two, one for the front door lights and one for a bedroom. Installation is easy, with no other tools required other than a screwdriver and access to your circuit breaker. Note that you need a neutral (white) wire for the unit to work. Once it's in the wall, you can use the iOS or Android app to configure the switch to use your wifi network. The first thing it will do is download a firmware update (easy) and restart, then you're ready to program it. The app has a nice step-by-step workflow for adding rules. The app is location aware so you can set it to turn on/off with the sun if you want. There's also a fully-featured set of IFTTT (If This, Then That) triggers if you want to get creative, turning on the lights and tweeting about it when certain events happen. You could set a trigger to anything: new pope, new royal baby, someone walking by a motion sensor, texts from a certain number, and so on.

Belkin deserves a lot of credit for sticking with their software, updating it to allow multiple triggers and greatly enhancing ease of use and reliability from the original release. The Light Switch hardware is simple and attractive. The switch itself is standard sized, so you can use any faceplate you want. No need to worry that you're stuck with the big white faceplate from the photographs.

I hope the Wemo equipment becomes a standard and sticks around for a long time.

(updated to reflect compatibility with Nexus 7 tablet)
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 23, 2013 11:49 AM PDT

Star Wars Omnibus: Wild Space Volume 1
Star Wars Omnibus: Wild Space Volume 1
by Chris Claremont
Edition: Paperback
27 used & new from $12.85

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wild and groovy tales from the fringes of the galaxy, June 21, 2013
Let's get this out of the way from the start: this is a fringe product, for a certain kind of Star Wars enthusiast, probably of a certain age. If you think Star Wars lore belongs on a strict historical timeline, or have ever used the word "canon" to describe the adventures of Luke Skywalker, you're not going to care for this.

I remember Pizazz Magazine and was living in Britain when some of these stories were first published, so it's really neat for me to see these reproduced in a more permanent format. The stories are even weirder and off-kilter than the early Marvel tales written by Archie Goodwin in the late 1970s, but since they share many artist credits the continuity is a pleasure to read. Some of the concepts here are "harder" sci fi then is typically portrayed in Star Wars, and all of it is a good deal sillier. That said, it's bold, brash, fun, and well worth the investment if you're willing to dive in. Dark Horse has a digital version if you don't want to wait for a Kindle edition.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 2, 2013 1:24 PM PDT

Star Wars: Heir to the Empire (20th Anniversary Edition), The Thrawn Trilogy, Book 1
Star Wars: Heir to the Empire (20th Anniversary Edition), The Thrawn Trilogy, Book 1
Offered by Audible, Inc. (US)
10 used & new from $15.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Surprise! This holds up 20 years later., June 4, 2013
Twenty years ago, I eagerly devoured these books. At the time, Star Wars was over and there were no toys, comics, or movies on the horizon. This was a neat throwback to my childhood favorite, but I soon discarded it because of the things that bothered me at the time: the omniscient chess master of a villain, the mysterious femme fatale, and way too many callbacks like "I have a bad feeling about this." I donated my old hardcovers to the local library.

Earlier this year, I tried the audiobook of "Scoundrels," also by Timothy Zahn, and the entertaining reading opened my eyes to he older books in the series. Marc Thompson performs a one-man theatrical reading of the book, bringing fun, unique voices to each character. My favorite is his Distinguished Southern Gentleman impression of Billy Dee Williams (Lando). He also gives a Ricardo Montalban "Rich Corinthian Leather" reading to Talon Karrde, a new character. It's silly, but it works.

Thompson also nails Harrison Ford's Midwestern bray (Han Solo) as well as the Californian meditative Jedi as portrayed by Mark Hamill (as Luke Skywalker). Various posh accents (Thrawn, Winter, Mon Mothma) and the "harrumph harrumph" of Pellaeon are delightful as well.

So how's the book today? Perhaps the prequels have lowered my standards, but Grand Admiral Thrawn, Mara Jade, and Talon Karrde are more memorable than Count Dooku, Jar Jar, or the other doofuses in Episodes I and II. I still think Mara Jade's backstory is badly presented, and we are frequently told but not shown how smart Thrawn can be (clearly, he's been reading ahead). It would not make a good Star Wars film, but would be passable as a Game of Thrones-style miniseries. As a one-man radio play, it's a winner. I recommend checking out these books in audible format.

TP-LINK TL-ANT2408C 2.4GHz 8dBi Indoor Desktop Omni-directional Antenna, 802.11n/b/g, 1.3m/4ft cable, Magnetic Base
TP-LINK TL-ANT2408C 2.4GHz 8dBi Indoor Desktop Omni-directional Antenna, 802.11n/b/g, 1.3m/4ft cable, Magnetic Base
Price: $11.99
79 used & new from $7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The boost I needed., May 10, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
There are a few dead spots for wifi in our house. A few years ago, I never would have noticed. Now that I want to beam AirPlay music from the iPhone in my pocket, it's somewhat annoying to have the sound drop out while working in the kitchen, for example. The pinkyfinger-sized antenna on our Verizon FIOS router didn't have enough power to carry a steady stream through some of our thicker walls and appliances. Perhaps more importantly, I didn't have the flexibility to the router off the desk and clear of my big, aluminum, RF-spewing iMac either. With this inexpensive antenna, I have enough slack in the wire to bring this 12-inch antenna higher in the room, clear of all obstacles, and securely stuck up with a magnet. Now all of my wifi interference problems have been solved, with no router configuration needed or extra transmission power required. Before you buy another router (most of which have smaller, internal antennae), consider this cheap fix.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 4, 2013 12:06 PM PDT

E-3lue Cobra EMS109BK High Precision Gaming Mouse with Side Control 1600dpi
E-3lue Cobra EMS109BK High Precision Gaming Mouse with Side Control 1600dpi
Offered by PAI Apparel
Price: $10.15
63 used & new from $3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars No frills mouse with looooong cord and neon-style lighting, December 7, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Well made, good button and wheel action, fun TRON-style neon lighting. It is made of lightweight plastic but at this price, who cares?

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