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Customer Reviews: 632
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Helpful Votes: 2831




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Joseph "jck09" RSS Feed (Cincinnati, OH USA)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

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Linksys AC2600 4 x 4 MU-MIMO Dual-Band Gigabit Router with USB 3.0 and eSATA (EA8500)
Linksys AC2600 4 x 4 MU-MIMO Dual-Band Gigabit Router with USB 3.0 and eSATA (EA8500)
Price: $279.99
9 used & new from $254.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast, Powerful, and Pricey, May 24, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a lot more router than most homes need, but so far, it's worked great for me, so if you have multiple devices that need high-speed wifi and want a router that will hold up for a few years, I think this is a great choice.

Linksys advertises this as the latest and greatest, with four antennas, faster chips than some computers, and all the latest standards, including beamforming and mu-mimo. In theory, this should allow a ton of speed to multiple devices at the same time. In practice, if your internet link is limited to 15 or 30 megabytes per second and if you don't have much need to connect to other devices on your LAN at high speed, it's more speed and power than a lot of homes can use. If you don't have a gigabit data connection upstream from your router, you will probably be happy with a router that costs half as much.

But, if you want the fastest, newest and greatest, take a look at this. It took me about an hour to set up (I had to run through setup twice before it worked reliably, and since then it's been running for a week, slinging data and video like a champ. It's fast enough that I don't have a device that can test it fully - when testing a connection between my Moto X2 (wireless) and my laptop (wireline), I got data speeds of 100-200 mbps uploading and downloading when I was in the same room on a 5.0 network, and 80-140 download, 11-50 mbps upload from the far corner of my yard. (2.4 was unsurprisingly less impressive - 15/10 both in the same room at at the end of the yard.) The 5.0 speeds aren't bad for a 1x1 device like the Moto, and you can expect much higher speed if you have a device that accepts multiple streams (and ideally MU-MIMO).

I haven't had a chance to test this against the Nighthawk, its main competitor, but so far, it's been solid enough that I can't see myself going back. Recommended for people who need a LOT of speed and are willing to pay for it.


Sterling Silver Oxidized Round Green Aventurine Celtic Tree of Life Round Dangle Earrings
Sterling Silver Oxidized Round Green Aventurine Celtic Tree of Life Round Dangle Earrings
Price: $20.22

5.0 out of 5 stars Good looking silver earrings, May 14, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
These are attractive earrings, and my wife loves wearing them. They're each about the size of a dime, and the tree of life design and oxidized silver combine to give them a look that's a little bit old fashioned and a little bit crunchy. They're light,and each features a tiny "adventurine" stone that's dark enough to compliment the dark silver but doesn't stand out or distract from the overall look.

Basically they're what you see in the pictures - well made, not gaudy, and nice. If you like the pictures, I'm confident you'll like the earrings.


Impressions 600 Thread Count 100% Cotton, Deep Pocket, Queen Bed Sheet Set with Embroidered Stitch, White
Impressions 600 Thread Count 100% Cotton, Deep Pocket, Queen Bed Sheet Set with Embroidered Stitch, White
Price: $74.13
5 used & new from $69.68

3.0 out of 5 stars Soft but thin, May 14, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
These are very soft sheets, but are very thin and a very plain, undecorated white. The set we received to review did not fit either of our queen mattresses but does fit a full size mattress, so I suspect we received a mistakenly labelled full set, or that the sheets shrunk in the dryer. (Nobody else has this issue, so I assume it's a random one-off).

Other than the sizing issue, these would be good for a guest room or some other use where you are looking for undecorated sheets.


Ipow Universal 360 Cellphone Cd Slot Car Mount Holder Cradle for Iphone 6 Plus(5.5) 6 5s 5c 4s 4,ipod Touch, Samsung Galaxy S5 S4 S3 S2 Note 4 Note 3 Note 2, HTC One Max M8 M7, Motorola Droid Razr Hd, Maxx, Nokia Lumia 920, Blackberry Z10 Torch,sony Z2 Z1, Lg G2 G Pro2, G3, Lg Flex - Excellent for Large Screen Smartphone and Electronic Devices
Ipow Universal 360 Cellphone Cd Slot Car Mount Holder Cradle for Iphone 6 Plus(5.5) 6 5s 5c 4s 4,ipod Touch, Samsung Galaxy S5 S4 S3 S2 Note 4 Note 3 Note 2, HTC One Max M8 M7, Motorola Droid Razr Hd, Maxx, Nokia Lumia 920, Blackberry Z10 Torch,sony Z2 Z1, Lg G2 G Pro2, G3, Lg Flex - Excellent for Large Screen Smartphone and Electronic Devices
Offered by NORTHERN LIGHTS USA INC
Price: $13.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Cool dashboard cell phone holder, May 11, 2015
I compared this mount and the similar [asin:B00G024X32 Exogear mount]. They're both great, but I give the slight edge to the Exogear.

How the Ipow works: Let's say you want to mount your phone on your dashboard so you can use it as a GPS or music controller, and let's say you have a CD player you never use. You stick this in the CD player, open up the holder, and stick in your phone. The top and bottom are open, and free for power cords or audio cords. It's genius, and works great!

Why I give the edge to the Exogear: The Ipow is great, but the holder is pretty basic. You slide out one side, and it grips super tight. It fits all my phones (regular iPhone 6, Moto X2) no problem, so I'd be happy to use that. The Exogear has a little fancier holder, that slides open on both sides and has a button to close. As I said, I like them both.

Note: I received a review copy in return for an honest review.


Contigo Autoseal Fit Trainer, 20-Ounce, Dazzling Blue
Contigo Autoseal Fit Trainer, 20-Ounce, Dazzling Blue
Price: $19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Stays cold forever and will! not! leak!, May 6, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is awesome. It absolutely will not leak, and it stays cold pretty much forever. I put icewater in this at 8 am, (not a ton of ice) and left it in the bottom of my backpack all day. During all that time, it didn't spill one drop, and at 8 pm, there were still ice cubes in the water. (More like ice chips at that point, but the water was still ice cold 12 hours later!)

I've never been disappointed by Contigo products, and this is no exception. My favorite is still the Contigo Jackson, because I usually drink quickly enough that I don't need the insulation, but if you want insulation, I strongly recommend this gadget.


Scotts 3-in-1 Moss Control Ready-Spray, 32-Ounce
Scotts 3-in-1 Moss Control Ready-Spray, 32-Ounce
Price: $15.99
13 used & new from $14.48

4.0 out of 5 stars Works pretty well, May 3, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
We have a moss problem in the shady areas around our house - our front step and a paver walkway on the shady side of our house. This spray worked pretty well - we connected it to the hose and sprayed the moss, and a few days later, almost all of it was dead. A second dose got the stragglers. After that, it was mostly a matter of scraping loose the dead moss with a stiff broom and brushing sand between the pavers in an effort to keep it from growing again.

I thought the Scotts spray worked very well - the moss died, and I didn't see any damage to the surrounding grass or other plants. The instructions don't really say how thoroughly to soak the moss, but my experience is you want to soak it quite a bit. Don't just stop once the moss is thoroughly wet, but soak it a few times more than that. (Scotts says one bottle is good for 500 square feet, which means multiple soaks of the same spot, plus that's how much it seemed to take).

All in all, this did what I expected it to do - recommended.


Acer Aspire V17 Nitro Black Edition VN7-791G-730V 17.3-Inch Full HD Laptop
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro Black Edition VN7-791G-730V 17.3-Inch Full HD Laptop
Offered by B&E corp
Price: $1,399.00
10 used & new from $1,353.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful gaming and entertainment laptop, but big, May 1, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a powerpacked laptop that is very well designed for entertainment and gaming. It's bulky enough that it's really best as a desktop substitute, but that's perfect for our family.

What we liked:

- This has great performance. Between the processor and the onboard solid state drive, this is easily the fastest home computer I've ever seen. It boots up almost instantly, and launches Microsoft Office in a few seconds or less. I haven't come up with any program yet that shows any noticeable lag whatsoever.

- The screen in huge and beautiful, and looks good from angles, and the speakers are very good. You can easily watch movies or play games on this thing without extra speakers or screens, although of course it works with all of those.

- It's sleek and good looking, with a case of testured black material and a red backlit keyboard. The look is a little stark, and I might turn off the keyboard lighting in a business environment, but at hime, I like it fine. (I'd probably slightly prefer a less harsh lighting color, like a softer blue or green, but itt's still good).

A couple warnings:

- There's no touchscreen. At first, I didn't think I'd mind, but Windows 8 is really designed with touch screens in mind. I don't think it's a dealbreaker personally, but if you're used to a touchscreen, well, this doesn't have one. I didn't find the trackpad any worse than other trackpads I've used, but I added a mouse anyway, and am a lot happier with it.

- It's not very portable. Between the giant screen, the hard drive and SSD, the optical drive, and the array of ports, this is large and heavy. That makes it great for a desktop that you occasionally move to another room, but I wouldn't recommend this for someone who plans to travel a lot with the laptop - those extra ounces add up.

All in all, though, if you're looking for a home or office laptop with solid gaming, entertainment, or app performance, I'd gladly recommend this one


Swiss+Tech ST53130 Palm-Grip Micro-Max Xtreme Pocket Tool Kit
Swiss+Tech ST53130 Palm-Grip Micro-Max Xtreme Pocket Tool Kit
Price: $18.99
9 used & new from $16.07

3.0 out of 5 stars Not everyday carry, but has its uses, May 1, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a pretty good backup tool for the price. I think it's a little bulky and awkward for most people's everyday carry needs, but if you put it in the back of a kitchen drawer or a glove compartment, it should come in handy as a "good enough" solution for a lot of problems.

This combines 22 tools, including several screwdrivers, a bottle opener and a set of pliers, but no knives or saws, so if you can convince TSA that there's no blade, you should be able to get this on a plane. None of the tools are as good as a dedicated tool or even a high end multitool - they're smaller and more awkward, and the rivets that allow the tool to fold make it hard to use a ton of force.

For all that, I do think this tool has a place - if you drop it in a drawer or glove box, it will definitely come in handy when you need a driver or pliers, but don't need a great one. Mildly recommended on that basis


Samsung VU10H3021PR/AA VU3000 Lift and Clean Bagless Vacuum Cleaner, Red
Samsung VU10H3021PR/AA VU3000 Lift and Clean Bagless Vacuum Cleaner, Red
Price: $187.51

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome vacuum, especially at the price, April 24, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a great vacuum, and I can't believe how much you get for the price. If, like me, you've been envious every time you see those Dyson commercials but can't stomach the price, this is a much more economical choice, but still super powerful, maneuverable, and bagless.

- The suction is incredible, to the point that Samsung includes a ring you can twist to reduce suction for hardwood or tile floor. We were basically stuck to a linoleum tile until we figured it out). The vacuum is so light that I expected it to be less powerful than our old standard bag model, but from what I can tell, it's actually much better.

- The unit is super light and maeuverable, with a swivel joint between the body and the brush. It pivots, it's easy to lift and carry, and it gets into corners better than any full sized vacuum we've ever tried.

- It is very cleverly engineered, with switches and meters all over the place. It's well worth reading the manual just to make sure you don't miss anything, but once you do, everything just makes sense. It's also pretty cool that you can detach the bottom and carry the remainder – everything separates and reattaches easily, and it just works great.
- This is our first bagless vacuum, and so far, so good. The canister is easy to empty, with a washable pre-filter and a replaceable exhaust filter. It’s a little weird being able to see what you’ve vacuumed up (so far, mostly carpet fibers), but also kind of cool.
- I got a review unit, but honestly, now that I’ve tried it, I think I would buy one. This is a huge step up from our bag unit – it’s lighter, more powerful, and more versatile. Strongly recommended.


Day Shift (Midnight, Texas)
Day Shift (Midnight, Texas)
by Charlaine Harris
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.98
73 used & new from $12.53

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The plot thickens, slightly, in Midnight, Texas, April 19, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Day Shift is the second visit to Charlaine Harris's town of Midnight, Texas, and with a second book, I think it's a little clearer what Harris is trying to do with this series.   

More than anything, this is a return to the mileu of the Sookie Stackhouse "Southern Vampire Mystery" series - that charming combination of a contemporary supernatural with kind of a easygoing, laidback small town charm.    This was the background of the Sookie books - when she wasn't trying to choose between competing love interests or fighting for her life in vampire politics, Sookie spent her time entertaining guests in her kitchen or worrying about how to staff shifts at the diner.
 
This series doubles on that charm - the characters are sometimes fighting for their freedom or lives, but they take time to keep their businesses afloat or visit their neighbors with fresh baked bread.   As they do, there is a mystery or two in each book that the characters want or need to solve, but like Sookie, solving mysteries isn't their core talent, so they work at them as best they can, (even in those cases where the readers are probably days ahead of them), and sooner or later, they resolve their mysteries. 
 
This book's main plot focues on two of the more recent immigrants - Manfred, a combination real and fake psychic, and Olivia, a dangerous woman with an unclear job.   As they try to solve a crime before it draws too much attention to themselves, we learn more about their background.  Meanwhile, several other residents begin to reveal some of their own secrets.   Meanwhile, Manfred suggests that the town itself must have some kind of secret to attract and sustain the population that it does -- I had thought that he was as close as it gets to a main character, but maybe Midnight itself is the lead character.
 
This isn't a perfect book.  In particular, it felt like some of the characters spent too long before they figured out some fairly obvious stuff, and a number of the characters have a habit of only expressing themselves in super obscure language, even when thinking privately to themselves, so as to draw out the time before the readers guess their full secret (That's right, Joe Strong, I'm talking about you, Mister!)   I'd probably give it four and a half stars if I could - it's not something that I would tell my friends they absolutely HAD to read or miss out, but it's so charming that I rounded up to five stars.
 
I really enjoyed reading this, and if you like Harris's easygoing supernatural mysteries, I think you'll like it too.   Recommended.


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