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Lenny's Profile

Customer Reviews: 345
Top Reviewer Ranking: 2,083
Helpful Votes: 1814

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Lenny RSS Feed (FREMONT, CA, United States)

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Belkin Air Protect Always-On Sleeve 14" for Chromebooks and Laptops, Designed for School and Classroom
Belkin Air Protect Always-On Sleeve 14" for Chromebooks and Laptops, Designed for School and Classroom
Price: Click here to see our price
31 used & new from $22.96

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice case, but no space for a power supply, July 22, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I had to look at a photo to confirm that those two plastic tabs really fit around the corners of the LCD panel. Together with the two elastic bands for the lower part of the laptop, it works surprisingly well and smoothly with my T450s - opening the case means that the laptop is opened, and I don't need to remove it from the sleeve in order to use it.

The material feels like some kind of synthetic fabric, and the shell is mostly rigid. It has a 3D pattern that should provide some additional cushioning in case of bumps without adding much bulk, and it looks quite attractive as well.

The only problem with this sleeve is that there is no space for a power adapter or accessories such as a mouse. It also blocks some vents and in some cases may cause a laptop to overheat and throttle down. If you're worried your backpack may not provide enough protection, or if you want a sleeve around your laptop at all times to protect it from scratches and knocks even when in use, this is an excellent choice, especially for laptops with excellent battery life and doesn't run too hot.

TRINITY 3-Bag Bamboo Laundry Cart, Bronze
TRINITY 3-Bag Bamboo Laundry Cart, Bronze
Offered by AppliedProductCorp
Price: $80.97
4 used & new from $59.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice looking, but some disappointing flaws, July 16, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
While this is a great looking laundry cart, there are some flaws that really shouldn't be there in a $50 laundry basket.

First, there is a small gap on one of the side frames. Not a big deal, and if this is the only flaw, I'd have rated it 5 stars.

The hooks where the laundry bags hang from don't just drop easily into the top rail. This is a minor point, and again, if this is the only flaw, I'd still rate it 5 stars.

Next, the edges are sharp. If you knock into a corner, even at a fairly low speed, it is going to hurt a lot. I wish the edges are beveled or rounded. I may try doing this with sandpaper to see if it affects the finish on the bamboo.

Finally, the casters are stiff and the cart does not roll easily. Yes, I did check to make sure they're not locked.

For the same price, I bought the Seville Classics Heavy-Duty 3-Bag Laundry Sorter Cart a year and a half ago. Still working great and looks just like new. Like this one, it has great build quality. It doesn't look as attractive as this one with its bamboo frame, but the casters roll smoothly and there's no sharp corners to knock into. The casters on this one is what I'm really unhappy with. Other than that, assembly is very easy and everything fits together perfectly. All attachment points on the bamboo frames have metal screw threads embedded into the bamboo frame so there's no fear of the threads getting stripped. I will try to find replacement caster wheels and to sand down the edges, but for a laundry basket at this price, it shouldn't be necessary for me to do so.

Kelty Catalyst 50 Liter Backpack
Kelty Catalyst 50 Liter Backpack
Price: $159.95
9 used & new from $152.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great backpack, but may not fit well for those with short torso., July 15, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is my first "real" backpack. I've had other backpacks, but none of them are as large, or have an internal frame. With a little adjustment, it fits me comfortably. I was surprised by how light it is relative to the size. Adjusting the torso fit strap is easy - as long as you're making it shorter. I'm not exactly flexible, but I could easily reach the loops and pull it to tighten until it is just right. If you over-tighten, however, you'll need to take it off to loosen it. Not a major inconvenience.

The backpack does not fit either of my teenage daughters, however. They can carry it, but even when adjusted for the shortest torso length, it does not fit them perfectly - if the shoulder straps sit perfectly, the waist belt is an inch or two too low. They're 5' 3" and 5' 7" - not exactly short. I believe it will fit them better as they grow.

The number of straps on this looks quite intimidating at first glance, but a closer inspection showed what they're for. Some of the straps may be more easily adjusted by another person after you've put on the pack (remember that I'm not flexible). There's a large main compartment with top access and a zipper for side access, and a few smaller pockets - one zippered pocket on the lid, two zippered pockets at both sides of the waist belt (the only ones easily reached without removing the backpack), two side pockets for water bottles, and a compartment for a hydration pack.

Tag on bag says it is made in Vietnam. The backpack has a limited lifetime warranty - Kelty's website says it includes material and workmanship, but does not include normal wear and tear, or damage from hazardous weather, animals, UV light or abuse.

UP3 by Jawbone Activity Tracker, Black
UP3 by Jawbone Activity Tracker, Black
Price: $179.99
13 used & new from $124.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So much potential, but ultimately somewhat disappointing, July 7, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I really want to like this activity tracker. But the limitations are just too frustrating to me.

I've been using a Mi Band for the last two months. It is a very inexpensive device and looks nowhere as solid as the UP3. I'll compare the two devices later. First, let's look at what the UP3 provides.

If you want an app that nags at you, provides lots of feedback and tips, points you to studies about health and fitness, this app is for you. On the other hand, if you just want something to track your activity, you may feel irritated by the app. I don't think it is quite that bad, but I would have preferred a much lower "nag level".

The UP3 contains an accelerometer (to track movement), heartbeat sensor, galvanic skin response (to measure skin conductivity), and according to the specs on the website, tracks respiration as well. Anything else it tracks - your weight and caloric intake, are entered by you into the app. The only interaction with the app is to tap on it to wake it up, then to put it into either wake mode (running icon) or sleep mode (moon icon). It doesn't appear to be strictly necessary - I forgot to switch it once and it seems to still measure my sleep that night.

The accelerometer works as advertised. It would measure steps even on a treadmill or elliptical (provided you're moving your arms on the elliptical). Heartbeat sensor seems to be used only to measure your resting heart rate. Sure, it is good to know my resting heart rate when I'm sleeping, but it would have been great to know my heart rate when exercising. I'm not sure why this is not provided - I can only guess it is due to some technical limitation.

I have no idea what is galvanic skin response used to measure with the UP3. Maybe it is only used to keep track of whether the tracker is being worn? GSR together with heart beat and blood pressure is used in a lie detector, so maybe the UP3 can tell if you're lying when you're entering your weight.

The clasp is quite frustrating for me. The video makes it look so simple to put on, but for me it has been frustrating to put it on with one hand. Maybe it gets easier with practice. I almost lost it 3 times in the 1 week I've been using it when the clasp came undone because I brushed it against something. Fortunately I noticed it in time.

The magnetic charging cable is very nice, but not perfect. The cable is short and inflexible, and the strap on the UP3 is inflexible as well. You need to position everything properly when charging, and sometimes it involves propping up the UP3 with a book. A short and flexible USB extension cable may be helpful.

Battery life of about 7 days seem pretty accurate. The UP3 can vibrate to alert the wearer of alarms or reminders. For some reason, I cannot set one time off reminders. Reminders will repeat on the same days every week.

Now, let's compare it to the Mi Band.

The most obvious difference is price. The Mi Band sells for about 1/10 of the price of the UP3. It does not have a heart rate monitor (rumors that the next version will have it) but you can get one for much less than the difference in price, and the HRM will track your heart rate during exercise, and not just resting heart rate.

The next difference is battery life. Somehow, the Mi Band can last for 30 days on a single charge. Extremely impressive.

I thought I'd test this by wearing it together with the Mi Band. Either by sheer coincidence, or by some strange interaction, my Mi Band that had been working flawlessly for more than a month suddenly malfunctioned after I installed the UP app and added the UP3, and it died the next day. I don't blame Jawbone for this - if there's any fault here, it lies entirely with the Mi Band. As a result, I couldn't do a side by side test of the two, but in terms of number of steps measured, they seem to be in the same ballpark.

Compared to the UP app, the Mi Fit app is very spartan.

Now this is the part that disappoints me the most : what the Mi Band can do, and the UP3 cannot.

1. Smart lock. Android allows you to add a Bluetooth device as a trusted device. What this means is that if your device and phone are close to each other, the phone will remain unlocked, unless it has been idle for a long time (a few hours), or you explicitly lock it. It is very convenient, and I miss it terribly.

2. Notifications. The Mi Band can vibrate when you receive a phone call. With 3rd party applications, you can also have it vibrate on other notifications, such as when receiving SMS, a chat request (Hangouts, Whatsapp, etc.). To me that's the most useful function I want out of a smart watch, and I can get it without having to deal with the high price and short battery life of a smart watch.

I didn't quite expect it to handle notifications (although it should be possible through software) but I was genuinely shocked and bitterly disappointed when I can't use it for Smart Lock. I don't see the UP3 under paired devices in my Bluetooth setup. If it's not a paired device, it cannot be a trusted device. I was so sure I made a mistake, and started searching the web for a solution, but I could not find one.

I rated this 3 stars because it does what it is supposed to, and it appears to do it reasonably well. But compared to a Fitbit Charge HR (which has heart rate monitor, and adds a display, for a lower price) and to a Mi Band (no heart rate monitor, but MUCH cheaper and adds a bunch of convenience features that has nothing to do with activity tracking), I find it extremely hard to recommend this to anyone. It may be the most advanced tracker, but a lot of that potential is unrealized.

STIGA Supreme Table Tennis Racket
STIGA Supreme Table Tennis Racket
Price: $39.99
24 used & new from $39.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very light racket, nice balance., July 5, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My first impression of holding this racket is how light it is. I'm actually used to a heavier racket, but the weight means that it can be moved faster. The surface is also very tacky - though obviously it needs to be cleaned regularly to preserve the tackiness. Racket comes with nothing extra - if you don't have a bag, get one to protect it. Feels good in the hand and has a good balance. Compared to my old Butterfly 401, this one feels significantly lighter, and performs faster, and is better in defense. It is not a great difference, however.

120 * Gateron KS-3 Mechanical MX type Key Switch - clear top [ Brown 45g Tactile]
120 * Gateron KS-3 Mechanical MX type Key Switch - clear top [ Brown 45g Tactile]
Offered by Corus KB
Price: $39.99
2 used & new from $39.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Plate mount switches, July 5, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
These Gateron switches are drop in replacements for Cherry MX switches. Some people prefer them as they use a different kind of plastic that makes the switch action feels smoother. The difference is quite subtle. These Gateron Browns also feel just slightly lighter than a Cherry MX Brown to me.

PCB mount key switches have two extra prongs to the side of the large center plastic nub at the bottom for anchoring better to a PCB. The switches I receive lack them, making them suitable for plate mounting only (keyboards that have both a plate and PCB are plate mounted). Note that PCB mount switches can be used for plate mount simply by sniping off those plastic prongs, but if you use plate mount key switches on PCB without a plate, they lack mechanical stability.

Belkin Road Rockstar with 4 USB Ports for Front and Backseat Charging, 2 Front Seat USB Ports with Shared 2.4 Amp and 1 Backseat Dual-Port Hub with 2.4 Amp / Port
Belkin Road Rockstar with 4 USB Ports for Front and Backseat Charging, 2 Front Seat USB Ports with Shared 2.4 Amp and 1 Backseat Dual-Port Hub with 2.4 Amp / Port
Offered by Ms.CellShop
Price: $25.56
20 used & new from $14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Peace (and charging ports) for the whole family on road trips, July 5, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Some day, all cars will have ample USB ports for charging our personal electronics. Until that day, we have this.

Having 4 USB ports, especially 2 that can be easily accessed from the back seat, is great for domestic tranquility during road trips. You only need to figure out how to run the cable so that it won't get tripped over or snagged accidentally, and provide good quality USB cables. I measured the output with a PortaPow USB meter when charging my phone. I couldn't verify 2.4A output since my phone only charges at 2.0A, but it handled that without any issues. The only way to improve this is to include USB cables, and to have some sort of cable organizer.

Vortex Pok3r Mechanical Keyboard Sleeve [Fits 61 Keys Keyboards] [ 60% ] (Grey)
Vortex Pok3r Mechanical Keyboard Sleeve [Fits 61 Keys Keyboards] [ 60% ] (Grey)
Offered by Corus KB
Price: $15.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Protects from dust and scratches, but not from knocks and drops, June 20, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The fabric is fairly thick, but does not provide much cushioning protection for the keyboard. It does fit the Pok3r (and other 60% keyboards) pretty well with just a little extra space - getting rid of the extra space would not be practical since it would make it much harder to put the keyboard in or to remove it. Good for keeping dirt and dust out, and keeping the keyboard from getting scratched. Would not do much to protect it from an impact or drop. Pocket is a convenient spot for storing the USB cable, and is deep and rough enough that the cable will not drop out even with vigorous shaking as long as the keyboard is still in there. Remove the keyboard, and the cable drops right out with a little shake.

There is a strong smell when it first arrived, but after a few days the smell dissipated without me having to wash the case. I have the light grey sleeve with a dark grey Pok3r and don't notice any lint, though some with black case and white keyboard have reported that this is an issue.

If you need impact protection, the Grifiti at $2 more is a better choice. Otherwise, this sleeve is a less expensive alternative. If you have sewing skills, or know someone who does, you could easily make your own, of course. But between the time involved and having to purchase the material, this is not too expensive.

303 (30324) Rubber Seal Protectant - 3.4 fl. oz.
303 (30324) Rubber Seal Protectant - 3.4 fl. oz.
Price: $8.23

4.0 out of 5 stars Appears to work for rejuvenating old-ish rubber seal, June 20, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have a 6 year old car with frameless door window. A couple of years back, it has started to squeak irritably whenever the glass rubs against the rubber seal. I live in a fairly moderate part of California and park in the garage, so the seals usually stay in pretty decent shape even in cars older than this - they're not hard or cracking yet, though they've obviously deteriorated. I applied this to the door with the squeaky window, let it dry for half an hour, then tested it. No squeak. That alone is worth the price to me.

There's also no strong odor. There is a smell, but it's fairly faint.

Application could not be easier. It's not sealed, so just shake it, unscrew the top, turn it upside down, squeeze gently until some of the liquid makes it to the foam, then start wiping it on the rubber seal. Works exactly like a bottle of liquid shoe polish. The instructions said to apply every 3 to 5 weeks. I'll probably only reapply when the window starts squeaking again - I'll update how long the effect lasts.

The instructions on the bottle said that it contains chemicals known to cause cancer. Unfortunately, it does not identify what these chemicals are, and how much of it is present, so it's not terribly useful. To be safe, don't get it on your skin, and wash your hands very well after use. I'd also recommend leaving the doors open and the car outdoors while waiting for it to dry.

Impecca Non Ticking Compact Alarm Clock, Light and Snooze (Black)
Impecca Non Ticking Compact Alarm Clock, Light and Snooze (Black)
Price: $11.99
5 used & new from $9.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Light on demand, alarm with snooze, quiet., June 11, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
It has all the features I'm looking for - an on-demand light, no ticking, alarm with snooze. A slide switch on the right side (the 3 o'clock side) turns the alarm on / off - no worries about accidentally turning it off by bumping into it. The snooze and light switch is on top, and is the same button. It seems to suggest that pressing one side is snooze and the other side is light, but it's really just one switch. Hands have luminous paint on it, but not the clock face. If you press it against your ear, you can hear whirr of the mechanism, but it is a lot softer than the normal second tick of other clocks I own. At about 4 inches away from my ear, I can only just about make it out if I'm listening for it. There's nothing flashy or gimmicky about this alarm clock. It's plain, it's small, and as long as it has a good AA battery in it, it works quietly.

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