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DesertWolf Cotton Canvas Genuine Crazy-horse Leather Cross Body Laptop Messenger Bag - Men Business Vintage Handbag / Briefcase - Fit 14 Inch Laptop
DesertWolf Cotton Canvas Genuine Crazy-horse Leather Cross Body Laptop Messenger Bag - Men Business Vintage Handbag / Briefcase - Fit 14 Inch Laptop
Offered by EM Store
Price: $56.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A very nice, durable messenger bag, July 26, 2015
This "DesertWolf" bag is a really nice canvas and leather messenger at a surprisingly low price -- both on features and on appearance it could pass for a significantly more expensive product. (Note that very similar or identical bags are apparently available under other brand names as well; mine had a nice twine-attached hang tag from Desert Wolf but no conspicuous branding on the bag itself.)

The flap is a rough full-grain leather, with attached straps that fasten magnetically to the canvas main body of the bag. A newspaper pocket on the rear of the bag also closes with a single magnet. Inside, there's a full canvas lining with many little pockets and an inner, Velcro-strap-closure laptop computer sleeve. The laptop sleeve has some light padding to separate it from the bag's contents, and is suspended slightly above the bottom of the bag, which should help protect against light drops and bumps to some extent (though it's not a fully-padded cushioned sleeve by any means, I'd feel comfortable using it for quick office runs). A canvas strap is also included, with cheap but not-bad brass spring-hook fittings.

The whole thing is a quite attractive if slightly rough package. The leather top flap will wear and patina nicely -- it's not the kind of thing you want to protect from scratching as much as immediately bang up to make it your own, like a baseball glove. (Mine arrived slightly scratched, which I view as a start to the job -- don't expect perfection, expect patina, and you won't be disappointed.) The top handle and straps are a little rougher-looking than they might be on a premium brand, and the metal fittings are a bit duller and cheaper, but really everything is both functional and attractive in an understated way. It's an impressive showing at such a low price, and I'm going to enjoy using it a lot.

The manufacturer provided a sample for this review.


iPhone 6 Case, GMYLE Cover Case Print Crystal for iPhone 6 (4.7 inch Display) - Black ink Slim Fit Snap On Protective Hard Shell Back Case
iPhone 6 Case, GMYLE Cover Case Print Crystal for iPhone 6 (4.7 inch Display) - Black ink Slim Fit Snap On Protective Hard Shell Back Case
Offered by gigacity_amn
Price: $6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice and slim but very minimal protection, July 24, 2015
This case from GMYLE is an attractive rigid slim plastic case, but provides very minimal protection to the phone's buttons and front, top, and bottom faces.

The design is printed on the case, not molded into it, but appears attractive and high-resolution, and provides some nice camouflage and a unique look. It's made of a rigid hard plastic, and covers the back and right/left sides, with simple cutouts for the rear camera and all the buttons. Installation is simple; it snaps on and off easily and without fuss. The sides seem protected adequately, but the compromises made for slenderness here leave the top, bottom, and front face completely exposed; unlike some "slim" but not this slim cases, it really doesn't seem like adequate drop protection for even the smallest bump.

The manufacturer provided a sample for this review.


Reynolds Cookie Baking Sheets Non-Stick Parchment Paper, 22 Count
Reynolds Cookie Baking Sheets Non-Stick Parchment Paper, 22 Count
Price: $3.48
7 used & new from $3.48

5.0 out of 5 stars A nice new size and shape of baking parchment, July 24, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
If you're already accustomed to using Reynolds Baking Parchment in other forms, there's not much new to say about this convenient pre-cut 12"x16" sheet form factor. It's great for baking almost anything, not just cookies -- pizza, bread, all kinds of things are made easier with the thin nonstick layer the parchment provides. And the pre-cut sheets are competitively priced, not marked up for convenience: at the current selling price it's actually about 10% cheaper per square inch than the 3-pack of rolls, and (at least if you rip as untidily as I do) there'll be much less loss due to sizing in this form. Recommended.


Parateck Bluetooth 4.0 Wireless Stereo Music Receiver Hands-free Rotatable Knob Adjustment Car Kit for Apple Ipod, Iphone
Parateck Bluetooth 4.0 Wireless Stereo Music Receiver Hands-free Rotatable Knob Adjustment Car Kit for Apple Ipod, Iphone

4.0 out of 5 stars Very good car Bluetooth device, July 22, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This Parateck device is a nice, easy-to-use Bluetooth transmitter for in-car use. It's easy to install, with an adhesive backing, and relatively easy to set up -- pairing is straightforward, though (despite what the instructions say) I found pairing with two phones a little confusing and wasn't able to tell what the device would do predictably when both phones were in the car at once.

Still, it's easy enough to use both for music and calls; the sound quality for music listening is excellent -- granted that a noisy car is a pretty forgiving environment, but I wasn't able to tell the difference between Bluetooth and CD in the car the way I easily could at home. Outgoing call quality is not fantastic, but is adequate for short calls.

The device includes all the cables needed, allows you to charge another USB device while using it, and works well for both music and calls. What more could you want from such an inexpensive thing? Recommended.

The manufacturer provided a sample for this review.


Lavievert Soft Neoprene Sleeve Water Resistance Bag Pocketed Case Cover Laptop Briefcase with Lifetime Guarantee for Apple 13" Macbook Pro / Macbook Air / Macbook Pro with Retina Display and Most Popular 13-13.3 Inches Laptop / Notebook / Ultrabook / Netbook Also Use As a Mouse Pad - Black
Lavievert Soft Neoprene Sleeve Water Resistance Bag Pocketed Case Cover Laptop Briefcase with Lifetime Guarantee for Apple 13" Macbook Pro / Macbook Air / Macbook Pro with Retina Display and Most Popular 13-13.3 Inches Laptop / Notebook / Ultrabook / Netbook Also Use As a Mouse Pad - Black
Offered by Lavievert
Price: $28.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good lightweight neoprene sleeve, July 21, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This LaVieVert (shouldn't that be "verte"?) sleeve is a very good low-cost option for protecting the 13" MacBook Pro Retina inside another bag. It isn't rigid at all, but the neoprene fits fairly well (not perfectly) and should give some measure of bump and ding protection (though it's not meant to handle serious drops; for that you'd want something with more structural rigidity).

It's packaged in a clear plastic envelope, and comes out smelling fairly heavily of rubber/vinyl -- a brief airing is advisable before keeping it in any tightly shut indoor environment. Apart from that, it's an attractive package. The case is sewn well, and looks nice with the silver trim contrasting with the black outer and inner fabric. There's a large pocket behind the top flap which can hold earphones, power supplies, etc.

Fit is good but not perfect for the 13" Retina MacBook Pro: the case is sized reasonably but not as snug or tight as you might expect from the pictures. It's within a quarter-inch of the right size on the short axis, with just a little wiggle room, but the flap closure has a good deal of slack when "closed," and without any Velcro or buckle or strap closure to hold it shut, even snugging the fabric doesn't provide a closure secure enough that you'd want to trust it to hold the computer in. Inside a snug backpack, this should still be fine, but I wouldn't want to pack it anywhere it might slide around and come loose.

All in all, while I wouldn't recommend it at the same price as a really top-line case from Rickshaw or Waterfield or the like, at this low price it's a really nice product; and though it's not designed to be mega-protective, it'd certainly be one of my recommendations for a good-quality, affordable, thin MacBook sleeve case for student or travel use.

The manufacturer provided a sample for this review.


Barilla Pronto Pasta, Rotini, 12 Ounce (Pack of 8)
Barilla Pronto Pasta, Rotini, 12 Ounce (Pack of 8)
Price: $16.63

3.0 out of 5 stars Strange concept, basically okay, July 18, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This "Pronto" pasta from Barilla is a strange concept -- a very thin pasta meant to be cooked by quick absorption, in an open pan, rather than by boiling and draining. This is pitched as a quick-cooking convenience, as if boiling water were somehow a great inconvenience, bizarre idea though it seems. I found it cooked up just fine according to the package directions, though achieving al dente texture is in fact far harder than with conventional pasta -- once all that water is in there, it's staying in, so if the pasta ends up mushy (as mine did, even following the directions punctiliously) then there's no easy way to remove water or shorten its cooking time. And of course the absorption cooking method can be used with better, heavier pasta as well, achieving a better al dente finish, it just takes a little longer and requires a little more management. However, if you're constrained to one-pot cooking, don't like real al dente chewy pasta, or just generally hate boiling water, this is basically fine pasta.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 28, 2015 3:48 PM PDT


iWatch Band, Omgar Stainless Steel Polishing Strap Watch Band with Classic Adapter for Apple Watch (42mm)
iWatch Band, Omgar Stainless Steel Polishing Strap Watch Band with Classic Adapter for Apple Watch (42mm)
Offered by Omgar
Price: $39.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice-looking basic brushed steel bracelet, July 16, 2015
This Omgar product is a pretty nice (especially for the low price), quite heavy and chunky stainless steel bracelet with well-fitting adapters for the Apple Watch. It's not immediately apparent how (or easy) to remove links in order to fit the bracelet, but apart from that it's a relatively attractive product that seems worth the price.

The packaging is very basic -- a plain brown envelope, containing the bracelet and a pentalobe driver that allows removal of the band adapters. Inside, the bracelet is well protected by plastic covering.

The band adapter is a shiny, polished-finish stainless steel, while the bracelet itself is a duller, brushed finish (contrary to the product description and manufacturer's photos). In practice, this should look fine with the stainless Apple Watch; it looks a little weird with the aluminum Sport model but still basically passable. The clasp is cheaper in look and feel than the rest of the bracelet, which is super-heavy and attractive, consistently and well finished; the clasp is dull in finish and seems to be stamped out of thin metal, but is not very visible while in use.

All in all, this is a nice link bracelet option for the Apple Watch.

The manufacturer provided a sample for this review.
Comment Comment | Permalink


Dove Men+Care Styling Paste, Fortifying 1.75 oz
Dove Men+Care Styling Paste, Fortifying 1.75 oz
Offered by Finders Keepers Shops
Price: $11.95
16 used & new from $6.19

3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, not special, basic hair product, July 11, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This Dove "Men+Care" (huh?) Styling Paste is an okay basic hair-styling product, but not a special one or one I'd be likely to seek out again. Apparently it's quite similar to a Suave product available more cheaply, which is worth checking out if you like its texture and feel.

The product's main gimmick, weirdly, is that it's caffeinated. I noticed no perceptible effect after using it, and I think it's best just ignored.

Apart from that, it's a basic hair product, somewhere between a hard wax and a paste in feel. It's quite bright white -- after applying, I found it needed quite a bit of working into my hair before the white disappeared. A heavy application on dark hair might not look good, it's so full of titanium dioxide. There's a mild fruity scent, not something that you'd notice after a few minutes unless applied very heavily indeed.

In texture, it's hard when initially scooped out, and needs to be softened in the hands a bit; it feels waxy and spiky in use, and left my hair considerably more frizzy and spiky than higher-end products, with less of a smoothing effect. It also wore off sooner, not lasting through a full day for me without a very heavy initial application.

All in all, I'd recommend something like Baxter's Hard Cream Pomade over this for a nicer-feeling wax-paste hair product. If it just cost a couple of bucks, it'd be an okay drugstore pick or travel backup product, but this Dove product doesn't really justify its higher price.


Yepal Microfiber Travel Towel and Sports Towel, Anti-Bacterial without Odor , Soft and Super Absorbent, Fast Drying, Lightweight, Compact Packing,Great Pal for Camping, Backpacking, Beach, Swimming and Travel
Yepal Microfiber Travel Towel and Sports Towel, Anti-Bacterial without Odor , Soft and Super Absorbent, Fast Drying, Lightweight, Compact Packing,Great Pal for Camping, Backpacking, Beach, Swimming and Travel
Offered by YEPAL
Price: Click here to see our price

5.0 out of 5 stars Nice travel towel, July 8, 2015
This Yepal travel towel is a nice microfiber product, and should prove useful for trips to the beach, hostel backpacking, and the like.

It's surprisingly large in surface area -- about the size of a small-to-medium bath towel -- but the microfiber material is so thin that it rolls up into a very small packed size, smaller than a can of soda. There's a sewn-on elastic strap for packing it, a very nice touch.

The material itself is very soft-feeling and pleasant, like a huge version of a microfiber glasses wipe. It's also surprisingly absorbent, nearly as good as a cotton terrycloth towel at wicking moisture off the hands, and of course it dries much more quickly than cotton. For the travel user, it's hard to imagine better -- I'm tempted to start using it at home, as well.

The manufacturer provided a sample for this review.


Inateck Ultra Slim 13-13.3 Inch Apple MacBook Air/ Macbook Pro/ Pro Retina Sleeve Ultrabook Netbook Case Cover Carrying Protector Case Bag, Gray
Inateck Ultra Slim 13-13.3 Inch Apple MacBook Air/ Macbook Pro/ Pro Retina Sleeve Ultrabook Netbook Case Cover Carrying Protector Case Bag, Gray
Offered by Inateck Online
Price: $36.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice, affordable, high-quality slim case, slightly imperfect fit, July 6, 2015
This Inateck product, like the manufacturer's other cases, is a nice, high-quality basic protective sleeve for the 13" MacBook Pro Retina, with surprisingly good material quality and feel considering the low price. The case is constructed of a heavy, perhaps quarter-inch-thick felt, which is so soft and springy that it feels as if it will provide some measure of basic impact protection despite not having any additional padding or lining. The closed edge is covered in very convincing, soft-touch black fake leather, and the open edge (long, for landscape-oriented carrying) has a magnetic-closure flap in plaid cloth. All around, the materials feel high-quality, pleasant to the touch, and soft enough to provide basic protection in a backpack or briefcase (though I would not expect this case to give serious protection against major drops or impacts). And the case is distinctive enough in look -- not just another Cordura rectangle -- that it'll be easy to distinguish going through airport security.

There are more nice little touches of the kind that I'm coming to expect from Inateck, including a separate, very nicely made power-adapter travel bag in the same grey fabric and a microfiber screen-cleaning cloth, and the whole set comes packaged very attractively in a printed ziplock plastic shipping bag. All in all, while I wouldn't recommend it at the same price as a really top-line case from Rickshaw or Waterfield or the like, at this price it's a really nice product; and though it's not designed to be mega-protective, it'd certainly be one of my recommendations for a good-quality, affordable, thin MacBook sleeve case.

The only real issue worth discussing is the fit, which is not perfect. The sleeve is quite tight in height for a 13" MacBook Pro with Retina Display, with the closure slightly difficult to shut securely once the computer is inserted -- but it is still manufactured somewhat too wide, so the computer slides a bit from side to side while shut in. It's a usable and surprisingly nicely made case, but not a perfectly fitted one; while the computer is secure in it, it feels slightly off-size in every dimension. (Update: Inateck wrote to inform me that the computer needs to be inserted into the sleeve with a forceful shove to allow the flap to close properly; perhaps the felt will stretch after some use. It still doesn't seem like a great fit to me.)

The manufacturer provided a free sample for this review.


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