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Customer Reviews: 311
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Mr. Deeds "Opportunity is limited only by imagination. -Charles F. Kettering" RSS Feed (Columbus, Ohio)
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   

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Panasonic Sonic Vibration Rechargeable Toothbrush
Panasonic Sonic Vibration Rechargeable Toothbrush
Price: $114.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Provides fast yet effective results; ionic feature intriguing, July 25, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've been testing the Panasonic "Sonic Vibration" Ionic toothbrush for about a month. What impressed me right away is the size of the unit... much smaller (about 30 percent) than my previous rechargeable toothbrush of another brand.

I was intrigued by the "ionic" feature, though didn't see it explained in any of the literature that came with the toothbrush. I researched the generic topic of ionic toothbrushes and learned that they emit a flow of positive ions that reverse the surface of the teeth from negative to positive polarity, pulling plaque towards the negatively charged toothbrush head.

I haven't been to the dentist yet for my 6-month cleaning but will be eager to see if I get any compliments on the low plague levels. I'll update this review afterward.

In a nutshell...

Pros:
* Compact size; 30 percent smaller than the other 2 rechargeable toothbrushes I've used in the past few years
* Case is great for travel
* Ionic feature (in theory) removes more plaque
* Timer feature helps you learn the proper pace from start to finish
* Easy to use; elegantly designed
* The 4-brushing modes ensures the right speed for the desired effect
* Included gum-care brushes
* Brush is going strong after 1 month - no signs of it needing to be replaced

Cons:
* Designed (in my opinion) for one person - not really family friendly as claimed. It's sort of gross removing the brush (wet) and it takes a little effort to remove.
* Difficult to find (so far) replacement brushes

Overall this is the best electric toothbrush I've ever used. Two thumbs up!


Samsung WB350F 16.2MP CMOS Smart WiFi & NFC Digital Camera with 21x Optical Zoom, 3.0" Touch Screen LCD and 1080p HD Video (Blue)
Samsung WB350F 16.2MP CMOS Smart WiFi & NFC Digital Camera with 21x Optical Zoom, 3.0" Touch Screen LCD and 1080p HD Video (Blue)
Price: $178.42
19 used & new from $158.97

5.0 out of 5 stars Many big features packed into this compact camera, July 25, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've been testing the Samsung WB350F for a few weeks and it has really impressed me with the quality of photos, ease of use and the many options for fun and creative shots/videos that you can share right from the camera to Facebook, YouTube and more (including email).

As a pocket camera, I'd be happy just using this as a traditional point-and-shoot - but for those occasions when I want to get creative, there are many fun options. I talk about some of those in detail below, but in the meantime... in a nutshell:

Pros:
* Small, fits into your pocket
* Easy to use - the "Auto" option is excellent
* Many fun and creative effects available
* Touchscreen
* Several social sharing and remote-use options from your smartphone using Samsung apps
* The camera comes with 2 GB of free Dropbox online storage; 50GB if you also own a GALAXY smartphone.
* Built-in flash

Cons:
* Firmware update issue: Make sure to use a smaller (I use a 2GB Micro SDXC card for firmware updates... afterward I replace it with a 64GB EVO Micro SDXC card
* Some of the social/sharing/remote apps crash
* Does not come with Micro SDXC card

Fun options: Using the "Smart Mode" option on the dial offers the following special photo-taking modes...
- Beauty Face: Enables you to capture a quick succession of someone's facial expressions so you can pick the best one
- Continuous Shot: Takes a fast series of photos... ideal for "action" shots (jumping, running, throwing, etc.)
- Landscape (self explanatory)
- Macro: Extreme closeups of small things (bugs, coins, etc)
- Action Freeze: Snap a clear photo of a fast-moving object (person running, car driving by, hitting a baseball, jumping, etc).
- Panorama: This one is very cool... move slowing to the right or left and many photos will automatically be combined into one panoramic photo
- There a few more but my remaining favorites here in "Smart Mode" include "Low Light" and there is even one to use when photographing fireworks

There is also editing software right in the camera along with a very cool Photo Filter and Movie Filter feature. These let you choose from some fun effects:
* Miniature (popular in Japan, it produces photos with the borders a little out of focus and the effect gives the appearance of looking at a miniature scene)
* Sketch
* Fisheye
* Retro
* Cartoon
* Oil painting
* There are more but those are my favorites

You can also adjust the Aperture and Shutter priority in addition to choose a "Manual" mode that allows experienced photographers to tweak the settings as needed.

There is a Wi-Fi setting on the dial. After connecting to a Wi-Fi network you have the option of emailing photos/videos or posting them to Facebook, Picasa, YouTube and Dropbox. I've tested these options and they all work well - though you'll have to login to each of those accounts each time you want to post.

The "Samsung Home Monitor" works OK... as a baby monitor or as security camera. There is a smartphone app (I'm using the one for iPhone). There is a glitch though that prompts a message in Korean. I pushed the option to the left and it worked fine. Though if I hit the "BM_SOUND" button, presumably to also hear what's going on, the app promptly crashes.

There is another app... the "Samsung SMART CAMERA App," that turns your smartphone into a remote viewer from which you can zoom in and out and snap photos. It requires you to connect to a local area Wi-Fi network created by the camera itself. This feature works well.

Additionally there are a couple of remote upload and backup options that work well - though I prefer to just connect the camera directly to my iMac to download.

There have been a couple of firmware updates since I started testing this camera. This is down by choosing the i-Launcher app on your computer (for Macs, this app also has hooks to iMovie and iPhoto and "PC Auto Backup). I'm using a Samsung Electronics 64GB EVO Micro SDXC card and because of a glitch in the i-Launcher app, this card isn't recognized. I have done some research learned that the size of the card is the issue. Luckily I had an old 2GB Micro SDXC card handy and tried that: Success! So keep in mind that smaller is better in terms of getting firmware updates. Afterward I swapped the cards and everything works great.

Overall this is the best compact/pocket camera I've ever tested. It's easy to use, takes excellent photos, and I enjoy the occasional post to Facebook right from the camera. Two thumbs up from me. The pros far outweigh any cons.


Rachael Ray Nutrish Soup Bones Dog Treats, Turkey Flavor, 3-Count, 6.3 oz, (Pack of 8)
Rachael Ray Nutrish Soup Bones Dog Treats, Turkey Flavor, 3-Count, 6.3 oz, (Pack of 8)
Price: $16.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Our dogs love these made-in-the-USA treats (maybe too much), July 24, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Our family has two large dogs both under 2 years old - one is 100 pounds and the other 75 pounds. Both are lab mixes that we adopted from the Animal shelter.

The larger dog eats his treats fast - way too fast. So we like to find treats that take time for him to devour when possible.

For that, Rachael Ray Nutrish Soup Bones Dog Treats fails because he eats one in less than 5 minutes. His brother, however, likes to take his time. For him this treat lasts 30 minutes or more.

But we are ok with giving these treats to both because of the ingredients: real turkey, no meat by-products, no artificial colors - and most importantly, made in the USA.

One fact I wish was provided on packaging is calories. There is a chart showing weight and the number of chews recommended per week, but no calorie count.

That said, our dogs do love these treats - however we'll be limiting them to one per week each (chart says they could get 7 per week).


Miglio Design Doppio Cat Scratcher Lounge
Miglio Design Doppio Cat Scratcher Lounge
Price: $43.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Our cat loves this scratcher (thankfully more than our upholstery), July 24, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Our family has two house cats: One is a 16-year-old tomcat; the second is two and female. Both are used to having a scratcher in their part of the living room but our female cat LOVES to use my wife's favorite upholstered chair. Until, that is, we put the Miglio Design Cat Scratcher Lounge next to it.

The way we initially got her interested in the Scratcher Lounge vs. the chair was to smear a generous portion of catnip into the scratcher's many nooks and crannies.

The Scratcher Lounge is well designed: The sides are a type of plywood and the "scratchy" part is a tightly woven cardboard material. Both the top and bottom have then material so when one side gets worn-out I'll be able to turn it over for a fresh start.

She's a small cat and loves to walk through the two holes. Our older cat hasn't paid it much attention but then again he's not guilty of chair scratching. :)

We tried setting the scratcher upright against the chair but she seems to prefer it horizontally, as shown in the photo on Amazon.

So far the chair is getting a break for our kitty's nails... she's happy and so are we. I suggest getting some catnip when introducing this scratcher to you cat. She immediately fell in love with it when we did. :)

Two paws up for the Miglio Design Cat Scratcher Lounge from our household.


iSport Strive in-ear headphones black
iSport Strive in-ear headphones black
Price: $49.95
6 used & new from $34.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Ideal for workouts; not so good for noisy areas, July 21, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've tested the MonsteriSport earphones for over two weeks with my iPhone and have concluded that, for my needs, they are best-suited for workouts.

They are very comfortable because they do not rest inside your ear, but rather just at the surface. I also like the 3 sizes of rubber earbud attachments - I use the middle-sized one and my wife uses the smallest size. It is fast and easy to swap them out.

For me the ultimate test for headphones is the airplane test. I carried my MonsteriSport earphones on a short flight last week and much of the music was drowned out by the noise of the engines. Ironically, the gentleman next to me on the plane asked me to turn the volume down because he could "hear" the music. I also tested them at a local coffee shop, and because you can hear much of your surroundings, it was rather distracting. I realize that this was an intentional design feature but wanted to point it out.

However, when running outside along the sidewalk or side of the road, NOT being able to hear traffic sounds and/or yells can get you hurt (or worse). Being able to hear, and subsequently respond, to potential dangers is a huge plus for runners, walkers or bicyclists. The MonsteriSport provides that safety net.

In a nutshell... for me the MonsteriSport earphones perform well during my workouts and the times at my desk (home office) when I want to listen to some tunes and be able to respond fast to phone calls, too (though you have to answer the call from the phone itself; there is no button to do that on the earphones).

Pros:
* Comfortable - even after an hourlong workout.
* They stay put... no falling out even when running.
* Phone feature works well - clear sound and the people I've spoken with said the same of my voice.
* Sound quality is excellent - both for music and movies.
* If running outside, you can "hear" potential dangers (horns, yells, etc) and respond accordingly.

Cons:
* The sound is audible to others around you... there is sound "leakage."
* Outside noises are audible - this is not really a con because they are designed that way but something to keep in mind. Not good on airplanes or noisy areas.
* No button to answer phone calls

For me the Pros greatly outweigh the Cons because I primarily use these for workouts. And I give them 2 thumbs up for that purpose.


Watch Dogs - Xbox One
Watch Dogs - Xbox One
Price: $48.85
97 used & new from $33.27

4.0 out of 5 stars A welcome respite to the first-person shooter, July 14, 2014
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Watch Dogs - Xbox One (Video Game)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've spent the past two weeks battle-testing Watch Dogs for Xbox One - the game offered a welcome respite to my favorite first-person shooter genre and surprised me with the many options of in-world game play.

For most video games, I prefer to tackle the campaign first - that way I hone my skills with weapons, vehicles and assorted moves. The storyline of Watch Dogs is detailed and compelling - it's almost like a movie, one in which the close of one chapter leaves you eager to start the next.

During gameplay there are constant distractions to choose from emanating for your "cell phone," offering missions to catch bad guys or engage in races or related challenges. There is even an option to compete against other "real people" via Xbox Live. These are indeed fun and challenging but the endless beeps and offers to distract you from the campaign did start to annoy me. It would love to see an option to turn all of those off. When I first started testing the game I was compelled to take all offers and soon felt like I had attention deficit disorder.

The gameplay reminded me of Grand Theft Auto in terms of the vast "in-world" ecosystem combined with FarCry with the option of unlocking "points of interest" in huge swaths of the Chicago metro area - and also "fast tracking" to hideouts once they are unlocked where you can sleep or change outfits.

I especially love the wide assortment of cars and trucks... small cars, muscle cars, high-performance cars, all kinds of trucks and even large tractor trailers. You can "steal" any vehicle but you risk a police chase when you do - getting a hack to unlock any vehicle takes care of that. There are also a few boats to choose from - when having trouble losing the cops my advice is to hit the water. I have never been caught by them yet (well, in this game anyhow). ;-)

Watch Dogs has an impressive 1,000 Achievements... so far I have only earned 90. So if you are an Achievement hound, you'll be very happy chasing those down.

For all of its many diversions and distractions, combined with the solid campaign mode, I am really enjoying testing this game - especially since there are so few good game titles available right now for Xbox One.

Will Watch Dogs having the staying power of TitanFall and Call of Duty? Not for me, but then again I am a first-person shooter sort of gamer. But that said, it is a welcome change of pace and a very fun and entertaining one at that.

If you are stuck playing only a couple (or even one) game every day on your Xbox One, then I recommend giving Watch Dogs a try. You will not be disappointed.


Timbuk2 Copilot Luggage Roller 2014, Small, Carbon Full-Cycle Twill
Timbuk2 Copilot Luggage Roller 2014, Small, Carbon Full-Cycle Twill
Price: $209.00
6 used & new from $209.00

5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect carry-on for this travel-weary worker, July 10, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've battle tested the Timbuk2 Copilot two times over the last few weeks. It's proven ideal for 2-3 day business trips because it's small enough to easily fit into the overhead compartment yet roomy enough to hold all my clothes, shoes and toiletries.

The 5 handles, one on each side with the exception of the back, are very convenient when making the mad grab for bags that always seem to accompany the rushed disembarkation at busy airports.

The skateboard wheels are a very clever and excellent feature. They make for a smoother and quieter roll with less "tipping" which sometimes happens when I must dash across the airport to catch my next flight.

I have the Twill model and the fabric not only looks good it is tough, too. The handle extends an retracts smooth and easy - and it's very sturdy.

My wife and I are going on vacation next month and will check a large bag - but just in case it gets lost, we'll have our Timbuk2 Copilot with us in the cabin with enough clothes and toiletries to get us by if that happens.

It's clear that much thought and planning went into the design of the Timbuk2 Copilot - and this travel-weary worker appreciates the many little things in this suitcase that add up to the perfect carry-on. Two thumbs up!


Frigidaire 5,000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Mini-Compact Air Conditioner w/ Mechanical Controls, FFRA0511Q1
Frigidaire 5,000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Mini-Compact Air Conditioner w/ Mechanical Controls, FFRA0511Q1
Price: $120.67
15 used & new from $82.20

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keeps us cool at night; cuts electricity bill, July 9, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This small but mighty air conditioner is all we need to cool our bedroom and saves in electricity usage because we no longer have to cool the entire second floor.

We have a 3,200+ square foot home with 2 heating/cooling zones - one for the basement and first floor and the other for the second floor (bedrooms and bonus room). However, keeping 2 central air conditioning units running is very expensive. That's where this Frigidaire Mini-Compact Air Conditioner comes to the rescue. Now that it's just me and my wife, we don't need to keep the entire 2nd floor cool anymore.

I've been testing it for a few weeks and our electric bill is about half of what it was for the same period last year (we are also using more LED lights around the house).

Installation was very easy though I didn't use the the screws because I wanted to be able to easily move this little AC to the family room during very hot days. It's light and easy to move and has a small footprint when seen from the outside. I especially like this little Frigidaire because it's "old school," meaning there are good old-fashioned dials and no electronic displays/settings to contend with.

Two thumbs up for the Frigidaire 5,000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Mini-Compact Air Conditioner w/ Mechanical Controls from this household.


DII 100-Percent Cotton Fabric Tablecloth, 60 by 84-Inch, Holiday Plaid, Seats 6 to 8 People
DII 100-Percent Cotton Fabric Tablecloth, 60 by 84-Inch, Holiday Plaid, Seats 6 to 8 People
Price: $23.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Livens up our dining room; could be used year-round, June 30, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This tablecloth is well-made and looks great in our formal dining room. We have a 6-chair country-style dining table.

We have two extensions for those occasions when we have more guests - but this tablecloth is too short for those times (luckily they are few and far between because no tablecloth we have fits in that setup).

While advertised as "holiday plaid," the tablecloth doesn't look out of place in our dining room now, in summer.

I accidentally spilled a glass of water during a recent dinner and the cloth was merciful and kept the water from spilling through to the table - it rolled off the surface. I was quick, though, with my handkerchief.

Two thumbs up for the DII 100-Percent Cotton Fabric Tablecloth from this household.


Ecospiral LED TP120-10/BR30/DIM 10 watt (65 watt equivalent) 685 lumens Dimmable LED Floodlight, warm white
Ecospiral LED TP120-10/BR30/DIM 10 watt (65 watt equivalent) 685 lumens Dimmable LED Floodlight, warm white
Price: $26.99

5.0 out of 5 stars This bulb makes it easy being green, June 29, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've been replacing every light in our house with an LED as they burn out - especially the florescent bulbs which take several minutes to "warm up" and produce adequate light.

LEDs pop on at full brightness - and in addition to saving on electricity they produce much, much less heat than traditional bulbs.

I replaced one of the lights in our kitchen with the Ecospiral LED and was very please with the dimmable feature. Many LEDs do not work with dimmers.

The light spectrum of many early LEDs was a bit too white - but the Ecospiral LED produces a clean light... I can notice the other lights even look a bit yellow in comparison.

I'm very please with the Ecospiral LED and plan on ordering more as my other kitchen lights burnout. The lifespan of these bulbs is 22.8 years if used 3 hours a day. But even though we use them for perhaps 8 hours daily - we are sure to get several years of light from this bulb.

It isn't always easy being green, but the Ecospiral LED lights make it a little less of a chore.


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