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Senor Zoidbergo RSS Feed (Washington D.C.)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

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Hoover Air Cordless Series 3.0 Bagless Upright Vacuum, BH50140
Hoover Air Cordless Series 3.0 Bagless Upright Vacuum, BH50140
Price: $254.96
14 used & new from $198.51

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything I expected a cordless vacuum to be, July 20, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My main vacuum cleaner was a Hoover, but like all traditional vacuum cleaners it's heavy and requires taking out the cord and stowing it after usage.

Enter this Air Cordless Hoover. Excellent build quality. The low-mounted battery pack provides a stable center of gravity. It took a few hours to charge each battery pack, and an extra pack (as is an extra filter) are thoughtfully provided.

Sucking power was very good on both carpet and bare floor. The Air Cordless was exceptionally easy to maneuver and swivel, and the vacuum mounted light was very bright, providing good illumination of the general vicinity. My biggest complaint about the Air Cordless is that the vacuum wand isn't very long. Additionally, vacuum suction when using the wand wasn't quite as strong, it seemed, as when the main unit was engaged.

In conclusion, it's a very well equipped cordless vacuum cleaner that offers all the capabilities of a traditional vacuum cleaner, minus the inconvenience of a cord. It's definitely replacing my former Hoover corded vacuum as my goto choice.


Alienware AX51R2-5744BK Gaming Desktop
Alienware AX51R2-5744BK Gaming Desktop
Price: $999.99
7 used & new from $999.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better as a high end home entertainment system than an entry level gaming computer, July 20, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
PROS:

- Relatively inexpensive price
- Slim form factor
- Alienware name
- Generous amount of inputs

CONS:

- Limited upgradability
- Graphics card bottle neck
- No option for Windows 7 when ordering from Amazon
- No SSD or option for one

The X51 R2 is an entry-level gaming machine; the primary bottleneck lies in the Nvidia GTX 745. The GTX 745 is a crippled version of the GTX 750 Ti, the latter using the same GPU but having all 640 shaders unlocked. It's a low profile card that Nvidia specifically builds for Dell. I wouldn't expect to do any intensive gaming; maybe BF4 at low-medium resolutions but that's pushing it. It's on par with the Radeon HD 6850 (a 4-year old card) and the Geforce GTX 555.

Those who spring for the R9 270 will find a card that effectively doubles the performance of the GTX 745. The 240W power supply on this particular X51 configuration severely limits the video card upgradeability.

The X51 is very competitively priced. The other small form factor (SFF) machine I'd consider would be the Digital Storm Bolt II (since my regular desktop is also a Digital Storm machine). Although more capable than the X51 R2, it's also twice as expensive and most people may not be willing to pay that amount.

Construction looks solid. The X51 R2 is built primarily of non-glossy, fingerprint proof plastic. The miniature alien head on the front bezel can be rotated to match the chassis orientation. The use of an external power supply is a neat trick. It allows a smaller chassis and much quieter operation. The X51 R2 fortunately comes largely free of bloatware. The only pre-installed software I could find were just Steam, McAfee and Cyberlink Bluray software.

The one disadvantage of ordering this machine off of Amazon rather than the Alienware site is that you cannot customize your machine on Amazon and must accept a pre-built configuration. This in turn means going with Windows 8.1 (ugh)! On the other hand, the Alienware site allows you to swap our Windows 8.1 for Windows 7.

Given that the X51 isn't best suited for high benchmark games, I plan on instead using my X51 for home entertainment since it has a Bluray drive, SPDIF and coax connections, 6-analog outputs for up to 7.1 speakers, and Bluetooth/wireless connectivity.


Sigma 311101 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon Cameras
Sigma 311101 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon Cameras
Offered by 47th Street Photo
Price: $979.00
10 used & new from $949.00

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm happy to say that my copy is flawless, July 8, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I used to use the Canon 50mm 1.4, which was a good deal for its price, but it lacked the "pop" that I was looking for. After renting a 50mm Sigma Art from LensRentals and demoing it over the weekend, I just knew I had to get one. The sharpness was unbelievably good. Even my photographer buddy who owns a 50L was very impressed.

I placed my order on Amazon, but after a month of being on the queue with no progress, managed to find a discounted copy from Amazon Warehouse. I was initially hesitant to buy it, but it looked brand new and I did not notice any AF issues. It pairs nicely with my 6D and the initial results are already very impressive. I can't wait to take it overseas on my next trip. I guess the biggest downside is that the Sigma 50mm isn't weatherproof, so I'll just have to avoid rainstorms.

Build quality is excellent. It's slightly heaver than my Canon 35L and with a comparable length.

Looking forward to taking more portrait shots!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 14, 2014 1:37 PM PDT


Pilot Acroball Pro Retractable Advanced Ink Ball Point Pens, Medium Point, Assorted Color Ink, 3-Pack (31922)
Pilot Acroball Pro Retractable Advanced Ink Ball Point Pens, Medium Point, Assorted Color Ink, 3-Pack (31922)
Price: $9.28

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Writes well, no smudges!, July 4, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Was looking for a set of replacement pens, happy to have stumbled across these Acroball Pros. They indeed write smoothly with zero smudging. My only complaint is that the index finger rest gel pad is too hard, and could use more cushioning. The medium point is perfect, and not too thin or wide.


Thermos NSF/ANSI 53 Certified Tritan Water Filtration Bottle, 22-Ounce, Clear
Thermos NSF/ANSI 53 Certified Tritan Water Filtration Bottle, 22-Ounce, Clear
Price: $24.99
4 used & new from $23.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Volume is a little small, but perfectly suited for use at work, June 26, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This Thermos is great! Well constructed, certified Tritan, so no BPA worries here. It's also lightweight and easy to carry around. The filtration is very fast and takes at most 10 seconds to filter the bottom portion. The filtered water tastes excellent, like bottled water. After the first use, the water had a slightly sweet aftertaste, but improved significantly after repeated use. It only filters potable water, so don't bring this on your camping trip thinking that it can filter out microbes.

There are only two downsides I can think of. First, the volume is quite small at just half a liter. However, I find this amount perfect for use at work/home, where I don't need a giant bottle of water. Additionally, it's good for drinking on the go. Second, filter longevity at just 20 gallons seems on the low end. Also, I'm not yet sure where to purchase replacement filters and how much they would cost.

On the whole, I'm very happy. Now I can freely drink at work without having to bring bottled water from home.

**07/01/14 UPDATE** I've been heavily using the Thermos over the past week, and have encountered a few problems that have caused me to lower the rating by one star. First, charcoal particles leak from the filter into the filtered water. Second, sometimes the filter is clogged, requiring me to empty out the container and refill. Minor inconveniences perhaps, but they shouldn't be happening.


BlueAnt Pump - Wireless HD Sportbuds - Black
BlueAnt Pump - Wireless HD Sportbuds - Black
Price: $105.00
31 used & new from $82.73

4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, but may be uncomfortable for some, June 22, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My initial impressions of the BlueAntPump were very favorable. I liked the device packaging which neatly arrayed and labeled the different ear plug tips and stabilizers. I liked the possibility of the BlueAnt being fully waterproof, provided the battery charging cover is closed. (**Note, the battery charging cover appeared to have a somewhat flimsy construction, so take note! of this potential longevity issue.) Battery life was impressive and a full charge took just 2 hours. Sound quality, while not spectacular, was fine for my workouts. Charging via micro-usb (cable provided) was helpful. The wireless bluetooth connection was very convenient, and took just a few seconds to complete.

I unfortunately found the sportbuds uncomfortable to wear. They constantly pinched my earlobes, despite attempts to adjust them, and were painful after just a few minutes of usage. I suspect that individual comfort will very subjective, so YMMV. Controls were ok, but slightly awkward to use and adjust.

Based on the other reviews which speak highly of the BlueAntPump comfort, I suspect my experiences may be in the minority. I'd rate these 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4.


Margaritaville DM1595-000-000 Key West Frozen Concoction Maker with Jumbo Jar and Travel Bag
Margaritaville DM1595-000-000 Key West Frozen Concoction Maker with Jumbo Jar and Travel Bag
Price: $211.65
2 used & new from $211.65

5.0 out of 5 stars I still have yet to master making a margarita, but this is super!, June 19, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Margaritaville is the ultimate in margarita making convenience. The operation is almost fully automated, save for a few switches that need to be toggled for margarita creation.

CONSTRUCTION: This contraption is massive, so make sure you have enough storage and counter space for it. Despite its size, it's not too heavy. Nor is it so light that it would suggest poor build quality either. Everything seems well assembled. A heavy duty carrying bag is provided and I was impressed at its sturdiness. It was more than strong enough to carrying around the Margaritaville from one location to another.

OPERATION: Fill the top reservoir with ice and the bottom container with your margarita mix, and you're good to go. I was particularly impressed by the thoroughness with which the Margaritaville shredded the ice cubes. The ice was ground so thoroughly that it achieved a fine, slushy consistency. I was not very impressed by the automatic mode however, which gave my margarita an overly liquid-like consistency. Operating it in manual mode with occasional bursts of ice shredding seemed to do the trick. Cleanup was a breeze. Excess melted ice water is deposited in a reservoir which can be emptied out. Genius!

MISC: I wish Margaritaville had included a recipe book in the package. I saw a few recipes online, but then the website froze. Also, the instruction sheet was terribly difficult to read because it was printed on dark colored paper. I guess they were going for the whole tropical motif, but it was just impractical.

CONCLUSION: For the ultimate in margarita making, you can't go wrong with the Margaritaville. My presence has already been requested at certain upcoming parties...


Denon AH-C50MASR Studio Quality In-Ear Headphones with 1-Button Smartphone Remote Silver
Denon AH-C50MASR Studio Quality In-Ear Headphones with 1-Button Smartphone Remote Silver
Price: $49.00
8 used & new from $49.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Sound decent, could use more bass, June 18, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Denons are a stylish looking, entry-level pair of earbuds. As others have noted, no carrying case is provided, but this wasn't a big drawback for me considering that I almost never use the carrying case for my earbuds.

Fit was comfortable; although the default pair of ear cushions felt too small, I was able to find a more comfortable size from the extras provided with the package.

Sound quality was decent. Clear and crisp to be sure, but bass was average to below average. However considering the sub-$50 entry level pricing, I think the sound quality is more than adequate for its price range.

In conclusion, it's a crisp sounding, bare-bones but competitively priced earbud set.


smartwater (6 Count, 16.9 Fl Oz Each)
smartwater (6 Count, 16.9 Fl Oz Each)
Price: $4.62

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Did not feel any smarter (or dumber) after drinking this water, June 10, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Tasted about the same as other bottled waters, except for a slight aftertaste, presumably from the calcium carbonate. The aftertaste was very subtle, and fairly neutral in flavor. The bottles are conveniently sized for grabbing on the go.


iLuv SYRENPROWH Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker for Smartphones and Music Players (White)
iLuv SYRENPROWH Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker for Smartphones and Music Players (White)
Price: Click here to see our price
11 used & new from $90.11

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVE my iLuv!!, May 24, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I LOVE my iLuv. It's a good looking speaker that sounds excellent.

1) Everything about the iLuv is stylish, down to the packaging materials and manual. It is tall and has a substantial footprint, so make sure you have enough space for it. It is sturdily constructed and made of fingerprint proof white plastic that is easy to clean. A convenient hand-hold is provided as well. It can be paired with another iLuv SYRENPROWH to provide left/right stereo options.

2) Pairing via Bluetooth could not have been easier. Voice controls indicate when a successful pairing has been made.

3) The sound quality is excellent. I tested it against a rectangular Jabra Solemate MAX, and the iLuv had superior sound. The vertical design projects sounds more effectively than the Jabra's squat rectangular design. Bass is surprisingly good as well.

4) I've used it at several parties already and my guests complimented me on the stylish Bluetooth speaker. Fortunately I've not had to test its water resistant (note, not water proof) claims, but I can more confidently use it at outdoor parties knowing it is weather resistant.

Overall, I'm very pleased.


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