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Customer Reviews: 463
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Senor Zoidbergo RSS Feed (Washington D.C.)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

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Yamaha TSX-B72DR Desktop Audio System (Dark Red)
Yamaha TSX-B72DR Desktop Audio System (Dark Red)
Price: $199.95
5 used & new from $164.90

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic sound in a small footprint, April 17, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I was very pleased with this Yamaha TSX. The sound is fantastic and occupies a very small footprint on my desk. The bass is surprisingly strong, but natural sounding. I had a few minor quibbles however. For such a small package, I was hoping it could be used cordlessly, but instead comes with a big power brick. I'm pleased it was equipped with a radio antenna, but reception was weak. Lastly, it supports USB charging but not playing music from a USB stick, which seems like an unfortunate oversight.

PROS:

- Great sound
- Surprisingly good bass
- Retro look
- Good build quality
- Alarm + sleep mode functionality
- Easy Bluetooth syncing

CONS:

- No cordless option; power brick is huge
- Weak radio reception
- Only USB charging, cannot play music from a USB stick


Nikon COOLSHOT AS Laser Rangefinder
Nikon COOLSHOT AS Laser Rangefinder
Offered by Murphy's Camera
Price: $349.95
8 used & new from $346.95

3.0 out of 5 stars Great utility, poor build quality, April 17, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have to echo what other reviewers have said. The utility of this Coolshot is great! While it excels for its primary purpose, that of actual distance and slope distance with legible "on-screen" numbers for the golf course, it's also perfectly for any other application that requires a distance measurement. For example, I used it to get approximate measurements of a room and backyard fenced lot.

I wasn't very pleased with the build quality however. It's made of a waterproof material (good!), but with a poorly designed battery cover (bad!). After opening the battery cover and inserting the battery, the cover did not securely tighten and I had to resort to duct-taping the cover shut. Unfortunately with the rubberized waterproof material, the duct tape didn't adhere very well to the body. For a $350 asking price, the battery cover ought to be better designed and implemented.


Creative Aurvana Live! 2 Headset with 40mm Drivers and In-Line Mic (Red)
Creative Aurvana Live! 2 Headset with 40mm Drivers and In-Line Mic (Red)
Price: $128.74
7 used & new from $94.97

5.0 out of 5 stars Very comfortable, aurally pleasing mid-level headset, March 27, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I never used the original Aurvana Live! headset but I have used a number of other Creative wireless gaming headsets. In short, I was very pleased with the Aurvana Live! 2.

PROS:

- Lightweight
- Comfortable ear padding
- Microphone sensitivity, on-cord volume control
- Dash of color

CONS:

- Initial cord issues

Some other reviewers complained about the Aurvana Live! 2 being too bass heavy. Headset performance is always very subjective, but to this reviewer, I thought they sounded great and were not bass heavy at all. Mids and highs were very crisp and distinct. I've worn them for hours on end without ear irritation, a testament to their lightweight and comfortably thick faux leather ear padding. Calls can be taken via the attachable microphone, and friends on the other end remarked at how clear-sounding the telephone call was. The splash of red adds a nice color contrast to the Aurvanas.

I had some initial problems with the 3.5mm cord. Somehow the connection wasn't sufficiently tight, and audio kept cutting out. I contacted Creative and they quickly sent a replacement cord, which cured the problem.


Dirt Devil  Dash Dual Cyclonic Bagless Upright Vacuum with Bonus Vac+Dust Floor Tool, UD70250B
Dirt Devil Dash Dual Cyclonic Bagless Upright Vacuum with Bonus Vac+Dust Floor Tool, UD70250B
Price: $118.34
5 used & new from $100.14

4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good for the price range, some operating annoyances, February 27, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
PROS:

- Lower end of price range
- Relatively light weight
- Ease of assembly
- Very long extendable wand

CONS:

- Power button illogically placed
- Angling mechanism awkward to use

I like the Dirt Devil Dash- it occupies the lower end of the upright bagless vacuum spectrum without feeling cheap. Assembly was a cinch and I did not experience alignment problems as some other reviewers did. I appreciated the comparatively light weight and ease of maneuvering. Compared to some Bissells and Hoovers that I have used, even when filled with dust, the Dirt Devil's lighter weight made it easy to propel with one hand.

I did not experience any carpet eating as other reviewers described and the Dirt Devil Dash picked up quite a bit of dust on my carpets! I also liked the long, extendable wand which can be fitted with several different supplied attachments. I did find the placement and operation of the power button awkward and difficult to engage. A taller position would've been better suited. Additionally, angling the Dirt Devil Dash is a chore as it requires placing a foot, awkwardly, on the base of the vacuum and tilting the handle back. While it may sound simple, in reality, I found it difficult to do so ergonomically.

In conclusion, a solid, lightweight, and comparatively inexpensive vacuum cleaner with a few annoying operating idiosyncrasies.


KIVA Travel Money Belt, Khaki, One Size
KIVA Travel Money Belt, Khaki, One Size
Price: $12.48
2 used & new from $11.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Works great!, February 27, 2014
This review is from: KIVA Travel Money Belt (Apparel)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
PROS:

- Main pouch is deep enough to hold at least two passports
- Lightweight
- Easily adjustable belt

CONS:

- Clasp is thin
- Material looks a bit light, not as substantial as my Eagle Creek

I bought an Eagle Creek moneybelt for use in Europe, this past summer. The Eagle Creek is of substantial construction, but was also somewhat heavier and discomforting to use during summer travels. The Kiva is slightly less wide than the Eagle Creek, but no less deep. Construction on the Kiva seems similar, but slightly flimsier. Will update review after a few more travel uses.


The Counselor (Unrated Extended Cut) [Blu-ray]
The Counselor (Unrated Extended Cut) [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Michael Fassbender
Offered by Paint it Orange
Price: $23.74
26 used & new from $14.17

25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Differences between the Extended Cut and the Theatrical Cut, February 10, 2014
I'm primarily interested in the storyline differences between the theatrical and extended cuts.

The Extended Cut runs roughly 21 minutes longer than the Theatrical Cut. Most of the extra time comes from extended dialogue, although there are one or two new minor scenes.

SPOILERS follow so read at your own risk.

1) The opening scene between the Counselor and Laura is a bit longer.

2) More dialogue between the Counselor and the diamond dealer regarding the dealer's Semitic background.

3) Longer conversation between Reiner and the Counselor regarding women and Clarissa.

4) The Green Hornet buys dog food, sarcastically telling an onlooker that he eats it. This scene seemed unnecessary, since the Green Hornet was more interesting as a mysterious character.

5) At the nightclub, Reiner relates a story about Peterson's Brazilian cousin to the Counselor.

6) The Malkina-car-scene is described in a little more detail/slightly longer.

7) New scene where Laura calls Malkina to tell her about a dream she had.

8) Wounded Cartel faux cop asks for medical help at the junkyard.

9) Malkina and Reiner's cheetahs wander over to a random family's swimming pool.

10) Longer conversation between the Counselor and Jefe.

11) New scene where paramedics pickup Westray's body post-bolito, and his head falls off. Completely gratuitous and unnecessary scene, I think.

12) Longer closing conversation between Malkina and her banker, and her stating an intention to flee to China.

The significantly longer Extended Cut primarily comprises extended conversations and a few unnecessary new scenes. Beautifully shot movie, but I think that most of its symbolism was lost on me unfortunately.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 20, 2014 6:34 PM PDT


Nature's Variety Pride by Instinct 12-Pack Trickster's Tuna Recipe for Cats, 5.5-Ounce Cans
Nature's Variety Pride by Instinct 12-Pack Trickster's Tuna Recipe for Cats, 5.5-Ounce Cans
Price: $22.20
3 used & new from $21.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Cats loved it, smelled pretty good to this human, February 2, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Mittens loved the Nature's Variety Pride tuna, voraciously devouring it and licking his bowl heartily. The grain-free ingredients were very much appreciated. To this human, the tuna smelled quite good for cat food. I would consider eating it if stranded on a deserted island.


Jabra SOLEMATE MAX Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Speakers - Retail Packaging - Grey
Jabra SOLEMATE MAX Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Speakers - Retail Packaging - Grey
Price: $399.99
2 used & new from $342.30

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid portable bluetooth speaker, needs moar bass, January 22, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'd like to say off the bat that the Solemate MAX *is* expensive, but give it a few months and it will surely drop in price.

Like the other reviewers have mentioned, I was not expecting Jabra to produce a Bluetooth stereo system, but I guess it makes sense since they produce other Bluetooth accessories such as BT headsets.

The Solemate Max is solidly constructed. It comes with a floppy carrying loop/handle for portability. The handle felt securely attached during transportation. The speaker is not heavy, weighing around five pounds. It has a rugged looking veneer, fingerprint-proof material, and rubberer-ized bottom which prevents slippage.

Pairing with my phone could not have been more straightforward. I was unable to connect via NFC due to problems with my Galaxy S3, but Bluetooth pairing was very easy and took all of three seconds to finish. The pairing process was further aided by verbal directions- brilliant! Although a USB input port is provided, I was disappointed that it did not support playing music off of a USB stick. Instead, the USB port is for connecting to a computer.

Sound quality was very good for jazz and classical music, but lacking in bass. Changing the equalizer settings on my phone helped, but for $400, Jabra can do better. Although it was not immediately obvious, the volume +/- buttons on the Solemate were of marginal utility. Use the volume buttons on your phone or other connected device to control the volume. I installed the Jabra Sound App, but could not hear any discernible benefit in sound quality so I uninstalled it. If you have other Jabra BT devices, the app enables control of those as well. If an incoming call comes thru on the phone, the Solemate pauses the music and transforms into a giant speakerphone. It worked flawlessly! Once my call finished, it reverted back to playing music again.

In conclusion, the Solemate is a solidly performing Bluetooth speaker. I've only given it four stars because it ought to have better bass at this price point. Additionally, the lack of USB stick functionality was disappointing. If the price drops, I'll upgrade the rating.


Acer C720 Chromebook (11.6-Inch, 4GB)
Acer C720 Chromebook (11.6-Inch, 4GB)
4 used & new from $179.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive bang for the buck, January 12, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm not entirely sold on the idea of using Chrome OS (more on that later), but the Acer C720 presents an impressive amount of hardware bang for the buck. For a price comparable to a smartphone, consumers receive a dual core Celeron processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 16 GB solid state drive. Sure, the Celeron processor might not be able to run Call of Duty at 60 fps, but it's more than capable of running a few internet browser windows and Google Docs.

Connectivity ports include include 1 x 2.0 and 1 x 3.0 USB ports, an SD-cart slot, and dual WiFi band/Bluetooth connectivity. Missing is an Ethernet port, which I think they should've included for "legacy" users. My wireless router recently broke and I was unable to conveniently use the Chromebook without going to a coffee shop. Had an Ethernet port been included, I would still have had Internet access.

Despite the price, the C720 felt very solid and well-assembled to the touch. Unfortunately, the cover was not fingerprint resistant and attracted my greasy paw prints. The chiclet style keyboard and touchpad were standard fare, though typing/stroke action felt plasticky and cheap. Although the SSD is only 16 GB, one could easily expand its off storage capacity using a USB drive. The display seemed a little washed out, but for $249 I'm not going to give it much grief. It was perfectly suitable for reading email and documents. The C720 was very silent during usage. Lastly, battery life was pretty miserly, providing nearly a week of standby power and ~ 8-9 hours in continuous usage over the course of a day.

As for Chrome OS, I think it has potential but it's not quite there yet for me. While most people might be happy with basic document editing and internet connectivity, that's not enough capability for me. For instance, the inability to create a new document (combined with the lack of a physical Ethernet port) unless connected to the Internet was a dealbreaker for me.

Ultimately, I see the C720 not as a secondary laptop, but more like a tertiary laptop replacement, limited by the availability of WiFi networks. I still give it five stars because it's an impressive amount of bang for the buck.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 13, 2014 1:52 PM PST


Giottos CL2810 Q-Ball Rocket Blaster
Giottos CL2810 Q-Ball Rocket Blaster
Price: $9.95
10 used & new from $4.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect substitute to canned air!, January 4, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This rocket blaster is perfect! I was looking for a cheap alternative to canned air and this fits the bill perfectly. The only downside is that it might not have the same pressure of canned air, but I think its gentler air blast is better for my lenses and electronics.

I was considering getting the original rocket blaster but was concerned that it wouldn't be able to fit into my camera backpack. This angled blaster is the ideal solution and fits nicely into my backpack. I cleaned all of my lenses and camera sensor with it. Plus it looks pretty cute.


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