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Moultrie Game Spy M-880 Gen 2 8.0 MP Camera, Mossy Oak Bottomland
Moultrie Game Spy M-880 Gen 2 8.0 MP Camera, Mossy Oak Bottomland
Offered by Vergona Outdoors LLC
Price: $84.98
35 used & new from $84.98

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Powerful features, October 28, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a motion-activated camera with an infa-red flash. The camera measures approximately 6.25 x 5 x 3 inches and comes in a camouflage pattern. The camera runs on 8 AA batteries; it also has a built-in port for an external power source. Photos are saved on an SD memory card (sold separately, 32Gb max). The camera has a USB port on the bottom for field playback/downloading. A menu system allows you to set options such as delay time between events (5 seconds/10 seconds/30 seconds/1 minute/5 minutes/10 minutes/30 minutes), how many images to take per event (1 or 3), image quality (low/high/video), trigger sensitivity, photo/video, mode (motion detect/time lapse/time lapse & motion detect), memory options (overwrite when full/don't overwrite), date, time, camera ID, security code, and format the SD card. The camera has an aim feature that helps you determine if the camera is facing your area of interest—in AIM mode, the status light on the front of the camera will glow red when motion is detected. The camera ships with a mounting strap and a 16-page (x3) booklet in English, French and German that explains the camera usage and features.

I set up this camera to monitor comings and goings through my front door and yard. In the first 10 days of use, it captured about half the entries and exits through the front door. Most of the photos had people in them, although there were a few blanks. Most of the shots were clear, but a few were quite misty. I guess if I practiced using the AIM mode a little more, I might be able to get the camera to capture more of the motion. The misty shots might have been because of damp weather—although waterproof and intended for outdoor use, the camera does seem to be affected a bit by weather. After the initial 10 days of use, I switched out the photo card and let the camera run for another 14 days. When I checked the second card, it was blank. The LED display appeared to be working, so I don't think it was a power issue. It looks like I'll have to do a bit of trouble-shooting to get the camera working again.

Overall, this appears to be a decent game camera. With practice, and by using the AIM feature, you can probably get the motion detection features to work acceptably well. Photo quality is generally good, and the option to easily add an external power source is handy. My experience so far shows that you may need a bit of practice with the controls in order to keep the camera running reliably.


Moultrie Game Spy M-990i Gen 2 10.0 MP Camera, Mossy Oak Treestand
Moultrie Game Spy M-990i Gen 2 10.0 MP Camera, Mossy Oak Treestand
Price: Click here to see our price
45 used & new from $119.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful features, October 28, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a motion-activated camera with an infa-red flash. The camera measures approximately 6.25 x 5 x 3 inches and comes in a camouflage pattern. The camera runs on 8 AA batteries; it also has a built-in port for an external power source. Photos are saved on an SD memory card (sold separately, 32Gb max). For field playback, the camera has both an LED display and a USB port on the bottom. A menu system allows you to set options such as delay time between events (5 seconds/10 seconds/30 seconds/1 minute/5 minutes/10 minutes/30 minutes), how many images to take per event (1 or 3, burst or triggered), image quality (low/medium/high/enhanced), trigger sensitivity, photo/video, mode (motion detect/time lapse/time lapse & motion detect), memory options (overwrite when full/don't overwrite), date, time, camera ID, security code, and format the SD card. The camera has an aim feature that helps you determine if the camera is facing your area of interest—in AIM mode, the status light on the front of the camera will glow red when motion is detected. The LED screen can also be used in playback mode to help aim the camera. The camera ships with a mounting strap and a 20-page (x3) booklet in English, French and German that explains the camera usage and features.

I mounted this camera facing the most heavily-laden apple tree in my orchard to see what might be visiting my tree. In the first 10 days of use, it took 28 photos: 1 of me setting up the camera, 4 photos of a bear on one night, and the other 23 photos showed no animals or people. The first photo was all purple and white, although it was taken at 3:20 pm when there was plenty of light. The remaining shots were in proper color or black-and-white (night shots); most of the photos were clear, but some were misty. Although the camera is waterproof, it seems to be affected by wet weather.

After the initial 10 day trial, I swapped out the photo disk. I tried using the buttons to change some photo options in the menu system at that point, but I had a lot of trouble getting the menus to work properly. I found I had to hold the down arrow down to advance through the system, but then I couldn't select any submenus. I finally gave up fiddling with the menus and just hoped for the best. I let the camera run for another 14 days. This time it took 227 photos, of which 185 showed animals or people (a squirrel at night, a flock of turkeys, lots of deer, and a hunter). Again, most shots were clear, but some were misty. Unfortunately, the camera appeared to have stopped 10 days into the 14-day run. When I swapped out the photo disk the second time, the LED screen showed no signs of life, so perhaps the batteries stopped working. That's odd—I put brand new alkaline batteries in the camera when I first deployed it, and I have another Moultrie 990 (2013 model) that still shows 20% power left on its first set of batteries after 11 months of use. I will have to do some trouble-shooting, it seems.

Overall, this is a powerful game camera with lots of options. Because it has so many options, it can be tricky to set up and run. It took about 3 months of practice with the controls on my older Moultrie 990 (2013 model) to get it running reliably, so there is a bit of a learning curve with these cameras. In any case, once you figure out how to get the features working the way you want, the camera can provide great information about who and what is sharing your space.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 6, 2015 12:24 PM PST


SanDisk SDSDUNC-064G-GN6IN 64GB SDXC UHS-I Memory Card
SanDisk SDSDUNC-064G-GN6IN 64GB SDXC UHS-I Memory Card
Offered by MemoryWhiz
Price: $22.95
21 used & new from $17.75

47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast and dependable, October 10, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is an ultra-fast memory card for professional DSLR or HD video cameras. The card is rated as SDXC, UHS-1, speed class 10. SDXC is a memory storage formatting and accessing standard. It allows for fast read/write access with high-capacity cards, but it requires that the device doing the reading/writing (camera or computer) be SDXC compatible. If the device is not SDXC compatible, it may not be able to read the card, or it may ask to format the card. If you see the message “Format this card?” don't do it, since formatting by a non-SDXC device will downgrade the storage system to SDHC, which will be slower. UHS-1 stands for Ultra High Speed, and refers to the bus, or data transfer speed, which is rated at 80 Mb/s for this card. The speed class of this card is 10. All together, these ratings means that this card is a great choice for high-speed recording, necessary for DSLR cameras that take photos of over 20 megapixels, or for video recording.

I have been quite pleased with this card. My favorite camera is a Nikon 7100, which is unbearably sluggish unless it has a class 10 card like this one. With this card, I can shoot and shoot, without having to wait for the camera to write to the card. The card's 64 Gb capacity means I can shoot all day, and still have space left over—there is room for over 2,000 images in RAW format, or hours of HD video. The 64 Gb capacity also makes this card a great option for making and storing backups of all your computer files—just stick the card into the SD slot on your computer and copy your files to it. Then you can carry all those files in your wallet as a personal, just-in-case backup. That's a lot handier than burning DVD backups!

In general, I have found SanDisk cards to be extremely reliable. I have used the same cards day in and day out for years, and only one card has ever failed after thousands of uses. I have even accidentally dropped a SanDisk card into a bucket of salt water, and it still worked fine after it dried out. I haven't had such luck with other brands of cards—some have failed after only a few read/write cycles. I expect this card will give me the same years of service.

If you're considering this card, just keep in mind that the SDXC storage technology is somewhat new and not backwards compatible. So, to take full advantage of the speed offered by this card, verify that your devices are SDXC compatible first by checking with the manufacturer of your device.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 23, 2016 6:42 AM PDT


B+W 77mm HTC Kaesemann Circular Polarizer with Multi-Resistant Coating
B+W 77mm HTC Kaesemann Circular Polarizer with Multi-Resistant Coating
Offered by VIDEO CAMERA CENTER
Price: $96.96
9 used & new from $96.96

5.0 out of 5 stars The same goes for other reflective surfaces like shiny metal car parts or glass windows, October 10, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a polarizing filter for large, 77mm lenses. The filter weighs 2.1 ounces and comes in a hard plastic case with foam padding. (Save that case—it's the safest weigh to transport the filter. I've seen a lot of filters get cracked in those handy soft-shell filter cases!) The filter is threaded inside and out so that other filters can be used behind or in front of it.

Just to be clear—what is a polarizing filter for? It allows you to control reflections by sorting out light rays according to the direction that they enter your lens. With a polarizing filter, you can eliminate reflections off water, allowing you to see clearly through the surface, or increase the reflection so that the surface looks solid. The same goes for other reflective surfaces like shiny metal car parts or glass windows. Or, you can make the sky look intensely blue by shooting at right angles to the sun, or adjust the intensity of colored objects (such as autumn leaves) that are brightly illuminated. After you attach the filter to your lens, rotate the filter to find the exact combination of passed light/blocked light that captures the effect that you want. Note that a polarizing lens is NOT for blocking glare from reaching your lens or sun flares—for that, the proper tool is a lens hood, a solid piece of plastic that goes around the edge of lens, not in front of it.

I was impressed with the optics of this filter. It's clear, clear, clear, and does a great job at providing polarized control of reflections. The action of the rotating disk is smooth and easy to turn. In general, this is a high-quality filter that will pair well with great glass.


Zing Fire Tek Zeon Bow, Green
Zing Fire Tek Zeon Bow, Green
Price: $11.89
19 used & new from $11.89

5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and safe, September 29, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a toy bow and arrow kit that can be used indoors or out. The bow is translucent neon green, approximately 16” long with 2 neon orange pulls. The 3 arrows are 7” long with white foam tips, green heads containing the LED lights, translucent plastic shafts, and neon green fins. To fire an arrow, you place the two hooks on either side of the head into the bungee loops on the bow, then pull back on the end of the arrow and release. For added effect (and to make the arrows easier to find), you can turn on the LED lights on the arrows before firing.

This is a fun arrow kit for kids who like projectiles. The foam-tipped arrows are unlikely to do any damage to solid surfaces (although they might be able to tip over a glass or other breakable items, so a playroom would be a more appropriate space to play with these than a dining room). The foam tips on the arrows cushion the impact, but as a result, they quickly reform, so they don't make a secure suction grip. When you shoot one of these arrows at a smooth surface, even a window, it may stick for a second or so, but quickly drops as the foam tips reform. I was easily able to get the arrows to fly 35 feet or more, as promised on the package.

A warning on the package says that the bungee cords are UV sensitive so the bow should not be left in the sun outdoors. Other warnings note a choking hazard for kids under 3, don't aim at people or animals, and don't shoot the arrows in complete darkness—should be common sense, but kids will be kids, so supervision is advised. The batteries in the arrow tips do not seem to be user-accessible, so once they're used up, the LED lighting feature will be finished. Also, keep in mind that since these arrows contain batteries, you need to dispose of them appropriately when the toy has reached the end of its usefulness.


BLU Studio 7.0 II -Unlocked Smartphone - US GSM - Grey
BLU Studio 7.0 II -Unlocked Smartphone - US GSM - Grey
Price: $107.00
33 used & new from $90.95

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great tablet with contract-free phone capability, September 29, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a tablet-sized smart phone that can be used with the phone carrier of your choice. It runs on the Android operating system, an open-source variant of Linux adapted for mobile touchscreen devices. Android is developed by Google, and there are numerous apps (application software packages) available to add capabilities to your phone, from games to navigation to social media like FaceBook. The tablet ships with Android version 5.0, nicknamed Lollipop. Here is what some of the other specs mean:

--7.0 refers to the screen size. The screen is a full 7 inches long and 4 inches wide. If you measure the screen diagonally, you get 7.9”; thus, this tablet is equal in size to the iPad mini 4 or Kindle Fire HD 8, whose published screen size of 7.9 to 8” is actually the diagonal measurement, not the length.
--1.3 GHz quad core processor is the rated speed of the processor. This speed is fast enough for most utilitarian uses of an Android tablet, such as navigation, web surfing, or using social media. It is slightly slower than the iPad mini 4 or the Kindle Fire HD 8, which both use a 1.5 Ghz processor.
--1Gb RAM refers to the size of the working memory for the phone's computer. 1 Gb of RAM is enough for basic operations such as web surfing. The Kindle Fire HD 8 also has 1 Gb of RAM, but the iPad mini 4 has 2Gb.
--5.0 Mp refers to the image quality of photos taken with the camera mounted on the back of the phone. That's not a lot, so you probably won't be using this for your main photographic device. It's comparable to the rear camera on the Kindle Fire HD 8, but the iPad mini 4 offers a full 8Mp rear camera.
--3450mAh is the battery capacity. This is a fairly large capacity battery, but not as large as the iPad mini 4 battery (5124 mAh).
--MicroSD refers to the expansion slot for a MicroSD chip. That is, you can greatly expand the storage capacity on this phone by adding a MicroSD chip (up to 64Gb). That will hold a lot of videos, photos, books, maps, etc. In comparison, you can add a MicroSD chip up to 128Gb to a Kindle Fire HD 8, or pay through the teeth to add 64Gb of storage to an iPad mini 4.
--4G HPSA+ allows access to high-speed wireless telephone networks.

This tablet ships with a plastic screen protector, a charger and cable, earbuds, a screw tool for accessing the expansion slots, and a paper fold-out quickstart guide in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Preloaded software includes basic Android email, calendar, camera, gallery, contacts, and browsers (Chrome and Opera). You can download other apps, such as FaceBook, DropBox or Skype from the Google PlayStore according to your needs and interests. The phone has a built-in mic and speaker, a standard 3.5 mm headphone jack and slots for a SIM card (to connect to phone carriers) and a MicroSD card (for extra storage capacity). It also has full WiFi and Bluetooth connection options.

I was interested in this tablet because my trusty old Samsung Studio 7 has gotten old—that is, while it was plenty fast and powerful several years ago, it's no match for the latest software updates, and has gotten unusably slow as a result. This new Blu 7 tablet is a real pleasure in comparison—all my apps speed along on the Blu 7, and watching movies on the Blu 7 screen is a huge improvement over the old Samsung with its low resolution screen. Being able to add a SIM card to this tablet is a big plus as well—not only is this tablet great for book reading, note taking (with a wireless Bluetooth keyboard, sold separately), and movie watching, but I can also place calls with it or connect to data networks when WiFi is not available.

One of the best advantages of this tablet is the cost—it's about 20% cheaper than the Kindle Fire HD 8, and 75% cheaper than the iPad mini 4. So, if you want to pay an arm and a leg, you could get an iPad mini 4 instead of this tablet, but the specs on the iPad mini are only marginally better than what you'd get with this tablet at a quarter of the price. And since this tablet is contract-free, you can choose whatever phone carrier will give you the best deal and coverage. Because you buy this device outright, upfront, you will always get a better price on your phone coverage than if you accept a device with a contract. Keep in mind that when you accept a “free” device from a phone carrier with a contract, you end up paying 2-4 times the cost of the device in higher connection fees over the life of the contract. Given the large size of this device, it's probably not going to be your main phone, since it's too big to fit into a pocket and it's bulky in the hand. As a tablet, it's ideal though, since the screen is just right for a book reader or a note-taking device, yet it also has the capability of placing calls or using data networks. Nifty!

In sum, this is a great tablet that has low upfront costs and offers access to the most affordable connections to phone and data networks. With its large screen, it is great for reading books, watching movies, or typing notes in class. Although it is not the fastest device on the market, it offers greater capability, speed, and battery life than inexpensive brands that are built solely for price but not for quality. Overall, I am highly pleased with this tablet/phone and looking forward to years of reliable service.


SmartLab Toys All-Natural Soaps Science Kit
SmartLab Toys All-Natural Soaps Science Kit
Price: $19.98
12 used & new from $12.79

5.0 out of 5 stars Simple soap kit, September 17, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a kit with ingredients and equipment for re-molding and coloring pre-made glycerin soaps at home. Inside the box you get 3 small bars of white glycerin soap (each measuring approximately 2x1.5x0.75” and weighing a total of 5.28 oz), 3 small bars of clear glycerin soap (same size and weight), 3 pigment bars (yellow, green, red), 3 plastic soap molds featuring a total of 14 small shapes (hearts, stars, leaves, flowers), 2 light-duty plastic measuring spoons, 3 pre-printed colored cardboard cut-out sheets for making small gift boxes to hold the soaps, and a 15-page paper guide booklet. The illustrations in the booklet and soap designs are all quite feminine and designed to appeal mainly to girls ages 8-13. Ingredients in the soap bars include: propylene glycol, glycerin, sucrose, stearic acid, water, lauric acid, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium hydroxide, tocopheryl acetate, titanium dioxide, red 33, red 40, yellow 5, and blue 1.

Initially I was quite excited at the possibility of finding a kit that would have all the ingredients I would need to make my own soaps from scratch at home. However, that's not this kit. Homemade soap recipes require lye, which is rather dangerous for kids to use. To make this kit safe for kids, there is no lye, but rather, already made soap bases. All the user gets to do with the kit is color and re-mold the soaps, perhaps adding some herbal ingredients according to recipes in the booklet. The booklet is the highlight of the kit—it contains dozens of short and easy recipes for transforming the plain glycerin soap bars into fancy herbal finger-sized bars. For each batch, she heats up a pre-formed bar in a microwave, adds coloring and/or herbals, and pours it into a mold. Scattered throughout the booklet are snippets explaining soap chemistry—how soap works in simple terms comprehensible to elementary and middle school students, and beauty tips.

Overall, this is a cute craft kit for middle-school aged girls. It allows for considerable creativity while sneaking in some science lessons on the side. The soap projects can easily be completed in a few minutes. My biggest concern is how to get more materials—although the box says you can make over 25 soaps, that's only if you use the smallest molds in the kit, which give you a tiny piece of finished soap, enough to wash small hands once or twice. Quite soon, you're going to be needing some more soap base, and the booklet provides no instructions about what to use when the kit materials run out, or where to find more materials. Actually, clear glycerin soap base is relatively easy to find—2 lbs, for instance, can be purchased in craft stores for under $10. Since the soap base in this kit only adds up to about 10.5 ounces, I guess most of the purchase price goes for the little booklet and presentation.


Slice 10513 Pen Cutter, 3-Position Manual, Stays Sharp up to 10x Longer Than Steel Blades, Dark Grey
Slice 10513 Pen Cutter, 3-Position Manual, Stays Sharp up to 10x Longer Than Steel Blades, Dark Grey
Price: $11.59
29 used & new from $4.30

5.0 out of 5 stars Handy for light duty, September 15, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a small box-cutter with a ceramic blade. It measures 5.5” long by 0.75” wide and weighs under 1 ounce. The casing is made of black plastic with an orange slider button and a cut-out on the far end for placing the tool on a utility loop or hook. The blade is white and ceramic instead of metal; it is extremely sharp. Using the slider button, you can extend the blade a little, a little more, or retract it entirely. When necessary, you can open the casing by twisting the front to reverse or replace the blade. On the package, the manufacturer claims the blade is up to 10x “sharper & longer lasting than steel”.

This is a handy little knife for opening packages or cutting cardboard. I use a utility box cutter on a daily basis for cutting cardboard, so I was intrigued by the ceramic blade on this knife—how would it compare to a metal blade? From the start, I liked the way this tool feels in my hand. However, I had some trouble opening packages with it because the blade even at the longest setting would not open far enough to get a secure grip into the seams of a cardboard box sealed with packing tape. As a result, the blade tends to slip, and I managed to cut myself with it—not cool. In general, the limited extension of the blade is the biggest issue I have with using this knife. It makes sharp cuts and is relatively easy to control when cutting through solid cardboard. However, because the exposed part of the blade is so limited, it is much harder to pierce through a piece of cardboard to start a slice using this knife than when using a standard razor-blade utility cutter. But then again, pen-sized metal blade cutters have the same issues with limited extension. For heavy-duty cutting jobs, you really need a knife that gives you a longer length of exposed blade.

Overall, this little knife is a handy tool, but it is best used for light jobs such as opening envelopes or cutting transparent adhesive tape from gift packages. For such uses, the sharp ceramic blade does a superior cutting job, better than similar pen-sized metal blade cutters that I have tried. And the ability to replace the blade when it wears out is a plus. On the other hand, if you need to cut a lot of cardboard, you'd probably be better off choosing a larger knife with a longer exposed cutting surface.


Seiki SE32HYT 32-Inch 720p LED TV (2015 Model)
Seiki SE32HYT 32-Inch 720p LED TV (2015 Model)
Price: $199.99
3 used & new from $199.99

47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear picture – Loads of capabilities, September 15, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a flat-screen HDTV suitable for cable, DVD, WiFi Internet or antenna hookups. The TV measures 29x17.5” for a diagonal of 32”. It is 3” thick and weighs approximately 10 lbs. It ships with two short mounting legs, 4 screws for attaching the legs, a remote control, 2 AAA batteries for the remote, a power cord, a bound paper manual in 3 languages (English, French, Spanish), and a fold-out quick start guide. The TV is EnergyStar rated, drawing 28W when powered up or 0.5W in sleep mode, which works to an energy cost of $7.00/year, assuming $0.12/kWhr and 5 hours of use per day. The TV can be hung on a wall with a standard wall mount using the 4 built in threaded screw holes on the back of the unit (mount sold separately), or it can rest on a flat surface using the 2 mounting legs (included).

The TV provides sockets for just about any hookup you might need. From left to right on the back are sockets for:
--headphones for audio playback or 3.5mm Aux cables to speakers
--USB port for flash drives or devices
--LAN for wired Internet connections
--HDMI ports (3 in all) for connection to devices such as DVD players or gaming consoles
--VGA port for video playback from a computer
--PC audio input for sound playback from a computer
--DTV/TV port for an antenna or RF coaxial cable
--optical output for connecting to high-end sound systems
--L/R audio input
--composite input (yellow/red/white) for connecting to legacy equipment such as VCRs, older DVD players or video cameras
No cables for these connections are included, but if you have the equipment to connect, you probably already have the necessary cables anyway. The ports are all mounted on the sides of the back of mounting area of the TV so they will not interfere with a flat wall-mount.

When you first plug in the TV, you go through a setup routine to select your services, channels and network connections. Conveniently, the TV has wireless as well wired Internet capabilities. The remote includes fast access to buttons to Netflix, Vudu, YouTube, Pandora, ToonGoggles, and Accuweather. (Subscriptions to paid services must be purchased separately). You can control all aspects of the TV with the remote, from channel selection, volume, play/pause, and other functions such as CC (close captioning), V-Chip (parental control) and sleep functions.

I was very impressed with the picture quality of this TV. It's bright and easy to see, even from an angle. The buttons on the remote are laid out in a sensible manner, and I didn't need to study the manual in order to get the TV to work. The sound quality is quite good, plenty loud enough for a living room or kitchen. I really like the fast and simple access to the streaming services such as Netflix—what a great way to watch a movie or TV show! The only trouble that I've had with this TV is installing the little plastic legs. The holes for the leg mounts were pre-drilled, but not pre-threaded, so it was quite difficult to get the screws in tightly without stripping the heads. If you're going to mount the TV on a wall, you should have no trouble, though, since the wall mounting screw holes have pre-threaded metal insets. Overall, this is remarkably capable TV that is easy to set up and use and has a great clear picture.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 28, 2015 2:21 PM PST


BRAVEN 805 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker [18 Hour Playtime] - Red/Gray
BRAVEN 805 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker [18 Hour Playtime] - Red/Gray
8 used & new from $159.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice sound and easy to use, August 31, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a wireless speaker suitable for amplifying from a phone, ipod, computer, or other device. The speaker measures 9.5x4x2.75” and weighs just over 2 lbs. In the package, in addition to the speaker, you get an aux cable, a power transformer and cable (110-220V input), and a set of international power plugs including North American, European, and Middle Eastern, and several more, and an instruction booklet in many languages, including English, major European languages, Chinese, and Japanese (6 pages for each language). On one end of the speaker are sockets for power in (for charging the internal battery), USB power out (for charging devices), and aux (for connecting devices that do not have Bluetooth). Also on this end are a set of LED battery indicator lights and a battery check (status) button. On the top of the speaker are push button controls for volume up/down, play/pause, answer phone, and power. The top of the speaker also has a built in microphone for using the speaker as a speaker phone. The speaker is designed to be water resistant; that is, it can withstand splashes or gentle rain, but it cannot be submersed in water. Once the internal battery is charged (4-6 hours for a complete charge), it can run up to 18 hours. It can also be used to charge an external device such as a phone. The speaker can connect to a sound source (phone, iPod, computer) either wirelessly through Bluetooth or with a wired connection using the included aux cable. The speaker can also be paired with a second Braven speaker for stereo output.

This is the external speaker that I have been looking for – it has a powerful, high quality sound, in a small portable package. The capabilities of the speaker are amazing, though. Not only can it run without being plugged in to an electric outlet, but you can even use it to charge your phone while you are listening to music. Or using the speaker as a speaker phone for a telephone conversation. The controls on the top of the speaker are easy to reach and manipulate—no trying to find a tiny dial to turn with your fingernail to control volume or power, for instance. I also found pairing the speaker to my phone to be quite straightforward. Overall, I have found this speaker to be provide excellent sound as well as phenomenal versatility. It would be a great choice for a dorm room, kitchen, cafe, home office, even living room, and it will also travel well (especially with all those international plugs).


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