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Customer Reviews: 42
Top Reviewer Ranking: 5,710
Helpful Votes: 4677

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Fire TV Stick
Fire TV Stick
Price: $39.00

4.0 out of 5 stars A Step Up from Chromecast in Many Ways, November 29, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Fire TV Stick (Electronics)
Just received my Fire TV Stick and hooked it up to the tv. I also own a Chromecast and will probably be using both at the same time for a while until the Fire TV Stick updates to be able to mirror my computer screen and finally gets the iOS app out there.

1. Setting up

It plugs into an HDMI and they recommend you plug it into a wall outlet using a USB charger (all included, as well as a small extension wire for the HDMI to TV connection. I guess this is for TVs close to a wall so that you don't have the Fire stick jutting out of the back.

Once connected to my wifi, it took a few minutes to download and install updates. Then a little animated guy showed up on the tv to give me an intro of what it can do.

My Amazon Prime music library and playlists were in there when I signed in with my Amazon account. My watchlist for Prime video was there too. There are a lot of game apps also playable on the tv which my children seemed excited about. (The Amazon Fire game controller also works with it.)

2. Compared with Chromecast

I am still waiting for the iOS App and hopefully something to "fling" my computer screen to the tv like Chromecast's still-in-beta "cast entire screen". I believe I'll be able to change it to 5 stars once those two things get worked out.

I still enjoy Chromecast for mirroring my computer screen, and sending chrome tabs to the tv. It's also very convenient now that many apps such as Netflix and Hulu include chromecast integration.

Where Fire TV Stick is a step up is that I don't need my computer, tablet, or phone to "cast" something to it so kids can just watch Netflix, Disney Channel App, or Hulu from the stick itself and there's no need for another device. (You can also set some Parental Controls).

I'm happy with the Fire TV Stick and using it alongside Chromecast because there are still things that one can do that the other can't. It's now the one we use for watching Amazon Prime, Netflix, and listening to music through the tv. Chromecast is still the one I use for casting my computer screen.

3. Interface

I love that it has a remote control and the remote control is small, and that I don't need to fiddle with another device in order to work it (although there are ways to work it from a cell phone). The remote is 4.5 in. x 1.5 in.

One more thing in which I hope and expect to see improvements is the way users access apps such as Netflix or Hulu. I want to have a customizable homescreen with easy access to the apps and features I use the most. Right now it feels a little less intuitive than it could be.

It's also a great way to access music on the tv for people like me that don't have a better sound system than the one that came with the tv. With Pandora, iHeartRadio, Amazon Music, and other apps, it's a great way to throw some music on in the background.

4. The Remote Control

As I mentioned above, it's a good size (4.5"x1.5"). The battery compartment was a little hard to open.

It may be too much to ask but if the remote here had a button to control the volume on the tv it would be convenient for when switching between videos or apps that have different sound outputs.

Lastly, and it needs to be said, I love the fact that it's a tiny stick in the back of my tv that gives me access to a lot of content without needing another device to interface with it. I'm looking forward to gradual improvements, updates, and customizability.

National Geographic Kids Cookbook: A Year-Round Fun Food Adventure
National Geographic Kids Cookbook: A Year-Round Fun Food Adventure
by Barton Seaver
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.39
30 used & new from $9.99

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than a Cookbook - Food Facts and Crafts, September 10, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I am very very impressed with this book. It contains far more information and recipes than I expected. It's organized by month and contains relevant recipes and food-culture facts about each month. It's the kind of book I can imagine we'll be taking out all year round to make recipes and look up information.

For example, September has a few sandwich recipes, and an introduction to quinoa with a back to school theme and craft projects such as making your own reusable lunch bag. (That's not all there is for September, but just a sampling.)

The book has recipes, food facts, crafts, and true to national geographic, also pays attention to the environment and culture. I'm very glad I happened upon this book and look forward to getting into it with the kids. We are going to try and do everything in the September section this month and bust it out every month for family time. I just hope we can hold off until October before moving on to October's projects!

Spyderco Ambitious Black G-10 PlainEdge Knife
Spyderco Ambitious Black G-10 PlainEdge Knife
Price: $29.44
68 used & new from $29.44

5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to hold and use for such a small knife, solidly built, December 6, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Love this knife. The grip feels nice, the blade feels nice and solid, takes no time to get used to having it in the pocket.

Other thoughts:
I find it quite easy to open one handed.
There's a solid pocket clip on the other side that is not in the picture shown
Came well packaged and protected
Real (as expected) attention to detail and thought put into the ergonomics of the knife despite it's small size.

I will update if I have the opportunity to put it though some more rigorous tests.

AmazonBasics Silicone Case for AT&T and Verizon iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S (Pink)
AmazonBasics Silicone Case for AT&T and Verizon iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S (Pink)

4.0 out of 5 stars Soft, Protects the Front a Bit, Much Nicer than the Price Implies, December 6, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I upgraded my iPhone and handed my iPhone 4 down to my daughter to use as an iPod. My Otterbox case was a little big for her hands so I was looking for something inexpensive, but that would protect the phone from inevitably being dropped down the stairs a few times.

I am frankly surprised that something priced this low is exactly what I wanted. It is not made of an incredibly strong silcone... and it won't replace your Otterbox, but it has some silicone around the front to protect the screen when it's dropped onto the floor. Is soft and comfortable to hold, and looks nice. It has a nice little texture to it as well so it's not completely smooth and hard.

Highly recommended, especially for people who don't want to pay a lot to lightly protect an older device being used just for car tunes, as a kids iPod, or at the gym for example.

Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player
Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player
Price: $29.99
303 used & new from $22.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wirelessly Connecting iPhone, Computer, Kindle Fire to TV? Yes, please., November 20, 2013
I have been waiting a long time for this kind of thing. Until now I was just using a long HDMI cable to connect my computer to the tv in order to "cast" my desktop, tabs, or other things up there. This does that and more because it works with my iPhone, Kindle Fire, and Windows 7 computer.

You should know that it does not work with my old Macbook Pro (it's a 2008) so I recommend checking the system requirements if you are not sure: [...]

When I use it with the MacBook Pro, it works with things like YouTube and Netflix which are Chromecast compatible but when using it with a Chrome tab, it doesn't send any sound. (This is the same thing that happens when using an HDMI cable from the MacBook so I think it is something inherent in that generation of MacBooks and how sound output works.) The sound still comes out of the computer so a work around would be to use a wire from the headphone jack on the computer and connect it to the tv to get the sound to come out there.

It works perfectly with my Windows 7 and with newer MacBooks and it is incredibly convenient to use. Also, not having to change anything to go from connecting my iPhone, Kindle Fire, tablet, computer... is really convenient, no wire to trip over.

Also, I wondered about a power source before buying t so I'll let you know... it comes with a USB to mini-USB power cord and includes a plug for outlets as well. I have mine plugged into a power enabled USB port on my tv for convenience but if you don't have one available, you can put it into a wall socket.

Set up was also really easy, just connecting it to Wifi using the computer, then it was all good to go. No changes or settings were needed for the tablets and phones to be able to connect because it all happens over the local Wifi network.

Great stuff here and I'm looking forward to the growing number of applications that support it natively. For now, being able to send a Chrome tab to the tv, or cast netflix from my phone (instead of logging in with a video game system) is really convenient.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 6, 2013 1:07 PM PST

Lasko 754200 Ceramic Heater with Adjustable Thermostat
Lasko 754200 Ceramic Heater with Adjustable Thermostat
Price: $24.97
96 used & new from $22.47

4.0 out of 5 stars Great for Warming a Very Small Area, October 31, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
It will take some time for this little guy to be able to heat up a whole room, but for heating a small area, for example under a desk or right in front of you, this is a great choice. The heater tends to vibrate a little if it's set on an uneven floor, and it can be a little loud, but the actual heater itself stays cool, and does it's job well.

Put simply, it's a little noisier than I expected, and probably won't heat a whole room, but for a small area in a room or for personal use, it more than fits the bill.

Halloween Concepts Child's Orange Glitter Witch Costume, Medium
Halloween Concepts Child's Orange Glitter Witch Costume, Medium
Price: $9.61
16 used & new from $9.61

5.0 out of 5 stars Reusable and Solidly Made, October 31, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Glitter Witch Kids Costume (Toy)
Other than the nice design and colors, I like it that this costumer is made well enough to be reusable. So many costumes cost 20 or 30 dollars but are so flimsily made that the can't be used more than once. This costume will definitely be able to make it through the requisite parties and trick-or-treating. The sleeves are a little slim, but at least they are long sleeves, and the dress itself is long enough to dress warmly underneath.

This is especially good for colder places where these mini-skirt superhero type costumes just won't fly.

Lasko 755320 Ceramic Tower Heater with Digital Display and Remote Control
Lasko 755320 Ceramic Tower Heater with Digital Display and Remote Control
Price: $47.99
70 used & new from $33.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quiet Efficient Little Oscillating Heater, October 31, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I'm still waiting on the electric bill for this but it did a great job heating and circulating air in our little living room. The digital display and remote control are easy to use, the fan and oscillation are quiet.

Note for people who are going to use it in a bedroom and like it completely dark, there is a light that comes on when it's plugged in. I prefer to cover it with a piece of tape, and this kind of small light showing that it's ready to be used seems to be pretty standard on heaters.

I'm really happy with this heater, and as winter sets in, I'll update if I feel it's too weak for a Mid-atlantic winter. Right now it's more than enough to get a room comfortable.

Rory's Story Cubes
Rory's Story Cubes
Price: $8.66
54 used & new from $5.30

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of Room for Imagination and Interpretation, October 31, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Rory's Story Cubes (Toy)
Honestly, my first reaction to the cubes was that I knew what some of the symbols meant and had no idea what others implied. I checked out the website and saw that they seem to not want to define the pictures so that the dice can be used with a wide variety of games,ages, and levels. I still wasn't convinced so I took it to the experts... the kids had no trouble making something of the symbols.

We started with just a few cubes and using them as inspiration for some sentences. Now we are building up to longer stories, written work, and drawings. Still no signs of boredom, and I like seeing the different pictures being used and interpreted different ways for different stories.

As educational toys go this is a great value.

Lastly, I'll note that I've seen these in stores with bags to hold the cubes, but the pack I bought from Amazon came with the box you see in the picture which can be used to store the cubes on a bookshelf or wherever you like. Box > Bag.

Targus Metro Roller Laptop Case for 16-Inch Laptop, Black (TBR003US)
Targus Metro Roller Laptop Case for 16-Inch Laptop, Black (TBR003US)
Offered by BisonOffice
Price: Click here to see our price
86 used & new from $39.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Great for Computers and as an Overnight Bag, October 31, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
First of all, it looks far more fashionable than its price would imply. The wheels run smooth and were more solid than I expected.

For some clothes, some electronics, and a computer it works just great. The only time it felt a little weak to me was when I tried to save a few checked baggage pounds by putting some heavy things in it. If the contents are too heavy (and I mean getting up over 30 pounds or so) the bag doesn't handle nearly as well as it does when just packed normally.

Although the description emphasizes using it with laptops, it is our go to overnight and carry-on bag now.

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