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Profile for John S Dean > Reviews


John S Dean's Profile

Customer Reviews: 1367
Top Reviewer Ranking: 230
Helpful Votes: 10557

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John S Dean "John" RSS Feed (Racine, WI United States)

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PUR 11 Cup Ultimate Pitcher with LED Indicator, Clear/Blue
PUR 11 Cup Ultimate Pitcher with LED Indicator, Clear/Blue
Price: $39.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Nasty, nasty junk falling out of the bag when I opened the filter package., October 8, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm a huge fan of theirs. I've got the large 1 gallon thing that sits in the fridge with a spout on the front. Been using it for years, and absolutely love it. Would not make my iced tea without it.

But it's awkward JUST for water. I've been using it, and sometimes just pour it all into a 1 gallon pitcher, and have that in there for water, but I thought I'd prefer a dedicated filtered pitcher instead, thus leaving that larger gallon unit for nothing but iced tea.

This, though, totally was a disappointment. The filter - where to start. I'll upload photos, but it was like opening a bag of dirt. I had a lot of particulate matter fall out, and you can see all the junk that stuck to the filter, the grains of things around the seal and everywhere else.

I wouldn't run my water through this thing if someone gave me cash.

Total and utter fail in quality, and I certainly won't trust them again to send me filters that aren't junk. Time to find another alternative now, they lost a loyal customer today when I opened up that supposedly clean sealed bag.

Too bad, since physically the pitcher would've been decent. Materials were alright, and other than the hokey bit with the top cover and the flaps on the front and back, it seemed like a nice design. Small enough to fit in the door with my milk and other items inside the fridge.

I wouldn't have cared much for the LED indicator though, since I prefer just having the sticker to reference. And since I didn't get to use this, there's no telling how I would've felt about it over time, or if it would've been an accurate read.
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Panasonic ES-RT97-S Men's Electric Shaver and Trimmer with Cleaning System, Silver
Panasonic ES-RT97-S Men's Electric Shaver and Trimmer with Cleaning System, Silver
Price: $109.99
18 used & new from $109.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Normally I love Panasonic razors, but not this one, October 8, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm a Panasonic razor fan. It's all I've used for the last 5 or 6 years. I've tested several of the Norelco razors, including their top of the line models, and always found them seriously lacking in the "can it even shave" department.

I was excited when this came up for review, and thought the cost wouldn't be too much, so I picked it.

When it finally arrived, I had a few big letdowns. First, the cleaning system here is not at all like the other Panasonic cleaning systems I've had. This shares the one MAJOR flaw with the Norelco that I hated on their system - the open container of cleaning solution inside. So basically, if you bump this, it spills out. If you accidentally nudge the top while raising or lowering it, it can spill. If you sneeze, it can spill. Well, OK, not really, but you get the idea. Bathrooms typically have a lot of things around in them, and of every room in my house, NO other room has things that fall as often - be it deodorant sticks, deodorant sprays, electric toothbrushes, soap, etc... So it's insanely easy for this thing to get bumped and spill.

Contrast this to the other Panasonic razor systems I've had, including the one I use now (ES-LA93K) are closed systems - you can bump it and move it and it's in a closed system, so it won't just spill. This one on this razor is one of the poor systems that basically have an open cup sitting inside, with no cover.

So that was a let down right away. Second was the feel of the unit. I love my LA93K since it feels good in the hand. And as much as I hated the Norelco razors, those felt AWESOME in the hand. This one, not so much.

The head doesn't move very much (or easily) either. I'm used to my current Panasonic being able to adjust easily in case I'm not at the right angle. This model doesn't move nearly as well.

It uses the exact same blades as mine - but it didn't shave nearly as well. It was light years faster than the Norelcos, but not as fast as even my 2 year old razor with the 2 year old blades and foil. It didn't do good in some areas, around the chin, or since I shave my head, the very back center of the skull right above where the spine enters. It really did badly in those areas, not just that it was slow, but I had to go over it and over it and over it a few dozen times, which in my experience has been unheard of with any Panasonic I've used before.

But when I pulled these blades out and put them in my 2 year old LA93K, they shaved quick and fast. So there's definitely more going on with my razor than with this one.

The noise level is acceptable though, a bit lower of a pitch than what I have now.

The trimmer attachment is an interesting thing. It snaps over the razor, and adjusts like most beard trimmer units would. But it's a bit bulky, and I'd really rather just use a specifically purchased trimmer that is designed for nothing else - I use the ones with the built in vacuums, my personal favorites. It just seems like this was trying to do a few too many things, and didn't do any of them well because of that.

The trimmer extension is kind of neat - rather than just a flip up, the whole back slides up. I don't care for these, as they have a tendency to tug and snag, but this was actually about the most effective part of this razor, unfortunately.

All told, while I'm a fan of Panasonic razors, I'm definitely NOT a fan of this one. It just didn't perform well, considering what other options there are at this price point. I'd personally rather throw another sixty dollars at one, and get what I did, with much better results, and a much better cleaning system.

Wagan (EL2886) Travel Charge Series USB 6.2 Amp Quad Power Cup
Wagan (EL2886) Travel Charge Series USB 6.2 Amp Quad Power Cup
Price: $22.71
11 used & new from $17.78

4.0 out of 5 stars Very handy for trips with my kid and our devices, October 7, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've had a few things I tried previously to help charge things on trips for my son and I, but I never found one I cared much for.

This one is actually pretty nice. The cord is long enough to reach from the outlets to the cup holder spots on most cars, but even better is that in my Jeep, I can use the unused power outlet in my armrest, and the cord can snake out a small special opening designed for things like this, so that it's really unobtrusive.

Both spots for USB ports have one each of the 1.0 and 2.1 amp ports, and the 2.1 ports are marked by two triangles next to them so they're easy to differentiate. I also like that there is the option of directions to have the cords plugged in. In my Jeep, the arm rest keeps my arms up high enough that anything coming out the top isn't an issue, but in a few of my previous cars, that would've been an issue, and in those cases you can use the side ports instead.

This is ideal for driving up to a football game and tailgating, enough ports to charge devices and batteries while driving without having to have cables snaking all over the dash areas.

For the price, you can't go wrong, and it even still allows the other cigarette style power outlet that you'd lose when this plugs in.

AmazonBasics Hanging Toiletry Kit, Black
AmazonBasics Hanging Toiletry Kit, Black
Price: $20.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as large as I feared, but roomy enough to really be useful, October 7, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've always just thrown toothpaste and toothbrushes in a ziplock bag to keep them from messing up the rest of my packed items. Even on my newer luggage with a separate zippered section for things like this, I still end up putting more things in there than just the toothbrushes and toothpaste.

I was pleasantly surprised when I unboxed this. I wasn't sure what to expect for the size. It seemed like it might be a bit bigger than I would've preferred from the photos, and just seeing numbers for dimensions doesn't give you the same knowledge as actually seeing and holding the product. But this was perfectly sized. Not as large as I feared, but big enough to be usable.

I like that there are the two separate zippered sections on the outsides, as well as a water resistant zippered section inside. That gives me a few places to store things that I know can't interfere with each other.

When you unzip the main section and hang it, that entire top flap is one large pocket, with a smaller zippered section on the bottom half. Inside on the left and right are two more pockets, as well as another mesh pocket with two sections in it.

Zipped up it's small enough to take very little room in the suitcase, but nice enough that it helps keep the messy things that may leak away from the rest of your luggage.

Zippers are easy to open and close, the stitching is nice and solid, and the material is tough but still flexible.

All told, for something I had never even considered previously, this really turned out to be something I wish I had picked up years ago.

360 Electrical 360305 Studio4.8 Surge Protector Wall Tap with 6 Outlets 4.8 Amp/24W USB Charging
360 Electrical 360305 Studio4.8 Surge Protector Wall Tap with 6 Outlets 4.8 Amp/24W USB Charging
Price: $32.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This one is the most visually appealing of all the different versions of these I use at home, October 4, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This has a few things going for it. First, it has a great, clean look. It's very well constructed, and good material. I like how it's narrower against the wall where it goes into the outlet, and angles out so it's wider. Much nicer than the ones that are just large rectangle blocks that look much more malignant stuck on the wall screwed into an outlet.

I also like how the USB ports come out the front, rather than up out of the top like all the others seem to do, including two of the three different kinds I have here already at home.

The downside, though, is that while it's nice that the bottom outlets allow for wall warts, the upper four still don't have enough separation for so many of the things that people have now.

I have three various kinds here now - one with all the outlets on front that don't have two separated out like this, so this one clearly beats that model. I have another with outlets out the sides, not the front. But that, too, doesn't space them out at all, so odds are you'll only get use out of four of the six, unless everything you use has strictly a normal small plug.

But the third is one of the ones with the rotating outlets, that pivot front or side - so a far superior setup since no matter what the plugs are you have, you will likely be able to get all six used easily by having some out the side, and others out the front. However, that one doesn't have any USB ports on it.

This one falls between them. I prefer the looks of this to the one with the pivoting outlets, but the spacing is still too limiting in too many situations. I don't know why I haven't seen more than one model done by anyone that has some on the front, and others on the side. But that one is also smaller, and has no USB Ports.

It seems like every one is a compromise of one sort or another. You get better of this feature, but worse of this other feature. I've not found a perfect one yet that can screw into an outlet on a wall. But this one, while suffering a bit from the design flaw of the upper outlets being so close, really is the best looking one, and is no worse than any of the others. So it gets a solid four stars. Had there been more room between the upper outlets on each side, it would've rated 5.

Dell DisplayPort to DVI Single Link Adapter DP/N: 0KKMYD
Dell DisplayPort to DVI Single Link Adapter DP/N: 0KKMYD
Offered by Adorsales
Price: $6.70
25 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Works great and cheap - can't ask for more, October 1, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Worked great with my USB 3 dock to give me a third monitor since I needed to change the Display Port on it to a DVI or VGA for the monitor I was using. No issues, and can't beat this price. Shipped quickly.

Dell USB 3.0 Dual Display Universal Dock D1000 (452-BBZI)
Dell USB 3.0 Dual Display Universal Dock D1000 (452-BBZI)
Price: $149.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Works very well on my Thinkpad Yoga running Windows 10, replaced a Plugable and Trendnet dock with this, October 1, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The first annoyance on the webpage here at Amazon is depending on what part of the page you are looking at, there are photos for totally different items but no way to select different items like some pages have when there are multiple flavors of an object. Up at the top by the main pictures, is a box with 2 USB on one side, Network, 1 USB, VGA, HDMI, and Display Port on the other side. Farther down the page, is a picture with 3 USB on one side, and on the other side, network, 2 USB, 2 HDMI, 1 display port, and the USB 3 in from the computer. To be clear, it's the first one that was sent. Single HDMI, split USB ports front and back.

I've been using USB docks for a few years now, since switching back to Windows from Macbook Pros when I got my first Windows 8 tablet. The one I've had the majority of the time is a Plugable USB 3 dock which only supported a single video out, but worked well. Recently I tried a Trendnet verison of the exact same thing, it even uses the same housing although with a different color, but this one supports two video sources. It was a bit of a letdown as well since four of the six USB ports on it were USB 2, not 3. So the only way to plug a USB hard drive in that you may have there for backups is to have the cable hanging out the front, when you could tuck everything else neatly into the back. That made it far less appealing for me in my office. And I've had nothing but issues with a Cyborg keyboard on the dock with Windows 10 - worked fine plugged into the PC, but not through the dock, although it does with the exact same computer on Windows 7 or 8, and any other computer with any other OS.

This one only has three USB ports, not 6, but they're all USB 3, including one in the rear that I can plug my 4TB external drive into that I use for my image backups. This is also much smaller. The downside for some people for this will be that there's no VGA or DVI output. But since most monitors for several years now have included a port for HDMI, that shouldn't be as much of an issue. Of course, this caught me as the newest monitor I have (less than a year old) apparently only had DVI and VGA, so I can't use that until I get the new display port to DVI cable later today.

I love the small form factor for this one. It's considerably less bulky than the Plugable or Trendnet units I have, both which are designed for vertical use, and have a large base that makes it awkward to lay down flat (which I do anyway under a monitor stand to keep it out of the way). It would have been even more "tuckable" had they included the USB input from the PC on the back as well, rather than having it hang out one side. For me, that's just a poor design choice. I would've preferred it be half an inch wider, but with that uplink plug going straight out the back. Now with this large plug stuck out one side, it severely limits placement options even though it's so much smaller than my existing ones.

One other thing they did that I absolutely loved - a "key" shaped USB stick with drivers for it, rather than a disc. Since a large number of portable computers lack DVD drives, this makes it easier than digging out a USB drive or downloading from the web.

So it found everything just fine on Windows 10, and up came my multiple monitor options. I've got my gigabit network speeds, my USB 3 backup drive operates at a speed I'd expect, and the extended monitor feature is flawless.

After all the hiccups I've dealt with using the Plugable, and even just the inconvenient size of it, having this smaller one is much, much better for me. I spent several hours yesterday rearranging my office now to accommodate having two monitors extending rather than just one, and a new keyboard so I can use the Logitech unifying setup to have both a keyboard and my trackpad using just the single USB port rather than two as I did with the other docks.

The other docks had large green power symbol lights and such on them, which really were distracting in my usually dark office (I hate the fluorescent lights so they're disconnected in here). This one has a tiny little soft white LED to show power. Nothing else.

This is only a little more pricey than the other options, but for me, the form factor makes it worth that little extra cost.

It's always nice when something works well and is more compact than what you're replacing. If it weren't for the inconvenient placement of the USB 3 cable input from the PC, I would've given this 5 stars.

Stanley Adventure Vacuum Crock Food Jar, Stainless Steel, 3 quart
Stanley Adventure Vacuum Crock Food Jar, Stainless Steel, 3 quart
Offered by Niagara Cycle Works
Price: $59.62
2 used & new from $59.62

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid and more effective than I had expected, September 30, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I was a bit skeptical at first. I thought "keep hot foods hot" meant that anything hot you put in here would, 12 hours later, at least not be cold. But I was pleasantly surprised that while it certainly wasn't as hot as it was when it went in, 8 or 9 hours later, it was still warm enough to enjoy without feeling I wanted to "send it back" or reheat it. This is a tough time of year to test how well something stays cold since it's in the 50's here now.

This thing is solid. The four latches holding it shut are very, very sturdy. The lid doesn't just sit on with a seal and is held with the latches, the latches actually help force the seal even tighter and get it wedged down in there very snug. Be careful opening it, since it may still be tight enough to need some force to pop it out.

Other than the seal itself, there's not any real crevices for things to get into and get yucky. Cleaning it is pretty easy. The lid does hang from a little plastic hook well enough.

For me the real downside is the size. I wish it were larger, but for the price just for 3 quarts, maybe they couldn't make one cost effective enough for a larger size.

But it does work better than I had anticipated. This will be good for going to someone's house with some chili for a football game this fall and winter.

Skylanders SuperChargers Starter Pack - Wii U
Skylanders SuperChargers Starter Pack - Wii U
Price: Click here to see our price
11 used & new from $49.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better have a vehicle of every type to start the game otherwise you're skipping things from the very start..., September 30, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My son is 11, and is a huge fan of all the Skylander games. We've got them all, and more figures than we have room for.

But it seems each game gets a little more voracious as far as money needed to fully enjoy. We got this starter pack, and it wasn't even 10 minutes later and we already had to skip a bunch of things because we don't have air vehicles or water vehicles.

Gameplay is a bit frustrating with no camera control - can't swing around to see in another direction, you're forced to see from the one perspective always. That is annoying when you want to try to turn the camera to see if there was anything in another direction to go to, or anything you missed.

Vehicle control is very primitive, you move it around just like the character, so there's no "steering" left or right, just pushing the stick in the direction you want to go.

Graphics look good, and are very smooth, very few artifacts or screen tears so far.

I do enjoy the Donkey Kong figure and vehicle though, since I hearken back to the days of Pong for my first video games... So I grew up with Donkey Kong, and seeing these retro figures still around in new video games gives a nice feeling.

But one of the things we always liked about the Skylanders games was the simplicity, and enjoyable gameplay. While that's still here, it just seems they are trying to cram too much into it now, and younger kids may start to get a bit overwhelmed with upgrading multiple aspects of both their characters and the character's vehicles as well.

And again it locks you into cut scenes, and no buttons let you skip.

But you can play on the pod only, so no TV required for solo play.

So it's enjoyable enough, a bit frustrating at times, but isn't our favorite.

Masione® Domineering LED USB Gaming Keyboard with 7 Adjustable Colorful Backlights--- Illuminated Backlit Halo Breathing light USB Wired Multimedia Pro Gaming Keyboard for PC, Antiskid Hand Holder, Waterproof, Multimedia,Ergonomic
Masione® Domineering LED USB Gaming Keyboard with 7 Adjustable Colorful Backlights--- Illuminated Backlit Halo Breathing light USB Wired Multimedia Pro Gaming Keyboard for PC, Antiskid Hand Holder, Waterproof, Multimedia,Ergonomic
Offered by ATC LLC
Price: $23.99
3 used & new from $21.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Returned, worst feeling keys I've ever felt on a keyboard, September 30, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I was replacing a Saitek Cyborg keyboard with this one. The Saitek kept having problems with Windows 10, and I finally got frustrated. I wanted
something with decent backlighting, since I hate the flourescent bulbs in my office so I have them unplugged so there's no light most of the time other than ambient light coming from the other room outside my door, or a small desk lamp that's usually turned off unless I'm dealing with paperwork. So the backlight is critical.

I actually liked the keys across the top - it's always nice to have volume controls, but I also liked the one that launched your default web browser, and one that opened Windows explorer. I"m a big windows control key fan, but seem to always forget windows+e for explorer and end up clicking at it with my trackpad. I also REALLY liked the braided cover on the USB cable. I far prefer the easier flexibility of a braided cable than the normal plastic sheathing.

This one looked decent, I loved the color options, but when I finally got it in my office, it was a disappointment. The keys felt horrible, by far the least smooth keyboard for someone who can touch type fast that I've ever used. That alone gave me a horrible error rate that I've not had on any other keyboard. Some keys like the shift key on the left side REALLY stick hard, and take way more force to intentionally punch down than they should.

Then there's the non standard placement of the enter key and backspace key, something that I wish companies wouldn't do. All it does is frustrate users who touch type.

The backlighting colors are nice, but unless you're directly above the keyboard, it's quite dim in a lot of the keys, even on the brightest setting.

I returned it, simply couldn't get past the bad feel and bad enter / backspace key layout even though I could've accepted the uneven brightness across the board.

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