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John S. Dean "John" RSS Feed (Sturtevant, WI United States)
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Ultimate Body Press Wall or 9ft Ceiling Mount Pull Up Bar
Ultimate Body Press Wall or 9ft Ceiling Mount Pull Up Bar
Price: $99.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very well made, 48" spot on for mounting, April 1, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
One of the people commenting on the item said they would have preferred had the bar been smooth, not textured. They must have changed something since he wrote that, since my bar is smooth, same smooth finish as the mounting poles. I can kind of see that bit of diamond pattern they show in the closeup photo, but it's filled in with paint mostly so to the hand, it feels smooth.

Came in a small enough package, wrapped in plastic. Someone commented that they had two bars that they received bent, the original and a replacement. I can see how that would be possible, since the pieces are simply in a long cardboard box with no protection, so something in shipping that hits this hard enough could bend the bar. Fortunately, mine showed up in perfect shape.

Another couple reviewers complained that they weren't 48 inches from bracket to bracket, but the manufacturer replied to one of them that it was a problem with older stock, and as of Jan 2015 they are 48 hole to hole. I can verify, having received this in 2015, that it is 48 inches.

Assembly was easy. Everything needed to assemble is included other than a drill to do pilot holes. They include a very thin "wrench" for the lag bolts, but you'll be far better off using a ratcheting socket wrench.

I had expected something in the ends of the bar that would lock it in place, prevent it from rotating. I'm not an exercise expert though, so don't know if that would be preferable or not. I know I was able to tighten mine well enough that it didn't twist, so your mileage may vary.

I put mine in the basement, near where I have a punching bag and some other exercise equipment. I have tall ceilings so it was a perfect place. As I wasn't dealing with drywall or anything, I had no need for any template that one reviewer said they would've liked to have seen included. I just mounted the first bracket, then put the bar in that one and the bar in the other, then held the other up to do quick little pilot holes where it needed to go on the exposed floor joist. Lag bolts followed, easy peasy lemon squeezy.

I like the idea another reviewer had about using chalk (the one who wished his had come with a smooth finish). I don't have any handy, but I can see where it could be beneficial. I had actually contemplated putting some kind of tape on here, but until I start using it more, I don't want to do anything until I see long term as my body gets used to it, just what the best way to use it will be.

It is rock solid. Well constructed, excellent weld bead consistency throughout.

I have an exercise band that I will start using with this now as well, as I hadn't used it much since I didn't want to mount anything upstairs. But with this mounted downstairs now, it would be easy for me to actually get more options for the band workouts.

All told I'm impressed with this. Well made, easy to install, and at least now it matches the 48" advertisement for the wall stud width. Can't go wrong if you're looking for a pull up bar.

The only reason I dinged it a star was that the finish on the bar, towards the center where my hands are, was a bit messy, and there are some spots where these small bits dig into the hands. Ultimately I'll file them down and do some touch up paint on them, but I wish the QA was just a little better for where the hands will be, since they will be supporting the weight of the whole body, so pointy things like this will really be magnified.


Food & Wine For Gorham Light Cast Iron 12 Inch Skillet w/ Helper Handle, White
Food & Wine For Gorham Light Cast Iron 12 Inch Skillet w/ Helper Handle, White
Price: $130.00

3.0 out of 5 stars About twice as heavy as my other ceramic pan but works well, March 28, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've got several ceramic pans. I've become addicted to the simplicity. Cleaning is so quick and easy that it's tough to justify using anything else once you're used to them.

My first surprise was how heavy this thing is. I pulled out my kitchen scale and got a couple of my most used ceramic pans. The one I use most is is a comparable size, and eight just 2 lbs 3 ounces. It works great, there's a reason that it's my favorite pan.

My other most used one is a Vinaroz die cast aluminum Wok. It's much taller than this, as it's a wok, not just a pan. And that larger aluminum Wok only weighs 2 lbs 8 oz.

This one is 4 lbs 2 oz so while it may be half the weight of a cast iron pan, it's nowhere near as light as other ceramic pans in its class. It's almost twice as heavy as the one I use almost daily.

Fortunately the lid I had purchased for my first ceramic wok fits this pan perfectly, so the fact that it doesn't include a lid wasn't a problem for me.

But this thing is heavy. If you like heavy cookware, this would be for you. It feels SOLID. But this, empty, feels as much as one of my other pans when full. When you get a couple pounds of things in it, that slick metal handle becomes a little less lovable.

The white is done well, I had no bad spots for the color. But it's white ALL AROUND THE OUTSIDE, there is no visible metal plate on the bottom. Within a few uses I was already getting this scratched and marred on the cast iron grates my gas stove has over the burners. I really don't like the bottom like this. I prefer the metal disc or unfinished bottom so that it doesn't look horrible over time.

The ceramic coating works well, though, just like the others I've become used to. Things don't stick, and things clean off of it really easily.

The helper handle opposite the main handle is almost a requirement with the weight of the pan when full.

I'm not a fan of pans this heavy, and I don't like a pan that will scratch itself as I use it. But for people with the glass top electric stoves, this would be nice. No bare metal to scratch the surface as easily as the bare metal would. So while it's not my cup of tea, it may work very well in your environment.


Logitech G303 Daedalus Apex Performance Edition Gaming Mouse (910-004380)
Logitech G303 Daedalus Apex Performance Edition Gaming Mouse (910-004380)
Price: $59.99
3 used & new from $59.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly smooth in Skyrim, March 28, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The cord is a soft braided material, but while it's not overly stiff, it still is a bit of a distraction.

The software installed without any problems, which I was worried about since I'm running the Windows 10 preview to test it.
You can select from the on board profiles stored on the mouse, or have it auto detect games. There are three profiles you can preset for different sensitivity levels. Color options include all the possible colors you can pick, as well as two effects - cycling, and "breathing" where it pulses in and out of each color. One thing I appreciated was that even with the game software totally turned off, the mouse remembers the last setting, apparently has some nvram dedicated to persisting settings, since even on another computer it kept my last color setting.

It offers options for what surface you're on. Two of the three presets are the hard and cloth gaming mouspads from Logitec, and one "default" setting for all other places. You can add a surface though. But for me, it didn't work. It shows what it should do, shows a progress bar, and it never actually DOES anything. As if it's not seeing the mouse press and sensing the movement although you can SEE the mouse moving as it's supposed to in order to train a new surface...

You need to claw hold this one though unless your hands are smaller. I prefer my hand flatter for gaming, and this one I would have to hold it far forward, with my fingers hanging an inch or so over the front edge in order for the thumb to line up on the side so I could hit the forward and rear buttons.

I'm not a computer gamer, I prefer game consoles. But my media center with the high end Nvidia card DOES have Skyrim installed, since I wanted to see how it looked with graphics maxed out on a good comptuer compared to the Xbox 360... So I got this going on there, and I have to say I really, really liked it for the game. The top button for changing the DPI settings is very handy, to go from normal running / looking mode to focused aiming (I am a huge fan of the bow in this game, love sniping from farther out), this mouse really did make a big difference for my game play. Larger movements while travelling, then up the DPI so my head shots were easier to line up. Very nice, very smooth, very easy.

Wheel scroll is smooth. And changing the DPI makes the scroll jump at different speeds.

Not sure if I'm a fan of the lighting at all though, since with your hand on it, you don't see hardly any. I like a small bit of illumination in case I'm doing something in the dark at night and the screen isn't illuminating the area much, but for that I'd just leave the logo lit.

It feels pretty good in the hand though, but ultimately I'd like the thumb buttons lower.

All told even with the couple things I didn't like that much from it, I have to say that it's the smoothest mouse I've used. And with the customization you can do from the software, it should be able to handle the needs of most gamers.


Sennheiser RS 185 RF Wireless Headphone System
Sennheiser RS 185 RF Wireless Headphone System
Price: $399.95
14 used & new from $307.64

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sound good but not quite as comfortable as the 180's are, March 25, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
It arrived very well protected during shipping. Everything is solidly encased in a plastic shell that actually comes off easily to get the various pieces out. It comes with four different power plugs, so you have a lot of international usage options here. I like that it even included the optical cable. I have some, so didn't need one included had I planned on using it, but many people won't, so it's really nice that it's included. Batteries are also included.

Just like the 180's I have, the ear pieces are the softer velour, not the fake leatherish stuff that makes the head sweat so easily. I shave my head, so any non breathable material around the ears will get moist where it covers the skin and doesn't allow any kind of evaporation. That was the big reason I got the 180's rather than the model just below them, since the 180's had the better material for the ear pieces. And while you can buy ear pieces separately for the lower model, at the time they were only available from overseas, and the cost of the item and shipping would've made the less expensive headphones even more costly than the 180's...

Each side gets its own AA battery. The ear pieces just twist off counterclockwise, so it's easy to get the batteries in.

There are several differences here than what I'm used to. Most of them upgrades from my old set, but the aesthetics are a downgrade as far as I'm concerned. I preferred the smoother, rounded look of my base on the 180's. This one is blockier, has the big knob in the front, and just doesn't look near as nice on the entertainment center under the right side of my TV.

The button positions are MUCH better here. Power is all by itself on the rear of the ear piece. Then the volume and balance are better placed on the side of one earpiece, a way better layout than the 180's had. And they're considerably larger. Finally I can easily adjust the volume, something considerably more painful on the 180's.

Auto power on the base - this is huge for me. I've used and loved my RS180's for a few years now, but the only other thing that drove me bonkers besides the bad button placement was the fact that I'd sit on the couch and realize that I once again forgot to hit the power button on the base... That's not an issue anymore.

I just bought a new 4k Samsung TV, and one downside I have is that I used to have the 180's plugged into the audio out on the TV. The amplifier would pass through the picture and sound over HDMI even when powered off, so that at night, I didn't have to plug in any headphone jack to use the headphones. All I had to do was turn off the amp and grab the headphones from the stand and turn on the base. But with my new 4k TV, I can't get that TV passthrough to work anymore. So now I am stuck using the headphone jack on the amplifier. Which means I can't use the included optical cable even though my TV supports it.

I get about the same range. Their numbers they give are "line of sight" so you have to be unobstructed. I don't of any houses that don't have walls, so it's a pretty useless metric for them to include. For me, it means I can get from the front left corner of my house where the TV is in the front of the great room, back to the opposite corner of the house, about 3/4 of the way. I still get sound when I'm walking down the back hallway past my son's room, but I can't get the sound in my own bedroom that is on the other side of the house. To my son's room where sound still works, diagonally through the house, is maybe 50 or 60 feet. Past that, four or five walls at various angles prevent the sound from going any further.

TV shows sound very, very good. Speech is insanely clear even compared to my nice RS 180's. Put some music in - and I really liked the sound. Even with my analog connection that I'm forced to use, it sounds clear and crisp. The silences between notes is silent. And apparently I'm in the minority when it comes to my reaction to the bass levels. Some reviews here and elsewhere had people saying they didn't like the bass, and think it's weak. I had the opposite thought. I was actually surprised at how well it reproduced the lows. Granted, I have wired headphones that have more powerful bass, but they also weigh considerably more than these do, are wired, and limit movement when being used. So for wireless headphones, these have more than acceptable sound. I jumped through a few movies, and on to video games on both next gen game consoles. Destiny on the Xbox One, and Infamous Second Son on the Playstation 4. I kept jumping between these, the 180's, and my wired headphones, and the wireless Sennheiser sounded as good as the wired did.

Now the negatives. I mentioned I shave my head - so I prefer the velour to the plasticy or fake leathery kind of stuff. The 180's had the velour on the pads on the head piece as well, but these are that plasticy feeling material. And I get quite a few drops while watching movies or playing games. Batteries were charged, but every once in a while it just goes dead, as if from interference or a signal loss. But the 180's have never done that. We'll see how things play out over time, but so far the drops are a bit disconcerting. The base is placed exactly where my 180's sat with no disruption in sound.

They sound good, but the comfort and the nice looking base are a compromise when compared to the 180's. But these do have the optical conneciton option, something the 180's are incapable of. And having an 11 year old at home, I prefer the open ear design, so I can still hear the ambient noises around the house in case he calls for me at night while I'm watching a movie or playing a game.


J & M Home Fashions Ribbed Runner Utility Mat, 22-Inch by 60-Inch, Charcoal
J & M Home Fashions Ribbed Runner Utility Mat, 22-Inch by 60-Inch, Charcoal
Price: $24.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it, much better than the very thing thing it is replacing, March 25, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I had a much simpler, thinner runner in my mud room by my washer and dryer. It worked well, but one corner started being curled upwards, and catching under feet. I wanted something a little heavier this time to replace it.

This was the best I could find as far as size went - long enough to be useful, wide enough to almost cover what I needed. I would've preferred a little longer and a few inches wider to be like the one it replaced, but that's not an option, not just for this, but for most of them that I looked at.

It's well constructed. The rubber on the edges is angled, and this is thicker, so you get a feeling of some cushioning under your feet. It's instantly noticeable if you've been using just a thin thing like I had. Even my 11 year old right away noticed the change when he came home after I put it out, even though the light was off in the laundry area there. He could tell just from the feel.

For this price, it's definitely worth every penny.


Lutron Maestro LED Dimmer switch with motion sensor, no neutral required, MSCL-OP153M-WH, White
Lutron Maestro LED Dimmer switch with motion sensor, no neutral required, MSCL-OP153M-WH, White
Price: $39.56
11 used & new from $30.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worked great in my 11 year old's bedroom when he (always) forgets to turn off the lights, March 25, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I only had one light switch in my house that was still the old "flip up/down" style. All the rest are rockers, or ones like this. None, however, have the sensor for occupancy. The one room with the old switches was my 11 year old son's room. And he ALWAYS forgets to turn off the light. So this was the perfect switch to get.

His room uses a standard incandescent bulb, so I had no issues.

The only reason I took a star off is because it doesn't include the wall plate, and because of the bulk of the unit behind - made it a bit of a pain getting it stuffed into the box with the extra wires the electricians had in there. This is a common problem with these types of switches, I've had the same complaint on another manufacturer's unit that I put in my great room for the eyeball lights over the fireplace.

But that's about the only drawback I had. Wires can push in or you can secure them with the screws. I was curious how programming is done, but it's quite simple - there's a small piece that pulls out on the bottom under the sensor - that puts it into a programming mode when you then press the switch for like 10 seconds. You then use the dimmer's up/down to select what aspect to program (i.e. does it turn on for motion sensing or not, how long does the light stay on when no motion is detected, etc). Then you use the dimmer's up/down to change the setting. It was very easy. I didn't want it turning on for any sensor, just turned on with the switch. I needed it to turn the lights off after a lack of sensing anyone in the room. It took me about 30 seconds to program it for that.

Installation took about 2 minutes.

The ramp up and ramp down of brightness when turned on and off is a nice touch, especially in the morning when your eyes don't necessarily want that instant, jarring brightness. It may not seem like that delay as it turns on and brightens is enough to make a difference, but it is. Likewise, it's just nice having it turn off the same graceful way.

Brightness controls work well, but as I said, I have incandescent bulbs in this room's fixture. I have a different maker's switch with a remote that does the dimming, and that's working fine on LED's, so this one should be able to as well since they specify CFL and LED compatibility with this switch.

Definitely pricier than a simple rocker switch, but there's a lot more flexibility and options in here. And it's been flawless so far, the 5 minute timer to turn off the light being just about exact (measured by my Amazon Echo setting a 5 minute timer as I walk out of the room).

If you want this type of a dimmable switch that can sense when someone enters or leaves a room, this is a good choice. I like it so much that I'm purchasing one to use in the main bathroom as well.


Cuisinart CPP-413 Alfrescamore Pizza Peel, 12-Inch
Cuisinart CPP-413 Alfrescamore Pizza Peel, 12-Inch
Price: $22.99
2 used & new from $21.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Works very well getting under pizzas in the oven, March 22, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've got two other pizza peels, but both are wooden. So the first thing I really liked about this was how thin it was. Much better to slide under a pizza in the oven than the wooden ones.

The first thing I really disliked about it - the angle of the handle. It is flat, straight out from the spatula part, so there's no room for fingers. I would've preferred it tilted up slightly so it was easier to use when you're not hanging over the edge of a counter or table.

It's made well, although the darker smudges from the oil on fingers shows up easily on it. The handle locks in tight but still folds over easily when done. The folding leaves it just a little thicker than I would have preferred where the hinge is. I have plenty of room where I keep my peels for "tall" but not as much room for "thick".

But the thinness of the spatula compensates since it is so much easier to slide this under a pizza in the oven when it's done than the wooden ones are - not just because of the thinness, but the metal makes it easier for the crust to slide than the rougher wood does.

A nice peel, at a good price.


Synology America DiskStation 8-Bay Network Attached Storage (DS1815+)
Synology America DiskStation 8-Bay Network Attached Storage (DS1815+)
Price: $1,012.29
37 used & new from $999.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wanted to get one for years, finally did and have no regrets at all., March 20, 2015
I have been considering getting one of these for about three years now. I've been using Windows Home Servers since their first version, and had upgraded to a new self built server when the newer version was released. And like many people, Microsoft dropping support for their drive expansion they offered in the first version was a major hassle. Fortunately several software vendors stepped up to the plate and made programs to do the same thing, so once again us Windows Home Server users could expand an array easily.

As my data needs grew, I kept building new servers, getting system boards that could handle more SATA ports. My current server could support 7 SATA drives inside, and at the time I built it, 3TB drives were as big as you could go without spending an arm and a leg. And I filled it up, added more drives to the "array" via USB ports, until I couldn't expand it anymore.

The biggest worry on the home server's drive software was that there was no redundancy. So a drive being lost meant the data on it was lost. The rest of the array would still function, but suddenly there'd be files missing.

In all my reading about NAS devices, and talking to other IT people, I ended up settling on the Synology for the list of features and apparent reliability. So when I had a few clients who needed a NAS device, we got them some of the four bay units and I was able to really dig into them in real world use. And everything I did, I was impressed with. So there was no way I was not going to get one, it was just a matter of "when."

Right after Christmas this year, a two terabyte drive on my Alienware media center PC took a dump. The cartoons and such I had saved on it for my son weren't that critical a loss, but that was where I had every home movie I took of him in the 11 years he's been alive. Somewhere I thought I had another drive with a copy of them, but I haven't found it yet.

I'm harping on my clients all the time about how critical having a good backup and disaster recovery strategy is, but clearly what I was doing here just didn't cut it. Time to get serious.

So I bit the bullet, and purchased one from Synology. Since I only have about 25 or 26 TB of data and knew I'd be clearing out four or five terabytes in this move to get rid of junk I didn't need anymore, I settled for 8 of the WD Red 4TB drives. I didn't see the need to pay the premium for the 6TB models at this point.

But I could only buy four at a time due to a vendor limit here on Amazon, so I had to make multiple staggered purchases. So I only had six drives when I powered it on the first time. So my initial array (using the Synology Hybrid RAID) was just the six drives. And that went quickly, as opposed to the insane amount of time later it takes to add drives to it. So if you're doing like me, and getting one set up initially to replace something else, I'll strongly suggest you get all drives in it to start that you want. Don't start early and plan on adding one in a couple days, since adding drives will a couple days.

I was familiar with the GUI since I'd used it at other clients, and it does make it very simple to work with. There are context menus for right click options, The downside - when you have a few thousand folders, the GUI can't display them all - so it breaks them into parts like a webpage, and you'll have many pages of HTML folder listings to go through. This can make things go slowly for you if you're trying to jump to a letter in the folder listing like you can do with Explorer or Finder. Since if, say, you're trying to jump to R, and R isn't there, where in Explorer you can just hit the R key to get right there, here you have to try another page. This induces a lot more delay when you're maneuvering around a large list of folders.

Hot keys work (i.e. control+C to copy, control+X to cut) but they don't work on the other side of the operation (i.e. control+V to paste). This is probably because they give you a nice option for paste, paste/overwrite, or paste/skip. And this works well, actually, and helped me not overwrite things as I moved things from my server to this NAS box, moving the files that didn't exist, leaving behind ones that did.

I like the integration it does with Gmail for alerts and reports. That made it so easy to set up alerting using my Gmail to send mail to my actual work mail that I'll get on my phone. And the reporting has paid off twice. First, when I filled it, I had six WD Red drives. As I pulled things off of my old Windows Home server, I took the one 4TB drive I had as an external drive, and purchased a seventh WD red drive to add in the last two slots. It accepted the different drive fine, but within a few weeks, one of my Friday night reports told me about some issues on the drive. Reading on the forums, it seems that this is often a red herring, but I didn't want to take a chance after losing that data over Christmas. So I bought another WD Red 4TB drive to replace it. Took about 30 hours or so, but it's been rock solid since. The other bonus for those reports is that it finds duplicate files, and also possible duplicates. I freed up about 150GB this way, not realizing some things were in more than one location.

Aggregation of the four LAN ports was quick and flawless. And it certainly helps compared to my single gigabit connection to the old server. I've got multiple things streaming from here to multiple locations and never a stutter or hiccup.

I can't find a single thing to complain about. The GUI is easy to navigate, multiple file system options, and easy things like FTP and such it can run. My needs are much simpler, I just wanted something to serve up a dozen different shares for various things I use it for at home. And it's been rock solid. Definitely worth the money I paid for the peace of mind and to finally have some redundancy. Only downside is at this level of data, doing a full backup isn't a financially viable option, so I'm leaving my old server running and at least replicating the absolutely critical stuff to it once in a while... Not perfect, but at least one more step of protection. And the family photos and movies and such that I can't afford to lose any more of are also now replicated to the cloud...


BLU Studio Energy - With 5000 mAH Super Battery - Global GSM- Unlocked Cell Phones (White)
BLU Studio Energy - With 5000 mAH Super Battery - Global GSM- Unlocked Cell Phones (White)
Price: $149.00
3 used & new from $149.00

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Battery really does last a long time, March 20, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I like that it came with a protective case - very generic, basic one, but that's ultimately all I want in a case anyway. I'm not worried about protecting the phone from scratches and drops, I just want to have it not be as slippery as they are when they're used without any case or sleeve. And this one does a good job of that.

It also comes with a screen protector. I couldn't get it on just right to save my life, so I ended up tossing it out. I've never cared for protectors anyway, so for me, it's not a loss. I just couldn't get it to be bubble free no matter how careful and slow I did it.

The phone came half charged, so I plugged it in and started charging while I set it up.

I've never been a fan of this mobile OS. I'm in the IT field, and have way too many bad experiences with simple things that corporate customers need, such as Exchange Activesync support. And some phones work great - and an exact, identical phone never does, even with the same user information. It's been frustrating, and something we never experience with iPhones or Windows phones. The same user credentials that these phones fail with then work great with any other phone. I've used Windows mobile OS phones since their inception, then back in 2009 switched to iPhones, and used them for 4 years, and then switched back to Windows when I picked up my Nokia Lumia Icon. And I"ve been using Activesync for my Exchange server since day one with all of them. I was waiting to have problems with this when I set it up to sync my corporate mail.

I was pleased to have no issues. It synced up instantly, calendar, contacts, mail. Worked like a charm. And the instant bonus this has over my Windows phone is it will download attachments inline. I can open the email and see the JPG for example. I have a Logitech Alert security system at my house, and it sends me snapshots when it captures motion. My old iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad show them wonderfully in the body of the email. Microsoft seems to think that's "EVIL" and doesn't let ANYTHING of theirs do that - not their phones, not their full Outlook mail client, zip... So that's a pleasant change for me again, having this ability to see things without having to take extra steps.It's the same width as my Lumia Icon, just a tad taller. My Icon has full 1080 resolution though, this is "HD" but it's only 720. But for phone and mobile things, for me it's not an issue. I don't watch movies and such on my mobile devices.

The screen looks good. But I notice some stuttering when browsing pictures, for example, a slight hiccup as it transitions from one to the next that I"m not used to in iPhones or Windows phones. So this isn't as smooth for graphics as what I've been used to.

But from a touch perspective, it was spot on, and no issues at all.

The other downside compared to my current phone is the lower megapixel camera. Mine has a 20MP camera, this is only an 8. But it works well. I had a few bizarre instances of "psycho camera" though when trying to get out of camera mode - the LED light turns on and it fires off clicking as if it's doing high speed photos, like several every second, but it's not saving anything, and there are no photos it took. Power button was needed each time that happened. I have no idea what set it off either. But it focuses by touching whatever you want it to focus on in the view, flash on/off/auto is easy to do, and a big button on the side to snap the photo. When it's not flaking out on me, it worked well.

I had expected more heft from the battery, but it was not really noticeably different from my Lumia Icon.

My iPhones and my Lumia Icon don't allow for SD or Micro SD cards. So I finally had something here I could use portably with music as well. I have a 6th gen iPod nano but it's only a 16GB unit, so what I'm listening to in my car is limited. I had hoped my car would recognize this, since I could throw all 60GB of my music on a MicroSD card. Unfortunately, my 2015 Jeep doesn't see this device when plugged in via USB as any type of media device. So I'll be stuck with my iPod for now still.

My review draft had a bunch of stuff about what I liked or didn't like, but it ended up being way too much a review of the OS, and not the device. So I had to redo the review and remember to focus on the device.

Speaker sounds adequate, about par for this kind of a device.

Battery life really is what they claim it to be or more. I left it uncharged for the first 3 days now, and it only hit 87%. I charged it back up, and I haven't used it as a phone since my carrier's cards won't work in here (Verizon) but I've used it for a lot of other things, from music to camera and video captures to email. And having it sit idle for over a week now, only looking at an email once every couple of days, but not using it at all most days, it is at 77%.

One bonus over my Windows Mobile phone is that the two apps I used most, my Logitech Alert system and my Ecobee thermostat, neither of which are available on Windows Mobile, are here on Google Play.

The resolution could be higher, I wish my Verizon card was compatible with it. But as much as I prefer my Windows phone OS to this OS, I have to admit that as well as it works, the battery life, the ability to charge other things, and being able to use some of my mobile apps again, at this price point it's a steal. And if you're someone with an investment in the Google Play store and apps already, this will fit right into your toybox.


Antec X-1 Cooler for XBox One
Antec X-1 Cooler for XBox One
Price: $29.99
15 used & new from $26.17

3.0 out of 5 stars Looks good, but limited effectiveness for me, March 20, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
They claim a 30% reduction in temperature. I'm assuming they did those measurements with the unit in a mostly enclosed cabinet or something, since I could get nowhere near that kind of temperature drop. But mine is not in an enclosed area. The hottest I ever got was 101 playing Destiny for a few hours, and when I plugged this in, it dropped it to 97 degrees, right about a 4% drop. I don't have a high tech thermometer to measure the air temperature myself. I have an infrared thermometer that I tried, but since that was reading surface temp, not the air coming out, the numbers wouldn't match up right. So I had to take their word on the temperatures. But even if it was in an enclosed rack, the fact that it blows the hot air out backwards wouldn't really help as much as if it vented out the front.

The good - it looks nice. They did a great job of making it look as if it were designed by MS as an integrated part of the XB1. It sits on it well, doesn't move around. You can place things on it as well. The noise level is negligible, so much that I can barely tell it's running from where I normally sit on my couch in the great room if everything is silent and I mute the game. In normal use, whether streaming video from Amazon Prime, watching TV, or playing a game, the ambient noise renders it totally unnoticeable.

There is a pass through port on it, so you don't lose the USB port on the back when you plug this in. The cable is short so it's not getting in the way or has to be majorly managed. I would have thought a better option for venting would be out the front, since if you're using this in a rack, most are enclosed in the back and the front is the place to get air movement happening. I also would have preferred to see the temps on the front. I don't know anyone who has their XB1 situated where they could read this from their normal playing position. Where mine sits, under a riser that elevates the TV above the things on top of my entertainment center, there's no way to read the temps because it's under this shelf. I'm guessing that they did that so that people wouldn't complain about the LED lights on the front being an annoyance or distraction for people gaming at night. I'd say then they could have put a switch on it to turn the readout on or off at will, but this is probably the solution they settled on to keep prices down and keep it as simple as it can be.

If I were using my Xbox in a place that needed a cooling system like this, I'd use my own USB cable, a longer one, and rotate it so it blew out the front. It wouldn't look as good that way, but it would be more effective.


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