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Customer Reviews: 92
Top Reviewer Ranking: 3,405
Helpful Votes: 1600




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Gravwell
Gravwell
Price: $27.16
19 used & new from $21.24

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lots of potential, but ultimately falls short, February 18, 2015
This review is from: Gravwell (Toy)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I really wanted to like this game. I'm a fan of table top games. I'm not a huge gamer, but I have played Cataan a few times and play a lot of other assorted games when together with family on ski vacations. It's still one of the best ways to teach competition and how to handle winning/losing to the youngins.

Gravwell is a game based on math. Similar to other path oriented games, it's about going from point A to piont B faster than your fellow gamers. Instead of dice to determine your journey, the movements are based on cards. Different cards have different effects and can push others away from you or pull you to them. Other cards simply just advance you a certain number of spaces. Ultimately, this is a game based on math. How efficiently can you use your cards to leapfrog past your competition.

A game that utlizes math to determine the winner? sounds good eh? Well, not really. At the end of the day, the game needs to be fun, right? So is this game fun? Not at all. First of all, games are WAY to short. They last maybe 5-10 minutes max. Additionally, there just aren't enough permutations to really push people's math/logic skills to the test. Ultimately, it's shortcomings far outweigh the good things. I can't really recommend this product at this time.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 18, 2015 1:06 PM PST


AMD Radeon R7 Series 240GB 2.5-Inch SATA III 7mm Ultra Slim SSD with Toshiba A19nm MLC NAND RADEON-R7SSD-240G
AMD Radeon R7 Series 240GB 2.5-Inch SATA III 7mm Ultra Slim SSD with Toshiba A19nm MLC NAND RADEON-R7SSD-240G
Price: $109.99
38 used & new from $109.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delivers on All Fronts!, December 31, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've built my last few computers going back to the 1990s. I've used 5400 RPM drives, 7200 RPM drives, 10,000 RPM raptor drives in RAID 0, hybrid drives (combo of solid state and magnetic platters), and SSDs. For many of us who have been working with computer hardware for a while, it is well known that the hard drive has been the greatest bottleneck for a long time. There is no greater hardware upgrade than replacing an old magnetic platter drive with a SSD drive. Boot up your computer in under 30 seconds. Load up the most complicated, script-rich webpages in a single burst. Load up programs in a blink of an eye.

So why isn't everybody using SSDs if they are so fantastic? For the past few years, SSDs have been priced for the enthusiast market. Initially, many early adopters opted for a 64GB model to solely run an operating system due the high costs. The last couple of years, more users adopted the 120GB models to store their OS and essential program files. But we all would like a bit more overhead, no? Well, the 240GB models are finally priced to move. The new sweet spot where price and performance intersect to provide the maximum value is with these 240GB models. The AMD R7 provides FANTASTIC value with cutting edge performance. As a direct comparison to my 120GB Mushkin SSD (fantastic Sandforce-based SSD), the AMD R7 performs equally well. In real-world file transfer tests, I was able to achieve similar speeds.

The SSD market is hotly contested. With brands like Crucial, Samsung, Intel, and Mushkin providing the best drives to date imho, the AMD R7 has a lot of ground to make up. So does it? Well, let's see: the drive is priced competitively? check; the drive performs on par with the best of the best? check; and enough storage for your OS and essential programs? check. So who should buy this drive? EVERYBODY. Is 240GB big enough for all your storage needs? probably not. In a desktop set up, this is easily rectified. You use this drive as your primary drive (OS, cache, program files), and you have a separate drive(s) for games and media. For a laptop user, it is not that much more complicated. Use this drive as your primary and have a USB 3.0 drive for media.

In conclusion, I would like to return to an earlier declaration I made: the SSD is the upgrade that will reap the greatest performance increase, period. At this price and 240GB, the AMD R7 is a FANTASTIC value that can perform with the best in category. Since this is a relatively new entrant in the SSD market, I can not yet speak of the reliability of this drive. I will return periodically to tell you all if this drive is still ticking probably. For now though, I can say I am utterly satisfied by this drive and would recommend it to anyone seeking a high performance drive at a wallet-friendly price.


Bolle Scream II Ski Goggles, Shiny Black
Bolle Scream II Ski Goggles, Shiny Black
Price: $46.19
11 used & new from $28.75

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Goggles, December 21, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
These goggles are very nice. Having come from a pair of 5 year old Oakley Ski Goggles, these Bolle's really open up my field of vision. The wider field of vision is a welcome safety feature that helps me see and avoid other skiiers. Additionally, the strap positioning is designed to work with helmets. As almost every skiier nowadays use helmets, this is a welcome change.

The vermillion tint is very good in most light situations. Today, as I write this review, it is overcast, foggy and snowing in Deer Valley, Utah, and I have no problems seeing terrain features through the flat light. I'm used to using a high-contrast orange lense, but the vermillion tint works equally well in low-light situations and looks cooler.

Finally, these goggles are nearly weightless. I experienced no discomfort wearing these throughout the day. As I just used these for the first time today, I can't speak on the scratch resistance and durability of these goggles, but i will return with an update as i have more experience with these goggles. As of now, I can say these are a very modern pair of goggles with modern features. I have nary a bad thing to say thus far. I can recommend these wholeheartedly.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 9, 2015 12:04 PM PST


Trenro PS4 Thumb Grips Edge Series Pro
Trenro PS4 Thumb Grips Edge Series Pro
Price: $5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!, November 19, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
If there is a criticism of the ps4 is that the analog sticks are a bit slick. If you've ever played for a duration, you more than likely have experienced your fingers slipping off the sticks every now and then. This describes the primary reason for getting the Edge Thumb Grips. The orange section is a rubbery plastic that allows the grips to be easily placed and removed on the DS4 analog sticks while securing them nice and snug during use. The part where your thumbs actually touch the grips is made of a softer silicon with small bumps. The material is very tacky and the bumps add additional grip. My fingers never slipped after extended use with these.

Now the above will describe why most people will consider getting grips, but now I will try to explain a 2nd reason--one that might actually be the most beneficial. The grips themselves are about a half inch high. This means that the analog sticks are now about a half inch higher now. This can result in some aches and pains around the thumb joints for smaller hands. As an adult who wears XL gloves, I found the new raised analog sticks more comfortable. But the comfort is not the key here, it is the additional responsiveness of the sticks. Going to quickly take you back to physics class here. If you increase the length from the hinge, you in essence are increasing your leverage. Why is this important? Well, if you play first person shooters and snipe with analog controllers (not mouse), you will notice that the sticks have a springy tendency to return to center. To move the sticks off center requires a bit more force. This can make moving very small distances rather difficult. This is where these grips really help. The additional leverage while using the grips really makes the spring-to-center effect a lot less. The result for a gamer is a very smooth transition across the center-position. For those sniper shots, that can be the difference between a headshot and a miss.

I really don't have a bad thing to say about these grips. They are more comfortable than stock, they are easy to place and remove, they are affordable, and most importantly, they enhanced my performance when playing 1st player shooters. I definitely recommend these.


WD My Passport Ultra Metal Edition 2 TB Navy - premium storage with style (WDBEZW0020BBA-NESN)
WD My Passport Ultra Metal Edition 2 TB Navy - premium storage with style (WDBEZW0020BBA-NESN)
Price: Click here to see our price
30 used & new from $95.38

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Capacity And Security Is Nice, But Performance Is Lacking, September 30, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a very fairly priced 2TB external hard drive. The form factor is 1.5X the thickness of 1TB external drives. It also has built-in encryption for those that value security. Before I get into the performance of this drive, I want to briefly talk about the finish. The top plate of the drive has a weird micro-ridged surface. The surface is very prone to finger-oil marks and is VERY difficult to wipe down. Oil and other particulates get in the grooves of the ridges and is a pain to wipe down. It looks fantastic but is very inconvenient under normal use. Additionally, the micro ridges are more prone to scratching that other metallic form factors. I like the metallic finish but am not a fan of the micro-ridges.

That being said, for the majority of us, speed and convenience is going to be the real selling points. Yes, it is convenient to have a 2TB in a relatively small form factor, but the speed is an issue. Yes I do have an SSD, but I won't compare this drive to my SSD for obvious reasons. I will, however, compare it to my internal SATA 3 drives and my other USB 3.0 external drives. My internal Sata 3 mechanical drives achieve speeds between 90 MB/s to 120 MB/s. Yes, that's the big B--bytes not bits. My 1TB external USB 3.0 drives get about 80 MB/s. That is about the top performance you're going to get from the higher performance mechanical drives. So how does this drive compare? Shockingly, it only achieves speeds of 30 MB/s. That's about 1/3-1/4 the speed of my internal drives and just above 1/3 the speed of my other external drives. These are real-world speeds I achieved transferring both small files and large files. Rather than using benchmarking software, I think it's more useful to gauge speed of external drives by transferring a lot of photos and videos. I figure this will best simulate how these drives will actually be used. So why is this drive so slow? Is this due to a slow chip doing the encryption? Well, I tested this drive without the encryption and still only achieved speeds of 30MB/s. So why is this drive so slow? It could be they are using a 5400RPM or below drive inside. It could be a controller that is not performing well. Without taking this drive apart, it's hard to tell, but 30 MB/s is USB 2.0 speed, not USB 3.0. Filling up a 2TB at 30MB/s will take you all day. By today's standards, this performance is really unacceptable.

2TB with encryption at this price is a fantastic deal, but the performance is something that really holds this drive back. If you value capacity and security above all, this drive is a great option for you. If you want higher performance, though, then you may want to look elsewhere.

Having
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 30, 2014 11:27 AM PDT


Rose Gold Plated Sterling Silver Knotted Heart Diamond (1/4cttw, I-J Color, I2-I3 Clarity) Pendant Necklace, 18"
Rose Gold Plated Sterling Silver Knotted Heart Diamond (1/4cttw, I-J Color, I2-I3 Clarity) Pendant Necklace, 18"
Price: $132.46
2 used & new from $118.40

4.0 out of 5 stars I think this necklace would be a good gift for a teenage girl, September 15, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This necklace is very cute. I think this necklace would be a good gift for a teenage girl, or the woman in your life who loves silver. Considering the sale price, this necklace is a huge bargain. The pendant is a bit smaller than the picture would have you think. I think it's actually just the right size for medium to petite-sized women. I highly recommend it, great bargain.


Belkin Apple MFi Certified Charge and Sync Dock with Lightning Cable Connector for iPhone 5 / 5S / 5c and iPod touch 5th Generation (Silver)
Belkin Apple MFi Certified Charge and Sync Dock with Lightning Cable Connector for iPhone 5 / 5S / 5c and iPod touch 5th Generation (Silver)
2 used & new from $14.30

5.0 out of 5 stars Very nice dock. It's basically an Apple certified lightning cable ..., September 15, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Very nice dock. It's basically an Apple certified lightning cable that can stand up your phone vertically. There are two reasons I would highly recommend this device. First is if you spend a lot of time at a desk. It's very convenient to have a charging device that can keep your phone readily accessible. If your phone rings or buzzes, just swipe and read the text message or check who is calling you. The second reason is so you never have to look for your phone. If you get in the routine of placing your phone on the dock when you get home, you always know where your phone is.

A great looking device that fits in aesthetically with Apple laptops. Looks like an extension of my Macbook Pro. If this sounds like something that can be useful, then I'd definitely recommend this device.


Mackie CR4 4-Inch Creative Pair of Reference Multimedia Monitors
Mackie CR4 4-Inch Creative Pair of Reference Multimedia Monitors
Offered by AVLGear
Price: $149.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The term reference monitor is tossed around pretty freely lately, September 11, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The term reference monitor is tossed around pretty freely lately. It's like the way organic was overused in the grocery aisles. My idea of of a reference monitor is a set of speakers or headphones that reproduce the studio sound--no colorization of the sound. So does the Mackie live up to the reference monitor moniker?

Before I answer that question, let me cover some of the functionality and look. Often times the pictures don't tell the true story, but with this speaker, the picture on this page is a very accurate representation of the speaker. If black and green work for you, then this is a very attractive speaker set. The subdued finish is very appealing, and for the most part, the appearance of this speaker is subtle. The only detraction with the appearance is the very bright green light that turns on when you turn on the speakers. The speakers are powered by the volume knob located on the front of the speaker. The speaker supports balanced and RCA connections. They came with an RCA to 3.5mm Y-cable that is convenient for hooking up to the headphone jack of your phone or television. Pretty standard for this type of speaker.

So back to the sound. For the most part, the speakers are very neutral, so in that aspect, the reference monitor label is appropriate. Additionally, the speakers are VERY loud for their size. I hooked it up to my bedroom TV playing movies and games through a playstation and blu-ray player. These speakers are great for movies and video games. Music playback, though, requires some explanation. Most of the music playback is very accurate and decent sounding. The only drawback is a void playing back deep bass. There is a Lauryn Hill song that I tested, Turn Your Lights Down Low, and the opening bass rift is VERY deep. These speakers struggled to reproduce this bass. The deeper notes were not present. I tested this with some other songs with deep bass, and the speakers did a decent job with most. Only with the very deepest bass do these speakers struggle. The highs roll off a bit, as well, at the very top end. I personally don't intend to use these speakers for music playback, but it is something of which you will want to be aware--especially if you intend to use these speakers for studio use.

The standard bearer in this genre of speakers are the Audioengine A5 which cost over 2X as much. Considering the price, these are very attractive and decent sounding speakers. If you are looking for a decent multi-media pair of speakers for a computer set up or a small TV set up, these speakers are easy to recommend. If you intend to use these for studio production or music playback, I would look elsewhere.


AmazonBasics Ultra-Thin Amplified Indoor HDTV Antenna - 50 Mile Range
AmazonBasics Ultra-Thin Amplified Indoor HDTV Antenna - 50 Mile Range
Price: $47.99
30 used & new from $30.91

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not-so "Extreme", but with some tweaking, Delivers!, August 26, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I live in Orange County, CA and most of the broadcasters in my region are up in Los Angeles--quite a distance away. I was a bit skeptical that a flat piece of plastic could receive signals across such a long distance. So does this product deliver? For my situation, kind of. Kind of because I had to tweak the product a bit to get it to work for me. Let me explain...

I bought the "Extreme" version of the antenna because I wanted the external power source. Well, the included wall adapter only provides .3 Amps of current. Not a lot of juice is provided by this little usb plug. Using the provided adapter, the antenna wasn't really able receive the broadcast networks. I went to my drawer full of USB chargers and grabbed a 2.0 Amp plug. I connected the antenna to this stronger power plug and BAM, all the channels started to come in.

If I had to this again, I'd buy the cheaper model and buy an external coaxial signal amplifier from Radio Shack. The provided plug is just not strong enough to do what it's supposed to do. Additionally, I wish the cable was a bit more flexible. They used a standard cylindrical coaxial cable that has a thick copper wire inside, so it is very rigid and kind of has a mind of its own. It'd be nice if this cable was flat so that it can be stuck to your wall and hidden away easier. As it stands, the cable is difficult to hide and is difficult to neaten up.

At the end of the process, I was able to get this antenna to work. I get a LOT of channels, and all the broadcast channels come in. I wish Amazon provided a stronger power supply, but they don't. This doesn't stop me from recommending this product because I get the channels I wanted. Just be mindful that the included power supply is VERY weak. I have more than a half dozen 2.0 Amp chargers sitting in a drawer, so this didn't really adversely impact me, but it is something you will want to consider when selecting which version to buy.


Epson WorkForce DS-40 Portable Wireless Document Scanner, Sheet-Fed & Mobile / Portable for PC & MAC,  WIFi (B11B225201)
Epson WorkForce DS-40 Portable Wireless Document Scanner, Sheet-Fed & Mobile / Portable for PC & MAC, WIFi (B11B225201)
Price: $129.99
21 used & new from $129.50

4.0 out of 5 stars Functional and easy to set-up, August 26, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a very nice product with a very small form factor. This product is designed specifically to scan documents. The wireless feature is great and works as a printer would. When you want to scan a document and you have already paired the scanner to your computer, just scan away and the document will be uploaded to your computer. It's really that simple, and as long as the scanner and the computer is connected to same wifi network, reconnecting to this device is seamless.

You may ask yourself, my printer already has a flatbed scanner, why do I need this? Well, you can't really lug your printer on the road with you. Therein lies the rub. This is a very portable device. As you can see in the image, this scanner lies very flat and has a very small footprint. It can easily fit inside a larger laptop bag/backpack. If you work in various locations and need a scanning option that travels with you, then this is the perfect device for your needs. A lawyer, salesman, editor, or various other professionals can benefit from this product. Sure, you can use MS Word to edit the work of your subordinates, but that doesn't always feel natural. If you are like me, you prefer to take a red pen to paper and do your edits and mark-ups that way. If that sounds like you, then this scanner maybe just what you needed. I recommend this product fully for delivering on exactly what it promises.


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