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Nathan Andersen "Gadget lover and author of Shadow Philosophy: Plato's Cave and Cinema" RSS Feed (Florida)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

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METROFLASH MASTER 860 Bicycle Headlight/Professional Level Ultra Bright Tactical Flashlight For All Outdoor Use, Maximum Output 860 Lumens, IPX6 Waterproof Level, USB Rechargable with USB Cable, Pouch Included For Product Safety, Cree XML U2 LED, Handlebar Mount with Super Easy Installation, 4 Flash Modes, Up to 7 Hours Runtime, Aviation Aluminum Alloy, Double Coated Toughened Glass, Lifetime Guarantee against Defects
METROFLASH MASTER 860 Bicycle Headlight/Professional Level Ultra Bright Tactical Flashlight For All Outdoor Use, Maximum Output 860 Lumens, IPX6 Waterproof Level, USB Rechargable with USB Cable, Pouch Included For Product Safety, Cree XML U2 LED, Handlebar Mount with Super Easy Installation, 4 Flash Modes, Up to 7 Hours Runtime, Aviation Aluminum Alloy, Double Coated Toughened Glass, Lifetime Guarantee against Defects

4.0 out of 5 stars A very bright headlight for bicycles, that also doubles as a rechargeable flashlight with four different brightness modes, December 27, 2014
This is a unique kind of bike light. It's essentially a heavy duty, high powered, seriously bright flashlight -- that you can mount and remove from your handlebars.

The flashlight requires a special kind of battery -- not one you can just pick up in the grocery store. Luckily, the battery comes with the headlight, and it is rechargeable. (If it does wear out, you can pick up a new one here on Amazon, here, and probably in your local electronics store.) The kit also comes with a USB cord for charging the battery -- it's just a standard USB 2.0 to micro USB cord. The instructions aren't very clear about how to use this battery, and it doesn't have a "+" and "-" mark on it. The instructions say that you should place the anode (or what is labelled "+" on ordinary batteries) in towards the bulb, but the problem is that this battery doesn't mark which end is the anode, so you should note that it's the end with the slightly smaller metal cap. The cathode (the other side to the anode) has a metal cap that almost completely covers its end.

The mount is a bit oddly shaped, not as rounded as most mounts I've seen, and so it may not fit all handle bars. It does fit the bar on my mountain bike. It's easy to install: just remove the bolt, place it on the bar, replace the bolt and screw it tight. Once you've secured the mount, and the flashlight is charged, you can place the light into the mount and it is quite secure. The top of the mount rotates, so that you can orient the flashlight in the direction you want it.

To turn it on, just press and hold the button for a moment. (It took me a minute to figure that out, as the instructions aren't very clear.) Then once it's on you can toggle through the various brightness modes by pressing the button lightly in sequence. It starts out in a flashing mode, then it goes to the lowest brightness, then brighter and then the brightest. The brightest setting is extremely bright -- and probably too bright for bicycling, but perfect for when you need the flashlight to illuminate a wide space. When you turn it off, by pressing and holding the button for about a second, it "remembers" the mode you were in when you turned it off. So then, when you turn it back on, it goes back into that mode, and you don't have to toggle through them to get where you want.

One thing the instructions warn you about is that this flashlight can get hot if you leave it on for a while at full power. I haven't seen that with other LED flashlights. This is, though, brighter than other LED lights I've used.

It's a very solidly built light, that looks like it will last a long time. It also comes with a little storage pouch for the light, so that you could carry it on your belt when you remove it from your bike. (Sample provided for review.)


Perfect Basic Pullup
Perfect Basic Pullup
Price: $19.99
14 used & new from $10.28

4.0 out of 5 stars Works great, and holds my weight, but be aware that the template they provide for installation is not accurate, December 26, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Perfect Basic Pullup (Sports)
I wanted a bar that I could use for a variety of exercises, that would hold my weight (nearly 280 lbs - I'm a very tall and big guy) and be secure in the doorway.

This does exactly what I wanted. The pullup bar is connected to two arms that swing down. They are fixed into pivots that you screw into the doorway about 2/3 of the way to the top, then the arms will swing from these pivots, so that you can angle the bar as you like from roughly perpendicular to the door frame to all the way down.

It also comes with a set of anchors that you screw in near the top of the door frame, so you can hook the bar at its maximum height, and it will remain there securely.

It comes with everything you really need, including a little Phillips screwdriver, but it is a lot easier to install if you have a drill and a bit. It also gives you a template that is supposed to show you where to place the screws, but the template is inaccurate. What I ended up doing was installing the anchors on top, using the template, then hanging the bar on the anchors and then installing the pivot mounts on the bottom once it was clear where they had to be so that the bar could elevate freely and lift off of the anchor hooks on top.


Uqique Digital Voice Recorder USB - Hidden Spy Voice Recording Device 8GB with MP3 / USB Flash Storage Features and Instant Audio Playback
Uqique Digital Voice Recorder USB - Hidden Spy Voice Recording Device 8GB with MP3 / USB Flash Storage Features and Instant Audio Playback
Offered by shoppi.ly
Price: $26.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A very sensitive and compact voice recorder that you can stick into your pocket and record conversations and lectures, December 24, 2014
This is a very compact and portable voice recorder, that does a great job recording all the sounds in a room, and also doubles as an mp3 player.

It's as easy as possible to make it work. Just turn it on with the on-off switch, and without the headphones plugged in, and it starts recording. To stop recording, just turn it off. (It doesn't have a feature where it starts when it detects a loud noise. It's either on or its off. That does limit its potential as a "spy gadget" since it can record up to 10 hours at a time on a single battery charge, and it would be something of a pain to go through 10 hours of recording to find anything useful. It doesn't bother me, though, because I really only plan to use this for recording talks and lectures, and classroom sessions.)

Each time you turn it off and then turn it back on it starts recording a new voice file. The mike is surprisingly responsive. It captures literally everything going on in the room. I was talking into the mike to test it, and my son was playing a video game in the next room, and my daughter was listening to a song in the kitchen, and I could hear all of those things on the resulting recording. I tried just putting it in my shirt pocket, too, and walking around and got all the sounds throughout the house. Of course, in my shirt pocket, my voice was strongest. It's not a perfect recording -- you wouldn't want to use it, say, for recording music or even a podcast, because while it captures your voice quite well it also captures all the ambient noises without any selective filter, so what it records can be a bit noisy ... but it does deliver a pretty clear picture of what's going on in the room when you record.

If you have the headphones plugged in, it goes into "playback" mode. (It comes with two MP3 songs pre-installed so you can test out the MP3 player feature right away.) It starts out playing your voice recordings, and then if you press the [-] (minus) button it switches to start playing the songs you have saved in the root directory of the USB drive. To skip to the next song or recording, just press the [+] (plus) button. To change the volume, press and hold the [+] to increase or press and hold the [-] to decrease.

It comes with the USB charger, a pair of (fairly cheap, understandably) headphones, and the recorder. It charges up very quickly, in about a half hour, and a little light blinks to indicate it's charging and then goes solid when it's "full." The instructions warn that you shouldn't let it overcharge -- which means it doesn't have an automatic shutoff, and you should be careful not to start it charging overnight. Plan to plug it in and then remove it within an hour. I do have to report that the headphones that came with my pair were faulty. Only the right earplug worked. At first I thought that meant this didn't have stereo playback, but I plugged in another pair of headphones and it worked just fine. To be sure I added an mp3 that has obvious stereo effects (Yes, "Roundabout"!) and it played exactly like it should. I even compared the sound with how it sounds from a headphone on my phone and my computer, and I couldn't tell any difference, which says to me this is a solid player.

It's very small. Even smaller than a standard thumb drive. That does have a slight drawback: I wish this actually had a USB connector built in, but they've left that out in order to cut down on its size. Instead of a USB plug, it comes with a little cable that plugs into the 3.5mm stereo headphone output and then allows you to plug the whole device into a computer. Once you plug it into the computer, it operates just as if it were a thumb drive. You can find all the recorded voice files in a folder called "VOICE" inside a folder called "RECORD". If you want to use it as an MP3 player, just drag your MP3 songs onto the drive, and then when you plug in your headphones and switch to MP3 player mode, it will play your songs.

By the way, I have plugged this in both to my Macbook Pro and to an ASUS PC netbook, and it worked fine on both.

It's a very handy device. I think it would be especially worthwhile for the student who wants to record lectures (as a teacher, I'd suggest that they ask the professor beforehand). I guess it could also be great for the roommate who wants to prove to their housemate that they snore, or wants to win the "you said that" argument. Plan to use a different pair of headphones, though, since the ones that come with this aren't worth much -- I'd be surprised if they were, though, since this is already a very good price for what it is. (Sample provided for testing and review.)


INGEAR High Output 200 Lumen Lantern Flashlight with Batteries Included! Essential for Camping, Hiking, Backpacking, Indoor & Outdoor Activities - Weather Resistant & Durable-o-ring Weather Sealed - - 100% 1 Year Warranty Guarantee!
INGEAR High Output 200 Lumen Lantern Flashlight with Batteries Included! Essential for Camping, Hiking, Backpacking, Indoor & Outdoor Activities - Weather Resistant & Durable-o-ring Weather Sealed - - 100% 1 Year Warranty Guarantee!
Offered by INGEAR
Price: $41.76

4.0 out of 5 stars A very useful and bright lantern/flashlight, that is solidly built and looks to last a long time, December 24, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Have you ever tried to light up a tent with a flashlight? It doesn't really work, but that hasn't stopped me from trying. I'll hang a flashlight upside down, and it'll shed light on a small spot on the ground, but not much more than that. This dual mode flashlight/lantern is a great alternative that works much better. It would be an excellent tool to have camping, and also works well for working outdoors.

It looks like a somewhat thick pocket flashlight. You press a button on the bottom and the light turns on, delivering a fairly wide beam. To focus and narrow the beam, you can turn the knob on the front of the flashlight. When you've turned it all the way, and have your narrowest beam, you can pull on the knob and it opens up into a lantern. The front of the flashlight pulls away from the bottom and there's a solid but transparent cylinder that extends nearly two inches. The light spreads and shines through the cylinder, casting brightness all around to create a unique little lantern.

There's a hook at the top that you can hang it from, so that you can spread the brightness throughout a tent or to illuminate a small room or a small work space. It works very well, and is very solidly built of a blue-metal. Rugged and durable, this looks like it will last a very long time. Uses three AAA batteries, and they are included in the box. (Sample provided for testing and review.)


INGEAR Slide Led Flashlight. The Best Flashlight for Cars, outdoors and emergencies. Has a strong 360 Rotating Magnet at the base and a hook to hang anywhere. Bright 280 lumens of light generated by 31 high output LEDs. Batteries included!
INGEAR Slide Led Flashlight. The Best Flashlight for Cars, outdoors and emergencies. Has a strong 360 Rotating Magnet at the base and a hook to hang anywhere. Bright 280 lumens of light generated by 31 high output LEDs. Batteries included!
Offered by INGEAR
Price: $69.50

5.0 out of 5 stars A versatile and handy lamp/flashlight -- the flashlight works well, and the lantern mode is extremely bright, December 24, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a distinctive and powerful dual flashlight/lantern.

It takes three AA batteries (included) and once they're in, you can shine a lot of light in two modes.

It works as a regular flashlight -- not extremely bright, considering how big it is. The flashlight lamp is a single bright LED lamp, that you turn on and off at the press of a button, and that delivers a fairly direct beam comparable to that of an ordinary incandescent lamp pocket flashlight. It's easily good enough for finding your way around in the dark at night, but not so bright that it illuminates a lot of space.

Where it gets really bright and sheds a lot of light, enough to fill up a room, is when you slide out the lantern. Just pull up on the top of the flashlight, and as soon as it's pulled out all the way the lantern comes on. It has a full 30 LED lights and spreads a lot of light. This would be great for camping, and would also be great for night time handy work.

There's two ways to hang it up. It comes with a hook on the bottom, so you can hang it up upside down, and then you can rotate the hook a full 180 degrees, so that you can hang it anywhere that's handy and then point the light in the direction you like. It also comes with two fairly strong magnets on the bottom, so if you are working underneath a metal surface, such as the hood of a car, you can hook it to that and still rotate it so you get the light where you need it.

It's a very handy and versatile device. I keep it in my garage, ready for anytime I need to work outdoors at night; I also expect to bring it with me next time I go camping. (Product received for the purpose of testing and review.)


GRDE™ CREE XM-L T6 Beam 4 Modes Zoomable Rechargable Outdoor Waterproof LED Headlamp Headlight Head Torch Light Lamp for Night Fishing Running Walking Reading
GRDE™ CREE XM-L T6 Beam 4 Modes Zoomable Rechargable Outdoor Waterproof LED Headlamp Headlight Head Torch Light Lamp for Night Fishing Running Walking Reading
Offered by Greentimeszone
Price: $27.99
2 used & new from $27.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A bright and easily adjustable headlamp, with rechargeable batteries, December 24, 2014
This is a very bright headlamp, with adjustable straps that fit easily over the head or over a hat. I should note that the headband on the product I received has a slightly different design than what is shown here in the pictures, but it works the same.

The lamp is powered by two rechargeable AA batteries, included with the kit. Also included are a wall plug for charging, and a car charger. There's a charging hole on the battery pack, covered with a little rubber flap that would offer some protection in the rain.

By turning a knob on the lamp, you can adjust the width of its beam, from a fairly narrow beam to a very wide one that can fill up a room or illuminate a broad path in front of you. The angle of the light can be adjusted, so that the light aims forward directly or points down below at your feet.

It is a bit bulkier than another headlamp I have. The battery pack in the back, while not too heavy, adds a bit of heft to the kit. Still, it's fairly comfortable, and fits nicely. (Product sample received for the purpose of testing and review.)


Hot, Best Milk Frother for a Delightful Creamy Gourmet Espresso, Latte and Cappuccino Coffee. Your Milk Foamer Cappuccino and Espresso Maker
Hot, Best Milk Frother for a Delightful Creamy Gourmet Espresso, Latte and Cappuccino Coffee. Your Milk Foamer Cappuccino and Espresso Maker
Offered by SantJor
Price: $22.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A handy little kitchen tool, that works great to quickly froth milk or mix hot chocolate -- runs on AAA batteries (not included), December 17, 2014
This is a handy little device, that works well to froth milk and cream quickly, and also to blend drinks such as hot cocoa. It doesn't come with instructions, but is pretty self-explanatory.

There's a slim, shiny, metallic handle, and then the frother extends out several inches so it can mix drinks even in a tall cup.

It requires two AAA batteries, which are not included. They are easy to install: just screw open the lid, pop them in with the positive side facing down and screw the lid back on. To turn it on, there's a black button at the top of the handle. Just press firmly and release to turn on or off.

Once it's on, the little circular frothing device at the bottom will spin and vibrate rapidly. Stick it in a cup of milk and it creates foam quickly. It works in hot or cold milk. I like to froth my half and half before I add it to my espresso. My espresso maker comes with a steamer, that will also froth milk, but it makes it hot, and part of why I add half and half is to cool down my coffee so it's ready to drink. For me, then, this does a better job giving me what I want.

You can also use it to mix hot chocolate or other powdered drinks. It's much better than stirring, which rarely gives an even mix. My daughter loves it, because he loves making hot chocolate and this makes it much easier to blend. Just add hot water, add the cocoa powder, and blend. It even works to mix protein evenly in water or milk.

It comes with a little mount that you can screw into the wall so you can have it hanging up next to, say, a coffee maker -- I have no interest in doing that. I just leave it in our utensil drawer where it's ready to go when I need it. (Sample provided for review.)


Household Essentials High Side Magazine Rack, Rattan
Household Essentials High Side Magazine Rack, Rattan
Price: $19.12
5 used & new from $19.12

4.0 out of 5 stars A sturdy magazine rack, that looks nice and stores several magazines and makes them easy to access, December 16, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a nice looking, well-woven, and well-designed magazine rack.

It goes nicely by the side of our couch, and works better than having a stack of magazines cluttering up the coffee table.

It easily fits over a dozen magazines, and they are easy to access, because the sides are high and the opening is wide.

Highly recommended if the look fits your living room.


Black + Decker BDH2400FH Lithium Stick Vacuum with ORA Technology, 24-volt
Black + Decker BDH2400FH Lithium Stick Vacuum with ORA Technology, 24-volt
Price: $239.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A useful and lightweight cordless vacuum, that works well on the floor and in places standard vacuums won’t, December 4, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
We have a regular, powerful, floor vacuum. We also have a handy vac, that’s more portable and gets those hard-to-reach spots.

What this is, really, is a nice mix between the standard floor vac and the handy vac.

It’s much more powerful than our handy vac, but not quite as powerful as our floor vac.

It has a long floor extension, and also a small brush extension. They are very easy to clip in and take off.

Whereas some handy vacuums have a floor extension, they are powered exclusively in the main body, and that means that they don’t give much suction if you have a long extension on them. With this one, the floor extension also gets power, so that when you turn it on, the brush on the floor extension turns on, and that means it really gets up much more debris.

It charges up when you place it in the charging station. You can either set that up on the floor, or you can connect it to the wall. It also comes with the screws and anchors you need to connect it to the wall. That way, you can hang it from the wall and it charges when not in use, so it’s ready to go when you need it. It was easy to mount on our wall, and it's great to have it so readily accessible.

You turn it on with the push of a button. Emptying it out is as easy as opening a latch and pouring out the debris — and if the filter gets dirty you can wash that out. It comes with an extra filter so you can use that while you’re waiting for the other to dry.

While it will clean carpets, I wouldn’t really consider it a replacement for a heavy duty floor vacuum. It’s really best for cleaning up the little small messes in the house, and then for vacuuming the furniture and the vehicles.

It is lightweight, easy to use, easy to mount and charge, easy to breakdown and versatile.


Nomad Cable - 3" Apple Mfi Certified Lightning Cable for your Key Ring
Nomad Cable - 3" Apple Mfi Certified Lightning Cable for your Key Ring
Offered by DependableResource
Price: $17.99
25 used & new from $17.87

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very handy little cable for my iPhone and iPad, that fits on my key ring and is ready and available whenever I need it!, December 4, 2014
I've got lots of Lightning cables, but I don't always have one with me when I need it.

This is a very cool solution: just put the cable you need on your key ring and it's ready to go when you are.

It's a very well designed little cable; it's flexible enough so that most places you plug it in you'll be able to connect it to your device for charging and data transfer. It seems to be as solidly built as any cable I've tried. I've had it on my key ring for a couple weeks, and used it every day, and I haven't had any problems. (I will come back and update if I have any problems in the future.)

It works as well as any Lightning cable I've used to power my iPhone or iPad and hook them up to my computer.

One thing to note is that the fit between the USB 2.0 plug and the cap that fits on the key ring is quite snug ... if you have it oriented the right way. There are little holes in the USB plug and there are little pegs in the cap that fit into those holds and keep it secure, but if you orient it the wrong way it is less secure and more likely that you'll lose the cable. (Sample provided for review.)


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