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Epson WorkForce DS-560 Document Scanner
Epson WorkForce DS-560 Document Scanner
Price: Click here to see our price
21 used & new from $389.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wireless functionality leaves a lot to be desired., July 29, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
At first glance, the Epson Workforce DS-560 looks just like the Fujitsu ScanSnap, which I think is one of the best desktop scanners in the last five years. However after a month of trying it out, there are a few problems with it that force me to conclude that the Scansnap is still the better option.

Pros:
- Has two sensors so it scans both sides of the document in one pass. This reduces wear and tear on the feeder rollers, speeds things up, and prevents jams.
- Scans at 26 pages per minute. I found the ppm rating to be accurate and was able to consistently scan at these speeds.
- Scan to PDF. Almost all desktop scanners need this capability so it would be a con if it didn't have it. I would prefer if it came with Acrobat though.
- included OCR software is pretty accurate.
- Very compact and small footprint. Doesn't take up much room at all on your desk and is the same size as the ScanSnap.

Cons:
- Doesn't include a version of Acrobat like the ScanSnap does.
- The cloud services it scans to
- Document feeder advertised as able to hold 50 pages, however it can really only handle that amount if the paper is brand new.
- Wireless options add to price but don't seem to add much to functionality. The DS-560 is one of the only Epson scanners to include wireless functionality, but I didn't see much of a purpose. Like Epson's printer software, the scanner software is bloated and difficult to use. Trying to get the wireless functionality working was an ordeal and when I did have it finally set up, it seemed easier to just go through the computer through a USB and then transfer from my computer to a tablet or smartphone through something like Dropbox. I can't think of many instances where I would need a scanner but not have a computer connected to it.

If you are determined to get the Epson over the Fujitsu ScanSnap, I would recommend getting the WorkForce DS-510, which has the same functionality minus the wireless features, and is much less expensive.


iOttie Easy One Touch 2 Car Mount Holder Cradle for iPhone 5s/5c/4s, Samsung Galaxy S5/S4/S3, Note 3/2, Google Nexus 5/4, LG G3 - Retail Packaging - Black
iOttie Easy One Touch 2 Car Mount Holder Cradle for iPhone 5s/5c/4s, Samsung Galaxy S5/S4/S3, Note 3/2, Google Nexus 5/4, LG G3 - Retail Packaging - Black
Price: $25.18
2 used & new from $24.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Best car mount I've found., July 27, 2014
I was offered this product to review by the manufacturer for my Samsung Galaxy S4. For the last year I have been using the predecessor to this model, the iOttie One Touch XL. I have really liked that model so far, and the most amazing thing about it is that in over a year, it has never once fallen off of my dash. I have never used a suction mount before that has lasted that long, which is especially impressive when my car spends much of the summer in 100 degree heat. The One Touch 2 has made a few changes to the previous model. The form factor is slightly different and it is a little bit smaller on the base, which some people with smaller phones may appreciate. The lock and release system works great. YOu just press your phone against the base and the locking arms slide down and hold your phone. To remove, you just press them in and it releases your phone. With the Samsung Galaxy, the only issue is that the locking arms are positioned right above the power off button, so it will often turn off the display (but not the phone) when you lock it. Not a big deal, but can be a slight inconvenience. The best improvement to this version though is the telescopic arm, which will bring your phone a few inches closer to you. It doesn't make a huge difference, but is nice when using the GPS to make it easier to see. If you already have a previous model iOttie, you probably don't need to upgrade, but if you've never used one before and you're looking for a car mount, I do think it is the best around right now.


Victorinox Swiss Army Santoku Knife Bundle, Includes 7.5-Inch Santoku and Swiss Swivel Peeler
Victorinox Swiss Army Santoku Knife Bundle, Includes 7.5-Inch Santoku and Swiss Swivel Peeler
Price: $80.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good knives, but an odd selection to have in a set, July 27, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This Victorinox set includes one santoku knife, a utility knife, and a peeler. I have never used a santoku knife before and wasn't really sure why I needed one over a chef's knife, but because of the shorter size and thinner blade, I do find I have some more control with it over the larger size of the chef's knife, and can see its uses (but will likely not use it much in the future). The santoku is built just like all of the Victorinox knives. It has a fairly nice quality stainless steel blade that lends well to sharpening. While it looks cheap in the picture and the handle is made of plastic, it functions well and has a nice balance to it. If you know you need a santoku, I think it is a good beginner blade to have. The utility knife can be used as a bread knife or for cutting cheeses and some vegetables. The peeler did not seem to function better or worse than many of the other peelers I have used so I wouldn't say you need it over any other brand.

While I think the individual pieces are good values, I don't understand the logic of combining these three items into a set. They don't even really have a Japanese theme. It seems like Victorinox just threw these together to make a set. Why not add a colander to the mix as well? If you do need all three of these, it might be a decent value, but otherwise I would suggest getting them individually as needed.


littleBits Electronics Space Kit
littleBits Electronics Space Kit
Price: $189.00
2 used & new from $144.07

4.0 out of 5 stars Good for stimulating learning in the 7-9 year age range, July 27, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I really love the concept of littleBits. It is a great way to introduce young people to an interest in engineering and electronics, while also encouraging creativity and hands-on learning. I have given the littleBits Electronics Base Kit away as gifts and kids have loved it. My only gripe with littleBits as a whole, is that the price is a bit ridiculous, considering the cost of circuit boards and wiring that make up the pieces, but if that is what is needed to compete with television, iPods, and computers, I am okay with it. As someone who also loves astronomy, I think the Space Kit is a great idea. The kit includes 12 modules that can connect together in a way designed to teach different lessons and activities.

The first module I tried out was the light reader. With a 9-volt battery as the power source, you can connect the number module to use it as a light reader and get different readings from various areas in your room or outside. The kit comes with a 30 page booklet with lots of other ideas for projects and lessons designed to teach different concepts. E.g., there is one for teaching potential energy, however many of these concepts could be taught just as easily without the kit through videos or just simple explanations. I also think a child will get much more of an interest in space from looking at Jupiter or Saturn through a telescope than they will from the littleBits kit. Although I think it is a great learning tool, some of the parts are too simple and more akin to legos than actual circuitry work. That is why I feel like the kit is more appropriate for younger children at the 8-10 age range than the 14 advertised on the box. By that age, a kid will learn much more from doing beginner projects with a breadboard, soldering iron, and wires than from the Space Kit (and at a much cheaper cost).

While I don't usually like to comment on cost in a product review, it is definitely something to consider when purchasing the littleBits kit and comparing to the alternative. However if you don't mind the cost, it is a great option for giving to a child who is good with self-learning and doesn't need a lot of guidance from an adult.


BISSELL ReadyClean PowerBrush Full Sized Carpet Cleaner, 47B2
BISSELL ReadyClean PowerBrush Full Sized Carpet Cleaner, 47B2
Price: $89.00
13 used & new from $74.89

4.0 out of 5 stars Won't perform miracles, but is effective for small carpeted areas, July 27, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I tried out the Bissell ReadyClean on a cream-colored rug that had some moderate stains on it. I had lost the instructions that came with it, but it was very easy to figure out how to put together without and I had it ready in about five minutes. I first pre-treated the stains with Resolve carpet cleaner (which I had tried using to remove in the past). I downloaded the instructions online and filled up the reservoir with the included cleaning formula. It used about 4 oz for a full reservoir. The ReadyClean used up an entire reservoir for one 10x6 rug, so it is definitely better to use on area rugs rather than an entire carpeted house. The instructions recommend to go over the rug 5 or 6 times, however that would have used up a very large amount of cleaning fluid, so I just went over it twice. I was able to clean two rugs with the included 8 oz sample size of cleaning fluid.

The SpringBreeze fluid definitely made the rugs smell nicer. Although I didn't think it was working at first, there was a lot of dirty water in the reservoir when I emptied it, so it must have been working. Also, my carpets smelled much cleaner when I was done. From two passes, it did clean the rugs a bit and remove some of the stains and made some of them less pronounced, but didn't remove them completely. So don't think the ReadyClean will take the place of a professional steam clean. However if you have small carpeted areas you need to occasionally clean, it is a decent choice for the home and takes up very little space.


Victorinox Swiss Army Prep 'N' Chef's Set
Victorinox Swiss Army Prep 'N' Chef's Set
Price: $67.57

4.0 out of 5 stars Great quality knives, but the set doesn't make much sense., July 27, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I am a pretty big fan of Victorinox knives for beginners, as they are almost as sharp as more expensive knives and cut just as well. Although they may look cheap and you probably won't see them on any wedding registries over companies like Wusthoff and Henckels, their knives really get the job done. This five piece set includes an 8" chef's knife, 2 utility knives, and 2 paring knives. The utility knife is basically a shorter version of their bread knife, but you can also use it for other things like cheeses, some harder meats, and vegetables. The chef's knife they include is almost identical to Victorinox Fibrox that has 1500 five star reviews on Amazon. It appears the only difference is that this knife is a bit lighter, has very slight changes to the handle, and the blade is slightly thinner. The same goes for the paring knife. Although the knives are great, I don't really understand the rationale behind the collection. Why does someone need two of the paring and utility knives? Unless you cook as a couple a lot, as long as you keep your knives sharp you really only need one. I also don't understand why the knife block doesn't include space for the chef's knife or a way to protect it, since that is your workhorse in the kitchen and will get 80% of the use. I have tried out several Victorinox knife sets recently. I think a better option to consider over this one is the Victorinox Chef's Bundle Knife Setl which includes the same 8" knife, paring knife, but substitutes a honing steel instead of the serrated bread knife. You can then add on the utility knife if you decide to get it later. Unfortunately, this knife set does not include a blade cover so I would recommend adding the Cutlery BladeSafe with it to prevent it from getting nicked.


Victorinox Swiss Army Chef's Bundle Knife Set, Includes 8-Inch Chef's Knife, 3.25-Inch Paring Knife and 10-Inch Honing Steel
Victorinox Swiss Army Chef's Bundle Knife Set, Includes 8-Inch Chef's Knife, 3.25-Inch Paring Knife and 10-Inch Honing Steel
Price: $53.37

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great set for a beginner, July 26, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This three piece set includes an 8" chef's knife, honing steel, and paring knife. With the exception of maybe a bread knife, that is all the home cook needs to handle probably 95% of recipes. Although I have a fairly expensive Shun Chef's knife set, I always give out the 8" Victorinox Fibrox chef's knife to first time cooks since it is one of the best knives out there. I don't mean it is one of the bext knives for the value, but one of the best knives period. Although this chef's knife isn't the Fibrox, it is almost identical to the one that has 1500 five star reviews on Amazon. It appears the only difference is that this knife is a bit lighter, has very slight changes to the handle, and the blade is slightly thinner. The same goes for the paring knife. However it still is just as sharp and cuts just as well. The honing steel is your standard steel and I can't think of much to say about it. I think this set is a perfect gift for the college student or young homeowner. The only thing I would say as a con to it is that the blade is wider than most chef's knives, and it won't fit all the way to the handle in my Wusthof or Henckels knife blocks. Since it doesn't come with a cover, if you don't have a knife block you should get the Cutlery BladeSafe to prevent the blade from getting nicked.


Motorola Focus360 Remote Wireless Indoor and Outdoor Video Baby Monitor with 3.5" Color LCD Screen
Motorola Focus360 Remote Wireless Indoor and Outdoor Video Baby Monitor with 3.5" Color LCD Screen
Price: $399.99
5 used & new from $350.00

4.0 out of 5 stars A decent camera if you actually need an outdoor camera, July 25, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have tried out five different baby monitors (with and without actual babies to monitor), and the Motorola Focus 360 ranks around the 2nd from the top. The parent unit is probably the best feature. Video quality is high and the LCD screen is large enough to actually make out details on your baby. Many monitors are grainy with low resolution, which is usually okay because all you really need to do is make out your baby's position and breath, but it is really nice to be able to see details when viewing the image. You can view the room temperature from the parent unit, but I didn't really see a purpose to this when you have central heating and air. Night vision is surprisingly clear compared to the green and grey images from other models I have used. Wireless connectivity was very easy, and once connected, I set the indoor base on a picture shelf and could position the camera for a perfect view. Although the tilt and zoom features are a nice bonus, I think they are also unnecessary. Connecting the outdoor camera was also easy, but since I don't have any outdoor outlets, I had to run a lot of wire through my attic to get it up and running. Ethernet PoE would have been nice for the price. I didn't really have a use for outdoor baby monitoring so I used it with my dog. Again, the quality was not as good as my Sharx outdoor camera. If someone has a need for the outdoor camera, the Focus 360 might be a good option, but otherwise, you can find cheaper cameras that have just as many features and comparable video quality.


Orbit Baby G3 Stroller Sunshade, Teal
Orbit Baby G3 Stroller Sunshade, Teal
Price: $79.99
13 used & new from $79.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Works and looks great, July 25, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Orbit Baby G3 Stroller shade is a separate component designed to attach to the Orbit G3 Stroller Seat, which itself is designed to attach to the Orbit G3 Stroller Frame. So before purchasing, be aware that you will need two additional components to use this shade. I do not own the frame, but was able to try out the teal shade with the stroller seat. It is rated UPF 50, so I would feel comfortable using it (with sunscreen), for extended periods of time. It is very easy to attach and remove, although I can't think why you would want to take it off after it is on. The color looks great on the stroller and it really sets it apart from other strollers. The price is fairly high for a shade that I think should have been included with the stroller, however if you look at it as a fashion accessory, it makes sense to sell it separately to allow you to customize the stroller with your preferred color.


Silicone Cooking Gloves (1 Pair) - Heat Resistant to 446°F - Much Safer, FUNKIER and Easier to Clean than Cloth Oven Mitts and Pot Holders - 10 Finger Versatility Ideal for Kitchen, Safe Food Handling, BBQ Accessories, Baking, Smoker, Grill, Microwave, Fireplace, Campfire, Wood Stove, Barbecue, AND Freezer - Eco Friendly, Waterproof All-Purpose Sure-Grip Gloves - High Quality Food Grade Silicone - Odor and Mildew Resistant - Great for Housecleaning - Handle Anything Hot or Cold With Comfort and Ease ✓100% Customer Satisfaction Money Back Guarantee!
Silicone Cooking Gloves (1 Pair) - Heat Resistant to 446°F - Much Safer, FUNKIER and Easier to Clean than Cloth Oven Mitts and Pot Holders - 10 Finger Versatility Ideal for Kitchen, Safe Food Handling, BBQ Accessories, Baking, Smoker, Grill, Microwave, Fireplace, Campfire, Wood Stove, Barbecue, AND Freezer - Eco Friendly, Waterproof All-Purpose Sure-Grip Gloves - High Quality Food Grade Silicone - Odor and Mildew Resistant - Great for Housecleaning - Handle Anything Hot or Cold With Comfort and Ease ✓100% Customer Satisfaction Money Back Guarantee!
Offered by HighFive Naturals
Price: $19.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great gloves, July 24, 2014
As someone who frequently burns oven mitts and gloves, I really love silicone cooking gloves. I have a pair I've been using the last couple years, but they actually don't work very well because I can feel the heat in them after a few seconds, and it can be too hot when working with items over 500 degrees. I tried these gloves after being offered them by the manufacturer for review. They work much better than my old ones and I couldn't feel any heat at all, even when using a cast iron pan at roughly 700 degrees. It's great that you receive two so you can pull pans out of the oven. They also have a texture to them to give you more of a grip on things. If you grill out a lot, you will really see a benefit to them. My only complaint about them is that the fingers are a little bit small for my hands, but a little bit of corn starch solves that problem. Unless you have really large hands, they should fit most all sizes.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 28, 2014 12:07 PM PDT


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