Profile for Nick > Reviews

Browse

Nick's Profile

Customer Reviews: 680
Top Reviewer Ranking: 711
Helpful Votes: 4745




Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Nick "whereishawkins" RSS Feed (Chicago)
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
Belkin Air Protect Case for iPad mini and iPad mini with Retina Display (Black)
Belkin Air Protect Case for iPad mini and iPad mini with Retina Display (Black)
Price: Click here to see our price
37 used & new from $25.36

3.0 out of 5 stars Average basic iPad mini case, September 12, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I want to baby my iPad mini as much as possible and have been looking at solid cases to protect it. The Belkin Air Protect Case is a basic case that will protect the back/sides but not the screen itself (meaning that if you were to drop this, it would naturally land face down and break the display.) The material is easily grippable and I don't have to worry about it falling out of my hand. However, the price difference between this and something that protects the screen as well is around $20 more, so I would be inclined to go that route.

Overall, it is a basic case that didn't add that much more volume to the iPad mini, but I'd want to spend a few dollars more to ensure that this is protected thoroughly to keep my investment from breaking too easily. 2.5 stars.


Bushnell Pro X7 Golf Laser Rangefinder with JOLT
Bushnell Pro X7 Golf Laser Rangefinder with JOLT
Price: $449.95
20 used & new from $394.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Top Shelf Golf Laser Rangefinder at a Premium, September 11, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When it comes to club selection, I figured I could use a tool like the Bushnell Pro X7 Golf Laser Rangefinder. For judging distances, I was surprised at how quickly I was able to get distances to the pin. It was virtually instantaneous, and I was astonished. Naturally, I started using the rangefinder at other random objects, and it was wonderful to see the distance for far off buildings. The display is bright and easy to read.

Back to golf: There are two versions of this rangefinder: Standard Edition and Slope Edition. The Slope Edition, which is illegal for match play, will help you zero in distance while accounting for elevation change. The X7 is Bushnell's flagship golf rangefinder. It looks like it shares much of the guts as their Elite 1 Mile Arc rangefinder. Compared to other Bushnell golf rangefinders, the entry level X3 lacks the waterproofing, the "extreme speed precision" and Vivid Display Technology - but it's almost $200 cheaper.

There are some minor gripes: the rangefinder is huge but it's waterproof and feels like it could take some abuse. The instruction manual is lacking, and could use some help (even though I'm technically inclined, I feel like I had to struggle in getting it set up.) And the price at nearly $500 is going to dissuade some people, although you could argue it's the cost of a top rate driver.

Overall I'm happy with the Rangefinder. It will certainly help improve my decision making on the golf course. As for execution, well, that's another issue. 4.5 stars.


Jabra STEALTH Bluetooth Headset - Retail Packaging - Black
Jabra STEALTH Bluetooth Headset - Retail Packaging - Black
Price: $97.79
4 used & new from $88.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Quality Jabra headset - but at a premium price, September 10, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have grown accustomed to Jabra devices over the years since I have a Jabra Easygo glued to my head during the workday. So I was anxious to try out this Stealth BT headset to see if it's worth the premium price.

After unboxing, I was immediately struck at how lightweight this devices is. This is probably the lightest bluetooth headset I've ever had. Linking to the phone was effortless, like most Bluetooth devices. The headset fit nicely in my ear and during train rides, it filtered out a vast majority of ambient noise as I go from train to bus, etc. Callers said that I came through nice and crisp without any dropoffs in quality of volume, so that was an added bonus. Hearing them was virtually perfect. Even when I tried out listening to music from my phone, it came across amazing. Battery life was nearly as promised, with 5+ hours of talk time and a bit over 2 hours to fully charge.

Unfortunately a device this small will have some design issues. No volume controls on the headset was a bit of a downer. The one touch button to access Siri was helpful but with iOS 8 and "Hey Siri" commands, it might not be a great of feature for some. There also is a Jabra app for your phone, that will give you the last location of your headset from GPS coordinates off of your phone. In theory it sounds like a good idea, but I'm not sure how practical it would be since it wouldn't tell you where the headset is if your dog stole it and is using it as a chewtoy.

The price is another thing to consider. At nearly $100, the Jabra Stealth is up there with Jawbone's higher end bundles but short of Bose's premium headsets. For functionality, it performed virtually the same as my Jabra Easygo (which is half the price.) It did make me wonder if the dedicated Google Now/Siri button was worth the extra $50.

Overall this is a great headset from a solid manufacturer. However the pricetag might make you consider looking at other headsets. 3.5 stars.


Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance LIT Mini Jumpin' Stix Venison Formula with Glucosamine and Chondroitin Semi-Moist Dog Treat
Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance LIT Mini Jumpin' Stix Venison Formula with Glucosamine and Chondroitin Semi-Moist Dog Treat
Price: $9.52
10 used & new from $6.20

4.0 out of 5 stars Good treats lead to happier dogs, September 7, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My dogs now know that Amazon boxes are filled with treats and that anything that arrives is "theirs." This was no exception. Since I have smaller dogs, I'm always worried about portion and individual size of treats but these seemed to be ok for their tiny mouths. No problems with digestion, which is an added plus.

As for the health benefits - giving these to the dog won't make them instantly healthier, but I'd like to think that between diet, exercise and healthy treats, I'll be able to keep my dogs around longer. Treats with glucosamine and chondroiton should, in theory, help with hip dysplasia issues that the bichon frise has. I have tried asking the dogs if the treats make them feel better but all they do is roll over and demand a tummy rub.

So based on my observations, the dogs love them and tolerate them well. The only gripe I have is that I feel the bag is a bit small for the price, but I'll probably order these when they run out.


Chuggington StackTrack Brewster's Big Build Adventure Set
Chuggington StackTrack Brewster's Big Build Adventure Set
Price: $49.99
3 used & new from $43.76

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great toy for kids and adult kids!, September 5, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've never heard of Chuggington, but I like train sets. My son has shown an interest in trains, but he's a bit too young yet for this. However, we spent the evening putting this together and I was surprise how much fun I had as well.

This is one busy set: Two trains, a crane, an escalator and an elevator and more importantly, a trick bridge! The tracks itself were easy to assemble even for tiny hands. However, using the crane was a bit too much for my son (and myself), so we stuck with manually putting this together. The elevator and escalator provided lots of entertainment, but the trick bridge sealed the deal and made us both laugh. But more importantly, we had a fun time putting this together and I got a laser-like focus from my kid on building this. What I like about this is that the set is modular so we could easily create a larger and even more "busy" train set as he gets older with additional sets. The cost doesn't seem to be too bad considering the cost of Legos and other toys.

Overall we're both pleased and I look forward to getting our next set when he's a bit older so we can expand our tracks and have a great playset.


Blu Studio C Mini Quad Core, 4.7" IPS, Android 4.4 KK, 4G HSPA+, 5MP Camera - Unlocked Cell Phones -Yellow
Blu Studio C Mini Quad Core, 4.7" IPS, Android 4.4 KK, 4G HSPA+, 5MP Camera - Unlocked Cell Phones -Yellow
Price: $119.00
8 used & new from $112.95

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent budget Android phone with some minor issues., September 2, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm not really that familiar with Blu as a brand. I bought one of their $30 candybar dual-sim non-smartphones and have been pretty happy with it. This Studio C Mini is their bargain entry level Android phone, and I set the expectations that it won't perform anywhere close to a Galaxy S5 or any $500 smartphone. Let's just get that out of the way.

The phone is pretty average in terms of specs - 512MB RAM, 4GB of storage with an expansion slot up to 32gb. I liked the stock Android 4.4 install - I hate additional junk installed on the phone. The phone felt solid in my hand despite it being rather plastic and felt like it could take a few drops without issue. The included battery was only 2000 mAh, so it might be a problem for some (during my testing I found it kind of annoying.) However the phone charges rapidly, so that is an added bonus. The included screen protector and headphones were of good quality.

Even though this is a 480x800 display, it still looked pretty good: nice, bright and crisp. Switching between the two SIMs I had handy was pretty easy. I did notice that I didn't get LTE on my Tmobile service, but got HSPA+ instead. The phone won't support LTE, but I don't think most people will notice/mind. The cameras were of decent enough quality that I could use this as a pocket snapper or do Skype calls/Google Hangouts. Throughout the review the review, the phone was always responsive and worked well for me when trying to go between screens.

After spending a few days with this phone, I like it. I had to keep reminding myself that this is a $120 Android phone and to keep my expectations like that, but I would have no problem buying this phone for someone who needed an entry level smartphone or for someone who needs a replacement phone for cheap while they're locked into their contract. 4 stars.


Nalgene 12 Oz Flask, Red
Nalgene 12 Oz Flask, Red
Price: $9.15
19 used & new from $7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Really solid flask for booze transportation, September 1, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Nalgene 12 Oz Flask (Sports)
I use this to lug 12oz of Malort around for soccer games, and it's far surpassed my expectations. Going from flimsy metal flasks at about the same price to this has been awesome. The 1oz cap is used for dispensing shots, but mine is pretty well attached to the top cap so it's a bit tough to get rid of. It was nice to know that this was BPA free, although, coming from cheap Chinese made flasks with who knows what in them, I wouldn't have been upset if this had some Bisphenol A in it. There's no funky smell or taste associated with cheaper flasks and it's easy to clean.

I've had this for a month now and have beaten it thoroughly without any issues. I'm quite happy for lugging my booze, although I wish there was a smaller version of this (8oz?) that is a little more low profile for, ahem, importing into sporting events.


Ambient Weather WR-112 Emergency Solar Hand Crank AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio, Flashlight, Smart Phone Charger with Weather Alert, Siren
Ambient Weather WR-112 Emergency Solar Hand Crank AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio, Flashlight, Smart Phone Charger with Weather Alert, Siren
Price: $44.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good ideas, average execution and a premium price, August 29, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've been looking for a basic radio for my emergency kit and have been looking at an all in one radio. The radio seems well designed but very plastic making me wonder how durable it would be in the event of a real emergency mainly because it's so small. The hand crank seemed like I could easily break it unintentionally.

This is a very simple device to use, which would be incredibly helpful because in an emergency I want something intuitive. There is an internal battery for this, but you won't be able to get more than half a charge of a smartphone so I'd have to have an extra battery or a battery pack. The radio worked pretty well and the flashlight was decent enough but in the event of a real emergency, I'd defer to my Surefire flashlight. It's a bit disappointing that the two "selling points" of the flashlight and the battery are basically useless and I feel I'd be better off getting my own standalone radio.

At $25, this would make for a decent addition to your emergency kit if you're ok with the limitations. At $50, you'd be hard pressed to consider this as a "must." I'm struggling to see a benefit over something like the Eton NFR 160WX at half the price.


Lonely Planet New York City (Travel Guide)
Lonely Planet New York City (Travel Guide)
by Cristian Bonetto
Edition: Paperback
Price: $16.39
50 used & new from $12.38

4.0 out of 5 stars An invaluable NYC guide of mainly Manhattan, August 26, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've always felt that it's tough to write a pocket-sized book about New York City. The city is so complex and I feel that even if I had a year with an unlimited budget to spend exploring the city, I'd still miss a lot and find new and unique things to do every day. A "true" NYC guidebook could easily be twice this size.

The book is your typical Lonely Planet guidebook - good sample itineraries, a "best of" section, some small history, practical information and a good breakdown by boroughs. There's not much of a deviation from the LP formula. There's good maps and photos, which I like. It's easy to follow and you could use this book as a reference if you had a few days to a week to explore NYC.

However, this book feels like there's missing information because I felt like other boroughs other than Manhattan were given a brief mention. In a way, I can understand this. I'm approaching this review from the viewpoint that if I had never been to NYC before, I'd want to optimize my very limited time and most of what you'd want to see and experience as a tourist is Manhattan-based. If I were going to spend 72 hours in Brooklyn, this book would be woefully inadequate.

Like all NYC travel books, the book will contain outdated information because NYC moves so fast - so trust but verify and doublecheck information.


Datacolor SpyderCube SC200
Datacolor SpyderCube SC200
Price: $49.00
7 used & new from $42.82

4.0 out of 5 stars Cool replacement for grey cards but may not be the best for everyone, August 26, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As much as I love taking out my camera and shooting, I have never relied on grey cards. My thinking is that this is my hobby and despite having gear envy and buying camera things, I've just never felt like I had the need for one. Instead, I use the highly scientific method of my eyeballs and a color-calibrated monitor to mostly good results.

So I decided to take this out for a shoot with my friend's infant and used this as my reference point. My friend did his own shoots with his camera (both of us shot RAW). After shooting about 30 shots, it was time to bring the photos into Lightroom. Now, I can not stress enough that you need to dig for tutorial videos on how to use this in post because how I thought I'd use this wasn't how I should have used this in LR. So, search for the number of videos on youtube on this. You'll save yourself a lot of headaches. Once I figured that bit out, I was able to batch process the photos. I made my friend post his photos without the benefit of the Spydercube "to taste" mainly to compare and contrast the two.

The verdict? I felt my photos were slightly better than what my friend shot, and my friend seemed to like my photos better because I was able to better hit the WB point. My trusty eyeball method that I've used wasn't that far off, but the SpyderCube definitely helped.

Would I recommend this? Yes - but it will require a bit of study on how to best use this in your shoot. The price is initially something to worry about because it's just another thing that will sit in your camera bag, but I think if you shoot RAW and spend time using Lightroom, DXO Optics Pro or another similar program already and don't mind an extra few minutes per shot to get a reference image, this will be another wonderful tool in your arsenal.

3.5 stars


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20