Sep 13

LifeCHARGE Juicypack LCD 16800 mAh Portable Dual USB Power Bank ★★★☆☆

LifeCHARGE Juicypack LCD 16800 mAh Portable Dual USB Power Bank for Smartphones – Black

Typically, my phone charges with a 5000 mAh power bank, and my tablet needs 10000 mAh, so I expected the LifeCHARGE Juicypackto be able to fully charge them both.

Alas, it cannot. It’s huge, the size of my HTC One M8 but double the thickness. Big power bank = high capacity. It takes forever to fully recharge. High capacity = longer recharge time.

What’s wrong? I plugged in my HTC One M8. Five hours later, my phone was 60% charged. The next morning, my phone was fully charged, but the power bank was down to 46%. More than five hours to charge a phone is unacceptable; and at most, I expected the power bank to be drained down to 70%.

The remaining 46% was able to take my tablet from 0 to 67% charge, which was more than I thought possible. All was not lost.

I have found that power banks with digital displays do not have the output that other power banks do, Some of the power goes to the display, but this display must be exceptionally draining or the capacity is not what’s stated. Either way, it is disappointing.

This product was provided for review by Ontrion.

Sep 13

Petzooli Slicker Brush ★★★★☆

Petzooli Slicker Brush, Self-Clean Design

The bristles on the Petzooli Slicker Brush differ from my other slicker brushes because they bend midway at an angle so that they claw my dog’s fur more than the others. I’m not sure how much my dog likes that. She doesn’t fight it, but she doesn’t look happy.

It brushes fur well. I get a nice bundle on the brush. I like the quick clean feature. Just press a button and a plate comes up to push the fur off the brush. Instant clean brush.

This product was provided for review by Culina.

Sep 13

Home Inspira LED Desk Lamp ★★★★☆

Home Inspira LED Desk Lamp Dimmable Touch Switch Folding Eye-care 4 Lighting Modes 5-level Dimmer USB Charging Port

The Home Inspira LED Desk Lampis a good lamp to have if I’m sitting at my desk or next to my night stand and need a light to reach right over my book. That arm can extend from the desk, swivel in any direction, and the light tilts back and forth so that I can aim it wherever I need it. Indeed, I’ve found that flexibility most useful.

The lamp offers four modes with five levels of brightness each: reading, study, relax, and sleep. They vary by warmth. Reading has the whitest light. Sleep is most yellow.

Included is a sleep mode, which turns off the lamp in one hour. No choice for that. It’s one hour or nothing at all. We also get a USB port to use for charging our devices.

Although the arm folds up, it still feels a little bulky. Perhaps the wide base gives it that illusion, but it needs the base to keep it steady when the arm extends away. What needs improvement is the glossy surface that collects fingerprints and is easily marred. Minor scratches show, even though it’s been ever so gently used.

This product was provided for review by BDTmart.

Sep 13

Avery Self-Laminating ID Labels ★★★☆☆

Avery Self-Laminating ID Labels, Handwrite, 0.66 x 3.375 Inches, Assorted Colors (00748)

I was counting on Avery Self-Laminating ID Labels to be “withstand wear and tear, sun and moisture and other harsh conditions.” I was especially interested in the “harsh conditions.” My daughter just started taking saxophone lessons. That sax is expensive. We don’t want to lose it.

I placed one of these labels on the bottom of her case, the part that is most often set on the ground. Within a couple of days, one of the corners started bunching up. My daughter said she did not try to pick the label off. It is getting more and more bunched up. I’m not sure how long before I have to replace these.

The permanent marker printing on the label still looks great. The lamination works to prevent the writing from being rubbed off. I’m just not sure about the adhesive properties, especially since the “harsh condition” isn’t truly all that harsh.

This product was provided for review by the Amazon Vine program.

Sep 13

Vintage Record Coasters ★★★★★

Vintage Record Coasters – Upcycled Vintage Vinyl LP Records – Set of 6 Coasters By Vinylux

My husband loves old records, so I gave him these Vintage Record Coasters as a gift. His response? If he really wanted record coasters, these would be five stars. Not the response I expected. He says they do the job, though of course they don’t absorb liquids.

The set he got includes the following artists:
+ Frankie Carle
+ Elektra
+ E.G. Dally
+ Adriana Evans
+ Paul Anka
+ The Osmonds

Sep 13

EyeClops Night Vision Infrared Stealth Goggles ★★★★★

This review was originally posted December 28, 2008.

EyeClops Night Vision Infrared Stealth Goggles

My 7 year-old son got EyeClops for Christmas. I am thoroughly impressed. It is real night vision, not a pretend toy at all. He looks so totally military in it. If it were for me, I’d like it to be a bit less clunky, but I think he likes the look.

There is a high power setting for distances, with the disadvantage that the red lights on his unit turns on and makes him visible to others. There is also a stealth setting which doesn’t allow him to see as far. I think stealth is just fine for indoor use. I am impressed with the clarity when I tried it out. I see a bit of tunnel vision, but it doesn’t really bother anyone.

There is a switch which makes things turn a more greenish tint and then one that makes it look black and white. I like the black and white mode myself.

I see a couple of downsides that my son doesn’t seem to mind. One is that the wearer can only see out of the right eye. It would be nice to see out of both eyes. The left eye has a cover, which can be opened so as to use that eye in the daylight. Second, that cover on the right eye is difficult to flip open. It’s not opened often for play, though, since night vision is the whole point of play.

I see a recommendation by another reviewer to use rechargeable batteries. I should add that the instructions included with the Eyeclops specifically state not to use rechargeable batteries, but I am not sure of the reasoning.

Pros:

+ real night vision technology with good clarity
+ stealth and distance modes
+ green tint and black and white settings
+ fun, fun, fun!

Cons:

- a little clunky
- can only see out of one eye
- lid for left eye does not flip open easily
- rechargeable batteries not recommended by manufacturer

SUMMARY

Overall a terrific buy. It will be fun to take out camping and for sleepovers.

Sep 13

Star Wars The Clone Wars Monopoly ★★★★☆

This review was originally posted December 30, 2008.

Star Wars The Clone Wars Monopoly

Star Wars The Clone Wars Monopoly is beautiful in the Star Wars color scheme. Makes us feel like we are in a galaxy far away. It’s nicely done.

CLASSIC GAME PLAY

Just like classic Monopoly. Of course, the properties, utilities and railroads have different names. The Chance and Community Chest cards are replaced by Sith and Jedi cards. You get settlements and cities instead of houses and hotels.

STAR WARS GAME PLAY

There is also the option of playing with Star Wars rules in the rule book, pitting the light versus dark side.

All of it relies on the roll of the dice. Players move around the board as usual, but if they roll a 6 on one die, they have an option of using a move determined by the number on the other die.

For example, for the Light Side, 1 is EARLY DISCOVERY, the player rolls again and if it is 2 or higher, s/he can get 1 available property or collect $[...] from the bank. If the next roll is a 1, the player pays $[...] to the bank

The Dark Side a 1 is on the other die means do an AMBUSH, whereby if the next roll is a 4 or higher, they may steal 1 property. If they roll a 3 or less, they must pay $[...] to the bank.

It is all very complicated and requires the use of the rule book. I personally would rather not play something that requires me to stare at the rule book constantly.

TOKENS

You get six collectible tokens: Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Captain Rex, Asajj Ventress and General Grievous. They feel solid, made of metal and are about 2 inches tall. Personally, I `d prefer if they made them smaller, like classic Monopoly.

Also, it would have been better if they used a ship, blaster, driod, etc. to match the classic style. I guess they needed humanoids for the Star Wars game play, but I really have to stare at them to figure out which one is mine and a couple of times, we got our pieces mixed up during play.

SUMMARY

If you like Star Wars The Clone Wars and you like Monopoly, this game is for you. Don’t expect the Star Wars play to be too exciting, just play it like classic Monopoly. The tokens will be nice for a collector. I can see people just taking those out and tossing the rest away, but for Monopoly play, they could use improvement. Overall, a nice buy.

Sep 11

Omaker Brilliant 10000mAh Dual USB Portable Charger ★★★★★

Omaker Brilliant 10000mAh (2.1Amp+2.1Amp Output) Dual USB Portable Charger External Battery Pack Power bank with 1W Flashlight

Wow. A power bank that can give my Kindle Fire HD 8.9” tablet a full charge. With two 2.1 amp ports, I never have to worry about which port I’m plugged into. I just plug and charge. Tonight, the Omaker Brilliant 10000mAh Portable Charger took care of both my tablet and my phone at the same time. What could be easier?

There’s a flashlight, also. It can give either a continuous beam or a flashing beam. I don’t normally use the flashlight function of a power bank, but they can come in handy.

The biggest drawback is its size. It’s a little longer than my HTC One M8 – still portable, but too heavy to comfortably carry in a pocket. Higher capacity means larger size. That can’t be helped. If you want a full charge on your large tablet, this is the way to go. If you only want to charge a small phone, then get something in the 2000 – 5000 mAh range.

This product was provided for review by Omaker.

Sep 11

ReVIVE PowerUP NG6 Rapid 6-Port AC Outlet Adapter ★★★★★

ReVIVE PowerUP NG6 Rapid 6-Port AC Outlet Adapter with 2.1A Dual USB Ports and Overload Protection – Works With Apple , Samsung , Sony , LG and Microsoft Smartphones , Tablets , MP3s and More!

I’m always looking for ways to increase the number of outlets in my home. The ReVIVE PowerUP expands two outlets to six, and adds two USB ports besides. I’ve had this in my home office powering everything from my baby cam to power bank to air purifier to light stand. I haven’t had any problems with it.

Installation was exceptionally simple. I just plugged it into the wall outlet (top and bottom). That’s it. I guess I could screw it in, but we don’t have to.

This product was provided for review by Accessory Power.

Sep 11

NRG Tech External USB Stereo Audio Adapter ★★★★☆

NRG Tech External USB Stereo Audio Adapter, C-Media Chipset, ROHS compliant, For Windows and Mac, Plug and Play and LED activity Indicator.

The NRG Tech External USB Stereo Audio Adapter might be plug and play, but it’s not that simple. I still have to go into my computer’s settings and tell it to play music through the adapter.

It works, though. I’m happy to have it. You see, the auxiliary port on my tower is disconnected. I have to reach behind the tower to find an auxiliary port. Considering my tower is in a nook near my feet, that’s neither convenient nor doable (short cable on my headphones). This adapter allows me to plug into my USB ports that are located all over my tower.

Sometimes, I do experience distortions in the sound. I’m not sure why, but it would skip and stutter. Unplugging and then plugging it back in cures it. Then, it’s crystal clear. Minus one star for the extra steps, but it hasn’t been a big issue for me.

This product was provided for review by NRG Tech USA.