Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Deluxe Cook V-Blade Mandoline Slicer Professional - Review

This is a top of the line Slicer !! Wow this thing is sharp and super easy to use ! I bought a cheap Mandolin from IKEA and used it a couple times just to get rid of it as it didn't slice well at all! I was given the opportunity to review this item and boy oh boy and I glad I did!! I received this at no cost in exchange for an honest review. Out of the box , this is super easy to setup , it has everything pre-assembled so no worries there. The blade is VERY VERY VERY sharp so use extreme caution and DO NOT allow children to use this . I like that there are 4 different blades . It perfectly produces beautiful cucumber slices , apple slices, onion slice and more (haven't done potatoes yet...not part of my current diet hehe ) but it has done a perfect job . It has a nice storage container to store the blades , a nice safety grip with prongs for grabbing your veggies so you don't slice your fingers off, and is super easy to clean! I like the color and ergo design. Every home should have one of these . I will be getting a few more for my family for Christmas!

Check it out : PURCHASE HERE for only $29.99 !! 













Thursday, October 22, 2015

Chalkmaster Bright White Liquid Chalk Marker Set - Review






Love these ! ! We have tried several other similar pens but none have stood up to this ! My wife is the talented one and she loves chalkboards and doing calligraphy! It is amazing what she can create with these! The adjustable and reversible nibs (plus extras ) are great and help you get those extra lines that make it hard with some other markers.  Great value and amazing outcome with these! They look great on chalkboard and don't fade or wipe off (unless you use alcohol based cleaner then it comes off clean)  and are the perfect addition to anyone that is trying to up their chalkboard game! My wife used these at her work to create a really neat chalkboard for the entrance I received these markers in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.


They are available here http://www.amazon.com/dp/B014UZ7SLO














Friday, October 9, 2015

OG Instant Read Thermometer - Review

It's meh....I received this in exchange for an honest and unbiased review . I wish I could say more about this but I just can't . I would buy this maybe at a .99cent only store but that is about it. The digital display is hard to read, not backlit and only faces the one way so forget grilling at night and trying to use this. I used it for a few times and gave up and went back to my oldschool cheap meat thermometer. This is as "instant" as about a bag of instant popcorn....It takes several seconds to get the proper temperature and again is so hard to read that it makes it not usable. I will keep this in my kitchen tools and probably use it if i forget to wash my other one but beyond that , I can't honestly recommend anyone spend the money on this that it cost. I know several others really like this but again for 17$ (now for 11.99) there is a lot better thermometers out there... I received this in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. The item is available at Amazon for $11.99 as of 10/9/15


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Samsung SmartThings HUB V2 - Review (as of now)

Good day my peoples! As many of you know, I am somewhat obsessed with technology and gadgetry ( and have been since I was a lil kid).  I am pretty sure that I drive my wife crazy with all the gadgets and gizmos I have but she loves me still #Blessed . I remember watching the Jetsons as a kid or Lost in Space and thinking , "How cool would it be to actually have the ability to control things in my home remotely and automatically ?"  Well, this has actually been a "reality" for many years but up until recently, has not been connected in ways that we all have wanted. Such as the ability to remotely lock you door (from your phone or internet ) , turn on/off your lights if you forgot to , close your garage for you automatically when you leave the neighborhood and endless other things.  But NOW we have come into this age of "the internet of THINGS" which is essentially many different "things" that all communicate together to allow for the above mentioned actions to take place.  I did a brief review previously on the Wink Connected Hub so forgive me if some of this is similar.  I liked the Wink but it was almost too simple for what I wanted the potential for . So I bit the bullet and jumped on the SmartThings bandwagon for a nice price of $99.

                  I already had bulbs, siren, motion sensors and door sensors from my wink and was told that they "should" all work with the SmartThings hub.  I received my hub next day (Via Amazon ) and ripped the box open to check it all out.  I knew that since I had an existing Smart Home network (via Wink) that I would need to disassociate  all my devices from that hub before they would connect so I went about my way to Exclude all items from my Wink hub (this is somewhat time consuming since , at least for me , I had to actually "exclude" each device 1 by 1 from the wink hub)  Once I did this , I shut off my Wink hub and then put in my batteries in the SmartThings hub v2 , hooked it up to power and plugged it in to power and Ethernet (there is NO WIFI ) .  I downloaded the iOS app and went through the setup process , well attempted to .  My first try was a no go, the app just kept sitting there on the Waiting screen while it looked for the hub .  I power cycled it and it came right up after that (I was worried because I had read that several people had the same issue and it had ended up being bad units that were sent out) .  I did open a ticket with Samsung in the meantime but figured it out in minutes.  (Another note is that they have no phone support and the Tech Support is anything but speedy...took a day to get any response and another few days after that for another response so be prepared to read a lot of forums if you are lost on anything) .   I was able to enroll all my devices, Schlage Connect Door lock, my GE z-wave Dimmers, All my GE Link Bulbs, My TCPConnected Bulbs, door sensors and motion sensors (Re-branded 2gig z-wave units), and rebranded 2gig Siren (although it showed up as a switch only) fairly simply. Everything seemed to pair quickly and showed up on the app.  At this point, I had all my items on the app and was ready to start the Automation part.  This is where things get "sticky".  The possibilities are endless or seemingly with the Samsung Smart things, but the execution is a bit overwhelming and can be confusing. An example would be setting something up to turn on lights automatically when walking into the room.  The initial setup of this is pretty simple via something called "smart app" (their way of calling an automation rule ) There are ones that are created by Samsung SmartThings team and ones that the "community" creates.   The thing with these are that every persons situation and setup is different so it is not always a cut and dry setup. Sometimes you will have to create an SmartApp for 1 set of lights to turn on , then create another one to turn off but again its really difficult even here to try and explain it.  My biggest issue I kept running into was that my lights would turn off while I was still in the room (even though I had it set to turn off automatically 15 min after motion stopped)  What I didn't realize was that the way it is currently setup is that ,this particular "App" starts that 15 min timer after motion stops but doesn't start over if it senses motion in between so imagine you sit down on the couch for a few min and lay there for only 2-3 min, at that point the app thinks no one is there ,so it starts the 15 min countdown to turn the lights off so even if you get up and move, it doesn't register that and then ends up turning the lights off.  I realized this after a while of tinkering and reading online that this is an issue with the current software and they are working to resolve it.  The cool thing though is that these devices actually have the ability to have programs written for them and "coded" so if you are good at Coding , these are quite the amazing little tool.  They have an open API that lets the user configure all types of settings .  The thing is , they don't really directly tell you about this and you have to do a lot of reading and understanding before you can jump into it (I am a techy person and even for me it confused me )   I eventually was able to run a custom " Smart App"  and get the lights working for me but even then with the only 2 sensors I have for motion, I am limited as to what I can do.  This has a ton of potential but is not generally "consumer friendly" in that I can't imagine most people picking one up and making "just work" which is why things like Wink, ADT Pulse and IRIS exist and do quite well.  For the price , this has some really cool features and the future is looking bright,  See below for a brief list of Pros and Cons and some pictures of the HUB itself.


Pros: 

-Fairly reasonably priced at $99 
-Seemingly Endless possibilities of things to control
-Works with ALOT of different "Smart Things" such as z-wave , zigabee and potentially others down the road.
-The fact that it works with different "things" means you don't have to purchase the "Samsung" branded "things" 
-Version 2 has Battery backup so it will still communicate with your battery powered items in case of power outage
-Has the ability to work "offline" meaning that if you lose internet , it will still function locally (most others like Wink , will not work at all if no internet)
-Has ethernet connection
-Has a large community online of willing users and tons of apps and info


Cons:

-App is too confusing to navigate ( I really preferred the Wink one to this as of now) Also no support for multiple users which defeats many of the built in options 
-No wifi which means you have to have it plugged in to Ethernet to communicate so if you want to connect new devices , the unit itself needs to be close to that item while doing the initial "inclusion"  (there are ways around it such as long Ethernet cable or putting it in inclusion mode then disconnecting Ethernet but it is still a pain)
-To have your house running properly , you will need to spend a considerable amount of money on devices to make it work as you like ...primarily sensors which are average of 40-50$ each and you will need one in every room or hallway and/or every windows.  Then you still need to get things like door lock (200+),  Thermostat (120+), garage opener (100+) and so on and so forth.
-Support sucks and is pretty much non existent but they do try the best they can.
-The whole process can become overwhelming and confusing (even for a seasoned tech person)














Thursday, September 24, 2015

Portable Outdoor and Shower Speaker by AYL - Review

This is a great little speaker. It packs quite a punch for such a small size . It is about the same size as an AppleTV (but taller). The speaker has a 10 hour battery life which I have yet to actually run down to full drain! I have been using it on and off , inside at night (on my nightstand for sleepy music), I hang it on the light outside when grilling, hang it on hooks in the shower for some sudsy jams and my wife has brought it to work several times to jam out with the Kids by the playground ( She works at a preschool) I did test out the "waterproof"(IPX5) by running it under water in the sink for a a short period of time and it's still kicking and screaming loud and proud! The speaker has a nice power on tone, connect and disconnect tone and doubles as a wireless mic/speaker for your phone ( I haven't used this feature) I like that it also shows (on iPhone ) the actual battery power left on the device and connects and disconnects really easily. If you want to share the speaker you can simply go to your settings and select the device and hit "disconnect" and then the other person and pair easily and painlessly ( at least my experience on the iPhones and iPads). I will be using this device as much as possible and love the durability and heartiness it has. A nice little feature that this has too is a standard "Screw mount" on the bottom so you could mount it to anything that has a screw mount (bike mount , helmet mount , quadcopter mount "this one could be fun " ) Here is a quick breakdown of the good and the "needs improvement" in my opinion.

Pros: Small, lightweight but not "chincy", compact, waterproof (within limits), good sound quality, has mic, super awesome 10 hour battery life! , comes in multiple colors, comes with all cables and carrying case, durable and sturdy, fun fun fun, and screw mount on bottom!!

I received this product at discount in exchange for an honest review.
Cons: Volume gets "loud" but then becomes distorted (not uncommon with most of these type of speakers so not terrible) ...really that is all i can find wrong with this... For the price , its amazing the bass and sound that this puts out!

I have had other "name brand" speakers in the past and heard some 100$ ones that don't even stack up to this! These seriously will be great stocking stuffers !

Available via Amazon for $29.99 HERE









iClever 4.8A 24W Dual Travel Charger - Review

The iClever is the perfect replacement for the stock iPad or iphone brick that comes with the phone or tablet. I have been using this for last week or so and have to say it's perfect and solid! The box it comes in is nice and clean and easy to open. Also the cable it comes with is very nice . I used this to charge my iPad and iPhone at the same time which is nice (no more having 2 bricks plugged in) The USB port lights up so you can clearly see it and know where to plug it in. The device itself is solid, heavy (but not in a bad way) and feels like it is built to last. The cable is solid (maybe better than the original apple cable ) and I had no issues with ( Non certified accessory errors) . This is perfect for anyone who wants to have a better travel charger for all your 4.8a USB devices.

It is available on Amazon right now $19.99 HERE


I did receive this product for free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.


From the Manufacture:

Most Powerful Dual USB Output
24W/4.8A dual USB output lets you charge any two smart phone or tablet devices at top speed simultaneously.
Perfect for Travel
At 2.08x2.08x1.12in/2.9oz, this compact adapter has a foldable plug, you simply can slip it into your bag when you are out and about.
Apple MFI Certification
Apple MFi certification ensures complete charge and sync compatibility with your Apple device.
Optimum Length
With 3.3ft(1m) length, the cord is ideal for charging and syncing in home, cars, office, and more. Portable and impeccable for hard-to-reach USB ports.
Note
- This USB wall charger is not compatible with iPod nano, iPod Classic, HP TouchPad, Dell Venue 11 Pro and Asus tablets.
Specifications:
- Input: AC 100~240V 50/60Hz
- Output: 5V/4.8A (each 2.4A max)
- Size: 53x53x28.5(mm)/2.08x2.08x1.12(in)
- Weight: 82g/2.9oz
Broad Compatibility
- Smartphones & Tablets: Kindle(Fire), Apple iPhone 6S 6S Plus, 6 Plus, 6 5S 5C 5 4S, iPad Pro/Mini/Air Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge S6 S5 S4 S3 Note 4 3 2, Tab, HTC One X V S M9 M8, LG G2, Optimus F3, Nexus 5 6 7 9 10, Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX, Blackberry and More
- Others: External Battery Pack, GPS, PSP, PS4 Controller, Bluetooth Speaker/Headphones, Mp3 Players, and USB Powered Devices
Package Content:
- 1 x iClever Dual USB Wall Charger
- 1 x iClever 3.3ft MFI Lightning Cable





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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Power Pearl PROBIOTIC Review

Let's talk about regularity! Ok, maybe we wont get too into it , but I do want you all to know how my experience with PowerPearl Probiotics from www.WellState.com (Provided to me at no cost in exchange for an honest and unbiased review). So these little guys are pretty cool looking and pack quite the powerful punch ( in the good way) They are small, easy to swallow and very effective.  I have been taking them for about 2 weeks and have been taking them 1-2 a day.  I have seen an increase in "regularity" (in case yall don't know what that means...it means I poop better) I haven't seen any adverse effects but have seen all the positive effects.  This is just some of the things that these little guys offer:

✿ 15x BETTER THAN CAPSULES: Capsules surrender their ingredients too soon or too late. Our patented probiotic 'pearls' will surely deliver all of its power to your tummy! 

✿ SUPPORTS IMMUNE SYSTEM: When your gut flora is healthy, your immune system can do what it's designed to do: keep you at the top of your game!

 GLEE AND ENERGY AGAIN: Power Pearl Probiotic is specially designed to encourage the microenvironment your gut needs to absorb nutrients so you can enjoy life again!

✿ TAMES TUMMY TROUBLES: Power Pearl Probiotic works gently. Each pearl's power is released gradually so you won't have to deal with bloating, diarrhea or gas that can occur with other probiotic products. 

✿ HELPS LOSE EXTRA POUNDS EFFORTLESSLY: When your gut gets its groove on, studies indicate that your metabolism will, too. So you may even find those extra few pounds melting away!

✿ SAFE FOR EVERYONE: They are are vegetarian and contain ZERO sugar, preservatives, GMO, nuts, wheat, gluten, lactose, chemicals, yeast, soy, iron, artificial colors.

✿ SUITABLE FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY: Mommy, Daddy, Granny, Granpy and even your little ones can take them and have a happy tummy again! 


They are available on Amazon right now here : http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0117WRANO



Wink Connected Hub - Review

        With the rise of home automation, there has been an onslaught of products and devices that claim they can achieve the futuristic home we all have desired since we first saw The Jetsons on TV as a kid. Home automation is not a "new" thing , in the sense that it has been around for more than 20 years but up until recently, it has moved from a single home based system that was specific only to manufactures , to a cloud based internet of "things". With that has brought , z-wave, Zigbee, bluetooth, wifi connected devices. Within the last year a company called Wink has come out with a device (Hub) that communicates on all of the above mentioned communication frequencies(z-wave, Zigbee, bluetooth, wifi) About a year and a half ago I had purchased TCP Connected bulbs which had their own hub and used them for a bit but bulbs were expensive if you had a light fixture that had 10 + bulbs so I put it away , that is until I purchased a Schlage Connected door lock (more on that in another blog) . I realized I had a few devices that would now communicate and started looking at different devices/hubs. I was at HomeDepot and decided to take the $50.00 dive ( also available on Amazon ) So for the part you all really want to know about. Does the devices stand up to its promise of working with all the devices that are out there and is it easy to use/setup ?  Well, I wish it was a simple yes or no but it's really not.  This is my experience.

I got the Wink Connected Hub and 2 Connected GE Link Bulbs along with a GoControl "Home Security " kit (also more to come on that in another blog) Got home and pulled the Wink Hub out and read the instructions.  Simpe enough it seemed.  The Wink Hub is a Wifi only device so you must have wifi connection to use it  ( no ethernet) .   I got it connected to my wifi and setup in a matter of minutes(which seemed great) .  Then I went to Add my Schlage Connected Door lock and was prompted to install and update to new firmware (this is where it all went to crap).  I let it update, but it kept saying it still needed to update.  I was not able to add any devices or use it at all until it updated the firmware. For the next hour , I kept trying to update it to no avail.  Finally I called customer support and they walked me through several steps from moving the hub around the house (literally every room) to as far away as possible while still being within the walls of my home.  They "pushed" the firmware update each time (yes they have access to your Hub and can see if it's online or not) but again still had the same issue....Did this for nearly another hour to have the Rep tell me this was a "known" issue and that up to 70 other people were also having the same issue.  He told me he would keep "pushing" the update and for me to keep moving the device around and that I may just have to wait and call back.  I did this but became inpatient and an hour later , called again and went through the same steps with another rep for another hour and just gave up at the frustration of having just spent a decent amount of money on different products that I can't use.  I left home and returned in the evening and tried once more to move the hub and let it connect and much to my surprise it finally updated to the appropriate firmware (hooray!!) It was late so went to bed and waited till the morning .
In the Morning I got everything together and much to my surprise again, it all synced up perfect and quickly.  So for me my experience was less than savory on the initial setup but once the firmware was pushed and updated, everything went smoothly.


Pros: Cheap, easy to setup (assuming you don't have the same issue I had), lots of different devices work with it, great API and APP interface, easy to use , works with other non z-wave devices (tcp connected, honeywell thermostat), they have live person (American ) support

Cons: Can be a hassle to setup in some circumstances, has only wifi connection (only 2.4ghz ...DOES NOT SUPPORT 5GHZ) , Has limited support for some items , no ethernet

All this said, great product for what It is, the app is well put together, the hardware is robust but lacking a bit, I believe they will improve further as the tech catches up.






Sunday, September 20, 2015

Fovii iPhone 6 Battery/Case - Review


This battery case by Fovii is a solid piece of equipment.  This is not for feint of heart! I received this product for no charge in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.  I used this charger for about the last week and it has actually been quite nice.  The build quality of this case is really quite stand out! It has a very secure/solid feel to it that feels nice in your hand.

Pros: Solid, Apple Certified, Sleek design,micro usb charging port, great price , easy to use

Cons: Heavy!

 Available HERE: http://www.amazon.com/iPhone-Battery-Case-Certified-Upgrades/dp/B00SWCOI7O/


Fovii's iPhone 6 Battery Charging Case doubles your possibilities.
- Adds 16 extra hours of talk time, 12 hours browsing time
- Charges simultaneously, alongside your phone
- Apple MFI Certified. Works on iOS 5/6/7/8+ future upgrades
- Features sync-through technology - Instant 100% battery life.
There's NO RISK for you at all - you're backed by our 100% SATISFACTION, 100% MONEY BACK GUARANTEE.
- Protect your phone from bumps, shocks, and scratches
- Enhance your iPhone 6 experience
- Never worry about losing power again, when you most need it












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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

10 Foot Long iPhone iPad Charging Cord For iPhone - Review

This iPhone Cable is awesome! It is 10 feet long so you know you will have plenty of room to move around with it plugged in.  The construction is very high quality and in my opinion 10x better than the original Apple cable my phone came with .  I used this with my iPhone 6 and Ipad Air 2 .  The packaging is really simple and clean without all the extra stuff that other cables come with .  I am actually really surprised at the quality of the cable itself , as it feels like a high quality piece of rope and fits nicely and charges as expected.  The only thing I can note is that when plugging in my ipad air 2 into my pc with this cable I got a "not certified error" but seemed to only be on the ipad and only when plugging into the pc which is ok because I don't think I ever charged my ipad on my pc before ( I always use the special Power brick that came with the iPad)  With this cable you will be able to plug it in behind your bed and have plenty of room to set it on your night stand or plug it in the back power connection in your car .  I will be getting more of these cables for sure and can honestly say that I am quite impressed! Thanks ReachCables !

This is available via Amazon PURCHASE HERE

I received this product in exchange for an unbiased and honest review





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