Sunday, September 28, 2014

Product review: Digital Tire Pressure Gauge for Cars Trucks and Motorcycles - Including Seat Belt Cutter, Window Hammer/ Window Breaker Car Emergency Tool


This tire gauge worked very well. I compared its reading with the old mechanical gauge that has been my companion for many years and they showed the same reading. What I like about this gauge is not only that it is accurate but that the display continues to show the reading for a about a minute. I can take the reading and then have enough time to move it where I can easily see the display. It is hard for me to read the old mechanical gauge easily without my reading glasses. I have no such problems with this gauge - the display is large and I can move it into the light so I can see it clearly.

The gauge is comfortable to hold. When the valve is low I found that it is most comfortable for me to hold it by its head rather than the handle (you can see this in the video). The readout appears quickly. When I took more than one reading one after the other it showed consistent results.

In addition to being a tire gauge it also has a built flash light (not very bright), a seatbelt cutter, and a hammer for breaking a window in an emergency.

The meter is 6" x 2.125" x 1" in size. It is small enough to keep in the car console. I have not tried breaking the glass window, but the handle puts your hand it a comfortable position for using the hammer. It is shaped better than some other tools I have for this job.

Overall, this is a very nice tire gauge. It is has replaced the old tire pressure meter and the old emergency tool. Two birds killed with one stone! Not only did I get an upgrade I have more room in my console.

You can find this tire gauge on Amazon by following this link

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Product review: e-Salon shampoo and conditioner

I recently began using e-Salon to hide my grey hair roots.  I am too young to admit I have grey hair!  e-Salon  helps me to keep my secret.

In addition to ordering the coloring product I also ordered shampoo and conditioner.  I really like them.  The shampoo has generates medium level of suds, feels very nice in my hair, and has a nice sweet smell.  The conditioner leave my hair soft but not greasy.  I have been using both for over a months and they seem to be very gentle on my hair color and my hair lightened only a little bit.

My favorite features of the shampoo and conditioner are the pumps on the the bottles, they are very wide. Wider than any other shampoo and conditioner bottle I ever had.  They are very easy to use in the shover and deliver a very consistent amount of shampoo/conditioner.  Excellent bottle design!

My first experience was part of a free Buzz Agent compagne to test and provide honest feedback on new products, but this will not be my last experience, I will be a repeat customer.

Ali Julia review

Product review: e-Salon hair color

My greys came in suddenly and way before I was ready to admit I am going grey.  To keep my greys my little signal I need to touch up my grey roots often, so it is nice to be able to have a little touch up in between my hair appointments.

eSalon ordering process was easy. I like the option and request to include a current picture for a better idea of the color I was looking for. The package included all the tools I needed and the entire package looked very attractive.  I like that they include a barrier cream and towelette to do the clean up as well as four gloves to keep my hands clean. I left the color on for 30 min.

The color worked  well to cover my grays. The shade was a bit darker then  my hair dresser uses but I expect it will lighten up as I wear it.  Overall, I am pleased with the experience.  I liked how the greys were covered and my hair looks healthy and shiny.

My first experience was part of the free Buzz Agent trial to test and provide honest feedback on new products, but this will not be my last experience, I will be a repeat customer.

Ali Julia review

Friday, September 26, 2014

Product review: E-THINKER Detachable Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard PU Leather Case Cover Tablet Stand for Apple iPad Mini


I am a touch typist and I am pretty particular about the feel of the keyboards I use. I did not like the feel of this bluetooth keyboard for several reasons
♦ The keys are not hard, they feel very spongy.
♦ I am fairly light on the keyboard when I type and this keyboard did not respond to my regular touch, I had to slow down and press each key harder than I normally. It required a concious effort. I had to do a lot of corrections as I reverted to my normal typing at at times.
♦ To make the keyboard waterproof all keys are covered with a silicone cover. Many waterproof buttons are done this way (for example shower speakers) and my experience with them always that pressing them is tricky because you need to hit the switch under the silicone just the right way. This keyboard has a similar usability issue, you need to hit each key just right and therefore I found it fussy to use and it decreased my typing accuracy.

For a second opinion I asked my husband to use the keyboard, and he said it was "mushy" and did not like how it felt either.

On the positive side the keyboard paired easily with the tablet, all keys and functions keys responded correctly, it comes with a charging cable, and has an on/off switch to save the battery life.

The keyboard is attached to the case with two strips of very strong Velco. The Velco has such a strong bond that initially I thought the keyboard was glued to the case.

The case fits my iPad Mini well, all ports are accessible. However, there were some aspects of the case that I did not like.

♦ The tablet is inserted from the side rather than the middle of the case. The tab tucks in under the tablet. In all my other cases the tablet is inserted from the middle, so if the tab becomes undone the tablet cannot slide out as the opening is in the middle towards the fold.
♦ The stand only works in a horizontal position. The case is only meant to be used in a horizon position when using a keyboard. But there are occasions when I want to use it without the keyboard in a vertical position. So this case is not for universal use.

I received this keyboard case from the manufacturer with a request for an honest review and I included positives and negatives of my experience with this case. Overall, I did not like it. It would have been nice if the case was waterproof as well then the tablet and the keyboard could be used in the rain. Perhaps I am not thinking of the case where the waterproof aspect of this keyboard can overcome the usability short comings, but I hope this review provided the extra insight that is helpful.

You can find this keyboard and case on Amazon by following this link

Ali Julia review ★★☆☆☆

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Product review: OnlyTM Innovative Car Cover all weather Fast & Easy to operate Y-Series for SUV


I am a short woman with a tall car (Honda CRV). My husband loves using a car cover on his car, but I have not been able to do the same on my car because the combination of my height and the height of my car made it too difficult. The manufacturer of this cover claims it is easier to use and I wanted to see if something about this cover made it easier for me to put it on and remove it by myself and without using a step stool.

The answer is yes, I can do it! What made a big difference for me are the poles attached at both ends of this cover. The stiff poles made it possible for me to reach further over the car and made covering the car much easier. However, I have to put it on and take it off differently from the instructions. Here are the reasons why:

1. My car has backup sensors on the bumper of the car (I circled them in the video). The cover is intended to be hung on the bumper when not in use. I was not able to find a position in which the cover would avoid covering the backup sensors. Therefore carrying the cover hanging off the bumper as designed is not an option for me.

2. Honda CRV is a tall car and it has a 12" antenna (rather than a knob antenna some cars have). Getting the cover over the antenna starting from the back is very difficult for a short person. Even with the poles I had hard time and felt I was at risk snapping the antenna off.

To solve both problems I decided not to attach the cover in the back of the car and decided to put the cover on starting from the front. This way I was pulling the cover over the antenna in the direction it was designed to bend (like in a car wash). Using the poles attached to the front and the back of the cover I had enough leverage to get the cover on the car and then pull it down. When taking the cover off I do the same. Working front to back allows me to take the cover in a way that does not get tangled on the antenna. Again, the poles allow me to extend my reach greatly. I rate putting the cover on and removing it as "easy" (a huge improvement over my feelings about regular car covers). However, rolling it back into the storage bag I rate "impossible". I could not get it to be nearly as small as the original. I purchased a big plastic tub to store the cover, so I don't have to worry about packing it back neatly.

My video includes a number of images of the cover and my the car. I am using Y-43 cover. For reference my car's dimensions are:
Body Length.......177.9 " (14.8 fee)
Body width........71.6 " (6 feet)
Body height.......66.1 " (5.5 feet)

The quality of the fabric looks good. It is silver on one side, white on the other side. The thickness is heavier than I imaged from the photo and it feels fairly sturdy. However only time will tell how it will hold up in New England winter. I am planning to use the cover in the snow and will post an update after I know how it handles the winter.

You can find this car cover on Amazon by following this link

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Monday, September 22, 2014

Product review: QiStone+ Wireless Power Bank with Qi+ 4000mAh


My husband immediately liked this battery for its shape. It is just the right shape to fit into his breast pocket behind the phone. Because the battery is fairly fat it forms a tight fit in the pocket and keeps it against the phone and charging. He is about to go to a conference where in the past years he spent so much time on the phone that he drained the phone battery. He plans to keep the phone constantly charging in his breast pocket.

This wireless charger is both a wireless external power bank and a charger that can charge a phone while the battery pack is plugged in and charging (i.e. charge through charging). It uses a standard micro USB cable when it is charged in a wired mode. I have a strong preference for standard cables, so I don't need to worry about losing a proprietary cable.

The finish of this battery is somewhat gritty so it forms a good bond with the phone. It has a bright charging indicator. By comparison to other wireless chargers it is not a very fast charger but its shape and size make it uniquely useful.

Its size is 2.875" x 4.125" x 0.5". It weighs 4.80 oz.

Another unique feature of QiStone+ is that it can be totally wireless - not only you can charger the phone wirelessly but you can charge the charger itself wirelessly. Fonesalesman sells receivers for the battery pack, but I found that I am able to recharge this battery pack using any other Qi charger. My video includes clips that show the QiStone+ charging the phone wirelessly as well as wireless charging of the QiStone+ battery.

How I tested the wireless charger:

I tested the charger with a current monitor to see what current it is drawing. I also did a 10 minute charging test which I run on all chargers I test to compare how much the phone was charged in 10 minutes. Since the charging speed is non-linear I start charging each device from approximately the same charge level.

✔ Wireless Charger (phone not charging)
current monitor: ~~~~~ 0.49A (i.e.USB rate charging the battery pack)

✔ Wireless Charger (Nexus 5 phone charging)
4% change in charge in 10 minutes
current monitor: ~~~~~ 1.14A and 5.17V
(for comparison, for the fastest charger I own the current monitor for Nexus 5 shows 1.42A/5.21V)

This wireless charger provided by Fonesalesman.

My husband loves this wireless battery pack, because it more than doubled the life of his phone battery when he carries it in his breast pocket. And because it is wireless he does not have to tangle with the wires and do his business on the phone as normal.

You can find this power bank on Amazon by following this link

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Product review: Skiva 15000mAh External Battery Pack


This external book looks like a thin notebook, a pretty slick look. It is fairly large but quite thin. It is 7.25"L x 4.25"W x 0.25"H. It has two ports (unlabelled, but they behave as 1A and 2A ports based on my current monitor tests included at the end of the review). This external battery does NOT support charge through (it can not charge devices while it is being charged).

I like its capacity and its bright charging level indicator. The indicator comes on when you plug in a device or when you press the on button and then turns off in a few seconds.

This charger did very well with my iPad Mini on 2A port. The results on 1A Port as well as the results of test for Nexus phone were below optimal (although above USB rate). I am including test results below for those who are interested in the details.

This external battery capacity is rated at 15000 mAh. Some capacity is lost to inefficiencies such as heat you can expect to get about 11250 mAh out of it. I was able to charge my Samsung Nexus phone with 3800 mAh extended battery from close to empty to full three times.

To tell how various battery packs perform I measure their performance with a current monitor. I use Samsung Nexus phone and iPad Mini for testing to give me a Android and an Apple mobile devices. I test all my chargers using the same charging cables and starting all tests at same charge level of the phone to account for non-linear charging. This allows me to compare different batteries to each other so I can rate the battery keeping everything else constant.

Samsung Nexus phone:
Skiva port 1:___ 0.91A/4.99V (slightly below optimal)
Skiva port 2:___ 0.87A/4.98V (below optimal)
(for comparison the best charging monitor result for this phone is 1.00A/5V)

iPad Mini tablet:
Skiva port 1:___ 0.93A/4.80V (below optimal)
Skiva port 2:___ 1.43A/4.97V (Excellent!)
(for comparison the best charging monitor result for this tablet is 1.70A/5V)

I was most impressed by the capacity of this external pack given its size. It is not the fastest power bank especially for Android but its capacity and compact size makes it a desirable bank to take along on vacation.

You can find this power bank on Amazon by following this link

Ali Julia review ★★★★★