Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Product review: VonHaus Compact Portable Air Dehumidifier


VonHaus Dehumidifier is 13" tall and 8.5" wide. Its best feature is that it very quiet because it does not have a compressor, the worst feature is that it is not as effective in removing humidity as a humidifier with a compressor. Both are not surprising and stem from the technology used in this unit.

To see how effective VonHaus dehumidifier is I tested in our basement, where we use a standard 50 Pint dehumidifier which fills its entire bucket in several days. I turned off the large dehumidifier and left VonHaus Dehumidifier there for 60 hours. After 60 hours the reservoir of the unit had a couple of inches of water (see video). I can fill the 67 oz reservoir in 1 week. So it works but removes modest amount of humidity. However it is wisper quiet compared to our large dehumidifier.

VonHaus dehumidifier is quiet and light because it uses thermoelectric method called Peltier. In 1834 Jean Peltier noticed that when electrical current is applied to the junction of two different metals the heat is removed from one of the metals and transferred to the other. This is the main principal of thermoelectric cooling (and known as Peltier effect). The dehumidifier has cooling unit which is constructed from tiny metal cubes made from different metals. As electricity passes through the junctions between the cubes the heat is transferred and a fan vents the heat outside, a small amount of moisture is removed from the air in this process and condensed and this is the water we see in the reservoir of the unit.

For this unit to work, it has to be turn on continuously and it removes a fairly small amount of moisture from the air. It is very quiet, and if you need to remove only a small amount of humidity in a small space it will do the job. If don't expect the same performance as from a humidifier with a compressor you will not have an unpleasant surprise. For a Peltier humidifier to become effective it needs to work for a while, so you might be disappointed if you are looking to use it for short periods of time (like using in a bathroom during showers).

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★☆☆

Monday, March 27, 2017

Product review: JULIUS Women's White Dial Mesh Stainless Ultra Thin Stylish Quartz Watch


The band on this watch is beautiful. It is made out of stainless steel and it looks very nice. The face of the watch is simple and classy which contributes to the watch's expensive look.

This is a fairly small watch. Its face is 1" wide and 0.3" wide. The band is 8" long and has an adjustable buckle. To adjust the band size it takes a small screw driver to open the clasp (a screw driver is used for leverage, not to unscrew).

My video shows how to adjust the clasp, and how to open/close it. To adjust the clasp you need to open the lock. The lock lifts up by putting small screw driver in the opening and pressing down. Once the clasp is open I put it on my hand to get the new position. The hooks of the closing clasp go over a bar in the clasp. Before closing the clasp, you need to flip the watch over and make sure a small groove on the clasp aligns with the grooves on the band. This what holds the clasp in place, if the grove on the clasp is between groves on the band you will not be able to close the clasp. Once the clasp is in its proper position you need to close the clasp, which is again easier to do with a small screwdriver. Insert the tip of the screwdriver in the slot on the clasp and push down. Listen for the click. If this is done correctly the clasp no longer slides on the band.

To close the clasp on your hand or open it is easy to do with one hand and it does not take a lot of force. The small hooks on the safety plate go over the bar on the clasp and then the safety plate clicks in to close if you press down.

The time on the watch is pretty simple to set as it shows only time, the knob has only two positions - "in" position is regular operation, "out" position sets the time. The watch has Japanese quartz movement.

I really like the watch, I think it looks really elegant.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Product review: Swiffer PAG40509EA Duster Cleaner Starter Kit

I have been using Swiffer duster for many years. I have tried many different duster prior to Swiffer but when I found Swiffer it was better:

1. No matter how much dust I have, it never falls off.
2. When you are done, you don't have to figure out where to shake off the dust. You just take it off and toss it in the garbage. Very handy especially in the winter since I used to shake it off outside. However, when I shake it off in the yard I would see pieces of dust on the bushes. Not any more!
3. It is light and easy to maneuver. I use it for dusting everything from TV screens to blinds.
4. It is unscented.
5. If the house is not too dusty, I can get a couple of uses from each duster.

One of the duster is fluffy side and the other of the side which has sleeves to slide onto the duster handle. The fluff does not go all the way around but that is not a problem as I dust with one side only.

A note on price: The best price for the duster I found at Costco especially when they have a coupon for this item. Amazon price is pretty good but fluctuates. There is a nice online tool that I use to help catch a good price on Amazon, this tool is called "Online Price Alert". This tool will send you an email when the Amazon item price reaches the target price range that you specify. If you search on "online price alert" in Google it will be come up at the top my favorite has the word "camel" repeated three times in the name.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Product review: Sabrent Power Lock Suction Hook


I am very pleased with these style hooks, they generates a strong suction. I got this double hook and single hook version.

The single hook is extends forward 1".
The double hooks extend 3/4" forward.

One of the hooks has been holding my bath rope (several pounds) for a week and has not fallen off so far, the other one works great for cord management because I can attach to the side of my computer case.

This hook works well on non-porus surface. I tried on glass, metal, tiles, and plastic and it worked well. Documentation also says it works on wood, but it did not work well on my teak desk. It has a natural finish which is not totally smooth.

To attach the hook I needed to position the base where I want the hook to be located starting with the hook turned to 3 o'clock position, then turning the hook 90 degrees twisting down (to 6 o'clock position). The part that rotates is the hook (not the base). It forms a rather secure hold.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Product review: Bagail Double Layer Inverted Umbrellas Reverse Folding Umbrella


I've never seen an umbrella like this before and it is such a clever idea.  When you close it the wet canopy is on the inside so the wetness does not touch you!  It just drips down on the inside and I  keep the umbrella next to me without getting wet. In the movies or in a restaurant it is so convenient that I don't have to worry where to put it to keep it away from me yet someplace I don't forget about it and leave it behind.  I also like the "C" shaped handle. This shape is comfortable to hold when I use the umbrella and easy to hang when I  am not using it.  The canopy opens and closes smoothly.  I love this umbrella!

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Product review: Unifun 20000mAh Power Bank Backup External Battery


♦ size: 6 1/8" x 3 1/8" x 7/8"
♦ weight: 1 lb 1 oz
♦ number of ports: 2
♦ flashlight: no
♦ pass through charging: no (i.e. the battery can charge while being charged itself)
♦ cable: 21.5" charging cable

This external battery as not as large as one might expect for its large capacity of 20000 mAh. It has two ports and came with a charging cable (charging cables charge at a faster AC rate rather than USB rate). It has a bright blue charge level indicator.

This charger performed very well with both my Android phone and iPadMini. I am including the details of the tests at the end of the review for those who are interested in the nitty gritty numbers.

To see how well different external batteries charge my mobile devices I use a Nexus phone and an iPadMini to test each of them. The current drawn on each port depends on each device using the charger. The port rated with a maximum capacity of 2A does not always deliver 2A, what is actually delivered is controlled by the device based on many factors such running apps, level of charge, and so forth. I always use the same devices and I do my tests with the devices charged to the same level, running the same applications and using the same cables to keep everything the same. This allows me to do a relative comparison of various external batteries and identify the ones that do not perform well. Note that these tests are not testing for the maximum current each device can draw on each port because I do not own devices that can max out the current draw.

I also tested to see if the battery supports pass-through charging (i.e. whether the battery can charge mobile devices while it is being charged). This battery does NOT support charger through charging. It can not charge while being charged.

In addition to testing with my own cable, I test the cable included in the package to see if it is a charging cable or a data cable. This package includes a charging cable. For Android devices it matters if a cable used to charge the device is a charging cable or a data cable. Most of the time external batteries come with a charging cable, but every now I run across a manufacturer that encloses data cables with external batteries. It is not easy to tell what cable you got unless you have a current monitor. I always include this test in my reviews so people can improve the performance of the battery by switching to a charging cable.

Samsung Nexus phone:
1A port: 1.00/5.00V (excellent)
2A port: 0.91/5.01V (excellent)
(for comparison the best charging monitor result for this phone is 1.00A/5V)

iPad Mini tablet:
1A port: 0.92A/5.01V (average for 1A port)
2A port: 1.45A/5.02V (excellent)
(for comparison the best charging monitor result for this tablet is 1.70A/5V)

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Monday, March 20, 2017

Product review: Bagail 2-Pack Pop-up Mesh Laundry Hamper


I use pop-up laundry hampers inside a large wooden hamper.  When it is time for laundry I pull out the pop-hamper and take it to the laundry room.  This method lets me use a beautiful wood hamper which hides a practical pop-up hamper which is not so beautiful.

This hamper is just the right size large to keep all the laundry while it still fits within the wooden hamper. It size is 14" x 14" width and 24" height.

The hamper is collapsible and when it is totally collapsed it is small.  Making it tiny again is quite difficult because the metal wire is stiff (which is good for its rigidity).  However making it flat is easy, so when one of the hampers is not in use I store it flat. Then when laundry time comes I swap them inside the wooden hamper.  When laundry is done I store the empty one flat. 

Overall, perfect size for my needs, rigid wire, works perfectly for my needs.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★