Sunday, March 31, 2013

Food review: Cameron's Coffee Flavored Ground Coffee Variety Pack

This was my first purchase of Cameron's flavored coffee but it will not be my last. I just signed up for "Subscribe and Save delivery" and I will be getting it on regular basis.

Everyone's taste are different so to describe my tastes and help you determine if it is similar to yours I can tell you that I am not a big fan of Starbucks Coffee, and I like Peet's coffee. I also prefer flavored coffee to regular coffee taste. My husband looks down on flavored coffee... but what can I say? I like the taste.

With that background in mind I really liked Cameron's flavored coffees. Each one of the three flavors comes through in each cup without feeling syrupy or artificial. At the same time the flavors are noticeable and unique. None of the coffees have an aftertaste, or were bitter or acidic. I found them to mellow and warm, and make me look forward to my first cup of coffee each morning.

I found this coffee to have a very pleasant taste, the price is very reasonable. I will be back!

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.



Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Cameron's Coffee Flavored Ground Coffee Variety Pack, 36-Ounce

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Product review: Crocs Mammoth Clog

I was a fairly late convert to Crocs. I have not had a pair until two years ago. I bought them to wear around the house during the winter. I have had a number of shearing (lamb wool + leather) clogs, but these Mammoth Clogs turned out to be warmer. I did not realize that plastic/rubber shoe is such a good insulator. In addition to being warm they are extremely comfortable and durable. It is also possible to remove the liner and wash it. The liner held up well through several washes so far. It is attached to the clog by a couple of snaps and snaps right back on to the clog after the wash.

I am attaching a collage of two photos which shows the top and the bottom of the clog, as ell the fit of the clog on my foot. I can't be more pleased with them.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.



Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Product review: Neoprene Sleeve Case with Hidden Pocket for 7-Inch Google Nexus Tablet

Kroo sleeve is being used with 7" Nexus Galaxy tablet and it is a perfect fit. I am attaching a collage of 3 photos that I will be referencing in this review.



The first thing I noticed about this sleeve that it is well constructed: the zipper operated very smoothly, all seams are finished well, there are no loose threads or blemishes. The outside of the case has a pocket which can be used to carry a charging cable.

The sleeve's size is 8" by 5.5". It is made out of neoprene. It is soft, light, and washable.
Photo #1 shows the sleve by itself on 1 inch grided mat.
Photo #2 shows Nexus 7 on top of the sleeve so you can see how it fits.
The fit is fairly snug, and gives Nexus 7 protection without bulk.

My husband likes carrying Nexus 7 in his pockets (jacket pocket or even pants pocket). Photo #3 demonstrate how he inserts the sleeves into his pocket - Kroo sleeve goes in without any issues.

We've been using this sleeve since July 2012 (7 months of use as of now) and has been very pleased with it. Despite being used and abused by being shoved into pockets it is holding up very well.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.




Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Product review: Silicone Eye Glass Case - Pochi Silicone Eyeglass Case

video
This silicone case is 7" long , 3" wide (bottom to clasp), can accommodate content 1" wide, and when it is opened the opening is 4" wide.  

I purchased it for my reading glasses.  I tend to leave my reading glasses in restaurants when I put them down after reading the menu.  I hope this bright colorful case will serve as a good reminder, plus because it is made out of silicone it does not take up much room in my purse.

If you are thinking of using it as coin purse, it is not well suited to such use as it does not close tightly and the coins can fall out of the gap.

I am attaching a video which shows the case from various angles, as well as demonstrate a gap in the closure.   I am also attaching a photo collage with three photos showing how eyeglasses fit into the case. The case is displayed on 1" gridded mat in case you are curious about a measurement I have not mentioned. The photo collage can be found by following 'customer photos' link under the main photo.
    
   
This case provides protection from scratches, but no cushioning if the eyeglass case falls to the ground. The case is perfect for inexpensive reading glasses, but I would not use it for expensive prescription glasses. For the expensive eyeglasses I prefer a case that provides more cushioning.  I have been using this case for a couple of weeks for the reading glasses in my purse and I like them.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.



Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Product review: Cosmetic Blending Sponge

I usually use a finger to apply foundation or concealer. I bought this sponge in a local store because it was on sale and I decided to try it. I suspected it might be just a gimmick and likely not to work any better than a finger. But I was surprised by how well this thing worked. When I apply make up with my finger it often leaves a somewhat uneven finish especially if what I am trying to conceal has an uneven surface, like a pimple. I can see this unevenness in my make-up magnifying mirror, and I used to tell myself that noone else can see it without magnifying glass (not sure if it is true or not). However using a sponge blender the foundation is totally smooth even if my skin has an uneven surface. Even in my magnifying mirror, I cannot see anything by a smooth finish.

I am attaching a couple of photos of the sponge before and after use, as the sponge surprised my by growing. The photo collage can be located by following 'customer photos' link under the main photo. The first photo is the sponge in its container when I just purchased it, the second photo is the same sponge on top of the container (as it no longer fits into the previous shape). The sponge has not gone back to its original size even when it dried between uses. The third photo is the sponge in my hand for relative size.

This sponge can be used on cosmetics that are wet or dry. One end of it rounded and is used on large areas and one end is pointy to reach into corners (around the hose or eyes). It is made out of non-latex polymer, it feel spongy and resilient, and the finish reminded me of suede.

To use it you need to wet the sponge in warm water until totally saturated. Then squeeze excess water until it is just slightly damp. The sponge expanded as it became wet. The instructions said to put makeup on the sponge and then apply. I also tried putting on the face first and then using the sponge. Both approaches work well.

The sponge picks up the color of your make up. The color does not come off even after I washed it. So if you want to use the sponge for both foundation and blush, I would recommend buying more than one sponge and dedicating each to a specific color.

This sponge over-exceeded my expectations, I recommend it.



You can find it on Amazon by following this link.



Ali Julia review ★★★★★


Friday, March 22, 2013

Product review: Premium Horizontal Leather Pouch Case with Belt Clip for LG 800G 800-G

I bought this leather case for LG 800G phone to protect the touch screen from accidental use while it is rattling in a purse. 
   
The case feels solid, closes well with a magnet clasp, and weights (empty) 1.9 oz. The case is hard and the screen cannot be pushed through it. The inside of the case is a soft felt-like material which protects the screen.  On the down size this is a generic case, and there are no phone specific cut-outs. For example, you cannot charge the phone while it is in the case.

The case fit the phone loosely (in one of the photos described below I am able to insert a pen next to the phone) and I decided to purchase a gel skin for a better fit. I purchased this gel skin LG Cookie Style Candy Skin Case . With the gel skin on the fit is perfect!  The phone is easy to insert and take out, yet the  phone does not fall out even if I hold the case open and upside down and give it a bit of a shake.  The weight of the phone, the gel skin, and the leather case all together is 5.5 oz.

I am attaching a video which shows the case and how the phone with the gel skin fits it. I am also attaching a collage of 6 photos.

Photo #1 ➨  Shows the back of the case, along with the packaging.  The packaging included a closed foam insert which kept the shape of the pouch. For those who do not want to buy a gel case, this foam can be cut to form foam strips and these foam strips can be glued to the case as spacers for a less loose fit.

Photo #2 ➨ Shows the front of the case. The canvas cut-out hides the magnet clasp, and is totally covered when the case is closed.

Photo #3 ➨ Shows how the phone fits the case without the gel. You can see that I can insert a pen next to phone.

Photo #4 ➨ Shows the phone in the gel skin being inserted into the case

Photo #5 ➨ Shows the fit with the gel skin on the phone - now it is a perfect fit.

Photo #6 ➨ Shows me holding the case upside down and you can see that the phone does no fall out. The gel skin creates good friction with the inside of the case.




video
       

I am very pleased with the case when it is used with the gel skin: good value and works well.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.



Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Product review: Bolse® 4 Port USB Charger Wall/Travel/AC Rapid Charger 4 Amps / 20Watt For Mobile Devices


I tested Bolse 4 port 4 Amps 20 Watt Wall Charger with Nexus 7 Tablet (JellyBean 4.2.2), Samsung Galaxy 7.7 Tablet (ICS 4.0.4), and Samsung Galaxy Nexus cell phone (JellyBean 4.2.2), and SanDisk Sansa Clip+ player.

I own several wall chargers and power bricks and run the same set on tests on each of them, so they can be compared to each other using "apples to apples" comparison. This set of tests allows me to provide unbiased results as the numbers speak for the performance of each unit.

To test Bolse 4 port I ran a test for each of my 3 devices on each of 4 ports for a total of 12 tests. I repeated the tests on both the white and the black version of the wall plug as I received one of each from the manufacture for an unbiased review. I also charged the Nexus phone and the Nexus tablet at the same time. The results of these 25 tests are included in the tables below.

➨ Key finding:
------------
I am include results from testing both the black white plugs, as to my surprise they produced different results. See more on this difference in my overall assessment at the end of the review.

My methodology is to charge each mobile device on each port of the unit for 10 minutes and measuring how much each unit was charge in that 10 minute period. Each line in the table below represents a separate 10 minute test.

I use Battery App by Elvison to determine how each device recognized the charging source. 'AC' status means the charging is at full charging rate. 'USB' status indicates charging at a lower charging rate. 'Discharging' status means that the charging rate is below the power that the device is consuming so it slows down the discharge rate but does not re-charge.
  
I am attaching a collage with 3 photos that to illustrate this review.  They show the plugs on different power strips, charging different mobile devices, as well as a close up of the plug itself.

Bolse wall charger has re-tractable prongs which is very handy for travel. It has 4 ports: 2 universal ports, 1 Apple port, and Samsung port. The ports are marked on the top of the unit. The writing is very easy to read on the white plug, and a bit harder on the black plug.

The plug is 3 inches long and 2 inches wide. If you put the plug on the strip it takes up two slots.

The table below summarizes my findings:

✔ Nexus 7 Tablet (black plug)
--------------
Universal port 1 -- AC ----- 4% change in charge in 10 minutes
Universal port 2 -- AC ----- 4% change in charge in 10 minutes
Apple port ------- AC ----- 0% change in charge in 10 minutes
Samsung port ----- AC ----- 1% change in charge in 10 minutes

✔ Nexus 7 Tablet (white plug)
--------------
Universal port 1 -- AC ----- 3% change in charge in 10 minutes
Universal port 2 -- AC ----- 3% change in charge in 10 minutes
Apple port ------- AC ----- 0% change in charge in 10 minutes
Samsung port ----- AC ----- 1% change in charge in 10 minutes

✔ Samsung Galaxy Nexus Phone (black plug)
--------------------------
Universal port 1 -- AC ----- 7% change in charge in 10 minutes
Universal port 2 -- AC ----- 7% change in charge in 10 minutes
Apple port ------- AC ----- 4% change in charge in 10 minutes
Samsung port ----- AC ----- 5% change in charge in 10 minutes

✔ Samsung Galaxy Nexus Phone (white plug)
--------------------------
Universal port 1 -- AC ----- 6% change in charge in 10 minutes
Universal port 2 -- AC ----- 6% change in charge in 10 minutes
Apple port ------- AC ----- 3% change in charge in 10 minutes
Samsung port ----- AC ----- 4% change in charge in 10 minutes

✔ Samsung Galaxy Tablet 7.7 (black plug)
--------------------------
Universal port 1 -- AC ----- 4% change in charge in 10 minutes
Universal port 2 -- AC ----- 4% change in charge in 10 minutes
Apple port ------- -- ----- discharging
Samsung port ----- AC ----- 3% change in charge in 10 minutes

✔ Samsung Galaxy Tablet 7.7 (white plug)
--------------------------
Universal port 1 -- -- ----- discharging
Universal port 2 -- -- ----- discharging
Apple port ------- -- ----- discharging
Samsung port ----- AC ----- 3% change in charge in 10 minutes

✔ SanDisk Sansa Clip+ MP3 Player
------------------------------
Universal port 1 -- worked
Universal port 2 -- worked
Apple port ------- worked
Samsung port ----- worked

✔ Nexus 7 Tablet & Samsung Galaxy Nexus Phone at the same time (black plug)
--------------
Universal port 1 -- AC ----- Tablet 4% change in charge in 10 minutes
Universal port 2 -- AC ----- Phone 7% change in charge in 10 minutes

The behaviour of both Nexus 7 Tablet and Galaxy Nexus Phone plugged in at the same time was the same as when they were plugged in individually.

On the black plug the Galaxy 7.7 tablet performed better on Universal ports than on the Samsung port. However on the white plug, the only port that worked for Galaxy 7.7 was the Samsung port.

The MP3 player worked on all ports.

➨ Key finding:
------------------
There was a difference in performance between the black and the white plugs. I can only explain it by inconsistency in the manufacturing processes. The performance of the black plug was consistently better for all the units. The white plug did work, and if I did not have a black one for comparison or did not run the same set of tests on both plugs I would have thought the white one worked reasonably well. As an engineer I find inconsistency in performance rather unsettling and even though the black plug performed exceptionally well I felt I had to mark down both plugs because potential consumers would not know whether they would be getting an ok plug or a great plug. The inconsistency may show up in a plug of any color.


You can find the black charger on Amazon by following this link.


You can find the white charger on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Monday, March 18, 2013

Product review: LG Cookie Style (800G) Candy Skin Case - Hot Pink Argyle



I purchased LG Cookie style gel skin case for LG 800G phone. The gel case is a perfect fit. It is easy to put on and take off. The gel case will be used in combination with Horizonal leather pouch and it fits into the leather pouch so well than once it is inside it does not slide out even if you shake the case while it is open and upside down, yet it is easy to take out by push on it through the case opening on the bottom.

I am attaching a video that demonstrates putting the gel skin on the phone, taking it off the phone, as well as the phone with the gel skin in use with the leather pouch. The case is easy to put on if you put the top first, and easy to remove if you start with the bottom. The case has cut outs for various port. The buttons (like power button and volume control) are not cut out, but rather the gel is thinned over them. As I show in the video they work perfectly fine through the case, yet are protected from the dirt.

video
  

The color of the case is light pink. When it is on the phone its color combines with the black of the phone and looks lilac (colors are best seen in the collage of photos described below).

I also attached a collage of four photos (which can be located by follow 'customer photos' link under the main photo.

Photo #1: the case in its packaging. Made in China.

Photo #2 and #3: case before it is put on the phone showing both inside and outside. Outside is smooth, inside is slightly textured.

Photo #4: the back of the phone with the gel case on, the color turns lilac with the black coming through the pink. This photo also shows the leather pouch case mentioned above.

Overall, I am very pleased. The case fits well, the phone works well with it on, it gives the phone a solid non-slippery feel, and I thought it was pretty.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.



Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Product review: 3M Scotch Super 33+ Vinyl Electrical Tape, .75-Inch by 66-Feet

In this order I received Scotch 3M tape (3/4 inch wide and 66 feet long) in a plastic storage container. I attached a photo of the tape and the container which can be found by following 'customer photos' link under the main photo.

I  always have electrical tape in my tool box. Electrical tape does a nice job preventioning shorts, which can start fires as well as stop electrocutions if the live wire is touched by someone.  I use it on various wire-related small projects I do at the house.

Electrical tape can too old. How can you tell? I noticed that my old tape became tacky on both sides and lost some of its elasticity. I purchased this new tape and was quite pleased that it came in the plastic container. I already used the tape on a project, and it is nicely tacky and holds well.

Electrical tape is applied to a wire by rolling the tape the wire in a coil-like fashion. It is important to overlap each layer so there are no gaps to ensure good insulation and to keep moisture or condensation from reaching the wire. While wrapping the tape I pull on it slightly so its elastic property is engaged. The tape's elasticity helps keep it tight and snug to the wire.

Electrical tape comes in several colors. Black electrical tape is most common, it does not indicate any color code. It can be used outdoors as it impervious to ultraviolet radiation, which can damage colored electrical tape. White or grey used to indicate neutral wires, green or yellow/green stripe indicate grounding wires.

The tape works well, I like the container, the price is reasonable. I am very pleased with this purchase.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.



Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Product Review: YooMee NEW 3-in-1 Black Fibermesh Capacitive Touchscreen Stylus with Laser Pointer and Ballpoint Pen


This stylus combines a ball point pen, a laser pointer and a stylus making it quite versatile. This stylus/pen is 5.5" long, 1.5" in diameter at the grip point, 1.3 oz in weight. It has a stylus with micro-knit fiber mesh stylus tip that was very precise when I used it with my Samsung Galaxy 7.7 tablet (no screen protector). The ball point pen wrote smoothly and consistently. Laser pointer worked well. In addition to all of the above functions it also works well as a cat exercise device, they love chasing the laser dot!

I am attaching a video and a collage of four photos  for illustrating this review.
video

The video shows me changing the stylus to the pen and then to laser pointer, as well as using it in each configuration.

A note about assembling the laser pointer: The pen had a sticker which read "Remove insulator while operation", I assumed it meant "Remove insulator before operating". However, there was no insulator in the battery compartment. Rather one of the batteries was inserted incorrectly and thus the batteries were no operational and not draining. When I reinserted the batteries correctly (as shown in the video) the laser became operational.

✔ Sensitivity and performance of this stylus was very good. I most frequently use the stylus for typing and editing text, as it gives me best precision for positioning insertion point between characters.

✔ I found the pen comfortable. It is a little heavy, but I had no problem with using it for taking notes during a one hour long meeting.

✔ It has a clip, which allows me to clip the stylus while carrying it around. It does not get separated from my tablet in my purse, so it is there as soon as I need it.

I found using this stylus in many different ways. I really like that it combines pen, stylus, and laser pointer.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.



Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Product review: YooMee Red BEAT51 Portable Travel-size Mini Speaker for Apple, Nexus, Android and other mobile devices


YooMee Red BEAT51 Mini Speaker is an attractive black and red round speaker that weights 2 oz and is about 2.25" in diameter.  It is wired and has a rechargeable battery. The speaker comes with a black velvet pouch which fits the speaker and cables.

I am attaching a video which demonstrates the sound generated by my tablet's speaker, then by YooMee Speaker, and then back to the tablet's speaker for comparison.  The speaker produces sounds that is noticeably better than the built-in speaker. It has a reasonable base for a speaker of such small size and nice mid tones which produce sound without distortion. 
video
 
The speaker can play 12 hours on one charge.  When the speaker is charging the led indicator is red, when the full charge is reached the led indicator turns blue. It took me 3 hours to charge it from totally empty to totally full. The speaker can be used while it is being recharged.
  
I am attaching a photo  which shows the speaker with its charging/audio cable. The speaker has no audio input aside from this custom cable. This custom cable has one USB connection that has two wires coming out of it: one audio cable and one charging cable. Audio cable branch goes to the sound source, charging cable branch goes to the power source. Even when you don't need to charge the speaker, you always have both wires danging together.  The audio cable is quite short, only 17 inches (19.25" if you include both connectors).  If I am recharging the speaker it gives me only 17 inches of freedom.  I often recharge gadgets from a small external power brick in my pocket, so I can continue to listen while recharging, but this cable is too short to put the speaker and power brick in my pocket and hold the tablet at the same time.  If you are not charging the speaker then you have the length of both cables with a USB connector dangling between the two branches.  The weakest point of this speaker is this cable.

The compact size and light weight make it a good travel companion. As far as the sound is concerned it is a nice little speaker with the sound which is rather impressive for its size.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★☆



Sunday, March 10, 2013

Product review: Bolse® Micro Usb Charging Dock Cradle with audio output for Samsung Galaxy Phones

I tested Bolse Charging Dock with Nexus Galaxy phone with Hyperion Verizon Samsung Galaxy Nexus 3800mAh Extended Battery. This extended battery makes the phone much thicker and often presents problems fitting into devices designed for phones with their regular slim batteries. However Bolse Charging Dock handles this challenging configuration well. This dock has a nice feature that the micro-USB docking plug can be moved and re-positioned, this accommodates different port positions on various phones.

I am attaching a collage of 4 photos that I will be referencing in my review.


The first photo shows the phone in the dock charging. I used Battery App by Elvison to determine how the devices recognizes the charging source. 'AC' status means the charging is at full charging rate. 'USB' status indicates charging at a lower charging rate. 'Discharging' status means that the charging rate is below the power that the device is consuming so it slows down the discharge rate but does not re-charge. As you see in this photo, the charging source is recognized as 'AC'.

I use the same test when I test various charging devices so I can compare them to each other. My methodology is to charge each device I own on each port of the unit for 10 minutes and measuring how much each unit was charge in that 10 minute period. Bolse dock charged the phone from 76% to 81% in 10 minutes, which is a 5% difference and ranks well among various devices I have tested.

The second photo shows the profile of the phone in the charging dock to give you an idea of the shape of the battery in case you are using a different extended battery.

Photo #3 shows my ear buds plugged into the the audio pass-through in the back of the docking station. When the phone is in the charging dock its audio output is blocked by the dock, so this audio pass-through is designed to make audio out available. However it did not work for this phone, there was no sound.

Phone #4 shows a top down view of the dock. The top of the devices has 4-LED light that surrounds the pen/stylus holder. This indicator cannot be turned off.

Bolse dock also fits our Nexus 7 tablet, but the fit required Nexus 7 to be placed with the back cover forward. The audio did not work with the Nexus 7 either.

Bolse dock comes with a 4-foot USB to micro-USB cable. It has a 1-year warranty

I was provided a sample unit for an honest and unbiased review and covered positives and negatives of my experience with this docking station.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Friday, March 8, 2013

Product review: DB-Tech Multi-Purpose Pressurized Steam Cleaning and Sanitizing System with Attachments - Great Handheld Steam Cleaner For Bed Bug Treatment - Indoors, Outdoor, Kitchen, Bathroom, Shower, Closet, Patio, Garage and Car DB-Tech Multi-Purpose Pressurized Steam Cleaning and Sanitizing System

DB-Tech steam cleaner weights 2.5 pounds and generates steam from 8oz of water per each fill. How much cleaning can you do on that amount of steam? A lot! On my initial test I cleaned the bathroom floor, the tub, the sink, the kitchen floor, the kitchen counters, and the kitchen sink. I am attaching a video of two parts of the cleaning. In the first part of the video I am cleaning the bathroom sink. This is a close up so you can see the steam it generates. In the second part of the video I am cleaning the kitchen counter under the coffee maker. I have not looked under there for a few months and found a nice big dried up coffee stain, which was for a perfect for a cleaning test. To clean it I had to steam it twice. Note that I am not using any cleaning solutions, just the steam and a paper towel.

I am also attaching a collage of three photos.



The first photo contains everything that came in the package: a funnel and a measuring cup, and an assortments of cleaning attachments: spray nozzle with bristle brush, bent spray nozzle, flexible extension hose, door/window/clothing attachment, window washing squeegee, terrycloth cover.

The second photo shows a close up of the cover. Even those the outside of the steamer is plastic, the boiler is made out of cast aluminium to withstand high pressure. In the photo you can see the metal coupling that holds the cap to the body of the steamer.

Photo #3 shows the steamer warming up in order to generate steam. When the steam is read the light on the front turns off. It will turn back while you use it to generate more steam when needed. So before using the steamer you need to wait until the light goes off for the first time. The instructions say to wait 3-5 minutes after the unit it initially plugged in, and the light went off at about 4 minutes.


video


You need to keep the steamer plugged as you use it, as it will re-generate the steam as needed. The unit comes with 12 foot cord, so I needed to move from outlet to outlet as I was cleaning.

The steamer's body should not be tilted downwards more than 45 degrees to avoid spilling hot water out of the nozzle. The angled nozzle and flexible hose nozzle are used when you need to reach a spot which would have required tilting the steamer more than 45 degrees. I have tried several nozzles and all of them were easy to put on and lock in to the steamer.

Could I have cleaned the coffee stain without the steam cleaner? Yes. But it would have taken a cleaning solution and more elbow grease.

I received an evaluation unit from the manufacturer for a thorough and unbiased review. I have not owned a steam cleaner before, and I was pretty impressed with how well it worked. The light weight of the steamer made it easy to use anywhere, one fill lasted much longer than I expected, and it did a nice job cleaning. I hope the video gives you a good idea of what to expect.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.



Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Product review: Hipe 8 LED Light and Motion-sensing Night Light

video
Hipe 8 LED night light is a light and motion sensitive light. It turns on only when ambient light reaches a certain degree of low illumination. I am attaching a video which demonstrates how it turns on in the dark, and does not turn on from the same motion when the light is on. In my experiments it reliably senses motion within 55" (4.6 feet).




       
I am also attaching a collage of two photos. The first photo show a close-up of the light with the lights on. The lights are covered with frosted cover, so it does not hurt to look straight at the light. The second photo shows how much light the light generates it total darkness with a set of fresh batteries (some of the stock photos make it appear brighter than it is in reality).
   
The light has three settings: an off position, an always on position, and auto which activates the motion detector. It operates on 4 AA batteries, inserted in the compartment on the back of the unit. On the front of the unit there is a red led which starts flickering every 5 seconds when battery power is low. The unit is 4.5 inches in diameter.

The light comes with two mounting hardware options a double sticky tape and a screw (with a hollow wall jacket).

I placed this light in the basement in a dark area where I don't have enough light to see the shelves and it does a nice job of providing light only when I need it.

I received the light from manufacture for testing and review. I put it through a number of tests so I can provide honest and unbiased feedback, and I am always happy to answer comments if I did not cover some aspect of its functionality.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.



Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Product review: Garnier Olia Oil Powered Permanent Haircolor, 4.0 Dark Brown


I recently began coloring my hair to keep on top of the grey hairs that began springing up in my dark brown hair.  I like to have a natural color so noone can even guess I color my hair.

Garnier has a large selection of colors. I selected Garnier's Olia 4.0 dark brown color and the color came out nicely.  The color is very natural and matched the rest of my hair very well.  This is the good news part of the review.


On the negative side, I did not like the applicator. It is attractive looking, but the tear drop shaped bottle is not comfortable to hold and is slippery when the gloves are soaked with color mixture. The bottle is totally smooth and round and the sleek gloves had trouble holding on to it.

The color mixture is fairly thick. I started applying it directly to roots by parting the hair.  Because I found the bottle hard to hold I switched to using a brush to apply color and that worked better for me.

The color had no amonia and thus no amonia smell, that was very nice. I found the flowery fragrance a bit too strong. I would have preferred a lighter scent or unscented.

I liked that the color stains on my skin around the hair line washed off easily without much scrubbing.

The bottom line of my experience: nice color and uncomfortable applicator. I plan to use it again with the following modifications: I would use some masking tape to create folds and grooves on the bottle so that the surface is no so smooth. I would also be applying the color from the bottle on to the brush and then use the brush to apply it to the hair.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.



Ali Julia review ★★★★☆


Monday, March 4, 2013

Product reveiw: DBTech Digital LED Clock with Circling LED second indicator

This an attractive black clock with a red read out (it also comes in blue and green LEDs). It shows seconds by lighting up dots in a circular pattern around the face of the clock. The clock is rather eye catching. I put in my basement and it added a decorative touch that was a nice bonus to the practical need of telling the time. The size of the unit is 9 7/8" square and 1.5" wide. The time readout is 1 3/4" by 1 2/3". It is easy to see even for people with imperfect vision like mine. This clock runs on AC power and comes with the cord that is 118 inches long (almost 10 feet).

The clock has three settings of brightness. I am attaching a collage of 3 photos to demonstrate various aspects of the clock. 

The first two photos show the dial of the clock a about 20 seconds apart so you can see how the display changes with time.

The third photo shows the back of the clock. You can also see the AC plug that powers the clock. On the bottom left you see the three buttons that control changing time and brightness. The controls are pretty easy. To change time you use two buttons and then hit the third to save the new time. And you can toggle the middle button to toggle between three levels of brightness. On the brightest setting I selected I can read the time even with the sun hits the clock.

The clock has a built-in back-up battery. When you disconnect the clock or if you lose power it keeps time (but not does not display to save energy). The clock arrived showing correct time and I tested this feature by disconnecting the clock for several hours.

The clock can either be hung on the wall or can stand on its base, as shown in my photos #1 and #2. Since the controls to change time and brightness are located on the back, you would need to remove the clock from the wall if you had to make changes. The fact that the clock runs on AC power the cord somewhat limits where you can place it, but I was able to find a perfect spot within 10 feet of the outlet. The cord, of course, can be extended with an extension cord if needed. The clock's cord has a non-polarized plug.

To summarize: I like how it looks and that is is easy for me to see from a long distance. Finding a perfect spot within 10 feet of the outlet was a bit of a challenge but worked out very well.

I received an evaluation unit for testing and unbiased review, and I described the pluses and minuses of my experience with this clock.

I am really enjoying this clock and would recommend it.



You can find it on Amazon by following this link.
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Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Product review: DBTech Big Oversized Digital Red LED Calendar Clock with Day Date and Temperature (12" / Blue LED) DBTech Big Oversized Digital Red LED Calendar Clock with Day Date and Temperature

This is a good looking, large LED clock. The size of the unit is 15.875" by 7.5" by 1.5" thick. The time numbers are 2 1/4" in height and 1 3/8" wide. The day of the week and month are in slightly smaller font, the letters are 1 1/2" high on the second line. This clock is AC powered and its cord is 71".

The clock has three settings of brightness. I am attaching a collage of 5 photos that can be located by following 'customer photos' link under the main photo.
The first photo shows the clock on my night table, here you can see the relative size of the clock - it is quite large and easy to see. The second photo shows the back of the clock. On the bottom left you see the three buttons that control changing time and brightness. The controls are pretty easy. You can also see the AC plug - this clock runs on AC power. The clock has three levels of brightness, and pictures 3,4,5 show the three settings. Photo#3 has the lowest brightness, Photo#5 has the highest brightness. Note that my camera displayed brighter settings in lighter color, and in real life the font looks deep blue in all three settings just brighter and brighter. I keep the clock on the lowest setting as I placed it in the bedroom. During the night the clock added some light in the room, but we found it not to be too bright.

The clock has a built-in back-up battery. When you disconnect the clock or if you lose power it keeps time (but not does not display to save energy).

The clock can either be hung on the wall (it came with a mounting hardware) or can stand on its base, as shown in my photo #1. Since the controls to change time and brightness are located on the back, you would need to remove the clock from the wall if you had to make changes. The fact that the clock runs on AC power and the cord somewhat limits where you can place it. As I mentioned earlier the cord is 71" and that was too short to reach where we wanted to place it, so we are running it using an extension cord. The clock has a non-polarized plug.

I am really enjoying the clock - I find it very handy to have both the time and the calendar information displayed. The thermometer seems to run 2 degrees lower than the whether station we also have in the bedroom. I brought in a third thermometer to arbitrate and it showed the temperature in the middle of the two numbers.

To summarize: I liked the look of the clock, display is great to see, love the blue color, nice to have three brightness levels, helpful that it keeps the time even when disconnected.
The things that were somewhat inconvenient - controls on the back that require to take the clock off the wall to adjust, short cord, thermometer is not totally accurate.

I received an evaluation unit for testing and unbiased review, and I described the pluses and minuses of my experience with this clock.

The negatives are very minor and I mention them just to be thorough and complete in my review. I am really enjoying this clock.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.



Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Friday, March 1, 2013

Product review: Hipe 15+5 LED Emergency Power failure Light / Flashlight / Automatic Motion-sensing Night light



Hipe Motion Sensor light consists of a charger and a light which doubles as a flashlight and as night light. The lights has 15 LED lights on one of the sides (they serve as a lights of the night light) and  5 LED lights on one of the ends (which work as a flash light).  I am attaching a video which demonstrates the function of the light. The video was shot in the dusk, not it the total duckness so you would be able to see the operation of the buttons. I am also attaching a photo which shows the brightness of the light in total darkness. 

The night light is light and motion sensitive.  It does not turn on during the day. In the dark it does not turn on unless there is motion very close to it.  The light goes off in 20 seconds if does not detect any motion.  Because of the fairly shallow range of motion detection this light works well in the bedroom. It goes on when someone walk by it, but does not go on if there is motion in the bed 3 feet away from it.  It works very well as an emergency light: it is being constantly recharged so it is always ready, it is easy to find as it is in a specific location and turns on when you get close to it.

Recharger fits into one of the outlets of the double outlets, the second outlet is free to be used by something else. The lenght of the light is 6 inches, it is 2" wider at its widest point.





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I received a sample unit for testing and review. I have been using this light for over a week and I am very satisfied with how it functions.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.




Ali Julia review ★★★★★