Thursday, May 30, 2013

Product review: Plugable 12 Outlet Power Surge Protector with Built-in Dual USB Charging Ports

Plugable 12 Outlet power surge protector provides 12 power outlets and 2 USB ports. 4 of the AC outlets are set away from the others so I could plug in my battery rechargers without covering any other outlets. The power strips measures 12" x 6" x 1", has a 6 foot cord. It claims 4320 Joules of surge protection for all 12 power outlets. The switch on the side of the power strip servers the role of power switch as well as the circuit breaker switch.
  I am attaching a collage of 2 photos : Photo #1 shows a variety of battery chargers, USB chargers, and a regular size small plug in this power strip. I found the outlets well spaced out to fit my needs. Photo #2 shows one minor annoyance I found in this strip. Both sides of the strip glow with green LED lights that cannot be turned on. It seems fashionable for every device to glow in the dark, I wish this was an optional light with a way to turn it off.

To test the USB ports I ran the test I use to test all chargers and power banks. The benefit of running the same test on all devices is that it allows me to compare them to each other in "apples to apples" comparison. 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.

iPad Mini
_________

Port 1................ 2%.....AC
Port 2................ 2%.....AC

Samsung Galaxy 7.7 Tablet
_________________________

Port 1................ 0%.....discharging with data cable
Port 1................ 2%.....AC with charging cable
Port 2................ 0%.....discharging with data cable
Port 2................ 2%.....AC with charging cable

iPad Mini and Samsung Galaxy 7.7 Tablet at the same time
_________________________________________________________
Port 1................ 2%.....AC (iPad Mini)
Port 2................ 3%.....AC with charging cable (Galaxy tab)
Port 1................ 2%.....AC with charging cable (Galaxy tab)
Port 2................ 2%.....AC (iPad Mini)

These charging rates fall in the middle range of my tests, not as good as the fastest chargers but not the slowest. Given that it a bonus functionality on the well spaced power strip I am satisfied with this performance.

Plugable products offers a one year limited warranty against any defects in materials or workmanship. The warranty information can be located on Plugable web site by selecting "Support/Warranty" from the top menu of their website (and the website name is the product name followed by dot com). They state that they will repair or replace products which fail because of any defect in the first year after purchase.

Plugable provided this unit to me for testing, evaluation and review be it positive or negative. I am very pleased with the layout of the outlets. The USB ports provided reasonable speed of charging even though they were not as fast as the best rapid chargers I own. Overall, I recommend it.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.



Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Product review: Bolse® 5Gbps SuperSpeed 7-Port USB 3.0 HUB




The Bolse USB hub is 4.25" x 1.75" x 1". It has 7 USB slots are located on three sides of the unit. The back panel take the power code and USB plug that plugs into your computer. The top contains a light for each USB slots, and lights up when something is plugged in. The USB cord is 39". Its power cord cord is 47" long. The USB unit weights 5.7 oz, the power plug and cord weigh 4.5 oz.

The documentation states that this hub USB 3.0 is backwards compatible with USB 2.0. I tested with USB 2.0 and USB 1.1, and it is backwards compatible with both.

I tested he hub on Windows XP, Windows 7, and Linux. Each operating system I tested saw the memory stick plugged into the hub without problems.

I tested each port by copying a large set of mp3 files totalling 638916 Megabytes. I measured CPU time and clock time. I wanted to test that all ports worked, I wanted to test if there was a significant difference in performance between ports, and I wanted to see if copying to multiple memory sticks at the same time would slow down the copying.

✔ First, I tested each port using 2.0 USB memory stick. I ran the same test on each of the 7 ports. All ports worked with a normal small variations in performances.

✔ Second, I tested copying files onto two 2.0 USB memory sticks at the same time, to see of the copying slows down compared to working with one stick at a time. The performance was somewhat slower compared to test 1.

✔ Third, For comparison I plugged the same memory stick directly into the computer without the USB hub.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TEST#1 (one USB 2.0 stick)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Here are clock times:
-------------------------------
Port1:_______1:23.65
Port2:_______1:55.40
Port3:_______1:15.83
Port4:_______1:16.92
Port5:_______1:24.54
Port6:_______1:55.10
Port7:_______1:50.21

Here are the CPU times:
-------------------------------
Port1:_______0.791s
Port2:_______0.887s
Port3:_______0.543s
Port4:_______0.696s
Port5:_______1.003s
Port6:_______0.880s
Port7:_______0.851s

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TEST#2 (two USB 2.0 sticks at the same time)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Clock times for two devices at the same time:
-------------------------------
Memory stick #1: 2:01.58
Memory stick #2: 2:27.68

CPU times for two devices at the same time:
-------------------------------
Memory stick #1: 0.954s
Memory stick #2: 1.234s

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TEST#3 (one USB 2.0 stick plugged directly into the computer)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
CPU time: 0.851s
Clock time: 1:54.24

I am attaching a collage of 3 photos of this unit. They can be located by following 'customer photos' link under the main photo. The first photo shows the USB unit, and its two cords. The second photo shows the back of the unit. The third photo shows the unit while I was doing one of the test. This photo gives you a good idea of the relative size of this unit. You can also see the lights on the top of the unit: the left most light indicates that the unit is plugged in and the the second light shows that port 5 contains a device.

I was provided a sample for evaluation and I ran it through 16 tests in order to provide unbiased and honest review. The unit performed well and met my expectations for a 5 star rating.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.



Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Monday, May 27, 2013

Product review: Pyle PFA400U 100-Watt Class-T Hi-Fi Audio Amplifier with USB SD Reader and AC Adapter

video
This is a very compact (7" x 4" x 1.75") digital amplifier that produced good sound when used with small (12") high quality speakers. I am attaching a video which demonstrates Pyle PFA400U amplifier in action. The music source in the video is the Logitech bluetooth adapter connected to Nexus 7 Tablet.

Overall, the amplifier did a nice job. This amplifier is a Class T switching digital amplifier rated at 100W. However, 100W ratings is some what misleading, it refers to instantaneous burst of 100W. The power adapter of the amplifier is rated at 24W, the efficiency of Class T amplifier is 80%, this means the continuous power of this unit is approximately 20W. When both the tablet and the amplifier were both turned to their maximum volume, the sound was loud but did not blast. In the video I used the remote control to turn on the audio to its maximum volume.

If you want to turn on or turn off the amplifier you can do it either from the remote control, or by a long push on the "mode" button on the unit itself (left most button). You can also turn off the amplifier by twisting the volume button. Note that the remote control overrides the volume set by the knob (i.e. if you turned down the sound using the remote, using the knob will not make it loud).

The remote control is small (7" x 4" x 1.33"), and can be used for on/off, controlling volume and changing tracks.

USB/SD inputs worked without problems but what is being played is not shown on the little digital display on the unit. The remote control can be used to change the tracks forward and backwards, but there is no fast forward or reverse, and I was not able to change the display to show the tracks numbers or titles. The play from the USB/SD does NOT resume where you left off (it starts from the beginning) if you turn off the unit or if you hit mode button to switch between RCA and USB/SD inputs.

Setting up the unit was simple, and I did not need the instructions. However, it should be noted that the documentation that comes with this unit is poor. The description specifies that this unit has 3.5mm (1/8") front input. Neither the front nor the back have 3.5mm input. The documentation refers to RCA connections on the back as outputs rather than inputs (the unit itself is labelled correctly). It does not mention that "Mode" button or "Volume" button can be used to turn the unit on and off.

I am enclosing a collage of 3 of photos which show the unit. Photo #1 and Photo #2 show different angles of the back of the unit. Photo #3 shows the front of the unit.

I received this amplifier for an honest review (be it positive or negative) from the manufacture. I described both positives and negatives of this unit, and I hope the video gives a good idea of what to expect from this amp.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.



Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Product review: Gurin Precision Digital Bathroom Scale with Ultra Wide Platform and Auto-on Technology, 440-Pounds

Update: After 1 month of use I am down grading the scale to 2 stars. The problem with the scale is that if you move it you get different readings. If it stays in one spot the readings don't vary too much, but if you move it there are variations in results. Even if you don't move the scale when you weight yourself, you might need to move it while cleaning.
 Original review follows:

Gurin precision digital bathroom scale is made out of tempered glass. The glass is lined with a silver lining and gives it a modern look.

I am attaching a collage of 4 photos, photo #1 shows the top of the scale. The glass platform is 14" by 12" and is raised 1" from the floor.

The display is 2" inches in size and lights up when you step on the scale. My old scale did not light up, so I had to move it into the light to see the reading. The scale allowed me to hop on the corner right in the dark corner of the bathroom where I store it since the display is clearly visible even in the dark. The display is shown in photo #2. The display stays on a couple of seconds after you step off the scale and then automatically turns off.

The third photo shows the scale upside down. You can see the scale has feet with traction pads so it does not slide on my tile. The feet also contain the sensor which turns on the display. You also see the "unit" buttons which allows you to change the units you want your weight to be displayed on the scale: kg, lb, or st.

The forth photo shows the battery compartment, the scale runs on four AAA batteries (included).

The glass top makes it look pretty but has some down sides. The glass is slippery if it gets wet. The surface also gets pretty cold in the winter. To address both issues I usually keep my socks on when I weigh myself.

The glass platform is fairly large - big enough to accommodate 4 paws of a cat - and we got our cat to stand on it for a few seconds, however the scale did not show any readout so the kitty must be under the minimum weight the scale registers.

This is an attractive scale with an easy to read numbers.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.



Ali Julia review ★★☆☆☆



Friday, May 24, 2013

Product review: DB-Tech BD-WA65 Battery Operated Water Alarm with a 6 Foot Detachable Sensor


video
DB-Tech Water alarm is a 2.5" by 4" unit that has a water sensor and electronic alarm. The water sensor is located at the end of a 66 inch cord which allows the unit to be mounted above any potential water line. The back of the unit has holes for mounting screws. However I do not have a wall within 66 inches, so I just placed the water alarm on top of the water heater, as the cord was long enough to reach the floor with a bit of slack. If the cord was not long enough to place on top of the water heater, my back up plan was to attach the unit to the water heater with some duck tape.
 I have been using a water alarm for my water heater since I had some water damage a few years ago. In the attached video I replaced my current water alarm with the DB-Tech Water alarm. You will notice the water tray under my water heater which was installed the last time the water heater was replaced. As you will see the water alarm is very sensitive, it really does not need a water tray to fill to sound the alarm. 
 
In the video I show how to extend the cord, install the battery, and then take it down to the basement where a quarter of the cup of water makes it squawk. The alarm is not very loud, I am likely to hear it on the first floor above the basement but not on the second floor especially if the TV is on.
 
To summarize:
1. Very sensitive, alarm sets off with a small amount of water
2. Reliable, alarm went off in every test I tried
3. Not loud enough to hear everywhere in the house when it is mounted in the basement
4. Mounting might require some creativity

I received a sample unit from manufacture to share my experience with the alarm (be they positive or negative) the with potential future buyers. I addressed pluses and minuses of the unit, and overall recommend it. This inexpensive device can save you a lot of money by preventing water damage.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.



Ali Julia review ★★★★☆


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Product review: Santamedical SM-210 Finger Pulse Oximeter


The fingertip pulse oximeter is easy to use and appears to be quite accurate (it showed the same reading as my last check-up). It runs on two AAA batteries. It turns on automatically when you put your finger in, and turns off automatically after a second once you remove your finger.

The unit is 1 1/3" long, 1 1/4" widem 1" thick.

I am attaching a collage of 4 photos:
✔ The first photo shows the back of the unit, push the button and slide to get to the battery compartment
✔ The second photo show the battery compartment opened
✔ The third and forth photo show the unit on my finger. It holds on tightly but not uncomfortably.

Normal oxidation level for a non-smoker is 96%-100%.
A normal resting heart rate for adults ranges from 60 to 100 beats a minute. A well trained athlete is likely to have a lower resting heart rate. However, if the rate for a regular person if the rate is outside the normal range they should consult a doctor.

I received this oximeter from the manufacture to share my experiences with it (positive and negative) with potential future buyers.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.



Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Monday, May 20, 2013

Food Review: Cameron's Coffee Flavored Ground Coffee 3-Flavor Variety Pack

This was my first purchase of Cameron's flavored coffee but it will not be my last. I 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 ★★★★★


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Product review: Maverick Wireless BBQ Thermometer Set - Maverick ET732

video

This digital thermometer is designed to be used outdoors to barbecue (the transmitter unit is water tight) but it can be used the regular kitchen oven as well. Since we have 2 feet of snow outside, and I could not wait to try it out I used it in the regular kitchen oven to cook a rack of lamb. Overall it worked well, and I am including details below.

The first thing I did is to measure the accuracy of the thermometer. My video shows this test. Checking accuracy of the thermometer is very easy because we all know the temperature at which the water boils - 112 degrees. The video shows the reading of both the transmitter and the receiver. Listen for the sounds of the water beginning to boil (this means it reached 112 degrees), and look at the reading of the thermometer. You will see a slight delay between the sounds of the boiling water and when the thermometer reaches the 112 degrees. The thermometer's final reading is 114, which is 2 degrees higher than the temperature of boiling water. This test shows that the thermometer is accurate within 2 degrees.
  I am attaching a collage of 7 photos that I will be referencing in this review.



✔ The first photo shows everything that came in the package:

1. The thermometer comes with two units: the transmitter which has the probes attached, and the receiver a unit which you can place where it is convenient so you can see and hear what is going with the temperature of the probe. It will communicate with the transmitter up to 300 feet away.

2. There are two probes one measures the meat, the other one the temperature of the barbecue or the oven itself. The alarm can be programmed to go off if the temperature of the oven is too low or too high. You can also program the alarm for the meat temperature.

3. The photo shows a clip and a stand which can be used to position the transmitter and the receiver.

The sensors are heat resistant for up to 716° F and the receiver can display up to 572° F for the barbecue temperature. If you want to lower the temperature you need to wrap around going up to the max, there is no control to lower the number. This was fairly tedious, it would have been better if it had both up and down controls.

✔ The second photo shows the backs of the transmitter and the receiver units:

The transmitter unit is water tight, to open the battery compartment you need a small screw driver. The receiver unit is not water tight, so the battery compartment has just a sliding cover. The unit comes with batteries, but they were carbon batteries that we decided not to use and used our own alkaline batteries.

✔ The third photo shows the use of the thermometer with the kitchen over.

✔ The fifth photo shows the length of the two probes.

✔ The 6,7,8 photos show the probes attached the rack of lamb before, during, and after cooking. The rack of lamb turned out delicious.

I was provided this thermometer for evaluation and unbiased review be it positive or negative and I shared my experience with it including both the positives and the negatives.

Overall, the thermometer performed very well, other than I wish I could lower the temperature without going up and around I thought everything was well designed. I would not hesitate to recommend it to others.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Product review: Santamedical Pro Series Wrist Digital Blood pressure Monitor with Case

Santamedical BW-210 blood pressure monitor is wrist blood pressure monitor. I have an arm blood pressure monitor at home, and I found that this wrist monitor gave me similar reading while was easier to put and quicker to give me a reading.
 I am attaching a collage of 4 photos that I will be referencing in this review. The first photo shows the entire content of the package. The monitor itself, the white plastic case for storage of the monitor, instruction manual. The monitor runs on two AAA batteries (included). The battery compartment is shown in photo 3. It has a plastic tongue that goes under the batteries and makes it easy to remove the batteries. The plastic container is very handy, the cuff rolled up and easily fit into the case.

The 4h photo shows me taking the measurement. The position of the monitor on your hand as well as position of the hand relative to your heart are very important to get accurate measurements. Once you find the hand position that is comfortable use the same position every day to get measurements that can be accurately compared to each other. The key to home monitoring is to notice a change. If you measure the blood pressure in different position one after another you will notice that the reading are not the same, that's why it is important to use the same position every day. The monitor should be at the same level as your heart. The manual shows extending the hand with the monitor in front of you. Another position that works is to place your hand on your chest with monitor at your heart level. I find that putting my hand on my chest is easier, and it gave me the same reading as when extending my hand in front of me.

The monitor has two buttons. The one with a circle is that on/off button. As soon as you turn on the monitor it starts measuring. It takes approximately one minute to get a reading. The second button is a memory button which will store the results. The unit has automatic power-off function if you forget to turn it off manually.

The screen displays your blood pressure and pulse. It also has a low battery indicator.

The entire wrist band (measured on the inside) is 11.25", you need to allow a minimum of 2" for Velcro closure to secure. That means it can accommodate wrists up to 9.25" in circumference.

I cross-referenced the performance of this wrist monitor with the arm blood pressure cuff I own and they showed fairly close reading. The wrist monitor however was a lot easier to put on, and thus more likely to be used regularly. Measuring Range: Pressure: 30mmHg~280mmHg; Pulse: 40 to 199 times/min; Measuring Accuracy: Pressure: ±3mmHg; Pulse: ±4% of reading.

I received Santamedical Wrist Blood pressure Monitor from the manufacture to share my experiences (be it positive or negative) with it with potential future buyers. I have no financial interest or business relationship with the manufacturer, and this review represents my independent opinion of the product.

Overall I found it to be fairly accurate, compact, and simple-to-use. For someone who needs to monitor their blood pressure every day this unit makes it easy and quick.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.



Ali Julia review ★★★★★



Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Product review: Gurin Massage Roller

Gurin Massage Rollers come in two different sizes. This one is 18.75" long and a longer one that is 24 inches. I own both and noticed that the official size on both rollers is incorrect by about an inch. One inch does not make a big difference, so it is not a big deal. For your reference I am including a collage of two photos: one shows this roller next to a measuring tape and you can see that it is 18 and 3/4 inches long, and the second photo shows a close up of the rollers and how far they can move relative to each other.
 I use the longer Gurin massage stick for doing stretching exercises and working my back. This shorter roller stick works better (i.e. more comfortable to hold) on my head and on the back of the legs. Using the roller to reduce headache pain was a great discovery for me. When I have a headache putting pressure on the point of paint has always been helpful to me, and using the roller puts pressure on a bigger area than I can achieve with my fingers. A shorter stick feels more comfortable working the head.

Gurin massage roller is a stiff sick. Each individual roller is 1 inch long and is made out plastic. They move relative to each other, in the photo I pushed it out as far is it would go to the side. The massage is provided by the pressure of rolling the stick against your body (not by individual rollers extending relative to each other).

When I first took this roller out of the plastic bag it (mostly the handles) had a smell that some new plastic items have. After airing it out for about a week the scent was barely noticeable, and it two weeks the smell was totally gone.

I received Gurin Massage Rollers from the manufacture to share my experiences (be it positive or negative) with it with potential future buyers. I have no financial interest or business relationship with the manufacturer, and this review represents my independent opinion of the product.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★






Sunday, May 12, 2013

Product review: Gurin Precision Digital Bathroom Scale, transparent design

Gurin precision digital bathroom scale is made out of tempered glass. More than half of it is made transparent glass, so it fits nicely into any decor.

I am attaching a collage of 4 photos, photo #1 shows the scale in my bathroom and you see that the tile of my bathroom is visible through the scale and so the scale fits right in. I looks a lot nicer than the white scale this Gurin scale replaced.

The glass platform is 12" by 12" and is raised 1" from the floor.

The display is 1.5" inches in size and lights up when you step on the scale. My old scale did not light up, so I had to move it into the light every time I used it to see the reading. Gurin scale allowed me to hop on the scale in the corner where it is stored, since the display is clearly visible even in the dark. The display is shown in photo #2. The display stays on a couple of seconds after you step off the scale and then automatically turns off.


  The third photo shows the scale upside down. You can see the scale has feet with traction pads so it does not slide on my tile floor. The feet contain the sensor which turns on the display. The "unit" button allows one to change the units in which the weight is displayed on the scale: kg, lb, or st.

The forth photo shows the battery compartment, the scale runs on four AAA batteries (included).

The glass of the scale look very pretty, but does have some down sides: (1) It is slippery if it gets wet. (2) The surface gets pretty cold in the winter. To solve both problems I keep my socks on when I weigh myself.

I like how this scale looks, I like how the display lights up so I can weigh myself in a dark(ish) corner of the bathroom. I cross checked my weight with my old scale and it is accurate. Thumbs up overall!


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.



Ali Julia review ★★★★★


Friday, May 10, 2013

Product review: Instapark YT1008 Solar-powered Dusk-to-Dawn Outdoor Motion Sensor LED Light, Weather-proof

Instapark YT1008 solar light is 5" x 3.35" in size. When it is mounted on a vertical surface the top part of the light that faces up and the entire surface facing up is the solar panel. This light is both motion and photo sensitive. The light turn on at dusk and shines dimly when noone is around. When the light detects motion it turns on the brighter setting. At the brightest setting Instapark Solar light is not very bright but sufficient to light the area so you can see. After a full day of charging in the sun the light stay on for approximately 6 hours.

To activate the light you need to turn on it with a provided pin by inserting into small hole on the under side (white) of the light. You only need to activate the light once. I suggest you do it before installation as to find a spot where to push inside the light is a little tricky. Just keep poking inside at different angle until it clicks and turns off. The light is water tight and this on/off mechanism provides a way to save the battery when you don't need it operating without compromising the water proof aspect of the light.

The attached video shows a close-up of the light, how to turn it on with a pin, then I turn off the lights so you can see the amount of light it generates after a full charge.

I am also attaching a collage of three photos.

Photo #1: show both sides of the light: the top with the solar panel, and the bottom with the light.
Photo #2: shows the lights in the two states: the left light shows the bright state (when motion is detected), and the left light shows the dim state (no motion detected).
Photo #3: shows both lights on bright setting in total darkness. All the light you see is generated by the two solar lights.

I mounted the light on the deck near the rear entrance of the house. The light detected me approaching from any direction (180 degrees) from about 10 feet away. After the movement stopped it went back to dim setting in about 2 minutes.


video

I received this solar light from Intapark for providing an honest review be it positive or negative. I have no financial interest or business relationship with the manufacturer, and this review represents my independent opinion of the product.

Overall, the light worked well. It detected motion in a good range and turned on to the brighter setting. However it does not light a large area so I recommend using at least a couple of these lights together.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Product review: FRIEQ® Universal Waterproof Case With Waterproof External Earphone

My husband uses his Nexus Galaxy phone with Hyperion Verizon Samsung Galaxy Nexus 3800mAh. In the past we have tried several waterproof cases that do not fit this phone as the extended battery makes it significantly fatter than a typical smart phone. This waterproof case fits!

I am including a collage of 4 photos that I will be referencing in this review.

 Photo #1 is showing the thickness of the phone with its extended battery for size reference.

The waterproof case is 7" by 4" (not counting the hard closure mechanism) in size. Photo #3 shows the Nexus phone being inserted into the case.

Photo #2 shows the audio plug built into the case.

Photo #4 shows ear buds attached to the audio port playing music. My husband was able to turn on the phone and start Pandora app through the plastic case without any problems. The audio port worked very well.
The case is also has a clear section in the back, so it is possible to take photos while the camera is in the case.

This case is rated for 100 feet submersion. However, we are more likely to use this case in the rain. My husband has damaged one of his previous smart phones by using it in a downpour, having a case like this would have prevented the damage. I tested the case by putting it under the faucet first without the phone and then with the phone in the case. The content remained dry.

I was provided a sample case for testing and for writing a fair and unbiased review. Thumbs up! Finally a case that fits even this fat phone.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.



Ali Julia review ★★★★★


Monday, May 6, 2013

Product review: i-Ecko 'Ecko Stylz' Aqua Zen Mousepad with Gel Wrist Rest

This mousepad is very bright and pretty. The mousepad is 10" top to bottom, 8.5" wide. The area above the wrist rest is 7", the wrist rest is 3" wide and 1" high. The wrist rest is made out of gel, which is firm yet has some give so it fits the wrist well.


I am attaching a photo collage of three photos for reference. Photo #3 has the mousepad on 1" gridded mat if you are interested in dimensions I have not mentioned. Photo #1 shows it on my desk. Photo #2 shows how my hand fits the mousepad. I found the mousepad to be comfortable, and it fits my hand well.

However, the mousepad straight out of the package had a very strong ordor. It was so strong that after using the mousepad for several hours the odor transferred to my hand and it took several washings to remove the scent from my wrist.

I really liked how the mousepad felt and looked so I decided to air it out in the basement.  I am writing this review after airing  out the mousepad for 2 months.  The ordor became lighter, but I can still smell it and it still transfers to my wrist when I attempted to use it for a short period of time.  It went back to the basement, I am not quite ready to toss it but I can't recommend it.

I received this mousepad from the manufacturer for testing and a fair and honest review.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.




Ali Julia review ★★☆☆☆

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Product review: Expandable Ideative power strip


Before I purchased Ideative power strip I had three power strips sitting next to each other charging various batteries and gadgets, it was a mess! The reason I had so many strips is that many of my chargers take up more than one slot, so it took a lot of strips to house them all. I am attaching a photo collage of 2 photos that will illustrate how I use this strip to hold 2 AA battery chargers, one AAA charger, one camera charger, hand held vacuum charge and a two slot USB charger. The photo can be located by following 'customer photos' link under the main photo.

The first photo shows the empty strip: it has 6 outlets. The strip has 5 movable segments, which can be adjusted to fit your various devices. The 5 segments with outlets are 1.5" wide each and the width of the moving segment can be changed from 0" to 1.25". The plugs holes are oriented on an angle. Ideally another 0.25" of the inch between the segments would have made it possible to fit all my charges next to each other in any order, as it stands now finding the optimal configuration is a bit like putting a jigsaw puzzle together. This is a thick power strip, the raised part of the strip near the cord is 2.25" from the surface. The power cord on this charger is a fairly short, it is 34 inches.

The second photo shows how I plugged in my chargers. Luckily some of my chargers are not polarized, so I could orient them in different ways making the long USB charger hang over the edge where there was room.

Overall, I am very pleased with this strip. It is a space saver!


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.



Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Product review: Gurin Massage Roller Stick

Gurin Massage Rollers come in two different sizes. One is 18.75" long and the second one is 24 inches. I own both and noticed that the official size on both rollers is incorrect by about an inch. One inch does not make a big difference, so it is not a big deal. For your reference I am including a collage of two photos: one shows this roller next to a measuring tape and you can see that it is 18 and 3/4 inches long, and the second photo shows a close up of the rollers and how far they can move relative to each other.

 I use the longer Gurin massage stick for doing stretching exercises and working my back. This shorter roller stick works better (i.e. more comfortable to hold) on my head and on the back of the legs. Using the roller to reduce headache pain was a great discovery for me. When I have a headache putting pressure on the point of paint has always been helpful to me, and using the roller puts pressure on a bigger area than I can achieve with my fingers. A shorter stick feels more comfortable working the head.

Gurin massage roller is a stiff sick. Each individual roller is 1 inch long and is made out plastic. They move relative to each other, in the photo I pushed it out as far is it would go to the side. The massage is provided by the pressure of rolling the stick against your body (not by individual rollers extending relative to each other).

When I first took this roller out of the plastic bag it (mostly the handles) had a smell that some new plastic items have. After airing it out for about a week the scent was barely noticeable, and it two weeks the smell was totally gone.

I received Gurin Massage Rollers from the manufacture to share my experiences (be it positive or negative) with it with potential future buyers. I have no financial interest or business relationship with the manufacturer, and this review represents my independent opinion of the product.

You can find the shorter roller on Amazon by following this link.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.



Ali Julia review ★★★★★




Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Product review: Santamedical Pro Series Wrist Digital Blood pressure Monitor with Case - Large Display Santamedical Pro Series Wrist Digital Blood pressure Monitor with Case

Santamedical BW-210 blood pressure monitor is wrist blood pressure monitor. I have an arm blood pressure monitor at home, and I found that this wrist monitor gave me similar reading while was easier to put and quicker to give me a reading.

I am attaching a collage of 4 photos that I will be referencing in this review. The first photo shows the entire content of the package. The monitor itself, the white plastic case for storage of the monitor, instruction manual. The monitor runs on two AAA batteries (included). The battery compartment is shown in photo 3. It has a plastic tongue that goes under the batteries and makes it easy to remove the batteries. The plastic container is very handy, the cuff rolled up and easily fit into the case.

The 4h photo shows me taking the measurement. The position of the monitor on your hand as well as position of the hand relative to your heart are very important to get accurate measurements. Once you find the hand position that is comfortable use the same position every day to get measurements that can be accurately compared to each other. The key to home monitoring is to notice a change. If you measure the blood pressure in different position one after another you will notice that the reading are not the same, that's why it is important to use the same position every day. The monitor should be at the same level as your heart. The manual shows extending the hand with the monitor in front of you. Another position that works is to place your hand on your chest with monitor at your heart level. I find that putting my hand on my chest is easier, and it gave me the same reading as when extending my hand in front of me.

The monitor has two buttons. The one with a circle is that on/off button. As soon as you turn on the monitor it starts measuring. It takes approximately one minute to get a reading. The second button is a memory button which will store the results. The unit has automatic power-off function if you forget to turn it off manually.

The screen displays you blood pressure and pulse. It also has a low battery indicator.

The entire wrist band (measured on the inside) is 11.25", you need to allow a minimum of 2" for Velcro closure to secure. That means it can accommodate wrists up to 9.25" in circumference.

I cross-referenced the performance of this wrist monitor with the arm blood pressure cuff I own and they showed fairly close reading. The wrist monitor however was a lot easier to put on, and thus more likely to be used regularly. Measuring Range: Pressure: 30mmHg~280mmHg; Pulse: 40 to 199 times/min; Measuring Accuracy: Pressure: ±3mmHg; Pulse: ±4% of reading.

I received Santamedical Wrist Blood pressure Monitor from the manufacture to share my experiences (be it positive or negative) with it with potential future buyers. I have no financial interest or business relationship with the manufacturer, and this review represents my independent opinion of the product.

Overall I found it to be fairly accurate, compact, and simple-to-use. For someone who needs to monitor their blood pressure every day this unit makes it easy and quick.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.




Ali Julia review ★★★★★