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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Food review: Viva Labs Organic Coconut Sugar

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I thought coconut sugar would have some remnants of coconut flavor but it does not. I would describe it as sugar with a bit of caramel taste to it. The directions say that it replaces regular sugar in 1 to 1 ratio, but for me it takes a bit more coconut sugar to get the same sweetness as regular sugar. For example, in my coffee it takes about 1.5 to 1 ration. I particularly like in my cappuccino, not only does it enhance the flavor but it makes it foam look great as it adds a bit brown color to it as if I sprinkle cinnamon or chocolate on it.

I also tried coconut sugar in a cookie recipe and it came very well. I used the same amount as the regular sugar I used in this recipe. The cookies were a tad less sweet but I actually preferred this flavor to the old one, I will definitely be making these cookies again.

Nutrition Info:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Serving Size: 1 Tbsp (4g)
Servings Per Container: Approximately 1 14
Amount Per Serving Calories 16
Total Carbohydrates 4g 1%

This coconut sugar is provided by Viva Labs, and the product is made in Indonesia.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Product review: Careview Polarized Sunglasses Sports Aluminum Frame

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There are many things about these glasses that I like and one thing that I don't like (but I have a fix for it described below).

✅ The fit is very comfortable for me. I would describe them as made for fairly narrow face. The distance between the edges where the frames turn is 5.5".
✅ The eyeglasses arms are made of grippy silicone material. I tested them with both Croakies and Chums eye retainers and they both held on very well. Each arm is 6".
✅ The lenses are fairly dark and polarized, My vision in the sun is good.
✅ Each lens is 2.75" side to side. 1.625" top to bottom.
❌ What I did not like is that the nose pads are held in place by shiny chrome brackets. These brackets (they face the lens) reflect in the lenses so you can see the reflection. When I wore them in the sun I found these reflections to be very distracting. I was able to fix the problem by cutting out ovals from a black electrical tape and covering the shiny parts of the nose pads brackets. This is not a very elegant solution but the tape is not noticeable because it is facing the lenses. Now the black tape totally prevents reflections. My video includes close ups of the glasses before and after the fix.

The package includes a nice large cleaning cloth and a hard shell which zips.

You can find these sunglasses on Amazon by following this link

Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Monday, July 28, 2014

Product review: MAXMADE 11000mAh Dual USB Power Bank/Car Jump Starter

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MaxMade can be used as a charger for mobile devices and a battery to jump a car. The battery pack can be recharged in two ways either from the car port or from AC. It comes with a vinyl case that holds the battery, the jumping cables, the AC adapter and the car charger.

The power bank weighs 12.6 oz and is 6.125" x 3.125" x 1.125" in size. It is is rated as 11000mAh. Since some capacity is lost to inefficiencies such as heat you can expect to get about 9000mAh out of it. I was able to charge my Samsung Nexus phone with 3800 mAh extended battery 2 times from almost empty to full, with some power still left in the battery.

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

This battery pack behaved the same with my charging cable as the one that came with the battery. But neither of the ports gave me the optimal charge for my mobile devices. They were charged but not as fast as some of the other power banks. Note that you cannot use the power bank to charger your device while the bank itself is charging. This battery pack has bright and clear charge level indicators. The manufacturer recommends fully recharging the power bank every 6 months, this is important if you are keeping the power bank in the car.

TEST RESULTS:
Samsung Nexus phone:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

2A port: 0.98A/4.91V
1A port: 0.76A/4.85V
(for comparison the best charging monitor result for this phone is 1.00A/5V)

iPad Mini tablet:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
2A port: 0.92A/4.79V
1A port: 0.92A/4.79B
(for comparison the best charging monitor result for this tablet is 1.70A/5V)

The jumper cable output ports are hidden under a cover which has a picture of the car. The cover looks like a sticker, but it can be lifted up to reveal two ports. To test the jumper cables, I attached the volt meter to battery clamps. As you can see in the video the reading is 12.47V which is sufficient to jump a car. I now keep this case in my car and will update this review when I will have a chance to use it to restart a dead battery. To jump the car the power back should be more than half full of charge.

The battery pack also has a built-in flashlight. The flashlight is quite bright and has two modes: steady light and flashing light. It is one of the brightest flashlight I have seen on an external power bank.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Product review: Smart Weigh ACE110 Digital Shipping Postal Scale

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After using this scale for two weeks on daily basis (I measure a lot of things for my reviews to be precise about weight and size) I was about to post a 5 star review, when I noticed a critical review that mentioned that the scale starts rounding when measuring double digit oz. The problem occurs in a range of weights when the oz measurement is in double digits and I did not encounter those specific ranges during my two weeks of use. This is a serious flaw and I wanted to see if my scale has it too. So I went back to testing. Indeed my scale does the same thing. I amended my video to include the results of this new test. My old UltraShip scale shows 2 pounds and 14.5 oz. SmartWeigh scale shows 2 pounds 14 oz. It rounded down the measurement. Note that the Post office requires you to round up weights so in some cases this error may lead you to underpay postage if you are printing shipping labels from home. Thanks to Big Al for catching this! This flaw is not obvious as it occurs in a certain range but it is significant.

This scale can run either on two AAA batteries or plugged into AC. Both the batteries and AC adapter are included. The readout is detached from the weighing platform, which makes it very convenient to weigh large packages. I measured it against my UltraShip postal scale which I took into my postal office to be compare with the scale they use there to confirm its accuracy. Both scales agreed and only at several pounds there was less then one oz difference. Putting the same item on the scale multiple times produces the same read out, so it is consistent.

There are several buttons that control this scale's operation. Mode changes the measure of units. Tare button allows you to subtract the weight of the container. The third button is hold, it freezes the weight on the display even when you remove the item from the scale.

Scale calibration is set at the factory, but if you ever need to calibrate the scale the weight that is used for calibration is 20 kg. On my old UltraShip scale I needed to calibrate it after I changed batteries. The hardest thing about calibration at home was to find something that was exactly 20 kilograms which is 44lb 1.5 oz
I wound up doing it with water.

Some useful weights info:
1 liter = 1kg and 1 gallon = 128oz= 8 pounds

I like that I can measure anything from letters which are under 1 oz up to packages that are 110 pounds. As I mentioned at the start of my review this is a nice scale but has one serious flaw in the range of weights when oz are in double digits.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★☆☆

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Product review: Aerb Multifunction 2.4GHz Air Mouse Mini Wireless Keyboard & Infrared Remote Control

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I really like this air mouse. My main use for it is to control my Android TV. What is nice about the air mouse is that you don't need a flat surface to mouse on. I can do all of this from the comfort of my favorite leather chair. It also reduces clutter, I only need one device that replaces both the keyboard and the mouse.

Aerb air mouse is shaped like a TV remote control: it is 6.75" long and 2" wide and 0.375" thick. One side of the remote has all the mousing functionality and the TV remote functions, the other side has a QWERTY keyboard. In the video I show the air mouse next to my Verizon remote control for reference.

OPERATION: MOUSE
ᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓ
Air mouse comes with a wireless dongle (nano style) that plugs into your device (in my case the Android TV). When my TV is Android TV mode all I have to do is aim the air mouse remote at the screen and move it remote in the air. My movements correspond to the movement of the mouse pointer. The control is very good, it did not take me any time to get used to it. Once the pointer is on the link or icon I want to select I press the big OK button in the remote to click. The remote also has other functions such as home, next and previous screen, back, volume up and down and so forth. I was able to operate it from as far as I could go in the room (the remote is rated for 10 meters which is 30 feet).

I also tested mousing on Windows and Linux PCs and both worked without any problems.

A minor complaint about the USB dongle is that it is not labelled. I have so many different dongles that if they get unplugged it is easy to confuse them with other USB dongles. I like it when manufacturers put a little logo on the back of their USB dongles. For this one I had to tape a little tag of my own making.

OPERATION: KEYBOARD
ᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓ
The keyboard keys have a nice feel (hard rubber) and good feedback (mechanical feeling click). It is a full QWERTY keyboard with letters and numbers. To switch to the blue character (which include numbers) you need to press Alt key. Another opush on Alt switches you back to the white characters.

The keyboard also works on Windows and Linux PCs.

INSTALLATION:
ᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓ
Insert USB receiver into a USB port on the device. No other action is needed. The air mouse was immediately recognized.

CHARGING:
ᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓᨓ
Air mouse runs on two AAA batteries (note batteries are not included). There is no on/off button on the remote. It might have been nice to have the on/off switch to save the battery when the air mouse is not in use. The battery cover did not close as smoothly as I would have liked, I felt I needed to be gentle with it.

The bottom line is that this air mouse worked very smoothly with every device I have tried and I like that the most common function (click) is the big OK button, not a small button in the middle of other buttons as on some other air mice.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Product review: Pacific Resources Lemon and Lozenges, Manuka Honey and Propolis

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These lozenges have a distinctive Manuka honey taste combined with menthol. There is a very light hint of lemon flavor in them, but mostly it is strong honey and strong menthol. Each box contains 20 lozenges. As they dissolve they sooth the irritated scratchy throat caused by sore throat or cough. They worked very similar to any other cough drop I have tried. I can't say they are better than other cough drops, but if you like Manuka flavor you are likely to like them.

INGREDIENTS: Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Manuka Honey UMF, Organic Citric Acid, Propolis, Organic Lemon Oil, Organic Menthol.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Product review: Honeymoon super soft Wrinkle Free MicroFiber bed sheet

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This is my first microfiber sheet set. These sheets and pillow cases are made out of polyester. Our other sheets are 100% cotton so I did not quite know what to expect. I was surprised that Honeymoon sheets felt more like a thin sateen, they were more silky than I expected. I expected a rougher material so this was a pleasant surprise. They come out of the dryer totally wrinkle free. The pillow cases felt nice against my face. Those are the good things. The bad thing is that the sheet is cut very generously and material is very slippery. This combination does not keep the sheet taught on our mattress like the cotton sheets. It does not cause discomfort but it requires more tucking and straightening if I want it to look good. For reference, the fitted sheet pockets are 13" inches and our mattress is 10". I am guessing that if the mattress is thicker there will be less bunching on the top.

♦ Fitted Sheet is 80"x60". It has 13" pocket and elastic around all 4 edges.
♦ Flat Sheet is 102"x90". It has three embroidered stripes on one edge.
♦ 2 Pillowcases are 20.5" x 29.5". Each has three embroidered stripes on one edge of one side.

The seams are single stitched. Their appearance is neat, although in some higher end sheet sets the seams are double stitched and that helps them to last longer.

In attached video I include some close ups of the finish. The color I got is "tan". The sheets/pillow cases did not shrink after washing, they were color fast, and they came out wrinkle free out of the dryer.

Care recommendation from Honeymoon: Machine wash in cold water.


You can find these sheets on Amazon by following this link.



Ali Julia review ★★★★☆


Friday, July 18, 2014

Product review: Novobeam 3000mAh Waterproof Dustproof Portable USB External Battery Pack

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This is a compact and waterproof external battery. It has one port and is rated as 3000 mAh. Since some power during charging is lost to inefficiencies (such as heat) it will provide approximately 2250 mAh. I was able charge my phone with 3800mAh extended battery from low levels to slight above 50%.

This battery has a light which indicates when the battery is charging or being charged, but it does not have a charge level indicator. If the battery is almost exhausted I will not know this until the light goes out and stops charging.

I tested the port with a current monitor and it delivers 1A. Which means it a bit underpowered for Apple devices. It charged my iPad Mini but slowly. It was faster charging my Nexus phone but not at the optimal speed. If you are interested in the details of the next I am including them below in the "test results" section.

This battery's size is 4"L x 1", its weight is 2.5 oz.

The package included the battery itself, a micro USB charging cable and an instruction sheet.

Test results:
~~~~~~~~~~
I use the current monitor to test all my chargers. This gives me a numerical way to compare different external batteries to each other so I can tell different chargers perform relative to their peers. For each test I use the phone and tablet, same cables, and I start each test at the same level to account for non-linear charging.

iPad Mini:______________0.93A / 4.90V_________(optimal rate is 1.60A / 5.00V)
Nexus Samsung phone:____0.86A / 4.89V_________(optimal rate is 1.00A / 5.00V)

Because this externally battery pack is small and light and did not charge my phone at the optimal speed I am using it with my Sansa MP3 player. Sansa has a built-in battery and I typically listen to it attached to a small external charger this way it never runs out of juice. This battery is working very well in this role.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★☆


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Product review: Shacke™ Pak - 4 Set Packing Cubes - Travel Organizers with Laundry Bag

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These nylon bags have a double zipper and they open flat. The top of the bag has 4 mesh openings, so you can see what is in the bag without needing to open them. The mesh also allows air to escape so the bags can flatten out nicely. Each bag has a handle. The nylon is of a nice thickness, not flimsy. The seams are double stitched. The packing cube feel like a good quality product that should last a long time.

The packing cubes came in a matching nylon bag. This bag can be used as a storage bag for the packing cubes when they are not in use and as bag for keeping your dirty cloth separate from the rest when you travel.

Size info:
~~~~~~~~~~~~
♦ Extra Large cube is 17.5" x 12.75" x 4"
♦ Large cube is 13.75" x 12.75" x 4"
♦ Medium cube is 13.75" x 9.75" x 4"
♦ Small cube is 11" x 6.75" x 4"
♦ Laundry bag 20.5" x 14.5"

When I travel dedicate each cube to a specific type of clothing. Even if I don't fill them to full capacity I use all 4 as it makes it easier for me to find what I need. The small one I use for socks, I was able to fit 10 pairs of socks. The medium one I use for tops (blouses, t-shirts). I can fit 11 or 12 of them into the medium bag. The large one goes for pants/jeans. The extra large is used for warm items such as sweaters, fleece jackets, turtle necks. I can fit one or two of each, depending on how lofty the sweaters/cardigans are. I still need another bag for the underwear, so I am using another bag for that.

Cleaning instructions:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
♦ Hand wash in cold water
♦ Line Dry in the shade
♦ Do not bleach, iron, or dry clean

Ever since I can remember I travel with all my stuff neatly packed in extra large Ziploc bags. Shirts in one bag, pants in another bag, stuff I need for sleeping in another bag, and so forth. I used to travel a lot and this allowed me to live out of a suitcase and quickly find everything I needed without turning my suitcase upside down or needing to fully unpack. And years later I began seeing packing cubes being sold to do exactly the same thing that I've been doing for years. I should have created this product 20 years ago! Darn!

All in all excellent this is an packing system for a traveller. They work better than my plastic bag solution because they compress better (air escapes from the mesh).

You can find these packing cubes on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Product review: EZOPower 5V 7.2A High Output 5-Port USB Wall Adapter with 8ft Extension

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The EzoPower Charger comes in two parts: a compact 5 port charging station and a large power adapter.
♦ charging station is 2.8 oz, 4" x 2.25" x 0.8"
♦ power supply is 7.8 oz, 4.5" x 2" x 1.5"
♦ the cord that connects the charging station to the power supply is 48"
♦ the cord that connect the power supply to the outlet is 39.5"
Note that Amazon description states that the cord is 8.25 feet, this is the sum of the two cords as well as the length of the plugs and the power adapter all added together.

This wall charger has 5 ports. Three of them are labelled universal and 2 ports are called super chargers. I measured the performance of each port with current monitor and three different devices: Apple, Nexus, and Samsung.

The three universal ports give the best performance for Android devices(Nexus and Samsung), the Apple devices drew under 1A on them which means it will charge slower than optimal on these ports. The super charger ports have an excellent performance for Apple devices, but on these super ports the Android devices drew a little less the universal ports. Google (starting with Jelly Bean 4.21) figured out the Apple protocol and starting with that release is able to draw the right charge on ports designed for Apple. So the performance on the Super Charger ports is fairly close to the universal ports. Detailed current monitor readings are included below for those who are interested.

EziPower has 5 port charger and the power adapter has a regular sized plug. If you are running out of space on your power strip for all the chargers (and who is not?) this wall charger is good solution.

➨ Test Results:
======================
All measurements are taken at the same level of charge for the device to account for non-liner charging rate.

✔ Nexus Galaxy Phone
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Port 1: current monitor: ~~~~~ 1.03A, 5.21V
Port 2: current monitor: ~~~~~ 1.04A, 5.21V
Port 3: current monitor: ~~~~~ 1.04A, 5.19V
Port 4: current monitor: ~~~~~ 0.93A, 5.06V
Port 5: current monitor: ~~~~~ 0.95A, 5.09V

✔ iPad Mini Tablet
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Port 1: current monitor: ~~~~~ 0.93A, 5.18V
Port 2: current monitor: ~~~~~ 0.93A, 5.18V
Port 3: current monitor: ~~~~~ 0.93A, 5.18V
Port 4: current monitor: ~~~~~ 1.62A, 5.00V
Port 5: current monitor: ~~~~~ 1.69A, 5.09V

✔ Samsung Galaxy Tablet
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Port 1: current monitor: ~~~~~ 1.42A, 5.18V
Port 2: current monitor: ~~~~~ 1.38A, 5.18V
Port 3: current monitor: ~~~~~ 1.37A, 5.18V
Port 4: current monitor: ~~~~~ 1.29A, 5.06V
Port 5: current monitor: ~~~~~ 1.29A, 5.06V

I got good performance on all 5 ports for Android devices and good performance for Apple devices on the two super charger ports. I like that it takes up just one slot on my power strip. The large power supply makes the entire set a bit too large to travel within USA, however for international travel this power supply might be useful as it works with inputs range of 100-240V.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

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Monday, July 14, 2014

Product review: Dual USB Car Charger 3.1Amp 15.5W - 1.0&2.1A Universal Ports

video

Over the last year I have tested a large number of car chargers. I use a current monitor to compare their performance and the manufacturer of this charger contacted me and asked me to do a comparison review for this charger to the best chargers I have tested thus far.

After running the tests I came up with somewhat surprising results. Samsung Nexus phone (running Jelly Bean 4.2.2) that I use for most of my tests charged relatively slowly. Nexus 5, which was just upgraded to KitKat 4.4.3 charged very quickly. I have not seen such a difference between the two phones in the past. The only difference with prior tests is the OS upgrade on Mexus 5 and this charger.

Vority USB Car charger is compact (1.2" x 2.4") and provides up to 3.1Amps the combined power between two USB slots. The slots are labelled 1A and 2.1A. The front of the panel lights up to indicate that the charger is working. It fit the car port very firmly and did not get dislodged even on rough roads.

For those who are interested in detail of how I tested this charger I am including them below.

➨ Test Results:
======================

✔ Samsung Nexus Phone
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Port 2.1A: current monitor: ~~~~~ 0.43A and 5.16V
Port 1A: current monitor: ~~~~~~~ 0.74A and 5.17V
For comparison best charger I have tested showed the current rating of 1.02A and 5.14V at the same level of charge for this phone using the same charging cable.

✔ Nexus 5 Phone
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Port 2.1A: current monitor: ~~~~~ 1.34A and 5.00V
Port 1A: current monitor: ~~~~~~~ 1.35A and 5.0V
For comparison best charger I have tested showed the current rating of 1.42A and 5.21V at the same level of charge for this phone using the same charging cable.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Product review: Keedox 16mp TFT LCD Digital Zoom Waterproof Digital Video Recoding Camera

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I like having a small camera along whenever I go. I was excited about this camera because on paper it had a number of features that my other small cameras do not have and which I find very useful when I use my digital SLR: it has built-in stabilization and it has a built-in flash. It addition its case is water tight without needing an external case.

However my excitement was dampened when I ran into a couple of major issues:

♦ The camera turns on instantly as long as I don't have a micro SD card inserted. If micro SD is inserted the camera does not turn on. I have to open the side, pop out the micro SD card, turn on the camera, then push micro SD card back on. I set the camera not to turn off for 5 minutes, but every 5 minutes I need to repeat this procedure if I pause in my picture taking.

♦ The quality of the photos is not great. It is best in bright light. Auto focus does not work at short distance - I got soft blurry images at 2 /2.5 feet. See video for examples.

♦ I was not able to access micro SD from the PC while it was inserted into the camera. This is related to the issue not being able to turn on the camera while the micro SD is inserted, and the trick of popping the micro sd first does not work for the USB connection. I get an error that media is not ready. I am able to access the micro SD when I take it out and mount in the computer directly.

There are a number of things I like about the camera and I want to list them for the compeleteness of the review

♦ The user interface is simple and intuitive. In the two other small cameras I have the interface was "quirky", this is not the case with this camera

♦ The control buttons are large, the give nice feedback, most common functions are one click away (such as switching modes, turning on flash, etc)

Size:
♦ The camera is 5.1 oz
♦ 4.5" x 2.75" x 1"
♦ control buttons are 3/8" x 3/8"

Lens:
♦ Fixed size lens. 8.13mm, F3.0
This is a fairly slow lens (my video contains some night shorts for reference)
♦ Auto focus starts working at about 2 feet. Photos at shorter distances are blurry

General notes:
♦ When micro SD is inserted, the proper orientation is to have contacts towards the back of the camera.
♦ When navigating menus controls on the back of the camera become navigation buttons
delete icon becomes navigate right
scene icon becomes navigate left
flash icon becomes navigate up
timer icon becomes navigate down
♦ If you re-format the SD card in the camera it start numbering the images from the beginning (IMAG0001.JPG) so if you copy the images back to the computer to the same location they will overwrite the previously taken photos.

So what the bottom line? I like this camera's user interface, but the camera itself needs more refinement. The issue with micro SD card makes it difficult to use. I reported the issue with the SD card to the manufacturer.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★☆☆☆

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Product review: GROSCHE MADRID PREMIUM FRENCH PRESS COFFEE AND TEA MAKER

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We use a French Press on regular basis and have tried several brands through the years (we used Bodum for years and SterlingPro for the last 3 months). We like using French Press because it produces a full bodied coffee flavor. I got Grosche French press because I wanted to get a small size to take with me to work. It is just big enough to give me one mug of coffee.

Grosche French press feels well made. It has mostly stainless steel construction, only portions of the cap are made out of black plastic. The mesh is very fine and leave no sediment. In the attached video I include an image of the last sip of coffee on the bottom of the white mug, so you can see how well filtered the coffee made in this French press is. Overall, I really like it. The capacity is just perfect for my needs, it operates smoothly, and it looks good.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Product review: Gogogu Multifunction Digital Pedometer with a clip

video


I walk every day and own a couple of pedometer to keep track of my walks. There is a couple of feature in this pedometer that I really like
♦ Nice clip that opens easily and opens wide, so it is easy to clip to my clothing
♦ Big and clear readout, I can even see it in the sun

This pedometer shows the distance in miles. Some pedometers made in China only show the distance in kilometers and I was pleased to see that this pedometer was designed to be used in US market.

The setting of initial values is a little tricky. For example if you want to increase the default value for the person's weight, you cannot increase the values you can only decrease the numbers, so you need to go all the way down to zero and then down from 500 pounds to the desired weight. Since you only have to do this once, it is not a huge deal.

To test this pedometer I wore it along with my old pedometer and their readings were fairly close to each other.



You can find it on Amazon by following this link

Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Product review: ChargerLeash CL011503 Charge & Sync Smart Micro USB 2.0 Cable

video

ChargingLeash is a 3 foot cable that starts making an annoying beep when you disconnect your mobile device from the charging cable (see video). If you tend to forget your charger in the hotel rooms when you travel this is going to be helpful. This will not help if you forget the phone along with the charger and cable or if you remove the cable from the charger along with your mobile device.

As you see in the video there is a short delay after the phone is disconnected and the alarm begins. ChargingLeash also provides a visual clue by changing the green light to the red one with the same short delay.

I used my current monitor to see how well this cable charges my Samsung Nexus phone.

This cable provided 0.75A and 5.18V. I test all my chargers and cables with the current monitor, running the tests starting with the same charge level of the phone to account for non-linear charging. My favorite charging cables using the same phone and the same charger gives me 0.98A - 1.02A. So using the ChargngLeash cable you are giving up a bit of charging speed to get the alarm functionality.

What's the bottom line? This cable can be really helpful to some folks, it does exactly what it is described to do. But if you are looking for a generic cable and don't need the alarm feature this is not the speediest charging cable you can get.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Friday, July 4, 2014

Product review: Gogogu Alarm Clock w/ Date and Temperature

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I like this LED clock because the numbers are large and easy to see. Each number is 1 5/8" high. The clock itself is 3" tall, 5.5" wide, and 1 7/8" thick. In the dark room this clock automatically turns on backlighting. You can also turn the backlighting my hand if needed.

This clock is easy to set. It is controlled by the big labelled buttons on the back. There is a slide that allows you to select what you want to set (time, alarm, date), then the three buttons on the set the values. The alarm is reasonably loud. The button on top turns on the back light, or serves as a snooze button for the alarm.

The clock runs on three AAA batteries. The batteries are not included.

For several weeks that I have been using it so far it has kept accurate time. I am finding the clock very useful.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Product review: Shacke™ Pak - 4 Set Packing Cubes - Travel Organizers with Laundry Bag

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These nylon bags have a double zipper and they open flat. The top of the bag has 4 mesh openings, so you can see what is in the bag without needing to open them. The mesh also allows air to escape so the bags can flatten out nicely. Each bag has a handle. The nylon is of a nice thickness, not flimsy. The seams are double stitched. The packing cube feel like a good quality product that should last a long time.

The packing cubes came in a matching nylon bag. This bag can be used as a storage bag for the packing cubes when they are not in use and as bag for keeping your dirty cloth separate from the rest when you travel.

Size info:
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♦ Extra Large cube is 17.5" x 12.75" x 4"
♦ Large cube is 13.75" x 12.75" x 4"
♦ Medium cube is 13.75" x 9.75" x 4"
♦ Small cube is 11" x 6.75" x 4"
♦ Laundry bag 20.5" x 14.5"

When I travel dedicate each cube to a specific type of clothing. Even if I don't fill them to full capacity I use all 4 as it makes it easier for me to find what I need. The small one I use for socks, I was able to fit 10 pairs of socks. The medium one I use for tops (blouses, t-shirts). I can fit 11 or 12 of them into the medium bag. The large one goes for pants/jeans. The extra large is used for warm items such as sweaters, fleece jackets, turtle necks. I can fit one or two of each, depending on how lofty the sweaters/cardigans are. I still need another bag for the underwear, so I am using another bag for that.

Cleaning instructions:
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♦ Hand wash in cold water
♦ Line Dry in the shade
♦ Do not bleach, iron, or dry clean

Ever since I can remember I travel with all my stuff neatly packed in extra large Ziploc bags. Shirts in one bag, pants in another bag, stuff I need for sleeping in another bag, and so forth. I used to travel a lot and this allowed me to live out of a suitcase and quickly find everything I needed without turning my suitcase upside down or needing to fully unpack. And years later I began seeing packing cubes being sold to do exactly the same thing that I've been doing for years. I should have created this product 20 years ago! Darn!

All in all excellent this is an packing system for a traveller. They work better than my plastic bag solution because they compress better (air escapes from the mesh).

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★