Sunday, August 31, 2014

Food review: Viva Labs Organic Coconut Flour

video

Coconut Flour is very finely ground and smells very nice. Its baking characteristics are different from grain-based flour so I am still learning to work with it. I am including a video of my first batch and you will see that the cookies are not pretty but they taste good. Based on the taste I will continue to use the flour.

Coconut flour has different characteristics from the grain-based flour and cannot be substituted 1 to 1 ratio. The instructions on the package say to substitute 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup of coconut flour for 1 cup of grain-based flour. Coconut flour absorbs more liquid than the grain-based flower so for 1 cup of coconut flour I used 6 eggs and 1 cup of liquid. I also found that maple syrup works well as a binding product. Coconut flour feels pretty clumpy as you work with it, I mix it longer than I do regular flour. The good news is that since it has no gluten there is no danger of the final product becoming too hard as a result of over mixing. I found some very nice recipes and tips on Wellness Mama blog.

This flour is provided by Viva Labs, and the product is made in the Philippines.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Product review: Love Home Coccyx Orthopedic Memory Foam Seat Cushion

video

In the last 10 years I had 2 back surgeries, so I have variety of cushions and supports that help my back. None of the old cushions are made out of memory foam so I was curious to see how memory foam measures up. I found the cushion comfortable, the main difference with the other supports I have is that it compresses much more. If you are looking to improve comfort of your office chair without raising the height so your hands remain in the old position this cushion is perfect. If you are looking for a cushion that would raise you (say for short person to take to a concert) this is not the right cushion to choose.

This cushion is 15" wide, 11.5" front to back, 3.5" thick uncompressed, under 1" once you sit on it and it compresses.

One distinctive feature of this cushion is a cut out in the back which is helpful for people with hemorrhoids or tail bone pain as it prevents putting pressure on that area as you sit. The top cover is removable for cleaning, but the cushion itself is not washable according to the label.

Like many products made out of memory foam the cushion initially has a chemical scent to it. I am publishing this review after 2 weeks of using the pillow and the scent has diminished. From prior experience with memory foam body pillows the scent sometimes take several months to totally disappear, but eventually it does.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Product review: Epica Electric Yogurt Maker

video

I am slowly becoming a yogurt making expert. So far I have made 6 batches and they are getting better every time. I have tried 2% milk without pre-boiling, 2% milk with pre-boiling, whole milk with pre-boiling, and goat milk with pre-boiling. I also made a couple of batches just changing the length of incubation to get an idea of what difference that makes. In some batches I added a straining step at the end to make Greek yogurt. The biggest difference in results is whether I pre-boil milk or not. Pre-boiling creates significantly thicker yogurt. The initial temperature at which you start the incubation of the mixture is also a key to success. Without pre-boiling the texture of the yogurt I get is more like (delicious) buttermilk. By pre-boiling milk I get a texture similar to a yogurt I buy in a supermarket.

The process of making yogurt is quite simple. The key is to keep the yogurt culture at a steady temperature and steady position (no moving or shaking) during the incubation period.

To make the yogurt you need milk and yogurt culture. Note that the Epica package contains two starter packets of culture. Once you made the first batch you can keep using one of your containers for the next batch. There are several options for both milk and yogurt culture.

Milk options:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
♦ Pasteurized milk (whole, low fat, or skim)
♦ UHT sterilized milk
♦ Instant powered milk (reconstituted)
♦ Soy milk (unflavored that contains honey, fructose or malt)

Yogurt culture options:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
♦ 6 oz store-bought yogurt with active cultures
♦ 6 oz home-made yogurt from your previous batch
♦ freeze-dried yogurt culture

For my first batch I started milk at the room temperature, mixed in the yogurt culture (that was included with the yogurt maker) in half a cup of milk, then mixed it with the rest of the milk. Another option is to boil the milk, then let it cool to 108-112°F. This produces a thicker yogurt. Based on my experience I now always pre-boil because it makes a big difference. After the mixture is done, all that is left is to fill the jars and put them into the incubator. How long you wait depends on the milk you use.

♦ whole milk takes 7 hours if milk was boiled, 8 hours if not boiled
♦ 2% milk takes 8 hours if milk was boiled, 10 hours if not boiled
♦ skim milk takes 10 hours if milk was boiled, 12 hours if not boiled

For my first batch, I used 2% unboiled milk and waited 10 hours. For the next batch, I used 2% boiled milk and waited 8 hours. My video includes the results of both so you can tell the difference that boiling makes.
After the incubation the yogurt needs to refrigerated. Refrigeration stops the incubation process. Instructions say 3 hour are required minimum before adding any flavorings, and 6 to 8 hours is recommended. Note that the incubator does not turn off on its own, it should be unplugged. The home made yogurt should be consumed within 1 week.

Since I like the thicker greek yogurt taste I strained several jars of my yogurt after making it. In a couple of batches I mixed in Vermont maple syrup, in a couple of other batches I added Manuka honey... and I thought my yogurt was better than store bought!

The yogurt maker comes with 7 jars each one has 6 oz capacity. Instructions said to fill each jar 3/4 full. So I got about 35 oz of yogurt. The entire yogurt maker is pretty compact it is 5.75" tall, 9.5" in diameter.

Any negatives? Yes, one thing. The timer on top of the yogurt maker does not turn off the appliance, you need to do it by hand.

I love yogurt. My favorite Greek yogurt costs me over one dollar per 8 oz cup, goat yogurt is even more expensive. So trying to make my own is very appealing to me for cost reasons as well as experimenting with my own favorite flavors. I love it!

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Product review: Zendure A2 6000mAh Portable Charger

video

Zendure A2 external battery has one charging port and its capacity is 6000 mAh. Since some capacity is lost to inefficiencies such as heat you can expect to get about 4500 mAh out of it. I was able to charge my Samsung Nexus phone with 3800 mAh extended battery from empty to full once with some charge still left in the battery. This is a very rugged battery, it has a shock absorbing belt.

The battery weighs 4.95 oz, and is 3.5" x 1.75" x 1" in size. This battery has a bright charge level indicator, the indicator when you plug in a device or when you press the on button and then turns off in a second or two.

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

Samsung Nexus phone:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Zendure A2:__________0.92A/5.05V
(for comparison the best charging monitor result for this phone is 1.00A/5V)

iPad Mini tablet:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Zendure A2:___ 1.29A/5.01V
(for comparison the best charging monitor result for this tablet is 1.70A/5V)

This a nice battery for active life style - hiking, biking, etc - you will not need to worry the battery is going to get damaged if you drop it.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Product review: G.u.m Power Toothbrush Crayola with Suction Cup


I am a big fan of Gum brushes, my dentist recommends them. I picked up the Crayola with suction cup for a visiting youngster. It small in size and fits a small mouth quite well, the bristles are soft.

However, after the toothbrush has been used it turns out that there is one fundamental issue with this design. Because you stick right to the vanity top the toothbrush drains directly to the vanity creating a mess. I did not like that it created extra clean-up work for me. The handle is too thick to fit into the tooth holder. So despite having a very nice head this brush did not get much use. I did not think of the messy aspect of the design before I bought, so I wanted to share my experience.

Ali Julia review ★★☆☆☆

Friday, August 22, 2014

Product review: Deshedding Tool for Pets - Fur Eliminator for Short/Long Hair Dogs & Cats

video

This deshedding tool is very effective. It removes an enormous amount of hair. Our long haired kitty loves being brushed and she liked being brushed with this brush as much as the old one. The kitty was willing to stay there as long as a human was willing to brush her.

This brush removes significantly more hair than the old brush we use every day. Be prepared to be totally covered with hair yourself. My husband looked like a cat himself after he was done brushing, static electricity made the hair cling to his shirt and his entire front was covered with cat hair.

The brush feels heavy and heavy duty. It comes with two interchangeable heads, one is 3" the other one is 1.75". The tools is well balanced with 6.5" handle. It weights 4.6 oz. Both I and my husband found it comfortable to hold.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.



Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Product review: TaoTronics E27 12W Led Grow Light Red Blue LED Lights for Plants in Garden Greenhouse(TT-GL20)

video

My husband is a garden enthusiast who grows everything from seed. This year his plan is to plant something every week through the summer so we have small seedlings in the house all the time.

To test the effectiveness of this grow light we planted three identical pots with peas and corn sprouts. The first pot was left to grow outside in the sun, the second pot was left to grow near a sunny window inside, and the third pot was left in an area which does not get direct sunlight and was left under a grow light.

The attached video includes the photos taken every day for 7 days. I was sceptical that the plants under the grow light will do better than the plants left outside in the sun but as you see at the end of 7 days the plants under the grow light are significantly bigger. On day 5 the "window" plant got disqualified from the experiment because our cat chewed it. I continued to leave the injured plant in the photos for reference but it looks pretty sad. It should be noted that it was the smallest plant at the time when Hedy decided to mess with the experiment. The results at the end of the 7 days are pretty conclusive! Grow light wins!

TaoTronics 12W Grow light fits into a regular bulb fixture. Each bulb has 3 blue and 9 red LED lights. The light weight 9.15 oz and is 5.5" long, and 4.75" wide. The light feels well made. The finish of the bulb looks neat, and when I shake it nothing rattles.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.



Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Monday, August 18, 2014

Product review:eBoot 3000mAh Portable Battery Lipstick-sized External Battery Power Bank

video

eBoot external battery pack is a lipstick style external battery with one charging port. It weighs 2.95oz, it is 3.5" long. It small and light and easy for me to carry in my purse just in case my phone runs out of juice. This package also include a one port wall charger. It is small and light at 1.25 oz and takes up only one slot on the power strip. Also included are micro USB cable and a travel pouch.

This power bank is rated as 3000mAh. Since some capacity is lost to inefficiencies such as heat you can expect to get about 2250mAh out of it. I was able to charge my Samsung Nexus phone with 3800 mAh from half full to full once.

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

Neither the battery pack nor the wall adapter showed good performance on my devices. They performed better with Android phone than the iPad Mini. In an emergency I usually want a battery pack to give me a quick charge, so that's why I rate the overall package as okay - the external battery works but slowly.

Test results:

Samsung Nexus phone:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

eBoot external battery:___ 0.62A/4.82V
eBoot wall charter:_______ 0.90A/4.82V
(for comparison the best charging monitor result for this phone is 1.00A/5V)

iPad Mini tablet:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
eBoot external battery:___ 0.68A/4.73V
eBoot wall charter:_______ 0.92A/5.38V
(for comparison the best charging monitor result for this tablet is 1.70A/5V)

This external battery is quite slow but it small and light to keep in my purse or car for an emergency boost.
You can find it on Amazon by following this link.



Ali Julia review ★★★☆☆


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Product review: eBoot 3000mAh Portable Backup External Battery Charger Power Bank

video

eBoot external battery pack is a square lipstick style external battery with one charging port. It weighs 2.45oz, and is 3.5" x 0.75" x 0.75". The package also includes are micro USB cable.

How did it work? It worked both with my Nexus Phone and iPad Mini, but provided under 1A power for both so it was pretty slow charging them. However it was a bit faster than the eBoot round lipstick style battery.

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

This power bank is rated as 3000mAh. Since some capacity is lost to inefficiencies such as heat you can expect to get about 2250mAh out of it. I was able to charge my Samsung Nexus phone with 3800 mAh from half full to full once.

Test results:

Samsung Nexus phone:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

eBoot external battery:___ 0.88A/5.00V
(for comparison the best charging monitor result for this phone is 1.00A/5V)

iPad Mini tablet:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
eBoot external battery:___ 0.93A/4.98V
(for comparison the best charging monitor result for this tablet is 1.70A/5V)

This external battery is not fast, but I like its size and weight to have along for an emergency boost.
You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Product review: 7800mAh Waterproof, Shockproof, Dustproof and Proof Pressure USB Port Anti-explosion Portable Charger External Backup Battery Pack Power Bank

video

Cottee external battery pack is a rugged weatherproof external battery with one charging port. This battery is fairly large and heavy. It weighs 8.3 oz, and is 4.5" x 3.5" x 1" in size. The battery has a built-in flashlight with 3 settings: bright, dim, and off. The charging level indicators are very bright, something I always appreciate in a battery. The package also includes a micro USB cable.

This power bank is rated as 7800mAh. Since some capacity is lost to inefficiencies such as heat you can expect to get about 5850 mAh out of it. I was able to charge my Samsung Nexus phone with 3800 mAh extended battery from half full to full three times.

This battery provide 1A of charge. This is a bit underpowered for Apple devices that require more than 1A for optimal charge. It worked both with my Nexus Phone and iPad Mini but was not a fast charger for either one.

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

Test results:

Samsung Nexus phone:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cottee external battery:___ 0.79A/4.88V
(for comparison the best charging monitor result for this phone is 1.00A/5V)

iPad Mini tablet:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Cottee external battery:___ 0.93A/4.85V
(for comparison the best charging monitor result for this tablet is 1.70A/5V)

If you need a battery to use in rainy or sandy area this battery is going to give you power when you need it. If you don't need to deal with the special weather conditions then it is probably not the best choice due to relatively large size and relative speed of charging performance.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Product review: Tylt ENERGI 3K Battery Pack with Built-In Micro USB Cable and Universal USB Port

video

TYLT ENERGI external battery has two options for charging: a regular USB port plus a micro-USB built in cable. This external battery is in my purse now, it has all the qualities I want in an emergency power bank I carry with me all the time. It is slim, it is fast charging, and it has built in cable. I really like having a built-in cable because I don't need to carry cables in my purse.

This power bank is rated as 3000mAh. Since some capacity is lost to inefficiencies such as heat you can expect to get about 2250 mAh out of it. I was able to charge my Samsung Nexus phone with 3800 mAh extended battery from half full to full once.

The battery weighs 3.8 oz, and is 4" x 2.5" x 0.5" in size. This battery has no charge level indicator. To me this is a flaw in the otherwise very nice design. I don't know if the battery is almost empty and should be recharged.

To tell how various battery packs perform I measure their performance with a current monitor. I use Samsung Nexus phone and iPad Mini for testing to give me a Android and an Apple mobile devices. I test all my chargers using the same charging cables and starting all tests at same charge level of the phone to account for non-linear charging. This allows me to compare different batteries to each other so I can rate the battery keeping everything else constant. I cannot use a charge monitor when I test built-in cable, so to test them I use per minute charge rate and compare it with other batteries for a relative performance comparison.

My tests show that that built-in cables provide very good performance and the USB port provided an optimal performance for the Android phone as well. It was a bit underpowered for my iPad Mini.

Test results:

Samsung Nexus phone:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

TYLT USB port:___ 1.01A/5.08V
(for comparison the best charging monitor result for this phone is 1.00A/5V, so TYLT provides an optimal charging rate on this port)

TYLT built-in cable:___ 8% in 10 minutes (comparing to other batteries charging the phone from the same charge level this is a very good performance)

iPad Mini tablet:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TYLT USB port:___ 0.93A/5.09V
(for comparison the best charging monitor result for this tablet is 1.70A/5V, so we get is somewhat underpowered)

If you use an Android devices this is a great choice for size, speed of charging, and no extra cables convenience. If you have both Apple and Android devices TYLT offers a power bank that has built-in cables for both Apple and Android devices. It chargers Android devices a little slower compared to this battery, but having two different built-in cables might be useful for some folks.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.



Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Product review: Tylt ENERGI 3K Battery Pack with 2 Built-In cables: Lightning Cable and Universal Micro USB Port

video

TYLT ENERGI external battery has three options for charging: a regular USB port plus two built-in cables one for Apple devices and one for Android devices. If you use both Apple and Android devices this is a handy combination on the road. I really like having built-in cables because I don't need to carry cables in my purse.

This power bank is rated as 3000mAh. Since some capacity is lost to inefficiencies such as heat you can expect to get about 2250 mAh out of it. I was able to charge my Samsung Nexus phone with 3800 mAh extended battery from half full to full once.

The battery weighs 6.10 oz, and is 5.5" x 2.75" x 0.5" in size. This battery has no charge level indicator. To me this is a flaw in the otherwise a very nice design. I don't know if the battery is almost empty and should be recharged.

To tell how various battery packs perform I measure their performance with a current monitor. I use Samsung Nexus phone and iPad Mini for testing to give me a Android and an Apple mobile devices. I test all my chargers using the same charging cables and starting all tests at same charge level of the phone to account for non-linear charging. This allows me to compare different batteries to each other so I can rate the battery keeping everything else constant. I cannot use a charge monitor when I test built-in cable, so to test them I use per minute charge rate and compare it with other batteries for a relative performance comparison.

My tests show that that built-in cables provide very good performance. The USB port worked but provided below average speed of charging.

Test results:

Samsung Nexus phone:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

TYLT USB port:___ 0.74A/4.81V
(for comparison the best charging monitor result for this phone is 1.00A/5V, so what we get is somewhat underpowered)

TYLT built-in cable:___ 7% in 10 minutes (comparing to other batteries charging the phone from the same charge level this is a very good performance)

iPad Mini tablet:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TYLT USB port:___ 0.93A/4.81V
(for comparison the best charging monitor result for this tablet is 1.70A/5V, so we get is somewhat underpowered)

TYLT built-in cable:___ 3% in 10 minutes (comparing to other batteries charging this table from the same charge level this is average performance)

If you have both Apple and Android devices and want to power on the road, this is a very good choice. Built-in cables offer convenience and good performance. If you have only Android devices TYLT ENERGI  has another nice power bank which has only the micro USB built-in cable is better because it is smaller and gave me a slightly better speed of charging.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.



Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Friday, August 8, 2014

Product review: TYLT Vu Wireless Charger for all Qi Phones - Nexus 5 overheating

video

This is a really cool looking Qi charger that makes it easy to view the phone while it is charging. I also found that it is less likely to get accidental knocked off the sweet spot while in this stand charger than it is laying flat on the night table. I really liked until I noticed how hot my phone gets on it. Turns out this is a problems specific to my phone, LG Nexus 5.

NEXUS 5 WARNING
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I have been using it for a couple of weeks and noticed that it gets quite hot when I charge it. I went to TYLT web site and under "Positioning guide" for VU charger found a warning that applies only to LG Nexus 5 phones. Apparently Nexus 5 has a lot of metal in the back door and that causes it to experience abnormal temperature increases. TYLT provides a 3 step procedure for position the phone in the cradle which I included in my video for reference. To see the full position guide visit the tylt.com web site, click on the image of this charger on the home page, and then locate "Position guide" half way down the page dedicated to VU wireless charger.

The 3 step procedure seems to help, but I am still somewhat nervous leaving the phone in the charger overnight. I use it during the day when I can keep an eye on it and to take advantage of the stand that allows me to see my phone.

COMPARISON TO OTHER QI CHARGER
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I own several Qi wireless chargers and I really like the geometry of this charger. It keeps the phone in the right position to charge and it is less likely to be moved off the sweet spot due to the stand-like shape. I am also able to view and use the phone easily while it is charging.

I run the same test on all my Qi chargers so I can compare them to each other. I start all tests at the same charge level of the phone to account for non-linear charging rate. VU charger fell in the middle of the pack.

This charger does not have a charging indicator that tells me that the phone is charging. I need to look at the phone charging indicator to get this information. For a Qi charger a charging indicator is important as it confirm that the phone has not shifted off the sweet spot.

TYLT Vu size: 7.5 inches, 3.5 inches, 3.5 inches. Its weight is 5.55 oz.
It uses a round connector attached to a fairly large AC plug. However, the plug is designed to be long and slim so it only takes up one slot on the power strip.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★☆☆


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Product review: Eco Touch (TSH16) Tire Shine

video

Attached video contains "before" and "after" photos of my tires. This job did not take a lot of elbow grease, each tire took one to two minutes. I used Eco Touch applicator which is a very nicely designed sponge with an indentation for your fingers (keeps your fingers away while giving you a lot of control). I also liked that the solution was totally unscented. Eco Touch tire shine is a white creamy solution. I only needed a small dab of it per each tire to get a low-gloss shine on it.

Note that the bottle comes with a foil seal under the cap. It took me a few squeezes that produced nothing to look under the cap to see the reason for my problem.

Ingredients:
filtered water
cetyl esters (plant-based conditioning agent)
xantham gum
fragrance oil blend
preservative

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★



Monday, August 4, 2014

Product review: ZiLu® Smart Power 13000mAh Portable Charger external battery pack

video

Zilu packs a large capacity in fairly small body. Its size is 5.5" x 2.25" x 0.75". It weighs 9.5 oz. The power bank is rated as 13000mAh. Since some capacity is lost to inefficiencies such as heat you can expect to get about 9750mAh 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.

I also tested Zilu battery with the cable that came in the package to see if is a charging cable or a data cable (this is only relevant for Android devices). The charging cables short the two data connections together (rendering them useless for data transfer), but this fools devices to see the cable as an AC power connection, and thus accept the higher current of the charging source.

This battery pack behaved the same with my charging cable as the one that came with the battery (this means the package includes a charging cable which is a good thing). But neither of the ports gave me the optimal charge for my mobile devices. They charged the devices but not as fast as some of the other power banks.

Test results:

Samsung Nexus phone:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

2A port: 0.89A/4.94V
1A port: 0.87A/4.82V
(for comparison the best charging monitor result for this phone is 1.00A/5V)

iPad Mini tablet:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
2A port: 1.07A/4.88V
1A port: 0.89A/4.82B
(for comparison the best charging monitor result for this tablet is 1.70A/5V)

The bottom line is that this power bank offers a lot of capacity in a compact body, and even though it is not the speediest in charging the size/capacity combo is attractive.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Product review: Telescopic Handheld Professional Monopod by Wareways


video

This is a handheld monopod. This means the mounting bracket is at the opposite end from the handle rather than on top of the handle like you would see on a monopod that you can use as a walking stick.

This monopod has a regular 1/4 mounting port so it can take any camera (weighing under 5.29 pounds). I have used it with my tiny camera shown in the video as well as SONY NEX5 (which weighs slightly over a pound). It also comes with two mounts that allow you to mount a phone or an action camera. The phone mount opens 3 1/8".

The monopod extends up to 34.7 inches and has 3 sections with quick locks, so it is quick and easy to get the height you want. The head of the monopod swivels 180 degrees so you can get the right angle to catch the action. When all sections are retracted its length is 12.2". Its weight is 6.7 oz on my digital postal scale.

A small pouch is included in the listing. This pouch is big enough to keep the mounts, but not big enough to fit the monopod even in the smallest configuration.

The description mentions "retractable spike rubber feet". I could not find retractable feet, if anyone figures out how to find these feet I would appreciate it if you could post a comment. The tripod came with no documentation, and all the writing on the box in Chinese, so I could not find any additional info on the feet.

My favorite use for this monopod is to take shots over the crowd at various events. I am short so this helps me to get the crowd out of my images which has always been a problem for me until now! I would have found it really useful if handle ends had a mounting bracket, so I could use as an extension to a tripod as well.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★