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Andre Lawrence (Miami, Florida)
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   

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Slim Leather Wallet Case for iPhone 5 & 5S in Black - Holds up to 8 cards
Slim Leather Wallet Case for iPhone 5 & 5S in Black - Holds up to 8 cards
Offered by Vaultskin CA
Price: CDN$ 59.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Simply Elegant and Luxurious Case. VaultSkin “Lexx V”: A Critical Review., Nov. 24 2013
Length:: 1:15 Mins


If you want a case and not just a cover for your iPhone 5: The Vaultskin is an extremely beautiful, kid-glove leather case that looks and feels absolutely great on your iPhone 5.

The case measures 5" x 2.5" and snaps on securely.

Don't be mistaken--this case will NOT protect your phone in case it falls. But, if you're careful or you keep your phone inside of a bag or pocket, this case may be sufficient.

Because this is a case that doubles as a credit card holder, it's impractical to put it in an Otterbox-type case.

Speaking of cards, the company says it can hold upto 8 cards, but I fit only 5 cards in it comfortably.

The price is around $40 and for the quality of this case, I find it accurate.

Smart Weigh DVS150 Digital Vanity / Bathroom Scale 330lbs x 0.2lbs with Tempered Glass Platform - Black
Smart Weigh DVS150 Digital Vanity / Bathroom Scale 330lbs x 0.2lbs with Tempered Glass Platform - Black
Offered by MeasuPro
Price: CDN$ 29.99
2 used & new from CDN$ 26.95

5.0 out of 5 stars An Elegant Scale and Very Reasonably Priced., Nov. 19 2013
Length:: 0:39 Mins

Beautiful glass scale that's 12" x 12".

If the scale is off you can reset it by the tab on the bottom.

Great product and great price.

ARCTIC Dual USB Car Charger for Tablet/Smartphone, 2-Port 3.1A Total Output, Fast Charging - Black
ARCTIC Dual USB Car Charger for Tablet/Smartphone, 2-Port 3.1A Total Output, Fast Charging - Black
Offered by dealkings
Price: CDN$ 31.41

5.0 out of 5 stars A very good accessory to keep in the car!, Nov. 13 2013
Great accessory to have in your car.

We have another usb car charger and this works the same way.

You have a dual port for charging any usb device. We have Android phones and tablets and this is definitely something we keep in the car for your trips.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that you have an accessory that will quickly charge two almost empty devices fast. It will re-charge an almost empty cellphone to near full capacity on a 45-minute ride home when the phone screen is shut off and your not playing any media from it.

If you try to plug 2 devices you see a dramatic decrease in charge capacity especially if that other device is a tablet.

If you're going on a long road trip take this along as well as an external battery pack.

ARCTIC Breeze Mobile USB-Powered 92mm Portable Fan, Portable Cooling Solution, Quiet Fan, White
ARCTIC Breeze Mobile USB-Powered 92mm Portable Fan, Portable Cooling Solution, Quiet Fan, White
Price: CDN$ 7.99
7 used & new from CDN$ 7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Will Save You Dollars On Early Fan Replacement Costs. ARCTIC's "Breeze Mobile" A Critical Review., Nov. 13 2013
Arctic "Breeze- Mobile" is a nice addition to your portable computer accessories.

I have not owned a computer in the past 10 years without having a portable fan blowing air into the vents. Having a cooler stream of air that your computer's fans can access to keep the processors and the harddrive as well as all of the circuitry at a safe temperature is well worth the cost of buying a fan.

This "Breeze-Mobile" is silent and that's huge but the drawback is that the airstream is very light. While I wouldn't use this for our iMacs I certainly would for our laptops.

Those cooling plates/ pads that have a fan built in and blowing air against your laptops base (not into the air vent) is a giant waste of money, a product like this is not.

Would have like this to be a bit stronger but the $10 you spend on this will save you in early fan replacement costs for your laptop.

Smart Weigh SWS100 Durable Digital Pocket Scale 100 x 0.01g - Black
Smart Weigh SWS100 Durable Digital Pocket Scale 100 x 0.01g - Black
Offered by MeasuPro
Price: CDN$ 14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A Pocket Device To Carry To The Restaurant. SmartWeigh’s “SWS 100” A Critical Review., Oct. 29 2013
Length:: 2:18 Mins

Like it’s bigger sibling “CSB 5KG,” the SWS 100 is a personal/ home scale that’s indispensable if you’re a cook who cares about the exact amount of ingredients to a recipe or for someone who needs to watch their diet.

The pocket version is great if you’re headed to the supermarket and you want to know exact how much you’re buying for the price or when being served in a restaurant and your following a strict prescription by a healthcare professional.

The device, itself, weighs less than a pound and measures 5” x 3” and you can weigh upto:

100 g
3.5 oz.
1544 gn
500 ct.

The unit runs on 2 AAA batteries and is accurate to 1/100 g.

Inside of the box, the company, also provides a handy refrigerator magnet. On it you can determine the measurements in terms of:

Cups
Fluid Ounces
Tablespoons
Teaspoons
Milliliters

Additionally, you can find instructions on resetting the scale (calibration) and Tare Weighing (actually weight of the product minus the packaging).

This is a handy, handy device and very inexpensive.

5 very, very big stars.

Smart Weigh CSB2KG Cuisine Digital Scale with Removable Bowl 2kg x 0.1g - Black
Smart Weigh CSB2KG Cuisine Digital Scale with Removable Bowl 2kg x 0.1g - Black
Offered by MeasuPro
Price: CDN$ 19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars An Essential Appliance For Any Kitchen. Smart Weigh's CSB 5K: A Critical Review, Oct. 25 2013
Length:: 3:25 Mins

If you care about what you eat, this is an indispensable kitchen appliance to have.

There are a whole host of reason why anyone should have a food/ ingredient scale at home. For the purposes of a healthy diet, no other reason is necessary.

SMART WEIGH's "CSB 5K" scale is one of the larger scales that they offer. It can measure up to 11 lbs or 5 Kg, with an accuracy to .01 lbs (1G).

The scale measures 2" x 7.5" x 7.5" and runs on 2 AA batteries.

The scale also has a Tare weight measurement built in to it so you can determine what the net weight is of a product minus the packaging.

For us, having a scale means knowing exactly what amount needs to go into any given recipe that demands accuracy.

For others, it may mean that someone serving a diabetic can have a controlled portion that fits her/his prescribed diet.

For someone whose livelihood depends on cooking or baking, having a scale like this (which certainly can be used by professionals) my sister--the owner of a baking-catering service uses this scale because it allows her to work within a budget for ingredients as well as producing products that her clients expect as being consistent, time after time.

SMART WEIGH also includes a kitchen magnet with chart that cross-references different kinds of measurement from lbs to grams to tablespoon to teaspoon to milliliters.

This is a very handy device and the kind that's in the kitchen of concerned cooks.

Kinivo BTC450 Bluetooth Hands-Free Car Kit for Cars with Aux Input Jack - 3.5 mm
Kinivo BTC450 Bluetooth Hands-Free Car Kit for Cars with Aux Input Jack - 3.5 mm
Offered by BlueRigger Canada
Price: CDN$ 59.99
2 used & new from CDN$ 39.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A Hands-Free Device That’s A Godsend! Kinivo “BTC450”--A Critical Review., Oct. 14 2013
Length:: 3:39 Mins

Last week, on Oct. 1, the State of Florida made texting while driving in the state a second-degree offense. And, in certain jurisdictions within Miami, namely in the Northwest business section of Doral, patrol officers can issue a citation by just witnessing a driver texting from her/his binoculars—no primary offense is needed to be pulled over for the $50 fee.

Now, don’t misunderstand me—I don’t like texting, but there are people who’ll only communicate by text or by Twitter or whatever other non-sense is out there. A device like the “BTC 450” can save you a lot of headaches and make your life a bit safer in the process.

***
The BTC 450 is a Bluetooth wireless microphone/ speaker that works with your car stereo’s Auxiliary outlet and speakers. So, if you have a Bluetooth enabled device like a cellular phone, a tablet or even a laptop it’s very possible that you can hear the audio from these devices and even have a conversation without having to hold your phone.

As it relates to texting, if you have an dictation/voice-activated app on your device you simply send and receive messages by simply speaking in the direction of the mic and hear the message read to you through your car speaker’s system.

In the attached video, you can see how simple it is to set up and be up and running in less than 5 minutes.

Remember, you’ll need three things in order for this to work:

1) A Bluetooth device
2) A car stereo system WITH an Auxiliary In jack
3) A working cigarette lighter.

To pair your Bluetooth device.

1) Press the center button of the “450”
2) Go to “Settings” on the phone and look for Bluetooth (or “Wireless”)
3) Hit “Search For Devices” and look for Kinivo BTC 450”
4) After you depress it on the screen to access the Pairing process, you’ll see the device name listed in your “Library” section. You’ll then have it depress it again to actually turn it on.

5) For the first time, you’ll be asked on certain devices to put in one of two codes—on a Apple iPod Touch, we paired it with the code “1-2-3-4”

You’re all set.

Dorco Pace 6 Plus- Six Blade Razor System with Trimmer - Value Pack (10 Pack+ 1 Handle)
Dorco Pace 6 Plus- Six Blade Razor System with Trimmer - Value Pack (10 Pack+ 1 Handle)

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Close, Clean Shave. Dorco “Pace 6”: A Critical Review., Oct. 14 2013
The thing to know about razors is that manufacturers almost universally give away or greatly reduce the price of the razor set in order to make long term profit on the sale of the replaceable blades.

The practical question that always crosses my mind when I’ve come to the last shave of that blade is do I opt to buy the replaceable blades or do I wait the Sunday paper coupon section and redeem that weekly ad for a new and nearly free multi-blade razor set?

To tell the truth, I’ve never went ahead and bought the replaceable blade package.

***
I’ve always had oily skin and I’ve always had curly facial hair—this makes it extremely difficult to get a close shave and it almost impossible not to get nicked when shaving.

On the surface the Dorco “Pace 6” looks just like the multi-blade razors I use. The 3 or 4 blade handle with a lubricating strip feels great in my hands as opposed to the cheap disposable $1 razors. And, they last several months with careful use and cleaning.

But, even with these “better” razors, they do become noticeably duller after a few weeks. Unconsciously, I’d start to apply more pressure to my strokes resulting in more razor cuts. It is what it is.

I’ve been using the Dorco now for about a month and the set in almost every way is equal to or better than my Gillette Fusion (5-blade razor) or my Gillette “Mach 3 Turbo” (3-blade) in that it’s lightweight but has some weight to it and is equally distributed over the length of the handle.

The 6 blades really do glide over the skin—I wasn’t sure that it was actually shaving my facial hairs.

There’s also a hidden blade—there’s a 7th blade and it’s located on the reverse side at an angle on top. This blade is specifically for trimming beard and sideburns. This is great because it eliminates the need for a separate trimmer. If you’re traveling, that’s one less item to pack. I find it very useful.

The set comes with:
+ The Main razor
+ An additional, spare blade
+ Two 4-piece boxed sets

All of this retails for $20! Even the replaceable blade set, the bane of razor buyers is only $4.50 for one box of 4 blade sets. Or $1.125 per blade set. Try getting a Gillette system for that.

Excellent, excellent set.

Marantz NR1504 Slim Line 5.1 channel Home Theater Network AV Receiver with AirPlay
Marantz NR1504 Slim Line 5.1 channel Home Theater Network AV Receiver with AirPlay
Offered by AVGear
Price: CDN$ 599.00
3 used & new from CDN$ 379.00

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One Amazing A/V Receiver, Definitely NOT "Entry Level." Marantz Sound Receiver "NR1504" A Critical Review., Oct. 2 2013
*** Rule of Thumb ***
The rule of thumb when purchasing audio and/or a "home theatre system" is never mix the bargain, "economy" line of all-in-one equipment with the single/ separate, higher-end pieces. Not only is there a difference in manufacturing quality but output from the cheaper circuitry won't hold up to the demands of more expensive pieces.

This sound receiver, "NR1504" is our second Marantz receiver and the sound is (as it's always been) pristine. And, it is definitely worth the extra money for a sound this vibrant. As someone whose owned audio equipment from Pioneer, Yamaha, Onkyo, Kenwood as well as JVC, Sony and (unfortunately) Fisher--the Marantz is STILL at the upper end of the $400-$800 mid range audio class along with Yamaha, Denon and Onkyo--although Onkyo goes through periods of lapsed quality control. (The higher-end, being private labels whose products start at about $1200 and up.)

To go with this system, we bought a separate 5.1 speaker system Yamaha's"Yamaha NS-SP1800BL 5.1-Channel Home Theater Speaker System"; Monoprice's banana plugs and MediaBridge's "Ultra Series" Subwoofer cable and their 100'/ 16-gauge speaker wire.

*** Unboxing ***
The system comes with the following:
+ "NR1504" AV Surround (50w/ channel) Surround Receiver
+ FM/AM antenna
+ CD of owner's manual/ instructions/ legal notice
+ Audyssey (Calibration) Microphone
+ remote

The main piece measures:
4" x 18" x 13.5" and weighs about 20 lbs.

Because this is just the receiver, you'll need:
- 5.1 speaker system.
- spool of speaker wire; either a 14- or 16-gauge
- banana plugs (recommended)
- HDTV and/ or monitor
- HDMI cable (x # of connected peripherals) * If you're going to use this receiver to connect to multiple devices, having extra HDMI cables is strongly recommended because they carry both the audio and video signal in HD and is far superior than RCA/ component cables.

*** Connectivity ***
6 HDMI ports (1-front/ 5-rear)
Sleep Mode
Headphone jack
5 pairs of speaker jacks
1 subwoofer jack

+ multiple analog jacks
+ "Pure Direct" dedicated sound signal.

- Bluetooth connection (w/ additional peripheral)
- No WiFi connection--NONE! You'll have to connect Pandora, Netflix and the other installed app's by Ethernet.
- No 4K pass! (It may be a bit too early for super HD tv's.)

*** Our setup ***
We bought the Yahama speakers and better speaker wires and banana plugs.

We attached the Samsung Blu-ray player via HDMI
Westinghouse 46" HDTV (HDMI)

*** Subwoofer ***
It took about 20-minutes for the Audyssey to calibrate the sound in this 15' x 10' x 10' room.

The room has good acoustics. Bare floors, perfect for surround. We measured out the front speakers (FR, Center, FL) and the rear speakers on the back wall (Surround R and Surround L).

The subwoofer is not supposed to be centered equi-distant between the left and right speakers. According to the experts, the subwoofer is supposed to be off-center or in a corner. I found having the subwoofer in the corner made all the difference.

*** Testing ***
Because we're limited by Amazon's video compression model, the true difference between the HDTV's "Tru Surround" (native) speakers and the sound reproduced by the NR1504 pushed through Yamaha's surround speakers & subwoofer is woefully understated.

In the two clips, the first being just the tv sound, the second with the Marantz is only on level "1"--- just Level 1 and the subwoofer at ' strength.

This is most certainly a theater-like experience. No question about it.

*** Cost vs. Value ***

This is a simple decision.

The most important thing about the AV Receiver is in its performance. The sound, the EQ and app's (via Ethernet) is top notch. The system also offers "Airplay" - we just don't have Airplay at the moment, but it's nice to know that it's available.

This is a powerful system with 50w x 5 channels and a wall vibrating subwoofer output. You have to watch The Lord Of The Rings on Blu-Ray with this set up to know what I'm talking about.

The drawbacks are there and it's a bit irritating for such a powerful model.

No WiFi. So, if you want an internet connection, your router has to be relatively close by. So, more wires. Not a good thing.

Bluetooth is available with an optional device, so if you have a decent set of wireless headphones, that an extra $75 for that optional piece.

No 4K pass (aka 2x HD). There's only a handful of movies shot with Red SuperHD cameras, but it would have been nice to have in case you decide to buy The Hobbit.

If you're looking just for a simple set up with for a Blu-ray based theater system and/or if your router is very near by, then the power and the pristine sound from this will amaze you.

On the other hand, WiFi should be standard, just like Bluetooth should be standard. There's really no excuse for that, especially for it retailing for $500.

So, 4 stars if you're a WiFi fanatic.
Or, 5 stars, if the bells and whistles are a take-it-or leave prerogative.

Batman: Year One
Batman: Year One
by Frank Miller
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 12.99
56 used & new from CDN$ 7.22

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Story, Exceptional Dialog and Illustration. BATMAN: YEAR ONE. A Critical Review., Sept. 23 2013
This review is from: Batman: Year One (Paperback)
As usual with great graphic novels, I'm late to the party again.

BATMAN: YEAR ONE is as the title states, the beginning of Batman's origins.

But, and this is a big but, this is also a deep look into the life of Gotham City's new police chief, Gordon, his wife and new baby, the corrupt city he's now charged with policing and the complicated relationship he has with his lieutenant officer.

This is not the kiddie Batman of my youth.

****

Frank Miller writes in very complex but intriguing terms. The story is understandable by human terms and not supernatural in comic book terms. Batman is equal in terms of his complexity as Gordon and Gotham City is. Bruce is conflicted and tormented by the events of his youth and you see clearly how he fights off his demons.

You also follow how the events of the city and its corrupt officials try desperately to hold on to the mechanisms that keep them in power but puts them at odds with Gordon and subsequently Batman.

The illustrations are one that I'm most relieved with. Having recently read, "The Dark Knight Returns," and being GREATLY disappointed with the illustrative work of Klaus Janson, YEAR ONE has an illustrator who gets it: David Mazzucchelli gets it. (If it weren't for the masterful storytelling of Miller, DARK KNIGHT would have been an epic fail.

This was a perfect collaboration to say the least.

BATMAN: YEAR ONE is a stellar piece of work and most definitely a work of art.

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