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

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Smart Weigh TZ5000 Sleek Cuisine Digital Scale 5000g X 1g, with Stainless Steel Platform and a Smart Weigh Measure Equivalent Magnet Chart
Smart Weigh TZ5000 Sleek Cuisine Digital Scale 5000g X 1g, with Stainless Steel Platform and a Smart Weigh Measure Equivalent Magnet Chart
Offered by MeasuPro
Price: CDN$ 34.95
8 used & new from CDN$ 29.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smart Weigh’s “TZ5000” Food Scale: A Critical Review., Dec 22 2013
Length:: 1:13 Mins

The “TZ5000” is perhaps the most elegant of Smart Weigh’s family of food scales.

This minimalist design looks very nice when nestled between a stainless steel oven and a stainless steel refrigerator. It has two buttons on either side of a bright LED display.

The scale measures:
8” x 8” and is accurate to 1/10 oz. It weighs food products up to 11 lbs or 5Kg.

To test it’s accuracy (or Green Giant vegetables!), I put a frozen bag of vegetables with a reported net weight of 12oz (340g) to see how it measures up.

The scale measured it as “342g”—and, that’s with the packaging.

As a side note, this scale also has a Tare function which gives you the net weight of an item by deducting the weight of the packaging.

***
Smart Weigh’s “TZ5000” 5 very big stars.

Smart Weigh Professional Digital Kitchen and Postal Scale with Tempered Glass Platform
Smart Weigh Professional Digital Kitchen and Postal Scale with Tempered Glass Platform
Offered by MeasuPro
Price: CDN$ 26.99
7 used & new from CDN$ 24.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple and Elegant. Smart Weigh’s Digital Scale “PL 11B”, Dec 22 2013
Length:: 1:36 Mins

Smart Weigh’s makes a number of different kinds of scales for what seems like every conceivable purpose from food scales, to bathroom scales, to jewelry scales to packaging scales.

“PL 11B” is a general, packaging scale. It’s can weigh item(s), packages or boxes up to 11 lbs.

The only real difference between the models within these categories has to do with design, because the accuracy of the scale itself is remarkable.

PL 11B measures 7” x 7” with the metal scale top measuring at 7” x 6.” And, is powered by a lithium (wristwatch-style) battery.

Like all of the Smart Weigh scales, this one also features a “Tare” function. The Tare function deducts the weight of the packaging leaving you with the net weight of the item.

***
As you can see in the video, if you’re sending out packages as gifts for this holiday season or mailing out packages as part of an eBay exchange, having a scale like this can literally save you from standing in that long line at the post office. You can determine the weight and go to the online post office site and get the postage price.

Additionally, I really like the bright LED display and the two-bar button control.

Simple and Elegant.

Materials for Interior Environments
Materials for Interior Environments
by Corky Binggeli
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 84.00
34 used & new from CDN$ 72.82

5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reference for Home Owners and Interior Designers. MATERIALS FOR INTERIOR ENVIRONMENT: A Critical Review., Dec 18 2013
This is a standout book if you own a home or want to renovate it but want to know what kind of options are available.

This book is a beautiful 400-page, softcover book. The book has literally hundred of descriptions of different kinds of materials, how the materials are used, strength and weaknesses of each. And, suggestions for placement inside a room (logistics).

The chapters include:

-- Part 1 Design Considerations --
Ch. 1. Finish Selection and Specifications (pp’s 3-16)
Ch. 2. Sustainable Design (pp’s 17-28)
Ch. 3. Existing Buildings (pp’s 29-40)

-- Part 2 Interior Materials –
Ch. 4. Concrete and Cement-Based Materials (pp’s 43-62)
*Cement
*Terrazzo
*Concrete

Ch. 5. Stone, Masonry and Concrete Masonry Units (pp’s 63-82)
*Stone
*Brick
*Concrete Masonry Units

Ch. 6. Glass and Ceramics (pp’s 83-106)
*Glass
*Ceramics

Ch. 7. Wood and Wood Products (pp’s 107-132)
*Solid Wood
*Wood Veneer
*Wood Panel Products

Ch. 8. Plaster and Gypsum Board (pp’s 133-150)
*Plaster
*Gypsum Board
*Glass Fiber Reinforced Gypsum (GFRG)

Ch. 9. Metals (pp’s 151-171)
*Ferrous Metals
*Non-Ferrous Metals

Ch. 10. Synthetic Materials (pp’s 173-190)
*Types of Synthetic materials
*Applications

-- Finish Comparisons --
Ch. 11. Paints and Coatings (pp’s 193-208)
Ch. 12. Fibers, Textiles and Leathers (pp’s 209-236)
*Fibers
*Textiles
*Leather

Ch. 13. Floor Finishes (pp’s 237-272)
*Hard Floor Surfaces
* Wood and Bamboo Flooring
* Resilient Flooring
*Soft Floor Coverings

Ch. 14. Wall and Window Finishes (pp’s 273-308)
*Wall Finishes
*Low Partitions
*Wall Coverings
*Glass Partitions and Glazings
*Window Treatments

Ch. 15. Ceiling Finishes (pp’s 309-326)
*Ceiling Forms
*Exposed Ceilings
*Plaster and Gypsum Board Ceiling
*Wood Ceilings
*Suspend Ceiling Systems

Ch. 16. Millwork, Casework and Furnishings (pp’s 327-360)
*Millwork
*Casework
*Furnishings

Excellent, excellent reference book.

Wacom Bamboo Pad Wireless Touchpad with Digital Stylus-White/Purple (CTH300U)
Wacom Bamboo Pad Wireless Touchpad with Digital Stylus-White/Purple (CTH300U)
Offered by biddeal
Price: CDN$ 69.48
7 used & new from CDN$ 69.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Bamboo Wireless Pen-Tablet: A Critical Review., Dec 17 2013
Wacom’s products are known to be very good and very expensive.

They’re also known to make products that stay ahead of the competition for long periods of time.

***

My first Wacom pen-tablet was their “Graphire 4”—with only 512 levels of pressure: half of their professional Intuos line.

The main problem with Wacom tablets is that they took so long to make a wireless (Bluetooth) enabled pen tablet. Until Intuos 4 but their budget line, now called “Bamboo” was still attached to a usb cord.

This new pen tablet is Wacom finally bringing wireless connectivity to their budget line.

*** Performance ***
This new Bamboo works extremely well.

I’ve used it with my iMac as well as my Windows hybrid tablet-laptop, The Transformer and app’s like Sketchbook Pro, Photoshop works great.

I would say that it works with any Bluetooth device but it doesn’t work with the Chromebooks, just yet, despite the fact that there are virtual drawing and painting app’s that you can access by the browser.

*** Size ***
The size is very small, the workable (sensitive) area is 4.5” x 3”—it’s that compact. So, it takes some effort to work with this if you have a large real estate to work with.

After unboxing the set, the Bluetooth adapter can sit inside of the battery department if you want to transport it. And, like the Samsung Galaxy Note, the stylus has a hidden compartment that’s easy to access.

*** Accessories ***
I have the Bamboo Stylus “Feel” and it also works with this tablet. Although, the “Feel” stylus has more weight to and is overall a better balanced stylus, I found that the enclosed stylus actually is more responsive to the base than the “Feel”—and there’s also the price of the “Feel.”

I like this product, in fact, I like it a lot. If you have a tablet that has a usb connection, like the Transformer T100 and you can access app’s like a Sketchbook Pro, you can do a lot of great work with this tablet.

But, at about $75-$80, Wacom is charging a premium for such a small workspace, it should have been at least double.

I’ve use a Monoprice TWA60 for my work on my big desktop, I don’t see myself replacing that with this smaller pen tablet.

But, this kind of tablet has its place and it performs very well.

4.5 stars.

Wacom Bamboo Pad Wireless Touchpad with Digital Stylus-White/Green (CTH300E)
Wacom Bamboo Pad Wireless Touchpad with Digital Stylus-White/Green (CTH300E)
Offered by biddeal
Price: CDN$ 70.81
7 used & new from CDN$ 69.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Bamboo Wireless Pen-Tablet: A Critical Review., Dec 17 2013
Wacom’s products are known to be very good and very expensive.

They’re also known to make products that stay ahead of the competition for long periods of time.

***

My first Wacom pen-tablet was their “Graphire 4”—with only 512 levels of pressure: half of their professional Intuos line.

The main problem with Wacom tablets is that they took so long to make a wireless (Bluetooth) enabled pen tablet. Until Intuos 4 but their budget line, now called “Bamboo” was still attached to a usb cord.

This new pen tablet is Wacom finally bringing wireless connectivity to their budget line.

*** Performance ***
This new Bamboo works extremely well.

I’ve used it with my iMac as well as my Windows hybrid tablet-laptop, The Transformer and app’s like Sketchbook Pro, Photoshop works great.

I would say that it works with any Bluetooth device but it doesn’t work with the Chromebooks, just yet, despite the fact that there are virtual drawing and painting app’s that you can access by the browser.

*** Size ***
The size is very small, the workable (sensitive) area is 4.5” x 3”—it’s that compact. So, it takes some effort to work with this if you have a large real estate to work with.

After unboxing the set, the Bluetooth adapter can sit inside of the battery department if you want to transport it. And, like the Samsung Galaxy Note, the stylus has a hidden compartment that’s easy to access.

*** Accessories ***
I have the Bamboo Stylus “Feel” and it also works with this tablet. Although, the “Feel” stylus has more weight to and is overall a better balanced stylus, I found that the enclosed stylus actually is more responsive to the base than the “Feel”—and there’s also the price of the “Feel.”

I like this product, in fact, I like it a lot. If you have a tablet that has a usb connection, like the Transformer T100 and you can access app’s like a Sketchbook Pro, you can do a lot of great work with this tablet.

But, at about $75-$80, Wacom is charging a premium for such a small workspace, it should have been at least double.

I’ve use a Monoprice TWA60 for my work on my big desktop, I don’t see myself replacing that with this smaller pen tablet.

But, this kind of tablet has its place and it performs very well.

4.5 stars.

Wacom Wireless Bamboo Touch-Pad with Digital Stylus (CTH300K)
Wacom Wireless Bamboo Touch-Pad with Digital Stylus (CTH300K)
Offered by biddeal
Price: CDN$ 71.63
12 used & new from CDN$ 71.63

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bamboo Wireless Pen-Tablet: A Critical Review., Dec 17 2013
Wacom’s products are known to be very good and very expensive.

They’re also known to make products that stay ahead of the competition for long periods of time.

***

My first Wacom pen-tablet was their “Graphire 4”—with only 512 levels of pressure: half of their professional Intuos line.

The main problem with Wacom tablets is that they took so long to make a wireless (Bluetooth) enabled pen tablet. Until Intuos 4 but their budget line, now called “Bamboo” was still attached to a usb cord.

This new pen tablet is Wacom finally bringing wireless connectivity to their budget line.

*** Performance ***
This new Bamboo works extremely well.

I’ve used it with my iMac as well as my Windows hybrid tablet-laptop, The Transformer and app’s like Sketchbook Pro, Photoshop works great.

I would say that it works with any Bluetooth device but it doesn’t work with the Chromebooks, just yet, despite the fact that there are virtual drawing and painting app’s that you can access by the browser.

*** Size ***
The size is very small, the workable (sensitive) area is 4.5” x 3”—it’s that compact. So, it takes some effort to work with this if you have a large real estate to work with.

After unboxing the set, the Bluetooth adapter can sit inside of the battery department if you want to transport it. And, like the Samsung Galaxy Note, the stylus has a hidden compartment that’s easy to access.

*** Accessories ***
I have the Bamboo Stylus “Feel” and it also works with this tablet. Although, the “Feel” stylus has more weight to and is overall a better balanced stylus, I found that the enclosed stylus actually is more responsive to the base than the “Feel”—and there’s also the price of the “Feel.”

I like this product, in fact, I like it a lot. If you have a tablet that has a usb connection, like the Transformer T100 and you can access app’s like a Sketchbook Pro, you can do a lot of great work with this tablet.

But, at about $75-$80, Wacom is charging a premium for such a small workspace, it should have been at least double.

I’ve use a Monoprice TWA60 for my work on my big desktop, I don’t see myself replacing that with this smaller pen tablet.

But, this kind of tablet has its place and it performs very well.

4.5 stars.

Wacom Wireless Bamboo Touch-Pad with Digital Stylus (CTH300B)
Wacom Wireless Bamboo Touch-Pad with Digital Stylus (CTH300B)
Offered by biddeal
Price: CDN$ 70.66
8 used & new from CDN$ 70.66

5.0 out of 5 stars Bamboo Wireless Pen-Tablet: A Critical Review., Dec 17 2013
Wacom’s products are known to be very good and very expensive.

They’re also known to make products that stay ahead of the competition for long periods of time.

***

My first Wacom pen-tablet was their “Graphire 4”—with only 512 levels of pressure: half of their professional Intuos line.

The main problem with Wacom tablets is that they took so long to make a wireless (Bluetooth) enabled pen tablet. Until Intuos 4 but their budget line, now called “Bamboo” was still attached to a usb cord.

This new pen tablet is Wacom finally bringing wireless connectivity to their budget line.

*** Performance ***
This new Bamboo works extremely well.

I’ve used it with my iMac as well as my Windows hybrid tablet-laptop, The Transformer and app’s like Sketchbook Pro, Photoshop works great.

I would say that it works with any Bluetooth device but it doesn’t work with the Chromebooks, just yet, despite the fact that there are virtual drawing and painting app’s that you can access by the browser.

*** Size ***
The size is very small, the workable (sensitive) area is 4.5” x 3”—it’s that compact. So, it takes some effort to work with this if you have a large real estate to work with.

After unboxing the set, the Bluetooth adapter can sit inside of the battery department if you want to transport it. And, like the Samsung Galaxy Note, the stylus has a hidden compartment that’s easy to access.

*** Accessories ***
I have the Bamboo Stylus “Feel” and it also works with this tablet. Although, the “Feel” stylus has more weight to and is overall a better balanced stylus, I found that the enclosed stylus actually is more responsive to the base than the “Feel”—and there’s also the price of the “Feel.”

I like this product, in fact, I like it a lot. If you have a tablet that has a usb connection, like the Transformer T100 and you can access app’s like a Sketchbook Pro, you can do a lot of great work with this tablet.

But, at about $75-$80, Wacom is charging a premium for such a small workspace, it should have been at least double.

I’ve use a Monoprice TWA60 for my work on my big desktop, I don’t see myself replacing that with this smaller pen tablet.

But, this kind of tablet has its place and it performs very well.

4.5 stars.

YAMAHA NX-P100 B Portable Bluetooth Speaker, Black
YAMAHA NX-P100 B Portable Bluetooth Speaker, Black
Offered by E-TRONIX
Price: CDN$ 199.99
8 used & new from CDN$ 199.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great, but…. Yamaha’s “NX-P100” A Critical Review., Dec 16 2013
Length:: 8:06 Mins

Yamaha’s “NX-P100” soundbar is, very simply, an excellent high-end portable speaker/ mini soundbar. And, at the moment, there’s nothing that I’ve seen in the past several years in this category that stands up to this speaker.

But, some features don’t work as described…

***
First up, this is a high-end, multi-functional, Bluetooth mini-speaker bar. It’s main purpose is to replace the audio on your smartphone, tablet or laptop.

It also doubles as a portable phone speaker when calls come in.

And, it can (should) connect by Bluetooth, micro usb, analog audio jack and NFC*. No matter what I did, the Yamaha didn’t connect with my brand new Galaxy Note 3’s NFC function.

The speaker measures:
6.5” x 2.5” x 2” and weighs a little less than 1.5 lbs. (But, don’t be mistaken, this feels a lot heavier than what the scale says. It has some weight to it.)

*** Features ***
Dual 1.5” speakers
HD Voice (for call/ conference)
Bluetooth 4.0
NFC
USB cable (micro usb) input
Apt X and AAC streaming

This unit can also act as a portable external battery by plugging the phone or tablet into the micro usb port.

*** Testing ***
For several weeks, this unit functions perfectly. It connects to everything Bluetooth including:

iMac
Galaxy Note 3
Asus Transformer T100 (Windows) hybrid
Acer (Google) Chromebook 702

The 3.5mm connects to any older analog device and plugging it into my old Android Evo 3D headphone jack allowed me to hear mp3’s that I keep on my Amazon Music player app.

The only thing that it didn’t connect with is the NFC. I don’t know where the fault lies there, but the old, reliable Bluetooth radio frequency is always a good option.

Listening to music, videos, streaming mp3’s and streaming movies sounds robust.

Even a walk through the house, much more than a hundred feet keep the connection (and I’m talking about walking out of my bedroom and down 2 flights of stairs to the living room.)

This is really a powerful machine. I don’t know if the issue of NFC is really a big deal (as long as you get wirelessly pair in some way) but this is definitely a top-of-the-line product.

4.5 stars.

ASUS Transformer Book T100TA-RH11T-CB 10.1-Inch Convertible 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop (Grey)
ASUS Transformer Book T100TA-RH11T-CB 10.1-Inch Convertible 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop (Grey)
Offered by OneDealOutlet Canada
Price: CDN$ 453.74
3 used & new from CDN$ 453.74

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Versatile All-In-One Laptop. Asus Transformer T100 (2nd Gen.): A Critical Review., Dec 15 2013
Length:: 3:43 Mins

All of the hype surrounding this hybrid, laptop-tablet from Asus press junket is true: this is a phenomenal computer that incorporates the best from the laptop and tablet division of Windows and at a price that is, quite frankly, a steal. And, for less than $350!

***
This is the first Windows computer I’ve owned in more than 20 years. Incidentally, this comes just one week after I bought my stepson a Toshiba Satellite notebook (and being greatly impressed with its performance, as well.)

There are a number of things that jumps out at you when working with this laptop hybrid:

* Compact features. This is should be in the category of “sub” notebooks. This is about the same size as my old, Contaq “Contura Aero.” Measuring 7” x 10.5”. And, it weighs about 2 lbs.

The notebook-tablet is a hybrid but it’s a fully-functioning Windows laptop that you can access by the detachable keyboard or by a 5-point touch screen.

*** App’s Store ***

The Windows App store has an impressive library of app’s—more than triple from last year, although well behind the iTunes Store and the Google Play/ Android app stores.

*** Spec’s ***

32GB SSD HDD
3GB DDR2
Quad-core “Bay Trail” processor @ 1.3Ghz
10.1” screen with 1366 x 768 resolution
Microsoft Office 2013 H&S
10+ hours of charge. (I’ve only re-charged it once in 3 weeks.)
Bluetooth 4.0

Only $399

*** Performance ***

More than anything else, I’m wonderfully surprised at how well this laptop works. It’s always been opinion that a Windows PC’s only makes sense from a budgetary standpoint. But, this hybrid is extremely useful (and this is coming from a diehard Apple fanatic) for operations more than word processing.

The first thing you’ll immediately notice is that the laptop powers on from push power to fully operational in 5 seconds. 5 seconds! The SSD drive is incredibly fast, much faster than I anticipated.

This also translates to word processing app’s to browsing the internet to playing games.

The keyboard is close-cropped but it wasn’t so cramped like the Compaq I used to own that I find myself hitting the Shift Key when I wanted to hit the Comma key.

Working with art app’s like Sketchbook Pro was what I was most interested in finding out. It works flawlessly via a stylus and when a Wacom Bamboo tablet is attached, it also gives me options.

Netflix and other necessary app’s are another plus because with more than 10 hours of battery life, I can work or play without needing to have an ac outlet nearby.

I’d also like to mention that this hybrid is connected to a power source by a micro usb to usb connection, so you have the option to plug into another computer to charge, an external battery or if you have a usb-ac adapter, you can plug it right into the wall.

*** Price vs. Value ***

The retail price is $400. I’ve seen it as low as $350. But, you have the best of what’s offer for a “better” laptop at $800.

+ Super fast SSD drive
+ 10-hour battery life
+ Touchscreen or keyboard
+ Windows 8.1 (and you can get rid of that gaudy Metro screen)
+ Lightweight and compact.
+ Hybrid computer gives you access to both traditional Windows app’s and touchscreen app’s simultaneously.
+ For a budget price—it is a MUCH better option than a similar hybrid (from other manufacturers) and budget laptops.

If there’s a downside, it may be for people who want a optical drive, it would have to be purchased separately.

This is an absolutely great laptop/tablet where you’re not sacrificing performance, portability or versatility if you prefer one style of computer over the other.

Skullcandy S6HSDZ-058 Hesh 2.0 with Detatchable Cable - Rasta
Skullcandy S6HSDZ-058 Hesh 2.0 with Detatchable Cable - Rasta
Offered by dealkings
Price: CDN$ 81.48
3 used & new from CDN$ 81.48

3.0 out of 5 stars A Good Entry-Level Headphone for Teens. Skullcandy “Hesh 2” A Critical Review., Dec 4 2013
Length:: 1:59 Mins

This is a our first foray into Skullcanday. I’m vaguely familiar with Skullcandy through their product page.

Best Buy had a promotion last month where they were offering a Skullcandy “Hesh 2” headphone for free if you bought a Toshiba laptop.

***
The “Hesh 2” is not bad, but it’s not great either: it’s sort of in the middle of the pack of acceptable-sounding, wired headphones.

The packages comes with:

* The headphones. (Measuring 7” x 7” with an earcup that has a 3” diameter.)
* 3.5 mm plug
* Cloth bag
* paperwork

I wasn’t knockout by the fit. It felt like two small coconut shells pressed against my head. However, apart from the colorful reggae colors, the best of the headphones is that it has a pretty decent bass response. Not excessively bass-heavy but enough to amplify those jams that have a lot of bass.

If you’ve had Skullcandy before, I suspect you’ll really like these. And, if you’re in the market for a PC laptop double check to see if Best Buy and Toshiba has brought back this deal because the laptop on sale for $225 and you throw in these nice headphones comes up to quite a steal.

A good buy if you can get them anywhere between $20- $30 but not more than that.

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