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This review is from: Wacom CTL471 5.8" x 3.6" Active Area USB Bamboo Splash Pen and Tablet
Pros: *Easy to install
*Excellent price -- I got it on sale, but even without the sale, the price was pretty good.
*Light on resources
*Free full-use graphics software included -- we own an Adobe suite, and the tablet works really well with it, but the free software is perfectly usable and offers some features that Adobe can, of course, accomplish, but with a bit of hoop-jumping and advanced knowledge needed.
*Works with Windows 7 out of the box, and it even works well with Ubuntu on a netbook without having to apt-get a million little dependencies to make it work. (Used with GIMP and InkScape on Ubuntu.)
Cons: *The pen is too big for the wife's hand. She is used to drawing with regular pens, pencils, and smaller artist's paintbrushes. The pen that the Splash comes with is about the same size as one of those pens that has 4 different colours in it.
*The cord is really short -- it is clear this thing was meant for a laptop, not a desktop setup. Thankfully, both of our desktop towers are close to the desk surface with USB ports near the top.
*Nibs seem to wear down fairly quickly, especially when the pressure features are in play. Shutting that off and manually changing brush size seems to increase the longevity of the nibs while leaving behind fewer scuff marks.
Other Thoughts: We bought this graphics tablet for my wife. She's been an artist for years, but has not owned a tablet since around 2004, and she wanted to get back into digital work. The tablet is fantastic, and it's like drawing on a small-format sketchbook. The only real drawback is the pen. If you buy this tablet, consider one of the compatible pens that are the same diameter as a pencil for more comfort if you have smaller hands or are used to smaller drawing implements.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: Black & Decker CTO7100BKT 6 Slice Toaster Oven
Pros: *Only takes up around 2 square feet of countertop space
*Does a good job of keeping heat in compared to other countertop designs we've used
*Has several preset features that are easy to use
*Convection works well in conjunction with rotisserie for quickly cooked, moist meat -- we already prefer it over the slow cooker for pulled and roasted meat recipe
*Manual rotisserie allows for a lot of control, but it does have a con (see cons)
*Unit automatically shuts off once the timer is done
*Makes nice toast!
Cons: *Rotisserie is manual -- have to remember to shut it off
*Cannot seem to get the meat perfectly centered so the rotisserie has trouble at times on the upswing, and there is not a lot of space -- the 3lb limit is a bit high for the space available
*If there is a clock setting that will display the time always, we haven't been able to find it -- the digital display shows all zeroes
*The convection fans are loud and rattle a lot when they are first turned on with each use; this dies down mostly as the oven heats
*While the unit holds heat well, meaning it doesn't constantly have to reheat to temperature, the casing and door get extremely hot during use -- be careful around it!
Other Thoughts: Our toaster died, and we were having an issue with our gas oven that causes it to refuse to light, which our landlord has not fixed yet. To solve both problems, we decided to go with a countertop convection oven. The convection requirement was because my wife likes how they cook. One of our concerns when we bought it was that it would make terrible toast as many toaster ovens do. This one, however, makes nice toast, and it cooks other things well. Be aware, though, that the space the manufacturer claims is a bit generous.
Yes, the oven can fit a 12" frozen pizza, but only just. The crust touches the sides. Yes, a 3lb chicken could probably fit on the rotisserie rod, but when a 2lb chicken breast with rib cage barely has clearance, a 3lb chicken would be pushing it.
This unit is definitely a good buy for the price though. It works very well. You get convection for a couple hundred dollars less than most, and it looks good in the kitchen.
This review is from: MICROSOFT XBOX S9F-00001 X360 WIRED CONTROLLER
Pros: *Installed quickly with Microsoft Xbox 360 drivers on wife's PC
*Cord has lots of length
*Has the same durable build of most Microsoft Xbox 360 controllers -- it's been dropped several times now from the height of a computer desk (thank you, cat) without any damage
*Usable on the Xbox when the next battery pack dies for good
Cons: *None to be found yet
Other Thoughts: My wife did the installation, and she has been playing with the controller in Guild Wars 2. As a game that does not have native gamepad support, she uses Xpadder to make the controller work with the game. She chose the wired controller over a wireless controller adapter as she felt it would offer fewer hassles in the long run, since it is plug and play for the most part.READ FULL REVIEW