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This review is from: Cuisinart CPM-700BK EasyPop Popcorn maker Black
Pros: This really is the best electric popcorn popper we have ever owned, and we have owned a lot over the decades. That's in part due to the mediocre quality of the poppers we had owned, nearly all of them from WestBend. We paid more for this Cuisinart (albeit not $109) and are pleased with its considerably higher quality in every respect.
First the parts are higher quality -- the bowl is much thicker than competitors' products. The bowl's lid is rock solid plastic, not flexible rubber. The heating base is probably the most solidly built and best designed we've ever seen. The design keeps it clean and free of residue from the popcorn oil -- the first electric popper we've ever seen to do that. The plate with the rotating arm that moves the popcorn around is solid and attaches firmly to the heating base. We appreciate that the unit has a on/off switch.
And it actually has a users guide that is understandable and illustrated. We anticipate that this well-built unit will last many more years than any of the others we have bought.
Cons: This unit, however, is not perfect (and how many products are perfect?). The power cord is ridiculously short, less than two feet. I suppose that might be a safety measure, but would another foot in length really hurt Cuisinart's bottom line that much? The instructions for using the plastic grips that solidly keep the popping plate in place on the hearing base are not quite a clear as they should be. I can understand why the first person to post here may have run into problems, but it takes some real force to break them off. I strongly suspect that 99% of users will quickly get the hang of using the grips without damaging them at all.
The used oil, however, does create a residue on the popping plate that just will not come off even in the dishwasher (yep, the popping plate and bowl are dishwasher safe -- the only thing that can't be placed in the dishwasher is the heating base (no surprise there).
Other Thoughts: Overall, this is a rock solid popcorn popper that should last for years.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: AZIO MGK1-RGB-BLU MGK1 RGB Gaming Keyboard
Pros: This is a rock solid keyboard. I use it for work, not gaming and I am quite impressed. I had purchased a Corsair K70 which is going to be returned. The Azio offers a multitude of lighting options, easily accessed without having to install any software or drivers. But more importantly, the "blue" switches for the keys produce the right amount of "click" when typing (I had used one of the the legendary Northgate OmniKey keyboards for over 25 years before it gave up the ghost -- so I have experience with how a quality keyboard works). The volume control and mute bottom are nicely placed on the keyboard -- making them very convenient. All in all, a well-built, solid keyboard.
And as an added bonus, Azio's tech support is located in the USA and you get a knowledgeable live person immediately.
Cons: This keyboard, however, does have a few quirks. First, the key caps reverse the usual placement of the numbers and symbols by placing the symbols under the numbers -- which just feels unnatural after decades of using keyboards where the symbols are placed above the numbers. Similarly, the punctuation marks in the row of the shift keys are reversed so that the ones that require the shift key are on the bottom of the key cap. That's simply backwards. In just a few days of using this otherwise excellent keyboard, I've frequently gotten it backwards and failed to hit the shift key when necessary thanks to the reversed labeling on the key caps.
The User Guide has a bad typo which can leave users trying to set a single color for all the keys scratching their heads. On page 5 it instructs users to hit the FN+DEL key combination to stop the motion of the color flow when in Spectrum Cycling Mode. It should tell us to hit the FN+INS key combination instead. And that's the reason I called tech support. They allegedly will fix the typo in the PDF of the User Guide on their website. It may take a while to get it corrected in the printed manuals.
Other Thoughts: I realize that people rarely need tech support for a keyboard. But any tech company that places its tech support in the USA deserves some kudos for doing that. The one troubling issue I'm facing is that Azio will release a more advanced keyboard in the second quarter that will be a bit larger than this one and include some macro keys. I admit to being tempted to return this one and wait for the newer keyboard. Tough choice. But if you need a well-built keyboard now, the Azio MGK 1 RGB with its blue keys is a really good choice -- unless you prefer to type in near silence.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Runs well, quiet - but truthfully I haven't really had chance to use it much yet. But that's not why I wrote this review. The important points are under "Other" below.
Cons: Still in early stages of using the drive. But it has been a little kinky when playing music CDs on it.
Other Thoughts: The reason I'm writing this review now even though I haven't had much of a chance to use it yet is to alert people that it appears the SATA port it uses must be configured as AHCI, not IDE. When I first connected the drive to the SATA5 port on my recent vintage Asus AMD motherboard (configured as IDE because the BIOS instructions said ports 5-6 can be configured only as IDE), the motherboard would not recognize the LG Blue-ray drive. So I connected it to port 3, configured as AHCI and the drive was recognized and ran fine. :Since I needed something else connected to port 3 and all ports 1-4 were assigned, I reconfigured ports 5 &6 to AHCI despite the BOIS saying they can't be configured that way. Both the LG Blue-ray drive and a simple DVD-CD drive were recognized by the motherboard and are running okay so far (but I haven't tried to record anything on the LG Blue-ray drive yet).
I just wanted to alert potential purchasers to this issue in case you run into it too.