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Hamilton Beach BrewStation 47950 Brewer
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

4 out of 5 eggs Best Drip Coffee Maker Ever... Until it Broke 09/08/2015

This review is from: Hamilton Beach BrewStation 47950 Brewer

Pros: Very easy to set up and use.
Simple, intuitive controls.
Brews a good pot of coffee.
Easy cleaning as far as dispenser models go.

Cons: Short-circuited after nine months.

Other Thoughts: Let's face it, drip coffee makers are all about convenience. If you want the best cup of coffee out there, you should be using a French press or a stove-top espresso maker. But most people just want a quick cup or three in the morning without all that time and effort. If you're in that category, then this is an excellent coffee maker for you (until it breaks).

If you're not familiar with carafe-less coffee makers, there is no pot to lift and pour. You just push your mug up against a lever and the coffee dispenses like those soda machines in fast-food chains. So easy! If you *are* familiar with carafe-less coffee makers, you know they can be a pain to set up and clean. But Hamilton Beach has come a long way with its designs. This one has a detachable reservoir: just take it to the sink, fill it, and then put it back in place. A big improvement over the old ones! The tank where the brewed coffee sits also detaches so it's easy to clean.

The coffee brews well as far as drip machines go. Obviously, the quality and the quantity of the beans make a big difference, but if you're moving up from a glass pot, you won't be disappointed. We often use Mystic Monk beans and the coffee is only a bit short of heavenly (you need a French press to get all the way there).

The only downside to this machine is that you can tell Hamilton Beach is skimping on durability to keep the price down. I'd much rather pay an extra $20 for quality electronics that last, but so be it. Our first one made it through nine months of 1-2 pots per day before short-circuiting. My wife and I talked it over and decided it's still worth the money to order a second one.

SmithMicro Manga Studio 5
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

5 out of 5 eggs Excellent Budget Art Software 09/21/2013

This review is from: SmithMicro Manga Studio 5

Pros: Intuitive controls, tool setting defaults are good choices for beginners, excellent getting started manual

Cons: A few tool setting descriptions are useless, fewer canvas and brush options than Corel Painter

Other Thoughts: For a new or journeyman artist with a budget, this is an excellent software choice. Designed in Japan for pro Manga artists, it gives you a wide range of tools. Vector graphics layers give you amazing control and the power to easily correct mistakes in your drawings, and can be rasterized for the full range of paints tools with two mouse clicks. There are a wide range of pen settings and quite a few paint options as well. Version 5.0 will give you an occasional set of instructions in Japanese, but I believe they were all fixed in the 5.0.2 upgrade (free download if your CD is the old version).

As another reviewer mentioned, registration is mandatory and a bit more painful than it should be (you have to type a very long product key), but once it's done it's done.

Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator and Corel Painter X3 give you pretty much all the same tools in a more powerful setting, but will cost you well over $1,000. Plus you'll have to move files between three different programs. Unless you're a pro whose art will suffer from the lack of a gouache paint tool on a grainy canvas background, you'll probably be quite happy with Manga Studio 5's intuitive controls and easy to use layers.

Bestek BTA07C1 Universal Laptop Adapter
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

4 out of 5 eggs Works Fine, Rather Short Cord 06/26/2013

This review is from: Bestek BTA07C1 Universal Laptop Adapter

Pros: Powers up the laptop fine. HP Pavilion DV4-2040US adapter 463958-001.

Cons: Total cord length is about two feet shorter than the original HP adapter. HP provides 5'8" from the wall to the adapter and the same length from the adapter to the laptop (11'4" total). This one gives you 5' from the wall and 4'4" to the laptop (9'4" total).

Other Thoughts: The cord from the wall to the adapter is removable. If your cord from the original is still good, swap it out and gain 8".

Comes with one black and one silver top plate to replace the red one installed at the factory. Since the sides are red and not replaceable, I doubt many buyers will take the time to switch them out. I wish that instead of this gimmick, they'd just given a full-length cord.

Ignore the other reviewer who said "If you bought this for a laptop, then absolutely you will have the problems described." It's a laptop adapter. Honestly. Says so right in the name. Can't imagine what he thinks you're supposed to do with this.


Thomas R.'s Profile

Display Name: Thomas R.

Date Joined: 05/19/04

  • Reviews: 9
  • Helpfulness: 3
  • First Review: 11/12/09
  • Last Review: 09/08/15
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