Date Joined: 03/11/11
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.
Overall Review: 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.
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!
Overall Review: 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.
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
Overall Review: 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.
Pros: Two great speed settings:
Low works well for a simple relaxation massage.
High is great for deep massage on extra sore areas.
That's just for the actual massage features the Hitachi was originally made for. Of course, it's alternate use is highly recommended for intense pleasure.
I like it for the massage it offers and the wife greatly enjoys it for both uses.
Cons: The cord is way too short for most applications.
Can cause skin burn if used for too long on the same area.
Overall Review: Attachments for the the Hitachi's non-traditional use can be found on other sites (Newegg's not exactly appropriate), and they are less than $20 most places for all three of them.
We bought it for the non-traditional use because, well... batteries get to be expensive in a rather short period of time. However, I think we use it more often for its amazing massage properties than we do for the unconventional use.
Pros: The suction is really good without the hose attachment on, and the rotating brush really pulls pet hair away — we have a cat with really long, fine hair that's impossible to get out any other way.
The dirt reservoir is very easy to clean out, though I usually have to remove the whole thing to get the hair out of it. It doesn't come out the trap very well because it gets stuck in the filter and I think more due to the cat's hair than any issue with the hand vac itself.
Cons: I have three cons for this model:
1. When the hose attachment is on, the suction isn't very good.
2. It is quite heavy, and while that wouldn't normally be an issue, because of the power it can be a little difficult to control.
3. The air vents blow really, really hot air — best to use when it's cool in the house because it acts almost like a personal heater.
Overall Review: Overall, I really like how this removes the cat hair from various places in the house. Our cat sleeps on our bed and I can vacuum sheets and the blanket to remove the hair every couple of days. It's great for making sure the hair is gone before washing the bedding.
It works great on the furniture, as well. I've yet to try it when cleaning the car, but I suspect it'll stand up to mud accumulation very well.
Pros: Fairly quiet model. The clippers and attachments (with the exception of the nose trimmer, see Cons) are well constructed. The entire device is fairly lightweight and easy to grip. It gives a fairly close shave the first time around, but requires several uses before giving a really close shave.
Cons: The nose trimmer attachment wasn't constructed very well and came apart with little pressure when attempting to remove it. It didn't break, however, and was easier to put on and take off again afterward.
Overall Review: Very nice groomer with a very nice price.
Pros: Works fantastic on the netbook with no issues whatsoever. Easy to use on/off slider button and a quick connect button. The netbook recognizes it immediately and it's got smooth operation, even on low battery. Battery life has been phenominal - only two changes in 3 months and that's possibly due to the forgetfulness in shutting the mouse off what not using the computer.
Cons: Does not work so well on the desktop PC - jerky, connection issues, battery loss. Both netbook and PC are Win 7 Acers. Another con is the battery compartment - it's extremely difficult to get into and I'm constantly worried the cover is going to break when the batteries need changing.
Pros: Great fun game that provides tons of hours of game play. Servers are rarely down and when they are it's for scheduled maintenance. You can't go wrong with an MMO that doesn't cost you to play online and especially one that's got this high a quality. This is a great expansion to an already fun game - highly recommended.
Cons: The shipping of the DVD box. The game disk wasn't actually needed, just the product code - you merely have to put the product key into your NCSoft account and the features unlock in the game. An electronic delivery system would have been nice rather than waiting on UPS delivery.
Overall Review: If it weren't for the delivery method of this game, I'd have given it 5 out of 5.
Pros: The cable is well built and appears to have gold contacts which is always best for A/V equipment. There have been no hiccups in video/game play since plugging it in. A vast improvement over the component cables. The picture is much clearer, as well.
Cons: The price is a bit high compared to other HDMI cables, but we went with Microsoft's cable due to potential XBox 360 warranty issues that may arise in future - MS can be sticky on fixing anything if you're not using their official 360 products.