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Brian M.

Brian M.

Joined on 02/18/07

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Product Reviews
Seller Reviews
product reviews
  • 53
Most Favorable Review

Pleasantly surprised by air-frying!

Rosewill RHAF-15003 1400 W Oil-Less Low Fat Digital Touch Screen Air Fryer - 3.3 Quarts (3.2 L), Black
Rosewill RHAF-15003 1400 W Oil-Less Low Fat Digital Touch Screen Air Fryer - 3.3 Quarts (3.2 L), Black

Pros: + Simple to use -- put food in basket, and set time & temperature. + Quick -- almost no pre-heating needed. Quicker than a convection oven. + Easy to clean -- both the perforated basket and the containment bowl are non-stick coated. + Wife loves it -- virtually oil-free french fries taste great. + Son loves it -- he can also cook up frozen fries, and popcorn chicken, back-to-back.

Cons: - This is a large appliance (think, big watermelon). If you're using it, you won't begrudge it the counter space, but . . . - The cooking basket is a good size for, say, a pound of french fries. But it is not flexible. - The included instruction/recipe book is not extensive. Search the web for more air-fryer recipes.

Overall Review: This is my first experience with an air fryer, which I think of as a particularly intense convection oven. I liked the results. The fries did not disappoint. And it really does a great job with frozen chicken nuggets, faster than any other method. Except, of course, a microwave oven, which can really ruin chicken (and bread, fries, and other things). So this is a nice alternative to have available when the microwave just won't do. I did find myself thinking of lots of things I would like to try in it, but the reality is that cooking in a basket is limiting. Some things you are just going to have to bake in a regular oven. Also, you don't want to put high-fat foods (e.g., sausages) in this thing -- the internal spattering would make a mess of things.

Most Critical Review

It would work in China

Xiaomi 1.5L Electric Water Kettle Auto Power-off Protection 304 Stainless Steel Inner Layer
Xiaomi 1.5L Electric Water Kettle Auto Power-off Protection 304 Stainless Steel Inner Layer

Pros: It looks nice.

Cons: This kettle took weeks to arrive, and when it did it arrived with an Asian power plug. The box had been opened and the seller had put an adapter inside to allow it to be plugged into U.S. outlets. But the appliance is designed for 230 volts!

Overall Review: Despite the plug and voltage mismatch, the kettle will still bring water to a boil, because it uses simple resistance heating. But it will not work quickly. With a U.S. 115 volts, it will get only half the current at half the voltage, and so generates only 1/4 of the normal heat. So it takes too long.

A nice set of kitchen knives, for a good price.

Rosewill 18-Piece Stainless Steel Professional Cutlery Kitchen Knife Set with Shears, Triple Riveted Handles, Full Tang Design, Wood Block, Built-in Sharpener (RHKS-20001)
Rosewill 18-Piece Stainless Steel Professional Cutlery Kitchen Knife Set with Shears, Triple Riveted Handles, Full Tang Design, Wood Block, Built-in Sharpener (RHKS-20001)

Pros: + A full set of high-quality forged knives.+ Priced to be cost-effective!

Cons: - Serrated steak knives are a con for me, but perhaps not for you.- I would have preferred simpler scissors.

Overall Review: This Rosewill knife set is made in China, and its quality compares favorably to a similar 15-piece Cuisinart set that I also own. The Rosewill has a built-in slot sharperner, rather than a stick sharpener. (I don't use either, because I have--and recommend--a separate electric sharpener.) The scissors in the Rosewill set are a bit gimmicky; that's a matter of taste, so I won't take off a star for that.The Rosewill set costs 2/3 of what I paid for its rival, but it contains more knives: 16 instead of 12. And the construction on the Rosewill is a little higher quality; both are fully forged, but the Rosewill knives also have a forged pommel. The Rosewill includes both a 5" and a 7" Santoku knife -- which I use all the time. It also includes a 5" bread knife, which I don't use much, but it might be of use to someone who eats more vegetables than I do. The 8 steak knives are full-tang construction and are serrated. Because I sharpen my knives, I would prefer they not be serrated. But, again, that is a matter of taste so I won't deduct a star for it.Bottom line: These days you can spend several hundred dollars on a status knife set, but if you just looking for a cost-effective set of quality kitchen knives in an attractive wooden block, this Rosewill set may fit the bill.

Blazingly fast! Makes good use of M2 slot.

Corsair Force MP510 M.2 2280 240GB PCI-Express 3.0 x4, NVMe 1.3 3D TLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) CSSD-F240GBMP510
Corsair Force MP510 M.2 2280 240GB PCI-Express 3.0 x4, NVMe 1.3 3D TLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) CSSD-F240GBMP510

Pros: Really, that it is compact, cable-free, capacious, and fast! It may also be reliable (according to the stats), but only time will tell. No failures yet in my hands.

Cons: Um, you need a MB w/ an M2 slot? Worth getting, for the increase in performance relative to a sata-ssd.

Overall Review: Initially I put this in an external adapter, where it was indistinguishable from a typical ssd. Finally I opened up a desktop with an empty M2 slot and installed it as the Windows 10 boot drive -- replacing a sata3-ssd. The PC immediately became much snappier. I'm convinced.

12/18/2018

Fast, compact, portable hard drive.

Toshiba Canvio Advance 2TB Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0 Red - HDTC920XR3AA
Toshiba Canvio Advance 2TB Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0 Red - HDTC920XR3AA

Pros: This is an external 2.5" hdd. There are lots of competitors out there -- which helps keep prices down. I like that this one is slim, that it holds 2 TB, that it is self-powered via the usb cable, and that it doesn't require two usb ports for adequate power. In my opinion the supplied usb3 cable is both long enough, and compact enough for portability. The NTFS-formatted drive is speedy and worked well with my computers, all of which run Windows 10.

Cons: I didn't find anything to complain about. I have no need for the free backup software, but I can't object to their making it available for someone who might want it.

Overall Review: My household has more than a dozen computers. All of them boot from ssds, simply for speed. The desktops all have a secondary hdd for storage capacity, and are also backed up on a network. The laptops travel, which means I like to have a portable hdd for those times when I need extra capacity or want to bring more than a typical thumb drive will hold. This Toshiba drive fits my needs perfectly. If you have similar needs, I recommend it.

Solid keyboard

Corsair Gaming K68 Mechanical Keyboard, Backlit Red LED, Cherry MX Red
Corsair Gaming K68 Mechanical Keyboard, Backlit Red LED, Cherry MX Red

Pros: + For me, the key to a great keyboard is (are?) the keys: their placement and feel. This is a good one. + Very solidly built classic keyboard, and I find the backlighting attractive and convenient. + Similar in feel to the Corsair K70, which I have used for a long time and am very happy with. + Dedicated multimedia buttons are useful, and work well. + I use Windows 10 64-bit, and this hardware is compatible out-of-the-box.

Cons: - The K68 has volume buttons, whereas the K70 has a scroll wheel. I really love the wheel, and wish the K68 had it. - The K70 has a straight-through usb port (i.e., not a hub) which is great for mice, etc. The K-68 lacks this useful feature. - I don't like the fact that the key labels seem to be inverted: the shifted character is below, rather than above, the base character.

Overall Review: Writing this review, I realize that I first learned to type a half-century ago, when hitting Shift with your pinky meant you were physically lifting the entire collection of hammers in the typewriter. We've come a long way, but I still prefer a mechanical feel to my keyboard. This one feels great to a long-term touch typist. The odd inverted labeling I find annoying, but not a big deal. The other two negatives are simply nice features that you get in the K70 rather than the K68, so no eggs deducted. All in all, a good choice.

seller reviews
  • 1

Not a North American plug!

This took a couple of weeks to arrive, and the seller did not advertise that the item (a kettle) had an Asian plug. They threw a cheap non-grounding adapter into the box that will allow it to be plugged in to a U.S. socket, but not safely. I would not order anything from them in the future.

On-time
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Satisfactory