Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Product Review: Hoover - Rogue 970 App-Controlled Self-Charging Robot Vacuum in Black

I received this unit from Hoover, it's a lovely addition to take care of daily vacuuming in our family room that was once just an attic, on our third floor of our 140 year old home. This floor is all carpet and houses quite a bit of furniture and is oddly shaped. I did try this unit on our first floor that has hard woods with area rugs throughout, and it did not play well with the variety of surfaces, it would get hung up on the rugs while it was going over them and launch into the air, thus confusing it's position in the room, making the mapping of the room nearly impossible. I love that this unit will actually map out the floor plan giving you the ability to draw in smart walls keeping it out of where it may get hung up. It's mapping is not as accurate as I would like, and maybe it has to do with our family room and it's furniture. I do feel it would do better in a completely empty and  regular shaped room, which is not realistic, but it tries really hard to get the mapping right. Due to this inaccuracy, it occasionally won't find it's home/charger and just quits in the middle of the room. It is my hope that it's mapping of our room will get better with time, as I have noticed it will modify the map data as things are moved, added, or removed. The vacuuming technology of this unit picks up well, the dirt cap has dirt in it every time it is run. I feel this is great for animal lovers, as it picks up the extra dirt, fur, and other stuff that comes with pet ownership. I appreciate that it has three different levels of cleaning, Stealth, Normal, and Beast, for a variety of situations. I initially used the Apple iOS app and was disappointed that Hoover's Android app was not ready for release. The iOS app was horrible, there were several parts of the app that just did not work. Much to my surprise, a few days into my review, I happened to check back on the Google Play Store and found that they had released the app and I am happy to report it is fully functioning and may only need a little work in the mapping and smart wall category. I feel I could recommend this unit to a family or friend, but with reservation. I think this particular design is on a case by case basis. It may work well for you home layout, and it may not. All in all it is a pretty slick design that needs a little work on it's mapping features. If it can't find it's home it's really no that smart. But with some updates in both the app software and the robots firmware it could really shine.

*I do have a material connection regarding this piece of equipment or its manufacturer*

Monday, November 13, 2017

Product Review: Arlo - Pro 2 Security Camera System

This Arlo Pro 2 Security Camera System is so easy to install and use. It's wireless/battery technology is amazing. These HD cameras provide stunning clarity. The ability to view, and modify  this system via it's app and online portal is essential. The cloud recording makes viewing remotely and downloading important clips incredibly easy. Did I mention the CLARITY!!! Oh my, this unit is something I would suggest to a friend. If your looking for easy quick way to monitor something with high quality video, this is the unit you're looking for.

*I do have a material connection regarding this piece of equipment or its manufacturer*

Friday, November 10, 2017

Product Review: Honeywell - Smart Color Thermostat with Wi-Fi Connectivity - Silver

This Thermostat with WiFi connectivity, was pretty simple to install. I lost control of my fan independently but I will install an additional wire to gain what I lost. This unit is so simple to schedule, you can use the app that is downloadable, or even log into a website to program your schedule. It's user interface, with it's touch controls are very easy to use and navigate. Where this unit shines is it's ability to be controlled via my Google Home. I can adjust the temp or mode on the fly with my voice. The app gives you ultimate control as well, like having the thermostat in your pocket. I love that it has built alerts at high and low limits, alerting you of a malfunction with high and low limit notifications. I would suggest that sometimes the whole smart label in many industries is misleading. The "Smart" in this unit is basically identifying that it is WiFi enabled and you can control it via an app. It will not manipulate the temperature on it's own without you programming it to. As long as you know this going into this purchase, this unit will satisfy your programmable thermostat needs with a few neat extras.

*I do have a material connection regarding this piece of equipment or its manufacturer*

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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Product Review: Sony WF 1000x True Wireless In-Ear Noise-Cancelling Headphones

I wasn't sure what to expect with in-ear noise-cancellation that these Sony WF 1000x True Wireless Headphones offer. I am amazed at how well they work. First, they come with several sizes and styles of ear tips, and fitting supporters, making them customisable to even my, goofy ears. At that they fit very well without coming loose even when cutting my grass. Second with the "Headphone Connect" App from Sony, the noise cancellation works very well, adapting to your environment on the fly as it dynamically changes. The mentioned app has some preprogrammed equalizers, allowing the 6mm drivers to adjust to your listening style. The bass these little buds deliver is pretty incredible for such a small footprint. The lack of volume control onboard these earbuds is the only shortfall for this unit. It connects easily manually or with the built in NFC Chip on the case, and it maintains that connection with uninterrupted streaming capabilities, though stream ability is device dependent, I was connected to a Google Pixel 1st generation. Phone calls work, but at times it would try to adjust to ambient sound and I would miss a couple of seconds of the conversation. That's a little annoying, but turning of noise cancellation resolved that issue. Only the left earbud works during a call which isn't ideal but manageable. I absolutely love the fact that there are no wires. The specs of the device is about three hours per charge on the buds and six hours of back up charge stored in the case. I would say that this spec is accurate. These will give me the ability to stream music and podcast everywhere I go. If you're looking for the freedom of no wires, with several bonus features, these True Wireless Headphones are worth looking into.

*I do have a material connection regarding this piece of equipment or its manufacturer*

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Product Review: Shark Ion Robot 750 App controlled Robot Vacuum in Gray

This Shark Ion 750 Robot (App Controlled) Vacuum is pretty slick for what I call the quick vacuum run. This unit has a very easy setup. Plug in the docking station, set the robot on the docking station and download the app while you wait for the battery to fully charge. The app can control the robot or you can schedule a cleaning as often as once a day. I am amazed with how quiet this unit is.  We are using this robot to vacuum our entire first floor, a kitchen, a dining room, a living room and an entry way. This will not take over the vacuuming, but will make it so I don't have to those spot cleanings when someone is stopping by. The debris collection area is not very big, so you will want to empty it after every cycle. The app does have an alert notification, it will notify you if it was obstructed in any way, but only in the background, so it won't wake you up in the middle of the night. I wish the notification would indicate if it ran successfully. The only way I knew it ran, was by the debris collection area having dirt in it. You do need to pay attention to wires or other small things that may cause the unit to hang up in the middle of its cleaning cycle. I really do think this is a no brainer if you looking for some cleaning to go on in the background during you crazy, busy life. I would recommend this to a friend.

*I do have a material connection regarding this piece of equipment or its manufacturer*

Monday, October 16, 2017

Product Review: Acer S271HL Gbidx 27" Monitor

This Acer S271HL 27" Monitor has some pretty incredible clarity. I am using it as an extended display mounted on my wall above my 15 inch laptop. My productivity has increased because now  I can actually run two apps at once side by side. I checked out some 4K or Ultru HD video on YouTube and was amazed. The ability this monitor has to obtain close to true black really enables the color and contrast pop. I love that it has the HDMI port so if you want to you can pull the audio straight from the monitor instead of your sound card. Windows 8 gives me another output to control with my volume control. I can see where you may want to use this feature depending on how your sound is configured.  I tried out a few games and its performance did not quit, I saw no lag or latency in the frame rate. I would recommend this device to a friend in need of a large digital work space or large digital play ground for gaming.

*I do have a material connection regarding this piece of equipment or its manufacturer*

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Product Review: Epson Home Cinema 2150 Wireless 1080p 3lcd Projector

Connecting this Epson Home Cinema 2150 Projector is a breeze, with one VGA connection, two HDMI connections, and a Wireless connection to choose from. I tested it out using a small screen and really thought the setup was super easy, with zoom and focal rings that are easy to find and adjust and a keystone slide switch making it super easy to correct any skew you may have in your projection. The brightness and clarity is incredible. It has an option to mirror cast, so you can actually cast your phone screen. I'm not sure when I would use it but thought it was neat. I can't wait to use this unit for some outdoor movies.

I would recommend this unit to a friend.

*I do have a material connection regarding this piece of equipment or its manufacturer*