Monday, April 25, 2016

Dart board by Ohuhu

I'm writing this review from the perspective of someone who only plays darts VERY casually(example: our scoring consists of who gets the most bulls-eyes per 3 darts thrown) and has only ever used electronic boards before these. That said, I've found this one to work just as well as I'd expect and has been a lot of fun.

I've heard talk about this board not being a "bristly board" but as I just use it to throw sharp things at I don't know if it is or even care. The darts stick and with it being used every few days over the past few weeks I've yet to see a dart fall due to hitting an already open hole. They seem to close up decently after removing the tip so it seems to operate as designed no matter the material. The best way I can describe it is between cork and a hardwood but more toward the wood side of things. I was wondering how well a dart would go into it but that fear quickly passed. The surface is "flocked" which in the end just means it feels like felt but isn't as soft.

My OCD gets tripped as the numbers go around when they get past horizontal they start tacking the "1"s upside down. I'm sure it's for rigidity and it looks like all boards do it but... it irks me. I think the only downside I've noticed is that the ring is just stapled on. Not in a cheap looking way but it means you can't easily rotate it to distribute the wear.

My family has had fun with it and the darts stick so I see no reason to not recommend to anyone. It's one of the cheapest out there while still making me happy so I'd say give it a try. I received this product at a discount in exchange for nothing more than my honest opinion.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Sound Intone BT-02 Bluetooth Headphones

Grab your own pair on Amazon

I've tried several different brands of budget to mid-range headphones and Sound Intone has their fair share of different ones out there. Unfortunately this is the second one I've tried from them and while I don't hate them, I don't love them either. I wouldn't tell anyone to stay away but it's just so hard to recommend them compared to other things I've seen at the same price point.

Build- Let's get this out of the way right away: the build is where I have the most issues here. Besides the chrome plastic buttons that I expect to start flaking before my eye nothing seems cheap. If you're wanting something that looks good you could certainly do worse. They have a modern design that adds a little color for some fun and flair. The first thing I noticed when putting them on was that there is absolutely no swivel for the cans to move to fit your head. Unless I'm a freak-of-nature(possible) I'm pretty sure the sides of most people's heads are not perfectly parallel. Cheaper sets tent to just flex enough to get by and better ones incorporate a swivel but these are too rigid and last the needed feature. That means they press more on the back of my ear and are a little raised in the front. You can imagine this could cause comfort issues after a while but there is another related issue; the top band. Zero padding whatsoever. There is a thick but flexible rubber sheet contacting the top of your head but nothing else. It seems like it would be so easy to throw some cheap foam in. Besides those complaints I do appreciate the ability to fold to make it smaller and protect the speakers. Ear padding is sufficient.

Function- Fear not concerned shopper, I like the sound. Not blow-you-away sound but I've encountered some headphones that I didn't even want to listen to and I have some Yo-Yo Ma playing as I write this and it's enjoyable. Overall a nice balance but I wouldn't mind a little more in the lows. I like to play the beginning of "Mama I'm Coming Home" and it sounded nice without evidence of struggling but could have used a little more on the sustain.

To recap if someone told me they found a deal on these I probably wouldn't even mention my reservations but if they asked for a recommendation I'd probably lead them elsewhere. If you're just going to use them for real short periods comfort may not be an issue but there just seems to be at best missed design considerations and at worst cost cutting. I still like the sound but I know they can do better. I received this product at a discount in exchange for nothing more than my honest opinion.

Monday, April 18, 2016

300Mbps Wireless-N USB Adapter byActionFly

My experience with all wireless adapters has been pretty uneventful in that they always have worked as I expected. This one is no exception and has performed flawlessly for everything I've tried. I think it might work even better if I had a different router. 

Build- Physically I've seen smaller but that often means decreased rang due to the limited antenna size. This strikes a nice balance where you can keep it inserted while walking around the house without issues. Just remember it's there though because you can bump it. There is a red activity LED on it but it's pretty dim so you don't need to worry about it bothering anyone around you.

Performance- This blows away 802.11g devices I've used; and it should. 11n is supposed to support 300mbps but you'll rarely see that in the real world. If you have doubts it is faster just try the previous generation devices in your computer and you'll see the difference. You can see in one of my images I was getting 7.71MB so around 60mbps when transferring pictures over our network from a USB drive on a Raspberry pi. You're limited by many things in that equation but that's already above the 802.11g standard max. In another picture you can see I'm getting a similar 65mpbs doing a speed test. 

Does it cook and do the laundry? Of course not. Does it deliver blazing wifi? You can't argue with my real world tests so: of course yes. If you want to increase a computer's speed that's still using an older adapter get one of these. Especially at these prices of under 30 bucks. I received this product at a discount in exchange for nothing more than my honest opinion.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Cellphone Camera Flash Fill-in Light by Actionfly

Get one from Amazon

Ever been less than impressed with the flash on your phone? Or using it for video and it drains your battery right down? I tried this add-on flash by action fly and it can definitely add light with minor drawbacks.

Build- You get a fairly standard plastic case with 16 bright LEDs for fill light. On the bottom is a micro USB port for power and a headphone jack to mount it to a phone. The switches are straight forward with an on/off and one for 3 power levels. The plastic doesn't seem the strongest but the entire thing it pretty light so it won't have any issues if dropped. One easily missed feature is the inclusion of a lanyard loop and as no one will want to keep this mounted in their pocket is would be right at home on a key-chain.

Function- Right off the bat the main problem here is even on the low setting the thing is so bright I'm not sure how much anyone will want their picture taken. While a phone flash usually is on for a short time this one is on until you turn it off. That's right; even though it looks like the phone may trigger it the jack is really just the way of holding the flash. That complaint aside, it does what it say it doe: provide plenty of fill light. I would imagine a good way to use it would be to frame your shot and then turn it on just before shooting to keep the blinding-ness to a minimum. By having it mounted to the top of the phone that will help to make your light a little off-axis which always helps a picture.

This may not be fore everyone, and I'm not certain I'll have it with me all the time. However, if you're going out and expect to take a lot of pictures just throw it in your pocket. If you're someone that would keep it on a keychain, even better; you can use it as a flashlight when you're not taking pictures. In the end I'm just not sure I want to blind my friends this much. If yours are more easy going, give it a shot. I received this product at a discount in exchange for nothing more than my honest opinion.