PC Magazine Reviews

Welcome to my blog! This blog will cover the technology, gadgets, events and cool toys that have affected me in some way. I will also give recommendations on the products that I have actually used.
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In the juicer market, not many can compare to the usual leaders from Breville and Cuisinart. When it comes to spending the amount of money needed for a juicer, you need to be certain what you are paying for will reward you with prolonged service for years to come. With the Hurom HU-100 Slow Juicer, you will get exactly that.

The Hurom slow juicer does the job that most hope to get from their juicer, just without the damaging high RPM. By running slower than most, it ensures that you get the maximum amount of juice and all the added nutrients that come from your fruits, vegetables, and grasses. The Hurom juicer works with a dual stage extraction mechanism that cuts, crushes and then extracts all the juice from your produce. This process ensures that you will get the most juice from your items and produce the smallest amount of waste. The juicer comes in a nice white color that is ideal for the counter-top and is light enough to be stored away when not in use. There is one screen that pushes through fine and coarse items, there are pulp extraction plugs, a self-cleaning screen holder, and two 50 ounce juicing cups allowing you to make plenty of juice in one sitting. It comes with a 10-year warranty, is reasonably priced and provides you with a good amount of juice.

There are many positives seen in the Hurom slow juicer reviews. Among them is the ease in which you can clean the device. While you will need a diagram with some juicers after disassembling them to clean, this product is easy to take apart, clean, and put back together again. One positive thing you can do with this juicer that has been difficult to do in the past with others is making almond milk. When people are using almond milk in their morning shakes, this makes that process even easier and cheaper. There are different ways to do this, but essentially leave a cup of almonds soaking overnight and the next morning, put them in the juicer with some water and you will have yourself healthy and natural milk for your cereal or for your midday snack. Another favorite for many using the HU-100 is how quiet it operates. This device is also very capable of juicing wheat grass, which a lot of “top” and “elite” juicers don’t have the same success with.

Of the common problems or complaints in the Hurom slow juicer review is that that blades will get locked up occasionally. This usually occurs when you trying to push down on the fruit to quickly or if you are putting in harder items. With these items, you should cut them up into smaller pieces first to avoid jamming. Let the machine run the way it is supposed to. If you don’t it will become problematic for you and could even break. The machine has been known to break in certain areas, but if customer service is contacted within the warranty period, they are very responsive and helpful and will send you replacement parts free of charge. Some would call these breakdowns a product of cheap planning and building, but at least Hurom will send out replacement parts as a way of righting the wrong. If you don’t force food into it you shouldn’t have any problems.

Overall, the Hurom slow juicer has its faults and advantages. Just like with any household appliance, it can break, but it usually only happens when you aren’t being careful. This isn’t a 1500 RPM juicer that can take your orange and make it into juice in six seconds. It takes time to operate properly, so if you have five to ten minutes each morning to make your fresh juice from scratch, it is the perfect model for you. If you would rather have your juice in two minutes, there are plenty of other options on the market right now that would be of better interest to you. One of the greatest perks about this device is the amount of juice you get from your fruits and vegetables. Weigh them before putting them in and then weigh the final product. You will be pleasantly surprised with how little waste there really is.

Contacts are very similar to before on the Samsung Galaxy S4, but this is no bad thing. Laid out in an easy to read format and manageable ways of connecting the right people together, this is a perfectly passable way of looking for the people that matter to you.

The main thing that we like is the ability to smart dial. This means that when you open the number pad you can enter the name as you would have done on predictive text all those years ago - so 3-2-3 would be the command to bring up ‘Dad’, for instance.

Samsung Galaxy S4 review

It’s a slick way of getting around the contact list. It’s hardly new - most phones pack it as an option now, and those that don’t (iPhone) sorely miss it - but it saves you monkeying around in the main contacts list.

That said, the experience there is very good. If you’ve got the likes of Exchange, Facebook and Google accounts set up on your phone then chances are you’ll be able to see a host of names here to play with. We’re sad that Twitter was taken out of the experience, as it was helpful to have on the Galaxy S2 by enabling you to see friends’ Tweets in their contact profile.

However, if you’re not savvy enough to work out how to stop every person you’re following on Twitter displaying in your contacts’ list, then you would have hundreds floating around there.

(By the way, it’s a simple tap of the menu button and selecting ‘Contacts to display’ where you can choose which service will supply the people to chat to. You can customise this too, meaning you only have certain services coming through, which means you can choose to just have the likes of Facebook and Google, where most people will store contacts.

Pro tip: hit ‘Settings’ and then tag ‘Only contacts with phone numbers’, which will clean up your phone book no end).

Beyond that, there’s not a lot more to the Samsung Galaxy S4 contacts interface that really makes it stand out - it doesn’t have the ability to parse through albums on social networks or update you with people’s musings through statuses, but to many that’s more of a hindrance. And to those where it’s not, you can head on over to the HTC One to see how all that works.

The interface is simple, it’s damned easy to navigate to the people you want (using the alphabetised list on the right-hand side and then using the slider to get more exact) and the result is instant when opening a contact.

Samsung Galaxy S4 review

You can link contacts together easily by going into the name and hitting joined contacts, then selecting other profiles from social networks to bring everything into one place. Samsung still hasn’t mastered the art of suggesting these links in one big batch, so expect a lengthy time spend doing so when you turn the phone on.

One big change we’re not sure we’re in love with: every contact that doesn’t have a picture drawn in (from the likes of Facebook or Google+) will have a stock smiling male cartoon face - it’s meant to be cutesy, but it can come across a little creepy when it flashes up onscreen from an unknown number.

Another oddity with the Samsung Galaxy S4 is the ability to use high res pictures to populate contact images - other handsets enable you to define that any social network, Facebook in particular, will always display HD pictures when you connect a person in your phone book to the social network profile.

It might sound like a minor thing, but when high-res pictures flash up during a phone call, it makes the phone feel a lot more premium, which is rarely the case with the Galaxy S4, which will only do so if you’ve linked Google+ or tagged them in your own photo.

Calling

Calling on the Samsung Galaxy S4 carries on from its predecessor - namely in being excellent. It’s got a slightly narrow earpiece range, which means that you have to be careful where you position it in relation to your ear, but that’s a really minor quibble as the overall effect is impressive and works well thanks to some clever volume management.

The S4 has noise reduction built in, and many people commented how clear the the sound was over the airwaves. The S4 supports HD voice as well, which is carried over the 3G/4G networks (depending on your provider) so you’ll always get the best clarity on offer.

Samsung Galaxy S4 review

In short, this phone worked well no matter where we were. Dropped calls should be a thing of the past on all handsets, but that’s not always the case; however, with high end handsets there’s no reason to think it should happen, and the power of the S4 to keep hold of signal is impressive.

In fact, the signal strength was regularly impressive, making very few trips down to the dreaded ‘no bar’ icon that means you might have a connection but, hey, you might not. Nobody enjoys that smartphone lottery, right?

There are a number of extra bells and whistles to play with here too which offer varying success. You can set something called ‘Adapt Sound’ which asks you to pop in a pair of headphones and listen to a range of sounds at different frequencies, thus tailoring the output to your ears.

Samsung Galaxy S4 review

You can also choose to have ‘Clear Sound’ or ‘Soft Sound’ during the calls, but when we tried these modes all we got was a slight variation in volume. There are other tricks that are more useful in call, like being able to turn noise reduction on and off and being able to boost the volume when needed.

Otherwise, it’s the same great calling experience we’ve come to expect from the Samsung Galaxy range, even down to the three options that come up when you end a call (Message, Call or Video Call) so you can get in touch with the person if you’ve forgotten pertinent information. Although video call never works, let’s be honest. Even Apple is starting to wonder…

In short, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is one of the best phones for actually, you know, phoning, out there. It’s size isn’t horrendous next to the ear and people can hear you - and vice versa. Job done.

There are a ton of really good blogs out there that offer up the latest deals and after months of trying to keep up I realized its not possible. I have a fulltime job and couponing is something I do to save my family money. I wrote an ebook called “How to Extreme Coupon” so that I could help friends originally and then decided to share it with the rest of the world.

So, I’ve decided that the best way to utilize this blog was to help you coupon, talk about the deals I actually get for the week and in general just discuss couponing.

In the meantime, if you really need some great blogs to follow for the latest deals you can either click latest deals in the navigation above for a great feed of these blogs or go directly. These is a blog I check out when looking for deals.

http://isaving.net/

It’s been a while since I’ve really gotten in depth with anything regarding tablets, so I think that warrants an article based on the newest adventures of yours truly. The last article I wrote regarding tablets mentioned that I had recently bought a first generation iPad; a tablet that would otherwise be good for somebody who didn’t have a phone with a better resolution and processor. It was clear that the iPad was outdated, and the size was too big for my clumsy hands. I decided to go shopping for a smaller tablet and retire my iPad to my younger brother. After doing a bit of shopping and research, I ultimately decided to go with the Kindle Fire HD (7-inch).

The Kindle Fire HD features a 1280x800 resolution screen with 720p video playback. It has a dual-core  1.2GHz processor, and claims to have 11 hours of battery life for reading, listening to music, or playing with apps (subject to change depending on usage). The device uses Dolby Audio, dual-driver stereo speakers. The device comes with either 16GB or 32GB onboard storage.

I had previously owned the first generation Kindle Fire for a brief while, and I can honestly say that the stock interface was very disappointing for me. It was laggy, ugly, and completely uncustomizable despite the fact that it was running a version of Android. It wasn’t until after I rooted the device that I really enjoyed using the device. The Kindle Fire actually made a decent Android tablet. I was afraid that after getting the Kindle Fire HD I would experience the same type of disappointment, but thankfully I’ve had a very different experience with it.

There are some things I will point out that I didn’t like the device, and I only point it out first because it’s very “in your face” about some things. To name one, the lock screen and the initial home screen have advertisements plastered to them, and unless I shell out $15 there’s no way to disable them. As Amazon put it:

With Kindle Fire HD there will be a special offers opt-out option for $15. We know from our Kindle reader line that customers love our special offers and very few people choose to opt out. We’re happy to offer customers the choice.

I feel like they might be pushing it just a little bit, because I don’t know one single person who likes to have sales pitches in their face every time they want to use their tablet; maybe I’m just talking to the wrong people. Regardless, I suppose $15 isn’t too bad to take away the annoyance of such ads, but I would be happier if I didn’t have to go through that trouble to get rid of it. I feel like they could have at least given us the option to customize our own lock screen if nothing else, but you can’t win ‘em all I guess.

Aside from that, there’s not much else I don’t like about the device. There is a noticeable difference in how smooth the transitions are on the Kindle Fire HD from the Kindle Fire, and that’s a big improvement right there. The display is extremely crisp, although not quite as sharp as the display on similar tablets like Barnes and Noble’s Nook HD. That was something I already knew before purchasing, but I was willing to give that up because Amazon is a company I frequently use for my online shopping and they have always responded well in any case I’ve needed to contact customer service.

When it comes to e-Reader-turned-tablet type devices, one of the first things I wonder about is the app store selection. Is it mainly for videos, books, and audio books? Or does it offer some mainstream  selection that’s also offered to popular tablets? Through my research I’ve found that the Kindle Fire HD has a much broader app selection than the Nook HD, but it does have some restrictions as it uses a Kindle specific app store instead of Google Play. Certain apps, like your standard Google Apps, aren’t available out of the box. If you’re persistent and handy with technology, you can attain these applications but it will require a bit of work.

The real selling point for me was the Kindle FreeTime. This is a godsend for those of you with kids who love to play with your gadgets, but sometimes get into the parts of the device where they can delete key files that may be important to you, or call somebody who they shouldn’t necessarily be calling. With Kindle FreeTime you can set up your child’s profile with whatever apps you will allow them to use, and by setting up their age and interests it recommends free (child safe) apps that they can download to their own profile as well if you allow it. My son knows none the wiser and doesn’t think he’s being restricted when I hand him my tablet, and he’s happy as a clam. There is a subscription cost after the first month - $2.99 for a single child with a Prime membership or $6.99 for a family (6 profiles) with a Prime membership; $4.99 for a single child without Prime or $9.99 for a family without Prime.

Overall, the Kindle Fire HD (7-inch), despite having limitations on customization, does what it’s supposed to do without a hitch. Videos, books, and images are clear and a pleasure to look at. The size and shape of the device feels comfortable in the hands, and there’s no strain on the thumbs for me when using the keyboard. The front-facing camera is a nice touch, so the option of taking pictures (albeit, not the greatest resolution) is there along with the opportunity to video chat using Skype calls. The hardware itself looks and feels solid and sleek; the only complaint I have is the buttons are a little difficult to feel for at first, but you get used to it. When it comes to web browsing, Amazon has a custom browser installed called Silk, which works okay, but it’s nothing to write home about. I’ve already installed a third-party browser for my Kindle Fire HD.

Overall, I would definitely recommend the Kindle Fire HD (7-inch) to somebody who plans to use it for reading e-Books or even just to have a larger screen to watch movies on in HD. If you want a fully functional Android tablet, you might be more interested in the Nexus 7 – same price, more customization, and more functionality. Overall I feel that the Nexus 7 gives you more for your money, but you might find that some of the benefits of the Kindle Fire HD may justify the price for you like it did for me. The Kindle Fire HD would make a great gift for any bookworm this holiday season.

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