Omron 7 Series Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor


The Omron blood pressure monitor is a similar design to the Microlife. They are both wrist monitors that use the oscillometric measuring method. The Omron is more convenient in that it guides the user to the proper arm position. The Microlife requires the user to set the arm in the standard position but does not provide any guidance.

The Omron takes measurements from low to high while the Microlife usually takes three measurements and, like most other monitors, goes from high to low. The three measurements are meant to provide a more accurate averaged reading, but it does take over three times as long. The Omron has a feature that automatically averages the last three readings taken within 10 minutes, so it can provide an averaged reading if desired.

The low to high measurement is particularly convenient and beneficial. This means there is no delay waiting to inflate the cuff and then waiting for the cuff to deflate while monitoring pulse related pressure changes. For people with elevated blood pressure, this also means no need to have the monitor inflate, waiting for the measurement criteria, and then re-inflating above the original pressure. I am surprised Omron does not highlight this feature more. It really makes this monitor stand out.

The Microlife is more sophisticated, has built-in charts, and comes with software and an interface for connecting to the computer. The charts show trends and display more information than the Omron. For some people, this may be helpful, but I prefer the simpler and much faster Omron.

Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Activity Wristband, Black, Large


Full disclosure, I ordered the Fitbit Charge HR only after I gave up on Jawbone fulfilling my preorder for the Up3 and once I realized the Fitbit Surge was like having a VCR strapped to your wrist. Further complicating my decision was the reviews that were all over the place on Amazon. Either people loved it or they thought it was the biggest piece of crap ever. I am writing this review to try and offer a realistic perspective for those looking to buy the Fitbit Charge HR.

First, disregard the reviews from all the "personal trainers" and "hardcore" gym goers out there. It's amazing how everyone becomes a trainer or gym rat when reviewing a piece of workout equipment. Wrist based heart rate monitoring is still in its infancy and if, and I stress if, you are so hardcore that a possible 5-10 beat variation is so critical then you need to stay with chest based HR monitoring for awhile. The Charge HR isn't for that. Not to mention, I haven't seen that it is off like others have said. I was skeptical and I have a Garmin Running GPS watch with a chest HR strap and I see the two being pretty consistent.

Second, I cannot stress enough the quality of the Fitbit app and web based dashboard. They are motivational and intuitive and they give you goals to shoot for. I have yet to see any sync issues or any of the other nonsense I have seen in other reviews.

Finally, $150 is a lot of money but it less than other comparable products out there. To me this is the perfect entry level device. If you like the concept and are disciplined, then you can upgrade to another device. if you are trying to get a snapshot of what you are doing on a daily basis and how you can make some life and fitness improvements, this device is a perfect way in. If you are a "personal trainer" or just "crushing it" beyond what the Charge can handle, you should probably do another set of burpees, stick with chest strap HR monitors and save your "insightful" reviews for Flex magazine.

Bottom line; the Charge HR is well worth the money. No product is perfect but this one does perform as promised. Amazon has the best customer relations of any company out there so if you don't like it you can send it back anyway. I hope this review helps. I know when I was looking, these reviews can be ridiculous, contradict and misleading. Give it a shot! You won't be sorry!

Braun Series 7 790cc Pulsonic Electric Shaver with Cleaning Center


The most advanced shaver in the Braun Series 7 collection, the 790cc has been engineered to be nothing less than the best grooming gift a man can receive. This electric shaver includes revolutionary Pulsonic Technology that uses more than 10,000 micro vibrations to help capture more hair in every stroke. In addition, three personalization modes and a powerful linear motor deliver a thorough and comfortable shave. For added convenience, the advanced Braun Clean & Renew System automatically cleans, charges, lubricates, and dries your shaver at the touch of a button. 

I have been using Norelco razors since high school. I am now 65. Every 2or3 years for all of my adult life I have purchased the latest top of the line Norelco on the market. Way back many years I did buy a couple of other brands to check them out, but they always seemed like they were yanking the hairs out one by one , so I always stuck to Norelco. 

The last couple of Norelcos that I have had didn't seem to be better than the last. After doing lots of online research, and reading Consumer Reports I decided to try the 790-cc Braun. I was very spectacle, but what the hey, you've got to try something different once in a while. I have been astounded at the difference.
When people wrote that they got a shave as close as a blade, I figured they were just rationalizing their purchases. Well, they weren't. The shave is remarkable. It is quick, comfortable and amazingly close. There are some negatives. 

The cleaning-charging system seems a little funky and the travel case is very flimsy compared with the Norelco. Other than those couple of minor details I really believe this is going to one of my best purchases ever. One other thing. This is the first product evaluation I have ever done, so i hope this isn't too long and has been helpful.

The real test is the shave - and this is the best result I've ever had from shaving with an electric. On rare occasions I'll use a blade for a special occasion and a blade is usually much closer than most electrics - but I've been okay with a slight sacrifice using an electric in the past. My face right now feels so shockingly smooth, I'd swear I shaved with a blade this morning... So the proof is in the pudding - and I'd wholeheartedly recommend this shaver if you're partial to electrics.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 (7-Inch, White)


It's super light and easy to use. The front and back camera are great to take selfies and pictures and it's great for taking videos. The Skype is great as well. I am a teenager myself and I am using it for school and personal stuff. I use the Google Chrome for web browsing and it's really fast. Downloading apps is fast as well as opening and running them. I have downloaded the CM Security from the Google Play Store for free and I run it once a day and it always says it's safe. I also downloaded the CleanMaster app and clean it after I'm done using it and it helps deletes the junk files and makes the device run even faster.

A couple of my relatives have both the iPad and the iPad Mini, but when I tried both of them myself, nothing compares to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4. The iPad Mini is a little bigger than this and a little lighter, but from what I experienced, the Samsung is better and it saved me $200-400.

The reading is great and I mostly download my books straight from Google Play Books and the Amazon Kindle Store. The Wattpad app (YouTube for E-books) is an awesome app for downloading free books written by teens and tranditional/self-published authors. The keyboard is great when it comes to commenting on the works and also typing my own stories.

The battery lasts much longer, too. I had mine at 100% charged and it lasted for about twelve hours of playing time (with the brightness turned to low). I have the Netflix app and I can watch the videos perfectly. It's crystal clear.

Listening to music is much more clear and easier when you put some ear buds on. The speaker is on the back of the device.

Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 is a perfection! You should buy it!

HP Stream 11 Laptop Includes Office 365 Personal for One Year (Horizon Blue)


The HP Stream 11 is an 11.6" Windows 8.1 Laptop, powered by an Intel Celeron N2840 processor at 2.16 GHz. It has 2 GB of RAM and a 32 GB SSD, neither of which can be upgraded. It is rated for 8.5 hours of battery life, depending on performance and brightness settings of course.

The screen is a 1366x768 high definition LCD screen, which has a matte coating for anti-glare. This is basically the same screen as the Acer C720. Which is to say, the screen is pretty bad. The matte coating takes a relatively low-resolution affair and makes it that much more dull and muted. That said, it is serviceable enough and has decent brightness considering the price point. 

Just know going in that your tradeoff for choosing this over a similarly priced $200 Windows Tablet is that the screen on a tablet will likely be IPS and significantly better in terms of clarity and viewing angles. However, this matte coating does help very much with glare in overhead and outdoor lighting situations.

As far as ports, the Stream 11 has 2 USB ports (one 3.0 and one 2.0), a full-size SD slot, and HDMI. It has a single combo headphone/mic port.

In many ways the HP Stream 11 is a better buy than the more expensive HP Stream 14.

This 11 inch model costs $100 less, yet has the same overall screen resolution as the larger device. The 11 also has a better performing Intel processor, an N2840 Celeron, that does better with core browsing and computing tasks. And if that's not enough, the 11 comes with a one year subscription to Office 365 so that a full version of Office can be installed on the 11. The 14 does not come with the Office subscription.

Like the 14 there are some limitations. The device is limited to 2 gigs of non-expandable RAM and has a very small 32 gig solid state disk that's also not accessible. Although 32 gigabytes is double the storage available on most Chromebooks, Windows and its applications require much more disk space to operate.

Despite its limitations this is a very capable and VERY affordable Windows PC that is designed to go head-to-head with Chromebooks. In fact it has most of the same guts as a Chromebook but runs Windows 8.1 instead.

I am excited about the current state of the low-end market. We are getting great capable PCs at very low prices. For once it's nice to see some real competition at this end of the market.
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