Posts Tagged ‘electronics’

Cricket is NOT the Cheapest Cell Phone Plan

Friday, September 13th, 2013
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Cricket competes in each local market to be the cheapest compared to the Big Cellular Plan Carriers (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint). That’s why they always ask for your zip code. So in one city their cheapest plan might be $35 a month and in another they are $45 depending on the competition. It’s smart for maximizing their profits while providing a good offer.

But if you are really looking for the cheap cell phone plan, you might try one of the following instead. Just keep in mind, they might end up costing more if you use a lot of data. But if you just want to make calls, text, multimedia text (picture/video), these plans are great to check out.

  • Consumer Cellular – Plans starting at $10 a month, but nothing unlimited
  • H2O Wireless – Plans starting at $10 a month, they also some unlimited plans (with data caps)
  • Kajeet – Promoted as Smartphones for Kids. Plans start at $4.99 a month and go up with some unlimited features
  • Net10 – Their plans vary, so its best to review them on their website.
  • Page Plus Cellular – Plans starting at $10 a month, they also some unlimited plans (with data caps)
  • PTel Mobile (PlatinumTel) – Their plans vary, so its best to review them on their website.
  • Ready Mobile PCS – Their plans vary, so its best to review them on their website.
  • Red Pocket Mobile – Plans starting at $19.99 a month, they also some unlimited plans (with data caps) and offer Pay-As-You-Go Plans.
  • Simple Mobile – Their plans vary, so its best to review them on their website.
  • Total Call Mobile – Their plans vary, so its best to review them on their website.
  • Republic Wireless – Unlimited Plans starting at $19 a month
  • GoSmart Mobile – Seems to be owned by T-Mobile. Plans starting at $30 a month.

Maxell Stereo EarBuds Model PL-1 Review

Saturday, December 15th, 2012
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I recently purchased these cheap Maxell PL-1 earbuds from Walmart for about $3. The cable is short, the sound is tinny, due to the fact there is no bass. Even the treble coming out of it is very poor. Of course for three dollars you can’t expect much. But I have bought Koss earbuds before for about the same price and they sounded great. I’m not the kind of person to throw down more than $10 on headphones. A few times in the past I bought some around $20 and they still ended up going bad. Why is it that headphone cables always go bad so you only hear out of one side eventually? I thought about ripping off the bad side on my earbuds on 2 pair and using a dual 3.5mm adapter. Granted if both sides are the same channel (left or right) then I might miss some of the audio nuances, but I could get by.


E-matic 2GB MP3 Video Player Review

Saturday, October 31st, 2009
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A few months ago I decided to get a digital MP3 player, rather than relying on my old Rio Volt SP150 CD Player/MP3 Player. Yes, I’m a late adopter to these devices, but I finally figured I’d get one. However I didn’t feel like paying too much for one so the iPod was not one of my options. I came across the E-matic 2GB MP3 Video Player (EM102VID) on Wal-Mart’s web site and there was only a few reviews at the time. It was being sold for about $27 and I figured I would take a chance and order it. I used their Site to Store feature which lets you get your item shipped to a local store for free and you get an email when it arrives to pick it up. They told me it would take about 2-3 weeks, but I got mine in about 8 days.

Ematic EM102VID 2GB MP3 Video Player

Ematic EM102VID 2GB MP3 Video Player

Anyway, I’ve had this device for a few months now and it’s held up. Since then many reviews of this device have had people say that there is no way to browse music except by pressing next and forward. This is not true, what you have to do is press the Power button once (you have to hold Power for a few seconds to turn the device off) and the menu will come up. From the Menu you can pick: Repeat, 6-Band Equalizer (you can use presets or tweak it manually), 3d (I think it attempts to add some dimension to the music), Play Rate (how fast the music plays) and File. Using the File option you can browse through the music in a text based folder layout, it’s not the most elegant way, but it works good enough. You can put files on the device either by MSC or MTP mode which is activated by pressing the Play button while its connected via USB to your PC. I wasn’t able to play music on the device while charging, except by browsing to the files on my PC and playing them in an music player (WinAmp or Windows Media Player).

To get back to the other sections (main menu) in the Player you have to hold the Play button for about 2 seconds, then you are greeted with the sections one by one: Music, Photo, Movie, Voice, FM Radio, Mic. Record, E-Book, Settings, Delete and About. I really didn’t mess with the Photo or Movie options much, it comes with some sample music, photos and a video when you first get the player. I did convert a few videos just to see how they turned out and they were ok, the device comes with a CD with some program you have to use to convert your videos to MTV format. MTV files will be larger than AVI or other video formats and from what I know it’s basically just a huge collection of images that it plays to simulate the video while the audio plays. But I didn’t really get this device for photos or video. The FM Radio can automatically create preset stations for you by scanning through. The E-Book feature will remember the last file you opened and has an option to automatically go to the next screen after a few seconds. However I didn’t find it all that useful, the screen is way too small to read on and long words are broken without any hyphenation to let you know it did so, but it’s there if you want to try it out. You can change the Microphone Recorder’s quality in the Settings Menu incase you want smaller files. Audio quality sounded good to me, but you might want some better quality headphones, the ones it comes with aren’t that great. It will remember what music file it played last and where in the file it stopped (how many minutes and seconds into the audio file). It also has a button shared with the Microphone record button that lets you loop a song by setting a start and end point.

The buttons on the outside: Back, Forward, Play/Pause, Volume Up, Volume Down, Hold (you can lock the device so no accidental pushes on the buttons change anything), Power and Microphone Record. There is also a headphone jack, reset hole, Mini-USB connection and it looks like it might be possible to put some kind of loop or chain on the device at the top. The buttons are raised up so its easy to find them, even if you aren’t looking at the device. The battery I would say lasts about 7 hours. All and all for $27 this is a good deal, I just wish they offered a 16gb or 32gb model. 😉

  • 1.5″ Color Display
  • 2GB MP3 Video Player
  • Holds over 8 Hours of Music, 3 hours of Video or 2,000 Pictures
  • Built-In Rechargeable Li-Polymer battery
  • Includes In-ear type earphones
  • ID3 Tagging and Lyrics synchronization during music playback
  • Windows 1998/2000/XP Compatible/Vista Ready
  • MAC Compatible
  • High Speed USB 2.0
  • E-Book function allows you to browse ,TXT files
  • Skip-Free Video and Music Playback
  • Supports Video Playback of AVI, MP4, MPG, WMV using the included conversion CD
  • Supports Playback of MP3, WMA, WAV, MTV, BMP, Jpeg, and DRM Protected WMA Music files
  • Multi-Language User Interface including English, Spanish, and many more
  • Voice Recording (Built-In MIC)
  • Flash Storage capabilities
  • Extended Battery Life
  • Available in Blue (EM102VIDB), Green (EM102VIDG), Red (EM102VIDR) and Pink (EM102VIDP) (Although their website shows Black (EM102VIDBL), Orange (EM102VIDO), Yellow (EM102VIDY) and Gray (EM102VIDGY) also available)

Marpac SleepMate 980

Sunday, February 11th, 2007
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I recently got one of these white noise machines. They are quite expensive, around $50, but they work very well. The 980 model has two speeds and you can twist the top and sides to change the sound to make it louder or more muffled. Whether you live in a noisy apartment, have a noisy office, can’t sleep at night, or use it for your infants room, it does it’s job well. Some people put them in the baby’s room and have one of those voice monitors so they know when they are awake. I used to just turn my ceiling fan on full blast, although you can’t do that in the winter. The noise it makes isn’t irritating and repetitive, unlike most white noise CDs out there.

Marpac SleepMate 980

Power Centers no longer being made

Monday, February 5th, 2007
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Power Center Surge Protector
I got one of these for Christmas a few years back and at the time I was like, what do I need this for? It was ugly and seemed too big for my desk and figured it would end up in my closet for awhile. However, I did realize I was always unplugging my printer, scanner and other peripherals when I didn’t need them. So I decided to put it on the side of my desk, rather than under my monitor. They are really handy devices, since you don’t really need power to everything at once, just power what you need, and when you’re done with the computer, just turn them all off. I was recently looking for another one, for my TV, DVD, VHS, Stereo system and realized it seems most of the manufacturers that made them are no longer doing so. Belkin and Fellowes seemed to have stopped. I’m sure if they made them in something other than dirty beige, they would sell better. A lot of them look like something from the 80’s with big clear red led switches on the front.

Most electronics use way too much power when they are off. The “One Watt Plan” in the UK, will hopefully be adopted in the US, until then you can help out and use one of these devices for more than just computers and cut your electricity down some.