TNT Interactive Twin Turbo Vertical Cooling Stand for Playstation 4

 

Hubby isn’t much of a “gamer”, unless you count a few hours of playing Battlefield 4 every week. But even then, from time to time, the Playstation 4 can get pretty heated up, and heat + CPU’s = No bueno. So a little extra help in the cooling department is always appreciated, and TNT Interactive’s Vertical Cooling Stand is just what the doctor ordered!

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It’s a simple thing most folks appreciate, a vertical stand for their shiny new PS4. Not only is it a space-saver, but the PS4’s internal fans cool more effectively that way as well. But, with heavy gaming, HD video streaming, or graphics-intense games, it can still tax the internals and they can overheat if not properly cooled, and TNT Interactive’s Twin Turbo Cooling Stand steps up to the plate and says “No worries, I got this”. Overheating is one of the leading causes of system failures in the Playstation 4, and no one wants their nearly $400 purchase fried when a simple, affordable $17.95 base can stave off so much unhappiness. And while mine was a tight fit for Hubby’s PS4, it did eventually settle in and stand comfortably. The TNTi fan base also acts as a USB hub, charging the controllers, or powering other USB peripherals. It’s a modest investment that pays huge dividends over the long run, and one I’m glad I got to try.

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It’s not all wine and roses. The fans can be slightly on the noisy side, and unlike other units I’ve seen, there’s no way to toggle the fans manually off and on. It’s plugged in and on, or it’s not. Hubby doesn’t have the sound up very loud so as not to scare the bejesus out of me and the dog, so we hear the drone of the fan the entire time. The other is the bright, blue LED light on the front of the base. While Hubby sits slightly off-center from the TV and PS4, I’m usually directly right in front of the light, and it’s terribly, terribly bright and annoying. Minor quibbles overall, but valid ones for us. Your mileage may vary. And while there’s some base units out there with a few more bells and whistles, and some might even be slightly cheaper, in the end you need to select the one that’s best for your tastes, and this one suits us just fine.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from TNT Interactive. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

Liansing Ultra-Light Wireless Bluetooth 4.0 Headset

 

We’ve all been there. Needing to take or make a call while on the road. And we’ve all wrestled with just how much of a necessity it is because let’s face it: Not only is it illegal out here to be using your phone while driving, It’s dangerous and stupid too. So, while I’d had one of the first bluetooth headsets back when the Motoroloa RAZR was new (Don’t judge me), I’d quickly decided that those big, awkward, unusual things were not for me, because speakerphone. But, fumbling with your touch-screen device without looking at it is not good either. So when I got a chance to try this Liansing Ultra-Light Bluetooth Headset, I was game.

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Well, set and match! This thing works like gangbusters, and isn’t huge, obnoxious, or heavy on the ear! Getting the unit to pair with our devices took a little help from Liansing, as the printed instructions are incorrect about the amount of time to hold down the main button to make the device discoverable (about 7-10 seconds). Once that was out of the way, every device we have paired quickly and easily. The sound is adequate, not spectacular, and the microphone easily picks up my voice while filtering out low ambient noise. Not the HD voice I’ve been used to with my 4G service and device, but not distorted or robot-like, so it’ll do nicely. It comes with a variety of soft silicone rubber earbud covers that can be turned and set for a more customized fit, a removable ear hook to secure it, a short USB 2.0 charging cable, and in a nice touch, a second wired earbud that can make your handsfree headset into a true stereo bluetooth headset as well. Well played, Liansing.

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It’s not all wine and roses, though. The aforementioned issues with pairing should be noted immediately on the Amazon info page. Liansing said they are working with the supplier to get the instructions amended, but until then they need to be a little more proactive, as I was about to return mine as defective. Next, and most glaringly, is the (what I assume to be Chinese or Mandarin) foreign language that it uses to notify you of an incoming call. Quite unexpected and somewhat startling. There is no way that I’ve found to turn this off, and while it isn’t a dealbreaker for me, there’s really no reason to have this and not make it toggleable, as some might find it bad enough to say “No, Thanks”. All in all, for around $12 (at the time of my order) shipped you get quite a bit of value and while it’s not perfect by any means, it is perfectly adequate for my and many other’s simple needs of being safer on the road when you absolutely must take or make a call. Most of the functions necessary to make or end a call, as well as adjust the volume (or even control your music!) are right there on the headset, too! It seems to be made well enough for light to occasional use, it holds a charge for quite some time and does the job it’s designed for admirably.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Liansing. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Connect with Liansing:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Liansing. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

XtremePowerUS’s Mini Electric Washing Machine

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Washing the clothes can be a real pain in the butt. Especially with the new “H.E.” machines that, try as we might, don’t get clothes really clean anymore. They might save some water per cycle, but having to repeatedly wash the same stuff to get clothes clean negates any savings. So it was with “Xtreme” delight that I found myself picked to review XtremePowerUS’s Mini Washing machine, mostly because finally, I had an agitator again.

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Unfortunately, while it’s compact, lightweight and seems perfect for small loads or delicates, the underpowered motor and anemic pump render the machine almost useless for all but the lightest and most delicate of clothes, the ones that don’t get too dirty to begin with. For starters, the instructions leave much to be desired. Thankfully Hubby and I are pretty good about figuring out how stuff works. The controls are very straightfoward, and easy to use. I started off with a simple outfit: Pants, a shirt, and undies, which barely filled the wash tub 1/3 of the way. The water inlet hose doesn’t truly connect to any faucets or spigot in the house, so we used the pull-down kitchen faucet. When the machine started making a humming noise but nothing happened, I lifted the lid and picked up the clothes and the agitator went nuts and spun like crazy. Once the clothes were put back down, the agitator refused to spin again. Imagine this repeating itself for the 9 minutes I set the timer for. Not how I want to do wash, because after all, it’s usually a passive endeavor. So okay, time to spin the clothes mostly dry so that you hang them out to dry the rest of the way. But the “pump” failed miserably, and hubby had to lift the machine higher than the counter to get the “pump” to work. Lesson learned there, the “pump” only works with a ground-level drain, such as in the tub or shower. Sadly, the distance to our outlets on the walls preclude this being a feasible place to use it. Even at that, there’s still a considerable amount of soapy water in the machine that the pump just doesn’t have the power to remove.

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I wanted to like this machine, and for $100, if you want access to a washing machine that doesn’t need to run on a steady diet of quarters, or wait for the communal apartment machine, this might be for you, so long as you understand you may be limited to washing one thing at a time, and constantly have to assist the machine with every step in the process. The irony of the company name isn’t lost on me here. If XtremePowerUS would put pumps and motors with a little more power, these machines would be selling like hotcakes. Even with my full-sized machines, I would have one for delicates and for Hubby’s yardwork clothes, but as the machine stands now, it has more limitations and drawbacks than positives. It’s almost there, and with better internals, I’d recommend the machine highly.

Connect with XtremePowerUS:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from XtremePowerUS.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

Motion Sensor Light Pro’s Socket and LED Bulb Set

I try to stay up on the latest tech and innovations int he home goods department. Sometimes, I see a product that screams “Why didn’t anyone think of this before?!” and sometimes, ones that just make you scratch your head and wonder what the manufacturer was thinking. This one falls somewhere in between.

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I get the point of motion sensor lights, and I very much like them. I like the idea of LED lights, and the real-world savings is undeniable. Combining the two would appear to be a no-brainer, and yet the realization left much to be desired. For starters, it’s large size made it unwieldy in the one place I thought it would work the very best: The bathroom as a nightlight. Alas, our wall socket is too close to the medicine cabinet, making this an impossibility. But, for the few moments it was there, it worked just liked I imagined it would. Be careful to tune the sensitivity/range of the motion sensor, lest it be set off every time someone passes by the door. Other than that, I can’t imagine any other wall socket that isn’t at ankle height and that makes it fairly useless for me. I did like that the controls are such that you can fine tune the length of time it’s on, the distance at which it “picks up” movement, or just for “dawn to dusk”.

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The problems I had with it are the overall usability (I don’t know many people with wall sockets at a height that would make this useful) and the lack of a polarized plug. The LED light it self is a bright, harsh blue-ish almost fluorescent light, and I did switch that out for a soft white LED, which immediately improved the quality of the light. But the included light came on almost instantly, didn’t flicker and was plenty bright.

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Connect with MSL Pro:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from MSL Pro.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

AGPTek’s LED Solar Motion Sensor Wall Light (New Generation)

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LED’s have been making a major push into the US market this past year, and making a huge impact too. With the next generation of LED lights now entering the marketplace and the prices starting to make them not only attractive, but irrefutably budget and environmentally conscious choices. And one of the companies that has made a major splash is AGPTek. They’ve become ubiquitous  with cutting edge technologies at a price point that makes sense. Their LED Solar Motion Sensor light is no exception.

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Gone are the days of the necessity for heavy, bulky cast aluminum or pot metal wall lights, with their aesthetically unpleasing solar or motion-sensor add-ons, and with them are also gone the days of replacing incandescent bulbs every few months, and the waste associated. This wall lantern looks just as snazzy and functions just as well, or better, than most of the budget lamps you can buy in your local big-box store. The light this AGPTek lamp provides is adequate, and not that harsh, bright almost blue/purple light you get from cheaper, poorer quality LED’s. And because the AGPTek lamp is lightweight, it’s mountable on any surface with zero fears of it falling or damaging walls, and because it’s solar powered with a long life lithium-ion battery, there’s no wiring to do, and no hiring an electrician. The motion sensor will pick up moving opjects up to over 25 feet away, so it can also function as a security lamp as well. It’s also waterproof so outdoors lighting is A-Ok. One day’s worth of sunlight provides you an entire evening worth of illumination. And the LED light is good for thousands and thousands of hours, so no more replacing bulbs every few months either.

I was slow to adopt LED lights because of the price and the quality of light, but this last generation of LED’s has won me over in a big way. And AGPTek’s Solar Motion Sensor Wall Lamp, like all it’s products are first rate, are made of quality components and made to last. Priced at $24.99 (It’s no miniature lamp, this a full-size real deal lantern!), you get plenty of bang for your buck. There’s a place in my home for plenty of AGPTek’s products going forward!

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Connect with AGPTeK:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from AGPTeK.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Velocity Toy’s V-Thunder 1:14 Scale Remote-controlled Truck

We’ve always love remote controlled gadgets in this house. Hubby’s had them since he was a little guy, and I’ve played with a few in my time. They’re always good for some fun whether you’re 6 or 60. The only caveat to that is when they don’t work. Then they’re frustrating, horrible headaches that are a waste of money. I was hoping for the former with Velocity Toys’ V-Thunder 1:14 Scale Remote Controlled 4X4 Truck, but unfortunately what I got was the latter.

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Right out of the box, the V-Thunder Truck didn’t work right. It went forwards and backwards, but that was it. It wouldn’t turn. We tried everything we could, but the unit was defective. That wasn’t even the only failure. The “Sounds” in the form of music never worked. When we got the thin plastic shell off, we saw why: the wires to the speaker were never soldered. The red and blue LED’s in the wheel wells worked, but the anemic 6v NiCad battery pack could scarcely handle the functions of the truck, I can only imagine the amount of unnecessary drain on the battery those would be. And as I mentioned, the plastic shell around the truck is almost paper thin, but thankfully the bumper is sturdy, otherwise your first impact would also be your last on the body. The controls are poor, in that there’s no gradual acceleration at all. It’s full-power forward or no power, and with no steering, that ended badly every time. There’s no adjusting them, because the analog adjustment levers are molded on the plastic frame of the controls, and non-functional. It was also, for reasons I’ll never understand, covered in dirt and filthy out of the box. Odd.

For the price, you could do a lot better. Cursory glances around Toys R Us, Walmart and Target showed multiple vehicles of similar size, that probably work, for much less, sometimes less than half the price. If this were a gift, it would have made for a very unhappy recipient. I tried to contact Velocity Toys about this, multiple times. They directed me to contact “Airsoft Joe” for a replacement. “Airsoft Joe” had their auto-response on, and let me know they’d get to me as soon as possible. Multiple emails have yet to be answered since from either company. If I had bought this from them, I’d have felt like a fool, but thankfully I got a unit at no charge to test and review. So combine the defective product with poor to non-existent customer service and a blatant disregard for aftersales support, and you’ve got a product I not only don’t recommend, I’d avoid doing any business with them for anything in the future.

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Connect with Velocity Toys:

  • Online
  • Normally, I’d put quite a few links, including where to buy. I don’t recommend anyone buy from this company, and their products and service are bad, so I’m really not going to “promote” them so much as warn my readers away.

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Velocity Toys. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Oak Leaf Starry String Copper Wire 100 LED String Lights

I considered the last string of LED lights I reviewed to be the “Gold Standard” for these types of “starry” light strings, and while I like the Oak Leaf LED lights a lot, they fall a little short of me, but I still consider them to be fantastic lights, and recommend these type of lights very highly for holiday decorating, or really for all year round decorating ideas.

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To start you have 100 LED’s on a bendable, moldable 33 foot copper wire, with your LED’s spaces about 3 & 3/4″ apart. There’s minimal sheathing on the string, and it will be very visible on things like Christmas trees or anything that’s dark in color. the lights are a soft white hue, not the stark blue or almost purple of the cheaper LED’s. I didn’t like the AC adapter as much as the RTGS lights, but I still like an AC adapter over a set of batteries any day. The RTGS lights also had a longer run of cord from the AC to the first light, and the Oak Leaf lights have only about 9 or so inches before your first light. I also didn’t much care for how the string ended. It’s just some soldered wire with a snip of plastic shrink tube. That’s it. It’s not even fully closed, so there’s a chance, while minute, that something could get into that tube and cause an arc. Unlikely, but possible. It also in my mind fully negates them being “water resistant”. So I would keep that in mind.

The pluses of these Oak Leaf Micro LED “Starry” Lights far outweigh the negatives, and I think lights like these are just gorgeous and have so many useful applications, from the holidays and beyond. I have several strings and use them all year long, and with LED’s you know you’ll get years and years of flawless use, because the diodes themselves are rated to last for up to 20 years! And at a platry 2.8 watts of power, they won’t run up the electric bill, and they run so cool they’re safe for under displays, or near delicate fabrics. They are also backed with a generous 12-month “Refund or Replacement” warranty. I plan to pick up several more of these types of lights, and I can’t imagine a home that wouldn’t look just a little better with a string or two strung around.

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Connect with Oak Leaf:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Oak Leaf & Kohree.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

RTGS Products Micro LED 100 Light String

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With the holidays fast approaching and our proclivity in this house to really overdo it on the Christmas decorations, I couldn’t have been more thrilled when RTGS Products offered us two different versions of their LED string lights with ultra thin wires, and I couldn’t say yes fast enough. I’m glad they did, because in all my years of playing with and decorating with novelty lights, I’ve never come across a set I loved so much.

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Way back when, before LED lights came to prominence, there were really only what craft stores called “rice lights”, which were tiny incandescent bulbs on a string, powered by batteries, and were a major disappointment every time we tried them. While they were neat looking, and looked somewhat decent, they dimmed quickly, were difficult to work with, and required a giant battery pack the belied their intended use of lighting smaller, delicate features. RTGS Products Micro LED Light string solves all those issues and makes decorating with their lights a dream. The wire is ultra thin, almost micro filament, so it disappears into whatever you string them on, and it’s bendable so they’ll hold the shape or direction you put them in easily. And the light! Oh, the light. So bright and clear, no “dim” bulbs on the 100 light string, and because they’re powered by a standard DC transformer, you can plug them into any wall socket and be good to go. And with 10 feet of cable from the plug to the first light, you have plenty of distance so you’re not bound to the immediate vicinity of the wall socket! With 4 inches between bulbs, you can stretch them out for a delicate lighting effect, or bunch them up for something bolder, but the choice is yours! The best part? Everything but the transformer plug is 100% water and weather proof, and 100% submersible! And because the RTGS Micro LED Lights draw very little power, they use only a fraction of the power used by a traditional light sting saving you money and being eco-friendly. And, because they’re LED, you have about a 30,000 hour/20 year life span, so you can decorate features in your house with the utmost confidence and not worry about switching out the lights every few years or replacing burned out bulbs.

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As if all these other features weren’t enough, RTGS Products offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee and a whopping 2 year warranty! Talk about standing behind their products! I’m in love with these lights. I got two sets, the warm white and the cool white, and I put the warm white up right away on a topiary that came lit, but like every single “pre-lit” tree or decoration, the lights stopped working for no discernible reason withing a few months. I’d given up hope, and the RTGS Products shined a light (pardon the pun) on the possibility of lighting the things around my house I’d given up hope lighting. I can’t wait to put the cool white set up for the holidays, either. I can’t remember the last time I was excited to put up lights of any sort, but with RTGS Products Micro LED stings, I’m all giddy about lights again!

Connect with RTGS Products:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from RTGS Products.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Silicone Devices Comfort+ Wireless Waterproof Bluetooth Earbuds

 

I’ve had a coupe of different sets of bluetooth earbuds, some good, some not so good. Sadly, I feel these Silicone Devices “Black Edition” Comfort+ Bluetooth Wireless earbuds fall into the “not so good” category. The sound is lacking, and for the life of me neither I nor Hubby could get a fit where the earbuds stayed in our ears. So let’s go over these, shall we?

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Right off the bat the sound was tinny. Now, I don’t expect earbuds to deliver the full audio experience over-the-ear cups would provide. But I expected them to be at least the equal of the last pair of bluetooth earbuds I tested, and they weren’t, by a long shot. The sound wasn’t as full, there were almost non-existent lows, and the volume levels were noticeably lower. And that’s when we could get them to stay in. Any rigorous activity and we’d be picking them op off the floor quite quickly. And we tried all available combinations of earbud sizes, and these Silicone Devices Comfort+ in-ear headphones, to their credit, come with plenty. Alas, we just could not get a decent fit. They paired with all our devices quickly, thanks to the bluetooth 4.0 technology, but the range, advertised as about 30ft., was probably closer to 15-20 feet. We found the battery life was adequate, and held a charge for a fair amount of time, almost the full 4 hours advertised. Since it takes a few charge cycles for a lithium-ion battery to achieve it’s full capacity, for me, that’s close enough. I can’t say either of us really worked up much of a sweat wearing them, because they tended to come out of our ears fairly easy. Lastly, there was the price. Similar styles of earbuds (sometimes identical  looking) can be had for 50-60% of the $49.87 price point these are currently selling for on Amazon. I can’t, based the performance I witnessed and heard, see what value there is to be had for these in-ear headphones at this price.

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I liked the carry case they came with, and I like the plethora of ear bud tips that they came with. I like that you’re not tethered to your device, and that the charge lasts a decent amount of time. They paired quickly, and with every device we own with no problems. But I don’t like the tinny sound, they don’t stay in my ear well, and the price is really too high for the quality you’re getting. I really can’t recommend these Silicone Devices Comfort+ In-Ear Bluetooth Headphones. Sorry.

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Connect with Silicone Devices:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Silicone Devices.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

OxyLED’s MH20 LED Headlamp w/ Motion Sensor

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Hubby, as we have established, is a flashlight nut. Little did I know, though, that this would extend to headlamps, too. However, there are few things as helpful and handy as a good, well made headlamp. And while OxyLED has made some real quality (and handy) products, for us, this one is just a little lacking, and I’ll go over why right here.

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To start, it seems almost every smaller company fudges a little when it comes to reported lumen counts. Without professional equipment, you simply cannot accurately get an idea of how many lumens a particular light is. For instance, my husband’s 1st generation SureFire LED flashlight puts out about 80 lumens. SureFire is a pretty reliable brand, and their lumen outputs are also reliable. So it was a little surprising, then, that pointing both the SureFire and this OxyLED “200 lumen” headlamp at a bare wall, and finding the SureFire almost as bright. Now, to be fair, a great many things affect how much actual light is put out by an LED lamp. Quality of lens (this one is plastic, which doesn’t lend itself to longevity), quality of reflector (Again, more plastic), and quality of battery powering it (Alkaline batteries vs. lithium ion). So while the LED emitter in the headlamp might be rated for 200 lumens, it’s doubtful the output would be anywhere close to that. The throw of light is decent, and goes for about 120 feet before dissipating and becoming too diffuse to be useful. The beam isn’t that tight, either, and the headband mine came with had some little jagged bits that scratched Hubby’s head. The three AAA batteries used to power the headlamp are mounted in the rear, and the rubber-ish plastic case cover for the battery barely closes well and will do little to keep out serious rain or moisture. But, the upside is that it’s very affordable, light, and for the price puts out a decent amount of light that is useful in small, spaces, like a garage, or attic. It has a high, low, and strobe setting (ug, that strobe setting will make you nauseous after a while, too.). It doesn’t have any memory, so you must cycle through the settings with each use. It also has a motion sensing feature that turns the lamp on if it detects motion. I’m not sure how useful this feature would be to others, but for us, while being kind of neat, was also kind of useless.

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Overall, while it could be useful, and is a great low-cost option for occasional use, there are better options out there that will last you longer and perform better, albeit for more money. While I liked the OxyLEd MH20 LED headlamp, I feel there’s some real drawbacks to it, enough so that if you plan on using it often or relying on it, you’re better served with another brand. However, keep in mind that OxyLED offers a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee, a 12 Month Replacement Warranty, as well as their Lifetime Support Guarantee.

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Connect with OxyLED/Hisgadget:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Hisgadget and OxyLED.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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