Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Cellet Retractable Plug In Car Charger for Apple iPhone 3 3GS 4 4S, iPod Touch, Nano, (Made for iPhone, Licensed by Apple)

This is a review of the Cellet Retractable Plug In Car Charger for Apple iPhone 3 3GS 4 4S, iPod Touch, Nano

Purchased on Amazon for $7.80

The Good:
Blue LED light (night light for the car at night)
Retractable cord

The Bad:
Large in size
Cuts off audio when charging

With my Iphone being over 4 years old, it has a very short battery life. I need a good car charger for the phone. I have it connected into my 2002 Nissan Pathfinder. It is rather large for the job it does. The shifter almost hits it in the park position. 

I inverted the charger which acts like a nightlight during driving at night. The retractable cord is a nice feature that keeps things nice an neat. My main issue with the charger is that it cuts out the audio when it is charging. I have other chargers that plays the audio while it is charger. I'm sure why this company decided that you shouldn't hear anything while it is charging. It is technically bad for the battery to use the phone while it is charging but who doesn't use the phone while it is charging??


This is a review of the Marantz SR8001 THX Select2 Dolby Digital Surround Sound Receiver

This receiver came out in late 2007 but was available to the public in 2008. Original MSRP was $1999 in 2008. You could have picked one up for about $1400 from most internet stores like Amazon.

The Good:
Awesome sound
Famous Marantz build quality
Easy to program remote
Duel HDMI outputs
Easy setup and configuration

The Bad: 
Auto calibration off on some settings
1.2 HDMI output but 1.1 HDMI inputs
RS232C not gold plated and will rust in high humidity
Old fashion on screen menu 

It comes with a silver finish as well but I think the black is much better looking. I had a silver receiver and it was great when it came out because it was "different" but the black just looks much better and is ageless. Plus it doesn't show the finger marks. With that being said, I was a little disappointed with the finish on this unit. It has a high gloss finish that does show the finger marks easily. It wipes away easily as well but with this range receiver and it being a Marantz, I expected better. Of course, you really don't buy a receiver based on how it shows finger prints. Where it counts, this receiver does shine.  

 Setup was very easy for this 7.1 receiver. The instructions were straight forward and once you understood their acronyms on the remote, everything came together. The instructions were only 70 pages which shows that they thought a lot of things through and made things as simple as possible. Nothing worse then an receiver that comes with a 140 page manual that takes a weekend to set up.

It comes with a great microphone that will automatically calibrate your speakers both in position and tone. It does need to be very quiet when you are setting up their automatic calibration feature. The mic is that sensitive. You connect the mic from the front panel and choose auto calibrate and that's it. You have to position the mic in six different places. The first position should be your main listening position and the next 5 are other seating arrangements. Once that is done, it does take some time to calculate everything for your setup; about 5 minutes. If you do it again, it takes a shorter time.

You can review the settings once it is completed and make manual adjustments which I did need to do. I thought the auto calibration settings were very bright. I had to increase to base and change the equalizer settings to some of the speakers. I also raise the crossover frequency. It detected my left and right as small. Maybe they are small according to Marantz's standards but I got much better deep sound when I switched them to large.  I have them hooked up to the Atlantic Technology 350THX 5.1 speakers and I added two bookshelf Pioneer speakers that I had from an old system. It calibrated each speaker accordingly and was very close to my listening preferences.

It did calibrate more on my left front speaker and had to adjust it so the image sound was more centered. This could be due to the configuration of my room. I do like the fact it will let you adjust all the settings manually. Their auto calibration is a great place to start your customization for your home theater.

It comes with two 1.2 HDMI outputs and 4 1.1 HDMI inputs. I don't understand why Marantz did this. It doesn't make any sense to me why the outputs are 1.2 when you can only input 1.1. The duel outputs are a great bonus for when you have two sources like a overhead projector and a TV in the same room. They cannot be used to duel output at the same time.

The remote is nice but a little outdated. It is very easy to navigate and program. It accepted all program signals including the Xbox 360 remote signals. One thing I do not like is the fact that the LCD screen on the remote stays on constantly. Why?? This drains the batteries. I guess they thought you need those buttons. They should have put in a feature to timeout the LCD screen on the remote. This is really a minor grip since the sound quality is really nice.

They do need to update their onscreen menu. I felt like I was looking at an old DOS screen. Big bulky block  white letters on a blue background screen. They should look at Sony and Yamaha to see how onscreen menus are done.

Most of the connections are gold plated so they won't corrode but the RS232C is not. It will rust if it kept in a humid room for an extended amount of time. I guess Marantz didn't want to spend more money to gold plate it.

Technical Features:

Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 Review

This is a review of the Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 with built-in multi-touch touchpad. It was purchased from Amazon for $29.99.

The Good:
Great range
Sensitive and responsive
On/Off switch
Good size keys and touch pad
Customizable and basic set of standard buttons
Uses standard drivers for PC

The Bad:
Slightly larger in size (than a mini keypad)
No lit keys option
Small space bar

I wanted a keyboard for the computer I have hooked up to my tv. I looked at the mini-keyboard but they bad reviews. I wanted a larger keyboard for my fat fingers. The mini keyboards were the size of a smart phone and I always misspell words with my fingers and I couldn't imagine a touchpad would be great on that size.

They offer the keyboard in black or white. I chose the white since white keyboards show the dirt more prominently than a black one. This is a great size keyboard. It is much larger than a mini keyboard which makes it more difficult to store and can be clumsy at times. It is very light and can be held in one hand for while before your hand gets tired.

A great feature that comes with the keyboard is a usb extender. This is great for my old Dell that I have hooked up with to the TV. It will provide you with maximum range for the wireless keyboard. I have tested the range and is about 35feet with line of sight. It drops significantly through walls which is about 5ft.

I really like the fact that it has an on/off switch on the keyboard itself. This saves battery life for when it is not in use, which is most of the time. The touchpad is sensitive enough and works well. I recommend increasing the sensitivity on the mouse option to very fast so that it travels a great distance on a TV. I have it connected to a 40 inch TV and have the mouse setting on the fastest speed. It works very well and is accurate. 

I would recommend this over a mini keyboard which is too small for my fingers. It took the standard Windows drivers which is great for connecting them to other computers.