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Author Archives: Tyler Lacoma

3 Of the Best Chef Knifes Perfect for Gift Giving

So you know a chef or someone who spends a whole lot of time in the kitchen, and you want to get them a chef’s knife. Not just any knife, but a real chef’s knife, one of the very best that will last for years and be at home even in even the fanciest restaurant. But you don’t know much about knives – where will you begin? It’s a good thing we’ve got a list of the best chef knives of 2016 for you to peek at!

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Got pets and kids? Check Out These 3 Air Purifiers to Keep Your Home’s Air Clean

Top Air Purifiers

An air purifier does what your air conditioning and vacuuming can’t do – take the extra step to remove all possible particles from the air in your house. Whether your vacuum cleaner is kicking up a little bit too much dust from your carpet, or you need to get rid of as many allergens as possible for an asthma condition, these beauties can help out. If you’re looking for the best air purifiers of 2017, then we’ve got the list you need to see!

These standalone models (as opposed to units installed in your HVAC system) tend to work best when placed in a large living room or bedroom where they have access to the most air. We tend to prefer “mechanical” air purifiers, which use physical filters to “strain” the air and remove the smallest particles possible. Of course, that’s only a small part of the story, so let’s take a look at our top picks and the features that set them apart.

Honeywell HPA300 – $194

Top Air Purifiers

Honeywell’s slim and affordable model is an excellent air filtration device for those who have never had a purifier before and want to try one out. Not only is the price reasonable, but it comes with several different filtration options which can clean the air in a room up to 5 times each hour. In addition to HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filtration to remove even extra-small particles, this model also has a carbon filter, which can help remove annoying smells. It comes with plenty of different modes and timers too, allowing you to set the speed and schedule when the air purifiers will come on so you don’t have to remember every single day.

Perhaps best of all, the unit also provide on-screen filter replacement reminders. Since a dirty filter will both slow down a purifier and ruin its primary objective, these replacement reminders are important – and useful!

Note: Always pay close attention to the size ratings for models like these. This Honeywell is designed for rooms around 465 square feet, a great size for a bedroom or a similar space. However, keep in mind that air purifiers do make a little noise (thankfully, these newer models are pretty quiet) so make sure you can sleep with one in the room.

HealthMate Standard HM-400 – $539

Here’s a big jump in price for a much larger, more powerful air purifier, designed for buyers who know what they’re doing and want a system that can handle air throughout the house more easily…as long as it fits in the budget.

This filter is also an excellent pick for the health conscious. It has four different stages, which doesn’t make it the fastest purifier around, but certainly one of the most thorough for those who really need certain particles gone. The first two stages remove large and medium-sized particles as a warm up. The third stage is a 15-pound filter of activated carbon and zeolite to take care of odors – a very effective way of removing smoke or cooking smells from an area. The fourth stage is a certified HEPA filter that removes most particles that are larger than 0.3 microns for a final cleaning.

With 360-degree intake, you’ll want to keep this model away from walls to increase its efficiency. It has three speed settings based on your goals, but all three are very effective. In fact, this model can make an excellent commercial option for businesses or contractors if necessary.

Coway AP-1512HH – $230

This Coway model has a bit of a different design for those who like purifiers with more technology and eco-saving capabilities. It, too, has four stages of filtration, although they are different from the HealthMate stages: There’s a pre-filter, a carbon filter, a true HEPA filter, and then a “vital ION” filter. That ion filter is an interesting addition: It uses an ionized plate to attract particles – much like static – and trap them on the surface, an extra type of filtration that works well for larger, non-organic particles.

There’s also Energy Star features that can help you save money – and the time you may spend fiddling with settings. The auto mode is particularly useful, since it adjusts air flow speed based on how many particles the unit is pulling out of the air. If the unit goes for 30 minutes without detecting many particles, then it will shut off to conserve energy.

Our Top Picks: The Best Xbox One Headset

Astro A50

If you’re an Xbox One gamer, life is exciting right now. Gears 4 just came out, the Xbox One S is the perfect holiday present, Project Scorpio is waiting in the wings…and all you need is a really great gaming headset to go along with your adventures. But there’s the problem: Xbox is pretty proprietary when it comes gaming headphones. It can be tricky to find good choice, and even harder to find options that are as good as PC headsets.

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The Best LED TVs Money Can Buy

Samsung un65ju7100

It’s that time of year again – the time when everyone starts thinking about brand new TV and big screens to watch games, enjoy the holidays, and try out their new consoles with. Obviously 4K is the big new feature to look for, but what other features will you find in the best LED TV of 2016? We’ve got your answers, so let’s look at the top affordable models!

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Our Top 3 Best Blenders

Blendtec 725

It’s easy to assume that all blenders are pretty much the same thing – you stick stuff in, you turn them on, you hold them for dear life until they’re finished. However, from the motor power to the blade assembly, there’s a surprising amount of different between blender models. Do you want a powerful blender for green smoothies? Then you need to know what you are getting – and why some features are better than others.

To help out, we’ve collected some candidates for the best blender for green smoothies and other challenging recipes. Take a look at what makes these models special and why we chose them!Continue Reading

Capture Your Entire Vacation with Our Top 3 Waterproof Cameras

OLYMPUS TG-4

These days we demand that our digital cameras do things that our smartphones can’t – which makes sense, considering how similar some of their features remain. And one thing that digital cameras can do better is survive: Specifically, they can survive in situations and environments where you really wouldn’t want to risk a smartphone – like in the water. So if you love snorkeling, snow sports, poolside antics, or the beauty of underwater shots, we’ve got some of the best waterproof cameras for you to take a look at.

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DirecTV Customers Offered iPhone 6s Free Until June 30th

iPhone 6s

A sort-of free iPhone…and some sizable discounts on other purchases.

Do you really, really wish that you had an iPhone 6s for the summer? AT&T has some good news for you – you can get one for free, just by signing up for DIRECTV.  But before doing that I recommend that you educate yourself to the correct satellite provider and read our DISH vs DIRECTV comparison.

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3 Top Rated Gaming Monitors

Asus MG279Q

While gaming processors and GPUs get a lot of attention, your gaming monitor is still very important when it comes to your experience: If you haven’t upgraded to 4K yet – or have been wishing for a larger screen or better customization options – then allow us to introduce the best gaming monitors of 2016.

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Three 4K TVs that Cost Less Than $1000

It’s the dilemma of every entertainment system owner out there: You really want a display upgrade, but you can’t pay thousands of dollars for it – and if you’ve checked the latest, fanciest TVs available these days, you know they are well over thousands of dollars, especially when it comes to big new features like 4K.

The good news is that 4K TVs are finally growing common and prices are falling. The even better news is that we’ve searched the very best 4K TVs of 2016 to find those under $1,000, so they can fit both your living room and your wallet!

Before we begin, here are two important points to remember:

  • Screen Size: Look we love 4K resolution, but it does have a screen problem. On smaller screens, you really can’t tell the difference between a lot of pixels and a whole lot of pixels. The bigger the screen, the more 4K matters. It’s a good idea to get a screen that’s at least 50 inches to benefit from 4K: After all, if you can’t tell the difference then why bother paying more? Also remember that the distance you sit from the TV is also important when it comes to resolution.
  • HDMI: Remember that you’ll need HDMI 1.4 or HDMI 2 port for wired connections on your 4K TV. Early HDMI standards don’t support 4K, so you won’t get a 4K picture, end of story. Other port options won’t support it either, so you have to be careful on this point. Wireless streaming directly to your TV is a different matter: Make sure you have plenty of bandwidth!

Hisense 50H7GB2 – $550

Hisense 50H7GB2

If you really want to save money, this model is absolutely your best bet: We haven’t seen any other 4K TV with such a low price, and we probably never will again. This 50-inch screen includes a 120Hz refresh rate and plenty of outputs, including four HDMI ports. The backlighting is pretty simplistic and may decrease the quality of bright images, but at this price you can live with the knowledge of all the money you saved – it’s a fair trade, right?

Vizio P552ui-B3 – $1,100

Vizio P602uiB3

Okay, so we’re cheating a little bit on this one, although we will note that the 50-inch version of this TV is well under $1,000 so there are options to save even more money. The great thing about this TV – in addition to its wireless capabilities – is the 64 active LED zones, a feature that tends to provide better backlight for clearer contrast. Otherwise extra features on this TV are sparse, but as we like to say, what do you use your TV for anyway? With so many features provided on receivers, set-top boxes, and consoles, most people just need a few HDMI ports and great screen quality – and that’s what you get here.

Sharp LC 50UB30U – $750

Sharp LC 50UB30U

This 50-inch sharp TV increases LED backlighting yet again with a full array, which means the enter screen is backlight instead of just the edges, a feature that also tends to provide clearer, brighter images and so is usually worth the extra money (unlike many of those super special tech “features” that are just branding language). The refresh rate, however, is only at a native 60Hz, which may disappoint some hardcore gamers. Inputs include two USB ports and four HDMI ports, which should be plenty!