Product Reviews – January 2011

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Xoopii Bags. Photo Bethany Fischer

Reusable Shopping Bags
When I was presented with reusable shopping bags, I was kinda skeptical about them. I never really got into the ‘go green’ stuff. I was pleasantly surprised with these, though. One style is made from recycled plastic bottles and the other from hand-washable durable polyester. The polyester one was yellow and had a cute little character on it. It was foldable down to pocket size and also had a small pocket for my personal items like my cell phone. I was crazy about the other bag, though. It was bigger and super strong for all kinds of purchases and had a rad design on it. The artwork on these bags is fresh. They call the idea Reusable Urban Pop Art. Xoopii picks urban artists and shows their art through their bags. It’s another way for artists to spread the wealth of their ideas. All in all, I think that Xoopii bags are a strong and fresh idea. –Bethany Fischer

Sometimes earbuds grow tiresome, and you certainly aren’t going to wear some giant audiophile headphones outside your house. These headphones were a nice middle ground. The sound was pretty clear, and they have an iPhone-compatible mic and play/pause button. The cable is nylon, not plastic or rubber, which tends to be more durable. I have a big head, so they were a bit small and didn’t quite fit right. If you are in a public place, you should probably keep them pretty low: They don’t do a very good job keeping sound in. I also think volume buttons would have been a nice addition, but for the price ($29.95), they are pretty hard to beat. –Cody Hudson

Olens Technology
Are there ever times where you wish you could record a song off of the radio, a tape or vinyl record? If you answered “yes,” then you definitely should look into this little contraption made by Olens Technology. It’s as simple as plugging one thing into the Micorder, and you are able to copy any form of music into an MP3 instantly. I was skeptical of how good the quality would be but am actually surprised at the level of integrity. Not only can you plug it directly into a source, you can also use the built-in mic for those conversations you may want to have evidence of in a court of law, or anything you may find interesting and may want to sample for your endeavors with Live Scratch. It also comes complete with a hookup for your computer that simultaneously recharges the built-in battery, all while pulling any of those new tracks off at a moment’s notice. This is a music pirate’s dream and it fits in your back pocket. –Adam Dorobiala

Neuro Beverages
I don’t think there will ever be an energy drink introduced into the beverage marketplace that is pitched as being bad for you. With that in mind, welcome another nutritional drink that has big promises and a fancy bottle. This beverage is “ ... formulated by nutritionists to promote health and well-being and packed with essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids and botanicals at dosages backed by scientific research, so the benefit is real and not just marketing hype.” It should be noted that none of the statements on their website were actually evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. I looked at the label and said, “Oh nice, another version of Vitamin Water.” Seven flavors to choose from, and I drank six of them over the course of a week. Sorry 50, these are better. They have a beverage that does everything: one that promotes sleep, one that fills you up and makes you lose your appetite (which turns big girls into little girls, etc.), of course, one that delivers energy with the finesse of a John Stockton assist and another that is called NeuroGasm (I didn’t, if you were wondering). Honestly, they were good. Some are lightly carbonated and others are not. You can buy them on the website for 37 bucks for a dozen 14.5 fl. oz. bottles, which makes one of these puppies about three bucks. Look at it like this: It’s better than getting wings and crashing. –Healthy Hesssss

Xoopii Bags. Photo Bethany Fischer