Consumer Reports – November 2007

Consumer Reports has asked me to eliminate the content of my summaries and any other references to the content of Consumer Reports. I have complied.

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  1. Kat says:

    We got the rechargable batteries for the Wii. It has saved us a ton of batteries, even when we were using the e2s. I highly recommend them.

  2. james says:

    You’ve got batteries on your mind.

    The tires paragraph should read “old tires” rather than “old batteries”.

  3. John says:

    For the Wii I got rechargeables…they may not last as long per play, but you wind up ahead in the long-run.

    And I love Yellow Tail for the price and taste.

    Now I drink it while I beat the pants off friends in tennis :)

  4. DJ says:

    Hi Trent,

    Since you watch almost NO tv, how do you figure you should spend that much on a tv? A quick Google turned up prices in the range of $800-over $1000 for a 32″ Sony Bravia.

  5. Grant says:

    Why would you buy alkaline or lithium AA batteries if they are disposable? The rechargeable ones are only slightly more expensive when initially purchased and they can be recharged a thousand times for pennies each time. I’m using Rayovac Hybrid batteries now (I have no affiliation with the company or product). The “hybrid” part means that they come pre-charged (like regular alkaline batteries) so you can use them right out of the pack. These new ones also hold their charge during storage for much longer than the older rechargeable batteries.

    Less waste and money saved–Isn’t that what this blog is all about?

  6. 42 says:

    Yellow Tail, yes, is OK for the price. but you’re way ahead becoming friendly with your local indie wine (not liquor, generally) store and doing a few tastings. a good store will steer you to what’s good value, not what they need to unload, and if you become a regular you’ll get dibs on the stuff THEY drink. I might pay $3-4-5 more than for YT for what I get at the little wine shop here, but I’m getting much more interesting wines and have a nice chat with the owner who’s always got a bottle open for good customers. YT is very industrial, homogenized and kind of dull.

  7. rstlne says:

    I use those e2 Lithium AA batteries in my digital camera. Note that once those batteries get low, power drops off very steeply. So keep a spare pair of batteries handy.

  8. Amy says:

    32″ is a small television?

    I find my 23″ flat panel plenty big enough. Especially with HD, it’s really a crisp, beautiful picture 6-8 feet away.

  9. Eric says:

    That TV is nice….and very expensive! I know you like to maximize your dollars but from what I have read at 32″ 720p is more that enough.

    And neither of your stated reasons for the TV make sense on the surface. Neither the Wii nor DVDs make use of HD (I guess you could have an upscaling DVD but even that isn’t true HD it just fakes it) so why buy and HDTV?

    Also I wonder in you calculus about cost how do you figure in new technologies? I mean HDTV is great – now but they are already making TVs which are even better. So unlike your mixer which really will never be obsolete, your TV may well be within a few years. Do you consider that?

    Just seems like an interesting choice you plan to make.

  10. Ryan says:

    The current HDTV specifications aren’t changing anytime soon. 720P, 1080P, and 1080i are definitely going to be around for many years. It took 50 years to go from analog to digital. I expect the current HDTV resolutions to be around for at least 25 more.

    These days, it’s hard not to buy an HDTV. I don’t believe in buying dying technology and knowing Trent, this TV is going to be around for a long time so it wouldn’t make sense for him to buy a SD model.

  11. Corey says:

    That seems mighty convenient for the tire companies that the new tires should “have more tread left on them when you replace them”. Doesn’t it seem like the newer tires should be of better quality and need to have LESS tread left on them? Just a thought.

  12. Rich says:

    I’ve heard that Sony is a bit more expensive for what you get, but I don’t know if that’s true from personal experience.

    One thing I can say from personal experience is that Crutchfield is somewhat more pricey, generally, when I’ve compared prices. They do tend to have pretty good service, though, and for car audio their installation guides are as far as I know unsurpassed.

  13. Lauren says:

    Instead of going for the pricey disposable batteries, try out the new Sanyo Eneloop rechargeables. They come charged and have a MUCH better retention rate that regular rechargeables. Also, use the money you’ve saved to by a quality battery charger. Most chargers charge the battery too quickly, which will ruin it. The Maha PowerEx chargers are a bit pricey, but they’ll make your rechargeables last.

  14. Incongruent. It’s not remotely congruent to be trying to live a more simple lifestyle and still be contemplating the purchase of a flat screen to go with your wii. Spending is for suckers, and I’d think that if you’re getting 10-14% on your dough you’d be flushing a lot away.

  15. Stu says:

    Never heard of yellow tail till I came to America. We make some awesome reds in australia but yellow tail is just some cheap vinnegar. I buy it from costco occasionally and use it in my cooking, good of marinading the lamb or in the crockpot.

    I like CR but sometimes their reports are hard to deconstruct. eg: try looking at a specific car in the CR online… They dont explain things very well. still…

    Australian wines gonna be pricy next year, poor grape harvest due to the bad heat this year. Might not see much yellow tail around, and if you do.. it might be a mix of saffer/chiliean or something. _very_ low pickings for 2008 wines.

  16. buffalo says:


    I though the same thing… a 32″ TV is small? My family is very happy with my RCA 19″ set circa 1993. It still works great… though I must admit that sometimes I secretly wish it would break down so we can justify buying something a little larger, like a 23 – 25″ digital TV. It would be nice to have access to the additional digital channels from our local PBS station

  17. Woody says:

    A 32″ flat screen is about the smallest you want to go these days if you’re looking at price vs. size. Below that and the delta is normally so small as to be negligible. I went with a 42″ that was on sale at OfficeMax, and have been quite happy with it. The key to getting a deal is to have time to wait and to know what you’re looking for ahead of time.

    Personally, I went with an Olivia because it had all the inputs, tuners, and features I was looking for at a GREAT price (under $900 for a true HD 3K by 1.5K true res). Brand was far less important to me than compatability.

    If you like pod casts, HanselMinutes did a great audio pod cast on HDTVs, what the acronyms mean, and what to look for (and look out for) about a year ago. Still quite relevant today, and worth a listen if you’re in the market for a new one.

  18. Jess says:

    I love Yellow Tail wine…it’s one of the few wines of any shade that I really enjoy. I’m glad to see it’s worth the buy!

  19. Bill K. says:


    I agree with you… I looked at a 32″ and 26″ Vizio for my home office, and couldn’t justify the 26″ for the price. Plus on 32″ and above Vizio’s warranty work is done at your home, instead of having to ship it off for a smaller model.

    The other joke with HDTV at 32″ is that 1080p is necessary. The fact is, unless your a foot away from it, you won’t be able to tell the difference between a 1080p set and a 720p set, in a 32″ model.

  20. Danielle says:

    As I work at a wine store, I have to agree with 42. I have a ton of great wines right around $10. We usually have some open in the store to taste at anytime. I’m always willing to help someone find out what they like and let them know what is going on. I personally think YT is swill, BUT I admit to buying 2 cheap cheap wines with some regularity: Winking Owl from Aldi @ $3 a bottle and Fusee Syrah for $4 a bottle. Otherwise, I can buy at cost what I want from my store and it works out well!

  21. natasha says:

    Another tip with wine is to check out what local vineyards you have and see if they do tastings. If you like the wine, you can get case discounts and they often run seasonal specials.

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