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Monthly Archive:: October 2010

A New Phone for Me: Nokia N8 Preview

Another timeout for a tech blog, as I finally have to get with the times.  I’ve never owned a smart phone.  Considering how many websites I operate, along with related social media, I really should have had one years ago.  Problem is, I hate carrying stuff in my pockets, even if I have cargo pants or shorts.  Wallet, keys, phone, camera, GPS, music player.  The last time I bought a phone, it had the best camera you could find, though its GPS turned out to be less useful than I hoped.  While it had internet, it wasn’t 3G.  The traditional number pad made it hard to send a text or even enter the URL for a website or search on Google.  You know: tap each numeric button multiple times to get a letter, like you used to do five years ago?  That’s my phone.  The camera was great, though, and that’s the main reason I bought it.  One less thing to carry, at least.

I’ve been waiting for 2 years for a phone that meets all my requirements.  I’d hoped Apple would address them, but the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 fell short.  So do all of the current Android phones.  Here’s what I wanted:

  • Decent reception, call quality and battery life (features most people seem to forget about!)
  • Good camera with real flash
  • Native GPS with voice guided turn-by-turn instructions
  • Ability to tether my notebook through the cellphone for 3G internet
  • HD 720p video capability
  • 3G
  • A real QWERTY keypad or touchscreen

Guest Blog: A Peg Perusal… The Long Awaited Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Convertible Preview from ABC Kids 2010

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio

For updated info on the Primo Viaggio SIP Convertible - please see our more recent blog from the 2011 ABC Kids Expo: http://carseatblog.com/13395/abc-expo-2011-whats-new-from-peg-perego-primo-viaggio-sip-convertible-viaggio-hbb/

Perhaps one of the longest awaited convertible seat launches in carseat history is the Peg Perego (pause–any guesses here?) Primo Viaggio convertible seat. The market has been anticipating the arrival of a convertible seat from Peg for longer than I would hazard a guess at, and according to the aptly-named Nicolas Perego their newest seats should be hitting the market early next year. Although the convertible carseat market is fiercely competitive right now, it does seem that the PV Sr. should at least hold it’s own in the current marketplace.

I had this opportunity to meet with Mr. Nicolas Perego at the ABC Kids Show in Las Vegas to discuss the company’s newest seat. What became immediately clear was that the show displays were prototypes, and many of the details of the seat are not yet set in stone with the company. Many of the details Mr. Perego was able to provide on the seat are still tentative as the product is still in the development stage.

Primo Viaggio

Primo Viaggio

Here’s the skinny on the stats–skinny, indeed; The Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Sr. is expected to have a 65lb forward-facing weight limit, with a current estimate of the rear-facing weight limit being 30lbs but “maybe 35-40lbs”. The occupant total height estimate is 49″, and because I was seriously lacking a tape measure at ABC (as if I didn’t already feel like a pack mule?) I didn’t get to measure the top harness height on the prototype. The overall height looked very similar to a Britax convertible, as would be expected with that 49″ number. Rear-facing tethering seems to be on Peg’s radar, but there’s no confirmation either way by the company. Nicolas did confirm a 22lb forward-facing starting weight, but that remains to be seen when Sr. hits the market… And when might that be?

Prototype - Lockoff

Prototype - Lockoff

According to Mr. Perego–initial production may begin in Italy, and then later be moved to their United States production facility. Initial production is expected this Winter (Dec-Jan) and there is some possibility that Sr. will hit the Canadian market shortly after hitting shelves in the United States.
As the Italians say…Non lo so! Peg really doesn’t seem to have much of anything set in stone, but we hope they will look to Carseatblog.com for a comprehensive review when the first production seats come off the line!

Pereghi?

Pereghi?

Aww, who couldn’t love the adorable folks at Peg Perego? They were wonderful hosts at ABC, and after looking at the Primo Viaggio Sr., I moved on to explore my other obsession… ;)

ABC Kids Update – What’s New & Improved from Harmony Juvenile Products

At ABC we finally had the opportunity to meet with Michael and the rest of the FIVE-IIHS-BEST-BET-RATED-BOOSTERS Harmony Juvenile Team to check out their newest offerings and eat their stash of complimentary chocolate.  Actually, I think I was the only blog team member to indulge in the free chocolate loot but it was exactly what I needed at that moment – and the next day too when I conveniently needed to stop by again for more pics and measurements.   ;-)

Many of our readers are already familiar with the fabulous little Harmony LiteRider booster (aka, Harmony Youth Booster Seat) that was rated a “Best Bet” by the IIHS and is currently available exclusively at Walmart.  New cover options are Pink Leopard & Camo.  This particular model was absent from the Harmony lineup at ABC because…. well, it’s a wally world exclusive. However, we did get a look at the other IIHS “Best Bet” Harmony boosters, as well as a brand new booster design. First up was the Olympian, a tweaked version of the Secure Comfort Deluxe booster that was originally available at  Toys R Us.  I reviewed the original Secure Comfort Deluxe model last year and found it to be very effective in positioning the seatbelts properly on both of my boys in our minivan’s captains chairs.  However, the IIHS had some issues with that original design in their previous 2009 round of booster fit testing, so to their credit, Harmony went back and tweaked it.  The result of that tweaking is an IIHS “Best Bet” rating for this model which has been renamed the “Olympian“.     

We also saw the Dreamtime highback booster that I reviewed previously on the blog and the please-stop-calling-it-Baby Armor multi-adjustable highback .  All were covered in the nice, padded fabrics that we’ve come to expect from this manufacturer.  Last but not least, a new dual highback design called the V6 along with its backless little sibling – the Carpooler!  They claim you can fit 3 backless Carpooler models across the back of many vehicles but that isn’t a guarantee, obviously.  Much will depend on how much room you have to work with and how your backseat is contoured.  You’re more likely to have 3-across success with the Carpooler if your vehicle backseat cushion is lower (i.e., scooped out) in the outboard positions but more elevated and flat in the center.       

Evenflo Maestro Recall – What happened and what you need to know

On Friday, October 15, 2010, Evenflo announced a voluntary recall of certain Evenflo Maestro combination harness/booster seats sold in the US and in Canada.  The recall pertains to all models that were manufactured between 11/24/2009 (inception) and 4/9/2010 in the US.  If you have a Canadian Maestro model – the recall period is 12/17/2009 thru 4/26/2010.  Any models made after the recall period are not affected by this particular problem and we should consider those units safe to use unless we receive information to the contrary.

Before I go into any further details, I just want to take this opportunity to point out the necessity of registering your child restraint products - either by mailing in the completed registration card that came with the seat or by registering it online through the manufacturer’s website.  If you don’t register your carseat or booster, or if you forget to update the registration address when you move, there’s a good chance you could be left in the dark if there’s ever a recall.