The Motherloot Blog: Product Reviews

Giveaway Results: $50 Snapfish Gift Card

Sorry! This giveaway is now closed! We would like to congratulate Anna (Commenter #38) on winning this contest. Thanks so much for entering and please check back on Tuesdays for new giveaways!

Mother’s Day may be behind us, but Father’s Day is just around the corner! I love to offer creative gifts for my family and I will be showcasing a fun Snapfish project that I happened to for my family for Mother’s Day next week, that I think will offer a little photography and fun inspiration for a gift to give yourself.  I am new to using Snapfish for gifts, but am amazed at what a lovely selection they offer for making specially personalized gifts that truly are one of a kind.

With Father’s Day right around the corner, you’re probably starting to think about what to get dad to match his interests. Whether he’s a DIYer, loves sports, is the master chef or just loves the latest tech gadgets, HP offers a variety of printing solutions and memorable photo gifts and printables that will be sure to complement Dad’s lifestyle.

DIY Dad:

The HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web is the perfect way for Dad to print whatever he needs quickly with the touch of his finger and without a PC. The HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web offers one-touch, wireless, on-demand access to popular Web content with apps he’ll love like Google Maps for driving directions, Fandango movie tickets and show times and Weathernews Inc. so he’s prepared for the annual Father’s Day Fishing Trip.

Celebrate dad’s love of tools and building with the workbench pop-out Father’s Day card from the HP Creative Studio. Not only is it free, but he’ll love your creativity and appreciate his own mini-version of his tool shed.

Master Chef:

If your dad belongs on Food Network, he’ll love a personalized apron ($14.99) or cutting board ($24.99) from Snapfish featuring his favorite photo of the family for the next big backyard barbecue.

Sports Fanatic:

Perfect for his next golf outing with the boys, give him a personalized golf towel ($19.99) from Snapfish or capture his favorite golf memories with the born to golf scrapbook downloadable for free from the HP Creative Studio.

For even more easy last-minute gift ideas, check out the HP Creative Studio for more free printables from photo frames to coupons for dad to redeem throughout the year.

In honor of Father’s Day, we are offering one lucky reader  a $50 Snapfish gift card to go towards creation of one of the Father’s Day gifts such as the golf towel, cutting board or an apron.

Leave one comment for each item that you complete to enter:

  • First Entry: Please head over to the Snapfish store and browse the Father’s Day gift selections.  Leave a comment here and let me know which one you would choose.
  • Additional Entry: Let us know you are a fan of MomAdvice and join the MomAdvice.com Fan Club today on Facebook.
  • Additional Entries: Subscribe to my feeds and never miss another thing on our site again! We have a landing page where it makes it easy to subscribe to our blogs. For each one you subscribe to, leave one additional comment.

One winner, chosen at random, will receive a $50 Snapfish gift card as a special Father’s Day gift to give to someone they love. Please submit your entries by Tuesday (05/25)8PM EST.  Our winner will be drawn at random. Good luck, everyone! at

Giveaway Results: HP Photosmart Premium Printer with TouchSmart Web

HP Photosmart Touchsmart Printer

Sorry! This giveaway is now closed.  We would like to congratulate Commenter #7 (Shawn) on winning this fantastic giveaway! We hope to offer many more each Tuesday on the site. Thank you all for your entries!

I have to say that I absolutely LOVE my job. We are planning a slew of giveaways for the holiday season and nothing could kick this off better than a fantastically shiny new printer from HP.

My love for HP knows no bounds and we have happily become an HP family. This new printer is just another shining example of functionality with a streamlined design that I have come to recognize from this company.

I have put together all of my thoughts in our review of this new HP Photosmart Premium All-in-One Printer.

Here are some of the highlights:

TOUCH THE WEB. PRINT THE WEB.
• Print Google maps, movie tickets, news updates, coupons, food recipes and more without using a PC1
• Access and print photos from Snapfish.com, plus upload photos to online albums without turning on your PC4
• Get up to 50% paper savings using automatic two-sided printing
• View, edit and print photos without a PC using the memory card slots and large HP TouchSmart screen
• Print photos without changing paper using the 20-sheet photo tray
• Produce templates and games, including fax cover pages, calendars, notebook paper and Sudoku puzzles, using Quick Forms
• Copy and scan documents and photos in the comfort of your own home
• Create photo reprints in brilliant color without going to the store
• Print Web pages without ads, menu bars and other unnecessary info using HP Smart Web Printing5
• Reduce interruptions: print up to 100 pages without reloading the paper tray

PRINT FROM ANY ROOM
• Set up your wireless printer with the touch of a button2
• Reduce the clutter of messy cables
• Share your printer with multiple people
• Print documents and photos from Bluetooth®-enabled mobile phones6 and PCs
• Print photos wirelessly from your iPhone® or iPod touch® using HP iPrint Photo7

BOOST YOUR CREATIVITY
• Produce everyday documents like Web pages, emails, homework and checklists
• Print creative projects like flyers, photo books, greeting cards and activities for kids

For project templates, tips to help you get started and more, visit the HP Creative Studio at www.hp.com/create.

SAVE ENERGY
• Count on this ENERGY STAR® qualified product

REMEMBER COMPATIBLE INK, PAPER AND ACCESSORIES
• HP, the #1 brand in ink is the #1 value
• Count on documents with sharp text and photos with bright colors using Original HP Vivera inks
• Choose higher-volume XL cartridges for more ink and lower cost per page8
• Print up to 65% more pages than bargain inks9 using Original HP ink
• Create impressive documents and photos using a variety of Original HP paper
• USB cable included in the box for wireless setup only

To enter this giveaway, head over to our review and read all about what this printer offers. Come back here and tell me which feature you think you love the most on this all-in-one printer. Entries will be taken through Tuesday (11/03) at 8PM EST. Our winner will be drawn at random. Good luck, everyone!

A Review of HP’s Budget Laptop Powered by AMD

It’s the height of the shopping season and we’re all diligently looking for the best deals out there as these are tough times. One of our biggest scores from a recent Black Friday sale was my laptop that I managed to buy for just $300. My proud smile didn’t last longer however because as the old adage goes, you get what you pay for. The performance was dismal and one of the first things we had to do was shell out more money just so it was merely usable. Since then I’ve been cursing it every time I had to do anything remotely useful like open a photo or try to watch a movie.

That’s why I was interested when AMD (who makes the brains inside a lot of laptops that do things like graphics) told me they were promoting a new line of chips that would let a laptop do all the things a family would want to do without breaking the bank. Skeptical, I took them up on the offer and tested out an HP dv5z laptop that has AMD’s graphics chips inside. It’s labeled an “entertainment” laptop because it’s supposed to handle all sorts of different jobs beyond just writing emails and doing your bills. Much like the HP TouchSmart we reviewed a while back, computers are now focused on consolidating a lot of the different electronics you might otherwise need to purchase separately. Instead of having to invest in a computer, video game console, and DVD or Blu-ray player, you can just buy this one laptop and save yourself some money.

My first test was to download and touch up some of the photos I took in my homemade light box I recently made. This process usually takes my old laptop ages to do and touching up a lot of photos is a painfully tedious process. My jaw dropped when the photos loaded in seconds and there was little to no hesitation when playing around with the different effects in Picasa. I was able to complete my editing so much faster because I wasn’t waiting around for the computer to finish applying each effect.

I then decided to try something that my laptop could never do. The videos I record have to be chopped up and converted to a YouTube-friendly format before I post. My laptop would always crash when we were working on them and we’d have to move everything over to my husband’s desktop and try it there. Even still, it would take forever. AMD wasn’t kidding when they said this could handle that too. The movie converted in less than half the time as before and I was even able to check emails while I waited, something we never dared try even on the desktop.

Finally, we decided to try something really different. We plugged the laptop right into our TV and watched movies. Not only can it play DVDs, but you can get an optional Blu-ray player! That’s right, those fancy new players that cost a bundle came right in this computer. Here’s a secret, it costs less to add Blu-ray to the laptop than it would to buy a standalone player.

That’s what I like about this laptop, it can do everything you throw at it and costs less than it would to buy all this entertainment equipment separately. The dv5z series starts at $549 and even the base configuration comes with the same AMD graphics chip that we used in our testing. Do yourself a favor, instead of aiming for the cheapest thing out there, do some research and find the best value out there when shopping this season.

Suggested Retail Price: Starting at $549

Website for More Details: HP