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Tired of soggy sandwiches and lukewarm yogurt in your packed lunch? Try the OmieBox. / OmieLife

This week, we reviewed an assortment of nifty gadgets and home appliances that ran the gamut from incredibly disappointing to surprisingly impressive. Among them were two Samsung products: The company's latest experiment in Android-based cameras, and an entry-level TV with high-level performance. We also tested a Kenmore dishwasher, a new Nikon camera that's great for families (and looks like a bar of soap), and another entry-level TV, this time from Sony.

Our news and features team might have felt a little boxed-in this week-they covered stories on both the psychology of mailbox fonts and a new lunch box that even adults can appreciate. They weren't just limited to boxes, though. They also looked at a new invention that comes in a can: Spray Cake.

What your mailbox secretly says about you

When you choose a typeface, you aren't just choosing a style: you're also revealing something about yourself. Whether you intend to or not, you're making a personal statement. This is true even with something seemingly innocuous, like the numbers on your mailbox. We asked a trio of design experts for their analysis of what mailbox fonts say about their owners, and got some intriguing answers.

New Android-based camera promises the galaxy, nearly delivers

With roughly a billion Android users worldwide-many of whom regularly use their devices to shoot and share pictures-it isn't hard to understand the appeal of a true Android-based camera. Samsung's latest attempt at realizing this promise, the Galaxy Camera 2, makes a decent enough impression, but is hampered by a lack of hardware support for most apps and merely average picture quality. But if you're craving attention, it does make a great choice for sharing and uploading photos instantly.

These companies make "IKEA hacking" a no-brainer

If you aren't satisfied with the ready-made cabinet designs from IKEA, there's another option: "IKEA hacking." While DIY whizzes have been customizing their IKEA gear for years, a couple new companies have sprung up to commercialize the practice. Among the designs available are solid-wood doors, drawers, and fronts. It's a great way to make your home look a little less generic, while still keeping your budget in check. (Sorry, Swedish meatballs not included.)

Samsung bargain TV is a true bargain

If you're in the market for a competent full-HD TV that has smart capabilities and won't break the bank, the Samsung UN40H5500 is worth considering. While it lacks some of the bells and whistles we've seen in TVs of late-like 4K resolution or a motorized stand-it does offer solid performance and a no-nonsense feature set. Its app collection isn't extensive, but with beloved streaming options like Netflix and Hulu available, it should satisfy most buyers.

Meet the children's lunchbox even adults will love

Tired of soggy sandwiches and lukewarm soup? A new lunchbox from startup company OmieLife has a solution to this pervasive problem. Featuring waterproof compartments and a vacuum-sealed bowl, this lunch pail will make sure your food doesn't leak or lose its temperature. While originally designed for children, we think it's pretty useful for adults, too.

New Nikon camera is great for families, weak for experts

With its slew of fun and easy to use features, the Nikon 1 J4 won't intimidate the photography novice. Its video options-including perennial favorite slow-mo-and Wi-Fi sharing capabilities make it a great choice for families looking to record their kids' sporting events or a day at the park. Unfortunately, due to its troubles shooting in low light and other noticeable image quality issues, it won't satisfy the advanced photographer.

How do astronauts clean their dirty clothes?

In space, no one can do your laundry. When their clothes get stinky, astronauts don't have many options-besides launching their clothes into the Earth's atmosphere, where they incinerate on re-entry. That's why NASA is developing new clothing made with anti-microbial yarn. If successful, it could give astronauts a practical way to stay clean in space, and offer a solution to those on Earth without access to laundry services.

Kenmore Elite dishwasher has trouble standing out

This Kenmore dishwasher had to really distinguish itself to live up to its "Elite" tag. In the end, however, it's merely competent. But with that said, it's not a bad washer. It does a good job cleaning, but it also takes longer to do so than we would have liked. And in terms of value, those looking for a new dishwasher have better options available.

Harvard's brightest invent... sprayable cake?

Everyone loves cake, but not everyone loves baking, or is able to do it competently. Now, a pair of Harvard students have created a way to bring cake to the baking-impaired: Spray Cake. It's exactly what it sounds like-you simply spray the cake from a can, whipped creamâ??style, into a dish or pan and bake. In no time, you've got delicious cake.

Skip the cleaners: New gadget gives fabrics a facelift

Ever had an impending job interview, but your suits were crumpled or otherwise unpresentable? Whirlpool and Proctor & Gamble feel your pain. That's why they've created the Swash Clothing Restorer, which promises to freshen up rumpled clothes in the space of 10 minutes. But does it live up to its own hype? Our writer tested it out under dire circumstances, and found an answer.

Sony's entry-level TV is strictly entry-level in every way

While its price seems attractive, the new Sony KDL-32R420B TV is closer to bargain basement than true bargain. The R420's achilles heel is its especially poor black level. As a result, darker images lose significant detail and clarity, meaning this TV is a bad choice for viewing cinema. Couple that issue with a low max resolution, and it's easy to recommend that TV buyers just say no to the R420.



Copyright 2014USAToday

Read the original story: Reviewed.com roundup: Ticking all the boxes

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