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Review: EZ Find Item Finder

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating

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Review: EZ Find Item Finder

The EZ Find Starter Pack

Photo by Jason Hidalgo
Anybody who's ever lost their keys knows how frustrating that experience can be. In fact, the makers of a device called EZ-Find claim the average person will spend about a year of their entire lifetime looking for stuff that they have misplaced.

Shaving off wasted time from all that searching is the idea behind the EZ-Find &mdash a set of electronic devices designed to help people track their missing stuff. At the heart of the system are electronic tags that can be synced with a transmitter. Once synced, you can use the transmitter to find the tags, which can be attached to anything from keys to portable devices.

PROS

  • Excellent range: The device works within a 60-foot to 100-foot radius &mdash more than enough coverage inside a house. I hid a tag between the couch cushions in my living room then went upstairs before pushing the transmitter's find button. Lo and behold, I heard a beeping sound coming from the couch downstairs.

    One caveat is that outer walls can block the transmitter. I activated the transmitter in my driveway, left it there and entered the house, but couldn't hear a beep. But since you'll be walking around with the transmitter when finding stuff anyway, then that isn't really a big issue.

  • It's a "multi-tasker": The transmitter can be programmed to recognize up to 25 tags, if you decide to get that many.

CONS

  • Ergonomics issues: Opening the transmitter's battery compartment can be tough with your bare hands and I can see it being especially frustrating for the elderly. You basically need to use something you can insert into the battery cover slit to open it up.

    Turning on the tag switches, which are super tiny, can also be difficult unless you have a miniature screw driver or a sharp toothpick. Getting the tiny key chain ring into the holes of the tags can be a bit frustrating as well.

  • Tags could be smaller: While the tags are perfectly sized for use as key chains, they are still a bit too big for use with smaller personal devices like smartphones. Sticking them via the included adhesive patch to devices such as the Nintendo DS, PSP or a small digital camera can also mess up the form factor of those devices and just looks plain weird.

    Still, if you've got a kid who frequently misplaces stuff and doesn't care about looks, then by all means stick away. Otherwise, you can also just put the tags inside a device's protective case or pouch.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Overall, the EZ-Find works as advertised and is an especially great way for finding misplaced keys. You can also stash the tags in wallets or purse pockets and stick them to all sorts of stuff if you don't mind using adhesives (or the resulting look).

It has a few frustrating ergonomics issues and also seems a bit pricey for what you get. But as far as doing its main task, which is finding stuff, it works pretty well. Just make sure you don't misplace the transmitter or you'll have to find that the old-fashioned way.

EZ-Find Details

  • Starter Pack: $59.95
    Comes with one transmitter, four tags and a set of key chain rings and adhesives.

  • Bonus Pack: $74.95 Comes with one transmitter, six tags and a set of key chain rings and adhesives.

  • Tag Pack: $19.95
    Comes with two tags and a set of key chain rings and adhesives. No transmitter is included.
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