Date Joined: 09/28/04
Pros: - Sturdy, riveted frame with nice tempered glass panel side.
- Modern design with 2x USB 2.0 & 2x USB 3.0 Top panel ports.
- Included fans (1 front, 1 rear 120mm) are decent but I would fill out the rest on front, and top.
- The rear mount metal plate for 2 SSD drives is great, along with other mount points in the frame too.
- Velcro straps in back panel for cable management.
- Magnetic dust filters are great and easy to remove except for the front one (see cons below).
Cons: - Front panel pops off from pulling bottom to remove the front and gain access to the magnetic dust filter.
However the plastic retaining “knobs” could weaken over time if you have pets, and need to clean frequently like me. I would have preferred a hinged front panel or a way to slide the filter out the top or side.
- Filters could be a tad bigger, if you have fur based animals you will be cleaning said filters often.
Overall Review: I am very impressed with this case, for its sturdy construction and it’s good price point for It’s features. I took a media pc out of an old case and re-Installed it into this one for streaming Netflix and games that use controllers on my tv.
It’s smaller size and design fits my use perfectly and while you may need to put a few more fans in to get the best temps I don’t see it as a major detractor to this case.
The only downside is the front panel and the plastic retainers that may not be robust enough to survive years of taking off and re-installing for cleaning. A hinged setup or different way to slide out the front filter would have earned it another egg.
In all if you like the look of the case and are in its price point for your budget the only advice I have is to add a few more fans depending on the heat your setup puts out. I added one more 120mm on the top and front to make sure air keeps moving.
Thank you for reading my review!
Pros: - Pre assembled and bled
- No RGB is a pro for me personally
- CPU block fittings are able to rotate and look quite robust on the seals
- Much more quiet than air cooler it replaced
Cons: - 2 Fans seems overkill but run it if you brought it I suppose
- Always will worry of leaks
Overall Review: I installed this on an older SandyBridge i7 2600k that was overclocked to 4.6Ghz. Normally it ran 68c on an air cooler during benchmarks and gaming was in the 64-66c range.
After installation the Benchmarking temps dropped roughly 8c to 60-61 during a bench run of PCMark, while gaming gained a 12c average temperature drop with an observed temp of 53c during Division 2 gameplay.
Overall I was impressed with the price and the performance of this unit from Corsair and would recommend it to anyone looking to add a pre-filled H2O cooler and gain that thermal performance without much worry of leaking, bleeding, or refilling problems that custom water loops have.
On the downside there is no way to visually check if the unit is losing fluid other than it leaking on your components so its a trade off of performance and risk of issues down the road. Given the performance gain and the lower DB produced by the fans I have no problem recommending this to anyone looking to add that Corsair flair to their next or current rig.
Pros: - Sound dampened panels for reduced ambient noise
- Air intake filters on every port
- Easy to install SSD/HDD/Optical bays
- PWM fans included
Cons: - Top lid is only secured by magnets and does not have a hinge. Only a problem if you have cats or other explorative creatures.
- Buttons are not an actual switch just a momentary button (personal preference) with no guard to protect accidental pushes.
Overall Review: I was very impressed with the build quality and sound reduction of this particular case from Corsair. After unboxing I installed my E-ATX Motherboard/i7/1080ti and chose to not use any extra fans to test the ambient noise difference compared to my old full ATX monster case with bi ol' fans.
Decibel meters are not available at my house but to the ear you could noticeably tell a difference at idle, while running full tilt however the GPU fans will still be heard spinning past say ~60% no matter how much sound deadening material is in the case.
All air intakes are filtered and the top, side, and front cover are held closed by magnets.
This is fine on the side and front panels as the magnets are pretty big and strong. However the top panel isn't as heavy and inquisitive creatures that like to jump on everything (say felines) will knock the top panel loose when exploring on your gear.
So if you are looking for a stylish and quiet place to put your new hardware with easy open panels and easily installed drives look no farther than the Carbide 678c from Corsair.
Pros: +Large form factor with full keyboard and keypad, it is the largest size and max weight(6.5lb) I would personally consider for lugging around for school/work purposes.
+ 120hz TN 3ms Display is great for gaming however it may not be used to its full potential in all situations (see thoughts below). The anti-glare is on point however and more manufacturers should take note of this.
+ GTX1060 is a great choice in this form factor and screen resolution in my opinion. For any more power in a laptop you would have to jump up to a full 12+ Lb (plus power brick(s)) or $500-800 more Max Q Design for anything similar size.
+ Lots of input/output from USB-C to Mini Display Port/HDMI/SD reader along with 4 USB 3 ports and the latest 802.11ac WiFi.
+Speaking of USB-C The ability to use it along with an external GPU enclosure (ex. ASUS ROG XG Station) opens up the performance possibilities even more if you want to use this at work as a portable and bring it home and dock up to more GPU power.
+ 8th Gen 6 core Coffee Lake processor is almost overkill (but I love it) and will be thermally limited whilst gaming unless cooling measures are taken (see below).
+16 GB of DDR4 2666 with room for upgrade to 32gb max.
+Kingston NVME M2 128GB SSD is fast for OS and a few smaller games along with a hybrid one terabyte drive of spinning rust is a good staring point at this price.
+Benchmark results were above what was expected (results below) and would seem that the machine would be able to run any current and upcoming games at Medium to Highest setting @ 1080p.
Cons: — The small form factor with no mechanical lifts on the hinges to pick the rear up makes air flow a big issue for this machine (think Max Q design as seen on the ROG Zephyrus S) and it does thermally throttle itself, thus making the full 4.1ghz turbo boost never seen during gaming since the heat of the GPU and CPU running together limits what the systems cooling can handle. However in the “gaming laptop” market, heat is to be expected and is usually accounted for with external cooling etc by the people who game heavily.
— While VR ready (it just barely exceeds 3DMark and Vive recommended spec for VR). I would personally not recommend this for consistent VR use unless using an external GPU enclosure over USB-C due to the thermal throttling and long term reliability at full temps (unless using aftermarket cooling).
— RGB Keyboard backlight goes wonky sometimes and turns off randomly, requiring restart or change of a setting and applying in the aura software (using latest bios/drivers/software as of this writing (Nov 18’)).
— Speakers aren’t really powerful (1.5w x 2) but it does have mic/headphone jack which is becoming more rare.
— Touchpad is on smaller side if you are used to MacBooks or larger human interface devices.
Overall Review: Before getting into my thoughts I will look at my Benchmark results as they left me impressed and were higher than I expected.
All tests were conducted at 1080p with latest drivers, software and BIOS (as of Nov 18’) using GeForce Experience recommended settings for games or Default for synthetic tests. Another pleasant surprise was all games tested defaulted in the top 3-4 “clicks” of max settings in GF Experience optimization.
3DMark Time Spy 1.0 @ 1080p Default - 3494 (Better than 39% of all results)
3DMark Fire Strike 1.1 @ 1080p Default - 9975 (Better than 58% of all results)
PCMark 8 Home Conventional - 4660
Fortnite - 75-85 Avg FPS (Observed during PvP match)
Hitman - 68.69 Avg FPS / 14.56ms Frame time (In game bench tool)
GTA 5 - 71-89 Avg FPS over 4 passes / 13.5ms Frame time (In game bench tool)
Metro Last Light Redux - 46.62 Avg FPS (In-game bench tool)
Witcher 3 Wild Hunt - 45-55 Avg FPS (Observed running around killing stuff).
So as you can see the 120hz refresh rate may not be fully utilized much unless you play games with older generation game engines or using lower settings and resolutions. I personally wouldn’t let this be the issue to stop me from purchasing this unit because the screen is beautiful and provides excellent viewing angles and color reproduction for 95% of users.
My idea of the best use case of this laptop would be a student or professional that needs to have a great big screen and lots of power for gaming and or editing on the go. Also having the option if you need more graphics power, to get an external GPU enclosure along with an additional cooling solution and thus you have created yourself one powerful gaming or work station.
The only real worry is a common one of gaming laptops, and that is there is a lot of heat to contend with in a small space. If you plan to game or work this machine for long periods at a time and want it to last, please get yourself an aftermarket cooling solution and keep the fans/screens clear of debris/dust.
In terms of extra software that comes pre installed I have to say hats off to ASUS for only including their house brand software and a basic antivirus software that was very easy to remove.
If your looking to have more thermal cooling built in from the manufacturer you would have to step up to a GeForce Max Q design such as the ROG Zephyrus line offered by ASUS, but that is roughly $600-900 more depending on spec.
So in closing, in my opinion I would not let any of the issues bother me, and use the machine on the go for light gaming (the battery is only good for about 1.5hr on full speed), and then bring it home to a nice cooling solution and or external GPU to enjoy lots of binge gaming sessions worry free.
Pros: - Small and sleek form factor
- Included software for password protecting or backing up
- Plug and play simplicity
Cons: - Cable is USB A to USB 3.0 micro B connector that may be hard to find kicking around (unless ordered) if you lost or damaged the included one.
Overall Review: This external HD performed quite well for what I was expecting. On USB 3 I was getting 116-120MB/Sec writes and reads with large files and 2-6MB/Sec on random sizes of writes and reads to the drive.
The included software works as expected and even includes Mac versions of the software on the drive, although if you wish to use this drive on a Mac you would have to re-format the drive to exFAT as this particular model comes formatted with NTFS.
Still it is nice they include both versions of the software when they didn't have to.
If you are in need of a small, portable drive with massive storage to haul around with you then be sure to check out the offerings from Western Digital
Pros: - Small form factor
- USB 3.1 (USB C) to USB 3 adapter dongle is included
- Windows/Mac compatible (if formatted with exFAT)
- Included software allows you to password protect and automatically back up to the drive
Cons: USB adapter is begging to be lost without a lanyard or some kind of retention device to hold it to the cord
Overall Review: I was impressed by the speed and cost per GB that this device offers, I was able to use both my mac and PC to back-up and move documents seamlessly with no issues. After that I re-formatted the drive to NTFS and set up a steam library folder to see if it had the chops to use as a gaming drive.
I am happy to report that while it isnt internal SSD fast it is indeed faster than an old hard drive in every way, using the benchmarking software from usbflashspeed.com I was averaging 168 MB/sec writes and 264 MB/sec reads over usb 3.0 which performed as expected with no issues, I however didn't have access to a newer PC or Mac with USB C so I could not test the full speed capability of the drive.
Still the drive outperformed my expectations for speed and as price continues to drop on solid state flash hopefully more types of this super-fast flash are available to consumers. If you need a small, fast, and backward compatible flash drive look no further than the offerings from Western Digital
Pros: - Nice weight in hand
- Adjustable DPI on-the-fly with indicators on top showing the level
- Win/Mac Compatible
- Configurable RGB lighting
- Magnetic swappable side thumb rests and a mini corsair bag to hold the extras
- High quality Omron hardware rated for 50 million clicks and a 16k DPI sensor
Cons: - May be too big for smaller hands, however for me its a perfect fit,
Overall Review: I am a fan of corsair mice, however their previous offerings I have reviewed have been smaller or more tailored for "hand off mouse" gaming whilst this one is designed for larger hands or people who like to leave their whole palm resting on the mouse. I tested it on both Windows and Mac and it worked flawlessly for both. If your looking for a high quality gaming mouse and don't need a keypad on the side of the mouse look no further than the Glaive by Corsair.
Pros: - Fast and easy setup via iOS APP
- Full coverage of home under one seamless SSID
- Automated firmware update
- Sleek minimalist design
- Much faster speeds than regular WiFi extender.
- Ability to "daisy chain" up to 6 nodes to bring WiFi to dead spots.
Cons: - App only administration via iOS or Android,
- Administration abilities limited for home use
- App lacks ability to delete or reset individual nodes, and to re-test their signal strength if put in a new location
- High cost of entry for 3 node setup
Overall Review: I was anticipating testing the new Linksys Velop system as my house (built in 80's, 2 stories, roughly 5000 sq ft) has some major dead spots that I have been un-successful in getting a reliable WiFi signal using boosters and extenders. Which is a shame as we recently had fiber internet installed and it can easily pull 80-90 MB/Sec (Yes, MEGA byte per second) so I wanted to see what Velop could do for my home network.
As the gateway/modem for the fiber optic has a router and wireless radio built in, I disabled the wireless radio on the modem
and set the Velop on a static IP so I could DMZ the system if I had port forwarding or DNS issues. But in the end it was not needed in my case as the system was detected by the iOS app and quickly set up with no issues and able to access the internet and remotely access the system via the Linksys app.
Now the issue with my house is that the modem/gateway is in the basement with a concrete foundation, if you imagine the house from above as a big "L" shape, the modem is in the basement at the farthest point at the bottom edge of the "L", so to get the signal up a floor, down the hall upstairs, and outside to the porch that is around the perimeter has always been challenging... nay, impossible to get a connection that would hold even hold a SD video stream.
After the 3 nodes were added and connected to the internet the app immediately checked and downloaded the latest firmware update, after that I performed the channel optimization which did improve signal between the basement and first floor node. After a quick reset and name change of the SSID I was happy to find that the previously dead areas of the house now have a full strength 5Ghz connection even outside in the garage!
Most tech savvy or network admin types will take issue with the lack of administration options with the Velop system. However I feel that this product is not intended for the micromanagement of the system or robust network administration but rather to have a set-and-forget it WiFi network, or like in my case to supplement a wired network with awesome tri-band WiFi coverage with high speed backhauling of the mesh networking.
So my problems with the app were few and far between, such as the ability to see the signal strength in real time of the nodes or if I was able to re-analyize the signal of the nodes so if one has to be moved you could check how the others are affected via the app. Right now the only way is to move and check with speed tests or channel optimization in the app and seeing if anything was changed.
Speed wise I was able to get ~84MB/Sec download speed test right at the main node connected to the gateway, and if I went to the farthest point that was previously in a dead zone I now have a ~40MB/Sec download and reliable 5Ghz signal that is able to sustain a HD stream no problem. I did have a slight hiccup in the stream when transferring from node to node, and have only had one instance where I had to disable/enable WiFi on a MacBook Pro that didn't want to jump to another node while streaming but after re-booting the system the problem hasn't re-appered.
I see the Velop system as a great supplement to a wired home networking setup or for stand alone use if you don't have much hardware that is wired, and in my opinion I would recommend using a full featured wired router to setup the security and port forwarding to your liking and then add-on the Velop system and disable the wireless radio on your original router and you will have the best of both worlds. Any issues I encountered are easily fixed with software updates if you have a home or office with inconsistent WiFi connections or slow speeds look no further than the Linksys Velop system for your needs and end those dreadful dead spots and dropped connections today.
Pros: - Easy to set up
- Duplex (dual sided) printing
- Color Fax/copy/print
- Quick top-feed tray
- Wired or wireless use
- Stand alone updating, no PC connection required
Cons: - Touchscreen can be touchy at times, especially when trying to type numbers on virtual keypad for faxing.
Overall Review: I was impressed by the ease of use and the stand alone qualities of this printer from HP. I was able to set it up in a small office setting using only a phone cable and power cable whilst doing everything else completely stand-alone or wireless to the printer.
It works flawlessly as a fax/copy machine for a small business or home office type of application, and even with the right paper/ink selection could be used for fairly decent photo prints if so required.
The ability to update the software and configure the printer right from the touchscreen was a great addition in my opinion, the newer printers really excel at this and do not require you to have a PC or other device to go to a web-based configuration page and tweak everything to your liking. You can still do this with this machine too and HP is always good about updating and adding new features when possible, but for those who want to "set it and forget it" look no further than this great value from HP.
Pros: - Flash-enhanced spinning rust!
- 5 year limited warranty
- lower cost per gb while retaining decent performance
Cons: - Still more prone to failure than solid state
- Slower access time
- Cannot cache files larger than 8gb
Overall Review: I see this drive being best value for a home theatre PC, secondary media storage drive, or a scratch disk for video editing. Basically something that has high capacity but doesn't have the response of an SSD.
In my use case I have my OS on a SSD and loaded some of my steam library onto it to see how much faster it would load some of the latest games compared to the trusty SSD (in this case the latest Deus Ex and Civ titles) I saw the load times increase from ~20 sec on SSD to ~45 sec on this drive with Deus ex and while loading civ times increased from ~50sec to ~90sec but this was loading a previously played game that was quite large with many units.
Once games were loaded there was no noticeable slow down while the game accessed the drive, probably due to the 8gb of cache, and once the bulk of the game was loaded into memory (especially in the case of Civ) everything was smooth.
So in closing if you are building a gaming PC on a budget and can deal with slower response and load times or your using the drive in a media PC and want more GB per dollar for your use case then I highly recommend this drive for the performance on top of the 5 year warranty it is a no-brainer to choose this for your next build if it fits your needs!
Pros: - Slim profile makes it easy to fit in smaller cases
- Keeps old "spinning rust" alive albeit at such a small capacity for these times
- Good performance for the price and the medium
Cons: - For not much extra these days you can step up into SSD territory and have much better performance and reliability
Overall Review: I applaud seagate for keeping the smaller spinning media drives alive for people that have older machines that would see no benefit to having SSD hardware.
But for the cost for anyone else with newer machines I would look into even a 256GB SSD, it is worth the smaller capacity for the performance gain.
If your looking for a NAS or media server drive then this series is great, but look into the higher capacities for better price per GB.
No performance issues or installation problems, would recommend this particular size to anyone needing it to keep an older rig alive.
Pros: - Easily setup with provided base & hardware
- Web interface as well as iOS app with remote and local access
- MicroSD slot for recording or pictures
- Motion detection / Passive IR
- 2 way mic / speaker setup
- Fade-able LED light and I/O headers for integration into security systems
- Event planning and automated reset amongst other good admin features (see below)
Cons: - Swivel on mine was a tad loose so used some butyl to retain the position I liked
- Motion detection is quite touchy and the sensitivity needs tweaking via an update, Passive IR works great for my use though
- You will record yourself looking and or saying something dumb and realize how you look
- No night vision but passive IR works in the dark so ill give it a pass
Overall Review: This camera is a great piece of hardware and its software coming together to create the best home or office IP camera that doesn't require a PhD to setup, but has the subtle little features that you can tweak, making it an excellent little camera in my opinion.
I set the camera up in the entryway to my house, with a 16gb SD card. Set it to continuously record during daylight hours and then switch to passive IR for triggering of the LED flash light and recording for night-time use.
It has been recording for roughly 5 days now and the software splits them into 5min chunks for access via the iOS or web app which is great when on-the-go and wanting to see the day broken down to the hour and then 5 minute chunks after that. SD card use is roughly 50% use as of the review, but there is an option to record and overwrite the oldest recording or to stop, I chose the former of the two and it should continue to work as great.
The only thing that could use some tweaking is the monition detection software, I initially tried to set this up instead of continuous recording but my results were only acceptable in the 1%-4% sensitivity range and even though this could be my houses paint color messing with the by-pixel comparison for the motion tracking I was unable to get it to work to my liking, so I use the continuous for the day with passive IR triggering for night time. There is no night vision IR which is the only other draw-back, but the nifty LED light works well along with the passive IR for night use so I am satisfied with it for now.
Also, there are two I/O headers for integration of motion or door sensors for people more into security than I, but having the option is great for those that use them.
I am greatly impressed by the features included at this price point and would suggest this IP camera to anyone in the market for a full featured piece of hardware at a great value look no further.
Pros: - Small form factor
- LED indicator light
- Performs as intended no lost files
Cons: - I always am weary of sliding mechanisms but this one seems quite beefy
Overall Review: After formatting the drive to exFAT I tried coping some files of varying sizes and it performed well, not performance grade speed but good enough for every-day use. If your doing multiple files over 2+GB you may want to look towards performance oriented flash.
I usually am worried by the sliding mechanisms of these flash drives but this one is quite hardy and although its not a steel body it still has held up and performs as expected.
If you are in the market for a basic every-day use flash drive for documents and smaller data files then look no further than this unit at a great value.
Pros: - Small form factor
- Easy set up
- Remote control via internet or local control only
- Power usage and statistics (approx)
Cons: - Form factor could block other outlets
- Must use their proprietary app to control, no home kit enabled app yet
- Wattage monitoring is slightly off
Overall Review: I was impressed by the simple set up and ease of use of these plugs by TP-Link, I had reviewed the non-monitoring version prior to this and was impressed by the added feature of monitoring energy usage, however when comparing the wattage used to what my other power meter shows on my UPS there is a slight (~15-20%) difference over what is actually used. Not that it takes away from how great the product is but it is worth mentioning.
To test this unit I associated it with my Kasa account on my phone and use it to remotely start up my A/C on my way home from work (I checked to make sure it wasn't pulling too many amps for what the plug is rated). So far I am impressed that it has worked every time no matter if I'm on wifi or using the cell network to start it.
I also found that you can associate the plug with another phone as long as you login with the same account, so my G/F can also start the a/c on her way home which is a nice feature.
If you are looking to remotely control any wired appliance or item I highly recommend the TP-Link plugs as long as you are not into exact power measurement they work as intended and have had no issues so far with the product!
Pros: - Quick setup via easy to use touch screen
- Sleek UI design mimics iOS screens
- Range is much stronger than simple plug-in wall unit.
- Also able to configure over web from PC/tablet
- Also has 4 port switch built in for use as a ethernet bridge
Cons: - Size seems bulky, maybe due to having the 4 port ethernet switch (see below)
- Had a few connection problems at first but moving the extender closer to the host wifi fixed it
- Touchscreen is nice but seems like over-kill for the product
Overall Review: I had no issues with the range extender after finding a sweet spot for signal strength in my house it easily connected and had easily extended the full signal wi-fi range roughly 500-600ft past where I would start losing full speed prior to installing the unit.
However the issues I have with the unit are more aesthetic and with un-needed extra features, I would have preferred they didn't use a touch screen and kept it to a 1-2port bridge to take the footprint down and make the unit easier to hide, because lets be honest who would be walking up to their extended to check the status on a tiny LCD screen when they could just log into the web interface from their desk.
It is just my preference but I like the extenders to be a small sleek device that i can tuck up on a shelf and "set it and forget it" but performance wise I had no issues with the unit once configured and ran it for 2 days so far with no connection issues or drop outs. If you don't mind the price and want a nice looking piece of hardware for the desk then look no further than this extender.
Pros: - Small footprint and lighter weight compared to other sealed battery UPS units
- Included software is easily configured and setup
- LCD offers input/output information on anything you would need to know
- Able to silence alarm with hardware button on front of unit, no software required or hunting for a button on the back
- Provides ample time with my setup even at full load to safely shutdown the PC and NAS attached to it.
- Pure sine wave is compatible with newer PFC PSU and perfectly replicates 60hz AC current
Cons: - None, works as intended.
- Weight is to be expected when batteries are involved.
- Ensure you know the loads of the system you are trying to provide power to before purchasing
Overall Review: I was surprised by all the information provided by the LCD along with the output of this small UPS. I am using it to power a 2 bay NAS, a PC (i7 2700k, GTX Titan), and a 28" Asus 1440p monitor.
Under gaming loads playing at higher settings in a new game as of this review (The Division) I am able to get 8-10 minutes of reserve power which is plenty of time to log out of anything required and to get the NAS shut down safely.
If I am only doing basic tasks or at idle this UPS will provide 22 minutes of power with my setup, (421w at gaming loads, 208w for basic tasks) as well as active load balancing, surge protection, and it also helps lower power consumption in ECO mode by bypassing the transformer thus using less energy when not required.
The key with any UPS purchase is to ensure that you never exceed 80% capacity of the unit for any long period of time, so if possible use a meter and see what your hardware draws for power before buying any backup power supply. Also the footprint is much smaller and more compact then the UPS of the old days. As someone who used to lug these around to rebuild I felt the weight was much lighter than my older units but to each his own.
If your power needs are in line with the output of this UPS then I highly recommend it and would not hesitate to purchase one for any PC or home entertainment setup.
Pros: - Cost per GB is something I never thought I would see on a WD Red.
- Available up to 6TB
- Newest version of NASWare should improve reliability
- 3yr warranty is great for the price for use in NAS
- Spins cool and quiet
- Mounted and installed fine on older model seagate NAS
Cons: - None so far.
Overall Review: I had an older Seagate 2bay NAS (STBN100) left over from a previous review so when offered two of these 4TB bad boys to test I jumped at the offer to see how they would perform in an older NAS box from a competing brand to see what would happen!
After installing the two 4TB drives I booted up the NAS and the drives were showing up as blank and ready to "clean and install" according to the Seagate software. However after trying this and a Processing... message for about 10 minutes the drives came back as "foreign".
So I logged out and back in of the web panel to try again and still got the "foreign" message, as a last ditch effort I restarted the NAS and on the 3rd time the drives processed fine and everything worked as intended. So I am to assume the old Volume was still loaded into the NAS OS in some form and wasn't installing properly.
Once I had the drives mounted and ready I created a RAID 1 volume which took approximately 12.5 hours to build at a rate of 70-72MB/Sec and I was left with a perfectly working RAID 1 volume.
Then I performed a few tests reading and writing to the drive with my Macbook Pro and the three Win 10 machines I had in the house. I was able to achieve 38-42MB/Sec write speed to the NAS wether I was writing to it with one machine or all 4 simultaneously. My read speeds were 68-72MB/Sec to all machines on my gigabit and wireless 802.11 AC network.
I was very impressed by the performance and cost per GB on these drives for the current cost of this drive the 3 yr warranty cost roughly $50 a year for peace of mind to know your drives are covered should anything happen even though Western Digital is known for having a good product with their RED line of drives, if your looking to fill up a NAS box look for further than these products for your home or office NAS.
Pros: - Bigger size fits my hand well, its personal preference but I like the larger size which leads to less strain for me.
- Lightweight yet solid feeling with smooth tracking across the mousepad.
- Configurable colors/buttons/CPI through the SteelSeries Engine software
- Dual CPI settings switchable via the button under scroll wheel
- Textured "grips" on either side aid in keeping the mouse in-hand and during longer, sweatier sessions.
- Wheel has solid "clicks" to be felt (not actual clicks) to each degree of rotation making precision scrolling easier.
Cons: - No wired/wireless option ( I may have been spoiled by the Sensei by SteelSeries but I liked this feature when using with my laptop.
- SteelSeries Engine software was not starting correctly on my Macbook or Windows (probably because of previous installs). On windows a uninstall/reinstall fixed the problem but on Mac I was unable to get the software to start up.
Overall Review: I was impressed by the feel and ergonomics of this mouse. After a few 8hr sessions with it I easily adjusted to the weight as its much lighter than my other wired mouse (Naga) or my wireless (Sensei) mice. The textured grips and high quality buttons are a nice feature in a rather basic no-frills mouse.
The customization software is optional and not required to use the basic functions of the mouse, however I did encounter some problems on Mac (OS X 10.11.3) when trying to get the Engine software to start the Icon would appear up top but nothing else would load, this could possibly be because i also have used the software to configure the Sensei by SteelSeries but I feel that its simply a software bug that should be worked out shortly and doesn't detract from the usability of the product so I did not dock any eggs for this.
If you are in the market for a wired gaming mouse with solid buttons and a nice feel (personal preference) then look no further than the Rival 300.
Pros: - Quick Setup
- Allows monitoring of runtime
- Easy scheduling via phone app
- Timer feature allows X minutes to turn (on or off)
- Away mode also easy to set with start/end time and repeating feature
- Set to allow local wifi access only or internet access for security minded folk.
Cons: None so far, would like to see different color options such as beige/black/grey perhaps but white matched everything fine for me, and for the price cannot complain.
Overall Review: I was impressed by the ease of setup and use of this unit. I was able to have the local wifi working quickly and shortly after verifying my email with TP-Link's cloud service I was able to use the internet features as well.
The away and schedule features are very easy to use and program while the timer feature also had the ability to set it to turn on or off after X amount of time which was a very thoughtful feature to have for a Wi-FI plug.
If i was to outfit my house I would probably splurge for the model above this one that also monitors the energy usage of the plug and keeps track of watts and run time while this unit only keeps track of run time.
If you are in the market for making some plugs in your house Internet enabled then look no further than this unit for the price and performance it cannot be beat!
Pros: - Possibly the easiest quick setup process out of the box if you want to plug and play.
- Manually configurable as well out of the box with powerful configuration options and easy to use web based or mobile based app.
- Network map with filter options for Rx/TX or total usage
- Media prioritization with drag and drop easy configuration.
- Built in Speed Test app
- Auto firmware update with option to use open source firmware (see cons)
- External storage mounting over USB or eSATA
- Open VPN Server supported
- Beam forming did increase my range in my situation (see thoughts)
- Sleek design with power switch (very often overlooked)
Cons: - If you are a DD-WRT user there is currently support planned for the router as of 11-15 but none available as of this writing. However the factory firmware is very nice and powerful so I feel this does not detract from the product.
- Power brick may cause issues with its larger size and eating up space on the wall or surge protector.
Overall Review: I was very impressed by the speed and configurability of this router, the Marvell CPU/Radio is very speedy and the beam forming did improve my signal range by about 50ft on my laptop at my workplace which is rebar reinforced concrete and not the friendliest on wi-fi or signals in general for that matter.
If you are looking for the highest performance and or the ability to configure your network (see Pros for list) and manage which clients get prioritization with ease either on your PC or mobile device then definitely consider this router for your needs.
The only downside I see currently is if your using DD-WRT or other open source firmware as this chipset/radio by Marvell is currently not supported, however there is promised future support so fear not! The factory firmware should hold anyone over until that time is here and I feel does not detract from the overall usage of the product.
Hands down though, if you are looking in this price range and want the reliability and warranty of Linksys/Belkin (which I have never had a problem with support even when needing a replacement) then look no further than this Router and grab one today!
Pros: - Fast transfer speeds (~132MB/sec Max write from SSD large size files, 2-3MB/sec write with multiple small files on USB3)
- Enclosure its small compared to the external HDD of yesteryear.
- 200gb Cloud storage included
- Win 10 compatible even if not listed in specs.
Cons: - USB3 Micro B cable could be a little more sturdy if intended for mobile use. The casing on mine began to twist and break down after a few weeks of use, maybe using a braided nylon cover instead would help.
- If using with a Mac you will need to either re-format the drive to the correct file-system or install the storage drivers off the Seagate website. While this is not really a "con" it is something of note if you are a multi-OS user or buy the drive and have no internet access at that time.
- The enclosure should be more rugged in my opinion if they intend it to be used as as mobile drive, since this is older "spinning rust" tech I like to see as much shock and other protection as possible.
- 1 Year warranty, while I understand that they can only cover so much with a mobile drive and one that is not solid state I would rather they had a 2 year parts/labor warranty to be more competitive with other manufacturers.
Overall Review: They never stop amazing me how much storage they can cram into mobile hard drives these days, spinning rust has never seen higher capacity in this form factor!
I did not encounter any issues using the device on my Win 10 PC even though it was not listed on the box or online in the specs, however if you are a Mac user you will have to re-format or use their driver if you do not wish to format.
The only problem I see with this drive is that the included Micro-B cable is not that rugged as well as the plastic enclosure the drive is contained in. Since the drive is not solid state and intended to be a "portable backup solution" I would want that data as safe as possible when on the move.
While the cable or enclosure never failed me during my testing, its always those occasions you do not plan for that are the problem.
Either way this drive is a great performer for the price and anyone looking for a mobile bottomless pit of storage in a small package should look no further than this drive, especially for the value!
Pros: - Slim form factor
- No power brick needed
- Intuitive mounting and cable management solution
- Easy to configure and update using web interface
- 2 USB ports (no spec listed but assume 1A rating as thats the max rating listed on power specs)
Cons: - Slightly warm during use in ventilated area, not to worrisome levels however.
Overall Review: I was impressed with how the inclusion of two USB ports made me notice how convenient having extra charging ports was to have at my desk when the laptop sometimes has all its ports full.
After mounting under the desk using the included "Click" mounting bracket i quickly had my three office PCs wired up and used the USBs to charge iPhone and iPad.
The software package is top notch on this switch with configurable QOS and VLAN options to tweak the bandwidth optimization of your network and keep it up to date easily when new firmware is released.
If you have a small nook or a desk that you can easily hide this lil guy under you wont be disappointed, along with the Lifetime Warranty this product will stand the test of time.
Pros: - Small compact form-factor.
- Included click mounting system is easy and fast.
- Included cable ties help with cable management
- Internal power supply (no extra brick)
- Web & software(included) based configuration utility with many features and diagnostic tools.
- Lifetime guarantee on parts & labor makes it unbeatable value, with next day replacement.
- Plug and play setup if you don't want to tweak all available options.
Cons: -None encountered so far, will update if any problems encountered.
If I had to nitpick a few 6' Cat 6 cables would be nice but not needed as I have a collection already.
Overall Review: I was first impressed by the form factor and ease of use and quick setup this switch provides while also having a highly configurable management system.
It integrates the PSU and a clever mounting system to make mounting and managing the cables much easier than with conventional home/office networking hardware, it can easily be hidden under a desk instead of having to have rack-moutned networking sitting in the back of someones office.
The included software easily detected and configured the switch, as well as the web based utility performed flawlessly. There have not been any firmware updates as of yet with this product but it is all easily managed through the web-based utility.
I was getting the expected 100-120MB/sec max transfer speeds using Cat6 Gigabit cable, and was impressed with the little amount of heat generated even with the internal PSU in the unit it remains relatively cool to the touch compared to most network hardware, this is probably a testament to the full metal enclosure to help disperse the heat generated.
All said and done if your in the market for a Gigabit prosumer grade network switch I would highly recommend this unit for its performance and great warranty alone. Highly impressed so far!
Pros: - 2700k color matches natural indoor lighting
- Great omni-directional light projection
- Low heat & power use at 9w
Cons: If forced to pick a negative it would be that its non-dimmable but not a big issue.
Overall Review: I am very impressed by the performance and value of the latest LED bulbs to replace conventional bulbs, this unit at 9w easily outperforms a 60w incandescent bulb and closely matches the other interior lighting of the home.
The color was natural and warm, and the brightness not too bright for normal indoor use, I was pleased to say there was not much heat produced on the ceramic base and would not worry about any issues from other items being in close proximity to the base or bulb itself.
At the current cost of this unit there is no excuse to not replace all the incandescent bulbs in your house right now
Pros: - Sleek modern design
- Dual band external antenna for extended range
- Easily configured and set up within minutes
- TP-Link updates firmware frequently
- Gigabit network speeds
- Well optioned web management features for the price
Cons: None experienced within first month of use, no lock ups or wi-fi drops experienced.
Overall Review: This router is receiving many unfortunate reviews due to people not knowing how to configure it properly due to their ISP controlling MAC address access.
Most ISP's these days have the Cable/DSL/EMTA modem record the MAC address of the PC or Router that has been associated with the modem when it was provisioned during installation.
To get around this issue you will need to use the "clone MAC address" feature in the settings of the router to copy the MAC address of whatever device that was last plugged into your cable modem AND had internet access with it, after a reboot of both modem and router you will be up and running.
If you do not wish to use the MAC address of your old hardware you will need to contact the ISP and have the modem re-initilized and capture the new MAC address of the new router (Most ISP's these days do control access using the MAC addresses saved on their modems, your milage may very depending on state or region).
With the main issue of the router just not working for people being out of the way I have not encountered any freezing or dropping of wi-fi signal with the device as others have seen.
TP-Link has provided a very good and full-featured web interface for configuring, monitoring and updating the systems firmware easily while also providing many options found on higher priced routers.
I updated the firmware upon receiving and configuring the router and have not had any issues since. I am very impressed with the update frequency of firmware by TP-Link and hope that it continues with all their products.
I was very impressed by this unit for the value and found no major flaws or functional issues when properly configured and set up to my networks needs. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to upgrade to the new AC Wi-FI standard while also needing gigabit network speeds with an emphasis on HD streaming and management of network functions using the web interface.
I will update with another review if any problems arise but as of now this is a must have router for the value!