Date Joined: 11/11/06
Pros: 4K HDR OLED display is incredibly nice, aluminum construction gives it a premium feel, Windows 10 Pro included by default.
Cons: Had some weird hardware issues that sorted themselves out, WiFi card is terrible, could use more USB-C ports.
Overall Review: This laptop is top notch and you get a lot for your money. It's hard to find 4K HDR panels, even those that are VESA HDR 400 certified. I'm also surprised at how good the cooling is for the laptop.Feels pretty solid thanks to the aluminum body and it has a massive battery. It will sip electricity when asked and it will gulp electricity when asked. 8-core i7 paired with a GTX 3060 mobile is also nice. It has dynamic boost and the max TDP of the GPU is 105W.I had some initial issues with 4K HDR even when plugged in. I don't know why, but the laptop had a VERY hard time rendering HDR in 4K. Like 4K res. If I played a video in 1080p or 720p on 4k res, it still had issues. After some driver updates it performs a lot better now. I KNOW this has to be Intel's fault because on my desk I have a 4K HDR display and the laptop runs just fine because the integrated GPU sits idle.Speaking of Intel, WiFi is also incredibly disappointing. Whenever I use a hotspot, it has issues maintaining a connection. I don't understand why. At home it's perfectly stable. Just with hotspots and portable devices...
Pros: -An 8 core i7, RTX 3060, and a 240Hz display for how much?? You get a lot for your money
-A SD card slot?? take my money!
Cons: -Random hardware issues
-No thunderbolt port
-Only 6GB of VRAM
Overall Review: I wanted a laptop to replace my aging gaming laptop and to be somewhat powerful as my desktop but won't gulp down 500W. This seemed to fit the bill. Perfect for video editing on Premiere Pro on the go.
It feels pretty good, it's pretty light which makes it nice to carry around. There's a massive 99Wh battery so it'll last a while. I'm glad hardware has advanced to the point where laptops with powerful hardware can now start reaching thin and light territory.
A lot of care and engineering went into making these laptops and it shows. The bottom is very well ventilated. The fans are quiet but when they need to ramp up, it dumps heat which makes the CPU and GPU cool.
Early on when I powered it on and connected it to my dual 4k displays, it would freeze up. It still does it but not to where it was before.
Just recently the BT chip on it acting up. Disabled/enabled, uninstalled/reinstalled device (yes even hit the delete drivers button) and it never came back up. Did though on a reboot. Not very confidence inspiring. Two days after writing this review, now the wireless goes out frequently.
I really like this laptop so I want to believe that the hardware issues were caused by a package delay, caused by a train derailment per my tracking. There is seriously some top notch hardware.
Be warned that this iteration does NOT have the mechanical keys! the previous iteration with the RTX 20 gpus do. This wasn't a make or break deal but was kind of disappointing. The keys are REALLY nice to type on. It's soft yet the feeling of pushing a button is there.
I don't understand why nVidia decided to pair up the almighty RTX 3060 with only 6GB of VRAM. I do 4k gaming at times and sometimes I have the settings turned up all the way in games that chew up all 6GB.
Unfortunately I'm returning this laptop due to the hardware issues but ordered a replacement. I do think this is a solid brand and a solid laptop model.
Pros: I'm a sucker for lighting so I love the color lights on the fans and pump
Keeps temps VERY cool
I love the mounting hardware, it's really effortless
Cons: 280mm radiators are always tricky to install. Not really a con, but I could only align the radiator to two mounting points on my case
Overall Review: I actually had a previous version of the hydro series. What was nice was that I could reuse the back plate mount so installation was a lot faster. The previous hydro, I could mount it to 6 points on my case, but unfortunately I could only align this to two points. It's still secure though.
The previous hydro, on idle would keep my i7 6800k at 32C idle and 38C at load. This one keeps it at 26C idle and 32C at load. So there's a significant improvement there. Lights and cooler temps- what more can a PC gamer can ask for?
It's nice to see Corsair improved on an already stellar product. I would highly recommend this cooler if you're looking for great performance and a little flair.
Pros: Great capacity, SSD cache works well, great price, small
Overall Review: I was looking to double my laptop's hard drive capacity and this fit the bill. I've had nothing but good experiences with SSHDs from Seagate. My first SSHD was an old Momentus XT.
SSHDs are a good compromise in general- if you have an older laptop can't fit a M2 SSD and/or don't want to sacrifice your 2.5" drive slot for a lower capacity SSD.
Because the SSD portion serves as a cache, give Windows a few good reboots after you're done installing. The drive will learn to cache those OS files and you'll be booting fast in no time. Don't expect the drive to be fast the first time around because that's the nature of the SSHD.
Pros: Good price for capacity, performance is on par with SSDs for this price range, incredible endurance rating
Cons: Some stuttering observed during initial Windows load but not since then
Overall Review: It's pretty amazing how far we've come with SSD development. I say that every year like a broken record, but the SSD market is constantly evolving. The plethora of manufacturers ensures steady competition. Because of demand, I'm quite surprised that SSD prices haven't really gone up. I started with my first SSD in 2010. 64GB and 90MB/s write speeds were the norm.
Now you might be wondering why on Earth should you get a 500GB drive. If you're new to the SSD arena, this is what you can expect:
64GB- Windows and Office only
128GB- Windows and a few essential applications
256GB- Windows, applications, and a game or two
500GB- Everything above + quite a few games
SSDs are recommended to load Windows, because that's where you'll notice the performance gains the most. But have you tried running games like Battlefield 1 on a normal hard drive? It's painfully slow. This is where the luxury of a higher capacity drive comes in.
Getting information from the internet, the controller is a Marvell 88SS1074. The endurance rating of this product is an astounding 200TB. It uses Sandisk 3D NAND TLC flash. The focus back in 2010 was all about write limits instead of endurance rating. While TLCs are less durable than MLCs, they are also significantly cheaper. And also keep in mind that the larger the capacity, the longer it will last. Formatted capacity is 465GB.
Now you can expect around 500-550MB/s sequential read and write from most drives these days. This device meets and exceeds its rated speeds in a popular benchmarking tool. Here are some numbers if you care:
Sequential Read w/ Multi thread performance was 561.3MB/s
Sequential Write w/ Multi thread performance was 518.0MB/s
Random 4K Read W/ Multi thread performance was 309MB/s (Reported IOPS 75437.5)
Random 4K Write W/ Multi thread performance was 293.2MB/s (Reported IOPS 69137.7)
Sequential Read, Single Queue performance was 512.9MB/s
Sequential Write, Single Queue performance was 469.2MB/s
Random 4K Read, Single Queue performance was 41.07MB/s (Reported IOPS 10026.1)
Random 4K Write Single Queue performance was 108.4MB/s (Reported IOPS 26475.6)
Me personally, I don't really follow numbers as long as the performance is what I expect it to be. This drive is already several times faster than a traditional SSD. I own a lot of SSDs. Every computer I own or bought for family has a SSD by now. The laptop I tested this on had a M2 SSD from a major, well known (and premium) manufacturer. It's not an NVMe drive and it puts out similar numbers (slightly lower) to this SSD. Windows boots up real fast as expected, with fast boot turned off. Any games I own that have significant load times are put on this SSD and they load a lot faster than the SSHD I have.
Of note, I did observe some stuttering post installation of Windows 10. This is interesting to me, because the SSD I also had in here previously had stuttering issues, but it was more severe than this WD drive. I only have 2 M2 SSDs in my possession and I don't know if this is a characteristic of the M2 form factor or what. I've never had a problem with that on my 2.5" SSDs. I have not noticed stuttering afterwards. It could be that it was pushing a lot of data, I tend to run several installs at once and it probably didn't help that Windows was grabbing updates at the same time. I am not concerned about this at all and you shouldn't be alarmed if you notice it.
This drive performs well and has an incredible endurance rating. It should last you a very long time. Top marks, highly recommended.
Pros: Easy setup, can use ATX power supplies, good build quality
Cons: Instructions are terrible, but the setup is obvious enough that you shouldn't need too much help.
Overall Review: I wanted a case that would fit ITX motherboards but allow me to use an ATX power supply. As a PC builder, one thing we should never skimp on is the component that provides the lifeblood of our machines. So this option was highly preferable for me, than buying a $50 ITX case with a 700W power supply from a generic, no name company.
If you can, I highly recommend you go with a FULLY MODULAR power supply. When I had to connect all the system cables onto random points throughout the board, cable management went out the window. You're relegated to mashing the HDD bracket on the top on the power supply cables and shoving the top of the case shut. I had to watch to make sure that the power cables did not hit the CPU fan. Honestly, I don't understand how you could comfortably install a small form factor graphics card, that has dual fans. But I suppose you can make do when you come across that bridge.
UPDATE: I did throw in a midrange video card, single slot width. No PCIe connector needed GPU. It works but the space is very tight...
Pros: Plenty of power, Semi modular, Heavy, Japanese capacitors, runs cool
Cons: A little bit long. Not a con for most gamers, but don't expect to shove this in a tight case.
Overall Review: I needed a good power supply to handle my gaming beast. Core i7 6800k, water cooler with a 280mm radiator and 2 fans, 3 case fans, 4 hard drives, 1 sound card, and 2 GTX 970s. Clearly this was overkill for my needs because my power meter says it's drawing 450W. But with that amount of overhead, I am sure I will be able to feed the beast for many years to come.
Some people bash the semi modular power supply but I don't really understand it. I get it- but I don't think it's a huge con. All of the "non modular" cables are essential cables you're going to use.
The unit is heavy. And we all know that in this business, heavy = quality. This thing is quiet too. Japanese capacitors are just the cherry on the top.
Pros: Feels very high quality, compatible with major AC router speeds, antennas are nice
Cons: If you don't have a CD drive, download the drivers to a USB stick
Overall Review: I really like TP-Link network products, they seem to offer great quality products at reasonable prices. This monster of a wireless card has a pretty heavy duty heatsink, it actually enhances the premium look of the product but don't be fooled! The heatsink isn't window dressing- it does get warm!
Performance wise, it is able to talk to my router and max out my internet connection of 120Mbps on 5GHz. 110Mbps on 2.4GHz. I have stutter free 4k video streaming from the internet and the ping times from FPS games are decent and nothing out of the ordinary. Interestingly, one of the driver options mentions beamforming.
As stated in the cons section- Windows 10 does not include native drivers for this card. We've become VERY spoiled with built in driver support over the years... but if your computer does not have a CD drive, you will need to download the drivers beforehand or on a usb stick from another computer. There are nothing wrong with the drivers- and the drivers work well.
Nothing too spectacular- open up your case, install the card and antenna, install the drivers, and you're up and running. TP-Link doesn't bother you with their own special wireless software like some other manufacturers do. They keep things simple and functional. At the end of the day, isn't that what users want? I recommend this product if you're trying to free your (or a) desktop from as much wires as possible.
Pros: Sleek design, great range, easy to use router interface, router works well on both wifi bands, integrated USB print server, beamforming (yes this is a big deal)
Cons: Router is lightweight (see other comments), the power plug is HUGE and can sag or take up a lot of space
Overall Review: I've always been very impressed at the quality of TP-Link products. I have really not had one single problem with them and this product is no exception. Very easy to set up. Plug in your internet cable and any other wired ethernet cables, then log in with the provided wifi password or via ethernet. Change the SSID and password to your liking and you're up and running.
A common feature found on high midrange routers and above is beamforming technology. This is a big deal- without beamforming you will get dead spots in your home or weak areas but this feature allows the router to focus a signal to your devices, increasing signal strength. A room that may have had 2-3 bars and 10Mbps may find itself getting 4-5 bars and 60-70! So it is very nice that this router supports this feature. It's obviously not going to be a miracle worker- it won't help with thick walls, etc. but it does help.
TP-Link has a pretty slick print server feature via USB. You can take any inkjet or USB printer you have and plug it into this machine and centralize your printing. No need to run to someone in your family to get you to print something. I have set this up for another family member and it works flawlessly. You do need to play with it because you need to install the printer drivers first and then the TP-Link software. But it does work well.
Performance seems to be good, I have about 7 wireless devices and 3 wired devices connected to it. I know I can definitely max out my internet connection (120Mbps). On 5GHz I'll get the full 120, but on 2.4 I'll "only get" 110Mbps. Respectable numbers. My internet connection, computer, and this router can handle 4k video streams from the internet well.
TP-Link has one of the cleanest router interfaces. While advanced doesn't expose too many crazy features found on premium high end routers, it still gives you a lot of room to work with. I don't think the average user will have a hard time navigating and configuring this router. It's definitely not overwhelming. There are also help tabs that are ACTUALLY USEFUL. I've seen some routers with terrible help. For example, they will say "DNS means DNS"- definitely not the case with the help provided here.
While plugging the hardware in I am disappointed in a few minor things that don't impact the function of the router. It's VERY lightweight. This means that if you're like me and have all ethernet ports plugged in, they can push the router and knock it over. So make sure the wifi cables are straightened out instead of bunched up. Also, the power adapter is huge and unfortunately the prongs are in the huge adapter. This means it will easily take up 2 spaces on a power strip- perhaps even 3 if they're not spaced adequately. In my experience, huge adapters like this also have the potential to sag a bit.
Some minor design inconveniences, but this is a very solid router from TP-Link. If you're looking for a basic, reliable, and very high quality router, I think this will suit you just fine.
Pros: Cheap and reliable, cheaper than a single desktop DDR3 stick??
Overall Review: A basic, no frills RAM stick for laptops or mini ITX systems that take laptop sticks. Works well and that's all I care about!
Pros: Very decent price, performs as good as any other SSD*, should I list the advantages of having an SSD? :D (hint: it's VERY fast!)
Overall Review: I've been buying SSDs since they were first becoming affordable for consumers in 2010. Don't let the TLC flash scare you off- there was a big MLC vs SLC debate back 6 years ago. Yes, theoretically it is less durable but that is really offset by the huge capacity. The greater the capacity, the less wear there is on all cells.
Does it have seventy quintillion IOPS like the other major high end makes? Of course not, but if you're a budget user, there's a threshold where all you get are diminishing returns. I recommend you look at reviews before you buy parts if you want the raw numbers but I'll tell you this. I use this on my main rig with no problems whatsoever. It's fast and responsible- that's really all I care about. As far as I can tell, the performance is pretty similar to a M.2 SSD I installed on my laptop. And that's a premium brand too!
With this disk, the capacity is there so I can run more than one operating system and a productivity suite on a hard drive. As these high capacity drives become cheaper, it will eventually become possible to just run with a SSD instead of a combo SSD and HDD. If you're looking for "my first SSD" drive, I recommend this. OCZ always has been a solid hardware brand and Toshiba is also a major name-brand manufacturer.
Oh, and my OCZ SSD from 2010 is still running. Though it's funny how at the time I thought it was really fast. I can tell you that it is painfully slower than this 'budget' SSDs!
Pros: This thing is a behemoth! Quality feeling hardware (i.e. not cheap), 8 antennas, Some pretty interesting tech features, LED lights on the back for network activity
Cons: Could hear a piece of plastic rolling inside device, Issues with 5GHz low band (see other for more details)
Overall Review: This thing is great! One thing you'll notice is that once you decide to spend money on an actual router, all those annoying little "internet problems" go away. This router is no exception! If you're used to smaller routers, your jaw will drop at the massive size of this thing. It's huge and takes up a lot of space. To me that's not a downside, I own things that occupy more space than this. If you throw your router in a cramped corner... it's time to find a different space and it shouldn't be in a poorly ventilated area anyway.
The power adapter is also a point of interest on this device. You'll note that it is rated at... 12V and 5A. 5 Amps! The power brick is rated for 60W! now you know you're going to be getting some very good performance out of this device.
So you can imagine my excitement when I opened up the box. Well that excitement was doused with a little bit of disappointment when I could hear a piece of plastic rolling around inside. This could be the delivery carrier's fault. But I figure it probably won't hurt anything.
As with all high performance routers, this will take a while to start up. There is a nice, high quality display on the router. The lights in the back flash with activity. Another category I judge a product on is how good the out of box experience is and it's somewhere in the middle of the pack. The reason is because if you're on the set up page and close it, the webpage comes back up saying the router isn't completely set up (duh) and will ask you to RESET the router. So remember to not close the window when you're setting it up! The router also wants you to RESET your modem so it can detect an internet connection. I did this only to see that the router wasn't detecting a connection. You can skip this step because the router apparently can't detect the internet automatically. When of course, it can because when you skip it and you realize the internet is there.
Now the built in web page doesn't like it when you're using a mobile browser, but you can fix that if you set your browser to view in desktop mode.
The software uses an interesting piece of technology called SmartConnect Band Steering. What I assume this does is it either looks to see what you're doing and places you in either the high band 5GHz side or low band 5GHz or it just places you in the high or low 5GHz band depending on how many devices are connected to it. A very interesting concept. So yes, this device makes use of 3 radios- 2.4GHz, Low band 5GHz, High band 5GHz. This is VERY neat for households with lots of wireless devices, like mine.
While it is a neat concept, I ran into trouble with it. My devices would not connect if it was not close to the router. I eventually forced the router to deploy all the bands independently- each with their own names. While the high band 5GHz works, it seems it does not like the low band 5GHz. So in essence, I cannot use one of the bands. Disappointing. I wonder if this is related to the plastic piece rolling I mentioned earlier.
This beast uses THREE BCM4366 chips. That's right, the 2.4GHz radio isn't some junk. They're all three high quality BCM chips.
The performance is absolutely stellar. The 5GHz listed is for the HIGH BAND only:
Close to router (internet rated for 110/10)
2.4GHz -16dBm 110/10
5GHz -33dBm 140/10
2.4GHz -49dBm 52/10
5GHz -57dbm 92/10
Basement (basically under the router)
2.4GHz -45dBm 60/10
5GHz -55dbm 110/10
Basement (furthest from the router)
2.4GHz -56dBm 28/10
5GHz -73dBm 59/10
Very respectable numbers. Overall I am sure my inability to use the low band 5GHz is just a fluke. I did take 1 egg off because the out of box experience wasn't the best and the issues with the low band 5GHz. Like I said, I think these are just flukes with my unit. I am sure you won't have any problems at all. Another fine product from Linksys.
Pros: Sleek design, touchscreen is a HUGE plus, great performance
Cons: I honestly don't see any cons with this device
Overall Review: I think TP-Link has THE perfect device on their hands. By adding a touchscreen, device setup is SIGNIFICANTLY simplified.
When you first boot up the router, you actually adjust the settings on the touch screen itself. You don't understand how much this simplifies things. For the average user, it may be tedious and bothersome to go into the router settings to adjust the name and password accordingly. So this works very well. You can adjust almost everything- including what channels you want the band to be on as well as setting up guest wifi access.
If you thought the touchscreen was the best thing about the device, you are in for a treat. The performance is stellar. I have this device in the 2nd floor of my home. I can max out my home internet in the basement (110Mbps) on the 5GHz band. A little less (80Mbps) on 2.4GHz. I have not encountered any performance issues whatsoever. Accessing the router setting through a browser is nice too. TP link has a very clean and modern UI that is pleasing to the eye.
Additional bonuses include being able to set up a print server. You can take a regular USB printer and connect it to this router for centralized printing. No more having to go find the printer and hook it up. It is a great modern convenience. For the average user, it explains things nicely.
With great performance, ease of use, and a refined UI, I cannot recommend this router enough. I would give it 6 eggs if I could- it's that good. I know personally if anyone I know is in need of a new router, I will recommend this without hesitation.
Pros: No messy wires running across the home, good performance, easy to use, surprisingly good range
Overall Review: This device is great! I currently have LAN wires running across the home and I've been meaning to find a good solution to this. We have so many devices, it cripples even the best wireless routers we can find. Our cable modem and router are located on the 2nd floor but my computer is located in the basement. I was surprised that the two devices could talk to each other- despite being that far apart.
Performance is a little lower than expected. I am seeingabout 70-80Mbps while my wireless can reach 110Mbps easily. But there isn't a picture perfect solution to everything. It's not wireless which can drop off randomly and it increases safety by eliminating open wires. I do notice on occasion the random lag spike- probably due to the circuit line quality. But it doesn't happen often and the performance is solid. I have yet to add more PoE adapters but definitely plan on doing so.
If you've been looking at using PoE in your home I highly recommend this product!
Pros: Very reasonable price, makes great rice, does not feel cheap
Cons: No cons!
Overall Review: Could not ask for more from a basic rice cooker. I was very surprised because it does not feel cheap at all. Not having an LCD screen took some time getting used to, but I prefer the 4 large buttons. The cooker does turn itself off after awhile which is nice. Highly recommended.
Pros: Huge thermal capacity, pleasing aesthetics, high quality build, coolant pipes are HUGE, Corsair software is a definite bonus and you can change the LED color of the pump unit.
Cons: Mounting screws are initially loose and I wish this was explained in the manual. Read more in other for details.
Overall Review: I had a 240mm liquid cooler on my desktop and was gratefully given the opportunity to review this unit. Corsair makes very top quality products and the performance of this product did not disappoint me. However, I was completely caught off guard and unprepared on how big this thing was. My desktop has a full ATX case and this radiator was a tight fit. I just want you to know that you really need to plan ahead if you plan on purchasing this.
I've always loved water coolers ever since I got my first water cooler- my main draw was that I didn't have to deal with those horrible push pins someone thought was a good idea. Sometimes they push in fine; sometimes they don't. I have used enough force before to bend pins on a motherboard!
Installation was easy; but unlike the water cooler I had installed the mounting brackets don't actually sit tight with the initial set of screws and it will flop up and down. THIS IS NORMAL- I wish Corsair had explained this in their manual. It wasn't until I stumbled upon a video stating a bit of play was normal.
Because of the tight space I actually had to remove the CPU power plug from my motherboard and remove all of my RAM. The radiator slid in easily but I had to fight the hoses a little bit (but that's really not unexpected of any water cooler). The cooler comes with thermal paste included and all you need to do is remove the plastic cover, place the pump on top of the cpu, and take the final thumb screws and secure it in place. Magically, the mounting bracket now stays in place. Remember to criss-cross the screws and not tighten them to one side. Easy peasy installation with just a screwdriver and no other tools!
Now for the numbers. I have a Core i5 4670k, overclocked to 4.5GHz. At idle the CPU is at 23C- that's 7C lower than my 240mm water cooler. At load the CPU bounces from 40C to 50C- my 240mm cooler would hit peaks of 55-56C so this is definitely an improvement.
The pump is actually pretty quiet- the fans are a little loud. My case has 5 fans though so the sound blends in. Want to see how quiet it can get? You can download the Corsair link software and change the profile. The USB data cable is a very nice touch from the pump unit. Did you know that you can change the LED color too?! It's great!
I really wasn't expecting much better heat dissipation but the numbers do not lie. I highly recommend this item if you are in the market for a water cooler.
Pros: Solid build quality, backlight LED is great, premium feel and the cherry red switches complement this perfectly, replacement keys included to distinguish commonly used gaming keys (WASD, for example).
Cons: I really can't think of anything. This keyboard is solid all around.
Overall Review: I immediately thought highly of this keyboard when I took it out of the box. The build quality is solid- I was very impressed. It is a lot better than other mechanical switch keyboards. The space keyboard is textured which is very nice. Also included are keycaps to distinguish commonly used gaming keys if you so desire and it also includes a key puller. It also has a volume wheel, which is textured and also has a premium feel when you move it up and down.
The keyboard is actually a unit by itself, and has a separate wrist rest that you can use with it if you so desire.
The brightness is adjustable- 3 levels and off.
MX Cherry red switches have a very nice feeling. You can definitely actuate the keys without bottoming the key out.\
I have no reservations in recommending this product. It is a solid corsair product!
Pros: Great design (I'm a big fan of the "less is more" thing), gigabit ethernet ports seem to work well, nice and clean interface.
Cons: Wireless did not work at all (see other thoughts), default WiFi password was incorrect, administrative password is complex and requires some thought when typing in.
Overall Review: Performance was outstanding, around 950Mbps from PC to PC file transfers and this could handle my max internet speed of 120Mbps. However, when I went to test the wireless- I could never get it to work. The default password did not work, so I went into it through my desktop and the default password was completely different than the set password! Something doesn't sound right here does it? I set the password to something else and it still fails to connect.
Perhaps this could have been a great and lengthy review, but it was stopped short due to the router underperforming. Having a product like this DOA is unacceptable, much less have the WRONG default password for the WiFi.
I understand that some units can be defective and may not represent other functional units, but the presentation was deplorable. It would be one thing if the wireless did not work, but certainly another when the default set password was wrong than what was written on the label and still having it not work. To me trendnet was a decent brand (I own several wireless AC dongles from this manufacturer) but this has me reconsidering this brand for router needs.
Pros: Convenient cable modem and wifi router all in one solution, router has a high quality feeling to it, router/modem management menu is very clean and sleek, stellar WiFi performance, very good cable modem performance.
Cons: Because this is a modem/router combo, if your modem is normally in an area that isn't ideal for best wireless coverage you're probably going to need a powerline Ethernet adapter or use a wireless router in bridge mode to extend the network. MAC address on the sticker also doesn't match the one shown on the firmware... but it still works?
Overall Review: I've always disliked cable modem/wireless router combos solely for the reason that I had a misconception that they were probably not going to work as well as a separate cable modem and router solution.
Boy was I wrong.
My cable modem is something my family bought in 2006 from our cable company. It's served us well over the years and recently was able to give us all 110Mbps when our service was upgraded. I was content, until I plugged this modem in and started seeing speeds of 140-150Mbps peak at times. I NEVER saw speeds like that on our cable modem.
Not only that, but the wireless works REALLY well. We have a very high end router in our home and I am surprised because I think the wireless performance in this device even surpasses that. Our cable modem is on the 2nd floor and I was very worried about whole house coverage. The 140Mbps I mentioned earlier? I get that in my basement. Of all places, it's able to reach down low and top out at 140.
The user interface is very clean and organized. The colors also match very well, it's definitely not going to be something that's intimidating to users who aren't familiar with computers. There are two tabs: basic and advanced. Want a simple interface? Select basic. Want more control and details? Choose advanced. It's as easy as that!
The other huge plus I like about the wireless is the fact that you can actually force it to allocate 40MHz in the 2.4GHz band, not something many routers can do. Usually they want to be less greedy- you can choose 20MHz or auto select between 20 and 40. Not with this baby- allocate to your heart's content! You can also manually select the channel width for 5GHz- 20, 40, or 80. But because 5GHz is relatively not crowded there's no reason not to set it to 80 and uncork that tap.
Installing the modem was a breeze. My cable company isn't one of the top (i.e. numerous) providers in the US but with a call I was able to get this up and running with no hitches. Although, the MAC address did not match between what the sticker showed and the firmware. It worked anyway which I thought was weird.
Rest assured, this is a VERY solid product and I would not hesitate recommending this to my family or friends who need a good cable modem and router solution for their home. I do not have any reservations and highly recommend this to you.
Pros: Lightweight, full version of Windows 8.1, display is pretty good, bundled keyboard/mouse is VERY convenient, great battery life, very good Windows 8.1/10 performance
Cons: OBE was a little rough around the edges, 2.4GHz WiFi only, going into Google yields a security certificate error
Overall Review: This product is a Windows 8.1 tablet that has an Intel Atom CPU running at a base clock of 1.33GHz and a "burst" clock of 1.83GHz. There are some applications that definitely do run slower due to the CPU, but you will not notice anything different at all performing day to day tasks.
The charger outputs at 5V, 2A which I was surprised at. It seems that this tablet at least is very energy efficient.
The initial experience was less than pleasing. OBE had actually not been set up, so I was very surprised that when I got my unit that there was an account set up called "administrator" and I could hardly do anything. Once you log in with administrator, you're still unable to do anything. There is a pop up box that asks if you want to initialize the OBE process, do this and don't ignore it like I did.
I was a little worried that this tablet would have trouble running Windows 10, as it is a resource hog on my desktop machine. However it has no trouble running with 2GB of RAM and on the quad core CPU. Be prepared for a very long installation, I had to leave mine sitting overnight.
That being said, the fact that this is a genuine x86-64 cpu is fantastic. Web streaming seems to actually work pretty well. The mouse and keyboard attachment is very nice to have and I'm actually pleased with the quality of the accessory. It's not wireless which is a huge plus, as you won't need batteries to power the thing.
The device is surprisingly loud and the speakers are clear. The touchscreen is super responsive. WiFi is unfortunately limited to only 2.4GHz. It would have been nice to see 5GHz, especially for more crowded areas where there may be interference going on in the 2.4GHz range.
My only issue with the unit so far is that every time I try and go into Google, it yields a security certificate error. It makes me a little nervous about actually using the device with my personal information. Besides that, this device seems to be pretty solid.
Overall I am very pleased and surprised that the build quality and performance. I did not expect this high level of a product from this manufacturer.
If you were wanting to try out a hybrid tablet with an actual "full blown" x86-64 CPU, I highly recommend you give this a buy. I also recommend that you purchase a 64-128GB microSD card for this machine so you can hold more applications/photos. The Windows 10 upgrade WILL require more disk space, so be prepared to either have a microSD card or an external drive handy.
Pros: Easy installation, great cooling solution, good build quality, the pump is pretty quiet.
Cons: Included fans are noisy.
Overall Review: I started looking heavily into overclocking recently. My old i5 2500 could overclock decently with the stock air cooler, but my i5 4670k was burning up at 75-80C core temps! And it could barely go past 4.4GHz. After a friend of mine told me the wonders of liquid cooling, I decided to get this kit.
Installation is a breeze and works well with the Rosewill Thor V2 case. The included fans are noisy though- they're 4 PIN fans and I think I may lower the fan speed to quiet them down.
My core temps idle at 30C and at load 45-50C which is significantly better than 75C! With the stock fan it was idling at 44C. I highly recommend this to anyone on the fence about liquid cooling.
Pros: Simple set up, small footprint, ethernet port is a nice touch, extender menu is pretty simplified.I did not have to jump through hoops to get both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands working.
Cons: Honestly I can't think of any. The only complaint I have is with network extenders in general, in which case if your router still emits a strong signal your devices may connect to that instead of the range extender.
Overall Review: This little device is a range extender, meant to be set in an area where you get medium signal strength to get to those hard to reach areas.
My home internet runs at 120Mbps, which I am able to get the full 120 on 5GHz and 90 on 2.4GHz. I was expecting to get half this speed on the range extender but I was pleased with the performance. On 5GHz I was able to get 65Mbps down and 10Mbps up. On 2.4GHz I was able to get 48Mbps down and 10Mbps up.
I tested the speeds with my phone which is pretty portable but unfortunately it does not give me the negotiated link speed between the extender and the device. I got a 2nd device out but it did not seem to want to connect to the router, so I am unable to give link speeds.
My wireless router shows that this extender is connected through the 5GHz band, without a simultaneous 2.4 and 5Ghz connection. Not that this is a bad thing, It would probably be best to prevent multiple devices from connecting to the extender as it may quickly saturate the connection.
From my testing this seems to be a pretty excellent range extender. I have no hesitations or reservations on recommending it for your needs.
Pros: Lightweight, simple to set up, gigabit ethernet ports (some routers don't even have this), clean UI
Cons: 5GHz band acted weird (see below), range is about average for this price range, less than stellar throughput, not recommended if your internet speeds are above 50Mbps.
Overall Review: The Archer C2 AC750 is more of a budget oriented router, carrying a wireless chip that supports 2x2:2 MIMO on the 2.4GHz band and 1x1:1 "MIMO" on the 5GHz band. It supports up to 433Mbps on 5GHz and 300Mbps on 2.4GHz.
With the ethernet cable directly plugged in, I was able to achieve my ISP's maximum stated speed of 120Mbps. Wireless performance however, was disappointing. Being 4-5ft away from the router, I was only able to achieve 80Mbps on the 5GHz band and 70 on the 2.4G band. The furthest point away from the router, which is about 100ft, the router was able to achieve 67Mbps in the 5G band and 14Mbps on the 2.4G band.
The results are a little disappointing, given that the max speeds are well above my ISP's stated speeds. While the routers aren't expected to top out at the rated speeds, the fact that I received speeds under my maximum internet speeds was disappointing. The range is quite average for a router in this price point.
I also had a slight problem with this router, for awhile I absolutely could not connect to the 5GHz band. It would connect, and proceed to disconnect me. When I looked at available SSIDs the 5GHz was simply not there. It wasn't until I renamed it that it showed up again and I was able to connect to it. I am not sure if a defective device is to blame for the subpar speeds or the weird 5GHz issue.
My regular router's price point is well above this router and comparing the two is unfair. However, I will list those speeds because it may form a bias against this router. I am able to easily hit over 100Mbps even at the furthest point away from the router on the 5Ghz band and 80Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. I will admit, it is such a wide performance discrepancy that may add to my disappointment.
For all intents and purposes, this seems like a fine router for light home use. If your internet speeds are higher than 50Mbps or you have multiple users in your household, I suggest you look for a different router.
Pros: Sleek design, USB 3.0 ports are a definite plus, simple and easy to set up, Wireless AC support, Able to select between 20/40MHz channels, very good network performance
Cons: Can't think of any, maybe if the wifi range was a little better it would be amazing.
Overall Review: This is a pretty neat little router from TP-LINK. Over the years I have been burned by many entry level routers with them usually failing or acting weird within 6-8 months. In my frustration I ended up purchasing a somewhat high end router so that is what I have to compare with to this mid range model. After reviewing this router, I kind of wish I had bought this router instead.
My home internet speed tops out at 50Mbps and peaks at 70Mbps bursts. I am happy to report that I am able to achieve this performance over the gigabit Ethernet link as well as the wireless 2.4 and 5GHz links.
The router is very customizable, you can even manually opt for 20 or 40MHz channels. Generally routers auto select the channel width based on how many other routers are in the vicinity. That really caught my eye, props to TP-LINK for that...
The wireless chips are QCA9558 for 2.4Ghz and QCA9880-AR1A for the 5GHz band. They are all configured in 3x3:3, so keep in mind for best performance you want an AC chip that supports 3x3:3.
Transferring files from 2.4GHz to 5GHz yielded an average speed of 13Mbps. From an Ethernet to 5GHz file transfer yielded an average of 18Mbps. These are very respectable speeds in my opinion. For comparison, my high end router from Ethernet to 5GHz yields an average of 23Mbps- I certainly didn't feel like I got what I paid for- for the high end router!
The high end router gives 5 full bars everywhere in my home. Dead spots that were previously present in my home (signal would initially be 80% then drop to 20 and die off) were now reading at 87%. This router is a little weak in terms of signal strength compared to the high end router. For a little better signal, have your 5GHz band selected to the very highest channel. The router will be forced to transmit on a higher power and therefore the range will be greater.
I have not noticed any weirdness or failures from my initial ownership of this router. If you are looking for a solid, dependable router that doesn't break the bank this is for you. I am highly impressed with this router and highly recommend it if you are in the market for a replacement.
Pros: Lights galore, mouse is light but has a quality feel to it, matte finish makes the mouse grippy, DPI buttons are very handy, scroll wheel has a nice amount of resistance to it, I absolutely love the light coming off the scroll wheel- the light also emits from the front. Gives it a cool industrial look. The logo color can be changed and you can change the effect on it.
Cons: I wish this mouse had weights but it's a very minor complaint. I guess my hands are greasy because I can see my hand oil show up on the matte finish.
Overall Review: I was initially skeptical because the mouse was very lightweight but I've grown used to it now. While it is light, the mouse glides across my mouse pad with relative ease. There is a side DPI light that I like. It changes from red, white, green, yellow, and blue. You can set this anywhere from 50 dpi to 8200 dpi. The stages are not set in stone, you could set it on a progressive scale or set them all randomly as you please. This is of course useful for flying if you don't have a joystick or for sniping in FPS games. Maybe you've become frustrated at that RTS game and need more DPI- boom! you get it instantly with a click of a button.
I really like the feel of the scroll wheel. It's not loose nor does it have a strong tactile bump like you feel with cheap mice. It's an authoritative feel and you know when it's registering your finger movement.
The lighting on the logo is nice. Maybe you feel like having a blue logo one day and maybe purple the next- go for it! you can change the lighting effects with the Corsair driver.
The matte finish is nice, I don't think I've ever had a matte finish on a mouse until now. The only complaint I have is that my finger oils start showing up on it. I guess I have to clean it more often than I normally would on other mice.
I feared that the lightweight feature would be annoying but it's pleasantly enjoyable. Generally light mice for me are the cheapo generic mice you can buy for your computers. They also have a tendency to glide across surfaces a little to easy and of course it just adds to the cheap feeling. You get no such things, happily, with this mouse.
So what are you waiting for? Stop reading this review and hit the Add to Cart button!