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Mr. S.

Mr. S.

Joined on 01/25/06

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Most Favorable Review

Excellent warranty, but slow speed holds it back.

Seagate FireCuda Gaming SSHD 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive ST2000DX002
Seagate FireCuda Gaming SSHD 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive ST2000DX002

Pros: 1. Came in a box with nice bubble wrap (static safe!) 2. 1.81 TB of space (this is good). 3. 5 year warranty! This means Seagate stands by their product! This is GREAT!

Cons: 1. Only one Con.. Speed is slooooow.

Overall Review: This drive is advertised as 5x faster than a 7200 RPM drive. Nope! Crystal Disk Mark stats below: Seq (Q32T1): 169 / 198 4k (Q32T1): 1.6 / 4.8 Seq: 197 / 202 4k: 0.89 / 4.8 So, this would be good for a storage drive only. But… I really can’t recommend this for anything else. With that said. This is one of the extremely few drives that have a standard warranty (5 years is standard for ALL electronics). Seagate MUST be commended for that!

Most Critical Review

Great for Casuals, however, it is not a security camera ...

Arlo Q - 1080p HD Wi-Fi Security Camera with 2 Way Audio with Free Arlo Basic 7-Day Cloud Storage Recording - VMC3040-100NAS
Arlo Q - 1080p HD Wi-Fi Security Camera with 2 Way Audio with Free Arlo Basic 7-Day Cloud Storage Recording - VMC3040-100NAS

Pros: Extremely easy to setup if you do not have an existing netgear account. Arlo only changed the name of “netgear” to “arlo”. Thus the need for a netgear account. The motion detector works great. The picture is very sharp. Night vision isn’t the best, but it’ll do in a pinch.

Cons: If you have a netgear account, you must reset the password in order to register the camera. This is not in any instruction manual. 10 second delay, but that’s to be expected, even on a gig network. I don’t think there’s a recent microphone in the camera. It really doesn’t pick up anything … No API at all. Meaning, this is a closed ecosystem. No option to view camera locally or even store locally directly from camera. There are no 2-way communication with Arlo Q. TOS / Privacy Policy has no place in the modern world. Your data is your data, Netgear has no right to sell or give it away to anyone. If you Agree to the policy, you don’t own your data. This is extremely over priced for a casual web cam. Let’s face it, that is all it is.

Overall Review: This is an indoors only camera, it is not meant to be outdoors in any way, shape, or form. This is not a con, it is only something to be aware of. The target audience of the camera are for those who are curious as to what goes on inside the house. I cannot think of a reason how it can be used for security as it is a closed system. When you register, you are required to pick a plan, Ranging from free to $15 a month. This makes sense when storing data on Arlo’s servers… but, you should be able to store locally. After you pick the above plan, you are presented with a secondary plan. Yes, they want you to pay twice. CVR, a brand new (netgear-only) acronym in the security camera world that stands for “continuous recording”. … … … Yeah .. $20 per month, per camera. Thankfully you can skip this cash grab plan option.

Not suitable for target audience.

devolo Magic 2 LAN triple Starter Kit
devolo Magic 2 LAN triple Starter Kit

Pros: 1. No need to run wires everywhere. Just run this to bridge gaps, But there are much safer, cheaper, and faster options out there (wifi). 2. Businesses with low bandwidth needs would love this. Auto shops, coffee shops, Kiosks. This is perfect for places with little Point of Sale machines with a LOT of airflow. 3. This could keep you warm during winter if you have a fan next to it. It runs that hot.

Cons: 1. 1/6th advertised speed. Extremely embarrassing. This is just fast enough to browse non-video websites. (-3 stars) 2. Broken hardware. Integrated power outlet does not accept plugs on the Magic 2 Lan 1-1 device. (-1 star) 3. Missing hardware. Child Safety Lock missing. (-1 star)

Overall Review: Setup: 2 gig modem Desktop with 2.5gbit lan card. Running on the same circuit breaker with power outlets 5 feet apart. Runs hot. Do not have -anything- pressed against it, it can burn.. This seems to be par for course for this type of product, making it unsuitable in living spaces. I think this would be great for businesses who have a ton of wall space, outlets up the wazoo, and really dont need much bandwidth for browsing text (not videos!) on the internet. This should be good Due to the heat alone, it is not suitable for houses. Due to the extremely low bandwidth, it is not suitable for normal usage. As it stands right now, this is unsuitable on all counts for its target audience of house owners/renters.

Is this keyboard for you? The answer is maybe, if you are new to mechanical keyboards

Corsair K70 RGB PRO Wired Mechanical Gaming Keyboard (CHERRY MX RGB Blue Switches: Tactile and Clicky, 8,000Hz Hyper-Polling, PBT DOUBLE-SHOT PRO Keycaps, Soft-Touch Palm Rest) QWERTY, NA - Black
Corsair K70 RGB PRO Wired Mechanical Gaming Keyboard (CHERRY MX RGB Blue Switches: Tactile and Clicky, 8,000Hz Hyper-Polling, PBT DOUBLE-SHOT PRO Keycaps, Soft-Touch Palm Rest) QWERTY, NA - Black

Pros: Volume wheel is an absolute must for people who dont like the default slow way (software) of changing volume. Media buttons are appreciated.

Cons: No warranty. Nothing listed in the package. Only an <empty> warranty pamphlet. Per IOS decibel meter app, Decibel = 84. Sound of a vacuum cleaner. But admit it, you bought it for the loudness. Missing iCue software. Weird buttons, (FN, hamburger). Perhaps it is a MAC thing. Missing manual, thus top left 3 buttons are for something. Palm rest is missing any kind of grip. Fonts are shorter and thinner than previous years models. USB downgraded to version 1.x (white). Not 2.x (Blue), not 3.x (Orange).

Overall Review: If this is your very first mechanical keyboard, this is -always- an upgrade over a dumb keyboard. This is a low/mid quality typical mechanical keyboard. It has the basic media and volume buttons, clicky sounds, and RGB lights. However, once you are done with the honeymoon phase, consider Searching low and high for new (in the box) earlier versions of the K70 keyboards. Preferably 2016 and older. They are made of higher quality materials, have a warranty, include a functional palm rest/grip, proper fonts, proper buttons, and contain a USB hub.

Cannot recommend, Adobe forgot to QC before release.

Adobe Premiere Elements 2021 - Windows & Mac
Adobe Premiere Elements 2021 - Windows & Mac

Pros: Once you get used to the quirks and bugs, or willing to wait until it is patched up … It isn’t too bad. 1. Comes with 3 modes, Quick, Guided, and Expert. Quick is a simple video stitching area which is PERFECT. Guided is great for those who want a little bit more. Basically, the target audience. Expert, for those who are not quite ready to jump into a real video editor. 2. Export and Share is well thought out. It has several presets as well as the ability to create custom presets. Every single video editor needs this. It is a must have and Premiere Elements fills this need perfectly. 3. Dual monitor usage is a good first step to proper multi monitor support. There should be no limitation on which windows goes to which monitor. Adobe makes a good step, and hopefully they will continue to pursue this common workflow.

Cons: 1. The start screen is still misleading. It is for Photoshop Elements, Premiere Elements, and Organizer Elements. Not only for the product you purchased. Adobe should correct this by having Premiere Elements shortcut actually start up Premiere Elements Not some kind of launch pad product. 2. No webcam support. You can select as a capture source and see the preview. But the software refuses to actually record. There is no work around for this issue at this time. 3. Application locks up/freeze when trying to import -any- video from cameras and other video devices when that device is plugged in. The work around is to copy video files onto your local hard drive, unplug the device, then start up Premiere.

Overall Review: I am a regular user of Premiere Pro, and DaVinci Resolve Studio, depending on the client’s needs. So needless to say, I am in the prosumer area and am not the target audience for this software. This software is aimed at the casual user. Think parents, and grandparents recording family videos. Things to be aware of: 1. You need a monster CPU just to play video clips with-in Premiere. A simple 2 minute clip required 70%+ cpu usage. CPU is consistently pegging at 100% with 2 clips of the same length. This is bad and the Pro version does NOT have this issue. This leads to believe this version of Premiere is severely unoptimized or uses a very old version of the premiere pro video engine or uses a different engine altogether. 2. RAM usage holds steady at roughly 7 GB. This is with 2 300 MB clips. Make sure you have more than 16 GB of RAM. 3. Roughly 9% GPU tops. Premiere doesn’t make use of a highly sought after resource that greatly enhances user experience. This is surprising from a company that created Photoshop. This leads me to believe a totally different team than Premiere Pro and Photoshop is used on this project. I use the While previous versions of Premiere Elements worked much better. Unfortunately, it appears that this version did not pass basic quality control as basic functionality breaks the application. I cannot recommend this software until Adobe fixes the basic issues. You have a few options at this point. 1. Stick to an older version of Elements. 2020 is quite a bit more stable than this version and the features actually work. Use a fuller fledge video editor software, there are several out there but only 2 major ones that are used by all professionals. 2. Premiere Pro. While Adobe stopped selling this years ago. They now have a rent model. If you are willing to throw money at it monthly, this is a good solid route to upgrade. 3. Davinci Resolve. This software is a one time purchase. Plus it includes the After Effects and audio editing equivalent. Whatever you choose, training is your friend. Be it youtube videos or official training. Review PC: I7-8700K 64 GB RAM GeForce GTX 1080 Cameras: Fujifilm X-T20 IPhone 11 Pro Max Logitech Brio

Excellent value in a small package. Perfect for office and school work.

ASUS ZenBook 14 UX431FN-IH74 Ultra-thin and Light 14-inch FHD Laptop, Intel Core i7-8565U, 16 GB RAM, 512 GB PCIE SSD, GeForce MX150, Windows 10, Silver Blue
ASUS ZenBook 14 UX431FN-IH74 Ultra-thin and Light 14-inch FHD Laptop, Intel Core i7-8565U, 16 GB RAM, 512 GB PCIE SSD, GeForce MX150, Windows 10, Silver Blue

Pros: For photo editing, I used the top two editors, Photoshop and Affinity. I also threw in Lightroom. Any two programs will not max out the RAM with editing between four photos. I did not detect any stuttering or lagging. This is great for photographers on the go. Want to do a school picture session? Good laptop for that. For video editing, I used one of the top software available. DaVinci Resolve 15. I was able to throw 3, 12 - 20 minute clips and render just fine. The notepad doesn’t come with the appropriate amount of space for editing, and there’s no proper place for a scratch disk. But this will do in a pinch. For light gaming testing, I used Roblox, (stock) Minecraft, and Stardew Valley. Laptop did not ever heat, and task manager claims roughly 20% video card usage. Not too bad. Browsing with the top three browsers is fine. I have tested with Edge, Chrome and Firefox. With Chrome being my main browser, I was able to have 10 tabs open with no issue. Streaming from Youtube, Netflix, and Vudu is fine. I did not see any stuttering at all.

Cons: Sometime Windows Explorer will freeze when copying files. This shouldn’t happen with a computer with a SSD. However, I was copying to and from various folders. A secondary SSD should reduce the freeze duration. USB3 and USBC speeds are slow. A steady 24MB/s across the board. Speeds are supposed to be at least 200 MB/s. Whatever USB chips ASUS uses… they really cheaped out. ASUS can fix this by using proper USB chips in the laptop. Fingerprint reader is NOT big enough to read the whole finger. When you setup Windows 10, it has to read various angles of your finger. A bigger fingerprint reader, and definitely not on touchpad. Audio is very low, even when volume is maxed out, even if you use a headset. There’s something about the sound chip that keeps the volume actually low. It is best to use a headset to try to get as much volume as possible.This seems like another cheap chip in the notepad.

Overall Review: The unit came in a nice shiney box with a power cord and a quickstart manual. It takes 3 hours to charge before first use with battery. This is due to shipping issues with batteries. I have reviewed the notebook based on Asus’ stated target audience. A summary based on the product’s website is the ability to stream video from services such as Netflix, light gaming, photo editing, and video editing. I have updated Windows with the latest patches. I have also NVidia Experience for the recommended game video settings. Overall, it is not an overall bad notebook. Great for everyday usage in an office or out to travel. While it has very low on disk space, it can handle external drives just fine. This is a nice lightweight notebook that should be good enough to occupy your time away from your desktop.

12/15/2019