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This review is from: Corsair K95 Cherry MX RGB Red Mechanical Keyboard
Pros: • Seemingly unlimited individual key color choices
• Solid build with quality aluminum bezel
• Palm rest that is actually more than an afterthought
• Ease of setting color to the keys
• Drag and cover feature to color multiple keys at once
• Quality audio controls
• Sturdy braided dual USB cable for data/power
• Software is easy enough to dive into...
Cons: • …but pretty complex to master
• Need to download the software from Corsair’s site to gain access to the K95’s full feature set
• Very expensive ($190) – but you knew that going in
• No USB pass through (previous K95 revision had this feature)
• Not all keys are mechanical (“G” keys)
• Not for small desks – beastly size
• Tall keys with sensitive throw = tough to type on for anybody coming from a low profile keyboard (but you bought this for gaming, right?)
Notes will start here:
I’m a 46 year-old gamer who has little patience for learning “bells and whistles” type software. I want a nice quality mechanical keyboard so I can move freely on the battlefield. I currently run with a Logitech G710+ that has a lot less bling, but was easy to program macros to, has a great typing action with MX Cherry Brown switches, and plain white lighting. I love the G710+ -- best keyboard I’ve ever owned, and I got it for $60 less than the current cost of this Corsair K95.
I think lit keys, and programming macros, are cool – but I would never have the patience to read through a 153 page PDF to figure out how to do it. So I thought a great first test of this board would be to forgo that giant PDF, and see how things went just diving in -- and going for it. Most gamers that I know would never even bother to download a massive PDF, so I figured that would be the best way to start this review – like the average Joe, who wants to use it – not learn how to use it. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised at how things went.
First impressions on removing the K95 from its box were solid, though there was a single loose media key laying in the bag. Think it was just a fluke, as it snapped right back into place, and everything else looked great. Very large keyboard with some heft to it. Great palm rest that screws in place, and has a little padding. I usually leave the el cheapo palm rests in the box – but not this one. I type on a low profile keyboard at work, so there was definitely a learning curve on the K95. Took a couple weeks before I started typing smoothly, without a ton of typos.
Other Thoughts: Feature-wise, you have plenty of “G” keys for dedicated macros, plus multiple profiles that you can toggle from with ease. Media keys – especially the volume wheel, feel great. I will say that the high keys on the K95 make them a little harder to reach, but not too bad. Only “gotcha” – and it was a big one for me, was no USB pass through. I really thought I was just missing it, like it was behind a hidden panel. The original K95 had one – but this board requires a lot more power for all of the lighting options, increased onboard memory, etc. I also use a Belkin n52te to game with. It has a short cord – and that single USB pass through port on my Logitech G710+ is perfect for devices with short cords. That missing feature alone will prevent the K95 from dethroning the G710+. Two pieces of good news go with that complaint: it’s the ONLY thing I don’t like about the K95, and it may very well be something you don’t care about.
From a use standpoint, the K95 is excellent for gaming. Easy action on the keys, quiet enough to not drive my wife up the wall, and great illumination for playing in the dark. So how about that blind dive into utilizing the crazy lighting, and extensive macro programming features? So many reviews talk about the complexity of Corsair’s software; how glitchy it is; how clunky it is. I didn’t experience that at all.
You pay a lot of money for a board like this because of the feature set, and when you have advanced features – you have to expect a learning curve + a little required effort. The software tabs all made sense, so navigation was easy. I first started playing with the lighting, and in no time at all I had created a sweet purple/green/white color scheme. It was all just clicking keys, and selecting colors, and then dragging the mouse pointer across banks of keys, for larger scale color changes. The macros were just as easy – right-click, select an option, and it takes you to the recording screen. I really liked the dedicated “text” screen. Took me a couple of minutes to program some lengthy comebacks to be used with the in-game chat of any FPS game -- for mouthy players that don’t know when to zip it.
I think your average person can skim the K95’s manual, and really make this board sing – but you can still get advanced functionality out of it with minimal effort. That leaves something for everybody – definitely a good value.
Overall, the K95 is a great piece of gaming hardware. Yes, it’s expensive, but an average standard black unlit mechanical board will set you back $100, so the added cost should be expected, considering the versatility of the lighting features. While the lack of a USB pass through was a put-off for me, the majority of the people I game with don’t ever use them – so no loss there. Heavy feature set, reasonable setup of those great features, a sturdy build, and great accuracy with the key presses = highly recommended for the high-end gamer that the K95 is designed for.
Pros: • Lightweight in design
• Runs just slightly warm to the touch
• Power button on rear panel
• Wi-Fi disable switch on rear panel
• Extremely easy setup with WPS/Wi-Fi/Ethernet
• Reasonably priced
• Competitive warranty
• 24/7 customer service number on the front of the box
• Performance is solid in open environment
• Shipped firmware was up-to-date
• Easy to setup guest network
Cons: • Loses signal strength quickly when you add a wall into the equation
Other Thoughts: I’ve reviewed quite a few routers for Newegg, and will say that I was pleasantly surprised by the AC750. My previous experience with TP-Link routers has been a mixed bag, with ease of setup, decent feature set, and capable customer service, coupled with signal drop, and greatly reduced signal strength when you stick so much as a half-wall in between the router and the transmission area.
First off – setup was a breeze. Using the included disc, I set the AC750 up via Wi-Fi, WPS, and hardline Ethernet. Each time was extremely easy and straightforward. Anybody that can follow prompts will be good to go with setup. The AC750 is about average size for this price point, and even with the large antennas, is pretty unassuming in its appearance. Buttons for power, Wi-Fi disable, and WPS are easily accessible on the rear of the device. There is also an included USB 2.0 port that allows quick and easy network sharing. Some reviews will knock the AC750 for NOT having a USB 3.0 port, but at this price level, you see both standards across brands.
Setup area is upstairs in our 430 sq ft bonus room. I like this room for reviewing network gear, as it has a half wall + staircase that’s pretty good for separating the men from the boys when it comes to router signal degradation.
Admin panel has a decent feature set, and setting up a guest network was as easy as setting up the router itself. Speeds on both bands are comparable to my Asus RT-N65U, with a slight boost on the 5GHZ band. The Asus RT-N65U is a nice router, and considerably more expensive when not on sale, so for the TP-Link to be comparable in some basic areas is a great start. Most routers at this price level use a similar Atheros chipset, so while transfer rates will be comparable, it’s usually engineering and unit design that help determine range, and maintenance of signal strength. The previously mentioned half wall ended up being a signal killer for the AC750. I tried multiple channels, but experienced similar signal strengths on both bands. This was expected at this price point, and I have decided not to hold that piece of performance against the AC750, as its pretty standard across the board for the routers that I review. The main thing here is over a three week span – I never once had any connection issues. No dropped devices, and enough range to stream Wi-Fi programming over both bands.
Outside of not maintaining great signal strength with a wall in the way, everything about the AC750 was great. There weren’t many reviews up when I initially received the device, and most of those were not at all favorable. User skill and sample variation can be big determiners in Newegg ratings, and are often unfair depictions of what the reviewed device is really capable of doing. With AC750, you get a nice 2-year warranty, solid 24/7 customer support, and a device capable of handling video streaming, and online gaming, for (at the time of this review) -- $64. Easy recommendation h
This review is from: Pantum P2502W Wireless Monochrome Laser Printer
Pros: • Solid packaging for both printer and toner cartridge
• Compact size = small footprint on desk
• Sturdy build
• Paper catch tray folds into a closed position to help keep out dust
• Inexpensive ($50 at the time of this review)
• Wireless setup with Win8.1 is flawless with most recent driver package
• USB setup is extremely easy
• Performs within range of specified speeds
• Nice print quality
• Company appears to care about their customers (I see responses to user questions within the reviews – great to see!)
• Support site is laid out in a user friendly manner
Cons: • No network discovery using included disc for setup on Win8.1 build
• Replacement toner cartridge has been out of stock at Newegg since I received the device
• Was only able to locate the replacement toner cartridge at one online site – it was really expensive at $83
• As mentioned in another Eggxpert review, hot spot is unsecured, HOWEVER – Pantum support responded with the needed information to resolve it – very nice.
• Extremely slow support site (about as bad as the old Asus site – horrible)
Other Thoughts: Setup of the 2502W was very straightforward with a USB cable, and the included driver disc. Setup was on a machine with Win8.1 installed. Had things up and running in less than 10 minutes. Wireless setup with the included disc was not as easy. The network discovery page yielded nothing when searching for available networks to connect to. This would be with the router 10 feet away from the 2502W. I went ahead and logged into the local support page to pull IP information, and setup went without incident using manual settings. At the time of my initial install, there were no driver updates on Pantum’s extremely slow support site. That has changed in the past couple of weeks, with full support for all modern operating systems. I DLed the newest Win8.1 driver, reinstalled wirelessly – and all available networks showed up just fine.
Really pleased with the overall performance/features of the P2502W. The high majority of printing done in our home is of the document variety. Our Lexmark AIO burns through cartridges, even with “quick print” settings, so we have things setup where the 2502W handles all of our document work, and the Lexmark gets everything else. With economy ink settings, documents still look nice, and with higher quality settings – they look excellent. We've put over 300 pages through the 2502W during the past three weeks, and have had no smearing, no jams, and no lost document jobs – only excellent results. Speeds on the economy setting are right around the 24 ppm rate, and it’s nice to not have the printer shaking violently with that kind of continuous output. Definite advantage to a laser printer.
Only real concern outside of device longevity (not a lot of history with the 2502W) is the cost and availability of the toner cartridges. Newegg has been out of stock for weeks, and I was only able to locate a single online site with available stock. Price was $33 more than the Newegg offering (standard yield cartridge). I list cost as a concern, NOT because output for the price is lacking, but because $83 is a larger than average chunk for a consumer to drop on a new toner cartridge in one sitting. I feel that you definitely get what you pay for with the stock toner cartridge, but when you can’t find one for the listed $50, and have to go spend a significant amount more than that – it’s definitely disappointing. Hoping Pantum is able to improve their cartridge stock levels in the future.
I think the 2502W is a great choice for a quality, budget monochrome laser printer. Good print quality, ink savings, and build quality are definite highlights. Get that web site speed up to modern standards, and improve the in-stock position of the toner cartridges – and I think you have a definite winner on your hands.
Easy “YES” recommendation from me. Give this little known brand a shot – you won’t be disappointed.