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Corsair Gaming VOID Surround Hybrid Stereo Gaming Headset with Dolby 7.1 USB Adapter - Red
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Pros: First of all, the two 50mm neodymium drivers deliver some nice, crisp sound. The bass is good and the highs are excellent. These are probably the best all around headphones (in regards to how they sound with all types of media) that I've tested in this price range. Considering how many headsets I've tested at this cost, that's really saying something.

Comfort is absolutely phenomenal with this headset. I would go as far to say it's the most comfortable headset I've worn yet. The thick headband and lightweight design seems to be the key factors here. I also love how there are graduation marks on the headband, which lets you ensure each side is adjusted the same. This keeps the headband perfectly level on your head and I believe that helps with the comfort level.

Obviously the flexibility of using either the USB adapter or the standard 3.5mm jack is pure genius. You can use the 3.5mm jack if you want to get the sound strait from your sound card, or if you wanna use the headphones with other common devices like your smartphone or tablet. The USB adapter is required for the virtual 7.1 surround sound though.

As always the product came packaged flawlessly. This is something Corsair is known far and wide for.

Build quality is superb. The aesthetics are amazing, but this is no surprise from Corsair here. I LOVE how the ear cups fold in for easier storage. I actually hang them on my wall this way and that allows for easy access without them sticking out to be knocked down.

Cons: Corsair's CUE software... See, in my opinion Corsair has some of the best hardware in the business. However, their software always leaves something to be desired. The CUE software is REQUIRED to use the USB adapter (it's basically a small sound card), which in turn is required to use the 7.1 surround sound setting. Note also that the USB adapter is the ONLY way to use the mic, as there is no 3.5mm mic connector. The software is obviously made for ALL Corsair's VOID series models because there are settings available for lighting, which is useless as there are NO LED'S in this headset. That can be VERY confusing to some people, as they may think the LED'S are defective, when in reality they aren't even there. This setting should at least be greyed out to prevent this sort of thing. Perhaps future updates will do this.

Speaking of the 7.1 surround sound setting... It leaves a lot to be desired. In reality, there are only two speakers here, so the 7.1 sound is just virtualized (and not very well either). You CAN get some decent sound with the USB adapter, but I recommend disabling the 7.1 setting and tweaking the EQ. The default settings are way too bland.

No LED's??? Why? I wish they would have at least put in some white LED's, but RGB LED's would be really nice. Corsair just didn't spring for the LED's at all in this model and that's disappointing.

Other Thoughts: The clunky CUE software is the main complaint I have with these otherwise great headphones. Well, that and the questionable 7.1 setting. But the software is usable (and could be updated in the future) and you can just disable the 7.1 setting to get some great sound. So considering that, plus the fact that these sound great when configured right and are comfortable as can be, I HIGHLY recommend them. Corsair really knows how to make hardware and they demonstrate that here flawlessly.

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Seagate Desktop SSHD ST4000DX001 4TB 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

Pros: This is the first hybrid drive I've tested, so I admit I was VERY curious to dive deep into it. It took me over a month to test it thoroughly enough to get a satisfactory review written (I was actually sick for a while, but I also wanted to test it as thorough as possible). What I came to find is that this design is just wonderful and is really worth your money.

The drive uses an LSI HD controller for the standard HDD portion of the drive and an Easic chip for the 8GB of NAND flash memory this drive sports. The Easic controller is more advanced than the standard controller and is much more akin to what you'd find on a standard SSD, EXCEPT Seagate has baked in its own custom technology to allow the Easic chip to cache the files most used on your system to the on-board NAND. This allows the drive to perform better over time, as it learns your usage patterns. I've found that this design works beautifully, and sustained transfer rates are way above that of a standard mechanical drive.

While I did benchmark this drive with some popular utilities, most of them do not show the full benefits this driver offers. Although I do have to note the particularly high random write speeds I achieved as they are MUCH higher than standard HDD's as well. This is great because this is typically where most mechanical drives really falter.

4GB of space is enough to satisfy just about anyone. SSD's are still very pricey and most end-users can afford 240GB-512GB at best, so this drive is a great choice for secondary storage, but also easily capable of being your primary drive. Its overall transfer rates are admirable when compared to the fastest mechanical drives currently available, not to mention the 8GB of flash memory that can make sustained transfer rates hit nearly 200 MB/s, which is FAST for a mechanical drive. Access times are very impressive as well, thanks to the on-board NAND of course.

The logic built into the drive to cache the files you use frequently is sound. You can confirm this by running PC mark over and over again. With each subsequent run, the drive will get faster as more pertinent data is stored on the SSD portion of the drive. Just a brilliant design that has a lot of potential, particularly as the logic improves and more NAND is used for caching.

No reliability issues whatsoever. This drive took everything I threw at it without any issues. I really put it through the ringer as well because as I said earlier, I was really interested in seeing how these hybrid drives work. Now I have a good handle on Seagate's technology here and I'm very impressed.

5 year warranty means Seagate is standing behind this product. I'm glad to see that here. They had a tendency to go with the 3 year warranty in the past.

Cons: Only 8GB of NAND on-board. I would have loved to see this doubled, although the 8GB does seem to work better than I suspected. The problem mechanical drives have are mostly with small files and that's where this NAND really comes into play. Still, a bit more would have been nice.

While the sustained transfer rates are out of this world, the sequential reads could be a bit faster. WD's newest Black series drives are a little faster in this regard, although their sustained speeds don't match the ST4000DX001. I was also a bit disappointed with the random read speeds, since the random writes were so impressive. But again, I'm sure the next iteration of this technology will address these issues.

Other Thoughts: I can't recommend this drive enough. It seriously has impressed me and I can't see myself wanting a non-hybrid mechanical drive after this experience. I myself had been steering away from Seagate drives and buying WD Black drives due to some issues with some of Seagate's older drives, but it seems they have ironed out those issues and their new hybrid technology made a believer out of me. The truth is is the numbers and I saw them with my own eyes. They did a great job with this drive and I can't wait to see the next round of hybrid drives from them.

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Linksys EA2750 N600 Dual-Band Smart Wi-Fi Wireless Router
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

3 out of 5 eggs Decent router for an average Joe 04/24/2016

This review is from: Linksys EA2750 N600 Dual-Band Smart Wi-Fi Wireless Router

Pros: Simple, somewhat elegant design. Easily fits in anywhere you want to place it. It's small and doesn't get very hot, even when it's being stressed to the max with numerous devices connected to it.

Insanely easy to set up and configure. When you connect all the cables properly and then launch your web browser, Linksys Smart Wi-Fi runs automatically, prompting you to create an account. After creating the account, the software will guide you through setting up the router. This router has full support for WPS, so you can use the easy WPS push button set-up mode to add devices to your network after initially setting up the router. Knowledgeable end-users can skip this part and set the router up manually if they wish.

The Smart Wi-Fi software makes configuration extremely easy, even for the most novice end-users. You can easily configure your network over the internet just by logging into your Smart Wi-Fi account, either from a PC or using their smartphone app (tested the Android version myself).

Relatively good specs for a router in this price range. It's reliable and the range is respectable compared to many other routers I've tested in the same class.

Offers most of the features you'd expect from any decent wireless router. Including sharing and streaming media from an external USB drive via the 1x USB 2.0 port. This router can stream media to any device that supports DLNA or UPnP. Media streaming can be enabled\disabled easily through the Smart-Wi-Fi interface. Printer sharing is also included and just as easy to configure. There is even a tool built in to check your internet connection speed, which is handy as I typically have to use a third-party website for that. It's nice to see they included it here.

Parental controls are well implemented and extremely easy to use. You can easily restrict access to ANY device that is connected to the router, or set up a certain time frame where a particular device is allowed access. This makes it easy to ensure your kids aren't getting online during the wee hours of the night. I really like how they implemented this as it's one of the simplest UI's I've used. Almost anyone should be able to set up the parental controls to their liking.

Performance wise, the EA2750 does well on the 5Ghz band. Range is what I expected and speeds are within the real-world transfer rate speeds I would come to expect from a router of this class. The 2.4Ghz band offers better range, which is typical of any wireless router.

More advanced features, such as port forwarding and QoS are included, however Linksys admits that they expect the user to have at least some networking knowledge before changing these settings.

Cons: The performance of the 2.4Ghz band was disappointing to me. I've tested so many routers over the years and for the life of me I cannot figure out why this one is so slow on the 2.4Ghz band. I get around 10-15Mb/s lower than I do on any other router I've tested. Now the 5Ghz band performs well, but still not as good as some of the more expensive A/C models, which I expected. I think a lot of people are going to be using the 2.4Ghz band with this unit so to me, this is a big problem.

While the Linksys Smart-Wi-Fi software is very useful for easily configuring the router from ANYWHERE, the smartphone app is limited in what you can do. Most of the features are there, but power users cannot access the settings they will want. The ONLY way to access all the advanced settings is to connect to the router manually, bypassing the Smart Wi-Fi UI altogether. It would be nice to see Linksys allow power users to configure EVERY setting via the Smart Wi-Fi interface, but I suspect they are afraid of people mucking up the settings because they don't know what they're doing. To me, this is wrong because they are assuming the end-user doesn't know what they're doing, when in fact many of them do. All they need to do is place warnings in the UI when sensitive settings are accessed, instead of completely leaving them out. This is one of the biggest reasons I am not completely thrilled with this router.

Doesn't support 802.11ac. Now this is the latest Wi-Fi standard, so I think every router should support it at this point. I find it strange that this model didn't step up to 802.11ac since it replaced the EA 2700, which also doesn't support it. Just a strange move on Linksys' part, but I guess they did this to keep the cost down. While it doesn't seem to affect the 5Ghz speed all that much, it does affect it nonetheless. All the newer smartphones support the standard, so it's most definitely time that all the wireless routers do as well. Sure, 802.11n is still fast, but in real-world tests I've found 802.11ac to be much faster, especially when conditions are right.

Other Thoughts: This is a good router for anyone looking for a dual-band wireless router that's very easy to configure and "just works." In addition to dual-band support, it also offers guest network support as well, so you don't have to give your Wi-Fi password out to any guests that might be visiting. I like how Linksys made it easy for anyone to configure this router from any device you own. That said, power users really need to look elsewhere, as this router just won't satisfy them. As we speak there is no open source support (this could change though) and the specs under the hood just don't really excite me all that much anyway. On the other hand, I would indeed recommend this product to anyone that just wants a decent router with dual-band support that works with no hassles. This router is for the people that just want their wireless network to "work" and don't do much besides a bit of streaming here and there along with your typical social media use. For that purpose, it will serve you very well.

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Matthew M.'s Profile

Display Name: Matthew M.

Date Joined: 06/08/06

  • Reviews: 47
  • Helpfulness: 37
  • First Review: 09/19/06
  • Last Review: 07/18/16
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