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TP-Link TL-PA8010 KIT AV1200 Gigabit Powerline Starter Kit
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5 out of 5 eggs It's Electric! 09/28/2016

This review is from: TP-Link TL-PA8010 KIT AV1200 Gigabit Powerline Starter Kit

Pros: Blazing fast. These are a fantastic way to add network connectivity to any area of your electrical grid so long as your devices are on the same breaker box. Setup is super quick and performance is leaps and bounds better than the AV500 units I was using before. My streaming devices are much happier on these units and now I don't have to stand on one leg holding a metal clothes hanger to ensure my wifi signal can reach to the farthest reaches of my home. Indicators are easy to read and the product works as advertised. They don't seem to get too hot due to the large vents on the sides of the units and they feel solidly built like they won't be completely obliterated by a toddler being a little careless with their toys in the same room.

Cons: Huge? The units themselves are actually really big. Not sure if that's really a con though because they have quite a bit of venting to keep them from getting overheated. I haven't noticed any other cons though which means they don't have too many.

Other Thoughts: If you don't have the option to expand your ethernet connectivity with cat5e or cat6, these units are a great option when you want performance that rivals the best wifi routers while being able to ensure that you're able to directly hook up a device over ethernet. I'm digging them and now that I have these as well as the AV500 units, there is nowhere on my property that is unnetworkable now.

Corsair Gaming K70 RAPIDFIRE Mechanical Keyboard, Backlit Red LED, Cherry MX Speed
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4 out of 5 eggs Mechanical Keyboard Worthy of Consideration 08/10/2016

This review is from: Corsair Gaming K70 RAPIDFIRE Mechanical Keyboard, Backlit Red LED, Cherry MX Speed

Pros: Fast key presses allow you to quickly manipulate your controls while gaming. The ability to slightly tap the keys using while not requiring the typical click of other types of Cherry switches can definitely be a benefit while gaming. The lighting effects are quite nice --especially if you are in a dimly lit room while battling your opponents. The action is smooth and as one would expect using a mechanical keyboard. When typing normally, the click is not all that intrusive to your life and is quiet enough to use in a small office environment (with exceptions below). The keyboard has retractable feet at the back AND front of the unit which makes it really nice for making adjustments to your optimal typing position. This is especially nice given the included wrist pad which adds just enough friction to keep your wrists firmly planted in position. Overall if your primary use for a keyboard is to play games, you will like this keyboard. The included tabs for common gaming keys (a,w,s,d, etc.) are an added bonus to more easily highlight the keys which you will need the most. Using the CUE software for creating button groupings, macros, etc. will allow you unlimited configuration of the keyboard to enable you to have so much more control over your games than you otherwise would with a typical 108 key unit.

The other controls on the keyboard work as you'd expect. Volume adjustment is smooth and satisfying and the media keys are out of the way where you won't accidentally hit play or next on your Disney soundtrack while you're doing your acrobatics in Rocket League.

Cons: While the ease of key presses is fantastic for games, it makes every day typing kind of tedious. I am still getting used to the unit, but it requires a much lighter resting position for my home row keys than I am used to. For instance, while typing this review, I've accidentally hit the 'j' key probably 30 times. While this is to be expected given the advertised distance to activate the key, it does not suit me well for use as a multipurpose keyboard for my programming tasks without some major changes to my muscle memory.

The CUE software will not update the firmware on my device past v2.0 and I am stuck using this version of the firmware on the device for the foreseeable future it seems. While this is not exactly a huge problem, it does make me slightly concerned that there may be needed updates to the device's firmware that I am not getting. For now though, everything is working as expected.

Other Thoughts: Overall I would recommend the unit to gamers. Let's be real, that is the device's intended purpose and for that purpose it performs well. I personally would have opted for the RGB version of the device if it were not provided to me for testing. I would have also liked a version which did not have the MX Speed switches and had something a little less easy to trigger. As I said however, given that the intended use is for gaming, I can't really knock it all that much.

Toshiba OCZ TR150 2.5
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Pros: The drive is inexpensive and fast. It allows a user to boost performance in older machines (in my case a 6 year old laptop) and really bring some life back to the machine. This drive greatly boosts my ability to use my Asus UL-80vt after a few years of it sitting on the shelves. I threw on an Ubuntu distro initially and everything was humming along nicely. The drive reads and writes as well as any SSD I've used and I would be plenty happy to recommend the drive to others.

Before I used this as an OS drive in the laptop I used it in an external usb 2.0 enclosure to test out performance against the dated usb spec. It performs really well and the enclosure stayed nice and cool as well. SSD means if I bump the enclosure or machine when the disk is operating, I don't have to worry about hardware damage!

Cons: I don't really have any cons for this unit aside from the capacity of the drive. That said, see "Other" for more info. If I had to pick SOMETHING that was negative, it would be that the casing on the drive itself feels somewhat weak and not as well made as other drives I've used (Samsung 850 EVO Pro and an AMD SSD which ironically was made by OCZ). However, given that this is an internal drive and there are no moving parts, who cares?!

Other Thoughts: The capacity of the drive is fine for a secondary machine but if I were buying one, I'd get a higher capacity to future proof. This is not a problem for a secondary or travel laptop for me though, just something to hammer out some code on in my free time when I don't have my main machine with me.


Matthew S.'s Profile

Display Name: Matthew S.

Date Joined: 04/04/07

  • Reviews: 11
  • Helpfulness: 5
  • First Review: 02/09/15
  • Last Review: 09/28/16
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