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Kensington K33902US USB 2.0 Bluetooth Micro Adapter
  • Owned For: less than 1 day

2 out of 5 eggs Works, sort-of 01/22/2011

This review is from: Kensington K33902US USB 2.0 Bluetooth Micro Adapter

Pros: Shows up as a "CSR Bluetooth Radio" in Device Manager on Windows 7. Windows 7 comes with drivers for some basic functionality like keyboards, mice, and file transfers, no additional install needed. The bundled CD also includes a copy of the Toshiba Bluetooth stack software from 2009 (version 7.x). By installing the Toshiba software (and disabling Windows 7's native Bluetooth support), you gain support for a dozen more Bluetooth profiles like headsets and handsfree telephony.

Cons: Not suitable for use with a Bluetooth headset for speech recognition. The Windows 7 stock driver for a "CSR Bluetooth Radio" does not support any audio functionality. Thus I turned to the Toshiba Bluetooth stack software. Audio quality through the Toshiba stack's headset profile and handsfree telephony profile was poor bordering on unacceptable. Lots of hissing and digital artifacts. My speech recognition software went nuts. I'm sending it back for a refund!

Other Thoughts: The bundled Toshiba software is a little dated (from 2009). Newer versions are available for download online... but look carefully. All of the copies available online for download are 30-day trialware. A full new license for the Toshiba Bluetooth stack costs $30. There's nothing useful on Kensington's web site. As for me, I chose to stick with the Toshiba software on the bundled CD because it was licensed already and did not require activation.

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Zonet ZEW2508A Wireless Adapter w/ USB Cradle IEEE 802.11b/g USB 2.0 Up to 54Mbps Wireless Data Rates
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: Good price at less than fifteen. Compact size. There is a WHQL driver for Windows 7 available out on Windows Update, so on Windows 7 installation is painless and wireless zero config (WZC) works properly.

Cons: Zonet's drivers for Windows XP are subpar, as others have noted. They are tightly bound to Zonet's Wifi "management" program which seems intended to replace Windows' wireless zero config (WZC). Unfortunately, like so many other kooky OEM applets, the "management" program is buggy. It fails to connect to ad-hoc networks, it mangles several WPA security parameters, and the "softAP" feature crumps intermittently. I spent a few hours trying to tease the core driver files out of Zonet's installer, with the hope of bypassing Zonet's "management" program, but I gave up. Also, Zonet's driver is not WHQL certified. Bad form. The driver package posted on Zonet's web site as of this writing is a couple years old and no fresher than the drivers included on a CD-ROM in the box. These drivers are so poor I was ready to return the product, but then I discovered...

Other Thoughts: ... the chip inside this dongle is model RT2870 from a company called RaLink. Luckily, RaLink makes good drivers! Zonet is just failing to pass them along to us, the end users. Surf to http://www.ralinktech.com/support.php , find the right chip, and download away. The drivers there were published in December 2009 and purportedly cover Windows 2000, XP 32 and 64, Vista 32 and 64, and Seven 32 and 64. They are WHQL certified and play nicely with Windows' wireless zero config (WZC). The install program has an option to install a driver and management utility, or just a driver. I recommend the latter. Thanks to the RaLink driver I've been enjoying good performance so far. RaLink spared my dongle from an early demise.

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iStarUSA TC-RAIL-20 20
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: Works about as well as you'd expect from a pair of cheap rack rails. Beats the pants off of pulling the whole chassis off the rack every time you want to service it.

Cons: The glide isn't too smooth and there's a fair amount of wobble. Also, as another reviewer noted, the plastic locking tabs feel weak and might break under heavy use.

Other Thoughts: Attached to my Norco model 450 case just fine. Seems to be designed for a square-hole rack as other have noted. You insert a screw from the front side of your rack, through a hole in your rack, into one of the rail's brackets. Nonetheless, these rails worked well enough in my round-hole rack. The holes in my rack are sized for #10-32 screws. These rails use #8 machine screws. The screws are small enough that they slipped right through my rack's screw holes and so attached to the rail brackets as intended. It's always nice to avoid breaking out the drill. No harm, no foul.

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Eric K.'s Profile

Display Name: Eric K.

Date Joined: 05/14/03

  • Reviews: 16
  • Helpfulness: 8
  • First Review: 02/13/06
  • Last Review: 01/22/11
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