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HP 8620 Up to 21 ppm (ISO) Up to 34 ppm (Draft) Black Print Speed 4800 x 1200 dpi Color Print Quality HP Thermal Inkjet MFP Color Printer
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: I wouldn’t buy anything but a networked printer nowadays, and this printer comes with both wired ethernet and WiFi connection capabilities. I was able to easily use the on-screen display to connect the printer to my WPA2 secured WiFi network with a hidden SSID in minutes. I’ve set up other wireless printers before, and the configuration had to be done by USB, and the printers were picky about what security options I was using. In short, I’ve had a lot of bad experiences with wireless on printers, and this was a fantastic and easy setup.

Once setup, the printer is *very* fast, and prints with very respectable quality.

The duplex features are fantastic and will surely save me a lot of time. Not only can the printer do 2 sided printing (without manually messing with the paper) but it can do 2 sided scanning and copying. The automated document feeder is capable of scanning both sides of the page without any manual intervention. The duplex mode necessarily adds some time to the printing\scanning process, but it’s very fast even compared to the duplexer on professional grade copy machines I’ve used in the workplace.

Cons: The firmware has some intricacies I am not as thrilled about. The scan to mail feature is somewhat cumbersome to setup. If you’re using a service like Yahoo Mail as your primary email provider, you won’t have an SMTP server to use and the printer won’t be able to email you. Fortunately, I have my own mail server and have access to an SMTP server. However, I still haven’t gotten the “address book” on the printer to work quite how I want it yet. Sending a message is a little tacky and still requires typing the email address of the recipient. Will try to fix more later…

The ‘scan to network location’ is nice, it will scan to any Windows file share (\\server\filepath\). Unfortunately, my printer before this scanned to an FTP server, and so that’s what I have set up already. It is unfortunate to not see this as a feature on this printer. I will have to set up a Samba server now if I want to use the scan to network feature.

Other Thoughts: I also set up the printer as a fax machine. The “fax to email” feature is a really great idea, although I haven’t thoroughly tested it yet to ensure its reliability. Saving paper by emailing your incoming faxes as PDFs to yourself instead of just automatically printing them seems like a really good idea. This would also allow for electronic archival of the scans.

All in all, this printer has a lot of great functionality, but I still feel like I have to cater to the printer's specific needs a little bit more than I should. Would love to see more flexibility and options in the future firmware updates.

Automatic firmware updates solves a real problem - who ever has time or thinks to update the firmware in their printer? With a simple checkbox, you can tell the printer to automatically update its own firmware. I did this, and the printer has already completed one firmware update on its own successfully.

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EnGenius ENS200EXT High-powered/Long-range Wireless Outdoor AP
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggs Very Impressive Radio 06/26/2014

This review is from: EnGenius ENS200EXT High-powered/Long-range Wireless Outdoor AP

Pros: I gave this unit a try as an access point, and I was not disappointed. Placed similarly to my current indoor 2.4GHz WiFi access point, I got improved speed and signal strength throughout my house.

I decided to try an outdoor application, tossing the access point up on a window sill to see how far I could get the signal outside on my tablet. I was astonished by the results. I easily got a quarter mile down the road, with my iPad built-in WiFi. I have achieved some long distance links in the past with less impressive radios by having the right antennas, I would love to give this a try with those antennas on both ends!

I tried it in bridge mode as well, and it made one of my lesser signal quality long range WiFi bridge links over four times faster, just by installing it on one side of the link!

In bridge mode, the firmware supports BSSID locking, if you want to lock to a specific AP in case you have multiple APs in your sights with the same SSID and security settings. Since this is a very long range radio, that’s a very conceivable circumstance, so a nice setting to have for sure.

Cons: The firmware leaves some things to be desired, it feels a little outdated, but it works well enough.

Included antenna is not adjustable in any way, it just screws in and sticks up. It would be nice if it could be swiveled, for example if you wanted to mount this under an awning (since it is an outdoor AP after all).

Proprietary POE injectors aren’t my favorite… I would love to see this be standards-compliant. Don’t plug the injector in backwards, because there’s no negotiation, it will just blast voltage at whatever you plug in. This could end badly if you inadvertently plug in a switch or a laptop instead of plugging the POE end into the radio.

Other Thoughts: The external antenna port is a huge plus for me, because I can use my pigtail to connect this to one of my high gain panel antennas, and then it really packs a punch!

The POE injector included doesn’t appear to be standards-compliant, but having this radio POE injected is better than not, especially if you’re going to be mounting it outside. Thanks to the POE injection, you can run one network cable to your mounting area, and have it terminate somewhere inside where there’s power. No need to mess with finding a receptacle outside.

I will definitely be buying more of these radios, overall I am very impressed with how it performs!

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SteelSeries Rival Optical Gaming Mouse
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggs Mouse of Champions 05/25/2014

This review is from: SteelSeries Rival Optical Gaming Mouse

Pros: I have big hands, and I like a high mouse sensitivity. I find that my hand is very comfortable on this mouse, and the sensitivity is fantastic. The mouse glides effortlessly across the mousepad and is very slick and willing to move.

I started out by using this mouse in normal usage situations on my Linux computer. I found the sensitivity to be a bit higher than I am accustomed to, but the mouse worked very well for me in day to day use once I got accustomed to it.

I played a few PC games with the mouse on my laptop, and I found the high sensitivity and precision to be ideal for gaming with. When gaming, the last thing you want to do is be picking up the mouse to get more desk space, so high sensitivity is exactly what you want. The perfect mouse is the mouse you forget you’re using, especially when you’re gaming.

The mouse has two side buttons which can be mapped to controls in games, and used as forward\back buttons when browsing the web. I would never buy a mouse without these side buttons, as I use them when browsing the web all the time! Try it yourself, press the front side button to go Forward in your browser, and the back side button to go Back in your browser.

The mouse has a pulsating lit logo and the scroll wheel glows as well. This would make a nice lighting complement to a gamer’s setup because we all know gamers like when things light up. The pulsating light isn’t distracting because your hand will pretty much entirely cover it while you’re using the mouse, but it will look cool when your computer isn’t in use.

Cons: I know gamers are supposed to use wired mice, but I am accustomed to gaming on a wireless mouse so having that wire hanging off of the mouse was sometimes a bit inconvenient for me. I don’t like gaming on a wired mouse as much, because the wire catches on things. Supposedly wireless mice add latency, but I still like my wireless mouse better for this reason.

Other Thoughts: The best aspect of the mouse is the sensitivity for me. When I’m gaming, I like to have my sensitivity set very high because it’s convenient to move your hand only a slight bit and find your character turned around and ready to face an attacker from behind. It takes some getting used to when playing at high sensitivity because it can make precise operations like aiming your weapon a lot trickier. I find this mouse to be extremely accurate at high sensitivity, which is awesome.

The side buttons are great both for gaming and productivity, making this a great multipurpose mouse.

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Karen S.'s Profile

Display Name: Karen S.

Date Joined: 02/24/07

Achievements:

  • Top 1000 Reviewer
  • Reviews: 95
  • Helpfulness: 45
  • First Review: 03/13/07
  • Last Review: 08/02/14
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