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This review is from: Black ECS LIVA 2GB DDR3L RAM installed 32GB eMMC Storage
Ultra convenient (tied with size and setup)
Cons: Almost everything is embedded.
Other Thoughts: I got this briefly as a test. Wanted a super small PC for my Mom. Ended up somewhat liking the size and convenience, however most will find being limited to 32GB of storage extremely limiting - sure you can add external storage, but gosh forbid your Windows or OS install grow beyond 32GB. The possibility of having programs "spread" to off-device storage really put me off and RAM was also an issue. 2GB is OK, but for a fluid Windows 8.1 media center, I figured I wanted the option to go with more. I returned this and went with the Brix instead and am very happy. The Brix with 4GB and a 128GB SSD came up to not a whole lot more than the Liva and I was so impressed that I will give the Celeron version to my Mom and likely grab an I5 version for myself. These tiny PCs are still pretty darned powerful.
I think the Liva might be more fitting as a dedicated surf/email machine vs. anything more.
Pros: Thorough UI, Descriptive lights, Great guest mode, Simple to use smartphone app, easy password recovery, etc.
Cons: May be Iffy when connected with (a) certain cable modem(s).
Other Thoughts: So, my router works fine. I have no major complaints except for the fact that if power goes out for some time and my UPS dies (and so the router goes out), when it comes back up it doesn't connect my internet properly.
Keep in mind, this only happens with my Comcast provided Arris TM822 Cable + Phone Modem. It connects quickly and easily with my Motorola Cable Modem. So, -1 star for not being universally cable modem friendly. I have to jump through a few hoops to get it working again with the net by taking the Arris' battery out so it can fully power cycle and then power cycling the router. No bueno. Still, there's really rarely ever a case where this has happened and I can only count on 1 hand the number of times (i'm also sure it's less than 5).
I've had the router for a while and it's been the longest lasting router since my WRT54G, which is sad. Every other router I've owned (Cisco, Rosewill, Microsoft) has died on me within a year. So, there's that.
Will I buy another Netgear? Who knows. With a Lifetime warranty and this one serving me well, the temptation is there. Of course, if I do...I will certainly Evernote or Dropbox my receipt because, no warranty without that according to many an angry user.
Do I recommend it? It depends. Not if you use the TM822 I guess, because then you may dislike me for the recommendation. Any other cable modem and, sure! It's been good to me and it may be good to you too. Of course, by now you're probably looking for AC routers, but just in case - this isn't a terrible router at all.
Pros: Low profile w/ incl. bracket, powerful for it's size
Cons: Fan broke faaaaaast.
Other Thoughts: The card worked well for about 7 months. Just after Windows 8.1 was released I noticed that my HTPC would "black out" - initially I thought this was Windows 8.1 and/or driver issues, but things just didn't point to software problems. A popular app I use called WhoCrashed stopped working with Windows 8.1 so I had to dig into event logs, crash dumps etc. where I found no culprits. First awkward thing was that the HTPC was actually not rebooting, I was the one who had to reboot manually. Second thing was that sometimes the video didn't come up on reboot. Finally, these blanking occurred with or without stress, all it needed was time. WhoCrashed released an update and confirmed what I was thinking, there were no software/driver issues. Anyway, long story short(er), eventually things ended up pointing to hardware; I open up the system to realize the fan is dead, which is something I didn't consider since the card isn't even a year old otherwise the fan would have been the first thing I'd check.
I RMA'd the card with EVGA thinking they would just replace the fan but they sent me another card entirely.
Here's where and why they shine. I purchased the card for a low profile system. When I swapped brackets, I have no clue what I did with the regular one, and either way I thought they were just going to replace the fan. (I guess they found something else wrong?). So I sent them my card with the low profile bracket installed but since they sent a different card, no low profile bracket was included. I accepted this essentially as my fault because they do say to return it without accessories and the low profile bracket is an accessory. I wrote to them asking if they could send a (or my own, improbable but hopefully) low profile bracket to me since I'd have no way to mount the card.
They have! I just got a UPS notification that EVGA has sent me a low profile bracket. So here I am with my story, officially impressed with EVGA customer service. I was planning to sort of write off the brand, like Sapphire after all once bitten, twice shy (every Sapphire card I've owned had it's fan go bad within months) but now I'm a "fan". :)
Thanks EVGA, you're a breath of fresh air.
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