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NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 Dual Band Wireless Gigabit Router (R7000)
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: Fast (when it works).
Great range on 802.11n.
Nice features (FTP, DDNS, guest wireless subnet, etc.)
USB 3.0 port (though, in practice it's not really *that* much faster than USB 2.0 when using a compatible USB 3.0 device)
Great WAN/LAN throughput and LAN/LAN throughput.

Cons: After about 3 weeks it started dropping all wireless connections, repeatedly. This would happen 30 or more times everyday, making it impossible to work from home or do much of anything online. Firmware was up to date with the latest official Netgear R7000 release, but that didn't change anything. My feeling is that the wireless issues other reviewers have experienced is a hardware problem inherent to this router, not a firmware or client-side problem. For a $200, high end router this is unacceptable.

Also, thought I'd mention the terrible antenna design they chose for this router; even when the antennae are finger-tight, they all end up drooping to the side if you so much as touch them or move the router. The actual screw-on connection is fine, but the mechanism Netgear used for orienting the antennae is just terrible.

Other Thoughts: It seems like basically all SOHO wireless routers are garbage nowadays, whether it's from poor hardware design, bad quality control, or ill-designed firmware. If you want a fast and reliable wireless solution, do yourself a favor and buy a wired router (like a Microtik Routerboard or a Ubiquiti EdgeMAX) and THEN buy your wireless AP (not a router, just an access point) like a Cisco 1242 or a Ubiquiti AP. Don't waste your time on wireless routers--there's a reason why you never see all-in-one wireless routers in business/enterprise environments.

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DIAMOND 7870PE52GV Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB 256-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: It worked, occasionally.

Cons: Since Diamond has apparently ceased production on their original 7870 with blower-style fan, I'll have to write the review for this SKU. The card was problematic from the very beginning, black screening during Crysis, Skyrim, Doom 3, and other games. Drivers are a perennial issue for AMD, but the hardware is definitely to blame, as well (a bit of research reveals ALL AMD 7000 series cards were affected to some extent by bad capacitors/inductors, with Sapphire's cards exhibiting some of the highest failure rates). Figuring the card might be throttling due to high temperatures, I upgraded the cooling (a heinous violation of Diamond's draconian warranty policy, it seems) and all was fine for a few months. After Christmas, I moved the card over to a new case and used the stock cooler for testing purposes--issues began again. The card wouldn't produce any video, the fan spun up to 100% on boot and sounded like a hairdryer on high. I submitted an RMA request to Diamond (aka Best Data Products), and they informed me they would not honor the warranty after returning it because I'd "tampered" with the card. Sure, other manufacturers permit you to upgrade cooling without voiding your warranty, but not Diamond. They're the most despicable company in the hardware sector and their ratings on Newegg reflect that. Diamond then sat on my card for over a month, ignoring my calls and emails to return it. Finally, they returned it without so much as an apology for their sickening customer service practices. When I received the card, I took the heatsink back off, studied it, and realized the GPU core had been damaged; this was something that most assuredly happened AFTER I mailed the card to Diamond for RMA. So not only did they refuse to fix their defective garbage, but also managed to damage the card further, all the while disavowing themselves of having removed the heatsink to even examine it, superficially.

Other Thoughts: Don't do business with Diamond. With so many manufacturers to chose from, there's no reason to keep Diamond in business. Arcane business practices, truly sickening customer support, one of the worst warranties in the business...just don't do it.

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Samsung Galaxy Nexus Titanium Silver 3G Unlocked GSM Android Smart Phone w/ Android 4.0 / 5 MP Camera / 16GB Internal Memory / NFC (GT-i9250)
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: Nice, solidly constructed feel, even if it is mostly plastic. Doesn't have the same cheap, creaky feel the original Galaxy S and Galaxy S2 had. Super AMOLED screen is as brilliant as always, and the bluish hue on white backgrounds that earlier AMOLED screens has largely been corrected. Reception, both 3G and wifi, is better than the Galaxy S. For those of you using T-Mobile, the Nexus supports the 21Mbit HSPA+ standard. Sound quality is okay, but not overly loud, especially on speaker.

Jellybean (Android 4.1.x) has been out for the Nexus for a while now, and does address a lot of issues people had with Ice Cream Sandwich like OS lag. Since the phone is a "pure" Google device, you'll be the first to receive OS updates (Android 4.2 is coming soon), which is a definite bonus. The camera is also an improvement over the Galaxy S I had, bringing much faster shutter time, faster autofocus/face recognition, etc. The LED flash can be useful, but tends to blow out pictures. It's more purposeful as a flashlight, usually. Samsung also thought to include an actual LED notification light at the bottom of the phone, which was an annoyance I had with the Galaxy S, which had no notification lights.

Browser speed and multitasking is much improved over earlier single core model phones, even though the hardware in this phone isn't cutting edge anymore.

With Jellybean, at least, battery life seems quite good. Much improved over my old Galaxy S, though I have rooted the phone and installed a custom ROM and kernel.

As a pleasant surprise, the GPS works quite well on this phone. Samsung has had issues with GPS drivers in the past, but it seems those days are behind us. Fast lock times, pretty high accuracy, and support for GLONASS.

Cons: Camera is okay, but nothing to write home about. Don't get hung up on megapixel count because it really doesn't matter if the manufacturer uses low quality optics. The 5MP sensor in this phone is completely usable, but suffers in low light environments as do all phone cameras.

Even at the highest volume, the speaker still isn't very loud. This can be remedied by an application from the Play store called Volume Plus, if I remember correctly.

Not really a great device with Android Ice Cream Sandwich, but Jellybean addresses most of those issues, and comes as an OTA update as soon as you power on the phone.

Other Thoughts: Newegg's jacked the price back up to $700, which is odd considering it was going for $350, same as from Google Play and other etailers. Don't buy this phone at $700.

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Matthew F.'s Profile

Display Name: Matthew F.

Date Joined: 12/20/09

  • Reviews: 4
  • Helpfulness: 4
  • First Review: 12/25/09
  • Last Review: 02/28/14
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