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TP-LINK HS100  Smart Plug, Wi-Fi Enabled, Control Your Electronics from Anywhere, Energy Saving
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

5 out of 5 eggs Sweet. Now I just need about ten of them! 01/21/2016

This review is from: TP-LINK HS100 Smart Plug, Wi-Fi Enabled, Control Your Electronics from Anywhere, Energy Saving

Pros: + Super easy installation
+ Mobile app is simple yet very effective, and can support multiple Smart Plugs
+ Easily turn on and off devices remotely using your smart phone
+ Random on/off, scheduled on/off, or timer mode
+ Works on my ancient phone
+ Echo support

Cons: - Needs a mobile device for management to the best of my knowledge
- No 5GHz wireless support. Needs a 2.4GHz signal
- Setup bug (See below)

Other Thoughts: The TP-Link HS100 Smart Plug is my first experience with any type of wifi-controlled power outlet, and I was very anxious to try it. Setup was very easy as others have mentioned. I downloaded the Kasa App to my ancient phone (Android Jelly Bean), signed up for a new account, and then followed the on-screen instructions, which basically entails plugging the device in and notifying the app when the LED on the unit changes to various states (blinking green, alternating green/amber, etc.). All-in, setup took about ten minutes, but I also experienced the bug where setup seems to fail at the end. I just force-closed the app and then went back into it and everything worked as it should.

The app itself is very user-friendly. You can see all of your Kasa-registered devices on the main screen along with a power icon that lets you easily toggle them on and off from your device (there is also a physical button on the unit). If you click into any of those devices, you can then set up a schedule, turn on travel mode (random on and off), or put the device on a timer. I tested the device while on my own LAN and remotely from work and it works like a charm.

At its current price point, I could see myself using a few of these around the house, especially for when I go on long trips. I would love to see thermostats and light switches added to the product line too.

I have several TP-Link devices in my house (router, switches, wireless adapters) and they all work flawlessly. I wholeheartedly recommend this product and commend TP-Link on a job well done.

Kangaroo Mobile Desktop Computer KJ2B#001-NA Intel Atom X5-Z8500 (1.44 GHz) 2 GB LPDDR3 32 GB eMMC Windows 10 Home
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • neweggOwned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: + Portable PC for under $100!
+ Easy setup
+ Solid build quality
+ Windows 10 Home
+ Dock included (thankfully)
+ Can pair with iPad
+ Fingerprint scanner
+ micro SD card slot
+ Wireless AC
+ Built-in battery

Cons: All cons to be taken with a grain of salt because of VERY reasonable price point:
- only 2GB of RAM
- no Ethernet port
- slow in some operations (especially factory reset)
- runs a little warm
- no traditional audio out (but can use Bluetooth, HDMI, or USB audio)

Other Thoughts: I have very little to complain about with this excellent product. Setup was quick and easy once I got over a couple of initial hurdles that I do not believe came from the manufacturer (more on that in a bit). Windows 10 is very peppy in normal desktop (non-gaming) situations. To have what is basically a full-fledged PC that is no more the size of an iPhone 6S+ is truly amazing. I was expecting tablet performance without a screen, and while for the most part that is true, there is something really nice about being able to connect this directly to any monitor or TV and use normal USB devices. To me, that flexibility elevates it way above what most tablets can do, especially at this price point. Everyone should HOP all over this one (sorry, couldn’t resist).

The only complication was that I received what I think was an open product (not sure who to blame here, so no deduction). The PC had been configured to log in with a pin, and I was extremely lucky to figure out that it was 1111 or I wouldn’t have been able to log in. I also could not change the password because I didn’t know the original, so I had no choice but to reset Windows and wipe everything. Doing so was easy, but the process took a couple of hours.

After the restore, initial Windows setup kicked in, which is where I assume I should have entered the process. From there it was smooth sailing. It appears all of the Kangaroo drivers were up to date (could be because mine was open and someone else updated them), and there were only a handful of Windows updates. I had no problem installing software. The system streams 1080P video from my server just fine, and it can even stream Steam games from my primary PC. Some older / less demanding Steam games work great even without streaming! Minecraft Windows 10 Beta runs like a champ too (have yet to test the original Java-based PC version, but I’m very optimistic).

A couple of notes: the Kangaroo pc only comes with the unit and a power brick / cord. Make sure you have an HDMI cable handy. Also, the unit has one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 jack. Chances are you’ll need more than that, so you might want to pick up a cheap USB port if you don’t have one already. Since the unit runs a bit warm, keep it in an open space and don’t seat it on top of other AV equipment that gets warm.

Kudos to the team who developed this excellent and ground-breaking product!

Linksys WRT004ANT High-Gain Antenna 4-Pack
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • neweggOwned For: 1 day to 1 week

3 out of 5 eggs Probably good for some people, but not others 10/24/2015

This review is from: Linksys WRT004ANT High-Gain Antenna 4-Pack

Pros: + Super easy installation (less than 5 minutes)
+ Does improve range, depending on your environment and equipment
+ Sturdy build
+ Compatible with all routers having RP-SMA antenna connections

Cons: - At the current price, might be more cost effective to buy a second router or repeater to extend your coverage
- Only amplifies horizontal plane’s signal, so if you are on a multi-level setup you may not see an improvement except on devices that are on the same level as your router.

Other Thoughts: The Linksys WRT004ANT High Gain Antenna claims to give you *up to* 2x the coverage (based on their own measurements). The kit includes 4 antennas capable of 4dBi on the 2.4GHz band and 7dBi on the 5GHz band. I tested these using an Archer C7, a 5Ghz wireless bridge, and a 2.4Ghz wifi signal on my phone.

The TP-Link Archer C7 router and Linksys WUMC710 5GHz Wireless Bridge are on opposite ends of house (30 feet away, through multiple sheetrock walls). The WUMC710 reports wireless signal strength in its GUI, making it easy to check whether or not the antennas make a difference. The strength with the stock antennas was 70%. I then installed the Linksys High-Gain antennas on the Archer C7 and checked the signal again. It was….. 70%. I checked the specs on the C7, and it does come with 5dBi antennas. It could just be that those are good enough for my environment and the extra 2dBi is negligible. Still, I was miffed by the lack of improvement on the 5GHz band, so I tried moving the bridge further away. On stock antennas, the signal started seriously dipping at around 40 feet (45%). With the Linksys High-Gain antennae, at the same distance the signal was 53%. So it seems the outer reaches of your signal is where these will help, at least in my environment.

I also did not see an improvement on the 2.4Ghz band, but after looking into it further, it seems the Archer C7 uses internal antennas on the 2.4GHz band, so I suspect the high gain antennas have no effect there. I did not see a signal drop, so that was good I suppose.

At the end of the day, I think these do work, but their effect will vary a great deal from environment to environment. I strongly believe that had the C7 not already come with 5dBi antennas, these would have had a more noticeable impact. However, at their current price point, personally I would probably opt for a range extender such as the Linksys RE4100W-4A, or even a second router configured as a repeater. That said, those will require some configuration whereas these are literally plug and play. I'd recommend buying as long as you can return them if they don't work for you. Otherwise, it is somewhat of a gamble.


Michael W.'s Profile

Display Name: Michael W.

Date Joined: 08/04/03

  • Reviews: 56
  • Helpfulness: 33
  • First Review: 06/09/05
  • Last Review: 01/21/16
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