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Pros: Detachable fan for cleaning
Completely rubberized housing
Cons: Low Noise Adapter is only molex adapter
No other mounting options
Other Thoughts: This 140mm case fan from DEEPCOOL is a great value. In the box is the fan, a Low Noise Adapter (LNA), and the rubber mounting strips. The rubberized exterior and included rubber mounts make this an easy installation and it runs virtually silent. Using the LNA, I could not register this fan’s sound until I got my ear within a couple inches. I really like that the fan itself is removable from the case for cleaning, that’s huge. It does take some force and has a very loud, feels-like-I-broke-it-sound when you remove it, but several removals didn’t seem to alter the fan’s workings in any way.
I would have liked a few more options with this fan, such as mounting screws or a molex adapter which doesn’t have the LNA so I could run the fan at full speed off a molex if I wanted. The performance is pretty good for the price, though if you really need to move a lot of air you might want to shop around. At $14.99 at the time of this writing, it’s less than half the price of the premium competitors like the Noctua NF-A14. For a moderate PC build this fan would is a great value.
This review is from: Seagate Expansion 1TB USB 3.0 2.5" Portable External Hard Drive STEA1000400
Pros: Ready to go out of the box
Cons: Not the greatest value
Other Thoughts: This portable drive from Seagate is a nice entry into the market. It’s 1 TB size (931 GB formatted under Windows NTFS) is roomy for such a small package. It’s also very speedy when connected to a USB 3.0 port. The textured surface is a nice touch and it’s very lightweight, making it an easy addition to any laptop bag or “go” bag.
Here’s a few numbers. All speed tests performed in Windows 8.1 and transfers were from a solid state drive.
Plugged into a USB 2.0 port, a single large file (1.1 GB) took 36 seconds, averaging 30.5 MB/s. A large folder of photos (5.8 GB) took 2 minutes 40 seconds, averaging 36.4 MB/s. Not too bad on the old USB 2.0.
Plugged into a USB 3.0 port, a single large file (1.1 GB) took 12 seconds, averaging 91.7 MB/s. A large folder of photos (5.8 GB) took 1 minute 1 second, averaging 95.6 MB/s. Pretty awesome when it’s time to do a backup.
Overall this is a great little drive, but I must remove one star for the lack of value. The drive is $69.99 at the time of this writing. With several competing drives at double the size for only $20 more (even from Seagate!), I’d recommend the larger size.
Pros: Heavy/solid construction
Nice looks of the old WRT54G
Front panel lights are subdued
Cons: WPS button is tiny and on the back of the unit
Despite manufacturer claims to be good with Open Source, support for it is still shaky
Other Thoughts: This router is a bit of a throwback to the days of the Linksys WRT54G. Only by looks though really, and from other newish Linksys devices (such as the SE4008 gigabit switch designed to stack with this unit). Because of this throwback look, one might think that a plethora of open source firmware is available to slap on this thing, but that’s not the case. While OpenWRT does support this device, you can find that there’s been lots of issues over the past year of its existence, and only recently has newer software come out to stabilize this firmware. DD-WRT is not supported at all. Despite these let downs, this router’s stock firmware is very nice with a lot of great features. The menus and setup are very clean and polished, not to mention the ability to use a mobile app to control your router’s settings (such as allowing guest access). By the way, check your firmware as my unit shipped with an older firmware version, with a pretty significant upgrade in going to the newer one, so check yours.
In the box you’ll find the router, four antennas, power brick (which is a welcome respite from the world of wall warts), a 4 foot flat network cable, and full sized CD with quick instructions. Taking it out of the box you’ll note how hefty it is. The feet are nice and wide with huge rubber pads on them (which Linksys thoughtfully allowed a screwdriver into the screws without tearing off the pads). I personally hate when a router is so light the cable tension begins to pull it off the table. Not so with this beast. There’s a good amount of ventilation on the top of the unit, and the antennas are nicely spaced. It might be nice if the antennas were labeled, so if the user wanted to use aftermarket antennas just on one specific frequency they could. No big deal though.
Linksys wised up and put USB 3.0 on this unit as well as eSATA for shared network storage, and I always like seeing an actual power switch, so I don’t have to pull the plug just to reset it (the reset hole is very small on this thing). Also note the WPS button is very small and in the back, which is pretty lame if you use it often. I like the thought that went into the indicator lights on the front panel. This is the first router I’ve seen where I didn’t have to completely shut off or tape over the LEDs! The subdued thin lines give off a TRON-esque appearance.
The performance of this thing is exactly as expected, with all the bells and whistles a full 2.4 and 5.0 GHz setup gives you nowadays. It’s an easy setup, nice looking, solid performing router. At $215 at the time of this writing, it is a lot more expensive than many routers from competitors that do the same job. Let’s be real, you’re not fumbling with your router all day, you set it up and forget it. If you do like to get more hands on though, you can with this offering from Linksys.
Display Name: Charles C.
Date Joined: 08/24/04
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