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This review is from: WD Red Pro 2 TB NAS Hard Drive WD2001FFSX up to 16 bay: 3.5-inch SATA 6, 64MB Cache
Pros: Testing in RAID1, sequential reads are peaking at 160 MB/s, which is quite impressive, averaging 100 MB/s for file copies. It's significantly faster than all of my other drives in both random access time and bandwidth (12.1ms and 0.322 MB/s @ 4K).
Initialization was much faster than previous drives as well. WD has done everything right with these drives from what I can tell. I can only hope reliability is as top-notch as the drive's performance, and I know WD has the best customer service among HDD manufacturers as well.
This drive has a 5 year warranty, not 3 years as specified incorrectly on some websites. Each drive comes individually wrapped (and padded) in its own box, which was a pleasant surprise after seeing so many OEM's over the years.
Other Thoughts: Since this is a NAS device, I'm not going to list this as a Con or punish the score over it, but seeks are considerably louder than other consumer-level drives I've tested.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Since this item is a complete PC, there's a lot to cover. I'll break down this review piece by piece.
Packaging/Contents: I'm pleasantly surprised by how much LG managed to squeeze into such a small package. The entire system consists of a monitor (housing the PC itself), mouse, and keyboard, with speakers on the back of the monitor. It also includes a set of screws for the monitor stand, and a plastic cover for the mount.
Monitor: For this price, I wasn't expecting much, but I was pleasantly surprised. The monitor is using an IPS panel, which is known for having some of the best picture quality on the market today. I definitely wasn't expecting to see such a great quality screen included. I already own several IPS Panels, some of which were $350+, and the monitor included with the Chromebase is on-par with those. Very impressed.
Storage: 16 GB SSD. It seems small, but considering what the Chromebase is capable of, it's plenty. I'm glad to see they used an SSD, and SanDisk is a reliable brand with popular SSD's. In this situation, a larger/slower HDD would have been a bad decision.
ChromeOS: A simplistic but usable OS built around the Chrome web browser. The desktop layout is similar to Windows, so most people should already be familiar with it. Aside from web-browser based features, it includes an App list as well as some basic settings features including WiFi, account controls, brightness/volume, a camera, calculator, and other necessities. I will cover the drawbacks of ChromeOS in the "Cons" section.
Usability: It works right out of the box. Setup includes plugging the monitor (PC) into a power outlet, as well as hooking up the USB Keyboard and Mouse. It boots nearly instantly, less than 5 seconds. The OS itself, the UI and its layout, are perfectly responsive.
Value: Here's where it all comes together. It's currently $299 on Newegg (on-sale), which is just amazing. I'd price the monitor itself at nearly $200, which means getting a complete PC for its current price is simply astounding.
Cons: Keyboard/Mouse: The keyboard is slim, full-size, and uses Chiclet keys. It uses low-profile keys so there may not be as much tactile feedback as you're used to. The mouse has a red light on it that glows when it's being moved. It features the standard Left/Right clicks, as well as a scroll-wheel which also works as a middle mouse click. The mouse and keyboard feel a bit flimsy, the mouse in particular. They both work perfectly fine but you can tell where corners are being cut to meet some price limitations. Another small, but noticable problem, is the lack of middle-click scrolling in Chrome. This feature exists in Chrome for standard desktop PC's, why was it left out of the Chromebase? I assume it's an issue with ChromeOS, and a shame to see a quality of life feature being left out.
Apps: This is a bit misleading, since they're not "apps". They're mostly Chrome extensions. Since nearly everything you do in ChromeOS is built into the web browser, the "apps" are just shortcuts to various websites including Google Docs, Google Play, Google Drive, etc. Even the "Games" app just sends you to a flash-based gaming website.
The monitor attaches to the stand with screws, so it can't be tilted or otherwise adjusted in any way. You won't be able to knock it over by bumping into it, which is a potential problem other monitor stands have, so I suppose it was an intentional design choice based on the target audience of the Chromebase.
I also found the speakers to be a bit disappointing, they're incredibly quiet even at max volume. In fact, I would say the speakers are inaudible in noise environments. The monitor has a standard 2.5mm audio jack on the side, so any set of speakers/headphones should work fine. I recommend not using the onboard speakers. If you're planning to listen to a lot of audio with this PC, you should plan to also buy something else to play sound!
And finally, I find ChromeOS to be extremely limited, but it depends entirely on what you want out of your PC. You can't install programs on it, which explains the small 16 GB included storage.
Other Thoughts: For clarity, I need to point out this computer DOES NOT support the Google Play Store or any other kind of Android Apps.
With the ultimate question being, "Is this computer worth buying?" It boils down to what you need from your system. This PC bears a lot of similarities to basic mobile devices like tablets/smartphones, but with a larger screen and with a full keyboard/mouse included. I would argue this PC is slightly less capable than most mobile devices, being that ChromeOS itself is quite limiting.
If you need a basic, web-based family computer or a simple computer for someone who only demands web-browser support, then this is an excellent option at a very competitive price point.
Pros: Well, to my surprise, it exceeded my expectations. Extremely quick and simple setup, works flawlessly out of the box. This Wi-Fi extender supports internet through your standard power outlets, using a direct connection to extend your signal as opposed to just mirroring and extending an existing connection wirelessly.
What does this mean? Primarily, it means stronger connection strength and speed. It also means you can extend the signal farther and be more precise with your router positioning.
The extender also has an ethernet jack on it, so you can even use a wired connection if you want. I detected no speed loss on my 100mbit line, which means the extender was doing its job perfectly!
I tested signal strength on the extender and found it covered nearly my entire house, around 50-75 feet away before the signal started losing significant quality.
Cons: No glaring flaws. I could nitpick on the instruction manual, but honestly for a device this simplistic, I can't criticize them over the guide.
Other Thoughts: Package includes two ethernet cables even though you will only need one if you're extending the Wi-Fi. It took me a few tries to properly clone WPS via my router, but the entire process was automatic once I timed everything properly.READ FULL REVIEW