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This review is from: Netgear A6210-100PAS AC1200 Wi-Fi USB Adapter High Gain Dual Band USB 3.0
Pros: First and foremost, the antennna on this adapter is very impressive. I definitely didn't expect such a small device to reach the range that it achieved, both in 2.4 and 5 GHz wireless.
5 GHz @ 80 yards (no walls): 30 MBps downstream.
2.4 GHz @ 80 yards (no walls): 4 MBps downstream.
5 GHz @ 80 yards (2 walls): 6 MBps downstream.
2.4 GHz @ 80 yards (no walls): 3 MBps downstream.
My ping results were always around 20-30ms without walls, which is impressive, but the tests were being run through my ISP's speed test.
The 5 GHz support is a huge plus. I haven't seen this very often on other Wi-Fi adapters, and I think it makes up for the small antenna size. Even despite its size, it performs incredibly well on 2.4 GHz as well.
Even though for a standalone adapter it's a bit bulky, considering the amount of power this thing packs, there's really no reason to complain. Are there smaller Wi-Fi adapters on the market? -- Yes. But to achieve range like this you usually need a table-top device with large antenna.
Cons: The biggest and most glaring drawback of this adapter is its inability to handle wall obstructions very well. It's a common, unavoidable problem that most wireless adapters have. But given how well it succeeds in all other areas, I feel like I need to mention the fact that it's not a complete wireless solution. If you have a wall (or even worse, multiple walls) between the adapter and its source connection, you will suffer connection degradation or loss entirely.
Drivers are available through Netgear's website as well as an included CD-ROM disc. I'm listing this is as a Con because Netgear's website forces you to register an account before you can access the driver download. That's totally unnecessary.
The software package bundled with the drivers is a bit pointless, the driver integrates itself into Windows' wireless networks which means the adapter can fully operate through Windows controls exclusively. There's no reason to install additional software which doesn't do anything useful.
All of my other Wi-Fi adapters have included status lights, or at the very least, power indicators. The A6210 has no indicators on it whatsoever. A "Data transfer" light or connection status light would have been very appreciated, as it's always good to know when the adapter is actually working properly.
Other Thoughts: Netgear was nice enough to include a USB extender/stand for the adapter which I found particularly useful. For most people, plugging in the adapter to their side USB ports on their laptop will be sufficient enough, but the USB dongle/stand is always a nice feature. It might just give you the extra range you need. If nothing else, it makes the adapter more convenient since it's out of the way.
As far as Wi-Fi adapters go, the A6210 is a bit large and oddly shaped. A more curved form-factor with rounded edges would have not only made it easier on the eyes, but easier on the hands as well. If you accidentally bump your hand into this thing, you're going to feel it. Sharp edges are always a bad idea with this kind of device.
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.
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