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Seagate Expansion 500GB USB 3.0 2.5
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

4 out of 5 eggs Great travel hard drive at a great price! 04/23/2015

This review is from: Seagate Expansion 500GB USB 3.0 2.5" Portable External Hard Drive STEA500400

Pros: - Easy to use. Step one - plug the USB cable into the drive. Step two - plug the cable into your computer. Done. Upon plugging the drive into my workstation, Windows 7 x64, didn’t even need to go out and look for drives. By the time I sat down again, my device was ready to use. That’s cool!… instead of waiting around all day for Windows to go fetch drivers.

- Quick speeds.
HD Tune: Seagate Expansion Benchmark

Transfer Rate Minimum : 55.0 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Maximum : 116.6 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Average : 91.1 MB/sec
Access Time : 18.9 ms
Burst Rate : 202.2 MB/sec
CPU Usage : -1.0%

HD Tune: WDC WD2500AAKX-00ERMA0 Benchmark

Transfer Rate Minimum : 56.7 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Maximum : 119.5 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Average : 97.3 MB/sec
Access Time : 15.6 ms
Burst Rate : 204.8 MB/sec
CPU Usage : -1.0%

HD Tune: SanDisk SDSSDHP064G Benchmark

Transfer Rate Minimum : 349.7 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Maximum : 439.0 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Average : 416.5 MB/sec
Access Time : 0.1 ms
Burst Rate : 84.2 MB/sec
CPU Usage : -1.0%

I know… I know… why did I even bother posting the numbers for my Sandisk SSD on here. For science and comparison’s sake... I guess. We didn’t go into this thinking this hard drive was going to be as fast as our SSD system drive. However, I was pleased to see that it at least keeps pace with my SATA mass-storage drive.

Cons: (super nit-picks)
- At this price point, one can’t expect Seagate to provide some sort of soft case / travel case for the drive and it’s USB cable.

- The USB 3.0 cable isn’t the shortest one I’ve ever seen provided with an external drive, but definitely not the longest either.

- The outer case of the hard drive has a cool “blocky” design… but alas, it is made out of the cheapest, most hollow, most breakable plastic one could imagine. I’m not so sure this is a “toss-in-a-bag-and-go” type hard drive. All the plastic does make it super-light-weight though.

Other Thoughts: - I actually decided to give the Quick Start Guide a glance, just to see what it might explain about an external hard drive. One picture on page 1 with two steps. Step one - plug the USB cable into the drive. Step two - plug the cable into your computer. Done.

- Why did Seagate feel the need to include the warranty info in a PDF and a registration app. pre-installed on the hard drive? I guess it’s better to receive that kind of stuff rather than bloatware. Still feel free to delete that stuff though.

- The drive comes pre-formatted as an NTFS drive, just an FYI.

- I tried looking around for an LED indicator before plugging the hard drive in and for the life of me, I couldn’t find one. BUT, once plugged in, there is a bright blue “slash” of an LED indicator light that illuminates in one of the corners.

- Comes in a small cardboard box. The hard drive (wrapped in plastic-wrap) itself is protected in a plastic clam-shell with the USB 3.0 cable tucked neatly underneath it. Included in the box:
- Seagate Expansion 500GB USB 3.0 drive
- USB 3.0 cable
- Quick Start Guide

- Find a nice soft / hard travel case for this hard drive and it’s USB cable (treat it nice and take care of it as well!) and you’ve got one super-affordable external drive that’s ready for travel. In fact, for the price… why not get the 1TB or 2TB version???

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TP-LINK Archer C8 AC1750 Dual Band Wireless AC Gigabit Router, 2.4GHz 450Mbps+5Ghz 1350Mbps, 1 USB 2.0 Port & 1 USB 3.0 Port, IPv6, Guest Network
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Powering up and setting up:
Follow the guide and you can’t go wrong… turn your modem off. Connect all of your cables. Turn the modem on (and wait 2-5 minutes for it to fully boot). Turn the Archer C8 on and “Robert is your mother’s brother”. It’s that easy.

Did not need a firmware update. Router had the “current” firmware 3.16.27 Build 20140903 Rel. 75232.

Use:
Router reboot time is around 38 seconds… that’s pretty fast. Most changes to the router don’t require a reboot… things like enabling / disabling IPv6 required a reboot.

Wireless file transfer speeds:
(wired client to wireless client - 100MB file - 16MB/s)
(wireless client to wired client - 100MB file - 12MB/s)
(wired client to wireless client - 1GB of assorted files - 13MB/s)
(wireless client to wired client - 1GB of assorted files - 10MB/s)
(wired client to wireless client - 1GB file - 19MB/s)
(wireless client to wired client - 1GB file - 11MB/s)
So at very least it’s quick and consistent.

The web UI is clean and neat. There’s three main tabs… Quick Setup / Basic / Advanced. Quick setup will get you up and running in no time. Basic is the normal landing page when you log into the router. With Basic, you get very mild settings… Internet, Wireless, USB settings, and Guest Network. With Advanced… you get EVERYTHING! Network, Dual Band Selection, Wireless 2.4Ghz, Wireless 5Ghz, Guest Network, DHCP, USB settings, NAT Boost, Forwarding, Security, Parental Control… you get the idea.

Steam In-Home Streaming was as smooth as glass on the 5Ghz AC signal! This could probably be the largest selling point… In-Home Streaming to my Lenovo laptop was smooth as could be… no hiccups what-so-ever!

I appreciate the fact that you can choose what 802.11 protocol you would like to utilize on either 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz band (I setup 2.4Ghz to use 802.11n and 5Ghz to use 802.11ac). I don’t have any 802.11a /b/g devices… so why broadcast it?

Cons: (these are only super critical nit-picks)

It’s white. TP-LINK says it has a “modern and elegant appearance”. Why does everything “modern and elegant” have to look like an Apple product? Not a huge deal, but I would have prefered the same router in black.

It’s a desktop only router… no wall mounting to be had here. I guess it could very well go on a shelf... after all, it has a “modern and elegant appearance”!

Powering up and setting up:
I tried changing the router login to a password that contained punctuation and it wouldn’t allow that… got an error that said the password contained unsupported characters. That’s fine… but maybe that page should specify WHICH characters it does allow.

Other Thoughts: Packaging and Un-boxing:
Comes in a regular cardboard box. The router itself comes wrapped in protective plastic. Everything within the box is housed in a tray. The box contains:
Archer C8 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router
3x Antennas
1x RJ45 Ethernet Cable
Power Adapter
Resource CD
Quick Installation Guide

First impressions (before powering up and setting up):
Some assembly required: you have to attach the antennas… not a huge deal, but just thought it was worth the mention

Wrap Up:
All-in-all, this is a very good, solid router. It's UI is clean, there's tons of features, it's easy to setup, it has good transfer speeds, it reboots fast (when you actually change settings that may require it, most don't), and Steam In-Home Streaming was amazing on the 5Ghz AC signal. Other than the "like-Apple product" appearance and the fact that you can't wall mount it, I'd get this one and be happy!

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SONY SRSX3/BLK SRS-X3 2.0 Speaker System - 20 W RMS - Wireless Speaker(s) - Black
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggs GREAT SOUNDING SPEAKER!!! 03/10/2015

This review is from: SONY SRSX3/BLK SRS-X3 2.0 Speaker System - 20 W RMS - Wireless Speaker(s) - Black

Pros: First impressions (before powering up and setting up):
The speaker itself is WAY smaller than I thought. Seems like it has enough buttons to fully function properly… without anything you don’t need. Charging indicator, Volume + / -, Power On / Off, Sound (which activates Wide Stereo Mode aka simulated surround sound), Bluetooth pairing, Audio In (to switch to the rear ⅛” audio input), and the Call Answer / End. So even though it’s tiny… it’s packed full of features.

Use:
AWESOMENESS! This speaker has that “wall of sound” thing going on… I was absolutely floored at the quality of sounds coming out of something this small!!! Has great bass, highs and mids… super clear.

The Wide Stereo Mode is a matter of preference (different to everyone's ears). Some songs sound better with it… others tend to sound too tinny (too many high’s).

I did use the call feature once… wife called and sounded clear and noted how I sounded clear on her end as well.

Pairing isn’t very difficult at all… push and or hold the Bluetooth pairing button until it blinks white, then scan for the speaker on your device (in my case, this was my Galaxy S5). My phone found the speaker right away and was paired in a matter of seconds. The instructions say that up to 8 devices can be paired to the speaker… after that, I’m not quite sure what will happen… maybe the pairing memory gets full up and won’t let you pair anymore devices.

Cons: This unit is not water-proof and / or water-resistant… I was sort of nervous, but it has already survived about a week and ½ of showers in our washroom and is still blaring away!

(Not really a complaint… but for around $100… Sony couldn't have thrown in an ⅛” to ⅛” audio cable for those devices that don’t have Bluetooth?)

Other Thoughts: Packaging and Un-boxing:
Picked this up at a local wholesale club… so the packaging was a little over-blown as to deter theft. Once I cracked the extra retail packaging… the speaker kit (which includes the extra carrying case!!!) comes in regular retail cardboard packaging. Inside, everything is cradled by stiff Styrofoam.

Included in the box:
Sony SRSX3/C portable speaker
Sony CKSX3 Carrying Case
USB AC adapter
Micro USB cable
Quick Start guide
Reference guide
Warranty Card

First impressions (before powering up and setting up):
The speaker itself is WAY smaller than I thought. Seems like it has enough buttons to fully function properly… without anything you don’t need. Charging indicator, Volume + / -, Power On / Off, Sound (which activates Wide Stereo Mode aka simulated surround sound), Bluetooth pairing, Audio In (to switch to the rear ⅛” audio input), and the Call Answer / End. So even though it’s tiny… it’s packed full of features.

Powering up and setting up:
The instructions recommend charging the speaker for at least 2-3 hours before you intend on using it on battery power. The orange charging indicator glows when charging and turns off when the speaker is fully charged. Since my application of this speaker is to stay stationary in one of our washrooms (for shower singing! duhhh!)... I’m not worried about the battery capability of this speaker, but once the weather gets nicer, I might venture outside with this and test it’s battery option out (Glad it’s there, but I’m not going to rely on it).

Wrap-Up:
If you have ever been on the fence with a Bluetooth speaker (as I was), for a variety of reasons… look no further than the Sony SRSX3/C. I wanted quality sound that didn't break the bank or force me to take out a second mortgage. I wanted it to be large enough to have good quality sound, but not so huge that it wouldn't fit on a bookshelf (or in the shelf of the vanity in our washroom). I wanted a brand name that was synonymous with quality. I'm not kidding... go listen to this speaker in an electronics store and give it a full test... You get all of that and more with the SRSX3/C!

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Sean B.'s Profile

Display Name: Sean B.

Date Joined: 12/03/10

Achievements:

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  • Reviews: 86
  • Helpfulness: 32
  • First Review: 09/22/11
  • Last Review: 04/23/15
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