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Sony Xperia ZL C6506 Black 4G LTE Quad-Core 1.5 GHz 16GB Unlocked Cell Phone
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

4 out of 5 eggs excellent, except nonremovable battery 07/29/2013

This review is from: Sony Xperia ZL C6506 Black 4G LTE Quad-Core 1.5 GHz 16GB Unlocked Cell Phone

Pros: T-Mobile/ATT LTE compatible.
Exceptional display
Very responsive
Sony PC Companion software excellent
Large, high res screen
Replaces 7" tablets
Fast data
Versatile, state-of-the-art connectivity
No hangs, no glitches.
High quality construction.
unlocked
GPS receiver one of the most sensitive I have seen, either separate or integrated.

Apart from the Google Nexus, which is actually a tablet, this may be the only device that is LTE compatible with both Tmobile and AT&T. The US version of the waterproof "Z" covers just a single Tmobile LTE band. The ZL covers five bands.

Even with no SIM, the ZL is a very interesting choice as a tablet. The screen resolution compensates for the size.

Cons: Support staff ignorant. I called tech support to find out how to tether it via usb. It turned out to be markedly different than a TM506 flip-phone. While tech support was trying to get off the hook by telling me I had to contact Microsoft, I figured it out, and taught them.

If a wifi access point is some distance, and the signal is weak, extreme battery drain may occur. Attempting to connect to a marginal 5gHz network, the battery dropped 10% in 3 minutes. The drain would have been less on the 2.4 gHz band. But if traveling with the phone, it seems advisable to either avoid the use of wifi, or carry a charger pack.

Battery is nonremovable. One of the big makers should break from this rip-off.

Screen front is not Corning gorilla glass.

Other Thoughts: A larger, swappable battery pack would unlock the missing potential. Grossly overweight Americans should stop focusing on the thinness of their gadgets and instead focus on the thickness of their guts.

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Microsoft Windows 8 Professional Upgrade
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

1 out of 5 eggs Microsoft tries to coerce 11/24/2012

This review is from: Microsoft Windows 8 Professional Upgrade

Pros: Windows 7 caches the kernel in unused ram. When a lot of ram is required for demanding apps, the cache is emptied to make room. With Windows 8, the kernel is small enough that most or all of it can remain resident. The actual amount of ram available to applications is very similar with each; Windows 8 has perhaps 200MB more with 8GB of ram. Therefore, Windows 8 remains more responsive when app ram requirements are high.

Cons: The GUI is an abomination. Microsoft has violated their corporate responsibility to the user base. Until now, Microsoft and Apple have served a greater good, greater than themselves: the heritage of Xerox PARC. For billions of users, the desktop is part of their mind-space. And suddenly, there is an intrusion. It's like an uninvited guest.

Microsoft, you don't own the desktop. I claim the right to arrange it the way I want it. When I see my accustomed green-blotter colored desktop adorned with MY icons, I receive visual feedback pertinent to my goals. Your image of what you want me to see does not coincide with mine. This is my computer, and my head-space.

It is reported that Steve Sinofsky, head of the Windows divsion, convinced Balmer that the start menu had to go, because otherwise, users would never look at the store. In other words, greed tempted Microsoft to take away something that had zero engineering cost to keep in.

This is coercion This is where Microsoft puts their interest ahead of your interest. Microsoft deserves to fail. Perhaps the Chinese will succeed in commercializing Linux. I'm ready to buy.

Other Thoughts: It is rumored that Steve Ballmer fired Steven Sinofsky for reasons along the lines of the above. Mr. Ballmer, you have one more chance to save your corporation. You must reincorporate the start menu, and Aero as an option, at no cost to Win 8 licensees. The style in which you do this counts. Royal granting of great largesse does not work here. Humble humility works. Fix this wagon, and perhaps public opinion will once again favor you with your prior reputation, a jewel in the crown of American technological supremacy.

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EnGenius EUB9603H Wireless Adapter with 5dBi antenna 600mW High Power USB 2.0
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

4 out of 5 eggs Comparison with Alfa AWUS036NHR 10/21/2012

This review is from: EnGenius EUB9603H Wireless Adapter with 5dBi antenna 600mW High Power USB 2.0

Pros: The 9603H uses the Realtek 8188S(U?) chip; Alfa uses the 8188RU high power chip. Both client apps are based on a Realtek code base. The Engenius registers as an Engenius device; the Alfa as a Realtek device. Comparisons were made with an Asus RT-AC66U AP/router, firmware 3.0.0.4.246 (latest). Signal was through two floors, near or at “100%”, link speed reported 72mb/s with both adapters without channel bonding. Throughput measured with LAN Speedtest Lite, v1.2. Identical 5dB omni "rubber duck" antenna swapped between adapters.

Engenius throughput without client program installed: 3-18 mb/s
Engenius throughput with client installed: 35-45 mb/s
Alfa throughput with or without client: 5-20 mb/s, frequently slower than “g” speeds.

The Alfa client app appears to be a simple branded copy of the Realtek app. It does not recognize the Engenius adapter. Since Alfa uses the higher end chip, the implication is that the Engenius client program loads something into the firmware that makes a positive difference.

Cons: The Alfa/Realtek and Engenius client apps conflict, and cannot be simultaneously installed. The drivers do not conflict, but as previously noted, the Engenius client seems to provide a beneficial code tweak. The install packages do not offer to install the drivers without the clients. To run both adapters on one machine, first install the entire Engenius package. Then run the Alfa install, use “system restore” to remove it, then manually install the Alfa driver left over by the Alfa install program in the folder “036NHR_WindowsDriver_0104”.

Other Thoughts: The Alfa/Realtek and Engenius clients conflict, and cannot be simultaneously installed. The drivers do not conflict, but as previously noted, the Engenius client seems to provide a beneficial code tweak. The install packages do not offer to install the drivers without the clients. To run both adapters on one machine, first install the entire Engenius package. Then run the Alfa install, use “system restore” to remove it, then manually install the Alfa driver left over by the Alfa install program in the folder “036NHR_WindowsDriver_0104”.

Caveats: The Asus RT-AC66U new, with frequent firmware revisions. Your results may be significantly different.

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Robert M.'s Profile

Display Name: Robert M.

Date Joined: 11/05/03

  • Reviews: 9
  • Helpfulness: 6
  • First Review: 11/23/08
  • Last Review: 07/29/13
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