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TP-LINK RE355 AC1200 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Range Extender
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

Pros: >One of the few dual band extenders on the consumer market
>Setup was the easiest I've ever done with an extender; no WPS necessary
>Good range for both bands
>Antennae are rectractable
>'Seamless' wireless networking - some cheaper extenders won't let you clone the SSID.

Cons: >Antennae feel a little flimsy
>It is a little large?
>Kind of pricey if it isn't exactly what you are looking for

Other Thoughts: I live in the lower-half of a two-family home. Router is in the basement by necessity, so it used to be that we could only get the 2.4Ghz signal throughout the home. The 5Ghz could only be picked up in certain places that were nearby the router. This extender seems to solve that problem. We get 5Ghz throughout the home, and 2.4Ghz out onto the porch and into the yard.

The setup was super easy. I'm used to having to run back and forth between router and extender pushing WPS button - and then usually having some kind of "network name - extender" SSID coming from the extender. But this was: plug it in, connect to it like you would a router, follow the on-screen prompts, and get a seamless wireless network. Super easy. All you need to know if your WiFi network names and passwords. That is it.

One thing you should be aware of is just how massive this extender is. Don't expect to be using that socket for anything other than this extender. It doesn't completely block the plug below it, but it does come close enough that getting other plugs in and out would be difficult/impossible (depending on the plug). Even then, with the antennas retracted, its about 6" long. I suggest you put it in a socket that you don't really use. We put it in our kitchen, in a socket that we never used (its in an odd place).

Is it worth $90? Maybe. Depends on your situation, and budget. If you have a little more money to spend and like solid WiFi connections - but your budget stops short of enterprise-class gear - this is probably what you are looking for. We flat out couldn't use our 5Ghz network before this. It just couldn't be picked up by any devices in most of the house, because even the $300 routers have trouble pumping 5Ghz signal up two flights of stairs from a basement. Now we have 5Ghz everywhere, and 2.4Ghz outside. But if you have only a few dead or weak spots in your coverage, you can probably get by with a cheaper extender.

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Pros: >low power (can be hooked up to a battery)
>small form factor
>TONS of I/O (analog, digital, USB3.0, JTAG)
>HDMI, SATA, SD card, and Mini PCIe
>You can run most of ROS on this

Cons: >Locked into nVidia's own Ubuntu OS for the Tegra, and the new version is obviously optimized for the TX1 and not the TK1
>Driver and software support isn't the best, because of ARM CPU
>2Gb of RAM is not a whole lot when you're trying to do image processing, the main point of this board.

Other Thoughts: I bought this board with running ROS in mind. I wanted a small, low power platform so that I did not need to worry a whole lot about battery size. For the most part, installing ROS on this is pretty much the same as if you were installing it on a laptop, but there are a few differences. The full version of ROS will not install on this. It has a few pieces of code that seem to look for an x86 CPU and won't execute on an ARM CPU. Instead you need to install the 'robot' version of ROS. In the case of ROS Indigo, that is: "apt-get install ros-indigo-robot python-rosinstall". This version of ROS is meant to run on the robot itself, not on a larger PC that is controlling a robot. That also means the tutorials are a separate install in this case, if you want those for debugging and testing.

As for nVidia's version of Ubuntu (Ubuntu4Tegra). Its not bad. Functions just like regular Ubuntu on any normal desktop. You just can't install some applications (sublime text was the most glaring one I noticed). Also, the last version developed specifically just for the TK1 has some bugs as far as OpenCV is concerned. Nothing that prevents it from working, but it doesn't work as a smoothly as it does in an x86 environment. The newer versions of Ubuntu4Tegra, that support 'both' the TK1 and TX1, supposedly fix this and I tried upgrading. I had to downgrade after trying the newer version. It did work, but ROS Indigo really did not like it. I was getting weird errors where it wasn't finding dependencies, or running packages - even the listener/talker demos wouldn't run. Perhaps this has been fixed by now, but I haven't tested it. I want a platform to work on, not a platform to debug.

All in all, its a good development platform, or even a maker board if you need some graphics processing.

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Corsair Gaming MM200 Mouse Mat - Standard Edition
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

Pros: >smooth surface
>can be rolled up for transportation

Cons: >Doesn't really replace my old gaming pad - not really an improvement.
>worried how long the top will stay on, because of previous experiences with flexible rubber mouse pads.

Other Thoughts: I've used the same rigid mouse pad for 3-4 years now. It is reversible, with two different 'slicknesses' - one on each side. Think it cost me $10 in a store, and is still the best mouse pad I've ever used.
So while the Corsair is nice, it can't replace my old pad. Perhaps I've just grown too accustomed to rigid pads, but I always feel like my mouse is digging in when I try to move it. Not in a 'this isn't a slick pad'. That is not the case. Just in that it is a soft pad, and I think I started applying pressure when I started using a rigid pad - gives me a little more control.
So for me, I can really only give 3 eggs - but this is largely because of a personal preference.

ADDITIONALLY: Pay *CLOSE* attention to who you are buying this from. At the time of me writing this review, Newegg is selling it for $16 - but they are sold out.. One of their selling partners is asking $25, and yet another is asking $55. Not knocking eggs off for this, but just pay close attention, because $25 for this mouse pad is pushing it - and $55 is WAY too much for this.

Update: This mouse pad has since replaced my old one (it wore out), and now function as my 'everyday' pad. Good, consistent tracking, and it has stood up to a year of daily use. If you're looking for a good sub-$20 pad, this, or its updated version (since there doesn't seem to be any difference), should do the trick.

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Michael B.'s Profile

Display Name: Michael B.

Date Joined: 11/04/07

Achievements:

  • neweggTop 1000 Reviewer
  • Reviews: 69
  • Helpfulness: 36
  • First Review: 02/16/08
  • Last Review: 07/06/16
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