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Zotac ZBOX-ID83-P Intel Core i3 3120M,4GB RAM,500G HDD,Intel HD4000 Graphics integrated by CPU,Mini PC
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: 1) extremely compact size with lots of connectivity
2) less than 5 minutes to pop in memory and hard disk
3) 6.4 on the Windows experience index (Win 7)
4) VESA compliant mount option
5) excellent stand for vertical mount
6) can replace a much, much larger desktop

Cons: 1) needed to take lid off case to install antenna
2) CPU already installed, but it's a good one so not necessarily a con

Other Thoughts: Overall far better than I expected. Size-wise it is not much more so than a paperback book. You have to supply both memory and hard disk. For my unit I installed 8Gb of DDR3 memory (Crucial 4GB x 2) and a 250Gb SSD (Samsung). Max memory is 16Gb. If you already have monitor, keyboard, and mouse, you are getting a full-fledged, tiny, and powerful system for your investment (in my case, about $600). You will also need a USB DVD drive for installing the OS and drivers (drivers are supplied on DVD for Win 7 and 8).

The system has 4 USB2 ports, 2 USB3 ports, HDMI and DVI monitor ports, ethernet port, and even an S/PDIF optical port. Wireless and blue tooth are also built in.

Physically the unit is mounted on a metal framework with aesthetically pleasing heavy gauge plastic top and bottom. Remove two thumb screws, slide off the case cover, pop In the memory, release the retention screw for the hard drive and insert, reassemble, and it's ready for OS install. It takes longer to get the stuff out of their boxes than to complete the assembly. An IR remote and USB dongle are supplied if your intention is to control it from a distance - I haven't tried that particular feature.

The lid of the unit has a large "signature" circle on it that lights as a soft blue, a "feature" that is easily disabled in the ROM BIOS. In initial software installation, stick to the USB2 ports for DVD, keyboard, and mouse, as the USB3 ports require a driver, and you won't have USB3 drivers until you have an OS in place.

It's potent enough to run just about any app, gaming excepted.

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G.SKILL Ares Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C9Q-16GAO
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: nice looking heat sink

Cons: Don't trust G.Skill's testing (memtest86+ verified 1 of the 4 modules was bad). I have two beefs:
1) G.Skill's "hand-testing" evidently means a very quick read/write check and no stress testing.
2) Yes, the memory has a life-time warranty, but G.Skill wants all 4 modules RMA'd, which would leave you with a down machine for a number of weeks.

I should only be expected to RMA the bad module for G.Skill to verify my testing ... if they don't think a single module replacement will play nice with the other 3, then they should send a new 4 pack and have me send back the other 3 at that point.

It's also worth relating that I have a friend who recently had a similar experience to mine with G.Skill memory (different kind of modules), so I don't think I will be using G.Skill memory again.

Other Thoughts: Stress testing installed memory takes a good bit of time, so you would hope you could trust the manufacturer to be almost 100% trustworthy, but I have two cases in hand of failed G.Sink memory in my own little universe, which says this may be a characteristic of this company's memory.

I am particularly put out because of the time lost to ferreting out the fact a memory module was bad . I installed this memory on a new build (ASUS mb) and all was fine initially, so I proceeded to put in Win 7/64. About 2 weeks in BSOD while in sleep mode. From that point, the problem sporadically recurred. Memory was the last thing I suspected - so I messed with the more likely suspects: BIOS settings, graphics and other drivers, and a virus attack. It takes a lot of time to rule out that kind of stuff. It's obvious now that the bad module was causing the occasional BSOD. Believe me, the next time I build a system, I will take the time to do my own memory stress testing (memtest86+ is freeware - very easy to setup and use - just let it run overnight).

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Securifi Almond Touch Screen Wireless N Router + Range Extender
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

5 out of 5 eggs As easy to set up as they claim 11/29/2012

This review is from: Securifi Almond Touch Screen Wireless N Router + Range Extender

Pros: 1. very small
2. great "wow" factor
3. easy to get working (at least as a Wi-Fi extender)

Cons: The firmware for the unit you purchase may be too old for it to do updates directly via the internet, in which case you have to go to the Securifi website, download the latest firmware, and install it via the unit's web interface (requires only pointing the web interface to the downloaded file - takes about a minute, so it's actually pretty painless)

Other Thoughts: I am using the Almond as a Wi-Fi extender, and analysis software indicates it has doubled the signal strength in the part of the house where I needed it.

The new firmware should allow updates directly from the internet. It definitely allows setting the SSID to be anything you want, including the same SSID as your wireless access point (the wireless tab on the unit's display allows you to change the SSID). In addition to interface improvements, the new firmware includes beta versions for time sync and weather, both of which worked perfectly for me. Initial setup was less than 5 minutes, and the firmware update in my case took about another 15. That's about as easy as it gets.

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Charles W.'s Profile

Display Name: Charles W.

Date Joined: 03/03/06

  • Reviews: 16
  • Helpfulness: 5
  • First Review: 09/20/08
  • Last Review: 03/01/14
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