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This review is from: TP-LINK RE355 AC1200 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Range Extender
Pros: - Descriptive and easy to follow setup instructions
- Good build quality
- Power and LED on / off buttons
- Not small
- Antennas feel lower quality than everything else
- Signal quality indicator could be better
Other Thoughts: I am impressed at the features that are packed into this range extender; it is pretty much has the functionality of a router just without a few fewer ethernet ports. I have encountered so many sub-par range extenders that it is nice to finally find a good one.
Let's start with the Pros. The packaged instructions are detailed, easy to follow, and include a couple different ways to set up the extender. And when you do something wrong trying to get to the configuration, there are even a couple of webpages and instructions that will come up to help steer you back in the correct direction. Once at the configuration wizard, setup continues to be a breeze. The interface is easy to work and navigate. Moving on to the device itself, the overall build quality is solid. Unlike many extenders, the external antennas and additional features mean that the body of this extender does not feel horribly hollow. The inclusion of a power button is nice, but the real icing on the cake is the LED on / off button. Once you have everything in place and working, you can press the LED button to turn off all the interface lights meaning you no longer have to put up with a light telling you something you already know. And if something goes wrong, the press of a button turns all the indicators right back on.
Now for the Cons. To start with, this is not a small unit; small for the amount of features it has, but not small. However, it's size is well executed. It can be plugged into the top slot on an outlet and there is still enough room to plug something in below it. The weigh is also balanced well so that it does not try and pull itself out of the outlet. While the overall quality of the device is good, the antennas just feel a little cheap comparatively. My final complaint is that the signal quality indicator could be slightly better. While the simple red is bad and blue is good is easy to understand and use, I would have preferred something to indicate the percentage quality of the signal.
Overall, this is one of the best Wi-Fi extenders I have come across. If you are looking for something to extend both of your Wi-Fi bands at decently fast speeds, this may be the right option for you.
This review is from: TP-LINK TL-WA850RE 300Mbps Universal Wi-Fi Range Extender. Wi-Fi Booster
Pros: - Solid build quality
- Good instructions and packaging
- Simply yet effective interface lights
- Can interfere with the other outlet plugs
Other Thoughts: With a product at this price point, I was really impressed by the build quality and packaging. On the device itself, the corners are rounded, the seams smooth, and the buttons tactile. It is a little hollow feeling overall due to it having internal antennas, but in my opinion, it looks better to have a piece of plastic sticking out of the wall than a set of antennas. The indicator LEDs are simple yet well executed; they tell you what needs to be known while not being overly bright or too hard to see. The packaging was very protective, the instructions were pretty good, and the included resource CD is something I always like to see. My biggest complaint with the packaging is slightly confusing instructions; the single piece of paper has multiple setup options printed on it, with multiple paths within those options as well. While everything is decently labeled and numbered and lettered, it was a little cumbersome trying to figure out which option I wanted to use to set the extender up. That being said however, manual setup was easy allowing me to have the extender functioning in less than five minutes. I was not able to get the WPS setup to work, but that is most likely due to my router and not this device.
I have very few issues with this device. My first complaint is that the design is a little big and can interfere with things plugged in next to it. My only other complaint is that the 300 Mbps speed feels a little out of place on such a nicely built and designed product. If this had wireless speeds around 600 Mbps, it could easily sell at a much higher price.
I am currently using this device in a garage where the ambient temperature gets upwards of 130 degrees Fahrenheit and haven't had an issue with it yet. I am only running a single computer off of its signal, but I am still impressed that it is surviving.
Overall, this is a very well built device at a very good price with nearly no drawbacks. For situations where a high speed link is not needed, this would be a great device to get the job done.
Pros: - Good speed
- Relatively low price
- Light and cheap feel
- No adapters (3.5" or 9mm) or accessories
Other Thoughts: The performance numbers for this drive are right in line with comparable devices. CrystalDiskMark returned sequential speeds just under advertised values at 545 MB/s read and 515 MB/s write. The 4K tests measured read speeds of 33 MB/s and write speeds of 110 MB/s. The drive benchmarked at these speeds both empty (fresh out of the box) and at about 60% full.
However, the speeds are about all this drive has going for it. The 3 year warranty is about average for a drive in this price point but the packaging, accessories, and case quality feel rather sub-par. Perhaps this means that more of your money is put into the insides of the drive, but I doubt it. The casing for this drive is partially metal, but it is obvious that corners were cut even down to the application of the sticker. The sticker on my drive was not only skewed sideways, but also nearer one side of the drive than the other. This drive does not come with a 2.5" to 3.5" adapter which is not too big of a problem, but I would have liked to see a 7mm to 9mm height adapter, especially since the marketing implies that this is a good upgrade for a laptop. I would have also liked to see a bit more money spent on documentation and installation guides; the included bits of information would do nothing for an experienced person and would only lead to more confusion for someone who needed help installing this drive.
Overall, this is a cheap drive and it shows in physical quality. However, on the performance side of things, this drive trades blows with some of the best. Being cheap does not necessarily make a product bad; the OCZ Trion 150 series is a solid option in the budget SSD segment.