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ORICO PVU3-502I Monster USB3.0 PCI - Express Card with 5 Rear USB3.0 Ports and 1x Internal USB3.0 20PIN Connector Controller Adapter Card
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: Great add-on card for older motherboards that either don't have USB3 or that don't have the 20-pin USB3 header that so many modern computer cases have. I am running this under Linux, and the card is immediately recognized as ASMedia ASM1042 controller, and the kernel driver xhci_hcd is loaded. Works right out of the box.

Cons: There is very little else to say other than the card works exactly as expected, so no cons evident.

Other Thoughts: I wanted to write this review in response to many critical reviews. It seems that drivers for Windows seem to be an issue. This is curious as stock Linux kernel drivers do the job. Perhaps time to dump Windows?

Banana Pi Bpi001 Dual-Core CPU 1G-RAM 1G-Ethernet Single Board Computer - Fully Compatible With Raspberry Pi
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: These small single-board computers are amazing, especially when we consider that the computing power of this Banana Pi (dual core, 1 GB RAM) was standard for laptops 5-10 years ago.

Computing power is good, thanks to RAM and the dual-core CPU. Graphics performance is good, x window is very usable (e.g., with xfce or lubuntu).

The Banana Pi comes with several nice extras, such as gigabit ehternet, reset and power button, built-in infrared, and even a SATA connector.

On the Banana Pi website, a number of different operating system images can be downloaded, including Bananian (a Debian derivative), lubuntu (yes, the full version!), and Android. Good for any form of development system.

Cons: Cons? Crashes, crashes, crashes. I am running this board side-by-side with a Raspberry Pi for a simple control job. No fancy GUI, no high CPU or GPU load. No overclocking. I get kernel panics every few hours with the "official" Bananian O/S. With lubuntu, it seems to be even worse.The RPi runs the same application without a hitch.

What is wrong? Is this a poor kernel build? Poor quality control? Kernel panics should not happen in any well-designed system with healthy hardware. This unstable behavior is not acceptable.

Other Thoughts: Judging by the other reviews, there seem to exist well-performing BPIs out there, and it is just possible that I drew a lemon. If not, I can only conclude that the O/S was sloppily built. Either way, this is sad, because the performance of this great little computer is otherwise quite amazing.

Would I buy it again? Considering that the RPi catches up in performance, probably not.

Lenovo Thinkpad T410 - Core i5, 2.4ghz, 4GB DDR3, 250GB HDD, DVDRW- 7 Home Premium
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

2 out of 5 eggs OK for its price, but "refurbished" seems a stretch 02/10/2015

This review is from: Lenovo Thinkpad T410 - Core i5, 2.4ghz, 4GB DDR3, 250GB HDD, DVDRW- 7 Home Premium

Pros: I got this as a deal for roughly eighty bucks below its regular price. For an i5 with 4GB memory, I consider this a good deal. My plan was to replace its hard disk with a SSD and Linux from the get-go, so I had the SSD costs factored in. On 4GB of memory, Linux runs nicely, and this computer is a strong performer for day-to-day Linux use (office, graphics and scientific applications). Lenovo is a company that fully embraces Linux support, and all components worked with 14.04 out of the box. There were no complications.

Cons: Before I begin, let me quote: "'Refurbished' products have been tested to ensure compliance with original manufacturer specifications (...)". Mhm. The exterior of the laptop showed traces of wear, which is probably expected for a refurbished product. The power adapter came with a power cord that looked like it was fished out of a dustbin. Never mind, this is minor.

The battery was almost dead, Fully charged, ACPI reported 20% of its nominal capacity. On inspection, there was a hand-written label on the battery that helpfully said "20%". Can I assume that Lenovo stocks almost-dead batteries for its "refurbished" products?

The hard disk looked like it had a long history of abuse (mfg date: 2012), but it passed the extended self-test. The previous self-test was apparently run by the manufacturer, and it was logged at a run time of 4800 hours. Consider: With a use of, say, 8 hours a day, this means the laptop was in use for almost two years. You call that "refurbished"? Second-hand is what comes to mind.

Two GB on-board memory and a 2GB module provide the total of 4GB. The module was of a slower speed than the on-board memory. The specs probably don't say that the extension memory has to match the on-board DDR3-10600, but throttling it to DDR3-8500 does not help performance. Amateur upgrade?

Other Thoughts: To be sure, refurbished products can be hit or miss, and it is not specified what length of use those items have got. However, "compliance with manufacturer specifications" is quite clear, and it certainly does not involve a battery that can't hold its charge -- worse, it was even labeled as as a run-down battery. In this respect, I consider the label "refurbished" simply dishonest. Sad, actually. The product is quite good, but my trust in the manufacturer has eroded.


SILKE H.'s Profile

Display Name: SILKE H.

Date Joined: 06/04/05

  • Reviews: 36
  • Helpfulness: 15
  • First Review: 09/21/11
  • Last Review: 08/17/15
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