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Securifi Almond+ Long Range Touchscreen Wireless AC1750 Router / Range Extender + Home Automation Hub (3 Minute Setup)
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

4 out of 5 eggs Average router, nifty home automation features 11/15/2015

This review is from: Securifi Almond+ Long Range Touchscreen Wireless AC1750 Router / Range Extender + Home Automation Hub (3 Minute Setup)

Pros: - Beautifully designed, meaning it really doesn't look like your typical router you want to hide in your closet.
- Contains USB 3.0 ports (pretty much standard now on new routers).
- Comes with stylus and has a storage spot for it.
- Touchscreen is very responsive, crisp - user interface is really simple, using the "blocks" layout for accessing various settings.
- Extremely easy to set up. Took me 5 minutes (maybe the second time through I would get to the advertised 3 minute setup time).
- Runs on well-established, solid, robust open-WRT firmware.

- Acts as a home automation hub. See "other thoughts" for my opinion about this feature.
- Has smartphone app, easy/simple to use and set up.
- Speaks standard Zigbee and z-wave home automation protocol, meaning it will work with many devices, including the new "smart" LED bulbs that are out. No need to change light switches or use an outlet dongle, to control lights.

This is a router my mom could set up (finally!). It steps you through an easy routine to get up and running; you can do this from either the touch-screen or your computer.

I tried to overload this router with streaming video, internet radio and running huge file transfers from my Linux server to various client machines - never stuttered, stalled or complained at all.

As far as a 'basic' router goes, it's decent.

The real value here, however, is the home automation functionality. All of this is present in a nice, small, attractive desktop device.

Cons: The biggest con with this router is's just an "average" router. I did some speed comparisons with my Linksys EA8500 router in both 2.4GHz and 5GHz modes and the Linksys seems to be almost 2x faster when heavily loaded. Some published specs I've seen seem to support this.

So you are really paying for the home automation feature - which is fine, and although it's fairly basic right now (i.e. no complex events) the promise is there that newer versions of the software can be released to get more and more automation features in your hand (literally).

If you use this as a range extender or just as a point-of-presence for your home automation needs, but keep your "real" wireless router on your network, that might be a good, but expensive option.

Other Thoughts: This is an interesting device, and would be at home in the apartment of a person with disposable income that doesn't want or need to be on the leading edge of wireless router specs. Our young executive won't be hosting any video game parties, in other words.

The real value here is the home automation aspect, including the touch-screen interface. OK, that's great - but this market is going to become very difficult, very soon. Even now, I'm not sure that this unit is a clear winner over devices from Wink, Logitech or even the Echo offering from that other online place.

If you want something interesting to play around with now, and you need a basic router then this might be the ticket. I'm not sure I'd hinge my long term home automation plans on it, however.

G.SKILL RIPJAWS MX780 USB Wired RGB Laser Gaming Mouse
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggs Very nice mouse 10/14/2015

This review is from: G.SKILL RIPJAWS MX780 USB Wired RGB Laser Gaming Mouse

Pros: - Beautiful industrial design.
- Adjustable palmrest - reduces hand fatigue.
- Easy DPI adjustment, mapped to color changes as an indicator.
- High quality cable.
- Custom mouse button macros may be defined via software.
- Mouse settings may be stored in-mouse so pick up and go to any game competition.

This mouse looks like a work of art, hat's off to the designers. This does bring a small 'con' with it though (below).

Cons: - Less than 1/2 ounce of weights - wish it had more
- The software is awkward to use, seems like it was rushed out the door.
- Buttons are just a hair too sensitive especially for larger hands.
- Scroll wheel is just a hair too smooth and requires some effort to engage.

The wide open channel in the middle of the mouse is going to be a dirt/dust collector. Also, it is definitely designed with smaller hands in mind. I have large hands and was ok using it but it could have been a little more comfortable over a long period of usage. I did adjust the grips and height as best as I could.

Other Thoughts: This is clearly a gaming mouse. One giveaway is the name "Ripjaws Gaming Mouse". However, it also seems to try to be a mouse for every use, given the customization possibilities. This is a great attempt by G.Skill and they will have the majority of the wired mouse users covered. Very nice job.

Also, personally I'm glad no software comes with it. I'd rather download the software instead of having an already obsolete version shipped with the mouse on a CD.

OCZ ARC 100 2.5
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: I used this drive in a Win7 machine, hosting the operating system and running on an older Gigabyte AM3 board. I did not do anything to "help" the drive, like turn off Windows search indexing...just dropped the drive in and ran with it.

This is my second OCZ SSD. The last one has been running for over a year now and has been flawless.

Great points about this drive:

- FAST (this is what it's about, right?) On a SATA3 port Crystal was reporting 334.4 MB/s read and 194.34 MB/s write (sequential), and random R/W of 512KB files of 293.5 MB/s and 204.7 MB/s (respectively). This is pretty darn good and better than I've seen in other SATA3 SSDs I've had.

- Windows 7 boots from BIOS completion to desktop in under 15 seconds.

- File transfer from an older Corsair SSD to this drive: 220 MB/s for a 2.2G file (average).

- Nice looking, almost unbelievably small.

- Comes with nice mounting tray and screws.

- Great price point, and good 3 year warranty, based on serial number not purchase receipt.

It comes with the OCZ SSDGuru software which is very good -- but you need to pay attention when setting up the drive:

- Make sure you have your SATA controller (via BIOS) in AHCI mode.

- If you want to over-provision (which is a GREAT idea, since it will allow the Barefoot controller to move data around the drive intelligently, to avoid early wearout of the memory NAND gates on the device) -- you will need to use a partition tool to dial the drive partition down. I set approx 10% of the physical drive space for this.

- The SSDGuru GUI is very nicely laid out. Gives you an overview of the health of the drive, space usage and firmware update status.

- It also shows you the drive serial number and estimated remaining % of life remaining (based on memory cell wearout detection).

- Gives full SMART diagnostic info, showing all key usage statistics for the drive.

- Has a manual TRIM feature if you have turned TRIM off in the OS (which I would not recommend).

Cons: None. This drive meets the expectations of the specifications, the controller firmware is excellent and the management software is excellent. I'm very happy with my other OCZ SSD as well - no issues whatsoever.

Other Thoughts: At this price it's an easy decision. OCZ seems very committed to these drives and on top of their support. Remember you will ALWAYS have a chance of an early life fail (within a few weeks) of an SSD, or a spinning drive for that matter -- so having a robust backup strategy is very important. It is unfortunate when a drive fails but this is when you look to the company to stand behind the product and honor the warranty with no fuss.


Christopher C.'s Profile

Display Name: Christopher C.

Date Joined: 04/18/05

  • Reviews: 42
  • Helpfulness: 27
  • First Review: 08/31/05
  • Last Review: 11/15/15
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