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Acer K242HL Bbid Black 24
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: No real noticeable backlight bleed.

contrast ratio is pretty good for this price range.

I personally like the basic look of the monitor.

Matched really well color wise with the two Acer monitors I already had.

Interface for configuration is easy to navigate as well as decently speedy changing screens.

Color adjustment was pretty easy.

Monitor is a good thickness and reasonably light (though I suppose for an LCD screen I would hope so).

I love that it has a normal power cord instead of proprietary bricks. It was a lot easier to deal with when finding a longer cord to run up into my monitor stand.

Cons: It seems to come up from standby excessively slow. We're talking greater than thirty seconds. My other two monitors are already up and running in half the time. This is exacerbated when you have multiple things connected to the monitor ie. something plugged in to the HDMI and something else plugged into the DVI port.

I'm really disappointed that it didn't come with HDMI audio passthrough. However, that's more my fault for not checking when I bought it. Most of the monitors I looked at with HDMI had an aux out from the HDMI so you could plug in speakers or the like. Oh well.

As much as I like piano black finishes, they always are fingerprint and dust magnets. This monitor is no different.

Other Thoughts: No dead pixels!!!

In person, it measures exactly 24" corner to corner. Just to keep everyone honest here.

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DEEPCOOL GAMMAXX 400 CPU Cooler 4 Heatpipes 120mm PWM Fan with Blue LED, Silver Award from HardwareSecret.com
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: For the most part, the heatsink is well made (see cons for the not so good things).
The fan it comes with is quiet and does the job. The built-in LEDs are not overbearing or way too bright, so that’s nice. There are grooves in the heatsink where one could attach a second fan on the other side if they had a second set of brackets (the brackets seem like pretty standard wire clips from what I can tell and from comparing them to other units I have here) to hang it from.

The direct heatpipe design is pretty well executed with a few exceptions (see cons) but it did provide good contact to the top of the processor.

This is one of the few aftermarket coolers I’ve seen to use the standard AMD retention bracket. It is on the lighter side, so I don’t see it causing anyone too many issues.

Cooling performance is acceptable at stock speeds for the system I tested with. I didn’t dare overclock however, because I just didn’t have enough room. This heatsink would be great for the lower wattage CPUs for sure. With an AMD Phenom 955 BE clocked to a stock speed of 3.4 Ghz I saw idle temps of 32C (89.6F) and max load temps as high as 48C (118.4F) with about a 10 second return to idle temp after removing the load. I keep my house right around 21C (70F) so that isn’t too far above ambient.

I’d say, if you aren’t looking to overclock, and want a quiet, affordable cooler, this will fill that spot just fine.

The fan it comes with is a company branded 120mm model. Mine appears to be a hydro bearing as advertised and looks to be of decent quality. It also comes with a four-pin PWM plug.

attaching the appropriate mounting brackets is as simple as tightening four small screws.

The bracket for holding the fan on is your standard spring steel wire clips (seen on a lot of heatsinks) and they do the job just fine. That may not work if you are intending on installing a slimmer fan on this unit. Otherwise, they hold the fan on and are easy to remove for cleaning or fan replacement.

See other thoughts for system specs.

Cons: So the bottom of my heatsink was a little rough and required a bit of polishing and light sanding to get it smooth. Also, the entire surface was basically flat but milled slightly crooked.

It didn’t cause an issue with mounting and, looking at the footprint from the thermal grease, it seemed to touch the die of the processor just fine. The whole thing was just ever so slightly crooked when you set it on a table and examine the bottom.

The grease that comes with the heatsink is rubbish. spend the extra money and just grab some better thermal paste. I know this is a rule of thumb for a lot of people, but my packet was kind of dry and lumpy (no idea what that was about). I just used some metallic grease from a certain, well known, company.

The screws that hold the mounting brackets on are very tiny and easy to lose. I also almost stripped one of mine trying to thread it into the mounting hole. I’m guessing it had something to do with the threads in the hole being not quite right.

Other Thoughts: System: AMD Phenom II x4 955 Black Edition
ASRock 870 Extreme3 motherboard
8GB Corsair DDR3 RAM
2 X AMD Radeon HD 6800 Graphics cards

All tests for this carried out at stock speeds as I was not willing to push the system with this heatsink as I didn’t have a lot of thermal overhead left.


My overall opinion is that this is a decent product and it performs as expected. I did take one egg off for the less that stellar mounting surface and the crooked millwork.

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TP-LINK TL-WA854RE 300Mbps Universal Wi-Fi Range Extender, Repeater, Wall Plug design, One-button Setup, Smart Signal Indicator
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Smaller than the previous generation unit in the same line. I’m a fan of the design. It’s worth noting that my old unit isn’t as nice and white as this one.

Many people may be wondering whether or not you can use the other outlet when this is plugged into a standard two outlet wall plate. The answer is yes. The unit is designed to leave plenty of room for another device underneath.

Another massive improvement is that this new unit doesn’t require you to connect to it via network cable to set it up. You pretty much plug it in, connect to the network it broadcasts and then continue setting it up. Some people will appreciate that it comes with a WPS button. However, if you don’t feel comfortable using WPS on your network like myself, you may avoid that entirely and just set it up with credentials to your own wireless network directly.

Speeds aren’t anything to write home about, but they are nothing but consistent across all devices I’ve tested. Keep in mind, this is only a basic wireless N repeater essentially so you should expect blazing wireless N or AC level speeds. Actual speeds on my tested devices can be found below in “Other Thoughts.”


Range on this device is what I was more impressed with than actual speeds. This thing covers some area. I set this unit up with a different SSID to isolate it for testing. I actually get full signal or close to it everywhere in my single story house (farthest point away from the device being about 65 feet through 3 drywall walls). Even my TP-Link Archer wireless AC router hasn’t afforded me such good signal.

It feels like TP-Link put some time into fixing the random disconnect problems that plagued previous generations of this unit.

I can appreciate that they include a utility disk for setting this thing up, but it’s really not necessary even for your average person.

The LEDs on this unit are blue instead of the previous gens which were green and orange (not to mention (waaay too bright). I’m a sucker for subdued, blue LEDS, what can I say?

Cons: Coming to the cons, I’ll say that there’s one really glaring one for me, speed. The speed isn’t great and I wish it was better. Average speeds over five different devices (Samsung S5 and Note4, Dell Latitude E7440, my desktop with the help of a TP-Link Archer Wireless AC PCIe adapter for testing, and one wireless N Toshiba laptop running Ubuntu) were 25 mbps. Now, this speed may be perfectly acceptable for most and that’s alright. If that’s enough for your purposes, I highly recommend this. For me, it just fell a little short for my expectations on my network. Something worth noting is that it is able to maintain 25mbps reliably for at least three devices simultaneously, so there’s that plus side.

While setting up the unit was easy, it didn’t inspire a lot of confidence. I say this because there’s about a five minute window where the device went unresponsive after setting the wireless credentials of the network it was to be repeating. I’m not sure if this was an isolated incident to my test unit but it was a bit concerning. After this, I’ve really had zero problems with it as far as reliability.

Other Thoughts: Samsung Galaxy S5: average 24.5 mbps
Samsung Galaxy Note 4: average 25 mbps
Dell Latitude E7440: average 27 mbps
Toshiba Laptop (wireless N) running Ubuntu: 23 mbps
Desktop (with wireless card installed for tests): 25 mbps

I still find the amount of space this thing takes up on the wall annoying but it’s really just part of the design and there’s not a lot that can be done about it.

If it was faster, it would have received a perfect 5 eggs from me. Everything else but the speed on my unit is pretty good.

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Justin E.'s Profile

Display Name: Justin E.

Date Joined: 12/15/04

Achievements:

  • Top 1000 Reviewer
  • 100 Reviews
  • Reviews: 172
  • Helpfulness: 52
  • First Review: 04/15/06
  • Last Review: 03/01/15
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