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TP-LINK TL-SG108E 8-Port Gigabit Easy Smart Switch, 8 10/100/1000 Mbps RJ45 Ports, MTU/Port/Tag-Based VLAN, QoS and IGMP
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Considering that this switch isn't much more expensive than an unmanaged 8 port gig switch, it's pretty hard to go wrong. Out of the box, this will perform exactly like an unmanaged switch (but see the IP address warning in cons below), so even if you don't want to learn about these features yet, you can still get up and running immediately.

Physically, the switch is very solid. It is all metal, and while pretty small, it has some wight to it, so it shouldn't get pulled around by the cables attached to it.

There is a really neat cable test feature included in the monitoring section of the GUI which will tell you if there is a problem with the cable connected to a particular port. For "open" (not connected) ports, it will report either the length of the cable, or point where there is a fault. I have not had a chance to see what kind of faults it can detect, though, simply because I don't want to destroy any of my cables to test it just yet.

This switch supports LACP (which they call trunking). This allows multiple ports to be aggregated for redundancy and increased bandwidth. If you are considering using LACP for increased bandwidth, read up it (not in this manual, of course), as you don't really double, triple, or quadruple your point to point link speed as you might be lead to believe.

There are several ways to implement load balancing on this switch, although results were mixed (see cons).

Port mirroring (out of band monitoring) could be a real benefit to parents who want to snoop around at where their kid is surfing while they're locked in their room. The configuration is very simple, however to utilize this, you will need to download additional software like WireShark which is free from wireshark dot org.

While I didn't test the VLAN capability, and I'm not sure why you would even be trying to use it in an environment that you are purchasing a $40 switch for, it is there, and the implementation appears to be fairly complete.

The GUI is pretty straightforward, and works well.

Cons: Most of these cons are really just nit-picking, and given the price, they are almost not worth mentioning, but to be complete, here are the things that disappointed me about this switch:

There is no web interface. You must install the application from the CD. Given that almost all managed network devices from web cams to routers have built in web servers, this should have been a given, but it is sadly lacking.

As with many products coming out of China, the manual is not very good. This is a shame, because most of the features in this switch will be new to most people. Granted most of it is not very difficult to figure out with trial and error or by searching online, but a little more effort on the manual could have gone a long way.

Aesthetically, I don't like the fact that the network connection and link lights are on the opposite side of the switch as the power and Kensington-style locking hole. I would have preferred that everything be on the back (or front). Cable management is just so much easier if everything is on the same side, or at least not on opposite sides.

Bandwidth limiting didn't seem to work as expected. You can certainly throttle ports, but it doesn't really set the speed at the level you specify. Based on my testing, I found that for really low levels it worked well. For example, if the limit was set at 10Mbps or less, it did a nice job of running at the specified level. However, if the limit was set higher, it capped at a much lower level, and if set above 500Mbps, the rates from sample to sample became very inconsistent. Here are some examples of limiting the Ingress of a port used as the server for a speed test: while leaving the egress unlimited:

Limit (Kbps) Throughput (Kbps)
8192 8000
102400 64000
150016 72000
204800 96000
409600 240000
500032 232000-368000
600000 240000-424000
700032 352000-640000
819200 424000-768000
900032 640000-816000
1000000 792000-848000


Unlike the above nit-picking, there is one serious flaw in this switch that you should be aware of when you first connect it:

Since you need to connect to the switch to manage it, it must have an IP address. It has the ability to get this from your router via DHCP, but for some reason, this is disabled by default. Instead, it uses 192.168.0.1, which seems benign enough unless you happen to have a Linksys router, which also uses this IP address. I'm sure other routers also use this as their default. If that is the case, and you plug this into your network (even daisy chained to another switch), everything on your network will stop working because this switch will fight with your router to be the gateway.

To mitigate this, determine what you want its IP address to be, then connect it only to one computer and program it before connecting it to your network.

You obviously also need to be careful if you want to introduce this into another network for temporary use (do people still do LAN partie

Other Thoughts: Overall, I would recommend this switch to anyone, regardless of whether you need the management capabilities. My only warning being the default IP which could really wreak havoc on a network.

READ FULL REVIEW
CORSAIR Voyager Mini 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive Model CMFMINI3-32GB
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

1 out of 5 eggs Very poor, recommend against purchashing 09/07/2014

This review is from: CORSAIR Voyager Mini 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive Model CMFMINI3-32GB

Pros: Very small, with a keychain ring attached

0.5" wide x 0.2" high x 1.4" long ( 2.5" long including strap)

Cons: It pains me to write this review because I know Corsair makes good products, I own quite a few including several other USB flash drives.

It is hit or miss whether this drive will even be detected. I tried every single USB port on several computers (both USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports), and had about a 50% success rate of detection by just inserting it. Wiggling it around a bit got it to mount on a couple more ports, but who wants to risk that connection?

In USB 3.0 ports that is did connect with, it almost always connected at USB 2.0 speeds, posting the warning "This device can perform faster..." Even after finally getting to to connect as a USB 3.0 device, the performance was abysmal:

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
CrystalDiskMark 3.0.2 x64 (C) 2007-2013 hiyohiyo
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
* MB/s = 1,000,000 byte/s [SATA/300 = 300,000,000 byte/s]

Sequential Read : 42.928 MB/s
Sequential Write : 15.192 MB/s
Random Read 512KB : 41.087 MB/s
Random Write 512KB : 10.882 MB/s
Random Read 4KB (QD=1) : 5.988 MB/s [ 1461.8 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=1) : 1.484 MB/s [ 362.4 IOPS]
Random Read 4KB (QD=32) : 7.270 MB/s [ 1775.0 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=32) : 1.499 MB/s [ 365.8 IOPS]

Test : 100 MB [E: 0.0% (0.0/28.9 GB)] (x3)
Date : 2014/09/03 21:29:20
OS : Windows 7 Professional SP1 [6.1 Build 7601] (x64)

USB 3.0 speeds were only marginally better than USB 2.0:

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
CrystalDiskMark 3.0.2 x64 (C) 2007-2013 hiyohiyo
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
* MB/s = 1,000,000 byte/s [SATA/300 = 300,000,000 byte/s]

Sequential Read : 34.156 MB/s
Sequential Write : 13.220 MB/s
Random Read 512KB : 33.362 MB/s
Random Write 512KB : 13.233 MB/s
Random Read 4KB (QD=1) : 4.940 MB/s [ 1206.0 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=1) : 1.171 MB/s [ 285.9 IOPS]
Random Read 4KB (QD=32) : 5.500 MB/s [ 1342.7 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=32) : 1.416 MB/s [ 345.7 IOPS]

Test : 100 MB [E: 0.0% (0.0/28.9 GB)] (x3)
Date : 2014/09/07 10:49:56
OS : Windows 7 Professional SP1 [6.1 Build 7601] (x64)

I would like to note that I have several USB 3.0 devices that I have no problem using, so it's not my hardware that is issue.

Other Thoughts: Even if I got a unit with a bum connector, this item is still twice as expensive as other similar items here on Newegg, and it's claims of providing USB 3.0 speeds are quite a bit off the mark.

I'm sure Corsair will respond shortly apologizing for my bad experience, and if they want to swap this one with another one, I will be happy to test it and share the results, but based on other reviews, I don't expect the results to be any different.

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SteelSeries 62250 SENSEI Wireless Professional Laser Gaming Mouse
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: The mouse has a good weight and feel to it. Size wise, it is somewhere in the middle of the mice I use - quite a bit smaller than my Logitech mx518, but slightly bigger than the throw-aways that come with preconfigured computers from the likes of Dell or HP...

The mouse can be used wired or wirelessly, so if your gaming marathon outlasts the battery, you can switch to wired mode and keep going while it charges.

So far, I have not been able to find a function on my Logitech mouse that I was not able to reproduce on this mouse, except for the extra buttons.

The sensitivity setting will take you from 50 counts per inch, where several trips across the mouse pad are required to move an inch, to 16000, where the slightest touch of the mouse will send the cursor flying to the other side of the screen. I found the default setting of 1600 to be ideal. There is a deceleration slider in addition to the acceleration option that most mice offer, which allows for some additional customization.

They are pretty clever to have added a sensor to the top of the mouse to detect when your hand is covering the logo so the light can be turned off to save power.

Cons: Sensei has taken an annoying cue from Apple and made the rechargeable battery non-replaceable, so when the life expectancy of the battery drops below your expectations, you will be buying a new mouse rather than a replacement battery.

There is very little relief on the side buttons, so they are difficult to feel. They are also not placed well for my hand. The side buttons on the right side are almost completely undetectable. For a lefty, they would be a welcome addition, but for a righty, they will be of no use, so this is really only a 6-button mouse.

The Sensei Wireless control application is far less intuitive than other similar products from the likes of Logitech, and the only documentation is found by clicking on tiny question marks in the application which then provide a hint about what that function does. There are only 2 buttons/settings that have tool tips, for the rest, you have to just click and see what it does.

I was intrigued by the "Angle Snapping" function that allegedly helps you move in straight lines, but when this setting was increased to any value above the minimum, mouse performance was dramatically hindered. The pointer constantly froze and even reverting the setting was a challenge. This seems like it could be a neat function, but it doesn't appear to be implemented correctly.

The "Lift Distance" setting is another odd option that doesn't appear to do anything. Supposedly, it allows you to adjust the sensitivity of the laser so that if the mouse is lifted, it can still detect movement. I was unable to notice any difference between any of the settings, despite trying several different mouse pads, and a bare desk.

I found some strange interaction between an application with macros assigned and Windows when I assigned a button to close the application window (alt-f4) and then hit that button. Hitting the same mouse button seemed to clear the problem even though the application with the macro definition was already closed. This was not consistent, but does happen from time to time. A "close application" command would be a nice addition to "print screen" which is the only "command" in the list.

When I added my first application to the control panel, defined some buttons and clicked save, the mouse went completely dead. I tried to reconnect by holding the connect button the base, then on the mouse, but that did not work. Following that reset, the base connected (stopped flashing blue) but the mouse would not and the tiny light below the scroll wheel kept flashing blue. Turning off the mouse also did not resolve the problem. In the end, the base had to be unplugged and the mouse had to be turned off, then the base plugged back in and the mouse turned back on. I was not able to reproduce the problem, so it was most likely just a fluke.

Other Thoughts: Overall, this is a pretty nice mouse, although $160 is pretty steep for a mouse.

READ FULL REVIEW

Steve F.'s Profile

Display Name: Steve F.

Date Joined: 06/27/05

  • Reviews: 40
  • Helpfulness: 27
  • First Review: 12/01/07
  • Last Review: 10/18/14
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