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HP 8620 Up to 21 ppm (ISO)
Up to 34 ppm (Draft) Black Print Speed 4800 x 1200 dpi Color Print Quality HP Thermal Inkjet MFP Color Printer
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: I've entered the wireless printer/scanner combo foray numerous times, most recently with the Canon Pixma MX892, and I have always come away disheartened and, usually, angry. I don't know why it's so hard, to be honest, but apparently it is, because I've never been happy. Fortunately, I can say that just about all of that has changed with this new entry into my life. This baby does what I need it to do, it does it well, and it does it with very, very little fuss or work on my part. Setup was a breeze - Windows 8.1 automatically saw it on the network without any interaction on my part. Pretty neat! AirPrint from my iPad also worked without a hitch or any configuration whatsoever. You can configure the printer the usual way via Windows, but you also have the option of doing it on the printer's own display or via a web-server interface from your computer. I have to say, configuration via the printer-display was very intuitive and instantly responsive to my touches (slow GUI was a miserable failure of other types I’ve tried). Text and image print quality was acceptable for a desktop printer with both regular and photo paper, and it was as speedy as I could want. If you aren’t satisfied with these prints, you’ll need to step up to a large-format (aka expensive) professional photo printer or a professional printing website. A nice bonus - photo prints were edge-to-edge (100% borderless). This is something that I’ve never seen in a laser printer or in most other inkjet printers. The scan quality was better than expected and very quick. You can read the spec-list to see what scan file types are supported, but I’ll pass along that it created JPGs and PDFs equally well to local (usb-port) and network storage. My last experiment (the Canon) required all kinds of funky software installation and tons of fidgeting, something that doesn't pass my "mom" test (i.e. - can my mom do this?). This HP, on the other hand, passed the test and just worked the way you’d think it should. Again, I'm not going to go into all of the features, like HP's Instant Ink service (your printer automatically orders you ink when it's running low), since you can look that stuff up yourself. I'm just here to tell you that everything works with no issues, and that's what you wanted to know, right? I wish someone had told me that with some of the other wireless network printer/scanners that I tried.

Cons: No major cons. A few minor gripes here and in the Other Thoughts section:
• When trying to enable network features, such as remote printing, the printer told me that I'd need to set up the network connection first. The logical next step would be an immediate option to do so, but the printer only dumps you back out on the Home screen to figure out how to do that yourself.
• You can easily set the scanner to email the scans to one specified email address without entering a password or PIN. That will confuse you until you read this next sentence. You can store more than one email address in the system, but it will require you to enter a PIN code (basically a password) whenever you want to email the scan. This is obviously for security reasons, but I do tend to trust my wife not to perform a denial-of-service on my email account. I'd prefer to just be able to store a few email addresses in the printer and select whichever account to use when scanning without having to memorize a password for each.
• When going to "My Apps," the printer has to “check registration” and then connect to HP Connect. "My Apps" are basically just built-in apps that can automatically print out various things for you like daily news stories, free coloring book pages for kids, etc. It'd be nice if the printer just checked on its own every hour or something so that I wasn't (very briefly) inconvenienced when trying to use them.
• It seems like half of the options require the printer to connect to the cloud, and this can sometimes take a few seconds. I assume (but did NOT test and verify) that the printer will still work if offline or if HP's servers are temporarily down, but I don't know what the timeout length is.
• Over the web-browser admin interface, the printer requires HTTPS to manage some settings. Other settings don’t require HTTPS, so you’re constantly switching back and forth between encrypted and not. It’d be nice if they just did HTTP or HTTPS for the entire thing to keep it consistent.
• I couldn't find a way to set default printing options for, say, emailing a print job via HP ePrint. I want everything to print out duplex (two-sided) by default. That's why I have a duplex printer. The system defaults to single-side for ePrint with no way to change to duplex. On the other hand, you can easily choose duplex printing from your computer printer settings when printing from a computer or when using AirPrint.
• The built-in USB port only supports FAT32, not NTFS. This really isn't a big deal, and the printer does say you're using an unsupported formatting type, but it'd be nice if it then asked me if I wanted to format the drive to the appropriate method (with accompanying warning that all files on the USB drive will be deleted, are you sure, etc., etc.).

Other Thoughts: Wrapping up, should you buy this device? If you were me, the answer would be a definitive yes. I’ve spent literally years purchasing and returning these things looking for a pain-free, wireless, AirPrint, usb- and touch-screen-enabled, duplex, ADF, printer-scanner-copier all-in-one combo that doesn’t require me to install any software. This fits the bill. I literally got a huge smile on my face while writing these end comments thinking about all of the countless hours, if not days, that I’ve spent over the years fighting the good fight against bad wireless AIOs.

A few other notes:

• Remember that these companies make some money in the back-end with ink purchases, so be sure to compare the cost of ink cartridges between any models you’re planning on purchasing.
• I could care less about faxing, and I don’t know why companies still include this. Maybe for the older generation. I certainly don’t know a single person under the age of 35 who has plain old telephone service anymore. I’d probably get more use out of some kind of bundled eFax service.
• No easy support link on product page. You can't just go to HP's product page for this and click "Owner Support" to look at embedded links for manuals, drivers, etc. I have to browse and search through half a dozen pages just for the manual. Unacceptable nowadays. Not really a con of the device, just of HP in general.
• You can't disable sleep mode. Sure, it's "Eco" friendly, but according to my P3 Kill A Watt Electricity Load Meter and Monitor (best Newegg stocking stuffer a person can get a loved one), this option dropped the idle power usage to 5 watts from 8 watts. For the extra 3 watts (and $2.10 per year at my going electric rate), I'd rather not wait the extra few seconds for the printer to wake itself up after I submit a print job.
• To use the HP ePrint options (such as emailing a print job to an email address that then forwards it to the printer), you have to have/create a SnapFish account. I know why the option exists, but I’m not sure why it's mandatory.

READ FULL REVIEW
EnGenius ENS200EXT High-powered/Long-range Wireless Outdoor AP
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

4 out of 5 eggs Worked for me, with a few notes 06/23/2014

This review is from: EnGenius ENS200EXT High-powered/Long-range Wireless Outdoor AP

Pros: Big antenna (can be upgraded if you like even bigger); very powerful and consistent signal (can be adjusted down or up, all the way up to 26dBm). Can be mounted outdoors, so it’s presumably rain-proof, although it hasn’t rained in my area since I installed it over a week ago to help me confirm this fact. I’ve had no real problems with this over the course of a week after I got it fully configured and installed.

Cons: While the signal is strong and consistent, the speeds really weren't that great. It's 100% totally fine for basic wireless and internet usage, but I wouldn't recommend any heavy duty large file transfers. I’m not sure of the reason behind the proprietary PoE. Maybe they didn't want to pay some sort of associated license fee? This limits the device's usability in an enterprise environment while adding some perhaps unneeded complexity to a casual homeowner's environment. The bottom panel was really hard to get off. I needed to pop it off with a screwdriver to hook the cables up. It doesn't come with an Ethernet cable, so make sure that you have one on hand. My $15 gigabit switch came with one, but not this guy. I assume because the company doesn't know how long of a cable you'll need for your implementation, but even a cheap 5-foot one would be OK for the initial install and configuration. The included quick start manual is useless, and the built-in admin interface has zero on the way of support, help, tips, etc. I strongly recommend downloading the real manual from the manufacturer’s website. It’s very easy to find on the website product page, so +1 for that. Back to the admin interface - you have to save each option before moving on to the next page, so you can't change more than one page at a time. I prefer to make a lot of my changes en masse and then apply at once. I've been burned with other network devices where I make a change on one page that relies on another change on another page happening at the same time and things get out of whack. I did have some issues when configuring this as an access point. Even though I had encryption enabled (WPA2-PSK), it didn't prompt me for my passphrase key and Windows 8 identified it as an unsecured network. I was still on my network and internet connection, though. I couldn't seem to get this fixed, but nobody else is reporting the issue, so chalk it up to my individual unit being a little quirky. I did experience very strong wireless keyboard & mouse interference during the initial configuration. My keyboard & mouse were basically unusable about 6 feet away. This won't matter for most people at the end of the day since this device will probably be installed in a remote area anyway away from your home office. The NIC interface is also 10/100 only, not gigabit. This won't matter for basic file and internet usage, but be wary if you're constantly transferring gigs worth of data over your lines.

Other Thoughts: This really isn't a plug and play device for older parents or less tech-oriented people. It's a business device that can be used by casual people who know what they're doing, so remember that going in. If you are on the fence, I recommend skimming through the manual on their website to get an idea of whether you can handle the particular install you have in mind.

Now for the part that really matters – benchmarks!
Signal quality was strong, but speeds were lackluster. My speed tests below were averaged over three runs spaced throughout the course of a week in my admittedly wireless-signal-crowded townhouse community. On any given day, I have about 12 competing routers hogging my wireless spectrum. As previously mentioned, Internet usage was totally fine without any issues or hiccups throughout the week. To see how well it handled throughput on the local network, I copied a TRON Legacy (2010) 28GB M2TS Blu-Ray rip from my wired gigabit Windows 8.1 home server to my Windows 8.1 laptop (Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205 network card) with the wireless signal on this device cranked to the max 26dBm.

Transfer speed right next to the device - 6 MB/s (about 48 mb/s)

Transfer speed about 20 feet away through one external wall - about 5 MB/s (about 40 mb/s)

Transfer speed about 40 feet away through one external wall, a fence, and some shrubs - about 3.25 MB/s (about 26 mb/s)

Transfer speed about 75 feet away through all of the above - 0. Got a very weak signal and even internet browsing was non-functional.

Summing up – would I recommend this to you, casual reader? As always – it depends. I would recommend this for experienced homeowners who want to push a signal out into a larger yard or for small business users who need expanded coverage in a larger office. If you don’t have a lot of wireless experience – skim the manual to see if you can work your way through the setup process prior to putting your money into it. Power and range are great, speeds are lackluster but entirely usable for casual file and internet usage. So, yes, I’d recommend it if it’s what you’re looking for and the cost is competitive against the alternatives you may be considering.

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SteelSeries Rival Optical Gaming Mouse
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

5 out of 5 eggs Great mouse, recommended! 05/19/2014

This review is from: SteelSeries Rival Optical Gaming Mouse

Pros: Comfortable. Good texture on top and sides. Glides nicely. Buttons click nicely. Cool illumination. 3D printable nameplate on the bottom (which you probably can't take advantage of). Easily adjustable settings. Long cord that seems tough enough. Nice packaging. Overall, a great mouse for this price-point and a good buy.

Cons: No cons. It's a mouse, and it works for its intended purpose. If I had to pick one thing out, and this is only because I looked for it, it's that the light inside the bottom front of the housing (near where your palm meets your wrist) isn't 100% uniform. In a very very dark room you can tell the internal light is located at the bottom of the mouse & offset to the right just a little teensy tiny little bit. You would never know this if you weren't specifically looking for it in a dark room. But I was, and I did. You'll never see it in day-to-day operation. Not worth docking even half an egg for.

Other Thoughts: A little bit longer than my previous Logitech G400s optical gaming mouse, and the mouse buttons aren't as raised as my Logitech's. I can see this being a little tricky for people like my GF with tiny little hands or short fingers. This just goes to point out the obvious - mice are very subjective and may feel great to one person, just OK to another, and horrible to a third. Your best bet is to look and feel offline and then come online to buy the same thing at a better price (maybe even in-store from your smartphone's Newegg app). If you prefer to shop online and take my word for it, then please let me recommend this mouse for your hands and computing pleasure. It's a nice buy, good for everyday use, great for gaming, and I am happy to recommend it to you, savvy shopper.

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Justin B.'s Profile

Display Name: Justin B.

Date Joined: 08/09/05

Achievements:

  • Top 1000 Reviewer
  • Reviews: 82
  • Helpfulness: 51
  • First Review: 09/23/06
  • Last Review: 06/23/14
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