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Pros: * I bought this laptop for a client that had a lower budget for a college laptop. In the process I spent enough time with the laptop doing PC preparation to formulate a founded opinion of it. I have worked on countless laptops, and, as I write this, I am on an Acer S7. I bring this up because Acer is a company that rarely fails to impress me. I recommend their laptops to many people, for they are in my top three best manufacturers. The Aspire E 15 has great features for its price, well-rounded performance, and is all around a great bang-for-the-buck. *
- I happen to really love the aesthetics of the E 15. It isn't an Ultrabook, but it's relatively thin in spire of the included DVD drive. It isn't the lightest of laptops, but a tad over 5 lbs, it still remains mobile. The top panel is covered in a black etched vinyl that feels exotic and looks appealing. It contrasts perfectly with the bright white interior and black keyboard.
- Speaking of the keyboard, it has a great feel to it. The keys are sturdy, not mushy at all, and provide a nice haptic feedback. I don't have any huge issues with the keyboard's layout, but see Cons. The typing experience is exceptional.
- The hardware in this laptop speaks to a much higher priced machine. It has a dedicated Geforce 940M GPU, which will give you a much better light-gaming experience than say the integrated Intel 5000 HD graphics. Don't get me wrong; it'd be foolish to expect gaming Triple A titles like Batman: Arkham Knight or Witcher 3 or GTA 5 and so on. But this dedicated GPU will carry you through light games like Minecraft, LoL, DOTA 2 and Heroes of the Storm. Likely a lot of Steam indie titles as well. I personally didn't have a chance, however, to test any games on this machine so I can't speak to the exact performance of the 940M, just what I know already about it.
- I'm not positive on how much of a difference the 8 GB SSD makes in the E 15, but I must say boot times were surprisingly fast and the OS didn't seem bogged down in the least. That's about as far as the SSD will carry you, but the 1TB traditional HDD will provide you with plenty of storage.
- It sports a decent-looking screen, although the viewing angles and colors aren't the best. See Cons.
- It has three USB ports. Two of which are USB 3.0s. It also sports a VGA and an HDMI port, allowing flexible video outputs. It also can pick up the 5GHz band and AC wireless for the fastest wireless speeds.The RAM is upgradable to 16GB, for there's only one stick of 8GB inside.
Cons: - The Aspire E 15 doesn't have a touchscreen for Windows 8.1, but you know this going in. In my own opinion, unless you own a convertible or 2-in-1, touchscreen traditional laptops are rather pointless. I rarely ever use min, but it may be relevant to you.
- The screen is only 768p. In this budget range it is hard to get a 1080p screen, however. I'm nearly positive it isn't IPS, for the colors aren't eye-popping and the viewing angles suffer, but this isn't to say the screen is horrendous or anything. It's what you'd expect for this price range.
- The touchpad isn't the best. I don't know exactly what's wrong with it; it at least has dedicated left and right click buttons, but it seems not to pick up the finger initially. It lags slightly on recognition. This little irritant couldn't be fixed by toying with the Touchpad settings. It also is a little jerky and lacks precision.
- I wouldn't call it a cardinal sin in this day and age of laptop design, but the up and down arrow keys are mashed together as one, so they are slim and small as compared to the full arrow key layout. The enter key has the L design to it, which I never really liked, but most of this falls upon personal preference.
- With this laptop, Acer bundled a lot of Bloatware with it. None of the bloatware is particularly bothersome; although, a few of the unnecessary apps start at boot, slowing boot time. I recommend uninstalling a good number of the included programs; AOL in particular. However, the Pokki Start Menu app is pretty cool. It isn't the best aftermarket Windows Start Menu app but it does allow you to forgo installing something like Start8 to get the Windows Start Menu back.
Other Thoughts: * Overall, you can't beat the price for this laptop. It has all the features you need for a mid-range, all-round normal consumer PC, and then-some in a few scenarios. It performs better than expected, although suffers in a few nuances. I'd recommend this PC over many others in it's budget range, and it's specs out weigh many PCs that are a lot more expensive than it, even by a hundred dollars in some cases. Overall, the Aspire E 15 was a pleasant surprise. *READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: * Thanks to Newegg, I’ve reviewed multiple Belkin WeMo products, and enjoyed them enough to use them on a daily basis. I can confidently say that I will also continue to use Belkin’s LED Starter Set. A few years ago, I would have proclaimed controlling lights from your smartphone to be frivolous, but now, with our ever omnipresent mobile devices, tweaking lights from a phone doesn’t seem to be all that senseless. *
- Setup is almost as easy as… well… screwing in a lightbulb. Included in the box is a quick startup guide, two bulbs and the Link device you put into a nearby outlet. The WeMo App is then used to tweak all the “Smart” features of the lights.
- Once the app is installed, you can group the light bulbs together so that they function as a unit instead of separately. Within the WeMo app you can adjust the brightness level based on percentage (see Cons), which is cooler and more individualized than the out-of-date three click bulbs. The slider bar of brightness offers a wide range of atmospheric lighting, allowing you to achieve the perfect lighting suited to your needs. There’s also a Sleep Mode setting that will initiate up to a sixty minute countdown for when your lights will extinguish, all the while slowly dimming as time progresses according to your custom set time. There’s also a sunrise/sunset setting—allowing a custom time input as well. If you also own a separate WeMo product (the Belkin Switch/Motion Detector), the Belkin bulbs can turn on when motion is detected. For me, now when I walk into my office, they turn on and then off if no motion is detected in ten minutes. The “Rules” menu offers a lot of settings to tweak with, including; Away mode, Motion (with Belkin Motion Detector), Sunrise/Sunset, Auto-Off Timer, and Notification consequences. With the addition of IFTTT recipes, there’s a slew of customization options, and if you purchase other WeMo products like the Belkin Camera or Switch/Motion Detector, the possibilities are near endless.
- There are many and obvious advantages of using LED bulbs over traditional ones. I admit I preferred the older way for a long time, but I’m coming around to LED lights for these reasons: They emit very little heat; They save you money due to low wattage (9.5W in this case) requirement; They last a very long time and don’t need regular replacement; And they finally can mimic the look of the homely, warm, soft glow we’ve gotten used to.
- The bulb emits a yellowish, warm light, unlike the typical bluish LED hue. It would be difficult at first glance to identify these as LED bulbs, and I actually like the feel and look of the light more than incandescent bulbs. I don’t know if it’s just me, but it seems to be easier on the eyes as the glow paints the area with a more consistent blanket of light than traditional bulbs. Around monitors in my office, the lights look much better with less glare and all.
Cons: - Even though the Belkin WeMo Link is relatively small, it still blocks the bottom outlet when plugged into the top slot of a standard vertical outlet. The obvious remedy is to plug the Link into the bottom one, which frees the top for a typical cord plug, though nothing larger. In these days of oddly shaped wall warts and everything else, you may run into an issue with the Link blocking another outlet; especially, in my scenario, where it blocked an adjacent port in a Belkin surge protector power strip.
- Like other LED bulbs, they’re a little longer than your typical incandescent 60 Watt light bulb. So the size difference, maybe half an inch taller, may make a difference in some usage situations where space is limited (like possibly an enclosed bathroom ceiling light?).
- Even though the WeMo app is certainly functional and does mostly what it’s supposed to, there’s a lot left to be desired. On initial installation, the firmware was updated four times, which took a good while each time; nevertheless, firmware updates are a good thing. I’m not sure if the excessive number of updates were due to the multiple WeMo devices I have, or if that’s the norm. When changing the brightness level in the WeMo app, there is a noticeable delay. It’s not to the extent of annoyance or anything, but merely a couple of seconds. Some features are buggy and slow to response. It’s also not all that intuitive of an app either. The WeMo app needs a lot of work, but it will do in its current state… for now.
- After a few minutes of being on, the one bulb sometimes begins buzzing annoyingly, sounding like a bug zapper light, although admittedly not as loud. I don’t know if this is just a defective part in my case or if it’s a prominent issue, as the other bulb doesn’t buzz. However, when it does buzz, it’s noticeable and distracting. I hope it doesn’t continue to be an issue nor becomes more conspicuous.
Other Thoughts: * I will continue to use these two bulbs as my main office lights and would just as soon rig my entire home with Belkin’s WeMo products if it wouldn’t break my bank account; however, all things considered, the individual products are relatively budget-friendly, including this LED Starter Set. When considering other competing products and what you’re getting, the price is about right—though everything can always be less expensive!
I recommend purchasing the Motion Detector / Switch along with the LED Starter Set to get the full use out of the WeMo products, for they really shine when working in tandem with one another. This is not to say that the LED Starter Set isn’t a fine product on its own, because it sure is. But home automation makes a lot more sense when you spread it out to work for you. I’ve definitely taken a liking to Belkin’s WeMo products and would readily recommend them to people starting the foray into the jungle that is Home Automation. Unquestionably, the Belkin’s Achilles Tendon is the WeMo App. It isn’t by any means a horrible app, it does what it should, and Belkin has integrated improvements over the last six months since I first started with the Belkin Switch; however, I must say Belkin should focus entirely on the app for now, fix as many bugs as possible, add new features, make the GUI flow better, and make it faster and smarter. Eventually—as long as Belkin strives to make the WeMo app better—I can see the WeMo product line as the go-to device for easy home automation. *
This review is from: Ugreen 40212 HDMI to VGA + 3.5MM Audio + Mirco USB Converter Premium Aluminum Case
Pros: - The Ugreen converts an HDMI port on your computer/device to a female VGA D-SUB. This allows newer laptop PCs that have minimal display connectivity (like one HDMI) to be adapted to D-SUB, opoening access to projectors, older monitors and stuff like KVM switches.
- Since HDMI carries audio as well as display, this product includes a 3.5mm audio jack so that functionality isn't lost when moving from HDMI to D-SUB for display.
Cons: None really.
Other Thoughts: - I own a small PC repair business; the main reason I use this product is to convert PCs that only sport and HDMI port into VGA D-SUB so that they can be connected to my KVM switch. This then allows me to use the D-SUB KVM switch to work on simultaneous computers that don't have the older VGA port. I'm sure there are many reasons you may need it as well, and I can say that the Ugreen has come in handy multiple times. You may need it to connect an older monitor to a newer PC that lacks a VGA, or a projector for example.READ FULL REVIEW
Display Name: Benjamin B.
Date Joined: 11/10/11
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