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TP-LINK Talon AD7200 Multi-Band Wi-Fi MU-MIMO Gigabit Router
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

5 out of 5 eggs TP Link AD7200 09/15/2016

This review is from: TP-LINK Talon AD7200 Multi-Band Wi-Fi MU-MIMO Gigabit Router

Pros: +
This powerful, feature rich router can be configured and deployed by novice users with ease. Yet the TP-Link AD7200 provides enough features and functionality under the hood to satisfy power users and seasoned pros alike.

• Easy to setup and configure.
• Tri-band broadcasting 60GHz, 5GHz and 2.4GHz ad, ac/a/n, n/g/b respectively.
• Gigabit LAN.
• Fantastic speed.
• Great range.
• Parental Controls and user definable content filtering (white/blacklisting).
• Easy to navigate features, security options and services.
• Built in VPN server.
• Guest Network.
• 8 antennae.
• Dual core processor.
• Power switch.
• Definable Transmitter power levels: low, medium, high and off (per band).

• TP-Link Tether App allows remote adminstraton from your smart phone or tablet (iOS/android)

• Dynamic DNS, OpenVPN and PPTP VPN support.

• Two USB 3.0 ports can be used to configure Network Attached Storage, or a Media server using an external drive. Additionally you can attach a standard USB printer and transform it into a shared network print server.

This router was very easy to setup and get running. I really like that you can login with either tplinkwifi.net or the standard router ip 192.168.0.1. A nice little touch TP-Link added to the login screen was the reveal password button, which is really handy if you make a typo. Once you are signed in you are guided through the rest of setup process where you will select the SSID and Wi-Fi password for each of bands: 2.4GHz, 5.0GHz and 60GHz separately.
Additionally you can also remotely admin the router using the free TP-Link Tether app, allowing for basic controls including: wireless settings and passwords, parental controls, guest access, device list, prioritization and security.

Once the basics have been set up, you are greeted to a polished and refined UI that highlights the basic and advanced features and overview of the router.
Under the advanced tab the overview page goes into more detailed coverage of the current state of the router. Some of the highlights include performance of the router CPU and memory usage, wireless configuration of each of the bands (2.4, 5.0 and 60GHz SSID, MAC and Channel). connected USB devices, and connected wireless devices. The TP-Link Tether App provides a network map, and currently connected devices, and a handy “share password” feature, which reveals the SSID and password for each of the bands.

Cons: -
Short power cord at around six feet long, it would be ideal to see the power cable length at ten to twelve feet in length.

The Tp-Link Tether App only provides limited functionality, with no in-depth control and no support for remote file or media server access.

Slightly larger footprint than an average router, could be an issue where device real estate is limited.

Other Thoughts: ~
I should note that my testing was performed on the 5.0GHz ac/a, and the 2.4GHz n/g/b bands as I currently do not have a 60GHz ad adapter. I would like to mention however that the speed and throughput of the ac/a band has been the fastest, and most stable linkspeed that I have connected to using an ac adapter.

Overall this is a fantastic router, it has performed flawlessly throughout my testing and has provided seamless Wi-Fi and wired connections. The broadcast range has been decent with about a maximum distance of about 60 feet from the exterior of my home, with stable connections to 40+ feet (this is the distance from the router inside, with the signals passing through 2 walls).
The 5GHz AC Band has been nothing but impressive, and is fast enough for HD Video, streaming, gaming and all of your day to day needs. The AC band on the router is exceptional and provides enough throughput for wireless gaming, even in more frame intensive games like CS:GO that demand fast connections.

My speedtest results on the ac band were actually slightly higher than my wired connection to my modem, with an average of 184Mbps d/l and 12 up, compared to an average of 176Mbps d/l and 12 up (wired).
Linkspeed from my ac adapter on my PC to the router is reported at 1.3 Gbps, which is faster than a gigabit LAN connection, I have not experienced any slowdown or any network lag that would suggest dips in performance. (ac band)

Once you start digging into the advanced options the potential becomes very apparent, this router offers some excellent features and functionality.

This router features the standard security settings and Wi-Fi protocols you would expect: Wi-Fi Protected Setup, MAC Filtering, IPv4/6 firewall, Port forwarding, DMZ, ping and trace route. WiFi Protocols are standard fair: WEP, WPA-PSK(personal and enterprise) with encryption of AES or TKIP.

This router also supports NAT forwarding Virtual Servers that redirects all requested ports associated to the particular service to a dedicated PC(s) on your local network. These services include: DNS, FTP, GORHER, HTTP, NNTP, POP3, PPTP, SMTP, SOCK and Telnet.

I am very impressed by the addition of the built in VPN Server, which features Dynamic DNS, OpenVPN and PPTP VPN support. With the OpenVPN service, you can edit the port and subnet mask, generate a security certificate locally, change communication protocol from UDP to TCP, and set user access to internet and local network or local network only connections.
The ability to cloak with DDNS or tunneling with a VPN is a welcomed extra layer of protection and connectivity, and should provide a useful security solution for small business applications. At the time of writing this there were free options for home users of DDNS.

A nice welcomed feature is the ability to use an external drive as a NAS and storage for built in media server. Simply plug a USB drive in, set the server name and configure all or specific folder access.
The network share is easy to find and access within windows explorer, and can easily be used to transfer files or stream media.
One drawback here was the lack of support for these features with the TP-Link Tether app, which doesn’t offer support for the NAS or media server functionality. However; NAS and media server access on android devices is easy to set up with free third party apps from the play store.
For NAS functionality I use an app called ES File Explorer, using the NAS from your smart phone or tablet is very nice alternative to using a third party cloud storage, and a lot faster for file transfer.
For media server access I used VLC media player, and simply navigated to “local network” from the menu, from there you stream any of the files supported. In my tests I was able to seamlessly stream different video files to my phone, tablets and to my PC simultaneously.

In a real world File Transfer speedtest to the NAS, I tested the upload and download speed of a 4.35GB folder to an external USB drive acting as the NAS/Media Server storage. It took about 1 minute 35 seconds to upload to the drive and slightly faster at just 1 minute 30 seconds to download, with an average download speed from the NAS of 50MB/s. (ac band)

I would absolutely recommend this router to anyone looking for an excellent ad/ac/a router, for home or small business wireless networking. It has provided enough throughput to seamlessly stream HD video, wireless game, and handle all the demands of the devices on my network simultaneously. The connectivity, speed and range really makes this router standout as one of the best I have used, and has been fantastic throughout my testing, I have not had a single experience of needing to restart or reset this router since setting it up 30 days ago. 5 eggs.

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SteelSeries Rival 100 Optical Gaming Mouse - Gaia Green
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

5 out of 5 eggs SteelSeries Rival 100 07/26/2016

This review is from: SteelSeries Rival 100 Optical Gaming Mouse - Gaia Green

Pros: +
Solid Construction.
Mouse wheel and palm rest illuminate.
Game Sense LED light effects.
LED customizable colors, pick a single solid color, or multiple colors for Color Shift, or Breath.
Adjustable USB polling rate.
Adjustable CPI.
CPI toggle switch.

Cons: -
The CPI switch is in an awkward position, which makes switching on the fly difficult, and only adjusts 2 CPI settings.

The LED lights are dependent on the SteelSeries Engine and will remain solid if the Engine is terminated or exited from the system tray.

The Multi Color Breath LED settings seem to make the LEDs pulse, and they do not appear to make a smooth transition.

Other Thoughts: ~
I have been exclusively using this mouse on my main PC for the past month. At first I had to adjust to the weight and size of the mouse, but it was a relatively short adjustment curve. The mouse 1 and 2 button actuation is very crisp and responsive, the thumb buttons are perfectly placed, and the mouse wheel has a nice notched translucent silicon grip. The side rests on the mouse are also a nice molded non-slip design. The only issue I had with the buttons is the CPI switch. The main issue is it was placed in an awkward position, where you would have to full claw grip your forefinger or middle finger to hit the button (if you were to maintain a grip on the mouse body). The second issue with the CPI switch is it only acts as a toggle switch from one CPI to the next.

The SteelSeries Engine 3 control panel adds a very easy and intuitive macro editor that allows you to remap any of the mouse buttons including the CPI switch, to any standard mouse or keyboard function. Here you can create a macro and edit button presses and timings from any mouse or keyboard button combo used in the macro.

The adjustable LED color scheme is fantastic, after playing around with the settings I found that I prefer the look of the “Color Shift” setting, where the LEDs phase from one color to the next in a nice smooth transition.

Additionally a very nice touch is the SteelSeries “Game Sense” LED light effects, which changes the behavior of the mouse LEDs based on what is happening in a compatible game. For example when playing CS:GO, if you get fragged, the LEDs change to solid red, or if you plant the bomb or the round time is down to 10 seconds the LEDs change to flashing red.
The games listed for Game Sense in the SteelSeries Engine control panel are: CS:GO, Dota2 and MineCraft Mod (with a link to the Mod). Of those 3 titles I have only played CS:GO.

The optical sensor is very accurate for a non laser mouse, and have had no issues tracking. The adjustable USB polling rate also helps out here, if you set it to the max (1000Hz = 1ms response) the mouse is very sharp, and very close to laser accuracy.

The skates are evenly balanced and perfectly smooth with my mouse mat, with no unusual wear or markings in the 30 days of use.

Overall I have been completely satisfied with the performance and feel of this mouse. I can easily recommend this mouse to anyone looking for a decent, well made gaming mouse. I believe the price is very reasonable given the performance, customizable options and finish of this mouse.

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Steelseries Apex M500 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with Cherry MX Red Switches and Blue LED
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

Pros: +
Cherry MX Red switches.
Excellent key response; great for gaming & typing.
Solid construction and premium feel.
Individual per key LED lighting.
Function keys provide LED Brightness, Multimedia and Windows Key toggle controls.
key strokes are not overly loud, yet still maintain a nice clicky clack.
Adjustable USB polling rate.
Per key definable macros using the SteelSeries Engine 3 control panel.

Cons: -
An automatic firmware update failed, from which I found out that the keyboard will not function if firmware fails. (I was able to fix this failure)

Oddly the Number keys are not Evenly illuminated even though the shift symbols are.

No PS2 port could be an issue for some mechanical keyboard purists, this isn’t an issue for me personally.

Other Thoughts: ~
The feel of the keyboard has a nice 3lb weight to the body complemented by rubberized feet, lending to a solid, slip-free experience on my desk.
The design is refined and has an appealing understated tasteful aesthetic that doesn’t jump out and scream “look at me”
SteelSeries took a very tasteful approach to designing the keyboard aesthetics and layout, no extra space wasted for unnecessary macro or multimedia keys. This refined design will be welcomed to people that have limited desk or keyboard footprint space.
SteelSeries also gave the keyboard lettering font a tasteful and refined classic sans appearance, thankfully they didn’t choose a “sci-fi gamer” looking font.
The key stokes are very responsive with actuation at about a quarter way into a full key stroke thanks to the Cherry MX Red switches.

The Fn keys are handy and intuitive, simply hold the SteelSeries logo key and you can control the LED brightness (F5/F6), the Multimedia keys (F7-F12) or toggle the Windows key on or off.

The LED key lighting was well thought out, with each individual key having its own LED, and a nice medium blue tray under the keys providing ambient lighting under the keys.
There are five levels of LED brightness if you include off.
The highest brightness level is a little too bright for me, even in a well lit room it seems distracting. The second and third level of brightness is usually bright enough to see the keys and not to harsh on the eyes in a dark setting.

The SteelSeries control panel is an All in One control panel for their products, the controls for the Apex M500 are limited, and offer user controls for the USB polling rate, LED brightness, editing user defined macros, or updating the firmware. Outside of setting the polling rate or updating the firmware, I have not needed to use the control panel, as you can easily change the LED brightness with the built in Fn keys.

The only time I had any real issues with this keyboard was related to an automatic firmware update for this keyboard that failed to install properly. The first install attempt failed, rendering the keyboard useless. A restart of windows, downloading the firmware again and performing a fresh firmware update remedied this (fortunately you can do this with just a mouse).
It was concerning though that a failure like this might confuse some users into thinking the keyboard “died”.

I was using a linear switch keyboard previously, so the only thing I really had to adjust to was the speed of the key response, which after becoming accustomed to I probably wouldn’t want to go back. The level of control is much more precise than a linear switch keyboard , and is most apparent when gaming in frame intensive titles like CS:GO. It did require a little time to make the adjustment to the speed of the Cherry MX Red switches, but it wasn’t a lengthy or difficult transition.

Overall I have been absolutely satisfied with the performance, look and feel of this keyboard, making it an easy choice for me to recommend. The Cherry MX Red switches provide excellent response in gaming and typing, the back lighting is bright, and evenly lit making it easy to see keys in dark settings.
The only thing more I could wish for on this keyboard was a dedicated volume knob for the multimedia controls.

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Matt G.'s Profile

Display Name: Matt G.

Date Joined: 04/05/06

  • Reviews: 60
  • Helpfulness: 39
  • First Review: 04/07/06
  • Last Review: 09/15/16
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