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Pros: All of the features of this board are good, and the price is reasonable. Dual CPU for high workload, plenty of space for RAM. The PIKE slot is probably not useful, but it's there. For the price, it delivers exactly what it should, assuming the board functions properly.
Cons: Fan ports are a bit tough to deal with, motherboard power is not in a smart place if your case has the PSU on the bottom. Minor nuisance, not even worth -1 egg. All the eggs I subtracted have to do with the fact that my board is faulty and I can't get a replacement or warranty service of any acceptable type from ASUS. For five bennies, this board should not have problems, and when it does, ASUS should be busting their rumps to fix it.
What's the problem? Put any load on CPU2 and the system crashes. No kernel panic, no reboot, nothing in any system log. We're talking serious low-level problems here. All other components removed, rotated, replaced, and the crash is still perfectly reproducible with CPU2 enabled (and never happens with CPU2 disabled).
I put in an RMA, was approved, gave all my details, address, etc. and waited patiently for weeks. I emailed to ask why six weeks had passed and I hadn't even received a tracking number, let alone a motherboard. I was told they were out of stock! WHY DID NO ONE SAY SO WHEN THE RMA WAS INITIATED?? You have a customer waiting for a product you said you'd ship to him, and you didn't bother to tell him -- for SIX WEEKS and not until he contacts you -- that nothing is going to be coming in the foreseeable future. Two weeks later, I'm still getting stonewalled. They can't do an RMA because they don't have it in stock, although they'd be happy to take mine away from me while I wait -- that's their solution. Send in my board. That won't get a replacement in stock any faster guys, use your brains.
Other Thoughts: This board is in service in a major research lab at a scientific research institution,* shared among a working group but mostly mine. I don't appreciate that after putting together a complex custom build and working very hard to ensure functionality and compatibility that the faulty mainboard can't get replaced immediately, as it ought to be. I can't justify the state of affairs, all research crawling at 50% capacity for months with not a single iota of help from ASUS -- and none coming. This is absolutely, completely, entirely unacceptable. This board may be a dud, this may be a systemic problem in manufacturing, YMMV, but nobody buys this board with the intention of not using both CPUs. They'd buy a cheaper board instead. There is no way this doesn't get a one egg review -- and I'll be reproducing this review everywhere else I can until I get some satisfaction.
*I'm not listed by Newegg as a "verified owner" because my institution put in the PO for this item, but it was purchased right here at the ol' Egg. This Byzantine arrangement also resulted in lengthy delays that resulted in a slow deployment of the system. Unlucky for us that we noticed this issue outside of Newegg's return / replace period, although to be honest, I'm considering looking for help from Newegg at this point...
This review is from: TP-Link Archer CR700 AC1750 Wireless Dual Band DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem Router
Pros: This is a pretty useful unit out-of-the-box. If you want to plug it into the wall and immediately start using the internet, this is more or less what you get (just a little bit of necessary set-up for the wifi).
Here are the features I think are really pros for this unit. However, for most of these, I have a caveat, a reason why I'm not really swayed by the feature. A few features really do shine, and for those, there is no caveat.
* Simple, easy basic setup. [A true feature, some routers even in 2016 are hard to set up for non-techies.]
* Wifi randomized password, if you want to do it that way. [A nice bonus feature, although hardly essential.]
* Good wireless range (internal antennas are good quality) and signal strength / speed. [A true plus.]
Not Really Pros:
* Gigabit LAN. [It's 2016. This is not really a plus.]
* USB port. [Not a plus -- this is USB 2.0. It's a great feature, but USB 3.0 came out a long time ago.]
* Bridge mode available. [Bridge mode is silly. If you don't need the cable modem functionality, don't buy this product.]
* Dual band with guest network. [Routers in this price range better have dual band. The dual guest is a plus, not all have that, but it's not really that important.]
* Compatible with cable most cable providers. [Not really a plus -- if it wasn't compatible, no one would buy it anyway.]
* On/off button. [This is only a useful feature because this router actually requires frequent, infuriating hard-reboots. This saves you the trouble of yanking the power supply out of the wall.]
Cons: While getting online isn't too hard for beginners, this cable modem / router combo is really only going to be good for beginners. If you are the sort of person reading reviews and specs .. you might already disqualify yourself from being the target audience for this thing. Three major cons stick out and form a background for the rest of the issues:
* The device really lacks a number of features. While each one individually might not exclude a large number of potential users / buyers, in total, this Cons list should turn off a large number of consumers (myself included). And to top it off, the firmware on this device is poor and cannot be upgraded. (You read that right: You cannot upgrade the firmware.) That means many of these problems are permanent when they shouldn't be. The missing features are itemized below.
* The device has a very long reboot time. Like the lack of firmware upgrades, this is especially frustrating due to the other problems. If you try to adjust the settings on the router, or if you just have a router that's a bit dysfunctional, this long reboot time will add insult to injury.
* It also has a poor interface for advanced settings adjustment. Other users report crashing or missing features, so I can say that this isn't an isolated issue. This is really disappointing and the quality control people at TP-Link really messed up here. Trying to set up advanced features will, for some users at least, cause glitches, bugs, and locking-up, requiring a hard reboot. Others report frequent locking-up of the unit when not being reconfigured -- I had only two such incidents, one of which was during an attempt to stress-test the unit. Then again, I only used it for a few days before I decided I needed my old router back.
Here are some other features that the device is either entirely lacking or has an insufficient amount of, in no particular order:
* No Dynamic DNS (DDNS)
* No Quality of Service (QoS)
* No help for the settings interface.
* No DD-WRT compatibility (see also: no firmware upgrades at all!)
* No DHCP (IP address) reservations (which also may cripple port forwarding / NAT / etc.)
* No bandwidth monitoring / usage / logs / etc.
* No VOIP interface for cable subscribers -- so if this is for Grandma so she can ditch the modem and router, keep in mind her landline migiht be unavailable now...
* No wall mounting.
* No antenna port (even with a good antenna, some people need a special / custom antenna to get what they need).
* Poor USB storage (with a 2.0 port and 2TB limit at this price, it'd be a joke for 2012, let alone 2016)
* No custom options for admin login for settings page -- and no timeout on admin login. This is a huge security hole, even if in the end it's not likely to be exploited. Not smart.
* No guest network MAC filtering.
I could probably go on...
Other Thoughts: Here's one that could be a Pro or a Con: The device is fairly compact. Great, but results in increased heat. I'd say it makes the device unstable, but I think other issues already make it unstable enough that it wouldn't get too hot anyway before a few reboots for other reasons...
This is a nice little device if you expect nothing from this thing except to serve as a basic, out-of-the-box replacement for whatever cable modem and router your ISP is making you pay for every month. Plug it in, make up your wifi SSID and password, and go. But if you want ANYTHING more at all, I think this device will let you down, and not just in ways that are annoying or suboptimal. This device misses the mark almost entirely, across the board.
In 2016, that's just not acceptable. Most users want at least a few of the features that this product fails to deliver. I can't say "it's 5/5 for Grandma who only uses her AOL browser and Facetime but 2/5 for everyone else." The honest review here, in my opinion, is 2/5. Maybe 3/5 if I was willing to round up, but with the inability to fix the firmware, I'm not willing to round up. These problems will not be fixed even in "extended, paid beta testing" a.k.a. "you bought a device that should have never hit the shelves."
There are great cable modems out there for much less. There are great routers out there for much less (or comparable). You could get a decent cable modem and a very good router for the same price as this thing, or for a bit more money, a fantastic set of two individual devices. All-in-one hardware isn't always better (in fact, it usually isn't). I advise anyone serious about this to go for something else. My current setup has a TP-Link cable modem ($50) and a TP-Link router ($95), both of which are fantastic and have all the features that I want (and more), most of which are missing in this unit for reasons that defy all comprehension. That's less than even this extra-low sale price for the combo unit. TP-Link could have just duct-taped together the two products I have and sold them for $150 or more and done much better.
I like TP-Link products I've had in the past (see above: I am currently running most of my network with TP-Link on the backbone -- just a few auxiliary switches etc. from other brands). I have had plenty of products from various manufacturers over the years, and I always thought TP-Link products were generally pretty good. The bar for TP-Link in my mind was pretty high, and I expected good things from this product. I was woefully disappointed. To be honest, I almost think this was a product designed and manufactured by someone else that TP-Link somehow acquired or absorbed and needed to sell their stuff off. I have no idea, this is pure speculation, but I'm just trying to say how out-of-character this product is for TP-Link. It would be like if you got a really horrible steak at a fancy steakhouse that you'd enjoyed going to for years. You would be disappointed, but you know that one bad product out of so many in the past means this is (let's hope!) a one-time failure of quality control / design.
I review items as a Newegg EggXpert. This device was provided for free for my review. Let this be an example that shows that even when most devices get high ratings from me (I'm easy to please?), this is not guaranteed -- even when the item is free, my review will always be honest. This thing is so bad, I cannot in good conscience give it away to a friend or sell it. Off to the charity bin it goes (even then, can we consider receiving this device an act of charity?)
Speaking of which, as a Newegg EggXpert, I have to write the review within 30 days of receiving the item. Some people report that this modem/router has issues where it simply dies after 2-3 months (or more) of use. I can't comment on that, but I will say that you should always go beyond "EggXpert" reviews, in case you need to hear about things like longevity -- we can't tell you about that, except to point out that others are reporting such issues.
Pros: Fairly comfortable -- in terms of feel and heat, the pads are definitely good. The sound is, overall, pretty good. For normal stuff, it works pretty well.
Connection options are good. USB is PnP obviously, works just fine with Win 7+ (didn't test below that).
Moderate weight, fairly sturdy construction.
Overall, a pretty decent headset.
Cons: A few complaints, mostly minor.
Weighty enough, but not springy enough, for certain sized heads. My wife's head is smaller than average. If she leans forwards or backwards with these on, they fall off.
Surround sound is okay but not great. I've had better (and more expensive) headsets with good surround. This is murky.
Bass response is kind of muddled. I don't like the "boom boom" bass. Punchy bass will come out sounding muffled and disappointing. If you like the sound of cars shaking from rap music, this is a good set. If your music has actual structure and tone, this will disappoint on the low end a bit. (That's probably due to the size of the 7.1 drivers within the headset). It also has a limited high-end response, although that's less obvious, it will irk the audiophile (but the audiophile has no business using this headset).
There is a fair amount of ambient noise. The set seems to amplify it a bit -- creating a hollow shell around your ear. It's not skin-tight, which is maybe more comfortable and less sweaty/gross, but it's also distracting. It's a con, but not a real con -- it depends more on your priorities.
Other Thoughts: Lighting on the mic and headset is clever, but not my thing. Keep in mind the impact this may have on battery life if you get the wireless version of this headset (I'm reviewing the corded version though).
Mic is meh. Most mics on these things are meh, though. You aren't buying a bidirectional studio-grade condenser. Just a little guy on the tip of your headset.
Not a huge fan of proprietary software. Of course, it has features you want/need, but I'm not impressed and it doesn't do much that others don't do.
In the end, for sound quality and some concerns about fucntionality/enjoyment, I take off an egg. If I could give 4.5 I probably would, but I'm erring on the side of caution.
Keep in mind that as an EggXpert, I must review the item within 30 days. I cannot speak to the longevity of this product. Look at other reviews to get an idea of that.