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TP-LINK TL-WA854RE V1.2 300Mbps Universal Wi-Fi Range Extender, Repeater, Wall Plug design, One-button Setup, Smart Signal Indicator
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

Pros: This is a dead simple extender, especially for those with WPS buttons on their routers.

Plug it in, let it boot up and press the buttons. A couple minutes and its up and running. This is an actual extender, by default sharing the channel and SSID of your main router. When it works, you don't need to even think about it.

This is precisely the gadget for a non-technical person who doesn't want to fiddle and has a WPS button. Nice looking, even.

Once installed, I updated the firmware to the latest, no problems.

For the technical, you can configure with its own SSID and password, control access by MAC, and make some other configs.

Cons: Range is mediocre. If you don't want to use WPS (which is considered a security weakness), the manual set up is finicky. Tried from IOS device, no joy. Had to reset and start from scratch using a laptop. Connect to its default wifi, go to the right web page, configure, reboot.

Doesn't have 5Ghz, no ethernet port (to ease setup, or use as an AP), couldn't get it to work with tplink's tether app.

Other Thoughts: Device is End of Life, and there are newer models. This one is past it. There are better options.

Pass this one by, even if its in the bargain bin.

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BenQ ZOWIE XL2735 Dark-Grey 27
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

Pros: I'm a poser. That said, this is a really cool monitor.

Superfast. Smother than jello on a doorknob.

There's a lot to talk about with this monitor. I think the first thing you will notice on unboxing is the build quality -- The stand is probably worth a c-note all on its own.

The back of the monitor has carbon-fiber look accents and really looks sharp. The stand adjusts up/down from about 2 inches off the desk to a little over 8 inches (bottom of the bezel to the desk surface). Swivel goes 45 degrees left and 45 degrees right, and rotate is clockwise up to 90 for portrait orientation. Monitor also tilts the typical +- 15 degrees. There are adjustable position reminders you can set once you find your favorite setting. The adjustments are well balanced -- and once moved, the monitor stays in place. There are no locking screws for position.

There are two USB3.0 ports on the left side along with headphone jacks (3.5 x 2) and a pull out "headset hook" where you can hang you headset. In order to make use of the USB ports, you need to connect the included USB 3.0 cable from the back of the monitor to your Computer. The headphone jacks make use of audio out from your DisplayPort or HDMI connections, but you'll need to connect a separate Mic cable from the back of the monitor to your audio card.

The left/right blinders can be installed if you like. Small rubber mounting hole covers maintain the clean look of monitor if you choose not to use the blinders (no gaping holes on the side of your monitor.)

27" is about the right size for a 2K monitor, given the current state of the Windows 10 world. A 4K monitor of this size would have pixels so small, standard windows settings would be too hard to read. At 1080P, a 27-inch monitor, while easy on the eyes, doesn't get you any additional working real estate over a 22 or 24-inch monitor. So, in my view, 27" / 2K is a perfect combo.

Although it’s possible to scale the UI in windows, several core windows programs are still not DPI aware and result in either blurry fonts, or other odd behaviors that drive me crazy. (MMC, remote desktop, etc.) Redmond needs to talk to Cupertino.

At 2K, without scaling the UI, there's a ton of working space on the screen and things are razor sharp. Nice.

The 144 hz refresh is noticeable right away, just try scrolling a web page or word document quickly in 144 vs 60 hz. For gaming, the idea is that 144 is fast enough that if your video card is rendering a game at higher than 60hz, you won't see screen tearing as the video refresh tries to keep up with the frame rate. Even better, it seems this monitor has motion interpolation ability (DynAc) to smooth perceived motion further. (I suspect this is similar to the technology some high refresh TV's have to smooth out sports motion, but I'm not sure, as there aren't any technical details available.) While its not clear technically how this works, the results were impressive with mid-high end video cards I tried.

Monitor settings can be saved in several presets -- e.g. one for general web surfing, one for watching video and one for gaming. The included adjustment pod "S switch" -- connected with a mini USB cable to the back of the monitor, and set into an indent in the base of the stand -- allows you to quickly switch between presets. It also makes a handy interface for setting up your various adjustments, rather than needing to push the buttons on the monitor bezel.

Another notable feature called "black eQualizer" is a bit like dbx dynamic audio range compression, but for video. If an area of the screen is very dark compared to the rest of the scene, the system dynamically lightens the area so you can see the detail that would otherwise be hidden in a dark area of the screen. Be sure to turn this down before evaluating the picture quality for movies and photo editing, but is very cool for gaming. The level is easily adjusted and the effect is very noticeable. It will comfort you in dark alleys. :)

Comes with nifty vinyl cover, with a slot in the top to grab the top of the stand for travel to the pro gaming circuit.

Cons: This model is pricier than the very similar Zowie 2730, which lacks the blinders and the DynAc motion smoothing technology (swapped, I think, for a simpler flicker free technology, although technical details are like hen's teeth), so you've got a decision to make.

This is a TN panel, so two immediate drawbacks are color shift when looking off angle and less saturated colors compared to IPS and VA panels. Keep in mind, BenQ chose this panel type specifically for eSports gaming. IPS panels just aren't this fast. If you don't agree they made the right choice here, you might not be a serious gamer.

Some folks may find that the color settings look poorly when they first fire up the monitor -- possibly because it it is set to show off advanced features like black eQualizer, which can make a standard desktop background look washed out. Once adjusted for various uses, the color is excellent to my eyes. This is definitely a monitor for someone willing to tweak.

A technical tuning guide would be welcomed. I suspect BenQ has thought though lots of the tweaking already, and without guidance, its difficult to know what you're fiddling with is going to help.

Other Thoughts: This is the first monitor that I've used that has "low blue light" adjustment, this appears to be a color temperature adjustment, intended to match indoor lighting, prevent macular degeneration, and the common cold. I guess we'll know in a few years if its science or snake oil. I can say I've bought into the color/night shift technology that Apple has baked into its latest gear as making it easier to fall asleep after checking your email late at night.

Note to BenQ – Monitor and Gamer geeks respond to accurate technical details. Both the manual and website are lacking in real technical information (What does DynAc actually do (nice video, though)? Does it do something different at 60hz vs 144hz? How does it behave under different frame rate/refresh rate combinations? Why is flicker free not included on this? (or is it?) Why is there no mention of free sync or g sync in the manual? Do I not need it with this monitor?). If you’re going to make a monitor for an ultra-specific use and charge lots of money, marketing fluff isn’t going to get you noticed…need more facts.

This is a hugely feature packed high quality monitor, aimed squarely at high speed gaming. That said, with proper adjustments it also makes a nice every day monitor. I'd watch for it to go on sale -- with a bit of a discount it could be a great deal. If you’ve got a rig that can feed high FPS video at 2K, you need this. If you want a great gaming monitor and speed is #1 with you, this big well-built baby is your huckleberry.

Posers might like it, too. Or maybe they just wont understand.

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NavePoint CAT6 Ethernet Surface Mount Box 2-Port
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 day to 1 week

4 out of 5 eggs Good surface mount. 02/02/2017

This review is from: NavePoint CAT6 Ethernet Surface Mount Box 2-Port

Pros: Easy to work with, comes with both mounting screws and adhesive if you prefer not to screw. Integral strain relief zip tie to keep things in place.

Cons: Not keystone modular, just a single board with jacks and punch down soldered into it. Works fine. No wiring key, so you'll need to look it up.

Other Thoughts: Good value for money. Thanks.

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Aaron B.'s Profile

Display Name: Aaron B.

Date Joined: 10/15/06

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  • First Review: 10/18/06
  • Last Review: 03/10/17
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