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Securifi Almond+ Long Range Touchscreen Wireless AC1750 Router / Range Extender + Home Automation Hub (3 Minute Setup)
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

Pros: • Extremely easy setup – step-by-step worked flawlessly
• Efficient packaging (good information on all sides of the form-fitting box)
• Support information on the outside of the box (always good to see)
• Smart phone app sets up easy
• Smart phone app has features that most people would want to use
• Resetting SSID/password very easy from the responsive touchscreen
• Includes wall-mounting hardware! (screws are cheap, but the convenience of having them is priceless)
• Good storage for the included stylus
• Solid range (covers our 2400 SF home pretty well
• Attractive design (looks good on a desk)
• Included snap-on desk stand works well – and it does a great job of hiding the attached Ethernet cables in back = finally a router that you don’t have to hide in a network closet – great!
• Has a pair of USB 3.0 ports for network sharing
• Can also be used as a range extender
• Ability to monitor/control motional detection sensors (windows, doorways, etc.; sensors are reasonably priced)
• Touch screen responds well to aftermarket stylus’(tested generic rubber-tipped model, and the stylus from a Galaxy Note 4)

Cons: • Extremely expensive
• USB 3.0 ports are really close together (need slim flash drives to occupy both ports)
• Stylus constructed of very fragile plastic
• Need a stylus to use the small touchscreen (difficult for large fingers)
• Router settings may be a bit basic for network savvy users
• Lesser known brand doesn’t have enough longevity to determine reliability + high cost = risky purchase

Other Thoughts: Great first impression. Easy setup, and not so much as a blip in nearly three weeks of constant use. Included quick start-up guide came off as a joke, but in actuality – it was all I need to get going, from router setup, all of the way through setting up the app on my Note 4. Instructions were a little repetitive, with the quick guide, and the on-screen display – both telling me to disconnect my modem, but that was as bad as it got, with everything else going nice and smooth.

I really liked the included wall-mounting hardware, and the snap-on stand is really just added support for the Almond + to sit comfortably on your desk. Ugly Ethernet cables are effectively hidden behind the device, and there are a couple of nice apps (clock, weather; claim beta development, but worked just fine) that add to the incentive to have the Almond + out in the open. Looks more like a home security monitoring device than a piece of network gear. Speaking of monitoring, you can purchase separate sensors (motion detection and plugin adapters to control device on/off) for $30-40. The ease of setup, and solid functionality will probably have me buy a sensor or two, and give that aspect of Almond + a try.

Only real negative here is the cost. It’s $250 at the time of this review. I’m not really sure whom the Almond + is marketed for. The high cost, appealing packaging, and slick device looks seem targeted towards a higher-end consumer, but there’s nothing ground breaking from a feature set standpoint that justifies the cost to me. There are plenty of reliable routing devices for a lot less money that will get the job done just fine, but they won’t look as nice on a desk, nor will they have that easy to use/configure touch screen. Then there is the question of brand familiarity. I’ve never heard of Almond + until now, so I have no idea of brand reliability. On the other hand, every brand was new once, so it’s tough to hold that against Securfi. I tend to judge devices on how they deliver, and pay little attention to past reliability claims. So far – the Almond + delivers on all counts.

I’m the type of person that puts a premium on reliability when it comes to network devices. I don’t care about looks, and a lot of the extra features they include with most routers (bandwidth prioritization, USB sharing, etc.) hold little appeal to me. Just get me out to the internet, and provide some basic protection to my network while I’m out there. With that being said, there are a number of routers out there for around $100 that will definitely get the job done for me The Almond + gives you those basics, plus good looks, a slick looking touch screen, the ability to monitor motion detection sensors (free, outside of the sensor cost), and mobile app integration. If these extra features appeal to you, and you have the extra money to spend, then the Almond + might just be the router you’ve been looking for.

Highly recommended – if you can stomach the expense

FOLLOW UP REVIEW: More than a year later, touchscreen is now dead, and because I never linked it to a web admin account, there is no way to reset it, or access it. Touchscreen worked momentarily as I tried to change the password, then put up gibberish key entries, and the only saving grace is that I took a picture of the screen with my phone. We now have a non-sensical password that's over 30 characters long.

Recommendation rescinded. No thanks.

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CORSAIR VS Series VS500 (CP-9020118-NA) 500W ATX12V / EPS12V 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

Pros: • Compact build for smaller spaces
• Nice warranty for a PSU this inexpensive
• Price is reasonable
• Even better – it’s often on sale
• Can power a modest gaming system
• Nice cable lengths for your average mid-tower

Cons: • Ugly sleeving
• Small design for a small case is negated by not being modular (wad of cables to stash)
• CX450 gives you similar amps + modular design for $15 more on regular price

Other Thoughts: Really nothing to complain about here. Nice little PSU for very little money. I used the VS500 in a Xigmatek Gigas cube case test build. Challenging case to build in due to its design, but the small form factor of the VS500 got the job done well enough. There is a 5.25” modular drive bay in the Gigas, and I was able to stash the wad of unused cables in there quite nicely. Bottom line is that the VS500 is not for pretty window builds, but is fine when looks don’t matter.

The build consisted of a 16GB of RAM, i3 dual core, a few fans, a couple SSD’s, and I decided to push the VS500’s 40amp rating by using a GTX 770. This card requires 42 amps on the 12v rail, but I had no issues with hours of gaming. PSU ran mildly warm, with no freezes or unexpected reboots. While using the VS500 long term with this setup wouldn’t be the best idea (longevity on the PSU wouldn’t be great), you could use it in a pinch. With that being said, I would use the VS500 as the cornerstone of a build for light gaming, or photo editing, and put that extra money towards hard drive space or RAM.

You have to keep expectations reasonable for a PSU that is routinely $25 on sale, and the VS500 definitely delivers for the money spent. Unlike some of the other reviewers, my warranty sticker was intact, and the overall build quality (sticker placement, cabling) was solid. I’m a case modder who sleeves his own PSU wires, so not the PSU for me, but will suit 90% of the population just fine. Highly recommended – especially on sale. Three-year warranty for $25 – NICE!

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Corsair Gaming SCIMITAR PRO RGB Gaming Mouse, Backlit RGB LED, 16000 DPI, Yellow side panel, Optical
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

5 out of 5 eggs Great functionality -- especially for palm-style grips! 01/22/2017

This review is from: Corsair Gaming SCIMITAR PRO RGB Gaming Mouse, Backlit RGB LED, 16000 DPI, Yellow side panel, Optical

Pros: • Reasonable price compared to mice in its class
• Pretty RGB lights that are easy to setup
• CUE utility can do a lot, but the basics are easy
• Overall construction is solid
• Moveable thumb button panel is a great idea
• Sharp looking with the contrasting yellow
• Fantastic palm-grip mouse
• Good size for larger hands
• Ring-finger grippy pad is nice for smaller hands
• Smooth braided cord = less snagging on desk edge – excellent
• Reinforced USB plug casing insures long life
• Mouse feed have nice spacing that should = long wear life
• Dual DPI buttons so you don’t have to cycle through = excellent
• Tracking is solid on all surfaces that I tried

Cons: • Not a great fingertip-grip mouse if you want to be able to reach all of the thumb buttons (my larger hands can hit maybe half of them with the assembly in the rearmost position)
• Coated surface material picks up fingerprints immediately
• Thumb button assembly feels flimsy compared to the rest of the mouse
• Not a great claw-grip mouse at all (shape doesn’t work)
• Thinner mouse wheel doesn’t feel great on clicks

Other Thoughts: The Corsair Scimitar is a nice mouse for RPG/MMO type games, and is fantastic as an office productivity device if you’re willing to take some time to set it up, and train your fingers to use those new macro keystrokes.

Overall construction is solid, and feels nice in the hand for weight and shape, when using a palm-style grip. The ability to reposition the thumb-button bank is a great idea, and easy to work with (includes a nice little tool for adjustments). Only issue with my hands, and a palm-grip, is that the nice textured ledge for my ring-finger becomes an awkward spot for my finger to rest. Move the hand back into a fingertip-style grip, and that textured groove feels really comfortable, however, even with larger hands like mine, I can no longer reach half of the thumb buttons, and honesty, only the rearmost three are easy to hit. The small ledge that sticks out near those rearmost thumb buttons is great for a fingertip grip, with the overall feeling of the Scimitar being decent even for FPS games (you just lose the ability to reasonably use nine of the thumb buttons. Claw-grip users (that’s me) probably won’t like the feel of this mouse, as there’s no place on the thumb-side to grip, without hitting the side buttons. I think the best scenario for this mouse would be a person with medium-sized hands, using a palm-style grip. That person would get the best of all that the Scimitar has to offer.

The CUE software is extremely versatile, allowing you to record macros, set custom colors – just about anything you can think of. I first played with Corsair’s software on my K-95 RGB keyboard, and I will definitely say that the interface is much improved from that experience. You could spend a lot of time trying to figure out everything the CUE can do, but if you don’t want to dive in that deep, the basics are easy enough for just about anyone. I’m primarily an FPS player, so the Scimitar isn’t designed for someone like me to take full advantage of what it has to offer, but I was able to quickly build a few macros for Skyrim, and while I play the game in first-person mode, it obviously isn’t a twitch shooter, so the Scimitar was an excellent fit overall, making spells easy to use, and weapons really easy to swap out.

While a little on the flashy side, the Scimitar is excellent for office productivity tasks. The CUE software allows you to build easy macros for copy/paste/cute/save/open/etc., allowing you to do all kinds of thing without ever removing your hand from the mouse. That ability, and overall palm-grip comfort, will be keeping the Scimitar on my desk long after I submit this review.
I’ve used Corsair products for decades, and have always had a solid experience with longevity, technical support, and value for money spent. Like a lot of mice, “feel” is extremely important, and NO mouse will feel perfect for every user (trust me on this, as I have owned a ton of gaming mice), but the Scimitar offers a lot of functionality and quality, and should be a good fit for most folks looking for a mouse that offers a lot more than the standard. Definitely recommended for the grip styles I listed in the above paragraphs.

I’ve used Corsair products for decades, and have always had a solid experience with longevity, technical support, and value for money spent. Like a lot of mice, “feel” is extremely important, and NO mouse will feel perfect for every user (trust me on this, as I have owned a ton of gaming mice), but the Scimitar offers a lot of functionality and quality, and should be a good fit for most folks looking for a mouse that offers a lot more than the standard. Definitely recommended for the grip styles I listed in the above paragraphs.

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Eric R.'s Profile

Display Name: Eric R.

Date Joined: 05/25/05

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  • Reviews: 86
  • Helpfulness: 54
  • First Review: 12/09/07
  • Last Review: 02/26/17
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