Date Joined: 12/12/05
Pros: solid, quality construction, adjustable
update: had this and used it nonstop for >5yrs now. Cover of seat is disintegrating a little, but everything still works fine. Still a very firm on the seat, but the cushion has held up far better than any other chair I've bought. I eventually kludged the neck and back bits to suit me, except for being narrow at the shoulder, and have had no trouble with it.
Cons: top of headrest curves in too much forcing my head down (and I bought the taller size since i was right on the boundary at 5'9", 150#), lower back support is an issue (the little pillow they give doesn't work well; won't stay in place, is far too thick, not easy to make thinner or get a better shape), the neck pillow is semi ok if you remove 80% of the stuffing ,but even then...meh, plus the headrest above it curves in. The sides also curve in aggressively, forcing my shoulders to hunch a little bit. So, flat where it should curve, curved where it should be straight. Eh, it's not bad, but sit in one b4 you buy it. Over time, the seat cushion ends up seeming overly firm to me, but at least it doesn't wear out quickly.
Overall Review: I would not recommend buying this blind, but if you've sat in one and it suits you, it may be just what you need! It seems like a higher quality product, the backrest just isn't right (initially) for me. One of the few chairs that didn't cheap out on the cushion foam density (at least that I can tell so far). Back is still too narrow for my shoulders (I'm exactly average height/weight, but my shoulders are a bit wider).
Pros: inexpensive, reasonable volume
cheap way to back up all the music I have (I'd hate to have to load all those cds again, it'd take many days).
was pretty quiet
averaged ~150MB/s sustained over a USB3 external dock, which matches the previous reviews. Took about 50m to copy 500GB.
Overall Review: I really just needed it for a larger backup volume. I have a spare ssd I use for doc backups, but my music archive was too big to fit so I got this.
I will update later based on longevity. Initial performance seems fine so far. I copied my files, stuffed it in a padded, insulated box and put it away. We'll see!
Pros: totally silent, no problems with it, comes with just the right cables, seems to be a quality item
Update: I've been using it nonstop for almost 6 years now, 18+hrs/day, mostly around 350W load, zero problems. It's a shame fanless psu are harder to find now, as I want to make a new rig but don't want to start w/ my high mileage parts. Only one brand now, SS, and more expensive. :(
Cons: it's a bit pricey, but the silence is totally worth it for me. Not fully modular, but the nonmodular ones are stuff you'll want if you're looking at this (atx, cpu, and one pci). Interestingly, all the modular slots on this are 8 pins, whereas my prior Rosewell PSU had 6's and 8's. Works fine w/ the cables they include, tho!
Overall Review: this is the droid..no, wait, psu I'd been looking for. Made my system go from too loud to totally inaudible. Yay! I'm using a fractal R4 case, 4790k,noctua cooler, Asus strix 970. someone was smart about the cables to bundle, much appreciated.
Pros: solid, quality construction, adjustable
Cons: top of headrest curves in too much forcing my head down (and I bought the taller size since i was right on the boundary at 5'9", 150#), lower back support is an issue (the little pillow they give doesn't work well; won't stay in place, is far too thick, not easy to make thinner or get a better shape), the neck pillow is semi ok if you remove 80% of the stuffing ,but even then...meh, plus the headrest above it curves in. The sides also curve in aggressively, forcing my shoulders to hunch. So, flat where it should curve, curved where it should be straight. I'm stuffing other pillows and padding behind me to get by, just like I was before I spent too much on this. Eh, it's not bad, but sit in one b4 you buy it. Over time, the seat cushion ends up seeming overly firm to me, but at least it doesn't wear out quickly.
Overall Review: I would not recommend buying this blind, but if you've sat in one and it suits you, great! It seems like a higher quality product, the backrest just isn't right (nor have I been able to make it right) for me. One of the few chairs that didn't cheap out on the cushion foam density (at least that I can tell so far).
Pros: Thin, light, rigid design, nice screen, amazing battery life. It was clearly a relatively premium product. I'm just using it to do some office work on my porch during lockdown, and it's terrific for that. The one I got was in truly excellent condition; only very minor case scuffs, apparently new battery (>9.5h of charge the indicator says, and it barely dropped at all in a half hour of use). This thing is overkill to run open office/libre office, but it's a slick bit of gear for that. Can't beat this for the price IMHO.
Cons: -obviously this is no gaming machine, it's got a celeron which is aimed at low power consumption for basic stuff like browsing and office work.
Overall Review: This is a really nice laptop for office/productivity use. Really a bargain at the price I paid, and the one I got was in great shape.
-fast (far, far faster than my samsung 840)
-closing in on 2 yrs w/ zero issues, in use pretty much 24x365
Cons: -I should have gotten a larger one, but was cheap :(
Overall Review: -based on this drive, I'l probably make Crucial my default ssd choice barring any new developments
Pros: tiny, silent, cheap, well made, looks pretty decent, comes w/ everything (wifi, bluetooth, ports) i'd ever need.
More than adequate to play 1080 video, let alone basic office and web use (which is what I got it to do). Expandable; i dropped a spared sata ssd in it in 30s using no tools. Memory & SATA port are easily accessible, and there's enough of both for win10 and the above applications. It has a headphone jack on the front, or can do hdmi audio (and presumably usb w/ appropriate drivers). Very low power usage, too, as a bonus. The zbox is thoughtfully designed and well made; i was very impressed w/ small details done right.
Cons: obviously this isn't a hi powered gaming rig, duh! :)
Included 32GB ssd doesn't have a ton of room (win10 + open office + firefox fills about 80% of it w/o any other apps, docs or temp files). So plan on dropping in some kind of cheap ssd/hdd unless you're gonna be super careful about file accumulation.
Overall Review: I wanted a cheap all in one, but wasn't seeing deals i liked in the period i wanted, so I just got this and an excellent cheap refurb monitor off the egg. Works great, although it leaves me w/ more cable clutter than an AIO. Easier to upgrade tho, via ram/ssd or replacing the monitor or zbox in the future, so that's not all bad. After installing firefox and open office on top of W10 still have 20% of the original disk free, and mem use is about 60% w/ firefox and open office running. So, sized well for my use.
Pros: -dirt cheap (~$50 or so)
-excellent condition (better than in most corp offices i've been in)
-works fine, no dead pixels, no dmg
-super stand; huge height range, plus tilt, and sturdy
Cons: older, lower rez monitor (i have a massive one on my main setup) but that's fine; its exactly as stated
Overall Review: perfect for my standing desk w/ a zotac mini pc for browsing, mail, etc
Pros: -quieter than my 970 strix
-faster, games definitely seem a bit more fluid, fewer hitches (running at 2560x1600)
-works just fine w/o any extra s/w. I just used the newest drivers from nv, didn't install any gigabye s/w. The less crud running the better imho.
Cons: -not a huge speed increase from my 2 gen prior 970, at least on the stuff I play, but worth it to me
Overall Review: -initially kept booting to black screen, but it was just the monitor and card defaulting to incompatible modes (old monitor). Booted into safe mode, install drivers, change settings, good to go.
-be sure to have both 6pin and 8pin cables for your psu, and a solid enough psu to push the whole sys (I aim for double the stated load, due to surge demands and psu efficiency considerations)
-I only install the driver, physx, and the usbc driver, skipping all the other crud (3d stuff, user management s/w "experience" etc).
Pros: plugged it in, it worked. So simple I actually forgot i've been using it. I'm using it to stream audio to a HK Onyx 4 bluetooth speaker in the kitchen, which it does very well. Tiny. Cheap. Plug n play. Insta connect, never drops.
Cons: not made of chocolate? does not give footrubs? ...failed to cure common cold, also. Otherwise fine, tho.
Pros: not overly bright, great for a lot of uses around the house, uses almost no power. I put these in bedrooms and other areas where I don't want to get blasted by a zillion lumens but want to be able to see. A couple of these in a chandelier is nice, or one in a table lamp to keep a room gently lit. High WAF; she told me to find more.
Cons: shipper has lousy score..and we never actually got the bulbs. Too late to do anything about it now, months later, and not a big deal, but the vendor is bad news.
Overall Review: I'd get these in a heartbeat if the egg was shipping them...I regret giving money to such an abysmally rated 3rd party vendor tho.
Pros: cheap, works
no problems at all.
Cons: no longer avail??? awwww.
Pros: -reasonably small
-good simple software does what's needed
-cheap for what it does
Cons: -ermmm...not much con
-won't power up if power is down (even if charged); has to be running when power dies, so can't use it in a blackout to run a LED lamp or something unless the ups was running at the time of blackout
Overall Review: works great. I'm in a small farm town and have frequent power interuptions (6hrs last night). Keeps my OC i7 w/ oc gpu and huge monitor running for 20m, and has configurable shutdown and alarms that turn off (yay). I made the mistake of simply shutting down and then turning it off to stop the beeping (had alarms enabled, doh), then couldn't turn it back on until power came back. Too bad, I wanted to use it to run a led light during a long blackout, and it was fully charged. But, it's not really intended for that (next time I'll know and won't turn it off, alarms already set to off).
-huge screen, fairly good resolution
-higher end model, lots of nice little details nicely done (tiny power brick, extra led status indicators, nice materials)
-in incredibly good condition (no info on battery life yet, just finally got it to work earlier)
-very well packaged for shipping
-fast enough for surfing, document creation and editing (i.e. good for cafe use).
-so far seems quiet...but am not in a quiet environment yet so we'll see
Cons: -was listed as having wifi; the one I got simply does not have wifi h/w (probably had a pcmcia card that got pulled? or was used in an office/prewifi era)
-without wifi it simply won't boot in chrome; it hangs on the first setup dialog
-heavy, of course, and bulky, but you expect that with a huge screen and an older machine
Overall Review: I have cheaper Acer 17" core 2 duo that still runs win6, and I find it fast enough for excel and word and most other uses...my wife monopolizes that one so I figured this was a great way to get a basic non-gaming pc for portable use on the porch or at a cafe. It's enough for my uses (web & excel mostly). Chrome seems kinda ok, we'll see. There's some latency saving, and it's a PITA to find prior files as there's no file manger; some of that may be learning curve tho.
-stealing a bulky old usb wifi adapter from another machine I was able to finally fire it up, and it works fine
-plan on buying a compact usb wifi to go with it and you'll be fine, but the misleading ad was a problem initially. I think it was just an editing error; it said 802.11g which simply wasn't out when the core 2 duo chips were current. So, someone just messed up on the advert, but it can be a problem since the OS they shipped requires a connection...if you get one w/o wifi like I did you'll be unable to boot until you scrounge up or buy a new wireless adapter.
Pros: slim, cheap...instructions are clear about getting power and connections
Cons: lights up, but nothing else. Tried several discs, several computers, no joy on any use. It shows up during some tools as a philips cdrom drive, but can't boot off it, windows can't read anything on it, etc. Total paperweight.
Overall Review: avoid, junk.
Pros: pretty much plug and play on W10
Cons: Terrible performance, roughly 1/10 of my older version (W822). In the same location, same pc, only swapping adaptors the W822 got 4 bars and 130Mbps, the WN8200nd got 0-1 bar and 2-7Mbps. Despite better stats and bigger antennas it performs worse in every way than the older version.
Overall Review: I generally have had very, very good luck w/ TP Link products, but this one is a stinker. it kinda sorta works, but so badly as to be worthless. I"m using Win10, 4790k, 16GB RAM, etc.
Pros: cheap, large, reasonable bezel size, good resolution. MNW Global was great, very reasonable, prompt shipping, accepted return albeit w/ somewhat high ($100) penalty.
Cons: It turns out neither my wife nor I like the way LED backlit monitors make text harder to read; it's sort of uneven brightness/sparkly. That's not just this monitor, it's all LED's we've seen, and after getting this we looked at many. I ended up finding a new old stock HP zr30w w/ ccfl backlight, despite the heat it generates. Text is much easier to read, for us, ymmv.
Overall Review: this is a very good monitor. I don't know why no one else seems to see or talk about the uneven sparkly brightness effect my wife and I both see so very clearly on LED monitors. If that doesn't bother you, this is a great monitor.
Pros: small, but not tiny, light...and no retractable cord. I use a claw grip (grab w/ fingertips, not palming the mouse), and have small-ish hands. A larger, heavier mouse really strains my tendons after a long session, this does not.
Cons: bit bit loud on the clicks, and expensive. Oh, and rather basic.
Overall Review: if you have some repetitive stress issues, and have smaller hands, and use a claw grip instead of a palm-on grip, this may be your ticket. For me, it's worth the premium price for such a simple mouse. My hands thank me after a long day on the computer, but ymmv.
Pros: Extremely quiet, and silent when not gaming (a huge plus for me).
Works like advertised, no problems
Massive, beautiful piece of gear...shiny!
Makes my games all look amazing
Has enough vram to perform well on a modern large monitor
Cons: ummm...well, a 970 is less OP than I sort of expected, tbh, coming from a 660. Still, very nice, and substantial upgrade from my ASUS GTX 660 OC.
Overall Review: I haven't tried this on a 4k screen yet, not having one currently, so I can't say if the performance is satisfactory for gaming on hi at 4k for my needs. But at 1920x1200 it's fine (can do all high, but "nearly all" high seems to work better for me, avoiding stalls and all). Also, I've had fewer compatibility issues w/ Asus branded gpus than others I've tried, so i"m slowly becoming a convert I guess. I've tried 'em all, and am likely to stick w/ Asus based on trying 4 other brands of 900 series.
Pros: Card is much classier looking than the online pix; very sharp, very solid. Super quiet. Fast, helpful, nice tech support w/ real live human beings.
Cons: incompatible w/ my mobo, tried several cards, tech support unable to resolve it. (500W PSU, 3770, B75 mobo). All bios updates and drivers applied, hangs at bios screen. Before you buy search to see if the card works w/ your mobo. Based on forum traffic and some testing I think it is a general 960 issue, not specific to Zotac.
Overall Review: I know some mfgs (asus) have updates that allow it to work w/ some B75 boards, or legacy pci modes that work, but mine has neither of those options, sadly. My mobo mfg (g'way, using an OEM AMI B75 mobo) has no further updates & won't support (outside warranty period), so I'm out of luck. Would have to basically build a new machine to use the card.
Pros: quick reads, silent, reliable
Cons: incredibly slow write speeds, far less than advertised. My cheap barracuda writes far faster on both sequential and random, despite being on a slower sata port. And so does my 830.
Overall Review: this thing works, and the lack of noise is great. The migration utility is great. But the write speed is seriously disappointing.
Pros: Never any connection issues, never drops, no need to reboot...I can't believe I struggled w/ NG products for so long before giving up on the big name brand. Ugh. This thing has been trouble free since mid 2013. Never needed to restart it (unless the cable went down, ofc). Speed exactly as advertised, range covers a medium sized apt just fine.
Cons: well, it looks a bit cheap, but it *is* cheap and who cares? I can't really think of any cons, except of course that it's older 300mbs instead of fancy new 1200.
Overall Review: speed is more than adequate for games, audio. I never watch video so idk how well 300mbs does for that.
I tried quite a few routers from the best known names and was sorely disappointed in them all. This one just plain works, all the time. Yay! I'm using it with a tp-link dual 3db adaptor on the other end, works well together.
Pros: small footprint, no numeric pad, wired. layout intended to be someone more ergonomic than the usual (ymmv). Media keys work fine, but a limited set not quite the ones I'd want (fixable to some extent via keybinds? dunno). I like the large enter key, but it's a bit out of the way. Works fine so far.
Cons: layout is a bit odd; 3 punctuation keys btwn L and Enter, instead of the usual 2. That took getting used to, but is workable. Noisier than you'd expect; a hollow clacking sound. Priced high for the build quality; it looks and feels quite a bit lower end than the usual cheap name keyboards.
Overall Review: I wanted something less wide than the usual 110key, to ease strain on my shoulders from long sessions. It does fine for that. I do wish it made less noise, but otherwise it seems ok. The price is a bit high for the el cheapo materials.
Pros: variable speed (pwm), *very* quiet at low speed, moves slightly more air than my stock case fan at high speed, and at full speed my cpu temp shows a few degrees cooler. Decent fan, just not able to make any kind of dent in my slightly too warm mid tower.
Cons: noisy (too noisy for me) when it spins up under load. The end result of swapping a 3pin fixed speed case fan for this fancier pwm fan is that the temp bounces in a range 0-4C cooler than I had w/ the stock fan. At speed it is quite audible. So, not really a great trade off, as the peak temp is no better, and tying it into the cpu temp control loop just had it cycling (in my case, yours may very well be different).
Overall Review: this might work well for someone else. My case is struggling a bit w/ temp due to upgrades, and in my rig this fan really doesn't help much (and increases noise). For a case closer to thermal balance than mine maybe it'd be good, but for me it's no good. My cpu and gpu are both running 67C under full load, and using this instead of the stock case fan doesn't change the peak temp of either. It does cause the cpu to cycle btwn 62-67 for me, but so what...and it's too noisy at full tilt.
Pros: does drop my cpu temp under load a fair amount (by giving the hot gpu air somewhere to go, apparently)
Cons: doesn't drop my gpu load temp at all
way, way too loud, just unacceptable. A whoosh noise (likely due to the grating and the internal air dam), and a high pitched whine (the fan itself). Simply not something I can leave in there as is. I don't own a dremel, so I'm not sure I'll have much luck trying to make it quieter.
Overall Review: I'm trying to cool a Gateway mini tower that has a gtx660 stuffed in it; obviously more heat than a stock i7 igp. So I'm beyond the design intent a bit, although a 660 is pretty efficient for current tech. This slot cooler does a little exhaust hot air, and dropped my cpu temp by 5C, despite being necessarily below the gpu due to mobo slot placement. I've read of folks who've modded this cooler to increase airflow and decrease noise, I'll try that next. Cheap enough to discard, worse case. I think there are better ways to cool a warm tower than this, if you care at all about noise (unless you are able to mod it, and thereby decrease the noise...maybe??).