Joined on 04/29/02
Incredibly fast! Not a bad SSD to use for your main OS drive or secondary drive for games
Pros: - Faster than most other SSDs. The PCI-E interface makes things speedier than a regular SATA interface - Comes with a heatsink
Cons: - Uses a PCI-E slot - my motherboard doesn't have any PCI-E x1/x4 slots so had to use a PCI-E x16 slot instead
Overall Review: I've been using it lately as a secondary gaming hard drive and it loads things *way* faster than they do on my other SSDs. I'm impressed. I definitely recommend it for those who want to load games much faster than on other SSDs. Only downside is that if you have a motherboard with only two PCI-E x16 slots like my motherboard, you have to give up one of those slots to this guy - not a big deal really if you don't care about SLI configurations, but still a factor if you decide to go that route.
A decent router, but probably not worth the price
Pros: Pros: - Simple to use, easy quick start guide, gets you up and running right away - Speedy enough, but does saturate at around 260 Mbps - not ideal for those who have access to a 1 Gbps WAN connection. - EnShare seems pretty awesome on the box, but it's incredibly troubling in terms of security
Cons: Cons: - Some of the wizard is condescendingly dumbed down - it's meaningless to say 'none', 'medium', and 'high' with wireless security, as that can mean anything. Also, it won't let me get the router setup before putting it on the network - it'll prevent me from moving on in the wizard until I get a WAN connection setup. - Default security settings are troubling, I don't want to expose a DNS name nor any files on a USB hard drive out to the internet by default. - Will not support 1 Gbps WAN workloads. Period. - Seems like sustained download is a bit choppy, at least when testing over YouTube and Steam - YouTube videos will stop downloading midway and start again, Steam downloads do the same thing.
Overall Review: Some background information: I currently have an ASUS RT-AC66U router - I'm able to max out my 1 Gbps internet connection easily with this router using a wired ethernet connection. Now, this is not an endorsement for the router, but rather, I'm using it as a baseline for any routers I'll review in the near future, including this one. (if it doesn't do line rate on the WAN side, it's not a huge mark off, since not many folks have 1 Gbps internet - however, it could serve as a warning sign for the device as a whole.) I live in a 600 sq. ft apartment - not much distance to cover for wireless connections, unfortunately, so I can't do any distance based tests. The quick start guide that comes with the router is quite simple - just plug in the router into the wall, plug in your modem into the WAN port, wait a few minutes, then connect to it either via an ethernet cable or by the wifi password located underneath the router. After connecting, I noticed that the default network is 192.168.0.0/24 like most routers. Seems that the default IP is 192.168.0.1 for the router - you can also type in 'engeniusrouter' (as noted in the quick start guide) in your browser and you'll get punted to the initial setup page. It'll allow you to either manually setup your WAN connection (static IP, PPPoE, dynamic IP, PPTP, and L2TP), your wifi SSID and password, admin password, and date/time. It's relatively straightforward, but I wish it gave me the option of just skipping everything and setting everything up by hand. Also, the other thing I noticed is that when it asks you to setup your SSID and encryption key, the encryption options that were offered are 'none', 'medium', and 'high' - what does this even mean? I get that it's trying to be as simple as possible for the average person, but this is completely meaningless when you're trying to evaluate the encryption method that's actually being used (is it WPA? WEP? WPA2? Is medium 'WEP'? If so, it might as well be "None"... so what does that make 'high'?) At least it sets it at high by default - hopefully that'll be sufficient. I noticed that after it reboots after the initial setup, it shows my password right there in plain text - not good. Also, it enables DDNS by default - also not good. Further, since I decided to set this up before hooking it up to my WAN device, it's not letting me go any further without it detecting an internet connection first. Also bad. (I prefer to lock down my most forward facing devices, like my router, before getting it hooked up on the internet.) Also, I saw that the EnShare feature was enabled by default, which means people can access stuff from my router from the getgo. I'm not confident on the default security settings - most folks likely won't know about this until they decide to poke around. I tested this with YouTube and Steam downloads over both wifi and ethernet - they seemed fine, but choppy. YouTube downloads will pause and start constantly, Steam downloads
Great pre-built gaming PC, case leaves a bit to be desired
Pros: - Specs are on point - 1 TB M.2 SSD is awesome, RTX 2060 is a great card, the i7-9700F is plenty fast - Setup was a breeze - Comes with a free mouse and keyboard
Cons: - They bundle in an optional clear side panel with standoffs and thumb screws, which, unfortunately, leaves a pretty decently sized gap between the chassis and the side panel - SATA ports are somewhat hard to reach, making it hard to add in additional hard drives
Overall Review: I'll preface this by saying that I almost never buy prebuilt PCs - I buy computer parts and assemble things from scratch whenever I do a build. With that said, this is a really decent prebuilt gaming PC - the components are plenty fast for 2020, there's a decently sized M.2 SSD (1 TB), the RTX 2060 is no slouch at gaming, and the CPU is plenty fast. 16 GB of memory ain't bad either. As said above, there's a clear side panel (feels like heavy plastic rather than tempered glass) that they bundle with the computer, but it's odd that that was included, given that installing it with the provided standoffs and thumb screws leaves a pretty noticeable gap between the chassis and side panel, which probably makes cooling performance less than ideal as well as doubling as a dust magnet - but I digress, it's optional after all. They also bundle in a mouse and keyboard, which was perfect, because I don't have a spare mouse and keyboard laying around to test this computer out. I hooked this up to my 4K TV via HDMI, and it worked right off the bat - Windows asked me a few questions upon boot up, but outside of that, it was basically plug and play. I installed League of Legends right away and played Teamfight Tactics, and it played it beautifully at 4k 60 fps on my TV. The case is smaller than my usual, much roomier PC build, which makes the case that much harder to consider working in and around if I wanted to expand things out. There's a noticeable cross-bar through the middle of the chassis that also makes it a little tough to reach for the SATA ports on the bottom right hand side of the motherboard. Honestly though, in practice, this isn't super terrible - they give you a removable tray that can fit another 2.5" SATA hard drive with an already prewired up caddy, so you could probably make do without too much fussing around inside the case, but when you do need to mess around in the case, it'll be pretty cramped in there. Overall, not a bad build. The case is probably the biggest downside of it.
Not a bad keyboard for the price point
Pros: - I kind of like clicky MX Blues so this definitely is a win for me - Compact - Back lighting
Cons: - No customization whatsoever - no DIP switches, no programmable macros, etc. - Doesn't come with a USB/PS2 adapter
Overall Review: I own a WASD keyboard and I actually kind of like the design of this a bit better. It's also been a little while since I've owned an MX Blue clicky keyboard and this does the job quite well - everything feels incredibly responsive. Only gripe I have is that it's not very customizable - lighting is static and there's no DIP switches to toggle on/off certain functionality. But hey, for a Windows mechanical keyboard that's nice and compact, I can't complain at all.
Easy to setup, fast, great for an unmanaged gigabit switch
Pros: - 1 Gbps throughput per port performs as expected - Easy setup - just connect your devices and you're set - Push button for disabling LED lights, which makes it easier on the eyes in a home environment
Cons: Nothing really
Overall Review: Cheap, effective, and fast. For $30 for most home workloads, this does the job just fine. You'd likely spend a bit more money for a managed switch, but that's not what you're in the market for when you're looking for a switch like this. Can't really complain at all, highly recommended.
Decent keyboard, doesn't have customizability of other mechanical keyboards however
Pros: - Good response on keys - Backlight - Full sized keyboard - lots of mechanical keyboards aren't nearly as full featured and as full sized as this one - Decent palm rests
Cons: - Doesn't have DIP switches for modifying behavior for keyboard (which made this a little bit of a pain on my Mac) - Depending on your preference, this keyboard can be *too* full featured - but you'll probably be paying a lot more for a keyboard at that point
Overall Review: It ain't a bad keyboard. I'm a fan of MX brown keys in general, and they feel quite nice on this keyboard. I mostly tested this on my Mac for work related stuff, and it served the job well. However, this doesn't have DIP switches like on most other mechanical keyboards I've used, which usually has a Mac related switch that'll swap the alt and meta/Windows key buttons. I'd probably recommend this for those who are looking to mostly game on a Windows machine, which is exactly what this keyboard purports to help you with. For those who are looking for a more minimalist mechanical keyboard, this is the exact opposite of that. And for those who use a Mac and are hoping to use this keyboard, you'll have to live with the switched meta/alt key layout due to nonexistence of DIP switches.