Date Joined: 04/06/01
Pros: Works! Upgraded my PS4 to 1TB. Woo!
Overall Review: I put this in my PS4, upgrading the existing 500GB drive. (I put that one in my PS3). Upgrading a PS4 is super-easy. You don't even backup the existing drive (everything gets installed from the cloud after you login the first tme with the new drive). SUPER IMPORTANT TIP: When you get the PS4UPDATE.PUP file from Sony, you need the 795MB version. There is a 202MB version which is the "update", but you can't use that one for a fresh install. Make sure you have the 795MB version. They have the SAME FILENAME which makes it tricky. Also, you have to get the version you were on (or newer) before you removed the drive. Somehow the PS4 knows what version was on the drive you removed (it's stored in BIOS somehow). Otherwise, follow the instructions. The flash drive (or USB hard drive works also) has to be formatted FAT32. The folder structure and filename have to be upper-case, like this: \PS4\UPDATE. You can have the PS3 folder on the same hard drive, that's fine. Also, you can use a Mac to download the files, just make sure the drive that has the files is formatted FAT32. I have a 300GB USB hard drive that has \PS3\UPDATE\PS3UPDAT.PUP, \PS3\EXPORT, and \PS4\UPDATE\PS4UPDATE.PUP all on the same drive. (Export is used on PS3, on which you DO have to backup and then restore). If you do a PS3, the PS3UPDAT.PUP (yes, there is no E) is the SAME for upgrading or replacing), and it's also around 200MB.
PS4: No backup needed. Get PS4UPDATE.PUP that is 795MB, not the 202MB version used for updating existing systems.
PS3: Backup and Restore required. Get PS3UPDAT.PUP, which is 200MB and there is only one version.
Also, most online benchmarks indicate that a SSD hard drive is not a good upgrade on a PS4, as there is very little performance gain. Better to get THIS drive and get 1TB for under a Benjamin.
Pros: They work. They sound pretty good. Lightweight. Pairs with little effort. On iPhone, supports next, previous, play, pause for music and hang up, ignore, redial for phone.
Cons: The microUSB cable that it comes with says "charge only" (it's not a data cable). Well guess what? It didn't even do that! It wouldn't charge with that little cable, so I threw the cable out. (It did charge fine with a standard microUSB cable that I had on my desk).
They don't fold up, and no carrying case so they could get damaged in a backpack pretty easily. (that's a design flaw, not a con, but non-folding headphones tend to have a shorter half-life than folding headphones in my extensive experience with headphones).
Overall Review: The volume up/down is for the headphones only and doesn't adjust the volume on the phone itself.
The other reviewer correctly identified that the pads are toed-in to fit on your head, and I find that works well to make them fit. But that does make it so you have to put left on left, right on right. But that's their design decision.
Got this on a shell shocker so it was a good deal. I used them to make a few test calls on my iPhone and the mic works fine but you do have to speak up since the mic is on the ear piece. (this can make you sound like a crazy homeless person, so keep that in mind when talking on the phone while walking down the street).
The plastic seems cheap like they could break pretty easily especially when tossed into a backback, and they don't fold or otherwise offer a way to be protected.
For now, they have replaced my wired Sennheisser PX 100-IIi although I keep those in my backpack in case the battery is dead or they decide to break (the PX 100 fold and come with a thick carrying bag).
I'd say they compare in sound, weight and comfort to the PX 100-IIi folding headphones, although the Sennheissers have that fake muffled bass that I don't like. The Philips are "crisper" sounding, actually.
Conclusion: As long as they keep working (and don't break) I'm happy with a real, working, bluetooth headphone and mic combination, and these are my daily "listen at work" headphones.
Pros: Day 1: so far so good. It's working, its a refurbed unit with a refurb sticker, refurb 30 day warranty card. The remainder of this review concerns the amp in particular, not the refurb part.
The On screen display is an improvement over the STRDH700 that this replaced. It's easier to go through the settings on a tv rather than the 1 line display on the amp.
Feature rich. Clean display without the typical icons of an amp (speakers in particular).
Cons: There is no way to disable the OSD when you adjust volume, so during a movie a little number shows up on the screen as you adjust volume, I hate that.
Set the HDMI audio output to AMP only (instead of AMP+TV), or the amp will force audio to 2.0 no matter the source (5.1 or 7.1 or whatevs). (see other thoughts).
Overall Review: I had a scare, the amp would shut down after 2 seconds. Turns out it was a 1 foot long HDMI cable that I was using to go to a HDMI splitter that sends the signal to 2 devices simulaneously (TV and Projector). I never had that happen, but the amp did NOT like the 1 foot HDMI cable. Replacing it with a 6 foot cable that came with the PS4 and everything works.
I set my PS4 to DTS (instead of Linear PCM) so the amp does 5.1. Otherwise, the PS4 sends 7.1 to the amp. But since this amp is only 5.1, Linear PCM would probably work and the amp will blend the 4 surround channels into 2. I'll have to test that.
Same with the PS3, I unchecked Linear PCM 7.1 output to prevent all the channels from going over to the receiver but that might not be necessary.
I tested 3d passthrough and it works (that was the reason for purchase). Also tested HDMI standby passthrough (PS4, PS3 and Apple TV to TV, with amp off). That works also, which is neat to use because it sends sound to the TV. This is a better alternative than the AMP+TV setting that messes with sound. They should remove the AMP+TV option (which causes audio to be 2.0) and if you want to use your TV speakers just turn the amp off, then passthrough sends audio to the TV. When you turn the amp on, no more sound to TV as the AMP only setting sends audio to the speakers.
PS4 forums are filling up with complaints about Sony amps only outputting 2.0 sound, and it's always because the HDMI Audio is set to AMP+TV.
The only thing I don't like is the little volume number that lingers on the screen when I change volume during a movie. There should be a way to turn that off but I looked at every menu option and can't find it.
The auto sound level adjustment is amazing, it is able to detect the distance to each speaker to the inch. Really neat to see and hear it in action.
As this is a refurb, I only have 30 days to make sure everything works, but so far so good. I'll write again if it dies prematurely. I tested every input including ipod USB support. Time will tell, but the thing arrived with no fingerprints or any visual wear and tear at all, and it came with all the peripherals (fm and am antenna, mic for auto adjustment, manua, remote (but no batteries).
Pros: Works in Mac Mini Late 2012 model. Specifically, model MD387LL/A, which is the 2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz) with 3MB L3 cache. Came with 4GB originally (2x2GB).
Overall Review: Saves a few bucks from memory that specially mentions Apple in the description.
In casual use, I don't see a huge difference between the 4GB and the 16GB on my mac Mini. But now I'm maxed out so one less thing to perseverate over.
I don't use photoshop or Lightbox, which would probably benefit the most from 16GB.
Pros: I don't want to just repeat the description, so I'll try to be as practical as I can. This is a very interesting device with a lot of uses. Here are some of the highlights:
1. It connects to the sun visor clip via a strong magnet, so it's easy to quickly detach from the car (leaving the clip on the sun visor) and toss it in your bag.
2. Rubber coating is good so you it doesn't slip.
3. Easy to pair, and can pair with multiple devices at once (my phone and my wife's phone now pair with it when we get in the car together).
4. It has spoken prompts to assist. A voice tells you when it connects with your phone, tells you a call is coming in, you can answer or ignore. It tells you when you disconnected a call. Sometimes (not sure why not every time) it announces the name of the caller. "call from Joe". (I tested with numbers in my contacts, and it didn't announce the name everytime. I haven't researched why at this time).
5. It's a better speaker phone than the iPhone5, which says a lot, because the iPhone5 isn't that shabby of a speaker phone, and the CODA One seems at first glance to be kinda cheap and all plastic and small. But it does a better job as a speaker phone than the iphone.
6. It's smaller than I thought (about the size of a telephone handset back when telephones had a handset that you held to your face, attached to the base with a coiled cord. you see them in old movies...). But it performs bigger than you would guess.
7. I like having the one-off slider switch, so I turn it off when I leave the car. It has a friendly chime to tell you it's going off, and a voice prompt when it turns on to tell you it connected to one (or more) phones.
8. When I received it, I chuckled. What am I going to use this for? But turns out I use it all the time now. All my in-car calls are made with it. And I'll take it out to use as a speaker phone if I have to make a call that requires speaker phone (calling the in-laws at home, work-related conference calls, etc).
9. uses standard micro USB cable for charging, and includes a car 12V USB plug and a 6' microUSB cable.
Cons: 1. You can play music through it, but this won't be taking the place of a real dedicated speaker dock. That's my biggest con: don't buy this if you think this will be your solution for listening to music from your smartphone. But it DOES work but don't make that the primary reason to purchase.
2. The multi-function button does a lot, so it can be hard to memorize all the options. And of course, doing the wrong one results in the exact opposite of what you want to do. Some examples: placing existing call on hold and taking a 2nd incoming call. Joining 2 calls together. Hanging up 1st call and taking 2nd call. Disconnecting existing call. Redialing last outbound call. Etc. And it's only 1 button doing all those things! quick tap, double tap, long tap. single tap followed by long tap. quick tap, wait for prompt, long tap. etc. So I try not to get too fancy. The only one I memorized so far is double-tap hangs up existing call. I can deal with that one. I kept the instruction sheet in the car so I can try to memorize other options as the need arises.
Overall Review: This has a lot of uses It's currently my primary car handsfree solution. And since it's so easy to take from the car to backpack (the magnetic clip) it's easy to have with you to make conference calls with your smart phone, or use as a low-quality speaker dock if necessary.
I tested with an iPhone5 and an older iPhone 3GS. Both worked just fine.
Pros: Insanely easy setup. Few things are truly "plug and play", but these are. Plug them in...done. Also easy to enable encrypted connection (push a button on each unit). Encryption is only required if you live in a shared environment, but not needed if you are in a single-family house. Great solution for when you need a wired connection (a smart TV, a desktop computer, etc). Speedy enough (but read on for a reality check). Still useful even with Wifi in your home.
Built-in 3 color LED (green, yellow, red) helps you identify the best outlet to use. If possible, try different outlets to make sure you get the highest speed. Doing iPerf speed tests proved the LEDs are a good indication of speed.
Cons: I was never able to get any connection above 100Mbps. Wireless N still beats out Powerline in my house. I've been using Powerline for years, starting with 80, then 200, then 500 (but with 100Mb FastEthernet wired connections), and now these with 500 and Gigabit wired connections. But after all that, I get the same connection speeds I got all along, which is between 25 and 80Mbps depending on the outlet I use. See Other Thoughts for more data.
Overall Review: I used iPerf to test network speeds. When the LED is red, I was getting about 25Mbps. Yellow was around 50, and with a Green LED, the highest speed I ever got was 80Mbps. So forget about 500, or Gigabit. Another way of looking at it: if you currently have a powerline solution in your house, you probably won't see an improvement in speed.
Another comparison: In almost every test I did, I got higher speed over Wireless-N, when testing with a Macbook Air using the built-in Wireless-N and a thunderbolt to gigabit ethernet adapter. Switching to wirelss N at each outlet I tried always beat out the powerline adapter (in my house, anyway. I didn't go to someone else's house to test it).
However, there is still a place for Powerline. If you have a device that needs a wired connection (a Smart TV that doesn't have Wifi, or a desktop computer), Powerline is easier to install and use than wireless. No drivers, no configuration at all. Plug in the white block into the wall, connect the RJ-45 ethernet cable, done. As I said, I've been using Powerline for many years, and will continue to use it for desktop computers. If you are using a laptop, especially one with N, it will be higher speed than Powerline, but for a desktop, powerline is dead simple and easy. I've absolutely NEVER had a problem in all the 7 years we've been using powerline. I can't say the same for wireless in the past 7 years.
Just don't expect anywhere near "500" mbps, however.
Pros: The wireless signal is spectacular. No hiss or static. Audio is not compressed (so they say). The single biggest Pro is "these really work". They sound great. I have a pair of HD555, and they sound as good as the 555 with no wires. Ability to use up to 4 (I'm using 2 concurrently now) with 1 transmitter. I use them to listen to music (via Airplay) and to watch movies. They work great. No more wires, it's just awesome.
Cons: Id take a half star off for some things. It is possible to create interference to block the signal, but you have to go out of your way to do it (put an iphone5 right next to the transmitter and download an app over wifi). Pairing the 2nd, 3rd, 4th headphone is a little more work. Understanding how to make it turn on, pair, use multiheadphones is a little complicated (read the included PDF to get a good understanding of the instructions). The buttons on the headphones all feel the same, and it's volume up, power, volume down, balance left, right. Bad design there. The signal doesn't pass through wall or doors very well. It works great in the house, but on the deck 20 feet from the transmitter I started loosing the signal.
Overall Review: Except for a few quirks, and that aweful button placement, these are still GREAT! No wires, terrific sound. I have no qualms, my wife and I love these things. I used it for 1 hour and immediately ordered a 2nd pair for my wife. Movies and TV shows are so much better now, no wires to trip over. It makes audio such a pleasure now. Here's a fun trick. using an iphone, stream music to the AV receiver over airplay, and listen via these wireless headphones. Talk about no wires!
Pros: They work. Compatible with other home plug adapters from other manufacturers. Small footprint. plug and play. Software exists on the TP-LINK website to monitor performance (but not needed to setup). Software works on Mac OSX Mountain Lion 10.8.2 (a nice surprise). See Other Thoughts for some benchmark comparisons. Blue LED doubles as a nightlight. Good price to extend network to remote location. (probably the most economical solution, I would think). Reliable so far. I've been using it for a month non-stop, and never had to reset it or touch them in any way.
Cons: The Ethernet jack is 10/100Mbps, so you will never see real performance over 100Mpbs from any device you plug in. The 500 is the home plug standard that these support, but without a gigabit ethernet interface, you can't get above 100 from these devices.
Not much faster than wifi N in real-world testing (see Other Thoughts).
Powerline is affected by distance and quality of electrical circuits in your house. Blue LED doubles as a nightlight.
I gave it 4 stars because it uses Fast Ethernet (10/100) instead of Gigabit ethernet, which means you can't exceed 100Mpbs no matter what.
Overall Review: I did a straight swap out from an older 200Mbps home-plug adapter kit that I have used for years. These units were a little faster. Real world performance is quite variable for powerline stuff, based on current electrical load in your house (running the clothes dryer, refrig compressor kicking on, etc). Also, powerline stuff is susceptible to distance impact on performance, just like wifi. Ironically, in all my testing, Wifi N beats the powerline adapter every time. Here are some numbers:
(all numbers in Mbps)
Across the room:
powerline 200 (Netgear): 50-70
powerline 500 (TP-LINK): 60-85
Wireless N: 130-150 (which is faster than the Nano adapter can do because it's limited to 100Mbps Fast Ethernet).
In remote bedroom:
powerline 200: 20-30
powerline 500: 30-40
wireless N: 60-85
Test setup: I used a macbook air (MBA) as the remote and a Mac mini as the base station as the test setup. Wireless router is an Apple Airport Extreme current generation. Wireless is N builtin to MBA. To test wired, I used an Apple thunderbolt to gigabit ethernet adapter on the MBA, and made sure to disable wifi. I used jperf (java front-end for iPerf) for bandwidth testing.
The conclusion is, wifi N is faster than powerline in every scenario I tested. However, if you have a desktop computer in a remote location (our exact situation, my son's bedroom is at the opposite end of our house from the wireless router), this device represents a dead-simple plug and play solution and you don't have to get a wireless adapter for the desktop computer.
Basically, if you don't have wireless N, or wireless N devices, then a 500Mpbs powerline is a great solution. We have used the 200Mpbs flavor of powerline for years with no issues.
If you have a wireless N router already, you are probably better off using N devices if you can.
This device is an economical solution to extending your network, however. For example, to the living room where you have a smart TV that is wired only (no wifi on it), or your existing wifi signal is weak and the device is only wifi G instead of N.
Pros: It's important to understand the limitations of this drive, and how it was intended to be used. See Other Thoughts.
1. Strong wireless signal in my testing.
2. Wicked fast USB3 speeds.
3. No software needed for windows.
4. Includes free Paragon NTFS driver for Mac to write to NTFS formatted hard drives. (free version only recognizes Seagate drives).
5. Charges via USB (but charging cable is proprietary on the drive end. Don’t lose the cable!).
6. Data is standard USB3, backwards compatible with USB2. (it’s only the charging cable that is proprietary).
7. Included 110v USB charger also chargers iPads et al.
8. Removable SATA to USB3 endcap fits any SATA notebook hard drive.
9. Passthrough mode allows connecting to drive over Wifi and then connecting to internet Wifi (but a little cumbersome to use, and you have to use the Seagate App to use this feature).
10. Can stream media from drive over wifi using free App, or internet browser (I tested with Safari on iOS devices).
11. Can stream to multiple devices (I tested with iPhone5 and iPad2, streaming the same video to both devices flawlessly).
12. 10 hour battery life.
13. Battery charges either via proprietary charging port, or when connected via USB data cable (but Wifi is disabled when Data USB cable is plugged into drive).
14. It really works, but it is intended to stream media over wifi FROM the drive TO a portable device (Android or iOS). It is not intended to archive data from a portable device to the drive over wifi. The FAQ says third-party apps can be used for this, but I didn’t test that feature as it is not included in the package.
Cons: 1. Can’t send files to it over wifi. It is designed for using the USB3 connection to load it with media, and the wifi to stream to android/iOS devices.
2. Proprietary charging cable (but not data, that’s standard USB3). Don’t lose that cable!
3. Cumbersome to connect to internet from your device after connecting to the drive (but it does work).
4. You connect to it over wifi by selecting it from your device settings, thus disconnecting from any existing wifi connection.
5. Depending on device, you may not be able to get cellular data while connected to the drive over wifi. This depends on your cell carrier and the device (GSM versus CDMA, Android or iOS).
6. My pre-release version did not auto-shutdown. If I left it powered on, on battery, it would run the battery down overnight even with nothing connected to it.
7. The firmware on the drive auto indexes files when you upload them. This feature takes time, and can take a while if you upload thousands of songs.
8. It sorts the song by title, not ID tag, so forget streaming songs via album or in the album order.
9. Long bootup time for wireless (about 2 minutes), and long shutdown time (about 1 minute).
10. Can't disable SSID broadcast, so either set WPA (using the free app), or don't put sensitive files on it. Wifi range is about 150 feet.
Overall Review: When used as intended, this is an amazing hard drive. Here is an example of how I tested it that is how it is designed:
1. On my iMac, I ran Handbrake to make an MP4 (the file format was M4V) file of a DVD that I own (this is legal to do, as I understand it. You can make one copy of a DVD that you own for archive purposes), using the “high profile” default settings.
2. I copied the resulting 2GB M4V file to the drive over USB3 in about 8 seconds.
3. I disconnected the USB3 data cable, thus activating the Wifi on the drive.
4. I connected my iPhone5 and iPad2 to the drive over wifi (disconnecting those devices from my home wifi).
5. I streamed the movie on both devices, flawlessly, while skipping, pausing, changing chapters, etc. On one device I used the free app, on the other I just opened Safari (go to any internet page, and instead you connect to the drive and see the files on it).
When used that way, the drives performs great. It is designed to load a ton of media to it (a terabyte, as it turns out), then stream all that media to any nearby device.
A good example would be a long car trip. If you have kids, they can sit in the back and watch hours and hours of movies, more than could ever fit on a 16GB or 32GB iPad. Both the iPad and the Seagate drive have about 10 hours of battery, plus both charge over USB. So if you have a USB charger in your car, you could alternate each one and drive across the country without repeating a movie. Use it in the car, in the hotels, anywhere you don’t have reliable internet connection and never be at a loss for media. Play movies, music, show video slide shows without an internet connection.
When used that way, this drive is pretty amazing. But it’s important to understand the limitations. It is NOT intended to be a wifi archive for your device, or to be a wireless NAS storage device on your home wifi network (but it works fine as a NAS when connected to a computer over USB). It is designed to stream from the drive to your device, not the other way. And in that respect, it works great.
I gave it 4 stars because of the proprietary charging cable, the somewhat confusing method to enable internet passthrough mode, and the no auto sleep feature, which is surely a bug of some kind in the firmware (the FAQ says it has sleep mode). Also, because you can't write to it over wifi (even though it doesn't ever SAY you can do that, a lot of people seem to think that the description implies that you should be able to). Also, the price puts it in a class by itself, but it's cheaper than getting a 128GB iPad, and holds 10x as much.
If you have kids and lots of DVDs, this could be a very versatile tool.
Pros: I wanted to add one thing, but Newegg doesn't let you edit reviews. I misunderstood the Mac software. Seagate includes a free version of Paragon NTFS driver for Mac. This drivers, which normally costs money, let's you write to NTFS drives. The free version only supports Seagate drives, naturally. If the driver isn't on the drive, you can download it from Seagate. You have to install the driver on every Mac that you want to use the drive on, if you leave it formatted NTFS (to WRITE to the drive). Macs can read from NTFS drives natively.
Cons: One extra thing to do (installing driver on Mac computers).
Overall Review: I use 4 stars because having to install the driver is extra work, but I installed it on my two Macs, and now I can read/write to the drive formatted as NTFS, and Windows can also see the drive. I recommend using all Seagate external drives this way: leave it formatted as NTFS and use the Paragon driver.
Pros: I struggled with this review because, technically, in the end it does what it says it does. I also wanted to write this review without too much bias from previous reviews, but I couldn't help noticing that they are all eggxpert reviews, so that should tell you something. But here goes: The pros are long battery life if you use them correctly (more later). Doesn't require a wifi network (they connect to each other over a wireless technology that is not dependent on your home wifi). Eventually, the camera worked and the motion sensor worked for stills (not so well for video). You can get email notification that the motion sensor detected movement and took a picture. Instead of motion sensor, you can schedule pictures (take a shot every 1 minute, for instance). iPhone app really works! (but requires monthly paid subscription). For you iPhone users out there...its like having a Facetime camera, but it's wireless and battery operated. (as fun as that is, it will drain the battery fast if you use it like a Facetime camera).
Cons: There are a lot, so hang in there:
Out of the box, the base station unit required a firmware update in order to get the motion sensor feature to work. OUT OF THE BOX! Which means, out of the box, the motion sensor doesn't work.
You manage the base station through their website, not through a web page on the base station. That's important to know for the following cons:
The website is slow. Sometimes (often, actually), the site will say it couldn't connect to the camera, try moving the camera closer to the base station (how do you do this if you are monitoring your home while on vacation?!). However, that's a bogus message, because if you use the iPhone app, you can get real time video from the camera, even when the website says connection lost. The iphone app is cool and really works, but you only get a 30 day trial, then it costs $10/month. I don't pay that for my telephone! no way would I pay a monthly fee to use that feature.
Sorry, I don't want to sound angry, so let me continue.
The first time the website connected to my base station, it said I needed a firmware update (and I did...the motion sensor feature was grayed out until I did the firmware update). It took about 10 attempts before the firmware update succeeded. After that, the motion sensor feature worked, somewhat. You should be able to set the motion sensor to take a still, a 10, 20 or 30 second video. I was only able to get it to take a still. When I did video, the "video" file was 1 second long and had no image.
Speaking of image...the image quality is pretty poor. Here are some examples. I tried pointing at the front door at work, then went to my desk to see if I could identify the people coming in our front door. Sure I could..it was "The Blurry Guy", every time. We all laughed, but seriously...most times, you couldn't tell if the blur was male or female. Here's another one. I took it home and put it next to my cat's food dish (a classic test: does the cat actually wake up and move around while you are at work?). So yes, he does. But, our cat is old and slow, and even some of HIS shots were blurry. You have to use a pretty slow shutter speed to take a blurry picture of MY cat, that's for sure. But at least I know he does get up during the day. Running of out room here, so briefly:
no option to schedule camera to turn off, so when you come home it will take a zillion pictures of you and your family moving around (if it was set for motion sensor). Additional cameras cost a lot. Only supports 2 cameras unless you pay the monthly fee. (to be fair, they do have to support the entire website because all your pictures are stored on their servers).
My unit came with a letter saying if you have problems please don't hesitate to contact support before giving them a negative review. I didn't notice that letter until after I had discovered most of these bugs and cons (and the workarounds), but still that might send up a red flag.
Overall Review: To be fair, it was fun to be at work and show my co-workers my cat eating from his food dish, in practically real time. However, they had to take my word for it that it was really my cat, because it was a set of blurry low resolution 320 pixel shots of my cat. Lots and lots of pictures of him, actually. Also, the website would say "connection lost" every 3rd time I tried to show someone, and when that happens you can't get to the pictures. If you used this for home monitoring and someone broke into your house, you would know via the motion sensor that a picture was taken, and that would be about it. You couldn't identify the intruder.
There are other interesting features available. email notification that a picture was taken. sharing of the website so others can see, but this brings up a potential problem:
The camera is designed for very long (up to 6 months) of battery life, BUT, every time you load the web page, it actually turns on the camera and takes a picture! That's not obvious until you read the help on the website (that's the only place to find documentation, so I suggest going through the entire help section of the website). If you use the iPhone app, the camera is operating in real time, sending 15 fps video. That will kill the battery fast. Also loading the website and leaving it up will keep the camera on. Sharing the page with your friend, and then HE leaves the page up and walks away from his computer, will also leave the camera on.
Overall, I felt like a beta tester for a new product. What's even weirder is, I found a bunch of reviews on another site for this product before Netgear bought them, so it's a mature product that's been around for a while, so why does it have so many weird quirks like it was just released in beta?
Summary: low resolution, blurry pictures, neat technology that sort of works, motion sensor stills but not video, slow and buggy website, monthly fee to use advanced features. Just too much to not like about it for the price.
Pros: The drive is designed for use with Mac. It's formatted for Mac (HFS+J). Very fast with USB3 (145 MB/s read/write).
On a Mac, very simple to setup since its already formatted for mac. No software needed, can be used immediately by time machine (the built in backup software on OSX). However, it does include some useful utilities, including the SMART software to read the SMART status (it passed), a quick disk test, a full disk test, a full erase utility, and a password lock utility that includes full disc encryption option. None of them are required, but they are all useful. Some portable drives don't support SMART, so it was nice to see how easy it was to access the SMART status (2 clicks).
Cons: No windows software included (but can be downloaded from wd.com). Instructions for reformatting drive for windows are on a PDF on the Mac-formatted drive. And even then, the instructions say to go to wd.com and read knowledge base article 3865, which is the Microsoft instructions for using Disk Manager in Windows. Also, there is no firewire connection or cable as shown in the Newegg pictures. It's strictly USB only.
Overall Review: If you don't have a mac and bought this for a windows computer, you wouldn't find any instructions how to reformat the drive. The BOX says "for use with windows, disk must be reformatted". But the "instructions" in the box is a piece of paper with 3 pictures: plug in, insert USB cable into computer and drive, and start using it (drag files to it). So, be warned that you need to know how to format a drive in windows (also, how to delete a mac partition, which shows up as 2 partitions in windows disk manager).
The software I downloaded from wd.com for windows includes a backup software suite that does real-time changed-files backups, as well as manual backups. The files it creates are readable from any windows computer, but the folder structure has to be navigated a few levels down before you recognize your files.
Overall, if you intend to use this with a Mac, it's a 5 star drive. Wicked fast with USB3, ready for use with time-machine or for just dragging files to it.
For Windows, it's a good drive but you need some technical knowledge to reformat it for NTFS, and make your way to the western digital website to download backup software (if you are into backup software for windows), or you can just copy files to it. Therefore, 4/5 for Windows users.
The reason I keep repeating this mac formatting thing is because, from what I can see, it's not totally obvious that it's intended for Macs.
Final thoughts: the pictures on Newegg show a firewire cable. That's from an old version of the My Book Studio. The one I received was NOT firewire at all, but USB3, with the new USB3 cable. So there is NO firewire, only USB. It is backwards compatible with USB2 but will operate at the much slower USB2 speeds.
Pros: Fast with USB3. I got 130MB/s on my Macbook Air read/write. That's fast for an external drive. Forcing it to USB2 (by simply using a USB extension cable) drops it to under 40MB/s read/write (don't use an extension cable!). Quiet for an desktop drive, but not silent like the 1TB 2.5" portable version. Comes with backup software for Windows, which is a plus if you want a simple backup solution. Eventually, I gave the software 2 thumbs down (see below). (note: the Macbook Air's internal SSD, one of the fastest possible, runs around 250MB/s write, almost 500MB/s read).
Cons: I found the software for windows was a resource hog if you settle for the default backup job, which is continuous monitoring of changed files. If you need backup software to automate your backups, perhaps choosing a scheduled or on-demand backup might give you better results. The Dashboard software, if used on a mac, is not for backup but for sharing files with social media, or backing up data (pictures) from social media. Overall, I found it useless. But I felt guilty because there's extensive videos on the drive with instructions how to use all the features. She sure was excited about backing up her data!. See other thoughts for Mac specific info.
Uses an external power brick. Argh, I hate those things. Why aren't they standardized?
The cord is not proprietary from what I can tell from wikipedia. It's the new USB3 standard. It seems proprietary because you don't have any piling up around the house yet.
Overall Review: On a mac, if you run the installer, you have the option of using the drive for both mac and pc, or just Mac. The first option (both Mac and PC) leaves the disk formatted NTFS, and then installs a mac driver that lets the mac read and write to NTFS partitions (paragon NTFS driver). The paragon driver does not let you use the drive for time machine backups or for using Seagate Dashboard for mac (the included backup software), but you can share files between Mac and PC.
If you choose the option for "mac only", the installer reformats the drive for the mac, so it can be used for time machine backups, and then runs the seagate dashboard installer so you can use seagate dashboard. But a PC will not be able to even see the drive, and you'll have to use Disk Manager in windows to remove the Mac partition and create a new NTFS partition. (the same thing happens if you simply use the Mac Disk Utility to format it, but you loose the Dashboard installer and the groovy videos if you do it that way). (I imagine that if you are a Mac user, you would format it using Disk Utility the minute you connected it to your Mac).
Other things I like: it only powers on when the usb cable is attached to a computer that is up and running. If you "safely eject" the drive (both mac and windows), the drive powers down. That's nice, as you can leave the power cord in at all times and it will only power on when it has a working USB signal.
This drive, like it's 1TB 2.5" mate, uses a snap-off end cap on the drive enclosure. The end cap can be replaced with a firewire or eSata version. In addition, once removed (hard the first time, easier thereafter), the end cap can be used to insert ANY SATA hard drive, 2.5" or 3.5". I think that's the coolest thing because, in a pinch, you can use this as an external SATA drive dock, and the fact that it's USB3 adds to the versatility. I really like that end cap feature.
Summary: fast, large, and mostly quiet. I prefer the 1TB 2.5" version, which is silent, doesn't require external power, and is more portable. Go with the 2TB desktop version if you want a better value and require large amounts of storage. Both are blazing fast with USB3 ports.
Pros: I'm totally enjoying this game. Sometimes a great game can become tedious after a while, almost a chore to finish. But I've been enjoying this game every time I sit down with it. Lots of options to complete missions. Teplayable to try to complete mission with 1) not being seen, and or 2) not killing anyone. stealth tactics are well executed. They try to mix up the missions to keep it fresh. Not an overwhelming amount of RPG stuff (its not Skyrim), but enough to keep you on your toes.
Cons: it's not an open world.
Overall Review: Very replayable because there are so many ways to complete each mission. You can either replay the missions right away to try a different tactic, or for the really adventurous, you can replay the game. Worth the price. Similar to Bioshock, with some old-school Thief Deadly Shadows. Not open like infamous or skyrim.
Pros: Very thin! Fast and quiet. First month of use passed with no issues.
Overall Review: It’s hard to truly test a hard drive in the normal day to day conditions that I experience. Without a full test suite, I wasn’t in the position to test the 2 most important qualities of a hard drive: durability and speed. Instead, I installed the drive in a computer and ran the computer like normal. The drive performs as expected. Physically, it’s very quiet and cool. (typically, you can’t tell it’s running). The most unique aspect of this drive is how incredibly thin it is! Considering that it has 320GB on a what I assume is a single platter, it’s insanely thin. I’ve never seen an SSD this thin, let alone a spinning platter drive. It fits in a bay designed for a standard notebook drive, with room to spare. (when I first installed it, I wasn’t sure it would fit because it was easily half the thickness of the drive I replaced, but due to the SATA standard, it fit perfectly). This would make a perfect replacement drive for an ultrabook that might have limited space for a traditional 2.5” drive. I’d certainly recommend this drive if you needed to upgrade a specialty ultrabook notebook, say one that shipped with a small SSD and you wanted 320GB of storage.
Pros: Very easy setup, especially if your existing router has a WDS button for automatic device pairing. Even without that option, going into the device webpage and setting your home WPA name and password only takes a few minutes. Web page is easy to navigate. To configure without WDS button: plug your laptop Ethernet cable into box, set browser to 192.168.11.1, login admin/admin, and scan for wifi. Select your wifi, enter WPA password, change DHCP to client (it was on server), and save settings to reboot device. Because it includes an Ethernet port, you can use this to bridge a device without wifi, like a desktop computer, to your wireless network. This is a much easier solution than adding a USB wifi adapter (which will need drivers and confusing setup screens), or home Ethernet over power, which is expensive and not always reliable depending on your home wiring. If you are trying to figure out how to connect a distant desktop computer to your home wifi, this is the easiest solution. I found a good wifi analyzer app for Android devices, called “Wifi Analyzer” (go figure). This is an app I’ve been using since the first versions, but forgot about it. The latest version is full featured, and does a good job of displaying the signal from the 2 wireless devices (my router and the TrendNet wifi extender). The difficulty in testing a wifi extender is that the extender uses the same SSID and channel as your existing router, making the presence of the extender transparent to clients like laptops, smartphones and tablets. However, Wifi Analyzer is able to show the 2 signals on a graph with signal strength. It made it very easy to see the signal dropping from my existing wifi router with distance, and the signal increasing to the extender as I got closer to the extender. Therefore, wifi analyzer confirmed that the extender works exactly as expected: it provides a strong signal exactly where it is needed, in areas of the house with a weak signal from the existing wifi source. I now have the confidence to say that the extender is a fine product that does exactly what it says, easily boosts your existing wifi signal. I’d recommend this product to anyone who needs an easy method to extend their wireless network, either to a wired device (desktop computer) or other wireless devices.
Cons: I’m not completely sure it was related to the extender, but we had an issue where we weren’t getting good throughput on some of our devices, so we reset the extender. But I was never able to fully understand if it was related. See more comments.
Overall Review: Because the device is bridging, or extending, your existing SSID, it’s hard to tell if you are connected to the device or to your router. For instance, at some point half-way between the extender and your router, your mobile device is going to connect to one or the other, and you can’t really tell which one you are connected to unless you go to the device webpage and look at the connected clients listing. However, I never had to troubleshoot it so I only ever did that the first day we installed it to see what the interface looked like. But this is for sure an easy method to extend a weak wifi signal to all corners of your house or yard. We were able to extend our signal about 500 feet past our back porch when I put the extender on the back deck. Once it’s connected to your router, you can unplug it (the power plug) and move it around and it reconnects automatically to the same network when you plug it in somewhere else. All in all, it’s a quick easy way to extend wifi and cheaper and easier to deal with than home power Ethernet, which is the other technology we were using in our house. This device has made those Ethernet over home wiring devices unnecessary.
Pros: mine was the HD204UI/VP4.
Cons: case is very hard to split open. I broke off 2 tabs before figuring it out.
Overall Review: To open case, first remove the rubber feat. 2 of them hide screws. that will help, but it was still hard to pry open. NE sent a free power plug converter. But seriously, if you don't have a dozen appliance cords lying around your house, are you a true newegg customer? c'mon people. It's a standard 2 prong appliance cord.
Pros: It was a lot of fun, and the graphics are amazing on the PS3. I was playing along, fighting bad guys, pushing buttons, and suddenly...
Cons: ..it just ended! The ending is so disappointing. I'm not a big fan of impossible end-bosses, but at least give us SOMETHING! No end boss, just pushed a button and the credits started rolling. Weird. And I just found some ammo for my weapon, too.
Overall Review: it's not Fallout3. It's like Fallout lite, as far as gameplay or exploring. But good characters and acting. It appears they created this incredible environment, filled it with interesting characters and stories, but finally had to release the game. It's no F3 or Oblivion or Skyrim. But fun while it lasted. Driving is fun, too. I haven't tried any MP action. 4 stars.
Pros: charges 2 controllers without having to leave the PS3 powered on. Clips are unobtrusive. Good price for a real Sony solution.
Cons: No way to purchase more clips (that I can find). No USB port for charging other PS3 gadgets such as BT headset or the awesome Sony wireless PS3 headphones. Clips are small and can be lost easily. Inconvenient if you have more than 2 controllers. Can take a little trick to snap the controller into charger.
Overall Review: We need to be able to purchase more clips (we have 4 controllers). The workaround is to use two of these things, but now i have 2 more things plugged into the ever-growing power strip behind the PS3. Still, this is our primary method of charging our controllers. The cons are more of an FYI. I still use this instead of plugging into the PS3 while playing. It's 4 stars. 5 if they include more than 2 clips or include a plain old USB port. Maybe in version 2.0?
Pros: still works. still good enough. I certainly got a Benjamin worth out of it. We probably watched 1000 movies on it since 2006. 1000 ups and downs, and it's still there.
Cons: Starting to curl on edges. Artifacts on screen coating are noticeable with a 1080p image.
Overall Review: I was shocked and awed to see that this product is still in stock. I bought mine in May 2006. We haven't pulled the screen off the roller yet. I neglected to mention the image quality, which is nice enough but my next screen will be higher quality. Especially now that I have a 1080p projector. When I bought this screen we had a 480p projector. Now with a bright image we can see artifacts on the screen, kind of like the rainbow affect of a DLP projector, but we are using an Epson LCD (8350). The affect is from variations in the screen coating.
Pros: Great game. Action, adventure, romance (!?). Great acting, story, characters. They stuffed every Batman character into this game. Great graphics on the PS3. Everything about it is 5 stars. Lots of gadgets to use.
Cons: The button combos can get out of control, since there must be a hundred different moves you can do. I just picked 2 or 3 primary attacks and used them throughout the game.
Overall Review: I'm 50 years old! I think that the complex button combinations that need to be memorized for all the attacks and gadgets helps to prevent dementia. I hope I can keep playing these games into retirement. Get the super-duper Sony wireless headphones and play late into the night, without waking the wife or kids.
Pros: I like everything about these except for one flaw, which you can read about in the cons below. I've finished the following games using these: infamous, red dead redemption, black ops, and i started Rage. It's great having these for the PS3. But read on for the con.
Cons: You can't hear yourself speaking when using as a microphone/headset. I'm using it at work with my IP phone software on my computer, and the other party can hear me just fine, but I can't hear myself talk. This also occurs when using it on the PS3 for ingame chat, but I don't use that feature much (I play single-player games) so I wasn't aware of it until I got my 2nd set for work. Some people might call this a show-stopper.
Overall Review: I still like them and use them at work. On a Win7 PC, they are plug-n-play and work with our Nortel/Avaya softphone with no setting changes. They just work, no drivers, no fiddling with any settings. However, I do have to get used to talking on the phone and not hearing my own voice. Win7 also defaults to lowering the music 80% when a call comes in. Neato! But with Spotify, the next song plays at 100%. Ha! That's a surprise when you are talking to someone and blam! the next song comes in at 100% volume.
Pros: so I ended up buying this from my friend! This is my work computer and I use it all day. It's great to have such a light computer to carry around, and its fast. the charger is the size of a cell phone charger. With sleep mode, my battery lasts all day at work. I would guess 5-7 hours, but I have never done a legit test to drain it fully. (we installed a low power Intel SSD, however).
Cons: no major cons. I've gotten used to the Acer keyboard. I'd rather type on a Lenovo keyboard. Hence the 4 star instead of 5. Note that all Acer laptops have this style keyboard, so if you use one you know them all.
Overall Review: This is a great light weight portable computer. If you want to impress the folks at the coffee shop, get a macbook air. If you want to work all day with a lightweight computer that won't drag you down, use this. Also, we put a super low power Intel SSD drive in it, that helps battery power a lot.
Pros: My third projector (went from 480p, to 720p, to this 1080p). All Epson projectors. This is the best one ever, and blows away the MovieMate 72 that it replaced. The picture is so clear and crisp and beautiful. It's just stunning. Great lens shift gives you lots of placement options. Lots of awesome features, Epson has been improving each generation, and this projector benefits from all those little improvements (like remote, lens shift, etc).
Cons: It's large, so be prepared. I have a little shelf on the back wall that held the MovieMate 72, and this guy "just" fits on the shelf, where the moviemate had lots of room to spare. But as long as you know what size it is, it's not a con.
Overall Review: Awesome. Just awesome. But I'll probably upgrade to the soon to be released 3010 (which is basically this projector with 3D). But you won't be disappointed with this projector, the picture from Bluray is stunning. I bought mine from someone else so I won't show up as "verified owner". But believe me, I own it!
Pros: smaller, quieter, cooler and faster than the 260GTX it replaced. Great deal with sale and MiR.
Cons: why didn't I get two? Now I'm stuck with the 260 while my son smashes frame-rates with the 460.
Overall Review: Gave this to my son for getting straight A's in high school. I took his 260GTX, which is now heating up my legs and really screams loud when I fire up any game. The 460 is faster, smaller, cooler, quieter than the 260. Now I wish I got two. It's probably worth it in energy savings alone to replace the 260 with a 460. Got a great deal with sale and rebate.