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James S.

James S.

Joined on 06/14/06

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 7
Most Favorable Review

Quality Product

Sangean Weather Radio CL-100
Sangean Weather Radio CL-100

Pros: Solid build quality, excellent functionality, seems to be very reliable so far. Good sound quality for a small portable unit. Can set it up to ignore particular alerts, and the end-of-message signal is respected - so it should only wake you up when you really want it to.

Cons: Reception of weak FM stations is not spectacular even with included external antenna. (one tiny station in my area is a particular problem for any radio, and this one can lock it in but sometimes it gets fuzzy) Would like the option to recharge NiMh batteries internally.

Overall Review: Read a lot of positive reviews before purchasing, and I now agree with them.

Most Critical Review

Poor Macintosh Experience

Adobe Photoshop Elements 9
Adobe Photoshop Elements 9

Pros: Very powerful tools at a low price - 90% of full photoshop for 10% of the cost.

Cons: Non-standard, inconsistent, frustrating user interface.

Overall Review: On a Macintosh, if you use multiple monitors and/or Spaces... expect to be frustrated to the point of baldness. The screen monopolizing interface looks slick, but is annoying to work with. Sometimes I *need* to be able to see background information. Trying to work with other Apps at the same time (eg iPhoto) routinely results in PSE going into a state where it can't be switched to: Cmd-tab doesn't work, and the UI disappears so you can't click on it, and clicking on the dock icon switches to another application. Ocasionally the menus, including the quit item, are all grayed out - requiring a Force Quit. (at least you can Cmd-S to save your work) While I respect the cross-platform standardized interface, I wish it would work a lot better than it does. Having said all of that, it's hard to beat the power for the price. So at least for now, I will use it because I have to.

Slow but Good (so far)

Team F108 16GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive (Brown) Model TG016GF108CX
Team F108 16GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive (Brown) Model TG016GF108CX

Pros: Its brown aluminum is stylish, and strong - not that my pocket cares what it looks like, and not that I plan on abusing it. There's not a lot of obnoxious branding on it - just some subtle painted graphics on one side. (that I bet will come off easily enough if/when I feel ready to strip them) Good price for the capacity.

Cons: It's not the fastest, which is fine for my intended (occasional) use. It also runs pretty hot, which I have found tends to mean it will die fast - which is not acceptable, but we'll see how it actually works out. Didn't come with any lanyard or cap retainer. (wah!)

Overall Review: If this thing dies, I'm sure NewEgg will RMA it for me. But I'll still be disappointed. If it lasts, it's a good drive at a fair price. Nobody else has chimed in about DOA or sudden death issues, so I have high hopes. Ooh... another Pro is the relatively easy to open package, without a lot of extraneous warnings, instructions, etc. - thanks to Team for at least minimally caring about products' environmental impact, and not insulting my intelligence (duh, remove the cap then plug it into your computer's USB port slowly and carefully - do NOT eat!)

Decent Drive

CORSAIR Voyager 16GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive Model CMFUSB2.0-16GB
CORSAIR Voyager 16GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive Model CMFUSB2.0-16GB

Pros: Reliability, Capacity, Speed, Price

Cons: Gummy surface attracts dust, cap is easy to lose, excessive branding is visually offensive to me

Overall Review: Set this drive down on a dusty surface and it picks up crud like a Swiffer® - but it's easy enough to clean with a damp cloth. I don't think it really needs this for shock or water resistance. But I guess it's cheap and durable. A loop on the cap so it could be hooked to a lanyard would be a big improvement. I tend not to like rotating or sliding drives because they get in the way of adjacent USP ports. This one can still fit pretty tight next to other cables, but it's not impossible to make it work when things are crowded. Less prominent branding would be nice too. I turn the cap so the Corsair writing is on the same side as the URL - and used a Sharpie® to black out the Flash Voyager on the other side - that lets me keep it plugged in without feeling I'm watching a commercial. Overall, I think this is a hard drive to beat for the price.

Slow but good

Samsung CLP Series CLP-315W Personal Up to 17 ppm 2400 x 600 dpi Color Print Quality Color Wireless 802.11b/g/n Laser Wi-Fi Printer
Samsung CLP Series CLP-315W Personal Up to 17 ppm 2400 x 600 dpi Color Print Quality Color Wireless 802.11b/g/n Laser Wi-Fi Printer

Pros: Cheap price, Wireless, Good quality text printing - on cheap "multipurpose" paper, Decent color and photo printing, Nice management features

Cons: Slow to start up - especially for complex color documents, "Smart Panel" software for Mac is... dumb, Somewhat flimsy paper tray, "Poltergeist effect" (dimming lights) but that's not the printer's fault really

Overall Review: I've had a few inkjet all-in-one machines in the past, but they always end up disappointing me. This seems perfect for my uses: 1) Low volume (maybe a few pages a week, max) so slow startup and printing doesn't bother me 2) Need good quality text and color graphics - including pictures, but can live without stunning photo prints 3) Willing to forego the convenience of a built-in scanner (no "copy machine" without using software) 4) Need wireless due to planned location Only had it a few days and have printed only ~20 pages (mostly tests!) so obviously no long-term reliability opinions yet. But I don't think it's made any more cheaply than other product - the initial impression I have is quite favorable.

Useable, but far from perfect.

D-Link Xtreme Gigabit Router (DIR-655) Wireless N300, USB SharePort, Gigabit
D-Link Xtreme Gigabit Router (DIR-655) Wireless N300, USB SharePort, Gigabit

Pros: 802.11n, GigE, external antennas, guest network, strong signal, allows mac-based DHCP reservations, many other nice features, good price.

Cons: Can't use NTP - as soon as I set that option, the router goes into a crash loop and must be factory reset. SecureSpot is seriously flawed, QoS may cause problems for interactive applications (SSH), unpolished, slow, and frequently confusing admin, automatic bandwidth detection drastically increases initial connection time. I see an occasional brief "reset" of a Wireless connection - probably at time of DHCP renewal. It comes back up without issue, but it's still annoying sometimes.

Overall Review: With better firmware, this would probably be an AWESOME product. Unfortunately, there's no option for 3rd party open-source firmware. Most of the "fancy" features seem to not work very well and had to be disabled. Even with that, it seems like a good product and it works for what I need. Like many electronics, the blue LEDs are super-bright. I covered mine with white electrical tape and it's much better now. (can still see the lights, but it doesn't light up the whole house now)