Date Joined: 09/15/06
Pros: First and foremost, it is a HARDWARE RAID controller. It really is next to impossible to find one at this price point. Not that having a software controller is the end of the world with today's CPUs, but if the controller can do the job on it's own, no need for the CPU. Install is easy, it worked right out the box in my setup.
Cons: It has dip switches. Ugh. I thought this was 2011, not 1991! Also, no on-board BIOS for the controller. If you have an older MB that isn't port multiplier aware, (mine is in an old box with an ECS motherboard that is about 4 years old) the drives or arrays just show up as regular drives without SMART or any means of checking drive health. Which means you are flying blind on knowing when a drive is about to fail until it happens. Which incidentally did happen to me about ten days after installing this card (lucky me!). At that point, since I had a 3 drive RAID 5 and I had no hot spare, the array went offline (also curious, since I've never had that happen in another other scenario). No drives were detected other than the OS drive, not part of the array, and the card flashed a constant red light. Currently waiting for a replacement drive from WD (which was a replacement of a drive that failed 2 weeks prior, but that's another story...).
Overall Review: From the above, I verified the bad drive by plugging them in one at a time with the same cable. Overall, I can't complain. It's low priced and it does the job a $200 hardware card would do for about 1/4 the price.
Pros: Just order another one of these, works as advertised if you use it on the proper type of USB port.
Cons: The shipping costs more than the device. :( Hurts even more since the two order fulfillment warehouses that Newegg uses are 1 hour and 4 hours away from me.
Overall Review: You MUST use a powered USB port to use this hub with more than 1 or 2 devices unless you are hooking up just a mouse and keyboard. That means the ports on the front of your computer will likely NOT work with it and multiple devices because they are usually not powered. So once you start hooking multiple devices up, or even a single device if it is power hungry, this thing will request additional power from the USB port that won't be available and you'll see the USB device malfunctioned error message (if you are in Windows, I have no idea what Mac says).
Most of the reviews stating this device doesn't work with multiple devices don't point out what port is being used and I have a suspicion they are plugging it into a non-powered port. USB 2.0 doesn't mean powered. Sometimes, only one port on a laptop is powered (usually marked as such) and the ports on the rear of a desktop that are built onto the motherboard are the powered ports.
Pros: Works as advertised. You need to make sure your cabling is up to par though. Meaning CAT 5e or better. That goes with any gigabit application. If your speeds are off, look at your cabling. If it were a managed switch, you could see this, but you get what $50 gives you. A fast, unmanaged gigabit switch. I transferred 5.21GB of about 40 files as a test. It moved them in a little over 5 minutes.
Cons: I dunno, rebate takes long maybe?
Overall Review: If you are trying to use this in a large scale business, then you are the problem. You can't blame an unmanaged $50 8 port switch. You have to match hardware to the application correctly or you will have problems. Being cheap or skimping, or simply not knowing will get you into trouble.
Pros: Printer, multiple color ink cartridges so you can replace only the empty one, fax machine, scanner. The wireless print server is great. I have had zero issue with it. The full driver suite is installed on my laptop and I can use every function without any problems. Just installed and worked. I was surprised. I do have an HP laptop, but it is a retail copy of Windows XP that I own, so it isn't as if they have preconfigured software on there for the printer.
Cons: Multiple ink cartridges. I'm fully convinced this printer was designed to make you buy more ink. When an ink cartridge is running low, Windows will prompt you when you print, Windows will prompt you when you aren't printing, and the printer will prompt you when you print. Repeatedly. And when you finally do get to printing, the printer prints slower when one of the cartridges are low. When multiple cartridges are low, you then have multiple prompts to clear before you can print.
Pros: Hasn't gotten hot for me. Maybe because I have it in a cool room. My power strip has outlets specifically for large blocks. I suggest everyone have one. If you want the speed increase going from 100 to 1000, you need to use the right cables. Cat 5e or higher. I get right about 10 times the performance with it.
Cons: No complaints.
Overall Review: I wish it came with a mounting bracket instead of just screws.