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Shawn L.

Shawn L.

Joined on 03/04/02

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 24
Most Favorable Review

Very nice tablet

Le Pan TC 970 Tablet TI OMAP3630 1.00GHz 9.7" XVGA 512MB Memory 2GB NAND Flash PowerVR SGX530
Le Pan TC 970 Tablet TI OMAP3630 1.00GHz 9.7" XVGA 512MB Memory 2GB NAND Flash PowerVR SGX530

Pros: Beautiful screen, excellent color saturation and viewing angles due to using an LG LP097X02-SLA3 IPS display, exact same panel as the Apple iPad 1 and HP Touchpad. 4:3 ratio (1024x768) display is better for web browsing in either orientation. Very sensitive GLASS capacitive multitouch touchscreen. Excellent materials and build quality, rear panel is made of black anodized brushed aluminum. Amazing battery life, can go 1 to 1-1/2 weeks between charges with daily use. Fast and responsive, surprisingly little lag for a single-core tablet. It handles every game and app I've tried, flawlessly. Easy to root using instructions posted on XDA forums. You definitely get a lot for your money with this tablet!

Cons: No official upgrades beyond Froyo 2.2. Connects to my Wifi router at G speeds despite having an N wireless chipset (4626 firmware). Default pixel density is too large, making textboxes and icons take up too much screen real-estate, although this may be a pro for someone with visual impairment (can be changed if rooted). Uses a proprietary 30-pin USB cable, although an iPod/iPad/iPhone USB cable can be made to work with modifications to either socket or plug. Not fast enough or no CODEC to allow 720p x.264 .mkv files to play smoothly (but 720p Xvid .avi files play fine). Thicker and heavier than modern tablets like iPad 2 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, but slightly lighter than iPad 1 and HP Touchpad. MicroSD door does not stay firmly shut on mine. Sleep of death (not waking up when pressing the power button) has occurred twice in 1-month on 4431 firmware. Has not occurred yet on 4626 firmware.

Overall Review: Le Pan may not be a well known name when it comes to tablets, but this tablet is definitely an amazing value. When you pick it up, you know immediately this is NOT the average cheap Chinese tablet. The only real disappointment I have is this tablet is stuck on Froyo 2.2 (Android for phones), with no ability to be upgraded. I do hold onto a slim hope that hackers can figure out how to get Ice Cream Sandwich on the Le Pan. Unfortunately, Le Pan has chosen to violate GPL by refusing to release source, but I've been following some threads on XDA where progress is being made that may lay the groundwork for custom ROMs. However, even if it's stuck on Froyo forever, it's an excellent tablet and worth the money.

Most Critical Review

Cheap cables, one was defective.

Link Depot HS-6-2P 6 ft. Black HDMI High Speed Cable with Ethernet - Type A to Type A Male to Male - 2-pack
Link Depot HS-6-2P 6 ft. Black HDMI High Speed Cable with Ethernet - Type A to Type A Male to Male - 2-pack

Pros: Cheap. Gold plated. The one that works is fine at 4K@60Hz, 4:4:4 chroma.

Cons: One of my cables has a short in it. Wiggling the cable itself will make the image flicker or totally go blank. I know it's a short and not a loose connection, because if I plug it into a powered HDMI switch, wiggling it makes the switch's power LED shut off. Unfortunately, not worth the cost of shipping to return it. The cables feel unusually cheap, because the connector ends aren't made from solid molded vinyl like most, but hard plastic shells which feel very light and hollow. They are also rather large and bulky, so there may be fitment issues if your HDMI ports are very close together. They look like they have a strain relief, but since the ends are hard plastic, it's the same as having no strain relief at all.

Overall Review: Seeing as how I got a bad cable, I wouldn't recommend these. This is the first time ever I've gotten a new cable that's bad out of the box. Makes me question the durability of the one I got that does work. UPDATE: I tried to use the bad cable, hoping it would work if it's never wiggled or touched, but the monitor would go blank frequently and randomly. Eventually, it quit working completely and no monitor or TV would even detect the cable. I had nothing to lose, so I took a hammer and gently smashed the connector housings open to take a look. The connectors are solder type, with wires soldered to the connector. The solder job was very poor. Conductors of a couple wires were soldered crooked and appeared to be visibly shorted to their neighbor. Most solder joints appeared cold, with untinned copper conductors appearing to just be resting on top of solder blobs. Using some flux, I resoldered and straightened every wire, then glued the plastic housings back together, and now my bad cable works fine.

Great medium size ambidextrous mouse

Rosewill NEON M57- 4000 dpi RGB Backlit Optical Wired Gaming Mouse
Rosewill NEON M57- 4000 dpi RGB Backlit Optical Wired Gaming Mouse

Pros: - Medium sized mouse, comfortable for most hand sizes. - Ambidextrous (symmetrical) design, good for left and right handed users, though browser buttons are only the left side. - RGB lights are attractive. - Amazing price after rebate.

Cons: - The v1.0 software auto-runs every boot, displaying its window front and center. There is no option to have it run minimized or only in the tray. It still auto-runs when set to Disabled in the Startup tab of Task Manager. - If you use the software and Apply settings to the mouse, it's not possible to get the slow RGB color cycle mode the mouse shipped with. In v1.0 of the software, the slowest (8S) setting is many times faster than the speed the mouse shipped with. Clicking reset to default just resets the sliders. If you like the slow RGB color cycle the mouse ships with, don't use the software. - I bought 2 of these, one is perfect, but the other had minor quality control issues. The issues were that at random times when using the mouse wheel at a somewhat fast speed, it would squeak audibly. When scrolling slowly, occasionally it would feel crunchy/squeaky, but not necessarily audible. The other minor issue is just aesthetic, there is a blackout ring on either side of the scroll wheel attached using sticky adhesive. They were applied slightly offset so when spinning the wheel, the black ring appears to move up & down. The mouse with these issues is an earlier serial number than the perfect one, so it's possible the newer ones have better quality control.

Overall Review: If you can get this for an amazing price after rebate, I highly recommended it. The one with the minor issues I mentioned above, I bought first. I liked it enough despite the issues, that I bought a 2nd one that has no issues at all. I dock an egg mainly because the software could use work and the possibility of getting one with minor nuisance issues. I was also able to fix the squeak in the scroll wheel of the mouse with issues. It wasn't worth the effort and shipping cost to RMA it, so I just took it apart (3 phillips screws, one under each of the top mouse feet and a single one under the bottom mouse foot). I discovered the squeak was caused by the scroll wheel LED board rubbing on the inside of the wheel. I unscrewed the LED board and noticed the edge was very rough, so I filed it smooth, reassembled the mouse, and squeak completely gone. I thought about peeling off the blackout rings on the side of the wheel and realigning them, but it seemed a lot of trouble for a really minor thing and probably too easy to make it worse, so I left well enough alone and didn't bother.

Great motherboard to reuse DDR3 memory

ASUS B150M-C D3 LGA 1151 Intel B150 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
ASUS B150M-C D3 LGA 1151 Intel B150 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: - Installed and worked immediately. - Allows reusing old DDR3 memory. - Significantly lower power consumption with a Core i3 6100 than I was getting with an AM1 setup. - DisplayPort so I can upgrade to 4K@60Hz someday. - Lots of PCI-e settings to tweak, allowed me to reliably use a finicky tuner card. - Very stable and reliable.

Cons: None, I had no issues with this board.

Overall Review: - I would recommend this board, though keep in mind some may ship with BIOS too old to support Kaby Lake. - I run standard 1.5V DDR3 memory, though this is not recommended by Intel. However, I don't really care as the CPU was not expensive and it's been flawless with DDR3 for nearly a year (I had it on a different DDR3 motherboard before). - The price gap between DDR3 and DDR4 is smaller than before, but still significant enough that I think a DDR3 board like this is still worth looking into if you already own DDR3 memory.

It's long, and it works.

Nippon Labs Ultra Thin Premium SATA II Cable 1M (3.28 ft.) Mini SATA Cable with Locking Latch SATA 2 for SATA I and SATA II Hard Drive 3.28ft Model SATA-1-MINI 3.28 feet
Nippon Labs Ultra Thin Premium SATA II Cable 1M (3.28 ft.) Mini SATA Cable with Locking Latch SATA 2 for SATA I and SATA II Hard Drive 3.28ft Model SATA-1-MINI 3.28 feet

Pros: This is very thin and super flexible. The ends are very small and have metal locking clips. It works great, no issues.

Cons: Not quite as flexible as a ribbon cable. It doesn't feel like a good idea to give it sharp bends like you can a ribbon.

Overall Review: I replaced the 1m IDE cable in a custom PC motherboard in an Apple Quicksilver G4 case build with this. I routed it same as the original IDE cable, tightly curving the cable rather than bending/creasing it like the original IDE (this doesn't really feel like creasing it is a good idea). It worked perfectly for that. I used double-sided foam tape to attach it to the inside of the case, and it sticks well to the foam tape.

Works great with AMD

Patriot G series ‘Sector 5’ Edition 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model PGV38G1600ELK
Patriot G series ‘Sector 5’ Edition 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model PGV38G1600ELK

Pros: - Contrary to some reviews, this does run great with AMD at 1600MHz. I'm using a Gigabyte GA-970A-D3 if that matters. CPUs used were AMD Athlon II X2 250 and AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE, both oc'd to 3.6GHz. I had to set timings manually to the advertised 9-9-9-24 because for some reason my motherboard defaulted to a slower speed. - Passed MEMTEST86 tests overnight and all day. - Beefy heat spreaders (could be a con if you have an unusually large aftermarket CPU cooler).

Cons: None that I can think of.

Overall Review: Started with 8GB that I have had installed for over a month, then added another 8GB of the same last week, so now I have 16GB total. No problems at all. I've never had any problems with Patriot rebates either. I already received the rebate for the first 8GB. For some reason, my motherboard runs the RAM at 1.58V (according to PC Health) despite my having manually set the voltage to 1.65V. At any rate, still rock-solid stable at 1600MHz@1.58V.