Date Joined: 11/10/03
Pros: As a bluetooth speaker, it works rather well. Full sounding and plenty of volume, connects easily. I got this primarily for the clock feature, to replace an ancient bedside alarm. The display is clear & bright while easily dimmed, and I like the 24hr option. The input options are easy to cycle with a single button, with the memory card feature a bonus. The wireless charging works instantly if connected to the DC adapter. I love that battery backup is integrated into the device.
Cons: Documentation is sparse and awkward - you're gonna have to figure some stuff out yourself, but there isn't too much to learn. The FM radio feature is going to be very location dependent, as there is minimal antenna strength. The SD card player appears to only play MP3 files, and there is no control over play order or display of contents. The big dial on the front doesn't move so smoothly, so setting the clock and alarms can be a little tricky. There is only 20 steps of volume control, and the lowest is still pretty loud. Definitely gonna wake you up.
I found the wireless charging for my Pxl5 phone to get both items warm and it wasn't super fast, but this is the first wireless charging device I have used so I have no other comparison.
Overall Review: Once you are aware of the limitations and learn how to use the features, this makes a great bedside alarm clock. Small enough to travel with, but large enough to see and hear. I got this on sale for $30, which is a great bargain.
Pros: Durable, soft. Can be washed in warm water to clean. Translucent blue matches my Fellowes keyboard wrist rest. Good weighting so that it stays in place.
Cons: Batteries not included. Cannot pair with other wrist rest devices via bluetooth or NFC.
Overall Review: Dimensions: 5 inches wide by 3.5 inches tall and 1 inch thick.
Pros: Batteries were exact match in size, so no problem fitting into my Cyberpower CP1500PFCLCD UPS unit. Came fully charged, was able to put the UPS back in service immediately.
Cons: Packaging was a little "thrifty", all folded cardboard retainers that didn't stay perfect through shipping. Nothing damaged, however, just a little cardboard dust to be wiped off.
Overall Review: Definitely a good option for giving your UPS a longer lifespan, and the replacement process is really easy.
To be clear, this product is a pair (2) of batteries that is used to replace the 2 batteries in your UPS unit.
Pros: Of course this is a massive upgrade from motherboard audio. The Creative software is full featured without being over-the-top. The virtual surround sounds fantastic when played on an amplifier that does Dolby PL2 decoding. Headphone amp is clear and powerful. Makes old encoded audio files come to life. Ideal for gaming laptops. Works fine swapping between my desktop and laptop (with the software installed on each).
Cons: The built in USB port is not worth the trouble it creates. Added to the sound device is a Etron USB hub, and if your system already has Etron USB hub(s), you may have problems. I finally had to use a different USB port on my desktop machine to keep it from messing up my keyboard & mouse input. It does not support encoded 5.1 output, such as Dolby Digital or DTS, which was kinda clear from the documentation. The S/PDIF output is not directly available as an output device in Windows.
Overall Review: I've been blown away at how good some of my old Windows Media Audio files sound when played through this device. I know some of that is the audio engine and the virtual 5.1, but the level of detail is certainly from the higher quality DAC. The built-in USB port is unnecessary, as any machine you would use this with other than a tablet will have ports available. No way a serious gamer would connect an input device to the port, nor would anyone use it for data xfer. The port may also be the reason for system instability in some installations.
Pros: Cable is thick, almost as thick as cable TV coaxial cable, but still rather flexible. Plugs are easy to work with, but not too large. Works great for connecting hifi headphones to source.
Cons: Cable is heavy, which is understandable considering thickness. Haven't had any problems with the weight pulling it out of connection.
Overall Review: Got this to work with hifi headphones and/or connect my portable speaker to phone or pc. Works great for this purpose, though a thick case on the phone can prevent the plug on this cable from full insertion.
Pros: Solid durable cable. USB-C plug is extended from jacket just a bit to make sure you can fit it on your phone with the case still on. USB 3.0 speeds
Cons: Listing doesn't mention anything about OTG capability.
Overall Review: I got this just for the functionality of adapting older cables to USB-C. On a whim, I decided to test it with a USB 3.0 flash drive and my ZTE Axon7 phone. Works fantastic as an OTG cable! I was able to watch a HD movie from the flash drive via this cable, so speed is fine.
Pros: Compact and solid. Color coded ports make it easy to identify the QC 3.0 port. Can charge two devices at once. Small LED that lets you know it's plugged in and active. IOGEAR has been around a while, and I've had good luck with their products.
Overall Review: This is an excellent option for QC 3.0 in the car. It doesn't block a second outlet next to it, since it is so compact. Does not come with any cables, so you'll need your own.
Pros: Nice packaging. Flexible but sturdy cable with quality connectors.
Cons: Does not support 3.0A charging. The specs on the box clearly state the the cable is limited to 2.0A. I knew the data speed would be standard USB 2.0 specs, but the listing indicated 3.0A power capability.
Overall Review: Kinda wothless. Can't handle high power charging and is an older, slower data speed. The packaging is pretty over the top for what is essentially a basic USB cable from 15 years ago. 2 eggs docked for the misleading information about the power rating.
Pros: Supports QC 3.0. Cable is thick, but still flexible. High quality connectors & jackets.
Cons: Only USB 2.0 data speeds, but that is clearly indicated in the listing.
Overall Review: Works with the QC 3.0 wall charger I got with the ZTE Axon 7.
Pros: Charges my ZTE Axon 7 with QC 3.0 speed. Ability to charge two devices at once. Can be charged two different ways also. Large charging capacity and QC recharging speed.
Cons: Doesn't come with an AC adapter for charging. The QC charging input is USB B-micro plug, but my phone's charging cable is USB C. I can still use that to charge, but not at QC speed. Have to use an adapter or a different cable. Fortunately this ships with 2 USB B-micro cables and an adapter, and the cables support QC.
Overall Review: I don't see package contents listed anywhere, so here is goes: Soft mesh carrying bag; 2 USB cables (short & long) with B-micro plugs; USB B-micro to USB C adapter.
Most people will already have a QC 3.0 AC charger if they are buying this, but if not, they might have to use a slower charging method.
Pros: Small footprint, easy to set up. Excellent voice quality. I used PhonePower as my VOP provider, and they offered a great deal for Obihai owners.
Cons: Didn't play well with gigabit network devices, would drop speeds on the router to 100T when powered on. I put my gigabit devices on a separate switch, and that resolved the problem. I have the Obihai adapter plugged directly into my router, and it will affect WiFi speeds in the same way, but that is negligible because of the slower WiFi speed anyhow. I had the extra switch, and knew I'd probably need to put it into service, so it wasn't that much of a problem.
Overall Review: Not really an Obihai issue, but I had to get a new phone # when signing up with PhonePower, as they could not transfer my C-cast line. Dropping the voice service from C-cast was a priority for me, as that allowed me to get a better cable modem. The PhonePower cost was $60 for a year, and I got the Obihai on sale from NewEgg for $34. Changing my C-cast service allowed me to double my internet speeds and reduce my monthly bill about the same cost as the Obihai. Within 6 months, the savings will have paid for the new equipment and service!
Pros: Extremely powerful. Moves a lot of air at a high rate. Long cord. Comes with several useful attachments. Very solid construction.
Cons: It's pretty loud, essentially the same as a full size vacuum cleaner. The air intake on the bottom can get quickly clogged if you're blowing around a lot of dust. It gets pretty hot rather quickly, especially if the air intake isn't clean. Could pop circuit breakers if used on a busy circuit, as it's 4 amps!
Overall Review: After going through dozens of cans of compressed air over the years, I finally decided to give this thing a shot. Wow! If you don't have the space or need for a full sized air compressor, this is the thing to get. The attachments for tiny spaces work great. I'm able to blow out all kinds of PC cases, small household appliances, anything that collects dust. I've even used it to blow leaves off the back porch. Yes, it is that powerful. Just beware the intake clogging up when blasting away dust. This thing will get kinda hot, which can make it like a turbo hair dryer for drying things off. A great investment and really useful tool.
Pros: Multiple input options. Price (got it for $300 - $50 rebate). Decent brightness & color. DisplayPort In & Out, for chaining displays. No dead pixels! No power brick.
Cons: Lack of monitor height adjustment. Limited menu controls. Speakers are useless. No HDMI cable included.
Overall Review: Got this to finally step up to 1440p. I use HDMI audio, and have a switch that splits out the audio. I had to upgrade that switch to one that handles 1440p inputs, adding to my overall cost.
The shipping package for this is pretty skimpy, so I wonder if all the folks with defective monitors have some rough handlers on their UPS/FedEx routes.
I've had numerous Acer products over the past 18 years and have been happy with all of them. They may not be the highest end products, but good enough for me and durable. Clean power and quality cables can make a big difference sometimes.
Pros: Fits full ATX board, long video cards. Great airflow and cooling ability. Lots of drive mounting options. The instructions for working with the case are rather detailed yet easy to understand. Perfect size for an entertainment rack, though that's not what I'm using it for. Could fit at least 5 SSD's + optical in this case with a couple of double-up brackets
Cons: Front panel USB 3.0 ports weren't usable for me. It uses two cables that are too think and long for the case. The plugs on mine wouldn't fit most USB plugs that I tried, and when I did find something that fit, only one of the ports worked. My mobo has a USB 3.0 expansion card with only a single cable that I used instead. Removed the front panel connectors completely and covered with black tape.
Using an optical drive with this case meant getting a new CPU cooler, as my Silverstone AR03 cooler wouldn't fit cleanly, despite the drive being a shorty and using right angle plugs.
A couple of the drive mounting options for SSD's put them in tough spots to chain power connections with other drives, but that's part of squeezing a lot into a tight space.
The lousy front USB ports is the main reason for docking an egg.
Overall Review: Got this to be able to use an optical drive in a horizontal case. Not too many options that allow for a full ATX mobo and big video card. I was able to use existing components for everything except CPU cooling, which wasn't too shocking. Everything ended up being a good fit, with plenty of airflow, but it took several re-do's.
ASRock 990fx Extreme4 mobo; AMD FX-8320 CPU; Silverstone NT01-PRO CPU cooler; 4 x 8GB GSkill RipJaws DRAM; FSP Group AURUM 92+ Series 650W PLUS PLATINUM Active PFC PSU; Sapphire Dual-X R9 280 video card; 3 x Cougar Vortex 120mm fans; 3 x SilentX 80mm fans; 3 x SSD's; LG WH10LS30 BluRay burner.
This case was actually pretty easy to work with, much like a bench case, and I had to take things apart several times in the first 2 weeks to get the CPU cooling situation settled. My video card is rather long, over 10", and it essentially divides the case in half in terms of airflow. However, even though the card has two side mounted PCI-E power connectors, I was able to plug in the PSU connectors and still close the case! I nevertheless bought a couple of 90 degree adapters for those connections, which made taking the card in & out much easier and helped cable routing. The 8 pin CPU power mobo connector was a long reach and tight squeeze with the cooler, so I had to make sure to have it plugged in early in the process. The optical drive bay sits over the 24 pin mobo connector, which makes putting a drive on the underside of the bracket tough, but at least there is plenty of clearance for the DRAM. I was a little disappointed not to be able to use my existing Silverstone AR03 92mm CPU cooler with the optical drive, but was pleasantly surprised that the NT01-Pro cooler fit my mobo perfectly and is cooling as good, if not better, than the AR03 despite the smaller fans.
If I were using this case to build a system from scratch, I'd get slim profile 120mm fans for the side intakes, and slim 80mm fans for the rear exhaust if possible. I'd also use only SSD drives and put them in a "two-fer" bracket at the front of the case. A fully modular PSU is also recommended, though I didn't have any problem with mine blocking the intake fan. Flexible sata cables, a few with right angle connections, would also be a good idea. You may end up using some molex-to-sata adapters to make things fit, like I did.
The front panel USB 3.0 cables are ridiculously long and thick. No idea why there are two cables for the single plug, and the mobo one I replaced it with only has a single cable for two ports. I use HDMI audio, so I didn't need the front audio ports. I removed that whole bracket, freeing up a lot of space inside the case at the price of occasional convenience.
Other reviewers have noted the cheap paint job on the metal top panel, aka "orange peel". That is indeed the condition of the paint on this case. I have mine on the top shelf of a ventilated closet, so the appearance isn't a big deal. It might look cheap to y
Pros: Low profile, unique form make this a good option in tight cases. Can be installed 4 directions if needed. Flexible option for fan mounting. Cooling as well as the AR02 it replaced.
Cons: AMD mounting instructions can be challenging. Included fan mounting instructions don't apply to this cooler. Even fan mounting instructions on web site have key piece wrong. The unique, 'swept-back' form of this cooler meant it could only fit in one direction on my board, and even then just barely. Not really a true 'low profile' cooler, but more of a shorter & wider tower cooler.
Overall Review: Got this to use in my Silverstone GD09 case and my ASRock 990FX Extreme4 mobo, cooling an AMD FX-8320 chip. I originally had a Silverstone Argon AR02 tower cooler, but could not fit it in the case with an optical drive. The NT01-Pro was recommended in the case documentation, so I went for it. When seated, it rests on the one of the mobo heatsinks, so much so that I thought I'd had to machine that heatsink a little bit. Turned out to be a perfect fit that actually helped out that mobo heatsink. I put 2 SilentX 80mm fans on this, and had to shift them to one side to fit the case. The fan mounting instructions are wrong - you have to have the entire heatsink & fans assembled before mounting to the CPU. This is because the little plastic pieces at the bottom of the fans actually mount through the fan rail, allowing the fans to slide as on the top. This makes the fan placement rather adjustable, once you figure it out. It may take some time, but remember that thermal grease is the last step, after everything is aligned. I did a lot of research and measuring before I started, and even then thought that it wasn't going to work a couple of times during the process.
Pros: Easy to use. Can use varying drive types and sizes. Many different apps available. Compact. Quiet. Large capacity. Fast enough for HD media serving. Friendly rebuild process.
Cons: Not really for full time business use, with multiple users read/write simultaneously. Proprietary RAID system. Not as fast as it probably could be, considering the Gigabit LAN and SSD feature. Software is very basic. Can be confusing to update firmware. Use the CAT6 cable it ships with! (wasted a lot of time with my own bad cable)
Overall Review: Update from previous review:
I've had my Drobo 5N for 18 months now, with 5 x 4TB Seagate 5900RPM desktop drives (ST4000DM000). After about 2 weeks, the bottom drive started displaying a "Warning" in the software, but things seemed to work fine. Onboard diagnostics identified a few bad blocks on the drive and the RAID software mapped around them. I continued to use the Drobo, filling it up with over 9TB of data. The average speed for large file xfers is about 80MB/s, up & down.
NewEgg recently had the ST4000DM000 drives on sale, so I finally bought a replacement for the "Warning" drive. I backed up EVERYTHING to single volume drives, powered down, cleaned the unit out, replaced the drive and powered up. It took about 15 HOURS to rebuild (which was completely expected), and all the data was available during that time. When I started the unit, the Drobo service on my PC notified me about the rebuild process. When it finished, a similar prompt appeared.
You could build a faster and more sophisticated NAS yourself if you want, and that makes sense for a business, but for simple large scale personal backup, the Drobo 5N is a great solution.
Pros: Large capacity, quiet, low power consumption. Made in Thailand, not China.
Cons: Not as fast as "non-Green" drives, but that's obvious.
Overall Review: I bought two of these for cold, offline storage. Copied ~3TB to each via external docking bay, and they didn't get too hot without a fan blowing on them. Both formatted without problem and were ready to copy instantly. These drives are made in Thailand, which in my experience has produced more reliable drives than China. Hard drives were pretty dodgy for a couple of years after the big floods in Thailand, but it looks like things have rebounded!
Pros: High quality parts, good ergonomics, looks great without being too flashy, easy to assemble & adjust. Shipped fast (day early!). Rocks without squeaking.
Cons: extra cushions take a slight adjustment with each sitting, but that's a little like having to fluff a pillow when crawling into bed. Armrest design means you shouldn't lean on them, as it will stress the plastic over time. However, the chair is designed in a way to discourage that kind of sitting. Other than price, no real downside.
Overall Review: As a previous reviewer noted, be careful when removing the bolts during assembly, as the washers really want to fall inside the backrest. Fun thing to do before assembling: tap on the base like it's a tuning fork (do before inserting wheels). I was amazed at how precise the aluminum cast must be to hold the resonance for 20+ seconds!
I'm 180lbs & 5'11" and this chair feels like it was custom fit for me, holding my lower back in great position. Check the specs on the DXRacer chairs for height & weight suggestions so you buy the right chair for your build.
Pros: Easy to set up. Detachable antennae. Decent feature set on software. Good value for WiFi ac, 5Ghz router. Gigabit LAN.
Cons: Doesn't support jumbo frames. Software isn't as feature rich as some other routers. Not DD-WRT capable, WPS button is right next to WiFi on/off button (oops!).
Overall Review: I got this to step up to 5Ghz WiFi, as I have a lot of 2.4Ghz interference in the area. I already had a boosted external antenna that I wanted to continue to use, but it is only 2.4Ghz. After a week I added a Rosewill RNX-AD10D antenna on a RNX-AS14001 base for a boosted 5Ghz signal. Between the two, the signal strength for both bandwidths is awesome, and I can keep the router itself under the desk near the modem. On the 5Ghz alone, I get a solid 14MB/sec transfer rate of large files. If you already have an external antenna, this is a great choice. Many of the WiFi AC routers have internal antennae, which obviously reduces placement options.
Pros: Pure sine wave, compact (compared to predecessor), silent, front LED info
Cons: nothing really, plugs are a little close, might be nice if all outlets were UPS instead of half of them
Overall Review: Got this to replace the rack mountable version (1500VA/900W) from CyberPower that I had for 8+ years. This one is half the weight, completely silent, and runs cool. It's also quite a bit smaller and lighter, which is great. The cleaner power from this unit was noticeable in my AV system, which this powers as well as a 8-core desktop, NAS, printer, laptop and network.
Pros: Was already partially assembled (in relation to the instructions). Just had to put in batteries, install app on phone, and go. Connecting via bluetooth was pretty easy. Full retail packaging, so makes an impressive gift. Large sheet of stickers to be applied at leisure to jazz up the look. Darts fire with good accuracy & speed, but not dangerous speed. Has battle mode options which make it fun to use against other RC type toys. Crawling mode of moving allows for settings that wheeled RC toys can't do.
Cons: Dart module is a little tricky to install. Proprietary darts, so losing them stinks. Need to disassemble slightly (which is very easy) in order to install batteries. The sticker guide is a little hard to follow in places, but I'm not a sticker expert. The robot itself moves kinda slow and is a bit noisy, but it's moving 3 pairs of legs, so you can't expect too much. The spring loaded armor is pretty sensitive and tricky to install.
Overall Review: There's a lot going on with this thing, though the end result is kinda simple. It crawls and shoots darts. The 100+ stickers, snap-on & spring-loaded armor, and battle-mode feature make it feel more complex than it is. The bluetooth connectivity is pretty cool, as there isn't a separate controller to worry about, and the app is simple to use. However, it means you can't use your phone to take a picture while you're playing with it!
Pros: Easy overclocking in the BIOS. Good space around CPU socket for larger coolers, and between PCIE slots for CfX cards. Crossfires 2 cards at x16 speed. Handles 8-core CPU. Front panel USB 3.0. 8 Sata ports.
Cons: Board layout is a little odd, particularly the fan connectors. None of them are near the front, so front fans have to stretch wire over the SB chipset. CPU fan connectors are right next to cooler mounting peg, so be sure to plug the fans in before mounting the cooler. Front Panel Audio connector is at the back of the board, which is silly. NB heatsink is kind of tall, but there's enough space from the CPU socket that it shouldn't block 2 fan coolers.
Overall Review: I got this as an upgrade from the Extreme3. Same NB & SB chipsets, but better power stage handling for my FX-8120 chip. I couldn't overclock at all with the Extreme3, but with the Extreme4 it's only a question of how hot do I want to run it. I had the latest BIOS firmware ready when I got the board, and after flashing was able to set all the parameters as I had them on the old board. Win7 barked a little bit about the drive controller, but otherwise it went super smooth.
Pros: Thinner cable than standard 35-50ft HDMI cables. Can support highest bandwidth. Signal is clear, no artifacts. Plug is compact enough for tight spots.
Cons: Only works in one direction, so plan before you start installing. Still kinda thick, not totally pliable.
Overall Review: Using this with a powered HDMI splitter, which boost the signal also. No problems with HDCP.
Pros: High capacity, low cost. Might be OK as a standalone drive.
Cons: Not much faster than SataII drives. Unstable in RAID 0 configurations.
Overall Review: Bought 4 of these to use as a RAID 0 set, replacing a 5 drive RAID 0 set. Got the 4 new ones to work for about a day, copying 6TB to the set, then one of the drives dropped. Was never able to get the 4 to work at the same time again, with different drives dropping out on each attempt. Put the old 5 SataII drives back in - they are solid and faster than these.
Drives are made in China now, not Thailand, so that may explain availability, price and quality.
Pros: Great performance for low cost GPU. Compact size. Quiet & effective cooling fan. Crossfire capable. Display port. Works on PCIe 2.0 slot.
Cons: The PCIe power connector is oriented so that the cable will protrude from the tail of the card, extending its practical length a little. HDMI audio has a driver bug (see other thoughts).
Only one Xfire connector tab, which might limit some config options.
Overall Review: There is a problem with HDMI audio dropping out in some configurations that can be fixed with a simple, but obscure, registry tweak. (Google it if you need the fix.) For me, it was a 2-3 second gap every 18-20 seconds. Others have different timings, but the same root problem.
This replaced a pair of Xfired 5760's very well. Didn't even need to re-install the drivers. It is about as small of a Radeon 7xxx card as possible, so if you have a tight case, this is a great option.