Joined on 04/04/07
Full USB Ahead! Hub Detected Port-side!
Pros: Yarr! This be a mighty fine hub. Many a swashbucklin' be had utilizing the 7 ports for keyboard, mouse, and storage devices of all kind! A real treasure this be --fit for the likes of ye while battling a foe or two on the high seas. Ye'd be hard-pressed to find such a fine vessel in all the world that can boast a full 7 ports at USB 3.0 speeds! With nary even a hint of lag or sacrifice in the quality of the unit, the price point be ripe for the takin'! No need to be plunderin' this lot! Up to 5Gbps in data transfer speeds (2,028kts for ye sea worthy), means ye'd be crazier than a pirate swimming in rum to pass this up! It be pleasant on the eyes too!
Cons: I curse the vile beast that decided the 12v power supply jack be on the starboard side of the vessel! The data connection be aft as ye'd expect, but the soulless monster who decided to place the power port on the side should be meetin' the likes of Davey Jones!
Overall Review: Nothing wrong with this here unit. Should make a great addition for any of ye commoners lookin' to be addin' some added connectivity to yer ship!
Pros: The ESR1200 is a fancy little router. There are quite a few PROs on this router which I will attempt to quantify here. Design: It has no external antenna and can be mounted to a wall or ceiling easily with the help of a few screws and the keyhole slots on the base. As indicated, there are 4 Gigabit LAN ports and the WAN. There is also the USB port (we'll get to that). Ethernet: The gigabit ethernet ports work as well as one would expect. I did test the ports briefly, but my main focus was on the wireless connectivity and how the newer 5GHz band would fare in my setup. If you are going to be utilizing hardline connections, you will appreciate the gigabit ports on this unit. Wireless: The router comes with two radios, a 2.4GHz radio which handles the 802.11a/g/n protocols and a 5.0GHz radio which can handle 802.11n/ac. It was really nice to hook up my 2010 MacBooks, iPad 2s, Android Phone to the 5GHz connection for the sheer speed was quite fantastic on the local network with file sharing and such. Using the connection to perform RDP/VNC across wifi was smooth and super responsive. In the past I would have had to use ethernet to get this type of responsiveness with full experience settings enabled. I was able to transfer large amounts of files between my MacBook and my PC Desktop without the need for wiring up either machine and while it definitely would have been faster to use the gigabit connections on the router itself, it would have prohibited me from testing other aspects of the router. Range: The range on both bands is somewhat average to decent. I placed the router in the basement as this is where the cable modem is. I live in a 2 story home and was easily able to connect at the furthest points within my 2k sqft home. If your space is larger, you may run into speed issues, but I did not notice any degradation in speed or connectivity with regard to distance. Guest Network: Each band can be set up with multiple SSIDs to broadcast and if used, the user can then designate a "spare" SSID on either radio as a guest network. This is handy if you have friends coming to your home/place of business, you can enable the guest network and not need to grant them any form of security key. The network is on a separate subnet so there is not any LAN access to your secured network. Also, if you need to quickly kill the connection you can. USB: Having the ability to plug an external HDD into your router and then instantly have access to the device via LAN and the Internet is fantastic. While the interface seemed somewhat rudimentary, I was quickly able to upload/download files to the connected drive. DDNS Support: The EnGenius supports and even provides a DDNS (Dynamic DNS) service. You are able to punch in a custom host name in the settings and then access the device from the internet or LAN. I find this very useful because it is one less thing I have to worry about managing yet I still have access to the USB storage vi
Cons: Wireless: While the 2.4GHz band has not caused any issues, the 5GHz band seemed to have some rather annoying drops in coverage. I'm not sure if the 5GHz radio in my unit is defective, but occasionally (more than once per day or even once every few hours) the connection on 5GHz would become stagnant and then completely unresponsive. Switching all devices to remain on the 2.4GHz band solved this issue, but the point of having the dual band router would be to connect with the best available radio and then utilizing the secondary radio if necessary. The other odd issue that I came across (not sure if this my own lack of knowledge in the area or not) was the fact that when using a wireless connection to hook up my Samsung 320 series laser printer, I was unable to resolve the wireless connection from my MacBook (5GHz ) to the printer (2.4GHz). Utilizing the basic setup it would have seemed that both radios should have been able to negotiate being on a single subnet and provide a proper connection to the printer. Once I switched the MacBook to the 2.4GHz radio, it was no longer an issue. DLNA: I enabled the EnShare technology based on the documentation, but was unable to actually serve up video content via the DLNA server. I was utilizing VLC Media player which I'd done before. The player would find the DLNA server on the router via UPnP but I was unable to browse the directory structure nor was I able to actually find or serve up any of the video files on the USB drive unless I wanted to use the NAS interface to just straight up download the files which seemed unacceptable as a streaming video solution. The packaging for the EnGenius ESR1200 makes it appear as though you are receiving a state-of-the-art DLNA multimedia server that you just need attach storage to and you're ready to go. In reality, the only "troubleshooting" I was able to do was to check in the admin page that yes, I had in fact checked the radio button for "enable" on the DLNA server page. There aren't many other settings in this regard.
Overall Review: When first receiving the router from Newegg for the purposes of this review, I had to admit that I had never heard of the EnGenius brand. The device seems well constructed for what it is --an average router with tons of features that work mediocrely. There were a few features I was just plain unable to test such as the integrated VPN and IP Camera functionality. When the features work, they work really well, however the connectivity issues that I experienced with the 5GHz band really brought this router down a peg in my expectations. I was really hoping that it would have delivered on everything that it seemed to contain. This coupled with the DLNA issues really served to reduce my score on this device from a 4 to a 3 egg review. Had either of these been better, I probably would have gone 4 or 5 eggs. If utilizing this router for simple networking with the ability to add a usb hard drive or flash drive to share over the network, it's fantastic --even the ability to access via the internet adds a little bit extra (though this could be configured without being built into the router). Enabling things like DMZ (for my PS3) seemed to work as expected and were easy to set up. Port forwarding for RDP via the built in DDNS seemed to work alright and as previously mentioned was nice to not have to connect everything via Ethernet. Overall, if I were going to purchase this type of device, I probably would have opted for something a little less expensive that was a little more solid, even if not packed with as many features. Let's face it, features are only great if they work all the time.
Functions as advertised!
Pros: This product is fairly easy to set up and use as it is mostly plug and play. The upgraded version of the powerline technology is pretty fast and I haven't noticed any lag on my network while using these devices as wifi access points. I've found the speeds over wifi to be comparable to what I would get on a standalone wifi router and I could see this being the solution for someone in a moderately sized house where hard-wiring access points isn't desired or feasible. Overall they work well and do what they're made for, but some of the cons bring their score down for me.
Cons: The app is kind of hard to use. It seems like it was not developed as a native app for mobile devices but merely hosts a web view that does not render to fit the size of screen on my device (iPhone 13 Pro Max). You can not configure the radios to be dual-band with two separate SSIDs. This means that if your main 2.4GHz SSID differs from say your 5GHz, you can not mirror that setup on these access points. Also, the wifi settings for the adapters are global, not per adapter. I could not figure out how to have two separate configurations as it seems to be shared across all paired devices. I would have liked to have created a guest network on one and my private network on another. The fact that these are designed to completely occupy the outlet space (and the instructions even state to not use the second plug when using these), it's a little limiting as to where these can be placed. Sure, they have a pass-through for a single plug, but you're not supposed to use the second plug when these are installed. That makes things tricky in my case as I have tons of devices that require power and access to power is at a premium.
Overall Review: This product is NOT a wifi router and I feel like the product descriptions could do a better job of stating that these are merely access points that connect to an existing router on your network. Powerline technology has continued to improve and so long as you follow the directions, you should have no issues using these.
Great SSD in a Tiny Package!
Pros: Lightning quick with tons of storage, this SSD will perform for anyone's budget. I decided to try this unit in an M.2 external enclosure as I have plenty of storage internally with all of my machines. The unit performs really well --especially over USB-C and is a viable solution for anyone looking to expand/upgrade storage internally or externally. The unit seems to run cool and I haven't found any issues with it. The price point seems pretty reasonable to me considering the amount of storage you can get (1TB for this review) compared to the size of the device, it's really quite impressive.
Cons: I don't have any real cons. I guess you could say it's not the coolest thing to look at if you were going to have it in a tower with a window?
Overall Review: Overall, I'm really satisfied with this SSD and am glad that I have it to replace some aging USB flash drives. The device seems like it will be a solid unit for years to come. When it first arrived I put it through some non-scientific read/write bulk copy operations and couldn't believe how quickly data was read and written. I would strongly encourage anyone looking for an M.2 factor SSD to consider this unit.
Great Laptop for Those with a Budget!
Pros: This is a solidly built unit. I upgraded the RAM right out of the gate and even after removing all of the chassis screws the bottom panel was held securely in place with very many points of contact. The screen is brilliant and I really enjoy the matte finish on laptop screens to reduce glare and allow me to use the device in a more varied selection of locations and conditions. I would complain about the resolution being 1080p but honestly it's not a problem for the size screen on a 15" laptop. The minimal bezel around the outside edge of the screen is nice as well to give you a large amount of room to do whatever you want. Also, when you open the screen, it acts as a built in lift for the body of the unit allowing for better airflow under the unit than if it just sat on the surface. Having 3 USB ports as well as HDMI, USB-C and the MicroSD card reader means that you have plenty of connectivity with this unit. After getting used to it and tweaking some of the settings, the new screenpad touchpad that is integrated into this unit is quite brilliant. The screenpad allows for some window groupings ans well as having quick touch shortcuts at your fingertips for favorite apps. You can also actually drag any window to the screenpad as a second tiny monitor. There is also a calculator, handwriting recognition, and various other functions. The keyboard is relatively nice, having a full number pad and allowing you to set an fn lock like you might expect there are also some other standard keys that you might not find on other laptops as dedicated keys such as print screen/insert/etc. It does have some issues noted below however. The unit has a dedicated nVidia GeForce MX250 which has performed just fine for games like Kingdom Come: Deliverance and Rocket League. I would imagine that it would also be able to handle blowing up your Kerbals if that's your thing.
Cons: So, with this being a mid-range machine bordering on budget-friendly, I won't be too harsh on the negatives but some of them are definitely more important than others. I will start with most annoying and progress to minor inconveniences. Network connectivity. For all of the other larger-format ports this machine has (usb, hdmi), I really wish they would have been able to shove in a dedicated ethernet port. It's not a huge loss, but this is exacerbated by the poor wifi performance I've been experiencing. I haven't taken the unit apart to find where the wifi adapter is located within the unit, but if I had to guess it is somewhere under the palm rest area of the device. I am consistently getting 1-2 bars less wifi signal than other windows devices from within the same locations. If you have decent wifi coverage in your home/office or are using the device in places where signal strength isn't a huge issue, this probably won't be a big deal. If it becomes one you can always get a usb ethernet adapter or a usb wifi adapter to gain better performance, but really, it's 2020 and that shouldn't be necessary with current wireless tech. So, for how nice the keyboard is to type on as well as the available keys that I don't have to use an fn combination for the same operation, its LED backlighting leaves a lot to be desired. I like to leave my LED backlighting on full blast on my machines as usually it helps in all situations. On this particular unit however, the LED backlighting actually makes the keys hard to read in daylight situations. As it approaches evening, it's not so bad and at night it's not a problem at all. It is especially noticeable on the fn keys. If the keys were a different color instead of the same silver as the body, maybe this wouldn't be as much of an issue, but the glare off of the keys in brighter light causes the LEDs to just cause visibility issues. RAM is meh for 2020. If I were going to buy this unit, I would definitely consider getting a unit with 16GB of RAM out of the gate. 8GB is pretty low, but again, this is a more budget-friendly unit, so it's not a huge issue and it is able to be upgraded replacing the 4GB so-dimm with a 16GB so-dimm if you so choose.
Overall Review: Overall, I'm impressed. It's been a long time since I've looked at PC laptops but Asus has always been a brand I've trusted. While there are some things that are undesirable, I'd actually recommend this machine to anyone looking for something as a decent unit for mid-range computing. If you're looking for a business machine, or something that can handle some games from time to time, you wouldn't go wrong looking at this unit. Though, I would suggest upgrading the installed RAM from a 4GB stick to a 16GB stick (there is 4GB built directly into the motherboard hence 8GB out of the box).
Pros: This memory set is absolutely fantastic for anyone looking to upgrade a compatible machine. They run really well for all games I threw at them (Kingdom Come:Deliverance, Rocket League, Saurian, etc.) If you're looking to do a lot of gaming or RAM intensive operations like running VMs or doing a lot of high level processing, these will not let you down. Install in most compatible laptops is usually pretty simple and I didn't have any issues slotting these into my dev machine and off I went. The jump to 32GB will be greatly noticeable on any machine running 8 or 16GB out of the gate.
Cons: Price? I wouldn't say they're terribly overpriced if at all for what they offer.
Overall Review: Crucial has always been a preferred brand of mine and their continued commitment to quality is evident in this product. They warrant consideration if you're looking to upgrade your laptop to a cutting edge level of RAM.