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Robert D.

Robert D.

Joined on 03/31/06

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Most Favorable Review

Huge amounts of portable storage!

WD My Book 8TB Desktop External Hard Drive for Windows/Mac/Laptop, USB 3.0 Black (WDBBGB0080HBK-NESN)
WD My Book 8TB Desktop External Hard Drive for Windows/Mac/Laptop, USB 3.0 Black (WDBBGB0080HBK-NESN)

Pros: Tons of storage in a single enclosure. 8TB is more than I know what to do with! Sleek, modern design that fits well wherever you put it. WD software has the ability to use this as a backup drive, essentially letting you do a system restore from the external drive (if needed). This is useful for anyone with a lot of storage on their PC but with no other way to back up.

Cons: None

Overall Review: I’m using this to extend my PS4’s storage capacity. It works really great for this, and there is no notable difference in speed compared to the drive within the PS4.

Most Critical Review

Great Sound, Comfortable Headset with Mic Issues

SteelSeries Siberia RAW USB Connector Circumaural Prism Headset
SteelSeries Siberia RAW USB Connector Circumaural Prism Headset

Pros: Very lightweight and comfortable. Most of the headsets I’ve used or owned have been stiff, heavy, and hurt my ears after an hour or so. These are extremely comfortable; I really like the earcup padding and they are some of the best feeling headphones I’ve used. These provide a very clear sound with the right about of treble and bass. Personally, I think they sound just as good for music as they do for games. Games, music, and movies sounded very good with these. The steelseries Engine program is very simple and easy to use. I was able to easily customize the equalization to my liking, and they also have a few pre-built equalization options. The illumination is a nice touch (obviously not very useful, but it looks cool). You can use the steelseries Engine to customize the colors and have it cycle among the different colors. Looks very nice against the rest of the pure-white headset!

Cons: Short cable. The USB cable for this headset is only 5ft long, so it is only useful if you plan to sit right next to your computer. If you’re thinking about getting these, but you don’t sit right next to your computer, expect to buy a USB extender (or just look for a wireless set or one with a longer cord). The microphone sounds alright, but it picks up ambient noise and a lot of sound from the headset itself. I can live with it picking up ambient noise, but not its own sound. If I’m playing a game or listening to music, I can hear that just as well as I can hear myself through the mic. This would seriously bug other people in online games. I understand they wanted to tuck the mic away neatly to keep a nice form factor, but it hurts more than it helps. Easily the worst part of the headset. Turning on the mic auto optimization through Engine doesn’t help this, either. The box states that these are compatible with the PS4, which is true. However, as the headphones have no volume control, you have to control the volume from the PS4 device settings. Normally, this is not a problem, but the MAX volume setting was still surprisingly quiet. Compared to using them with my computer, the max volume setting on the PS4 was only around 25-30% as loud as they can get on my PC. Playing games on the PS4, I have a hard time hearing dialogue or other quiet sound effects. I have another headset that I use with my PS4, and it gets much louder using just the PS4 volume control. Blame Sony or steelseries, but I would NOT suggest to use these with the PS4. They get plenty loud on my PC, though. Again, don’t buy these for your PS4 unless if you sit right next to it. Most people have their consoles hooked up to a TV and sit much farther away, so these simply won’t be useful for most PS4 users.

Overall Review: These are compatible with PS4, as the box states. I would NOT recommend them for the PS4 however, because the max volume is surprisingly quiet and the cable is much too short for most PS4 users. I feel like they listed PS4 compatibility on the box because it’s technically compatible, not because it’s actually a good headset for the PS4. The short cord is either good or bad, depending on your situation. Close to the computer at all times? Great! Farther away from it? Bad! There is no way to customize settings on the headset (equalization, illumination colors, mic auto optimization) through the headset itself. You need steelseries Engine to change these settings. Not much of an issue, but please be aware of this. The sound, form-factor, and comfort are definitely worthy of a 5 Egg review. However, it loses 1 Egg on poor mic performance and another Egg on poor performance with PS4. Overall, these are a good budget set if you don’t care about a ton of extra features or a good mic. These are not for you if you need a longer cable or plan to use the mic heavily.

Fantastic gaming keyboard with great RGB!

Corsair CH-9119014-NA K70 RGB CHAMPION SERIES Gaming Keyboard
Corsair CH-9119014-NA K70 RGB CHAMPION SERIES Gaming Keyboard

Pros: - This keyboard feels and looks great! The brushed metal base and matte keys really go well together - Small, efficient form factor that almost feels too small sometimes, but definitely would fit in a smaller space - Solid, smooth keys. Maybe not as "clicky" as some other switches, but still leaps better than your standard membrane keyboard - Love the media and volume controls directly on the keyboard. I love the volume rollers that these keyboard have. - Extremely responsive and feels great for gaming - The extra key caps for commonly used gaming keys (WASD, etc.) are awesome! They're raised and angled a bit to give you a better feel for where your fingers are at and help you place yourself on the keyboard - And the RGB! I love messing around with the different RGB behaviors and colors. The colors are vibrant and the iCue software lets you customize behavior to your heart's content - The cable is a detachable USB-C, meaning that you won't lose another keyboard to a faulty or split cable and can replace it whenever

Cons: - No ability to control RGB profiles without the iCue software. I realize this would be hard to control with just the keyboard alone, but having the option to toggle through stock colors/patterns would be nice - No dedicated macro buttons. Maybe this was to keep the form factor small, but I certainly appreciate a row of macro keys on my gaming keyboards

Overall Review: - I *personally* prefer a full keyboard with a number pad, but I love this keyboard so much that I might just get a separate number pad so I don't have to find a different keyboard - The iCue software can control and monitor other devices in your PC, but I did not spend much time with the software to be honest

Ergonomic, sleek laptop with a great warranty! No compromises!

ASUS VivoBook S15 15.6" Whiskey Lake Intel Core i5-8265U Processor, 8 GB DDR4, 256 GB SSD, Windows 10 - S530FA-DB51-IG, Portable IPS Full HD NanoEdge Bezel Laptop, Backlit Keyboard
ASUS VivoBook S15 15.6" Whiskey Lake Intel Core i5-8265U Processor, 8 GB DDR4, 256 GB SSD, Windows 10 - S530FA-DB51-IG, Portable IPS Full HD NanoEdge Bezel Laptop, Backlit Keyboard

Pros: The Asus VivoBook has really surpassed my expectations for a mid-range laptop. Visually, it’s sleek – the textured base is fingerprint resistant, the backlit keyboard really stands out, and it’s thin. It’s shiny, but not overly glossy. It closes flat, is lightweight, and is thin enough to fit in almost any backpack or case. The VivoBook had no issues running a normal workload, whether I was streaming video, running Office (writing this review!), browsing the web, or doing all of this at once. A great warranty seals the deal on this stellar laptop! • Performance is not an issue. It’s got an 8th Generation Intel i5 CPU in it, which is more than enough to satisfy the average user. 8GB of RAM along with a 256GB M.2 drive means the system will feel responsive and cut back on load times. You’re not going to run into any underperformance issues with this thing. • It’s got an HDMI-out so you can extend to another monitor. This is good if you plan to use it in an office setting or want to extend it to your TV at home. HDMI is extremely common – some laptops have DisplayPort or USB-C for video/audio output, which causes problems without the right adapters. • A FULL SIZE KEYBOARD! This is super important to me, as I use the number pad a lot in normal use. I actually have a USB number pad for devices/keyboards that don’t come with one. I’m really glad to have the full-sized keyboard on this. • Reading something like “ErgoLift” sounds like marketing nonsense, but it really is wonderful. When the laptop is open, it is lifted up just slightly by the hinge which creates a slightly angled typing surface. This is ideal, and more comfortable to type on. • The laptop closes with satisfying force. The hinge is not flimsy at all, and so the laptop stays nice and tightly closed when not in use. When closed, the monitor and base come together smoothly to create a nice, flat surface with no extra lip. • The speakers are built into the base instead of the screen, which helps to slim down the screen considerably. This feels like a very efficient use of space! • There are plenty of USB ports to go around, along with a MicroSD slot. One of the USB ports is also 3.0, which is nice. • I’ve had laptops in the past that would get so hot they could literally burn you. Even under a full load, this laptop never got more than mildly warm.

Cons: I can’t really find much to complain about here, but there were a few things I noticed that I think could be improved: • The monitor doesn’t get too bright. For me, it would be tough to see much on the screen if I wanted to use it outside. However, it gets plenty bright for inside use. • The speakers aren’t very loud, even at max volume. This is disappointing, as the laptop is labelled with Asus’ “SonicMaster” designation. I was underwhelmed.

Overall Review: I really enjoy this laptop! It’s modern, efficient, and makes me feel productive. I don’t feel that this laptop compromises on performance, functionality, design, or price. I do have a few thoughts to consider when deciding on what laptop to buy: • I’ve had a very good track record with Asus products in the past. I’ve bought and used Asus laptops, monitors, and motherboards and have never had a single issue with any of them. I would definitely recommend the Asus brand because I know I can trust it. • Matte vs glossy screens. Personally, I like glossy screens better as they produce the clearest image. However, matte screens don’t reflect near as much and are usable in a wider range of environments. If this matters to you, please note that this laptop has a matte screen. • This is not a gaming/power user laptop. Don’t expect to run the latest game at max settings or be able to modify the internals. WYSIWYG, for better or worse. FWIW, I did try out games like Minecraft and Roblox on this laptop and found them to run well. Definitely playable, great even! Minecraft works rather well because it doesn’t rely on a GPU as much as other games. • Wow, the warranty on this thing! Asus 360 provides your standard protection against manufacturer defects, but also one year of ACCIDENTAL damage protection. That covers spills, surges, and drops! I don’t believe I’ve ever seen accident damage protection on any product before, let alone expensive electronics. This is a fantastic offer and really great on Asus’ part!

Simple external storage... enough said!

Toshiba Canvio Advance 1TB Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0 White - HDTC910XW3AA
Toshiba Canvio Advance 1TB Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0 White - HDTC910XW3AA

Pros: Simple, small form factor. I like the white case. It feels fairly sturdy, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to throw it on the ground on purpose. This drive is useful for backup up data and transferring data between PCs. I’ll be using this mostly to backup documents and photos, along with using it as scratch space when reformatting my desktop. You can carry this easily in a laptop bag or backpack, or just keep safely in a drawer. It seriously won’t take up much room (not like those huge external HDDs of the past…). Toshiba provides backup and security software that you can download and use, if you choose. It’s fantastic of them to provide options, but you’re still free to use whatever software you’d like if you’re using this as a backup drive. Blue activity light turns off when drive is idle. I don’t need another light on my desk when my PC is already lit up like a Christmas tree!

Cons: None

Overall Review: As other reviewers have pointed out, disk speeds are only doing to be as fast as HDDs are. This is not an external SSD, so don’t buy this drive expecting blazing fast performance. I’m not going to crack open the case or drop it off my balcony, but I still trust the resiliency of the drive. Only time will however. 2-year warranty on the device. This seems par for the course. Warranty could be better but isn’t the worst either.

Big performance, Small drive!

Corsair Force MP300 M.2 2280 240GB PCI-Express 3.0 x2, NVME 1.3 3D TLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) CSSD-F240GBMP300
Corsair Force MP300 M.2 2280 240GB PCI-Express 3.0 x2, NVME 1.3 3D TLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) CSSD-F240GBMP300

Pros: NVMe drives are the way of the future. Their extremely small form factor and exponential speed compared to traditional SSDs is astounding. This drive is no different. Installs easily in motherboards & laptops that have the appropriate slot for it. If your desktop PC does not have an M.2 slot, you will need a PCIe conversion card. Not much to say about the design of the drive, as it’s only as big as it needs to be. However, the covering is designed to disperse heat better than just the exposed chip. This can help to reduce temps and increase longevity. Speed tests show values close to the specs. This is expected, as you never quite get MAXIMUM performance 100% of the time. Corsair SSD Toolbox provides software for common drive tasks. Over-provision the drive, erase all data securely, close the drive, or even just update the firmware. This is a useful set of functionalities.

Cons: None!

Overall Review: I wish I could simulate using these things for years to fully test and appreciate the “wear leveling” and “error correction” claims. For what it’s worth, I’ve had extremely good luck with Corsair products and would have no problems recommending them to friends and family. 5-year warranty is fantastic! Let’s hope you never have to use it! This drive is not a good value for huge amounts of storage. These drives are meant for your OS and primary applications. Maybe you can fit a few games on it too! However, don’t expect to host all your media and Plex content on a drive like this. HDDs still exist for large volume at scale!