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Pros: + Exceptional build quality
+ Good performance
+ Keyboard has a nice feel to it
+ USB 3.0, HDMI, SD Card slots
+ Anti-glare finish
+ Easy set up
Cons: - Keyboard is not backlit
- No touch screen
(Both are minor nitpicks at this price point)
Other Thoughts: The ASUS C202SA-YS02 Chromebook is marketed with durability for young students in mind, and after using it for about a week, I can say it will perform admirable in that role. For those looking for something more portable than a laptop, but with more productivity and durability than a tablet, this will fit the bill nicely.
The build quality of this Chromebook is outstanding. It has a rugged feel to it, and a bumper runs around the perimeter of the unit. It feels like a little laptop. There is also a rubber strip under it that lifts the unit off of your desk and provides grip, perfect for angled desks. My 11 year old daughter uses Chromebooks at her elementary school and loves them. When I asked her what she thought of this one she said this one was much better.
Setup was easy: charge it and turn it on. Log in with your Google account and you’re ready to go. In minutes I was connected to wifi and downloading apps like Netflix and Spotify from the Chrome store. All of the most popular Google productivity apps are pre-installed. You also get 100GB of space on Google Drive for two years.
Speaking of apps, this Chromebook uses the Chrome store, which is a little different than the Play store. You’ll find most – but not all – apps here. I could be wrong but I believe this Chromebook is on the list of approved hardware to receive Android apps, but I couldn’t find where to install them. With that said, without a touch screen there could be some compatibility issues for those apps. I consider this a very minor issue at this price point.
Remember - Chromebooks are not meant to be laptops. Don’t expect to run intense 3D games. This is meant for productivity and young students, and it shines in that role. All of the apps you need – Excel, Word, OneNote, Outlook – are available on the Chrome store and work well. Performance is good, as long as you keep your expectations in check. Netflix streamed wirelessly without hiccups, and it looks great on the 11 inch screen. I think the 4GB of RAM helps a lot here. While a quad core CPU would have been better, if things start to slow down just close some apps. The Chrome OS itself is nice and responsive overall.
The 16GB of space seem a bit low nowadays, but thankfully it has an SD card slot, so space is easily expanded. There is also the aforementioned Google Drive space (100GB for two years free). There are also two USB ports to add external drives or a mouse (I use a Bluetooth Microsoft Sculpt mouse). There is also an HDMI port so you can share your screen with a TV or projector.
Overall this is a very nice Chromebook. Just remember what Chromebooks are intended for: light productivity (checking email, typing documents, browsing for the most part) at a very affordable price point. Don’t expect it to perform like your $400 tablet. I have one of those with a rugged keyboard and case and it blows this out of the water performance-wise – for nearly THREE times the price of course. In my opinion, this is perfect for a pre-teen who wants a laptop but isn’t quite there yet. If I gave this to my daughter and she had it for a year and then broke it, I would not be devastated. But if I gave her one of those costly tablets or a laptop and she broke it, it would be painful. Asus has done a great job designing an affordable, durable product ideal for the audience for which it is intended –students. I highly recommend it.
Pros: + Enormous capacity (10TB tested)
+ Massive 256MB Cache
+ 7200 RPM
+ Built like a tank
+ Runs quiet and cool
Cons: - None
Other Thoughts: The emergence of affordable HD video surveillance systems capable of supporting many cameras has created a demand for high-capacity, high-performance, affordable, and reliable storage. Many drives check off a few of these requirements, but after a week with the Seagate SkyHawk, I feel it checks all of the boxes and is the best mechanical drive I have come across in a long time. You know it is a premium drive as soon as you feel it in your hand. And with a three year warranty and 1M hours MTBF, Seagate knows it too.
This drive is optimized for write-intensive operations, and Seagate claims support for 64 simultaneous HD cameras! While I can’t vouch for that many cameras, I can say that the six cameras I had connected to it recording real-time video had no issues whatsoever, and at various times I streamed a 1080p feed to my big screen at the same time, with absolutely no lag or buffering.
This drive replaced two 4TB drives, allowing me to free up a bay and possibly add another 10TB drive in the future. At around $40/TB, pricing is on par with what I paid a year ago for the 4TB NAS drives I removed, but with much more cache and better performance optimization for the task at hand. The drive was immediately recognized by my BIOS and by Windows 10. I did a full format (not quick), which took approximately 16 hours. Sadly as others have mentioned, NTFS formatting ate .91TB of space, leaving 9.09 of usable space. Still, not too shabby.
I am very pleased with this drive and feel it is currently the best drive for NVR/DVR duties. Time will tell how long it lasts, but the MTBF rating and warranty give me some peace of mind there.
Overall I highly recommend this drive. Great job Seagate!
This review is from: Linksys CM3024 DOCSIS 3.0 (24 x 8) Cable Modem
Pros: + Easy installation
+ Certified with multiple major ISPs. Works great with XFinity in my case
+ No embedded wifi is a plus to me
+ Has half the footprint of my old ISP modem
+ Blazing fast and reliable so far
+ Saves me $10/month in rental fees
Cons: - No RJ11 (phone) jacks for VoIP service
Other Thoughts: If you are renting your modem and don't need an eMTA (modem with VoIP/telephony), just stop reading and click on add to cart now. This modem works great, is easy to install, and is blazing fast. I have the XFinity 150Mbps service and this is pulling in 175 Mbps. All of my family's phones, tablets, TVs, and computers all have fast speeds with no hiccups. Steam downloads are downloading at nearly 20MB/s (that's capital B, not bits). I also use an OBI202 with two Google Voice lines and they are working great too - even while downloading games.
Installation could not have been easier. I connected it directly to my cable line and PC (leaving out the router initially). I then opened a browser and XFinity asked me to log in. Within a few minutes the modem was provisioned and working - with one hiccup. At first the modem was only getting 11Mbps. I thought I might have a problem with the hardware, but I called XFinity and they had to make some additional changes on their end. Once they did, they remote-reset the modem and then I was seeing full speeds. It has been working great ever since (several days).
Aesthetically and functionally, this modem is a major improvement over my ISPs modem. It's about the size of the original Wii and the lights are not overpowering. It seems to run cool.
Overall I am extremely pleased with this modem, especially because it will save me $10/month in modem rental fees. This is a fantastic modem and I will have no problem recommending it to anyone who asks. Great job Linksys!