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This review is from: Fractal Design Define R4 Black Silent ATX Midtower Computer Case
Pros: This case is extremely rigid, having very little flex that you will find in cheaper cases. Cable management inside of the case was very simple, especially because the upper drive cage was removable with two thumb screws. The padding and rubber screw gaskets make this a great option for a PC that you want to keep quiet, and the removable filters are nice for keeping the inside clean.
The drive trays are metal and quite solid, and it can be nice that you can attach drives to the tray with screws, and the rubber gaskets help reduce any noise from the drives.
Cons: This case is heavy without anything in it, once you add a power supply and any drives (there's space for 8 3.5" HDD, I was adding 5 right now), it becomes very heavy, so don't expect to be moving a PC with this case around a lot. While the drive trays are very solid, it can be nice to have them secured to the drives (with the rubber gaskets reducing noise) would be nice if you didn't have to attach the drives to the trays with screws, but that would probably require that they be plastic instead.
The case is also quite a bit larger than other cases that I've worked with, so make sure that you have space available.
Other Thoughts: - This case is quite heavy, and is a bit larger than I am accustom to using in the past.
- I would personally prefer if it was possible for the front door to swing the opposite direction, or have the option for you to change the door swing.
- I also think I would prefer having the power button hidden behind the door, instead of located on the top, but that's just a personal preference.
- It would also be nice if they provided an adapter for the USB 3.0 header pins, so that you can split it onto the 9-pin connectors, but those are pretty cheap to pick up.
- It may not be the absolute best case I've worked with, but it is definitely high on my list, and I would definitely consider buying another.
This review is from: LIVA X 2GB/32GB Mini PC
Pros: This works great as a low-end PC. This is a very quiet, low-power, inexpensive little PC that is quite small (about the size of 3 decks of cards). If you are looking for something to hook up to a TV to stream it should work well, as long as you have the network bandwidth. Once it is set up there is very little maintenance.
Cons: Not upgrade-able, you are limited to the specs when you buy it. Small wires for the wireless antenna make it somewhat difficult to assemble.
Other Thoughts: I am currently using this as a Plex server with my media hosted on a NAS. It seems to serve the media without issue within my network very well, but struggles if I am trying to pull from outside (likely due to bandwidth, not the PC).
If you have multiple people attempting to access media on the server, it may struggle a bit, because the processor/memory may not be able to keep up, but in smaller households, it should work just fine.
If you are just connecting this to a TV to allow you to watch Netflix/Hulu/etc. it should work just fine, assuming that you have the network bandwidth to support the stream.
Remember, too, that the system is pretty much closed, so you won't be able to upgrade the memory/storage/processor, so you are pretty much locked into the specs that it has when you buy it. If you do need some additional storage, you could use an external drive or a USB/Flash drive.
This PC could also work as an introductory computer for someone that just wants to surf the internet and edit documents for school, but don't expect to do any gaming on it (Minecraft does work but is near unplayable, however, the 64GB/4GB version may be able to handle it).
Pros: Size-wise, this can't really be beat. It's about the size of an MP3 player, and it works pretty much out of the box. Works great when it has a wireless connection, and the keyboard, while somewhat small, is actually not too bad to use, as you can use it somewhat like a game controller.
Cons: Minus 1 egg, because the wireless that is built in is extremely weak, causing the connection to drop constantly, even when the router is only two rooms away (30-40 feet with some walls/obstructions).
Other Thoughts: Overall, I thought the tiny stick works well, and performance-wise actually does a decent job, and when it has a network connection, does a good job playings streaming videos (tested with Youtube, Netflix, Hulu, & Plex).
The problem with it really is the weak wireless adapter that comes built in, which struggled to connect even in short range. Because network connectivity was more important than having an additional USB port, I installed a small USB wireless adapter, and it has since been running great, with no issues connecting to my network.
Storage wise, it is quite light, as it has 32GB split evenly between Windows & Android, so you really only have 16GB to work with. But, the micro SD slot allows you to install up to 128GB of extra space, and I'd highly recommend installing at least a 32 GB card, otherwise you will be hurting for space.
When you buy this, I have a few suggestions:
- Buy an additional micro SD card (32GB or more)
- Buy an additional USB wireless adapter