To great fanfare, a new player in home WiFi launched this week. Well, at least the reviews did. Eero attempts to mate the coverage and performance of enterprise-esque multi-node networking to drop dead simple configuration via a number of svelte access point pucks. This is not your garden variety commoditized router. Other than some privacy concerns raised, then walked back, by CNET the consensus has been overwhelmingly positive in terms of router configuration and (largely qualitative) wireless analysis. However, despite many with challenging environments and deadspots, I wonder how large exactly is the market for a $500 home WiFi solution?
Archives For Computing
Via an overseas briefing and FCC filing, details of the next generation Netgear Nighthawk wireless router have begun to clarify. The Nighthawk X4 AC2350/R7500 builds upon the success of the existing Nighthawk, as cited by Wirecutter, with additional horsepower, more finely tuned QoS, quad-stream wireless, and a pair of USB 3.0 ports and eSATA to meet our NAS or Mac Time Machine archival needs. It also bumps up the antenna count from 3 to 4. Of course, this sort of tricked out network solution comes at a price. And, to meet my 802.11ac router needs should I flip from Verizon to Comcast, I’m not sure I’m willing to pony up the $250.
Netgear ReadyNAS is a line of network attached storage devices that allows you to centralize all your content into one place. The main benefit being that you can then access your content from one place. The Netgear ReadyNAS 102, released about a year ago, incorporates a new modern UI for web management, a marketplace for apps that can be installed, and additional backup tools for your computers and mobile devices. Overall, the ReadyNAS is a fairly intuitive system that should fit basic storage needs while providing additional features with app support (and is a distant descendant of the highly acclaimed Infrant NAS line).
The ReadyNAS 102 is the base model for the home ReadyNAS series. It provides 2 bays for hard drives and the ability to swap drives if your storage needs should grow. The 100 series is meant for home use with multiple users accessing the device. Along with the 100 series, Netgear also has a step up in performance with their 300 series, but those devices are geared towards business office crowd. You can view the different model’s on Netgear’s site here.
You can purchase the 102 with or without hard drives depending on how much you want to spend, and whether or not you have extra drives sitting around. The base 102 model starts out at $199 (diskless) and goes up depending on storage amount. Other options for the ReadyNAS 100 series included a 4 bay option. Our loaner review unit arrived with two preinstalled 1TB drives in RAID 1 mode, meaning that the data was mirrored on both drives and the over storage space was 1TB. You have the option to put the device in RAID 0 which would provide double the storage at the loss of drive mirroring. Continue Reading…
Thanks to our pal Khaled, we’re back with several unannounced Logitech goodies on tap this fall. While they’re probably not as unique as the WiFi webcam broadcaster, solid computing accessories are a necessity. And I’ve long been a proponent of Logitech’s keyboard and mouse solutions.
Touch Mouse (T620)
The Touch Mice are slated to arrive in both black and white and will retail for $69 according to B&H Photo. While there’s no description, one can assume that the touch mouse is, er, a touch mouse – and the logical successor to the M600. It’s my understanding this may be a PC model, whereas the Mac model will go by T631.
Zone Mouse (T400)
Unlike the Touch Mouse that is presumably covered by a responsive surface, the Logitech Zone Mouse looks to have a very specific touch sensitive zone. And while I generally appreciate shiny things, I much prefer the T400’s black matte styling over the T620. MacMall has this one at $62.
Rechargeable Touchpad (T651)
The Bluetooth touchpad above looks to replicate what Apple offers. But as opposed to replacing those Duracels every few months, Logitech integrated rechargeable battery. Not to mention this is cross platform. MacMall has it listed for $94, but we’ve seen it as high as $110… and assume it’ll land somewhere in the middle upon release.
As we’re all well aware, Apple introduced the “new” iPad yesterday. And, while I’m still not quite sold on the tablet form factor, I did place a pre-order. Primarily due the iPad 3’s integrated voice dictation capabilities and much heralded “retina” display — likely featuring more pixels than anything else in our homes. Although, I do wonder how long it’ll take app developers to maximize its potential.
During the marketing spiel Apple made several fascinating and dramatic proclamations. I’m not prepared to classify any as dubious, but it looks as if some could be comparing apples & oranges. For example, I was initially stunned when they said, “This new device has more memory and higher screen resolution than an Xbox 360 or PS3.” Yet, after thinking about it, the factoid isn’t so surprising… and what exactly does it mean?
Last night, while watching live TV (*gasp*), I inadvertently caught the commercial above. And what was I thinking? As “the new Ultrabook [was] inspired by Intel”… not Apple’s Macbook Air. It’s a cute ad and Windows users also deserve both better style and substance in their computing hardware. Further, Microsoft’s hardware partners would prefer higher margins than their dying netbook initiatives provided. But let’s keep it real. This sleek design originated at Apple. Ultimately, what’s most interesting about the advert is the collaboration between Best Buy, Microsoft, and Intel (who owns the “Ultrabook” trademark and powers these devices) attempting to communicate as a single entity.
It was nearly three years ago that I got my first netbook, an Asus Eee 1000HA. And despite a failed hard drive a year later (still under warranty), and complete failure six months after that, I loved my compact little machine. I loved it so much that I got another one in May of last year – the Asus Eee Seashell 1005PE. The upgrade included 2 GB of RAM instead of 1 GB, an Atom N450 processor, and a long-lasting battery. It too wound its way into my heart, but there were evident flaws from the beginning. Most importantly, the 2 GB of RAM didn’t seem to improve my operating speed, an annoying problem given how many tasks I like to run simultaneously. (Maybe a result of the OS upgrade to Windows 7?) Then in the spring of this year, I dropped my poor little netbook, and it’s never quite been the same.
Fast forward to today, and I’ve upgraded yet again. This time to a Lenovo ThinkPad X220 laptop. While I love netbook portability, I’ve decided that performance is more important. My X220 comes with 8GB of RAM and an Intel i7 processor. It’s also got decent battery life (5-6 hours), and a trackpoint – my favorite navigating tool. I’ve jumped in screen size from ten inches to 12.5 inches, which has its pluses and minus, and the laptop is a bit heavier than my previous netbooks, though not significantly. The big difference is the price. Fully configured, the X220 is roughly triple the price of any netbook. It was no small expenditure, and there will be no further upgrade in a year or 18 months.
I am cautiously optimistic about my laptop choice. The Lenovo brand means my X220 should last for several years, and I have high hopes for my improved productivity as a result of fewer computing slowdowns. Is the laptop worth the price increase over a netbook? I won’t know until I’ve had more time to try it out. My guess is that after a few months with the X220 I’ll have trouble considering a netbook ever again. I may be wrong, but I think my netbook experiment is over. It’s a new laptop era.