I always like building things. Taking raw materials and putting them together into something wondrous is something that will never grow old for me. So when I’m playing video games and I’m able to create things in the game, I tend to find myself lost in that. For Fallout 4 I spent too many hours just customizing my settlements and enjoying myself. When I first saw Castle Story by Sauropod Studios, I immediately fell in love. The game promised resource gathering, base building, and the ability to defend my base form monsters that would try to destroy it. I figured, this was a game that would eat away at my time. For the most part, I was right.
It’s no secret that Apple controls a major share of the electronics market due to their brilliant marketing and powerful R&D department. Despite their products carrying a premium price tag, both casual consumers and businesses continue to gobble up anything Apple because of the manufacturer’s proven reliable quality and ease of use. Retailing for $2700 USD, the newly released iMac may not be the most innovative product Apple has ever developed, but a vibrant display and competitive specs are sure to keep people hooked into this updated experience.
Getting decent Wi-Fi coverage in a home can be a challenge. Most houses aren’t designed with Wi-Fi signals in mind and sometimes this leads to issues. Fortunately, D-Link has heard your cries for a simple but powerful home Wi-Fi network and have released the Covr AC3900 Wi-Fi System. Promising seamless roaming and a scalable network, we took a look to see if D-Link’s new system stands up.
The Nintendo 3DS has been my faithful companion since I first got one back in 2011. I have fond memories of getting together with my friends and playing Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition or more recently, Super Smash Bros..
I have never been the type to enjoy having too many gadgets in my home. I prefer to have a few select devices that can do multiple things. My phone and computer are constantly being used around my home, and since I always have these devices on me, I never had a reason to get another piece of gear. However, the Samsung Galaxy Book is a device that has found a space in my regular lineup. It is the perfect companion to keep with me at all times of the day.
Good cell phones are a dime a dozen now a days. You have your big brands like Samsung, Apple, and Motorola, and you have your smaller brands like Huawei, OnePlus, and Honor. Brands come and go if they can’t keep up, even those that were once a pillar of the mobile space—like BlackBerry. BlackBerry fell on some hard times during the smartphone revolution, but they have been trying to claw their way back up. The BlackBerry KEYone is the company’s latest attempt at reclaiming its throne and for the most part, they succeed.
For PC users who are budget conscious, many brands of CPU may cost a bit more than they are willing to dish out—AMD has answered the prayers of budget users with the new line of Ryzen 3 CPUs, which are aimed at users looking for a powerful CPU without breaking the bank.
A recent networking trend to hit the market are mesh networks. Built off of two- sometimes even four identical small routers, mesh networks are the latest solution to creating strong and reliable Wi-Fi in homes. While Linksys and Netgear have been the quickest to launch their products, TP Link took time to flesh out the idea further and develop the Deco M5, the ideal networking solution for large homes and growing families.
Mesh networks are easy to explain. By connecting one of the included units to the central modem and then setting up the rest of the units around the home as extenders, the user will be able to create a strong Wi-Fi network that delivers consistent performance no matter where the user is. The hook that brings in consumers is range. By boasting upwards of 4500 Sq.Ft on the box, TP Link and their competitors are hitting a target market that’s been sorely neglected for some time, families.
Starting off with design, the TP Link Deco M5 system comes with three shell shaped units, each housing a dedicated USB-Type C power and two Gigabit Ethernet ports. Due to their small form factor, setting up these units around the house requires little effort and even if they’re peeking out from a hiding spot or even in plain sight, their simplistic design keeps them from looking like an eye-sore.
Specs are an interesting subject because I wasn’t expecting this level of quality of performance from TP Link, who is known for their budget aimed systems and hardware. Each one of the included Deco M5 Units includes a dedicated quad-core CPU, four internal antennas and a Bluetooth chip to tie together the system through the downloadable Deco app for Android and iOS devices. After the mesh network is created, users come into possession of a dual-band network that sports speeds of 400 Mbps on a 2.4 GHz connection and upwards of 867 Mbps on the 5 GHz connection. While the speeds seem lacking when compared to previous routers I’ve reviewed these numbers are in line to support standard households instead of enthusiasts or gamers. A shortcoming though compared to the competition is that there is no dedicated band to handle backhaul traffic, which creates some signal loss and weaker speeds.
To further support that this system is built for families is that every bit of the included software is handled by the user’s Android or iOS device through a Bluetooth connection. The Deco App is a smart idea for people who aren’t as adept with tech, but the fact that there is no browser option whatsoever is a little disappointing for people who would like to explore more settings and network customization. A prime example is the parental controls. If you wanted to restrict Bowser Jr.’s access to Netflix after 10pm then you’re free to and can ensure it only restricts the device or computer they are using. A traditional browser based system would’ve given me the ability to restrict specific devices on the network on a one-on-one basis.
A welcome addition to the TP Link Deco M5 is the antivirus protection. Instead of handling anti-virus through the computer, the Deco M5 has the ability to identify and delete viruses from potentially harmful files and software from the system itself. The only disappointing part about this included protection is that unfortunately it’s not permanent. After three years with the system the user will have to subscribe to the antivirus to enable the service again for a fee.
Overall I think the TP Link Deco M5 is a quality piece of networking hardware, but it simply isn’t for me. The consumers who will really benefit from this mesh networking system are large households and growing families that need additional protection from the harmful things found in the darkest parts of the internet. Enthusiasts should look elsewhere for a type of system that can prioritize their gaming needs.
All things considered, I’m an unabashed Dynasty Warriors apologist.