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Genelec 8030C 5” active monitor Review

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The Genelec 8030C 5” active monitors are a very good choice for transparent and accurate monitors for post production. Our…

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Secret Lab Throne Gaming Chair Review

Secret Lab Throne Gaming Chair Review

Secret Lab makes a variety of gaming chairs. These are essentially very nice office style chairs with attractive and ergonomic…

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Original Pancake House Apple Pancake Recipe

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These headphones offer good value with quality sound, a comfortable fit and easy pairing to your phone. The hardest part…

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Best Hard Drives for your NAS or DAS and Video Editing

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Yes the world is moving to SSD but when it comes digital content creation and video editing you're going to…

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Other World Computing Dual Bay SATA Drive Dock Review

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Best Router and Cable Modem Combination for Distance Learning and Work

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For great performance at a reasonable price we like pairing TP Link routers with Motorola cable modems. For example, the…

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ATEN CS1942DP Review - 2-Port USB 3.0 4K DisplayPort Dual-Display KVMP Switch

ATEN CS1942DP Review - 2-Port USB 3.0 4K DisplayPort Dual-Display KVMP Switch

It's been a while since we needed a KVM switch and man have they evolved nicely. The ATEN CS1942DP 2-Port…

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funkyfresh computers and accessories

ATEN CS1942DP Review - 2-Port USB 3.0 4K DisplayPort Dual-Display KVMP Switch

ATEN KVMP SWITCH

It's been a while since we needed a KVM switch and man have they evolved nicely. The ATEN CS1942DP 2-Port USB 3.0 4K DisplayPort Dual-Display KVMP switch is an excellent solution for a dual workstation setup that requires the ability to drive two 4K displays.

The ATEN CS1942DP is a professional level solution which includes the ability to share common peripherals and independently switch KVM. USB and audio. We used it to switch between two editing workstations where both units took advantage of dual displays and a wireless mouse. We didn't use the audio connections on the CS1942DP because each workstation's sound card was already connected to a mixer for audio so the mini stereo mic and speaker connections were unnecessary in our setup.

Our main interest was the ability to share a wireless mouse, wired keyboard and two displays between two workstations with maximum up-time. The ATEN CS1942DP works very well in this scenario. Each workstation has a Quadro graphics card with DisplayPort outputs to drive 4K displays. We used with various displays from HP and Dell and the ATEN recognized and scaled the image properly as if the computers were connected directly to the displays. The wired keyboard and wireless mouse performed as if they were connected directly to the computers without any perceivable lag. The computers were used to edit and color correct video and the color was accurate going through the ATEN CS1942DP as would be expected with quality DisplayPort connectors.

ATEN includes all the cables necessary for connection two computers to the CS1942DP KVMP switch. The cables are decent quality and on the shorter side. We used two workstations underneath an average size desk, one to the left and one to the right. The cables provided worked fined in our scenario. However, we could easily see a scenario where longer cables would be required. ATEN really has provided the bare minimum to make this work.

One of the main issues with using a KVM switch is the lag time from the moment you press the button until the other computer is active and the display live. The CS1942DP takes about 4 seconds to switch between computers. So it's not instant but we haven't used a KVM switch that is. It's not a big deal as we don't rapidly pop back and forth between workstations. More importantly when doing windows updates the monitors are accurately recognized when connected to the CS1942DP just as they would be if connected directly to the computer.

The ATEN CS1942DP has an excellent built quality with metal case and quality buttons. The lights on the front of the unit make it easy to identify the active computer and the status of the KVM. Our only gripe on the build or usability is the wall wart. We hate wall warts and would much prefer this unit to be shipped with a built in power supply.

At a typical street price of $329 the ATEN CS1942DP is not cheap. It's a premium unit designed for a professional environment. If you have a need for a 4k, dual DisplayPort cable KVMP switch the CS1942DP is an excellent choice.

Visit ATEN for more information and all the specs on the CS1942DP.

Best Router and Cable Modem Combination for Distance Learning and Work

1GB COMBO MOTO TPLINK

For great performance at a reasonable price we like pairing TP Link routers with Motorola cable modems. For example, the TP AC Archer C90 router with the Motorola MB8600 cable modem. This is a good benchmark to consider when shopping for a router/modem combo to take advantage of 1GB/s internet service that needs to support fast wired and wifi speeds to multiple users in an average size 3/2 home. There are myriad cable modem and router combinations out there to provide both wired and wireless connectivity in your home. "Wifi" has become synonomous with the Internet but to get the most from your connection you need a quality direct wire connection to your router and cable modem. 5G may change all that but we still have limited rollout and the system has not been taxed by large number of users. So for now, cable internet seems like the fastet solution for most people.

With and average family all using the internet at the same time, on zoom calls, uploading/dowloading, streaming, gaming..etc. We recommend the fastest connection your budget will allow. Most cable companeis offer a 1GB option and will offer a cable modem/router you can lease from them. However, buy your own gear and it's one less thing you have to pay the cable company for over time.

We've had friends asking us about Orbi and other mesh style networks and we're not convinced their worth it. We'd recommend trying a simple combo similar to this Motorola / TP Link setup and see if it works for you. If it's bought and sold from Amazon you'll have an easy time with returns. It might take some testing to see what works best in your home. Typically we find our friends are happier with simpler and reasonably priced solutions that just work without any sort of additional ongoing fee.

Test your current Internet speed
Learn more about Motorola Cable Modems
Learn more about TP Link Wireless Routers

Laser Printer During Shelter in Place

HP 420 Laster printer

Laser printers are usually found in the office while inkjets are more common in the home.  However, with everyone at home these days it's nice to have a fast, networked laser printer for basic printing tasks.  We worked this HP 420 unit pretty hard and it's been great for everyday printing tasks.  It's fast, efficient with toner, quiet and a good value.  HP no longer offers this unit new but has plenty of similar offerings. 

The image, pretty much says it all.  Look for a printer that has these qualitites:
 - Wirelessis and wired LAN connectivity
- 350 Sheet input capacity or similar
- Auto 2-sided printing, you'll save on paper
- iOS and Android app friendly printing
- some kind of LCD display, so it can tell you what's up
- Fast startup and printing
- Toner from third pary suppliers.  This is important, read up on the printer and reviews of third party toner suppliers to make sure
there is nothing quirky about the printer you are considering
- budget $200-$300, you'll be able to get a decent machine

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