Western Digital My Net N900 HD Router Review

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 Digital. I arrived expecting to see something storage related, but what I saw was completely different – a new line of routers!


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The new ‘My Net’ series of Western Digital routers are intended to cover the mid to high end of the home usage spectrum. Models start with 4 ports of Fast Ethernet and scale all the way up to 7x GigE switching. All models support some form of simultaneous dual band (2.4 and 5 GHz), with a minimum of 2×2 and scaling up to 3×3 configurations (more detail / explanation on that later).


Read on for our full review!


While all models have USB 2.0 connectivity for storage devices, the top tier will be available with an integrated 1TB or 2TB 2.5″ Hard Disk that can be used for NAS and local backup duties. Here’s a simple feature layout as seen on the back of the My Net N900 Central’s box:


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The sample we will be evaluating today is the My Net N900. This is the top tier without an integrated HDD:


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Advent Monza E1

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 Advent Monza E1

Advent’s Monza E1 is an eye-catching laptop aimed at first-time buyers. Despite offering a decent specification for the price, though, it is undermined by poor performance and flawed usability.

With its bright red lid and palm rest, the chassis looks great and the textured plastic finish and mock brushed-aluminium panels set it apart from the glut of plain black laptops on the market. The lid and main panels all feel firm and there are no noticeably weak points on the chassis.

At 2.5kg this is a laptop built for use at home, rather than on the move though. This was highlighted by the awful 107-minute battery life, meaning there’s not even enough power to watch a full movie.

That’s not to say that this is not a decent laptop for enjoying photos and videos, though. The 15.6-inch screen is sharp and bright and delivers gorgeous colour reproduction. Images pop from the screen and are rendered with stunning clarity, so as long as you’re plugged into a power point, this is a decent entry-level media machine.

Poor performance is the Advent’s Achilles heel. The dual-core AMD E-450 processor struggles with even the simplest tasks; applications run sluggishly and the laptop is brought to its knees by basic multitasking.

Graphics are equally poor and there’s little power on offer for media editing. The integrated AMD graphics card is fine for viewing photos or even watching high-def videos, but it shows its weaknesses as soon as you try to edit videos or run 3D games. If you’re after a powerful media laptop, there are far better machines available.

TechRadar Labs

tech labs

Battery Eater ’05: 107 minutes
Cinebench: 2305
3DMark 2006: 2706

Noisy keyboard

advent monza e1 detail

When it comes to usability, the Advent is a mixed bag. While the wide isolated-style keyboard is suitably responsive and functions well, it is not very well fixed to the chassis and bounces a lot when typing. This makes it a noisy board to use and we quickly found the rattle of the keys both distracting and ultimately annoying.

The touchpad fares better and proves accurate and responsive to use. It’s not quite as large as we’d have liked, but it is fine for quickly navigating the screen. The mouse buttons are slightly less functional and you have to press at quite specific points for them to register, which can get a little frustrating when trying to work quickly.

Where the Advent really stands out is its fantastic storage. The 640GB hard drive offers a truly staggering amount of space for such an affordable laptop and is only bettered by the Lenovo B570.

The built-in DVD rewriter lets you save files to DVD and CD and create your own music, video and photo discs. A 4-in-1 media card reader is also in place for quickly sharing files from your digital camera and smartphone. Located at the front of the chassis, it is easy to access and supports the most common media card formats.

While the gorgeous screen, fantastic storage and eye-catching design make the Monza E1 a decent entry-level laptop for those on a budget, the poor performance, flawed usability and awful battery life are just too prominent to ignore. There are far better laptops you can buy at this price and so the Advent is very hard to recommend.

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Review: Rock Xtreme 768

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Review: Rock Xtreme 768

To consider the Rock Xtreme 786 a routinely luggable laptop would be to would risk months in traction. It weighs in at nearly four kilos and offers a 17.3-inch LCD display which is great for gamers and movie lovers.

Better, therefore, to think of the Xtreme 786 as transportable rather than portable. The sort of one-piece rig that’s perfect to take to university at the beginning of term or to haul to a friend’s house for a special occasion. Just don’t imagine you’ll be whipping it out for five minutes fragging on the tube.

Of course, Rock isn’t entirely responsible for the Xtreme 786’s gargantuanism. The chassis hails from a maker of white label laptops, which have been re-branded by Rock, and packed with some seriously powerful components.

As tested, the headline specification is very impressive. Intel’s Core i7 2630QM CPU is responsible for general computing duties. And very fit for purpose it is, thanks to four cores, and an appetite to tear holes in computational conundrums. This will handle anything you can throw at it, multitasking with ease.

Next up is Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 485M mobile GPU, complete with 2GB of memory. It’s pretty much the same chip as the supposedly new GeForce GTX 580M, so in raw performance terms it’s about as good as it currently gets in laptop graphics.

TechRadar Labs

tech labs

Battery Eater ’05: 62 minutes
Cinebench: 16495
3DMark 2006: 17946

Rounding out the digital paraphernalia is a pair of conventional 500GB hard disks, 6GB of system memory which results in an extremely responsive system. There’s also a pair of USB 3.0 ports and a Blu-ray drive, which really help to future proof this machine.

Active 3D

What really marks the Xtreme 786 from other gaming getups is support for Nvidia’s stereoscopic 3D Vision gubbins. That includes an IR emitter built into the chassis and a pair of 3D Vision active-shutter goggles in USB, rather than wireless trim. Combined with the large, 1080p LCD panel, the result is a gaming spectacle that pretty much defines what is currently possible with a mobile(ish) machine.

OK, the big LCD screen relies on older ‘TN’ technology, which in real terms means that it’s miles behind the Sony F Series in terms of colour saturation and contrast. It’s still a nice panel, which looks pin sharp, and serves the stereoscopic 3D remit with fast response times.

How much of an attraction 3D Vision is, on the other hand, is down to personal preference. We’re not convinced by any stereoscopic tech that requires the wearing of glasses. The Nvidia 3D Vision itself works well enough, even with the most demanding games thanks to the ample performance of the GTX 485M graphics card.

The Rock Xtreme 786 is a powerful gaming machine, and a good buy for all gamers who are interested in 3D fragging. However, we still feel that the excellent Sony VAIO F Series is a better bet for everyday users.

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