PowerA DualShock 4 Controller Charging Station for PlayStation 4

I had a Nyko drop-in charging cradle for my Xbox 360 controllers for a couple of years and always loved the convenience of being able to leave the controllers in the cradle when not in use and have them available with a full charge at any time.

Alas, the relatively short battery life compared to rechargable AAs eventually made me give up a little convenience for the much longer battery life.

I never saw any need for something of this nature with my PS3 controllers, as their 30-hours on a charge battery life made charging the battery a once a week at most affair.

The 4-hour charge of the Dualshock 4 is a different story. An easy to use daily charging solution was needed.

For awhile I used a 4-port USB hub located on the table next to my seating area, but the frequent use of the micro-USB port worried me when it came to the frequent charging required of this generation of controller.

I looked at the various cradle types of chargers and found most had a feature that wasn't to my liking.

Storing a controller upside down connected to micro-USB port on the top struck me as possibly too stressful on the port, with the port seemingly supporting the entire weight of the controller and had the same frequent insertion and removal of the USB cable as a potential problem.

Perhaps this isn't an issue and I'm worrying where it isn't warranted,but the upside down positioning also seemed . . . inelegant.

The Nyko drop in charger appealed due to its familiarity with a product I liked a lot, but the dongle constantly attached to the USB port looked ungainly and caused fear of putting undue stress on the port.

The PowerA port seemed to be what I was looking for. It uses the sturdier port on the bottom of the controller, the spring-loaded design allows for easy alignment without close inspection, the controllers are stored in a more attractive (to me) upright position, and it has the drop-in functionality of my old Nyko without the dongle.

It works just as I hoped. Installation was easy - plug the adapter into the outlet, the micro-USB cord attached to it into the port on the bottom of the cradle, and thread the cord through the channel built into the side for that purpose.

The separate components area nice touch. Lose the cord and you can substitute any micro-USB cord to replace it. Lose or damage the cradle and the cord will still function to charge the controller directly.

Use is simple. Drop the controller into the cradle, press straight down until it clicks. The flashing light on the controller itself tells you the charging status (flashing yellow - charging; off - charged), so there is no need for lights on the charger itself.

One last note - the Dual Shock 4 comes with a lithium battery. Unlike older rechargabley nickel cadmium batteries, lithium batteries don't become "conditioned" by frequent charging and don't have a "memory".

There's no need to periodically drain them completely to refresh the battery. It's perfectly safe to recharge them after every session and leave them plugged in (cradle down position) all the time, as the controller has a built in voltage regulator that turns off the charger when the battery is full.

The spring loaded design is there to ensure that the controllers are aligned properly when seating them, not for storing without connecting to the charging port.

There is no danger to storing your controllers plugged in (cradle down position) all the time, or to "topping off" the charge after a relatively short charging session.

You do not have to drain the battery between charges, and shouldn't drain it completely. Lithium Ion Batteries are fundamentally different from the nickel cadmium batteries of some early smartphones, which would be damaged if left in the charger every night.

This is not the case with any modern device with an internal battery, almost all of which now use lithium batteries. It can actually be harmful to fully drain them every session and they should be charged as soon as the "low charge" warning comes up rather than waiting for the controller to shut off completely. And to reiterate - there is no harm to charging your Dualshock 4 every day, topping it off, or leaving it plugged in all the time. None of this causes a lithium battery any damage or shortens its lifespan.

There is a misconception regarding frequent charging shortening the lifespan of a battery due to frequent charge cycles.
A "charge cycle" isn't every time you charge your battery, it's a full charge from an empty battery, or with some devices, from the point at which you get the "low battery" warning, usually at 15-20%. Thus, draining a battery halfway and recharging it is half a charge cycle.

Store your lithium battery devices on their chargers while you're not using them. It does them no harm, doesn't shorten battery life, and you always have a full charge.

Also note that if you use NIMH rechargably AA batteries, such as with a 360 or Xbox One controller, go ahead and empty those suckers completely between charges. Different technology, different usage.

DualShock 4 Wireless Controller for PlayStation 4 - Jet Black

First of all, there is no such thing as a perfect game controller.

As soon as you optimize things for one type of game and/or one type of player it will be suboptimal for other types of games or players.

I have been playing video games since 1977 and have played or owned almost every game system since the Atari VCS 2600. I have used the stock controllers, many aftermarket controllers, and even made and played a few custom controllers and in the few hours since my Dualshock 4 arrived I have held it in my hands, (carefully) opened it and looked at the fabulous internal design, and used it with my PS3.

In my short time with it and mentally comparing it to everything else I can honestly say that this is the best, most comfortable joypad so far (the Valve Steam controller is in Beta still, so it will be awhile before this promising looking device is out).

Second, I am not, repeat NOT a fanboy (O.K. I was one in the past, first Atari, then Nintendo, and even championed the ill fated Dreamcast for a bit) and even prefer the X-Box controllers for some games.

It was not about placement of the d-pad and left thumbstick, but more that I have big hands and the Dualshock always felt too small for me, the handles too short and the thumbsticks too close together.

I did get used to it and liked everything else about it. Thankfully, the Dualshock 4 fixes these problems.

Even putting aside the light bar, touch pad, and speaker (all of which I am looking forward to seeing implemented in interesting and innovative ways) the Dualshock 4 is the most changed, most improved controller since the original Dualshock improved on the original Playstation controller (edit: actually, thinking further back, the SNES controller was a HUGE improvement over the NES controller; which often caused hands to cramp and bruised thumbs, leading to the term "Nintendo Thumb").

In fact, the most interesting change is that "Dualshock 4" appears nowhere on the controller (I guess there was no good place to put the name).

I did take a few pictures if the internals while I had it open and will post some in customer images (there are only 4 #0 Phillips head screws, but there are 4 snaps/catches holding it closed, 2 in front between the thumbsticks and 1 on each side about 1 inch from the shoulder buttons, making it not too hard to open). I may post an update once I've actually used it with my PS4 for awhile.

Netgear High Speed DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem (CM400-1AZNAS)

I was recently given the opportunity to test and evaluate Netgear’s CM400-1AZNAS DOCIS 3.0 Cable Modem.* after putting the equipment through its paces, I’ve jotted down a number of thoughts:

Packaging – Non-descript brown box with an egg crate-like tray to hold the modem, feet, power cube and cord, shielded ethernet cable, installation manual, and notices. Decidedly no frills but it works.

Physical description and Build Quality – This thing is tiny! It’s significantly smaller than the current Time Warner Cable box we have. The Netgear modem is smaller than a Blu-Ray case and about an inch thick. As far as ports, it’s a very simple affair with a coaxial jack, power port, and ethernet port. The only physical button is the reset button on the rear. On the front you have a number of indicator lights for power, uplink, downlink, internet, and ethernet. Overall, the unit has decent build quality.

Setup – If you’re on Xfinity, setup is a breeze. You don’t even need to contact them to activate your new modem. Set it up as you would normally; input your credentials and you’re good to go! If, however, you’re with another ISP, you may have to get in touch with the company to activate. Setup will also be a little more complicated if you have phone service. With TWC, you’ll still have to keep your phone modem to maintain voice service.

Performance – It was on par with the modem we leased through TWC. We saw about the same speeds as before. It should be noted that we’re on a lower tier of speed so any differences due to equipment would be minimal at best. Since this modem is DOCIS 3.0 compatible with 8 downsteam and 4 upstream channels, the maximum supported speed is ~300 megabits – perfect capability for most home users.

Miscellaneous – At about $70 on Amazon, I think this would be a great buy for most people. Considering that most ISPs lease their cable modems to their customers for $5-10 a month, purchasing a modem will pay for itself in around a year. It’s always nice to save a bit of money every month. If you’re a voice user also, these savings may not be realized as you’ll have to keep your phone modem around.

The CM400-100NAS was The Wirecutter’s runner-up selection for best cable modem and was only passed over due to fewer ISP compatibilities than their current pick.

The documentation provided with the CM400-1AZNAS shows that the modem is compatible with Xfinity/ Comcast, Cablevision, Charter, Cox, Optimum, and Time Warner Cable. I have not been able to find more documentation as to other ISPs the modem may or may not be compatible with.

I would definitely recommend this product to other users because of its low price, ease of use, performance, and that most of my friends on cable use one of the compatible ISPs.

Arris SURFboard SB6121 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem (Certified Refurbished)

The box says refurbished, but looks new to me. Came with protective plastic on the front bezel, instructions, cable, power adapter.

Best of all, it fired right up and Comcast cable had no problem provisioning it. What else can I say. I works like it was supposed to work.

If you are not familiar with cable modems, here are a few things you should know before you lay out your money for one.

This type modem is NOT a ROUTER, you will need one if you want any kind of firewall at all between the outside world and your computer.

You may also want an Ethernet hub because this modem has only one Ethernet port on the back which is meant to go from the box to your computer and that is it.

Since most households now have Smart TV, Smart Phones, Smart Refrigerators etc these devices all require a wireless internet link. This cable modem does not provide any wireless link. That is something you must furnish as well.

I have my cable modem hooked up directly to a wireless router. Then I have one Ethernet port on the router connected to an Ethernet hub to connect other computers to the network known as hard wired. The wireless router takes care of all the wireless devices in the household.

Is it worth it? Yes!

Why pay 10 bucks plus tax or more a month to rent this same equipment from your cable provider when you can buy it and have it pay for itself in six months time? That part is a no brainer.

What if it breaks? will my cable company fix it? No. When was the last time remember a cable modem broke, outside of a house fire or other disaster? If it breaks, you buy a new one and have it delivered to your home in two days or less by Amazon.

The good news is, whenever there is an update from your cable system, your modem will receive the update, because it is the same equipment most cable companies provide.

You should check with your local cable company to be certain it is on their list of compatible equipment. This one IS listed with Comcast cable.

I do recommend this type of cable modem over any others that have wireless internet built into them because the wireless internet they provide is normally substandard in comparison to what you can purchase here on Amazon.

Any name brand wireless router is good, like Asus, Netgear, Belkin, or Linksys and they all have Ethernet ports on the back.

Motorola Surfboard SB5100 Cable Modem

I got this cable modem for my folks a short while ago rather than have them continue to pay a monthly rental fee to Comcast.

I chose the Motorola 5100 based on the reputation of Motorola, the price (although it wasn't as good as this Amazon price), and the technology.

Installation was easy with a quick start guide as well as a full manual (on cd). For the price, you can't beat it. It has the latest technology- DOCSIS 2.0 but is backward compatible with the older standards DOCSIS 1.0 and 1.1 used by mostly all cable internet providers. (Please be sure to check with your cable internet provider first before buying any modem to make sure they support the DOCSIS standard and modem you are considering buying.)

The Motorola has both USB and Ethernet connections so you can directly hook up 2 computers without having to buy extra networking hardware.

Another nice feature is the STANDBY button at the top which you can use to temporarily cut off the internet. Also, it is relatively compact (roughly 6"H x 2"W x 6"D), so it won't take over your valuable desk space.

Performance-wise, I can't say I noticed much of a difference from their old modem but cable bandwith can be variable depending on the number of users in the neighborhood. At least it wasn't any slower.

Based on all this, I figured why buy a modem with older technology for more $$ that probably can't be upgraded when you can have the latest and greatest now for cheaper- a rare combination.

Review Linksys Advanced DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem

After a great deal of research for my circumstances, this specific cable modem is my best available option as a "supported device" with Comcast, my Internet Service Provider (ISP).

Amazon Prime offered a competitive price (since increased). The order arrived on time along with another Amazon order placed later that arrived a day early.

If you are a basic internet service consumer, you probably are not shopping for a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem. If you want the best "bang for your buck" and need fast internet access say for video on demand or online gaming, read on.

Bottom line, this Cisco DPC3800-CC cable modem works on my Comcast service. It does not operate at DOCSIS 3.0 speeds.

My quantifiable thru put is now more than doubled by replacing a leased DOCSIS 2 cable modem with this DOCSIS 3 modem.
The pay back is 12.2 months by eliminating the Comcast modem lease. My disappointment rests with Comcast, not this product. Here is why.

While the FCC wants US ISPs to make 100 million bits per second (100 Mbps) download speed our national standard by 2020, we are FAR from that standard in 2012.

A cable internet provider that implements the full feature set of the cable industry's DOCSIS 3.0 standard could meet the FCC objective. But my service provider is not even close and has no incentive to do so.

All we can do, as consumers footing the bill, is to be informed (search "DOCSIS 3.0") and purchase products that will work if the service level is provided.

You need to understand that there are three variables to your quality of internet service:

1) cooperative manufacturer / service provider relationships to assure proper "provisioning" or the `hand shake' between the hardware and the ISP;

2) an ISP willing to implement a supportive infrastructure; and

3) the ISP service level and equipment you select to pay for. I chose the Cisco DPC3008-CC to address factors 1 and 3 and understand that Comcast is not now providing adequate service to my location to achieve service levels this cable modem is designed to provide.

In other words, I cannot downgrade the DPC3008 device rating due to my ISP, service factor 2!

I moved from NW FL to SW Florida a few months ago in 2012. With the same hardware (a DOCSIS 2 Scientific Atlanta cable modem), different cable providers (Cox & Comcast) I had 2x faster thru put with Cox cable than I now have with Comcast with the same modem.

A personal visit to Comcast's local service office confirmed yesterday that my location is not receiving the highest speeds Comcast offers here.

In contrast, I received better than advertised thru put from Cox (try 32 Mbps with the same DOCSIS 2 device!).

The installation was simple. The CD based user guides are not clear. Yes, you can just attach the new cable modem to your cable without wasting time to call technical support, assuming your cable internet is operable.

Keep your working cable modem until you set up your new one. As per the user guide, simply connect the new modem and power it up.

Observe the lights to confirm the new modem on your cable initiated your ISP's automatic provisioning. Now, direct connect your computer to the modem, power cycle the modem and open your browser.

You eventually will see a screen that requests your account number and registered phone number, maybe the last 4 digits of your SSNO.

After a reset, I was good to go. The last install step is to then connect your wired / wireless local area network. You can do this within 30 minutes.

After testing that, I drove to Comcast, turned in the leased cable modem and challenged their service level to no avail.

I will edit this review later if I experience any issue specific to the Cisco DPC3008-CC. I conclude that the negative reviews here are from inexperienced users or perhaps a firmware or provisioning issue now corrected by Comcast and Cisco.

After 24 hours, it is still working and never rebooted. If a user does not properly "provision" the new modem with the ISP, it will exhibit the reboot symptom complained about here.

I deduce that the Comcast recommended speed test site (Speedtest.net) is optimized for my local Comcast service since its measured speeds with two different cable modems were nearly twice that of a different site (Speakeasy.net).

Within 24 hours, I ran 4 tests of the two different sites. With Speedtest.net, my download / upload average speeds were 15.4 / 6.2 Mbit/sec with the DOCIS 2 device versus 28.4 /5.3 with the Cisco DOCSIS DPC3800. With Speakeasy.net, the averages were 7.0 / 6.0 before versus 28.4 / 4.0 with the Cisco modem.

Clearly, the Cisco DPC3008 DOCSIS 3 cable modem performed better than a Scientific Atlanta DOCSIS 2 cable modem. Is the expected DOCSIS 3 speed attained? NO. If you read all the above, you understand that I hold Comcast accountable, not this device from Cisco.

Am I obtaining the DOCSIS 3 benefit of 8/4 dynamic channel bonding? There is no way to tell, except my speed test suggest NO. I do not now know if that is hardware or an ISP issue.

Yes I am receiving the DOCSIS 3.0 benefits of IPv6 and a gigabit Ethernet port. Yes, the setup was easy.

I chose the Cisco DPC3008 primarily due to its DOCSIS 3.0 certification and its acceptance as an approved device by Comcast.

Comcast has few DOCSIS 3.0 devices on its approval list that are still marketed by the manufacturer for consumer purchase with the 8 / 4 channel bonding and IPv6 features of DOCSIS 3.

The newer Cisco DPC3010 and newer devices from several manufactures are not yet approved so I stuck with the older DPC3008. Why Comcast seems to need 4 years to certify a device, six years after DOCSIS 3 is defined is unfathomable.

Cisco seems to have gone the extra mile to assure its device is acceptable to Comcast, factor 1 above. This specific cable modem is my best available option today and it works.

9/21/2012: Most recent speed test is 36.2 / 5.2 Mbps. My Netgear wireless router died after only two years so I substituted a Cisco unmanaged switch for trial.

This resulted in frequent outages of the DPC3008. I mention this trial it may be possible that reviewers who complain about disconnects are not direct connecting to the DPC3088 with one device or connecting a router / Ethernet hub to connect multiple devices.

The unmanaged switch is not designed for this. Cisco's "documentation" is not even clear or helpful about how to connect anything but a PC!

With a router or with only a single PC connected, the DPC3008 has been "rock solid" since my initial installation.

I learned that I am not in a prime Comcast area so "Blast" is not available to me yet I had no difficulty installing / provisioning the DPC3008 to replace the rental cable modem.

I regret that the Cisco device does not confirm channel binding status. I therefore cannot tell if my fractional speeds versus advertised speeds are poor signal, bad provisioning by Comcast or simply Comcast throttling the speeds.

Last, a few report poor speeds while many report easy installation with 2 to 3 times the former speed.

Aside from a defective unit, if you are using Comcast and not obtaining reasonable speed, your DPC3008 may not be correctly provisioned (Comcast's handshake with your device).

If you are as inpatient with phone support as I am, it is faster to simply take the DPC3008 and box to Comcast customer service to ensure it is set up for you.

Review Netgear DOCSIS 3.0 High Speed Cable Modem

If you are looking to ditch the monthly charge of renting a modem from your ISP, or simply to get higher performance, this Netgear modem is currently the best option out there.

I'm a software engineer, gamer, and consume all my video content through the webso I live through the internet.

Why this Netgear modem?

A few months ago I picked up an Arris SURFboard SBG6580 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem/ Wi-Fi N Router, after previously having success with Arris modems.

I liked the idea of an all in one combo, and since the SBG6580 was dual-band I figured it should work great. It didn't.

The short version of the story is I spent the next 6 weeks with terrible internet issues, which I thought was mostly Comcast's fault (after previous experiences) disconnects, download speeds of around 1Mbps, upload speeds of .5Mbps (despite paying for 50Mbps down and 5Mbps up)and then it would work perfectly for 3 minutes. Super frustrating.

After extensive research it appears the SBG6580 wireless was the issue (extreme unreliability).

I moved and decided to start over again building my network. After a bunch of research I ditched the Arris and picked up this Netgear modem.

It had great reviews, was a bit future-proofed (16 download channels!!), and came in at a reasonable price. Setup was amazingly easy.

As a Comcast customer I didn't even need to call in to activate the modem (thank cosmos!); it was all done through a web interface.

I paired this modem with a TP-LINK Archer C5 AC1200 Dual Band Wireless, and the performance is outstanding! I currently pay for 50Mbps down and 5Mbps up, and what I'm actually getting with this new setup is around 90Mbps down, and 10Mbps upway over what I actually pay for!

Additionally, in 3 weeks of use I haven't had to reset my modem once, have had 0 disconnects, and generally an amazing experience.

Want speed and reliability? Buy this modem! GLHF!