Involvement:Expert (understands the inner workings) - Ownership:1 day to 1 week
The price is competitive and the unit comes with an extension cord and driver cd.
Build quality is "unpolished" (some sharp edges, not so neat finishing, etc) but very sturdy.
After a bit of tinkering it -mostly- does what it should do.
As confirmed by Prolific, the PL-2303 chip is not an original, but a copy. This means you won't be able to use the latest official Prolific or Microsoft certified drivers for Windows XP, Vista and 7, otherwise you will just be met by a yellow exclamation mark in your list of devices.
Use the drivers on the cd, or one of the older versions many other reviewers have already posted.
Unfortunately, I didn't manage to get it to work on all machines I tried it on, nor with all programs and hardware I would like it to work with.
My wholly unscientific test gave a success rate of about 65%.
This device uses a discontinued version of the PL-2303 chip, the HX(A). It won't have any immediate impact on most people, but Prolific (the designers of the original chip) have this to say: "Windows 8 is NOT supported in PL-2303HXA and PL-2303X EOL (End-of-Life) chip versions."
It's a good product, but as with so many devices with a bit of built-in 'intelligence', it might take a few tries to get it working.
No guaranteed success: it all depends on a bit of luck, the OS, the software and hardware you use it with -- and on your patience.
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