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Incredible value for the money
This review is from: GIGABYTE Laptop Q2556N-CF1 Intel Core i7 4700MQ (2.40 GHz) 8 GB Memory 1 TB HDD NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M 15.6" Windows 8.1
Pros: Full-HD screen (1920x1080). Great colors. Excellent KB feel. Normal KB layout; all the keys are in the expected places. Comes with 8GB RAM/1TB 7200rpm HD. Has a 2nd mSATA slot for a mSATA SSD. Best of both worlds! Boot from a small and fast, inexpensive SSD, save all files/media to the huge 1TB HD. Adding in the expense of the mSATA drive and the Windows 7 license (see Cons), you're still under "Ultrabook" prices and have a laptop that outperforms them with a "normal" operating system. This laptop is incredibly easy to service. Two screws and the bottom cover slides right off. You can access the HD/RAM/Wireless/mSATA drive in literally just seconds. Build quality is very good. Webcam is good. Benchmarks can vary widely, so no point in posting here. But suffice to say you've got a 2.4GHz i7 with hyperthreading, 8GB RAM and a GT740M. Throw in a mSATA to run the OS off and you have a little beast of a laptop.
Cons: Could've come with a BluRay reader for the money. Battery life is so-so, but expected with an i7 CPU and dGPU. Did NOT come with Windows 7 as advertised. Came with Windows 8. No product license key sticker either, so you're stuck with the factory software load. I had to buy a Windows7 pro license key in order to load Windows7.
Other Thoughts: This laptop is a rebadged Clevo W650SH; this is a good thing. Clevo is the OEM for Gigabyte and many other big-name manufacturers. I did a lot of research before purchasing this laptop. I spec'd out this exact laptop at a couple of the online "boutique" places and couldn't come within $250 of what I built this for (including W7 and a 128GB mSATA). Having to buy a W7 license was an unexpected expense that ticked me off. But this is such a great laptop that in the big picture, it doesn't matter. Definitely worth noting about the OS though.
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