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Pros: Same basic design as the original Sensei, LEDs, programmable buttons and profiles via Steelseries Engine. Braided USB, rubberized coating feels good - just enough slip vs grip. Price point more attractive at ~$60. Tracking is pretty close to as solid as the original. Supported by SSE3.x. Mouse wheel silent, feels good.
Cons: None really, good value for the price point
Other Thoughts: Overall weight is lighter, but that's a personal issue - I liked the heavier weight of the original Sensei better. Click seems a little loud, but that's a minor thing. Original Sensei was dying after ~ 1.5 years in use, but part of the issue is also due to SSE 2.x's mounting annoyances with Windows (disconnects, software fails) vs SSE3.x (Original Sensei isn't supported by 3.x). Have not had these issues at all with SSE 3.x so far.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: - Dual-fan thermal dissipation design
- Thin bezels, very light for a performance laptop
- Customizable keyboard backlighting via SSE
- Intel HD 4600 / GeForce GTX 850M good performance balance
- Full HD screen
- 2nd uSATA bay for 2nd HD
- Decent ports (USB, HDMI, SD, audio)
Cons: - No optical drive (easily circumvented with a USB external drive though)
- PITA back panel / ram/HD access (this cost it an egg)
- no eSATA ports
- No included SSD
Other Thoughts: Ports are all on the sides, nothing on the back (this is a personal gripe though, I prefer ports be on the back so you have more room on the sides). Warranty sticker states you'll lose it if you open the back panel (which you'll end up breaking some tabs the first time), but US customers can do so w/o voiding warranty provided the included parts are intact; you can modify ram / HD, replace the battery if you need to. Getting at HD isn't too bad, but you have to take the mobo out of the chassis to get to the RAM, which was a bad design choice. If you're using Windows 8.1, having Hyper-V installed will bork nVidia functionality, so until there's a fix for it, you can neither use Hyper-V nor a driver newer than 333.02 as of this writing. That's more likely an nVidia issue than an MSI issue though, so no eggs taken away for that.
All in all, I'm happy with this at $1250 after applicable discounts; would have been nice to have 2 full SATA bays, but that's the tradeoff for the thin bezel and relatively low weight. I'd recommend either getting one of the slightly better units with an SSD or pulling out the included one and installing one yourself (I use a Samsung 840 Evo). You'll get twice the performance as opposed to the included 7200 rpm SATA III drive.
Pros: - Works with practically any machine via dual-mode USB
- Easy to set up and use
- Aluminum case is attractive and stands up to light abuse
- Modular cable allows for easier storage / deployment
- Read / Write speeds are fine
Cons: - It could be cheaper?
Other Thoughts: Comes with some standard burning software in case you don't have a more feature-filled suite already. Would have been nice to have BD-ROM reading functionality for the price, but still a good value as is.READ FULL REVIEW
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