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This review is from: Tek Republic TUH-200 USB 3.0 + USB 2.0 4-Port Hub
Pros: Small, simple, cheap
Cons: Not a powered hub
Other Thoughts: I got this for sticking all of the little nubs for my wireless keyboards and mice into (I have three of them) for my laptop, so that they didn't occupy most of my USB ports. It works very well for that purpose, and it's easy to tuck into the same pouch as the mouse when I pack the laptop up (I just leave the nubs in it).
It is not a powered hub, and when I tried plugging it into the 2.1 amp "supercharger" port on my laptop with some high-drain USB devices plugged in (an external HDD and a couple of high-power WiFi units) it got extremely warm and the devices behaved erratically, probably the wires inside are too small for drawing that much current. Not an issue for the keyboard/mice nubs (they draw less than 0.1 amp each), but something to avoid.
Since that isn't something you're supposed to even try with unpowered USB hubs, I'm not dinging it for that.
This review is from: MSI GT Series Dragon Edition GT70 Dominator Dragon-1886 Gaming Laptop 4th Generation Intel Core i7 4810MQ (2.80 GHz) 8 GB Memory 1 TB HDD NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M 3 GB GDDR5 17.3" Windows 8.1 64-Bit
Pros: High Performance, Lower Price, Very Pretty.
Cons: Errors in Newegg specifications
Other Thoughts: Unboxing this, my first thoughts, in order, were "Whoa, big," "Ooof, heavy," and "Oh, shiny."
It's a very big and heavy laptop, as you'd expect for a 17.3" "Gaming Laptop". The build quality seems very good, everything fits together well and there are no rough or unfinished edges. The aluminum portions are well finished, the laser-engraved dragons on the lid and wrist-rest are subtle, barely visible unless the light catches them. The Steelseries keyboard lights are another nice effect.
The only real complaint I had was that the default video card is the internal Intel HD chipset, which has less than 1/6 the performance of the 870m. That's more of a Windows issue, although an option in the MSI setup to set the NVidia as the default would have been nice. You can set this in NVidia Control Panel -> Manage 3D Settings -> Global Settings -> Preferred Graphics Processor.
Once I had everything tweaked to my liking, I ran some benchmarks on it, and it was awesome. It runs like a dream, powered through Passmark with great scores (3850 3D score, comparable to a Radeon 7970 or NVidia GeForce GTX 750 Ti). The only source of underperformance is the drive, the HDD does well for a magnetic media device but it just can't compare to SSD's. There is a bay for mounting an additional hard drive/SSD, but reaching it requires breaking the warranty voiding sticker. There are also two 204-pin memory slots on the easily reached side of the mobo (same caveat), the 8gb stick that comes with it is in one of the two slots that the keyboard must be removed to reach.
It's big and heavy, intended as a semi-portable desktop replacement rather than a true laptop computer. I have it on a Cooler Master X-Slim pad (big but nearly silent fan), this seems to keep it from getting very hot (the fan noise rises to barely audible, way below the noise of the max cooling setting on the hotbar).
The included MSI branded utilities seemed functional enough, but I have stripped most of them out of the installation to maximize performance and reduce memory footprint. The backpack is decent enough, but not solid enough build or stitching quality that I'd want to trust the safety of the laptop to it. I got the Rosewill backpack with the steel reinforcing cable for actually carrying this around. I also got an MSI branded mousepad and mouse as a Newegg gift, both are decent quality, the mouse seems close to an older-design Razer Nemesis and I'll keep it for a backup, the mousepad is better than I expected and I'll probably keep using it.
Overall, I couldn't be happier, for what I spent ($1450) this is a hell of a lot of horsepower. Did I mention it's pretty? The extra $50 for this over the Dominator-895 (otherwise identical) was worth it to me, but others may not agree. At any rate, a good laptop at a good price, equalling competitors costing $500+ more.
Pros: Reliable, run for 20-30 hours from one pair of NiMH batteries
Cons: Not very sturdy, would probably break if pulled on or the battery pack dangled.
Other Thoughts: Bought these as a nightlight for my 5 year old. The blinking would drive me nuts, but she loves them. They blink through the available colors (as shown) independantly, with roughly 20 color changes per second, and a pair of Rayovac NiMH AA's lasts for 2-3 nights as long as she remembers to turn them off in the morning.
Makes just enough light to navigate her room (I have them mounted on "Command" hooks) as long as the blinking doesn't give you a seizure.
You could probably convert them to plug-in if you had a 3V wall wart and basic electronics skills, I have one but haven't been bothered enough by swapping batteries to actually do it yet.
Display Name: Robert R.
Date Joined: 11/14/07
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