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Samsung S34E790C Glossy Black 34
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Wide, curved, sexy... Wide format good for productivity, curved display does contribute to immersion and does not detract from "orthogonal" things like Excel/Visio/Photo work. Also looks fantastic standing on a desk from any angle. Physically, the most aesthetically pleasing non-TV display I have ever seen, much less owned.

Cons: Color quality and Price; next to a 'prosumer' display, gradients can be choppy, dark colors become soupy, saturated colors over/understated, and calibration options are adequate at best... Make no mistake, for gaming/movies/productivity, this is good, if not great color. Of course, anyone who really needs color reference already knows this isn't the right model. Also, for same price, many other options available - bigger "4k" models, better-color QHD models, cheaper (if flatter) WQHD models... [-1 egg for color]

Other Thoughts: With a 670, can push most current games to a very nice playability with some eye candy enabled. Witcher 3, running AA and most everything at "medium" or "high," but not the hair stuff. Wolfenstein Old Blood and FC4 is gorgeous and running like a top... As for color, anything daylight or bright is vibrant and engaging, but darks (like Skyrim's dark caves) get washed out though. Note some games don't natively support WQHD, and some don't work on it at all... Getting into this format will present some challenges if you either don't have the graphics muscle (I feel the 670 is a V6 family sedan here; potent but not exhilarating), OR you play a bunch of older stuff, you'll have a hard time falling in love with this.

If you want to communicate, "My workstation is sexy technology," or think "I play a bunch of FPS/Racing games and have good horsepower," then this is worth a look. It's pretty sweet, and even the wife shows it off.

If you're thinking, "Is WQHD right for me?" or "Wow, that 37" QHD/4k display is pretty awesome, should I do that instead?" Or, perhaps, "With $1000, I could eat for six months!" Well, then I would seriously consider the other more mainstream options...

Last thing - I decided a while ago to never skimp on a display for any daily-use computer; I have never regretted it.

Corsair Gaming K70 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - Cherry MX Red Switches
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

4 out of 5 eggs Careful what you wish for! 09/29/2014

This review is from: Corsair Gaming K70 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - Cherry MX Red Switches

Pros: Solid build, expected features, quality of switch options, customizability (of colors)... You're getting what you expect to get.

Cons: Advertises 16.8m colors, but color banding is sometimes very obvious... They Cherry Red keys are not as quiet as you might think, and the blues are downright obnoxious (note, tested another keyboard with blues, not this model).

All things equal, I'd take another look at the browns if they were in stock, but the reds have a nice sensitivity to them.

Other Thoughts: Coming from a wireless keyboard, the cable is a beast. Would have been nice to have a couple of plug options to integrate with desk layouts (i.e., if you have something directly behind the keyboard, you don't now). USB pass-through would be beautiful, but it's not there...

Going into USB 3.0 was no issue. Software is really not hard if you watch a video or two. Surface-mounted switches bleed a lot of light. I may try to find some little rubber gaskets to cover switch bases at some point.

Now the question is what do I really do with all of this color power? I don't normally look at the keyboard while I'm using it, and creating a set of program-specific shortcuts is an exercise in tedium (creative tedium, yes...) And while it's kind of cool as a conversation piece, it's only such when lighting is right AND when your PC is on AND when folks are walking around it... And even then, you're having a conversation about a keyboard.

In short, it works as advertised, no quality issues, but I'd like to see a couple more generations of design adjustments. Happy with the purchase, but can't say it's changed my life...

ASUS UX301LA-XH72T Ultrabook Intel Core i7 4558U (2.8GHz) 8GB Memory 512GB SSD Intel Iris Graphics 5100 Shared memory 13.3
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: (In order of what I was looking for): Dual 256GB SSD, solid mobile processor, sturdy and well-built chassis, adequate graphics muscle, dead sexy. Performed as-advertised out of the box (no pixel issues, no defects, etc.) My wife even thinks the box is sexy, and it is... But I would have preferred $20 off the cost for brown cardboard :)

Cons: Limited hardware upgrade paths down the road... Compared to similar Dell models, the Asus support for cracking open the case is zero. Zilch. Dell tells you how to do it with handy diagrams, and will probably loan you a screwdriver... Something to consider, and the only reason I docked an egg.

Fan noise while taxing the system is non-zero, but certainly not poor. "Normal" workloads = silent, even with active cooling enabled in power mgmt.

Minor gripe is the glass-like finish on the cover... It's basically a blue mirror, and you'll be polishing it often to keep it sexy (it hurts to be beautiful).

Other Thoughts: First thing I did (after checking HW of course) was break RAID to set up a dual 8.1/8.1 boot... Thus, I can have a work and a personal laptop in one body; BitLocker segregates the two quite nicely for security/privacy. This was an essential feature for me, even though I could have done the same on a single SSD.

For work, it performs wonderfully; plenty of processor and screen real estate; MS office is effectively instant, WiFi is fast, blah blah. The specs are up there.

For personal (i.e. gaming), the 5100 is... pretty good. It's better that older Intel chips, and you can run CivV/Diablo3/Skyrim at _native resolution_ but at the cost of scaling waaay back on the eye candy, or drop resolution for some bells and whistles... All in all, a reasonable mobile gaming experience short of a "real" gaming laptop. The high pixel density compensates for resolution drops, so you end up with an perfectly adequate gaming experience.

Still playing with battery - CivV at the best settings I could get good rates on lasted a touch over an hour... Keep in mind it's pegging the graphics and working over the CPU. Crazy Excel experiments (10,000,000 RANDBETWEENs) put the RAM and HD to work, but the battery looked much stronger doing so... I couldn't seem to reasonably peg the processor, which is good. As I sit on an idle desktop with "vanilla" 8.1pro/64, it tells me 94% will last 8.5 hrs. Regardless, there's no option to swap it, so if this starts hurting I'll come back and say so. But so far, it's fine.

Asus driver availability is good (brand loyalty here), fresh Windows auto-detects and installs most drivers except for the chipset and keyboard backlight (I think), but no issues resolving there. Note Intel will require you to use Asus' 5100 graphics driver, so you won't always be able to get the very-latest...

All in all, this is a strong 4 eggs (even 5) so long as you can live without the potential long-term upgrade path. My target lifespan for this is three years for work, then I'll start tinkering... Or, by then, maybe I'll have saved up another $2k...(Or, maybe by then Dell will start putting Alienware in traditional Dell cases, so I can still look professional and rock an M780...)


Nicholas W.'s Profile

Display Name: Nicholas W.

Date Joined: 03/02/09

  • Reviews: 9
  • Helpfulness: 6
  • First Review: 04/04/10
  • Last Review: 05/24/15
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