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This review is from: Sharp LC-32LE551U 32" Class 1080p 60Hz LED HDTV
Pros: Very nice looking, with a narrow bezel and a bright, gorgeous LCD screen. The menu has a full complement of display adjustments for color temperature, size and position, and the like. The built-in sound is crisp and powerful--at 75% on the adjustment control I get a very comfortable listening level in my living room. There are also built in bass, treble and EQ controls, although they blank out in some AV modes like 'movie'. Unlike a lot of TVs in this price range, you can play back movies as well as photos and music via USB. The OTA HDTV receiver seems to do a good job at bringing in most of the OTA channels I can get around these parts.
Cons: I use this primarily as an OTA HDTV, and the OTA menus are lacking. There is no signal strength indicator in any of the menus, which makes tuning an antenna difficult. There is also a paucity of information on the info popup overlay using the 'Display' button on the remote. Basically, all you get is channel number, the resolution (1080i, 480p, etc.), the program title, and the start and stop times of the program. You also get a few mode indications for CC, AV Mode, etc. The two big items that are missing are the extended description of the program, and the current time. Hence, you'd better have a smartphone or tablet nearby with an OTA TV guide app and a clock, because all this HDTV will tell you when you tune channel 13.1, for example, is 'El Loco' is on between 8:00PM and 10:00PM. I took off one star because this HDTV has the least informative channel pop-up of any HDTV I have ever seen.
If you actually want to use the USB port on this HDTV, and you mount it in a standard TV way (like in a cubby or against the wall) you're going to need a USB extension cable to actually get to the USB port, as all the I/O connections are located around a 'bezel' near the middle-rear of the device.
Other Thoughts: Don't lose the remote. There is only one button on the display itself--a power button on the back near the right edge, which is basically useless because it's hard to reach. All of the adjustments, input selections, and so forth are done through the remote.
The 'Freeze' button on the remote is fun to play with once or twice, but this isn't a DVR--why is it there???
No manual comes with the HDTV. You have to download it and print it yourself. I don't consider this a 'con' these days, as I prefer to have electronic versions anyway, but it might annoy some folks.
Pros: This is a light, inexpensive notebook great for taking Linux on the road. I typically run Gentoo, but as this notebook only has a 1.1G dual-core processor I decided to forgo the pain of continuous compilation and installed the LTS Linux Mint 13 KDE 32-bit edition instead. I used a USB DVD reader with a downloaded Mint ISO and a wired connection to my network, and the installation proceeded without a hitch. After Mint was installed I was able to ditch the wired connection and ran on the WiFi connection instead.
Austin H. has a good review that matches my experience, so I'm not going to repeat it, other than to note that the backlight actually does work (see the Cons.) Like him, I removed the internal hard drive and installed an SSD instead. Removing the bottom of the case is easy (pop off the battery, take out one screw, and slide the cover), as is removing and replacing the drive. There are some good videos on youtube showing the process.
Cons: On the one hand, it's great that the manufacturers are beginning to support Linux by providing notebooks without the Windows tax. On the other hand, one can barely call the Linpus OS 'support'. It's obvious that this is still a Windows notebook with Windows simply stripped out. In particular, the BIOS is a bare-bones affair crafted to fulfill the minimum needs of Windows and only vaguely hewing to the official BIOS specifications, such as they are. The result is that it takes more effort and twiddling then it should to get everything to 'just work'. I'm still awaiting the day when Linux is treated as a first-class citizen by the hardware manufacturers and not some begrudged stepchild.
- the display backlight does work. However, to make it function I had to edit the grub2 file '/etc/default/grub' and add 'acpi_backlight=vendor' to the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX= line and reboot. The backlight keys then work. They are a bit slow and jumpy, but sufficient.
- the SD card reader doesn't work. As of this review, this appears to be a regression/bug in the Broadcom BCM57765 driver related to power management. There's a kernel patch floating around out there, but I wasn't sufficiently interested to apply it, as I don't have much use for the slot myself.
- like most laptops/notebooks, the touchpad is a pain when typing. Whenever possible I prefer a mouse, and Fn-F7 works fine to toggle the touchpad on and off.
- No USB3.
Other Thoughts: Please don't buy this expecting a plug-n-play device. You have to have enough skill to install a real Linux distribution. It's not difficult, but if you don't understand what I just wrote, buy something else.
As Austin H. said, I wish more of the hardware manufacturers (and Newegg) sold systems like this. However, I also wish they would do a better job of tailoring those machines for Linux, both by adhering better to hardware/firmware standards and by not reserving the better hardware for Windows devices. (For example, why does the Windows version of this model get the touchscreen and the USB3 ports?)
This review is from: LG USB 2.0 Super-Multi Portable DVD Rewriter with M-DISC Model GP50NB40
Pros: I bought this to use in conjunction with an Acer Linux notebook. For a test, I plugged it into my desktop Gentoo/KDE system, which recognized it instantly. I tried dvdbackup on a CD-R video I had previously recorded on my desktop DVD burner, and it read the whole disk without issues. I then burned a few ISO images with the K3B program to some CD+R disks I had lying around. They passed the verify check, and K3B reported an estimated write speed of 7.84x; fairly close to the advertised 8X speed.
Cons: Like all slim portable DVDs it's mechanically frail with the drive door extended--treat it gently. The provided USB cord is exactly 23" long so this drive will have to reside close to a USB A socket.
Other Thoughts: I bought this device primarily for its M-Disc capability, which I'll test later when the disks arrive. This device will join my 3-1/2" USB external floppy drive in my collection of hardware intended to fight off long-term obsolesence by the manufacturers of 'permanant' storage solutions.READ FULL REVIEW
Display Name: Robert J.
Date Joined: 10/06/04
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