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Sony VAIO Pro SVP1321GGXBI 13.3
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: Light weight, touch screen

Cons: Unreliable

Other Thoughts: After trying out the Win8 ultrabook in the store, I was impressed that it seemed very usable and was truly ultra light with a great screen resolution. My previous Vaio notebook was only a couple years old, but I decided the higher screen resolution and light weight were worth the upgrade.

My first problem was dropping network connections frequently. After a long call with support, they confirmed that an update had been released to the wireless driver several weeks before my laptop had been shipped. I understand why they may not be able to update the image they use for the laptops, but not even notifying me of this known problem is terrible customer service. Unfortunately, that was only the first of many problems, and coincidentally the only one that was solvable.

Next thing I found was that the laptop was waking up. I do windows administration part time, so I understand the various reasons windows wakes up. On this laptop, even though the device settings are adjusted to prevent the laptop from waking up, it still wakes up. What's worse, on reboot the laptop loses the device manager settings which are supposed to prevent it from waking up. After months of troubleshooting, I have finally sent my computer in for repair.

The brighness adjustment stops working after a couple of wake/sleep cycles. If you think for a minute about the wide variety of lighting conditions in which you have to use a laptop, you quickly realize how frustrating this is. In a bright room, it gets stuck so low that you can't read the display. At night, it remains so bright it's blinding. It's a toss-up as to where the brightness gets stuck. The workaround? Reboot which makes it work for a short time.

Closing the lid often causes the computer to crash, losing work in progress.

Letting the computer sit idle, whether plugged in or on battery causes the computer to shut down, regardless of what the power settings are. Again--losing work in progress.

Screen does not always come back on after closing the lid, which means another forced restart losing any work in progress.

Since the 8.1 upgrade, copy/past keyboard shortcuts work intermittently. It now usually takes 2 or 3 attempts at control-c to make a copy.

This computer has never worked properly and I have never been able to use it. Sony's answer is to send the computer in for repair. I could understand that if at one point the computer worked, but IT NEVER HAS. I am so frustrated I have asked for a refund but they have refused. Sony asked that I send the computer in for repairs, which I did. They reimaged the hard drive and updated the BIOS and upon receiving the computer back I found that the sleep setting is still reset after reboot. They obviously did not even test the computer before sending it back to me. I am continuing to ask for a refund, but I am preparing for the worst (legal action against Sony based on computer lemon laws).

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Synology DS1512+ Diskless System High Performance NAS Server Scales up to 15 Drives for SMB Users
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: less than 1 day

Pros: * Relatively compact for 5 drives
* Synology Hybrid Raid
* Light weight (without disks)
* Quick setup
* Very quiet
* Fast/responsive UI

Cons: * The drive bays are very light-weight/fragile plastic, although I hope that I hardly ever have to touch them.

Other Thoughts: Upgrading from a QNAP TS-409 Pro. I'm very impressed with the DSM firmware so far--very easy to use. I scanned the manual but really didn't need any instructions to do the setup and start building the SHR array. One factor in the choice of this unit was expandability with the optional external drive chassis, though there aren't a lot of reviews on how well that works...so here's hoping. The other reviews pretty well cover the pros, so I'll stop here and update if I have any other findings that would detract from the 5 egg review.

Installed 5 x ST4000DM000 4TB drives using SHR with 2 disk fault tolerance for a total capacity of 10.4 actual TB.

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LIAN LI PC-A04B Black Aluminum MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

3 out of 5 eggs Not very ergonomic 01/10/2013

This review is from: LIAN LI PC-A04B Black Aluminum MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case

Pros: Lightweight, No-screw optical drive mounting

Cons: Many small screws to remove front bezel. Front air filters inaccessible without removing front bezel

Other Thoughts: True, the case is light-weight, which is a big plus, but in my opinion the CONS far outweight the PROS. I'm surprised this case is so highly rated. I haven't seen so many small screws for case assembly since a bargain basement enclosure I used maybe 15 years ago. There are thumbscrews on the back of the case, but the front bezel and case top are held in place by small screws. It's impossible to access the front air filters without entirely removing the front bezel. Cases that sit on the floor should be cleaned regularly to maintain good airlow. The "front panel" USB and audio jacks are even on the top of this case which indicates the designers knew these cases usually sit on the floor. Yet, it's a minor project to access the air filters. Because of this I'm not using this case--I ordered another to replace it.

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David G.'s Profile

Display Name: David G.

Date Joined: 09/16/03

  • Reviews: 12
  • Helpfulness: 10
  • First Review: 03/18/06
  • Last Review: 12/30/13
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