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This review is from: Saeco RI9755/47 Odea Giro Plus Titanium Automatic espresso machine
Pros: Makes good coffee. I got it on a killer sale and I expect it will have paid for itself in a year - previously I bought coffee from a gas station or coffee house at least once per day. Not because I was traveling in most cases - I just didn't take the time to use my French press. This is the solution I needed to make coffee quickly but at low cost per cup.
Cons: Runs out of water pretty fast, even more so with the optional filter installed inside the tank. Not an issue for personal use; it only takes a few seconds to refill. But I wouldn't use it for constant production in a restaurant or anything.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: TRENDnet TEG-S5g 10/100/1000Mbps Gigabit GREENnet Switch
Pros: The low power usage claims are true. At least, compared to the switch I replaced. I had a functionally similar 5-port gigabit switch (different brand, and a few years old) in placed, which I measured using between 4.9-5.2 watts. This switch, on the other hand, uses just 1.7 watts, connected to the same devices via the same cables. I have to say, I'm pleased with the drop in power usage. I plan to replace a couple other switches in my home now.
Cons: None, so far. I should point out that I just got this thing yesterday, so obviously I can't make any judegement of reliability or longevity. But still, for what it's worth I have had no problems so far.
Other Thoughts: The switch this one replaced was working fine, however it always did get very warm, and in the back of my mind I wondered about power consumption. So when I saw this TrendNet model go on sale, I decided to do some research. I found others had measured its power consumption, and it was substantially lower than others which were functionally similar (but not sold as low-power). And more to the point, I measured my previous switch with my Kill-A-Watt, and discovered it was substantially higher than what those internet reviews showed for this TrendNet model. So I made the purchase, and I'm happy to report a drop in utilization. It's only a little over 3 watts, but as I said I am going to replace a couple others (which are 8-port units). Provided there are no issues with this unit, I'll likely go for TrendNet's 8-port version.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Good hardware for the price I paid (on sale). Anything else at that price point was a 1.1GHz Celeron or something equally abysmal. Compared to other machines I was seeing at this price, a 2.4GHz i3 is a rocket ship. And certainly fast enough for what I need.
Good keyboard. Not the absolute best - there are some with better click action, and the layout of the arrow keys is questionable. But the click action is still pretty good (and definitely better than my last laptop, which cost twice as much when it was new), and having the separate number pad is great.
Touchpad is excellent. It has the right surface friction, picks up touches without issue, and supports multi-touch scrolling (I imagine this is pretty standard nowadays, but again my last laptop did not have this). Also, it has actual physical left and right-click buttons.
Battery life is good. 5-6 hours with light usage (word processing, web browsing, etc.).
Some bloatware, but nothing difficult to remove. And some of the pre-loaded software is actually useful. For instance, Acer has correctly identified that the procedure for shutting down Windows 8 is stupid, and has loaded a small app (with a launcher shortcut pre-pinned to the taskbar in Desktop mode) which, when launched, displays buttons for shut down, restart, log off, and the like. It takes a second or two to launch, but is still faster and less cumbersome than the normal Windows 8 shutdown procedure.
HDMI, combined with a button which turns off the built-in display (or at least, turns off the backlight). For my use case, 90% of which is watching Netflix in hotel rooms, this means I can hook up to the hotel TV and use it for Netflix's video and audio, and turn off the laptop display (no need to have it on in this scenario, all it would do is light up the room). It is, once again, something my previous machine couldn't do, and fits my needs perfectly.
Decent HDD and RAM for the price. However, there are easily accessible RAM and HDD slots if you decide otherwise.
Bigger battery than most others at its price point.
Cons: It isn't the most premium-feeling device in the world. The plastic has some flex to it, and you can tell it's inexpensive. Some people might not like this, although for my purposes it has no practical impact.
Other Thoughts: My old laptop was a 1.8GHz Core 2 Duo machine with a GeForce 8400M. It primarily ran Linux, and during its life, I had upgraded the RAM (to 4GB), HDD (a WD Scorpio black), the wifi card (an Intel 3945ABG, which had better Linux drivers available than the bult-in card). So it wasn't really hurting for performance. But it developed a problem I couldn't resolve, and I had to replace it.
Unlike when I bought that machine, these days I don't really run any modern games on my laptop. Nowadays a laptop is just a Netflix and web browsing machine for when I'm traveling. So I mostly wanted something cheap, without going so cheap that what I got would be pathetically slow. I was keeping an eye out for the best machine I could get for not much money, and when this one went on sale it seemed to be the best option. So far, I do not regret the purchase at all.