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Pros: Price - I got a refurb for about 2x the cost of the OS. Unit has a lot of great hardware features I'm hoping iOS Maverick or Ubuntu will take advantage of. Decent battery life, great display.
Cons: First problem: Windows 8. Not sure if W8 is the core of the problem or Dell built a really underpowered unit, but it's a dog. I hate using this unit because of the interface and the lousy, horrible, hair tearing response time. I'm back on Newegg shopping for a memory upgrade from 8 to 16 and an SSD. I'm guessing it's mostly W8. The trackpad is nice, but it's location and size mean you hit it unintentionally quite often which is frustrating, so I shut it off. The USB ports are located in terrible positions on the right, with one often getting mistaken for the ethernet port and the other interfering with a right hand mouse. The left's are better, but that side is crowded so that wider connectors interfere with each other. Where to locate a headphone jack is always problematic. Mic and speaker tech is not up to Apple standards, but tolerable. For $400, not a bad pick, but you're not getting a graceful machine here. You're going to need a bigger case to carry it (as with any 17, this is just a reminder).
Other Thoughts: Windows 8 is the worst virus to be found in the wild since Windows Vista, and quite possibly is worse than the dread virus Windows Bob. I'll repost once I get the OS issues straightened out.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: Cellevo Portable Lithium Polymer Battery 13500 mAh with LCD Digital Display - Black
Pros: Fantastic duration, slick looks, simple interface, quick charge.
Cons: Charging logic broke a few months after purchase. Now it holds all the charge, but won't charge the phone for more than 10 seconds at a time.
Other Thoughts: I don't know if my case is unusual or not. A friend has used one for a long time with no problems. I'll probably order another, since nobody compares for battery size. If the other one holds up, I'll take this one apart and cannibalize the batteries for a robot or something. I'll also update the rating to a higher egg count.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: Rosewill RHB-620 (RIUH-11002) 4-Port USB 3.0 Hub
Pros: inexpensive. nifty blue lights.
Cons: flaky. unreliable. slow. avoid. Device worked okay for a few weeks, then became unreliable, and finally refused to work at all. No magic smoke, so not sure what the issue is, but at this point, it's filed for recycling.
Other Thoughts: At this point, it's difficult to say how much of the trouble we've had with this device is Rosewill's fault as opposed to a problem with the motherboard or OS. USB3 is just not well implemented across the board and is flaky on a variety of hardware under a variety of circumstances, so two stars instead of only one. Assuming it didn't break burn up, what went wrong? At $25 or so, it's not worth figuring out, but we won't buy this model again.READ FULL REVIEW