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Hisense Sero 7 PRO M470BSA 7.0
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: +Price
+Accurate touch screen
+High quality screen w/ good viewing angles
+Auto adjust brightness with a sensor
+Two cameras
+Stereo speakers
+HDMI out
+Up to 32 GB SD card
+Can be easily rooted
+Tegra 3 CPU and GPU quite powerful even for 2014
+Insanely good battery life thanks to a 5th core
+GPS
+Bluetooth
+NFC
+Flash which can be used as flashlight
+7" screen size is perfect for portability

Cons: -This version of Android does not support BT controllers

(That is literally the only thing that I don't like)

Other Thoughts: My first tablet was the Ipad 2 which is the standard that I compare all other tablets to. Before the Sero 7 pro, I bought the Sero 7 LT. It looks a lot like the pro but it is nothing like it at all in terms of functionality. The LT has a much slower dual core CPU although the GPU in it rivals that of the Tegra 3 when gaming. Other than the GPU, the LT is inferior in every way. It has a battery that drains in about 3 hours when used even lightly and if left off the charger when idle, it drains completely in less than a day. It has an intermittent touch screen with poor viewing angles and a lower resolution. It lacks several features such as bluetooth, GPS, a rear camera, NFC and stereo speakers.

Compared to the ipad2, the Pro is faster and has almost all the same features save for screen size and internal storage. It also has several features that the ipad 2 does not such as HDMI out, SD card and flash. The Pro only has 8 GB of storage but only about 5 GB is usable since the OS and pre-loaded apps are on it. If you root this tablet, you can use a little $5 or so app called "Folder Mount" which allows you to transfer any app in its entirety to the SD card. I am currently using a $12 Samsung Evo 32GB micro SD card which completely saturates USB 2.0 speeds and the apps on it run very quick and smooth off it. Also thanks to rooting, I installed an app called "System App Remover" which allowed me to remove all the Hisense and Google bloatware on the tablet which freed up space for me to install apps that I actually use. I also didn't like the fact that the soft keys took up space on the bottom, but again thanks to rooting and the app "Auto Hide Soft Keys", the soft key bar disappears making the screen fuller. To enable the bar, one simply has to swipe up near the bottom. And, finally, I did not like the standard Sero 7 launcher which is cluttered and littered with advertisements. You can easily install a different launcher (no rooting needed) and since I am used to the ipad 2, I chose "One Launcher +" which looks exactly like iOS 8 and functions exactly like it complete with the lock screen and sub folders. Stock and unmodified, this tablet is a decent one for the price and functions quite well. Rooted and modified with everything I did to it, this is easily the best sub-$100 tablet out there and rivals tablets 2x to 3x its price. If the Sero 8 Pro is as good as this, I will definitely be upgrading to that when it comes out on newegg before I consider a new ipad.

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SAMSUNG 840 EVO MZ-7TE120BW 2.5
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggs This is probably the most recommended SSD model, and for good reason 12/23/2014

This review is from: SAMSUNG 840 EVO MZ-7TE120BW 2.5" 120GB SATA III TLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Pros: +Samsung & everything that comes with that such as quality & reliability
+Mid-high end enthusiast product for entry level price
+Magician software and Data Migration software makes cloning your data from your old HDD or SSD and setting it up beyond simple and fool-proof

Cons: -Un-proven TLC NAND vs MLC which is used in the Samsung Pro and most other brand's SSDs
-No SATA cable, 2.5" to 3.5" adapter bracket or mounting bolts

Other Thoughts: This is the 4th SSD I have purchased, two of the other ones are also Samsungs, an 830 (128 GB) and 840 (240 GB) both the 'vanilla' versions. I have used many freeware drive cloning apps and Data Migration is simpler and faster than any of them. The only problem: you can only use it on Samsung SSDs. The best part about it is that it only copies the used data and ignores the blank space. If your drive isn't full, this will significantly cut down the time it takes and makes going from a larger drive to a smaller drive much simpler. The included Magician software is also very simple and almost automates the setup process after you clone it and get it booted up the first time. If you are switching over from a spin HDD OS drive, Magician will automatically optimize all the necessary Windows settings to extend the life of the SSD such as turning off defragmenting and indexing among other things. It will also allow you to create a power profile specific for an SSD PC, check if there are any firmware updates and install them all in the same application. I did mention that one of the cons was the unproven TLC tech used in the EVO series as well as the vanilla 840. Recently, some EVO owners have complained of an issue where data that has been stored on the drive for long periods of time without being accessed become extremely slow when finally accessed. There is a special application that Samsung released which is supposed to fix this issue but it isn't included on the DVD since it has only been discovered recently (search for "EVO Performance Restoration Software"). The app can be downloaded from the Samsung 840 EVO driver and support site. It is highly recommended that you DL this fix as well as update to the latest firmware. The only reason I mention this is because there is still some uncertainty surrounding the reliability of TLC while MLC is a proven tech (since it is, of course, older). For average users, though, installing the latest updates, drivers and the fix should be enough to keep it running at close to its rated specs. As for my 830 and 840, I have yet to have any issue with them nearly 2 years later for the 830 and 1.5 years for the 840.

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HP 350 G1 (G4S61UT#ABA) Notebook Intel Core i3 4005U (1.7GHz) 4GB Memory 500GB HDD Intel HD Graphics 4400 15.6
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: +Price
+4th Gen Haswell i3
+Brand new for refurb. price
+Full keyboard w/ number pad on right
+Speakers on on top not bottom
+Comes with DVD R/W
+Windows Pro edition
+Ability to choose between Win 7 and Win 8.1
+Quiet operation
+Built in Bluetooth
+VGA & HDMI out
+HD 4400 GPU is pretty good for an iGPU
+RAM upgradeable to 8GB

Cons: -1366x768 resolution
-Poor viewing angle
-Only 4GB RAM
-No CPU turbo boost
-500 GB "spin" HDD
-HD 4400 is only pretty good for a modern GPU in general
-Keyboard not back lit
-Not the best touch pad, doesn't click but does all the standard swiping gestures like two finger scroll, two finger tap for right mouse button, etc.

Other Thoughts: If you are looking at the differences between this model and the 350 G1 with the i5 4210u, you might notice that the CPU is the only major one. The only difference between a mobile i3 and mobile i5 is that the i3 does not have turbo boost. The i3 and i5 are almost identical in every other way including being a dual core with hyperthreading (4 thread CPU), 3 MB cache size, 15W TDP, etc. One minor difference is that the i5 has a 50 MHz higher GPU clock speed. In Single threaded apps, the i5 would be much faster since it can boost to 2.7 GHz while the i3 will stay at 1.7 GHz all the time. In light multi-tasking apps, though, the i3 will give you almost the same performance as the i5. Right now, the difference between the two laptops is about $60. If that isn't a big deal, then the i5 is probably the better choice. But, that $60 would be better spent on a 120GB SSD which would significantly boost the overall performance; which is what I did. The Samsung 840 EVO was about $70 so I got one and it made it much faster. Overall, this is a great laptop for office or school work especially if you need Windows 7/8 Pro. If you minus the price of Windows Pro, which is about $130, this machine only costs about $220 (bought on Black Fri. Week) which is a bargain. As for play, this is not the laptop for PC gaming, or at least serious gaming. The HD 4400 could probably give you decent FPS in 720p but some of the newest games will most likely not even pass 10 FPS on it due to the weak dual core CPU and HD 4400. For Office or school use, I give it a 5 out of 5. For gaming or any heavy rendering or editing work, it is more like a 1 out of 5. If you have no need for the optical drive other than installing Windows and the occasional driver or hard copy application, then the best thing to do is buy a ODD drive tray that allows you to use the 500 GB HDD as a secondary and a mSATA to USB adapter that allows you to still use the ODD when needed without having to remove the HDD tray.

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James M.'s Profile

Display Name: James M.

Date Joined: 09/24/12

Achievements:

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  • Reviews: 66
  • Helpfulness: 34
  • First Review: 10/27/12
  • Last Review: 01/09/15
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