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Pros: See the specs versus price. Compared to other options out there, this was a fantastic deal at the time of purchase. Overall build quality seems solid when compared to some of the bargain/cheaply-made laptops out there.
Cons: The first laptop arrived in an unmarked, plain box with none of the branding and padding Newegg is known for. New discretion measures? I honestly thought something had happened in shipping, and the crew just tossed it in a plain box, relabeled, and sent it on its way. So, retail box was inside the brown box - no shipping peanuts or airbags. HDD was busted on arrival, making crazy clicking and grinding noises on first boot. After some awesome troubleshooting (sincerely) with Asus, they wanted me to ship it to them [at my expense], or return it to the point of purchase. Newegg RMA'd it with zero hassle whatsoever.
Got the replacement a week later, and sooner than anticipated. Same shipping woes - plain brown box with the retail box inside, and no absolutely no shipping protection. Luckily, this one wasn't DOA. Great!
Fast forward 5 weeks, and the fan is making an ungodly grinding noise. The case has just enough "give" that it's already warping, and the fan rubs unless you press and hold in juussttt the right spot. I'm a few days outside of the RMA/refund window now...
Other Thoughts: No optical drive. Not a big deal in this day and age, but it seems like something that should just be standard on a (full-sized) laptop. No gripes, but something worth noting for someone that didn't think to look before buying. No watching DVDs or burning CDs.
The first (refurbished) Asus I bought is still going strong; used daily. The second, new, has a jumpy trackpad, addressed in a previous review (but otherwise going strong - it's a defect, not drivers/etc). This third one has had two chances, and failed both times for different reasons. For those keeping track, that's only a 25% success rate - with the refurbished one having no issues... go figure.
This review is from: Cooler Master GeminII M4 - CPU Cooler with 4 Direct Contact Heatpipes
Pros: For the price, you get a metal backer plate and mounting brackets for Intel and AMD, decent thermal paste, the awesome cooler/heatsink itself, and a mounted fan. Bought this to replace the stock heatsink for an AMD A8 APU.
It's a little pricier than, say, a Hyper 212 - however, this thing is very compact for those smaller, standard cases. It's roughly the size of a stock heatsink in terms of height. Keeps the APU cool cool COOL, even under heavy testing (Prime95, etc).
Cons: The instructions don't do a very good job instructing. Luckily, I've had past experience with Cooler Master coolers, so I already had an idea what direction to go in. Just recalling my frustration the first time around...
Other Thoughts: The original mounting brackets for the stock heatsink had 2 little plastic nubs that you clamped the heatsink to using metal clips. After about 10 months, one nub snapped, and the heatsink fell off. Fell off... I'll let that sink in. This cooler comes with a metal mounting plate that you literally screw the brackets/cooler to. If you're building a system, and have limited space, GET THIS, and save yourself a headache later. This is totally worth the extra cash.
No problems with my RAM placement and height (2x4GB Crucial Ballistix RAM and ASRock A55M-HVS). People using fancy gaming RAM may have to maneuver some.
Pros: Price. A quad-core A8 from AMD, and Windows 8 with minimal junkware installed - mostly just ASUS stuff. Comes with a good amount of options for the price - USB 3.0, Bluetooth, HDMI out, SD slot, webcam, etc.
Cons: When plugged in, the touchpad is jumpy. Erratic. Right out of the box on first boot. Put your finger on it, stationary, and it dances around. It's completely unusable in any basic functionality, period. Ran updates, uninstalled the drivers, reinstalled, tried basic drivers, messing with sensitivity/speed, fooled around with Smart Gesture, disabled InstantOn (reaching here), tried other AC outlets, etc. No dice.
Unplug the AC power (running on battery), and the touchpad works fine. Not a hiccup whatsoever. Plug it back in, regardless of the battery's presence, and it's jumping all over again. So, just never use it while plugged in or charging?
No issues at all, at any point, with a USB mouse hooked up.
Other Thoughts: "Only" 4GB of RAM. Pretty standard, and enough for most users. Not a negative or anything, but definitely the "lacking" component when compared to the rest of what the system boasts. Only 1 of 2 slots used, so feel free to fill them as your needs require - RAM's cheap these days.
Nobody else seems to have mentioned the touchpad issues specific to what I'm experiencing, so maybe I'm the only one so far. Searching online shows the same exact problem across brands and models. Will see what happens with ASUS support, and still toying with the idea of RMA.
If you don't end up with a bum touchpad, or it doesn't phase you if you do, this is a solid purchase. And for those complaining about Win 8, just throw Classic Shell on there - it's only a "con" if you let it be.
Display Name: Timothy H.
Date Joined: 07/25/05
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