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Apple MD103LL/A 2.3 GHz 15.4
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

5 out of 5 eggs Phenomenal Machine 01/03/2013

This review is from: Apple MD103LL/A 2.3 GHz 15.4" MacBook Pro (New 2012 Model)

Pros: As others have said, the build quality on this is second to none. I have owned many laptops over the last two years from many manufacturers (I work in IT, so I get deals on these things all the time) and after having owned HP, Dell, Sony, Acer, and Toshiba of all varying prices and form-factors, the build quality of the Mac keeps me coming back.

I'm probably in the minority for people who buy this as I bought it primarily to use as a PC. For Windows 7, the computer is flawless. For me, it is a thin, light, well-crafted machine that plays every game I throw at it. The Kepler-based 650M, despite having only 512MB vRAM, performs with aplomb. Haven't had a single issue with any game. Borderlands 2 is stunning on this computer. Crysis 2 looks incredible.

For someone of my skill level, upgrading the memory was a non-issue and I immediately purchased an 8GB kit of low-voltage Samsung DDR3-1600. Low-voltage is critical in this machine if you want to maintain your battery life.

This is the best trackpad in the business. So many others have tried to come to close, but none have succeeded. Using the trackpad on this computer will redefine the way you think about how the other manufacturers put their machines together.

This machine is just stupid powerful considering the form-factor. Other manufacturers are lightyears behind. Razer Blade is the only one that comes close, and it is plagued by issues.

Cons: Windows 8 support is non-existent. Some people have had success, but not I. First I could not get the trackpad to work. Once I did after several hours, I discovered the machine would not properly enter standby. Oh well. Windows 7 works for me. Don't expect Windows 8 to work on this without some major tweaking.

Otherwise, like all Macs, this does get hot. I do not recommend playing games with it on your lap. However, it has never shut down or throttled in my experience. The cooling solution is adequate.

Other Thoughts: Skyfox had a great review, but it should be mentioned that this machine DOES have a quad-core i7. The specific CPU is the 3615qm running at 2.3GHz. Very powerful.

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Acer Aspire AS5755G-6841 Notebook Intel Core i5 2450M (2.50GHz) 4GB Memory 500GB HDD NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M 15.6
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: The power in this price range and size package is just astounding. I bought this to serve as a low-cost, high-mobility gaming machine and it fits the bill wonderfully. In terms of gaming, it has exceeded all my expectations. So far it's played SWTOR, Skyrim, and Mass Effect (all three!) at MAX settings; and it's completely playable (30-60 fps give or take). At this price your silly NOT to buy this thing. So far the Optimus works well, I reinstalled windows with my own HDD and disc using the latest nVidia drivers and I haven't had a single issue regarding the graphics switching. I get between 3 and 4 hours of battery life just doing internet surfing and the like. Very good. Most of the time this thing remains room temperature with the fan not even spinning because these components are so power efficient. Only gets warm during gaming. At that point its on a table so no matter to me! The build quality at this price point is excellent, and the keyboard and trackpad are awesome!

Cons: Well, the screen. I knew this going into it. It's just a low-res, standard HD LED panel. Nothing too special. Games and movies look acceptable, while Windows would benefit most from the increased resolution. Oh well. Other than that, not too much.

Other Thoughts: I have a Momentus XT 500GB with 6GB of ram in mine and the darn thing practically flies off the table! It's almost everything I want in a laptop at half the price I was expecting to pay. Go Acer!

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HP ProBook 4520s (XT988UT#ABA) Notebook Intel Core i3 380M (2.53GHz) 2GB Memory 320GB HDD Intel HD Graphics 15.6
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Very cool looking computer. This is a very good, solid, workhorse. The i3 processor, despite being the low-end of the core i series, absolutely flies. Much, much, faster than many of the Core 2 Duos you still see in some laptops. The chip also runs pretty cool, and the fan rarely spins up. The keyboard is also amazing, it's one of the best keyboards I've had the pleasure to type on. The screen, while it lacks resolution, proves to be good enough for many tasks, and is much more vibrant than some of the earlier low-end LED backlit screens. The horizontal viewing angle is spectacular, almost as good as the S-IPS display in my HP workstation screen. However, the vertical viewing angle is terrible, and the ideal angle is narrow at best. Even the graphics in the computer are alright, the HD 3000 graphics are a huge step up for Intel.

Cons: The trackpad. As far as I can tell there is no hardware combination to turn it off on the keyboard, so instead I have to go through the software to turn it off when I use it with a mouse. The screen could use a few more pixels, but that's not too big of a deal. Battery life could be better, I only get about 2 hours of normal use on it.

Other Thoughts: Overall, this is a very decent machine, and for the price newegg is selling it it s a steal. Luckily I had 4GB of memory left over from another laptop that got an 8GB upgrade so the 2GB this came with was immediately swapped out, and the 32 bit OS reinstalled with a 64 bit flavor. And another note about the graphics, I can actually play many of my Steam games at full-res with low-medium settings. This is impressive as can be for Intel graphics. I am thoroughly satisfied with this laptop.

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Winston C.'s Profile

Display Name: Winston C.

Date Joined: 09/05/05

  • Reviews: 7
  • Helpfulness: 6
  • First Review: 08/01/09
  • Last Review: 01/03/13
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