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Motorola F3 Unlocked GSM Bar Phone with Speaker Phone
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

4 out of 5 eggs An excellent (but simple) phone 12/14/2008

This review is from: Motorola F3 Unlocked GSM Bar Phone with Speaker Phone

Pros: Cheap, cheap, cheap! The phone is also unlocked and does not have your standard backlighting that most cell phones have. The phone is very slim and almost too light for my taste. Cool "epaper-like" display (but read the Cons).

No camera, no MMS support, can't play MP3s or videos, can't browse the internet, nor connect to WAPs. It's just a phone, and yes, some people are utilitarian and don't see their phone as a personal accessory or physical extension of their myspace page.

Cons: I'd have preferred to pay an extra few bucks for a longer lasting (and heavier) battery.

The screen only supports 2 lines of 6 characters, calculator-style. It is NOT a pixelated LCD. This makes reading text messages/address book entries...painful. Arguably, this is a feature, as it keeps the costs and power consumption quite low.

Other Thoughts: If Motorola offers a new model of this phone with a more capable display (keep the epaper-like feel, but improve the "resolution" to something more usable) at a slightly higher price-point (say an extra $10) I would absolutely buy it. If you just want a phone to be a phone (and some text messaging) this is a great buy - if I had kids, this is the phone they'd get (cheap enough not to care if it's lost/broken/stolen).

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ASUS M3A78-EMH HDMI <GREEN> AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

3 out of 5 eggs HDMI Disappointment 06/18/2008

This review is from: ASUS M3A78-EMH HDMI <GREEN> AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

Pros: Fairly cheap. Hybrid graphics (great if you like ATI, useless otherwise), with HDMI out. uATX form factor puts a lot of goodies in a small package. The onboard video is actually decent for casual gaming.

Cons: HDMI output is terrible! After installing Vista x64 and the supplied ATI drivers, I was unable to get an even moderate quality picture - it refuses to do 1080p "full screen" and after overscanning, looks worse. To add insult to injury, video stops working when I switch inputs (just get a black screen!). My desktop (via DVI->HDMI cable), Mac Mini (VGA!), PS3 and 360 all work/look flawless. I'm very disappointed (I coughed up for a Vista license expecting to use Vista's Media Center) and will not purchase anything AMD/ATI in the foreseeable future.

Other Thoughts: I bought this to be a low power file server with video playback on my HDTV capabilities. Idling, the system uses less than 60 watts, so it's a decent file server. I realize the cause of my HDMI problems might be with my TV, but I don't have anyway to test this (updated beta drivers and drivers from AMD's site didn't change anything) and seeing as all my other gear works flawlessly (even the Mac Mini via VGA, ?!?) the blame falls on this board.

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Intel BOXD945GCLF Intel Atom processor 230 Intel 945GC Mini ITX Motherboard/CPU Combo
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

5 out of 5 eggs Excellent low power board 06/17/2008

This review is from: Intel BOXD945GCLF Intel Atom processor 230 Intel 945GC Mini ITX Motherboard/CPU Combo

Pros: Extremely low power and low heat, near silent operation, full featured motherboard. The BIOS is simple, minimal, and straightforward (but see Cons).

The CPU is 64-bit (finally!) and has HyperThreading to improve the efficiency of it's execution units, a wise move given the processors low-end computational power and the maturity of software at the OS level to handle HyperThreading efficiently.

The video supports 2048x1536@75Hz, but I haven't yet had a chance to try on my HDTV to see if it does 1080p nicely.

Cons: The BIOS is arguably too simple - it would be nice to have greater control over such things as disk speed etc to improve compatibility with CompactFlash cards.

The Realtek RTL8102EL chipset is not supported by FreeBSD and has issues with Ubuntu 8.04. Only one Ethernet port. More importantly, this chip is 10/100, not gigabit, which is disappointing (but not crippling!). I'd give $5 for a good network chipset wither low CPU utilization.

Other Thoughts: Despite it's minor shortcomings, this is a great (and cheap!) alternative to some of the VIA C7 boards, although it is too underpowered to be an effective HTPC.

I'd like to start seeing 4 SATA ports on these boards to do software RAID5 with, even though it would be costly on the CPU. Don't let the lack of gige stop you from buying this board; high efficiency processors don't have the CPU power required to get even remotely close to gige speeds anyways. Still, I'd have preferred they include it since the cost has to be negligible.

I'd also like to see these come with 2 DIMMs, although there clearly isn't enough room on board to put the second DIMM. Would be nice to have a second Ethernet port as well; then it'd be great in home router setups.

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Timothy B.'s Profile

Display Name: Timothy B.

Date Joined: 07/31/02

  • Reviews: 14
  • Helpfulness: 10
  • First Review: 12/27/06
  • Last Review: 12/14/08
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