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DELL Inspiron i13Z-3636sLV Notebook Intel Core i3 3227U (1.90GHz) 6GB DDR3 Memory 500GB HDD Intel HD Graphics 4000 13.3
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: less than 1 day

Pros: I was a little nervous because similar (older) models from Dell had bad reviews, mainly about the WiFi. However, I had no such trouble with this model, which replaces the other 13Zs, and is cheaper anyway.

Lightweight, compact, decent battery life (about 3 hours on max brightness, internal speakers set to loud, streaming 720p/1080p YouTube videos on full screen, or about 5 hours on light use at full brightness). The advertised 7 hours is possible on medium brightness, WiFi off, just doing Microsoft Word.

Given the cheap price (I've seen similar models from other brands at around $500+), this is a great deal at the current price.
Speakers can get pretty loud.

Not a lot of bloatware!

Microphone and Webcam are surprisingly decent.

Also, I picked it up using Will Call. Newegg's staff is very friendly and quick.

Cons: Stupidly enough, this thing doesn't have an optical drive, yet Dell gave all of the drivers on a CD... Really? To be fair, though, you'll probably reinstall drivers from the web anyway if you ever needed to.

The 3227U is a little slow, but if you remove the bloatware and disable unnecessary startup programs, this thing is more than fast enough for your basic tasks.

The trackpad honestly sucks. It is small and is high friction, requiring more effort than necessary to scroll around. In addition, the multitouch features seem to go to sleep if you don't use them for a few seconds. Basically, read a paragraph on a web page, then try and scroll with two fingers, and it takes about 1.5 seconds to move. Pretty annoying, and I couldn't find any feature to fix this, and I've installed all the latest drivers.

All of the ports (HDMI, ethernet, USB) have these really annoying flip-up plastic covers that you have to bend out of the way to actually fit a USB cable in there. They will almost certainly break off after a few weeks use (Possibly from me tearing them out from frustration). Did anybody at Dell bother testing this before actually mass producing? Sheesh.

It has this brushed aluminum look, but is actually plastic.

Other Thoughts: In case you care, the Windows 8 Experience Index scores are: Processor: 6.4, Memory: 7.3, Graphics: 5.2, Gaming graphics: 6.4, Hard Disk: 5.9.

Haswell laptops are going to come out soon (the first few already have, but are higher-end models), and those are supposed to have really good battery life. Unless you really need a computer, I recommend you wait a month or two!

Given the price, the cons are really just minor quibbles. I give this a solid 4.5 eggs.

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Acer Aspire TimelineX AS4830T-6642 Notebook Intel Core i5 2410M (2.30GHz) 4GB Memory 640GB HDD Intel HD Graphics 3000 14.0
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: Looks good. The blue trim is unique.

Excellent battery life. Under real-world use (wi-fi on, high screen brightness), gets maybe 6-7 hours.

The 14" form factor has the biggest screen size you can get while still remaining easily portable.

Better multitouch trackpad than all other PC laptops I've tried.

Best specs for the money: Core i5 2410, 4 GB Ram, 640 GB hard drive

Runs very cool! Even when right on your lap. That's the beauty of sandy bridge + side vents.

Decent volume on the speakers.

Webcam provides good image quality.

Pretty lightweight. Carry it comfortably in your backpack.

Cons: Its sibling from Acer, the 3830TG, actually comes with a good graphics card.... I wish they would've put that in here, even if it meant raising the price say $20-30, I still would've bought it.

Annoying glossy screen, but pretty much every laptop has that these days. At least they should provide an option to choose between the two... is that so hard?

No backlit keys; those are actually pretty useful when you're lying in bed browsing before going to sleep

Trackpad is still kinda annoying to use. The multitouch isn't anywhere as smooth or refined as it is on the MacBooks (but then again, those cost way more). But it's still better than those of other PCs.

Feels cheap. It's made completely of plastic.

The microphone is very weak. I can barely hear myself when testing Skype and recording, even after maximizing the settings for the mic. I will have to use my headset's mic, instead.

Bloatware: i just did a reinstall of windows right out of the box

Other Thoughts: I know that's a lot of cons, but the laptop is still overall pretty good; the pros are more meaningful than the cons.

In case you want to do a reinstall, there is a hardware utility on Acer's website that tells you which drivers you need (because, even in this model, the laptops have any of 4 different wireless cards, all with different manfacturers)

WEI scores: 6.9, 5.9, 5.9, 6.2, 5.9

I usually purchase from newegg, but they're not participating in microsoft's buy a PC, get an xbox360 program. I STRONGLY encourage newegg to do that. there's no need to lose sales during the back to school season simply because of avoiding that program. it pains me to buy from anywhere else, seriously...

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Brother HL-2270DW Workgroup Up to 27 ppm Monochrome Wireless Laser Printer with Duplex
  • Owned For: less than 1 day

Pros: Looks good, prints fast, duplex is a neat feature, and wireless. Can find cheap generic toner that works with it.

Cons: Wireless setup sucks. You actually have to get a USB cable (not included) to transfer network settings from your computer to the printer. Even then, it didn't work. It turns out that you need to install the latest firmware update, which fixed the problem. So, as soon as you get this thing, hook it up to your computer, install the driver, update the firmware, then run the wireless setup utility. Only 802.11 b/g. Duplex slows the printer down alot, to the point that instead of printing 2x as fast, it's more like 1.3x faster than just single sheet printing.

Other Thoughts: Future designs should incorporate a mini lcd screen and setup utility ON the printer. even my $40 el-cheapo HP all-in-one has that, and the unit cost of adding such a feature to an already $140 printer would probably be 1 or 2 dollars. Jeezus, it's 2011!

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Ahmad J.'s Profile

Display Name: Ahmad J.

Date Joined: 12/15/05

  • Reviews: 13
  • Helpfulness: 6
  • First Review: 08/02/08
  • Last Review: 06/26/13
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