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Pros: Great value. Getting a sleek looking, fairly light, fairly good battery power (~5hrs with decent settings) ultrabook with a 14" screen and a i5 for this price seems like stealing. Rips through everyday tasks like nothing. Didn't come with too much bloat. Easy to use processor throttling software.
SSD makes waking up from sleep such a pleasant experience. 2 seconds and I'm back online. NOTE: I had some trouble waking up from sleep sometimes, and discovered that Windows 8 power settings default is to turn the Hard Disks off after 20mins. Kinda defeats the purpose of an SSD if you ask me. Change this setting and your life will be much improved.
Overall a very solid laptop with excellent everyday usability. The con's area will seem a lot more full than the pros, but I expect perfection out of my big purchases, which this laptop does not really reach.
No wireless issues that some had noticed when this model came out. Looks like Lenovo fixed them.
The blue color is nowhere near as intense as the picture makes it seem, which is a pro for me. Much more muted, matte-metallic looking.
Cons: Some aspects of the build quality are a bit concerning. The shell is solid aluminum which is great, but the chiclet keyboard is mounted in what feels like a flimsy plastic inlay. I'm not sure how this will hold up down the line, honestly. As someone who likes their keyboards nice and snappy with no squish, this keyboard is definitely not my favorite.
I'm also taking a while to get used to the home key placement (directly to the right of the backspace key) which I hit on accident more that I like.
Numerous online reviews noted how mediocre the display is, which I've noticed as well. Colors are less vibrant than they should be, but this is a mid-low end Lenovo, what do you expect? I'm also partial to matte screens, and this screen is very shiny, making glare and reflections an issue almost anywhere except in dark coffee shops.
I've noticed that there are keyboard marks on the screen when I open up the laptop. This means that the keyboard is rubbing against the screen when you close the laptop (!). Get a soft cloth or something to put in between the two or you will have a very sad screen very soon.
I'm also used to using a trackpad that can detect more than two finger gestures, which this laptop CAN'T. Seems like evidence for skimping to save on build cost. Another issue I have with the trackpad is the lack of tactile feedback when your finger is over one of the buttons. There is a line painted to show you where the buttons start, but I've right clicked instead of left clicked way too often. As a note, the ENTIRE pad clicks when you press down. So the whole pad is a left click, and the bottom right is the only right click area.
Lack of a HDMI to VGA converter means I have to spend an extra $30 to give presentations in conventional classrooms.
Other Thoughts: This is the first laptop I've purchased since a tiny 10" 1.6GHz Intel Atom ultrabook I got back in early 2009. It's a huge upgrade in many ways for me, so if you're looking for a review from someone with a little more experience current tech you'll have to look elsewhere.
If you're looking for an upgrade from a laptop you bought ~4 years ago and don't have a lot of cash to spend, look no further. This is a great product, despite the cons I outlined.
Windows 8 is... strange. I don't get it. I boot to desktop and I only see the metro interface when I need to change a setting sometimes. Get classic shell and improve your experience 10000x.
I have not tried any video-intensive things on the computer yet.
This review is from: SIIG IC-710012-S2 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Interface SoundWave
Pros: Noticeable improvement over on-board audio; deeper bass, clearer high tones in music; gaming is amazing; haven't watched a whole movie, but clips have been awesome; intuitive interface
Cons: Not to sure what some of the inputs on the actual card were for; the instruction booklet was clear on the rear inputs, but not the ones only accessible from within the case. Card works fine without any plugged in though...
Manual doesn't clearly define any of the "features" in the interface ("bass enhancement" seems to do the opposite?)
Other Thoughts: Using Logitech X-540 5.1 surround speakers. Cons are quite nitpicky for this priced card, a great investment and great results. Haven't heard of SIIG before this purchase, so I was a little leery, but after hearing the card my doubts have been done away with.
Bought Monday, arrived Thursday. Thanks NewEgg!