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Pros: Works for keyboard and mouse
Cons: loses connection with my flash drive.
Other Thoughts: This is replacing a USB 2.0 setup that was identical.
Using this cable off of a powered port on my pc, to a powered hub at my desk, it loses connections with my flash drive. The exact same USB 2.0 setup works, even with the USB 3.0 hub, but not with this cable. disappointed.
This review is from: MSI GS Series GS30 Shadow-001 Gaming Laptop 4th Generation Intel Core i7 4870HQ (2.50GHz) 16GB Memory 256GB SSD Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200 Shared memory 13.3" Windows 8.1 64-Bit Multi-language
Pros: Ok, so I am the proud 3rd owner of this machine in a one month period. Sold new on newegg, then returned, someone bought it open box and then sold it to me on the bay site. That right there goes to show you this laptop is not for everyone but it is for me. Let start with the pros.
Gaming - WOOOOW with 980 GTX on dock,, read other
Lightweight - it is almost too light.
CPU - the 4870HQ is 90% of the 3770k of the desktop it is replacing. I have been very happy.
2xM.2 ssd's - Pro and a con, MSI put two mid level ssd's in here I will be replacing. It's fast as is, but I feel a single crucial or Samsung is equal on the IOPS side. I have 2 crucials on the way since I feel they are better for RAID.
Powered USB 3.0 port - These are iffy on laptops and not always as "powered" as they claim to be. The one on right does everything I want when plugged in. Important to me.
Screen - Pro and a con. Inside, it is just barely bright enough to be perfectly usable. Outside, I was surprised it was still usable, the matte does a decent job, but its still too dark. Aside from this the quality is excellent.
Wifi - The 7260 in here gets better range than the 7260 I have in a tablet. Windows 8 cut off hotspot support, not the machines fault, found that out later, with a workaround)
The Dock - 4 powered USB 3.0 ports, audio out (just the 1 audio out is a con to me, have a usb sound card on the way for my home stereo so can use digital out.) and mic, and gigabit killer lan. Inside I have installed a GTX 980 and a 4TB hdd. I basically now have a desktop when Im at home. I got a 2 hdd dock, stereo, lan, 2tb usb drive and I keep adding stuff. I have a monitor, keyboard, mouse and USB hub, extended to across the room at my desk. So Im actually typing this about 15 feet away from the laptop. Everything has worked flawlessly. When I have to go out on a call, I just shut it down, pop it out and put the laptop in my bag. I really have a blazing fast laptop on the go - minus the graphics which I don't need when WORKING!!!
Iris Pro - I was surprised at how well this Intel HD GPU performed. I actually played a successful round of BF4 multiplayer on low low. And it can handle my cheesier games well too. While Ill rarely need that, its nice having and it definitely is good enough so that all windows related graphics and animations are smooth.
external power supply - longest cord ever,, love it. its like 12 feet or better.
Cons: Hot, Fan noise, Low battery.
Literally the only major cons, and yes they are much talked about and deserved. This 4870hq is no joke, and is rated for high thermals. It doesn't slow throttle when it gets hot, just keeps going. Which, is why the fan is the way the fan is. The fan is 6000 rpm. It can get noisy. It doesn't bother me much personally, but its probably the main reason most don't like this machine. That and the battery. I mentioned this thing was light before. Wow, Im not kidding. My left hand has a tendency to lock up on me when I grip certain things, but not this. It is LIGHT. my 10" tablet is noticeably heavier. this is like 2lbs less than average laptop its size, and im talking new laptops. This is cool, but in my opinion, where they erred. If it was a little heavier, you could have more battery, more copper heatsink, and maybe even 4 DDR3 or a standard 2.5" drive. But its almost like they had 2 different people in charge of designing this thing.
The only other con for me is the front light strip and the case badge.
With the low battery, why add extra power drain, and why add it at all really? Is this built for kids or adults? I feel like the target audience for this would be professionals who game in their free time. So, the strip was just dumb. Also, the case badge adds a more teenagey feel, but it is just a thick metal sticker and can be removed, though I just hadn't got to it yet. Would have been nicer if would have come on the side to add yourself later.
Dock design - wasn't really made to use the actual laptop while docked and definitely requires a screen and external keyboard mouse setup. Supposedly they will fix this with a bios update, but whats the point? It would be too awkward to use.
For me Im happy with this as I use it like a desktop anyway. Currently have a 23" 144hz monitor and a 46" tv hooked up to it at home. Works like a champ.
Laptop Speakers - Pro and con. They aren't loud and work only a desk due to position, however if you crank them up via software, they still sound fine and don't crack. Basically, they underpowered these so they would last longer.
Dock Speakers - Pro and a con. They arent gonna provide you bass on any level you will appreciate, but they are loud and sound fine otherwise.
BIOS, not enough settings for my taste, especially considering this is a gaming laptop... I would have liked to have been able to manipulate how many CPU cores or if Turbo boost is enabled.
It did have XHCI and EHCI options for USB 3.0 though which I liked and don't see often.
The USB 3.0 setup is flawless, all works as should.
Other Thoughts: Ok, so I payed in total 1600 for the laptop, dock and a 980, all used. At this price, everything is totally worthwhile and I am very very happy with my purchase. At this weight and battery life and all, it could have easily been made into an 11" laptop, which I would have preferred. or a 13" with more weight and customization options, but this is ok.
Im looking forward to buying a 3rd gen version of this item. More sata ports for sure, I hate my 4tb is lonely without a mirror raid so I have to manually back it up now.
I think at 1699 with no gpu, is way overpriced. In the end this is a laptop with a very easy to implement pci express connector on it. That's complicated for me and you but not for them. I hope MSI is able to sell all of these and push out future models. For me this is ideal, but I know I fit a small demographic.
And in case you were curious about gaming... I am going from a 3770k with 670 GPU on a desktop to this laptop/dock with a 980.
I didn't realize that you could play bf4 on ultra at 144hz with zero stutter or fps lag or whatever. Its amazing. It's rare to see it drop below 100 fps The only difference between using this and my desktop is that this is better! Im actually using the same keyboard mouse and monitor I have been for years, at the same desk. Wow its nice.
One last good note. Undervolting. I found out something new with this CPU. Undervolting is not actually gonna save you battery life. The CPU performance is determined by Power Draw. Meaning, it will crank up to max on all cores as long as it is under a set TDP of 47W. So when you undervolt, it seems to compensate for this and so all clocks just go higher when at full load. Basically, you wont save battery by undervolting, but you will get a boost in performance. You can only save battery life by lowering the max clock rate or lowering max cpu performance with windows settings. Btw, half of this CPU is still pretty awesome for a laptop.
So in the end, if you are the type of person who carries a tablet or small laptop to compensate for your lack of desktop that you mainly use,, this is for you.
I rarely use it undocked and I am very happy when I do, though I hate knowing I cant do it for long. At the same time, I have a powerbank that can charge a laptop I carry with me too, so there are always workarounds.
Pros: Great, cheap little 2.5" sata III ssds that act just like my more expensive Samsung ssds
Cons: None so far
Other Thoughts: I wanted to cheaply upgrade two laptops to ssds and found this drive at $50 each for 120GB. I love the price but I had never heard of this SSD maker, and normally would have just skipped it, but the reviews were all 5 star and seemed to show it to be a fast and reliable drive.
Im not kidding when I say this ssd works as good as any other I have tried (Real world usage, not based on benchmarks. and I have bought near 100). Im glad for Newegg having all the reviews, allowing me to take a chance I normally would not have.
I put these two ssds into two refurbished i7 HP Elitebook 8440p laptops that I purchased on Shell Shocker deals for $200 each.
All in all I have paid $250 per laptop and wow they just amaze me at how powerful these little machines are and I am just loving the deal.
Frankly, I am still looking forward to SSD prices to continue to drop, but this was the best product in its price range, and possibly higher. I look forward to seeing more Silicon Power, this was a better first showing than most companies and shows a lot of promise for them in my eyes.
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