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ASUS Zenbook Prime UX31A-DB71 Intel Core i7 3517U (1.90GHz) 4GB Memory 256GB SSD 13.3
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: Thin, light and fast as advertised. The 1080 p screen is beautiful and the keyboard is fantastic. There last two really set this laptop apart for me and are why I picked it over some of the others.

So far it has worked great with Ubuntu with minimal tweaking. The touchpad works fine with a two finger tap to right click. It runs as fast, quiet and cool in linux as it does in windows. Some of the special function keys don't work out of the box, but there are docs for that online.

Did I mention that the full HD screen is beautiful?

Cons: The touchpad isn't great. It works, but it takes a bit of getting used to and even then isn't as good as some others I have seen. The touchpad only has a tactile click on the bottom half of the touchpad, and when clicked it is hard keep a steady hand, meaning I miss a number of clicks. This isn't a problem for me because I use keyboard shortcuts for 99% of what I do, but it might be a serious problem for some, so I would encourage trying one out before buying.

Ships with some expected windows cruft.

Pricey! I went big because I wanted to the extra space to dual boot windows and linux, but I think most people would be fine with the basic model. Pity they don't have an i5 + 256 GB model at a lower price.

Other Thoughts: When I first bought it and turned it on the fan went nuts and the system got pretty hot. After a round of updates and a reboot, the system became silent and cool, and has been running all day without any audible sound or any noticable heat, which is very promising. The same holds while running Ubuntu 12.04.

The 256 GB version comes with a strange partition scheme, where the disk has a 128GB partition with windows + etc, and a 128 GB partition labeled "data" which is totally empty. This is fine by me, because I installed Ubuntu (my primary OS) on the "data" partition (sda5). Sadly, GRUB was unable to boot windows because of some issues EFI (I thought I was done learning about system booting...), so in order to change between booting Linux and Windows I have to tweak something in the BIOS. There is probably some way of setting it up in GRUB but I haven't figured it out yet.

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Rosewill RCX-TC090PRO Thermal Compound
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: less than 1 day

2 out of 5 eggs Bad luck with the brush 06/17/2011

This review is from: Rosewill RCX-TC090PRO Thermal Compound

Pros: NA

Cons: The brush idea seems like a logical way of applying thermal compound. In practice, the brush in mine was a bit of a tangled mess. When I tried to straighten it out, the bristles popped out. Great, now I am left with a bunch of thermal compound in a narrow neck bottle and a hand full of plastic threads.

Other Thoughts: This is as much my clumsiness as anything else, and I am not fairly judging the product on its thermal capabilities. Raising a stink about the brush is kind of petty, but I felt compelled to share my experience as a caution to my fellow clumsy oafs.

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MSI P6N SLI Platinum LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 650i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

4 out of 5 eggs Good, but the PCI-e 1x slot has issues... 06/17/2008

This review is from: MSI P6N SLI Platinum LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 650i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: Great board over all. Has served me well for a long time, in both Windows and Linux. Plenty of slots for a boat load of RAM. Nice LGA 775 socket supports a lot of slick processors. All in all, I love it.

Cons: The whole Nvidia fake-raid thing is a pain in the neck. It was a nightmare to get it working in Linux, and I had to scavenge a floppy drive to install drivers for it with windows. I tried to get a 3Ware card instead, but the PCI-e 1x slot I was gonna use is lined up with the RAM release levers. When I try to drop the (rather long) 3Ware card in, it hits the levers. 13mm too long... so close!

Other Thoughts: Its a shame that such a glorious piece of electronic design would have a physical layout issue. I may be able to drop the card in the PCI-e 8x slot (which is normally used for SLI), but it seems like a waste to put a 1x card in an 8x slot, while leaving an actual 1x slot open!

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John K.'s Profile

Display Name: John K.

Date Joined: 09/23/02

  • Reviews: 9
  • Helpfulness: 6
  • First Review: 03/24/07
  • Last Review: 09/10/12
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