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Pros: -This laptop is an excellent value! The one I got is 'refurbished', but could have likely been sold as new...its in mint condition!
-The hard drive inside the device I got indicated that the drive had been powered on for a total of about 60 hours prior to me getting the machine.
-The ASUS logo on the lid lights up when the keyboard is lit, which looks quite fancy.
-The lid and palm rest / edges of the chassis are all brushed aluminum, which gives a very premium look and feel.
-The keyboard took a little adjusting to, but now I really like it! It's got 'squishy' keys, but I'm typing on it now and they don't bother me, I actually find it more pleasant to type on than my Zenbook Prime, which was more than twice the price (new).
-The overall build quality is what I would expect from ASUS, it's a very solid feeling, well built machine.
-The display is gorgeous, and while I tend to not use the touch interface too often, there are moments when having it is really useful.
-While this may not be the case for all units that are shipping out, mine came with a dual-band WiDi capable Intel wireless card.
-The hinges are sufficiently stiff to allow for interaction with the touchscreen without the screen wiggling / moving.
-This unit boots up somewhat quickly, though the limitations of the 5400 RPM hard drive really do show at times, I plan to replace it with an SSD in a few days. I would recommend putting it to sleep rather than shutting it down if you plan to keep the included hard drive.
Cons: -Glossy display...if they had to go glossy, a glass touchscreen would have been much more pleasant to work with. Though at this price, I can certainly forgive them.
-I would have LOVED to have seen a non-underclocked / undervolted i5 in this machine. The processor does get strainted a little easily. something clocked at 2-2.5 Ghz with a >3.0 Ghz turbo would have been amazing. As it stands now, my processor goes into 'turbo' mode (above 1.6 Ghz) much too often when performing mundane tasks.
-The speakers are a bit bland. They get sufficiently loud, but don't have a great frequency range. However, again, at this price, I'm happy!
Other Thoughts: If I were buying this laptop new, I would expect to pay around $800, mostly because of the premium build. The form factor, materials chosen, and amenities (backlit keyboard, logo) would make me proud to sit this laptop next to a several-thousand-dollar MacBook Pro...even though it's a fraction of the price!READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: * Pretty good performance
* Reasonable price
* Brand-Name product
Cons: None so far (I only got it earlier today...). All SMART data / tests pass with flying colors; zero of those nasty reallocated sectors.
Other Thoughts: For those that are curious, I popped this into a USB 3.0 external enclosure, connected it to my desktop (via USB 3.0 port) and ran a speed test with CrystalDiskMark 3.0.2 x64. Results (in Mb/s), first value is read, second is write:
Test 1: 2000 Mb, 3 passes:
Sequential: 141, 133.5
512k: 49.1, 45.2
4k: 0.588, 1.089
4k QD32: 0.657, 1.102
Test 2: 4000 Mb, 3 passes:
Sequential: 141.2, 133.2
512k: 47, 44.1
4k: 0.562, 1.026
4k QD32: 0.650, 1.007
This review is from: COOLMAX HD-250BK-U3 Aluminum 2.5" Black SATA I/II USB 3.0 External Enclosure
Pros: -Metal 'shell'
-No external power needed (even on USB 2.0)!
-Drive seems secure when the enclosure is sealed
-Worked with a 120Gb SSD & the 80Gb OEM hard drive from a PS3
Cons: -The caps on the end are plastic, would have loved metal, worry about cracking, but for the price I am satisfied!
Other Thoughts: -I got a max of 150 Mb/s read and 140 Mb/s write between the 3 machines equipped with USB 3.0 that I tested this with. When the SSD was in my tower on a SATA port it got the advertised >200 Mb/s read/write speeds. Not sure if this was a limitation of the USB 3.0 controller on my mobo(s), or the enclosure itself. Just keep that in mind if you expect the blazing speeds that the new USB standard advertises :)READ FULL REVIEW
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