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This review is from: MSI GS Series GS70 Stealth Pro-099 Gaming Laptop 4th Generation Intel Core i7 4710HQ (2.50 GHz) 16 GB Memory 1 TB HDD 128 GB mSATA SSD NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M 6 GB 17.3" Windows 8.1 64-Bit
Pros: - Fantastic industrial design.
- High performance in slim package.
- Great keyboard (decent travel, illuminated).
- Comes with a carrying sleeve.
- 4 USB3 ports, 2 Displayport ports, HDMI.
- 3 audio ports (has line-in, great for recording my synthesizer)
Cons: - Stereo speakers placed next to each other in the middle of the laptop, thus stereo is very poor. Sound quality is just OK.
- Keyboard illumination has very low frequency PWM, thus strobes RGB afterimages as I move my eyes around. Had to select 100% red to make the effect go away.
- Touchpad is very laggy, to the point where I overshoot UI buttons in daily use.
- Qualcomm LAN drivers needlessly wear the SSD (see "Other").
- Webcam is sensitive in the dark, but even in lit conditions, the image isn't crisp at all (reminds me of my first webcam 15 years ago).
Other Thoughts: Pre-ordered the laptop and Newegg delivered one day after the release on 11/12. It is the best looking laptop I have ever seen. On top of that, it is amazingly fast in the CPU, GPU and storage departments. Screen is a good TN panel.
There are a few caveats:
- The Qualcomm network manager service is writing to a useless log file (BWC.txt) at about 0.2 - 1MB/s. I disabled this service. LAN still works well. In general, I find it useful to open up the Resource Monitor to see if my system behaves as expected.
- The 128MB SSD is a bit small. So I migrated my user directory (where downloads, temp files, etc go) to the HDD. Also given that the laptop has 16GB RAM I also moved the pagefile to the HDD. With that I have almost 100GB for my programs.
- Provided software is useless to me. I disabled it all from starting up on boot using MS autoruns.
This review is from: TP-LINK TL-SG105 Unmanaged 5-Port Gigabit Desktop Switch, Metal Case, Power-Saving
Pros: - Can sustain 1 Gb/s transfers between 2 ports (haven't tried testing between multiple ports).
- Standard adapter plug.
- Solid construction.
Other Thoughts: I use it with friends on weekend LAN parties. The sturdy construction and standard plug (in case I forget the adapter) come in handy.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: - Extremely quiet
- Low price
Cons: - None so far
Other Thoughts: - Came very well packaged with air cushions.
- Bought it as a data drive to complement my SSD on Win8.1. Also I moved the users folder to D:\ (on this drive) and hardlinked to it from C:\Users. This way all temp files don't wear the SSD.
- Faster than the 8 year drive it is replacing. For exact performance numbers, google the online reviews (seems about average).