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This review is from: Logitech X-140 5 watts 2.0 Speakers
Pros: These are probably the best 2.0 speakers I've ever had. They sound pretty good and have decent (adjustable) bass.. they don't look too bad, either.
Cons: After a few years, the poor quality of the soldering within the 3.5mm plug has suddenly revealed itself. I rarely unplug them for any reason.. so it's not as if this is from abnormal abuse, neglect, damage, whatev.
Other Thoughts: I still have to give them four stars because aside from the plug going bad, these have been pretty impressive little speakers.. especially the amount of bass they're able to produce with no subwoofer.
If this happens to you and the speakers are otherwise still good, you can probably agree that they're quite worth repairing.. whether you're fixing it yourself or not.
This review is from: Photoshop and Premier Elements 8 for Windows Minibox
Pros: If you're impressed by software which has been spayed and neutered, in an effort to make the actual product look better by comparison, this is for you.
Cons: Two garbage pieces of software and it still costs about a bill. Ridiculous. They should be able to provide regular-ol' Photoshop, by itself, for $100-200 .. but the people at Adobe have such high salaries and standards of living, it'll never happen.
Honestly, I have never even tried Premiere Elements, but what's the point? Looking at the list of features, there are PLENTY of good FREE video editors out there. Just do a cursory glance on Google and you'll see that when compared to free and cheaper alternatives, each incarnation of the Adobe Elements line of products becomes a bigger waste of money than its predecessor.
At this rate, Photoshop Elements will become as expensive as regular Photoshop.. then they'll have to scramble around and make a new dumbed-down version; like Photoshop Simpleton, or something like that. ..and even that will cost you over $100 because it says "Adobe" on the box.
I'll love Adobe again if they ever decide to lower their absurd price tags.
Other Thoughts: A nosy relative overheard me complaining about the price to upgrade my aging version of Photoshop and decided to take it upon themselves to buy this for me. My aunt obviously doesn't understand the nuances between versions, nor the drastic difference between the number of features provided in Photoshop Extended and Photoshop Elements. I'm not going to pretend that I'm some super professional that makes a gajillion dollars a day doing digital art.. if I were, I wouldn't be complaining about a measly few-hundred dollars for an upgrade.. but I do have over a decade of experience with Photoshop (mine is still CS2) and kind of didn't know how to respond to this gift. I just did the ol' fake thanks and grumbled to closer family and friends about it later.
The worst part about the entire fiasco is that I now use Linux (with the Gimp) and was only discussing the Photoshop upgrade as a matter of small talk with my gooney cousin. Maybe I'll try to sell it, but I doubt I'll have much luck
This review is from: StarTech PCISOUND5CH 5.1 Channels 24-bit 48KHz PCI Interface Sound Card
Pros: It lets your video card breathe without forcing you to buy some ridiculously overpriced PCI-Express sound card.
MIDI support.. thank goodness!
Cons: None. Totally knew what I was buying and am very satisfied.
Other Thoughts: I bought this to replace a Turtle Beach Riviera, which had performed well for years.. but the left channel eventually died and I didn't want to pay to have it repaired (not sure, but I doubt it's under warranty any longer)
If you're not an audiophile weirdo, don't use optical output and have a suffocating graphics card, this is probably your best bet. (for the money)
I'm a long-time advocate of the notion that sound cards haven't changed a lot, so try to avoid getting ripped off on some marketing tactic. (ie, buy what you NEED not what they're telling you to WANT)