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Pros: Got this laptop for my grandma as a portable media computer. Works great with XBMC/Kodi and a USB IR remote. No noticeable sluggishness when playing videos or navigating inside the program.
After removing manufacturer and Win 10 bloat (the MS stuff required powershell commands, but I highly recommending doing it), restricting background apps, and other Win 10 security/privacy optimizations, it boots in 1:30-2 min.
Sleep/resume is almost instant, so I definitely recommend using that if possible.
The laptop is decently responsive and has a good hard drive size, but could really be improved by an SSD.
If you can afford it, snag a 500gb+ Sammy 850, and you'll be much happier with that. It'll take your boot time down by 2/3+ and vastly improve general responsiveness. (Use free Macrium Reflect for cloning while preserving manufacturer partitions and Windows activation).
This is certainly not going to win any lightness/thinness competitions, but both are relatively good for the size and price; just keep in mind that this isn't a 13" Yoga or Zenbook.
Overall a good laptop, just understand the compromises you'll get for the price point.
Cons: The hard drive comes formatted with one of the most awful setups I've ever seen. I knocked off an egg for this.
The 1TB drive is split into separate OS and Data partitions, but there's a recovery partition (one of 3-4) in the middle of them - ie you can't just delete the Data partition and expand the OS one to fill the difference with the Windows disk utility (and you can't delete the recovery one with the Windows utility).
I had to use Easeus partition manager (free) to delete the Data partition, move the recovery partition to the end of the drive, and then allow me to expand the OS partition. It now works as I desired, with no loss in recovery functionality.
If a dual partition drive doesn't bother you, then ignore the above, but just keep in mind it's a bit complicated to fix. (My arguments against partitions: If Windows is corrupt, you can install over the top of your existing install without touching other files; if the physical HDD dies, it doesn't matter how you partitioned it.)
More important for normal users, the battery life is not stellar. Even with battery saver options and lower screen brightness, you're looking at real-world life of ~3.5 hrs.
A related warning: If you put it to sleep instead of hibernating or powering off, make sure it's not for more than a couple hours - there were more than a few times that it exhausted the battery on me while in sleep mode overnight or such.
Other Thoughts: It doesn't have premium features like a touchscreen or lit keyboard, but I certainly knew that going in.
Screen quality is adequate, but nothing amazing - it's good size for video watching, but not HD and doesn't have the best viewing angles (it's not IPS).
Keep in mind also that the exterior is of plastic construction. This keeps the wrist area cool (advertised thus as a feature), but also makes it a bit flexible. This being said, it still does feel quite sturdy, so I'd only worry about this if you're planning on dropping it a lot or otherwise throwing it around.
Pros: I've gotten three of these for my self as well as family/friends. They are consistently fast and definitely recommended (especially for the price now).
Cons: Not magic?
Other Thoughts: I use the free Macrium Reflect with an external drive to image the old drive, boot to recovery environment, and restore the image to the new drive. I also then back them up after initial boot with the new SSD. Thus far it's always worked great - the computer doesn't have any trouble on first boot.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: Cooler Master GeminII M4 - CPU Cooler with 4 Direct Contact Heatpipes
Pros: Much quieter than the standard AMD heatsink/fan.
Replaced stock fan/heatsink in HTPC use, and I've hit a max of 53C after running a playlist of 1080P flash videos overnight (something that would get past 85C and cause thermal shutdown with the standard heatsink/fan after a couple hours - the HTPC isn't in a place with the best ventilation).
Idles in the 30-35C range, with moderate usage in 40-45C range (with stock it was idling in the 40-45C range and moderate usage would take it to 55-65C).
Easy to swap out the fan if needed/desired. Has a couple thin wires holding it in a makeshift bracket of sorts, which would be easy to disconnect from the stock fan and should fit any 120mm fan with standard screw holes.
The stock fan seems to be working well and mounted adequately (though, being an HTPC, I do have the computer set so that the motherboard is horizontal, rather than the normal vertical tower usage, so the bracket isn't exactly stressed at all).
Cons: As mentioned by others, the four heatpipes sit directly on the CPU (not a problem) and have a bit of a gap between the edge of the pipes and the other metal of the cpu/heatsink interface (it's not flush or smooth, which could be a problem). There are 8 of those edges/gaps (one for each edge of the heatpipe x 4 heatpipes) and they stretch across the entire face of the interface.
Thus far I've had no problems with heat, so it seems to be working ok, but it could be a possible issue in the future or for those with a hotter running cpu.
Instead of using the usual circle or x shape of thermal paste (using AS 5), I put small lines on each heatpipe, with a small circle in the middle, so as to hopefully fill in those gaps between the cpu and the heatsink.
As mentioned by others, there is the possible con that the heatsink is low but wide - for my setup it would've gone over my ram in one orientation (not hitting the modules, but only maybe 1/16" clearance over them), and after turning it 90 degrees, it is still right up next to the slots (I could still get it out to change or upgrade if needed, but it'd be tight)
Other Thoughts: My HTPC system:
CPU - AMD Phenom II 840
Mobo - MSI 880GM-E41 AM3
Case - Silverstone ML03B
It's not specified very well on newegg, but on my box it notes the sockets supported are:
Intel 2011, 1366, 1156, 1155, 1150, 775
AMD fm2, fm1, am3+, am3, am2
In the setup above, I have a good inch or two over the fan before hitting the case - it really is a small heatsink (smaller than the stock AMD one), it's just really wide.
Mounting directions were good. For this AMD mount they had separate brackets for if you wanted it mounted normally or rotated 90 degrees. I believe the single Intel mount just allows you to rotate it without actually using a different bracket.
Annoyingly, you will probably have to remove the motherboard from the case (unless you can get to the four or so inches around the cpu socket from the bottom side a different way).
It uses the same mounting system as much larger coolers from the same company (such as the V8 RR-UV8-XBU1-GP, which I have two of; probably a bit of overkill on mounting hardware vs the size of the heatsink) - you screw the brackets onto the heatsink corresponding with your socket (AMD or Intel), put it through the holes on the mobo, put on a backplate, and bolt it on (usually being a tricky maneuver for those without 3-4 arms or someone else to help them hold it while bolting - and yes, actual bolts, not screws).
But yes, working well and I'm happy thus far!