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Pros: There's a lot to like here.

- Current gen quad core i5

- The 960M isn’t going to blow you away but it’s decent enough to play most games of 2015 and similar at a mix of medium/high settings at acceptable frame rates. Additionally, Dell gave it *4GB* of DDR5 vram, instead of the usual 2gb of DDR5 or even DDR3 you find in this price range. That's great for newer games and open world games that benefit from more GPU memory.

- Very easy for the end user to service - single screw access to all the internals is NICE.

- Good upgrade options. You have a free M.2 SSD slot and a free ram slot, so a couple of simple and cheap upgrades can give you a great spec boost that puts you in line with models that cost several hundred dollars more.

-A number of small things that add up: backlit keyboard with a couple of brightness settings, number pad on the keyboard, big battery, red accents give it a good but not overly aggressive look, IPS panel instead of a TN panel, huge rubber feet on the bottom that really work well to keep the laptop from slipping and help with ventilation, indication light on the charger end so you can see if it’s got power, very little bloatware, etc. It’s a bunch of things that taken on their own might not be a big deal, but together make a pretty compelling bunch of bells and whistles.

Cons: It’s not perfect. To get to this price dell had to cut some corners, and it shows. Many of these are nitpicky and they obviously don't affect my overall satisfaction with the laptop, but you should be aware of the drawbacks.

- Stock HDD is slow, specially for gaming applications. Do yourself a favor and buy an M.2 SSD (2280 size) when you buy this laptop, and install it right away. Make a recovery image of Windows on a USB or something and install it on the SSD, then wipe the HDD and use it for bulk storage.

- The trackpad is serviceable at best. You will get used to its quirks eventually (and it does take some getting used to), but it’s not a great option. If you can, bring a mouse. Likewise, the keyboard is OK (better than the track pad) but it won’t be winning any awards.

- DDR3L memory instead of DDR4. In the grand scheme of things this is a minor issue; I’m aware that for now at least, gaming really doesn’t see a benefit from DDR4. Still, it would have been nice to see Dell future-proof this part since the CPU is built for it, and especially since they went the extra mile to future-proof the GPU ram. On the plus side, DDR3L is faster and lower voltage than regular old DDR3, so it’s acceptable.

- The screen, while IPS, has color reproduction issues (look at some of the professional reviews online for more in-depth analysis), which would probably make it unsuitable for photo editing and the like. For gaming, I haven’t found it to be an issue. Additionally, some light bleed at the edges is noticeable when the image is very dark. Again, for gaming I haven’t had problems.

- Stock wireless card is slow, and for me at least it had connectivity issues. This is definitely an area where Dell went for budget over performance. I upgraded it to an Intel 7265 which costs about $20 and is super easy to replace (thanks, single screw internal access!). No more problems.

- Sound is OK (gets loud but tends to wash out at higher volumes), but the “subwoofer” is a joke and might as well not exist as far as bass is concerned. Also, they put the sub off center, so it can seem like more sound is coming from one side than the other. All in all, plan on using headphones if you can.

- No cutting edge ports. Here again, Dell decided to cut some corners to keep the price low. The included ports are adequate, but you won’t find Thunderbolt, USB 3.1, or DisplayPort options here.

- No optical drive. Not a huge issue for most people anymore I’m guessing, but if you want to use this to play DVDs and the like you’ll have to buy an external.

- Don’t plan on gaming on battery. Battery life while doing intensive gaming sucks, and framerate takes a nosedive. Also, battery gaming sometimes produces a weird rubber band framerate effect where it will mostly be OK but every few seconds it will drop down to a single digit slideshow for an instant. Makes the experience unplayable.

Other Thoughts: In summary, this is a great laptop for the price, probably the best in this entire price range. You can find this base model for about 750 to 800 on the regular, and at that price other companies are often giving you a weaker CPU or GPU, or both. Plus, the 4 gigs of DDR5 ram on the graphics card is a unicorn at this price. Just spending an extra hundred bucks on a small m.2 SSD and extra ram stick will give you specs and gaming performance on par with most gaming laptops in the 1,100-1,300 dollar range - and you only spent 850 to 900 total with the upgrades. Just be aware that some corners were cut to keep the price in the basement. In my estimation, the benefits so far outweigh the downsides that those downside are easy to overlook.

If you are looking for a machine that will give you entry- to mid-level performance in gaming while you are away from your desktop rig, while also doing general mobile computing and surfing very well, you can’t do much better than this.

Mee audio Black N9-BK 45 degree 3.5mm stereo, gold plated Connector Binaural Noise Isolasion In Ear Headphones (Black )
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: - above average sound (for the pricepoint).
- metal housing, well built overall and very similar to other meelec designs.
- good cable stress relief.
- comes with all the usual meelec accessories - case, shirt clip, 4 different earpieces (S, M, L, and double flange).

Cons: - the 45 degree angle makes these bulkier than some other IEMs, and makes it harder for me to get a good seal in my ear. It also makes it nearly impossible for me to use them in an over-the-ear configuration. YMMV.
- the cable covering tangles more easily than other meelec offerings, and more noise from the cable rubbing on a shirt or whatever else (microphonics) seems to come through than their other deisgns.

Other Thoughts: Meelectronics has been known for a while now as a company that makes great budget IEMs, and these are no different. I'm not a real audiophile by any stretch and am not even gonna try to compare details like soundstage or airiness or anything, but generally comparing how these earbuds sound overall to some of Meelec's other designs, they seem pretty similar to the M9s. Construction quality is similar. I'd say they are about 25% larger than the M9's due to the 45 degree angle and a larger housing.

I got these on sale for ten bucks each and free shipping, and at that price I'd say they are a steal. Even at 15 they would be a good buy. At full price however I'm not sure they are worth it, when you can buy Meelec's awesome M9 or M6 models with similar sound for about half that elsewhere online.

In short, buy these if they are on sale, but maybe look at some other meelec offerings if these are at full price. At ten or 15 bucks these are a 5 star, but at full price they are more of a 4 because of the issues I mentioned.

Corsair Vengeance CC-9011016-WW Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ATX (not included) Power Supply
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: -Great looks
-Extremely robust feeling; carry handles are nice
-Quick release side panels allows for fast access to innards
-Lots of cooling ability, and good, easily accessible filters (mostly)
-Motherboard doesn't require standoffs
-Good cable management

Cons: -Front fan filter is tedious to remove for cleaning
-HDD trays and holders don't have many cooling slots and don't allow for much airflow through them
-massively vented side window obscures internals and allows a lot of dust in. No factory option from corsair currently to replace the vented window with an unvented one.

Other Thoughts: Overall a great case. I really wish the front filter could be removed for cleaning without taking apart the whole front half of the case, but that's a minor quibble for an otherwise stellar item. I plan on replacing the vented window with a regular sheet of acrylic; the mod is easy to do and many tutorials for the C70 exist online for those interested.


Anonymous's Profile

Display Name: Anonymous

Date Joined: 11/27/09

  • Reviews: 5
  • Helpfulness: 3
  • First Review: 07/01/10
  • Last Review: 08/04/16
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