Joined on 02/04/04
Pros: This laptop is pretty great. Lightweight (at least I think so), VERY sturdy, dual point device, fingerprint security, vibration and drop protection with an accelerometer, good speakers, large bright display, decent hard drive size, and not loaded with too much bloatware. I did remove some, but that wasn't bad and it wasn't intrusive. The installed applications to manage power options, the drop protection, CD drive quieting software, and wireless are great. It even runs a fair amount of games decently well at the 1280x800 res. I've been very impressed. Also, it stays very cool and when the fan does come on its quiet. CPU is very powerful for this beast, so you won't have any problems with not having enough processing muscle. Almost forgot, it has a spill resistant keyboard, protective foam padding in the hard drive bay, and reinforced hinges for long life.
Cons: Odd keyboard layout with windows and tilday keys. Though, you get used to it quick. USB ports are on the back, but I went in to it knowing that and it doesn't really bother me. A DVD burner and DVI out would be nice, but what do you expect for such a great price! The super-multi DVD drive is a little loud at full blast, but you can quiet it with a click of the mouse. During normal operation, including DVDs, you can't hear it. Only 512mb install RAM wasn't enough in my opinion, and after adding another 512mb it really flies.
Overall Review: I joined the Air Force and really needed a mobile PC while I'm in tech school. I have a powerful desktop, and didn't want a slouch notebook. I also wanted plenty of security, durability, and dependability. While this isn't a monster gaming machine, it does enough to keep me occupied, and the processor is very powerful. The screen looks great for DVDs and games, and I've used it plenty of times to hook up to a projector for my fellow Airmen to watch DVDs. Software makes it so easy. I enjoy that it doesn't get hot, the battery lasts around 2.5 - 3 hours when just web browsing, which is plenty for me. The casing is simple yet sexy, and feels incredibly tough. When I saw a review where they dropped it with it on and it had no issues at all (hard drive drop protection, foam padding, and reinforced structure), I was pretty sold. Oh, and the fingerprinting does work very well. You won't find all this for such a great price anywhere else! You won't regret it!
Two out of three?
Pros: Good cheap drives. I've had one that has lasted for three years now.
Cons: I recently ordered three more to add to the one I already had. They'd become a RAID 5 array. Well, two of the three work. One made odd noises from the start and finally gave up three hours in. Also, when it was working, it made my BIOS occasionally hang and caused slow detection of the RAID array.
Overall Review: Newegg is handling my RMA, and in general these are good drives. Just wish there was better QC involved. Now I'm out another $10 just to get what I should've had in the first place.
Pros: So many features, 680i, great overclocker, stable, easy to work with.
Cons: Heatsinks get pretty hot. I even slapped a 40mm fan on the NB with the provided clips and I still can't hold my finger on any one of the three heatsinks for more than a couple seconds. Might have to water cool those items too.
Overall Review: Great board. I don't see why any one bad mouths it. Overclocks well, and I find it very stable. I upgraded to the latest BIOS as soon as I booted it up and cleared the CMOS. Hasn't even hiccuped sense. You will not be disappointed as long as you make sure it's done right.
Pros: Keeps things cool. Pretty comprehensive kit.
Cons: Like others, two holes (across from each other) in the mounting plate are too large or stripped or something. I tried to install it and they immediately wouldn't catch. Took some careful working to get it secure. Also, when I received it, I opened the block and some of my pins were bent. I took the time to straighten them with a screw driver from an eyeglass kit. Then, on reinstalling the top to the block, one of the allen screws started to it's head. The included allen key isn't large enough. I got a slightly larger size from a tool set and it works better than the original, no stripping.
Overall Review: I expected better quality from the famed Swiftech.
The new case King
Pros: Very large case. Quite heavy too, but for the price I would expect it to be. Very solid chassis, lots of space, plenty of cooling potential. I have a single double wide radiator in the back, and love the fact I can add another if I want. Tool-less drives work perfectly, as well as the tool-less PCI slots. Whole system stays very cool, especially since the PSU can pull it's own air in and exhaust it immediately after. Both sides lock well with the provided keys. Not too noisy.
Cons: Again, it's big. As high as most desks. Not fond of how the cables for the front panel ports can't be detached. So, when you go to move the front panel, it's tethered by these cables. Cable routing between the upper and lower chambers could be better with some more strategically placed pass-throughs to keep the look clean.
Overall Review: By far the best case out there, especially with watercooling in mind. Easy to setup with tons of room to spare. The ITX chamber makes for a good place to put all your watercooling parts, like pump and res. Lots of room for easy filling, and I found bleeding easy with this case. Knowing what I know now, I would definitely buy again.