Joined on 03/17/05
Stable board, great features
Pros: Loaded with features for a Micro ATX board. It's ready for use with dual-core CPUs, has plenty of USB ports, built-in IEEE-1394, SATA RAID support if you're into that, and support for plenty of RAM. The board has been running in my system 24x7 for about five months with zero problems. I wouldn't say it has a lot of frills, but for a feature-packed, stable board, this is the way to go. Includes everything you need, including a (somewhat short) SATA2 cable with locking plugs.
Cons: One of my main complaints with this board is the scarcity of fan headers. It has one 4-pin PWM-controlled header for the CPU fan and one 3-pin header for a single case fan. I would definitely like to have at least a third header for a second motherboard-controlled case fan. The lock/release levers on one pair of DIMM slots is positioned in such a way as to be blocked by some longer video cards. With a video card installed, it's necessary to remove the video card to flip open the two DIMM slot's levers. Not a frequent thing, but annoying when it's necessary.
Overall Review: On-board video is fine for use as a workstation, but for games you'll need to full the PCI-E x16 with a nice video card. Try as they might, Intel just can't seem to get integrated graphics which are worth using for games.
Fast and stable, but dirty and scratched
Pros: For the price paid, this OptiPlex is a great deal. The system is fast and has run very stable after more than 24 hours running burn-in tests.
Cons: I am used to purchasing refurbished products that are brought back to a like new condition unless noted otherwise. Nowhere in the Newegg product listing does it state that these systems may have cosmetic defects. The system arrived with both side panels scratched and with chipped paint. Inside the case was dusty, with large balls of dust actually loose in the case. Dust was caked in the heatsink fins, fan blades, and around various components on the motherboard. The air intake on the power supply was partially clogged with dust. There is a slight smell of cigarette smoke.
Overall Review: A few minutes with compressed air and a vacuum had the system more or less cleaned up inside. This is basic work which should have been performed by the refurbishing company. The cigarette smoke smell is mostly gone after blowing the dust out of the inside of the case and power supply. For the price paid, I would still consider this a good value, but Newegg should note in the product listing that the systems may have cosmetic defects and have certainly not been refurbished to like-new condition. I replaced the included 2 GB RAM (2x1 GB) with 8 GB (4x2 GB) and installed a much larger hard drive. The system performs very well for its intended purpose and will be a great replacement for the computer it is replacing.
Great scanner, excellent value
Pros: Very small, highly portable, and USB powered. The driver is small and does not install anything that runs and consumes resources even when the scanner isn't connected. Supports Windows XP/Vista WIA as well as TWAIN, so you scan scan directly into many applications. Each page is scanned in approximately 10-15 seconds, which is very slow when compared with high-end document scanners, but for a device that can fit in many notebook bags, this scanner is superb and does an excellent job.
Cons: It is sometimes too easy to insert a page so the top edge is not quite square, resulting in a slightly skewed scan. Adobe Acrobat is able to deskew scanned pages, but other apps may not do so. Generally you can tell when this happens and pull the page out to try again before the scan starts, but occasionally I don't notice until after the scan is complete.
Overall Review: Other reviewers mentioned problems feeding documents with folds or creases. I have not experienced such problems and have scanned a couple hundred tri-fold credit card statements and other mailed documents. I have scanned only documents, but no photos, so I cannot comment on the quality of scanned photos. The purchase of a retractable USB cable is a great addition to this scanner.
An okay keyboard, but cramped
Pros: Small keyboard with built-in touchpad saves a lot of space in a crowded workstation. I bought this keyboard about five years ago for use when troubleshooting peoples' computers before I got a nice KVM switch. The touchpad works as well as any notebook touchpad. The keyboard includes two Windows keys and a context menu key, which is nice for us Windows keyboard shortcut users.
Cons: My number one complaint about this keyboard is the key layout. The tilde (~) key is next to the spacebar rather than the 1 key; the right shift key is indented two keys, so my attempts to hit shift often end up pressing the up arrow. Making matters worse is that some of the navigation keys are even more narrow than the rest of the keys. The keyboard feels very cramped, more than even a notebook keyboard. I'm not sure why, except that it's perhaps the small keytops which are much narrower than most keyboards.
Very satisfied - great service and fast shipping
The refurbished laptop I ordered arrived in great shape. The company provides very nice used laptops at a really great price. Everything was well protected in the shipping box. My only complaint is that the seller required a signature for delivery, which wasn't mentioned anywhere prior to ordering. This caused a little bit of inconvenience and delayed delivery by a couple days. I would have chosen to deliver to my office had I known of the signature requirement.