Date Joined: 08/08/05
Pros: Size, portability, and single cable operation. Carrying case/stand included. Comes with it's own PEN!
Cons: Takes a lot of fiddling to get the colors decent [subjective]. Contrast levels are weak for 2018. Included carrying case only seems reliable in one configuration.
Overall Review: So the biggest issue with this monitor is not brightness [granted, it's not 1000 nits, but it's decent for inside use] but the weak contrast keeps the whites relatively grey, and if you try to push it too hard it gets over-contrasted, which washes out the screen. Calibrated, it does a pretty decent job for videos and games, but the lack of contrast makes it look dimmer than it is. For the price, though, and the portability, it's not bad. Had I known about the Magedok 4k, however, I probably would've gotten that one instead.
As far as usability, I bought this in prep for a hades canyon nuc I'm gonna take on the road as a portable desktop rig, but in the meantime I have it running as a second display for my 15" Surface Book 2, and it's a transformative experience. I have a modern keyboard with the clipboard reversed into artist mode, and I really feel like I'm on a full fledged multi screen desktop without having to mess with boatloads of wires. I've moved them around and run Overwatch on the MB16a, and at high/ultra settings at 1080 it stays well over 100FPS. It's not my Asus 27" 165Hz monitor, but It fills the need.
Overall, for what it is, it's pretty amazing kit. I think it's about $50 overpriced for the contrast ratio, but I can forgive that given it's amazing portability potential. Room for improvement, but good foundation ^^ Kudos Asus
Pros: It's this. . like. . . video game thingie. . .and it comes with lots of extra stuffs!
Cons: It's WAAAAAAAYYYYY super expensive, and unless you're a huge fan of the video game thingie in question [or a fan of the company that MADE said video game thingie] you're probably mega better off buying either the origins edition or even the $40 base edition.
Overall Review: On a more serious note what you get here vs Origins edition is a relatively decent sized statue of soldier 76 made out of some kind of semi soft plastic and the typical wonderful "art of" [game thingie] book. All the digital content I'm PRETTY SURE comes with the Origins edition for half the price.
So again, unless you're a HUGE fan of Blizzard and/or Overwatch there are MUCH cheaper alternatives to jump into the game.
For the collector, however. . you probably didn't even need to read this: you know what you're getting already. The only thing missing from this set vs previous Blizzard Collector's dedition is a mousepad. I don't use them ANYWAY, but it was a little weird to not see one in the box.
Pros: Capacity, read/write speeds
Cons: See other
Overall Review: This is the second unit I have purchased, and I've had the same issue with both: When formatted with exfat or OS extended journaled, the drive simply starts to not be detected after a few days. My PC will only detect over USB 2.0, and on my mac it will only stay up for about 20 seconds, just long enough to corrupt anything I'm trying to move from one machine to another. I figured the first one for a fluke, but it's now official: I can't say how it works under NTFS, but I have a multi OS component that essentially requires EXfat, and for whatever reason this drive has issues with that.
Pros: Amazing sound, built in DAC. 3.5mm jack, optical in
Cons: Proprietary speaker cable to attach speakers to each other, and it's not really all that long. Back panel covers 3.5mm and optical in ports and is . . . . attached EXTREMELY securely. If you use USB connection, it's not an issue.
Overall Review: Bought these on clearance from a local blue and yellow colored retailer, as they were priced to sell. Honestly I wasn't exactly sure what to expect from "audiophile" grade computer speakers. . Ive run M Audio monitors, the mainstream "high end" Klipsch Pro Media 2.1s, and at the price I got them and the description of the design, I was intrigued. I got them home, plugged them in, played with them for awhile, let my ears adjust to them [my current audio solutions are very treble heavy] and relaxed.
After several days, I don't want to get up or shut them off. THE SOUND IS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. I dunno if I'd pay the original price of $400, but if you can get these for $250 or less, and high quality audio experience is important to you, DON'T HESITATE!! They're clean, they're warm, they're amazingly forgiving on placement. . they honestly sound like speakers 2x their size. The passive radiators add plenty of low end, and it's as tight and responsive as you'd expect from a sealed passive rad setup.
Pros: Clear vibrant sound, [mostly] well constructed, long battery life.
Cons: Charging port cover is delicate enough that it came off the second time I attempted to pull it back. I was as gentle as I could be, but I guess it was more delicate.
Overall Review: Going into and coming back into sleep mode while these are attached can cause the audio to get muffled. . like a headphone cord that's half unplugged. I cannot determine whether this is an issue with my notebook or the headphones, so I'm mentioning it.
Overall, sound quality and general build quality are 5/5. Battery life is 5/5, range is 3/5 [SOMETIMES they go long distances, other times 4 ft away they start breaking up. Overall the product probably deserves 4.5/5 starts or so.
So why did I only give it 3 eggs?
When you turn on and off these headphones you get a nice verbal statement from a very european sounding female voice "your device is connected"
Upon shutting down, you get "your device is disconnect".
From ANY OTHER COMPANY this would not be worth mentioning, but this is Razer. It is a premium product developed by a private company that went out of their way to make sure the audio was spoken in EURO English, yet you get "device is disconnect". Yes, it's a nitpick. NO it does not affect the general performance of the sound from these headphones... but it drives me nuts every time I shut them off.
Pros: Very clear 1920 x 1080 TN screen. All the obvious stuff goes here: It's fast, it's everything you'd come to expect from Razer. It's backed by some of the best phone support I've ever experienced. bonus: It's Nvidia's maxwell architecture, not a rebranded keppler card!
Cons: It's not perfect. For all the extra blank space above and below the keyboard, they couldn't find room for some slightly higher end speakers? They're ok, but I've heard better. I don't mind that this doesn't have an ultra high resolution monitor, but an IPS display that was edge to edge glass would've really transformed this machine's image from "weaker big brother" to "beautiful slightly larger sibling. The TN panel is very good, but the plastic bezel SLIGHTLY detracts from the overall visual appeal [not that you can really see it when the screen is at full brightness. 2MP webcam. For a company known for attention to detail, they completely missed the ball here.
Overall Review: First off: At time of posting Newegg is listing this as a touch screen notebook. IT IS NOT. I touched it, and it swore at me for leaving fingerprints. The 860m is no 870m, but it doesn't really need to be. It handles everything *I* throw at it just fine. Diablo 3 maxed out runs in the low 80s for frame rates, Mechwarrior Online runs in the 40-50 FPS range. I've seen videos on youtube of battlefield maxed out running in the upper 40 FPS range. It's capable. Add to that that I can open two excel spreadsheets side by side without squinting, and I'm content with my purchase. Heat wise, when I first got it and was updating everything, I saw it spike up to 93c. Next day, it's not going over 73-75c with D3, MwO pushes it into the low 80s.
Ultimately, it's not an ultra portable gaming machine, but that's not what I needed. I needed something I can take with me on multi week business trips and park in my hotel room. If you require on the go anywhere access and portability, the 14" is probably your machine. If the slightly additional weight and size don't mean much to you, however, this is just as capable a gaming machine [native resolution to native resolution]. The Switchblade UI seems like a throw away at first, but with a little programming it can be an absolutely wonderful shortcut station. In addition, you can download apps such as the monitoring station that let you keep an eye on your processor usage, memory usage, etc, as well as a windows 8 shortcuts button and nice amenities like spotify control and easy access twitch.tv button.
Pros: Fits an H100i + an Optical bay. Great layout overall. Window placement about perfect for all the show without all the mess. Feels solid and sturdy.
Cons: Cable management VS front fan. If you're even THINKING about using an optical drive, prepare to have at least a few wires blocking the front intake. It can be minimized, and may not even impede cooling AT ALL, but I'm OCD. Also, see other thoughts.
Overall Review: I moved from the Cooler Master Elite 130 to this case. I REALLY enjoyed the 130, but after a GPU upgrade [with nvidia reference cooler] I ended up with a dead spot baking the back left side of the case, and heating up the PSU. The 130is about half the size of the 250D, but was well thought out enough that I was able to tie all the wires off and away from the intake. All in all, though, the 250D is a MUCH more capable [if slightly larger] case. It allowed me to step back up to an H100i, and believe it or not it's QUIETER than the 130.
Also, love that they left enough room between the H100 mount and the motherboard mount to enable running higher end Asus motherboards without the cooler interfering with the vertical PWM. There's not enough room to set it up in push/pull with 4 fans, but without the ODD bay it appears you could squeeze on a third.
Pros: Small, solid, good battery life, useful gestures
Cons: Single top button, no tap-to-click.
Overall Review: Picked this up at the local Blue and Yellow retailer as it was on sale for $20 less than Newegg. The added gestures are a welcome addition to Win 8, though you lose touch-to-click in the transition. The body of the mouse is made of aluminum, so while it doesn't feel HEAVY, it still feels really solid in your hand. It's also TINY! On one side, it's a portable mouse, so that's a positive. On the other. . . . I may wish it were either 3/4" longer and MAYBE 1/4" thicker. . . or both. I use the thing with 3 fingers, which means I have to take my hand off the mouse more often than not to use some of the built in gestures. There are some that complain about losing connection intermittently with this mouse. For those experiencing this issue try turning off selective suspend on the bluetooth device in windows device manager. This SHOULD alleviate most if not all of those problems.
Pros: Portable, built in battery. Look good, sound decent FOR WHAT THEY ARE [see other comments]
Cons: Cord could be a little longer.
Overall Review: These are NOT an audiophile's dream. You're not going to get serious deep bass out of speakers this small, it's just not physically possible. Sound quality is not going to be B&O clear.
What you DO get is amplified sound. In my case I regularly pair these with my Nexus 7 when ambient noise is drowning out the pathetically underpowered tablet speakers. For my uses, these speakers work perfectly. If you have reasonable expectations for what these are intended for [portable sound amplification] you won't be dissapointed. Batteries last several hours before needing a charge, I've never run them full to empty so i can't give an exact.
Pros: Physical size! I actually have room left over on my desk. Fits full sized PSUs and GPUs. Fits my Corsair H80i in push pull [though doing this means the maximum size drive you can put on the floor of the case is 2.5"
Cons: Can be tight squeezing everything in. Cable management is challenging. Still wish it had some kind of exhaust fan on either the left side or top [see other thoughts]
Overall Review: Overall I love this case. Have a 4770k on a Maximus VI impact, cooled by a Corsair H80i. CPU wise I'm pushing 4.4 @ around 1.25-1.28v, and I'm maxing around 72c. GPU wise I'm running an EVGA 780 ti.
DEFINITELY don't want a card that vents into the case on this one, as the only possibility for exhaust is via the PSU [when it is installed fan down towards the CPU] My card vents out the back, but even so it seems to direct hot air upwards around the SLI connector, and after extended gaming sessions that back quarter gets WARM! Doesn't affect performance at all, but it's significant enough to mention.
Pros: Really helpful program. Fit meter helps keep you thinking about it even when you're away from home, and being able to quantify your daily life into calories burned is also super helpful. I got program access when I bought my wii fit meter, so the software ended up being free for me. Even at retail it's worth every penny. Doubly so if you're a gamer like me who has no motivation (or money) for the gym or more R/L oriented exercise. Making it a video game is a lot easier for me to quantify than lifting weights or repetitively running in place on a treadmill.
Cons: Much like older versions, this version has detection issues. Occasionally it will flat out fail to detect steps during advanced step, or I'll flick the controller one way only to have it not read or give an inverse reading [I get this a lot on the tetris-squash game thing. . where I swing right to left and the console reads left to right movement and costs me my ball. It's frustrating to have a really good run on something, only to have it bounce a read and destroy an otherwise great run. I just keep telling myself the points are not the reason I'm here. . . . SOMETIMES I buy that ;)
Overall Review: I used to use the original Wii Fit program on the Wii [the OLD Wii fit, not plus] so the addition of advanced sped up rhythm boxing, rhythm kung fu, and all the dance stuff was new to me. I did well with it before (until the Wii died and I didn't feel like re unlocking all my workouts) But now it's *SO* much better! Being able to make my own workouts and not have to jump through menus is wonderful! I use this in combination with a no sugar as organic as possible diet, and while I only started the week before Christmas, I've already lost about 12 lbs .. and that's WITH the traditional holiday meal mayhem!
Pros: Didn't blow up the first time I plugged it in. Peak wattage tends to stay lower than old PSU [see other thoughts] Packaging and presentation as expected from Seasonic.
Cons: Is it not possible to make good quality wires that AREN'T so completely stiff? Failing that, a lot more cases are offering SSD mounts on the bottom or sides of the case. Having the SATA cable wires oriented with the actual wires facing DOWN makes it very difficult to hook these up without feeling like you're overly stressing the SATA port on the drive. Seasonic's cables are no exception to this. Also, due to the orientation of the PSU mount, the Seasonic badge affixed to the case is upside down. Yes, I'm nitpicking.
Overall Review: put in a M-itx build, Asus Maximus VI impact/4770k @ 4.4Ghz in a cooler master Elite130 case. GPU is an EVGA GTX780 ti. Aside from the stiffness of the cables, it ended up fitting very well. The old PSU I was using [an old ABS Dark Beret 1000 watt] tended to peak and stay around 461w with prime95/3dmark running. While the Seasonic DID momentarily peak at 461, it hovered around 430 99% of the time. All in all, I'm happy with it. I can't speak for it's longevity, but with a 7 year warranty I'm not going to stress *TOO* much over it.
Pros: Hyperthreaded quad core. Performance is a given.
Cons: Heat, which is apparently luck of the draw for these processors. 4.0 at 1.072 IBT hits 76c, 4.4 at 1.12 it touches around the 81-82c mark with an H80i with Corsair SP120 high pressure max performance fans.
Overall Review: Built this into a Cooler Master Elite c130 with Asus maximus IV impact board. Wasn't looking for top overclocking, but it's a little dissapointing. Overall though, the performance is well worth it. If you're brave enough to de-lid to fix the temps, who knows how well it will do.
Pros: Very nice colors out of the box. Tons of inputs. Sound output is nice when using multiple devices (though it's a bit quiet) 21:9 aspect ratio makes my widescreen video collection MUCH nicer to watch! Fits my vesa monitor stand. Minimal backlight bleed compared to a lot of cheaper panels I have owned in the past. For games that support it [Mechwarrior online in my case] it performs absolutely phenominal -- no ghosting to speak of.
Cons: One single shiny white stuck pixel in the almost exact center of the screen! (See other thoughts)
Not all programs will support the ultra wide aspect ratio. Not the monitor's fault, but with applications that only support 16:9 resolutions, there will be black bars on the sides.
Overall Review: This is what dell calls a "premium panel". It is backed by Dell's premium panel guarantee which "Ensuers a free panel exchange if even one bright pixel is found during the limited hardware warranty period" [direct quote from Dell's product page.
I did have to explain the above to the tech I spoke with, who confirmed the warranty, made me do a "transfer of ownership" [I guess from the seller to the end user?] Essentially I had to register my product over the phone. Long story short, they're shipping me a brand new panel today. THAT ALONE made it worth the price of admission. Brand new exchange panel within 30 days, refurbished after that for the full warranty [3 years]
Pros: Spec sheet speaks for itself, but I have to specially mention how wonderful switchblade UI is. I can't say it's great as a trackpad [though it's good] but being able to call up youtube videos/music while in full screen mode in programs/games is sweetly addictive! The screen is gorgeous [for a TN panel]. . . Let's just say it runs like it looks. 6 second boot, MwO on Med/high settings at 52-38.6 FPS give or take a few. Razer support was as polished as their product. Talked to me in a tech savvy way and did everything they could to help resolve my issue [see cons] Follow up service with newegg RMA was just as exemplary. [again, see cons] THIS NOTEBOOK IS NOT CHEAP. there is a more feature packed and significantly less expensive competing product on the market. I specifically went with the razer blade pro over the other guys because I have had 2 notebooks from that manufacturer, and I'm not really happy with the quality [or GPU temps] on either of them. In a form factor this small, I cannot trust that that manufacturer's product will cool any better than the last 2 generations of product I have purchased from them.
Cons: Unit received was defective. During gaming randomly received BSOD "DPC_Watchdog_violation" or "Video_TDR_Failure". Spoke with Razer who suggested I try Nvidia 326.80 beta drivers. Was told if the driver did not fix it, it was a GPU issue and would need RMA. Unfortunately it did not fix the issue, and it's sitting in all it's packaging waiting to go back in the morning. I'm not going to dock points tho. A notebook with dual graphics with a defect in the dedicated GPU is something I can see not being produced in testing. My motto here is not "for this price it had better work right" but "for this price if it doesn't work they'd better go out of their way to make it work right". . . and Both Razer and Newegg have gone out of their way to do so.
Overall Review: As to how the thing runs, it hit maybe 80-81c CPU max, 76cish GPU max. Aluminum body draws heat [good, helps keep it away from internals] but over time starts to soak the entire chassis. Bar above keyboard gets very warm, and the palm rests on bottom get a little more than slightly warm. Speakers are . .typical notebook speakers. Not too loud, not too rich, though they are crisp in the midrange. Plugging in my razer blacksharks, however, opened a new world of nice sound! Granted, we're not talking audiophile here, but was running TeamSpeak over MwO, and it sounded absolutely epic. I already mentioned the trackpad. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to experiment with programming it, but in stock configuration I loved it. All in all, I'm really disheartened that I have to be without this machine now that I've experienced it. It's well worth the price for the overall product quality/build and support/customer service.
Pros: Very well built. mechanical keys, 3 way adjustable, 8 way D-pad. . I can almost skip this. Go read the spec page, it's 110% as solid as it looks. If you do not own a razer mouse, and do not have any intention of owning a razer mouse, then this is a 5 star product and you can feel free to skip the cons/other thoughts sections.
Cons: SYNAPSE 2.0! Three star loss for my application based solely on the garbage synapse software. Very unfortunately for me, synapse is required for making macro sets for the orbweaver, so it's either suffer through it or lose the macro functionality.
Overall Review: So what exactly is the problem? Put very simply: I own a razer mouse. Synapse is a unified driver/configuration screen for all razer products, and Synapse has completely destroyed my mouse sensitivity. if my computer changes power states at all [sleep, restart] there is no telling what my mouse sensitivity will be when I get back on the thing. The range is somewhere between pointlessly slow or hopelessly fast, and it's completely inconsistent. I have to open up synapse every time I come back from a power state change and HOPE it ballparks back to a usable mouse cursor speed.
Granted, this isn't the orbweaver's fault, but since you need to use the synapse software to make macro sets for the orbweaver, and installing synapse essentially breaks mouse acceleration. . well. . it's all just a massive fuster cluck.
Pros: Low power and efficiency, great for those who are upgrading 5+ year old machines or need lower power consumption.
Cons: Heat, mediocre step up from Sandy/Ivy Bridge.
Overall Review: Replacing a very power heavy 3930k with this build, and while it's a large step down, you can't really feel it. Seeing that the new system is using about 1/3rd the power at idle makes it all worthwhile. Overclocked to 4.2 on stock voltage, hits 78-79c in IBT, 65c gaming with an H80i push/pull config. Those temps make me a little hesitant to push any further. It's not an overclocker's dream by any means, but it's a nice solid chip.
Pros: Feature set and price. mSata + wireless A/C really rounded this out for me. Headphone amp is a nice plus, though I haven't played with it much yet. Looks nice, and boots about 2x faster than the Rampage IV extreme it's replacing.
Cons: A few nitpicks. The A/C antenna has thin junk wires. Would suggest replacing with direct antennas. Only 2 fan connectors onboard. NO SWITCHABLE GRAPHICS! I was kinda sorta aware of this after I made my purchase, and I'm not sure why they elected to leave it out. Not a deal breaker but was a little disappointed.
Overall Review: I built this to get out from under a power hungry kitted out 3930k build, and at 50w idle it's drawing about 1/3rd the Sandy-E system. This is @ 4.2 on stock voltage. I've had vdroop and power delivery issues with Asrock boards before, so i was a little nervous about giving them a second chance, so having a solid experience was kind of a nice change.
Pros: Ease of installation, both full install on new drive AND upgrade installation (from windows 7) Most people complain about the lack of start button, but ditching the outdated menu fly out structure has been the best thing that's ever happened for me. The start screen works just the same, without all the annoying mouse overs if you miss the line you MEANT to open, etc. People complain about the interface being made for touch screen. . I don't get it. I have no issues using a simple mouse for all these activities. All in all, it's nice to have the additional functionality of apps, I've been waiting for a non web actually USABLE version of Tunein Radio FOREVER! microsoft security essentials has been baked into windows defender, and the whole thing is fast as heck on an SSD with secure boot/fast boot enabled. For reference, I'm running lga-2011 with 32 gig ram, so for reference I'm running a high end machine. I haven't had a single compatibility issue to date with any of my programs, and all the old command line shortcuts work just fine. Native SSD optimization built into what used to be disk defrag [disk optimization] actually shows trim functioning, no more guesswork.
Cons: The REAL cons with this program, the ones everyone seems to be too hung up over the loss of a single button to notice:
Windows is moving to a closed off operating system. Thanks to that fruit company, I suppose this was inevitable, but I do not like the thought that my machine may one day be a "consume only" piece of equipment. I like the apps in the app store well enough, but allowing Microsoft to be the gatekeeper is no better than the competition.
Secure boot: I get that it can be disabled. Anyone wishing to load other operating systems will probably have the knowledge to do this. It's what it can become that frightens me.
Live ID Sync: Did not work as I expected. Apps and app settings did not sync between computers, meaning I had to manually setup all my presets, logins, etc twice [minus the windows mail program, which DID copy over the email info] Perhaps this is something that will be resolved in time, but as of this writing it has not worked for me.
Overall Review: All in all, If you're curious about whether or not you will enjoy windows 8, go to a retail store and play around with it for half an hour or so. Find the ONE guy that actually knows computers from a hole in his head and ask questions if you're confused about how to perform certain tasks. DECIDE FOR YOURSELF! There are a lot of people out there genuinely thinking that the loss of the start button is the end of the world, but in all honesty navigating through my files and apps has never been more intuitive. . even with a non touch screen desktop computer. I've explained to several friends who have upgraded how to get around, and they're already using it with approximately the same skill they navigated 7.
Or, to put it bluntly: IT IS NOWHERE NEAR AS BAD AS MOST PEOPLE ARE MAKING IT OUT TO BE.
And no, because someone will ask, i don't work for M$. I'm NOT being paid to write this. I'm just becoming disgusted with all these negative reviews of "I installed it, found some new screen and no windows button, got all rear end-hurt and emo, and uninstalled it 5 minutes later". 8 is solid, stable, and performs really well [with current hardware, at any rate] Again, if in doubt, TRY BEFORE YOU BUY. And if you feel it's not for you. . then Don't upgrade. As for me, I've been running it since the first beta started [Mostly because I was too cheap to buy a retail copy of 7) I have had a great experience with 8, and I suspect if most people would give it a chance. . they would too.