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Mike W.

Mike W.

Joined on 04/17/03

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 4
Most Favorable Review

Caveat Emptor

Lenovo IdeaPad - 15.6" - Intel Core i7 3rd Gen 3630QM (2.40GHz) - Dual NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M SLI - 16 GB DDR3 - 1TB HDD 16 GB SSD - Windows 8 - Gaming Laptop (Y500 (59359559) )
Lenovo IdeaPad - 15.6" - Intel Core i7 3rd Gen 3630QM (2.40GHz) - Dual NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M SLI - 16 GB DDR3 - 1TB HDD 16 GB SSD - Windows 8 - Gaming Laptop (Y500 (59359559) )

Pros: This unit has impressive specs, with an over-all solid build quality.

Cons: Unit ships with Windows 8 which just doesn't make sense on non-touch devices. That said, Lenovo has posted Windows 7 drivers, if the buyer wants to downgrade. Touch pad is mediocre at best, and Lenovo cut some corners (see "Other thoughts").

Overall Review: Unbeknownst to me when I ordered this, the Y500 series does not support SATA RAID mode in BIOS, a requirement to enable Intel RST SSD caching. Lenovo pre-installs "ExpressCache" software to address this, but you don't have nearly as much control as you would if it had native RST support. I will be removing the SSD cache and HDD, and installing a dedicated SSD to address this. OEM accessory support is lacking - Lenovo makes a Blu Ray drive for the Ultrabay (it is available in other pre-built configurations on their store), but I've been unable to locate a part number, let alone a place to purchase it. Unlike other Lenovo units I've used, there is no built-in Lenovo Update for BIOS, firmware, driver, and other software updates. Either the SSD and HDD are only SATA II, or Lenovo opted to install them on the SATA II bus, as the Intel RST software is only reporting them operating at SATA II speeds (3 Gbps), not the SATA III (6 Gbps) supported by the HM76 chipset. All that said, if you understand all of this when purchasing, and don't set yourself up to be disappointed, the amount of laptop you are getting for the price is pretty incredible.

Great Bluetooth Gaming Mouse

RAZER Orochi USB Gaming Mouse
RAZER Orochi USB Gaming Mouse

Pros: Easy to setup and pair with Windows without having to install any software (just follow included pairing instructions). It includes batteries and USB cable, so you can game no matter what. Simple case included to keep mouse and cable protected. Really love the matte finish - it makes it easier to grip.

Cons: I really wish Razer had included the ability to charge the batteries via USB, and make the USB connection power only to avoid the pairing issues other reviewers have mentioned. I'm constantly hitting the DPI adjustment buttons on the side of the mouse. Given the size of the mouse, I think it would have made sense to put these on the underside.

Overall Review: This is my first Razer product. Overall, I'm happy, but was a little disappointed to find that Razer doesn't make a full size Bluetooth gaming mouse.

Another Solid Corsair Product

CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9
CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9

Pros: Exactly as described/expected. Inexpensive and immediately detected (i.e. no insertion issues/bad modules).

Cons: None.

Overall Review: The heat spreader on these stands up much higher than I was anticipating. I have an HP Compaq 8200 small form factor PC, and was unable to reassemble the computer with these installed because the heat spreader blocked the optical disk drive assembly. I ended up removing the heat spreader from two of the four modules, which probably voided my warranty, but they seem to be completely ornamental anyway.

Excellent Card & Price

ADATA 16GB Compact Flash (CF) Flash Card Model SPEEDY CF 16GB
ADATA 16GB Compact Flash (CF) Flash Card Model SPEEDY CF 16GB

Pros: Fast card. Low price.

Cons: None, other than I'm sure the price will drop again...

Overall Review: I bought this card to perform a Compact Flash conversion on a 4G iPod. I had concerns about this card supporting the adapter I purchased for this project, but it worked immediately, recognizing the full capacity of the card.