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Carlos M.

Carlos M.

Joined on 12/09/05

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 10
Most Favorable Review

Top audio card for headphones, audiophile range

ASUS Xonar Essence STX Virtual 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Express x1 Interface 124 dB SNR / Headphone AMP Card
ASUS Xonar Essence STX Virtual 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Express x1 Interface 124 dB SNR / Headphone AMP Card

Pros: This is it, one of the very best headphone audiophile cards in the market right now (period), if not the best. Can be used for speakers too, it have dedicated outputs for it. 1. Awesome warm and detailed audio quality. Make sure to use a very good headphone or speakers. Also, try to listen to lossless formats, however it works wonder for lossy formats too. 2. Very easy to setup, if you are using Windows 7, make sure to download the drivers from the official Asus site, instead of using the included CD. 3. Worked out of the box. 4. The high quality is very good, warm, detailed for near every type of audio (music genre, gaming, movies, etc...) 5. What more to say, the card looks awesome. 6. This is not only a headphone card, it have dedicated output for speakers and a digital output for 5.1 systems. However, this card is really focused for analog audio output, due to the dedicated high quality DAC for headphones and speakers. 7. Amp for those hungry power headphones.

Cons: ***These are NOT really cons, but these points can help on your research***: 1. The card needs power directly from the PSU, so it has a 4-pin molex connector. 2. The card may be somewhat big for just audio, I don't has any problems with it. 3. Make sure to set the correct "ohm" power in the Asus settings console software in the headphone output, this setting should match the requirement of your headphone, or it can damage it. There is no problem if you use lower power than you headphone needs, but don't do it the other way around.

Overall Review: I was previously using a Creative Audigy 2ZS Platinum since I think 2003 or 2004. While at that time the card sounded better than on-board audio, the same can't be said with boards from 2007 to present. The card started giving me issues and I had to use on-board audio, but when I was thinking about it, I have the following: - Audio Technica A900 - Cowon S9 32GB for outside use - Clarion VX-709 audio system in my car - Logitech Z-5500 for console gaming What I want to say is that I have some pretty good audio stuff, so why getting stuck with on-board audio, when I really enjoy music in the highest quality possible under my budget. After a solid research that lasted several days, I was deciding between Asus Essence STX and HT Omega Claro Halo. Most people recommended the STX, so I decided by it. Very happy with it. If you want a gaming dedicated card, don't get this one! Get one with the X-Fi chip, like Auzen X-Fi Forte 7.1

Best Honeycomb Tablet yet (period)

ASUS Eee Pad Transformer (TF101-A1) NVIDIA Tegra 2 1.00GHz 1GB DDR2 Memory 10.1" 1280 x 800 Tablet Android 3.0 (Honeycomb)
ASUS Eee Pad Transformer (TF101-A1) NVIDIA Tegra 2 1.00GHz 1GB DDR2 Memory 10.1" 1280 x 800 Tablet Android 3.0 (Honeycomb)

Pros: - 10.1" IPS 1280x800 display, color quality like iPad 2 with higher resolution like Xoom, one of the best display you will see in this size range - Lighter than Xoom, sexier design, wider bezels so your hands (if big) doesn't interfere with the touchscreen when holding it - Fully working microSDHC slot, unlike the Xoom that is still waiting for an update (as of 5/4/2011) - SRS Surround speakers on the sides, the sound is pointing nearer to your face for a clearer audio and uninterrupted when the TF is laying on a table, unlike the Xoom which have the speakers on the back. - Faster updates support from Asus, there are like 2-3 updates already (as of 5/4/2011). - Support for dedicated optional dock/keyboard with full USB ports, another SD reader and cursor (track/mouse) support. The TF works like a fully functional netbook in this mode. - 9/10 hours tablet only, 16 hours with dock (this is based on WiFi enabled while browsing with medium brightness) - $100 cheaper on

Cons: - It doesn't have WiFi N dual band, only the standard N 2.4Ghz - The rear camera doesn't have flash, it's useless in very dark environment - The TF was shipped to market with some issues, mostly software side. While most of these issues are getting fixed via updates, it's still a little concerning to receive such product with issues. Some of them are because of Honeycomb/Google - While not really a negative, it's wider than Xoom due to slightly bigger bezels. If size is a problem for you, think twice. It still looks small and very acceptable in person.

Overall Review: I had the Motorola Xoom and iPad 2 for testing and returned both for the Transformer. I loved the iPad 2, excellent hardware and software performer, especially the App Store, but honestly the iOS and Apple limitations are not for me. I also tested the Xoom, great hardware overall, still incomplete in features because they are pending updates, like the SD card slot. The screen is "good", excellent black details, but the viewing angles are not for me, they are not "bad", but for a person like me who have a big IPS PC monitor, PQ is important to me. A tablet need a good screen because viewing angles are more common. Then I saw the Asus Transformer: - Near all features that Xoom have - Better IPS screen - $100 cheaper - Asus brand - Full dock/keyboard capacity with extended battery - Up to 16 hours??? It's a no brainer. If you buy the 16GB version for $400, then install a good microSDHC 32GB card for $50-$60, you will have 48GB total for just $460... the Xoom 32GB W

Great Audio System for the price!

ONKYO HT-S5300 Home Theater in a Box
ONKYO HT-S5300 Home Theater in a Box

Pros: The setup was easy, so many options to choose from, so many audio modes, just what I needed. I know that the included speakers are not the best, but keeping in mind that this package can be owned for $500, it's 7.1, they works, sounds good and looks solid, I can't complain. Mind you, I am not an audiophile, yet enjoy high quality audio gadgets, like Cowon, Audio Technica headphones, Asus Xonar STX soundcards, etc.. + Many inputs, including the latest HDMI version, 1.4 for 3D support and Audio Return Channel. + 7.1 + All the HD audio codecs, to be used as bitstream. No big deal though, since LPCM 7.1 saves the day for future proof. + The receiver looks solid, it's heavy though, 19 pounds. The remote looks good, easy to follow and works as should. + Dock included for iPod, iPhone, iTouch and iPod Nano, for many generations. I consider this a bonus. + All stuff included for out-of-box setup. + After settings and calibration, sound quality is awesome for movies.

Cons: - Good sound quality for some music genre, not that good for others. But hey, this not an issue for me, as I prefer to use my Audio Technica headphones for music. - The receivers get hot, uncomfortable to the fingers I would say. This is normal as stated by Onkyo, yet I recommended putting 1 or 2 PC fans on top of it. Still, no problems after many non-stop hours of use, even without the fans. - The included speaker wires too thin and can be short depending on your room size; they do the job, but still recommended getting something better, like 14-16 gauges as this can improve the speaker's performance.

Overall Review: My previous audio system was the Logitech Z-5500. However, since I started to own several devices, I wanted an audio system that can take several inputs and other features that the Z5500 couldn't provide; the answer was a full receiver HT. After many days of research between Yamaha, Onkyo and Denon, I noticed the new line up from Onkyo, including HDMI 1.4 (3D support), 7.1 and other great features for just $600 retail? and even $100 cheaper on sale. After deciding on Onkyo, I was between the S3300 and S5300, money was not a problem but also didn't wanted to spend that much, so S5300 was the choice. No regrets so far after 1 week... I still give 5 eggs, no problems so far and do what I really needed, expected and in some areas, surpassed. If you are in the search of a real full Home Theater that is 7.1 but don't want to spend much, get this one, if you want something more basic that still do the job, get the S3300 and save yourself some hundred bucks.

Great & stable DDR3 4GB kit for the price!

XPG 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model AX3U1600GB2G9-2G
XPG 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model AX3U1600GB2G9-2G

Pros: This DDR3 kit is really great for the price, very stable so far and used with: - Asus P7P55 LX - Core i7-860 @ 2.8ghz - ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2 I bought 2 of this kit for 8GB total (4x2GB). The heatsinks are not tall, so I didn't have any problems with the Freezer 7 Pro cooler, even if the 1156 socket is really near to the RAM memory slots. Sure, part of the cooler will be above 2 slots, but it won't touch the memory sticks if the heatsink is not tall. Worked out of the box with the Asus board mentioned above. Even with 4 of the same sticks, I tested it with Memtest 86+ 4.00 and no errors so far.

Cons: Not really a con, but the Asus board detected it as 1333mhz as default. Changing it to 1600mhz with 1.65v was very easy and not a problem.

Overall Review: I was using Mushkin memory brand in the my previous build: - Intel Q6600 @ 2.4ghz - 4GB DDR2 Mushkin (2x2GB) The memory still working great and no problems so far, super stable, but in new build I saw that Mushkin DDR3 prices are higher, so I decided for A-data brand due to really good scores and price.

Great 1156 board for the price!!!

ASUS P7P55 LX LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard
ASUS P7P55 LX LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: If you want a cheap and good board for your i5/i7 build, this is the one to get. 1. Lot of options for overclocking, if you care about this. 2. Worked out of the box with a: - i7-860 - 8GB DDR3 A-Data 1600mhz (4x2GB) - Nvidia GT 220 1GB - Asus Xonar STX - ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2 - WD Raptor 150GB 3. Has been very stable since first day, no problems so far. 4. What more to say, it's Asus.

Cons: 1. While not a con, the BIOS detected my RAM at 1333mhz, but changing it to 1600mhz and the voltage to 1.65v was very easy and not a problem. Very stable on both settings with Memtest 86+ 4.00 for a while. 2. Always take like 12-15 seconds to POST, but it seems normal because the same happens to other people with this board. However, the board seems testing USB devices connected to it (lights turn on and off and on) before POST, so it's fine.

Overall Review: I wanted an efficient and cheap i7-860 build, cheap in the sense of getting the best parts value/performance wise. This board it's very good so far and very happy with it, even better for the price, I think is the cheapest in this range, at least what Asus has to offer. This board made POST even in my first time pressing the power button after the build, no issues, no troubleshooting. Like with other 1156 socket boards, the socket is very near to the RAM memory slots, take it in mind when using big aftermarket cooler and RAM sticks with tall heatsinks.

Best overall player and SQ!

COWON S9 3.3" 32GB MP3 / MP4 Player
COWON S9 3.3" 32GB MP3 / MP4 Player

Pros: 1. Excellent sound quality, always Cowon, audiophile range. A lot of settings, you will be blown away. 2. Excellent screen, AMOLED give you like Infinite:1 contrast ratio, no matter the angle and blackness, it looks always perfect! During pure black areas, the pixels turns off, giving the darkest black. The screen is very resistance to scratches. 3. The 32GB model give you the best GB/$$$ ratio and thanks to the excellent screen, you will want to view video on this thing. 4. Radio FM, voice recording, you can find this on a iPod? This is a standard on nearly all Cowon models... 5. Bluetooth, TV out, Flash Player and more... 6. Customizable Flash UI, there are a lot of UIs to adjust to your likes or create one! using the UCI development kit by Cowon. 7. Strong firmware support, there are like 1 update each months, always new features and fixes, the touchscreen is very responsive with the last update! 8. Support H264! not official but it is possible with a simple tri

Cons: Proprietary USB cable... but hey, a lot of DAPs use this and is not a big deal, right? No WiFi, but it is really important? this eat battery and the main thing to do on a dedicated DAP is to listen music with top SQ and video...

Overall Review: If you are looking for a great DAP for multiple uses (on top of great SQ), like video, Flash, Radio, widgets... Cowon S9 is one of the best right now. If you compare the specs with other DAPs in the same range, like Sony X Series, Samsung P3 and iTouch, you will find that S9 is the best value for the money. It supports FLAC and APE, for the audiophiles... ... and the style is hot too!