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Brandon B.

Brandon B.

Joined on 01/21/05

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 8
Most Favorable Review

Great Buy

LITE-ON Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner with LightScribe
LITE-ON Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner with LightScribe

Pros: Fast, cheap, black, and works as advertised. I haven't burned a bad disc yet (out of 50 or so) and the Lightscribe really impresses the ladies.

Cons: You have to hear it to believe how loud it is when it burns (thus 4 stars), but normal operation, including DVD/CD playing, is quiet.

Overall Review: SATA is cool but shouldn't be a deal breaker if considering a different drive.

Most Critical Review

Beware the 4GB RAM Limit

ASUS P5L-VM 1394 LGA 775 Intel 945G Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
ASUS P5L-VM 1394 LGA 775 Intel 945G Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: Cheap and had exactly the features (almost, see "Cons") that I was looking for. Integrated video, PATA and SATA connections, microATX form factor, 4 rear panel usb 2.0 ports and a rear panel firewire port. BIOS is easy to update and I've never had any problems with it except...

Cons: ...the integrated audio caused all kinds of problems when I installed an external audio interface (M-Audio FastTrack Pro). Odd sounds, computer restarting, etc. Disabling it worked for me, but if you're relying on the onboard sound card, it may be something to worry about. The other BIG issue is the misleading claim of supporting 4GB RAM. It's been discussed by others, but it needs to be reiterated. I'll have to buy another board in a year or so because I'm basically wasting some of the RAM that I bought for this one. Put 2GB RAM in, you get 2 GB RAM. Put 4GB in and you get less than 4GB (3.1 GB for me). The only explanation that I've ever gotten is that when 4GB is installed, the board decides that it now needs some of that RAM. Why doesn't it "need" it when less RAM is installed? I'm no expert but that's ridiculous. And reiterating: this is not an OS issue, it is the board. And I've still never gotten a satisfactory explanation as to why

Great Budget Drive - 'Elements' is a good name

WD Elements Desktop 640GB USB 2.0 3.5" External Hard Drive WDE1UBK6400N Black
WD Elements Desktop 640GB USB 2.0 3.5" External Hard Drive WDE1UBK6400N Black

Pros: 1) Nearly silent operation. Quieter than my other 2 external HDDs. 2) Removable protective rubber endcaps 3) Great price and brandname 4) Small unobtrusive LED (good if you don't care to know when the drive is reading/writing) 5) Pretty slick looking if you ask me

Cons: 1) No power button, however it turns off when the computer is off, or when the usb or power cord is taken out. It also spins down after a period of inactivity. Great for longer life, not so great for keeping access times fast. 2) No brackets/stand to let it sit vertically and it will not sit vertically on its own. As a result, it takes up more space and runs hotter than it really needs to.

Overall Review: Aside from the minor issues I mentioned, this is a good overall drive and as long as it doesn't die on me in in the next few months, I'd recommend it to anyone. Newegg set a new record by getting this drive to me 25 hours after I ordered with regular delivery options and no rush processing. That's crazy. How is that possible? Whatever...man I love you guys.

Works as promised

Seagate Momentus 5400.3 ST9120822A 120GB 5400 RPM 8MB Cache IDE Ultra ATA100 / ATA-6 2.5" Internal Notebook Hard Drive Bare Drive
Seagate Momentus 5400.3 ST9120822A 120GB 5400 RPM 8MB Cache IDE Ultra ATA100 / ATA-6 2.5" Internal Notebook Hard Drive Bare Drive

Pros: Great capacity/price ratio and I've never had a problem with a Seagate although, admittedly, I haven't owned enough hard disks to really say that the company is any more reliable than anyone else.

Cons: none

Overall Review: Don't forget to buy the SATA cable if you don't have a spare one lying around!

Happy with purchase, no dead pixels

Acer AL2016WBbd 20" WSXGA+ 1680 x 1050 D-Sub, DVI LCD Monitor
Acer AL2016WBbd 20" WSXGA+ 1680 x 1050 D-Sub, DVI LCD Monitor

Pros: No dead pixels, Newegg got it to me in 2 days, display is reasonably sharp and very bright, and most importantly no dead pixels.

Cons: Some of the lighter colors appear washed out. Increasing the contrast and lowering the brightness doesn't seem to help much, but at the same time, it's not that big a deal for me

Overall Review: It looks like removing the stand will require some very careful work to keep from breaking something. Not that removing the stand is something I plan on doing on a regular basis, but I generally would like to have the flexibility to do so if I want.

Good for it's purpose

OLYMPUS VN-4100 Digital Voice Recorder
OLYMPUS VN-4100 Digital Voice Recorder

Pros: For the price, this recorder is relatively small, simple to use with a long recording time even at the highest quality setting. Note that there is no direct function to transfer the recordings to a computer, but that can be accomplished (albeit slowly) by playing back the audio through the headphone jack into the line-in or mic jack of your PC/MAC. This little unit surprised me in how well it picked up even relatively quiet sounds.

Cons: The sampling rate at the highest quality is 16 kHz which sounds like an audio cassette. That's fine if what you're recording is loud and clear, but the recording will be muddy if you're trying to capture quieter sounds. I should also note that I think that all modes other than the highest quality setting are 100% useless (so 11 hours is the max practical record time).

Overall Review: I wish that it had a better fast-forward function. It has 1x and 2x playback, but that doesn't help much when you've got, say, a 4 hour recording. It has an indexing function though, so you can mark points in the audio file to quickly return to them once they've been marked. Final thought: if you have the cash, get the slightly more expensive version (VN-4100PC) with PC-transfer capability. Otherwise, this is fine.