Verified Owner
Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
Great Backpack for urban or campus use with weather-proof design, rugged build, comfortable thickly padded shoulder straps and back panel with mesh to keep you cool.5/17/2015 8:26:09 AM

Pros: This Targus Terra Backpack is an excellently made and was a great deal on sale. It now sells on Newegg for between 50 and 120 bucks; 50 is too much and 120 is insanely expensive -- wait for it to go on sale again. It has a weather-proof design, rugged build, and has comfortable ergonomically-designed thickly padded shoulder straps and a back panel, both with mesh, to keep you cool. The pack already seems to be highly rain resistant, so I doubt I’ll ever use the rain-cover. Still, the bottom of the pack, which is made of tough ballistic material, has a hidden zippered compartment which holds the rain-cover that you can put over the pack if you get stuck in a monsoon. The downside is that you can't access anything in the pack with the rain-cover on, and since this is definitely not a good choice for camping, the only reason I can see for the cover is to protect an expensive laptop if you’re stuck outside in a torrential downpour for a long time. This may be significant for some people, but I’ve never stood in the pouring rain for hours with a laptop in any bag I’ve owned and can’t imagine not finding a place to wait the rain out if it’s that heavy. The pack is meant for urban and campus use. While there’s enough room in the main compartment, which has a padded sleeve, for a large laptop and you can also fit a tablet in and some other items, and there's slender second compartment, there are not enough pockets (or space) if you need this to be a primary bag for traveling, and the lack of extra pockets makes it useless as any sort of camping pack. There’s a padded pocket for a phone or player with a feed for headphones which I can’t see anyone using because you can’t access the device properly, even with a remote, and your earbuds would get tangled and strangle you. There are very small zippered compartments which are only useful for very small items like a flash drive and the standard 2 side mesh pockets for water bottles. The main compartments are not very deep, and the very limited extra pockets are only useful for storing small things. All said though this is an excellent pack if you get it on sale which is why it gets 5 stars. This is really nice urban/campus pack so it isn't fair to fault it for its limited storage. The lack of a sternum strap (chest strap) almost led me to dock it a star, but again, at the price I paid it's an annoyance, but not worth giving it a lower rating.

Cons: This is a very nice day-pack but it's quite narrow in width which makes it unsuitable for fitting in a laptop along with a change of clothing if you wanted to use it as an overnight travel bag that could carry a laptop, a light change of clothing, and some other basics. The compartments are very limited. This pack only has the main compartment (which does not have great depth), a thin secondary compartment, and a very small sleeve-like compartment that can only hold some papers or small items like flash drives, and mesh water bottle holders. There are no extra pockets. The rain-cover is a very nice idea but in practice I believe most people will find it useless. These are only cons if you try to use the pack for something other than what seems to be its intended purpose as a day-pack that can hold a large laptop and a few other items. The real issue is the lack of a sternum strap. I have very broad shoulders and I still found the straps to be uncomfortable without a sternum (chest) strap. Most packs include them now and for a good reason; you need to cinch the shoulder straps very tightly to keep a fully loaded pack stable without them, and of course a sternum strap helps better distribute weight over your entire torso; a big plus if you are carrying a pack over any distance. If you have narrow shoulders you may have a problem with this pack because even if you cinch the shoulder straps tightly they will probably not stay in place well and you will constantly be readjusting the pack which can become annoying.

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Update to my review: this is now on sale for an insanely low price of 50 bucks, at that price it's worth getting for many people despite its limitations.12/17/2014 8:17:53 AM

Pros: I already wrote and extensive review so I'll make this brief. At this time this is on sale for 50 bucks. It had a ridiculously low price before, which is why I gave it 3 stars despite the insufficient storage and underpowered processor, but at the insanely low price of 50, for many people, it's worth buying. Just understand the limitations. You will be confined largely to web surfing, checking email, and watching streaming video on sites like YouTube and you'll have trouble running the full version of Office which is included for free. You also won't be able to install anything else because there isn't any room. However, you can be very pleased knowing you got a Windows tablet for practically nothing.

Cons: All the cons remain the same, however the insanely low price makes them far less relevant for many looking for a budget Windows tablet since this is practically free at this point. Just be mindful that once you install your Windows 8.1 updates you won't have any room left on the 16GB drive for any other programs, or apps, or anything else for than matter, since whatever tiny bit of space remains will be needed for cache. Further, while there is a Micro SD Card Reader it won't take anything larger than a 32 GB card and you can't install any programs on the card. Likewise, while it's amazing that you get the full version off Office, it's very difficult, and in some case impossible, to run effectively because of the small drive and the processor which was designed for energy efficiency, not power. Something not mentioned in my previous review is the battery life; you get only a few hours despite the fact that the The Intel Atom Z3735G has an SDP of only 2.2 W. Still, at this price of 50, I would say seriously consider going for it if you just want to try out a Windows tablet. If you go in with your eyes open and understand all the limitations it's hard to imagine anyone being truly disappointed.

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Verified Owner
Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
Nice. Small. Fast. Crazy Cheap. Toner is very expensive and Apple drivers hard to locate, but I found them.12/9/2014 5:23:19 AM

Pros: The price is so low it's almost too good to be true. This was less than 40 bucks with free shipping at the time of purchase (still is at this time) and I could have gotten it for only 10 bucks if I had bundled with another 110 bucks worth of stuff at the time of purchase. It's a very fast, very compact, duplex monochrome laser printer. The output is better than acceptable; actually it's quite good. Why only 4 stars? The price of replacement cartridges are about 2x that of toner for other printers. Drivers are also a real pain. I've detailed how to get Apple drivers below.

Cons: There's always a catch when a good printer is this cheap since Canon has to be losing money on the initial sale. Try to buy a replacement cartridge and you'll see where Canon makes the money on this. Original Canon toner (Canon 126) is roughly twice what I pay for my Brother and HP laser printer toner cartridges. You can try to use 3rd party toner, but I've found that rarely works for me. Your mileage may vary. The other issue is the drivers. Can be a bit of a pain to install for Windows, but is a real pain to locate for Mac OS X or Linux. There are no Apple drivers on any sites for North America. I located the Apple drivers in Australia and the U.K. Can't place links here, but U.K is easier to navigate. Go to Canon U.K., select Support, then select Consumer Products. You'll see a whole list of cameras, printer, etc., Select i-SENSYS. You'll find i-SENSYS LBP6200d listed there. Just select a version of OS X and you'll get the CAPT Printer Driver. At this time it's Ver.3.67 and it supports Mac OS X 10.5/10.6/10.7/10.8/10.9/10.10.

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One of the least expensive 15.6" laptops with a touchscreen. Fine for very basic computing only because the CPU has the power of a budget Core 2 Duo from 8 years ago.5/14/2014 4:49:51 AM

Pros: The Acer Aspire E1-532P-4819A is a large 15.6" touchscreen laptop with Windows 8 at a killer price. It will be acceptable to those having very basic needs. Others will be disappointed in performance since to offer such a large touchscreen laptop so cheaply Asus uses a processor intended only for small ultrabooks to power it. (See details in the Cons section).

Cons: This is a case of you getting what you pay for. In the Acer Aspire E1-532P-4819 you're paying very little for a full sized laptop with Windows 8 and a touchscreen. On sale, this is the cheapest 15.6" Windows 8 laptop with a touchscreen. A large touchscreen, even the very low-res one used here, is pricey. To give you this large touchscreen laptop Asus had to save the money elsewhere and so decided to use a Pentium 3556U which was intended for budget ultrabooks. The Acer Aspire E1-532P-4819 can serve your needs if all you require is browsing, watching basic video, running some apps, and using very simple applications. However the Intel Dual-Core Pentium 3556U simply isn't powerful enough to run anything that's demanding. It's barely capable of running OS8 effectively because it was never intended to run that OS and a 15.6" touchscreen, even one at only 1366x768. To put it in perspective, the Intel Dual-Core Pentium 3556U performs comparably to an Intel Core 2 Duo T7400, a mid-range mobile dual core processor released 8 years ago, way back in 2006. If you look at Intel's release notes you'll see that the Pentium 3556U was never intended to be used in a full sized laptop with a touchscreen. It's comparable to an Atom processor; low in voltage and in power, and created by Intel for small ultrabooks which use little power but require very long battery life. I understand the appeal of Asus offering a laptop big enough to be desktop replacement with a touchscreen at such a low price, but for most people the trade-off in performance won't be worth it.

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Cheap card, so far better than the awful Team 32GB Class 10 MicroSDHC in that it hasn't yet failed, but warranty is just as worthless3/6/2014 3:14:00 PM

Pros: The card is very cheap and comes with a card reader (superfluous for most people, but still a nice touch). It offers decent, though by no means good write speeds. The speeds are quite slow even for a class 4 MicroSDHC card and the company is incredibly unreliable and quality control nonexistent.

Cons: I've owned 3 Team cards, 2 were a disaster, and this one is just so-so. The other 2 consisted of 32gb standard size SDHC card which I tried to use with my Nikon D7100. It was easily the most flimsy card I've owned, it would literally bend if a breeze touched it. It was so flimsy it was very difficult to fit into the card slot properly. It stopped working after 2 days and I couldn't retrieve any of my photos. The 2nd was the nearly identical card to this 32GB micro SDHC, it even comes with the same card reader, but it's class 10, not class 4, like this one. Read the reviews and you'll see how many people have had terrible problems with it. Like many people, mine failed just after the return date. The only way to get the company to honor the warranty is to ship the defective card to China on your dime and then wait forever of a replacement. The same exact thing applies to this card, so realize that the warranty is virtually worthless.

Overall Review: This card hasn't failed me yet. I'm hoping it will be more This card hasn't failed me yet, but I haven't owned it very long and I've barely used it. I'm hoping it will be more stable and durable as a class 4 card, but I still expect it to prematurely fail as I've found Team memory cards to be the worst I've ever used and will never buy one again. I reiterate, you'll need to pay to send it to China if you have any problems, and then wait forever for a replacement of equally poor quality which will also has a very high chance of failing, so for most people it's like not having any warranty at all.

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Caveat Emptor - Newegg is a 5 star/5 egg company, but seriously consider buying another brand of SSD from them2/18/2014 12:01:52 AM

Pros: A very inexpensive 256GB SSD with very good specifications, especially considering the low price. This is a very fast drive, even by current SSD standards, both benchmarks and performance are routinely excellent for the period that the drive works, though I consider the failure rates to be unacceptably high. You are buying from Newegg, which is an excellent company with a 30 day return policy for this SSD. This is huge plus with any drive, but you'll definitely want it if buying an ADATA SSD.

Cons: Performance and Price are the reasons you'd buy this drive. When you first install an ADATA SP600 you'll think you're the luckiest person around; you've gotten an incredibly fast 256GB SSD at a remarkably low price (this 256GB SSD is selling for under 120 at the time of this review, which is crazy cheap for a very fast SSD of this capacity). However, what's performance without reliability? Reliability issues consistently plague ADATA SSD, and when I speak of reliability I'm referring to the very high probability of catastrophic failure, the loss of all data, and the inability to retrieve any of that data, (in contrast to a standard HDD where most, if not all, data can usually be retrieved if the drive fails). ADATA, knowing it has serious problems with its drives failing, has issued a series of firmware updates to try to address the problem, but I've yet to see any positive results. I purchased 3 ADATA SP600 SSD at the same time and all 3 failed in less than 6 months. The 1st failed within hours, (I'd just finished installing Windows 7 when it died), the 2nd died after a month of light use, while the 3rd died after only 4 months of light use. No matter how inexpensive these drives may be and how excellent performance is while they work, the failure rate is by any standard unacceptable. I replaced the ADATA drives with 2 Samsung SSD and a Crucial SSD and haven't had a single issue with any of them. When buying an SSD I'd strongly suggest you stick with Samsung or Crucial; Intel is also a fine choice if you can afford it.

Overall Review: I have no choice but to strongly recommend not purchasing an ADATA SSD. A Samsung SSD in the same class with the same capacity as an ADATA SP600 definitely costs substantially more than the ADATA drive, while a Crucial SSD in the same class is only negligibly higher in price but is slightly lower in capacity (240GB for the Crucial vs. 256GB for the ADATA). Nonetheless, I'd recommend either the Samsung or Crucial over the ADATA.

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Beautiful design and and features with amazing price to performance ratio but has serious issues (part 2)10/9/2013 6:58:34 PM

Pros: I thought I would share major portions of an email I just received from Asus via Newegg in response to the review I wrote titled "Beautiful design and features with amazing price to performance ratio but has serious issues." While I appreciate Asus' diligence in reading reviews written here and in creating the impression that they are committed to rectifying the problems with the Asus Memo Pad HD7, I was deeply disappointed in their response. What they wrote simply does not make any sense, especially given the details offered in my review as to how my units failed. Worse their email to me offered only end-user solutions of no value; not a single solution Asus intends to implement to fix the problems was even mentioned. The Asus email seemingly contains some good material in that it acknowledges that there are defective HD7 units, but then negates the value of any such statement by labeling them "escape defects." An "escape defect" is a defect found in a tiny number of all products manufactured; so Asus acknowledging that the HD7 has defects becomes meaningless. Likewise, the email starts off quite well by saying: "These system freeze or lockup that you are having with the unit were reported..." This is an explicit acknowledgment by Asus of the problems I and others have documented and seemed encouraging. However, as you'll see below in the "Cons" section, the rest of that sentence is structured to absolve Asus from all responsibility for these problems/issues even though they are without question problems with the device itself based on poor quality control or perhaps even a design flaw. Worse yet, Asus puts forth purported reasons for freezing and other problems with the Memo Pad HD7s that are so flimsy it seems to indicate that they have no intention of fixing these problems.

Cons: The Asus email I received is excerpted below. I will stop periodically to comment on its statements to show how they do not apply to the problems encountered with my units nor to the substantial number of units having the same problems. "Dear Valued Customer, Thank you for the excellent review you have provided with the tablet. I apologize that you started having issues with the unit. These system freeze or lockup that you are having with the unit were reported but most of these are related to third-party applications not fully-compliant with the Android IOS." OK, stop right there. If you read my review you will see that I had no third-party applications whatsoever installed so this excuse is both baseless and meaningless; the problem is with your units Asus, not third-party software. Let's continue now with the email from Asus: "Another common cause is a weak WIFI signal while accessing Web applications from the internet." OK, Let's stop again. You have to be kidding Asus; you are telling us that these units freeze up and cannot be unfrozen if you have a weak WIFI signal? That's just crazy. Further, if true, it indicates you actually have a design defect with the HD7, not just quality control issues. It should be noted that I was within 6 feet of my wireless router with full signal strength indicated by both HD7 units when they froze. Let's move on to the rest of the email: "Also, a possible cause is either a corrupted OS or a faulty hardware. We have a quality system in place where all ASUS products undergo intensive quality control testing and inspection. What you have seen recently with those two units are escape defect which are an isolated cases since a 100% quality system doesn't really exist in the real world because of human imperfection." Well, there you have it, Asus acknowledges defects but then classifies them as "escape defects' which means they are mere aberrations you'd find in any manufactured product. This excuse fails on 2 grounds. The first is apparent; there are far too many defective units for them to be "escape defects." Secondly, "escape defects" by their very nature are never consistently the same. With "escape defects" you see a tiny number of units with LCD failure, a tiny number of units with drive failure, a tiny number of units in with wireless card failure, a tiny number of units with Bluetooth card failure, a tiny number of units with micro-SD card slot failure, etc. The failures in these units are not only too numerous to be "escape defects," they are too consistent to be "escape defects," they are therefore either design defects or a systemic failure of quality control.

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Manufacturer Response:
Dear Valued Customer, I apologize if you were disappointed with my previous response to your recent post and all the possible scenario that were listed doesn't apply to your unit. If you tried installing the most current firmware version posted from our support site to resolve the issues and the problem persist, please email me at cl-rodel@asus.com and write down service# 3063093 on the subject line. I would be glad to set up a warranty service for the unit in order to do further diagnostics and analysis. Thank you for choosing an ASUS product. Regards, Rodel ASUS Customer Loyalty
Very inexpensive, light, good build, nice screen, but has the power of a 5 year old laptop and poor battery life8/30/2013 10:17:45 PM

Pros: A good Asus laptop as long as you understand it's very real limitations. These are dictated by its very low price tag. You actually get a bit more than you pay for considering how cheap this Asus is, but the savings mean sacrifices and Asus had to make some notable ones to sell this so cheaply. You do get some very nice things, 2 USB 3.0 ports, a 3rd USB 2.0 port, and a card reader (SD only - but how many people need a CF or XD reader anymore?). The compromises Asus made are most profoundly felt in performance and battery life, not nearly so much in the build quality or in the port selection. It is very inexpensive and very thin, especially for a 15.6" laptop. It is also very light weight (due to lack of an optical drive, and that virtually all components, including the non-upgradeable memory, are integrated into the motherboard). Light weight plastic used for the shell also contributes to the light weight of the system. Considering the thinness of the plastic shell, it feels decently solid, which is a plus, but be mindful that having said this it is clear that this unit cannot withstand rough handling. Flex is noticeable everywhere on the shell. I would have considered knocking off eggs if this cost more, but you have to be realistic, Asus could not use high quality but light materials such aluminum which would keep the unit thin and light but give great strength; this alone would have likely doubled the cost. Instead Asus went another way; they used quality plastic. This means light pressure leading to flex is actually a positive with such thin plastic on a budget laptop. Most laptops in this price range are made of very cheap plastic which is as thin as that on this Asus but is very brittle and will often crack if even moderate pressure is exerted anywhere. There is still a downside to the more flexible plastic here in that you have to be very careful with the top of the shell. Simply put a moderate amount of pressure on the top and it will definitely flex and damage or even crack the LCD. The ULV (Ultra Low Voltage) CPU means longer battery life which is also a positive in a thin laptop like this which is meant for portability. However, the choice of a very low yield battery (4-cell - 2600mAh) negates most of that benefit.

Cons: This is slow even for an entry level 15.6" laptop. It uses a ULV CPU, the Pentium 2117U at 1.8GHz. There are many ULV CPUs, particularly i5 and i7, which are very fast; nearly as fast as standard laptop i5 or i7 CPU. They give power and long battery life, but this definitely isn't one of them. The one good thing about the CPU is that it is 17 watts. It sounds better than it is since it scales poorly and the system has a weak battery (more later). While the 2117U CPU in this laptop is based on Ivy Bridge i5 and i7 architecture, so much of what gives a 3rd generation i5/i7 its strength and speed has been disabled that you wind up with a CPU so hobbled it runs at the same speed as a 1st generation entry level Merom Core 2 Duo running at 2GHz from 2008. You can check any benchmark site to confirm this just as I confirmed it myself. If you think you're at least getting the same graphic power of a current Ivy Bridge laptop you'll find the same problem with graphic performance. You don't get the impressive Intel HD 4000, the default integrated graphics chip on all standard Ivy Bridge systems, but rather Intel 2500 graphics, which like the processor, gives graphic performance of Intel chips from several years ago, in fact it is indistinguishable from an Intel 2000. Intel Graphics 2500 is radically inferior to Intel HD Graphics 4000. The faster graphics core modification of the HD 4000 has 16 execution units, while the much slower 2500 has only 6. Intel HD Graphics 4000 is almost twice as fast as the previous generation HD Graphics 3000. Keep in mind that while the HD 4000 blows the HD 3000 away, the Intel 2500 graphics chip in this Asus laptop radically underperformed the HD 3000 by more than 50%. This Asus laptop therefore has the power of a basic Core 2 Duo laptop made in 2008-2009. Despite this, it could have been an excellent choice for anyone needing a lightweight laptop with a large screen if it had good to excellent battery life; the problem is it doesn’t. The Pentium 2117U uses only 17 watts max. but does not scale well meaning it uses maximum voltage, or close to it, most of the time. A true i5 or i7 rated at a max. voltage 2x that of the 2117U will scale so well that it normally uses less voltage than the 2117U. Add the weak 4-cell-2600mAh battery and you're looking at 2 hours of battery life for routine tasks, less if you are doing something as simple as watching a video. It seems like after all of this I would never recommend this laptop, however I am recommending it even though it isn't the right laptop for me because it's a very good laptop for a lot of people on a tight budget. You get a very nice looking laptop, with good build quality, a large screen, and a good port selection for dirt cheap. If you need decent battery life or better performance and have extra cash look elsewhere, but if you are on a very tight budget and can plug the laptop in every few hours it's a fine choice, better than most in its price range.

Overall Review: Many have emphasized the issues with Windows 8 but I don't see the point in covering them as the same complaints apply to all Windows 8 systems without a touchscreen no matter what the price, and many owning touchscreen laptops also find the OS highly problematic. Asus should not be penalized for using the current Windows OS especially as Microsoft at this point charges computer companies virtually nothing for Windows 8 but charges considerably more if they install the much more desirable Windows 7 OS instead. Installing Windows 7 instead of Windows 8 alone would substantially raise the price Asus would have to charge consumers for this budget laptop in the most price competitive segment of the laptop market. Games were deliberately not mentioned in the pros or cons section as this budget laptop was never intended for them so it isn't fair to consider poor performance and battery life in gaming. (In case you still must know battery life is very poor and most games are impossible to play even at the lowest settings). If it isn't crystal clear from the review, I purchased the laptop elsewhere and returned it. I expected the performance to be average, but found it weaker than expected. Still I liked this laptop quite a bit and would have kept it if the battery life was better. I wasn't looking for Mac Air 12 hours, but a solid 3 hours would have cut it for me. Only 1 change needed to be made for me to say this was perfect for an entry level laptop; a slightly better battery. Just using a decent 6-cell battery instead of a weak 4-cell would have cost nominally more but made for a radically superior laptop. A sacrifice in performance would have been fully overridden by having a very light large-screened laptop that was very easy to carry with you, take on a 3 hour trip, and easily use the entire time without the battery running out.

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Great Japanese made Bridge Camera with a stellar 24x Leica lens, excellent JPEG conversion, and full HD Video, however there is no RAW output11/23/2011 11:30:56 PM

Pros: The FZ47 is a great long zoom lens bridge camera; the best presently on the market IMHO considering the price. (Lacks RAW-see Cons). Build quality is great as the FZ47 is made of a good amount of stainless steel & aluminum, not just cheap plastic. Image quality is excellent up until ISO 400 & the HD video works well. The lens is very sharp particularly considering the focal length. I purchased an FZ40 last year from Newegg & thought is was very good. It extended the focal length of the FZ35, but was noisier above ISO 100 & slower. I recently gave the FZ40 to a relative & just purchased the FZ47. I couldn't be more pleased. Lowering the resolution to 12MP on this small sensor camera means the FZ47 is much more responsive than the FZ40 with much less noise below ISO 800. Video is superior as well - full 1080 HD in AVCHD with MP4 too. The 460K LCD is beautiful and much improved over the FZ40. It makes composing images a breeze. The EVF, while not rivaling the LCD, is still quite good.

Cons: The only drawback I can see is a lack of RAW output. For some this will be a problem, for others a deal-breaker, but it's not an issue for me. Some will be upset as previous offerings in the same line (FZ40) retained RAW. Lumix models split with the pricey FZ100 & affordable FZ40. Panasonic has now decided to leave RAW only in the FZ150. I have only shot RAW on a handful of occasions with bridge cameras. It makes no sense from my perspective where JPEG conversion is good, as with the FZ47. For me a great bridge camera like the FZ47 gives you a great long zoom, is fast to use, has very good image quality, good video, & is a small camera that is easy to carry around. RAW is usually slow on bridge cameras, & if you need RAW quality & know how to process it you should probably consider a DSLR. I have a Nikon D7000 with a dual card slot; I set one card to JPEG the other to RAW, however I'd need to carry 1/2 dozen very heavy lenses to come close to the one small fixed zoom lens on the FZ47.

Overall Review: I've owned FZ models since the FZ35. I foolishly sold my FZ35 years back, & it was too crazy expensive to buy one used when I realized my mistake. The FZ47 is the true successor to the FZ35. In lowering the CCD sensor to 12MP from the FZ40's 14MP, the FZ47 has image quality comparable to the FZ35 with a much longer zoom. The FZ35 is a bit faster, but the difference is negligible, & the FZ47 has much better video than either the FZ35 or FZ40. I have not used the CMOS based FZ150, but I can't justify spending a fortune for a bridge camera. I used an FZ100, & like most people, was shocked at the poor performance. Almost everyone agrees that the FZ40 was superior to the FZ100 in image quality, and the FZ47 is better than the FZ40. The FZ100 has fast burst mode and an articulated LCD, but the poorest image quality of any FZ I've used. Perhaps the 12MP CMOS FZ150 is better, but it is still too expensive. Again, you do lose RAW output with an FZ47, so if you need it you should look elsewhere.

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Great Bridge Camera; best bang for the buck7/30/2011 5:05:03 AM

Pros: This camera has a ton of pros; image quality is stellar (as long as you stay under ISO 400) & HD video is great. The Leica lens is remarkably sharp from edge to edge at all focal lengths; quite a feat for a 24X zoom. I sold my FZ35 & came to regret it. I considered it to be the best compact bridge camera I'd ever used, & for still images it may still be. I was also using a Fuji S200EXR (even better images though it's a huge bridge camera) & I had 2 DSLRs, so I sold the FZ35. Big mistake; what do you use if you need a compact camera that takes great photos & video with a long zoom? At this point the FZ40 is the best answer. There are some real improvements over the FZ35; too many to list, but here's a few: The zoom is longer, the video button is much better placed & more responsive, the 52mm lens threads mean you can use a host of filters, & the hood which attaches directly to the base of the lens, without an adapter, is a huge improvement. The HD video is superior as well.

Cons: I've noted how an FZ40 bests an FZ35, but need to mention how it's inferior. The FZ35 has a shorter 18X zoom, but it's less noisy for stills. At ISO 100 I couldn't detect any difference. At ISO 200 any difference was insignificant, but at ISO 400 there was difference; more noise by the FZ40. In fairness this is only an issue for Pixel-Peepers; small adjustments in the camera's settings or via an editing program render differences meaningless. Above ISO 400 it's another story; images fall apart & the difference in the noise profile between ISO 400 & ISO 800 is marked. It's nothing to me as I rarely shoot above ISO 400, but if you do, the FZ40 will disappoint. The noise profile on the FZ35 at ISO 1600 was still quite good; but it's impossible with an FZ40 so don't even consider "high auto" ISO at 1600-6400. Some have noted that the FZ40 is slower than the FZ35: I just don't see it, but I don't shoot any camera like a machine gun--a 3 shot burst is plenty, & I find the camera very snappy.

Overall Review: The FZ40 is a stellar. I take it with me everywhere, even if I have a DSLR. It weighs next to nothing & there are always a few shots only a FZ40's zoom can grab, or some video capture the FZ40 is perfect for. If you want a great small camera & need high ISO get an FZ35; everyone loved that camera for a reason. I find the FZ100 mystifying. I tested it & still have sticker shock. It has an articulated LCD, CMOS sensor & is faster, but only if you must shoot 12 shots so quickly that if they were bullets they'd take out Al Capone & his whole gang before they could blink. I find the images & video the same or inferior to the FZ40. My take on the price drop of the FZ40 is that DSLRs prices have fallen to the point where almost no one is going to pay $500 for a bridge camera. The "Good Enough Tech" trend is forcing manufacturers to adjust prices down. Fortunately, the FZ40 isn't simply "good enough", it's a great Japanese made camera with a German designed Leica lens at an amazing price.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? 
Produces excellent still images & has a host of fearures, but has video issues because the zoom is not smooth.7/17/2011 12:40:25 AM

Pros: For still images, the HS20 is the best long zoom bridge camera. The EXR sensor is the prize. The HS20 is much smaller than a DSLR, has a phenomenally long zoom, articulated LCD, & offers HD video. The HS20 has unparalleled features; a Swiss army knife of a camera--compact, with every tool imaginable, & giving amazing still images if properly used. Comparing the HS20 to a DSLR is misguided. A DSLR will be noticeably sharper at high ISO, but will be substantially larger. The camera that gets the shot is the one you can carry with you; there’s no way I can carry my D5100 around with an equivalent of a 30X lens. With the HS20 it’s not a problem. You should use the HS20 in EXR mode even though it technically reduces the resolution in 1/2, from 16MP, to 8MP. Fixation on pixel count alone is a trap. Consumers want the highest MP sensor even if it means terrible image quality. It’s worth researching how the EXR sensor combines two 8MP images to radically outperform a sensor set at 16P.

Cons: The HS20 tradeoff is some features are not ideally implemented, most noticeably in video.The video is excellent if properly configured; until you try to zoom. The manual zoom is fine for stills, but it's not smooth & therefore problematic when zooming (an issue not present in the Fuji S200EXR with one of the smoothest lenses I've ever used, so it's inexcusable on Fuji's part, even if the S200EXR doesn't support HD video). You can effectively zoom the HS20 in video, but its a pain. Fuji radically improved the resolution of the LCD on the HS20 over the HS10 (which was awful), & it's excellent. The EVF is still poor though. You can use it if glaring light makes the LCD unusable, but it's only good for basic composition; nothing else. Sound recording is good, but an external mic output would have cost little & been a big plus. My Nikon D5100 is superior in all ways, but with the lenses its a monster. So I use it when I have a specific project, otherwise I always carry the HS20 with me.

Overall Review: The HS20 is simply too expensive at this point. I paid 1/2 Newegg's price & also got a 16GB SD card, charger with 4 batteries, & Lowepro case, so I'm satisfied. I wish Fuji took more from its stellar S200EXR; my choice for best bridge camera. I use the HS20 more because it is far more compact & has more features, but the S200EXR build quality (titanium & aluminum) is beautiful. Unlike the HS20, it doesn't have an articulated LCD, but the EVF is excellent. It uses the same Fuji EXR sensor as the HS20, but quality is better at high ISO as the sensor is larger (close to a 4/3 sensor, while other bridge camera sensors are close in size to point & shoot cameras). My biggest qualm is the superior build of the S200EXR lens; smooth as silk it gives perfect zooming in video. The S200EXR has the image quality, build quality, & the ergonomics of a quality DSLR, but also the size & weight of a DSLR; albeit with a much longer zoom. Choose your trade off; the HS20 is worth owning at the right price.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? 
Verified Owner
Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
Dirt Cheap and Terrible12/2/2010 4:48:01 PM

Pros: None. Impossibly Cheap Price for a reason : it is a horrible product. Newegg gets good marks for arranging for a return and a refund. I listed 1 Egg for this abysmal product; but I should clarify that I give Newegg 5 Eggs for the quality of their customer service.

Cons: This was $25 when I bought it a few days back, now it has been dropped to under $20. It is impossibly cheap because it is the absolute worst DVD Player I have ever seen. I can't help but believe they lowered the price even further just to unload these awful players. Mine was entirely defective and the build quality is dreadful. The tray didn't even line up properly when I received the player, the cables were broken, and when I used an extra pair of good cables I have available, none of the outputs would work. I was able to get the player to take a DVD disc, but then it decided in wasn't going to eject it. The disc wasn't stuck, and a neither was the crooked tray; the tray simply wouldn't open. It is clearly a case of defective electronics. Stay away!

Overall Review: I was foolish enough to think that a standard DVD player like this, meant simply to play DVDs, without extensive support for a broad range of compressed video and audio formats, would function even if it was re-certified because it is a very simple device to build. A plain DVD Player like this is among the simplest pieces of tech to manufacture; and it is founded on the most basic time tested technologies. Do what I now intend to do: spend more money and get a player with good reviews from a reputable manufacturer. Skipping this product and spending a few dollars more will save you a fortunes worth of grief.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? 
Nice, with a good set of basic features and an excellent LCD; but very overpriced and quirky10/30/2010 5:15:23 PM

Pros: I purchased this refurbished from Newegg for roughly half the retail price. It came with a free bag and free shipping too. At the refurbished price of less the $350 total, it was well worth getting, but I can't recommend it at retail as it costs as much as an i3 or i5 with superior features. The 2 big selling points of the K50IJ are its beautiful back-lit LCD and the fine industrial design of the laptop. It is sleek and lightweight without feeling fragile, and the keyboard is extremely good; no flex and excellent action. The 1.3 Megapixel Webcam is quite good, the 4 USB Ports are well positioned, the VGA out is basic. The T4500, as most know, is actually a Penryn Core 2 Duo with reduced cache and no virtualization. Virtualization isn't needed by anyone using an entry level laptop, while the loss of cache makes little difference in performance except in intensive graphics; and this is not a machine intended for heavy graphics. You'll need and i5/i7 and a distinct graphics card for that.

Cons: There are a number of complaints to be made about this entire Asus K50IJ series. These stem from Asus using atypical laptop components. Asus knocks out thousands of units, so using slightly cheaper components saves Asus substantially on volume, particularly since Asus makes the boards themselves. Most complain about the Elan trackpad. It is not widely used in industry and is very sensitive, but it can easily be adjusted. Likewise the AzureWave Webcam is not widely used. Most laptops use Realtek HD Audio. Asus goes for the less expensive VIA HD. VIA Audio chipsets were notoriously dreadful, but the sound from this particular chipset is actually quite good. I initially was getting feedback when using headphones but making adjustments in the VIA HD Audio Deck resolved the issue. The external speaker is horrible: barely audible no matter what you do, and no one has seems able to resolve this. Of real concern is that Asus embedded 2GB of the 4GB of DDR2 in the motherboard.

Overall Review: Despite limitations I like the laptop very much. The LCD is a standout. The colors are beautifully saturated and it has an excellent angle of view. The cost saving in other areas is problematic. Most noticeable is the speakers, which for all intents and purposes are useless: you can barely hear them if you are mere inches away from the laptop in a silent room. Of greater concern over the long run is Asus's decision to embed 2GB of the 4GB of DDR2 in the motherboard. With a dramatic rise in memory prices it saves money, but it is a bad idea. Hard drives have the highest failure rate because of the moving components and heat; followed by optical drives, which are also mechanically complex. Among the solid state components of a laptop, RAM has a much higher failure rate than a standard motherboard. Slight fluctuations in voltage or heat can cause memory to fail. Embedding it in a board shortens the life of a system. If even 1 of the 16 chips fail the entire motherboard must be replaced.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? 
Beautiful Laptop, Dated - Superceded by AMD Vision Platform. Problematic hardware.7/10/2010 2:27:28 AM

Pros: In my opinion, outside of Apple, HP makes the most beautifully looking laptops. This is no exception. It has a wonderful feel, elegant design, and use of materials. It's one-upmanship of the the MacBook Pro is that you can actually swap out the Battery, Hard Drive and RAM. I don't know what Apple was thinking by making this impossible. It means that if your MacBook is out of warranty and the battery fails, you'll pay a fortune to have the thing pulled totally apart for a battery swap. The keyboard is excellent on the HP. The number and type of ports and other expansion options is fairly unsurpassed in a 14" laptop. I personally like the slight heft, it is solid with out being overly heavy. 5 lbs isn't exactly an anvil, and the solidity allows me to feel like putting some real pressure on the keyboard and palm-rests won't destroy the laptop. I can't say the same for many other current laptops made of the flimsiest plastic. Finally the price is excellent for a well appointed 14" laptop.

Cons: Where to begin? If you just read the Pros you'd think this is the best laptop bargain ever: beautiful, full featured, dirt cheap. Unfortunately it has many of the structural flaws of the HP dv2, dv6, and dv7. It seems an exemplary product; then again I should have been smart enough not to buy it after all the issues with my dv6, but great features, feel, and eye candy trumped experience and good sense. HP seem incapable of making a laptop without major consistent motherboard and thermal issues. I faulted Apple for making simple basic maintenance impossible by end-users; but HP, unlike Apple, seems incapable of making a beautiful laptop that doesn't break down and burn up. The laptop runs impossibly hot. Whatever slight cost savings a Turion vs Core 2 system offers is unjustified; HP needs to dump AMD based systems until they can control thermal issues. Even their Intel DV4's are having systemic board problems leading to catastrophic failure, though with slightly less frequency.

Overall Review: I can't recommend this laptop and in fact have to warn people to stay away from it. You may get lucky and have a problem free system; but my HP journey leads me to conclude a problem free system is the exception-not the rule. I contacted a tech I am close with who administers over 1000 laptops for a major corp. He informed me that the DV4's are encountering consistent motherboard issues and often catastrophic failure. The Intel based units are slightly better than the AMD units and both are better than the DV7 which he claimed would blow a board on average every 6 months; but this is not acceptable from one of the top computer manufacturers and the number one manufacturer of laptops in terms of overall sales. As an interesting aside, I was informed that the HP budget G60 and G70, particularly the Intel based units, are remarkably reliable. HP obviously can make a durable reliable laptop; why they can't do it with their more elegant full-featured laptops is beyond me.

3 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you? 
Fast and Dirt Cheap, but way too hot7/16/2009 1:09:51 PM

Pros: Very nice looking. Fast. Lightweight. Excellent quality LCD. CPU-Z and SIV confirm that the System, CPU and RAM run at 667 MHz not 533 MHz. The CPU is a repurposed Core 2 Duo Merom T7400 with some Cache disabled. New Core 2 Duo mobile processors are now 45nm Penryn based, but many budget Core Duo processors are actually Merom based C2D with cache disabled. My unit was unusable (see below). Newegg gave me excellent customer service -- hence the 3 eggs (5 for Newegg's service; 1-2 for my particular laptop).

Cons: I had terrible thermal issues from the get-go with my unit. This is obviously a defect in my laptop, but it appears from the complaints listed here that the quality control on this particular model is poor. My unit ran ridiculously hot within minutes of boot. I am talking about the CPU hitting 85 degrees Celcius -- which is 185 degrees Fahrenheit -- within a few minutes of booting up. The laptop began to smell of burnt plastic and then shut down. Of course I had it on a cool desktop at the time, so there was no obstruction of the vents. Again, this is an issue of a defective unit, but I find the other complaints listed here, including those about excessive heat, worrisome. I have a Gateway MD2614 with a Turion X2 RM 72 CPU and ATI 3200 GPU which should be a hot machine, but thanks to excellent design and construction it runs incredibly cool even if I use it 24/7.

Overall Review: I personally like Acer and Gateway laptops very much. I presently own 2 other laptops made by the Acer and its subsidiaries (1 Acer, 1 Gateway) that run beautifully, look great, and never give me any problems whatsoever. A simple Intel based unit like the one sold here, with a standard time-tested 65nm Dual Core CPU and integrated Intel Graphics, should be problem free. Again, I think quality control is an issue. Most buyers will likely get decent laptops, but the number of issues with this model seems too high to me. I must emphasize again that Newegg was great about dealing with my receiving a defective unit. Newegg is the best e-retailer I have ever dealt with.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? 
Excellent laptop: compact, fast, with great graphics, a large hard drive and a top-notch optical drive all at an affordable price.5/9/2009 4:55:58 PM

Pros: This is the nicest 14 inch laptop I’ve ever seen in this price range. At this time it is less than 450 with free shipping and I got it the day after I placed the order. 14 inch laptops, especially those that are fully featured, solid, yet light, like this Acer, are usually a fortune. The LCD is beautiful, the Hitachi 320 GB hard drive is very fast and has enough storage capacity to function as a primary computer, and The Pioneer Dual Layer DVD-RW is top of the line and functions wonderfully. The keyboard is very well laid out and shows no flex at the center, the Webcam is one of the best built in units I’ve seen, and the graphics chip, an NVIDIA Geforce 9100M is unheard of in a laptop in this price range. One of the biggest pluses is how light this laptop is. I had an Asus 1000HA which I sold because it didn’t meet my needs: this little powerhouse weighs approximately 1 ½ pounds more and I can’t feel any difference in weight even if I carry it around all day in my backpack.

Cons: No real negatives I can list for a laptop this good at this price point. Some have made hay out of the supposedly dismal performance of the Athlon64 X2 QL-62. This is just misleading, unrealistic, and unfair. Checking the benchmarks proves this Athlon CPU offers virtually identical performance to a Merom Core2 Duo 7100. Coupled with incredible graphics, ample RAM, and fast HDD, and you get a Vista score of 4.0. Does the CPU alone rival the speed on my 15.4 inch laptop with a 2.5 GHz 45 nanometer Penryn? Of course not, but that baby is shared by my wife and I as a desktop replacement, weighs 6 ½ pounds, and cost a bundle. When Vista first came out I tried to run it on 2 budget laptops--new at the time--with limited features but still cost hundreds more than this Acer. One Laptop had a Celeron , the other a Core Duo. The Celeron was a disaster; the Core Duo a nominally faster disaster. This great little laptop is so responsive I have finally stopped hating Vista.

Overall Review: A possible problem which exists with this and all other laptops is the ton of trialware installed. Uninstalling it is a pain, but I don’t dock any stars because every computer maker installs this junk. The other issue is that beyond the restore partition, the hard drive is partitioned in half. Thanks to the administrative tools in Vista it takes 10 seconds to join these 2 partitions. Make sure to make restore discs when you first get the machine; 3 DVDs will do it. As stated: this is one great little computer, I couldn’t be happier with the purchase.

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you? 
Pleasantly surpirsed. Well worth what I paid -- but I got a recertified.2/19/2009 1:45:18 PM

Pros: I was one of the people who picked up one of the recertified players at a super low price of just over 70 bucks with free shipping. The player has actually been great. I own a 160 GB iPod Classic and wanted a second flash based player with plenty of storage since my music is all ripped at 320 kbps. The player works flawlessly (once I upgraded to the latest firmware -- more on this below). The sound is crisp with ample bass so that I haven't found the need to boost anything with the equalizer. Battery life is decent at about 10-12 hours for Audio, 4 hours for video. The big thing is to update the firmware as soon as you get the player. I think the player is actually quite solid and attractive looking. I got a case very inexpensively at an online retailer specializing in Sandisk related products. There is a major caveat: I would not pay the full price for this unit. At the regular price it costs as much or more han an iPod, which is definitely superior. On sale it is worth buying a View.

Cons: I thought I'd take a shot on this as the price was so incredible despite some pretty poor reviews. Examination of the reviews showed that most of the issues resolved around really terrible firmware. I had the same problem with an old 200 series, it took Sandisk about 6 firmware releases to fix hardware bugs that seemed like major hardware defects. When I got this player it exhibited the crazy lag and freeze others have reported. Again, might look like defective hardware, but upgrading the firmware resolved all the issues. Sandisk definitely needs to resolve this issue -- a lot of people are getting units that seem to be faulty hardware when the company just can't seem to release a player with proper firmware. On another note: the SD card slot is nice, but for most folks 16GB is probably enough storage.

Overall Review: Being able to sync with Windows Media Player or do Drag and Drop is a big plus on this player. It is a good choice for anyone running multiple platforms, and is probably an excellent choice if you are running Ubuntu. The only other criticism is the interface. The icons and graphics are homely by any standard and particularly compared with the incredible graphics you find on an iPod and Zune. The Audio quality is just as good as those players, as is the video playback, but the interface is both ugly and not particularly well laid out. Again, no deductions here, because I paid low, and got a lot. The interface might annoy me more if I laid out the same money I would have for a new iPod Touch; in that case I might constantly be wondering why I had to look at the ugly interface when for a little more money I could have gotten a player with a great looking interface and more functionality. Since this was cheap and the Audio and Video are excellent -- I'm satisifed.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? 
Verified Owner
Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
Very nice looking, but of questionable quality.1/23/2009 8:27:57 PM

Pros: I've been unable to find many pros to list. I'm mindful that negative reviews are often not well received-- shooting the messenger and all that, but I do it merely as a warning to others. I believe this is the only truly negative review I have ever written for an Egg product; even though I have purchased hundreds of items here. The problem is a Motorola's design issue, not a Newegg service issue. The phone looks remarkably nice, but it is very poorly designed and also very poorly manufactured. The first phone I received arrived DOA. Newegg was great at shipping out a replacement; but the second phone barely "functions," and that is being generous. There are definitely serious issues with this particular model of unlocked phone.

Cons: As stated the first phone I received was DOA. The second functions, but signal strength is horrendous. I live in a major metropolitan area in which AT&T signal strength is not an issue. With my Razor (which is unfortunately dying after years of use - hence my purchasing this Motorola phone) I am able to easily receive calls deep in major high rise buildings, even in the elevators. With this W375, the signal dies constantly even in open areas and reception in any building is impossible. I need to stand outside and hold onto a metal street sign or street light to act as an antenna to have a decent conversation. Problem is I still can't figure out how to take one of those darn signs or poles into buildings with me. Seems comical perhaps, but I'm totally serious. On AT&T, roaming updates every time you turn off and restart the phone. Also the company can "push" and update to you: none of this worked though. The phone looks nice, but it is strictly for backup now.

Overall Review: The keypad on the W375 is a bit of a pain as there are no individual keys, just a plastic film. You have to really press like crazy to make a call, and texting is nary impossible: you either have to lean on the thing to get the a key to register, or wind up with a line of letters in a row from pressing too hard. Still, I would never take the time to complain about that issue if the phone was usable. These phones are not returnable unless DOA like my first one, and then only for a replacement. I'm stuck with this thing, but you don't have to be. Fortunately, Egg is very affordable so I didn't get badly burned. IMHO, everyone else should steer clear and buy one of the other unlocked phones listed here: I wish I had.

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you? 
Amazing laptop at an amazing price11/13/2008 5:13:29 PM

Pros: Price to performance ratio on this unit is the best I have ever experienced. I paid 450 bucks for the unit on sale. I have yet to purchase a bad Toshiba laptop: this model is no exception. The CPU is really a reconfigured Intel® Core™2 Duo Mobile T7300. It has some of the cache disabled, but that and a 667MHz clock speed are offset by a faster system board, etc. All benchmarks show that the CPU matches or outperforms the Core™2 Duo T7300 all for a ridiculously low price. If you're thinking budget, it even outperforms a Turion X2 Ultra RM-72 in most non-gaming functions (The RM-72 wins big over the T3200 in gaming apps - but what serious gamer will buy this budget laptop?). The CPU runs incredibly cool-in the mid-30's. I have a nearly identical second unit with a Turion RM-70, and it runs considerably warmer (though not hot). The redesigned case is very solid yet attractive. I particularly like the raised-textured trackpad, the speedy Fujitsu HDD, and the Labelflash DVD-RW drive.

Cons: No cons. This Toshiba is very solidly built, yet attractive and reasonably light: not MacBook Pro light, but at 5 1/2 lbs it is very portable and dirt cheap for a laptop of this quality. There are two slight qualms. First, there is some trialware that needs to be uninstalled, but it is nothing compared to all of the junk on sony or hp laptops. Second, it would be nice to have an integrated web cam. However, at the price I paid it is unrealistic to expect the unit to include a decent web cam. It is remarkable that this unit costs the same price as those dinky Atom units which run at the speed of a single core Celeron 900MHz.

Overall Review: Even at the present price of just under 500 dollars, this laptop it is well worth buying. I look forward to many good years of use. Highest recommendation.

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you? 
Great laptop. Excellent specs and performance.4/17/2008 4:56:19 PM

Pros: Experience has made me partial to Toshiba laptops which are highly reliable, very solid and well made, yet affordable. This fills the bill on all accounts. It is very powerful, loaded, yet incredibly affordable. 4 USB ports, Firewire, Express Slot, large hard drive, VGA out, Wireless, etc. The components are of real quality, like the excellent Pioneer DL DVDRW. This is not the thinest 15" laptop around, but that was obviously deliberate on Toshiba's part. AMD X2 CPUs run hotter than the Intel C2Ds, yet many laptop makers use the same case design whether they use an Intel or an AMD; big mistake as this causes overheating. Toshiba put a really large yet quiet fan in this laptop, letting it run frosty. I ran it at full load for 24 hours and it didn't break 50 degrees. I have a 17" with a 1.9 GHz Turion that I use as a desktop replacement, I can't detect any difference in speed caused by the loss of some cache: that's the only difference between the 2 classes CPUs. Simply a great buy.

Cons: The only con is that it only comes with 1 GB of RAM, barely adequate to run Vista, though the CPU is so fast it does a decent job of compensating. Upgrade. I had a 1GB PQI module I slapped in that helped quite a bit. I'm waiting for a second 1GB. I wish that if manufacturers were going to use only 1 GB they would install it on 1 stick. There are about a trillion 512MB DDR2 modules floating around out there because of this. When Vista first came out it was really impossible to run on a laptop costing less than a grand and a half. These laptops are much faster now, and it shows, though Vista is still a royal pain. Be careful about installing updates. The touchpad update software MS supplies through auto update is all wrong, it is not made for this Alps touchpad and will screw everything up. Do a a manual update and install or you'll be forced to move to previous restore point or reinstall to fix it.

Overall Review: All the buzz is in C2D's, but this CPU benchmarks as fast as my wife's C2D 1.6GHz at a fraction of the cost. Of course, if you can break the bank a C2D is a great way to go. For me this laptop is perfect though. Also, it appears that all those black screen issues that plagued so many laptops when Vista came out, whether they be by Toshiba, Acer, or Lenovo, are being resolved. No, MS didn't fix it, Toshiba had to reconfigure all the firmware. It seems that the best hardware manufacturers have to constantly compensate for MS's awful programing: like disable bit, hardware based virus protection, and hardware that can force effective multi-tasking because the OS stinks at it. Thank companies like Toshiba for coming out with very affordable laptops that can actually run Vista well: it is nothing short of a miracle.

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you? 
Great 14" laptop. Premium hardware-bargain price. Every feature under the sun in a 9" by 12.5" case, As thick as as stack of pancakes.2/14/2008 1:46:40 AM

Pros: This is an excellent 14" notebook. Easily the best I've seen in this price range. The standard now for a cheap laptop is generally a larger form factor: a 15" LCD model. Powerful 14" notebooks are consistently more expensive. There are 2 ways to deal with 14" notebooks which are meant to be easily carried around without breaking your back. One: make the notebook as small and light as possible by paring down any extra features. Two: try to pack as much into a small 14" laptop as you can. Acer chose option Two here. It was what I wanted, and at 5 lbs, and 500 bucks, I'm thrilled. The CPU is actually a scaled back Core2Duo, which is plenty fast. The array of features on this machine is staggering. Webcam, 4 USB Ports, Firewire, DVDRW, Express Expansion Slot, card reader, great wide screen LCD, High Def Audio, just to name a few.

Cons: No Cons for me. I got exactly what I wanted at a great price. Width by length of the notebook is the same small form factor as any compact 14", but to make this very powerful and expandable Acer had to fit everything somewhere: They did it by making it thick. It's certainly no wafer thin Macbook Pro, but consider what this costs and the features. The design is excellent. Acer tapered all edges beautifully to minimize visual thickness. The hard drive is partitioned into 3 sections: 1 hidden restore partition, and 2 normal partitions. Delete all the junk which is on all laptops now and use the Administrative Utilities to merge the 2 visible partitions. The Pentium Dual Core CPU is actually a scaled back 1.6 GHz Core2Duo (Merom2). You lose some cache which is no biggie, but the energy use is higher (35 Watts instead of 25 Watts). This does shorten battery life--don't expect much more than 2 hours.

Overall Review: It is well worth subscribing to Neweegg's newsletter even if you are a regular buyer. I received a code that knocked $50 of the price of this computer. It is a great little system. Highest recommendation.

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you? 
Very nice design. Lightweight with and excellent 15" LCD. Almost perfect, but it has a few issues.2/5/2008 10:29:08 AM

Pros: First the good: This is the nicest budget laptop I've seen in terms of specs and design. Someone at HP/Compaq had an excellent industrial designer work this up. It may be basic black, but the design IMHO rivals Apple's. It tapers beautifully, is quite thin and has an excellent keyboard. It even has a great logo. It also is very light yet still has a remarkable 15" widescreen LCD. Further, despite how light and thin it is, the laptop feels very solid. It is a huge departure from other "budget" laptops which usually look and feel like black colored bricks yet still manage to feel flimsy. The CPU is quite powerful, it is an X2 Mobile Athlon but CPU-Z reads it as a 1.9 GHz Turion, and for good reason, it is for all intents and purposes indistinguishable from the Turion except for having half the cache. This is no liability for me, nor should be for anyone else buying a laptop like this: who would really want to game on this? Nonetheless, the 7000M graphics are excellent.

Cons: Now for the bad: IMHO Vista is terrible--awful on my desktop Quad--buggy and impossible here. I don't fault HP for not including it as MS has called the shots on this. I do fault HP for not making it easier to get XP drivers. Thanks go to Cheryl G on the HP forum for listing how to install the drivers. I found them, but the install would BSOD the system. She listed how to do a manual force install (it is pretty crazy, you need 3 separate nVidia Chipset versions to make it work). The other issue is that by default with Vista, 50GB of the 120GB hard drive is taken up with junk when you get it--ridiculous. There is a restore partition, but it's just 2GB. When I put XP Pro on and installed all my software, which is quite a bit, I still had well over 100 GB left. A last sticking point is that there is no expansion card slot. An Express slot should have been included: even cheepo laptops now have one. It means that there can be no hardware upgrades other than RAM and HDD on this notebook

Overall Review: This is highly recommended; specifically if you can install XP on it. With XP it is very fast and very stable. It runs a bit warm, in the 40s normally, and in the low 50s under a sustained load. It seems to top out temp wise there, and I have had no heat related issues. In addition, it is small and light enough to easily travel with, yet it still gives you the experience of using a full featured laptop with a beautiful large LCD.

13 out of 14 people found this review helpful. Did you? 
Cheap "Brand X" Ram with a Crucial Label stuck on it.11/1/2007 11:37:52 AM

Pros: At the time of purchase this was dirt cheap. Just under 23 bucks with free shipping. For that price it is worth giving this a shot; it is too much money now. Since Samsung acquired Micron you can no longer be sure what chips you'll get from Crucial. I have no idea whatsoever what these chips are as they are not labeled and numerous utilities like CPU-Z are entirely unable to identify them.

Cons: The stick defaulted to DDR2 4200 speed at 5-5-5-21 on 2 separate boards (1 Asus AM2, 1 Intel 945)! Sheesh, that is the worst speed latency ratio I've seen! I was able to manually set the speed in the BIOS and it worked, but any attempt to lower the latency in any way meant the systems would not boot.

Overall Review: If you need something cheap it is fine. This is about as far from performance RAM as you can get. At bargain basement prices it can be worthwhile, but don't any more for this generic ram with a Crucial label on it.

1 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? 
Bought 2: 1 Great, 1 Terrible.9/26/2007 3:32:50 AM

Pros: I purchased 2 of these primarily because I needed decent wireless adapters for my wife's G3 600 iMac w/10.3.9, and another for my G4 1Ghz tower with 10.4.10. They seem identical and appear to have the same chip. But 1 works flawlessly and the other is worthless. The 1st was virtually plug and play. The second I spent 3 days trying to get to work. It would register in the systems, find the router, but it refused to carry a signal. Extremely frustrating. Newegg was excellent in issuing a refund.

Cons: For the Asus adapter that does work there are no cons. Best USB adapter I've ever used: flawless, better than many PCI solutions. For a tiny USB adapter it pull in 5 bars from my router downstairs: no USB extension cable needed. I ran it on my Vista box and on my XP MCE system and it works flawlessly on both as well. I have none of the dropped signals or issues others reported. As for the 2nd device; it was terrible. It seems Asus has a serious quality control issue with this device as you either get a great adapter or a terrible one.

Overall Review: Getting wireless adapters for all the PCs I've built over the years has always been a piece of cake; you have about a thousand choices. for Macs there are maybe two. My wife and I are swapping the good Asus adapter between our Macs. Normally not a huge problem for me as I spend more of my time on my PCs--still a huge hassle when we both want to use the Macs at the same time.

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Normally a big fan of Acer, but this unit has serious hardware problems.9/12/2007 10:11:48 PM

Pros: Nice looking, tiny form factor, and very respectable specs at a good price. That's it though: this has turned out to be one of the biggest computer hassles I've had in years. I've taken to usually building my desktops with parts from Newegg (nice Asus boards, DDR2, etc.) and buying OEM Xp to install. I decided on this because I've owned a number of Acer Laptops and 1 full sized AMD based desktop and they were all rock solid. Needed a real small unit, plus with the price of Vista Premium it seemed like a no brainer.

Cons: Problems from the start. As others have pointed out, a 200 pin 2GB DDR2 upgrade is in order. But in my case even with the 1GB it ran acceptably fast for a Vista box. Tons of hardware issues though -USB ports would just quit working, apps wouldn't launch, The system would freeze. the system wouldn't come out of sleep and in sleep the HDD drive light would be fully on. Also the Optical was the noisiest thing I've ever heard and had read errors unless the unit was placed on its side. Plenty more problems. Contacted Acer -- I know enough to have been sure it was hardware -- the optical definitely and also the board. They insisted it was corrupted software and sent me install disks even though I had created a restore DVD as soon as it was out of the box.

Overall Review: Of course the restore didn't work -tried 3 times. Same issues. Pulled the RAM and put 2GB Corsair, then 2 GB Kingston then 2 GB Transcend. All passed memtest but the same problems persisted. Even installed Xp to rule out Vista was a partial culprit: nope. Like I said, hardware. After a month of messing I finally got Acer to take it for repair -- 2 weeks ago. Hopefully I'll actually get to use this before the 1 year warranty expires. Please skip this. It looks great, tiny and powerful - like a Mac Mini with a lot more features, but it doesn't have the Apple quality and is a huge headache a waste of time and money. If you need a small AMD based unit get a decent nVidia chipset Shuttle box, CPU, etc. It will cost about the same if you Newegg it and you'll get a great small unit. wish I had done it. Doh!

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