Date Joined: 10/27/03
Pros: 1) Works
2) Provides a workaround to a TiVo issue.
Overall Review: Works great! No problems!
For some unknown weird reason (starting about a year ago), if my TiVo Roamio Pro remained plugged overnight into my home theater system instead of plugged directly into the TV, I was often greeted with a black screen and no sound in the morning and nothing short of unplugging the TiVo will bring back the picture and sound. (And TiVo instructions require that the Roamio be plugged into the TV!!!) Before purchasing this item, I needed to unplug the TiVo HDMI connection to my Home Theater receiver and connect it to the TV every night before bed to prevent the above problem. Now, this little beauty allows me to just push a button to connect the TiVo directly to the TV each night and in the morning push the button again to get Home Theater sound. While it doesn't fix the TiVo problem, it provides an easier workaround.
Pros: I mainly use my desktop and bought this ASUS N550JK-DS71T laptop for the portability. I haven't used it much, so I can't comment on battery usage. A couple(?) years ago, I helped a friend narrow their computer choice to an Asus N Series (an Asus N56 for work & multimedia; it was the most bang for the buck in her price range). And I really liked, too. I've been wanting an Asus N series for a while now, but wasn't thrilled with what was available until now... The N550JK is like the N56 with a faster processor, 3 USB3 ports, the latest/fastest Wireless LAN, a couple extra speakers, etc. It has 1 disadvantage that I can live with (only space for 1 hard drive) and one real advantage if you're upgrading memory from 8 to 16 GB... I haven’t opened it to verify, but it is reported to have 2 memory slots with only one slot filled with 8 GB RAM. So to max it out to 16 GB RAM, you only need to purchase one more 8 GB DIMM. That's nice! Most PCs come with both slots filled with less than the maximum RAM, so you have to buy 2 new ones and throw away what you have. Thanks Asus!
The N550JK has dual fan intakes on the bottom and blows the heat out along the back edge (slightly hidden across from where the monitor is attached)... so most of the heat likely goes up in front of the screen (and possibly down?). I haven't loaded any games as yet, so I haven't really heated it up much to really notice much heat rising up from in front of the screen. Seems like this intake position could be a problem if the PC is in your lap or on the couch and the intakes are blocked off. But then this different from other laptops, which mostly also have their cooling system open to the bottom.
I have an SSD on my desktop and am used to a FAST startup. I'd forgotten how slow startup is without an SSD. But, for the N550JK's price, I can live with it. Asus says it has a 2 second "Instant On" feature, but I haven't located it yet. I love the backlit keyboard. And while I think it may have looked better with black keys, I really like the silver tone keys... but only because it is easier to see dirt and keep them clean (I have an old, old white MS keyboard on my desktop for the same reason). Also like the trackpad and haven't had problems except the occasional unintended tap when I'm typing, which moves my typing to another spot on the page (but I don't do that too often).
Cons: Not sure if I may have gotten a faulty DVD player (problem staying closed)... Sometimes it will close and lock shut on 1st attempt, but occasionally it takes multiple trys. The problem occurs When I slide the DVD player back into the computer and the outside edge stops even with the PC edge. It won't go any further and will not lock shut. It will lock closed only when I am able to push it in just slightly inside the edge of the computer and then it will come back to the edge of the computer and stay locked. It sometimes takes a couple, 3, 4 attempts before I can get it to stay shut! I was tempted to knock off a star for this, but hopefully it's a fluke (just my PC) and won't get stuck open!
Really wish this great PC was available with Windows 7!!! I was a Windows 8 hater. But the latest version of Windows 8.1 is not TOO horrible. OK, it's really not THAT bad. But then I'm fairly good with computers (my friends seek me out for tech questions/computer help), so I've been able to find what I need without much difficultly. I absolutely hate that Microsoft takes what you already know (and where it's located) and moves it somewhere else FOR NO LOGICAL REASON! It would be OK if that new location made more sense, but in most cases, with Windows 8, it doesn't (same with those idiotic 'Ribbons' in MS Office - another MS stupid idea/disaster). So basically you just have to learn where a lot of things are all over again; for no apparent reason (except that MS wants to make it look different [when things are just moved around] or want save a few dollars to have 1 OS for computers, tablets and phones - Stupid move MS!). Sorry for the rant!
Overall Review: Quad speakers along the front edge. The sound is good. And as far as laptops go, the sound is pretty great. And it sounds even better with the external subwoofer. While the subwoofer speaker is OK (it's very, very light in weight), I kind of wish Asus had put a slightly heavier/better subwoofer speaker/magnet in there... Although, that may likely run down the battery faster(?), which would be bad. And if your hands are on the laptop working while listening to music (slightly blocking those front facing speakers), I noticed the sound can be a bit muffled. If you’re watching movies (and not typing), it isn't a problem.
Since it has a 1080 screen, I kind of wish it came with a Blu-ray player (as I buy Blu-ray disks and not DVDs anymore). Although, I put a DVD movie in and it did look great! Wonder how good it would look with a 1080p Blu-ray disk. The screen doesn't lock shut like my old Dell laptop did. But the hinge is stiff enough that it doesn't come open, so it's not a problem.
Aside from the DVD locking issue (and Windows 8.1), I really am enjoying thi laptop and am very happy with my purchase.
Newegg doesn't allow links, or I'd put one in. But if you go the the asus website and type N550JK in the search bar, they provide some helpful information. Be aware that that info is on the various iterations of the N550JK laptops, so not all of it applies to this N550JK-DS71T model.
Pros: Wow! I love this cloning kit. I upgraded an OZC 120GB SSD to a Mushkin 480GB SSD. I should have done the clone a long time ago as it was so easy!! A short 2 page, 6 step instruction sheet is provided (along with the SATA to USB 3 cable and cloning software). Just plug your new drive into the provided cable and the other end into a USB 2 or USB 3 connection on your computer. Don't bother initializing/formatting your new drive as the provided data migration software will take care of it for you. Put the CD in your CD drive and run the autoexec.exe file. Select the source drive. Select the destination drive. It was probably not necessary, but I went into the advanced settings and checked the data verification box. The cloning process took about 45 min for about 100GB of data with a USB 2 connection. After cloned, I replaced the old SSD with the new one and booted up. I went into the BIOS just to be sure the new drive was recognized correctly and it was. I booted up into Windows 7 and everything was exactly as it was but now with much more room on my C: drive. Soooo easy!
Pros: Works great!
I've had this for a while, love it and am ordering a 2nd for another computer. I am running Windows 7 (64bit) and my programs on an SSD drive (SATA3) and another larger regular SATA3 drive for file storage and get great transfer speeds from these drives. Currently using the BlacX Duet for backup and storage.
Overall Review: As mentioned previously, there's a "Superspeed" light that's on when it is connected to USB3 port... And blinks on/off during data transfers.
Please note that if you are transferring files from an SATA I or II hard drive, you won't get USB3 transfer rates. Likewise, if you are downloading a file directly from the internet to the BlacX Duet, your you're not going to get a USB3 speed transfer speed until ISP download speeds catch up with USB3 transfer speeds (5 Gbits/s or 625 MB/s).
Hard drives are exposed, but still get pretty hot! I have a Thermaltake Mobilefan II 80mm External USB Fan (Newegg item # N82E16811999130) blowing air across them. It is noisy (which is OK as I don't have the BlacX Duet 5G on too often), but keeps the drives very cool.
Pros: I love this TV. It has a great picture and the sound is probably as good as you could get for a TV this size. This is basically the same TV as the Samsung Model LNS3251D except it has a slightly higher Contrast Ratio (6000:1 vs 4000:1) and a couple different input/output connectors. I saw the LNS3251D at a local retailer and was all set to buy it because my CRT TV had just died, but changed my mind and got this one from NewEgg for the same price! I haven't seen the two TVs side by side so I can only hope that the slightly better contrast ratio is resulting in slightly better black levels. I think you'll be happy with either the LNS3251D or LNS3296DX/XAA.
Overall Review: Thanks to NewEgg/UPS for the fast next day delivery!!
If you can wait, the new SED flat panel HD technolgy should be available some time in early 2007 from Canon and Toshiba. SED will have have an extremely high contrast ratio similar to CRTs so you'll get the deepest black levels.
I initially had a problem when hooking up my LG DVD recorder/player using the HDMI connector. An error message on the screen said that HDMI was not supported. I figured that this couldn't be a TV problem so I switch the LG DVD Recorder/player for a Samsung and it works perfect!
Pros: Worked perfect out of the package into a new Canon SD700 IS camera. Took 5 minutes of video at 640x480 @ 30 fps and the camera is still showing space available for another 29 mins 13 secs! Wow!
As always, fantastic NewEgg service.
Overall Review: Storage space showed up as "3,998,777,334 bytes (3.72MB)" in my PC.