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John W.

John W.

Joined on 01/30/01

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 4
Most Favorable Review
TOSHIBA Laptop Satellite Intel Core 2 Duo T9550 (2.66GHz) 4GB Memory 400GB HDD ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4650 17.0" Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit P305-S8919
TOSHIBA Laptop Satellite Intel Core 2 Duo T9550 (2.66GHz) 4GB Memory 400GB HDD ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4650 17.0" Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit P305-S8919

Pros: Fast cpu, roomy hard drive, next-gen ATI graphics for gaming and multimedia. Beautiful 17-inch display, full keyboard, harman/kardon speakers better than most. Toshiba's Fusion finish is beautiful and tough. Maximum connectivity options: ExpressCard, Bluetooth, Firewire, HDMI, etc. The standard battery is a 9-cell that runs two hours on performance settings and three on power-saver.

Cons: Vista 64 is larded up from the factory with bloatware that needs to be uninstalled, and you need to burn your own recovery disks. Although there is a second hard drive bay with SATA 2 connector, the cover has plastic spikes underneath that need to be clipped off and filed down to make room.

Overall Review: I did a fair amount of comparison shopping before ordering. Even with substantial discounts, sales, and coupons I couldn't touch these specs from Dell or HP without spending hundreds more. Best of all, it had the expandability I needed. I was fast out of the box, but after adding an OCZ Vertex 64gb SSD with a clean install of Vista 64 SP2 and updated drivers, the boot and app launch times are fantastic. I added an ExpressCard TV tuner from AverMedia to take full advantage of the Media Center functions, and formatted the original 400gb drive to hold data and video files. Bottom line, it's a good machine right out of the box, and with a few tweaks you can turn it into a great one. Thanks, Toshiba. I do need to mention that Newegg initially shipped me the wrong model, one with inferior specs. They issued an RMA immediately, but it took several days to get the warehouse to confirm the item number. A customer service supervisor shipped the replacement overnight and all is good.

Worth a look

Rosewill Black/Red 17" Notebook Sleeve with AC Adapter Pouch Model RBG-17001SV
Rosewill Black/Red 17" Notebook Sleeve with AC Adapter Pouch Model RBG-17001SV

Pros: Stylish, tough, roomy and practical.

Cons: Red trim puckers when unzipped. (Had to think hard to come up with a con.)

Overall Review: I carry my 17" Toshiba P305 in a briefcase, and wanted something to keep it from getting scratched in transit. Most of the laptop sleeves I found were too small, ugly, and made of materials that didn't really offer any protection. This one feels like the tough hide of a diver's wet suit, with plenty of room and just enough padding to offer protection without adding appreciable weight. The secondary pouch is a bonus, useful for a power adapter, mouse or other loose pieces. I own several Rosewill accessories now, and all offer good quality for low prices.

AVerMedia AVerTV Hybrid NanoExpress MTVHBNOER ExpressCard / 54mm Interface
AVerMedia AVerTV Hybrid NanoExpress MTVHBNOER ExpressCard / 54mm Interface

Pros: Couldn't be simpler to install. Works smoothly with Media Center in Vista Home Premium 64-bit, using updated drivers from AVerMedia.

Cons: As others have stated, the antenna connection looks flimsy. So far, so good.

Overall Review: I was impressed by this little jewel. I've had experience with a variety of analog and digital TV cards and tuners in HTPCs and set-top boxes. The included mini antenna looks like a toy, but delivers every station in my metro-area market with signal strength and reliability as good as much more expensive options. Bottom line, it does what it's supposed to do. I did not test the included software, but Media Center recognized the card and works like a charm.

Good purchase

Seagate FreeAgent Desk 1TB USB 2.0 3.5" External Hard Drive ST310005FDA2E1-RK Silver
Seagate FreeAgent Desk 1TB USB 2.0 3.5" External Hard Drive ST310005FDA2E1-RK Silver

Pros: Simple setup, respectable performance, user-friendly software

Cons: A little tipsy in the vertical cradle. The decorative light pattern gets old fast.

Overall Review: Bought this with a hefty Newegg discount. It was delivered fast and has been working like a champ ever since. I use it for temporary storage of video files and for automated weekly backups. I like this Seagate better than the WD MyBook it replaced. That drive always ran hot and frequently dropped offline, forcing me to unplug and reboot to reclaim it. Eventually it stopped responding altogether and took some data with it. I've only had the FreeAgent for a couple of months, but it seems more reliable. An older 500-gig FreeAgent has been in daily use at my office for well over a year without a hiccup.