Joined on 11/09/04
Cute box for Ubuntu
Pros: Well made, near silent under stress, great machine for the price. You can install Ubuntu easily with Chrubuntu (or any Linux OS with more legwork). For linux users looking for a super cheap, tiny, power efficient, and quiet box, it's cool. You can also easily upgrade the RAM and SSD (although it is a tiny card type) if you want.
Cons: Chrome OS (at the time of writing) does NOT support HD playback with Netflix. This also (at the time of writing) applies to the Chrome browser in Linux. I was hoping for essentially a Netflix box with general computing ability. This is something that can be changed very easily by Netflix. When they will make that change, I don't know. When this is resolved, I'll happily buy the next version of this. Sadly, I have to return it because it can't do the main thing I got it for.
Overall Review: Chrome OS may have a few uses, but most people buying these will want to put Linux on them. I used Chrubuntu as it allows a FULL Ubuntu install, all automated, while preserving Chrome OS--and allowing me to instantly wipe the machine back to factory default if I wanted to return it, as is sadly the case. I recommend using Chrubuntu to install if you want this ability. If you don't care, you can upgrade the SeaBIOS, remove the write-protect screw, wipe Chrome OS and just use whatever flavor of Linux you like. Avoid Crouton! Totally worthless!
Pros: Controller has a decent case and is comfortable to hold...but...
Cons: The dpad on this rotates about 20 degrees, making it nearly impossible to use. Perhaps a manufacturing defect? The Analogue sticks are stiff and frequently have unintended movement. I was sorely disappointed.
Overall Review: I got this for use with OnLive, as I wanted to use something besides my keyboard for Virtua Tennis. I also just got the OnLive microconsole--which comes with a controller--and that works well. The analogue sticks are very good on the OnLive controller, no unintended movement and it's sufficient for a high precision game like virtua tennis. The dpad on that leaves something to be desired, though. What the heck happened to dpads!?
Great portable FW800 case
Pros: It's an aluminum FW800 2.5" case for under $50, which (as of this review) means it has no competition. The case is as compact as possible, is well built, aluminum, includes FW800 and FW400 cable (and USB, although pointless). It has dual FW800 ports for daisy chaining, and a full-size FW400 port which is great (usually 2.5's just give you a FW800-to-400 adapter). Packaging is excellent. Overall, a high quality product. The best 2.5" FW800 case is currently $75, but it is much larger, is a dust hog (this case is sealed). If you aren't buying this to travel with, then that case is a better option, although pricey. It has eSATA. This case was just what I needed! I was so happy MacAlly started making this! It was a great way swap drives into my MBP, and will serve as a great travel HD for backup/extra storage.
Cons: I also own the IDE version of this, which has traveled the globe (in my camera bag) many a time. That comes with a pleather soft cover, and LED's are blue/red. Also, that model has an on/off switch. This model, though, does NOT have an on/off switch, which means you have to plug it in, or unplug it to "turn it on". While this makes sense for USB drives, it doesn't for these, as they are FireWire and you can daisy chain them. It's nice to be able to leave several plugged in, and switch them on and off when wanted (rather than having to plug/unplug them)--less wear on the connectors, not to mention power, and reduced wear on the drive due to unneeded mounting, etc. The lights are green and red, I think that looks tacky, but it should be great for Christmas... Price: The FW400 is $27, this is $45. That's a huge premium. This case may be the cheapest (and best, depending on your needs) option out there, but $45? Supply and demand...
Overall Review: While it is not a 5-star product like its original IDE sibling, it's the best deal in portable 2.5" FW800 cases, and conveniently has a full-sized FW400 port, when you come across some old-school mac users in the field. There is USB of course, but USB does not provide enough power for high-end drives (and so you need a USB power cable adapter). FireWire provides all the power for any laptop drive, and is obviously much faster...until USB 3 becomes standard. I'll probably replace this with a USB 3 version in a year or so. I hope MacAlly will respect the IDE original of this product, and give us back the soft case and blue/red LED. I bought this to swap my internal HD in my MBP. I put the new HD in this, then copied my drive over, then popped it in. The internal drive is now in this case, and will be my new backup/extra storage solution for travel. Luckily, I have the original IDE model, so I can use it's case.
Fantastic upgrade from my MacBook Pro 250GB
Pros: The biggest advantage is, of course, the massive bump in speed. This does 97MB/sec write and 90MB/sec read. Phenomenal! My eyes nearly popped out of my head after Xbenching it. The 250GB Fujitsu this is replacing did 36MB/35MB respectively. Granted, this is because the drive was 213GB full (did 50MB in the salad days), but that's real world usage. It's performance empty doesn't mean much, and I assume most people buying this as an upgrade will be doing so for more space like me. The huge speed increase is just icing on the cake. I expected it to be faster, just not SO MUCH faster! Something else that attracted me was the RETAIL PACKAGING. NewEgg is not known for-- how should we say--babying it's OEM HD's for shipping. I felt better knowing the drive had superior protection for it's glorious journey to my home. I think the price is also good (notice how some of the "cheaper" drives actually have much higher shipping costs), especially because it is retail packaged
Cons: Don't believe the guy that said the noise is the same as the 250GB Fujitisu in the MacbBook Pro. It's not. The "whir" of the drive is substantially louder, although this is a white noise thing, and it's unobtrusive enough. As for accessing sounds, they seem to be about the same or quieter. I can't attest to battery life yet, but they are supposed to be about the same.
Overall Review: For the install, I popped it into the MacAlly PHR-S250UAB FW800 external case, plugged it in, and booted off the Snow Leopard DVD. Then I clicked on Disk Utility and then "restore" (you select your current drive as "source" and new drive as "destination"). When that was done, I just popped it into my MBP, and was off to the races. Now my 250GB is in the FW800 case, and I have a nice external for travel usage (these MacAlly cases are great, aluminum, FW800, and compact). I ordered this overnight on Friday (which means Saturday delivery), but NewEgg did not mark it as such, apparently, because although it was sitting at the depot here since 2AM on Saturday, it was not sent out until Monday. That really upset me, because I could have ordered 3-day and gotten it on Monday (when I've ordered FedEx 3-day on Friday before, it gets here on Monday). The whole point was so I'd be home, rather than having to go to the FedEx depot after work on Monday.
Pros: These are a spectacular deal, but the price keeps increasing. It went up quite a bit the day after I ordered them. The pros are that the cord is cloth, so there is no cable noise, which is good both for listening and for not adding unwanted sound to the mic. I'm using this with Skype on an iTouch, and it works fantastically well. The mic works much better than a cell phone. I tested it on an a very noisy street, and the caller was able to hear me without any issue. They come with a great little case, which can double as an SD/CF card holder, or a few notes. lastly, they are BLACK! Hurray! Now way in heck I would walk around with those lame white buds!
Cons: While some reviewers complained that the sound isolation of the in-ear design was too much, I found it to be too little. They are ported, so with your music off, you can hear people talking next to you. I prefer headphones that make my surroundings SILENT. I don't want to hear what the person next to me had for dinner, or who their friend broke up with. I have a pair of Sony's, twice this price, which are not ported, and naturally eliminate sound better. However, I think they struck a good balance. I would guess the attenuation is around 6 to 12DB, depending on how much you shove these in. I think the rubber cover are 1 or 2mm too long, as I hear squishy noises when I put them in all the way.
Overall Review: The sound quality on these is reasonable, and they are very bass heavy. There are two things you should do for optimal sound with these. First, put the smallest size covers on, and insert them firmly in place. Second, in your iTouch/Phone, set the EQ to "Small Speakers". This will even out the sound a bit, and pull down the highs, which are a tinny otherwise. If you do these 2 things, the sound is acceptable. While I am an audiophile (I have a variety of very expensive headphones and headphone amplifiers for different tasks), obviously I didn't expect much from these. They get the job done, and the quality is good for the price. The mic is the reason I got them, and that works EXTREMELY well. Something I think many reviewers fail to understand is that the headphone amplifier in the iTouch/Phone is very weak, due to size and low power consumption. Part of the reason for the overly bright highs is the weak amp. Again, "small speakers" helps a ton.