Date Joined: 08/21/06
Pros: Compared to my previous (and admittedly aging) laptop, it has the same size screen but it's smaller by nearly an inch in height and width, about half the thickness, and considerably lighter. All of those things are important because I use it when I travel.
Screen is bright and sharp, backlit keyboard has a nice feel to it.
Cons: I didn't realize before I bought it that it has no ethernet port and can only be used in a wi-fi network. No big deal, I've almost never used my previous laptop on a hard-wired LAN, but something to be aware of it it's important to you. wi-fi download speed is about 100Mbps. That's about half of what I get on my hardwired desktop (possibly limited by my router?), but twice what I get on my older laptop. It's more than adequate, so not really a con.
I would have preferred an option for 16GB RAM instead of 8, especially since 4 of it is shared. Apparently I can upgrade it to 16, though I haven't looked into that, since 8 doesn't seem to be a problem. So again, not a serious con.
Overall Review: I won't be using it for gaming or video editing -- mostly for mundane stuff like emailing, web browsing, word processing and spreadsheets -- so super performance is not important. But it seems blazingly fast in whatever I ask of it.
All in all, I'm very happy with it. And I'm happy with the price, too. I'd gladly buy it again.
Pros: Solid and (mostly) well built. No flexing of the structure. Runs very cool and very quiet. (I did install an extra fan behind the HDD cage; it was an easy fit.) Compact so it fits in the cabinet of my desk.
Cons: Very tight inside and not easy to build with. Installing a full-ATX motherboard with a Gammaxx 400 cooler attached took some very careful maneuvering, and inserting the three screws at the top of the mobo wasn't easy. Attaching the SATA cables on the right side of the board was difficult because of the proximity of the HDD cage to the edge of the board. (I did this before installing the extra fan.) Attaching the front-panel connectors at the bottom edge of the board was a struggle that took about half an hour due to the tightness of the space. (For the record, this is my fourth build, so I'm not a complete newb at this.) There isn't a lot of room for cable routing -- there are a couple of nooks and crannies where you can stash some extra cable length, but no tie-downs or other accommodations. In addition, the plastic covers for the unused external 3.5" slots fit very loosely and fall out (or worse, fall into the case) if you do much more than touch them. I'll probably end up gluing them into place.
Overall Review: Now that it's finally built, I'm happy with it. But if I had it to do over again I'd choose something different.
Update: I actually bought two of these cases, planning to build two systems. The second one was defective -- the power switch didn't work. So I returned it and decided not to replace it with another of the same, but bought something different instead.
Pros: Convenient, compared to a wired mouse. Comfortable in the hand and easy to use.
Cons: Died after 8 months. The left button stopped working
Overall Review: This is a follow-up to my earlier review on 10/13
As I said then, "Everybody produces a lemon once in a while and I've been happy with Logitech products in the past. So I'll see what happens when I ask for service under the warranty and judge them accordingly"
Unfortunately, I have to judge them as inept. They did replace the broken mouse, but it took 6 weeks, 20 e-mails, and two phone calls to make it happen.
I just hope that the replacement lasts longer than the original.
Pros: It works. POSTed the first time and has been running ever since with Win7. Supports SATA2 and USB3. Lots of USB ports on the back panel.
Cons: None for the mobo, but EasyTunes (the tweaking/monitoring utility) can't seem to run for more than a couple hours without crashing. Not a big deal, but disappointing.
Overall Review: Gigabyte has replaced Asus as my go-to motherboard brand. I've used GB in 3 of my last 4 builds and I've had zero problems.
Pros: Solidly built. No flexing and no vibration. Very quiet, almost silent. The silly front-fan LED can be turned off. Cable-routing space is adequate, though not generous. Seems to keep the system pretty cool, and has mounting points for more fans if you like.
Cons: Smallish and tight, especially with a full-ATX board. (I was working with tight size constraints for where the case had to fit.) Lacks a front-panel USB3 connector, but I knew that when I bought it, so I'm not complaining. As others have noted, the reset button is tiny and needs a pencil or something smaller than a finger to push. Front-panel wires are not clearly labeled and it takes some guesswork to figure out which way they go on the mobo connectors. (Fortunately, I guessed right.) The "manual" is a single piece of paper with mediocre-quality pictures and no words except for picture labels. Case speaker is not attached to the case, it just dangles from two wires on the motherboard connector. It works, but it's pretty cheesy.
Overall Review: In spite of my gripes, I like this case and I'd buy it again. But it seems like Cooler Master could have spent a couple dollars more on better labeling, a better "manual" and mounting the speaker somewhere, and had a nicer product.
Pros: It has a USB3 port on the front panel
Cons: When I saw this case, it had only two reviews. But the reviews were positive and I'd been very happy with the two Gigabyte cases I've used in previous builds, so I ordered it. It was a huge disappointment.
The panels are thin and flimsy and flex at the slightest touch. After I removed the right side panel I had trouble getting it back on because it was bowed. The brackets inside don't look any stronger. And worst of all, the front panel cables are attached, not to the front of the case where they belong, but to the panel itself. Once you finish your build you'll never get the panel off unless you want to remove all those connections from the motherboard.
I RMA'd it immediately and ordered a different case.