Joined on 02/07/04
Pros: Very Light Very Cool (no hotspots on top or even below) Not too much bloatware, no one year anti-virus solution pre-installed Price (if you get in on sale) Sharp and bright display with no dead pixels Drive was pre-partitioned sensibly Ubuntu 12.04 boots in a snap Finish isn't fingerprint magnet Extremely long power cord and very light power brick Webcam has a little light in it so you know if it's spying on you!!
Cons: These aren't cons at the price points, I'm just listing them so that you're aware. If you research things like the processor potency you'll know whether or not it's right for you needs in advance. Speakers aren't great. Functional though, and that's what matters. Buy a cheap set of headphones or a soundbar, or a lapdesk with speakers. 720p video can be a little choppy in full screen flash under Ubuntu if you use 3d unity desktop, fine under Win7 (which is what is installed in the first place anyway) though.
Overall Review: I was honestly pleasantly surprised at how quickly this booted into win 7, testament to having a lot less bloatware than some preloaded machines these days. I set up Ubuntu on part of the 2nd (data) partition for dual boot (left win 7 so the wife can do whatever she needs with her iphone without all the linux hassles for it) and that's at the desktop in less than 10 seconds. Very nice. It was only needed for web browsing and social networking stuff, and is more than powerful enough for this. Much much much more snappy than any similarly priced netbook I've used, and barely weighs any more than one too.
Not quite a year
Pros: Price Features Looks (not that it matters to me) Purchased 5/20/2012 and worked flawlessly from then until yesterday.
Cons: Didn't even make one year. Disappointingly yesterday, I pressed the power button and nothing at all. I could still turn the num lock LED on my keyboard on off, but after trying everything (testing power switch, testing PSU and all other connected components, CMOS clear) could not persuade it to fire up. Very disappointed, have had many ASRock boards over the years, and always been impressed, the oldest one (an AM2 board) still in service in the living room machine which stays on 24/7.
Overall Review: Have sent support email through ASRock's website, which upon completion tells you to contact the vendor through which you purchased it. Will do that ( though I'm sure since it's outside of the 30day period since purchase, they will tell me to contact ASRock) and will update this once I've been through the replacement process. This is a 5 Star board while working, knocked 3
Not quite a year - Follow up
Pros: Price Features Looks Warranty & Customer Service (look for review previously titled Not quite a year)
Cons: Possibly some boards (like mine) won't make a full year but the plus side is that I had no trouble getting it replaced (hence warranty & customer service listed in pros). These things happen.
Overall Review: Never had to call newegg in the end, since I received a response with an RMA form to fill in same day. Filled it in and sent back, RMA # issued shortly thereafter. I sent board back, arrived with ASRock May 13th, ASRock sent replacement out May 14th, received 22nd (would have been 21st but was not in to sign for it). ASRock also notified me of receipt of the motherboard, but the RMA dept turned it around so quick, that it was already with the shippers before I got the confirmation! Nice. Was impressed with the customer support, was no nonsense having me check things unnecessarily, and was kept updated during the process. Simply filled in the online form and responded to the subsequent RMA email. Can't ask for more than that. Replacement board I'm happy to report, works great, ASRock informed me that the replacement had been tested prior to shipment, and was carrying most recent BIOS. Very happy with that, since the thing boots up much faster than before. BIOS screen is much quicker, and windows boots faster too (wasn't exactly slow, since using SSD anyway, but still noticeably quicker). Hopefully this one will go the full distance until I'm ready to replace it. Either way, have no problems using ASRock boards for mine and other future builds.
No, it is the card
Pros: I had one of these for a while, and it forced me to get over my fear of selling over the internet.
Cons: Very limited game support, and has a habit of adding so many extra particles to explosions, that any load removed from your cpu is burdened on your gpu, end result being no frame rate garnered. Horribly overpriced, should be no more than a cheap soundcard. Sounded like a good idea, but multi-core CPUs sound like an even better idea.
Overall Review: We were all in love with the idea that any discrete addition to our systems that meant less work for our other components equalled more performance out of those other components. Multi-core CPUs could easily be used to do anything this does, and the lack of any real manufacturer support for knocking these things out seems to go along with that logic. If you're 'unused' core can sit there burning a dvd for you while you play your favorite game, then any extra super wowee extra physics they want to include, can certainly be shifted there too, possibly at the expense of burning a dvd while your playing. The way DX10 works, further negates any need for something like this in my opinion. Way too little, way too late
Comments: Not 5 stars because of sound.... 5 stars because of what u get for the money. The sound is weak in the mid and high range, but especially the mid. But this is really not a problem. Just about every media player has an equaliser, so you can compensate. But better still, any sound card worth it's salt will have controls to compensate for this in everything. I'm pleased with the purchase, and for the money I'll bet nothing comes close