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Pros: gen 3 i7 2.3-3.3 cpu, dual drive bays, 4 ram slots, 2gb dedicated Nvidia graphics
Cons: 6 cell battery, not really that important since I'm always near AC outlet
Overall Review: Notebooks have changed a lot recently and I think this machine is setting a new standard. Very fast generation 3 i7 CPU, shipped with 750GB 5400 RPM drive but I installed my Seagate 750GB 7200 in bay 1 and moved the included drive over to bay 2. I love having two drives in a notebook, especially 1.5TB total. There are 4 ram slots, each supporting up to 8GB. The reason it's advertised as max 16GB is due to a limitation of Windows 7 Home Premium, Home Basic is less, but 7 Pro and 7 Ultimate can recognize up to 192GB RAM. I originally bought a 16GB RAM kit but when I noticed the extra slots I threw the included 6GB back in and voila 22GB useable. I installed a fresh copy of Win 7 Ultimate on my drive and only used the Hitachi drive that came with it for reference to drivers after install. Machine screems, handles batch processing in Lightroom with 18mb RAW files with ease. Very happy with purchase.
Pros: * Vivid and clear Display
* TWO HDD bays
* FOUR memory slots
* Pioneer Optical Drive (DVRTD11RS)
* Cooling fans are very quiet!
* Large simple touchpad
* Clean, streamlined cosmetics
* Excellent keyboard, easy and great feeling to use
* SUPER speed bios post/boot (Under 2 seconds)
* Empty MiniPCIe slot!
I like to write reviews only after decent time/ownership since there are often things you do not catch right away. However, usually by that time the unit(s) are no longer for sale, so this review is super early. I am very happy with this buy, and feel it needs more pointing out.
This is to confirm - this laptop indeed DOES have two HDD and four RAM spaces! Ignore the specs page saying 2 slots 0 free.
The cost vs performance ratio is superb with this unit. I picked this up at a great price. I cannot justify paying $300+ more for other laptops with similar specs, or *gasp* the prices they want for units with SSDs preinstalled.
SSD + Better Memory highly recommended!
Cons: * ~16GB Used between drivers/apps/Bloatware
* ~16GB used as recovery partition
* Burning Recovery disks/apps requires 5 DVDs and ~2 hours of time
* Power Brick is large (I've seen 6 Amp+ bricks much smaller)
* Different sized RAM sticks
* 5400 RPM HDD
* Display not 1080p
* Glossy black surfaces are hard to keep clean
* 2nd HDD caddy not included
I understand the justification for most of the cons (cost reduction) and think its acceptable in return for getting a great CPU and GPU. The 5400RPM drive really bottlenecks this units performance! I picked up an OCZ 128GB Agility4 and 2*4GB Gskill DDR3-1600 mem kit at the same time purchasing this unit. I also did a clean Win 7 Install, and took benchmarks before and after
Before: Passmark PT7 - 1644, PCMark7 - 2644
After: Passmark PT7 - 2391, PCMark7 - 4467
Overall Review: Benchmarks are benchmarks. How the computer operates as your using it is the true test. Firing up the unit the first time, before upgrades, left more to be desired. Swapping memory slightly improved performance, swapping SSD greatly improved performance. Clean installing was night and day difference. Bios boots fast, you barely see the post, its that quick. W/upgrades, it takes ~10 seconds to get to full operation.
Clean install + SSD + Better Memory = awesome! You do not need to buy windows, search 'bloatware' on the net, there is a guide for how to do a clean install, using the COA that you have already bought with this laptop! I also recommend you buy a USB thumbdrive, and use MS's Win7 Downlaod tool to make it a bootable Win7 installer.
This is an excellent buy, and I recommend this laptop+upgrades to anyone looking for a powerhouse that wont break the bank.
Caddy Part #13N0-7NA0801
HDD: Hitachi HTS547575A9E384 SATAII
WIFI: Atheros Model#AR5B22
Mem - Nanya
Pros: Awesome laptop CPU
Awesome HD 16:9 screen
Nvidia GPU that's equivalent to mid-tier desktop GPUs. Plays Diablo 3 at max settings.
Advanced ram setup.
Cons: Laptop size. This thing is seriously huge.
Overall Review: Hands down the best gaming laptop under $1000 as of June 2012.
Pros: • 3610qm+GT 650M works in harmony flawlessly
• 4 Memory Slots 2 Hard Drive bays.
• Currently using with 4+4+4+2=14gig ram
• OCZ Vertex 4 128gig flies the laptop 15 sec boot time. 750gig 5400 RPM HDD is good for backup.
• Very quiet
• Can play any game with high to ultra settings with all extras on (except skyrim stutters with ultra setings)
• Perfect investment for future Win7 Home premium allows you to upgrade ram up to 16gig. It is an artificial restriction by Microsoft. You need win7 pro or ultimate to install and use 8+8+8+8=32 gig ram. Their limit is 192 gig so you are more than ok.
• 3610qm has Intel Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O (VT-x) and (VT-d) so you can use virtual OSs very efficiently.
Cons: Glossy palm rest picks finger prints and other stuff, but I use 2 external monitors VGA+HDMI, So who cares. If too concerned carry a micro fiber cloth and wipe it.
Overall Review: • The part number on the bracket says #13N0-7NA0801 but you cant find a second HDD caddy with that number (it's ACER's internal code.) So you need to use 33.RYNN5.001 number for ordering online. I used
http://www.jtec.ca/ for ordering the part. I wanted to use paypal for payment you have to email them your request and they will send you a paypal payment request. Mine cost 15$+10$ shipping $25 in total.
• Need to upgrade HD4000 driver to win8 drivers to use photoshop cs6 extended OpenCL feature. Otherwise it is greyed out in performance settings.
Pros: 2 friends I know own this laptop, and now I know why. This laptop is definitely amazing for the price! It can handle any game on the highest settings and also runs programs and apps with ease. Great keyboard, the keys are not too hard and not too soft. Nice bright screen for low lit settings. The actual laptop stays nice and cool at all times, even during a heavy load. Laptop casing is a nice glossy black. Webcam works very well. Speakers are nice and loud. Laptop is pretty light for its size. Picked up the laptop on sale for $830.
Cons: Just as the other reviews say, there is no 2nd hard drive bay holder (and it's hard to find). The screen resolution only goes up to 1600 x 900, not 1920 x 1080 which you would typically expect from a 17" screen. The black glossy casing is hard to keep clean. The track pad gets in the way at times, but you can disable it or have it auto disable when you plug in a mouse. The power plug is located on the right side of the laptop, it can get in the way at times if you're using a mouse in confined spaces. The video card lets off ALOT of heat through the vent on the left side when you're gaming (if you're gaming next to someone, I recommend they sit to your right or they will fry their hand). The BIOs is extremely limited. Laptop comes loaded with bloatware. They keys are not backlit. The arrow keys are really small, and the enter key is really unusual.
Overall Review: I highly recommend swaping out the sluggish 5400 rpm hard drive for an SSD as soon as you can, then upgrading the RAM to 1600 DDR3. I went with the 180gig Intel SSD, and 16gigs of Kingston hyperX RAM. Neither of my friends (who also own this laptop) have upgraded their laptops, and it really shows.
Dispite all the CONs, this laptop is defintely worth picking up if you're looking for portable power. With the right upgrades, you can out-do an Alienware and/or Macbook Pro for alot less.
Pros: This computer is very fast and extremely well built. The keyboard is considerably better than my last laptop and very easy to type with. Love the extra HDD bay and I also purchased a crucial 128g SSD and reloaded windows to get a nice fresh install. This machine is so fast with the SSD--I'd say that should be your first upgrade. Like others have said, the second HDD bay did not come with a carriage so I just traced some paper as a stencil and cut out a piece of cardboard that I covered with duct tape. It's working great for the 750g drive until I get the right part.
I also replaced the system memory with one vengance 1600mhz ram to bring it to 16gigs.
The size of the laptop is what you would expect for a 17.3" and the weight is reasonable for the build quality.
Screen is nice and bright with a fair amount of control for use in both light and dark places.
Cons: Wish it would have come with a second HDD carriage.
I would have preffered something other than the piano finish. I ordered an NFL team cover from skinit.com so no worries about fingerprints or scratches any longer.
Overall Review: Plays Diablo 3 on max settings and is buttery smooth. GeForce card is a beast and does output a little heat from the side vent when in use. During normal work and anything that uses the Intel HD 4 card, the side vent air is actually cool.
I did tons of research before buying this laptop and could not be happier.
Pros: Large hard drive, and you can add another, or external with USB3.0 for cheap if you really needed to.
nvidia gt650m 2GB graphics card -- it's not the GDDR5 version, but the DDR3 version, which has higher clock speeds, I believe 835mhz, which you can overclock and have exactly the same thing as a gtx 560.
900p resolution -- which looks the same to me, and allows you to run ultra where you could only run high if you were at 1080p.
Cons: shiny exterior, bloatware. The first thing I did was uninstall McAfee. There is NO program more annoying than that one. I always use AVG.
Overall Review: I got this laptop to replace a 3-4 year old mid-high end desktop that I used for gaming. I was a bit hesitant on getting a laptop, but figured I'd go for it, since the specs on this one greatly outdid my desktop. My only concern was that there would be too much heat (there doesn't seem to be, although I did buy a cooler master cooling pad that goes underneath the laptop).
I loaded up a couple games and noticed my frame rates were double to triple what they were on my desktop with a higher graphics setting. You can even run games like wow on ultra with this laptop.
Battlefield 3 also runs very well on this laptop.
I will be trying out guild wars 2 next beta weekend event, and I would expect the same performance there as in wow.
So anyway, yeah this machine is much more than just a portable laptop, it's a desktop replacement. If the screen size bothers you, get a big monitor to plug this into. It has an HDMI out on it.
Pros: The other reviewers have really covered it. I find no problems with it. I really like it. The glossy black looks fantastic. Looks a lot better than my last Acer.
I have yet to get an SSD (I actually have the bracket though, from Jtec like the other reviewer said) and more Ram, but 4 slots and 2 bays is great
Overall Review: I got it for $899 in between sales =(