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This review is from: Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit
Pros: NOTE: For those who are having problems with updates, PLEASE clean-install Windows 7, and DO NOT turn on updates at the initial account creation screen. (When it boots up for the first time, and you make a user name, computer name, etc., then you go the second screen where it asks for update settings.) -- From there, obtain the following Microsoft KB -- 3102810 -- Download the appropriate version, 32-bit or 64-bit. Install the update as a stand-alone. Reboot the machine. From there, set the updates to "Download but let me choose..." -- Let the computer sit for 15 minutes, and the updates should appear. -- From there, select ONLY the 100 security updates in the recommend list. Let them download and install. Do NOT shut down the computer to install these, as it will attempt to install all 160+, which will result in a failure loop. On a machine with an SSD, this should not take too long. Computers with spinning hard drives will take longer. ------ After those 100 or so install, reboot. Then the next 40-50 will automatically download and install when you shut down. -- I also recommend installing Internet Explorer 11 as a stand-alone update, as the automatic update to obtain it takes a long time...
Windows 7 has to be one of the best operating systems Microsoft has ever made. In previous generations, it was Windows 2000 Professional or Windows XP.
Cons: Updates can take some tinkering.
Other Thoughts: Get it while you still can....READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: What can I say? This unit is in good condition, with B-Grade as an accurate rating. The reason being -- There are cracks in the palmrest on the left side, and a *very small* visible scuff on the case. None of these impact functionality. If this bothers you, please consider getting one of the other t420 machines for only slightly more money. -- I figured I would give this a chance, since I knew it would get some very heavy use! :)
Since I am not going to be using the additional features that Windows 7 Pro has, the Home Premium license that is included is perfectly fine. It's legitimate authorized refurbisher license, and activated without an issue.
The screen is in perfect shape -- Very bright at max setting. Exceptional colour. -- I don't mind that it's only 1366x768, but to each his or her own!
The unit has a combo microphone / headphone jack, which is mounted in an odd spot, so keep that in mind. Decent low-noise output.
The built-in webcam is better than expected. Obviously it's not going to be camcorder quality, but for what it is, it works very well!
The Think Light is bright and functional.
The battery is far better than expected. -- I can get about an hour out of it. As such, I ordered a brand-new 9-cell.
Cons: - This particular unit does not seem to have a writable optical drive. No issue there -- This is to complement my older refurbished x200s, which has no optical drive at all.
- As expected, the built-in microphone is useless. -- Please don't try using it for video chat. -- The official audio driver applies heavy noise reduction to it, resulting in even worse quality than if you just boosted it and dealt with a noisy audio feed! :)
Other Thoughts: Highly recommended. I would order an identical 4GB RAM module, and make sure you put an SSD in it. - I have a 240GB one in mine, since I had it as a spare. Also, you might want to obtain the 9-cell battery.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: Foxconn D180S Intel Dual Core Celeron J1800 Mini ITX Motherboard/CPU/VGA Combo
Pros: Excellent board for the price.
Cons: You will need to update to the latest UEFI for proper functionality. Not really a huge con, but one needs to be aware of it.
Other Thoughts: Okay, this is an update to my previous review ---
I was able to get Windows 7 and audio over HDMI working correctly, but it took some tinkering. (The install is NOT in UEFI mode.)
I updated to the latest UEFI from the web-site, from within my Windows 7 install. However, doing so causes Windows to not bootup properly. Once I did a re-install, all was fine. The flasher is a command-line application, so it's pretty straight forward. Also included in the download -- a PDF document that walks you through everything. :)
Once you update the UEFI, you have to load the board defaults. Then re-configure the compatibility support module, then re-install Windows.
My HDTV was detecting the HDMI video output as DVI, until I updated the firmware of the board.
Be sure to use the correct firmware! There is 32-bit and 64-bit. My board came with 64-bit by default, which was what I updated it to, but also because I am running 64-bit Windows.
For whatever reason, Windows 7 performs a lot better after the update. This is with a slow, 5400RPM laptop drive too. (I have a single stick of 4GB GSkill Laptop RAM.)