Sunday, December 26, 2010

Testing Post

How are you?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

ASUS Republic of Gamers G51JX-X3 15.6-Inch Gaming Laptop (Blue)

Favorable Review:

Yeah, I guess you could be upset that you didn't get some complimentary swag or whatever with this machine, but I didn't buy it for swag.

Let's get down to business, shall we?

Pluses: Gorgeous, smooth graphics in Star Trek Online, DDO, Champions Online and Team Fortress 2 with the sliders cranked just shy of the max. EAX sound is amazing: even sounds decent out of the built-in speakers (really rocks with my headphones though). CPU performance and multitasking is sweet and responsive. I have multi-surfed Word, Visual Studio and Photoshop CS with no lag or issues.

More ports than you can shake a stick at: plenty of USB, eSATA, FireWire (1394) and even HDMI (which outputs to full 1080p if that floats your boat). Bluetooth devices are easily paired. Amazing Windows 7 performance (rates a 5.9 Windows Experience out of the box, with 6.6s in graphics, before any tweaking)

This thing is a sweet PC for money.

Cons: Runs hot. Be sure to keep side vents for cooling free. Might be worth investing in a cooling mat for this bad boy. Also, can we please not pre-install a bunch of crap on our new, high-performance gaming machines? I had to uninstall a bunch of cheesey ASUS games and stuff before I could really get down to business. 

Critical Reviews:
Pros: A good laptop, has every feature you could expect from a modern computer.

Cons: Left part of the keyboard becomes noticeably hot during normal use.

Acer Aspire AS5740-6025 15.6-Inch Laptop (Blue)

Favorable Review:

I was amazed at how easy it was to set up my new computer. This Acer was great right out of the box. Between it and the Windows 7 it was so easy. I turned it on and was walked through everything step by step. All the updates to the installed software went quickly and smoothly. But was was the best was when I went to hook up my 4 year old Samsung 19" external CRT,3 Year old Microsoft external Keyboard, and 3 year old Logitech mouse. It all worked plug and play. Found all the drivers and installed with me doing anything but plugging it in. Same thing with my 2 year old Cannon printer. I am giving the names of each just to elaborate that they we not Acer products or new products. Then I downloaded the Windows 7 upgrade adviser and ran it. This software told me what units I had plugged in that needed to have driver updates done to work correctly with Windows 7. The only one was the printer as the others were done automatically when I plugged in the USB cables. Now back to the computer. I love it. The keyboard is great and mouse pad (almost don't feel like I need the external stuff like I did with my previous laptops). The camera (Crystal eye) is as good as my Logitech external camera and even has wide angle. The microphone quality is good too. The dolby home theatre is better than anything I have ever had on other Laptops but I still prefer the external speakers. The I5 Dual Core speed is tremendous and all my programs open and close very quickly. I have only had this for two weeks but have enjoyed it every day. And I gotta say after having XP Pro, the Vista Ultimate (which I did not like but struggled through) I really so far am very impressed with Windows 7. 

Critical Review:
I purchased an acer aspire 14 months ago... right after the warenty expired the screen started to jump really bad, I contacted acer through their phone number and was told "to bad warrenty expires at 12 months, i asked to speak to a service manager, I was placed on hold for 5 minutes and when the operator(not from the USA)came back he told me "I spoke to the manager for you and he said YOU PAY" I told him again that I wanted to speak to a manager and he told me "NO! He not talk to you." I've learned my lesson NO MORE ACER PRODUCTS
B. Wimberly

HP Compaq Presario CQ60-615DX Notebook - Intel C. 900 2.2GHz / 15.6" HD Display / 2GB DDR2 / 250GB HD / SuperMulti 8X DVD±R/RW / 802.11b/g/n WLAN / Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Favorable Review:

Being a computer technician for the last 15 years, I am very picky when it comes to buying computers, especially laptops and even more special, laptops with Celeron CPUs. This is my very first Celeron laptop and I have to tell you that I am surprised and amazed at the performance of this particular Celeron. Todays Celeron CPUs are NOT the Celeron CPUs of 10 years ago. These new Celeron 900 are based on Core 2 Duo CPUs. They are exactly the same except for 2 things: They have 25% less Cache than their Core 2 Duo counterpart and they are single core, but that doesn't mean it's slow by any means. This laptop came with 2GB of RAM (I upgraded it to the full 4GB), a 15.6" HD LCD Screen, a 250GB Hard Drive running at 7200 RPM - yes you are reading right - 7200 RPM! - Most laptops out there have a 5400 RPM HD, including the more expensive models, so this is a real bonus. It comes with B, G, and N Wireless, Intel 4500 Graphics, 2 USB Ports and a DVD Writer.

The performance of this laptop is quite good. Very fast booting up. Windows open smoothly. Tasks are handled quite well, even with 2GB of RAM. The 4GB of RAM makes things even better. The Celeron 900 2.2 GHz CPU inside packs quite a punch. Take a look at this benchmark:


It is by no means a weak processor. Overall this is a great laptop for $329.00 (BestBuy). Much better than a Netbook for sure (since that is what I was going to buy in the first place). Netbooks have no CD or DVD units, only 1GB of RAM, Slow Atom CPUs and 8 to 10 inch screens and cost over $350.00 (a good one). This laptop simply beats the netbooks in price, power and features. You will not be able to do serious video editing or play online games like Unreal Tournament 3, Crysis or things like that because of the limited video card, but hey let's get real, who uses a laptop to play games anyways? That's what desktops are for. If you are going to be mobile (traveling), going to school or simply work at the office then this is the perfect machine for you. If you are into web surfing, email and Microsoft Office and on a budget then look no further. For the price, you are getting a quality built machine with everything you need to do. All that and a little more. The components inside (motherboard and chipset) are all made by Intel.

I highly recommend it.  

Critical Review:

Had a CQ60 computer for a little over a year and the battery gets to 40% and the computer dies. Warranty expired 2 weeks ago and HP can't help me. I went online to buy a new battery and surprise, everyone says the battery sucks. My previous Compaq, the AC adapter died after 2 weeks and HP sent a replacement. My brother's Compaq, the battery died after a year and he bought a new one after his wireless card died too. This is the last Compaq I buy ever.

Toshiba Satellite T135-S1330 TruBrite 13.3-Inch Ultrathin Laptop (Black)

Favorable Review: 

Very fast and responsive laptop with expansive battery life. The 1366x768 screen is sharp and very bright too, with much crisper whites than the other 3 LCDs on my desktop. Solid build quality on this and whisper quiet, compared to my Acer Aspire 4530 14inch that this replaced. Total usable capacity on drive shows at 455GB out of the box. I'm not sure whether it's the 4100 processor or Windows 7, but this machine screams compared to my prior Vista laptop with an Athlon X2 dual-core QL-60. Performance with Microsoft Office Beta 10 is also exceptional, with Microsoft Excel opening in milliseconds compared to seconds on the Acer. I'm a suit spending lots of time on planes, and not a gamer--so I can't comment on how it performs in 3D graphics but that's not my use case anymore (unfortunately). They keyboard is a bit cramped--but you quickly get used to it after a few days. And the trade-off for thin and light far outweighs having a much larger keyboard.

The biggest bonus is that my machine did not come with the usual bloatware that plagues most other new laptops, so the out-of-box experience was smooth and painless. For the price, I don't think you can find a better deal: 4GB RAM, Win 7 64 bit, 6+ hour battery life and a half-terabyte hard drive for well under a grand. There may be smaller and faster laptops out there, but not for the money.  

Critical Review:

Impressed by the product build of the T135-S1330, I ordered one for myself via Amazon Prime.

Upon receiving my new laptop, I was impressed by the look and feel of this latest Satellite. The problems ensued, however, when I tried to navigate with the Trackpad.

As I am one to give the benefit of the doubt, this trackpad was the worst I have ever come across in my experience. No matter how I modulated the trackpad/pointer settings, the results were still abysmal.

After an hour of total frustration, I gave up and submitted a refund in returning the laptop back to Amazon.

I'm sure I might have received a lemon but I'll be purchasing anything other than a Toshiba Satellite T135-S1330.

Dell Studio XPS 1640 15.6-Inch Obsidian Black Laptop - Up to 3 Hours 8 Minutes of Battery Life (Windows 7 Home Premium)

Favorable Review:

Okay, so how many laptops can you find with a 15.6" screen, 1080p resolution, and a decent graphics chipset for under $1000? Not many! This laptop met all three of these needs for me. It came with enough RAM that I don't need to upgrade it until the 8GB of SODIMM modules become ridiculously cheap. The video chipset M96XT (AKA Radeon 4670) has pretty decent performance [...]. There are just way too many other laptops out there that have 1080p screens and an Intel GMA chipset, or low resolution 1280x800 screens with decent video chipsets. This laptop has both high resolution and a good chipset.

I recently took it to a LAN party to play Team Fortress 2 and it ran beautifully with all the settings turned up to high (60fps+). My last laptop died because the CFL backlight failed, with the LED backlight that should never be a problem. It's also super bright. I usually have it set to a quarter of the brightness and it's still pretty bright.

If you don't like the disk I/O speed (I think it's fine) you can always put a SSD in this as it's a standard SATA disk drive. There are USB ports on the left AND one eSATA/USB on the right, so you can use either one.

My laptop actually did have a gigabit network adapter (not the 10/100 listed here) but no jumbo frames support :( Typical with Broadcom.

Oh, and Windows 7, 64bit is amazing. You have the full 4GB of system memory and 1GB of video.


No scroll lock button, no pause/break button. Not sure how if there is some hidden Fn shortcut to get these. But who uses these really? There's no Fn num-pad, but really, I never used that. The wireless enable/disable switch is a capacitive touch button right above the keyboard. It's easy to accidentally hit it and turn the wireless off and not realize it. 


Critical Review:

I have had nothing but problems trying to use iTunes and sync my iPhone with this laptop. Of course, Dell blames Apple and Apple blames Dell. In the end, who loses? The consumer. Don't waste your money on this. 

Thursday, April 29, 2010

HP G60-630US 15.6-Inch Laptop (Black)

Favourable Review:

This laptop worked perfectly right out of the box! I had absolutely no problems setting this machine up or in getting it to connect to my network. It does everything that it was advertised as being able to do. Even the built in webcam works great. If there is even a single negative , it's that it comes with a lot of superfluous HP software. Other than that, I am incredibly pleased with this laptop. 

Critical Review:

The internal microphone is broken, and not just in the one I bought. According to HP, it's broken in the entire G60 series of laptops. I've had mine for one week; I discovered the microphone was broken on the second day, and I've been talking with HP's case managers about my options. Looks like I'm going to return it, because there's no fix in the works at HP. And who needs a laptop that you can't use for videoconferencing, Skype, Gmail Videochat, and so on? It's a shame, too, because the laptop is otherwise great.

Why is HP still selling this product when they know it's dysfunctional?