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Bob J.

Bob J.

Joined on 07/08/11

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 9
Most Favorable Review
Logitech MK520 Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Combo — Keyboard and Mouse, Long Battery Life, Secure 2.4GHz Connectivity
Logitech MK520 Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Combo — Keyboard and Mouse, Long Battery Life, Secure 2.4GHz Connectivity

Pros: The keys have a nice feel to them, but it takes a little getting used to. There's a bit more depth than most laptop keyboards, but the keys feel flatter than traditional desktop ones. The built-in palmrest feels nice while typing. The mouse, while basic, is comfortable enough. I like the on/off switches on both (for the sake of saving batteries), as well as the calculator and browser back/forward buttons on the keyboard.

Cons: The mouse lacks any kind of back/forward buttons - I find those to be particularly handy. I've been using the ones on the keyboard (as well as Alt+arrow keys) to compensate, but it irritates me a bit. The mouse also occasionally has the same issue I had with my last mouse (Logitech LX7), in that it scrolls when I push the wheel halfway between notches sometimes. I'm hoping it doesn't go down the same path... so far it's been working well though. Also, with my PC in a cabinet (to the right of the mouse and keyboard) with the receiver plugged into the back, half a meter away, the mouse worked fine but the keyboard occasionally lagged, and then spat out all the keystrokes at once. Using an extension cord fixed this though. (one is included) Also, personally I'd rather the menu key be kept (it's relegated to an Fn item), and scroll lock or pause/break be made an Fn thing. Hardly anyone uses most of the functions on the F-keys either... Finally, the keyboard has a little clear plastic ring around it that doesn't do anything. It's harmless, but is a bit sharp if you touch it from certain angles. (particularly toward the bottom of the keyboard, in front)

Overall Review: Overall, good enough, but basic. I'm happy enough with it, but wouldn't be willing to pay the full price ($60) for it. (this was actually a warranty replacement for another Logitech keyboard/mouse set where the mouse broke)

Most Critical Review

Terrible drivers/not recommended

Intel 7260.NGWWB Wireless Adapter IEEE 802.11ac M.2 NGFF 867 Mbps Wireless Data Rates
Intel 7260.NGWWB Wireless Adapter IEEE 802.11ac M.2 NGFF 867 Mbps Wireless Data Rates

Pros: Here we see the Intel 7260AC wifi card, in it's natural habitat, which is a laptop. Depending on its mood, you might get (very) lucky and see it work fairly well. Or, you might see a mess of driver errors if it's feeling down. Speaking of which...

Cons: I got this card in a t440s a few months ago, and it is a piece of junk. Depending on the driver version, your problems range from occasional drops, code 43 stop errors in device manager when resuming from sleep (version 17.1 does this constantly), or simply speeds that rival that of 802.11g wifi cards. I have an older Intel draft N card in another laptop that consistently runs circles around this one. (If only I could put it in my newer laptop.) Yes, I have the card set to not be allowed to go to sleep in device manager (that solved some issues, but not all). And I have yet to make bluetooth connect with my phone (galaxy nexus) so much as a single time. I get through the pairing process and the codes, and it appears to be successful, but both show each other as offline. Pathetic. Intel, you should be ashamed of yourself for putting this out there.

Overall Review: I'm using the version 16.5.3.6 driver built into Windows 8.1 64-bit for now, and it seems to be working OK... fingers crossed. I transferred a large file between this laptop and my older one as a test (one on wifi/other on ethernet), and got ~65mbps on the 7260AC to my dual-band router, while I got 80-85mbps, when the other laptop was the one on wifi. Really Intel?

Great for the price

HP 2511x Black 25" 5ms Full HD LED BackLight LCD Monitor Slim Design 250 cd/m2 DC 3,000,000:1 (1,000:1)
HP 2511x Black 25" 5ms Full HD LED BackLight LCD Monitor Slim Design 250 cd/m2 DC 3,000,000:1 (1,000:1)

Pros: I got this when it was on sale for $200, and I have to say, at that price, you can't get anything better. For once, I didn't have to adjust the color settings make it look good. (in case you're wondering, they're 'Cool', 'Normal', and 'Warm' - 9300K, 6500K, and 5000K, with 6500K as the default) The contrast is quite good (likely due in part to the glossy finish), with colors and photos looking real-to-life (both in the vibrancy and color accuracy) with a bit of 'pop' to them in a way that matte screens just can't match. This screen is quite good by TN standards. I've found that 25" is about the right size for a 1080p screen, considering I put the monitor about 70cm away from me on the desk. (My last one was 23", which was a bit too small for my setup, though the same resolution.) A nice little plus is that it doesn't display a stupid logo when turned on, and it has auto-input switching (it does take a bit longer than other screens to detect input though, even though I almost always use the same input, DVI). The ports on the back also stick directly out, instead of up - that's MUCH easier to deal with when I'm reaching behind the monitor (which is at the back of a desk that's up against a wall) and trying to connect something. Simply put, this absolutely blows away the Acer S231HL this replaced. (I sold the Acer after getting this, if that says anything. Even after seriously messing with the settings on that with the 2 side-by-side, I was unable to get it to look anywhere near as good as this.)

Cons: It's still a TN monitor, and you can see the usual gradient effect with solid colors that IPS monitors don't have. When you view it at too high or too low of an angle, like any other TN monitor, the contrast gets messed up - this isn't as bad as on other monitors I've seen though. Also, if the brightness is set below ~70%, there's a slight flickering effect that happens to be a bit irritating to me. I set the brightness to 70% and turned the contrast down to 40% to get around this. I don't get any improvements with black levels this way, but at least the whites aren't too bright. (I like my monitors set around 120-140cd/m2.) For instance, when displaying a black surface, you can definitely tell that the monitor is on. As you would expect for a glossy screen, there is some glare with darker surfaces. This hasn't been much of a problem in actual usage though - it's not particularly noticeable when viewing photos and movies most of the time, though I can see my face while on the Windows 7 boot screen, for instance. There's no VESA mount, so you're stuck with the basic included stand that only has tilt, no height-adjustment (not a big deal for most people though, and I have a makeshift stand to raise the monitor to eye-level). If it sounds like I'm complaining a lot here, keep in mind that I'm really nitpicking - the issue with the brightness is the only thing I'd watch out for. The usual TN stuff is the same for any other monitor in this price range and higher, though not as bad. And also, styrofoam in the packaging, really?

Overall Review: At 70% brightness, the monitor uses about 28W. At 100%, it uses 34W. I doubt anyone will want to do this due to the flickering issue, but when set to 30%, it's about 20W, and at 0%, it's a mere 13W. (black levels are also much improved there) When off, my Watts Up couldn't detect anything. Also, since this isn't in the description, THIS IS A GLOSSY MONITOR. (In case anyone was wondering, the 2011x, 2211x, and 2311x are matte, while the 2511x and 2711x are glossy. I don't know about the IPS 2011xi and 2311xi.) Again, this hasn't been much of a problem for me (the pros outweigh the cons in this case), but this will probably vary depending on your setup. When viewing black text on a white background, you can't even tell that it's glossy, since there aren't any reflections there. The bezel also happens to be glossy, but who cares? (the back is matte) There's a wall wart, but it was easy enough to hide that. (It would be nice if it said what it was for though - 'Asian Power Devices' doesn't tell me much. 19V 2.63A, in case anyone was wondering.) It doesn't have speakers, but monitor speakers are usually garbage anyway, so not a big deal.

12/27/2012

Quiet and enough for most cards

SeaSonic S12II 520 Bronze 520 W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
SeaSonic S12II 520 Bronze 520 W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

Pros: It's pretty quiet. The wires are long enough to reach everything without being tight (55cm for motherboard connector, and I needed around 45cm, and my case, Antec 300, mounts the PSU at the bottom). It's quite solid, and I've overclocked a little. It's easily powering my system (see below for specs). This feels a lot cooler on the back than my old PSU (Antec Basiq), thus meaning greater efficiency (80 plus bronze).

Cons: There are almost too many wires here (who needs 2 EPS12V/ATX12V connectors? This isn't a server grade PSU!).

Overall Review: System specs: Intel i5 750 @ 2.88GHz, EVGA Geforce 550ti, 8GB Corsair 1600MHz ram, WD Caviar Black 640GB, Antec 300, Seasonic S12II, Windows 7 64-bit. This is enough for just about any single card (up to a 580 I suppose) or two 560tis in SLI. For most people, there's no reason to get more than this, and I definitely recommend this PSU.

Great budget card

EVGA 01G-P3-1556-KR GeForce GTX 550 Ti (Fermi) FPB 1GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
EVGA 01G-P3-1556-KR GeForce GTX 550 Ti (Fermi) FPB 1GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

Pros: It's capable of playing everything I've tried with high/maximum detail @ 1920x1080 (ex. NFS World) at stock settings (it has about 50-80% GPU usage, while maintaining 60fps most of the time). Even when playing a game, the fan doesn't spin up (at default 30%), and yet it doesn't exceed ~50C (25-30C idle). Even when I overclock it quite a bit, it still doesn't need to spin up the fan.

Cons: No mini-HDMI to HDMI adapter included. It didn't install itself.

Overall Review: System Specs: i5 750 @ 2.88GHz with Cooler Master TX3, EVGA Geforce 550ti, 8GB RAM @ 1600MHz, WD Caviar Black 640GB, Antec 300, Seasonic S12II 520W PSU, Windows 7 64-bit, Acer S231HL 23" 1920x1080 monitor. I overclocked it using MSI Afterburner. I don't have any intake fans in this case, so the main airflow this has is from its' own fan (though there is the rear fan, the top fan, and the PSU fan; this case has a bottom-mounted PSU btw). I ignored the included driver CD and downloaded the latest nvidia drivers, which were 280 or 285 something at the time. This card is pretty much flawless. Why would you need more than this? I'm perfectly happy with this card and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to others.

Nice cheap case

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Pros: Support for 6 hard drives, plus 3 ODDs and SSD/2.5" (no ext. 3.5" bays, but unless you want a card reader I see no need). To the right side of the case, by HDDs, there's some space and zip ties for wires. The front USB cables and audio cables were easy to connect, and were in one block (easier for 99% of motherboards out there). Cutout behind motherboard CPU area, for easy CPU cooler installs. I like the nice plain matte black design. The PSU is bottom mounted. My stuff stays nice and cool in here (CPU idling at 25C, GPU at 28C, better than old case). At low, the included 120mm and 140mm fans blow enough air. The hard drive installation isn't toolless, which ensures that things won't fall out pf place (however, enough thumbscrews for 6 drives are included). The entire front of the case is ventilation, and even without a front fan I can feel quite a bit of air being pulled through it. The power buttons and USB ports are at the top of the case, and my case is under the desk.

Cons: Getting my PSU to fit in place was a bit of a pain. This only has 2 USB ports and they're 2.0. You have to push a bit firmly on the audio jacks for them to work. (I haven't had any issues with noise on them however.) There are no rubber grommets on the hard drive bays, which could cause a little issue with vibration. I have 2 HDs and it's fine though.

Overall Review: Running a gigabyte ga-p55a-ud3, intel i5 750, 8GB 1600MHz corsair ram, 640GB WD Black and 500GB Samsung, Coolermaster TX3 CPU cooler, seasonic S12ii 520W PSU, and evga geforce 550ti in here. If you want a well built case with good airflow and don't want a flashy design, and don't care about a side window, this case is for you.