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Curtis J.

Curtis J.

Joined on 02/05/06

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 8
Most Favorable Review

Nice big, bright, fast display

GIGABYTE G32QC A 32" 165Hz 2K QHD 1ms (MPRT), 93% DCI-P3, VESA HDR400, FreeSync Premium Pro, 1 x DisplayPort 1.2, 2 x HDMI 2,0, 2 x USB 3.0 Curved Gaming Monitor
GIGABYTE G32QC A 32" 165Hz 2K QHD 1ms (MPRT), 93% DCI-P3, VESA HDR400, FreeSync Premium Pro, 1 x DisplayPort 1.2, 2 x HDMI 2,0, 2 x USB 3.0 Curved Gaming Monitor

Pros: It's big. Going from 22/24" monitors to 32" is like sitting front row at the theater. It's bright, very bright, though I have a dark office. It defaults to 50% brightness and I like it more about 20%. Should be plenty bright for brighter areas. High refresh rate. Not sure yet I can tell the difference from 120 to 165Hz.. coming from 60 I'm blown away with just 120. But it's a sort of Spinal Tap 'it goes to 11' thing. Stand is very nice and makes raising and lowering the display almost effortless. Games in HDR, 2K and 120Hz are amazing. It has a USB hub and can display your CPU/GPU/etc info and it has speakers, none of which I'm using so I can't really speak to its usefulness. The on-screen controls are intuitive and easy to navigate. This display is on rtings dot com.. so there's lots of good info about it there.

Cons: For some reason every time I start my PC, or wake it from sleep, the monitor defaults back to 50% brightness. I haven't figured out why and contacted Gigabyte asking for help. I'll update this on why. I have a feeling it's because I have HDR enabled. Update 7/25/21 Gigabyte says this is normal when HDR is enabled. Seems odd when a friend has a very similar monitor with HDR and his brightness setting stays where he sets it.

Overall Review: Great monitor for the price. Very happy with it and enjoying games like they're completely new.

Very satisfied with this laptop and Acer

Acer Laptop Aspire 5 Thin and Light Laptop A515-56-56DJ Intel Core i5 11th Gen 1135G7 (2.40 GHz) 8 GB Memory 512 GB NVMe SSD Intel Iris Xe Graphics 15.6" Windows 10 Home 64-bit
Acer Laptop Aspire 5 Thin and Light Laptop A515-56-56DJ Intel Core i5 11th Gen 1135G7 (2.40 GHz) 8 GB Memory 512 GB NVMe SSD Intel Iris Xe Graphics 15.6" Windows 10 Home 64-bit

Pros: Reasonably thin and light for a 15" laptop Very quick SSD/CPU combo Room for a 2nd SSD Backlit keyboard with good feel 1080 screen

Cons: Limited to 20G of RAM Can get hot on the bottom when under heavy use/gaming A fair amount of bloatware but what else is new Some backlight bleed at top of screen Power plug is very thin and doesn't seem durable

Overall Review: My last Acer lasted me 10 years and I'm giving it to someone to use. This Aspire 5 is a good value. Seems to be a rather unique model being it lacks the fingerprint reader, but I had no use for that so it's not a con. CPU and GPU are great for a laptop, though 8G of RAM is a bit of a low ceiling when it comes to running games or something like Second Life. Ordered a 16G module to put in it right away. I debated this model for quite a while because of the limit of 20G of RAM, but my old Acer had 12G and it was enough. Backlit keyboard is nice and virtually hasn't changed, and the numeric pad is nice to have but is a little cramped. (Timeout on backlight can be turned off in BIOS.) Display is very nice and vivid, and I haven't noticed any issues at varying angles. It can get rather hot on the bottom but I use a stand with a fan in it (though don't run the fan) so it can breathe better. CPU hitting 70C isn't hard to do, but it barely passes that. Fan noise is minimal. It's uniquely vented upwards just in front of the display; I hope that constant heat doesn't affect the LCD panel. Speakers are fine for a thin laptop. Don't expect miracles. Overall very good for the price when on sale.

Suprising value and quality

Zmodo PKD-DK40107 4 Ch DVR & 4 CMOS 480 TVL Cam Kit
Zmodo PKD-DK40107 4 Ch DVR & 4 CMOS 480 TVL Cam Kit

Pros: Right out of the box it had a quality look and feel. Everything carefully packaged. I tested all of the components immediately and everything was 100% operational. Setup was pretty self-explanatory. I never did read the directions. Price. For under $100 to get 4 cameras.. it's crazy cheap. Doesn't come with a drive - I can put my own in, and when it fails, I can handle the warranty rather than through the OEM who purchased it. Website has a lot of helpful information. Works best in Firefox. It's just fun.

Cons: Discontinued product, not that it matters. Cables to cameras are awfully thin. Color on cameras is wonky, probably due to the cables. The requirements to get the software to work in IE are a bit nutty. The tiny DVR needs a fan inside.

Overall Review: First I want to note, this is a $100 video surveillance system, folks. It's not a $1000 or $5000 system. It's 100 bucks. Do not get your expectations up. That being said, I've been incredibly impressed with what this system CAN do. Yes, the picture from the cameras can be iffy, the colors can be off, the night vision is ok but very narrow, the cables are really thin, and getting your entire network configured so you can access it from the outside world can be a challenge for non-techies.. but if you're a geek and like to play with stuff, for $99 this will give you the best bang for your buck, so to speak. And you get 4 cameras, so if you screw something up, you have plenty of parts to work with. (I accidentally cut a wire to the first camera via sliding glass door.) I think the best solution to the thin wires, would to be to use a video balun. Newegg has a bunch of them, but make sure you find one that also sends power. Using a video balun lets you use standard CAT5 network cables. You can even run multiple cameras over a single CAT5 cable. I intend to try some and see what the difference is in the picture from the cameras. I put a 500G 2.5" laptop drive in mine, so it uses less power, creates less heat than a 3.5" drive. The little CPU and heatsink on the board in the DVR gets pretty hot.. so I added a small 25mm fan to mine to help keep it cool(er.) The requirements to get IE to run the activex control.. by disabling all of the security in IE, is just bad. Use Firefox, or Chrome even. They work. In fact in IE I could never play back any of the saved video. It would just crash IE. I thought other browsers weren't supported, but discovered it DOES support Firefox, and quite perfectly, and without disabling your browser's security. There's support for Safari too but I've not tried it. I use IP Cam Viewer Lite on my Android phone. It works very well.

12/20/2012

Works in Acer Aspire

GeIL 8GB 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10660) Laptop Memory Model GS38GB1333C9SC
GeIL 8GB 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10660) Laptop Memory Model GS38GB1333C9SC

Pros: It worked!

Cons: None.

Overall Review: Purchased for use in the Acer Aspire TimelineU M5-481TG-6814 Ultrabook. If you're upgrading one, be extremely careful when removing the top and keyboard; there are very fine ribbon cables underneath which will be easily torn if you're not careful!

Nice laptop with few flaws

Acer TimelineU M5-481TG-6814 14" Ultrabook
Acer TimelineU M5-481TG-6814 14" Ultrabook

Pros: o It's Fast. Faster than I ever imagined a ULV CPU and a 5400 RPM drive could be. o 14" makes it smaller, lighter; a must if you use it in your lap or on the go. o Included SSD drive (though used exclusively by Windows) Boots up fast. o Glossy screen isn't too glossy; not like Lenovo. o Backlit keyboard o Instant-on from sleep (well, almost instant) o Multi-touch touch pad o Built-in DVD RW drive o Runs cool (with the right power configuration) o Keyboard is comfortable, not cramped.

Cons: - Battery is built-in, and can only be removed by disassembling the laptop. Hopefully won't be an issue for 5+ years. MUST exercise battery to keep it working at its peak! - Keyboard backlight is not adjustable, it's either on or it's off. - Headphone jack is right where a mouse would be used, on the right. - Bloatware - Only 4G of RAM - Added 8G to bring it to 10G total. Be extremely CAREFUL if you're taking the Aspire apart, there are very-very delicate ribbon cables you must detach before being able to remove the top cover and keyboard!! Or hold the keyboard up while a friend puts the memory in. And that aluminum will bend! - Bit of a narrow up-down viewing angle.

Overall Review: I shopped for months for a new laptop. I even purchased a refurbished Dell 15R Special Edition, which was a beast.. but I had to send it back because they somehow didn't put the backlit keyboard in it. (Also it had a lump under the keyboard; seemed refurbished didn't necessarily mean a second set of eyes looked at it.) Compared to the Dell, the Acer blows it away. And they were almost exactly the same price. I thought the 1080p screen on the Dell would be better. It wasn't. It made things waaaay too small, even with fiddling with text sizes and DPI settings. I thought the Radeon in the Dell would be good; it wasn't.. ran games like craap.. though I believe there were some driver concerns. I've always been an nVidia fan so I'm a little biased. The Dell was 15.5", which meant it was big.. and heavy. At any rate, what I thought would be good, turned out to not be the case. So I sent it back. When I saw the Acer Aspire was the most reviewed laptop on Newegg, I took a long look at it and decided to give it a try. My biggest fear was the 1366x768 screen would be too low-res. Well, it's -perfect- for a 14" display. I don't have to fiddle with font sizes to see the screen. I was also skeptical of the new ULV (ultra low voltage) CPUs from Intel, but this thing is fast. Even with the excess of software Acer put on it. And as long as you get the power settings correct, the battery life is amazing. Having both the Intel 4000 graphics, and the nVidia 640M LE is awesome because I don't always need that nVidia card sucking the battery dry. (For example, I use the Intel for Second Life, where frame-rates aren't terribly critical, and I use the nVidia for Borderlands 2.. which it runs flawlessly btw. The Dell 15R was terrible for Borderlands 2.) One thing I discovered was that just using a little desktop gadget to monitor the nVidia temperature, was causing the card to idle around 67C! I just got rid of the gadget. Overall the laptop has a very clean look and feel; the aluminum surfaces don't show fingerprints and the screen feels sturdy. It's 'glossy', but not too glossy, if you know what I mean. You can open it with one finger. (I had to use two hands to open the Dell.) The keyboard is comfortable, and backlit, which is a must if you work/play in dark places and need to be able to see the keys. Not so much for general typing but being able to see the number keys and others is a huge plus. Yes, the ports are in the back (not the sides, except for the headphone jack.) I don't know why this is a con for some, it keeps everything out of the way. One thing I found is the 'minimum processor state' in the power settings were set to 100%, meaning the CPU would 'idle' at 2.3GHz, which meant more heat, more fan running, etc. Set this to 0%. During the entire time of this writing, the laptop is cool all over. CPU is hovering around 38C. Even when gaming, the fan is quiet. I'm very critical of PCs, and I'm very happy with t

Would not work in Dell Dimension 3100

Rosewill RC-216 PCI Express eSATA II x 2 / ATA 133 x1 RAID 0/1/0+1/JBOD mode Controller Card
Rosewill RC-216 PCI Express eSATA II x 2 / ATA 133 x1 RAID 0/1/0+1/JBOD mode Controller Card

Pros: This tiny card comes with a full-height and half-height bracket, a SATA cable, a 80pin IDE cable, a floppy AND a CD with drivers. It's easy as pie to set up.

Cons: I needed this card to go into a Dell Dimension 3100, and while it would appear in the BIOS and the RAID would report all is well, I couldn't get it to boot. No cursor, nothing. Just a blank screen every time. To verify the card's operation I tried it in a PC with a EVGA X58 and it worked fine. I blame the Dell, not Rosewill for this card not working.

Overall Review: I realized after the fact that the Dimension 3100 has RAID built into the system-board. Rather than return it, I'll just keep it.