Date Joined: 09/09/09
Pros: -Large (mouse doesn't wander off the mouse pad during large motions)
-Very uniformly smooth
-Grippy on the bottom (doesn't slide)
Cons: I can usually think of something negative even when I really like a product, but I can't think of anything bad about this. It does its one job very well.
Overall Review: I went from a regular, small mousepad (or even sometimes using no mousepad). The difference in smoothness is absolutely worth it; there's absolutely no hanging or catching on this pad; very uniform feel. Aiming with precision in games is easier now.
This is a very nice upgrade for a small price.
It's not even a question if you don't already have a nice mouse pad; get this mouse pad!
Pros: I bought this laptop eight months ago. As others have said, it showed no signs of wear at all. The only issue mine had was what looked like a smudge on the screen. I could never get it out and determined it is actually something wrong with the pixels. That said, it's only noticeable when the screen is dark. No other problems with it.
It comes with a Windows license and Thinkpad software (some of it is necessary for operating the trackpoint and such). Nice plus.
The T420 is the last Thinkpad (really laptop in general) with a good keyboard. It retains the navigation key cluster (delete, home, end, pg up, pg down) which is very important to me since all modern laptops have weird, inconsistent layouts. It also has dedicated media keys for volume and mute - a very nice touch.
Cons: The screen is really the only drawback to this laptop. It is small and a somewhat low resolution. Mine did come with an imperfection, but I'm assuming this is just my particular unit. It is a TN panel, so the viewing angles are not great. It is a matte finish, so glare is not much of an issue.
The trackpoint is very nice; however, I have noticed it has a tendency to stick in one directly slightly a drift the cursor sometimes.
Overall Review: At $200, you really can't go wrong with this. It's about as cheap as a chromebook, and you're getting a lot more computer out of it, despite the fact that it's a 5 year old model. I upgraded mine with an SSD and 16 GB of RAM. The product spec sheet says it only supports 8 GB, but that's because 8 GB DIMMS were not available when this laptop was released. It definitely supports 16 GB of RAM.
Just a warning: since upgrading it to Windows 10, I have noticed some issues that were not present with Windows 7. Sometimes, the trackpad will stop working for a few seconds randomly in the middle of use. When closing the lid and putting it to sleep, sometimes it will never wake up and requires a full hard reboot, making me lose any work I had open. Much of the Lenovo software is not compatible with Windows 10 and does not have an equivalent for the T420 on the Lenovo website; some of it really wasn't necessary anyway, so it's not a big deal.
Pros: -The RAM was in perfect condition and came in anti-static wrapping.
-SaveMart's customer service was excellent. I can't leave a vendor rating because it's been over 60 days, but I had a very good experience with SaveMart. My laptop would not post with this RAM. Granted, I don't have an Inspiron; I have a Gateway MX6959, but the RAM is the same type. Maybe my motherboard or CPU just didn't support 4 GB, or maybe it doesn't like high density RAM. Anyway, I requested a return with SaveMart, and it was granted. I then waited 7 weeks to mail it back (I was busy and lazy). SaveMart then granted me a full refund, despite having a restocking fee policy. Very impressed.
Cons: -Ultimately, my laptop would not post with this RAM, but that is a compatibility issue. It has nothing to do with the quality of the RAM. It's very hard to find reliable part information on nine year old laptops. This is my fault.
Pros: Let me start by saying I love this monitor!
-Incredibly fluid motion on 144hz.
-24" seems to be the perfect size for gaming (for me).
-Portrait mode (this is also handy for connecting audio/video cables).
-The colors on mine looked good when I first hooked it up. I think ASUS may be calibrating these better from the factory now. Or I could just be colorblind. I suppose I could say the colors looked a tad washed out on the default settings, but I think that was probably more a result of how bright the screen is. In any case, I don't think they look nearly as bad as other reviews state (at least mine didn't).
-Matte finish on panel makes reflection and glare a non-issue.
-No bleeding or bright spots; brightness and colors look uniform across the panel.
-Comes with DVI cable.
You will be amazed at the beauty of this monitor.
Cons: -Integral Speakers are abysmal. My eMachines monitor had better speakers, but I shouldn't be using integral speakers anyway.
-No lock on adjustable stand. This can cause the panel to slide around a lot when transporting.
-When switching to portrait mode, it's possible to scratch/scuff the stand base if the panel isn't fully raised.
Overall Review: Honestly, 144Hz didn't blow me away when I first got this monitor hooked up. But it has made me considerably better at Battlefield 4. I'm now consistently going positive. I even did better when playing Halo 4 when I hooked up my Xbox 360 to it; even though the frame rate is not even close to 144 fps, I believe the 1ms response time still helps on consoles. There's noticeable input lag when I play on my TV from 2008.
I would compare 144hz to using a mechanical keyboard: you don't really notice how much better it is until you try to go without it.
One thing to consider is that you will have a constant dilemma of turning your graphics settings down to get 120+ fps (unless you have an awesome graphics card).
Also remember that only DVI and DisplayPort can run this monitor at 144Hz. So HDMI is really only useful for consoles and DVD/bluray players.
I tried the lightboost hack, and I really couldn't tell much of a difference even at 144fps. It is neat that ASUS officially supports this lightboost hack on the new 27" version of this monitor (ULMB is what they call it).
One feature I didn't know I'd like is the pass through for headphones. When I plug my headphones directly into my PC, there is sometimes a humming, buzzing, or hissing sound. This also is present if I use the SPDIF cable to connect to the monitor audio. However, if I use the audio through displayport and then plug my headphones into the monitor, there is no buzzing. The trade-off is that the audio sounds a bit muddier.
I upgraded from a 20" 1600x900 60Hz E202H eMachines monitor that I've had for 5 years. There's no comparison. The extra size, brightness, resolution, and refresh rate make all the difference.
In short, this monitor isn't technically perfect, but it's very close, especially for the price. This is the best $250 I've spent in a long time.
Pros: This thing does what it's designed to do. It has been working in a build I made for my mom for about 10 months now.
Cons: The only con I can think of is that the USB 3.0 pin connector for the case'a USB 3.0 cable doesn't seem quite deep enough. It seems as if it's just barely inserted enough to work, but this is probably more of a problem with the USB 3.0 spec, not this specific device.
Overall Review: I bought this for a build for my mom. I had overlooked the fact that the case I got has only USB 3.0 ports on the front but the motherboard does not have a USB 3.0 pin connector. This item allowed me to hook up the case's USB 3.0 ports to the PCIe slot. It works perfectly.
Pros: It worked fine for about three months. Then it became just another USB 2.0 port, which I don't need.
Cons: As others have mentioned, mine worked fine for about three months, and then every port except for the USB port stopped working. Since I got this for the SD card slot and Micro SD card slot, this made the device completely useless to me.
It's not a big deal, but the slots for the card readers are upside-down. The replacement I bought from Sabrent has these slots oriented correctly.
I got this for $5 on sale, so it's not even worth sending in for RMA. It's cheaper just to buy a new one (of a different brand).
Overall Review: I would recommend you pass on this one since it is unreliable.
Pros: RMA no questions asked. Brand new unit provided by Newegg.
Please see "Other Comments"
Cons: Had to RMA it.
Please see "Other Comments"
Overall Review: In my review from 10/22/2013, I stated that this PSU fried my HDD and DVD drive. It turns out I'm an idiot. This PSU did, in fact, fail, and I had to RMA it, but, when I replaced it with a new ThermalTake PSU, I had left one of the Corsair SATA power cables in my computer, which I used to hook up my HDD and DVD drive.
YOU CANNOT MIX AND MATCH MODULAR PSU CABLES FROM DIFFERENT MODELS OR BRANDS!!! The plastic tips will fit, but the pinouts are different and you will get the wrong voltages going to your components, which will probably destroy them. Only use the cables that came with that specific modular PSU.
Please don't make the same stupid, expensive mistake I did. Something as simple as this cost me about $180 in hardware.
Pros: -Boosted performance and extended the life of my old 2009 desktop.
-Easily installed (No fancy heat spreaders. This was an important
consideration since my case has very little room).
-I've put G.Skills brand memory in three computers now with very satisfactory results. It's a brand you can trust.
Cons: This is a really stupid con, but the DIMMs are actually green, not blue as they appear in the picture. My mobo is blue and so were the original DIMMs, so I was hoping to keep everything matching. But this has absolutely no affect on performance obviously, and it's entirely preference.
It's a little surprising that DDR2 memory still costs this much. You can catch some DDR3 for about the same price on sale sometimes.
Overall Review: Obviously this isn't the fastest RAM out there, but, if you have an older computer that can only accept DDR2 memory, this is a rather cheap way to boost performance a bit.
I put this in an E-machines EL1310-02 that I bought in 2009 that I dual boot with 32-bit Win7 and 64-bit Linux Mint. It originally had 2 x 1GB of OEM RAM. After this upgrade, it's maxed out at 2 x 2GB (Mobo and 32-bit Windows will only support up to 4GB).
I've noticed significantly less hanging, especially when I have multiple browser tabs open in Windows 7(opening more than 2 youtube tabs would usually hang the browser for up to 30 seconds). However, for whatever reason, the same does not appear to be true in Linux Mint.
Unfortunately, the extra RAM doesn't help graphics in my case, but this is a limitation of my Mobo. My PC has graphics integrated into the Mobo (not the CPU), and the BIOS is defaulted to dedicate only 256MB to graphics. This can be manually increased to 512MB but no further, and doubling it really doesn't seem to help much anyway. However, this would not necessarily be true for other PCs, depending on your mobo and CPU; it's just something to keep in mind. The speed of the memory would probably be more important for this application anyway.
Pros: -Ample space
-Great dust filters
-Excellent cable management even for a non-modular PSU.
-2 x USB 3.0 in front panel.
-Supports 2 x 140mm fans in the top and 2 x 140mm in the front (one included), some caveats.
-Rubber fan washers included to reduce vibration (more on that later).
-Nice clean look.
-Feet are built into the shape of the case, not cheap parts that will break off.
-Metal is fairly sturdy.
-Large cut-out behind mobo for routing CPU power cable or changing fan brackets without removing mobo.
Cons: -Some interference issues with fans due to space. Example: putting anything in the top 5.25" bay will effectively block half of one of your top fans. Similar issue for the front fans; if you use 140mm fans in the front, a large section of them are blocked off by support bars.
-Front panel "clicks" off by pushing the two top corners in. This sounds good, but it comes off inadvertently pretty much any time you touch the case. This isn't something that needs easy access. It should be a latch, not a push mechanism. Even screws would be better.
-Bottom dust filter also comes out a bit too easily. Slides out any time you have to transport the case.
-HDD slots do feel a bit cheap, but they work.
Overall Review: -A tad bigger than one would expect for a micro ATX case. This is both good and bad.
-Rubber washers purpose were not immediately apparent. It took me a while to figure out why the fan screws were too small. The washers aren't mentioned in the manual, and they are pre-set in the 120mm slots.
-A lot of reviewers complain about the recessed 5.25" bays being aesthetically unpleasant. While I agree to an extent, I think others are blowing it out of proportion.
-Motherboard hung over the standoffs a bit too much, making it hard to plug in the mobo power connector for fear of breaking the mobo. Not sure if this is the case's, mobo's, or micro ATX specification's fault. Not a big deal, just something to be mindful of.
-Overall, this is probably the nicest case I've assembled in my limited building experience, but it does have some odd quirks since it is basically a full tower design scaled down to micro ATX. Some features don't scale down perfectly.
Pros: -Asus brand quality.
-Extra long lasting components.
-FM2+ (allows for upgraded CPU in the future).
Cons: -No USB 3.0 connector for case USB 3.0 slots (my case only has 3.0, so those two ports are useless).
-No SATA III (6 Gb/s).
-Did not come with a POST speaker.
Overall Review: It's my fault for not inspecting the pictures carefully enough to notice there is no USB 3.0 connector on the board, but why is this not a standard slot? USB 3.0 has been out for at least three years, it should be standard on every mobo. I'll probably have to get some 3.0 to 2.0 converters and just downgrade these ports to be able to hook them up to the mobo.
Secondly, the manual and box are deceptive because they say "SATA 3.0Gb/s". This means SATA II, i.e. SATA revision 2.0. This board has NO 6 Gb/s SATA revision 3.0 ports. Confusing, but I suppose I should have investigated this board more before purchasing. Pretty disappointing since I was hoping to use this board as an upgradeable platform, but I guess it really shouldn't matter since I have a mechanical HDD right now.
Both of these were oversights of my own doing. Just be aware that things are less expensive for a reason.
I bought this for a build for my mom. She will likely be running this 24/7, so the extra durable components in the PLUS series should come in handy.
Pros: This wireless adapter works great. I have not had any issues with it in my two months of ownership. It keeps a very fast connection as well. Very pleased with this purchase.
Cons: The original retail price on this is a tad high (about $45-50). You can catch it on sale sometimes for about $30 though. Rosewill offers a comparable item for less, but I do not have experience with it.
Overall Review: I do occasionally get dropped connections during games, but I believe this is actually caused by my router or modem since I also experience this when watching Netflix on my Xbox.
Pros: This works perfectly with my wife's HP MA7 (MX6959) laptop.
Overall Review: My wife's laptop had been sitting in a corner for years because it was "broken". The charger was long gone, so I could never test it. I bought this charger, and it powered on. The HDD was toast, but, once I replaced that, everything worked great. We've been using this charger consistently for about 2 months now with no issues. This is an old part for an old laptop, so I was surprised to find it.
Pros: -Runs my gaming rig without issue. (System specs: i7 3770K, GTX 760, six fans and two CPU fans, one HDD, one DVD drive, and 2 x 8 GB RAM).
-Nice looking color scheme
-Five year warranty
-Standard size, no issues fitting in my mid-tower.
-Others have commented that this PSU is loud. I have not had this experience. Even with my fans set to low, I can't hear the PSU over them.
Cons: -Not 80 gold plus, only bronze
-A little on the expensive side.
Overall Review: I bought this when my Corsair HX750 crapped out after four days. I RMA'd it, but I didn't want to wait to use my new build. It's worked so well that I haven't bothered putting the replacement Corsair in my computer. Also the corsair was bigger and didn't allow me to put a bottom fan in my case. The TermalTake is a standard size and allowed the fan. Only disadvantage is that there are not as many module slots, but there are definitely enough for a standard build (not enough if you have more than two graphics cards though).
Pros: -Customer Support gave me two feet to replace the broken one that mine came with. It snapped on perfectly. Good as new.
Cons: -My complaint about the power supply taking up too much room was invalid. My Corsair HX750 was simply oversized. I put a standard size ThermalTake 850 watt in it, and now I can fit another fan in the bottom, so it was not the case's fault.
Overall Review: Thank you to IN WIN customer support for the new foot.
I figured out how to get the top panel not to slip around. There is a piece of metal like a leaf spring sticking up from the tower that holds the top panel in place, but it is tricky to get it on just right.
Pros: -Great Price. When I bought this, it was on sale for $65. You'd be hard pressed to find another mech KB for that price.
-Great look. White board with black keys. Blue lights for the lock keys. Rosewill logo is only in one spot, and it's a tasteful spot at that (top right).
-Good weight. It won't slide around unless you deliberately try to make it.
-Cherry MX blues. The standard for heavy load typists.
-Comes with both PS/2 and USB cables. Both of them are nicely braided and appear to be high quality.
Cons: -As others have noted, the USB port is in a somewhat vulnerable spot. It probably should have been designed to connect in a hollow under the keyboard. I've only had one instance of it becoming unintentionally unplugged though.
-Retractable feet do not have anything on them to prevent slipping, so it does slide around a bit when these are extended.
-Does not come with a key removal tool.
Overall Review: I got this keyboard for work and have enjoyed it very much for the past month. Everyone else who has tried it likes it. It does sound fairly loud, but, after a couple days, no one seems to notice anymore.
I find the Cherry MX Blues a bit tricky to type with effectively. The idea is that you should only have to push slightly for a press to be registered, but the amount of pressure needed for a slight press is difficult to judge. There seems to be quite a bit of resistance at first; then you must quickly let off to avoid bottoming out because the remaining pressure to reach the bottom of the press is quite low. If I start typing fast, I bottom out the keys every time. I wish there were less initial resistance and more after the initial click.
I find switching to a mechanical keyboard a bit like switching from an SD television to an HD television. You probably never noticed that was a problem to begin with, but once you switch, you'll probably never go back, and you'll wonder how you ever used a membrane keyboard (or SD TV) without noticing how bad it feels (looks). Honestly, if you're satisfied with your cheap membrane keyboard, it may be better not to open your eyes to mech KBs because it will save you money. Also, you won't be conscious of all your key presses if you don't switch. I can no longer simply type without thinking about it. For a computer enthusiast, it is a nice thing to try out however.
For the price, I think this is a great value mech keyboard. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles of some other keyboards, but, if all you need is a standard keyboard with mechanical keys, this is a good KB to start with.
Pros: Fairly quiet on full blast (12V), and absolutely silent on 5V. Easy to install. I have four in my case, and they keep things pretty chilly. Very good price on these as well. I had an extra, so I snapped it on my heatsink; it fit perfectly.
Cons: The only con is that the LED is not bright at all. Once you put your case together, you can barely tell there are even lights on. You have to look at the front (intake side) of the fan directly to see the light.
The rebate only works for one fan, so bulk buying doesn't save much.
Overall Review: While the fans blow air great, the dim LEDs defeat the purpose of buying an LED fan in the first place.
Pros: Good value, sleek look, small size, lots of ports on the front, windows vista, decent speed.
Cons: It comes with a somewhat small 160 GB hard drive.
The computer tower has VGA and HDMI ports, but the monitor has VGA and DVI ports, so really you only get VGA unless you use a different monitor (or possibly TV [haven't tried it yet]). The CD tray is vertical, so it's a pain to insert discs, but it does make the tower smaller.
Overall Review: The speaker is integral with the monitor, so it is less clutter, but the loudness isn't the greatest. I can't tell if stereo sound is possible. It doesn't sound like it.
The monitor's resolution seems slightly lacking while playing DVDs or netflix, but that could just be because I'm sitting so close to it. The resolution is great for everything else.
The included mouse is a wheel mouse, not optical. Neither the mouse nor the keyboard are USB. These aren't necessarily bad things; you just have to remember that you get what you pay for. They do however function great and have a very good presentation. You just won't be getting the absolute latest in mouse and keyboard technology.
I've given it four eggs because it's a good value for a package that includes everything you need to get started.