Joined on 03/14/03
Pros: Very fast Windows 7 boots to login screen in under 15 seconds Lightweight 3.5" adapter brackets included Drive transfer software (key) included
Cons: No SATA cable Wish there was more adjustment to the adapter brackets
Overall Review: This is a rebranded OCZ drive and AMD make it clear on the packaging. There is no effort to deceive or obfuscate the drive's origins. I still run a Core 2 Quad q9450 system so I can't hit top speed in the benchmarks that I ran, however, my hard drive transfer speeds nearly quadrupled. I've known for years that my hard drives were antiquated and have always been one of if not the biggest bottlenecks in a computer system. This one upgrade cut a nearly 2 minute boot time to under 15 seconds. My games load before everyone else that I play with. Even my e-mail client is more responsive. Do yourself a favor and seriously consider this for new and old systems.
Needs a companion local storage device to be a real winner
Pros: 2.4 and 5GHz WiFi support Motion detection Sound detection 2-way communication (see cons) Good night vision IFTTT compatible
Cons: Requires Internet connection Inconsistent motion detection App crashes randomly App crashes when trying to speak through camera from app Limited to 1 gig online storage with free subscription No constant recording with free subscription 2-way communication difficult due to latency No local storage option
Solid, budget-friendly drive
Pros: Single sided Reasonably priced Pretty darn fast PCIe 4.0
Cons: Not the fastest available
Overall Review: Unlike the other reviewers thus far, I didn't run hard numbers-based speed tests. I know my system isn't fast enough to keep up with this thing's potential. My test PC is a few years old with a smaller (in both physical size and storage capacity) SSD. It turns out the system that I had planned on installing this into couldn't support it, so double check before you buy. This card is M-keyed. For those not in the know, that means the connector on this card has a slot cut into it in a specific spot that will physically prevent it from fitting into an incompatible M.2 socket. Most sockets these days are probably M-keyed, but others may be B-keyed. To add further confusion, some M.2 M-keyed boards may not support NVMe; the drive should still work, but at reduced speed. PCIe addon cards are available that should work with most desktops that can add a compatible socket if needed. The drive is single sided so it should fit any board that can accommodate a 2280 size M.2 I cloned my installation over to this drive. I did notice a decreased boot time and programs loaded quicker as did my current addiction, Valheim.
Beware drive options
Pros: Clean design Removable, magnetic dust screens Flexible fan options Really cool glass panel Good wire management options USB 3.0 and 2.0 connections Comes with two basic fans Lightweight
Cons: No 5.25" drive bay Only two 3.5" drive bays 2.5" bays are all over the place Minimal accessories Only comes with two basic fans
Overall Review: I haven't come across a case quite like this myself. The tempered glass side panel is way cool, easy to clean, hard to scratch, and quickly removed with 4 thumb screws. Inside the edges are all rounded over and smooth for the most part. There were no burrs to cut me which is appreciated. All the metal seems to be finished in a rough satin black powder coat. The case seems pretty sturdy yet light with minimal flex. I like the magnetic dust screens. There is a screen on the top, bottom, and front. You simply pull them off, clean them, and slap them back on - very cool. To clean the front dust screen the entire front fascia must be popped off. Popping off the fascia does require some force and I believe a hinged front would be much better. There's an LED on/off button built into the top of the front panel that the manual indicates works with Asus Aura Sync, MSI Mystic Light Sync, and Gigabyte RGB Fusion. It seems like a simple push on push off button with a two pin connector. I didn't test this function as I don't have any compatible products. Honestly the drive mounting options are kinda whack and this is the main failure of this case. If I needed more than two drives, I'd probably start looking at a different case. There's no option for a 5.25" drive at all. The 2.5" drive mounting options are basically wherever they could cram them. - There are two 2.5" drive attachments behind where the motherboard expansion slots would be. - The two 3.5" drive bays also accommodate 2.5" drives. - There's also a fifth 2.5" drive mounting option on the front top corner sandwiched between the aluminum side cover and the motherboard mounting plate. The 3.5" bays have plastic mounting sleds that slide in and out. I pulled one out and it took me 3 minutes to get it to line up and slide back in. The lack of proper drive bays does make the case a bit smaller while allowing the biggest, honkin'est video cards to fit. The expansion slot cutouts on the back panel are stamped and must be broken out where needed. Kinda cheap, but not a big deal. Overall I like the case, but it wouldn't serve me for my primary PC due to the drive configuration.
Pros: Sturdy aluminum construction Good battery life Light weight Boots up quickly Solid-state hard drive 16 gigs of RAM Quad-core I7 processor
Cons: Low sound output Integrated battery Normal setup annoyances
Overall Review: To quell my doubts about the construction, I scraped into the casing in a few places with a knife to verify it was really aluminum and not just coated plastic. The screen has a matte finish instead of a glossy finish, a plus for me. I immediately decreased the text and icon scaling from the default 150% to 100%. The display is plenty sharp enough for me to see everything without the extra zoom. I installed OpenShell as well as I guess I'm a bit of a Luddite when it comes to my Windows interface. For anybody else like me who prefers the older Start Menu style of Windows 7, Vista, or XP, OpenShell makes life much easier. I found the sound output severely lacking at first. I was tweaking some media files and could barely hear anything. After playing around I located a preinstalled program named ICEpower. Setting it to Movie Mode or Gaming Mode seemed to make a big difference. It can still be a bit weak depending on what's being played though. I find it a bit laughable that Asus boasts about the Harman Kardon quad-speakers and high-quality surround-sound. Anyway, the sound works well enough for me now and I didn't expect stellar sound quality from a thin metal chunk anyhow. The next annoyance I encountered was the function keys. By default they respond to their 'secondary' functions (volume, brightness, etc.). I was able to change this setting in the ASUS Keyboard Hotkeys program. The last thing that was bugging me was the wireless throughput. I seemed to have trouble connecting to any of my access points at full speed. Even after letting everything auto update, it still wasn't right. I finally resolved my issue by installing the driver for the Intel Wireless-AC 9560 downloaded directly from Intel. Once past these initial hurdles, I found this a most capable notebook and one that I would definitely recommend. I didn't get around to trying any games on it, but I was hard-pressed to bog it down in any way. It feels sturdy, boots up quickly, and just works as I want it to.
Great hardware, OK software
Pros: Easy setup Light weight Easily portable Quick
Cons: Accurate color scans require tweaking Software UI could use refinement
Overall Review: When running the installer, I kept getting a download error when choosing the web option. I didn't bother to troubleshoot and went for what was available on the DVD. Installation is broken up into several installers that must be selected and clicked through separately. Once installed, everything seemed to work as I'd expect. I didn't give the business card software a go, but the rest seems competent enough. I did get a couple blank pages until I unlocked the scanner by toggling the lock on the bottom. The duplex function worked well as did feeding multiple pages. Getting color images scanned in accurately seems to be something of an art involving adjusting brightness and contrast as well as increasing the DPI. The factory options just are not dialed in well here. Grayscale scans are less touchy; the defaults for the most part work, but increasing the DPI helps with readability on smaller print. The OCR function worked well only when increasing DPI to 600 for me. Overall, this seems like a good scanner. I do think the software could be a bit more straight forward though.