Date Joined: 03/24/06
Pros: -All stealth, all the time-Good layout, plenty of ports except fans
Cons: -Needs more fan ports, preferably PWM-m.2 eats SATA 5/6 (those of us running optical drives have to deal with an almost too long run on the SATA cable if using m.2)
Overall Review: I love this board. Overall the layout is great, plenty of USB3.0, sufficient SATA, and one m.2. The m.2 slot eats SATA 5/6 so those of us running optical drives are left to deal with an almost too long SATA run to the drive in a mid/full ATX case. Yes, some of us do still run optical drives.Turning off Aura means a truly stealth build for those of us who don't need rainbow barf all over our cases. More PWM connectors would be great, at least two, because 6 fans turning <1000RPM means more than sufficient cooling and near silent operation.
Pros: -Large size and push/pull configuration means you shouldn't hear the fans ramp.-Great build quality-Easy installation-Fan caddys make installation and cable management super efficient
Cons: -Large size means it won't fit in most cases
Overall Review: I love this thing. I wish I could fit it in my other cases. I went overkill with this on a 65W TDP specifically to prevent fan ramp in a quiet environment and it doesn't disappoint. Under normal use I never hear it.All that said I'm running a full tower Lancool case and I have all of 3mm of space between the top of the tower and the case panel. Check your cooler max height before buying.
Pros: -Screen size is great, good match for resolution.-No dead, stuck or bright pixels.-Keyboard feels fair, good key separation.-Big palm rest.
Cons: -No USB-C charging.-Keys are difficult to see at best if there's no bright image on screen. External lights don't help. Touch typers should be fine 80-90% of the time.-Big palm rest isn't populated by a larger touchpad. I'm OK with the size but many users, especially Macbook fans, will be disappointed.-Heat is an issue. There's a heat pipe tying the GPU and CPU together but no heatsink afaik. A single blower type fan just blows at it. I may see if there's a module I can epoxy onto the pipe.-Getting Linux on there was more of a struggle than it should be.
Overall Review: I bought this for pentesting with an intention to dual boot Sabayon or Debian for DD and Kali for PT. Sabayon (my pref), Ubuntu (which I dislike) and PopOS straight refused to run the installer (burned with both Balena, which you shouldn't use for anything ever, and Rufus). Debian finally ran after grabbing Elantech drivers for the touchpad and iwlwifi for the Intel 8265 AC wireless but wouldn't startx, even after lots of work. Kali wouldn't install the first time but did finally install, and worked flawlessly, after I included the kitchen sink option for tools. There's likely a package in there that was required for some weirdo piece of hardware in this budget laptop.Overall I'm quite pleased. I'm used to budget devices working in Windows. That's what everyone validates to. I'm also used to Linux being a bit of a pain on some budget devices because most companies give zero Fs about people running Linux or have specific, lowballed hardware they charge a premium for. Be prepared for a bit of a struggle (maybe) depending on the distro you choose if you go Linux.Windows users should be prepared to turn off Cortana creeper and switch out of S mode to get a usable anything. Beyond that it boots very quickly in S mode which is exactly what it was created for. Outside of first boot for kicks I didn't play in it at all.Performance is fantastic. I'm sure everyone else out there that has been running NVME based systems for a while would see a bit of sluggishness but I saw nothing but supremely responsive behavior in Kali. Web pages and general apps were very snappy.Physical build is good, polished, like I'd expect from Asus. That said it's plastic. There's a fair amount of deck and display flex. The main deck is light enough, and the hinge stiff enough, that it's not a one finger open. There's some pronounced display wobble if you are a heavy typist but I'd suggest ditching the sledge hammer fingers before complaining about the keyboard or wobble. I type fairly light, even for a big guy, so I didn't notice any issues unless I got aggressive.Overall I'm giving it a 4.8. Installing Linux shouldn't be this hard and I'm no n00b. Price for performance is great, it's no heavier than I'd expect (about the same as my work HP envy), the display is great for what I need and the power adaptor doesn't weigh more than the laptop. I highly recommend it.
Pros: Massive storage capacity, flawless reliability, dead silent running.
Cons: Green drive so spin-up is a little slow but that's expected.
Overall Review: Win7 Pro, NTFS with 1024 block size nets 1.89TB, perfect for HD archiving.
Pros: ZERO COASTERS. This is some of the best media I've bought. EVER.
Overall Review: Nice, big, textured writing surface to protect the top.
Pros: Quick installation, all required accessories included. Relatively quiet, though I wouldn't suggest having it anywhere near your entertainment system as it can be disrupting to quiet environments.
Cons: I had to physically modify the bezel area at the top: it was 1/8" shorter than any of the 7 drives I tried (tested to make sure it wasn't just a fluke). Yes, it's tool free as promised, but you may wish for a third hand.
Overall Review: Is it too much to ask, in this day and age, for even low-cost peripherals to be something other than beige?