Official Laptops Review Thread

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With all of the questions concerning the recommendation of laptops, we figured it would be a good idea to start a thread where members can review their new or old laptops to help others looking at the same models. Feel free to post your review of your current or even an old laptop that you may have liked or disliked for various reasons. Before writing your review though, post the following specs on your laptop (if you know):

-Bought From/Price:
-Usage (Gaming, Internet, Office Apps, etc…):
-Real World Battery Life (in your estimation):
-Your Rating (out of 10):

Feel free to include any screen shots of benchmarks or of the laptop itself if you feel that they will contribute to the review. Also keep in mind that this thread IS NOT for questions. If you have a question, create a new thread with your question.

Thanks for contributing and helping other members of Tom’s find their perfect laptop!
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I'll give everyone a short example of my current laptop:

-Brand: Toshiba
-Model: Satellite M305
-Bought From/Price: Best Buy for $700 (included extended warranty)
-OS: Windows 7 Pro 64-bit (Vista originally)
-CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo T6400
-GPU: Intel 4 Series
-Resolution: 1280x800 (LCD)
-RAM: 4GB of DDR2 @ 800Mhz
-Usage (Gaming, Internet, Office Apps, etc…): Internet, E-Mail, and Word Processing
-Real World Battery Life (in your estimation): High Performance Setting- 1.5 hours/Balanced Performance Setting- 2.5 hours
-Your Rating (out of 10): 7.8/10

I bought the Satellite for a casual use PC after my previous HP laptop died just after 1 year of use. My previous 2 laptops were HP's and did the same thing, so I decided to switch to a more reliable brand (in my opinion). Obviously, it isn't a power user's machine, but it gets the job done for my primary uses that include Internet related activities, e-mail, and word processing. For heavier usage programs and the occasional game I use my superior desktop (in comparison the laptop). It handles MS Office 2010 with ease and does a decent job with flash based video play back. The only improvement that I have made upon it was to install Windows 7 Pro (64 bit) when it was released, as well as the beta version before hand (I use it as a kind of "test machine" as well). It cools fairly well, as the T6400 usually sites in the low 30's (C) when idling and heats up to the upper 40's to lower 50's with heavy use (which is rare), i.e. it has never shut down due to heat related issues. The fans, like many laptops, can get a bit loud at times, but it is more than tolerable. Finally, the battery life is suitable for my needs, as it is usually plugged into the AC adapter.

My only issues with the M305 are the relatively low screen resolution and lack of brightness on the LCD (nothing noticeable to the untrained eye, but still annoying). I should also mention that perhaps due to a shoddy inverter or a loose connection, I'll get the occasional flickering of the LCD when I move it too quickly. Finally, like many newer design laptops, it comes with a very shiny case/coating, which is a finger print and whatever else you can imagine magnet. Otherwise than that though, it's a nice laptop, which for my use and needs is why I gave it a 7.8/10.


May 26, 2009
-Brand: Dell
-Model: Studio 1555
-Bought From/Price: Dell for 1000
-OS: Windows 7 Pro (Came with Home Premium)
-CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo P8700
-GPU: ATI Radeon Mobility 4570
-Resolution: 1366x768 (LED-LCD)
-RAM: 4GB of DDR2 @ 800Mhz
-HDD: 320GB 7200RPM
-Usage: Web Browsing, H.264 playback, HDMI to TV, Some gaming, some video encoding/
-Real World Battery Life (in your estimation): High Performance Setting- Never tested ~1.5 - 2H?/Balanced Performance Setting- 3-3.5 hours. Extreme power saving ~4 Hours (WiFi off, core locked to 800Mhz undervolted to 0.875, Lowest brightness)
-Battery Capacity: 52Wh
-Your Rating (out of 10): 7.5/10

I bought this to replace an old Dell Inspiron 8600, which worked fine but wasnt up to the tasks I needed it to do. For what I wanted and its price Dell suprisingly had the best offering (I looked at Sager too). I will do some occasional gaming but not so much anymore but the 4570 is up to the task at lowered settings, while still giving me a good battery life. I often have a dozen or so tabs open at any one given time, while running my messaging client, remote desktop into another PC, and often doing H.264 playback (480,720,1080). I have had it stutter occasionally on H.264 1080p playback on my HDTV, which was solved by closing down everything I had running. Processor idles around 100F and loads to 160-170 (Prime95) I usually never have it pegged at 100% unless I am doing encoding. My laptop fan is pretty quiet compared to other laptops I have used but it is audible when it spins up. Power brick is nice and small compared to the previous laptops I have owned, and my older power bricks are compatiable with this one so I dont always have to carry an AC adapter with me.

My only complaints lie with the design. When the laptop is closedis pressure is put on the back of the screen the plastic easily bends, pushing the screen into the keyboard and will leave little indentations. (I just had it replaced because the warranty will be going in a few months, so I will have to be more careful when placing it in a bag). In my opinion there isnt enough of a seperation between the touchpad and the palmrests, when typing sometimes my palm will touch the touchpad and send my cursor flying and I end up typing somewhere where I dont want to be. Anther complaint I have is that like most laptops it is 16x9, I was really hoping to get a 16x10 as I need the extra vertical height in some cases. Also its a finger print magnet which is common for all laptops now whichI have just grown to ignore. And no overclocking/underclocking/BIOS undervolting

Other than thats its pretty solid it has unfortunately taken a few drops while in operation and still works fine. Would I reccommend this to others, probably but I'm sure there are better laptops where the screen wont hit the keys. But overall I am happy with my purchase, got a good deal as Core 2's were about to be replaced with the new Core i series. This is why I give this laptop a 7.5/10

buwish I added in 2 fields, Battery Capacity and HDD Size/Speed
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Oct 24, 2009
I have a review of my Samsung n210 Plus here I was going to copy and paste then add pictures, but il think it would be better if i keep it to the thread i made...
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Oct 20, 2010
-Brand: Sony
-Model: Vaio VGN-FW170J
-Bought From/Price: Best Buy $999 (Oct 2008) + $200 in recent upgrades
-OS: Win 7 Pro 64
-CPU: Core 2 Duo P8400 2.26 Ghz
-GPU: Intel m4500HD
-Resolution: 1600x900
-RAM: 8GB Corsair PC6400 800Mhz
-Usage (Gaming, Internet, Office Apps, etc…): Everything but Gaming
-Real World Battery Life (in your estimation): 1.5 - 3.5 hrs (after 3 years it is starting lose some charge)
-Your Rating (out of 10): 8/10 Lose 1 point for being old and 1 more for integrated graphics.

Bought this when the Centrino 2 platform was brand new the lower TDP P-series cpu's helped increase battery life and the ability to use 800mhz ram was a big plus. The price tag on my model was a little higher because out of the box I opted for a 320gb 7200rpm HDD instead of 5400rpm and a blue-ray drive with HDMI out. It has 2 different card readers , 1 for mmc/sd and another for memory stick ( sony). It has run everything I have thrown at it pretty well but recently I was itching for more power. Instead putting it out to pasture I switched the HD for an OCZ Agility 2 SSD and doubled the RAM from 4 -> 8gb . The old girl sprung right back to life with fresh OS install. I very often use the HDMI out to watch netflix or Hulu on My HDTV and ever since flash 10.1 it is buttery smooth. Best part about the Vaio line though is Keybaord. Individual keys with spaces in between and a great tactile feel.
Windows index numbers
Proc - 5.9
Ram - 5.9
Graphics - 3.5 :( it plays blu-rays just fine though.
Disk - 7.7 :)
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Avro Arrow

Nov 12, 2009
-Brand: eMachines (Acer)
-Model: E620-5885 (Aspire 5515)
-Bought From/Price: Tiger Direct/$310CAD
-OS: Originally Vista Home Basic but I got rid of that crap and put on XP Pro
-CPU: AMD Athlon 64 2650e 1.6GHz Single-Core
-GPU: ATi Radeon X1200
-Resolution: 1200x800
-Screen Size: 15.4"
-RAM: 2GB DDR2-667
-Hard Drive: 160GB WD SATA
-Usage (Gaming, Internet, Office Apps, etc…): Internet, Office Apps, School, Multimedia
-Real World Battery Life (in your estimation): 1.5hrs
-Your Rating (out of 10): 10

Yes, I gave it a rating of 10 because for my uses, this laptop is flawless. I bought it to replace my aging Dell Latitude C610 (which still works by the way) when I went away to university. This machine is by no means a powerhouse but considering the price I paid for it, it was the deal of the century for me. I have a philosophy that one must NEVER get a good laptop, just one that's good enough. Use a desktop build for all intensive programs like games. This laptop does all I ever needed it to and all I'd ever ask of a laptop. Now, of course, this laptop is not meant for gaming because the Radeon X1200 is (let's face it), primitive. However, like all GPUs it handles 2D functions like Video and Windows flawlessly. I have read that the X1200 also works perfectly smooth with Windows 7 Aero but I'm never going to put that on this machine I don't think. I can upgrade the RAM because although Acer did put only 2GB in this machine, it's a single 2GB stick so adding another is a piece of cake. Maybe then I'll try using Windows 7 but in all honesty, I like XP and I don't see much reason to use an OS that takes another 10GB away from my 160GB hard drive. The bottom line is that this laptop gives me the mobility I want, it was cheap, it's extremely reliable (no problems in 18 months) and does everything I could hope for except gaming. Even then, I still play old NES, Genesis, N64 and Mame ROMs on it and it does those just fine. For all newer games I have my Quad-Core gaming monster. That's why I gave it 10 out of 10, for someone who wants to flush money down the toilet for a gaming laptop, this is not for you. If you want it for simple internet use, multimedia and school/office applications, this computer could be your only home computer. My father and my aunt both have one and they are very happy with them. To sum it up, it's a glorified netbook with double the RAM, a REAL CPU, a DVD-RW drive, a big screen and ATi graphics. :sol:
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Oct 9, 2006
Brand: Gateway
-Model: NV5321h
-Bought From/Price: Futureshop $600 CDN including taxes
-OS: Win 7 HP 64 bit
-CPU: AMD Athlon II X2 M300 2Ghz
-GPU: ATI HD4200
-Resolution: 1366x768
-Screen Size:15.6
-Hard Drive: 250GB
-Usage (Gaming, Internet, Office Apps, etc…): multimedia,some older games, Office stuff and 3D modeling and CAD with Eagle and Autocad 2010
-Real World Battery Life (in your estimation): 2.5-3 hours
-Your Rating (out of 10): 9

Bought this laptop to replace an aging Compaq I had acquired as a stopgap when my original dual core Acer laptop started having issues a few years back. For the money I paid for it it's an amazing machine it's run everything I need it t., I play Quake Wars, the original F.E.A.R, the need for speed undergrounds and carbon and as I said do some light 3D modeling with 3D studio max and some light CAD with Eagle (electronics based board design CAD) and Autocad 2010. It's fast and snappy even when loading up large models and textures for gaming or CAD and with a 250GB HD it's more than enough portable space. Only gripe with it was that the hard drive (a Hitachi travelstar YEA I know *shudder*) died after only 8 months. Thankfully though Gateway tech support was great and replaced it for me including shipping time in 4 days (I posted a complete review of that in another thread in the Acer subforum).

Only gripe for me with this machine would be their useage of the absolute worst brand of hard drive known for high failure rates other than that I couldn't be happier and I know right after this generation was changed to the new chassis (happened about 3 months after I bought mine) That they switched away from Hitachi so they did learn from what happened with a lot of users.

Great machine for the money is the bottom line
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Dec 10, 2010
-Brand: Sony
-Model: Vaio VGN-AW350J
-Bought From/Price: $1400 (Dec 2009)
-OS: Win 7 Prem 64 (Original OS Windows Vista)
-CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo P7350 Processor (2.00GHz) FSB 1066 MHz,
-GPU: Super Multi NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT Dedicated 512MB RAM
-Resolution:18.4-Inch XBRITE-Full HD Technology 1080P @ 60Hz HDMI Output
-RAM: 4GB DDR2 800 SDRAM (Max Supported 8GB)
-HD: 500GB SATA 5400rpm
-Optical Drive:Blu-Ray R/RW DVD+-R Double Layer / DVD±RW Drive
-Security:Biometric Fingerprint Sensor Platform Module (TPM) TCG Ver.1.2 compliant
-Usage (Gaming, Internet, Office Apps, etc…)

Ok I baught this laptop to replace my HP that was 5 years old and it was time. I had $1500 to spend and wanted as big HD screen as I could get. Before you say other laptops are cheaper I'm partial to Sony products. I also was not educated on the diffrence between i7,i5 vs dual core but for the price I think I did well concidering screen size/resolution and all the other goodies.

Now do I like it? Yes very much. The speed is good, recently I went to Fry's and looked at some of the i7s and i5s I didn't see much diffrence in speed just doing normal stuff. I only have one complaint/warning. I got the free upgrade from Windows Vista to Windows 7 and for anyone reading this the upgrade is not Windows 7 just a big crappy patch and was hard to instal/upgrade. After I finally got it done(Downloading the drivers from the Sony site sucked) my PC ran verry slow and was maxing out one of my CPUs with very little load. I took it to a near by Sony Style several times and got the run around, blaming it on the HD screen and the Blu-ray. So, I ended up taking matters into my own hands and calling Microsoft for a replacement full version of Win7( DL the drivers from the Sony site sucked again) then the Vaio was much faster and the CPUs can handel much more load, so the moral, don't trust the upgrade disks, later I was told the same thing by someone that had similer problems. One other thing the Vaio won't talk to my Sony Bravia 2 TV or my Playstation3 very well no big deal just thought they would be more plug and play thats all. Its pretty heavy too.

Overall I would say get one even for gaming. I'll be much better once I increese the ram to 8 GB and maybe change the HD to a faster one. Watching Blu-rays on it is awsome, gaming looks great, gets alittle choppy online when there is aot going on but thats why I have a Playstation3. The battery doesn't last very long but what can you expect with a 18.4 Xbrite HD screen. I do have a question. Sony stopped making the AW models, why havent the prices came down at all for the old ones new or used?


Dec 8, 2005
-Brand: Lenovo
-Model: T500
-Bought From/Price: $1900
-OS: shipped with Vista, now with Win7
-CPU: dual core 2.5ghz
-GPU: ATI ???
Intel integrated.
-Resolution: 1280x900
-HD: Intel 160gb SSD (added last month)
-Usage: PC replacement when I travel (games, development, web, chat, movies, music), otherwise it sits on my desk & runs ventrilo.

-Real World Battery Life:
According to the battery gauge: 7hrs -- this is while on the airplane with the networking shut off.
Actual use: 2hrs while playing lotro. ( we didnt realize it was unplugged until the low battery warning came up)
Normal use: 3-4hrs with websurfing and such

-Your Rating (out of 10): 9/10

if you want an inexpensive (cheap) laptop - skip this one. If you want something that will last forever, a thinkpad is what you want. My previous thinkpad I got in 2001, and its still running. I expect this one to last 5+ years.
My only complaint is its not very light. I havent actually put it on a scale, but the laptop + case + power brick is about 7lbs. The switchable graphics were the main reason I got this thing. on the road or airplane, I activate the integrated chip and get really good battery life. When its time to start gaming - I switch to the ATI card and get very nice performance.



Sep 12, 2010
-Brand: HP
-Model: Pavilion 3052nr
-Bought From/Price: Fry's 999$
-OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
-CPU: Intel Core i7 720QM
-GPU: ATI HD 5650
-Resolution: 1366x768
-RAM: 6GB 1333Mhz DDR3
-Usage (Gaming, Internet, Office Apps, etc…): Gaming and some specidic sofwares(like Multisim)
-Real World Battery Life (in your estimation): 90-110 mins
-Your Rating (out of 10): 7

This laptop feels sturdy and its solid built.The aluminium chasis feels expensive and this laptop looks a class apart from its category.

The webcam is cool and the HP supplied software is even bettter.The microphone is ok to good.The sound on the laptop is low.But its clear and feels nice.When using earphones thethe sound is awesome(the IDT control panel makes music much nicer and movies more cooler).The hard disk is faster(its supposed to be hell it is a 7200rpm hard disk).The computer is also fast thanks to 6GB DDR3 @ 1333MHz(its a 4Gb samsung one and a 2gb ramaxel one).

This laptop was purchased in a hurry (otherwise i would have purchased HP Envy 17, only 200$ more).As its price has gone down to 899$ i would consider it a good option.The only downside is that the screen resolution is low(1366x768) and the graphics card (HD 5650) is a bit old but good enough to play games at that resolution.I played COD:Black Ops at 1366x768 with all other settings to high and there was no problem.Also played the Battlefield Bad Company 2 with all settings high without a hitch.The temperature was 12 Celsius below the acceptable temp(acc to intel diagnostic tool) but it was hot on the top left side(i think the processor is there).

The keyboard keys placement are odd and it takes time to get used to it otherwise the keyboard is below average to average(tried holding control to crouch in battlefield and that finger pained as if it came from the battlefield).The touchpad is a strong contender for the worst touchpad ever made(try playing games with it).On the plus side to say the touchpad is multitouch and works only if it wishes to.

The OS pre-installed had some errors and the ever brilliant HP Support was not able to solve it(well actually it would have amazed me if they would have solved it) but anyway i gave them a try.I was unable to change the desktop background They were not able to solve it and PROMISED to send me an email regarding the solution but alas that promise was meant to be broken(Then when there customer review form came i wrote a long and VERY GOOD review for them and that agent is now trying to contact me via email for my solution but i have no intentions to give him a reply).And when i tried to earlier install the Battlefield and Batman:AA i got errors nobody was able to solve so i re-installed the OS and now they run smooth as ever.

HP Quickweb deserves a special mention.Its good and boots up quickly(approx 7 seconds........yes really i swear) and gets you online in no time.And the in built HP tools are cool.

The batterylife was advertised 5.15hours on amazon.<ref></ref>But its hardly 2 hours as the i7 720qm doesnt have an in built graphics card and i7 is power hungary(i think advertisers wrote upto which means you can buy an optional 12cell battery for extra money,the battery coming with this is a 6cell battery so dont be fooled by battery life).

So if you have a mouse and a cooler(not necessary but be on a safer side and save yourself from HP "CUSTOMER CARE") this machine is a powerful and worth most of the money spent on it.This laptop has an i7,6gb ram,500gb 7200rpm hard disk,5650 and solid aluminium chasis so if you can live with its shortcomings go for it.

UPDATE 31/03/2012: After a year and 3 months with it all I can say is that the experience has been very bad.The problems have been sprouting up constantly without refusal to go away and HP reluctant to acknowledge the problem.I had no option but to buy the extended warranty.The motherboard,heat sink,wlan card,dvd rom etc have all been in trouble.My suggestion don't buy from HP even if it quite cheaper.That cheapness will cost you much more later on.
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Aug 31, 2006
-Brand: ASUS
-Model: G73JW-3DE (3D, 17.3" 1080P display)
-Bought From/Price: Amazon/$2K with extra pair of 3D Vision glasses
-OS: Win7 Home Premium 64-bit
-CPU: i7-740GM
-GPU: GTX-460M
-Resolution: 1920 x 1080 @ 120Hz
-Usage (Gaming, Internet, Office Apps, etc…): Gaming/3D movies
-Real World Battery Life (in your estimation): 2~2.5 hours on 8-cell LiOn battery
-Your Rating (out of 10): 9.5

Just got this about 10 days ago to replace my old Dell M1710 gaming laptop. This is one of Asus' "Republic of Gamers" laptops with the matte black finish that doesn't show fingerprints (unlike my wife's HP laptop from a year ago). Has a matte screen which does not show much glare (my "office" has a double-window facing south, behind my desk) and also doesn't show fingerprints (my 4-yr-old son often gets excited and touches the screen despite many reminders from me :p).

Comes with very good speakers (for a laptop anyway), including a subwoofer and EAX 5.0 and an HDMI 1.4 port so you can hook it up to a 3D TV if you want immersive 3D gaming (or movies for that matter). However, the 17.3" 3D display is simply awesome - although this is my first 3D system so I have no experience to compare to, the gaming and movies are excellent, both 2D and 3D. Weight is only a bit over 8 lbs, quite light compared to the brick of a Dell (which has a 17" glossy screen and a burnt-out Nvidia 7900-GTX that I'm waiting on a replacement for due to the recent settlement). The Dell has a bit higher res - 1920 x 1200 - vs. the Asus 1920 x 1080, but then watching DVD's on the Dell leaves a band at the top and bottom of the screen anyway.

It also comes with a BD burner (haven't tried it yet, but burns DVDs OK), USB 3.0 (one) and 2.0 (3), variable brightness backlit keyboard with separate numeric keypad (good tactile feel although keys are smaller than a regular desktop keyboard). Storage is two hybrid 500GB/4GB SSD 7200rpm drives, which means Windows and apps load faster. Both the drives and the BD burner are very quiet in comparison to the Dell - great for watching movies.

I was going to wait for Asus to upgrade the CPU to the Sandy Bridge but now I'm glad I didn't :p. The quad-core i7 is plenty powerful for a laptop and the 460M GPU with 1.5GB of DDR5 VRAM is great for gaming. The laptop has 2 large exhaust ports on the backside so it stays pretty cool, even with it sitting on your lap (which Asus does not recommend). The Dell got too hot (not to mention heavy) sitting in my lap, so it was pretty inconvenient on flights - always had to fold down the seatback tray, then if some moron needed to get past me I had to do the economy-class tango to put things away.. Haven't tried the Asus on a flight yet but it should be much less of a problem with it on the lap instead of the tray. It also comes with an express boot utility which lets you bypass Win7 in case you want to check email, browse the internet, etc in a hurry.

I had been looking at Alienware and Sager and a few others and this seemed to be the most bang for the buck, esp. since I wanted to try 3D. This has a 2-yr warranty (incl. a 1 year warranty on accidental damage), zero bright pixel guarantee, 2-way free shipping on the warranty.

Cons - comes bloated with a load of crapware (although some of it actually looks interesting). Why put Windows Explorer 8 and Chrome on the same laptop? I can always use one to download the other.. Battery life is sufficient to game about a couple hours, or watch 3+ hours worth of BD movies on the BD drive - about the same as my Dell so this is probably not bad for a gaming laptop, but way short for overseas flights. Also, no OS reinstall disk - you have to make a backup image of the restore partition of the boot drive. Finally, although not a problem to me, the 802.11n Wifi card only comes with 2 antennas, so you're limited to 2.4GHz "N" according to one of the posters on However he points out that for $15, you can buy a third antenna and install it yourself for true 5.0GHz connections. I guess if you're streaming 3D BD movies this might be important..


Oct 9, 2006
-Brand: Dell
-Model:XPS M1530
-Bought used, traded a 1st gen macbook pro for it (total cost basically $0 since I traded for the macbook pro as well)
-OS: Win7 Ultimate 64 bit
-CPU: Core 2 Duo T9300
-GPU: Nvidia 8600m GT
-Resolution: 1280x800
-Usage (Gaming, Internet, Office Apps, etc…): Gaming/3D modeling, internet and transcoding movies
-Real World Battery Life (in your estimation): 2.5-3 hours on power saving with 6 cell battery
-Your Rating (out of 10): 9.0

Got this machine in a trade for a 1st gen macbook pro (which I got in a trade for some other stuff so essentially no monetary cost to me) It's nice and snappy with 7 ultimate on it. It's got all the nicesities like fingerprint scanner,slot loading optical drive and firewire. One of the nicest most sturdy laptops I've ever owned personally. Only thing I'd have to say for it is that the 8600m GT feels like it's a little slower than it should be even with updated drivers but maybe I'm simply expecting too much out of it. It does play Quake Wars on high at native res as well as BFBC2 at 1024x768 at high details or 1280x800 medium. I think the biggest bottlekneck may be my hard drive as it's a 5400rpm model.

With that said for a late 08 model laptop it's faster than the Gateway that I reviewd previously which I still own and use as my portable linux machine now.

I'd definitely buy another XPS if the budget permits. Great build quality amazing features and with the prices on them coming down into the realm of only slightly higher price than a basic laptop I figure why not.


Apr 9, 2011
-Brand: ASUS
-Model: EEE 1000HE
-Bought From/Price: $400, from newegg
-OS: Debian 5/6
-CPU: Intel Atom N280 @ 1.67 GHZ
-GPU: Intel Integrated
-Resolution: 1024x600
-Usage (Gaming, Internet, Office Apps, etc…): Note taking, general internet usage
-Real World Battery Life (in your estimation): 6-7 hours after ~2 years
-Your Rating (out of 10): 7/10

Not very powerful, overheated whenever I would try to compile the gentoo kernel, but I believe that was my fault when I replaced the wireless NIC. It's pretty great for just general usage, but don't expect to be able to play anything other than small games ie torchlight on it.
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Oct 9, 2006
-Brand: Dell
-Model: E6510
-Bought From/Price: Wintronic computers (off lease) trade in of XPS M1530+250
-OS: Win 7 Ultimate
-CPU: Core i7 620m
-GPU: Nvidia NVV3100m
-Resolution: 1600x900
-Usage (Gaming, Internet, Office Apps, etc…): Gaming,surfing the web,watching movies,3D rendering,photo and video editing
-Real World Battery Life (in your estimation): 5.5 hours with 9 cell battery
-Your Rating (out of 10): 9/10

I picked this up in a trade and wasn't too sure basically on the graphics card as I'd looked all over and even saw a thread here that said it was basically a downclocked G310m with better drivers. So I know the guy that runs the local wintronic computers (they deal in off lease machines and I'll often buy from them for friends or whatever that want a better than compaq quality machine at a good price) I asked if I could load up BFBC2. He was like ok sure we can always restore it to factory if it doesn't work for you. So i loaded it up and cranked it up and that's what got me to plop down my trade+ cash. Seeing BFBC2 at 1600x900 on high everything (except for shadows) made me drool. It was running incredibly smoothly and I couldn't ask for better performance out of this machine honestly.

Now the rest of the review. On build quality I can't fault dell on this either. Aluminum lid and the bottom chassis looks to be made of high quality ABS plastic though it could be annodized aluminum I'm not exactly sure anyways either way it's got some heft and it's obvious that this machine was built to last. and to be a true mobile weapon for CAD or whatever else you may throw at it. Dell also chose a great screen on this machine it's a 1600x900 LED backlit 15.4 that's matte. Last but not least on the build front is the port selection well 4 USB2.0 ports,firewire,HDMI they've got it all covered.

Last but not least a closing paragraph on security features and general useability. Well on the security front it has a fingerprint scanner which after having one on my XPS M1530 I'm finding that it's a god send. I can easily have all my passwords stored in keypass and I swipe my finger over the reader and it retrieves the password for the particular site I'm on and it's whole database is encrypted with the hardware encryption offered by dell on this machine so 10/10 for security. As for general useability it performs flawlessly on EVERY front. Gaming at high resolutions check, rendering 3D stuff in Blender nice and fast check photoshopping and editing video with adobe CS5 check and let me tell ya boot up is :eek: from a cold start to useable desktop is no more than I'd say 10-12 seconds. I'd heard SSD's were fast but holy **** this one is just brutal in it's speed

Only knock on this machine would be the weight. Granted the heft denotes the high build quality but damn for a 15.4 it's heavy. Ah well that's all relative I can still carry it all day with no strain it's just heavier than most other machines of it's size but then again they aren't built to such a high standard

overall 9/10 just minus one point for weight which really isn't an issue for me but may be for some people



May 2, 2007
-Brand: Asus G73SW-A1
-Model: G73SW-A1
-Bought From/Price: xoticpc - 1800+
-OS: came with Win7H-prem, reloaded with ultimate
-CPU: SB -2630qm
-GPU: GT460
-Resolution: 1920x1080
-RAM: 8gb
-Usage (Gaming, Internet, Office Apps, etc…):
-Real World Battery Life (in your estimation): - 1.5hours real loaded, casual use, 2.25
-Your Rating (out of 10): 7

The Good : super fast, 1.5 TB of drive ( pair of 750GB HDD!) - will be pulling one out and installing SSD. Great Display resolution, good cooling performance.Blu-Ray and HDMI, USB3, and did I say Sandy Bridge with GT460?

the Bad; excessively bulky even for a 17. lots of overhang that maybe could have been designed out. not faulting the weight, its a 17. maybe eliminating some wasted space could have biven a bigger battery..

The Ugly: the finish on this thing avoids fingerprints, but everything leaves a greasy-looking spot instead. the display is even extra-glarey for a glare-type display.

The experience: overall great, though the shipping delays nearly killed me. My last notebook was stolen and I was making do with an old Dothan convertible tablet from Fujitsu untill it came in. (on a side note, having to go back to that old guy reminded me how useful and usable it was. and why I am not a fan of Apple iPad- my 6 year plus old convertible Fujitsu was more usable than my co-worker's iPad.)
had to wipe and reload because of all the little crazy apps that came pre-installed. should not have to wade through all that krap on a " gaming" notebook.
as I had to reload, I figure why not go Ultimate? I bought a copy for my other laptop that was stolen, and it got stolen before I installed it. so..
Jury still out on non-game and CAD uses, as i still find myself reaching for the little unit to do a quick google instead of dragging the bulky beast out all the time..
Just got Dragon Age II, will update on that as I progress.
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Apr 1, 2009
-Brand: Dell
-Model:Vostro 3350
-Bought From/Price: Dell Small Business Site, $691
-OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
-CPU: Intel core i5 2410m
-GPU: Intel HD 3000
-Resolution: 13.3" 1366x768
-Usage (Gaming, Internet, Office Apps, etc…): Office Apps and Internet primarily, I'm not much of a PC gamer
-Real World Battery Life (in your estimation): 7 hours of actual use. This includes Wifi on, browsing, downloading files, typing documents, etc.
-Your Rating (out of 10): 9.5. The only thing I would change is a slightly higher screen resolution, 1600x900 would be nice.

Overall I'm extremely happy with this machine. Comes with backlit keyboard, LED backlit non-reflective matte screen, bluetooth, fingerprint scanner, webcam, chiclet island-style keyboard, multi-gesture touchpad, Centrino 1030 wireless adapter, and 8-cell battery. It weighs less than 5 pounds. Has a nice brushed metal appearance, is constructed of aluminum. 2 USB 3.0 ports, 1 USB2.0/eSATA, HDMI out.

This is the perfect blend of mobility and power, the i5 2410m is snappy and quick. I dropped my Vertex 2 into this and did a clean install, my boot-up time is about 35 seconds to have Firefox open and functional. Probably the best feature is the battery life, I can work an entire day without needing to plug in.

For reference, Windows Experience Index:
Processor: 6.9
RAM: 5.9
Graphics: 4.6
Gaming graphics: 6.1
Hard disk: 7.5
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