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Dell Ultra HD 4K Monitor P2415Q 24-Inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor
Dell Ultra HD 4K Monitor P2415Q 24-Inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor
Price: $410.48
51 used & new from $359.17

5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Think About It For Too Long - Just Buy, July 27, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Runs full 3840x2160 at 60 hz fine on Windows 8.1 with HD 5500 integrated graphics. It was nice of Dell to include a mini DP to DP cable.

The screen is fantastic running at 150% or 200% scaling - looks just like a MBP retina. I have an older U2713HM running at 1440p with 125% scaling and even then text looks fuzzy. But on this P2415Q, text is razor sharp and the anti-glare coating looks very light to me compared to the U2713HM. This extra sharpness relieves eyestrain when working with a lot of fine text.

Brightness is good and colors are slightly punchier than my MBP retina. Build quality is good and the monitor doesn't wobble when I move around on the table (a major annoyance). Pivot, swivel and height adjustment work as advertised and feel solid.

All in all, I highly recommend this monitor. If you're deciding between this or the P2715Q - I decided to go with the 24 inch because Amazon dropped the price from $460 to $400. The 27 incher was at $500 and to me it wasn't worth the money for a few inches. When comparing the P2415Q to my 27 inch U2713HM, they are very similar in size so I'm glad I went with the 24 inch.

I'm going to hook this up to my desktop and


2015 Newest Model Dell XPS13 Ultrabook Computer - the World's First 13.3" FHD WLED Backlit Infinity Display, 5th Gen Intel Core i5-5200U Processor 2.2GHz / 4GB DDR3 / 128GB SSD / Windows 8.1
2015 Newest Model Dell XPS13 Ultrabook Computer - the World's First 13.3" FHD WLED Backlit Infinity Display, 5th Gen Intel Core i5-5200U Processor 2.2GHz / 4GB DDR3 / 128GB SSD / Windows 8.1
Offered by Swift Distribution
Price: $875.99
60 used & new from $750.00

179 of 182 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quick Review, January 19, 2015
My configuration: Core i5, 4 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD, 1080p matte display at $899 (Microsoft Store)

Things I Like:

+Looks:
The aluminum finish is extremely clean. It's a tad darker than Apple's aluminum finish and both the lid and bottom are solid with that cold metal feel upon touch. The palm rest area has an interesting carbon fiber pattern that adds a unique look and has a very nice soft touch finish. The Dell logos on the lid and beneath the screen is tidy and minimalist.

+Size & Weight:
I considered the MBP 13" Retina to be one of the smallest 13" notebooks but the XPS 13 is even smaller thanks to the extremely thin bezels. The XPS 13 may not be the thinnest but it has the smallest foot print of any 13" notebook - it's basically the size of the MacBook Air 11". I am very much enjoying the compact size and the associated lack of weight (2.6 lbs for my model).

+Workmanship:
Fit and finish are impeccable. Despite the small size, the XPS 13 feels extremely solid. The carbon fiber palm rests feel sturdy and rigid and there is no creaking when I put pressure on them. The hinge is nice and tight and there is no screen wobble when typing. There are no gaps between the carbon fiber deck and bottom panel nor are there any between the screen and bezel. The keyboard is rigid on the perimeter and has minimal flex in the center.

+Screen:
I chose the 1080p non touch option because for me, 1080p on a 13" screen is more than enough. Additionally, it's matte! I'd pick the matte 1080p panel over the 3200x1800 glossy panel on any day of the week. Having no glare and gaining ~4 hours of battery life is worth more to me than an (unnecessarily) high resolution.

At $899, I was expecting the 1080p screen to be a cheap TN panel, but it's not! The colors are pretty vibrant and the horizontal and vertical viewing angles are wide. Adjusting the screen angle produces minimal color shifts. With the default scaling to 150% DPI, text is sharp and easy to read. Overall, this is a much, much better panel than that of the MacBook Air's - I'm absolutely impressed at what you get for this price.

Also, I'll note that the screen tilts back at a farther angle than the previous model. Standing and using the XPS 13 is comfortable.

+Touchpad:
Most Windows PC touchpads are not so great but Dell has cooperated with Microsoft to make their "Precision" track pad for the XPS 13. Basically, the responsiveness is very close to the MacBook track pads and I haven't experienced any errant cursor jumps while typing. Coming from a Mac, I got situated pretty easily - the only thing I miss are the touch gestures of OS X.

Pressing on the track pad actuates a rather loud click and the left and right buttons are marked by a painted line. I use tap to click on all track pads so the noise isn't an issue for me. This is much better than the track pad on the Surface Pro 3's keyboard cover. The XPS 13's track pad has less friction and is bigger compared to the coarsely textured track pad of the SP3's cover. The XPS 13's track pad is thus much easier to use.

+Keyboard:
Speaking of typing, the keys offer decent travel for the thickness of the machine. I'd say the key travel is similar to the Macbook Air models but slightly shorter. The keyboard is definitely full sized despite the XPS's compactness and I got used to it very quickly. I'd be pretty satisfied with this keyboard for long periods of work.

The top function rows are inversed - meaning if you press f1 you will mute the volume instead actually activating f1. The f1 key is activated by pressing fn + f1 and so on for f2, f3... I consider this a nice touch that saves time when wanting to adjust basic functions like display and keyboard brightness. However, if you wish to inverse this behavior, just press fn + esc to set the function keys as default.

+Performance:
My Core i5, 4 GB RAM, and 128 SSD model performs perfectly. I've not experienced any hiccups or crashes. I mainly use the XPS 13 for MATLAB, CAD through remote desktop connection, MS Office suite, and general internet and email browsing. I also watch the occasional YouTube video but I don't play any 3D games.

Compared to my Surface Pro 3 (Core i3, 4 GB RAM, 64 GB SSD), the XPS 13 is smoother in every day operation. The Surface Pro 3 suffers from throttling with the Core i5, i7 models so I opted for the lower end Core i3. The Core i3 SP3 unfortunately stutters from time to time and 1080p YouTube videos are slightly choppy. With this experience in mind and the fact that Broadwell only offers at most a 10% performance increase over Haswell, I would steer clear of the Core i3 XPS 13. The $100 upgrade to a Core i5 is a must if you want absolutely smooth performance.

There are people who clamor for 8 GB or 16 GB RAM minimum, but in my experience, you don't really benefit unless you are doing rendering or other heavy workloads. There is a point of diminishing returns with RAM and this is another debate for another day. For my tasks on a laptop, 4 GB is more than enough. I'll leave the heavy lifting to a workstation PC.

On a side note, the Intel HD 5500 is capable of driving a 3840 x 2160 (4K) display at 60 Hz through DP 1.2.

+Heat & Noise:
Heat is very minimal even when watching 1080p YouTube videos. While doing lighter tasks like writing this review, I've noticed no heat from the palm rest area or upper keyboard deck. Because the lack of heat, the fans have stayed off for the majority of the time I've used the XPS 13.

Also, I can report that there is no coil whine for those who used the previous model.

+Battery:
Battery life has been stellar so far. I couldn't kill the battery in a day with light tasks. Dell rates the battery for the 1080p model at 15 hours but I'd say a more realistic number would be around 11-12 hours. Your mileage may vary of course. I'll update this section with more usage details and numbers after a week or so.

Update: After 3 weeks of using the XPS 13, I can confidently say the battery life lasts at least 10 hours for moderate usage. I define my moderate usage as using 5+ web pages open with multiple PDFs, Word docs and Excel sheets open at the same time. I can easily get 10 hours using the XPS 13 to code on MATLAB while having reference documents open. To get the 15 hours Dell claims, you would have to be doing light tasks like word processing or browsing the web with a few tabs open while having brightness at 20-30%. For those light tasks, I can easily get 12 hours. I usually always use 50% screen brightness.

+Price:
I believe the 1080p model has the most value of any model. Compared to the MacBook Air 13", this $899 model has more bang for the buck because of the better screen and smaller size. I would say their battery life are similar but remember that the XPS 13 is driving a higher resolution display at 1920 x 1080 vs. 1440 x 900.

I bought my XPS 13 at the Microsoft Store and used the 10% education discount. On top of this, you can text MSSTORE to 295-02 to get a 4.5% off coupon for any purchase. Basically, I got about $130 off which is a steal. Dell also has $100 coupons (just Google "Dell Coupons") if you prefer to shop on their website.
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Things I Don't Like:

-Keyboard:
Backlighting only has 2 settings: high and low - not a big deal to me but may matter to some.

-Ports:
Only mini Display Port - you will need to carry a dongle around if you give presentations often. However, an SD card reader is included unlike last year's model!

-Webcam:
The angle is awkward because you can see you fingers if you type while video conferencing.

-Ventilation:
Unfortunately, the XPS 13 has an air intake at the bottom. This means you shouldn't use it on your carpet or bed if you want to avoid overheating. There is a ridge that helps raise the intake above the floor but I'm not a big fan of this design. I much prefer the MacBook Pro's side intakes and back vents.
However, I think this should be fine for using on your lap - I'll update this section in a week or so.

-Speakers:
These aren't the loudest but serviceable for my tasks. They fire from the sides if that helps anyone.
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Conclusion as of 1/19/15:

As an engineering student heading into the field and running a business on the side - I can whole-heartedly recommend the XPS 13 for anyone needing an ultra-mobile computing package. It's small, it's light, and the battery goes and goes.

I think Dell has really stepped up their game in manufacturing and design. Fit and finish are top notch and they refined the previous design by removing the thick bezels and increasing battery life. For me, the 2015 XPS 13 ticks all the right boxes because Dell nailed the core functionality (performance and battery life) and user experience(matte screen, good keyboard and track pad).
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Update 2/10/15:
After using the XPS 13 for 3 weeks, here are some of my thoughts:

+ I wish they made an extrusion at the front of the laptop so you can lift the screen up easily. Opening the lid is usually a 2 handed operation.
+ I haven't had any overheating problems using this on my lap. I looked at the tear-down of the XPS 13 and there is 1 small fan positioned at the left edge of the underside vents so there is plenty of room for air to be sucked in thanks to the sheer size of the intake vents.
+ Under similar workloads, the XPS 13 is cooler than my Surface Pro 3 with Core i3. The excellent thermal management of the XPS 13 is well documented in notebookcheck.net if you want a more detailed review.
+ The exterior finish is free of scratches and dents. No wear of the carbon fiber deck or track pad.
- The track pad can sometimes get confused when you click on something and would register as a double click. This is disappointing because the multi-touch gestures work pretty well. I hope that Dell will release a firmware update for this. Fortunately, this happens only occasionally.
- The display has automatic dimming built in that you can't disable. This is very hard to notice, but if you are looking for it, you will notice. Apparently, this helps increase the battery life by dynamically darkening or brightening the screen based on the colors displayed. This dimming is very gradual and isn't noticeable during regular usage.
Comment Comments (20) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 24, 2015 4:25 AM PDT


Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm Power Zoom Lens
Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm Power Zoom Lens
Price: $698.00
57 used & new from $588.00

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Holistic Review: Nearly Flawless Camera, June 17, 2014
Update 8/12/14:
I exchanged my original camera for a replacement after experiencing quick battery drain and found the second
one to perform better. I've invested in the 35mm f1.8 lens and have been comparing it to a X100s. The a6000 blows
the X100s out of the water in terms of auto focus speed in continuous and single point modes.
Images from the a6000 were less noisy at the same ISO in my tests and the extra ~ 8 MP gave me more detail and cropping options.
At $600-650 for the body only, the a6000 punches way above its price and weight.
This is perhaps the best bang-for-the-buck camera in terms of image quality and AF speed. Highly recommended!

Original Review:
Because this is a holistic review, I won't be going over the detailed aspects of the
camera as they have already been well covered by the reviewers here. I'll offer my general hands on experience instead.

Build Quality: 9/10
- The body is made out of polycarbonate and is very solid
- I do not mind the plastic as it makes the camera lighter
- No large gaps between seams, no squeaking - everything is solid

Handling: 9/10
- The grip has great traction and is ergonomic to hold
- Camera is much more compact than my Canon T4i
- Buttons and knobs are solid feeling

User Interface and Features: 7/10
- The UI is vastly improved from that of the NEX systems
- The tabbed UI is nice but the menu system is deep; it'll take some time to know where things are
- Coming from Canon's interface, I had a hard time finding what I wanted in the menus
- The EVF, although a downgrade from the NEX-6, is serviceable and great for using in bright conditions
- Screen is hard to see in bright sunlight; use EVF instead
- Setting a focus point on the camera is a slow process
- No touchscreen; this would have made picking a focus point MUCH easier

Image Quality & Performance: 9.5/10
- AF-S and AF-C are extremely fast compared to the Canon T4i
- I'm using the 50mm f/1.8 lens and the images are extremely sharp and background blur is very nice
- The 55-210mm lens is also sharp throughout the focal range
- Make sure to update the firmware (ver 02) for these lenses to get faster AF
- Overall, incredible image quality that is comparable and even better than that of the T4i

Battery Life: 7/10
- This is the Achilles' heel of the camera as the battery drains frighteningly fast
- At first, I thought it was a problem with my battery but a second Sony battery gave the same results
- You can actually watch the battery decrease by 1% every minute while the camera is turned on
- I tried lowering the screen and EVF brightness and turned down the AF drive speeds as well as pre-AF
but, the battery still drained quickly.
- Going through the menu and changing options drains the battery about 1% a minute as well
- Charging from 0% to 100% takes about 2-3 hours and no external charger is included; charging is done
by micro USB into the camera
- Overall, painfully short battery life. I'd recommend buying at least 2 extra batteries and maybe an external charger

Noise and Heat: 9/10
- Shutter noise is much quieter compared to the T4i
- Minimal heat from camera usage

Overall: 9/10
- Sony has a great camera in the a6000. I would recommend it over an entry-level DSLR
- However, there are some major improvements that can be made with the battery life
- Some minor tweaks to simplify the UI would also be great
- Hopefully, Sony releases a firmware/software update to address these issues
- If you do buy the camera, you will enjoy it! But, make sure to buy extra batteries!

- Wayne N.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 17, 2014 10:48 PM PDT


Nike Premier Home and Away Headband (Obsidian/White, Osfm)
Nike Premier Home and Away Headband (Obsidian/White, Osfm)
Offered by RyLi Service
Price: $18.99
2 used & new from $18.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Good at First but Wears Out Quickly, March 1, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
What I like:
+ Soaks up a lot of my sweat

What I don't like:
- After about 3 weeks' of use, they started wearing out. The threads were coming loose.
- Maybe they are not meant to be machine dried?

Conclusion:
These work great if you don't machine dry them. Try hanging them somewhere to dry or buy a couple of them
for rotation to avoid quick wearing out.


Core Power Natural High-Protein Milk Shake, Chocolate, 11.5-Ounce Bottles (Pack of 12)
Core Power Natural High-Protein Milk Shake, Chocolate, 11.5-Ounce Bottles (Pack of 12)
Price: $41.54
6 used & new from $41.54

5.0 out of 5 stars Great But Expensive. Shake Well., March 1, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
What I Like:
+ These are great for when you don't have time to make a proper protein shake from powder.
+ The chocolate taste is smooth .
+ Not having to refrigerate is convenient .
+ 26 grams of protein is higher compared to other protein shakes.

What I didn't like:
- You have to shake these up VERY well since most of the "chocolate" is separated below.
- Expensive. I also use the Gold Standard Whey Protein and find those much cheaper per serving (but of course you have to make your own shake).


iPearl mCover Hard Shell Case with FREE keyboard cover for 15-inch Model A1398 MacBook Pro (with 15.4-inch Retina Display) - BLACK
iPearl mCover Hard Shell Case with FREE keyboard cover for 15-inch Model A1398 MacBook Pro (with 15.4-inch Retina Display) - BLACK
Offered by iPearl-Inc
Price: $14.98
3 used & new from $12.73

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Protection From Scratches. Hard to Take Off., March 1, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
What I like:
+ Snapped on easily.
+ The clips are not intrusive. I can't feel them when typing normally.
+ Protects from scratches and minor falls.
+ Came with a keyboard protector too (not every high quality though).
+ Doesn't damage the case when I took it apart.
+ Very secure, doesn't fall off by itself.
+ Thin enough to not make the notebook seem thick.
+ Cooling performance has been great due to the feet that can be raised. Nice touch!

What I don't like:
- I would have preferred a rubbery texture. The current texture is smooth and can slip easily.
- Because it is so secure, this lends the case to be extremely difficult to take off.
- Adds a lot of weight for 2 plastic pieces!

Conclusion:
This is a nice accessory with some minor drawbacks. If you are concerned about scratches then definitely get this. It I got the black version and it adds a nice understated tone. Cooling performance seems to be the same if not better due to the lift in elevation from the feet.


National Brand Brown Board Cover Notebook, Narrow, 1-Subject, Green Paper, 8.25 x 6.875 Inches, 80 Sheets (33004)
National Brand Brown Board Cover Notebook, Narrow, 1-Subject, Green Paper, 8.25 x 6.875 Inches, 80 Sheets (33004)
Offered by BestSource OfficeSupplies
Price: $5.30
20 used & new from $1.48

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Has Served an Engineering Student Very Well, March 1, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Some background:
I am a 3rd year Aerospace engineering student and have found these notebooks extremely advantageous when compared to using traditional notebooks like the Oxford graphing notebook. Here are some pros and cons of the National Brand notebook.

What I like:
+ Very good price.
+ The paper is pretty heavy and I can write in gel pen and not have it leak through the backside.
+ The papers have an "easy on the eyes" green tint.
+ This particular size is very compact and convenient for me to carry around during lab or on the field.
+ I don't actually use all of the pages at the end of my course. I take notes every class and do homework on a paper pad.
+ These are extremely durable. I've bent and twisted many of these in my backpack but none of the pages have been torn from the spiral spine. The covers of the 2 year old ones have held up extremely well. These pages are tough!
+ Made in the U.S.A.

What I don't like:
- Not much to say here. I guess you have to turn more pages when taking notes since the size is smaller than typical notebooks.


Apple MacBook Pro ME294LL/A 15.4-Inch Laptop with Retina Display (OLD VERSION)
Apple MacBook Pro ME294LL/A 15.4-Inch Laptop with Retina Display (OLD VERSION)
Offered by Scott's Electronics Shop
Price: $2,249.99
26 used & new from $1,375.00

46 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comparison to the Original Mid 2012 Model, March 1, 2014
Some background:
I own the original mid 2012 Model with 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, and the GT 650M. Being an early adopter, there were some growing pains such as the stuttering of animations when swiping into mission control or scrolling on certain webpages. Apple has provided over the past year with software updates that have improved scrolling and animation performance. However, the real limit were in the graphics (HD 4000 and GT 650M). Now that the new model rocks the Intel Iris Pro and GT 750M graphics, we'll see how this compares.

What I like:
+ screen now covers 99% of sRGB.
+ there is about an hour increase in the battery life due to the Intel Haswell architecture
+ the SSDs are now PCIe based and therefore almost twice as fast as the previous generation.
+ Thunderbolt 2 ports are present instead of Thunderbolt 1
+ Upgraded to wireless AC
+ The Intel Iris Pro performs nearly identical and in some cases better than the dedicated GT 650M under NON-GAMING work loads. A lot more information is available if you search online about Iris Pro vs GT 650M
+ The Intel Iris Pro is significantly better than the Intel HD 4000 while having better energy efficiency than the dedicated GT 750M (thus the 1 hour increase in battery life)
+ Scrolling and other animations are smoother than in the previous generation.
+ Windows 7 and 8 run fine if you install via Boot Camp
+ "$200 price drop" - see below

What I didn't like:
- Apple changed the pricing scheme of the two 15 inch models. In order to get the dedicated GT 750M, you are forced to upgrade to the top model with 512GB SSD and 16GB RAM. Before this, you were able to get dedicated graphics on the entry model so the "$200 price drop" isn't really a great deal after all unless you can live with just the Iris Pro graphics.
- This is unfair to those who are just looking for dedicated graphics in the entry model and are now forced to spend $600 more to get it.
- Iris Pro graphics under-perform in games when compared to the old GT 650M.
- You can't connect to Ethernet without paying $30 for an adapter.
- Case scratches easily. I suggest you invest a cover and a well cushioned carrying case.
- Many review sites label this as a "workstation" laptop but be warned! NEITHER Iris Pro or GT 750M are suitable for professional applications like Solid Works, Auto Cad, Maya, etc.

Conclusion:
-If you are into photography, video editing or want a decent gaming laptop then I'd recommend this model to you.
-If you want dedicated graphics but can't stomach the high price, get the refurbished mid 2012 model - they are being sold at great, low prices.
-If you are a professional looking to run applications like CAD along with video editing software, look elsewhere. Platforms better suited to your needs would be the Dell Precision, HP EliteBook W and, Thinkpad W series.


Logitech G400s 910-003589 Optical Gaming Mouse
Logitech G400s 910-003589 Optical Gaming Mouse
Offered by abarsh1
Price: $68.99
29 used & new from $37.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Gaming and General Purpose Mouse for PC/Mac, March 1, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've owned this mouse for 6 months now and here are my opinions:

What I like:
+ Can track on most surfaces. Tracking on glass is tricky.
+ Has been durable so far. Nothing has broken.
+ Coming from wireless mice, not having to change/charge batteries is great!
+ Very light because it doesn't need to use batteries.
+ DPI settings work on both PC and Mac
+ Has an ergonomic shape and I've had no wrist pains from gaming.

What I don't like:
- Mouse clicks are noisy. However, most Logitech mice are like this. If you want a quiet mouse, you'd have to look somewhere else.
- Back and Forward buttons don't work on Mac OS.

Conclusion:
This is an a great performing mouse and has held up great in the 6 months that I've owned it. Highly recommended.


Dell U2713HM 27-Inch Screen LED-lit Monitor
Dell U2713HM 27-Inch Screen LED-lit Monitor
Offered by HyperTech Bargain
Price: $669.00
24 used & new from $389.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Ordered Twice and Got 2 Buggy Units, February 6, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The first unit I ordered was a A00 model and the screen was flawless except for an issue with it going black at random intervals. I hooked it up to a Macbook Pro Retina through Displayport at the time.

After the first screen went back, the second screen arrived and was also a A00 model but manufactured recently in November 2013 (4 months from the date of purchase). The screen had a slight crosshatching effect on the lower half the screen while viewing anything white. There was also a vertical, red line running down the screen and would only go away if I unpowered the monitor. The second time the red line showed up, I pressed in the middle of the screen and it disappeared. This indicates to me that quality control for the U2713HM is still very poor.

On a positive note, I checked the warranty of this monitor on Dell's website and it was registered for the advertised duration of 3 years.

To summarize:

The A00 models still suffer from quality control issues like intermittent screen black outs, crosshatching and vertical colored lines. However, besides from those issues the monitor is superb when working correctly and the 3 year warranty is valid through Dell. Buy at your own risk and don't hesitate to return it when something goes wrong.


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