We're sorry. Functionality for this page is not supported in Internet Explorer 8 or older. Please upgrade the latest version of Internet Explorer, Chrome, or FireFox.
Perfect fit for my 7 inch Nook HD.
This case is great for people who prefer cases that aren't attached to their devices (they just get in the way of the reading experience).
Based on 2+ months of ownership, I'd say quality is very good.
Love that it's real--not "vegan"--leather.
I'll admit that I wasn't expecting to hear the sounds of the late 70s on the latest Daft Punk release. I mean, they're robots, right?! I was expecting sounds from the future! Yet, most of the album is very analog dance music--lots of funky guitar licks, smooth vocals and old school synths. Overall, Random Access Memories is a tribute to the disco and smooth rock sounds of yester-year, a la Daft Punk. That said, this is fun, catchy, danceable music. There are a few weak spots on the album, but overall, Daft Punk does a fantastic job paying homage to a much-maligned and forgotten--yet influential--era in music history. I get a kick thinking about of all the kids who will be introduced to Giorgio Moroder, the godfather of much of today's dance music they love.
Definitely worth the download, or better yet, I bet this album, in all its analog glory, sounds great on vinyl.
This is a very enjoyable pop album, great beats, some upbeat raps (I generally hate rap). Instead of going into a deep description of the music, let me just say that:
- they are French but don't give off that sort of vibe.
- kind of a mix between the Teddybears and Avalanches.
- Almost every song is a winner, which is a rarity.
- Nothing esoteric or too urban, just straightforward fun stuff.
I hope this album does well. We need more music like this. Definitely a top album for the year so far.
I had high expectations for this book, which may have underscored how let down I was when I finally got to reading it.
First, the good. Some of the grandiose ideas bandied about (i.e, connecting together computer viruses, linguistics, Sumerian civilization, & religion) were pretty clever, and really enjoyable to read. Also, the description and fleshing out of the 'metaverse' concept was well-done and synched up with what is happening today when you think of online communities such as Second Life.
However, a few things really irritated me about this book.
First, the writing style in general wasn't for me. The plot and characters seemed like they were pulled out of a comic book. Some folks may see this as a plus, but it's not my thing. The violence is implausible and over the top--I'm not squeemish, but violence loses its effect when it's done in a cartoonish manner. The main antagonist is an impossibly powerful, bad mofo, to the extent that reading about his butt-kicking quickly got boring and predictable. The main protagonist walks around with samurai swords. Ultimately, the absurdity of it all just becomes distracting.
Also, many of the author's attempts at being cool, witty or funny just end up coming off as awkward. Naming your hero/protagonist "Hiro Protagonist"? Lame. Sushi K's rap lyrics? Cringe-worthy.
The ending is unsatisfying. This esoteric po-mo convention may have resonated as exceptionally clever with the literati back in 1992, but at this point, it's just boring and annoying, and looks like he just gave up. Dear authors: please finish your books...if we wanted to use our imaginations to finish them ourselves, we wouldn't have piggy-backed off of your imagination for the first 99% of the story.
Finally, a lot of the predictions made about the near future were off, and frankly, a bit half-baked. Since the novel was written, the Japanese economic empire has crumbled, nobody uses the word "Soviet" anymore, South African Apartheid is dead. These all were featured predominantly in the book, but are completely irrelevant today. And other than the metaverse, most of the technological predictions made by the author were pretty off--we're more advanced in some respects he could've never predicted, and way, way behind on others. This isn't the author's fault--he tried and did better than most people ever could. However, the fact is that near-future sci-fi's usually don't age well, and that includes this book.
Overall, I find it difficult to recommend this book; younger readers who would enjoy the over-the-top action would be put off by the now-irrelevant technological predictions. Mature readers would be more understanding of this, and would enjoy the book's more intellectual aspirations, but would likely be turned off by its juvenile style.
In other words, just wait for the movie...it should have some cool explosions and fight scenes.
I picked this up about a month ago, core i5, 128 GB ADATA SSD. First impression: the magnesium chassis and matte-finish IPS monitor give this laptop a very premium feel, well above what I paid. When you put this thing next to the Toshiba ultrabook that's out now, there is no comparison...the ASUS is the Lexus and the Toshiba is the Toyota, though I will say the Toshiba with it's plastic case is lighter. Keyboard feels great: no flex, great backlighting, very comfortable. For those of you scared off by trackpad complaints, I'm happy to say that ASUS has been listening and their latest driver update from the past week or so cleared up my biggest problem with it, which was the choppy 2-finger scroll. The trackpad works as smooth as butter, just shy of the Macbook gold standard. Take a few minutes to tweak the settings and you should be all set.
Overall speed and performance has been excellent due to the 3rd-gen i5 processor and SSD, better than I was looking for.
Regarding backlight bleed: yes, there was some with my unit on the bottom of the screen, as with everyone else's. Not sure if those bothered by it expect perfection (which for a laptop that costs this much, I can't really blame them), or if mine isn't that bad. But for me to even see it, I have to change the desktop background to black and move the task bar away from the bottom--while in a dark room. So even though I'm a pretty finicky consumer, this wasn't close to being a deal breaker, especially when this screen otherwise blows away my mother's macbook screen.
Battery life and speaker sound quality are good (I'd rate a 3 out of 5), but not top notch.
My only real issue with this machine: with a relatively small 128 GB drive, Asus was too comfortable with loading on a lot of non-essential programs, and further diminishing the available drive space by partitioning off 10GB or so for recovery, which I understand cannot be recovered and merged back into the larger partition. They could've found a better solution, I think. There are workarounds (feel free list yours in a reply to this review), but non-techies will probably just suffer lesser drive space then they should.
Overall, if you are on the fence, I'd take the leap, especially since the trackpad driver update. Despite the niggles I noted above, I'd rate this machine an above-average value.
After reading the Corrections many years back, I was looking forward to Franzen's next novel. About 100 pages into "Freedom", I decided that I wasn't getting the enjoyment or mental/emotional stimulation I look for in a novel, and walked away. Franzen is of course very clever, but in this effort, he is cloyingly so, to the extent that the novel is so precious as to be annoying. And Franzen has such a myopically dim view of humanity and life in general that it soon became easy to predict what was going to happen next in terms of plot--the absolute worst possible thing, of course.
Like a more misanthropic episode of the 'Gilmore Girls', the novel appears to have been written by an angst-ridden Psych major grad student, and, worse, seems as if it was written for angst-ridden grad students. The characters are barely distinguishable from each other; it's clear Franzen had a difficult time keeping them all from being one-dimensional mouthpieces to his singular mind. And all the left-wing babbling about Marxism and population control and other things no one cares about anymore...jeesh! Has this guy stepped foot off-campus in the past 20 years? Perhaps my mind has matured from where it was when I read his last book, to the extent that I'm not longer the target-market for Franzen's whiny style of writing, but be forewarned that unless you are a fan of predictable, cry-baby literature focusing on First-World Problems, this book will probably leave you wanting.
I was hoping, based on the reviews, for an album that rewarded my higher (smart) and lower (fun) sensibilities at the same time, much like the Flaming Lips' "Yoshismi Battles the Pink Robots" did.
This is a worthwhile album for those who are already fans of the band or are okay with the fact that this is not really as accessible an album as other reviewers have indicated. Depending on the type of music listener you are, you'll either view this album as challenging/multi-layered/progressively-rewarding, or you'll see it as esoteric/noodling/purposefully obfuscating and difficult. I'd fall mainly in the last camp. I've given the album many repeat listens, and while I find this to be an admirable effort--creative, experimental, well-produced and thoughtful--it isn't a whole lot of fun...and I love Radiohead. The constant exhaultation of the band's use of harmonizing, while interesting, doesn't move me as much as it does others.
The only track I feel bridges the gap between 'smart' and 'fun' is 'Two Weeks', which you'll especially love if you're a fan of Vampire Weekend's sound. One great track does not make a great album however; the rest fails to move me. If this is among the best of '09, it's been a pretty weak year.
If all you are looking for is a great sounding, small, cheap mp3 player with a display and expandability options, then the clip + is your best choice. This is very similar to the old clip with the following major differences:
- two minor button placement changes (improvement)
- UI is a bit smoother (menus scroll now)
- volume normalizing/gain
- micro-SD slot for up to 16 added gigs (which is huge)
- a little thicker, probably due to SD support
- clip is no longer removable (depending on your preference, this is a good or bad thing-guess you could just rip it off and file it down if you wanted to)
As always, it sounds great and blows away the iPod Shuffle in terms of value. So light and small--great for the gym. If you need your mp3 player to play games, surf the internet or serve double purpose as a grocery list, then this isn't for you, but if you're on a budget or just need something that plays music and does so well, this is the one.