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Aesthetically Pleasing, But...
on June 25, 2011
Aesthetically Pleasing, But...
I was shopping for a new laptop in Best Buy after dropping my Gateway and cracking its screen when this laptop caught my eye. It's considerably thin when closed and has a very sleek modern look, with its shiny silver encasement and a keyboard outlined in a hard glossy black plastic. After looking at the specs what shocked me even more was the price. For $550, this laptop offers 500 GB of hard drive space, 4 GB of RAM, and an Intel i3 processor. Anyone who's in the market for a new laptop knows that for those features, that's a pretty good price, right? The salesman gave me reasoning for such a good price, "Samsung is just getting their feet wet with computers, so..." That was convincing and I've had such good luck with Samsung products in the past. I had even considered fixing my 2 year old Gateway, which never worked quite right in the first place, but I decided that going ahead and buying a brand new laptop was the better choice and scooped this one up. Here are the upsides:
-Obviously, the 500 GB of hard drive is a plus, even though I store most of my media/data on an external hard drive. It's good to know that if I need it, it's there.
-Believe it or not, the i3 is a mighty little processor. Teamed up with 4 Gigs of RAM, it's impressive. Programs move pretty fast and when I open my laptop after closing, it quickly resumes the operating system. Nice!
-The LED display is average notebook size at 15.6 inches and I have absolutely no complaints. Bright, clear, and crisp.
-The optical drive is fast responding. And there is a convenient little SD card slot for the photographers. The HDMI port (which I had on my Gateway) is awesome and I would have been a little down were it not included. Plugging your laptop into an HDTV is a great substitute if your DVD player is broken...And although I prefer 4, the 3 USB ports are sufficient.
-I'm impartial to the quality of its battery life, as I use my laptop as more of a desktop since I don't travel much. From what I have seen with the battery, just using it around the house, it's decent, coming in at around 3 to 4 hours on a low power setting.
-Aside from Microsoft Word Starter (Not Word Processor, Word Starter!!!), there is no included software. But Word Starter is this neat little word processor created by Microsoft that actually mirrors Microsoft Word. In fact, when you save a file, it's in Microsoft Word form. As far as I'm concerned, this is more than satisfying as a word processor, which c'mon people, is really a necessity in a computer whether you want to admit it or not. How do you think I typed this review? : )
Now here are the letdowns: I have 3 major grievances with this machine. : (
- I've said it before, but I'm serious this time. This is my 7th and LAST PC. I'm moving on to MAC next year...With this laptop, OF COURSE, comes the common Windows glitches I hate. I mean, I've had this laptop all of two months and already I'm getting strange error messages and unexplainable lagging time. Not to mention Explorer freezing from time to time. It's annoying, and regardless of incompatibility issues, which should be a much less prominent issue in Apple products next year, I'm switching to a Macbook!
-The specs are great. Great hard drive, great display, great optical drive. So WTF happened to the sound quality??? It is Awful!!! When I've got my headphones plugged in listening to music, the quality of the sound and its volume is nowhere near what it should be. And it's not my headphones (I've tested 3 different pairs). Even without the headphones, the speakers just suck. Sorry, but there's no educated way to say this....
-The external layout is kind of disappointing. The keyboard irks me. I don't know how to say this, but it sits too far up on the base of the notebook, making typing kind of...awkward. It took some getting used to. There are no media buttons for raising the volume, muting, help center, etc. And the touchpad is way too sensitive. It's true what the first reviewer said. You can be typing and suddenly end up on another page! Annoying...
When it's said and done, there are a lot of good things to say about this computer. But there are just as many bad things as well. I love the good and deal with the bad, but honestly, if I could do it again, I personally would choose another laptop. And even though the price to specifics ratio is impressive, I would not encourage anyone to buy this little guy.