I got this a few years ago with pre-installed 32bit Windows Vista, and a slightly older version of BIOS. It came with the onboard intel shared graphics, which I don't particularly like. There's an option to get an nVidia Gefore 8600M GT graphics card upto 512MB, but I haven't found any reviews to suggest that to be a huge improvement to the graphics, although I imagine it'd be a lot better than the onboard shared one I got. The only problem is, its quite an expensive card to purchase, an average price of over £100.
I replaced the default slow hard disk, which couldn't cope with some of the system and application processes with its 8MB cache and 5400RPM. I replaced it with a hard disk of 16MB cache, which works slightly better, but as technology improves its struggling to keep upto the current standards.
Surprisingly, the processor isn't too bad, even though there's been a lot of improvements with processors in the past several years. Its a core2duo T7300 processor at 2GHz with 800MHx FSB, and 4MB cache. The only program I have, which manages to use a lot of processing power is Kaspersky Internet Security 2012.
The memory is OK at 4GB, but running eclipse can show a huge different in performance between memories on a 4GB and an 8GB machine.
I haven't used the internal DVD writer for a long time, so I have little of use to say about it. It writes a single layer DVD±R at upto 22x according to the manual, and the fastest discs I got are 16x. The writer has a built in lightscribe function, which I've never had the opportunity to use, because I don't like to spend a huge amount of money on lightscribe discs. I might try it one day, when disc prices become a bit more affordable. I've burnt a few DVD±R DLs at a maximum of 8x, and most of the data was still readable after a few years. Those burnt at lower speeds, have been able to keep more of the data, without corruption. I think the best burn speeds for dual layer discs range between 2x and 4x.
The expresscard 54 slot is useful, which I'm currently using a two port USB 3 expresscard on, and I have a multi card reader that I rarely use. The expresscards were quite cheap from ebay. The USB3 expresscard has its own auxiliary USB power cord, which I've connected to the mains via a USB mains plug. As the USB 3 port is getting its 5v from the mains, it saves some of the computer's power for its various other components.
I don't use digital cameras or anything which takes SD cards, but I find the SD card slot useful for microsd cards (with SD adapter) for creating phone data backups, otherwise that slot was quite useless to me for several years.
If you're a gamer, you may want to avoid this. Your best option would be a custom built PC, which is best to avoid companies who build it for you, because they usually charge a lot of extra money on top. If you can build it yourself, that's the best way to go. If not, then do plenty of research before paying someone else to build it.
Multimedia users may find the latest software technology to work a bit slow, and you probably need a few upgrades. I've upgraded a few things just for normal use, so you may be in a position to spend a lot more. If you find a cheaper, better computer, buy that instead.
With a few upgrades, you might notice the system heats up quite a bit in summer. I use a very cheap notebook cooler, which has three fans, 4 USB2 ports and fits just right for the computer size. It cost me close to £5, and has always worked perfectly well.
I recommend this computer to normal home users and students, who can if needed, make a few simple changes, e.g. add a solid state drive in place of the hard disk, and add bluetooth (which didn't come with mine), add a graphics card and replace the keyboard an alternative of your preference. I haven't added bluetooth, nor added SSD or a decent graphics card, but the options are there, although they are quite limited for some of the components.
To sum up, this is an excellent notebook computer, with an average RAM, decent CPU, slow default hard disk, reasonably good expresscard 54 port for extra ports, and has space on the board for an nVidia graphics card.