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The very dark silver case is classy-looking and is metallic in appearance, although mainly plastic. There is a brighter silver surround around the touch-pad. The inbuilt speakers are loud enough for the average living-room to listen in, but unsurprisingly lack bass depth, as do nearly all laptop speakers. I would not like to listen to music on them, but buying extra separate speakers is a must for most laptop users anyway. On the noise front, although I have not pushed it yet, the fan seems quiet, although the hard-drive makes a perceptible slight grinding sound at times, but I am sitting in a very quiet room late at night at the moment. There is no OS DVD that I could find in the box, although there are instructions for recovery in the detailed manual, which is a pdf. file stored on the computer, not a paper book. The Microsoft Office Starter is not listed as a separate program as it was with a computer I bought last year, and all the Full Microsoft Office screen says is that you have a 60-day trial period of Office, and there is no mention of the Starter, although conceivably you would be left with just Word and Excel and adverts (= Starter) if you did not sign up for the full Office after 2 months, but this is not stated specifically anywhere. I have in any case downloaded Libre Office (free of charge) from the internet as an alternative office suite. I am still coming to terms with Windows 8 so that makes it difficult for me to assess things, since I am not sure what to expect sometimes, and the new way of doing things is going to seem complex and confusing initially. There is quite a lot of stuff loaded including the Cyberlink Media Suite. The easy availability of Apps is also daunting: there is so much out there, and so many ways of doing the same thing slightly differently now. It was so much easier when you had very limited choices. I deleted the Norton anti-virus in favour of AVG, which I already use elsewhere.
So far, more or less, so good. Not an outstanding machine, but a very good one for the money. I will try to update this as the laptop gets some use, in case that throws up problems