- Premium reviews
- Express reviews
- Reviews rated
- Ratings received
My mum wanted a small, portable laptop for browsing the internet, a small amount of word processing and updating her iPod Shuffle through iTunes. I found her this Netbook, which was an attractive proposition due to its price, and the fact it is a Samsung.
For what she uses it for, it performs admirably. Google Chrome opens without too much delay, and standard webpages (Facebook, Gmail) load quickly and without incident. Other programs, such as iTunes and Microsoft Word, open a little slowly, but are fine once up and running.
However, try to do a number of these things at once (i.e. multitasking), and this is where the netbook falls behind.
This would not be so much of a problem, as my mum tends to only use one program at a time (I'm not convinced she knows how to minimise a window!), however Samsung insists on loading the computer with more 'bloatware' (pre-installed software) than I have ever seen on a new computer. A lot of this runs in the background, and tries to install some new update every half hour.
I managed to remove the majority of this, which improved the speed (especially start up time, which is slow at the best of times) considerably.
Aside from this, the laptop is fantastic for its main purpose - browsing the internet.
The battery life is great, screen is not so small that you notice it too much (I normally use a 14" laptop, and can comfortably use this netbook), and it is lovely and light and portable. Even the keyboard, which is obviously smaller than average, is good (spacing between keys is acceptable, and good tactile response from pressing them). The trackpad is multitouch (i.e. you can scroll and zoom in by using two fingers), and easy to use.
Overall, a very good netbook, and a very good price for a computer capable of all most people will need from it.
I haven't played a Tiger Woods game for about 6 years, but having finished exams I wanted a game me and my housemates could play whilst chilling out on the sofa. Tiger Woods 12 seemed to fit this bill perfectly.
The game satisfies my aforementioned criteria: it is easy to play, difficult to master, which suits us well. The graphics are also very pleasing, and the create-a-pro feature turns it into an enjoyable single player experience too.
However, whilst it is a good game, it just feels slightly incomplete. For example, having taken a shot, the cut scene after often shows my golfer waving to a crowd whilst walking straight into a lake. Other times, chipping in from off the green the pin has appeared to be out of the hole, but when my ball bounced over the hole it managed to hit the 'invisible' flagstick. In another area, the camera for setting up your shot (zooming in on where it will land) is extremely clunky and it often proves difficult to get an angle you want.
These seem like trivial things, I am sure, but having paid £40 for the game I would expect better. It seems as though they rushed it a little in order to get it released to coincide with the masters (although that is speculation, I don't know if it did tie in or not).
However, despite these bugs (which could be fixed in a future update over Xbox Live, admittedly), it is an enjoyable game (especially when played with a few mates) even for someone who isn't a massive golf fan, like me.
If allowed, I would give this game 3.5 stars out of 5 (I have rounded up to 4)
I got the Apple in-ear headphones to replace the ones supplied with my iPhone, which were useless in my opinion. The only good thing about them was the fact they had a very useful remote control attached, and that they looked quite cool (although I appreciate this is pretty subjective!).
So, given the good points about the supplied headphones, it seemed logical to purchase their big brother.
I was very impressed with the sound quality. Admittedly I am in no way an audiophile, but the sound is rich, and the bass decent, and the snug fit in the ear means it seems louder (as well as other sounds around you being drowned out - a big positive on a London bus). It is certainly leagues above the headphones supplied with the iPhone.
3 different sized 'attachments' are provided, to make sure they fit comfortably in your ear, which also ensures they don't fall out as easily.
Also provided are spare 'dust covers' for the earphones. This confused me at first, as surely you can just blow a dust cover to get excess dust off, negating the need for spares. However, last month (4 months after purchase), the volume levels started to drop, and eventually sound stopped coming out of one ear. I blew into the (tiny) dust covers, expecting that to sort it out, but it didn't. I was on the verge of making the trip to the Apple Store, when I remembered the spares. Sure enough, this sorted the problem.
Now, this means it is good that they include spares, but does beg the question what will I do in another four months, assuming this happens again?!
So, overall these are a very good pair of headphones, especially as a replacement to the original iPhone headphones. However, the fact the dust covers gets blocked so easily, and as such most likely will reduce the longevity of the product, I have to knock off at least 2 stars.
If you're not bothered about having a pair of earphones that make it obvious you're using an iPhone, maybe look elsewhere.
I bought this printer from Amazon as a replacement to a cheap (useless) HP all in one. I wanted it to primarily print lecture notes, as well as scan the odd document in. The fact it was wireless was a bonus, to be honest.
Set up was easy, given the included driver installation and driver setup CD. Then once the printer has joined your wireless network, you are free to print.
I was extremely impressed with the speed of printing, a lot faster than any other printer I've had. A lot of the time the advertised 'pages per minute' are quite optimistic (to put it lightly), but with this it probably does go near to 36ppm (for text), with pretty good quality.
I rarely print photos, but decided to with the included photo paper sample. I was pleased with the results - an A4 photo print came out in good quality, vivid colours.
The scan function has proved useful, and scans in good quality. However, scanning via the wireless network is very temperamental - a lot of the time the printer can't 'find' my laptop, and I end up having to plug it in via USB. It may be something to do with my computer firewall, I don't know, but there are no clear instructions on how to troubleshoot this problem! A scan to USB stick feature would be a nice addition to, which would negate the need for a computer to be attached.
One pleasant surprise were the ink cartridges for this printer - there are 4 of them (black and the 3 colours), so I assumed replacing them would be expensive. But not so! I found a set of 3 (unofficial) cartridges on Amazon for £15. £5 a set! And In 6 months I have only had to change the black once (printing, on average, about 60 sides of A4 a week).
Aesthetically, the Epson looks like pretty much any other printer of this type: quite large (although the wireless means it doesn't have to be near your computer, so you can stick it out of the way) and in gloss black (which does pick up A LOT of dust!).
Overall I am extremely pleased with the printer for the price, with the speed it prints being the main attraction.
As a student, this printer appealed to me for one reason, and one reason only: it was cheap.
But, I have come to learn recently, cheap is not always good, and this is a prime example of that.
Things started well, with me being pleased to see there were ink cartridges included.
This happiness did not last, as the "half full" ink cartridges ran out after printing 3 sets of lecture notes, forcing me to buy more a new cartridge after 3 weeks.
During the 3 weeks, the printer was quite temperamental, with MANY paper jams, that stained the paper rendering it unusable again (frugal, I know, but hey, I bought a cheap printer for a reason!). Sometimes it would not take a print job at all, and you would have to turn it off and on at the wall.
Once I had used the included ink cartridges up, I scoured Amazon for some cheap, unofficial cartridges (risky I know, but cheap is the name of the game here, with official XL cartridges costing over £70rrp (sometime just over £40 on Amazon)). I found a set for £25, and they worked fine... for about a week.
Then I don't know what happened, but the cartridges just registered as empty (they were not - I could see the ink levels through the little window), and the printer would not print.
Admittedly this could have been the poor quality of the unofficial cartridges, but at this point I lost patience and so got onto Amazon and ordered myself a Lexmark wireless all in one for about £10 more than I paid for this. I got 3 sets of cartridges for £15, and it has not failed me yet.
I recommend avoiding this printer: it is cheap, yes, but for good reason
I bought the HP DM4-1050ea a few months ago, to replace my bulky and aging Acer notebook. I wanted a laptop that was compact yet powerful, and in these respects the HP did not disappoint.
The positives of this laptop are numerous, but most notable must be the speed of the thing. The Intel Core i5 Processor (one of the main selling points for me) really impresses, and quickly completes tasks such as decompressing .rar files (a several Gigabyte .rar file takes less than a few minutes to extract). It handles HD videos with ease, and skipping to a certain point within the video is quick too.
The only downside if the lack of dedicated graphics. This hasn't really affected me, and it runs The Sims 3 with no trouble at all, but it is definitely not a gaming laptop.
Given the specifications, the battery life is pretty impressive. I have spent an entire 2 hour 30 minute train journey playing Sim City 4 (!), and still had juice to spare when I got in. Playing a 2 hour HD film tends to use up around half of the battery, and in the library when word processing and messing about on the internet, the battery tends to last me most of the day.
Aesthetically, the laptop is nice looking in my opinion. The brushed aluminium lid and interior look and feel solid. The slight downside is that, for me at least, the interior metal seems to love picking up dirt - just spots of it here and there. I don't have a clue where it comes from, it just seems to attract it! But it is easily cleaned with a damp cloth, or even just a licked finger..!
The keyboard is extremely pleasing, with good feedback on the keys, and a nice matte black finish. The function keys double as shortcut keys, for pause, volume, etc, and prove very useful indeed. There is also a wireless off/on key, with an indicator light, which is useful when trying to conserve power.
The trackpad is an acquired taste, one could say. When I first got the laptop it took me a while to get used to, as the left and right buttons are part of the trackpad (it is like one big button), but once you get used to it it is fine, and the multitouch capabilities can be useful, if only for 2 finger scrolling (the rotate functions seem to take 5 or 6 attempts, by which point one may as well just have right clicked...!).
Two final points.
Firstly, the inclusion of a fingerprint reader is extremely useful for logging into Windows 7, as you don't have to enter your password every time. However, don't rely on it for storing passwords in web browsers, as it doesn't work in Google Chrome, and is temperamental in Firefox.
Secondly, the speakers are poor. It is probably to be expected from a laptop of this size, and it doesn't affect me as I use headphones or external speakers, but let it be known: they are tinny, and weak!
To conclude, this is a top little laptop, with great specifications given the price and size. The battery life is good, and it is extremely quick. The lack of a dedicated graphics card is a notable omission, but does not affect the everyday performance.
Aesthetically it is pleasing on the eye, and easy and enjoyable to use. I am enjoying using it, and would recommend it to anyone.