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I work in computer/laptop repair industry.

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11 Reviews by Ellis

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Apple

Apple

4/21/11

Aside from Apple eventually turning evil and destroying the world, bringing doom to all humanity and eating little children alive, they are a perfect computer company.

As a long time PC user, supporter, defender and warrior... I am still all of that,
except I'm posting this on my aluminum 13" Apple laptop. As well I use a 27" iMac i7 at work for Video and Photo editing.

Apple definitely has the pizzaz to captivate all sorts of users. it's products are outright alien and wondrous. Their ability to work, just work, not fail...I don't know how else to express the WTF this thing is still alive?!

Out of all laptops out there, Apple's are the only ones which can take on a glass of wine and still be revived. The over-engineer the heck out of their computers - most every component is internally protected by a short detection system built in on a hardware level. Any short occurring, like a liquid spill, will instantly shut down the system, and will not let user turn it back on, until all shorts are cleared.
A 10 minute motherboard cleanup with a toothbrush and alcohol, and a 2 hours drying period later, you got a working MacBook (Although my keyboard did need replacement after - with a new backlit one), as opposed to PC laptops usually blowing 1-2 internal components, down to actually burning down.

For people looking for opinions of Mac vs PC, I gotta say it's personal preference. Both have good uses, both are used in my house and my work, both have bugs, viruses, nincompoops and weird glitches.

Downside of a Mac - price range. Theres no denying, Mac is overpriced immensely for the same components you can get in the "PC" label. It's no secret that you can install OSX on PC's, but it's not worth discussing, since a) it's painful b) it's illegal.

Having Mac's switch to Intel processors, and the ability to run Windows natively; virtually eliminated the compatibility argument. As well lots of games are now actually releasing for Mac and PC. One thing to note about games: performance running the same game on OSX vs Windows is noticeably worse in OSX, 20%-30%

Personally I think Apple is getting overrated big time, but unfortunately (fortunately), their computers actually deserve the praise. Which means I can't say I hate Apple =)

SteamPowered

SteamPowered

4/21/11

Alrighty, the Jeff U's review is borderland tin-foil-hat, aliens are coming to get us, the big brother sees everything.

Did you know Windows had admin privileges on your computer? Or even decides who is an admin and what privileges are? Of yeah it also has access to your files on the hard drive, of wait it even decides how and where to allocate them. Did you know windows keep constantly connecting to Microsoft? Don't you know Microsoft is evil?! ZOMG! You have to secure your system, here's a hint: best secured system is the one which is not plugged into the power grid. Yes, please pull the plug out of the outlet, and then maybe cut it up with scissors in multiple places - just to be sure.

As you may've guessed I am a Valve supporter. Valve is the company behind Steam - the most exceptional, revolutionary gaming service to be available to mere mortals like us.

Let's get the downsides out of the way:
1) You have to install Steam software to run games purchased on Steam (duh)
2) You are expected to have regular internet connectivity for updates and to launch into off-line mode (weird)
3) You will be part of a biggest, most dedicated gaming community.. (oh wait this is still the bad part)...never mind that

The good parts:
1) Valve is a game producer and a distribution provider, they know games, and they listen to their users.
2) Games bought from Steam do not require CDs/DVDs and you can redownload/reinstall them as much as you want - new computer - no problem.
3) Valve made some of the world's most acclaimed games, Half Life, Half Life 2, Team Fortress, Left For Dead all of which are awesome!
4) Support/Community/Social integration is beyond amazing - it's mind blowing.
5) Their sale's are on very often, and you can get unmatched deals for multi-packs of games which you could not get anywhere else.
There are plenty more advantages to Steam, which you'd have to find out about on your own.

And coming back to the issue of trusting software on your PC. In my view, Valve > Microsoft. So they can have admin rights to my PC!

Lenovo

Lenovo

4/21/11

Rock solid computers. I mean if you throw a ThinkPad at the rock, well the rock will no longer function, but the ThinkPad will!

Lenovo bought IBM's laptop/pc/consumer devision a few years back. It sure scared lots of people, who were rightfully concerned with how that would affect the quality and engineering. Well 5 years since, Lenovo is great in almost all aspects other than a silly name.

The ThinkPad line up is still rock solid, it is kept current, and is by far the most reputable sub-brand of computers in the world. IBM and Lenovo seem to keep close ties for supporting their legacy computers. Which actually outlive most other electronic devices.

IBM has a special place in my heart, my first PC was an an IBM PC 386. 20Mhz cpu, math co-processor, 2 mb of 80ns ram and a 200 mb hard drive. I played everything I could on it, I'm not sure where it is now. But if it is still in one piece, I bet it would boot up no problem.

Their site is hard to navigate from the get go, but once you click around, it makes sense in a very german, very precise way. I've heard bad things about the non-pro oriented, cheap plastic systems; but thats indicative of getting what you pay.

Overall, a very reputable computer manufacturer, with very solid background, and support for long running traditions.

Circuitsnthings

Circuitsnthings

9/20/11

Great site, I think (it didn't load for me)
If I needed circuits n things I'd definitely check out their wondrous site.
It is very admirable that they have taken their precious time to come onto forums and bring their site to our undivided attention. Thank you owners and operators of circuitsnthings, we will definitely be purchasing circuits n things from your website.
Please let us know more how great your particular circuits n things are. I always wanted circuits n things as a Christmas, Birth Day and Anniversary gift for me and my family.
If you don't mind, would you please scour the internet for naively posted full e-mail addresses and notify everyone of your amazing deals and unquestionable marketing strategies.
The forum post on SJ leaves absolutely no question as to your authenticity and integrity. Everyone was extremely thrilled to see your testimonial, I personally have already printed your impeccable memento out, and have ordered a silver lined frame to eternally preserve your innovative and unprecedented advertizing techniques. I am giving your site 2 our of 5 because there is no doubt in my mind that your ability to satisfy even the pickiest customers is on final frontiers of unsurpassed quality and circuits n things...

Dell

Dell

4/21/11

I've owned multiple systems by Dell:

My first was a Dual Xeon Precision 670, which I bought used from eBay in 2008.
I put in an nVidia geForce 7950 GX2, a dual GPU video card.
That computer was awesome, big, heavy, noisy, would rip through any task, and use up 680 watts constantly. Was great for games too. Aside from high power consumption, it was great. I gave it to my dad, who runs it as home server, and loves it.
Then I had (and still have but don't use much) an XPS m1330 laptop, bought in 2009, it's still running fine, except I had to change the keyboard and the AC adapter under warranty (both failed within a year), but the customer service was great, so I am not holding any grudges. Please note they do service their XPS customers through a different department - so I can't comment about regular support.

I gotta say, Dell definitely made custom computers a perfection. Their site is well designed, and is easy to navigate. Customizing systems is fun and very informative. Lots of information per page, and clicking to get to information is minimized.

Their prices are very reasonable, and their promotions give insane discounts from time to time. As always you gotta do heavy performance to value research, but overall Dell is very very solid.

Samsung

Samsung

4/21/11

I'm reviewing the laptop section only, since I recently looked through most major manufacturers to keep current on laptops which just came out, and the specs.

I'm giving them a Meh, because:

1. Their specs did not list display resolutions for most laptops/netbooks
2. None of the laptops/netbooks screens were marked Glossy or Matte
3. Their market speak for features listed on specs pages insults your intelligence.
4. They changed their model names, again, so it's hard to see whats new, and whats not
5. Navigation was horrible - 3-4 clicks to get to specs
6. Overall virtually no useful information among the market-speak.
7. Some obvious mistakes like display sizes which don't exist: 15.3"

Overall the site feels detached from the tech department,
which is disappointing for one of the top technology companies in the world.

Their products are great, innovation rate is awesome, world acclaimed quality, but the laptop site is grades behind Dell and Lenovo. Lots of room for improvement.

Peer1.net

Peer1.net

4/21/11

If there could be a setting above "Loved" for certain sites, then this is the one I'd like to nominate. I here by proclaim Peer1 to be Impeccable!

From personal experience, I'd like to make it noted, that the people behind Peer1 are some of the most exemplary professionals in their callings.
I've had the pleasure to work with Peer1 on two different accounts over the past 3 years, and virtually every encounter with both sales and support have been remarkable. Not a single point of miscommunication, very clear understanding of issues at hand, and reaction times have been more than satisfactory on different levels of problem severity.
Their sales associates are easy to talk to, they understand tech-talk, and can tell the difference between RAM and ROM. I dealt specifically with Jeff Bonham; who always took personal attention to my requests, and prepared multiple quotes for several proposed scenarios with admirable speed and due care.
Their IT Administrators and Engineers have had no problems fulfilling all of our custom requests, with crystal clear understanding and perfect communication. Everyone we've ever dealt with from front line support to datacenter managers have been truly courteous, and expressed personal interest in genuinely resolving all support cases.

Overall, I highly recommend Peer1 for professional dedicated server hosting, you can expect their services to be outstanding. With this provider you will get what you pay for, and even though their services are not for individual consumers, business customers can strongly benefit from entrusting their IT infrastructure to Peer1.

Lunarpages

Lunarpages

4/21/11

By far the most trusted host in my experience.
I've used it, and will use it again shall the need arise.

I started using them in 2004, after having a very shoddy experience with Gisol.com
They have always been reliable, their support is way beyond what you pay for. Up time, promises, and professionalism is guaranteed with LunarPages. My buddy runs a php game he designed (working on), he's happy. I've referred at least 2 other clients to them, both of whom have nothing bad to say. You get what you pay for, but with LunarPages, you get exactly what they say you'd get.
As far as I recall, my friends and I, have always used the cheapest plan, which was very sufficient for light/personal/limited use.

If you are in need of mission critical hosting, I'd recommend spending more, or even getting a dedicated server. Overall LunarPages is very trusted by me, can't think of anything bad to say, except that there was no toll-free support when I was using them, but no worries, now there is!

Acer

Acer

4/21/11

Acer acer acer, the most wide-spread plastic distributor in computer industry.

I gotta say, the performance to value ratio is stellar. I got a 25.5" Acer screen, which I bought from BestBuy for $400 open box 3 years ago, and I still use it virtually every day on my gaming machine. I've owned a few other Acer monitors - they are always very reasonable for the size and performance.

I never owned an Acer computer, but I remember my dad being very proud of having an Acer PC versus a generic clone back in 1996.
All acer laptops I've dealt with were well designed (for disassembly).
Have never noticed any bad repeated problems like a fail with HP's DV6000-DV9000 nVidia series.

The only reason I'm down marking Acer is because instead of customizing a laptop on their site, you have to pick out of different iterations of the same model (sometimes too abundant). It's border-line ridiculous: some of their models have up to 30 different configurations.
Imagine Dell making up every possible configuration of their customizable systems, assigning a separate model number to it, then listing all of them in a wall of computers. Well you'd get Acer, but 3-5 times the quantity.

As well Acer's representation through BestBuy and other retailers is limited to "most popular" models, which are made popular due to being one of a very limited group of choices - so really - it's time to offer customization on the site Acer.

Asus

Asus

4/21/11

This review is for notebook site only, I have nothing against the ASUS PC components, primarily motherboards are very very on the edge.

ASUS's notebooks are abundant and model line ups seem to be limited by the letters of the alphabet. Thats probably the biggest grief I have with them, as well as several others:
1. Their model naming doesn't make sense
2. Their affinity to laptop multiplication is alike hoarding
3. Their specs and market-speak feature sections are written "under mandate" - seems like somebody got paid per word of non-sense
4. Their site is JavaScript heavy, and menus are hard to navigate when trying to look at computers one after another.

In the positives:
Their Republic Of Gamers laptops are on par with AlienWare, but typically more affordable. Design of the computers is actually very progressive, aside from Apple, I think those are the best looking laptops (HP Envy doesn't count - it's a ripped off Apple design)

But unfortunately ASUS computers are not very abundant in Canada, and it would definitely be a good idea for them to take after Dell and offer computers direct, customizable and shipping fast.

Global Internet Solutions

Global Internet Solutions

4/21/11

Well I am very reserved about giving ultimately bad reviews, but since this site is on here, then I gotta pitch in, since I did have genuinely bad experience with them.

These guys sell cheap shaped web-hosting plans. With typical promises like disk space, up-time and reliable support.

Well out of three mentioned here, disk space was the only one they didn't manage to screw up.

Long story short, I've been a customer of theirs in 2003-2004, paid for a year's worth of hosting to get a free domain promotion. Well, the troubles began soon after the initial set up. I used the service to run a forum board, PHP - mySQL based. Half the time the site was down, because the mySQL database was set up on a server with probably 20 thousand other websites, trying to share system resources all at the same time. That didn't work well, and since the site was dependant on both the web-service and the database, it was not up 99.9% as advertised.

After complaining to tech support, they did move me to another mySQL server, and then they moved the rest of the 20 thousand complainers. So 2 months of uninterrupted service was all i got for my year worth. I switched to LunarPages and used them, and recommended them to all my friends.

As well, I recall having troubles getting my domain name transferred from Gisol, I left it with them to ride out the year, but once it was due for renewal, they only provided an option to renew with the service, then made a claim that the domain name belongs to them. Fortunately for me it wasn't popular, and after letting it expire, and waiting for a 3 months of Gisol using it for fake advertising, I managed to re-register it, and kept on using it for the next 4 years.

I know my experience is less relevant because of it's age, but if you take a look through current review around, Gisol did not improve much, even though they had 6 years to do so. The company literally survives on customers letting them keep yearly subscription fees, and getting 2-3 months of service then running for the light at the end of the tunnel.

Ellis [Usalaptopscreen Rep] Has Earned 24 Votes

Ellis B.'s review of Apple earned 4 Very Helpful votes
Ellis B.'s review of Lenovo earned 3 Very Helpful votes
Ellis B.'s review of SteamPowered earned 4 Very Helpful votes
Ellis B.'s review of Dell earned 2 Very Helpful votes
Ellis B.'s review of Lunarpages earned a Very Helpful vote
Ellis B.'s review of Samsung earned 2 Very Helpful votes
Ellis B.'s review of Global Internet Solutions earned a Very Helpful vote
Ellis B.'s review of Peer1.net earned 2 Very Helpful votes
Ellis B.'s review of Acer earned a Very Helpful vote
Ellis B.'s review of Asus earned a Very Helpful vote
Ellis B.'s review of Circuitsnthings earned 2 Very Helpful votes
Ellis B.'s review of Circuitsnthings earned a Well Said vote

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