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  • Wander7 - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    I like the MacBook Pro 13" for the design of the hardware and long battery life, but is there an alternative in the Windows world? I know about the HP Envys and they suck. Any help would be great. Reply
  • retrospooty - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    LEnovo X301 - better all around, higher res, more reliable+ an internal DVD Reply
  • darwinosx - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    More reliable? A cheap plasticky Lenovo? Puh-lease. Plus you run the archaic Windows OS on it. Unless you use Linux. Terrible battery life too.
    Btw the 13" MacBook has an internal DVD drive not that I really use one anymore. I can't remember the last time I burned a DVD or CD.

    This Dell is a slightly gussied up copy of a MacBook. Hardly innovative design. Brought to you by the company that knowingly sold thousands of defective computers and is known for the worst quality control and support in the industry. This one is overpriced too. Anandtech must be hungry for Dell advertising $$ at the cost of their reputation.
  • gescom - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    @darwinosx "A cheap plasticky Lenovo? Puh-lease. "

    What are you talking about? What plastic? What cheap?
    The internal chassis and roll cage use an advanced carbon-fiber / glass-fiber material that provides both strength and light weight. The case material is made of magnesium, press as hard as you want anywhere on the body of the notebook and it will not flex. Like all ThinkPads, the X301 is designed for accidental abuse and drops.

    And you even compare it to a 13" MacBook / pro? Apple machines are far far behind in everything.
  • Samus - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    Seriously, if not a Lenovo X301, then what would you have us buy Darwin? Reply
  • quiksilvr - Friday, July 09, 2010 - link

    The ENVY 13 and 15 aren't that great.

    The ENVY 14 and 17 however, are masterpieces.
  • maratus - Thursday, July 08, 2010 - link

    >>And you even compare it to a 13" MacBook / pro? Apple machines
    >> are far far behind in everything.

    Yes, those crappy extremely low contrast and non-existent viewing angle screens Lenovo puts in almost any of their ThinkPads is a definite sing of the advancement over Apple. So does using inferior GPUs (Intel 4500/5700 for the whole X200, X300 lineup, 2D-optimised version of low-end 310M for T410 and so on). Some say that connectivity is a weakness of Apple laptops. But it does four extremely important things for me:
    – MBP does support 2560x1600 (like modern Lenovo and Dell models though) which is a mandatory for me,
    – MBP does have high-speed port like FW800. (E-sata is a joke unless it's combined with USB for bus power and even then its power capabilities are far behind of FW800 port). You can run RAID enclosure with two 2.5" / 7200rpm HDDs and fan completely bus powered without single problem. 80MB/s is good for me.
    – MBP does have good (and excellent for 15" and 17") battery life.
    – MBP runs Mac OS X natively

    And while roll cage may withstand a drop why does it flex and creak like a cheap eMachines masterpiece?
  • mojohacker2010 - Saturday, July 10, 2010 - link

    Steve, is that you? Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    "Plus you run the archaic Windows OS on it"

    Funnily enough, a collegue in work owns a macbook but refuses to run OSX as it offers 'Nothing new and is basically for stupid people'. Straight from his mouth and he's running Win7 Pro instead of OSX.

    Seriously, darwinosx, remove your own head from up your own behind. OSX is no better or worse than windows.
  • Wizzdo - Wednesday, July 07, 2010 - link

    The Lenovo may be a nice machine but... (other than fanboy nonsense) Windows 7 definitely does play second fiddle to OSX in the majority of serious comparisons. Dolled out as an expensive fix for the unhappy Vista era (which itself took forever and mainly brought only incompatibility, high system requirements and general instability and annoyance to its users), Windows 7 added and a handful of OSX like (coincidence?) features and the usual pile of driver incompatibility\workaround headaches along with broken support for psuedo real-time integrations such as professional audio (the vast majority who still use OSX or XP).

    To say OSX is a toy is to be quite ignorant of its UNIX underpinnings. It is still the preferred platform in the Art (video/graphics/audio) professions which are generally far more demanding and expectant on performance and reliability than most other fields.

    Anyhow, one can just do a simple poll of satisfied, hassle free OSX users vs Windows (xp/vista/7). Having to use both daily in practically every possible context, I can tell you which is the most 'toy' like (read: not for serious use) and it just so happens to be the one that plays most of the games ;)
  • afkrotch - Wednesday, July 07, 2010 - link

    Remember back in the day when the Longhorn Alpha came out? Then those same features showed up in OSX. Then Longhorn got canned and had to be rebuilt all over again. Why not a single word from Mac fans about how they stole Windows features? I'm sorry, but both Apple and MS will steal whatever from each other. Apple is probably the worst of the two. Everything they build is just someone else's work, shined up to be pretty.

    OSX is the preferred platform in the Art profession? Really? When? 1990s? The only ppl you see bothering with it is stupid college kids or just regular home consumers. Go out into the real professional world and tell me how many ppl still bother. Even all your big companies have long since dumped Apple.

    Unix underpinnings. What's the point even mentioning it, when they took all that was great about Unix and threw it out the window. I played with OSX a while ago. Ya, a toy for home. I can't possibly see it being used for any real production work. Right now, I'm a sys ad for our Solaris 10 workstation/servers, Linux google server, Trusted Solaris 8 server, and a couple Windows 2003 servers. Guess what our custom built software is now being created for? I'll give you a hint. It's created by Microsoft.
  • jkostans - Thursday, July 08, 2010 - link

    I work for an engineering firm, and no one uses OSX. Linux for some engineering apps, and windows for everything else. This is the way 99% of the world works, get used to it. OSX is not superior to windows. If it was businesses would use it more. Reply
  • mojohacker2010 - Saturday, July 10, 2010 - link

    "The Lenovo may be a nice machine but... (other than fanboy nonsense) Windows 7 definitely does play second fiddle to OSX in the majority of serious comparisons"

    LOL...please cite some sources or you sound just like a fanboy yourself. Rather you sound like a very defensive and angry fanboy. Almost all of the head-to-head comparison articles/tests I've seen show windows 7 beating OSX overwhelmingly...

    "Anyhow, one can just do a simple poll of satisfied, hassle free OSX users vs Windows (xp/vista/7). "

    Really? So you're gonna compare an ecosystem with billions of users vs. OSX, which no one uses, and use that as an argument? LOL
  • retrospooty - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    "More reliable? A cheap plasticky Lenovo? Puh-lease. Plus you run the archaic Windows OS on it"

    Uh.. Yes, Lenovo is the most reliable in the buz, and that included Apple. The X301 rocks. Its solid, lightweight and Has Win7, which is far better than OSX in my opinion.

    Also, the MAcbook air is its competition. THe X301 is a thin CULV notebook and has an internal DVD player. Yes, its FAR better than the MAcbook air, or regular 13 inch macbook, or dell.
  • chrnochime - Wednesday, July 07, 2010 - link

    Didn't really want to waste time reading when your name even includes osx. Guess the more patient commenters out there took your bait and wasted their time LOL Reply
  • IvanAndreevich - Wednesday, July 07, 2010 - link

    I find it offensive when someone calls a high end Thinkpad "cheap and plasticky". If a Thinkpad and Macbook Pro knock heads I'm sure the Thinkpad would survive more often than not. Reply
  • erple2 - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    The Envy's suck? Huh. I like mine just fine. It runs circles around any MBP that's available today. And runs quite a bit cooler at that. Granted, that's comparing the 15" MBP...

    The MBP doesn't get that good of battery life in Windows, btw. At least not significantly better than other C2D based laptops with NVidia processors...
  • adhan - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    I'm not trying to be too much of a fanboy here, but how about a MacBook with Windows running via Boot Camp. Reply
  • sleepeeg3 - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    Both colossal ripoffs. Reply
  • Wander7 - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    thanks for all the comments. I know about boot camp and also the crappier battery life running windows under it. I don't like the Envys because of the bad touchpad ( I have a dm3 now...). My main attraction to the MB Pro are the hardware aspects of the machine and the battery life.

    I found out Sony makes some nice laptops, but WAY overpriced tho.... I'll just keep waiting.
  • MrSpadge - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    You might want to take a look at the new Thinkpad X201 using Core iSomething. Reply
  • Stokestack - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    Except for the glossy screen. Glossy screens are the biggest regression in personal computing ever.

    The current fraud of glossy screens originated with third-tier products being peddled at Best Buy and Costco. It's sad to see companies like Apple following their lead, to the detriment of their customers.
  • sebmel - Wednesday, July 07, 2010 - link

    I read AnandTech because of the intelligence & depth of the articles. This one is a disappointment. It reads like a paid for vanity piece for Dell.

    For example:
    "Apple’s products follow the design principles laid out in Dieter Rams’ 10 Commandments, which pretty much condenses to “Thou shalt be minimal, thou shalt be elegant, thou shalt be functional.” Dell took those design principles and then added some bling to it."

    I do not believe Anand would have written such a confused, illogical statement.

    Minimalism with added bling?

    What is that? Elegance with added vulgarity? Refined taste with added redneck?

    The article comes to the conclusion:
    It's slow
    The keyboard is cheap
    The speakers are lousy and in the wrong place
    The battery life is poor
    The screen's mediocre
    It's pricey

    But look at the bling!!

    Well, what is there to look at? This miracle of industrial design is designed like an ice-cream tub... a tray with an inset top, resulting in an ugly seam. They combine that with an ugly exposed hinge and an ugly ledge behind it.

    It is covered in immature touches like: the irregular material use and finishing... 4 finishes on the top alone; irregularly cut vents; white plastic inserts on sockets; an ugly squared of shape dictated by the cheap tub design.

    Let me give a word of warning to those who may be thinking of buying this based on the recommendation that the 'bling' deserves respect.

    Do you see that band of polished aluminium on the top? That will be painted with varnish to stop oxidation. That varnish will scratch and fail. Oxygen will get behind it and the aluminium will oxidise white, bubbling up.

    That isn't clever design & it isn't going to look: bling for long... even if you learnt your idea of good taste from pimps.

    As for using Dieter Rams' name in the description of this product, please, show a little more taste. You may as well have quoted Bertrand Russell in an article about Forest Gump:

    "Laif is laak a baax a chaaclets..."
  • rtothedizzy - Wednesday, July 07, 2010 - link

    You don't like the design. I get it. That's fine, to each his own.

    But oxidizing the aluminum strip???

    Not to get too crazy into the details but any and all aluminum you see is oxidized. Aluminum and O2 in the air react in less than a nanosecond to make an oxide layer a few nm thick on all exposed aluminum surfaces. That oxide layer protects the rest of the aluminum below the surface from being oxidized and has little effect on the appearance of the metal.
  • sebmel - Wednesday, July 07, 2010 - link

    I am afraid that is not the case. Aluminium does not oxidise immediately and the process of oxidations does not stop at the surface when that surface is covered with lacquer.

    The oxide and dirty get under a lip of varnish and the tarnishing is worse than exposed aluminium.

    Aluminium oxide is white. In order for a manufacturer to prevent an aluminium object from becoming dull it is necessary to varnish it. Yes, aluminium does oxidise readily, but not so fast that it cannot be polished, or brushed, and then lacquered.

    An aluminium Audi R8:

    Apple made this error with the latch buttons on the MacBook Pros. As a solution they moved to neodymium magnets.

    An example of the corrosion purchasers of this Dell laptop can expect:
  • rtothedizzy - Wednesday, July 07, 2010 - link

    I'm afraid it is the case.

    From the textbook "Corrosion Basics: An Introduction":

    "The factor which assures the long life of aluminum is its self forming microscopically thin surface layer of aluminum oxide. This layer is so thin that it is measured in atomic units. The air-formed film on new aluminum surfaces is about 2.5 nm thick, while the film on aluminum that is several years old may be 10 or more nm thick"

    We can get into oxidation rates some other time.

    Assuming you really wanted to polish and brush some Al and then lacquer it I'm sure there is a way but it really shouldn't be necessary. There are plenty of other ways to get a shiny surface on a metal (Al included) that would require none of the above.

    Chances are in this case the Al has been anodized (which makes it even MORE corrosion resistant) and electroplated with something shiny (chromium perhaps).

    The only way you're going to have oxidation problems with Al is if it's alloyed with some other easily corroded metal or if you expose it certain chemicals.
  • sebmel - Friday, July 09, 2010 - link

    All you have to do is look at the pictures of the Audi and the Dell laptop to see that they were not anodised. They have a very obvious layer of transparent lacquer on them.

    As for immediate oxidation: no, it is not necessary to polish and lacquer aluminium in an anaerobic environment because the metal does not oxidise to a dull finish instantly, as lithium does.

    If one must be pedantic it is correct to say that oxidation does start immediately but not fast enough to hinder lacquering... just buff up an aluminium pot and watch it.

    As for the oxidation stopping. No it doesn't. The aluminium industry likes to say it does but it doesn't. Again... look at some kitchen pots. Look at one used yesterday, last week and last month... they do not look the same... they don't even feel the same on the surface. To anyone who uses aluminium pans (and I don't recommend you do) this is obvious.
  • mojohacker2010 - Saturday, July 10, 2010 - link

    HE gave you a SOURCE and cited word for word from the source to support his argument, AND YOU RESPONDED WITH YOUR OPINIONS, not facts, and by saying "No it doesn't." Reply
  • sebmel - Monday, July 12, 2010 - link

    There are two ways to learn: one is to read and repeat what you have read and the other is to think and research (as the people who wrote the books did).

    So use the second method, please. Abrade an aluminium pan. If it oxidises in milliseconds to a dull whitish grey then rtothedizzy is correct.

    If it stays shiny for say 5 minutes, long enough to lacquer, then I am correct. And you'll have found the answer without any need for that caps lock ranting.
  • sebmel - Monday, July 12, 2010 - link

    Having looked more closely at the photos it looks probable that the aluminium band on the lid isn't lacquered. If that is the case then it needs to be pure aluminium to resist corrosion well. As you pointed out, the alloys are not so resistant.

    However, there is still an issue with sweat, which can be pH4... aluminium oxide is stable between pH5 and pH9 (I haven't the exact figures).

    Here's some sweat induced corrosion on a gun:

    and here, again, is the same thing happening on a MacBook Pro:

    Just for good measure, here's a badly corroded aluminium iPod:

    This is a rather long defence of a simple comment:
    That aluminium strip on the lid is liable to corrode. The plate on the base too. The anodised parts will be more resistant.
  • sidaja - Monday, August 23, 2010 - link

    Did you ever find a good computer to buy? I'm in the same boat - looking for a Windows alternative to the MBP. Reply
  • JohnMD1022 - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    And I must admit that, generally, their notebooks are a cut above most of the desktops I see.

    But the Dell desktops we see in our shop are pretty much junk.

    It tends to color one's opinion.
  • stimudent - Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - link

    We call them Packard Dell's in our labs. Reply
  • Freddo - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    Still cost $2000 here in Sweden. But it sure is a beautiful laptop, I would have considered it if it had HDMI and if it was possible to get an old non-SDD hard drive to lower the price. Reply
  • beginner99 - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    999$ for an C2D CULV with useless GMA and a non-trim ssd? Well, people that go for looks tend not to know much about the interor so it's probably good opportunity for dell to get 2 year old hardware sold for a high price. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    FWIW, Vivek actually liked the design enough that he bought the laptop for his own use. Obviously, opinions on aesthetics are just that, but it does look nice and runs well enough. I believe he bought it off eBay with the X25 SSD for $700 or so; getting a different SSD is possible but I'm not sure if anyone does the requisite 1.8" form factor with a higher performance + TRIM model. Reply
  • rtothedizzy - Wednesday, July 07, 2010 - link

    I think OCZ has released their new lineup in 1.8" form recently. Reply
  • Jvboom - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    Pricey and underpowered. It's a shame too, the thing looks amazing. If it performed half as well as it's design looks I would definitely get one as my next laptop. Reply
  • mrjminer - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    Yea, I wish they'd toss some sort of discrete graphics in there. Reply
  • erple2 - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    Then it would also be significantly thicker than 0.65"...

    Discrete GPU requires beefier cooling which requires more space. More space than 0.65" can give.
  • FATCamaro - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    Yeah looks just like a mac!! Amazing. Except its pricey and crap. Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    My friend just bought one of these days ago. One thing you didn't mention is that the fan seems to go off even with just light web browsing, and also seems to have too few modes to choose from (off, medium, jet engine). Now, maybe I'm micro-autistic or something, but fan noise of any sort just drives me up the wall :-P

    Even with all its flaws though, considering that the price has dropped to half its original price and half the price of the Macbook Air, if you absolutely need an ultraportable it isn't a bad choice for what you pay. The SSD does make a noticeable difference, despite being far from the fastest SSD's out there (speaking of which, some storage benchies would have been nice!).

    Nice review though.
  • darwinosx - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    The MacBook Air is $1399 which is not 2 X $999. You get what you pay for.
    This laptop is actually better compared to a 13" Macbook Pro which starts at $1099 but is a dramatically better buy.

    Why people constantly compare these to a mac is beyond me since this runs Windows. i understand that Apple is the gold standard for industrial design, quality, and customer service though.
  • tipoo - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    I stand corrected. The rest still applies though. Reply
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    Why oh why does it come with a G1 (probably got a great deal on the old drives)? With no TRIM on an aging drive, and at this cost I'll pass... Reply
  • StanTech - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    7Enigma: "With no TRIM on an aging drive, and at this cost I'll pass..."

    For the price, I think I can accept a scheduled">"manual trim" compromise, which I think is">now supported on G1 drives.
  • 8steve8 - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    pathetic that this doesn't have a i3/i5/i7 ULV cpu. Reply
  • Friendly0Fire - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    I really hope that Anand's 13 and below laptop review will give us a good comparison. Between the Adamo 13, the M11x, the Vaio Z and Asus' myriad of thin and light laptops (U30Jc, UL30Jt, etc.), there are a lot of choices. I'll be looking forward to more about this! Reply
  • afkrotch - Wednesday, July 07, 2010 - link

    I sport a 12.1" HP TM2T tablet. Wondering how it compares to the rest. Granted, you pay more for the tablet features, but a lot of killer deals are out there for it. Reply
  • freeman70 - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    Wait for the i3/i5/i7 CULV or later processors. You are just wasting money buying a stylish case with an old processor. I am perfectly happy to wait for something really great like sandy-bridge based CULV laptops. Until then I will be content using my Acer 1410 with 4GB of RAM and an Intel 80GB G2 SSD. Don't bother telling me the screen is average. I already know. But considering I paid US$450 (4GB RAM included) when I bought it, I think it's good enough for the time being. I won't upgrade until I can get a decent 32 nanometer CULV CPU, nVidia Optimus graphics, a good 13.3 inch screen, USB 3.0 and still get 8 hours of battery life. Reply
  • estee - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    Sure, it's also made by Dell, but it's almost identical to the Adamo (same .65" profile, display, battery, slightly slower CPU, w/o the ID though) and costs $330 less! Reply
  • Scott66 - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    I am sure dell will get a few customers complaining about broken USB ports due to having all of the ports on the back.

    When a person reaches around to plug in a jump drive, one tends to lift the laptop. Unfortunately anything plugged on the back will get pressed down against the desk and either bend itself or, over time, crack the connector on the Motherboard.

    Main reason all Mac laptops now do not have any ports on the back, instead using the back for moving warm air out.
  • afkrotch - Wednesday, July 07, 2010 - link

    Think it's all about how users deal with ports on the back. Me for example, I twist my laptop around to access ports on the back. With ports on the side, I tend to lift the laptop sideways to get to them. I personally prefer ports on the back of my laptop, as it's out of the way. Reply
  • rtothedizzy - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    This is pretty much the laptop I want. Love the look. Love the feel. I won't be buying one anytime soon though because it's basically a year or two old technology. It needs to be updated.

    Give me:
    i5/i7 ULV processor with their improved integrated graphics.
    at least 4GB of ram
    a newer SSD with trim or an option to get a normal HDD so I can replace it with a SSD myself

    As soon as it has those specs I'm getting one. That is assuming they stay near the current price and don't go back to the crazy original price. They updated the 11 inch alienware finally, hope that means the adamo is due for an update soon as well. Anyone heard anything on this front??
  • solipsism - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    When the machine is geared to compete more directly with Macs than most other non-Mac PCs I’d like to see the charts include Macs. You certainly compare them to Macs in text, but never at a glance in the performance and battery charts. Reply
  • tipoo - Saturday, July 17, 2010 - link

    Agreed! Reply
  • brianh902 - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    Looks nice... I am waiting for MacBook Pro 13 to go Core i... That will be the one. Reply
  • mindbomb - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    if it has a 4500mhd, then it can fully hardware accelerate 1080p h264, vc-1, or mpeg 2.

    And it has the added benefit of being able to output hd audio via hdmi.
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, July 07, 2010 - link

    Not Flash... 10.1 still dies at 1080p on 4500MHD. Sorry if that wasn't clear, though I don't know if a high bitrate (say >20Mbps) H.264 could decode on 4500MHD, lower bitrate certainly works. Reply
  • techandtech - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    Best alternative is the iPad and wireless keyboard when necessary.

    And if not that, then the next version of the iPad...
  • afkrotch - Wednesday, July 07, 2010 - link

    Ya, iPad is the best alternative, if you want to lose pretty much all functionality, aside from websurfing and email. Reply
  • PyroHoltz - Wednesday, July 07, 2010 - link

    What the heck, where are all the Arrandale CULV chips? This thing should have a 6 cell Li-Poly battery and most certainly an i3-330UM or i5-430UM chip...

    Come on manufacturers!
  • Wineohe - Wednesday, July 07, 2010 - link

    After owning an XPS M1210 for nearly 4 years, I am in search of an upgrade before the year is out. But it would never be to another Core 2 processor based laptop. Not that mine has been bad, it's just that this architecture is very near the end of it's life cycle. The only upgrade I would consider would be an i3/i5 based system. Otherwise the Adamo looks like a slick piece. Also battery life is an important consideration, and the next generation of SSD's might have some maturity worth waiting for. Reply
  • afkrotch - Wednesday, July 07, 2010 - link

    I'll never understand comments like these, when looking at a CULV laptop. Shouldn't battery life and size be the most important factors when choosing one? Then performance well after that.

    If all I looked at was whether it was an i3/i5, I wouldn't be rocking a CULV laptop with up to 9 hours of battery life (turn on, let it sit there). Under real world, I get about 7-8 hours of battery for minimal usage (websurfing, picture viewing, office work) at 30% screen brightness and 5 hours battery for video watching at 30% screen brightness with wifi turned off.

    FYI, I use an HP TM2T tablet. No time to wait for an i3/i5. Got things to do, chocolate to eat.
  • lukeevanssi - Sunday, July 11, 2010 - link

    This is very nice looking and feature very good here.............
  • stimudent - Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - link

    I've bin thinking about getting one of those garden hose wrapper-upper thingies for a while. That looks like a good one. Wonder where he got it from. Reply
  • technophile123 - Thursday, August 05, 2010 - link

    The Adamo 13 is actually thinner than a Macbook Air. The Macbook Air is thinner in the front, but gets bigger in the back. At its thickest part the Macbook Air is 0.76 inches thick, while the Adamo measures 0.6 inches in thickness from front to back. Maybe you should correct the Article there. Reply

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