on April 28, 2012
First off, forget that usual stigma you associate with Acer being cheap and flimsy. Unlike your usual Acer Aspire laptops, this feels like a quality laptop. Plastics are much higher quality, the case in general is very rigid. Build quality is top notch. All edges are smooth, everything snaps together well, it sits flat on a table, etc... While the entire laptop is plastic (besides the aluminum lid) it still feels very solid with plenty of substance to it.
Unlike previous models, Acer as incorporated a more standard chiclet style keyboard which is TREMENDOUSLY improved over their "island" style. I was a bit worried I wouldn't like it, but after owning this machine for a few weeks, I really like it. Not the best, but it's certainly a joy to use. The touchpad is much the same. It's a good size with multi-touch that actually works pretty well. Dedicated left/right buttons are there too, which I prefer. They have a nice solid click to them.
Performance wise, it's about what you would expect. The i3 is more than enough for what I want...basic web surfing and occasional photo editing. It's nothing stellar but gets the job done. The integrated CPU graphics are actually quite good too. You could easily play Portal 2 on here if you wanted. Now, I've not stressed this machine, but it does typically remain quite cool. When the fan does kick in, it's almost inaudible.
Audio and video fall a bit short, but nothing too bad. The screen has rather poor contrast and is only available in 1366x768. I was really hoping for a higher resolution screen, but it wasn't a deal breaker... Again, for regular internet surfing and what not, it's fine. And speakers, they are actually much better than I expected. For bottom mounted speakers, I'm surprised how well they sound even when using the laptop in my lap. While I still wish they had some speakers above the keyboard, I'm rather pleased with these!
A side-note regarding the speakers, you really need that Dolby Home Theater software loaded. I typically refrain from installing any type of audio enhancing software as it seems more gimmicky than anything but this really brings the speakers alive. Seriously, without it, the audio is muffled, tinny, and simply unbearable.
Connectivity is quite good. It's got your usual... 3x USB ports, VGA, HDMI, networking, mic and headphones. While it doesn't have a USB/esata combo port (booo!) it does have USB 3.0. Oh, and no modem...though I can't see this being a problem with anyone.
Battery life! Now this is where the laptop really shines. I've not done "official" testing but I tend to go a couple days between charges. If I ran it flat out, I suspect 8 hours is perfectly doable, probably 6 with videos. My only real gripe regarding the battery is how it's non-removable. For now, it's fine and keeps the machine sleek. However, in a year or two I'll just keep my fingers crossed the astounding battery life is still mostly there :P
All in all, I highly recommend this machine. It may not be perfect, but in its price range, it's very difficult to beat!
-- EDIT 04/31/12 --
My first laptop had this weird issue where if slight pressure was applied to the bottom right side, it'd give the USB disconnect chime. I finally determined it was a short somewhere with the webcam. At first it wasn't too bad, but it got to the point were most any movement would cause the problem. This coupled with the camera sometimes not initializing made me decide to swap for another. My new laptop here is perfect. The only complaint with this one is the hard drive. The previous had a WD Caviar Blue where the new came with a Toshiba branded drive. By far, Toshiba drives have the highest failure rate among drive brands which I've seen in PC repairs. Now since I was swapping the drive with my SSD, it wasn't terrible, but I'm a little disappointed...
-- EDIT 09/07/12 --
Final edit. Still got this laptop, still love it! Battery life is phenomenal! I have a Dell Mini9 with a 6-cell battery and this laptop still has better battery life! And build quality has been top notch. This thing has taken a couple minor knocks but doesn't show any signs of scuffs or scratches. Hinges are rock solid and there's no premature wearing. You can see some areas around the space bar and keys were I typically lay my hands but that is to be expected.
Since initially purchased, I have upgraded the HDD to an SSD which really brought this thing alive. I also purchased 8GB of RAM; while not completely nesseasary, I do run without a paging file and ran low when editing photos. I also managed to get myself an i5-2410M which gives this thing a nice kick. I will say, though, the i3 is still more than enough for most any user.
So to sum things up, I still highly recommend this laptop. For the money, you won't find a better built or performing machine.
on March 21, 2012
This laptop has been GREAT so far (been using it for a few months now). The battery lasts me all day (Which is great as i'm in class, clinic, and other things about 12-hours/day. Fairly fast processor, really attractive color. Overall, I have no big complaints, only a few little things. I wish Acer computers came with a recovery disc (it was annoying to have to make one), the speakers could be a little better, but I don't really use them very often. Overall, a great purchase.
on March 30, 2012
This computer was a great purchase! I previously owned a Viewsonic laptop that was terrible and ended up dying in the middle of my final exams, so this Acer laptop was a really nice change. It looks very stylish, is a great size, and runs great so far. I would definitely recommend it to anyone.
on September 25, 2012
Just got this laptop a few days ago and it's working great.
The only flaw I've found thus far is that the trackpad has a little friction for my fingers so it's hard to slide upwards.
Also, if you're planning to buy this laptop, it's much cheaper ($350-$400) at electronic stores like BestBuy, CompUSA, or Fry's