on July 8, 2013
I was looking for a lightweight (3 lb or less), touch screen, Windows 8, around the $400 mark laptop for my Mom who is a light PC user, definitely requiring user support often. After purchasing an Asus 10.1 notebook, after about 2 hours I was sure this was not the right notebook and I needed to find something better. The Asus had the Centrino processors which turns out run hot so the fan was loud and the laptop would be hot pretty much the whole time, and it only had a dual processor. Even after optimizing it and removing some power consuming apps, the poor laptop still seemed to struggle to run. Plus the screen was tiny, not a touch screen hence the $300 price tag. After some research attempting to remedy the Asus' shortcomings, I purchased the Acer Aspire v5 after going to Best Buy and actually handling the laptop. I was impressed at its weight, how slick and well designed it felt, and most importantly, it felt like a real laptop not a toy (like the Asus). What a great purchase! After spending 3-4 days configuring it and learning the new W8 OS and all these apps I've never handled, I am a Windows 8 convert and definitely considering buying an Acer Aspire for myself.
* Price - What a great price for such a loaded laptop! Paid only a little over $400!
* Design - Solid notebook, slick design with all necessary ports
* Weight - Light weight, about 3 lb with the battery
* Touchpad is a dream. You have the mouse click options which are missing on some other notebooks. It is sensitive just enough, it is not in your way when you type, it doesn't jump around your apps when you touch it. Best of all, I did not have to load any additional drivers or updates for the touchpad.
* Touch screen - although the resolution isn't super high on paper, what a great crystal screen! Love the colors, vibrant and clear from the box, didn't have to adjust anything. And the screen is so well designed for the touch, it is sensitive just enough to get you around without many errors.
* In the box - laptop, power cable, basic manual for start up and warranty, dongle for VGA
* Fan - super happy with the low quiet fan and cool laptop, all that with a quad processor laptop! Kudos!
* Sound - speakers provide loud enough volume for my aging Mom with slight hearing issues. Good clear sound as well.
* Battery - don't know, have not had the battery below 75% so I don't know how long it would take to drain it.
* Performance - not sure if this isn't due to everything being new and having to load for the first time, but some apps and screens take 5 to 10 seconds to load. Hoping this would change once everything is configured and used at least once. It could also be due to our W8 inexperience, time will tell. The laptop does start fast from sleep mode, although when you open the top it doesn't start automatically, I have to press the power button for it to wake up. There is probably a setting somewhere about that, but that's not a big issue right now.
* Probably the only tech spec that is below the rest of the components on this machine is the camera. Grainy images and video. Oh well, all the rest is great so hard to complain given the price.
* Had to install 30+ app updates which took several hours. The notebook was loaded in Nov 2012 so by July, all loaded apps had new versions pretty much. This is not an Acer or laptop issue though, can't hold it against them since this is something we have to do regardless of what brand and laptop we purchase.
* AcerCloud - is a good idea but boy, there was NO information about what and how to use it, and after loading a bunch of its related apps to the laptop and the mobile devices, I had no idea how to move files/photos from the mobile devices to the laptop, just no way to do that based on the few menus in the apps. It was super frustrating, and even research online on the acer forums was useless. After wasting about 2 hours, I moved onto SkyDrive. After 30 min and some research, it still didn't seem intuitive enough so I did some more experimenting and settled on DropBox. What a relief, the app came with a short and sweet guide, telling me exactly how to load my files from one device to the other and the app itself was pretty intuitive as well and didn't require 4 different apps (like the AcerCloud), just one! Plus it kept giving me more and more free space the more I used it and the more devices I added. Hope this solves my file sharing needs long term!
* Would be great if the touch screen laptops came with a Touch Pen also, makes it so much nicer to browse the screen. I used one that came with another purchase I made on Amazon. Again, not really an Acer issue, just a nice to have suggestion.
* Windows 8 - bit of a steep learning curve and there were no tutorials or instructions on the laptop or at least not that I easily spotted. There is definite initial frustration with the OS, lasted about 3 days. But after installing Windows 8.1 preview version (which brings back the Start button of sorts), after finally finding the Control Panel (it was frustrating hunting for it or accidentally stumbling on it but not knowing how to knowingly get to it), I was more and more comfortable with the OS and seeing its advantages.
After moderately learning how to get around myself, I setup up the Start screen and apps for my Mom. I then braced myself and showed my Mom how to use her new laptop, expecting a long drawn session. It was quite a surprise to see how well she took to using the touch screen and figured out how to get around! She has always had trouble with the mouse pads and even more with the touch pads, it was a relief to see that she easily handled the gestures on the screen and learned how to get around surprisingly faster than I expected. She loved the screen clarity and the vibrant colors. After that, I knew I had the right laptop!
In conclusion, I am very impressed with this quiet, lightweight, hard working, crystal clear machine! After a bit more tweaking and learning more about the OS and the apps, I am sure it will be even better! Will try to provide an update after some longer term use but for now, we are definitely in the honeymoon phase!
on June 26, 2013
I got this Acer touch screen computer about two weeks ago and have been really really happy with it. It's extremely portable -- so small and light it fits in every bag I have. And the touch screen is cool even if I don't use it much (I typically dock into a monitor and keyboard so don't really need touch). And I am using it as my primary work computer so it's on ALL day with lots of open programs, which the processor is handling no problem. I think the only drawback is getting used to Windows 8. Because I use the computer for work I am in Microsoft Office programs all day and those work in "classic" mode so the switching between tiles and classic is a little annoying. But even with that I'd totally recommend it to others. Am even considering buying another one for my daughter as her first computer!
When looking at sub $500 laptops, it really is hard to find something that will be everything to everyone. If you get a feature here, you lose one there. I went into the Aspire V5-122P thinking I would see this but I had to admit, I am rather impressed.
First up, I downloaded all of the Windows Updates and removed most of the bloatware that is loaded on the machine. I also let Microsoft's Windows Defender take over as my anti-virus and spyware protection. There were well over 60 updates and due to the slower nature of the hard drive, it took a good while for me to get in "working" order to my tastes.
Next up, was to set up an account for my 5 year old daughter with Family Safety, which I highly recommend to anyone with kids.
After I got it where I want, it was time to put this thing to the test. The first thing I did was load steam and downloaded 2 of my favorite games: Portal and Portal 2. I knew Portal would run fine but I was rather surprised that Portal 2 ran with near the highest settings with hardly a stutter. The graphics card handled the game quite well.
Next up, I connected my Bluetooth mouse for gaming. Strangely, the Bluetooth device was disabled in the device manager so I had to enable it. Once enabled, I selected the Bluetooth icon in the system try and it opened up the "Modern" Bluetooth manager. I powered on the mouse and I was in business. Worked like a charm. (using the Microsoft Sculpt mouse.)
Microsoft Office ran well and the "modern", Windows 8 apps opened with decent speeds.
The screen is nice but when compared to say, the Microsoft Surface, it isn't the greatest. The colors were better than expected and the touchscreen was very responsive. I found myself using the touch screen much more than the track pad. Don't expect to use this outside much as it isn't terribly bright and it has a lot of glare.
Audio was OK and even at 100%, it could have been a little better.
The processor is only a 1GHz dual core AMD. I've always been an Intel guy, so this is my first AMD. It scores a 2.9 experience rating and I did see some issues with video playback on Facebook as it was choppy. It is 64 bit and allows access to all 6GB of memory, so for general use, this lap does fit the bill.
About the only gripe is the hard drive speed. It does seem to take a good while for some applications to open. It is 5400 and in tandem with a slower processor, it will make for a slightly sluggish experience.
Bottom line, I can recommend this laptop. Compared to an ASUS in the same price range, it beats it hand down as far as having brighter colors and having a better GPU. Windows 8 honestly should only be experienced with a touchscreen and you will get that and more with this ASPIRE V5-122P.
This was a difficult computer to review and I struggled as to how to rate it given the price point at which it is sold. I gave it 3 stars out of 5, with the price point being the only thing that almost pushed me to 4. If it weren't for the price, I would honestly put this more toward 2. Overall, it is a very low end laptop that doesn't seem to know whether it wants to be a laptop, a netbook, or a tablet. One note, I have broken down a separate section for Windows 8. While I don't blame the manufacturer for the issues, when you buy a laptop, you are buying the OS also. As a buyer, you need to be aware of what you are getting.
- The screen, while small, is actually very pretty. It has nice resolution and a strong display. It is very bright and easy to read. Text is crisp.
- The touch screen seems sensitive enough that I don't feel like I have to push through the screen.
- Overall, the computer is very light weight. Given its size, this is no surprise.
- The keyboard feels pretty nice. It has the modern chicklet style keys and although they feel a little cheap, typing is quite easy on this device. It is a full size keyboard. Given the size of the computer, this is really nice.
- The rubber pads on the bottom of the computer are very non-slip.
- It comes with a 500GB HD and 6GB of RAM.
- The touchpad is responsive.
- Supports 2 finger scroll.
- Backlit keys.
- Came with an external monitor adapter.
- The plug is very large and takes up more than one spot on a power strip or battery backup. It looks like it was made to have exchangeable outlets, but I often struggle to find plug space and taking up two plugs is unacceptable to me.
- The batter is garbage. I booted up the computer and let it sit without using it. In 3 hours and 30 minutes, the batter was close to 20% left. THIS IS WITHOUT USING THE COMPUTER! Given that the battery is so bad, it will need to stay plugged in almost constantly.
- Slow charging time.
- No built in ethernet adapter. A separate connector must be purchased.
- The base of the computer feels very cheap compared to the screen. I would be scared to accidentally drop this computer.
- The trackpad is very, very cheaply made with too much play.
- No media drive. However, this is becoming more and more common.
Windows 8 is hands down the worst version of Windows I have ever used. It takes forever to boot the computer to a working state. I found it difficult to find even the most common of task, like logging off and shutting down. If you are buying a Windows PC any time in the next year or two, this really, really needs to be a consideration you make.
The saving grace for this laptop is the price point. Acer seems to know this is the low of the low end. It is mass produced cheaply and reflects that fact well. If you are looking for a cheap little laptop to take on vacation or if your computer use consist of only surfing the web or maybe occasionally playing some music or movies, this will probably do it for you. I would personally consider looking at a nice tablet instead.
on December 1, 2013
As a user of an older Acer Aspire One Netbook, "almost" everything about this v5-122p netbook is better.
1. A bit larger screen w/ slightly better colors, though less bright.
2. Larger keyboard though the keys are louder, a bit spongy and harder to press compared to the Aspire One.
3. The much, much better speakers! They sound decent compared to the very awful speakers of the Aspire One.
4. Physically much better looking netbook with a slightly thinner profile.
5. The 4 GB installed memory is very sensible
6. Large disk space
1. It's significantly heavier compared to the One
2. Quite noticeable hiss and whine of the CPU fan which is like that 95% of the time.
3. The Mcafee pre-installed software. Though I'm sure it will protect the people from viruses and malware, it's just slows the computer to a level of annoyance. I advice uninstallation and let the built-in antivirus Windows Defender do the job.
4. I don't find value of Windows 8 which is slower than Win 7, except maybe, as a more secure OS. Support for *.ISO files.
5. One glaring weakness, the very slow AMD A4-1250 cpu. Internet browsing is less responsive compared to the Aspire One. Youtube videos are a bit laggy. It is compounded by Windows 8 with all the unnecessary bells and whistles which, as a savvy user, I have to configure to lessen its negative impact on system performance.
A very decent netbook/laptop and nothing much to complain about except the very slow CPU which is the AMD A4-1250 which is I "feel" a one step back from Intel Atom n2600. I recommend choosing the faster available CPUs for this device.
on October 7, 2013
I was looking for a desktop replacement computer that I could move around the house and use in low light environments. This Acer is the perfect compromise between speed/affordability/lit keyboard/touchscreen. It boots up from shutdown in <1 minute and is almost immediately on when starting up from sleep mode. My favorite feature is that similar to a netbook, it connects to the internet even before all the apps load, so once you turn on the computer, you can be online within a few seconds or a minute.
on June 27, 2013
UPDATE (27 NOVEMBER):
So I've had this laptop for quite a while and just wanted to let everyone know whether or not it still works for me. It does, but I did swap the HDD for an SSD. The A6-1450 processor is slow loading pages 'n stuff, but then the process will kick in (The clock speed can be brought up to 1.4 GHz but this only works correctly during single-thread load. The clock speed slightly decreases when more than one core is stressed). Basically, all the reviews on this processor says the 1.4 GHz will kick in when multitasking, but in order to activate it, you must use the balanced or high/maximum performance battery profile.
Before, I could only get about 3 hours with the non-removable battery, so in order to maximize the battery life, I bought the "second" battery that recently became available on the Acer website. Now I can use the laptop all day without lugging around an external battery charger!!! I would say that now I get about 5-6.5 hours - depending on the power plan that I'm using and how bright the screen is. When set to "balanced" or "power saver," I get more battery life, of course.
Summary: when prices come down, I will eventually buy another laptop. One that has a 13.3" screen, 1600x900 resolution, backlit keyboard, touch screen and a faster processor. The laptops that meet these requirements are quite pricey right now, so I will stick with this "enhanced" netbook. As a student who is a moderate user (web browsing, checking email, using MS Office), I am quite happy with my purchase.
UPDATE (15 July):
Amazon did a price drop about 3 weeks after I bought this, and when I tried to get a price match, I was told they only do price matches up to 7 days after the ship date. To me that's just poor, poor customer service!!!
UPDATE (1 JULY):
Just installed an SSD Kingston Digital 240GB SSDNow V300 SATA 3 2.5 (7mm height) with Adapter Solid State Drive SV300S37A/240G to help improve system performance and what a difference! Webpages load faster, downloads are quicker, copying to or uploading from a flash drive - the speed in which these things are done have all dramatically increased!!!
Best browser to use with this laptop? Firefox & Chrome. IE is slower for some reason; the webpages load slower and IE locks up a lot. If I don't close the tabs in IE, then I get the "not responding error." With Firefox, I can just minimize the browser and not have to close all the tabs out!
I suppose I could have tried to buy a $800 laptop that had an SSD or an i5 or i7 processor, but it's hard to find one that comes with both. You usually have to choose - and pay more. Also, this subcompact laptop comes with a touchscreen & a backlit keyboard! Not to mention that it's a joy to type on the keyboard and the portable size is what I was looking for.
INITIAL REVIEW (27 JUNE):
- 6GB SDRAM
- backlit keyboard
- very quiet (no loud fan noise)
- processor works quite well for light gaming, web surfing, Facebook/Twitter; MS Office tasks
- option for a 2nd battery (not yet available, though...)
- includes adapter (ACER Converter Cable) for VGA connection
- processor can't handle heavy programs: AutoCAD, etc.
- downloads take longer than usual, especially if you're trying to download a large file... or if you are trying to download multiple files at the same time.
- can't have many tabs open in IE10
- only one (1) USB 3.0 port
- no HDMI/Ethernet port; need adapter (ACER Converter Cable - sold separately)
This works for me because I don't 'do' gaming; I only use this laptop for a little bit of this and that: school work and web surfing. Battery life is about 5 hrs on the Power Saver setting. The 11.6" screen doesn't bother me. Also, I am a proud owner of a Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 (16GB, White) which I probably use more than this laptop! So between this laptop or my Samsung tablet, I have plenty of "processor power."
For those looking for a cheap, portable laptop to do general everyday tasks, then this subcompact laptop is a good choice - it's really great for those who have a desktop or larger laptop and just need something more portable for around the house or for a trip to the coffeehouse.
For those who need more horsepower, an Ethernet connection and a bigger screen, should look elsewhere for their computing needs.
Hope this review helps, folks! ;-)
on April 3, 2014
I bought two of these and I hate them. I bought the first one and the screen cracked. It would be easily repairable, and I bought a replacement glass, but Acer designed it to assure that you can't replace the glass (glued on every side all the way around instead of locked in place by the plastic already there). By the way, the glass is paper thin.
I bought the second one because Costco has it for $299 and another $65 or so got me three years of run it over with a car warranty. Can't beat that price.
Then, with my 38 years of computer experience, I removed all the bloat-ware, and as the other reviewers wrote, the machine sped up to a crawl.
By the way, one extra strike against it, I could find no way to single or dual boot Linux, not Ubuntu or Mint, properly on the machine, even using a USB 3 flash drive like a hard drive. The graphics in the machine just wouldn't work right. That's a shame because unlike Windows 8, Linux would run fine on a slug like this computer.
I almost forgot to mention, just in case you didn't already know this, Windows 8 really sucks. If you are an expert though, you can fight Microsoft's efforts to replace every functional program you might run on Windows with an Android-style touch app that can't do anything. For example, how about a Skype that does let you change phone numbers of contacts? Microsoft's idea of touch-screen software is to provide programs with no interface. They think they've been beaten by the simplicity of Android and IPad, so they are trying to go one better in the dumbing down apps process.
First thing is first. Like virtually every other laptop sold these days, it came loaded with a bunch of Trialware and bloat that nobody really wants. The first thing I did after firing this thing up the first time was proceed to remove all of the stuff on here that I don't want. I know the companies try and do these things to create their own "unified experience", but to me, Windows itself does a fine enough job, so the first thing I do is remove all of this stuff. Here is a list of everything I removed from the laptop: Acer pictures, Acer media detector, Acer cloud docs, Acer Launch manager, Acer PowerManager, Acer Recovery management, Acer Cloud portal, Acer identity cloud, Acer live updater, Office 365 trial, McAfee Internet suite, Soluto, Norton online backup, Nero back it up, Spotify, & Wild Tangent Games. Now Spotify wasn't so bad, but in the scenarios I will be using this laptop, I won't need Spotify, so I let it go with all the other stuff that was preinstalled on here.
So that's the first thing to do. Uninstall all that stuff, and then spend a ton of time running Windows Update. To me, that's essential when starting with any new laptop. Once I got all that completed (which took awhile actually), I then proceeded to start working with the laptop.
As other reviewers have said, this is a lower end laptop, and to be perfectly honest, I can see where some people might have issues with this. But it is all down to what you expect to do with this laptop. Are you planning on trying to play big high end games on it? You're looking in the wrong place. Are you looking to to video production on this? Nope. What this laptop is is a lower end, basic laptop, that still manages to pack in a few good features that one would expect to find on higher end laptops. To me, the selling point was the touch screen.
The screen is quite nice, actually. It's an 11 inch monitor, so we're not talking one that half a dozen friends can watch at once, but for personal computing, it got the job done for me. I didn't think I'd be happy with an 11 inch screen, but I think the touchscreen compensates for that. That brings me to Windows 8. I've been a Windows 8 user on my desktop since it launched about a year ago. I don't have the issues that a lot of people do with Win8, I'm mostly a keyboard user, so it worked for me. However, on this laptop, the touch screen really makes Windows 8 shine. The touch screen makes the interface a lot different. In fact, since I've started using this laptop, I've not used the keyboard a whole lot. It's not like I'll be using this like a tablet, mind you, I have used the keyboard, but for the work and activities I've done, I've used almost exclusively the touch screen and the "Metro" interface, and I really like it here. A lot.
Here's a few comments on some of the usual bullet points people make about laptops.
1) Keyboard - It has a nice lighted keyboard, which was a surprise at this price point. It doesn't really add anything feature wise, but it's nice to look at.
2) It's lightweight, but doesn't feel "cheap". It does feel a bit like Acer attempting to "borrow" the feel of a 11 inch Macbook Air.
3) There is no CD/DVD drive in here. That too is not a surprise as most laptops are headed this way, given we're close to an all digital computing life anyway.
4) The screen. While it's true, the screen resolution isn't that great (1366x768), it doesn't seem to play that way when I look at it. It's got a nice look to my eyes.
5) Battery Life. Now this is probably the weakest point. The battery life is between 3 and 3.5 hours. A lot of new laptops have double that, so this is the weakest point. For me personally, though, this is replacing a laptop whose battery lasted at most 20 minutes from a full charge, so I'm quite happy with 3.5 hours. But I realize that's just ME. I know where some people would be upset with 3.5 hours. If that's a problem for you, then you might want to look elsewhere based solely on this issue.
6) This has USB 3.0 ports on it, but I can't test those, as the only USB 3.0 device I have is a portable hard drive that's always plugged into my desktop computer.
7) Power saver mode in Windows will affect the CPU rather noticeably. Which also could affect one's perception on how the laptop performs overall. If you plug it into the wall, then you can jack up the performance. But if you're on a battery, keep this in mind when thinking about it. Of course, you can always jack up the performance while on battery, but it will impact further the battery life issue.
8) Has 500Gb of HD space, and 6GB of ram. Oddly enough, a website scan from Crucial told me this laptop took up to 10Gb of ram at max, but the system specs said 8. So I'm not sure what the true total memory capacity is here.
9) Had some nice sound. I don't think we're talking Bose super speaker kind of sound here, but for a lower end laptop, it did well enough.
10) It has a webcam, which I'm told is not that great, but for webcam chats, do you really need 1080p video? Seriously?
11) There are no HDMI or Ethernet ports. But most people will use this wirelessly, which is probably why they opted to save a few bucks on the ports, I'd wager.
Bottom line: If you're looking for a touch screen laptop for basic computing, this will work for you. It's not a dog by any stretch, but you should go into this with proper expectations. This new laptop runs circles around the laptop it is replacing for me (an over decade old model), so I'm quite happy with it. It's not a screamer, but if you're not taxing it too excessively, it will get the job done. But understand what you're buying when you buy it. Don't expect performance like a $2000+ MacBook with Retina Display here.
For the price you pay for this, you get a decent value of features for the price. Again, if you need high end performance or big time gaming, this isn't your device, but it will get the job done for most average computer users.
on November 17, 2013
This machine is a beauty. It is exactly what I wanted -a small and quiet laptop with decent (6Gb) ram and HD (500Gb) memories, with back-lit keyboard and touch screen- so I couldn't believe when I saw those specifications in a laptop with such a great price (under U$500!). It was not a shot in the dark for me to buy it on-line because, I actually was already using a former version of an 11" Acer Aspire and despite being a much more basic version, I had been quite happy with it (I am replacing it mainly because the memory configurations of that model became limited for my needs).
I travel a fair amount of time, so having the portability of this 11' screen model is something I do value when I am on the road. I also prefer to have only one device that I can use for both as main computer and for carrying with me. The only limitation as a main computer would be the screen size, but this is not an issue because when it is sitting in the office I expand (note: expand, not duplicate!) its work area with a 21" external monitor, so I can enjoy plenty of desktop area to spread several windows of the programs I might be using (I actually usually take with me a VGA and HDMI cable in my bag, so I can use the TVs of the hotel room for the same purpose).
BUT be aware that this machine is tainted by the (completely unnecessary) addition of the windows 8 crap (sorry, I wouldn't be so rude with it if I had the choice of not paying for something I will not use and is so annoying to get rid of). It is well possible that your first experience with this laptop (or for the matter any computer with that OS) will be probably of clumsiness and confusion. But note that this is not the hardware's (or yours) fault, but of Acer's poor choice of the operational system. In case you want to keep Windows 8 I suggest at least to install one of those Start buttons available from third parties (some of them make you almost forget you are using windows 8. By the way, consider using the free OpenOffice - instead of the increasingly clumsier Microsoft Office).
But, on top of the interface madness of Windows 8 there is another glitch that was driving me nuts and not allowing me to get any work done: the computer was running very slow and continuously with a worrying full-speed fan noise. Then I realized that the culprit was the McCafee antivirus that comes pre-installed: that thing was taking from 50% to 100% of the CPU all the time. So I removed and I am using another antivirus - problem solved.