on November 5, 2013
So far this laptop does it's job well. The keyboard is nice, but can be overly sensitive; causing double keystrokes, etc. The power button is on the side, and can be hit during normal use; wish it was on the keyboard area. The battery life is nowhere near 8 hours with normal use, and typically gets around 4-5 hours under normal use (low brightness, sound off, etc.). That being said, the display is fantastic, the sound quality is good, it boots on in seconds, it never gets too hot, the build quality is solid, and it doesn't feel too heavy. Although the speakers are good, they are also downward facing, so sound can get muffled. Finally, this laptop is great for GIS, CAD, and other graphic intensive applications; I wouldn't choose it for gaming though.
The brightness function keys are backwards. e.g. the increase brightness pictogram corresponds to decrease brightness. It's a minor annoyance, but when I brought it to the attention of Acer, they were fairly indifferent about it, so I decreased my overall rating.
A bit more on gaming. So far the laptop can handle civilization 5, L4D2, etc. just fine. I don't have any newer games to test it with as of yet. The V7 is supposed to intelligently select what GPU to use, which is a plus, but can be an annoyance too; thankfully, you can manually select the GPU you want to use after enabling a context menu setting. On battery, you're looking at 2 hours of game time with the dedicated GPU, and 4ish with the integrated GPU. The laptop doesn't get too hot, but might overheat in the middle of summer. After gaming the keyboard will get warm, but shouldn't hinder you. After you're done gaming for a few hours, the laptop will cool down to idle temps in about 1-2 min.
This page should give you an idea of what the dedicated GPU can do:
In less than 6 mo this laptop has developed a group of dead pixels.
After a little over a year (425 days), the keyboard has begun to fail.
on November 26, 2013
It's a good laptop for the price so far, it is hard to find an IPS screen @ 1080p under 1000 on any laptop. Decent processor, does what I need it to do, dedicated card for some mild gaming.
Just came from a 2k Dell machine with a QHD screen that had enough issues for me to return, and I am pleasantly surprised with this one. Hasn't had the touchpad patterns that I noticed on the Dell (different hardware).
Although I read some bad things on Acer build quality (it does feel a bit more plasticy than the Dell and Apple offerings at 2-3x the price) I am also pleasantly surprised there as well, it feels decent.
Pros - Nice screen, not QHD but then you get to skip some of the HiDPI problems in software too if you run native.
-good bit of ram and upgradeable to 12gb
-upgradeable hard drive
-Personally I prefer the 14" screen size over others
- No AC wireless in it
- Wish the Touchpad was a bit more centered
- Wish the touchpad gestures were more configurable to what they do.. haven't looked into it too much though
- hard drive is a slow 5400rpm, probably replace with a hybrid.
- heavy for the size 4.4lbs is the same weight as some 15s, needs to be more ~< 4lbs but I would take the weight if it had a bit bigger battery in it.
I'll check back in after having had it for a while, these were just some of the initial findings I had. I can also post some HWinfo when doing Prime95 and FurMark if anyone wants to look at the max load temps. Had read it was high, but didn't really notice it.
Just updated the new bios last night, so will re run those and see if anything drastically changed.
Update 12/2/2013 : Used the laptop over the holidays to do some photo editing using Lightroom and Photoshop, worked awesomely. The speakers are super loud as well. I don't really judge laptops on sound quality (not rich enough), but do judge them on being able to hear in a loud environment, and these easily are the loudest laptop speakers I have ever heard.
Still happy with the purchase so far, which is rare for me.
Also I happened to have a 30" QHD Dell monitor with display port available, and tried that "special" Acer port on the back. Yeah it is display port. Was able to drive the full 2880x1600 of the monitor. Not sure why Acer doesn't claim it's a displayport. Upping my stars to 5 now, knowing that it has a display port. I am guessing they just don't have it fully certified, reason they don't want to claim it. Although they do ship you a Displayport to VGA cable.
Update 12/21/2013: Having had it a little while now, I seem to have a problem installing Vmware Player on it, installs but never works. Makes me wonder if it is the cache causing the problem, had a problem on my desktop when I had an SSD and had moved my Users directory to a regular HDD. When I changed that all to be to the SSD, it started working again. So makes me wonder if something with the way caching works causes this problem or just a fluke.
Also if you play a game for a while, the keyboard does get uncomfortably warm, but not hot enough to burn you. I didn't have it on my lap at the time, just on a desk. Didn't notice any throttling though, so that is good.
Update 3/10/204: The laptop has been fine, until the other night. Won't even get past Acer Splash screen anymore. Looks like a major hardware issue, going through warranty process now. Removing 2 stars due to defect.. depending on warranty service from ACER it may go up 1 star or down 1 more star. Wouldn't recommend it to a friend anymore. I know that getting a bad one is sometimes par for the course with electronics, but I baby my stuff. My old 6 year old Sony is still working. Had it been something like a hard drive, I wouldn't even change the rating, but motherboard issues worry me.
Update 3/20/2014: Took me a bit to send it in, had to of course pay for warranty shipping. Acer got it March 12, completed repair on March 14 and shipped, Box delivered on March 18th.(weekend in there). Replaced the Hard drive, and had to change out the USB and power button board on the motherboard. Bumped them up 1 star on the repair, seemed pretty quick to me. Although the computer came back a bit dirtier than I sent it out. Although I am a bit peeved that it broke in the first place, and this was my first Acer product ever, I understand electronics will have issues. I am still happy with the total package of the laptop, I even hooked the mini display port up to 2 high res monitors that were daisy chained last night and got 3 completely independent screens out of them (laptop @ 1920x1080, monitor 1 2560x1440, monitor 2 2560x1440). There was a big sale on 27" 2560 x 1440 monitors, also Acer brand while my laptop was out at service.. so I bought them. Have done a bit of Diablo 3 gaming on it, and am Happy, as well as running Virtual Machines on it.. oh which for some reason I can't get VMware to run, but virtual box ran fine out of the gate. Have had this problem on other pcs with Vmware before, so wonder if it has to do with the cache.
on December 6, 2013
My last laptop was a white macbook 2008, so that's what I'm coming from. All in all, I really like the decision I made on this laptop. It's as thin, but not as light, as an ultrabook. Weight seems indistinguishable from the macbook I had.
I chose this laptop because I needed one, and I also wanted it to be capable of playing games, but I really wanted the profile of an ultrabook. This had the best feature set I could find. Really hard to find a discrete graphics card, backlit keyboard and an IPS screen in one ultrabook. I paid $849, and based on the research I did - I feel it was the best I could do. The closest other option I had found was an HP envy 14" with upgrades, and that was $1099 with a better processor, but worse graphics card and screen.
Games run smoothly on it, but it does get very hot on the piece of metal right underneath the screen. Would cook your giblets if you were playing games on your lap. So keep that in mind.
Screen is gorgeous. very close (to what I can visually discern) to a retina display, even though the retina display has a much better pixel density and resolution. There is def. a diminishing return on resolution and for a 14" screen, 1920x1080 is incredibly dense from 24-30 inches away. When reading small text I can't see individual pixels and they arent pixelated - from that point on a better resolution is superfluous in my opinion and can actually hurt performance since more pixels means more processor work. You will see bad light bleed when starting the system up, but that's the only I ever saw it. Other times a black screen was up, i didnt see it all.
Build quality is very good, but doesnt compare to an ENVY, any Samsung, or an Apple. In other words, you wont be blown away or disappointed. Not the best touch pad or keyboard, but like the build quality: you wont be blown away or disappointed. solid 7/10 on all that stuff. Power chord is generic mid-90's looking chord. That's the biggest disappointment really, because I got used to a magnetic trip-proof apple chord :(
One thing the discription was really vague about which adds a ton of value to this: This has a 24GB SSD installed too! It's for caching only, and you wont see it under "my computer", but you will see it in the device manager. I checked because boot times seemed really, really fast and I knew that couldnt be if it was just a measily 5400 RPM (which I was going to replace until I knew it essentially had a hybrid-esque setup).
Hope that helps! I'll answer any questions you might have, just let me know. I'm fairly nerdy on tech stuff.
on December 18, 2013
-Well balanced hardware selection.
-Beautiful 1080p display with excellent viewing angles, good contrast ratio, and good brightness. (Mine has no light bleed)
-Good battery life, 5-6 hours doing a little bit of everything. (Besides gaming)
-Looks sleek and build quality is solid.
-Pretty snappy despite the HDD, it also includes a 24G mSata ssd configured for caching which can be upgraded to a primary disk drive to really up the performance speed.
-Pretty nice speakers that are capable of fairly high volumes; the included dolby software is also a nice feature.
-Trackpad can be glitchy at times, It often highlights everything when using two-finger scroll feature. It does its job fine otherwise.
-Comes pre-loaded with a ton of bloatware you'll want to get rid off. Initially, It had well over 100 processes constantly running. Ram usage was over 70% and CPU was always fluctuating between 5 and 30 percent. After cleaning house, everything is much better.
-Below average keyboard quality (not quite enough travel), though not unbearable as some make it out to be.
-Webcam isn't very high quality and will struggle in low light situations. Does fine other than that.
Overall, this laptop has a premium feel to it with a few obvious exceptions where Acer tried to save: The trackpad, keyboard, and webcam. None of these things are all that bad really, but they stick out when compared to the rest of the package. Not surprising really when you consider the price though. This laptop is perfect for the kind of person who does a little bit of everything on the go, and wants a sleek package to be able to deliver the necessary performance. Finding a full HD touchscreen laptop that has a decent discrete graphics card and good battery life in an "ultrabook" package is very difficult, nigh impossible in the 14" category - especially at this price range. SSD storage would have been nice but again would be very difficult to offer at the price Acer is asking so I cant really mark that as a con. It is pretty easy to upgrade the mSata to a larger size and configure it to operate as a primary drive.
The included hardware is really well balanced: The core i5 4200u haswell processor is a good match and is plenty powerful for just about anything you would need. The Nvidia gt750m card is decent and will work fine for casual gamers, wish it was the DDR5 version though. Nevertheless, It should be able to handle 1080p resolution for many games that were released before the end of 2011. Beyond that, and you may have to drop to 1366x768 resolution and mess with some other settings to play certain games, but honestly 1366x768 still looks pretty good on a 14 inch screen in my opinion. If you really want the best gaming experience, your probably better off just building your own desktop since even gaming laptops have some unfortunate drawbacks. Highlight of the laptop is definitely the screen, which really looks great and the touch functions work very well. Viewing angles are great. Only drawback is that IPS panels tend to have light bleeding problems, though mine does not seem to have this issue. With this setup, the laptop is fairly capable at delivering power when needed, and being very efficient during less-demanding tasks, allowing it to offer a decent battery life.
Other things to note:
-Power button is on the side of the laptop and is easy to accidentally hit. It can be customized to do nothing if need be.
-The laptop is very quiet, pretty much inaudible except under load, and even then is pretty reasonable.
-Performance is limited when operating on battery, even when laptop is set to performance mode. Really only noticeable in gaming. Might be a way to work around this though.
-Keyboard is backlit with a soft white color that has a bluish hue. Looks great, however there is only one brightness setting.
-Laptop gets pretty warm when gaming, though not unreasonable.
-The BIOS is very primitive, and doesn't allow you to adjust very much.
-The chassis is all plastic, but has a "brushed metal" finish that is very convincing.
-The keys that change screen brightness show the opposite icon of what they do but are in the right place.
-There are 3 oddly placed USB ports, one on each side besides the front. Only the one at the back is 3.0
-The simulated surround sound from the speakers and Dolby software is actually decent.
-Keyboard will flex if heavy pressure is applied but is absent in normal use.
Acer really nailed it with this one, and while it is not perfect you are certainly getting a lot for what you pay. Itis a very unique offering and is kind of a "jack of all trades" laptop. It's feature-packed and makes minimal compromises, and does so at a very competitive price. With such a classy design and beautiful full HD touch IPS panel I'm rather surprised that this isn't more popular. I gave it 5 stars as a relative and subjective rating, and highly recommend it. If you want a fairly compact laptop that can do a little bit of everything without running out of juice on you, this one should be on the list. Acer also offers an i7 version with a 1tb hard drive (482pg-9884), but the price increase doesn't really justify it in my opinion, since you have to buy direct from them. If there is anything that you are curious about just comment and I'll answer what I can.
on December 2, 2013
A well balanced laptop. Not great at anything but makes the right compromises.
Discrete graphics card (plays most modern games at medium settings)
Good sound (for a laptop)
Battery life of 6 hours (most laptops with discrete graphics cards are more like 2-4 hours)
keyboard (chiclet like)
speed (again not the fastest but good enough)
1080 IPS screen (screen is beautiful but see below)
mSata drive slot (comes with 24 GB cache drive)
slow hard drive (I added a mSata drive so it doesn't bother me)
backlight bleeding ( it appears this model has some bleed issues. After calibrating the screen using windows 8.1, it was only visible on black screens in a dark rooms, otherwise the screen is gorgeous)
touchpad (not great, but not bad either)
runs hot just above the keyboard when playing games (internal temps are normal though)
Bios is very rudimentary
Some flex in the lid and keyboard (didn't bother me though)
There really isn't a comparable laptop out there that provides a balance of long battery life, nice screen, and discrete graphics. Other comparable laptops make compromises in weight, price, components that take from their functionality. For example, Razorblade is too expensive, doesn't have a touch screen, runs hot, and the battery life is questionable. The clevo W230st doesn't have good battery life, no touch screen. It seems to be the best current set of compromises.
Again not great at anything, but good at most makes it an exceptional buy.
on December 27, 2013
The display had what appeared to be a "smudge" running left and right across the very bottom of the screen - it was like you took a fingertip, dipped it in gray paint, stuck your finger on the right side of the display and moved it to the left. Sent the laptop in to service (after the usual *painful* exchange with the English as a second language tech help line person) and the Temple, Texas service center quickly turned it around (less than a week!) Problem was a bad display! Wow! Hopefully this one will last longer than six months.
Keyboard with the chiclet keys are fine, I'm completely used to the touch and they work well. Gesturing with the touch-pad is inconsistent and I don't know if that's an Acer hardware/BIOS issue, a Win8 issue or a little of both. Since I use a mouse 99.9% of the time, this isn't a big deal for me.
The bright, sharp display continues to amaze and delight - it really makes the entire PC experience.
WiFi connectivity has been rock-solid, zero problems or issues.
I did Windows Performance (Experience) Test - the results:
Processor - Intel Core i5-4200 CPU @ 1.6 Ghz >> 6.9
Memory - 8.0 Gb >> 7.5
Graphics - Intel HD Graphics Family >> 5.6
Gaming graphics - 1792 total available graphics memory >> 6.4
Primary hard disk - 405 Gb free (448 Gb total) >> 5.9
>>>> OVERALL SCORE: 5.6 <<<
--------------end of update--------------------------------
My Toshiba Satellite Pro was an ancient five years old and getting a little cranky so I thought this would be a good time to take advantage of the holiday season deals and go laptop shopping. About me - my PC experience goes back to the 1970s when my first "real" PC was a Radio Shack TRS-80.
My requirements were:
- Screen size of under 15"
- Resolution of 1920x1080 (full HD)
- Intel i5 or i7 CPU
- Adequate HDD size (or SDD)
- Good battery life (> 4 hours)
- NOT a Chromebook
- Good reviews
- Prefer buying from Amazon, but not a firm requirement
- The here's the difficult requirement - cost of under $1000
After literally spending probably 30 hours of on-line research time, I jumped on this Acer product being somewhat amazed that I found a product that met every one of my firm requirements. I discovered that finding a laptop under $1k with that met my requirements AND a 1080p display was almost impossible. I liked the Lenovo Yoga Pro2 but I could not configure it with my requirements for under $1k. If you have a budget of $1500 and up, the possibilities are many.
As the title says, the display is stunning - the whites are a bright white, the blacks are some of the deepest blacks I have ever seen (and I have a $500 Samsung monitor for my desktop computer), the sharpness is quite good and the viewing angle is the widest of any display I have ever seen (or own.) A minor negative is the glossy screen that of course reflects everything around but that's an attribute of any glossy screen.
The hands-on experience is excellent. The CPU/HDD/RAM/SDD combination makes for a very fast machine. I was a little concerned that the SATA HDD might drag down the overall user experience and that I might need to replace it with an SDD drive, but at this point, I don't think that will be necessary.
The "chicklet" style of keyboard (very nicely back-lit by the way) on this Acer is fine for my use. The keys have a decent feel, travel, and spacing to them and there are *none* of the issues of duplicate letters on a key stroke as reported with other Acer products. As far as the touchpad being off-center, that has not been an issue with me.
Speaking of the touchpad, I like it - it's accurate and the left/right "mouse" clicks are integrated mechanically into the touchpad, you simply depress in the lower left/right of the pad for the feature. What is driving me crazy (but not Acer's fault) is being Windows 8 (or 8.1) is that touchpad gestures while in desktop mode will sometimes activate the right side Metro fly-out from the right side of the display. Life is much easier if you use a mouse.
I was a little concerned about WiFi issues as reported on other Acer products but the WiFi in this laptop has been very reliable - it has never dropped a connection to my router. The WiFi is at least as sensitive (good range) as my old Satellite Pro which had an excellent radio. There was one issue with WiFi/Bluetooth when coming out of hibernation - the drivers "disappeared", I had to reboot to get that working again. Not sure what the deal is with that.
Fit and finish is overall quite good. One minor niggle is the relatively sharp edge around the perimeter of the display - this is mainly an observation and not a complaint. Others have mentioned the odd/unusual placement of the power button on the side of the base being a problem or issue but I can't imagine why it would present a problem. So it's on the side and not the top - big deal.
Battery life - I haven't done any specific testing with this but it does appear the laptop will easily meet my 4+ hour run requirement.
As others have mentioned, the webcam performance in low light isn't very good, with good lighting it's okay. Not great but okay. An excellent webcam was not one of my requirements, so this isn't a big deal to me. If I ever need a better webcam, I'll buy an external one.
So far I am *completely* satisfied with this product and quite pleased with my selection - it has 100% met all of my requirements. I would recommend this to a friend without hesitation assuming they wouldn't need to be banging on the keyboard for eight hours a day - in this situation you might want to consider a laptop with more of a conventional keyboard (dished keys with longer travel.) My use is primarily browsing and some email, so the keyboard works quite nicely for me, this review was typed on this Acer and I had no keyboard problems.
on November 20, 2013
great size and price for the performance and quality. Theres a bright patch in the bottom right corner of the screen. Fortunately its only noticeable when the screen is backlit but blank (black). Cant see it in full color. 4.5/5 only because of this. Otherwise it would be a 5. Ill update when I get a chance to test the battery to see how it holds up to a claim of 8 hours
on April 22, 2014
I want to give a thorough review, but I am pressed for time and a few beers deep, so I will come back and edit at a later date.
I am writing this from my second V7-482PG---not by choice. The first one seemed to have a case of amnesia. It would forget my settings, reboot/turn off on its own, forget its Windows activation, but the biggest minor problem for me was it would lose its secure channel to my domain controller---meaning I could not log in. If I tried logging in locally, I would get a popup that said "Please wait---" that would not go away for hours... apparently this is a common problem for Windows 8.1 when it attempts to set up OneDrive for the first time (unsolicited, of course! Thanks MS!). Then came the major problem: After a force restart, Windows could not boot. I tried using the Repair USB flash drive that the Acer app prompted me to create on first boot, but even that would not fix it (which is at root Microsoft's issue----however, Acer should have included a better solution to factory restore the laptop---how about a 16GB flash drive with everything formatted correctly in GPT so it JUST WORKS with the BIOS's default settings? It makes me wonder if they even bothered testing their "factory restore" method before shipping it out). Under normal circumstances I would fuddle around and get the laptop working, but it was only a week old and already giving me these errors. I sent it back for a replacement. But I digress... let me sum up my digression with the statement that Windows 8 and 8.1 are awful... more awful than Vista... think Windows Me awful)
OK, the screen is nice. The pixel density is great, but you have to remember to turn the size down to the smallest option to prevent Windows's High DPI scaling mode---it doesnt work very well, even in its own apps, and makes everything look pixelated (again, MS fault----consider this before buying a 4k laptop). Bright is BRIGHT, even dim is bright... I wish there was a way to make it dimmer, especially while sitting in bed. However, there seem to be two different versions of the screen. You can tell when the screen is off the border between the bezel and the LCD panel is less pronounced on the better of the two screens (the better one looks seamless). What makes this screen better? On my replacement's screen, there is ghosting when going from one image to the other. It is particularly noticeable at the login screen --- which should be a solid blue, but you can see outlines of the previous images before you locked the computer... but this is just speculation, I did not open either up to determine if they actually changed panels mid production. Other than both are very nice... bright, good color, just nice. I just hope the ghosting issue does not get worse.
Next on my list (in order of importance) is crapware, aka "Bundled Software." There are a few apps from Acer to manage power profiles and, like I mentioned, a backup app that just links you to the Windows Backup utility. There is some kind of antivirus (McAfee? I don't know) software included that was easy enough to remove and did not seem to leave any gaping holes in the system when it was gone. There is a trial of Office, Nero BackItUp, a video player, and two picture editors. They all uninstall relatively cleanly in less than an hour (I say this because antivirus uninstalls often leave your network settings and drivers in shambles)
Battery lasts about 6 hours while surfing on WiFi with 70% brightness or so. Unlike a lot of other ultrabooks, this one includes an ethernet port (one of the major reasons I bought it over sexier laptops). The system is pretty fast, but it only feels a tad bit faster than the three year old Core i3 laptop that this replaced. The video card (another reason I bought this laptop---not many ultrabooks with real GPUs) can run Stick of Truth, CS:GO, and CS:S at full resolution (80% maxed out settings for GO; sorry, I don't game much, CS:S is the only thing I play and the only reason I wanted a real GPU). The touchpads are definitely faulty on both laptops I used. When plugged into AC power, the pad behaves erratically unless you have sufficient contact with the laptop to keep yourself grounded with respect to the laptop. A wrist or two does the job. The keyboard is a keyboard (I'm not a fan of the chicklet style boards, but alas I am in the minority) and the backlighting works well (wish there was a way to dim it though!) and is more or less evenly lit. The position of the power button takes getting used to---you will accidentally turn off your computer at least twice in the first weeks of ownership. The build quality is OK... it feel sturdy, the hinges are a good degree of stiff. The only complaint is that they polished the front of the laptop but did not enforce strict controls on the flatness of this surface..,it gives reflections something like a funhouse mirror image.
Overall, I'm satisfied. I could not find a better deal for the money spent... even when I was considering replacing it with a different machine, this was the one I came back to. I wanted a laptop that could do everything for less than 1000 dollars, and this can... just not perfectly.
on June 19, 2014
The best IPS screen, super clear. AMAZING sound, better than any PC I've heard. Blazing fast with the on-board SSD cache (which is all but invisible to you.) Go read the positive reviews - there are many, and get yours soon.
Yes it's true, you will accidentally hit the power switch which is on the side, but you'll learn not to. I wish it had two 3.0 USB ports where the two 2.0 ports are, but I'm OK with just one 3.0 port on the back. There are minor design improvements that could be made, but it's pretty awesome.
Clone your stock 500GB drive to a 1TB **7 MM** size drive and you'll be set. Oh, and for the V7 vs, the V5, get the V7. The slightly rubberized bottom of the case is nice! The other differences, worth it. Also, the NVIDIA processor -- get it. It means this -- you get the on board graphics processor, AND the NVIDIA, and the software is built in to allow you choose which processor to use when you launch an application. The on board GPU is really fast for all general use (even graphics) but even faster when I get into more extensive photo editing.
on March 1, 2014
Hardware wise Acer mostly made the right choices, barring the weird layout of ports all over the place, of which only major fault was placing one of the usb ports too close to dc-power in and the terrible placing of the power button on the side, instead of on top of the keyboard.
The rest of the build is solid and wise, the screen is great if a bit on the reflective side, the keyboard is good, the msata+hdd combo is fast and can be made faster, the ram is plenty and I can add more, the cpu and the gpu are good enough for most things I could possibly want to do, and the touchpad I was able to make work fine.
And that's where the problems beging with the laptop, I had to battle with the software to end with a working machine. The screen would randomly start registering a storm of ghost touches and though the drivers and bios were updated to the latest versions the problem was only slighty corrected, a quick google search revealed this was not a so uncommon problem and that the solution was disabling the touch capabilities.
Another problem with the screen was that it's to high a dpi for windows to handle, though windows will upscale things in an effort to give show me things just the right size, and the results are great for windows 8 apps, all the rest looks wrong and blurry. So I had to settle with tiny but readable text, tiny but good looking images, unlike OsX and Android apps, Windows apps are not built for high dpi screens and the result is horrible.
Finally, the other problem I had was with the touchpad, some of the functionality was disabled in the latest acer driver and scrolling would jarringly jump to the top, sometimes. There's an updated synaptics driver that fixes all of this but I had to disable signature verification of drivers because the morons at synaptics forgot to sign their drivers and haven't been bothered to do it since last year, alas my touchpad now works great.
So in conclusion it's good hardware at a great price but microsoft, apps and driver developers need to work on their end for this whole package to be great.