Customer Review

64 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the price, it is almost impossible to beat!, March 7, 2011
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This review is from: Acer Aspire TimelineX AS5820T-6401 15.6-Inch Laptop (Black Brushed Aluminum) (Personal Computers)
I was on a budget when shopping for my new laptop, and I did a lot of research. In the end, I went with this Acer. There were three primary aspects that sold me on this laptop, i5 CPU, slim profile brushed aluminum design, and 6000mAh rated battery.

Other features on this laptop are pretty common in the $630 price range. The screen is clear and vibrant. The actual hard drive space is 581GB with the operating system taking 30GB, so you are left with 551GB. This should be plenty more than enough for most users. These days, I almost never look at the hard drive capacity when purchasing a new computer. I think all of them have a hard drive that is big enough for me. What I care more is its clocked speed. This is not a gaming machine, so don't expect the laptop to play heavily 3D rendered games. It will play HD videos and casual games fine.

=====Battery Test=====
1). Default brightness and volume halfway, laptop gets around 4.5 hours for watching YouTube videos with no other application running in the background.
2). Default brightness and volume halfway, laptop also gets around 4.5 hours for browsing the web, chatting on an instant messenger, and playing music using Windows Media Player.
3). Brightness to its lowest but not turning off the screen and idling the laptop without any application running, it will last 10+ hours.

Overall the laptop does not achieve its claimed 8-hour limit under practical use. For most users, you will probably end up between 4 and 5 hours, but this is still better than 2-3 hours that you could get from other competitors in this price range.

########################################

Here I'm going to list the pro's and con's of this laptop that I think are relevant in the $630 price range.

=====Pro's=====
*** 2.66GHz Intel Core i5-480M dual-core processor (hard to find an i5 CPU in this price range)
*** 640GB SATA hard drive (more than most competitors in the same price range)
*** 1.3-megapixel HD webcam (some competitors are still using non-HD webcams)
*** 6000mAh rated battery (4400mAh rated battery from almost all other competitors in the same price range)
*** One of the thinnest 15.6" laptops currently available on the market (however, it is not thinner than the MacBook Pro as pointed out by other reviewers but only a fraction thicker)
*** Multi-Gesture (a convenient feature normally doesn't exist in this price range. To use the circular-motion, you must start your finger from the top right hand corner. This can also be accomplished by sliding with two fingers vertically.)

=====Con's=====
*** 1066MHz RAM (this is nowhere to be considered slow as most competitors and last generation of MacBook Pro are using RAMs clocked at this speed also, but some have upgraded to 1333MHz RAMs such as the Dell Inspiron)
*** No Bluetooth (personally I almost never use this, but this is no longer a premium feature)
*** Keyboard (not a major issue but typing on this keyboard feels a bit awkward. If you are a fast and heavy typist, you might not like this.)

########################################

Apple has been setting benchmark on many things. The hardware specs on their 2011 MacBook Pros will likely to set the benchmark for upcoming PCs as well. Here, I am going to compare the hardware specs between this Acer and the 2011 base 13.3" MacBook Pro priced at $1,199.

* CPU: Acer's processor is slightly faster.
>>> Acer: 2.66GHz Intel Core i5-480M dual-core processor (2.93GHz with Turbo Boost)
>>> MacBook Pro: 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-2410M dual-core processor (2.9GHz with Turbo Boost)

* GPU: MacBook Pro has the second generation of Intel GPU whereas Acer is using the first generation of Intel GPU.
>>> Acer: Intel HD Graphics with 128MB of dedicated system memory
>>> MacBook Pro: Intel HD Graphics 3000 with 384MB of shared system memory

* RAM: Both have the same capacity, but MacBook Pro's is clocked faster.
>>> Acer: 4GB of 1066MHz DDR3 RAM
>>> MacBook Pro: 4GB of 1333MHz DDR3 RAM

* Hard drive: Both are clocked at the same speed, but Acer doubled the amount of capacity.
>>> Acer: 640GB 5400-rpm SATA hard drive
>>> MacBook Pro: 320GB 5400-rpm SATA hard drive

* Battery: Acer actually has a stronger battery, but MacBook Pro has a more energy efficient OS and a smaller screen, so real life battery test can still favor the MacBook Pro.
>>> Acer: 6000mAh rated battery
>>> MacBook Pro: 5800mAh rated battery

Overall I think the Acer stacks up against the 2011 base 13.3" MacBook Pro very well in terms of hardware specs. For almost half the price, this Acer is a bargain. If you are not loyal to any brand, on a budget, and want a fast and long lasting 15" laptop, this is one of the best options out there. If you are waiting for the price drop of Intel second generation of Core processors, don't bother. There really aren't that many changes between the first and second generations of Intel Core processors. It could also take several months before we would see the price drop. I would recommend picking this up before it's gone.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 17, 2011 11:16:36 PM PDT
I've had this laptop for two days now and I've experienced the same freezing with the fan going into overdrive twice--once each day. I find this disturbing, and will contact Acer tomorrow.

The touch pad sometimes doesn't move the cursor and it seems that the last two freezes happened when using the touch pad. Also, the speakers are underpowered, but that is to be expected from this price range.

Posted on Mar 18, 2011 12:43:23 PM PDT
Please see my review. I had this same issue and returned the laptop and get a new one. The new one does not have this issue so far (abt 2 weeks now).

When i contacted ACER before returning the laptop they had me install a bios update. I think it is 1.19 (the description of the bios update says something related to this). you need to go to support.acer.kom

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 18, 2011 5:49:06 PM PDT
K. M. Yang says:
I had Amazon replaced me a new one, and I've been using it for a week now. So far it is problem free, but I will continue to observe on this issue. As for the touch pad, it seems to be very sensitive, try to use soft gestures. Hope this helps.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 18, 2011 5:53:14 PM PDT
K. M. Yang says:
Thanks for letting me know I'm not the only person with this issue. Amazon sent me a replacement also. It is problem free during this first week of usage, but I will continue to observe on this.

Posted on Mar 18, 2011 10:42:56 PM PDT
This also just happened to me. I just got the laptop 2 days ago and was bummed when freezed up. Then it happenend again and again. Can't move arrow from the start at the sign in with password page. I called Acer they set it back to factory default, but it still did it. They said to send back and they would fix it for free. I said NO Way I just bought this and I want a new one. Amazon was great - sending out a new one- should be here by Monday or Tuesday. Praying it will be a good one! I don't want to go through this anymore. Huge decision to get this and get the money for it.

Posted on Apr 11, 2011 9:58:09 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 11, 2011 10:56:12 PM PDT
I sent mine back after 14 freezes. This one has worked perfectly except for the fact that it will only sometimes register my SD card slot. Right now I'm looking for a fix as I use the SD card slot for ReadyBoost or in other words to add RAM via SD Card.

If you by this laptop make sure to go to Acer's Website and under support find this model (5820T-6401) and update your BIOS. They fixed the freezing problem.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 12, 2011 1:41:13 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 12, 2011 5:00:17 PM PDT
K. M. Yang says:
I'm not sure what you mean by registering your SD card slot. During my usage of the laptop up to this point, everything seemed to be fine expect for a sometime issue with the wireless adapter.

I have my router set up in the room next door. I get drop internet connection sometimes whereas my other devices stay on. However, if I re-position the laptop, problem solved. I'm not sure if there is any interference between the network adapter in this laptop and my router. I experimented with my old Toshiba laptop, and this issue did not exist.

Again, this only comes up from time to time. Just wondering if you have encountered the same thing. If you're using wired connection, this won't apply to you.

Posted on Apr 23, 2011 5:57:58 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 23, 2011 5:59:48 AM PDT
Michael Hsiu says:
You are incorrect about the Acer having a faster processor (Intel Core i5-480M) to the Macbook Pro's processor (Intel Core i5-2410M). While the numbers may seem higher on the Acer's in terms of clock speed, you are comparing two different generations of Intel CPUs. The 480M is first generation, while the 2410M is second generation (Sandy Bridge micro architecture). Benchmarks from Passmark have averaged a value of 2767 for the 480M and 3304 for the 2410M. Doesn't seem like a huge difference in terms of performance, but the 2410M is faster.
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