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Showing 1-10 of 54 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 65 reviews
on October 23, 2011
I'm a photojournalist who looked long and hard to find a new laptop. I need a computer I can leave in the car trunk or carry in a fanny pack while shooting assignments, so it has to be tough, compact and powerful. The Acer Aspire TimelineX AS1830T-68U118 solved the problem of cramming near-desktop power into a Netbook-sized package. I've only had it for a few weeks, but here are my impressions:

EXTERIOR:

1. Not as pretty as a Macbook Air, but what is? It also costs less.
2. The tough exterior has a nice texture that is easy to grip and shrugs off fingerprints. The Acer power brick weighs just seven ounces; half the size and weight of my old laptop brick.
3. The 11.6" glossy screen looks great so long as you view it "on axis." The Acer runs at 1366 by 768, 32 bit, 60 Hertz. The 128 MB dedicated video memory is a bottleneck if you are a gamer or want to do video editing. I watched a movie using an external DVD player with no problem, though. The frame contains a fixed user-facing web cam and mike.
4. Unlike the MacBook Air, the compact TimeLineX AS1830T is loaded with three USB 2.0 ports, a HDMI port, and an old-style VGA monitor socket! The built-in multi-card reader will take SD cards, but not CF cards.
5. There is no built-in optical drive. No PCMCIA slot.
6. People complain about the touch pad; they're right. I forgot my mouse one day and it was marginally less painful than smashing my forehead against the keyboard until I pass out. NOTE: I uninstalled the Alps touchpad software and it actually works better.

UNDER THE HOOD:

1. Computers this size rarely contain the powerful i7-680UM processor. It easily runs high-end programs under Win 7 64-bit Home Premium with Service Pack 1. Bloatware wasn't too bad.
2. It comes with 4 GB of DDR3 RAM. I bumped this up to 8 gigabytes, but honestly, I couldn't see much difference. It's just that RAM is so cheap!
3. It has WiFi, Bluetooth and Ethernet connectivity. I haven't used the Bluetooth, so can't say much about it. On field assignments with no WiFi access I've transmitted photos to clients though my Android cellphone using two methods: as a WiFi hotspot and using PdaNet with a USB tether. Easy--no issues.
4. This Acer contains a roomy 500 GB hard drive. Curiously, they chose a slower 5400 RPM HD, though it seems plenty fast. I assume they opted for it to maximize battery life.

5. Which highlights the TimelineX AS1830T remarkable battery life. I spent the first day continuously loading software, updates, rebooting, testing and interfacing my programs. Even with the WiFi on and the screen at maximum brightness, the Acer still had a few gasps of power after five solid hours of heavy lifting. Sweet!

IN USE:

1. The boot time to the first Windows musical tone is 55 seconds. Much slower than a MacBook Air's SSD boot time. (Read the "SSD UPDATE" at the end of this review, though.)
2. The Aspire TimelineX AS1830T easily runs the full-on Photoshop CS6 64-bit, PhotoMechanic, Firefox and other programs simultaneously. Massive Canon 5DII RAW files load in CS6 in about six seconds. Not as good as my desktop, but excellent for field work.

BOTTOM LINE:

The TimelineX is powerful, small and affordable with remarkable battery life. As an added bonus, Acer designed this machine for easy user upgrades:

----------SSD UPDATE----------

Some users turn their TimelineX into an Ultrabook by swapping out the hard drive for a rugged, ultra-fast solid state hard drive (SSD). Both the RAM and the hard drive are easily accessible under a single clearly-marked panel attached with five standard Phillips screws.

I installed both a Crucial 256 GB m4 SSD and 8 GB of RAM in this Acer Aspire TimelineX. Holy smokes, what an easy and worthwhile upgrade! Boot time is now just 30 seconds, but the big news was Photoshop CS6. It performs heavy duty image processing in 1/2 to 1/3 the time! Battery life is extended, it runs cooler and quieter, and the laptop is more shock resistant. It now compares to my very powerful desktop computer and is STILL cheaper than a MacBook Air. If you can afford this upgrade, do it! I turned the original 500 GB hard drive into an external hard drive with a Vantec NexStar TX 2.5-Inch SATA to USB 2.0 External Hard Drive Enclosure for about ten bucks.

I posted a video on cloning and installing the SSD and RAM into this laptop. This was my first cloning/replacement/upgrade and it was a piece of cake.

By the way, there is a higher quality You Tube post available that Amazon won't let me link. Search "How to install a SSD into a TimelineX laptop" on You Tube. Beware--the audio kinda sux. I bought a good mike after I shot this.
--------------------------------

UPDATE: I've been using this souped-up laptop for over a year now and have been very pleased with my purchase. Small and powerful, it really kicks bootie! Absolutely no issues. There are some neat new ultrabooks out there now, so do your homework. But even the best will have a hard time beating this machine.
22 comments| 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 6, 2011
I just purchased this laptop as a portable solution to my Dell Studio, and i have to say that this is the first laptop that i have ever purchased, and as an IT professional I purchase quite a few, that has exceeded all expectations! I often work with demanding applications such as Adobe Premier CS5, Autodesk 3DS Max 2010, and Maya, and have to say that this machine is able to run them without any issues. Now im not saying this is a replacement for a desktop powerhouse system for heavy graphics editing and such but it is nice to have a small portable rig capable of opening these files and making modifications on the go. Now unsurprisingly this machine only rates a Windows Experience Index of 3.5 due solely to the fact there is no dedicated graphics card, but come on, if your seriously purchasing this with hopes of gaming in mind chances are your not even doing enough research to even be reading this review. But any way more about the product; upon first glance when taking this machine out of its box, and i say machine because i dare not call a system this powerful a "netbook", is "Wow, an i7 in this? Really?". Well lets get one thing straight, iX is a technology, not a specific model series of processors, but it does pack one heck of a surprising punch for a machine this size. As stated above I can easily run some of todays most demanding apps without any problems, and the 4GB of DDR3 RAM is quite handy! And for once, a battery life as advertised! with radios off and screen dimmed but still easily readable i got a 7+ hour life while doing normal operations such as email and word processing. Now obviously battery life drops when you do more demanding tasks, so as a comparison I am currently writing this review from this laptop with WiFi ON, music playing, screen brightness all the way up, and installing a game in the background and my battery life is just above 5 hrs!!! Now how many systems can claim that! Some people have made a couple small comments about a small amount of flex in the keyboard, and it is true, the keyboard does flex maybe a mm or so, but it is not noticeable unless looking at the kb whilst typing, otherwise i find the response and feedback of the keyboard pleasantly comfortable, and the layout is great and you should have no issues typing on it as the dimensions are very close to a full keyboards dimensions with the exception of a few keys such as arrows, but you can get used to that.

Overall I must say that this machine is well worth the money and having now used it, I would have happily paid a hundred or two more for it!
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on December 27, 2010
I think the other reviewers have done a brilliant job and I fully agree with their assessments. I would only add the following points regarding ports......

I was all set to buy an 11.6" Airbook. That plan came to a screeching halt when I discovered that it didn't have an Ethernet port. The best you could do was to buy a separate USB dongle that would provide 10/100 Ethernet. For an IT professional who is used to walking into a client's server room and taking a 50GB backup copy of a database in no time via gigabit ehternet that was just not going to work out. I don't fancy stepping back to 1990! Also a lot of hotels only have wired Ethernet and I just want to be able to plug in and go. Not spend time playing find-the-adapter.

I also found out that the Airbook has a mini DisplayPort. To plug into an external VGA monitor you need (yep, you guessed it) another adapter. To plug into a TV or projector you need yet another adapter for HDMI. All these are sold separately and are more junk to cart around the world. They are also the exact thing that you would find that you have lost (or left back in the hotel) just when you needed to plug into a projector to give a presentation ;)

So I was all set to lay out serious $$$ on a Sony ultra-portable when I came across the TimelineX. I've had it for a month now and I couldn't be happier with it. For the professional on the road that doesn't want to lug around some 15.6" monster this little guy is the perfect replacement. Compared to the Sony ultra-portables the price is outstanding value.
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on January 15, 2011
Other reviewers have given very good detailed information on this and the other 11.6 inch Timeline X series with different processors and configurations. Therefore, instead of repeating what has already been written, I will simply comment on my experiences and what others have said.

I've found that most of the complaints others have had about such things as the keyboard and small touchpad are minor. Every computer feels different and simply takes getting accustom to. Let me address a few of these things now. I either still own or have tried 17, 15, 13 and 10 inch laptops from Dell, HP, Acer and Mac. Every one of them has their good and bad points and takes practice especially on the keyboard. Every time I switch to another computer, I have to be aware of the slightly different layout and key sizes then readjust my typing as not to hit the wrong keys too often.

I've tried a 10 inch notebook but found it just a little too small. Even this Timeline at times seems too small on the print or online. So, I just simply zoom in when need be.

As for the small touchpad, I haven't had a problem with it. Most of the time I use a wireless mouse in combination with the touchpad. It's just as I've said before, it takes practice and patience to get the hang of it.

I bought this little wonder to use in the field. I needed something small, lightweight, long battery life yet powerful. This laptop fit the bill perfectly. I also have an extremely heavy 17 inch that I actually use on my lap. This Acer Timeline has the same specs as my main laptop. So, now I am considering using this Acer as my main everyday computer.

As for what I do on a computer, well a little bit of everything. I do the usual things such as word processing, spreadsheets and surf the web. Then I also edit photos and design elements on websites. I even create and edit videos. This little machine handles all these tasks with ease.

The left bottom side gets a little warm, but not warm enough to be uncomfortable. The only complaint I have is the screen has a dead pixel almost in the center which is distracting at times. Acer allows 18 dead pixels on the resolution of this computer and therefore will not replace it. I could have returned it to Amazon, but I have already spent hours putting all my files and programs on it. I can only hope that I can just get use to it.

Otherwise, if you want a powerful yet highly portable computer, then this is the one to buy.

Update:
There ended up being 4 dead pixels which drove me crazy. It was like a tiny person shinning a micro flashlight in my face. I just couldn't take it any longer. And since Acer wouldn't do anything about it, I returned it and bought a ASUS 13" Bamboo which I love.
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on October 2, 2011
Was skeptical of this at first because all I've had in the past were Sony Vaios, but I have to say this Acer has blown away my expectations and then some! Awesome laptop/netbook for the money! Battery life is fantastic and the processor combined with the RAM makes it really quick. At first I was looking at getting a netbook because I wanted the small form factor but they were just too slow. The i7 with turbo boost makes this little guy fly compared to all other netbooks I've tried. If you are looking for a small footprint with awesome processing power and plenty of features (Windows 7 64 bit, 1.3 meg webcam, bluetooth!, 500 GB HD, and 4 GB of DDR3 RAM), look no further. Couldn't be happier with this netbook.

NOTE: The touchpad is great. Don't understand all the fuss over it. I am 6'4" so I have large hands and it still works fine for me. Love the brushed aluminum finish by the way!
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on November 29, 2011
Got this for about a week now, as a college student, the light weight at 3 lbs (lighter than my lightest text book) is great along with some good processing power. Did some hd video editing that really pushed the cpu to its limits, but didn't over heat or crashed as my previous machine. Handles multiple tasks at once nicely. The screen is awesome, though have yet to see any dead pixels (just hope I don't jinx it) and with 3 usb ports, it meets all my everyday needs. Fairly quite, so it wont disturb anyone in class, even under high cpu usuage, it humms a lil bit, but not noisy. My major complaint is the track pad feels a lil generic and the multi touch gestures are not as responsive as the mac air, to me it seems like a last minute thing acer just tacked on. There are times when I literally had to tap my finger on the side of the track pad just so it would register a scroll. Furthermore, due to its lack of a dedicated graphics, don't think about playing much graphic intensive games. I was able to push out 6-7 hours on high lighting from playing games, video editing, and internet surfing. The web cam is very basic and speakers are oddly under the machine, so sound isn't going to be too high in quality. For those of you that need something to just pull out and do a few online problems, school intensive assignments, photo or video editing, or even watch some hd movies on the go, this lap top is great. 4 gb of ram, up to 2.53 ghz with turbo boost, its pretty decent for its size. Be nice if it had a decent graphics card, but with a machine this small, I don't think playing big titles would be ideal. for roughly 650, its probably the biggest bang for your buck as far as ultra portables. With an extremely easy upgradable bay, you can put extra ram or an ssd without much fuss.
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on August 21, 2011
I purchased this laptop for my wife due to its size and weight. I wanted something small, but it still had to be reasonably fast.

I knew these ultra portables are generally slow, so I decided to put in an OCZ Vertex 2 SSD to see if that would help. Did it ever!!

Out of the box, the system is kinda slow. I loaded it up and removed a lot of the bloatware and disabled unneccessary services. Then I timed the boot up. It took 55 seconds to boot.

Then, I replaced the hard drive with an OCZ Vertex 2 SSD drive and loaded Windows 7. I timed the boot up again, and it dropped to 23 seconds! Not only that, but it runs much quieter and I've read that it adds over an hour to the battery life.

It's not perfect, so I'll list the pros/cons.

Pros:
- Very small and easy to carry
- Very light, so even my wife can hold it in one hand without fear of dropping it
- Matte finish also helps in handling
- VERY fast with SSD upgrade. I am considering upgrading RAM to 8GB, but haven't seen the need yet.
- Easy to upgrade
- i7 processor is great addition to a netbook. Atoms are cheap, but just too slow
- Amazon has great price. It was $899 at Fry's and only $699 on Amazon

Cons:
- Cannot change the video memory settings. I'd love to upgrade RAM and use more video memory to increase performance.
- Keyboard is flat and small, so the arrow keys and PgUp/PgDn keys are awkward. But, this is a trade-off for being ultraportable
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on November 28, 2012
I chose this laptop for its ultra-portable-like specifics and its almost-netbook-like price, as I need a travel companion for working in mobility on Office applications and web developement.
After one year of usage I can say that this Acer is amazing! it has enough cpu power to flawlessly run a virtual machine to have a linux server onboard for development of web applications. Any office application (word, powerpoint, excel) runs smoothly and battery lasting time is acceptable (3.5/4 hours with wifi and high CPU performances, low screen brightness). Its portability is excellent and I really have to check my bag to ensure I haven't forgot it somewhere as it's weight is almost comparable with a book. Also the charging device is fantastic as it's quite small and light as a (late '90-ies) mobile phone charger. The only flaw is the graphics section that is very very poor: some high definition videos can't be played smoothly when connected to a HD TV through the excellent full size HDMI (no adapters, no special cables needed): I need to set the resolution to a lower value (1024 x 768 or even 800x600) to solve issues on TV.
[EDIT:that's a WINDOWS problem. NO VIDEO PROBLEMS with Ubuntu + VLC]

No problems indeed on 1366x768 native display, even if to reach the maximum cpu power with this kind of ULV CPUs you'll have to plug the power line. Forget about playing any 3d game, google hearth is quite usable but not smooth.
At this point it could honestly deserve 5 stars because it does exactly what I need. I give 4 because it's a pity not to have a good graphics card that would make this cheap notebook an amazing ultra portable. I can't understand why it's so hard to find such a product elsewhere! for example it's not available in italy.

PROs:
size and wieght: Excellent!!! comparable to a book. small powerpack. that's the main pro.
CPU power: it's not very high but sufficient ([...]); incomparably higher than that of netbooks of the same size! Hardware-supported Virtualization.
full size HDMI: no adapters, no special cables needed
4 GB RAM: virtualizing a second OS works like a charm.
500 GB HD: no space issues!
Keyboard: I like it's size and feeling.
Reliability: in 1 year not even a problem.

CONs:
Integrated graphics: some issues ON WINDOWS7 with HD playback on FullHD TV (no issues on the display and no issues with Ubuntu). No 3d modern games. average but sufficient for any other application.
Battery: not the timeline-x standards
Bluetooth: weak signal (does not reach 10 meters as by specifics)
USB: no 3.0 support

Other:
Battery: average
Sound: average
Display: it could be hard to read with small fonts enabled (it's very good for me, more room for working)

AMAZING Value for the money !!!!
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on July 9, 2011
I'm moving up from an Acer Aspire One that I've been using for a couple of years. I like the bigger screen, extra power, Bluetooth and HDMI. The form factor is nice as it's thin and flat.

Here are some issues I'm having with this product that I didn't have with my old netbook:

My biggest annoyance is that when I suspend and then resume on this laptop, the WiFi is turned off. So even though it comes out of suspend quickly, you then have to hit FN + F3 and then use the cursor to click on WiFi. I've tried every setting I can think of but to no avail. I'd love to edit this review if someone can tell me how to fix this. It seems to be a lot of extra steps to have to do for a device that's primary purpose is an easy way to access the Net.

The track pad, at least mine, has one deficit. Like most track pads you can quickly double-click on something to grab and hold something such as moving a window around or to grab the scroll bar for small movements. The problem is that sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I'm pretty sure it's a hardware issue since I uninstalled the ALPS driver and loaded in the Synaptic's driver and it still had the same issue.

A minor issue I've solved with a small cloth is the front LED lights. I like to keep my laptop on my night stand when I sleep. The small blue LEDs are very bright and shine latterly straight out where it acts almost like having a small flashlight pointed at you in the dark. I found it impossible to sleep next to it without covering the lights.
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on September 15, 2011
I've only had this laptop for about a month. I ride an electric bicycle, so the weight is definitely a plus. I'm also a computer networking student who uses e-textbooks. I have about three hours of classes to sit through.I use the high performance battery settings. I also only have the brightness set at about 25% (purely for comfort) . If brightness is something you need, this machined can handle the job. All that said, I'd say that the battery mileage is pretty good. The advertised battery life specs aren't that far off the mark. The processor speed is snappy. Not sure how impressive it is, but it handles anything that I have thrown at it so far. To be honest, I don't know if this computer is for everybody though. Build quality is fair. Seems fairly sturdy, but there is an annoying piece of plastic below the left arrow key. It appears to be a cosmetic, trimming mistake. Not a big deal. Although it is moderately priced, it might be a bit overkill if you only do "cloud computing" type activities. If you're in the market for real laptop with the netbook size/performance, then it's worth considering. It looks especially appealing becauese Samsung and Sony seemed to be the only comparable size/ performance machines, but the price tags are considerably higher.
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