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A Decent Ultrabook for a Good Price
on November 17, 2012
I've had this ultrabook for about 2 months now, and it's performed quite decently so far. I'm not a very picky consumer, and I don't gripe about small inconveniences, especially when considering that the price for this ultrabook is rather reasonable when compared to others in the same tech/spec range.
Pros: it really is ultra-light, the sleek design is similar to the 13-inch version of the MacBook Air (though the material & build are likely not as sturdy or well put-together, hence the immense price difference), and it has a sleek outer shell that doesn't retain fingerprints or stains so easily (which is something that netbook/notebook users seem to care about). Most importantly, it is immensely portable. The i3 processor is quite capable when it comes to intensive web use (which is what I mainly do with it), and it does start up quickly from its "sleep" or "hibernation" modes. Some consumers have mentioned that the speed slows down considerably when having too many windows/programs open, but I can't verify if this is the case with my own machine since I'm not the kind of user who likes to have more than 8 Word documents open while using a tab-heavy Google Chrome open as well. If you expect to execute intensive business-related activities on your notebook, I definitely would recommend stepping up to an i5 or i7 processor; I own an Acer laptop with an i5 on it, and it's able to handle larger-order tasks like that. My advice: use an i3 ultrabook for basic to intensive web use (especially cloud use), and since this machine has a 500 GB harddrive, you'll be able to save quite a lot of material on it.
Cons: the 5.5 hour battery life is something of a fabrication. You get 2.5 to 3 hours MAX if you use it for that long without break, but if you intersperse your sessions with occasional use (closing and re-opening it from time to time) the battery will drag itself out through a good part of the day. I suppose this kind of intermittent use was what Acer meant by "5.5 hour battery life". One user has accurately recognized that the screen is liable to shake too often if the notebook is moving too much; so long as you have a sturdy table or desk that doesn't budge or shake, the screen won't shake at all, even if you're clacking away at the keys with any degree of intensity. I imagine that, in general, the keys might not be responsive...at first. In the case of this notebook, the key for letter "C" was not loose enough (as if it were semi-stuck into the groove of the body), but after 2 months that particular key became loosened and now is about as responsive as the others. I had (and continue to have) a similar problem with the larger i5 Acer notebook I own: the blue "Fn" key still does not work in conjunction with the Fn controls (such as turning the volume down or up, increasing or decreasing the brightness, etc.), but since that key and its related controls are not absolutely crucial to the basic performativity of the notebook, I don't give it much mind. I still get the performance that I need from the machine. In any case, I think that Acer machines generally seem to have a slight looseness or vulnerability to their build--which is why their prices are what they are. So I can't complain.
All in all, I'm satisfied with what the notebook gives me: portability, sleekness, lightness, connectivity. I've been a consistent Acer user for a few years now (I own 3 machines by them), and I can't say they've disappointed me thus far. Even though the Cons seem to outnumber the Pros in terms of quantity, they are actually quite minor quibbles in relation to the fantastic price the notebook's offered at, and quite minor too in relation to the overall quality the notebook gives you; which is to say, it functions just as it is marketed to you (except for that fib concerning the battery life). And it really does hold up in style when placed next to the implacable army of MacBooks that you inevitably meet each time you walk into a cafe or library to work on something.