on October 25, 2012
I've had mine for a few hours so these are just first impressions:
The build quality is very high - this laptop feels solid despite being very light. The design is clean and simple, the screen is bright and the colors are vibrant. The sound is well above average for a laptop, but that's not saying too much.
This is my first exposure to Windows8 and from what I read in the press, I was expecting to hate it. On the contrary I think for home use it's going to work out perfectly. If you are comfortable with the iPhone style interface you'll have no problem with Windows8. During the initial setup boot it shows you the two main things you need to know in order to navigate. With that I was up and running. I wasn't too sure about the touch screen idea: love it for my phone, but how would the ergonomics feel with a laptop? Answer: awesome. With the Windows8 "tile" based interface, touch just works. I've barely used the touchpad since I got this thing. My other computers seem lame now. Again, this is based on a few hours of use, but the first impressions are very good. I think the Windows OS has made a big step forward out of the cluttered mess it was.
I work in the computing industry so I looked a little closer into some of the specs for those who like to know these things: the CPU, as noted is an Intel i5. That doesn't really tell you much, since that can refer to multiple generations of Intel chips. In this case it is the latest and greatest "IvyBridge" dual-core Intel CPU (22nm, Tri-gate transistors). This is a 17w(!) CPU. That is insanely low power for the performance you are getting. This CPU also includes some fairly robust integrated graphics on the die with 16 graphics execution units. This is 4 more than the previous high-end, and 10 more than the current "second tier". I've read up on the benchmarks and it out classes many discrete graphics solutions. This should actually enable you to do some fairly decent gaming on your laptop if you so choose. It will won't compete with a dedicated "gaming" laptop with high-end discrete graphics, but then again it won't cost you 2-3K. One thing to note is that the Intel graphics drivers generally fall short of AMD or Nvidia when it comes to some of the more high-end graphics settings. Most users don't even know how to get to those features, but if you are serious gamer this is something to consider. On the other hand when it comes to mainstream applications and video performance, Intel performs as well or better than the competition.
A few things to note: this laptop has a nice big 500GB hard drive, but it's a conventional drive and not a solid-state drive. All conventional drives are at risk of failure, and so you should pick up a cheap external back-up HDD just to be safe (or sign up for an online back-up service from somebody like Amazon). It's cheap insurance. Another thing worth mentioning is that while this is not an "Ultrabook" it's pretty close to being that thin. While cool looking, it does mean you have an adapter for network cables and VGA displays. Nobody should need a VGA display connector anymore (the laptop has a conventional HDMI port) but if you plan to plug into a network you have the adapter to think about. Fortunately the wireless on this laptop is first rate. I've got a pretty high-end business class HP laptop from work, and this Acer blows it away on connection speeds.
So my overall impression? This is a great laptop and based on what I've experienced I can comfortably recommend it to anyone. Any doubts I had about Windows8 have been erased. It's simple, intuitive and with a touch screen, computing is kind of fun again.
Just a note that after a week of using this laptop I still really like it. I'm finding Windows 8 is fairly intuitive to use and learn. That being said if you are really used to tweaking around in the old Windows there are some frustrating moments trying to figure it out in Windows 8. However overall they've made configuring things like privacy settings *much easier* so I think the average user will find themselves doing things in Windows 8 they would never do in Windows 7.
I still think that touch is why Windows 8 works and I'm not sure I could suggest buying a non-touch laptop with this OS. I've really gotten hooked on the "10 fingered" touch. It makes my "two fingered" touch on my phone seem antiquated. This makes me wish there were more convertible tablet/laptops out there. It seems like laptop makers are missing the market here.
on December 2, 2012
On paper, this laptop has a lot going for it - a 3rd generation Ivy Bridge i5 dual core processor, 6 GB RAM, a 15.6" multi touch screen, a 5GHz wifi adapter (Atheros AR5BWB222), 3 USB ports (1 USB 3.0), 5 hour battery life (as per the product specs - in reality this is about half that), and a modern design aesthetic.
Unfortunately, the more I used it, the more I ran into its limitations, and hence my 3 star (It's Okay) rating.
Its Windows Experience Index numbers (on a scale of 1 to 7.9) are:
Processor (6.9), Memory (7.1), Graphics 4.5, Gaming (6.2), Hard disk (5.9)
The V5 is really hurt by its anemic Intel HD Graphics 4000 chip (only 128MB of dedicated video memory); as well as by its 5400 RPM hard drive.
This is a handsome laptop, but its cut corners soon become apparent with use - it feels plastic-ky and less well finished than my other laptops.
3. Usability - Touchpad
The touchpad is located too far to the left making left clicks a challenge, has a stiff click action, and tends to lose sensitivity when performing click-drag operations (when closing Modern/Metro apps, touch pad drags were often ignored.)
It supports Win8 actions such as invoking the Charm menu, but these were easy to trigger inadvertently yanking me out of my thoughts.
4. Usability - Keyboard
The keyboard is firm, full sized, and backlit. However, some keys are simply too small, and the Caps/Num Lock keys provide no indication when active.
5. Usability - Touch screen
The touch screen is the perfect complement to Windows 8's Modern/Metro interface, and is natural to use. However, right click and click drag actions were harder to pull off, and I kept resorting to the mouse.
Reaching across the keyboard can be an uncomfortable action depending on user position.
Touching the screen can also be sacrilegious for those sensitive to screen smudges :)
The display was sufficiently bright, with adequate color reproduction. Its 1366x768 resolution is measly for a 15.6" screen, but has the benefit of making text easier to read and icons easier to click - since each pixel is larger.
7. No built-in Ethernet/VGA ports
In a tragic design decision, these ports are only available using a separate adapter cable. That means I not only have to pack this itty bitty connector each time, but I also have to worry that I will misplace it :(
8. Battery life - even with light use, the battery ran down in 3 hours. This is too short for mobile use.
9. Integrated Optical Drive - a nice touch, but as expected at this price point, Bluray is not supported.
This unit was surprisingly clear of bloatware (except for NTI Media Maker). Even the trial Windows Office 2010 is a download link. Unfortunately, Acer was just as sparing with useful software.
Who is this for?
This laptop seems to be aimed at users with light to moderate usage needs - it should be adequate for Internet browsing/streaming, general home use, and for school homework. The larger pixels at this resolution and screen size should also be easier on older eyes.
However, gamers, road warriors, developers, and other power users will likely be better served elsewhere.
While this may seem to be a lot of laptop for the money, I found that there were some material compromises.
How satisfied you will be with this laptop will depend on which of these compromises matter to you.
on November 14, 2012
Acer isn't an unfamiliar brand around our house. In fact, my husband's first personally owned computer was an Acer (486SX-25, cira 1993), as were the first and second computers we bought together. Over the years, Acer's quality has ranged from excellent for the money, to dismal at best. Especially after buying up Gateway, the Acer seemed to struggle with quality. In more recent history, they're back on the upswing, but still not wonderful. So, it was with some hesitation that we got the Aspire V5, not quite knowing what to expect.
After a few weeks, I can say that we're pleasantly surprised. The V5 is quite thin and light compared to the other laptops we have around the house (Lenovo G770, Lenovo ThinkPad T420s, Compaq CQ56, HP DV4, and HP DV9000). The backlit keyboard is quite nice, both in appearance and feel. Typing away feels good, with just the right amount of tactile resistance. Of the models we have, only the ThinkPad outclasses the V5 in this area. The inclusion of a numeric keypad was an added bonus, as only our 17" models have these. For me, the addition doesn't make the keyboard feel cramped, but, my hands are on the smaller side, so this could vary. The touchpad itself is very sensitive, with a surface that lets your fingers glide right across it easily. I'm not a touchpad person myself, but I did check out the extensive adjustments and gesture control options that are built in, just before turning them off. (Yes, I know, how antiquated of me.)
The battery life is very good, with ours lasting just under 6 hours while doing some light gaming the whole time. This bested the older models we have, but came in about the same as the pair of Lenovos. Speaking of gaming, the Intel graphics chip inside isn't a slouch, but, it's not going to come close to what can be had with a dedicated gaming laptop or other laptop with decent graphics chip from NVIDIA or AMD. The CPU is certainly powerful enough, especially when backed by Intel's Ivy Bridge chipset, but expect to be turning down the graphics options if you're into heavy gaming (first person shooters, RPGs, etc). For your typical tasks, like web surfing, emailing, document creation, watching videos, playing games on Facebook or Pogo, and the like, you'll be more than happy with the performance. In terms of overall performance, I feel the V5 held put itself ahead of the rest of our pack, with most everything seeming to run a bit quicker and more smoothly than on any of our others.
Yes, V5 comes with Windows 8, but, I'm not going to try and review that, as it's a whole beast in and of itself. I would like to note that the V5 does come with a fair amount of bloatware, those programs that no one really wants but the manufacturer stick in there as a "value add" item. The V5 wasn't nearly as bad as the HPs and Compaq, which are notorious for the amount of garbage they come with. Bummer there wasn't a full copy of Office Home and Student instead of the trial version, but I can't actually complain about that since I knew that what it came with in the first place. Lastly, and the only thing I will say about Win8 is that it runs very smoothly compared to some prior new major releases (*cough* Vista *cough* WinME *cough* Win95). Not a single hitch to be had during this whole time, and we've been putting the V5 through it's paces.
Lastly, just a few bits on the V5's other features. Touchscreen! Yes, it works very well, but you'll likely love it or hate it, depending on if you like reaching up to the screen a lot and if you don't mind cleaning the screen a lot more often than on a conventional laptop. The HDMI output has come in very handy for things like gaming, watching Netflix, and web surfing on an HDTV. Our son loves it for the gaming, so he and his friends can all watch the action without having to crowd around the person at the keyboard. Sound quality is decent enough, though you're not going to get quality enough to satisfy an audiophile. The webcam is...well..meh. It works well enough, to be sure, but don't expect crystal clear and grain free image quality. It's simply not that great, at 1.3MP.
Overall, I think the V5 is an excellent machine in terms of price, performance, and features. I'm almost tempted to trade my G770 for it but...I really like the bigger screen. Our son is loving it, and as previously stated, hasn't run into a single hitch yet. Only time will tell if the quality inside is up to snuff though.
on November 2, 2012
I have only been on this laptop for a few hours, but I wanted to share how great my experience has been! Yes, it's a new OS so it takes a little getting used to, but the touchscreen and the keyboard can be interchanged flawlessly and if you are familiar with previous windows versions you can get yourself going with a little brain power. Anyway, this review is for the laptop. All specs are accurate. This laptop is so thin for it's size! It is heavier than I wanted, but still light for it's dimensions. The screen is beautiful and very responsive to touch. I love the keyboard as well - back lit, but only when being used. The track pad does NOT have buttons on it, instead you need to double tap the trackpad if you don't want to use the touch screen. A little different than what I am used to but I think I can get used to it. Love all the USB ports, including one that is 3.0, and the hdmi port. Another big thing for me, an SD slot. For photo editing, this is really helpful.
Amazon's price was the same as trusted tech sites, so I went with them since I am a prime member.
Overall, I realize it's still early, but I am very impressed with my initial impressions. For the technical specs you are really getting a good deal. Acer's reputation is really not as high as it should be - they make great products.
on March 26, 2013
I bought the Aspire V5 about a week ago through Amazon (best price I could find anywhere), and I'm very happy with it. I added 2GB more RAM to bring it up to 8, and with the i5 processor, it is very fast. Still getting used to Windows 8, but there are online video tutorials available and you can always switch over to the desktop view, which is almost like the earlier versions of Windows just without the start button icon in the tool tray.
I had an issue initially with random dropping of the WiFi connection but consulted the Acer website and was easily able to locate an updated wireless Broadcom LAN driver to download and install and have had no further issues.
I was able to link my phone via the Bluetooth connection and that is quite handy. I take a fair number of pictures with my phone and now I can easily transfer them to my computer for further processing, storage, etc. The ClearFi features also make it very easy to sync files and data between my laptop and phone.
The Silky Silver is very cool, it actually feels like silk to the the touch! And with the new air flow system that was designed for the V5, it literally feels cool as well. It is thin and sleek, battery life is solid, and the audio quality is an improvement over other laptops I've owned with the speakers located on the underside of the cabinet on either side of the battery. I was surprised at the surround quality of the audio.
on November 26, 2012
This is my first review ever on a product, so excuse me if it's a tad jumbled or jumps from subject to subject. I guess I should also mention that this is for the 6648 model that is Best Buy exclusive ($519, but i3 processor)
I received this laptop as a gift after I sold my gaming desktop computer. I am about to start graduate school, so I was in the market for a nice, efficient laptop for school work. I fully intended on buying a Surface tablet, but after extensive review and playing with this in-store for a few minutes, I decided this would do much better for my needs.
So there I was in Best Buy, wondering why this was so cheap. From first looks of this device on the exterior, I was drawn towards it. The shell has a nice smooth, silvery exterior, but is actually plastic. Oh well, it looks great. The backlit keyboard is just an awesome bonus, as NO OTHER keyboard in this price range has this feature. Seriously, I HATE having a bunch of light on, and I cannot function without a backlit keyboard. The track pad is nice and large, but guess what? I hardly use it due to the AWESOME touch screen feature.
The touchscreen itself is insanely accurate, even down to the small menu boxes! It's so great to use, that I find myself neglecting the large trackpad below the keyboard. One really negative aspect of the touchscreen is that since it's so great to use, you WILL notice horrible smudges. I happened to have a slight cold when I got this last night, so just remember to keep your hands clean before groping the screen with your dirty hands.....just saying.
I'd consider myself pretty high-tech, and just recently, I laughed at someone for getting a windows 8 laptop and crying about it not being touchscreen. Man, I need to go apologize to them. I think I'd cry to if this didn't have it! Windows 8 is......unique. I've tried the windows 8 phone platform and did not like it one bit. Windows 8 on a touchscreen-enabled laptop is pretty slick. If you don't like the tiles you can always switch back to a classic desktop for a minute for more familiar navigation. It does take some getting used too.
I don't really have TOO much experience with laptop keyboards, but this one seems to do just fine for me. It's a good mixture of softness and firm "clickiness" to let you know you've hit the key successfully. I don't feel as if I've had to compensate for anything while typing, which is good because I type close to 100 wpm. I imagine I'd be pretty upset if I had to slow down my typing deliberately to make up for a keyboards faults. Like I've said before, I just could NOT live without a backlit keyboard. It helps tremendously, even during the day. At night, it's a blessing. Keyboard keys are nice and bright, and are illuminated by a nice, bright, white LED lighting. (I could be biased somewhat as well, because white those bright, white, almost light blue LED lights are my favorite at Christmas!) Just as a bonus, there are a full set of numbered keys to the right of the main keyboard. The keys also have a nice matte finish to them. It's really nice to type on I've found.
For all of the aesthetics so far, the screen is really nothing special to look at. I mean, hey, it's not bad, it's just not GREAT. Like I said, I'm a techie, but I can live with the screen. The native IE browser appears washed out while typing this. Colors just don't "pop" out. It's definitely not an iPad Retina display (Before you cry bias, I've used Android products primarily over the past few years. I can just recognize when certain brands have better qualities, and Apple makes ridiculously awesome screens. Truth.)I watched a few YouTube videos and an episode of Battlestar Galactica and Family Guy on Netflix, and was neither amazed or disgusting. It's just.......a screen. For $519.00, an awesome backlit LED keyboard and touchscreen, I'll manage!
The audio is actually pretty decent for a laptop. It touts a Dolby Advanced Audio Virtual Surround Sound capability. I mean, I dunno, I'm no Audiophile, but judging purely in comparison from the laptops I've owned before, this laptop seems to project sound a little better. No bass to speak of (obviously), but pretty decent. No distortion on 100% volume. I find the best to be around 50% volume. I can definitely hear it from across my bedroom at 50% with ease. No complaints whatsoever about the sound on this laptop.
All of the reviews I have read on this battery describe it as terrible. I agree. It drains really, really fast. I have no benchmarks or tests to prove it from, but I can attest to the reviews. It is just. plain. horrible. Whatever, I don't plan to take this camping, or skydiving, or watch DVDs for hours on a car trip with it. It's a core i3 laptop, I just plan to do work with it for a graduate program, so I plan to be in civilization and near electrical outlets like 95% of normal Americans. This is fine with me. All hail the electrical outlets.
What else to say? I have really, really enjoyed using this laptop so far the past day! I am still figuring out various aspects of windows 8. Some are annoying, some are cool. As a previous power PC user, it is slightly aggravating that I can't just jump in and go, but the new part of me is enjoying something fresh and fun. The fact that I have an Xbox 360 is even sweeter, as this integrates awesomely with my Xbox! Game requests and messages from my friends all are shown on the tile screen to let me know. It's really cool. I love how in windows 8 you can split screen with applications! This is where touchscreen really, really shines. I couldn't imagine doing some of these functions without it.
Like I said, this is the Best Buy exclusive variant, which is $519.00, but replaces the i5 with the i3. I couldn't imagine performance being any different with the i5, maybe slightly faster if anything. It comes with 4GB, which is been sufficient for me. Power users might want to consider an 8GB upgrade. Startup time for the laptop seems to be lengthy, but I've been spoiled by an SSD. I will be looking to upgrade to an SSD if possible. I can't think of any other upgrades I think would be necessary.
Overall rating (purely subjective, and no scale or previous experience for judgment):
Windows 8: 4/5 - This is due to some annoying aspects of Windows 8.
Display: 3.5/5 - I feel this is an average screen, nothing horrible, nothing fantastic.
Touch screen: 5/5 - This touchscreen is AWESOME, and INCREDIBLY accurate. After using it, I would NOT recommend getting Windows 8 without a touchscreen capable device. You are missing out on so much!
Keyboard: 5/5 - I am a power type, and do not have to compensate for anything while typing. Keys are slightly small, but so are my hands. Backlit keyboard is just incredible, as I found no other laptop in my price range that offered this option.
Sound: 4/5 - Horrible low end (It's a laptop, duh). Good representation of mid/high ends with music. 50% volume is the sweet spot for me, and music sounds good, clear across my bedroom from previous laptops I've owned. I'm no expert, but it sounds good enough for me.
Hardware: 4/5 - Nice options for a budget laptop. 4GB DDR3. 500GB HD. Second Generation Core i3, which is quick enough for all the applications I use here. Intel HD3000 graphics, which is good enough for HD videos and all the apps. Comes with Bluetooth, Wireless, and all the necessities. Having an SSD drive, 8GB, and possibly Intel HD4000 GPU would have been nicer, but saving ~$200 bucks is definitely worth the downgrade for what I use this laptop for.
Battery life: 2/5 - My non scientific testing of just running it slightly to see the drain seems to match up with more through reviews and bench testing. It drains really, really fast. But like most technologically savvy Americans, I am near electrical outlets. It's acceptable if you don't use it on commutes or long trips. Who uses a laptop in a car anymore anyway?
Overall, I give this laptop a 4.5/5. I really am not including the battery life, as this would drag the rating down. Its quick, THIN, and meets my needs perfectly so far. If you get this, you won't be disappointed. And if you can find one for $519.00 at Best Buy, I would HIGHLY recommend you snag it while you can! I would be hard pressed to believe you'd find any significant performance differences between the i3 and the i5 for what you would use this laptop for. I hope this review has helped!
on December 2, 2012
I've had the laptop for about 2 days. Bought it from the Microsoft Store. You simply cannot find another laptop with these specs and with a full 10-point touch screen for the price. I have no idea how Acer did it, but they did an amazing job. My only grip is the multi-touch track pad can accidentally perform a context switch (i.e. left swipe) when you place your palms down on the computer to type. Your left palm can brush the edge of the track pad, which commences the context switch. This is more of a function of Win8 and not Acer, so I can't blame them for it. But it is an annoyance. At first I didn't understand why I would immediate switch apps when I sometime place my hands on the keyboard, but I found that this was the reason. Easily avoided with a little practice.
Initially I was set on buying a MacBook Pro, but after careful research and hands-on testing, I decided on the Acer. In the end, Mac's are the BMW's of computers, but this laptop is the Toyota. I didn't see the distinguishing factors of the Mac a good enough reason to pay twice as much. This laptop has everything, and is really the best way to navigate Win8. My kids love the multi-touch support for drawing and playing games. I like having the option to use it as well, but find that after time I don't use it as much. It's much easier to use the track pad's multi-touch support to navigate through windows 8.
The build quality is good. It's all plastic, but appears to be pretty high quality. The screen resolution is just fine for me, and I love how clear and thin the screen is. The camera is above par compared to other laptops I researched.
I think the only thing that bothers me a little is the trackpad sensitivity for multi-touch gestures is inconsistent across apps. I don't know if this is the case with other laptops, because it's not something I looked into before buying, and I don't know if it's a function of the app developers, Windows 8, or Acer. But it's just something I would recommend people test out briefly.
Overall, I'm giving the Acer Aspire V5 4 stars. It's simply the best deal on the market. The S7 ultrabook is amazing, but the 128 GB drive space is simply too small. For the V5, there's no compromises for the price. Certainly it's not perfect, but for what you pay it's outstanding. An excellent buy!
on November 29, 2012
We've had ours for 2 days and we love it. There is a small learning curve for Windows 8, but it's so small I would consider it tiny. The touch screen makes navigation while browsing the internet, changing between apps and programs and general navigation around the computer so much faster. As for a computer it's fast, it's thin, it's light, it has a DVD burner, a backlit keyboard, 15.6 inch screen, plenty of ram, and plenty of hard drive. I would give an extra star making a 6 star review just for the cool factor that the touch screen adds. It seems to be a rock solid computer with all the features most people need and has a touch screen that makes you faster and more productive and makes the computer more fun to boot. I would definitely recommend this computer.
on November 2, 2012
I originally purchased an hp dv4 for my home use. In less than a month it was stuck on a black screen and not working. I returned the laptop and immediately purchased this Acer. It is light years above the hp and any other laptop I have ever owned. I have only used it one day but I am amazed at how easy it is to use Windows 8. Everything seems more streamlined and accessible. The touch screen is amazing. Far exceeds what I was expecting. Highly recommended.
Will update if I run into any problems.
on December 30, 2012
Many others have commented on the features and some deficiencies of this Acer V5 touch laptop, so I am not going to comment on those, but I will highlight my experience about the quality and reliability of this laptop.
I was in the market for two 'average use' family laptops, so a Windows 7 laptop would have mostly sufficed, but after seeing the Acer V5 touch laptop at a warehouse retail chain, and reading many of the reviews here at Amazon, I decided on buying the V5. I was prepared for the deficiencies because the V5 showed more promise with its features that were important to me (3rd gen i5, backlit keyboard, 15.6" screen, touch, good form factor, price and a fast wi-fi).
The first unit worked fine for about 3 weeks before it started giving minor trouble with wi-fi (will not 'wake up' after sleep or standby). Although a nuance because I had to reboot it every time this happened, I continued using it. I installed a few additional software so I could use this with my Canon printer and Netgear ReadyNAS. Soon after, the behavior of the laptop started changing with erratic slow-downs (e.g. CPU = 90%+ for the Task Manager process etc.) and freezes. I was still not convinced this was a bad laptop and questioned the driver and Windows 8 compatibility. This, until the screen stopped responding to touch. With no other option to fix the touch, I restored the laptop to factory settings thinking one of the drivers could have caused the touch screen to fail. The full restore to factory setting took almost 7 hours but still no response to touch. I packed it up and returned it to the store.
The second unit which I am currently using is already showing wi-fi connectivity issues - connection stays dropped after waking up from 'sleep' or standby. Sometimes, wi-fi will not connect even after restarting. The erratic slow-downs do happen on this one but much less than the first unit. While the wi-fi problems are worse on this unit (and some erratic slow-downs), the rest of the features work well. The only new software I have installed are, to access my Netgear ReadyNAS and small utilities like 7-zip, VLC, Google Drive etc. The other annoyance with this unit is the 'dongle' for using Ethernet 'wired' connection. The dongle is used between the Ethernet connector and the laptop for wired network connections. It just seems to delicate around where it connects to the laptop, that I fear it may break soon. It slides into the laptop easily but seems to get stuck when removing. BEcause of the wi-fi issues, the wired connections is slowly becoming my favorite but then it reduces the mobility of the laptop and also makes me use the touch features much less. I plan to call Acer support soon to help resolve the wi-fi issue.
I will update if I run into other issues with the second unit.
Update 01/01/13: My wi-fi completely stopped working. It would not detect any wifi network nearby. I contacted Acer support via their Chat support (fast response - even on New Years Holiday). Support advised me to reset the BIOS to factory settings and if that doesn't fix the wi-fi, they advised a restore of the OS (Windows 8) to factory settings. This sounded easy enough and my wifi started working soon after a BIOS reset (I did not have to do an OS restore). The BIOS reset is fairly easy - 1) Access the BIOS using F2 as soon as you power up. 2) Reset to default settings using F9 3) Save the BIOS setting using F10. I will wait for a few more days of reliable use, before modifying the rating.
Update 01/15/13: The wi-fi has become more predictable and less troublesome, probably because there are other troubles which have now surfaced (unfortunately, because I wanted to like this laptop). One thing to note, when the wifi does not 'wake up', then disabling/enabling the wireless adapter resets it. Other times, I have to remove my wireless network from the configuration and it resets the wifi - it does prompt for the WPA2 key again which I have now memorized. The two other problems I have now started seeing are: 1) Abrupt disappearance of the mouse pointer (requires a restart to get it back again). 2) The machine almost never shuts down 'cleanly' - on shut-down, it shows a garbled screen for about 30 seconds and then brings up the ACER welcome screen (BIOS) as if it is restarting. I will call Acer one last time to resolve these which I am sure a full restore should be able to resolve. The problem is that I do not know when the problem will restart after a full restore. This may be going back to the store...
Anyone has better suggestions for a reliable Windows 8 'Touch' laptop or maybe I will stick to my old Mac for now until some Win 8 touch laptops establish reliability.