Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
Great Value for Money
on February 15, 2013
I'm really impressed with this purchase. I wanted something ultra portable to use as a secondary computer to my desktop. In spite of the core i3's very low clock speed and the graphics card being one generation out of date, this computer does it all. Web browsing and videos are fine of course. What really impressed me is the laptops ability to play games. I've managed to get it to run Dirt2, Grid, and Kerbal Space Program. The settings were most of the way down, sure, but not all the way down. There was room to breath and get steady frame rates.
The weakest point in the computer performance is very obviously the hard drive. It's a bit of a throw back even hearing a hard drive that clicks while it's in use. Having a spinning hard drive makes for a delay when opening any kind of application. It's by no means annoying though. Boot times are still quite respectable. It boots in the 30-40 second range.
I have to give the computer high marks for being cool and quiet. If it weren't for the hushed hard drive clicks, the computer would be completely silent. If you have it on your lap for web browsing or movies, you will just barely be able to perceive it's warmth. For gaming, it does get noticeably hot but not alarmingly so. It remains plenty safe for your lap.
I love how light and portable the laptop is. I should caution people who might be looking to get this laptop as their primary computer. This is a very small form factor for every day use. It works fine at a desk or on a table but you'll find yourself straining your neck to use this laptop on your lap for prolonged periods of time. Also, you'll find the keyboard to be quite small. There's not an issue of having your fingers press multiple keys by accident. The issue is that there isn't enough laptop to properly rest your wrists/palms. As a result, you'll find your fingers coming straight down at the keys which can be a bit awkward, especially with how shallow the key presses are. I wouldn't want to write papers on this. My hands never bump the touchpad though. And that's impressive. I'm 6'1" with some big hands. Props to Acer for figuring out a way to prevent that from happening.
The only disappointment I have with this laptop is battery life. The description advertises up to 5 hours. This is fiction. I get between 3 and 3.5 hours on a charge. It could maybe manage 5 hours if you were word processing on the minimum brightness setting the whole way through.
Pros: light, sturdy, surprisingly powerful.
Cons: battery life, shallow key press.
Note: I did have the issues people have described with wireless internet dropping. I tried new drivers and all kinds of device settings with no luck. As it turns out, the wireless card doesn't like WPA2 encryption (the most popular encryption). I switched my router to an open network since I live in a rural area anyway and haven't had trouble since. It's possible that WEP might have worked. I didn't try.
PS: Windows 8 is pretty dope but if you don't like change, you probably won't like windows 8.