Most helpful positive review
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
So much better than a tablet and not much bigger!
on 5 February 2013
Was looking at something portable to take on the road and keep an eye on business. Looked at tablets but put off by lack of compatibility with desktop software. Then came across this little Acer. Unusually for me purchased from Tesco instead of Amazon as they had a flash sale one weekend at £229.
If you are looking for a power laptop then obviously this is not for you. Get something with an Intel i5 processor or similar, but you will pay double the price and get something much bigger and less portable, or much more for anything approaching something as light and portable as this.
This is great if you want something to:
Keep in touch with emails
Run office software (I always use the excellent and free Open Office suite)
View HD videos, iPlayer or YouTube (not DVDs - this doesn't come with DVD drive, but you can add an external USB DVD drive of course).
Not so good for:
High processor load tasks like editing HD video or very large file size graphics.
It has a very solid set of features which are so hard to find in such a small package:
Low weight - only 1.2 Kg
Great screen size to tote around but big enough to work on. Much better than a 10 inch tablet.
In connection with above, great screen resolution at 1366 x 768
Very good quality screen with loads of brightness, even visible in quite bright sunlight.
4 Gb memory built in
320 Gb hard drive (but beware, around 20 Gb lost to Acer recovery software + more to operating system leaves around 280 Gb for working - still more than enough)
Excellent Wi-Fi (but as soon as you get it go into "Power Management" and change Wi-Fi settings from "Best Economy" to "Best Performance". Took me a while to find out this was causing very poor wi-fi as supplied out of the box).
3 USB ports, including one USB 3.0 port (not even some bigger laptops have USB 3.0!)
Lovely keyboard. Nice feel, good spacing between keys.
Excellent large and responsive touchpad. Some don't like the "tap to click" feature but this can be turned off easily enough.
Win 8 gives best of both worlds. Large icon type screen for those who like the "tablet" app style look, and the old familiar desktop for day-to-day office style working.
(Tip - search on Google and search for "Classic Shell" if you want to restore some of the feel of Win XP or Win 7, including the older style "Start" menu).
Respectable battery life - I'm getting around 3.5 hours between charges with mixed office style/video viewing use.
Note to Win 7 lovers.... persevere with Win8. It's worth it in the end (this comes from a die-hard Win XP lover). Particularly, Google Win 8 keyboard shortcuts for users without a touch screen.
Only small negatives:
No Bluetooth, but you don't need it as wi-fi nearly always can be made to serve the same purpose, and faster!
Sound not fantastic, but still perfectly adequate for such a small package.... if you want quality get some headphones!
All in all, can't fault it if you want something to keep in touch, perform office tasks and watch HD video in excellent quality, but don't expect blistering "instant" performance of higher spec laptops. Just as a guide, from clicking Open Office "Writer" icon to getting to the open window ready to type takes around 18 seconds on this Acer versus around 5 seconds on my Dell 15R 15 inch laptop, but of course once it is open, the program itself is just as responsive on both machines.
Oh, and by the way, it looks great too.