Top positive review
End of line Gem!
on 31 December 2014
First up let me give you the info I couldn't find anywhere:
Battery life in real world usage (office, wifi, screen brightness on full, downloading and browsing) is a little over 6 hours.
Linux wise, it's a piece of cake from my limited testing - ubuntu 14.04 lts. Keyboard map was spot on and trackpad (including multi touch), all hardware, function keys and the usual niggles worked right out the box. You will have to set 'NOMODESET' during initial installation, but thats the only niggle. linux mint 17.1 had no graphics issue from the installer.
Windows 10 is working absolutely fine also!
You will need a 16GB USB key to make a backup of your windows 8.1 install as soon as you get it - there are no install disks. It took about 2 hours on my slow stick and used 14.2GB. You really do need to do this - if you ever need to reinstall it could save you a massive headache!
Out the box, there is a LOT of bloatware which can be removed from the control panel. The disk is partitioned into 2X220GB drives, with about 24GB used on the C drive. There are also a couple of acer hidden partitions on the disk for backups and resets. I'm not going to be using them, so deleted them and reclaimed another 20 odd GB.
As for a hardware review, its absolutely blinding! I'm really impressed, although i did buy it open box from amazon depot deals for £220 - highly recommended, not a scratch on it, warranty not started yet!- its very light weight and in normal use doesn't get too warm or make much noise. It's not a gaming laptop, so if you play a bit of minecraft it will get warmer and you may hear the fan.
Cons (because you care about them more than pros):
-The power button is next to the left USB port, if you are not careful using it, you'll put the machine to sleep
- The keyboard is not backlit; could be a problem if you work in the dark.
-The display has very poor veiwing angles; for individual use it's perfect - watching a film as a group wont work.
-The display is beautiful and very clear! Sure its not a macbook retina screen, but this laptop's 1/3 the price!
-You get an i5 at this price. (4200U)
-Very portable; super thin and light, the metal topcase and lide feel very nice quality.
-The track-pad - it feels a bit "clicky" but works really well and is a great size.
-Rear HDMI,USB,LAN ports; no more cables sticking out the side of the laptop when docked!
-Rear USB3 is powered when off, meaning if you're in a hotel with 1 plug you can charge the laptop and your smart-phone from one outlet, even if the laptop is off.
-Dolby sound is very good! if you're watching a film on your own you wont be disappointed!
-Decent webcam for skype.
Overall I highly recommend this laptop - it certainly feels like you are getting about twice your money's worth, which you are. At full wack (nearly £600) I'd want better viewing angles, but at the £220 I paid, or the £300 listed here, its an absolute steal!