on 28 September 2015
a6 4gb version-upgraded to 10gb and 266gb ssd
its just the overall package thats good, a decent thin, light, well constructed modern netbook with just enough cpu horsepower for mobile use, on the gpu side we have a half decent mobile offering, the 8280, ensuring if you pick the right game, and settings, it will perform, dota2, LOL, and WOW will all work on this machine at around 20-45 fps and even more if you set it right, windows store games including xbox arcade all work too, which is a major bonus, now, here is the kicker, and why it is VITAL you upgrade the ram, this machine runs an APU, the 450mhz 128 shader GPU portion of the chip needs VRAM as it has none, so it "steals" that ram from the system, even during computational tasks, your gpu is taking ram and affecting performance, especially if you want to game on this little gem, windows itself needs around 4gb, so factor in that a 8gb stick should give enough for the OS, and the gpu when it needs it, and reduce the page file, speeding up HDD performance, so get the 4gb version, upgrade to 8gb, and save yourself a few quid for doing it yourself, next the list is a solid state, even though the machine has a SSHD as standard, a fully solid state drive will boost loading times by 60-70%, and increase game performance too.
So, the low down ?, its a great portable media and surfing machine, any cpu intensive tasks will slow the machine to a crawl, but, if you keep its tasks to surfing the web, arcade and strategy gaming, and using it for media playback, then it shines, and its even better with windows 10, with 10 being a much snappier and fun place be, and it becomes a great portable laptop.
SCREEN - IPS- good score for brightness, clarity, touch and DPI, but scores low for RGB output and Ghosting
KEYBOARD - Scores high for quality, low for layout
TOUCHPAD - Scores low for being Glitchy
APU - 1.4ghz MAX - 450MHZ 128 Shader Cores GCN DX 11.1 Scores low for CPU, scores high for Mobile Budget GPU
SHDD 500GB - a Half decent effort, but any portable machine needs a decent SSD
3 Cell Lithium, at full on, the test lasted 40 minutes, POOR, you will need to plug in if watching a movie, if you can track down the upgrade for the battery, get it, although I have yet to see on anywhere on the web, surfing performance is much better, at around 2 hours of constant usage with all power plans on full, if your careful, and set the machine up right, you could sip juice and get around 4-5 hours usage.
WIFI, half decent, though no dual band, UPGRADE is possible to a dual band unit, if you like streaming HD or games.
Bluetooth V4 works as expected.
Data and Display Ports
USB2, USB3, AND an "acer port, which is really a mini dp port,, and its a great inclusion on this machine, you can easily use mini dp to hdmi cables for a display output, and opens a whole world of fast data and media transfers or streaming,
RAM- Single channel for upgrade only, one module, upgrade to 8gb. 1033mhz MAX is 10GB as 2GB is soldered on, so take the 2 or 4 gig stick out, and replace with a 4 or 8 gig stick, giving you either 6 or 10 gig.
So, in conclusion, it can be had for £140-£220 second hand, and £300 new, even 2 years after its release its still selling for that, why ?,because of its thin ultra portable design, your getting a taste of an ultrabook, but without the price and performance, think of it as an upgraded netbook, and you have the ideal portable machine for the average user, and btw, most of the 1 star reviews are for the inferior C70 dual core version, the quad core machine being much more favourable, and if you can pick this up for a good price, its worth the investment, however with INTEL SWAN LAKE chips now in the market, performance per dollar looks weak, as those chips have much better CPU and GPU performance for the money, a swan lake tablet will cost around the same, so make sure if you do buy the ACER, make sure your getting a good price.